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Progress under Moyes ...

By Christopher Masters :  28/02/2008 :  Comments (39) :
At various times throughout last season and even during the early part of this season, I do recall numerous articles on this site criticising David Moyes, both from a tactical perspective and due to his apparent indecisiveness in the transfer market. I remember answering a particularly vitriolic attack on Mr Moyes and stating that as soon as results started to move in the right direction all of the criticism would be forgotten and we would all be basking in the joy of a good run of results ?.

Without wishing to point out the obvious and say ? ? ?told you so ?? there has (happily) been a noticeable lack of Evertonians screaming for Moyes?s head now that stability and a decent set of results has been achieved. Now as much as I agree that everyone has a right to express their opinions, my laboured point is merely to prove what a fickle bunch of people football fans are and I include myself in that group.

However, for once I think we should give credit where it?s deserved ? David Moyes is a human being like the rest of us mere mortals and is therefore not without faults, and whilst some of his transfer dealings have been less than successful (Davies, Kroldrup, Beattie, Van Der Meyde) there have been many others that border on genius ? Cahill, Lescott, Baines, Peinaar, and Arteta to name just a few.

But what I really admire about David Moyes is his impeccable integrity. When he has made a public statement about an incident during a game that turns out to be untrue (for whatever reason) he is the first to hold up his hands and retract it ? usually with an apology. When incidents occur during games he never says ?I didn?t see it ?? like Mr Wenger, he never calls other teams a ?Small Club? like Mr Benitez, nor does he defend players publicly when it?s obvious they have been out of line either on or off the pitch, and dressings down and subsequent punishment are dealt with in a discrete, professional and no-nonsense manner.

I suppose what I?m saying is that as well as currently being a very good (and in the future a potentially brilliant) football manager, Mr Moyes is a decent human being as well, and that comes across within his style of management. He keeps his feet firmly on the ground yet is quietly optimistic but is canny enough to know that as yet he has achieved very little in terms of winning trophies, and therefore shows commendable humility.

So to Moyes?s critics I?d like to say, the next time you sit down at your keyboard to dash off an emotionally fuelled e-mail to this site or others, just think back 6 or 7 years to when we were a club consistently battling with relegation. Recall those nerve-jangling end of season dog-fights when you had to watch the game at Goodison with a transistor radio strapped to your ear to check how other teams around us were doing just to know if we stood a chance of surviving ?.

And then think how far we have journeyed under Moyes, and how the same emotion and frustration will be displayed ? but this time it will perhaps be because we haven?t quite made it into the Champions League. It?s called progress my friend ? progress ? it takes time, but when it finally arrives embrace it and be thankful for David Moyes.

Reader Comments

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Mitchell Wilton
1   Posted 29/02/2008 at 06:29:33

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I look back in our past days at the selection of players of the high calibre of Scott Gemmil, the great signings of Steven Hughes and David Ginola, selling players who contribute nothing to the club like Don Hutchison and Michael Ball and year in year out "is it going to be 16th or 17th" and nostaligia sets in.

Under Mr Moyes all this heart retching excitment is removed years of apparent consistency and European games.

Where has living on the edge gone??????

I guess we?ve kicked out the scumbag old owner, old manager (and assistant - remember the fight between Knox and Hughes), have a new training facility, looking at moving to a new state of the art ground (regardless of location), and shed the bruise brother front line act.

Mr Moyes from an Evertonian - THANK YOU!!!!!
Peter Pridgeon
2   Posted 29/02/2008 at 06:39:21

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Chris I take your point but you have to consider that David Moyes has spent six years in charge at Everton the same time that Howard Kendall spent as Everton Manager, during Moyes tenure as manager it could be justifiably argued that he has done a good job. It could also be justifiably argued that he has not done a great job. If you like; Immediate comparisons can be made with Juande Ramos who has been at Spurs a little under four months and has landed his new club a trophy, Rafa Benitez arrived at Liverpool and one year later lifted the Uefa Champions League followed by the FA Cup the next year and a Champions League Final spot the next. Moyes record of success to date in his six years is;
One fourth place finish
One sixth place finish
A League Cup semi final.
Compare this to Kendall.
His tenure has been marred by early exits from all cup competitions bar the league and Uefa cups this season.
It could be argued that Moyes greatest achievement has been to steady a sinking ship and steer it on a good course. It will also no doubt be argued that Moyes has not spent the money that successive Spurs managers have spent or the incumbent Liverpool manger and his predecessor have spent, therefore his other great achievement has been to graft a competitive team together on a mid range budget.

In saying this and with one eye on his contemporaries the question now begs to be asked can Moyes win trophies. Does he have the ability after assembling a good squad of players and forging them into a competitive unit to take the next step and win trophies?

In my opinion we have the team to win the Uefa Cup and to secure third or fourth place in the Premier League. The players are assembled, the team spirit is obviously excellent and the training seems to be giving the players enough stamina to last the full ninety minutes, this is rightly attributed to the hard work and smart transfer dealings of David Moyes. The team has some weaknesses but on the whole this is a very good team and all teams who are constantly improving have players that will be replaced over the next two or three seasons. The big question is; can Moyes turn them from a top ten team (as he has turned them from a bottom ten team) into a top four trophy winning team.

If he does not and we slip from forth or fifth place this season and miss out on a European place and then choke when we face a difficult team on our way through the next two or three rounds of the Uefa cup, the season will go down as yet another building season or for some, another failed season. Because after six years of management I wonder if Evertonian?s will stand for yet another season of ?not quite good enough? that has marred most of his first six years, or are our expectations now low enough that we will just accept this as progress.
Mike Coates
3   Posted 29/02/2008 at 07:26:05

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I think I once had issue with Moyes subbing on a player in extra time, and the other team scored in the additional time that was played, and I was pretty pieved.

Other than that, I can’t think of too much else negative.. lol!

MOYES IS THE BEST! :) Course I’m part Scottish, so I’m a little bias ;) but he’s true to his word and has shown us what a REAL Manager can do!
Steve Cheung
4   Posted 29/02/2008 at 08:28:37

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You cannot compare Moyes to Ramos.

Moyes has and by the looks of things will continue to be restraint in the transfer market.

Spurs spend a fortune over the last year. Jol just wasn?t very good at picking a winning team. Ramos added a couple of players for one a top defender. Which was badly needed.

Spurs always had the making of a good team just poor management stopped them.

That and the fact Avrim Grant is not so great it seems at picking his best team.

Yes there have been times where we have all been frustrated by Moyes and left scratching our heads. But fair is fair he has now it seems finally turned our team into something good.

Football nowadays is all about money. The richer you are the better team you can put together. There are only two teams in my opinion being able to keep up with these teams and thats Blackburn and Everton. Both have managers who get the best out of players with very little cash

Arthur Jones
5   Posted 29/02/2008 at 08:24:57

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Peter, How can you compare David Moyes?s acheivements with those of Ramos and Beneathus? The squad that DM inherited was relegation fodder, he was forced to sell Rooney and despite being favourites for relegation that season we finished 4th, ahead of Beneathus?s expensively assembled team. Ramos is doing just the same, the squad he has a his disposal was compiled using far more financial backing than Moyes has ever had, and we?re 18 points ahead of them in the league at the moment . The squad we have has been put together over the last few years slowly, we can?t afford to spend £16m in the January transfer window as Ramos has done .

Incidently, the Liverpool team that won the Champions League and Ramos?s Carling Cup winning team were both assembled by another manager. Give credit where it?s due, even the pundits are starting to realise this is a very good team, all that Moyes needs now to take us that step further is similar backing to that of the rest of the Premier League.

Brian Richardson
6   Posted 29/02/2008 at 09:08:21

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Peter Pridgeon, that has to be the worst post I have ever seen in here.

Comparing Moyes to Ramos!?

I don’t know where to start. Ramos took over a club that had spend, wait for it, £135 million in 4 years. If they hadn’t won a trophy, there would be something seriously wrong.

Moyes took over a club that was on its way into the 1st division, with an average player age of about 32 and with no money.

He now has a young, talented, stable squad. The 4th best team in the country, at present, and in a strong position in Europe. Moyes has achieved this by spending very little each year, which is astounding.

And please stop with these comparisons to Kendall. Football was a very different world in the 80s. Before Sky stuck its oar in, no single club could spend £100 million a season and the league was more competitive as a result.

As for Beanethus, well I’m just shocked you had the audacity to mention his name in the same breath as David Moyes. Once again, Beanthus took over a squad worth approximately 6 times as much as Everton’s - and a squad that had won several trophies in the previous couple of seasons. He went on to spend around £100 million more - largely on tripe - and cemented hsi reputation as one of the most petty, arrogant and unpleasant characters in the game.

Peter, your argument has left me a little queasy.
David Nicholls
7   Posted 29/02/2008 at 09:05:12

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I also think it’s unfair to compare Moyes with Kendall.

Back in the eighties I imagine that the old Division 1 was a much more level playing field than the Premiership is today where only three sides can have any chance of winning the Championship.

I completely agree with Chris’s piece. Moyes is not only an excellent and potentially world class football manager but a top bloke and a fantastic ambassador for Everton football club. I only hope the board can continue to back him in the transfer market and ensure he stays long term and creates a Dynasty at Goodison/Kirby.
Dutch Schaffaer
8   Posted 29/02/2008 at 09:41:28

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What you have to remember is that Moyes took over a wreck of a club.

We hadn’t finished in the Top 10 for years.

The squad was full of aging has-beens like Ginola, Gazza, Gemmill and Blomqvist.

The rest of the players like Simonsen, Watson, Alexandersson, Radzinskik, Linderoth and Unsworth were pretty poor.

When Moyes took over Everton had spent years finishing in the bottom half of the league and flirting with relegation.

Benitez inherited a Top 4 club with a big squad and money to spend. And Ramos inherited a squad that finished 5th last season.

Benitez and Ramos started with decent teams where as Moyes started with shit and had to completely rebuild Everton.

Basically Moyes has spent five years building a team as good as that which Benitez and Ramos started with.

The question now is can Moyes take his very squad, go to that next level and win something.
Andrew Magner
9   Posted 29/02/2008 at 10:03:24

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Has any one noticed that things seem to be going along very well with out Moyes having a Number 2. A lot of people have had a good about Moyes and his tatics. He seems to be doing very well up there on his own.
Richard Parker
10   Posted 29/02/2008 at 10:07:01

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We all know that football is about winning trophies, not making up the numbers. But football is like anything, normally the quick fix doesn’t work (Chelsea aside).

In order to get to the top, you have to work, build and be patient. Man Utd and Arsenal didn’t get where they are overnight, their fans had to endure tough patches while a championship winning side was assembled. And not to take anything away from their achievements, they happened to do it at the time that it mattered.

Whoever was on top at the start of the Sky era, was always going to dominate. It’s a sad fact of football, that the elite looked after the elite at the inception of the Premier League. Nothing was done for the good of football, it was all done for the wallets of the big boys. Unfortunately for Everton, the Premier League came 10 years too late.

Now I really see us as an example of what can be done, with a lot of hard work, patience and a bit of cash. We have made tangible progress and despite the initial yo-yo between good and bad seasons, the squad has improved. Other than Rooney and Gravesen (mk1 of course) we keep our best players. We are challenging for the Champions League, against a team that paid out £30M on a single player in the summer!! We are 5 tiny points behind Chelsea, a team which has spent in the region of £400M on players since 2003 (during which time Everton spent around £60M).

Moyes still needs time to carry on with what he’s doing. We are still on an upward curve, we are improving and people are really taking notice, with each of these small ’successes’ bringing a little more cash, a little more recognition and a little more pride back to our beloved club.

We’re all desperate to have a real reason to celebrate, 4th spot would be great, 3rd spot a fantastic achievement, but we wouldn’t celebrate either. A win in the league cup would have taken the pressure off on the trophy front. But we have competed well in 3 competitions this year and who would have put us in the last-16 of the UEFA cup with a 100% record!!

I know we don’t have anything to show for this, apart from our much improved squad. I know that football is all about winning trophies and nothing else matters, but we are moving in that direction. Now is the tough part and the massive question is; Can Moyes break us into the top 3 and win trophies without hefty investment? That remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t rather have anyone else in charge at this moment in time.

Matthew Lovekin
11   Posted 29/02/2008 at 11:04:00

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I have always been a Moyes fan. Sure he isn’t perfect (tactics), sure he has made mistakes (Kroldrup, van der Meyde), but have you ever seen the perfect manager? Kendall took three years to win a trophy, but the 80’s was almost a completely different game. Then it was all about tactics by the manager and players trying to beat other players with the ball. I hate to say it, but nowadays, it’s all about money. Look at how much Chelsea have had to spend to get to the top (Abrahamovich has spent almost 600m on the club and still losing about 80m a season). Look at how much Liverpool (Benitez about 120m) and Tottenham (60m this season) have spent to get nowhere near the top. Everton are in just a good a position as a football club than Liverpool and Tottenham at the moment,let alone the likes of Newcastle, Man City, etc.

Too many people think that ’the grass is always greener’. Fair enough, if it is, but do you really think that Moyes is only doing the same type of job as Walter Smith or even Mike Walker! Do you really want to go back to the relegation threatened days?

Moyes has turned this football club around (with Bill Kenwright) and done it with often his hands tied (5m transfer budgets and having to sell the likes of Rooney and Gravesen). How many other managers can find gems like Cahill (1.5m), Arteta (2.8m), Howard (3.5m) Lescott (5m) nurtured the youth players (Osman, Hibbert, Vaughan and Anichebe) used the loan system perfectly (Yobo, Pienaar, Fernandes, and if they don’t work Rodrigo, Gravesen, they just go back to their clubs) and when given money to spend it wisely (Yakubu).

In other words, ok he hasn’t won a trophy in six years, ok we’re not challenging for the title, but what Moyes has done in the circumstances is an incredible job that any other manager would have struggled. Who’s to say that he won’t win a trophy or even the title given the type of backing that the top 4 have? Everton under Moyes are on an upward spiral, and I for one don’t think that Moyes has got us to the top of that spiral just yet. We may not win the UEFA Cup this season, we may not finish fourth, but don’t ridicule him at the first attempt. If none of those happen, I believe that we will be even stronger next season and will push on again next season and be even stronger. The Moyes revolution is continuing and its not finished yet. Ok, he ain’t perfect, but he’s pretty close.
Dave Park
12   Posted 29/02/2008 at 12:17:14

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When making a comparison with Howard Kendall, you have to realise that back then WE were known as the Merseyside Millionaires. I’m not, in any way, slating his regime (on the contrary, I am lucky enough to have seen it first hand) but that has to be taken into account when comparing it with what DM has done
Peter Laing
13   Posted 29/02/2008 at 12:11:28

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Some very salient and thruthful points covered Christopher in this post regarding the progress of Everton FC under the watch of David Moyes. I agree wholeheartedly that Moyes is a man of integrity and principal, the alleged bust-up with Duncan Ferguson being a memorable reminder of the authority that he is able to demonstrate in protecting the best interests of the Club. However, without being a Moyes apologist or critic the past 6 years have been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows and it is only the past 12 months that we have seen real stability. Many contributors have alluded to the Tottenham game at home in February last year as being the turning point in David Moyes tenure, conceding the game to Spurs and the ensuing public disatisfaction certainly resonated with both fans, the players and Manager alike. David Moyes it appears is able to learn from his mistakes and this seems to be the crucial point in terms of both how he has developed as a Manager and his team have progressed to where we are at currently. The football we are playing now is sublime, never a time in the past 20 years when we have the pomp to go out and beat any team. It’s down to Moyes, the players and most importantly the fans who have loyally stuck with it.
Steve Templeton
14   Posted 29/02/2008 at 13:12:34

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I think I must be the only person on the planet who thinks that Moyes was not to blame for the defeat to Spurs at home last season.

Everyone goes on about him being negative that night but all he did was replace a tiring Fernandes with Neville in midfield. He didn’t alter the formation of the side as some would have you believe, he simply went like-for-like.

You may recall the main reason for our discontent that night was a certain other team doing rather well away at Barcelona when we all thought they would get snotted.

There seems to be some kind of common myth that Moyes suddenty saw the light after that Spurs match and has been instructing his players to play like Brazil ’70 since that result. Complete and utter bollocks, I don’t believe for one second he has changed - he has continued to do what he did before that match which is to pick a team and tactics suited to the opposition that we face in any particular fixture. The difference is this season is that we have much more creative and attacking options than before with Piennar and Yakubu.

As for Peter’s response to the main article, there are some people out there who will never be happy with Moyes because they have spent so much time slagging him off over the years (yes Mr Marsh I’m referring to you) that they will never be able to admit that they got it wrong.

In Moyes We Trust.
Tony Williams
15   Posted 29/02/2008 at 13:30:44

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I like David Moyes, in a totally hetro kind of way. He is a good manager, not a great manager, but a good one.

The most important aspect to Moyes is that he does learn from his mistakes. The FergusonGate comes to mind. He has even come out in the papers saying that he has mellowed towards the players as it connot be just black and white with them.

His substitutions are still fairly predictable but they are paying off.

He has a long way to go and I hope that we, the fans, the board and the players back him to the hilt to hopefully bring back some glory days.
Jay Harris
16   Posted 29/02/2008 at 13:41:32

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For those of you who werent around and some who have forgotten the Howard Kendall (Great man though he is) team of the 80s has so many paralells with the current team.
There were a lot of doubters about HK and it got to the stage where many were calling for his head.
The team started winning ugly - it was definitely not school of science stuff.
Then a couple of results went our way, the team started to believe and were united and the supporters started to believe and get behind the team - the rest as they say is history.
I have to say upfront that I have had my doubts about Moyes, not that I thought he was a bad manager, but I never thought of him as a potentially good manager.
But with the team and supporters now thoroughly behind him and the Alan Irvine shackles removed he looks far more relaxed and smiling, a feature of Hk?s management style, which translates to the team who also are now relaxing and enjoying themselves. I really feel that if the supporters can be the 12th man for the rest of this season we will start to achieve with this team and manager.
Dave Wilson
17   Posted 29/02/2008 at 13:30:09

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I cant wait until Sunday, I’m not joking I cannot fucken wait. I know i’m not alone. After decades of going to GP full of apprehension that has to constitute real progress, doesnt it ?
Ottar Gadid
18   Posted 29/02/2008 at 14:37:03

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As someone mentioned above, Moyes is a good manager and one of those rare ones who?s a nice bloke as well. Not only that, but he?s assembled a squad which looks like a proper bunch too (And don?t pick on Shandy, we should all feel sorry for him). None of those wanky antics of the Shite (was it one of those from the forum that was assaulted by the Red Shite on the motorway the other day???), Chelski, Chavchester Utd or the Barcodes.

Of course Moyes doesn?t get everything right, but his general direction can hardly be disputed. Except perhaps by some posters on this site...
Jason Broome
19   Posted 29/02/2008 at 17:25:06

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The BBC Football website has an article on Evertons progress under Moyes. Worth a read.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A32909501
David Jones
20   Posted 29/02/2008 at 17:45:34

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When Moyes does a good job, wins games, gets the team playing good footy..he gets praised. When he does badly, has us playing like a bunch of carthorses and wastes money on bad signings he gets criticised. Not rocket science is it. Unless of course you are one of these people who believes you have to follow Moyes like a religion, otherwise you are ’fickle’!! Personally i’m really glad there are a group around who will make plenty of noise and criticise when things go wrong, I think it keeps the manager on his toes and keeps him out of the comfort zone I think his chairman would happilly allow him to slip into.
Jason Broome
21   Posted 29/02/2008 at 17:52:24

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Newsflash!

The Everton team of the eighties would struggle in today’s Premier League. Why? Because the Premier League has the best managers from their respective countries competing with the best players in the world.

While ye olde first division was mostly British against British. We now have a multi-cultural world league of excellence (funded by Sky & rich Billionaires), and we... with no Fucking money & bargain basement players currently sit fourth in it!!!

Although I love him, once Sky stepped in Kendall had nothing left in the tank. His tactics were jurassic and he could not evolve.

Moyes is a different breed of manager. If Kendall were given Moyes’ 6 years, we would be Championship right now... In Moyes we Trust!
Jason Broome
22   Posted 29/02/2008 at 18:17:57

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Juande Ramos has inherited a team tipped to challenge Arsenal for the title, and in Martin Jol’s words "in two years replace them as the dominant team in North London."

Spurs can financially compete with the ’dominant 4’ and almost beat Man Utd to Nani! Ramos has only added one player since then!

Martin Jol needs to take a tip from me that ’football is not always played on the park!’ Moyes has made progress in every aspect of the club, and in so doing has raised expectations so high that some of us forget the time when we struggled to find a kit sponsor.

Moyes is the best thing to happen to Everton since Van Den Hauwe smashed one past Bruce.

In Moyes We Trust!
Kunal Desai
23   Posted 29/02/2008 at 18:23:04

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I’d agree all in all there has been steady progress under Moyes on limited finances nevertheless we all know for Everton to aspire to the next level significant investment is needed and this is the responsibility of Bill Kenwright. I feel all this hard work can alll be undone and there is always the possibility we could end up back to square one. should we struggle to raise finances for squad improvement and compete at the higher levels consistantly then you do feel that theres every chance one of our top stars will be sacrificed in order to raise further funds and then you wonder how many may follow including Moyes.
Bill has a huge responsibilty moving this club forward and where it belongs.
I for one am sick and tired of hearing his comments about continuous search for investment....hes been bleeding on about this since my university days (1998) when the NTL deal was in the pipeline!
Will Leaf
24   Posted 29/02/2008 at 21:35:04

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As alluded to above, here is our teamsheet from March 2002 (our 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup 6th Round)

Everton: Simonsen, Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Clarke, Gascoigne, Gemmill (Blomqvist 73), Linderoth (Alexandersson 45), Radzinski, Moore (Chadwick 45). Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Cleland

Frightful stuff.

Moyes was hired five days later.

This is not progress, this is revolution.
Jay Harris
25   Posted 01/03/2008 at 01:44:18

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Jason

Kendall is our most successful manager ever and ranks alongside the all-time great managers at any club irrespective of time or generation. Your comment is like saying Dixie Dean would be useless today.

Howard may be many things since the 80s (alcohol included) but "Jurassic" he never is and never was. If Moyes only achieves a fraction of what HK achieved (also without a great deal of money) he will join the ranks of the greats. In the meantime he has won nothing.
Sean Condon
26   Posted 01/03/2008 at 02:28:41

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Brian Richardson:
" Beneathus . . . cemented his reputation as one of the most petty, arrogant and unpleasant characters in the game."
Nice.
Jason Broome
27   Posted 01/03/2008 at 03:58:25

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Howard Kendall was the greatest manager in Everton history, period! The Premiership and history were defined by his achievements.

However the Premier league is a different animal from the 1st division. The Premiership is a multi-cultural battle ground where the European managerial elite, coaches, styles, tactics, and players (who are fitter, stronger and better than their predecessors) collide.

Messi, Kaka, C Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Ibrahimavic et al make light of the Maradona craft. Yet any one of these players would have to work their arse off to survive in the richest league in the world.

It is deeper, broader, harsher and harder than the Kendall era? and at this moment in time? we are fourth.

On Moyes? arrival we were common shit. We were a laughing stock, unworthy of the Sky money, too low brow for Keijan. We were scrapping with the Wigan?s & Derby?s for mid-table rejects. Yet I hear that Moyes has won nothing.

I disagree. Moyes has won the one thing that Kendall (mark II & III), Walker, Harvey, Smith & even Royal had failed to do. He has won us. All he needs now is history.
John Sreet
28   Posted 01/03/2008 at 06:13:48

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EXCUSE ME!, Didn?t Howard Kendall take us the the brink of relegation also.......I remember the headlines..Howard Houdini! it said. Let?s face it Howard built a great team, had his share of luck too, had he lost at Oxford he would have been sacked, but he won and the rest is history. However he came back and was a pathetic total mess, couldn?t manage a bacon sandwich. As for Peter Pidgeon?s mail, well fly away Peter and take all that negative crap with you.
Darren Cooke
29   Posted 01/03/2008 at 09:50:10

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I must add to to this debate and I can honestly say that yes, like many other of us Evertonians who can be fickle at times in our assesment of our club and its progress under David Moyes, I too have on occasions slagged him off when results have not gone our way or disagreed with his team selection and tactics at times.

Its then at times like that I stop for a second and assess where the team is now and the squad we have brimming full of young world class quality players with years ahead of them, all mostly tied down under contract to the club and actually wanting to pull on the shirt for the blues and go out and play with hunger passion and belief that they can beat whoever is put in front of them because of the spirit and fight that Moyes has instilled into them. Although we are far from the finished article and still a work in progress, I look back at the previous squads we have had under the likes of Kendall Mk 3 and Walter Smith and the kind of negative football we used to play, and I think of some of the players we have had who were not fit to pull on the shirt and grace the pitch at Goodison where so many blue legends who truly understand what it means to wear that shirt and what it means to us fans have gone out and given us what we want to see: attacking football played with heart, a touch of skill and flair and 100% belief.

David Moyes has brought that ethic back to the club and is slowly waking this sleeping giant and I feel that given the financial backing he will in time return this club back amongst the big boys of the top four but to do this the board have to meet him halfway and pull their fingers out and go out and find investors who are prepared to give him the financial clout to do it because, if he has assembled a squad of such quality with limited funds now, then we can only dream what he would bring to the club with serious money.

DAVEY MOYES, WE THANK THE DAY YOU CAME TO THIS CLUB AND TURNED IT AROUND. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. WE ARE ALL BEHIND YOU. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM.

Russ Kavangh
30   Posted 01/03/2008 at 09:57:15

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I would like to apologise to Davey Moyes for being so negative and critical at times in the past. He deserves great credit for the dignified and skillful manner in which he has built his team and for the first time in years I really believe we could compete with the dark side on a regular basis. If he wants to come out for a pint I will now stand him a night out...
Ian McDuff
31   Posted 01/03/2008 at 13:31:02

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I find it incredible that David Moyes can attract any criticism whatever. What he has done for our beloved club is almost beyond belief. I still remember the day he took over when the press where questioning his decision to take on a basket case club, no money and a bunch of players that were either well past it or were never capable of achieving it. Before he came every season we had to sell our promising home grown stars and our player of the season left us to further his ambition. He has almost single handedly turned our club round so that we are almost competing on equal terms with the megarich top four.
If we continue to keep on improving at the same rate Moyes will without doubt be up there with the all time greats. In Moyes we trust.
Neil Pearse
32   Posted 01/03/2008 at 15:56:18

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Christopher, one thing I would like to strongly echo in your piece is your praise for Moyes as a fundamentally decent man and manager. He has his pluses and minuses, but in a world of utter twats and tossers (Benitez, Mourinho, Wenger, Eriksson, Keegan...) I am extremely proud to have Moyes as our manager.
Arthur Jones
33   Posted 01/03/2008 at 17:32:16

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The comment from David Jones made me laugh, saying criticsining Moyes "keeps him on his toes and stops him from slipping into the comfort zone" ... What? David Moyes is the most single-minded hard-working focussed man you could ever meet. Why do you think he as achieved as much as he has done? Not by going on the piss every night and turning up for work with a rip snorting hangover and telling Phil Neville to pick the team this week because he hasn?t seen anyone training! (Ring any bells?). He works hard and doesn?t leave anything to chance. He doesn?t need to be kept on his toes!
Karl Masters
34   Posted 01/03/2008 at 17:48:22

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We?ve won nothing yet, but the signs are good. We have to play our part too ? be the 12th man every game until May 14th!

I can tell you that the group I work with, none of whom support the ?Big 4?, regard Everton and David Moyes as the template for just about every other Club to follow. They love the Youth system, developing Championship players, spending sensibly, the work ethic, the Team spirit and most notably now, the quality of our players ? it?s good to watch most of the time.

We are getting noticed for all the right reasons and one man is responsible for this ? the Moyesiah!

Let?s all pray he gets the dash of luck needed to win something because he deserves it.
Jay Harris
35   Posted 01/03/2008 at 21:47:35

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Oh how fickle we are.
Dancing on the grave of the man who gave us our finest achievements and but for Heysel would almost certainly have achieved even more.
Alcoholism is an illness and those in charge should have known better than to bring HK back with full knowledge of the problem.
Anyway This is not a Kendall vs Moyes debate and I certainly hope that you same people don't come on here critisising Moyes in 15 to 20 years time for there will be bad times ahead.
For now why don't we enjoy what we have - a competent, dignified manager with principles who may yet win something for us.
We don't have to put Howard down to build Moyes up!!
Sean Condon
36   Posted 01/03/2008 at 21:56:48

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Somebody needed to say that, thanks jayharris.
Wayyyy off-topic, I know, but could someone please indulge an addled half-wit 7,000 miles away from GP, and tell me why we call JL ?Roger?.

Seven thousand miles away, but very close with Google Earth, and the YouTube vids of lads walking to the ground. Can?t get enough of that shit.

COYB!!!!!!!!
Paul Whitehouse
37   Posted 01/03/2008 at 22:23:56

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I think the biggest compliment that can be given is that he will take over at Man U once Fergie retires...
Rob Paterson
38   Posted 02/03/2008 at 10:44:28

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You only have to read Tim Cahill?s interview in the Footy Echo to realise how great the team spirit is at the moment and how that is helped by positive (not blind) support from the fans. Of course we can complain when things go bad but with so much to appreciate at the moment let?s not look for things to bitch about.

Great article! I wish I?d written something that so unites the fans!
Steven Scaffardi
39   Posted 03/03/2008 at 17:45:33

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You can’t compare Moyes with Kendall - they were two completely different era’s and the game has changed entirely from what it was in the 80s when Kendall achieved fantastic success, compared to the job Moyes is doing now.

If you really want to compare the two, then you might argue that what Moyes has achieved is greater than Kendall. In the 80s you did not have to compete with the money that we have in the game today. If you take the three richest clubs out of the Premier League (Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man Utd), then Everton are currently sitting top of the pile.

Okay, it’s not exactly a realistic way to view it, but hopefully you get the point I’m trying to make. If Moyes takes Everton into the Champions League again this season then it would be a remarkable achievement for a club who do not have the resources of not only the top four, but the likes of Newcastle, Spurs, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Man City. etc etc. And to have done this for a second time in three seasons is by no means an easy task!

When I think how much we have suffered as Everton fans since the early 90s, I for one I thankful to have someone like David Moyes at the helm and to see the type of team he has put together. This team is for the future and will only get better. I bet all the other clubs who have thrown money at the problem and got nothing to show for it, would love to swap places with us right now - not just in terms of league position, but stability and team spirit as well.

I salute you Mr Moyes!

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