Fergie

Manchester United’s veteran manager Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled Newcastle United “a wee club” in the wake of Alan Pardew’s criticism of his fellow manager’s behaviour during the two sides’ Premier League encounter on Boxing Day.

Pardew claimed Ferguson “should have been punished” for remonstrating (and occasionally berating) Mike Dean and his assistants during the clash at Old Trafford. Ferguson was riled by a decision by Mike Dean to overrule an offside decision made by his linesman and award Newcastle a second goal after Jonny Evans had just equalized for the hosts before prodding into his own net.

After the game, Pardew criticised the conduct of his fellow manager, as quoted by ESPN:

“I think Mike Dean might feel slightly disappointed he didn’t do something about it. I think the pressure that was on him was tough for a referee to take.

“Sometimes when you reflect on a game you think you might have acted differently. You do that as a manager and I think he might have done that as a referee.

“But it’s an emotional game and apparently they had a cordial discussion. I’ve had a few of those myself and sometimes I’ve ended up in the stands as a result of that cordial discussion.

“I think there were a lot of things the FA could look at. But it seems they are looking at none.”

Ferguson has today retaliated to Pardew’s claims according to a report on SkySports with another tongue-lashing aimed at the Newcastle United manager, who the United boss says has forgotten help he has given him in the past, as well as the press who have escalated the situation:

“I was demonstrative but I was not out of order. The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy.

“It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the north east.

“I shouted Mike over. We walked towards each other. I was only on (the pitch) three or four yards. That has been overplayed.

“The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge.

“Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticise me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way.”

Pardew himself was given a two-game touchline ban and fined £20,000 by the FA for pushing an assistant referee earlier this season.

Sir Alex’s comments about Newcastle being a “wee club” will no doubt incense the club’s fans, and will make the next meeting between the sides an animated affair, particularly given old rivalries between the two in the past. Some will simply see it as a cheap shot from a manager who is frequently accused of getting his own way.

Manchester United prevailed over Newcastle 4-3 after falling behind three times before a late strike by Javier Hernandez sealed the points.

What do you think of Sir Alex’s latest outburst? Should the FA have punished him? Should they take action now? Share your thoughts below in the comments thread.

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This article was first posted on December 28, 2012