Whilst David Moyes’s move to Manchester United is a great opportunity for him personally, and no Everton fan would begrudge him the chance to move on to the next level, it is very difficult to see how the Blues can adequately replace the great man.
Despite an undistinguished playing career, when given the opportunity to manage Preston North End, back in 1998, the 50-year-old Scot came into his own, upsetting the football betting odds by leading them to the Second Division title in 1999-2000 and then into the playoffs the following season. It was this achievement that convinced Everton to appoint Moyes as a replacement for Walter Smith in 2002.
Moyes’s transfer policy and his uncanny knack of bringing in promising players and then allowing them to move on from the club at the right time for both them and the team have helped to ensure that Everton have been able to remain financially viable whilst still having money to spend on the odd star signing. Prominent examples of this have been the likes of Joleon Lescott, Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta, who have all yielded significant profits for the Toffees, which have then been reinvested in the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Jonny Heitinga. This transfer policy, as well as his ability to motivate his team and ensure that his players have consistently competed with more famous, bigger clubs, has seen him awarded the Manager of the Year award three times by the LMA, and has seen him qualify for the Champions League on one occasion and reach the FA Cup final once during his 11 years at Goodison Park.
Several high-profile names have been linked with the manager’s role at Everton but it is hard to see any making such a difference to the club as David Moyes has. Whether any other manager would be willing to stick with the club for such a long time, or to build team after team with such little money seems doubtful. David Moyes is one of a kind and whilst another man may come into his seat in the dugout it is hard to see him ever being adequately replaced.