Everton FC: Where Does David Moyes Rank Among the Toffees' Greatest Managers?
A club steeped in such illustrious history as Everton have naturally had some well decorated managers throughout their past—but where exactly does David Moyes figure alongside previous greats?
Rated so highly among modern managers, yet without any silverware to distinguish his own tenure, how far would he have to go to be mentioned in the same bracket as the Toffees' finest?
Surprisingly the field is smaller than many would expect.
Including only permanent appointments, Everton have had just 15 different managers in their entire history since Theo Kelly was first employed back in 1939. Before that, as with all sides, managers were simply members of the club's committee, with the position not seen as a necessary full-time role.
Out of Everton's 15, Howard Kendall enjoyed the most prosperous spell in charge, from 1981-1987, a reign that saw the Toffees crowned champions of England twice, win an FA Cup and also land the club's only European triumph, in 1985.
In all, Kendall won more than a quarter of Everton's 15 major honours and it would be hard to say Moyes has a chance over overhauling his esteemed reputation, without a couple of silver-laden years.
Harry Catterick was responsible for another impressive reign, from 1961-1973, marked by three major trophies and he's another man Moyes may currently struggle to emulate.
Coming after Kendall, Colin Harvey enjoyed periods of success, as did Johnny Carey and several more, but apart from Joe Royle's single FA Cup win in 1995, no other manager has won a major honour as a professional in charge of the Toffees.
Considering how silverware so often determines a manager's reputation, Moyes is therefore on par with all but three. However, football's landscaped has shifted so dramatically since the formation of the Premier League, his success levels can certainly not be judged on this alone.
It is far harder to win trophies in this modern era without excessive financial support. Clubs compete on an increasingly unbalanced playing field and with Everton relative paupers in this current climate, Moyes has simply worked wonders just keeping his side strong for so long.
Over time, league and cup winners have generally fluctuated throughout the years, but in very recent time it tends to be the same faces competing for major honours, joined every now and then by a freshly financed outfit.
In 20 years of the Premier League era, only five clubs have won the title and, including Everton, only seven have managed to lift the FA Cup, highlighting this trait.
With no investment, Moyes took over a side sleeping in the lower reaches of the table and transformed them into consistent top six finishers that have been continually competitive against the very best in the division.
The famous Champions League finish of 2005 remains his greatest feat, although an FA Cup Final and two domestic cup semifinals will also go down as memorable achievements alongside a couple of decent forays into Europe.
Given the clear restrictions and luxuries afforded to so many rivals in these situations, Moyes' success is substantial, regardless of the fact he has not won the silverware that would better embellish his record.
His peers certainly recognise his fine return, reflected by three LMA Manager of the Year awards—a prize no other Premier League manager has won more—and many in the media are quick to recognise his exploits.
Where does Moyes rank among Everton managers?
Referring once again to Everton's history, Kendall and Catterick have undoubtedly enjoyed the most success in the Toffees' past, and probably stand alone, but there's no reason to consider Moyes below anyone else.
In terms of matches, only those two have taken charge of more games, which demonstrates Moyes' sustained success over time. Achieving such longevity, particularly nowadays, is something only the top managers achieve and is testament to the impressive job he's done.
To enter debates about the Toffees' very best, he will undoubtedly have to win silverware or repeat his 2005 success and haul Everton back into the Champions League, something Moyes would probably accept himself.
Right now, he is certainly thought of as one of the Premier League's finest and, trophies or not, he must surely be considered one of Everton's top three managers from their professional era.
If only he could finally gain the silverware his tenure deserves.
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