Two years ago today Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of his last game at Old Trafford after announcing he would be retiring at the end of the 2012/13 season. His final game at Old Trafford was a 2-1 win over Swansea City and at the end of the game we saw United lifting the Premier League trophy. We are reaching the end of the 2nd season since Sir Alex retired, United have struggled to continue the glory that Sir Alex brought since he retired. The first man who had the opportunity to follow Sir Alex was David Moyes. A man chosen by Sir Alex himself and I believe that Sir Alex chose him for the right reasons. I have heard several Manchester United fans say that Ferguson chose Moyes so that he would be remembered by United fans more for all the success he brought as he knew Moyes would be a failure. That he didn’t want a Mourinho or Guardiola to potentially come in and make Manchester United into a more successful team and therefore overshadowing Ferguson’s achievements. I think this is complete nonsense. Sir Alex Ferguson has and will always want the best for Manchester United.
Ferguson had announced his retirement on 8th May 2013, four prior to this match after there had rumours all over social media the night before following a article by Mark Ogden on the Telegraphs online version of the newspaper which stated that Sir Alex was seriously considering his future. Even after all the rumours the night before I the football world was still in shock that he had come to this decision. There had been no indication from Sir Alex that he was even think about retirement. I myself as a Manchester United fan had been dreading this day and hoping it would never come. Sir Alex was the only manager I had ever known during all my twenty three years of supporting Manchester United. One of the first games I really watched was the 1990 Fa Cup final, this as a few months after the final itself on a video that my brother had of both games and from that day I was besotted with Manchester United.
David Moyes was the chosen one for Sir Alex Ferguson and the pressure was on him right from the very start to continue the success that Manchester United had enjoyed under Sir Alex. He had taken over a team that had just won the Premier League title and United were expected to at least challenge for the trophy again. Moyes and United struggled from the very beginning. United were never really in contention for the top places in the Premier League and would eventually finish seventh with Moyes not even seeing the season out and Ryan Giggs overseeing the final four games of the season. Had Moyes tried to change too much from the Ferguson years? he got rid of pretty much all of the coaching staff that had worked with Ferguson during in his final seasons in charge at Old Trafford. The only signings that Moyes made failed to make an impact, with Fellaini joining on the final day of the transfer window in August and Juan Mata joining from Chelsea in January. Fellaini was seen as a scapegoat by many fans, probably because he had joined United from Everton and therefore following Moyes from Goodison to Old Trafford.
Following the sacking of Moyes, there only seemed to be one man in the frame for the Old Trafford hot seat and that was Louis Van Gaal. Louis Van Gaal was appointed United manager after enjoying a successful World Cup with the Dutch national team. The only aim for Van Gaal at the start of this season was surely to get back into Champions League. United had a slow start under Van Gaal, losing two of their first five Premier League games against Swansea City and Leicester City. After a slow start United looked like they may struggle to get back into the top four of the Premier League table and therefore struggling to achieve Champions League qualification. Despite at times not playing great football, Van Gaal has seen his side picking up the 3 points on a regular basis. After defeat to Swansea late in February, the Champions League chances looked on a knife-edge ahead of games against rivals Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United. United played some impressive football in these games as they won all three games and their place in the Champions League looked certain until they suffered three successive defeats against Chelsea, Everton and West Brom. After this weekends win against Crystal Palace and Liverpool’s draw at Chelsea, United’s place in the Champions League was pretty much assured. Louis Van Gaal can now work over the summer to bring in the players he wants to ensure United are challenging for the major trophies again.
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