Premier League

Vidic happy out of the limelight

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Sat, 11 May 2013 16:13:00

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has signed a new two-year contract with the Premier League club.

The news was announced by Hammers co-owner David Gold via his Twitter account.

"I am delighted to announce that our manager Sam Allardyce has signed a new two year contract," Gold said.

Allardyce's future at Upton Park had been in question despite his insistence over the last couple of months that he would be signing a new deal 'very soon' after productive talks with Gold and David Sullivan.

However, the 58-year-old indicated at his press conference ahead of Sunday's game at Everton that he was ready to sign and he has now put pen to paper.

Allardyce said on Friday: "There were processes we had to go through and put it together in the right way, which it has now. I never thought there would be any problem - and there hasn't.

"There has been some issue with the legal jargon in the contract which I couldn't understand so that has to go to both sides lawyers to agree and then it gets signed. The size of a manager's contract is pretty substantial in terms of responsibilities."

Allardyce took charge of West Ham on an initial two-year contract on June 1, 2011, guiding them to promotion from the Championship via the play-offs last season and a comfortable 10th place in the Premier League this term.

Under normal circumstances, Vidic would have been the man lifting the trophy following the final home game with Swansea on Sunday.

However, the seismic events that have unfolded at Old Trafford this week suggest there is a more deserving case, even if there has been no official confirmation from the Red Devils that Sir Alex Ferguson will lift the 49th piece of silverware of his career before addressing a crowd who are said to be paying up to ?3,000 to be present for an occasion without parallel in the modern game.

It is likely to leave Vidic in the position of bystander.

But that is just how the Serbian likes it.

"It is the same feeling, whether you are captain or not," said Vidic.

"I am part of the team and we all played a part. No one has given any more or any less. We are a team and we all played a part."

It seems certain Ferguson's exit will not be the only one being marked tomorrow.

Reports that Paul Scholes has given an interview to old pal Gary Neville for Sky Sports' pre-game show in which he confirms his retirement merely confirms something that has looked inevitable virtually since the moment the midfielder suffered a knee injury that has kept him out of action since January.

Ferguson has spoken previously about his desire to get Scholes into his starting line-up for tomorrow's game.

And impending retirement for both of them is probably the reason why given how much affection the 38-year-old is held in by Ferguson, who persuaded Scholes to come out of his first retirement 18 months ago.

Of course, Scholes is so averse to the limelight, he is probably relieved almost all the attention will be on Ferguson, whose 13th Premier League title will be his last.

There will also be one more game, at West Brom, next Sunday, at which to acclaim the 71-year-old.

But for the fans who have watched his teams most often, tomorrow will be it.

It has already been confirmed the lower tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and parts of the lower Stretford End and East Stand will join together to create a special 'Champions 2013' mosaic, with the Scot due to make his final address post-match, having opted against making any public pronouncements since his retirement was confirmed on Wednesday morning.

Yet, almost bizarrely, the world does move on.

Some United players, including Nani and Anderson, have futures to play for.

Others must try to impress David Moyes, who surely will be reviewing a video of the game, even though his immediate commitment is to Everton.

And for Vidic, there is a need to maintain fitness after two campaigns blighted by injury.

"It has been a struggle to come back," said Vidic, who ruptured cruciate ligaments in December 2011 and then needed a further operation at the start of this season.

"I worked hard to recover and thankfully I still managed to play games in the Premier League and remained captain of the team.

"For that I am really proud."

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