Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick welcome Moyes appointment
Rafa Benitez and Roy Hodgson among those positive about the new Manchster United manager
Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick have ewelcomed the appointent of David Moyes as Manchestet United’s new manager. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
The early reaction from within the Manchester United dressing room will give David Moyes cause to smile, with influential duo Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick both offering fulsome praise for the appointment.
Ferdinand, as one of the playing staff’s elder statesmen, was pleased both by the swift nature of the decision and the identity of Ferguson’s replacement.
“It was important the club made a decision quickly and got it all sorted before people could start making rumours. The club have acted impeccably in that respect,” he told MUTV.
“It’s great to see the new manager coming in, we’ve never had a problem with him here at United, he’s a very honest man from the players you speak to and he’s done a fantastic job at his previous club Everton.
“I’m sure he’ll be very, very open and sympathetic to the traditions of the club and try and continue that and not come in and try and make crazy changes in terms of the whole characteristics of the club.”
Carrick has also been impressed by Moyes’ body of work at Everton and is eagerly awaiting the start of a new era.
“He’s done a terrific job at Everton,” said the England midfielder. “He’s been there a long time and has had great success with the resources he’s had. It’s obviously a big change because this club’s been run for so long by one person. ”I’m really looking forward to meeting him and getting good training in pre-season and looking forward to a good future.
“He’s honest and fair to his players as far as I’m aware. He sets high standards just as he expects high standards of ourselves.”
England boss Roy Hodgson claims it will be “a Godsend” for Moyes to be able to call on Sir Alex Ferguson for advice. Moyes has been given a six-year contract at Old Trafford while Ferguson will remain at the club as a director and ambassador.
Hodgson believes that will prove a help rather than a hindrance to Moyes. He told talkSPORT: “I’m sure that being available for the new man he will be a Godsend in that respect because there is nothing he doesn’t know about football and Manchester United.
“The amount of time he has given to younger managers in terms of advice and support, and the support he has given to the LMA (League Managers’ Association) to protect those managers, you don’t expect that from someone at the very top of his profession.”
Hodgson also paid tribute to Ferguson and insisted that too much has been made of his qualities as a strict disciplinarian.
He added: “For me it’s also his human qualities and I think those two are linked together, you don’t become that successful and have such great relationships and build such good teams if you are just a so-called disciplinarian and hard worker.
“You also have to have a lot of human qualities so that people can relate to you and warm to you and I think Alex has that quality in abundance. I think that his enthusiasm and his energy are as great as ever and I am certain that won’t diminish.
“His footballing qualities and everything he has achieved are never going to be equalled. The epithet ‘the greatest’ is very well deserved.”
Meanwhile, former United defender Henning Berg believes Moyes is the perfect candidate to take on the enormous task of replacing Ferguson.
The Norwegian is an admirer of the way Moyes has gone about his business during an 11-year stay at Goodison Park and believes he could even bring some playing talent with him.
England left-back Leighton Baines has been strongly linked with the Red Devils before and Marouane Fellaini is known to covet a move to a title-chasing side.
“David Moyes is a very good choice,” said Berg. “He’s very similar to Ferguson as a manager. He’s shown at Everton what he can do with limited resources and he will look to lead the club in the same way.
“Of course he might want to bring one or two (Everton) players with him but I don’t think there will be too many changes.
“Most things are working at United at the moment so it’s a smooth transition.”
One player who will end up as a footnote in the Ferguson era is Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. He will join the Red Devils in the summer and will go down as Ferguson’s final signing.
His Palace boss Ian Holloway said: “It’s the end of an era. A fantastic, great man who will bow out at the top. The best manager in my lifetime has suddenly stopped.
“I feel sad for Wilf as well as I’m sure he wanted one or two seasons with him.
“I had a chat with Wilf and I’m sure when it all settles down they will be in touch. He goes down as Sir Alex’s last ever signing — it’s not a bad one.”
Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez was a Merseyside rival of Moyes during his time as Liverpool manager and has also had a tempestuous relationship with Ferguson over the years.
He sees a good fit between Moyes and his new club but, perhaps unsurprisingly, stopped short of offering a gushing endorsement.
“He’s a good manager,” said the Spaniard. “I think that he will have a very good team, so I’m sure he will compete at the top and he can win trophies with a big club.
“It’s not easy to find someone like Ferguson, but he’s a manager with experience in the Premier League. He knows the players, he knows the club and the Premier League. It could be a good appointment, but it takes time to say.”
Moyes can build a “master and apprentice” relationship with predecessor Ferguson, according to former England boss Steve McClaren.
McClaren knows plenty about working closely with Ferguson, having served as assistant boss at Old Trafford for two-and-a-half years and he believes outgoing Everton chief Moyes is an inspired choice by the Red Devils.
Ferguson will not sever his 26-year association with the club completely, instead operating as both director and ambassador, and McClaren thinks the relationship between the two men will be key to success of the transition.
“I think it’s a fantastic appointment,” he told Sky Sports News.
“He has a near identical work ethic, character, competitiveness to that of Sir Alex but he’s got that longevity at Everton — to build a club and sustain that success year in, year out, at their level.
“The key thing is he will have Sir Alex at the side of him and if they get on, as I know they do, it’s the master and the apprentice.
“He has to be open to that help. The experience Sir Alex has got will be invaluable.”
Ferguson’s epic reign at United is widely considered to be an unmatchable feat in the modern game, but McClaren expects Moyes to be around for a long time to come.
“For football in general, it brings a bit of sanity back to the game,” he said.
“United had a plan. It’s not about short-term success, it’s not about sustaining it for the next one or two years, it’s the next 26 years.
“He could be the next manager to do that. That’s how they’re thinking.”