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28/09/2011 09:30

Papers: Forgotten winners

Rob Bagchi writes in The Guardian...

The forgotten winners Sir Alex left behind 
Candlemakers must be toasting Sir Alex Ferguson as each milestone approaches in 2011: Manchester United's record-breaking 19th title in May will be followed by silver jubilee celebrations for 25 years at Old Trafford on 6 November before Happy Birthday segues into Auld Lang Syne to commemorate the master rebuilder racking up three score years and 10 on Hogmanay. Ferguson is one of only 10 managers alive who have won an English league championship and his achievements are put into context when you consider the fates of three others of his generation who have not enjoyed such longevity. Dave Mackay and Ron Saunders are settled into happy retirement; Kenny Dalglish, Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho remain on active duty; Carlo Ancelotti, temporarily sidelined, plots his next foray but Howard Kendall, George Graham and Howard Wilkinson have each been missing in action essentially for more than a decade. Every one of the three is younger than Ferguson and each was more successful sooner than him yet Kendall has been absent from the fray for 12 years, Graham 10 and, for all his executive attainments at the Football Association, League Managers Association and as the interim chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, Wilkinson has been employed in his primary trade for less than six months during the past 15 years.

All of the newspapers cover the 3-3 draw with Basel in detail, including The Times, where Tony Cascarino talks of defensive frailties for the champions. The most predictable headline was perhaps in The Sun, who lead with 'Basel Faulty'.

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