SIR ALEX FERGUSON is one of the greatest football managers of all time.
From being fired at Old Trafford in one game to becoming a true European heavyweight, Fergie’s tenure will go down in history.
But the great man made one or two mistakes along the way.
From signings such as Bebe, Eric Djemba, Djemba and Gabriel Obertan to the infamous David Beckham episode, there have been several highlights in his 26 years at the club.
After winning the Premier League in 2001, the boss was filled with hope for the future.
Fergie tipped seven United youths he predicted were destined to be greats.
He said: “Darren Fletcher, who is hopefully on the mend after breaking his leg, is doing well. Michael Stewart and Luke Chadwick are doing very well and John O’Shea is also doing well.
“There is a young left back named Paul Tierney who is doing well, as is Danny Pugh.
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“But now a young guy has started playing, he is 16 years old, his name is Kieran Richardson. He will be a fantastic player.”
Some matched his billing, but unfortunately others failed to score. We look at who hit the target and who missed.
Mr Universal, O’Shea even played in goal during his time at United.
Far from a flop, O’Shea made 256 appearances for the club between 1999 and 2011.
The Irishman moved to Sunderland, where he was the captain of the McKems, but could not stop them from sliding into the leagues.
O’Shea joined Reading for one season in 2018 before retiring to join their backroom staff, where he is currently the team’s first coach.
A capable midfielder who may not have received the recognition he deserved for his professional play in the middle of the park.
Incredibly, the Scot managed to play at the highest level, despite a serious bowel disease.
He won five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League, making 342 appearances in 11 years for United.
Fletcher went on to play for West Brom and Stoke before retiring at the age of 36. He is now the technical director of Old Trafford.
He was once talked about as Beckham’s successor, and it’s fair to say that Chadwick couldn’t live up to even half that bill.
He played 38 times for the United first team, but mostly in cup competitions and coming off the bench.
Chadwick went on to play for West Ham, Stoke, Norwich, MK Dons and Cambridge United before moving to the non-league to end his career with Soham Town Rangers.
The 40-year-old now coaches at the Cambridge Academy but made headlines after revealing his sadness over being bullied on the BBC quiz show They Think It’s Over, for which he received an apology from presenters Nick Hancock and Gary Lineker.
Fergie described how Richardson would become a “fantastic player”.
Like O’Shea and Fletcher, Richardson can look back on a fairly successful career, even making eight caps for England and scoring twice.
Between 2002 and 2007, he made 81 appearances for United and went on to play for Sunderland, Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff.
Pugh had the honor of making his United debut when he replaced the legendary Ruud van Nistelrooy in a Champions League clash against Maccabi Haifa in 2002.
But he played six more times before being sent to Leeds in a deal that brought Alan Smith to Old Trafford.
Pugh also played for Preston, Stoke, a second time for Leeds before slipping into the league.
He last coached at Port Vale after he retired from the club in May.
A defensive midfielder at a time when Roy Keane was in charge of both opponents and the locker room, Stewart always found it difficult to break through.
The Scot made eight appearances for United between 1998 and 2005 before moving to Hibs for good.
He joined their great rivals Hearts in 2007, where he stayed for three seasons before moving to the Genclerbirligi in Turkey, ending his career in 2011 after nine games at Charlton.
With four caps for Scotland, he later applied for the Scottish National Party nomination in the 2015 general election but failed to secure the nomination.
Flashing at youth level at United, Tierney has achieved everything ONE First team appearance – in the League Cup against West Brom in 2003.
The right-back joined Scottish team Livingston in 2005 but was transferred to Blackpool when they were relegated from the Scottish Premier League.
After a loan spell at Stockport, he was released by the Seasiders. Tierney ended his career playing three games with Altincham.
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