Everton's David Moyes Is No Replacement for Arsenal's Arsene Wenger

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2012

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 08: Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger (R) and Everton Manager David Moyes watch the action from the touchline during the Carling Cup Fourth round match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on November 8, 2006 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

David Moyes is no replacement for Arsene Wenger. It's sad to see Wenger being slowly driven out of Arsenal by an angry mob.

It's sadder still to see many of that mob clamour for Everton's Moyes as his replacement. By any reasonable standards, Moyes is not an upgrade on Wenger, no matter how frustrated certain Arsenal supporters are.

That is not intended as a savage attack on the Scotsman's managerial acumen.

It is instead an evisceration of those who actually claim he would do a better job than Wenger. Because while Moyes' record at Everton is creditable, it is far from stellar.

It is inflated by an unhealthy amount of media hype.

Moyes is the ultimate media darling. He is treated and viewed by many as some form of grand wizard, capable of working magic with limited means.

Yet as the Daily Mirror's John Cross rightfully points out, Moyes has spent big. Everton's record signing is Marouane Fellaini, bought in the summer of 2008 for £15 million.

Presumably that's £15 million in Monopoly money, or so the media would have you believe. The argument that Moyes delivers excellence, while being hamstrung by thrift, just doesn't stand up.

He has also spent big to acquire Nikica Jelavic, Kevin Mirallas, Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines.

This is not an Everton developed solely at grass roots level or assembled by a shrewd bargain hunter. However, we are consistently told that this is an exceptional squad.

OK then, so surely Moyes must have consistently finished above Wenger? Remember now, this is the tactically inept Wenger who apparently "doesn't know what he's doing." He of the threadbare, poorly constructed squads.

Strange then that a look at the records shows Moyes has never finished above Wenger. Maybe that's not entirely fair, you say?

Fair point, considering Arsenal have had some outstanding teams under Wenger, although presumably he stumbled onto them by accident.

In the interests of fairness then, let's make a more direct comparison during Wenger's fallow period. This is the period that can be said to have started with the 2008 season.

Since then Arsenal have lost elements of their style and swagger, and a dip has been noticeable. This is also the time when Moyes' Everton have been said to be on the rise.

Consult the spending data from this time at transferleague.co.uk, and Arsenal are at the bottom, with Everton three places higher.

Yet despite that the Toffees still haven't finished above Arsenal.

However, league position by itself is admittedly a somewhat shallow comparison.

Taking things to a more "brass tacks" level, let's look at the number of top-four finishes. That's a natural point of focus, because Arsenal's status depends on being in the UEFA Champions League.

Wenger has managed that every season he has been in charge. Moyes has managed it only once. Only once.

Yet Arsenal's top-four consistency is sneered at by the many of the anti-Wenger contingent. Moyes' lone furrow into the Champions League, which ended in the qualifying round, is somehow lauded.

OK then, let's look at the favourite barometer of many "Arsene Must Go" acolytes: trophies. Failure to bring home the silverware is the real bone of contention against Wenger, not his methods.

It's not an unreasonable one either. Because even in his best days at Arsenal, Wenger could have and should have won more.

Yet if adding trophies to the mantle is the ultimate judgement, what exactly recommends Moyes as Wenger's replacement? Because the Everton boss has not claimed a single trophy in charge of the Merseyside outfit.

If Moyes is as good as many would have you believe, would he not have collected a few cups?

So in summary, Moyes has just one top-four finish and no trophies. That's with a larger net spend than Wenger.

Still confused as to why many want him to replace the cerebral Frenchman? Don't worry, you are not alone.

It's this bandwagon ignorance that destroys many of the valid anti-Wenger arguments. His detractors regularly complain about his mediocre squads.

Yet if he still gets them in the top four, isn't Wenger the one working miracles? Even though he is culpable in building those squads?

Never mind, because Wednesday night's game at Everton provides Wenger's critics, another opportunity to ignore all this. If Moyes triumphs, it will be viewed as further proof of his supposed genius and Wenger's inevitable wane.

Of course that would conveniently forget Wenger's stellar record against Moyes. That record shows Arsenal unbeaten in their last 10 league matches against Everton.

What then suggests Moyes would do a better job at Arsenal? The Mirror also reports that Moyes is stalling on a new deal, waiting until after January.

Is it just coincidence that is when the winter transfer window opens? No, it is not.

Don't kid, yourselves: Moyes wants money to spend too and he wouldn't be any different if he were at Arsenal.

If the choice is Moyes or other media favourites like Martin O'Neill or Harry Redknapp, then why not keep Wenger? It stretches reality to the breaking point to suggest anyone of that trio could get Arsenal higher than Wenger has.

Wenger is not above criticism, nor from being replaced. Yet it should only by someone with a higher profile, or with similar ideas about how the game should be played.

As capable as he is, the plain truth is Moyes is not that man.


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