Friday, June 9, 2023

You might not like Fergie, but you have to respect him

Graham Fisher in Editorial, English Premier League 10 May 2011


Probably the best ever

It isn’t always a particularly poipular move to right nice things about Sir Alex Ferguson. It has to be said that it sometimes seems that unless you are a Manchester United fan, you are a bit strange if you don’t hate the man. I’m not a Manchester United fan and whlist I wouldn’t exactly describe him as being a likeable, easy going sort of bloke, I certainly don’t hate him.


The one thing that you have to have for him if you have the slightest interest in football, is the utmost respect. As he sits within a point of yet another Premier League title and ninety minutes from a third Champions League title, his third final in four years, with a team that most pundits said weren’t good enough, how can you do anything other than admire him?

A queue of football people have lined up over the past couple of days waiting to add their tribute to the man who is surely the finest manager ever to work in British football.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said,

“This has got to be up there with the best of what Ferguson has won. A couple of years ago Cristiano Ronaldo left, Carlos Tevez left and you looked at them and you thought ‘this is not one of the great Man Utd teams’. But this team has a spirit about them and against Chelsea, again, they produce a performance just when you wanted it. The manager’s fantastic. No other manager could have done with United what Sir Alex has done this season.”


Respected BBC pundit and former Liverpool great Alan Hansen said,

“If Sir Alex had have been the manager of any of the top four this season he’d have won the title. He is unparalleled in English football.”

Former United star Dwight Yorke thinks Ferguson will go on and on,

“I was at the club two days ago and Ferguson’s enthusiasm hasn’t changed, his passion hasn’t changed and his desire to win and break records has not changed. He will continue for as long as he can carry on.”


Recently retired Gary Neville agreed,

“You’re not dealing with the type of animal that deals with ‘end of the goal’ things, be it the 19th title or fourth European Cup. That’s just not the way this guy works. He achieved everything he could have in the game ten years ago, five years ago. You could have argued at many points during his Man Utd career, the treble in 1999, the Double in 1996, his first title in 1993, that his work at the club was done. But he just feels his job is never complete. The job at United is never complete, it goes on forever.”

All of these people are right. Sir Alex Ferguson is an amazing manager who doesn’t know when he is beaten or when to stop. He will carry on until he is totally physically unable to do so. I expect that to be a few years away yet which is a major worry to all those other managers looking to win things.


As Gary Neville pointed out, his first Premier League title was back in 1993, some eighteen years ago. He has transformed the team many times since then and produced a new winning team every time. The current crop are generally regarded to be less good than some that have been and gone but I suspect Fergie would argue by asking people to look at where they are. The likes of Fabio, Rafael, Vidic, Valencia, Nani, Carrick, Rooney and Hernandez have all got a few years left yet and as Fergie adds wisely to them, who is to say that he can’t go on producving winning teams.

Questions have been raised many times about Fergie’s decisions to let players go. Mark Hughes, David Beckham, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistleroy have all left then club with the public wondering what on earth the manager was doing. I think it is fair to say that it would be churlish to question any of his future decisions.

Let us just take a look at the managerial career of Sir Alex Ferguson and then even if you can’t stand him, try to tell me that you don’t have enormous respect for him.

  • St Mirren 1974-1978
  • 1 Scottish first division title

  • Aberdeen 1978-1986
  • 3 Scottish Premier Division title wins
    4 Scottish FA Cup wins
    1 Scottish League Cup win
    1 UEFA Cup winners Cup win
    1 UEFA Super Cup win

  • Manchester United 1986 to present
  • 12 Premier League title wins
    5 FA Cup wins
    4 League Cup wins
    2/3 Champions League wins
    1 UEFA Cup winners Cup win
    1 UEFA Super Cup win
    1 FIFA club World Cup win

    That makes thirty-seven, or thirty-eight if they can beat Barcelona, major titles in thirty-seven years as a manager. It is an astonishing record. His list of personal awards is endless, but suffice to say he has been named as Premier League manager of the year nine times and World manager of the year on four occasions.

    He might be a bad tempered, annoying, opinionated, arrogant, bad losing man, but boy, is he one hell of a manager!


    Graham Fisher



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    12 years ago

    I dont like Fergie, I love him

    Chelsea FC Fan
    Chelsea FC Fan
    12 years ago

    F*ck you Fergie you muthaf&kn GENIUS.

    Sebastian Stormgaard
    12 years ago

    He is the world greatest manager, no one over, no one near him!

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