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Friday, 10 May 2013

Manchester United: Moyes Prepares For Job Of A Lifetime

The last time Manchester United had to announce the appointment of a new manager the idea of ‘social media’ didn’t exist, let alone websites like Twitter and Facebook. But yesterday afternoon United put up a message welcoming their new manager David Moyes on Facebook only to take it down, when they realised they had jumped the gun. It was swiftly taken down, but the cat was out of the bag. And then came confirmation from Everton that David Moyes was to leave the club at the end of a season. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work this one out. David Moyes was to be the next manager of Manchester United.

Born in Glasgow in 1963 David Moyes like many around him he was consumed by football. His playing career took in Celtic, Bristol Rovers, and Preston North End, with a few other clubs thrown in along the way for good measure. He would be categorised as your stereotypical ‘good pro.’ But he seemed to know early on that teaching and coaching others would be his calling rather than playing the game; he started planning for a coaching career while still in his 20’s. There are numerous stories of while at Preston as a player when all the other members of the 1st team squad went off on their summer holidays to lounge on a beach, Moyes would pack his bags and head to coaching courses or conferences dotted around the U.K. It is this dedication which has led to his rise up the managerial ranks.
He took charge of Preston in 1998 saving the club from relegation to the 4th tier, the following season he got the team into the playoffs, (they lost) the season after he got them promoted as champions. In their 1st season in Division 1 he took nearly the same team who had got promoted into the playoffs. These achievements did not go unnoticed and in 2002 he was appointed manager of Everton replacing Walter Smith, the team was heading towards relegation but the determined Moyes kept them up. And apart from a blip in 2003-2004 when the team had a fight to stay in the top division, Moyes and Everton have been on a steady upward curve ever since.

And that brings up to today. Moyes has signed a 6 year contract starting on July 1st to replace arguably the greatest manager in the history of the game.  People have pointed to the fact that he has little European experience, but we are all inexperienced in our job at some point. Others have said that he hasn’t won anything in the game. And this is true he hasn’t but apart from cup competitions he hasn’t had a chance to. And let’s be honest cup competitions are a bit of a lottery, the best teams rarely win cup competitions. He is now taking over a club with the potential to win things so let’s judge his trophy haul from here on in.
But the key thing isn’t so much Moyes but the fans. He needs to be given time, and impatience from fans will not help him bed in or provide an atmosphere where he or the team will be successful. Many United fans will never have seen anyone other than Sir Alex in the dugout so they will need to adjust their expectations of their manager. If when given time he fails then fair enough, but he needs to be given the opportunity to succeed as well as fall.

It will be interesting to see who leaves and who comes in over the summer as this could well set the tone for what is to follow. Personally I don’t see that despite media hysteria over how bad this United team is, that there is a great deal wrong with the champions. Yes, the midfield needs work but the defence is solid, they have a quality goalkeeper, and the attack is full of options. And even if Wayne Rooney leaves I don’t think it will affect the team as much as he or the media thinks. After all they have a ready-made replacement in Kagowa.
What he needs in patience, and support. Will he be a success? Who knows. The club have already made one brilliant decision in not appointing Mourinho, but only time will tell whether they have the right man, and for the record I don’t see why they haven’t. All we can do is wait and see and wish him luck. He’s going to need it.

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