I’ve followed my club – Newcastle, for the best part of 15 years. Like many other fans, I truly took note of Newcastle’s meteoric rise to near glory in ’96 and knew that this club would always have a place in my heart. As we all know, an end of season collapse plus a meticulous yet resilient Manchester United pipped us to the title that season.
Manchester United. Where do we start? One of the most glorified clubs in the world. They’ve bathed in success for the last 25 years, producing and utilising players of such an ilk, very few teams can compare. I’m talking of the likes of Cantona, Giggs, Scholes, Robson, Beckham, Keane and in recent times the Ronaldo and Rooney. The club has always maintained its domestic dominance, bar the odd blip, despite the comings and going’s of many players. But one thing has remained a constant – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Love him or hate him, you can’t help but admire him. The way he has invigorating so many different united teams, even some very mediocre ones (Class of 2011 stand forward), and to drive them to domestic and some European glories is nothing short of remarkable. A man who came to ‘knock Liverpool of their perch’ in 1986, achieved this with their 19th title last season. And despite the trials and tribulations they’ve faced this season, they remain top of the league. He has never been a man to shy away from big decision, ask Keane and Becks that. He’s always had the psychological presence in other managers’ minds – ask Kevin Keegan. He’s always had an influence on the FA to suit his club’s needs – ask Howard Webb. And he’s built a dynasty from that. He’s turned a decent club, to a global brand. Ask a child in the villages of Somalia to name a football team. You catch my drift.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Although ‘Fergie’ may be seen as an immortal at the Stretford End, things didn’t start so rosy in the Manchester garden. A relatively poor start to his reign led to some sections of the crowd 25 years ago chanting for his head. Now they’re asking for a crown to be upon it. This could also be seen as a lesson for those teams who feel the trigger finger too often (Ahem Chelsea and Liverpool).
Some may say that United have bought success, and relatively speaking they did. But then Newcastle attempted this in the 90′s, and failed. Chelsea tried this – yielding limited success. The latest club is Manchester City – only time will see how their financial clout will benefit them.
Just to clarify, I hate his guts, just like 95% of Premier league fans. But you cannot do anything but stand back and applaud the accolades and achievements he’s brought to Manchester United. The day he retires may be the end of the dominance of United, particularly with their noisy neighbours stepping on the devil’s toes this season.
So, let’s tilt our hats to one of the worlds greatest managers. Now p*ss off for the benefit of every other English club.
- Ferguson will make difference, says Bryan Robson (independent.co.uk)
- Sir Alex Ferguson: He’s only human (like Desert Orchid) (leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com)