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Everton: 6 Leading Candidates to Follow David Moyes as Manager

Jordan LynnContributor IIISeptember 21, 2016

Everton: 6 Leading Candidates to Follow David Moyes as Manager

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    Everton's fantastic start to the Premier League season has one dark cloud on the horizon—the contract status of manager David Moyes.

    While Moyes has stated his commitment to Everton Football Club is "total," Evertonians will feel far more comfortable when Moyes puts pen to paper to an extension to his contract which runs out next summer.

    Moyes has been manager at Everton since 2002 and is the third-longest-serving manager in the Premier League behind Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal.

    One of the most well-respected managers in the English game, Moyes has been consistently linked with the job at Manchester United if and when Ferguson finally calls it a day so Everton fans may begin to start thinking of life without their Scottish leader.

    The Everton job will be a sought-after position as the club is steeped in history and the team look to have a bright future.

    If the Toffees are able to continue their strong form this season and can qualify for Europe, Moyes is likely to sign a new deal—but if the United job is on the table, can Moyes stay at Everton?

    If or when Moyes does leave there, are a host of replacements that could see Everton continue the success that Moyes has built.

Martin O'Neill

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    Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill would head the list of many Everton fans if David Moyes were to leave the club in the near future.

    The former Nottingham Forrest midfielder learned his managerial trade from one of the best manager's in the history of the game, Brian Clough, and has been popular at all his managerial stops.

    O'Neill has never been sacked and has enjoyed successful tenures at Leicester City, Celtic and Aston Villa: His Sunderland side currently sit 13th in the Premier League table.

    A logical replacement for Moyes, O'Neill has the experience to garner the respect of Everton fans and players alike and he has won silverware and managed in Europe, steering Celtic to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003.

    In the second year of a three-year contract with Sunderland, Everton would have to compensate the Black Cats if they were to pursue O'Neill for the Everton job.

    The compensation would be well spent as O'Neill would be a great choice to take over if Moyes were to leave.

Roberto Martinez

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    Seemingly the favourite for every managerial position in the Premier League, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will be somewhere near the top of Everton's list if David Moyes moves on.

    While Wigan have hardly set the Premier League alight since Martinez's appointment in 2009, with Martinez having a win percentage under 30 percent, the Spanish manager has earned good reviews at the DW Stadium.

    He is a good man-manager, has been instrumental in the development of young players at Wigan—such as Victor Moses—and his tactical style would suit Everton.

    His close working relationship with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is reminiscent of the David Moyes-Bill Kenwright connection at Everton, something that will be a deciding factor if Moyes is to leave the Toffees.

Slaven Bilic

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    An Everton player for three years, current Locomotive Moscow manager Slaven Bilic would be an interesting choice as David Moyes' successor.

    Bilic is well respected in the game thanks to his tenure as the manager of his national side, Croatia, where he has managed 59 games, winning 40.

    His playing career at Everton was marred by injury and he has since said of his time at Goodison Park:  "The one regret I have about the whole thing is that because of injury I couldn’t give Everton my very best. I am sad about that—I wanted to give them more but the injury stopped me."

    A successful managerial return to Goodison would be the perfect way for Bilic to atone to the Everton faithful after his stuttering playing career.

    Bilic would be a good choice thanks to his strong relationship with his fellow countryman and Everton striker Nikica Jelavic and if Bilic can keep his striker firing, he'll be a success at Goodison.

    Sometimes outspoken, Bilic would endear himself to fans with his honesty and obvious care for Everton Football Club.

    With his law degree and fluency in four languages, the Croatian would be a great choice as the next Everton manager.

Ian Holloway

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    Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is one of the most liked men in English football thanks to his humour and quotability, but he's also a great manager.

    Having brought Blackpool to the Premier League for one season in 2010, Holloway and his Tangerine army won over many admirers for their attacking football.

    His Blackpool side beat Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham in their foray into the top-flight and were unlucky to go down after a fine performance at Manchester United on the last day of the season was not enough to save them.

    With Everton's newfound attacking prowess, Holloway would be a good fit at Goodison Park.

    Holloway's experience working under the limited budget set by Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston is invaluable to Everton and their tight pursestrings and could be a big plus for Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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    More of a low-key choice than other names mooted for the managerial post at Everton, former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is earning rave reviews in his young managerial career.

    His coaching began at United, as manager of the Reserve side until he moved back to Norway to manage Molde in 2011.

    In his first season in charge, Solskjaer's side won the Norwegian League for the first time in their 100 year history.

    Solskjaer has been heavily linked with other English vacancies including Aston Villa and Bolton, but has decided to stay at Molde to allow his family to settle in Norway.

    If Moyes were to leave Everton at the end of the season, the Goodison Park vacancy may come along too soon for Solskjaer and his family.

    Everton are not Bolton or Aston Villa though, and the prestige of the managerial position at Everton could be too much for Solskjaer to turn down.

    While he may be a risky appointment due to his lack of managerial experience, Solskjaer knows the Premier League better than many thanks to his decade of playing for Manchester United and he could prove to be an astute appointment.

Phil Neville

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    Here is the wild card.

    Everton captain and utility man Phil Neville has made no secret of the fact that he wants to pursue a managerial career when he is finished with his playing career. 

    His brief stint with the England Under-21 side shows how keen Neville is to move into management and coaching, and his love for Everton is unquestioned.

    Neville holds his UEFA A License but is vastly inexperienced, with only three days with England U21s under his coaching belt.

    He knows the club and chairman better than any other candidate so the transition would be as limited as can be, but it would still be a massive leap for both Neville and the club.

    Neville would definitely benefit from some more experience before he takes the reigns of a Premier League team, so Neville may be an Everton manager at some point in his coaching career but to replace Moyes would be a tough ask.

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