Top 5 Candidates To Succeed Sir Alex Ferguson

Andrew WhittakerCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson has now, more or less, set a date on his retirement, so who would be the best and most likely to succeed him.

In order of opinion:


5. Steve Bruce

The Wigan manager was a great personality and player for United. His managerial career has yet to blossom, but this may be due to lack of potential and, lets face it, money. His teams can play entertaining football (which is highly wanted at United), but when they do, they often lose it in the end, best shown in the Liverpool 2-3 game.

He would, without a doubt, enjoy great respect from the English players, but the foreign players may not know all that much about him. He certainly hasn't got the Alex Ferguson air about him.

Unlikely choice, but some United supporters may welcome an old hero back at Old Trafford. Enjoyed a relegation with Birmingham, whilst his achievements with Wigan aren't as bad, he has been close in the last seasons.


4. Mark "Sparky" Hughes

Did not, perhaps, make the smartest of choices when signing for the Citizens, however, he had a great playing career and is beginning to thrive as a manager.

Hughes had a shaky start as a manager, with some less impressing results with the Welsh national team. However, after joining Blackburn, he managed to turn a relegation threatened side into a feared one. Travelling to Ewood Park was never easy during the Hughes era.

His physical team, spiced with the technique of players such as Morten Gamst Pedersen, Roque Santa Cruz, and Benni McCarthy, always caused trouble for the "Big Four" teams. Most notable was that he beat Man Utd twice and Chelsea and Arsenal once in the season of 2004-05.

He made the team into a genuine contender for the European places whilst playing some great football. Would be welcome back at Old Trafford, where he had some glorious years.


3. Guus Hiddink

Considering his managerial career and personality, this would arguably be my favourite choice; his career is second to none, in terms of achievement.

We know him best for his treble with PSV Eindhoven and Euro 1988 triumph with the Netherlands. Other achievements are 4th place with South Korea in World Cup 2002 and 4th place with the Netherlands in  the1998 World Cup.

He has also led Australia to the second round of the 2002 World Cup, winning 2nd place in a group of good teams—Brazil, Croatia and Japan—and was unlucky to lose a penalty in the 90th minute against Italy in the second round.

That penalty should never been given.

He has also transferred Russia into a genuine contender for the big prizes. In this year's Euros he led Russia to the semifinals, their best position since the break-up of the Soviet Union. He stated that he would continue in Russia until 2010's World Cup, which could be the same time as Ferguson retires.

Good choice, but is it possible?

2. Roy Keane

The former United captain has thrived in the manager position since his take-over at Sunderland. He transferred a relegation-bound Championship team into a Premier League side in just a single season.

He has often been described as Sir Alex Ferguson's voice on the pitch, and now a miniature of him. He would without a doubt enjoy great respect from any player he might come across due to his reputation and achievements.

As he has learned from Sir Alex, supporters pay to watch football. From this he has tried to manage his teams into playing entertaining football with the likes of Kieran Richardson and Djibril Cissè helping this cause.

Would be a great manager, but can he handle the pressure yet? And would it be wise to choose someone who is a copy of Sir Alex?


1. Josè Mourinho

A funny love-hate relationship has always surrounded this man.

When he came to Chelsea, we all loved to hate him, and everyone cheered when he lost. However, in two seasons he won two league titles, one FA Cup, and two Carling cups. Of course, he did spend a lot of money, but the players he has managed always says the most positive things about him.

When he left England, I for one, was sad. His comments and opinions were part of making football entertaining in those years, where Chelsea was THE team in the league.

He has always respected Ferguson, and as he said: "I want to go back to the country I love, England". What other team could you imagine that he wanted to manage?

Would be the perfect choice. At least for some time. 


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