Derek Davis' Football Chatter

ONE of the questions I was asked on my live webchat yesterday was did I regard Sir Alex Ferguson as the best manager the game has known?While in no way wanting to belittle Sir Alex's achievements over 20 long and, fairly, illustrious career, at Manchester United, and Aberdeen before that, I still don't regard him as the game's greatest manager.

ONE of the questions I was asked on my live webchat yesterday was did I regard Sir Alex Ferguson as the best manager the game has known?

While in no way wanting to belittle Sir Alex's achievements over 20 long and, fairly, illustrious career, at Manchester United, and Aberdeen before that, I still don't regard him as the game's greatest manager.

Without going back as far as Herbert Chapman, the legendary Huddersfield and Arsenal supremo, I personally rate Bob Paisley as No. 1.

Yes, Ferguson won 19 trophies over 20 years but in many ways only one Champions' League title in two decades for the world's richest club could be considered a poor return.


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In comparison Paisley delivered three European Cups, when you had to win the league, or be champions, to be in it and in his nine seasons in charge also won five league titles in seven years, the UEFA Cup, European Super Cup and three back-to-back League Cup titles. He then left a team that continued to dominate domestically and on the continent.

Prior to taking charge from the great Bill Shankly - fancy having to step into his shoes - Paisley had assisted in making Liverpool a huge force with three league titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup.

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Although Paisley won six Manager of the Year titles and was then the first manager inducted into the Football Hall of Fame and got an OBE, the most amazing thing about all this for me is that Paisley was never knighted. Can anyone explain that one?

Oh, and I don't even see Ferguson as the second best because I feel that Brian Clough's achievement at Nottingham Forest in winning back-to-back European Cups as even better, given the team he did it with.

What do you think? Drop me a line if you agree or disagree.

TALKING of managers good and bad, my vote as winner in the Pardew v Wenger spat is the West Ham boss. Perhaps he was zealous in his celebrations, but after his recent troubles who can blame him?

For me Wenger's reaction and refusal to accept Pardew's outstretched hand at the end, and silence since, is an indication that he has already conceded the title.

Interestingly, in the League Manager's Association the leading boss at the moment is Paul Jewell (Wigan).

Jim Magilton has moved up to eighth, while Geraint Williams is in 18th.

Talk about lies, damned lies and statistics.

THE Mark Murphy Breakfast show on BBC Radio Suffolk has secured an unusual sponsorship deal at Portman Road - and it hasn't cost the licence fee payers a penny.

Murphy, a season ticket holder in North stand upper, was apparently keen to show his support for the Blues by sponsoring something at the club. So in exchange for one of his legendary Mark Murphy Ugly mugs, Mark is now the official sponsor of Alan Fergurson's award-winning fork.

NOW it is hard to feel sorry for a guy earning a telephone number salary as a professional footballer but you have to feel for Kieron Dyer.

Just when it looks as if he is ready for the latest of his comebacks - he's already had more than Frank Sinatra - he goes and runs into a pole and almost pokes his eye out while training at Newcastle.

Fortunately it is not as bad as it might have been except he will now have to wear protective goggles to play and that has to be hard to take.

TWO tickets up for grabs for Ipswich Town's game with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Just tell me who scored the Blues' winner at Hillsborough last season.

The competition closes on Friday lunchtime and you can send in answers to Derek Davis, Championship Chatter, EADT, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. IP4 1AN, or e-mail derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

Well done, to the winners of Who's Who of Ipswich Town, a book that has Romeo Zondervan as the last player listed. They are Colin Mayes, Ipswich; June Green, Oulton Broad; Simon Whyard, Woodbridge; James Bruce, Clacton; and Debbie Sewell, Bramford Tye. The books are on their way.

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