Everyone’s celebrating Alex Ferguson’s 25 years with Manchester United. Jose Mourinho is hailing him, while secretly, or not so secretly, waiting for him to retire already so he can have the bloody job. David Beckham is praising him, despite getting hit with a shoe in the face, and then thrown out of the club. All in good sport of course.
The man has turned Manchester United into a dictatorship of English football, rulers of the English Premiership. Twelve league titles since 1992-1993, five FA Cups, two Champions League titles. Greatest Manager of all time? Probably. His ability to re-make, re-build and just the fact he still enjoyed going into the training ground each day and still gets excited about every season is simply incredible.
Ferugson has a lot of people waiting for him to retire, or to fail, somehow. You could hear the knives sharpening after the 6-1 defeat against Manchester City. It’s those same voices Arsene Wenger’s been hearing for the past few years every time he reaches the point Arsenal can’t win the title. Ferguson does command more respect, but memories are short. If this is the year the Manchester City take over, the chorus won’t be all praises for the Scottish manager.
His big mouth, his ‘mind games’, the BBC boycott, the whole thing with his sons as agent and manager, recalling players back to United after Preston fired his son from the job. You can’t be so successful and not make enemies. They always wait for you when you fall. So far, Alex Ferguson has managed spectacular to stay at the top of the game. But nothing ever lasts forever.