While most fans might hope that the end of the Sir Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United will see the Premier League’s dominant force falter, a David Moyes failure could mark the final nail in the coffin of long-term club management.
Whatever happens in the transfer market this summer, there are three teams with new managers who will start the Premier League season as favourites to win the title. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea certainly all have the pedigree and talent within their squads to top the table, and which of the three ends up Premier League champions might well come down to the impact their new managers have.
Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes, however you look at it, one name stands out as reflective of Manchester United taking a different approach to their rivals when choosing their new manager.
Even if slightly cowed by his turbulent three years at Real Madrid, Mourinho arrives at Chelsea renowned as a man who will deliver success at each of the club’s he briefly takes the helm of. Manuel Pellegrini, the man Mourinho replaced in Madrid, has not won a major trophy in Europe, but has overseen impressive Malaga and Villarreal sides, as well as gaining experience at a top level club during his ill-fated season at the Bernabeu.
And then there is David Moyes, a man who has achieved remarkable things at Everton during his eleven year spell at Goodison Park, but someone who is different from Chelsea and Manchester City’s new managers in almost every way.
Pellegrini and Mourinho are short-term managers, either by design or circumstance, and they are representative of the approach most top European sides have taken in appointing their head coach.
The infuriating managerial merry-go-ground cliche has never been more appropriate, with a select group of coaches now considered as suitable for top level appointments, and happily rotating around the major clubs every couple of years.
Moyes is cut from a different cloth. He has earned his right to take over at Manchester United by succeeding at a lesser club within the Premier League. In the past, this might have been the norm, but now it is seen as a gamble for United to choose Moyes rather than a more glamorous name, and it is a gamble that Premier League fans should hope comes off.
With Tony Pulis joining Moyes and Ferguson in leaving their clubs this summer, the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League is Alan Pardew, who has been at Newcastle less than three years. During Moyes’ spell at Everton, his new rivals Mourinho and Pellegrini took charge of nine sides between them.
The modern manager is a short term beast, and this naturally creates a conflict at the biggest clubs, where immediate success on the pitch is placed above all other factors. This has implications for youth development, financial fair play, and the atmosphere of football in general.
Manchester United have sought to reject that by appointing David Moyes, and however much people might dislike the club as whole, there could be a benefit for the whole Premier League if they are rewarded with another long era of success under their new manager.