Moyes: 'My Toffees were striker short of title'
David Moyes believes he could have won the Premier League with Everton if he had been capable of signing a striker of real quality.
Moyes' Everton side were firmly entrenched as a top-eight team in the second half of his 11-year reign, but fell short of establishing themselves as a Champions League club, prompting their former manager to claim the inability to sign a world-class striker was the thing missing.
Having left Goodison Park to become Manchester United manger in 2013, Moyes is confident he would have been far more successful than his successor Roberto Martínez at Everton if he had been given the chance to deploy a centre forward of Romelu Lukaku's ability.
Moyes, now manager at Sunderland, comes up against Everton tonight at the Stadium of Light and is adamant he would have been a greater success if he had extended his contract on Merseyside.
"We had a great team at Everton but we were missing a centre-forward," Moyes said.
"I might be exaggerating, but I think with that we would have been close to winning the Premier League, we were that good.
"In the last eight years, we finished in the top eight and really there were only one or two bad years - we finished 17th one year - and apart from that, the journey was terrific.
"In the last two years, we finished above Liverpool in the league. You look at their spending over the years and that was a big thing, but we just couldn't break the top four because we didn't have the finances to buy a centre-forward."
"[Everton chairman] Bill Kenwright gave me £5million a year to spend - that was the budget I had - or if I could generate some other money myself, so I had that to work with and I was happy to do that."
Moyes, 55, is hoping to rebuild his reputation at Sunderland after failures at Manchester United and Real Sociedad, and says the challenge on Wearside reminds him of the job he began at Everton where he inherited a squad of questionable quality, carrying the scars of constant relegation battles and little money to improve it.
"It was a great time and I really enjoyed it, and that's why I see a big similarity to Sunderland," he said.
Meanwhile, Everton's current manager Ronald Koeman has told midfielder Ross Barkley not to blame anyone but himself for being dropped by England.
Barkley was the surprising omission from Sam Allardyce's squad for the World Cup qualifier with Slovakia and former England manager Roy Hodgson failed to bring him off the bench during Euro 2016.
"Roy could have shown more faith in me," Barkley said later, but Koeman was far from impressed.
"I don't like that [when a player blames others]," said Koeman. "First, you have to look at yourself. Every manager will select the best players and the best team." (© The Daily Telegraph)
Sunderland (16) v Everton (4)
Live Sky Sports 1, 8.0
John O'Shea, Jan Kirchhoff and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford are fit for Sunderland, while Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson, Tom Cleverley and new sigining Enner Valencia are in the Everton squad but James McCarthy remains out after undergoing groin surgery.
Last season: Sunderland 3 Everton 0, Everton 6 Sunderland 2
odds: H 13-5 A 21-20 D 12-5
Referee: Mike Jones