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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Arsene Wenger's hidden gem

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Fergie pans retirement plans

Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted he has no immediate plans to retire.

Approaching his 65th birthday, his 20th anniversary as manager and without a Premiership title for the past three seasons, it had been suggested the Manchester United boss could stand down at the end of the current campaign should the championship drought not come to an end.

Ferguson has already famously completed one retirement U-turn, abandoning plans to step down in 2002.

And, although the Scot has always claimed maintaining good health is the most important factor in determining how long he will continue in one of the most pressurised jobs in the game, Ferguson has revealed retirement is not part of his current plans.

'Retirement? You must be joking, especially when you consider that the alternative is to stay home with that wife of mine,' Ferguson told the Scotsman.

'Cathy says if I retire, she is heading back to Glasgow.'

With four straight wins, United tackle Arsenal at Old Trafford tomorrow sitting proudly at the top of the Premiership table and harbouring realistic hopes of at least mounting a sustained challenge to Chelsea this term.

Ferguson has always been driven by the next challenge, rather than reflecting on a career which has brought him so much success. And he is adamant he retains the enthusiasm which brought him south from Aberdeen in 1986.

'At a club like this, the enthusiasm never dims,' he said.

'I am lucky I have United as a kind of anchor.

'I can't be part-time here or take it easy. It is such a big club, if you weren't in control, if you weren't seen to be there all the time, I think it could wobble a bit.'