As some United fans question David Moyes' appointment, they would do well to think back to his predecessor’s farewell speech.
On a rainy May afternoon in Manchester, a 71-year-old stood before more than 70,000 people and pleaded for patience, not for him, but for the man soon to take his place.
“I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff,” Sir Alex Ferguson said during his farewell to Old Trafford.
“Your job now is to stand by the new manager.”
Less than five months later, and with Manchester United currently eighth in the Premier League – with just two wins and seven points from five games – what Ferguson asked may be easier said than done, at least for some.
But United fans would do well to remember their former boss’s words this morning; as Twitter campaigns call for David Moyes’ removal and headlines declare the beginning of the end for the champions’ time at the top.
That Manchester City outplayed their fierce rivals yesterday is not in question – in truth they obliterated them; but questioning Moyes’ position so soon smacks of selective amnesia.
Patience was always the name of the game; something hard to find in the face of such embarrassment, but something vital if United’s post-Ferguson era is to ultimately be a success.
Questions must be asked regarding Moyes’ team selection, his summer transfer woes and his bemusing habit of playing Ashley Young. And yet United sit five points off top spot having played three of the season’s hardest matches.
The fact that they can call on some of the brightest young talent in England points to far brighter days than the one United fans woke up to this morning.
And while Moyes’ only summer addition of note was Marouane Fellaini, supporters should not forget that money spent is not necessarily money well spent. Something Ferguson demonstrated more than once by signing the flops too well known to name-check here.
So while the club’s followers come to terms with their current lowly position and their latest less-than-convincing performance, they should also heed the words of the man who transformed their club.
After all, he started off none too convincingly himself…
image: © tomjoad