Ferguson first few years were dicey, much like the first few years experienced by the last 5 Liverpool managers. In actual fact, he was almost booted but turned a corner and has not looked back since then. Continuity is so important and valued in being a football manager, something the modern game can no longer afford, or rather the owners cannot afford. Show me the results within 2-3 seasons or you are out. Molding a team requires time and in Ferguson's case his strategy was most prominent in the way he used the youth system, making it a celebrated channel for bringing up local talents.
In the present days of money buying talent strategy, Manchester United is Manchester United because we can proudly claim a large contingent of home grown talents and still a significant portion of players from the UK, something A LOT of teams cannot claim. At one stage, I though Liverpool was going to change name to Liverpool-Herzagovina.
The New Guy
The bookmakers is giving it to David Moyes, who, I must say has done wonderfully well with a limited budget and slightly above average team. He has shown that he can stick to it for some time. We should want someone who will stay around for at least 10 years. For Manchester United, its not just a manager we hire but a critical new family member.
But my preferred choice from day one has always been Martin O Neil, I think he is a bit more colourful and quite brilliant a manager.