David Moyes still technically has not taken over as Manchester United manager, however his impact is already being felt.
Mike Phelan and Eric Steele have been moved on at the request of the new manager while there are strong suggestions the highly respected Rene Meulensteen will leave too.
Many people, staff included, are seen to have expected minimal change to a system which clearly isn’t broken. Moyes though, although acknowledging the success, is clearly mindful of the problems the club faced when Sir Matt Busby couldn’t make a complete cut from management when he first retired in 1969.
Though this history has been well re-told since Ferguson announced his intention to step down, it probably shouldn’t surprise too many though that this re-organisation from Moyes is being criticised in some quarters.
Despite Phelan being the only ex-United player of the coaching staff let go, the expectation that Meulensteen will leave has drawn the most surprise and disappointment. The Dutchman sought to put the record straight earlier this week when he clarified his current employment is still with Man United.
If he does leave though, with Wigan touted as a potential destination to replace Martinez, it is important to recognise that his current role may not even exist next season.
Moyes has a significantly more hands on approach to training compared to Ferguson, with Moyes often running training sessions himself. The First Team Coach role will therefore likely be much changed from its current responsibilities.
It has been reported Rene has been offered a role coaching the Youth Team, however such a role could well be viewed as demotion for him given it would take his career back to where it was in 2001, when he first joined Man Utd as Skills Development Coach. Yet when he last left to tackle the challenge of management he ended up back at the club soon after. Praise from Van Persie highlights his coaching talent but maybe if he does leave he can come back to the club at a later date as “one of Moyes’.
A significant part of Ferguson’s success came from not just managing the team, but running the club. For Moyes to do the same, he cannot risk a repeat of the post Busby blues. He should therefore, far from rebuked for changing some successful elements, be praised for the bold decisions made so far in starting his own potential legacy.