With Sir Alex Ferguson's sudden and unexpected retirement, the leading domestic position in England—manager of Manchester United—is suddenly available for the first time in 26 years.
At the time of writing, speculation is increasing around David Moyes replacing the great man at Old Trafford, with some already suggesting it's more or less a done deal already.
Graham Hunter @BumperGraham
Believe the job is David Moyes' to take or reject2013-5-8 08:57:18
Either way, it seems fans will hear of a successor within the next few days, which is sure to spark weeks—if not months—of protracted, conflicting debate about the merits of that appointment.
Following Ferguson may prove one of the toughest acts in the history of the game, but if that man is to be Moyes, how would the current Everton man fare making such a huge leap to the top of the Premier League?
If Manchester United don't want to disrupt their current identity and keep the club run in a similar manner, then Moyes is a logical choice to take them forward.
The current Everton man exudes a similar intensity to Ferguson, rare in the modern era where countless coaches seem more entwined with data than the physiology of their players.
Moyes is one of those that still effectively blends the two together. A fierce motivator and an underrated, reactive tactician, he is a strong believer in meticulous preparation and continually squeezes the most out of his current squad.
Given his resources at the Toffees, he has often had to be rigid and combative with his style, but there has certainly been times his Everton side have passed, moved and attacked with the best in the country.
With greater ammunition at his disposal, there's nothing to suggest he couldn't enforce the attractive, attacking style that would be demanded of him at Old Trafford.
Moyes runs every area of the Toffees, as involved with his club as any manager in the top flight, constantly watching games and familiarizing himself with his roster right down to the youngest youth teams. These similarities to Ferguson would clearly be appreciated at United.
While he's certainly had some misses in the transfer market, as with all managers, his success-rate is a far more lengthy list, with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Joleon Lescott some of his better bargains.
Matt Dickinson @DickinsonTimes
There isn't a post-Fergie option without drawbacks, so Utd will look to character, principles, continuity. Moyes scores v high on all 32013-5-8 12:34:29
There are areas of his game that are slightly over-hyped. His reputation for favouring youth is perhaps a little mythical, however he's certainly shown he can develop youngsters and gradually introduce them into his side.
While his accomplishments at the Toffees do not match up to the legendary feats of Sir Alex, keeping a side with a below-average wage bill competitive and generally in and around the top six has been impressive enough, especially void of a transfer budget. He has installed stability at a financially unstable club—dramatically improving them—and deserves a chance to prove himself at a higher level.
Of course, succeeding the most decorated manager in English football is the most poisoned chalice of all, with the eventual successor guaranteed to fall short of Ferguson's accomplishments.
However, if that man is Moyes, it is not as though he would need a radical overhaul of players and staff upon his arrival. He would be taking over a club in an extremely healthy position, inheriting a strong squad with an abundance of experienced staff around him.
It would be more a case of continuing on with things, instead of shifting the landscape and installing his own methods and personality at the club.
While it would be understandable to label any move for Moyes as a gamble considering the glaring lack of silverware on his resume, there's nothing to suggest he couldn't succeed at Old Trafford and lead United forward over the next few years.
He would certainly bring several similarities to Ferguson that would make such a monumental changeover seem a little less alien to supporters.
Either way, let the debate begin.