Monday, May 07, 2007

United's proliferation of Premiership managers...

Try saying that when you're pissed... Next season, United will have four old boys managing clubs in the Premiership: Keane at Sunderland, Bruce at Birmingham, Hughes at Blackburn and Coppell at Reading. They were all great players in their own right and all were winners with lion sized hearts.

However, the thorny issue of who exactly will eventually replace Fergie was brought up again yesterday as Sir Alex was asked when he's likely to retire. The manager says he's invigorated when he sees Giggs, Scholes and the young players coming in to work every day, but he doesn't know how much longer he will be around. I suspect if the Red's had won the Champions League again, he might have gone this summer. He could still retire this summer, as he'd go out as a winner like Cantona did a few seasons ago.

Of the United old boys Hughes or Keane would be most fans tips to replace Fergie and the latter will now be the bookies favourite. For me however, Keane is still unproven in the Premiership as a manager. There's been countless managers who've been able to get clubs promoted out of the old first division, but not many who've been deemed good enough to cut the mustard at the very biggest clubs. I'm thinking of the likes of Harry Bassett and Joe Royle.

Keane will keep Sunderland up next season, how he deals with the inevitable defeats along the way will form apart of his managerial learning experience. His recent comment that Sunderland would have beaten Chelsea was either tongue in cheek or naive. On a different tack, I seriously doubt Mourinho will be taking liberties with the Irishman on the touchline next season, if nothing else as far as the Black Cats are concerned, that is something we can all look forward to next season should Jose still be in charge at the Bridge.

Back to Fergie and his future, I think the big clubs are fearful of appointing a manager who lacks European managerial experience, this would rule out all of the United old boys. But who would back against Keane pulling it off given the chance?

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