Former assistant coach Rene Meulensteen has slammed Manchester United for the way they handled the succession of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
David Moyes was hand-picked by Ferguson to be his successor and was, put simply, a drastic failure from start to finish, leaving his post in April.
Ryan Giggs took over on a caretaker basis before assuming an assistant manager role under Louis van Gaal, who was replaced by current boss Jose Mourinho in 2016.
Speaking in an interview this week, Meulensteen claimed the brisk appointment of Moyes was a massive strategic mistake by the club.
“Knowing that Ryan Giggs was keen on stepping into coaching – he was doing his licenses – he knew United inside out. The culture, the identity – he knows everything,” he said.
“Plus with us (Ferguson’s existing backroom staff) being around there, plus Ferguson still being there, that could’ve been an ideal scenario.
“That is just a different way, a different strategy, which I think could’ve worked.
“Bringing somebody from the outside, I knew straight away that it wouldn’t matter who it would’ve been. But obviously for David Moyes it was a massive step up because he’s never played, never worked on a similar level.
“If they would’ve said we want to bring in (Jose) Mourinho then, or (Carlo) Ancelotti or Pep Guardiola or Jupp Heynckes, who have worked at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, they wouldn’t be fazed.
“They know what’s expected of the club. They would’ve respected and understood the importance of the 26-year tenure of Ferguson. What has happened is it’s ended up in a very erratic period, which still hasn’t settled.”
Perhaps Moyes made his worst call at Old Trafford before a ball was kicked. His decision to dispense with Ferguson’s staff, which included Meulensteen and other widely respected dressing room figures, and use his own people went against the recommendations of Ferguson himself, and had disastrous ramifications on the football which followed.
Appointing Giggs, backed up by Rene Meulensteen and Mike Phelan, would not have guaranteed success but surely would have been an upgrade on what Moyes brought to the table.