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Clear Head, Deja Vu, Fundamental Flaws

By Paul Tran :  21/09/2007 :  Comments (9) :
Ironic that on the day Mourinho leaves Chelsea, David Moyes's Everton demonstrate that spending money alone won't bring success.

A few cyclical patterns are emerging with Moyes. When his back's against the wall and expectations are low, he can produce teams that produce surprisingly good football (first season) and a great battling team spirit (4th & 6th).

However when expectations are raised by his own relative success, he is given lots of money to put together our 'best squad for years', the improvement stops. As fans I think we are entitled to expect better players to play better football. That's just not happening.

I was happy with the scuttling football of two years ago, as I thought it was a means to an end. How many players have we had over the last few years that fall into the category of 'not as good as at his previous club', or 'not as good as when he first arrived'? Think about it, either present-day footballers are overrated, overpaid shite, or we have a manager who just can't get the best out of them. Johnson scored bags of goals in the premiership for Palace, Yakubu has scored bags of goals for the mighty Portsmouth & Middlesbrough. Disregarding appalling penalty misses, how many chances do they get?

As ever, our best players are defenders. Our top scorer is a centre half, as we generally only score from set-pieces and claim we are 'unlucky' when we lose to one. Problem is that when we make one mistake at the back, we have to chase the game, we lack the guile and flexibility to make things happen at the other end of the pitch. Moyes himself has said recently that we lack quality. Funny that when people come on this website and say it they get criticised, but its OK for the man who is in charge of buying, picking and coaching the team says it?

Regardless of how much money he spends, you know what you're going to get with Moyes. Good defenders, scuttling midfielders who 'can do a job in a few positions' (and Arteta) and isolated strikers wondering where the next good pass/cross is coming from.

If you're happy with that, if you think that is as good as we're ever going to get, relax, sit back and enjoy. Moyes is going nowhere because he knows he won't get a better job and while Kenwright is in charge, no-one of quality will take the job.

Listening to the radio yesterday, various panelists were talking about how these days managers tend to go stale after three or four years. Watching the rudderless, aimless dross last night, seeing Moyes constantly barking senseless nonsense like a pub team manager, those words were ringing round my ears.

We could easily go to Kharkiv and win, but that won't paper over the fundamental flaws of Moyes's coaching. Interesting that Mourinho was sacked for not bringing trophies and good football. For me one out of the two would be a start - a cup run and, God forbid, a trophy would be nice as well! We have a much-improved squad. We also need a coach who can confidently communicate simple ideas and let the players get on with it. Until then, we will have a team of more expensive, non-achieving scuttlers.

Reader Comments

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Dawson Boyle
1   Posted 21/09/2007 at 15:06:50

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Nobody’s mentioning Tim Cahill much today. Johnson played his best football alongside him and will hopefully reproduce that form when he finally returns.

Yakubu’s only played three games! He scored a lovely goal on his debut, he’s nowhere near fit and is yet to play a full game. Look how well Beattie’s playing now he’s away from the doom mongers who almost willed him to fail at times last season. Don’t make Yakubu another scapegoat. He’s a goalscorer.

We played yesterday without a single creative presence. Arteta/ Gravesen/Pienaar all could have conjoured something against inferior opposition. Osman played in precisely the role Cahill would have relished and Jagielka came on and played well. We do have a good squad. Not the biggest, but many teams would have struggled with so many injuries to players who perform these duties.

On a final note, did anybody see the size of Karkhiv’s physio? He was massive!
Mike Allison
2   Posted 21/09/2007 at 16:56:18

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There’s no point making excuses for last night, that was a game we should have won 5-0. Metalist were absolutely apalling. Our main problem is that we have no way of getting the ball from the defence to the attack other than a long ball. This is due to two things in particular, one is the lack of a genuine midfielder of class, you can get away with Lee Carsley or Phil Neville but not both. The other is that only one of our full backs can actually play football. Baines was reasonable in trying to get forward, although the reluctance of the three strikers to offer a genuinely wide option meant that most of the time when he looked up going forward, the nearest three players to him were wearing yellow. Tony Hibbert, as committed as he is, simply cannot play football, it is like having ten men when we’ve got the ball. He follows the David Burrows, Earl Barrett, David Unsworth tradition of a full back who offers absolutely nothing in possession. He must be replaced by Phil Neville in that position. Phil is a good right-back, but he’s a poor midfielder who’s passing is simply not up to standard.

One final point I’d like to make is about the pathetic substitutions last night, we only made two and both were like for like swaps, despite it being patently obvious that despite having all of the ball, we were creating nothing. This signals to me that Moyes thought things were going okay. They weren’t at any point, the set-piece goal and the shockingly low quality of the opposition were barely papering over some very obvious cracks.
Blue Robbo
3   Posted 21/09/2007 at 17:14:53

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Why so many keep saying that Kharkiv were a poor side is beyond me. They passed us off the park for long periods, especially in the first half and tackled/harried throughout. Their only real failings were finishing the several chances we allowed them (bar one)and defending at set pieces.

Provided our injured players are available in two weeks (esp Arteta and Gravesen), we can only get better. They may be weakened by the absence of the two defenders who were sent off. But these are the only silver linings to be taken from that mindless, headless-chicken, Wimbledonesque, panic-stricken pantomime that the team served up last night. The up and under approach reminded me of the game-chasing displays in Europe back in the late 70’s with Kidd leading the line! It was just as ineffective then.

Apart from Wessels, Baines and Anichebe, the rest should be ashamed to draw their wages as "professionals", and I include Lescott here; with Yobo going walkabout prior to their goal, he came charging across to intercept a ball he never stood any chance of getting and left the middle wide open for a tap in - schoolboy stuff!

It should now be obvious to Moyes and Irvine that Hibbert has no place in the team until he can learn to pass. A floated lob up the line or into the vicinity of their box is not a pass, except to the opposition. Neville should replace him at RB, if only because he can cause less problems there than in midfield. Playing both him and Carsley or Jagielka in central midfield when we need to close down a game is one thing, but when we need to be creative, it is disastrous.

And another thing, you can download "The EVerton Way" from the official site for £50. Does the first team squad train using "The Everton Way"? If so, they must have been sold the cheaper £2.50 version which simply shows you how to hoof the ball up the park - cos that’s all that seems to have been coached into them!

Enough ranting....Johnson and Yakubu to score in the away leg, which we win 1-2....OK nurse, I’ll shut it down now...
Phil s
4   Posted 21/09/2007 at 19:34:01

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Top Comments. Why were we playing differently last night. Should of just played our normal football and we would of come out comfortable winners. We were chasing the game from the off, Just needed to be patient. This is what european football is all about. These teams will just sit back, soak it up and then hit you on the break and there’s a lot better teams in the competetion than last nights team. I’m confident we will beat them at there place but last night showed just how badly we need arteta. He’s the only midfielder we have who can create the chances for our strikers, who by the way i feel sorry for. There feeding on scraps. Neville has to go to rightback. He give’s the ball away far too much and Hibberts distribution has got to be one of the worse if not the worse in the premiership, Bench him every week.
Peter Lee
5   Posted 21/09/2007 at 21:35:32

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Dont blame Hibbert blame Moyes:

Any football coach with the minimum qualification would tell you that.

Last night Tony Hibbert saw more of the ball than anyone else on the field. When he looked to play it he saw empty spaces down the right side with nobody able to take a quick pass. His only option was long balls at AJ or Yakubu, into an area where there so many of the opposition that there wasn?t the slightest chance of making anything happen. I can?t blame the players for this, they played to orders. If they didn?t there?s no doubt the manager would have made his views clear, after all he is supposed to be a disciplinarian
Ann Adlington
6   Posted 22/09/2007 at 02:31:55

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"Last night Tony Hibbert saw more of the ball than anyone else on the field. "

Peter, I agree wholeheartledy. I’m sick to death of people slagging him off -
Why all of a sudden does our future lie on the head of Tony Hibbert. Why not ask pertinent questions of the club as to why they had to breach UEFA rules and put home supporters in the away end. Don’t forget that the man responsible for this (Wyness),is presiding over the Kirkby fiasco.How can you put your trust in an incompetent?
Steve Taylor
7   Posted 22/09/2007 at 12:59:15

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People have been slagging off Hibbert - because he’s been gash.

& our future doesn’t rely on him - thank God - that’s the point!

Thursday night had NOTHING to do with Kirby - stop including Kirkby in every debate FFS!
Keith Wyness
8   Posted 22/09/2007 at 15:29:43

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Thanksch Schteve.

Your Tesco’s hamper is in the poscht.
Steve Hogan
9   Posted 22/09/2007 at 20:43:13

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That must be the same Ann Adlington representing the KEIOC bunch of disparates.

Did’nt take long for you to start name calling the club’s hierarchy?

What has that got to do with last Thurdays poor performance?

No wonder the KEIOC crowd were found out.

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