Sir Alex Ferguson has simply been ‘too successful’ to be considered the benchmark for his managerial colleagues, claims Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.
The Manchester United manager, who turned 70 on December 31, will take the reigning Barclays Premier League champions to Tyneside tonight.
This comes after watching rivals Manchester City fail to take advantage of United’s 3-2 defeat to Blackburn on New Year's Eve by losing at Sunderland the next day.
Pardew is determined for success tonight, as they try to bounce back from defeat at Liverpool and catch the top six.
But Pardew argues that aspiring to match managerial standards set by Sir Alex is a task too far.
When sked if Ferguson is the benchmark for other managers to be compared to, he said: "He isn't really because he's just ridiculous.
"Something like 50 trophies – you just can't possibly imagine getting yourself into a position to win that many.”
The length of Ferguson’s tenure as United manager has given him incredible influence within the club, a fact underlined on Saturday when Wayne Rooney was left out of the side following a Boxing Day night out.
But it is behind the scenes at Old Trafford where he wields an influence of which most of his counterparts can only dream.
Pardew said: “In the terms of the way he handles his club and the way he runs his club, he is a bit more fortunate than a lot of us because he has a lot of power there and he has earned that power.
"That's what we all aim to do."
Rooney is understood to have been fined for the Boxing Day bust up but is expected to return to the starting line-up tonight.