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Are David Moyes and Everton set for a split?

Mar 19, 2013, 8:18 PM EDT

Everton v Oldham Athletic - FA Cup Fifth Round Replay Getty Images

David Moyes’ future at Everton is becoming increasingly more ominous.

With Moyes’ contract set to expire this summer, Toffee reserve team manager Alan Stubbs attempted to offer insight on his boss’ future in a discussion with talkSPORT. “It’s irrelevant where Everton finish in terms of whether David Moyes stays,” Stubbs said. “The manager would love to finish in fourth place because that would get them into the Champions League.

“But the decision is more off the pitch rather than on the pitch. It will be about his budget. He’ll want assurances about what players get sold and the amount of money that he’ll get to spend from those transfers.”

Stubbs’ words will do little to reduce the stress of Evertonians who are concerned their manager won’t be returning for a 12th season at Goodison Park. When Moyes last spoke on the matter this past February, the manager seemed to indicate that his decision to resign would largely hinge on what transpires on the pitch. “I’ve spoken with the chairman and I want to see how the team do,” Moyes said. “I want to see how we do in the cups and the league and it is more than likely that I won’t make a decision until the end of the season”.

Stubbs’ comments indicate that Moyes has finally had it with managing a club on a shoe-string budget. While the Scot is said to get along well with frugal owner, Bill Kenwright, it should be of no surprise that Moyes would like to spread his wings at a club with strong financial backing. Unless Kenwright – who has long been rumored to be disinterested in hearing offers from prospective buyers – loosens his grip on the club he so famously loves, he might just lose the best asset he owns.

Moyes’ decision to move on will likely depend on what jobs become available. Past whispers have spun tales of interest from clubs ranging from Manchester United to Schalke to Chelsea. Then again, perhaps the eyebrowless wizard will pull a Pep Guardiola and take a break from the game. Either way you cut it, it now appears that the ball is completely on Kenwright’s side of the pitch.

Here’s to hoping he doesn’t commit a howler.

  1. mkbryant3 - Mar 20, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    With the Klinsmann Kloud that is growing, how can we not imagine who could take his place? Moyes would be a very interesting possibility.

    • dp2310 - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I thought the same thing haha!

  2. pmacd82 - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Chelsea? Don’t they fire their manager every three months?

  3. jessedinner - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Just hope he leaves so Everton falls back to where they deserve in the bottom 10.

    • robolundgren - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Kinda funny, at some point in the last 2 years it’s the Kopites who have become the bitters.

    • Milt Farquhar - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      Everton deserve to be exactly where they are, because they pick up more points than the teams below them and fewer than those above them. It’s the ultimate meritocracy, and only a handful of clubs in the Premier League act as though they have a divine right to be better placed than they currently are. I’m assuming you support one of them, and my guess is Liverpool.

      Moyes has worked wonders at the club, but he has his limitations too – something the UK media seems to ignore on a regular basis. He’s extremely cautious, and that’s been laid bare this season when we’ve blown winning positions on several occasions, often to sides we’ve outplayed – Fulham away, Newcastle at home, Norwich home and away, Reading away, Stoke away – and dropped points against sides I’d expect us to beat – Liverpool, Aston Villa, QPR.

      Moyes kept us afloat for a long time with some very deft dealings in the transfer market, but for the first time since he came to the club, he’s assembled a side that is more talented than he is. We’ve been hampered this year by his fear of losing a winning position – Everton have taken the lead and retreated into themselves only to fold late on numerous occasions this season, and too many for it to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

      He’s done a great job. He’s taken us as far as he can, I think. However, I don’t think he’s taken this particular team as far as it can be taken, and that’s an important distinction. Time to move on – thanks for everything you’ve done, and best wishes at your next club. Probably a German one, given his previous comments.

      • mikeevergreen - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? “Frugal” owner plays cheap for too long, and loses his best. Last year, it was Dempsey at Fulham, and Dodi Sr would neither pay up, nor go out and get the kind of talent that would make him want to stay. Now Fulham is irrelevant, and eventually heading down.

        Bill Kenwright, buck up or get out.

      • Michael Prindiville - Mar 26, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Love the Everton knowledge, Milt. Come on you Blues!

        But I disagree with your assessment. How can Moyes have taken Everton as far as they can go if he’s never had money to spend on players? Seems obvious to me that would be something we’d need to tick off the list before branding him to be ‘done’.

        Everton has lost leads this year because our central defenders are slow (save Jags) and old. Particularly Johnny Heitinga, who has been the culprit on at least 7-8 occasions this year.

        Bottom line, the club needs depth. This means the club needs money. And because Kenwright is too stubborn to sell or cough up the green, the future – as much as it pains me to say – looks bleak.

        But we’re still better than the crap Kopites!

      • Milt Farquhar - Mar 26, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        I take your point, but the situation at Everton is that there’s no money. We all know that, Moyes knows it too, and that’s the reality he has to work with. Given the constraints, Moyes has done extremely well – when you consider the decade we endured prior his appointment, it’d only be an idiot who said that Moyes has been anything other than excellent.

        My point is – and this might sound harsh, but bear with – we could and should have done better. Doing a great job doesn’t mean you should be exempt from criticism, and I do firmly believe that this season in particular has laid bare Moyes’ main flaw – he’s too conservative. A side that includes Pienaar, Jelavic, Mirallas, Osman, Gibson (massively underrated) and of course Fellaini should not be playing with the fear of losing. Yet too many times this season we’ve thrown away leads by retreating into our own half and trying to see out games, rather than going for the throat.

        Make no mistake, this Everton first XI is the best since 1987. In terms of talent, only the ’96 side comes close in the period since then. It’s like we’re actually too scared of losing to go out and win. When we play with abandon, we threaten to annihilate sides – some of our football this season has been breathtaking. Until we go in front. Fulham away, Newcastle at home, Liverpool at home, Reading away – a handful of others. We’ve utterly bossed affairs, got ourselves into a position of strength – and then choked. Time and again.

        If he goes, it’ll be a huge loss. But not an insurmountable one. The next appointment will be critical. Up the blues, and here’s to looking down on our ghastly red cousins for years to come.

  4. goonah4life - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    If Moyes leaves it would be a HUGE blow to Everton. The only reason they regularly finish in the top 8 is because of him. Liverpool fans would reap the rewards were he to walk away, though I can’t say I’d blame him if he did.

  5. scottp11 - Mar 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Also to add some intrigue. Moyes goes to Florida for a good spell every offseason. I think he even owns a home there, though could be wrong. He’s also said many times how much he likes America.

    Last year when his name was floated around for Spurs opening, he was quoted from one of the UK papers something along the lines of, “well, right now I’m sitting on the beach in Florida, not really worrying about my contract or other job offers…”. lol.

    • mikeevergreen - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I hope he doesn’t go to Chicago – the owner there is just like the owner at Everton – CHEAP.
      NE for DC for him.

  6. mvktr2 - Mar 21, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Moyes is a wonderful manager and one can argue he’s one of or even the best ‘non-name’ head man in soccer. I follow Everton and Newcastle to a lesser degree in the EPL. I would surely miss Moyes, however this seems inevitable at some point.

    Also agree with scottp and others it would be an intriguing idea, the prospects of him and the Nats.

    My one gripe, and in some ways it’s marginal but in others it’s been the difference between finishing 6th vs 4th more than once in the past. Some how his teams seem to lose their edge or not play with full intensity all the time. That’s an area where I feel Alex Ferguson has excelled. Of course competition for playing time helps keep players sharp in this regard.

    • mikeevergreen - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      A big part of that is that he doesn’t have the kind of guns and ammo Sir Alex has at his disposal. You can only put on the field those who can actually play, and thanks to Everton’s money situation – Moyes will always come up short there.

      Kenwright needs to help Everton in the same way Bill Veeck helped his beloved Chicago White Sox 32 years ago. By sellling out to a juggernaut (Jerry Reinsdorf).

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