As soon as possible, David Moyes needs to get out of the shadow of his great predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes was a benevolent director at Everton and was loved and feared in equal measure. In his 11 years at Goodison Park, very few dared to take him on. And those who did it saw dismissal in his eyes. Not that Moyes didn’t manage big players at Everton. He dealt with them differently, but successfully.
He lent a comforting hand to Paul Gascoigne when the player was on the verge of breaking down, dismissed David Ginola when he became a little too hot to handle and even dared to challenge Duncan Ferguson. He got his team out of the woods many a times and made Everton a force to reckon with. Not for nothing, he became the Premier League’s manager of the year three times (2003, 2005 and 2009) in the last 11 years.
So why is he looking so out of his depth at United? Is it because he’s overawed by the magnitude of his new job? Whatever the reason, he seems to have lost his ruthless streak.
It’s completely a different ball game, managing the world’s most popular football club, but Moyes was handpicked by Ferguson because he was good enough. He needs to justify that faith and he can’t do that by being inert.
Ferguson’s continuous presence upstairs is definitely a hindrance. With the Great Scot’s shadow still looming over Old Trafford, Moyes is hesitating to assert his authority. But he has to do that. Otherwise, he will lose his job.
Alan Hansen has rightly said this ageing United team needs an overhaul. This is notwithstanding the fact that they won the League last season by an 11-point margin over their “noisy neighbours”. But Moyes appears to be a little afraid to wield the axe. He’s sticking to Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick after doing poorly in the transfer market. All those fading stars need to be phased out from the first team. His predecessor always gave youth a chance. Time for Moyes to rely more heavily on the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha.
He started off well by being very assertive on the Wayne Rooney issue. He stood firm against Chelsea’s adventurism and ensured that Rooney stayed with the Reds. But inexplicably, he became submissive in the dressing room.
Lack of European experience/success is a