IN the second and final part of an exclusive two-part interview with the ECHO’s Everton Reporter Greg O’Keeffe, Blues idol Neville Southall talks about why David Moyes deserves huge credit for what he’s done in his 10 years at Goodison Park
THEY ARE two of the most devout disciples of winning ever associated with Everton football club.
Neville Southall and David Moyes’ Goodison paths never crossed, but they share a fervent competitive spirit that means neither is content with anything but the best.
And Southall, who rates Moyes as one of the best managers in the Premier League, thinks the Scot deserves a special honour ahead of his forthcoming 10th anniversary in charge.
The legendary goalkeeper knows all about the spine-tingling boost of standing on the pitch and lapping-up the applause of a grateful Goodison, and insists that is precisely what Moyes should experience.
“What’s success? Success is what David Moyes has done for 10 years on a shoestring,” he says, while discussing his beloved club’s current state of affairs.
“I honestly believe they should take him out on the pitch in the next home game. Get him in the centre circle and give him a standing ovation.
“I don’t think they do that for many managers, but not many achieve what he has juggling dust.”
Southall feels Moyes has helped the club progress enormously during his reign, but is approaching a pivotal point.
The man who kept goal during Everton’s most successful era says either new investment must arrive, or Moyes must move on.
“They’ve freshened it up a bit which has helped. I’ve been to a few of the games and heard people complaining before January,” he says.
“I’d seen the internet and thought ‘It can’t be that bad?’
“As usual he’s bought a lot of good players on nothing.
“Beckford was a risk that worked. He got a few wins here and there. He’s signed flexible players like Neville and Jagielka.
“But there’s only one question hanging over him. Can he spend money? Everyone would like to see him have it to spend.
“That might go against him getting another job. The top managers have all spent big money, and he’s the only one who hasn’t had the opportunity to. I’m sure he can.
“He’s done a ridiculously good job on peanuts.
“Look at Mancini. I think he’s done fantastic to spend all the money he’s had, keep the right players happy, and they’re top of the league. It must be frustrating for Moyes to not have that chance.”
Southall thinks the Everton manager’s burning ambition will limit the number of jobs he would consider away from Goodison.
“Eventually something will crack and he’ll lose patience. But where would he go right now? Not Chelsea, not Man United and not Arsenal or Spurs,” he says.
“He suits Everton and the way they play. They’re quite cautious in their approach but Spurs aren’t cautious. They expect attacking football.
“The Aston Villa job is a joke. He’s no better there. Even Randy Lerner’s other team are s**t. They’re at the bottom of their ice hockey league. Where else would he go? Newcastle, Norwich and Swansea don’t spend money.
“If someone came into Newcastle with loads of cash, maybe he’d be tempted. But maybe he can only go so long before the fans turn, and that’d be a tragedy. Something needs to give, whether that’s investment or he needs to move on.
“He will do eventually, because you would in your job. I don’t think he’d go to Celtic for two hard games a season.”
Southall believes Everton must find ways to continue making notable signings, like their £5.5m capture of Nikica Jelavic in January, if they are to combat falling attendances at Goodison.
“At some stage you need to give people hope for season tickets,” he says. “You need to be signing the players who’ll put bums on seats.
“Moyes is having to buy players you’ve never heard of or he’s loaning people. There needs to be a real change, and that’s why you get protests. Then Dalglish has gone back to Liverpool and they’ve got better. People lose patience.”