Ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday, Alex Ferguson has once again riled up his supporters and critics alike with his latest press conference claim that his Man United side don't actually get all the breaks like everyone always points out. Instead, he highlights a dubious Man City statistic that he just kind of made up.
Said Ferguson (via the PA):
"The number of penalty kicks they get — 21 in the last year or something like that. If we got that number there'd be an inquiry in the House of Commons. There'd be a protest."
Some have said that this is just the ramblings of a confused and heavily biased old man while others have said that it's yet another example of Alex Ferguson's genius pre-match mind games. In truth, it's probably a little bit of both.
Manchester United actually have more penalties this season (5) than Man City (4) and the same was true last season as well (11 for MUFC, the most in the Premier League to City's 8), for a total of 16 in Man United's favor and 12 in City's favor over the last year and a half. If you go back and include the 2010/11 season, then City do have 21 in total...but so do Man United.
The last year or two aren't really what Ferguson is focusing on, though. What's far more troubling to him is the fact that City have been awarded three penalties in their last four league matches. He is, after all, primarily concerned with Sunday's match. So by alerting everyone (including Sunday's match officials) to all those penalties City get, he's likely hoping to prevent them from getting anymore on Sunday as the spotlight and image of a House of Commons inquiry are now on such a decision.
Like the birds that will surely defecate on his new statue, you can berate him for these comments all you want. But the fact remains that he's still the one that's been turned into a bronze idol and hustling through life at the top (of the table).