Sir Earl Barrett offers the following, cheers SEB;
I’ve just returned from a week away with the family and have brought back several things. The usual sun burn and a few extra pounds goes without saying, but in addition to that is a renewed optimism for my club – a feeling that I’ve not had for some time. Allow me to explain.
Whilst away I picked up a copy of FourFourTwo and read an article about David Moyes and his arrival and revitalisation of a stagnant Everton and I could’ve been reading about my beloved Aston Villa. The similarity is frightening.
When Moyes arrived at Everton they were a club is serious decline against a backdrop of fans that had experienced the glory days and expected an instant return – people harking back to the European nights of years ago. Relegation had been narrowly avoided but there were severe financial constraints, an ageing squad with overpaid and under-performing players on contracts that their work-rate didn’t warrant – sound familiar?
Moyes himself noted that ‘finishing 13th was considered an achievement’.
Moyes, like Paul Lambert, decided that there was only one way to go – he had to move it from a club that was just surviving to a ‘younger football club; a fresher football club.’ He had an uneasy relationship with senior players that he knew had to be addressed before he lost the dressing room. He moved quickly to spend the little funds he had imaginatively and unable to compete for the top English talent went looking in the Belgian leagues, rebuilding, stabilising and bringing renewed drive and ambition to the club. Before too long they started playing much better football – (even as poor as last season was for us it is undeniable that the football was better).
I believe that Paul Lambert is treading the same path and hope that next season players like Westwood, Lowton, Benteke etc blossom further and the new lads hit the ground running and develop quickly. Even an old man like me – Glass isn’t always half empty but could do with a top up – has to let the past go. Forget what’s happened and get behind what Paul Lambert’s trying to do as it clearly worked for Moyes. There will be setbacks I’m sure and given our tough start it could be soon, but let’s be patient yet optimistic, have high expectations of what we can achieve, enjoy the football and get behind those boys in Claret and Blue. UTV