I know what you’re thinking. That $10 magazine celebrating the 75th anniversary of Superman, bought on the way home from the bar last night, was an awful choice. But it wasn’t, it was f*cking brilliant. Man of Steel previews, a history of every medium to portray Superman from radio to comic book to television to film, and write ups on all the men trusted with bringing the character to life; George Reeve, Christopher Reeves, Brandon Routh and, my personal favourite, Dean Cain. You’re also thinking that eating the rest of my Oreo Sundae (bought with the aforementioned magazine) when I woke up this morning when my mouth felt like a cotton ball and tasted like the dance floor of the aforementioned bar was f*cking genius. It wasn’t. It was brutal. That’s the difficulty with making decisions, sometimes you’ll get it wrong. I may have an awesome mag to keep myself entertained for the next few days, but I also feel kind of sick. Nothing to do with the beer and Jameson combination, though.
It’s Sunday morning, 9am. Toronto. 20 degrees and simply beautiful. Herself had to work early so, still craving lots of sleep, I was kicked out and sent away on my walk of pride. Magazine and ice-cream in hand. It’s a week since the league season has finished, two and a half since Fergie decided to bail, and a month since 20 was confirmed. A heavy month of celebration, saying goodbye, smoking f*gs and drinking whiskey. I’m really feeling the effects this morning, not at all helped by the realisation that Bayern Munich are Champions of f*cking Europe.
It’s nice out though, I’m strolling and playing with my thoughts. Appointing David Moyes is the biggest decision Manchester United Football Club have had to make since 1969. And, through their own fault and other reasons beyond their control, they got that one wrong. The intentions when handing the reigns to Wilf McGuinness were obviously very good, but it ultimately sent the club backwards. Another huge choice was made 20 years later, as fans called for Ferguson’s head, and, in fairness, the club got that spot on.
I can see why they went for Moyes. He shares many similar characteristics with Ferguson. With that gruff manner, seemingly unique to men from Scotland, and his authoritarian personality he’s certainly well placed to carry on the Tartan tradition that is now so familiar to the Old Trafford dugout. From his time with Everton we know he likes to control all aspects of the day to day running of football matters within the club. His teams have always played with a confidence, often punching above their weight, and shown a certain never-say-die attitude that United fans are all too used to. Take that disastrous 4-4 draw at Old Trafford in April 2012, for example. Indeed, his decision to leave Everton and take on this monumental challenge shows us a belief in his own qualities and a hunger to get to the very top. Everton and Moyes have been admirably loyal to each other for 11 years, in the same vein as United and Ferguson and that bodes well.
The only real problem with Moyes is that, if his income was based solely on trophies won, he wouldn’t have a pot to p*ss in. Apart from a Division Two title with Preston in 2000, of course.
If you were to believe the media and the bookies and anybody else who earns a living by making sh*t up, then our pal Jose Mourinho was the other runner in this two horse race (later reports have suggested Ancelotti actually turned the club down, but I don’t think that story carried too much weight). So let’s rewind a little bit and get all hypothetical. Fergie tells the club he’s sick of the whole thing. Tells them they need to find another tulip who dreams of having a pace-maker fitted and explain that all he needs to do is to sit in the Manchester United’s managers chair starting this August. Gill phones Jose instead. He’s on the next plane to Manchester. A young manager with bags of experience and a proven track record with four major European clubs in four different countries is taking over from our boss.
It sounds slightly better than the guy who’s managed two Champions League games, and lost two Champions League games.
BUT, Mourinho talks too much. Too controversial. Gets too personal with other managers. Attacks referees too frequently which would tarnish the clubs image. Yeah, I guess the club would never go for that kind of manager.
However, the decision has been made. One that ranks just a little less important than electing the President of America, and somewhat more important than electing the Pope.
I like Moyes. I liked his Everton teams. He handles himself well as a manager, he can spot a player and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Unfortunately for him, many United supporters have already sacked him. I fear that, as a group, the fans won’t lower expectations. Obviously lowering expectations is never a good thing, but it gives the new man a tighter time frame to mould his own team and build success like his predecessor did. I would like to think United will use their benefit of hindsight if and when things are tough during the Moyes era. Although Fergie will still have a say form the boardroom, Gill is gone and the Glazers, ultimately, will have the final word. And they won’t have the same respect for Moyes as they did for Sir Alex.
So many big decisions still lay ahead for Manchester United Football Club. If Moyes gets all his correct then there shouldn’t be a problem. But mistakes are bound to be made somewhere.
I’m back at home now. The remains of my ice-cream are slowly turning sour from sitting in the glare of the sunshine beside my window while I read enthusiastically about the surprising success of Smallville. Only time will tell us what kind of call the club have made. I’m just hoping it’s a little less Oreo Sundae and a lot more Superman magazine.
My name is Ross Cummins and, just like my hero Piers Morgan, I have a Twitter account: @RossCummins