Sir Alex Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford back 1986 and it took him four years to win a trophy with the Red Devils, and 7 years to win his first title with United.
In reality, football has changed in many ways since those times and managers are given a lot less time to deliver these days, but will David Moyes be given an equivalent period to deliver success?
If he wins a trophy in his first term in charge, there’ll be no questions asked, eve if that trophy isn’t the Premier League but what happens if he doesn’t win anything in 2013/14? What then?
Surely he’ll be given the patience and support he deserves but Manchester United – the club, the fans, the owners, the players, the sponsors – have a great history of success and place high expectations on the team and the manager. David Moyes has done a fantastic job with Everton over the last 11 years but he’s never won a trophy in his managerial career.
That has to be a slight concern and something he’ll definitely want to rectify in his first season with the current champions. But Manchester City will be revitalized by the new boss, whoever ends up taking the reigns over at the noisy neighbours and if Chelsea get Jose Mourinho back it might just be early doors for everyone else.
Moyes is going to face a very different landscape and terrain than his predecessor did – not just in 1986 but even in 2013. The Bundesliga giants have usurped the La Liga sides, there’s a managerial merry-go-round kicking off this summer at the top clubs on the continent and United are going to struggle to dominate as they have done under Ferguson in the coming years.
The huge amounts of money being thrown around European football means the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Manchester City, Chelsea and a handful of super-rich Russian outfits are going to make matters a little uncomfortable for the old-timers like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and, of course, Manchester United.
David Moyes’ Manchester United are going to find it much harder across the board than Ferguson’s United have to date. Moyes is going to have to work a miracle to genuinely continue the level of success Ferguson has achieved – there is far greater competition now and much much less job security.
I doubt he’d be sacked after one season if he fails to deliver silverware but after two seasons, serious questions would be asked about his ability – that’s it, I reckon, two seasons is, in reality, as long as he’s got to win a title or, at the very least, the FA Cup.
Anything short of that and he’ll lose the faith of the fans and the owners and the players. He must have considered that when he agreed to replace the greatest manager of all time. The bar is set so high it’s going to be a very difficult position for him to make his own and a thankless task trying to match the success.
images: © Jason Gulledge