Boss Proud Of Consistency
David Moyes reflects on his 11 years at the helm.
Should Everton defeat Manchester City at Goodison Park for the fourth successive time on Saturday, they will go fifth in the Barclays Premier League table.
Should Arsenal and Liverpool drop points at Swansea and Southampton respectively, it’s conceivable the Blues will remain in that position – the league’s final European qualification spot - come Sunday evening.
Eleven years to the week since David Moyes first grappled the reins of the Club, it’s the sort of situation to which Everton have become somewhat accustomed.
And that, the Scot says, is what he considers his greatest achievement.
“It’s been great to have been at one club for 11 years,” said Moyes on Friday, speaking ahead of the visit of the champions. “Sadly, it doesn’t happen quite as often in football as it did do, but Everton is a club I’ve really enjoyed [being at] and had great times with.
“I do think it has changed. It’s a more stable club now and it’s competing at the correct end of the division. You can see the place you are in today; the training ground has certainly been a big improvement and has helped a lot.
“We don’t spend the fortunes that other teams spend so we have to do it in a different way to be up and around [the top], competing as much as we can, but we are always trying to do better.”
It was put to Moyes that finishing fourth to qualify for the Champions League in 2005 was his most tangible example of success.
The former Preston chief, however, believes being able to sustain a regular challenge for European football has been more impressive.
Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Fulham and Tottenham have all put pressure on the league’s so-called elite during the past decade - but only Everton have been there regularly tapping at the door.
“I think the expectations have risen even higher,” said Moyes. “This season we have played the best football that we have in my time with the quality of the players we have got playing in the team and the style they have played in.
“The way in which we have gone about our job has rightly put Everton at a level where there is an expectancy that we can reach the top four or win one of the cups.
“When that doesn’t happen it’s a big shock. We are always trying to break into the top four and for long parts of this season we have talked about it and it’s not out of the realms [of possibility] that we could still do it, albeit it’s going to be a long shot.
“We’ve only done it once but we have been trying to do it again.”
Last Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Wigan was one such ‘shock’ defeat, the kind of which have been few and far between.
Exiting the competition cost the Blues their final shot at silverware this season but greater importance now goes on securing a return to continental competition.
And asked if the result against Wigan will have any impact on his future, Moyes said: “It was unexpected and it's not happened that often.
“There were quite a few games like that probably in the first two or three years while we were trying to get the team right, trying to change people around, get younger players in and get a style that we wanted to develop, and it's happened less and less as we've gone on. But unfortunately it happened last week.
“It doesn’t alter anything. The decision at the end of the season will be made by me and the players and how well we all do together, how high we finish in the league.
“I want the players to do well and you can see with the way they have spoken this week that they are as ambitious to finish as high as they can and qualify for Europe. That’s the same with the manager and that’s what we are going to try to work towards.”
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