New Manchester United boss David Moyes is no doubt enjoying being in Australia and away from some of the media spotlight back in England, although quite what he makes of the $400 per head FFA organised lunch at which he will be speaking with four Manchester United legends and the fact that only 10% of the proceeds is going to grassroots football is another matter.
Moyes will no doubt welcome the time away to get his thoughts together as he faces a very tough prospect replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Manager. He will struggle to forget his predecessor as the stand opposite the dug out at Old Trafford has emblazoned on it “Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.” The trip to Asia and Australia without the shadow of Ferguson hanging over him will no doubt be a welcome break.
Ferguson’s legacy at Manchester United is huge, 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, and two Champions League titles. Moyes who has done an outstanding job at Everton has yet to win a single trophy, yet Manchester United fans will expect him to deliver at least one in his first season.
It would be interesting to know how many Manchester United fans realise that only one Manager has won a trophy in their first season in charge at the club; Dave Sexton when he shared the Charity Shield with Liverpool in 1977.
The great Sir Matt Busby who eventually won 13 trophies as boss of United as well as the European Cup did not win anything until his third season in charge; The FA Cup in 1948. Sir Alex Ferguson also had to wait three years before his first trophy was won, the FA Cup in 1990. That victory many claim saved his tenure at the Theatre of Dreams. It would be seven years from his appointment until he won his first league title in 1993.
The question is has David Moyes the same three year probationary period in which to win his first trophy for the club? Can Manchester united sustain three years without a trophy after so much success? The fact that he signed a six-year contract would tend to indicate that he may well have that amount of time, but fans and now the dreaded shareholder could well halt his plans to build his own dynasty.
Manchester United is now a corporation and the Glazer family who own the club are unlikely to wait too long if the share prices start to plummet due to on field results.
With Wayne Rooney – who is not for sale – having headed home from the tour with a hamstring injury, Moyes and the Executive vice Chairman Ed Woodward have drawn a line in the sand as to what they expect from the highly paid player. In the modern era many has been the time that the popularity of a player has ended up unseating a manager. This is however unlikely to be the case at Manchester United, as Moyes has Sir Alex Ferguson in the background who knows only too well the moods and demands of Rooney. It could well be that Moyes’s first major move is indeed to sell Rooney, or leave him on the sidelines. If he does so and fails to win any silverware the hotseat may well become a few degrees warmer than it already is.
One thing is for sure the spotlight will be well and truly on him when he returns to Manchester, so he best enjoy Australia and Asia while he can.