Moyes was the 'right man' for Man Utd, says Alex Ferguson

Old Trafford boss sticks by decision to hire Moyes, but reveals he had hopes for both Guardiola or Giggs

Sir Alex Ferguson
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It wasn't a mistake to appoint David Moyes as manager of Manchester United. That is the belief of Alex Ferguson, the man the Scot replaced as boss of the Red Devils in the summer of 2013. Moyes lasted just eight months at United before being sacked on the back of a series of underwhelming results but Ferguson has no regrets at his role in his hiring.

"We did the best under the circumstances we were in," Ferguson said in an interview with the BBC that will be televised on Sunday. "We picked the right man."

Moyes left Everton to take up the position at Old Trafford and Ferguson told the BBC his appointment wasn't down to just him. "Do you honestly believe one man could decide the future of Manchester United?" retorted Ferguson, who said that United's owners were supportive of the decision. "It's nonsense. There was a good process. They're a professional football club - they know what they're doing - the Glazers and David Gill."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

However, Ferguson did admit that there was a shortage of strong candidates when he made the decision to step down after 26 years at the helm. "Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup," explained the 73-year-old. "We'd like to have spoken to many managers because that's a process... we'd like to have asked them what they felt about leaving a big club to go to a bigger club - to come to Manchester United. It wasn't there for us."

Ferguson also revealed that he and Pep Guardiola had dined together in September 2012, three months after the Spaniard had stepped down as Barcelona coach having won 14 trophies in just four years in charge of the club. Ferguson was still in charge of United and had not yet decided to retire but he told Guardiola during the course of the meal, "give me a call and tell me what you're going to do".

Asked why he said that to Guardiola, Ferguson replied: "I was just trying to think way ahead. But I didn't get any answer and then he goes to Bayern Munich."

And intriguingly, Ferguson tells the BBC that Ryan Giggs - currently Louis van Gaal's assistant - might well now be in charge of United had he not proved so durable in playing on until he was 40. "If Ryan Giggs had retired at, say, 35, it is quite likely I'd have made him my assistant," says Ferguson. "And quite likely he could have moved right into the job as he is doing with Louis van Gaal at the moment... but I would never ask a player to quit."

Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success is on BBC One on Sunday, 11 October at 22:30 BST.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.