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Who Is The Best Premiership Coach ?

i will like to know who is the best Coach in the English premiership?

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No argument, the only other coach that has won the champion's league is Benitez, he has not won the league before, but Alex has won everyfin a club manager can win, two times what others have, This is one place we have to leave for him. Even Wenger knows, he's a big bro to every other premiership manager and father to some.

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Like a coach can be a good one and not win anything That is the most incredible thing I have ever heard. Can you give examples of great coaches who don't win big titles?

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succesful coach is a good coach or else you'll get FIRED

Futbol aint a charity thing. Its business.

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Who agrees with me that there is a difference between a succesive coach and a good coach.

If you don't understand this simple statement, post your comment and i will explain to you

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frankly i don't think this thread should be existing

we all know that the best prem coach is SAF now,

wat else do u people want,

well for the record its not Wenger, why, because he's not achieved quarter of what SAF has,

so wats the point,

and it depends on the definition of "best coach" is it in terms of youth, or UCL or premiership,

SAF floors wenger and other managers.

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Okay go and bring ur own questions and don't ask me who won the last Under 17 world cup because I already know its Malawi.

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Those questions are so cheap that nobody would waste his time on it.

And I wonder which truth you told me? Kindly remind me of those truths?

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@ Dayokanu

Let's keep it cool in here.About the questions; i did not post the questions directly, i just copied and pasted it from somewhere so i didn't get to check it well and why didn't you answer those questions.

Now i know you are begining to hate me b'cos of those truth i told you.

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@ Folahan

You better go back to your thread asking who is cartilage eagles why not ligament eagles or tendon eagles.

I know the Tunisians national team are called Carthage eagles I don't know who is called Cartilage eagles.

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Assless replies we've got here

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The best coach in the premiership is Sir Alex Onigbinde

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SAF is the best ever in the history of the premiership. We talking about trophies or what do you guys celebrate?

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yeah, but sorry he's warming his Bottom now in portugal

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Mourinho of course. Three years sic trophies which of the English premiership coach has achieved this feat in 10 years?

Lets just go straight to the point and give it to the one who deserves it.

Mourinho the special one.

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Wenger is the undisputed , he is the real proffessor and he will always remain the best. his tactics and style of play has no rival.

Wenger 4 live ,

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mourinho is surely d best.

i know if arsenal had not gotten 2 d finals of eufa arsenal fans wud av kept quiet.

i sha wish arsenal fans d best in d finals coz england is 2nd 2 my nigeria in futbal.

mourinho is d best as at present but ferguson is d best all round 4 some yaers now.

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They make the lapses up in Champions League sha.

To be in the final, no be joke.

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I have asked them several times, what are they re-building?

I got no answer yet.

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losing 11 matches - rite

starting the season with key players down and/or out - true

steering the club back on the onward thread - commendable!

he has tried abeg

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@ Hucarson,

Well analysed.

Managers should be rated based on improvements on their previous seasons.

I think Rafa,Redknapp,Jewell have all done so well.

Mourinho didn't really mprove although he didn't disappoint as well.

Martin Jol did a wonderful job at Spurs.

I cannot remember the last time Spurs went to Highbury without gettin beaten black n blue.

Jol has changed htings around a lot and made some reasonable buys.

Spurs is the team of the season. I admire players like Carrick,Mido and the new sensation,Lennon.

Wenger failed woefully if we are to rate him based on his previous seasons in the Premiership.

Losing 11 matches this season is very poor by Arsenal's own high standards.

2 seasons ago he went 49 matches unbeaten which was a very remarkable feat.

Arsenal fans will quickly say he was re-building but nearly all the managers in the Premiership had similar problems of rebuilding.

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I dunno when some Arsenal fans on Nairaland will stop being hypocrites.

Arsenal coming 4th on the table and losing a whooping 11 matches this season is a failure by Arsenal's own standards.

In this vein,Wenger wasn't outstanding as far as this season is concerned.

Wenger's team was second last season and came 4th this season. Was that an improvement?

I tipped Martin Jol above Wenger cos he fought to the very last day before he surrendered the 4th position to Arsenal.

The managers of the promoted teams were also immense especially Paul Jewell who took Wigan to the top ten. We all know how difficult it is to survive in the Premiership.

The ace Manager this season has to be Harry "Houdini" Redknapp.

How he managed to steer Portsmouth out of relegation has defied all known logics.

Portsmouth was as good as dead when Redknapp joined em as at Dec 2005 and he revived the team spirit by avoiding relegation with a match to spare. Thatz what i call brilliance.

Jose Mourinho wasn't too outstanding as far as i am concerned. He won the league no doubt but his performance last season was far better than this season. He lost just a match last season but he lost 5 matches this season. Its a bit disappointing.

Ferguson came 3rd last season and second this season so he is just ok but not outstanding.

Rafa Benitez deserves the best manager award cos he has turned Liverpool back to the force they were known to be.

Liverpool is now a team everyone fears silently. No team can just boast about beating Liverpool lately cos on their day,they can demolish any premiership team.

We all have to look at these factors and entities b4 saying Wenger this-Ferguson that.

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but i think that wenger practically had "the whole footballing world on his shoulders" this season and he should be commended for successfully "sustaining the weight" and not letting himself get "crushed" under the effect of the weight.

wenger has been outstandingly wonderful this season!

'tsall i can say for now.

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Why is everything on Arsenal,Chelsea and Man u.Yes they are good managers but i think u should look at Harry Redknapp(portsmouth), he saved his club from relegation.He came in past Mid-season and helped them well.

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Wenger is a good coach but to me i give it to Ferguson.

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Fergie is the best,but I feel for this season Rafa Benitez should have been awarded manager of the season.His team made the most improvement.

Still haven't heard from Priscilla

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@huc

now thats crap, that is no justification that they are better than wenger, there is only one person above wenger

and that is ferguson, so what are u tryin to proove,

because harry rednapp saved portsmouth. doesn't mean he's better than arsenal, besides he's a specialist at that,

because paul jewel helped wigan to top half doesn't mean anything either, he was focused on one thing to survive in d premiership and he did just that,

wenger had a focus, he wanted to win the premiership and perform well at the UCL, but as things turned out, we found ourselves fighting for 4th place which we got, and also performing above all expectations in the champions league, now we are focused on winning the UCL to keep henry,

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U shot urself in the leg son.

Had Arsenal finished 2nd or 1st,Wenger wld have been the Manager of the season by miles.

A team that lost 11 odd matchs in a domestic league deserves no credit as far as i am concerned.

Arsenal aint the only team re-building in the Premiership.

Man Utd is re-building too as many young players are trying to break into the 1st team.

Vidic,Ji-sung Park,Fletcher,Richardson,Evra,Rooney,Ronaldo are all youngsters and they are trying to fill the spaces the likes of Keane,Scholes,Giggs have left.

I will tip Managers like Martin Jol,Alan Pardew,Harry Redknapp and Paul Jewell before Wenger this season.

These r managers that managed to avoid relegation and fought tooth and nail to survive the Premiership.

End of Story.

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If you say who is the prem footballer of the year, it is Henry.If he does not win it next year, it doesn't mean the winner is better overall.

For this season, i think Wenger is the best coach in England.I have my criteria for choosing him and some other coaches too deserve comndation.Sam Alardyce with his old men achieved something , Benitez with his organization and tactical discpline is also okay. But if you can play decent football with a combination of veterans and kindergaten and get to Europes biggest Finals i think it is worth something.

No doubt Sir Ferguson is the all time greatest for now, but has anybody had of CURRENT FORM

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sir alex ferguson is the best premiership coach. There is no argument there. His teams have been the greatest over the years and wenger is his nearest rival. But Arsene is coming up very fast and very strong. So watch out !!!!!!!!!!

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@elampiro

for once i agree with you, i neva disputed that,

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Only few are objective here, majority are drunk of their club.

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If you said the best coach in premiership you have to talk about trouphies. All gunner's fan are talking about certain quality that wenger has which nobody disagree with. but pls dont be sentimental think about achievement and all sort. Wenger has his qualities as a good coach no doubt about that but round it up to every angle you will find some better coaches at d top of d scale.

And it doesnt matter when you join the league.If you made your marks as a first timer you are equal to the task. morinho shows why he is a very good choach where others fail. benitez did it with different style.

There are some that have been there 4 a long time and they are still doing a very good job.Sir Alex has the bolls,has the brain and has the nerves.

We should all think twice and not be sentimental!

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lordimpaq, I knew that my post was too much, but I needed to put the records forward for all to see. Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be the world most successful coach. You Arsenal fans are just being fanatical and not willing to admit facts, and you appear to outnumber Man U fans in this forum. Success is judge by a man's achievement in his chosen career, Ferguson is fully accomplished.

Note that I also like Wenger, but Ferguson is the best in premiership. The initial question is "who is the best coach in premiership?" . The answer is striaght = Sir Alex Ferguson.

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LOrdi!

Dont nind him. He is still in funeral(moaning) after what blues did to them.

Just forget all those ruminations and rumbling.

I wonder why a learned person can call anyone illiterate?

Learned not educated! Its important to have both.

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@4 play

i know already, so wats d big deal, besides i neva said wenger was d best manager,

wenger is nothin compared to fergie everyone knows that,

so wat do u mean, by it'll shut gunners up,

know one thing not all gunners are the same

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Good Work Elampiro.This should shut them up if they can read,the only problem is that most Arsenal fans are barely literate.You however have set the facts straight .

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wetin now, u wan kill us with the horrendous post, we cannot even read the whole thing,

its too much,

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Please, read this and visit: http://www.manutdzone.com/playerpages/SirAlexFerguson.htm

SIR ALEX FERGUSON

Management Honours

1980 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1982 Scottish League Cup - Winner

1982 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1983 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1983 European Cup Winners Cup - Winner

1984 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1984 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1985 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1986 Scottish FA Cup - Winner

1990 F.A. Cup - Winner

1991 European Cup Winners Cup - Winner

1991 European Super Cup - Winner

1992 League Cup - Winner

1993 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1994 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1994 F.A. Cup - Winner

1996 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1996 F.A. Cup - Winner

1997 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1999 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1999 F.A. Cup - Winner

1999 European Champions League - Winner

1999 Intercontinental Cup - Winner

2000 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2001 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2003 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2004 F.A. Cup - Winner

Full Name Alexander Chapman

Ferguson Position Manager

Date of Birth 31st December 1941 Major trophies won 27

Place of Birth Govan, Glasgow Date appointed

United Manager 7th November 1986

Ferguson's United League Record

Played 731

Won 411

Lost 132

Drawn 188

Goals for 1304

Goals against 682

Points 1421

Ferguson's United European Record

Played 136

Won 71

Lost 26

Drawn 39

Goals for 243

Goals against 126

Ferguson's United FA Cup Record

Played 78

Won 53

Lost 15

Drawn 10

Goals for 152

Goals against 66

Ferguson's United League Cup Record

Played 69

Won 42

Lost 19

Drawn 8

Goals for 114

Goals against 71

Ferguson's total United Record

Played 1014

Won 577 (57%)

Lost 192 (19%)

Drawn 245 (24%)

Goals for 1813

Goals against 945

All stats correct at the end of 2004-2005 season

Sir Alex Ferguson is the man responsible for making Manchester United the team of the 1990s. Ferguson has established himself as the most successful British manager of all-time and in doing so has made Manchester United, the long time under-achievers that couldn't win a League title for 26 years, into perhaps the best football team in the world. In times when managers frequently come and go, Alex Ferguson is the immovable object, no matter what happens Fergie and United are at the top, every season. Honest, fierce, driven, obsessive, charming, humorous, stubborn, aggressive - all of these words could describe the man who totally epitomises the heart and soul of Manchester United football club.

Born in Govan, Glasgow, Alexander Chapman Ferguson was an apprentice tool-worker on the cold hard-working shipyards of the Clyde until he was 23, during which he played part time for Queens Park and St Johnstone. He turned professional and joined Dunfermline in 1964 playing as a centre forward. Here he attracted the attention of his boyhood idols Glasgow Rangers and was bought for a then record £65,000 in 1967. However his time at Rangers was not a success and he moved to Falkirk in 1969 and eventually Ayr in 1973.

Eventually he gave up playing in 1974 to become manger of East Stirling where he was quickly spotted by St Mirren, whom he managed for 3 years until 1978. He had done well at St Mirren with limited resources but was surprisingly sacked after falling out with the chairman. Aberdeen soon took advantage of his availability and the Ferguson managerial legend began.

Again with limited resources, he turned the average Aberdeen into a team that dominated Scottish football during the early 1980s and broke the traditional iron stranglehold of the Glasgow "Old Firm" giants of Rangers and Celtic. Aberdeen were the team to beat in the early 80's and Ferguson capped it all by taking them to a glorious 2-1 victory over mighty Real Madrid in the 1983 European Cup Winners Cup, the last European trophy won by a Scottish team to date.

It was only a matter of time until the big guns came after him. He was approached by no less than Barcelona, Arsenal, Rangers and Tottenham (whom he seriously considered), but destiny in the end meant it could only be, Manchester United.

, .

1986-90: Dodgey beginnings

Ferguson's first job was to lift United away from the foot of the table after Ron Atkinson had steered the club into trouble. This he accomplished but problems major remained. United's reputation as a boozing club was not without foundation and Alex tackled the situation head-on. In addition, he revamped the youth team system, a decision that would repay a hundred fold. He paid minute attention to every detail of club life, first to arrive and last to leave was his attitude. Former United star Mark Hughes returned from Barcelona, Steve Bruce, Brian McClair, Gary Pallister and Paul Ince arrived but United were still adrift of the then champions, Liverpool. Though finishing an admirable second in 1988, 1989 brought dour anti-climax as the reds finished 11th. The side was hard working, methodical and dull, while Fergie's cautious approach did not win the fans over. There was now growing doubt over whether Fergie was the man to turn United into Championship contenders.

Stretford End favorites Norman Whiteside and Paul McGrath were sold because of alcohol problems, they no longer fitted in with the new disciplined attitude Ferguson demanded. They were soon followed by Gordon Strachen, but this clear-out of quality players had a detrimental effect on the team. By January 1990 United were struggling at the foot of the table and chants of "Fergie Out" began to issue from stands and terraces, especially after a humiliating 5-1 defeat at Man City. Martin Edwards always denies it, but Fergie's job was on a knife-edge and it all came to a head in the 3rd Round FA Cup game away to Nottingham Forest. If United lost Fergie would have been sacked, no question about it. If the same situation had occured in today's high pressure football world Fergie would have gone long before then. However, luckily for United, despite a disallowed Forest goal, Mark Robbins struck the winner and United had a narrow 1-0 win. United put a great run together and went on to win the FA Cup that season, playing every round away from home. After an epic 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, it took a replay were defender Lee Martin gave Ferguson his first trophy, scoring the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory. Fergie now had some breathing space with the fans and board alike.

1990-93: Two cups then the League

Ferguson then set about trying to end United's long wait for the League title. However there was time for more cups. The European Cup Winners' Cup was won in 1991 with a great 2-1 victory over Barcelona and in 1992 the League Cup with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest. United had begun to play once more with the attacking flair the club was famous for, meanwhile the influential Denis Irwin, Ryan Giggs, Peter Schmeichel arrived on the scene. Yet, Ferguson still couldn't bring the title to Old Trafford. When it finally seemed in their grasp after a successful run in 1992 which saw United at the top of the table in mid-April, a late collapse handed it to rivals Leeds United after a dreadful 2-0 Sunday defeat at Anfield. Ferguson was criticised and many fans and pundits thought United and Fergie were destined never to wear the crown of champions.

Once again they underestimated Alex Ferguson's powers and United soon returned to form at the start of the next season. The real turning point came in November 1993 with the unplanned arrival of Leeds hero Eric Cantona, whom he signed after a chance inquiry made when the Leeds chairman telephoned about signing Denis Irwin. That chance inquiry would shape English football for 5 glorious years to come. The way the canny Scot capitalised on that good fortune, realising that the brilliant French maverick must be the centre of his team, was inspired. Adopting an approach that, outwardly at least, was more relaxed, he finally secured the prize for which Manchester United had pined so painfully. Surging to the title over nearest rivals Aston Villa, and playing some sublime football along the way, 26 years waiting ended on the 2nd May 1993 and United were the League Champions at last.

1993-97: The Double Double

In 1993/94 Fergie's red machine was all-conquering, stylish and unbeatable. Future captain Roy Keane arrived at the start of the season from Nottingham Forest for £3.5 million. By late autumn there was talk of an unprecedented domestic treble as United swept all before them and looked head and shoulders above the rest. However public opinion was swaying against United. Fergie adopted a siege-mentality of "Us against the world" and criticism rained over a series of sendings-off and bookings that threatened to wreak the entire campaign. The League Cup Final was lost 3-1 to Aston Vila and Blackburn reduced a 16-point lead to just goal difference. Yet, Fergie and United regained their composure with strong performances in the last two months of the season. United regained the League with 10 points to spare and crushed Chelsea 4-0 to win the FA Cup, his first League and FA Cup "Double".

1994/95 was anti-climactic, but did see the arrival of striker Andy Cole for £7 million. The title was conceded by one point to Blackburn and the FA Cup Final by a single goal to Everton. There's no doubt United would almost certainly have won a second Double that year had Eric Cantona had not been banned for eight months by the FA after attacking an 'fan' in the crowd at Selhurst Park. Fergie handled the media storm brilliantly and coaxed Eric to stay at United when the whole world seemed against him and the club. The incident showed Fergie's man management skills at their very best.

1995-96 began with fans outrage surrounding the sales of Hughes, Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis over the summer. It prompted more doubting of Ferguson's judgement but he dug in and replaced the departing stars with boys from his youth team. "Fergie's Fledglings" consisted of David Beckham, the Neville Brothers, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, not forgetting the youthful but already first team regular, Ryan Giggs. After an 3-1 defeat on the opening day of the season and Alan Hansen's famous "you'll win nothing with kids" outburst, many pundits thought Fergie and United's glory years were finished. However, they had all underestimated just how good these "kids" really were. Eight months later this largely home grown side was unstoppable and had overhauled big-spending Kevin Keegan's Newcastle who at one time had a 14 point Premiership lead. As the Geordies faltered a superb run of victories between January and April inspired by Eric Cantona's brilliance gave United the title. Then, seven days later they did the "Double Double" with a 1-0 FA Cup Final victory over bitter rivals Liverpool - Cantona scored the winner and lifted the cup as Captain, his redemption complete.

1997-1999: The Treble and Kings of Europe

Winning the League meant United were back in the European Cup, which was becoming an obsession to Ferguson like it had Sir Matt Busby - to capture the "Holy Grail". It was the one area his United teams had failed in but now with the UEFA 3 foreigners rule gone, he could field his best team. 1996/97 brought a fourth Championship in five seasons, comfortably won in the end with new signing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scoring 19 goals. However United failed in Europe at the semi-final stage to Borussia Dortmund losing both legs 1-0. Eric Cantona then shocked the world by retiring and the following season United never adequately replaced him. Teddy Sheringham arrived from Spurs for £3.5 million but Roy Keane was badly injured early in the campaign and was forced to miss the rest of the season. Eventually after a brilliant first 6 months, growing injury problems meant the team ran out of steam. United lost to Monaco in the European Cup while a new domestic rival in the form of Arsene Wenger of Arsenal appeared - his team's late surge took the Premiership title and FA Cup to Highbury.

Determined to succeed against his new rival in the 1998-99 season Ferguson took a risk and splashed out a combined £23 million on Dwight Yorke and Japp Stam. Playing a brilliant attacking, free-scoring style, United swept all before them on the three fronts of League, FA Cup and Europe. Ferguson's United had strength in depth like no other team, with quality like Solskjaer, Sheringham, Berg, Butt and Blomqvist sitting on the bench. In the league, United took charge after Christmas and set up a thrilling race to the finish with Arsenal close behind. A superb run in the FA Cup beating great rivals Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal on the way put United in the FA Cup final. In the European Cup Fergie's United, scoring goals everywhere, beat Inter Milan and Juventus to reach the final and set up an unprecedented "Treble".

United clinched the first part of the treble by winning the League title 2-1 against Spurs at Old Trafford on a final, nerve-wrecking day. A week later United beat Newcastle 2-0 in the Cup final to complete an amazing third "Double" in 5 years. Finally the one Ferguson most wanted, the big one, the European Cup. The final in Barcelona saw United take on Bayern Munich. For most of the game United were 1-0 down, until the 90th minute when one of the greatest, if not the greatest comebacks in sporting history saw the reds score two goals in injury time to win 2-1. Fergie's life-time ambition was achieved, he had done something no British manger had ever done or will likely do again, United were Champions of Europe at last, Champions of England and FA Cup winners all in the one brilliant season. Alex Ferguson soon became Sir Alex Ferguson, receiving a knighthood for his great achievements in the Queen's birthday honours list, a thoroughly well deserved reward for his services to British football.

2000-2001: Beyond the Promised Land

It was always going to be something of an anti-climax the following season after the Treble year. Ferguson announced his intention to retire three years into the future at the end of 2002 season - not that he'd be easing off before then, of course. The sheer number of games in the expanded Champions League and the inaugural FIFA World Club Championship in Brazil meant United couldn't defend the FA Cup. United had become the first British club to win the Intercontinental Cup winning 1-0 against Palmeiras in Tokyo but in the controversial Brazillian tournament United failed to get to the final. In Europe Real Madrid ended United's hold on the European Cup with a 3-2 defeat in the Quarter Finals. However the new millennium saw United sweep away all domestic opposition to claim Ferguson's sixth Premier League title in a record breaking season. Scoring 97 goals and winning by a record margin of 18 points, no-one in England could touch United as they played brilliant attacking football and scored goals by the truck load in Ferguson's most emphatic championship win yet. Fergie himself won the Carling Manager of the Year award, the fifth time he had won the honour in the eight years of the Premiership.

2000-2001 saw another Premiership title as United surprised everyone by winning it once again without really breaking sweat. Most had thought rivals such as Arsenal or Leeds would mount a serious challenge. The title was clinched in mid-April but it had really been over since United took a 14 point lead in early January. It made Ferguson the only manager to have won three League titles in a row in English football history and the most successful ever. His 14 major trophies at United beating former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley's total of 13. However the Premiership is no longer enough to satisfy United and a disappointing exit to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Quarter-Final meant a flat end to the season. There is still a feeling of incompleteness, that this team need to prove themselves the best in Europe one more time to go down with the all-time greats of European football. The 2002 final was at Glasgow's Hampden Park and Fergie planned to go out on a high by winning it in his home city.

2001-2002: Fergie's great U-turn

He prepared for his last campaign by smashing the British transfer record in the signing of Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy for £19 million and then obliterated the record again with the £28 million acquisition of Argentinian midfield maestro Juan Sebastian Veron. In a huge shock Fergie sold fan's favourite Jaap Stam to Lazio and signed 35 year old Laurent Blanc as replacement.

The first few months were a nightmare for United as defensive problems, individual errors and key players under-performing left the team looking unusually vulnerable. It seemed the shadow of Ferguson's departure was over the team and was affecting the players form. There was too much quality in the side for it to last though and soon United were back on top of the Premiership and on course for Hampden.

In February 2002 Ferguson made a dramatic U-turn, deciding to abandon his retirement plans. In the end it was his wife that helped persuade him, Fergie felt it would be a waste to retire just yet. He is still healthy, that famous hunger for success is still as powerful as ever and his team are reaching their peak. It just didn't make sense to leave. Peter Kenyon and the United PLC breathed a huge sigh of relief for they had no adequate replacement lined up. In short, nobody seemed to want the job because it would be impossible to follow the great man's achievements. Ferguson quickly signed a new contract ensuring another 3 years as United boss and the problem was solved.

Unfortunately, the season ended in dire disappointment. In Europe, United went out to Bayer Leverkusen on away goals in the Semi-final, there would be no Glasgow home-coming for Fergie. Despite leading the Premiership for 3 months after January, the early season disasters took their toll on United's campaign. Arsenal took the glory of another Double as they had done so in 1998.

Once again Ferguson's old rival, Arsene Wenger had returned to challenge him but all United fans were sure the man from Govan would strike back with a mighty onslaught designed to put the pretenders in their place.

2002-2003: Fergie's greatest title win?

The eighth title win in 11 years must surely rank as the greatest achievement in Sir Alex Ferguson's glittering 17-year reign at Old Trafford. Ferguson vindicated his decision to carry on in the job and managed to overcome deadly rivals whom appeared to be unassailable champions. After United's sticky start to the campaign, his critics said he should retire. They claimed Ferguson was past it. How he must have scoffed at such ludicrous claims and now they are eating their words. Finishing last season trophyless hurt everybody at the Theatre of Dreams - but Ferguson took it personally smashing the British transfer record again by signing Rio Ferdinand for £29 million and appointing ex-Portugal and South Africa coach Carlos Queiroz as his number two to shake things up.

However the season started badly and the autumn was littered with negatives for the Old Trafford giants. Just about everything appeared to conspire against the club. Eight points from the opening 18 was the worst return since 1989-90. United were treading water while arch-rivals Arsenal and Liverpool were flying. Roy Keane had a valid point; United's players were dangerously entrenched in the comfort zone. Ferguson's biggest masterstroke was to put seven players under the surgeon's knife. It was a high-risk strategy which would eventually pay handsome dividends. The low point of the season was the 3-1 derby defeat at Manchester City in November. Ferguson read the riot act and the hairdryer was so hot it almost melted.

By Christmas, Arsenal were odds-on to cruise to a second successive title. Arsene Wenger's fanciful claim that Arsenal could go the entire season without losing enraged Ferguson. The first day of December was a turning point as the much-maligned Diego Forlan twice scored to send United to a win 2-1 at Liverpool.

A 2-0 home win over Arsenal followed and the appetite was back. United were hungrier than ever to satisfy the craving of their manager. Ferguson kept telling his players they were good enough to win the Premiership, that Arsenal had overdone talk about how good they were and that his team were still a force. Yet, Arsenal looked certainties when they went eight points clear at the top on the day United lost the Worthington Cup final 2-0 to Liverpool. United were fit and firing on all cylinders and embarked on a 17-match unbeaten run from Boxing Day to 3 May, which saw the Reds erode Arsenal's seemingly impregnable lead and then overtake their title rivals.

Ruud van Nistelrooy's phenomenal 43 goals, including 12 in seven crucial matches during the run-in, helped seal United's championship prize. Even the storm surrounding the "boot incident", David Beckham's eventual transfer to Real Madrid and United's European exit to the Spanish champion's failed to distract rampant United from finishing the job in style.

2003-2005: The beginning of the end?

Ferguson's Old Trafford dynasty was now the greatest in English football history equalling Liverpool's run of eight titles in 11 years between 1975-1986 but the 2003-2004 season failed to extend that record. The dramatic selling of David Beckham to Real Madrid in June showed that no player, no matter how big, could take his place at Old Trafford for granted anymore. New players were brought in: Ronaldo, Tim Howard and Louis Saha looked impressive Eric Djemba Djemba and Kleberson less so. By Christmas 2003 with 19 games gone the team was in good shape, four points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Two major events would derail everything. The suspension of Rio Ferdinand for a missed drugs test and Ferguson's own legal battle over racehorse Rock of Gibraltar with major United shareholder's John Magnier and JP McManus. Without Rio, the defence crumbled and many points were dropped, whilst Magnier and McManus launched a bitter personal campaign attacking and undermining Ferguson. Fergie would not back down though and it looked like his United days could be numbered as rumours began of Coolmore forcing him out of Old Trafford. Fans and supporters' groups rallied to his cause but in the end the United boss backed down and settled out of court.

By the time United crashed 4-1 to Manchester City in March the league title was over with the Champions 12 points adrift whilst European hopes had been dashed by FC Porto. The only consolation was the FA Cup in which United played their best football. Beating Man City, Aston Villa and Fulham en-route, a titanic semi-final clash with Arsenal saw Ferguson get the better of Wenger again at Villa Park with a steely 1-0 win. A comfortable 3-0 victory over Millwall secured the final and made it a record 5th FA Cup triumph for Fergie.

However, it was still a disappointing campaign by United's high standards and unfortunately last season the trend continued. Despite the arrival of Wayne Rooney from Everton for £30 million and Leeds hero Alan Smith Sir Alex's team suffered a goal scoring problem with only 58 league goals, the lowest scored since 1991. The absence of Van Nistelrooy through injury was a major factor and critics claimed the team had lost its clinical edge. Only 5 games lost however 11 draws saw far too many points dropped to mount a serious challenge.

By contrast, Chelsea funded by Abramovich's billions and inspired by Jose Mourinho's confidence were unstoppable and put 9 points between themselves and United at Christmas. By early March the title was once more beyond Sir Alex and Europe had also ended again in failure after home and away 1-0 defeats to AC Milan. The attention turned to the FA Cup as the last hope for silverware and the Reds saved their best form with fine wins over Middlesbrough, Southampton and Newcastle. In the final, United outplayed Arsenal for 120 minutes, creating chance after chance. But just as in the League, the failure to put the ball in the net proved fatal and the Gunners undeservedly took the cup 5-4 on penalties.

A rolling one year contract means Fergie can leave at any time and he must surely now be nearing the end of his days at Old Trafford. The new ownership of Malcolm Glazer may speed up his departure given that it has added massive instability to the club and threatens to unravel everything the Scottish legend has built in the last 19 years. As he has proven before, Sir Alex always answers failure by coming back even stronger and has defied his critics countless times. Fans can only have faith that he can leave United on a high, restoring his team at summit of domestic and European football in what could be the most turbulent period in the club's modern history.

Why is Fergie so successful?

It is hard to know exactly why Ferguson has been so successful, but conclusions can be drawn from various aspects of his personality.

Personal Drive

Firstly, Alex Ferguson hates losing, he is possessed with an almost obsessive desire to win. The bitter taste of defeat only fuels him to endeavour all the more to avoid it in future. Some say he is a bad loser, in-gracious in defeat, but they don't realise that this is why he is such a great manager. It shows how much he wants to win, he always expects to win. Ferguson never gives in, he refuses to accept he is beaten and he has infused his United teams with the same attitude, they keep going right to the final whistle. It is because of this that United have scored so many late goals down the years, not pure luck as the cynics claim. Whenever he has achieved a success he never rests, always looking to the future for once the moment of victory has gone you can't go experience it again, you must do it all again to get back on that victory high. It is this drive and hunger for success that keeps him at the top, and Ferguson acknowledges that one day it will fade but he'll be long retired by then.

Tactics/Stategy

Ferguson is a manager is not afraid to follow his instincts or take a gamble. His instincts, whether it be luck or some sort of intuition always seem to be right. He seems to recognise that if you want to win things then you need to take a chance, sometimes an unexpected risk can swing things in your favour by throwing off opponents. He took risks buying Eric Cantona and Dwight Yorke, he often dangerously manipulates his squad by resting key players. He dismantled the mighty Double winning side of 1994, because it was no longer giving him what he wanted and replaced them with mostly youth players. Alan Hansen famously said "You'll never win anything with kids" - how he was made to eat those words. Ferguson saw that young players like Beckham and Scholes were exceptional talents and needed to be in the senior team, if fact adding them would make his team stronger still. Many a time people have said "Fergie's lost his mind" and yet he's proved them wrong time and time again, showing his deeper insight and knowledge about football than the rest of us. Only recently in November 2002 the critics sharpening their knives calling Ferguson a "busted flush" and that he should have retired in 2001. Yet, come the end of the season, the master had the last laugh as he guided United to the title. Those that underestimate him always end up with egg on their face.

In both his upbringing and in the shipyards of the Clyde, Ferguson was exposed to the Scottish working-class work ethic of hard graft and toil. He has instilled that same hard work ethic into Manchester United. All members of his team have a high work rate, even the Beckham's and Giggs' are made to earn their money by backtracking to help out the defence, constantly moving and slogging it out for 90 minutes. No team works harder than Fergie's United.

Fergie is one of the best tactical minds in the game. He has constructed a United team that is very adaptable to all situations with his favourite 4-4-2 formation. United were the first English team in the 90's to use the lightning counter-attack as a deliberate tactic, which Arsenal later copied. His best United teams have been built on a solid defence, wingers on the flanks and some sort of creative genius up front. When United first played in the Champions League, Ferguson was having to learn tactically how to play against European teams. In 1999, after four failed attempts he got it right. United have now reached the Quarter-finals a record 8 times in a row and are always amongst the favorites to win the trophy.

Player management/Psychology

Alex Ferguson is probably the greatest motivator in European football. Player motivation is a finely balanced art. Too much of it every day and eventually it can have no effect, or the constant pressure of it can destroy players. Ferguson believes in using it every so often at the optimum moments, when it has its most power. Observe his potent words of motivation during half-time in the European Cup Final 1999 with United 1-0 down: "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 inhere without giving your all". Undoubtedly he honed his man-management skills in his early pre-football management days as a shipyard shop steward.

He will always get the best out of his players and demand 100%. His handling of United's young stars has also been first class, protecting the likes of Giggs from frenzied media attention. In both the Cantona "kung-fu kick" incident and Beckham's 1998 World Cup ordeal, he stuck by his players and supported them through the difficult times, which in the end they repaid him with great comeback performances. Alex Ferguson will never attack his players in public or in the media, if they have under-performed or done something silly, he will leave his criticism to behind closed doors. He can also be utterly ruthless. Ask Jim Leighton whom he devastated when dropped him from the FA Cup replay in 1990 because Ferguson felt the keeper had a poor performance. Paul Ince got too big for his boots and was offloaded to Italy, Jaap Stam crossed Ferguson with his autobiography and was quickly transfered to Lazio. If it is for the good of the team Ferguson will not hestitate to swing the axe.

Fergie has also perfected the "seige mentality" at both Aberdeen and United. Telling his team the whole world is against them and hates them, he tells them to prove all the United haters wrong and show they are the best. He is the master of mind games, loving to wind up opposing managers with subtle attacks, mischievous swipes and deception. Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish were left foaming at the mouth but in Arsene Wenger, Fergie appeared to have a man who could handle the mind games. That is, until the climaxtic weeks if the 2003 season when Wenger finally cracked under the pressure of losing the title. The normally calm Frenchman was stressed and clearly rattled, resorting to a state of denial with bizarre excuses and statements about how Arsenal where really the better team (despite finishing 5 points adrift). It was all too evident, mischievous Fergie had got to him.

Buying/bargains

In Ferguson's working class background there was economic hardship, extravagant wasteful spending was avoided. You can see this philosophy throughout most of Fergie's United career. Even with United's large transfer budget he was often reluctant to spend it unless it is absolutely necessary. When he does spend big money he has always bought wisely with players like Pallister, Keane, Cole, Yorke, Stam, Barthez. His most recent sucess has to be the purchase of Ruud van Nistelrooy, who Fergsuon kept faith with despite his long period out with serious injury. Ruud's 79 goals in 100 appearances shows how wise the manager was to bring the Dutch goal machine to Old Trafford.

When you consider his 15 years at Old Trafford and the amount of players bought, there has been very few failures (Milne, Poborsky, Cryuff?). Recently, as the club finally gave him more financial clout, Fergie has shelled out really big money on the likes of Veron and Ferdinand in the quest for a second European Champions League. However, Ferguson is still the master of the bargain buy: Cantona, Schmeichel, Solskjaer, Johnsen, Irwin, Sharpe and Kanchelskis. Remember, United's two greats of the 1990's, Cantona and Schmeichel cost less than £2 million between them.

Conclusion

There can be no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson is a managerial genius, a one man success machine and a born winner. No matter what this man had done in life, he'd have been a winner. His instincts and skills are so finely tuned he would be successful in any field. Of course for those not connected with United there is no love lost, but as the philosopher Machiavelli once said "it is better to be feared than loved". Fergie's rivals fear and respect him above all other managers. His achievements at United and Aberdeen make him the most successful British manager ever, on the continent only Giovanni Trapattoni, Fabio Cappello and Ottmar Hitzfeld can even come close.

In modern football with its coaches and technical directors, he is the last in a long line of the great managers like Busby, Shankly, Stein, Clough, Paisley and Revie. Great personalities who ruled the club and everybody knew it - they always got what they wanted. Modern manager are often slaves to the media, technocrats who do what they are told. Not Fergie, he is the man at the helm of Old Trafford, the man that really co-ordinates this huge red machine. His personal influence based on his record and personality means he always gets his way. Martin Edwards will talk of how good financial planning has made United the richest club in the world, but everybody knows that without Ferguson's eight League titles, four FA Cups and the European Cup, United wouldn't even be half as rich as they are now.

When Sir Alex does finally step down who can possibly follow in his footsteps? The club's foundations are too strong for United to go the way of post Busby years and the relegation of 1974, however any future manger will be living in Ferguson's gargantuan shadow with the fans huge expectations like a mountain on his shoulders. Still, we have three more years of the great Fergie era to go - enjoy it while you can because its like may never come again. The man who arrived in 1986 looking up to Sir Matt Busby, today in 2003 has eclipsed even his mighty achievements. When history looks back in 25 years time, Sir Alex Ferguson will be regarded as the greatest ever manager of Manchester United. He is on a pedestal with the all-time immortals of the game and there will never be another manager like him, that there can be absolutely no doubt.

Fergie trivia

His house is named "Fairfields" after the Clydeside shipyard his father worked in. Ferguson followed his Dad by working as an apprentice toolmaker and later a shop steward.

Football teams were one area that Alex's father did not influence him in. His dad supported Celtic, however, Fergie was a big Rangers fan and would later go on to play for them.

Ferguson was made the scapegoat for Rangers 4-0 defeat by Celtic in the 1969 Scottish Cup final. The manager blamed him for bad marking at a corner even though he was a centre-forward!

When he finished his playing career he became a pub landlord.

One of his hobbies is music. He is learning to play the piano in his spare time.

Sir Alex is a Scottish Socialist and strong supporter of the Labour party and Tony Blair.

Fergie owns several racehorses and regularly watches them in action.

When he gets angry he shouts at players close to their face - it is called "the hairdryer treatment".

His son Darren played a few times for United in the early 1990's. He now plays for Wrexham.

He was appointed caretaker manager of Scotland following death of Jock Stein during the 1985 Wales v Scotland World Cup qualifier and managed them in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Fergie was voted the 'Best Coach' in Europe at the 1999 UEFA Football Awards and received the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award in 2001.

He is a Freeman of Manchester, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager in British football history with 14 major trophies in England, not to mention the trophies he won at Aberdeen.

He has won five FA Cup Finals - no other manager has achieved this in England.

Management Honours

1980 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1982 Scottish League Cup - Winner

1982 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1983 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1983 European Cup Winners Cup - Winner

1984 Scottish F.A. Cup - Winner

1984 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1985 Scottish Premier League - Winner

1986 Scottish FA Cup - Winner

1990 F.A. Cup - Winner

1991 European Cup Winners Cup - Winner

1991 European Super Cup - Winner

1992 League Cup - Winner

1993 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1994 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1994 F.A. Cup - Winner

1996 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1996 F.A. Cup - Winner

1997 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1999 F.A. Premier League - Winner

1999 F.A. Cup - Winner

1999 European Champions League - Winner

1999 Intercontinental Cup - Winner

2000 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2001 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2003 F.A. Premier League - Winner

2004 F.A. Cup - Winner

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arsen wnger is the best, arsenal is my team and there aint nothing none of y'all can do about that.

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Newbie

U aint ma boy?

No offences taken.

Sorry son!

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@huc

i'm not your boy, its just what i think, and my opinion tooo,

its valid

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Newbie

Thatz ma boy!

Word is bond.

I must confess u and nightrider are quite different from the normal Arsenal stereotypes that dwells here.

Thumbz Up!

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@huc and 4 play

you guys should realise one thing,

not all arsenal fans are the same, because some set of arsenal fans make noise about their team doesn't mean you hate the whole nigerian arsenal supporters.

As for me Fergie is the best, like mourinho said, "a manager's manager"

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Newbie

SAF is the best coach in the premiership. He will stay that way because no other team will give their coach the freehand and leeway that Fergie has received over the years.

Forget the crap about him having money to buy "Stars"; He makes stars. If it only boiled down to the cash, Essien would have been at OT not SB.

Count how many "stars" are in the current team-

Rooney,Ronaldo,Heinze,Fletcher,O'Shea,Pique,Vidic,Park,Richardson,Rossi- et al.

These guys are not yet the finished product; give them 2-3 more years and then you can start to complain about their stardom.

Call a spade a spade- Not an implement for digging!

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Newbie

One day someone in this forum will also say that Diaby and Theo walcot were known names.

Hold on and see what prof turns them into!!!!!!!!!

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Word is Bond,dawg!

U ripped 'em.

Take that Gooner roaches!

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Newbie

As for me Rapheal Benitez is the best.

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Newbie

Gunners finding it difficult to cope, what a laff!!!!!!

i'm just quiet because i'm waiting for Man-u to beat barcelona in the champions league final. I'm banking on ferdinand to shut out dinho and for rooney to score a hat trick. After all you guys have gone unbeaten all season and have kept ten clean sheets.

UP MAN_U !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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