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Fans Comment
Kevin Latham

Evertonians in the Trenches
21 September 2005

Moyes: he's made mistakes but that's no grounds for sacking him so early in the new season

Let me ask you a question~: Would you want to be in the trenches alongside some of your fellow Evertonians? (Yes, I know that you wouldnt fancy being in the trenches at all, but just bear with me).  After reading some of the stuff that people have sent in regarding how well wind up going down, how shite everything is without any light at the end of the tunnel, and particularly the drivel about sacking David Moyes, Ive concluded that match day programmes have stronger spines than some of our fans.

Im not denying that were going through a piss-poor run right now and Im not suggesting for a moment that we shouldnt be concerned; but for Christs sake get a grip!  This is, after all, the same side who only recently would have beaten maybe the best side weve played this season but for Collina; the same side who showed (at least for a half) that they could compete with Man United; the same side who turned Bolton over on their own ground.  Lets also remember that even after going behind to a spawny goal against Villarreal we then took the game to them and had them on the ropes.

I mention all this to remind us all that despite everything, we have seen some signs this season that there is something to look forward to.  Of course some will laugh at this suggestion and point to the surrender against Dinamo Bucharest as well as the Portsmouth & Fulham results.  (The Arsenal result doesnt count; they always tonk us anyway).  So weve hit a bad spell doesnt every team?  Should we throw the towel in on the strength of 3 bad results?  I cant believe people e.mailing the site telling us that its the end of the road for them, but who wants that type of support anyway?  Who will they now follow?  Ive followed the Blues for 46 years and in that time Ive seen far more shite than good times.  Show me a long-time fan of any club anywhere who can say any different.  Thats football, lads.  Feeling shite comes as standard.

And yes, we have been shite lately.  It may be just coincidence, but so has Tim Cahill.  Thats no fault of Tims, of course, but we all know that the lad urgently needs a rest.  I may be in the minority but I think that he makes an awful lot of things happen when hes on song, and part of our current problem is down to Tims tiredness.  I say part of the problem because there are other considerations, of course, not least of which is the fact that Moysie hasnt been able to field his strongest side all season.  I dont believe for one minute that out of choice hed have gone for the 4-1-4-1 lone striker option, especially since Marcus Bent cant do it up front.  In some ways Im loathe to criticize Bent as he tries hard, but lets face it, you need to be a bit more than a trier in the Premiership.  A good touch would be a start.  And in the cold light of day, a forward that cant score goals is about as much use as Stephen Hawking in a Mexican wave.

For all the stick Beattie gets, I for one cant wait to see him back.  It goes without saying that hes not had the best of times since hes been at Goodison but if were honest we have to admit weve been too quick to get on his back.  He needs a settled run in the side to build his confidence, together with someone to run off him, whoever that may be (Robbie Keane where are you?).  Maybe Kilbane as a stop-gap?  Just a wild thought.

As for the middle of the park, weve every reason to believe that Andy van der Meyde will do the business when hes fit. Weve not had a decent wide man to speak of for some time and Van der Man could be what weve been waiting for and he can play either flank.  Arteta is class and a clever player who could work well with Van der Meyde.

Phil Neville in the holding role impresses me, in fact I think he should take over as skipper given the fact that he seems to be the only one who shows any leadership qualities on the park.  And to me, the lack of players wholl show any of those qualities is worrying at present.

Although I havent seen enough of Kroldrup (how do you type that Danish o with a slash through by the way?) [Like this: ø — Ed] to form a decent opinion, other peoples wisdom would have it that when hes fit then its him and Joey holding the back line.

So lets look at the empty-headed calls for a taxi for the manager.  Could it be possible, as many contributors seem to suggest, that Moyesie has turned into a crap manager so soon?  Here is a manager who hasnt had anything like his first choice side out this season, in fact its been the case in some games that whoever was fit had a decent chance to play.  Im not saying that he hasnt made mistakes, of course he has not signing a striker before the deadline was a BIG one as we know, and Simon Davies has got to do a lot more to convince me hes class.  (Before we add Nuno Valente to the list, I dont think its fair to judge him only on the two games hes had, shite though he was).  Is there a manager out there who hasnt made mistakes?  Where is that man, I want to shake his hand.  If people didnt get things wrong sometimes then thered be no need for rubbers on the ends of pencils.  But the trick is to learn from the mistakes youve made remember Moyes and the famous 2004 pre-season USA tour?

Yes, Moyes has made mistakes, and some biggies, but calls to sack him, for fucks sake?  Who are we, Everton or Newcastle?  And to all those who think he should go, who exactly would we replace him with?  Ron Atkinsons free, what about him?  Or John Bond? (ask your Dad if you dont know).  Come on lads, float back to reality, weve 33 games to go.  If were still in the bottom 3 come Christmas then I may have to reassess my opinion, but that wont happen.  When Moyes can pick his best 11 then things will change, of that Im sure; and come the transfer window Im sure hell sign a partner for Beattie.

Good players dont turn into bad ones overnight, and neither do good managers.  Moyes got us to 4th place when everybody thought wed go down.  He hasnt suddenly turned into a crock of shit.  Why are football fans so fickle look at Charlton and West Ham.  How long ago was it that their fans wanted to sack Curbishley and Pardew?  Now theyre great managers.  If (and probably when) they slide then the fans will want to hang them again.

Its a funny old game, to coin a phrase.  I like many can recall the Kendall Out brigade of 1983.  Then look what happened.  Moyesie may not do what Howard the Great did but if the fans had got their way then, where would we be now?  And some of those 1983-84 journeyman players whom the press regarded as mediocre you know, the likes of Peter Reid, Andy Gray, Sharpy, Trevor Steven and the rest turned out to be just a touch better than mediocre when they later dominated all before them.  Yes, a funny old game.

So keep your nerve, fellow Blues, now more than ever.  We may have a right to have a go at the team, but we also know that well get behind those Blue shirts no matter what; players and managers come and go, true fans have the club in their blood.  Whether were good, bad or really shite, were still daft enough to follow our club.

If football fans were not like this, ask yourself whod follow the likes of Lincoln or Doncaster.  You probably think by now that Im a hopeless case, but if you look around, there are lots of hopeless cases like me.  Come On You Blues!

So, would you be worth standing next to in the trenches?

Kevin  Latham


Kevin, Your article was very submissive of the problems we have at Everton.

Firstly, every point you make angles towards the "look on the bright side" notion. I am afraid in the foreseeable future, and I am talking about May next year, I don't see them as you do.

What makes you think Beattie will "come good"? He hasn't shown any desire, he doesn't run and he doesn't create anything. Moyes bought him knowing he wasn't fit and he had had his injury problems. He was a panic buy. Davey should shoulder the blame on the one, nobody else. I would like to bet you that Beattie DOESN'T in fact come good. He has had 9 months already, which would represent almost 20% of his contractual obligation. I am not looking forward to the other 80%.

On the issue of form, even your narrow mind must concede that since January, we have witnessed some shocking performances. In between there has been the odd battling display. The record in the last 22 games speaks for itself. It's appalling. Monstrously bad for a team which 'earned' 4th place last year. Who was the last team to finish 4th with a negative goal difference? We were lucky and you know it.

Transfer dealings, one or two decent. One or two the jury is still out.4 or 5 just do not cut the mustard my friend. Tell me how on earth we are to attract the type of striker needed in January, when we will probably be languishing in the wrong half of the table, if we couldn't attract one in the summer with the promise of European football and a 'big' season ahead?

I am a season ticket holder and I love this club. But this is not the same Everton I grew up watching in the 80's. Listening to some of the older supporters, it's not the same Everton of the 50's and 60's either. The sheer lack of effort is a huge concern to me. That's what I don't like Kevin. It costs me 10-20% of my yearly salary to follow Everton. Do you think your Kilbanes and Cahills and Pistones would happily fork out 10-20% of their salaries to watch the dross I do? I think not.

This team has had, and still gets monstrously good support through thick and thin. No effort and no idea is the one thing that is not acceptable. No-body is saying let's abandon ship, that won't do anyone any good. A change of Captain is sometimes needed however. It's about time that our players took some blame for their displays. I refer you to an act of goodwill from a certain Faustino Asprilla some years ago. Refused to take wages from Newcastle until he hit form and scored goals. He stood by his word. I fear its too much to ask of any of our overpaid, overrated Championship players to give something back is it?

Kev, you have a right to your views. But good support is more then papering over the cracks.

Phil Burkert, Liverpool (21/9/05)


This is a response in kind to the letter by Kevin Latham. In the letter is describes the form that we have shown this year and the results we've gained, standing out for me was his, and to be fair everyone's comment about the Arsenal game.

In the article it was basically said that the Arsenal game didn't matter and that we always get tonked there anyway.

This shows how far our standards have fallen...

Perhaps then Everton should just play 35 league games a year and not bother turning up when we encounter the top three away, or maybe we should have a go when we play them instead of the abject surrender we witnessed the other night, in which EVERY player appeared beaten before we started and offered little in the way of a fightback at anytime, manager included (let's be honest why did we bother making those changes so late on?).

Perhaps it's because I haven't lived through the glory years that I find this all so difficult to accept; however, perhaps we are after all just an average team in this league... if we take four points from the next three games then it'll all be okay.

That said there is a lot of the season to go, Everton must climb towards respectability and attempt to make up where they went wrong in the summer, by building a team (perhaps starting with a striker) and playing some attractive football (....we were great at Villa...  that was over half a year ago!!!) because we are utterly boring.

The foundations are still there Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Ferrari, Krldrup, Cahill, Arteta and Van der Meyde to name a few....hopefully if we turn things round we are still in two cups (we're out of Europe!).

However in order to move forwards then perhaps so should the standards of everyone, why should we settle for mediocrity and please, lets not blame Kenwright, he's given us enough to spend this time!

Moyes is still the man, but soon we must start asking what he has achieved.  After all, the Everton managers of the past have been judged on what they have won (look at Harvey's record, given the way he was treated); why now should we change?
Paul Hennessey, Worcester, 22/09/2005


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