Football is a game constantly in flux but one constant seems to be Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Ferguson is the longest serving manager in the football league and also the most successful having won 34 domestic and European trophies.
Taking charge in 1986, Ferguson’s success was far from immediate. He had to wait until 1993 for his first league title, helped along by the signing of the enigmatic showman Eric Cantona. Ferguson went on to win 12 league titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Champions Leagues.
Ferguson has managed a range of superstars including household names like Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and Paul Scholes and one of his biggest challenges has been to control the superstar egos of the modern footballer. Ferguson has always instilled the idea that no player is bigger than the club and has often sold players at the height of their game without any adverse effects on his team. Beckham, Ince, Stam, Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy were all sold for big fees and quickly replaced.
Ferguson is now 70 and faces what is possibly the biggest challenge of his Man United career yet; to stave off the threat of arch rivals Manchester City. City have unlimited financial backing from their wealthy Arab consortium and seem to have built a steady squad with a strong manager. Unlike the threat from Chelsea who now seems to a team in transition, it seems City have been fashioned with a long term plan in mind, masterminded by Roberto Mancini.
In Ferguson’s Man United tenure, City have been through an incredible 14 different managers highlighting Fergusons incredible staying power. Ferguson has built a winner’s mentality in Man United and they have the craft and guile to take on Man City even though the Man United squad looks slightly inferior on paper. We’ll soon see in the next season if Alex Ferguson can meet the challenge of City and a newly revived Chelsea.
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