So another season draws to a close and the progress has been undeniable. That Moyes has scooped the League Managers' Association Manager of the Year award for an unprecedented third time tells its own story. I have always been a fan of David Moyes, and supported him even in the darkest times of his tenure.
This does not mean that I subscribe to the Wenger school of myopia, but for me Moyes?s pros by far outweigh his cons. That his stewardship has led us to a second successive 5th place and our first FA Cup final in many moons despite all the injuries and lack of transfer activity tells you all you need to know about David Moyes.
I am excited at the prospect of where this team currently is, and where it could go... result on Saturday notwithstanding. We have a core of solid pros who seem to improve year on year and an exciting crop of young talent who have come on in leaps and bounds this year.
This close-season will be a crucial one (as they ever are) and I truly believe that, with the backing of the Board, this team will achieve even more next year. Players like Rodwell, Gosling and Vaughan will have an additional year?s worth of experience, and I believe that when we win the cup they will have the winning mentality that is so important at this level ingrained into them at the start of their careers.
We saw what Fergie did with the Man United youngsters and, whilst I?m not for a moment suggesting that this crop of ours is of that standard, the formula is very familiar. I believe that Moyes knows exactly what he is doing and that he will strengthen the areas that need strengthening.
As a final thought, a few questions that this season has thrown up for me:
- Just how good is Jack Rodwell, and is he a defensive midfielder or central defender?
- Has Mikel Arteta finally found his best position on the park in the centre of midfield?
- If yes, how does that affect our purported interest in Joao Moutinho (especially if as feared we are skint)?
- Will Yakubu, Jagielka and Mikel return as the same players they were before their injuries?
- Will Leighton Baines continue his remarkable turnaround and become England?s first-choice left back (particularly with Ashley Cole seemingly past it)?
- Will Marouane Fellaini (with a proper pre-season under the belt) finally start looking like a £15 million player?
- What is Fellaini's best position?
- Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar continue their fantastic form into next season?
David Gallant, Posted 27/05/2009 at 12:51:36
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1 Posted 27/05/2009 at 21:49:49
3) It doesn?t
7) Midfield behind a striker
2 Posted 27/05/2009 at 22:11:03
3 Posted 28/05/2009 at 00:33:04
1. Man Utd, Arsenal and Barcelona all made enquiries around Christmas.
2. Yes and it took far too long.
3. It shouldn't matter because a club with ambition should always look to improve.
4. Yakubu no, Jagielka maybe, Arteta yes.
7. Sometimes attacking, sometimes defensive midfielder as he is now.
8. Yes to both.
Some are facts, some are opinion, please feel free to decide which.
4 Posted 28/05/2009 at 07:35:27
1) potentially very good. We play in a variety of positions but will eventually be a central defender.
2) emphatically yes... and should have been there a long time ago.
3) None at all.
4) Yak - maybe but as doesn’t rely on sprinters place will hopefully not matter too much
Arteta - should be ok.
Jags - big, big worries. Just think of all the twisting a CD has to do...
5) No. But thats because England is a bit of a closed shop. I mean Gary Neville made the England squad FFS!
6) yes. he already shows glimpses. And we wouldn’t have paid £15 million up front either.
7) with a pre-season, a box-to-box midfielder so Tiny Tim can go back where he belongs.
8) Can’t see why not (mind you would rather have Pienaars form of the last 2 months than what was going on b4)
5 Posted 29/05/2009 at 06:26:40
Do you know of a place where Evertonians are coming together to watch the final on Saturday?
6 Posted 29/05/2009 at 09:37:22
3. With our budget centre mid is not a priority at the moment (Arteta, Cahill, Neville, Rodwell, Fellaini plus Osman/Pienaar/Gosling could all play there if needed - pace and width are our key requirements
4. Think Yak is the biggest fear based on age/size and type of injury
5. Think he’ll be 2nd choice for the World Cup
6. 10 million player next season, maybe 15 million the year after
7. Really not sure but great that he provides options
8. Neville yes although will he revert to RB due to the number of central midfield options (see above)- Pienaar - hope so but he can blow hot and cold
7 Posted 24/05/2009 at 10:24:00
Where do we think we need to improve in? Defensively, I worry a little about centre back, with Jags out till October we haven't got the greatest of cover for that position, and before everyone says Jack Rodwell, I know he can play in that position but he has mainly been operating in Midfield and I personally think we need experienced cover. Right back is fine as long as Jacobsen signs for another year, Left back again covered when we have a fully fit squad, and Neville can always cover there.
Up front is interesting, I can see Anichibe leaving in the summer. Will Jo come back on loan? If so then we have enough cover if not then we seriously need to look at that position. Saha is never going to be fully fit, Vaughan, question marks over his fitness. Yakubu, will he be the same player after such a terrible injury. Cahill can do a job but he isnt a forward. However, we will have a limited budget so i expect to see a loan or a bosman player being brought in to bolster the attack. (I wouldnt be surprised to see Michael Owen brought in ? controversial or not.)
Midfield ? this is where I need to see us buy big, I have to admit if Arteta had stayed fit I could have seen him being sold this summer for £20 million plus to a spanish club, but the injury has scuppered that, therefore I would like us to bring in a left winger (so difficult to find a good one) and a creative midfielder. We really cant afford to lose any of our players as our squad is just not big enough.
Again though, and I will probably get a lot of stick for saying this but do you think the reason Everton are so close knit and always play with a togetherness and a spirit and passion is because the squad is small? As a player in a smaller squad you must always know the opportunity to play is only around the corner, whilst in a massive squad you're forever getting chopped and changed. COYB !!!!