PEOPLE might accuse me of a biased opinion being an Everton supporter, but looking back over David Moyes’ 10 years in charge of the club over the weekend I couldn’t help but think how far the club has come on since he took over.
Moyes inherited an ageing squad including the likes of David Ginola, Paul Gascoigne, Scot Gemmill and Alex Cleland after replacing Walter Smith in March 2002.
He has single-handedly transformed the fortunes of the club, assembling a squad that has stuck together and taken Everton from being perennial relegation battlers to the dizzy heights of the top four and Champions League qualification, the Europa League and an FA Cup final.
Moyes released Ginola and Cleland almost immediately and has since set about bringing in younger, hungrier players to Goodison Park.
Signings like Tim Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Tim Howard, Leighton Baines and Phil Neville have all proved shrewd and are still key members of the first team squad.
The signings of Joleon Lescott and Mikel Arteta showed that he has an eye for a player as both returned huge profit for the club when they were sold to Man City and Arsenal respectively.
Sifting through the extensive coverage of Moyes’ 10-year anniversary at the club over the weekend, a couple of articles stood out for me.
Everton’s official website ran an interview with the Daily Telegraph’s chief football writer Henry Winter.
Winter was full of praise for Moyes, describing his hiring as one of the most significant managerial appointments of the post-war era, before going on to say: “He makes players better and Everton have punched above their weight – that is down to one man.
“If I look around the country then there are probably only two managers more central to the fortunes of their clubs – Ferguson and Wenger.”
High praise from one the most respected football writers about. Praise, in my opinion, that would be widely accepted.
The other article I read was, ‘David Moyes v Harry Redknapp: A tactical breakdown’, on the Guardian website.
A superb and in-depth analysis of the differing tactics employed by both managers in Everton’s 1-0 win against Tottenham on Saturday.
Moyes, the article states, is, ‘A much more studious coach, he personally works on his side’s shape every day in training, varying it according to the challenge of the upcoming weekend.”
The only criticism Moyes is often landed with is that he is often too defensively minded, worrying about the opposition rather than purely focusing on his own side. But I’m sure most, if not all Everton fans can forgive a man who has quite simply transformed the club in his 10 years at the club.