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Alex Ferguson’s Influence

Just how many former Manchester United players are now coaching top-level professional soccer? I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise really. After all, it makes sense for top-level players at a top-level club coached by a legend to then become coaches themselves. And it makes even more sense for clubs to hire players who’ve won league and European titles.

But right now there seems to be a large number of former Manchester United players coaching in the English Premier League and beyond. It’s like the United States Treasury hiring everyone from Goldman Sachs for key positions. Well not exactly of course, but it is hiring talent from talent or people who know how to win or know how to make money in Goldman Sachs’ case.

Below is the short list of former Reds who are now coaching, and I’m sure this list will grow in the coming years, as it wouldn’t surprise me if Ryan Giggs is in the coaching ranks in the EPL in a few years when he decides to hang up the boots. Could be a while though, as Giggs could pull a Maldini and play until he’s forty. Giggs is someone who could play that long if he wanted to just by moving upfront and playing sparingly throughout the year.

  • Mark Hughes - Manchester City
  • Paul Ince - Blackburn Rovers
  • Laurent Blanc - Bordeaux
  • Roy Keane - Sunderland
  • Steve Bruce - Wigan
  • Carlos Queiroz - Portugal
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Manchester United reserve team coach
  • Bryan Robson - Sheffield United (former manager)

Now, with Diego Maradona taking over the coaching duties for Argentina, it makes me think there could be a place for another former Manchester United player who was a genius on the pitch, like Maradona but also had his runs in with controversy, like Diego: Eric Cantona.

Although Cantona might just be happy to doing his Nike commercials now and again and making a guest appearance in a movie from time to time. I’m one person who would love to see him take a shot at coaching though. He'd be a good nemesis for Jose Mourinho, match his competitive nature and love for the dramatic.

And there are a number Ferguson's former players who are destined to coach when their time comes to stop playing the game.

Gary Neville, United's captain, will surely coach an EPL team when he retires. Dwight Yorke will most likely coach his national team, Trinidad and Tobago. And then you know David Beckham will either coach a team or own a team when he retires, unless he decides to follow his friend Tom Cruise into the movies. Did I miss anyone else?

A number of potential managers could come from the 1999 treble winning team. Names that many clubs would like to have run their teams: Teddy Sheringham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Peter Schmeichel, and Dennis Irwin.

The one thing that seems to drive Ferguson, and something that he instills in his players, is that drive to win. He's rarely satisfied and his team's never give up. And those players that are now managers seemed to have carried that drive to win on in their new clubs.

The demand on the team to win his high, and there's always that pressure to win when your a big club like Manchester United. Ferguson, like the players he influences, only want to win too.


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