Over the years, under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had developed a unique trait of bouncing back from adversities.
It is this phenomenon which redefines their status as ‘Champions’ in English football history. There have been innumerable occasions in Ferguson’s career where the Scot has been put under immense pressure. Countless number of times it has happened in his long double decades of managerial career where United had gone through terrible bad patches, but the man from Govan somehow found a way to lead his team back to glory.
Manchester United was humiliated 4-1 by their city rivals at the Etihad yesterday and many were quick to give reactions that ‘it-would-not-have-happened-under-Ferguson’.
For that matter, Ferguson’s team suffered the ignominy of losing 6-1 to their noisy neighbours only couple of seasons back. That. Too. At. Old Trafford. These things can happen in football but what matters most is how one bounces back from it.
One can understand that United are going through a transitional phase while they were handed (Moyes himself admitted) a tough set of fixtures to deal with.
However, that cannot stand up as an excuse. Sir Alex was involved in many rebuilding phases for United over his two decades of managerial career, but to him, transition phases were just another part of the whole journey, which one has to face and deal with it strongly.
David Moyes cannot avoid this obvious comparison with his legendary predecessor. He is the Chosen One and he has to match the legacy and standard set by Ferguson at this iconic club. To fill the boot of the great Scot was never going to get easy and his true managerial pedigree will be judged not only by how well he matches the scale set by Ferguson but supersedes it.
He needs to find a way to motivate his team. He has the full backing of his players and must use it to good effect. The journey hasn’t been smooth so far but there is an ample time for him to rectify that. Can he motivate his team and safely guide the Red Devils through this stormy-phase will be the key introspection from here on.