Everton & David Moyes set to end trophy drought?
Everton beat Oldham to progress in the FA Cup - could this be their year?
Any praising of Everton Football Club can easily veer towards patronising.
Great club, run the right way, good players, tight budget, always competing beyond their means. Smashing little club that everyone wishes well, mainly because they are never a real threat. However, the sleeping giant that is the blue half of Merseyside could be about to wake.
David Moyes’ only medal at Goodison Park is the FA Cup runners up medal the club picked up in 2009. In 11 years the Scot has battled American billionaires, Arabian oil princes and still kept Everton competitive.
Chairman Bill Kenwright has sorted out investors to help propel the Toffees to the next level, where they do not have to sell their best players to balance the books, and help fund a move to a new stadium, but surprisingly no one has been forthcoming.
Speaking in January, he told the BBC: "My desire to find a person, or institution, with the finance to move us forward has not diminished.
"Despite the challenges presented by a global economic downturn, we remain positive and determined."
Victory in this year’s FA Cup may just add the glamour that makes Everton attractive enough for someone to spend their money on.
It has been 18 long years since Everton last picked up silverware, with Paul Rideout scoring the decisive goal as they overcame Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup Final.
The club has teetered on the verge of making it, losing out in semi-finals and the aforementioned final in 2009 against Chelsea, when Louis Saha scored the fastest goal in FA Cup final history, after just 25 seconds.
They also finished fourth in 2005 but could not make it through the qualification stages of the Champions League and into the lucrative group stage. So many near misses.
Moyes may also look back on plenty of personal near misses. Despite overachieving consistently with the limited resources at his club, developing players like Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini into world-class players the best teams in the country want, and having to sell the likes of Wayne Rooney, Joleon Lescott and Jack Rodwell, Moyes has not progressed in his managerial career.
On the shortlist for job openings at Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United, Moyes has never won the chance to manager a club with a wage and transfer budget that makes Everton fans green with envy.
Perhaps if he had won a trophy or two at Everton he would have been enticed to another club and the Blues would be in a worse position because of it. With the Scot’s contract talks postponed until the summer, there would be no better way to leave than on the back of an FA Cup win.
Of course, if the arrival of a trophy coincided with some much needed investment, Moyes may feel he is better off sticking where he is and building the kind of dynasty that his fellow Scot, Sir Alex Ferguson, has achieved in the red half of Manchester.
With Wigan to overcome before yet another Wembley visit, and the chance of a Championship opponent in the semis, Moyes and Everton must fancy their chances of going all the way.
A top four place looks out of reach now, but that gives Everton the chance to focus on FA Cup glory.
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