Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United went on to win almost every trophy a European team could only dream of achieving.
After nearly seven years of separation with his beloved club, Manchester United’s legendary gaffer has now revealed the names that would have been the ideal picks to replace him had he left management in 2000.
After Manchester United accomplished the incredible achievement of securing their first treble, becoming the first and the only English club to do so by beating Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to step down as a Manchester United manager.
However, as his autobiography unfolds, an intense family meeting on a wintry December evening helped him persuade his thoughts. And, as a result, he became the only manager to guide a team to 13 Premier League titles.
Nevertheless, if he had parted his way with the club in 2000, the likes of Dave O’Leary, Alan Curbishley, and Martin O’Neill would have been the favourites to inherit the helm at Manchester United, as per Sir Alex Ferguson.
“In 2000, I went back and asked him (Alex Ferguson) if he was to pick his replacement at that time who would it be.
“He said there were three people: Dave O’Leary, Alan Curbishley and Martin O’Neill.
“I said the one I’m interested in is Martin O’Neill.
“I had previously asked a prominent broadcaster if Martin would be interested in the job and I got a response in the negative.
“I then asked Alex if he would speak with Martin, to see if he would meet with me, and the response was that he would be very interested in meeting.
“So I met Martin for dinner and we got on very well. I introduced him to Pat and Brian and they also felt he was a remarkable individual, so we hired Martin.”
After becoming Celtic’s manager, O’Neill won three Scottish Premier Leagues, three Scottish Cups, and helped the Scottish side become the UEFA Cup runner-ups once in the 2002-03 season.
Neither David O’Leary nor Alan Curbishley had a managerial career as glittering as the one of O’Neill.
Following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, another Scott in David Moyes became the boss of the Mancunian club, only to get the sack after eight months in charge in the wake of a torrid run of results.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former disciple, is the current owner of United’s managerial scepter. He could be the one to herald the team to the pinnacle of European football.