Ferguson is irreplaceable

The name Sir Alexander “Alex” Chapman Ferguson has been immortalised. His work at the helm of football has finally lit out after 26 fruitful years.
Ivan R. Mugisha
Ivan R. Mugisha

The name Sir Alexander “Alex” Chapman Ferguson has been immortalised. His work at the helm of football has finally lit out after 26 fruitful years.

In his era, Ferguson has seen Manchester United “knock Liverpool off their perch” while also making it a dangerous force in both England and Europe.

Much as it is appetising for every coach in the world to succeed Fergie, they know how difficult a task it is, especially for a club that hinges on long term stability.

Much as managers from other English clubs have expressed their gratitude to the Scottish, they also know that this is the right moment to snatch that top position from the Red Devils, who have held it for over two decades.

In other words, without Fergie in the driving seat, Manchester United isn’t that frightening Red Devil that ripped its opponents apart under his guidance.

Sir Alex Ferguson was described as a coldblooded manager and a sour loser by the press; this conviction was cemented one day when the fiery Scot angrily kicked a boot into the face of a man, who hates bruises - David Beckham.

What happened to Beckham is, however, nowhere comparable to the “hair drier treatment” that Fergie presented whichever player that failed to perform to expected standards.

The hairdrier somehow faded as the Scot grew older, but it was rumored that when Fergie yelled at a player, it would feel like standing right behind a heavy Boeing plane that was warming to take off.

But that is all a myth. Fergie wasn’t actually ruthless, and neither was he a scary dictator. Those who had a chance to work with him or under him can swear that Fergie was a very down-to-earth-man, very humorous and supportive of those who came to him for advice.

Kevin Palmer is one of those football commentators whose articles I look forward to. In his latest article on Soccernet, Palmer recalls the early years when, as a young writer, he was introduced to Fergie in 1996.

Having been warned that he would be confronted by Fergie-the-tyrant, Palmer was surprised when all he met was an ordinary man.

Palmer argues that the serene and supportive side of Sir Alex Ferguson is one that is rarely reported. Rightfully so, that is exactly who Sir Alex was- a great manager, a fearlessly devoted coach who never feared to toy with the rules of the sideline.

Dream opportunity

Truthfully, David Moyes was thrown into the limelight by nothing more than the English press, which did everything to see him succeed his compatriot ahead of Jose Mourinho.

Although the press was dumbstruck by Fergie’s sudden retirement, which they had no clue was coming until it happened, they suddenly became experts on why Moyes is best suited and Jose Mourinho isn’t.

Yes, yes, yes! I know I have given away my side already- I was one of those who determinedly believed that Manchester United needs Mourinho and not Moyes. But as it turned out, Moyes got it, despite having everything but a trophy on his curriculum vitae.

Wait. Moyes isn’t that bad. He isn’t bad at all. He has been at the helm of Everton since 2002, a period during which he was named League Managers Association Manager of the Year three times.

If accorded all the time he needs, Moyes has the attributes to keep United afloat- but still, he has that monkey on his back- the fact that for eleven years, he landed not a single trophy for Everton.

Being a fellow Scot definitely played a part in Ferguson’s decision to recommend him to the Red Devil executives- talk of “good nepotism.”

Moyes’ managerial tactics and his style of play are going to be the most scrutinised aspects next season. Every defeat will feel like a nail in the coffin and every win will be a breath of fresh air. In the end, all that matters is that United stays a formidable force.


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