As of 8th May 2013, Alexander Chapman Ferguson, better known to many as Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he’ll retire at the end of the season on his 1500th game in charge of Manchester United when United faces off against West Brom.
Over the course of his 26 odd years in charge of United, he has won a staggering 38 trophies including 13 of United’s 20 titles and 2 Champions League trophies. He has crafted team after team of staggering quality, spirit and indomitable fortitude. From the craft and flair of players like Ronaldo, Cantona, Beckham, to the goal machines of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Mark Hughes, and the brute strength and steel of players like Steve Bruce, Nemanja Vidic, Roy Keane, Robson and Jaap Stam. And let’s not forget the silent workmen of Ferguson’s era at United, Park “Three-Lungs” Ji Sung, Dennis Irwin and the Neville brothers. The quality of players that Ferguson has overseen through his time at the club is immense and could easily fill up 5 squads of indisputable class. Such a statement is sheer testament to Ferguson’s quality in selecting, training and nurturing character, skill and class in his players.
The will to win, the fierce determination, the strict discipline and standards to which he holds himself and his players is something Ferguson will always be famous for. His “My Way or the Highway” approach to management has often seen players the likes of Beckham, Heinze, Stam, Ince leave the club in acrimonious circumstances but inspite of this, United has continue to stand strong with the club full of players with character and strong mentalities (something Ferguson admired and rewarded) as a result of Fergie’s strict rule.
Despite the common impression of Ferguson as an angry Scotsman, it’s often surprising that Ferguson is in fact quite the opposite. A fiercely loyal and caring father figure to many players, his patience and faith in his player’s abilities is legendary. Players like Carrick and Evans can testify to such patience. An active spokesman for the Manager’s Union in England, he may be ruthless on the pitch, but off it, he often looks out for the newer managers and ensures that they are treated well and in a fair manner by club owner.
There’s many things to be said about Ferguson and many more things to be said about his massive reign at United. But for now, there will be nothing but silence from United supporters and fans, mourning the departure of the greatest manager the game will ever see.
Tara Fergie. You magnificent bastard. A winner till the end.