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Top 4 Mentality

By Martin Roberts  : 1/3/07
Some fans feel that, five years on from constantly battling relegation survival, we should be sitting with the Top 4 and that Moyes should go beacuse he is not the man who can do this. Typical of such a view is this:
“I feel we should be harassing them a bit more than we are. We never have two alike seasons and the less said about the style the better. He has brought a degree of stability to the club but he also has to have a more positive outlook.”
I feel this hit the 'nail on the head' on when it comes to those who want Moyes out. They have the mentality that 'we should be harassing them more'. Who inspired that mentality in the first place? Who has made them feel that passionately about the club and about harassing the top 4? I think the answer is David Moyes. So why would they want to lose the manager who has given them that mentality?

No two seasons are the same for any team. Ever! The previous 10+ years before Moyes we were relegation fodder — every season, however again, not every season did it come down to the last game of the season. What was the mentality and stance was back then? Did they feel we should be harassing the top 4 when we were barely out of the bottom 4?

Surely having a positive outlook and not relegation is progression?

The first target for every club, and it literally is every club, is to stay in the Premiership - the money it windfalls is uncanny compared to every other league. After our decade or more of battleing against relegation, why is it a bad thing for our Manager to want to ensure the club — debt ridden, previous relegation favourites, small squad, half of which has quality — is still in the Premiership next year?

Why is it wrong at that point, when you know you are guaranteed premiership football to then set a new target for your players of European football? We are taking baby steps and still progressing, and the Everton management are giving the players a foresight and an achievable target.

Footballers need achievabke targets - give them short milestone targets, and when it’s achieved, they are buzzing, they are confident and they are ready to hit the next one. No one likes to be a loser, or miss a target, or miss an ambition — that’s human nature. We shouldn’t be setting ourselves up for defeat from the start.

If we had hit Premiership guarantee by January, our target then no doubt would have been a Uefa Cup place — and then by February, if we were over achieving, it would have been the Champions League. This shows his man-management tactics are spot on.

It's because of David Moyes that people have the mentality to "challenge the top 4, harass them, put the wolf between the chickens and do some damage" rather than thinking "what’s the odds that Everton will survive this year's relegation battle? 5/1? - I wish we had a manager who had the talent and managerial capabilities to get us into Europe”...


Martin there are quite a few flaws in your article. You suggest that Moyes has brought about a raise in our expectation levels. Even during the dark dark days I still believed we should be competing at the top. My expectation levels haven't changed. You seem to think that Moyes policy of aim low and be happy with anything extra is a masterplan. That mentality may well do for clubs like Bolton, Wigan and Blackburn but not for our club.

There's no doubting that Moyes has brought stability and good squad to GP in the last 5 years. Whether he has the ability to take that to the next level and produce a team playing good football and competing for honours is the burning question. I personally think Moyes has taken as far as he can. Only time will tell. — Craig Heywood

I just wanted to say that having read your "Top 4 Mentality" article, I think you're absolutely spot on. I still cannot believe that people call for Moyes' head after he is the man that brought us to such a level of expectancy. If we fired Moyes, who could do a better job? Anyway, before I turn this into an argument of my own, I'd like to say thank you once more for what you brought to the public domain. I can only hope that more people read the article and realise that the progressive steps Everton are making will ensure that one day we will be a great club, but in the meantime we should enjoy the excitement of the build-up towards that possible stage. — James Miller

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