Community Shield: David Moyes and Owen Coyle revive an old Glasgow rivalry

Two friends do battle at Wembley tomorrow, having risen from life on Clydeside to taking charge of United and the FA Cup holders

Northern Football Correspondent

The last time this early season fixture featured opposing managers who were both new to their clubs was in 1974, when Bob Paisley and Brian Clough took charge of Liverpool and Leeds United respectively for the first time. That could be read as an omen in one of two ways for David Moyes and Owen Coyle, who are embarking on new journeys with Manchester United and Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield at Wembley tomorrow.

Of course, the nation’s eyes are on Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor, whose decision not to hold a pre-match press conference yesterday stemmed not from the potential for another inquisition on Wayne Rooney’s future but his desire for a semi-competitive fixture to discuss before expounding yet again on the task ahead of him.

Moyes already feels he is all talked out where United are concerned. But the venue, where he has never claimed a trophy, and the opposition, who deprived him of a possible opportunity to do so by overwhelming Everton in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final, bring pressures which are largely  absent for Coyle, whose own side’s  12-1 odds on promotion are already looking ridiculously long. The 4-0 scoreline did not begin to do justice to their overwhelming defeat of Barnsley in the Championship last weekend.

Perhaps Moyes is right to keep his counsel. Managers are being asked to speak so often to the Premier League’s myriad rights-holders that the words are becoming devalued, and his history with Coyle, an old friend and sparring partner, reveals plenty about the man who has taken the most formidable challenge in world football.

These two Glaswegians’ paths through football have many parallels, the fundamental one being that having left the banks of the Clyde, they both began building managerial careers as young men in Lancashire: Moyes at Preston North End and, nine years later, Coyle 25 miles east of there at Burnley.

Coyle can claim the bragging rights on the few occasions when they came up against each other on the field: he, an Airdrieonians striker and Moyes, a Dunfermline centre-half three years his senior, in 1991-92. Dunfermline were relegated from the Scottish Premier Division that season, got little change out of Coyle’s side and the forward scored twice on one occasion.

Yesterday Coyle was also remembering the Skol League Cup semi-final of that year when Airdrie lost on penalties to Moyes & Co but he wound up with the man-of-the-match award. “I must have given David a torrid time if I was named man of the match!” Coyle recalled.

“There was a terrific [Dunfermline] coach at that time called Iain Munro,” he added, “who used to tell me how focused David was, how much he loved his football and that he knew David was going to make an outstanding manager. This was when David was no more than 24 or 25.”

Moyes’ focus on the fine detail has been a prime characteristic of the management success which has earned him the United position. The fabled story about the night in 2002 when Bill Kenwright first invited him to his London home to discuss the Everton job pretty much says it all. Moyes stuck to his plan to spend the evening in question scouting the Bristol Rovers striker Nathan Ellington and returned north via Kenwright’s place, reaching London by 1.30am and Lancashire again by around 5am.

The new Wigan manager saw the same fastidiousness when they first got to know each other well through their mutual friend John McGinlay – Coyle’s Bolton team-mate who was close to Moyes from their playing days together at Shrewsbury Town.

“Moyesy was then at Preston so we used to see each other regularly at matches and even at that age, when he was still a player, you could tell how focused he was on the coaching side,” Coyle recalled. “He knew his players. That’s why it’s no surprise to see him continue to evolve and become Manchester United manager.”

For Moyes, the difficult part of ascending the ladder had been how much to let go of the detail. Coyle tells a story of how Moyes once revealed that his biggest dilemma at Everton was whether to take the warm-up before his first game, as he had always done at Preston. “He didn’t know if that is what a Premier League manager should do. But he decided to do it at the last minute and sticking to his values worked.”

The step up now is even steeper. Compare Moyes’ current predicament – assessing whether retaining a disenchanted and potentially destabilising Rooney at Old Trafford is a price worth paying for keeping him out of Chelsea’s reach – with Coyle’s latest acquisition: James McClean has taken a pay-cut to leave Sunderland. The two managers are now occupying different universes.

Wayne Rooney: The United striker is unlikely to play tomorrow because of a shoulder injury Wayne Rooney: The United striker is unlikely to play tomorrow because of a shoulder injury (Getty)
Coyle is not exactly devoid of pressure, in the town which has not taken down the signs that read “Wigan, home of Premiership football”. After the relegation of his last club, Bolton, his reputation hinges on an ability to use Wigan’s parachute money from their own demotion to get them back up and he views the benefit of this weekend as a chance for the FA Cup holders to be reminded of a venue and opposition they still aspire to.

“When you’ve been there, that’s the level you want to operate at but to do that, no one hands you that,” he said. “You have to earn it – and that’s by performing well, sticking together as a group and coming through 46 games to prove you’re worthy of it.”

His own attempts to inculcate a team spirit involved staging a barbecue for the players, their families and all the non-footballing staff. “There can be a perception that players can be aloof. That’s not the case,” he said.

Moyes may smile at that notion, with a frosty Rooney unlikely to play tomorrow because of a shoulder injury thought to be far less than serious.

Coyle believes that the old Glaswegian principles will help Moyes through this period and on to greatness. “Because he’s so well-grounded and humble, for me there was never going to be a problem for him going into that role and the more he’s in it, he’ll evolve,” he said. “I’ve been saying for the last five years that he could manage any club in world football.” We are about to find out whether that assessment holds true.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
News
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
news
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform