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David Moyes: Qualified?

Sir Alex Ferguson has won 38 of the 61 trophies Manchester United have won in their entire history. However, after a few years at the club and no silverware to show for it, some fans were growing weary of him. Thank the Lord the board remained patient because our lives have been made considerably better thanks to Ferguson managing the club for the past 26 years.

David Moyes is almost certainly going to be named as his successor, much to the disappointment of many United fans, but he does have some supporters. People point to Ferguson’s early years and his career before United, rightly pointing out you would never have expected him to go on to win the league 13 times.

However, when Ferguson got the job he was one of the brightest prospects in British football. Having broken the Old Firm domination in Scotland, winning the league three times with Aberdeen, as well as lifting five domestic cup trophies, Ferguson could also brag of his success in Europe. His team beat Real Madrid 2-1 to win the European Cup Winners Cup (thanks to a winner in extra time) and then beat German and European Champions, Hamburg, to win the European Super Cup. That’s ten trophies in five years.

Still, he may have been seen as a bit of a gamble, having not proven his worth in England. Whilst United were still a huge club back then, thanks to the success and tradition Sir Matt Busby brought to the club in the 1950s and 60s, they were mediocre when it came silverware. Ron Atkinson had lead us to the relegation zone so Ferguson had a big task ahead of him.

If United were in the relegation zone now, Moyes would be a good shout for our next manager. He consistently builds competitive teams and his net spend is next to nothing. He has shown repeatedly that he can get the better of big clubs in one off games and has signed some really decent players that were somehow under the radar of other clubs.

United aren’t in the relegation zone though, they are champions of England, and should be looking to compete for the European Cup next season. For all the strengths Moyes has, and he does have them, they are not suited to United.

European stars want to play for Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola… not David Moyes. Whilst of course the name of the club carries some weight, the best players will have all sorts of top clubs interested in them, but they will also have top managers interested too. For example, why would Falcao come to United to play for Moyes when he could go to Chelsea and play for Mourinho? What we may have lacked in wages and agent fees before, we made up with in having Ferguson as the boss, but that bargaining tool is now lost.

The reason why Moyes’ name won’t attract to big players is because his pedigree is nowhere near that of other top managers. Having won 1 game in his last 13, guiding Everton to one point above the relegation zone with just two months left to play, Walter Smith was sacked and Moyes took charged. They finished 15th in the end, 7 points away from the drop, which is a credit to Moyes. In his first full season they jumped up to 7th, the following season they dropped to 17th, then the following season they jumped up to 4th and qualified for the Champions League. The following season they didn’t get past the qualifying round in Europe and finished 11th. The next season they finished 6th and qualified for the UEFA Cup. They finished top of the group but knocked out in the round of 16 but they finished 5th in the league though so qualified for the UEFA Cup again. The following season they didn’t get past the qualifying round in Europe but finished 5th again. The following season they finished 8th in the league and were knocked out in the round of 32. The following season they finished 7th and last season they finished 7th again.

So, in Moyes’ managerial career, the best thing he has achieved is finishing 4th in the league and reaching the round of 16 in the Europa League. Not to be tight, but how the fuck does that qualify him to manage the biggest club in the world? A club that should be aiming to at least win the Premier League again next season? This is the Personally, I find it horrifying.

That said, as with anyone the club chose to appoint, I will support him. Moyes is a good manager. He is good at what he does. Moyes may very well have the potential to win league titles and trophies and I’m not suggesting it is impossible for him to be a success at United. My issue is more with the fact that I believe the person who takes over from Ferguson should already have a proven track record. When Chelsea appointed Mourinho, he had won league titles and the European Cup with Porto. It was Porto that took the gamble on him. We could look at Jurgen Klopp’s career. He has proven himself with the league titles and European Cup final with Borussia Dortmund. They were the ones that took a gamble on him after his time at Mainz. Ferguson proved himself at Aberdeen, who took a gamble on him at his time at St Mirren. When in the relegation zone we demanded a manager who had won league titles and trophies in Europe, but now we’re champions we’re happy to settle for someone who hasn’t won a single trophy in 15 years of management. For me, the person replacing Ferguson should have a proven record at the highest level. Moyes is missing the stepping stone that other top managers have.

Still, you imagine he’s getting the job with Ferguson’s blessing. When Michael Carrick was bought and given Roy Keane’s number 16 shirt, I would be surprised if anyone had him listed in their top 5 for preferences in midfield. Gattuso was tipped as a possible signing and that was the kind of player a lot of the fans wanted. Carrick came in, quietly went about his business, and has steadily contributed to title after title. Of course, a player doesn’t carry anywhere near the same responsibility as a manager, so I’m not intending to compare like with like, but sometimes people can surprise you, and if Moyes is announced as our next manager, I hope to God he has it in him to surprise us too.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. bayoRed says:


  2. bayoRed says:

    Seems its Moyce then. Am warming up to him already. How easy it is to convince me. I wiill back anyone endorsed bythe club. FAITH!
    Good frabric if its supposedly cut out of the same as SAF!

  3. xyz says:

    What qualifies him for the job is SAF’s endorsement. How many times have we said “In Fergie We Trust” and been right. Don’t underestimate the draw of a club like United and the ongoing appeal of working under SAF – he will still be used for that “personal touch” when trying to convince a top name to sign for us for less money – having SAF come and ask you personally to join will be a big swing factor.

    I personally think Moyes is a great appointment and hope he takes a Giggs/Neville/Scholes as his assistant to continue the ethos of the club. My only personal question is how will he handle the big egos of current or future stars. SAF used good cop/bad cop in equal measures to keep stars in line and we haven’t yet seen in Moyes can do that, particularly if he’s on a run of a few poor results. As much as we’d love to see Ronaldo back at OT, can we be sure Moyes could keep him in line?

    But that is where I think having SAF there as a mentor will be a huge help to Moyes. Someone like Mourinho would have seen his presence as a shadow, a burden, but I think for Moyes it will be the help he needs to make up for his initial lack of experience in such a roll.

    The future remains bright.

  4. yearsinrock says:

    The argument that favors Moyes is that, he has not won anything, he might win everything at United. He might also stay a really long time. While we could always argue how long the mourinhos and guardiolas will stay when things start going bad. They will always have offers from other big clubs to jump ships.

  5. bayoRed says:

    Cant seem to get the wod “gamble’ out of my mind!

  6. nickcnew says:

    Agree whole heartedly with this article.For me there is only one man and he seems destined for Stamford Bridge.
    In saying that I remember when Fergie was appointed at United and I was decidedly underwhelmed,much like now with the prospect of Moyes in the hot seat.So maybe in 20 years we will all be in depression with the exit of Sir Moyes

  7. keegan4england says:

    Wouldve preferred Mourinho until Giggs is ready.

  8. skimbo says:

    Beautiful article. I feel like you just put my thoughts into words. I have my own Blog and I was going to write on this myself but i feel you have said it all. Infact i’m going to share your article on my blog. With Moyes, I am bracing myself for the worst because I do not believe he has it in him. As you said I pray for a surprise. A manager like Klopp seems perfect. Hes young and most importantly has trophies and european experience. Look at Mancini? with all his experience in italy and champions league experience even he can’t navigate a successful campaign in europe with his oil rich squad,

  9. Costas says:

    On current evidence and in my opinion? No.

    Hoping to be proven wrong of course.

  10. Sparkz says:

    He’s not good enough yet and he wouldn’t be my choice. And if he wasn’t British the media here wouldn’t hype about him.

    But what he does have going for him is his commitment to youth, and the fact Fergie thinks he is good enough.

    I’m glad Mourinho doesnt look like getting it. He’ll win trophies but has zero youth policy and won’t hang around for long.

    I would have considered Klopp, who has decent top level experience, trophies, commitment to youth and plays good football.

    Like I said, I don’t think it should be Moyes – but I’ll back him. After all, Fergie’s opinion trumps ours..

  11. xyz says:

    Am amazed by all the clamour for Mourinho. Have we learnt nothing from the last 26 years? Initial/instant success is worthless unless you are laying the foundations for the future. Mourinho cares nothing about the future or legacy of a club – he cares only about his own future and legacy. Sure he would win us a couple of cups – quite possibly the Champions League again. He’d provide a few witty comments to the press and make the players feeel loved. And then in 3 or 4 years time when he gets bored or the fans get tired of his negative style he’ll walk away leaving the club in disarray.

    Do people honestly believe that Mourinho is more likely than Moyes to provide the next generation of home-grown stars? No chance….

  12. lordrt says:

    Oh dear looks like we’ll be on our way down with this man, not enough experience to handle such a big club…

  13. United till I die says:

    He’s not my pick for manager but as soon as its made official I’m behind him and the club 110%

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Retool this summer:

    Sir Alex retired.
    Scholes retired.
    Rio off to americay
    WayneLad off to chavs (enter your flavor here)

  15. Champ20ns says:

    Is the one good thing about SAF retiring is that Phelan will go?

    As for Moyes, totally underwhelmed but I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt. It should make it easier to get Baines and perhaps Fellaini and I’m sure Moyes will toughen up the midfield..

  16. IndoRed says:

    Moyes for youngster/ reserve instead of 1st team

    I prefer 20legend our baby face assassin for first team. Having the same background with Sir Alex, He has broken rosenborg tradition with his Molde on his debut


  17. jay4manutd says:

    Qualified? Depends on how you look at it he hasn’t won anything? Well unless you are managing a top four club,how should that be used against any coach,rubbish…i just feel Moyes shares lots of similarities with fergie(hardworking,total dedication,longetivity,gives youth a chance,tough on discipline etc)and am perfectly alryt with him.evertything is in place for a succesful time for him with us,great great appointment IMHO

  18. H says:

    As an Evertonian, this is a much bigger loss for us than it is a gain for you. I’d say Moyes is 50/50 to be a success for you. People say he’s overachieved at Everton because of our lack of cash. I say that’s crap. If anything, he’s underachieved – he could have and should have won at least one trophy, including this year. His CV is ok, but littered with failures against lesser teams (the worst being losing at home 3-0 to Wigan in the cup this year), and he has an appalling record in derbies. I think Fergie thinks it’ll be easier to maintain some sort of behind-the-scenes cpntrol with Moyes, which he couldn’t have done with Mourinho. It’ll be interesting to see what you all think if you’re 3rd or 4th this time next year.

  19. jay4manutd says:

    Manchester United has had all our success under dedicated british managers,why change that now.people are just moved and obssessed by big/foreign names,annoying.let the unique philosophy of the football club on the field and off it be the be all,names of managers should be secondary.i can’t remember Messi,iniesta and xavi(greatest players in the world)having any problem playing for tito vilanova,who until last season was just an assistant who’s achieved nothing.what MOYES has done deserves recognition.let your so called mourinho manage a team of everton’s stature now,win trophies with them,build more than one team with a long future @ a single club,then he will be qualified to manage Us.for now,welcome Moyes,great wonderful appointment.we support our Own here,lucky you

  20. jay4manutd says:

    Btw i want to follow more reds on twitter,expecially those on RoM @jay4manutd is my handle,thank you

  21. parryheid says:

    Not confirmed yet that it is Moyes thank Christ there is still hope it is another,I have nothing against him other than he strikes me as a plodder,no zing about him imo.

  22. theradlegion says:

    Don’t let a sentiment fool you. I agree with Scott. Moyes has not won anything. Even Swansea won a cup this year. Moyes has small financial backup? So is Wigan but more in an extreme situation and yet they’re in the final. Why not Martinez then? Same value.. longetivity.. hard working.. named Spanish manager of the year.. loved by the players.. good eyes for young players.. Hey those are achievements too right. And how about Laudrup? He led swanselona to an admirable campaign :)

    Lets all be sentiment and choose Martinez instead :)

  23. theradlegion says:

    sentimental ..

  24. xyz says:

    Laudrup’s track record too short….Martinez will be a championship manager next year – think we can do better than that. It seems the board favoured a British manager and Moyes is the best out there.

  25. AlphaRS says:

    I hear United are in for Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce, and Roy Hodgson too…!
    At least pick someone with a track record. Might as well go for Ole if we’re going down this route?! At least he is one of our own.
    If anything I’d rather have Brian Laudrup or Roberto Martinez…!

  26. BerbaGod says:

    As long as he doesn’t bring Fellaini to the club I’ll be happy enough with this appointment

  27. In David We Trust says:

    AlphaRS – I brought up the possibility of Brian Laudrup, who I feel is more suited to united, and he is more than a manager, but a really good coach too.

  28. NBI Red Onion says:

    Moyes has actually won silverwear but in a lower division.

    Obviously he is not in the same league as SAF who was always exceptional even at Aberdeen. Do not expect to get another manager with the all round abilities of the Scot.

    Rafa Benitez also won Spanish league with Valencia that made his reputation. Klopp likewise, but they have great players.

    Moyes is ofcourse a gamble in terms of trophies but he will have the same team around him, and he is not a gamble in terms of the Club on many levels he will care about doing what is right by United

    Also look at the money coming into football last 10 years, who the hell could challenge the biggest best backed Clubs, Arsenal are struggling and Wenger is a great manager, great player change games and titles, as long as United have them, and we do, we can compete and we will.

  29. Ruks says:

    4 pple that say mourinho, i think ur al dumb. Are seeing the war going on in Real madrid dresing room?! Taking about track records: guardiola never won anything b4 been apointd by barca, cönte as well to new a few. Moyes needs support at least we know our midfield case wil surely b attended 2.

  30. mezza says:

    hey scott, by ur mentality rafa benitez would qualify for the job…..

    i think we all here just for a ride, if its enjoyable one, remains to be seen.

  31. AlphaRS says:

    @In David We Trust
    Hello Mate. Brian Laudrup is a good shout and I think he will turn out to be a brilliant manager when he gets his opportunity at a top club. I know that David Moyes is most likely going to get the job but not even giving anyone else an opportunity seems a bit short sighted to me. What’s the harm of talking to other potential candidates?
    Even Moo said that his next job would be his last one and he intended to stay there long term. Why can’t he do that at United? Like Scott says. Horrified…!

  32. wayne says:

    Like I said yesterday Moyes is Sir Alex’s choice so for anyone to say Sir Alex is the greatest ever but Moyes isn’t good enough is contradictory.In regards to the elite foreign players who have a choice Utd don’t sign them anyway Barcelona and Madrid are always going to be a preferred destination than Manchester so you could make the argument the geographical location of the city is more negative than any manager.Sir Alex has missed out on plenty of targets due to location or the Rent Boy clubs offering more money
    A player who makes it at Utd becomes a global superstar and a very rich person(just ask Rooney) and players know that.So sure Utd might not be able to sign a few players but’s that’s always been the case,for most Utd is still a big opportunity

  33. United24 says:

    Is Moyes the best available British manager. I will think so.
    Is he the best manager available. I think not.
    I think this is a typical united recruit. We the fans may yearn for the superstar player or manager but the club just slightly underwhelms us and gets someone who grows into the job.
    Keeping an open mind on this one. I am not waooood but cautiously optimistic.

  34. wayne says:

    For those who say Moyes will effect signing the elite players anyone care to tell me how many top foriegn players not already playing in the prem Utd have signed over the last 10 yrs.Don’t say Ronaldo because Utd made him world class

  35. jigpig says:

    Please give the guy a chance ….he hasn’t even walked through the door yet, but some people are already talking about years in the wilderness.!!!
    Nobody knows how the future will turn out but you can be sure that if David Moyes is offered the position at Old Trafford then the decision will not have been taken lightly.
    Do you really think the hierachy will take any gamble with the amount of prestige and money at stake.

    We could all be on here in 12 months time after winning number 21 and after having a good run in Europe and thinking what all the fuss was about.
    He could be great, he could be crap, nobody knows, just get behind him and support the club.

  36. Ash says:

    I am not sure about his appointment. The biggest reason like you said he may not attract big name players. Mourinho or Klopp would be perfect. I don’t want us to become the Next chelsea who keep on changing managers. I have a feeling our next manager will be disclosed at any time.

  37. wayne says:

    Fuck me Ash just mentioned you was saying we had a long discssion about me rating Moyes and you not thinking he was good enough that must have been 2 or 3 yrs ago

  38. Red Mist says:

    Huge mistake.
    People keep claiming he’s “done well” at Everton with limited resources.
    People keep saying he’s a winner, like Fergie.

    He has not done well at Everton and he is not a winner.

    Plenty of teams around Europe have had success (actual success, with trophies and everything!) with limited resources. He’s never won anything, he hasn’t challenged for anything…not the league, not the FA Cup, not the Shit Cup, he hasn’t even had repeated qualification for Europa League.
    He is the exact opposite of a winner in the sense that he has never won anything,

    The ONLY reason he is in contention is because he’s a cheap skate manager who never asks for money and is happy to never compete, working extremely well under absolutely no expectation or pressure.

    Again, MASSIVE mistake.

  39. ziggy says:

    Red Mist

    Spot on mate,I don’t have anything against Moyes,he is a good manager but c’mon!,this is United!,he’s been driving a chevrolet and now you want him to drive a Ferrari?

  40. Ash says:


    Wrote in the rooney thread also. I will copy paste it for you. . See I never said Moyes is not good enough, What I said is whether Moyes can handle the pressure here. Honestly managing Manchester United is different cup of tea to what managing everton is. I will give my full support to moyes or whomsoever becomes our next manager but I have my doubts with Moyes. Can he win trophies? Can he handle Pressure? Can he handle players egos? Can he play mind games? Can he perform at european level? See all these questions are unanswered. But Like I said moyes will have my full support. No hatred towards Moyes mate .

  41. shakshamboo says:

    A manager’s appointment should be treated as differently to a player’s signing. With a player’s signing you can take a gamble and even if that gamble doesn’t pay off, it is not a big part in the grand scheme of things as you have other players too.

    Regarding Moyes having to operate on small budget, we all know that SAF won domestic and european trophies with Aberdeen with limited budget. Mourinho won domestic and european trophies at porto with limited budget.

    At Everton it is acceptable to just be in the premier league. United is a different proposition. Here we expect to win every game.

    He is a massive gamble. I hope for the clubs sake that he proves the doubters wrong but it would be interesting to see what the current supporting fans say about him if we don’t win the league in the next 2 seasons.

  42. domunited says:

    Look, let’s face it fellow MUFC supporters – no one… NO ONE… is going to be able to make a seamless transition from SAF to the next era. No one. What we need now is a good custodian for the club, a fighter, and someone with a positive track record of working well with his squad.

    SAF’s successor will have some of the finest players in the world, some of the best staff in the world, and certainly the best fans… The next manager will be inheriting an incredible infrastructure of support. This never was or will be about one man – it will always be about the club. Winning and losing happens in sports and it’s a combination of many things coming together or falling apart – it happens. It will take a manager of strong character to build on his own successes or failures, and not those of SAF. Let’s let the next manager figure it out, because following a person like SAF really is stepping into a no-win situation for anyone.

    Other than Moyes, I like Klopp; however, I don’t think Dortmund are ready to give up their best players over a three year period AND their manager. It would just be too much of a loss of talent (and thank you for KagawaBunga). Hiring Mourinho would put us in RentBoy status, and Ole is just not there yet. But like many of us here, it will be a great day for me when -not if- Ole takes over at Old Trafford.

  43. Jorge Curioso says:

    >> And then in 3 or 4 years time when he gets bored or the fans get tired of his
    >> negative style he’ll walk away leaving the club in disarray.

    This is just not true about Mourinho. Chelsea were within a John Terry wobble of winning the Champions League and a whisker of the Premiership the year that Mourinho left. Every manager has had dressing room and politics problems at Real Madrid. At his other clubs, his former players love him. Mourinho would be ideal for United.

  44. foxinthebox says:

    No Moyes please – its so underwhelming a choice! The burden of expectations at United are HUGE to say the least. Nothing against him but he doesn’t seem to be the kind of coach who can take United to the next level.

    Laudrup, Klopp et al would bring some freshness as they have the “potential” just like Conte / Guardiola etc. Fresh thinking to define our game – change with modern times . With Moyes we can forget about European cup. I’d be surprised if we won the league in the next 3 years – mark my words friends. Expectations are extremely high at United and he may be a manager in a similar mould as Fergie – but he won’t be able to enhance us or attract the kind of talent we need to go the next level.

  45. ziggy says:

    If Moyes is the new manager we will support him but expect a tough ride,I don’t see how he will give us the next Premier title or the Champions,unless Sir Alex convince a couple of great players to come to this new era,we’ll need to wait until Moyes learn to drive the Ferrari after some crashes.

  46. Jorge Curioso says:

    The truth is neither explanation fully stacks up. If it is all about Mourinho’s capacity for fuelling controversy it is pretty rich, bordering on faintly absurd, when Ferguson has taken on just about every rival, referee and journalist in the business, not to mention the rows with the Football Association, television companies, various directors and even, intermittently, the club’s own supporters.

  47. LT3313 says:

    I don’t like it, and I imagine a lot of the players are underwhelmed.

    I remember Denis Irwin writing only a few months ago that Mourinho was the only man to replace Fergie, and Rio said that there was some talk about Jose also, that’s who they would have expected.

    So, I think the club needs a big signing, a Ronaldo, a Lewandowski, a Bale to give the club a lift going in to next season, because the pressure is on Moyes to win the first title and that will be hardest, and no time like next season to do it.

  48. LT3313 says:

    yeah Ronaldo + Moyes, take the pressure off the manager, come back Ronnie we need you !!!!

  49. LT3313 says:

    give Ronnie the beast that free attacking role behind Robin and … that’s the title whoever’s the manager.


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