Sir Alex – the greatest manager in history?
Will anyone in the world of sport achieve what the United boss has accomplished over the last 22 years at the Manchester club?
On the 6th November 1986 the world of football would be changed forever as United appointed 44-year-old Alex Ferguson from Govan, Glasgow to take over from Ron Atkinson as manager. Until this date United had won seven league titles and one European cup – how that would change.
In the Scotsman’s 22 year tenure at the club he has amassed a total of 10 Premier League titles, five FA cups, two league cups, eight charity shields, two European cups and a World Club Championship. All this in any one managers whole career would be a CV to admire, but at one club it’s staggering. Let’s not forget that Fergie started his career Aberdeen and masterminded the Scottish club to three Scottish Titles, four Scottish FA cups and the UEFA cup winners’ Cup.
However all these accolades would be surpassed in the eyes of the Old Trafford boss if he guides them to an 18th title this season, that to equal arch rivals Liverpool’s English League record.
In the football world there have been many managers who have racked up incredible achievements. Many thought that Sir Matt Busby’s Old Trafford revolution could not be trumped. You only need to look over to the north-west to Liverpool for the names of Shankly and Paisley, Brian Clough at Derby and Forest and that’s without even mentioning Sir Alf Ramsey’s world cup success with England.
Even in more recent times Fergies adversaries Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho have impressive CV’s, but nobody comes remotely close to what the 67-year-old has achieved.
But it’s not just Ferguson’s honours that stand him above the rest, he has built three world class teams from scratch. His first army was hugely successful, with the names of Cantona, Hughes, Keane, Bruce and Schmeichel but to name a few. This team really showed world football what Fergie was capable of, and the next bunch just enhanced his glowing reputation.
‘Fergies Kids’ were next up, with academy boys brought through who turned into global icons, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Butt and the Neville brothers guided Sir Alex to his maiden European Cup with the help of the more experienced Sheringham, Cole, Yorke, Stam and of course ‘Captain Keano’. But it is Ferguson’s latest batch which is dazzling the footballing world at present.
The world superstar names of Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez, Berbatov and Ferdinand spearhead United’s latest quest for total domination and are chasing back-to-back European Cups and a hat-trick of Premier League titles, an achievement which would match that elicit Liverpool record that Fergie dreams of.
So perhaps the question shouldn’t be: ‘is the Scotsman the greatest manager in history?’ but ‘who can possibly replace him?’