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Ferguson: fear my ?system will collapse? stops me from retiring | Irish Examiner

ALEX FERGUSON has still not set a date for his retirement but has revealed that he is afraid that ‘his whole system will collapse’ when he steps down as Manchester United coach.

Ferguson has also admitted that he likes to recruit players with a working-class background as they can reflect his own personality, and singled out Roy Keane as one of his perfect players from his Old Trafford career.

In an astonishing interview published in today’s L’Équipe newspaper in France, Ferguson explains why Dimitar Berbatov has become his first-choice striker and how Cristiano Ronaldo owes his emergence as the world’s best player to the club.

But it is Ferguson’s admission that he is scared of retiring that is perhaps the most surprising revelation.

Ferguson had originally said he would stand down at the end of the 2004-05 season, but he reversed his plans. Last year, he denied reports he would quit in 2011, after 25 years in charge of United. And now he is refusing to set a date for his future plans.

"When I turned 60, I asked myself the question," he said. "I almost left. But I quickly realised, with my family, that it was a mistake. Today, I fear the idea of retiring. I have been on the train for so long, that when I get off I fear my whole system will collapse.

"I have decided not to ask myself the question anymore. Three things can make me stop. 1. My health. 2. If I don’t take pleasure from the job. 3. If I don’t have the strength for new challenges anymore. Each summer, I have a look at those three things. I go to my doctor first. I had a pacemaker set up four or five years ago.

"Today, I am playing the penalty shoot-out of my managerial career. I know that. The rest is decided between myself and myself. The doctor recently told me, ‘Boss, you are 67. You will have more and more back pains. Getting up in the morning sometimes won’t be easy.’ This is what the penalty shoot-out is for me."

Ferguson is already the most successful manager in English football and after guiding United to Premier League and Champions League success last season, this year the club are on course for a historic Quintuple, having already won the Club World Cup and the Carling Cup and still in the FA Cup and Champions League, and seven points clear in the Premier League.

Ferguson puts the recent success down to the presence of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in the dressing-room, but the long-term success, he believes, is down to a careful recruitment policy.

"I like to remind the players of their roots, so they remember where their parents and grandparents come from. I want them to think of the history of their family," he explained.

"I try to touch the players in their heart. I tell them that nobody will knock on their door to offer them a trophy, that only work and solidarity will reward them. I like to see a part of my personality in the players. Every manager is like that. It’s reassuring. I prefer a player who can have a bad day but works like a madman than a naturally gifted player. I will give more time to the first one to improve, because I know he will try and try.

"Roy Keane was like that. He maybe didn’t have the potential but he became an absolute Manchester United player. He strangled the life out of his opponents. He raised his game."

But the trio of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who is United’s record appearance-holder and has won an incredible 10 Premier League titles, have become vital to the recent success of the club.

"The role of those three guys in the dressing-room is at least as important as mine," he said. "They have known it all and a player coming to the club knows who he must emulate to succeed here."

United’s biggest signing last summer was for Berbatov, the £30m striker who has scored 12 goals for them this season. Ferguson explained that the Bulgarian is one of his first choices because of his age: "Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo still have a margin of progression, but for me, a player reaches maturity around 26-27. This is Berbatov’s age. He makes the link between the youngsters and older players."

As for Ronaldo, who was this week accused of being arrogant by Arsene Wenger, Ferguson also demanded credit for the player’s rise to the top.

"He had talents, but above that I believed in his mental strength," he said. "In three or four years, he has become the best player in the world. His success is the success of a club that has given him the right values."

Tonight United’s quest for silverware continues as the FA Cup favourites take on Fulham at Craven Cottage. It will mark a return to the club for goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who Ferguson added, kissed all of his team-mates in the dressing-room after breaking the record of 1,032 minutes for not conceding a league goal.

"At 38, achieving that still meant a lot to him and that makes me proud," he said. "It means that maybe I have brought something to my players."
 

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HODOR!
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Thanks RFR for the great read.

RedForceRising said:
"I try to touch the players in their heart. I tell them that nobody will knock on their door to offer them a trophy, that only work and solidarity will reward them. I like to see a part of my personality in the players. Every manager is like that. It’s reassuring. I prefer a player who can have a bad day but works like a madman than a naturally gifted player. I will give more time to the first one to improve, because I know he will try and try.
Was just thinking could this be a good omen (in Bold) for Tevez.
 

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you're right RTD....tevez is one of them. and this is why he's kept Park all this time. Not only commercial reasons.:D
 

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i liked that. its good to know that Fergie doesn't wnat to retire. maybe this means we'll get another 3+ years from him.
 

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Pz
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the longer fergie stays aslong as he is still fresh in the mind and has a great team with him, the better for united and the team we love. He has always had a formula for success and the type of players he brings to united and how he supports youth and entertainment whilse still having a united feel for it, i dont know who else could do it!

Gotta love fergie!

pz!
 

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Good read rfr. I hope he never retires but obviously he will i just hope if we do end up winning all the trophies this year (hard i know but it could happen) that he doesn't leave on a high like i would expect him to do. I wonder who will replace him i think its got be mourinho.
 

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"I have decided not to ask myself the question anymore. Three things can make me stop. 1. My health. 2. If I don’t take pleasure from the job. 3. If I don’t have the strength for new challenges anymore. Each summer, I have a look at those three things. I go to my doctor first. I had a pacemaker set up four or five years ago."



Somebody quick bribe the doctor :p

Its always a bit sad to read about his retirement.. remind me a lot of how the fans back then adapt with Sir Matt leaving..I just hope these players realise how lucky they are to be working under Sir Alex and treasure the time they have with him..i think we fans should too.

What a great read..almost brought tears to my eye..:eek:
 

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As always a good read there rfr .
you're welcome

i liked that. its good to know that Fergie doesn't wnat to retire. maybe this means we'll get another 3+ years from him.
3 years is a bit of a stretch.
I think he'll retire at the end of next season along with the old guard.

Good read rfr. I hope he never retires but obviously he will i just hope if we do end up winning all the trophies this year (hard i know but it could happen) that he doesn't leave on a high like i would expect him to do. I wonder who will replace him i think its got be mourinho.
I think even if we win the lot this season, he'll stay on one more season.

I think it has to be Mourinho, MON or Moyes. The three Ms ;)

"I have decided not to ask myself the question anymore. Three things can make me stop. 1. My health. 2. If I don’t take pleasure from the job. 3. If I don’t have the strength for new challenges anymore. Each summer, I have a look at those three things. I go to my doctor first. I had a pacemaker set up four or five years ago."



Somebody quick bribe the doctor :p

Its always a bit sad to read about his retirement.. remind me a lot of how the fans back then adapt with Sir Matt leaving..I just hope these players realise how lucky they are to be working under Sir Alex and treasure the time they have with him..i think we fans should too.

What a great read..almost brought tears to my eye..:eek:
I think they do.

To be managed by the most successful manager of all time and them who helped groom stars like Giggs, Beckham and Ronaldo must be a privilege.
 
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