Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson says the ability to communicate effectively with the entire dressing room is one of the biggest lessons he learned in management.
The 79-year-old retired as Premier League champion in 2013, bringing down the curtain on an incredible stint with the Red Devils that included 13 league titles and two Champions League crowns.
Ferguson, who was at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side lost 5-0 to Liverpool on Sunday, has been sharing some of his knowledge as part of UEFA’s recent Pro Licence student exchange programme.
Sir Alex Ferguson says the ability to communicate with all his stars was a big coaching lesson
‘I really have a great affection for people who are learning the game and want to be coaches and managers,’ the former United boss told the UEFA website.
‘I started (managing) at 32 years of age and, of course, in the time from there on you do learn.
‘But I honestly would say that going into management at 32, there were a couple of things that I knew that were useful: one, I could make a decision; two, I played the game; and three, I had my coaching (qualifications). Now, these things are really important.
‘Other things I developed by the learning process if you give it time, particularly communication. I think when you’re in charge of a football team, you’re not just in charge of 11 players on the pitch.’
Iconic ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson shared his knowledge on a UEFA course
Ferguson was speaking to a current group of Pro Licence students studying with the national associations of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and the Republic of Ireland, including former United defender John O’Shea.
‘I think that it’s really important that coaches go through all the courses they can,’ Ferguson added. ‘Even the refresher courses and keep attending them, because there’s always something, little bits, you learn all the way down.
‘UEFA has to lead the way in terms of the directions of coaches and the avenues they can afford and offer them to improve themselves as coaches.
‘And I think it’ll always be UEFA that is the most important organisation in terms of creating the right platforms for young people to do well.’
Ferguson has remained behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite United’s poor form this campaign
Ferguson has remained a key influence behind the scenes at United, and reportedly has thrown his backing behind the under-pressure Solskjaer in the wake of the mauling at the hands of the club’s fierce rivals.
The legendary Scot and former chairman Martin Edwards visited Carrington yesterday, but United insisted that both were attending a pre-planned commitment.
Having mentored Solskjaer during his early days in coaching, Ferguson remains a champion of the iconic ex-striker despite United’s torrid form this season.
Sportsmail has previously reported that United – who handed Solskjaer a new three-year contract over the summer – were planning to review his position in December.
Solskjaer was handed a stay of execution after the Liverpool defeat, but is still facing the sack
The limp defeat against Liverpool accelerated the process, however, with board-level talks held between Joel Glazer, Ed Woodward and Richard Arnold on Monday.
United were not anticipating such a nosedive in fortunes, with Solskjaer’s side having collapsed to five losses in their last nine games across all competitions.
The club have been touted to sack Solskjaer soon, and have been heavily linked with former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte – who is keen on the job.
But Mauricio Pochettino remains United’s first-choice target, the Daily Star claim, and the current PSG manager is said to be highly rated by Ferguson, too.