Steele revealed that Moyes was warned by his predecessor not to overhaul a winning formula, but rejected the advice before letting Ferguson’s key personnel go. (File/AP)
David Moyes was warned of the risks of breaking up the successful coaching team at Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson but opted to bring in his own staff, according to former goalkeeping coach Eric Steele.
Assistant manager Mike Phelan, first team coach Rene Meulensteen and Steele were released over the summer as Moyes brought Chris Woods, Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden with him from Merseyside. He also appointed former United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville in his first full-time coaching role, while Ryan Giggs was installed as player-coach.
Since then, United have made their worst start to a league campaign in 24 years with three defeats and a draw in their first six games, including back-to-back leagie defeats by Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion.
Steele revealed that Moyes was warned by his predecessor not to overhaul a winning formula, but rejected the advice before letting Ferguson’s key personnel go.
"He spoke to me, Mick and Rene," Steele told fanzine United We Stand. "I told him I thought it was a brave decision. He listened to the manager's advice, but he wanted to be his own man."
"I didn't want to leave. Why would I? I knew that David was coming in and wondered who he'd bring.
"You had the United perspective - the manager saying, 'Keep what we've got, keep the continuity, work with them and they'll guide you through. You're taking on a massive machine here. You've gone from Marks and Spencer's to Harrods.'
"Then there's David's viewpoint, which I understand. I know him professionally. I know his work ethic, his hands-on approach.”
"I don't blame him for doing what he did. I've been in the game long enough to know how it is.
"But it's ironic, isn't it? You've just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David De Gea's had his best season. Does it make sense that you're not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that's out of my hands."
Ferguson’s departure was not the only major upheaval at Old Trafford at the end of the 2013 season. The retirements of David Gill as chief executive and Paul Scholes - for a second and final time - have been felt keenly in the board room and the dressing room.
While Meulensteen left for an abortive spell in charge of Anzhi Makhachkala and Phelan has made a number of media appearances, Steele has gone from United’s Carrington training ground to helping out old friend Graham Turner at Shrewsbury.
"There were massive changes - the manager, chief executive, Scholes retiring and the coaches," Steele said. "But there are enough players in that dressing room to win when it really starts.”
"My time was up, I'm proud of what I did at United and I have great memories."