We've joked about it for so long that at some point it ceased to be a joke, and seemed destined to become fact. The only job David Moyes would leave Everton for was at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire. With today's news, what was once a joke has seen Moyes become one of the early frontrunners for one of the best jobs in football.
Despite all the hoopla around the opening, the real question is if Moyes should even take the job. Yes, it is Manchester United, but as the careers of many a manager will tell you, the biggest jobs aren't always the easiest, even for those who have the best resumes and a vast amount of experience.
For one, Moyes would be replacing the greatest manager of the past quarter-century. It is never easy to replace the legend, rather you want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the legend. There will also be the presence of Sir Ale looming in the background. It appears that SAF will move upstairs in some sort of director role, and will be active in the club for years to come. While the relationship would no doubt be friendly, it would only take a few poor results before the faithful would get restless and begin clamoring for Ferguson's return to the touchline.
There are also some issues with the squad despite their record 20th EPL title. The central midfield is old and creaky, the defense definitely needs shoring up, and if Wayne Rooney does leave the club, a forward or two could be needed. The past few seasons have not been kind in the Champions League, and ultimately that is where any new manager would be judged. No one really knows just how much money is available for transfers, or if he will have the final say on transfer matters.
Despite all of these questions, one undeniable fact remains, this is Manchester United. For a man who has been bypassed multiple times despite being a more qualified candidate, this may be Moyes only chance to manage a top club. Despite the problems with United they did manage to win a 20th EPL title. There is still talent in the first team, and youth sides are supposed to have a few promising players who may be ready to continue United's era of dominance.
He will also be able to bounce ideas off the great Sir Alex Ferguson. While some managers could be put off by SAF's continued proximity to the club next year, Moyes has the confidence to be able to ask for advice without being threatened. It is a resource most managers will kill for, and it can only help going forward.
Moyes is also likely to have access to some fantastic resources in the transfer market. Though he may not be able to spend big every season, Manchester United has shown they will shell out the big money when it is needed. Moyes has already done well on a budget, and with more cash he can get the talent he never had at Everton.
The reality is Moyes has to take this job, regardless of any problems there may be. It is a chance to show his detractors that he can manage great football at the highest stages. He will have the backing of the Manchester United board, as well as the most important man at the club, Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes also deserves the opportunity. Far too often big clubs recycle the same old names rather than taking a chance on a new name to win trophies. Moyes succeeding would be a great step in the direction of trying to get teams to look to new places for managers.