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Alex Ferguson backed David Moyes’ firing, will help select a successor

Apr 22, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

Britain Soccer League Cup AP

Not even Alex Ferguson, the man who implored Manchester United fans to give his chosen successor time at Old Trafford, could mount a defense of David Moyes. According to reporting tonight from The Times, the former United boss supported the club’s decision to move away from his preferred successor. He will also get a chance to redeem himself, set to play a role in identifying Moyes’ replacement.

The reporting is supported by The Guardian, who has more details on the mood at Old Trafford. Ed Woodward and the Glazer family, conscious of Ferguson’s part in the failed transition, still value the former manager’s input; however, whereas 10 months ago Ferguson was allowed to hand-pick his successor, the final decision on the club’s next boss will rest with Woodward, the club’s chief executive.

From The Guardian:

United are deliberating between Louis van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti to replace David Moyes … Diego Simeone, the Atlético Madrid coach, is also being considered but United are leaning towards a more experienced candidate …

Ferguson will … be an influential voice because the club consider it would be foolish to discount him, even though there is now an acceptance at boardroom level that he made a serious error of judgment choosing Moyes last year when José Mourinho was available.

Van Gaal has been connected to both the Tottenham and Manchester United jobs since earlier this year, with the Dutch boss thought to have kept interest in the Spurs job at a minimum with the hopes the United job would open up. Though he as a reputation for being a scorched earth artist, with none of his last six jobs lasting longer than four years (and averaging just over two seasons per stop), his record of success depicts a man capable of engineering quick turnaround. Beyond titles at Ajax, Barcelona, and AZ, Van Gaal was the man Bayern Munich turned to regain the German crown after the club’s ill fit with Jurgen Klinsmann.

If Manchester United is looking for a bridge to an eventual Ryan Giggs tenure, Van Gaal is a logical choice. As is Carlo Ancelotti, provided he’s willing to leave Real Madrid for Old Trafford. Regardless, the man who made the mistake of choosing Moyes will get a chance to redeem himself by contributing to this second, unexpected process.

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