DARREN Ferguson insists his father’s retirement had been planned for some time and has nothing to do with any health problems.
Sir Alex Ferguson will take charge of his final game at Old Trafford tomorrow and address the crowd following the Barclays Premier League encounter with Swansea. It promises to be an emotional day, with the Scot’s 13th championship trophy also to be collected, and feelings will be heightened because of the sudden nature of his exit.
So far, the man himself has handled the situation in the same clear-sighted way he manages his team.
“He said: ‘I’ve got to tell you, I’m doing this, this is why I’m doing it.’ And that’s it,” Darren Ferguson told twentyfour7football.com. “His last game on Sunday at Old Trafford could be a bit emotional because it’s my dad, it is what it is, no-one will ever replace him. But he’s ready to go.”
Most assume the decision has something to do with the 71-year-old’s health, given he has always said that would be the determining factor in any decision to quit, and it was confirmed last week he would have a hip operation in the summer.
However, Darren Ferguson is adamant that is not the case. “There’s no problem with his health, contrary to what some people are saying,” he said. “He’s got a small hip operation but there’s no difference to most 71-year-olds. Basically he feels he’s gone out at the right time, he’s left the club in a fantastic position and they’ve hired a very good manager to replace him.”
That manager is, of course, David Moyes. The Everton manager made it clear he did not wish to speak about United at a press conference to preview his own club’s encounter with West Ham tomorrow. However, Moyes was asked what he felt about Ferguson’s exit and said: “I don’t think anyone thought the day would come when Sir Alex Ferguson retired. I didn’t know anything about it. He will be sorely missed. The respect he is held in is beyond any words.”