Scolari To Come Out Fighting Against Manchester United?

Whilst it’s fair to say Fergie and Mourinho had the odd war of words during TSO’s time at Chelsea, it never really amounted to more than a bit of tit-for-tat and publicly at least, they appeared to hold a grudging amount of respect for each other. The odd glass of wine shared after a game seemed to keep a lid on anything more sinsister erupting and upset Wenger into the bargain, which is always a bonus. No doubt about it though, Mourinho pushed his luck at times, not least of all with his below-the-belt digs at Ronaldo but for the most part, Fergie seemed to tolerate him with no more than the odd sneer.

This season though could see Fergie pushed to his limits when faced with a long-term adversary in the press every week. The centre of this discontent again being United’s Portuguese star, rumour has it both Fergie and Queiroz have found Scolari a giant sized pain in the rear as far as Ronaldo’s concerned. From Fergie’s point of view, he simply doesn’t trust Scolari to act in Ronaldo’s best interests and the club versus country dispute has raged on throughout Scolari’s time with Portugal, whilst from Queiroz’s he simply despises the Brazilian. So whereas Mourinho’s rants in the press were usually largely disregarded inside Old Trafford, Scolari’s appointment could see rivalry between the two clubs reach a whole new level.

The main bone of contention seemed to crop up when, back in November 2006, Scolari played Ronaldo in a European Championship qualifier against Kazakhstan – against United’s wishes. Now whilst I’m of the general opinion that as far as internationals are concerned, club manager’s ‘wishes’ shouldn’t come into it, it appears on this occasion Fergie may have had a point, with Ronaldo aggravating an ankle injury. Queiroz’s reaction to this was to suggest “Scolari behaves like one of those people you lend your car to when it has a full tank of gas and they use it all week, crash it and then leave it on a side street with no gas and aren’t even polite enough to tell you where they left it.”

So, even before Scolari was announced as the new Chelsea manager, those inside Old Trafford would’ve been less than impressed with him apparently stirring up the already frenzied media circus surrounding Ronaldo’s future. Scolari has publicly and privately, according to the press, been endorsing a move to Real Madrid for United’s top scorer last season, describing it as the “opportunity of a lifetime.” And given the fact Portugal look to be hanging around at the Euros for the foreseeable future, leaving Ronaldo to listen to Scolari’s advice for the same duration, it must be a very uncomfortable time inside Old Trafford right now.

And as if Scolari’s apparent interference prior to his Chelsea appointment wasn’t enough to get Fergie’s back up, the fact that they’ll now be in direct competition next season won’t do much to help potential conspiracy theories around Scolari’s motives. So, with or without Ronaldo, the battle at the top could get very bloody next season. Particularly when you take into account the Brazilian’s less than controlled way of handling disputes: “If someone talks about my private life, for example, I’ll give them a good punching. I’m not interested in suing. I like to sort things out my way” – or his pugilistic approach to protecting his own players: “He (Ivica Dragutinovic) was going to hit (Ricardo) Quaresma and I defended him.”

So, with there already being no love lost between the Fergie,  Queiroz  partnership and Scolari, add a petulant Wenger and the eternally bitter Benitez into the mix and it’s starting to look like a recipe for one of the most volatile title races to date.

Does Roman really think he’s going to get a quieter life?


One Response

  1. At £5m a year you d hope so!
    Will we all be subjected to lengthy TV battles in Portuguese between him and Queiroz, with Mourinho getting his bit in? Rather than laughing at his lack of English, maybe we should all learn Portuguese!
    I would if I thought he was going to last much beyond Christmas!
    You all know its going to go Pete Tong

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