Today marked 26 years since Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Old Trafford.
Who would have thought following the defeat to Oxford United that we would be where we are today?
Whilst it is sometimes falsely portrayed that Sir Alex came to Old Trafford as a novice, joining the club did raise his profile and 1461 games, 878 wins, 319 draws, 264 loses and 37 trophies later, he has placed himself firmly at the top of the pile when discussing football’s greatest managers.
In his 26 years there have been many memorable moments, ups and downs but here he remains, at the age of 7o, as the club’s longest serving and most successful manager.
Michael D: “Football, bloody hell!” – The famous words uttered by Sir Alex after Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final in injury time.
Craig W: also chose the 1999 Champions League final, specifically the finally 2 minutes. “And Solskjaer has won it!” are words that will send chills down the spine of any United fan and rightly so after that special night in the Nou Camp.
Conor O picked Sir Alex’s celebration with Brian Kidd when Steve Bruce powered in a winner against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. The goal made Manchester United finally winning the league all the more realistic after going a tough 26 years without, especially the previous season when he saw his side go so close only to be pipped by Leeds.
Alom M went with the intensity with which he chews his gun, to this day he keeps the brand under his cap!
And finally Jim C went with Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick against Man City. The goal was important for a number of reasons; the crazy contract incident that had taken place earlier in the season, the fact it was a derby against the growing force that was Man City.
Incidentally ONE of my favourites Sir Alex memories is linked with Jim’s answer, how he dealt with the Rooney contract situation.
Calmly and with dignity he defended the club he had helped mould, whilst dealing with the errant Rooney. Many felt that we would have been better getting rid of the striker, but Sir Alex didn’t think so and he got the striker to see the error of his ways and sign a new deal and he has since been proved right as the striker has continued to shine for the club.
There are many others that spring to mind; winning number 19 and knocking Liverpool off their perch, winning the league in 2007 when so many wrote us off in light of Abramovic’s Chelsea and more recently the thunderous and defiant speech he gave at the end of season awards when he roared that United would be back after losing the title on goal difference to Man City.
Whilst the clock ticks on Sir Alex’s time here and replacements are sought, there is still plenty of time for Sir Alex to create new and everlasting memories. On field and off, Sir Alex has been a beacon for the club and whilst he is honoured with a statue and a stand named in his honour, it wouldn’t be outlandish to say that he is still under appreciated and undervalued.
Like everything, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and sadly when Sir Alex finally does step down, we will see the full impact of his time in charge.