Friday, 10 May 2013

A Liverpool Fans Message to Sir Alex Ferguson

When I woke up in the morning to the confirmation of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, it was a real shock to me. It felt as if someone had died.

And why?

Because you always knew it was going to happen at some point, but never thought the day would actually come around. I was straight on the phone to discuss this with my other football enthusiasts to hear their thoughts on the matter, and many of the responses were quite similar. Comments along the lines of, "Great manager, will be missed", "I wonder who will replace him?" followed by, "I don't think anyone is good enough."

And in retrospect, he was a great manager - his success speaks for itself. 49 trophies including all the major ones, and a legacy of success with Manchester United. He truly is one of the greatest football managers to ever live. Now as a Liverpool Fan, Sir Alex came to Manchester United with in my opinion, quite a ridiculous aim. To catch and overtake Liverpool, making Manchester United the most dominant English Club.

It is fair to say, I have been taught to dislike Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson. There have been times in the Liverpool and Manchester United rivalry that I have been bitterly angry with comments made by Sir Alex as I, just like other loyal Liverpool Fans, are passionate about our club and dislike anyone or anything treating it with disrespect.
That being said, I want to not only speak as a Liverpool fan, but also as a football enthusiast and passionate lover of the game. Sir Alex Ferguson has been one of the greatest - if not the greatest - asset to English football over the past 26 years. He has brought incredible levels of success and innovation in man management, squad creation, title and trophy winning and consistent success. He is, in my opinion, the model manager that football clubs should be looking to emulate. This is much unlike Chelsea's "you lose 2 games your fired" policy, or Real Madrid's "the league title is not good enough because you are boring" policy. In my opinion, Ferguson has lived out the way football clubs should look to move forward. You find the man whose abilities you believe in and who you want for the long term and then you stick with that man.
Although clubs such as Chelsea have achieved some form of success, my belief is that their highest level of success came under the stability and consistency of Jose Mourinho, who I believe is the greatest manager of all time.

As a Liverpool fan, I would like to thank Sir Alex Ferguson for the great rivalry, for the great success and for the great influence he has had on world football, and especially English football. His career has been far from perfect, and like all managers he has made some mistakes, poor signings, poor formation decisions on certain occasions. Missing out on Joe Hart, the signing of Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson, and the sale of Jaap Stam stand out as poor decisions. However, in his 26 years his successes far exceeds his failures. He did exactly what he said he would do, and made Manchester United the biggest club in England and arguably, one of the biggest in the world.
As much as that hurts to admit, I do not want to be a bitter Liverpool Fan who just abuses him, writing about how happy they are that he is retired and that he is an idiot.
I want to commend him, and as I desire to be successful and achieve great things in whatever I do, he is a great example of success in football no matter how much we are taught to hate Manchester United.

I am sure some Liverpool fans may read this and question my loyalty to Liverpool or think I should hate him because he was our rivals manager, but I request that in this time you grow up and commend him for all he has done.

That being said, I should have an equal hatred for the new man who is taking over at Manchester United but again, I don't. I will be very clear regarding my thoughts on David Moyes and him taking the role. But firstly, if I were a Manchester United fan there would have been 2 managers I would have wanted before choosing David Moyes.

Number 1 - Jose Mourinho. Why? He is the greatest manager of all time and undoubtedly successful everywhere he goes. He is the only man who would be 100% confident in stepping into the shoes of Sir Alex and has the charisma and results to back him up. I am biased for sure as he is my favourite manager.
Number 2 is more controversial, but after much deliberation I decided i would have preferred Bayern Munich's manager, Jupp Heynckes. It has been said that he is retiring at the end of the season, so this is solely based on whether he would have taken the job or not. Sure we will never know, but I really believe that he has more been kicked out of the back door at Bayern than happily surrendering his position.
Bayern's success this season is the form of the best team in the world, no question. The way they dismantled of Barcelona over 2 legs was a master-class in football. He has the success to demand respect and in my view would have been someone with another fair shout for job with my only reservation being his age.
Instead, Manchester United chose David Moyes. They offered him a 6 year deal and he will take up the post at the end of the season.

I have heard different perspectives. So I'll get straight to it. Is it a risk? No.. I don't think it is. And this is why.
David Moyes at Everton is the closest we have to replicating the model management I spoke about above (along with Arsene Wenger), and is a philosophy Manchester United will for sure want to continue.
Number 2, Ferguson recommended him as his chosen candidate for the job which speaks for itself.
Number 3, Moyes has the qualities and skills required to manage a big club. What he has done at Everton again as a Liverpool fan is something I commend. To keep them batting above their weight consistently is a terrific achievement, working on a low budget, which must be the lowest of the top 7 for the last 11 years. He has made some terrific signings including Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Nikica Jelavić and Kevin Mirallas to name a few. The fact that Manchester United offered Moyes a six year deal displays there confidence in both him and the model management style. I believe Moyes won't take long to settle into his new role, he has the foundations and legacy already in place for him and I believe it won't take long for him to add a trophy to his CV.

I will go out on a limb early and say this - I believe Manchester United will sign Leighton Baines, I also believe they will win the Premier League again next year. I think Roberto Martinez is likely to take over at Everton- especially if Wigan are to go down, but I am not sure Everton's success will continue. It could, and only time will tell but I am not convinced.

What I am wondering is what do Manchester United fans think? Is Moyes the right man? Would you have gone for anyone else? I am sure you have nothing but love and respect for Sir Alex, and he has left a footballing legacy that will not be erased. His retirement has truly changed the face of football.


  1. What an intelligent piece. Well reasoned and thought out.

  2. Thank you for reading. Appreciate your feedback.

  3. A very intelligent, balanced article. I think Moyes has shown brilliant tactical awareness and man management while at Everton, and I am sure SAF will be around to offer guidance.

    No way will he achieve what Fergie did, but the way United is run suits the kind of discipline and stability Moyes will bring over the more maverick Mourinho whose feet seem to get itchy every 2-3 years.

  4. Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you. Moyes will for sure bring a continuation in stability and discipline.

  5. From a Utd fan, thanks for a well-reasoned piece. I disagree with some of what you say, as I have had Moyes pencilled in the for the job for the last two or three years, and gritty, uncompromising Scots manage Utd better than anyone else (Busby, Docherty, SAF). I grew up half way between Liverpool and Manchester, and if I hadn't met Bobby Charlton at the age of eight, just before they won the European Cup, I may well have been liverpool fan. I enjoy the rivalry between the clubs, and hate it when it turns bitter and cruel (Munich and Hilsborough jibes from either side)- we can't expect to always love our neighbours, but we can have a bit of fun together no? I write a blog - it's not a football one, but I posted last week about how I met Sir Bob when I was a kid, and later Bestie and Denis Law too. If you fancy a read, it's at Thanks again for a good read.

  6. Thanks for reading! Appreciate the comments! Yeah it's great to have the rivalry but its not great when it becomes distateful. Ill give your blog a read for sure! Thanks again.

  7. Nice one Markus, i took my time goin through your blog which i hardly ever do. As a Liverpool fan - i did hate MU but after reading your message i saw the need of really appreciating the good works of a good manager like Sir Alex. You have really shown herein that we, the RED Fans are prompt to appreciating others'