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Gibson joins long list of Moyes' polished gems

IN the unlikely event David Moyes ever decides to give up football management, a career in the Salvation Army surely awaits. The Everton manager is adept at finding a spiritual home for lost souls.

Darron Gibson is the latest to benefit from Moyes' powers of rejuvenation.

The Irishman's last appearances for Manchester United suggested he was overweight, lacking motivation and out of his depth.

The scouting reports Moyes himself compiled must have looked as much at Gibson's past pedigree as present one.

The conclusion, as with many of his Goodison buys, could only have been 'worth the risk for the price' and an initial £1million deal was completed.

Seeing Gibson strut around Goodison against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, rarely squandering possession, threatening goal anywhere within 20 yards and displaying a capacity to change the pace of the passing game at a whim, the transformation was both surprising and yet completely in keeping with Everton trends.

There are still flaws to Gibson's game -- Moyes hinted there is a comfort zone he needs to vacate -- but there are early signs that you can already file him into the 'polished gem' section of transfer coups.

"I have always liked Darron and thought there was something there," said Moyes. "It is going to take time and there is more to come. He probably needs a wee bit of the treatment as well.

"He will need to get whipped a couple of times. I am sure he has had that with his previous manager as well. We will try to get him to be a bit braver in a lot of the things he does."

Everton's 2-0 victory on Saturday came courtesy of an own goal -- Leon Osman's hopeful left footer deflecting in off Gareth McAuley on 18 minutes -- and Victor Anichebe's effort midway through the second half.

The FA Cup semi-final will help determine where both Merseyside clubs stand, but the gap between Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League is as close as it has been for seven years.