Sport

This is brilliant.

Back in 2005, an 11-year-old Paul Golah Ebue decided to write a letter to Sir Alex Ferguson, the then manager of his beloved Manchester United.

Paul, an avid red, wasn't best pleased with certain decisions that Fergie had made in the 2004/05 season, and decided that the best course of action was to clarify his position to the boss.

The result was a superb letter that's polite but very blunt. Paul certainly doesn't mince his words, but instead backs up his points of unhappiness with clear logic.

In hindsight, it's a great read and makes a lot of sense...

Dear Mr Ferguson

I think you are a great football manager. I am a big fan of you and Manchester United. Your managerial record is fantastic, both with Aberdeen and Manchester United. However I don't always agree with everything you do and if I were manager I would have done some things differently.

For example I wouldn't keep trying the 4-3-3 formation when 4-4-2 works better. Also Wayne Rooney is not a natural wide player and works best when he just plays off Ruud van Nistelrooy. I wouldn't have got rid of David Beckham because of an argument. He sells a lot of shirts and it would be great having him in a midfield five of: Ronaldo, Beckham, Keane, Scholes and Giggs/Park.

I would have still kept Ricardo to be 3rd choice keeper just to see how good he is. From the little I've seen of him he is a quality keeper. I wouldn't have let Carlos Queiroz choose that side against Norwich. Too many people were missing from the original line up and not in their best position. I think the FA Cup Final game underlined our whole season. Lots of chances to score but none taken. I think that is what United need to work on this season if we are going to win anything.

However I am pleased with the new signings Edwin van der Sar and Park Ji-Sung. Van der Sar has lots of experience and could easily replace Peter Schmeichel. Park is also a good player and very versatile. But overall I still think you are a truly great manager and one of the best in Europe if not the world.

Yours sincerely

Paul Golah Ebue (aged 11)

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Despite the criticism, and much to his credit, Sir Alex got back to young Paul with a very courteous reply...

Dear Paul

Thank you for your recent letter and I just thought I would drop you a wee line as it is always nice to hear from our fans and your kind comments are much appreciated.

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for your loyal support and devotion to the club over the years.

Best wishes 

Yours sincerely 

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE

Manager

Fast-forward a decade and Paul is now in his early twenties. Just to bring us up to date, we asked him what his advice to Louis van Gaal would be. He obliged with the following...

Trust the quality of the attacking players more; stop forcing them to be so rigid.

Give them the freedom to be a bit more off-the-cuff when they're attacking instead of looking like robots.

Stop noting every 'error' they make when they try to do something creative.

Please stop playing Marouane Fellaini from the start of matches.

And never, under any circumstances, bring Phil Jones on in the 90th minute of a game we're losing.

It's nice to see he's still speaking sense after all these years.

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Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson