When Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele left the club following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, many feared the complete lack of continuity wouldn’t make for a smooth transition.
Moyes did offer Steele and Meulensteen the positions, which they refused, but he did make the perfect double signing to work alongside new assistant manager Steve Round, goalkeeping coach Chris Woods and first team coach Jimmy Lumsden.
Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs’ appointment to the club was a masterstroke and it’s importance shouldn’t be underestimated.
Between them, they have amassed 923 appearances and 33 years as Manchester United players. They are Reds; brought up through the veins of the club all the way to the very top. They have experienced it from the bottom up.
As Gary Neville admitted in his book, him and his brother weren’t the most naturally talented footballers but what they had was an insatiable work ethic. They wanted to be the first ones into the Cliff and the last ones out.
That’s my main attraction at having Phil coaching the squad. There are a few in the team (naming nobody) who don’t always put 100% in but Phil won’t let that happen. He has seen the fruits of hard work and made a great career out of it, and I expect he will want to drum that into the players.
And hopefully, Gary will be in constant contact with Phil about his position at the club, passing on his tactical nous to him from the outside.
In Giggs, United have the greatest example of longevity in football and it has come from within the club. Last season, I’d argue Giggs was our best winger even if he was played central more often than not. How he still does it at the age of 39 is beyond me but it is also probably beyond the players too. They will want to learn from him, understand just how he managed to do it and try to emulate it.
Fair play to Moyes. He gave the United staff the opportunity to stay at the club instead of simply dismissing them at will – that will endear him to the fans. And in Neville and Giggs, he has given himself a great level of support that will allow him to really connect with his players from day one.
The future is bright, the future is Red.
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