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Ahead of our game against West Brom

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Both West Brom and Manchester United players will form a guard of honour ahead of kick-off today for Sir Alex Ferguson, who is celebrating his 1500th and final game as our manager. Today is a day we will look back on and talk about for the rest of our lives. Today is the last day in the job for the greatest football manager of all time. When we reflect on this era, this magical period in the club’s history, we will remember exactly how we are feeling today.

At our last home game last weekend and at the parade on Monday, I felt like I’d said my goodbyes and was ready to move on. They talk about the different stages of bereavement and that’s what our fanbase has been going through since rumours began last week. Denial, shock, anger… acceptance. We are losing the influence of the man that has made our lives immeasurably better, and only United fans can truly understand how that feels. So, after thinking I was alright with his retirement (I didn’t even cry last Sunday, much to my surprise!) I am feeling fairly overwhelmed by it today.

I celebrated Rio’s late winner wildly last weekend. It’s funny that, even when there’s nothing to play for, you can’t help but thoroughly enjoy watching United win. It was important that we won Ferguson’s last game at Old Trafford though, and it’s important that we win his last game today.

“1500 games – it’s incredible,” he said in his last press conference. “West Brom have done fantastically, every team wants to win their last home game and obviously I want to win this one more than last week’s even.”

For that reason, you imagine the manager will go with a strong team today. The boss has confirmed that Lindegaard will play in goal and that Jones and Evans will play in the centre of defence. Rafael isn’t available and Smalling and Powell have been ruled out after having operations. Wayne Rooney has been given permission not to travel with the squad as his wife is expected to give birth any day now, but after being left out of the squad last weekend and the manager confirming he had requested to leave the club again, it’s unlikely he would have gone even if his wife wasn’t pregnant.

Hopefully we’ll see Robin van Persie and Chicharito start up front together, with the latter playing nowhere near as much as he should have done this season, although it would also be great to see Danny Welbeck get some minutes. Ferguson has claimed he might play some of the younger players today. By that he could mean Tom Cleverley ahead of Paul Scholes, or hopefully he’s going to give our Reserve Team Player of the Year, Adnan Januzaj, his début at some point during the game.

So, here we go. An end of an era. Come on United!

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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11 Comments

  1. slim says:

    Come on United

  2. max says:

    What I’d love to know is – where was Hernandez and Nani the other night at the awrds dinner??

  3. drv3011 says:

    An end of an era today and the beginning of a new one next season.I’m gonna miss those times when SAF was chewing endlessly on gum or berating the fourth official on the touchline or jumping up and down celebrating every goal.He is going to be the biggest miss of all.Although I’ve been a United supporter for only 8 years or so(I’m 17 now),United the only team I’ve known and loved and SAF in my eyes is a huge legend.experiencing one third of the Ferguson era has thought me so much about what it means to support this club.

  4. Daniel88 says:

    All the furore last week the scrutiny of the performance and team selection was overlooked.

    They were both shocking.

    The substitution of Scholes was yet again key and even though Anderson’s passing in the final third was dismal his pace and drive through the middle forced Swansea back. Just a shame he’s fat, unfit and injury prone because at times with his pace through the middle he looks incredible.

  5. wayne says:

    fat,unfit,injury prone and can’t pass a ball lol just the type of player Utd need to run the midfield,just don’t see him surviving

  6. Andromeda says:

    Two extremities.the most influential and successful manager of all time plus the most entertaining gum chewer.will miss him like I miss my father.

  7. parryheid says:

    Snap+one or two others.

  8. hammed abiola f says:

    l wish he could bring down his age to four years so that he could contibue
    l love every bit of his attitude, the way he prepares players and dealing with the press. adieu utd.

  9. NBI Red Onion says:

    The biggest loser in all this is orbit chewing gum.

    Can’t see this being anything other than a 4-0 / 4-1 hiding of West Brom, we should tear them apart.

  10. NBI Red Onion says:

    Yes this is the final goodbye, it is gutting and scary, there is an emptiness that SAF will leave that no one will replace, not Moyes or anyone, and that is the way it should be.

  11. fola dearg says:

    Afternoon all
    Long term reader first time poster…would love to see januzaj get some minutes today. Very silky player whos improving steadily but needs to bulk up quite a bit as hes been bossed in a couple of reserve games this year.
    The end of an era – I hope everyone gives fergie the send off he deserves and gets behind DM as soon as he takes over.
    Heres hoping for three points!

    Ps. Best united blog ive found scott. Keep up the good work!

    FD

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