David Moyes will succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United.
After 26 years and countless honours since his arrival at Old Trafford, Ferguson announced his retirement on Wednesday. The 71-year-old will see out the remainder of the season, which involves a home match against Swansea City and a trip to West Bromwich Albion, before taking up a director and ambassadorial role at the club.
Moyes was initially installed as favourite to succeed his compatriot Scot over the weekend, when a flurry of bets were placed on his appointment. And despite the pending availability of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, it is the 50-year-old who will be in the United dugout next term, having agreed a six-year contract to succeed Sir Alex.
“It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United,” said Moyes, who spent the past 11 years at Everton. “I am delighted that Sir Alex 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.
“I’m really looking forward to taking up the post next season. I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players. 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.”
Moyes has worked on a tight budget whilst at Goodison Park, and although he has only led them to one top-four finish, back in 2005, and has failed to add to the club’s honours list, he is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the country. Indeed, Sir Alex insists the Toffees boss was the unanimous decision of the United board.
“When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes, we unanimously agreed on David Moyes,” he said. “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.”