The Doc believes Ferguson timed his retirement to perfection because the squad was in need of a drastic overhaul which he wasn't willing to take on late in his career.
And that's why Docherty - who led United to FA Cup glory in 1977 - believes Moyes must be cut some slack now the knives are out for the former Everton boss just six months into his reign.
He told the Daily Record: "The criticism is unfair. A lot of the players are getting past it and Fergie should have moved one or two of them on.
"It happens to us all - time catches up with you. Ferdinand is 35 and Nemanja Vidic 32. They've had their best years, you've got to move them on.
"I think Fergie looked at it and thought, 'Some of these players need replacing' but decided he would let a new manager do it.
"You can't blame it all on Davie Moyes. Fergie's got to take a share of the blame and the players must also take some responsibility.
"You would think the team that won the title is good enough to win it this season again but it's not.
"Fergie got the best out of them at the time but he knew himself, being a shrewd cookie, that it was time to go.
"I could be wrong but I think Moyes is the right choice and he will do a great job for United - but it takes time.
"He's got to build his team now and not Fergie's. It's ridiculous to say after six months, 'He's not good enough, get rid of him'. Anyway, they can't afford to get rid of him - he's on a six-year contract."
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