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1000. Spiel für United

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Kein Spieler, sondern der Trainer Alex Ferguson bestreitet am Mittwoch gegen Lyon das 1000. Spiel als Coach von ManUtd. Das sind eigentlich Dimensionen, bei denen nur Guy Roux mithalten kann, ansonsten ist mir kein anderer Fall bekannt. Sein Debut für United gab er am 6. November 1986.

After spells as a player with Queen's Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Glasgow Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United, and as manager of East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen, Alex Ferguson succeeded Ron Atkinson as manager of Manchester United on 6 November 1986.

In the thirteen League matches up to Ferguson's arrival at Old Trafford, United had only won three and had lost six. They had also been knocked out of the Littlewoods Cup after suffering a 1-4 defeat at Southampton. Looking back it is easy to see why United's position was so dire: "Ferguson inherited a dispirited team of underachievers who had consistently, to their supporters' foaming discontent, failed to break Liverpool's domination. The team sheet drawn up by the new man for his first match says it all: Turner, Duxbury, Albiston, McGrath (Olsen), Moran, Hogg, Blackmore, Stapleton, Moses, Davenport, Barnes. The team lost 0-2 to Oxford United." (Jim White quoted in Total Sport, May 1997).

Stuck in the bottom four of the Division One table, Ferguson immediately set about attempting to stave off the very real threat of relegation. Without resorting to the transfer market, Ferguson guided United up the table to finish in eleventh place. By now it was apparent to Fergie that it was a major job to turn the club around. United were an entertaining side but one that seemed unable to cope with the more physical aspects of League football. Crucially for the future, there seemed to be few players coming through the youth system to challenge the established stars.

In his first full season, Ferguson guided United to a League runners-up position as new signings Viv Anderson, Steve Bruce and Brian McClair made their mark. This was followed by eleventh position in 1988/89 and, after a further threat of relegation, thirteenth position in 1989/90. The fans were not convinced by Alex Ferguson and on his third anniversary as manager of Manchester United a banner was unfurled in the scoreboard end saying: "Three years of excuses; Ta-ra Fergie". Ferguson remembers the period as 'Black December': "It was, without question, the lowest, most desperate point ever in all my years in management." (Alex Ferguson, Just Champion).

United's poor League form continued, but at least the fans were able to cheer a Cup run. On 17 May 1990, for the first time in five years, the fans tasted success when United won the FA Cup, defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 after a replay. United have since gone from strength to strength. In 1991 Ferguson's team were League Cup finalists, but went on to defeat Barcelona 2-1 in the European Cup-Winners' Cup Final.

However it was in the League that the Old Trafford faithful were demanding success. United again came close in 1991/92 when Leeds United pipped them to the title after United had looked the better team for most of the season. Some silverware did return to Old Trafford that season as Nottingham Forest were defeated 1-0 in the League Cup Final and Red Star Belgrade were defeated by the same scoreline in the European Super Cup Final.

Finally United's time had come, despite a strong challenge from Aston Villa, Ferguson's team became the inaugural Champions of the breakaway F.A. Premier League in 1992/93. The twenty-six year wait was over. "The Championship triumph, apart from ending 26 years of collective cursing and frustration, was unquestionably the breaching of a barrier that had defied so many talented people, world renowned players as well as Managers". (Alex Ferguson, Just Champion).

This Championship victory also won him the 'Manager of the Year' trophy, an award he won again the following year as United retained their hold on the Premier crown. His team went one better becoming only the sixth team to win the League and FA Cup Double. It was close to being an unprecedented treble but Ron Atkinson's Aston Villa side won a hard-fought League Cup Final 3-1.

His 1993 Premier League victory meant that Ferguson became the first manager to win League titles north and south of the border. He is also only the second manager, after Johan Cruyff, to win the European Cup-Winners' Cup with teams from different countries.

At the start of 1995 things were looking rosy for Ferguson. He'd just been awarded the C.B.E. in the New Year honours list, United had landed Andy Cole for £7m from Newcastle United and had just beaten their title rivals Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in a great battle at Old Trafford. A third Premier League title looked destined for the trophy room at Old Trafford. However on 25 January, United's season took a cruel twist when Eric Cantona attacked an abusive Crystal Palace fan after being sent off. Failure to win at West Ham on the last day of the season and losing to Everton in the FA Cup Final meant that the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford was empty for the first time in five years. Ferguson still muses that at least one trophy would have found it's way to Old Trafford had Cantona not been banned for nine months by the FA.

When the 1995/6 season began it did so minus Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and Paul Ince, players who had played such an important part in United's success. By the end of the season, memories of 1995 had been washed away as United's 'kids', led by a rejuvenated Cantona, won an historic 'Double Double'. No less that five players were under the age of 21 and had graduated from United's youth system. A testimony to Alex Ferguson's managerial ability, which won him the Carling Premiership 'Manager of the Year' award yet again.

The following season expectations were high. Ferguson had made some shrewd buys during the summer including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ronny Johnsen. In November 1996, the Boss completed ten years as manager of Manchester United, the longest serving coach since Sir Matt Busby and the second longest serving boss in the League behind Crewe's Dario Gradi.

The season ended with United picking up their fourth Premiership title and narrowly missing out on reaching the European Cup Final, losing the semi-final to the eventual winners Borussia Dortmund. Again Ferguson won the Carling Premiership 'Manager of the Year' award, confirming his place amongst the great Managers to have graced the British football scene.

That status was confirmed in the 1998/99 season, when United completed the unprecedented Treble – Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup. He followed Matt Busby to Buckingham Palace, and became the first working football manager to be knighted.

In the following season, 1999/2000, the pressure was really on for United to defend their three crowns. And although there was huge disappointment when they crashed out of the European Cup following a 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid, United again came up trumps on the domestic front as they stormed to their sixth Championship in eight years, finishing a massive 18 points ahead of second-placed Arsenal. Sir Alex also became the first United manager to lift the Inter-Continental Cup when the Reds defeated Palmeiras 1-0 (Keane scored) to become the first British winners of the competition. 

The Boss made history again at the end of the 2000/01 season when he guided United to their third Championship in three consecutive seasons. The title race was virtually over in January, such was United's supremacy in the Premiership. Having led by 15 points just after the turn of the year, they never looked back and went on to finish 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Arsenal. However, Europe proved to be another big disappointment as United lost out at the quarter-final stage yet again, this time to Bayern Munich.

Although the end of season 2001/02 saw United finish trophyless for only the third time in 13 seasons, the club was boosted by the news that Sir Alex had decided to delay his retirement and stay on for a further three years. Another big plus was the form of striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who finished the campaign with 36 goals. Sir Alex had stuck by his initial decision to sign the big Dutchman, following his cruciate ligament injury a year earlier, and it certainly looked to be paying off.

Apart from their Worthington Cup final defeat to Liverpool, United were back to doing what they do best in 2002/03 - winning Championships; their eighth in eleven years to be precise. The triumph, which Sir Alex described as the 'best title win yet,' came at the end of an incredible run-in. Arsenal had been clear favourites but they were overhauled in spectacular fashion as United won nine of their last ten games, the pick of which was their 6-2 victory at Newcastle. Meanwhile, in the Champions League, United's epic quarter-final clash with Real Madrid will forever be remembered by the Old Trafford faithful, even though the Reds were eliminated from the competition by Ronaldo's superb hat-trick.

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Graulation an Fergie! Kein internationaler Spitzenverein weltweit hält nur annähernd so lange an einem Trainer fest. Das ist gerade in der heutigen Zeit echt beeindruckend. :super:

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Sir Alex Ferguson vor 1000. Spiel als ManU-Trainer

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson hat mehr Titel gesammelt als jeder andere Vereinstrainer der Welt und ist von der britischen Königin Elizabeth II. in den Ritterstand erhoben worden.

Am liebsten denkt der Schotte, der am Dienstag in der Champions League gegen Lyon seinen 1000. Einsatz als Trainer von Manchester United bestreitet, aber an das legendäre Finale gegen Bayern München 1999 in Barcelona zurück.

Die Engländer gewannen durch zwei Tore in der Nachspielzeit. "Dieses Finale ist das Spiel, das herausragt, da wir uns den Sieg aus dem Nichts schnappten", bilanzierte Ferguson nach 999 Partien.

"Nichts ist wichtiger als der Klub"

In den 18 Jahren seiner Regentschaft in "Old Trafford" verwandelte Ferguson Manchester United von einem ums Überleben kämpfenden Klub in den reichsten Verein der Welt.

24 Titel, darunter acht englische Meisterschaften und fünf Pokalsiege, gewann er in diesem Zeitraum. Er entdeckte Spieler wie David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary und Phil Neville als Jugendliche und formte sie zu Weltklasse-Fußballern.

Doch über allem steht sein Motto: "Nichts und niemand ist wichtiger als der Klub."

Noch brennt das Feuer in Ferguson

Als Ferguson David Beckhams Glamour-Auftritte abseits des Fußballplatzes zu viel wurden, bewarf er den "Spiceboy" mit einem Fußballschuh und verkaufte den Superstar zu Real Madrid.

"Wenn Ferguson das für richtig hält, dann ist es das Beste für den Verein", meinten die meisten Anhänger im Sommer 2003.

Der gelernte Werkzeugmacher steht auch mit 62 Jahren bereits ab 07:30 Uhr auf dem Trainingsplatz und arbeitet 18 Stunden pro Tag für Manchester United, "den Verein, der mich seit meiner Kindheit begleitet. Ich liebe ihn."

Fergusons Vertrag läuft bis 2006, doch ans Aufhören denkt er noch lange nicht: "Man weiß nie, was passieren wird, wenn man die 60 überschritten hat, aber in mir brennt immer noch das Feuer."

Quelle: sport1.at

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