'I'm not really interested in what happened here in the past. I don't mean any disrespect to the great achievements of Manchester United over the years. It is simply that now there is only one way to go and that is forward.'
Those are the words of a hopeful Glaswegian manager taking over at Manchester United. It's what Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his programme notes for his first home game, against Queens Park Rangers in November 1986, but they could equally have come from the mouth of David Moyes this week.
Yesterday represented a seismic moment for English football. The rest of the game has always been thinking: 'Wait until Sir Alex Ferguson retires. Then we'll find out about Manchester United.' And it has been apparent for the last few weeks that there has been a tension building around Manchester United.
Centre of attention: David Moyes took charge of his first Premier League game as Manchester United boss
Perfect start: Robin van Persie scored Manchester United's opener at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening
There is a nervousness among fans. Before, they had Sir Alex who could take on anyone in football - managers, players, referees - and put fear into them. He had that authority. Even listening to the radio coming down to the game on Saturday, people were bringing up the Wayne Rooney issue; the fact that they haven't played well in preseason; whether David Moyes should have complained about the tough opening fixtures.
BUT what people forget is that Manchester United still have a group of players that can play. And they have Robin van Persie who is absolutely sensational, as he was in Saturday's 4-1 win. I didn't think they were at their best but Sir Alex Ferguson's teams weren't always at their best but won away from home.
There were things they could do better, they did come under huge pressure but you saw an ice-cold team who never panicked. It's difficult to imagine a more solid start for David Moyes. It just lets everyone settle down for a week and think: 'Actually, Manchester United might be a force.'
United they stand: Danny Welbeck is mobbed by his Manchester United team-mates after scoring his second
New chapter: David Moyes's reign as United manager got off to the perfect start following a 4-1 victory
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There have been a lot of opportunists out there who will sense the moment to have a go. And the rest of football is building that pressure quite deliberately. All of their rivals are thinking: 'Now we've got our chance. We'll take you on now that Sir Alex isn't there. We'll bid for players that we wouldn't have bid for if Sir Alex was there.'
That's what David Moyes has to confront. I said last week that never have the reigning champions gone into the season as third favourites. That tells you everything: the outside world is watching and waiting. And it's as if the computer picking out the fixtures is asking the same question. 'Let's see what they're made of: Chelsea at home, Liverpool away, Man City away.' It's almost as if a trap has been set.
The perception of the club has already changed. Sir Alex had some summers when he didn't attract major signings but was never questioned. People trusted him. The debate about David Moyes's complaints about the fixtures illustrates the point.
If Sir Alex had said that, it might have been seen as the manager taking on the authorities or as 'mind games'. Because it's David Moyes, it is seen as weakness.
The reality is that in three months people's view of the club has changed, and that is unavoidable. Fans have lost their comfort blanket. Sir Alex Ferguson's presence was such that he inspired confidence and trust. They believe in David Moyes, but they need to see him perform.
And you can talk about the 659million fans Manchester United claim worldwide but it's convincing the 100,000 hardcore who live around Old Trafford that matters. They are the ones who will set the tone for how the supporters receive David Moyes.
But I see it as a huge opportunity for him and also for the players, who carry a huge responsibility. They know the game and the circumstances.
Remember, it's only just over a year ago that these players were doubted when Manchester City won the league and people were talking about a 'power shift' in the English game.
Pressure: The Manchester United supporters believe in Moyes but they need to see him perform
The players don't take notice of what I call the noise of football, the media discussion. But they will have been aware of it.
What you saw on Saturday is their response. It's only early days and the next few weeks will still be difficult but it does seem like a seamless change. Even the appearance of Wayne Rooney and his contribution will dispel some of the pressure around that situation. We still don't know how it will end but the idea that he's going to be difficult, that he won't contribute to them again, that's clearly not the case.
Remember these are the players who won the league by 11 points last season. This is just another challenge for them and the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have to take their share of responsibility. They control the future as much as David Moyes.
Danny boy: Welbeck nets the first of his two goals at the Liberty Stadium in United's 4-1 victory
People will always debate how many points Sir Alex was worth to United with his leadership, authority and control. However, it is also true that great players have winning habits: Chelsea won the Champions League when Roberto Di Matteo had been in charge for just three months and they almost did so under Avram Grant, while Jose Mourinho never did.
The players are the same and we will now find out whether they were dependent on Sir Alex and how big a factor he was. And while no one can doubt the magnitude of what Sir Alex achieved, I believe this team are capable of performing as they did without the former manager.
In those first programme notes against QPR, Sir Alex wrote: 'I'm only interested in players who want to play for Manchester United and like me are bad losers.' That's as true today as it was 26 years ago. It's everyone's responsibility at Manchester United to get David Moyes over the line to that first title, to transform the view from the glass being half empty to being half full.
At the end of yesterday's game, the fans were singing: 'We'll win the Premier League again/This time for David Moyes.'
That shows you that the entire club are coming behind him to alleviate the pressure he has been put under. His job is to change the perception surrounding him and the club at present. The only way to do that is on the pitch when the noise stops, the opinions stop and whatever people are saying doesn't matter any more. Yesterday was the first step.