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Sir Matt Busby, the father of Manchester United.


Sir Alex Ferguson, the master of Manchester United.

Let the debate begin!

Sir Matt Busby

[edit] Coaching career
After peace was declared in 1945, the 36 year-old Busby was offered a job on the coaching staff at Anfield. However, Busby had requested that he be given more responsibilities over the playing side of the club, a job that was traditionally reserved for the club secretary. Liverpool's directors refused to budge, and when Busby was offered the chance to manage the club with no interference from the board, Billy McConnell, the Liverpool chairman at the time, eventually persuaded Anfield directors to let Busby leave.

Busby took over the reins at Manchester United at the beginning of October 1946. He immediately put his mark on the side leading them to the runners-up spot in the league, behind his former employers Liverpool, by the end of the 1946-47 season. Manchester United were runners-up in the league in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951 before winning the championship in 1952. By this stage, the side captained by Johnny Carey was beginning to show its age, and a new set of players had to be found.

Busby, who had achieved a great deal of success in spite of his lack of previous managerial experience, was expected to spend large sums of money on high profile players. Instead, he gradually replaced the older players with players as young as 16 and 17. These included right-back Bill Foulkes, centre-halves Mark Jones and Jackie Blanchflower, wingers Albert Scanlon and David Pegg and forward Bill Whelan. Among them was Duncan Edwards, judged by many[who?] to be England's finest player of his era, and capped by England at 18 - setting a record for the youngest-ever full international that remained unbroken for more than 40 years.

During this period, the team picked up the affectionate nickname the Busby Babes, due to the youthfulness of some of the players he fielded. They won the league in both 1956 and 1957, and were runners-up to Aston Villa in the 1957 FA Cup Final. The young side was so successful that centre-forward Tommy Taylor and goalkeeper Harry Gregg were United's only major signings over a spell of four years.

Busby and his team began the 1957-58 season full of ambition for an assault on the Football League title, FA Cup and European Cup. On the way home from a European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade on 6 February 1958, their plane crashed on the runway at Munich Airport. Seven players and three club officials were among the 23 people who were killed. Duncan Edwards later died from his injuries, while two other players were injured to such an extent that they never played again. Busby suffered multiple injuries and twice received the last rites, but he recovered from his injuries and left hospital after two months. He was present at a new-look United side's FA Cup final defeat against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley three months later, and resumed full managerial duties from assistant Jimmy Murphy for the following season.

Busby had been appointed as Scotland's temporary manager and took charge of the team for two games later that year against Wales and Northern Ireland, giving Denis Law his first cap.

After the crash, Busby built a new side around Munich survivors including Harry Gregg, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes. He also brought in players from other clubs - these included David Herd, Albert Quixall and Denis Law. By 1964, Busby had discovered an exciting young talent in the shape of Northern Irish forward George Best, rated by many as the finest footballer of the decade.

In 1963, Busby had successfully rebuilt United as he guided them to a 3-1 victory over Leicester City in the FA Cup final. They were league champions in 1965 and again in 1967, with only a defeat on the final day of the 1965-66 season stopping them from recording a rare championship hat-trick.

The biggest success of his career came on 29 May 1968 when the team won the European Cup. He retired as manager a year later but remained at the club as a director, handing over managerial duties to trainer and former player Wilf McGuinness. When McGuinness was sacked in December 1970, Busby briefly returned to his managerial duties, although there was never any question of him returning as manager on a permanent basis. He then reverted to director for 11 years, being made president in 1982.

Busby was awarded the CBE in 1958 and was knighted following the European Cup victory in 1968. His testimonial was held at Old Trafford in August 1991, in which a Manchester United side featuring a new generation of star players including Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce took on a Republic of Ireland XI, the result was a 1-1 draw.

He died of cancer, aged 84, in January 1994. He was buried in Southern Cemetery, Manchester. In 1999 in securing an incredible treble (Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup), Manchester United won the European cup on what would have been Sir Matt's 90th birthday.

Busby was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game.

Managerial career trophy haul
Avg Win is 50%

As a manager

[edit] Manchester United (1945-1969, 1970-1971)
First Division winner: 1951-52, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1964-65, 1966-67
First Division runner-up: 1946-47, 1947-48, 1948-49, 1950-51, 1958-59, 1963-64, 1967-68
FA Cup winner: 1948, 1963
FA Cup runner-up: 1957, 1958
European Cup winner: 1968 European Cup Final
Charity Shield winner: 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967
Charity Shield runner-up: 1948 and 1963
Intercontinental Cup runner-up: 1968

Sir Alec Ferguson

Managing Manchester United

[edit] First seasons at United
He was appointed manager at Old Trafford on 6 November 1986. Ferguson was worried that many of the players, such as Norman Whiteside, Paul McGrath and Bryan Robson were drinking too much and was "depressed" by their level of fitness, but he managed to increase the players' discipline and United climbed up the table to finish the season in 11th place. His mother died from lung cancer in late 1986.

Ferguson made several major signings in the 1987–88 season, including Steve Bruce, Viv Anderson, Brian McClair and Jim Leighton. The new players greatly improved the team and they finished in second place, nine points behind Liverpool.

United were expected to do well when Mark Hughes returned to the club, but the 1988-89 season was a disappointment for them, finishing eleventh in the league and losing 1–0 at home to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup quarter final.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
[edit] First trophy in England
During the summer of 1989 United signed two new midfielders to bolster their chances of success in the 1989-90 season: Nottingham Forest's Neil Webb and West Ham United's Paul Ince. Middlesbrough's 24-year-old central defender Gary Pallister also joined the club for a fee of £2.3million. On the opening day of the 1989-90 season, United beat defending champions Arsenal 4-1. But in September, United suffered a humiliating 5–1 away defeat against neighbours Manchester City. Things did not improve during the rest of the 1989, and in November a banner declaring "Three years of excuses and it's still crap. Ta ra Fergie." was displayed at Old Trafford, and many journalists and supporters called for Ferguson to be sacked.[30] United went on a run of six defeats and two draws in eight games and Ferguson later described December 1989 as "the darkest period [he had] ever suffered in the game."[31]

In January 1990, Manchester United were drawn away to Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup. Forest were one of the most feared cup teams in that era, and it was expected that United would lose the match and Ferguson would consequently be sacked, but United won the game 1–0 and eventually reached the final. This cup win is often cited as the match which saved Ferguson's Old Trafford career.

In the final United drew 3–3 with Crystal Palace. United's goalkeeper, Jim Leighton, was heavily criticised for two of Crystal Palace's goals, and his form over the whole season had been poor. Ferguson surprised many by replacing Leighton with Les Sealey for the replay, feeling that Leighton was "not in the right mental state" to play in the replay.[32] United won the match 1–0 with a goal from defender Lee Martin. As FA Cup winners, United became England's representatives in the European Cup Winners Cup the following season. However, they had finished a disappointing 13th in the league.

[edit] European success, but a disappointment in the league
Although United's league form improved greatly in 1990–91, they were still inconsistent and finished sixth. They reached the League Cup final, but lost 1–0 to Sheffield Wednesday, who were managed by Ferguson's predecessor at United, Ron Atkinson. They also reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, beating that season's Spanish champions Barcelona in the final. After the match, Ferguson announced to journalists that United would win the league the following season.[33] It was a brave prediction, considering that the club had failed to do so since 1967.

The 1991–92 season did not live up to Ferguson's expectations and in Ferguson's words, "many in the media felt that [his] mistakes had contributed to the misery".[34] They won the League Cup and Super Cup for the first time but lost out on the league title to rivals Leeds United after leading the table for much of the season. Ferguson felt that his failure to sign Mick Harford from Luton Town had cost United the league, and that he needed "an extra dimension" to the team if they were to win the league the following season.[35]

[edit] 1992–1993: Champions at last
After a slow start to the season (they were 10th of 22 at the beginning of November) it looked as though United would miss out on the championship again. But then Alex Ferguson paid Leeds United £1.2 million for their French striker Eric Cantona and the deal proved to be a turning point in the history of Manchester United. Cantona formed a strong partnership with Mark Hughes and fired the club to the top of the table, ending United's 26-year wait, and also making them the first ever Premiership Champions, after the league reform. Alex Ferguson was voted Manager of the Year by the League Managers' Association.

[edit] 1993–1994: The Double
1993–94 brought more success. He added Nottingham Forest's 22-year-old midfielder Roy Keane to the ranks for a British record fee of £3.75million as a long term replacement for Bryan Robson, who was nearing the end of his career.

United led the 1993–94 Premiership table virtually from start to finish. Cantona was top scorer with 25 goals in all competitions despite being sent off twice in the space of five days in March 1994. United also reached the League Cup final but lost 3-1 to Ron Atkinson's Aston Villa. In the FA Cup final Manchester United achieved an impressive 4-0 scoreline against Chelsea. United had become only the sixth club ever to win the League Championship/FA Cup double. Ferguson made only one close-season signing, paying Blackburn Rovers £1.2million for David May.

[edit] 1994–1995: Trophyless season
1994–95 was a harder season for Ferguson. Cantona assaulted a Crystal Palace supporter in a game at Selhurst Park, and it seemed likely he would leave English football. An eight month ban saw Cantona miss the final four months of the season. He also received a 14-day prison sentence for the offence but the sentence was quashed on appeal and replaced by a 120-hour community service order. On the brighter side, United paid a British record fee of £7million for Newcastle's prolific striker Andy Cole, with young winger Keith Gillespie heading to the north-east in exchange.

However, the championship slipped out of Manchester United's grasp as they drew 1–1 with West Ham United on the final day of the season, when a win would have given them the league. United also lost the FA Cup final in a 1-0 defeat to Everton.

[edit] 1995–1996: The Double Double
Ferguson was heavily criticised in the summer of 1995 when three of United's star players were allowed to leave and replacements were not bought. First Paul Ince moved to Internazionale of Italy for £7.5 million, long serving striker Mark Hughes was suddenly sold to Chelsea in a £1.5 million deal, and Andrei Kanchelskis was sold to Everton. It was widely known that Ferguson felt that United had a number of young players who were ready to play in the first team. The youngsters, who would be known as "Fergie's Fledglings", included Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, who would all go on to be important members of the team.

When United lost their first league match 3–1 to Aston Villa, the media swooped upon Ferguson with undisguised glee. They wrote United off because Alex Ferguson's squad contained so many young and inexperienced players. Match of the Day pundit, Alan Hansen infamously proclaimed that "you can't win anything with kids". However, the young players performed well and United won their next five matches.

Cantona's return from suspension was a boost, but they found themselves fourteen points behind Newcastle. However a series of good results in early 1996 saw the gap close, and from early March onwards United led the table. This contrasted with a disastrous run of form for Newcastle, whose manager, Kevin Keegan, succumbed to the immense pressure of the title race, and the mind games Ferguson famously loves to play with opposing managers. His famous outburst on live television, "I'd love it if we beat them! Love it!" has gone down in football legend as Fergie's greatest personal victory over another manager. United's Premiership title success was confirmed on the final day of the season. They played Liverpool in that year's FA Cup final, winning 1–0 with a late goal by Cantona.

[edit] 1996–1997: Another title
1996–97 saw Alex Ferguson guide Manchester United to their fourth Premiership title in five seasons. In late October, they suffered three league defeats in a row and conceded 13 goals in the process. They also lost their 40 year unbeaten home record in Europe to unfancied Turkish side Fenerbahçe. But they still reached the Champions League semi final, where they lost to Borussia Dortmund of Germany. At the end of the season, Cantona surprisingly retired from football.

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[edit] 1997–1998: No silverware
Ferguson made two new signings to bolster United's challenge for the 1997-98 season, 31-year-old England striker Teddy Sheringham and defender Henning Berg. However the season ended trophyless as Arsenal won the Premiership under French manager Arsene Wenger, who started a long-lasting rivalry with Ferguson. The summer of 1998 saw striker Dwight Yorke, Dutch defender Jaap Stam and the Swedish winger Jesper Blomqvist join Manchester United.

[edit] 1998–1999: The Treble
1998–99 saw the club winning an unprecedented treble of the Premiership title, FA Cup and Champions League. The season was characterized by highly dramatic matches. In the Champions League semi-final second leg, United conceded two early goals away to Juventus; however, inspired by Roy Keane, who would later miss the final through suspension, United came back to beat Juventus 3-2 and reach their first European Cup final since 1968. In the FA Cup semi-final, United faced close rivals Arsenal and appeared to be heading for defeat when Keane was sent off and Arsenal were awarded a last-minute penalty. Peter Schmeichel saved the penalty, and in extra time Ryan Giggs ran the length of the pitch to score perhaps the most memorable goal of his career to win the match. They then defeated Newcastle United 2-0 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley thanks to goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes. The European triumph was the most incredible of all. With 90 minutes on the clock they were 1-0 down to Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp in Barcelona thanks to a Mario Basler free kick, but in 3 minutes of injury time allowed by referee Pierluigi Collina, Teddy Sheringham, a substitute, equalised and extra time looked certain. But with just seconds left on the clock, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, also a late substitution scored the winning goal and history was made.

On 12 June 1999, Alex Ferguson received a knighthood in recognition of his services to the game.[36]

[edit] 1999-2000: Title number 6
Manchester United ended the 1999-2000 season as champions with just three Premiership defeats, and a cushion of 18 points. The massive gap between United and the rest of the Premiership caused some to wonder if the club's financial dominance was developing into a problem for the English game.

In April 2000, it was announced that Manchester United had agreed to sign Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy from PSV Eindhoven for a British record fee of £18million. But the move was put on hold when van Nistelrooy failed a medical, and he then returned to his homeland in a bid to regain fitness, only to suffer a serious knee injury which ruled him out for almost a year.

[edit] 2000-01: Title number 7
29-year-old French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was signed from Monaco for £7.8million - making him the most expensive goalkeeper to be signed by a British club, and United won the title again. During the 2001 close season Ruud van Nistelrooy joined, and soon after Manchester United again broke the British transfer record - this time paying Lazio £28.1million for Argentine attacking midfielder Juan Sebastián Verón, although he failed to live up to the high expectations his transfer fee suggested and he was sold to Chelsea for £15million only two years later.

[edit] 2001-02: Trophyless season
Two games into the 2001-02 season, Dutch central defender Jaap Stam was sold to Lazio in a £16million deal. The reason for Stam's departure was believed to have been claims in his autobiography Head to Head that he had been illegally spoken to about a move to Manchester United by Alex Ferguson, before his previous club PSV Eindhoven had been informed.[citation needed] Ferguson replaced Stam with Internazionale's 36-year-old central defender Laurent Blanc.

On 8 December 2001, Manchester United were ninth in the Premiership - 11 points behind leaders Liverpool who had a game in hand. Then came a dramatic turn around in form: between mid-December and late January, eight successive wins saw Manchester United climb to the top of the Premiership and put their title challenge back on track. Despite this, United finished third in the Premiership as rival Arsene Wenger clinched the title for Arsenal at Old Trafford with a 1-0 win in the penultimate game of the season.

United were also unsuccessful in Europe, losing the Champions League semi-final on away goals to Bayer Leverkusen.

[edit] Aborted retirement
The 2001-02 season was to have been Ferguson's last as Manchester United manager, and the looming date of his retirement was cited by many as a reason for the team's loss of form. Ferguson himself admitted that the decision to pre-announce his retirement had resulted in a negative effect on the players and on his ability to impose discipline. But in February 2002 he agreed to stay in charge for at least another three years.

The close season saw Manchester United break the British transfer record yet again when they paid Leeds United £30million for 24-year-old central defender Rio Ferdinand.

[edit] 2002-03: Title number 8
Manchester United won their eighth Premiership title yet just over two months before the end of the season they were eight points behind leaders Arsenal. But an improvement in form for United, and a decline for Arsenal, saw the Premiership trophy gradually slip out of the Londoners' grasp and push it back in the direction of Old Trafford. Ferguson described the 02/03 championship as his most satisfying ever, due to the nature of a remarkable comeback. Not for the first time, Ferguson had proven to be a master of managerial mind-games, successfully rattling the composure of Arsenal and their otherwise unflappable manager Arsène Wenger.

[edit] 2003-04: FA Cup glory
Ferguson guided Manchester United to their eleventh FA Cup at the end of the 2003-04 season, but it was a disappointing season which had seen them finish third in the Premiership and suffer Champions League elimination at the hands of eventual winners FC Porto. Rio Ferdinand missed the final four months of the season, as he served the beginning of an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test. New signings like Eric Djemba-Djemba and José Kléberson were disappointing, but there was at least one productive signing - 19-year-old Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

[edit] 2004-05: Trophyless season
At the beginning of the 2004-05 season, Wayne Rooney and Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze joined United while Cristiano Ronaldo continued where he had left off the previous season by putting in more match-winning performances. But the lack of a striker after Van Nistelrooy spent most of the season injured saw the club finish third for the third time in four seasons. In the F.A Cup they lost on penalties to Arsenal.

[edit] 2005-06: League Cup triumph, European failure
Ferguson's preparations for the season were disrupted by a high-profile dispute with major shareholder John Magnier, over the ownership of the racehorse Rock of Gibraltar. When Magnier and business partner J. P. McManus agreed to sell their shares to American business tycoon Malcolm Glazer, it cleared the way for Glazer to acquire full control of the club. This sparked violent protests from United fans, and disrupted Ferguson's plans to strengthen the team in the transfer market. In spite of this, United looked to solve their goalkeeping and midfield problems. For this, they signed the Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar from Fulham and Korean star Park Ji-Sung from PSV.

The season was one of transition. On 18 November, Roy Keane officially left the club, his contract ended by mutual consent. United failed to qualify for the knock-out phase of the UEFA Champions' League. In the January transfer window Serbian defender Nemanja Vidić and French full-back Patrice Evra were signed, and the side finished in second place in the league, behind runaway leaders Chelsea. Winning the League Cup was a consolation prize for lack of success elsewhere. Ruud van Nistelrooy's future at Old Trafford seemed to be in doubt after not starting in the Carling Cup final, and he departed at the end of the season.

[edit] 2006-07: Ferguson's 20th full season in charge

Ferguson with assistant manager Carlos Queiroz.Michael Carrick was signed as a replacement for Roy Keane for £14 million, although the figure may rise in the future to £18.6 million depending on appearances and results. United started the season well, and for the first time ever won their first four Premiership games. They set the early pace in the Premiership and never relinquished top spot from the tenth match of the 38-game season. The January 2006 signings had a huge impact on United's performances; Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidić came in to form a solid back line along with already existing players Rio Ferdinand and skipper Gary Neville. The signing of Michael Carrick, which was questioned and criticised by a large portion of the media, brought stability and further creativity in the United midfield, forming an effective partnership with Paul Scholes. Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs both underlined their value to the first team squad by adding significant pace and incisiveness in attack with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ferguson celebrated his 20th anniversary in charge of Manchester United on 6 November 2006. Tributes also came from Ferguson's players, both past and present,[37] as well as his old foe, Arsène Wenger,[38] his old captain, Roy Keane, and current players. The party was spoiled the following day when United endured a single-goal defeat at the hands of Southend in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. However, on 1 December it was announced that Manchester United had signed 35 year old Henrik Larsson on loan,[39] a player that Alex Ferguson had admired for many years, and attempted to capture previously. On 23 December 2006, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the club's 2000th goal under the helm of Ferguson in a match against Aston Villa.[40]

Manchester United subsequently won their ninth Premiership title but were denied a double by Chelsea's Didier Drogba scoring a late goal in the FA Cup Final. In the Champions League, the club reached the semi-finals, recording a 7-1 home win over Roma in the quarter-final second leg, but lost at the San Siro to Milan in the second leg of the semi-final.

[edit] 2007-08: The European Double
For the 2007-08 season, Ferguson made notable signings to reinforce United's first team. Long-term target Owen Hargreaves finally joined from Bayern Munich, bringing an end to a year of negotiations. Ferguson further bolstered the midfield with the additions of young Portuguese winger Nani and Brazilian playmaker Anderson. The last summer signing was of Carlos Tévez after a complex and protracted transfer saga.

United had their worst start to a season under Ferguson, drawing their first two league games before suffering a 1-0 defeat to crosstown rivals Manchester City. However, United recovered and began a tight race with Arsenal for the title. After a good run of form, Sir Alex claimed that throughout his time at Manchester United, this was the best squad he had managed to assemble thus far.[41]

On 16 February 2008, United beat Arsenal 4-0 in an FA Cup Fifth Round match at Old Trafford, but were knocked out by eventual winners Portsmouth in the Sixth Round on 8 March, losing 1–0 at home. United having had a penalty claim turned down, Ferguson alleged after the game that Keith Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, was "not doing his job properly". Ferguson was subsequently charged by the FA with improper conduct, which he decided to contest. This was the second charge Ferguson faced in the season, following his complaints against the referee after United lost 1-0 at Bolton Wanderers – a charge he decided not to contest.

On 11 May, Ferguson led Manchester United to a tenth Premier League title by beating Wigan Athletic 2-0 at the JJB Stadium, exactly 25 years to the day after he led Aberdeen to European glory against Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners' Cup. Nearest rivals Chelsea – level on points going into the final round of matches, but with an inferior goal difference – could only draw 1–1 at home to Bolton, finishing 2 points adrift of the champions.

On 21 May, Ferguson won his second European Cup with Manchester United as they beat Chelsea 6–5 on penalties in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, following a 1–1 draw after extra time in the first ever all-English UEFA Champions League Final. After winning the UEFA Champions League 2007-08 Ferguson had stated that his intention to leave Manchester United within the next three years.[42] Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill moved quickly to calm the speculation about Alex Ferguson's pending retirement.[43]

Manchester United trophy haul

Average win percentage = 58%

Premier League:
Winner: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08
Runner-up: 1994–95, 1997–98, 2005–06
Football League First Division:
Runner-up: 1987–88, 1991–92
FA Cup:
Winner: 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
Runner-up: 1994–95, 2004–05, 2006–07
League Cup:
Winner: 1991–92, 2005–06
Runner-up: 1990–91, 1993–94, 2002–03
FA Charity/Community Shield:
Winner: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007
Runner-up: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004
European competition

UEFA Champions League:
Winner: 1998–99, 2007–08
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup:
Winner: 1990–91
UEFA Super Cup:
Winner: 1991
Runner-up: 1999
International competition

Intercontinental Cup: 1999 winner

Tonnes to read here, hope you enjoyed it. Or even if you didn't read it... Give an opinion!

· Registered
25,282 Posts
Redrogue said:
A great read and well done to you. However there is no comparison as they are from different era's. The fact is they can both be said to be the greatest managers.
Agreed, its virtually impossible to seperate these 2 great men.
They will be forever remembered as the men who changed United.
I think it would be unfair to say one is better than the other.

· He wipes front to back
27,747 Posts
as others said impossible to split . people just comparing records need to guess what the babes would have gone on to win .

no surprise to me all best managers are dour scots or stuanch union type english --- clough/nicholson maybe our next boss should be cut from the same cloth

· Banned
4,620 Posts
I would be very surprised if anyone will be brave enough
to say one is better than the other !!

The fact is we'll never know !

Feb 6th 1958 took care of that ... :eek:

Would the Busby Babes have gone on to conquer Europe
for several years ?

Who knows.

But the chances are they could have done ...

As RD pointed out, Busby took over the team after the war
when they had a bombed out stadium and resurrected them
from the ashes. He did it again in 1958 after Munich !

His trophy haul is not even a close match to Fergies ... for
obvious reasons.

Fergie is the winning most manager to ever walk the planet !

Between the two of them, they have given United fans 50 of
the best years one could ever imagine as a fan - for that we
must be appreciative.

But to split thm would be an injustice, one that I just couldn't do.

Interesting fact: Sir Matt, Fergie, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein ...

Four of the finest managers to have ever lived I think you'll agree.

Along with Tommy Docherty (not so good as the others)

All born within 35 miles of each other in Bellshill, Govan, Burnbank,
Ayr and The Gorbals !!

There must be something special they add to the water up there
in Glasgow to produce such distinguished men in football

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297 Posts
not saying that Fergie isn't a brilliant coach because he is, BUT it can be argued that United have done so well under him because of their finacial powers. that factor has to be taken into account when comparing the two.

· Least popular Moderator
26,061 Posts
there success' are completely different so its impossible to judge. It would be 'interesting'* to see how they would have fared if they switched positions.

* interesting was the only word that fitted.

· Stretford Ender
2,454 Posts
if you measure a manager by trophies won then fergie is the best.

However throw into the mix the circumstances of how those trophies were won and I think Sir Matt tops it.

That is the simple reason why they are incomparable. Different era's with differing factors of how those successes came along.

· Registered
1,075 Posts
i think fergie is the better manager he has produced 3 great teams, numerous players that are becoming good managers in their own right and the work he did at aberdeen before moving to united place him at least equal with clough and paisley if not above.

· Registered
2,587 Posts
2 outstanding managers and MEN ,but when you read the form book {sadly circumstances play a big part} ,fergie is the clear winner by a very big margin.
we all know sir matt would have won far more with the babes but would he have matched fergies tally including aberdeens success , i very much doubt it ,i don't believe anybody can match it .so for me FERGIE is and will always be britains greatest football manager.

· Stretford Ender
2,454 Posts
rydersonthestorm said:
i think fergie is the better manager he has produced 3 great teams, numerous players that are becoming good managers in their own right and the work he did at aberdeen before moving to united place him at least equal with clough and paisley if not above.
Fergie may have built 3 teams but he didnt re-build one of those after coming back from the brink of death and the wipeout of one of his teams to then go on to lift the European Cup 10 years on.

This dont mean I am saying either is greater. Money plays a bigger part now. There was no BIG 4.

A league win back then can in no way compare to a league win nowadays.

All managers should be looked on as the best of their time.
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