Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has left David Moyes a tough task

Ferguson spent two decades at the summit of English football (©GettyImages)
Ferguson spent two decades at the summit of English football (©GettyImages).

Alex Ferguson is the greatest Manchester United manager in recent memory. When he announced his retirement he sent shockwaves across the football community, even though it had been a long time coming. 

And he hand-picked his successor - then Everton gaffer, David Moyes. It is a debatable choice but it has been made. Given his efforts to settle into the job, it is necessary to an extent to review the structures Ferguson left behind for Moyes to build on.

Staff Loyalty

Ferguson was a good man-manager. In spite of his widely reported hairdryer treatment of his team, he maintained a good relationship with his players and most importantly, his staff. He earned their loyalty. 

When he retired it was obvious most of the staff would find it difficult to show the same loyalty to another manager after serving Ferguson for so long and so most of the backroom staff left, including Rene Meulensteen. 

Now Moyes has to start from scratch and install his own men, probably to his preference anyway. And his own men are not the world class, experienced trainers and analysts that Ferguson had. They consist of freshly retired players and one player/coach.

Stature

Ferguson simply took with him the stature Manchester United had in the global football world. This is highlighted by the lack of inactivity in the transfer market so far. 

It seems no one wants to come to United - unless Alex Ferguson is waiting to be their manager, much to Moyes' dismay.

Youth setup

So far in pre-season, Moyes has discovered Jesse Lingard and Adrian Januzaj as the leading young players from the United academy. Wilfried Zaha has also impressed, and he and Lingard are surely going to get a place in the first team next season. 

This is thanks to Ferguson. After all, he was the manager monitoring Lingard's progress through the academy and he signed Zaha too.

Wayne Rooney

In 2010 when Rooney submitted and withdrew a transfer request, Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge. From that time onward his relationship with the star United player was on a downward spiral.

By the time Sir Alex retired, he confirmed that Rooney had submitted a second transfer request. 

Those reports have since been dismissed, but the signing of Robin van Persie and his subsequent descent in importance has seen Rooney express his desire to quit Old Trafford, especially now that the man who sued him for libel a few years back is at the helm of affairs.

Simply put, Ferguson left a mess as far as the Rooney situation is concerned. And Moyes is having a hard time cleaning it up. 

He has not helped his own case by stating, perhaps carelessly, that Rooney will provide necessary back-up to van Persie. Now the situation is at breaking point: Rooney wants out, United says no, and Moyes has to find the balance.

This is not the easiest thing to do though. Maybe, just maybe, if Ferguson had let Rooney leave earlier then he may have saved a nice guy the unnecessary headache of jumping into chaos in his first try at a top club.

All in all, Ferguson has left a good Manchester United team and a wonderful reputation and success. Building on it is Moyes' task. And it is not an easy one. But who ever said managing in Manchester was easy?

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Football
Robin Van Persie

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