The 10 Year Itch: David Moyes at Everton
How the situation at Everton reflects the breakdown of a longterm relationship.
It all started to go wrong when Joleon Lescott was sold to Manchester City. Prior to this, Moyes had shown his stern side, “I have already said there will be no players sold at Everton and I do not feel I need to say any more.” Lescott signs, Moyes starts to show cracks, “The way it has been handled is disgusting and all it has done is disrupted our club.”
It all started to go wrong when David fell out with my best friend. He showed his stern, but attractive side, “I don’t like the way he flirts with you.” My best friend moved away with his fiancé and we no longer talk. David insists this is for the best.
After Lescott’s departure, Moyes’s judgement becomes questionable – he signs John Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
David has started to go to the gym a lot more, taking strange sessions such as ‘boxercising’ and ‘Pilates’.
Following a defeat to Hull in November 2009, amid rumours he might quit, Moyes says “Why should I stay? Because it’s the right thing to do.”
I steal a crafty glance at a text on David’s phone, it simply says, “Y shld I stay? Coz its the right ting to do.” I’m concerned.
In December 2009 Everton suffer a £6.7m annual loss despite record £79.7m turnover. More resignation rumours emerge in January 2009 after losing at home to Stoke, “Nobody knows how bad I feel that the team is not in the position that I think it should be. Nobody is hurting more than me.”
I look at David’s bank statement while his sits on the lav listening to Chris Moyles – as is his want. I never thought his insistence on separate bank accounts to be anything suspicious. My heart starts racing when I see his extravagant spending. I hear rumours from idiots that David often drinks coffee with his pilates instructor. Am I paranoid?
It all started to go wrong when Pienaar left. A reflex response came from Moyes, “How many goals did Steven score? How many games have we won with Steven in the team? We’ve only won four this season and Steven didn’t play in three of them. I can back your stats up with my stats if you want me to.”
I confront David over the rumour about him and the pilates instructor. He gets extremely defensive and tells me nothing is going on, but that maybe I’m better off without him.
Following the departure of Pienaar, Moyes was defiant and persuaded big name players to sign new contracts (e.g. St Mikel Arteta), “You have to show the players that you are trying to progress and moving forward. You have to have a direction and a strategy.” In the summer of 2011, “The chairman and the people on the board will listen to my views and they’ll need to tell me what the strategy is for the club. I will see if what they are talking about is workable.”
A show of defiance – David arranges relationship counselling. I suddenly feel like I am the one in the wrong for some reason.
May 2011 – Moyes is linked with the Villa vacancy. Moyes plays down these rumours, but makes a statement which prepares Everton for a transferless summer.
Rumours of the pilates instructor re-emerge. David tells me not to believe everything I hear. He says my paranoia is making him feel quite shit.
Readjusting expectations, Moyes says it will be, “a struggle” for Everton to finish in the top half of the table. “There are parts of it that become tiring but just because you don’t have any cash it doesn’t mean you give in, or stop giving 100% or stop preparing your players properly.” But he later says, “Everybody at Everton is available. Everybody.”
David admits that he is finding it ‘a struggle’ to live up to my high expectations of him. He admits to feeling tired, and even suggests that of course he looks at other women. Somehow, I still feel like I am in the wrong.
It all started to go wrong when Arteta left. Moyes went golfing in Scotland after selling Arteta, Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu Ayegbeni on deadline day. “It was difficult for a couple of days afterwards because reality hits home,” he admitted. “I cleared my head and then came back to work.” The Everton manager rebutted the suggestion he was escaping a stagnant club.
I point blank ask him if he wants to leave me. He stormed off to play golf in Scotland, saying he just wanted to ‘clear his head’. He insisted that it wasn’t his fault the relationship was falling apart.
Moyes admits that the Arteta departure, “Could set a precedent, I accept that, but on this occasion, I thought it was the right one to do.”
Things don’t look good.
Moyes admits that Everton can’t realistically have hope of being in the top 6 any longer. Meanwhile, the press remind Moyes, ‘you’ve tried everything’, ‘time to move on, you’ve worked miracles’ and ‘there’s only so much you can do’.
Things really don’t look good.
Fellaini chooses not to sign a new contract and is poached by Manchester City. Moyes reluctantly takes up the offer of Spurs, leaving Everton with only Leighton Baines. The wonderful, Leighton Baines. Thank god for Leighton Baines.
‘It’s not me, it’s you’, David tells me, by text.
Everton seek solace in the wisdom of Sam Allardyce.
I seek solace in the arms of Sam Allardyce. I’m pathetic, but I would take David back in a heartbeat.
Follow Guy Turton on Twitter.