Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fergie could have good reason to quit United this summer...

In his Champions League final post-match interview Fergie was asked if he still had the desire to carry on as United manager, he replied "it is a stupid question". In the light of the stories surrounding the imminent departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, that question seems more pertinent than ever before, because we are told that Fergie quite probably had some sort of gentleman's agreement with Ronaldo that would allow him to leave this summer if the player so wished.

Come the season end the United manager must have known he was going to lose his star player; the man who he's built his team around, the one who has carried United over the last three seasons. Ronaldo is irreplaceable in the short-term, but Manchester United have a history of recovering from setbacks when losing star players.
However, this time it's different, when United sold David Beckham to Real Madrid they did so because they were happy to do so, it isn't like that with Ronaldo.

Ronaldo didn't just score goals; his blistering pace carried a threat that made opponents weary of pushing too far forward, in so doing leaving themselves exposed to United's counter-attacks.

The common consensus among the fans is United need to move on, but the really big question surrounds the manager' is Fergie set to call it a day? A lot will depend on David Gill and his cheque-book because if the champions cannot secure the services of a twenty goal a season striker then it is quite difficult to see where United's goals are going to come from; last season most of United's goals came from four players and it looks like Ronaldo and Tevez will soon be history. The combined total from last season's goals excluding the top four scorers was just fifteen.

Fergie built his team around Ronaldo; players like Rooney were shifted around to fit into a tactical plan that was based on the World Player of the Year's pace and power. So it isn't just that Fergie is set to lose his most potent attacking force, he is quite probably going to have to completely rebuild his attacking strategy with a new tactical plan that may or may not include a new striker who posses similar attributes.

If the manager feels he no longer has to the tools to do the job, then he might well reflect that going out as a Premier League winner is a better alternative to going out as a loser.

United really would be in a mess if the manager went this summer, but it is going to happen at some point in the not too distant future and it will need to be addressed. Do not be surprised if Fergie retires in the next two or three weeks, but if he does quite who would replace him is a good question.


  1. I must ask you this question, which has always intrigued me. You seem to have made it a point to propagate this thought that Ferguson will quit for if Ronaldo leave for about a year now. My question is, what is the logical argument that made you come to this conclusion. I just can't understand how a transfer that has been made with Ferguson's approval can cause the manager to leave the club at this juncture.

  2. RR,

    I thought I'd done a pretty good job of explaining the reasons in post - a lot will depend on the Gill's use of the cheque-book, added to which Fergie will want to bow out as a winner....

    But if he goes Fergie won't use that as an excuse, he will have to come up something he isn't quitting over the sale of Ronaldo or worst case that United do not find a suitable replacement.

    Until this summer Fergie had seemed pretty determined to hang on to Ronaldo, and for very obvious reasons.

    If the manager fears he might end up losing out to Liverpool in the league, and added to which he has to go soon, then now is perhaps a better time than next summer.

    Fergie might well take the view it could take him a couple of seasons to sort out his forward line.

    We have players like Nani and Berbatov who many would rather see shut of rather than Tevez.

    Fergie isn't just losing his talisman, he could well have to rebuild his foward line which takes time, time he doesn't have he might well believe...

    Like I say, much will depend on the cheque-book but I'm not ruling it out...

  3. IF Tevez leaves it certainly will not help the situation. Much depends on who Fergie buys, obviously, and I'm hearing from good sources that Tevez has agreed £160,000 a week wages with City.

  4. tevez is a poor mans wayne rooney, he has no pace, his first touch is awful and he simply does not score enough goals. 25mil for him is too much and 160k a week is a joke...united fans need to wake up and realize that we can't sign players just because they are hard workers and show incredibly commitment. there are much better players in the market for that sort of money.

    im sorry but every time i read your blogs they always seem to be negative and pessimistic. we are current champions for the 3rd year running, 2 cl finals on the bounce. this is the most successful team we have had for a while which has even led to suggestions that this is fergies greatest squad ever. so i see no reason for him to go. infact the departure of ronaldo if anything will give him more hunger and desire to continue because fergie loves challenges and he has one now which he will definitely wont back out from.

  5. Tony,

    You probably don't read my blogs often because I'm not always pessimistic, but I write what I believe, I'm not always right by any stretch...

    I don't know where all these people who have negative opinions on Tevez come from because the match going fans have been imploring Fergie to sign him up for weeks and months...

    They seem to forget that United won the CL and League the season before last with Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo up front...

  6. listen why do you think the match day fans have been crying for fergie to sign him??? the fans obviously seem to love his commitment and i think that's the sole reason why they have fallen in love with him. but when you sit down and assess his attributes and qualities, any to coach or a well knowledgeable football fan would conclude that he is lacking certain qualities to make it as a world class striker. i.e pace, first touch, runs, finishing.

    i not knocking the guy and saying he is a awful player because he isn't, he is too similar to rooney. we are crying out for a certain striker at united right now. someone with pace, who can make runs behind the back 4. i.e. torres(obviously not him but someone similar) theres only a handful of players in the market who fits into this description, eto'o, benzema, pato, balotelli. if fergie was to sign any one of those players ahead of tevez i wonder would you be disappointed?

  7. Don't "listen" me, it is patronising. It is a matter of opinion, and mine is that Tevez's only weakness is his finishing which could be better. IF he's such a poor option then why is Fergie trying to sign him? United need to retain Tevez and sign a world class striker.

  8. great comment, James.
    but I think the reason Fergie accepted the offer from RM is that he have to rebuild the team, all he needs is time as u said. The tactic which built for Ronaldo has to be stopped not only because of the departure of Ronaldo, but also Carlos Quiros who suggested this tactic to Fergie, and in my opinion, Fergie had already seeked to sell Ronaldo since Carlos left and why he refused Ronaldo leave last summer is he needs the ideas of rebuilding
    I think he won't retire in at least two years, simply because he is not somebody who be afraid of being defeat.
    He said 3 more years——2 years for rebuilding and then? get the trophy

  9. only weakness is finishing? fergie is trying to sign him? i don't think so, certainly not for that price, if he thought he was a genuinely world class player he would have been a permanent signing by now.

  10. Alan,

    Fergie has said nothing since this news broke, he's probably away on holiday, when he comes back he will know who he is likely to have in his squad and then he will decide I think. All I have been saying all along do not rule it out.

  11. Tony,

    Tevez has many qualities, his running off the ball and chasing turned the Spurs game for United.

    I say again why does Fergie want to sign him if he's there's better options? United are willing to meet the player's valuation I don't think that point is in question now.

    I have spent 40 odd years watching United and have been heavily involved in playing football and managing youngsters during that time with a fair degree of success. Please do not try to make out I'm some sort of novice. Your opinion carries no more weight than the average supporter, don't try to suggest otherwise.

  12. James why are you on the defensive? is there any need for you to bring up your past on what you have done? my opinion carries no more weight than of an average fan? well i completely disagree with that. im not going to try defend myself because im quite confident in my understanding of the game. if he was such a great question, why is the a lack of interest in the player from the top clubs? inter, milan, barca, madrid, wouldn't touch him. thats a FACT! :)

  13. OK well let's leave it at that, I don't like being preached to.. that was all.

    Didn't Tevez turn down the chance to join Madrid or was that just paper talk?

    To be honest, we aren't going to agree on the worth of Tevez, but I speak to a lot of United fans whose opinion I respect because they've been going for as long as I have to United and I've yet to meet one who believes signing him is a bad idea.

  14. I still don't believe Fergie will retire this summer. He doesn't get a good reason, you said the departure of Ronaldo will cause him to leave, but that is too reluctant, isn't it? If he quits, everyone will know that Fergie is afraid of the vacancy which was given by Ronaldo. Most importantly, Fergie likes challenge even if he's already 68-years-old

  15. Fergie quit! Football is his life - what's he gonna do mooch about his big house. If the doctor says quit he'll step down, let's hope he's in good health.


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