The story behind Ferguson’s flying shoe at Beckham’s eye


Written by El-Khoury

Manchester United had some great, successful days with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of the team. Those successful days are faded today, and the Red Devils are looking for their lost leader at the wheel. Ferguson’s secret was very simple. There was a hierarchy set by the boss and anyone who didn’t follow, was kicked out. Above all the importance for Ferguson in the team, was first the coach’s and then the players. A hierarchy that everyone should respect in order to move forward.

Arsenal’s party and Fergie’s nerves

On February 15, 2003, Manchester United were going to compete against Arsenal for the English Cup. But things didn’t turn out the way Ferguson was expecting. Edu had a party on the field and Arsenal won 2-0. By the end of the that match, Ferguson had incredible nerves.

Fergie thought that Beckham was not the player we all knew about. The fact that he had become one of the team’s number one player and one of the most famous footballers in the world led Fergie to complain that he was not at his Standard. And because of that, he knew he had to talk to him.

An unbelievable scene in the locker room

“He was about five yards away. Among us, on the floor, was a pair of shoes. David sat down. I moved towards him and as I approached, I kicked a shoe. It hit him just above the eye. Of course, he tried to fight back, and the other players stopped him. “Sit down,” I told him. You disappointed your team. You can disagree as much as you want,” Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his autobiography.

The beginning of an era

This story also led to the end of Beckham from United, as Fergie also noted. “The next day this story led to the press and everybody were informed of what happened. Some described the damage caused by the shoe. Those were the days I told the Management that David had to leave. My message was understood by all the members who knew me. The moment that a Manchester United player thought he was more important and superior than the coach, he had to leave. I used to say that when a coach loses his power, you don’t have a team under control anymore. The players will start commanding and then you lose control and get into trouble”.