Stoke City: Fergie takes a swipe at Pulis's team of 'giants'
SIR Alex Ferguson turned into a knight of the long knives by unleashing his rapier-like wit at Stoke's expense ahead of today's big game.
Fergie described Stoke as the jolly green giants with one swish of his cutting wit.
And then with a second he suggested Michael Owen would need a pair of ladders to fit in with his new team-mates after leaving Old Trafford in the summer.
"We've got the jolly green giants coming to play against us," said Ferguson.
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"The biggest team in Europe. You can get yourself in a tangle about that because they are a handful at set-piece plays and long throw-ins, but you can't make a terror for yourself.
"Michael is not allowed to play unless he brings ladders," quipped Ferguson.
"He is a fantastic player. But we had the opportunity to sign Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck were improving and developing as players, Wayne Rooney was there of course, and then with young strikers like (Federico) Macheda, Will Keane, Josh King and Bebe. It was difficult to hold on to Michael.
"But he's a brilliant professional and a top man. I was disappointed to let him go."
Fergie wasn't all smiles, however, as he also acknowledged the job Tony Pulis has done at Stoke during their four years in the top flight.
"Tony has done a fantastic job," said Ferguson. "I can see progress every year, right from the foundations of the club in terms of youth players breaking through into the first team.
"Continuity brings consistency and they are a formidable outfit now."
Ferguson has restored Ashley Young to his squad following his return from a two-month old knee injury.
"The opportunities are there for him," said Ferguson.
"Ashley has the opportunity to win things here. I don't think that's lost on him.
"I'm sure during the time he's been out he's been thinking about that.
"That's what players do when they've been out, they start thinking about what should have been and what can be for them."