‘Sir Alex and his hairdryer fascinates everyone – Carragher rang me on day one’

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    Sir Alex Ferguson was notorious for dishing out the hairdryer treatment in the Manchester United dressing room when he wanted a reaction from his underperforming players.

    But Michael Owen was one of the lucky few who managed to avoid Fergie wrath. Although that doesn’t mean he never witnessed the Scot lose his temper every so often.

    The former United striker spent three years at Old Trafford working under Sir Alex from 2009 until 2012, winning the League Cup during his first season, and the Premier League title in his second.

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    While Ferguson was in the latter stage of his career, he clearly hadn’t lost the drive and passion to win, along with letting the players know when he wasn’t happy. Even top players at rival clubs were fascinated by him and how he managed behind the scenes.

    Jamie Carragher, who was close with Owen from their time together at Liverpool, couldn’t wait 24 hours before pestering his old team-mate to see what life under Fergie was like.

    “I was fascinated by him and his methods and what he was going to be like,” Owen exclusively told Daily Star Sport about Sir Alex. “And I think every player is, I mean, I always remember making my debut and then getting in the car and within two minutes of being in the car, my phone's ringing. It's Jamie Carragher. ‘What was it like? What was the team talking about?’

    Where does Sir Alex Ferguson rank among the greatest managers of all time? Let us know in the comments section.

    “The whole world is in awe of what makes him so good. The manager he is. So it was fascinating to see him working up close.”

    As for the hairdryer, Owen added: “To be honest, he didn't ever (with me). Me and Sir Alex got on great and even to this day, he phones me quite a lot. I mean, a lot of the time it's to talk about horses because he loves his horses! But we had a great relationship.

    “I was sort of at the time where my career was experienced and I've been around a good while and achieved what I've achieved in the game. So it was a real healthy respect. I didn't suffer the hairdryer! I think there was a respect.

    “I think he had his favourites to give it to. There were like four or five people that were just a staple diet. They would just get it whenever he wanted to let off steam. It was just either him, him or him, but certain players didn't get it.”

    Man-management is key, especially in modern football, in terms of how certain players can be handled differently to others. Some need an arm around the shoulder, while others benefit from a good old fashioned kick-up-the-backside.

    One in particular Fergie would regularly go after was ex-England captain Wayne Rooney, who enjoyed his two most prolific seasons in football while Owen was at the club.

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    The 2009/10 and 2011/12 campaigns each saw Wazza net 34 goals across all competitions. And Fergie clearly knew what he was doing.

    “I think he was very good at that sort of almost picking and choosing who he could get,” Owen said. “So, there were certain people that I never heard him have a go at. Fortunately I was one of those but I did see it basically, he used to give it to Wayne Rooney every game – he knew he could get a reaction out of him, I imagine!”

    British high-street brand Peacocks has collaborated with former professional footballer Michael Owen on a new men’s casualwear collection. The Michael Owen Edit is now available online and across the 340 Peacocks stores nationwide. Peacocks offers fashion for all the family at affordable prices and great quality. www.peacocks.co.uk

    • Exclusives
    • Sir Alex Ferguson
    • Manchester United FC
    • Premier League
    • Jamie Carragher
    • Liverpool FC
    • Wayne Rooney

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