Former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen has explained what he believes made Sir Alex Ferguson one of the greatest bosses ever.
Ferguson’s record at Old Trafford will likely never be matched. When he retired in 2013, he left with a trophy haul consisting of 13 Premier Leagues, 10 Community Shields, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues, a FIFA Club World Cup and a UEFA Super Cup.
United have struggled since his departure and even look set to miss out on Champions League qualification – not for the first time since Ferguson stepped down. But what was it that made Sir Alex Ferguson such a gifted gaffer?
Speaking on the Training Ground Guru Podcast, Meulensteen opened up on Ferguson’s strengths. When asked about how he managed to dominate for so long, Meulensteen said: “Personality, commitment and drive, knowledge, the right people, adaptability, man management and delegating.
“People would say to me, ‘it must have been a difficult job working with Sir Alex Ferguson‘. Absolutely not, it was a joy. I never felt any moment of anxiety and that was because of how he managed and how he was with everyone. Every single session he would walk in, go past you and tap you on the shoulder, ‘well done’.
“He was very engaging, with a great sense of humour. He loved a good craic and always had jokes or riddles. Before away games, the players would eat at seven and we as a staff would eat at eight. And a thing that always stuck with me – we hardly ever had any formal meetings.
“Everything that got discussed was informal, on the training pitch or around the dinner table. He had the ability to move with the times. Fabio and Rafael were young enough to have been his grandchildren, but he adapted with the times and technology, he grew with it.
“Pre-match analysis was chopped up – introduction, opposition, how did other teams beat them but eventually it was all about us, 75/25. Because we are Man United. How we will win the game. And that was reinforced in the last session before the game. He would hardly ever let anyone know the line-up until the day of the game. He wanted the players to be on their toes all the time.”
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