Ferguson's 19th title taunt to Liverpool: 'It's our time now'

 

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed an intention to ram home the club's supremacy over Merseyside, declaring, in the course of expressing a hunger for a 20th title, that "it was Liverpool's time in the Eighties; it's our time now".

Ferguson has in recent years shied away from further provocative comments about Manchester United's encroachment on, and eclipse of, Liverpool's 18-title record and has not reiterated his legendary desire to knock them off their perch, expressed when Alan Hansen – a totem of 1980s Liverpool – had made public his doubts about United's prospects of winning the 2003 title, which they duly did.

But the record 19th title – the number is now nailed to the main Old Trafford entrance – has removed the risk of hubris and the manager, who once declared that "life will change for Liverpool and everybody else – dramatically" once United got going, has now described how it feels to have taken Liverpool's record. "It's special," he said. "This is a particularly special one because it means we've won the title more than anyone in the country. It's history and it's great for the tradition of this club."

Ferguson reiterated that he was "looking at possibly a couple, maybe three signings, which would boost our overall quality in the team". But Sunderland will try to take Darron Gibson and Wes Brown if manager Steve Bruce can secure £20m for Jordan Henderson, which he badly wants to do.

There is also a strong view from Portugal that Luis Nani, United's players' player of the year, has played his last game for the club, having concluded that he would have played only a minimal part this season if Antonio Valencia had not been injured for most of it.

Nani drew personal motivation from being part of a title-winning side in the absence of his close friend Cristiano Ronaldo and the accomplishment of that, coupled with the possible arrival of Young, will reaffirm his believe that he is simply not Ferguson's first choice. Valencia got the nod ahead of him in the Champions League final. Nani is only 18 months into a contract, though, and United may require a £20m offer to release him. Since Italy is a possible destination for him, one solution could be that he heads to Internazionale as part of a deal that would bring Wesley Sneijder in the other direction. Sneijder has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford since last summer and the view from the Netherlands is that a wage demand of £175,000 per week is the only impediment to such a move.

Ferguson told Inside United magazine that there was "a responsibility as the manager of Manchester United" to extend the lead on Liverpool to two titles, by collecting a 20th next May. "It doesn't go away. I'm not going to take it easy because we won the title. Hopefully we'll be better next season," said Ferguson, who is in a strong position to beat Liverpool to the signature of Aston Villa's Ashley Young.

"The only thing you can do at this club is win – that's all that matters. We have to carry on – there's nothing else you can do. We have a responsibility and expectation to live up to and that carries on next season. As I've always said, Manchester United should accept a challenge. We're good at that and, next season, we'll accept anything that comes our way."

A week after United's comprehensive defeat to Barcelona at Wembley, Ferguson's considered reflection on it is that matching the Catalans' brilliance is the "[only] way to address the situation". The United manager is considering giving himself as long as three years to eclipse Pep Guardiola's side and seems to be finding solace in his view that they have peaked. "This Barcelona side is the best team we have ever played," Ferguson said.

United scouts are monitoring Borussia Dortmund's Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who scored eight goals in 17 Bundesliga games after moving from J-League side Cerezo Osaka at the start of last season, but broke his right foot in January in the Asian Cup.

Rooney shows off his new weave

It was a case of hair we go for Wayne Rooney yesterday as he posted a picture on Twitter of his new hair transplanted scalp. "Hi all there's my head," he wrote. "It will take a few months to grow. Still a bit bloody to [sic]. That's normal."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map