Moyes-Doctrine: The School Of Science under David Moyes
Yesterday's Everton v Sunderland match saw yet again an Everton side without a single acknowledged fit striker named in the starting eleven due to injuries. However an outstanding "classical performance" from Mikel Arteta and with excellent form from senior players like Jolean Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Tim Cahill making an assured Everton victory come to fruition with only a handful of Sunderland chances or shots on goal in 92 minutes of play. Even when the odd dubious chance arose the assurance of Tim Howard gave only momentary things for blues to worry about. There was only a 10 minute spell in the second half where Everton needed to get a hold of the ball and put a foot on it, possibly due to fatigue and in which Anichebe, Gosling and Lukas Jutkiewicz were brought on and didn't disappoint. Everton shored up, the workrate increased and a rout seemed inevitable.
The performance was seemingly down to Everton overwhelming Sunderland with passing and movement the likes of which we saw last season 07/08 at times. Fleeting glimpses of Kendall's sides of the 80's and Catterick's Toffees even further back could be seen as we saw fast interchanges, and one-twos completely causing shock and awe in a Sunderland 11 whom seemed when they were lining up defending EFC free kicks and corners, to be glistening with sweat. Showing how hard they were being made to work whilst Everton seemed to be thriving on the pace.
An over exaggeration? Not when you look at the facts concerning Everton's injury list and the fact that Everton's bench consisted of teenagers with the odd full-pro.
The introduction of the teenagers had a curious effect on Everton.
Rather than break the play down, Gosling whom came on first seemed totally at ease. At times he ran around unnecessarily, although his movement seemed well developed, he seemed comfortable on the ball and totally fearless of the opposition. One run direct at the centre was particularly impressive in which Sunderland resorted to a professional foul to stop him. It was just the right thing at just the right time. More on Goose (Gosling) later.
Anichebe has had plenty of time in and around the first team and it seems he has the most impact in the first team when introduced later in the game against tiring defenders, where is "bull in a china shop" or "battering ram" approach seems to shore up an Everton side that's being pressed by pressing the opposition further up the pitch, stifling buildup play and generally solidifying the front.
Lukas Jutkiewicz came on late on and also didn't disappoint, harassing defenders switching the play (showing good composure and vision) and looking generally comfortable to the point that again Sunderland could only stop a run into the box with what looked like a foul that wasn't given.
Returning to Gosling, in a case very much like Jack Rodwell, we are seeing developing players coming through whom look very much like good all-round players, comfortable on the ball, with good composure, tactically educated and are a-typical of the "English" player views the continental clubs have of British players. It seems that this is something that Moyes has instituted during his 7 year tenure. Gosling positioned himself well for the aggressive Lescott (there playing at centre back but running into the box with the ball!) to pass to and slot in for an 18 year old Goodison-debut goal in front of the Everton faithful. The sort of thing kids dream about.
Are we now seeing the benefits of the "Moyes-Doctrine" during this 7 year period? Compare the average age of the squad when Moyes took over (close to 30 years) to today (around 25-26 years). Compare the fact that Moyes has not been afraid to pay a significant percentage off his transfer budget on two youth players: Gosling and Jutkiewicz whom he has brought along himself with his backroom staff at Finch Farm, with the confidence of thereby saving the club millions. It takes confidence in one's own judgement and abilities as well as the backroom staff Moyes tasked with the jobs of bringing players like this to maturity.
Compare the types of players being introduced into the side, fearless, comfortable on the ball, with a good team ethic and tactically aware.
Are we seeing Moyes' version of the School of Science?
- Supplement his own acquisitions on relatively low budgets (Arteta, Cahill, Jagielka, Neville, Pienaar) because he can offer them something special at Everton have a high club affinity and will be prepared "to fight for the cause".
- Single larger purchases to "get them out of their contracts" (Lescott, Yakubu, Fellaini) whom offer EFC something relatively unique?
- Long term prospects by being patient in bringing his own players through - systematically he has a foundation of players on a sustainable basis who can be filtered for the ones that will play in "The Moyes-Doctrine", as one national newspaper described it today "like soldiers going into battle". Moyes supplements the academy as he see's fit according to the scouting network's recommendations and budget. You then have to attach into this the impact of senior-pros like Phil Neville, whom the younger players are all learning off, as they mature how to live like and conduct themselves as professional footballers.
One should not forget that Moyes this summer wanted to bring in Aaron Ramsey formerly of Cardiff. Another prospect whom possibly won't get the opportunities he could have had at Everton FC. You also have to question going on his recent performance would have developed in the same way at Arsenal FC as at Everton FC. Look at Leon Osman, for such a small player he physically matches players who are larger because he's learnt to do that during brief loan spells at Carlise and Derby and as he matured at Everton. Will Ramsey do the same? I'd argue that Ramsey would have far more opportunity and would have the right players around to flourish around at Everton rather than Arsenal. He made the wrong choice.
There are 5 or 6 players that are close to "graduation" at Everton's School of Science.
Gosling, Rodwell, Baxter, Jutkiewicz, Wallace and Kissock.
They won't all come through at precisely the same time. It won't happen that way, but if they develop properly and with luck we could see a significant strengthening of the squad if they can all come through within 12 months of each other.
Its possible not all will make it and continually hold places in the Everton 11. Its possible all will make it. But the flexibility of the "Moyes-Doctrine" means Moyes is unafraid to then go out and supplement future-graduates with additional acquisitions. And not the "temporary" ones that are of huge sums of money and that the tabloids feast on every Sunday morning. If this were Arsenal, the London-dominated media would be raving about Wenger developing youth. But Everton do it their own way out of spotlight which may be a good thing.
In summary, this is only a brief examination of what David Moyes is bringing to Everton. Not limited to a Saturday afternoon but with now obvious positive impact on it. Anyone who really loves and understands football would want to be an Everton player under David Moyes. Why? Look back to 2004. Sold a "superstar" (debatable) to Manchester United for ÃÂ£30 million. But then guides the team to 4th spot.
Continues to develop the side sustainably. Yes made some mistakes, Per Kroldrup, Van Der Meyde is still yet to repay Everton (and hopefully might do something if asked this season), but these compare favourably to Sir Alex Ferguson's ÃÂ£14 million Juan Sebastian Veron, ÃÂ£30 million Shevchenko at Chelsea, and the countless in-and-outs at Anfield and St James' Park over the past 5 years.
Everton's challenge at the top end is sustainable. Money only makes Moyes job potentially easier at times, but more difficult at others. Moyes has systematically improved and continues to improve the Everton FC side. That given some more development our style of play has returned to traditional style and the hang-over from the 1990's is being lost. Although in order to press-sides' defences like Manchester United we can and shall go long since certain opponents (like Arsenal, Sunderland) warrant it.
Moyes-Doctrine continues to evolve. But I'd argue we're closer now to our traditional roots than at any time since the 1980's. Moyes' continued investment in youth and pros like Phil Neville will only make Everton more sustainably competitive.
Look at the current statistics. Everton have not suffered back-to-back defeats in over 40 games. Moyes has equalled or bettered two club records in two seasons: Away wins in a calender year and successive victories.
These records are important indicators. The signs are there. Everton are in fighting for silverwear just like Everton sides down the years.
Displays like against Wigan (away) are only temporary issues under Moyes, whom may on occasion get his organisation wrong. He's only human. But as a club the balance of playing staff is better than its been for years. These are encouraging signs that players Moyes brings in know need to be continued if not bettered. Lets see if a challenge for the Champions League (Sky4) can be maintained this season. Our players are good enough, that is for sure and the Everton crowd will fight with them for it.