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Has Davey Stopped Dithering ???

By Keith Harrison :  03/09/2007 :  Comments (23) :
It may have been over 5 years, and have the equivalent turning circle of the QE2, but has the penny finally dropped with Davey?

Some think it took the Spurs game at home last season to convince Mr Moyes that, in essence, the Goodison faithful would have accepted defeat that night if only we had gone gung-ho for the three points and been hit with a breakaway goal instead of meekly surrendering, and offering Spurs the chance to win the game by our negativity. This had also happened at home to Man City earlier in the season, and Wigan at home to an extent.

Davey's susstitutions have always been an anathema to me. He sometimes keeps the starting eleven all through the match, when I am a believer in freshening up around the 70 minute mark, so our work rate does not diminish, and we don't end up with players like Ossie out on their feet, and totally ineffectual.

This season, however, we have witnessed over the last couple of games not only the astute (and occasionally forced) use of substitutes, but also, and more impressive to me, the ability to change the formation round during the match. That we came on strong at Bolton in the latter stages was, I believe, down to a combination of replacing the tiring Cars with Tommy, and swapping roles with Pip and Jags, to end up with what I believe is our best formation.

It also suits Ossie's quick feet to come on against tired defenders, and indeed McFadden is best used this way too. Then the big hulk of Vic replaces the battering ram of The Yak, and defenders must be crapping themselves.

As mentioned earlier, the odd groin strain may have forced Davy's hand, but there are definite signs that our leader is growing in confidence. He has stated publicly that we now have a bench that can change a game, but I think that he also now believes that we don't have to win games 1-0, or hold on for a draw by battening down the hatches. My belief is that he thinks with our forward line now, we can actually try and force matches because we are capable of scoring more than one goal per game.

Also, with the squad we now have (with the exception of a Manny type), we should only be looking upwards, and not purely aiming for the 40-point barrier, and taking anything else as a bonus. This means that games previously where we may have settled for a draw as being an acceptable result, we will go for the jugular, and hopefully win more than lose or draw.

If Davey has finally realised that Pip must play right back, and leave Jags in midfield, I think we're in for a roller-coaster season with us playing our best footie for years.

Let us pray.

Reader Comments

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ryan crest
1   Posted 04/09/2007 at 16:40:43

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Earth calling Keith come in Keith. The Spurs defeat was eight months ago! And the Everton bench wasn’t exactly awash with worldbeaters at the time.

Could we please drop it now?
jon hull
2   Posted 04/09/2007 at 17:19:46

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well said ryan, why is this not obvious to everyone?
3   Posted 04/09/2007 at 17:14:56

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I think he has a point.
Although we didn’t have too many attacking options of real quality (during the Tottenham game), I think a change of formation would have went down better with the crowd than bringing on Gary Naysmith.
I was at that game and I, along with the rest of the stadium, felt very disappointed with this change.
Moyes received a very hostile exchange with the Everton faithful come the final whistle (at this stage of the season we were playing well) and I think this registered with Moyes.
Evertonians should not and will not accept defeat under those circumstances. We can however understand losing the game on the break (like keith said) aslong as we’ve thrown everything at Tottenham to try and get a winner.
Hopefully we can expect to see more adventurous subs being made this season. I thought Moyes did a great job at Bolton, changing our formation to great effect
Joe Rourke
4   Posted 04/09/2007 at 16:45:06

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I agree with your points Keith!...I can’t figure how Cahill is going to figure exactly since Moyes seems to be abandoning 4-5-1...I presume we will see it wheeled out for difficult games with a alteration to 4-4-2 as the case permits...I thought Jags was earmarked as Carsleys replacement and I hope he ends up playing in his position when it is vacated...maybe we can call it ’the Carsley’ role afterwards...

I read another post here which talked about the team Moyes inherited - the one with all those defensive midfielders...Pembridge, Gemmill, Linderoth, Carsley and centre halves - Weir, Unsworth, Stubbs and Watson and it made me realise how little he had then, and indeed since to play with in terms of variety and depth...I can see why he stuck with dour loyalty and team spirit to see Everton through...that lack of resources probably formed his outlook on the game...

It will be interesting what he can do now - if he can kick on and develop as a manager...he has a young squad Baines, Lescott, Vaughan, Jags, AJ,Arteta, Yakubu all under 26 and secured under contract - Yobo, Cahill and Howard are under 30. Only Carsley, Stubbs and an older Hibbert remain remain from those first days...very interesting times for Everton ahead me thinks! potential very interesting times ahead...
Keith Harrison
5   Posted 04/09/2007 at 17:33:13

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Ryan and Jon. I’m not harking back to the Spurs game as a sore point, as you seem to think. I’m trying to make the point that with now the strongest squad we have had for years, Davey is getting confident enough to change things. Sorry if you misinterpreted lads, probably the way I wrote it on the hoof late last night.
Richard Osborne
6   Posted 04/09/2007 at 18:03:47

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Good article and good points Keith. I believe that Moyes is still learning and a part of learning is making mistakes. Those mistakes are OK, provided you take something from it and make sure they don’t happen again. Moyes is getting better as a manager and the squad is getting better, both in terms of size and quality.

Whilst it would be a minor miracle if we broke into the top 4 this season, I genuinely believe we are not far off.
Blue Swede
7   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:55:24

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If Moyeshas learnt so much can sombody please explain the Reading defeat to me.
Brendan McLaughlin
8   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:00:20

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Keith, when I first read your article I thought it was Tony Marsh trying his best to sound positive again but your later post clarified what you were trying to say. However, Keith, there’s a completely different way of looking at it. When David Moyes first came to Everton he talked of a 5 year plan. Well he’s been here for 5 years & perhaps now we are finally beginning to see the fruits of his hard work.
Keith Harrison
9   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:25:38

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Blue swede, we hadn’t got the Yak, Tommy, or even a fit Baines to call on then. Faddy was only coming back from injury.

we are, however, Everton, and the odd (hopefully) blip will occur along the way. It is the Everton way after all.

Great point Brendan. I think one begats the other. Over the 5 years he has gradually introduced quality, and only now , I believe, could you say we have a team and squad to stand up to anyone on our day.
Blue Swede
10   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:41:03

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Very true Keith.But after the spurs performance why cower to lowly Reading?
I am very aware of what being a blue entails "blips n all"but Reading should have been 3more pts in the bag. No excuses. Tactical incompetance.
Tony Marsh
11   Posted 05/09/2007 at 06:52:48

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Fucken Microsoft maybe Bill Gates was thinking about his penis when he came up with the name
Keith Harrison
12   Posted 05/09/2007 at 08:14:14

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Ae you on the ale already Tony ?????
Allan Hounsgaard
13   Posted 05/09/2007 at 08:56:43

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Joe Rourke
Sorry for being a boring statto, but you omitted a certain Mad Dog from the list of midfielders Moyes inherrited from Smith.

And now he’s back
robert carney
14   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:14:35

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only one mad dog?
15   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:40:15

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I think the point being made was probably made more eloquently(no offense) by Mr Moyes he said "maybe we would have held on for a draw in a game like that in the last few seasons..but now we have options"...And i think that with these options we can now really mix it..on occasion we may well play "hoofball" if those tactics and team selection prove effective aginst the opposition in question..EG..We are not (at this moment in time) going to go to the emirates and pass Arsenal off the park..but we can mix it up, change tactics and personel throughout the game..because we now have the ammunition.. likewise i DO believe we can go to Analfield and give the shite a beating ALA man hiiting them on the break with pace and skill..AJ, YAK, Baines,Jags,Yobo, Lescott..are all like shit off a shovel on a hot summmers day..and all have great work rate ..good engines..and a fantastic team spirit..throw in the unpredictability of mad dog ,arteta .mcfadden and cahill and Vaughny to come back...its enough to make you drool. COYB
Kevin Sparke
16   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:44:14

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Good points Keith... I’m not sure Dave ever dithered, he just had restricted options and a tight budget.
Vincent Lysaght
17   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:47:23

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I agree that the Spurs game was a pivotal moment - it?s still vivid in my mind how unanimous and vocal was the dejection at Moyes?s negativity at half time. To his credit he admitted the mistake but more importantly it has changed his attitude. He may sometimes err on the side of safety but at least now he understands that we do not bow down to anyone at home and with the better quality we now have we can push on in the latter stages of games away for a win.
Keith Harrison
18   Posted 05/09/2007 at 13:00:36

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I’m not saying that Spurs was the pivotal moment, it has come this season with our much improved personnel giving greater confidence.
Joe Rourke
19   Posted 05/09/2007 at 13:48:16

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I did remember Gravesen initially but I saw him as more as a a creative player and so I didn’t include him with the other defensive ’kickers’...Madrid made the mistake of buying him as a hard man they probably didn’t watch him playing for Everton or analyse him relative to those playing around him e.g. Lee Tie or Linderoth...I think he is often judged on his shaven headed ’photogenic’ image and not his actual ability sometimes...

I did forget him though when I mentioned the remaining players from Moyes initial games...

And remember in official club speak he is a ’new signing’!!!
20   Posted 05/09/2007 at 19:41:09

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U cant blame negativity on the squad he had? Teams like norwich played fantastic fluent football when they were in the premiership, they hardly had a quality squad. At least hes changed his ways, thought he was going to be another walter smith.
21   Posted 05/09/2007 at 22:40:30

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ADAM.."when they where in the premiership".....alas no longer.

But hey lets play and lose least its pretty..

You have to earn the right.and sometimes its ugly..not all good football is played on the need your Carsleys,and Stubbs..and your Unsworths..commitment can be worth as many points as a 15 goals a season..we dont need window dressing..sorry Im going on a bit,,basically you are talking crap.
Chris Masey
22   Posted 06/09/2007 at 13:25:14

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I think people fail to remember that we played awful for the full 90 minutes against Spurs, and although Moyes’s substitutions were negative, we would never have been in the game had it not been for a piece of magic from Arteta. It was our worst home performance of the whole season for me, so please keep things in perspective!
Adam Henderson
23   Posted 07/09/2007 at 15:04:57

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Well "Terry" if you're happy to pay to watch your team defend for 90 minutes then that's up to you. I would rather pay to see them have a go at teams and get beat than to play boring football and scrape a draw. Yes, we do need our Carsleys and our Stubbses etc ? doesn't mean we can't play decent football with them, we managed it at Bolton....

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