The Curious Case of David Moyes: Will He Ever Get His Big Chance?

Alex StampCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2009

If you were to draw up a straw poll of Top British Managers, I wonder who would be picked? Sir Alex obviously. David Moyes has to be a shoo-in, same with O'Neill, perhaps Mark Hughes, or hey, we could even go out on the limb and pick Joe Kinnear-its a crazy old world-just ask City fans.


Now, obviously Sir Alex is an exception, for a start he's the only one who has been knighted, but who would you name as the best? Personally, I'd opt for one in particular, who never seems to get the credit he deserves: David Moyes.


Moyes had done a wonderfully underrated job with Everton, you only have to look at their final league table finishes under him, four times they have finished in the top seven in six full seasons in charge.


Bear in mind, this is a team that was only one point above the relegation zone when he took over.


Plus Moyes was threatening the dominance of “the top four” way before O'Neill and Aston Villa were doing it-when they finished fourth (above Liverpool) in the '04/'05 season.


Moyes has managed to achieve this, through shrewd signings and developing youth players-key factors in gauging any managers success.


If you look at this current Everton team, it is packed with David Moyes bargain buys-Tim Cahill (£1.5 million), Mikel Arteta (£2 million), Yobo (£5 million) and captain Phil Neville (£3.5 million).


Interestingly, it is with his bigger signings that Moyes seems to have come unstuck, James Beattie (a club record £6million) and Andy Johnson (£8.6 million) hardly set the world alight after Moyes invested in them.


While in terms of youth development, you only need look at Moyes' role in handling Wayne Rooney's rise to prominence, or his blooding of younger players like James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe.


Or how he is helping integrate current hot prospects like Jose Baxter and Jack Rodwell slowly and steadily into the Everton first team.


These are points for which often the best managers receive the most acclaim, Ferguson and Wenger in particular are applauded for their shrewd buys and development of young players, and Moyes has done this as well as anyone during his time at Everton.


What he has currently built at Everton is a strong unit, with a strong spine made up of hardworking, and dependable players-Jagielka, Neville, Cahill etc, but supplemented this with flair players like Arteta and Pienaar.


Moyes also has created a strong team spirit and work ethic which make Everton a tough team to play against every match-look at last night's fighting display at Anfield.


Ultimately this formula has proved to be a successful one-Everton have finished higher than teams such as Tottenham and Manchester City, who have invested more in their team, over the past two years.


However, despite the highly creditable job he has done, you never see Moyes linked with a move elsewhere. Everton are not the richest of clubs, and Moyes has never been backed with substantial finance, yet the only thing missing from his time at Everton is a trophy of some description.


Yet when jobs appear at other teams who do boast more in the way of financial power, Moyes' name is strangely absent. For instance, was he ever mentioned as a serious contender for the jobs at either Manchester City or Tottenham?


Which must make one wonder if Moyes will ever get his shot at the big time. Say if a job became available at a top four team, would he be high on the list to replace Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger?


Judging by the lack of interest in his services from club's currently below Everton you have to wonder, while undoubtedly the likes of Mourinho, Capello or even O'Neill would be higher on the list of candidates.


Which seems a shame, because as managerial jobs go, Moyes has probably got everything he could out of Everton during his time there. However, as well as Moyes has done as manager of Everton, the strange and sad thing is that there seems precious little chance of him getting an opportunity to show his skills at one of the bigger teams.