Manchester United

Peter Schmeichel names Liverpool player who "terrified" Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson was 'terrified' of Steve McManaman, says Peter Schmeichel
Sir Alex Ferguson was 'terrified' of Steve McManaman, says Peter Schmeichel / Max Mumby/Indigo/GettyImages

Peter Schmeichel has claimed that legendary Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was absolutely "terrified" of Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman.

Ferguson was the Red Devils' most successful boss until date and spent 26 trophy-laden years in charge of the club. But according to Schmeichel, the iconic manager was left 'in a sweat' by Liverpool's McManaman whenever United came up against him on the field.

"In some ways, this was no surprise because Ferguson was terrified of McManaman," Schmeichel wrote in his autobiography 'One' (via the Daily Mail).

"McManaman was the only opposing player he ever paid attention to in the Premier League. I mean, he would mention Alan Shearer and other major opposing players in team talks but never with any fear. However, McManaman always had him in a sweat.

"And, to be fair, Steve was a fantastic footballer. Fergie's thinking was always that if you took McManaman out of the game, you took Liverpool out."

Ferguson had devised a plan to deal with McManaman during an FA Cup game, where he wanted to stick Phil Neville on the Liverpool man's tail.

However, after meeting with several of United's senior players, including Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, and Steve Bruce, Ferguson was convinced not to give the midfielder such special attention.

Schmeichel continued: '"No this is what we're doing," he affirmed. Then Eric spoke. And Eric never spoke. He said: "Gaffer… bad idea."

"Fergie said: "Aye… okay, we're not doing it. Lads, off you go"."

United won the game 1-0 at Wembley, with Cantona scoring the winner five minutes from time.