Former Manchester United forward Daniel Nardiello recalled the moment when Gary Neville received the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003. He also emphasized why the players were keen to avoid it.
Ferguson is rightfully regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time. During his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two UEFA Champions Leagues, and five FA Cups.
One of the main reasons he got the best out of his squads was his man-management skills. Unfortunately, for the players, this included the infamous hairdryer treatment when they made important errors during a game.
The hairdryer treatment entails of one or more players being reprimanded loudly on the pitch or in the dressing room. This was a key part of Ferguson’s repertoire. It was reportedly so frightening that Manchester United players would attempt to hide away in the dressing room to avoid it.
Former Manchester United forward Nardiello recently recalled when he witnessed right-back Neville receiving the hairdryer following a 3-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City in 2003.
The Englishman made a horrific error, gifting Shaun Goater the ball to seal the three points for the Cityzens.
Nardiello spoke to Daily Star Sport:
“I travelled but I wasn’t on the bench, I was in the stand watching – it was City away when we got beat 3-1, and Gary Neville did that dodgy backpass to Shaun Goater, I remember being in the changing room after that game, Fergie was going mad at certain players, Gary Neville was one of them.”
“But I was just sitting in the corner, I was 17 or 18, in my shell, trying to hide away. It was a bit of an eye-opener seeing that because there were players there with Fergie going mad at the performance and score, it was something I’ll never forget.”
Former Manchester United player Gary Neville recalls the worst hairdryer he experienced from Sir Alex Ferguson
According to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, Sir Alex Ferguson saved up his anger for the most important games of the season. The worst hairdryers he ever experienced while playing for Manchester United were always against Liverpool at Anfield.
On ‘Gary Neville’s Soccerbox’, he said:
“He was different going into the big games and to be honest with you, the most consistently angry that I saw him.”
“People talk about the hairdryer and it never happened that much to be honest with you during a season, but the most consistent place you would see it was Anfield – at half-time or the end of the game. He could not stand losing at Anfield – and if we won there, it didn’t matter how we played – it was like the best thing in the world.”
He added that sometimes Ferguson wouldn’t speak to anybody in the changing room if Manchester United lost:
“The worst I’ve ever seen him consistently was at Anfield if we were losing at half-time or at the end of the game. He’d sit there unmoved in the dressing room at the end of the game while everyone was getting showered for 25 minutes. Just not moving.”
“Once when I was a kid, just travelling, I remember him having a massive row with Schmeichel and Ince in the changing room. It was unbelievable, just proper going for each other. We always knew as well that [Liverpool] could hear everything that was being said, probably laughing on the other side of the wall.”
Ferguson retired in 2013, winning the Premier League title in his final season, which is also the last time Manchester United won the title.