God-like Fergie the only thing keeping Man Utd afloat
Here we are, the dawn of another football season. And with that comes the same old questions: Who’ll win the league? Who’ll go down? And when the f*** is Alex Ferguson going to retire?
You might argue that as Man United ONLY finished as runnersup to champions Man City that this last question is less important than it has been in the past.
But, frankly, you’d be kidding yourself.
Despite the Glazers pissing away money, and an increasingly average-looking squad (for United), the Red Devils remain a football superpower.
And the reason for that is auld purple nose. He is the glue that holds the club together – a godlike figure that will be nigh on impossible to replace.
United WILL be in the top three and that’s solely down to Ferguson.
But let’s be brutally honest – he can’t go on forever. Fergie’s a 70-year-old grandad with a pacemaker. Recently he had to go to hospital with a nosebleed that couldn’t be stopped. It might feel like it at times, but the fella’s not bombproof.
Retirement is on the cards, it has been for some time. But when he does decide to hang up his stopwatch it will be a flash, bang, wallop moment. There’ll be no build-up, no countdown – just the news that most United fans dread and most rival fans dream of. erhaps the Glazers know this and that’s why they’re trying to float shares on the New York Stock Market.
Replacing the Scot will be a nightmare for United. There’s no obvious successor – certainly no-one who could adopt the king-like role Ferguson has carved out for himself in 26 years at Old Trafford.
A new man would always be compared to Ferguson. They are big, big shoes to fill.
Even the merest sniff that he’s eyeing the pipe and slippers will create problems for United.
In 2002 he announced he was retiring only to watch in horror as his team imploded. He won’t make the same mistake again. He’ll just do it this time.
In February Ferguson said: “I’ll know when it’s time, when I’m not enjoying it.”
Despite the public stance, how
Pmuch can Fergie be enjoying it at United right now?
Since the Glazers came to town, United haven’t been a big hitter in the transfer market.
In the meantime, Chelsea, Man City and the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have spent money like a lottery winner on death row. t surely can’t be too much longer now before Fergie finally calls time on a jaw-dropping era of trophy-winning that has included 12 Premier League titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
When last quizzed on how the club was preparing to replace him, the Scot said: “We’ve never discussed it. It’s a dangerous game.”
Equally dangerous is burying your head in the sand and pretending it’s never going to happen.
The title of a group on Facebook says it all: “The awkward moment Alex Ferguson retires and United end up a mid-table club.”
Among the many challenges facing United right now, making sure that doesn’t happen should be priority No.1.