The David Moyes Art of how to land a Bargain and transform a squad
1. The player will normally be able to play a few roles. In recent times Everton are a club that have to scrimp and save for each player that we land. This means that we have a small squad and can’t afford to waste money on players. Having a small squad means that injuries can take their toll and cover is needed. David Moyes seems to have tailored this in his approach to transfers with players that can play in a number of positions. Looking at some of his signings confirms this matter. You only have to look at the effervescent Sylvain Distin who plays LCB, but can also slot in at LB when needed. Philip Neville who can play RB and CM, Johnny Heitinga who can play CB, RB and CM. Kevin Mirallas, who showed his worth at Olympiakos as the top scorer in the Greek Super League, but is also an adept winger. Irishman Seamus Coleman who has worked all along the right hand side during his time in the Everton team to good use at RB and RW. Not forgetting the departed Mikael Arteta and the bargain Stephen Pienaar who can ply their trade across all positions in midfield. There are plenty more examples throughout the Everton squad, who can fill in where needed.
2. Use your scouting network to spot a bargain. Moyes is scrupulous in his purchases, picking up bargains along the way and trusting not only his own judgement, but that of his scouting network also. The likes of Seamus Coleman who was picked up from the Irish League team Sligo Rangers for a mere £60k in 2009 and has made nearly 70 appearances. Add to this the likes of Nikica Jelavic, who Moyes had tracked from his days at Rapid Vienna and narrowly missed out on when he signed for Glasgow Rangers. The Scot took advantage and signed Jelavic for a bargain fee of £5.5m. The surprise signing of Marouane Fellaini very late on transfer deadline day in 2008 was a very bold move by the Scot. Many people were surprised by the overall fee (paid in stages) and at first, the media picked up immediately on the physical presence offered by Fellaini, branding him a slogger and a thug. Infact, it took the English media a good 2 or 3 years to spot what Moyes had, which was a very talented player, comfortable on the ground and in the air. Fellaini was brought in for £15m and Everton could realistically look to double their investment, should the player decide to leave.
3. Trying the goods first. The loan market has been a godsend for Moyes, it allows him to try a player before deciding whether to part with the cash. Successful loans for inspirational players (who were underperforming for their current clubs) such as Mikael Arteta and Steven Pienaar have been enhanced by agreeing low permanent transfer fees. It has also allowed the Everton Management team the chance to look at riskier players, such as Denis Straqualursi and Segundo Castillo if they had what it takes to play in the English leagues (The resounding answer, was nooooooooooo)
4. Building Team Spirit. It’s well known in football, that the best teams have great team spirit and Everton have had one of, if not the best for the duration of Moyes managerial stay. The players have always acknowledged that new players coming into the fray are always made welcome by all players and are often asked to perform a little ditty on the karaoke mic. We aren’t able to confirm that David Moyes has sung yet, but we are pretty confident that he would sing The Proclaimers – I would walk 500 miles
5. Keep the Faith. Despite the clamouring of certain fans to include inexperienced players over the tried and trusted, David Moyes often sticks to his tried and trusted formula of selecting the players he trusts and knows have the experience to do a job. The amount of times that I have read on forums that Leon Osman isn’t good enough or Phil Jagielka is finished is ridiculous. David Moyes has a key group of players that he trusts to get the job done. Probably included in the current batch are Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Mauroane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar with the odd Tony Hibbert thrown in for good measure