Hello sports fans, good morning I hope you’re well, in good health and looking after yourselves. I started a series called the Unpopular Opinion series. Now, this isn’t a click bait posting, this is an article, where I Ayyaz Malik, the chief sports writer of the-sports-buff.com, write an opinion piece, that I can concede won’t be popular.
My passion since I have been 14-years old has been to be a sports journalist, I have been a football fan for over 20 years! I have seen many football highs and lows, none more than at my beloved Manchester United.
When I was born in 1986, Sir Alex Ferguson had just became the manager of the then seven-time domestic title winners. The the manager of Aberdeen, left his role at Pittodrie, with a very impressive CV, even then.
The CV read, SPL titles (disrupting Old Firm dominance in the process) and of course defeating the mighty Real Madrid in the process, to win the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners Cup, which can be argued is the UEFA Conference League of today’s day and age.
Little old Aberdeen, the David in this story beat the Goliath (Real Madrid) on a very special night for The Dons, that night won’t be forgot by Aberdeen (nor should it be), but dear reader I am sure you get the understanding of how big that victory was.
So with all that said, Sir Alex started his time off at Old Trafford, in a big transitional period, which included a lot of player departures. From the fans perspective it wasn’t great and it was said, (not sure of the authenticity of the claim) that Fergie was in danger of getting sacked if it wasn’t for Mark Robbins’ goal in that semi-final replay.
Robbins is now manager of Coventry these days and is doing a very respectable job for The Sky Blues. After that goal by the now Coventry boss, Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed unprecedented success.
A trophy laden era saw 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions League titles and one Club World Cup, to give some weight to the argument that Alex Ferguson, a boy from Govan, would grow up to be one of the best managers, not just in Great Britain, but world football.
So, with me having said all that, you will be thinking, Ayyaz you have dug yourselves in a whole by the words you have typed. Dear reader, here’s the opposite side of the story, yes Sir Alex won a lot of trophies, but and there is a but.
Towards the end of this legendary tenure of SAF, he changed. Gone were the signings for the future (Ronaldo and Rooney) and in came the signing of Robin Van Persie for £24 million, a 29-year old who did have a good goal scoring record, but was a signing which needed to have worked for there and then.
The now football coach Van Persie, was a success and he helped The Red Devils to Premier League title number 20. It was an impressive achievement, by a more than impressive coach, but as Man United fan, that team in 2013 (Fergie’s last season in charge) was a poor one.
It wasn’t terrible as they had just become Premier League champions of course, but the team, of 1999, or 2008 they weren’t, this was an aging team, SAF would always be thinking ahead, but he stopped doing that. More Fergie blame in coming. When he stepped down after 27 years of fantastic service, he made the grave error to name his successor, David Moyes.
Scot Moyes, who had done a brilliant job at Everton, arguably wasn’t a big enough name to occupy the Old Trafford hot seat. Was he a bad manager? He’s proved that he clearly isn’t with the sterling job he is currently doing with West Ham.
Sir Alex, should have moved upstairs and not been so involved in the recruitment process of his successor, there are other people for that. The next bone I have to pick, is that his meddling in the first team is a hinderance.
Not direct meddling, but he comes on the training ground, in this context I am referring to was for getting involved purposes (you know what I mean football and United fans) , Sir Alex you’re retired step away! The tempted woowing of Jude Bellingham (which failed) wasn’t something he should have done either.
You can’t keep going in the past, to me that would have been like Sir Matt Busby doing that with Roy Keane or Eric Cantona. The other problem is, is that I feel in this current regime, it’s still got the hall marks of Alex Ferguson.
Mike Phealan for example, comes into mind when I say that, but it was something I argued was needed when David Moyes tried to bring in his own team. Not all of the failing are the 79-year old Alex Ferguson’s fault.
He’s there for Manchester United for matters regarding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure and involved in talks to determine if he is the right man to continue. The whole point of this argument is that Kenny Dalglish doesn’t do that at Liverpool.
Liverpool have a good infrastructure, and United don’t? This is maybe why SAF is trying to help? So in conclusion, yes Sir Alex towards the end changed his strategy when it came to signings, he signed players for the then and now, not for the future.
I feel this is partly to blame for United’s current decline. I also feel the ghost of Sir Alex around the club is stopping moving the club forward, but I myself say, this is partly down to Ed Woodward still being there and he is not fit to make managerial appointments, when he has got all of them wrong so far.
Alex Ferguson should not be involved in first team matters, or decisions regarding managerial appointments, to keep Solskjaer as he is reportedly wanting to do proves my point.
I feel due to Sir Alex, wanting to help the club I feel Ole Solskjaer, Mourinho, Van Gaal and Moyes all lived with that shadow in the back ground, but this is what I think but what do you think?
Let me know in the comments.