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Moyes's Predictable Play

By Alan Clarke  : 9/1/07
I have been involved with football in a medical capacity, working with youth teams in the lower leagues of English Football for the past 7 years. I have no coaching experience but have spoken at length with coaches about how the game is coached and played.

The way Everton play under Moyes is no different to how the game is played by the youth team of a League 2 side. In fact, a coach I worked with at one club attended the same coaching courses as Moyes.

We are so predictable and our pattern of play is totally unimaginative. Our play basically involves the ball either being lumped forward from defence to clear the lines or being played out wide so slowly, the opposition can easily retreat and pressure one of our "wingers" who then has to pass it back to the full back. He then crosses the ball from deep where it seems to be effortlessly headed clear by the opposition centre half. We then try and pick up on the resulting scraps.

It's hardly School of Science stuff is it? Just count, at the next game you attend, how many times this happens and how many crosses are played from deep by the full back (unless Naysmith is playing in which case he'll just pass it backwards).

The way Everton play lacks any kind of intellect - we never break with any pace or try to play a through-ball between the centre halves or between them and the opposition full back for Johnson to run on to. We rarely manage to fire in a cross from the by-line where it's harder to defend. On the odd occasion we do, it rarely beats the first man.

Our set pieces are no better. How many times this season have our corners not beaten the first man? The point here is Moyes appears to teach Everton to play the same way as a lower league 2 side's youth team. Surely we have more talent in our first team to play better than this? And if not, why not?

What worries me most is this is the only way Moyes knows how to play the game — hence his dithering with substitutions or his reluctance to ever change things. If anyone has watched Everton play a different way to this under Moyes perhaps they could enlighten me but it's this predictable pattern we play that makes us so easy to counter — hence having no clue against Middlesborough, being beaten by Villa and thrashed by Blackburn to name a few.

Moyes is totally out of his depth at a club like Everton. Playing this way, it seems, he will keep us in this division by grinding out scrappy wins but we're now at a stand still and I can't see him changing our "style" in the next 5 years.


My God, we lose a game and Moyes is useless. What does it say about the other 19 managers when playing League 2 youth football he has finished 4th, and has us in 8th pushing for a place in Europe? Obviously the entire managerial staff of the Premiership needs to be re-educated. These League 2 coaches are obviously so knowledgable that at some point they must be given their chance. Or are they down there for a reason?!

That article was a load of balls and just makes me laugh. Moyes has stabilised us as a top half team, on little budget, and has 4 players in ARTETA, YOBO, LESCOTT and CAHILL that almost all the top clubs would like. Damn, Moyes is a bad manager.... NOT!

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