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Today we say goodbye to one of the most, if not the most, successful manager in sporting history, Sir Alex Ferguson; he is the most successful manager in the English Premier league . The Premiership will never be the same without him and his is a legacy every sporting hero should look to emulating. For all that has been said about Fergie, one gets a sense that nothing comes close to the truth about the man cloaked in the dark coats, chewing gum incessantly by the sidelines of a football pitch. But from what little we do know, because most of everything in the press is hugely speculative, one thing is obvious; Sir Alex was a tough manager who loved to win and didn’t settle for less especially with his players. There was no one player who carried the club and if their shenanigans, personal or otherwise, threatened to overshadow the club in any way, he had no trouble in trading them; see Beckham.
Fergie was outspoken, fearless, tough and absolutely passionate about Manchester United and the game of football. He was a shrewd business man; he convinced Wenger to sell him Van Persie; a rather stupid move on Wenger’s part, what the hell was he thinking? But I guess Sir Alex made an offer he couldn’t refuse.
In the 26 years he was at Manchester United he won 38 trophies including;
-13 Premiership titles.
– 5 FA Cups
– 4 League Cups
– 2 Champions League
– a Treble in 1999
This was a man dedicated to winning but one who possesses unparalleled class and style, no one comes close to Fergie from his sideline antics, the blowdryer outbursts, to his ability to put a player in his place unceremoniously- he informed Jaap Stam, their best defender at the time, of his inevitable transfer to Lazio, at a petrol station following dissension from details Stam revealed in his book about Fergie. It doesn’t get more unceremonious than a petrol station. For real.
He has made history not only in football, but in sports as a whole and will certainly go down as one of the greats of our time. He was dedicated to building the best sporting talents and was assertive of his expectation from his players, some of who are amongst the best behaved in the League, which has to count for something when you take into account the amoral behaviour exercised by some footballers over these past years, Terry, Cole and Co.
In his parting words of wisdom to his players, Sir Alex had this to say;
“…You know the jersey you’re wearing. You know what it means to everyone here. And don’t ever let yourself down, the expectation is always there.”
Proving just how much he expects of his players and the fans expect of them.
No matter what club you support, you cannot deny the greatness of Sir Alex Ferguson; the man, the legend and his “squeaky bum” forever smacking on gum.
Sir Alex, cheers to you.
(Wriggleys should totally do a flavour of gum called “Fergie” because Sir Alex chews gum for London. If chewing gum was an olympic sport he would win, all the time!)