Here is a closer look at some of the managerial sound-bites following the latest round of top-flight matches:
Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking to the Old Trafford crowd after his final match at Old Trafford
“I’d also like to remind you that when we had bad times here, the club stood by me, all my staff stood by me, the players stood by me. Your job now is to stand by our new manager. That is important.”
No doubt it was a call-to-arms, a legend of football ensuring his replacement has the time and the support to build his own legacy. The fact that Ferguson said “our new manager” is all you need to know about the man and the future. He will always be United, they will always be “we” to him.
Some may have taken his words as a warning that things won’t be as rosy as they have been. But most will know it is simply a reminder – patience brought the club great success under Ferguson. And that success bred security.
All three are intrinsically linked. The outgoing United manager knows that better than most.
Roberto Mancini, addressing the media about rumours of his impending sacking
“We will see if it is true in the next two weeks. If it is not true you have written stupid things in the last six months. If it is true I’m stupid because I don’t understand this.”
It seems the pressure is getting to the Italian, as reports persist that Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini is destined for his job. Some say Mancini won’t even have to wait two weeks, with suggestions he could be out of a job before City’s next game.
He is clearly frustrated – with the media, with the club, with a trophy-less season. It is just a shame that if this is to be his last campaign in the Premier League, he is so clueless as to his almost-inevitable fate.
Paolo Di Canio, on his Sunderland side
“Let me be sure that we are going to keep the club up, and then I am going to change everything. I am going to change everything.
“I’m not going to push all the players out, but I am going to keep the right players and bring in the right players if possible.”
So there it is. No more Signore nice guy.
After his I’m-just-one-of-the-lads act of the first few games, when he slid down the touchline on his knees and hugged his players when they scored, now the Italian has realised it is going to take more than that to rejuvenate the Black Cats.
When Di Canio says he is going to change “everything” you can’t help but believe him. You also sense that the Sunderland of next season will be markedly different to the team he inherited.
image: © tomjoad