• Premier League

Schmeichel 'shocked' by Fergie retirement

ESPN staff
May 8, 2013

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has said he is "shocked and sad" after it was confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring after more than 26 years at the Old Trafford helm.

Schmeichel conceded he was "so disappointed" by the news that the manager who helped to make him one of the world's greatest goalkeepers in the 1990s was stepping down.

The Dane, who was part of Ferguson's famous Treble-winning team of 1999, was struggling to believe the legendary United boss had called it a day as he insisted there must be reasons why he had picked this moment to step aside.

"I am shocked, I can't make any sense of the timing and this has come as an absolute bombshell," Schmeichel told Sky Sports. "I really honestly don't know what to make of it. I'm sad and disappointed. I was so happy what we have done this season, taking the Premier League title home and now I'm very, very sad.

"He always said he would retire the day when something in his life wasn't right. Maybe it is something we don't know about. Maybe it's his hip operation - I can't see him retiring over that, but until he sits in front of the media and tells us why, we can only guess and guess.

"I'm sure there must be something there we don't know about. He isn't going to retire for the sake of retiring and it is really difficult to make sense of this. I see him regularly, I speak to his regularly. He is not a regular 71-year-old man. There must be something we don't know."

Schmeichel went on to endorse Everton boss David Moyes to succeed Ferguson, as he suggested the appointment of a short-term manager could do long-term damage to the legacy left behind the club's greatest manager.

"What we are looking for is not someone who can come in for ten months, but someone who can stay in and produce the same kind of stability as Sir Alex Ferguson has done," added Schmeichel.

"When we talk about David Moyes, he has been at Everton for more than a decade on limited resources and he has done a fantastic job. He is Scottish, but is he made from the same cloth as Sir Alex? I don't know.

"What we need is stability and longevity. This guy knows how to stay in a job for more than three years and that's the most important thing.

"There are going to be major changes at the club this summer with David Gill stepping down so the more stability we have the better and David Moyes sounds like a good solution. A lot of names will be thrown around, but we have to wait and see what happens."

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