There have been very few critics of Manchester United's largely popular decision to replace its retiring legend in Sir Alex Ferguson with Everton's David Moyes.
But if there is one concern, it's that both men are too similar.
Both are Scottish managers who are known for being tactically astute and fierce disciplinarians. Ferguson is infamous for his clashes with some of his biggest stars and Moyes hasn't been shy to publicily criticize a player when necessary. Still, U.S. international Tim Howard disagrees with that thought process.
"They both have that fiery Scottish blood and come from a similar backgrounds, but in general they have different personalities," Howard explained exclusively to Goal. "Moyes is much more hands on. That's simply because of the fact that Sir Alex has been around for 26 years [and prefers to delegate tasks]."
If there is any player who would know both men well, it is Howard. He has been a starting goalkeeper for Ferguson and Moyes. Ferguson gave Howard a chance to play in the Premier League by taking a chance on the American in 2003. Three years later, Howard joined Moyes at Everton after losing his starting position with the Red Devils.
While it has been bittersweet to lose a manager whom he has the utmost respect for, Howard believes that Moyes will bring a fresh perspective to United.
"(Moyes) leaves no stone unturned," Howard said. "They've both been successful. I think Moyes' personality is going to shine through. Everyone likes to pretend that they are carbon copies of each other... they aren't."
Howard admits that he first learned about Moyes becoming United's manager similarly to everyone else - by watching TV. The two spoke briefly after the move was made official and Howard called Moyes' decision the right move and thanked the manager for the work they accomplished together.
"When you've had a good long journey with someone, it's always difficult to see [that person leave]," Howard stated. "I want to play under David Moyes always, he's an amazing manager, but this was something that he had to do.
"He's one of the most organized people I've ever been around, diligent to the task every single day," Howard added. "He knows what to do, he's a successful person and he will be a success at Manchester United... there's no question about it."
Howard credits Moyes for immediately giving him the confidence to succeed at Everton, with the keeper remembering their first conversation. Under Moyes' guidance, Howard developed into a world-class player for both Everton and the U.S. In 2009, Howard was nearly unbeatable in the United States' run to the Confederations Cup final against Brazil.
"He told me that I was his No. 1 goalkeeper from the start and had faith in me even when I made mistakes," Howard recalled.
Moyes' departure could be the beginning of several major changes at Everton.
Aside from hiring a new manager, with Wigan's Roberto Martinez being the front-runner, it is expected that the Toffees will lose some key stars. Reports have linked Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines with potential moves to Chelsea, Manchester City and Moyes' new club United. Even if that becomes reality, Howard expects Everton to remain one of the most competitive sides in England.
"It's up to the [new] manager first and foremost," Howard stated. "If one of our top players goes out the door, we are going to get a whole lot of money for him. We can take that money and buy some other quality players."
Howard insisted that he has no interest in leaving Everton, even if some of the club's biggest stars leave.
"Yes [I'm committed to Everton long-term]. We have a quality nucleus of players and there isn't going to be a mass exodus of players leaving, I can assure you of that," Howard stated. "Our chairman is excellent and he will get top dollar for whoever leaves."
As for the future of Manchester United, Howard said that he wasn't surprised by Ferguson's decision to retire but admitted he was shocked by the timing.
"Everyone was shocked because up until then everything was quiet and there was no big buildup, but I'm not that surprised," Howard explained. "He's had so many years of success and he's getting older. For a guy who's had that much success, it's never a good time to bow out. The next success is always around the corner. So there's never a good time or an easy time."
Howard fondly remembers his time as a Red Devil under Ferguson's guidance.
"It was incredible in every way. I am a better person and a better goalkeeper because I spent three years there under some amazing tutelage," he reflected.
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