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In Many Ways Everton Are Better Than Man Utd

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IF David Moyes had as many points as plaudits, he would be sat in his Everton office already plotting a route around the Champions League hotspots.

If compliments counted in the victories column, Moyes would be cracking open the bubbly. And if he believed the hype, they are measuring up his next swivel chair just 30 miles down the road.


Moyes, according to current wisdom, is the heir apparent to the hairdryer. The successor to the Sir. Even Alex Ferguson has been dropping heavy hints, spooning praise on the seven years of Moyes stewardship at Goodison Park.


But beware of greats bearing gifts. Ferguson stands between Everton and their first final in 14 years.


And while tributes from a titan would tickle most tummies, Moyes knows that - in the build-up to next Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley - Ferguson is a foe, not a friend.


He says: "I try not to take any notice but obviously stuff comes back to you. It is nice. But maybe it's Alex Ferguson having a different kind of mind games . . . to soften David Moyes up.


"That might be the case or it might not. But I would never be disloyal or disrespectful to my club.


"Yes, it's a nice thing. But was it not only a year ago that people were saying it was going to be Roy Keane or Mark Hughes or Martin O'Neill taking over from Sir Alex?


"I really enjoy this job and I'd like to win something for these supporters. A lot of supporters get fed up with managers being changed. Everton supporters have been really good to me and I'd like to give them something back. It would be a great way to cap the season."




SIGN OF THE TIMES - David Moyes signs on at Everton in 2002 with Bill Kenwright (left) and then chairman Philip Carter (right) A season in which Everton have again underlined their status as a stable force beneath the dominant four. Moyes is talking from his nerve-centre at Everton's impressive, relatively new Finch Farm training complex.


"This is one of the things we have achieved . . . but it took five years," he says.


And while comparisons with Ferguson are probably unwelcome, it is impossible not to draw parallels between the two Scots.




And the most striking is their unshakeable belief that - in an era of increasing boardroom interference - the manager should be the club's only guiding light.


Moyes explains: "I look at some of the clubs that are getting run and managed by chairmen and chief executives who actually think they know how to control a football club better than the manager and I laugh. And it's not right. The football club is there to be run by the manager in the main."




WAYNE ROONEY - one that got away And Moyes certainly runs Everton Football Club, thanks to a relationship with chairman Bill Kenwright built on respect.


He goes on: "Of course, I know there is a business side to it but having Bill has been terrific. A lot of people think that Bill and David are too close.


"But it's a working relationship - we work hard at the job. He tries to get me the money and I try to spend it the best I can.


"I enjoy Bill. I don't know if he was educated before I came in, but now he understands that we don't get too high when we are winning and we don't get too low when we're losing. We try to keep on an even keel."


The drawback, of course, is that Kenwright's love of Everton goes far deeper than his pockets. But until a wealthy investor steps out of the recession to help, it is something that Moyes has come to terms with.


And something, you sense, that provides a challenge he relishes.


He says: "When I took the job seven years ago, I was happy to sign players to keep me out of the bottom five. Now, the difference is I am looking to sign players who will get me into the top five, keep me there or even push me into the top four.




JACK RODWELL - staying at Goodison "That has changed the dynamics of the club. I know a lot is down to money. But a lot of people would have looked at the players I've bought over the last few years and when asked if they would have got me in the top five or six, they would have said: 'No, they wouldn't!'


"So I have to somewhow keep believing there is a route which is maybe not the route people think you have to go. Can I find some other way?"


But while he might not have a platinum spending card, Moyes does not have to sell the family treasure - jewels such as Jack Rodwell.


He says: "The thing I said to Bill when I came in is that I don't want to LOSE players. The only player we have lost who has not either been sanctioned by us or the player himself has pleaded to go is Wayne (Rooney). And that is because back then, this club was not ready for Wayne.


"The rest have all been things that we have thought were right for the club.


"The board have never come to me and said I have to sell. Sir Alex says that you have to have control of the club. And I don't say this as a boast - but the board allow me to control the club. And from that point of view, I'm not under pressure to sell players."




HAPPY DAYS - Wayne Rooney signs for Everton but he wasn't to stay long And Moyes believes the board's faith has been rewarded.


He says: "Seven years ago, it was all about would this club stay in the Premier League. At this time of the season, Bill would be panicking, looking at all the scores and wondering could the club stay in the Premier League.


"People didn't even enjoy Everton's image too much. People thought it was a club fallen on hard times, looking as though it was always fighting to survive, always struggling. Really a club in decline.




PHIL NEVILLE - model professional "I hope that the general image - not just the football team's - has got better. Was Everton one of the biggest clubs country six or seven years ago? No. Most people saw it in decline. It's not that any more. It's on the climb.


"It has not been a quick hit but I hope in years to come people might turn around and say: 'Well, the way to do it is how Everton have done it'."


But having re-established Everton's credibility in such an emphatic manner, Moyes knows the next step is to re-establish the trophy-winning credentials that defined the last great team of the 1980s.


While a win in today's Premier League game against Aston Villa will virtually confirm a slot in Europe next season, thoughts inevitably drift towards the FA Cup showdown with United. And Moyes has a starkly confident message for his club's fans.


He declares: "We are going to win something soon. It will happen - sooner rather than later.


And I'm hoping it is this season. We have been dealt a tough game against Manchester United but we have watched many semi-finals over the years that haven't gone to plan."


Moyes - along with just about everyone else in the footballing world - has already expressed his opposition to semi-finals being played at Wembley. But if there is one saving grace, it is that it will give captain Phil Neville a very special day.


Moyes clearly believes Neville has been one of his most important - if not THE most important signings.


He says: "The habits Phil has brought from that club are exceptional. Make sure you win, prepare right, move straight on to the next game when you've won one, don't accept poor standards.


"I look at him and I look at him with admiration because he's a great professional. It will be a big day for him to lead his team out against Manchester Untied.


"It was a big decision to leave that club and he's taken it whole-heartedly. And I think if you asked Phil, Phil might tell you that he might see - in a lot of ways - Everton being a better club.


"There are reasons why Manchester United are a great club but there are reasons why Everton is a great club."


Ironically, it could all have been different had Ferguson not had a late change of heart and plumped for Steve McClaren as his number two ahead of Moyes ten years' ago.


Moyes recalls: "I was close to going and he took Steve. It was close between us. But the interesting point is how did he identify those two people? What did he see in them?


"But however it happened, it has suited fine!"


And there are few football followers and even fewer Everton fans who would disagree.




David Moyes was appearing at an official coaching and signing session for Barclays, title sponsors of the Barclays Premier League, which is watched by a global audience of 4.77billion throughout the season in more than 200 countries. www.barclayspremierleague.com.

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Guest efctaxi   
Guest efctaxi

Thanks Louis .

I enjoyed that very much . I don't know how others feel , but I'm also a big fan of Kenwright , and though he's not loaded , he seems to have a big blue heart .

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good read very enjoyable and i think most people are fans of kenwright the guys a true blue and not like johnson sellin the best players and even reaching deeper than his pockets should allow really to bring in the players we need! i just hope when an investor comes in kenwright stays in some capacity and still has a lot of involvement!

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