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Leighton Baines says Everton will be fine without Moyes, but will they?

May 23, 2013, 5:11 PM EDT

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-WEST HAM Getty Images

“It’s a massive loss to lose the manager,” highly coveted Everton defender Leighton Baines told Everton’s official website.  “It will be so strange the day we walk through the door and he’s not there. But football clubs live on and we’ll live on, we’ll move on.”

They’ll move on, they have to. But will they effectively?

There’s the old addage, nobody is bigger than the club. Nobody. Everton have been a staple in the English top flight since 1954, the second longest run of any club in the Premier League behind Arsenal.  So it goes without saying they’ve done fine before David Moyes appeared on the scene.

Moyes, however, is in an intriguing position.  I’d postulate that if a month ago, one polled a number of fans of the English Premier League and asked who they thought were the two managers best fit for their club, you’d be flooded with the same response – Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes.

So Moyes goes from a fantastic fit at his old club to replacing the other perfect match with his new job at Old Trafford.

How will Everton cope? They just lost the manager who best understands both the style of play Everton are about and how to work with one of the tightest budgets the top 10 in the Premier League sees today.

A team like Everton cannot afford the typical transitional phase a new manager often faces.  In the world of European soccer, with tables cut and divided into sections where clubs for the most part maintain from year to year, they’ve spent years breaking into the top 6 conversation on a consistent basis. One or two years outside that curtain, and they could be doomed to stay on the outside for the long term, undoing years of meticulous development.

This is not to say the departure of Moyes is going to bring certain doom to the Everton as we know it.

Baines knows what has to be done. “We’ll always remember what he did for the club and where he’s put us, but it’s up to the rest of us, the people who remain and the people who come in, to take it forward now and build on the foundations he’s worked hard to put in.”

More than most clubs, Everton better get their next manager right, or it may open up a spot at the big boy table just when they thought they’d branded the chair as their own.