*After Extra Time, who fondly calls itself AET in the third person like everyone else, is an egomaniacal amateur writer and self-possessed football fanatic who wants to believe that it’s blog, like Osaze Odemwingie’s tweets, matter.
“I am such a bloody talented guy. I might go into painting or something like that.”
That was Sir Alex Ferguson’s response when asked for the umpteenth time what his plans were after retirement. And the statement could not be any truer had he said he was to become an astronaut or run for the US presidency.
For 26 years he has been at the helm of affairs of Manchester United and has risen to become the most decorated manager in British history and one of the most recognized managers of all time.
Very few remember Sir Alex before Manchester United, but from his playing days as a striker for Queens Park Rangers (with a record 20 goals in 31 games) to beating Real Madrid as Aberdeen’s manager in a European final, The Boss as he’s generally called showed a hunger and a desire for success which he has replicated in successive generations of Manchester United players.
Over the years much has been made about his fiery temper, his famous (or infamous depending on whether you’re on the receiving end) hair dryer, his mind games and his attitude to the press, to other managers, to the English FA, to other players and the rest of the world. However, these are as much important as his on field achievements, for they are both one and the same and one cannot be divorced from the other.
He is such a strict disciplinarian that his players nicknamed him Furious Fergie after he fined John Hewitt for overtaking him on a public road. And we all remember the oft mentioned Beckham incident, with an even longer list of players he has shown who the boss is.
Yet countless number of current and ex-United players talk about him as a father, for that much he has built Manchester United into; a family.
He’s an emotional man and that pervades every aspect of his daily dealings as “the manager of the most famous club in the world.” Just ask Alan Pardew and ‘wee’ Newcastle United. And AET argues that it is all these that have made the man and Manchester United the force they are today. His anger is legendary. But so also are his results and achievements.
His recent Harvard lecture series aside, AET could go into a recital of his accolades and achievements (which would serve none of us any good right now as we are all still stuffed with Christmas feasts) but just a mention of having a stand in Old Trafford named after him and a statue erected in his honour say a lot. Oh, yeah, he’s also a Knight of the British Empire. Surely that counts for something.
Few days Sir Alex Ferguson turns 71. It is a testament to his longevity that his proposed retirement from management and his intended successor is the third most talked about event in world football behind Joey Barton’s tweets and David Beckham’s next gig. And a truly sad day it shall be when he steps down for we all shall miss his touchline histrionics as much as his knocking Liverpool off their ******* perch.
A belated Happy birthday to you Sir Alex!
Today’s Panenka: “I call [Sir Alex] the boss, because he’s the boss of coaches, and I hope that when I go back to English football he still manages Manchester United” – José Mourinho on his special relationship with The Boss.
Rejoice it’s January and the window opens for one month! Nothing warms the belly of the average football fan more than a transfer window. Ok, maybe not so much for Arsenal fans. But AET shall bring all the transfer gossip (Ronaldinho to QPR anybody???) as they unfold. Hopefully our first shall be Theo Walcott signing a new contract…
*Help debunk the myth about footballers misbehaving on twitter; follow @_AfterExtraTime
Written By After Extra Time