Sir Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer treatment triggered numerous comebacks and victories for Manchester United. It became a trademark of the Ferguson era at Old Trafford that saw the club win 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
A barrage of harsh, piercing words within a space of ten minutes in the half-time interval often got the best out of Manchester United players under the Scottish manager.
But, the hairdryer was not confined to the dressing room and wasn’t limited to improving on-field performance. Ferguson also knew how to use it effectively to ensure players behave off the field as well.
“Once when we were in pre-season and before we came on the bus, we were really tired. I’ll be honest with you, there was a queue of fans and the players were like ‘when no one signs, no one has to sign,’’ Evra told the club’s UTD podcast.
“So we went straight to the bus, everyone, and I look out of the window and I see Ferguson signing every autograph. I swear like he must have signed for 45 minutes. He was signing for everyone. I says ‘guys when the boss comes on the bus, we are done,’” he added.
“And he came on the bus, he gave us the hairdryer. ‘What the hell do you think you are! Those people are paying your salary. Those people are watching you. Now get the f*** down there and sign,’” he continued.
Evra reveals death threats after Suarez racism row
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has said he received death threats following a racism row involving then-Liverpool forward Luis Suarez in 2011.
Uruguay striker Suarez was banned for eight matches by the English Football Association after being found guilty of misconduct for insulting comments to Evra, which included a reference to the left-back’s skin colour, at Anfield in October that year.
Liverpool, however, mounted a prolonged and public defence of Suarez’s conduct as the row between the rival clubs escalated.
Evra said one consequence of the backlash included letters threatening the Frenchman and his family.
“Manchester United received so many threatening letters about me,” Evra said.
“People said: ‘We’re in jail, we’re Liverpool fans. When we get out, we’re going to kill you and your family’.”
Evra said the nature of the threats meant he had to be protected by bodyguards.
“For two months, I had security everywhere I went. They were sleeping in front of my house. Everywhere I went, the security followed me.
“It was a tough time, but I wasn’t scared. My family was scared: my wife and brother, but I wasn’t.
“I couldn’t understand why people hated me so much. They didn’t know the truth.”
Evra, who saw his attempt to shake hands with Suarez before a match the following February rebuffed by the striker, said he had forgiven his old antagonist and even spoke to the now Barcelona star before the 2015 Champions League final when playing for Juventus.
But it was a very different story at the time, which saw Evra forcing himself to control his emotions after reporting the incident to match referee Andre Marriner, who said it would be dealt with after the game and that both players should continue.
“I remember, during that game, I was talking to myself saying: ‘If you punch him now, people will see you as the bad one, people will forget about what he said’,” recalled Evra.
“I was talking to myself: ‘Don’t do... do it...’ I wasn’t focused for the game.”
(With inputs from AFP)
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