So it's been a year since Sir Alex Ferguson annouched his retirement. It was the summer of 2011 after winning the 19th league trophy. The great man decided it was time to call an end to his miraculous career. It was a complete shock to the world, not even the chairman or owners expected it. Some suggest he had a health problem which he has been keeping to himself, others suggest the embaressing defeat to Barcelona in Wembly played a massive factor and others simply said it was always in Fergie's plan to retire in 2011.
With names such as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and even Mike Phelan was said to have been the favourites to take over the job. The biggest surprise was yet to come from Sir Alex. He himself said he will be the one to determine who his successor was and that no one would be able to predict. After that annoucement, the odds for his son Darren Ferguson were shorthen. No one could have predicted what was coming not even the united players.
It was announced a month after the wembly final when the successor was finally named. To the world's surprise it was a complete unknown. Ian Lim was announced as the next manager of the Manchester United. The media tore him and Sir Alex to shreds, printing headlines such as "Fergie final meltdown" "Already gone crazy". The fans weren't that forgiving either. Internet forum blusts into life criticising the man who brought them their 19th league title, rival fans starting taunting before the season even began, protests were held and even regular season ticekt holders wanted a refund for their money. Was this Sir Alex biggest mistake??
Nemanja Vidic the current United captain was asked by journalist what was his thoughts of the new manager and does the manager has the backing of the squad. He chose to not comment which did not help Lim's case. All of the United players chose not to comment and waited to see what the new manager was like when they come back for preseason.
The pressure on Ian Lim couldn't be any greater, the world would be watching and any mistake be scrutinised by media and fans alike. The world didn't expect what was coming next.
Having arrived at the club with such a cloud of doubt under him and such distaste from the fans, Lim knew he had to make an impression quickly or else he could be the face of the worst possible manager in the fans and media's eyes to ever manage united. From the start he knew there would be some displeasure among the staff espicially from Mike Phelan who was one of the favourites to take over. In his first press conference he annouched that he was going to revamp the club from top to the bottom. He ignores all questions about his inexperience managing a football club and possible transfers in and outs of the squad. He stated he had the board's backing along with Sir Alex advice if he ever needed it. As the press conference ended, fans were still calling for his head, media still doubted his ability and the players were expected back in a week. Ian had a lot to do before they arrive..
First thing he did was to sack the assistant manager, he also decided to sack a number of scouts, fitness coaches, goalkeeping coaches and a youth coach. He wanted things to be his way and the personal leaving was simply not in his plans. He had admire the way Sir Alex had build up the club but he wanted to be remembered for things he has done not gaining the benefits of Sir Alex. A new assistant manager was named Valdir de Moraes, yet another unknown man to the english media but was a good friend of Lim's. With that a few coaches from around the globe was hired, it seem that Lim wanted to have the knowledge of the footballing world.
With new staff in, Lim reportedly tore up the previous training schedulge sets and made new ones the same day. Players reported for training and Lim seem to have already decided which players were not in his plans and his players which were. Berbatov, Diouf, Kuszczak and fan favourite Park were sold in the next few weeks. Pogba and Morrison were sent on loan with their promising future ahead of them.
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Promising youngsters sent on season long loan
Promising youngsters sent on season long loan
Lim wanted to call back Macheda but QPR had already paid a fee for a season long but he did manage to talk to Scholes out of retirement for at least one more year. The biggest transfer was yet to come, Fellani from Everton was bought for 15 millions pounds and a possible bargain signing was youngster Yaya Sanogo from AJ Auxerre for 3 million pounds who was sent straight to FC Twente for a season loan. Lim reportedly tried to get rid of Owen but no clubs came bidding.
Several clubs that Manchester United had links with were cancel by Mr Lim as there were deem to be unfit or useless. He managed to gain a links with Celtic and Sporting Kansas City the past season. Scouts were sent all over the world to keep reported targets under radar and it was even reported like David Moyes, Ian Lim would be using football manager to search for players.
After the break we'll discuss what happen throughout the season for Ian Lim's first season with Manchester United
To be continued...