Everton FC gave David Moyes a terrific send-off this weekend as he stepped into the dug-out at Goodison Park for the final time as manager of the club he has guided for 11 years.
Not only the fans, the backroom staff and the like but the players really put on a show. If it was not for Jussi ‘The Party Pooper’ Jaaskelainen then the scoreline would have been even more emphatic as Everton tore West Ham apart.
Everton had a whopping 23 attempts on goal to West Ham’s seven with 13 of those attempts on target to The Hammers two in a rampant display that had an exasperated West Ham side jus struggling to keep up.
The first goal spoke volumes of what else Moyes brings to a team other than the plan B long ball option. The build-up was superb before Steven Pienaar played a lovely weighted ball through into the path of Kevin Mirallas; who made no mistake stroking home the first of his winning brace.
But it was another statistic from the fixture that caught my eye; as Darron Gibson again impressed in the heart of Everton’s midfield.
He attempted 88 passes in the fixture; the exact same amount as Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick in Sir Alex Ferguson’s swansong fixture with Swansea City on Sunday.
Carrick has finally earned the plaudits he deserves this season for his penetrative passing style and poise in the middle of the park and the former United man has brought much of the same to Goodison this year. His influence has been highlighted when he is absent from proceedings with his continued injury problems.
But it will be comforting news to Moyes that when he arrives at United he will have a man in the mould of his centre-piece already in place; and in Carrick he will also soon discover he has an upgrade on his previous model.
While both enjoy similar characteristics Carrick is more polished. His passes invariably make it to their target whereas Gibson’s are nowhere near as proficient in accuracy.
Moyes job may be difficult but at least he knows one name going down on the team-sheet first week-in week-out as Carrick will do the same job as Gibson; only better.
Will Moyes be able to continue getting the best out of Michael Carrick?
image: © gordonflood