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The Mail Bag

Uefa Cup Final

Comments (71)

I really cannot help thinking what might have been. Rangers have beaten Fiorentina on pens and Zenit hammered Bayern to get to the final. Now we know we beat Zenit and are Rangers better than us?

There's been many threads about the size of the squad, releasing McFadden, running out of steam, tactics and so on.

The bottom line is we did in Fiorentina what we also did everytime we played the top four this season, paid them too much respect and acted like rabbits in car headlights.
Steve Jones, Lancs     Posted 01/05/2008 at 22:40:45

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Michael Kenrick
It think that's why I was so out of step with the overwhelming feeling of "pride" at the way we played the following week... only to lose on penalties. So, we threw it away... knowing we really should have progressed. But our wonderful manager had bottled it at the prospect of playing a decent team. Story of our season, I'm afraid.
David Edwards
1   Posted 01/05/2008 at 22:44:12

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Hearty congrats to our Walter and the Gers (even though I tend towards the other religious persuasion, if pushed). A bit of a dour defensive display overall, but they did it on penalties better than us!

Pity it's left me just soooooooo bloody frustrated about our own premature Uefa Cup exit. Let's face it, we effectively wiped the floor with them at our place and because we lapsed badly in the first leg, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

Added to that, who's in the final but good old Zenit St Petersburg - and while it was a more even contest than we thought at the time, we still did them too in the group!

Forget those who complain that the UEFA Cup was a diversion. If it's a choice between 4th and a few games in the CL next season, or some silverware, it's the latter for me, everytime (fair's fair to Spurs in that respect) . In many ways I think we fans and the players in general realised our missed opportunity and our form since then would seem to confirm it.

Damn!.... to paraphrase that classic R&B ballad - '...it should have been us....' at Eastlands! Bugger!

Andy Morden
2   Posted 01/05/2008 at 22:53:57

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I was gutted to see Rangers get through. Firstly because I don't think that they are a better side than us, and secondly because of Wally sodding Smith employing his all too familiar dour tactics and succeeding where we failed. We have our own dour 'master' tactition! Who replaced Smith! Oh the cruel irony!

Interesting to see Zenit go through, considering we scraped a win against them. Oh well, yet another case of what might have been. I just hope Moyesy doesn't begin to think the Smith 'shut up shop and hope to nick one' mentality really is the way to go - he's bad enough at times as it is, he needs no more encouragement!

Patty Beesley
3   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:23:24

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If Fiorentina had won on penalties, it would have been the third time in the contest that they had done so, so I am glad they got beaten. Fair play to Ally and Walter - they might play boring defensive football as they did last night but hey, they have got something to show for it not only in the Uefa Cup but also in their own Scottish Premier League.

Andy Ellams
4   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:48:07

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Zenit were robbed by the referee at Goodison with a very dodgy red card, how ironic does that sound this season.

Cardiff are at Wembley, shit happens in cup football don’t stress on whether or not we are better than teams that went further. We shot ourselves in the foot in Italy.

And David Edwards, you are an idiot, why even mention religion, that makes you no better than the bigoted wankers north of the border.
Steve Williams
5   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:54:29

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I just wish some people would wake up and smell the coffee!

I had the misfotune to take my 13 year old to Florence, get treated like rubbish by the police, get soaked for 3 hours and were treated to the most limp 90 minutes of crap that I’ve seen in a long time.

We were rubbish and deservedly got sent packing - don’t let the return leg fool you. We were beaten by the better side. But as last night’s game shows - not by a really good side!

The best side I’ve seen in the competition was Zenit - by a country mile. We were really lucky to beat them at Goodison. God only knows what would have happened if we’d drawn them away.

Some of you need a reality check - you’ve got to understand where we really are in the pecking order. It probably isn’t 5th and it was never 4th.
Colin Tunstall
6   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:01:57

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Just so hope Davey has taken good note of his predecessor’s tactics last night and plays exactly the same way at the Emirates.Tackle like dervishes,hold onto it as long as poss and hoof it as far away as possible when you get into trouble.That’s the only way we’ll get the point we’re going for!
Phil Bellis
7   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:13:59

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Steve W ... that last paragraph. Eh?
Joe McMahon
8   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:24:33

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Colin Tunstall - I understand what you are saying but (putting the result aside) wouldn’t it be nice to show SKY Viewers on a Sunday afternoon for once that we are not always negative hoofball, as we are not winning any friends with the football we have been playing recently.

For the record Colin, the tactics you are recomending is what we have been doing for the last 2 months & where has it got us!
Chris Fisher
9   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:24:32

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Steve williams you misreable git!!!

What do you mean don't let the second leg fool you?! What was there to be fooled about?! We played like shite in the 1st leg then pissed all over them in the 2nd leg?! There's nothing to be fooled about! they were no way the better side. At their ground we were shite and they took advantage of that, at home we played them off the park and then decided to be shite at pens!

Why are there so many misreable bastards on this website?!! If we were still fighting relegation like we used to most seasons then fair enough but we're not, we?re 5th and going to qualify for Europe again!!!

Steve Williams, you're right: some people do need to wake up and smell the coffee........ people like you.
Steve Williams
10   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:36:13

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Chris,

You clearly miss the point.

If we were a good side in genuine contention for trophies (even if they are second tier ones such as the UEFA and Carling Cups) and Champions League places, we wouldn?t consistently throw in really poor performances such as West Ham, Fulham, Birmingham, Derby and yes, Fiorentina away.

Good sides perform when it matters - bottom line is we don?t. If we did we would be easily 5th and very possibly 4th whilst also being in the Uefa Cup final. BUT WE?RE NOT!

Hence my point about not blindly ?thinking what might have been? - we must understand that whilst we are closer, we are not yet close.

Some are indeed being fooled by the 2nd leg - fooled into thinking we are better than we are.

I am absolutely delighted that we are no longer facing relegation, that we have regained respectability, but I can also see how far we have yet to go before we get back to the days of late 60s (my earliest memories), 1974-76 when we were closer than we currently are and of course the mid 80s.

I can only assume that most of you weren?t in Florence, because to have to witness at first hand a capitulation after the treament we had, enduring the terrible weather was heartbreaking.

So, yes, reality check - it was only a couple of months ago that some people on here were predicting a Carling and Uefa Cup double and to pip Chelsea for 3rd!

Expectations need to be brought into line with reality - hence David Moyes?s assertion that it could take another 5 years to crack a Champions League place. At least he has a sense of reality even if some fans don?t.

Incidentally, interesting language there Chris - why the need for so many swear and derotatory words - are we not allowed to hold a different point of view from yours?
Will Leaf
11   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:37:06

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The UEFA Cup is a brutal exercise for teams with the resources on par with the Aston Villa / Everton level.

I mean we had to play 6 matches just to get to the last 32! Then 8 more to reach the final!

Good Lord, you may have to go to parts of Russia the German war machine did not even reach, then tturn around 3-4 days later and compete in the Premier League.

Unless you win the competition, it results in a dangerous drag on league performance. And the prize money is only about 2 odd million.

There are intangibles (prestige of playing in Europe to attract future signings, gate receipts etc. oh yeah, and it’s the only time we manage to have a penalty awarded!) but going far in this competition with a thin squad is a slippery slope.
Simon Gilmovitch
12   Posted 02/05/2008 at 09:28:41

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I am gutted after watching that game last night. Rangers are shit & Fiorentina are not much better! Despite being knocked out on pens, make no mistake we are a better side than either of these teams, including IMO Zenit.

What is really depressing is the style of play adopted by Rangers. At no point over their Uefa Cup campaign have they shown any ambition to play attacking football. Yet they have a realistic chance of winning the competition. I?m not saying we are Brazil, but to excuse the Gers style of football as justification for winning a cup is very sad.

Patty Beesley
13   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:18:01

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Steve Williams - "Good sides perform when it matters" ......like Liverpool against Chelsea then? We performed when it mattered against Fiorentina ? it was the penalties that beat us. You should try thinking positive instead of being pessimistic!
Nelly Blythe
14   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:08:46

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Steve Williams... spot on mate!! And it will remain that way UNLESS the manager brings in some GENUINE QUALITY (particularly in the centre of midfield) in the summer to allow him to change his tactics from the hoofball shite we have had to endure for the majority of his tenure.

I?m sorry but I just dont go along with all this ?Carsley Must Stay ? shite. IMO at best he is an average journeyman who wins a few tackles but he is absolutely terrible when in possession of the ball and more often than not just gives the ball back to the opposition even when not under pressure.

To advocate the re-signing of a 34/35 yrs old journeyman whose legs are on the way out over the signing of potential quality such as Fernandes, a player who can actually play when in possession of the ball, is sheer madness despite the cost. I thank Lee Carsley for his contribution but in order to progress to the type of team Moyes says he wants us to be then we need much better players than him ?pulling the strings? .

However, the fact that Moyes is being so vociferous in his attempts to re-sign Carsley tells me that once again this board is going to let us down badly AGAIN in the summer and we will have wittnessed yet ANOTHER false dawn this season.

Sorry for the pessimism fellas but I?m just gutted at the way the season has gone as I truly believed that this season (based on before Christmas) we were going to win something and after seeing the game last night(Rangers/Fiorentina) it makes it even harder to take (the way we have nosedived). Particularly when you coonsider the performances against Chelsea at home in the Carling Cup and Fiorentina away. But for those two gutless performances we could and probably SHOULD be picking up some silverware this season. 5th place should be well and truely secured by now and it?s down to us and us alone that it is not.

As Steve says for us to be considered a genuinely good side we HAVE to stop the piss poor performances against the likes of Birmingham, Fulham , West Ham etc because they?re the ones that have cost us. I also belived for us to stay ?up there? Moyes has to stop ?bottling it? against the Sky/Grandslam 4 and actually try and beat one/all of them instead of playing ?not to get beat ? as this NEVER works. Perhaps then people will take us more seriously. He has a massive opportunity this weekend I just hope he doesn't blow it.

My team for Sunday....
Howard Neville Yobo Jagielka Lescott
Arteta Fernandes Carsley (as much as I?ve slagged him off we have nobody else!!) Osman Pienaar
Yakubu.

I just hope if we dont secure 5th place we go down fighting (a la Fiorentina at home) rather than just surrender without a fight as we normally do against the Sky 4. Here?s hoping....

Steve Williams
15   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:41:27

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Patty,

You say we performed when it mattered against Fiorentina. But we didn’t!

In case you failed to notice it, we got beat! My daughter would never miss a blindingly obvious point like this.

You’ve demonstrated my point that, a very good performance (incidentally, the only one in months) has fooled people into thinking that we are better than we are. If we are really that good, please explain why we have dropped eight points against three of the bottom four and we have taken just two points against the top six.

Don’t bring Liverpool into it - I don’t want to blow your argument out of the water by listing how they have consistently out performed us for years - it would just be too painful.

All I’m saying is, yes be pleased with where we are, but just temper the optimism with a healthy dose of reality.
Peter Bourke
16   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:50:49

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M. Kenrick. Please explain how our WONDERFUL Manager Bottled it???
So you blame Moyes for our best points tally ever.
I didn?t see DM line up to take a penalty shot against Fio.
John Lloyd
17   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:42:27

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I?m fed up of all this shit....lets get a couple of things straight concerning our performance against the ?Sky 4?

We have drew away with Chelsea, where a number of teams including Man U have been beaten, we were very unlucky to lose against Man U at Old trafford a loss of concentration by Pienaar if you remember & this is at a ground where most teams in the league including our gobshite neighbors got trounced!!! Its difficult to talk about the Arsenal game at our ground cos in the 1st half we twatted them & should of been in front by a few but due to individual errors we got beat by a very harsh scoreline... & we all remember the Goodison derby!!

Basically all the shit I hear about DM bottling it against big teams & we look like a rabbit in the headlines is bollocks. Performance wise we have given a game to all the sides above us, at least once this season which is more than most of the sides in the prem!! Coupled with the fact that we beat most teams below explaining our league position.

We have had bad days at the office, all teams do. The Fiorentina game away was one of them, the Anfield derby being another... but like I say EVERY TEAM has them, we have to get up and get on with it.....

Of course like all of you I still want improvement by turning some of them good performances into points but a lot of you have very short memories and just seem to jump on the bandwagon like fucking sheep, as soon as you hear a good soundbite!!!

We are improving year upon year and our league points total is already the best since the PL began. I am praying & hoping we secure 5th place & Uefa Cup football next season which would be another improvement on last then looking forward to a summer of speculation of ins & outs, etc etc.

I just urge a few of you to remember the games you are talking about rather than follow some sensationalist headline from a writer/contributor who is being over the top!!!

John Lloyd
18   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:04:43

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Michael Kenrick you are one of the people I refer to, very short memory mate, very short
Peter Bourke
19   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:04:56

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@John Lloyd,
The most sensible comment I have heard in ages.
Thank you for bringing some sense to the arguement. I too am sick of the bandwagon follow the sheep type comments of a few supporters who?s bias against Moyes is embarrasing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but as they say in the newspapers.....Don?t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Nelly Blythe
20   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:01:51

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@ John Lloyd...dont want to turn this into a thread against Moyes but before you denounce the opinions of people like myself & Steve Williams just answer this question...
In his six years in charge just how many games have we actually WON against Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool??

I totally agree that we have improved over the years but IMO that DOESN'T justify piss poor performances against the likes of Birmingham, Fulha , West Ham etc over the past few weeks. Had we beaten these teams as I believe we should do then 5th place would be all over and done with.

By your own admission and the fact that you are ?hoping & praying? we secure 5th place you obviously are NOT confident that we will do so. Yes, all teams do have ?a bad day at the office? but we have far too many of them for my liking and that has to stop before we will be genuine contenders to win something...

It's not going over the top ? it's a FACT!!!

Tony Marsh
21   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:19:33

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Moyes did bottle it in Florentina just like he always does in big games. Look no further than last week against Villa. Another must-win game that we didn't or couldn't win.

Oh guess what: Walter Smith has a chance of doing a quadruple after only 15 months at Rangers and some of our lot still think Moyes is the better manager.

Smith was under funded by a board in turmoil when he was here. Moyes has been backed to the hilt. That's the difference. So please no more of this "It's a lot better than the Smith days under Moyes". Smith just proved last night how good a manger he really is. What's Moyes ever done apart from finish 4th with Smith's side?
Joe McMahon
22   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:18:39

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Everyone- PLEASE STOP having a go at Steve Williams. To an extentnet he has a point. Yes I agree with we are not fighting relegation, and hopefully those days are long gone. But, as our employers will always tell us "Well done for the last year, we exceeded all expectations, but this year we want you to be able to perform even better"

Surely we have to look on improving all the time. Steve has made some comment?s that you have to agree with are true. Let?s all look to the future, and think on that Steve may be correct in his observations, but yes it?s also true that we have improved - long may it continue!
Peter Bourke
23   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:22:58

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@ Nelly Blythe,
You stated we have too many bad days at the office and you give 3 examples. I think you will find if you look at the amount of bad days at the office of all teams in the comp we have had fewer than most. When we had those bad days we were without our best players. Look what happened to Man U when they had Ronaldo and Tevez on the bench, BAD day at the office. We are not infallable and if you think we can have 2 or 3 of our best players injured and march on beating anyone that comes our way you are deluded.
Dan Johnson
24   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:24:13

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The problem is that we lack any big game players. Arteta as an example often goes missing in so many big matches. None of our players are prepared to step up when it matters against the top teams. Maybe we have a team of bottlers.
Peter Bourke
25   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:30:50

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Tony Marsh. Tell me how DM bottled it against Villa. Or will you go missing in action as usual when we ask for your reasons for such comments and how you have failed on every occasion to give a sensible factual response to how you would have approached the situation and what you would have done differently and exactly what did Moyes do that BOTTLED it for you and your like.
Michael Hunt
26   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:24:36

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Isn?t it ironic that Zenit St.Petersburg (after we beat them) only got out of the group because our second string side were the first to beat Alkmaar on their own patch for 27 years!
Zent then go on to spank 5 past Bayern Munich to march to the final. I could not make this shit up...why oh fucking why did we not perform way better in Florence or at least practice to be competent and confident at penos! I despair at the lack of professionalism at times.
After the season we?ve had, the Intertoto is a fucking embarrassment so a point at the Emirates must be secured. Easier said than done of course. COYB!
Tony Marsh
27   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:38:21

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Peter Bourke, where have you been the past few years mate? Whenever a crunch game comes along then Moyes and his side are found wanting and by crunch game I mean one that will determine a season.

Let's take Villarreal a few years ago: we lost both games home and away.

Chlesea this season in the semis of the Carling Cup: lost both home and away.

Florentina tie: we go out on pens after shitting our selves over there.

Villa on Sunday: a win needed to secure 5th spot we draw.

It goes on and on and on and has done for years.
Patty Beesley
28   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:35:27

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Steve Williams - What I meant, and you well know it, that FOR PERFORMANCE OVER THE 90 MINUTES BEFORE THE PENALTIES, we were far superior to Fiorentina and beat them 2 -0. There was no need for you to be sarcastic but as you were so shall I be - Is that clear enough or do I have to explain it to your daughter so she can explain it to you?

How you can say that that perforamce was the ony good one by the team in months is beyond me. Incidentally we could be just as good as Liverpool if we had the money to spend on players that they have... what was it, £23mil for Torres alone? Give EFC cash to spend that they have and I am sure we could do as well in the long run.
Joe McMahon
29   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:48:55

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This season has been particularly bad against the top 4 (5 if Villa pip us). Taking Villa into account then, if Arsenal beat us, we have then taken just 2 points from a possible 30.

This is something that does need to be addressed next season.
John Lloyd
30   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:43:44

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Nelly I am always like that about the blues, but I genuinly am confident that we will get 5th and I dont want to get into an argument about stats cos you could throw a load at me proving your argument & I could throw a load back thus backing up my argument. I am talking about this season ONLY, its not about being a DM fan or DM hater it is about being an Everton fan & this season we have bean the best team out of the ?sky 4? beating most of our challengers and winning games that we have lost in the past against teams not as good as us & in the premier league that in itself is an achievment.

But against the ones above all I am asking is to remember the games:-
Man U (home) last minute winner from vidic, also Yakubu was one on one before ref giving an awful foul against us, we deserved more.
Man U (away) - matched them all across the park, responding to a wonder goal from the THE best player in the world with a cahill header and deserved a draw before a moment of madness, unlucky.

Chelseas (away) - tough game, but we frustrated them and scored a cracker equaliser to get another deserved draw
Chelsea (home) - didnt perform, looked out of steam. I wont make excuses, it could of been uefa hangover, or injuries or whatever either way wasnt good enough.

The Shite (home) - I?m not even explaining this debacle of a game, played them off the park until the ref showed his colours, we know the rest.
The shite (away) - same sort of thing as chelsea at home, basically didnt perform.

Arsenal (home) - as I have already said difficult one as we battered them for 45 mins then a couple of individual errors from Jag cost us game. Scoreline flattered them.
Arsenal (away)- I?m not mystic fucking meg??

Basically we have been unlucky & robbed by refs in a few of them games & only twice have we not performed at all, which is more than most if not all, all I ask is remember the actual game rather than some bellend on here with daft sensationalist opinions.
Patty Beesley
31   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:55:26

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Isn?t it ironic that TM is bolstering and praising Walter Smith up for playing boring defensive football as he did in both legs against Fliortina, and yet he is always slagging David Moyes off for doing, in his opinion, precisely that!!
Michael Hunt
32   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:36:55

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Tony Marsh, Smith’s Rangers side had 27 SHOTS against them last night! They were battered throughout but somehow scraped a clean sheet. They could not get one against La Viola at Ibrox and therefore it came down to them being able to convert their pens (despite having their first one saved) where we failed. You make it sound like Rangers are a class above us...they are certainly not!
Brian Richardson
33   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:37:04

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Marsh, you?ve excelled yourself with your ignorance. Just so everybody is aware, Marsh has just claimed Walter was better for Everton than Moyes.

Have you watched any of the games Rangers have played this season? They have scraped through every single round with dour performances. Their luck has been extraordinary, as everybody recognises.

It takes a rare kind of stupidity to look at what Walter Smith did for Everton and then look at what Moyes did (with a similar budget) and conclude that Walter was the better man. Truly outrageous thinking from a man determined to attack David Moyes, irrespective of the greatest points total for a couple of decades.

And Michael, can you explain more about Moyes bottling it against Fiorentina? I thought we took 2 poor penalties, but maybe I?m wrong. If we?d won the shoot-out (it?s a lottery, as everybody knows) you?d have been raving about the awesome comeback from the Moyes-inspired Everton. Do you disagree?

Shameless, some of you.
Paul Lambert
34   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:41:21

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Fellow blues I know what is really one your mind and that is where the fuck were those Fiorentina plentaly takers in the earlier round.

We have no luck
Chris Fisher
35   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:47:10

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Steve Williams, I didn't think my language was that bad! Shite and git?! ok bastards is maybe one!! Anyway, no it's not because people aren't allowed to have a different opinion to mine, it's just (and this isn't necesarilly aimed at you) theres so many people on here that just seem so negative about Everton and it grinds me down sometimes! Like I said if we were still a relegation threatend team each year then I'd understand the level of critisism and negativity but we?re not, we're improving year by year and are one of only a few teams that are a threat to the ?sky four?. I just don't get why after so many years of understandably being misreable about the club, that now were improving we there is still so much negativity and misreableness!!

Anyway, let's cheer all the misreable gits up by beating Arsenal and Newcastle and cementing 5th!! Although someone will probably find something to moan about even if we did that!! Oh we didnt pass Arsenal off the park, we should've finished 4th, Phil Neville played hoof ball and expected AJ to do all the work, the Yak has scored 19 goals this season but hasn't scored for a while hes rubbish now, Moyes is so negative blah blah blah blah etc etc etc......!!!!!! COYB!!!
Dave Jeanrenaud
36   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:31:52

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Peter Bourke,

Tony already told us a few weeks back what he would have done that Moyes did not. Tony would have started Gravesen in the derby!!!

Yes that is the same Tommy Gravesen who stunk the gaff out after coming on as sub for 30 mins in the subsequent Chelsea game!!

Tony now seeks to inform us that Walter Smith is in fact a better manager than David Moyes!!

In short a suggest taking anything he says with a large pinch of salt.
Dave Jeanrenaud
37   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:04:42

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Tony Marsh

You ask "What?s Moyes ever done apart from finishing 4th with Smith?s side?"

Would this be the same side that Smith had destined for relegation year after year? You may then ask yourself which manager managed to get the best out of the same squad of players? As an aside it was not of course the same squad but why let the facts get in the way of a good argument hey Tony?

Come on Tony you do not seriously believe that Walter is a better manager than Moyesy do you? The same Walter Smith under whom we did not score a home goal one season until October/November!?

Steve Templeton
38   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:00:51

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So Moyes is a bottler because he has a poor record against the so-called top four. Does that make Benitez a bottler because his record in the league games against the same teams is as equally as poor?

Tony, as for your comment that Moyes finished 4th with Smith’s side - that’s probably the first time you have ever said anything that I agree with. You have made the point very succinctly if I may say so but if you don’t mind I would like to spell it out for anybody else who disagrees:-

MOYES FINISHED FOURTH IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE WITH THE SAME TEAM THAT WAS FIGHTING RELEGATION UNDER WALTER SMITH.

So Tony I can safely assume that you now agree that Moyes is the better Manager?
Steve Williams
39   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:50:42

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Friends,

I very nearly didn’t respond because I didn’t see the point (shame you did though, I hear some cry, Ha Ha!) but I think that some of you still don’t get my point, so .. here goes one last try:

Nowhere in my comments have I criticised Moyes, any individual player or the Board. I fully accept that all parties are doing the best they can.
I have also acknowledged that we are much better off than in the relegation years and no doubt we are all thankful for that.

But the point I made was that we were still a long way short of:
a) where we want to be, and

more to the point,

b) where some people seem to think we are already.

John Lloyd, yes there are reasons why we didn’t get results against the Top 4 plus VIlla, but in the absence of really stepping up to the plate, they sound almost like hard luck stories / sour grapes (Goodison Derby aside). Bottom line is we still didn’t get the results, YOU thought we should have. I haven’t got the statistics to hand but it wouldn’t surprise me if we had one of the worst records against the Top 4 over recent years.

Patty, again yes, if we had the money (£23m for Torres), I also would expect us to improve - but we haven’t and won’t have for quite some time. Hence DM’s comments about 5 more years.

I am a realist and, unfortunately I accept all of this, but my point was that we are where we are: a decent side in the main but a long way short of a good side. The all too frequent dip in performance leading to dropped points, not just against the top clubs but also against the poorer ones is merely evidence of this. Now I’m not saying we should be further on in our development, just that many of you believe we are better than that and it is this perception that I have taken issue with.

Again, I reiterate, let’s get a better grip on where we are and that it will take quite some time before we get to where we want to be. Don’t forget, the top 4 have a £200m+ head start on us (they’ve already built their squads), so don’t think we will be winning anything anytime soon.
Tony Marsh
40   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:12:29

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John Lloyd, The only reason we will end up empty handed again this season is because of bad luck and refs robbing us, you say.

I suppose it's the refs fault that all Moyeses sides ever do is launch 60-yard balls down field to strikers who find themselves playing out wide in doing so thus avoiding all the 5ft 2 inch midfeilders standing still in the middle of the park. I mean we wouldn't want little Ozzie or Peanuts to get hurt challenging for the ball would we?

I suppose it's down to bad luck that we always come up short in the really big games every season. Like Chelsea going down to 10 men in a semi while playing thier second string and we still lost because we bottled it. Yep bad luck and dodgey refs ? without them Moyes would be a world beater...
Steve Templeton
41   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:19:36

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Steve,

I take your point that our record against the top four sides is poor but there is a statistic which was stated on Sky Sports a couple of months ago that the top four have only lost four home league games out of a couple of hundred Premier League fixtures.

So it’s not just us who are poor against these teams but also the other 13 teams that represent the Premier League outside of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

I don’t believe therefore that you can lay the blame for this at DM’s door - it’s bigger than that and goes to the heart of the problem which is the disparity in wealth between these teams and the rest of the league.

Tony Marsh
42   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:21:09

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Steve Templeton, here's one for you. What has Moyes ever won??? Answer: fuck all.Not even promotion via the play offs for Preston.

What has Waltrer Smith ever won? Well where do we begin.More trophies than Moyes can even dream of.

The only real way of knowing is if Moyes goes to Scotland and takes the Celtic job. Until then, Smith's record pisses all over Moyes's.

Steve Williams
43   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:26:45

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Steve Templeton,

Please re-read all of my posts.

Nowhere do I ?lay the blame at DM?s door?. In fact I specifically state that:

?Nowhere in my comments have I criticised Moyes, any individual player or the Board. I fully accept that all parties are doing the best they can.?

Please do me justice.

I am more concerned about our dropping points against the rubbish clubs. But accept that we aren?t good enough to be consistent enough. Hence we?re not as good as some people think.
Steve Templeton
44   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:27:58

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Tony,
Once again you dodge the issue.

Do you agree that David Moyes finished fourth in the Premier League with pretty much the same squad that had flirted with relegation under Walter Smith?

As for your second point, do you believe that Graeme Souness is a bbetter manager than David Moyes because he won trophies in Scotland whilst DM has not won anything in England?
Steve Templeton
45   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:32:49

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Steve,
Fair enough - I couldn’t bring myself to read all of the previous posts as I find depressing enough to read Marsh and Kenrick’s postings!

My response was made to your last posting when you stated that you wouldn’t be surprised if we had one of the worst records against the top four over recent years.

I just get frustated when I hear this sometimes as if you look at the record of teams similiar in stature to us i.e City, Villa, Spurs etc then you will see that they also have a bloody awful record against these teams.
Tony Waverleas
46   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:13:01

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Both Michael Kenrick And Tony Marsh label David Moyes a bottler. Fine. It’s their opinion and whether I agree with it or not I’m getting tired of it being the be-all and end-all of what they say.
I’m open to persuasion and will listen to any opinion so I’d ask them both to explain what they would like to see happen at our club (without straying into the realms of fantasy) that they believe would make things a whole lot better than they clearly feel they are right now.
Merely pointing at something and saying it’s rubbish (while making no attempt to suggest solutions or alternatives) becomes tedious for those listening and only serves to make the critics sound like unrealistic whingers.
Tony Marsh
47   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:37:45

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Steve Templeton, teams and managers are judged by what they win at the end of the day. Not by what might of been. If you win trophies you are a success if you don't your not. Whatever you think of Moyes or his methods, one thing's for sure ? he aint no winner.

Moyes does not possess a winners mentality ? AND THAT'S A FACT.
John Lloyd
48   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:33:40

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Steve, I do see your points mate & I would concede that our record (referees/performances/hard luck) aside is not that good but I dont think you are looking at the bigger picture, they are the best sides in the prem & probably Europe at present so what I think DM has done is basically get us to a position where we beat the teams we used to stumble or struggle against then hopefully we will be ? or should I say we are ? in the best position to challenge that strangle hold on the CL places.
To say they or DM ?bottles it? against the top sides is stupid & that was the point I was originally answering back.
Chris Fisher
49   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:49:03

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Tony Marsh, the argument isn't about what Moyes and Smith have done for other clubs cos I for one couldn't give a flying fuck about other clubs. It's about what they've done for our club. And you yourself said that the only good thing Moyes has done is finished 4th with Smith's team, if thats what you beleive then that proves that Moyes is by far and away the better manager because all Smith could do with ?his team? is nearly get us relegated with them!! So what's better ? finishing 4th or nearly getting relegated???!!! You know that without a shadow of a doubt if you compare the success of Moyes and Smith at OUR club Moyes pisses all over Smith.
Steve Williams
50   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:45:50

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Steve T, John L, I believe we understand each other much better now. It is always a problem of posting a point. If it was face to face over a beer then mis-interpretation / mis-understanding is far less likely.

However John, again, to put the record straight, I never criticised Moyes or called him a bottler - I think you’re getting confused with our good friend Tony!
John Lloyd
51   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:52:09

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I didnt say you did mate, the bottler statement was made earlier in a couple of postings by other people.

With this weather though that beer scenario is looking better by the minute!! Bet you its pissing down when I knock off work......twat!!
Tony Williams
52   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:37:24

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Lets be honest here.

If I took over Celtic/Rangers, I would have a 50/50 chance of winning that league so the comparison is non existant really.

Smith won 10 on the bounce then came to us and nearly relegated us, not a shining example of how good he was and then he goes back to Scotland and low and behold he is back to his winning ways.

Non argument that one.

So Moyes bottles the big matches does he, within the last two months we have beaten 2 of our closest rivals and drew with the other.

We have been beaten by Fulham, yes I know we should beat them but never have at the Cottage, we have been beaten by Chelsea......again, but who hasn’t they are now joint top of the league and we were beaten by the shite, who have only been beaten at home in the last two years in the league by the reigning champions.

Perspective is lacking here, yes I want us to win every game but the reality is that we are a decent side who are miles behind the Sky 4 so why should be be expected to beat them?

The Fiorintina fiasco I would place 80% of the blame on the players who simply shit themselves and not one of them had a decent game...possibly Howard, the rest were fucking awful and Moyes cannot take sole blame for his players not performing.
Steve Templeton
53   Posted 02/05/2008 at 14:13:13

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Tony,

You are comparing managers and teams from seperate leagues. Are the managers of the Welsh and Irish league winners better than Moyes because they have won trophies and he has not ? I don’t think so!

Why do you find it so hard to answer a specific point? Your mate Kenrick accuses people of not replying to the points you have made but when we do, you dodge the issue!

Now, I’ll ask the question once again - do you accept that David Moyes finished 4th in the Premier League with more or less the same squad that had flirted with relegation under Walter Smith?

Is Graeme Souness a better manager than Moyes?

I’ll wait.........................

Peter Fearon
54   Posted 02/05/2008 at 15:53:54

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It is galling to see a team we thrashed, and a third rate manager who did so much damage to Everton, both in the Uefa Cup final when we should have been there. Oh how I would have loved to see Everton give Walter Smith a football lesson ? a man who claimed the problem with Everton was the fan?s aspirations. I cannot say that man?s name without spitting.
David Edwards
55   Posted 02/05/2008 at 16:57:50

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Andy Ellams - Sorry you misconstrued my comments as being bigoted - I’m about as unbigoted as you can get. What I should have said was I’m pleased for them even though I have a leaning towards Celtic (and I can’t even say my catholic upbringing had anything to do with it either - I think I liked the green hoops on the telly when I was a lad). The sectarian divide sadly remains strong (as demonstrated by the attitude of some of my Glasgow acquaintences of late), but it was lazy prose for me to mention religion even in passing - all unintentional.
Trudy Boston
56   Posted 02/05/2008 at 17:24:18

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The first leg in Italy will live long in the memory as a wasted opportunity. The boys didn?t perform and in the end we were fortunate that Tim only let two goals in.

Of course, back to Goodison, and it seemed that Lazarus had put on the famous blue shirt. A total peformance from all involved that made me proud to be an Evertonian that night, even though I was watching from a bar in New York with not a single Bluenose for company. It felt like I was there on Merseyside, living every moment.

You have to say, that both teams in the final have deserved their place in Manchester, although if it were us, I?m sure a partisan crowd would have been an extra man and we well could have won it, had the final opposition been different.

It?s a pity that we will never know.
Barry Cass
57   Posted 02/05/2008 at 17:31:48

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What?s going on with this site?? We are turning into kopites!! Rangers beat Fiorentina on pens after being battered home and away. Their defending was superb, however ,and they had an almighty slice of luck which we did not.

This does not hide the fact that Moyes got it WRONG over in Florence. Carsley (shite) and Neville (even worse in midfield) were never going to be progressive enough to cause them any problems over there.

At Goodison Moyes got his tactics RIGHT and we subsequently battered them and with some better finishing would have put them to bed in the 90 minutes.

This Smith vs Moyes debate is a joke though. When Smith was here we were fucking disgraceful apart from one season when we had Collins, Dacourt, Barmby and Hutchison which was a good midfield. However, Walter in his wisdom fell out with Collins and Hutchison, Barmby and Dacourt left and it fell apart.

Moyes came in and has improved us in every department; however, he has still not bought an energetic midfielder who can take a grip on the game and this is after SIX years in charge. Also the tendancy to play Cars and Nev in midfield is a joke. This for me is the area in which we need the most improvement. We need midfielders who come and take the ball off our centre halves therefore removing the need to twat the ball upfield to midgets!!

My argument with Smith is we were awful all the time and the money men were not fully into the prem at that time. Never once did we make Europe and never once did we look like making Europe whilst shite like Ipswich did. So congratulate Walter and wish him well but please don?t tell me he was a better manager for Everton than Moyes because for all his faults he has raised our hopes and expectations and long may that continue.

As for Bill Kenwright???
Brian Waring
58   Posted 02/05/2008 at 20:03:57

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David Moyes, 6 long, long, long year?s = no trophies, = shit football = hoofball = another 6 long, long, long year?s! Oh my fucking god!
Steve Templeton
59   Posted 02/05/2008 at 20:28:57

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Ok then Brian, who would you nominate to do a better job with the same amount of resources?
Anthony Newell
60   Posted 02/05/2008 at 21:24:37

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Have to take exception with anyone trumpeting Walter Smith’s achievements. This was the person who started bringing in journymen way past their sell by date: Hughes, Ginola, Gazza et al and rapidly turned us into a laughing stock not to mention playing left backs on the right and Watson up front for gods sake. Having said all this, Moyes has proven that he just can’t handle the big games. The biggest disappointment for me this season was CCup second leg where he played Johnson up front on his own for 70 odd fuckintg minutes. The guy has plenty of spirit but I seriously doubt that he’s the man to take us to the promised land
Steve Templeton
61   Posted 03/05/2008 at 00:11:23

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Anthony,

Moyes wanted to keep it tight against Chelsea in the second leg in view of the fact that had we conceded any sort of goal the tie would have been over at 3-1 and quite frankly they would have picked us off even further and we would have been on the end of an embarrasing hiding.

Quite rightly, we kept it tight for the first hour to keep the tie alive and Moyes was clearly going to go for it in the last 20 minutes, he was about to bring on Anichebe when they scored the fatal third goal.

We couldn’t go for Chelsea straight from the kick off because they would have caught us on the break and buried us. The mistake by Lescot in the first leg did for us unfortunately.
John Taylor
62   Posted 03/05/2008 at 02:01:36

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Brian Waring

Are you for real? The pride that David Moyes has given us back already was unimaginable 5 yrs ago. I?m not a fan of his tactics & will readily admit he?s got a lot to learn but with all evidence present he does seem to be learning them lessons & very well indeed. With the exception of a few games & mistakes we can be a very good passing team on our day as proved by our midseason form & demolition of quite a few sides. Do you not realise that Man Utd were ready to sack Alex Ferguson after nine trophyless years at OT but persevired and that's what we should do. I suggest you spend a little time on various other prem clubs websites & see what they have to say about Mr Moyes before you judge & see how differently they view us. now.
go wobble ya head & come back down to earth
Steve Jones
63   Posted 01/05/2008 at 22:24:13

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Just seen Rangers go through on penalties amd I have to say I am delighted for Walter Smith. He is a throroughly decent man and certainly handles himself with dignity.

OK, the football he gave us was pretty dire at times, but don't forget he had to deal wth Agent Johnson and was certainly sold down the river by the Everton Board at the time with lack of funds. I think he did as well as he could with limited budget, and he did recommend Davie Moyes after all. It is frustrating that Fiorentina couldn't have cocked up their penalties at Goodison though - and dont' forget we beat Zenit, so that puts things in perspective regarding our cup run.

Nelly Blythe
64   Posted 03/05/2008 at 10:39:33

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Despite my reservations about Moyes and his fear to attack the Sky/Grandslam 4, I have to agree that he is way way ahead of Smith.
Smith is by far & away the worst manager we have ever had, I know some (most) will say Walker but just remember Walker got SACKED after 10 months. Smith was given 4 years and I have to admit that during that time I saw some of the worst performances I have EVER seen from our beloved Blues, some so bad that at one time I did actually contemplate not going the match.

Barry Cass, you make some good points sir, but unfortunately Moyes DID get it wrong in Florence and he DOES get it wrong every time he picks Carsley & Neville in midfield (...although I can see you agree an bout that one).

Nelly Blythe
65   Posted 03/05/2008 at 11:07:08

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Barry cass...my apologies !!

Having just re-read your post I can now see that you are in agreement about Florence. On first reading I mistakenly thought you were sayng we were ’unlucky’ over there.

As I say ...my apologies !!
Anthony Newell
66   Posted 03/05/2008 at 13:27:20

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Steve T, I?m sorry but that?s horse shit, just can?t accept that mate. We had to go for it in that game and what does Moyes do? - play one up front for 70 minutes. Johnson was rendered completely useless and I was tearing my hair out with the complete negativity/dross. This was not some cagey tactical encounter ? we had to fucking go for it at home for gods sake!!! Spurs had a really good go at Chelsea and look how they were rewarded. Notice the difference in the second leg against Fiorentina when we actually went for it from the start ? we had the opposing side rocking. Sorry but when it comes to Moyes and playing the top four next season, you may as well go and do the decorating.
Steve Templeton
67   Posted 03/05/2008 at 15:35:43

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Anthony,

I think we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

You cite the example of Spurs v Chelsea but that was a one-off final, we were already 1 - 0 down in the second leg and whilst my heart says we should have gone for it my head says Moyes was right in his approach. Look at the goal we conceded, Chelsea hit us quickly on the counter-attack with pace, if we had gone gung-ho early doors then there is every chance that they would had picked us off and you would have then been criticising Moyes for the embarrassing scoreline.

One of the most noticeable things about that match for me was the amount of times that the ball broke on the edge of the Chelsea area for someone to put a shot in but Carsley was 20 yards further back and the chance was gone. Hopefully, if we can get in a more mobile centre midfielder this summer then we can see us applying more pressure on the better teams who can hit us with pace.

By the way it’s not ’horseshit’ it was common sense!

Onwards and upwards my friend.
Nelly Blythe
68   Posted 03/05/2008 at 15:50:04

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Steve T....

We were a goal down so that made it a MUST WIN game for us ..effectively a one off cup final as you put it...against Fiorentina we were TWO goals down yet on this occassion Moyes went against his normal instaincts and chose to ?go for it? and look what happened... Granted we didn?t win the tie but gave probably our best performance of the season. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when the 2nd goal went in I was so proud. However, that is how I expect Everton teams to play in every game against ALL opposition ? not just once a season.... Have to agree with Anthony on this one.
Bye the way, nice to see I?m not alone in wanting rid of Carsley !!
Tony Williams
69   Posted 03/05/2008 at 16:42:29

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Nelly I can see what Steve is getting at, a 1-0 win would have been enough to go into extra time but being 2-0 down there was no option, we had to go for it and the first goal spurred us on.

I too believe that Moyes's tactics that day were right with the players he had at his disposal, Anchovy was about to come on when they scored therefore showing he was going to "go for it" with 20 mins left.
Steve Templeton
70   Posted 03/05/2008 at 18:02:25

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Nelly,

I take your point regarding the different approach to the Chelsea and Fiorentina games but Tony has very kindly already provided my answer for me!

Just one more point if I may, I don?t want to see the back of Carsley in fact I want us to keep him as he can still be useful in certain games and we will need a bigger squad next season assuming that we play a similiar number of games as this. I fully expect to see some tall, leggy (probably African) bloke in centre mid next season who will be able to go box to box for 90 mins which will give us an added edge when attacking.
Anthony Newell
71   Posted 03/05/2008 at 23:14:35

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As long as his name’s not Alex Nyarko

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