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Old 5th September 2009, 11:07   #1
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Default Sir Alex Ferguson dives back into row over Eduardo

Sir Alex Ferguson dives back into row over Eduardo
James Ducker The Times
September 5, 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson has continued his war of words with Arsène Wenger by staunchly defending Uefa’s decision to ban Eduardo da Silva for two matches for diving.

Only days after Wenger reignited his longstanding rivalry with the Manchester United manager by claiming that the Barclays Premier League champions went out systematically to foul his players at Old Trafford last weekend, Ferguson responded by claiming that the Arsenal forward’s behaviour in the Champions League play-off tie against Celtic at the Emirates Stadium was “not acceptable” and warranted punishment.

“Quite rightly something should be done,” Ferguson said. “You hope that message gets across.”

Having spoken respectfully of Wenger in the build-up to United’s 2-1 league victory last Saturday, Ferguson’s tune appears to have changed after the Arsenal manager accused his team of “anti-football” tactics.

Wenger was particularly irked that Darren Fletcher, the United midfield player, was not punished for what he felt were deliberate, persistent fouls.

Ferguson and Wenger have spent part of the week at Uefa’s elite club coaches forum in Switzerland, but while the United manager supported his rival’s decision to back Eduardo publicly, the Scot insisted that the authorities need to take firm action to eradicate diving from the game. “I would not have been pleased if it was my player that did that,” Ferguson said of Eduardo’s apparent dive to win a penalty last month.

“I wouldn’t say it publicly but I wouldn’t be pleased. Not one coach is proud of the fact that they have players who simulate to get decisions. Coaches can’t be proud if they have won the game that way.”

However, Ferguson added: “When you make a public criticism of your players you are in danger of losing the morale of the dressing room. Your job is to protect the dressing room and keep it solid. You become insular and protective of your own players in your team. We’re all selfish that way.”

Amazon has removed from sale on its website an unofficial Manchester United CD after a formal complaint by Arsenal because it included abusive chants about Wenger.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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