The day will live me as long as I live, Wednesday May 8th 2013, the day the news broke that Sir Alex Ferguson would step down as manager of Manchester United after 27 years in charge. There will be a lot of fans not just Manchester United fans, but football fans around the world, that will be going into the first season since they have been alive, that Sir Alex will not be in charge of Manchester United.
When the news broke that Sir Alex would step down after the final game of last season, there were many names being floated around as to who would take over, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, and the one man who Sir Alex personally asked for himself, David Moyes. I am sure that some Manchester United fans would have immediately asked for a Mourinho, or a Guardiola, or the up and coming German coach Klopp, whose impressive Borussia Dortmund side won 2 league titles and narrowly lost to fellow German rivals Bayern Munich in the champions’ league final after an impressive campaign.
I must admit that I myself was somewhat skeptical when the news broke that Moyes was going to be the next Manchester United coach. Now after the dust has settled I am glad Moyes has been given the job over the likes of Mourinho. Don’t get me wrong I think that Mourinho is a fantastic coach, he would definitely have brought trophies to Old Trafford. The only problem I would have had with Mourinho, is that his longevity at a single club has never been longer than three full seasons, so Manchester United could easily have been back to square one in a few years time. Pep Guardiola even though at his boyhood club, only ever signed a new one year contract after every season had finished. So who is to say that Guardiola would have come in to Manchester United, win a few trophies then leave after only a couple of seasons , again leaving United needing to make another appointment.
Moyes was no doubt appointed because of his longevity. Moyes took charge of Everton on the 14th March 2002 and left to take over at Manchester United after 10 seasons at Everton making him the third longest reigning manager in the premier league after Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger, at Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. In the current climate of the coach merry-go-round that sees coaches being sacked all too quickly, Moyes’ record is even more impressive.
What I think most fans will have a hard time accepting in Moyes is the fact that he never won a trophy at Everton. But if you can look past that statistic he made Everton into a team that was consistently fighting near the relegation zone into a stable Premier league team, that even finished in the Champions league places in 2004/05. Everton under Moyes finished outside the top half of the table on only two occasions and the rest of his time Everton finished in the top eight. You might say that that is not an impressive record, but when you take into account Everton’s transfer and wage budget, which is far lower that the teams amongst them, then you can start to appreciate how Moyes managed to make the players he had at his disposal play at a higher level.
I think the decision to hire Moyes as Manchester United coach will prove to be a good one. He has already shown that he is not afraid to make difficult decisions by introducing his own coaching staff at Old Trafford. I think the decision to bring back Phil Neville as a coach and appoint Ryan Giggs as a player coach has been a master stroke. He has already made a decision that will get the players on board with his vision for the future. By bringing back Neville he has brought someone in who knows the club inside and out, and knows the demands to play for a club like Manchester United. By appointing Giggs as a player coach, he has essentially made sure that he has a popular figure in the dressing room that will work closely with him and the players.
Moyes has also shown his ambition in the transfer market by stating his desire to sign Leighton Baines, Cesc Fabregas, and Manuel Fellaini. Moyes needs to address the problem in central midfield and the desire to bring in Fabregas and Fellaini will only have United fans drooling in anticipation. The idea in bringing Baines in from Everton is that Patrice Evra is the wrong side of 30, although still able to play at the highest level. Apart from possible new faces, Moyes has inherited a youthful side with plenty of experience, so he has the platform to succeed.
Moyes was chosen by Sir Alex as the next United coach because he has shown that he has longevity in him after his 10 years spell at Everton. Sir Alex knew that the United fans wanted someone who would be at the club for years to come. Moyes will be glad that he will be able to spend a full preseason with his current squad, and hope that they will hit the ground running by the time the new premier league season kicks off. He has tried already to make the team and coaching staff his own and come out of Sir Alex’s shadow. Moyes has an incredible work ethic and I think that he will succeed at Manchester United. He is the type of man that wouldn’t let an opportunity like this pass him by.