Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has upped the ante ahead of Wednesday night’s derby against Manchester City by describing the infamous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster as ‘stupid’.
Even 16 months after the stunt, which heralded Carlos Tevez’s move from Old Trafford to Eastlands, Ferguson is still annoyed by its impact.
The United boss described City, who have emerged as a threat courtesy owner Sheikh Mansour’s millions, as ‘noisy neighbours’ following their marketing campaign.
Ferguson has now suggested that some City supporters would be ’embarrassed’ by the poster.
“I don’t know how it was created, probably some advertising gimmick at City. But I don’t think they can be proud of it,” he said. “I said it was stupid at the time. They probably think that now.
“I don’t see how they thought it would get more points off us when it came to playing on a football pitch.
“Maybe it was worthwhile for some of the supporters but I think a lot of them were embarrassed. They would rather see that trophy being paraded through the city before they start screaming from the rooftops.”
Ferguson still feels the passion of the Manchester derby as much as ever and insists there’s no place he’d rather be than the Manchester United dugout on Wednesday.
“Derby games are fantastic,” said the 68-year-old. “What would you rather be doing, managing a game between City and United or Carlisle against Crewe?
“They are the ends of the spectrum. Derby games can divide husband and wife. You are involved in a game of emotions.”
Ferguson insists he will not lose sight of the real threat to United’s hopes of winning the title this season.
“If you don’t recognise who won the league last season then you are very foolish,” he said. “We have to chase Chelsea. That is our challenge. It is not easy winning our league and they are a very formidable and experienced side.”