David Moyes is still unsuited to Tottenham, irrespective of convenience 3

David Moyes has no job and Tottenham will soon have no manager.

What do you think happens next? Come on, it’s such an easy story to write.

Spurs have supposedly held significant interest in three different managers in the past two weeks (Van Gaal, Allegri, Moyes) so while now is not the time to swallow tabloid rumours about future appointments, it’s probably worth making a pre-emptive argument as to why Moyes is really the answer to nothing at Spurs.

Footballing traditions may not be as important as they once where, but the still have some value; David Moyes is the tactical counter-point to everything Tottenham Hotspur are supposed to stand for. Fluid, pass-based, attacking football? Spurs may not have had the success of Manchester United or Liverpool over the past twenty years, but the supporters still hold the players to the same aesthetic standard. An attritional, mechanical ideology would be incredibly antagonistic to the club’s fan-base, and Daniel Levy would do very well to remember that.

Around the time that Harry Redknapp left White Hart Lane and successors were being discussed, I made the point that Moyes was - beyond his coaching tendencies - unsuited to a club in Tottenham’s position. His reign at Goodison Park, although steady and relatively successful, was flattered by a lack of scrutiny. Everton may be progressive now, but for a long time under Moyes they were the kind of side who didn’t attract a lot of attention and who were over-praised for eye-catching results against big teams and under-criticised for poor showing against lesser clubs.

Without trying to be too unkind, that suited Moyes. He’s a natural underdog and, as we’ve seen over the past eight months, he’s uncomfortable with expectation and ill-suited to any situation which requires an aggressive or pro-active ideology.

Tottenham are not Manchester United and the air is not nearly as thin in North London, but White Hart Lane still feels a bit high-up the mountain for him. There’s too much money, there are too many consequences of failure, and there’s no opportunity to duck beneath the radar when things aren’t going to plan. Whether the supporters’ expectations are realistic is neither here nor there, the appointment of someone with Moyes’ past would feel like an affirmation of ENIC’s suspected desire to exist between 7th and 5th and nothing more.

He’s a capable manager, but his brief association with Manchester United and his availability shouldn’t persuade Levy that his value is more than it really is.

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