David Moyes has praised his Everton players for their consistency this season and credited the stability around the club as a major reason why the Toffees have again punched above their weight in the Premier League.
Moyes has seen his side lose only six times this season, compared to seven for Arsenal and Chelsea and eight for Spurs. He said: “I think the team have done very well and we have maintained a level of consistency throughout the season being in and around the top eight for most of the time. Up to this present time I think Everton have done as well as could be expected.”
Having been in charge at Goodison for more than a decade Moyes has overhauled the mindset of the club, taking them from perennial relegation strugglers to regulars in the top eight of the table. Only twice in a full season under Moyes have Everton finished ninth or lower, with the 2004/05 season seeing Everton break into the top four, and 2006/07 to 2008/09 end in consecutive top six places.
“Over the years we have been given the chance to get stability at the club which has given everybody that opportunity to know exactly what is required,” Moyes said. “When we bring players in we work hard to try and get the right characters with right commitment and technical ability. We have chosen those players very wisely and that has given us a chance to compete with the teams at the top and we will continue to try and do that.”
Arguably one of Moyes’ most successful signings has been former Manchester United defender Phil Neville, bought from Old Trafford in 2005. Neville recently announced he would be leaving Everton at the end of the season and Moyes paid tribute to the club captain for his service on Merseyside.
“He has been really influential. He has been a great captain and a great player since he joined us eight years ago and will be missed. He has been someone that I can rely on both on and off the pitch,” Moyes said.
The manager added that he is sure Neville will remain in football in some capacity, backing the 36-year-old to forge a successful career in whatever field he chooses when his playing days come to an end.
“I have got no doubt that he will go on to work in football and he is someone who we will miss. It will be a hard position to fill because the way he has captained the team has been excellent over the years,” Moyes admitted.
“Phil will be a success in whatever he does in life because he conducts himself well and is very articulate but if I was a betting man I would say that it would be coaching.”
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