Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably the greatest manager to ever grace the game, enjoying unparalleled sustained success at Manchester United over the course of 27 years.
The Scott won the Premier League on 13 occasions to overhaul Liverpool’s top flight title tally, re-motivating, refreshing and rebuilding side after side en route to 24 major trophies. It is a feat that will likely never be repeated in football again.
Such an iconic manager should surely inspire a whole host of former players to follow in his illustrious footsteps.
Or maybe not*.
Let’s take a look at the very best and very worst former Ferguson players who followed their ex-boss into management – to varying degrees of success.
*Seriously, Phil Neville and Darren Ferguson were knocking on the door of the top five.
We did warn you it was slim pickings…
But for all the recent criticism Solskjaer has received, he’s done well in patches here and there.
There was the turgid relegation at Cardiff, but he’s balanced this out with two title wins in Norway with Molde – meaning he’s now just a mere 14 away from equalling the number won by Sir Alex.
Solskjaer also led United to an inspired turnaround at the end of the 2019/20 season to seal a Champions League spot – although admittedly he was turning around his own p*ss-poor start to the season.
It’s been a short managerial career for Giggs thus far, but he’s yet to really disgrace himself in the dugout.
He registered a 50% win rate during his four games in charge of United at the back end of the 2013/14 season and was touted as the man to succeed Louis van Gaal in 2016. Instead, Jose Mourinho got the top job and Giggs left the club that summer, taking the Wales post 18 months later.
The former winger had big boots to fill after taking over from Chris Coleman, and despite getting off to a shaky start, he eventually led his country to EURO 2020 qualification – arguably achieving the very maximum expected of him for his first 18 months in charge.
Strachan and Ferguson spent much of their careers not seeing eye to eye. Think of everything Ferguson achieved in his career, yet he still has an entire Wikipedia subsection dedicated to Gordon Strachan.
The former Scotland manager has longevity on his side, and initially did well at Coventry before they succumbed to relegation, and steered Southampton to an unlikely survival and a place in the UEFA Cup in 2003.
Strachan then won three league titles with Celtic before flopping at Middlesbrough and putting his failure with the Scottish national team down to genetics…
Although he’ll likely not go down as one of football’s finest manager, Brucey has hardly got a blot on his copybook.
Four promotions to the top flight – two with Birmingham and two with Hull – is impressive stuff – and he’s done solid top flight jobs with Wigan and Newcastle.
His only real negatives are being dismissed by Huddersfield in 2000, and his sacking at Aston Villa in 2018 after the Villans failed to recover from their playoff final defeat the previous season.
But Bruce has forged out a 20-year managerial career and is still in charge of a good Premier League side. He’s also written three novels!
Blanc had a (very) brief spell with United in the early 2000s, and is the most decorated managers of Ferguson’s former players when it comes to stature of trophy won.
The Frenchman guided Bordeaux to Ligue 1 glory in just his second season in management in 2008/09. It was the French side’s first league title in a decade, and only their sixth in the club’s history. They have not won the title since.
Blanc then took the France job in 2010, attempting to mop up after his country’s dismal World Cup campaign. His one major tournament – Euro 2012, ended with a quarter final exit to eventual champions Spain.
He moved to PSG in 2013, winning a hat-trick of Ligue 1 titles, but was dismissed for his side’s failure to progress past the quarter final stage in the Champions League.
Former United right back Paul Parker is one of many former Ferguson players to endure a non-spectacular managerial career – Viv Anderson’s solitary season at Barnsley was a close sixth.
Parker took the hot seat at the mighty Chelmsford City in 2001, with the club contending with a severe lack of finances.
He then moved to Welling in 2003, but with the side camped in the relegation zone during his first full season in charge, Parker left the club by mutual consent and hasn’t managed since.
Teddy Sheringham’s first job in management came with Stevenage – where he was forced to register himself as a player because of the length of the club’s injury list. He was 49 at the time.
The former striker was sacked after nine months in charge with his side sitting just outside the relegation zone.
A stint at Indian Super League outfit ATK was particularly short lived after just three wins from his opening 10 games. On the plus side, he’s supposedly pretty good at poker.
Some people are just meant to be a number two. Phelan played under Ferguson in the early 90s but really shot to fame in the mid 2000s when he was interviewed on Match of the Day every weekend for about five years with Ferguson refusing to speak to the BBC.
He won trophies galore as Fergie’s right hand man, but was less successful when given a glamorous top job of his own in 2016 – at Hull.
Phelan lasted just three months in permanent charge – although admittedly the Tigers were a bit of a mess at the time – and he was dismissed with Hull rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
Scholes took charge of his local club Oldham Athletic in February 2018.
He lasted a full month and two days in charge (although it was February, so it wasn’t even one of the long months), managing seven games, winning one, losing three before the actual realities of managing a League Two outfit with not much money dawned on him and he upped sticks and left.
Scholes could yet prove the doubters wrong after being placed in temporary charge at Salford City – the club he co-owns with fellow members of the Class of 92.
The very definition of being able to talk the talk but not walk the walk. Neville is one of English football’s most entertaining and articulate pundits, but was not quite able to hack it during his first stab at management.
He was given the Valencia post in 2015 – one of the biggest jobs in Spain outside the big three – but departed four months later after 16 games, three wins and no clean sheets.
Valencia were six points clear of the drop zone, and Neville hasn’t managed since. He’s good on Sky though.