Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Man Utd

Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 1 - 2 Swansea

Saturday, 16 August 2014, 12:45

Barclays Prem

Welcome back?

David Moyes could be in for a mixed reception when he returns to Goodison, writes Vinny O'Connor.

Last Updated: 18/04/14 at 09:39

Sunday 12th May 2013, David Moyes said goodbye to Goodison Park for the last time as Everton manager. It was a thunderous send off, the kind that ideally you would reserve only for your most successful of managers.

But Everton was a very different club when Bill Kenwright gave David Moyes an opportunity in March 2002. Relegation strugglers were turned into European hopefuls. In 2005 came the greatest achievement, taking Everton to a top-four finish in the Premier League.

In 2009, an FA Cup final appearance. A sense of pride was restored across 11 years by new heroes who were more in tune with the club's rich history; Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas, to name just a few.

So, on that emotional day last May, a Goodison ovation for the outgoing Moyes was a heartfelt thank you mixed with a feeling of uncertainty. If Everton had been punching above their weight under Moyes, what was to come next?

Not every Evertonian felt like this, of course. Moyes had his critics, too, citing his failure to deliver a trophy or a single away league victory at Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea during his time in charge. Criticism that has arguably become more widespread among Everton fans since Moyes' departure and the subsequent impressive season under the guidance of Roberto Martinez.

So what can Moyes expect on his first return to Goodison Park, almost a year after he took the decision to accept Sir Alex Ferguson's invitation to succeed him at Manchester United?

Some of the comments regarding Fellaini and Baines and the transfer situation antagonised a lot of supporters
Graeme Sharp

"Everybody will say David Moyes left the football club in better shape than when he took over," is the view of former Everton striker Graeme Sharp, who believes Moyes deserves a good reception from the fans who once sang of their former manager "he's got red hair but we don't care."

As Sharp acknowledges, though, the feeling of goodwill changed somewhat last summer when it became clear Moyes wanted to take Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini with him.

"Some of the comments regarding Fellaini and Baines and the transfer situation antagonised a lot of supporters," says Sharp.

The comments Sharp refers to came in August of last year after Everton rejected a bid for Fellaini and Baines that the club described as derisory and insulting.

"If I had been Everton manager and Sir Alex Ferguson had come asking for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini," Moyes said at the time. "I'd have found it very difficult to keep them, because I always felt the right thing was to do what was right for the players."

The situation led to Neville Southall, like Sharp, a key figure in Everton's glory years of the mid 1980s, accusing Moyes of a lack of respect.

"The way David Moyes has gone about it stinks," said Southall last August. "The world knows Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines are worth a lot more than the £28m offered and Moyes is disrespecting Everton."

With that in mind, I sought out Evertonians this week to ask how they will welcome David Moyes to Goodison Park on Sunday.

One of the first responses I received was, "I'm going to boo him."

However, from the fans I spoke to, those sentiments were in the minority. Feelings ranged from sympathy for what has been a difficult first season at Old Trafford, to recognition of the calibre of player he left behind, giving way to gratitude for the part Moyes played in getting Everton to where they currently are.

And among the varied opinions, a piece of common ground; irrespective of whether or not Moyes is still welcome through Goodison's front door, Everton have moved on and they are now happy to have done so.

Watch David Moyes' return to Goodison live on Sky Sports 1HD from 4pm on Sunday

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

es, these stats are right. Rio Ferdinand definitely had a better debut than Fernando.

that man
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

I

know it's only one game, and Arsenal have got an amazing midfield as is; but seriously, is Arsene Wenger the only person on Earth who doesn't want Cesc at their club?

Ezy_Rider
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

P

S - 'Squeezes [English] out of his mouth like it's an elastic band he's found in his lamb bhuna' - bravo. Marvellous stuff

Ezy_Rider
Football Managers On TV: Paul Lambert

Footer 365

Transfer News: QPR sign Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on loan

Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the signing of Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on a season-long loan deal.

Roy Hodgson says England youngsters should try their luck overseas in future

Roy Hodgson feels future generations of England stars would benefit from going overseas rather than being bit-part players at home.

Transfer news: Jordan Rhodes subject of transfer bid from Hull City

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer has revealed Hull City have made a bid for the club's prolific striker Jordan Rhodes.

Mail Box

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property