NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12- Former Manchester United, Dwight Yorke, on Wednesday asked the club’s fans to give new manager, David Moyes, time to build his own side away from the imposing shadow of retired Sir Alex Ferguson.
Yorke, who is on a three day visit to Kenya, admitted the English Premier League champions will struggle without the iconic manager who was in charge of the side for 26 and a half years before calling it a day at the end of last season after leading the Old Trafford outfit to their record 20th league title.
“It was always going to be challenging when Sir Alex Ferguson left the football club simply because of the legacy. No manager has been able to achieve how long he stayed there.”
“His legacy, his presence and everything about the football club was surrounded by Sir Alex Ferguson. When he left, there was a big gap to be filled. Part of the reason I went to play for Manchester United was because of the man himself even though it was a big club,” Yorke said in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“I have been in football for long enough. You go to a bigger club, yes all that is great but at the end of it all, it’s the manager who picks the team, he’s the one who inspires you on a daily basis so I can understand players saying without Sir Alex Ferguson being around is difficult,” Yorke added.
“David Moyes having to fill Sir Alex Ferguson’s boots will be big boots to fill and that takes time. He has been on the job for only three months and it is difficult for someone to be judged so quickly,” the Trinidad and Tobago national, 41, who joined United from Aston Villa in a shock, 12.5 million Sterling Pound move in 1998 added.
He urged the current crop of players at the club, most who were signed by the immediate former manager, to give their all to the former Everton boss who has struggled to impose his methods on the English champions thus far in the season and at his first transfer dealings where Belgian Marounne Fellaini was the only star to arrive at Old Trafford in a late summer move.
“Let’s hope the players and fans give him time to embed his ideas and for the whole Manchester United to get used to the David Moyes way. That will take sometime because of what Sir Alex Ferguson has done over the years he was there,” the treble winner with United in his first season at the club in 1999 said.
Yorke representing United as an ambassador is visiting Kenya to conduct coaching clinics and offer motivational talks under the club’s partnership with Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) initiative, now in its third year.
He visited Mukuru Primary School for talks before he conducted a clinic with students of Upper Hill and Olympics schools who will represent Kenya in the ARS Africa Championships in Nigeria next week.
“I’m delighted to be an ambassador of the football club. United do not put a name for something they can’t fulfill and three years into the partnership, people like Andy Cole, Quinton Fortune and I visiting because of the commitment United show in the past,” he added.
“We are here to send that message to everyone that we are a partnership with Airtel of trying to give kids an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. We are delighted to be ambassadors of the club and I’m delighted to be here in Kenya to encourage people to pursue their dreams.”
Yorke who came from a similar background to Kenya notes he is ‘ living proof’ that opportunity is always around the corner.