Considered choice

Manchester United's appointment of David Moyes on a six-year deal has seen them consider much more than credentials on paper, writes Mark Buckingham

Composite of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes at Old Trafford.

We look at why Manchester United put their faith in Moyes

David Moyes hadn't even been appointed Manchester United manager when the questions and scepticism about his suitability and credentials to replace Sir Alex Ferguson started to gain traction. Opinion was split almost down the middle on whether Moyes was the right man to succeed the legendary Ferguson, particularly when Jose Mourinho is hankering after a return to the Premier League. Given Mourinho's unrivalled record of winning the league title in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, allied to his UEFA Champions League triumphs with Porto and Inter Milan, his CV is clearly the one which jumps off the desk. In comparison, Moyes' CV is an almost blank page. There is a Second Division title with Preston North End in his first managerial job. With Everton, there is UEFA Champions League qualification in 2005 and an FA Cup final appearance in 2009. On paper, you could argue those achievements wouldn't even get Moyes an interview for the United job, never mind one of the most coveted positions in world football. Yet recent history has proven that past success as a manager is not a barrier to landing a prized post and then going on to win trophies. There are certain parallels between Moyes' career and that of Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who had also been mooted as a candidate to replace Ferguson.

Unfashionable

Klopp spent seven years with unfashionable Mainz, leading the club into the Bundesliga for the first time and then the UEFA Cup before presiding over their relegation in 2007. When he took over at Dortmund a year later, it was admittedly after a poor season when they finished 13th, he was still tasked with leading a big club on the back of only relative success at his previous team. He has since gone on to win the Bundesliga twice, lifted the double 12 months ago and is currently preparing Dortmund for a Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Bayern, themselves, are no strangers to handing the plum job to a coach whose record bears close comparison with that of Moyes. In 2004, Bayern appointed Felix Magath, whose best achievement had been a second-placed finish with Stuttgart a year earlier after previous spells at Hamburg, Nurnberg, Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt. The Intertoto Cup aside, there were no trophies on his resume, but it didn't stop Magath from winning the double in his first two seasons at Bayern.
No regrets
Current Juventus coach Antonio Conte's claims for the job he took on in 2011 may have had more to do with his glorious record as a player for the club, than his actual managerial feats. He had just led Siena to the Serie B title when he was appointed by Juventus, after earlier stints with the likes of Arezzo, Bari and Atalanta. After back-to-back Serie A titles, the Old Lady have no regrets about appointing Conte. Massimiliano Allegri overcame the lack of honours on his CV to lead AC Milan to the scudetto in his first season in charge in 2010/11 after spending the previous two years in mid-table with Cagliari. Former Liverpool boss, and current interim Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez is another coach who was offered a golden opportunity on the back of limited success. Failures at Real Valladolid and Osasuna were followed by promotions with Extremadura and then Tenerife, in 2001, which secured Benitez the job at Valencia, who had just lost a second successive Champions League final. Benitez won La Liga twice with Valencia and the UEFA Cup before leaving for Liverpool in 2004. Of course, there is no guarantee that Moyes' name will be added to these examples. But, equally, just because he is yet to win a trophy, it doesn't mean he's not the right man for United.

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