Everton and Moyes Are Snapping at The Heels Of The Big Dogs

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJanuary 30, 2009

After a seemingly disastrous start to the the season, many a Blues fan would have been looking at Liverpool's progress and wondering what horror would befall them next.

Instead of worrying about this, being the pragmatist that he is, David Moyes was probably working out ways with which to fix the problems they had.

Remarkably, he managed to do this and has again orchestrated a run that has seen Everton power out of the drop zone and into a comfortable and respectable sixth position. It's a spot which many other bigger spending Premiership sides can only sit back and envy.

It is tough for the manager of any club in the EPL, but add to this the glorious not-too-distant past of Everton and Moyes has that weight on his shoulders as well.

Moyes has confounded many over the years, especially those who speak up a little too quickly when things take a turn for the worst.

Without a doubt, he is one of the reasons that Everton have been able to again consider themselves a big club on the basis of their league finishes rather than their history.

A very thorough manager, as you have to be in top-flight competition anywhere in the world, he was thoughtful enough to be earning coaching badges as young as 22 and taking notes from his coaches and managers throughout his playing career.

This willingness to do research and attentiveness to detail is something that seems to have served him very well over the years.

From his time at Preston, which is to this date his only other notable appointment, he managed to guide the team to an impressive 113 victories 67 draws and 63 losses.

These impressive statistics were definitely instrumental in him obtaining the Everton job.

From here, the question for Everton and their fans is this: Where are they going?

Without the financial might to really push on and challenge for the title, they have seemed content to consolidate their position in the Premiership with strong placings and the odd European campaign.

Will they continue to be the team that seems to have no problem with many of their opponents and then get the odd good result against the top sides? Or can Moyes somehow fashion the opportunity for them to start to mount serious trophy-winning campaigns?

Recently, the club has underlined their faith in him by re-signing the manager to a five-year deal.

It may be wondered what will he be able to achieve in these five years.

I suppose for fans of the Toffees it is getting a little bit old watching teams that they used to play off the park come to their ground and outplay their side. But then again, this season it has been rare to see Everton outplayed by anyone.

Terrible luck with strikers has seen Moyes resort to playing Australian Tim Cahill as a front man and the Aussie has repaid the faith of his boss with several key goals, most notably a late equaliser in the Merseyside derby.

With the recent games against a seemingly toothless Liverpool, the team has shown that they can foot it with the best in Europe.

"Seemingly toothless" is the key here, because in both of the games against their Merseyside rivals the Toffees definitely stepped up to the task at hand.

They then followed these games with a very impressive display against Arsenal that was stolen from their grasp by the Dutch star "Robbin" Van Persie.

The foundations are there again for Everton to start building for something more than being a side that can be comfortable in the top flight but out of the major trophies.

It will most likely come down to being able to hold onto the talent they have and making the buys that provide them with that little bit of quality they seem to lack in some games.

With Moyes signed up for a few more years, it seems they do have the services of one of Europe's most competent managers for a few years yet.

Hopefully, for the sake of a proud club with proud fans he will be able to guide them back into the winner's circle.