After careful planning and some early gaffs, Manchester United confirmed the appointment of David Moyes as new manager of the club following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
The Everton manager penned a six-year contract with United that is set to begin on July 1st meaning his first official game will be the August 11th Community Shield match against either Manchester City or Wigan.
Moyes’ contract at Everton was up for renewal on June 30th and for months the Scot resisted renewing, claiming the delay was due to everything from a desire to manage abroad to wanting to see whether the Toffees could qualify for Europe. All that went out the door on Friday when Moyes signed with United, confirming the 50 year old as the successor to Ferguson’s 27 year reign.
Speaking about his appointment as United’s new manager, Moyes said: “I am delighted that Sir Alex [Ferguson] 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.”
Moyes looked back on his time at Goodison Park fondly, noting his connection to chairman Bill Kenwright, the board, the players and the fans. “I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players,” the Scot said. “Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.
“Everton’s fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players. Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life.”
Ferguson, who will remain at United in a director and ambassador role, welcomed Moyes to Old Trafford declaring that the Everton manager was the only choice to replace him. “When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes,” said Ferguson.
“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.”
With the announcement of Moyes taking over at United, praise was heaped on the Scot from all corners of the Premier League. Here are some notable quotes:
Sir Bobby Charlton:
“I have always said that we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man. 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.”
United Chief Executive, Ed Woodward:
“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. In this respect, he is cut from the same cloth as the Old Trafford greats who go before him.”
“[Moyes’] hard working style and steely determination are characteristics we value at the Club. He has impressed as a coach for many years now and we strongly believe he will be able to take up from where Alex is leaving off by continuing this Club’s tradition of flair football played by exciting, world class players.”
“The search for a new manager has been very short. Alex was very clear with his recommendation and we are delighted that David has agreed to accept the job. He comes to us with excellent credentials and a strong track record.”
Chelsea interim manager, Rafael Benitez:
“It is not easy to find someone like [Moyes] but he has experience in the Premier League, he knows the players, he knows the club and what it means in the Premier League, time will tell.”
Manchester United midfielder, Michael Carrick:
“I think he [Moyes] has obviously done a terrific job at Everton. . . . All the players who have played for him all enjoy playing with him and say good things about him, obviously enough for him to get the chance to be the manager of this great club.”
Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert:
“I think if anyone can do it and enjoy it and keep the continuity there I think David Moyes can do it. He’s been sensational at Everton and I think he’ll handle it no problem.”
Former teammate and player for David Moyes, Kevin Kilbane:
“His connection with Sir Alex Ferguson is the key to the appointment. . . . He will fit in to the structure of Manchester United and their long term plan and he will be willing to seek advice and assurances from Sir Alex. . . . He is a wonderful man and a good manager and coach. It’s a worthy appointment.”
Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright:
“We’ve had a really good 11-year adventure with David. It’s my job – and the club’s job – to get a worthy successor. It’s been an extraordinary 24 hours.”
Former Liverpool striker, Robbie Fowler:
“Everton fans: now you know why the contract was run down… Has been a work in progress for a long time.”
Former Manchester United defender, Dennis Irwin:
“I think David Moyes will be very similar to Sir Alex, a tough old Scot from the same mould. . . . Wisely the club have listened to the manager and the heirachy and now we’ve got David Moyes, I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job.
Everton defender, Phil Jagielka:
“Like the rest of the squad I have nothing but the highest regard for David Moyes. . . . He is a first-class operator on and off the training ground and on behalf of the players I would like to place on record my thanks for the work he has done improving the team.”
With the Manchester United’s confirmation of the hiring, the focus now shifts to Everton where a wide range of candidates are in consideration for the post.