Manchester United's 3-2 Premier League win at Chelsea on Sunday was notable for Sir Alex Ferguson ditching the questionable diamond formation. And the successful tactical switch may be thanks to an 80-year-old pensioner.
Margaret, from Rochdale, a regular caller on the club's channel MUTV, suggested the narrow look of United - who have traditionally played with wingers - left the team "running around like sheep".
“Have you not noticed all the goals you’re giving away when you’re playing that stupid diamond position? We have to go back to playing normally and catch up,” she said.
Ferguson even made reference to her phone call at his press conference.
“I’d better not upset her," he said. "Did you hear her on MUTV? She’s 80, phoned up and said ‘I’m fed up watching this diamond’. She said ‘Tell that manager to stop playing that diamond’. So I better not play it! I don't want to upset her.”
Despite United's defensive porousness this season, they have been hailed as one of Ferguson's most entertaining sides. But that isn't the case for octogenarian Margaret.
“It isn’t entertaining when you’re 80 years old to watch goals going in from the other side. I don’t like it. It’s going to give me a heart attack and I’m 80. You wouldn’t like to give me a heart attack, would you?
“I have an opinion and it’s certainly not the diamond. They don’t know what to do.
“Please don’t do it (the diamond) at Chelsea on Sunday. If you want me to have a word with the manager, I will."
Some United fans would rather her alongside Ferguson than his much-maligned assistant Mike Phelan.
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