Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer the manager of Man U. How will that look?
Mark Bosnich, the former Socceroos and Manchester United goalie and current Fox Sports pundit, has always been among the more astute observers of Alex Ferguson. Bosnich had his own issues with Fergie as a player, which gave him an ability to look past the United boss’ mystique while still according him due respect. When this magazine interviewed Bosnich this time last year, he offered quite a balanced assessment of Ferguson. “No one is bigger than the club, and he’ll be the first to admit that publicly,” Bosnich said. “But I think privately, it might be a bit of an elephant in the room.”
Ferguson celebrated his final home game at Old Trafford over the weekend, as well as his 13th Premier League title. His legacy is assured, and his preferred successor, Everton manager David Moyes, is in place. Ferguson will continue to serve as a director and ambassador for the club. Bosnich was prescient: “The biggest danger they’ll have is that Sir Alex will offer massive input into his replacement, and he’s stated that when he retires, he’ll have some involvement with the club, which he should – he’s earned the right.
“When the late Sir Matt Busby had finished up and he was hanging around the club following the present managers, it was like there was a ghost, a weight around their feet. That’s what he’s got to be careful of.”
Moyes is seen as a sound choice around the football world, although his accomplishments of doing more-with-less at Everton might not necessarily translate to doing more-with-everything at United. But the most difficult aspect of the post-Ferguson transition is grappling with this idea: how do you succeed a manager who had a 26-year stint, when such tenure simply doesn’t happen for modern sideline bosses?