Sir Alex Ferguson: The Exit of an Irreplaceable Gaffer
When the rumours broke out about the prospects of Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down as Manchester United boss by the various british tabloids, I quickly squashed and dismiss such reports for I know its just vacuous and unfounded especially, in light of the fact that Manchester United are good when it comes to concealing virtually all aspects of the club activities.
However, with in some hours, the news started trending on twitter that even Daily Mail, one of british highly regarded tabloid reported the possibility of David Moyes, Everton Manager, replacing the United gaffer. And it manifested conspicuously due to the fact that, the Everton ace refuses to sign a new contract sparkling hitherto another light at the end of the tunnel for such rumours.
Some reports suggested that several calls to the club officials by some desperate journalists to confirm the story have been strictly rejected and all other efforts proves to be abortive.
However, it didn’t take long after the rumours as the most prognosticated rumour turned into reality when Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed his retirement on Wednesday morning after a fruitful and successful 26 years in charge of the Manchester based club.
The Scottish legend took over from Ron Atkinson on Nov 6, 1986 and goes ahead to win a plethora of trophies and individual awards. He will move upstairs to be a club director at the end of the current campaign.
Sir Alex Ferguson completely transformed Manchester United from an ordinary struggling team to a true champions with his policy of nurturing young talents, as well as the excellent age combination of players that have formed the basic philosophy and ideology of the club in almost more than two decades.
When Sir Matt Busby, who died in 1994 retired as Manchester United boss after a scintillating career that saw Manchester United dominate europe in the 1968, many thought it was an end of era for Manchester United.
The Manchester United of the 1960’s, characterised by the brilliance of Gorge Best, Denis Law, Brain Kidd and Sir bobby Charlton not to mention but few, dominated europe and dazzled past every opponent.
When Sir Alex Ferguson took over, there was an enormous pressure to replicate the success his predecessors enjoyed, and it became highly monumental for him to emulate and repeat the legacy left by Sir Matt Busby. After a series of transition period, Sir Alex Ferguson produced a crop of young and burgeoning players often tagged as “Fergie Fledglings”. These players were Ryan Giggs, Garry Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes after the famous 1992 FA Youth Cup victory. They went ahead to form a formidable foundation of the club for the next decade and proved all critics wrong including Match of the Day pundit, Alan Hansen, who said: “you’ll never win anything with kids”.
Sir Alex is not just a gaffer but rather a magnificent counsellor, a father and a disciplinarian, of which, he had persistently proved in both the past and present in order to ensure his players have been granted all the necessary support to dwell and succeed in the game.
Despite starting slowly to his Manchester United career, the legendary scot is a real genius when it comes to delivering results and tactical prowess, which of course culminated into him, having about 49 trophies to his name, hence making him the most successful and decorated manager in Britain.
The 1998/1999 season is regarded as the greatest season Sir Alex Ferguson ever enjoyed as a manager and a great turning point to his blistering career. That season saw Manchester United winning an unprecedented treble, and in that same season, Sir Alex Ferguson received a knighthood for his services to football in June 1999.
Sir Alex Ferguson almost quit the game back in 2001/2002 season amid poor form and other criticisms. He later rescinded the decision to the greatest joy of many fans globally and, in a decision he later described as “a big mistake” and, an “absolute disaster” for making the announcement public. He went ahead to win a dozen of trophies ahead including the Champions League and the FIFA Club World in Japan back in 2008.
Announcing the news, Sir Alex was quoted as saying: “The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.
“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.
Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world”.
”Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future”
”I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a bedrock of both stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this has meant to me”.
”As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich”
”In my early years, the backing of the board, and Sir Bobby Charlton in particular, gave me the confidence and time to build a football club, rather than just a football team”.
“Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy Chief Executive in David Gill. I am truly grateful to all of them”.
“To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United.”
Manchester United are now been left to grope greatly in search of a crucial replacement for the first time in almost a quarter of a century (30 years). Several reports are linking Jose Mourinho and David Moyes as the likely contenders to replace the legendary Scot. The former has his future unpredictable and uncertain at Real Madrid, and it looks obvious he is ready to quit at the end of the season coupled with his renewed relationship with Sir Alex in the last couple of years; while the latter is in the final year of his contract and has refused to begin talks for a renewal.
Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund is highly-rated and also a strong contender to replace Fergie, but given his lack of experience in the Premier League, its highly unlikely he might be given the job, thus denting his chances of stepping into a great man’s shoes.
Any manager who is fortunate to replace Fergie must among other things, be a good administrator and competent in all sporting activities. He must be able to continue the philosophy of youth development as well as extending the Manchester United scouting system in exploiting talents across the globe.
Manchester United is known with the habit of integrating youths gradually into the team until they are fully ready for the game. Such trends must however be extended and maintained. David Moyes filled that criteria for he had both in the past and present developed the players like Wayne Rooney, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and Dan Gossling.
The Everton boss is also believed to have worked with a limited budget and resources in his entire eleven seasons. He had equally transformed Everton to be a strong force in the league, and vying for a place in europe almost every season.
With the current status of the squad, and a good age combination, the future looks bright for Manchester United even without Sir Alex Ferguson.
I’m @el_bonga on twitter.