When David Moyes was appointed manager of Manchester United, he made sweeping reforms to the coaching staff.
Moyes got rid of assistant manager Mike Pheelan, first team coach Rene Meulensteen as well as the man lauded with David De Gea’s vastly improved performances in goal, goalkeeping coach Eric Steele. Moyes bought in Chris Woods, Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden, all from Everton, to replace those who Moyes had sacked.
Many people at the time saw this as Moyes’ intention of running United as his own club; stamping his authority on the team immediately.
Fast-forward a few months, and after United’s worst start to a Premier League season in 24 years, the decision may not look so wise as the club looks to be losing the stability and longevity that Sir Alex Ferguson, and of course, his backroom staff instilled at the club over the years.
Eric Steele has spoken to Manchester United fanzine United We Stand about Moyes’ decisions, saying: “He spoke to me, Mick and Rene, "I told him I thought it was a brave decision.”
Although Steele respects Moyes’ decision, it is clear he did not think Moyes took these decisions with United’s best interests at heart: "He listened to the manager's advice, but he wanted to be his own man. I didn't want to leave. Why would I? I knew that David was coming in and wondered who he'd bring.
"You had the United perspective - the manager saying, 'Keep what we've got, keep the continuity, work with them and they'll guide you through. You're taking on a massive machine here. You've gone from Marks and Spencer's to Harrods.'
"Then there's David's viewpoint, which I understand. I know him professionally. I know his work ethic, his hands-on approach.
"I don't blame him for doing what he did. I've been in the game long enough to know how it is.
"But it's ironic, isn't it? You've just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David De Gea's had his best season. Does it make sense that you're not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that's out of my hands."
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