I was reading what was a very well constructed and beautifully honest post from Tony Marsh and was amazed by some of the responses it elicited. Questioning anyone?s Evertonian credentials in a response to any post, no matter how strongly you disagree with the content should be outlawed. Surely we all have one thing in common, proven by the fact that we are all prepared to sit, read and reply to the posts on this board?
The definition of a supporter of a club is surely one who, well, supports? That can mean attending the game as a season ticket holder, subscribing to Everton TV, buying replica kits or going to one game a season. If you measure a 'true? supporter by the number of games attended, then surely the same measure applies to where you sit in the ground? Therefore lounge members are 'truer' supporters than Park Enders because they spend more!? That's clearly bollocks so I think my first definition applies. Anyone who ?supports? the club in whatever sense is entitled to an opinion.
Love it or hate it, Tony Marsh has every right to his say. Sure, he sometimes shoots from the hip, sure he sometimes goes overboard and yes, he?s definitely in the glass half empty club and to be perfectly honest, if I were opening the Ellesmere Port Branch of Positive Thinkers R Us? then his membership application would be swiftly returned and marked ?gone away?. But, and here?s the point, cut the vitriol and unadulterated hatred out of what he writes and I think the man has a point. In fact, his ?point? is often similar to mine, though I am more considered in my opinions and am definitely slower to respond.
Some three seasons ago, I binned the season ticket I had held for 10 years. Why? Because to be perfectly blunt, the football being played was absolutely fucking awful and I was bored shitless sat in the Park End wishing I was somewhere else. In fact I often joked that the club should do a ?Virgin Atlantic? and put games consoles into the backrests of seats to entertain the punters. (Now there?s a concept worthy of consideration?!) A crowd of mates that was originally ten in number sitting together became one at the start of this season and to a man, the nine defectors would all cite the same reason for staying away ? they weren?t being entertained!
Those over at the Darkside endured a ?torrid? (?!) time in the league under the guidance of Messrs Souness and Evans and bought in Houllier to replace them. You may recall (as I do, with a lump in my trousers!) their treble winning season of 2000-01. That would have secured a job for life at most clubs, but no, 3 years later he was sent packing after ?taking the club as far as he could?. Their next manager comes in and wins the Champions League in 2005 and gets to the final of the same competition in 2007.
IMHO, we are now firmly re-established as a Premier League side after far too many years at the wrong end of the table and without a shade of doubt, credit for that goes to David Moyes. The squad is far stronger and, in a Layman?s eyes, we appear to be far more financially stable than at any other time in our recent history. (Ill-conceived ground move notwithstanding, but that?s another discussion altogether!) That said, the side we see playing now belongs to David Moyes.
Five years have passed since he was brought in (you may recall that snookers were required to keep us up in that first season, so again, all credit where it?s due!) and the players at the club are there at the wishes of David Moyes. So let?s get this straight: this is his fucking team, don?t give me the ?injury list? shite. He CHOSE to leave the chase for Manny so late, he CHOSE to bring back Gravesen and, despite his assertions to the contrary in the close season, he CHOSE not to beef up the squad with, and I quote, ?numbers?. So what we are seeing is David Moyes? side, playing David Moyes? style of football.
It is my opinion that our manager has now had time enough to stamp his name on the team and that what we are getting now is as good (or bad ? depends on whether you would get in my Positive Thinkers R Us Club!) as it is going to get. The standard of football in the Premier League (Arsenal and occasionally Man United aside) is pretty poor. This is simply because the economic reality since Sky invented football dictates that league placings are paramount. The term ?entertainment? now applies to the hoards choosing their games on TV ? myself unashamedly included, and not to the ?mugs? sat on the terraces.
So, and here?s the point, what do you want? Are you happy to play shit football and finish in 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th place every year, maybe have the odd European jaunt and go on the occasional cup run? (Chance would be a fine thing!) Or do you think we should do what the Darkside did when they thanked their Frenchman for his services rendered and told him that it was time to make the next step? Personally, I value being entertained when I do go to a game and not wishing I was somewhere else. Clearly, and this is demonstrated by a very high proportion of the posts on this board, that opinion is not shared by all.
To those of you that may ask who would replace David Moyes, I have the fortune of not having to make that decision and we have a very competent Board (cough & splutter!) to do that for us. There are very many managers that would give their eye teeth to manage in the Premier League that try to play football the way it should be, but appointing them will always contain an element of risk. Yes, I?ll concede that for every Wenger there are 10 Allardyces, but does that mean we should accept mediocrity? I don?t think it does.
My words may not be the same as that of our friend Mr Marsh, but I am now pretty convinced that the sentiment is the same, ?David Moyes, thank you very much for your undoubted hard work, diligence and commitment and more so for the shape in which the club now stands, but we?ve got to move on.?
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1 Posted 09/10/2007 at 21:38:04
At the time, the thought of losing him terrified the life out of me. After all, he?d steered us back into Europe and secured a 6th-place finish despite having no real attack to speak of beyond two promising teenagers (although I, of course, concede that that was a situation largely of his own making.)
Now, I?m really torn over the whole issue. In my heart of hearts, I think that Moyes has taken us as far as he can ? even with money to play with I?m not convinced he can handle the more temperamental or creative players who will make the difference to our side ? but I?m equally nervous of the risks involved in removing him and replacing him with someone else.
Like many, I believe that we?ll have a much better sense of where we?re going at the end of the season... or February, at least. But then I thought that last season as well!
2 Posted 09/10/2007 at 21:44:48
3 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:01:56
Whatever happens though, I am and always will be an Evertonian, I am proud to be Blue, of our history and mostly because we are not glory hunters, we are generally football savvy, opinionated individuals who express pleasure and satisfaction in equal measure to scorn and derision when it comes to our team. Although even my belief in the sanctity of being a blue has been tested recently....mainly by some of the in-fighting and vitriolic posts regarding the stadium debate.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - Solo Con Tutti, Forza Everton- Come on you Blues
4 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:06:14
It is what Tony, myself and others have been trying to say.
Whether Moyes supporters want to hear it or not, we are a stagnant team.
We are predictable in the way we play and his signings back that up.
He loves utilliity players and when he signs a player for a specialist position, they are not allowed to play to their strengths.
Although i gave up my season ticket, i will always attend the games.
It’s just that i now have an option and to be honest i feel more comfortable with that option.
5 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:03:46
This is the big point that I think is symbolic of the ambition of a club. If we did get rid of Moyes, then we should get someone COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. For me this would almost necessarily have to be a foreigner. There are a couple of home managers I wouldn’t mind, Mark Hughes for example, but the point is that we shouldn’t swap Moyes for say, Curbishley. This is exactly the same reason that I wasn’t particularly excited about seeing Yakubu play. As a signing it stinks of banality. I would have been far more excited if we’d have signed a relatively lesser known Bulgarian or whatever for 12mil (i.e. Spurs).
But then this is the problem. Imagine if we got a foreign manager with all the promises of exciting football and a new club ethos, and he signs an unknown African for 15 million and the player, manager and entire enterprise doesn’t work at all and we almost get relegated. There is always the rather large possibility in football that anyone you employ will be absolute shite, for whatever reason. Hence most of the time Chairmen like Bill, and countless others around the country, prefer not to take risks and opt instead for the safety of mediocrity.
6 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:07:56
I have in fairness asked Tony Marsh a dozen times...what would your tactics be? What are your COACHING credentials...I didnt ask him about his Supporting credentials...I have asked supporters for names of people or players they would like to see here that are in the realm of possibility and not just some fantasy played out on a computer game...but not one of you has said anything of the sort.
Who would you replace Moyes with? Again, the person who comes in will get his players in here, and that in turn will take a couple of seasons. Are you willing to go backwards to go forward, and how much more forward can you get? KNowing we don’t have the money other teams have, what do you do? Our marketing is dreadful, our rate of return from our merchandising is laughable, but still we are very competitive.
The question then for all of you is what realistically can you ask for? And what can be accomplished? Is Europe in the enxt round of the Uefa Cup not worth it? Is finishing in the top half not worth it? If the money we make from the TV rights goes into player wages and ever increasing transfer fees, are we just keeping pace with the Yak at 11 million? Is today’s 11 just yesterday’s 3-4? I mean is Darren Bent worth more than the Kid was worth a couple of years ago?
The game has changed. Break out your DVD’s tonight and look at the 1995 Cup dvd. Look at the pace of the match and compare it to today. Night and day. the defenders are bigger today, the forwards faster, the game is totally different in 10 years, and if you go back 20 years, forget about it. there is no comparison to the game of yesterday and the game of today. Maradona would not be able to play this schedule of games! Look at how the top players break down with all the fixtures compressed and falling into one another. How many matches did Spurs play last year with all their Cup runs? Look at Henry the last couple of years. A young footballer, but still not as strong as he once was. Look at John Terry. He has been playing football non-stop for alost two years now. Does anyone here think he’s progressed as a player? Look at the Kid, constantly hurt, do you think he has reached his potential with Sir Alex? Honestly?
Youth is wasted on the young. And when you were younger your memories of events are clouded by emotions. As you get older, the emotions are swept away, and you are left with the reality of the situation. You want it to be 1985 again, Tony. Well, it can’t be.
7 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:34:22
With all respect mate. All your questions does not change the fact that we are playing shite football and have done for the best part of a season, taking into account the back end of last saeson.
Your’e right. Football is changing, Moyes though is not.
8 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:15:31
If as Brian says , I am a usual suspect. Then so be it. I consider myself a loyal Evertonian and will stand side by side with Moyes haters or lovers. I just happen toi like him.
9 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:39:37
10 Posted 09/10/2007 at 23:00:01
Despite your cynicism, Al, there is no favouritism here. Any Fan Article submitted that gets published as such shows up under the "Recent Fan and Column Articles" heading in the right-hand column in reverse chronological order (newest first, it's all database-driven). Same goes for the Mailbag underneath that.
The only "premium position" is the "Features & Articles" area and that goes to the pick of the submissions we receive ? well argued and well written pieces, like this one by Dave which probably merits a place in that section and may get promoted there within the next few hours.
If what you perceive to be the negative minority are the ones getting heard the most it?s because they?re the ones shouting the loudest and most often. It was the same during the Kirkby vote; it was the "no" voters who felt there was too much to lose by not speaking up that were the most vocal and they ended up in the minority based on the ballot.
My advice? If you don?t like the imbalance, rectify it by penning an article and submitting it to us. We can only post what we receive...
11 Posted 09/10/2007 at 22:41:49
I agree entirely that Moyes is (or rather has ?become? ? remember the mad formations he played in the last few games of his first season? And they worked ? we stayed up!!! I guess he thought he had nowt to lose) a safe manager, hence the reason for him signing players that can play all over the pitch.
Therein lies the problem, and this backs up what I said in my original post, league placings are everything and performance standards are a very poor second best. The fact remains though that in every walk of life, pretty much every successful person has taken some form of risk, success doesn?t go round chasing, it needs to be chased and I just don?t see Moyes as ever being prepared to take any level of risk. (Yakubu aside ? fuck me, I hope he improves!)
And to Al Dugan ?
Sorry you read my post as being negative, I considered it to be balanced and after all it was representative of my opinion, so we?ll have to agree to disagree.
Like I said Al, I don?t have to choose the manager, but agree with one of the responses that any new manager should be foreign. I don?t think the success of foreign managers over the last few years is coincidental (Although they have had all the cash), the foreign impact on the game over the past 15 years has been immense and the old ?English? style of football won?t cut it anymore. All that said I don?t think Moyes is going anywhere anytime soon.
With regards to my coaching credentials ? I happily admit I have none apart from a love of the game, a lifetime of supporting the blues and knowing whether what I?ve paid to see can be classed as entertainment. (By the way, I never played at any particularly high level either!)
Personally, I don?t subscribe to the theory that you need to hold a UEFA Pro License to have a view on a football match, surely not holding one would mean keeping your gob shut through the whole 90 minutes! If you hold some coaching qualifications then fair play to you, but unfortunately that doesn?t mean your opinion is any more valid than mine or the other 35.000 people that support our club!
As a final point, you question as to why the Editors of the site ?how is it that the posters who get the premium positions?. I would hazard a guess and say they post what they receive and that they do not get too many glowing contributions. (There is another site with kipper in the title if you want to read unstinting positivity)
How about accepting this challenge? You post the antithesis of what Tony Marsh writes as a main article and I will promise to write a balanced and honest response to each point that you make.
12 Posted 09/10/2007 at 23:51:48
13 Posted 09/10/2007 at 23:36:36
14 Posted 10/10/2007 at 00:16:58
The Peter Principle and David Moyes ?
Your balanced discussion points really can only be condemned by the blinkered and foolish !
THE TRUTH WILL OUT ..............The Emperor’s clothes as the old story and song had it !
15 Posted 10/10/2007 at 01:41:32
16 Posted 10/10/2007 at 08:10:04
Where do you reckon he would sit if there was a Premier League fans award for the Manager offering the greatest level of entertainment?
Answers on a postcard...
17 Posted 10/10/2007 at 11:02:01
18 Posted 10/10/2007 at 10:42:00
Leave DM alone , let’s see how the season pans out when the walking wounded return (why not identify this as a real problem ?) and not to forget , the january transfer window is coming up , lets see who he signs then
19 Posted 10/10/2007 at 11:25:36
20 Posted 10/10/2007 at 12:44:51
When he complains about moyes playing long ball tactics and questions how we will make the next step with these tactics that he forgets Liverpool won the chmps league , cheslea have won the 2 titles and Arsenal under George Graham won plenty using the Long ball tactic .
It just makes his arguement ...well.. void !!!
21 Posted 10/10/2007 at 13:11:19
As one of the ’mugs’ in the stand you talked about, it winds me up to see a supposed team of donkeys like Blackburn pass us off the park.I also agree that the next manager should reall be a foreign one if we are to go to the next level. I keep watching Ruud Gullit on Sky and dreaming of ’sexy football’.
Anyway, Mr Randles, I would have expected a more Marsh - like grumpy posting from you now you’re in your forties!!!
I’m still in the Upper Bullens and will look forward to seeing you there should you get to any of the games this year, or unless we are both at any wedding/divorce parties over there!
22 Posted 10/10/2007 at 13:35:11
For me, the only way to improve the team is to pass on the ground. Thus inturn taking us forward and entertained. The hoof ball tactics have reached their limit.
Hopefully, if I am right, Moyes will agree, if I’m wrong, he’ll know that also... IMWT (just!)
23 Posted 10/10/2007 at 13:48:50
24 Posted 10/10/2007 at 14:49:52
Firstly the reason Tony attracts so much criticism is not because of the opinions he holds but because of the abuse and vitriol he directs at any one who dares to disagree with him.
To the content of your article Dave, I really can?t accept that this is ?Moyes? team?. To me we can only apply this label when Moyes has been able to address all areas of the team. Are you seriously saying that Moyes would, if he was being honest, say that our midfield is good enough to compete with the very best in the premiership. Everton have gone through a series of transitions since Moyes arrived ? relegation battlers, mid-table obscurity and top tier contenders. This has been reflected in the players that he has brought in and discarded (Bent, Kilbane, Naysmith etc.) as Moyes struggles to find that elusive blend that will make us regular top table contenders.
Will he do it? I don?t know and I share many of the reservations expressed by his critics on this site. Nevertheless I feel he has earned the right to some more time and playing staff to prove either the Moyes ?bashers? or ?apoligists? right or wrong.
25 Posted 10/10/2007 at 16:45:43
Overall, I don’t think anyone can disagree that he has done a very good job and think my post goes to some lengths to point that out. One thing is really troubling me though Brendan, how on earth can you not say this is Moyes’ side? To the best of my knowledge we have never had any players on deals that extended beyond 5 years, so does that not mean they are all his players, i.e. the ones he chose?? Sure, he would want Henry and Messi if he could get them, but wouldn?t every single manager (and I mean that without exception!) in the world? I?m afraid that?s a very weak argument.
This is David Moyes? side and they play the way David Moyes tells them to.
26 Posted 10/10/2007 at 20:09:00
I don’t disagree that this is Moyes’ team but it comprises some individuals that he bought as "stop-gaps" to transform us from annual relegation battlers to a team with top tier ambitions. Lee Carsley is a perfect example. Our midfield is particularly weak and is the one area where Moyes has not spent significant money.
When he does, we’ll see what happens & then draw our own conclusions.
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