Seems odd to admit to it now, but I’d always kind of looked forward to the post-Fergie era. New stuff is exciting, United are exciting, and I was interested in whether a fresh perspective could retain what was best about the old regime and introduce a few new bits. Now, not so much.
David Moyes is a good manager, but does not, in any remote way, merit the job. That’s not to say he can’t be brilliant at it – of course he can – and being hard, Glaswegian, and apparently decent, are decent characteristics. But under him, Everton consistently bottled big games and never won away to United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea, realities that are not mitigated by a few excellent signings and runs. Consider that for Fergie to prove himself worthy, he needed to smash the Old Firm and win in Europe, with Aberdeen – when United were shit.
My choice to replace him was Solskjaer as manager with Neville as coach, all the more so now we know that previous achievements wasn’t necessary, and given that I’ve no financial imperative riding on its success. And in that context, it’s amazing that they’ve not picked Mourinho, who, from a purely financial perspective, is the outstanding candidate. Perhaps he was deemed too expensive, an economy so false that even George Osborne might understand it, or perhaps the wily old so-and-so we’re told recommended the appointment didn’t fancy being usurped quite yet. Would anyone have been all that shocked to see Mourinho dominate Old Trafford and equal Ferg’s European Cup tally within five seasons?
Either way, the rest are relieved. They may be wrong to be, but where Mourinho would have inherited the fear factor and augmented it with his own, for the moment, the very notion of it makes Moyes look a little silly. No one is expecting him to extract victories from players who look like they’re trying to lose on purpose, and no one is signing for United for the privilege of playing for him. In a way that’s ok, because they’re not, but it’s unlikely to help to begin with.
I really hope it works – it could, and the existing squad and infrastructure mean he has a chance – but it’s an almighty punt. It’s not hard to see Moyes as Ferg, minus the genius and charisma, and very hard to pick the places in which he might compensate for what’s missing. Though he’d better, because the alternative is not pretty.
My biggest fear was that United might go for Mourinho – and I’m quite shocked at the number of United fans who seemed to really want him. I’ve no doubt that Mourinho would have won maybe the league next year with United , but I’m not sure he’s got the staying power and the understanding of what football means to grass roots United fans who’ve been following the club for a long time through thick and thin.
The amazing 20 years of success under Ferguson has changed the mindset of our fans , but that 20 years of success was built on the foundations of continuity and pragmatism and the reality that no player or manager – not even Sir Alex himself is bigger than Manchester United. Mourinho would have loved to manage at Old Trafford and I’ll sometimes wonder if it might not have been a whole new era of glory at Old Trafford – but would it have been an era of glory for Mourinho or for Manchester United and how much would it cost us as a club in the long run, how much of our soul would have gone.
Even a few years back when people asked me who I’d like to see replace Sir Alex my automatic two choices were always Martin O’Neill and David Moyes (still can’t quite believe what’s happened to O’Neill ). David Moyes has worked miracles at Everton and I’m surprised other clubs like Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and especially Liverpool haven’t been in for him already. There is a fixation with Europe and this idea of dominating Europe for years, but to do that you need a side with a Messi, an Iniesta a Xavi and those players are extremely thin on the ground and I think Moyes will crack that particular nut once he’s had a season to settle in.
Moyes will have the bit between his teeth and will pull out all the stops to make United a success – what he achieved at Preston was amazing and he was unfortunate not to get them in the Premier League. Again at Everton, although he’s spent money and wheelered and dealered, they still on paper had no right to do as well as they have.
Moyes is at United for the long haul and I believe he will shock everyone. He’s no stranger to hard work and he’s got the guts to take on an impossible job after Ferguson, that itself speaks volumes for his character and the fact that he was first and foremost in Ferguson’s mind as his successor says a lot for him. I think in appointing Moyes Manchester United have shown some real class and also proved that they really are planning for the long term.
I look forward to him proving the doubters and they’ll be plenty wrong. I’m confident that we have got the only real candidate who ticks every box – in two or three years we’ll forget he ever managed anyone else, there’s something about him that’s United through and through.
How do I feel about David Moyes’s appointment? Distinctly underwhelmed and more than a little nervous. He hasn’t done enough to deserve this job. He’s never managed in the Champions League, never managed a genuinely big name player, and you know, never actually won anything major in football.
I always assumed whoever succeeded Ferguson would have won more than promotion with Preston North End.
“Cut from the same cloth” is the cliche used to compare Moyes with Ferguson, but aside from being Scottish, what is this cloth? Ferguson is a winner, and Moyes hasn’t proved he is yet.
What a 24 hours. What a week. What a year.
We joke that Manchester United is a soap opera, but this seemed almost too frenzied even for us; where Wayne Rooney’s second alleged transfer request could be downgraded to a ‘mere’ glance away from the main events. Where in the space of 55 weeks or so we have had a league in our hands, lost it, won it again, had it snatched away in circumstances akin to when your bollocks get the full force of a football struck right at them and in true Govanor fashion, immediately responded by reclaiming it back.
However much May 2012 haunted, and will leave a scar, to be at this point where it already seems so much less of a dull ache is incredible. And we know who we have to thank for that. Who we have to thank for so many things. If we started our eulogies, we’d never stop. We all know what he means, what he did. He changed our lives, it’s the most simple but apt thing I can say.
The Red News lad who does our gossip has impeccable sources and got the nod last November that this was no drill; it looked like Fergie was off in May, and he tipped Moyes, at a time when everyone was talking just Guardiola and ‘Jose’, or nothing at all, and Moyes be his replacement. It was quite some scoop and uncanny – a few lads lumped on, I didn’t. I’d like to say because I refused to believe it. Probably because I’m a crap gambler as well.
But all along I just didn’t want to believe it. Even when ‘it’ happened. Like a startled rabbit when speculation grew and United refused to answer the phones signifying something was amiss, I wanted to regress to a kid and hide under the duvet. Make it all go away. But that’s selfish. This was inevitable. He had to go at some time, and better for him, and us, that it’s this time, as good and as right time as any. Because there was never going to be a completely perfect time – carry on and there was only the completely wrong time as life could come along and play its tricks on him.
So who next? We all partly buzzed off the Mourinho impact – what he could do, how he could do it. Some said he was born for United – didn’t we think that about Dimi?- and whilst I’m not quite so sure of that, he would have given us as great a chance of winning the European Cup in the next two years as any. But he’s a short burning – though dramatic to watch – fuse. Some think he’d change his habits, suddenly find his home like Eric and stay here. We do not know. And it was a risk. It could start the procession if he got itchy feet.
So we sided with stability, and the hope that an impressive CV steps up to become a United CV. If Fergie is happy with his choice – and the key thing is, it is his choice – then so am I. I’m not skipping in the street, dancing at his arrival, but I’m not crestfallen, but the stoicism upon his arrival might just have something to do with the fact that I’m still trying to digest the events of this past remarkable year, let alone the shock of this week.
United never stands still. So we’re expected to recover from this huge departure – with so many of our fans knowing nothing but him in charge (and that is a concern for the patience that David Moyes must be afforded) – and then immediately restart the engine for the next one. We will do. We do never stop still. Too right, but whilst life at United is never dull, there are occasions when you wish it was.
I still feel gutted about Fergie’s departure. That will pass. I do actually think all things considered that David Moyes is the best man for the job. Time will tell. But he needs our time now.
Eek. That was my first thought at the appointment of David Moyes as Manchester United manager. But the message from Old Trafford is clear, and perhaps compelling: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. After all, it’s not as though the current squad aren’t used to a Glaswegian disciplinarian itching to ridicule his doubters.
Continuity is the watchword here, and maybe it should be. After all, long after Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge in the 2007-09 season, his core of Chelsea players were still challenging for titles. This squad of players have all had their first taste of a Premier League title, and there’s nothing – least of all
a manager with a whole new coaching team and outlook – that will get in the way of the conveyor belt that will bear another. At least, that seems to be the club’s philosophy.
The objective view of Moyes’ appointment is that it defies reasonable logic. The most successful manager in British football history is to be replaced by a man whose solitary trinket in a 15 year career is a Second Division title. Perhaps more damning, there’s a strong possibility that the new manager of Manchester United will be replaced at Everton by someone with a more impressive CV. Consider that for a moment. Let it sink in.
Thing is though, I don’t much care about all that. I’m happy with the choice. It’s pleasingly unfashionable and appeals to the footballing romantic in me. I watch bad video footage of Alex Ferguson’s first day at Old Trafford and it feels like an appointment of that era. The kind of news I could see Elton Welsby announcing on local television. In an age of global sporting franchises, it seems ridiculously parochial. We’ve tirelessly scoured the whole of the Granada region for days and found David Moyes. He wouldn’t even need to move house.
I should be dismayed. I should feel cheated and infuriated that the global superpower and Glazer cash cow that’s the club I love is settling for a man with everything to prove. The cheap option chosen to navigate us through an age of austerity. But to me it doesn’t feel like a Tampa Bay call or an appointment by committee. It feels like a football decision by a football man. The greatest football man. There are many reasons why appointing Mourinho or a young star on the rise like Laudrup or Klopp would make more sense. But after 26 years and 38 trophies, we should trust in Fergie one last time.
Moyes’ appointment means the nationalities of every single manager in our history still fit neatly into an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman joke. Let’s hope Sir Alex has the last laugh with his very final wish.
I’m pretty positive about David Moyes, more than many reds I’ve spoken to. Only a good manager gets his team to consistently outperform their financial resources. I like having a manager who sees that the club is bigger than him and someone whose career shows a willingness to become immersed in a football club, to commit for the long term. One of the best aspects of English football is the role of manager as opposed to just “coach” and Moyes fits that bill. Perhaps he’s a bit old school and that’s what appeals, but then so is SAF.
Can he continue Fergie’s success? It’s impossible to say, but he can clearly build a team, get good things out of players and operate on a limited transfer budget (and for all our riches that’s all the Glazers will give him). People say he’s won nothing, but sadly that’s modern English football. Financially weaker clubs can’t really expect to win trophies, except an occasional cup (and he came close to one of those in 2009). So my glass is half full.
David Meh. I can’t help but feel underwhelmed by Moyes’ appointment as United manager. Sure, he had stabilised Everton at as time when when the club has been eclipsed by those with greater wealth. Yes, he’s a tactical innovator and modern thinker. True, he is the safe PR choice, especially compared to Jose Mourinho. But it is impossible to argue that Moyes is the most qualified man for the job. In fact the so – called over achievement at Everton looks less impressive when put in the context of money. Moyes’ average Premier League finishing position is 8th. Everton’s average financial position in the ‘Money League’ is also 8th. Improvement on that League position in recent years has come at the expense of debt. He should get on with well with the Glazers then.
The RoM Manchester United 2022-23 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes exclusive interviews with Patrice Evra and Kleberson, articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.