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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

David Moyes

David Moyes
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Manager: 2002 - 2013
Former Celtic player David Moyes became Walter Smith's successor on 14 March 2002.

A player at Preston North End before taking over as manager from Gary Peters in 1998, the team were promoted to the First Division in May 2000. Preston missed out on promotion to the Premier League the next season with a 3-0 defeat against Bolton Wanderers in the First Division play-off final.

Turning down offers from Manchester City, Southampton and West Ham United, it was only the eventual offer from Everton that tempted Moyes away from his beloved Preston. Rumoured as a possible assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before the appointment of Steve McClaren, Moyes, like so many before him, faced his first challenge of avoiding relegation to the First Division.

Welcomed enthusiastically by the Everton fans, the first game under Moyes' leadership saw a David Unsworth goal in the first 30 seconds followed by a superb effort from Duncan Ferguson, giving the Blues a 2-1 win over Fulham.

The fine performance from a squad with potential but formerly lacking consistent direction brought not only a vital victory for the new manager, but a new boost of assurance and enthusiasm for his players.

On form again, fine performances from the team under the new manager saw Premier League safety once again assured soon after.

The 2002/03 season began very brightly as The Toffees signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Chinese firm Kejian and brought in international midfielder Li Tie, Nigerian star Joseph Yobo and England international 'keeper Richard Wright.

The Blues were the surprise package of the first half of the season as a run of six consecutive wins - their best since the Championship-winning season of 1986/87 - helped them climb as high as third before Christmas.

Everton's form earned David Moyes the Barclaycard manager of the month award for November after his side's 100 per cent record. That month saw them record 1-0 victories over Leeds, Charlton, Blackburn and West Brom.

There was disappointment in the cup competitions, as Everton exited the Worthington Cup in the Fourth Round with a 4-1 defeat at Chelsea. And Third Division Shrewsbury provided the biggest shock of the FA Cup in recent years by defeating the Blues 1-2 at Gay Meadow.

The upset did not have an adverse effect on Everton's league form however as Goodison's new teenage sensation Wayne Rooney, and some excellent team performances, helped them stay on course for a European spot.

Unfortunately for Moyes's men, a 2-1 final day home defeat to champions Manchester United enabled Blackburn to snatch the final UEFA Cup place from their grasp and left them seventh in the Premier League table.

It still marked a massive jump of eight places from the previous year and earned Moyes the League Managers Association's Manager of the Year award.

That was an accolade he received for the second time in three years at the end of the 2004/05 campaign. It was in recognition of his remarkable achievement in guiding the Blues to a fourth place in the Premier League.

Having started the season with many pundits predicting a campaign of hard-slog for the Blues following a 17th place finish in 2004, Moyes galvanised his squad superbly. The signings of Tim Cahill from Millwall and Marcus Bent from Leicester in the summer of 2004 proved inspired.

And despite the sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United early in the season and the departure of Thomas Gravesen to Real Madrid in January 2005, the side built on a fine start to the season to maintain a tight grip on a place in the top four from September onwards.

Moyes' ambition was underlined by a club record £6million deal which brought striker James Beattie to Goodison from Southampton to ease the disappointment of Gravesen's departure.

It was Cahill who ended the campaign as top scorer and received the Player of the Season award. The season was also memorable for the 1-0 victory over Liverpool on 11 December 2004 - the club's first win over the local neighbours since 1999.

Having defeated Liverpool in the league, Everton also beat Rafael Benitez's side to a place in the Champions League qualifying positions.

The Blues were faced with a daunting start to the 2005/06 season, with Champions League qualifiers against Villarreal to contend with as well Premier League matches against Manchester United and Arsenal in the opening weeks.

The summer arrivals of established internationals Simon Davies, Per Kroldrup and Mikel Arteta were followed by deadline-beating deals to secure the services of Andy van der Meyde, Matteo Ferrari and Nuno Valente.

But as the manager worked to add further quality to his ranks, a spate of injuries coupled with the need for the new faces to settle on Merseyside led to a poor run of form, which resulted in the Toffees missing out on the group stages of the Champions League and then losing out in the UEFA Cup to Dinamo Bucharest.

But domestically, the side's form picked up in October - buoyed by a 1-1 Goodison draw with Chelsea that ended the champions' 100 per cent start to the season.

Van der Meyde proved to be an instant hit with the Goodison faithful, whilst Arteta underlined his class operating in a number of positions in midfield.

The Spanish playmaker provided the creative spark for a transformation in form that saw the Blues rise from the relegation zone over Christmas to 11th spot by the end of the season.

James Beattie ended as the side's top scorer with 11 goals in all competitions.

The fine form of 2006 continued into the new season. Despite a tough start to the campaign the Blues remained unbeaten until October, securing memorable victories over Liverpool and Tottenham en route.

In fact, the 3-0 win over Liverpool at Goodison was the biggest recorded by the Blues against their local rivals in the history of the Premier League.

That provided the springboard for a great season in which summer arrivals Joleon Lescott, Andy Johnson and Tim Howard proved key figures. Johnson ended as top scorer with 11 goals, whilst Arteta was once again named Player of the Season as Everton remained in prime position for European qualification, finally finishing sixth on the coat-tails of Tottenham.

That high final position guaranteed Moyes' men a place in the UEFA Cup for the 2007/08 season. And some campaign it would prove to be.

The Blues recorded remarkable victories over Nurnburg, AZ Alkmaar and eventual-winners Zenit St Petersburg on the way to a last-16 encounter with Fiorentina.

A 2-0 defeat at the Stadio Artemio Franchi left the Blues with it all to do in the second leg yet goals from Johnson and Arteta forced extra-time and ultimately a penalty shootout. It ended in disappointment but Everton had turned heads in the competition - in the same way they were, once again, in the Premier League.

Inspired by the summer arrivals of Stephen Pienaar, Yakubu, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, Moyes’ side managed 19 victories and eight draws – a club record 65-point haul which ensured a fifth-place finish and another season in Europe.

Furthermore, a 7-1 victory over Sunderland at Goodison Park in November was the Toffees’ biggest in 12 years.

On 14 October 2008 it was announced that Moyes had penned a new five-year deal with the Club.

That emphasis of stability galvinised Everton and the Toffees climbed the league to again finish fifth, with Moyes also masterminding his side's run to the FA Cup final. He couldn't quite secure his first Everton silverware though, with the Blues losing 2-1 to Chelsea.

A slow start to the 2009/10 season saw Everton win only one of their opening five games. Their form picked up however and a 12-match unbeaten run ultimately helped them finish eighth in the Premier League. The Blues also reached the last 32 of the Europa League before exiting to Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon.

Injuries contributed to another hit and miss opening to a campaign in 2010/11. But again Moyes was able to work a turnaround as the team battled back to finish an impressive seventh.

2011/12 again began slowly but Moyes made some astute January signings and the Blues finished the season in rampant fashion, securing a seventh place finish above Liverpool.

The 2012/13 season began very well indeed with Everton near the top of the table and Moyes being named manager of the month for September.

The Blues maintained a top six position throughout, eventually finishing in that position after Moyes had won another manager of the month prizes and - dramatically - announced his departure for Manchester United.

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