The images posted here is unedited so just bear with oversized images.
Could anyone dispute how great is Sir Alex Ferguson ? During his 26 years reign in Manchester United, he had amassed 38 trophies in total. More than anyone can achieve and makes him the most successful British football manager so far. But, nothing is perfect in this world and so is Ferguson. Now that his mighty reign has come to an end, let’s see what are the things that could be done better.
Barren Youth Academy
Personally, it should be the biggest failure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Starting from of Fergie’s Fledglings (consisting of Giggs, Beckham, Scholes etc), the quality has been dropping to the likes of Wes Brown, Giuseppe Rossi, Welbeck etc. All of them have great talent, but there must be something wrong that they cannot make it to world highest level.
It is regrettable that with his everlasting 26 years tenure and absolute control, he could have shaped the young players like he wants. Compare to what Johan Cruijff has been done with La Masia with not even half of Ferguson’s coaching period. Right now, Barcelona are enjoying the fantastic La Masia graduates while, MU must have major signing every season and even worse, they involve many transfer flops.
Ferguson’s record in domestic league is simply phenomenal. From 1991/1992 season his last season in 2012/2013, he raked 13 Premier League title with 3rd place as lowest position. But, such glorious feat cannot be replicated in continental competition. Out of his 22 times participation in Champions League, Ferguson only could amass 2 Big Ears trophies (in 1999 and 2008).
One could argue that Ferguson had terrible luck meeting Barcelona -which was the one of best team in footbally history- 2 times in 2009 and 2011 finals. But misfortune cannot be an excuse for the rest of years. Comparing MU fortune to other clubs, MU is always drawn into easy group. While City must fight in group of death with the likes of B. Munich, Napoli, Madrid, and Dortmund, MU enjoy themselves with Otelul Galati and CFR Cluj. But even with such massive adventage, MU somehow still managed to crash from competition in easy group. Even in knock-out stages, MU still count themselves luckier than other English clubs. Last season saw MU in rare hard encounter against Real Madrid, but they had enjoyed many easy drawing in previous years. Just ask how Arsenal fans feel when they must meet B. Munich, Barcelona, and AC Milan in knock-out round. Two times champions and two times runner-up isn’t bad at all. In fact not many coaches could achieve such a feat. But considering how invincible MU are in domestic and all the lucky drawings, MU should have done better in Champions League.
Blunt Creativity Department
One of the most telling weakness of Ferguson era was the overreliance to Scholes when it came to creativity or ball retention. The problem grew worse when Scholes retired and it was so chronic that he had to comeback from his retirement. This is one of rare case when Ferguson cannot find the replacement player for his position. From goalkeeper to striker, he always managed to find great players after great players for every position, but that’s not the case for passing midfielder.
Actually, the creativity problem is acceptable (as each tactic has its pros and cons and each manager is imperfect), but what baffling is the direction taken to replace Scholes. Ferguson already had an clear intention to replace Scholes and then he signed Carrick and Anderson. Just few years ago, he promoted Cleverly to first team squad to bolster creativity department. So far, only Carrick can be considered as successful project out of those 3 players. When Anderson was signed in very tender age of 19, it seemed obvious of what Ferguson thought : an adept Brazilian technician who able to unlock the tight defence. When Cleverley came into MU first team squad for first time, it was obvious that he was the fluid passer with clever movement (no pun intended) across the middle of the park. What happens now is both players become more like jack of all trades midfielders instead of creative one. Now, they are neither adept passer like Scholes nor defensively solid like Keane nor energetic like Fletcher nor smart like Carrick. It is understandable that Ferguson improve their discipline and physical trait in order to fit his scheme and to survive Premier League. But, how the plan to replace Scholes has been deviating so far is very striking.
Every manager has his own transfer flops. Even the most astute manager like Wenger had couples of transfer failures. Ferguson himself has a list of transfer flops comprises of Taibi, Veron, Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, Obertan and so on, but the process behind Bebe signing perhaps is the weirdest ever.. Ferguson himself admitted he had never seen Bebe playing even once. By the time he was signed, he was 20 years old, no longer a teens wonderkid like MU signed Rooney, Ronaldo, and Januzaj. While teen Rooney showed his glimpse of talent with wonder goal against Arsenal and precocious Ronaldo could trouble entire MU team, Bebe practically did not have anything to prove. And did I mention transfer fee ? It was £7.74 million, the bloody £7.74 million to sign unproven boy and Vitoria Guimares could only be rejoice to seventh heaven for such deal.
Title Slip in 2012/2013
Perhaps the most painful season for Ferguson as he drank his own medicine. In 95/96 season, Ferguson miraculously took over Newcastle from top spot despite of 12 points adventage for The Magpies. The magic was repeated in UCL 98/99 when Sheringham and Solksjaer scored 2 goals in dying time to win the trophy that virtually belonged to Munich. He pulled off another miracle when he denied Arsenal from winning the 02/03 title despite MU trailed 8 points behind The Gunners. In 12/13 season, he received all the karma for all he had done. MU was leading with 8 points and it seemed the title was certainly belonged to MU. But, somehow MU stuttered at the final phase of season and giving the local rival City to open up the title chase. Then, Dzeko and Kun Aguero pulled off “Sheringham and Solksjaer” by scoring the goals in “Fergie time” 92nd and 94th minute to secure the trophy for City. Karma or not, destiny or not, it was such an uncharacteristic mistake by Ferguson to give up such massive adventage and it became even more excuriating to be beaten by his own way.