If David Moyes were an archer then the arrow of consistency would never be too far from his bow. A second consecutive 7th placed finish last term has given further kudos to a man that in his ten year tenure as chief confectioner has turned The Toffees into a most effective foil wrapped presentation.
A medley of well earned points thus far in this campaign, including the memorable opening day win against former champions Manchester United has left many in the game wondering if Everton can really kick on this time around and ensure qualification to the Holy Grail that is The Champions League. No stranger to pulling off such a feat having previously qualified in 2005, Moyes must surely feel that this season represents the best opportunity he has had for some time in rekindling the romance with this estranged competition.
The emergence and development of Manchester City since the last time Moyes and Co were able to lock horns with Europe’s elite has meant that Everton have slightly fallen behind in the hierarchy of English Football. However, the almost permanently fluctuating fortunes of cross-city rivals Liverpool, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Abramovich’s Chelsea toy, Tottenham’s Kamikaze mission in relieving Harry Redknapp, and the steady whiff of decline emanating from The Emirates means that there exists an invitation to an extravagant European banquet should the boys from Goodison stand up to accept the challenge.
In their favour they have a first eleven capable of giving any side in the country a run for their money. Aside from the recent defeat at Reading they are very much a team in form, and in Marouane Fellaini-David Moyes currently has one of the hottest properties in English football at his disposal. The canny knack of the wily Glaswegian steward in being able to bring in, what on paper look like average signings, and instilling into them a discipline, a philosophy and a team ethic that sacrifices personal gain to the overall collective is a rare talent. At Everton it seems that the power of the constellation will always hold far greater significance than the shine of any individual star.
Of course, the less than enthused soothsayers among us will point to a lack of strength in depth that continues to be an irksome source of agitation to David Moyes year upon year. The mumblings from the Fellaini camp with regard to his possible departure in the event that the team doesn’t secure passage to The Champions League should also give cause for concern. Nobody can question the desire of the star in wishing to further him-self, but perhaps the timing is a little lax, when the decision on any potential European adventure will not be made for months.
The coming weeks will see the The Toffeemen having their mettle tested against the likes of Champions Manchester City, and the London trio of Arsenal,Chelsea and Tottenham. Should they do well in these fixtures, then a healthier, more sustainable place in the top four will surely beckon.
If Everton’s chances of reaching The Champions League are to be the silver lining of this story, then it may also be prudent to discuss the appearance of a cloud on the horizon, and the further potential for a storm. It is fair to say that aside from the fans and the history of the club, that David Moyes is without doubt its greatest asset. His multitudinous dealings in the transfer market would require an in-depth analysis worthy of a PhD study, but a brief synopsis would indicate that he has been extremely resourceful and has proven to be a veritable virtuoso when it comes to protecting the prosperity of the Goodison pocket! This coupled with his drive, motivation, and ability to get the best out of his players really does set him apart.
The fact that Moyes will be out of contract in the summer and hasn’t yet put pen to paper does not necessarily signal the alarm bells, and anybody with even a modicum of footballing insight will know that the aforementioned contracts are rarely worth the ink tattooed upon them.
The persistent rumours of Moyes being lined up to eventually take over from his good Glaswegian friend at Manchester United show no signs of abating. When Mr Ferguson, who seems to be waiting for one final winning goal in the ‘Fergie time’ of his career, finally decides to renounce his Wrigley cushioned, Seiko sponsored throne, it seems more than likely that the Glazer family will receive a ringing endorsement on the merits of Fergie’s countryman.
Naturally such a scenario would prove hellish for any fully subscribed member of The Gwladys Street Choir, which is why I believe that they and the club’s powerbrokers should act now to ensure that they are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Everybody associated with the club needs to wake up and smell the toffee! In footballing terms they are no longer in the shadow of their Liverpool rivals, and are in plain terms a better side. However, the attitude of the club needs to change to match the ambition of its manager.
The fans need to shake off this self depreciating defence mechanism of calling themselves ‘The Peoples Club’ and start thinking in stronger terms of being ‘A Winning Club’ with a winning mentality.
At boardroom level nobody can question the love that Bill Kenwright clearly has for the club, and his years of endeavour and commitment should rightly be applauded. However, now is the time for action, and he needs to find investment and quick! If he lacks the capability and business acumen required to find a deal that will bring Everton into the current century, instead of being the poor relation in The Premier League, then he needs to appoint somebody that can. On paper Everton look to be one of the most investment worthy Club’s in the whole of Europe with their loyal fanbase and rich history. I’m sure with the correct application the right deal is almost certainly out there.