Sport

Ferguson Wanted Five Other Managers Before Moyes

We all remember when Fergie stood in the centre circle of Old Trafford, basking in the glory of a final Premier League triumph, whilst welcoming his long-term successor David Moyes to the club, urging the fans to give him time. Moyes, of course, had been hand-selected by Ferguson to succeed him: 'the chosen one' as the Stretford End banner famously proclaimed.

Except, he wasn't. Not the first choice anyway.

A new book by Sir Alex Ferguson reveals that Moyes was a lowly sixth on the list of ideal replacements which the Manchester United legend put together. His first choices, however, were all unavailable for various reasons, leading United to go for the Everton man instead.

Ferguson writes: "I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club but he didn't and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013. When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable. It became apparent that Jose Mourinho had given his word to Roman Abramovich that he would return to Chelsea, and that Carlo Ancelotti would succeed him at Real Madrid. We also knew that Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract. Meantime, Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup."

However, Ferguson defended his choice, despite the fact that Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six year contract, during a disappointing first season that saw the club finish fifth, outside the Champions League places - eventually being replaced by Louis van Gaal, who had finished with Holland after the World Cup.

He said, "We chose David Moyes. He had been consistent in his job at Everton, had a good spell there - 11 years and showed appetite. Unfortunately, somehow it didn't work out for David. The process was perfect. It was a good process."

Of course it was Fergie, of course it was.

Nonetheless, he did go on to say that Moyes should not have disbanded the backroom staff which had been there under Ferguson.

"I'm sure there are things that David would do differently if he had the opportunity to relive his time at Old Trafford," Ferguson said. "Such as keeping Mick Phelan (Ferguson's assistant), who would have been the invaluable guide to the many layers of the club that Ryan Giggs is to Louis van Gaal today. There is no point suddenly changing routines that players are comfortable with. It is counterproductive, saps morale and immediately provokes players to question the new man's motives."

(Image: Rex)