Football: New direction for Ball

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The Independent Online
Alan Ball has admitted that his time as the manager of Manchester City may prove to be his last job in football. The former England midfielder is disenchanted with the game after he resigned at Maine Road.

"At this moment in time, I think I'll be history," he said. "It's not that I've fallen out of love with the game, but I think it's about time that I looked at something else. If something does come up I'll think about it, but at this moment in time I'm not in that frame of mind."

Ball also revealed that despite his departure, he remains close friends with Francis Lee, the City chairman. "He was getting pressure from all sides," Ball said. "He was embarrassed with the situation and said we should talk because we're very good friends. That we did and we thought we came up with the right solution.

"I was a bit puzzled as to why people gave up on me only three games into the season. I think the pressure was mounted significantly by the local paper and I think people behind Francis put a little bit of pressure on him."

Ball, speaking on Sky Sports last night, reacted to the pressure put on him by the certain sections of the media by saying: "The society in this country is shocking at the moment anyway and to be abused by such low-lifes doesn't really bother me.

"The thing that does get you in this day and age of football, with fantasy leagues and everything, is that they all want to be managers these days.

"Managers are just there to be ridiculed and laughed at. The manager picks the team, but the punters invariably pick the manager. It's getting very easy for that to happen."