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Wasted Season

By John Campbell :  22/04/2008 :  Comments (86) :
I know there are many Evertonians who consider this season to have been a resounding success, even though it is fizzling away to nothing in a manner which can only be described as acutely embarrasing for a team that was destined at one point to finish 3rd. Now that really would have been something...

Last Thursday, Everton lost to Chelsea at Goodison Park and sadly, the inevitability of that outcome was painfully obvious before a ball was kicked. I can accept being beaten by a superior side with better players and a massive budget to spend but what I can't and won't accept is the manner in which we as a team achieved this defeat. We all know how much the Chelsea team cost to assemble and how skillfull some of thier players are. We understand that 9 times out of 10 they will beat a side like Everton even in first gear... but why do we need to help them do it?

Everton Football Club is no longer the force we once were in the English game (and it's good to see that Moyes has finally opened some history books to see where we once were ? not perennial relegation candidiates, thank you, Davey!) but what is more worrying to me is the fact that we are no longer a football playing club. Despite a temporary appearance of some fluid football earlier this season, we have reverted to kick-and-rush hoofball of the must execrable form. It seems now we just cannot play football properly and for me it's soul destroying to watch.

It costs next to nothing to coach a team, regardless of how much the players themselves are worth, to get the ball down and play it to feet. It costs next to nothing to coach players to make runs off the ball and give options once we have possesion. It should be second nature that they move away from their markers at throw-ins or when we have possession and can move forward. So why can't any of our players do anything other than lump it and leg it and stand about like shop window dummies? PASS AND MOVE!! How hard can it be???

It's painfull for me watching proffessional players peforming like this week after week out on the pitch. I still havent heard one valid reason why, after 6 years under Moyes, Everton so often play like the Wimbledon side of the 80s and 90s ? but without the tall players needed for those ridiculous tactics.

If we are to be force-fed another 6 years of this tripe then I for one wll become increasingly afraid that the long-term demise of this once-great club will be further confirmed. The move to Kirkby is bad enough and playing like this will only add to the pain.

What I would like to know is this: Was there money available in January for new players? If not, it's a pity Moyes didn't come out and say so then, instead of going along with all the bullshit and incredibly saying our squad was big enough, FFS! I'm begginning to suspect we didn't have a penny to spend in the window and that makes Moyes an accessory to the crime. Tell the truth ? that's all we ask.

It's about time the powers that be at this club sat up and recogonised what wonderful supporters it has and started treating them accordingly. Stop feeding us with bullshit and let us know what's going on. How fucking long can this garden path be?

As you can tell from the TW mailbag, though, the trouble is too many of our fans are quite prepared to tolerate this nonsense while they buy in to the spin that things under David Moyes are constantly improving. The club will never change its policy until the fans get a grip of themselves. I mean look no further than our beloved chairman and the absolute murder this fool gets away with ? and yet the fans still haven't turned on him. Why?

What other big club would still have someone like Kenwright at the helm after what went on with Kings Dock fiasco? Imagine the Liverpool fans putting up with Kenwright's shenanigans or Moyes's attrocious football for this length of time. It just wouldn't happen would it?

Houllier only lasted 3 years at Anfield and he won about 7 trophies in that time. FFS, David Moyes wins fuck all and we lap it up for another decade!!! What's the matter with us? Until we the fans start to demand more from the Everton board and the manager it will never change. We will always be treading water and playing catch-up ? without ever catching up, that is!

To me. it's a disgrace whats happening at EFC these days and some of our fans are just as much to blame for the mess as Kenwright, Wyness and Moyes. Shit leadership and shit football are welcomed with open arms by far too many of our fans, while just surviving among the also-rans in the Premier League is now seen as success.

A section of Everton supporters have now become so blinded by mediocrity that they see it as the norm. It's this "Best opf teh Rest" mentaliy. They don't expect any better than they are getting so they never get dissapointed by it. It's a vicious circle and I fear that next season will be no different at all, regardless of who we sign in the summer. With Kenwright and Moyes leading the way how can it be?

Reader Comments

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Mike Allison
1   Posted 22/04/2008 at 17:54:13

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Okay Tony Marsh part II. What should be done about it?

Being negative is the easiest thing in the world. I could slag off anything, Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo have their faults. You, Marsh and Kenrick come on here and knock our club, players, manager etc forever, without ever once even positing a single idea about how things could be improved, and whilst doing it seem to think that you are somehow wise and all seeing with access to the ’truth’ whilst us poor deluded fools just can’t see what you see. I’m sorry, but that’s bollocks. Its a matter of outlook, of perspective, and seeing what you choose to see. There is no ’objective’ truth about Everton, which you see and we (the supporters - in the simple sense of the word - ie. ones who support) don’t. You have to accept and realise that you are simply choosing to see things in the worst, most negative way. And you know what? It doesn’t do anyone any good. Negativity breeds negativity and that aint gonna help anyone.

We have to be honest. We are OVER achieving massively and have done for almost all of Moyes tenure. The only teams above us are the Sky four and many of the teams below us spend more on transfer fees and wages than we do. We are lucky to be as ’bad’ and ’soul destroying’ as we are, because we could be much, much, much worse. Most other teams would love to be us right now, and we could be Nottingham Forest, Leeds or Sheffield Wednesday, rather than the best of the rest that we are right now.

So come on, try the tricky bit and be positive and constructive - Who should be the manager? Who should be playing for us? What should we do differently?
Lewis abbott
2   Posted 22/04/2008 at 17:57:46

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Spot on mate

This season has hurt me more than most. Yes its been good but at some points we have been dire. The old days didnt used to hurt as much (I am 19 by the way) as we knew we were shite but now we arnt, we have good players.

This is not a doom and gloom rant but i just cant see how long we are going to be able to keep the squad together if this is as good as its going to get. The way we rolled over and died agaisnt chelsea three times this year was awful.

I for one wouldnt mind moyes going to celtic in the summer... atleast we could freshen things up aslong as BIG SAM wasent his replacment.
Paul Hardcastle
3   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:05:48

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I think you’re missing the point, Mike Allison. Moyes is the manager; he should be doing better. Same for Kenwright as Chairman. The players that play for us should be playing better. We should do so much differently ? all the things John says.

Your perspective is one of accepting mediocrity instead of striving to be the best. As an Evertonain, I abhor and reject that suppine nonsense.
Mike Allison
4   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:13:09

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What point am I missing?!!!

What should we do ’better’? No-one comparable in the league can do better so how are we failing? We’re doing better than all but four of the richest teams. Moyes’ is doing better than what came before him, and he’s getting better as he goes on. He will hopefully continue to get better next season by signing more creative midfielders. You lot are moaning because we’ve had to play a month with a major injury crisis in midfield. Our full strength midfield is the one that scored 6s and 7s earlier in the season. Should we do better than that? That never felt mediocre to me.

You seem to have ridiculous expectations, which have themselves only been raised by the current manager and team! Do you really not see this? Can you really be this stupid?
Paul Hardcastle
5   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:20:41

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Six years to establish what Moyes has done is simply far too long. If he was really as good as you believe he is and I believe he should be, hje would have built on the succes of 2004-05, when we finsihed in the top four ? which, after all , is what everyone is bleating about.

Why did we not go on to build on that success and become a permament fixture in the top four? It?s because of the failings of Kenwright as Chairman and the failings of Moyes as manager to make the best use of his players by forcing his philosphy of Total Defense on them, thus destroying their creativity and our ability to consistently play proper football. I?m tempted to call the fact that you cannot see this "stupid" but I won?t stoop to your level.
Mike Allison
6   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:28:27

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You haven’t really answered anything I’ve said, and you’ve just said something to which I can only refer you to my previous comment. You’re expectations are unrealistic. It is not as simple as ’we finished fourth, so next year we should finish third’. Moyes took a team who’s main striker was Marcus Bent into the Champions League qualifying places! Our team now is incomparably better than that team, we have played some incredible football this season and are struggling badly through a lack of depth in midfield right now. Even with that in mind it took a linesman’s flag to prevent us going 2-0 up against West Ham, and if Villa hadn’t hit such good form, we wouldn’t even be that worried.

Why did we not go on to become a permanent fixture in the top four?! Are you serious? Really, is that a serious question? Think about it again and then come back to me. You should ’stoop’ to my level, because that’s a pretty stupid question.

Total Defence? (spelt with a ’C’ by the way). Bring it on if it means roaring up the league, scoring sixes and sevens, and at one stage, half way through the season, outscoring Chelsea on league goals.
Miles Wilson
7   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:37:01

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Jesus, man ? I think we are all gutted the way things have fizzled out but let's be level headed. without Cahill and Arteta our midfield lacks class especialy as PienaAr has looked knackered since the African Nations Cup. But our squad is slowly strenghtening and I expect us to be up there again next season. What Moyes has done over the last few years with a relatively tight budget is amazing. Now if we can just lose Neville and Hibbert.....
Kenada Bloomington
8   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:37:44

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Out with Moyes - Scolari in.

Out with Kenwirght - DCI or any other Arabian/Russian/Thai/American billionaire in!!!!

It pretty much sums what this article is really. Out with everything we?ve got and in with something new because we?ve been off form.

I agree with what Mike Allison says, all the way. Call me a traditionalist or put it down to stupidity but I?m proud of the fact we?re an all-English club and are pushing for Champions League on our own terms through good management, tatics, and determination.

Or we could be the RS this year - spend a shit load, bag 4th (again), have the board at each oethrs throat, and maybe not having anything to show for it at the end of the season.
Lewis Abbott
9   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:47:16

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I totaly agree with lossing Neville or at least never letting him play in midfield. At right back at least he is half decent. But captian is a joke...

This is another Moyes weakness, he has favorites, Neville being one of them. He needs to grow some balls and do something about it.

Lorik Cana in the summer would make sense...
David Kiely
10   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:47:48

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You?re spot on John Campbell. Best of the also rans doesn?t do it for me, but thousands of the Sheeple?s Club will accept this as something to cherish. Liverpool?s ethos is sticking trophies on the table full stop - regardless of all the trimmings. I hate that about them, but I want my club to be winning silverware again and I won't be strung along by 5-year fucking plans... we?re not a collectivised farming community hitting the local Soviet's targets, we?re supporters of a historically successful football club starved of trophies in a barren spell that?s threatening to become a club record.

Not good enough.
Danny Lorentz
11   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:28:06

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Can't believe what I am reading on this site, there are plenty of teams who are below us in the league and have spent way more money, Spurs, West Ham and Newcastle just to name a few.

With the money we have spent I think Moyes has done a great job. He has a great eye for a bargin, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Lescott to name just a few, how much would they cost now?

When Moyes took over we had a squad of old journey men and now we have most players who are about to hit their peak.

If we can find enough money to sign 3 quality players for next season I think we will do well.

It takes a huge amount of money to break into that top 4 on a regular basis, I think if Moyes had the money those teams spend each season we would be turning it in to the big 5.

Also on the quailty of football, you don't see Chelsea and Liverpool playing great football every week but they get the results so their fans are happy.
Connor Rohrer
12   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:49:07

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"Houllier only lasted 3 years at Anfield and he won about 7 trophies in that time. FFS, David Moyes wins fuck all and we lap it up for another decade!!! What’s the matter with us? Until we the fans start to demand more from the Everton board and the manager it will never change. We will always be treading water and playing catch-up ? without ever catching up, that is! "

Liverpool are on a different level to us though and in terms of expectation where completely different clubs. As much as I’d love to predict us to be winning the League or the Champions League year in year and I’m realisctic and I know that won’t happen. Thats not me being negative or not expecting anything its just realism.

Whether Walter Smith was managing us, David Moyes or anyone else we wouldn’t be at the level Liverpool are at now. They’ve had major investment as have the likes of Man utd and Chelsea. Arsenal are the exception but there manager is world class at spotting world beaters.

In my opinion, Moyes has done a good job. Not perfect but good. There’s still alot of room for improvent and hopefully he will deliver. We can talk about his lack of trophies yes but outside Liverpool, Man utd, Arsenal and Chelsea which manager actually wins trophies on a regular basis? There aren’t many. Yes Redknapp looks like he’s going to win the FA cup but its very rare in modern day football.

I like Moyes and I think he’s improved alot this season especially. He’s become more positive, he has on the whole played more technically gifted attacking footballers and he hasn’t made the pathetic excuses that he has done in the past.

I will judge this season when its over. If we get the 5th position then its a sign of progress and we’ve shown that we can compete in three different competitons with a reasonably small squad. If we don’t finish in Europe then I’ll be dissapointed.
Kevin Gillen
13   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:59:42

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Totally with Mike Allison, too many comments from Fantasy Football land. Another massive plus for the club today - a £10 million player for £2 million - all the best players signed on lengthy contracts, well done Blue Bill and Moyesie.
Alex Baker
14   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:41:19

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Being honest with myself, I am in Mike Allison?s corner here, even though a big part of me thinks that Everton should be scoring twenty every game and winning every game with God-like football. As Mike says, what would you do differently that would have GUARANTEED us to improve on 4th place? Who would you sign that is GUARANTEED to be an instant hit (bearing in mind our transfer budget)? Hindsight is great, but Moyes doesn?t have that luxury.
Richard Lloyd
15   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:55:28

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The comments made about the current state of the club only goes to show that we are all on the same side, and the differences of opinion are to me just sheer frustration that we all want the team to play better and be more successful than we are currently. Yes we are the best of the rest, and we all do want more, but is just goes to show how much the Sky 4 have each had to spend (either on players or through additional revenue generation by moving or improving stadiums) to try and stay there. I agree we must invest in better but affordable players at right back, the midfield holding role (Fernandes?) attacking midfielders and another quality forward, but without better investment, it will always take longer than the instant success we crave can offer.
Tim Bennett
16   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:59:42

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Where were the doom-mongers for the rest of the season - complaining when we went unbeaten for 2 months after the derby, or beating the Champions of Russia and Norway and winning in Alkmaar when no one else had? Nice one - we?re making progress, and more so under Moyes than anyone for 20 years - give the guy a bit of credit. Not one of the alternative managers mentioned would likely fare any better.

This is daft - we support a great club, albeit a flawed one - our much mentioned history is full of peaks and troughs (not just trophies, although a few more would be nice), and right now, by any objective measure, we?re on the up - let?s get on with it.

ps I?m not one to defend Neville, but his main flaw is a lack of ability - probably not his fault. What I do see in derby games etc though, is someone who doesn?t go missing and at least tries to lead - a few could learn from that (and try to ignore his passing game...)
Brian Waring
17   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:08:27

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Spot on Mr Campbell. Mike Allison and the rest. I?ve said it before, and I?ll say it again. In Moyes?s 6 year?s here, I have witnessed some of the shittest football I have seen from an Everton side. We have played the odd decent game, here and there, this season. But for most of his tenure, it has been hoofball, fucking hoofball! And you lot lap it up, and call him a genius.

How hard can it be to coach a team to actually play the ball on the floor? Does he even do this in training? I can imagine one of his training sessions, with a set of rugby posts either end of the pitch, that?s why I think Arteta puts his hand?s up in the air, before a corner or free kick, he is letting the other?s know he is going to put it between the posts.

At the end of the day, maybe some of us expect a better return on Moyes?s 6 years here.

Matty Thomas
18   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:25:12

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We sacked Gordon Lee for playing entertaining football whilst seventh in the league and with one step in the league cup final. Compared to that what has Moyes achieved? Ask yourselves this with the price hike of 35% per ticket in the Tesco’s arena is it value for money watching us the way Moyes has us playing.
Andrew Maher
19   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:37:58

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People need a bit of realism, just because we lose a match were not having a bad season; just like when we beat Brann at home doesn't mean were gonna win the Europen Cup.

Moyes shouldn?t have sold McFadden if he wasn?t going to replace him in January, but at the start of the season the vast majority - if not all Evertonians, would have settled for the position we?re in now.
Dave Calladine
20   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:12:40

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I will also have to agree with Mike - its not about accepting mediocrity, its about realism. Football has changed for the worse since the inception of the Premier League (in my opinion), and is now governed by money more than ever before. If we don’t have the money I don’t see what we can do to bridge the gap in addition to the shrewd purchases, tactics and great organisation our team currently displays.

I choose to hold onto the hope that we can bridge the gap to the four clubs currently monopolising the top spots in the league, and start winning trophies. However, that is the romantic in me talking, as in all honesty it is wholly unrealistic that a club with our budget can have any higher expectation than 5th every year (in fact our expectation should be lower based on the spending power of the likes of Spurs and Man City).

It is a shame that we are no longer a comparable club to Liverpool (and even Chelsea for God’s sake) but that is reality in the current financial climate. It is testament to our management and players we will have reached our highest points tally for over a decade by the end of this campaign, having played more games (with a small squad) than any of the teams immediately below us.

Finally I can completely understand why a midfield stripped of its best players might play tired looking football at the end of a long season, and I am not at all shocked by the fact that Neville and Carsley are not Kaka and Ronaldo in disguise. This season might be ending in a disappointing manner, and you could call any season without trophies a wasted season, but I think that you must be a real ’cup half empty’ person to not see the sustainable progress that I and many other supporters have seen this season.
Dave Turner
21   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:30:12

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When were we ever ?destined to come 3rd?. Sorry but if you set that as your expectation I think you were being hugely over optimistic.

I am left at this point of the season thinking what could have been, I think we have missed an opportunity, but the Uefa Cup defeat took everything out of the team. What is most important now is the team pulls together and secures 5th place. And if we do finish 5th, I think it will have been a good season, and build for next season.
Daniel Howard
22   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:23:40

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Moyes has done a good job with what he has at his disposal. There is little point replacing him with anybody else because you are never going to coach a bunch of £2m pound players to be consistently as good as a bunch of £20m pound players. It is not a coaching issue and we shouldn?t waste time debating it, it is a question of how we become a club capable of attracting, paying for and keeping the £20m pound guys. I don?t have the answer, I?m simply clarifying the question.
James Marshall
23   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:36:33

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I’m going on holiday for 3 weeks tomorrow and I can’t bloody wait - not least so I don’t feel compelled to read this bollocks anymore!

I’ll be back just in time for us to beat Newcastle and seal 3rd place ;)



Aiden Jones
24   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:29:35

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"Destined to come third" ? What are you talking about? How were we ever destined to come third? if you believe that then no wonder you write the stuff you do.

Yes we play some pretty average football at times, sometimes some good stuff. Do you think Villa, Portsmouth etc play like Brazil every week?

Like many fans on here you bang on about Everton being better than this etc ..... Moyes has raised your expectations and because he hasn?t met them you think he has failed. Do you appreciate the gap between the top 4 and the rest , the money they have to spend.

No doubt there will be Villa fans like you next season moaning because their team has failed to break into the top 4.
Bit of reality please.
Stephen Stuart
25   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:30:14

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"Realism" - "sustainable progress" ... anyone would think this was the bloody Labour Party! The aim at Everton should BE but isn?t - to win bloody trophies! I?m sick of saying it - the management, the ground move, the manager, the team - hopeless, not good enough with no sustainable future at this point in time.
Joe McMahon
26   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:06:58

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I can’t do with Kenwright. Moyes has done ok over a long period of time. I do wonder if he could have taken us further with a more attacking football, by having plenty of strikers in the squad. Going for it, instead of sitting back all the time. The football is SO negative.
James Lennon
27   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:55:47

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Some of you need to step back from this nonsense and have a damn good look at yourselves. Yes, we’re a top club with an illustrious history and, if things hadn’t gone so badly at the end of the 80s and throughout the 80s, we’d expect to be winning trophies on a regular basis.

Instead, we’re now about £300 million behind the top four and Moyes inherited a team that was on its way out of the Premier League. We were never destined to finish 3rd this season. At one point, it looked like Moyes might pull off another minor miracle and finsih 3rd, but it would have been yet another example of his ability to get his players to over-achieve.

The fact of the matter is that we are 5th in the League, we’ve had a good run in Europe and threatened in the League Cup. No, that’s not good enough for the Everton we all knew and loved. But it is more than we could have hoped for from the Everton we ended up with before Moyes took over.

Stuart, why are you telling people not to be realistic? Would you prefer we all pretended we should be topping the league? We’d all love that, but it’s simply unfeasible at the moment.

Here’s a realistic appraisal. Moyes has done more for our club than any of his predecessors since the glory years. Moyes has also done better than any of his contemporaries in the English game in the time he has been involved (twice manager of the year, you may remember). We have been very poor in cup competitions - but made progress this year - and our football has at times veered towards the long ball when the chips are down. We also lack a little creativity in key areas, but have developed one of the best defensive lines in the game.

I know some people on here like to say "I don’t care about other teams, I only care about Everton", but it’s an absolute nonsense not to compare. The league format is based around comparisons. When compared with every other manager in the league - pound for pound - and when compared against our recent history, Moyes has been very, very good for this special club.
Chris Sudall
28   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:27:51

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Does anyone remember Walter Smith?

I think Moyes has done a cracking job. We were down and out!

At least the last few years I’ve enjoyed some good football, trips abroad, Tommy’s gooning.....

In the late nineties it was horrible.
I don’t see anyone else doing a better job on this money.
Let’s......YES!!!! Great Riise own goal......just enjoy winning a few games and hope we can keep improving.

Unless one of you has a magic lamp.......
John Maxwell
29   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:42:16

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It is very frustrating at the moment and after an uplifting season we are limping over the finishing line..

But.. ask yourself these questions.

1. Who has raised expectations at the club ?
2. At the start of the season would you have been happy with 5th ?
3. Did you want a decent run the Uefa Cup ?
4. Would you of been happy with us reaching the semis of the Carling Cup ?

I personally can't wait for the end of the season and if we beat Villa on Sunday I think we are more or less there, can't see us getting anything at arsenal and I expect us to get at least a point against Newcastle.

So then we have another season in the Uefa Cup. The top 4 have all competed in this competition and it's so important to build experience in europe and raise the profile of the club to attract the players we need.

Progression has been the name of this season, success is not made overnight and its obvious we need investment to make the next step or maybe even stay in the same position.

I?m proud of what we have achieved this year compared to the likes of high spending Spurs (£30m+ and Man City (£40m)

David Moyes is a good manager but he may not be the person to take us there, but he has my backing..

But let's looks at the highlights instead of the past 4 games of a 38 game season.

West Ham Away twice
Cahill's overhead kick goal
Man City Away
Yakubu?s 19 goals
Uefa Cup Run
Carling Cup Semi

Brian Dane
30   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:59:16

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We are having our best season in some while and yet so many of you sound like you need therapy to cope with the trauma of it all.

Where does all this rage come from? You know denial is a destructive state to exist in. You should sit back, relax and let the feelings flow - perhaps you may find you harbour unexpressed anger and resentment against your parents which you are deflecting onto Everton Football Club.

I can’t see Moyesie and the boys have done a lot to deserve it.
Mike Allison
31   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:53:36

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Brian: "In Moyes? 6 year?s here, I have witnessed some of the shittest football I have seen from an Everton side."

And yet its got results. This is in contrast to the even shitter football we played before Moyes got here and didn’t even get the results. Also, the times when we’ve played shit football this season have been because our players were injured. We couldn’t afford to lose one of our midfielders, let alone three. The last month hasn’t been the way Moyes wants to play, but the chips are down, and I’m still behind us, you should be too. Great ’supporter’ you are.

"We have played the odd decent game, here and there, this season. But for most of his tenure , it has been hoofball, fucking hoofball!"

How quickly you brush off a four month spell, making up the core of the season, and a fantastic run with hardly any defeats, loads of goals and some scintillating football. If you’re determined not to see it, you won’t see it.

"And you lot lap it up, and call him a genius."

No-one’s lapping this up, we’re all quite frustrated, and certainly no-one’s calling Moyes a genius. The difference is in how we’re responding to a relatively tough spell and a a bit of adversity. You, Marsh and John Campbell see it as an opportunity. You now get to stick the boot in, as if you’d been waiting to do that all along. The rest of us, the people who ’support’ the team and try to keep going even when its not going well prefer to step back and look with some perspective.

"How hard can it be to coach a team to actually play the ball on the floor?"

Not that hard at all, but he can’t expect his players to become better players just because he’s told them to pass. When his first choice players have been fit we’ve passed the ball beautifully, you’re choosing to forget that. What does that say about your mentality?

"At the end of the day, maybe some of us expect a better return, on Moyes? 6yrs here."

Yeah, and Newcastle fans expect to win a trophy every year. Tottenham fans expect whatever, so they sack the manager and look where it gets them. We are ahead of everyone we can realistically be ahead of. I don’t understand what more you want. How do we compete with the Sky four except in the way we have done? Offer some ideas, Marsh, Campbell, Waring, Kenrick, any of the arch-whingers, how the hell do we do any better than we have done given the circumstances? My suggestion is to sign more midfielders, particularly creative ones, so we have more to choose from, and do you know what? I think that’s what Moyes might just be setting out to do this summer.
Tony Marsh
32   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:15:50

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Mike Allison, you say you want ideas offered. How about a little less Rugby Union style football and a bit more on the carpet stuff and maybe just maybe we might of made a fist of the 4th place finish. In the end its ended the way it always does when you try to beat classier sides with the long ball game .It ends in tears. By the way I submitted this post about 11.45 am today and it came out in the name John Campbell. Very strange.
Carl Roper
33   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:16:30

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John - repeat after me " We are FIFTH in the league and have the most premiership points we?ve ever had in a season"

How you can offer any analysis of this season without any reference to these facts is beyond belief.
Colin Smyth
34   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:07:30

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Get a grip. I accept people are getting frustrated after the past month’s results and performances. Stuff like your bile appears when results worsen due to a lack of strength in depth. Moyes makes mistakes but I’d have him over anyone since ’87, with the possible exception of Joe Royle. We’re punching above our weight under Moyes. Get used to it. I don’t like 4 clubs being constantly better than us due to infinitely greater finances being available to them, but that’s the way it is. Comparing us to Liverpool is pathetic - they are light years apart financially. Most sane Everton fans don’t accept mediocrity as you suggest, but temper their tantrums because they understand the reasons why they’ve had to witness so much of it over the years, before and since Moyes’ arrival. Will you be like a whingeing Chelsea fan if the day ever does arrive when our fairy Godmother comes to splash the cash, because the pies are cold?
Mike Allison
35   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:27:57

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Tony there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that we’d have made a better fist of anything. Trying to pass the ball in any situation might have (would probably have) led to us giving the ball away in more dangerous areas. You suggest trying to beat classier sides by outclassing them? Is there not some failure in logic there? How do we pass the ball when we take Arteta and Osman out of the team at the same time and don’t have anyone to replace them with? Which manager would have had us playing better? Which players should we have signed that would have been good enough to come into the side after the injuries to Arteta and Osman (as well as Cahill) and been good enough? Hopefully we will sign those players now, to build on the progress we’ve already made.

You haven’t offered an idea, only a wish, and a wish we all share, but how do you make that wish come true in the circumstances we are in?
John Hill
36   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:05:04

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History? What a lot of nonsense take Chelsea out and history will probably place Everton 4thor 5th, exactly where we are now. Everton have always played glowing, flowing football? Rubbish! Sure we have had some great teams and great players that have stamped there mark on the club and the history of the league. Being an Evertonian since the day I was born 50 years ago, I can tell you we have had as many bad teams as good.

Being a season ticket holder through seventies following the early league in success 1970, we all thought we had the team to dominate the decade; we all know who did. The 70s turned out to be a hard row to hoe, those who were around at the time will remember the feeling of doom when we signed the likes of Rod Belfit from Ipswich. I remember 2 seasons on the trot when the only reason Everton were not relegated was a certain Howard Kendal was an absolute rock.

Remember Howard's first few seasons as manager. I bet some of the same doomsday merchants of today were calling for his head, Biley, Fergusion (version1) remember them? How quickly we forget!

Then take a good look at our history, the barren years in between titles, it goes like this 24 years,13 tears, 7 years, 24 years, 7 years, 15 years, and wow 2 years in between titles, probably our most dominant period in history.

Sure, at times we have may challenged more consistently for trophies with good team,but not always.

Don?t get me wrong, I love Everton and don?t want to be seen as knocking clubs past, but I think at times we have an over inflated view of how successful we have been over 100 years or so of the league. The cold reality is we have popped up and won a title now and again.
"The School of Science" was a moment in time when we were all privileged to see a fine footballing side.

Perhaps some of you have only been around long enough to remember the success of the mid-80s and therefore it is understandable that you feel that Everton should be winning more, I would also love to see that happen. But to believe that we have consistenly won trophies is a nonsense and a myth.

As much as I hate to say it Man U, the Arse and Liverpool are in that bracket of consistent winners, their record and history proves it. Everton simply are a team that has been there or there abouts with some truly great teams winning the odd league or cup title.

Have we ever been a club that consistenly won trophies? NO! Over the hundred years have we always play this mythical brand of pure football? NO!

Dose of reality guys stop dreaming of a past that has born out of a few great teams and players. This is a good team(in my humble opinion), they need to be consistent and win first and more often, good football will follow just like the the team of the eighties and maybe a trophy will appear. On average we win the title about every 13 years we are a little over due.

We are were we are guys don?t kid yourselves, top 4 or 5 in history.

Andy Ellams
37   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:25:23

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I’m not impressed with style of play, and I’m not convinced that Moyes is the man to help Everton break into the top 4 on a regular basis. But you cannot call what has happened at Everton over the past 6 years anything but progress. Compare the playing staff, the transfer budgets and the league positions. It isn’t even a competition so belt up and enjoy the results.
Paul McCann
38   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:20:06

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You’ve said ’A section of Everton supporters have now become so blinded by mediocrity that they see it as the norm’

Fact is John that for the last twenty years, I would have loved to be watching mediocre football. What I actually watched though John was absolute utter shite. Just to illustrate [and I’m genuinely not trying to be patronising], here’s our league record for the last twenty years:

1987-88 4th
1988-89 8th
1989-90 6th

Harvey/Kendall Mark II
1990-91 9th

Kendall Mark II
1991-92 12th
1992-93 13th

Kendall Mark II/Walker
1993-94 17th

1994-95 15th

1995-96 6th

1996-97 15th

Kendall Mark III
1997-98 17th

1998-99 14th
1999-00 13th
2000-01 16th

2001-02 15th

2002-03 7th
2003-04 17th
2004-05 4th
2005-06 11th
2006-07 6th
2007-08 5th

Now I’ll freely admit that the football could be a lot better [and I have seen some signs that it is improving], but if you, and others like you, don’t see an improvement, both in leauge finishing positions, and style of play, over the past few seasons, then there really isn’t much I can say to you. There’s a lot wrong with the administrative side of the club, but to say that Moyes hasn’t done at least a good job is frankly ridiculous. I know we all get frustrated, but the recent spate of articles like this has really started to do my head in.

I may be in a minority, but I’d rather have slow and steady improvement [which I believe will lead to evntual success], than what appears to be a ’I want success, and I want it now’ outlook. All of the great English clubs, including our own, weren’t built in a day.
Terry Palmer
39   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:06:20

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If we get fifth will all this verbal self harming stop.
Andy Burke
40   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:16:21

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Nice one Paul McCann.
Can?t argue with that one. Mind you though, I bet somebody does try.

Terry, I reckon even if we get 5th there will be some people having a right old moan on here about what could have been and how Moyes got it all wrong.

I would love to know (well actually I wouldn?t really) what some of the contributors to this site are like in real life. I mean, I am known as a pessimist but at least I can remember what has happend this season and up to the last few games it has been a really good one for Everton. Our best in years.

I bet I am as gutted (or at least almost) as gutted as the next Everton fan at the moment. I came on this site in the hope of finding some sensible and balanced article about our current - and let's be honest about it - absolutely bloody awful form. Instead, I stumble across this.

One thing has to be said in fairness though, it at least shows the heightened expectations from the more pessimistic Evertonians. If fans really thought we were crap, they would not be so gutted by it at the moment. However, even the fans having a right old moan think we are much better than what we have seen lately - Mind you though, that wouldn?t be hard, would it now??

David Reid
41   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:18:59

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At the start of the season all the sports rags had us finish about 8th behind the sky4 Spurs,Barcodes & Villa or City. The same rags had RS to win the Prem league for the FIRST time due to the amount of money they spent.

We DONT have that money & it looks as if they will join Gooners with an empty trophy cabinet this year just like us & about 16 others. Is that success?

This year Bolton were in the UEFA Cup Big long ball Sam left & its a relegation dog fight for them. Barcodes, all money & no players have just escaped it & Jol goes Spurs finish tenth? (They won a cup but got knocked out of Europe also).

We have little money, a rubbish ground but we finish with our highest points total & possibility of Europe again. Our only jewel is David Moyes ? lets give him & the team all our support on Sunday instead of wallowing in what might have been..
Neil Pearse
42   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:58:43

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Money. I’m sorry, is that so difficult to understand? As Mike Allison, we are presently doing better than any but the four clubs who are much richer than us. Some of your might have noticed that, of those four, the two who are by far the richest are doing better than the two are a bit poorer (including one of them who has not played any better football than us this season).

Okay, money is not everything. You can ’outpunch your financial weight’. We ARE doing so. Newcastle, Spurs for two are seriously underpunching their weight. So by any measure we are, for now, doing BETTER than them. The idea that we have the God given right to finish ahead of clubs who are putting players on their benches who we cannot afford in our first eleven - it is sheer delusional fantasy.

I am not accepting mediocrity. I think Neville is shit, and I never want to see him and Carsley in the midfield again EVER. But I am accepting reality. Don’t you think Moyes would buy Hargreaves, Essien, Flamini or Mascherano if he could? He can’t (£15-20M each, £60K plus wages a year). That is why we are below these teams. Sorry.
Jay Harris
43   Posted 23/04/2008 at 00:06:58

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The only missing ingredient apart from a decent chairman with integrity is YOU LOT.

If this sort of moaning goes on in a game now that the pressure's on do you really think you?re helping the players?

I have said before let's help the players get over the finishing line in Europe and then we can all see if that backing will come from the board.

If it doesn't not even Mourhino,Wenger or O?Neill could keep us in 5th next season let alone challenging the RICH 4.

Let's get behind the team for now and make up for their deficiencies right now by making it fortress Goodison.

You might even surprise yourselves.

Adam Doyle
44   Posted 23/04/2008 at 01:28:56

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it seems to me that want you want us to become is a bunch of Newcastle fans. Always demanding the league title, the best players, spending millions and millions on players, wanting it all now and as soon as possible, and if not, sack the manager!

Someone mentioned earlier that success earned is better than success bought. I’d rather we slowly build up not just a great squad but integrity and reputation. Sure, the rich clubs may be able to throw money in, but that money could easily run out or a Russian billionaire could just up and leave.

Next year, my minimum expectation is that we do not lose at Goodison Park. Big teams do not regularly lose at home. That is a realistic expectation. I also expect a reasonably sized squad.
I do not expect a new board, a new manager and £100 million transfer kitty.
John Hill
45   Posted 23/04/2008 at 01:42:43

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Paul Mcann and others

I aplogiseI may not have got my point across as well a I thought. I am a 100% with you there has been improvement. And your stats support my argument.
I guess to put it bluntly a lot people on this site appear to think that we have won trophies more often than perhaps is the reality. My point is that that many people expectations are set by an unrelaitic view of our past.

I also believe strongly that Moyes is the man to win us trophies and that eventualy he will get to the style of football we all love and yearn to watch.

I would rather at this stage win ugly and often because this breeds confidence. With that confidence combined with a greater respect opponents gives the opportunity to dictate the style of play.

So my aplogises for the misunderstanding I am definetly a Moyes supporter and believe we heading in the right direction
Nik Hopkins
46   Posted 23/04/2008 at 03:23:59

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"Trying to pass the ball in any situation might have (would probably have) led to us giving the ball away in more dangerous areas"

It amazes me that people can justify long ball football in such a manner!!!!!
Michael Kenrick
47   Posted 23/04/2008 at 05:35:43

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So... I’d say we have in this thread pretty much the same spectrum of responses we get when Tony Marsh provides us wih his thoughts... pretty much the same level of abuse and intolerance in addressing the differing views is still there, which I honestly expected might not be the case.

I wondered if, by removing Tony’s name but retaining his content, we might see a different shade of responses that focus more on the issues he raises than the name he posts under. I thought there might be more discussion of the football questions, but it seems there can be no discussion of these points becasue they seem to cut so deep and precipitate only visceral responses.

The two sides are as far part as ever; either you accept the fiscal constraints, the "reality" of the Sky 4, think Moyes is a genius, and tolerate the lapses in form as the best we can do.

Or you continue to expect more from a manager who has shown he can get these players to play decent football, but can only do it sporadically, and when he can call on the help of Tim Cahill.

So... check in again after the next fun-filled installment on Sunday. And the no doubt equally divided post-match analysis! Maybe Lyndon was right, calling for a moratorium on posts like this. Too many of you just don’t want to hear it.
Charley Reid
48   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:39:26

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I often read the interesting debates on here though I don’t usually contribute.

I must say Michael Kenrick you sound a bit like a disappointed school teacher. Perhaps that is part of the problem. Except unlike a teacher, I don’t think you are really equipped to assess the people on here as to whether they want to debate of not.

For starters you are a bit wide of the mark in your assertion that people don’t want to debate the issues which Tony Marsh has outlined. What you fail to take into account is that incendiary articles like this one will always galvanise opinion.

Meanwhile a knowledgeable and reasoned review such as (in my opinion) that give by John Hill above can open up the lines of debate because they don’t take up an extreme standpoint.

There are issues of course to discuss but you won’t tease them out, if that is really your aim, by publishing diatribes penned by the likes of Tony Marsh.
James Blundell
49   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:48:57

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Looking at the fan sites to get a bit of a feelgood factor after a great season but am dismayed to find such a lot of disgruntled people talking about what we have achieved as if its nothing. That really makes me sad. I thought we done good this year, played some great footie at times and could really feel a pang of pride as blues fans for first time in ages.

I don’t know what some of you expect. I read people going on about the long ball and this that’s wrong and that that’s wrong. I can’t believe what I’m reading.

Aren’t you even a bit pleased we are fifth in the table. Its something many teams below us who spent a packet in the summer haven’t managed. You can pick holes till the cows come home in the team and how they’ve played at times but that doesn’t change it.

You see I think you are wrong Michael K, its not about who wants to debate and who doesn’t. Its about who wants to carp about what’s wrong and who wants to see what’s good. Those who are pleased are exasperated that the likes of John whatsisname above seems incapable of enjoying what is a good year for us with UEFA footie next year still to play for.

Eugene McLoughlin
50   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:46:31

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Fair play Michael, I think you have firmly hit the nail on the head - for the pro Moyes you sum them up well, for the other side you sum them very well as you point out that they do infact realise that Moyes has the ability to get them to play attractive football BUT just not enough. I think the problem is that Moyes just needs to have a bigger set of balls and some of the players!
Frank Black
51   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:57:20

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I think there is really only one important point to debate from this season: the failure to strengthen the team in January.

I was praying some bodies would be brought in but it didn’t happen. This season may be our best chance for some time to push on and we didn’t manage it.

This is not to say however, that I presume that Davey Moyes did not also see the need to add. I have rather assumed that he was not able to get what he wanted and on balance thought it better not to disturb the current squad by bringing in players just to make up numbers. People who complain he hasn’t done his job are really speculating (like me) about what exactly are his motives and why he doesn’t just do this or that since they can see the need for it.

I think its important to remember that the manager is balancing the approach he has to take with the players he has at his disposal, coupled with trying not to spend more than necessary (players don’t just cost transfer fees). I think he errs on the side of seeing how the squad will manage with the current season’s challenges and then strengthens when he sees what is needed. This is why we always run out of steam in final run in. what is important here is that each season it happens squad is facing more challenges.

This year we were in two lengthy cup runs as well as the league. Now Davey is equipped to assess what he needs to repeat such a run now he has been through it. He IS still learning and we will see the results next year.
John Fitzpatrick
52   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:01:57

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The fact that we only sporadically get the ball down and play may be due to the fact that our most creative players have all been injured at some point since January. Usually two of them are out at the same time. When Osman, Pienaar, Arteta and Cahill play at full fitness, we have looked unstoppable. Good to see us being linked with the likes of Arshavin then. Imagine that 3 years ago.
Tony Part
53   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:23:33

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I would really like to see us play more football and also take the game to the opposition, especially in the last ten or fifteen minutes of a match when, no matter who we play, we always seem to be on the back foot..

It also has me wondering when I watch certain other sides play, why they seem fitter and have more energy than us... I know we are carrying a few over-the-hill boys in there but we don't even close teams down that often anymore, like last Thursday when we gave Chelsea all the time in the world on the ball and then I watch them play Liverpool last night, the Redshite never let them settle for half a second. You cannot keep blaming fatigue on that.

Perhaps we can get a clearer picture next season when it may well be an even better team again with possibly one or two of the signings we all want made. But one thing's for sure: Moyes has to get over his obssession with having Hibbert, Carsley and Neville all in the same team. I have nothing at all against these people but are they really good enough for keeping us where we need to be?

We have played far too many negative defensive formations recently and I know that's down to limited numbers but then again I will go back to saying that's why we need a far bigger squad and more needs doing about rectifying that in the transfer windows, especially given the injury record of Everton players over the last few years. We are improving but more needs to be done I think..

Dave Street
54   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:29:08

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One point to address on the financial side which we have discussed many times before. Why on earth does John Campbell and others want the club to come out and say how much money we have available? Its blatantly stupid to do that, because you end up paying inflated transfer fees and wages. That part the club have got right, keep stum about the clubs finances at all costs, in fact pretend we have no money, anything that helps us to sign better players at lower costs! Surely thats not rocket science is it?
Jason Lam
55   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:49:32

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If we’re winning, I actually don’t mind seeing us play hoofball and fustrate the living shit out of the opposition. There is this fuzzy evil satisfaction I get when I look at opposition players’ and manager’s (and fans’) completely bewilded faces on how a tight-arsed budget team playing cloud tennis can outplay a team of ’superstar’ multimillionaires. And Hibbert vs Petrov - priceless.

Of course hoofing the ball hopelessly into obvilion when we’re chasing the game is something else.

As for the ’Wasted Season’, both Tony Marsh and John Campbell are correct in that we blew the chance for 4th. We were 5 points ahead at a very recent stage. Our ladies in midfield were injured yes, but is this not the manager’s role to cover all the risks? Someone must take the blame and it is Moyes. As for Moyes motivating his players? If he is telling them to mimick Brazil and the players aren’t doing it - the players are not doing their job or crap more likely. But if he’s motivating them to hoof the fucker then fat lotta good ’motivation’ is eh?

If someone can list this season’s objectives and compare after 38 games, we would probably achieved it. But by God the 4th was there for the taking! Will we be presented another golden egg again in the near future? Maybe, since we did so a few years back. Or maybe it’ll be Villa next time.

As for our editor and webmaster’s cameo comments, they are also fans themselves and entitled to be pissed off or elated equally. They’re in the half-empty and half-full camp (readers can decide for themselves to which they belong).

What Tony (and John) brings to the table is another perspective. You will get different people in the boardroom, but to suspend them or their contribution is poor leadership. You need to cover all your bases and one day one of them will come up with something the crowd would have not thought of. My 2p worths. Anyway, I find them amusing.

By the way, COYBs.
Paul Lenehan
56   Posted 23/04/2008 at 10:09:44

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The reality of the situation is we are fifth in the league. Ahead of us are four teams who have better players, more players of quality, bigger sponsorship deals, more sponsors, superior commercial operations, larger transfer budgets.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I believe if we finish fifth it will be a successful season. If we finish below fifth then certainly questions should be asked. Those who say we have missed a golden opportunity as we were sitting fourth for so long. I know what you are saying it felt so close. But City also occupied fourth should they have held on? We were never destined to finish thrid and anyone who thinks we were is deluded.

For me (and its only my opinion), this summer has to spent adding players which will help close the gap with Liverpool and Arsenal who are the fourth and third best teams in the Premier League. I can’t see us overtaking these clubs next year but the gap must be closed. Additionally we must deliver a trophy next year. This to me will be progress and will instill further belief that some day we will be challenging for leagues, but the way football is I think this will a little longer than many Blues are prepared to accept. Im not a Moyes apologist, im a realist.
Paul McCann
57   Posted 23/04/2008 at 10:26:32

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John Hill,

Just to clarify, I wasn?t refering to your post in my comments, but to ?John Campbell? aka Tony Marsh [Michael Kenrick???!!!]. I actually agree with what you say John, and along with the statistics I posted above, I hope that your thoughts will at least bring a little realism into the debate about our current position.

By all means everyone, aspire for better, much better, but temper that hope with a touch of reality. Now lets get 5th place and hope the board to back Moyes in the summer. That?s where the real debate should be.
Kirk McArdle
58   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:52:05

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Like a couple of posts above, I regularly read this site and the various debates but this is the first time I have posted.

I might be called a plastic supporter living near St. Albans but I try to get to the London away games but have only been to Goodison 5 times. I have been a supporter of this club since 83 when my dad took me to see Everton at Vicarage Road when I was 7. I have seen some poor football and some great football over the last 25 years and this season at times maybe some of the best.

Last summer was quite frustrating seeing teams strengthen positions and spending untold millions when the calibre of players we were being linked to were mediocre Championship players. As the summer evolved and Fernandes turned his back on us and the Yakubu transfer wore on as long as Ashley Cole's, I started to worry about fighting for 4 trophies with a small squad. The disappointment with the previous Champions League exit would mean Moyes would make a point in the Uefa Cup this time to settle " a few wrongs " inficted on him and the club.

What we have achieved this season should not be met with a "failure" tag. We have seen Tottenham, Newcastle and Man City spend money on players (which we would love to have in a kitty!), then struggle with new additions settling in. I fear next season a lot more teams will be fighting for the title of "Best of the Rest".

And yes, at the moment we are best of the rest and I will take that. Am I setting my expectations of the club lower? No, I expect Everton to win every game they play! But we are head and shoulders behind the 4 teams above us. Points maybe close and 4th might have just slipped by in the last 2 weeks of so but player-wise, finance-wise and profile-wise we are a country mile behind. At the moment so is every other team below us.

But that will change. Spurs will be stronger as will Villa and Man City with their billionare owners. Until we find a player who can find the net from midfield I believe we will not improve. Gerrard: 21 goals; Lampard: 18; Ronaldo: 38; Cahill: 10; Lescott: 9. If Moyes insists on playing 4-5-1 he cannot rely on the current midfield to help back-up the lone striker.

As for January when we sold Jimmy, if there was no-one who Moyes wanted or who was available, sod it. Save it for the summer. Jimmy was an enigma who failed to fulfil his potential. Was he a winger or a forward? Who knows... but he should have contributed more. £6M was an amazing price and no doubt bought on his Scotland performances,

I for on wonder how much longer it will be before another American of Far East backer looks at the table and sees a side who are now on a sound financial footing sitting regularly in Euro-qualifing place as a potential target. There are not many Premier League sides left now. Would you all like to get tied into a stadium that we would not own when someone could build one himself? Spend the money on the team and get it right on the pitch before getting into bed with Tescos with no way out?

I am not saying staying at Goodison is the answer because no amount of re-development will get us the stadium we want or deserve. This is a little rant about the move which is for another topic board but this is an important desicion that if Goodison is anything to go by will still be standing long after we are not around. This will hopefully affect my children and theirs.

Ottar Gadid
59   Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:26:59

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Michael, I tend to disagree with you when you claim that the posts are filled with "abuse and intolerance". The pro-Moyes posters at least try to argue factually and ask the anti-Moyes ones what exactly they would change. Which is basically the essential question.

I think what Moyes has achieved this season is that elusive quality known as stability. We played much more games this year, played some excellent football along the way, but the most important is that for the first time in ages we challenge for Europe in two consecutive seasons.

Villa might or might not overtake us (and I deeply regret not being able to see the game this week end), but they have a smaller squad than we do and will struggle a lot next year. Spurs will improve, and Chelsea will probably struggle. If we can expand our squad (which Moyes must and will do) we will be at least in the same position next year.

Quick fixes rarely work, and the semi-retarded billionaires at City, RS and Chelski might as well fcuk up their teams bigtime. Then we are in a great position to pounce. And Moyes is the right man for that. At least I think so.

BTW: Riise yesterday was the best thing to come out of Norway since smoked salmon.
Joe McMahon
60   Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:49:41

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Ottar Gadid - How will Chelsea struggle next season? Lerner has already told O?Neill he will have plenty to spend in the summer. Not too sure how you think Kenwright's spending power is going put the shits into these teams!!

Plenty of smoked salmon is from the UK, in intensed farms. Yes from Norway it may be better.
Robbie Muldoon
61   Posted 23/04/2008 at 12:24:51

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I feel exactly the same Mr Campbell.

David Moyes has too many blind spots which will forever keep him from being a great manager. His inabilty to see how poor Neville is in midfield coupled with his unwillingness to make bold risk laden team selections is the difference between him and a truly great managaer who can work closely with the players day in day out; yet still be able to take a step back and recognise where the weaknesses in his team lie.
Robbie Jones
62   Posted 23/04/2008 at 13:01:48

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Okay Robbie M (or anyone else who knows what he means) if you wouldn?t mind

Please detail
a) The blindspots
b) Those "Bold risk laden team selections" which Moyes is too unwilling to make.

Steve Green
63   Posted 23/04/2008 at 14:41:55

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"The two sides are as far part as ever; either you accept the fiscal constraints, the "reality" of the Sky 4, think Moyes is a genius, and tolerate the lapses in form as the best we can do. Or you continue to expect more from a manager who has shown he can get these players to play decent football, but can only do it sporadically, and when he can call on the help of Tim Cahill."

OK, Michael, let’s look at these points individually.
1. Pro-Moyes fans "accept the fiscal constraints." Well, you can’t argue those constraints aren’t there, can you? Moyes
has been performing the financial equivalent of juggling with one hand tied behind his back -- yes, we’ve broken our transfer record three years running, but when 11.25 million for Yakubu is your team’s biggest outlay, you’re clearly not in Sky 4 territory.
2. "Think Moyes is a genius." No one has truly ever said that. Everybody knows the man has made mistakes, but he seems to learn from most of them. For example, that defensive substitution against Spurs last season, while it may have been the logical move at the time, still infuriated the fans and they let him know. This season, his substitutions seem to be at least a little more attack-minded -- when he’s got such players at his disposal.
3. "Tolerate the lapses in form as best as we can do." Every team has lapses in form. We’re not talking a squad of robots here. Injuries, suspensions, fatigue all take their toll. I suppose you’re the model of high efficiency at your office every day, right? I know I’m not.
4. "Or you continue to expect more from a manager...when he can call on the help of Tim Cahill." As has been mentioned earlier, we have played some excellent flowing football this season, but usually it involves having the likes of Cahill, Arteta, Osman and Pienaar all fit, with Carsley the anchor. You put Neville and Carsley in the centre of midfield, which has been forced upon Moyes because of the recent spate of injuries, and everyone and his dog knows hoofball will be the likely result because we all know neither Neville nor Carsley are capable of creative forward play. So the defenders, knowing that whoever we have on the wings will be double-teamed and knowing the other two can’t do anything but pass it sideways or backward, will bypass the midfield altogether. Frustrating and maddening, but borne out of the knowledge a midfield with those two in it couldn’t pass wind.

You go on about people accepting the viewpoint of others on this site, yet your thinly-veiled jab at those who don’t share your views shows you don’t really practise what you preach.
Shaun Kinnair
64   Posted 23/04/2008 at 16:18:16

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Got to laugh at the guys on here who say we?ve not achieved anything!! Isn?t this great, were in fifth and our expectations have risen that high under Moyes... that were complaining about what a shit season we?ve had!!

Yes, I agree some games we haven’t played well but then the other sides above and below us have dips in form as well.

We?d have been dancing in the streets 5 years ago at our position at the moment.

I always like to look for positives and the bright side of life....there would be 15 teams in the prem who’d love to be in the same position where in today.

Anyway its only football guys, its not life and death, nobody dies when we loose, nobody wins a million pounds when we win. At the moment none of the 4 teams above us have achieved anything this season either ..YET and only 1 or 2 of the 4 will achieve something.

So there you go, smile, be happy and lets all hug each other for supporting Everton :-)
Peter Eastoe
65   Posted 23/04/2008 at 16:31:19

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I’m always baffled by the simpletons on here who just rant on about getting shut of X Y and Z and getting back to winning trophies !!!!!!

Who with...Which managerial magician would you like...would they come ?
Who will fund the renaissance of EFC ?
Who will pay for the new stadium ?

It’s all so simple really. That’s why Newcastle, Man City, Villa and Spurs et al, are trophy laden year after year.
Trudy Boston
66   Posted 23/04/2008 at 17:16:55

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Hardly a wasted season. Let’s not forget that injuries and suspensions have taken their toll as the season reaches it’s climax. Of course supporters, myself included, are a bit down at the moment as the Champions League dream is dead in the water and with Aston Villa breathing down our necks, there’s a real possibility that the Birmingham side could pip us to fifth place which would be heartbreaking considering all the hard work and effort put into the campaign by the players this season.

I just can’t bring myself to condemn Moyes unlike some supporters, maybe not on here, but from what I have read and seen on from other sources the past week. The man has worked wonders with next to nothing in the way of finances and has made us a regular top six side at the season’s conclusion. The 2003/04 season a notable exception although the following year more than made up for the nine months we had to endure before that. Add to that the sale of one Wayne Rooney before the start of that 4th place season makes it even more remarkable when you look back.

It’s only in the recent past that we had to witness utter dross under the leadership of Mike Walker and later, Walter Smith. Gone are the days of last day cliffhangers when one of the Founder members of the Football League escaped (twice) by the skin of their teeth relegation to the second tier of English Football.

Now we can look forward to regular top ten finishes, and more often than not, a European place for next season. Put that in contrast to the Peter Johnson regime when skies were indeed grey over Goodison. I think Kenwright and Moyes make a good pair and are the right combination to move Everton forward even if I may be in the minority among other supporters who feel different.
Steve Brown
67   Posted 23/04/2008 at 18:11:32

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if I understand you right, John, we should bring in Freddie Shepherd as Chief Exec, look for finance from Tom Hicks and hire Sven to manage us! A measured sense of reality about the club?s growth plans, financial leverage and progress is the way to judge Moyes?s time in charge. Living outside Merseyside now, I can say that other fans look on Everton and what we have achieved as admirable and regard Moyes as a good manager.
Callum Wilson
68   Posted 23/04/2008 at 19:06:00

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I don't know why everything has gone against us this year in almost every game... how many pen counts anyone? I've actually lost counting? These things could have made a massive difference. But as it is, the Sky 4 will not be broken up.

The sad thing is we can only hope to get into the "top 4" if one of the moneybags teams fucks up royally. I am worried though I don't blame Moyes soo much but success for us now seems to be 5th, winning our own little league without the Sky 4. This is current football and it's shite. I know like everyone I just want to see us win a trophy but realistically the only thing we seem to have a chance at is the Uefa Cup as the Prem is well out of our grasp, and in the League and FA Cup we will end up getting turned over by moneybags so it doesnt look great.

Without the money of the other teams, we are gonna have a massive task. Getting 5th alone will be a massive task next year as Tottenham will be much better and HAVE WON A TROPHY this year! Man City were playing great football and have loads of money in Thai man; Villa have a young squad slotting 5 and 6 against teams and playing attacking football to hold them off will be hard.

I just wish we could start playing more attacking football and less long ball nonsense. We have one of the best defensive records because we don't go for it ? even against Derby we sat back... DERBY!!! I am just annoyed.

Robbie Muldoon
69   Posted 23/04/2008 at 19:56:14

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In reply to Robbie Jones...

I don’t know why you found it so hard to catch my drift.

a) An example of a Moyes blind spot is Phill Neville. I thought that was made clear. We can all see he is not a midfielder (or he is but the worst in the prem) yet Moyes can’t see this. That is a blind spot mate.

b) When was the last time you seen a Moyes team selection and thought, hmmm a bit daring, I can’t remember one. Adventurous for Moyes is playing 2 up front and having 2 strikers on the bench!

And why not give some of the young lads a run out as soon as it came completely obvious that the squad needed a boost after the Fiorentina game? West Ham slumped in form and Curbishley give a couple of youngins a game... Thats how youve heard of Freddy Sears.

These faults have nothing to do with money. They are down to the one man who is employed to call these shots.
Robbie Jones
70   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:22:26

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Robbie M - Thanks for the response but is that it? Is that the sum of his horrors for you.

Doesn’t it ever occur to you that he can see everything you can see. He’s an intense student of the modern game and has probably watched shed loads more football than you are ever likely to see. Or do you believe your observations are only perceptible by a football genius, such as yourself, who can tell (being a genius and all) that David Moyes doesn’t know what you know?

If you accept he can probably also see what you can see then you have to assume he makes the decisions he does for reasons you are not privvy to.
On your logic Ferguson must also be incompetent for failing to put out a team to tonk Barcelona tonight.
Mike Cooper
71   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:32:21

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Some people seriously stagger me with their opinions on this season. Wasted season!?!?!?

Highest points tally since 1987 I believe.

Furthest progress in Europe since 1985.

..and how long has it been since we got to a domestic cup semi-final?

Some people seriously need to have a word with themselves.
Steve Dooley
72   Posted 23/04/2008 at 23:41:01

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Get a grip and stop moaning!!!! We are not Newcastle fans! We understand that we will not win the league next year, we know that our club was mis-managed during the 1990’s, we know that we have a limited budget.

I would love to see us win a trophy, but not at the risk of doing a Leeds!!

The approach is correct. We are seeing steady progress, There is a plan in place to develop the club and take us to the next level. It’s more than we ever had during the 1990’s. br />
I really think that you must publish this drivel just to get a reaction. Once again Toffeeweb you seem to seek out the most negative opinions for your site. You are supposed to be supporters, you only seem to be detractors. Beware the enemy wihin!
James Corbett
73   Posted 24/04/2008 at 08:55:43

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I see there was a festival of idiots on Toffeeweb last night.

John Campbell, which planet do you live on? A poor team with little investment doesn’t become a great team overnight, never mind several years. Moyes has achieved miracles in making us into a very good team in that period given the investment.

Some of you would sell Everton to the highest bidder in a flash: but for what? So that we become a laughing stock, like Liverpool? No investor will come near us unless they make some money out of us. Smewhere down the line that involves shafting the fans and the club a la Man Utd and Liverpool. Given how we suffered under Peter Johnson it defies belief that some of you want to go down the same road again.

I’m not even going dignify some of these remarks with a proper response, but needless to say if you start manipulating facts (i.e. Houllier was RS manager for SIX not three years) to make your moronic arguments then you need to have a good long look at yourself.
Steve Templeton
74   Posted 24/04/2008 at 08:56:28

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Once again you sound like the five yeard old child who has spat his dummy because the other kids won’t play ball with him.

You continue to publish Mr Marsh’s acerbic diatribes and then you complain when other supporters have the temerity to take him to task over his views.

You refer to his postings being met with ’abuse and intolerenace’ however I invite you to re-read all of the responses to TM’s original post and you will see that there are very few of this nature and indeed most of the ’stronger’ postings come from TM’s supporters.

You further complain that people do not focus on the issues that he raises but again I have to ask have you actually read the replies to his post? Time and again people respond to the issues that he raises in a calm and civil manner and yet TM, you, Waring et al never actually deal with these specific issues and you continually fail to provide a reasoned alternative to these points.

Paul McCann is a great example, perhaps you would care to provide your own response to the specific facts that he has brought to the table?

You then put your own subjective slant on the views expressed by both sides by labelling one set of supporters as fans who believe that Moyes is a genius who tolerate our lapses in form and the other camp as supporters who expect more from the manager. Who trained you in the art of black propoganda, Comical Ali?

Please refer me to the particular posts in which Moyes is referred to as a genius as (without re-reading them all) my recollection is that the word ’good’ tended to be used in connection with Moyes - a bit of a different meaning to the word ’genius’ don’t you think?

Whilst your entilted to your own views Michael you also have a duty as an editor of this website to try and provide a bit more objectivity when dealing with the arguments that rage on here from day to day - something you clearly fail to do on a regular basis.
Lee Spargo
75   Posted 24/04/2008 at 12:37:38

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We’re on the verge of our best league points total in 20-odd years. We’ve just had our best league cup campaign in 20-odd years. We’ve just had our best European campaign in 20-odd years.

I’m with you. Moyes Out.

What’s your plan to take us to the top?
Robbie Muldoon
76   Posted 24/04/2008 at 12:36:16

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Moyes has his very good points, but also his limitations. The most frustrating limitations of his are not money related.

I feel if he was to improve certain aspects of his managerial style we could win the odd game against a top 4 side or get to a cup final.

This is what frustrates me the most.
Robbie Jones
77   Posted 24/04/2008 at 13:57:22

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Robbie M, yeah you may well feel that way its up to you but aren’t you expecting a bit of a lot when he (Moyes) is already doing wonders with what he’s got? What you are asking for is perfection which no-one is saying he has achieved or is likely to.

Give it a few more seasons. He says 5 or 6. He’s delivered on what he promised the board in the first 5 years why presume he won’t in the next? Barring horrible unexpected accidents which can always happen I would expect things to continue to improve. If he gets the players he wants in the summer perhaps some of what you are complaining about will be able to be addressed.
Richard Parker
78   Posted 24/04/2008 at 13:50:48

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If we don’t get a UEFA spot, this season could well be one of the worst ever for us!

As of this date, we have actually achieved nothing this season. We have achieved nothing, whilst actually performing better than we expected. At the start of the season, I’d have taken UEFA requalification, a cup semi and unbeaten into the last-16 of the UEFA cup.

But at the start of the season, I’d have said forget everything else, if we don’t make Europe again.

We have absolutely got to beat Villa this weekend. The repercussions of not doing so could be enourmous. This season, we got ourselves noticed, if we can’t offer European football to a few decent midfielders, then we ain’t gonna move forward.

We can’t offer wages to match even Man City, West Ham and Pompey, so Europe is a must. If we don’t, then this season is a promise unfulfilled and a potential disaster for the short-tem future of Everton.
Oliver Molloy
79   Posted 24/04/2008 at 15:31:22

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We will finish 5th i believe.We will sign a couple of classy midfielders,a right back and a another striker and we will be challenging for the 4th spot next season again...just watch.
Mark Threlfall
80   Posted 24/04/2008 at 15:19:03

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Im amazed. I cannot believe some of the negative, bad mouthing, slanderous crap that I have read above.
Anyone who believes that Moyes should no longer be in charge of our beloved blue boys is an idiot or worse. Have you forgotten the pain and hardships we went through under Kendall (third era), Walker, Royle and Smith (to a lesser extent). We were and were always going to be relegation battlers. Hard working, loveable relegation battlers.
Since the Moyes era, we as a club have grown into so much more. No more are we the team holding onto top flight by the skin of our teath but instead, genuine European contenders. Undoubtedly, our season has fizzled out slightly since the Fiorentina second leg but surely we should be writting on here about how proud we are of that Goodison Park display. Granted we suck at penalties but which British club doesnt?
Perhaps people posting on here that everything is doom and gloom surrounding the club should take a look at the facts... We are after all still 5th in the country. 5th, in arguably the greatest league in the world, behind arguably 4 of the best teams in the world (minus the shite). Perhaps they should also compare our spending power with those other clubs around us. Ours is undoubtedly inferior yet Moyes, Kenwright and co. have managed to use the little we have to bring in quality players to strengthen the squad. Lescott, Jags, Arteta, Cahill, The Yak, Peanuts... all of which are players that we could never have dreamed of in years gone by, now all happy to be at a club pushing in the right direction.
Now Im certainly not saying that the club is without faults. I myself can get as frustrated as the next fan sat watching us hoof the ball forward to the ghost of Duncan Ferguson. The stadium debate is no doubt going to end with many pissed off fans who dont want to leave Goodison (myself included but lets face it... weve all sat in a restricted view seat one too many times and a new stadium (done correctly) is what big clubs MUST have), Im also not saying that this season has been completely stress free... a poor FA Cup exit to name just one. But please lets look at the positives for once... Unbeaten in Europe until we faced Fiorentina... a top quality European outfit. Large parts of the season spent pushing for a champions league place (dream stuff for most of us 10 years ago). Lets face it... despite this late slump, we are still looking good for that 5th spot which will hopefully act as another springboard for next year.
As for the Moyes bashers... get a life.
1, Who could we replace him with,
2, Lets look at the facts again... Manager of the year 2002-03 and four manager of the month awards since then. A down to earth, still young British manager that clearly loves his ’peoples club’. I wander why then, do the so called ’people’ spend so much time slating the team.
Yes, no doubt we were once a huge club winning more than we do now but surely we should be thanking ourselves lucky that we are still there and there abouts pushing to bring the glory days back. Do you not think, Leeds, Sheffield Wedneday and Notts Forest fans would swap positions in an instant?
I just think that such a great club deserves so much more than boo boys. Especially boo boys wearing the blue shirt...Surely we should be celebrating and chearing the team despite the occasional missed pass and the odd ’if in doubt - hoof it out’.
The fact is that we are doing brilliantly (not without areas of improvement needed) and if it werent for a few interesting decisions along the way (Clattenberg) then it may have been even better.
Lets all get behind the boys on Sunday and see if we can support them to victory against Villa.
Paul Hardcastle
81   Posted 24/04/2008 at 17:07:10

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Mark, look at the last five games. We are NOT "doing brilliantly" and that is an absolute fact ? no debate. If it weren?t for Moyes consistently failing to set us up better for the really big games, then we would be doing better overall, of course, and that is real key here ? not Clattenburg. Focus on the discussion point here: Moyes has let us down this season by not carrying through with what he started, by tolerating or mandating (I can?t figure out which) attrocious hoofball, and by thinking or believeing or buying into the spin that his squad was big enough to weather the injury storms that are a total inevitability in football.

If Moyes is going to stay, I want to see him being a better manager by a significant margin. To me, our good run showed what these players are capable of under him... so why could it not be sustained? The football we have played since Fiorentina is so far removed from that good spell, and citing a few injuries as the cause just doesn?t cut it for me as a valid excuse.

I see a failuure in the manager to do his job, which is to manage the team to achieve its best potential. Based on the games we have NOT performed in this season, that potential was to be third in this League. I think that?s what John or whever was trying to say.
Mark Threlfall
82   Posted 24/04/2008 at 17:51:40

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In response to Paul Hardcastle,

Paul I am the first to admit that the past 5 games have not presented anything like quality football, far from it. And yes, this frustrates me no end especially as we know the boys are capable of so much more. I also agree that claiming we have a big enough squad is ridiculous. We clearly dont and this has been evident towards the tail end of this and last season.

However, surely a lot of it can be put down to that Fiorentina game at Goodison. Not for a long time have i seen us play so well and with such passion... it was fantastic to see. To get into the position that the boys did and then lose on penalties must have been heartbreaking and must have had a huge affect on the team as a whole. Big circumstances can alter a teams performance... look at Arsenal after the Birmingham draw involving the Eduardo leg break, they haven't looked the world beating team they were since then.

The fact however remains that we are still fifth. Surely this is acts as only further evidence to what a good season we have had (were having). Despite recent form, our performances earlier in the season has meant we are still favourites to bag the fifth spot.

I completely agree also that Moyes has displayed flaws in his management... but I revert back to my previous point... let's stop being so negative and look at the big picture. If we are to be negative, let's at least try and be constructive...

OK... Moyes may struggle with some team selections (Neville in midfield) and he does have a small squad. On the other hand, we are on the verge of beating our points record since 1987 and had our best European run since 1985... All thanks to Mr Moyes. Also, surely we cant deny Moyes of his ability to sign great players for little money. Who could have predicted Arteta being an Everton player, who had spotted Lescott as an England defender before Moyes, who else could have signed a player of Pienaar's quality for £2M.

I guess what I'm saying Paul, is that for all is errors, we should still be a happy group of fans. There is no better manager that we could get at the moment. To be told we would be in this position pre Moyes era... we would ALL have taken it without a seconds pause.
Brendan NcLaughlin
83   Posted 24/04/2008 at 18:08:33

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Paul Hardcastle.

A "few injuries". Cahill out for several games, Arteta clearly struggling, Pienaar has not been the same since he picked up a knock in the African cup and Osman has been in & out through injury quite a bit recently.

Thats a whole midfield for most a demanding end of season run in.
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
84   Posted 24/04/2008 at 18:05:54

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So some people decry the fact we can?t seem to do better than 5th this season. And cry that we were a team "destined to be 3rd".

So what does it take to do better than 4th? Or to put it another way, what was the real scale of what DM and his team actually achieved in making 4th place a few seasons back? Who do we have to better?

Above us we have, ...

In 1st place: the most successful football time of the Premiership era with the most successful manager ever and world class players who would likely command a place in any club or national side anywhere in the world (Ronaldo and Rooney)

In 2nd place: the richest football club in the land who have won the Premiership twice in recent seasons.

In 3rd place: arguably the finest football playing side in England in recent years with arguably the shrewdest buyer of a player you?re ever likely to see. Oh, and a stadium which produces probably treble the revenue our?s does.

In 4th place: the RS who are probably the most successful English team ever (in terms of trophies) who could well reach their 3rd Champions League final in 4 seasons if they can break a goalscoring hoodoo at Stamford Bridge. They can also afford to pay more than double our record ever signing (compare prices on the Yak and Torres) and whereas some of our fans baulk at our having to find £60m to finance our new home (where we will perhaps play for 100 years) Liverpool can ?afford? to pay £30 million per annum just on loan interest!

So. FFS, what?s your excuse Moyes!??! Piece of piss or what?!
Neil Scott
85   Posted 24/04/2008 at 21:06:45

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Nobody questions the gulf in finances. The issue is that up to February we had a genuine chance to bridge some of that gap and thats the hard bit to swallow.

Admittedly we then got hit by some really unfortunate injuries, but even before those we still won very few of our crucial ?make or break? games as can be seen from our record in cups and against the big four.

So here comes another one. Lets see if we can achieve ?make? this time as the other option will hit us very hard mentally, financially and make Moyes?s job even harder in the transfer market this summer.

Andrew James
86   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:17:50

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The old man is an Evertonian. So was my dear old Grandad and his old man before him. I ended up in the South as a lonely Toffee until I converted my brother who now refuses to wear Red. I was born in 1978, fell in love with the best team we ever had, witnessed Big Dunc et al... then came the mediocre times. I don't see them every week. I don't know all the gossip. But I watch them or listen to them as much as possible and usually guess the line up a lot better than Everton sites or pundits.

This is how I see it. Moyes has made one mistake all year. He keeps playing Neville in the midfield when maybe it could be more imaginative. Yes. That's it. es has done brilliantly. The defence has been exceptional and the likes of Pienaar, Osman and Cahill in the middle have been brilliant. Yakubu and Johnson have banged in 30 which is a success story.

Consider the facts, we have not had a penalty in the Premier League. That's ridiculous. By law of averages you would expect to get 3, maybe as a top five team as much as 8? The FA have been culpable. The quality of play might not have been as great of late but look at all the teams with bigger squads - Liverpool and Chelsea narrowly beat us 1-0 whilst both them and Manchester United were not exactly attractive to watch in Europe this week.

Moyes being great isn't solely my opinion. In the South the fans all rate him highly as a miracle worker. 10 years ago we blagged survival after Nick "Play well for one season out of four before moving on to the Dark side" Barmby missed a penalty. Now we are on the brink of the big time. We should not be scared of it. Liverpool and Chelsea are teams we can beat with a bigger squad. So stop the moaning and support Moyesy. This year he broke his yo-yo reputation - next year we'll break a lot more.

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