I'll make a Man out of U
June 30, 2017 1:23 AM   Subscribe

Thore Haugstad writes about the early life and career of Alex Ferguson before he took up the managerial role at Manchester United that he became most famous for.

The Strachan free kick against Bayern Munich mentioned in the article can be seen here.
posted by Dim Siawns (4 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm only part way through but I'm loving this. My dad is a huge Sir Alex fan. He's also Scottish so I can't wait to discuss this with him.
posted by biggreenplant at 3:28 AM on June 30, 2017

Oh this is fantastic. His Aberdeen side were magnificent, in many ways a much better team than anything he had at Man Utd until the early 90s.

Though Aberdeen lost their first two league games, it soon became clear that he had imbued the players with a more aggressive, almost hostile attitude. One team that found that out were Sir Bobby Robson’s Ipswich, whom they met in the UEFA Cup first round. At that time Ipswich were one of the top sides in England and worried little about the draw. But Aberdeen went at their throats and drew 1-1 away, then won 3-1 at home. “They were a really difficult team to play,” Terry Butcher told Grant. “Tough bastards. Fucking hell, really strong bastards.”

There's a probably-apocryphal story that when Bobby left Ipswich for the England job shortly afterwards, Ipswich's patrician chairman Patrick Cobbold asked him who should be his replacement. "Ferguson" he was told. Mr Patrick appointed Bobby Ferguson, Robson's amiable coach, Town began their descent into mediocrity, and Alex Ferguson went to Manchester and the rest is incredibly painful counter-factual history.
posted by bebrogued at 4:24 AM on June 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also, best title ever.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:44 AM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for a different side to him, here's a letter he wrote to Eric Cantona after the latter had walked away from the game still at the height of his powers, age 30.
posted by kersplunk at 6:32 AM on June 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

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