Manchester United: Why David Moyes Is the Man to Succeed Sir Alex Ferguson

Alex Gruber@agruber6Featured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

David Moyes looks set to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
David Moyes looks set to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Tuesday afternoon, a story started circulating concerning Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The report, originally reported by The Telegraph's Mark Ogden, stated that Ferguson was giving great thought to calling time on his tenure as United boss.

Wednesday morning, Ferguson confirmed that this season, his 26th at the helm at Old Trafford, will be his last. In this time, he has delivered the Red Devils a massive haul of over 30 trophies, including 13 Premier League crowns and two Champions Leagues.

Of course, as the report went around people began to speculate as to who would fill Ferguson's shoes. The name thrown around most was Everton manager David Moyes, and Ogden has now reported that Moyes will be confirmed as the next United manager within 24 hours.

There are some similarities between the two men, beyond the fact that they are both Scottish. They both played for Dunfermline Athletic during their time as players, and made their names as managers at "less heralded" clubs—Ferguson at Aberdeen, Moyes at Preston North End.

Moyes jumped straight from playing to managing while at Preston, eventually guiding them promotion to the old First Division (now the Championship) in 2000. He took them to the promotion playoffs the next year, but fell just short. He left Preston to help Everton fight off relegation in March 2002.

Everton were a team that had dropped off a fair bit from their past levels of success. They had won multiple league titles in the 1980s under Howard Kendall, but had finished in the top half of the table just twice in the decade before Moyes' arrival.

He helped ensure Everton's Premier League survival upon his arrival, then immediately had them in contention for European places the next year. He got the Toffees to a fourth-place finish in his third full season, earning their first-ever berth in the Champions League.

While he has never won a trophy at Everton, he has had a great level of success, keeping this side competitive throughout the years. Their continued presence near the top of the table is a great sign, considering the club have rarely been big spenders in the transfer market.

Everton's biggest transfer of note in the Moyes era was selling Wayne Rooney to United in 2004. Moyes looks set to be reunited with the player he brought to the Premier League's attention all those years ago, if Rooney is still around.

The Toffees, of course, have brought in players like Marouane Fellaini, Tim Cahill and more recently Nikica Jelavic, but these moves have often been paired with sales to balance the books. At United, he'll have the freedom to be a little less thrifty with the Glazers' money.

United will surely remember Fellaini's performance against them late in the 2011-12 season, in a 4-4 draw that hurt United's title chances. Moyes could consider bringing the massive Belgian to Old Trafford to give the Red Devils a powerful, versatile midfield presence.

Moyes has done a lot with a little, so imagine what he could do with a lot. He'll certainly be under pressure having to fill Fergie's massive shoes, but he seems to have what it takes to keep United a force in England and abroad.

He's made the jump from "smaller" club to a Premier League mainstay before, and had a good level of success. He knows what it takes to be a strong team in the Premier League, and has the resources and the talent already around him to leave his own mark.

David Moyes is certainly no Alex Ferguson, but he is the right man to take over for the man whose figure sits atop Old Trafford's north stand.