Ferguson pips Clough as the all-time best

Click to follow

Sir Alex Ferguson has been voted by his peers as the greatest-ever manager of an English club in an extensive poll of League managers conducted by Tissot, a key sponsor of the League Managers' Association.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been voted by his peers as the greatest-ever manager of an English club in an extensive poll of League managers conducted by Tissot, a key sponsor of the League Managers' Association.

Ferguson has guided Manchester United to eight Premiership titles, five FA Cup wins, one League Cup win and a European Cup since taking up his current job in 1986. He gained almost twice as many votes as the second-placed Brian Clough, who famously took Nottingham Forest from the old Second Division in 1977 to become back-to-back winners of the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.

While many fans might regard that velvet period under Clough at the City Ground as the single greatest managerial achievement, Ferguson's peers have judged his longevity and success in arguably a much more pressured era to surpass it. Clough was comfortably ahead of all other contenders, including Matt Busby, Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Arsène Wenger.

While on Tuesday, United's chief executive, David Gill, was pushed into conceding that Ferguson "is sackable", he later clarified that, saying "replacing him has never even crossed our minds". But the mere suggestion of replacement at some future stage has already re-ignited the debate about Ferguson's future, with bookmakers offering odds of little over evens that he will have departed his job before the end of next season. Ferguson can at least take solace in knowing fellow managers regard him so highly.

Tissot, who assisted The Independent in this week's separate survey on managers' working lives, also asked current managers about potential managerial successes of the future.

Wigan's Paul Jewell was voted the most likely manager currently outside the top flight to succeed in the Premiership and on this season's form that should be little surprise. Jewell is currently ranked as the sixth-best manager in the country, across all divisions, in the Tissot League Table of Managers' Performance.

This system was devised for the LMA to allow managers from every level of League football to be measured, taking into account every competitive game. Chelsea's Jose Mourinho is currently top, followed by Wenger, Ferguson, Luton's Mike Newell, Hull's Peter Taylor and Jewell. Four other non-Premiership managers make up the top 10. Only three Premiership managers appear in places 11-20, with Graeme Souness in 12th, Martin Jol in 15th and Rafael Benitez 19th.

Whether Alan Shearer or Roy Keane ever become managers remains to be seen, but the Newcastle and Manchester United captains have been voted by current managers as the most likely players to succeed in management. Gareth Southgate came third, ahead of Gary Neville, Teddy Sheringham, Gary Speed and Martin Keown.

Comments