Everton manager David Moyes has finally ended months of speculation by signing a new five-year contract with the club, worth a reported £16.5million. Some have said that Moyes’ failure to sign the deal has contributed to the Toffees poor start to the season, with the club currently in 15th place with eight points from their opening seven matches. Not only has their league form been poor but they already find themselves out of the Carling Cup and the Uefa Cup just two months into the new campaign. However will Moyes’ signature really help the Merseyside club our or are they destined for a tough season?
Last season Everton very nearly made the Champions League and had a very good year by their own standards. Since Moyes took over at Goodison Park in 2002 the only way has been up for the ‘peoples club’ but this season it looks as though Moyes magic may be beginning to wear off. Its not just Everton’s poor start but the fact that they don’t look like the same team they were 12 months ago, Joeleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo looked like rocks in heart of the Everton defence last time around. However this season they look like they have never played together before. Right through the team things don’t seem right, perhaps its because of Mikel Arteta, who they rely on so heavily as a creative influence has been lacking this season or maybe its because Tim Cahill has been struggling on and off with injuries. These two are instrumental for Everton but neither have quite managed to hit the heights of last season and with Arsenal away this weekend Everton’s Premier League odds don’t look like they are going to improve.
So will Moyes agreeing his contract sort all this out? Probably not because the clubs future is still surrounded with uncertainty. Chairman Bill Kenwright has admitted he would be interested in selling the club and with the help of Keith Harris the two have begun a search for potential buyers. Kenwright has admitted that the club need to find some financial backing if they are to compete with the ‘big four’ along with completing the proposed new stadium.
So as one cloud is lifted another still remains in the form of the future of the whole club and the question must be asked whether this is a bigger doubt than Moyes’ new contract ever could be. For example with new owners will come new ideas on how the club should be run and those might not include David Moyes or perhaps a proportion of the current squad. Whilst the sale of Everton is probably months, possibiliy even years away, these doubts may still be lingering around a side that really needs to concentrate on its football if they want to maintain the high standards of previous seasons.
As such I am predicting a difficult season for the Toffees, although they are too good to go down it looks as though they will struggle to reach Europe again and look to be heading for a tedious middle table finish. Unless Moyes can turn it around once again Evertons odds for success are destine to take a nose dive.