David Moyes has warned Manchester United will never regain their dominance of English football if they do not give a manager the time needed to revive a club that is still struggling to live up to the expectations created by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes lasted just eight months at Old Trafford, derided for failing to fill Ferguson’s shoes, sacked as soon as it became clear United would not qualify for the Champions League.
His replacement, Louis van Gaal, lasted two seasons, but was also jettisoned when he finished outside of the top four, despite winning the FA Cup in his final year.
Jose Mourinho has been spared the sort of criticism that plagued Moyes and Van Gaal, mainly, according to the Scot, because he has won the League Cup in his first season. But Moyes suspects that will not offer the Portuguese any protection next year, if he fails to qualify for the Champions League.
“I don’t think you ever get offered the Manchester United job if you’re a bad manager,” said Moyes. “You only get that position if you’ve had something to show previously. But I do think Sir Alex was given a good period to change things around when he came in there. And he turned it around.
“I do think that anybody who comes into the club needs a bit of time. I don’t think you can quickly turn it around because it’s a big beast.
“Some clubs have had a little bit of success from changing the managers quite quickly. But other clubs, the majority that change managers quickly, it’s proven that it’s not speeding up the recovery process.
“You have to win trophies at Manchester United as well and Jose has a trophy under his belt quickly. I lost to Sunderland on penalty kicks [in the semi-final] of the League Cup. It is small margins at times which can change how things go.
“But I also think United have to be in the Champions League and they are a club who can cope with being in it. It’s going to be very tight for them this year, whether they make it or not.”
Moyes is still trying rebuild his reputation since that reign at United and will almost certainly suffer his first relegation, as a manager, with Sunderland in May. The Black Cats are ten points adrift of safety and have only won five league games all season ahead of their clash with his former club on Sunday.
Some supporters are starting to question whether Moyes deserves to retain the support of the Black Cats board, yet he continues to believe he is the only man who can rebuild Sunderland, whether it is in the Championship or the Premier League
“I don’t think I should have sounded more upbeat here,” he added. “I just think I was totally realistic from day one and maybe that is not what everyone wants to hear nowadays. Maybe we have to spin a story to make it sound good, but my personality is to be realistic.
“I still think the best is to come, that’s the way I look at it, I really do. I am looking forward to winning trophies and being successful again.”