Moyes could play the devil
He gave the Toffees hope for years, but could now derail their Champions League dream, our analyst tells ALI KASIM
EVERTON v MAN UNITED
(Tomorrow, 11.10pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 and StarHub TV Ch 227)
Football fans are a notoriously hard bunch to please.
As much as they love to cheer, they also revel in booing, whether it is directed at the referee or certain players or even managers.
They truly enjoying getting under the skin of former players or managers, which is why the clash between Everton and Manchester United tomorrow will surely be tasty.
I think David Moyes will receive a mixed reception from the Everton fans, although the Scot deserves a good ovation after leading the Merseyside club to a top-eight finish in the EPL nine times in 11 years.
I'm sure Evertonians are loving the fact that their team are challenging for a Champions League spot with Roberto Martinez while United struggle under Moyes.
If you talk about laying the foundation and creating the core of the current team, Moyes must be given credit for that, although some of the fans at Goodison Park won't care.
I'm sure Moyes will be anxious as he prepares to return to Goodison Park for the first time.
As a former Newcastle player, I always enjoyed going back to St James' Park when I played for Liverpool or Manchester City.
My departure from Tyneside wasn't on the best of terms.
My contract had run out with Newcastle and I chose to leave - which didn't go down well with the club and the fans.
The reception I received whenever I went back wasn't good but, as a professional, you just have to block it out.
The jeers were loud whenever I touched the ball, but I never let it affect my performance.
Moyes will probably expect a mixed reaction going into Goodison and I think it won't faze him.
The Everton players won't have anything to prove, except maybe the odd player who didn't feature much under Moyes in the past.
Talented youngster Ross Barkley fits that bill.
This fixture is about more than just Moyes' return - it's about Everton's chase for fourth spot, which would see them make the qualifiers for next season's Champions League.
The Toffees had it in their hands before they let it slip after a shock home defeat by Crystal Palace in midweek.
They're not out of it, of course, but I fear for their chances.
After United, Everton still have title -chasers Manchester City to play.
I think United will get something from this match. The Red Devils have improved recently, and while Wayne Rooney could miss this game through injury, Juan Mata has been well rested and is in fine form.
Everton beat United at Old Trafford in December, and I believe the champions could get some sort of revenge here.
That would mean Moyes derailing Everton's Champions League hopes - and that would certainly be a story.
A Champions League place or not, Everton have shown enough under Martinez this season that they can now challenge consistently for a place in the top four.
Martinez has made a big difference in his first season at Goodison, and even if they lose a striker like Romelu Lukaku - which could very much be the case - the Spaniard is a very shrewd customer in the transfer market.
They have a very good goalkeeper in Tim Howard, and a solid core in Barkley, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines.
They must hang on to their stars, keep Martinez of course, and with a couple of astute buys, could be even stronger next season.
*Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City. He won the Bundesliga in 1994 and 1997, and the treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, besides the Champions League in 2005. The ex-German international is the author of The Didi Man: My Love Affair With Liverpool.
We will show the respect to David Moyes... but they’re representing another club, and so you don’t expect it to be too nice or friendly an atmosphere for them.
— Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes their fans will show due respect to his predecessor David Moyes, who returns to Goodison Park for the first time as United boss