Yes Sir Alex is a bona fide Manchester United legend who somehow kept the club at the top of the pile for a scarcely fathomable quarter of a century.
Yes he brought thirteen Championships to the club at a rate of one every two years of his tenure and won the Champions League twice.
But even god himself made a few errors along the way. And this should be a lesson to anyone who feels like giving up after a solitary failure. Because perhaps Fergie’s tenacity and refusal to ever concede were his best qualities of the lot.
Here TFF celebrates some of the absolute clangers that Sir Fergie dropped in the transfer market. And there are some absolute beauties in there who wouldn’t get into my pub team even if they begged.
Anybody remember this guy? When he turned up on the Manchester United team sheet one Saturday afternoon in 1995 I thought I was dreaming. He was absolutely dreadful and looked more like a rugby player. After just two loan appearances the Frenchman was shipped off to Copenhagen who also thought he was totally duff. Failed moves to Montpellier, Hearts – where he played two fewer games than he did at United – Napoli and Kortrijk followed before some French team decided they had nothing Toulouse and kept him for five years.
Fergie made some awful goalkeeper signings but Taibi was surely the worst of the lot. The Italian had a penchant for letting the ball slip through his legs and arms. The be-tracksuited muppet didn’t last long and was soon returned Italy as faulty goods.
Eric Djemba Djemba
The ‘joke’ goes that Djemba Djemba was so bad that they named him twice. That doesn’t really make any sense though does it? And was not at all funny. Much like Djemba Djemba’s career at Manchester United which went from bad to worse. He did at least try hard but there was no obvious talent to speak of. Djemba Djemba looked the part to begin with and we seem to remember the ever astute Paddy Crerand waxing lyrical about how he would be impossible to shift from the team once he got into it. But the player never seemed to quite understand the rules or that the point of football was to keep possession and score goals.
Manucho made Bebe look like Pele in disguise. Manucho was able to jump and was quite tall. It’s hard to think of any other boxes that he ticked in terms of potential footballing qualities. He played one competitive game for Manchester United. It’s inexplicable that Fergie saw fit to give this outsider a chance at one of the biggest clubs in the world and he was soon sent packing to Panathanikos and Hull. After short loan stints there most agreed that Manucho was definitely naff. But Spanish side Vallodolid gave him a chance and saw a return of 19 goals in 98 games. The painfully pedestrian number nine currently plies his trade at Rayo Vallecano (75 games and 10 goals).
Right at the start of his time at Manchester United Alex Ferguson brought Ralph Milne in for £170,000 from third division Bristol City. These were of course different times in football but Fergie’s ability to spot a bargain seemed temporarily blunted by this move. Perhaps there was real talent there. But the player’s career was blighted by alcoholism and after a promising start he never found the sort of consistency required for the top level of the game. Milne sadly died in 2015 at the age of just 54. But how many people get to say that they played for Manchester United?