David Moyes is struggling in his new role at Old Trafford, but would Sir Alex of had as difficult a time with the team in its current shape and form.
We all knew it was going to be a difficult job to take up, but I don’t think many people would have predicted David Moyes guiding Manchester United to such a poor start to the Premier League campaign - sitting in 12th place after a home defeat against West Brom.
Moyes has had plenty of stick. For picking the wrong players, tactics, formations and his inability to close any deals in the transfer market. The former Everton boss has now guided Manchester United to their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
But it has got me thinking about the timing of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure … did he jump from a sinking ship?
Fergie would have wanted to leave as a winner, as much as he loves the club, his status as immortal was always going to be strengthened by leaving the club after a Premier League triumph.
And with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester City and now Liverpool all beginning to breathe down the clubs neck - retiring next summer would not have guaranteed him of such an exit.
But the team itself is showing signs of wear and tear. Ryan Giggs’ age has appeared to finally catch up with him. Paul Scholes, who is an irreplaceable asset, has retired. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have both clearly lost a yard of pace - as has Patrice Evra.
Meanwhile the likes of Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia all showed signs of decline last season.
All of these factors make Moyes’ job, of which he is admittedly not doing a very good one, extremely difficult.
Fergie has put the talent in place, but this is certainly not a finished squad.
When I say sinking ship, I absolutely expect it to rise again. In the past this has happened with Fergie, and he eventually has managed to steady the vessel and bring it back to its previous best.
Fergie however needed time he felt he didn’t want to give in order to build a new team. I think United would be struggling this season, regardless of Fergie’s retirement.
The squad needs injection; it needs time and some of the deadwood, as unempathetic as it sounds, needs to be moved on.
This is a team being built, as the sands of time have their affect for both maturity and immaturity - and Moyes must weather the storm.
Fergie did not want one last fight with keeping a fragile boat on choppy waters - but it would have been a tough fight regardless.
And that fact cannot be forgotten as David Moyes struggles to get going at Old Trafford.
image: © marcel sigg