One story has dominated British football since last night rumours began to circulate about Sir Alex Ferguson’s possible retirement, who would replace him?
There are to names that have been put straight to the front of the queue: Moyes and Mourinho.
David Moyes is the third longest serving manager in the Premier League having taken over at Everton in March 2002, whilst the Portuguese has managed a number of sides, winning multiple titles in four different countries with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Chelsea.
On this evidence and the fact Moyes has never won a major honour during his management career, the clear favourite would have to be the special one, but it is not that simple.
David Moyes is a man who whilst at Everton has stabilised a club who were use to relegation battles and has transformed their fortunes turning them into a side challenging for European football on a regular basis.
All of this without bankrolling the side to these European placed finishes and has even over the past two seasons made Everton the top team on Merseyside.
He may never won a major honour but has developed the youth players bringing through the likes of Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Wayne Rooney a player he was forced into selling, something that is perhaps what has halted his progress.
With selling players like Rooney and Lescott Everton have sold key players to them who have gone on to win Premier League titles, and for Everton were key players, although Rooney was only a teenager at the time, and replaced them throughout a number of positions with players, perhaps not of the same quality.
Even with a side that does not have the quality of those who have invested heavily into playing staff Moyes has still remained competitive and challenged not only for European places, even qualifying for the Champions League in 2005, but also reached the final of the FA Cup in 2009.
Mourinho still has a better CV no matter how you want to glam Moyes up having won the Champions League with two different sides, most impressively with Porto in 2004, and even won a treble in his last year with Inter Milan before leaving to manage Real Madrid.
He is use to managing these big clubs but does he fit Manchester United?
He has seemed destined to the post since beating Manchester United in the 2003/04 Champions League with Porto on his way to winning the competition, but is his style right for such a traditional club?
Since leaving both Chelsea and Inter Milan the next permanent manager into the hot seat after Mourinho didn’t last six months, including a Champions League winning coach in the shape of Rafael Benitez. Mourinho is not the kind of manager who stays at club for a great deal of time, something both Manchester United and David Moyes are use to.
The next man into the Old Trafford manager’s position will have to do it under the eye of the great manager Sir Alex, who is staying on at the club and with his name bearing down on them, plastered across the stand opposite to where whoever takes the job will be sitting.
The next manager will have to create their own legacy and it is undoubted the club will go into a transitional phase, that would be more likely to be the case is Moyes were to take over, whereas Mourinho may win at any cost, papering over the cracks and once he departs the effect could be far worse for Manchester United.
Many would also argue Moyes will not have the ability to bring in players of the highest quality unlike Mourinho, but would Sir Alex’s position, still at the club play a factor in a player’s decision, he will still be at the club and will also offer Moyes some guidance into a new post, whereas Mourinho would most probably rather go alone.
Moyes would also give the top of British football a British manager at the top of the game, if Mourinho is to get the job it may just epitomise modern day British football, that money is what drive football teams, instead of their own philosophies.
Mourinho would seem to be a short-term fix that could go very wrong, once he is to depart, whereas Moyes, although inexperienced at the highest level he knows the league and how to deconstruct and reconstruct sides, whilst keeping them at a very competitive level.
Remember Sir Alex didn’t win anything for his first three years, so could the club not offer Moyes this kind of settling in time, or due to the pressures and financial implications, would Manchester United need a manager who could hit the ground running: Jose Mourinho.
This could be Ferguson’s last key decision, if the decision were down to the American owners it would be certain, due to the financial impact Mourinho would be given the job, but Moyes should not be ruled out due to his value of promoting youth players, ability to hold a job for a long time.
For Mourinho would a move to Chelsea not be more suitable, the chance for him to create a dominant force in British football off his own accord, create his own side, which even from his first spell largely remain and now without Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford this could be a chance for him dominate the league without living in the shadow of such a historic manager.