Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thank You, Sir Alex

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Assalamu'alaikum, everyone!!

The world of football...Or sports for that matter is shaken by the fact that Sir Alexander "Alex" Chapman Ferguson or Sir Alex Ferguson a.k.a Fergie, (not to be confused with Fergie from Black Eyed Peas) will retire as the manager of Manchester United at the end of this season..........

Fergie (left) being appointed as manager.  The picture's in black and white.  That's how long it is.

Sir Alex, who will be undergoing hip surgery soon, took over from his predecessor, Ron Atkinson, on 6th November 1986 and made his first signing with Liam O'Brien (or Viv Anderson.  So it's either or).  His last signing was Wilfried Zaha, wonder kid from Crystal Palace that will be unveiled in a United shirt next season.

Dare I say that Sir Alex is the most successful manager in football with 13 Premiere League titles, 5 FA Cups, 2 UEFA Champions League titles and FIFA Club World Cup where Man United is the only English club to win it.  And those are just the major competitions.  He's made a lot of things possible for the club.  You may be a fan of other football clubs, but you can't deny the fact that this man is a legendary figure of the sport...

Sir Alex (far left) during the unveiling of his statue at Old Trafford

They named a stand after him.  That just shows it innit?
He signed many players that became legendary in the club and shaped some that if it weren't for him, we might not even heard of them............

Fergie signed Eric Cantona from Leeds United in November 1992 at 1.2 million pounds
Better known as "King Eric" among the fans, Eric Cantona was voted the greatest ever Manchester United player in Inside United magazine.  Known for his insane goal scoring abilities, he's also known for his kung fu kick on a supporter (Google it).  That doesn't shadow the fact that Eric is still "king".

Gary Pallister....Bought from Middlesbrough with a 2.3 million pound fee, he and Steve Bruce made the defense of the club impenetrable back in the day.  It's the equivalent of Rio's and Vida's partnership but even more awesome.

Peter Schmeichel....8 years of honours he had at Old Trafford and about 16 goalkeepers came to United after his departure.  With a treble (winning the Premiere League,FA Cup and Champions League in a season) in his grasp from the '98/'99 season, the only goalkeeper that came close to his accomplishments was Edwin van der Sar, who now is retired.

What a save!
Me with what I a wax figure of Schmeichel at Old Trafford last year.
Next up, Keano!!

Sir Alex signed Roy Keane from Nottingham Forest with a 3.75 million pound price tag.  I'm not sure about this but I think he's one of the players at Manchester United that got the most red cards.  Like I said, not sure.  His mouth outlasted his legs and he hastily retired in 2005.  Some harsh words were thrown during an MUTV interview.  Keano won 12 major titles - 9 as captain.

And who could ever forget David Beckham?  David Robert Joseph Beckham took over Cantona's no. 7 shirt and became an icon of the club.  Best known for his speciality in free kicks, scoring countless of them even until now.  Notably his free kick against Greece as an England player (when he was still a United player).  That free kick during the World Cup 2002 qualifier made England qualified for the World Cup.  He bends the ball like no other.  Despite moving to Real Madrid, he's still loved by United fans.

Ole (left) with Fergie
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer....This baby-face Norwegian can be said as Man United's super sub scoring 29 of his 126 goals from coming off the bench.  One of his notable goals is the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the '99 Champions League final at the Nou Camp.  That year is one of the greatest years to be a Manchester United fan.

Sir Alex unveiling Ruud van Nistelrooy
Fergie bought Ruud from PSV with 19 million pounds and this man made quite a name for himself.  Being one of the players who scored more than 25 goals in his debut season (along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie) and winning PFA Player of the Year.

Here's a familiar name.  He might come back too after moving from Old Trafford the Bernabeu.....

Portuguese whiz kid (back then), Cristiano Ronaldo
Signed from Sporting Lisbon with 12.24 million pounds, he was given the no. 7 shirt.  117 goals wearing United colours and then he went to Real Madrid for 80 million pounds.  He went in good terms.  Although, there are speculations that he's "prepared" for a move back to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo hugging Fergie during the 1st leg of United's Champions League match against Real Madrid
Fergie signed Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney a.k.a wazza, bought from Everton, made his name known in English football with his Everton  goal against Arsenal that won that match with a 2-1 scoreline.  In his debut match as a Man United player however, he scored a hat-trick against Turkish side Fenerbahce in the Champions League.  It has "dream debut" written all over it innit?

Wazza has the no. 10 shirt now as you can see.
Nemanja Vidic (Vida) with his Player of the Month award with Fergie and his Manager of the Month award.
Bought from Spartak Moscow, he and Rio can be quite a wall of a defense.  Next to Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister's partnership.  This United no. 15 made and has been making many stops and blocks to shut out the shots on Man United's goal.

I'm sure there are several other purchases of Sir Alex that made an impact but enough on that.

Here are quotes from some people of the football world...............

Gary Neville - "Greatest manager of all time"
Laurent Blanc - "He had great players in front of him but he also saw them as his sons."
David Beckham - "he was also a father figure to me" and "Thank you boss and enjoy the rest!"
Dwight Yorke - "It's not going to be right without Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United"
Cristiano Ronaldo - "Thanks for everything boss"

Here are some quotes that are not from Manchester United players (former or current).............

Manchester city captain, Vincent Kompany - "Sir Alex, one of the best managers of all time.  After 26 years of success in the game, we all owe him a tribute."
British Prime Minister, David Cameron - "SAF's achievement at MUFC has been exceptional.  Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team AVFC" (Aston Villa).
Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid striker - "Stand up, put your hands together and give him a big round of applause!  Sir Alex is retiring.  Congrats on an amazing career"

Other sports figures paid their respects to Sir Alex too...........

Britain's no.1 tennis player, Andy Murray - "What a legend Sir Alex Ferguson!  Shame that he is retiring from management but what a career its been.. Who's next for United? #irreplaceable"
Tennis's "King of Clay", Rafael Nadal - "A great career fighting for the team! Admirable #SirFerguson.  Good luck in your new way."
Fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt - "A major iconic football figure." and "Always words of encouragement even though we were in different sport #Willbemissed."
Golf star and die-hard United fan, Rory McIlroy - "An end of an era today! Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest of all time! United will have a tough time trying to replace him!"

Rumours are stirring about who his successor would be.  Everton manager, David Moyes, Real Madrid boss, Jose Mourinho or Jurgen Klopp from Borussia Dortmund.  As I'm writing this, it's said that David Moyes might be taking charge.  Not surprising actually as he has long been a favourite of Fergie to replace him.  However, I'm not so sure about it as he doesn't really have European football experience (in the Champions League) but we'll see who will get the hotseat as Manchester United's next manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson, ladies and gentleman.  27 years as Manchester United manager.  He has his ups and downs in the business but you can't hate him for being a passionate manager and iconic manager of this beautiful sport.  Despite his saying of being a director at club, fans all over the world including myself will definitely miss his gum-chewing, watch-watching, red-faced antics at the touchline.

So here's to you, Sir Alex.  The best and most successful manager in football.......

He made this and a lot more possible
See you guys on the flip side!!

P.S: This is arguably my longest blog post and what an honour it is to blog about Sir Alex Ferguson