On Wednesday, Everton manager David Moyes stepped onto a trap door with a giant X spraypainted across ir and was officially named manager of Manchester United. He may be making one of the worst coaching errors in sports by following a legend. The ground seems sturdy, but fans, the front office, and players are always waiting to pull that lever and namedrop the predecessor whenever controversy arises.
However, some jobs are impossble to turn down. Mike Brown is the most recent head coach to get ensnared in this trap. After one 41-win rookie season as Lakers coach, Brown couldn’t even make it four games into his second season, before fans were calling for a Phil Jackson encore and Brown got shown the door.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns and 38 total trophies make him the dean of professional coaching icons. United's been the picture of stability in the 27 years since Ferguson assumed control in 1986. As an organization, Manchester United makes the Los Angeles Lakers look volatile in comparison in the wake of Jim Buss' death.
Moyes is an interesting choice. For one, he was handpicked over Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho. Most likely, there wasn't enough room for both Ferguson and Mourinho’s personalities to co-exist peacefully.
However, even with Moyes on the sidelines, the omnipotent Ferguson will remain the wizard behind the curtain at Man U as club director and ambassador.
This essentially paints Moyes as a puppet within the United organization with Ferguson pulling the strings. The expectations are high for United from their worldwide fanbase. The expectations are even more difficult with Moyes walking into an organization that has an exorbitant payroll which effectively translates to $180 million.
In addition, the past conflict between Wayne Rooney and Moyes, who managed him as a 16-year-old rising star at Everton, casts an inauspicious light on the beginning of Moyes’ tenure. Rooney is still the all-world striker that has been England’s post-Beckham obsession, but speculation over his future will consume the beginning of the Moyes’ regime. It's too late for Moyes now, but here's one more piece of advice to follow: In the eyes of fans, your predecessor walked on water. You should watch your step.