With Pep Guardiola set to end his year-long holiday, Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Real Madrid teetering on the brink and David Moyes’ contract at Everton set to expire, this summer has been viewed as possibly the ideal time for the Manchester United boss to step down.
However, while he may be 71-years-old he still looks as fit as ever and, as his outburst during the Newcastle match last week proved, he certainly isn’t feeling his age either.
It’s clear Fergie still has the drive and, to be honest with you, I don’t know what he’ll do when he does eventually decide to call it quits at Old Trafford – it’s not as if he can go horse racing every day.
From what I hear he’s still the first person to arrive at training every day and still is in charge of everything at United. He watches all the youth team matches, knows everyone at the club by their first names, whether they’re first-team regulars or a new tea lady – that’s rare in this day and age.
It takes time to adjust to life after football, Fergie will know that so won’t be looking to pack it in just yet especially having been at Old Trafford for over 26 years – it’s his club and, as United’s seven-point gap at the top of the table goes to show, he’s still at the top of his game as boss.
However, while he insists he’s not going this year even he will have to give up at some point and whenever that happens the chance and toughest task of a lifetime will fall into the lap of a very lucky/unfortunate man.
I’m being contradictory on purpose because while you’d be mad to turn down the chance to be the Reds manager, you’d also be all too aware that replacing a legend such as Fergie will possibly the hardest gig going in the game. There’s also a not too distant historical precedent at the club which will doubtless have the United hierarchy worried.
Having been the boss for 24 years Sir Matt Busby stepped down at Old Trafford in 1969. What followed was a crisis period for the club with Jimmy Murphy, Wilf McGuinness, Frank O’Farrell and Tommy Docherty, to name only four managers, all struggling to follow on from the legend and the Reds were even relegated to the then Division Two in 1974. So who should take on the task of trying not to repeat history?
Well, as good as Guardiola and Mourinho are, and let’s face it they are both exceptional managers, I would go for Moyes. In both temperament and footballing outlook he’s very similar to Fergie and his record at Everton speaks for itself. On limited means he’s regularly got the Blues challenging for European places and is more than ready for one of the top jobs.
It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, but if anyone can succeed in what will be viewed as the impossible job, then it’s Moyes – but just don’t expect it to be any time soon…
January really is a woeful window
It’s another January transfer window, but please forgive me if I come across as slightly underwhelmed. If I do, it’s probably because I am. For me this particular month of transfer speculation and frenzy, more often than not, either sees clubs get ripped off or poor players move around. This is the time of year where clubs get rid of the players they think are no good, and because of the plight of some of the buyers – either trying to escape relegation or chase a European spot – clubs know they can ask for more than the individuals are worth.
It’s the transfer window of desperation.
However, that’s not to say everyone up for grabs is useless, far from it. Theo Walcott’s potentially available and if you were one of the big clubs you’d have to be tempted to buy the England man. However, Arsenal will be mad to let him go and I’d be shocked if they didn’t sort him out with a contract he likes.
He’s been in the news not only for the stalling contract talks, but also due to his star showing during the Gunners’ 7-3 win over Newcastle
on Saturday. He played up front and claims that’s his prefered position.
I, however, am not so sure. Yes, he’s got bags of pace but technically he’s still not got the game to hold the ball and bring others into play.
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