Paul Scholes is expected to make Sunday’s game with Swansea more emotional that in it was already going to be, by announcing his retirement from football. This is of course the sequel to his first retirement, which hit United fans in May 2011 to unhappy reviews and this time it is expected to stick. There had been rumours of a coaching role with the incoming manager David Moyes when the current Everton boss brings Pip Neville back to the Theatre of Dreams on his staff (employed staff, that is, not some sort of long stick thing with Phil sat on it).
It marks the end of a quiet few months for Archie, when news broke that he would not be included in the squad to face Real Madrid in the first leg, Given to Score was first to break the news that he was off buying a kitchen. It is perhaps fitting that a man who spent most of his career happy to be in the background, bows out in the last home game under Sir Alex Ferguson, whilst the spotlight will be on Fergie, the midfielder may think he can sneak off without being noticed; Manchester United noticed you, Paul and in a week where thank you seemed woefully inadequate, I’m afraid it’s all we have.
Thank you for your contribution, thank you for coming back, thank you for Port Vale in the League Cup, Bradford, Man City and all those magical bits in between.
He may have preferred life out of the spotlight but thank heavens his football put him in it.
One last thing, no-one else is allowed to retire now. Has anyone checked Ryan Giggs’ contract? Is it signed? That’s what they said about Mark Hughes and then we found out there was pension issues and he leaves for Chelsea. Even if it’s signed, get him to go over it.
No one else is retiring, surely the kitchen isn’t that nice!
He’s got red hair…
IF reports are to be believed, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright will have walked in the smoggy London air last night knowing that his manager David Moyes wants to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. In a city notable for talking, the blue side of it was staying remarkably silent yesterday as news sunk in of Sir Alex’s impending departure. David Moyes was one of the names instantly linked and Goodison Park went mute.
It’s a city where the people tell you everything like it’s must have info, I cannot tell you the amount of times I was told that such and such was in town to sign with Liverpool or Everton. The lad who told me he drove Martin O’Neil round looking at houses because he was due to land the Liverpool job, well, we lost touch. When I heard that Kieran Richardson was at Everton’s training complex to sign, I laughed and apologised for the apparent addition. He didn’t go there. You can’t win ‘em all. Yesterday was odd. No one was speaking at all. Then, rumours became confirmed sightings were concrete and a manager was talking to his Chairman in that London.
THERE you have it. That’s how you feel when you hear that Sir Alex Ferguson is stepping down as manager of Manchester United. Rumours had persisted for months if you knew where to look, but as the team gathered the momentum required to take them to the league title, it seemed a million miles away from happening.
He would wait until he had eclipsed Liverpool’s domestic success wouldn’t he? He did.
He’d want to taste glory in the European Cup one last time, wouldn’t he? Well, as we found out, no. To be clearer, I think he definitely would have wanted that and this season we were so close. Perhaps such was the wafer thin line between victory and defeat in the Real game, he doubted he had the umph to go again next season. That Real game was heart breaking in many ways and perhaps it gave Fergie the final push he needed to confirm his departure.