Manchester United announced today that Everton manager David Moyes will be Sir Alex Ferguson's successor. Ferguson announced he would retire at the end of the season yesterday after 26 seasons at the club.
Though most teams hire a new coach to shake up the club culture, United was looking for a seamless transition when they signed Moyes. Real Madrid manager José Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti were two candidates, both with higher profiles and experience managing world powers, but Moyes was the safer play. Like Fergie, the Everton manager is Scottish, and the two have a good relationship. The legendary United manager even approached Moyes once about taking the assistant manager position with the club. Unlike the whimsical Mourinho and Ancelotti who bounce from team to team, Moyes, who was in charge at Everton for 11 years, is expected to bring stability to United. And just to ensure the club doesn't falter while transitioning, Ferguson will stay on in an executive role. Moyes signed a six-year deal, and he starts on July 1.
All signs suggest Moyes will have a successful reign at Old Trafford. First, it's not like Fergie's going anywhere. But the Toffees' coach has also overachieved year after year. He's never won a trophy at Everton, but the club doesn't have much in the way of financial resources. They've consistently finished in the top half of the table in his time there, and in 2005, they qualified for the Champions League when they finished in the top four of the Premier League. Four years later, Everton made it to the final of the FA Cup. Moyes has won the League Manager's Association Manager of the Year three times— a record, and as many as Ferguson has won himself. This season, the Toffees still have an outside shot to qualify for the Europa League.
Moyes has done a lot with little for over a decade, but starting next year, he'll have almost unlimited money and clout with which to sign the best players in the world. But let's be perfectly clear: managing one of the world's biggest clubs might absolutely suck. Fergie, after all, is a tough act to follow. He took over when United was an irrelevant club nearly 27 seasons ago, and he's won 38 trophies since. The guy was knighted for his achievement in the sport three years before Moyes even took the reins at Goodison Park.
The first thing Moyes will have to deal with is the Wayne Rooney situation. Last month, Rooney told Ferguson he was keen on moving on, and recently, PSG and Bayern Munich have come knocking. And though Moyes coached Rooney way back when the striker was a teenager just starting his career at Everton, the two have had a rocky relationship. You have to expect Moyes and the Red Devils to bounce back even if they end up selling the English star, though. Ever since Ferguson, it's been the United way.