London: May 9, 2013
Former England and Yorkshire batsman Sir Geoffrey Boycott, who is a Manchester United fan, compared the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s successor to his own replacement of Len Hutton in England’s batting line-up in the 1960s.
Boycott fears that Manchester United would enter a similar title drought as they did after the retirement of Sir Matt Busby, after which they went 26 years without a trophy until the arrival of Ferguson — a phase that saw six different managers come and go.
Boycott feels that the new manager who will replace Ferguson should not get overawed by his predecessor and should look to forge his own history.
“He [the new manager] will have to say, ‘Hey, Alex was brilliant, outstanding, excellent — but I’m not looking to emulate him. I’m looking to make our own history, our own trophies, my team.’ That’s how you have to look at it.
“It’s no different batting for England. I came to play for England after great batsmen like Len Hutton — forget that, I need to make my own history.”
Boycott told 5 Live Sport: “I’m concerned that we’re going to get in the same situation as when Busby left — we had six managers after him, but it’s a bigger club now. It’s huge.
“If you bring a manager in who is a quiet, nice person, can he handle a club like United?
“There will be money to spend, but there is an expectation that is bigger than ever. Fourth or sixth won’t cut it. And you’ll have to do it in Europe.
“My great friend Brian Clough used to tease him when Ferguson only had one European Cup, saying he’d won two.
“Now Ferguson retires with two. But for a big club like United to only have three European Cups in its history is pretty ordinary isn’t it? Think how many Real Madrid have got, there are other clubs with more than us — and we’re meant to be, along with Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world.
“If you’ve got the right man who can handle the club, he’ll double that tally.”
While Boycott wants current Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho to succeed Ferguson at United, he would accept the appointment of Everton’s David Moyes as well, who is the favourite. However, Boycott expressed concerns over Moyes’s inexperience in Europe.
“David Moyes looks the favourite; he’s a good manager, a good man, he never gets involved in altercations in the media and brilliant with Everton on a shoestring [budget].
“But he hasn’t won anything or played in Europe. Can he handle it? You never know, he might be brilliant at it. But then you have someone like Mourinho where you know it’s not going to bother him what Alex has done, he’s done it all with Inter Milan, Porto, Chelsea, and Madrid.
“He’s won everywhere and already has two European Cups. Winning the league and cups is second nature to him. He has the persona to carry it all before him — he’s not worried about it.”