IT’S a big comparison to make for any Everton side but David Moyes’ current team are starting to remind me of Howard Kendall’s all-conquering 80s idols.
That 1984-85 side was just before my time as a player at Goodison but I still got to share a dressing room with many of them, and they had some of the same essential qualities of the current crop.
Witness the way the Blues got about Swansea in their own back yard on Saturday and totally dominated them in the first half hour.
Initially they did what Howard’s team used to do and stopped the opposition playing. Kendall’s men had players like Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell who were no nonsense grafters and could clamp down the opposition and unsettle them while also possessing loads of genuine ability on the ball.
Then nobody needs reminding of the attacking threat which helped Everton win the league and European Cup Winners Cup that season; the names of Kevin Sheedy, Graham Sharp and Andy Gray etc will obviously live long in the memory of supporters.
I saw echoes of that side’s attacking spark in the way Everton overwhelmed Swansea at the Liberty Stadium and just kept coming at them with wave after wave of fast-flowing footy.
People have said to me that the current Swansea aren’t as good as the team under Brendan Rodgers last season but it was irrelevant on Saturday because Everton didn’t allow them to play full stop – they closed them down ruthlessly from the first minute.
Moyes said afterwards that he’d pay to watch the current team and I would too.
A combination of hard work and skill is a potent concoction and that’s what you get from the Toffees at present.
If they can keep going then people will start to wonder where they can finish the season.
It’s far too early to make any predictions but having watched Manchester City on Sunday, and United fail to shine against a 10-man Liverpool, neither are anything to particularly fear. I’m not going to say we will win the league or finish in the Champions League even but if you look at the competition this season so far it’s not as strong as it usually is.
It looks like a strong summer in the transfer market will pay off for Moyes even though it’s still a small squad, and Kevin Mirallas has already showed that he could really add goals and a threat down the right. The manager will be reiterating that a good start is only really something you can judge a bit further down the line, and the players will continue to try and play down the optimism they no doubt feel behind closed doors.
But a team which is willing to roll up its sleeves and work, while also create as many chances as they did on Saturday, is destined to go far.
From around the web