‘We are Manchester United’ – The mentality behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s long-standing dominance

Former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen has explained what he believes has made Sir Alex Ferguson one of the greatest bosses ever.

Ferguson’s record at Old Trafford will likely never be equaled. When he retired in 2013, he left with a trophy 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 to miss out on Champions League qualifiers – not for the first time since Ferguson stepped down. But what made Sir Alex Ferguson such a gifted giver?

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In the Training Ground Guru Podcast, Meulensteen spoke about Ferguson’s strengths. When asked how he managed to dominate for so long, Meulensteen said: “Personality, commitment and drive, knowledge, the right people, adaptability, man management and delegation.

“People said to me, ‘It must have been a tough job working with Sir Alex Ferguson’. Absolutely not, it was a joy. I never felt a moment of fear and it was because of how he managed it and how he dealt with him.Every session he walked in, walked past you and tapped you on the shoulder, ‘well done’.

“He was very engaging, with a great sense of humour. He liked a good joke and always had jokes or riddles. For away games the players ate at seven and we as a staff at eight. And something that always stayed with me – we hardly ever had formal meetings.

“Everything that was 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 be his grandchildren, but he adapted with the times and the technology, he grew with it.

“The pre-match analysis was split – introduction, opposition, how did other teams beat them, but in the end it was all about us, 75/25. Because we are Man United. How we will win the match. And that was reinforced. in the last session before the game. He would hardly ever let anyone know the lineup until the day of the game. He wanted the players to be alert all the time.”

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