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What is Our Problem?

By Tony Marsh :  01/04/2008 :  Comments (94) :
Where did it all go wrong this season or more to the point, why? We all have our own theories on this but there can be no arguement at all that it has gone tits up virtually overnight with issues that have been long standing for many seasons now.

Watching Everton players launching long balls to Osman and Pienaar on Sunday made me want to throw up. What the fuck is it with this long ball shite that we always go back to whenever we have our backs to the wall? It doesnt work; never has and never will yet stiil it is our main weapon.

I ask who is to blame for this style of play: The manager or the players?

Take the 4-5-1 system we tried so awfully to play on Sunday. Again I ask is it the players fault that it didn't work or is it the manager's?

A chimpanzee in Chester Zoo can tell you that in order for the 4-5-1 system to work you need the midfield to get forward quickly and support the lone striker. Why then did Moyes play two holding midfielders whose duty it is to defend when in theroy you need all hands up there in and around the box.

It's not rocket science and I am not claiming to be a great football brain but it is common sense at the end of the day. The reason 4-5-1 works when Cahill plays is because he does what it says on the packet. He runs from deep and supports the front man. Simple. If Cahill ain't fit... don't play the fucking system!!!

Whatever anyone says to me about the derby last Sunday they will never convince me that we didnt fuck up big time. I am still in shock to be honest. I reckon I could have found 11 players on a Sunday league park that would of shown more fight than our lot did. This brings me to the type of player it is now perfectly obvious that Moyes favours. Small weedy types who are as quiet as a church mouse out on the pitch and who don't communicate with each other during games.

Why does DM insist on signing players who are all small in both stature and personality? It's as though he is scared to have a Big Dunc or a Dave Watson type figure around the place. Maybe he feels more in control dealing with short-arse wimps all week than players he thinks are to big or tough to handle.

Take Yobo and Lescott out of Moyes's squad and what you are left with in terms of height and weight is a farcical joke. We need some street fighters out there who are prepeared to give blood for the cause, especially in a derby game. Their own blood and that of others if need be.

Just to prove my point, two of Moyes's major signings this season were Pienaar and Baines.... you couldn't find two smaller players anywhere on the planet if you tried.

I watched the Spurs v Newcastle game yesterday and have to say Joey Barton ran the show for the Geordies. Strong in the tackle and always prepared to help out either up front or at the back. His passing was superb and he made the whole Newcastle side tick. How we could of done with a player like Barton on Sunday. Do you think Gerrard and Alonso would have got the easy ride we gave them with some one like JB breathing down thier necks... because I don't.

I couldn't give a flying fuck what the lad has done off the field as long has the buisness gets done out on the park come the weekend. I mean Pat Van Den Hauwe wasn't exactly a choirboy, was he? Neither was Duncan Ferguson but no one took the piss out of Everton whenever they took to the pitch.

The trouble is too many of our hollier than thou supporters didn't want Barton because he was a thug they said. Give them a Leon Osman or Phil Neville any day of the week. Players who are honest and whiter than white. I know Barton or players of that ilk aren't perfect but at least they get stuck in and have a go. You can hardly call on Osman,Ar teta or Pienaar to get involved in trench warfare can you?

What happened on Sunday is what you get when you overload a team with Boy Scouts wearing Girl Guide uniforms and ask them to do a man's job. Men against boys... only ever going to be one outcome. So tactically Moyes is still well off the pace ? but let's not worry because he is a young manager who is still learning his trade. Also Moyes doesn't like Charlie Bigtime players and prefers to take no risks so we end up with the 2008 version of The Smurfs as an Everton squad.

We now have players who can't pass, can't tackle, and can't get stuck in but who won't upset the peace and quiet with thuggish behaviour. I wish I was making this shit up but it is true and the worrying thing is loads of our fans go along with it.

The problem with these fans is that it doesn't hurt them enough when we lose these massive games and they are all to ready with the excuses once the game is over. Never daring to be critical of Darling Dave... If you do dare to critisise then you are cast out as a some kind of heretic.

Untill David Moyes and his teams grow some spines then we will never compete in big games and unless a large number of our fans get thier heads out of thier arses they will think the smell of shit is normal.

I guess we will all have to wait for next season now to see if Mr Moyes and his Mighty Midgets can take us to that mythical next level. After all there are plenty of you who think this season has been a wonderfull success so there's no need to panic just yet.

I think its been thrown away at the end because Moyes and his players are just not big enough ? there's the problem right there.

Reader Comments

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Erik Dols
1   Posted 02/04/2008 at 07:20:21

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Well Tony, I think you’re overreacting a bit too much in the negativity, but I have to be honest and come out to support the general idea of your article: I’d like to see bigger/stronger players as well. Especially in midfield we get overpowered at times.

2   Posted 02/04/2008 at 07:27:39

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Another stunning knee jerk piece from TM. Put your hands together. Do you realise what injuries we have? At the moment were are highly restricted to what playing staff we have available thus what formations we can use. A chimpanzee in Chester Zoo could point this one out. Whether the players are small or not they are still the same bunch of lads who got us to competing for 4th or 5th = European places. Didnt hear you spouting this when we were doing well Tony? Did anyone else? Crawl back under the rock you dissapear too when are winning.
chris keightley
3   Posted 02/04/2008 at 07:32:30

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Great article Tony spot on, all good teams have a midfield general or two, who can boss a game, take it by the scruff of the neck and lift the team, examples viera, gerrard, barton you mentioned, scholes,until we sign players of this ilk progress will not be made i would also like to see a 6 foot plus striker who likes to mix it up kiranyi looks good
Bob Turner
4   Posted 02/04/2008 at 07:27:10

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You’re like the 92 bus - we don’t hear from you for ages, then a couple of bad results, and 3 articles turn up at once.

I assume this was written after noon yesterday?? In fact, it’s probably been written for months, and you’ve had to wait until now to publish it!

I take it you’ve been to the Arsene Wenger School of Vision, where they have obviously taught you well in the art of Selective Blindness.

For instance, you point out that 2 of the major signings were Pienaar and Baines - how did you manage to overlook Jagielka and Yakubu? Not exactly slender midgets, are they?

And basing your argument on the fact that Joey Barton’s finally had a good game for Newcastle is laughable - so not only do you ignore the tripe he has been playing for the rest of the season, you also ignore the great performances our "tiny" players have put in over the season. I think that’s double Selective Blindness, and in your case, it’s obviously incurable.

I think it’s glaringly obvious that the Everton players are running out of steam, after a long and hard season. No doubt you’ll blame David Moyes for not strengthening his squad, but please count how many players he signed this season before you do. And what is he supposed to do when 3 of his strikers and his prize attacking midfielder are all injured?? You and others on here keep harping on about how we shouldn’t have played 4-5-1 - so tell me, with your wonderful insight into the game, just who you would have partnered Yakubu with up front??

Size isn’t everything, as I’m sure your wife/mistress/"life partner" will have told you - it’s what you do with it that counts. And this article proves this maxim completely - you obviously have a rather large mouth, but...
Ajamu Mutumwa
5   Posted 02/04/2008 at 07:43:34

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I think I’ll file this one under, Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

With our injuries the team and the tactics virtually picked itself.

Only Moyes knows why Agard or even Lukas Jutkiewicz wasn’t called into the squad.

Only Moyes knows why we didn’t start with Manny.

I realise that you are not a fan of David Moyes, but now that you’ve conceded that the season is indeed not over, you might want to cast your eyes some of our difficulties in even putting out a team.

Finally, congrats on at last naming who you feel would make a better manager than Moyes. I don’t even think that Rednapp would have taken the job in the first place, but that’s another debate.
Dave Jeanrenaud
6   Posted 02/04/2008 at 08:03:57

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I will try to refrain from calling you names as this results in removal of posts. You do not make it easy though.

Read this very slowly. We have injuries to key players and therefore we cannot presently play either 451 or 442 effectively. The injuries to Cahill, Vaughan, Anichebe and Johnson are most unfortunate and most unexpected. Take a top midfielder and three strikers out of any squad in the land and believe me you will notice the difference.

We as Evertonians are very fortunate to have David Moyes as our manager. Long may his reign continue.
Ed Fitzgerald
7   Posted 02/04/2008 at 08:10:15

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Some of you posts I can agree with but not this one. We have been poor, jaded and knackered the last three games. Prior to this I would have to say Everon have played the best football I have seen since the mid to late eighties. Your comments about Barton leave me speechless the guy is a liability he is often unavailable for a whole variety of reasons and when he has played he has often been woeful. The midgets such as Pienaar etc have been consistently good over the season adding much needed flair and creativity. I understand you are upset about the Derby defeat we all are but lashing out and citing Joey Barton as a potential saviour is surreal. Cahill is I suggest is far harder and tougher than Barton and Gerrard put together. We missed him on sunday as well as our injured forwards. You have to be a little reflective we are fifth, reached the semi final of the Carling cup and had an excellent run in Europe, and most importantly of all have played much better passing football for the majority of the season. Those who pine for Big Duncs days are deluding themselves we were awful to watch (bar 96 when we had Kanchelskis) yes we battled, but thats all we did?

guy hastings
8   Posted 02/04/2008 at 08:28:08

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The players and Moyes just aren’t big enough.Now that TM has finally identified the problem at GP, can we assume that he won’t be bothering toffeeweb anymore? No, didn’t think so...
Otto Heinonen
9   Posted 02/04/2008 at 08:50:44

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There is some points, but Tony please...if we lose 5th spot, I can say the season went to the gutter. But not yet. Somehow sunday made me doubt Moyes tactics. No Manny in the start, why? And no Lukas J. even on the bench. It just wasn’t all about having a bad day or injuries. It made me glad to see Kim Kallstrom is maybe coming this summer. The swede can SHOOT, I tell you. But how tall is he, I guess that’s the most important question....
Paul Lenehan
10   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:18:51

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With Yak our only fit striker what system would you like to see played Tony?
Rob Jones
11   Posted 02/04/2008 at 08:56:32

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’’just to prove my point, two of Moyes’s major signings this season were Pienaar and Baines.... you couldn’t find two smaller players anywhere on the planet if you tried.’’

Oh well now I know our problem let’s sign Djimi Traore and Jesper Gronkjaer instead they’re old unskillful and of course shite but they’re 6’’3 and 6’’2 respectively so they must be top class players.
Danny Relph
12   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:25:59

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Tony, I realise you must have been really frustrated this season with things going well and little to moan about. Maybe you should loan yourself ot to Derby or Fulham if it’ll make you happier
Graham Nolan
13   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:26:03

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Sweet lantern of divine Jesus.
I have said this before and was waiting for it to happen. Everton have been doing well recently and not a peep out of Mr. Marsh. We go on a bit of a slide and BOOM!!! 2 Marsh posts in a week.
I didn’t even read this post because I know the jist of it anyway. We are rubbish, long balls don’t work, tha manager is limited........yadayadayada.
A direct question to Mr. Marsh, why do you only post after defeats?
Anthony Horabin
14   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:29:45

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I only read the first two paragraphs and gave up on his (TM) total negativity to our season. Our season has not gone tits up and it has been one of the best for a long while. How negative would you be if we where 17th and facing relegation? No shoe laces or razor blades for you.
Davey Militwitch
15   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:56:19

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I am glad Tony wrote the above article, because without it I wouldn’t have read Bob Turners excellent response above.
If only Bob Turner posted more often, I would probably have my sanity back.
Connor Rohrer
16   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:38:50

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Osman and Pienaar have been two of our best midfielder this season and don’t deserve the critisism they are getting from a clueless fan who knows fuck all about the current team. Lets be honest Tony your specialty is David Moyes and not the team.

Osman and Pienaar for me are small players with heart. They cover the most ground out of any of of players according to the fitness coach. More the the likes of Neville, Carsley and Johnson. They’ve definatly improved the football with little help from Arteta this season and have been our main creative catalysts. Osman isn’t one to get stuck in NO but Pienaar has proven this season he’s willing to mix it and graft hard for a team. Anyone who watches is regularly would see this.

I think your knowledge of football is quite frankly average Tony. I read in another one of your posts you where claiming Osman has stunk the place out for months.......bollocks. He’s been one of our better performers in the last few games. His performances against Portsmouth and Fiorentina really stand out for me. I really would tell you to open your eyes when you watch the match.

And now your bringing Joey Barton into it. An average midfielder who bigs himself up at every opportunity. He’s shite and bar one or two games for Newcastle he has been shite. Ask Newcastle fans if you don’t believe me. The lad can’t even tackle which is supposedly one of his best attributes. He puts his foot in yes but if you don’t time them correctly whats the point. His bookings every season show how rash he is. He’s end up getting sent off in a game like the Merseyside Derby. Fucking terrible excuse of a footballer.

What system would you have played Tony and what players would you have started? The mighty Thomas Gravesen who despite his aggressive nature has never went in for a proper tackle in his life. Manuel Fernandes? I probably would have stated him but even then he he’s unfit, his form has been erratic and he isn’t a nasty bastard is he.

The fact of the matter is we where lacking alot of physical players because of injuries. The likes of Anichebe, Cahill, Vaughan etc where injured and in my opinion are some of our more physical and aggressive players. They would have been suited to the derby but where missing. Moyes put out as good a team as he could and no one can deny that. We had no other options.

Moyes has said he would like to add stature to the side and would be looking at it in the summer. Until the summer we’ll have to make do with what we have and see where it gets us.

As I’ve said stick to your obsession with David Moyes because you know nothing about this current team. Your the most one dimensional fan on this site. The majority of fans on this site criticise and praise Moyes. I include myself in that category. I’ll praise when praise is needed and I’ll be negative when I see negativity. You only sing when where loosing though which is why alot of fans have a problem with you. Bee a bit more balanced in your views and actually act like you know something about football and you’ll be respected.
Tony Marsh
17   Posted 02/04/2008 at 09:49:38

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The Sycophants and the deluded back out in force.What the fuck has injuries to players got to do with the type of players Moyes likes to sign ie Small ones.Even the injured Cahill and Johnson are both 5 ft 8.FFS.Get a grip wiil ya.If you lot cant se how light wieght we are then I think its you who should fuck off and support Derby. Never post when we are doing well some of you say well that wrong.Maybe I dont cream my boxies every time we beat a Larrisa or a Brann
as I knoew as soon as the real games come around we will fold up just like erm
this season again.
Jason Lam
18   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:07:55

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I think the point is our boys didn’t show as much endeavour and aggression normally associated with the derby. Peter Reid wasn’t that tall and neither were many of the Dogs O’ War in midfield. For a derby game I honestly expected to run themselves to the ground, boss the midfield and chase the loose balls.

I’m not sure if added aggression (or height) would’ve won this game. We lacked quality.

2008 version of The Smurfs as an Everton squad. Amazing.
Michael Hackett
19   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:22:24

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"Where did it all go wrong this season or more to the point, why? We all have our own theories on this but there can be no arguement at all that it has gone tits up virtually overnight with issues that have been long standing for many seasons now. "

I stopped reading after that and am happy after reading some of the responses. Since when has our season gone wrong. Moyes doesn’t seem to think that and neither do I. If only people like you, Tony, would support the team rather than waiting for a chance to slate them when something goes worng. We’ll beat Derby at the weekend and and the reds will lose to the Gunners to it’ll be back to two points. People seem to fortget their is another 6 games left in the season. And if we don’t finish 4th I won’t be too unhappy since I never would have expected it at the start of the season. At least we’ll have put up a proper challenge and can build on that next year.

Also I would rather have Pienaar than Papa Boupa Diop or Scumbag Barton anyday.
Paul Lenehan
20   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:40:01

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Again Tony you haven?t answered our question what system would you have played?
Tony Waverleas
21   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:37:41

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More foul-mouthed nonsense from an individual so deluded he actually believes he knows the mind of the manager who works with this squad seven days a week.
So many points to pick up on but I’ll stick with the one where he talks about Joey Barton "getting stuck in".
Jesus wept.
So, what will transform our squad is an indisciplined head-the-ball who spends more times sat on his arse in the stands than he does on the pitch?
Pitiful, Tony, absolutely pitiful.
Michael Hackett
22   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:37:41

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"The Sycophants and the deluded back out in force.What the fuck has injuries to players got to do with the type of players Moyes likes to sign ie Small ones."

What the fuck are you on about??? Moyes has said himself that he would prefer to sign bigger players but the best and most skillful players are what he’s after. They just happen to be small. Doubt he’s ever gone around looking for small players to sign. You really are an idiot and think you are the deluded one. Some people will never be happy. This season is the first season in a while where I’ve been amazed by some of the football we’ve played. The first half against Arsenal was a dream to watch (pity about the second half though). I would prefer if we had small players and played good football than have all huge players with only the option of hoofball. I know we’re seeing a lot of hoofball now but my main judgement is from earlier in the season before the injuries hit in. How would liverpool have looked without Gerrard and Torres the other day? How would united have looked last night without Ronaldo and Rooney? It could be said that Cahill and Johnson on recent form before the injuries are our versions of them and I don’t give a fuck how small they are.
Teddy Draper
23   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:02:23

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Once again, another load of garbage from the self acclaimed, "I am ashamed to be an Evertonian" Mr Marsh, a final two words on your height theory, BOBBY COLLINS
Connor Rohrer
24   Posted 02/04/2008 at 10:49:26

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Tony Marsh, Your the one always going on about how the football isn’t good enough so Moyes has went out and bought better footballers. The likes of Pienaar, Baines, Osman, Arteta and Fernandes are good footballers albeit smaller ones. And the football has improved. It isn’t perfect but its getting better which has shown by our results this season compared to last season.

I was listening to the Times podcast and Moyes has made it clear he wants to add more stature to the side he just wants to find the right players. There’s no point in going out and buying a 6ft 4 grock who’s physical but can’t play football. You need the right balance and these players are hard to find. Most go to the top 4 or the top clubs in European football. Moyes has stated that alot of the smaller players are better footballers than the bigger players. I’m pretty sure he’ll be looking to add height and stature to the team next season but until the summer there’s no point moaning when we can’t do anything about it.

I agree we are lightweight but it hasn’t effected us as much as your making out. Despite out lack of height we’ve beaten alot of teams bigger than ourselves. Bolton and Portsmouth for example. Two of the most physical teams in the Premier League and we beat then quite easily with the likes of Osman, Pienaar and Arteta up against the Papa Bouba Diops and Kevin Nolan’s of this world.

You hardly ever post when where winning Tony. Its a fact. You posted like twice in our 13 game winning streak yet you post after every defeat we have. Something fishy going on there if you ask me.

Again I’ll ask you what team and tactics would you have went with? Who would you have brought in to make us any more physical than we already are? It had nothing to do with Moyes being tactically inept it had alot to do with lack of options.

And another question which players of ours do you actually rate. I’d like a list and the reasons you rate them. If you have trouble remembering the names I’ll help you out.
John Lloyd
25   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:17:58

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Hello Tony mate, I posted this on another thread but I wouldnt mind you taking a look and seeing if & where you disagree with me and then why?........I apologise if people have already seen this............

Its time to rewind our minds back to season start for a short time beacause with recent results the knee jerk reaction brigade have been out in force!!

Surely our target at beginning of season was to overhaul Spurs as the primary challenger for the top 4 (CL places) and to re-qualify for Europe. And when you look at the improvement & cash spent by some of our nearest challengers (City, Pompey, Spurs, West Ham) then this was a fair target.

Over the course of the season we have put ourselves in a position to maybe, I repeat MAYBE give that shower of shite a run for fourth. Every evertonian in the world would agree that would be amazing & a wonderful end to season and with a bit more luck in big games (1st derby & blackburn away spring to mind) then we would of had an even better chance than we do now.

But we CANNOT forget what our initial target was and probably still is and we are achieving that, which is unquestionably another marked improvement from the club, management & players. Especially when you figure our two cup runs into the equasion.

Now we are not without criticism & over the season we (well most of us) can see areas or players where we still need to improve, for example in my opinion 1 or 2 midfielders are needed ideally good ball players with a bit of physicality (height & strength) also a right back who can defend up to our standard but is also comfortable enough to join in play further up pitch. We probably also need another striker due to Vaughans injury problems leaving us with only 3 fit strikers for most of time.

Basically, as long as we keep picking up wins and finish (minimum of 5th) I will be a happy blue. Then we can start all over again with the transfer rumours, the doom mongering, the optimisim and see if we cant set our targets even higher and topple that pile of shite over the way for 4th.....or higher!!!
Dick Fearon
26   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:20:06

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I would not use Tony?s choice of words yet I agree with a lot of his argument.
Those who beg to differ usually justify their case by pointing to the fact that the players Tony criticised have helped us reach a very respectable league placing.

I cannot help but wonder if such a good position is because of or in spite of them.

I do not think for one moment that any of our players do not give one hundred per cent in every game. The problem is that one week they can be good and next they are useless. That is particularly the case with our attacking midfielders.

What if we had just one good big midfielder would our league position be the same or better. I believe that the signing of only one player would be the difference between a top 4 contender and the rest.
Even Dave Lynch would have to agree that a midfield with little Timmy and such a player would indeed be formidable.
I believe we are on the cusp of lasting success and I also believe that in David Moyes we have the man for the job.
Andy Ellams
27   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:55:30

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If we had been mad enough to sign that pyschopath Barton then he would have been unavailable to play anyway as he is barred from the city as part of his bail rules.

And Pat Van den Hauwe was a hard man on the field, but don’t remember him being in court and facing jail for fighting in McDonalds.
Stan Sheppard
28   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:45:06

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There is no doubt that this rant contains some decent points. We do need to address the midfield situation, but up until our exit from the UEFA Cup we were unbeaten in the league in 2008 - well done the mighty midgets - since then the wheels have come off a bit but all is not lost. Our return to hoofball is disconcerting but I’ll only start to panic if we don’t win at the weekend.

A midfield general is most definately required. I think Fernandes looked good when he came on on Sunday. The lad can pick a pass and is comfortable on the ball. We have looked jaded in recent matches but up until the Fulham we have been tough in the tackle and competitve in midfield. Injuries and low morale may have taken their toll.

As for Joey Barton. He’s had his problems this season and I think as a club, he is the sort of player we can definately do without. No matter how good he was for Newcastle against Spurs, he’s been shite for the majority of the season and he’d have been no use against the RS as his bail conditions mean he couldn not have played in the game, just as he couldn’t have played in any of our recent home matches (nor was he allowed to play for Newcastle away to RS) as he is not allowed to be in the vacinity of his latest criminal activity.
Ed Fitzgerald
29   Posted 02/04/2008 at 11:55:11

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One of the deluded here Tim Cahill is 5 10 by the way not exactly a short arse, if not a giant. All those goals he scores with his head would indicate he is quite useful too and not pocket sized either. Stats from this season
When TIm Cahill starts Pld 18 Won 12 Drawn 4 Lost 2
When Joey Barton starts Pld 15 Won 4 Drawn 5 Lost 9

The giant that is Barton is 5 9 by the way Tony a whole inch taller than Osman
Ed Fitzgerald
30   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:21:01

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Sorry Tony

Barton should say lost 6 not 9 apologies Tony maybe we should sign him after all?
Lee Spargo
31   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:18:03

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Q. How tall is Joey Barton then?
A. Not very.

You’re not touching on anything new here Tony. We’ve been crying out for a midfield general for years. The problem is finding a good one that we can afford. Barton would not be the answer.
Tony Marsh
32   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:21:46

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I was using Barton as an example of the kind of player we lack.A streetfighter type who is not afraid to get dirty and who would defo get stuck in if required thats all.

If you cant see that then whats the point in even debating the issue .If you are all happy with the size of the squad both in numbers and body size then God help us.
What ever has transpired before the beggining of March was great I agree, but a season lasts untill May and we have let slip the chance to take 4th spot off the RS

Moyes refused to add players in January when he claimed the squad was capable of finishing out the season.It now appears not so and we are in bad need of fresh legs.I suppose thats my fault as well is it? Oh sorry Moyes brought in Gardner didnt he?Wheres he now?

Its quite amusing how you lot have these ready made excuses to fire back when defending the utter balls up Moyes and his players have made of what could of been a fantastic season .Yes we have injuries but thats no excuse for lacking
the desire or the bottle to compete in a Derby game is it.

The truth is Everton will not be getting a forgien investor anytime soon so our only hope of competing with the big 4 was to break in to the CL thats were the money is.The UEFA Cup is little more than a hinderance to most progressive clubs and gives nothing back in a financial sense.

Finishig 5 th might look good on paper but what does it get us really.More games in the middle of nowwhere next season and more strain on an already limited squad. Cant you see that FFS.
Paul Lenehan
33   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:44:46

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Again Tony what formation would you have played on sunday?
Ged Dwyer
34   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:31:45

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Spot on Tony. Moyes has had 6 years to build a midfield. Osman is a neat skilful player but slow and lightweight. Carsley is ok defensively but is slow and only has limited passing ability. Pienaar is skilful and tries to get stuck in but is too much like Osman. Neville ISN’T a midfield player. He is nowhere near good enough. Arteta is played out of position.
It’s all about balance. We need a proper wide man and we don’t have one(forget Shandy Andy). We need a strong runner who can win a ball and cover ground. We haven’t got one. Moyes keeps saying he’ll only buy a player who will improve the squad. But he never does. He just buys someone who is similar to what we already have or not as good.
And why won’t the media ask Moyes what the hell is going on with Graveson and Shandy Andy?
Michael Brien
35   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:36:02

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Tony - Joey Barton may well have had a great game for Newcastle against Spurs- but how many great games has he had for them ? I wouldn’t have thought many Geordies would be voting for him as their player of the year!!
You mention Pat van den Hauwe and big Dunc - but the game has changed since Psycho was playing.How many cards do you think he would get if he played the same way ? Quite a lot I would think.
On Sunday’s derby - yes I will concede that they were the better team.What I will not concede though is that both teams were treated the same by the Referee. I am not saying that it would have changed the match result - but I found it very unfair to say the least that Jags got a yellow card whilst Golden Boy Stevie G could go in hard on Lee Carsley, leave his studs on Carsley’s leg and get away with it !!!!!
One last point Tony - most teams if they had the injuries that we have had would struggle.Even West Ham with their Icelandic investment have not been able to put up a challenge for a top 6 place - and that’s seen by most to be because of the injuries that they have had this season.
Stan Sheppard
36   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:44:21

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Yes Tony!

That responce, a few posts up, was much more measured than your article. Where the hell is Anthony Gardner? Why did we sign him? Probably because there was no cash or no one available for the cash we have.

We do need a midfield general who plays like Barton/Keane and we know that.

The first half of the derby was hard to watch as we didn’t seem to turn up. The high tempo was set by the home team and we created nothing the whole game.

Everything up to Fulham was great and its very disappointing we have begun to wilt.

However on the other side of the pesamistic/realistic ’we’ll be lucky to finish 5th’ is the optimistic/realistic ’if we beat Derby this weekend and Liverpool lose to Arsenal the gap is down to 2 point.

Its been looking like an anti-climax for the last few weeks but its not over yet.
John Maxwell
37   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:47:40

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We are all frustrated from the weekend and perhaps we have been getting ahead of ourselves by thinking we were going to get 4th spot..

Its not over yet, but realistically we are looking at the Uefa Cup next year..

Sadly I think we have a long way to go before we can compete honestly with those teams above us.

Certainly the top 2 are miles ahead of us but I believe will a full strength team we can beat either Liverpool or Chelsea on the day.

If you look at history, say the past 15 years.. Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all competed in the UEFA Cup or maybe Cup Winners Cup as it was known.. This competition I think Tony you maybe under estimating..

I believe our season has been made out of our progression in this compeition, we have seen our confidence improved and our all round play develop and we can only thank the Uefa Cup for it. This is where you learn how to play european football and next year will see us get even further.

It also helps with the profile of Everton Football Club and puts us back on the map and in the summer those players we deperately need may just come to Goodison Park.

Patience !!
John Nelson
38   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:41:41

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I respect your views on us needing a midfield general but until the season is over and the transfer window opens, we can’t do fuck all. End of. Also do you think you are the only fan who realises that we need a midfielder of this type?

Up until the Fulham game two weeks ago we have been playing some spot on stuff. Just because it has went a bit tits up doesn’t mean that our season is over and the end is nigh. We have still got 6 games left, 4 of those are at home, and apart from Arsenal and Chelsea, definately all winnable.

If you would have asked me at the start of the season would I take 5th place, two decent cup runs, a lot of attacking football, a lot of goals and hardly conceding any then too fucking right I would have.

Onwards and upwards.

Paul Lenehan
39   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:46:21

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Getting 5th gets us what we need at this stage in our development. It gets us back into Europe, which you may think is beneath us but given or recent history 99% of Evertonians do not. It improves upon last were we finished last year and closes the gap in terms of league places and points on the top 4. It gives supporters and players/staff belief and tangible proof that we are moving forward. It shows prospective transfer targets that we are not only a stable club but that we are club that regularily plays in Europe and challenges at the top end of the most competitive league in Europe. It provides gives us more experience and know how which can only be obtained through playing in these situations and finally Tony it provides the perfect platform for Moyes to go out over the summer and strengthen further so that we will not have a limited squad and so that we can launch another assault on fourth. Can you not see that FFS.
Jesudian Chelliah
40   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:49:45

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Everton are team on the up and we have talents that can bring us arise and shine in next 5 years faces will add the power....hope they are fighter and current squad are also POWER in term of good mentality and positive game ....they never play foul even we are losing. the red are playing like shit , throwing the body and legs all over the place........ONLY problem from my personal view is SMALL SQUAD at this moment....we need a BIG SQUAD and also play like Cahill - fight for the ball with full heart ONLY,result will follow.....

EVERTON WILL ARISE AND SHINE......respect all the comment ...alll were very good voice of TOFFEES from all over the EARTH.........
Dave Lynch
41   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:41:22

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There is no getting away from the fact that virtually every season we implode in one way or another.
Even when we qualified for the CL qualifiers we nearly blew it. Only the poor results of other teams saved us.
Someone on here said our aim was to finish higher than Spurs ? Well considering the season they have had i do not count that as an achievment.
The one thig that Tony is correct in stating,is.
That after 6 years we are still watching hoofball when we have a few injuries.
Injuries at this stage of his tenure are not an excuse.
6 years is long enough to build a squad to cope with set backs. No excuses.
Again for all the Moysie lovers. for every Piennar, Cahill ( Nearly choked there Dick) etc, there has been a VDM, Beattie etc.
It is Moyes fault. He buys the players, picks the team and sets out the tactics.
5th is not an improvement.
It still only means UEFA cup again and another season overladen with meaningless games on a Thursday night.
Getting to the semi of an overatted comp that the big boys can’t be arsed sending out a decent team for in the early stages is not ground breaking.
As the minute we face decent opposition we are left wanting.
Robbie Muldoon
42   Posted 02/04/2008 at 12:44:12

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Every big game we have we lose. Fact. Moyes must take the blame for this. Even the Dogs of War Everton would beat some of the top teams or win in big pressure games be it a Cup Final or a last day relegation escape.
Whenever any pressure is put on this lot they go under - it does my fucking head in.
We responded well against Fiorentina - I was amazed! But you just knew we wer goin out on penalties didn’t ya!
Moyes keeps a tight ship, takes no shit and is realistic. However he is tactically shite, too loyal to shit players and dare I say it a bit of a shithouse in the big games.
Bob Turner
43   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:09:29

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Dave, you say "5th is not an improvement" - so where did we finish last season???

And I think you’ll find that, although for every Pienaar and Cahill, there is a Beattie and Van Der Meyde, who is there for every Yakubu, Lescott, Arteta, Jagielka, Howard, Johnson etc etc??
Ed Fitzgerald
44   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:16:37

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Fact is we are 5th now, got into Europe last season due to league form. So to say there has been no improvement is garbage.
I think Moyes has moved his thinking forward and we are not playig the Hoofball now that Dave Lynch suggests we are. The simple fact is as Moyes has stated himself is that if we want to really compete with the top 4 more investment is needed. He has taken us far as he can at present and without more money the story will remain the same. If want to compete with RS, Man U, Chelski and Arsenal we need more cash. Surely this is down to Kenwright to sort out, or get out and let someone else run the club who has money?
Tony Williams
45   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:40:27

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Oh My Rants!!

92 Bus - Classic

Joey "One inch taller than Osman" Barton - priceless

Buy Big - Doh!

Season over - 6 games left, 4 at home.

Using Barton as an example!, they why dedictae a full paragraph to the silky skilled assassin?

Same old shite Tony, woe is me, Everton and Moyes are crap and spineless, little midfielders can’t play etc etc

Oh My Rants!!
Tony Waverleas
46   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:31:21

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Yeah, you’re right Tony - all’s that’s missing from our squad is that midfield powerhouse Joey Barton; a player booed to the rafters by the Geordies earlier this season. And doubtless had he been lumbering round in Royal Blue looking as clueless you’d have been bouncing up and down on here demanding to know why David Moyes had wasted money on him and leading the campaign to get him sold asap.
It’s called being fickle, Tony.

Just one question, though. Do you honestly think David Moyes does not want and, more importantly, will not try to improve the depth and quality of our squad?
John Lloyd
47   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:56:12

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You can try reasoning responses with this tit, or ranting back disproving or at least providing counter arguments to his points. But we really shouldnt bother cos its his opinion and he’s not gonna change it. He’s one of them know it alls, we should be at the top of the league challenging every year no matter what type of fan who has no clue about the ’modern game’ (with all its pro’s & cons).

Tony there is nothing wrong with pointing out shortfalls in the squad, tactics of teams & the management but your ’rants’ are without balance, reason and often are sometimes plain old inaccurate. I’ve seen people’s comments get removed off here for less yet Marsh is still allowed to post whatever he wants??

Ignore or read only for amusement purposes in future
John Lloyd
48   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:03:10

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and Joey batron is NO streetfighter, he’s an average player with a big mouth and shithouse mentality and if thats what you want at our club........well says it all really.
Dave Jeanrenaud
49   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:01:01

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As requested above please tell us what your formation and starting line up would have been on Sunday.

Come on Tony i am on the edge of my seat here waiting for a good laugh!
Dave Lynch
50   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:20:20

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The point i’m trying to make is this.
5th or 6th, what does it matter bar a few extra quid to line Bullys pocket.
No CL just more Uefa which will only put more pressure on us and does not make us attractive to the top players.
I wont mention the likes of Koldrup and the few more to offset the players you have mentioned.
WE NEED INVESTMENT ! We will not get it under this board.
We need a manger that knows the modern game, It is my opinion that we don’t have one.
His results when it comes to the big games prove that.
Arthur Seacrest
51   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:29:42

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You used to bang on about ?hoofball? Tony and how you hated teams pumping the ball up long.

Now you?re complaining that the team?s too small?

I thought you wanted the team to play attractive football to feet?

How does a tall team fit into your masterplan? Maybe we should just buy Peter Crouch and be done with it.
Frank Mcgregor
52   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:48:34

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I would like to congratulate Bob Turner on an excellent response to Mr Marsh’s article well put together with logical commonsense and most of all did not require profanity to re-enforce his point of view which I support .
The pain Mr Marsh must have been going through at the beginning of the year waiting for Everton to suffer there first defeat must have unbearable so as he could once again resume his articles.
Craig Walsh
53   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:23:11

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"Moyes refused to add players in January when he claimed the squad was capable of finishing out the season.It now appears not so and we are in bad need of fresh legs.I suppose thats my fault as well is it"

I don’t normally agree with you but you have hit the nail on head there, the team was doing well ( and you was happy and quiet ) whilst we was on our unbeaten run. But now the team as ran out of steam and injuries have taken their toll that is the reason we was struggling their is only so long you can play pressing football as we were when we was winning with a small squad ( height wise too ). Lets all try to get behind the team for the final push of the season and make sure we stay fifth. Being the best out of the other 18 teams for the 2nd year running isn’t a bad thing is it? If we can keep improving the squad ( as Moyes is consistantly) we will soon be getting them points of the sky 4, don’t forget guys we lost at least 5 points this season through bad refereeing we have had no luck nor no penalties that would ha ve put us level on points we the other lot and we still would have had a very good chance for 4th but hey shit happens!!! Coyb

Tony Marsh
54   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:00:10

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Dave Jeanroud
My starting eleven on Sunday would not of included Phil Neville or Jagielka. I would have used Lescott at center half and played Baines at left back.

Then I would of started with Fernandes instead of Pienaar who wasn't fit. Baines and Manny would of provided much more of a cutting edge and Lescott back in his proper position would probably have kept it a lot tighter at the back.

The rest of the team would have had to be as it was but I would most definetly had at least one of the reserve strikers on the bench instead of all those defenders.

How's that still laughing?
Wayne Smyth
55   Posted 02/04/2008 at 14:28:29

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Tony, its a shame that you phrase your posts the way you do, as some of the points you make arent that contentious.

First of all, the league:

We have no right to be in the top 4, we have no right to be where we are now in fairness given what Moyes has had to spend. Only consistently good performances for the majority of the past 8 months has brought us ahead of so many teams that have bigger wallets. That must be a reflection of the effort & ability of the manager and players.

The battle for 4th is far from over. Infact the run the RS has had recently coupled with our own loss of form(mainly down to injuries) might just be enough to make the RS relax too much and it probably takes the pressure of our boys too. We’re only 5 points behind them with 18 points left to play for.

Secondly, Europe:

Does anyone remember how long it took Man Ure(and all our other euro qualifying teams) to sort themselves out in europe when the ban was finally lifted?

I’m proud of what we’ve acheived in Europe this season. We gained valuable experience, put to bed the disasters of previous seasons with some superb performances & results and gave a top italian side a real run for their money. Next time we should have the belief to go all the way.

The signings:

I think Moyes has done a terrific job in the transfer market with the money he’s been given. People complain about Gardner, but he was obviously brought in as temporary cover for stubbs.

Pienaar despite his stature has probably been our most creative and effective midfielder this season and will be signed for peanuts when the next transfer window comes round.

Baines is an excellent footballing left back, jags has been superb once he was played in his most comfortable position and the yak has been on fire ever since he came.

Yes we need a midfield general, but who was available with size, athleticism and a footballing brain? Diarra? 60k a week and an attitude to thanks.

Dont forget that this season lots of teams had lots of money. That makes it difficult for Moyes to be able to compete for whatever players are available.

Its a shame that manny & gravesen have both had fitness issues, as they were obviously brought in as temporary cover if nothing else.

Barton seems to spend more time in the cells than on the pitch, so Moyes has done the right thing by holding onto the money he has, which he will obviously use this summer when there is more about.

If any criticism needs to be levelled for our lack of ability to challenge the top teams, it must be at Kenwright who has consistently failed to provide the level of investment we need.
Paul Lenehan
56   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:24:07

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Tony, fair enough your team would read Howard, Hibbert, Lescott, Yobo, Baines, Manny, Arteta, Carsley, Osman, Yak. Thats 10 so who would you have partnered with Yak up front?
Michael Hunt
57   Posted 02/04/2008 at 13:17:07

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Some good points there Tony. In hindsight it really does look like it could be a costly mistake not to reinvest the McFadden money to bolster midfield with an addition of aggression, muscle and quality. I guess only Moyes and BK know how hard they looked at that and whether it really was just not possible at the time.
Even with the injuries I thought we’d have performed a lot better in the derby and that we have enough character and quality to get a very good return from the last 6 games now.
Derby County at home really is a MUST WIN game now, a performance and win may be the boost to have big last spurt to the in the MASSIVE LAST 5 GAMES THAT CAN STILL SQUEEZE US INTO THE TOP 4 and the riches and investment in the squad that can follow. COYB, PROVE TONY WRONG!
I so hope you are wrong to write our season off already Tony, but I was obviously wrong to think we’d get revenge for the Clattenburg derby last Sunday, so who knows?! COYB!
Andy Crooks
58   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:04:48

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David Moyes has done and continues to do a pretty good job but he?s far from infallible. Tony makes some fair points with a lot of passion. 4-5-1 only works when Tim Cahill is at the top of his game. Sunday's lineup were not capable of winning. Could we have selected a competative team from the platers available? I don?t know but I be interested to hear Tony?s view on this.
Andy Crooks
59   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:37:16

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Sorry,Freudian slip. I meant players, not(selling) platers.
Dave Jeanrenaud
60   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:56:26

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Tony Marsh,

Who is laughing no you ask? Well me actually.

Your team of ten:


You had a right pop at Moyes within your column and stated we must never play 451 without Cahill.

I ask again what formation would you have played? And who is your eleventh player?

Not as easy as you thought this manager lark is it??
Colin Grierson
61   Posted 02/04/2008 at 15:24:16

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I am astounded.

Do you work at Alton fuckin Towers Tony. How big do you have to be to be accepted. Maybe we should get a wooden cut out of a midfielder with a height chart on it!
FFS there are numerous examples of ’small’ players who have graced the world footballing stage with grit and aplomb; Maradonna (fuckin midget) Zola (Tiny) Strachan (Wore kid’s boots) I could go on and on with players from all over the globe. Its as bad as saying players are too young!

The key is whether the payer is good enough or not. Pienaar gets stuck in, so does Osman, so does Cahill (5’10") so does AJ, so does Arteta. You have the odd salient point in your article Tony but size isn’t it.

Moyes got it wrong in so far as if you play a 4-5-1 system, then the 1 should not be defending at the edge of his own box. When a striker comes to the edge of his own box the opposition centre halves squeeze the space and are there to pick up any odds and ends. If the striker stays on the half way line then who knows a hoof ball may come his way and a mistake could be made. Moyes hands were tied as far as tactics were concerned due to injuries. However, I do think he would have played 4-5-1 regardless, but that’s another issue. Maybe Yakubu got dragged in and was out of position. The truth is we don’t know Tony.
Its great to have hindsight though isn’t it. Moyes had to pick from a depleted squad. I wouldn’t drop Jagielka for a couple of individual errors though Tony but I agree with dropping Neville. He’s not good enough.
Phil Hamer
62   Posted 02/04/2008 at 16:02:14

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Ha Ha Ha Ha !! Yes we are laughing Tony, if we went out with ten players we would have got done five - nil !!

Clueless clown. Anyway, now you know its eleven to a team, which striker would you have put up front with Yak ?? Come on, back yourself up you half wit.
Tony Williams
63   Posted 02/04/2008 at 17:19:44

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It gets better, we will beat the redshite with 10 men just as long as they are tall.

Tony Marsh
64   Posted 02/04/2008 at 17:14:07

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Sorry, a paragraph went missing. I had Gravesen in for Neville as he is a far better footballer than P N but none of us know who else in the squad would have available on Sunday. It's hard selecting in the dark when we are not sure who is fit who is dropped and who out of the young reserve forwards could have played. Still I reckon my team would of made a better fist of it anyhow.
Connor Rohrer
65   Posted 02/04/2008 at 17:42:06

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Surely bringing Baines in and Jagielka out would have made us even smaller and more lightweight. Playing with 10 players isn’t going to help either.

If Baines would have played Liverpool would have exposed him with the cross field pass. He wouldn’t have been able to handle Kuyt aerially. Lescott played there and handled him well defensively.

The only thing I think Moyes got wrong was Neville for Manny. But saying that it was expected and Fernandes wasn’t fully fit, he hasn’t had much match practice and his form has been a little erratic since he joined. Looking at the impact he had when he came on you could argue he should have started but Moyes obviously felt he wasn’t ready.

I think that team was more or less the best team Moyes could have picked to be honest. Osman was the best man to fill the "Cahill role". People will argue the more mobile Pienaar may have been better but I disagree. We needed Pienaar out wide to get the service into the likes of Osman and Yakubu. Sadly he’s wasn’t at his best on the day.

Its not like Moyes didn’t try and have a go. He moved Arteta centrally to try and dictate the pace of the game and keep us ticking. Arteta did it in flashes but couldn’t dominate.
Dave Jeanrenaud
66   Posted 02/04/2008 at 18:41:51

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I refer to your original article......

"It?s not rocket science and I am not claiming to be a great football brain but it is common sense at the end of the day. The reason 4-5-1 works when Cahill plays is because he does what it says on the packet. He runs from deep and supports the front man. Simple. If Cahill ain?t fit... don?t play the fucking system!!!"

You have now added Tommy Gravesen to your starting eleven in what looks suspiciously like a 451 formation.

Please therefore explain why you are slamming David Moyes for playing 451 on Sunday when via your own selection you have shown that no other option was open to him?

You're losing your argument a bit here I think.

Tony Williams
67   Posted 02/04/2008 at 18:47:50

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Tony, you had Gravesen in for Pip?

What makes you think that The Gravedigger would be of any use?, yes Pip?s passing was shite but Gravesen has played 5 mins football in 3 months and would have been given the right runaround by the redshite?s midfield.

Lets be totally honest here, the only thing that Moyes could have done differently was play Fernandes instead of Pip, which we knew would not happen and of late seemed like the correct thing to do.

Nice try though
Tony Marsh
68   Posted 02/04/2008 at 19:01:39

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No Dave you are asking me to pick a side from what we had out and what was on the bench you can't expect me to know who is available behind the scenes, FFS? For instance was Anichebe dropped or was he sick like they say? Who knows. Is AVDM injured if so how? Who from this crop of young world beaters we keep hearing about could have played? You see it's pathetic having a go at me when we are all in the dark as usual. Believe me there is no way I would let it get to a situation were I would have to play 4-5-1 with the wrong players if I was in charge so that to is a moot point.
Connor Rohrer
69   Posted 02/04/2008 at 19:09:18

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How are we in the dark? Anichebe was sick/injured, the Everton website claimed Van der Meyde was injured a week or two a go. Johnson, Cahill and Vaughan where all out also which leaves us with little options.

None of the youngsters are capable of playing at this level yet and wouldn’t be thrown in. Be realistic Tony. I think your just making excuses up to be honest. Your team would have been similar to Moyes’s.

What would Gravesen have offered. I’m sorry but its about being realistic. He isn’t fit, he has no match practice and judging by his early performances he can’t run. He looked slower than Carsley last time he played and against athletic players like Gerrard he would have been killed. Neville is shite but he’s atleast capable of getting around the pitch and he puts his foot in something Gravesen doesn’t do.

The only thing you can really have a go at Moyes selection is the inclusion of Hibbert/Neville over Fernandes. Other than that he got the team right in my opinion.
Tony Williams
70   Posted 02/04/2008 at 19:15:35

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Tony if you pick a 4-5-1 "with what we had out and on the bench", which was basically all our fit first teamers then what formation did you expect Moyes to pick?
Dave Jeanrenaud
71   Posted 02/04/2008 at 19:24:49

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I’ll leave it there i think Tony if that is ok with you.

I would give you a lot more credit if you occasionally held your hand up and said ok i got that one wrong. You are too pig headed for that however.

The fact is that Mr Moyes had no option other than to start with a 451 on Sunday and that was the point i was making.

I will leave others to decide who is the gobshite.
Dave Harris
72   Posted 02/04/2008 at 20:38:31

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Joey Barton??
Soe he has one good game in almost a full season and is now the answer to all Evertonian prayers. Sort yourself out lad.
Steve Templeton
73   Posted 02/04/2008 at 21:38:52

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Ha ha!

Tony - you have been well and truly found out by David Jeanrenaud.

You slam David Moyes for playing 4-5-1 against the shite without Cahill in the line up but when asked who else you would have played you pick a 4-5-1 formation without guess who? Cahill!!!

When the error of your ways is pointed out to you, you then start muttering on about how you wouldn’t know who was fit etc. You are absolutely pathetic mate if that’s the best you can come out with.

As for your comment that you would not have let the situation get that far, what was Moyes supposed to do with injuries to four out of his five attacking players? Sorry, I forgot - he was supposed to have the Tony Marsh infinite wisdom and spent £20 million pounds on a couple of foreign superstar strikers in January just on the off chance that we might suffer some injuries later in the season.

Once again you have lost the argument Tony and not for the first time. I’d give it up if I was you or is the oxygen of publicity too much of an addiction for you?
Bob Turner
74   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:23:24

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Dave Lynch, you say that we need a manager who knows the modern game. I think a manager who has achieved 4 Top 7 finishes in 6 seasons (assuming we don’t completely capitulate over the next 6 games!) has a pretty good idea of what’s going on, surely??
Andrew Brophy
75   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:24:58

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Come on fellas. Agree or disagree but why the insults? Don’t call Tony a half wit or tell him to fuck off and support another team (as has happened in previous threads). Question his views, and I have more than once, but not his passion for our club.

For what it’s worth, Moyes had very few options because of injuries, but I am beginning to think he needs a small electrode implanted in his brain so he can be given a quick jolt every time he tries to pair Carsley and Neville in midfield, whatever formation he chooses or is forced to play. A kind of 11th commandment if you like.

What all of us, Moyes included, were entitled to expect from whoever wears that shirt is a bit more guts and fight than the pitiful embarrassment we had to endure in the first half. They let him down as well as us. But it is a sign of progress and the higher standards that we have started to set that we aren’t prepared to just shrug our shoulders and accept it - or at least I hope we’re not.

Players and manager have both gained more understanding this season of just what is required to break into the Sky 4. Investment from the board and a bit more self-belief against these teams.

The season is far from over. We are capable of winning 4 of the last 6 and getting something from Chelsea and Arsenal. If that means we pip them for 4th, fantastic. If we have to settle for 5th, then despite some appalling decisions it will mean that we are not quite ready yet.

The summer will show us the measure of this board. Their credibility will be on the line.We must not fail to strengthen like we did 3 seasons ago.

Like I’ve said elsewhere - courage Davie, money Bill.

Best to every Blue.
Dave Lynch
76   Posted 02/04/2008 at 23:16:00

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Yeah dead right Bob.
He sure knows whats going on. Look at the results against the big boys.
Look at our achievements in the cup competitions ( domestic as well as CL and Euefa ).
Fuck me !
We are weighed down with success.

Oh bring on the days when we where beaten by the likes of Fulham and Oldham and the worst RS team in years etc.
Ooops ! They are still here.
Can hardly contain my joy, another season without a trophy.
Happy days !!!!!!!!!!

Guy Wilkinson
77   Posted 03/04/2008 at 00:23:18

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Tony, good call for once.

We lack bite and too easily get shrugged off the ball. however height is not everything I would happily take Bullard to come in and take the holding role from Cars.
Derek Thomas
78   Posted 03/04/2008 at 06:00:50

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I’ve read the piece but skipped through the other relies so as to not ’contaminate’ my thoughts.

Now some may think that Tony is ’cherry picking’ his examples to make the point. But think on, they have to be there to pick.

I wrote a piece a few weeks back called NEARLY-OCRITY which didn’t go down too well.

Too many people would have settled for, what ever, at the start of the season, so we haven’t been too bad etc etc, look how far we’ve come since Walter etc.

We used to be so MEDIOCRE, but now we are 5th blah blah.

Too many are happy and maybe deep down think that due to all the usual suspects, finance etc that that is all we will ever be.


Oh yes, with some notable exceptions and they are the exception, a good biggun will always beat a good littlun, unlless of course the littlun is called David or Ball or Kendall, Harvey, Reid, Mckay, Bremner, some one with that X factor.

Money must be found to buy the Yakubu priced players. There are only so many Cahills out there.

Over to you Bill
Nick Toye
79   Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:40:05

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@Tony, well I am astounded, this is the first time I have read anything you have published that I truly believe in. Maybe you were trying to say the same thing in previous articles, but it got filed under kneejerk rants.

I believe Lescott should play at centre back with either Yobo or Jagielka missing out - I don’t think he should accommodate three centre halves when we have a 6m left back waiting to make an impact.

I also detest the fact he sticks with Neville and Carsley - who for my mind do nothing to help the cause. Neville doesn’t really possess any specialist ability, and Carsley for me is the most overrated player ever to play for Everton. Ok, he breaks the attacks up, blah blah blah - he doesn’t always break the attack up, but he always points and marks space, and the less said about his attacking ability the better.

I recently wrote an article about big balls, and our manager not possessing big enough balls to take a punt on a young striker like Lukas or Agard - especially when we have one fit striker in the squad. I think that kind of thought needs to be throughout the squad - and if Moyes does have one fault its that he doesn’t like to make changes - even when it is absolutely necessary.

I’m not talking about subs, because he actually hasn’t done badly this season with his subs. Its the first eleven that baffles me. I can’t remember the last time I was happy with the eleven put out there. I know injuries are an issue - but Fernandes and Baines have been on the bench too often this season for my liking - especially when you pay 6m for one and nearly paid 10m + for the other.

Now here’s some good news. Jack Rodwell will play more games next season, and he will play in the midfield, and he does possess pretty good height for someone his age, and apparantly he was relatively better than Rooney at the same age, so that looks promising.

But will Moyes play him, or will he persist with experience? Answers on a post card.
Bob Turner
80   Posted 03/04/2008 at 12:09:10

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Dave, please tell me then, which manager has achieved the same with the same resources Moyes has had available to him?

If you’re trying to compare Moyes against what Ferguson, Mourinho, Wenger and the Waiter have done in the same time, you’re barking up the wrong tree. That is a resource issue, which is not within his remit.

Oh, bring on the days when we win so many away games that I’ve lost count, that we’ve had 2 decent cup runs, that our goal difference is almost +20. Ooops, they are already here!! Thanks to DM and his players.

To take us to the next level where we CAN compete with the top 4 on a level playing field, we need more money for the squad, plain and simple.
Steve Jones
81   Posted 03/04/2008 at 12:58:44

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Tony might go over the top but I have to say the bottom line is we didn?t turn up on Sunday, I posted to the mailbag saying as much. No exscuses in the world will make me accept that the 11 players sent out could get themselves up for a derby that was vital to the fight for fourth.

As I also said if Cadmarteri & Jeffers were good enough at 17/18 to play in derbies and score in what are classed as dark days then why aren?t are current young strikers good enough? If Spencer & Jutkiewicz aren?t good enough then we?re going backwards, I know they?re out on loan but 1) They shouldn?t be 2) surely they could be recalled.

We all knew we had to strengthen in January (The same as it was blindingly obvious in 2005) to compete in Europe. If the money wasn?t their then that ain?t Moyes?s fault but he should have at least kept McFadden.
Roberto Birquet
82   Posted 03/04/2008 at 14:02:02

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Two holding midfielders is exactly what Benitez employed against us, yesterday against arsenal and for most of his time as coach of Valencia, when he won two Spanish league titles. Using two such players is not alien to 4-5-1 and not necessarily unproductive. It is more accurately, 4-2-3-1 and the two should help ensure no more than one goal being conceded. (Not exciting, but can be effective)

Surely our tactics have been dictated by the availability of players. we’ve sudenly got a few injuries - the unfortunate part is they are almost all attacking players. We’ve got an almost full complement of defenders. This is surely pure bad luck. Do we need more strikers, in our squad, really? Not if you look at the numbers, if one includes Cahill, we have five.

However, I think we should dedicate all money for new players to the midfield. We need a bigger player, who is not going to be knocked off the ball and more midfielders as possible replacements/ cover for Arteta, Osman, Cahill.
Robert Elliott
83   Posted 03/04/2008 at 14:19:49

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I agree like most Toffee fans that an imposing midfielder is a must during the close season. Finding one may be easier said than done though as I’m sure Moyes would have had it high on his list of priorities last summer as well. Don’t know much about that American kid at Herenveen we’ve been linked with, but isn’t he 6ft plus? And only 20 years of age. That might be a decent option. Having said all that we’re definitely moving forwards though. Saw the interview with Kallstrom on Setanta sports where he said he’d welcome a move to Everton because they’re a great club playing at the top of the table. Contrast that with Mark van Bommel’s response when he was linked with us about five years ago. Don’t speak much Dutch but it went something like this "Everton? Bloody hell. I’m better than that!"
Dave Lynch
84   Posted 03/04/2008 at 21:49:36

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There are plenty of managers who have achieved what Moyes has achieved.
Which is Fuck All !
Success is measured in the football world in trophies not highest league placings.
You can dress it up any way you want, but. finishing 5th, 6th or even 2nd and 3rd for that matter is not success.
Winning is what matters.
It is what sport is all about. I hate this mindset that exists in society of rewarding mediocrity, you know, the one where you get medals for just competing. Trying to kid everyone that they are all winners.
It’s bollocks. Football has never been a level playing field since Sky invented it.
It’s just that the rewards in monetary terms are far better for the also rans.
They have brain washed you into accepting it.
Danny ONeill
85   Posted 03/04/2008 at 23:05:34

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I normally have a go at you for your negativity and will do again but first I agree we messed up the Derby - not denying that a very disappointing performance. Another good point you make is that the 4-5-1 doesn’t quite work without Cahill. With him in the team it actually looks positive and compensates for the reduction in strikers.

All I would say is that the season isn’t finished yet - with reference to your opening paragraph, why do you insist on being a beaten man with 6 games to go? Jesus mate I would hate to be near you in the summer - that permanent rain cloud that follows you would ruin it. Are you Suicidal Sid from the Viz in disguise?

With regards to other players you mention (Graveson and VDM) - being someone who has played to a decent semi-pro standard, forget your "Championship Manager" style ratings of players. Moyes must be seeing something on the training ground that we don’t - like you say their class is not in question but other things must be (fitness, sharpness, mental attitude). There’s more to football than ability alone.
Bob Turner
86   Posted 04/04/2008 at 07:01:23

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Dave, Everton won the League 9 times before Sky came along - for the other 90 seasons or so, we were, according to your definition, failures. OK, we won the cup 4 times before then too, and we managed to sneak in a European trophy before we got banned and the decline set in, but generally speaking, we have failed significantly more than we have succeeded. In fact, we are a club which habitually fails, by your definition.
If you really can’t see how David Moyes has transformed Everton from an underperforming team which was flirting with relegation on an annual basis, into where we are now, then you really are blinkered, and nothing I, or anyone else, can say, is going to change your mind.

It’s got nothing to do with accepting second best, or rewarding everyone just for taking part, and I am certainly not brainwashed into believing that I should just accept what Moyes has achieved as "success".

It’s got everything to do, however, with resources. David Moyes has taken us as far as he can with what he’s got, I agree. What I don’t agree with is the claim that we need someone else to take us to that next level (do you really think Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger or the Waiter would have achieved what Moyes has achieved if they’d been manager of Everton?? Do you really think Avram Grant is a better manager than David Moyes??) We need money, plain and simple!!
Dave Lynch
87   Posted 04/04/2008 at 12:17:11

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Before the Sky deal in the so called good old 70s and early eighties, most fans believed their team could win something.
Be it the league or the FA cup etc.
Now we just accept, along with the majority of other fans that we are going to be also rans.
Sad i know.
I will leave it there Bob.
But thanks for the debate, it’s refreshing to have conversed with you without the need for petty name calling.
Unlike some on here.
Bob Turner
88   Posted 04/04/2008 at 14:18:30

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Yeah, Dave, nice one, I enjoyed it too. Back to the footy on Sunday, eh? COYB!
Tony Hawkins
89   Posted 04/04/2008 at 17:37:49

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"Where did the season go wrong?" - which team are you supporting Tony Marsh? I though we [Everton] were in 5th with a cushion of 4 points - 5 if our goal difference is included. given the fact the other 15 league teams are significantly behind on points, I’d say the 2008 Everton team have done a damn fine job so far. Yes, there has been the odd blip, the odd bizarre game or the odd bizarre tactics by Moyes but on the whole it makes the season a relative success so far. 5th is a good result, wouldn’t you say?

So if 5th is a good result (which I think it is) the squad must be a good team and the rest of your arguments fly straight out of the window so there is no point in continuing down that path.

...If we loose 5th, which is a possiblity, does that make it a terrible season? Only if we loose 6th as well would it be anywhere near bad. Why? Because 6th is still a damn fine result considering the results of the Everton Team over the last 20 years. Does this mean accepting less than the best? (which I’m sure will be the next discussion point) No. It’s about Progression. I would be extremely disappointed if we did finish below 5th but the majority of supporters hoped (and even expected) we’d finish 5th or 6th and didn’t dare dream we’d have a shot at 4th - no one would have except the minority of over enthusiastic, expectant and unrealistic.

Where to from here for next season? Top 4? Hey, why not top spot? 5th is still a excellent season for the Everton team and Everton’s progression.
Paul Hardcastle
90   Posted 05/04/2008 at 04:23:20

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Tony Hawkins, that is so utterly pathetic, it maddens me to hear fellow Evertonians accepting what we have now on the grounds that it is so much better than 6+ years ago.

For me, it’s about seeing continual improvement in all areas all of the time ? not just some areas, now and again, while we tolerate the backward slips and continually make excuses... it’s pathetic.

Moyes is a good manager... but he’s not good enough to be a great manager. And Tony gets my vote every time for calling him to task and pointing up the dreadful shite that is the hoofball we revert to as our lowest common denominator. Why do we tolerate the lousy football this team plays when we know they can produce good passing football? When they just go missing at the derby ? of all games? Of course we’re gonna call then on it. Why shouldn’t we?

As good Evertonians it is our duty to seek the best. NIl Satis Nisi Optimum. Don’t you EVER forget that motto!
Tony Hawkins
91   Posted 05/04/2008 at 10:20:47

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It’s not about accepting what we have now - it’s about accepting this step in the chain of events and recognising where we are now is an excellent achievement at this point in time. I fully expect Moyes and the team to improve next season and future seasons - meaning that going forward I hope and expect a challenge at minimum on 4th position.

OK, If we are saying "Everton should always be challenging for top spot" that also implies we, Everton should also be fully capable of winning the Champions League - am I the only one who sees that as an unrealistic target?

May be the team will get 4th or 3rd next season - I’d see that as a great next step.
Tony Williams
92   Posted 05/04/2008 at 10:28:53

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Paul Hardcastle

"For me, it?s about seeing continual improvement in all areas all of the time ? not just some areas, now and again, while we tolerate the backward slips and continually make excuses... it?s pathetic."

So you would not consider a 5th place (if it stays that way) and by far a better cup run than we have ever had under Moyes better than a 6th place with no run at all in any cup?

I would consider that an improvement over all areas.

Totally agree with your last sentence sentiments, yes we can hope for the best, can?t seek it as we have no direct impact on the games but just because we expect it (for some unknown reason) doesn?t make the team a failure if they don?t reach our unreasonably high expectations.

A failure in your eyes maybe!
Ted Chritchely
93   Posted 05/04/2008 at 13:38:43

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The fact Moyes keeps stating we dont need more players, but instead more quality is worrying. If we want to constantly qualify and take part in any European endeavours we need a squad big enough to deal with the injuries. It worries me in the sense that over the course of the last several months, we have been picking up injury after injury, have limited playing staff left, and moyes still stands boldly up and states we dont need a bigger squad just far more quality.

So tell me, David Moyes, when we have virtually no one on the bench because of severe injuries et al... what are we meant to do when you refuse to even look into our youth system or even reserves? That kind of thing is very worrying if he thinks we can maintain a good 50-60 games a season with the size of the squad we have now... surely he should have used hindsight, and realised if we got some pretty nasty injuries over a period of weeks... who would step in? But then again we dont have the financial clout to bring in more players... but we do for quality players? Umm... something isn't right there at all.

I also think quite a few people have forgotten about the first 3 months of this season, when we where not playing on all cylinders, in fact "we were not that great" is an over-statement...a run of excellent results from the end of October through the very start of Feb... 16 weeks playing well, then it's back to what it was previously.

But in that 16 weeks we played some of our best football in many many years. There is optimisim... but not if the manager is too deluded into thinking we don't need to increase the squad size. In an ideal world we will both strengthen with quality and make the squad a lot bigger to deal with cup runs and Europe and the league.

Connor Rohrer
94   Posted 06/04/2008 at 00:15:07

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Ted Chritchely, I think what Moyes is trying to get at is that we need to buy quality players rather than squad players. More players who are going to demand a place in the team rather than squad fillers.

I think he wants a similar size of squad to what we had at the start of the season but with everyone contributing. Lets be honest the likes of Gravesen and Van der Meyde haven’t contributed at all, Fernandes impact has been limited and Gardner hasn’t had any action at all. If we can replace the players who don’t offer anything with better players, get the likes of Vaughan and Cahill back then we’ll be fine.

Lets hope BK produces the goods.

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