He has been touted as a possible successor for Sir Alex Ferguson when he steps down from Manchester United job, but for now, David Moyes is going nowhere, as he takes charge of his eight year as manager of Everton. Once again, the Scot will be hoping to keep the Toffees right up there with the big boys and maintain the level of consistency that they have shown in the past couple of years.
In the past eight years Everton have managed to finish in the top-ten on six occasions, even managing to go as far as finishing in the top-five on three of those occasions and up until last season they were the last team to break up the monopoly of the big-four in the 2004-05 season. However, this season, for the first time in five years, Everton will not partake in any European competition having been pipped to the post by rivals Liverpool who secured 7th place and the final Europa League spot last term.
Last season was a rather difficult one for David Moyes and his team, they were thrashed on the opening day of the season 6-1 by Arsenal and by Christmas were hanging in 16th place two above the relegation zone. But, such is Moyes’ tactical nous he rallied the troops. After a defeat to Liverpool on the 29th of November, Everton only lost on two further occasions between then and the end of the season – to Liverpool again, and Tottenham – a staggering two defeats in their final 24 game saw them notch-up another top-ten finish in eight.
The Toffees seem to have this innate ability to consistently punch above their weight, season in, season out. Because Moyes certainly hasn’t gone out and spent copious amounts of money on big-name signings, but when he has had to dig into the transfer kitty he has spent very shrewdly. Steven Pienaar, Tim Howard, Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill have all been star-buys from Moyes, he has also brought through players such as Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell and James Vaughan from the academy and given them their chance in the first-team, the former, Rooney, has obviously since moved on to bigger and better things.
Ahead of this season, Moyes has again been working his magic; Ján Mucha who featured so prominently at the World Cup for Slovakia has signed on a free-transfer and could well be challenging Tim Howard to become the first choice goalkeeper this season. Former Leeds United striker Jermain Beckford has also come in on a free-transfer to bolster the attacking options for the Toffees. João Silva and Magaye Gueye have also signed for the club from Aves and Strasbourg respectively. Meanwhile, Ruddy, JohnJohn Ruddy, Carlo Nash, Dan Gosling and Lukas Jutkiewicz have all moved on to pastures new.
Everton are to be considered, in my view, as a top side. The results and standing of the past couple of seasons reflect this, which is why; they will be once again competing for at the very least for a Europa League spot. Every team has a slow start to each season, and the Toffees got theirs out of the way last term. The league is now ultra competitive and there will be so many vying for the limited European places, it is important they get off on the right foot and hope the teams around them have a sluggish start.