Vincent Ralph looks at what the coming campaign holds for the new Manchester United boss.
Even before David Moyes officially took charge of Manchester United, it was hailed as the impossible job.
And with every passing day, the papers would have you believe it is growing even more impossible, if such a thing is, well, possible.
They would have you believe that Sir Alex Ferguson always had his transfer business complete the week after the season ended; that the sound of United’s chequebook being opened instantly attracted the great and the good of the game; that Ferguson’s interest was never rebuffed.
Of course that is false. And in fact Moyes is seemingly failing (so far at least) in a task his predecessor had no intention of even pondering – the purchase of a quality central midfielder.
Moyes – along with the rest of the footballing world – knew from day one United were lacking in that area. That he has not yet signed anyone could be regarded as failure, or it could be acknowledged as the regular effect of aiming high.
Ambition is, more often than not, met with rejection. It is in persistence that success is attained.
And so as Moyes prepares for his first truly competitive match in charge of United, many will be wondering what the season holds and if he can compete with a Jose Mourinho-inspired Chelsea and a rejuvenated Manchester City.
As each match ticks past 90 minutes, expect commentators and pundits to make reference to Fergie-time. And whenever a late equaliser or winner is not scored, expect many to claim United have lost their edge, their spark, their inspiration.
And yet youth will also be given the chance, perhaps even more so than under Ferguson. Just ask Rooney how much faith his new manager puts in young talent.
Much will depend on the mind-set of Rooney, and the business that is or is not carried out in the next two weeks.
After that, all eyes will be on the man with the impossible job as he attempts to prove it is very much possible.
image: © Jason Gulledge