“I’m ready to go”.
So says former Manchester United manager David Moyes in the Daily Telegraph.
The Scot is raring to return to football but this time around it’ll be on his own terms.
“Picking my next job is vitally important, I’m well aware of that. I have an open mind as to what it will be and where it will be – if it’s in the Premier League or in the UK that’s fine but if it’s abroad then I’m okay with that”.
One cannot hide from the fact that Moyes’ 10-month reign at Old Trafford was disastrous. United under him was unimaginative, listless and directionless. He took what was then the champions of England and turned them into also-rans.
There were the ill-advised remarks to the media, the transfer window shambles that saw Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata recruited at overinflated fees and numerous rumours of players being unhappy with Moyes’ style of management. Rio Ferdinand in his autobiography #2sides was none too complimentary of Moyes’ managerial methods.
It all got a bit much for some United fans who hired a plane to fly the infamous ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’ banner ahead of the home game against Aston Villa.
He was clearly the wrong man for the job. Johan Cruyff said that the appointment of Moyes by United bordered on ‘stupidness’, though he was quick to point out that the Scot is a very good coach.
The problem for Moyes at Old Trafford was that though he was United manager he never was truly in charge. Moyes was famously summoned by Sir Alex Ferguson and duly told that he would be taking over at Old Trafford. Moyes didn’t appear to have a choice or say in the matter, in reality how could he refuse? There was the Chosen One banner hanging in the stadium that in hindsight practically suggested that Moyes was only in charge of United because of Ferguson and not through any perceived merit. “Come on David Moyes, play like Fergie’s boys,” was a popular refrain sung from the stands but even though it was belted out in support it reinforced the notion that Manchester United was not Moyes’ club.
Moyes was never truly himself at Old Trafford. The step up from Everton to United was too much, he didn’t have the force of personality to impose himself and was always in the shadow of Ferguson.
Moyes’ failure at United will always be with him but maybe the experience has taught the Scot that he should be in charge of his own destiny.
Looking at the Premier League, the choice of clubs seem limited if Moyes really wants to take the step up to the next level.
Newcastle United under the capricious ownership of Mike Ashley is not worth the risk and Moyes should not aim to establish himself as a firefighter. Equally, Aston Villa under the current ownership doesn’t seem like the right fit and with the possible exception of West Ham United, none of the other clubs in the division seem to fit the bill.