Date: 20th February 2012 at 9:55pm
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I can’t be the only person that has noticed an increase in speculation from the press, as well as words from Sir Alex himself on retirement?

Last week Sir Alex voiced his support for Ryan Giggs as Manchester United’s next manager, former player Dion Dublin echoed his thoughts and this week Sir Alex is talking of wanting an ambassadorial role upon retiring.

So where has all this talk come from?

Despite the big business that is ‘fantasy football’ we have usually deal with reality in football. There comes a day when that player that you thought would be a blazing a trail down the wing forever loses his legs, the pace goes and he has to retire (unless you’re Ryan Giggs and you adapt your style of course!) Or what about the fresh faced striker that you thought would be a world beater but invariably didn’t live up to expectations and now earns a living in League 2?

These are the facts of life, nothing is ever as fairytale as TV and films portray so despite how young he looks and seems, Sir Alex at 70 will be looking to call it a day, sooner rather than later.

He has shown no signs of deteriorating despite the complaints of some fans, and the CL final win, appearances and league titles are a testament to this, but nothing can last forever. It is often said and very much believed by all, that the day Sir Alex decides to call it quits football but more importantly Manchester United will suffer.

We’ve seen it before when Sir Matt retired and Wilf McGuiness was drafted in to replace him, following in the footsteps of giants is no easy thing and there isn’t a soul on earth that envies the man that is tasked with replacing Sir Alex.

Speaking to the BBC’S Radio 5 Live, Sir Alex himself said:

“I don’t know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don’t think another two or three years would harm me any.”

Sir Alex has been known to throw dates out there, last October he said he could see himself going for 4 more years. Now he changed it to 2 or 3 years and whilst it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go on beyond the 2 or 3 years he claims he has left, you have to believe that with this increased speculation, Sir Alex really is beginning to see the an end to his reign.
The new threat of Man City should provide Sir Alex with all the impetus he needs to continue fighting but whilst he may win the battle against their oil money, it is likely that it will be up to someone else to win the war.
For the first time since the early part of the millenium, when he first stated that he would retire, it appears we may realistically have to start contemplating life at United without Sir Alex.