The Manchester United legend and the story which could have been

West Brom The Hawthorns

David Kelly tries to digest the madness which was Sir Alex Ferguson's final game as Manchester United manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge was somewhat ridiculous, a score line of 5-5 highlighted how a spirited attacking force is sometimes reinforced by a haphazard and clumsy defence.

It was a return to the defending that was all too commonplace in the first half of the season, a lack of concentration and cohesion being all too prevalent.

I can’t help wondering if the gaffer gave his players one last blast of the hairdryer before taking his packed bags back to Manchester and the Old Trafford boardroom.

Although it was a ten goal game, with the goals evenly shared, it wasn’t a thriller. I have no doubt that Ferguson wanted to retire on a win, his strike force tried to duly oblige.

Even though the record points tally was out of reach, there was the opportunity to finish on ninety one instead of the eighty nine they finish on.

What was a monumental season for various reasons finished with a match that just screamed ‘anti-climax’. Just one more goal for the visiting team could have changed everything.

That one goal would have cost WBA a place in the table, they would have finished on the same number of points as Swansea but with a goal difference of minus five they would have finished ninth instead of eighth. It would still have been considered one hell of a fantastic season for ‘The Baggies’.

I postulate that in the dying embers of Sunday's match that a West Brom player had the opportunity to write some remarkable Premier League history.

One of the defenders, or possibly even Ben Foster could have put the ball in their own net with seconds to go, once it was apparent that United had nothing left to offer.

I know that this sounds utterly daft but it would have given whoever did it an instant status of ‘Manchester United Legend’ whether or not they ever donned a United shirt in their career. And let’s not forget that Foster did, he used to be tipped to be the Old Trafford keeper elect, albeit it didn’t work out, but Fergie gave him a shot, and raised his profile in the game.

It was a ridiculous game anyway, with a ridiculous score line but it could have been remembered for what would have undoubtedly become the Premier League’s most famous own goal ever, one that would have reflected the respect that is afforded to Sir Alex Ferguson by the majority, if not all, of the Premier League.

image: © stadiumguide

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