Since the announcement from Sir Alex Ferguson this week that he plans to retire at the end of the season as manager of Manchester United, many things have changed across the landscape of English football.
The most notable change is obviously the loss of the most successfully manager in English football history, after an incredible 26 years at Old Trafford.
Now, Moyes having confirmed via an official statement that he will be departing from Goodison Park at the end of the season, the question of who will come in the Merseyside club to replace the Premier League’s third longest serving manager behind Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.
At present, the two main candidates are Wigan’s Roberto Martinez and Swansea’s Michael Laudrup and, assuming one of those men makes the move to Goodison, the chain of replacements will no doubt continue along the line.
However, whilst the two men are undoubtedly two of the finest managerial prospects Everton could hope for, I’m prepared to assert my belief that Everton should take United’s lead and approach the manager who best serves as the ‘next best thing’ moving forward.
What I mean to say is that David Moyes represents the next best thing to Sir Alex Ferguson – they are remarkably similar in a number of ways from their nationality, to their leadership styles to their tactical approaches and their transfer market activities.
If Everton were to adopt a similar approach to United in headhunting their next best thing to Moyes, Martinez would, in my estimation, the man for the job.
Laudrup was one of the finest footballers the world has ever seen – as a player, he was simply sensational and there are possibly only a handful of players in the history of the game who have matched his incredible talent with the ball at his feet.
Since Laudrup moved into management, he’s done a remarkable job – not only with League Cup winners Swansea where he came in to replace Brendan Rodgers last summer, but he made his mark on Mallorca, Spartak Moscow, Getafe and Brondby where he began his managerial career in 2002.
He has an impressive CV but he has only been in management for 11 years and he has just one season under his belt in the Premier League.
In comparison, Roberto Martinez has spent the last four years with Wigan – before that he was in charge at Swansea for two years but with the relatively miniscule resources available to him at Wigan, he’s done a sublime job not only keeping them up season after season (so far) but also by his innovative approach with his style and system.
Wigan have a fine youth system in place, bringing through the ranks some of the best young British talent – you only have to look at their current crop, the likes of James McCarthy, Ben Watson, James McArthur and Callum McManaman.
He also has an astute business head on his shoulders – through the years he’s bought cheap and maximized the talent at his disposal, getting the best out of his players in a very similar way to Moyes at Everton over the years.
There’s nothing wrong in the slightest with Michael Laudrup – he is doing a fantastic job at Swansea and they are lucky to have him but, with al due respect to Wigan, Roberto Martinez has achieved all he can with the club who may well yet be relegated and his talents would only go to waste in the Championship.
Roberto Martinez is to Wigan what David Moyes was to Everton and, in the style of Manchester United, Everton should hire their very own next best thing.
image: © illarterate