The manager is just a human figure occupying some space on the touchline and blurting out a few words of wisdom to his players now and then. But every once in a while there comes a genius, a man who is one of a kind, a man who demands respect and he changes the way his profession is perceived.
Sir Alex was one such great, whose magnanimous persona redefined football managers and we were left with no choice but to sit back and take notice. His passion, aggression and the way he egged on his players was a delight for the novice football fan. It was the first time that we came across a non-playing leader and that is when the managerial side of football excited us. The post-match presentations made much more sense and we also understood how important the mind games were before a big game.
There is a certain aura about him, the kind of leader you come across in extravagant books or movies. Not a believer of the ‘cool as a cucumber approach’, Sir Alex wore his emotions on his sleeves. This is what he was loved for because you respect a manager for his trophies and love him for his passion.
Sir Alex’s departure from Manchester United has left us all doubting the future of the club. Believe it or not, these are trying times for the club, a legacy left behind. The future seems a bit gloomy and the club seems to be passing through turbulence. All those close victories, Moscow (2008), Barcelona (1999), the Manchester derbies, the FA cup finals, the rivalry with Arsenal and Liverpool, the clashes with Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea, all seem a bit off color if pictured without Sir Alex. His dynamics on the field, the constant chewing of gum, the ‘run and jump celebration’, the ‘hairdryer’ treatment given to his players, the bold comments during press conferences; all of this would be missed and no one would be able to replicate what he has done for United. The trophy count is endless, the wins unparalleled but the effect he has had on fans like us is the thing that is most commendable.
Life is a long search for perfection. People try to have the perfect car, the perfect house, the perfect spouse and the perfect life. Many of us identify role models in our life in order to emulate the perfect life. They may not be perfect themselves but they have the right mix of the things you need to acquire in order to achieve perfection. Sir Alex has been one such gentleman. The passion, the hunger to succeed and the vision to become the best in something you believe are a few traits in him. Thank you Sir for everything.