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Waiting for the watershed

By John Doolan :  04/11/2007 :  Comments (28) :
There is no doubt that most Blues sense there is something in the air this season ? a belief that this may finally be our year to experience glory. That is why it was so depressing, if utterly predictable, that Moyes should come out and say that league placing comes before cup glory.

Why not, as Joe Royle did in very different circumstances, say that we are going to take both? His comments about how hard the Q/F cup draw away to the mighty West Ham will be (I think he even said they will be pleased with the draw) were symptomatic of a man who, after almost 6 years, seems not to be understand Blues fans at all.

A club like Everton lives and dies by the length of its honours board ? yes even the Carling Cup. If not, then we become something else ? more of a Charlton or Reading ? sides who are simply happy, like Moyes, to tick off top-ten finishes year-in and year-out until their luck runs out.

As Blues fans we live for those very rare moments when the final whistle goes and you experience the sheer joy of being there at a key moment in the club's history. No amount of 6th place or even 4th place finishes will ever replace those moments and in the end they count for nothing anyway.

All this brings me to the title of this article. When will Moyes deliver his watershed moment which signifies that there is a real chance of glory? In 85 it was the victory at Spurs; in 87 it was, for me anyway, the victory at Arsenal; and in 95 it was left as late as the semi-final against Spurs. All of the above victories have two things in common: they gave fans and players a real belief that we could go on and win the ultimate prize, and crucially they were achieved away from home.

To win a cup this season, we will simply have to deliver one of these key victories and WHU is good a place as any for Moyes to deliver. It's time he showed the same desire and hunger as the fans ? he is not a bloody accountant for gods sake ? and if he wants to be remembered as anything but a transition figure he has to win a trophy!

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 04/11/2007 at 22:09:21

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Superb contribution, John. To me, that epitomises a modern, current and highly viable application of our much-derided club motto: Nothing but the best...

Moyes has failed to live up to it, despite now having the players and the resources (far, far more than Joe Royle ever had) to out-perform even his modest achievements.

I too am still waiting for that watershed. I remain to be convinced that this will be the season for the reasons you state: Moyes shows far to much respect to opposing teams and wastes his breath praising the achievemnets of their managers... we need to be taking teams apart, not pussy-footing around bowing, nodding, and shaking hands in the gentleman’s club that is the Premier League also-rans.
Ed Fitz
2   Posted 04/11/2007 at 22:13:06

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Totally agree it is about time he realised that we need at least a visit to a final if not win something. Sadly fourth and sixth counts because it equates to money. I like Moyes (not his tactics always) but his negativity is depressing. He is blessed by the best set of attacking players since the mid to late 1980?s he needs to alter his mindset.
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 04/11/2007 at 22:37:56

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It?s simple economics really - we get more money from moving up two places from 5th to 3rd for example, than winning the FA Cup, certainly more than winning the League Cup and probably more than a good run in Europe.

Also, a manager has every single word he utters scrutinised, deconstructed and in some cases dissembled... I think some of you lot are tilting your lances at windmills again.

For example; I read yesterday on here that ?the manager had been looking to play the game out to a 1-0 win?... only someone with a predetermined anti-moyes agenda could have written that as it patently does not represent what happened. Everton pressed but were sloppy in front of goal and did not turn dominance and chances into goals... they did not sit back on their lead, they did not settle for 1-0, the instructions to do so did not come from the manager... so why pretend it did?

We?re playing better footy, winning and are still involved in every competition we?ve entered. It?s not perfect and I want better... but lets give credit where credit is due.
Kevin Mitchell
4   Posted 04/11/2007 at 22:32:06

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Spot on John.
Five years ago I was praying for a couple of seasons of mid table mediocrity just to ease the pain of sleepless nights about relegation. It’s too early and too much of a yo yo ride with Moyes to say we are now an established top ten side. Although I now sleep much better we really do need to at least be threatening to win a trophy. Remember the feeling you had travelling to elland road and wembley in 95, it just can’t be beaten.
Tommy Gibbons
5   Posted 04/11/2007 at 22:41:41

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What part of Moyes being a gentleman don?t you like or understand? And did he not berate the dark side a few weeks ago and the referee, but didn?t here a thing back from them.. Could it be he?s earned the respect of his peers and those in power? He is methodical somewhat slow on the uptake but he?s getting there.. Does he make you tear your hair out sometimes? but then have a look around the premiership and apart from possibly the arse n manure every other teams fans suffer the same if not more in most cases .. even the european champs/has beens from across the park!.. I have to say I?d have sacked the Moyes if he hadn?t got us european footbal for this season, but the fact is.. he did, therefore, unless Mourinho comes knocking, I?m prepared to stick with him, because he?s getting there mate, he really is getting there!!
billy piper
6   Posted 04/11/2007 at 23:11:03

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" Superb contribution’.

You’re easily pleased !

I thought it was the usual anti Moyes glass half empty drivel myself.
Lue Glover
7   Posted 04/11/2007 at 23:03:25

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Indeed, it is almost certainly a question of cold economics - points mean pounds and the club needs lots of them to keep it’s head above water. How naive though, to think that the club wouldnt attract more support if we had a couple of good runs in this or that cup competition.
The faintest possibility of trips to Wembley may encourage some to buy a season ticket in order to have greater priority for tickets and that means more money up front.
For me, the thought of getting to a final and not having a sporting chance of a ticket makes me break out in a cold sweat, hell, it’s not like we get there every year is it?
I came away from the match yesterday floating on air, no voice, I could barely muster a squeak all night, (’im indoors was made up!) but wow, what a way to finish a game. COYB.

Rob Paterson
8   Posted 05/11/2007 at 00:41:35

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That?s a good idea. Let?s play football the Joe Royle way. Watching Ebbrell Horne and Parkinson twat anything in sight always had ?nil satis nisi optimum? ringing in my ears. I recognise that there are grounds to criticise DM ( there are far more to praise him but that doesn?t make good copy) but FFS quoting Big Joe isn?t one of them.
Peter Pridgeon
9   Posted 05/11/2007 at 02:00:56

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There is an old saying
"Promise low and deliver high"
Moyes is using this, what if Moyes comes out and says we are going to win the league cup this year and then fails at the quarter final stage, the nay sayers will be after his blood again. The poor man is damned if does and damned if he doesn’t in some of your eyes.
I would far sooner see a long term plan than short term gain and in Moyes five and a half years here the plan seems to be in place.
Moyes said at the beginning of the season that he wants silverware. I for one do believe that he is targeting the league and possibly the FA cup this year but surely it would be imprudent to broadcast this.
Michael Kenrick
10   Posted 05/11/2007 at 03:41:51

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Kevin Sparke, re your " only someone with a predetermined anti-moyes agenda could have written that as it patently does not represent what happened." claim.

"We were not doing enough but we were not having to do too much. I just expected us to see the game out..." ? from the man himself, apparently. Apology humbly accepted.
Kevin Sparke
11   Posted 05/11/2007 at 08:04:49

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Apology be damned sir!

It depends on your reading of the verb ’expect’

EG I expect to get socks and rubbish aftershave from my mum in law this Xmas.

Expect in this context means ’it will probably happen’

England expects that every man shall do his duty

Expect in this context means ’They better had do their duty as it is required of them’

I rather think that Moyes had the first context in mind, especially as he had pre modified the sentence with the clause ’We were not doing enough’ suggesting that he wanted them to do more and from the evidence of his body language and waving his arms in a forward motion to the midfield on countless occasions - he expected them to do more...

You are using semantics and sophistry to back up a very shaky argument... and perhaps I’m doing the same - so you get half an apology... which is probably what you expected.
chris briddon
12   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:25:56

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Surely when he says ’expect to see the game out’ doesn’t mean we are playing for 1-0 it means we shouldn’t have conceded the stupid goal as we were so comfortable and not under any threat.

As for the main arguement, I would love to see us win a cup, but as people keep having a go at Moyes for yo-yo seasons, surely a consistent top 8 finish every season would be much more appreciated.

If I remember rightly, Boro got to the final the year they were relegated. Now if it came down to a Cup or a regulary top 6 finish I know which I would choose.
Mark Stone
13   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:32:32

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Didn’t Royle buy a lot of big names? I.E. Ferguson (Club Record), Kanchelskis (Club Record), Collins, Dacourt and Matterazzi. Apologies if I’m wrong - 12 years is a long time! But if I’m right I’d say resources were similar. He also had the likes of Dave Watson and Big Nev, Hinchcliffe and Unsworth at the time were around or about the England squad and Joe Parkinson could have gone on the be an Everton great if it weren’t for injury.

Also I’d rather be secure in the premier league than win a cup - and I’m sure financially it makes more sense. Didn’t we only narrowly miss relegation in 95?

Not trying to undermine Royle I think he did a great job - especially the 6th in 96 - and it was a real shame he left as had he carried on I think he would have steadied our sinking ship - as Moyes had to 10 years later
Michael McManus, Dublin
14   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:56:46

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I can’t believe what I have just read! i don’t know how may times I have heard Moyes or Irvine saying how important it is that we finally improve our cup form. Before every cup match this season the theme has been of their desire to win silverware. Just because Moyes believes the league is more important than the league cup does not mean he doesn’t believe the league cup is not important and does not mean he won’t be doing everything in his power to win it. Ask any premier league manager what is more important the league or the league cup and see what they say. Another point he is hardly going to say that West Ham away is an easy draw, hw said what you expect your manager to say guarding aganist his players getting complacent or allowing their egos to become inflated. Yes West Ham away will be a tough match just as Luton away was and Sheff Wed away was. And finally I seriously doubt he said he would take a draw as in the Carling Cuip there are no replays and extra time/penalties mean the game finishes that night. A "superb contribution" - i don’t think so.
bert trautmann
15   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:53:39

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michael kendrick vs kevin sparke

reading your mental fencing is a bit like watching the big lebawski. at the end of it you realize nothing happened and you are back where you started. i’m off for a cuppa.
Sean Allinson
16   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:54:21

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Those building their expectations this season will be disappointed. Next season is the one.

Oh, by the way, who are the last club outside the ’Big 4’ to win the F.A. Cup? Or to finnish in the top 4? Us, on both occasions. Which only goes to prove that whilst Moyes hasn’t brought silverware back to the trophy room yet, neither have the other clubs, and they’ve been waiting even longer and some spending considerably more in it’s pursuit. We need the money a high league position provides in order to compete at the top on a consistent basis. That’s actually what this club is all about. Winning the Carling Cup then going into obscurity for another ten years - that’s what I expect of Middlesboro or Blackburn. Form is temporary and class is permanent and this club should be about the pursuit of excellence
john pac
17   Posted 05/11/2007 at 10:24:58

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I think the article is pretty petty. I am 61 and I’ve seen some great Blue sides, but until the 90’s there were a number of clubs able to reach cup finals, league titles etc and we were one, then it really mattered how good your manager was. Today we’re in a league with Aston Villa, West Ham, Newcastle, Tottenham and Blackburn, when it comes to trophies, not much hope if the big 4 are involved as one of them always seems to end up with the cups.
Like it or not that’s life today and no point in asking Moyes to accomplish what he cannot...........none of the others despite All of them (except Blackburn) having rich benefactors, can achieve this either,
The league’s all about having the most money...............I think it would be monumetal if Moyes made Europe again, it means we’ve come first or second in the achievable leqague
Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see the title back at Goodison...................let’s be pragmatic, dream of glory but live in reality.
Only a mega rich Bluenoes can deliver what we all want.................not even Jose could do it without mega money, and I bet he’ll never repeat his Porto adventures anywhere else............Money money’s a rich man’s world
North Sea Blue
18   Posted 05/11/2007 at 09:45:20

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Christ some of you lot amaze me. Lets settle for a regular top 6 finish..!! I can only imagine you are an armchair supporter because - as one of the posts mentions - there is no better feeling than watching Everton in a cup final. I am lucky enough to have seen the lot, FA Cups, League Championships, European success and they are memories I will treasure for the rest of my life. My kids on the other hand have seen sweet FA, and I would walk to wembley to let them experience such an occassion. Finishing 6th does not get my juices flowing and regardless of the financial rewards, it will lift Everton’s profile and also Moyes should we grace the League Cup Final this year. Lets face it, we ain’t getting relegated this season, we aint winning the league either, but we are 2 games away from Wembley and 3 from another UEFA cup place. Lets field our strongest team and play West Ham off the park
chris briddon
19   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:22:49

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North Sea Blue,

If you would prefer flleting cup success to a consistent top 6 finish then good look to you.

I would love us to win a cup, but realise full well, that it is not a sign of improvement aswith a bit of luck and a good draw can get you through to a semi or sometimes a final.

League position is the indicator of performance and as such a consistent top 6 finish would show how far we have come & make us more attractive to others who can see our potential
John Welsby
20   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:06:06

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Coming on Toffeeweba and reading the articles is a bit like listening to TalkSport - there?s always some idiot with a rubbish argument that wants his 7 seconds of fame. So he says any controversial crap to spark a reaction.

?Moyes is boring, Moyes is unimaginative, Moyes can?t prioritise between his leagues and his cups...?

We?re just behindthe RS in the Lge, we?re in quarter finals of the calring cup, we?re top of our UEFA lge and we?re playing good football + scoring goals. I can?t remember the last time we had 5 decent strikers that could all score a goal. Our strike force is genuinely excellent.

Had Moyes not come along we might well have been relegated cos that?s where we heading after 2 final day escapes. Let?s remember that. We?ve seen genuine progress under Moyes but all some pratts can do it pick a hole in his every action or statement. What about his comments of ?I?m looking to strengthen in January?? Isn?t that exciting? Which creative midfielder will he unearth?

But ?Moyes is unamibitious? is a better story isn?t it?
Michael McManus, Dublin
21   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:50:15

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The point is we can have both. Every team in the counrty prioritixes the league - there is nothing wrong with that; in fact it would be seriously worrying if we didn’t. As I have already said everytime Moyes or Irvine have been interviewed this season before a cup game it is clear the importance they attach to cup success. Just because you place more importance on the league does not mean you place no importance on the cups. We are in a cup quarter final going well in europe so I confused about the point of the original article.
North Sea Blue
22   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:48:53

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Chris, I think we could realistically finish in the top 6 and win the CC Cup. There are only 2 games left to get us to Wembley and I don’t see how fielding our best team will have such a massive impact that we would suddenly be fighting relegation. If UEFA is our target then why not acieve this by winning the CC Cup first - then shoot for the stars. To me, it seems an easier route and one which the fans would really enjoy not to mention the players. Who knows, we might even achieve both - its called ambition mate.
Lee Spargo
23   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:54:16

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9 days, 4 games, 4 wins, 9 goals, 2 conceded, some good footy along the way, happy days.

Finishing in the top 6 probably is more important to those that run the club than winning the league cup. To us fans it’s different though, and that’s where the problem is here. I’d love it if we won a cup this year, and in fact i’d rather us win a cup and finish 10th in the league than to simply finish in the top 6. Moyes, however, has a different perspective - one that none of us on here truly grasp. After all, we’re not managers.
Tim Keen
24   Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:23:26

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Far more resources then Joe Royle ever had?!

Sorry Michael but that is only true in pure numbers but completely inaccurate in terms of our comparitive spending against rival clubs.

When we were buying the likes of Kanchelskis, Barmby, Short, Ferguson etc the British record stood at £8.5m for Collymore (which we matched!), it is now over £30m and we’ve only spent over £10m once.

Dick Flaherty
25   Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:52:04

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If moyes did indeed say a league placing is more relevant to bringing a trophy to Goodison then that caught my attention. I also cannot agree with his thinking.

I lived off the cup final win 1995 long enough but now my patience is wearing thin. I have nothing against the manager and we have progressed in the five years under him, but not a sniff of a trophy. The top six finishes have been an admirable achievement following the stress inducing times of Mike Walker and Walter Smith, but the only cups that have appeared anywhere near goodison belonged to that shower of shit across the park.

Its simply not good enough for a team of our stature.
John Lloyd
26   Posted 05/11/2007 at 16:53:46

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Would you have been happier supporting a relegated team or one on the verge of relegation just so we could have a day out at wembley for carling cup final.

Get a grip you dickheads, how many clubs recently have qualified for europe & then had a nightmare season the following year (Everton included after we finished 4th!) its like taking one step forward & two back.

I’m a million per cent behind Moyes’s statement that the league is the main priority.

Confidence breeds confidence which breeds success, if your struggling & under performing in league then you will be shit in cups. This whole piece & some of the comments after stink of people who just pick wholes in everything, I’m the 1st to admit we’re not the finished article (far from it) but we are getting there. Learning from our mistakes & challenging on all fronts, at the same time our football is improving, we are scoring goals and to a normal fan it is exciting times at goodison but obviously not for all!!!
stu jonno 9
27   Posted 05/11/2007 at 20:43:34

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well ive packed my satdy an sunday teams in i cant miss another everton game, we havent had it this good in 20 years.

Rob Hollis
28   Posted 05/11/2007 at 23:09:35

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I understand why people get bored with the cautious and diplomatic answers. With that squad minus the sunday league Hibbert I would be shouting ?bring the bastards on!

We may not win them all but I would like to see us be confident and pay no respect to anybody, let them worry. We have enough people who can score a goal now. Hope we get Liverpool in the Carling semi.

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