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New USWNT head coach Emma Hayes embodies managerial style reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson

During a conversation with her male counterpart at Chelsea, Emma Hayes had to interrupt Mauricio Pochettino to pick up a call from Sir Alex Ferguson. The legendary manager had called to congratulate her on her decision to become the new U.S. women’s national team coach. Pochettino understood and Hayes continued the conversation with Ferguson, valuing his wisdom and advice on legacy and success.

Hayes has drawn inspiration from various sources due to the lack of investment in women’s football sports science. However, her main influence has been Sir Alex Ferguson. While many of Ferguson’s former players haven’t been as successful in management, Hayes has continued his legacy in the women’s game.

Hayes and Ferguson share a focus on individual management and building a winning culture. While critics have questioned their tactical abilities, both managers have evolved over time to achieve success in their respective careers.

The English women’s game has seen significant growth over the past few years, with Hayes leading the charge similar to Ferguson’s dominance in men’s football. Her strategic approach and adaptability have set her apart in the women’s football landscape.


Hayes’ success lies in her ability to bring out the best in her players and adjust tactics based on the strengths of her team. Her flexible coaching style has allowed Chelsea to thrive in various competitions and adapt to different playing styles.

Both Ferguson and Hayes emphasize the importance of a strong backroom staff and teamwork in achieving success. While Ferguson leaned heavily on his assistants, Hayes consults with her coaching staff regularly to ensure a cohesive approach.

In terms of legacy, both Ferguson and Hayes have faced challenges in European competitions, particularly against clubs with defined philosophies like Barcelona. Despite setbacks, Hayes continues to lead Chelsea with determination and a focus on winning.

Hayes’ upcoming title challenge with Chelsea reflects Ferguson’s ability to snatch victory from defeat. If Chelsea clinches another league title, it will solidify Hayes’ status as one of English football’s most successful managers, drawing comparisons to Ferguson’s legendary career.

(Top photos: Ian Kington/AFP via Getty Images; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


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