This was truly the last day all football fans around the world have seen Sir Alex in the managerial role of Manchester United, as the enigmatic manager took a last bow at The Hawthorns on his 1500th match at the head of Manchester United, but it was a thorny sending off for him, as United twice gave away a 3-goal cushion to finally end up drawing 5-5 with West Brom, but still this result had no direct impact on the career of this man, knowing that he had reached the greatest heights possible with his team since he took over from 1986 up to now, and having seen so many generations of world class players plying their trade under his guidance, and having kept his word of knocking Liverpool off their perch when at one point in time the latter had more league titles than United.
There could be not better send-offs for Sir Alex, as the Old Trafford faithfuls cheered him on before and after kick-off, and the Red Devils managed to scrap a 2-1 win over Swansea, with Chicharito and Ferdinand scoring while Michu struck at the other end. It was also a day with mixed emotions, first a sad one for all United fans who came to attend the match, as it was SAF’s last game on home turf, and a day to rejoice as well, since United have been officially crowned as champions of England for the season 2012-2013, the 20th title won, the 13th Premier League title won since the EPL has been created.
After the match, SAF addressed the crowd and the players, and told them to get behind Moyes:
“I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff,” he said. “Your job now is to stand by the new manager.”
He also stated that he would be a regular at OT however and went on to wish Scholes a happy retirement as well as the latter hangs up the boots at the end of the season, and also had a special thought for Fletcher:
“I will be able to go along and watch them rather than suffer with them,” he said. “Those last minute goals, the comebacks and even the defeats are part of this great football club. It has been an unbelievable experience. I have been fortunate to manage some of the greatest players in this country, let alone Manchester United. They have represented our club in the proper way.”
“I wish the players every success,” he said. “I know how good you are. You know the jersey you are wearing and you know what it means to everyone here. Do not let yourselves down.”
Last game for him will now be at West Brom next weekend, and then it will be the end of Fergie’s time (as manager)…
Wigan caused a major upset today, as they put aside their relegation worries to beat Man City 1-0 at Wembley for the FA Cup final game, where substitute Watson headed in the only goal of the match on the 91st minute, while City ended with 10 men on the field after Zabaleta was sent off for a second yellow card some 5 minutes before the goal was scored.
As recommended by Sir Alex himself, David Moyes has been chosen by United’s board to take over from Sir Alex as from 1st July 2013, with a contract of 6 years offered to him at the head of the Red Devils.
Sir Alex quoted from manutd.com:
When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes. David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of Assistant Manager here. He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this Club.”
David Moyes quoted:
“It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next Manager of Manchester United. I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the Football Club.
“I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn’t something that comes around very often and I’m really looking forward to taking up the post next season.
“I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and Board of Directors and a great set of players. Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.
“Everton’s fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players. Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life.”
It’s official, Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement at the end of the season, with his final game on home ground being this weekend against Swansea, where United will be officially crowned as 2013 champions, and his final match being away to West Brom to end his 27-year old spell in charge of the Red Devils. Let’s hope the players turn on the style in these remaining 2 games to give him a befitting sending-off… He will, however, still be at the club, as he is joining the board as ambassador and director of the club.
Chelsea have taken a big step towards booking a spot for next season’s CL tournament, as the Blues claimed a vital win against a very subdued champion, Manchester United, earlier today at Old Trafford, to boost up their morale before facing Tottenham in a London derby this coming Wednesday. Benitez said that he would battle SAF in this one, and fair enough, his team controlled throughout most of the match, while United barely troubled Cech at the other end. The deadlock was however broken on the 87th minute, as Mata’s shot took a deflection off Jones to creep in off the post, with Lindegaard well beaten despite diving at full stretch. Some more misery was piled on by ref Webb minutes later, as he sent off Rafael for taking a wild swing of the boot at Luiz, although replays later showed Luiz smiling while being on the ground, knowing that he had undone the nerves of his fellow Brazilian, and being the one who had initially provoked the foul by elbowing Rafael a couple of times as they fought for the ball. However United’s current run is not worthy of a team being crowned champion, as they drew at Arsenal and today lost, and certainly teams like Man City and even Chelsea must be ruing the opportunities they missed to keep up with United in the past games, which could have made the suspense of the title gone till the end of the season instead, and kept United on their toes, instead of watching them turning up just for the sake of completing the remaining games in lackluster style. In fact it is more interesting these days to watch the 3 teams, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham play, as they battle out the remaining 2 places for the CL, given both Manchester teams are already in.