Former Manchester United player, Gordon Strachan has revealed how iconic football manager Sir Alex Ferguson ‘controlled’ every aspect of his players’ lives to get the very best out of them.
Ferguson is one of football’s most successful managers of all time having won a long list of trophies in Europe while coaching Aberdeen and most notably Manchester United.
Strachan, who played under the legendary boss at both clubs, claims his former manager would even speak to players’ wives and babysitters to ensure he was in the loop on every little detail in the lives of the players.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Strachan said: “He used to control your life and your family life!
“He even had a team talk with the wives before a cup final to say, ‘do not take him shopping, he’s resting. Give him what he wants, eating-wise’.
“There would be hell breaking loose now with that, there would be all sorts of screaming and shouting.
“He’d just say ‘look after them, make sure they don’t do too much. If they’re getting stressed out, you’ll have to deal with their stress’.
“He even used to control the babysitters that we used to have at Aberdeen! Literally, my babysitters were Eric Black and Bryan Gunn, they used to look after my kids.
“It was good because he’d be completely in control. What he’d do is make sure the youth team players never went out on a Saturday night. He’d get the babysitters together and say, ‘what time did Strachan come in? Was he with McGhee? Did he have a curry?’
“So he’d cover all things like that. We didn’t like it at the time, but when you look back now, I really did like it because it controlled my life with discipline.
“It’s a bit like [Marcelo] Bielsa. His training is hard – he’s hard. You wouldn’t say it was great fun, but if you ask any player they’d love it because they’re winning games of football.”
Strachan won two Scottish top-flight titles under Ferguson at Aberdeen, before reuniting with him at Old Trafford in 1986.
The former Celtic boss admitted Ferguson used to ‘bring the devil out of you’ while on the pitch.
He added: “What he’s got out of people is incredible.
“At times he’d bring the devil out of you on the football pitch.
“Sometimes you’d walk off the pitch and go, ‘wow, did I just say that to somebody? Did I just run to the referee and scream and shout just because I’ve been told by the manager to scream and shout at the referee?’
“There would be times we’d go to Celtic or Rangers and he’d say, ‘if they’ve got five players around the referee, I want six!’”