Moyes . Stay or Go?
When he took over, I remember listening to his press conference with real hope that we where about to change as a team after the dross of the Walter Smith era. I had wanted David Moyes to become manager of Everton after he brought his Preston side to Goodison for an FA Cup match. We won 2-0 but where passed off the park by this team of no stars. I listened as he talked about fit young players who could play 40 or 50 games a season and growing together as a team.
He started his Everton career with a bang: 6 points from his opening two games including seeing an Everton side score 4 goals away from home! Even after being thrashed 6-2 at Newcasrle we responded by beating Bolton 3-1 without playing 6 defenders in the team! He even put on an untried striker (Nick Chadwick) at 2-1 who eventually scored the third goal. We obviously avoided relegation and then the following season finished 7th playing some decent attacking football and everyone (well maybe not everyone) thought he was a good manager. A 17th place finish with the lowest points total was a disgrace but was followed up by a minor miracle as we finished above the Clowns of Europe in that coveted 4th place.
So what's gone wrong? These are my personal observations. The cracks obviously started to appear in his second full season (2002-03) when he had various run-ins with Rooney and Radzinski. The following season, the 4-5-1 was applied and was really successful up until Boxing Day when we reached the 40-point mark. We eventually finished with 61 points but winning only 5 games from Boxing Day!Despite us only winning 2 games until April, Moyes wouldn't change the formation. When he went 4-4-2 for the Crystal Palace game we won 4-0!
Now nobody can argue that David Moyes has not improved things since he took over. The squad has much more quality but is still painfully thin. We are not now considered as a team that will be fighting relegation unlike when Walter was at the helm. And he can also find a bargain, eg, Cahill and Lescott.
However, he has been in the job almost five years and as already stated the squad is still short on numbers. He has let Kilbane, Davies, Weir and Hughes go and only added Fernandes and Da Silva. Now I'm not too sure you would get too many people defending the players he let go (apart from Hughes) but they were all squad players who could do a job — and this was after saying the squad was too small in AUGUST!
We also never seem to sign players on a Bosman, unlike other clubs. This would bolster our squad without transfer fees; I accept that this is difficult but its still a fact.
We play awful football for most of the time. People used to blame it on Duncan when we hoofed the ball up but I'm afraid it's the Everton way now. Some managers ensure that their teams keep the ball on the floor and again I know we cannot play like Arsenal but using Southampton for instance they knock the ball around quite nicely under George Burley and are very attacking. Now I'm not suggesting we replace David Moyes with George Burley just merely pointing out that Ipswich, Derby, Hearts and Southampton all had some success playing nice football. I know someone will say that Ipswich where relegated but they beat us 3-0 and 1-0 at Goodison!
Finally, I would replace the Chairman as he has been here for eight years and still no financial investement. I'm not saying that Bill hasn't done his best but the fact that he doesn't spend even the Friday before a home game at the club getting his hands dirty has always bothered me.
As for the manager, I'm not sure. I would still love him to go back to the man that got me so full of hope with talk of attacking football during his opening press conference and which his team displayed early on but I think he has forgotten what his principles where back then. Anyone got a recording of it we could send to him?
When are we going to stop debating whether or not we would be better off without David Moyes? David Moyes is good for Everton, I cannot think of any other manager I would want at Everton right now. Yes he makes the odd mistake, but he gets more right than he gets wrong. Even the great managers make mistakes, this is how they develop. Ok, he is hesitant with the transfer kitty, but better that than blow it all on average players on long contracts or has beens on £30k a week (Ginola and Gascoigne). Moyes has bought quality, the backbone of the team are his purchases. Howard, Lescott, Yobo, Cahill, Arteta, Neville and Johnson. No one can deny that Everton have moved forward during his reign. His efforts have even been recognised by his fellow managers. Why can't we see it. Moyes is the best young manager in the land, Newcastle would have him in a heart beat, and probably will if the boo boys get there way.
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