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Reactions On The News Of The Retirement Of Alex Ferguson

posted 8 May 2013, 06:21 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 8 May 2013, 06:21 ]

Former player and fans react to the news that Alex Ferguson is to step aside as manager of Manchester United

 MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2013) (ITN) -  Fans and former players offered their thanks to Alex Ferguson for his service to Manchester United on Wednesday (May 8) following the announcement that he will retire at the end of the season.

Britain's longest-serving and most decorated soccer manager, will retire at the end of the season after more than 26 years and nearly 1,500 matches at the helm ofManchester United.

The 71-year-old Scot ended intense speculation that he was about to call time on his career by confirming he would step aside after champions United's last game of the season at West Bromwich Albion on May 19.

His decision ends a glittering era at Old Trafford in which the club won 13 English league titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups and four League Cups as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

Speaking outside Old Trafford former player Clayton Blackmore hailed Ferguson's achievements at the club as unbeatable.

"What he's done for the club over that many years is incredible, it'll never happen again, it's never happened before," he said.

"It's a sad day for me and I'm sure it'll be the same for all the players and all the supporters, the good news is he's staying at the club.

"When he took over we were middle of the league, and it's not like he's took over a team that's top of the league and winning every year. A new manager comes in he's now got a team who are winners, they're used to winning and it should be a little bit easier for him. People say it's harder to fill the managers boots but he's left a fantastic squad of players for him."

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Everton's long-serving boss David Moyes, a Scot like Ferguson, are the bookmakers' favourites to take over but whoever takes the job faces a tough task.

"I think anyone who replaces him it's going to be a little bit of a struggle to be honest, because he's got a bit of an uphill battle because of the expectations of the club. But whoever does replace him obviously we'll support the manager who comes in and hopefully he can bring some championships like Alex," said one fan, while another praised the Scots loyalty to the club.

"I was disappointed but it's been coming for a while. He's been a great great servant, we've had great loyalty out of him, 26 and a half years, he'll be difficult to replace," he said.

Ferguson arrived in Manchester in 1986 after Ron Atkinson was sacked and, after a difficult start, began building an empire that shows no sign of crumbling with the club recapturing the English title from Manchester City this season.