Date: 2nd May 2012 at 5:40pm
Written by:
Sir Alex Ferguson Blackpool

Fergie salutes the fans

I remember I once came close to saying “Fergie Out”. In April 2008 after defensive tactics led to a dour 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou in the Champions League Semi Final first leg, Sir Alex followed it up by resting half the team for a potential title decider at Stamford Bridge. We were thoroughly outplayed and lost 2-1. After match I thought “If we lose to Barcelona on Tuesday, I may have to join the Fergie Out brigade”. Of course, I was made to look silly. I was angry, and I questioned the great man, and I still regret thinking that now.

Sir Alex has been largely at fault for what is fast becoming a dreadful season for us. Whichever way you look at it, the blame lies primarily on his shoulders. If it’s an achievement in itself only to be challenging for the title, then how did it come to this? Why hasn’t there been significant investment in players? We were champions of the world four years ago. And if we are good enough, then how have we let an 8 point lead slip, and why did we deploy such negative tactics at the Etihad?

This is a young team. There have been a lot parallels made between this one and then 1995/96 team. In the summer of 1995, when Sir Alex got rid of Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes I genuinely don’t think he expected to win the title the following season. I think he was willing to sacrifice that title in order to give the new generation a taste of the Premier League. That we won the Double that season is not just down to how good the youngsters were, but to the fact that they were surrounded by leaders such as Peter Schmeichel, Steve Bruce, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona. These young players don’t have that. Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones all started the season well, but their form dipped massively, and there is no one on the pitch to lift them. Not even an Edwin Van der Sar in net. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are experienced but they’re not leaders. This team is a leader away from having great potential.

“United don’t give away two goal leads at Old Trafford”, “United always come good in April-May”. These statements are true in the past, but they’re not given to us. We need the work at it and as well as talent need leaders on the pitch to ensure we don’t give away two goal leads. You have to protect it, the opposition, won’t just lie down.

It’s not Sir Alex’s fault that Nemanja Vidic got injured. It’s not Sir Alex’s fault that Phil Jones went from beating a world beater to liability in 90 minutes at home against Benfica. It’s not his fault that Patrice Evra is a shadow of his former self, but Sir Alex must get with the times. He must take the blame for not signing a world class central midfielder in the summer. If he wanted Wesley Sneijder he should have paid whatever for him. We will not be Champions of Europe playing Michael Carrick as our main central midfielder. He’s not good enough. When we didn’t sign Sneijder, I took that as a sign that Pogba and Morrison were ready for the first team. I was very wrong. We had seen our midfield demolished by Barcelona in the Champions League Final. While we all liked the idea of a home-grown talent becoming a midfield mainstay, did we really think Tom Cleverley was going to be the difference? He needs to select a target and pay whatever it takes to prise him away. Forget value in the market. If we need a player, we get him. If he’s going to make us Champions of Europe pay whatever is necessary.

I think Sir Alex was badly at fault last night. His inexplicable decision to leave Antonio Valencia, possibly our best player this season, out of the starting line-up in our biggest ever league game may haunt him forever. Seeing him confront Roberto Mancini on the sidelines confirmed that. I’ve never seen Sir Alex argue on the touchline before. He knew he’d got it wrong. However, he has earned the right to get things wrong. And United fans need to remember that. The joy you’ve felt down the years at seeing us win title after title, cup after cup. Dancing in the streets of Manchester, Rotterdam, Barcelona or Moscow are all down to one man. He’s made a very costly mistake, but I wouldn’t swap him for anyone. No matter what happens, just remember what happy memories Sir Alex has provided you with before you jump on the “Fergie Out” bandwagon. You don’t realise what an honour and a privilege it is supporting a Manchester United side managed by the greatest manager of all time.


6 responses to “It’s A Privilege To Be A United Fan”

  1. GAZZARO says:

    SAF’s fault is mainly happened in the transfer market and these mistakes were happened by his brother, Martin Ferguson.

    Apart from keep signing these so called “Grade B” players like Young, Chicharito, Valencia, Smalling, etc., some other transfers that happened recently still see us (United) paying too much for those over-rated players.

    How can United pay 17 million for Anderson? How can United paid a lot of money for Tosic but nearly never use him. How can United paid 7 million for a very poor player like Bebe?

    Martin Ferguson tried to sign players that there is no competition from other big clubs, then over-paid for their signature. Why? Because the over-priced money can be divided for those who corruption the club. THAT’S WHY CURRENTLY THE SIGNING CASE OF BEBE IS BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE PORTUGESE FOOTBALL AS THE EX-CLUB OF BEBE RECIEVED MONEY ONLY 3 MILLION (The transfer fee is 7 million)…. Where the other 4 million gone??

    City keep signing top class players like Yaya Toure, Silva, Nasri, Balotelli, Tevez, Kompany, Aguero, etc. while us keep spending big for over-rated second best players. There will definitely be only 1 outcome.

    Without our old guards like Scholes, Giggs, Ferdinand, Rooney, and Evra (Signed at least 6 years ago) the calibre of current United squad are very much behind City. That’s why SAF main mistake is in the transfer market.

  2. Ryan says:

    Look guys I am pretty much pleased with how the season pans out win or
    lose the EPL tile this not the tym to start panicing cause we r in a tym
    of rebuiling the team with a lot of young player cumin in this season
    and last I remember a tym with a young Ronaldo, Rooney and D flecher
    and ppl were saying the same things back then I feel Fergie kwns that a
    few new players r needed this summer City have spent all these million
    this season and will only have the EPL to show for it tho I hope things don’t
    workout that way for them Fergie has done battle with
    Liverpool,Newcastle,Blkburn,Arsenal, Chelsea and has always cum out top
    at the end so it looks like it is city tym to do battle with us Let’s c
    wat happens in the cumin season when the team will be complt and ready
    to go.

  3. kelly says:

    Fergie should buy”kagawa from Dortmund,Hazard from lille,Clyne & ZAHA from crystal palace,j.Alba from Valencia…so we can over take our noisy neighbours & become Europe best onece more:GGMU.

  4. Anneeq Anwar says:

    I agree 100%!!! Its shocking how people are sticking the knife into Fergie, i mean we are not going to the Prem every year and Fergie isnt going to right every time. He’s got a HELL of a lot more right than he has wrong and people need to remember that. Although City’s failure has been quite commical these past couple of years after all the millions spent we have to be realistic here. The millions of quids worth of investment has to pay off sooner or later, they are going to be able to buy the best in the world and they will be good enough to beat us. Its distasteful but we have to accept it, money talks.

    Im still very hopeful, City have to win against Newcastle who looked pretty good against Chelsea today it has to be said! And they also have to win against a relegation battling QPR. Lets not forget the mental pressure of winning a league after half a century of hurt as well as a lot of expensive players having to justify their price tag and others getting back to football after his epic golfing trip. They’re in the driving seat, do they have the balls to finish off the job??? This aint over not by a long chalk…….

  5. Matt says:

    Do you mean to say that Carrick does not deserve his place in the team?
    Do you mean to say that Sir Alex is not tactically astute?
    I feel we played a lot defensively, but this has been the most used midfield when playing any of the top four away teams.
    I still feel that we have a chance and we can still win it.
    One year without a trophy is not a failure. It is a learning curve for the youngsters.
    I hope they learn how to keep up with the pressure of playing at the top.
    Sir Alex is still the best and will always be the best.

  6. Tom says:

    Ecellant article … Agree with everything you say