It was always a joke that David Moyes would replace Sir Alex at Old Trafford. One Scot replaced by another as the greatest manager of the era moved on to a relaxing retirement. But at some point it became less a joke and now it is reality. David Moyes is gone and there is an empty space on the touchline at Goodison Park.
It is said that heroes never die, that they merely fade away and become legends in our past. What then will become of David Moyes? With no ties of his own to the club he forged a bond with supporters and players alike has he navigated the one of the most important stretches of Everton history in football. It cannot be hyperbole that without his stewardship our proud club would be a club that merely bounces back and forth between the Championship and the Premier League, staying up only due to the whims of chance rather than sound footballing. Instead Everton have enjoyed a relatively great run over the past decade to become one of the prominent teams in the EPL.
By all accounts Moyes was our hero at Everton. He may not have the trophies of some, but his place at Everton is no less secure. In an age when the Premier League was known for big expensive signings and a few clubs dominating the top spots in the table, Moyes challenged it. He refused to back down and broke through the glass ceiling to finish in the Top 4. Even now when clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham have accomplished what Everton already did, they did it with the backing of millions of pounds in the transfer market. Moyes did it on some spit and grit, just the way Evertonians like it.
An April evening against Manchester United showed just what the fight meant to Everton as a glancing header from Duncan Ferguson sent Goodison into the throes of ecstasy. Martin Tyler summed it up perfectly on the call, and Goodison roared with delight. You couldn't help but fall in love with Everton that evening, I know I did.
From then on it seemed like we were always one player away from glory, a couple of early season results from getting a crack at a trophy, but they were all to be denied by a small squad with no funds. Instead we watched lads like Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta hold the squad together with their majestic headers and scintillating thruballs. It seemed like our chance would never come.
Yes, things weren't always great. Moyes never did win the big one despite an FA Cup Final, Semifinal, and what should have been another trip to Wembley this year, but you can't deny the effect he had on the club. Bill Kenwright is set to ruin everything, but Moyes found a way, he always found a way to stave off problems.
Where do we go now? Who wants to come to a club that has its problem laid out I nthe shining sun? There is no money, few stars, and an ever increasing wage bill. It seems a foregone conclusion that the new manager will have to sell players to bring in anyone new, but where does that leave us? Is there even a guarantee we won't slide back towards the bottom of the table? Everton can't handle another such drop. It nearly killed us the first time, and without some money it will surely kill us again. Moyes was the plug on the drain for 11 long years, now we need to find another quickly, or else we will be travelling to Millwall on a cold Thursday evening in the Championship.
It is hard to say goodbye to such a manager. Few would put their heart and soul into the club and hope rather than expect for something in return.
Now Moyes heads down the road to Old Trafford to fill the biggest shoes in football. Unfortunately the shoes he left at Goodison are pretty big too. So thank you Mr. Moyes, and good luck. It has been a pleasure.