Henning Berg: I had hair before I joined United!

Friday 06 May 2022 07:00

Henning Berg is the latest UTD Podcast guest to reveal his favourite Sir Alex Ferguson 'hairdryer' moment.

The fiery Scot's direct approach to confronting problems became legendary during his 26-year tenure as Reds boss.
And few players managed to escape his wrath, as Berg acknowledged when he sat down for a wide-ranging chat with UTD Podcast hosts Sam Homewood and David May.
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“Did I receive the hairdryer?” pondered the Treble hero, when asked about Ferguson's up-close-and-personal method of delivering dressing-room dressing downs.
“Yes! I had hair when I came to United!” Berg laughed. “I'm not sure if it was the first one, but I remember receiving a good one!
“We played West Ham away. I think I came on at half-time.
“Then, Joe Cole was a young up-and-coming star. We hadn't seen too much of him,” explained the former United defender.
“He was too good, technically, and I made a [foul for a] penalty, so West Ham got a goal from the penalty.
“Then I think Paolo Di Canio crossed it for them to score the equaliser. I cut out the pass on the inside and then he faked, as he always did, then he turned and cut it back, and I got blamed for that as well [laughs]! 
“He [Ferguson] was a little bit angry after the game – this is true.”
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Berg remembers the boss exploding come full-time, and felt there was no point in challenging the Glaswegian's anger with his own point of view.
But Henning said Ferguson was more reflective and balanced the following week, when calling Berg into his office to discuss the fallout from the row.
“You can fight it, but I don't think it's the best idea,” said the 52-year-old, who replaced Jaap Stam at half-time during the Upton Park clash, which finished 2-2 thanks to late goals from Hammers forwards Di Canio and Davor Suker.

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“But there's no need [to fight it] either, because you know why he is coming [at you] and you know the context of it. So I don't think you have anything to gain by confronting it too much at the time. 
“We did speak about it the week after. He called me into the office and said: 'Listen, I know what I said.' And he explained why he said these things, but he also said: 'Maybe it was also this and this...' which was... okay. 
“But he didn't excuse himself for what he said. Because that's how he is, and he should never do that anyway. So I think he handled it in a good way.”
The story proves that no-one ever forgets a hairdryer from Sir Alex, once they've received one. But perhaps it also shows Ferguson's more pastoral side, in the way the iconic manager invited Berg to his office to smooth things over and explain, rather than let the frustration simmer.
To listen to Henning Berg's UTD Podcast in full head to the official United App.