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David Moyes: The journey so far

Moyes Journey So Far

Moyes Journey So Far

“I think he always wanted to be a manager and he has proven what a good decision that was. The standards he set were high standards, not only on the pitch, but off it as well.” –Sean Gregan, 218 appearances for Preston North End.

Managing a football club is one of the hardest things to do in the football world and there are very few people who were born to rightfully do so. Among these blessed few people, a certain David Moyes stands out.

 “David is one of those rare players who decided at a very early age that he was going to be a manager, a good manager and then a great manager.” –Howard Wilkinson, Chairman of League Managers’ Association (1992- present)

Hailing from Bearsden, Glasgow, the Scot is one of the most respected managers in England. For some people, managing is purely in the blood and Moyes is a living representationof that.With over 15 years of coaching and managerial knowledge, Moyes is relatively young (49 years old) for such an immensely experienced manager.  Moyes was the third longest serving manager in the Premier League as of the end of the 2012-13 campaign, an achievement by itself, considering the “Hire and Fire” state of affairs in the present day and age.Mid-way through the 2012-13 season, Moyes became the fourth manager to register 150 wins in Premier LeagueafterSir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp.

The end of the 2012-13 campaign would mark Moyes’ 10th full season in charge of Everton FC. Moyes has had quite the career in football, racking up 535 club appearances in total and proceeding to be one of the most special managers that have been a part of football, winning the League Managers Association Awards a record three times (recording is shared with Alex Ferguson), Premier League Manager of the month 10 times (only Ferguson and Wenger have more-27 and 12) and the North West Manager of the year in 2007-08.

Player to Manager

Moyes started his footballing career as a centre back for Celtic in 1980where he won a Championship medal in this three year stay.He then proceeded to play for 6 clubs with Preston North End being the last of them in 1999 (Little known fact that David Moyes and David Beckham played alongside each other in the one season that Beckham was out on loan to Preston North End). Moyes earned his first coaching badge at age of 22 and made his way up to assistant manager and eventually the manager of Preston North End in 1998, taking after the then manager, Gary Peters at Deepdale.

The Preston Years

‘David Moyes the Manager’ was brought to the limelight at Preston North End, driving them to the Division Two title and promotion to Division One. In the following season, Moyes came close to yet another promotion with a squad that consisted largely of players retained from their previous campaign. Preston North End’s call to turn to Moyes seemed the right one. Moyes, though very young at the time had a special way to about things: the way he spoke to his players, coaches and staff. He had a way of bringing out the best with what he had. An example of this would be one of Moyes’ signings in 1999, Graham Alexander and here’s what he had to say about Moyes:
“I was 27 and had only played in the lower leagues up until that point. I had met a few other managers but David Moyes was the only one who picked out my bad habits and the things I could improve. Other managers spoke of my positive points, but he spoke about what he could improve in me as a player and what he could help me achieve. That struck a chord with me and I really ended up signing for David Moyes rather than the actual club.

He was the only one who really believed that I could go and play at the top level, at international level. He was fantastic and I owe him a lot.”
What made Moyes stand out at Preston North End is the same thing that makes him stand out now: the ability to work with a tight budget and a limited set of players. This peculiar talent was then noticed by Everton, who decided to bring him to Goodison Park to replace fellow countryman, Walter Smith in March 2002. Moyes left Preston North End with an aggregate win percentage of 46.5%, a very impressive feat.

The Everton Era

It was only a matter of time before a bigger club came down and lured Moyes away from Deepdale and that club happened to be Everton. For a club stricken with monetary issues for his entire tenure, Moyes has managed to work miracles at the club. Moyes’ initial objective at the club was to save them from losing their place in the top flight of the Premier League. Everton finished 15th in the season he took over. Moyes took the summer to induce his way of working and the following season proved largely fruitful with Everton finishing 7th in the league.

The 2003-04 season proved to be quite a hiccup for Everton, as they placed 17th in the league at the end of the season. Having earned a lot of praise for his work done with the team in their previous campaign, the Everton faithful had hopes of doing even better but the season proved ugly for them, managing just 9 league victories. Following the Euros, their top league goal scorer for the 2003-04 campaign left for Manchester United, a move which left plenty of people doubting the progress of the club.

Everton kept their faith in Moyes and the following season proved one hell of a step up. Answering most critics and more importantly repaying the faith, Moyes led Everton to their most successful campaign in Premier League history by placing fourth and earning the immensely coveted Champions League (Qualification) Spot. This season was important in one certain other aspect: Everton placed above Liverpool in the league standings, which gave the fans the bragging rights they longed for.

The seasons to follow proved to be more of a statement from Moyes and the club. Apart from the 2005-06 season in which they placed 11th, Everton have managed to find comfort in the top half of the table ever since. Placing consistently between the 5th and 8th positions in the next 7 years, Moyes managed to mould a setup of coaches and an ideal mix of players both young and old that brought an air of stability to the club. The owners and fans alike, were pleased and why wouldn’t they be.

Moyes loved the club and the club loved but it was only a matter of time before either the Moyes or the club moved on to bigger things and in this instance, it was Moyes who took the step forward.

“It’s emotional because it’s the last time I walk away from these players but part of the job is you move on. It’s rare to stay in a job for 11 years and I’m thankful for getting that opportunity and hopeful they’re in a strong position to push on. It’s really not sunk in.” –Moyes, May 19th, 2013.

The Manchester Move

“We unanimously agreed on David Moyes. David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here.

“There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.”- Sir Alex Ferguson

A new challenge beckoned when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to step down from the managerial reins at Old Trafford. Ferguson’s successor had been a subject of detailed speculation for many years with no definite answer. One thing was certain, that there was bound to be a new face at The Theatre of Dreams. May 9th, 2013 was the day, Manchester United announced that one such David Moyes would be that new face. Personally picked by Ferguson himself, David Moyes has now set out on a new chapter in his managerial life, an experience that will test him beyond anything he has been through so far.

The Man and the Moment

“It’s a great honor to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United.

I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club.

I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn’t something that comes around very often and I’m really looking forward to taking up the post next season.”- David Moyes

Moyes has been presented with one of the rarest opportunities in the world and everyone seems to have an opinion on how he would do at the new club. I’ll leave the debating out of this but what people should realise is that Manchester United have got David Moyes, a man who has earned the respect of millions all around the world, a hardworking, passionate and immensely talented man to lead the club now. Only time will tell how well United and Moyes have gelled, but irrespective of how things work out, David Moyes certainly one to be much more appreciated.

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