The other huge loss has been former Manchester United chief executive David Gill. Many people may argue this, but Gill was the man working behind the scenes for Ferguson, and Gill had his hand in most of United’s success.
“David has been a magnificent chief executive,” Ferguson said. “Of course, we have had a million arguments, but I have always enjoyed them because I know that David has two great qualities: he is straight and he always puts Manchester United first. No disagreement is ever personal with him. He always wants the best for United, whether it’s the players, the training ground or the staff.”
Ferguson was quoted as saying prior to the announcement of his own retirement that “[Gill] stepping down is a big loss to me.”
With the club facing the loss of those two key individuals, it was important for them to make the right decisions and address any recurring issues on the squad.
To replace Ferguson, United made a safe and solid decision by appointing David Moyes as their new manager. Moyes’s track record at Everton showed that he could have success on a limited budget. He stood toe to toe with the big clubs in England and proved he could handle himself and lead a team. He also shared similar qualities to those of Sir Alex Ferguson: work ethic, appetite for success, disciplinarian, investing in young players.
There are three things a manager can do when he takes over a club:
Blow Everything Up and Do Things His Way — If a manager is confident in his approach and style of play/management, he just says, “Screw what happened before me…I’m going to do it my way.” Paolo Di Canio did this at Sunderland, Brendan Rodgers did it at Liverpool, and Roberto Martinez is doing it at Everton.
Slowly Integrate His Style While Utilizing Methods from Previous Success – David Moyes appears to be doing this at United.
Carry the Torch of the Previous Manager – This has been going on at Swansea for a number of years (Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup).
One mistake Moyes may have made while trying to toe the line at United was firing the previous coaching staff. Veteran players aren’t very good with change. And the staff at United was universally loved by the squad. Robin Van Persie always spoke glowingly of Rene Meulensteen and his ability to break down United’s upcoming opponents. David DeGea was hugely impressed by the efforts of United goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele. Steele learned how to speak Spanish so he would be able to relate to De Gea.