Today has been such a strange day. I always knew that it would happen eventually, but I didn’t think it would be so soon or so sudden. Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day on a remarkable twenty six and a half year spell as manager of Manchester United this morning.
Ferguson will be impossible to replace and his successor, David Moyes, will have giant boots to fill. But in some sense, Moyes will have it a lot easier than he did. He leaves behind an incredible squad – a championship winning squad, and even more importantly players infused with that winning mentality which often is the difference at the end of the season.
Over the next few days, months, and even years, the debate over whether Sir Alex Ferguson was the greatest manager will go on, I imagine. I’d rather not get into that, since there are a lot more people qualified to have an opinion on that than I do. People who argue yes will point to the longevity of his reign and his success domestically. People who argue against will point to the lack of European cups or to the fact that he never created a team that dominated European for an extended period of time. Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
To me, Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United. Everything I associate with Manchester United – experience mixed with youth, the never say die attitude, the philosophy on discipline and that no one man is bigger than the club, are all things that he played a large part in. I began watching United play eleven odd years ago, and so to me, and I suspect a lot of my generation, there is no Manchester United before Sir Alex Ferguson. He is, and will forever remain, the Great Elder of Old Trafford.
I’m so accustomed to seeing him walking up and down the touchline, chewing gum and urging United on that it’s hard for me to imagine what life at Manchester United will be like without him. But I guess it’s time to find out.