After a resilient draw at the Emirates Stadium 11 days ago David Moyes promised Arsène Wenger he would eventually meet an Everton side committed to the same beautiful game as Arsenal. At the risk of provoking another touchline tantrum, the Frenchman should not take the Scot at his word just yet.
The theme of Glaswegian managers reaching milestones continues at Goodison Park tonight, when Moyes takes charge of Everton for the 200th time since replacing Walter Smith in March 2002.
As at the Emirates, where the injury and illness-hit visitors sat on an early lead and left with a 1-1 draw, the Carling Cup fourth-round tie again sees him in need of a result above a performance.
Moyes has not reached the quarter-final of a cup competition with Everton , so before a capacity crowd and a much-changed Arsenal team, the pressure for progress will be high.
"This is an important game for us," the Everton manager accepted. "We have not had many big cup ties in recent years, although the draws haven't been kind to us. Maybe the draw hasn't been kind to us this time, but then it hasn't been kind to Arsenal either."
Moyes has, however, offered Wenger a more open game than the recent Premiership encounter that prompted the Arsenal manager to criticise Everton's negativity. He added: "This will be completely different to the League game. We are at home and we will be trying to force the issue.
"At the Emirates I had to do what I thought was right for Everton. Manchester United and Chelsea would both have been delighted to come away from Arsenal with a point.
"I respect Arsène Wenger for the way his teams play, what he has given to this country and for the style his teams bring to the game, but I'm sure if our roles were reversed he would have played the same way. After the final whistle I told him I would love to come back to the Emirates with a team like his and give him a right good game one day."Reuse content