Replacing a legend is always an impossible task, but someone has to do it. The problem with Manchester United picking David Moyes? They probably made the right choice, although it’s obviously too early to safely make that assumption.
Managing Everton, a club that’s only wish is to finish in the top half of the Premier League while maintaining a balanced checkbook is nowhere close than handling the expectations thrust on his shoulders as the manager of arguably the most popular club in the world.
The media coverage is different, the expectations are different, and the dissecting of each result and especially losses, even when its a meaningless friendly, have already shown signs of early frustrations from Moyes.
One of the problems he’s facing is understanding the difference between the legend of Manchester United, and how big Alex Ferguson was a part of creating that myth. Unfortunately for Moyes, he might realize that the strength and size of this club was mostly due to one man, who now that he’s gone, might shrink in size, aura and prestige by more than just a fraction.
Moyes has never had to deal with someone like Rooney, although a younger, humbler and less annoying version of the player did play under Moyes a decade ago, as he rocketed onto the scene with his famous goal against Arsenal when he was only 16. Other than that? Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill might have been the biggest stars he has gotten to have under his tutelage, which is nowhere near the situation he finds himself in at United.
Bringing in players as he moved from a club with limited resources to a club with very vast ones seemed a lot easier on paper. But Moyes might have forgotten a couple of things – United have never been major players when it comes to big-named players from overseas, almost always preferring other options, sometimes due to financial reasons, and that Alex Ferguson might have been a bigger draw than the name of the club.
Would have Robin van Persie left Arsenal last season if it wasn’t for Ferguson? Highly doubtful. Ferguson has seen squads change, stars leave, and still the ship keeps going in the same direction. Some seasons end in disappointment, but that’s still a second place finish, usually coming very close to winning the title. Moyes has finished in the top 4 once, and still failed with his club in Champions League qualifiers.
Moyes might succeed, but no one is really willing to bet his life on it. Something seems to be wrong in the air around the Old Trafford. Something’s off, and it’s not just because Sir Alex isn’t calling the shots anymore. It’s because they chose the wrong man to replace him, believing that another Scottish manager who doesn’t like spending money on new players will bring the same kind of success.
It cost £364 million to build the squad Ferguson built for the team last season, obviously dragged over quite a few seasons. The perception of being humble and bringing up players from within is simply wrong. They’re just not in competition with the biggest clubs in Europe. As David Moyes is finding out, even the less than starry players are proving are hard to sign, probably because he’s the one as the face of the club right now.