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IS EVERTON’S POTENTIAL UNDERESTIMATED?

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Everton fans are reminded that their club has not won any silverware since 1995’s F.A cup all too often. Under Joe Royle, players like the late Gary Ablett and the legendary (to Everton fans, anyway) Scotsman Duncan Ferguson could be seen hoisting the historic cup aloft after defeating Manchester United 1-0 under the twin towers of Wembley.

David Moyes is a manager who is often praised in the media for his ability to consistently guide his team to a top 10 Premier League finish. Between the fans, he is a saviour; many of them know that it would take someone special to replicate Moyes’ achievement given the Toffees’ financial restraints. Like any other manager, he faces criticism-in many a case, it is for being too negative. The Scot is notorious for ordering his team to defend a solitary goal, or even ‘sit back’ from the start against the ‘bigger clubs’.

When the controversial tactic pays off (victories against Manchester City and Tottenham at home are perfect examples), it is brilliant-the media congratulates the ‘over-achieving’ ex-Preston North End gaffer as if they were best friends. If the opposite occurs and Everton shoot themselves in the foot (most recently the F.A cup semi-final), not many seem to bat an eyelid.

The 49 year-old is often linked with assuming control of other clubs higher up the Premier League table as his reputation prospers-even Athletico Madrid were rumoured to be interested earlier in the season. Whether he would leave his blue family is a different matter altogether. Alan Hansen (writing in The Telegraph) can believe that it is ‘inevitable’ Moyes will leave this summer all he wants, however a unique relationship with Bill Kenwright, the right-minded and well supported owner, strong respect and dependence from the fans and a hard-working, obedient set of players (you can leave Royston Drenthe out of that) mean that it would have to be an offer too good to turn down for him to leave-Moyes may already be biding his time, patiently waiting to emerge as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United-especially as many suggest Ferguson will be choosing his own.

Goodison Park will undoubtedly be a sombre, mournful place to be when eventually, the ex-Celtic defender sets off on his new challenge. Despite the ever-niggling rumours however, Moyes appears to be looking forward to another season with the Blues: after all, this article is not about what Everton will become without him; it is to gain an insight into what the club can further achieve under him.

Over the 10 years David Moyes has spent at the club, he has drastically turned its fortunes around, despite not winning a trophy. From relegation scrappers to a 7th placed finish that was hailed as ‘magnificent’, gradual development saw European football return to Goodison Park under the floodlights of the compact, explosive ground for a precious while. Meanwhile, a new generation of Blue heroes emerged, such as Ayegbeni Yakubu, Andy Johnson, Joleon Lescott, Steven Pienaar, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill to bring unforgettable moments like that 2-0 victory over Fiorentina, a 6-1 win over SK Brann and a defeating eventual winners Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0. Fans were only too happy as they travelled to Wembley in 2009 too; beating Manchester United on penalties to set up a final with Chelsea proved how Moyes and his team’s commited, enduring ethos can project them to near-success, as ‘buying’ the F.A cup was certainly not an option and never will be in the near future. The loss was hard to take for the Merseysiders, and everybody connected to the club.

With these recent, savoured glimpses of what could have been in mind, there is a strong basis for eventually going the extra mile and rewarding the patient, loyal fans and hard-working players.

However, just repeating or overreaching those fading memories is not as simple as it could be. A few hurdles have to be cleared in the first place: a strong, consistent start to the season is vital (last time this happened, Champions League football was warmly welcomed at Goodison park and duly exited-very controversially), the dark cloud of suffocating, restricting debt looms and strength in depth is needed-even if promising players emerge through the youth system-as frustrating players like Victor Anichebe, who has so often been wasteful in long spells, fill the bench every week.

On the other hand, the second half of the current campaign (and many previously, it is worth remembering) has brought a much brighter, positive and more optimistic future on the horizon. Ask any regular match-going Evertonian and they will tell you: Goodison Park was the flattest, most depressing (atmospherically) that many experienced fans can remember, as there seemed no end to the dark place the club became lodged in, results-wise and financially.

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15 comments

  • James Oliver says:

    ” … the second half of the current campaign (and many previously, it is worth remembering) has brought a much brighter, positive and more optimistic future on the horizon…. ”

    Yes, when there is absolutely NO PRESSURE TO PERFORM.

    Moyes is the most overrated manager in the Premier League. His ability, his tactics, his man-management are all none existent. His only vision is collecting his pay cheque. He has never been good enough for Everton FC. Only Kenwright, in reality, sees something in him. You know what that is? – Moyes is Kenwright’s lackey. The pair of them have sown up the present and future at Everton. In the meantime the Club is dying.

    Moyes is a traitor. Following the debacle of his team selection and subsequent heavy defeat to Liverpool he has shown no shame and no remorse. He failed in his spurious ambition to get Everton the the Cup Final – something the team could adequately achieved. 10 years and no further on. Your romantic vision is purely that.

    • Alex Leonard says:

      I would be interested to know if you are an Evertonian? Your point of view is an unusual one.

      I understand your points, however if Moyes left (given the lack of money), who would keep Everton the top 10? Would another manager be able to sustain a club in the way Moyes has? Yes, he hasn’t brought a trophy to the club and yes, his tactics are questionable from time to time. Given the fact he has to buy relatively unknown, cheap players (look at Pienaar, Cahill etc.) and maximise their potential, I thoroughly believe that to once again finish a place or two behind teams like Chelsea and Newcastle is a fantastic achievement. If only Kenwright sees anything in him, why is he such a popular character amongst the club’s fans and the media? Moyes’ name has been brought up as possible replacement for Ferguson at United countless times-pundits and journalists alike view him as a potential Premier League great, but only with resources he cannot have at Everton, meaning that eventually, he will move on and will be fully respected for it if Everton continue in their current financial situation.

      And your point about Kenwright-it’s questionable but Kenwright’s intention is to do the best for the club, which is selling it to good buyers-sell it to anyone and you could end up in Blackburn’s position.

      He’s no traitor. The selection in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool was frustrating for Evertonians as it is questionable if he understands the scale of a Merseyside derby and it’s importance to the fans. In the long run however, that selection took us to Wembley, where the fans felt left down after some shocking tactics, especially 2nd half-that game was Everton’s to take to their biggest rival; it was their biggest and best chance for a long, long time and Moyes deflated that opportunity, leaving fans confused and angry.

      Any trips to Wembley and any European place is a bonus; all Evertonians would love a trophy more than anything and it is certainly not out of the question yet. Moyes may not be taking Everton to the top of the table-but he is keeping on otherwise declining club afloat. Until buyers are found, that is the priority.

    • J says:

      R a murderin red shite lad . He’s the best thing to happen to us who u think could do a beter job ??

      • Alex Leonard says:

        It’d certainly be a hard one. But with Moyes’ departure likely to become a reality Everton will have to face in the next few years, I’d say Paul Lambert-can’t fault the guy. Gets the best out of players from lower divisions in the Prem, plays attractive football.

  • BlueMark says:

    Blinkered fool. Everton are playing to their means, it is clear that at the top Man City are replacing Man United despite MU still being regarded as the most valuable club in the World. With an old stadium, low corporate sponsorship, a gate of 36k for each home game (but at a fraction of London based ticket prices) how does the club compete?
    What manager will take over from the proven Moyes? Mark Hughes, Peter Reid, McCarthy, Kendall MKiv ?
    Why would a high profile manager take on the vacancy with little or no transfer funds, an ageing squad and a strong likelihood of moving down the table.
    The team play for Moyes, they trust him and that is why we have outperformed. We hold onto Moyes and maybe a Qatari family member takes a punt on the 4th most successful team ever who are still top ten. Without Moyes we will be in the Championship within two years.
    After 45 years of following the blues, I remember the stagnant 70’s where a highlight of nearly a decade was the 28 goals Bob Latchford got in one season, yet the 80’s success was just around the corner. Let’s stay a competitive top flight side, let’s try for Europe and decent cup runs and let’s be thankful that we are not Leeds, Sheffield/s etc.

    • Alex Leonard says:

      You have some good opinions there. As, in fact, I’m not a ‘blinkered fool’, I wish to respond to your point without being called names. Firsly, I did not suggest that a high profile manager would have to take over-that special manager may in fact be a Paul Lambert, a Duncan Ferguson or a manager from the lower leagues like Moyes was-I just don’t know. Everton are certainly a club who deserve to have money injected into the system, and that is what frustrates fans. The cheif exec said there were apparently various interests around Christmastime, but now there are none. As we know, football (sadly) is a business. You simply cannot progress without cash. Therefore, aren’t Everton drastically overachieving? Every day Evertonians are thankful Moyes continues to work wonders on limited resources, but also frustrated with the financial situations, res

      • Alex Leonard says:

        …resulting in free agents and loanees being signed. How much most Evertonians would give to see Landon Donovan playing permantly is off the scale-a fee of £12m seems lightyears away whilst the neigbours overspend on average players.

        Seeing teams like Liverpool and Manchester City have money to throw away is painful. Don’t forget however, Everton may benefit from UEFA’s fairplay rule; players like Barkley, McAleny, Duffy, Forshaw etc. may prove to be a suitable, sustainable future whilst spending the odd bit of money here and there on players like Vellios who is a certain talent and bigger players like Jelavic to add experience.

        Sometimes you have to take a step back to take one forward; if that means finishing 11th/12th for a few years whilst the club enters a transitional period, surely that would be more beneficial in the long run so that, eventually, those European nights return to Goodison once again?

    • Bluescouse says:

      BlueMark made a lot of sense with his comments, with being brought up around the same time, we got to see the brilliant 1962/63 Champions, with the impervious Golden Vision (Alex Young), et al, the absolutely incredible Holy Trinity team, Ball, Kendall & Harvey, the almost unbeatable mid 80’s teams of Sheedy, Steven, Reid, Sharp et al, but since that time, younger Evertonians have had one FA Cup success to cheer about in 95, which is nowhere good enough! Financially we can’t compete with most premier teams, which is sad, it also makes us extremely vulnerable in having to sell our top stars, just pick a season out, to see whom it is/was! Money is the name of the game & we are for all intents & purposes…..broke, ultimately if we want to compete with the top 8 teams, we need new owners that have lots of dough, ideally like the Man City crew, or some other Billionaire that wants the best for EFC…..please forward names to Goodison Park! There has to be someone out there…..right?!?!?

  • jason says:

    Here are some of the major problems we have right now.

    To get money, we need to sell our better players…unfortunately selling also means that it’s highly likely the money goes straight to the bank as it’s done all season.

    This leaves us up shit creek without a paddle…we loose our better players, that cannot be replaced, we also then struggle to sign loanees because of the fees required to keep them on for the season.

    It’s a vicious circle. Sell your best players, any money received goes straight back to Barclays bank…leaving no money to get needed replacements.

    The other problem is needing to replace Moyes as soon as possible. We have been going backwards in the last couple of seasons and that is simply not good enough.

    As Fergie has said this season…it’s knowing when to offload your better players to make a profit…not keeping hold of them until their value becomes almost nothing.

    3 Losses to the reds is beyond completely unacceptable, and loosing / rolling over / bottling it in the semi should have been a sackable offense given the previous 2 losses, of which the entire thing was down to Moyes.

    Prem managers love him because he is completely predictable.

    to blather about having no money, is no excuse for his inability to change a game he is loosing. His tactics at best are laughable if not humiliating…if he was allowed to spend big with another club? hahaha he’d bankrupt them, have them playing some of the worst football their supporters have ever seen etc

    The man is a cowards, lacks skills such as understanding tactics and how to turn a match around…he sticks with as been players like Neville, Cahill, Osman and Hibbert…i mean seriously….look back at the coward and you try to tell me he never bottled it just once…in the europa league quarter finals, not once but 2 times…absolutely battered by SL and Benfica who where not that good anyway.

    The man has learned nothing in the 10 years he has been here….his commment a knife to a gunfight 0.o…that alone would have earned him a sacking from any other club…but he is the lackey of kenwright…he keeps kenwright the liar in his job….and why would moyes leave when he is getting 65 grand a week? one of the highest paid in the prem? If he moved to a bigger club, he would be found out and fired..why do you think no big club has ever come calling for him? coz he is not wanted….not unless you want to watch humiliating crap football week on week.

    Moyes must go this season…the job is just too big for him and he can take his badly perfoming has been’s with him and kenwright too!!!!

    Paul Lambert for me

    • Alex Leonard says:

      He certainly has ‘bottled it’ a few times-most notably the semi against Liverpool. However, you’re looking at it from a different point of view to me. I’m viewing it in optimistic way. Yes, the tactics are questionable..but after the Man U performance there’s certainly ability to achieve higher.

      The vicious circle the club is in is a position I would wish on no other club. However skint Kenwright is cannot prove that he doesn’t have the best interests of the club at heart.

      One more point: I would keep Tony Hibbert in the side anyday.

  • jason says:

    back in 2004 Moyes stated “we must aim to finish in a champions league spot”..this with a team that compared to today was just so laughably bad…we finished 4th on relegation form (we lost something like 10 matches on the bounce) the only reason we managed to finish 4th was because of liverpool’s even worse record…but then they cheated themselves into the competition and won it.

    This year Moyes said he would be thrilled to finish 10th…he isn’t interested in beating liverpool or even finishing above them 0.o.

    My how this coward’s standards have fallen, and yet he has a superior team at his hands, that all season long has misued..like every other season…sad but true..when the pressure is on..he hides and sulks..not remotely the same man we took a chance on when we gambled on a second tier unknown manager we poached…

    • Alex Leonard says:

      I see how you’ve detailed his clear decline of enthusiasm, which is concerning for anyone who supports Everton. It’s interesting that a manager should act like that: if a manager isn’t motivated, it’s time to go. However, the decline of resources at his disposal have been parrallel to what you have picked up on. It’s no excuse to give up or ‘bottle it’ in semi-finals, but it’s a situation that would depress any manager, surely.

  • SUPA1878 says:

    Bill Kenright the well supported owner, WTF are you smoking???

    NSNO – Need Some New Owners

    Kenwright OUT

  • James Oliver says:

    Alex Leonard Reply:
    May 8th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    “I would be interested to know if you are an Evertonian? Your point of view is an unusual one.”

    1. Don’t patronise me
    2. If you don’t like the response don’t ask for comments

    • Alex Leonard says:

      That’s far from patronising. If I wasn’t interested by your view, I wouldn’t respond to it. I was geniunely asking if you are an Evertonian? It is interesting to me what people’s opinions are.

      If you’ve thoroughly read the whole of my response to your previous comment, you would understand that I have not suggested in any way that I did not like your response. I’ve read your comment and disagreed with a couple of your points, which is completely normal seeing as we both are of different opinion.

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