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Sir Alex Ferguson: 25 Years Not Out

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The City fans have seen something recently in their club that the good times are coming but maybe the club and the man they have to look to for inspiration is none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.

Many City fans will see this as a joke as they have just smashed six goals past their oldest rivals and will be looking to rub salt into the wounds whenever they can and would not want to look up to their rivals as a yardstick but maybe they should just think again!

Sir Alex will celebrate 25 years at Old Trafford on November 6th and he has seen and done it all, City are only just starting…or are they?

Many times during his time at Old Trafford, Sir Alex and his team have been written off, “You can’t win anything with kids” said former Liverpool player and Match of the Day pundit, Alan Hansen – how much of a fool was he made to look?

Kids like Beckham, Butt, Scholes, the Neville’s and more came through the Old Trafford ranks and yes they all won championships and various other medals under Sir Alex.

He has rebuilt Manchester United teams over and over again, some playing exciting, attacking football and others just grinding out results, showing the metal needed to be winners even letting go of a few fans favourites in the process but over the years he has given them new heroes to cheer as his faith in players young and old has been repaid 10 times over.

Few could argue that Govan’s finest has been a huge success in his time down south with Manchester United and anyone who doubted his managerial genius when he first arrived at Old Trafford from Pittodrie, where he also helped Aberdeen dominate not only the Scottish game but they where the kings of Europe in 1983 winning the Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup, have now been made to eat their words.

Manchester United could have easily sacked Sir Alex after a sticky start to his time in England and perhaps if Mark Robins had not scored against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the City Ground, maybe he would not have had the chance to be one of the greatest manager’s this country has ever seen.

Manchester City ended their long 35 year wait for silverware with a 1-0 FA Cup win over Stoke thanks to Yaya Toure’s goal but you just know that Roberto Mancini will not be around the club in another 25 years
to taste any further success that the club may or may not have built on the Wembley win, which could be the difference between the two clubs, Sir Alex has staying power, although many in the City corner will hope that the omens are as good for their club and the FA Cup could just be the ice-breaking to more trophies heading to the Blue half of Manchester.

Manchester United had gone 26 years without winning the title until Sir Alex turned up but the title was not the springboard to his success, it was the success in the FA Cup but only after a few scares along the way and even in the final itself.

After a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace at Wembley, United won the Cup after a replay with Lee Martin being the unlucky hero but just like Mark Robins before him, his place in United folklore will always remain.

Victory in the FA Cup gave Manchester United a chance to get back on track on the European scene and the Cup Winners Cup, just like in his time at Pittodrie, when Real Madrid were defeated in the final, this gave Fergie another taste of glory as the Red Devils beat Barcelona 2-1 and gave his critics something to chew on.

Manchester United were now back and Fergie was the master tactician supreme and the fans who were once calling for his head, now started to see that this was a man who could be on the verge of something big with their club and how right they have been ever since.

The 26 years of heart-break was ended Sir Alex’s team have dominated the English game with only a few titles being “out on loan” to Arsenal, Blackburn and Chelsea but each time United lost their grip of the title, they became more and more focused to regain it back again.

The number 19 has also meant that they are the most successful side in England as last year Sir Alex lead his Red Devils to title number 19 and in doing so they have knocked Liverpool off their perch, which they sat on for so long holding on to their 18 titles, records have been set and broken by Sir Alex and his Manchester United side over the years.

He has watched his side complete a” Double” and also a” Treble” in 1999 which brought that special season to a fantastic end.

United under Sir Alex have also been crowned as Champions of Europe to add to their 1968 crown on a further two occasions, beating Bayern Munich (2-1 in 1999) and Chelsea (6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 2008) to take their winning of the Champions League to three times and perhaps if they hadn’t played the best side on the planet in the other two Champions League finals (Barcelona losing 2-0 in 2009 and 3-1 in 2011) they would have matched Liverpool in that department also.

Honours and Sir Alex have gone hand in hand and no matter whatever happens between now and when he eventually does retire, he should go down in Manchester United history as a legend and a permanent marker at the stadium known as the Theatre of Dreams where he has made many dreams turn into reality, should salute the man who has turned the club on its head to become the biggest club in the world, not many managers could have done what Sir Alex has done with that club over the years and perhaps there is still
time for him to achieve even more history yet for the club and himself, few would bet against him doing just that, so Manchester City fans and fans of the other clubs in the Premier League, enjoy United’s rare slip up, this is a marathon not a sprint and we will see who is wearing the smiles when the trophies are given out in May!

Sir Alex has had many ups and downs at Manchester United but he has always shown that he is the master of pulling a trick or two out of the bag and after 25 years not out, you would be foolish to write off this old fox just yet!

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About Author

Chief Features Writer for Scotzine.com. Sean has written for various publications and websites over the years and has been involved with making documentaries on Aberdeen Football Club, Dundee United Football Club, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Jock Stein and also Radio programmes, one of which "Old Firm Day" won a Bronze Sony Award. He also worked in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. His love of writing started off with The Punter and has gone on to write for the following FIFA magazine, 442, Scotland's Oracle, Players Inc, British Football Week, ESPN, Give Me Football, Inside Futbol, 67 Fanzine and the matchday programmes of Aberdeen, Carlisle United, Montrose, Partick Thistle, Stockport County and Queen's Park. He has also been asked to write a blog for Youth Football Scotland on St.Mirren YFC such was his passion for football at every level from Grassroots to the professional game.

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