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Moyes:? What happens next?

By Steve Hogan :  22/09/2007 :  Comments (33) :
Now that the dust has settled on the debacle that was Thursday night (and I'm not referring to events off the field), once again the inevitable question regarding the suitability of David Moyes as manager of Everton Football Club is being raised.

I've just finished watching Fulham v Man City and whilst it can hardly be described as a game for the purists, with both defences looking dodgy, one thing was apparent, Man City were intent on playing attractive football orchestrated by Hamman in the middle of the park.

The only time they resorted to 'hoofball' was when the ball needed to be kicked upfield as part of a defensive clearance, not as a means of starting an attacking move.

Now cast your minds back to the summer, when Sven was finally appointed as manager of City. He embarked on a 'manic' spending spree in a relatively short space of time, on largely unknown foreign players, but guess what, they all like to play football and retain possesion.

No prizes for guessing what sort of parallels I am trying to make here, but whilst I readily acknowledge the progress we have made under Moyes, by and large the football presentd to us has been ordinary and at other times downright ugly.

If the much mocked and maligned Sven can hastily assemble a side that is pleasing on the eye in the space of four weeks, is it too much to ask that after five years we cannot turn out a side who can string together three to four passes? Whilst it is a prerequisite for coaches and managers in the Premier League to possess a Uefa coaching qualification, it seems that coaching individual players to retain possesion and pass to each other is not.

The injuries to Arteta, Cahill and Vaughan have undoubtably come at a bad time for Moyes, indeed I don't believe Yakubu would have been signed but for Vaughan's injury in the pre-season game at Preston, but the manager's lack of knowledge of the European scene, or his stubborness to only buy British, almost precludes us from strengthening our biggest weakness in the current team: the midfield.

I have stated on previous occasions, that there HAS to be strong, skilful, ball-playing central midfielders in most of the teams that play in the Dutch, French, German,Spanish and Italian domestic leagues. If that is so, why could we not pick one or two up for reasonable prices in the last transfer window?

God forbid, I would ever compare Wenger with Moyes, but time after time, year after year, he manages to cherry-pick a plethora of players from the continent to great effect. Is it Moyes or our scouting system? Even the severly limited Mentalists on Thursday night managed to retain more possesion with nine men than we did with eleven!!

The old belief that managers can get too close to players also contiues to undermine Moyes. In Hibbert and Neville, we have two players whose efforts for the team cannot be called into question, but it is obvious that in the last two years Hibbert's game has gone backwards but the manager continues to stick with him and drops him occasionally only for him to be back in the side the folowing week, almost in the belief that a weeks rest will turn him into a decent player!

With Neville, it's slightly more complicated. Having made him club captain and then having to drop him would call into question the manager's selection policy in the first place, but again, it's glaringly obvious he ain't a ball-winner in the Joe Parkinson mould, and he's never going to be able to spray 40-yard passes across the field or go on a lung-bursting run to finish off a great flowing move.

In contrast, I praise Moyes for choosing Arteta, Baines, Howard, Yobo, Lescott and one or two others who grace our team, but I do call into question his ability to get any of his sides over the last five years to play good football on a regular basis. I'm not sure what is the length of time remaining on his current contract (is it four years?) but Thursday night's performance was almost pre-historic in terms of how the game has moved on in recent times... I'm not sure our own leader isn't just stuck in his own particular time warp.

Wake up, Davey before it's too late.

Reader Comments

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Gavin Ramejkis
1   Posted 23/09/2007 at 08:41:05

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You can’t deny that some of the players Moyes has signed are superb, unfortunately having them play hoofball does neither their confidence or ability any good, either Moyes must develop from his ways or move on with a big thanks from Everton for taking us this far and handing the baton to someone to take us further.
Nigel Cleveland
2   Posted 23/09/2007 at 09:39:03

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I totally agree on the Phil Neville issue - whilst he is playing in our midfield we will get nowhere. Get him played at right back, where he can whip in crosses like we saw last year away at spurs and wigan, which both led to goals. As for him being undroppable, i think Weir was our club captain last year yet hardly got a game before he left for rangers? So it is possible.
Barry Bragg
3   Posted 23/09/2007 at 09:40:17

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If we are being realistic boys we know that while Kenwright is in charge Moyes has a job for life. BK’s only concern is staying in the prem and under Moyes we are guarranteed to do that. We can only hope that Kirkby is the stepping stone to take Kenwright away from this club and get us some proper direction.
Anthony Newell
4   Posted 23/09/2007 at 10:04:11

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Dare I say it, an absolute must win game for Moyes today which I will be scrutinising closely for my sins. Get us back up to second and the natives will be less restless for another week. Put out another toothless showing like Thursday night or Man U and I fear that the end will be just that little bit closer. Has it finally sunk in yet for Moyes regarding Neville and Hibbert when every man and his dog can see it? Expect some answers to that very soon!
robbie blue
5   Posted 23/09/2007 at 10:08:41

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Does nobody remember last day survival nerves
thankfully we havent had that for a few years and like it or not i will take succesfull hoofball rather than relegated attractive football (notts forest) any day While i am not saying he has a job for life look how long it took ferguson at manure
This man has kept us far from relegation worries and is gradually bringing in footballers
be patient we blues always do things the hard way

Paul Gittens
6   Posted 23/09/2007 at 10:56:31

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Man City may be playing more attractive football at the moment, and may have players who "like to play and hold possession", but i bet we still finish higher than them.
Simple as that really.
dave molyneux
7   Posted 23/09/2007 at 11:28:39

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If it was not for a few players in the Everton team we would have a team that could push the big 4 all the way . I start with hibbert,he gets the ball panics big boot up the field we lose it . Osman great when has time on the ball but when pressured he is not strong enough to retain it, Neville is not a midfielder but i would play him right back.And another player which might not go down well is Johnson.Well before the penalty misses midweek i have said for all his hard work his all round game especially his first touch and finishing is poor .With solid foundations to our team including Howard,yobo,Lescott,Baines,cahill,Arteta,Hopefully Yakubu,anichebe,Vaughan , there is no reaon why we can’t challange the big 4 .Just need to get rid of the rubbish first .
8   Posted 23/09/2007 at 11:53:21

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Just read in the paper (news of the world) that BK is set to offer Moyes a new 5 year contract worth 15mill. Don’t know if it’s true or if it’s a good thing!
9   Posted 23/09/2007 at 11:40:08

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I differ with writers on TW not least lambasting the club on any damn anything you can because they lost the vote. But I do agree Tony Marsh and Steve Hogan’s sentiments about our play, about certain players and about the coaching staff. Neville and Hibbert need dropping. If Moyes lacks confidence in Jags then why the hell buy him! Whats wrong with Valente? It may have been a necessity but playing Osman & McFadden in the same team amply shows that it leaves us too lightweight in two crucial positions. Why gamble all on getting Fernandes to fill that much needed midfield role only for it to go belly up at the 1th hour and no plan B to fill a crucial positiion for us. There is as good if not better talent to be had in the Ukraine if Thursady’s fiasco is anything to go by. Do we have scouts? or is Moyes really so narrow minded? Yet again when it matters Moyes’s limitations have been exposed. Yes on paper the squad has improved, but Moyes and Irvine can make any good team average.
John Ball
10   Posted 23/09/2007 at 11:55:11

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I think Moyes has done a great job in stabalising the team but I have to agree with the Neville & Hibbert comments, I am also concerned that Moyes is a very poor tactician, in the five years he has been with us, he has not been able to change tactics when the game is slipping away from us. It is very early day’s but on Thursday Yakubu played like a poor Hesky for a strong man he spent most of his time on his backside. Hope I am wrong on this £11.25 million. is a lot of money.
Mike Cain
11   Posted 23/09/2007 at 12:06:04

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Hogan, I think you having a go at Moyes because of Thursdays result is a bit unfair considering he was unable to pick from a full strength squad, any team missing its stars would struggle, Arteta, Cahill, Vaughan, graveson, pienaar, Howard, all of which, if fit would have started, If all were fit, I think Hibbert would not have been playing, therefore, Neville would have played right back, your point about sven being able to assemble a team in 4 weeks is also questionable, this is the first season Moyes has been given serious money to spend, Sven was at his club for 2 minutes and was given an open cheque book
craig smith
12   Posted 23/09/2007 at 12:31:09

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Ok i have digested the comments here not only on this subject but on many others of late. Thursday night was not good but why? if the first penalty was allowed we would have been 2-0 up against 10 men and i think would have gone on to score more. We could also have won 3-1. I would have been happy with either of these results. On any other night it would have been and we would then be looking forward to the group stages. I think we still will! I fully expect us to go to the Ukraine and get the result we need. Our form away from home is as good or if not better than at home at the moment! It allways seems there are plenty of very negative comments. Lets take a look we have a better squad, are moving to a new stadium and now expect eurpean football every year. I for one applaud this and it certainly is better than people taking the piss and singing going down, going down at every away ground. I think we continue to improve year after year. I agree about hibbert and would either play jags or nev there and the other in midfield. Yes we do need a bit more creativity in midfield and lose the older players like carsley who also was very quiet on Thursday. Neville is a good player with good credentials at all levels. Surely all the managers he has played for with Man u and england can not have been wrong about him? It would be nice to here support in all areas of Everton instead of the negativity every day on every subject. Lets judge at the end of the season not 6 games in! Its time a lot of people grow up and took a step back or support Tranmere and have a reason to moan. We all want the best lets support and helped make Everton the best that it can be!
Huw Edwards
13   Posted 23/09/2007 at 12:59:30

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The reason this season is likely to be far more of a test for Moyes is exactly because, for the first time, he has had a decent sum of money to spend on a team, so expectations are higher. My heart sank on Thursday seeing the two teams come out on the pitch: Kharkiv looked physically bigger and stronger than Everton, and 4-3-3 hoofball doesn’t suit the smaller side. Someone didn’t do their homework.
john furlong
14   Posted 23/09/2007 at 13:11:01

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"I have stated on previous occasions, that there HAS to be strong, skilful, ball-playing central midfielders in most of the teams that play in the Dutch, French, German,Spanish and Italian domestic leagues. If that is so, why could we not pick one or two up for reasonable prices in the last transfer window? "

Name them, if it was so easy we’d all have two or three. We drew with a good team, not some 3rd division outfit. People like you seem to thnk as they are from the Ukraine we should steamroll them.

The team is infinitely better than pre Moyes. You are just one of toffeewebs infinite number of negative posters. If its so bad go and watch Man City.
Steve Hogan
15   Posted 23/09/2007 at 13:15:10

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When you write an article like the one I wrote on Saturday, you expect a whole bunch of different responses, thats the nature of the beast and I fully expect not everybody agrees with my opinion.

I hope the article didn’t come across as ’Anti-Moyes’ because that was not the intention, also please do not place me in the same category as a certain Tony Marsh whose bitterness towards the manager I find hard to stomach.

However, in my defence, I was merely raising the question that after five years (forget about the money aspect) we should be seeing some evidence that the teams playing style is improving?

The embarrassment of Thursday night is still fresh in my mind and this is what prompted me to raise the questions I did.

I merely want to see a successful Everton side and within the article I acknowledged the fact that as a club we have progressed and have the nucleus of a very good side, but I’m still not convinced the manager acknowledges that football has changed and successful teams at home or abroad retain possesion of the ball.
John Andrews
16   Posted 23/09/2007 at 13:40:58

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Steve, I also had the misfortune to watch City last night and I could not agree with you more.
Paul, On any other occasion I would wholeheartedly agree with you regarding us finishing above City but if things continue as they are I would have to say that maybe you are wrong.
I believe the injuries are a red herring. Was it not just after beating Bolton that Moyes said that he was happy with the depth of squad we now have ?
It is the team selection that is going down the gurgler and it MUST be rectified as soon as possible.
John Martin
17   Posted 23/09/2007 at 16:04:01

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i’ve always supported Moyes and still do but my patience is wearing thin. All summer like most people i felt we needed pace, power and skill added to our midfield. None arrived which is why we are struggling to create chances, Physically we must be one of the weakest teams around which is why we struggle to defend corners and free kicks. We have no pace which is why the strikers when they are not chasing lost causes into corner flags are isolated. Apart from Arteta we have no creativity again which is a major cause to the fact that are strikers are not scoring. Moyes had all summer to correct these faults and as with 2 years ago he failed to do so. Baines will be a great signing Jagielka also will be good but there were other priorites that needed sorting and he hasnt, the standard of play is awful good results last season papered over this fact but so far this season indifferent form has highlighted just how poor a footballing side we are. Its clear our limited players are suited to 4-5-1 but to progress we need 4 4 2 and the players cant cope with it. Carsley is too slow, Neville isnt good enough in centre midfield while Osman & Pinaar are too lightweight. We can still make this a good season almost every fan wants Neville at Rightback hopefully Moyes will also see this and the return of Vaughan, Cahill, Arteta & Gravesen might see more football played otherwise its going to be a long hard season. De ja vu i think its called
Richard Goulborn
18   Posted 23/09/2007 at 16:14:45

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Yes Steve, Got to agree with everything you say. I’ve been an Evertonian since the sixties and feasted on the likes of the Golden Vision "Alex Young" Harvey and Kendall et al.
I acknowledge Moyes has stabilised a relegation prone Everton, but he is not a great tactician and most importantly doesn’t bring out the best in his players. What happened to Beatie last season might be repeated with Andy Johnson this campaign, if Moyes continues to play without any width or guile and possesion play.
I’m afraid with this style of play we’ll be lucky to stay in the right half of the table.
I only hope I’m wrong
John Carew
19   Posted 23/09/2007 at 17:20:23

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2 - 0
Ian Jones
20   Posted 23/09/2007 at 18:00:53

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I think Moyes has done a good job at Everton and we have now turned the corner but I agree with what was said about Johnson that he could be another Beattie!
Moyes must understand that the strikers need the right supply to get the goals!
stan sheppard
21   Posted 23/09/2007 at 18:34:18

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If Johnson does turn out to be ’another Beattie’ I don’t think it will be his fault.

He showed at Palace how effective he can be when a team plays to his strengths. We bought him and have gradually turned him from a pacy goalscorer to a shot shy chaser of lost causes. I feel sorry for the guy
Nick Wall
22   Posted 23/09/2007 at 18:29:51

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Moyes rightly defended Johnson again today, saying how much he contributes to the team ... but is it reading too much into this to see an implied criticism of Yakubu ? Was the Yak’s attitude the reason that kept him out of the starting line up today ?

This is a low point for Moyes and Everton. Three very disappointing results - and performances - in a week. Problems all over the pitch. Question marks over our ’star’ strikers. Injuries to midfielders. Defenders unable to keep a clean sheet.

Three or four weeks ago we were all saying Moyes has built up the best team we’ve had in years. Steve is disappointed that the team aren’t delivering good football - I’d say the first priority is to get results, though perhaps the two things go hand in hand. I think we can both agree that an early European exit and mid table mediocrity to the end of the season won’t be acceptable. It’s up to Moyes to turn things around.
Steve Syder
23   Posted 23/09/2007 at 18:46:57

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Sven’s spending might have seemed like a quick, manic spree, but I suspect he walked throught hte doors at City with his shopping list in hand after a year out.

I used to be a big Moyes defender but no longer.

Yes, he is our most successful manager in recent itmes, and he has indeed stopped the relegation rot, but that’s because he is, IMHO, a good mid-table manager. He has achieved as much as he can with us.

I failed to see any discernable tactics on Thursday, and he has no idea how to turn a game that is going badly - his swaps tend to be "lime for like" - e.g. Victor for Yak, Yak for Victor, McFadden (god help us!) for AJ so tactics don’t change - it’s just a case of different personell sent on to try their hand with the same tactics - whatever they are.

We’ll have to settle for mid-table mediocrity as long as Moyes is in charge, which I accept is better than we’ve been used to but that doesn’t make it good enough.
stan sheppard
24   Posted 23/09/2007 at 19:16:06

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I too have defended DM many times because of the job he has done. He took on a very tough task and went about setting a lot of things right and no one can deny that.

However, I watched on Thursday and although I was disappointed that we were missing a few players I was excited if a bit daunted to see us set up 4-3-3. What I experienced over the following 90+ minutes was unreal. Players boming foward leaving huge gaps, more hoof ball, Vic doing more in 20 mins than Yak did in over an hour and much more.

After it was all over the worst thing was the feeling that the team, including Moysey, had worked so hard to get into Europe, only to possibly blow it before the campaign really got started. Gut wrenching is probably an understatement.
Harry Keogh
25   Posted 23/09/2007 at 19:45:50

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Steve Syder

Yes, he is our most successful manager in recent itmes,

Successful at what???????

This is the most dire footballing team I have ever watched and all the Moyes lovers need to vist Specsavers FFS.
robbie blue
26   Posted 23/09/2007 at 21:38:28

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harry you obviously have shares in specsavers if you think this team has a patch on some of the crap (bolton derby blackburn) that is served up as premiership football

grow a brain and take your negativity to some other club you clown
chris williams
27   Posted 23/09/2007 at 21:41:20

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ok if moyes goes who comes in plus where do we find the creative midfield players on our budget ?So we find a russian to bank role us and finish up like the chelsea sopports on 5 live tonight who would rather be a peoples club like us !!!!
28   Posted 23/09/2007 at 22:24:34

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Where the hell were Everton when Martin Petrov went to City?? This guy looks just like he could have been our answer to the left side..Direct, pacy and strong with good technique but we have been left floundering again sadly.
Harry Keogh
29   Posted 23/09/2007 at 21:50:10

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robbie blue

Did I mention oter teams??If you seen that then you obvlously need the specs hahahah.

grow a brain and take your negativity to some other club you clown.

So your over the moon at what we watch then?.
Instead of having a go at someone who watches them week in week out for having an opinion lets hear how wonderful it is for you watching that dross we play.
Barry Goffett
30   Posted 23/09/2007 at 23:20:47

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Moyes has brought us up from the bottom half of the table to within the top 10.

Be paitent, our team is gradually getting stronger and better with each passing transfer window.

I however, do agree about Neville
Steve Murdoch
31   Posted 24/09/2007 at 15:39:41

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I have to say I think if we continue to play football at the level we are now, we will struggle this season. There are news threads toaday about another striker!! Would anybody agree that a striker needs sevice to score goals, and that every striker we seem to buy ends up on a goal drought (beattie, yak, AJ)?
I think we have ample cover and talent up front, but without quality service from creative players, they simply will not score enough!!As for hibbert..he needs to be dropped with neville taking the right back spot. Two skillfull wide men to be bought in january and with Arteta, Cahill and Gravesen in there we should be ok
Michael Brien
32   Posted 25/09/2007 at 17:25:59

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Remember back in 1984-85 our first 2 games ? A 4-1 home defeat to Spurs and a 2-0 loss away at West Brom. You know the rest I am sure - and I am not trying to be Mr Superoptimist here just merely pointing out we’ve had 3 bad results in our last 3 games.It does not mean that the season is over and we face a certain relegation battle.
Lets put things into perspective - we lost 1-0 to Man Utd a game that most observers reckon we deserved a draw, AJ was unlucky not to score when Scholes who was lucky to be still on the pitch cleared off the line.
The 1-1 draw with Metalist was far from a good performance but what constitutes encroachment into the penalty area ? Surely there was encroachment in the second penalty - but the ref didn’t order a retake there.
The 2-0 defeat to Villa was a bad result- but was largely down to 2 errors by our defence. Lets not Chelsea also lost at Villa Park 2-0 so Aston Villa are not exactly a bunch of no marks.
Had we won all 3 games would we have any trophies ? No of course not. Basically it’s early days - all is not yet lost. It’s a good job we’ve not had the start that Spurs have had !! Let’s have some faith in the manager and the team.
33   Posted 26/09/2007 at 15:08:03

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It’s not few games, it’s few years. Am I suppposed to be happy that we’re in the UEFA Cup? That’s the minimum that we would expect from any manager, not only Moyes. We should beat the teams from the Big Four (ManUtd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal) and with Moyes and the players he’s got we are not going to achieve that. (sorry for my poor english)

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