"8", "name" => "UK & Ireland Football", "category" => "Premier League", "path" => "/var/www/vhosts/betting.betfair.com/httpdocs/football/", "url" => "https://betting.betfair.com/football/", "title" => "Premier League Managers: Is miracle man Moyes the next Man Utd boss? : Premier League : UK & Ireland Football", "desc" => "Having started slowly this season, Everton are now in great shape and once again in contention for a Top Five finish. Feizal Rahman wonders whether the man once again turning things around at Goodison Park has been pencilled in for...", "keywords" => "", "robots" => "index,follow" ); $category_sid = "sid=2009"; ?>

Premier League Managers: Is miracle man Moyes the next Man Utd boss?

Premier League RSS / / 21 February 2010 /

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David Moyes and sir Alex Ferguson went head-to-head on Saturday afternoon but the Everton boss may succeed him in the future as Man Utd's manager

David Moyes and sir Alex Ferguson went head-to-head on Saturday afternoon but the Everton boss may succeed him in the future as Man Utd's manager

"Moyes’ tactical nous has been previously questioned but having masterminded back-to-back victories over the league’s top two sides – both sent out by Champions League winning managers – there appears scant argument that the Scot couldn’t cut it at the highest level."

Having started slowly this season, Everton are now in great shape and once again in contention for a Top Five finish. Feizal Rahman wonders whether the man once again turning things around at Goodison Park has been pencilled in for the hotseat at Old Trafford.

The season couldn't have started more ominously for Everton, with three defeats in their first four games - including a 6-1 opening day humiliation at home to Arsenal. A dismal period from October to December saw the Merseyside club pick up a meagre ten points from twelve contests, leaving them in the company of relegation strugglers at Christmas.

Yet, by the third week of February - and on the back of consecutive home wins over Chelsea and Manchester United - David Moyes' men now see themselves as the form team in the top flight, with eyes on those above them rather than below.

The Everton manager has never had a shortage of plaudits - having consistently extracted the best out of his players and utilizing them to their strengths - but this season more than ever he has surmounted the obstacles thrown his way.

Beginning the term without influential midfielder Mikel Arteta and key defender Phil Jagielka - both through cruciate knee damage - Moyes also saw centre back Joleon Lescott succumb to the temptation of Manchester City's billion-dollar 'project'. Losing the England international in acrimonious circumstances undoubtedly upset squad spirit from the outset and was a key factor in the inauspicious start to the campaign.

But typically, in testing circumstances the Everton boss rallied his troops and they have battled their way back up the table. Yesterday's comprehensive 3-1 win over Manchester United was testament to Moyes' management of the club and perhaps outlined why he may indeed be the man to take over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford when the 68-year-old finally decides to call time ([8.2] to be next Man Utd manager).

The characteristics and methodology of the fellow Glaswegians are distinctly similar. Both have a keen sense of history about their clubs and their duty to it. Staunch disciplinarians, both base their teams on fundamental principles of organisation and endeavour, with a desire for a rolling legacy by promoting youth from within to supplement a squad of talent and experience.

The role of Moyes in the development of man of the moment, Wayne Rooney ([1.2] to be PFA Player of The Year), should not be overlooked and he now looks to polish similar jewels in Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling and James Vaughn.

But having to manage on a miniscule budget compared to Manchester City or even Tottenham, the Everton supremo has proved to be a shrewd operator in the transfer market when granted money to spend.

Johnny Heitinga is looking an exceptional replacement for Lescott and kept Rooney subdued yesterday while Russian international Diniyar Bilyaletdinov continues to impress in midfield. Striker Louis Saha, meanwhile, is finally beginning to enjoy an injury-free season in which he has notched his highest tally of league goals since 2003/04.


Until picking up an ankle injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season, record signing Marouane Fellaini was showing signs of maturing into a fearsome midfield powerhouse though the return of Mikel Arteta may offset this, albeit as a more subtle ingredient.

It's the presence of the Spaniard that allows Everton to play more a expansive, attractive football game away from the physical, long-ball game they are often criticised for. But Moyes moulds his team to adapt to conditions and circumstance, so they can go direct as they did in the 2-1 win over Chelsea or play with attacking fluency as against United yesterday.

Moyes' tactical nous has been previously questioned but having masterminded back-to-back victories over the league's top two sides - both sent out by Champions League winning managers - there appears scant argument that the Scot couldn't cut it at the highest level.

Seven points off fourth place as of yesterday's result, a Champions League position for Everton this season may be too ambitious given their start ([10.0] to finish in Top 4). But equaling the fifth spot of last campaign is certainly achievable, particularly given both Manchester City and Tottenham still have to face each of the top three in the run-in. At [2.74] to finish Top 6 and [12.5] to win the Premier League without the Big 4, you wouldn't want to bet against Moyes and his men.

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