DAVID MOYES endured a difficult week in the aftermath of Everton’s Wembley letdown, but what a difference a week makes.
And while cynics will wonder why Everton can deliver a stirring performance at Old Trafford just a week after a disappointing one at Wembley, they should not be too surprised.
After all, what a difference it makes to have your most creative player available for selection.
I said before the semi final that Steven Pienaar was a big miss, and so it proved. Against Manchester United, he was back, and the results were clear for all to see.
Pienaar is one of those rare players, one who is a threat on the ball, but also encourages, or rather demands, that others around him raise their game.
His work rate, vision and technical ability rubs off on his team-mates, and help the side’s overall creativity.
When he left for Spurs, I couldn’t help feeling that his agent had played a big part in his decision.
I’m sure he will do again, too. Certainly David Moyes will have his work cut out obtaining the funds to bring the South African to Goodison Park on a permanent basis this summer, especially with Pienaar bound to attract attention from across Europe.
But Everton are clearly good for Steven, and it has been heartening and encouraging to hear him speak so positively about the club since his return in January.
Maybe he has made the correlation between his excellent form, his general happiness, and the fact that he is back at a club which appreciates his talents, and plays to his strengths.
Let’s hope he, and his agent, remember that when they come to make their decision this summer. Everton need him.