The Scot’s decision to step down as Manchester United manager at the end of the current campaign caught most by surprise, and it appears to have been a defining moment
|By Teng Kiat
Fans of the English Premier League have spoken out, and the majority have pointed to Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as Manchester United manager as the their moment of the 2012/13 season.
The 71-year-old’s decision to step down at Old Trafford after 26 glittering years filled with 38 trophies came as a shock to most supporters, and it came out tops in a poll run by Goal.com Singapore that ended on Tuesday.
Sir Alex’s retirement took 43.6% of the votes, which was streets ahead of the second-placed entry; that was also Manchester United-related, as 9.7% voted for Robin van Persie’s last-gasp winner against Manchester City in their 3-2 win.
Those top two entries perhaps reflected the (red) mood of the campaign just ended, with Van Persie undoubtedly instrumental in helping the Red Devils reclaim their title from the blue half of the city. That gave Sir Alex the perfect sending-off present, as he now takes a directorial role at the club and hands over the reins to David Moyes.
Goals were the theme of the following two entries, with fans voting for Arsenal’s epic 7-3 win over Newcastle in December last year, and remembering Frank Lampard’s record goal-scoring feats for Chelsea; the midfielder is now the Blues’ all-time leading top-scorer.
Surprisingly, the form of Michu, Christian Benteke and Rickie Lambert – virtually unknown entities prior to this season – as well as Gareth Bale’s stunning campaign for Tottenham were not particularly well looked back upon, as both garnered only 2.9% of the votes.
The same could be said for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s many troubles – most notably his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic - and Anton Ferdinand’s refusal to shake hands with John Terry over their racism incident, but perhaps it is simply heartening to note that supporters only remember the good moments.
Other memorable highlights include Wigan and Swansea lifting the FA Cup and League Cup respectively, with the former leaving City empty-handed this season thanks to a last-minute winner, and two other goal-fests – Chelsea thumping Aston Villa 8-0, and United’s thrilling 4-3 win over Newcastle.
Paolo di Canio’s varied set of ecstatic fist-pumping and knee-sliding celebrations during Sunderland’s 3-0 derby win over Newcastle reminded everyone just how high passions can run during a game – moments that will surely be in abundance when the next season gets underway as well.