The long-term future of both David Moyes and Royston Drenthe at Everton has been brought into question after the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Liverpool. Moyes’ contract expires next summer and a new one has yet to be agreed, while Drenthe’s time as a Toffee appears to have come to an end before the season is truly over.
Drenthe has had a tumultuous relationship with Everton since arriving on loan from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day in August, veering from scoring stunning goals against the likes of Queens Park Rangers and Blackpool to frustrating with aimless runs and a tendency to shirk his defensive duties, but the breach of discipline that led to the winger missing the loss to Liverpool has likely brought the curtain down on the Dutchman’s Goodison Park career.
The 25-year-old was advised to stay away from the club after reporting late for training in the week before the Wembley showpiece, on its own not the most serious transgression but Drenthe had been warned about his timekeeping before, the
Moyes’ side are one-paced outside of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar and Drenthe was at times a breath of fresh air with his direct running, but more often Drenthe’s indecision and indiscipline brought a screeching halt to Everton’s attacks. The moments of quality were often magical but they arrived rarely, evidently too rare for Moyes to persist with Drenthe’s more frustrating off-field habits.
The Guardian article that revealed Drenthe’s Everton career was at an end also raised the prospect of Moyes’ tenure drawing to a close in the near future. It is at the moment difficult to judge what effect losing out in the latter stages of the FA Cup will have on Moyes’ next step. Will reaching the semi-final stoke the fire that has driven Moyes to this point, or will coming so near yet so far push Moyes to a club that could provide greater opportunities to claim silverware? Moyes’ desire to bring a first trophy to Goodison since 1995 has been well documented but Everton were convincingly outplayed in the second-half against Liverpool, suggesting that there is some way to go before Everton routinely challenge for honours.
Captain Phil Neville rejected the idea Moyes will walk away, indicating his belief that Moyes is ‘in it for the long-term but a decade is practically a lifetime in football. Moyes has seen all but two fellow Premier League managers come and go – only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger remain from Moyes’ first day at Everton – but the Scot has been unable to break permanently into the league’s upper echelon. This summer then could be crucial for both club and manager.
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