Before this Premier League season began, you would not have guessed that Everton and Manchester United would be in the positions that they currently are. It was not beyond Everton to challenge for a Champions League place, clearly, but with new manager Roberto Martinez coming in last summer, it figured to most likely be a season of transition. Especially as the man Martinez was replacing was long-term manager David Moyes, who left to take charge at Manchester United.
United themselves were also expected to have a season of transition under Moyes and, unlike Everton, they really have had exactly that. Although nobody expected them to fall as far as they have done in the league table, it must be said. Martinez has been lavished with huge praise for the way he has guided Everton to the position he has, and on the flip side, Moyes has received masses of criticism for the extent of United’s downfall since he arrived.
Moyes will be looking forward to next season, when he can start afresh, bring some new players in and basically turn over a new chapter in his United career. Before he can do that though, he has an opportunity to make a personal point of his own, when he returns to Goodison Park for the first time since leaving the Merseyside club this Sunday.
Moyes is sure to receive a mixed reaction from the Everton crowd at best, and with that, on top of all the criticism he has received this season, how sweet would it be for the Scot to secure a win for United and virtually put an end to Everton and their Champions League ambitions? Very sweet, you would think.
Everton must win the game to try and keep pace with Arsenal, especially after dropping vital points in midweek against Crystal Palace. A win will be no easy feat though, and with a motivated Moyes looking to make a point of his own, it could prove a difficult day for the Toffees.
Missing out on the Champions League would be a disappointment now, after coming this far, but how ironic it is that the man who could put an end to their assault on the top four is the very same man who ignited the club’s Champions League aspirations years ago.