Time for a freshen up on Goodison Park?

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Everton, Football Blogs, Premier League
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David Moyes was appointed Everton manager in 2002 with the club in a relegation dogfight. Over the course of David Moyes’ tenure he has redefined what the Toffees view as success. Moyes has guided Everton to a top-four finish, FA cup final appearance and to the last 16 of the UEFA cup. Moyes is currently the third longest serving manager in the Premier League nearing the end of his ninth year in charge at Goodison Park. Are the brave voices calling for the hardworking, straight talking Scotsman to go, correct.

Moyes reign has been nothing short of a ‘rollercoaster’ with his Everton side alternating between top of the table and bottom of the table finishes. In more recent times, however, Everton looked to have broken this cycle with a couple of consecutive finishes in and around a European qualification place. This prompted many to tip them, along with Aston Villa, to break the formidable dominance of the ‘Big Four.’ However, in this current season Everton, until very recently, found themselves surprisingly, flirting with relegation after many had believed they had secured their top six status for many years to come.

Everton’s steady, if not dramatic, decline has had the manager, board, players and fans baffled but what has happened at Goodison to create such a change in fortunes?

David Moyes is without doubt a very skilled manager and has been touted by Sir Alex Ferguson himself, as his possible successor to the hot seat at Old Trafford; very high praise indeed. David Moyes has commanded and earnt a lot of respect for what he has achieved at Everton from players, peers and fans alike, but has this growing reputation allowed the Scotsman to outgrow the club? Moyes regularly refers to his tight budget at Everton and it is quite clear in recent months that the former Preston manager has become frustrated with the restrictions that come with a club that isn’t being bankrolled by Russian or Middle Eastern Billionaire.

The reported £45 million debt at Everton leaves owner Bill Kenwright with a dilemma. Does Kenwright do as David Moyes has reportedly called for, that is to sell the club to generate funds to secure the best players around or alternatively, does he dismantle Moyes nine years of hardwork on a shoe-string budget by selling the likes of Jack Rodwell, for a reported £20 million, to Manchester United?

It would be too easy to take a leaf out of Manchester United’s fans book and blame the boardroom for problems in relation to on the field matters. It is the board that ‘coughs up the cash’ however, it is the manager that spends it. David Moyes has usually had to find players from places like the Championship and Scotland due to his tight budget and has purchased some real ‘gems’ in the likes of Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Seamus Coleman. The Championship clubs have cottoned on to the Premier League clubs raiding the lower leagues, they have of course raised their asking prices (just look at Connor Wickham, a reported £15 million asking price.) Moyes’ days of picking up bargains from the ‘lesser’ leagues may well be over and he now wants to be able to spend £30 million on a top striker. Moyes record though, when he has splashed the cash, is less than impressive Louis Saha, James Beattie and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov all arrived at Goodison for colossal amounts compared to Seamus Coleman’s £60,000 move to Merseyside and flattered to deceive and sometimes even failed to deceive.

Change can be an unsettling and have repercussions, good and bad. In the case of David Moyes and Everton change, I believe will be good.

David Moyes has worked wonders but outgrown the club. The cliché ‘he has taken the club as far as he can’ in the case of Moyes is spot on. Moyes deserves his chance at a ‘bigger’ club’, or at least a club with more money, if the opportunity does arise. There is great irony in Moyes situation when you consider what Moyes said when appointed Everton Manager “I said ‘yes’ right away as it is such a big club.” a lot changes in nine years.

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