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Not Long To Go For Fergie


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Nobody wishes their life away, but there is one very good reason why I cant wait for the year 2010 to appear on the calendar. It is, of course, the projected year of retirement for the one and only Sir Alex Ferguson and, quite frankly, that event cant come around quickly enough as far as I‘m concerned. Some will say it’s a wish based on envy, because his record is unprecedented in Premiership football management and, now that a second European Cup success is there as well, everything in the game has been achieved, not for the benefit of my club, but for bitter Red Devil rivals of recent years.

There is a lot of truth in that, yet my wishful thinking goes a lot deeper than mere wallowing in the disappointment of Moscow. It has its roots set deep in the belief that Fergie has been given what can only be described as a regal ride through English football in all but the first few years of his appointment as ManU’s manager. Just why this should be when you hear his views on the Auld Enemy, factor in his complete disregard for the FA and all it stands for, or recall his treatment of any journalist or broadcaster who tells it as it is [on a poor performance] or sniffs a scandal that he, his son or his club might be involved in… well you have to admit it’s all a bit of a mystery really.

However, in this his midsummer of madness, evidence of change has been provided, not only when a microphone has been shoved under his iconic nose, but also in the anticlimactic aftermath of the Champions League final. Who would have guessed that double winning celebrations would be shelved [to well nigh extinction] and traditional media adulation would be muted by comparison to anything by way of the Fergie-fawning that has taken place in the past. And all because he’d been upstaged by the inflated ego of another that he has groomed to such monstrous proportions it has become uncontrollable.

Signs too that the irony was not lost on Fergie as he reacted initially to that saga by lashing out at the only club, apart from his own, that was seemingly enamoured by the Ronaldo persona. Affronted by the Real ’approach’ he sought the placatory guff that the Media usually provide him with only to be met by a few cries along the lines of ‘you hypocrite’. At last, all those years of ManU pinching talented players from other teams was trumped by a club with more punching power when it came to the one player they are desperate to keep, yet cannot satisfy anymore.

When the simplicity of this situation dawned on the knight he quickly turned his attention to another he deemed to be partly responsible and launched an indirect attack on the new Chelsea boss by questioning the life expectancy of some of his players, compared to the youthfulness of his own. Once again he would have expected Media backing, but all he got from that quarter was ridicule and he soon had to plead that he had been misquoted. Just why he was talking about Scolari’s side at all is not clear and neither is the thinking behind the follow up comments regarding Mikel’s development at our club compared to the superior treatment he would have received at Old Trafford. Apparently this needed saying [whereas in the past it would no doubt have gone without saying] although quite why he should run the risk of referring specifically to the contract that was 'signed' is beyond me. As it turned out the hacks saw fit [for now] not to pursue in print the dodgy nature of this contract, so rope is still being extended in his direction and all that remains is to give him enough of it before his retirement buries the whole episode.

In the meantime we look for further signs that the old boy is losing it and I’m guessing that the appointment of his new assistant will give us a clue as to his current state of mind and the current state of play. With Fergie not knowing what it is to feel under threat, the job should go to a potential replacement. In reality, the manager will shift uncomfortably in his chair should David Gill insist on this particular point being made to any selection panel before they convene, therefore perhaps the perfect candidate will turn out to be a guy who speaks fluent Portuguese instead? My unbiased choice would be Roy Keane, not because he speaks any particular language, it’s just that I like the idea of him being the first person to greet Berbatov on his arrival - a sort of Mad Dog meets Black Dog confrontation - but we all know that wont happen and the reason is that Fergie still has one major attribute that nobody can deny, nor match.

Influence, that’s what it all boils down to. It can be overcome, as Jose proved on a number of occasions, and it can be ineffectual, as Calderon has clearly shown, yet it is undeniably a major part of the Sir Alex Ferguson story and, for Manchester United, it will most certainly end with his retirement. Trust me, from the moment he leaves the game, every Premiership club will notice the difference and some will notice it more than others. Cant wait, can you?

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The latest rise of Man U I believe was not so much down to Fergie but more to his assistant Carlos Quieroz who I shall refer to hereafter as the zimmer frame. Ronaldo has stolen the limelight throughout the summer which has had a massive impact on the lack of acknowledgement in the press of the Mancs achievements last season which has further burdened 'Sir'.

I don't find it a surprise that no sooner has the zimmer frame gone and Fergie resorts to this attitude. Fergie is unsteady on his feet and in his mind and unless he finds a sturdy new zimmer frame very soon he may well be wishing he'd given it all up at the end of last season so he could leave on a high.

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I think that a huge amount of Man United's recent success can, in all honesty, be put down to Cristiano Ronaldo.

As much as us Chelsea fans hate to adimit it, he is the type of player who comes around once in a gereration, and if you are the lucky club who manages to snap him up before anyone else, and build a solid squad around him, then you are close to guaranteed of success.

I suppose Fergie (or was that Querioz???) deserves praise for gambling 15 or so million on him as an unproven teenager a few years ago, but if you contrast the Ronaldo-based success of Man United over the last few years with the success we had under Mourinho for the few years before that, Mourinho built a world class squad and a unbeatable system of playing, which didn't rely on any star player whos job it was to singlehandedly win games.

You have to wonder what would happen if Ronaldo broke his leg and was out for a season. Personally, I couldn't see them putting in any kind of a title challenge without him. Compare that to us, and if the same thing happened to Drogba or Lampard (touch wood), I think we would cope a lot better.

I think United know this, and it is why United are moving heaven and earth to stop him leaving.

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I agree with you Tom that can be said about the other big clubs too, like what would Liverpool do without Torres, Arsenal can fall apart without injuries but where would their goals come from if Adebayor left? Our goals are distributed so well that without any 1 player we can cope fine. And, we have class backups at most positions. So, if we are lucky, maybe Torres and Ronaldo will have a collision next year and each break a bone.

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Excellent Dorset as always.

Jose knew when he came in, that half the problem was over-throwing the current influential strangle hold that Fergie had got away with for so many years.

Once Jose brought that particular issue to light, the battle was nearly won.

It's unbelievable really, the amount of weight that Sir Alec throws around? And everyone else seems scared to question him, indeed, they're only too pleased to continue approving it?

It'll be interesting to see how he copes this season without CQ.

2010 will be a very good year, i'm sure.

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