This morning was like any other. Wake up at six. Shower. Go to work.
The radio plays out over the room at work. You can hear the music clearly enough, but some of the spoken words can be difficult to catch, such as the news. As BBC's Radio one's newsbeat music kicked in at around ten O'clock, I heard the last three words of the headline. "...Leaves Old Trafford". Naturally, my attention was caught. The next line dropped my jaw so fast to the ground im surprised it is still in tact. I stood rooted to the spot for a good twenty seconds absorbing the monumental blow that is the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
What an extraordinary human being he is, let alone a manager. I am very confident in saying that the success he has had during his twenty six year tenure as gaffer will never be matched again in football. He has fought off all comers and every challenge that has presented himself during his time. They say no man is bigger than a club, but the hole that is left is vast, and his successor will have ginormous shoes to fill.
And who shall replace him. David Gill (Who he himself is leaving the club in the summer) spoke to MUTV, with ManUtd.com carrying these quotes.
"I’m not going to get into speculation on that [an exact date]... but we will move relatively quickly. I’m not going to define how quickly that is though,The qualities [needed] are the ones that have been inherent in Manchester United for many years. If you look at what has happened with the two most successful eras – Sir Matt Busby and Alex – they are managers who got involved in the whole aspect of the club, whether it be from the youth team up to the first team.
All aspects of it, plus that degree of loyalty and the understanding of the football club that it’s not just what happens on the first-team pitch, is crucial to the success of Manchester United.Those are the sort of things we’ll be looking at. Clearly he has to have the requisite football experience, both in terms of domestic and European experience, so I think it’s a small pool but we’ll move forward."
Quite a lot of juicy material there. Silent Red has already offered his thoughts, but as this is a rapidly developing situation, here is my take.
With David Moyes the massive favourite to take over, with some bookies going as short as 1/14 to be the man, he would be a fine choice. But he has no Champions League experience (Save for losing in the 3rd qualifying round). WIth Gill stating that the "chosen one" needs to have European experience, I certainly would not be lumping my money on Moyes just yet.
Speaking of "Chosen One's" my personal favourite is the man himself. Jose Mourinho has won the Champions League twice, the Premier League twice, as well as a whole host of other trophies in his career. He has dealt with some of the biggest ego's in the game and has such an excellent rapport with the media in England. Negatives include a fairly boring unUnited way of playing and a tendency to jump ship every couple of years. Neither of which bother me too much. At this very important time in the history of our club, winning is everything, no matter which way it goes. As for the lack of longevity. To succeed Fergie will need a massive personality who can thrive under that pressure. Jose Mourinho thrives under pressure. If he takes the job for a few years and goes? Fine. That just leaves the next man up to replace the smaller shoes of Mourinho.
Other names have been mentioned, but I really think it is between those two, especially with the criteria that Gill has given. By any means, this will be a quick process, with some outlets reporting a decision could be announced as early as tomorrow.
Finally, I just want to thank Sir Alex Ferguson. Thank him for the special football club he has helped mould in his time. His attention to detail is what has made this the best club in England, knocking a certain Scouse club off "their perch". His vision is what has made this club successful not just for one season, but for all, making sure that we are amongst the favourites for every competition that we fight for. His desire for victory has seeped through the club and rubbed off not just onto the players, but onto the coaches at all levels, as well as everyone associated with the club. As Joe Hart said this season, "A Killing Machine" when it comes to winning.
We knew this moment would come. But it still is a very sad time. When some lesser mortal sits in your seat at the dug out. When someone else is nagging at the 4th official, wanting a little more Fergie time.
When someone else is manager of Manchester United
Thank you ever so much for the fantastic memories you have given me in my life Sir Alex. It certainly has been emotional (As I sit here with my eyes watering writing these words....)