Alex Ferguson

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Alex Ferguson praises Mourinho as Man Utd boss

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Four years ago, Alex Ferguson stepped down as Manchester United manager with a fitting finish as Premier League champion.

The legendary manager has since watched hand-picked successor David Moyes struggle for a season before Louis Van Gaal hit similar managerial speed bumps over campaigns.

Now Jose Mourinho is in charge of Manchester United, and Ferguson is… pretty happy with the guy.

[ MORE: Premier League Player Power Rankings ]

Mourinho has United in sixth place, four points out of fourth and 14 back of pack leaders Chelsea. Ferguson sees a few too many draws in the bunch, but says the side is really coming along.

From the BBC:

“You can see he has got to grips with the club,” he said. “The team is playing really well and he has been very unlucky. He has had six 1-1 draws and in every game he has battered the opposition.

“If they hadn’t had all these draws, they would be there challenging Chelsea. That is the unfortunate part but he is going to have to live with that.”

Ferguson also spoke about new club record scorer Wayne Rooney and how Mourinho has settled down on the touchline, a feature he thinks has filtered down to the players onto the field.

Ferguson backs Mourinho’s Manchester United for “massive improvement”

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Jose Mourinho, seemingly, has the backing of legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who expects a  at Old Trafford.

[ WATCH: Mourinho presser highlights ]

The Portuguese managerial wizard was introduced to the press as United boss earlier on Tuesday, and Ferguson commented on the hiring soon afterward.

From Sky Sports:

“I think Jose was wrong to go back to Chelsea. It’s always difficult when you go back somewhere for a second time.

“He’s won the European Cup twice with different clubs and won titles with all the clubs he’s been at. You can’t ignore his record and I think Manchester United is the right kind of club for him.”
That’s all well and good, but Ferguson also hand-picked David Moyes to take over for him at Old Trafford, and he also said Louis van Gaal’s revolution was “brilliant”.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

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One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Alex Ferguson says big name Man Utd signings were “really important”

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Former Manchester United manager and current director Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on current Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal for buying some of the world’s best players.

[ MORE: Arsenal injury woes lessen | De Gea to Real Madrid? ]

Speaking to Manchester United TV, Ferguson said that in order for United to succeed they need the best players in the world. Sure, that seems obvious for any team, but Ferguson said it, so…

From the BBC:

“It was really important because you need quality at Manchester United, you need the best players,” Ferguson said.

The 72-year-old Scotsman, who won 38 trophies in his 26 years at United, told MUTV: “That’s the way the game is going today with fees likes £85m for Gareth Bale.

“When you can identify ability like that needed by Manchester United, they have the resources to do that.

“Those are fees I never quite equalled but nonetheless they were needing quite a big injection this year.”

You have to think David Moyes reads these comments and wants to karate kick a running lawnmower in frustration. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if United okayed the purchases or loans of one of he best players in the world (Angel Di Maria) to go with a stable of international standouts (Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera) that Moyes would’ve fared just a bit better?

Even better is Ferguson giving Van Gaal a high-five for handing debuts to a bunch of youngsters, like Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair because “it’s the United way” to give academy players a chance. Listen, SAF: pretty sure Everton, Charlton, Port Vale and the Plumbers Union of Northumberland would play kids if half their team was injured.

What is he supposed to say? I don’t know, but you feel a bit of an urge to take up for Moyes sometimes. Put in an impossible spot of taking over for a guy who basically informed him — not asked — he would be taking the job, Moyes gets to watch as his replacement is lauded for doing things he would’ve done, too, while beating a very easy early schedule.

UEFA considers Champions League seeding change; Ferguson uninterested

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As we told you last week, UEFA has considered changing its seeding structure to reward teams which win their domestic leagues, but has not yet decided whether to make a move after a “two-day UEFA meeting of top club coaches”.

Currently, the seeding is based off a club’s success in the last five cycles of UEFA Champions League play, something that has benefited clubs like Arsenal and Porto while hurting champions like Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

[ RELATED: Champions League groups set ]

The meeting was chaired by  UEFA coaching ambassador Alex Ferguson. The former boss of Manchester United thinks it doesn’t matter where a club is seeded due to the depth of quality across Europe.

From the Associated Press:

“I don’t necessarily think the seeding plays a great part,” said Ferguson, a two-time Champions League winner with Manchester United.

In last week’s draw, Man City was drawn into a group with Bundesliga winner Bayern Munich, and Juventus got Spanish champion Atletico Madrid. PSG’s group includes top-seeded Barcelona.

Still, Ferguson believes the depth of some groups in this season’s draw means there is little difference in quality.

“You take what you get and your performance is the most important thing,” said Ferguson, who led former clubs Aberdeen and Man United to win a combined four European club competitions. “Does it matter if one is the top seed or second seed or third seed?”

The review comes after last week’s UEFA Champions League group draw left several reigning clubs in difficult spots and some lesser performers with easier paths to the knockout rounds.

To be honest, it feels like Ferguson is full of baloney and would be up-in-arms if his club were in the positions of his noisy neighbors; Manchester City is in a group with No.1 seed Bayern Munich, No. 3 CSKA Moscow and No. 4 Roma instead of dodging Bayern altogether by being a No.1 seed.

If the UCL seeding continues to be based on UCL success, it behooves a team to focus on the competition rather than a weekend matchup in league play. For the ‘good’ of UEFA, it makes sense to keep the system in place, but — and a big but — is there any question that Porto and Benfica sitting as No. 1 seeds is a tad unfair, and will perpetuate their standing? Portugal is the fifth-ranked UEFA nation but has two spots in the top 8, while Germany (third) has one team and Italy (fourth) was blanked.

But while Man City faces a tough draw, so does Arsenal. The Gunners are the main non-Portuguese beneficiaries of the current seeding, as they haven’t placed higher than third in the Premier League since 2005 yet continue earning Pot I status.

A change to the seeding process seems like a good idea. What do you think?