Does Sir Alex Ferguson REALLY Have Any Genuine Responsibility At Manchester United?

Posted: October 1, 2016 in European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , ,

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He was blamed, initially, for the appointment of David Moyes.

The story put out by the press at the time was that Moyes was invited to the house of Alex Ferguson where, no doubt over a glass of something either red or whisky coloured, he was invited to take over as manager of Manchester United.

Of course, when the decision to give the job to someone as inexperienced as Moyes went the same shape as all fruits of the pear family, Ferguson was incredulous at the thought that he could possibly have been solely responsible for the gaff.

He was right to be aghast. There is no way that a decision such as that would be left to one person. His advice would most certainly be sought and his recommendations most likely acted upon, but the final decision would have been made at board level.

So the truth is that giving a man such as Moyes, who had no experience of managing a big club, no experience of winning anything of note and no experience of dealing with a squad full of international players, a seven year contract was even more ridiculous when you consider that it was discussed between so-called professionals.

In fact, thinking back to some of the signings made by plain old Alex Ferguson, as he was back then, it would most definitely have been irresponsible to leave any decision to him.

Players such as Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson, Massimo Taidi, Bebé and Gabriel Obertan come to mind and the list does not end there. These were all players signed by the Scot having watched them or had them scouted. Players who either were ready to play for United or would be in the future. They all rode off into the distance to have undistinguished careers elsewhere.

As manager though, Fergie always got the chance to redress the balance and he did this on several occasions. Signings such as Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, Andrei Kanchelskis, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Eric Cantona and Jaap Stam were inspired and the good ones far outweighed the bad ones!

Whether or not he made the final decision on Moyes, it certainly appears to have resulted in a decrease in his influence at boardroom level. They have obviously decided that, when it comes to stupid decisions, they are quite capable of making them without any help from ex-managers of the club.

It appears that the appointment of Louis van Gaal was driven by Ed Woodward. This seemed to be quite reasonable on the face of it. A two year contract, with the option of a third year if all parties were agreeable, was a lot more sensible than the seven year nonsense handed out to Moyes.

The only problem, as everybody is now well aware, was that van Gaal was not the right man for the job. Having taken United two steps forward in his first year he proceeded to take them three steps backwards in his second and was invited to vacate the premises.

This was one recruitment that Sir Alex would have been quite glad that he had little or nothing to do with.

When the van Gaal tenure came to an end and José Mourinho became the next manager, Sir Alex’s influence, apparently, had reduced even further. He was, we are told, against the appointment, as was Sir Bobby Charlton. In fact it has now reached the stage, if we can believe the great British press, where Fergie himself is wondering what his role is at the club.

He turns up for games and does his ambassadorial stuff but, as far as having a say on anything important goes, he seems to be out of the loop. Certainly the majority of big decisions are made without his opinion being sought.

It is rumoured that José Mourinho wants to change this “injustice” as he sees it. He wants Ferguson’s knowledge to be available to people at the club, (himself included, no doubt), where it could prove invaluable.

He is right. What Ferguson has learned through managing Manchester United over the last 27 years cannot just be shelved and allowed to gather dust. It must be used positively to help the club move forward. It should be harnessed and his career should be held up as an example for those who follow him in the same way that he had to follow Sir Matt Busby, after a few others.

Ed Woodward, having assumed absolute control, needs to be very careful how he uses it. Disrespecting the past, as with the Sir Matt Busby plaque fiasco, and making unpopular decisions, does not go down well with the supporters and, though he may make money for the club which, by the way, is the ONLY reason the American owners think so much of him, he will soon be replaced if he ever gets it badly wrong.

And he has come very close, on a couple of occasions at least, to getting it badly wrong in the recent past.

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