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Fans Comment
Paul Tran

Hard Work in Battle
16 October 2005

It's Hard Work:
keeping up the Battle....

Go on, admit it, in the summer we all thought that this time we'd actually do something.

Last season, while we were pinching one-nil wins and playing dreadfully dull football, some of us accepted it.  We had no money and a small squad but (like Greece in Euro 2004) we worked hard and got the results.

All through last season, my view was that any European achievement would be a bonus.  My worry was that Moyes could be another Joe Royle: great at getting the best out of mediocre players, but can he attract and manage top-notch players?  Of course, airing this view meant you weren't a 'real Evertonian', but some of us could see that turning a few of those 1-0 wins into 1-0 defeats could send us down the table.

Some of us who are old enough to have watched genuinely great EFC sides (1970, 1985) were getting concerned by all of last season's hype.  All we did was battle.  Can anyone remember any really good footballing performances, other than Villa away?  Am I the only one sick of hearing about how 'comfortable' we are at 0-0, when we don't look like scoring in a month of Sundays?

Summer was Moyes's first real test.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one expecting the arrival of attacking players with pace.  Not necessarily the superstars, but at least some players with flair.

Well, we all know what we got.  Defenders, defensive midfielders, Davies (what is the point of Davies?) and Van der Meyde, if he's ever fit enough to play.  Before the Bucharest game, Moyes talked about their pace as if it was some kind of strange new quality.  To the rest of us, it's what all good sides have.

My main concern with Moyes is that he was a battling player, and now he creates 'battling' teams.  Fine if we want to stay as 'battling' Everton fighting against the rest of the world.  However, if we want to progress, we need pace and the element of surprise.  The main problem now is that we have 'battling' players who don't know what to do when we go 1-0 down.  We also have a manager who doesn't appear to know what to do.  He can't change tactics, because he only buys players who 'work hard'.  We got away with it last year and Moyes deserved all the plaudits he received, but we all knew more was needed in the summer and it didn't come.

There's no point calling for Moyes head right now.  Let Krldrup, Beattie and Van der Meyde get fit; let Ferrari and Valente get up to speed.  That will take us to Christmas methinks... when Moyes will have no more excuses.  It also gives two months for Moyes to change his policy or make way for someone else, in time for the transfer window, where we need a policy of buying fast, attacking players only.

In 30 plus years of watching Everton, I've seen more failure than success, but I've never seen such poor football.  I rarely go to games now, because we are so dull to watch and Moyes is scared of entertaining players.  This season I expected no more than a top ten finish and more attractive football.

Give Moyes till January.  Let's see how committed he becomes to winning games rather than not losing them.  In the meantime, I hope Blue Bill is scanning the football globe for alternatives.

Paul Tran


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