Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Essay on Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson

Manager of Manchester United


Alexander Chapman Ferguson, who is well-known as Alex Ferguson, was an ordinary man who worked as an apprentice tool worker in his father shipyard. He was born in Govan, Glasgow, a popular state in Scotland for its famous football teams, Glasgow Ranger and Glasgow Celtic. During his work, he also played football as a part time player in an infamous Queens Park and St Johnston football team. Regarding his ability, Glasgow Ranger was interested in him and bought him. As a player, Alex Ferguson was not success. He was blamed for a lost in a match against the fierce rival of Ranger, Glasgow Celtic. Finally, he gave up football and started his career as a manager of an infamous football club, East Stirling. He successfully managed this team for 3 years but was eventually sacked. An average class Scottish football team, Aberdeen, interested in using his management skills and recruited him. Within limited resources, Alex successfully turned Aberdeen into a glorious team by breaking the domination of Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Ranger. He also became a legend by leading his Aberdeen boys to be the only Scottish team who could win one of the most prestigious titles in European Football, Winners Cup. Regarding his success in Europe, many famous football teams in the like of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, and Tottenham, became interested to recruit him. In spite of the lucrative contract offers of these giant teams, Alex chose to continue his management career at an “under-threat” football team which was struggling to move away from premiership league degradation zone, Manchester United (MU). Under his reign, Manchester United evolved from an average team into a top-class team that has won 9 Premiership League titles, 5 FA cups, 2 League cups, and 7 Community Shield cup in regular domestic competition. Moreover, in European competition, Alex has successfully lead MU to win UEFA Champions League, Winner’s Cup, Intercontinental Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.

Alex Ferguson is a great manager. He has successfully made Manchester United one of the richest football clubs in the world. He is famous for his bargaining ability and his judgement on players’ potential. If he found that a player shows a lot of potentials, he will undoubtedly spend huge cash or do his utmost to sign this player. Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo, and Ruud Van Nistelrooy were only numbers of talented players that could show how good Alex Ferguson players’ potential judgement is. During his early time in East Stirling, Aberdeen, and Manchester United, Alex also managed to drive his team to success even with limited resources, within limited budget and under lots of pressures from fans and club upper management. Furthermore, he managed to make use invaluable Manchester United youngster and trained them. Players like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Neville brothers, and Paul Scholes are his top “products”. He managed to convert the value of these youngsters from zero to invaluable players who helped MU win numbers of titles.

Alex is also a great leader. He has shown his capabilities in directing his squad toward each successful season. He influences his player by implementing high level of squad discipline and giving equal treatment to every player. No player is treated exclusively, even a player in class of David Beckham and Jaap Stam were kicked out from the squad for their indiscipline acts and media outburst. Yes, Alex Ferguson is rarely talking to the media unless he thinks it is very necessary. He is of the opinion that talking to the media especially talking about internal team situation could lead into squad disharmony and can affect the form of his squad. Therefore, he often warns his players to be careful in giving their comments to the media. One of the “victim” of Alex’s disciplinary acts is the famous Manchester United captain, Roy Keane. Roy Keane commented on the media of the bad form of his team-mates and he also commented that Alex has mismanaged the team. Despite of Roy Keane’s 12 years contribution to the team, Alex end up his contract by mutual consent as soon as the comment was released to the public. In addition, Alex also infuses his team with his “hate-of-losing” and “desire-of-winning” personality. This makes his player to keep fighting even until the last minute of the game. Every football lover would still remember what happened in 1998-1999 Champions League final fixtures where Manchester United was 1-0 down in most of this game and they surprisingly managed to comeback and win the game in the very last minute by scoring 2 goals in the injury time. Everyone was surprised and wondering what Alex has told his player during the half time break so that his players could make a great comeback. Some of football commentators said it is because Alex’s famous hairdryer treatment (i.e. kind of treatment an angry Alex would give in team-talks by shouting at players close to their face), but they are all wrong. It was Alex’s word of motivation that changes the whole situation. He said, "At the end of this game, the European Cup will be only six feet away from you and you'll not even able to touch it if we lose (i.e. you’ll only be watching the enemy pick up the trophy and celebrate triumph that supposed to be yours). And for many of you, that will be the closest you will ever get (i.e. you cannot get closer to the trophy since losers don’t deserve that trophy). Don't you dare come back inhere (i.e. come back into the dressing room after the game finish) without giving your all (i.e. fight until the last minute of the game)". Regarding the final result of that game, Alex Ferguson perhaps is the greatest motivator and player psychiatrist in European football.

Alex Ferguson is also famous for his in-game strategy and mind-games. Not only to his players, has Alex also applied his psychological ability to “attack” his opponent. Sometimes he commented in the media to lower the mentality of his opposing team or replying to other managers’ mind-games commentary. However, most of the time, he prefers to answer his opponent by silent action. For example, his opponent, Alan Hansen, commented, “You’ll never win anything with kids”, when Alex decided to put the talented MU youngsters into MU senior team. Rather than replying a comment to Alan Hansen, Alex continued his plan to use his MU youngsters. Later on, when these talented youngsters had successfully matured into top quality players, Alex made Alan Hansen ate his own words. Another example is an arrogant comment of Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal, when Arsenal was on top of the premiership division table and MU was struggling in mid-table position. Wenger said that MU will not be able to take his team position in the league until the end of season and that MU glorious days had finished. Instead of replying to Wenger’s comment, he decided to focus on the team. He used Wenger’s comment to fire up his team. He told his players that all people were looking down at them and hated them. He used these military-like talks to wake up his squad spirit and tell the squad to prove that those people are wrong by giving up their best. At the end of season, MU dramatically won the season premiership title, making Wenger ate his own words.

Alex is strict to his players, but it doesn’t mean that he is a fierce manager. He really cares and protective to his players. Alex would be there to help if any players get into trouble. For example, Alex was there to protect and keep motivating these players:

  • David Beckham, when he became public enemy of England and became the scapegoat of England lost in 1998 World Cup.
  • Roy Keane, when he got problems with alcohols and his habit to go to night clubs and bars.
  • Ruud Van Nistelrooy, when he got problem with long injuries.
  • Christiano Ronaldo, when he became public enemy of England since he was blamed for the lost of England if 2006 World Cup for his “contribution” in sending off Wayne Rooney.
  • Ryan Giggs, when he needs protection away from the media limelight.

Alex cared for these players, protect them from the media, and keep motivating them. In a result, these players replied with loyalty and good performance on the pitch.

In conclusion, Alex Ferguson is a great leader who has great managerial ability. Regarding result of his leadership, it’s a delayed outcome since it took him 4 years to convert title-less Manchester United into a glorious team with bunch of disciplined and well-trained players. However, several events also have shown that his team-talks have an immediate effect to the team’s performance in any games. In accordance to leadership causal chain, Alex Ferguson leadership can be illustrated as follows:





1 comment:

hana azra a.k.a pewee said...

gaya amat lo pake acara publish assignment segala-gala..
sekalian aja publish assignment leadershit :P
gw jamin yg baca mual -__-"
oh iya..
kapan kita ngerjain comskills???!