Some say it is the football equivalent of the fall of the Berlin wall. Many were unsure that the day would ever come. Most are willing to show their admiration and respect. And a select and very special few think that the Black Eyed Peas have disbanded, due to “Fergie” retiring. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be true.
Love him or hate him, Sir Alex Ferguson will go down in history as one of the best managers is professional sports.
He has been the epitome of continuity, consistency, and success in a football world fraught with change. He was an immovable rock jutting out of the tumultuous flow of the football world. However, even the toughest rock will not last forever against the constant battering of nature.
The inevitable day has come that all Manchester United fans have been dreading and all others have been silently, or not so silently, hoping for; Sir Alex Ferguson will retire his post as manager of Manchester United Football Club.
At this point, I’m sure most of us have heard about this already, and I could give you a litany of his accomplishments, but that has been done already all over the internet and on newspapers worldwide.
The one statistic, however, that I would like to know, is how many Manchester United supporters even know a Manchester United without Sir Alex? The growth of the premier league, on a global scale, means over the past 2 decades most new fans worldwide, haven’t lived without another United manager. This is like having the same president for nearly 27 years, you would begin to think he wasn’t going away. I would guess, and this is just a guess, that over 90% of United fans, have only ever known United during Sir Alex Ferguson’s era.
You have probably also heard about his newly appointed successor: David Moyes
Well, it’s controversy galore, as it was always going to be. Really, no one is going to fit into the shoes of Sir Alex, but here is my 4 cents on why I think Moyes just might be the man for United.
1: Respect of Players – During this weeks events, and ever for that matter, did you hear any past players show anything but respect for Ferguson. Similarly, did any of David Moyes’ past or present players show any doubt in his abilities or show any lack of respect to him as the leader of their team. Now, I know that both Ferguson and Moyes have had disagreements with players in the past. It is natural, and sometimes beneficial, to have arguments. However, even those players who have left these two managers in the past, have noted the respect and admiration they have for these two men. The same can not always be said for other possible candidates.
2: Liverpool – Ferguson’s main goal when taking over so many years ago was to “knock Liverpool of their @#%#$% perch”. This has led to one of the biggest rivalries in the footballing world today. The not-derby to end all derbies. After 25 plus years (in 2011), Ferguson was finally able to do that, in a domestic sense, after leading United to their 19th league title, and surpassing Liverpool’s record of 18. Ferguson’s successor had to be someone who understood this rivalry. The man who took Everton FC out of the shadow of their Merseyside rival, surely knows what it means to go to battle against Liverpool.
3: Stability – The biggest criticism of Moyes’ appointment was his lack of European experience. This is a valid point, considering he has very little. However, while Moyes may not have the European experience as others, he has shown the ability to provide something even more rare in modern football: stability. Stability is also something that Manchester United fans have grown accustomed to. Are there sexier managers? Sure. Are there more reliable managers? I doubt it.
4: Fergie’s Recommendation – If there is one thing that United fans have learned throughout the past 27 years, it is to trust Sir Alex. I, for one, have questioned him numerous times and it has nearly always ended the same way; me being wrong. After 27 years of him getting it right, I find it hard to argue with his recommendation to appoint Moyes his successor.
It’s never going to be an easy transition for the Club, but I’m looking forward to getting to know this new United.
As is always the case, only time will tell.
Thank you Sir Alex!
See you next season,