Sir Alex Ferguson is Irreplaceable, Says David May

DUBAI — David May knows a thing or two about winning tiles. The former Manchester United defender was a member of that United team which created history in the summer of 1999.

By Rituraj Borkakoty? (KT Exclusive)

Published: Wed 17 Mar 2010, 12:32 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:21 AM

United may have won countless trophies in their history, but for the die-hard Red Devils fans, the year 1999 will remain unforgettable as they won three titles – Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League – in a single season. And May, who played every single minute of that 1999 FA Cup final against Newcastle at the old Wembley, knows what United needs to do if they wish to win the league title again this year.

“This year it’s been very tough. United, Chelsea, Arsenal, you know, they all have a chance. I think the team that stays consistent till the end will win the premier league,” May, who was in Dubai to play for the Manchester United Legends at the Emirates Dubai Football Sevens, told Khaleej Times.

“Obviously, you know, there are only eight or nine games to go. We will be at home against Liverpool and Chelsea. If we can win these two big matches, then obviously we will have a very good chance.

“Yeah, of course, there is always a danger of losing points, but then even Chelsea and Arsenal might lose points as well. So it’s going to be a thrilling finish.”

Before the summer began, United lost their goal-scoring machine, Cristiano Ronaldo, but the winger’s departure did give them the comfort of more than 100 million dollars.

After selling Ronaldo to Real Madrid, earning points, it seems, has become little difficult for a team which won the last two league titles rather easily.

“Yeah, of course, when you lose Ronaldo, you lose more than 30 goals in one season. But luckily for us, Wayne (Rooney) took over after Cristiano left, and he has been scoring lots of goals. We lost Ronaldo, but we have gained a better player in Wayne!”

Rooney indeed has been in the form of his life, scoring more than 30 goals in all competitions till now. Ever since Ronaldo left, the striker seems to be enjoying the role of the team’s main striker. “He has come on in leaps and bounds this year. And he is only 24. He is only going to get better. He has the got the manager behind him. Everyone knows how the manager runs the club. And Wayne is there along with the rest of the lads making sure the team is in the title race…”

So that brings us to the manager – Sir Alex Ferguson. There have been rumours that the 68-year-old might retire in a year or two. And that the United management has already decided to bring the ‘special one’—Jose Mourinho—as his replacement.

But May believes no manager in the world has the ability to replace Ferguson at United.

“It’s an impossible job. It’s absolutely impossible to replace the gaffer. When he joined 20 years ago, he set up the foundation for the club, the youth team and the senior side, you know, he built them all. So to replace him is going to be difficult for anybody. Whether you get Mourinho or Cappello, it doesn’t matter. Ferguson is irreplaceable.”

Of course, Ferguson’s managerial skills have now become a part of the legend. We don’t yet know when he will decide to leave, but what we do know is that Ferguson knows when to show the door to certain players.

From David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy to Carlos Tevez (whose boundless energy was so infectious that it made the fans sing from their hearts—‘sign him up, Fergie, sign him up, Fergie, sign him up..…), they all have learned that it’s Ferguson who writes the scripts at the Theatre of Dreams. And that he likes prose and not poetry. David May agrees. “The Carlos issue was complex because he was owned by his agent. So you never knew what was going on behind the scenes. He agent must have demanded lots of money. And the manager, you know, he always does what’s best for the club.

“So, it’s down to the manager at the end of the day. If he believed that Carlos was not worth 25 million, then he needs to get on with that. And I think Carlos has done that well. He has been doing a fantastic job at City…”

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