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Fans Comment
Steve Hogan

The Great Moyes Debate

Nearly every 'Mailbag' session I read now seems to be dominated by the merits of David Moyes with strong arguments from both camps both for and against, with valid reasons eminating from both sides. I have previously nailed my colours to the mast with an observation I made last month which featured as a Fans Comment article and not a great deal has happened since that piece I wrote to really alter my view.

When David Moyes arrived at Everton four years ago, I along with many others, was excited about this passionate young Glaswegian who was able to demonstrate a refreshing honesty and passion, in total contast to the previous incumbent, whose favourite line after yet another defeat was always 'it's very disappointing'....

I still believe Moyes has the honesty, which I think is commendable, and given the 'spin' coming out of the club in recent years, is a fact I think we should all be grateful for.

However, in his heart of hearts, I believe he will be disapointed at events at Everton over the last 12 months, and if he applies the same level of honesty which he displays in all aspects of his dealings with the media and supporters alike, he will know that his own performance as a manager has been found sadly wanting this season.

I have found his recent press statements over the last two months have been in stark contrast to his earlier time at Everton, where his appetite for the job was undiminished, indeed they positively motivated me as a supporter, but there is almost a 'tiredness' about them now bordering on an air of resignation about having to accept the 'status quo' and be happy with it.

Long gone is the almost swashbuckling attitude of the early years. Like a politician under pressure, he talks about progress for Everton FC as not fighting relegation and 'top 10' finishes... Come on, David, after last year's finish, even you must have set your sights higher than that!

I now continually read about just who we can and cannot compete with in the transfer market, and I NEVER EVER will accept the fact that we cannot compete with the likes of West Ham, Blackburn etc whilst there is a breath left inside me. David compared the purchase of Dean Ashton by West Ham for 7M against our own record signing of James Beattie for 6M as an example of us now being out bid by other clubs whilst conveniantly not mentioning the 7M plus we paid for both Neville and Davies (the latter purchase still baffles me to this day).

So what for the future for both Moyes and Everton?

I believe we have already reached something of a milestone in the history of both parties. What started out as a passionate love affair, has already gone a little stale. Would it have been different with more financial support for the manager? I'm not so sure.

You need a little more now than effort and endeavour to compete in the higher echelons of both the Premiership and Europe, and this season has left me believing that David Moyes doesn't yet have that pedigree. He may do with time, but I'm not sure he will complete the learning curve at Everton.

My guess is that possibly next season may be his last at Everton, simply because he is not the sort of individual who will hang around if he believes he is not making progress on a personal or a football basis.

I sincerely hope I am wrong and we go on and win a trophy because we have a manager who I do believe works tirelessly for Everton Football Club, but technically is found wanting when it comes to team selection, the recruitment of players, playing style etc.

Time will tell.
Steve Hogan


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