The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for David Moyes. Named as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, the 50-year-old has been thrust into the limelight as he attempts to assess his players, negotiate a money-spinning tour of Asia and make new signings. In truth, it's enough to drive anyone to distraction – which is perhaps how these pages from Moyes' secret diary found their way into the hands of your humble reporter....
Late May 2013 (forget the exact date – bit of a blur)
What a day. What a bloody day. Got a call from Fergie. Was pretty sure he was going to make another £5million bid for Leighton so I hung up, but he kept trying. Picked up eventually and he invited me to his house. Thought maybe he meant business this time so agreed to go over.
Halfway up his driveway I heard what sounded like Wagner blaring from some speakers he'd pointed out of his bedroom window. That wasn't normal. Nor was the red carpet he'd set out leading up to the front door. I was just about to knock when the door opened. Alex was standing there, slightly glassy eyed. Had a big bottle of whisky in his hand. I could see a load of printed photos on the floor behind him: one of Guus Hiddink, one of Jose Mourinho, one of Pep Guardiola. They all had marker pen crosses on them. One page was pinned to Fergie's chest. It had my face on it.
"You, David... are... (hiccup) the next Manchester United manager."
"Jesus," I replied. "When do I start?"
When fate comes a-calling, you listen - even if he does seem a little drunk.
Got up at 5am to iron the suit I bought yesterday. First rule of management: you have to look smarter than the players on your first day - even if it means spending an extra £16 at M&S to avoid the my-first-suit suit that everybody gets.
Early night needed. My face is hurting from all that smiling and small talk. Knees aching too; literally had to sit in a stationary car (not mine) for half an hour for those stupid new-man-arrives-at-work photos. Can't wait to ban some of those reporters from press conferences.
Players returned to training today. Played a little prank on Wayne: found the page in his book about me, photocopied it 50 times, highlighted a few choice words and stuck them all round the training ground. Good to give the players a little taste of my funny side early on. Danny Welbeck was absolutely loving it.
Was impressed by most of the lads. Rooney only looks slightly overweight (can probably spin that as "best shape in years") and Anderson is a mess but everyone else is in super shape.
Oh and Chris Smalling gave me a top tip for telling which of the Da Silva twins is which: "The one that looks depressed is Fabio." Apparently six months under Harry Redknapp can really take the spring out of your step.
Delighted at the reaction to my decision to get Phil Neville in as coach. Really seems to have people excited. Giggsy seems up for being player/coach as well, which would be even better. Maybe I should take this further: Keith Gillespie as fitness coach, John O'Kane as head chef, Michael Twiss as... groundsman? Must call my secretary later. This is gold.
OK, so they absolutely love us in the Far East. I feel like Brian Epstein. (Note to self: do not say that in the press. Madchester references more likely to please United fans. Could say I feel like... Bez? Must think this through.)
Players have been on their best behaviour, even if Rio Ferdinand insists on filming everything. There must be some serious dirt on that phone. I could use that when his contract's due for renewal. Will Google "phone hacking" later.
Quick one before I forget: Pep Guardiola must die.
First game later today. Bit nervous. No Wazza (nudge nudge wink wink) and all the lads playing for their countries are still away. Stood in front of a mirror for 35 minutes earlier, just shouting "YOU ARE THE MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER!" in an attempt to convince myself it was true. Got really red. That's a good thing. The more blood vessels visible in my face the better.
Deep breath, David. You got this.
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