Self proclaimed ‘Ferguson Haters’ beware. The old boy may hang around to get under your skin for much longer than you expect if Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs is right in his prediction. Nobody knows Sir Alex Ferguson better than the Welsh wizard so when he says that his manager may still be lording it over Old Trafford at the age of 75 you better listen. What’s more, Sir Bobby Robson’s current record of being in charge of a Premier League club at 71 is in grave danger of being broken along the way.
Giggs has no doubt that providing Ferguson retains his good health, the most decorated manager in English football will remain at the top for as long as he wants. “The manager is as good as ever and will go on for a long time. To be honest I can see him as a manager of United in five years time, easily, even at 75. As long as he is healthy, he’ll have the desire to carry on. He has a great team around him and he has his passions away from the game, like horse racing, so when he comes back to football he is always refreshed.”
Sir Alex himself has become more tranquil over the years which may possibly be the result of his many years in the job. “Things have changed, he has mellowed, he isn’t anywhere near as frightening as he was 20 years ago.” It’s a transformation that will make life much more pleasant for the youngsters coming through the Old Trafford ranks now than when he and his contemporaries did. “I have known him since I was 12 years old so it has changed from me just being a kid looking up to him, to being an experienced player he talks to and from whom he actually asks advice about certain players and situations.”
“It’s always been a good relationship, but it has never been better than it is at this moment” he continues “mind you I am a better player now than I was in my early 20’s, I have lost that explosive pace where I could knock the ball past a defender and knew I would beat him. I have to think about my game more and use the ball a lot better now. In my head I still think I am about 25, I don’t feel like the old guy in the dressing room.”
The club legend who will be 37 in November admits that he “can relate to the young players, we’re footballers who share a lot of the same interests. As far as my own playing days are concerned it’s a case of seeing how I feel at the end of each season and whether I am still enjoying it and motivated each day.” Giggs reveals that he is mindful of the day when he finally hangs up his boots “I’m in the middle of doing my coaching badges. I want to be prepared for when my playing days are over, but at the moment I have no plans.”
Despite being in charge at one of the world’s biggest sporting institutions for nearly a quarter century and gathering a swag of honors including 11 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 Champion Leagues among many others, Ferguson is not shown the respect his record breaking achievments deserve by many rival fans. In fact, the ‘hate’ word is often used by some which may be understandable because it’s a word that can easily be translated into ‘envy’ so if Giggs is right in his prediction, that envy will have to be carried for a few more years yet.
Do you expect to see Ferguson staying at Old Trafford for another 5 years?