Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary coach for Manchester United left his post on 8th May 2013 after a career spanning more than 3 decades and being in one club for 27 years. He left a vicious gap in the vision in which United moved, who still haven’t found a worthy ‘gaffer’.
What followed was a plethora of head coaches from David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho to the new recruit, United boy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. With changes in the style of play also came a change in the type of leadership or mannerism followed by Sir Alex. In this series of articles in the first one, we will be talking about ‘The Chosen One’- David Moyes, who replaced Sir Alex straight after him.
On the Ninth of May 2013, David Moyes was announced by Manchester United as the right person to take the legacy forward; the man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. To a blend of fanaticism and disarray, many addressed whether the man who had not won any significant trophies in fifteen years of his career, only winning the Second Division title with Preston North End, was the man to take United forward to encourage accomplishment following 27 years of unmatched flourishing under the watch of Ferguson. Atypically, Ferguson was given a remarkable state in whom would succeed him as the manager. Manchester United had confidence in him. Moyes was given an extraordinary six-year contract, unfathomable in the modern era of the game, because of the clubs having to pay off the rest of the contract when the managers are perpetually terminated.
The first things that Moyes did on joining United were, he chose to terminate the training staff who were in the post at that point of time, following Ferguson's retirement. Most fundamentally, assistant manager Mike Phelan and first-team coach René Meulensteen and Eric Steele were given up on. Gigantically famous with the players, Ferguson's most believed lieutenants had been very involved during Ferguson's later years and had been instrumental in one of the best periods and one of the most successful times in United history between 2008 and 2013. In that place, he brought his own backroom staff in namely Steve Round, Jimmy Lumsden and Phil Neville- who were good, but just not the perfect United material. Moreover, Phelan and Meulensteen knew the team inside out.
There was a bigger problem for Moyes, which he actually had no control on. Manchester United's Chief Executive, David Gill had followed Ferguson out the door, when Ferguson decided to leave. Edward Woodward, the Glazer family's business maestro was his substitute. Shockingly for Moyes, Woodward, albeit exceedingly regarded as a business tycoon, had zero involvement in managing Football transfers and his first summer was to some degree out of his understandability. With new faces all around the club, it was a panic attack for Moyes who had nobody to show him the ‘United’ way and he signed Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5 million. Other deals that were attempted on the deadline day for Ander Herrera, Thiago Alcantara, Mesut Ozil, and Fabio Coentrao didn’t materialize. United’s other targets, namely Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale didn’t happen either.
Moyes didn’t possess the tactical brilliance required to commander a title-challenging team and that’s where Moyes lacked. Inability to win over players and being unable to make players trust the Moyes’ approach. Not saying he didn’t gel well with all of the players because he played the vital role in keeping Wayne Rooney at the club. Rooney and Ferguson had a fall out towards the end of the 2012-13 season, and there was speculation that Rooney would play somewhere else in 2013-14. It was an issue that hounded the club until the finish of the transfer window, yet Moyes was able to persuade Rooney that his future was at United and he was one of the core figures of the team.
His continued shabby form on an off the league were raising concerns in the board and ultimately the last nail in his coffin came against his former side, Everton when United lost 2-0 to them. 10 months into his 6-year contract, David Moyes was fired and Ryan Giggs took over as interim manager.
There’s a debate that still goes on, whether Moyes should have been given some more time or not. Even though he laid the pathway for the transfers in the next summer window of Luke Shaw and Herrera, Moyes was never really that good in any of his endeavours after that. He will just be remembered for being the ‘Chosen One’.