Posts Tagged ‘Alex Ferguson’

The term ‘crashed and burned’ may seem quite apposite in describing David Moyes’ disastrous spell at the Manchester United helm, but at least one aspect where Moyes’ tenure differs from airline doom is in the need to locate a black box. For never have the causes of a managerial casualty been so quick-to-hand, with entire forests-worth of paper being sacrificed in the name of the blame game. From the sacking of the coaching staff to the attitude of the players, from Moyes’ inexperience to the Glazers parasitic ownership of the club, for once it is failure, and not success, that has the surfeit of fathers. (more…)

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"Go on, just one impertinent question. I dare you!"

“Go on, just one impertinent question. I dare you!”

Football journalists up and down the country can be forgiven for thinking they’re living in a parallel universe over the next few weeks as their erstwhile bully-in-chief, Sir Alex Ferguson, dusts off his charm and happily sits through interview after interview, as he attempts to shift a few extra units of his much-anticipated follow-up autobiography.

For twenty long, gruelling – not to mention humiliating – years, the football media fraternity was on the receiving end of one Ferguson shoeing after another. From the weekly ‘hair drier’ treatment to outright threats of violence; from being banned from Manchester United Land and effectively starved of a living to being routinely dismissed as ‘a bunch of fuckin idiots’, it’s fair to say that were the UK football media a dog and Ferguson its owner, the former United boss would have served at least a stint or two at her Majesties pleasure for cruelty to animals. (more…)

Coming to a Ground Near You?

Coming to a Ground Near You?

A world without war; Sky Sports News free of hyperbole; a corrupt-free FIFA – next season’s Premiership promises to trump all of the above in terms of the unimaginable: a Premier league campaign with no Alex Ferguson.

So large has Ferguson’s shadow loomed over the landscape of English football that the great Scot’s departure from the Manchester United hotseat has ensured next season promises to be the most open title race for years. Ferguson’s retirement, it can be argued, will affect the hopes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal just as much as United themselves.

In truth Ferguson’s departure couldn’t have come at a worse time for the great soap opera that is the Premier League. With more and more of the games top stars choosing to ply their trade in Spain, Italy and nouveau riche France and Russia, the last thing the English game needed was to lose it’s JR Ewing. Whether one regarded Ferguson as the greatest manager in the history of the game or a manipulative bully, constantly found out in Europe, there’s no denying the Scot was compelling viewing. (more…)

"I Know, I can't believe it either!"

“I Know, I can’t believe it either!”

Anyone looking to measure the contribution made by foreign managers to the Premier League would do well to avoid the LMA (League Managers Association) roll of honours- a list with as much of a cosmopolitan feel as your average BNP rally. Since its inauguration in 1994 only one manager from outside the British Isles has been acknowledged by his peers as that season’s highest achiever, with Arsene Wenger winning in 2002 and again in 2004.

By contrast the annual bauble has been collected by an Englishman on a record seven occasions, with Danny Wilson, Peter Reid, George Burley, Roy Hodgson, Frank Clarke, Alan Pardew and Steve Coppell all receiving higher recognition from their peers than the likes of Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez – all of whom won either domestic or European trophies during their time in England. It’s an extraordinary statistic when one considers that none of the aforementioned Englishmen have so much as a league cup between them. (more…)

Right all Along?

They say you need a thick skin to be a football manager but it seems that sometimes you require an even thicker one to be a fan. Whilst there may be an abundance of platforms from which the modern fan can voice their discontent – from phone-ins to terrace chants, from banners to websites – the perception that the fan-manager criticism dynamic is one-sided is far from the truth.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of any other set of stakeholders whose input is so arrogantly dismissed as that of the football fan. The last 12 months alone has seen fans of Spurs, Blackburn, Villa, West Ham and Man Utd, among others, described as everything from ‘delusional’ to ‘idiotic’ by their clubs’ manager (the fact that the delusional jibe came from Sam Allardyce, a man who once claimed his unfashionable name was the only barrier preventing him from managing the Real Madrids of this world is currently being investigated by the irony police.) (more…)

“And now for my next trick, kids, I shall mumble a few barely audible words in my gruff Glaswegian accent. Then, stand back and observe in wonder, as a group of professional footballers, plying their trade hundreds of miles away, begin to make mistake after mistake, and all because of my few mumbled words”.

If Alex Ferguson ever does retire from management he should eschew the inevitable offers of TV punditry and instead focus on the kids birthday party scene. According to the media Ferguson has some sort of super power whereby his mere words inspire rival teams to make mistakes and thereby lose or draw games they would otherwise have won. It’s a trick the kids would go nuts for it. It certainly shits all over balloon animals. (more…)