1497 games, 0 goals. If we’re being honest – and in moments such as these, we tend to let a lot go – Sir Alex Ferguson’s record at Manchester United had been downright ordinary. You can’t even forgive him on the basis of assists, either – he has none. In those 1497 games, the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, didn’t pick Sir Alex Ferguson to start once. He never came on from the bench – even Bebe played seven matches for Manchester United. Twenty-seven years at Old Trafford, and Alex Ferguson has nothing to show for any of them.
But let us not dwell on his shortcomings, though they are many. Let us instead reflect on his triumphs. He looks really funny when he celebrates. He looks really funny when he’s upset. He look really funny when he’s angry, and I’ll be goddamn damned if he doesn’t look really funny when Manchester City win the title in the dying seconds of the season.
He has seen the great players come and go. Bosnich, Neville (no, the other one), Bosnich, Bosnich, Milne, Anderson, Bosnich, Taibi, Obertan, Bosnich – oh, and Mark Bosnich, of course. And look to his child prodigies, the class of 1992. Ryan Giggs remains the finest left winger to have had an extra-martial affair with his brother’s wife, Gary Neville is Phil Neville’s brother, Nicky Butt’s career came to a pitiful end in South China, and Robbie Savage maintained a level of intolerability not witnessed in the Premiership since the days of Kevin Muscat. Ferguson bore them all – I wouldn’t put childbirth past him – and their legacies are also his.
United fans should be excited about a new era. With a grumpy, grudging, stubborn Scotsman to be replaced by a grumpy, grudging, stubborn Scotsman, much is changing at Old Trafford. They can be excited about the return of Cristiano Ronaldo who, after hitting the 200 goal mark for Real Madrid recently, is reported to be “shitting himself” with enthusiasm over the prospect of playing under one of the finest managers to manage Everton in the last ten years. They can be excited about the return of Ferguson in two years’ time when David Moyes is discovered floating face-down in a pool of his own tears. There’s a lot to be excited about. It’s exciting.
Get excited, everyone. Get excited.
– Max Grieve