John Obi Mikel has warned his teammates and the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City, who are perennial title contenders to expect a tougher Manchester United as the post- Ferguson era is set to kick- off next season.
Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as Manchester United manager for the past 26 years by announcing his retirement last week. This was succeeded by the appointment of Everton manager David Moyes as his successor.
Ferguson will henceforth serve as sporting director and ambassador to the Premier League champions. Many question the impact his successor will have at the club and his ability to blend with the attention that coaching the most famous football team in the history of Britain offers.
Coupled with the long awaited retirement of veteran midfielder Paul Scholes, the resignation of chief executive David Gill, along with the possible departure of striker Wayne Rooney, new manager David Moyes will have his plate full if he wishes to fill Sir Ferguson’s shoes competently.
The Chelsea midfielder was quick to alert teammates, City and Arsenal not to play into the hands of United, who will want to prove their cynics wrong and re- establish their supremacy even without a Ferguson figure on the sideline.
“It’s going to be even harder to win the title next season because everyone at United will want to prove themselves,” the Nigeria international told the London Evening Standard.
“Sir Alex has been their mentor, he has been behind every trophy, but the players will want to show they are good as well without him,” Mikel said. “I think it’s going to be very tough next season.”