Deep down we knew like this day would come. No good thing lasts forever and that rings true for legendary football players as well. In fact, the careers of most football players end too abruptly. Those that do not end soon enough makes us often wish they had (I am looking at you Michael Owen.). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that so many legendary soccer players and coaches that we grew up with have decided to put their cleats back in their lockers and slip on a pair of Oxfords. It should not, but it does. These players represent a part of our football fandom that has been so much a part of us that it is not as easy to let go of as Jack was to Rose in that frigid Atlantic ocean. While it is always hard to lose a football legend, English football is losing several in a very short period of time. Fate is not always fair.
At the end of this season we must wave goodbye to four English greats: Jamie Carragher, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Sir Alex Ferguson. As tears well up in our eyes we must take time to reflect on what they have given us. Their loyalty (Beckham was loyal to England), their durability, their will to win, and their love of football are admirable qualities that do not manifest themselves in every great football player. There is an old adage that says “They don’t make them like they used to” and this holds true for all these men. Their talents were many and they gave everything they had to English football. However, like they do at Buckingham Palace, there must be a changing of the guard. These legendary players and coaches must retire so that other up and coming players and coaches can step-in to fill the void. Nostalgia is a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it helps us fondly remember our past through rose colored lenses, but also a curse because it prevents us from looking forward. Who knows who will be the legends of the future. Whoever they are though, they have pretty big cleats to fill.