As David Moyes prepares to begin his highly anticipated Manchester United tenure, what success can the club realistically expect to achieve this season?
The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United marked the end of a successful 26 year reign at the helm of the club. To his name are countless trophies, domestic and European, a trophy haul that will probably never be matched primarily thanks to the amount of job security a modern day manager can command, or more to the point, the lack of.
A momentous occasion was imminent, the time had now come for the passing of the Manchester United managerial burden. As oppose to the majority of managerial vacancies there was no need on this occasion to fire up the managerial merry-go-round and speculate as to whether the same old recycled managers would be a shoe in to get the job, the likes of Alan Curbishley, Avram Grant or Mark Hughes.
Thankfully not for a job with this much prestige. It was natural to think that the Manchester United club hierarchy would have Sir Alex’s successor chosen already. Waiting in the wings to be officially unveiled. Fast forward a couple of weeks, bypassing the media generated tug-of-war for the post between Mourinho and Moyes. The Scotsman has come out triumphant, a natural step in progression? Or is the Everton manager of over ten years out of his depth at one of the World’s biggest clubs?
Some Manchester United fans think David Moyes is the ideal manager, the aforementioned natural step in progression for the club following Sir Alex’s departure. During his time at Everton he earned the respect of many people, often being praised highly for his work, something which his record (left) merits. His success was often attributed to his various personal demeanours.
Not only a great manager of his players but also as a canny businessman in the transfer market, often unearthing players with great potential and nurturing them into world class footballers. Not one to neglect talent within the club, Moyes also gave regular game time to academy graduates such as Wayne Rooney and more recently Ross Barkley.
This is something that has reoccurred on United’s recent Asian tour which saw youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard shine in particular. Referring to the progress younger players can make at United Moyes said ‘Both have done well and made contributions. It’s a tradition at United to try and get young players in the team that have come through the system’
Whilst it would be premature to proclaim we have come across a new ‘class of 92’ I’m sure we can expect Moyes to allow youngsters some much sought after first team football in the coming season, something United fans must see as a huge positive.
Throughout his time at Everton Moyes managed to field consistently strong teams, getting the best out some mediocre players, they never seemed out of their depth playing against England’s elite. Whilst never in the title race, Everton have a habit of playing a part in where the trophy goes, always a potential banana skin for the top teams, reiterating his man management ability. For example look no further than the 2011/12 season where they drew 4-4 at Old Trafford from 4-2 down, United infamously went on to lose the title on goal difference, to rivals Manchester City.
Appointment of Moyes in the Manchester United berth is a signal of intent by the club for another long term manager given Moyes’ previous job at Everton, the third longest serving Premier League Manager, only surpassed by his predecessor Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Given his success at Everton on a with minimal resources there is no reason why he will not flourish at Manchester United, given their ample resources of players, coaching staff, medical facilities and arguably the most important an increased supply of financial backing.
The Manchester United fans whom are more pessimistic about David Moyes’ appointment prefer to highlight his lack of experience within the situations he may find himself in next season. Having to deal with episodes of high profile players, such as the current Wayne Rooney saga. Also United will be competing on many fronts and expected to be progressing to the business end of all competitions. That is barring any slip ups, which would see him degraded by some even more.
Alex Ferguson had an arsenal of experience in cup finals, premier league April-May run ins to the title, Moyes on the other hand will have to adapt fast to these scenarios. He is not as equipped when it comes to playing for honours on multiple fronts nor is proven with cup finals, Everton having lost the 2009 FA Cup final to Chelsea.
Will this lack of experience be his downfall, having never faced a challenge like managing a club on the scale of Manchester United before? It could be said, perhaps harshly, that his lack of temperament in these situations was demonstrated last season when Everton withered out the competition for Champions League places. Whereas the more optimistic fans would counter that and say was it not an achievement keeping Everton in the running as long as he did?
David Moyes’ situation currently is not the most enviable, yes he is managing one of the most successful football clubs in the world, but he will always be compared to Sir Alex, who isn’t going to prove to be the easiest act to follow.
Perhaps being a fellow Glaswegian fuels the fire even more. At the end of the day football talk is opinions and it seems, rather harshly, that many are judging David Moyes’ prior to a competitive match being played. Yet the United board seem to be convinced that the former Everton manager can bring his wealth of knowledge and apply it to the situation and lead United into a lengthy period of stability and silverware.
After all it will be the results that determine how successful David Moyes’ Manchester United career will be, nothing personal, fully professional.