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Trust Fergie says Harrison

05 Aug 2009 12:33:07

Trust Fergie says Harrison

IT WAS back in the mid-nineties when TV pundit Alan Hansen made the grave mistake of claiming that Alex Ferguson would win nothing for Manchester United by fielding a team of kids. Now history is about to repeat itself with the Reds boss once again planning to give youth its head in the coming season, after spending only a fraction of the £80m transfer kitty received from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. Fergie's reluctance to spend during the transfer window has alarmed many United supporters who were dismayed by the departure of Ronaldo and bewildered at the decision to allow Carlos Tevez to join local rivals Manchester City. But Eric Harrison, the coach of United's famous Class of '92, which went on to dominate the Premier League for the best of a decade, insists there is a method behind Fergie's perceived madness. Said Harrison: "I am a season ticket holder at Old Trafford and I know that a lot of the fans are moaning and groaning about the lack of any big name signings this summer. "All I would say to those fans is `trust Alex'. Just remember who made the club what it is today. "Fergie knows what he is doing. Right from the start of his career at Old Trafford he has always had faith in young players - and he has never been proved wrong. Grade "I can remember when the lads in that 1992 youth team were coming through the ranks. "Me and Alex would talk for hours on end about those youngsters. He knew absolutely everything about them. "The first to come through into the senior side was Ryan Giggs, who was only 16 at the time. "I can remember Alex saying when he promoted Giggs to the first team that if Ryan didn't make the grade we might as well shut down the Academy. That's how much faith Alex had in him. "Alex went to see the parents of all his young players. He promised those parents three things. "The first was a top-class apprenticeship for their son. "The second was that if the boy was good enough he would be picked for the first team irrespective of their age. "The third was that if the boy didn't make the grade at Old Trafford Alex would fix up a move for him to another club. And he was always true to his word. Bubbling "So if Alex says that the emphasis will be on youth in the coming season then you can be sure the kids who come in will be up for the job. He won't pitch any youngster in who is not ready for Premier League football. "I've watched a lot of those young players who were bubbling just under the surface of the senior side last season and I've been impressed by all of them. "Federico Macheda will make a big impact. You only have to look at him to see that he has got bags of bottle. He'll take to the Premier League like a duck to water. "And when I look at Rafael de Silva I see a young Ryan Giggs. He's so graceful when he's running with the ball at his feet. "I see him more one day in the Aaron Lennon role rather than an orthodox full-back because he's almost unstoppable when he starts running at defenders. "It will be a massive test for the young players, who Alex will be relying on in the coming season, because you only have to lose three or four matches and the title has gone. "But Alex has done it once with kids and who's to say that he can't do it again? "Personally, I would be a little less apprehensive about the new season if Alex made a couple of big signings. "But he's been pulling rabbits out of the hat at Old Trafford for nearly 23 years now. "He's proved himself as a great manager over and over again. "And anyone who writes off him and Manchester United do so at their peril." What do you think? Tell us your thoughts on all things United


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