Recently I have been very critical of Manchester City’s approach to football. Being raised as a “die hard” Evertonian if you like, my principles regarding football are rather different to that of the way the game is headed. These principles are defined by Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at Manchester United.
You see, the stigma that currently plagues the game is that if you sell your soul to a rather wealthy generally Middle Eastern business venture, you will be catapulted to the stars and secure yourself a place in the history books. However, gladly, this just isn’t the case.
Before the infamous buyout at Eastlands, I had the utmost respect for Manchester City fans. They operated in a way similar to that of my fellow flock of Toffees. Admittedly we both shared a nagging downfall in that we were both overshadowed spectacularly by our fiercest rivals. With Liverpool and Manchester United being two of the most successful teams in world football, we always had our backs against it. However this in itself bred a rather bittersweet pride. It’s usually spite that this is misinterpreted as, especially with Everton’s faithful, however I can assure you it is wavering pride that we still carry traditional values that have been unaffected by the modern game’s disease. Shame there is no vaccine then, as City have been infected beyond repair.
Alex Ferguson’s dynasty at Old Trafford however has shown that in the face of adversity, football has triumphed. The devil’s deal to sell one’s soul for instant success has been thwarted. Overpowered by the Glaswegian’s genius honest philosophies instilled at Old Trafford. He consistently gels a team that is capable of winning the Premier League year in year out. Admittedly the playing staff at United may not be as accomplished technically as their noisy neighbours, however individual inconsistency is a problem that Ferguson rarely has to deal with. There is no doubt that players have prolonged periods of bad form, and United are not immune to this. However Alex Ferguson’s delicate stitching has ensured the fabric of the team is representative of a tight knitted unit, a unit capable of repeatedly being crowned Kings of England.
Of course there’s no doubt that Manchester United have spent big in the past, however they have earned the right to spend this kind of money. The gradual brick by brick evolution of Manchester United has brought them the money in which to strengthen there squad and most of the time buy correctly. A far cry away from Eastlands, in which team chemistry seems not to be of concern from the hierachy, as summarised by the purchase of wild child Mario Ballotelli. A collection of inflated egos, who no doubt believe that they are the best players at the club individually, contrasts Ferguson’s togetherness across the city, a togetherness which grinds out results.
The achievements of Sir Alex Ferguso are not only honoured because of their consistency, but because of the manner in which he has achieved them. He has kept the soul of the football club in tact, with class and elegance, something Manchester City will never grasp. And that is why Manchester United’s soon to be secured 20th League title is a triumph for our national game.