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The end of an era for Manchester United

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced  that he will be retiring from management at the end of the 2012/13 season. The Scotsman will be taking on the roles of Director and Ambassador at the club.

The 71 year old has enjoyed the most successful reign in English football history at Old Trafford, winning 38 trophies, being crowned Premier League champions 13 times, and winning a staggering 894 games, losing only 267 games whilst he has been in charge. The announcement brings great sadness across the globe for players and supporters, labelling him as the best manager to grace the beautiful game.

However, what does this now mean for the famous club? With speculation of the possible successor for Ferguson looming over our heads, I will be investigating what impacts the retirement of Sir Alex will have on the club, fans, and players.

As every football fan knows, Sir Alex is a man with a great passion for the game. He has incredible knowledge of the game, and an aquired hunger each year for success. However, his influence within the club will be sorely missed, removing that extra incentive his brings to the club for winning games and trophies. The thing in which I admire the most about Ferguson, is how he wants to win every single match, no matter what importance the game holds. For example, after winning the league against Aston Villa, Fergie continued to show his agression and his determination on the touchline, when he has already done his job. A once in a lifetime manager, that will be almost impossible to replace.

When evaluating the impact that Ferguson's decision to retire at United will have on the club, there is often details that we do not take into consideration.

One of the biggest differences that will be noticed at Manchester United in the 2013/14 season is the drastic change to the 'Manchester United culture'. During the Sir Alex Ferguson era, Manchester United have made themselves known as the team that is 'always there'. Each time the title has been taken out of their hands, the next year they seem to come back stronger, and there is no doubt that Sir Alex's influence plays a vital part.

They have also been branded as the 'comeback kings', with the 1999 Champions League final versus Bayern Munich being the main example. Throughout the years, time and time again we have seen Manchester United win games in the last minutes, which is down to United and Ferguson's never say die attitude. Players at Manchester United come out onto the pitch and they play for their manager, as the boss is respected by every single one of the players and they always want to be successful for him. This is the problem at many clubs, where players do not play for their manager, however with Ferguson at United, there is no problem. For these reasons, it is definitely the end of an era for Manchester United, but could it be the start of a new, successful era?

There is no doubt that it is virtually impossible to find a perfect replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson, but could another manager do a similar job?

A big favourite to take over the role as first team coach at United is current Everton boss David Moyes. The fellow Scotsman has spent 11 years at the club, which could be a contributing factor to his expected switch to Manchester, as they will be looking for a loyal boss to try and replicate the work of Ferguson. Moyes has transformed Everton from a relegation candidate to a team battling for European football during his time at the club, and is a well respected manager in English football. However, Manchester United fans will argue that his achievements are not up to the 'United standard'. He has won no trophies during his time at Everton, coming closest with an FA Cup runners-up medal in 2009. Moyes also has little experience in Europe, and has not been given the chance to work with big name players, or spend big in the transfer season. On the other hand, it would be stupid to think that Ferguson and the club have not got a well thought through plan in order for the club to be left in good hands and to continue winning trophies, and keeping it's name as the best club in England.

Manchester United will never be the same without Sir Alex Ferguson, and football will be losing one of the greatest people to be involved with the game. This is the end of an era for Manchester United, but is also the start of something new.