ir Alex Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge at Manchester United with a tribute evening last night in Manchester that included speeches from legendary players from past and present and an emotional video of the success that Sir Alex has brought to the club.
Over the years Sir Alex has used a mix of youth and experience as-well as academy players and big name signings. The era of the Neville’s, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs has come to an end, but it seems that another group of players could be in trouble of losing their places as Sir Alex and his fellow Premier League managers look for change.
After their humiliating 6-1 defeat to neighbours Manchester City last month, the United manager openly criticised Rio Ferdinand’s defending during the game and dropped him for the trip to Everton a week later. Before their 2-0 victory in the Champions League on Wednesday, Sir Alex told the press that Ferdinand had to adapt his game or lose his place at Old Trafford.
With Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans becoming first team regulars during this season, it could be tougher for Ferdinand to regain his place than people expect. Fellow central defender Nemanja Vidic has not covered himself in glory this season either; leaving an opportunity for the youngster to take their chance in the side. With both Ferdinand and Vidic in their 30’s, losing a yard of pace in inevitable and playing three games in seven days every week may not be possible.
Ferdinand is one of a number of players now breaching the 30 barrier that are starting to have questions asked about their form, fitness and ability in the Premier League. The so called ‘golden generation’ have been a consistent figure in the England team but surely it is time they fell away with dignity rather than try and hang on the places that are not rightfully theirs anymore.