David Moyes is the right man to take Manchester United forward

David Moyes is Manchester United's new manager
David Moyes is set to be named Manchester United manager as Sir Alex Ferguson retires

Author: Doron

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David Moyes has been announced as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Man United, taking on maybe the hardest but also most sought after job in football. His appointment may not inspire all United fans and may baffle others but for me, United have appointed the right man for the job. Many ex-Reds have claimed that both Moyes and Ferguson are ‘cut from the same cloth’, which cannot be said for the quite volatile figure of Jose Mourinho. Is Moyes the man to guide United into this new era under the watchful eye of the new director and ambassador?

There is so much pressure in football today to win and be successful quickly. More often than not clubs are looking for a quick fix and if it goes well then that manager may get a bit more space but knee-jerk reactions are common place. It’s hard to know just how United would react to a sub-standard season as for such a long time that’s not happened. Even in the season’s that United finished second or third under Ferguson there was hope in young players growing up or a domestic cup.

We’re one of the clubs that gets held up as a hallmark of what can happen when a manger is given time to do his own thing but that was a different era. Football clubs weren’t businesses yet and fans didn’t have such public forums to vent on and start campaigns on. This blog often gets comments from what I’d term ‘modern fans’ – only last week there were numerous comments that Fergie doesn’t know what he’s doing and plenty have wanted him to leave. Football fans today can be vociferous and for that reason it’s important that Moyes starts well and is given time to do his own thing at the club before calls for his head invariably start to appear.

So why would I choose him when other managers with bigger reputations and winning CVs could be available?

Despite being the biggest (or one of the biggest) club(s) in the world, there is something small about it. On the inside it’s tight-knit, a big family as many players and staff have alluded to – the world’s best footballer, Ronaldo, could be found making tea for staff there for example. Little changes over time, from the secretaries to the sports science analysts, there is continuity. With that in mind, it felt likely that the club were always going to look to appoint someone for the long-run and at 50, Moyes is a good age to settle down at United for a decent period of time.

A quick fix would have been nice – someone who’s proven and experienced at the very top but say, hypothetically, that Mourinho was to come and get bored after a few successful seasons then the club would once again be faced with the same issue of having to replace someone who’s had success.

Critics will quickly point to the fact that Moyes has won nothing, has a terrible record at the biggest sides and has minimal experience in Europe. Valid points but they’re targets and hoodoos that can only be broken and changed.

Experience in Europe is maybe the most interesting factor in that for me it feels like a very over-hyped criticism. United’s squad is brimming with players who’ve played in multiple Champions League finals and many of the staff have been there with the club too. Mourinho’s success with Porto in the Champions League came off the back of just a couple of group games worth of experience at that level before. Maybe, for fear of failing at that level, Moyes will approach it not more seriously than Ferguson but with more caution. Where Ferguson might have been tempted to rotate or rest players, Moyes may not; where Ferguson had been too preoccupied with the opposition and how they may play, Moyes may focus on what his players can do to them.

That Moyes is something of an underdog only draws me closer to him. United have so often been about turning people into stars – getting the most out of them and turning them into the world famous big name that they are when they leave or retire. In that respect he’s perfect for United – an understated and doubted manager who can only prove people wrong. On the playing side there are countless examples of players who’ve gone through this transition – Carrick, Evans, de Gea, Fletcher and Rafael to name a few. He’ll be in good company.

Comparisons will be made to Ferguson because of where he’s from but it’s true that he is also something of a fiery character. He’s clearly passionate on the touchline and is a frank honest interviewee who never hides from telling the truth. He’ll understand the history of United and the value of the club; like Ferguson he’s placed emphasis on youth at Everton. His record of bringing players through to the Everton first team long-term may not be great but he’s given countless debuts and those who have been good enough have come through the ranks to varying degrees of success.

That faith in youth is part of an underrated skill that Moyes has – he builds and plans. Having been at Everton for a decade he’s not just had one group of players, he’s had a few. As is well documented, as his squads have changed he’s taken Everton from relegation strugglers to European position challengers and domestic cup finalists. His opportunities to win and regularly get into the top four have been slim, not least because Everton simply operate on a budget that’s in another league to the top sides.

United don’t necessarily throw money around like Chelsea or City have done but they have money to spend and Moyes may well be given a nice kitty so he can do his own business and win some fans over. How he handles a larger transfer fund remains to be seen – much in the same way he may take a more attacking approach to his teams, subs and tactics now that he has better players at his disposal.

Many of the various concerns that surround a new manager – long-term vision; faith in youth; transfer policy; tactics – would still exist even if it was someone else who was awarded the job. That Moyes has his head screwed on should be reassuring and rather than look for factors that might make him less of an attractive proposition, we should be excited at seeing what Fergie’s own choice for his successor has in plan this season and the seasons to come.

It might seem a tad perverse but the end of Fergie, Gill and maybe some more of the staff, both playing and non-playing is such a huge moment in our history, something we should embrace. I’ve only ever known success and one manager and although I wish it could be that way forever, change intrigues me. It would be nice to think that in years to come we could reflect and wonder why we ever doubted Moyes.

For some reason I’ve wanted Moyes for a while and thanks to Twitter’s archive I was able to find the first time I started to consider him…

16 Comments on David Moyes is the right man to take Manchester United forward

  1. good to see we have gone with Moyes, could almost be a clone of SAF. hope he brings Baines and Mr crazy hair, would be great additions to the squad.
    Exciting future ahead

  2. Wouldn’t say I’m delighted Moyes is replacing Fergie but to be honest I’m quite pleased in a way. I’ve said for quite some time that SAF’s not been the same manager as he once was and in fairness that’s hard to argue. SAF may still have been the best motivator around but his tactics, team selection etc over the last couple years have been a bit daft in my opinion! SAF’s been amazing for the club! Best manager there will ever be – there’s no doubt about that – but its time for change! New ideas, tactics, players, coaches etc. Good luck to the man! Hope he takes the club forward and I’m confident he’s the right man to do so.

  3. Looking forward to the future under Moyes. I’ll support the guy and most importantly, my support for MUFC will never change regardless of what happens from now on and that’s for sure!

  4. Thanks a lot, very good article. I don’t know how Moyes will do, but he’s definitely the better choice compared to Mourinho for example. I was really worried about the Portuguese becoming our new manager.
    And really two days after the disappointment of the news and with the excitement of the search for the new number one in the dugout something just started to creeping in. And somehow I realized that although it will be really hard to see someone else instructing from the sideline, but as well it will be really exciting to see what he can bring out from the same team on the pitch – and before that what he can do in the off-season.
    How can he cope with the Rooney situation? What’s in the Ronaldo gossip and can he persuade him to come back? Who else can he persuade to sign for us? Will he bring players from Everton?
    So there are different feelings in me, but I can hardly wait the new era to begin…

  5. Can some1 update me on the whole moyes-rooney history? And what effect will moyes come in have on Wazza staying or leaving the club?

  6. The right choice in my opinion. Don’t understand the mass negativity surrounding Moyes, but I’m sure once the season starts, the fans will be right behind him, just as they were for Sir Alex.

    Sir Alex isn’t finished yet though, he’ll want to go out in style in his final two games. Let’s give him a great send off before he puts his feet up for a well deserved rest.

  7. I’m honestly disappointed. I think he’s a below average manager, who found a comfort zone at an Everton club with NO ambition. As long as they were clear of relegation no problem, hence his good record of drawing games(NOT THE MANCHESTER UNITED WAY). In truth, he’s had 1 decent season at Everton finishing 4th but that was 9 years ago, and he never built on that, in fact he dropped to 11th the following season. He’s built nothing at Everton in 11 years, not even a half decent youth structure coz bar Rooney, no real talenthas come out of Everton FC. He couldnt even get through the Champions League qualifiers in the one year that he managed to qualify. Need i remind you that the 1 FA Cup final he made it to and lost, the semi final was against Manchester United, we out played Everton and had some dodgy refereeing decions go against us.That too was 4 years ago. He’s never ever had an impact on the carling cup, which generally gives the smaller clubs a chance to shine. Clubs, like Swansea, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Milwall have all outshone him in the domestic cup competition. So he had no Budget, big deal, Portsmouth couldnt afford to pay their players and they won the FA cup.
    Swansea this season won the carling cup, on a smaller budget, Championship teams like Cardiff, Milwall and so on have out done his mightier Everton too.
    So according to David Gill, the requirements for the job were a winning mentality and a proven track record domestically and in europe.
    Europe – practically NO track record
    Domestic Cup – Pathetic – 1 final appearance, no wins
    Domestic league – Average to below average (position 7-11) except for 4th place 9 years ago.
    Team building – None, had he started with the under 15’s on his first day on the job, he should have a squad full of “fledglings” in their prime at 25/26 now. He doesnt, so he cant develop youth.
    Everton FC progression – None, same old rickety rock stadium as when he arrived, no structures in place to grow the brand, increase supporter base or increase revenue streams.

    This is the poorest decision in the clubs history. He’s average at best. Comparing him to Sir Alex is an Insult to Sir Alex. We have a manager with no track record, no will to win, who’s biggest challenge every season is getting into the top 10. He surely has no eye for talent because he bought Daron Gibson.He doesnt meet any of the criteria set out by the club for SAF’s successor, not a single positive. The only thing he has going for him is that he’s Scottish and from the same region in Scotland as Sir Alex. That cant be good enough, coz I’ve made a decent success of my life, while my neighbour who i grew up with and went to school with and played football with, turned out to be a junky.

    As much as i love the club and want to give him every chance to succeed, I dont think its going to happen. My advise, prepare for a drought,It’s going to be a while (at least 6 years) before it rains again.

  8. There was simply nobody else so who cares fellas! Let it be! He seems like a hard bastard who doesn’t take any shit! He’ll get the lads grafting like they’ve never worked before! Read some words that cahill, donovan etc have said about him and its nothing but positive. Roll on next season!!!

  9. I agree with you, Doron.

    I, too, found myself wanting Moyes a couple of years back when people were screaming for Mourinho and Guardiola. Moyes wasn’t as stone wall of a choice for me then as he’s been the past year, but still.

    Mourinho was some sort of a 3rd choice for me, but I never really wanted him. I like to think that if I really had to consider who I wanted to take over when the Boss decided to retire, Mourinho would’ve dropped further on the list.

    My reasoning and arguments for this has become crystal clear at Real Madrid, especially the past year. He doesn’t really care about team, does he? Let alone the club. He’s done everything in his power to ruin Iker Casillas, a Real Madrid legendary goalkeeper – a proven world class goalkeeper over several years. And for what? If Mourinho had handled that case a hundred different ways, he could never have screwed it up more than he actually did. He did the same with Pedro Leon, comparing him to Maradona and Zidane saying he was far from their level of talent. Of course, it’s true, but as Leon said himself, he could’ve said the same thing in a better way. There were also stories that Mourinho had said to Pedro Leon that if the plane with the players crashed on their way to a game, and Leon was home, he still wouldn’t play.

    My point being, as I said, that Mourinho doesn’t seem to care whatsoever about the team, let alone the club. He cares about himself, his stats and his career. I wouldn’t want him in charge at the club for any reason.

    Guardiola is a bit of the same, although he’s still next on my list. He’s got a record of not talking to his players and being a bit isolated (in lack of a better word). It works for some players, obviously, but he too isn’t the loyal club manager we at United crave for.

    In a perfect world, Mourinho and Guardiola could discuss match day tactics with the players and shut up the rest of the week, while Moyes and Ferguson handled everything else. But since this is real life, I’m very happy and quite excited about Moyes running the club with Ferguson as his mentor figure. Although, the sadness of Sir Alex leaving hasn’t even begun to hit me, and I’m fearing it will do so when he actually steps aside. Or on Sunday. Yipes.

  10. am excited for as us as united we are entering an unknown,I hope we play better football than we have seen in the past two years.I hope moyes will move us forward both in England and Europe

  11. We got the wrong manager, we should have got ROBERTO MARTINEZ, i know your probably going to think im crazy but if you look at the logic behind the decision of hiring moyes the same can be applied to martinez. if you follow my logic you will see it would be the much better choice.

    The best thing about hiring moyes is that it has shown that if a manger is succesful in the premier league he will get his shot. this is somthing none of the other top clubs have done and im glad in away we did this. Now to contradict myself,my personal opinion on the matter of who we should have got is Manuel Pellagrini hes played the best football ive ever seen with villareal thats including pep’s barca and now his malaga team is also doing well.

    Firstly, the main reason people have said moyes will be a good manager for us is because he’s cut from the same cloth, i.e he’s single minded, defends his cause to the end and will fight for his team. As far as im concerned these are qualities that every manager has in the top division because these are needed to be successful in any team.

    Also it is said he offers stability he’s been at everton for ten years, but longevity is also true of martinez he’s been at wigan four years. the only reason he’s moving on most likely is because he will be offered a bigger job at another club and this is also true of moyes this is the first real oppertunity to come his way, Chelsea, Spurs Liverpool would not hire him.

    Moyes has done a good job on the limited fund he’s had he has got them into the uefa cup spots or there abouts regularly and if u think about the size of club, its wage stucture etc its a good return, with Wigan and the size of their buget club and wages them being the premierleague is more than they should expect realisticly so both managers are doing well.

    just to cut this short (relitively speaking) the reasons i would go for martinez is because he plays better football much more attacking and adventurous football and shown he can still over achieve the way moyes has. Further more his tactical diversity will be more translatable to the champions league when ingenuity and diversity will be required. Most notably somthing which i have not seen mentioned at all is that we are not in the 80’s anymore Fergie has brought us forward massively, manchester united is not the united which he took over therefore we dont need a fergie clone or a younger version of him because not matter how har he tries moyes will never be him. So its better that we move with the world to the modern era and reward the success of a manager who will play football we will enjoy watching rather than defensive boring football because after all no mattter what moyes will always be a safety first manager.

  12. I’m on the fence about TheSuccessor.

    On the down-side, his record in the Merseyside derbies is terrible; his relationship with TheWayneBoy is problematic; and then there’s the issue of TheGodfather – will Moyes be able to keep SAF at arm’s length ?

    On the up-side, he’s done a reasonable job coaching a collection of journeymen-plus professionals (like Phil Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Tim Howard, Heitinga, Merallas, and the Serbian he got from Rangers whose name escapes me to upper-middle levels of success – but only one CL berth ! He has a good record of bringing through youngsters – Rooney, Barkley, Osman, James Vaughan (before he blew out his knees), Amechebi, and Rodwell – as well as improving on-the-cheap signings like Tim Cahill, Landon Donavan, Pienaar, Baines, Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson (!), and Fellaini (well, not actually cheap but…).

    So, I’m less than certain that the claims made in the media that this was a “safe choice” have much support. I would have thought that a bright young thing like, say, Antonio Conte or Jurgen Klopp would actually have been a “safer choice” – those guys have won things.

    Obviously, SAF chose to go out on a high – winning # 20 by a huge margin and taking back the title from the noisy neighbours with what is often described as a lacklustre team has been a huge achievement. But, he’s left his successor with some real problems – who is going to partner MC16 in midfield ? what about TheWayneBoy ? where will MrJones play ? who will play on the wings because, as we witnessed this past season, AV7, Nani, and AshleyBloodyYoung were all awful – each “in his own special way” ? will Chicharito be happy playing second fiddle ? ditto for KagawaBunga ? will TheLegend and/or Rio get more game-time than they “deserve” ? can CaptainVidic and/or NinjaEvra continue to be key contributors or are they (both ?) on the down-side of their illustrious careers ? will LittleRedRafa and DDG continue to mature into real “world class” professionals ? Considering this litany of questions – not all of them fanciful – it is instructive to compare the situation Moyes inherits to the one that Pep walks into at Bayern Munich – best midfield in the world (Schweini and Javi Martinez) ; two best young #10s in Germany (Goetze and Kroos) ; three professional strikers (Mandzukic, Gomez, and Pizzaro with Lewandowski in the wings); three outstanding wingers (Robben, Ribery, and Muller); fantastic full-backs (Lahm and Alaba); and a monster-keeper (Neuer).

    I’m not saying that Moyes has been given a poisoned chalice but he does have a tough job ahead – and it’s tough job keeping a winning team on its winning ways (13/21 EPL trophies). Can he do it – only time will tell or, as CR7 liked to say, “only God knows” and she’s not telling !

  13. Rafa Honigstein put it quite well, in my view: the appointment of Moyes symbolises the “Arsenalization” of Manchester United, in that the Glazers have signalled that stability is more important to them than success.

    The pro-Moyes fans are understandably delighted with the appointment as Moyes won’t be a disaster. In fact, even though I am anti-Moyes, I am going to make a series of predictions about Moyes that may seem surprisingly positive. I am quite confident of the following:

    1. Moyes will ensure that MUFC stay in the top 4 throughout the entire tenure of his reign;

    2. Moyes will win the title at least once during his term, but more likely multiple times;

    3. Moyes will ensure that MUFC emerge from the group stages of the Champions League more often than not. (I’m not however prepared to predict that Moyes will actually win the Champions League; and

    4. Moyes will not only survive the entirety of his first 6 year contract with MUFC, he will in fact never be fired and will stay until he chooses to retire.

    Given all of the above, you might be wondering why on earth I am so devastated that the Glazers have appointed Moyes.

    The fact is that if you substituted the name of any good manager for “Moyes” in the predictions above, you could more than likely make the same predictions with equal confidence. Well, perhaps not the last one in the case of Mourinho, but one of the strangest things about the succession discussion is the insistence of so many people, including football journalists and pundits, than Moyes and Mourinho were the only 2 football managers worth discussing. You’d think that Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte, AVB and Carlo Ancelotti (just to name 4 men off the top of my head) were contractually prohibited from ever living and working in Manchester given the tone of some of the conversations.

    Anyway, the point is that given the strength of the current squad, and given the financial clout that Manchester United has (particularly if FFP ends up having teeth, although I have started to doubt that) any good manager would more likely than not also be able to keep MUFC in the top 4, win the odd title and do a decent albeit not outstanding job in Europe.

    I’ll make one further prediction: David Moyes will not take MUFC to the next level and will not establish MUFC as THE dominant force in Europe.

    You may scoff and respond that no manager could guarantee that. Yes, absolutely true. But in the case of extraordinary young managers like Klopp and Guardiola (fine, not available) I don’t believe you could confidently predict make a negative prediction – they might do it or they might not.

    David Moyes absolutely will NOT make MUFC the dominant club in Europe. I know it, and deep down you know it too, even if you want to toe the party line and back him publicly.

    I could go into all of the big games that Everton under Moyes have bottled during his tenure there, but I don’t have to because if you follow football closely enough to be visiting a football blog site, you know the facts as well as I do. If you’re on Twitter, you would know what how many Everton fans felt about Moyes after Everton bottled last season’s FA Cup semi against the old enemy Liverpool, or when they again bottled the FA Cup QF against Wigan.

    If you’re happy with a mediocre decade of grey stability, then Moyes is your man.

  14. A few days late BUT, Geno, shake your head ! Glazernomics is based on sustained success – mostly in the EPL because the CL is just too unpredictable. So, why appoint a guy who can’t deliver “sustained success” ?

    That said, Moyes’ history in big matches against the Top4 and the Merseyside derby is less than scintillating.

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