Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season, after 26 trophy-laden years in charge at Old Trafford.
The 71-year-old will go out on a high after recapturing the Premier League title from arch-rivals Manchester City this season
Managers and players are called legends far too easily these days, but Sir Alex Ferguson is a true football legend.
He is English football’s greatest ever manager and some would argue the greatest ever manager of all time.
The veteran Scot has created a legacy unlike anything ever seen before in the British game. Ferguson made Manchester United what they are today.
In the last twenty years he has made United the dominant force in English football, after finding it tough in the first few years of his reign.
Many people love him and many hate him, but most respect him. It is hard not to respect a man that has been so successful at one club for so long. The respect he has, even from rivals supporters, is incredible and United will find it hard to replace the charismatic Scot.
Everybody knew that this day would come one day, but it has come as a shock to most people that it is this summer. Fergie is no spring chicken and he knew he was coming to the end of the road as United manager.
Ferguson has nearly retired on a number of occasions in the last decade, but changed his mind and kept that hunger to win trophy and be successful at United.
Sir Alex Ferguson will stay at the club as a director and club ambassador. He will no doubt have a big say in who will replace him as United boss and help that person keep United at the top of the footballing tree.
Speaking as a neutral, I have no words to express how much admiration I have for Sir Alex Ferguson. He is simply the best manager that the British game has ever seen and I doubt that anybody will ever come close to what he has achieved in the English game.
The Premier League will be poorer place for his absence next season. Good Luck Sir Alex and enjoy your retirement.
Two managers have emerged as heavy favourites for the job, both bosses that Sir Alex Ferguson rates highly. Those two are Everton’s David Moyes and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho. Both are close to Sir and the Scot is likely to have a major say in his replacement.
David Moyes has done a good job at Everton on a tight budget. In his 11 years at Goodison Park he has transformed the club from perennial relegation fighters into a team capable of fighting for the European places.
His fellow coaches laud his style and he is highly-rated within the game. However, the Scot has failed to win silverware in his tenure on Merseyside and has little experience in European competition. Moyes would be on a steep learning curve, but he would have Ferguson to help him if needed.
Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers in the history of European football. The self-proclaimed ‘special one’ has won league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, not to mention two Champions League titles.
Mourinho is no doubt a man that guarantees a club success, but he also guarantee’s controversy. Wherever he has gone, he has caused controversy. Some say that is part of his managerial style, some see it as a flaw in his character.
Whatever it is, it can cause a big club major trouble. Manchester United is not a club that like causing controversy. Sir Alex Ferguson may have had a few run-ins with people in the past, but Mourinho makes the Scot look like Mary Poppins. Mourinho could cause trouble in an empty room.
Another obstacle to Mourinho taking over at Old Trafford is the fact that he looked set to return to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea this summer. Either way it looks like Mourinho is heading back to the English top flight next season, one way or another.
Whoever replaces Ferguson will have big shoes to fill. It seems the impossible job to replace one of British football’s greatest ever figures, but there will be a queue a mile long for the vacancy. It is not just the end of an era for United, but for the Premier League as a whole.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been in charge of Manchester United for much of my life and it will be very strange seeing someone else in the United dugout next season. All good things end and Fergie’s time at United is near an end.
It may be sad for United fans, but they can rest assured that he will be in the directors box looking after the best interests of the club as always. The Scot has built a fantastic legacy at United and I am sure he will make sure that the club continue on the right path for as long as he possibly can.
Who will be the next Manchester United boss?