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Thursday 19 April 2012

20 Seasons Awards: Best Manager nominee Sir Alex Ferguson

The Manchester United boss's Premier League contemporaries on what makes him so special

Sir Alex Ferguson has won an incredible 12 Premier League titles at Manchester United


As part of the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards, a panel of leading football figures, journalists and commentators will choose the Best Manager in the history of the competition.

One name that will feature prominently in the discussion is that of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been in charge of the Old Trafford side for the duration of the Premier League.

Ferguson has won 12 of the 19 Premier League titles and here some of his contemporaries tell why he been so successful.


"Sir Alex led us to our first title in 1992/93 and he is on the verge of winning another one which would make it 13 - a quite remarkable achievement. Knowing how hard the first one was, it's amazing he's still there is trying to do it again.

"He has a magnificent humility about him that is second to none"
- Steve Bruce

"You've got to be talented as well as hard. You have got to earn respect, whether you're nice and put an arm around shoulders, whether you give players a dig, whether you give them a rollocking, it's all part of management which he has evolved in.

"The one thing we've all got is a huge respect for him because of what he's achieved and what he's done in the game, and the way he is.

"It doesn't matter whether you're the boot boy or the superstar, he treats everybody the same. He has a magnificent humility about him which is second to none and that makes him the great iconic figure that he is."


"He's not just a manager, he's someone you can talk to, a father figure within the club. The day after you retire, you sort of start to make sense of all the things he told you in the beginning. He taught us all so much.

"Manchester United already had a great history, but he has made it what it is today. His longevity shows his belief and I honestly don't think there will ever be anyone like him ever again."


"I wouldn't have had the same career without him, that's for sure"
- Gary Neville

"I think you first and foremost have to look at the obvious in this category and Sir Alex Ferguson stands above everyone - I think people are going to be unanimous in that.

"How he's achieved what he has done over the past 20 years I think is absolutely incredible, so we all have to stand up, salute, admire and congratulate him."


"There aren't many other managers who have the guts and courage to believe in young people like he does time after time. Who knows what sort of career I would have had without him? It wouldn't have been the same, that's for sure.

"I believe he is a pioneer. One of his greatest legacies to modern-day football will be the squad system. He was accused of disrespecting the game by picking kids in a League Cup tie, but he had the foresight to know what was needed and he stuck to it."


"I have a feeling the Best Manager might be Scottish, don't you think? I don't think there can be many doubts that Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest in Premier League history.

"You've got to hand it to Sir Alex - he's done it time and time and time again. José Mourinho was great and Kenny Dalglish was brilliant for me when Blackburn won the title, but you've got to go for Sir Alex."


"Sir Alex is a genius. He gives players great values for life, not just football"
- Sam Allardyce

"Sir Alex is like the Godfather - nothing comes above and beyond him or they're out, and rightly so as well. I believe that's the way forward in terms of building a legacy, and it doesn't come bigger than Manchester United.

"The philosophy of the club is built on discipline and throughout the Premier League nobody's really been able to touch them over a prolonged period of time. They buy a certain type of player, play the Manchester United way and it works."


"What can you say about Sir Alex? The success he's had over such a prolonged period of time... I don't think anybody anywhere could have predicted what impact he has made in English football.

"It's just quite an incredible show of leadership and imagination and creativity in all the teams he's built, and the amount of titles he has won individually will be hard to beat."


"Sir Alex is a genius. As a manager it is difficult enough to sustain success with one team that you've built, but when you've built six and it's still successful and it's still winning trophies and championships and Premier Leagues.... I think that just tells you everything about the man that's in charge.

"He's a fatherly figure to the younger ones and guides them through the early stages, the euphoria and the media attention. He doesn't let them get carried away, he keeps their feet on the ground. He lets them know when they're not doing enough and these are great values for life, never mind football."

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Key Points

  • Premier League is celebrating 20 Seasons
  • Awards for the greatest stars and best moments in Premier League history
  • An expert panel will decide on the Best Manager