The Premier League landscape is shifting at a ridiculous pace.
Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to retire as Manchester United manager may signal the most pivotal changing of the guard, but the Red Devils' competitors have also opted to freshen things up with a summer overhaul.
With the 2012-13 Premier League trophy nestling inside the Old Trafford trophy cabinet, it's time to consider how Manchester United's current position sets them up for the 2013-14 campaign.
It is undoubtedly a time of new beginning for United. With David Moyes coming in as manager, inevitable questions about how he will follow Fergie continue to circulate. While he certainly faces a difficult task, it's important to remember Ferguson's initial struggle as United boss and how it took time for the new man to assert himself.
Granted, Ferguson had already tasted success before arriving in Manchester. The gaping hole on Moyes' resume is his failure to capture a major trophy, but the circumstances of modern football aren't as favourable to sides outside the elite. Ferguson's Aberdeen managed to topple the Old Firm, but in reality, no Everton manager is going to overcome the Premier League's best across the course of a full season (not for the foreseeable future, anyway).
Moyes couldn't be arriving at a better time. Ferguson has built a strong squad that is full of developing talent, although a number of loose ends need to be cut. Players such as Anderson, Nani and Federico Macheda will consider themselves lucky to receive another year in United colours. If the incoming manager decides to sell, he frees up funds to influence the squad without changing its core.
There is also the Wayne Rooney situation to deal with. Despite handing in a second transfer request in three years, the Englishman has been told he cannot leave the club, per Sky Sports. Moyes is expected to meet the wantaway forward in the next few days in order to decide whether or not Rooney's future remains at Old Trafford, according to The Daily Mail.
Either way, Moyes can't lose. If Rooney decides to stay, the Scottish manager will be hailed for changing the player's mind. If Rooney leaves, Moyes has the opportunity to spend a significant amount on a world-class signing. The striker's departure would only add to the sense that United's current era has come to a close; something that is perhaps favourable for the new boss.
Many suggest that life after Ferguson is going to take some adjusting to. While that is probably correct, Moyes isn't the only individual who needs to settle in at a different club. His initial plans at Manchester United are likely to be taking shape already, but Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton are yet to replace their former managers.
Manchester United can already see the road ahead, whereas their nearest competitors are yet to lay the foundation for the future. Although a minimal advantage, Moyes will be able to assure players of their futures quicker than bosses at City and Chelsea. Although the latter has an excellent squad that is unlikely to massively change across the summer, City could be in for an overhaul.
Players such as Carlos Tevez could be on their way out of the Etihad, according to ESPN. Manchester City will most certainly replace any players with world-class talents, but it will be difficult to achieve instant results if the current squad faces major restructuring.
Who is best positioned to win the 2013-14 Premier League crown?
Names such as Jose Mourinho may have been linked with the Manchester United job, but there's something extremely adept about the appointment of Moyes. Ferguson's influence will no doubt be missed, but with the former Everton man in place, United are able to make a colossal change while building on everything that makes the club great.
Most tellingly, United's decision to put their faith in the 50-year-old already suggests he will be given time. As such, perhaps the pressure on Moyes to fill Sir Alex's boots isn't as pressing as the media reports. He knows he will receive the right resources and opportunity to assert himself.
Unlike Manchester City and Chelsea, it would be a huge surprise if Moyes was sacked while building his own squad and winning trophies. As United have proven throughout history, sticking with a single vision is the long-term route to maintained success.
Is Moyes' name the next Ferguson or Busby? Like those before him, hopefully United fans will be forced to make that judgement 30 years down the line.
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