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The Phenomenal Man



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Sir Alex Ferguson has again confidently squashed any claim that he is on the verge of retirement, and proudly labeled himself a “phenomenon.”

In 2004, a great deal was made when potential managerial successor, Jose Mourinho, self-proclaimed himself to be “a special one,” but this quote from the Manchester United manager has somehow flown under the radar.

The Gaffer is now poised to lead the next Manchester United group of fledglings into the future, because he stated, “retirement is only for young people,” which unmistakably shows that he is not even close to calling curtains on his magnificent managerial treadmill.

Ferguson has just surpassed 24 years in the United hot seat, and he is still has that burning desire and need to succeed, but it is his never-ending admiration for the club that drives him forward.

Defiantly, Ferguson said that the only way he will only retire if his health fails him and this is the only time the Gaffer has not bluffed.

Not to be morbid, but it would be dreadfully fitting if Ferguson’s last breath came in his managerial chair at Old Trafford, and by the looks of it, this could very well have a bit a truth about it.

What should stir up the United’s supporter’s faith and belief in him, is the fact that he has never been about building or rebuilding a squad, but laying the foundations of a successful club.

He said, “Anyone can build a team, and that’s fine in the short term. What I wanted to do, and what all managers should do is build a football club. All the way up from the bottom.”

That is exactly what he has done as well, because when he took over in November 1986, Ferguson took a club that was in 19th place (22 teams) to an almost unimaginable 11 Barclays Premier League titles in 17 seasons.

It would take an extremely foolish man would that would bet against Ferguson from carrying on another five years, either.

The inspiration that Ferguson sheds throughout the club – not just his players – is astonishing to say the least, and when coupled with his stubbornness, United can move onward and upward.

One thing Ferguson has never needed is motivation to succeed, but when someone questions, or speaks on his behalf, like David Gill did, then it just gives him a boot up the backside to prove his critics wrong – again!

Just a day prior to him calling off his second retirement – first time in 2001 – United’s Chief Executive said, “Obviously at some stage Alex will retire, whenever that may be.”

Well, the often modest manager has quickly suppressed that train of thought in its tracks while he was on his sunny getaway in Qatar promoting their 2022 FIFA World Cup bid.

The amazing vision that Ferguson demonstrates is second-to-none, but it is also another shot at their main rivals.

Since Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford, both Liverpool and Manchester City have not been able to secure a long-term manager and have gone through seven and 13 bosses, respectively.

The success that comes from job security has enabled United reap the benefits as Sir Alex triumphed to 35 pieces of silverware – just 23 more than both Liverpool (12) and City (0) combined!

Until those two hated-rivals find the right manager, they will never enjoy the satisfaction that United has over the last 24 years.

Once Sir Alex Ferguson does call it a day on his own terms, Manchester United could very well experience an expected dip, because the Gaffer has raised the bar so high.

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"The United Religion: A Manchester United View From Abroad," www.theunitedreligion.com, is a blog that delivers an American perspective on one of the world's most successful football clubs. Since I have an opinion about anything and everything, I decided to put many of my off-the-wall ideas as well as passionate feelings about the ongoings of United into words. In my writings, you will discover that I do my best to back up all of my outlandish opinions, and finicky analysis with statistical and/or factual evidence. If you wish to publish any of the articles, or have any questions, please contact me directly at theunitedreligion[at]gmail[dot]com.