Moyes – The Best of British*

by Dexy Longshot

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Breaking the top 4 again?

David Moyes arrived at Goodison 6 years ago now and has built a balanced and hardworking outfit regularly challenging for a European place (official 5th best team in the league.)

They excelled 3 seasons back when they clinched the 4th Champions League spot, they then had a slight dip a season later with a mid-table dwelling before storming back to 6th and 5th respectively.


The suits at Goodison should also be commended for keeping faith with Moyes who had a relegation battle on his hands in the 02-03 campaign. They just survived the drop with a 17th place finish but returned the following year to storm into the 4th spot with a little help from a local lad called Wayne. Rooney burst onto the scene with an audacious long-range exocet over the top of a fumbling David Seaman on live TV (mmm, ain’t seen that before!). Rooney, a product of the youth team set-up was eventually bought by Fergie after a brilliant Euro 04. The Scouse outfit have consistently brought along young prospects who have broken into the senior side such as Victor Anichebe, James Vaughn and Leon Osman, who all have bright futures with the club.

On the transfer’s side, compared to their neighbours, the resources for Moyes have been on the light side but he has bought in some bargain belters over the years. In the current team, the elegant Arteta & free scoring Cahill are the standout midfielders who would both go for double figures these days, it seems ludicrous that they were bought for a combined fee of £3.5 million! Andy Johnson arrived from Palace 3 years ago for 8 million & the under-rated Tim Howard arrived after a decent loan spell. Yakubu came from Middlesbrough and is now established as one of the Premier Leagues most consistent strikers. The acquisition of Lescott, Baines and Jagielka has made Everton into one of the meanest defences in the Premiership – 33 goals against, just 2 behind Arsenal & 5 behind Liverpool.

If anyone can break up the big 4 again then it’s surely Everton, sorry Spurs fans, but you are dreaming once again, another season of mediocrity beckons.

The Blues will need to sign a few new additions if they are to push on. Russian striker Roman Pavlyuechenko who was a big success at Euro 2008 has been linked but is desperate for Champions League football, so it’s highly unlikely Moyes will sign him. One exciting prospect could be the arrival of Aaron Lennon, the speedy winger doesn’t seem to fit into Ramous’s plans and would be the kind of signing the Everton fans would relish.

Under Moyes Everton have transformed themselves into a top 6 side, and my money is on another top 6 finish for the 2008/09 season.

Best of British on a budget*

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  • Darren

    Moyes done amazing, they are officially the best Pub team in the Premier league!

  • mikie

    i think Moyes is one of the best managers in the game, and the everton board must take some credit for keeping him, this is something that the Newcastle board should take note off.

    Darren you’re being rather hash, they are very hard play against, they doesn’t make them a pub team.

    Give them the credit they deserve

  • Darren

    There’s no doubt they have the sexiest fans, both Kerry & Lizzie are super hot, but to say they are a top 6 side is not true. I think Villa, Portsmouth & Blackburn will finish above them.

    It’s true they are very hard to play against but that doesn’t make them good. Austria were hard to play against, I rest my case.

  • Stevie

    Moyes is a rare breed, he’s loyal and doesn’t complain about every decision that goes against him. He spends half the money of anyone else and still Everton are the only team capable of breaking the top 4.

  • Martin Tibbetts

    I think Moyes is a very very good manager, but that Everton have peaked. This year it will be Villa, with or without young Gareth, who will trouble the scorers at the top, possibly making the top 4 at the expense of Liverpool, Arsenal or even both…..O Neill is the man, if anyone can, to break into that tedious quartet’s domination, lets wait and see….

  • Danny Brothers

    Moyes has taken Everton to some pretty high places but now the question is, how can he possibly top that and take them any further?! Areteta and Cahill staying fit is vital for them but you have to wonder if they can get into the Champions League places again, especailly with a much stronger group of sides beneath them now.

  • Darren

    It’s true, there is no doubting they are a very hard side to beat, but their squad does lack depth. Lennon would be a good signing for them, but for me his final ball is appalling, the term ‘headless chicken’ springs to mind.

    Cahill will miss the start of the season with injury, and Athletico are still sniffing around for Areteta. The next few weeks will determine where Moyes and everton will finish next season

    Maybe it’s time for Moyes to move on? I’m sure Man United would be interested if Fergie did leave.

  • Jay

    Man City, Aston Villa and Spurs will likely all leapfrog Everton if they fail to strengthen this summer, Moyes’ undoubted qualities notwithstanding. If, however, he gets the finances he desires, Everton would be the best bet for breaking into the top 4.

  • daveyboy

    i think david moyes is a great manager, he obviosly lives and breaths the game. its always annoying when managers like moyes dont get the credit they deserve.

  • John

    City & villa finishing above Everton dont make me laugh, If anyone thinks Everton wont spend this summer then the spin coming out of goodison has done its job. The blues will strengthen the much needed midfield with the likes of Fernandes back, Fletcher and two others. Arteta is now nearly at full fitness and is a better & more influential midfielder than any of the other challengers can boast ( modric included ).

  • Darren

    Villa are only 2 players short of being a quality side, Ashley Young was different class last season, 16 assists speaks for itself. If they sign a decent center forward then I feel they are strong enough to finish above Everton, and with ease. I even think Pompey are looking good too, they are like Everton but play much better football. Diara is quality, we should have never let him go.

    Man United

    there you go, my early predictions

  • Mark R

    Darren, with all due respect to Villa’s pace and physical strength and the same with Pompey, to say they play better football is laughable.

    How many Everton games did you watch last season?
    We demolished Sunderland at home 7-1.
    Destroyed Fulham at home.
    Pummelled Newcastle at home.
    But for your (Villa) flukey equaliser we’d have beaten you too, with a weakened side (Mikel Arteta injured and Cahill out).
    I could go on and on and on!
    We only lost to Man United narrowly both games…. Infact the only team I thought out played us were Chelski’s Zillionare mercenaries.

    The number of refereeing decisions according to meant we surely should have been closer to the RS than the league showed. Blackburn and the offside trap anyone?!?

    Anyway. We’ll be seeing who comes where when the new season starts.
    Come on you blues!

  • Mark R

    …. oh also won both games agains Man City, one drawn one against Spurs and Portsmouth, etc etc….

    Bigger squad is all we need

    Under Moyes the pride is back with the oldest and original club of Merseyside. est 1878

  • Darren

    To be honest, I didn’t watch that many, but the ones I did see it was long ball after ball, yes I know your all going to crucify me, but watching Everton is like watching a Championship side sometimes.

    For the record, I’m not a Villa fan, I’m an Arsenal fan, 1-4 say no more.

    I think Moyes is quality, he has turned you guys into a decent side, and I’m surprised no one else has come in for him, maybe because they are scared of him, he does look a bit hard! You board deserve lots of credit for keeping with him.

  • Mark R

    “To be honest, I didn’t watch that many, but the ones I did see it was long ball after ball, yes I know your all going to crucify me, but watching Everton is like watching a Championship side sometimes.”

    I almost fell off my chair laughing at that one. Long Ball ?!?
    Osman. Pienaar and Arteta.
    There are three names that if you knew anything about them would shout out – that we don’t play “Long Ball”.

    We actually play a mixed-direct and passing game.

    The Yak wouldn’t have scored 20 goals last season on long ball. He likes balls to feet at the edge of the box, and crosses both to feet and headers.

    Cahill is the same. We only play long balls as the opposition defenders begin to look shakey (Bramble anyone or when they’re flagging – you did with 3 of the Arsenal goals in January, and as someone whom was actually at the Arsenal game, 1-4 flattered to deceive really). Two were defensive errors from our lads….. recall from “one of the best defenses in the country”

    Also recommend you see our goal of the season against Larrisa (the team that knocked out Blackburn) in the UEFA Cup, where it wasn’t exactly “LONG BALL”.
    Also recall, we beat Zenit St Petersburg the eventual winners of said cup.

    Darren, you’re showing how alot of people don’t quite know the full story at Everton.
    Moyes has changed our style of play from the 1990’s. And we know we have players people would love to have in their side. Just like Wenger came sniffing after Arteta at the start of the summer….

  • Thre peoples club

    Everton long ball? what you going on about, i think you are getting mixed up with that red fish loving team from the dark side of the park..

  • Darren

    You do have a very good point, in fact, we have written several articles on Liverpool’s very hump hump long ball style of play.

    Check it out.

    I will make sure I watch you guys a lot more next season, and if you play some nice stuff I’ll be the first to say well done.

  • Tim

    up the blues!!

    If we can hang on to Arteta and ensure Cahill are fit, we won’t finish lower than 5th

    Everton have money to spend, but just coz they haven’t follwed other sides in splashing out don’t mean we won’t buy. citeh and pompey are held to ransom coz it is common knowledge they have money to burn

    DM knows he needs to replace Super Lee and probably AJ eventually, along with 3-4 decent signings, Moyes is just biding his time

    Man U

    No need to following my predictions further down the table, the Big 5 are now streets ahead. I predict Pompey anohter fine season though.

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