Sir Alex Ferguson has accused modern players of being fragile, cocooned and unwilling to take responsibility for their own performances. The Scot, famed for his dressing room ‘hairdryer’ management style, has adapted to the modern mentality with a softer tone and a willingness to place an arm round a player’s shoulder.
The former Aberdeen, St. Mirren and Scotland manager famously travelled to Paris to placate Eric Cantona in 1995. The French legend threatened to quit football following his infamous kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Symonds.
“It’s a different player character we’ve got today. The players are more fragile than players of 25 years ago. They are more cocooned today by their agents or the press they receive,” said Ferguson, whose first managerial position was in 1974 with East Stirlingshire.
“They are less likely to hold their hands up and say they’re at fault for things. If you go back 30 years ago you had a player who had a certain pride and responsibility in their own performance.
“They were less protected so they could come in and say ‘Hands up, it was my fault.’ And that was good.”