He’s got red hair but we don’t care
During his pre-match press conference last week David Moyes announced that he wouldn’t be considering a contract extension until the end of the season. With his current deal expiring in the summer, a lot of Everton fans are starting to worry that, after 11 years at the club, he could be on the verge of leaving. Moyes has done an amazing job at Everton, we have consistently punched above our weight while he has been in charge but does he now feel he’s hit the glass ceiling?
I have no doubt about it that David Moyes wants a big job one day. Sir Alex Ferguson is clearly a big fan and he keeps getting linked with the Manchester United job once Fergie finally retires. Moyes must ruefully look at those rumours. He knows in his heart of hearts that the United board would never consider a manager who has never won a trophy and whose Champions League experience amounts to two games. It would be a similar story at any of the big clubs in England; Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur. In fact the only “big” club that might take a chance on such a manager is the one that I hope he’d never join.
In England, that would leave him the option of joining a club that’s a similar size to Everton but one that has more money. A club like Aston Villa or Sunderland would fit into this category; both have stadiums that are a similar size to Goodison Park but both clubs have been outspending us in recent transfer windows. Part of Moyes’ frustration at Everton clearly comes from thoughts of what he could accomplish if only he had more money to spend. However, there is no doubt that Moyes has the best first XI that he’s had during his tenure while both Villa and Sunderland have been underachieving. Much like Achilles and the tortoise, before either could overtake Everton, they’d have to catch them.
Then there are the smaller clubs that are often described, slightly patronisingly, as being “well run”. However, could Moyes demonstrate anything at Fulham, Stoke or West Bromwich Albion that would change the minds of the big clubs?
How about going abroad then? In my opinion, not enough of our footballers or managers go abroad and I thought that Steve Mclaren did a great job in winning the Dutch leage title. I think that Moyes could probably do a good job abroad and there will doubtless be a number of ambitious clubs willing to give him a chance. However, would he be willing to move his family? Would he be willing to learn a new language and a new style of football. Would he be willing to risk the continental managerial merry-go-round where even successful managers find themselves sacked?
And what of Everton? Moyes may feel that he’s taken the club as far as he can but is the feeling reciprocated? Occasionally, we do have a performance that makes you wonder if Moyes still has the capacity to manage and motivate. Have the players heard it all before? If Bela Guttman is right about the third season being fatal then what does that make the 11th?
Personally, I think Moyes could stay at the club and continue to consistently finish between 6th and 8th with the sporadic good cup run. Would that be enough for Moyes though? Even if he does leave and he is replaced, we’re still going to have the same financial constraints. We are very shallow below that first XI and a new manager would have the same dilemma of whether or not to sell a player like Baines or Fellaini in order to finance new players.
In conclusion, I think that in an ideal world Moyes would stay at Everton and we’d miraculously attract some major investment. I’m sure that if Moyes was told that he’d have £50M to spend in the summer without having to sell anyone then he’d sign a new contract immediately. Unfortunately, this isn’t an ideal world and I really could see Moyes walking away in the summer. Only time will tell whether that would put him on the path to a bigger club. From our point of view, it at least gives us four months to start putting out some feelers to some other managers just in case.
Having said that, if we can beat the Latics in the replay and then beat the Latics in the quarter-finals then it would set up another trip to Wembley. That would put us so close and if Moyes could lift that elusive debut trophy I think that it would remove all doubt and we’d see him sign and stay for the foreseeable future.