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“It’s now up to Ferguson to heal the wounds.”

“Ferguson learned the unpalatable truth in those 90 short minutes: the road ahead is going to be a long, hard slog, continuing with the 450-mile round trip to Norwich City on Saturday.”

Those are the opinions of Dave Ellis on the “British Soccer scene,” as they appeared in the Toronto Star, November 12, 1986, shortly after Alex Ferguson replaced Ron Atkinson as Man United manager:

TorStar12Nov86

So I think we can say he succeeded.

Before that, Ferguson was at Aberdeen (1978-86), where he had a very successful career winning three Scottish first division titles, and a UEFA Super Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.. The Glasgow Herald had some insight into his success there, with this incredible preview of what would be an eventual win for Abderdeen over Real Madrid in the Cup Winners Cup that includes mention of Ferguson’s tactical preparations:

GlasgowHerald10May1983

And then there’s Ferguson’s reputation with referees, which extended all the way back to his time as manager of St. Mirren, as this clipping from the Evening Times demonstrates:

EveningTimesNov211977