Dwight Yorke has lifted the lid on why he was called “a failure” by Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson in 2000 – despite his impressive goalscoring record up to that point.
The former Trinidad and Tobago captain moved to Old Trafford from Aston Villa in 1998 and scored 29 goals in his first season to win the Premier League golden boot and help the Red Devils claim the treble.
The former Signal Hill Secondary forward continued his form into the 1999/2000 season and scored 20 Premier League goals to end the season as the club’s top scorer.
However, legendary manager Ferguson was not impressed by the progress of his £12.6million signing.
“In the first season I scored 29 goals, in the second year I scored 23, and the gaffer said to me ‘you’re a failure’,” Yorke said.
“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.
“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.”
Yorke was sold to Blackburn Rovers two years after the incident and he admitted that his goalscoring record was not prolific enough for United.
He added: “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 also believes he should have netted more times for Old Trafford, even in his 29-goal season.
“I should have scored more goals,” he said. “I was disappointed I only scored 29 goals, even though that was unbelievable in my first year.
“I think the manager robbed me of a few games when I felt I should have played and could have scored goals!