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The Enigma That Is Moyes

By Steve Hogan :  06/02/2009 :  Comments (0) :
Just over five days ago, I wrote a letter on this site castigating the current manager for his cautious and negative attitude in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Being present at the game, I was angry and annoyed at his steadfast refusal to give young Gosling a run-out with 30 minutes left to play and United coasting.

At the time, Osman had all but disappeared from view, and we offered no threat down the flanks at all. The only way we looked like scoring was from a set-piece, and most of the players were running on empty. To this day, I still don't know why he had the subs warming up for a full 30 minutes without trying something new, but hey I'm not the manager, and I don't see the player's train every day.

In contrast then, I have to give praise where it's due. The last three weeks has seen Moyes continually out-think and out manouvre what most people believe is one of the most widely respective technical coaches in Europe. OK, he's acting like a total 'dick' at the moment but, when he leaves the Dark Side, there will be plenty of prospective employers throughout Europe ready to offer him a top job.

Why is it then that our manager continues to inspire and frustrate us in equal quantities? The last six years has seen us qualify for Europe almost on a regular basis, but by and large the brand of football offered has been dire. What cannot be in doubt is his level of commitment to the cause; he lives and breathes Everton, also he has the trust and respect of the players who seem to enjoy his authoritarian (and sometimes dour) style of management.

Because of our current financial position, our progress will always be two steps forward and one step back. However, no-one can doubt that the overall position of the club is much improved on when he first arrived in March 2002. Let's face it, we were a laughing stock, and every March/April it was twitchy bum time as supporters were trying to second-guess which of the remaining games we would take points from!

Now, although not genuine title challengers, the vast majority of supporters outside Goodison and outside the 'Sky 4' will praise Moyes to the hilt. He played the 'verbal' game with Rafa leading up to the replayed cup tie almost to perfection, right down to the comments aimed at the ref, 24 hours prior to the game. This to me showed signs of maturity in his style and the further comments after our great win where he said, "We do things with a certain amount of grace and humility" here at Everton once again showed the fat bearded one in poor light without actually naming him. Clever that.

I for one don't believe Moyes will see out his current contract at Everton; he was quoted after the game that he would "like the resources to take this team further". Don't forget, whatever supporters think of him, he remains fiercely ambitious, and I don't think Everton (unless we have a massive injection of cash), will be able to offer him that opportunity to exploit his own potential. I believe sooner or later, a club with bigger financial resources, not necessarily one of the 'Sky 4', will tempt him away... He would have insisted on that clause in his latest contract deal.

If this happens, it will be interesting to see if he is the 'real deal', or simply an effective coach who gets the absolute maximum out of the material he has to work with. A fantastic result on Wednesday night nevertheless, when you look at the resources available to the other lot, and the relative monetary value of each team. Whatever criticism he has received in the past, Moyes played an absolute blinder on that one, top man.

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