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Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson to retire: But who will replace him?

It’s been a very dark Wednesday morning. A man who had kept up the same routine for 26 years had decided enough was enough and announced his retirement. 13 league titles, 5 FA cups, 4 league cups and 2 European cups are only 24 achievements of a career which saw Sir Alex Ferguson become the greatest manager of all time. Before he became United’s manager he had broken up the Old Firm domination of Scotland and had defeated Real Madrid with a wee club called Aberdeen. Many people have speculated about when he would retire but no one had predicted that today would be the day that he called an end to his 26 year reign. It’s almost impossible to appoint a manager to replace him but their are 5 managers in the frame that have the potential to achieve half the success that Alex Ferguson had achieved.

1. David Moyes, 50, Everton Manager

David Moyes is the bookmakers favourite at the moment to replace Sir Alex and it’s hard to see why he shouldn’t be given the job. He’s been Everton manager for 11 years now and has been applauded for his efforts with the club on the cusp of European qualification while being run on what many call a “shoestring budget”. His successes have mirrored that of Alex Ferguson as he has been able to cement a legacy at Everton by firmly establishing them as a top 6 club in England. The big factor that puts him in pole position for the job is the longevity and loyalty that he offers the club in that he has spent 11 years at Everton and has the capability to offer 10 years of success at United. However, there is a big risk in appointing David Moyes in that the only trophy he has on his CV is the winner of the Football League 2nd Division. He also has very little experience in Europe which is almost a must for any manager looking to replace Ferguson as the fans and the club will expect success in Europe just as much as they expect success in the league.

2. Jose Mourinho, 50, Real Madrid Manager

A man who has flirted with the Manchester United job for almost a decade now is Jose Mourinho. His successes over the last 10 years are almost enough to rival that of Sir Alex Ferguson. He has won 2 European cups, The UEFA cup, 2 Portuguese leagues, 2 Premier leagues, 1 FA Cup and a few other trophies in a successful career that has seen him manage Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. His CV says everything you need know that will point him towards a successful reign at Manchester United. He will undoubtedly bring success to the club and has shown tactically a similarity with Ferguson in that he will do whatever it takes to win. He also has a significant amount of experience having been assistant to Bobby Robson at clubs like Barcelona and FC Porto. However there are as many reasons to not appoint him as there are reasons to appoint him. The longest he has spent at a club so far is 3 years which is a huge factor to suggest that he will not be a long-term successor to Ferguson. He has also shown a different attitude to Ferguson and carries a significant amount of controversy wherever he goes which could hinder his chances of being a successful manager.  The big factor that also moves him away from the job is his apparent loyalty to his former club Chelsea and may not be a popular appointment having managed a rival of Manchester United.

3. Jurgen Klopp, 45, Borussia Dortmund Manager

Klopp is something of an outside favourite for the Manchester United job but he has almost proved himself to be good enough to replace Ferguson. He has spent 8 years at Dortmund and carried them from the brink of extinction to win 2 consecutive German league titles and seen off Real Madrid to reach the 2013 Champions league final. He’s the same age Ferguson was when he became United manager and carries the same personality that Ferguson had in his early years as manager. He’s become a household name in Germany and has resurrected the legacy of a club that some had believed would not be existing today, an achievement mirroring that of Sir Alex when he took the job(United were facing relegation at the time). It would still be a surprise however if Klopp were to take the job at United though. He still seems committed to Dortmund cause and may want to accept the challenge facing him in Germany with Guardiola on his way to Bayern Munich. Klopp also has no experience of English football so his move to England could come as a shock to him as well as United having never appointed a foreign manager.

A few other names have been mentioned to replace Sir Alex Ferguson but it’s difficult to even predict a manager out of the 3 mentioned above. All that can be said is that the greatest era in United’s history is coming to an end and the next few years are both exciting and worrying for United fans as the wait is on for the future of the biggest club in the world.

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