When Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement on Wednesday it signalled the end of an era for premiership football.
For over a quarter of a century the 71-year-old has steered one of the most successful clubs in the world, but now he will hand the reigns over to someone else, fellow Scotsman David Moyes.
Euronews’ Tokunbo Salako and Joe Allen discuss the great legacy Sir Alex passes on to the former Everton boss, along with the great pressures that will be put upon him as he follows the greatest ever manager in English football.
“It’s been a momentous week at Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson finally deciding to retire and we know his successor will be David Moyes from Everton.
“Now Sir Alex was in a league of his own, having stayed at the helm for nearly 27-years, so how tough a task is David Moyes facing. To talk to us about those issues now is Joe Allen from our sports desk.
“Joe, what can we expect from David Moyes?”
“It is a tough challenge, for anybody it is a tough challenge to go into one of the top three best clubs in Europe, in the world. It’s a tough as but I think he has everything that is required to manage this team well.
“And I think that’s been helped by Sir Alex Ferguson of course with the legacies he’s left behind, the footballing philosophies, the emphasis on the youth set-up.
“So I think that what Sir Alex Ferguson has left behind is going to help Moyes no end. There’s that never say die attitude that most clubs fear about United. Whether you’re losing two-nil with five minutes remaining you will never give up… Manchester United will never ever give up, and it’s that mentality that will stay with the club because it’s been drilled into the players from a very early age.
“So I think Moyes has a lot of things going for him thanks and courtesy of Sir Alex Ferguson for sure.
Well they’re both cut from the same cloth, they’re both Scottish they both share similar backgrounds, but how unusual is it to give a manager a six-year contract worth a reputed 35 million euros?
“Well that’s a massive show of confidence from United for Moyes. Yes it’s rather unusual, such a lengthy contract, but again as I said it just shows the confidence they have in him. Don’t forget Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes go back quite a way. When David Moyes was getting his coaching badges, he was going through a programme with the Scottish FA coaching courses and at that time the programme was being led by Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Sir Alex Ferguson has kept a very close eye on Moyes, he was at Preston North End when he was coaching there and steered them to promotion. But I think two years prior to that, United were thinking about or contemplating hiring Moyes for the assistant coaching role before Steve McClaren actually took the post.
“So I think they’ve always been keen on Moyes, they’ve always kept a close eye on him and many a player and coach past and present have come out and backed Moyes as the natural successor, so a lot of people have confidence in Moyes.”
“Without a doubt it’s an entirely new kind of pressure that he’s going to be facing, not only with dealing with a dressing room full of stars, but also there’s going to be pressure from the top. And I’m thinking Sir Alex Ferguson is going to be the worst type of back seat driver you can imagine.”
“Well absolutely right Toks, as you know Ferguson is not completely stepping away from Old Trafford he’s going upstairs, he’s going to the boardroom and he’s an ambassador for the club, but I think Ferguson knows the inner workings of Old Trafford and the ethics of it all and I don’t think he’ll go to this new role with being a public master or an overlord of Moyes in mind.
“I think he knows better and I think he respects Moyes better than that. So I don’t think he’ll be too much of a painful backseat driver as you said. But Moyes has enough respect for Ferguson as well that, if ever he does need the advice he will go and seek it out from Ferguson.
“I don’t think he will shy away from that, and in relation to the big stars in the team again Moyes as you quite rightly said they’re both cut from the same cloth, Moyes similar to Ferguson has the steely fiery character, doesn’t suffer fools lightly and will get everybody into shape and I think again that legacy that Ferguson has left behind, that no man is bigger than the club, I think Moyes will carry that on perfectly and he’s got the steel to do it.”
“Thanks Joe, so while everyone’s talking about German football taking over Europe, it seems that all eyes are going to be on the English Premiere League and perhaps Old Trafford next season.”