“In a way I am glad it is all over now – because it has been hard work!” Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson was last night crowned Barclays Premier League and overall Manager of the Year at the 21st LMA Annual Awards Dinner.
It is a record fourth time that Ferguson has picked up the Manager of the Year award that is voted on by all the managers in England’s four football divisions.
And as the 71-year-old Scot closes the book on his illustrious career in management, he gave a special thank you to West Bromwich Albion for the game on Sunday after they presented him with a shirt in recognition of his achievements and gave him a guard of honour.
“It has been overwhelming. The club has been fantastic and congratulations to West Brom with the way they handled yesterday,” he said in his speech.
”In a way I am glad it is all over now – because it has been hard work!
“I think [West Brom manager] Steve Clarke should get an award because anyone who scores five against United deserves it.”
Everyone expected Ferguson’s last game to be exciting but nobody could of predicted the first 5-5 draw in Premier League history.
And despite losing a three goal lead in the last ten minutes, the fans weren’t left with a sour taste in their mouth at all. It was a fitting way to say goodbye to a man that has provided us with so much nail biting excitement over the years, right up until his last ten minutes as manager.
“It’s always been there and I have tried to maintain that though it is more difficult in the present climate – you have to scout abroad now but you are still looking for young people who can do well.” Sir Alex Ferguson
Looking forward, Ferguson was in a confident mood that he was leaving United in good hands and looking at the teams underneath the senior squad, you’d be hard fought to think otherwise.
The U21s secured another double last night by winning the Barclays U21’s Premier League to go with the Manchester Senior Cup and the U18s finished fourth in England.
And upholding the traditions of youth is something that Ferguson has always taken great pride in, so for the U21s to play the last game under Ferguson and win it 3-2 in a dramatic comeback fashion from 2-0 down with a last minute winner is a fitting tribute.
“It has always placed a great emphasis on youth long before I came,” said Ferguson.
”Sir Matt Busby started that and took Manchester United into Europe, the first English club to do so.
“It’s always been there and I have tried to maintain that though it is more difficult in the present climate – you have to scout abroad now but you are still looking for young people who can do well.”
Ferguson was only ever going to bow out of United if he could leave on a high and as sad as it is to see him go, he couldn’t of done that any better.
We secured the title with one of the youngest squads we have ever had and have outrageously talented players in abundance, and our U21s secured the title and the academy is looking as strong as it ever has.
The next chapter begins, thanks in no small part to the work that Ferguson has done.