It seems absurd, un-profound, and almost moronic to ponder whether David Moyes is the ideal successor for totemic Scot Sir Alex Ferguson.
Given the 71-year-old’s preposterous achievements during his remarkable tenure at Manchester United, there’ll never be a superior or indeed an equal at Old Trafford in terms of silverware.
But for the Glazers and new chief executive Ed Woodward, it’s all about continuing the club’s seismic evolution and upstanding tradition.
Moyes shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement, nor should comparisons be made. The Everton boss is simply the incarnation of inevitable change and progression.
Does the one-time Preston North End boss have the traits to provide that continuation? Absolutely. With Moyes, as opposed to many people’s favourite Jose Mourinho, comes longevity - six years in fact – alongside a robust character, admirable professionalism and a sturdy backbone to handle the strains of expectation.
While Govan’s famous son already had a European trophy to his name on his United entrance, his fellow Glaswegian’s only piece of silverware is the 2000 Division Two title with the Lilywhites while his experience of competitions on the continent is limited.
However, that will undoubtedly come with time, starting next season when the group stages of Europe’s most prized competition get underway in September. At Goodison he had a taste – facing eventual semi-finalists Villarreal in the Champions League qualifying stages in 2005. Experience isn’t everything though – Roberto Mancini’s failings with United’s ‘Noisy Neighbours’ this term are testament to that.
On a domestic front he has little to prove, though the challenge is significantly different when governing one of the country’s, and the world’s, footballing super powers.
When Moyes joined, the Toffees were teetering above the Premier League’s relegation slots. Now, after working in unity with chairman Bill Kenwright during an apprenticeship spanning a decade, the pair have consolidated the club’s place in the division’s top seven.
In many ways Moyes over-achieved, helping the club restore a league finish its heritage demands. He’s constructed the strongest squad since the title-winning days of the late 1980s while being shrewd in the market over the years with captures such as Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Steven Pienaar, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Tim Howard, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Phil Neville and Nikica Jelavic while succeeding phenomenally in a big money gamble for Marouane Fellaini and another for Yakubu.
But once nestled behind his desk at Carrington, the scrutiny will intensify and there’ll be little margin for error. With his inherited squad and a war chest boasting more financial clout, minimum expectation will be on retaining their Premier League crown. Moyes is no longer playing safe and operating within his means. His knowledge and credentials will now be stretched and put to the test.
Following the game’s greatest manager of all time – with 13 titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions League, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup and 10 Community Shields adorning his decorated CV – could prove to be a poisoned chalice though you feel Fergie, who will watch from the boardroom, has influenced the appointment.
This campaign Moyes has beaten United, City, Spurs and is unbeaten against Arsenal and Liverpool which is a stunning achievement in itself.
Moyes won’t emulate Sir Alex, he probably won’t have a statue erected or stand named in his honour, but he’ll do his idol proud. He deserves this chance and he deserves the supporters’ backing and patience.