Sir Alex Ferguson will always heralded as arguably football’s greatest ever manager.
In an era where Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho and others are forging their own legacies near the very top of the mountain, eclipsing the achievements of Ferguson is one serious task.
Taking the reigns at Manchester United in 1986, a slow start would ultimately snowball into Ferguson re-establishing the club as one of football’s heavyweights, dominating English football like nobody has ever seen before.
And testament to his abilities – along with, you know, the abundance of honours – is just how much United have struggled since his retirement in 2013.
After 26 incredible years with United where he won two Champions Leagues, 13 Premier Leagues, five FA Cups and led the team to the continental treble in 1999, Ferguson finally called time on an extraordinary career at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, bowing out by winning the league one last time.
Known for his exceptional versatility, trust in youth development and eye for a world class player, Ferguson was also a fierce man manager. Perhaps the greatest ever.
We’ve all heard the stories. When he walked into the room, everybody stopped what they were doing. All the eyes were on him. And rightly so.
To extract such a level of respect and dedication from various iterations of a squad at the same club over a number of years is incredible and something we’re very unlikely to see again. Ferguson was one of a kind and trying to tap into what made him such a success is nigh on impossible.
Floating between firm and fair, Ferguson just had a knack for it like no other. The man could command and obtain a 10/10 performance from just about any player or team on the planet, no matter the circumstances.
Be it resorting to the hairdryer treatment or putting an arm around the shoulder of someone, he knew exactly what was best for his players and towed the fine line to perfection on most occasions.
When the chips were down and his iconic United sides were behind or even looked down and out, you just knew they weren’t. That was down to Ferguson and the work he’d do in the dressing room at half-time. His team talks were a key part of his game and part of the reason why United were the comeback kings.
Footage has resurfaced online of one of those famed team talks – quite possibly his last ever – before kick-off at Michael Carrick’s testimonial match in 2017. To get such an insight into how he operates is incredible, thus it’s no surprise to see the tweet posted by @UnitedRedscom attract over a thousand retweets.
Check it out below.
Even after all those years, he’s still got it.
The way he can control a dressing room so effortlessly is absolutely astonishing. Every single player is relaxed and ready to operate at their very best, full of self belief – because of Ferguson’s demeanour.
The room is as you would expect – boisterous and joyous – but when it’s time for Ferguson to talk, everybody tones it down and listens.
Flicking between a joking tone and serious sentiment, he couples anecdotes with words of wisdom. Ferguson tells the squad ‘don’t bloody lose’ and you just know he means it, before talking about his final game at United – a 5-5 draw with West Brom.
He also chats to Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, highlighting their careers in punditry, before turning his attention towards Gary Neville, joking that he ‘owns half the city of Manchester’.
The part that hits home, though, is when he praises his squad, before discussing their achievements since retiring. “You’ve turned out [to be] great guys. You’ve done really well, all of you. Well done” He states.
Watching the video alone makes us want to go to war for him, so to hear it up close and personal in the dressing room must be another level of inspirational.
Hearing him control a dressing room like that is incredible insightful and will never get old. Ferguson truly is like no other.
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