Moyes operates without a fraction of the money that has been made available to Rafa Benitez at Anfield. £24 million for Fernando Torres? Moyes hardly gets that much for his entire squad in three seasons.
But a lack of funds doesn’t inhibit this tough, durable and optimistic Scot. He continues to go quietly about his business, organising his team and ensuring character and determination are qualities writ large upon his side. And when it comes to transfers, Moyes has proved as canny as a wagon load of monkeys.
After Manchester City had squandered a ludicrously optimistic £19 million on the enigmatic Brazilian Jo and seen him palpably fail at Middle Eastlands, Moyes craftily took the Brazilian for a song and has seen him start to score goals again. A couple of ‘specials’ last month and another on Saturday against Stoke appear to suggest the Brazilian is enjoying his football once more, all under Moyes’ shrewd eye.
Louis Saha was another big money, big club cast off. Sir Alex Ferguson lost patience with the injury riddled Frenchman at Manchester United and its true, at times, Saha seems to be challenging for the Presidency of the hypochondriacs association.
But Saha has also been scoring again, getting a few important goals. But as ever with Moyes’ teams, the sum of the parts is invariably greater than the whole. He has an ethic of work, drive and determination. If players don’t match up to those qualities, they’re unlikely to last long in the Everton side.
Quietly, industriously and without a big cheque book, Moyes gradually improves his teams. Such work is the essence of good management, wheeling, dealing and acquiring from all sorts of quarters, some very unlikely.
Meanwhile, the youth system at Goodison which produced Wayne Rooney a few years back, is said to be delivering two or three really special kids for the near future.
Goodison Park may see little of the glamour and glitz of Anfield on a big Champions League night. But that is not to diminish David Moyes’ very considerable achievements in the blue half of Liverpool. In his quiet, steady way, the man has worked wonders to put Everton where they are and then keep them there.