London – Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says that he does not regret his decision to retire and is happy to provide assistance to his successor, David Moyes.
Ferguson retired in May after a record-breaking 26-and-a-half-year spell at United in which he won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
It made the 71-year-old Scot the most successful manager in the history of the British game, but he said he knew that the time had come for him to step down.
“My reaction was that I knew it was the best thing for me. I knew I’d done my time,” Ferguson told Saturday’s edition of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
“My attitude was: ‘The only way I could really enjoy my life was to forget it,’ because you can become withdrawn about what you’re going to do.
“‘Am I going to miss this?’ My attitude was, ‘I’m not going to miss it. My time has come.’ I’d picked the right moment. The successes were mind-boggling, to think what had happened to me in my career at United. Forget the past. It’s no use to me.”
Moyes, 50, has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, losing three of his first seven Premier League games, but Ferguson, who is now a United director, said he was on hand to provide help and support.
“My life as a United person continues,” said Ferguson, whose new autobiography is released next week.
“And that means winning; enjoying watching them winning. I don’t need to worry about refereeing decisions, agents or the press any more.
“We’ve got a young manager and I’m there to help him. We’ve had a lot of dialogue, David and I, over the last few weeks and he’s been very, very good. He’s been very open about what his plans have been. Any help he’s needed or wanted, he’s got it there.”
Ferguson also described the England manager’s position as a “horrible job” after current national coach Roy Hodgson became embroiled in a racism storm over a joke about a monkey that he told his players during a half-time team talk.
Hodgson apologised for any offence caused and was given the full backing of the Football Association.
“I don’t think the manager’s job with England is a good one. I think it’s a horrible job,” Ferguson said.
“For instance, (FA chairperson) Greg Dyke comes out and says they’re going to win the World Cup in 2022. He may know something about football – and I’m sure he’s trying to learn what’s going on – but from grassroots levels right up to the national team, that is a massive job.”
Ferguson expressed surprise that Hodgson had been angered by criticism from former England striker turned television presenter Gary Lineker over England’s performance in a recent 0-0 draw in Ukraine.
“Now, I scan papers more than I did in 20-odd years,” he said. “I was interested in reading all the things about Roy Hodgson and the game in Ukraine, the angles they (journalists) take.
“Some are pro, some are against, some are middle-of-the-road. Roy’s reaction was interesting. Roy’s a manager of great experience. I was surprised he got annoyed by Gary Lineker.
“Gary always comes across with wee throwaway lines. I was surprised Roy got himself annoyed with that.”