Can Moyes walk in Fergieís shoes?
Published: 03.06.13 / Written by: David Gold
Itís a good start for David Moyes if the reports that Manchester Unitedís players were relieved that he was appointed their new manager are true.
According to the papers, Unitedís players were worried about the abrasive style of Jose Mourinho, and were said to be particularly pleased that instead they have the more sensible, and certainly less divisive Moyes.
Itís something Chelsea should bear in mind when they come to try and appoint Mourinho in the weeks ahead, but nonetheless Manchester United now find themselves with a new Scottish manager. Can Moyes follow in Fergusonís footsteps? That is the question many are unsure of.
It is difficult to judge from their careers pre-Manchester United. Ferguson managed Aberdeen to European success and broke up the Celtic-Rangers duopoly. But even so, Moyes has nothing of the sort to his name, having managed Preston to a play off final and Everton to upper table respectability year on year. But there are no trophies in the cabinet for him to show off yet. But then again, was Moyesí achievement in fighting with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham each year comparable with Fergusonís of breaking up the Old Firm monopoly in Scotland? After all, Evertonís finances are far smaller than their peers.
And that is the other thing. In terms of value for money, Moyes surely is a fantastic appointment. Who else gets quite as much from so little investment as Moyes? Interesting too will be his relationship with the media. Moyes has been one of the most media friendly managers in the Premier League, and usually hates to complain about officials. He is one of the most respectable and respected coaches in the game. Ferguson, great as he is, loved to complain about a referee or throw a reporter out of a press conference. That will change.
On the pitch, Moyes will continue in Fergusonís footsteps in terms of the style. Moyes has been called cautious in the past, and he certainly is to some extent, but then again the Everton coach also likes his teams to attack with considered style. His teams are ones built on a solid foundation at the back, and who build intelligently, with a great combination of strength and intelligent passing. His is an interesting blend of British and foreign styles, and in that sense he is most like Ferguson. Ferguson too was an old school manager who adapted as times did, making his team play with more control and more technique as times demanded.
But does Moyes have that winning mentality? The press can point to his record with Everton, when he failed to win away to Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea. Those failures raise into question whether he has the ambition or will to win at the very highest level. Does he have what it really takes to get right to the top? Ferguson would stop at nothing to be successful, and was a terrible loser. But it was because Ferguson was a terrible loser that he won so often Ė he made sure they had to win. You wonder whether Moyes is a bit too measured and calm to be as successful as Ferguson. Youíd hope he is, as he is eminently likeable and remarkably impressive for what he has done so far, but the big questions will follow him around now until he finds a convincing answer.