The sad day has finally come.
The day every Manchester United fan has been afraid of.
Sir Alex Ferguson has retired, and today is his final home game in front of the Manchester United faithful.
Simply stating that sentence still gives me a sensation of surrealism. He was always the man to state that “no player is bigger than the club”, Manchester United will always live on, but for people like me, I havent known a Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson.
Hell, if we go back to the day I was born, Sir Alex was probably still manager at that time.
To people like me, Sir Alex IS Manchester United.
But he stays true to what he always believed in, Sir Alex is now leaving, but Manchester United is here to stay on.
Personally, the qualities that Im going to miss in this man arent his tactical choices, or sly purchases, but his ability to enhance players.
Make them believe they were better than they were.
Pushing them, maximising their potential.
People could easily point at players like Cantona or Ronaldo and state that Fergie was a one man team sort of manager, but they couldnt be further from the truth in my opinion.
Players like Cantona, Keano, Solskjaer, Ronaldo, Scholesy, Becks, Giggsy and more are few and far in between, and with great talent sometimes comes great ego. Its no surprise all the above, no matter how cocky they were on field, always remembered who their boss was. Always remained grounded.
No matter how good they got, he was better.
No matter what they achieved, he’d achieved it before.
He was the one to take them to the next level. But again, this is quite obvious. Any good manager can enhance that calibre of player into a world beater.
But what if I throw in names like:
Gary / Phil Neville
Rafael Da Silva
David De Gea
In other words, distinctly average players. However, these players were part of the first eleven that were fielded by this legendary manager.
Having a Ronaldo carry your team through a few games is fair enough, however, its the:
consistently average / solid performances of Gary Neville
the availability of Phil Neville / O’Shea
the partnership of Yorke and Cole
the consistent runs and crosses by Valencia
the raw passion of Rafael / Cleverley / Welbeck that carry a TEAM.
Ferguson had a way of convincing these players that they were the future of the club, that they were better than what they thought they were.
Two captains emerged out of two brothers who, it could be argued, had nothing in terms of skill.
Two strikers managed to click to become one of the most feared partnerships in the world, who went on to carry the treble.
A young right back, who was known for petulant tackles and needless red cards, has transformed into first choice and a possibly outstanding defender.
A very one footed winger learned that by doing one thing extremely well may well be the only thing required to assist the strikers.
Chicha nods Valencias cross into the goal
A young centre back tasked with covering the gap left by an injured mammoth of a captain, slotted right in.
A young, thin goalkeeper who made very awkward saves, had the whole country turn against him one season, only to become goalkeeper of the season the following year.
Two players blamed for being “not good enough” by former captain Keano, went on to prove how pivotal it is having a utility player who can plug all sorts of holes in your team.
A striker deemed as that kid who scored a wonder goal against stoke as a 17 year old, went on to show he can replicate that class against top opponents (a Ronaldo-led real madrid).
This, to me, is the true measure of the man.
Mourinho and Guardiola are worthy of being mentioned as potential successors to his legacy down the years because they seem to carry the same values, even though one of them tends to stay with one club longer than the other.
While other clubs rejoice at finally having a chance at winning the league again (Arsenal, Liverpool), people like me are left to take in the sheer amount of surrealism that is currently in the air.
To us, what we are breathing in is suddenly not air.
I have never known Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson, but whenever the man does something strange during the transfer window, any Manchester United supporter would recognise the term “in Fergie we trust”.
Well Fergie, we trust you.
Thank you for all the years.
Thank you for making me fall in love season after season with this glorious club.
Thank you for teaching me lessons in success that you will probably never know that you taught me.
Thank you, Sir.
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Great Article from Wayne Veysey at Goal.com:
What kind of manager can Manchester United expect when David Moyes is anointed to the Old Trafford throne?
Caricature paints him as pragmatic, work-aholic, enthusiastic, loyal and demanding, a worker of miracles season after season at Everton.
In his own words, Moyes was overlooked for the post of Ferguson’s No.2 in 1998 because the Govan godfather regarded the then Preston manager as “a little too intense”.
The 50-year-old has come a long way from the ambitious ladder climber who began taking coaching courses at the age of 22 to the cherry-picked successor of the most successful manager in British football.Behind the gimlet blue eyes and proud Glaswegian jaw lies one of those most fertile minds in football.
An early disciple of long ball specialist and unorthodox man-manager John Beck, Moyes is also a fervent advocate of the scientific approach to management.
At Everton, he urges his fitness staff to go on courses across Europe to absorb the latest knowledge and information on player preparation and recovery. Football data is key to his matchday preparation, with a mini-team of three analysts employed to provide detailed reports on the performances of his own players and the opposition.
This is no dinosaur sending his team out to wear down the opposition and nick a goal on the counter-attack or through a set piece.
Moyes’ supporters point to him transforming Everton from perennial mid-table strugglers to top-six regulars on a shoestring budget, with three League Managers’ Association manager-of-the-year awards proof of the esteem in which he is held by his peers.
Critics use his lack of Champions League pedigree against him, as well as a trophy count during 11 years at Goodison Park that still stands at an unforgiving zero.
Moreover, Moyes’ teams have never been known for playing an expansive brand of football. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy came away from Spurs’ 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park in March 2012 telling friends that Moyes would not be a future manager of his club. “We are never going to play like Everton,” he said. Levy was true to his word. Moyes was, perhaps surprisingly, never even considered by the London club to replace Harry Redknapp last summer.
Yet Moyes knows how to win friends and influence people. “He has an aura about him,” one long-standing former colleague, who wished to remain anonymous, told Goal.com. “Players listen to him and believe in what he is telling them. They will run through a brick wall for him. He is good to his staff, honest and generous. Without exception, they all respect him.”
Moyes is cast from the same mould as Ferguson. They share similar working-class Glasgow backgrounds, fierce work ethics and their management styles are broadly similar.
“David has a tough, hold-no-prisoners’ approach,” the ex-colleague added. “It is his way or the highway, as players like Royston Drenthe have found out.
“He is not particularly flexible and is something of a control freak. He is a manager in the traditional sense. He not only coaches the players, selects the team and formulates the tactics but controls every area of the club – the academy, the scouting, the medical and the sports science departments. He never stops working.
At United, Moyes will not have the same level of control as he has developed during a decade of steering Everton from the bottom half of the table to the top. Britain’s biggest club has too many tentacles. He will have to learn to delegate, as Ferguson has done so successfully down the years.
“David is going to have to change his approach radically,” the source explained. “Maybe not so much his man-management style. At Man United you can probably get away with an authoritarian style, as he will be following Ferguson. You can’t walk into Chelsea and do it.
“But he won’t be able to run all areas of the club at United. The playing style is also an issue. At Everton and Preston, he has not overseen an expansive style of play.”
Like his fellow Scot, Moyes has also demonstrated a capacity for longevity and consistency. By nearly all measures, his track record at Preston and Everton is impressive.
An absence of silverware at Goodison should not be confused with a lack of success. Winning the FA Cup in 2009, when Everton lost to Chelsea in the final, would have enhanced his CV, but would it have been any more of an achievement than steering the Merseysiders to a top-four league finish, as he did in 2004-05 after being forced to sell Wayne Rooney to United?
Like Ferguson, Moyes keeps the media at arm’s length. Control is the buzz-word. He also knows how to keep a secret.
A cloak of confidentiality has surrounded United’s plans for him to succeed his friend and ally over the past few weeks. Even senior Everton staff have been kept in the dark about their manager’s future.
Moyes had an end-of-season dinner with the Merseyside press pack last week, when each reporter was given a gift of a 10-year-old bottle of single malt as a token of appreciation for a solid working relationship over the course of the campaign. “I honestly don’t have a clue what I will be doing at the end of the season,” privately flat-batted Moyes in response to off-record questions about his future.
You can imagine Ferguson nodding his approval. He will stay on to mentor the man he deemed not ready to work with 15 years ago, but who he now considers the stand-out candidate to manage one of Europe’s grandest institutions.
Moyes has served his apprenticeship. His time has come.
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Such a simple, smart idea.
Such a magnificent outcome! LOVE IT.
Watch the video and notice how smart this is.
Credit to the ANAR foundation for putting lenticular lensA lenticular lens is an array of magnifying lenses, designed so that when viewed from slightly different angles, different images are magnified. trick to good use.
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Day-by-day minutes of the trip
Trip to Japan
Day 1: Arrived 6am, check in at 12, 6 hours to kill. Visited the imperial palace and saw some pine trees and cherry blossoms (sakura). Beautiful. Ginza was the place with the higher end stores, Kuwaitis would love it. Saw Gundam at Odaiba, then finally went home at 1pm and hit the sack.
Day 2: Went to JICE headquarters. Met with the directors and 3 potential directors (lol). Met also with Dr Fujimoto (ER) who gave us a talk on health care in Japan and their health insurance policy. Govt vs Private. Salaries, and general facts and figures. Epidemiology, go figure.
Day 3: Tokyo, Kitahara life Support hospital Private hospital, mainly neurosurgical and rehabilitation. Has an ER department, sees around 300 patients per month (10 per day!). 2 resus beds and 3 observation. Resort like.
Day 4: Aizawa hospital Private hospital. Specialised mostly in nuclear medicine etc. Has an ER that accepts all cases. Red cases should be diverted to shinsu. Shinsu university hospital Amazing ER. Advanced ER. Monocyte immunotherapy center available. Adjuvant to common standard for cancer treatment (surgery, radio, chemdo). Has a cell processing center which rocks. Nursing home Almost like a hotel. Geriatrics of course. Private though not government funded.
Day 5: Bullet train back to Tokyo (3 hours) then bus to Shonan Kamakura General Hospital (2 hours). My bum hurt from all the sitting. Met up with guys in suits. Admin staff, wish our guys can take leaf outta their books. Knew everything about the hospital, fantastic. Had a huge ER, complete triage system, hospital was rebuilt to accommodate modern system. Old hospital demolished (resembles Kuwaits hospitals, the old one). Met Dr Shigeru Saito, top interventional cardiologist. Sent 5 japanese residents to train under Dr Ibrahim Al-Rashdan.
Day 6: Tokyo Women’s Medical University. Nuclear med Toshiba factory.
Day 7: FREE! Rappongi hills and Shibuya. Then Rappongi again at night.
Day 8: Went to Hakone to ride a pirate ship and see Mt Fuji. Rained cancelled that, managed to get super drenched while shopping for souvenirs. Ended up going to Ginza, high end street place. As in, Dior Building, Chanel building, gucci building, Cartier building, you name the brand, the store is a whole building.
Day 9: Late start 11:45am. time to check out Square Enix HQ. Just my luck, Square Enix HQ relocated to Higashishinjuku. Headed there regardless. Checked out the national disaster centre. State of the fucking art place. Its like a dream come true for any emergency physician. Rock stars. Went mental in Ginza today. Think tokyo has so many cool things its ridiculous.. Video game geeks, rejoice. Its heaven.
Day 10: NIRS Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy. Saw how people use big machines (I mean, building size) to cure crazy diseases. Quite a bit out of my depth, but interesting nonetheless.
Day 11: Gundam University. Well, Gunma actually. Basically a smaller version of day 10. Boring.
Day 12: JICE certificates day. Wohoo.
As usual, any preparation by the CSC in Kuwait was beyond terrible. I was called at 1pm to attend a meeting at 1:45pm (which I promptly declined). I was this close (doing the whole finger to thumb thing) to quitting. Not to mention the little dance I was made to do with the paper work while I was at the CSC (go to the 5th floor, then 7th, then 6th, then back to 7th, then 5th..)
The flight to Tokyo was longer than I thought, and gave us more than a few jiggles on the way. What I really wanna say is
But anyway. The trip was mainly meant for us to learn about their technology, and Japan as a whole.
Boy, did we learn.
Simply touching down in Naritta airport in Tokyo was a sign of things to come. All the immigration / passport check posts were manned, and all the staff manning them were standing up, regardless if no one was at their post or not, awaiting incoming people, with a smile.
Compare that with Kuwait when you arrive? Yeh, quite difference Id say.
Im not going to be going into detail about the whole trip, that clickable drop-down box in the beginning of the article has the minutes of everyday of the trip, read at your leisure, even though I know 70% of you wont be assed (neither would I to be honest).
The things that really stood out for me would definitely be the following (clicking will skip down the page to that section):
-Technology and Infrastructure
-Politeness / Humbleness / Cleanliness
-Price and shopping
Technology and Infrastructure
Easily 70 years ahead of us. I mean, this one time (in band camp) we went to one of the dodgiest areas in Tokyo, by accident I assure you, and we decided we were hungry. That dodgy restaurant in that dodgy area was actually miles more advanced technologically than some of our decent restaurants in Kuwait!
It was sushi obviously, but all we needed to do was sit down, tap the touch screen menu to our side (which was available on every table), pick out the food we wanted, portion size and all, and boom, it was brought to our table. We had the option of swiping our credit cards, or simply waiting to pay by cash on exit.
Wifi was in abundance of course. In the subway, JR, hotels, streets, restaurants, you name it. Some were password protected, but people who protect their wifi with passwords should be shot anyway.
Vending machines! Cant get over them, I mean, we wall know the whole 100 fils gets you a coke or 7up in our countries, condoms in the western world, but ever had the choice of choosing warm vs cold drinks? A red button indicates a hot drink, and you have a whole load to choose from. Coffee, coffee with milk, latte, cappuccino, tea, maybe with milk, green tea with peppermint. Seriously cool stuff.
Infrastructure was magnificent. Walking around town was never so easy. You dont wanna walk around buildings to get to a certain block? No problem, you can walk right through them. They have walkways above ground level, interlinking between sky rises, allowing you the ability to take on the city by foot. The walkways are a great way to get across town, especially if you dont want to walk down alleyways and the such.
Railways are divided into 4: The subway (below ground), The JR (above ground), The bullet train (350km/hour) and the airport express.
Efficiency and Beauty
You’ll never come across more efficient people. Very minimal space is wasted. Every business we visited, regardless of what they did, had clearly defined areas that people adhered to. This included their hospitals. Have you visited the Amiri Extension in Mubarak Al Kabir hospital? Or the entrance to Adan Hospital Emergency dept? You’d think all that empty space was being utilised.
When we request a patients files, we literally wait for some dude to bring em. What these guys had was some sort of rail system connected throughout the hospital delivering their files across em.
Ive never seen cherry blossoms before this trip. I mean real live cherry blossoms in full bloom. End of March, early April is their season. They call them “Sakura” in Japan, and they are simply wonderful to look at. If you still dont know what they are, they’re those gorgeous pink leaved trees you tend to see in some of the Japanese-style movies (Kill Bill etc.), and in all fairness those movies do not do them justice.
Politeness / Humbleness / Cleanliness
Now this must be the standout section of the whole trip. You know that time when you order a Big Mac Meal with extra fries, and the dude in front of you orders a salad? Ever have that feeling of “shit, im a walking garbage can”? Well, thats what the Japanese people make you feel like whenever you meet / greet them. Im not talking about that one person who went out of his way to help us, im talking about almost everyone we met!
CEO’s, Presidents of companies, admin staff, corporate VP’s, random strangers, elderly or young all treated us the same way – Politely. From guiding us from A to B, providing us with umbrellas if it started raining, I really dont know where to start in order to do them justice. I also found that thats how they treat each other as well.
As a sign of respect, they never hand over anything with one hand, its always traded with two hands and a small bow. Paying is never an “exchange”. You place your cash on the tray they provide, and they give you back your cash the same way, no hand to hand stuff. The lower the bow, the higher the level of respect, thats not just what you see in the movies.
Bushido man, what a way of life.
In contrast, how many times have you stood in a queue in Kuwait and have the guy in front of you start smoking, blowing smoke in your face? Or that dude staring at you cuz you happen to be walking like any human being in the world does. Don’t even get me started on traffic and the attitude people have in our country, there really is no ground to start comparing on.
Price and Shopping
Live like a tourist, and you’ll pay the price. Live like a local, and my lord does life get cheap. I mean, cheap cheap, not “a little bit cheap” cheap.
Point A to B by taxi cost 9KD (£20 / $31), but my rail it cost a measly 500fils, if not less.
You wanna eat in a Michelin starred restaurant? Be my guest, but get ready to shell out roughly 500Kd for that meal.
Sushi on the other hand costs roughly 1-2kd for a full meal.
Ginza is the most well known high end street in Tokyo, with full scale buildings of luxury brands. Its unlike something ive seen before. 12 floors of Cartier? Come on buddy!
Real estate on the other hand may be another issue, but hey, Kuwaitis live on the most expensive property per metre squared in the world, so who’s complaining?
Heaven. The country, its people, the cleanliness, the technology, far outweigh anything it may offer in terms of disadvantages.
Definitely recommend a visit.
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Like a BOSS
So a few companies tried something similar but failed.
The Wii U seemed like a good idea – switch off the tv, only to continue playing on the screen on your controller, and do some more mumbo jumbo there.
The Sony Move concept was an attempt at redesigning the controller and allow gesture like movements to control the game, with boxing / archery and the like being just a couple of options.
However, the xbox illumiroom might actually seem to hit the nail on the head. To sum it up, it allows a separate projector to project the peripheral aspects of the game across your living room, making you feel fully immersed in the game you are playing.
Keep in mind, below is actual, non doctored footage of the illumiroom.
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Steve Jobs sadly passed before he could design his iCar, so the closest we’ve got so far is Siri Eyes Free on a bunch of cars and now the new VW ‘iBeetle’.
Its really limited to just a few colours, a place to pop your iPhone and a specially designed app to control some stuff in the car. Not that you really need it, but, cuz you can.
According to 9to5mac, You can connect to the Beetle wirelessly or via the docking station thats built into the car, and using the following apps for further integration:
Spotify: lets users stream media such as new songs, customized playlists or online radio stations into the Beetle. Those who wish can post their favorite music directly to friends. In addition, users in the Beetle can switch between “Spotify” and “iTunes” at any time.
Expert: offers five functions which make the iPhone an extended on-board instrument of the Beetle, such as a G-Meter (for measuring lateral acceleration), oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer, and a compass.
Trainer: can be used to compare driving times, distances, and fuel economy values for different routes between any two destinations. Here, too, tips can be posted via social networks like Twitter and Facebook—such as which route is faster to the office.
Reader: lists the latest messages from social networks like Facebook, and reads iPhone messages aloud.
Postcard: Sends the current location of the Beetle to friends as a digital postcard with a map motif.
Photo: Sends photos taken inside the car to numerous social networks. Simply activate it, and the app does the rest.
Milestones: Available when the smartphone is undocked. Rewards its users with virtual “milestone stickers” for the Beetle when certain tasks have been completed.
It’s essentially the same functionality as Siri Eyes Free coupled to a basic car data interface and a few cute Beetle-specific apps like the postcard feature, but it will likely appeal to the car’s target market – people who like cute things – and to be honest, I guess it is kinda cutesy.
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