In it he refutes suggestions that he is in any way to blame for our present troubles, but in a Ray-like comment, notes the very restricted spending since the Glazers took over.
And:Consider this: on August 28, 2011, United demolished Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford. The performance was widely described as being ‘spell-binding’ and ‘ruthless’ and was the product of slick football. They terrorised Arsenal with the speed of their passing and movement.
The team Ferguson selected that day was as follows: David de Gea; Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra: Nani, Tom Cleverley, Anderson: Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. Three weeks later, the majority of that team lined up against Chelsea and beat them 3-1.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Of the XI who tackled Arsenal, all bar Evra started the current campaign at the club. Some, such as Cleverley and Welbeck, could move before the transfer window closes on Monday but three years ago they were being hailed as United’s future.
And:What United are discovering now is that they are in the real world. Ferguson distorted reality for the Glazers and, in some way, the supporters through his ability to keep getting spectacular results on a consistent basis.
He broke the British transfer record five times before the Glazers came in 2005 but only did it once — for Dimitar Berbatov — after they arrived. Yet between 2007 and 2013, Ferguson led them to the Barclays Premier League five times. The years they missed out (2010 and 2012), they had a chance to win it on the final day.
It was only down to Ferguson that the Glazers never had to spend like this before.
One thing that is beyond doubt is that Manchester United — and football in general — are unlikely to see another like him.
That’s why I find it startling that his name was included in the recriminations that followed United’s Capital One Cup capitulation.
The only mistake Ferguson has made is underestimating just how good he actually was.
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