Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
David Moyes has been in charge as manager at Everton since 2004. The club finished fourth in 2004/05. Paul Ellis / AFP
David Moyes has been in charge as manager at Everton since 2004. The club finished fourth in 2004/05. Paul Ellis / AFP

Everton show is set to run and run

David Moyes may be the Premier League's greatest exponent of the adage "it's a marathon, not a sprint", although to hear him say it this season takes on an entirely new meaning.

One of the many cliches wheeled out by managers is, "It's a marathon, not a sprint". It is usually uttered after their side have just lost; a defence designed to fend off moans from the stands as to why they are struggling.

Indeed, David Moyes may be the Premier League's greatest exponent of the adage during his eight years at Everton. Although to hear him say it this season takes on an entirely new meaning.

Everton are notorious slow starters when the season kicks off in August and strong finishers when it climaxes in May. Their form over the course of a season can be characterised much like Usain Bolt in a 100-metre sprint; slow out of the blocks, trailing rivals by five strides at halfway before finishing with a flourish, although a top-10 finish is usually all they have to show for their efforts.

Too often they surrender ground to rivals early on. This term, only Chelsea have set a faster pace.

After six games, Everton sit second in the table with 13 points, including an opening-day victory over Manchester United. The last time they matched that tally, in 2004/05 - Moyes's first season in charge - they went on to finish fourth.

The Scot is rightly credited for working wonders on a relatively small budget at Goodison Park but Everton's austerity has often brought prosperity in the transfer market.

The manager's eye for talent inspired the current influx of Belgian players in England when he forked out a club record 15 million (Dh89m) for Marouane Fellaini in 2008, a towering presence in midfield, standing 6ft 4 ins (1.94m) tall, who garnered admiring glances from Real Madrid in the summer.

While many questioned whether Nikica Jelavic could reproduce his prolific form in Scotland against England's superior defences, Moyes backed the striker to score goals in a tougher league when he signed him from Glasgow Rangers.

The Croatian netted twice in the 3-1 win against Southampton on Saturday.

The defence is compact and creative. Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin provide the muscle, Leighton Baines the muse for attacks with marauding runs from left-back.

But will Everton have the legs for a sprint finish, or will they gasp for breath down the home straight?

With Moyes running the show, Everton have all the pieces in place to secure a Champions League berth.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE & Steve Luckings @sluckinghell

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National