David Moyes has been linked with every Premier League manager's job going in the last 12 months. But yet each time the Scot's named has come up in connection with the likes of Newcastle, West Ham, Sunderland and now most recently Aston Villa, it has been largely been met with the same negative response from fans of those clubs.
The big question is why?
Moyes became a recurring joke when he was sacked by Manchester United just 10 months into a six year contract. He found the job at Old Trafford too big to handle, but then so would anyone else taking over from a man who had done as much as Sir Alex Ferguson.
The fact is that 80% of Premier League clubs would be lucky to have a top level coach like Moyes in charge. So when supporters scoff at the idea, it's nothing short of ridiculous.
When he was hand-picked by Ferguson and hired by United, it was the pinnacle of everything Moyes had worked so hard far over the course of the previous 20 years. Until things started going wrong there, his entire career had been one steady upward trajectory.
Moyes started his on his path to becoming a great manager as a player-coach at Preston North End in the mid 1990s, having previously studied for his coaching badges when he was still in his early twenties. In his first full season in charge he led Preston to the Division Two (now League One) playoffs. The very next year (1999/00) he secured top spot and automatic promotion.
Some teams might have then struggled upon reaching the second tier of the league ladder, but Moyes' Preston defied the odds and reached the playoffs at the first time of asking. They came within 90 minutes of Premier League football, losing to Sam Allardyce's Bolton Wanderers in the 2001 playoff final.
When Moyes took over at Everton in 2002, the club had experienced several years worth of disappointing bottom half finishes. That all soon changed, though. In the Scot's first full season on Merseyside, Everton finished in the top half (7th) for the first time since 1995/96. Only twice in the next 10 years did his side ever finish outside the top half again, and not at all after 2006.
Moyes' Everton broke into the 'top four' long before Harry Redknapp's Tottenham side managed it - at a time when experts were predicting no one ever would. When Roberto Martinez almost took Everton back to the Champions League in 2013/14 it was in no small part thanks to the foundation and the groundwork that had been left for him.
At Everton, Moyes was responsible for some of the best signings in Premier League history. Tim Howard, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini became stars at Goodison Park. Phil Neville was an inspired buy, while Steven Naismith was an absolute steal when he was plucked from a low quality Scottish Premier League.
Foul-mouthed former Wimbledon and Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear once comically tried to claim he'd won three LMA Manager of the Year awards - Moyes actually has done.
Unfortunately for Moyes, people appeared to immediately forget about everything good he'd ever done as soon as he got the boot from Manchester United. People can talk all they want about him taking a title winning to a shockingly low seventh place finish, but that explains none of the context. The squad needed major rebuilding, he was partnered by an equally new lead-executive in Ed Woodward and, most importantly, he had to deal with immense pressure and scrutiny, the scale of which he'd never come anywhere close to experiencing before.
Critics also point to the difficult time he's had in Spain. It must be remembered that Real Sociedad were struggling before he took over and it was Moyes who managed to stabilise them, even masterminding a victory over Barcelona - something which proved beyond Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus in the Champions League last season.
He's finding it somewhat tough in Spain this season, but it takes time to get used to a whole new culture, lifestyle, language and style of play. If anything, the broader experience of coaching abroad will actually serve to make him an even better manager should he choose to return to the Premier League in the future.
Premier League football fans have turned into such snobs when it comes to managers. Even clubs for whom mid-table is a commendable finish think they're above even the most capable candidates around. When Stoke appointed Mark Hughes there was less than unanimous approval, while one fan even parked outside the Britannia Stadium with a huge 'Hughes Out!' banner on the side of his car. Two years on, look at all the good he's achieved.
Fans need to realise, particularly where David Moyes is concerned, you genuinely won't get much better. You should be so lucky to have someone as good as he is.
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