The task of replacing Britain’s greatest ever manager is daunting enough for anybody, but would having Sir Alex still at the club, make that task a little bit more impossible?
In theory, the idea of having Sir Alex working at the club after he retires from management is a nice idea. Sir Alex is Manchester United, and perhaps if Sir Alex had groomed a younger manager to be his replacement then it would work. In reality, a new manager will want to be seen as boss, but with Sir Alex around the training ground and at Old Trafford on match days, who do you think the players will go to when they have a problem?
In his first BBC interview since 2004, Sir Alex said: “I will remain active. I think there will be a role for me at United after I finish,
“I think you always want to go out on a winning note. Hopefully we can do that. I don’t know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don’t think another two or three years would harm me.”
It’s happened in the past when great managers have cast a shadow on their clubs after they left, the greatest English manager England never had in Brian Clough lasted only 44 days at Leeds United before the ghost of Don Revie forced him out of Eland Road. Chelsea have had little success since Jose Mourinho left the club and his untouchables are still reportedly in contact with the special one, undermining current manager Andre Villas-Boas.
It’s Mourinho who is widely tipped to take over at Old Trafford, would Mourinho, the biggest ego in world football be happy with Sir Alex still being in constant contact with his players? It would end in complete disaster, and with Manchester City getting stronger year after year, United can’t afford to give them an inch in the title race.
You can just imagine it happening, Sir Alex bowing out with the Premier League or Champions League title, then the new manager comes in and United find themselves, out of the cups and a million miles away from neighbours City. How long would it take until United fans are calling for Sir Alex to return to the Old Trafford dug out? I think we know the answer.
Have your say by leaving a comment or tweet me @deanmears.
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