Huge Old Trafford rebuilding job ahead for successor to Moyes
To follow in the footsteps of a manager who had won so much, at regular intervals, meant the bar was raised to an unattainable level.
The Glazers’ ambitions, both financial and on-field, mean they need to be regularly feasting at European football’s top table.
So, the dreadful performance from the champions at Goodison Park – and United’s failure to earn a Champions League spot for next season – meant the writing was on the wall for David Moyes.
The gloating Evertonians chanted ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ and it was a little mischievous to think if Moyes was to go, would United looking at Roberto Martinez as a possible replacement?
Probably not. Once bitten, twice shy when it comes to picking a manager who has a good record at medium-sized clubs, but with no pedigree at the top.
When United picked Moyes, it seemed the right fit. Even Fergie approved. But it just never really worked. The team never showed the flamboyance that United have become famed for, wing play abandoned for a more laboured approach, and Moyes’s record in the transfer market does not make for pretty reading.
What worked for Everton, clearly did not provide the necessary success at United.
So where do Manchester United go from here?
Many thought, myself included, that Jose Mourinho was the man to replace Fergie but that boat sailed when he returned to Stamford Bridge.
To replace Fergie you need a coach with broad enough shoulders to carry the club’s weight of expectation and an ego which can survive the continual pressure which surrounds Old Trafford.
Just like some great players have donned the United red over the years only to fail to cope with the expectation and pressure inside Old Trafford, managers, too, face unique obligations.
Remember Ron Atkinson? A larger-than-life character who enjoyed good times at United.
That is why United must now choose wisely.
It has to be a manager with experience at the very top, and a calibre that will see him cut through the troubled waters that will surround the club for the next 12 months.
For this current squad is in dire need of rebuilding.
They have three quality strikers in Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck, a top goalkeeper in David de Gea, and acquired Juan Mata for midfield.
But after that I am struggling to think of any player who is top drawer. Potential, yes, but enough for an assault on the championship again? No.
A new back four is needed, two central midfielders and a thick skin to avoid a similar unhappy ending to Moyes.
Could things get any worse for United fans? Well, Liverpool and Manchester City are the two key protaganists in the race to succeed them as Premier League champions. Oh, happy days.