Sir Alex Ferguson has updated his autobiography, which was originally released a year ago, and in the new edition, he addresses the matter of David Moyes’ brief reign as his successor at Manchester United.
Moyes inherited a Man United team that won the Premier League by an 11-point margin in Ferguson’s final season. But when the former Everton manager’s one and only season in charge came to an end a month after he was sacked, the Red Devils were seventh in the table. Luckily, Ferguson has outlined who is to blame for all of this.
But before we get to that, here’s a reminder of how Moyes himself described the meeting with Ferguson that led to him taking over.
“I went in and the first thing he said to me was ‘I’m retiring’.
“I said ‘When?’, because he was never retiring and he said ‘next week’. “And his next words were ‘you’re the next Manchester United manager’.
“So I didn’t get the chance to say yes or no. I was told that I was the next Manchester United manager and that was enough.
“As you can imagine, the blood drained from my face. [...] But inside I was incredibly thrilled that I was going to be given the chance to manage Manchester United.”
To summarize, Ferguson didn’t even give Moyes a choice in the matter. That’s how certain he was that only David Moyes could carry on his success. And with that in mind, here’s Alex Ferguson’s list of what was to blame for this situation not working out (quotes via The Guardian)…
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: First and foremost, David Moyes “hadn’t realized just how big United is as a club,” Ferguson writes. The real question should probably be whether someone who had never won a trophy or managed a “big club” was prepared for such a jump. But, like Sir Alex, let’s skip that one.
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: Was the selection process for his successor carried out properly, considering Moyes somehow didn’t realize how big Man United were? Of course, says Sir Alex. He writes: “There appears to be an accepted view out there that there was no process. Nonsense. We feel we did everything the right way: quietly, thoroughly, professionally.”
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: Was the squad he left behind simply not good enough? No way, says Sir Alex. He writes: “It was a rough season for a United fan and it was tough for me because I knew there were plenty of good players in our squad. They weren’t showing their form – and that seemed to place a huge weight on David’s shoulders.”
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: Was the system he had in place antiquated? Of course not, says Sir Alex. He writes: “Antiquated was a bizarre description of the structure I left behind at Manchester United. Have you seen our new training ground?” Sadly, books don’t have rimshots.
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: Did he leave a team that was too old and destined to fall off? Preposterous, says Sir Alex. He writes: “Chelsea started the current season as favorites for the title, with a squad that also had six players in their 30s. I don’t hear any grumbles about the age of their group.”
-Not Sir Alex Ferguson: Did Moyes ruin everything by bringing in his own backroom staff instead of retaining the one Ferguson already had in place? You bet he did, says Sir Alex. He writes: “Maybe David felt that at such a massive club he had to be sure that all corners were covered in terms of his support system. I felt that network was already there, with plenty of great people already in important slots.”
But wait, didn’t we already establish that Moyes didn’t realize “just how big United is as a club”? If that was the case, why did he feel the need to have all corners covered at “such a massive club”? Surely Ferguson has an full and not at all contradictory explanation for why his ghost writer is 100 percent at fault for this discrepancy.
Anyway, there you have it. Blame for the problems that have befallen Manchester United in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s move from manager to club director fall solely on the unprepared guy who was given the job and not at all on the powerful man who decided to give it to him without even asking for his thoughts on the matter first. Autobiographical case closed.
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