Aguerooooooooooooooo!!! The commentator screamed as there was bedlam at the Etihad stadium that sunny day May 13th 2012 as Manchester City the noisy neighbours snatched the premier league title in the dying seconds from the hands of bitter rivals Manchester United. A few miles away at the Stadium of light in Sunderland, Sir Alex Ferguson and his entire team looked stunned as they were just about getting ready to celebrate a 20th title they thought they’d won. It was not meant to be. They had let themselves down. Eight points clear with six games to spare, Manchester United uncharacteristically managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It hurt them. It really did. They are not accustomed to throwing away leads from winning positions. To make it more painful, they lost the title to Manchester City of all teams.
Fast forward eleven months and a Robin Van Persie later, and they are champions again for a 20th time secured after a comprehensive 3-0 spanking of Aston Villa last night and months of hard work before then and now United have two more titles than rivals Liverpool. Indeed, the last time Liverpool won the league, Manchester United just had seven league titles to their name. Talk about a turning tide. It took Manchester Utd 88 years to win title number 1 to 10. Now it has taken them just 17 years from 1996 to date to win titles number 11-20. This rapid success can be attributed to one person only. The man whose image lights up this write up Sir Alex Ferguson. Yes many people have said United won the league because of Van Persie but I beg to differ slightly. If expensive signings are just meant to guarantee success then Fernando Torres would be an instant legend for Chelsea. Truth is signing Van Persie was a gamble with his well documented injury problems and all. There was still a lot of work to make him blend to play the United way, to function in a new system and operate and play with a different mentality. It takes a great manager to bring out the best from great players and Van Persie owes much to Manchester United as Much as Manchester United owe much to him. Manchester United lost the title to City last season on goal difference and when he signed, there was never a chance of that happening again especially with Sir Alex showing the same passion to win and excel as always. Sir Alex is Manchester United and Manchester United is Sir Alex. Anytime United have been written off after they relinquished their title, he has always risen to the challenge to stake his claim as the king of the land. He always looks up to the challenge and little wonder he has seen off opposition as the years have gone by. From Kevin Keegan at Newcastle to Wenger at Arsenal, Mourinho at Chelsea, Benitez at Liverpool and now Mancini, whenever he sees a threat he’s always up to the fight.
- One thing many people agree on is that this is hardly a vintage Manchester United side and that is why a lot of credit has to go to the manger. Perhaps his greatest achievement this season was using last season’s heartbreak as motivation to spur on his players this season. Many sides would have crumbled after such adversity but not Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. I won’t be surprised if he played the video of that Aguero goal to his players before every match to remind them of the pain of failure. Congratulations Manchester United. Footynyx.