2002 – 2013
Former Celtic player David Moyes became Walter Smith’s successor on March 15 2002. A player at Preston North End before taking over as manager from David Peters in 1998, the team were promoted to the First Division in May 2000, missing out on a promotion to the Premiership the next season only due a 3-0 loss to Bolton Wanderers in the First Division final.
Turning down offers from Manchester City, Southampton and West Ham United, it was only the eventual offer from Everton that tempted Moyes away from his beloved Preston. Rumoured as a possible Assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before the appointment of Steve McClaren, Moyes, like so many before him, faced his first challenge of avoiding the gaping purgatory of demotion to the First Division.
Welcomed enthusiastically by the Everton fans, the first game under Moyes’ leadership saw a David Unsworth goal in the first thirty seconds followed by a superb goal from Duncan Ferguson, winning the game over Fulham 2-1.
The fine performance from a squad with potential but formerly lacking consistent direction brought not only a vital victory for the new manager, but a new boost of assurance and enthusiasm for the squad.
On form again, fine performances from the team under the new manager saw Premiership safety once again assured soon after.
In the last six years Moyes has taken Everton to three top six finishes, breaking into the “big four” in 2004-05. In the 2007-08 season he managed Everton to a fifth place finish in the Premier League and to the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Cup.
Some Everton fans felt that David Moyes had taken his side as far as he could once the 2009 season finished with a defeat in the FA Cup Final to Chelsea at Wembley. He continued in charge at the club until 2013 when he announced in March that he would be taking over at Manchester United at the end of the season. Everton finished strongly and ended the season in sixth place.
He left under a bit of a cloud, however, as he had been spotted working at Manchester United’s training ground before the end of the season and once he had left set about disturbing both Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini before signing the latter on deadline day.
His replacement was Roberto Martinez from Wigan.