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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, April 07, 2003
    Inside Moyes
     
    The main reason for the Everton renaissance - David Moyes. Martin Baker's Moyes' Own Story in yesterday's Observer was entertaining and insightful, the writer's record of a week spent with Moyes, the week which ended in Everton's late, great win over Southampton.

    There's a cameo of Rooney being called up to the manager's office in a towel and a pair of flip-flops to be told off for a misdemeanour. There's that lovely quote in reply to a TV question about Gordon Strachan, the Southampton boss. 'Two young Scots managers, how do you feel?' - 'I'm certainly a lot younger than Gordon,' said Moyes.

    There's the young manager's description of his feelings on his elevation to the Premiership:
      'David Ginola, Duncan Ferguson and Paul Gascoigne, some of the biggest names in football,' he recalls. 'They were sitting on the bench, looking for direction. I thought, "Jesus Christ. What do I do here?" And then I thought I'd just better do what got me there in the first place. They seemed to think it was OK, what I did, after a while.'
    And there's insights into the steel of the man, as in this conversation between the Everton management team in Moyes's Merc on the way home from Celtic v. Stuttgart:
      An Everton midfielder comes under discussion.

      'The boy's got great talent,' Lumsden says.

      'He has. And he'd have been in my team until today,' Irvine replies.

      In training that morning the player had jumped into a tackle he was unlikely to make, lost it, and the opposition ran upfield and scored.

      'Yeah, I couldn't believe it,' Lumsden concurs. 'Massive hole there.'

      Another player has a great strength - the ability to blend better with others who undoubtedly have more raw talent.

      Moyes listens to the conversation as we bullet into the black Pennine night. He decides to leave an outstanding player on the bench for reasons of balance and blend.

      'It'll be hard on the boy, though,' says Lumsden.

      'Aye,' Moyes says, eyes fixed firmly on the road, 'it'll be hard.'