Date:Sunday June 3 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson might soon face the decision of dropping Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, as the man himself hinted today.
The two veterans were instrumental in United's title success in the season just past but their age means they won't be around for more than two more seasons.
Whilst he's aware that sooner or later he must make one of the most difficult decisions of his career, he's optimistic due to the quality of the young players at his disposal.
'It's never easy breaking up a team, but you have to look at the long term,' he told the News of the World.
'When you're at a club for 20 years, it's impossible to keep the same team. You have to face the horrible prospect that one or two of your players are going to get too old.
'I've had this with several players over the years.'
Permit me to say that this situation is a tad different. Of course, players like Bruce, Robson and Cantona were legends who left a gaping hole when they departed. But none of them served the club and Fergie as long as Scholes and Giggs.
Their names have become synonymous with Manchester United over the years and the nurturing of these brilliant talents might be Fergie's greatest achievement at the club. They never worked under any other manager and a great part of Ferguson will himself will be torn out of him when they eventually leave.
Of course, we should always look forward, particularly at these exciting times when the club, fresh from winning the Premiership, recruited the of the world's finest talents.
'Putting the current team together has been a process of rebuilding. When we signed Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, we were thinking about the future, not just the present,' Fergie said.
'There are times when you have to take the hit and be patient when it comes to the younger lads.
'It doesn't always come off and occasionally you have to wait, because they don't have the consistency, but what you hope they do is bring you hope and a dream.
'I'm confident now.'
Date:Sunday June 3 2007
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Rio Calls Time (Wednesday May 15 2013)
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