Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager of Manchester United at the end of last season, after three decades of being in charge of the club.
The 71-year-old tactician won 49 trophies for the club while at the helm of affairs and his decision to end his managerial career was greeted with mixed feelings.
While some felt it was the right time for the Scot to bow out in style, others just couldn’t bear the thought of not having the gum-chewing charismatic figure on the Red Devils’ managerial seat.
David Moyes had strong rivalry from the likes of Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti for the position in question, but it was the former Everton handler that took the job. His appointment was seen as the right move as many saw him as the worthy replacement.
However the post-Fergie era has not been rosy for the Old Trafford outfit so far, and it won’t be a surprise if Ferguson and the powers that be at United eventually rue their decision to hire Moyes.
The new manager himself must be having a lot of sleepless nights. The cause won’t be insomnia, but rather his team’s persistent unconvincing form and poor results.
Before the start of the season, the club had to grapple with Wayne Rooney’s transfer saga and the inability to recruit a top quality midfield signing that could fill the void left by Paul Scholes, who retired for good at the end of last season.
The team’s abysmal form in pre-season form didn’t help matters but since it was just ‘pre-season’, it wasn’t portentous enough, therefore fans withheld their reproaches and pundits still tipped the team to be a major title challengers.
The season started last month and the defending champions have only been able to muster seven points in six games. The game that plunged a knife into the hearts of their fans was the defeat to their neighbours, Manchester City, and they didn’t just lose, they lost in a very inglorious fashion.
The Citizens bossed the Red Devils around the pitch and made it seem as though they were playing a bottom-of-the-league side. The ease with which they scored four goals against
United exposed the frailties of the team and it didn't take a football analyst to realise there was something missing.
It's not that a slow start to the season was not experienced during the Ferguson era, but there was always a belief among fans and even opposition that it was only a matter of time
before Sir Alex roared them back to life- a scenario which almost always did happen-, as more often than not United recovered to win the league.
Now the difference is that Sir Alex is no longer there and Moyes is now the man in charge; whether the latter will replicate the former’s tactical prowess and ability to turn things around is yet to be seen.
However, if a change in results and return to prime will happen, it can only be hastened by putting certain things in place.
First, the midfield department still needs reinforcement and the recruitment of a Scholes-like player is imperative.
Second, Moyes needs to build his own team and must stop walking in Sir Alex’s shadow. It will be inane for the club management to expect their new manager to take over from where Ferguson left off and immediately win all the titles in club football.
Therefore, rather than try to be like his predecessor, he should make Man United his new Everton. He should set up his own structure, playing pattern and buy players that will implement this own style of football. Getting rid of fringe players and bringing in better ones is another important step to take in his quest for glory this season and beyond.
As much as I believe David Moyes is a talented manager and the right successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, I strongly doubt their ability to win the league this season
The club has just witnessed the end of an era and the beginning of a new one so the change is what they are yet to adapt to. Nevertheless, they can’t afford not to mount a challenge and a swift return to top form must be the target or else the club might have to settle for a top four challenge rather the title itself.
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