‘Keep what we’ve got, keep the continuity, work with them and they’ll guide you through. You’re taking on a massive machine here. You’ve gone from Marks and Spencer’s to Harrods.’ Supposedly these were the last words spoken to David Moyes before Sir Alex called an end to his managerial career at Manchester United.
Love him or hate him Sir Alex Ferguson has been unbelievably successful as Manchester United manager:
Quite the expert on managing Manchester United, so you would think his sucessor would appreciate all the advice he could get. David Moyes however, had other ideas and ignored Sir Alex’s advice (above).
In his first move as the new Manchester United boss, Eric Steele was replaced by Chris Woods. Steele spent five years at Manchester United playing his part in winning three Premier League Titles, two League Cups, three Community Shields, one FIFA Club World Club and two runs to the final of the UEFA Champions League. During his 13 year spell at Everton FC, Woods was involved in reaching the FA Cup Final once, winning the FA Charity Shield once and the FA Youth Cup once.
“But it’s ironic, isn’t it? You’ve just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David De Gea’s had his best season. Does it make sense that you’re not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that’s out of my hands” said Steele in a recent interview.
Not far behind Eric out the door was Mike Phelan. Phelan was Sir Alex’s right hand man during three Premier League Title wins, two League Cups, three Community Shields, one FIFA Club World Club and two runs to the final of the UEFA Champions League. Phelan was replaced by Steve Round who had been Moyes’ at Everton since 2008, playing his part in Everton reaching the FA Cup Final in 2009.
The last coaching replacement orchestrated by David Moyes was that of Rene Meulensteen. Rene spent 11 years working under Sir Alex and was heavily involved in Manchester United’s success since 2007; three Premier League Titles, three FA Community Shields, two League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Champions League runner-ups and one FIFA Club World Club. David Moyes replaced Rene with Jimmy Lumsden. Jimmy joined Everton as Head Coach in 2002 and helped Everton reach the FA Cup final once and FA Youth Cup Final once.
Whilst I do acknowledge that you can’t compare the success achieved by the outgoing Manchester United staff to the incoming Everton staff, I still believe David Moyes has made a ridiculous gamble. Why change a winning set-up? During stages of change, the key to maintaining performance is stability and familiarity. I believe David Moyes has mistakenly prioritised his need for familiarity and stability over the players’. The majority of players have been at the club several years, developing close relationships with the coaching staff, experiencing much SUCCESS along the way. Moyes arrives, replaces three key coaching members with people relatively unknown to the players, each with their own methods and ideas. I am not surprised looking at Manchester United’s recent results, it will take time for the players to adjust.
David Moyes was joining a football club that had just won the Premier League, something he has not done before. In hindsight I believe Moyes (one individual) should have joined the club and adjusted to the existing coaching set up rather than force the players (30 individuals) and existing staff (20 individuals) to adjust to his way of thinking. I suggest David Moyes’ ego didn’t take too kindly to Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice.