“It’s your job now, to stand by our new manager,” was the message that reverberated around Old Trafford during Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell speech to fans last May. Manchester United welcomed David Moyes as the replacement for Britain’s most successful football manager in history. So far, however, an inevitable period of transition has lasted longer than many supporters would have hoped for the 13-time Premier League champions.
United lies in seventh position following their fixture with Chelsea, which saw the Blues overcome Moyes’s new team 3-1. United now lies 14 points from league leaders Arsenal, and six points away from the Champions League qualification places. However, while the historical institution of Manchester United is expected to be performing to a better standard than they are currently, their selection of the former Everton manager to take the reigns was clearly a long-term plan.
The six year contract awarded to Moyes, following a thoroughly planned process of selection from the United board and their former manager, conveyed their classic traits of loyalty to employees. The refreshing nature of their selection was a victory for young British managers who crave such an opportunity – Moyes’s hire was a throwback from the modern internationalization of football. A talented manager who had learned his trade had gotten his chance.
Moyes began his managerial career with a four year spell at Preston North End, before taking the reigns at Everton in 2002. During an 11-year term with the Toffees, he won the LMA Manager of the Year award on three occasions, as well as a respect throughout Britain. His similarities in character to Ferguson and proof of longevity at Goodison Park made him favorite to take the Old Trafford job long before his predecessor’s retirement.
‘The biggest job in football’ is what Moyes’s new role has been touted as. The Scot is a man who relishes a challenge, stating on several occasions that the role he has occupied since July absolutely excites him. The hunger and desire to succeed is comparable of that to his predecessor – and is exactly why he will eventually get it right.
Prior to the Chelsea fixture, Moyes had won 18 of his first 31 games in charge of his new club. The record surpasses former greats Sir Matt Busby (15), Ron Atkinson (13) and Sir Alex Ferguson (12). While Ferguson rebuilt the foundations for success during his 27-year reign, his Scottish compatriot has inherited a squad in need of surgery and fresh faces in all departments.
This would have been something that Moyes would have known about prior to taking charge, and will be a matter that the new man will address in coming transfer windows. His team requires new faces in addition to the world-class talent that is already on display.
Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie are two of the most prolific strikers in Premier League history – and complimented by the up and coming Adnan Januzaj, United’s potential forward line looks very promising. Necessary targets will be identified to appease the club supporters and watching media, and eventually new star names will be attracted to bring in new successes.
The name of Manchester United is synonymous with footballing success, and it will be the trust of the club in their management that will bring them back to the glory days of Alex Ferguson’s reign. The challenge is one that Moyes will relish and eventually prosper in. He will be afforded the ever so valuable, yet extremely rare luxury of time at the United helm.
Manchester United has proven before that success is built on a solid foundation that takes time to settle, and they will know to follow their trusted formula to ensure future glories under their new manager.
How will Moyes ensure his success at Manchester United? Who does he need to sign to strengthen his squad?