"From the moment I got to Manchester United, I thought of only one thing: building a football club. I wanted to build right from the bottom. The first thought of 99 per cent of newly appointed managers is to make sure they win – to survive."
Sound familiar? It should. These are the words of one of the most successful managers in the history of British football: Sir Alex Ferguson.
Given United’s 4-1 loss to local rivals Manchester City, and their 2-1 loss against West Bromwich Albion earlier on in the season, many supporters were beginning to doubt the appointment of Ferguson’s current successor, David Moyes.
What many may not know is that Ferguson, like Moyes, also had a few tough years after taking the reins at United in 1986. During the 1989/1990 season, the side was performing poorly in all competitions. Matters began heating up after a run of six defeats and two draws in eight games. Sounding awfully familiar to United’s earlier misfortunes, one of these came in the form of a 5-1 thrashing by Manchester City in September 1989.
It wasn't too long after this that United supporters were calling for his head on a silver platter, with a particularly memorable banner declaring: “Three years of excuses and it's still crap...ta-ra Fergie." Unsurprisingly, many journalists and fans alike were expecting his “voluntary” resignation; preparing themselves for yet another managerial casualty.
However, unlike today's often fickle football hierarchy, the United board made the decision to stick by their man, believing that he was the one to lead the club. In that same season, Sir Alex Ferguson picked up his first piece of silverware for the club in the form of the FA Cup, followed by a league title the following year.
Building the foundation of any football club is no easy feat. It requires patience, understanding and faith in the individual entrusted with the position. Moyes himself received a sterling recommendation from Ferguson for the position, on a long term contract no less.
Manchester United may not be playing at the standard expected of them; but they have somewhat improved in their latest outings. The most important one to date is their recent one-nil victory over Arsenal in the league. That result undoubtedly proves they're still able to compete for major honours and retain their Premier League title.
Following one of United's losses, an interview was given by Ferguson where he once again expressed his confidence in backing David Moyes. He reiterated his belief that Moyes was the right choice; the right man to lead to club forward.
United may be sitting in an unattractive position in the Premier League table but, as is usual with silver linings, Moyes, with time and patience, may still be the man to continue Sir Alex Ferguson's impressive legacy at the club.
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