Twelve hours from now the David Moyes era officially comes to a close. The sight of a dour-faced Scot standing on the sidelines with his arms crossed will be replaced with an animated Spaniard shouting instructions from the touchline. It is hard to believe this is how the David Moyes tenure will end. While the old adage about managers staying long enough to overstay their welcome will not come true, most Evertonians didn't see Moyes leaving until he at least lifted one piece of silverware.
It has been a long 11 years, and despite what many would say, Moyes has performed a miracle of some sort, but how much of one was it?
Moyes may be the hardest manager to quantify during his time at Everton. Normally managers are judged based on trophies. Even the legendary managers at lower clubs have the benefit of getting a trophy in the Championship or League One or League 2. For Moyes, the question is completely different. How often does a manager take a storied club that was on the brink of relegation to the top third of the Premier League?
Many will say it means nothing, and that Everton are a club that should always be competing for a top 4 position, but in the 10 year before Moyes arrival it is telling that the club spent more time fending off relegation than trying to get into Europe. There was something rotten in Everton's coaching staff, and Moyes fixed it. Now Everton is back towards the top of the table where they should have been when the Premier League started.
Fans point to other clubs that have made the jump and ask what everton is missing, but the truth is these fans are merely whining. Moyes gets little to spend, and just based on payroll and transfer budget Everton should finish around 11th rather than the top 8 finishes the club has become accustomed to.
Take this stat for example. Since the 2006-2007 season, only Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton, and Chelsea have finished in the top 10 every season. Not even Spurs have managed to do that despite the money they have had. It shows the company David Moyes has kept, and even without a trophy he is still worthy of our praise.
Now the job turns to Roberto Martinez. He gets the challenge of getting Everton back to the Champions League. But just to do that he will have too consolidate Everton's standing at the top of the table. No team has a right to be at the top. Just because Everton is one of the most storied clubs in England doesn't mean we get an automatic top 5 finish every year. Just ask fans of clubs like Leeds who have seen their club tumble all the way down the table. Martinez is going to have to work hard to earn it, and there are no guarantees he will do it.