Sir Alex Ferguson

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Premier League On this Day: The difference a year made at Man United

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These are strange times indeed for any Manchester United supporter under the age of 30 — you know, not winning, or at least competing for, the Premier League title every season.

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Seven years ago today — April 22, 2013 — the Red Devils were busy clinching their record 20th first-division title (13th in the PL era, also a record) on the back of a 33-minute hat trick from Robin van Persie, who claimed the Golden Boot (26 goals) by a three-goal margin to cap off a spectacular first season at Old Trafford. Goal no. 2 from the Dutchman is one of the best the PL has ever seen.

Little did we know at the time that it would be the last title of Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary career. Less than a month later, Ferguson announced that he would be retiring after 26 years at Man United. A day later, David Moyes was appointed the incoming manager to replace Ferguson, which ever so conveniently brings us to “On this Day” in 2014, a year later…

After less than 10 months in charge — with United sitting seventh in the table, 23 points back of the then-leaders Liverpool, with a record of 17W-6D-11L — Moyes was fired.

In retrospect, Moyes’ immediate struggles only served to highlight the genius that was Ferguson. He was the man who not only built United into a global powerhouse over two and a half decades, but also overcame every last obstacle which proved too great a hurdle for every United manager who followed him.

Wenger has turned down Premier League job offers

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Arsene Wenger has revealed he’s turned down offers to get back into management in the Premier League.

The Frenchman, 69, has been out of work since leaving Arsenal in the summer of 2018 and despite many believing he would move to the international game for his next coaching gig, he could still pop up in the club game.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports at the Nordoff Robbins Legends of Football gala dinner event in London, as Wenger was the recipient this year, Wenger revealed his 22 years in charge of Arsenal meant he could not take another job in England.

“I’m an Arsenal man and after that I’m a professional. I can’t stop working,” Wenger said. “I decided to move out of the Premier League because I am too linked with Arsenal. I had opportunities to work in England but I turned them down. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs] because there are people in charge and it would unfair to them.”

Plenty of distinguished guests, including former rival Sir Alex Ferguson, lavished praise on Wenger for his success.

“The career you had as a manager at Arsenal was absolutely fantastic – an absolute legend,” Ferguson said. “I loved the competition against you. We had some great times and it’s wonderful you’re getting this award tonight. So good luck, my blessing with you.”

Wenger is expected to be appointed to a senior role at FIFA, as he’s applied to become their Chief of Football Development for the game.

Given these comments and the potential gig with FIFA, have we seen the end of Wenger as a manager after his 22 years in charge of the Gunners?

There is no doubt he’s a legend of the game and his team played some of the best football the world has ever seen. Despite his final few years at Arsenal, Wenger’s legacy is intact and he will now wait for the right opportunity to crop up, wherever that may be.

All we know is that it won’t be in the Premier League.

Zlatan: Man United held back by Ferguson

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It’s not like Zlatan Ibrahimovic at all to speak his mind…

The LA Galaxy star, 37, has been talking to the Daily Mirror about his former club, Manchester United, and how things are going under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Putting their Scandinavian rivalry to one side, it appears Zlatan is trying to send Ole a message: stop mentioning Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson,” Ibrahimovic said. “They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson. If it was me, I would say I don’t have Ferguson anymore. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story.

“So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality. Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult.”

Does he have a point?

In some ways, yes, he is spot on. But we all knew moving on from one of the greatest managers in the history of the game would be a tough thing for United to do. It has proven that, as David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have come and gone in the six seasons since Fergie retired and United have an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League trophy and two top four finishes to show for it.

Zlatan is a mischievous fellow and also referred to the ‘Class of 92’ as the “Circle of Ferguson” and hit out at them for not working for the club and instead criticizing the team on TV.

Is he right to suggest Solskjaer should stop mentioning the good old days at United under Ferguson?

Many believe Solskjaer is being a little too nostalgic and is playing on the history of the club a little too much, but he did spend 10 years there as a player and was involved in the most successful period in club history. So, he’s probably going to be quite fond of that period.

Zlatan is spot on about the ongoing identity crisis at United. Everyone connected with the club is stuck in limbo between wanting the Ferguson era to return and to see a drastic change and good times roll around again.

Solskjaer’s appointment as caretaker boss, and probably the new permanent manager, will complicate things and probably switch the focus back to replicating the Ferguson era.

Report: Sir Alex pulled strings to secure Solskjaer appointment

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Sure, Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager of Manchester United in 2013, but it has widely been accepted that the legendary Scot would remain an influential figure for many years to come.

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Ever since helping to appoint David Moyes as his successor, not much has been said of Ferguson throwing his weight around come decision-making time. Until now.

According to a report from the Sun, Ferguson “helped make sure” that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed interim manager following this week’s dismissal of Jose Mourinho. Mike Phelan, Ferguson’s longtime assistant manager, will also serve as a first-team coach on Solskjaer’s staff.

“Once (chief executive Ed) Woodward had talked to the Glazers and told them he wanted Mourinho out, he needed to be certain he could get the right kind of figure in for the short term, at least.

“That’s where Fergie came in and he helped make sure the whole thing happened with Solskjaer and Phelan.”

Solskjaer has already revealed that Ferguson has been in touch and made himself available in a consultant’s capacity should his former player and prolific goalscorer require his services.

Sir Alex Ferguson returns to Old Trafford

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After suffering a brain hemorrhage in May, Sir Alex Ferguson is back at Old Trafford for the first time.

Manchester United’s legendary manager has battled back to health over the past four months, as he sent out a message in July thanking everyone for their well wishes on his road to recovery after brain surgery and spending time in intensive care.

Fergie arrived at Old Trafford ahead of United’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via and the most successful manager in British history was welcomed back by fans 15 minutes before kick off.

Sir Alex was applauded to his seat before the game as the fans celebrated his return to United’s home.

What a wonderful sight this is. Welcome back, Sir Alex.