Man Utd Focus – Moyes heads into summer of intrigue at Old Trafford

As David Moyes this week began unofficial life at Old Trafford, the new Manchester United manager will guide his new club into a summer of intense intrigue. The enormity of the task in hand will be the subject of great attention and discussion, as a number of story-lines will play out with Moyes at the forefront.

The outgoing Everton boss pitched up to his new employers some 43 days before his contract is due to start, as what looks to be a seamless transition out of the Sir Alex Ferguson era kicks in. This was aptly illustrated by the images that emerged from the end of the day when Moyes left United’s Carrington training ground in the same car as Ferguson and Albert Morgan, kit man of 20 years.

Ferguson for his part is fully aware of the importance of a smooth transition that sees his successor given the full backing of the club and its supporters. His brief speech prior to collecting his 13th Premier League title implored the fans to get right behind Moyes, while the Sun reported that as the retiring Scot announced his decision to stand down to his squad, he asked one thing of his players – that after he has gone they never again call him Boss. This is how Ferguson has been known at Old Trafford, from the canteen staff to his coaches and captain, but he understands the importance of the respect that Moyes must command.

The first piece of business that the 50-year-old has attended to, that will be greeted with great approval on his new terraces, is the agreement of a new contract with Rio Ferdinand. Moyes stated through United’s website that Ferdinand “has had one of his best seasons with the club”, and will be glad of the experience that the veteran defender will bring to his squad.

Another pressing issue is the controversy surrounding Wayne Rooney, and it will be interesting to see how the new boss will stamp his authority on the situation.

A sure-fire way of winning over everyone associated with the club would be if Moyes could secure the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese’s future continuing to be the subject of speculation, or similarly Gareth Bale. Other players linked include Thiago Alcantara, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, who would generally be seen as decent signings, while Southampton’s promising full-back Luke Shaw would represent a reassuring affirmation of Moyes’ confidence in and deployment of youth.

The new manager inherits a gifted set of young players, who have just won the Under 21 Premier League, and United supporters would welcome the inclusion of talent such as Adnan Januzaj, Larnell Cole and Michael Keane next season, in addition to more from Nick Powell.

Another interesting aspect that arises from the changing of the managerial guard is the position that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, now find themselves in. Ferguson’s throne was never under threat at United, and it is hoped that the Americans continue to take a back seat when it comes to the football side of things, and do not become the interfering owners that have become so common in the Premier League.

David Moyes is embarking on one of the biggest and toughest jobs that football has ever thrown up, and if he is given the time that he ought to be, his success will be judged after a number of years. In the short-term, the coming summer will be nothing if not intriguing.

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