David Moyes - The Next Managerial Legend?

Wednesday the 8th of May marked the end of an era within football as confirmation of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement came. Labelled the "man who will never retire" he removed his cape of invincibility and took the decision to step down.

Despite being a man of 71 years, with a pacemaker and on course for a hip replacement, his retirement came as a shock to the footballing nation. It was only in March that he retorted "there is no getting rid of me" and although the inconceivable thought of Sir Alex's retirement had embedded itself into the minds of the masses, few thought it would be announced so soon.

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The news was left to sink in before a unanimous emotional transition from shock to a feeling of deep sadness, and almost nostalgia occurred in the hearts of not only Manchester United supporters, but the hearts of almost all football fans. The realisation that in 27 years one man alone had done so much. A life of devotion to the game, achievements at one club once deemed impossible, a man capable of bringing euphoria to fans time and time again or inciting frustration in those working in the media or the unfortunates on the receiving end of his "hair-dryer treatment". A man who occasionally bent the rules, but lest it be forgotten that Sir Alex Ferguson is a kind hearted man, someone who has always gone out of his way to get to know his staff and colleagues like the back of his hand.

For Manchester United, the agenda was as follows: find a man suitable of fulfilling the role of Sir Alex Ferguson's successor. Names were thrown about but only two were illuminated by the spotlight - Jose Mourinho and David Moyes. Mourinho, "The Special One" was a clear contender for the job but it was David Moyes who was selected. Although Moyes lacks experience in both title winning and the Champions League, his efforts at Everton have been deservedly recognised.

Out of the two contenders, David Moyes seems the sensible option as opposed to the risk. Fans will be assured that their club is in safe hands and stability will continue. However, United have appeared weak in the Champions League in recent years and Mourinho could have been the perfect candidate to correct that. But perhaps higher on the board's priority list is the stability whichever manager they appointed would bring - The Special One gets a cross in that box.

It is unsurprising that Moyes secured the position of successor as in 1998 he was offered the job of assistant manager by Sir Alex, but favoured a move to Goodison Park instead. It was revealed that Ferguson was heavily involved in the discussions, and it seems that the candidate he preferred so many years ago, has remained a prominent candidate in his mind. Moyes has proven himself at Everton to be a manager who can produce good quality football under a tight budget. Under Moyes, Everton have succeeded in stabilising themselves as a powerful club, fighting harder each year to finish higher in the table.

Stepping into the greatest manager in English football's shoes will prove an extraordinarily difficult task to Moyes, but assured it is a challenge he will cherish. Expectations will undoubtedly be high, but it must be remembered that Fergie is a cut above the rest, in an altogether different class to other managers. Therefore if Moyes does end up making mistakes which Sir Alex would never have made, it is hoped that fans will understand and not only continue to support Moyes, but encourage him to progress and develop into the next United legend.

The pressure is on for David Moyes, but as Sir Alex will remain heavily involved in the club in his new roles of director and ambassador it is likely that Moyes will be mentored throughout his time at the club, ensuring (hopefully) a continuation of the outstanding successes Manchester United consistently achieve.

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