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Could this be Fergie's last season?

Trapstar8 Saturday, July 16, 2011



As the new season draws closer, the fixtures are released and the transfer window clicks into overdrive adding even more excitement to the overwhelming optimisim felt amongst fans across the globe. One thought has dawned upon me amongst all this and i admit it fills me with emotions not usually associated with the return to pre-season. 

The terms 'dread','scared' or 'fearful' best describe some of the feelings i get upon the question I've asked myself more and more recently. "Is the Sir Alex's last season in Charge?" The question is impossible to answer, there's no right or wrong opinion because simply put nobody even knows,maybe not even Sir Alex at this stage.

I've followed Manchester United FC. since 1989 and many quotes & moments stand out but one vow delivered by Sir Alex pops up from time to time and sticks in my memory. The vow to leave the squad in a strong position upon his retirement.

It would be foolish of me or anyone to second guess a man known for the occassional mind game. Sir Alex made the mistake of once naming his retirement date and to this day regrets that decision and i'm sure he wouldn't make the same mistake twice. In 25 years as Manager of one of the worlds biggest clubs he has rarely got a big decision wrong so forget him making the same mistake twice!

So why you ask do i even contemplate the chance or likelihood that this might be the last season we see the great man patrolling Old Trafford touchline?

Simply put i think his age is against him but more importantly the stage of development at which the current squad is at is in my my mind almost perfect. 3 years from now who's too say how strong it will be? For Sir Alex to wait 3 more years and then leave means his successor could be left with the enormous task of having to replace, either immediately or soon after, a large core of the first 11 in Carrick, Ferdinand, Evra and even Vidic a year or so into the job. 

Sir Alex has vowed several times his aim to leave the club in a strong position upon his retirement. Yes you can argue he's doing that with Smalling, Jones and Fabio at the perfect age to hopefully eventually step into the voids left by the Ferdinand, Evra & Vidic but then he would need to sign the players to succeed the current batch of pretenders and for me there lies part of the issue!

Sir Alex knows the need to sign at least one proven centre midfielder. His confidence and belief in Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson & Cleverley is apparent and several appearences to watch budding youth Cup winners Morrison, Tunniclife and Pogba show signs of optimism for their future at United. This aside I've no doubt that by the time the transfer window slams shut in August the centre midfield area will be improved by the Signing of a player hopefully of the calibre of the 3 names recently linked. Modric/Nasri/Sneijder. Any of these 3 would arguably complete our first 11. Lets not get carried away and become obsessed with matching Barcelona, if another club side comes along as good as them in our lifetime then consider yourself spoilt. Inter amongst others like Hercules proved you dont have to be better than Barca to beat them. Achieving the signing of a player of this proven quality would allow the younger players time to develop as Fergie prefers while improving greatly the team that faced Barcelona in the Champions League final. In my opinion we would approach the new season with a squad complete with experience, ability and potential. The squad would be set for easily a minimal 3 years with potential to reaching easily 5+ years given the potential of the younger players.

There is no doubt the determination and challenges put infront of Sir Alex during his career have driven him on to stay longer then he ever could have imagined. Of course he would love nothing better than to not only top the European achievements of Bob Shankley but also shut the scousers up once and for all by atleast matching their 5 European Cups. That in itself would take minimal 2 seasons. Aside from the rigours of a Premier League season and the sometimes lottery associated with any cup competition when competing in the Champions League Sir Alex could possibly again be faced with beating, what is easily, the best club side of  the last decade. Also add the fact that no team is yet to defend the Champions Leagues since it reverted to the new format leaves the likelihood of Sir Alex achieving these ambitions within 5 years is difficult enough and 2 years is more along the lines of the impossible. 

All this leaves the thought of retiring at the end of the current season regardless of success, a distinct possibillity as retiring much later risks leaving Sir Alex with another re-building job or even worse leaving a new manager with the unenviable task!

You can follow Glen on twitter @trapstar8

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