Everton riding high again but what next for Moyes and the Toffees?

Everton’s stroll to victory over Blackburn at Goodison Park on Saturday extended their unbeaten run to seven games and sees them sitting pretty in seventh place in the Premier League, just one point behind rivals Liverpool and a Europa League place. This season has adopted a familiar pattern for Toffees fans; risible during the early part of the season, with just two wins to their name before Christmas, they have lost just three times since the turn of the year, surging up the table in the process.

A top eight finish would be yet another fine achievement for David Moyes. With precious little money to spend and few new faces brought in to freshen up an increasingly stale-looking first team picture, he has nevertheless managed to drag a team that just months ago looked like sure-fire relegation candidates back into European contention once again. That he has done so despite losing one of his star players, Steven Pienaar, to Tottenham in January, and despite several more key performers spending extended spells on the treatment table – most notably Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta and Louis Saha – must rank as an achievement not too far behind getting a team containing Lee Carsley, Marcus Bent and Kevin Kilbane to finish in a Champions League spot in 2004/05.

How much longer, however, will everyone at Everton tolerate the current situation? Some pundits have suggested that Moyes has taken the club as far as he can. With Everton in debt to the tune of around £50m, and whispers of new foreign investment proving unfounded thus far, it seems that Moyes will have to sell players if he is to receive any funds to strengthen his squad in the summer. Should a job at a wealthier club, such as Aston Villa or Tottenham, become available, might the 47-year-old Scot be tempted to test himself elsewhere?

Although their reversal in fortunes has provided a renewed sense of optimism, Everton’s long-term prospects for success are altogether less rosy. There is a fear in some quarters, recently expressed publicly by goalkeeper Tim Howard, that there could be a mass player exodus in the close season, with the likes of Leighton Baines, Jack Rodwell and Fellaini all reportedly interesting Champions League clubs at home and abroad. Meanwhile, Moyes’ recent scouting trip to watch Darlington centre-back Dan Burn, and paper talk linking the club with a move for Nottingham Forest squad player Guy Moussi, lend further credence to the notion that Everton will once again be shopping in the bargain bin this summer. Much will depend on the club’s youngsters. More is expected from Rodwell, should he stay, Irish full back S

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Everton riding high again but what next for Moyes and the Toffees?

Everton’s weekend hammering of Wolves extended their unbeaten run to six games and sees them sitting pretty in seventh place in the Premier League, just one point behind rivals Liverpool and a Europa League place. This season has adopted a familiar pattern for Toffees fans; risible during the early part of the season, with just two wins to their name before Christmas, they have lost just three times since the turn of the year, surging up the table in the process.

A top-eight finish would be yet another fine achievement for David Moyes. With precious little money to spend and few new faces brought in to freshen up an increasingly stale-looking first-team picture, he has nevertheless managed to drag a team that just months ago looked like sure-fire relegation candidates back into European contention once again. That he has done so despite losing one of his star players, Steven Pienaar, to Tottenham in January, and despite several more key performers spending extended spells on the treatment table – most notably Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta and Louis Saha – must rank as an achievement not too far behind getting a team containing Lee Carsley, Marcus Bent and Kevin Kilbane to finish in a Champions League spot in 2004/05.

How much longer, however, will everyone at Everton tolerate the current situation? Some pundits have suggested that Moyes has taken the club as far as he can. With Everton in debt to the tune of around £50m, and whispers of new foreign investment proving unfounded thus far, it seems that Moyes will have to sell players if he is to receive any funds to strengthen his squad in the summer. Should a job at a wealthier club, such as Aston Villa or Tottenham, become available, might the 47-year-old Scot be tempted to test himself elsewhere?

Although their reversal in fortunes has provided a renewed sense of optimism, Everton’s long-term prospects for success are altogether less rosy. There is a fear in some quarters, recently expressed publicly by goalkeeper Tim Howard, that there could be a mass player exodus in the close season, with the likes of Leighton Baines, Jack Rodwell and Fellaini all reportedly interesting Champions League clubs at home and abroad. Meanwhile, Moyes’ recent scouting trip to watch Darlington centre-back Dan Burn, and paper talk linking the club with a move for Nottingham Forest squad player Guy Moussi, lend further credence to the notion that Everton will once again be shopping in the bargain bin this summer. Much will depend on the club’s youngsters. More is expected from Rodwell, should he stay, Irish full-back S

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Leave a Comment