It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United. I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club. I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn't something that comes around very often and I'm really looking forward to taking up the post next season."
Well, you can't say this wasn't coming. Ever since news broke of Sir Alex's retirement, even The Sullen One has had to wait in the shadow of the severe-looking, mad-eyed, ramrod-straight phenom of Goodison Park. Not anymore. David Moyes has been appointed Manchester United's second manager in 27 years.
"The King is dead - Long live the King!"
As Gene and a number of you in the community have pointed out, this is no straight fix. Moyes will have to adapt to the rarefied air of the European Top Table, and the factory of trophies at Old Trafford may just slow down, or even stop for a bit. One hopes that the team that Sir Alex has in place will allow Moyesey, as the blue 'scouse call him, settle down and stamp his identity on the club. The intriguing part of the tale, however, is the similarity between our old Gaffer and the new one. Both Scots, Glaswegian no less, and both have a penchant for youth development, support the labor party and have interests in racehorses. Moyes apparently goes into work at 5 every day - something that's admittedly shared by a number of managers (Andres Villas Boas sleeping at the training ground comes to mind) but yet something that drove Phil Neville to once say, "They're not all that different. They can both give you a earful when you deserve it!".
Gary Neville remarked that Moyes' appointment would bring the sanity back in football. United have certainly gone for it here - a six-year deal is reportedly signed that starts on the 1st of July. One imagines that after 11 years, Moyes needs some time to make the handover at Everton as smooth as possible - his integrity would certainly demand that of him. Still, in the higher echelons of modern football, a six year deal for player or manager is unusual. The statement is unmistakable - this is our man, he's here for the long run, he has our blessings. Everyone get behind him, or get out. As always, our club may make the wrong decision but it makes them with devastating style.
Some quotable quotes
"In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club. We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success. ... I am delighted he has accepted and I'm looking forward to working with him."
-Sir Bobby Charlton
"In David Moyes, we have secured the services of an outstanding manager who has all the skills to build on the phenomenal legacy in place today. I have no doubt that he will bring an energy and commitment to deliver winning football that is part of the fabric of this club."
"When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes, we unanimously agreed on David Moyes. David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I've admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here. He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club."
-Sir Alex Ferguson
There have been some excellent pieces in both the Telegraph and the Guardian on our new manager. I particularly recommend this one by (who else) Michael Cox. United's official site has crashed - seems like the 639 million really were quite anxious. 48 hours back, we were wondering about our performances in the last few games, fretting about adding a couple in the transfer market. Now, that title seems quite sweet, and infinitely more precious. This is no doomsday prediction - this is perspective. We have been far too lucky for far too long. To quote another memorable line, "S**t just got serious."
Welcome to Old Trafford, David Moyes. May you orchestrate many lovely memories at the Theatre of Dreams. Yet one thing I already know about you, sir. You are a very brave man.