Club Focus – Everton – Tim-id in front of goal

David Moyes saw his hard working Everton side end a three match loosing streak on Sunday evening when Tim Cahill nodded in only his second league goal this season. The punchy Australian has been extremely quiet in front of goal so far despite natural alertness for the weekend’s saving goal. However if the attacking midfielder can recapture the form of last year that saw him scoring freely for the Blues this will surely aid in their climb away from a lowly 15th.

Injuries have certainly played a huge part in some of Everton’s losses this year, however only Louis Saha seems to have shone on a regular basis. The prolific Frenchman’s flair and composure in front of goal are all that has kept Everton from avoiding the relegation zone during the first 15 Premier League games. The Toffee-men have lost four from their last six away games and a visit to Stamford Bridge on Saturday is the last place that Moyes would want to visit considering Everton’s current predicament. The Merseysiders sit 15th in the table and have now not won in four league outings. The Scot will have clung to a sliver of light from the weekend however; and he will want to follow in the footsteps of Mark Hughes’ Manchester City side who took all three points on Saturday against the league leaders. The Everton faithful will find no comfort in their average of a point a game, but there have been positives to take from this season to date. Several youngsters have been blooded and have taken to the task extremely well. Jack Rodwell has covered for Phil Neville with all the composure of a seasoned professional and even caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. Again a fresh face was introduced on Sunday as a packed Goodison Park saw Seamus Coleman playing in only his fourth game, the youngster brought the ball out of defence naturally and set up both goals.

Moyes is the fourth longest serving manager in the country and there is an obvious reason for this, he has the backing and confidence of the board, the fans and the players. Sundays XI certainly listened at half-time as the Scot’s team talk and second half substitutes changed the game. Jo worked hard for the first hour and a rejuvenated Saha and Yakubu Ayegbeni caused Spurs more considerable problems at the back than they had previously suffered. Additionally the fantastic performance that youngster Coleman delivered aided the recovery that saw Everton claw their way back into the game and inevitably scrounge a point. Many analysts have floundered recently on the limits of Moyes team, and suggested ‘he has taken the Blues as far as he can’. If so, a definite factor lies in the restriction of finances and a lack of fresh investment. With the collapse of the proposed new ground in Kirby it does not look like there is great opportunity for future investment either. For Moyes to go any further he needs Bill Kenwright to make the first move in finding investors and this must top the priority list as Everton’s season may rapidly deteriorate unless they can capitalise on the January transfer window. That being said if the ex-Preston manager had a fully fit squad at his disposal from the start of the season the Blues would certainly be in the top half. As soon as key players such as captain Neville, defensive linchpin Phil Jagielka and playmaker Mikel Arteta are back to full fitness expect to see the Toffees soar up the league.

The obvious lack of money at the club could force players such as Steven Pienaar out, who are essential to Moyes plans, the South African has been superb for Everton over the last two seasons, with excellent ball control, trickery and lightning pace he is a full-backs nightmare and the backbone of many Everton attacks. The skilful midfielder has not signed a new contract yet and could have his head turned after the World Cup when bigger clubs are scouting possible new additions. An investment is vital in seeing the Everton cavalry penning new deals. A slight increase in revenue should arrive from the Blues progression into the last 32 of the Europa League, and another good cup run will also keep the fans happy.

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