Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson believes ex-players are not prepared for top-flight management

Jack Austin
The Independent
Sir Alex Ferguson believes former players are not prepared enough to be top-flight managers
Sir Alex Ferguson believes former players are not prepared enough to be top-flight managers

Sir Alex Ferguson claims former players are impatiently rushing into management and don’t have the type of preparation he did.

The former Manchester United boss, who enjoyed 27-and-a-half successful years at Old Trafford, winning 13 Premier League titles, two European Cups and five FA Cups, amongst other things, first had to cut his teeth in management in Scotland with St Mirren and Aberdeen.

He won three league titles with the latter, as well as a Uefa Cup, before coming south and turning United into England’s most successful club.

A number of the Scot’s former players such as Gary Neville have jumped into managerial jobs with a premature end, while Ryan Giggs is still looking for his first job as a number one.

And Ferguson believes that former players jumping straight into jobs is one of the reasons the life of a football manager is so short – as they are not well enough equipped and are consequently sacked after a short run of poor results.

He told ESPN FC: “Today I think a lot of players don't make their mind up that they want to stay in the game until it's too late. In other words, they don't have a rounded preparation like I did.

“They maybe take their badges at 32, 33 and then they expect to be managers two or three years later.

“It's a serious result industry. You have to win games. And if you don't have the proper preparation like I did, and a lot of coaches did, you're going to suffer.”

Ferguson was famously on the verge of the sack before he was saved by an FA Cup victory in 1989, and admitted that football had changed a lot since he began at United.

“It's a very, very difficult industry,” he added. “And of course the other side, as opposed to when I started, was that you have different owners.

“They have owners from all over the world, with different ambitions - there's a lack of patience in that respect. But you really need to be prepared to stay in the game. That's most important message I could give them all.”

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