Is David Moyes Set To Become the Next Great Scottish Manager?

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Is David Moyes Set To Become the Next Great Scottish Manager?
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The Scots have given a lot to football.

They, along with England, participated in the first ever international match and, over the years have produced such greats as "Slim" Jim Baxter, Denis Law, and Kenny Dalglish.

However, their greatest gift has perhaps come in the shape of managers.

In a list of the greatest managers to ever grace the game, the Scottish would be a recurring theme.

In particular, there is a quartet of legendary Scottish managers. Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly, Jock Stein, and Sir Alex Ferguson.

When looking through the managers around today, there is only one Scot who looks like he may have what it takes to come anywhere near them.

David Moyes.

Now, I understand it is far too early to be comparing Moyes with the likes of Shankly, but the potential is there.

He has done a great job at Everton, taking them from a club fighting off relegation on a regular basis to a club expected to reach Europe every year. A feat not unlike that of Shankly almost 50 years before.

He took Liverpool from Second Division also-rans to the dominant force in English football. While Moyes hasn't yet experienced those extremes, his achievements so far in a league arguably tougher than any Shankly, Stein, or Busby ever managed in have been impressive.

So much so that his name has been whispered as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

In fact, when you look closely at Moyes' credentials, they are not too dissimilar to some of the great Scottish managers that have come before him.

He is a tough, abrasive manager not afraid to make big calls. Within half-a-year of his arrival at Everton he had axed big names such as David Ginola because he thought they were past it.

A similar exodus happened as Shankly was starting to build his second great team, when Busby replaced his championship winning side with the "Busby Babes," and the numerous occasions in which Ferguson has shipped out big names.

Like Shankly, Moyes is highly regarded in Preston, where they both spent a large portion of their playing careers and, like Stein, he has had to work on a tight budget.

Although they aren't homegrown players, he is also bringing some young players through, such as Dan Gosling.

For all these similarities, however, there is one glaring omission: a trophy.

Part of what made the above quartet of managers so great was their ability to win silverware.

Even Shankly, whose greatest accolades came with the building of a great team that would go on to win shedloads of silverware under Bob Pailsey, picked up seven trophies. Busby had a healthy total of 13, including five league titles and a European Cup.

Meanwhile, Jock Stein and Sir Alex Ferguson took their love for silverware to the next level.

Stein got his hands on 26 trophies in his managerial career, while Ferguson can dwarf even that, the recent league title being his 44th trophy in the cabinet.

Moyes has been managing Everton for seven years now. In that time he has won two LMA Manager of the Year awards, the same number as Ferguson, but he has never won a trophy.

It seems to be the only thing missing from his CV that would suggest he is capable of becoming worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the true greats.

That is why the fast-approaching FA Cup final between Everton and Chelsea isn't just a chance to have something to show for seven years of hard work, but, should they win, it would also be a big step in the right direction towards "legendary" status for the Everton manager.

It is early days yet, but we could be seeing the next great Scottish boss in David Moyes.

 

Quiz Question No. 2:

About which player did Bill Shankly say this upon signing him: "Come in and walk around him"?

 

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