Sir Alex Ferguson’s manager warning to Man Utd that was ignored by board

Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most respected figures at Old Trafford.

The Scot won a staggering 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four EFL trophies and of course two Champions League with Manchester United.

Arguably, the most impressive thing about Ferguson was his ability to evolve with the times and ensure his side played a brand of football that was both current and successful throughout his tenure in the hotseat.

Ferguson stepped down in 2013 and what followed was nothing short of a car crash.

David Moyes was initially appointed boss, but the Red Devils suffered a huge decline in results, prompting the board to abandon the “Man United way” and imitate the Chelsea approach of ‘hiring and firing’ in search of immediate success.

Sir Alex Ferguson with Ed Woodward

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Ferguson had a big hand in Moyes being the man to replace him at Old Trafford, and wanted United to give his compatriot time.

But United moved on to someone with a flashier CV and Louis van Gaal was hired.

Van Gaal immediately set about splashing the cash, hoping a new-look side jam-packed with superstars would have United on their way again.

But, just like Moyes, the Dutchman struggled.

Van Gaal was unable to channel Ferguson and bring immediate success and once again a finger hovered over the ‘sack’ button in the United boardroom.

David Moyes replaced Ferguson at Manchester United

By this time Ferguson had distanced himself a little more from the club.

He took a back set and allowed the new management to work out their problems without chiming in with ideas on how to turn things around.

But at the very end of March 2016 Ferguson was asked for his thoughts on Van Gaal’s situation, and what he made of the rumours that he could be sacked.

“It is dead easy to be critical,” Ferguson said.

“You have to be realistic about some things – the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, [Antonio] Valencia, [Luke] Shaw, these are big losses.

Louis van Gaal eventually replaced Moyes at Old Trafford

“It doesn’t matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact on the team.

“The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in [Anthony] Martial and Memphis [Depay] and their promise is good.

“You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby’s time, in my time.

“For 150 years of history, it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong.”

Ferguson, it seems, was keen to ensure United didn’t follow Chelsea further by adopting an even more unforgiving revolving door policy.

Ferguson is against United hiring and firing managers

But the Scot’s warning fell on deaf ears, with Van Gaal being sacked just two months later – two weeks after winning the FA Cup.

Vaan Gaal was promptly replaced by someone with an even flashier CV than his, Jose Mourinho, and the process was repeated.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was initially brought in to steady the ship in 2018, and then hired permanently, the Red Devils board showed signs that they were finally ready to take Ferguson’s advice on board.

The fact Solskjaer is still in the job despite United’s less than impressive start to the season, and the constant rumours regarding Mauricio Pochettino, is testament to this.

The Red Devils are sticking with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for now

Ferguson knows better than anyone that time is the most important thing a manager can be afforded, and something that he was granted during his long and successful tenure.

Without time, United wouldn’t have the trophy cabinet they boast today.

Will Man United sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season? Have your say here.

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