Stories about Alex Ferguson

A billion dollars and the demise of Manchester United

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities, 1859) Nothing describes the mood better in Manchester than Dickens’s most famous quote. The followers of Manchester United enter the New Year burying any hope of a title challenge, while their neighbour seems destined to clinch another Premier League title, in a style reminiscent of Arsenal’s Invincibles – unbeaten. United have been replaced by their city rival, Manchester City, ...

Read Full Post

Has Manchester United fallen from grace?

The great Manchester United, a club which has won a record; 13 titles in the Premier League era that hasn’t been equalled by any other team to date,  achieved under the managerial reign of the imperious Alex Ferguson, who arguably is, the best manager in the history of professional sports. In the title run-in, his teams were always competing if not winning the Barclays Premier League (BPL) crown. Photo: Reuters When he announced his retirement in 2013, the football world was left in shock and knew one of the greatest football minds would be bidding farewell to the club he transformed ...

Read Full Post

Defence, check! Midfielders, check! But what about Arsenal’s strike force?

I have been an avid Arsenal fan for over a decade. After several years, the current team has me excited again. Starting the campaign with a win against the former champions, Chelsea, and lifting the Community Shield is as good as it gets for Arsenal fans.  It’s not the perfect squad and it might not even mount a lasting challenge for the league, but that is what you get with an arrogant, stubborn, and legendary coach, Arsène Wenger. As fans say, “In Arsene we trust.” Starting at the back, defence has been a problem area for years, especially after the departure of Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, and defensive ...

Read Full Post

Football’s 10 most controversial signings

With the January transfer circus in full flow, the rumours continue to spread, talks are under way, contracts are being negotiated, and the past, as it always does, makes its way to the forefront as clubs reflect back to the one that got away. There were some transfers, however, that rocked the footballing world; names that are still on the tip of our tongues — beloved heroes who turned in one second into bitter traitors. 1. Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid) It would be no hyperbole to call Luis Figo’s transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu THE great betrayal, the mother of ...

Read Full Post

Van Gaal – Testing patience and losing balance with 3-5-2

New year – same old story. Manchester United may have improved their league position under Louis Van Gaal in 2015 but the performance in the defeat to Southampton was eerily similar to the ones put up during the early part of last year in the ill-fated era of David Moyes. While United fans have warmly embraced Van Gaal as a significant upgrade on the inept Moyes, the former’s persistence with the 3-5-2 formation is testing their patience. Tellingly, his opposite number, Ronald Koeman, said in his post-match interview that harassing United’s three centre-backs was part of his game-plan. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

Read Full Post

The reluctant Louis van Gaal

For over two decades, Manchester United ruled over English football. We have seen them win titles with both extraordinary and, at times, the most ordinary of squads, all under Sir Alex Ferguson. But now, things at Old Trafford have changed rather dramatically. The stories of a late Manchester United comeback and the myth of ‘Fergie time’ are all well and truly preserved in the past. The question here is what was the secret behind Manchester United’s ultimate dominance for so long? It sure had nothing to do with the transfer market; the reason, in fact, is way too simple to guess. The Manchester ...

Read Full Post

English Premier League: Handshakes and hypocrisy

If the English Premier League can be defined by one contest, it is the one between the two most illustrious and successful clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool FC. That is one fixture (in fact two, if you count home and away fixtures) every season that never fails to entertain you for reasons varying from sheer brilliance to absolute controversial. After the racism controversy surrounding Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez where Suarez was found guilty not based on any “evidence” but on a “balance of probabilities” (which I believe has to be the flimsiest way of deciding on one’s guilt especially in a case as ...

Read Full Post

Clash of the Titans: Johan Cruyff vs Alex Ferguson

Another Champions League final has dawned upon us. Barcelona and Manchester United, with different footballing concepts, gear up for a masterpiece that should give the supporters and neutrals alike a memorable finale at Wembley. This is not just another final, it is the meeting of two footballing theories—that of the great Johan Cruyff against the genius of Alex Ferguson. The characteristics of Barcelona’s football ethics is inherited from the 70s, coherently the Dutch style which became associated with Ajax and Rinus Michel, and later Barcelona’s very own total football—in which defenders could attack and attackers could defend, all the while creating ...

Read Full Post