Is This The Summer That David Moyes Finally Leaves Everton?

With his future to be decided by how Everton perform between now and the end of the season, this summer could be the one Moyes finally leaves Goodison Park. A number of the Premier League's big hitters will be casting a watchful eye over Merseyside...
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With his future to be decided by how Everton perform between now and the end of the season, this summer could be the one Moyes finally leaves Goodison Park. A number of the Premier League's big hitters will be casting a watchful eye over Merseyside...

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You have to think that at some point in the next couple of weeks, in a series of darkened rooms, some very powerful men representing the interests of Arsenal, Manchester City and perhaps Chelsea will sit and pay very careful consideration to the CV of one Everton manager David Moyes.

Moyes has allowed his contract at Everton to run down; whispers are that he will plan his future at the end of the season based on Everton's position in regards to European football. Given Everton's form in the latter half of the season, this season being an inversion of their recent trend to start slowly and build into a position of strength after Christmas, it seems likely that they can achieve top six but a top four finish may be beyond them.

Overhauling Oldham in their fifth round replay may provide an extended FA Cup run but while victory here would at last provide a trophy and glory to mark Moyes' reign it would only provide Europa Cup qualification. A sixth-placed finish in the league may not even offer that.

It would seem obvious that Manchester City and Chelsea will qualify for the Champions League, Arsenal may not qualify following a troubled season but historically have always been able to assume qualification. It would also seem obvious that there is a very great possibility that at least two and quite possibly all three of the above clubs will part company with their managers this season.

Roberto Mancini's failure to retain the league title won with the last kick of last season will be seen as exactly that; a failure. Chelsea have the most hated manager in their history, even if Benitez were to miraculously conjure a run on the title the fans will never accept his presence at a club he derided while manager of Liverpool.

More...

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Everton: We'd Be A Top 5 Team...If Only We Took Our Chances

And what of Arsène Wenger?

Without a trophy now for eight years, knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackburn, educated in Europe by Bayern Munich, a threatened comeback from a 2-0 deficit via a corner incorrectly gifted by a referee halted by Bayern's third goal of the evening. The prospect of visiting the Allianz and winning 3-0 is beyond the realms of imagination. It would be unseemly for Wenger to be dismissed by the club that he transformed into 'Invincibles' in the first half of his tenure but surely the prospect of this now being the time to walk away with dignity must be playing on his mind.

And to replace these managers in a time of financial fair play these clubs will no longer want to throw cash at their problems in the manner that they have been accustomed; they will need a manager that can reshape teams with more limited resource.

In this area David Moyes has more success than probably any other manager in the Premiership. He is accustomed to the sales of his highest value players, accustomed to rebuilding with limited funds, accustomed to achieving league placings higher than his club's wage bill would dictate possible. His current Everton side is the best of his decade at the club, a Jelavić playing with the same conviction and conversion as last season possibly the only difference between Moyes and a Champions League placing. The question here would be: is this as good as it gets?

Moyes clearly has ambitions. He is known to be a fan of the Bundesliga and has apparently expressed an interest in challenging himself in that arena. Does he feel that Everton can give him the chance to challenge the European elite? Does he feel hamstrung with the extremely limited budgets that he has had in his career?

The age of importing managers from the continent appears to be over, a trend toward giving young British managers a chance to advance has emerged over the last year. Moyes has proven over the last decade that he is able to perform at a higher level than other managers working within the same structures. Surely he is now a prime candidate to assume control of a top four team?

So if we accept that Mancini has failed, Benítez is Roman's latest temporary plaything and Arsène's time may be over, and also that José Mourinho can only accept the one job, is it time for David Moyes to move on? And is he the answer to these clubs perceived failures of this season?

One sure thing, this will be a summer for testing loyalties.