“It is new for Manchester United. From a biased point of view, let’s hope they have a wobble, but I think they have too many good players to fall out of the title race,” he admitted.
Is it possible that United could have a ‘wobble’ next term? I discussed upon Moyes’ appointment how there would inevitably be a transitional phase at United, given how long Ferguson had been at the helm.
That’s only natural; Ferguson was the greatest manager of modern times and certainly the best British manager of his generation. Moyes is a fantastic appointment but he’s got giant shoes to fill and it would be unreasonable to expect him to achieve the success that Ferguson has over the last 26 years.
But Gerrard does state that United have too many good players for there to be some cataclysmic downfall at a club as big as Manchester United. Whilst Ferguson is gone, his best players remain and they’re unlikely to abandon everything they’ve been taught just because there’s a new boss on board.
Veteran players like Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand are there to provide continuity in the philosophy and ethos of the team and the club as a whole. Quality professionals like Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra are not going to suddenly lose their focus and commitment because Ferguson is not around day in day out.
But there has to be an admission somewhere that there will necessarily be changes made – Moyes has already brought in a number of his own people, he’ll make his own signings this summer, he’ll enforce his own rules and instil his own philosophy on the players and the club.
A ‘wobble’ is possibly the wrong word to define what is to come but a change, perhaps, is inevitable. Whether that change brings continued success is going to be down to how the players and the fans too adapt to the newness of everything.
In the words of Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
image: © Jason Gulledge