Why the Chosen One was never the right man to fill the boots of SAF
Since the sacking of David Moyes there has been a lot of talk about whether the decision was justified or not. I’m a firm believer of giving coaches time to impose themselves, their methods and their philosophy on a team and from that standpoint it is disappointing that he wasn’t given more time to fill the huge void left by his predecessor.
However, there is another side to this argument, aside from all the poor results. That is, that Moyes was never cut out for the top job. He was never able to impose himself on a club with a tradition of greatness.
Everyone knew it would be a difficult, if near impossible task to follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex. The fans were aware that there would be a transition period and a need for patience through some rough patches and I think, for the most part they stuck by Moyes well this season.
The problem was that Moyes never seemed comfortable in his position. Even if he didn’t feel completely up to the task he needed to fake it, to come in with the arrogance and confidence of the Special One and make it clear to everyone that he was going to succeed. Instead he was too honest. When he stated that Liverpool were favourites before they brushed the title-holders away 3-0 at Old Trafford, he was only confirming what everyone knew, but still, can you imagine Sir Alex even thinking about uttering those words anywhere except in his worst nightmare?
If Ferguson’s United had been beaten 2-0 in the manner they were against Everton it seems inconceivable that he would even be in a press conference afterwards. Mike Phelan would have taken over duties while the team was getting the hair dryer treatment. Moyes on the other hand, was content to say that the team “played very well in the first half”. While he is a well respected manager he needed to command the respect of the Old Trafford dressing room and demand winning performances.
Perhaps that is why there were widespread rumours of the older players losing faith in him. Perhaps keeping Rene Meulensteen and Mike Phelan on for a season would have taught him how to manage such a big club.
Perhaps United would be on route to another title now if they had picked Mourinho, a man averse to failure and guided by a supreme confidence in his abilities.
But that didn’t happen and the rest, as they say, is history.