Football: Leicester deserve EPL title, says Alex Ferguson

Leicester's Wes Morgan (left) and Robert Huth (right) in action against Bournemouth's Joshua King in a Premier League match in January. Alex Ferguson believes that the duo's defensive partnership has been vital in Leicester's success this season.
Leicester's Wes Morgan (left) and Robert Huth (right) in action against Bournemouth's Joshua King in a Premier League match in January. Alex Ferguson believes that the duo's defensive partnership has been vital in Leicester's success this season.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Scot says Foxes have an edge over Spurs, and also urges United fans to have some patience

LONDON • Alex Ferguson says Leicester City have been "the best team without question" in the Premier League this season and would be worthy winners of the title.

The former Manchester United manager, who won 13 league titles with the club, added that the East Midlands side's central-defensive partnership is key to their success.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports, Ferguson said: "They've got the experience of (Robert) Huth and (Wes) Morgan at the back.

"They know how to head the ball clear, they know how to tackle - they know how to defend."

Leicester have a five-point lead over Tottenham. Spurs could cut it to two if they beat Liverpool tomorrow, with the Foxes only playing on Sunday, when they host Southampton at the King Power Stadium.

WORTHY WINNERS

I can only see Tottenham being the danger to them. But Leicester have got the edge, they've got that togetherness. The consistency has been there all season. Leicester have got the bit between their teeth, they've been the best team without question throughout the season and they deserve to win it.

ALEX FERGUSON, on his pick to win the Premier League this season.

A TOUGH TASK

Pep will be a success but I don't think he'll ever replicate what he did at Barcelona because that was a high standard - they were the best. Pep will improve City but Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham will... be desperate to win the league next season as much as City, so for Pep there is not a guarantee they can win the league.

ALEX FERGUSON, on the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola at Man City.

Despite the north London side's strong form, Ferguson believes Claudio Ranieri's men will hold them at bay.

"I can only see Tottenham being the danger to them," he added.

"But Leicester have got the edge, they've got that togetherness. The consistency has been there all season.

"Leicester have got the bit between their teeth, they've been the best team without question throughout the season and they deserve to win it."

The Scot also believes current United manager Louis van Gaal deserves time at Old Trafford as he publicly backed the under-fire Dutchman.

United have yet to win any silverware since Ferguson retired in 2013 after guiding the English giants to 28 trophies in his 261/2 years in charge.

The 74-year-old urged everyone connected to the club to have "some patience".

Immediate successor David Moyes was sacked after less than a season in charge in May 2014.

This term, van Gaal has been tipped for the exit doors after United went out of the Champions League at the group stage and were knocked out of the Europa League by rivals Liverpool, having already been beaten in the League Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough.

"It is dead easy to be critical," said Ferguson.

"You have to be realistic about some things - the number of injuries he (van Gaal) has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, (Antonio) Valencia, (Luke) Shaw, these are big losses."

British football's most successful manager added: "The other aspect which is always easy to forget is that there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in (Anthony) Martial and Memphis (Depay) and their promise is good.

"You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years."

He suggested that even Pep Guardiola is unlikely to achieve instant success at Manchester City next season despite guiding current club Bayern Munich and former side Barcelona to domestic and European success.

"Man City have made a real coup in getting him but Pep won't find it easy, English football is not easy," he said of the Spaniard's imminent arrival in the Premier League.

"Every foreign coach that has come to England will tell you that.

"Pep will be a success but I don't think he'll ever replicate what he did at Barcelona because that was a high standard - they were the best.

"Pep will improve City but Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham will want to do something and will be desperate to win the league next season as much as City.

"So for Pep there is not a guarantee they can win the league."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'LEICESTER DESERVE EPL TITLE: FERGUSON'. Print Edition | Subscribe