In Moyes, we trust

David Moyes

The Premier League fixtures are out and what have we seen from David Moyes, the new Manchester United manager-successor to Sir Alex Ferguson – yet? That happens only after July 1st, when he officially takes up the reigns but he must be well aware the colossal demands he’s going to face at the beginning of the next season. Starting with away to Swansea and the least wanted first home game against returning Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea followed by a trip to Anfield and an away derby against Manchester City, this isn’t exactly the start David Moyes could have imagined for ‘slow starters’ like Manchester United. Manchester United will be facing a tricky away fixture as their first game for the third consecutive season. So what trick has Moyes got up his sleeve to gain the confidence of United faithful?

There is undoubtedly no question about his managerial skills, loyalty and dedication which have been exhibited in his 11 years at the blue part of Merseyside, but sadly, he may be judged by many on the way he handles his first five demanding fixtures:  Swansea (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H), Manchester City (A).  United’s 1999 Treble winner, Dwight Yorke says it is vital Moyes gets off to a flier to keep the pressure off being Alex Ferguson’s successor. The former striker said,

“It’s imperative he gets off to a good start so the pressure he already has with being the new United boss doesn’t build. If he can win those three big ones he’s going to be a hero straight away. But it could also go against him. The one thing about being new to a club like United is people will compare you to what has gone before. So the last thing you want to be doing is playing catch up early on.”

How tough will it be for Moyes to come out of being labeled as ‘Ferguson’s successor’ to stamp his identity as the new boss who would now be calling the shots? Let’s rewind back to the era with a similar situation when Sir Matt Busby retired, ending his 24-year reign with similar emotional speeches and a huge sending off. He too wished that ‘it’s time for to make way for a younger man- a track-suited manager’ to take his place, but in actual context Sir Matt never quite left the helm of Manchester United. As general manager, he appointed Wilf McGuinness as his successor, but Sir Matt’s act proved too hard to follow and he himself sacked McGuiness after just 18 months. Frank O’Farrell followed who fared little better, and then in 1972 Tom “the Doc” Docherty took control and gradually lifted the team’s flagging performance as ageing players like Sir Bobby Charlton retired to let in new blood. In reality, there was no managerial stability for almost 15 years until a young Alex Ferguson showed up.



One thing is for sure, it is imperative to avoid the circumstances that have occurred in the past. This is where the continued presence of Ferguson at the club as director and ambassador may prove critical. The expectations from Moyes are too high – solving Wayne Rooney’s transfer saga, while some expect him to do what Sir Alex Ferguson never did- bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. The English crown is always expected to be defended and is the first priority, but in reality David Moyes would be going head to head with some high profile managers – Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini to name a few. Not only do these managers have the experience of managing top clubs, but also have more than what it takes to be a competing for a winner’s medal till the end of the season. The European football experience is also a problem, but what is life without challenges?

So the odds are highly stacked against him, it’s baptism by fire for Moyes. But as we recollect Sir Alex Ferguson’s glorious words –

“All my staff stood by me, the players stood by me, you stood by me, and your job now is to stand by our new manager.”

With all due respect to beloved Fergie’s words and the faith he has instilled, there would be undoubtedly a lot of belief and trust in David Moyes, albeit with a tinge of nervousness. He may be of the same Glaswegian origin, with the same difficult-to-understand-English Scottish accent, but more importantly, as Manchester United fans would like to believe, also the same flair and urge to carry on the club’s dominance and culture that Sir Alex Ferguson proudly left. Settling into such a huge demanding environment may take time, but the United supporters would be better off realizing that ‘patience’ and not ‘agitation’ against your own manager is going to yield results. So, we shall stand by David Moyes, no matter what!

PS: The title of this article is commonly used by Arsenal supporters to show their trust in Arsene Wenger even after 8 (and counting) trophy-less seasons. Let’s make sure that the United supporters never have to witness such a banner under David Moyes! No offense!

Suraj Bhatia

Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering student. A supporter of the Red half of Manchester. Idolizes Michael Carrick. Loves to pull the strings from midfield. Doesn't plead for glory but for the positive spirit of the game.