Preston’s strong season so far has been great to watch, but there are always downsides to success; the main one being vultures circling around Deepdale.
The likes of Ben Davies, Ben Pearson and Tom Barkhuizen have all been linked away from the club this season, and the same goes for boss Alex Neil.
Stoke City wanted Neil earlier this month, but Preston stood firm and turned them away, with Neil reaffirming his commitment to Preston, having only signed a new three-year deal in April amid interest from West Bromwich Albion.
Neil has vowed not to leave this group of Preston players, having grown so close with them over the last two years. Neil feels there’s something special brewing at Deepdale, and with an automatic promotion spot in sight, you can’t really argue with him.
Yet the continued success will only put him on the radars of other clubs. Stoke may have backed away, but there will be more on the horizon, because there are a surplus of managers like Neil.
He’s young at 38, he’s progressive, his sides work hard, he has experience of promotion and in the Premier League, he has worked on a tight budget at Preston and is quite simply one of the best British managers around.
So far, Neil has only received Championship interest. Could his stance change if a Premier League club comes calling? Honestly, a move to the top flight would be much more understandable than joining another Championship side.
Everton may well be hunting a new manager soon, with Marco Silva under immense pressure. Now, two pundits have suggested Neil would be the ideal choice for Everton.
Chris Sutton and Alan Hutton have told BBC Radio Five Live tonight that Neil deserves a chance at a club like Everton, praising him for his work at Deepdale. Sutton feels Neil has taken Preston as far as he can, which we would passionately disagree with given the club’s position this season, and feels making the same move David Moyes did in 2002 makes sense, whilst Hutton thinks he can get Everton going if given the chance.
“I’ve got a name Everton should be looking at in my opinion – Alex Neil,” said Sutton. “I think he deserves an opportunity at the highest level with what he’s done at Norwich, I know things didn’t end well for him there, he’s taken a club like Preston, small budget, he’s done unbelievable things. He’s probably taken them as far as they can go, albeit they’ll want promotion. Years ago, David Moyes left Preston to go to Everton, Neil is a progressive, young manager doing great things.”
“For Everton, that could be a right good fit. He’s done so much, I’ve played him on numerous occasions, and they’ve always been right up for it, went about their business, done well, and on a shoestring business. If he was to go into a place like Everton and rattle the cages, he could get them going,” he added.
Let’s pray Everton aren’t paying any attention to these two.