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Defining decision for David Moyes: Revive Villa, return to Everton or succeed Deila at Celtic?

| 25.04.2016

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | Updated April 24, 2016

As the two-year anniversary of his sacking by Manchester United passes, David Moyes is at a very different career crossroads.

Well-informed local sources in the West Midlands indicate he is interested in taking on the sizeable task of being next permanent Aston Villa manager, with Coral still making Moyes a 5/1 chance for that post.

However, speculation about the future of Ronny Deila at Celtic was finally ended with the announcement he is leaving the Glasgow giants at the end of the season.

The Bhoys recently lost their Old Firm derby in the Scottish FA Cup semi-finals on penalties to bitter rivals Rangers, and one of the top jobs north of the border will now be vacant this summer.

Soccer - La Liga - Getafe v Real Sociedad - Coliseum Alfonso Perez

As a former Bhoys centre back, there has always been considerable support for Moyes to manage at Parkhead and, he is the 11/10 favourite to be the next coach of Celtic.

Even a return to Everton, who he established as regular challengers for Europe, has been mooted, as pressure on Roberto Martinez intensifies at Goodison Park. Moyes will make a decision on his future and next job this summer.

All three potential career moves for Moyes are far from straightforward, and they present different challenges. Coral assess what the Scottish boss can expect if he opts for either Villa, the Toffees or Celtic.

Boardroom resignations accompany relegation

So, first to the vacancy at Villa Park. As if the situation hasn’t been farcical enough on the pitch, board newcomers Mervyn King – the former Governor of the Bank of England – and ex-FA chairman David Bernstein have both quit.

King, a lifelong Villans supporter, spent just 10 weeks as a director. Having helped to weather the storm of global recession, which football in its own bubble has been protected from, his swift departure was down to a heated dispute with owner Randy Lerner.

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - Villa Park

It was a similar story for Bernstein. “The issues at the club are fundamental and the solutions are radical and do not lend themselves to compromise,” he wrote in a resignation letter.

“Unfortunately it had proved impossible to implement the agreed structure and my position has quickly become untenable.”

Club sale and squad surgery?

If wantaway owner Lerner cannot see eye-to-eye with key men in the boardroom, appointed on his behalf by Villa chairman Steve Hollis, then how will he finally secure a successful sale of the club? Uncertainty in the hierarchy is just one issue Moyes would face should he take over.

On the market for almost two years now, Aston Villa have become an increasingly unattractive prospect for investment. This is down to repeated mismanagement from an often absentee owner that has continued on a breathtakingly stupid scale, as their plight becomes more desperate.

Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth - Barclays Premier League - Villa Park

Squad overhauls are something of a football cliche, but one is needed at Villa Park. The scattergun approach to recruitment, if indeed there has been much of a clear strategy at all, must end and a managerial name with credentials could certainly help to address this.

The Villans need to attract proven Championship players on the one hand and cut the deadwood ruthlessly with the other. A British-born boss is the clear preference, and that is backed up by the betting as a number of names mentioned have previously earned promotion from this division.

Stiff competition

While Moyes doesn’t share that with the likes of Nigel Pearson (even-money favourite), Steve Bruce (8/1) and Mick McCarthy (18/1), there is one purely football man left on Villa’s board who might prove a useful ally in Brian Little – the last manager to win them a trophy.

It remains the intention for all candidates to succeed Remi Garde to be interviewed by Little, and that rates among the most sensible decisions taken inside Villa Park for some time. Getting Moyes on board would be a coup, despite both coach and club having somewhat tarnished reputations.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Charlton Athletic v Preston North End - The Valley

Much has been made in some quarters of Little’s relationship with Simon Grayson, who played for Villa and was under the director when he managed Leicester City as well, however.

Grayson, now 9/2 to be next Villans boss, has revived another famous founding father of the Football League in Preston North End, after a string of coaches failed to get them back into the Championship.

Martinez may need replacing at Goodison

Failure to get past the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions and a string of poor performances at home have coincided with a new majority shareholder coming into Everton, and that has left incumbent coach Martinez in a precarious position.

He could be sliding towards the sack if wealthy Iranian investor Farhad Moshiri is unimpressed with the defensively open and expansive style of football under Martinez that Toffees supporters now see as a vice.

Everton v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup - Semi-Final - Wembley Stadium

Nostalgia for Moyes to return is certainly strong in certain fan circles, and he’s made an early 7/4 favourite to be next Everton manager. Goodison was a fortress under him, which is a far cry from two clean sheets in the last 10 and defensive work is certainly something needed on Merseyide.

Whether the Toffees will go back for the future remains to be seen, but Martinez is definitely under considerable pressure and a change of coach over the summer could well be on the cards.

Days of dominance may be done for Hoops

During the years Rangers have been outside of the Scottish Premiership after suffering from financial meltdown, it has been expected of Celtic to run roughshod over the top flight.

That dominance has become decidedly weaker on the watch of outgoing, under-fire Bhoys boss Deila, and losing to Gers – albeit in the lottery that is a shootout – may be a grim harbinger of things to come at Parkhead.

Rangers v Celtic - William Hill Scottish League Cup - Semi Final - Hampden Park

With Rangers resurgent and 5/1 to win next season’s Premiership, while just one trophy is on its way to the Hoops, the Parkhead hierarchy have reached what seems a mutual decision to part ways with Deila.

While a fifth straight title is almost in the bag, Deila will be clearing his desk and gossip columns will now be filled with who is in line to succeed him with Moyes a market leader. Read more on the next Celtic manager betting.

Celtic cannot capitulate

Celtic have failed to win 10 league games this term, and conceded more goals en route to almost confirming a successful defence of the title.

Deila didn’t have the profile or connections to the club of his predecessors like Neil Lennon (11/4 to return), Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill, and now the Hoops may make a statement with their next appointment to counteract the return of their rivals from Ibrox.

Hibernian v Ross County - Scottish League Cup Final - Hampden Park

Moyes must surely be tempted to step into the breach, yet dealing with the weight of expectation at a big club has already backfired on him when the Red Devils removed him nine months after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Avoiding a repeat of that might just make the Bhoys one to avoid, yet at Villa there is more work to do from the start in the Championship; a league that is cut-throat competitive like no other.


Read more Coral football articles over on our dedicated section.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.