Some very prominent names have started circling around the Man Utd coaching job perhaps sensing Sir Alex's imminent retirement. Jose Mourinho has expressed his desire to coach the Red Devils and so has Eric Cantona. But I can say that they will have to wait a considerable amount of time to before that happens. In the meantime they can get themselves a degree in comparative rhetoric a la Sir Alex.
Why do I think Sir Alex has at least another three to four seasons before he decides to hang up his boots?
The competitive fires burn even more brightly
Even by off season trash talking standards this year is an outlier. The sheer volume of Sir Alex's verbal brandishing has been astonishing. Today, he waded into Liverpool's chances giving them failing grades. A few days ago it was Real that was his recipient. His recent accusations of City's profligate spending as arrogant and stupid had his junior counterpart backpedaling furiously. He declared Arsenal would fall out of the final four because of the lack of funds. Perhaps this is a natural consequence of the old lion feeling a bit wounded at all the premature assessments of a club's demise from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, two central characters in the club's success and whose treatment at the hands of the manager could not have been more polar opposites. Tevez's bitter accusations struck a raw nerve.
The post Cristiano Ronaldo challenge at Old Trafford
A lesser manager might have retired after the greatest discovery on British soil since Henry Cavendish discovered hydrogen. After all taking a pimply buck toothed prodigy for £12 million pounds and transforming him into the most sought after global icon would be considered enough of an epoch, a beautiful retirement epitaph. The complexities of creating another era through different actors after years of beautiful simplicity at the legs of one is one of Sir Alex's greatest challenges. Creating a visual analogue of 100 goals might be one way of getting players to score without their chief weapon.
The Michael Owen experiment
If the biggest story in the Premiership achieves success then Ronaldo will be erased to a warm fuzzy footnote. Owen's arrival at Old Trafford is a bailout of a player who was consigned to a heap. He is a huge gamble but if he succeeds, then another superlative beyond genius needs to be found. Managers seldom commit to such bold strokes without a huge personal investment and a desire to see this bear fruition. Owen's presence is not an overnight commitment. Sir Alex will need time.
City's ascendancy. Not on my watch.
The club crowing the most nowadays might have to be administered a warm water enema. Sir Alex has called out City's spending, embroiled himself in a verbal back and forth with Carlos Tevez, taken offense at a poster, claimed that Adebayor would have been a Man Utd player. With the derby a thousand times more contentious, would someone like Sir Alex give up the reins? Actually, without the gimmicks, it represents a serious opportunity to settle a more fundamental debate. Can a club can buy its way instantly as opposed to a more deliberative building block style. Sir Alex would love to be the catalyst that settles the issue.