TYPICAL of the man, Sir Alex Ferguson surprised us all with the timing of his announcement and I’m sure he has approved the identity of his replacement. There is a huge team off the field at Old Trafford, but nothing of great significance is ever agreed without Ferguson’s say-so.
If the next manager is to be David Moyes the challenge is to make sure United do no worse than they have done this season, so that means winning the league.
Moyes has huge experience in the Premier League, less in Europe than you may want as a United director though. He’s a canny Scot, like Sir Alex. He has an eye for a player, he knows how to build a competitive team and he can do the job knowing Ferguson is there for guidance and that will be of massive importance.
He has that same authoritative streak about him that Ferguson does, making him perfect at dealing with the modern day player.
Ferguson tried to buy me when I left Everton in 1989. I met him at Old Trafford, but this was prior to Ferguson turning things around there – they had not won anything since he took over in 1986.
I rejected the chance to join him and United and met with Graeme Souness at Glasgow Rangers the next day and signed for them.
It took Ferguson a few years to get the Cup Winners’ Cup and then win the Premier League.
Moyes will also be allowed a period of transition by the board, but they will probably buy only one or two other players to go with Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, who they have already agreed a deal with.
United would love to have Moyes for the next 10 years, but only if he’s successful. It will be impossible to match Sir Alex’s longevity though; 27 years at the helm is crazy.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played in two World Cups and two European Championships. He now works as a media commentator.