Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has recalled two terrifying moments when he found himself subjected to Sir Alex Ferguson’s infamous hairdryer treatment. Silvestre played 361 games across nine years at Old Trafford and collected an impressive medal haul in the process. Speaking on the podcast, Silvestre recalled a couple of occasions when the Ferguson let loose. A pre-warning came when Silvestre did his best to keep up with modern trends.
Mikael Silvestre said: “[As a player] Your performance and your private life is exposed, so it would have been tough [playing in the social media era]. But the fact I was settled with my wife [helped] – and the manager was a good policeman in that respect. In a good way. I use this word because at my time we just started the players to have our own websites. I was tempted so I did. Someone was running a page for me. In the beginning, we would do interviews after every game. On the phone, someone would write down and then we’d post it on the website the day after, probably. But then it started being picked up by the tabloids – you know the papers – and when it was translated the boss could read it. With some of them, he wasn’t happy at all. You know, when you say ‘I don’t think we performed well’. He thought that only he could say that. So for me, it was my interview on my website and then it was on the back page of the paper, so I got the hairdryer twice. So I shut down the website straightaway after that… I can remember two [times]. Two over nine years. It’s okay, right? There was my second home game, recovering the ball from midfield position, like 40 metres from our goal. So I carried on, on the right side, lost possession and then they equalised. I lost a one vs one against Ashley Young and he crossed, they scored for the equaliser. Yes, I think we scored first. I scored first. But still, it doesn’t matter if you score or whatever performances you do, with the gaffer if you make a mistake you’re going to hear about it. I never argued back. You just sit and want to go into your shoes. To be as little, as small as possible.”
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