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Ferguson action infuriates Beckham

London: Cantona, Keane, Ferguson and the England captain David Beckham himself — anger management has been a problem at Manchester United over recent years.

Manager Alex Ferguson was signed in 1986 to stiffen United’s backbone and, for the past 16 years, the fiery Scot has driven his side towards a host of trophies by inspiring, cajoling and instilling fear in the elite of the world’s players.

Ferguson’s “hairdryer treatment”, where he stands nose to nose with a player telling him exactly what he didn’t like about his performance, has become part of English soccer folklore.

But Ferguson’s reaction to United’s 0-2 defeat by arch-rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday left Beckham with a gash over his left eye and, according to Tuesday’s newspapers, triggered a furious reaction by Beckham.

Beckham has sought a full apology from Ferguson who he feels is “seriously out of order”. If Beckham was incensed that Ferguson inflicted the injury, his mood was exacerbated by the lack of remorse on the manager’s part.

According to insiders, the two men had to be kept apart, after a boot kicked by Ferguson, the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, accidentally hit soccer’s most famous player in the face.

Ferguson called the incident a freak of nature and promised it would never happen again although it appears he has yet to apologise to his gifted midfielder, who was sent off for England in the 1998 World Cup against Argentina for a petulant kick.

Ferguson, however, denied that Beckham had needed stitches after the dressing room bust-up and said the club had to move on. “Contrary to a lot of the reports, David did not have two stitches put in his head — he had no stitches,” Ferguson said Wednesday. “It was a graze and it was dealt with by the doctor, there was no problem. And we move on. And that’s all there is to be said for it.” (Agencies)

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