The Don is stepping down. Father is quitting work for his garden. The Gaffer is taking a back seat.When Man United got knocked out of the Champions League earlier this season at the second round stage by Real Madrid, it seemed to be a bigger deal than usual. There seemed to be a deeper sadness and heartbreak in the Man United camp – Sir Alex Ferguson more than anyone. He refused to give a post-match interview, didn’t speak to the media for days – something very strange giving the rash sending off of Nani in the crucial second leg. Man United staff claimed that Sir Alex was too upset to speak, and now we know why. Sir Alex, THE gaffer, THE boss, THE legend, THE genius has finally after 26 ridiculously successful years at the United helm has retired. He wanted to go out with a bang, he wanted that 3rd Champions League title but I’m sure he’ll get over it when he looks back at his managerial career.
It’s a strange feeling, and this is coming from someone who has no affiliation with Man United in any way I’m just a football fan, but he’s Britain’s footballing father he’s been around my whole life and that whole time he has been the top dog. He’s had a career that even the most ambitious people couldn’t dream up – he’s had a managerial career like an EA Sports FIFA manager mode. When he took over Man U were a mid-table team struggling to be a big force in England’s top flight and he has turned them into the biggest football brand in the world and England’s most successful club. 13 Premier league titles, 5 FA cups, 4 League cups, 10 Community Shields, and 2 Champions League trophies – all this and he still wasn’t happy as he has claimed many times that the club have not been good enough in Europe and that his biggest regret is that he hasn’t won more Champions League titles. He is the epitome of glory, ambition, and desire for success. Whoever attempts to fill his shoes has got a monster of a task even with them being able to call on Sir Alex advice. For many Sir Alex has been a father figure as well as a teacher of football. Players like Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Ronaldo, the Neville brothers, Hernandez, Nicky Butt, and so on have been with Sir Alex from young ages and have grown into men and world-class footballers under his stewardship – this is a man who is more than a football manager.
David Moyes is the man chosen to take Manchester United into the post-Fergie era and I think he’s the only man for the job. Mourinho and Klopp were considered but this job is a long term job. Such managers will win silverware and then leave – this goes against what has made the club so successful over the years – the continuity of Sir Alex. Moyes is a fantastic manager who is committed, loyal, and intelligent enough to take on the job and build a new long term success. I predict he will struggle at first and I can’t see him winning the league at the first time of asking but he will be a success. However their can never be another Sir Alex, no one will ever have that much success at one club let alone just stay with a club for that long. Club owners these days are too hasty; sacking managers left, right, and centre for success but this is only a short term solution.
For many people around about my age of 21, we don’t know anything else except Sir Alex. He’s been ubiquitous for over 2 decades in which he has immortalised himself with glory. As far as I’m concerned he IS Man Utd and even though that’s only one club it’s like English football will never be the same again. We’ve seen the last of such long term success. From his famous hair-dryer rants at football stars, to his no nonsense attitude with the media, his battering of chewing gum, and tapping his watch to death Sir Alex is a man football will find impossible to forget. Sir Alex Ferguson take a bow, we salute you.