Great teams are built by great managers, ones who can select the right players, choose the right tactics, turn the corner when things aren't going right, inspire and encourage their troops and act as a mediator between the owners and the footballers. It is true that football is played by the eleven on the pitch, and not the man in the suit on the sidelines, but with a manager as capable and talented as the ones on this list, half the game is won already. Here is our list of the greatest managers to serve the English game, those whose efforts from outside the field have made a lasting impression on the history of the sport in the country :
1) Sir Alex Ferguson
Was there ever going to any doubting Ferguson's inclusion in this list? The Scot's 25-year tenure with Manchester United has seen the Red Devils go from strength to strength, asserting their status as the most successful team in England and winning countless honours along the way. Ferguson, now regarded as one of the best managers of all time, had garnered decent success before joining United, winning the Scottish League, UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Aberdeen. He, however, took over Manchester United in less-than-auspicious times, when they were second-from-bottom in the league, but rebuilt the side, pushing them slowly up the table. However, three years into his job and still trophy-less, Ferguson was rumoured to be close to getting the sack, before a great run in the FA Cup won him his first title in 1990. Soon after that began Ferguson's golden era, as the signings of Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel, along with the emergence of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and other youngsters kept the Red Devils' purple patch going. A brilliant knack of never letting his team get old together, Ferguson always managed to bring the right mix of youth and experience into his side, and to date, has made countless transitions to his squads, with the same results. Now at the age of 69, Ferguson still powers on as hungry for success as ever, with the knowledge that he has helped turn British football's history on its head.