David Moyes, Management options - Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal
'Sorry, David!' - Why Moyes should get a big job this summer, but probably won't
David Moyes’ contract at Everton is up in the summer and, as yet, it appears that no talks have taken place about a new one. Now Moyes is a singularly straightforward guy. So, when he says that he’s concentrating on the season, and will look at a possible new contract in the summer, it’s not the ‘doubletalk,’ eye-fluttering, come hither parlance that you hear from many players. In all likelihood, he means it. That said, there may be a few big jobs available when the season ends, and if there was any justice in football, he’d be a candidate for most of them, but you know something, there isn't and he won’t be.
Contrary to popular belief, and the hopes of most United fans, Fergie cannot go on for ever. If they land the title again this year – which looks like a formality from here - and they excel to secure a third Champions League trophy, might he just be tempted to call it a day? Probably not, but you never know. If he did, who would the candidates be?
Well, given the success of Ferguson’s long-term tenure, they probably would want a guy chipped from the same block, who’s going to stay a while and build a squad. The ‘dream ticket’ of Guardiola has gone – at least for the present. There’ll doubtless be the clamour for Mourinho, but as a club, Manchester United have this strange attitude about the “United way” and are unsure that the Portuguese’s abrasive approach to the press and authority will mesh with their ethos. I know that’s all a bit strange when you consider the approach of the incumbent, but let’s not let a bit of hypocrisy get in the way of a good PR campaign. Plus, long-term, Jose isn't! Aside from Mourinho, there’ll be Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund. A club built on strong foundations, development of youth players and sound finance. Of course there’s always the wild cards that get thrown in. Laudrup is the flavour of the month, and Martin O’Neill, will always be prompted by his journo advocates – however illogically. One name’s missing from the list though. A guy who comes from the same hard streets of Glasgow as Fergie, who has over-performed at his club, stays and builds a squad and is the epitome of financial acumen. Yep, David Moyes. Sadly, the ‘no European experience’ argument will count against him, and he’ll be viewed as ‘simply not a big enough name. ’ I may be wrong, but don’t think I am. Sorry, David!
Across the city – at City, actually – there’s a managerial seat more likely to be vacant. It’s a club that needs a strong manager, capable of controlling extravagant talents and welding them into a trophy-hungry unit to rival the Reds across the way. Again you would think that it’s almost a Moyes ‘photo-fit’ if he had the chance. Unfortunately, I think this one’s got Jose’s name written right through it. Loads of dosh in salary and to splash out in the transfer market, plus the chance to cross swords with Fergie again, return to his spiritual EPL home and create another record by winning the league with two different clubs. Made-to-measure, as they say. I don’t think that the “Welcome to Manchester” sign won’t be out for Moyes in red or sky blue. Sorry David!
Heading down south, there may be another couple of possibilities. If Arsene decides he’s done, he may move on – I’m looking to Iberia at a post-Jose renaissance Real Madrid, or if illness prevents a return by Villanova, a Catalan sojourn may appeal – or move up to a Director of Football role or something similar. Either way, Moyes could be the ideal replacement; a ‘sorcerer’s apprentice’ in the Wenger mould, but with the case-hardened experience of financial dexterity, much-beloved of the Arsenal board. Steve Bould would probably be in pole position for the role, but after the Dein-inspired ‘rabbit from a hat’ appointment of Wenger, the Gunners may look to someone from outside. Does Moyes have the cache the club would be looking for however? Maybe not, and to my mind, the above-mentioned Klopp, looks to hold more appeal to the club. Sorry, David!
If only there was a club, crying out for a manager with the experience and personality to come in and take control of a fractious squad and re-build the club’s PR profile, without limiting the hunger of the trophy cabinet. If only Benitez wasn’t nailed on for the full time job at Chelsea. Wait a minute. Benitez is going – fact! This could be perfect!
It’s rumoured that Abramovich remains angry at some players for hounding out AVB and his project, and the Moyes stare can shrivel a player at fifty paces. A dressing room dust-up with Rafa would be like arguing with a mild-mannered waiter compared to trying it on with the granite-willed Scot. Such a face off probably wouldn’t even be necessary however, as Moyes comes with built-in respect as a guy who’s earned his stripes and opportunity. If he had the the chance, I’m sure Moyes would crack the squad into shape both on and off the field. Problem is of course, it isn’t going to happen. The next manager through the revolving doors at Stamford Bridge is very unlikely to be British. Pellegrini is already being touted, and why not, after all the last South American there did so well – it was Scolari. Another possibility is the man currently masterminding the Atlectico domination of the more illustrious Real in Madrid, Diego Simeone. The Argentine has a similar hard-nosed straight-faced approach to Moyes, plus the bonus of a relationship with the object of the Blues’ desire at the moment, Radamel Falcao. It looks like a non-starter for the Scot again, I’m afraid. Sorry David!
It’s probably not much consolation to him, but as a lifelong Blue, I’d love to see David Moyes at Chelsea. It’s also probably not much consolation to say that to illustrate how difficult it is for a British manager to break into a top job at the moment, ask yourself this question. If Manchester United were after a manager tomorrow, would they go for the guy at a non ‘Old Firm’ Scottish club with a previous CV of East Stirlingshire and St Mirren, even if he had won the Scottish League three times, plus five cup triumphs and a minor European pot in twelve years north of the border? Would he even be in the frame? No, I don’t think so either. It’s probably a sad reflection, but hey, nobody said it was going to be fair. Sorry, David!
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