If anybody wants the best possible clue that Everton manager David Moyes is the most likely man to take over at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson finally decides to call it a day, a huge one was given by Moyes himself this week when he simply laughed off reports that he is set to take over the job after the 2010-2011 season.
Think about it, isn’t that precisely what one is supposed to do when he sees so many reports that Ferguson has told his superiors that he wants his fellow Scot to succeed him? An anointment cannot come much bigger than that can it? Moyes is hardly going to start shouting it from the rooftops or break open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate is he?
The Everton boss has an excellent reputation after his work at Goodison Park in the past eight years but he played down his chances of succeeding Fergie. His response was simply that “First it was to be Mark Hughes then the name of Steve Bruce came up and Roy Keane was also being mentioned not all that long ago.”
Then he dropped another little hint by saying “When my players are linked with clubs it annoys me so I don’t want to go into any of it. But as far as I’m concerned this is a load of nonsense” Those words can easily be interpreted as – I don’t like my players saying anything when they are talking to other clubs so I will not go down that road.
Moyes then went on to praise the man who he may very well be eventually succeeding “What I will say is that I think it will be a terrible day when Sir Alex does finish. He is someone all football managers look up to, they all respect him. Even when he’s fighting them, he still has the humility to have a drink with them at the end of the game and he still has the dignity to phone them if they are sacked or out of work. A lot of that is straight out of his Glasgow roots”.
One man who has no doubts that Moyes is the right man for the job is former Everton manager Howard Kendall who admits to not being at all surprised to hear that the Scot is being linked with the Manchester United job once Sir Alex retires. “If I was a betting man I would have thought Moyes will be their first choice” he said “The respect for what he has achieved so far at Everton seems to range right across the football world, and everyone rightly admires him even more for working under such a limited budget”
Kendall then continued “Typically his name is never the first to be included on the lists. The pundits like to talk about Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink first which I find surprising but they have managed at the highest level which must count for something.
The way Ferguson is going, it doesn’t seem like retiring is on his mind, but when he does bite the bullet expect to see Moyes get an interview straight away” Kendall insisted.
So there you have it. Not quite straight from the horses mouth but enough to make a little wager worthwhile before the odds on Moyes getting the job become even shorter.
Should United give the job to Moyes if he is recommended by Ferguson?