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09 May 13 00:01
Date Joined: 30 Aug 02
| Topic/replies: 9,623 | Blogger: Velasquez's blog
There is the assumption, in all the reports, that Fergie is the best ever manager...but is he?

Within a minute, I reckon I can think of 4 better managers...Mischief
Pause Switch to Standard View Sir Furious - Best Ever Manager?
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Report pantsonfire May 9, 2013 12:04 AM BST
I think he probably is. Love him or loathe him, you should have a long hard look at yourself if you can't admire what he achieved.
Report tobermory May 9, 2013 12:05 AM BST
depends what criteria you use

13 Titles in one of the top 3 or 4 leagues in the world , can;t imagine anyone else has done that
Report Dobbo May 9, 2013 12:06 AM BST
League tables of managers dont matter. He has been a great manager.Good for football,entertaining, interesting,adaptable. His main achievement has been breaking up the teams and rebuilding time and time again. No other manager has done that.They dont stay long enough to face that particular challenge.
Report HRH The Lager Khan May 9, 2013 12:08 AM BST
He is fortunate in as much as if his tenure started now, he'd have been fired long before all the success, such is the ridiculous expectation in the modern era. Great manager and a fantastic career, but I'd still put him behind Mr Clough.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 12:08 AM BST
Two European Cups / Champions' Leagues is a poor on pens. and the other a smash and grab after being outplayed.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 12:18 AM BST
Champions' League is the true test and Sir Furious never established a "dynasty" type situation, despite the advantages enjoyed by Man Utd...unlike Ajax, Liverpool, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc.
Report paddletoe May 9, 2013 12:41 AM BST
I think he disapointed in europe. He won two champions leagues but with teams lacking style. In a period where there was very little football money in two of the traditional powerhouses of europe, italy and germany. Agree with Veasquez about Ajax, Liverpool, Real Madrid Barcelona and AC Milan.
Report paddletoe May 9, 2013 12:45 AM BST
The Arsenal team that Wenger built with some brilliant buys is by far the best english team over the past 20 years.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 12:54 AM BST
Jock Stein made four European Cup semi-finals with a local select and won the big cup in glorious style Grin...Brian Clough won 2 with a provincial team...under Bob Paisley, Liverpool looked dominant in Europe...Bela Guttmann, Ernst Happel and Rinus Michels were influential and excelled in Europe...
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 12:56 AM BST
Agree with you 100% Paddletoe, though I like Man Utd. better than Arsenal.
Report Poppydog. May 9, 2013 1:06 AM BST
Only 4 Champions League finals in 27 years and battered in all of them, fluking 2 wins.

The money factor is underplayed with Man Utd compared to Man City or Chelsea,
but he's spent millions and millions. Probably more than the two put together.
Report PatraTheCat May 9, 2013 1:26 AM BST
I think his Aberdeen tenure should be taken into account too. He was there from 1978 to 1986. Here are Aberdeen's historical league positions:


He also (and I certainly didn't just copy and paste this from Wikipedia) won one Drybrough Cup, four Scottish Cups, the European Cup Winner's Cup, the European Super Cup and a League Cup.

To be fair I don't feel qualified to say he was the best ever though.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 9:17 AM BST
Billy McNeill built a successful side before Fergie joined Aberdeen. McNeill signed Gordon Strachan and Steve Archibald. At that time, Jim McLean had achieved at least as much as Fergie - Dundee Utd. were beautiful to watch, much more entertaining than Aberdeen. They got to a European Cup semi but were cheated out of the final by a ref who was bribed, and reached the uefa cup final.

I saw Aberdeen a few times against Celtic and Willie Miller used to referee the games. The Aberdeen players were always in the ref's face. Aberdeen defended really well and played in nice tight triangles. They were a really good, functional team.

In the final against Real Madrid, Jock Stein told Fergie to present Di Stefano with a quality bottle of whisky : "Make him think you're just pleased to be there..." Masters of the dark arts...Mischief

Obviously Fergie is a great manager, but at no time did his ANY of his teams dominate Europe like the teams I mentioned earlier...when did Fergie win three Champions' Leagues in a row? Have I missed something? Fergie is a pragmatist. There's a documentary with Scottish journo Gerry McNee, where Fergie is watching Brazil and he comments on the two nippy, sharp centre-forwards, Bebeto and the next season, he played two nippy, sharp centre-forwards up front. Laugh

With Barcelona at their peak in the last few years, people said, "This is the greatest club side ever." They have also said that about Ajax and Real Madrid sides. No-one has ever said that about a Man Utd. team.
Report HRH The Lager Khan May 9, 2013 9:20 AM BST
I'd put Billy McNeil in the bottom three managers since I've been following Villa, and they've had some absolute stinkers! Champions of Europe to finishing bottom of the league under him within 5 years.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 9:27 AM BST
Can't argue with that...Celtic were very naive against Aberdeen and couldn't defend for toffee. They attacked Aberdeen all night but were beaten 1-3 at home and lost the league that night.
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 9:32 AM BST
I used to play with Aston Villa in the school subbuteo league, Lager Khan : the players used to be numbered and we kept records. By far and away the top scorer was a Turkish lad playing for Villa, named - H'raktan ! - yeah, Villa had a Turkish forward back in the 70s!

H'raktan Excited
Report kincsem May 9, 2013 12:05 PM BST
Sir Alf Ramsey.
Ipswich Town won the second division 1960-61.
Ipswich Town won the first division 1961-62.
England won the World Cup in 1966.

To win promotion into the "premier" league and then win it at the first attempt was a great feat.

I've just finished re-reading Leo McKinstry's biography, "Sir Alf".
The FA gave him a pension of only £1,200 a year in 1974, and replaced him with Don Revie at £25,000 a year.
(That year I qualified as an accountant and my first salary was £3,000.)
Alf struggled on his £25 a week until years later he got the old-age pension of £70 a week.
Disgraceful by the FA.
Report paddletoe May 9, 2013 1:33 PM BST
The problem with all of Fergies Man Utd teams were that they were always short of one or two world class players in any one side he built. He had the benefit of a lot of very good home grown players which is always important to give a team a sense of home identity but his teams always lacked flair.

One of my favourite players he bought was a russian winger with real pace ( konchelskis i think his name was ) but other than Ronaldo his teams lacked frigtening pace. He should have bought a player like overmars or Roben at a time when he had already the basis of a good team.
Report Zazu May 9, 2013 1:55 PM BST
massively underacheived in Europe imo

Great longevity but a lot of managers would have been just as succusful with Uniteds resources and the youth team of Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Nevilles etc
Report Velasquez May 9, 2013 4:34 PM BST
H'raktan was a manager too, y'know...Excited
Report Monte Christo May 9, 2013 4:57 PM BST
No doubt Fergie was a great manager and his domestic record is incomparable but I think the lack of European success is a big blip on his cv.

Bob Paisley had a fantastic domestic record but Utd fans criticise his European record by saying it was easier back then.

However Bob's Liverpool won the UEFA Cup in 1976 before lifting the big one back to back in 1977 & 1978.It'll be some time before that's done again imo. He's still the most successful manager in the history of the competition as well with 3 successes.

In the 1978 /79 Euro cup Liverpool were drawn against Notts Forest in the 1st round (no seeding or country protection then) who went on to win two on the bounce themselves.
Report john92 May 9, 2013 5:30 PM BST
Comparing the European Cup era to the Champions League is wrong. It is a different competition and football has changed considerably. Even the Champions League era should probably be split into pre and post expansion.

The European Cup was far harder to get into, but was far easier to win once you were in it, especially if the draw cut up. Consquently, teams that were dominant domestically were favoured by the European Cup format.

If he has underachieved it is only very slightly. He has been to just about his fair share of finals since the mid 90s in my opinion.
Report tobermory May 9, 2013 5:52 PM BST
good post John
Report erse2 May 9, 2013 6:00 PM BST
2 things for me.

1. great manager. pretty much everyone in the game has only good things to say about him too.
2. it goes to show that managers need a few of years to get things right. sadly, there's too much money at stake and can relegation can make or break a club, e.g.\ Leeds United.

He's managed Man U since I was 5 years old. Shurley an excellent role model for people who want to achieve great things.
Report Burton-Brewers May 9, 2013 6:20 PM BST
you have to give credit to the club for standing by him for what was not a great start, shame more clubs don't do the same.
Report miltonbadley May 9, 2013 9:29 PM BST

May 9, 2013 -- 1:06AM, Poppydog. wrote:

Only 4 Champions League finals in 27 years and battered in all of them, fluking 2 wins.The money factor is underplayed with Man Utd compared to Man City or Chelsea, but he's spent millions and millions. Probably more than the two put together.

Or not, this list suggests he has spent less than 3 other teams since 1992 and the comparison is more marked when you look at net:

Report Capt__F May 9, 2013 9:47 PM BST

sniff thought erse older

Clough, Mr No1
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 7:52 AM BST
H'raktan texted, "Me I woodant sign Taibi an Veron an load of other for the big mazonga..."
Report Lee Ho Fooks May 11, 2013 9:53 AM BST
Ron knee
Report rob_dylan May 11, 2013 11:31 AM BST
The main reason people dislike him is jealousy.
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 12:56 PM BST
I just about like him - I actually stay in a street he used to live in - but I don't think he's the best ever manager just because he had the EPL sussed.
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 1:04 PM BST
BTW - re. the European Cup / Champions' League thing and the points made by John...when Man Utd. beat Bayern in 98-99, did they take part in that tournament as English champs or were they runners-up to Arsenal...?

In other words, in the old format, would they have taken part at all? Joost askin', like...Mischief
Report Eeternaloptimist May 11, 2013 1:23 PM BST
The main reason people dislike him has been all the bullying and hectoring. Clough won back to back European Cups with teams who obeyed the laws of the game and generally respected its officials. Fergie massacred the spirit of the game and sought to intimidate those whose job was to seek to implement the laws impartially.
Report john92 May 11, 2013 1:38 PM BST
And when Barcelona (one of the dynasties mentioned) won it in 2009 beating Man Utd in the final, they finished a poor 3rd in the league the previous season so Man Utd would have 'won' it that year....

The European Cup and Champions League are different competitions.
Report Howdi May 11, 2013 3:28 PM BST
I'd say yes but Clough's achievements in late 70s and early 80s won't happen again.
Report Howdi May 11, 2013 3:31 PM BST
Yes John 100% spot on. In the old days were probably only 3-4 who could win it .
Report Emden May 11, 2013 3:32 PM BST
I suppose in the british game then the greatest ever.

The counter argument is that he has really only done it at one club (scottish league football doesn't count). Man utd is one of the top 3 richest, so never a problem attracting the best players in the world, and getting rid of the ones that don't shape up. No problem trying to balance the books i.e old player out - to fund the purchase of a new player. Huge squad, whose 2nd string team would probably finish in the top half of the prem.

Also,  He has never managed different teams abroad, in different countries, to a  very high level eg like mouriniho has.
Report Howdi May 11, 2013 3:34 PM BST
^^^ I know what you are saying but this wasn't the way when he joined United in 1986 they were in a very poor way.
Report Emden May 11, 2013 3:44 PM BST
^^^ I know what you are saying but this wasn't the way when he joined United in 1986 they were in a very poor way

Yes they were in a state and it took him a few years to sort the mess out. Which he did. His record will never be beaten in the British game. Never. Even the great managers at Liverpool do not compare.

I just think it would have been interesting to see how he would have got on if he had decided to worked abroad, which for me is the ultimate test - but I suppose, when you are working for man utd (one of the top 3 clubs in the world), and you are settled, why bother working abroad just to test yourself.
Report john92 May 11, 2013 4:54 PM BST

His success at Aberdeen was astonishing. Celtic and Rangers wern't in a good state at that time, so his domestic success can perhaps be downplayed.

As mentioned Dundee Utd had a good side around then, probably robbed of a European Cup final. Later they beat Barcelona home and away to reach the 1987 UEFA Cup final.

Hearts also lost the league on the final day in 1986 I think, so it was competitive then and a far better overall standard than now.

However, Aberdeen beat Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to win the CWC and then beat European Cup winners Hamburg in the Super Cup.

Aberdeen also got to the semi final the following year although it was a bit weaker that year.

Depending on what team was in what tournament, each one of the 3 European competitions could have been very strong.

I would say again that if he has underachieved in Europe it was only slightly. Alot needs to go right to win the Champions League. Watching some old finals lately showed me how much gets lost in time. Leverkusen (who beat Man Utd in the 02 semi final) battered Madrid late on in the final and should have won. The game gets remembered for the Zidane wonder goal.

Juve outclassed Dortmund in 1997 yet somehow lost 3-1, 2 set pieces and a counter attack.

Barca should have gone out v Chelsea in 09, then got payback last year. It's endless.

I would also take slight issue with him being able to bring in the best players in the world.

He was usually able to bring in the best players in England - Ince and Pallister, Keane, Cole, Rooney, Yorke, Ferdinand and later on Berbatov but in my mind the only ready made out and out world class player that he brought in, until Van Persie, was ironically his biggest disaster..... Veron!

Stam and Van Nistelrooy maybe on the verge of world class when he signed them from Holland.

In later years his ability to bring in that sort of player has in general diminished with the influx of billionaires. Van Perise listened to the 'little boy inside' (apparantly) rather than go to City for more money. How many would do that now?

I always think you can only ever be the best of your time and we look at it from a British point of view. Definitely agree with his attitude at times. I remember laughing when he spoke once bemoaning all the anger in the game!
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 5:31 PM BST
Some good points, John. Sir Furious is a great manager but...once again, best ever?? Forget the "dynasty" thing : I'm talking about teams that set the sporting world alight, so that they are acclaimed as the "best ever". Good point made by Eternaloptimist : "Fergie massacred the spirit of the game."

We're always told that Man Utd. are the top team in world football (or second to Real Madrid) yet with all those resources Fergie never produced a "supreme team".

Just going to name these feckers Excited: Real Madrid with Di Stefano and Puskas...Ajax with Cruyff...Bayern with Beckanbauer, etc...AC Milan with Gullit and Van Basten...Barcelona in the last few years...they wiped the floor with Man Utd. at Wembley. Fergie was clueless about how to stop the "carousel" as he called Barca's famous passing style.
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 5:42 PM BST
By the way : If you read a book by Fergie, you get all sorts of pragmatic and psychological insights.

If you read a book of interviews with Johann Cruyff, you get odd, abstract stuff about space on the pitch and how far apart the players should be from each other, and timing. Cruyff has to be the most influential person in world football since 1970, given the influence he had on Holland, Barcelona and Spain and all the wannabes.
Report john92 May 11, 2013 5:57 PM BST
You are right, there is no way any of his sides will go down in history.

Everybody and everything is the best thing ever now and it annoys me aswell when people proclaim it when it's impossible to prove.

In a wider European sense I'm not sure Man Utd have ever as big a draw for real top players as they have been for top British/British based players.

Italy was where the real money was, then when England became the richest league in the world there were clubs with billionaires who could blow Man Utd out of the water.

I'd say Veron was the only time they went out and bought that world class player, and he didn't really fit it.

He had really good sides over an incredible amount of time rather than a truly exceptional team for a couple of years.

One I'd throw in would be Milan in 1994. Barcelona destroyed Man Utd that season although Man Utd were weakened by the 3 foreigner rule. Milan were missing Baresi and Costacurta through suspension yet battered Barca 4-0.

Massaro was at his peak and Savecivic made Koeman and Nadal look like the Caldwell brothers.
Report john92 May 11, 2013 6:03 PM BST
I agree about Cruyff.

I read in an interview he said when he was at Ajax he would try and hit the post when they were a few goals up. It was more of a challenge and he just loved the sound.
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:04 PM BST
I'm just gonna post the name of the ACTUAL best manager ONE an attempt to avoid confusion...Scared
Report liamcol May 11, 2013 6:06 PM BST
Guy Roux
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:06 PM BST

John Lambie.
Report tobermory May 11, 2013 6:14 PM BST
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:14 PM BST
Guy Roux a great shout IMO...they were saying on Radio Scotland today that if you phoned Pittodrie for tickets for European games when Fergie was manager, you were liable to get Fergie on the phone, dealing with the enquiry...and Jock Stein helped clear the pitch of snow, with a shovel, during the winter...dem days iz gone...
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:19 PM BST

John "Bomber" Brown...manager of Dundee...Excited...."Youz buy the feckin' PIES! The PIES!! We need tae scrutinize the PIES!"
Report liamcol May 11, 2013 6:30 PM BST
Just watched the lambie one again, vel, a real football man.
Funnily, i suppose, he was not averse to singing the sash and the billy boys on a saturday night in Whitburn, but would have signed the pope if he thought he could do a job for him.
Report liamcol May 11, 2013 6:35 PM BST
I've seen that many times before vel, tell you what though, Brown would be the ideal man for the new rangers just now.
He said, maybe not in that speech, that the 3rd div clubs spent 150k a year, he would win it with 250k, up to the 1st div where they spend 500k, he would spend a million, now that makes sense.
The current incantation are on the 2nd highest wage bill in Scotland, why?
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:37 PM BST
I haven't seen it yet, Liam - going to watch it later... I'm listening to the FA Cup final on radio as it's not on STV...Midsomer Murders instead...
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:40 PM BST
Apparently, Ally McCoist earns more than the Dortmund manager...can this be true...? Mischief
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 6:41 PM BST
Rangers can't change their ways - "We arra People," etc.
Report kenny mann May 11, 2013 6:50 PM BST
Paul Jewell is the best ever manager. To take Bradford City and Wigan to the Premiership was miraculous. Fergie a clear 2nd best.
Report liamcol May 11, 2013 6:52 PM BST
forgot that was on vel, one of lifes great mysteries, how does wee shaun seem to play all the time now when he was on almost permanent sick leave at Celtic? training regimes?
Report themightymac May 11, 2013 7:00 PM BST
I'm listening to the FA Cup final on radio as it's not on STV...Midsomer Murders instead

Sell one of your paintings and get a subscription to ESPN !
Report liamcol May 11, 2013 7:10 PM BST
supplied the corner, Happy well done to wigan.
Report Velasquez May 11, 2013 7:27 PM BST
I REFUSE tae pay fur the telly, Mightymac! Just heard wee Shaun on the radio, there, Liam...
Report elisjohn May 11, 2013 8:42 PM BST
man utd were in a poor state under busby, ofarrell etc, but tommy doc resseructed the team, Atkinson and sexton let it slip, but yes ferguson made it even worse to begin with then got a lot of luck. some of his team  selections prior to his 99 fluke was pathetic in Europe, no cloughie was by far the greatest
Report rob_dylan May 11, 2013 8:47 PM BST
Like i say....

The main reason people dislike him is jealousy.
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