Nani familiar with Ferguson's hairdryer

Nani familiar with Ferguson's hairdryer

Published Jan. 19, 2012 12:00 a.m. ET

Manchester United winger Nani admits he is one of the more frequent victims of Sir Alex Ferguson's infamous hairdryer.

Now 70, Ferguson claims to have mellowed down the years, a stance the likes of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville agree with.

However, the Scot's temper can quickly boil over if he feels his team are not reaching the performance levels he demands.

And Nani, on his day a world-class talent but infuriatingly inconsistent, knows he irritates his boss more than most.


Speaking in an exclusive interview on the Betfair Facebook page, Nani said: "I get it a lot, it's normal.

"He expects more from me, so sometimes he comes to me and says something."

Not that it means Nani respects Ferguson any less.

After almost 40 years as a manager, 25 of which have been spent at United, the former Sporting Lisbon player knows the Scot is the master of man-management.

"No-one understands it like Alex Ferguson," he said.

"Everyone knows him in Portugal, and talk a lot talk about him.

"Everyone knows the way he works is fantastic and the young lads improve a lot."

It has been suggested Ferguson's most recent feats have been amongst his most impressive.

Since the world record £80million departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2009, United have won one Premier League, finished second by a point to Chelsea, reached a Champions League final and won the Carling Cup.

It is only a fortnight since they overcame Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup despite being beset by injuries.

All this despite refusing to splash out on the big-name midfielder even seasoned United observers accept the club desperately need.

Indeed, whilst Paul Scholes' return has been welcomed by the majority of supporters, there is also a fear the 37-year-old's retirement U-turn is just papering over the cracks.

Not that the view is echoed in the United dressing room.

"He is one of the best players I've played with in my life," said Nani.

"The quality he gives the team is fantastic."

After his goalscoring contribution to last weekend's win over Bolton, Scholes is likely to be involved on Sunday, when United take on Arsenal for the first time since that staggering 8-2 win at Old Trafford in August.

"Maybe," said Michael Carrick, when asked if Arsenal would be gunning for revenge.

"They didn't start the season too well but they are still up there.

"Arsenal against Manchester United is always a massive game. They will want to win and so will we."

It is not so much a case of the Red Devils wanting to win.

By the time they kick-off, it might be a clear case of having to.

For, if Manchester City overcome Tottenham in the other title crunch taking place on Sunday, United will be six points adrift to a team that will only get stronger once Yaya and Kolo Toure return from African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast.

"Manchester City have done well," said Carrick.

"You have to give them credit. They set an early pace, had a funny Christmas period, and have now bounced back.

"It's close at the moment, so we want to catch up with them.

"The bar has been raised this year."