First of all, let me comment on the quality of the opposition: that was an ordinary Liverpool side who turned up at Goodison, they have as much chance of landing the Premiership crown as Gary Glitter has of becoming a benefactor of Barnardos.
So why did we struggle so much when we were reduced to 10 men? The answer is simple: possesion is the name of the game, keep the ball for any length of time and the opposition can't hurt you. I'm sorry to say that much as I admire most of the work done by Moyes over nearly six years, the simple fundmentals of the game are not in place, and boy does it show.
I presume at the end of last season he must have sat down with his coaching staff and highlited which areas of the team needed the most attention. Why then, was most of his efforts directed towards defensive utility men unable to pass, without any vision, or the ability to pick a player out, and to a large degree unable to tackle! The old adage of managers being too close to players and unable to recognise their shortcomings when everyone around them can see the problems can also be directed at Moyes.
Hibbert versus Gerrard for the first penalty: only one winner there then, and all the full-back had to do was wait for Gerrard to try and guide the ball past Howard who had come out and was anticipating the shot, but no you see unintelligent players ALWAYS make the wrong choice, it was evident against Manchester United twice in recent seasons that Hibbert clearly isn't up to the job, and yet when fit, he is always Moyes first choice. Why? When a player has stinker after stinker, why on earth pick him, the Premiership will soon find you out if your not up to the job.
From the first minute of the game on Saturday, long ball after long ball was hoofed up for either Anichibe or Yakuba to flick on, in the vain hope of one of the front two being able to get a lucky break, and get a clear shot at goal. This is 'percentage' football reminiscence of the seventies, excuse me but hasn't football moved on since then? Believe me, whatever combination the manager tries up front for the remainder of the season, it will only flourish sporadically because forwards need chances to convert and if the chances arn't being created they will struggle.
The return of Cahill and possibly Gravesen will only mask the underlying problem, and that is progressive teams are able to keep the ball and take some of the pressure off the defence when under the cosh. One of the reasons Liverpool were under no undue pressure at Anfield a couple of seasons ago, once Gerrard had been dismissed in the Derby, was because they were able to retain possesion, god forbid we have to take lessons from them!
So, were do we go from here? Sure we will win a number of games playing the 'high pressure' up-and-at-them style of combat, but it is never sustainable. And with the likes of Arteta, we will see always have a glimpse of how the game could be played, but sadly the current style is almost medieval and as everyone knows, is not pretty to watch.
And finally a word for the referee, he basically made two fundamental errors which possibly cost us the draw, the Kuyt sending off, and the Lescott penalty at the end. Sure Liverpool 'stole' the points but even the most ardent red won't be fooled by that limp performance, Benitez has spent big, and simply made them hard to beat. Look along the M62 for a free scoring and attractive 'real' title contender with quality all over the field.
So, despite Mr Moyes protests about the referee 'sleeping with the enemy' on a pre-season tour, the real problems lie much closer to home.
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1 Posted 23/10/2007 at 21:36:12
Gravesen and Cahill won’t mean we see particularly attractive football but both can score goals and Gravesen can certainly create to take some pressure from Arteta. I’d like to see Pienaar start more games also as I’ve been fairly impressed with the games he’s featured in. Whilst I’d rather not see it, I don’t have as much of a problem with ugly football as long as it’s effective, but we can all see it’s ridiculous to pump long balls up to strikers who haven’t got a chance of getting on the end of them.
2 Posted 23/10/2007 at 21:52:42
Claims which have been repeated by the BBC, ITV, Sky Sports, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Times, The Guardian.... etc etc etc
I hate the football Everton play at times... and the buck stops with Moyes but Brazil 1970 wouldn’t have beat them footballing anti-christs across the park with Clat the Clot’s biased decision making
Stop trying to rewrite history to suit your prejudice Steve
3 Posted 23/10/2007 at 21:48:18
You’ll no doubt soon get shot down with, "you expect us to play like Brazil" or "apply for the manager position if you think you can do better" or "get behind the team!" or "look where we were under Walter Smith" or "we played well, what are you talking about?" or the classic "results matter" - well he ain’t fucking getting any of those anymore either. It is saddening that many supporters are prepared to hide behind the ugly truth by making these kinds of inane comments
I’m gobsmacked that the usual suspects go on making excuses as our season goes further and further down the pan. I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse than this but one thing I can say with any certainty is that Moyes has proven that he is out of his depth managing a club of Everton’s stature with a set of fans who in large do demand better than this dross. David Moyes would be well suited to managing a side like Derby County whose aspirations are only to stay in the division. We can’t keep saying that this is David Moyes’ defining season. Nobody is realistically expecting that we start playing like Arsenal or Brazil but passing the ball would be a good start
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - anyone remember that?
4 Posted 23/10/2007 at 22:03:43
5 Posted 23/10/2007 at 22:36:21
Oh and by the way I’m not suggesting that you have personally levelled all of the above criticisms at David Moyes.
6 Posted 23/10/2007 at 23:30:45
I’m no kneejerk Moyes acolyte but it was difficult to fathom how he could’ve won a game featuring two dubious penalty decisions, an equally risible dismissal and an appalling decision not to send off Kuyt.
7 Posted 23/10/2007 at 23:46:57
8 Posted 24/10/2007 at 00:16:55
Tony Hibbert is playing a division above his ability. Phil Neville can’t pass the ball either. A midfield of Arteta, Graveson, Piennar and Cahill would actually be creative. Will we play them when they are all available? Probably not, Moyes would be too frightened not to have a stopper or three there. Osman is also sadly not quite up to the job, he is unable to release the ball before he is tackled. Baines is quite a talent but is not making the team.
For all of our ’safety first’ tactics we can’t keep a clean sheet and continue to punt the ball forwards. We knew Yakubu would simply finish the creative work of other players, trouble is that there is none. I bet Arteta will be gone in the summer following another mediocre season.
I was really quite hopeful that the squad we have would be good to watch this season but am sadly dissapointed with the team Moyes picks. If you supported Arsenal you could forgive them not winning a trophy because of the way they go about playing.
It would be best if Moyes and Hibbert joined Beattie one division down. That is their level and Evertonians expect better.
9 Posted 24/10/2007 at 00:31:01
10 Posted 23/10/2007 at 22:54:00
I call this a Hairy Goat (HG) philosophy of which Moyes is a deciple.
HG dictates that the passing game is to be played in the opponents half and definitely not in ours. Strikers must be willing and able to run about like HGs goal scoring is second in their list of priorities and ball control a distant third.
Though a bit on the short side, AJ is a fit the HG mould and is a typical Moyes type of striker.
Biffa clearly did not ?Biff? hard enough to satisfy the fans or his manager while Yakubu is discovering that what earned him scores of goals in the past does not automatically make him a member of the HG club.
Anichebe shows excellent ’HG’ promise while McFadden, our most clinical and talented striker has long known he is a complete failure in that department and probably is biding his time until a more enlightened manager comes in for him. We will live to regret our treatment of Mcfadden and Beattie.
The referees Derby disgrace went some way to hide what was an abject performance from our team. Soon after the start it was obvious to anyone with the slightest knowledge of football that the Anichebe/Yakubu partnership was not working and in urgent need of a change. Sadly that change came far too late to make a difference.
A problem for Moyes is that when he casts about for inspiration he turns to his mirror image in Irvine.
When decisions are needed, both seem hypnotised and paralysed of action, a bit like Roos caught in a trucks headlights.
Dare I say that Benitez was an example of a clarity of thought and speed of action that put our two to shame.
11 Posted 24/10/2007 at 01:23:28
12 Posted 24/10/2007 at 04:04:40
13 Posted 24/10/2007 at 05:55:24
14 Posted 24/10/2007 at 06:57:02
There is also the matter of the board. They too are happy with Premiership survival as it keeps the TV money rolling in. I suspect it will take an earthquake to unseat Moyes and Irvine and we don’t get too many of those in the UK !
15 Posted 24/10/2007 at 10:10:06
I have stood by moyes since day one and although his tactics on occasion have been questionable i will say he is the right man to take us forward but by the same token he has to do something very soon. Some of the purchases recently have turned out to be unfortunate acquisitions while others have turned out better than expected and fit nicely in to the side as a whole.
When the times comes of dave to vacate goodison one way or another i really dont know who could replace him. To state the obvious the managers that are free agents now and are avaliable, will more than not back be back in work when the hot seat at goodison needs to be filled. Lets keep faith with moyes- at least for now.
16 Posted 24/10/2007 at 10:55:00
Why play Jags who is obviously lost.
BTW/ Is Yakubu being fattened up for Christmas???
17 Posted 24/10/2007 at 10:48:22
While you are working that out perhaps you could cast your mind back to an earlier Derby when they had Gerrard sent off yet still managed to outshoot and outscore us.
As for Benitez, his substitution of Gerrard can only be described as inspired, the replacement immediately delivered some marvellous wide balls therebye doing what our midfield were incapable of doing in the entire game and it was his shot that brought about Neville?s flying save/penalty.
By the way, that shot also eclipsed the efforts of Anichebe and Yakubu.
It was Benitez decision to play the ball wide that stretched and tore holes in our depleted defence.
If you did cast your mind back to the afore mentioned earlier Derby you might recall that when we had the extra man advantage we futilely battered long balls straight down the middle.
We have the players to achieve great things but only when our supporters and manager stop using referee decisions as an excuse for bad football and bad tactics.
By the way, I have been an Evertonian since 1953/54 and it does not make me happy to say anything good about the other lot.
18 Posted 24/10/2007 at 12:36:59
Benitez decision during the derby won the match - bringing on Pennant and Babel killed us for pace, widened the game and found space which they utilised.
19 Posted 24/10/2007 at 12:40:16
Credit where it’s due in the past to Benitez, they may have got lucky at times in their Champions League winning campaign but obviously beat some good teams along the way. Fair play. However he got very, very lucky on Saturday and you’d think he’d act like he knew it in the media afterwards, as opposed to accusing Lescott of diving.
20 Posted 24/10/2007 at 12:50:23
21 Posted 24/10/2007 at 13:31:47
Graveson is good enough , James Vaughan definently is good enough.
If Moyes picked this team we would beat Liverpool regardless of the referee :
Neville , Yobo , Lescott , Baines (no-one better)
Arteta , Jagielka , Graveson , Piennar
Vaughan , Anichebe or Johnson
But Moyes won’t pick that team now because he has spent 11.25million on a striker who is even worse than Beattie.
22 Posted 24/10/2007 at 13:46:26
In last Sunday’s Observer the Evertonian reviewing the game said that he was "ecstatic" at the way we played. Well, i suppose if you like to see the team give the ball away at every opportunity and youir forwards playing as wingers, then the ecstacy was justified.
The start to our season has been very dissapointing. Weve lost half of the league games that we’ve played, the away form is showing no signs of improvement (we ve beaten Spurs and Bolton - but who hasn’t?) and we’ve lost two games against Liverpool and Man Utd who brought the least impressive teams that they’ve brought to Goodison for some time.
I worry that Moyes doesnt know his first choice line up even amogst those who are fit (the ever changing defence is proof of that), that Hibbert keeps reappearing in the team and that in Moyes view, Neville appears to simply have to play - anywhere!
Its all about moving on and making progress, and at the momnet I’m not sure I can see any.
23 Posted 24/10/2007 at 13:55:50
24 Posted 24/10/2007 at 14:04:30
25 Posted 24/10/2007 at 13:51:27
But to lay the blame for our defeat solely on an inept referee is simply hiding from the truth.
Poor team selection, poor tactics, and the fact that we should have been dead and buried long before the last minute of the game due to glaring misses in front of goal from Sissoko, Kuyt and Voronin means that the referees performance would’nt have even been the main talking point!
Or have you forgotten that aspect of the game?
26 Posted 24/10/2007 at 14:48:12
27 Posted 24/10/2007 at 15:21:07
I have got to admit and am at a split decision. With Moyes now having a fully fit squad I am expecting the football and results to improve and if not he has to go simple as. But to say we are accepting it anymore than you and Steve is just ridiculous. What are we supposed to do? It is obvious Kenwright loves Moyes so at this moment in time he will not be sacked and If he is I would be surprised. Yes we could boo and protest but come to think of it considering there are so many unhappy fans I never seem to see anyone protesting against Moyes so they must be accepting it as must you.
We all see it mate so stop trying to make out that your opinions are different to everyone elses.
28 Posted 24/10/2007 at 16:46:16
Has anyone seen whats going on with Bolton at the minute?
29 Posted 24/10/2007 at 16:22:53
A major problem, however, is that our small squad cannot maintain those type of performances for a campaign of 50ish matches: it simply saps too much of their strength.
Plus whilst it might work against the cannon fodder, try it against a footballing side and more and more it’s a strategy falling flat on its arse.
David knows this. And in trying to bring Fernandes to the club you feel he is making a real effort to add the velvet glove to the steel fist.
However, the stuttering Everton careers of both AJ and Yakubu suggest David’s obsession with workrate (and I for one sincerely hope we didn’t spend almost £20m to watch our forwards throwing in tackles on the halfway line) is in the end actually in danger of costing the team and himself dearly.
30 Posted 24/10/2007 at 19:44:30
31 Posted 24/10/2007 at 20:14:02
32 Posted 24/10/2007 at 22:17:16
33 Posted 25/10/2007 at 07:22:17
34 Posted 25/10/2007 at 09:10:10
Yes, we are not playing well at moment but there has been glimpes of what football these players are capable of and will, when settled produce. Alot of new faces in the squadto
Yakubu - 35 goals in two seasons, in the Premiership proves he has what it takes - We need to create chances for him. Although that is the main stumling block that Moyes needs to address. There has not been alot of players at the club that have been able to deliver a good quality final ball to the strikers during his reign and that hasnt helped the likes of Beattie and Johnson in the past. If only Andy didnt like a Shandy !We still think that big Dunc is up there and the give it the old ’Ave it’ towards the opposition box
We need creativity, flair and width to provide for the strikers and rely heavily on Arteta, however I do think that there is more to come from Piennar, Baines, Cahill, Lescott, McFadden and even Jagielka (from right back)
I would like to see a midfield general brought in to run the middle of the park that demands the ball into feet, knock it about,can take on the mantle of play maker and how we play - I only see Gravesen as only a tempory measure, a good backup but who, if is not fit is no use. However, remember Moyes was trying to find this type of player in the Summer & a Peter Kay was not mentioned -
I know Moyes makes mistakes, I thought he nearly blew Europe with his tatics against Spurs at home last year - he has the tendency to be far too defensive minded especially when we are dominating games. But he got us into Europe in the end
If Moyes was to go, who would we get to replace him, maybe the likes of Gary Megson, Joe Royle, Sammy Lee, Chris Coleman, David O Shit Leary, Steve McClaren - there isnt alot of good ones about, with the qualifications, experience of the Premiership, passion for Everton football Club that Moyes has got. He is now gaining valuble experience of Continental football.
Who would we take a chance on ? who would we attract and how good would they be, even if we could, would you be happy with the likes of the Fat waiter, even the RS are calling for his head - Dream on ! Enough said. Lets give Moyes a chance to see what his fairly new team can deliver.
Come On You Blues !!!!!!!!!!!
35 Posted 29/10/2007 at 00:16:51
a) Would any other manager have made the blues a better team if they had been in charge for the last five years? Remember in his 4 full seasons he has taken us into Europe twice. Could a different manager have established us as champions league regulars over that period. I think not.
b) Who could Everton get to take over the reins now that would improve the team, that would propel us into the champions league . I cant think of anyone
WE constantly moan about the lack of flair, attractive football etc. I agree life would be a lot easier as an Evertonian if we could go into matches knowing we could tear teams apart rather than hoping we can huff and puff our way to victory.
We are one of those teams like Blackburn who are masters of the physical game. i dont suppose Hughes gets the same distain from Blackburns fans. If we could maintain our Physical prowess and play with flair and panache we would be challenging for the title. We would rival teams like Arsenal and Chelsea and Utd etc This i fear is beyond us at the moment. It is beyond the players we have at the club at present and would take a few more years of slotting players into the team in order to do that
I think what moyes is doing is putting this into place. He seems to have built a squad that has most of the physical strong players in there now. players like lescott, baines even jagielka are young players who will form the solidity of our team for years to come. I think now he is starting the process of looking at the flair players who can bring this creativity to take us onto the next level of being champions league contenders year in year out. I think this is what his next five year plan is all about
Moyes has laid the foundations by getting some great young players who can scrap and fight there way into the top half of the table and maintain it. Players that make Everton difficult to beat, that can win ugly at times. Upon this foundation he will now start to sign players who give everton that extra dimension we crave for.
Have some faith..
Moyes will deliver
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