Forget any advance warning of Ferguson retirement this time
Manchester United have unveiled a nine-foot bronze statue of Sir Alex Ferguson outside Old Trafford to commemorate his extraordinary achievements at the club. His whopping 37-trophy haul during the 26 years he has been in charge is an achievements almost certain never to be repeated. Here, the Life’s a Pitch team discuss his enduring motivation and ponder for how much longer the 70-year-old will keep going.
“The hunger is still there with Ferguson,” says footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke. “I spent a bit of time with Robin van Persie recently and he was singing Ferguson’s praises. He just couldn’t believe how much the players respected him, Ferguson really does rule that place and everybody responds to him in the right way. He’s building a new team, he’s got some exciting young players – great attacking talent – and he wants to overcome this rich Manchester City. I still can see a couple of years in him yet.”
And when he does decide to call it a day, the People’s Janine Self is confident there will be no advance warning, unlike last time, when he said he’d leave before the start of the 2001-02 campaign. “Ferguson has admitted that it was a huge mistake to announce that he was going because it put doubt into the players’ minds and it put doubt into the fans’ minds. There was speculation every day about who would be the successor, and it ended up affecting results. I’m sure that in his own mind he’s got a date. He will presumably tell the Glazers on the QT and then he’ll just come out and bang, he’ll be gone.”
José Mourinho is one of the possible replacements, but Janine’s colleague at the People, Dave Kidd, doubts such a move would happen. “I do think that Mourinho would be good at United, but I get the impression, or have been told, that when Ferguson does go the Glazers will not want to have another manager with that much control. And that’s what Mourinho would demand.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
Follow Life’s a Pitch on Twitter @BTLifesaPitch
Watch Man Utd live on BT Vision:
Reading v Man Utd, 4.30pm, 1 December, ESPN
Man City v Man Utd, 1pm, 9 December, Sky Sports 1
Don’t have BT Vision? Find out how to get it