Full name: Alexander Chapman Ferguson
Date of birth: 31 December 1941
Place of birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Current club: Manchester United (since 1986)
1974 East Stirlingshire
1974–1978 St. Mirren
To the average football fan, Sir Alex Ferguson is very much a Marmite man. You either love him or hate him.
Reasons to love him include: a managerial longevity that is completely unheard of in today’s game, his fidelity and commitment to his club, his outspoken and brutally honest opinions, his genius in identifying and nurturing the best – often British – talent around, and of course his ridiculous silverware return.
Reasons to hate him: Ferguson is spiteful, he develops feuds, he has anger management issues, he has more than once overstepped the mark with his behavior towards referees.
Man management: 9.5/10
Tactical awareness: 8/10
Player development: 9/10
Transfer market intelligence: 7.5/10
Trophy cabinet: 10/10
Total: 44/50 98%
Three core characteristics define Ferguson’s approach to man management: creating in his players an incredibly competitive streak and an untamable desire to win, forging responsible, healthy and committed professionals, and ensuring each and every player puts the team and the club before himself.
While his man management is possibly his biggest asset, and he is comfortable delegating many important tactical tasks to his very carefully handpicked team of coaches, his tactical prowess must not be overlooked. Manchester United win more than their share of evenly matched games, very often late in the match thanks to his substitutions.
Remember the Champions League in 1999?
Although no single strategical approach defines Sir Alex Ferguson, his teams are always physically strong and aggressive, play a patient, flowing, passing game. He has had success with 4-4-2, 4-1-3-2, 4-1-2-3, 4-3-3 and even 4-5-1. His tactical choices are always carefully chosen according to the players at his disposal, and he almost always gets it right.
Whether you like him or not, Ferguson is one of the very best managers of all time and he very much has the record to back that up!
Quotes by Sir Alex Ferguson:
“My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f***ing perch. And you can print that.”
“At the end of this game, the European Cup will be only six feet away from you and you’ll not even able to touch it if we lose. And for many of you that will be the closest you will ever get. Don’t you dare come back in here without giving your all.”
(Half time talk during the 1999 European Cup Final)
“I used to have a saying that when a player is at his peak, he feels as though he can climb Everest in his slippers. That’s what he was like.”
“When an Italian tells me its pasta on the plate I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen.”