While there is so much to discuss and reflect upon in the aftermath of Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire at the end of this season, the most intriguing talking point is which manager will be deemed the most talented and suitable replacement to sit in the “Iron Throne” at Old Trafford.
The #FergiesReplacement feed on Twitter is currently throwing up names such as Gandalf the White, Barack Obama and left-field options like David Beckham and Howard Webb, but the two names on the serious, albeit speculative, list of contenders have been those of Jose Mourinho and David Moyes.
Jose Mourinho would no doubt desire to take the helm at a club where he can more easily add to his growing collection of titles, but does he fit the bill? Mourinho has often displayed a talent for short-termism. Analysis of his signings and team selection shows that his sides are geared to winning games in the current or upcoming season, the next objective always being the next Champions League or League title. Mourinho’s appointment could potentially defer the blossoming careers of younger team members, at the behest of his hunger to win more titles than any other manager in history.
A much bigger consideration is the maintenance of Manchester United’s undying ethos of attractive football that the Red Devils have contained within their DNA. Mourinho is a manager who is known to prefer winning games 1-0 rather than 4-0. Would Manchester United fans prefer to win trophies in Mourinho’s grinding, machine like fashion, after witnessing years of thrilling end to end football played in the Busby spirit?
A more likely choice is David Moyes, and not just because the United team are used to listening to a Scottish accent in the dressing room!
Moyes is a manager who is a master of the game’s tactical side and has strong motivational skills. He is also a man who is configured to looking at the more committed and long term path to ongoing success. His time at Everton has served as a fitting apprenticeship and one gets the feeling that, with Ferguson playing a part in the decision making, that Moyes will get the nod due to the similarities in character the two men share.
With Moyes’s contract up at the end of the season, is there even a pre-arranged agreement that he would be given the chance to take the Old Trafford hotseat? The rumour mill will turn and spin until an announcement is made in the coming days, but don’t expect the Old Trafford decision makers to ignore the incredible feats of management that have been displayed by Moyes just down the road from Manchester.