David Moyes believes Everton's progress to the FA Cup final has struck a blow for the Premier League's have-nots and provided a lead for those clubs battling to bridge the wealth gap and keep pace with the top four. Sunday's semi-final victory over Manchester United means Moyes' side now face a dress rehearsal for next month's final when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight but the Everton manager is acutely aware his club is still some distance away from competing on an equal financial footing with those whose coffers are boosted by the Champions League millions each year.
In the absence of a wealthy benefactor and a hefty annual transfer budget, the Scot points out that Everton's success has been built on different attributes, making up for the relative lack of big names and limited squad by drawing on qualities of spirit and an ability to turn adversity to the club's advantage.
With a place in next season's Europa Cup now guaranteed, Moyes believes the prospect of a Cup final appearance – together with the likelihood of a fourth top-six finish in five years – bears testimony to his methods at a club that, he claims, operates in a very different sphere than their Cup final opponents.
"It is refreshing that a club like ours has done well," he said. "We are different, we might still get on Easyjet like the average man would do. We might just do that. We might just get on the bus. But in the same breath my job is to get up and feel that we can compete with the best. But I think there is still a humility to our football club and the people at the club know we have had to work hard and we'll continue working hard. Our success won't be done on a chequebook, ours will be done by pretty hard graft.
"When you look at the run if you are talking about this country, the game being controlled by four football clubs you'd have to say Everton have put two [Liverpool and Manchester United] out of the Cup. And the team sitting fifth or sixth [Aston Villa], we've put them out as well. I think there'll be a lot of people looking and saying that Everton might be the image that we are going to have to follow."
If Everton are to land their first trophy since 1995, Moyes will have to conjure a victory against Chelsea for the first time in his seven-year reign at Goodison Park. The draining effects of Sunday's extra time would appear to limit their chance of breaking that duck tonight but the manager insists he will not tolerate any let-up in the league simply because Wembley beckons on 30 May.
"If the players want to enjoy another nice day down in London, they're going to show me they can play well enough between now and the end of the season," he added. "That's the thing, and they've done that up to now, I have no reason to suggest they won't do it. I think they know how I work – if they don't perform, then the slackers would be brought to attention and called out."
Moyes feels that the club's chairman, Bill Kenwright, also deserves credit for their progress. "I'm really pleased for Bill because he has put a lot of time and effort into Everton and when we look at football, of all the people that come into the game and buy clubs. If you are a true football supporter you should be pleased for Bill because he has worked really hard and given everything he can.
"He's had to suffer a bit because the Everton fans are unforgiving – they want success like every other group of supporters," added Moyes.Reuse content