Wednesday 8th of May is a day most football followers and especially fans of Manchester United one of the most iconic clubs in world football won’t forget in a hurry. We knew that day would come when Sir Alex Ferguson would decide to call time on a glittering career but nobody expected it so abruptly. The great man never gave a hint about retirement always stating his health will be the main determinant of that, but the manner he went about it was a typical Ferguson move. The man does things on his own terms, a maverick. He loved to spring surprises in the way he managed the team especially when it came to team selection. A star name scoring a hat trick in a previous game might not be guaranteed a starting place in a preceding big game. Just ask Beckham, Rooney and Van Nistelroy. It is Fergie’s world when it comes to Manchester United. A lot has been written about Sir Alex’s career, his trophies, his honours, his temper, his work ethic, there’s not much else to add. Indeed to write about the great man’s career might end up turning into a book of some sorts. Instead this write up is all about the future of Manchester United and the future lies with the new manager David Moyes.
- When the news of Moyes’s appointment was announced yesterday, the word that was used to describe him from the Manchester United camp was that he’s ‘Cut out of the same cloth’ as Ferguson. I couldn’t agree more. Ferguson sees a lot of himself in David Moyes. Same hunger for success, desire to nuture young talent, long term stability( Moyes is the third longest serving manager in the premier league), and the ability to keep his team disciplined and united. For these reasons, Jose Mourinho despite having a very close relationship with Ferguson, despite boasting a more spectacular c.v, despite winning titles, despite having more appeal, charisma and European experience was not considered for the job. Mourinho tends to jump ship after relative success in a club, never having the desire to go the long haul and Ferguson after spending 26 odd years with United could not risk sacrificing short term success for long term stability.
Some pundits and indeed some fans have been slightly underwhelmed at the appointment of Moyes as United manager. Some of the things that the critics count against him are his lack of trophies( the closest he came to winning a trophy was a 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA cup final in 2009), his lack of experience of managing a big team and lack of champions league experience. I disagree with all these. As regards his trophies, I believe most managers would struggle with a team like Everton when you consider the net spend of teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and recently Manchester City. Same applies to clubs with considerably lower budgets in other European leagues. It is a known fact that most teams not in the top echelon of teams in all the major leagues apart from the Bundesliga that has almost a level playing field struggle to win silverware. As regards his lack of big team and champions league experience, I’ll like to point out how many Barcelona fans and football pundits were dissapointed at the appointment of Pep Guardiola as a replacement for Frank Rijkaard in 2008. Many wanted a big name to match the ambitions of the club. They felt Guardiola was too inexperienced and had not managed at the top level before ( he was manager of Barcelona’s youth team). 14 trophies in an impressive four year period tells the story completely. Now Guardiola is a coaching legend and will from next season will be managing Bayern Munich another great team. This might not neccesarily be the case for Moyes, but sometimes the gamble could be worth it. Ferguson has always had an eye for talent. He has made more right decisions than wrong ones. It says a lot that Ferguson wanted him as his number 2 as far back as 1998 when Moyes was still cutting his managerial teeth. Surely, Ferguson would have given this appointment a lot of thought. If a man of his experience feels Moyes could do a good job, then what right do we have to begrudge that? Time will tell if this decision is right or wrong. Let’s wait and watch. Footynyx.