Bale and Lampard gave us a clue to Sir Alex Ferguson retirement

Frank Lampard

Did recent comments made by Sir Alex about the Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsa duo give a clear indication of his reflective mindset?

Even though he is 71-years-old and is having a hip operation in the summer it still came as a huge shock to everyone when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement yesterday morning. In almost a form of mass disbelief most people still just could not understand why now at this moment in time Sir Alex would be standing down.

Well a few things that must be noticed straight away are clear; this has been planned for a while. David Moyes has remained coy on his future all season and his refusal to talk about his contract until the end of the season always resonated suspicious.

It would now appear that Moyes was always on the inside track regarding Fergie’s future; and that not signing a new deal was in the hope of being passed one hefty baton.

I also like Peter Reid’s theory that he would have left United last summer if it were not for Sergio Agueroooooo.

He could not leave with the noisy neighbours in charge and the idea of him marching into David Gill’s office and politely but firmly informing him to sign Robin Van Persie brings a smile to my face.

However two comments in the past week should have given us a clue that the end was nigh for Fergie; comments regarding two players in action last night.

Well one was in action the other on the bench in the form of Gareth Bale and Frank Lampard; and Sir Alex was in unusually nostalgic and repentant spirits when speaking of the pair recently:

Ferguson on Bale:

"We were disappointed in Southampton because we were first there but they never came back to us. He reminds me a bit of when we signed Lee Sharpe. He was a six foot, gangly slim boy but all of a sudden he was built like a light-heavyweight American boxer. Bale is the same given the way he has developed physically in the last two years. He has matured very well."

Ferguson on Lampard:

“We looked at him at West Ham when he was a young player and I regret not doing it — where else could I get 200 goals from midfield? Lampard is fantastic, an incredible player. If he gets the goal record... I don’t think there’s a midfielder who will do that again. He is quite phenomenal. That value has got him 200 goals. Plus I can’t remember him ever being injured.”

Such comments are unusual for Sir Alex and clearly highlighted his reflective mood ahead of a big announcement in the coming weeks; in the end it turned out to be the coming days as just three days later we were all dealt the massive news.

Should we have seen it coming?

image: © wonker

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch