New Manchester United manager David Moyes has been backed to uphold the greatest Old Trafford traditions.
While some fans have reservations over whether the 50-year-old Scot has the necessary experience, especially in Europe, to succeed in the most pressurised of jobs, and others who wonder about his lack of major trophies, three of the most significant figures at United have no doubts.
It was the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson and support of director Sir Bobby Charlton, which provided the major influence for Moyes’ appointment.
From within the United dressing room there has been significant encouragement too.
“I have always said we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man,” said Charlton, whose influence on the club as a figurehead extended to ensuring Ferguson was not toppled during the early days of his reign. “In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club. We have secured a man who is committed to the long term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success.
“David has tremendous strength of character and recognises the importance of bringing young players through and developing them alongside world-class talent. At United, I think David will be able to express himself. I’m delighted he has accepted and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Moyes will work with his new charges for the first time in July, when they report for pre-season training. He will then head off on a pre-season tour that includes visits to Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong before returning for his first official match in charge on 11 August, against either Manchester City or Wigan in the Community Shield at Wembley.
Rio Ferdinand, one of the longest-serving and most influential members of the United squad, has backed the appointment. “David Moyes has done a fantastic job at Everton,” he said. “They’ve always been a solid team and what he’s always demanded is a great work ethic.
“There are a lot of similarities with the manager we’ve got at the moment and it’s a big thing that he continues that tradition.”