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.