“Ferguson and United’s hierarchy had anticipated a smooth transition behind the scenes following the 71-year-old’s retirement,” said Mark Ogden the Telegraph’s Manchester correspondent on Thursday. Yet, David Moyes introduction to the Manchester United hot-seat has been anything but smooth, with Ferguson, his brother Martin, the chief scout, and three senior coaches leaving the club this summer.
In addition to Moyes, the Scot’s Everton assistant Steve Round is set to join United, while Toffees veteran Jimmy Lumsden, goalkeeping coach Chris Woods and scout Robbie Cooke could yet join the Reds before the new season starts in August. Meanwhile, former United defender Phil Neville may also be seen at Carrington next season.
The rapid-fire changes impose Moyes’ will on the United coaching set-up, potentially reducing the risk of Ferguson’s long-shadow inhibiting the new man’s work. But does the significant disruption also carry a risk? After all, in losing Ferguson United is now devoid of 26 years of experience. His key lieutenants Mike Phelan, Rene Meulenstein and Eric Steele have been part of 28 United campaigns in aggregate.