Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson.

ThankYouSirAlexPrior Warning : This is no way an unbiased article. Anybody reading this expecting it to be neutrally written can doubtlessly find the option to navigate elsewhere  in a variety of buttons like back, close, home or whatever (Honestly, i don’t care).  As I was saying, its written with crystal clear bias, devotion and much fanaticism towards the Manchester United football club, and Sir Alex Ferguson. There might be many statements  in this article that might be open to many conflicts of opinion. But nevertheless, its what I’ve believed, along with billion others.

This is not just a thank you note. Nor a remembrance. Neither is it an argument against anybody with another opinion.

I don’t remember the 1st Manchester United match I saw. All that I remember is the now familiar image of the fat pink faced man chewing gum and pacing on the sidelines. In time the way I’ve seen him has changed. As a budding fan and a kid, I knew him as manager, who I then thought meant he owned the club. Then later on I found out the owners were separate and that he is just the manager of the club, which I then thought meant he coached the team. Then with wisdom came the epiphany that he’s the man behind the curtains. Coaching the team, managing the players, finances, deciding who to buy and who to sell, developing the club as a whole.

Now a decade after I first saw that pink face, Now that I’ve seen that man retire at 71, after achieving everything humanly possible, I know better than that. Sir Alex is not just the manager. That anybody can be. But he’s more than that. Saying he’s the manager of MUFC is putting it so plainly that its a disgrace to his relation to the club.
The blood rushing to his face as he paces the sidelines, the same blood running through his veins as he chewed on the gum every moment with more energy, Its not blood, Its Manchester United. It runs in his veins, as much as he’s the beating heart of Manchester United Football Club.
(*Correction : Has been for 26 years :”(  )

Sir Alex Ferguson needs no introductions, Nor listings of his achievement. Its well documented and heralded. A legendary 13 top division titles. 2 European titles, and countless other trophies totaling to 38 in 26 years. None alive or dead has done it better, or in all probability will never do it better.

But the greatness of Sir Alex Ferguson can never be documented on paper. His Midas touch evident in every single player bought that has payed back his dues by becoming a Star, in every single deal signed with a sponsor making the club the most valuable during his time, until eclipsed finally after decades by a Big spending Real Madrid. Even then, they managed it only after years and years of poaching stars that SAF himself brought to Old Trafford as boys with a football flair, and himself carefully grew to be the finest in the world. And even then, after making cracks upon cracks on the squads that Sir Alex built, the blind fact that in last 10 years, United have had more success in Europe than Real Madrid only shows the genius that this man possesses. No challenger has stood long in front of Sir Alex, and not felt his knees give away. Arsene build his invincibles at Highbury, yet they withered away leaving the Govan born Scot’s Red Devils with no challenge. Then came Mourinho’s Chelsea. For all the legendary title wins of the two seasons, happiness for the Blues could not last long though. By 2006, Ferguson had crafted another title winning squad. And yet again he found the rest of England wanting.

The only adversary that Sir Alex has marginally been unsuccessful against is Guardiola. 9/11 holds a bitter memory for all United fans for a different reason. Guardiolas Barcelona, and his Tiki Taka. European disappointment twice, and against the same team. Not something Ferguson has been used to, nor us fans, seeing he has never gone trophy-less in consecutive seasons in the PL era. Yet domestically, his genius was miles away. With time, Guardiola also grew tired. He had to take a year off to recharge, with 2012 finding his Barcelona fall from grace.
Then came Mancini and the oil-flushed Manchester City. One season is all they’ve lasted against the Old man. All the noise that the neighbors managed and the critics claiming Manchester United is never gonna dominate Manchester again, have all been silenced. The Wily Scot has again found the rest of the world wanting, at 71 years of age. 13 titles in 26 years is not a feat any manager can achieve in any league in the modern era of football. And it was not without competition, he faced the best managers of all time head on, yet came on top. Limiting a historically strong side like liverpool to a 22 year title-less run, or ousting the best sides to ever play the premier league in Chelsea and Arsenal and winning back the title, is an inhuman achievement. Yet Sir Alex stood, tall, proud and the Red Devils crooning behind him. No man, player or manager can stand toe to toe with him. And I’d bet my life on that nobody will ever overturn his records in this age.

Sir Alex’s biggest achievements does not lie in titles, or records. His biggest would be why a man at  39 years of age still does not want to retire from the game. Or why another player who was retired and coaching the squad decided the boots still belong on his feet and came back from retirement to pull the club back up when it was in crisis. Or why the captain of one of the biggest rivals abandoned his club and came to Old Trafford. Its in the spirit. Its in the belief. Its in every fightback in the last 10 minutes of a game. Its in the reason why the same person who came back from retirement to aid the club, decided to hang up his boots the same week his manager and mentor decided to quit as well. Its in the heart of every red devil. Paul Scholes is one among the greatest midfielders of our age( The best for many players),  but SAF made him how he is, how the world has known him to be. The story of Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs can never be told beyond the first chapter without the story of Sir Alex Ferguson. Countless many follow.

There would be no man whose good health has been prayed for by so many people in the world. Just so that he would go on to manage the club to even greater heights that only he’ll be able to tread. Immortality is something everyone would wish for, but not for another. Unless it was Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson. Then he’d live eternally, and many times over, cuz we’d all give it to him. Not because he’s our favorite manager. Nor because hes the most successful manager of all time. But because destiny chose him to manage Manchester United in 1986 when he turned down both Arsenal and Tottenham to come to Old Trafford. The story of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson is not just of success, management, or football. Its a legendary romance.

There’s a reason why Manchester United is at the very top of the world, in riches, fame, fandom and achievements.  Theres a reason the city of Manchester turned red with flags and scarves and jerseys sporting Champions on the 13th of May. That its the 20th Title, is not that reason. Nor is it the fact that it was won back from bitter rivals across the city. Nor is it because its his last title, with him still as director, more titles are sure to come by. The reason for it is simple. Its because, every one of them holding a red flag, every one of us in every corner of this world, want to say one simple thing, with tears of gratitude.
Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson.
Old Trafford might be the Theatre of Dreams, but only he could achieve the Impossible Dream.


Philosophy of a Gamer : Inspire, get back up, win.

The most beautiful and inspirational quote by a gamer i Ever read !!!

When times are hard, things look tough, and every hope seems to fade away. 🙂

Just tell yourself.

The challenge is only as good as the difficulty.

Its just the legendary mode, not everyone can manage.

You are one of the few who can.

You might have to fall down, lose, press alt+f4 and start again.

But then its all a part of the learning routine.

Maybe you would feel this is never gonna change, that you will not be able to do it. But then again, things always change for the better.

Start again, lower the difficulty, accept a lesser challenge, once you beat that and get back up on your feet. Do not hesitate, do not be afraid to go back to what beat you. You just have to try more, maybe restart it. Maybe mess up some seasons. But it does not matter. What matters is how much you get better. Because, well, you can never be worse.

And one day, you’ll start turning the tide, taking control. Loving what you do, You’ll feel alive. You’ll start relishing each and every minute of challenge and keep on getting better at beating it. And finally,
A time will come when even legendary seems to be nothing more than beginner.

But then, do not pity it, because there might be someone still better than you out there.Then again, you might not be the one alone who’s capable of the demons that every one of us face.  You might face hurdles bigger than any you’ve faced ever before, in them. There might be a hell of a lot more people who found the inspiration. But then again, not many have to be as good as you. Keep enjoying it, you will learn to beat them too. Always remember to get back up, get a rematch, try again, keep at it.And finally, one day, one fine day, or maybe night; come to think of it, you might find that you have gone from a measly beginner to a true legend. And you might not find anyone who can take the success away from you.
But if u did not find anyone, do not pity the world, the next FIFA is just a year away.
Chill, Shut down your gaming rig. Go get some sleep, have some beer, go partying, take your girl out and make her feel like how you do now, catch some real football and grab something to eat. And don’t forget to go play some with your friends in an empty yard with creepers and the ‘goalpost’ trees.

Modern day Football Greats: Miles ahead of time, or a ghost of the past ?

Modern day football. Now that is a word we hear a lot nowadays. Maybe because football is believed to have grown immensely from the past to the present. Football has grown from being a game where a single man could carry the burden of a whole team and achieve miraculous heights to a game where all 11 of the players playing together do whatever is needed to win the game. It sounds bland and bereft of reward, but that win is even more hard-fought today than before with the amount of quality in every single squad. But even then, why is there still something missing ? Being in an era dominated by Spanish Football, let’s concentrate a bit there. Guardiola’s FC Barcelona was the only team that was seemingly invincible in the recent times. And even they have deteriorated over the last season. Even the most loyal of Barcelona fans would feel that the quality of Pep’s squad is just not there in the present one. So what is it that has gone missing ?

The biggest title contenders in the 2011-2012 UEFA Champions League were Real Madrid and Barcelona. They both had the most star-studded squad of the era. They each had arguably, the best two players of the time ( Never mind who the best among the two is ;  That is an argument I will never get into) . But it is widely  agreed upon that these two are the two best in the world. But are they really as good as the past greats that have dribbled and tackled and scored on the green field that we all love?
Every Spanish El Classico today is not just a question of which spanish giant is the best, but more of a one-on-one contest between the before-mentioned two players. Just considering the match of 7th October 2012, each of them scored equally a brace of goals, all four of them exquisite finishes. But leaving that, the glaring misses from the players other than these two in either squads werethe reason for the stalemate.  In a match were you play the best rival of your league, country and era,when you have possibly the best opportunity of your career and lifetime to be a hero, there was a seemingly dead lack of inspiration. All each of the teams wanted was to win, never mind the method. There was a visible lack of a true leader. One person who not just plays well, but makes each and every teammate want to put the best they have into the game just so that they can win the game for him. That person, who you truly love to play with and respect from your gut was just not in that 22 men on the field.

Andres Iniesta is one of the few players who is just impossible to be disliked by any.  Player or spectator, rival or teammate, you just can’t hate him. That he is among the most consistent among the players today, not just for his club, but his national squad as well is just one the many reasons for that. He does what he’s best at, with minimum fuss, no hard feelings. He was awarded the European player of the year award recently. But even he is unable to be the inspiration of his squad. The only person who could do it for Barcelona was their captain, Carlos Puyol. He might be a defender, he might not score any goals, he might not have record statistics. But once he is wearing his boots and he is on that ground, he is an absolute monster. Not a striker who has played Barcelona will forget the snarling, ferocious spaniard. He is not technically or physically the best the game has ever seen. But yet, he is up there, among the greats. Just one simple reason,  he gives everything he can when he plays. He jumps the highest his body can, he runs as fast as his legs can carry him. He never leaves his marker and he tackles the hardest. And when his team falls behind, he does whatever he can to inspire them. When your captain, who is a central defender, dribbles past the players with strength and speed like a charging bull, there is just no way you can stay uninspired. He, just like Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Cantona, Shearer, Ronaldo, Riquelme  and countless many before, is a  true leader.

There aren’t many at present who fit in the same mould as Carles Puyol or the rest. There arent many players who can stand a head and shoulder above the rest , not literally, but on terms of commitment and mentality. Didier Drogba did it for Chelsea in the 2011-2012 season before deciding to move on. Ronaldinho did it for Barcelona in the 2005 season and still remains the only catalan player to have got a standing ovation from the Madridista at Santiago Bernabou. Once a person does that for his team, then it does not matter what he was before. He could have been the most inconsistent of the players, but it matters not. And that is why, coming back to the original suggestion, the greats of today in the game are not upto par. Andres Iniesta might have won the player of the year award, but the fact that he chose to dive down and try to win a free kick when he could have gone on and fought and made something of it just makes him a lesser player than he’s capable of being. Same is the case for Messi, Ronaldo and Co. They do not give all they have, they do not give all they can, and thats why they still have eons to go before they can command the same level of respect and devotion from not just their own fans, but the whole of footballing world. They have to start living in the game, enjoying playing football, fighting for it and keeping it. After all, football might be played using your legs, but it is won only with your heart !!