Is there really any doubt about who will succeed Sir Alex when he finally hangs up his unbelievably successful boots at Manchester United? Other candidates have come and gone but the start that David Moyes has made with Everton this season has surely extinguished the designs of any other managerial hopefuls.
The popular choice for the last couple of years has been Jose Mourinho. Yes, Sir Alex has a great relationship with the Portuguese and he would undoubtedly get the desired results. But we think that the reasons for him being overlooked are two fold. Firstly, he never seems to stay anywhere for more than a couple of years. Manchester United would ideally look for someone to take over long term rather than having to go searching for another manager a few years down the line.
Secondly, question marks remain about the style of play that Mourinho garners. Jose’s teams usually win but in a workmanlike way. Flair regularly plays second fiddle to pragmatism. Sir Alex has always retained a bewitching blend of winning yet cavalier football that the fans now expect.
As far as we can see, the only other serious candidate is Martin O’Neill. Some may laugh at this suggestion but O’Neill is from the very top drawer of football management. He would most certainly continue the good work that Fergie has done at Manchester United. But again, due to his age (60) he may not be seen as a long term replacement.
Which brings us back to David Moyes. Moyes is something of a clone of the current boss of Manchester United. He is one of the few managers in world football who possesses all three of the key ingredients for success – man-management skills, ability to spot a top player and tactical brilliance. On a shoe-string budget Moyes has managed not only to make Everton competitive but also attractive to watch.
Moyes would represent a seemless evolution from the glory days of Sir Alex. He’s as obsessive as he is meticulous about his job. He commands the respect even of the biggest egos and he is now ripe for a top job. Some may say that he represents a gamble as he is all but untested in The Champions League. But this guy is the safest pair of hands that you could find. He will be at the helm for at least 10 years and will simply safeguard and proliferate the legacy that the remarkable Sir Alex Ferguson has created at every level of the club.
For our money it’s a given that David Moyes will become the next manager of Manchester United – and a very good one at that.