Barring Manchester United winning this season’s Champions League, it’s unlikely that David Moyes will be their manager come the beginning of next season. It was always likely to be an impossible job for anyone succeeding Fergie, and even more so given Moyes was bequeathed a wretchedly weak and aging squad.
Unlike many in this country I’ve never believed in soft landings and the rebuild at Manchester United is likely to take 2 to 3 years at least. There’s every chance Moyes’ successor will benefit from a lot of the good work being currently done behind the scenes, along with the adding of more structure and transparency to a number of key areas such as the scouting process.
I’m no expert but if there was one aspect of the switch over that concerned me last summer, it was the complete clear out of the back room staff. United have looked pedestrian and predictable and the players seem to be yearning for a coach / manager who – like current flavour of the month, Joe Schmidt – is innovative and able to plot a credible course that leads to likely results. It brings to mind Paul Bremer issuing Order Number 2 in Iraq on May 23rd, 2003 and dissolving the Iraqi army. Bremer’s actions were key in facilitating the Insurgency that followed.
Ok, a crisis at a football club is unimportant when compared to the needless disintegration of a nation state – what’s going on at Old Trafford hardly resembles Falluja circa 2004 – but it’s hard not to believe that Moyes’ actions destabilised the club more than was necessary, and a gradual change would have led to more consistency and bought him more time.