Sir Alex Ferguson has become the first manager, alongside Arsene Wenger, to be inducted in to the Premier League Hall of Fame.
In an interview with the club’s official site, Fergie has reflected back on his time at Manchester United and talked about the huge impact Eric Cantona had on the club when he signed from Leeds in 1992, as the catalyst for the success that followed.
When Eric Cantona came, it was like the messiah. Players loved him. The young players loved him. His presence, his confidence, his stature. I always remember he came on as a sub against Manchester City for his first game at half-time and he made a six-yard pass – it was the best six-yard pass I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s something about great players, they can do something simple that looks great. He transformed the confidence factor and we deservedly won the league.
When we won our first Premier League title, that just opened the door for us. Challenging for the league is the most important thing. That’s what keeps everyone happy in the club. We tried to win every league. We were close to winning every league in that period of 18 years or something. Five times, we were second and we won it the next year.
Fergie made the decision to retire midway through the 2012-13 season, although only told his wife and children, before news broke before the end of the campaign, with United reclaiming the Premier League title.
We had signed Robin van Persie in the summer from Arsenal and, like Cantona before him, the Dutchman played a vital role in our success.
I’d made my mind up in in the December, I was going to retire and only Cathy knew and the boys knew. We kept it quiet because I wanted to win the Premier League and it was great to go out a winner. To be honest with you, I think the signing of Van Persie, won us the league with his 29 goals that season. He was fantastic. He was that thrust in the last third of the field and the goal he scored against Aston Villa from Wayne Rooney’s pass to win the league, you couldn’t have got a better goal than that.