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Fans Comment
Steve Hogan

All too  Predictable
26 March 2006

Nearly 24 hours after the debacle at Anfield, my concerns over our manager continue to grow.  I bathed in the glory of last season, along with thousands of others, but closer examination of playing style, tactics, technical ability, buying and selection of players leaves me concerned for Everton's short- and long-term future under his leadership.

Perhaps we should not have been surprised at Everton's inability to compete with Liverpool on a technical level after Gerrard's dismissal; in essence, Liverpool compensated quickly and without too much disruption to their format or playing style.  But then Moyes's sides ever since he has been at Everton have never attempted (or been coached) to 'play through the middle'.

Instead, we favour the high tempo, pressing type of game with all its shortcomings and limitations, particularly against European teams who simply respond by keeping possession whilst the opposition run around like headless chickens.

Only when this current Everton team reach the comfort zone of a two-goal cushion do we see a string of passes through the midfield.  That was never going to be the case yesterday, simply because Everton never played as if we had the extra man!

I honestly don't think we will see a great deal of difference next season given the amount of money the manager will have to spend or more importantly his previous track record in the transfer market.  Sure, a manager can only work with the players he has available, but the majority of the Everton players he had available yesterday were his purchases or players he had offered extensions to their contracts.

For the record, Richard Wright has now surely hammered the final nail in his own coffin after being given numerous opportunities to make the goalkeeper's position his own.  Now have the balls Davey, to give Turner his chance for the final seven games.

Offload the deadwood of Weir, Davies, Naysmith, Kilbane, Pistone, McFadden, Ferguson none of these players are the future of Everton surely.  Spread your wings a little bit and take the blinkers off regarding future transfer targets, are you telling me there are NO young, strong, mobile British left backs available in the lower divisions better than the current hapless crew?

Similarly, there must be a 'holding' midfield player somewhere in the whole of Europe capable of being able to tackle and then distribute the ball a la Gerrard and Sissoko.  Lightweight skilful players are fine, but up against the former they stand no chance.

Finally, please don't tell me at the end of the summer you have 'scoured Europe' for a quick, speedy forward but none were available; it simply won't wash.

So, is Davey the man for the job?  I really don't think so, simply because the events of yesterday only highlight Everton's current plight: poor team selection, no evidence of any tactical acumen, and a stubbornness to stick with squad members well past their shelf life.
Steve Hogan


I found reading Steve Hogan's piece after the derby match disheartening and quite frankly annoying. We lose one away game after a magnificent run and Moyes is suddenly an idiot - again! - and almost the entire team and the club are mired. Alright, we didn't play well but the first goal was a freak, the second an error and Van der Meyde's sending off laughable.

He asks "Why can't Moyes find a midfielder like Gerrard, Alonso or Sissoko?" - the first two are exceptional and due to circumstances weren't available to us... and the third he damn-well almost signed before the majority of Evertonians had a clue who he was.

Why oh, why do some of us have to point the same things out again and again... we are not Liverpool... we don't have their resources, we haven't had their success which pays for those resources, we can't attract nor afford the likes of Gerrard.... and, prior to Moyes, we had over a decade of terrible times.

We are lucky to have David Moyes very lucky. He has the ability to pull rabbits out of hats. How many of us had heard of Arteta before he came to us? And now we're watching over our shoulders as other clubs covert him with the guy looking like a world-beater and an unbelievable snip for a 22-year-old at 2.8M.

Moyes is universally acclaimed amongst his peers as an excellent manager you don't get to win manager of the year twice in two years if you're a chump. So please Mr Hogan, take note of those who would love to have Moyes managing their club because, if the likes of yourself keep wittering on with such shamefully ill-informed invective, we'll all wake up one day with David O'Leary or Steve Bruce as our manager and then we will be in trouble!
Nick West, London (27/3/06)

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