It’s been a quiet summer so far at Everton as manager David Moyes does his best to keep his squad intact. And the Life’s A Pitch panel of football writers is full of admiration for the man it feels has forged a reputation as a manager who can achieve a great deal on a limited budget.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror believes that Moyes consistently overachieves and that with a new striker he could take Everton to the next level. “I think that time and again [Moyes] overachieves and I think that’s massive credit to him,” John explains.
“It all comes down to money. It’s about the stadium, takeover and then the unbalance of the team. Everyone can see that they’ve got a fantastic midfield, full of creativity. They’ve got a really good defence – a lot of teams are jealous of their defenders. They just struggle up front.”
John reckons that Jack Rodwell is the obvious player to sacrifice to fund a striker capable of completing a more balanced side. “The natural fit would have been to move Rodwell on this summer”.
Dominic Fifield of the Guardian feels there is still plenty of reason for optimism at Goodison Park. “I think a year ago Moyes was quoted as saying that it was the best squad he’d ever had at Everton. And last season in that context was a bit of an underachievement.
“If players like [Jermaine] Beckford have had another year of experience at Everton then maybe they can produce the goals they need. They’ve lacked a goalscorer for a while. [But] they’ve got a lot of quality in that team and a lot of good, young players.”
One of the things that strikes Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror is the respect that the Everton players have for Moyes. “You talk to the players at Everton,” he says. “Whenever they play badly, they talk about letting the manager down, which is very interesting. At Everton they want to protect the manager because they take responsibility, which is a sign of the strength of feeling they have for him.”