It’s been awhile since I’ve written about football (soccer) here on the matticus kingdom. I know that is partly due to my general absence for a couple of months at the end of March to the beginning of May. However, it had been awhile since I’d written anything footy related before I disappeared too so that isn’t all of it.
I guess, I’m not really going to talk about football today either. Instead, this is more of a testament to a legend, to the greatest Manager to ever pace the sideline of any court or field, to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Tomorrow he will be stepping out on the pitch for the final time. He has been at the helm for Manchester United for 26 years… Tomorrow will be his 1500th game in charge… He’s won 13 league titles in his time in charge, turning Manchester United into a struggling middle of the table club into the force they have become. They didn’t always win with style under him, they didn’t always play up to their potential, but more often than not they have been exciting to watch and have done their fans proud.
I was planning on posting a bunch of stats about how succesful he has been, to back up my claim of “greatest manager ever,” but if you are interested you can find all of that on the Sir Alex Ferguson Wiki.
When he first announced his retirement I was a bit shell-shocked. He has been the only manager I have known while I’ve been a Manchester United supporter. What will my club be without him in charge? Will we continue our winning ways? Will we be like the other “top” clubs and start shuffling managers every year (or less)? Will our key players jump ship? I was sad, concerned, lost…
It only took a day for them to announce that they has signed David Moyes from Everton on a six-year contract. I was pleased that they at least on paper are giving him the time to settle into an impossible role. Who has the pedigree to follow Sir Alex Ferguson? Nobody. I think he will be a good fit for my beloved Red Devils. I see us continuing our recent run of success.
However, that may not keep a few tears from being shed tomorrow as the final whistle is blown, and Sir Alex disappears for the last time down the tunnel… I’m going to miss seeing him furiously chewing his gum. I’m going to miss his half jump arms raised goal celebration (I’d like to see you do better at 71). I’m going to miss his mind game news conferences, his double speak, his joking, his team selection, his tactics, his never, ever, ever give up attitude, his ability to have team after team come up with last gasp equalizers and winners (Fergie Time!)
His achievements will never be rivaled. The game will be poorer without him.
And that is why, in all likelihood, I will shed a few tears tomorrow morning after the Manchester United vs. West Bromwich Albion game. I know it’s just a silly sport. I know it is kind of ridiculous for me to feel this way. But… it is what it is, and I am who I am. Football (soccer) pulls at my soul.
Thank you Sir Alex for the years of glory. I hope you get all the time you want with your children and grandchildren. I hope the club can continue to give you brilliant goals and dramatic victories to cheer on for many years to come.