Fergie eager to regain supremacy15/05/2012 - 17:10:44
Alex Ferguson was back at his desk early this morning plotting how to swing the Premier League balance of power back in Manchester United’s favour, David Gill has revealed.
United thought they had pipped Manchester City to the Barclays Premier League title on Sunday evening after beating Sunderland but a dramatic injury-time winner from Sergio Aguero against QPR broke the Red Devils’ hearts in the most cruel fashion.
City striker Carlos Tevez rubbed salt in to the wounds last night when he brandished a sign saying “RIP Fergie” during the club’s open-top bus parade through Manchester.
But while the blue half of the Lancashire city have been celebrating, the red half have been planning how to stop Roberto Mancini’s men from dominating the English top flight for years to come.
Gill said last night that a number of transfer targets had already been shortlisted and the United chief executive reckons Ferguson is keen to bounce back immediately by securing their 20th title next term.
“He didn’t sleep much on Sunday night. None of us did. He was in the office at 7.30 on Monday morning already thinking about next season,” Gill said at the Premier League 20 Seasons awards in London today.
“We have to get on with it now. We can’t look back and feel sorry for ourselves.
“We have started planning for next year. We will come back fresh and I am always confident with this manager.”
City may have won their first title since 1968 on Sunday, but it was United who were honoured today for their domination of the top flight
Ferguson was named the best manager in the Premier League’s history after clinching 12 titles during his Old Trafford reign while midfielder Ryan Giggs won the best player category.
Time may be catching up with him – Ferguson turns 71 in December – but Gill, who picked up the award on his behalf, insists the Scot has no plans to retire just yet.
“He has a rolling contract and he delegates, he still has the enthusiasm, and I am sure he will go on for many more years,” Gill said.
“He made the decision to retire a few years ago but in the end he didn’t and I think it was the correct decision. Football is his life. Long may he continue.”
Giggs overcome stiff competition from a star-studded shortlist including Eric Cantona, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry to be voted the Premier League’s best ever player by an expert panel.
The 38-year-old Welshman is the most decorated player in the English game and fully deserves the accolade, according to his former team-mate and current England coach Gary Neville.
He said: “Ryan Giggs will go down as the most successful British footballer of all time and I cannot see anyone ever overtaking him.
“He has surpassed all records in terms of domestic titles and he has incredible desire, quality and spirit. He’s just fantastic to watch every single week.
“As a sign of Ryan’s greatness, he has constantly adapted his game over the 20 years of the Premier League. He went from being a flying winger in the early days to someone who could play off the front, to a central midfielder, and even to left-back if required.
“He can play anywhere on a football field, and that’s what really great players do: they adapt.”
Seven United players were named in the panel’s best team of the last two decades.
The team in full is: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer.