May 8, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT
It’s official, get ready to stop your watches, ‘Fergie time’ is almost over.
This morning Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed he will be stepping down as Manchester United manager at the end of this season, after 26 glorious years in charge.
Ferguson’s retirement plans surfaced yesterday, at a team golf day where rumors began to circle that a big announcement was imminent.
That turned out to be true as Fergie — who won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and numerous other cups — is stepping down after his glittering managerial career saw he become the most successful manager in English and British soccer history.
It was also announced that Ferguson will move upstairs, acting as both a director and ambassador for the club. The Scotsman is due to undergo hip surgery this summer but is expected to begin his new role with the club in August.
With tributes pouring in from all over the globe, Ferguson’s retirement plans will no doubt be in the news for weeks and months to come. But the big question now; who will take over?
It is a daunting task, replacing the most successful manager at any English club, ever. But someone has got to do it. Let’s take a quick look at who could be the next man to lead Manchester United.
David Moyes (Bookmakers Odds: 4/9)
The odds-on favorite to get the job, everything has aligned for Moyes to take over at Old Trafford. The Scot has managed Everton superbly with limited resources and many believe his managerial style and personality are extremely similar to Ferguson’s. The fact that Moyes’ contract is up at the end of this season, and he hasn’t discussed a new deal with Everton, also points to United hiring the 50-year-old as their next manager.
Jose Mourinho (Bookmakers Odds: 9/2)
Many people believe Mourinho is heading back to Chelsea this summer, but he has grown closer to Sir Alex in recent years. Ferguson has spoken of his admiration for the Portuguese manager in the past, but would this decision sit well with the United fans? Probably not. And Mourinho’s style of management varies quite a bit from Fergie’s. However, call me crazy… but I have a sneaky suspicion about this.
Jürgen Klopp (Bookmakers Odds: 16/1)
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but nevertheless it is hard to ignore Klopp’s wonderful achievements at Borussia Dortmund. The German manager has created an incredible team of young, attacking players who have taken European and German football by storm. Who says he wouldn’t be a success at United?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Bookmakers Odds: 50/1)
We all know Ferguson loves the Manchester United “family” he has created and Solskjaer is one of the many former United players that have gone on to managerial success. Currently managing Molde in his native land of Norway, Solskjaer was previously involved with coaching the youth and reserve teams at United. Ferguson obviously holds his opinion in high regard, but this job may have come too soon for the 40-year-old.
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