Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement. It looks like David Moyes of Everton is his successor – hewn from the same Scottish block.
Like most football fans not of the Man Utd persuasion, I’m normally at best ambiguous about the club and the manager, in an envious football fan way. But today is not the time to dwell on that.
I just want to say that Fergie has been a magnificent manager of Man Utd – and Aberdeen before them, and we should all acknowledge that. His passion for the game, his love of attacking football – always United’s ethos – has been admirable over all the years of dominance. His success in terms of titles and trophies is obviously unarguable. He is the best manager of all time, in this country.
What I’ve admired over the years is how he has regenerated the United team. Never resting on laurels, always thinking ahead. Not just in the way he’s changed players, but in the way he’s brought in staff to assist him. This is where the contrast with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal is so acute. Wenger is the whole show – all are subordinate and don’t change much. As a result, relative stagnation. Fergie appears to be much more of a delegator, much more willing to bring in people with fresh ideas. It has worked brilliantly.
Phew! That’s as much praise as I can give Sir Alex and the Reds in one go. I feel almost traitorous. But today is a day to acknowledge greatness. And Sir Alex Ferguson has undeniably been great.
Even if you hate him and his team, you cannot deny that.