Everton produced a fine display last Sunday to knock reigning European champions, Manchester United, out of the FA Cup and put an end to any talk of a unprecedented quintuplet.
It was a fitting reward to Moyes, who has proved over the years that he’s a shrewd manager with a good eye for talent. Given time by Everton chairmen, Bill Kenwright, Moyes has put together a solid outfit, more than a match for any team on their day.
From the age of 22, Moyes started to turn his thoughts to football management, taking coaching badges. By the time Preston North End came calling in 1998, the then 35-year-old Scotsman was more then ready to take the plunge into the murky and difficult world of management.
At the time, Preston were languishing in lowly Division Two. Moyes led them to the Division Two title in his first season in charge. An even more remarkable achievement, was guiding his team to the Division One playoff final with largely the same, unchanged squad.
It was inevitable that he would be snapped up by a Premiership club sooner or later. With the departure of Walter Smith from ‘the Toffees’, Everton required a new lease of life into their side and acquired the wily Scotsman.
Appointed on 14th March 2002, Moyes successfully avoided relegation from the Premiership, with Everton putting together a good run towards the end of the season. In his first full season in charge, Everton narrowly missed out on a UEFA Cup place. His achievement was highlighted when he won the LMA Manager of the Year award.
The following season proved to be almost disastrous for Moyes. Everton flirted dangerously with relegation and endured a torrid season. It’s the one blemish on Moyes’ CV. However he steadied the club and the following season, Everton stormed to fourth place and Champions League qualification. This feat once again earned Moyes the LMA award.
However they were knocked out first time of asking in the Champions League and UEFA cup. Moyes’ men found themselves bottom of the league by October. However again they bounced back eventually finishing 11th.
In 2006-07, Everton finally showed to signs of consistency. Battling on all fronts, Everton finished sixth in the league, reached the semi finals of the ‘League Cup’ and the last 16 of the UEFA Cup.
This year Everton have maintained the same consistency shown in the previous season. Despite a slow start, Everton produced solid performances throughout the Christmas period and into the new year. They currently find themselves lying in sixth place, one point off Aston Villa in fifth.
Moyes has shown a very shrewd eye for talent. Kenwright has been unwilling to break the bank in the search for success. Unlike for example Tottenham Hotspur who have spent large in the hunt for success, Moyes has had to work with a small budget.
He has shown he is unafraid to dip into the Championship in the search of potential talent. He has poached the likes of Tim Cahill, Jolean Lescott and Phil Jagielka from the league. All three have proved vital in Everton’s recent success.
Mikel Arteta and Tim Howard both arrived on loan. They have since signed permanently for the Merseyside club. Both have proven to be influential players for Moyes and is another case in point of Moyes’ ability to work with a small budget.
South African, Stephe Pinear has proven a good buy for a measly Ã‚Â£2.05m. Leighton Baines also has great potential and costing Ã‚Â£6m seems like a fair valuation of the left back.
He has spent big when allowed. Yakubu cost Ã‚Â£11.25m in the summer of 2007-08. He has proved a success though has suffered from ongoing injuries. Possibly Moyes’ biggest gamble in his time at the club was the purchase of giant Belgian Marouane Fellaini for a club record Ã‚Â£15m.
However Fellaini has proved a hit with the Everton faithful. The 21-year-old has bagged eight goals this season with many more assists. His presence in the box and heading ability has made him a threat for opposition defences up front.
If there was one manager in the league who deserves a chance at managing a big four club, then it is David Moyes. Is he possibly a future replacement for Alex Ferguson? Talking to many Manchester United fans, they seem to welcome the idea. Doubts raised over his handling of big-name players seems unfair.
He has handled some difficult characters over the years like Duncan Ferguson and Wayne Rooney. Despite clashes with both on and off the field, he has managed to create a good team atmosphere at Goodison Park which is being reflected with results on the pitch.
Should Moyes be parading around Wembley come May 30th with the FA Cup lofted above his head, it certainly will be much deserved for a manager who has proven his managerial credentials over many years.
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