Is David Moyes Ready for a Big Four Management Position?
David Moyes has spent over a decade managing clubs in English football, hitting his peak over the last couple of seasons after some strange yo-yo performances by the Merseyside club in prior years.
He has earned a spot in the Champions League and secured UEFA Cup play twice, likely a third time straight this year around, all on a budget that would please Arsene Wenger. Even the 10 million + pound signings have looked quality, especially in light of 20 million + flops such as Veron, Shevchenko, and Keane from the Big Four.
More importantly than all of this is that a vacancy in one of the Big Four management is likely to open in the next few years, so let’s examine each case.
The London hotseat would probably be the most dangerous place for him to go simply because Roman demands results and prefers them over stability, which Moyes has brought to Everton for three years. The upside is that this is the job most likely to become available, and needs a manager (should Hiddink depart like he says he will) like Moyes who can build a team to compete in the future. Given his nose in the transfer market and a slightly larger budget than Everton can afford, Moyes at Chelsea for years to come could be a deadly combination, but only if Roman gives him time.
Sir Alex is going to retire; Sir Alex wants to win two more European trophies; Mourinho is taking over next year; Mourinho wants to stay at Inter and then move to Spain and then back to Chelsea and then Man U and then the Portuguese national team (where will he find the years?) and then conquer the universe.
The rumors have been circulating, but realistically Sir Alex will retire in the next few seasons. He is approaching 70, has won everything there is to win (of real importance) at least twice, is a Manchester United legend, and has so far outlasted all of his rivals, superstars with super-egos, etc.
Ferguson has spoken of the importance of stability, so it is doubtful that a “project” coach like Mourinho will appeal to the United hierarchy. However, everybody loves to win, and no one denies Mourinho’s knack for it. Regardless, Moyes should be considered, if only because Sir Alex has lauded him as a fantastic coach. On the downside, Moyes has never won anything but a League 2 championship, and does not have a proven European record, but to be fair, he doesn’t have the squad depth to be competitive on so many fronts. With a squad like United, he might showcase his talents on the continent as well as in England.
I consider David Moyes to be Arsene Wenger-lite, minus the pseudo-intellectual pretensions and the preference for all things French.
In all seriousness though, David Moyes might be the ideal replacement for Wenger should he leave. He knows how to stretch a budget, which the “selling club” Arsenal apparently need; he knows how to get the best out of players (such as Mikel Arteta); and as far as I can tell, he commands respect and loyalty from the players, club and fans.
What more could Arsenal want? They haven’t won with Wenger for quite some time, and so maybe the time is right for fresh blood, a new approach to signing players, etc. Give him a few years to seriously compete for the Premier League title, the Champions League, and the FA Cup, and see if he can’t hit the heights that Wenger has.
Rafa Benitez just signed a five year contract, so I doubt Liverpool will be in the market for a new coach anytime soon. It would also be outrageous if the Reds signed their crosstown rival’s coach, especially when Moyes referred to Everton as “the people’s club” in contrast to ‘pool. The odds of this happening are probably slimmer than Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Messi playing together at Real Madrid.
All in all, I’d say it is time for the Everton man to step onto the big stage and test himself. He has proved himself to be wel above adequate in managing at the highest level of English football, but hasn’t had the resources to build a squad with the depth and quality to compete in multiple, top-level competetions. He has the experience yet he is young enough to be appealing to any club who wants someone to stay for many years. Sorry Everton fans, but if Moyes has the ambition, he should move on to one of the Big Four.