The Scotsman may not have been a hit in his only season in charge at Old Trafford but still looks back at his spell with warm feeling
David Moyes has reflected upon his time in charge of Manchester United, with the West Ham manager stating that while he hoped to have lasted longer in the role, he still thinks of it with “great fondness”.
The Irons boss succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, winning the FA Community Shield in his first game in charge, only to be gone before the end of his first season after failing to live up to expectations.
Moyes is since reborn at London Stadium, having guided the club to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in his second spell in charge – but in a lengthy chat with former England striker Alan Shearer, has now opened up upon his memories of leading the Red Devils.
What has been said?
“At Manchester United, I think maybe I needed a chance to grow into it,” Moyes told The Athletic. “You talk about players coming into the Premier League and needing a bit of time. It wasn’t that I needed time in the Premier League, but I needed time at the club to find myself and to find how I was going.
“The truth is, I wanted just to carry on what Sir Alex had done. I couldn’t be Sir Alex, but I wanted to continue the model they had, developing young players, putting young players in the team, trying to play in a fashion that suited them. That was the idea.
“I only look back at it with great fondness, honoured that I was offered a job of that magnitude. Unfortunately, I only got ten months. I think if I’d been given a bit longer, I could have done better, but ultimately I can only blame myself because I needed to win more games.”
Moyes considers successor difficulties
Though Moyes holds the shortest post-Ferguson tenure at United, his three full-time successors – Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – have all also struggled to follow in the Scotsman’s footsteps when it comes to Premier League success.
“I keep hearing about Man United needing a top coach to make the difference,” Moyes added. “Man United have had a lot of top managers – [I’m] not putting myself in that category at all, but they’ve had some great managers.
“The difficulty for them now is to really find the same rhythm they found under Sir Alex, which when you look back now was incredible for their football club, it really was. You look back at a lot of the dynasties at football clubs — Brian Clough [at Nottingham Forest], Sir Bobby Robson at Ipswich, even Don Revie [at Leeds United].
“Howard Wilkinson told me, ‘If you’d spoken to me earlier, David, I would have told you anyone who goes to take these jobs tends to find it’s really difficult to make it work’. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that, but […] because of the way Sir Alex approached me to take the job […], it made it more personal, it made me feel like, well, yes, there’s a model here that they felt I could continue, that I would be the right person. And it wasn’t to be.”