English Premiership

Moyes makes mark at United

2013-07-05 10:09
David Moyes (Getty)

London - Less than a week into the job as Manchester United manager, David Moyes has already made his presence felt at the club's newly rebranded Aon training complex in the Greater Manchester village of Carrington.

The task of succeeding the legendary Alex Ferguson has been widely described as an impossible one but Moyes, who officially started work on Monday, appears determined to tackle it head-on.

He has made sweeping changes to the back-room staff, notably releasing Ferguson's trusted coaches Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele, and replacing them with his own men.

Assistant manager Phelan was a close Ferguson ally and while Meulensteen's innovative training sessions were lauded by the players, goalkeeping coach Steele was credited with helping to improve the form of David de Gea, having even learnt Spanish to assist communication.

Moyes might have been expected to preserve a coaching set-up that had helped United regain the Premier League title from Manchester City last season - co-chairperson Joel Glazer spoke of him "taking up from where Alex is leaving off" - but instead, he tore it down.

Steve Round, Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden followed the 50-year-old Scot from Everton and although all three earned Moyes's trust during his time at Goodison Park, the huge level of expectation at United will be as unfamiliar to them as it is to him.

However, while Moyes and his closest advisors have only limited experience of amassing silverware, he has drafted trophy-winning expertise into the dug-out in the shape of veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs, United's most decorated player, and former Old Trafford stalwart Phil Neville.

Both men will approach their new roles fuelled by a beginner's hunger to succeed, but perhaps more importantly, they will also give Moyes's coaching team a validity that only on-pitch achievement can bring.

"Ryan's success and ability to adapt his game over a number of years gives him an unrivalled perspective on the modern game. His career is an example to any aspiring young player," said Moyes, who will address the media for the first time on Friday.

The presence of Giggs and Neville on the training pitch will also protect a thread of continuity that Ferguson's departure threatened to snap.

Along with Nicky Butt, hired by United last season, and Paul Scholes, who has also joined the coaching staff, the two men represent the home-grown core of players around which all of Ferguson's greatest triumphs were constructed.

With his support staff now in place, Moyes will be expected to show his hand in the transfer market.

He is likely to return with an improved bid for Everton left-back Leighton Baines after an initial offer of £12 million was turned down last week.

There are also reports of interest in Benfica's Argentine centre-back Ezequiel Garay and Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, son of Brazilian World Cup-winner Mazinho and star of Spain's recent success at the Under-21 European Championships in Israel.

Moyes must also address the thorny issue of what to do with unsettled striker Wayne Rooney, who reportedly remains aggrieved at Ferguson's claim that he has asked to leave the club for a second time.

Moyes was the man who gave Rooney his professional debut at Everton in 2002 but British media reports have indicated that an anticipated meeting between the two men on Wednesday did not materialise.

The new manager took training for the first time on Thursday and although he has less than a week to prepare the squad for their five-game tour of Asia and Australia, he has already given strong indications that he intends to lead the club on his own terms.

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