There’s nobody in football better placed to identify and pay homage to Sir Alex’s skills as a football manager than those who know the job themselves.
It’s one thing us fans calling Sir Alex great, but it really takes on serious clout coming from those who have actually stalked the touchlines at the highest level…
Former assistant to Sir Alex, former manager of Middlesbrough, England, FC Twente, Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest
“Sir Alex is the perfect manager to work alongside. Many managers get stuck in their ways, but Alex always moves with the times. He’s always looking for the innovative things to get the edge to make sure he and Manchester United are at the forefront of their development in football. Look at the facilities they’ve got: the sports medicine, the academy, the scouting system, the stats research. It’s all geared to keeping United at the top.
“As a tactician he knows what he has to change and what time to change it. Sometimes you’re thinking: ‘how did that happen? How would that work?’ But it does. He’s got that ability to read games, stages of games, and he knows when momentum is with you and against you, and how to change it and having the right players to do that. While I worked with him I would sometimes wonder why he was making a change, but it would work and you’d think ‘the man’s a genius’.
West Ham boss and former Newcastle, Blackburn and Bolton manager
“He has the amazing adaptability to change his management style. I think his style is completely different now from year one to five, perhaps; now in his 25th year he’s moulded, and seen the changes in football and moved with the changes. Often successful managers tend to do what was successful for them and stay with that infrastructure too long, and ultimately that fails because it falls behind the times because football’s changing year in, year out.
"Sir Alex has managed to move himself forward. For example, we talk about how we’ve all recently moved into sports science and data and so on – he probably keeps one of the biggest backroom staffs in the country to help players get one or