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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will step down from his post after more than 26 years in charge of the club. This comes as a major surprise for everyone, as the Scot recently led United to the 20th league title in the history. The 71-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world. He was appointed as the manager of Manchester United back in 1986. After overseeing a troubled three-year spell, he managed to turn United into one of the best clubs in the world.
He has won an astonishing 13 league titles and two Champions League titles in his time at the club. In total, he has lifted 38 trophies with United during his 26 years at the club. David Moyes is expected to be named as the replacement for Ferguson after several bookmakers shortened the odds of the Everton manager being named as the replacement. Ferguson has said that he has been thinking about retirement for quite a while now, and he feels that it is the right time to go. Tributes have been flowing in for the man, who has led the club for 1498 matches. He will be completing 1500 matches as the Manchester United manager at the end of the season.
“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. It is the right time. It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one,” said Ferguson.
After missing out on the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals, star striker Wayne Rooney is all set to return to the squad for the crucial Manchester Derby according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Rooney was expected to start in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, he missed the match due to a groin injury. The absence of the England international was clearly felt, as the United attack was toothless on several occasions. This defeat means that the wait for an FA Cup trophy extends for another season for Manchester United.
However, they still have the possibility to finish the season on a high by managing to lift the league title. They already have one hand on the title as a result of the 12 point advantage in the table. One of the biggest threats between now and the end of the season will come in the form of the Manchester Derby on Monday. Ferguson has said that it is time to focus on the league. He believes that United will be able to win their record 20th league title if they manage a victory against archrivals Manchester City on Monday.
They will have a great chance to do so with Rooney in the side. “Wayne got a groin injury playing for England and wasn’t 100 per cent yesterday and there’s no point risking players with groin injuries because it could exacerbate itself and he could be out for weeks. So hopefully he’ll be ready for next Monday’s game,” said Ferguson ahead of the match. Due to the injury, Ferguson fielded a line-up of Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck against Chelsea. The two players had several opportunities to score, but they were kept out by brilliant saves and great defending from the West London outfit.
Manchester United have had a lot of success over the years, but the 1999 team will always be remembered as one of the best in the world. During this season, the club managed to lift three major titles in the form of the Premier league, FA Cup, and the Champions League. One of the main reasons for the manager Sir Alex Ferguson achieving this incredible feat was the strength in depth of the squad. He had four good quality strikers at his disposal, which enabled him to rotate his squad without any loss in quality. However, Ferguson believes that he has a much better squad now that he had in 1999.
United have had an incredible first half of the season. They have managed to open a five point advantage in the Premier league table, while they have also progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup and the last 16 stage of the Champions League. United’s progression to the fifth round of the FA Cup is extremely important for Ferguson, who has not managed to win this tournament since 2004. The club will be facing Real Madrid in the last 16 stage of the European competition. This has led to the manager saying that his current squad is better than the one of 1999.
“When you look at those lads up front, if they can each get to the 20 mark, we will really be in business. The options we’ve got now all round the park, if we can keep everyone fit, are as good as I’ve had in my time here,” said Ferguson after the 4-1 win over Fulham in the fourth round. United will be facing Premier league opposition in the form of Reading in the next round. They will be playing against Southampton in the next Premier league match.
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The Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand’s contract with the club comes to an end in less than six months, but the manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said that he is not worried about the future of the defender because he believes that he will stay at Old Trafford. Ferdinand can now negotiate a new deal with other clubs from Europe, while he will be able to sign on a free transfer for any club – including those in the United Kingdom – from June 1st. Hence, there is an urgency to the United supporters in order to secure the future of the 34-year-old.
Ferguson has said that he does not think Ferdinand wants to leave Old Trafford. Hence, he will be offered new deal with the club later this year, which is the reason for him not panicking over the situation. Ferdinand has been one of the regular players for United in the absence of Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling for the majority of the season. He has made 18 appearances so far this campaign. There has been a lot of interest in the player from clubs in the United States and Middle East. Even if the player is offered a new contract, it is likely to be a one-year deal only.
“I don’t think Rio wants to leave and, as I have said before, he can play on. I don’t think he has the same issue with his back that he had a couple of years ago. It is manageable now. There is no way you would be expecting him to play every four days right through a season anyway. Getting rest at the right time definitely helps him and he does a lot of work on his pre-match preparation now,” said Ferguson. United have conceded a lot of goals this season due to the lack of a defensive partnership for Ferdinand.
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