It began as a murmur when reports broke about how David Moyes was offered the Manchester United job. Some Evertonians felt it was "disrespectful" and "lacking class" that Sir Alex Ferguson went straight to Moyes with the offer before talking to Bill Kenwright. Then a more public outcry came when United tried to grab Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines with what were termed "insulting" offers. Ignore the facts, the simple truth that both players wore Everton shirts meant that both were untouchable for anything but the princeliest of sums.
As the season has gone the snide remarks have only increased. There has been a growing segment on Twitter and other corners of the Everton world where Roberto Martinez can do no wrong, and David Moyes did no right.
New pictures go up at Finch Farm? All down to Roberto Martinez and his new ways of managing. A new player flourishes? Clearly it is because of Martinez and his tactics. Moyes just didn’t know what he was doing.
After every big match, Martinez is praised for his approach. There is no questioning his tactics or selection. Instead it is about how Everton just didn’t have the quality needed on the day. With talk like that you’d expect the results to be similar, but so far Everton under Martinez has failed to measure up to Moyes against the big clubs. In fixtures against Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham; Moyes got 15 points from 12 fixtures. Martinez has gotten 9 points from 9 fixtures. He would have to win 2 of three fixtures against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Manchester United to end the season. Doable, but let’s not pretend like it is some fantastically easy thing to do.
Now it is like David Moyes never spent 11 years at Everton. A lot of fans would be content to sum up the past decade as, "We were candidates for relegation and then we managed to sustain a run of form that has kept us challenging for Europe," the end, not a single mention of David Moyes. Quite a contrast from talking about Everton teams of the 1980’s where Howard Kendall’s name will pop up within the first 3 minutes, 5 if you mention Liverpool in the initial question.
Right now Evertonians have an inferiority complex. When Moyes left there was a fear of the future. Martinez played some nice football at Wigan, but they did get relegated. There was a concern that Everton would be nothing without Moyes, and when it turned out the club was fine in the short-term, that relief turned into what is now a pettiness fans should be above.
Evertonians have become the little brother we profess not to be. There is more satisfaction taken in a Manchester United loss than there is in an Everton win. The Toffees are 6 points off fourth with a game in hand on Arsenal. How can a fan take more satisfaction in another teams loss when there is still something to play for? It isn’t like Everton has a big history in Europe over the past 20 years. In fact almost all of that European history came at the hands of David Moyes.
Really it is just, there is always talk about how special Everton is, both the club and the fans. We’ve had to endure some tough moments on and off the pitch. While there will always be a certain amount of enjoyment when a "Big Club" struggles, the animosity directed towards Moyes seems more appropriate being directed at Liverpool, our actual rivals. Really the tone towards Moyes should be simple, "Thank you for everything you did at Everton David, it really was a fantastic job. I wish you the best luck at United, except when we play you." There is nothing else that needs to be bothered with.