'Don't f*ck up my Sunday!' - Evra reveals Sir Alex Ferguson's pre-Arsenal team talk

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Sir Alex Ferguson
Long, rousing speeches were not always required to get the Red Devils in the right mindset for important match-ups under the iconic Scot

Former Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra has revealed how legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson once prepared the team to face Arsenal by telling the players: "don't f*ck up my Sunday" in his pre-match team talk.

Ferguson is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest managers in football history, winning a record 13 Premier League titles during his time with the Red Devils, while also securing two Champions League trophies along the way.

Having collected so many honours, one might wonder how Ferguson continued to get the best out of his teams in the lead-up to important matches, but Evra revealed that the Old Trafford icon was sometimes a man of few words.

“I remember a game,” the former left-back told Sky Sports. “It was sometime we were playing against Arsenal. It was Sunday, it was sunny, and the speech of Ferguson was like 15 seconds.

“He was like: 'Guys, it's Sunday, it's really sunny outside. I don't want no one to f*ck up my Sunday'.

“And you know if you missed a cross or something... You don't want to be the person to do that! Don't ruin his Sunday – it's very important for him!”

In 2009, Evra famously made headlines after referring to Arsenal as "babies" following a routine win over the north London side at the Emirates Stadium.

Recalling that era, the Frenchman added that he told Robin van Persie not to worry when coming up against his former side, stating that the Gunners were his “kids”.

Ryan Giggs Patrice Evra Champions League 2008

“I remember when Van Persie came,” Evra added. “He said: 'Come on Patrice, come on, you have to motivate everyone, it's an important game'.

“I was like, 'Robin, don't worry, those are my kids, we're going to win easy' – and we won!”

Adding on the famous “babies” quote, he said: “I made that comment when we won 3-1 at the Emirates. 

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“We scored that great goal in counter-attack with Ji-sung Park, [Wayne] Rooney and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, and the French journalists after the game were really like: 'Oh, the result doesn't reflect the philosophy of the game'.

“I was like: 'Are you serious? I just feel like today was 11 men and against 11 babies'. After that it was in the paper. 'Patrice is calling Arsenal babies!'
“But it's just the feeling... I respect so much this club, but it was just my feeling when I played against them – I know I'm going to win. 

“I'll be honest with you, I played against this player, and after 34 minutes they were asking: 'Patrice, can we swap shirts at half-time?' So I was like: 'I've already won the game'.”