Did Sir Alex Ferguson retire a coward?
Manchester United opinion: Sir Alex Ferguson retired just as his nearest rivals were getting stronger
The 2012/13 season ended with many famous football players and coaches retiring, with one of the most infamous being Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson had a fantastic run, winning 13 Premier League titles during his tenure at Old Trafford.
However, he may have retired just in time to avoid the devastation could potentially occur to Manchester United in the upcoming years.
Ferguson called time on his career before his reputation could be tarnished from a number of English clubs taking control of the league.
The reasons are Manchester United's best players are ageing - Rio Ferdinand is 34-years-old, Patrice Evra (32), Robin van Persie (29), Michael Carrick (31).
Additionally, United's rivals are getting stronger, and perhaps on this occasion the great Scotsman felt he wasn't up for the challenge.
He decided to go out on a high of winning the Premier League, as he may have realised his side may struggle to deliver the same trophy again in the near future.
Here, we look at the improving teams that will be looking to put an end to United's Premier League dominance:
Under Roman Abramovich, money has poured into a team that has almost consistently found trophies at the end of their campaigns.
Now with Jose Mourinho's transfer ability to find young players, Chelsea will be stacked with world class talents from Frank Lampard to Oscar.
With a prolific striker to replace Torres, and consistent defenders like the young Azpilicuenta, Chelsea can soon overthrow Manchester United without a problem.
Unlike their Manchester rivals, this team has the wealth similar to Chelsea. Their money has obtained world class players and will continue to grow.
The midfield is full of talent, with Yaya Toure and David Silva orchestrating the pace and Milner and Nasri being options off the bench.
Aguero, up top, is a tricky footballer who has found small spaces that resembles Messi. Nonetheless, recent expensive signings such as a combined £50 million for Jesus Navas and Fernandinho prove there are always players willing to move to the Etihad, and it is only a matter of time before they find the right mix to overcome United, like the previous season.
At a first glance, a team that finished fifth this season shouldn't have a chance to overthrow the title winning team, right? Well, if Gareth Bale stays this summer, there is only a few positions that need filling for Tottenham to be an extremely balanced team.
The defence is almost perfect, with Younes Kaboul coming back soon from injury, only a solid left-back will solve their needs. With Modric and Van der Vaart parting ways last summer, an attacking midfielder, with class and intelligence, such as a certain Christian Eriksen can provide beautiful feeds to the attacking options.
Those options, which at the moment are quite limited, can be solved by two new attacking stars in David Villa and Leandro Damiao. After that, a neutral supporter can see Tottenham challenging for a top three place.
Similar to Tottenham, the Gunners only need a few new additions to be considered a side that can win trophies yet again. Arsenal seem on the verge of completing a signing of QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar to bring stability in-between the goal posts. The addition of Nacho Monreal seemed to solidify Arsenal's defence, which showed poor performances earlier in the season.
The midfield has extreme potential for years to come, with Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere to provide stellar performances for years to come.
Finally, the striker. With a prolific striker to replace the infamous Robin van Persie, Arsenal can score goals from the flanks and down the middle. Arsenal could do with world class strikers such as Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain or Steven Jovetic.
Even Liverpool can be thrown into the mix, with a few more signingslike Coutinho, the Reds could find themselves a force under Brendan Rodgers next season.
In conclusion, Sir Alex Ferguson found the ideal time to retire from English football. The debate about which team will be the strongest next year indicates the drama at the top of the table and the intensity next year's Premier League can bring.
Do you think Manchester United can remain top in England? Share your comments in the comments down below.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://bit.ly/12evFlH
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.