LONDON (AFP) – Rio Ferdinand insists David Moyes is the right man to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United because he will respect the club’s traditions.
Moyes was confirmed on Thursday as United’s choice to replace Ferguson and the Everton manager will officially take charge of the Premier League champions on July 1, after agreeing a six-year contract.
Ferguson, who announced on Wednesday that he will step down at the end of this season, effectively hand-picked his successor after recommending his fellow Scot to United owners the Glazer family.
United defender Ferdinand is pleased that the potential for upheaval has been eased by the club’s swift decision to hire Moyes.
And he is confident Moyes will prove the ideal choice because he will respect the rock-solid foundations laid down by Ferguson during his remarkable 26-and-a-half-year reign.
“It was important the club made a decision quickly and got it all sorted before people could start making rumours. The club have acted impeccably in that respect,” Ferdinand told MUTV.
“It’s great to see the new manager coming in, we’ve never had a problem with him here at United, he’s a very honest man from the players you speak to and he’s done a fantastic job at Everton.
“I’m sure he’ll be very, very open and sympathetic to the traditions of the club and try and continue that and not come in and try and make crazy changes in terms of the whole characteristics of the club.”
Ferdinand’s United team-mate Michael Carrick has also been impressed by Moyes’ work at Everton and is eagerly awaiting the start of a new era.
“He’s done a terrific job at Everton,” Carrick said. “He’s been there a long time and has had great success with the resources he’s had.
“It’s obviously a big change because this club’s been run for so long by one person.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting him and getting good training in pre-season and looking forward to a good future.
“He’s honest and fair to his players as far as I’m aware. He sets high standards just as he expects high standards of ourselves.”
Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson believes Moyes will benefit from Ferguson’s decision to remain involved at Old Trafford following his retirement.
However, some pundits fear Moyes could be suffocated by 71-year-old Ferguson, who will still be involved at Old Trafford as a director and ambassador.
United suffered from that situation in the 1970s when legendary manager Matt Busby stayed on as a director following his retirement, casting a long shadow that intimidated several of his successors, including Wilf McGuinness and Frank O’Farrell.
Yet Hodgson is convinced it will help Moyes that Ferguson will be on hand to offer advice on the unique challenges of managing one of the world’s biggest clubs.
“I’m sure that being available for the new man he will be a Godsend in that respect because there is nothing he doesn’t know about football and Manchester United,” Hodgson told Talksport.
“The amount of time he has given to younger managers in terms of advice and support, and the support he has given to the LMA (League Managers’ Association) to protect those managers, you don’t expect that from someone at the very top of his profession.”
Managing a club of United’s profile and success will put Moyes under the microscope far more than in his previous jobs at Everton and Preston.
But Steve McClaren spent two and a half years working under Ferguson as United’s assistant manager and the former England boss expects Moyes to strike up an invaluable relationship with the man he has replaced.
“I think it’s a fantastic appointment,” McClaren told Sky Sports News.
“He has a near identical work ethic, character, competitiveness to that of Sir Alex but he’s got that longevity at Everton – to build a club and sustain that success year in, year out, at their level.
“The key thing is he will have Sir Alex at the side of him and if they get on, as I know they do, it’s the master and the apprentice.
“He has to be open to that help. The experience Sir Alex has got will be invaluable.”
Factfile on former Everton manager David Moyes, who was on Thursday appointed to succeed Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United:
Name: David William Moyes
Date of birth: April 25, 1963
Place of birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Teams: Celtic (1980-1983), Cambridge United (1983-1985), Bristol City (1985-1987), Shrewsbury Town (1987-1990), Dunfermline Athletic (1990-1993), Hamilton Academical (1993), Preston North End (1993-1999)
Scottish League Premier Division (1): 1981-82
Preston North End
Football League Third Division (1): 1995-96
Teams: Preston North End (1998-2002), Everton (2002-2013), Manchester United (2013-)
Preston North End
Football League Second Division (1): 1999-2000