By Parit Yadav
The past week has made us realise the prospect of life without Sir Alex Ferguson. It had to come one day, and I feel numb now. Perhaps, I have not agnised the gravity of situation. It will really pinch when the familiar face in the dug-out will not be there next season.
“But, why now?” – screams the inside. Sir Alex, you can surely carry on. The hunger has not gone down a bit, in-fact I felt it got reinvigorated after the Champions League exit against Madrid.
Living thousands of miles away from Manchester, having never seen a match at Old Trafford might make some people – in both places, here and there – to believe that it really cannot matter much to me.
There will be people who will mock me for blurting out emotions about the retirement. They’ll interject how a man can affect you so much! You may say I’m sentimental, but I am sure of not being the only one. He has been the manager of United before I was born. Growing up watching him jump on the touchline is all I have seen.
After Ole put the ball in the Germans net; do you what it felt to jump alone in the middle of the night and get a scolding from parents who got up from sleep? You’ll never know what it felt to run around crazy in the corridors of hostel when Owen scored that goal in the 96th minute. You’ll never know what it felt like jumping and tumbling in the common room when Scholesy struck that ball past Valdes. FA Cup did not come on TV in India back in 1999. Seeing highlights of the match vs Arsenal is a Goosebumps ride every single time. It remains my favourite match not-seen-live. The sheer drama and ecstasy is hard to surmount.
I can take solace that some people just won’t understand.
Few weeks back, I was giving an MBA admissions interview and a question popped up – which contemporary leader inspires you the most. I had not prepared for such a question, but I did not struggle to think much. I replied back – have you heard of Sir Alex Ferguson? The interviewer – an American lady, smiled casually and said she did not but that’s not important – tell me about him. Then I started telling her – He is not a political leader who brokered peace or someone who wiped off oppression. He is a Scottish man of 71 who manages Manchester United Football Club and he has inspired me in the most special way. All these years of watching and reading about him makes me certain, if I were playing under him, I’d run into a wall if he asked me. He brings so much positive aggression and determination within you that nothing seems too big to accomplish. Believe in yourself. Believe in the young and unproven.
I don’t want to talk about the number of trophies he won. That will be diminishing his achievement. Did people think he was a lunatic when he talked about knocking Liverpool off their perch? He has created an empire. He scaled a mountain but instead of coming down, built a plateau to carry on. One of the most astonishing things I find about him is his love for his roots. No matter who you are, you cannot shed your heritage.
Going back to the question of “why now”? Answer is simple – Sir Alex knows it best. He has thought it out and manoeuvred it well. Similar to many of his calculated and shrewd signings, the appointment of David Moyes might not rip fear into the rivals, at first. Moyes might not be the best manager in the world, but he is the best one for Manchester United. This is something Sir Alex has done throughout his career – make the best decision for the club.
The last week has been tough with announcements about other retirements at the club. I took to watching videos and reading; trying to absorb what all these years of passionate love for United has meant. The official announcement of was like “The Horror! The Horror!” moment from The Heart of Darkness. Anyone associated with the club cannot take this easily. I am tearful. I found some time alone, and cried sitting in a corner of the room. I don’t want to let go of you, but farewell Sir! You changed my life and I’m walking into a next phase.
Follow Parit on twitter.
Share your thoughts with the Stretford End Arising forum HERE.
Sir Alex retirement related forum threads: