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alex ferguson

Not many would have predicted the sucess that was to be acheived under new boss Alex Ferguson when he took over in 1978. By his own Admission Fergie may not have given his post his full attention in his first season. The industrial tribunal and the ilness of his father had contrived to pre occupy the new boss. It was a learning curve for both Fergie and his players. What was perhaps the most significant was that the nucleus of a grat Aberdeen side was at his disposal. Following a first season that promised much but delivered little, doubts remained. Those concerns heightened when the Dons git-wrapped the League Cup to Dundee Utd in December 1979.It was perhaps the lowest period under Alex Ferguson.In May 1980 the Dons had clawed back a Celtic lead in the title race to take the championship in dramatic fashion. A 5-0 defeat of Hibernian at Easter Road on the last day of the season gave Aberdeen the title for only the second time in their history. Ferguson had brought in Mark McGhee and with the emergence of the likes of Alex McLeish and Jim Leighton there was much to look forward to. Fergies' great strength was to instil a beleif in his players that they could be a match for anyone. That beleif was to Augur well as this Aberdeen was gradually brushing both halves of the Old Firm aside. Ferguson also plundered his old team St Mirren on occasion and in all he brought Peter Weir, Billy Stark, Doug Bell and Frank McDougall, all of whom made a telling contribution at Pittodrie. In 1982 Aberdeen went close to the title again but it was in the Cup Final that they came of age. They went into the game against Rangers as overwhelming favourites, such as the progress made, and they did not dissapoint as the Dons won 4-1 in impressive style. That Cup success opened the door to Europe and it was in that arena that Aberdeen were to be judged. In season 1982/83 under Alex Ferguson the Dons went on to win both the ECWC and the Scottish Cups, a marvellous achievement for a provincial club. The fact that Aberdeen had beaten Bayern Munich and then their ultimate scal of Real Madrid in the Gothenburg Final served notice that these Dons were not for messing. Their European success was acheived by a side that were all modest buys and home grown talent, all from Scotland. Never since has any team managed such a feat. Domestically it was on the battlefields of Ibrox and Parkhead that Aberdeen had to make their mark. They did that with no little style. Ferguson was a master of the mind games, building his players up before such games and it is to his credit that the players beleived in themselves; that they could go anywhere and not lose.

Of course it was inevitable that Alex Ferguson would attract the attentions of other clubs during his spell at Pittodrie. His stature had grown by the year and there was no let up by the Dons who had now become without doubt, the No 1 team in Scotland. Following on from their European nSuper cup success in 1983, Ferguson demanded his side reclaim the league title. His players duly obliged with record points hauls in 1984 and 1985 as Aberdeen retained the Championship for the first time.

Hampden also became a second home for the Dons as they again created club history by winning the Scottish Cup three times in succession in 1982, 1983 and 1984. These were heady days and Alex Ferguson could do little wrong. Ferguson also endeared himself to the Aberdeen support when he not only knocked back Tottenham and Wolves but ensured that Rangers' attempts to make him and his captain Willie Miller to Ibrox were doomed to fail. For once in recent Scottish football history the buying power of the Old Firm counted for little. Ferguson had a job to finish and Rangers would not stand in his way.Perhaps it was his treatment at Ibrox as a player that had some bearing, but it was good news all round for Aberdeen who continued to dominate their Glasgow rivals. In1985 the Dons clinched the Premier League title in front of their own fans for the first time. Willie Miller led the way with the goal that gave the Dons a 1-1 draw against Celtic and the Party began. Some months later they won the only trophy that had eluded Ferguson during his seven years at pittodrie, the League Cup. The Dons boss had never been an admirer of the competition but had stated that he wanted to win it that year to complete his set of successes. That may have sounded arrogant outwith the confines of Pittodrie but he had just cause for such optimism as the dons at that time were virtually unbeatable. For the record Aberdeen won the League Cup to satisfy their manager and did without conceding a single goal in any of their ties.

A year later it was all to come to an end. Events at Old Trafford had meant that Manchester Utd had dispensed with Ron Atkinson. Ferguson was top of the Old Trafford shopping list. Privately he had stated that he would only ever leave the Dons for perhaps three clubs in the world, unfortunately Manchester United was right up there.

On reflection it was a golden era under Ferguson and those days will never be repeated such as the unique circumstances that prevailed.

Despite a traumatic early spell at Manchester United, Ferguson has gone on to become the most sucessful manager ever in British football, culminating with his club's European Champions Cup success over Bayern Munich in 1999. Defeating the German champions was nothing new to Fergie; Aberdeen supporters had seen it all before.

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AFC Competitive Managerial Record

Competition Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GD
Europe 47 23 12 12 74 46 28
League 304 175 76 53 592 243 349
LeagueCup 63 42 10 11 148 45 103
ScotsCup 42 30 8 4 89 30 59
Total 456 270 106 80 903 364 539
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead