'The Moyes challenge' - can he deliver in time at Manchester United?
When David Moyes took on the challenge of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) at Manchester United he must have known that he had probably taken on the biggest challenge in European Football. Even Ancelotti and Pelligrini at Real Madrid and Manchester City respectively have easier jobs. The priorities for Moyes are to defend their Premier league title, challenge for the Champions league, qualify for the Champions league next season and win a domestic cup trophy. In theory the team that has just won the EPL title could perform this entire task list but in reality they will be fortunate to achieve even one of these tasks. This is of course due to the fact that Moyes will be finding his feet at the institution that is Manchester United Football Club. Love it or loathe it, Manchester United is a club like no other; it is a massive icon in world football with a history, tradition and global fan-base that would initially overwhelm even a Mourinho or Guardiola.
David Moyes has the makings of a SAF and that is why SAF himself selected Moyes, but it will take time, possibly two seasons of under-achievement. The big question is “can Moyes survive the onslaught of criticism” that will likely come his way from the media and global MUFC fans alike, if he fails to achieve anything this season? SAF only survived by the skin of his teeth, during the early barren years of his tenure. That was in an age of less savage media scrutiny and fan base criticism so the period of forgiveness in both cases is likely to be even shorter for Moyes. To add to this difficulty, Moyes’ teams are notoriously slow starters, which is OK if you are expected to finish between 5th and 10th position but for MUFC a slow start is going to leave them too far off the pace this season to mount a realistic challenge. The likely scenario is that with SAF in the background, still highly influential regarding future on field decisions, he will ensure the board is patient with Moyes even in a media and fan frenzy. SAF will probably make it his personal mission for Moyes to become a success and this will then make the EPL a very interesting spectacle indeed.
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