The Question of David Moyes as Aston Villa Manager

Last night was the best time to bet on David Moyes being the Aston Villa boss at the start of next season. The ex-Everton boss was out at 33/1, which would have been an excellent outside punt. Today, after various newspaper stories about him being open to the job, his odds have dropped to 4/1.

Such stories suggests that Moyes’ agent has reached out to the press to put it out there that their client would be interested to talk.

It’s not the first time Moyes has been attached to the Villa job, his name was first mentioned after Martin O’Neill walked, but at the time Everton were very much on a par with Villa, so it made little sense for him to make a sideways move.

The next serious call to Villa Park came as Villa offered a bit him of a contra; the club would rescue him from his Spanish hell with Real Sociedad and he would hopefully rescue Villa from a state of relegation-battle limbo nightmare. He didn’t take up the offer. Later he was sacked and now Villa are relegated.

It’s hard to make a verdict on whether Moyes would still be any good for the job of Villa boss. In some eyes, he’s potentially damaged goods after his unsuccessful stints at Manchester United and Real Sociedad. There’s no doubt his confidence took a battering after the vilification he suffered in both spells and it’s foolish to consider it doesn’t have any knock-on effects.

Just look at Steve McClaren, who never got his mojo back in the English league after his unsuccessful stab at the England manager’s job. He failed at firing either Nottingham Forest and Derby out of the Championship.

Then there’s Moyes’ brand of football which is considered effective yet dour (well, at least to United fans).

While later on in his career at Everton, he made them a team constantly stalking European football, he only got to that point due to a patient chairman. At the start of his reign, Everton bizarrely would alternative every season between being European place challengers to relegation battlers (15th, 7th, 17th, 4th and 11th), and if he was the boss in recent years, he may not have survived the 2002/03 season when their 39 point finish was the lowest in the club’s history.

Interestingly, according to the bookies, David Moyes has the same likelihood of returning and being the next Everton boss, as he does Villa boss. He is also 4/1 to replace Roberto Martinez at the Toffees.

I don’t know if Moyes is the answer to the big problem Villa have when Garde goes, as this job would need a ruthless character brimming with self-confidence who doesn’t mess around.

However, any manager who managed to sell Joleon Lescott for £22million is certainly worth an interview!


Follow MOMS on Twitter at @oldmansaid


  1. in reply to Son Lyme, a manager has to keep the board happy. I was not asked about The England Job but it was never to Clough. He damaged clubs he managed, and as the Leeds episode showed, did not handle a big high profile high tension situation well.

    Villa are now said to be looking at Gary Monk. Interesting, not quite as good as Pearson’s record but not bad as a young manager in his first job. But the key issue is not onfield ability, but off field talent, where Ferguson and WEnger are both role models of keeping the board happy.

    FOr Pearson, not that he was at the BAGGIES during the great escape. Great talent, touched with genius. But why do the Baggies fail to respond to his appeal now? Boring old Pulis is rumoured to go soon, so where is the clamour from the Hawthorns for Pearson to return? What’s up if the Baggies don’t want their former employee back?

    Trevor Fisher.

  2. Amazed that there are still supporters who don’t want Moyse, who is a clear fit for the Villa job, Everton being the most similar club to Villa in the League now that Spurs are getting a new stadium. Man U and SPain are not relevant, the two experiences are not comparable to managing Villa. The talent that Pearson has is considerable, but it was also a case of off the field being more important than on the field. He was sacked because of unacceptable behaviour.

    I would actually prefer Bruce to Pearson if Moyes is not the choice, Bruce would get us back up. But so would Pulis, and no one thinks Pulis is wonderful though his record is excellent. Never been relegated. Given that all these are good managers, who is the one who has the motivation to get the club re-organised from top to bottom? Pearson has the eye for talent and Leicester (and Baggies) benefitted, but anyone who can get into a wrestling match in front of TV cameras has baggage which is not just soccer related as the behaviour of his son showed.

    Best of the bunch is Moyes. Personally I would like Mourinho, but he is not up for the challenge.

    Trevor FIsher.

  3. Moyes is a fallen star, and he will be another droning jock. It will be another
    Disaster like Lambert. Nigel Pearson

  4. I’m still of the opinion that Pearson should be the man tasked with getting Villa back to the Premier League for 2 main reasons: 1. He has the necessary and recent experience. In 5 years in the Championship between ’09 and ’14 he won the league once and got to the play offs twice with Leicester. He may have only finished mid table with Hull but 3 out of 5 playoff/promotion finishes is impressive. 2. The culture of “player power” is a cancer at Villa. This nonsense has to stop which I believe will happen if Pearson arrives. There are a few characters in the dressing room who really need sorting out and it is going to take a man with thick skin to do it and there are few with a skin as thick as Pearson available right now.

    A lot of fans have been saying that Moyes is experienced at this level too. I fail to see how when you consider he managed there for only half a season with Preston and that was 14 years ago. The Championship has become a far more competitive and cut-throat league since then and if a manager and team are not prepared for it, it can eat them alive.

    Moyes does also not come accross as the strickest of task masters, an Everton supporting friend of mine told me that he was a firm manager at Everton and did not tolerate any nonsense from the players, however his stint at Man United would suggest that he has mellowed in recent years as he was clearly walked all over by the players who did not want to play for him. Garde came to us with a reputation for discipline which seemed to have an effect at first but even he has folded under the pressure of “player power” at Villa. If the players are allowed to continue to put in shocking performances, show a lack of commitment and show utter contempt for the club and fans without consequence as they have this season then our chances of a return are zero.

    In my opinion we have a two year window to get out of the Championship and back to where we belong. The money will start to run out fast as the parachute payments decrease each season and if we don’t get out in that time it could be a long time before we are back. We need a manager to come in and have an immediate impact, someone prepared to crack the whip on slackers, who has done the business before and knows the league inside out. Pearson ticks these boxes more than anyone else.

    • You are on the nail Daniel. Villa have 20 months to get back into premier league or become like Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United, or Wolverhampton Wanderers. Once great clubs now squabbling over the scraps that fall from the top table.

      The decision this new board make now is the most important decision in AVFC history.

  5. Let me say I am not a fan of all this managerial change talk. I would ideally like to see Garde given the chance to get his own team and coach our youth next season. He is proven at development. But if Garde is sick of the lies and the attitude of the current Villa players, then I don’t blame him for giving up. He was lied to and had his hands tied by Tom Fox and co.

    There are those who spout that Garde has no experience of championship football, as if the rules are different down there, but they are not. Football is football and the only differences are if it is good or bad. If one only ever picked personnel on experience, would you pay a million quid for a 26 year old journeyman from Fleetwood Town to be your premier league striker? Would you pick Jamie Vardy? Or would you pick a £300,000 unknown Algerian plying his trade at a non-descript French club? Someone like Riyad Mahrez for instance? No you wouldn’t, you’d go for the experience of Agbonlahor everytime. Who wouldn’t?

    Five years ago Moyes would have excited me. But the intervening years have dulled my enthusiasm.

    After he left Everton it came out that he was one of the highest paid managers in the league, having demanded a hefty salary to stay at EFC, who as we all know, were suffering even worse money troubles than Villa.

    When he went to Old Trafford he sacked all the existing backroom staff and appointed his own. The compensation paid out when they finally got the boot cost Utd £5.2 million for them alone, and god knows what Moyes wrang out of Utd. This was the same staff who didn’t want John Stones to join EFC as they didn’t rate him.

    His time in Spain speaks for itself.

    And now he is making noises about Villa. He is the wrong man at the wrong time. Villa above all need a manager who can sort through the posers and wage takers without fear. Someone who can motivate, organise, and inspire younger players to step up. Someone who can spot talent in the bargain basement where Villa must continue to shop. Villa need someone to rebuild them.

    There is only one candidate who meet all these requirements, and that candidate is Nigel Pearson. He reminds me of Ron Saunders. Thoughtful, taciturn, and unwilling to suffer fools. Villa have been overburdened with fools for too long, on the pitch and off it. Pearson it was who built the LCFC side who are now doing what Villa did all those years ago. Pearson it was who saw the promise in Vardy, and Mahrez, and Drinkwater, et al. Pearson it was who won them promotion, kept them up, and shaped the team who are now riding so high.

    He should not really be available – but we should be thankful he is – and I think we as Villa fans should pray that the new board don’t plump for the high profile yesterdays man, but see merit where it really is, and give Nigel the chance to rebuild not only his, but also our, reputation.

    • ps – NP – the bloke who saw the value of players like Marc Albrighton, and United reject Danny Drinkwater, when others saw no value, or preferred the millionaire style of Adama Traore and Tom Cleverly. Surely it has to be clear to everyone the man we need?

      • pps – NP – decided that a cut price Stoke reject Robert Huth would make a better centre half for this team than say a multi million pound deal for a Micah Richards, or a Joleon Lescott.

  6. I think there is a straight choice between Moyes and Pearson. Garde has to go. The players have been dreadful but he has shown no indication that he can improve matters or inspire anyone or even organise a defence. Both Moyes and Pearson have baggage. Moyes failed to follow Ferguson (but then, so has Van Gaal) but at Everton (in many ways a mirror club to Villa) built a club from the bottom up. Pearson did really well at Leicester (and we have a good track record with former Foxes managers such as Little and Gregory) but queered his pitch with misbehaving youth players and criticism of his own supporters. I think both are strong characters and that is what is needed. The club needs to be rebuilt and for that job I would lean towards Moyes who can clearly spot a bargain player.

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