Everton’s defeat to Hull City last night has proved the final straw as far of certain parts of the media are concerned regarding David Moyes’ long tenure in charge of Everton. Never mind the fact that Moyes is one of the longest standing managers in the league having been at Everton for seven years or that his chairman Bill Kenwright has always showed a lot of faith in him – as far as the media are concerned Moyes will soon be on his way out as Everton have made a poor start to the season, look capable of falling into a relegation scrap and are nowhere near achieving their goals for the season.
This all seems a bit premature given that Everton’s season has been hindered by a lot of important injuries – to name just a few Everton have been without Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Tim Cahill and Yakubu for parts of this season with key duo Arteta and Jagielka having missed the whole season so far – and that the club have a habit of starting the season slowly and then enjoying a strong latter half of the campaign. Everton’s tendency to qualify every year for Europe has put expectations on them to maintain this role but the improvement of Tottenham and Manchester City, plus the emergence of Aston Villa as a force, means that gaining a European qualifying spot in the league table is not as easy a task as Everton are used to.
Everton’s form has been very poor so far and Moyes would readily admit that, they lost 6 – 1 on the opening day at home and their latest defeat comes to a team who rarely win at all which leaves the Liverpool-based club just four points above the relegation zone. Moyes, often touted as the future successor for Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has remained quiet about his team’s form and is still unwilling to even contemplate the idea of leaving having snubbed journalists questions about the possibility of him resigning but he has admitted that the team could get involved in a relegation battle, which would represent a major turn for the worse for Everton.
A problem Moyes has is that cash has always been short at Everton and he is unable to make the transfers he would perhaps wish to do. Whilst Manchester City and Tottenham are buying in multi-million pound players to help them secure spots in the Top 6 Everton are very quiet on the transfer front; their summer transfers in consisted only of defenders John Heitinga from Atletico Madrid, Sylvain Distin from Portsmouth and Lucas Neill from West Ham on a free transfer along with Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov whilst key defender Joleon Lescott left in a big money transfer of which all the funds were not spent on replacements. Whilst Moyes has always done a good job of getting bargains and doing well despite the lack of funds, the difference between his squad and those of their big spending rivals is becoming more and more apparent – particularly given the ability to deal with important injuries which the bigger squads handle better than Everton can.
The suggestion that Moyes is anywhere near resigning or being sacked is ludicrous – of all the managers in the league his is one of the most settled and he has a great relationship with his chairman. Everton cannot really be judged as a team until they have all their players available to play but their problem is that given their injury problems that could be an issue for a while and in the meantime they may continue struggling as any team would when missing its best players. And Moyes doesn’t have the option of splashing out on replacements in January due to his financial constraints. This isn’t the end of Moyes at Everton though, the Scot will drag his team out of their mire and, along with the return of his star players, he’ll see Everton rise the table in the latter half of the season as they usually do. A European spot may not be a possibility this year given the competition and the poor start in comparison but Everton won’t stop believing until it’s mathematically impossible. And they won’t be involved in a relegation scrap for the season – no club is too big to go down but there are plenty of clubs in the league that are far worse than the blue half of Liverpool.