The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson may have come as a surprise to many supporters of Manchester United.
However, it was certainly time for Ferguson to call it a day at Old Trafford, the Scotsman has struggled tactically in the past five years and hasn't looked the same as what he once was.
When he moved to Old Trafford from Aberdeen in 1986, Sir Alex was faced with the task of bringing back glory to United.
He initially struggled to deliver silverware but as soon as he got the first one the others followed quick, fast and consistently. He was also on the verge of losing his job as the Red Devil's boss but he managed to deliver when it matters most.
Sir Alex had pictured Manchester United as a club that produce its own players from the youth academy and working their way into the first team.
He was known to have trust and faith in young players as he had enjoyed success with Aberdeen with many young players. He set out to set up a strong academy at United and this was the basis upon which his success was brought about.
Sir Alex led United to their first league title at the end of the 1992/93 season for the first time since 1967 and soon after that many trophies followed. The key component was his trust in youth and his confidence that young players can get the job done if they were given their chance. This was highlighted by the departure of likes of star players Andrei Kanchelskis, Mark Hughes and Paul Ince. Sir Alex then opted to promote young players from the youth academy in the form of Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville and Nicky Butt in the summer of 1995. They had joined a young Ryan Giggs who was already making a name for himself in the United first team.
Ferguson was always keen on young players and gave them their chance to shine in the first team and this was again evident with Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, just to name a few.
Ferguson was also very bullish on how United go about playing games, he would encourage his team to attack and impose themselves on their opponents no matter who they were playing and where they played.
He normally demands that his team never sit back but play on the front-foot from the go to the final whistle.
This is the main reason many analysts and supporters say that the past United teams are much better than the team today. However it's due to the change in tactics from Sir Alex Ferguson that makes it seem that way. There are far more talented players and more depth in this current Red Devil's squad than in the past.
In recent years, many teams have gone to Old Trafford and think they can get a result where as before they would feel defeat before kicking a ball.
This is all due to Sir Alex setting up his team to just win games instead of going out and stamping their authority like in the past. It seems as if he has grown to be satisfied by 'good-performances' rather than great performances that he had demanded from his players in the past.
One noticeable adjustment made by Sir Alex in recent years is going into big games with a plan for damage limitation instead of focusing on causing the opponents problems.
Ferguson has opted to play a more defensive style of football in big European games and even big league games. In the past this was not the case. He would demand his players to go out and show their class to make a statement to any team they face.
They were required to impose United's style of play on the match and not sitting back showing respect for the opponents.
Another huge change was the reluctance to give young players their fair amount of chances. One notable player is Paul Pogba who Ferguson had high praises for. He sated that it was important to 'protect' his young players but it was clear that Pogba had the confidence and self-belief that he was ready for the big time.
Even young players in the first team suffered from the same treatment as Ferguson opted to play the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes ahead of Cleverley, Anderson and Nani.
Ferguson of all managers should know that young players need matches to improve and work on different aspects of their games. Playing once every five to seven games won't help a player to reach maximum potential as playing week-in-week-out is important for young players to keep their confidence going and to make progress.
This may be a reason for Cleverley for example, not reaching a higher level just yet.
Anderson needs to try stay healthy for an entire season but when he is fit he should be given a better run in the team so he can get better.
The retirement of Sir Alex is surely a huge loss for Man United as he is the reason they are now a world power in football but his change in style and tactics has hurt the Red Devils to some extent.
Scholes and Giggs are at the end of their careers so they shouldn't be playing so much in a season especially with good young players in the team. These young players now have the chance to show incoming manager David Moyes that they should be in the team every week.
Moyes also likes to give young players their chance so this is surely a great opportunity for all the young players to make a claim for their spot in the team. The future for United is up in the air in terms of success but if Moyes can make good signings as well as keeping the best players at Old Trafford then surely he will be able to bring silverware to the Theatre of Dreams sooner than expected.
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