David Moyes: What qualities will Man United’s new manager bring?
Manchester United named David Moyes as their new manager. Kieran Beckles looks at four qualities the Scot will bring to the role
Jose Mourinho was the glamorous candidate to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager but the Premier League champions have made the wise decision to opt for a reliable pair of hands in David Moyes. The Real Madrid coach appeared to be angling for the role of Ferguson’s successor when he masterminded their Champions League second-round triumph at Old Trafford in February but the Red Devils ignored his overtures to make a shrewd appointment. The 50-year-old Moyes is the third-longest serving manager in the Premier League and has turned the Toffees from perennial strugglers into European hopefuls. While Moyes has spent 11 steady years at Goodison Park, Mourinho has failed to stay at one club for more than three seasons in his decorated but hectic managerial career. With his Madrid reign littered with high-profile fall-outs with both the Madrid hierarchy and players, it’s no surprise United had reservations about appointing the Special One as the man to succeed Ferguson. Sir Bobby Charlton delivered a subtle hint to why United opted for Moyes over Mourinho in a statement on the club’s website. He said: “We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success”. So it’s very much a case of more of the same please, David.
Continuing the club’s youth policy
Moyes has received plenty of acclaim for the conveyor belt of youngsters who have come through the Everton youth system during the Scot’s 11-year spell at Goodison Park. Perhaps the best-known of these youth graduates is Wayne Rooney. The 27-year-old continues to play an important part in United’s unrelenting success after a £25.6m move in 2004, although Moyes’ first big challenge could be keeping the forward at United. The new Red Devils boss has also nurtured other prodigious talents through the ranks such as Seamus Coleman, Dan Gosling, Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell. There’s no doubting Moyes’ willingness to give youth a chance which is a philosophy the former Preston North End boss shares with Ferguson. The 71-year-old has blooded Tom Cleverley, Rafael da Silva and Danny Welbeck in recent seasons – not to mention his infamous Class of 1993 – and Moyes will have the responsibility of overseeing the development of the next batch of Fergie Fledglings, including Nick Powell and Wilfried Zaha.
Impressive transfer record
Moyes’ record in the transfer market is one of the best in the Premier League. It is probably the aspect of his management which receives the most praise following a series of shrewd acquisitions over the past 11 years. He has never been afraid to dip into the Championship, as highlighted by one of his most famous signings Tim Cahill, who joined in a £1.5m deal from Millwall in 2004. The Australian went on to become one of the club’s most popular players – and captain – with a return of 68 goals, largely from midfield. The Bearsden-born coach snapped up Tim Howard from under United’s noses and the American has been one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the English top-fight since swapping Old Trafford for Goodison Park. Other top signings include Steven Pienaar (£2m), Leighton Baines (£5m), Sylvain Distin (£5m), Phil Jagielka (£4m) and Joleon Lescott (£4m). It’s not just bargains which Moyes has a knack for either. On the rare occasions Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has dug deep into his coffers, Moyes has bought well. Marouane Fellaini has blossomed into one of England’s top midfielders this season following a £16m move in 2008. For many, it will be fascinating to see what Moyes is capable of in the transfer market when handsomely backed. One point of contention is his failure to recruit a prolific goal-scorer, but for now, Robin van Persie will extinguish any concerns of United supporters.
Whilst the Red Devils may have won the Premier League at a canter this season, there is still room for improvement over the summer. In particular, United could do with sharpening up at the back, with their rivals Manchester City conceding six goals fewer than Ferguson’s side this term. Moyes polished Jagielka and Lescott into one of the best centre-half pairings in the Premier League, with both earning England call-ups as a result of their stellar form. When Lescott completed a £22m move to City in 2009, it ended his double act with Jagielka but the former Sheffield United defender has formed an even better partnership with Distin. The pair have helped Everton secure the best defensive record in the top flight outside of the current top four this term. United have Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all emerging as potential centre-half stalwarts and Moyes will relish the chance to use his organisational skills to prepare United for life without Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.