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I am a Serie A fan, but when I watch EPL, I always like to watch ManU. I respect the team and Ferguson. I respect them so much but I find it so strange how they are so consistent.

What is always a great mystery to me is, ok, you have Wayne Rooney and some very good players but on paper, ManU is no better than most big profile clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern etc. But for some reason, the team just plays incredibly well.

If I was Berlusconi, Abramovic or Perez, I would be scratching my head. How the hell do you play like them? The answer is not to go out on the transfer market because as Real Madrid consistently shows - its not the answer.

Either Ferguson is an absolute genius (which he probably is), or there is something about the club's culture that fosters this success.

I constantly wonder why the club is so good. I bet that if an Italian side bought Rooney, he would be half the player he is when playing for ManU. Same goes for every one of their players.

If you look at the great clubs in history such as the Milan of the early 90s which had players like Van Bastern, Gullit, Maldini etc. Then Real Madrid of the later 90s that had Figo, Raul, Zidane etc.

ManU (post C. Ronaldo) would have Rooney? Scholes? Nani? Park?. Yet they are playing like a legendary team. I guess they have FERGUSON.

What can I say?

Respect.
 

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To be fair to Rooney, before this season he was playing even better for England than he does for Man U.
 

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One word . . Fergie . . He is a genius . .

I was only talking about this to a friend 2 days ago . .

If you look at Lyon v Madrid you will get a big portion of your answer. Quality players does not equate to quality teams. Fergie usually gets the balance right of having quality players coupled with hard working team players. Its funny to think that this seasons united isnt any worse then last seasons one with Tevez and Ronaldo!

Despite the protestations of many people I have argued over the years , players like Park, O'Shea and Fletcher (when he wasnt popular) are what win you leagues. These players fit into the united team and do a good job without any real pain felt in the side. They are unpopular with fans who cannot see the bigger picture. Hell O'Shea was our best defender early on in the season before he got injured and some people were blaming him for defencive errors by Rio or Vida!

In the past fergie has not been afraid to sell off quality - Becks, heinze, Ruud, keane, hughes, Ince, Kanchelskis etc against popular opinion. No player is too big for United and when they either start losing their touch or they become too big for their boots they are shipped out. Fergie is all about the team first . . .He is also a better tactician then most of us give him credit for!

On top of that Fergie is simply a legend. United may win nothing this season, but to lose Tevez and Ronaldo and to still be challanging for top honors is remarkable.
 

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I do think the loss of Tevez is pretty overstated. Guy is playing awesome now but he wasn't doing much last season.
 

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Maybe sticking to a manager for more than 3 years helps. Actually gives him time to mold the team and give it an identity.

Football teams are no longer sports teams but businesses. Hence the "instant results" mentality going through Real Madrid which is bad for the sport and managers really.
 

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Despite the protestations of many people I have argued over the years , players like Park, O'Shea and Fletcher (when he wasnt popular) are what win you leagues. These players fit into the united team and do a good job without any real pain felt in the side. They are unpopular with fans who cannot see the bigger picture. Hell O'Shea was our best defender early on in the season before he got injured and some people were blaming him for defencive errors by Rio or Vida!
yeah, thats a big difference between United and for example Real Madrid. On paper Real has the best squad. The biggest names. Brilliant players, super stars. They won´t buy players like Park, Fletcher, O´Shea...cause they won´t fit in into their glamurous world. But imo thats exactly the type of players you need in your squad. Because they are important for the TEAM.

Catenaccio, you asked about the mystery of United. In my opinion the key to the consistency is of course SAF - and the team spirit. I won´t say you need 11 friends to be a good team and to win games. But I have the impression that they´ve somehow the same wavelength. Also off the pitch. And all the Unitedplayers totally identify with the club. And they´ve always had this "never give up"- mentality. Turn around games in the final minutes, Barcelona 99 etc.
 

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It's the culture around the club. It's the seige mentality. We don't buy legends, we make them. Everyone that joins United knows about the history, they respect it. Our success over the years hasn't come with arrogance, it's come with modesty. You look at Chelsea and Arsenal for example. Whenever they win something, the arrogance that comes out of the club and supporters is incredible.

We celebrate our success, then get behind the team to make sure we can defend it.

Ferguson has just carried it on from those before him. He's not the reason we are, like we are.

Money cannot buy class.
 

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Sir Alex Ferguson will sit down for a Champions League press conference today and wish he was anywhere else. Cleaning Mike Riley’s car, polishing Arsène Wenger’s boots ... anything but talk about David Beckham.

“Christ, three seconds,” the Manchester United manager grumbled when he walked straight into a question about the former United player in Milan three weeks ago. He was no less sour on his way out: “There’s another 30 minutes of my life wasted.”

Ferguson’s cantankerous attitude may be understandable given that being interrogated incessantly about Beckham’s haircuts, wife, England performances and world player nominations was part of the reason he jettisoned him in 2003.

However, it risks skipping over one of his greatest legacies at Old Trafford, something as impressive as filling the trophy cabinet throughout more than two decades.

It is Ferguson’s achievement in turning United into not merely a football club, but an educational establishment; in producing not just better footballers, but better people. And Beckham, despite being cast out, is more than happy to add his glowing testimony.

Speak to Beckham about his formative years at United and he will talk, as will any of those who have come through the youth ranks, about the lessons repeatedly drummed into them: humility, respect for elders, desire, determination, loyalty, good manners.

Ferguson demands them from the club’s young players even if, in the frenzy of competition, he is not always able to live up to those values himself.

This all came to mind the other day when a fascinating observation was offered by a senior England official: he could differentiate clearly between the players of Chelsea and United. One group had a swagger around the camp, a confidence that sometimes seeped into cockiness. Those from the North West, he said, were more humble and respectful.

It is the difference between Ferguson’s United and Chelsea, where managers have been chopped and changed, sometimes almost at the whim of the squad, and respect for authority eroded. The players have power because many of them were lured for huge contracts and money is what binds them to the club. If contracts are not improved, they make threats.


Manchester City will be next to suffer from this loss of power to the dressing room after creating their own inflationary spiral. A player such as Shaun Wright-Phillips has seen what others are earning. Now he wants the same.

At United no one doubts who is the boss. No one questions who will win the arguments. They know that there is only so far they can push their luck, their behaviour or their demands for better pay.

But it is about more than shouting; it is about nurturing young players so that they have the character to thrive when they make it into the first team. It is a system born of stability and longevity, something attempted only at those few clubs where they plan beyond next week.

They do that at United, where Ferguson still involves himself in developing the youth, telling young aspirants that it is not success that should make them proud, but hard work.

He will instruct them to respect their rivals. “Don’t ever think you’re above a challenge. It’s not right,” he will say. “Arrogance is not a quality, it’s a hindrance to success.”

In a fascinating interview recently, he talked of his paternal pride and his joy when those young players uphold the best values. He smiled as he revealed a text from Cristiano Ronaldo: “I miss you so much”. But he also talked about how Wayne Rooney’s humility was not to be taken for granted in a cossetted age.

“He’s a one-off in terms of the modern type of fragile player we’re getting today, cocooned by their agents, mothers and fathers, psychologists, welfare officers,” Ferguson said. “Rooney’s a cut to the old days.”

Ferguson cannot give players hunger; that must come from within. But he can find the right characters and help to shape them. He did that with Beckham and might have continued doing so had the player not fallen for a Spice Girl and the glamorous lifestyle that came with her.

In Ferguson’s eyes, Beckham took his eye off the ball. Beckham disagreed, vehemently at the time, but he acknowledges now that Ferguson was a second father to him, passing down values that have helped to shape the rest of his career. Perhaps the rest of his life.

Given half a chance, back in Manchester with AC Milan for tomorrow’s second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie, Beckham will talk about how some of Ferguson’s greatest work has been done far away from the first-team pitch, teaching teenage boys what it takes to reach the top.

Even as his former manager snarls and changes the subject, Beckham will speak as he was taught to all those years ago — with humility and respect.
 

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It's the culture around the club. It's the seige mentality. We don't buy legends, we make them. Everyone that joins United knows about the history, they respect it. Our success over the years hasn't come with arrogance, it's come with modesty. You look at Chelsea and Arsenal for example. Whenever they win something, the arrogance that comes out of the club and supporters is incredible.

We celebrate our success, then get behind the team to make sure we can defend it.

Ferguson has just carried it on from those before him. He's not the reason we are, like we are.

Money cannot buy class.
Which club is all that about? Mancheter United? You sure?
 

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Which club is all that about? Mancheter United? You sure?
So what's your take on us as a club from top to bottom...

And that's a genuine question. Without it descending in to insults etc, I'm genuinely interested on how we're viewed.:)
 

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So what's your take on us as a club from top to bottom...

And that's a genuine question. Without it descending in to insults etc, I'm genuinely interested on how we're viewed.:)
Well, Ferguson's tenure at United predates GM so I don't really know what the club was like pre-Ferguson. He is for me, second only to Wenger in World Football :)thumbsup:) and my hope for Wenger is that he can perhaps acheive half of what Fergie has acheived.

Thanks to him your club should really be viewed as the most successful English club side, not Liverpool.

My gripe was with Patrick Bateman referring to his own modesty, then talking down fans of Arsenal and Chelsea. Perhaps he was being humorous.
 

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Well, Ferguson's tenure at United predates GM so I don't really know what the club was like pre-Ferguson. He is for me, second only to Wenger in World Football :)thumbsup:) and my hope for Wenger is that he can perhaps acheive half of what Fergie has acheived.

Thanks to him your club should really be viewed as the most successful English club side, not Liverpool.

My gripe was with Patrick Bateman referring to his own modesty, then talking down fans of Arsenal and Chelsea. Perhaps he was being humorous.
No offence mate, but you live in Istanbul. Fair ****s to you for supporting whoever, but you're not in England when Arsenal and Chelsea win something. I'm only going by what I've witnessed.
 

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I see you are Sitting on that fence you like to frequent eh. . . :hmm:
What fence? He asked me a question and I answered it. Simple... or is that concept too much for your little Irish brain to take in?
 

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The Real Madrid of the later 90s that had Figo, Raul, Zidane etc.
I was going to mention that what makes United is the players like Park, and Fletcher. But united fans here have already said that.

But you mention the great Real Madrid side that included Figo, Raul, Zidane etc.

Is it not a coincidence that since Claude Makelele left the club they have not qualified past the Quarterfinal stage of the Champion League?

As soon as he left, Real Madrid just weren't the same team.

Zidane said it best about his departure from the club.

Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?

Yeah sure, Madrid tried to make up for it by buying Thomas Gravesen. But what they didn't realize was that it was Lee Carsley who was Evertons holding midfielder and engine and not Thomas Gravesen who cannot tackle, and was an attacking midfielder. Yet Madrid bought him and played him out of position. :howler:


Not surprising either that Chelseas two title winning seasons was when Makelele played for them. It's also the reason Wenger is not as succesful as Fergie. If only Wenger had someone like Fletcher or Makelele.

The reason United were not the same team in the Champions League final last year was purely down to the absence of Fletcher.

But apart from that there are two other reasons bigger than that. 1.) is Sir Alex Ferguson himself. Now before Fergie arrived Man Utd had less league titles than Everton and Old Trafford was no bigger than Goodison Park. Ferguson is responsible for making United who they are. He's responsible for over half of their entire trophy cabinet. United hadn't won the league since 1967.

The other reason is the board that didn't sack him. Ferguson didn't enjoy instant success at Man Utd and no doubt would have been sacked had he been at a bigger club at the time. And no doubt United would be no bigger than Tottenham or Aston Villa is now.
 
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