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So what now, then?
What do you do when there are no referees to berate, when Geoff Shreeves no longer pushes a microphone in your nose, when you've no sexually profligate players to admonish and no balding millionaires to slap down?
Where do you put all that energy, all that emotion?
Do you ban the gardener for saying something derogatory about your roses as a substitute for a run-in with the man from the Daily Mirror?
Do you take offence to perfectly reasonable questions in a supermarket? "No I don't want a bag, youse are all ****ing idiots?"
Where do you go at 7am if not to Carrington?
Often forgotten now, but Sir Alex Ferguson used to do a bit of punditry on TV. We remember him on a panel with Kevin Keegan on ITV during, we think, the 1998 World Cup. Latterly, he's done no punditry at all but surely, Ferguson has got a lot of inside knowledge that has been stored away, unspoken for years. He is a one-man TV industry waiting to happen.
The chance to hear Ferguson dissect a game between say, Chelsea and Liverpool, would be fantastic. If ever a man could speak with authority and without fear of reprisal it would be SAF. It would also be intriguing to see how he conveyed that mighty depth of knowledge.
Many are today attempting to define how and why Sir has been so successful. Daniel Storey has done as good a job as any but for many of us, the mystique of Ferguson is still significant. Yes, he was clearly able to motivate players to a remarkable degree. But how? A large amount of the reaction seems to suggest that shouting loudly at people from close range has been a key factor, but there must be more to his art than that.
Now is the time for him to unveil how he took United to such prolonged success. A TV series which details the remarkable transition from old school brutal football of the 80s to the 21st century ladyboy ballet is long overdue. Ferguson is the figure of sufficient longevity and gravitas to have presided over changes not just in how football is played but in the whole culture of the game and life around it - a prism through which we could better understand those changes.
Should he want to, we're sure Ferguson could write his own cheque with Sky, or - who knows? - even his old friends at the BBC.
We recall a show, back in the mists of time, about the Scottish national team where Craig Brown was shown watching some game or other, looking - as Craig Brown often did - affable and decent and like he might not entirely be certain what was going on. Ferguson was shown sat beside him. "Full back's no on his game," growled Ferguson. Brown looked startled, surprised and agreed hastily.
We would love to see Sir Alex share his brilliant judgement of players, hear his insights on his former rivals. Should he wish it, a hugely lucrative part-time career is surely there for the taking. And, who knows, perhaps he might even want a little love to go with the fear and respect? He should expect a blank cheque in the post very shortly...
John Nicholson and Alan Tyers
Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here
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or Johnny here.