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Everton Continue To Be Overlooked

You’ve got to feel for David Moyes and the never ending injury situation at Goodison Park. Since they finished fourth in 2005, it seems every season starts in December due to the injury affliction that seemingly curses the Toffees. Thankfully, we’re past the days when teams blamed gypsy curses for bad luck or injuries. I never understood those strange tales, especially as they always seemed to affect sides that had previously had success.

Do theses curses have timers included in the spell when it’s cast? Thankfully, Goodison seems to be the type of place were such nonsense isn’t given a second thought. There is no doubt that Everton have consistently punched above their weight for the best part of David Moyes’ reign. They’ve finished lower than 6th once in the last 5 years and now once again, Everton are charging up the table.

Wednesday’s nights victory at Manchester City acted as a reminder for people that for all the excitement on who would finish fourth, Everton can still cause perceived better sides problems. In the shakedown of the season, Everton seem to be the one side everyone forgets. Since the turn of the year, they’ve only lost 2 league games against Spurs and Liverpool and beat Manchester United and Chelsea. An injury time equaliser from Thomas Rosicky saved Arsenal’s blushes at the Emirates Stadium in January.

The upturn in their fortunes is consistently overlooked, but they’ve clawed back a 13 point gap on 7th and are now breathing down Aston Villa’s neck. It would be easy for Moyes to blame lack of investment compared with all the teams above them, but he simply does the best he can with what he has. It is a return most chairman would die for, yet in giving us the most consistent Everton side since the mid 80’s, Everton still don’t get the credit they deserve.

Perhaps people miss the point with Everton, but on song, they are a damn fine team, with the delightful Arteta in the side pulling the strings. Any side shorn of the quality that he, along with Saha and Jagielka, brings to the Toffees side, would find the going tough, but they simply seem to get along with it. This season, the emergence of Leighton Baines as a top quality left back has allowed Moyes to use the criminally underrated Phil Neville to slip in at right back in place of the erratic Tony Hibbert.

Added to that, John Heitinga’s flexibility in his ability to play seemingly anywhere in defence or midfield shows his transfer fee to be an absolute steal. For £6.2 million, the Dutch international has shown that Ajax still produce such adaptable and talented players that no other club can compare to. In comparison to the man he replaced, Joleon Lescott, Heitinga is simply a far better player on every level. He even seems to have survived a spell at the modern footballers graveyard, Athletico Madrid.

With the breakthrough of Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling to consistently make the side and grow as players can only be a good thing for Everton. For a club with the stature and history that they have, why they struggle to gain any real investment is a mystery to me. I grew up watching an Everton side that were real challengers for titles both at home and abroad before being curtailed by English footballs ban from European for that dark 5 year period between 1985 to 1990. I have no doubt that Everton could have won the European Cup in 1986 rather than perhaps the worst European Champions in modern history, Steaua Bucharest and their blanketing tactics.

Moyes is well aware of the history and tradition that Everton have. The halcyon era’s of Howard Kendall and Harry Catterick may be distant history to some as many remember the side that struggled to hang on to their top flight status throughout much of the 1990’s. Everton have been a top flight side since 1954, the second longest in English football behind Arsenal. That’s 56 seasons in the top division, if that’s not history, I don’t know what is.

A late charge for 4th would be miraculous, but I wouldn’t bet on them finishing 8th. As Villa stutter, City keep missing chances and Liverpool’s dreadfully negative football keeps failing, they could be well pressed to finish above at least one of those sides. It would be a massive fillip for Moyes, the wonderfully supportive chairman Bill Kenwright and the fans for them to push upwards.

Then this summer hope that he can keep a full strength side for the beginning of the season and add a bit more strength upfront. The perhaps Everton’s fans may begin to think of more than the Europa League and cup semi-finals for once and bring home a bit of silverware once again.

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  1. Greg

    May 3, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Bob S, everton are the team that has spent the longest in englands top division, that is a fact.

  2. Bob S

    March 27, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Good article. Need just to correct the allusion that Arsenal have spent longer in the top division than Everton, Founder member in 1888 with many more years than Arsenal, Small gripe still a good article.

  3. Robert George

    March 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Yeah Moyes has done amazing job with what little money and resources he has including our injury problems. He has made some good signings Arteta, Steven Pienaar who the writer did not mention and the fact that we was able to sign these 2 players on loan to see if they would fit in the squad.

    Moyes has made some poor signings too Beattie, and Jo amongst a few others.

    I don’t see why we can’t get any investment but maybe its because Bill Kenwright doesn’t actually want to sell Everton,

    If we finish above Man City and Liverpool yeah I would be happy.

    The amount of money Man City have spent on players who can’t play together has a team proves one thing.

    Remember a famous band from the city of Liverpool? The Beatles! Well money can’t buy you love.

  4. Jadesy

    March 26, 2010 at 11:48 am

    What about Steven Pienaar in that mix?! One of our best players for the last three years and very possibyl best of all this year

  5. Tyson

    March 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Moyes is a great manager and Everton are a great team. I hope they finish fourth just so I can see them play in the Champions League. I think they could really contend for titles.

    Can you imagine what Moyes could do with that squad if he was given even a tenth of what City spent in the last year alone? Moyes is one of a handful of very under rated managers. As a neutral it is pleasing to see clubs like Everton, Fulham and Tottenham doing so well. Without all the money in the world like some of their rivals and still pushing the envelope its very respectable but to me clubs like these body the essence of football.

    When football is run by billionaires who throw money around to buy spoilt brats who sell out their career for a little bit of money its very humbling and pleasing to see a team without big multi millionaire sellouts just good players with a good team ethic showing up the “big boys”. I loved seeing Everton put away the millionaire sellouts at City.

  6. Cricketlover

    March 26, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I’m not sure if Everton will finish 4th but I do think they have a very good chance of finishing in the top 6. David Moyes has done a fantastic job managing the team with all the injuries they’ve had and look poised to finish the season strongly. Also, given Liverpool’s woes I wouldn’t be surprised if Everton finished above Liverpool.

  7. Lee

    March 26, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Go to the toffees!!! from Lee in Australia

  8. phil

    March 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Agree with everything you said lad.
    Over looked because we don’t have a new ground and no defo plans set in place.
    Investors only see the ground and facilities… Leaving the most important thing out. The FANS.
    Our club, with our history is one that should be pulling all the investors in from around the world!?
    They just seem to want the finished article so they can just throw there money at nothing players like Lescott!.. Haha! His face was a sight when we scored the other night.
    Johno has proved he more than fits Lescotts shoes anyway.
    If we do keep mommentum till the final whistle, then I think our season, without silverware, can still be a success… Blue forever!.

  9. Ten

    March 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Lyle is a fool.

    How long does a team have to supposedly “punch above their weight” before the idiots writing these articles finally think that a team that has been doing it for 6 years might actually be good.

  10. Lyle

    March 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I don’t think anyone overlooks Everton. Everton is Everton… a pitfall for all.

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