SOCCER

Glenn Hoddle: Sir Alex Ferguson could be "very unprofessional"

The former England manager revealed in his autobiography the problems which the legendary Manchester United boss gave him whenever he called up his players.

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Glenn Hoddle: Sir Alex Ferguson could be "very unprofessional"

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle claims that Sir Alex Ferguson could often be "not very profesional" and recalled an unfortunate episode between them which happened 20 years ago. The legendary Manchester United manager could occasionally be reluctant to let his players join up with their respective national teams, because he wanted them fully focused on their club - plus there is always a risk that someone might return injured. Hoddle described the tension between them when he tried to call up United players for an international friendly as a warm-up for  the 1998 World Cup in France.

Hoddle hangs up on Fergie

In his new book, Playmaker: My Life and the Love of Football, excerpts of which have been serialised in The Guardian, Hoddle remembered receiving a phonecall from Ferguson: "Dealing with United wasn’t easy. There were problems getting players to report for duty at times and I had a row with Ferguson over two of his players before one friendly. His conduct was unprofessional when we spoke on the phone. I wasn’t going to use the players but I wanted them to join up because we were preparing for the World Cup. But he wasn’t having it. He was ranting and raving, even when I said I would send them back once the meetings were out of the way. I can’t repeat what he called me. I just put the phone down.".

Hoddle went onto explain that Fergie called again later in a bid to say sorry for his conduct but the damage was already done: "He called back to apologise but he wasn’t happy. It all became a bit of a battle".