|Going out on a high. Courtesy of talksport.co.uk|
The decision by Sir Alex Ferguson to retire from management shocked the world. For me personally there wasn't too much a feeling of shock, rather it left me pondering, asking questions of the season to come. Manchester United have always had Sir Alex in charge, they have always been a force both at home and in Europe, it seems strange to think he will not be on the touchline munching his gum from now on. Many Liverpool and indeed other clubs supporters will be jubilant to see him leave, perhaps sensing United will become weak once he hands over the reigns to David Moyes, but I don't feel that. The game is losing an icon, a master tactician able to create winning sides over and over again, a man synonymous with the Premier League. As a kid I grew up supporting Liverpool looking over my shoulder as United claimed title after title to go past our record of 18 Championships, I should hate the man, but what he has achieved has to be admired and respected.
|Manager and Chairman with a richly deserved|
trophy. Courtesy of standard.co.uk
Another story that got me thinking was Wigan's FA Cup triumph and relegation. I have enjoyed watching them throughout these last 8 seasons and I am genuinely gutted to see them relegated like many others. Under current boss Roberto Martinez they have played some really good football on a shoe string budget in comparison to the majority of their opponents. Playing attractive football is infinitely easier when you can rely on millions of pounds to buy top talent from around the globe but to do it with home grown players and bargain basement buys underlines the qualities of Martinez. You have to praise him for sticking with his principles and developing players who want to play rather than buying physical players to win games. The chairman Dave Whelan also deserves the attention he has got since the FA Cup win, he has kept a lid on spending and has not stretched the club like many chairman do. To win the FA Cup is a massive achievement and I hope they can bounce back soon.
|Carra and his adoring fans after that nigh in Istanbul.|
Courtesy of liverpoolecho.co.uk
Sunday will also mark Jamie Carraghers final appearance for Liverpool. Carragher has been at the heart of the Liverpool defence for over 700 games, winning 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Champions League. As a Liverpool supporter it will be weird not seeing Carragher in a Liverpool shirt come next season, he has always put the club first, he has always improved/proved himself season after season when new signing threatened his place and he put himself on the line over and over again. Having read his autobiography he is the first to admit he wasn't blessed with the most technical ability but he has more than made up for this with a burning desire to win, to make the most of himself. In modern football a one man club is a rare commodity. This rightly so has earned him legendary status among Liverpool fans.
With so many familiar faces bowing out it will be an interesting start to next season in so many ways.