Everton’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday must have really hurt United boss David Moyes.
The Scot was returning to his old club for the first time and his team did a lot of huffing and puffing without being close to blowing Everton’s house down.
For much of the season Roberto Martinez’s Everton have played some of the best football in the Premier League.
Quick, short-passing has been the name of the game. However, the win over United was straight out of the David Moyes handbook.
Everton have dominated possession in the majority of their games this season, but for this game Everton’s bright young coach change the team’s approach and won the game with just 38 per cent possession, the lowest amount they have had in the Premier League so far this season.
In the big games that Moyes did win as Toffees boss, he used a more direct style of play and got men behind the ball. Everton did that to great effect against the Red Devils yesterday and counter-attacked with pace and power.
The fact that Martinez was willing to change his approach proves that the Spaniard is willing to adapt his team’s style of play to win games and he does not stubbornly stick to his football philosophy, which illustrates why he is so highly-rated.
David Moyes claimed his side played well in the first half, because his team kept the ball. I have to quote Jamie Carragher on this one, in saying ‘I must have been watching a different game’. United did keep possession with a degree of control.
However, when they had possession they seem to be going absolutely nowhere and seemed to lack the penetration needed to break down an Everton defence that is very well drilled.
United looked so aimless in attack that the Everton defence remained relatively comfortable until the last few minutes, when Wayne Rooney saw an effort saved by Tim Howard and Chris Smalling headed over the bar.
Roberto Martinez witnessed his team’s slip-up against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night and obviously learnt a lesson. Palace came to Goodison and defeated Everton by playing on the counter-attack.
The Eagles had just 38 per cent of possession in that game, but ended Everton’s seven game winning run. Martinez is a clever guy and maybe he identified some of his team’s weaknesses in that clash and rectified them by playing more of a direct style of play in this one.
Ask any Evertonian who they would rather have in charge of their club Moyes or Martinez and most would say the Spaniard. Martinez has taken Everton to the level that David Moyes claimed that could not get to without major investment.
The Toffees’ challenge for the Champions League places may ultimately end in failure, but they are far closer to the top four now than they were in Moyes last few seasons. The Scot did manage to guide the Toffees to one top four finish, but the Toffees exited the competition at the qualifying round.
Everton have their greatest points total in the Premier League era and look like they have come a long way under the very positive Martinez. If the Toffees do finish fourth this season, I very much doubt that they will fare so badly in the Champions League this time around, as Martinez seems to be a manager that is very tactical aware.
Under Roberto Martinez, Everton are a positive team that look to be moving forward, while under Moyes they were a team that were happy to be just fighting for a top-six place. David Moyes got stale at Everton because he is cautious by nature and his constant underestimation of Everton Football Club started to annoy Blues fans towards the end of his tenure.
Out of his depth
I hate to criticise any manager, but David Moyes is out of his depth at Manchester United. At Everton he turned the Toffees into a team that challenges for sixth or seventh place, unfortunately he has done the same at United.
However, even his United team are not showing the fighting qualities that he instilled into his Toffees teams. I am sure if David Moyes had a football philosophy and United fans could see that then they would be more supportive, just like Liverpool fans could see what Brendan Rodgers was attempting to do at Liverpool last season.
However, the way that United are currently playing seems to lack ideas, creativity and any sort of plan. At Everton Moyes was criticised for not having a plan b, unfortunately for United it seems like he does not even have a plan b at the moment.
David Moyes did a solid job at Everton, but I never thought it was good enough to see him take over the league champions. Quite simple the Scot is not good enough for Manchester United. The results have proven that.
I just hope that the United hierarchy do not think that giving Moyes a massive transfer kitty will sort United’s problems out. Tottenham spent £100million last summer and are sixth in the Premier League table.
Money does not solve every problem. Money will not make Moyes more positive or change his game plan. If Moyes is in the United dugout next season then the Red Devils will most likely play cautious football, just with better players next season.
David Moyes needs to change his approach radically or he will be leaving Old Trafford in the near future. However, I do not think the Scot can change his personality and unfortunately he looks destined to fail at one of the world’s biggest clubs.
Does David Moyes deserve more time at Manchester United?