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Sir Alex Says Farewell to Young and Old
Of course Sir Alex will be a hard act to follow but Moyes will stamp his own style quickly.
Carlo Ancelotti would have been a good choice as manager. He could legitimately have handed over the squad to a home-grown management team including the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ryan Giggs or Gary Neville after say, five years.
Instead, the United Board have opted for an outsider who may be in the Fergie mould. Similar personality, capable of building a winning team, cognizant of United's playing style and tradition and most of all—with a track record of turning youthful talent into top players.
The United players won't know him well, but they cannot ignore what Moyes has achieved on scant resources just down the East Lancs Road.
He is, however, joining a club which, though it has fewer world class players than in the past, is an excellent blend of experienced and raw talent, waiting to be augmented and move to the next era of success.
At the same time however, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool are also trying to re-engineer themselves to rediscover past glories, or topple United from their perch.
There are different challenges in winning the loyalty of different factions.
The established "squad" players may readily be won over by an injection of fresh ideas. They are happy at the club and just want to continue to be successful, perhaps with more playing opportunities.
The younger players, whether emerging from the Academy or Under 21s, or on the fringes of the First Team squad already, will be hungry for chances and nervous about possible fresh arrivals.
The established players will give Moyes a fair chance but may be unsettled by a clear-out in the coaching team. They were close to Mike Phelan and will have appreciated Meulensteen's innovative methods. The future of the latter is still unclear.
They are the key, however. Paul Scholes has retired and Darren Fletcher may have to as well. Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have been given new one-year contracts.
But while Michael Carrick will surely remain a mainstay of the team, even players like Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic may be nervous about younger replacements. Given that these two have been the captaincy team for the last two seasons, they may have more reason than most to be concerned.
Mind you, Patrice Evra may be on his way and the captaincy might change.
So will Moyes have a clear-out or will he retain the experienced core of the first team for at least one more season? With Giggs probably retiring in a year's time and having a more peripheral playing role next season, a smart move would be to make him a player-coach. He has his badges, so why not?
What can be said by observation is that the vast majority of United's players are loyal to the core and mature in their outlook and behaviour. Their response to Moyes' arrival will guide the others.
One established player who could rock the boat and therefore whose future must be sorted early, is Wayne Rooney. If his saga drags on or if he reluctantly stays, he could be a divisive element. We shall return to him.