It is impossible to predict how David Moyes’ first few months as Manchester United’s manager will develop.
Obviously, much depends on how successful he is. A stuttering start in the league, some unconvincing performances in Europe, and an early exit from the League Cup and suddenly everything at Old Trafford is not so amicable.
Equally, victory against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea on August 24, and at Man City on September 21 and Moyes will have done much to silence the doubters.
Of course, much will also depend on the patience of their fans and the sympathy of the media.
However, the most significant aspect of Moyes’ first few months at Old Trafford could well be his public relationship with Sir Alex.
Imagine it, 3-0 down at half-time to Chelsea, Edinson Cavani linking up with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and André Schürrle with deadly effect.
The cameras pans to Ferguson, sat in the director’s box, emanating concern. Poetic licence aside, it is easy to envisage Ferguson’s public presence at United simply ramping up the pressure on his fellow Scot.
As such, the news that he is seriously considering staying away from Old Trafford for the first few games of Moyes’ tenure could well come as great relief to the former Everton boss.
Fergie’s advice being invaluable is not in question, however Ferguson’s public presence could, unintentionally, be more of a hindrance to Moyes, especially if the campaign does not begin in convincing fashion.
Ferguson will still have a crucial role to play at United; offering stability; providing advice, when requested, to whoever seeks it; working tirelessly to ensure that transition to a new era at United is as seamless as possible.
Indeed, he was certainly instrumental in Moyes’ appointment, and his words at the end of the last season will no doubt resonate around Old Trafford, whenever success seems far away:
“I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff,” Ferguson said.
“Your job now is to stand by the new manager.”
Come late September, these words could prove invaluable.
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