Football

Alex Ferguson’s choice for Man United managerial post is Pochettino

Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino should have been appointed as the manager of Manchester United ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Daily Mail quoted a source as saying yesterday.

Since Ferguson, who won 38 trophies at United between 1986 and 2013 as a manager, called time on his extraordinary career, United have gone through three permanent managers without much success, and current boss Solskjaer has found it tough since his full-time appointment.

Ferguson, 77, is undoubtedly held in high regard by the club, but it is claimed that he is frustrated that his advice is rarely sought by United and that he feels isolated by how he is being treated by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The Scot, who has a stand named after him at Old Trafford, always fought for Pochettino to be hired, but Woodward and his fellow power brokers Richard Arnold and Matt Judge were not keen on taking any of his advice on board.

It also appears that Ferguson's relationship with Solskjaer is not as close, with the Norwegian choosing against taking advice from his former boss.

"Sir Alex feels conflicted," the Daily Mail reported a close confidant from the League Managers' Association as saying.

"He can see the irony that he still spends time thinking about United when he's retired. But he loves the club and does feel a bit hurt that his opinion is never sought. He knows he's not in charge any more, but it would still be nice for him to be asked.

"Ferguson appreciates the naming of the stand and the way he is looked after on matchdays. He would never rock the boat publicly or talk any one down, after all his parting shot to the United supporters was: 'Your job is to stand by our new manager'."

Park Ji Sung, who played alongside Solskjaer under Ferguson, reiterated his former mentor's message to the board to back the current United boss, whom he believes "was the best man at that time" for the job.

Under Solskjaer, the Red Devils won just two of their final 12 games of the campaign in all competitions - a stark contrast to how the Norwegian inspired them to eight straight wins when first appointed.

"For next season, it's important for United to support their manager," Park told Goal.com.

"Support him to get the players he wants. The quicker, the better, so that the new players can spend the pre-season together with the team."

Football