Manchester United

David Moyes discusses pressure of following Sir Alex Ferguson & sends warning to next Man Utd manager

Tom Gott
Moyes is now thriving at West Ham
Moyes is now thriving at West Ham / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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West Ham manager David Moyes has warned whoever takes over at Manchester United in the summer that they still face an uphill battle trying to follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson - nine years after the legendary boss decided to retire.

Moyes was the first man to try and replace Ferguson at Old Trafford back in 2013, but the consistent success he enjoyed for more than a decade at former club Everton did not continue in Manchester and he was sacked just ten months into a six-year contract.

Speaking to The Athletic, Moyes dismissed suggestions that he wasn't ready for the job but admitted that taking charge of United is different to any other club in the world.

“I was experienced at the time; I’d spent 11 years in the Premier League at a good level and built the club (Everton) up,” he said. “But at Manchester United, I think maybe I needed a chance to grow into it.

"You talk about players coming into the Premier League and needing a bit of time. It wasn’t that I needed time in the Premier League, but I needed time at the club to find myself and to find how I was going. And the truth is, I wanted just to carry on what Sir Alex had done.

"I couldn’t be Sir Alex, but I wanted to continue the model they had, developing young players, putting young players in the team, trying to play in a fashion that suited them. That was the idea.

“I only look back at it with great fondness, honoured that I was offered a job of that magnitude. Unfortunately, I only got ten months. I think if I’d been given a bit longer, I could have done better, but ultimately I can only blame myself because I needed to win more games.”

Moyes went on to suggest that United's lack of title success over the last decade is not down to the managers, but perhaps those behind the scenes who aren't willing to give out more time.

“I keep hearing about Man Utd needing a top coach to make the difference,” he continued. “Man Utd have had Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal, who are two of the best coaches in the world — both excellent, both winners. One is an unbelievable coach, one a great winner.

"Man Utd have had a lot of top managers. Not putting myself in that category at all, but they’ve had some great managers. The difficulty for them now is to really find the same rhythm they found under Sir Alex, which when you look back now was incredible for their football club, it really was.

“You look back at a lot of the dynasties at football clubs — Brian Clough (at Nottingham Forest), Sir Bobby Robson at Ipswich, even Don Revie (at Leeds United). Howard Wilkinson told me, ‘If you’d spoken to me earlier, David, I would have told you anyone who goes to take these jobs tends to find it’s really difficult to make it work’.

"It wasn’t that I didn’t know that, but (…) because of the way Sir Alex approached me to take the job (…), it made it more personal, it made me feel like, well, yes, there’s a model here that they felt I could continue, that I would be the right person. And it wasn’t to be.”

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