Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFerguson sewing seeds for a new-era at United? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Ferguson sewing seeds for a new-era at United? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Ferguson sewing seeds for a new-era at United?

Sir Alex Ferguson is a man who defies the definition of a modern day football manager. He has been at the helm at Manchester United in four separate decades, and last month, Ferguson officially became the clubs longest serving manager of all time, beating the legendary Sir Matt Busby’s record set over forty years ago. When comparing his tenure to other managers in the English leagues, Ferguson’s current reign is even more impressive. His time in charge eclipses his closest rival, Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, by almost ten years. All this has come in an era where football managers are under immense pressure to bring in results, and anything other than immediate success spells out imminent danger for them

Ferguson has been recognised throughout his time at United as a manager who has been able to produce some of the team’s brightest stars by nurturing them from a young age. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes exemplify this description best, with both of them still key players despite over thirty-five years of top-flight football between them. With this in mind, it is understandable that in recent months, Ferguson has been giving much more senior roles to some of the teams youngster’s, such as Mexico’s Javier Hernandez and the Brazilians Rafael and Anderson. However, the Red Devil’s boss’ record-breaking tenure must come to an end one day, and it could be argued that he is already taking steps to build a successful squad for the future, after his reign. His decision to open talks with Giggs for a one-year extension to his contract can be analysed as Ferguson wanting there to be a senior, mentor-type presence to still be within the heart of the team, to help develop the youngsters into future stars, so that they are not thrown into the deep-end of keeping up with the most exciting league in world football alone.

Of course, this is all based on opinion, and Ferguson himself has said to the media that retirement does not seem like an immediate prospect for him. Speaking in November, Ferguson stated:
‘I’m too old to retire. I would have nothing to do. As long as my health is good I will carry on. My family will make this decision’.
Despite this however, the time in which Ferguson finally decides to call it a day with the club he has spent twenty-four years with has been a significant talking point in more recent years. This is due to the fact that Ferguson has already suggested he would retire on two notable occasions, the most recent of which was following the clubs Champions League triumph in 2008, only for it to be retracted by both Ferguson and, later, by Chief Executive David Gill. These instances show that Ferguson has at least courted the idea of possibly retiring from the club he has become an icon for. His decision to push on with recruiting and starting youngsters in the United senior team can be analysed as possibly being the initial steps for a budding squad being developed for a new era of Manchester United – one without their iconic manager. If this turns out to be true, then this would show his true dedication to Manchester United Football Club, giving his team the best chance of success in the future, despite him no longer being in charge. If he retires in the next few years, his decision to start giving much more senior roles to youngsters would add to his legacy as Manchester United manager, not just for the length of time he spent in charge, but also for his efforts to build a squad for a future without him.

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