The biggest news of the month - and probably the biggest we will hear this season was the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United was quick to name his replacement in David Moyes. To step into the shoes of someone as great as Sir Alex is certainly difficult, but not at all impossible.
David Moyes is a good enough manager who could start a new era of success for Manchester United starting in 2013/14 season.
Here are some important tasks Moyes should complete to mark the beginning of a new era straight away:
Big name signing
Nothing shows your winning intent more than a big name signing. Sir Alex did it with the signing of Robin van Persie this year. Perhaps United could have won without Van Persie, but his arrival certainly made opposing managers gulp in fear at least once. And he has been great for Manchester United.
If Moyes ends up selling a star player, he will need to bring another one in. The Cristiano Ronaldo rumours have been around for some time now, and no one would mind seeing him twisting and turning around the Old Trafford pitch.
Gareth Bale rumours have been loud but a deal is unlikely in near future. Porto’s James Rodriguez could be the one for United this summer.
A big name midfielder would help too. More than one signing will be made before the beginning of next season, but at least one of the recruits should be a superstar.
Play to win
One of the most intense criticism Moyes has encountered is his diminutive results against big teams. For the champions, that sort of result is unacceptable. Although it is clear that Moyes fits the bill for the managing job, this lack of results is one of the major concerns for fans.
But that was at Everton, where his players were good, but not as good as United players. With the amount of talent at his disposal, David Moyes will need to head into each match looking to win it, just like Ferguson did.
We are not asking Moyes to emulate Ferguson at every point, but if there is one thing he needs to inherit, it is the winning mentality.
Manage midfield problem
If there is one area Manchester United need to improve, it is midfield. Although this fact has been pointed out several times in the last few seasons, Ferguson hasn’t brought in any world-class midfielders. So it is up to Moyes to bring in a talented midfielder.
Michael Carrick has been sublime this season. Tom Cleverley, although a delight in some games, is not the type of player who can turn the game around. Shinji Kagawa isn’t the type of midfielder to solve that problem although he supplements the strikers well.
So, the clear need for now is to bring in a midfielder, played-and-proven, and allow him to operate beside Carrick. As is always the case with United, there are several rumors.
Kevin Strootman, Victor Wanyama, Luka Modric are some of the midfielders linked to the Red Devils in the past few months. But recently, Marouane Fellaini and Cesc Fabregas have also gotten into the mixture. Each of these players is enormously talented, but it is Moyes’ job to find the player most suited for Manchester United and splash enough to land him.
Keep good relationships with the old guard
We have seen enough examples where new managers have had problems with players that have played in the club for a long time. The dressing room problem at Real Madrid is said to have culminated from Jose Mourinho’s clash with team captain and legend Iker Casillas.
One could argue that this feud was one of the reasons for Real Madrid’s falling behind in La Liga chase. Manchester United cannot afford that kind of problem in their dressing room, especially when they are trying to build another legacy through this team.
Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra are all pretty much club legends already. They will all likely be playing next year as well. So David Moyes should take care to maintain good relation with these players because they are influential players of the team (and Rooney of course!).
But at the same time, Moyes should assert himself and show them that he is completely in control of the reign of the team.
Keep to the Manchester United tradition
It is not surprising to look up the history of Manchester United and find that the most successful periods were the periods of stability with Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson. And the same principal was employed behind United’s choice of Moyes ahead of Mourinho despite the latter’s scintillating records.
So, Moyes would do well to walk in the same path that has inspired greatness at Old Trafford for more than two decades now. He needs to make the transition smooth, and prevent any hiccoughs in the future.
He has already emphasized that he will continue Manchester United’s focus on youth development and that is a step in right direction. If Moyes’ time at Everton is anything to go by, he can bring stability and success to the Red Devils, with enough time and support.
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