Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

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Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by messixaviesta on Sat May 11, 2013 4:49 pm

Yes we have discussed this best managers topic several times before but it is one of those topics that does not lose its charm. There are two reasons why I am starting it again.

The first is the obvious - the event that has shaken the world of football. An era that began even before Cruyff started coaching at Barcelona has ended.

The second is this article which I think is absolutely outstanding. I know Goal.com articles are sort of taboo at these forums but this one is not to be missed. You need not agree with everything said here but I have to marvel at how well the writer has pieced it all together.

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2013/05/10/3966791/sir-alex-ferguson-is-the-greatest-manager-ever-and-only-mourinho-?ICID=OP

As for my view I think the key here is longevity. If we take the best three to five years of a coach or so there are several who would beat Fergie including of course Pep Guardiola between 2008 and 2011 which just has to be among the best three years for a football manager ever. However having a 39 year career is something else altogether. So now you may ask that if a person simply remains for that long, should he be rated higher? To that I say that its not just about lasting. It's about being at or near the top for that many years. In Fergie's career very rarely if ever do we see a considerable number of years when he was well below top level or when he ceased to matter. For many other top coaches who have won the biggest of trophies and seen dizzying heights of success the problem is that it didn't last for long. They had considerable periods in their career of plain mediocrity at times to the extent when the world didn't even care what they were doing. However Fergie always mattered. Others blotted their copybook in ways that cannot be mended but not Fergie. If we compare Sir Slex's qualities as a football coach and manager to that of the others who can lay claim to being among the very best of all time in some aspects certainly there are people who were better than him. One point often made is that tactically he wasn't the best in European competition. Yet there are other qualities where it's hard to see past Ferguson. Who in football history can be credited with having rebuilt and taken to the top an institution almost as single handedly as possible and then kept it there for so many years that his name is now almost synonymous with the club? Who in the game's history can be credited with changing the history of football in one country to the extent that things will just never be the same again? For a Manchester United fan first there is God and then there is Sir Alex.

What do you all think?


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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by The Franchise on Sat May 11, 2013 9:11 pm

For me the question is, how can he not be?

He has had like 4 seperate Man Utd team cycles (as in teams which different key core group of players) reach a great level, a title winning level and on other occassions a best team in the world level.

Much more impressive doing it with the same club and then reforming a new core when you would think his effect would dwindle. Look around, coaches just dont stay at one place for more than a "cycle" before having no choice but move on, while reaching a elite level all the time.

Nowhere near the greatest tactican nor one for new ideas and fantasy, but he is a common sense coach who makes rationale decisions with his own players and against opponants. And it probably even goes on to his signings...he was more than willing to spend a ton on guys he really believed had super talent and they nearly always did.

Not the most likeable in some of the things he says, but I think he generally doesnt cross the line into disgraceful.

Other than being at Utd so long and doing so well, the thing I admire most is how he never settles with what he has and how ruthless he can be because of that.

I think most people assumed when Cristiano left, Rooney would take his place as the main man at Utd and for a while he sort of did, but Sir Alex brought in RVP, put Rooney in midfield or even on the bench in games and just made the team be more about the collective.

Further back, he shipped off a record breaking Van Nisterooy and replaced him with Saha..sensing Saha's all around game at the time to go with replicating Van Nisterooy's goals.

Other times, the sale of Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and others and having no second thought of turning to youngsters which ended up becoming key parts of another side. Admist alot of criticism he stuck to his guns and it worked out well as it usually does for him.

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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by Valkyrja on Sat May 11, 2013 9:53 pm

So the 4-4-2 is officialy dead Twisted Evil

Joking aside, he is clearly up there, nearly 40 trophies speak for themselves.

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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by Uncanny on Sat May 11, 2013 10:39 pm

I'd definately say so, haha 20 premier league titles?? And he's the guy that mentored Ronaldo to the beast he is today at Madrid. But also the fact that he pretty much managed Manchester United and stacked them up against the rise of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, and to Liverpool and Arsenal too. He brought something to his club that no other manager has, and it is going to be really hard for anyone to ever fill or live up to him. I am personally am not a fan of his team, but I respect them very much because of what he is and did Very Happy. I don't think he is the tactical genius as pep or mourinho is, but he delivers consistency at the highest level, and that's what gives Manchester United its greatness. Given all this, I for some reason love seeing him lose Lmao, prolly cuz hes always a big fat winner all the time (ha), but I put him as the greatest till the next greatest comes along.
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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by free_cat on Sat May 11, 2013 11:08 pm


Depends on what you value. If what you value are titles and longeity, surely he is. Fergusson has probably won more titles that any other coach ever and has been serving at top level most than anyobdy.

However, there have been coaches much more successful in briefer periods of time and also more influential in terms of football development.

IMO, longevity is not such an important factor. He has been benefited by a very patient and sensible board at United. For instance, he would have long been sacked at Barça before winning anything if it had taken him 6 years to win the first league as it happened at United.

Anyway, one of the greatest, but I rate several coahces ahead of him, Cruyff and Guardiola for starters.

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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by messixaviesta on Sat May 11, 2013 11:11 pm

Thanks for some wonderful replies guys.

The worst period that I have personally witnessed for Fergie is from 2003 to 2006 when three years they went without a league title and some were saying the old man is done and should have already retired. Yet even in that period he won one FA Cup and one League Cup and we all know what incredible levels were reached after that. You just couldn't keep him down.

One of the things that I admire about him other than what has already been mentioned is his single mindedness about winning the league title every year. Yes he knew what the UCL meant and wanted to win it but his top priority was always the league. There are managers who in certain seasons throw away the league to have a better chance in Europe. Ancelotti's comments some time back in this regard I found particularly distasteful. Quite simply you don't become the best team in the world by winning UCL while getting fourth place in your league. You have to win the league first and then after winning the UCL you can call yourself the best team in the world. Fergie's complete respect towards his league floored me.

Another point I appreciated a lot about him is that even though he may have said a few ill-natured things about some people, he never said a word against ManUtd. Today we see several managers criticizing their own clubs. If he fell out with a player he threw him out and hardly ever let any negative effect happen due to that. However the club was what always mattered and he was the spirit of the club. Even when so many people criticized the Glazers Fergie continued to defend them staunchly. Even when in the later years he didn't have enough money to spend not once did he complain seeing the wealth of other clubs.

One question I want to ask. Most of us have mentioned he was not the greatest tactician. So who do you all consider among the greatest tacticians?

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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by The Franchise on Sat May 11, 2013 11:18 pm

Greatest tacticans can be seen in more than one way I feel.

Do you want to talk about game to game tactics? Making adjustments during the game, during the season, from season to season and stuff like that?

Or is it originators you prefer, guys who create or devolp ideas and methodologies?

Maybe both?

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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by messixaviesta on Sun May 12, 2013 2:44 pm

dani, as you said there are several aspects of it. At the moment I am more interested in those who more often than not were able to tactically outmanoeuvre opposition of the highest quality.




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Re: Off Topic : Is Sir Alex The Greatest Football Manager Of All Time?

Post by The Franchise on Sun May 12, 2013 5:46 pm

Harder to say, because it requires very specific memory of a number of games over a long period.

Look now further than Guardiola though for me.

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