The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Agents over-protect 'fragile' modern players
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of the "fragile" nature of some modern footballers and says they are "cocooned" by agents and the media and unable to take "responsibility for their own performance". Speaking at a League Managers Association dinner to honour the 14 surviving coaches who have presided over 1,000-plus league games, Ferguson accused agents of "conducting most transfers now". He told an audience in London: "It's a different player character we've got today. It's more fragile than the player of 25 years ago. They're maybe more cocooned today by their agents and the press, at times. They're less ready to hold their hands up. If you go back several years you had a player with a certain pride and responsibility for their own performance. They were less protected, so they could come in and say, 'Hands up, it was my fault'. That was good. But today they're very protected, fragile, more fragile than ever, and that's a lot to do with the type of people who protect them. Agents and even, to a degree, the press do protect them a bit, the stars, whereas a few years ago they didn't have that protection."
Paul Hayward, The Guardian
Ferguson’s comments at the LMA dinner are the lead story in almost every paper today, with The Sun quoting the Reds boss’ assertion that his first-ever signing as a manager at East Stirling cost him £100 – and that was too much.
The same paper reckons Rio Ferdinand will be out until the New Year with his calf and back problems, but there is better news about his central defensive partner.
According to The Mirror, Nemanja Vidic is ready for a first-team return against Everton on Saturday after playing an hour of Serbia’s 1-0 friendly win against South Korea on Wednesday night, a game in which Ji-sung Park also featured for 70 minutes.