Before I start, it is important to note that personally I have placed all my faith in Martinez, and for those of you who read my first guest article; ‘Martinez: the right man for the job’, you will already know that I rate him very highly. So, the following is not written out of regret that a new manager in Roberto has been appointed, nor out of sadness that this is an end of an era. It is written as a thank you to a brilliant manager, and an Everton legend. Thank you Moyesy.
16th March 2002 ring any bells? This was the day David Moyes took charge of Everton for the first time in what proved to be a long career at the club. Fulham were the opposition that day, boasting a future Everton striker in Louis Saha, who led their attacking line. The Everton XI that day was as follows.
Steve Simonsen- Simo went on to make more than 100 appearances for Stoke, and missed the losing penalty for Sheffield United in the 2012 League One play-off final. Most recently, he has made 8 appearances for Dundee.
Alessandro Pistone- The former Inter Milan and Newcastle United player played 107 times for the Blues over his seven-year career with the club. After leaving Everton, he went on to play for Mons in Belgium, retiring a year after leaving.
David Weir- Needs little introduction to us Blues! A proper Everton legend, the Scotsman spent 8 years at the club as a player. After ending his playing career at Rangers in 2012, more recently Weir has coached the Reserve team at Everton, and he was appointed Sheffield United manager only last week.
Alan Stubbs- A proper Scouser, Stubbs is now coaching the Reserve side at Everton.
David Unsworth- Currently Sheffield United assistant manager, Unsworth made more than 300 appearances for the Blues. He finished his playing career at Huddersfield Town in 2009. He gained 1 cap for England in 1995
Tony Hibbert- A one club man, I have met Hibbo several times, most recently at Oldham away in the FA Cup this year where he sat with the travelling fans. I hope his time isn’t up at the club with the new manager.
Thomas Gravesen- Everton sold Gravesen to Real Madrid in January 2005 for £2.5 million. The Danish ‘hard-man’ played 149 times for the Toffees.
Scot Gemmill- Now coaching the Scotland U19 side, the Scottish midfielder finished his career in New Zealand in 2007.
Lee Carsley- The current caretaker manager at Coventry City, the Irish midfielder played 166 for Everton.
Tomasz Radzinski- The Canadian/Polish striker, Radzinski scored 25 times for the Blues in 91 appearances but handed in a transfer request in 2004 after 3 years at the club. He finished his career at Waasland-Beveren in Belgium last year.
Duncan Ferguson- ‘Big Dunc’ was, and still is famous for his hard-man image. He is currently working on gaining his UEFA Pro-License in coaching.
Tommy Gravesen got sent off in this match after two early yellow cards from referee Graham Barber. Despite this, we won the game 2-1, with goals from David Unsworth and Duncan Ferguson. 34,639 Evertonians turned up to greet Moyes that day.
As a 17-year-old, with less football knowledge than most Blues out there, it would be unfair of me to state that over Moyes’ 11 years in charge he transformed the team, and that the team which played in his final game in charge at Stamford Bridge, is far superior to the team which he inherited from Walter Smith 11 years ago. However, personally, I believe that Moyes transferred the club completely, turning them from a relegation battling side, to a team chasing the European places and making finishing above Liverpool the norm! The team which started the game at Stamford Bridge:
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Anichebe.
In my opinion, very few, if any of that team which Moyes first managed, would get a look in 11 years later. The starting XI for his final game in charge contains world-class players and is a suitable tribute to Moyes’ work over the past decade.
Matty will be back with a regular column during the new season, but until then, continue to look out for regular guest articles from Matty, with more planned for the coming weeks.
By Matty Williams