What on earth is going to be going through David Moyes’ mind when he leads Manchester United against Everton at Old Trafford tomorrow.
Is he thinking "that could be me," when he sees Roberto Martinez leading a rejuvenated Toffee side out against his mediocre Manchester United.
Moyes left Merseyside for "greener" pastures at the Theatre of Dreams, but like the expression warns, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
It was an unpassable opportunity for Moyes, but also for Everton.
A loyal servant since 2002, it was clear that Moyes had given what he had to Everton and was ready to move on. Everton in turn were ready for a change of pace.
It is going to be a freaky feeling seeing David Moyes on the wrong side of the sideline tomorrow at Old Trafford.
In his years at Everton, Moyes was often criticized for playing it safe when he took Everton to war against the Premier League’s pacesetters.
It was frustrating as a supporter to watch Moyes take talented Everton teams and turn them into a team that looked content with a top-half finish. These teams were capable of far more than that and it became obvious it would take a different, bolder style of play to push our beloved Everton over the hump.
In fairness to Moyes, he did have some wonderful moments and kept Everton relevant despite his infamously tight budget.
He had the team on the same page and their play (for better or worse) reflected their manager. His players went out there and played for the badge and played for their manager.
Moyes’ players played like they were almost indebted to him, which is understandable since he was the one to bring them along.
He was able to unearth gems like Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar, and Leighton Baines before they were even blips.
Moyes’ starting XI’s were up there with some of the best in the league, and that is why it was so frustrating to watch Everton park the bus against teams that you wanted to see the Blues attack with valor.
Moyes’ rigid pragmatism is what many thought made him a solid choice to be the heir to Sir Alex’s throne. His strength is in playing a disciplined game, and superstars oft need discipline.
Despite the fact that his 11-year tenure ended just over four months ago, it feels like Moyes’ influence is all but gone around this team.
When Everton line up against Man U tomorrow afternoon, the Red Devils will be staring at a brazen bunch that want nothing more than to crash their way into the top four.
Like Moyes’ Toffees, Roberto Martinez has Everton playing a style that reflects their boss. Unflinching and not afraid to excel, this season has rejuvenated the Goodison Faithful who are salivating at the thought of European Football.
This is a confident, exciting bunch of players who are finally playing a brand of football that would make your father proud.
Loose and unafraid to attack, tomorrow’s affair could look a lot like a typical Everton-Manchester United tilt. One team attacking for most of the game, while the weaker side sits back and waits to counter. The only difference is that it will be Everton dictating the tempo, looking for its first win at Old Trafford since 1992-93.
What an opportunity. It should be a lot of fun tomorrow.