When a manager gets sacked or resigns from, and I’ll try to be as respectable as possible here – your ‘Stokes’, your ‘Fulhams’, your ‘Cardiffs’, your ‘Sunderlands’ your ‘QPRs’, your ‘Crystal Palaces’ (you get the picture) – it is all part of the managerial merry-go-round. One boss is ousted or leaves and ends up at a similar club pretty soon after: Tony Pulis – Stoke City to Crystal Palace; Mark Hughes – Fulham to Queens Park Rangers to Stoke; Steve Bruce – Sunderland to Hull City.
But David Moyes will be coming from one of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United. Will he now be joining that pantheon of managers flitting from one also-run club to another? Is this what Moyes’ career will become? Having tasted nights in the Champions League, will he be prepared to make that step down?
It could be argued that Newcastle United are above those aforementioned clubs in terms of prestige and expectation (neighbours Sunderland will have a lot to say about that considering they have won more league titles throughout their history than the Magpies – six to four). So they could well be a viable option – if Alan Pardew is forced out – considering the potential of the club is there for all to see.
With Moyes having done a good job with Everton in reaching the top four on much less financial resources than the current big guns, it would be tempting for him to try his luck with a side that reached the top five just two years ago.
With Mauricio Pochettino refusing to commit wholeheartedly to Southampton they could be an exciting prospect for Moyes should the Argentine leave. We’re always on the lookout for clubs ready to break up the monopoly of the top seven and they are very close to it, especially if they keep players like Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.
If Moyes could ‘knock on the door’ of the top four with Everton then why not with the current Saints side? Even if their star players join other clubs then the Scotsman and his backroom staff proved at Everton that they know a suitable player when they see one (people seem to have forgotten that the current Everton side, apart from three of the loan signings that have played regularly, are a team moulded in Moyes’ image).
These are the kind of sides that Moyes will fancy: clubs that are on the cusp of something good rather than ones looking no further than 10th, and who view finishing 17th as a ‘decent season’. After a disastrous tenure at Old Trafford that was as public as Steve McClaren’s was with the England national side he may feel – or may have to – leave the country if he wants a job at a top club.
And if anyone’s career epitomises the yo-yo effect, it’s McClaren’s. He went away to Holland, won a first Eredivisie title for FC Twente, was sacked by Wolfsburg, left Nottingham Forest after 10 league games, returned to Twente only to resign a year later due to poor results, became an assistant at Queens Park Rangers and has now guided highly unfancied Derby County to the play-offs. Maybe Moyes could take a leaf out of his book.
It was some time last season that David Moyes, while still at Everton, spoke of a desire to manage in Germany saying: “I always had the hope of being a coach abroad. If I had the choice, I would probably go to Germany, in part because of the mentality, which is similar to mine. I’m also fascinated by what happens in German football.”
If this ambition still burns brightly inside of him then he will have to hope that executives at German clubs are more aware than other chairmen and women elsewhere when it comes to football in knowing that his achievements at Everton are not to be sniffed at. But there will be a good deal that will judge him purely on his spell at Man United.
Nearer to home his old club Celtic play in what is technically a top-flight league, even if the overall technical standard of it when compared to the top leagues in Europe is second to fourth tier level (maybe lower). So with a guaranteed title in the bag for the next season at least, he may feel the image of him lifting silverware will rattle the brains of club owners the world over in regarding him as a man who can bring them success. Then again, they will probably think and raise the same points I have made when referring to the standard and dismiss the idea of hiring him.
What would stand him in good stead were he to join them, however, is a good run in Europe. Current Bhoys’ boss, Neil Lennon, is that little bit more respected having got them out of the Champions League group stages last season, a group that featured Benfica, Spartak Moscow and the mighty Barcelona – which included a victory over the mighty Catalans on the way. It showed he had ways and the tactical nous of overcoming the very best in Europe and not just teams who would struggle to beat Luxembourg.
The comparisons with McClaren are applicable, so Moyes will probably only join a low ranking club and/or one below the top-flight should he fail in his next venture. But barring Celtic, the next club he takes charge of, whether home or abroad, will undoubtedly be a club of Newcastle’s or Tottenham’s stature: two clubs that have promise, ambition, are seen as reasonably big, and whose current managers look likely to be on their way out of the clubs come this summer.
One hopes for his sake that owners don’t see him as the ‘hopeless’ one that he has been betrayed to be in some sections of the media. There’s always the move into television punditry in order to re-build one’s reputation to consider. And with a World Cup looming, we could be seeing him sooner rather than later.
What do you think is next for David Moyes? Does he have to lower his sights to a mid-ranking side?