Why David Moyes will be loved – by Bayern, Barca, Chelsea, City…..
08 May 2013
I’ve never believed Sir Alex Ferguson’s statements about resigning in 2-3 years. He confessed to having made the mistake ten years ago of telegraphing his retirement and, by inference, wouldn’t make the same mistake again. That implied the end would come very quickly. It did, less than 24 hours after the first rumours.
That he’s the most successful manager in English football history is both undeniable and a fitting professional epitaph for him. He is legendary, but not without faults. While he gets it right more often than he gets it wrong he has failed to build a squad remotely good enough to conquer Europe in the last 2 seasons, where we have gone backwards quickly in comparison to others. His failure to correct the glaring weakness in central midfield and add some real drive and steel to the squad is baffling. Where United have come undone recently it is when dealing with teams committed to intensity.
The new manager will have to address this. This means attracting some of the biggest names in world football to address the cracks which have papered-over by Ferguson’s personality. The club, Manchester United, has the brand to do this, but it is down to the manager to bring the players in. When Pep Guardiola joined Bayern Munich he cited the German club’s history, its commitment to youth, and an attractive playing style. Guardiola is already securing world-class players to create a formidable dynasty at Bayern.
If the games plays out as it being briefed by the clubs, then Chelsea will soon see the return of Jose Mourinho, who will also have a wish-list of the world’s great players. He will be brought in to guarantee success and will make sure he has the players to achieve this.
Which leaves David Moyes as Manchester United Manager. It has a strange ring to it – not just because it has been Ferguson’s title for the last 27 years. Surely, it is incumbent upon one the world’s biggest sporting brands to manage succession with the greatest chance of success in the long-term. Moyes has not won anything in his long tenure at Everton; he has no experience of the Champions League and I do not believe he has the personal brand to bring the very best players in the world to Old Trafford. So why appoint him?
Clearly the Board see something that I don’t. But he is certainly not my first choice. You need a big personality to take over from a big personality – someone to convince the fans, players and media. I would have moved heaven and earth to bring in Jose Mourinho. Yes, he may have stayed for three years, but that would have given United three years (probably successful) with a supremely confident manager in which to bring in a different type of manager, someone for the long-term, who won.
The danger of appointing Moyes is that, a bit like Benitez at Chelsea, he starts as everyone’s second choice – everyone except players and supporters of Bayern, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid who will be very pleased to see him walk through the doors of Old Trafford.