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What makes Ferguson great?

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Phil McNulty | 07:05 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

The fires burning inside Sir Alex Ferguson still rage intensely into his 70th year and the emotions stirred by a Champions League final against Barcelona at the scene of Manchester United's first European Cup triumph only serves to fan the flames.

Ferguson will not just want to set a record straight on Saturday by avenging Barcelona's comprehensive victory in Rome two years ago, he will want to fulfil what he sees as United's destiny by repeating Sir Matt Busby's landmark triumph at Wembley in 1968.

Ferguson shows no sign of losing an insatiable appetite for success that saw United eclipse Liverpool's domestic record by winning a 19th league title and now sees him taking a tilt at claming a third Champions League crown in his 25 years at the club.

A character of contrasts, capable of considerable acts of kindness but also ruthless in protecting his and United's turf and reputation, the Scot has expertly navigated football's ever-changing landscape while maintaining an unprecedented level of success.

So what has made Ferguson the man many regard as the greatest manager in the history of the game?

The differing shades to Ferguson's personality can be illustrated by two incidents involving the media, an opponent he is always happy to confront with great relish.

During United's media day on Tuesday, Ferguson was captured on microphones threatening to ban a journalist - "we'll get him, we'll ban him on Friday" - for offering up a perfectly acceptable question about recent headlines surrounding Ryan Giggs.

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Ferguson takes issue with reporter's question about Ryan Giggs

Several reporters have suffered bans for perceived insubordination down the years. Yet there is another side to Ferguson. He recently took the time to send a personal letter to a journalist who was leaving his post after 36 years of service.

Graham Taylor, an opponent of Ferguson as manager of Watford and Aston Villa, recognises the attributes that have made the Scot such a success story.

"He was the hardest manager I ever had to deal with when I was in charge of England but there was - and is - a mutual respect there," Taylor told me. "He was fighting for what he wanted and so was I, so our paths did cross.

"Like all successful people - and this applies to football managers - there are these two sides to them. I recall the time we wanted to set up the League Managers' Association when I was in charge of England. I felt managers needed this and so I went to Alex to ask if he was prepared to sit on the committee. He was very willing and still sits on the committee. It shows his commitment and his caring side. But, as with any successful person, there is more than one side to them. Alex is well known for what he does for charity but if you cross him you will be cut off his list."

Taylor is full of admiration for Ferguson and his achievements.

"Jose Mourinho may be known as 'The Special One' but if anyone deserves that title it is Ferguson," said Taylor. "He is far more entitled to the tag than Mourinho. I can't see anyone matching Ferguson's record in management. Yes, other clubs might win titles and honours but they will do it with different managers. He is the best. Anyone who denies that is living in a dream world.

"Alex has established Manchester United as the top club. When you look at the amount of trophies he has won over such a long and successful career, there is no-one who can tell me he is not the best manager there has been. His record is there in trophies."

Taylor was at Watford when Ferguson arrived at Manchester United after success at Aberdeen. The Scot had steered the Dons to victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup final against Real Madrid in 1983 but struggled in his early days at Old Trafford. Taylor recalls a moment when he realised that Ferguson was a force that would not go away, even when times were tough.

"I remember us playing United over the Christmas holiday and beating them very convincingly at Villa Park," said Taylor. "Alex came in for a drink afterwards. I remember seeing this man and thinking he looked worried but what I also saw - and recall to this day - was that he had a glint in his eye.

"It was a look that said he was not going to walk away or collapse under pressure. I'm not saying for a minute I could see what was going to eventually happen but there was that undoubted glint that told you that this was a man to be reckoned with.

"I think it is a character trait that has kept him going for so long. Things change with the times - and he has changed. But there are also basic principles that have served him so well. It is an awareness of the discipline and professionalism that is required in the game. And I don't just mean on the pitch. I mean away from the game, too. You never see Manchester United's players anything other than immaculately turned out. It is a state of mind and that comes from the manager. It has to."

Part of Ferguson's magic has been to move with the times but also retain the old values forged in his upbringing in Govan.

"He is a remarkable man," said Taylor. "As well as winning things, he has been able to develop a fatherly - and now grandfatherly, with all due respect - approach to the lads at Old Trafford. He gets to know their parents and the families. In turn, they know he is somebody who cares.

"Your hear talk about the so-called 'hairdryer' but that is hardly ever used now. Alex knows very well that, in this day and age, if you give someone the 'hairdryer' they might walk out or they will be so frightened they won't be able to play well.

"He knows he's dealing with lads who have been brought up differently in the last decade and part of his great skill has been his ability to adapt to those changes. You won't get so much out of people by simply shouting at them."

One of those with intimate knowledge of the methods used by Ferguson to sustain success is Rio Ferdinand, who has been at United for nine years and will be a key figure against Barcelona on Saturday.

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Messi can be stopped - Ferdinand

"He has been, and is, a fantastic manager and nothing that happens on Saturday will change that," said Ferdinand. "Defeat still hurts him as much as anybody else but nothing suppresses his true desire to win. He has been meticulous in his preparation for this game but he is always the same."

Michael Owen arrived late to Ferguson's tutelage but has still had time to marvel at the way he is a moderniser as well as determined to retain his founding principles.

"He's been manager here for 25 years," said Owen. "It's amazing how he has moved with the times, been so open-minded to new ideas, implemented different things, how he delegates to different people yet still have everything in control. He's got a million and one things in his armoury that has enabled him to get where he is now."

And perhaps a touch mellower? Owen reveals he may be. "When I say after a game 'he wasn't happy there' some of the lads say 'you should have seen him 10 years ago'."

Taylor goes back a lot longer than 10 years with Ferguson and is convinced he can add another trophy to his roll of honour at Wembley on Saturday.

"United got a footballing lesson from Barcelona two years ago," said Taylor. "They were not exactly treated with contempt but they played them off the pitch.

"People have had a go at United for their away form - and at times maybe they haven't had the flair that they have been associated with in the past - but they are committed, well-organised and disciplined. I think this team has a better chance of beating Barcelona than in 2009 because of the very things people are criticising them for.

"They have got all the things I mentioned previously plus work-rate and desire. I think this will give them a better chance."

Win or lose against Barcelona on Saturday, Ferguson will be back for more next season as a manager and man who divides opinions but whose record or success and legacy at Manchester United will never be in question.

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Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    So true, Mourinho does not come close to SAF achievements....Two Champions League titles, 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, nine Community Shields, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup & the FIFA Club World Cup.

  • Comment number 2.

    You have to hand it to SAF - I don't rate the current squad, I think any other manager would have finished out of the top four with them. Man U are in trouble when he leaves.

    Showed some of his true colours with trying to get that reporter banned though didn't he...

  • Comment number 3.

    @No 1 - and that's only in England!

  • Comment number 4.

    Q. What makes him so special?
    A. The money he has available to spend on already world class players.

    Put him in charge of a side with limited resources and see how successful he is then.

  • Comment number 5.

    @ 4, Magic Hatter,

    Like when he was at Aberdeen?
    Or like driving United where they are now from where they were when he arrived at Old Trafford?

    Be a bit more specific.

  • Comment number 6.

    If you think barcelona gets lucky with uefa officials on big nights then you have no idea what luck is cos man utd gets them with the posts themselves..#truestory..tomorrow night is not about which is the greatest team in history nor the once with a well-organised defence.neither is it about who's got the best players,it is about BEL19VE and that is all Man Utd is all about.Sir Alex,greatest coach ever,regardless!!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    4. At 08:40 27th May 2011, Magic Hatter wrote:
    Q. What makes him so special?
    A. The money he has available to spend on already world class players.

    Last time I checked I didn't see the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Ronaldo as World Class Players when they signed for United. Sure United sign top class players as does every other successful side, but Ferguson has brought more through than any of his contemporaries, only Wenger could come anywhere near. What players have the likes of Mourinho, Benitez and the like "brought through the ranks" According to rival supporters United's debt means they have no money to spend so which is it?

  • Comment number 8.

    The control and loyalty he exhibits over the club is inspiring to the vast majority of players I'm sure, and that must have some sort of knock-on effect. He also has a knack of getting the best out of players - as do all the great managers, Wenger for example.

    On a slightly different note, Toure banned for 6 months for failing a drugs test. Rio banned for 9 months for missing one, and offering to take it as soon as he realised.

    Fifa are a joke.

  • Comment number 9.

    @ no 3

    Do you seriously think that the Uefa Champions league,Uefa Super Cup,Intercontinental Cup and so on are all played in England and are strictly restricted to English teams??you really have a weird state of mind or you just didn't see what @ 1 wrote.

  • Comment number 10.

    @ 4 Magic Hatter

    He obviously has no idea about bringing players on or guiding them through the maze of professional football, another youth cup in the bag for United this year does not happen just by accident. Ferguson is responsible for this too.

    He has the ability to mix big names and no names into teams - and yes before you say it he has made some poor purchases - but these do not out weight the good. And he always seems to know when to let players leave if they do not fit in to his regime - regardless of how big a name they are.

    I would like to hear Fergie's reaction to your comment - you wouldn't last a minute!

  • Comment number 11.

    Ferguson, great manager undoubtedly and one of the best for sure. He's had 25 years to garner his trophies, this is what Paisley did in only 9:

    First Division
    Champions: 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83
    Runners-up: 1974–75, 1977–78

    European Cup
    Winners: 1977, 1978, 1981

    UEFA Cup
    Winners: 1976

    Football League Cup
    Winners: 1981, 1982, 1983

    European Super Cup
    Winners: 1977

    Ok, so Paisley didn't have the longevity Ferguson has had, but for the time he was in the post, I'd say his record is better.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nice blog Phil. Sir Alex deserving 'The Special One' accolade- nice line, the man is truly special. He has been at the club for a long time and achieved so much, the trophies he has won at United speaks for him. However, i dont believe what you said about him reducing the hairdryer treatment on his players, if they make mistakes, he disciplines them. People see him though to antagonize referees but in general, the standard has gone down. Another attribute is his consistency. Oh, i love this man.

    Tomorrow, the big game will be played. I'm tipping United as a fan but these barca players are good- they are good actors too, they sure know how to playact. Whatever lineup Fergie puts up, i hope they'll be able to neutralise barca's tactics.

    In all, Ferguson is the best. United for ever.

  • Comment number 13.

    4. At 08:40 27th May 2011, Magic Hatter wrote:

    Look at his record with Aberdeen, and the early days with United. Also the Talent he nurtured with the Giggs, Beckham, Butt, Scholes and Nevilles.

    Not the most thought about comment of all time.

    No manager in world football could have taken the current United side to win the prem, the FA Cup Semi and Champion's League Final.

  • Comment number 14.

    @8: I think it's because missing a drugs test is counted as exactly equal to failing one. It has to be really. Also with Toure there were mitigating circumstances; it was hardly a "bad" drug to be taking, only "slightly" illegal and it was clearly accidental why he did it. With Rio, they had no idea what he could have been on.
    That being said, I think it's fairly clear that it was just an accident from Rio, and he's in a way unfortunate that they couldn't bend the rules but also he's only got himself to blame (as has Toure).

  • Comment number 15.

    For some reason the above posts at No.1, No.3 and No.9 seem to be getting confused. What No.3 is saying is Ferguson didn't only win trophies and Titles in England with Man United, not that European trophies are English only competitions. For the correct list of ALL Ferguson's titles and trophies see below.

    BTW many of these at St.Mirren and Aberdeen were done with a shoestring budget against the dominance of the Old Firm.more impressive than Paisley winning with an already strong Liverpool Team.

    S.t. Mirren:

    1 Scottish First Division championship 1977

    Aberdeen:

    3 Scottish Premier League Titles 1980,1984,1985
    4 Scottish F.A. Cups 1982,1983,1984,1986
    1 Scottish League Cup 1986
    1 European Cup Winners Cup 1983
    1 European Super Cup 1983

    Manchester United:

    12 English Premier League Titles 1993,1994,1996,1997,1999,2000,2001,2003,2007,2008,2009,2011
    9 Charity/community Shields 1990,1993,1994,1996,1997,2003,2007,2008,2010
    5 English F.A. Cups 1990,1994,1996,1999,2004
    4 English League Cups 1992,2006,2009,2010
    2 European Cups 1999,2008
    1 European Cup Winners Cup 1991
    1 European Super Cup 1991
    1 Intercontintal cup 1999
    1 Fifa club World Cup 2008

  • Comment number 16.

    Oh and on the Fergie debate- personally I can't stand the man, I always get the impression that he thinks he's better then everyone else and somehow is above every law and tradition. That being said, I recognise him as one of if not the greatest managers of all time, what he's achieved is unbelievable.

  • Comment number 17.

    Put him in charge of a side with limited resources and see how successful he is then

    yes Magic Hatter you mean someone like Aberdeen? He did OK there on a shoestring

  • Comment number 18.

    Number 4 - Magic Hatter.
    You are an idiot or else very young. He has proved already the complete opposite of what you just said.

  • Comment number 19.

    11.At 09:00 27th May 2011, GerrardTheKing wrote:
    Ferguson, great manager undoubtedly and one of the best for sure. He's had 25 years to garner his trophies, this is what Paisley did in only 9:

    First Division
    Champions: 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83
    Runners-up: 1974–75, 1977–78

    European Cup
    Winners: 1977, 1978, 1981

    UEFA Cup
    Winners: 1976

    Football League Cup
    Winners: 1981, 1982, 1983

    European Super Cup
    Winners: 1977

    Ok, so Paisley didn't have the longevity Ferguson has had, but for the time he was in the post, I'd say his record is better.


    -----

    so he takes credit for taking shankleys team and winning trophies. Fergie has built nearly 4 different teams and also broke the stranglehold in scottish football.

    We all know liverpool fans like to cling to something nowadays because your records are falling and your in 6th place and european obscurity.........but seriously man up

  • Comment number 20.

    @Hungry_Hippo

    For all Ferguson's personality flaws - and I'll freely admit that there are several - I've never seen arrogance as being one of them.

    What gives you the impression that he thinks he's better than everyone else?

  • Comment number 21.

    @ 9

    I think he was pointing out that he has won more than just his accolades with Man-U.

  • Comment number 22.

    @ no. 9 - I think he mean that is only what he won with English teams and doesn't take into account his previous achievements with Aberdeen when he overcame the Celtic-Rangers domination!

    @ no.4 - see above. If you also look at the average net transfer spends for Manchester United since the formation of the Premier League in 1992 then you will see that the net spends of Liverpool, Spurs, Man City and Chelsea all exceed that of MAn Utd and we are on a level with Aston Villa.

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/1992-to-2011.html

    so, how have Aston Villa and the other 4 teams i have mentioned coped? Please look at the facts and think fo yourself for once before you quote the standard anti-Ferguson/Anti Man Utd lines

  • Comment number 23.

    No.9 I believe he was agreeing with the comment and by in England he mean's as manager of an English club as opposed to the trophies SAF won as manager of a Scottish club so keep your shirt on again. Fortunately many people on these boards actually have the brains and decency to accept that even if a manager or player is at a club they dislike they can still be great.

    No.4 And I suppose Liverpool didn't spend as much in jan as united have in the last two seasons? and it was united who spent £50m on Torres was it? oh wait no. And don't argue that the £50m should reduce liverpool's spend because then man us transfer spend in the last season is £0 actually probably a negative spend! Stop being such a numpty and use your brain... if you have one!

  • Comment number 24.

    @1 - you can't just measure success on the sheer number of trophies. Mourinho won the CL with Porto and Inter - beating a much faniced Barça team that completely outplayed ManU the previous year on the way. He also won the PL and Serie A and has given Madrid their first Copa del Rey in 18 years - again beating the 'best club ever'.

    I'm not by any means diminishing SAF's acheivements, but look at the bigger picture. Mourinho is special ;)

    /live in Barcelona, have no love whatsoever for Real Madrid.

  • Comment number 25.

    @SwissColony

    Mourinho has no staying power. Ferguson has built successful team upon successful team at United.

    Mourinho has time to do that yet, but at the moment he has no idea how to build and develop a team over a number of years.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hungry hippo "gets an impression", and that's good enough to say you know him.

    As for that Paisley comparison, let's take Ferguson's record between 1999 and 2009 as a comparison.


    Premier League 7 1999,2000,2001,2003,2007,2008,2009
    Charity Shield 3 2003,2007,2008
    FA Cup 2 1999,2004
    League Cup 2 2006,2009
    European Cup 2 1999,2008
    Intercontintal 1 cup 1999
    Fifa club World Cup 1 2008

    That's what Ferguson has done in a 10 year gap. So in this respect you can say he has matched Paisley's achievements, the longevity has given Ferguson more achievements.

  • Comment number 27.

    Interesting comments from GerrardTheKing to justify Bob Paisley's status. Embarassingly and predictably one-eyed though, of course. I assume he's WUMing, but will shoot him down nonetheless...

    Ferguson's longevity and sustained success is actually a reason to elevate him above Paisley and all others too. We would not look at managers who achieved a title in their only season at a club as super, just because their titles-to-seasons ratio was high.
    Ferguson did not inherit dominance as Paisley did - he built it from scratch and has sustained it for 20 years. I would put Shankly above Paisley for this reason. If Brian Clough had not tailed off so alarmingly at Forest, he would go above Paisley in my British football top-three.
    Ferguson also did the same trick it at two different clubs.

    In fact, the more I think about it, I wonder if Paisley was actually fit to clean Ferguson's boots... On balance, I think he probably was, but only as long as he licked them clean and was not allowed detergent.

  • Comment number 28.

    A completely unbiased view from a Spurs fan.

    You can take nothing away from SAF in his success both with United and indeed pre-United. Yes at times he’s had money to spend (Berbatov, Ferdinand) but also he’s had to nurture youth talent and sell to buy.

    I think the main thing it shows is the board having faith and backing him through the good times and the bad (more good than bad, but you get the idea) and if certain other clubs lived by this rationale then success would eventually come. For all his arrogance and bad points, Chelsea would now have their holy grail of winning the Champion’s League had “The Special One” still been in charge today.

    Like I said though this is the view of an un-biased Spurs fan, but good luck to United for Saturday.

  • Comment number 29.

    Love him or hate him. Support Utd or not (I support Liverpool) you really have to give this man respect! He literally is a once in a lifetime manager and what he has achieved is amazing.

    If you can't respect him, you really have some sort of "fan-boy" issues to deal with.

  • Comment number 30.

    One of the best managers of all time but his excuses and criticism of refs and opponents takes away from the mans achievements

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm Man City through and through and he is no doubt the greatest manager to have ever lived! would they have had 19 titles and many others with someone (or more than likely lots of other managers) ? not a chance! He'll be a big big miss when he goes! Hat's off to him.... Still dont like him tho haha

  • Comment number 32.

    Cant take nothing away from Alex in terms of what he has done with the team, but he still and more recently slams the refs slams the FA over decisions that go against him, and this always leads to pens given at old trafford and how many of them have we seen been given for nothing!

    I will be glad to see the back of Fergurson!

  • Comment number 33.

    #9 what #3 meant was, excluded from #1
    3 Scottish Premier league titles
    4 Scottish Cups
    1 Scottish league cup
    1 European Cup winners cup
    1 European super cup
    He should also have won the European cup in 1986 but blew it in the QF. All part of the learning curve ManU have benefited from.
    I would argue that the Scottish league titles were harder to achieve that the EPL ones, given the nature of the clubs involved, but that is for another day.
    He is without doubt the greatest manager of all time and I thank God that we had him for 8 years.

  • Comment number 34.

    The things a lot of us don't like about him are what make him so great. No stone is left unturned! If I got to interview him, I'd like to ask him what the essential components are that make the difference between his success and most other's failure. Is it fully committed breathless football at breakneck speed, always having wingers attacking the full backs, with his own full backs often doubling up, rigorous attention to finishing, being tougher at the death, always going for the win, or do off the pitch factors also play a part, e.g. psychology, studying the opposition, preparation, etc?

    Some quotes from earlier in the season interested me. One I think was after a come from behind draw, where Ferguson said, if they'd had a few more minutes, they would have got another "without a doubt", and was it Michael Owen saying before the Crawley game how lower league teams often can compete for the first 70 mins, but then they tire, and you mention Ferguson picking up on Barcelona tiring towards the end of their Arsenal loss, Phil. He treasures those few minutes more than other managers, because he believes he will score, if need be. How many games do we see United winning late? Very late?!

    And much as I don't have much time for Ferguson's pressuring of authority, Phil, or pre-match mind games, I have to side with him on the attempt to ban the journalist, who, let's face it, is muckraking. I'm not interested in someone's private life. It's none of my business. Especially with all the fiction our press invent, I would ban them too, if they refused to stick to the football.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ #9

    One can assume he was referring to his achievements whilst at manager of a club in England, since he won more trophies whilst at Aberdeen.

  • Comment number 36.

    @34 The journalist in fairness to him merely asked how important Ryan Giggs was to the team.. Yes probably leading and a bit childish but never the less it was a football question! He's a great manager undoubtedly but he's not the messiah....

  • Comment number 37.

    The point Phil staggeringly glosses over with that journalist is that this week is the build up to a EUROPEAN CUP FINAL and a journalist is trying to get a quote for his Ryan Giggs story. Does Phil genuinely think Ferguson wants to be discussing something so irrelevant to football during this of all weeks?

    They were briefed before, no questions of any kind about Giggs and still this reporter carries on.

  • Comment number 38.

    Graham Taylor - most people have two sides and if you are defending his weakness' to highlight his strengths then fine. To me however he comes across as a person who, unless he gets his own way will make everyone else's life a misery. Call it doing his job but to me playing it both ways doesn't wash and you don't expect some of his behaviour from a person of pensionable age who is a 'Sir'. Success in his career does not make him right all the time. All this 'legend' and 'hero' business in football winds me up. They make obscene amounts of money and walk around with impunity and Ferguson is no exception. I edited my original comments after reading it through in order to mitigate the risk of censure.

  • Comment number 39.

    @swindonbluearmy

    I agree the question was relatively innocuous, but at the same time, what a stupid, stupid question to ask.

    Everybody knows what Ferguson is like. He knew he wouldn't get an answer. And he knew he'd make an enemy. Rightly or wrongly.

    Why do it?!

  • Comment number 40.

    So - and I expect Liverpool fans to come in here - is Sir Alex Ferguson the greatest manager of all-time?

    Here is a recent quote from Mark Lawrenson, who played under Bob Paisley at Liverpool: "Sir Alex Ferguson is the best British manager there has ever been. And coming from my mouth, that is saying something because of the rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool."

    I also think Ferguson's record in Scotland, putting Aberdeen above Rangers and Celtic, was outstanding. And what about winning the European Cup Winners' Cup with the Dons in 1983 against Real Madrid? A stunning feat.

    Let me know your thoughts on Ferguson the manager, the man and let me hear your other contenders for the greatest manager ever.


  • Comment number 41.

    Alf
    Your comment about Bob are just what I'd expect from a fan of "The Greatest Team in the World" (excuse me while I'm sick!).
    Arrogant, no grace, no class - a mirror image of your beloved leader & your club in general.
    You can win all you like & feel smug in your success - win at all costs that's what matters isn't it - who cares what anyone thinks about you. Are you Millwall in disguise?
    I'd rather finish bottom of League 2 than have your "success".

  • Comment number 42.

    @philmcnultybbcsport

    I think you're right in saying that what he did in Scotland is up there with his best achievements. It is nigh on impossible to win the league up here if you aren't the Old Firm, and he did it. Also, look at some of the crop who played in the Aberdeen side; McLeish, Strachan, Miller, McGee; they are all still around in the game.

  • Comment number 43.

    Of course I only have an impression and that's not enough to say I know him- does anyone else here have more then an impression? On his christmas card list? Thought not. And I never claimed that I knew him.
    Why I have that is due to several reactions over the years, such as refusing to speak to the BBC, media blanket after liverpool game, constant abuse given to match officials (to be fair on that one, most managers do this. Though Fergie stands out due to his consistancy and even when the Ref's done him loads of favours he still whines about the few things that went wrong!), and many others that I can't think of off the top of my head.
    Take the most recent one, trying to ban that reporter. He only asked "how important would you say Giggs is to the team?" ! Didn't even mention You-Know-What! That for me, plus a lot of other incidents, shows his true colours.
    Like I said before though- massive respect for what he has achieved. Hopefully he can rattle Barca and make it a close final!

  • Comment number 44.

    4

    u will never be taken seriously. lol, less clue's than clueless things!!

  • Comment number 45.

    @39 Your point is entirely valid and to be fair to SAF he did actually answer the question (sort of) but to try and get him banned? seems like he's getting above his station. Not a big issue just move on!.... Having said that it's probably the press and he moved on about 30 mins later! I'll shut up then :-s

  • Comment number 46.

    14.At 09:07 27th May 2011, Hungry_Hippo wrote:

    I understand what you're saying and I'm not at all suggesting Toure did anything particularly bad. However, what he took was to give himself a weight loss advantage, in order to give him an athletic advantage on the pitch. I wouldn't class it the same as steroids or anything like that, but it was without a doubt for athletic advantage rather than medication for an illness or suchlike.

    I've got nothing against Toure and I'm not calling for him to be banned partiuclarly more than anyone else.

    What I am saying, however, is that it seems strange to give a lesser ban to someone for actually failing a test, than to someone who missed a ban. One has definitely tried to enhance their performance. The other has no evidence against him - it was random in the first place.

    Now we're saying absence of evidence is worse than definitive proof and an admittance of guilt. Can't help but feel United get harsher punishments than others.

  • Comment number 47.

    "So true, Mourinho does not come close to SAF achievements....Two Champions League titles, 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, nine Community Shields, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup & the FIFA Club World Cup. "

    How many trophies did Fergie win in his first ten years in the game and how many has Jose won? Think youll find Jose has burned up the global rankings far quicker. Hes already matched Fergies Champions Lague haul and with a very inferior side in one instance (Porto). He took over Inter and within 2 years one a CL title with them, at the same time matching the UTD treble. Jose also has that incredible home record and hes won titles in Portugal, England, Italy and now Spain.

    Fergie is currently the greatest theres ever been but he has 40 years on Jose, Im pretty sure in that time Jose will walk win a couple of more CL titles and a bucket load of domestic titles. Hell he'll even probably go into national management and win something there. He'll eclipse Fergie, Im almost certain of that

  • Comment number 48.

    @40 He has to be the greatest surely? does anyone have a record to equal? No! Liverpool fans will of course argue the toss but thats not because of facts or anything else it's just because they are Liverpool fans...any neutral (and i'm barely that being a blue) would surely have to say SAF is the best (ouch cant believe i just wrote that)

  • Comment number 49.

    @8 Rio's was banned by the FA not FIFA.

    @14 The issue was that, at that time, there were no rules to bend. The previous "missed test" instance had resulted in a 5,000 fine for the player. Shortly after Rio's case, Chelsea's Mutu tested positive for cocaine and was banned for 7 months; Stam and Davids (in Italy) tested positive for steroids and received 4 month bans (of which they served 2). Pep Guardiola (in Spain - he was recently 'cleared') was also banned for 4 months for steroids. The current WADA recommendation for a first missed test is a warning letter. Rio's punishment was so far out of line with the then current practice that it, not for the first time, made a mockery of the FA.

  • Comment number 50.

    @46 Rubbish!

  • Comment number 51.

    It's only fair to judge managers at the ends of their career, so I don't think it's fair to compare JM with SAF yet. As Ichi-1 says above, JM has made a fantastic start to his club career, and could easily go on to further greatness and eclipse SAF. Or he could not. The point is we don't know, and at this moment in time I would say SAF is the greatest manager ever.

    To Marnip - I don't disagree with you, I was just trying to point out the argument for the other side :)

  • Comment number 52.

    @11. I was wondering how long it will take for some desperate liverpool fan to bleat on about their past glories! It is much harder to win the CL and EPL now then in the days of Paisley, FACT! Remind me some of your opposition in the european cup finals....Borussia monchengladbach, Brugge, Roma! Hmm tough opponents there! Just look at the CL league winners/finalists now. The format ensures that in the latter stages you always come across tougher opponents, rather then them knocking each other out in earlier rounds.

  • Comment number 53.

    24

    bar porto which were still a very good team mourinho has walked into title winning teams made up already and usually alot of cash to throw around. not to argue his achievement's just he's a little more pampered than most when giving a job.

  • Comment number 54.

    Being the boss of Manchester United helps. Its a head start to achievement in itself.

  • Comment number 55.

    Bergysdeftflicks

    What about being the boss of Aberdeen. Is that a headstart?

  • Comment number 56.

    His will to win, desire, passion makes him the best, i don't agree with everything he says or does, but there is no doubting his pedigree.

    I think he has under performed in Europe, in terms of winning trophies, something he speaks of himself.

    I don't think Man United will win tomorrow, but there is no disgrace in losing to Barcelona.

    He has adapted over the years and limited the swashbuckling all out attack football, to a more pragmatic approach, his team his built not to lose goals now.

  • Comment number 57.

    During United's media day on Tuesday, Ferguson was captured on microphones threatening to ban a journalist - "we'll get him, we'll ban him on Friday" - for offering up a perfectly acceptable question about recent headlines surrounding Ryan Giggs

    Phil - the question the journalist asked was pointless and just used to bring up Ryan Giggs' name during the media conference. He knew what he was doing so I refute your suggestion it was a pefectly accecptable question.

  • Comment number 58.


    Ferguson's success is mainly based on a bagful of domestic trophies in what was usually a very weak league.

    In a period of 21 years during which they won 11 PL titles and 9 FA/League cups their European record reads:

    1990-91 Knocked out by Montpellier Cup winners' quarterfinals
    1991-92 did not qualify
    1992-93 knocked out by TORPEDO MOSCOW Uefa Cup 1st round
    1993-94 knocked out by Galatasaray CL 2nd round
    1994-95 knocked out by Goteborg & Barcelona CL group stage
    1995-96 knocked out by ROTOR VOLGOGRAD Uefa Cup 1st round
    1996-97 knocked out by Dortmund CL semifinals
    1997-98 Knocked out by Monaco CL quarterfinals
    1998-99 CL winners
    1999-00 Knocked out by Real Madrid CL quarterfinals
    2000-01 Knocked out by Bayern Munich CL quarterfinals
    2001-02 Knocked out by Bayern Leverkusen CL semifinals
    2001-02 Knocked out by Real Madrid CL quarterfinals
    2002-03 Knocked out by Real Madrid CL quarterfinals
    2003-04 Knocked out by Porto CL round of 16
    2004-05 Knocked out by Milan CL round of 16
    2005-06 Knocked out by Villareal/Benfica BOTTOM OF THE GROUP
    2006-07 Knocked out by Milan CL semifinals
    2007-08 CL winners
    2008-09 Knocked out by Barcelona CL final
    2009-10 Knocked out by Bayern Munich CL quarterfinals

    It should also be remembered that in 99 they were battered for long periods in the knockouts and the final, and in 09 they weren't even better than Porto in their tie.

    Ferguson hasn't stayed for an unprecedented period of time at United because his record is good, in fact his record is good because he has stayed for such a ridiculous amount of time at United. Show me ONE other manager with 20 years at a big European club so that we can compare like-for-like.

    For instance Ferguson has a poor head-to-head record against famous managers such as del Bosque and Hitzfeld, who have won as much as him in Europe or the international stage but without half the years he had in big clubs.

    Most other European managers of some status would probably have been able to emulate the above European record with such resources over this period of time.




  • Comment number 59.

    What makes fergie great?

    His friendship with Howard Webb and half of the managers in the league.

  • Comment number 60.

    # 40,

    I don't see the need to see if Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest manager of all time.
    History will place him in his place, after he retires from the game.
    I don't think SAF cares either.

    Also I am more than certain that United fans care much more about how the final will go, what players he will bring in the summer and how the team will shape up for next season, with so many changes in the top of the Premiership, both in regards with teams' danger level and squads composition.

    England is a country that has been blessed with quite a few extraordinarily great managers: Shankly, Paisley, Busby, Brian Clough, apart from SAF.
    All I hope is this list keeps expanding because it's for the benefit of the football we are witnessing in this country, season in, season out.

    If there is something to keep in mind from Sir Alex Ferguson's legacy at Manchester United is that it pays off to be patient with the manager at your club.

  • Comment number 61.

    Mourinho is the one who has a head start everywhere he went, all he has had to do is tweak a bit here and there. He is a very good manager, but winning the league with Porto is pretty easier, considering they won it for 1000 years in a row before that.

    Winning the champions league with Porto is his greatest achievement by far.

    Chelsea were on the cusp of winning the title, Mourinho pushed them over the line.

    Inter had won several leagues before Mourinho arrived and Madrid have the most expensive squad in history, but have only 1 trophy to show for it.

    Mourinho could easily win the league or CL with Madrid, but with the tools he has, he should be.

  • Comment number 62.

    SAF is one of the greats. Why? Well the size of his trophy and medal cabinet for a start. This season his qualities have shone through in abundance. He's an incredible motivator and also squeezes every effort out of his players when they show willing. Hernandez and Sun Ji-Park (Spell?) r the future of United. The fact that he's still at the pinnacle at the age he is. impressionante.

  • Comment number 63.

    @32

    I'm getting fed up with people saying United (and all big teams) get more decisions than other clubs. The higher amount of media coverage these teams get, as well as the fact they normally win, means every time they do get a decision it is blown out of proportion. Similarly, if they don't get a decision, everyone conveniently forgets about it as they normally win anyway, meaning the decision becomes irrelevant.

    On another note, people claiming SAF is not the best ever seriously need to rethink. Jose is good (and I hope he replaces Fergie when the time comes) but for longevity, the constant hunger for trophies and the ability to build 4 or 5 teams over the 25 years at United SAF is streets ahead. Don't even get me started on Paisley, I could have won as much as him if I'd inherited such a dominant team.

  • Comment number 64.

    Show me ONE other manager with 20 years at a big European club so that we can compare like-for-like.

    ===

    There isn't. He's one of a kind.

  • Comment number 65.

    55

    Not at all. It was great manangment as AF is a great boss, but that was in Scottish football. It cant compare. AF s greatest achievments are all in the Premiership era and the whole money dynamic that the Premier League has brought with it was ideal for Utd at the outset coupled with the Club being a massive institution already by then. Other Clubs in the UK were and still are trying to catch Utd as a football Club, not only on but off the fieldtoo. Theyre not likely to succeed either and hence will always lag behind.This is an enormous filip to a boss at Utd.

    PS Hope you can turn that lot over of Saturday night!

  • Comment number 66.

    What makes Ferguson and any manager so great is the ability to improve players. The argument that Ferguson has purchased already world class players is true im some instances but, to take Wayne Rooney and get him to score 35 goals in a season from being the young Evertonian lad is quite the feat. He has done this with players that have been purchased for large sums of money, but he has also done this with Giggs, Scholes, Neville to name but a few. I think what makes him special is this ability to turn players who would overwise have been good players into some of the worlds best. This is why I personally feel Jose Mourinho is such a quality manager as well. He took a player (sneijder) and took him from a Real Madrid reject and turned him into a £40M+ signing that most teams in Europe would want. Love him or Loathe him John Terry under Jose Mourinho was one of if not the best CB in the world, and he this was not the case before him. Players can only become greats under truly great managers, and this is why currently Jose, Sir Alex, and Pep Guardiola are the three best managers in world football. These three are the three that have done this the most, they have made Messi Villa Xavi Iniesta better players.

    I think there is very little to suggest that there is much difference between the three apart from SAF's ability to do it with a sort of Hatred from other fans whilst accepting that he is genuine quality. Barca are now disliked due to the childish playacting, and Mourniho is disliked due to his negative effective tactics, but ask any Inter Chelsea Porto and Madrid fans, and they would almost all want him back. Winners are often hated by others, but it has got to a point where there is very little but admiration for Ferguson, except when it involves the team you support.

  • Comment number 67.

    As much as I can't bear the man and his petty, small-minded ways, he's clearly one of the greatest British managers of all time. I think it's difficult to state any one manager is the greatest as we don't know what individual challenges each one has faced and what obstacles they have overcome.

    SAF is Man U though and has ensured that they have remained one of the best clubs in Europe throughout his reign which is an incredible feat. But the greatest? I don't think anyone on this blog will win that argument either way as hard as I'm sure you will all try!

  • Comment number 68.

    @nibs

    Re "weren't even better than Porto in their tie". Perhaps not, but without this travesty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3hrZlMJoOw&feature=player_embedded

    how different would

    a) Ferguson's European trophy count
    and
    b) Mourinho's entire career

    be now?

  • Comment number 69.

    Two more things before I go and do some gardening:
    Mourinho for all his faults is a showman and very entertaining and no more scurrilous than Ferguson and he's won the European Cup with two un fancied teams and secondly Clough won the European Cup twice with a provincial club and the league with two provincial clubs and once again he entertained. Measure success any way you want but to me Ferguson has been successful in what he's done and one or two others are easily as good in the way they have succeeded. In addition Mourinho and Clough brought life into what can be a very boring industry. Ferguson doesn't make me laugh he just makes a lot of zombie united fans feel better about their lives. Someone said on here the other day that it's a privilege to be a united fan. What a bizarre statement.

  • Comment number 70.

    Just out of interest, what do Man Utd fans think will happen once he does finally retire? By which I mean, do you think they will look for a solid replacement and, based on the success of Fergie's longevity, give a new manager time to build things up, or will they join the current trend of chopping and changing managers when results aren't going right?
    Obviously Fergie's inherent ability to win has no doubt been a major factor in keeping him in a job for 25 years, and who knows if they may have got rid had he gone a long time without winning anything.
    I'm an Arsenal fan and would say that Utd and Arsenal seem to be the last ones for sticking by their manager, and Everton with Moyes to an extent, and even though we've now not won anything for 6 years I still can't imagine waking up to the shock headline 'Wenger Sacked'. I just wonder if, once Fergie and Wenger finally do move on then that will be it for managers sticking around for more than a few seasons at most.

  • Comment number 71.

    @53 - Fair point but look what Benitez did with Mourinho's treble winning team. That's right Mourinho also won the treble.

    I'm not saying Mourinho is better than SAF, I'm just saying that SAFs acheivements aren't so far beyond everyone else.

  • Comment number 72.

    @nibs

    Excellent stuff for which I'm sure you will be panned. Wrongly of course but that's what you have to put up with I'm afraid. I would add that the domestic success 'earned' by Ferguson is in large part due to the massive financial advantage that Man U have enjoyed for nearly the entire length of the EPL. There is an indeniable link between the ability to pay wages for the best talent and where you finish in the league. That does not mean that Ferguson is not a good manager, it just illustrates the benefits you receive from managing a 'big club' ie one with massively more resources than most of the opposition.

  • Comment number 73.

    So far as I'm concerned Ferguson is and always has been 'a wee nyaff'. I will let English readers check out the meaning of 'nyaff' in an online dictionary of Glaswgian slang. The best definition I've seen is: "A very irritating person. When they come into a room, you want to leave". Ferguson, from the earliest days of his managerial career, has achieved his own ends by provoking others and stirring things. Even when he was at St Mirren, through his own comments to the media and his refusal to retract them (Prior to a Scottish Cup tie, he called my team, Motherwell, a bunch of thugs and cloggers), Ferguson created an atmosphere of animosity between the two clubs, which resulted in mayhem and injury on the pitch, and took at least two years to dissipate. Ferguson, of course, went on to use well-honed techniques of provocation and disruption, often in defiance of SFA and Scottish League guidance, during his tenure at Aberdeen, to upset the Old Firm both on and off the pitch. As I said, a wee nyaff...

  • Comment number 74.

    There is no disputing that Fergie is a great coach. But in my opinion he is just a master of English of football....... Man utd during his tenure has dominated everything concerned with the english football but his record in europe I am sorry is just poor. For a team and a manager lauded as the best in the world at times, 2 European cups in 24 yrs is poor.....borderline shocking! Mourninho is greater because he has managed to win everything but with different teams in different countries. Mourininho has walked into the top footballing countries and won everything going. He has had to deal with different styles of play different players and different pressures that come with managing big clubs. His 2 European cups in 7 yrs eclipses Ferdie's.



  • Comment number 75.

    @ 32 you say "all the penalties at old trafford" it should be pointed out that man utd weren't given a single penalty at home all this season and for the last 8 consecutive seasons weren't awarded the least number of penalties of any top 4 teams.

  • Comment number 76.

    Fergie has been great for the success of Man U but not for the recruitment of referees. We all know about his intimidation of referees with his example followed by his team, surrounding the ref etc. But I have never seen any of his (or any British) teams go to the lengths that Barcelona went to against Real Madrid. The way they behaved was unbelievable at least four players went rolling on the floor as if agony when slow motion pictures show they hadn't been touched. Mind you Adeybayour got away with a few towards the end of the game deliberately probably because the ref couldn't tell what was going on with all the play acting.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 54, Bergysdeftflicks,

    The funny thing is that, this situation at Manchester United where their manager has a leap start from the rest is something that is also one of SAF's achievements in this club.

    SAF didn't take the helms of a club producing approximately £100m revenue per season - he brought it to the club.
    He didn't become manager of a £1bn+ club - he brought it to the club.
    He did sign players at the start of his career at Manchester United but many managers do. But after the start, he was buying players from money his teams were generating. Do we need the examples we all know stated, regarding how other clubs have performed on this issue, though?

    And, nibs, in the final against Bayern Munich, you have to acknowledge that Manchester United looked a beaten team for the duration of the match (I agree) but they never stopped trying. And they gave Bayern Munich a lesson they will never ever forget. Was it luck or was it dogged determination not to lose and attack up to the last whistle of the match?

  • Comment number 78.

    @49 - Ferdinands ban was 9 months because the panel did not believe the missing of the test was accidental. Evidence was presented which suggested that he may have deliberatly avoided the test.

    @58 - Good point well made. Whilst Ferguson has been dominant domestically - his record in Europe has been less than impressive. He is unsurpassed as a motivator - but as a tactician has been found wanting on the bigger stage.

  • Comment number 79.

    Fergie has been great for the success of Man U but not for the recruitment of referees.

    ==

    Is it Sir Alex or the nation who spend week upon week, even month upon month criticising referees for daring to miss a decision against United? Being accused of being a club employee, accused of allowing themselves to be intimidated by Sir Alex?

  • Comment number 80.

    #78 he's made 3 out of the last 4 Champions league finals

  • Comment number 81.

    Need to go but yes Nibs you are right Munich completely dominated the '99 final until they capitulated with 5 mins. to go and of course they only won in '09 on penalties after Terry hit the post. You'd expect a bit of luck in 20 years

  • Comment number 82.

    @72

    You claim the reason for United's success is the money they have but they got that money through winning trophies, not through rich owners taking them over etc. Before the first trophy under SAF they were nowhere near as rich as they are now

  • Comment number 83.

    colinbell

    Had they 'completely dominated' it, they would've been more than a goal up.

    We had better strikers than them, which happened to win it for us on the day. Why do people struggle so badly with that concept?

  • Comment number 84.

    well think about how many pens wernt given at old trafford to the smaller teams! or the way fergie intimidates refs into giving them pens/ free kicks, because they know if they dont fergie will be abusing them all the way back to the dressing room, he is the manager that has had the most fines and bans to do with outspoken comments regarding refs!!

  • Comment number 85.

    @ 84, Newcastle_Mk,

    If I was a Newcastle fan, I'd be more concerned of why my chairman sacks the manager whose team performed miracles on an opening match at Old Trafford, achieving a draw while he might even come with all 3 points.

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 - The rest of the nation spend the entire season trying to intimidate refs into not giving United penalties. Stop pretending that isn't the case

  • Comment number 87.

    The figure on the number of bans he has received can be misleading due to the inept nature of the FA. I think most people will agree that, even from this season, a 5 game ban for his comments about Martin Atkinson was excessive. As well as this (I know he wasn't punished for this, thankfully) the warning given to him for his comments about Howard Webb show that the FA clearly does not favour United.

  • Comment number 88.

    you beat us 3-1 on the opening day and we draw at St james mate. fact'n hell!

  • Comment number 89.

    nibs - great history work there, of course united winning the cup winners cup beating montpellier in the quarters doesn't affect your revision of uniteds history!!

  • Comment number 90.

    77

    Note what you say, but disagree. You go back to the 60s and beyond (yes, i know they went down in 73) and Utd have always had great financial muscle and commercial power overseas as well as here. For the most part theyve had really good teams too. Their decline in the late 60s was due to bad decsions at the top of the Club and while all of their bosses before AF had success to different degrees, none could get the title they craved after 1967. Its my view that they chose the wrong bosses right from when Sir Matt went up to AF coming in. Had they have chosen well, im firmly of the view that any genuine top boss would have done what AF has done. There is an intangible expectation and demand at Utd that doesnt exist elsewhere and it is a dynamic that was always there post Munich and also before. Its difficult to explain it, but the players and bosses in the Club certainly know it. It gives the Club its momentum despite its personnel. Yes, AF has tapped into it, but he didnt create it as you suggest. He embraced it in a way that his predecessors failed to do post Busby. Maybe they were frightened of it.

  • Comment number 91.

    #78 he's made 3 out of the last 4 Champions league finals

    ----------------------------------------------------

    so what? benetiz had 2 finals in 3 yrs.

  • Comment number 92.

    He learns from his mistakes. Have a look at SAF's face when he let Billy Mcneill score the winning goal celtic v rangers..... His first managing post...East Stirlingshire...The Shire "worst team in Britain....fact! Pointless by Jeff Connor describes a season with them ....Is it fate that he went from the worst team in Britain to possibly the finest? (I'm a Liverpool fan but Scottish.....Its complicated. Stein/Shankley/Busby/Paisley he should be included. If he wins tomorrow it's up there with Celtic being first British team to win the european cup....because nobody gives them a hope which of course he will relish.How did South Africa beat NZ in the Rugby World Cup.... jonah lomu swatting five guys at a time ...but they did it...can you mark messi out the game dunno but it will be interesting again what do i know i think Kenny Dalglish is the best british player ever....cue argument...yes better than john charles,george best et all. Good luck Fergie you are a credit to Scotland...and manchester

  • Comment number 93.

    Many Bitter Liverpool Fans on this forum. I think King Kenny is the best manager of all time!!LOL

  • Comment number 94.

    @GerrardTheKing

    This is Sir Alex's Record with Manchester United:

    Premier League
    Champions: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11
    Runners Up: 1994-95, 1997-98, 2001-02 (third), 2003-04 (third), 2004-05 (third), 2005-06, 2009-10.

    European Cup
    Champions: 1998-99, 2007-08
    Runners up: 2008-09 and 2010-11 (AT LEAST)

    FA Cup
    1989-90, 1993-94 (United's first ever double), 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04

    League Cup
    1991-92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10

    Community Shield
    1990*, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010

    Uefa Cup Winners Cup
    1990-91

    Uefa Super Cup
    1991

    Intercontinental Cup
    1999

    Club World Cup
    2008


    Basically, he took United from a relegation side to a title winning side in 5 years and has kept them in the top three of the best league in the world for 19 years, winning 12 times, coming runner up 4 times and finishing third 3 times (coming at a time when Chelsea were bought by a billionaire and creating false success). He's built a new team time and time again - winning the league with youngsters when told "you can't win anything with youngsters". He's won the league when told his team was average (ie the current team he has). He's unearthed some of the worlds greatest ever players (giggs, scholes, ronaldo, beckham) and got the best out of the likes of Fletcher, O'Shea, Brown, Butt, Valencia, Nani, Park and Chicarito.

    He has basically done what Shankly and Paisley did put together (Shankly being the better manager of the two in my opinion).

    He is the only manager in English football history to win the treble (European Cup, Domestic League and Premier Domestic Cup) which the greats such as Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, AC Milan, Bayern Munich still have not achieved.

    He broke the old firm dead lock in Scotland with two different teams.

    He is the greatest manager of all time, Paisley doesn't come close.

    Thankyou, God bless Alex Ferguson and God bless the Republic of Mancunia.

  • Comment number 95.

    92

    Speak for yourself. I reckon Utd will win. 2-1. Ive said since they beat my Club that if it came to a Final with Utd and Barc, Utd will prevail.

  • Comment number 96.

    Kenny Daglish is the best manager of all time. end of discussion.....

  • Comment number 97.

    so what? benetiz had 2 finals in 3 yrs.

    ==


    3 in 4 is a pretty good achievement in Europe wouldn't you say? It kind of flies in the face of "never really achieved much in Europe".

  • Comment number 98.

    96. Told You So

  • Comment number 99.

    "27. At 09:29 27th May 2011, Alf wrote:
    Interesting comments from GerrardTheKing to justify Bob Paisley's status. Embarassingly and predictably one-eyed though, of course. I assume he's WUMing, but will shoot him down nonetheless...

    Ferguson's longevity and sustained success is actually a reason to elevate him above Paisley and all others too. We would not look at managers who achieved a title in their only season at a club as super, just because their titles-to-seasons ratio was high.
    Ferguson did not inherit dominance as Paisley did - he built it from scratch and has sustained it for 20 years. I would put Shankly above Paisley for this reason. If Brian Clough had not tailed off so alarmingly at Forest, he would go above Paisley in my British football top-three.
    Ferguson also did the same trick it at two different clubs.

    In fact, the more I think about it, I wonder if Paisley was actually fit to clean Ferguson's boots... On balance, I think he probably was, but only as long as he licked them clean and was not allowed detergent."


    Great comment worth showing again.

    Ferguson is the number one manager in Britain without question. There are other great managers no doubt, like Paisley, Shankley, Clough and Sir Matt but Ferguson's track record at the two big jobs he held, Aberdeen and United, have proved beyond reasonable doubt he is the greatest of all. And I suspect we will struggle when he leaves.

  • Comment number 100.

    best manager ever in the prem, Paul Jewell at Derby??? putting it out there! :P

 

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