Dwight Yorke has revealed why Sir Alex Ferguson called him ‘a failure’ at Manchester United despite the forward finishing as the club’s leading scorer in the Premier League.
Yorke joined Manchester United from Aston Villa in 1998 and enjoyed a historic debut season at Old Trafford, scoring 29 goals in all competitions as Ferguson’s side completed their unprecedented Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
The next season saw the Red Devils retain their title and the Trinidad and Tobago international once again finished as the club’s leading scorer, though Yorke has revealed how ‘demanding’ Ferguson in his strive for continual progress.
“In the first season I scored 29 goals, in the second year I scored 26, and the gaffer said to me ‘you’re a failure’,” Yorke told MUTV.
“I was top scorer again and we won the Premier League, but he said I was a failure. But you look back and I get where he was coming from. This is where you need to push yourself even further by getting more than 29.
🔴 Dwight Yorke completes the turnaround! 👏
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“You look at Messi and Ronaldo and that’s the kind of levels he’s trying to push you to, but I didn’t see it then. Finishing as the top scorer with 26 goals was very rewarding for me, but the gaffer wasn’t too pleased.
“Then in my third year I had 14 goals from 22 starts, which is not a bad return. But that wasn’t good enough at United. That was the level the manager was demanding of you and I get it now.”
Yorke’s 29 goals in all competitions during the club’s treble-winning season was the best tally of his career, though the forward believes he should have scored even more, admitting he was disappointed despite a prolific campaign.
“I should have scored more goals. I was disappointed I only scored 29 goals, even though that was unbelievable in my first year,” Yorke added.
“I think the manager robbed me of a few games when I felt I should have played and could have scored goals.
“He substituted me when I was on the verge of scoring a hat-trick. I was on two goals and he takes me off to have a rest! You look back and think ‘bloody hell, gaffer, you robbed me of a few goals over the years’.
“But it’s not about me, it’s about the team and he knows what is best for us as a unit and that’s what matters.”