Everton Focus – Contenders line up to replace Moyes at Goodison Park

With the final Premier League game of the season now almost a week in the past, Everton are yet to name a successor to David Moyes. All manner of possibilities have been mentioned, ranging from experienced bosses recently sacked by other clubs to rookie wannabes with no past managerial experience and those that fall somewhere in between, each with plusses and minuses and no clear, standout choice.

The leading contenders as of Thursday evening, according to Sky Bet, are:

Roberto Martinez: The bookmakers’ favourite and a candidate with support from the Everton fans, but not unanimous. Concern remains over his role in Wigan’s relegation but it is tempered by the Latics’ FA Cup victory, a trophy won in part by humiliating Everton at Goodison Park in the quarter-finals. Martinez has also been mentioned in connection with vacancies at Stoke City and Malaga. A tactically-flexible manager, Martinez is yet to decide his future with an announcement expected next week.

Vitor Pereira: A double-title winner with FC Porto, Pereira is expected to leave the Portuguese giants this summer when his contract expires. He has never managed outside Portugal and has little experience as a Head Coach, having replaced Andre Villas-Boas at Porto when Villas-Boas decamped to Chelsea. He is the latest in a long line of successful Porto managers but A Different League was told that he is not a clone of his compatriots but rather his own man.

Neil Lennon: Fresh from walking to the SPL title with Celtic, Lennon has long been a name linked to the Everton post. A feisty midfielder in his playing days, Lennon has lost none of that fight now he’s on the touchline, taking Celtic to a famous victory over Barcelona in the Champions League last season. With Rangers decimated by their demotion for financial issues, there’s little competition for the Bhoys in Scotland and Lennon may relish the chance to spread his wings.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: The former Manchester United striker is predicted to have a big future as a manager, having begun his coaching career in charge of the Red Devils’ reserve side. He’s since branched out with Molde, the club at which he played before moving to Old Trafford, winning the title. Solskjaer is also one of the latest movers in the betting market, a name that was mentioned initially but until lately had received little attention.

Alan Stubbs, Phil Neville or David Weir: The three ex-players can be grouped together, with many of the pros and cons applying to them all. Stubbs is the only one with any lengthy managerial experience, but that’s only as boss of the Everton Under-21 side. Weir has worked as a coach at Everton since retiring while Neville, who may yet play on for another year – but not at Everton – has only a brief spell with Stuart Pearce and England’s Under-21s.

The eventual selection may be none of the above, possibly a name low in the betting that few see coming, or a leftfield choice who wins the board over with a coherent strategy for taking Everton forward. The board then has to strike a balance between not rushing into a decision but not stalling too long, and not risking the club’s security but not playing it too safe.

See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG

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