Sports shrink: Man Utd boss Ferguson sees a lot of himself in Moyes

Sports psychologist Michael Finnigan can see why Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rates Everton counterpart David Moyes so highly.

Sports psychologist Michael Finnigan can see why Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rates Everton counterpart David Moyes so highly.

Finnigan worked with Moyes at Preston North End and Everton.

“I heard an interview with Ferguson recently when he was talking about David,” Finnigan told the Manchester Evening News. “He was reverential about him. I was listening trying to read between the words and it was clear how much he rates him.

“What he likes about Moyes is that they are peas in a pod. I’ve met Sir Alex a few times and I’m always watching him like a hawk.

“The minute he walks out of the room I’m making notes about the way he addresses people, what he did, what he said. I don’t ever want to forget lessons like that.

“I think he likes Moyes’ aggression. He likes his no-nonsense approach. Don’t mess about with David Moyes – he will punch your lights out.

“He is a hard man. A centre half. Uncompromising. A tough, tough man. He’s incredibly focused, ambitious, driven.

“These are all qualities you would attribute to Ferguson. You wouldn’t want to fight with Ferguson, even though he’s 70, because he’d bite your ankles. The toughness, the aggression, the ruthlessness. Not many human beings have that quality.

“Moyes doesn’t suffer fools. Football management is all about ‘good cop bad cop.’ The manager has to be bad cop. Moyes is very comfortable in that role, just as Ferguson is.

“You need to surround yourself with good cops - the Brian Kidd type. We used to call it the ‘jolly up guy’.

“The guy, who after the manager has had go, puts his arm around you and says: ‘Don’t listen to him. He loves you really. He thinks the world of you.’

“Moyes would need to keep that backroom team around him.”

Have your say