In the last 24 hours, the upheaval at Old Trafford has captured the attention of mass media around the world. From the rumours of an impending, but long awaited retirement of the most successful coach in the whole of Britain, to the appointment of a new coach for the past 26 years; suffix to say Manchester United, come July 1 will be starting a new lease of life under David Moyes.
Like the outgoing Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes hails from the blue- colour Glassgow. Both men also were at Dunfermline Athletic in their playing days (albeit 23 years apart). And while Sir Alex represented Rangers, Moyes played for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
David Moyes played for seven clubs in his 19- year playing career as a center- back. Having never played for his nation Scotland and also not recognised internationally during his playing career, he made over 550 appearances both north and south of the border.
Moyes’ mark as a coach involves his penchant for meticulousness, a practice he adopted when he began taking his coaching badges at just the age of 22. As a result, Moyes moved into coaching at the age of 35 as a player- manager at Preston North End (then Division Two).
When he first took over at Preston North End (PNE), in January 1998, the Lancashire club were on the verge of relegation to the fourth tier of English football. Barely two years later, Moyes guided PNE to the 1999/00 Division Two title, clear of regional rivals Burnley by seven points. The following season, Moyes’ Preston came within a whisker of promotion to the Premier League, with almost the same squad.
After Sir Alex, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes is the third- longest serving manager in the Premier League at Everton; a period of time when, though, not with the strongest financial backup, he had managed to stabilise the blue half of Merseyside. As Sir Alex once said admiringly, “David has had to contend with not having a strong financial structure. He has had to get the best out of the players he has had available and he has done an amazing job.” Throughout his over- a- decade long reign at Everton; the club had only managed to finish outside the top ten team- rankings on two occasions.
David has been a long time admirer of African footballers, notably, Joseph Yobo, Steven Pienner, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Anichebe; he brought out the best in these players.
It’s a rather known fact that the Scot has never won a trophy at Everton, meanwhile, has won individual honours on numerous occasions. He has won the League Managers’ Association’s Manager of the Year Award- voted for by his fellow football bosses- on three occasions, in 2003, 2005 and 2009. He has been named Premier League Manager of the Month on ten occasions, an accolade awarded based on team’s result.
Before his appointment as Manchester United manager, Moyes have been a torn on United’s flesh on two memorable occasions. He did mastermind one of the greatest comebacks achieved by an away team at Old Trafford in recent times when Everton rallied from 4-2 down with seven minutes remaining to draw 4-4 in April 2012. And another similar outcome at Goodison Park in September 2010 when Moyes’ men, almost beaten by United with the score at 3-1 going into injury time, grabbed two last- gasp goals to draw 3-3. It’s Moyes’ trademark always to eke out every last drop of efforts from his players, until well beyond 90 minutes.
Last year’s 4-4 draw at Old Trafford cost United the Premier League title and the same scenario was replicated on March 16th 2013, when Moyes’ Everton’s 2-0 win over Manchester City at Goodison Park, helped United extend their lead on the top of the table to 15 points as the Reds defeated Reading 1-0 later that day. That goes a long way to indicate his contribution in title- deciding matches for the past two seasons.
David Moyes is ‘tailor suited’ for the Old Trafford job, looking at his record over United’s city rivals in contemporary times. He has won seven and drawn one of his last ten meetings with them since Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008/09. Only three Premier League teams have beaten City at the Etihad Stadium in the last three seasons- United last December, Arsenal (October 2010) and Moyes’ Everton (December 2010).
Of course, the best man got the job if Moyes could have been this productive over little, why not entrust him with more? And more means guiding United to Champions League glory for the fourth time in the club’s history.
However, Moyes’ experience on the European stage has been limited to the play- offs level, but with world class players like Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic, he may have to start making the necessary changes for the task ahead as soon as he take over the rein on July 1st. Before then, the Scot should ponder on getting Manchester United up to shape and try quelling the Wayne Rooney’s displeasure and his intention to move away from Old Trafford.
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