Sir Alex Ferguson has got the majority of things right during the most remarkable managerial reigns in British football history and, when it came to arguably the biggest decision he’s had to make, the great man was spot on once again.
Making the call to stand down (and believe me it would have been his call, not that of others as has been suggested in certain quarters) was big enough in itself. Huge, in fact. But deciding on who was to follow in his illustrious footsteps was massive.
Fergie’s roll in the appointment of David Moyes is undeniable, although he does concede the men in the boardroom he is about to join were allowed a say in the matter; albeit small, I’m sure. If Fergie didn’t want Moyes; United would not have appointed Moyes. That’s the bottom line.
The departing Everton boss was always top of Fergie’s list – forget about Jose – and who were the men in suits to suggest otherwise? How could they ever question the judgement and integrity of the man who made United the biggest club on the planet?
In accepting what many perceive to be the ‘impossible task’ of following in the footsteps of a living legend, fellow Scot Moyes was suitably humble and his first comment was a telling one – ‘It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United, and I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job’.
Whether Fergie RECOMMENDED Moyes for the job or INSISTED he was given the job may remain open to debate or conjecture, but Fergie has been saying for some time that when he calls it a day, he will have a say in who carries on the most magnificent mantles.
"When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes,” said a diplomatic Ferguson. Note the double use of the word ‘we’.
"David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I've admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here.
"He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club." And, in the short term at least. Moyes will always have the man regarded as the best in the business to turn to if needed.