Top Ten Hit for Moyes
Thursday August 15, 2002
DAVID MOYES is the kind of manager who seems to inspire comparisons.
In his brief five month career as Everton boss he has already been
likened to a young Alex Ferguson, while his 'People's Club' proclamation
evoked memories of Bill Shankly's unique managerial style.
But Blues' defender Steve Watson has his own ideas.
The versatile Geordie recalled an inspirational boss from his
own past when he talked about the impact Moyes has had at Goodison
"The new manager has brought in some good ideas and has been
working really hard . . . I would compare him to Kevin Keegan in
terms of his enthusiasm and his approach," he explained.
"But you will never catch me comparing him to the previous
manager and trying to pick faults with Walter Smith, because I thought
the world of him.
"Every manager is different and sometimes a change is as good
Watson has targetted a top 10 finish - again - as a result of that
managerial change, and while the new boss is not prepared to talk
about the impact of injuries on
his squad, Watson is more forthcoming.
"I think it is realistic to look for a finish in the top half.
But I said this last year," he explained.
"There are a number of reasons why that did not happen last
year and injuries were a major factor.
"Everybody says it is an excuse but it was not, it was a fact.
I remember at one stage being in for treatment on the morning of
a game and there were about 11 of us in the treatment room.
"Not even a squad as big as Manchester United's can carry that
kind of injury list. Walter never made excuses, he just explained
"But if we can keep the squad fit and healthy I am convinced
that will make a huge difference.
"Top half of the table would be great. Everton fans understand
football and all they want to see is a definite improvement and
a sign that we are going in the right direction.
"Getting into the top 10 and pushing for Europe would be a
great step for us and I don't think it is beyond our grasp."
Five new faces have freshened up the Blues' squad this summer and
Watson added: "The gaffer has done really well to get the players
in that he has.
"No doubt the attraction of a club like Everton was a big
factor, particularly with players like Joseph Yobo and Juliano Rodrigo
who had more than one choice of where to go.
"But it says a lot about the place that they have chosen Everton.
We look like we've got a good squad and a decent sized squad for
the start of the season.
"The two Chinese lads have really impressed me. It was a great
piece of initiative to get the two lads over here but nobody really
knew what to expect from them.
"The first time anybody really saw them was against Wrexham
a couple of weeks ago. I turned around after the game to Gary Naysmith
and said how handy the pair of them looked.
"They look fit and raring to go. They are keeping their heads
down at the moment and are just trying to blend in.
"Pre-season has been really hard but we have kept the majority
of the squad fit and that is going to be the key."
Ironically Watson is an injury doubt for the opening game of the
season, after suffering from a tight hamstring in the last couple
of pre-season friendlies.
But the problem is not serious - and he hopes his versatility will
guarantee him a regular berth this season.
"I have had competition to deal with all my career and, within
reason, it is great to be looking around and seeing how many players
we have got."
© Trinity Mirror Plc 2002