In the post-Ferguson era, Manchester United must remain strong and unified to remain among football’s current strongest sides.
The legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson – one marked with natural charisma, hunger to win and longitivtiy – must continue. David Moyes is the overwhelming favourite to succeed the Old Scot but the arrival of three other men would better suit the Red Devils' project.
In short, Manchester United must welcome Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Jose Mourinho to stay in touch with the galaxy of titans. In this piece, I explain my take and demand your views as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Returning home
It's time for Cristiano Ronaldo to return home. Hours after Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement on Wednesday morning, the 28-year-old Portuguese winger posted a 2003 memory of both in the form of a picture captioned with these words: “Thanks for everything, Boss!”
The bond between the boy from Madeira and the 71-year-old legend from Scotland still very much exists. When Real Madrid visited Manchester United in April this year, the amount of respect and emotion surrounding Ronaldo was too much for words. With his right hand on his heart and his left hand raised high as pictured that night, the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League semi-finalist had to acknowledge that for the first time in his career, he was beaten by the atmosphere. Indeed, there is no place like home. After failing to win La Decima in four attempts at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo must strongly consider quitting the Santiago Bernabeu for the Theatre of Dreams where he won his only Ballon d’Or award till date.
Gareth Bale – Giggs’ potential successor
This pick could infuriate Tottenham Hotspur fans but during the last decade, they have had to see midfielder Michael Carrick and striker Dimitar Berbatov quit London for the red side of Manchester.
It is time for Gareth Bale to follow the route of these former Spurs players.
Bale has been linked with a move to Real Madrid since months now. The Welsh man had even been tipped to make an eleventh-hour switch from White Hart Lane to the Santiago Bernabeu during the January transfer window this year. Such a deal would have seen Gareth Bale unite with his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, under the management of Jose Mourinho. However, there is a time and a season for everything and all three men could indeed get together soon – not at Real Madrid, though, but at Manchester United.
Bale would be a great replacement for the ageing Ryan Giggs. The latter is at least a year away from hanging up his boots at Old Trafford. Giggs will be irreplaceable in the hearts of United fans. On the pitch, however, Bale's pace, power and accuracy should be able to match, if not best, the impact of his fellow countryman.
Integrating within a new squad can take time. So while the 2013/14 campaign may signify Ryan Giggs’ last season as a Manchester United player, it could appear as a transitional period for left-footed Gareth Bale to soak into the Red Devils’ football culture.
Jose Mourinho over David Moyes
He has enjoyed handshakes, jokes and cups of wine one too many times with Sir Alex Ferguson. Now he deserves to fill his boots. Jose Mourinho’s persona is hated by many but Fergie has a soft spot for it. At this point, Manchester United will need a strong character to take the reins of the club.
David Moyes has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to succeed the Old Scot. However, just as Juan Laporta believes Barcelona appointed Tito Vilanova too soon after the exit of iconic Pep Guardiola, it could be a wrong step for Manchester United to replace Ferguson with Everton’s David Moyes right away.
In any case, it has been confirmed that Alex Ferguson will become a director at Man United. That said, he will definitely have his hands full with moulding whoever succeeds him.
After all, should Jose Mourinho misbehave at Old Trafford, the club will have the option to replace him immediately with a then more matured David Moyes. By then, the current Everton manager might have finally broken the curse which prevented him from triumphing even once at the Theatre of Dreams under the rule of the great Sir Alex Ferguson.
Conclusion - The perfect trio
Manchester United would score a big point on the popularity chart if they bring this trio at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo is not only the darling of the fans but also of big-name sponsors like Nike. The Spanish Super Cup title holder performs outstandingly on the market like on the pitch. He has become a complete player since leaving Man United in 2009 and he owes his father figure Alex Ferguson a return.
Gareth Bale is the new face of pride in the English Premier League. The Young PFA Player of the Year, PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year needs to go a step higher by signing for the biggest club on the planet. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has the charisma and experience to continue Fergie’s media-hyped mind games.
The post-Ferguson era needs a strong start. Do you think Manchester United would go wrong if they signed these three names?
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