Everton 2-0 West Ham United
On the pitch Everton eased to a two-nil win over West Ham, a scoreline that failed to reflect the Blues’ supremacy, but it was off the pitch where the headlines were written as David Moyes, Phil Neville and the returning Tim Cahill all said their Goodison goodbyes.
We may not have their recent years of success and we certainly haven’t got their money, but the Evertonians on and off the pitch, did a fantastic job in reminding the departing David Moyes what he will miss when he makes the move to Manchester United in the summer. The team spirit and the bond between players and supporters epitomizes Everton, and whatever he goes onto win with the Red Devils, he will inevitably lose the passion and feeling for a football club that engulfs everyone, the moment they become connected with the “pride of Merseyside”.
After a heart-braking week, the Everton support could have been forgiven for feeling sorry for themselves and turning on a manager who has led the club so brilliantly for 11 years. David Moyes feared such a response, explaining in his pre-match press conference that as a football fan himself, he would understand such an outpouring of ill feeling. He need not have worried. From the moment he appeared from the Goodison tunnel, the crowd rose as one to acclaim and thank him for his years of service. Throughout the match his name was sung to the rooftops, but as Evertonians, we are proud of our football club and the home support followed their songs of appreciation to Moyes with lung busting verse, declaring their love for Everton, this great institution of English football and reminding Moyes that Manchester really is full of s*!t.
Back to the match itself. Everton were simply fantastic and could easily have won by 5 or 6 if it wasn’t for the brilliant form of Jaaskelainen in the Hammers goal. Kevin Mirallas further increased his burgeoning reputation with two goals, the first of which ended a quite superb move, as Everton moved the ball from the back, with slick passing and interchanging, before the ball finally fell to the light-footed Belgium to fire home. Everton’s second arrived after the break, Tim Howard releasing the ball quickly to Darron Gibson, the Irishman powering forward before laying a ball into path of Mirallas, who cut inside and shot at goal from outside of the box and via a deflection off Collins and into the West Ham goal.
The full time whistle provided the home support with one final opportunity to say goodbye to three great Evertonians. As the current playing and coaching staff formed a guard of honour on the pitch, Phil Neville, David Moyes and Tim Cahill, who had travelled 6000 miles simply to be at the game, made their way onto the Goodison pitch, each receiving a hero’s welcome from the appreciative crowd. The lap of thanks which followed brought the roof off Goodison, as all four sides of the ground took their opportunity to show their gratitude for the departing manager and his skipper.