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Moyes in race to deliver success


David Moyes and Alex Ferguson. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

David Moyes and Alex Ferguson. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

David Moyes and Alex Ferguson. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

IF someone asked me to bet my house on whether Jose Mourinho or David Moyes could survive the next 12 months without winning a trophy, I'd have to put my money on the Chelsea manager-in-waiting.

Already, I can safely say that the 2013/2014 season will be packed with intrigue and wonderful stuff for neutrals. Radical change in football is always good for those without a vested interest.

For years, Old Trafford remained an oasis of calm in a turbulent Premier League but that's all over now. Until and unless Moyes can quickly establish a regime which carries the same weight and authority as Alex Ferguson did for 27 years, I believe he will be under ferocious pressure.

Mourinho will get some latitude and time to rebuild at Stamford Bridge and while Chelsea fans and maybe Abramovich too will remember what Mourinho did in his first season at the club, I do believe he will get resources and breathing space.

Moyes is in a very different position. First off and probably the most important element is the fact that he is inheriting a squad which won the Premier League this season.

That's the kind of certainty which Manchester United fans have become used to and while I'm sure Moyes will be welcomed and given every chance to succeed, he will not be able to muddle along for three or four of his five-year contract and expect to hold onto his job.

He will be expected to win the title next season and if anyone thinks that the owners will be happy to kick back and wait if Moyes does not deliver the kind of success they have become accustomed to, they're in for a rude awakening.

I've praised the Glazers for staying out of Ferguson's way and giving him the money he needed to compete.



But the bottom line for the Glazer family is very different from what Roman Abramovich expects from Chelsea.

He has poured money into the club without any great expectation of a profitable return and has done it to satisfy his passion for football and his giant ego.

The Glazers know what a dollar looks like and their interest in Manchester United has always been financial and nothing else.

Obviously, they were happy to see Ferguson winning trophy after trophy because of the impact he had on the club accounts.

I've mentioned it before but it is worth repeating that Manchester United was worth about £20million when Ferguson started work there and about £2billion today.

But we simply do not know how the Glazers would react to a manager who is not winning enough games to keep the stock market happy.

Abramovich just wants to win trophies and when he saw Barcelona doing it in a way which entertained the world, he wanted the same.

He made the judgement that Mourinho couldn't deliver 'sexy football' and got rid of him, but money was never really an issue.

Abramovich will have to spend a few more quid with Mourinho in the saddle – he knew that once he decided to go back to the well.

Many believe that the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations will make a difference and from what Arsene Wenger has been saying, he's taken a major punt on the prospect of fiscal limits being placed on clubs.

But I see that there is already talk of UEFA's new rules being challenged in court and football has never done well in that arena.

Clubs will keep spending and I expect Chelsea to be right up there at the top of the list. Mourinho wouldn't have it any other way.

His departure from Real Madrid has been very bitter indeed and shows clear evidence of how difficult he is to work with, although I'm sure that there are two sides to the story of his time at the Bernabeu.



He came up against players with World Cup and European Championship medals who were not as malleable as he is used to and didn't fall for his 'Special One' routine.

But he also came up against a regime which has always interfered with managers and I'm certain that at least some of the trouble he had was down to his willingness to fight for control.

He has always been willing to do that and I admire him for it even if I don't like a great deal of the nonsense he brings to football.

There will be a second honeymoon at Stamford Bridge and I think Abramovich will keep out of his way, at least for the first season. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess what might happen.