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David Moyes: 10 Years as Everton manager

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Such is the fantastic job that the Scot has done over the years, it is no surprise that he is only behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in terms of longest-serving managers in the English Premier League.

Since taking over at Everton and as each year passed he has grown into one of the Premiership’s brightest and most talented managers dealing with a budget that is not anywhere near the level that his Premiership rivals enjoy.

Why do managers and players rate David Moyes so highly?

Maybe it is the fact that he enjoys a good working relationship with his chairman Bill Kenwright, who claims that his manager is the best in the world and I am sure that if Everton do go on to win a trophy, Moyes will be given legendary status among the long-suffering Evertonians who share their chairman and manager’s passion and desire for success for Everton Football Club.

Standing in their way, a match against Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland before they can even dream of a semi-final place or a Wembley final and this will be a very hard test indeed, especially as they have only recently been beaten Liverpool in the Premier League.

Perhaps the making of Moyes the manager, has come from his days as a player.

As a player, David Moyes played as a centre half for Celtic before going on to play for Cambridge United, Bristol City, Shrewsbury Town, Dunfermline Athletic, Hamilton and Preston North End, stepping up to manager of Preston thereafter.

Billy McNeill was his manager during his time at Celtic and as well as both being centre halves who better to have for advice and to look up to as the first British man to captain a side to a European Cup victory when Celtic beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon.

Moyes has learned all through his career and it is no wonder that he is being watched on both sides of the border and beyond.

Only recently, former Everton and Scotland winger, Pat Nevin had stated that David Moyes would be a perfect fit for the vacant Chelsea job after the departure of AVB; this did not go down well with the Everton fans.

David Moyes has always tried to learn throughout his career and he spent most of his career looking at the possibility of going into management. He took his coaching badges at 22 and compiled files on various managers and their tactics and techniques. When he finished playing he became a coach at Preston then assistant manager and then he was appointed manager in 1998. The club avoided relegation that season and under Moyes they reached the play-offs just failing to win.

This defeat just made this determined young Scot even more eager to take the club to success and he did this guiding them to the Division Two title and promotion to Division One.

This was a fantastic achievement but he was to go one better when he guided his Preston squad to the play-offs with mostly the same group of players.

The team lost the play-offs and soon after they lost their manager as Everton came calling after they had parted company with fellow Scot Walter Smith after a 3-0 defeat by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

Before taking the job, Moyes spoke at great length with his predecessor and Smith gave his former employers a glowing reference. Moyes became the new manager of Everton Football club on 14th March 2002 and in his first press conference, he became an instant hit with the Evertonians.

“I am from a city (Glasgow) that is not unlike Liverpool. I am joining the people’s football club. The majority of people you meet on the street are Everton fans. It is a fantastic opportunity, something you dream about. I said “yes” right away as it is such a big club.”

He got off to the dream start as Everton manager winning his first game 2-1 and a string of good results saw them saved from relegation.

In typical scouse humour the Evertonians made up a chant for their new boss, “Davie Moyes, Davie Moyes, Davie, Davie Moyes, He’s got red hair but we don’t care, Davie, Davie, Moyes!”

He knew that Everton was a massive club and he had a massive job on his hands but he almost guided them to UEFA Cup football only missing out on the last day of the season as they finished seventh, but David was given the LMA Manager of the year award/

The following season did not go as well with a point’s total of 39 the lowest total in history but they did avoid relegation.

After the disappointment of the previous season, David Moyes was to bring in one of the club’s best pieces of business on the transfer front when he brought Tim Cahill from Millwall, a player who has grown into one of the best modern-day players to pull on an Everton shirt.

The club possibly surpassed all expectations that season when they qualified for the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Premiership.

Unfortunately Everton got the worst possible draw when they were paired together with Villarreal and they were unlucky to go out as a Duncan Ferguson goal was wrongly disallowed and the club went out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage. Things got even worse as they were also dumped out of the UEFA Cup losing heavily to Dinamo Bucharest and their league form suffered and they eventually finished 11th.

The following season the club improved and UEFA Cup football was secured with a sixth placed finish and some more shrewd moves in the transfer market saw Joleon Lescott and Tim Howard brought in.

As David Moyes and Everton rolled into their sixth year together, the consistency was starting to show and the yearly improvement and quest for a trophy was so nearly ended as a respectable fifth place was secured and a semi-final spot in the Carling Cup were reached only losing out to Chelsea. They also reached the last 16 of the UEFA Cup going out on penalties to Fiorentina a game they came so close to winning after being 2-0 down from the first leg they fought back to level the tie, only to lose out on the heartbreak of penalty kicks.

What made the defeat more annoying for Everton was the fact that they had already beaten the team would eventually go on and win the competition Zenit St. Petersburg.

The Everton support and manager knew that the club were on the right road now and despite the fact that the club may not be blessed with the riches of some of their rivals, they have a chairman who would bleed blue blood if he cut his little finger.

Kenwright and his board have given David Moyes the funds when they can and as well as bringing in various players like Yobo, Arteta, Neville, Cahill, Lescott, Howard, Pienaar, Jagielka, Baines, Saha and now Jelavic over the seasons to name but a few, they have also broken their transfer record with the signings of James Beattie, Andrew Johnson, Yakubu and Marouane Fellaini who was signed for a club record £15 million.

The turn of fortunes under David Moyes is even more unbelievable as the Everton manager has had to deal with many things at his football club including the sale of one of its prized assets in Wayne Rooney, but he has always handled himself as a model professional to his players, it is no wonder that his small squad would run through a brick wall for the man.

The sale of key players like Rooney and Mikel Arteta at crucial times in the season over the years has tested the Everton manager’s mantle but somehow he has managed to keep Everton on the right road.

The improvement has taken time, but the Premier League record has improved over the years and getting to an FA Cup final, a Carling Cup semi-final and the last 16 of a European competition is a way forward for Everton and progression onwards and upwards from now on.

Everton need to be in Europe every season and challenging in both cup competitions every season.

Some may say it has been a long time coming Everton getting to their first FA Cup final( against Chelsea in 2009) since a Paul Rideout goal gave Joe Royle’s side victory back in 1995 against a Manchester United side who were heavy favourites on that day, but “the dogs of war” outfought the Red Devils on the day.

David Moyes himself would tell you that his record in the FA Cup has not been the greatest, losing in previous seasons against Shrewsbury, Fulham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Blackburn but that is all behind them now as they look forward to their forthcoming clash with Sunderland and hopefully get back to Wembley to ease the pain of the cup final defeat in 2009.

David Moyes has received praise from many former Everton players and managers, as well as other managers in the Premier League also for what he has already done in his ten years at the club. But what the Scot would love to do most of all, is end the pain of all those long-suffering Evertonians and give them the silverware they crave so badly, few would argue that David Moyes and his team deserve success for all the years of hard work he has put into this fantastic football club.

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About Author

Chief Features Writer for Scotzine.com. Sean has written for various publications and websites over the years and has been involved with making documentaries on Aberdeen Football Club, Dundee United Football Club, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Jock Stein and also Radio programmes, one of which "Old Firm Day" won a Bronze Sony Award. He also worked in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. His love of writing started off with The Punter and has gone on to write for the following FIFA magazine, 442, Scotland's Oracle, Players Inc, British Football Week, ESPN, Give Me Football, Inside Futbol, 67 Fanzine and the matchday programmes of Aberdeen, Carlisle United, Montrose, Partick Thistle, Stockport County and Queen's Park. He has also been asked to write a blog for Youth Football Scotland on St.Mirren YFC such was his passion for football at every level from Grassroots to the professional game.

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