By CHRIS WHEELER
Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a withering attack on Alan Pardew and Newcastle after the Manchester United manager was criticised for confronting referee Mike Dean during the Boxing Day clash at Old Trafford.
Ferguson was furious that Dean overruled his assistant and allowed Jonny Evans’ own-goal to stand because Papiss Cisse, standing in an offside position, was not interfering with play.
Pardew criticised Ferguson afterwards but the United boss hit back this morning, accusing his opposite number of hypocrisy after he shoved a linesman in a match with Tottenham in August and branding Newcastle ‘a wee club in the north-east’.
Ferguson said: ‘Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. Alan Pardew is the worst for haranguing referees. His whole staff, every game. He was at it the whole game on Wednesday.
‘He shoved a linesman and makes a joke of it, and then has the cheek to criticise me. Unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him by the way,
‘The press have had a good field day out of it. They’ve addressed every avenue, the only one left is Barack Obama.
‘It’s because I’m the manager of the most famous club in the world. I’m not like Newcastle, a wee club in the north east, but that’s life.’
Ferguson defended his protestations to Dean and praised the referee for his handling of the incident in United’s 4-3 win. The referee did not include it in his report so Ferguson will not face any action from the FA.
‘There was no ranting and raving from me,’ he added. ‘I was demonstrative, but I’m always demonstrative. Everyone knows that, I’m an emotional guy. That isn’t to say I was abusive to the referee, I wasn’t.
‘Some managers shove linesmen on the pitch and make a joke. I’m not making a joke of this, it was serious decision and I think it should have been disallowed.
‘He was walking towards the tunnel and I shouted him over. He came over towards me and I came over towards him. I wasn’t on the pitch for more than three or four yards and then we walked together.
‘I thought the player was interfering with play, Mike didn’t think it was. He handled it well because he’s a mature, experienced referee.’
Watch Fergie hit out at Pardew over referees, Click here.
When managers collide...
Today's spat between Ferguson and Pardew is, of course, not the first time managers have been at loggerheads. It's not the first time the bosses of Manchester United and Newcastle have come to verbal blows either. Who can forget Kevin Keegan losing it live on air as Ferguson's mind games took their toll during the 1995-1996 title run-in...?
And 20 years before that, there was no love lost between Brian Clough and Don Revie. Clough took over from Revie as manager of Leeds United in 1974 but lasted just seven weeks in the job. Never one to go quietly, he went head-to-head with his predecessor live on TV just after his dismissal.
And Pardew himself is also no shrinking violet... who could forget the touchline spat with Arsene Wenger in 2006? Some would argue that Pardew sparked that particular bust-up with his rather enthusiastic celebrations following a late winner for his West Ham side...