Evertonians are used to disappointment. With age we often seem to develop a sense of general pessimism, having been subject to repeated disappointments over the years. But the departure of David Moyes to Manchester United this week brought with it some unfamiliar feelings, for me at least. The whole episode has had an air of tragedy about it. We have our good memories, but we knew it would have to end sooner or later. And perhaps most strangely of all, I am actually quite pleased for him, despite the fact that we have lost the man who at times has given the impression of holding the club together. Here is someone who has consistently shown honesty and integrity, as well as ability, and he has landed the job of his dreams. Its always nice to see the good guy prevail.
However, let's be honest, this could spell serious problems for Everton. Moyes has been a relatively consistent source of reliability during a difficult period for the club. In fact, his whole appeal and his three manager of the year awards have come about primarily due to the team's performance in spite of our lack of funds. So now he is gone, where does that leave Everton? Our chairman and board of absent directors hardly inspire confidence. We have some great players, but players come and go frequently, particularly at a club with questionable ambitions. Would you really be surprised if Fellaini and Baines, probably our two best players, leave for bigger clubs this summer? But at least we had Moyes, a manager considered by most in the game to be top notch (a view that has been massively validated of course, by a recommendation from probably the greatest manager of all time). And now he is gone. Shit.
A glance down the bookies' list of potential new managers throws up some interesting names. At the time of writing the favourites are, in order, Roberto Martinez, Malky Mackay, Neil Lennon, Phil Neville and Vitor Pereira. I don't know anything about Vitor Pereira, and for that reason he would probably be my choice from that list. Look further down the list and you can see the bookies do have a sense of humour. Glenn Hoddle, Brendan Rodgers, Mick McCarthy. My main concern is that whoever comes in will not have the money to build his own team, unless he sells one or both of our prized assets. Which of course would be a step or two backwards. We need to be able to invest in new players, to support our new manager, and to stay in contention for European places next season.
I don't expect many have been reassured by Bill Kenwright's interviews this past few days. He has never come across particularly well in interviews in my opinion, but now he almost seems like a broken man. Having come under a degree of pressure in the past couple of years, he probably saw David Moyes as his rock. I was amazed to see Kenwright on the verge of tears as he reflected on Moyes' departure. I actually quite like Kenwright, he's a die hard blue who means well, but it is probably time now for him to start thinking seriously about moving on. The biggest things in Kenwright's favour were his relationship with, and support from Moyes. He says he won't sell to just anyone, but I would suggest now would be a good time to relax his criteria slightly. I'm not about to start protesting on the streets just yet, nor do I want anything to do with the Blue Union, however I would welcome a supporters group led by decent individuals who can apply some pressure on those at the top to start applying themselves. It is noteworthy that two of the directors above David Moyes next season will be club legends Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton. What an enviable situation.
Overall the events of the past few days have just been plain sad. Its sad to see us lose a good manager, sad to think that there's not many good managers out there to choose from, sad that its hard to attract managers and players to a club with no money, sad to reflect on the limited ability of our chairman and board to help out. But I think its important to finish on a positive note, so here I go. When all is said and done, our club has been around for 135 years. There were great times before Moyes and we can be certain that there will be great times after him. No one manager, chairman, director or player is or ever will be bigger than the club. We are in a better position than Newcastle, or Aston Villa are we not? We have the best set of players we have had since the eighties. No more bringing every man back for a corner (hopefully). I'm not clutching at straws, am I? Monsieur Bleu