This time last year a solitary voice spoke about the prospect of Sir Alex Ferguson leaving Manchester United. Dave Whelan was in the minority in thinking that 2012/13 would be Fergie’s last year at the helm. But, coming from such a figure of authority, the comments couldn’t be completely disregarded. In May 2012, Whelan said of the Manchester United boss:
“After next season, Sir Alex will call it a day. The pressure is telling, especially when you are at the top for so long.
“The older you get the harder it is to cope with all that pressure, and eventually it will affect you. Sir Alex is resilient and I know he will want to carry on until he drops, and I respect what he has achieved as everyone does.
“In fact, I would say he is the best manager that there has ever been, and if and when he does pack it in, he will be an enormous loss to the game, that’s for sure.
“The way he has had such unparalleled success, the way he knows how to choose the right players and then get even more out of them, that makes him the best manager ever, the best we have ever seen.
“I am sure his intention was to carry on for two or three, maybe even more years, but he has had a little scare in the last week or so and that tells me he will think very hard, and realise there is no point trying to carry on for another five years and take the risk.”
Sir Alex has always said that he will carry on at Manchester United while health allows. He will have a routine hip operation in August which could sideline him for the formative stages of the next campaign, leading to further questions as to whether new blood is required on a day to day basis. But, the idea of Mike Phelan looking after the team for any length of time will scare the life out of Manchester United fans.
soccersweep has always felt that David Moyes is nailed on for the job. The prospect of him becoming Fergie’s assistant next season at Manchester United now seems more probable than possible. But, could Jose Mourinho instead get the call if Manchester United really are about to seek a new manager? If Fergie is leaving then Jose would surely be interested in making the biggest club in England competitive in Europe once more. And, perhaps he would bring his new best friend Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club?
An announcement is expected from Manchester United in the next few hours. Follow the soccersweep podcast at 11am BST for more.
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