Former Manchester United boss David Moyes believes no manager could have performed better at the club in the season after Alex Ferguson retired.
The 54-year-old was appointed as successor to Ferguson when his compatriot called time on a glittering career after guiding United to their 20th top-flight title in 2012-13.
Moyes lasted less than a year in charge, though, with United enduring a dismal season in which they finished seventh in the Premier League and won no trophies aside from the 2013 Community Shield.
Jose Mourinho, who won the EFL Cup and Europa League in his first campaign in charge, recently claimed the club had “failed to evolve” under Moyes and then Louis van Gaal until he took over in May of last year.
Moyes, however, is adamant that any manager would have faced the same difficulties and pointed to failed pursuits of Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas as key factors behind his disappointing time at Old Trafford.
“Jose has his opinion, but there was always going to be a transitional period after Sir Alex’s time was over,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“There was a changing of the guard. Not only did I replace Alex, David Gill had also stepped down as chief executive and Ed Woodward came in.
“So it was always going to take time. Yes, I took over the champions, but clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City spent huge amounts of that money that summer in a bid to overtake us. And it was difficult for me to go into Old Trafford and rip up the team that had just ran away with the title.
“Having said that, things would have been a lot different if we had landed our main transfer targets.
“We were in for Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas. They were genuine targets, but for one reason or another we didn’t get them over the line. Getting them would have been the perfect start in terms of reshaping the squad I inherited.
“Having said that, I accept totally that when you are manager of Manchester United, you have to win. I didn’t win enough. But I don’t think there is a manager out there who would have been able to do something better or quicker in the time I was given after Sir Alex retired. It was all about small margins.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 3, 2017
Moyes has struggled to rebuild his career since being sacked by United in May 2014, with a short spell at Real Sociedad followed by a difficult time at Sunderland last season, when he was unable to save them from relegation to the Championship.
However, he insists he does not regret agreeing to the daunting task of succeeding Ferguson, who won 13 Premier Leagues, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues in a remarkable 27 years in charge.
“I have no regrets about taking the United job,” said Moyes. “When you get offered a job like that, you take it. When you compare my season to what Jose achieved last season, it is about those small margins.
“United were always going to have to go through a difficult time when Alex left. You only have to see how much money they have spent over the last three years just to build a team capable of challenging for the title again to see how difficult the job was.”
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