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The Mail Bag

End of the road

Comments (32)

I have kept faith in Moyes for the past few years but have become dissillusioned in the last months or so ? in my opinion, he is unable to win the one game when needed.

In January, he was already letting us know about his limited ambition, telling us that a Top 10 finish would be great. Friends at The pub where we go every match disagree ? I said last week that the Villa game would prove something to me; let's see if he could win it. Before the match he was saying it wasn't a must-win game ? wow! What motivation!!!

I went to watch the Arsenal game today and yet again I was absolutely underwhelmed with the tactics, commitment, passion and skill of the team ? giving the ball away constantly, mis-controlling, being pushed off the ball like powderpuffs, going out for the 0 - 0 but not knowing what to do if anyone scores ? all the faults that I accuse Moyes of.

Please don't talk to me of the Board or investment, or miracles with money available. We had chances to do better many times this year and we just threw them away. But of course The Board love Moyes ? he is the lowest paid manager in The Premier; he puts no pressure on them.

We need big changes here. Of course I have renewed my season ticket (and my daughter's and two grandsons') but Moyes and The Board have to wake up and try something really new, or I guess it will be the same next year. It's no good getting the chance to fight Apollo Creed like Rocky and then falling over the ropes getting into the ring. We had chances and blew them - not The Board or money but really bad tactics.

Still be there next season - we have to face our problems to move on. George Mc Kane
George  McKane, Liverpool     Posted 04/05/2008 at 16:12:19

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Michael Kenrick
Excellent post, George. But it's not really the End of the Road, is it? Your willingness to be back again next season is proof of that. And that's all we need for the status quo to continue...
Lee Armer
1   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:20:50

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Relegation fodder to 4th 6th and 5th.... yeah sack him..... IN MOYES WE TRUST!
Phil Ashton
2   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:19:56

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The Villans lost at home to wigan yesterday. wigan!! that means the villa fans will be calling for O?Neill's head. Get a grip. We have had a great season. Onwards and upwards.
Lee Watters
3   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:20:12

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Good post, George... negative tactics again!!! It's becoming frustrating. We had much more on this game than Arsenal and we stil only manage one real opportunity!!! Moyes fails to show balls in the big games. Losing 1-0 to Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Fulham.. tell me how many chances did we get in those games??? Maybe one in each if even... now come on we are better than that...

Osman is too light and in no way a centre midfielder.. too easily dispossessed. Pienaar was good today but we need a winger and a quality centre-midfielder. But at the end of the day the tactics will not change unless Moyes starts believing we can win the big games... and thus we will be on complaining here for a long time to come.

Kevin Harnan
4   Posted 04/05/2008 at 16:03:05

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Has this manager got a clue? I just saw the game ... these players... well when is someone going to pull the plug and say enough is enough?
Tony Williams
5   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:22:17

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George good post and as Michael says it is not the end of the road, as you will go back next season, just like me and many others.

What confuses me at the moment is that there are a lot of posters who are really slating Moyes at the moment for not beating teams that have only lost a handful of games all season, I just don?t get it.

You have grandkids so you have obviously been following Everton for a while so again I don?t understand how so many can be so, for want of a better word, angry at Moyes when you have obviously sat through the relegation threatened years and no it seems you are at the end of your tether when we have just recorded the highest points total in the Premiership, went on a great European adventure and came close to getting to a cup final (ok not that close).

It is not success per se but it is definitely improvement.

Yes I get pissed off when we lose but again I am confused as to why so many on here love to slate him and his tactics when they are obviously working to an extent.

Also you can?t just brush aside the investment point, as it is clear that we need a major cash injection to compete with those teams above us. They will always have the most money and therefore the best players will always go to them when all we can do is hopefully find a hidden gem that has been overlooked by the Sky 4

Arsenal don?t spend millions upon millions but I bet the wage bill is extraordinary though. The Shite buy Torres for £23 million and look where they would be without him.

Chavski can buy anyone they want so can Manure probably but we cannot and therefore we will never be able to really compete with them until the wealth is shared around, which will never happen.
Richard Murray
6   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:39:36

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Moyes looks to have guided us to a fifth place finish (which could have been more, but for some questionable decisions and inconvenient injuries).

Can you tell me what you were realistically expecting this season? The lack of loyalty shown by some fans towards Moyes is a disgrace.

I think, given the right investment, he’ll crack the top four again next season.

The man has been brilliant for this football club and it should not be forgotten.
Michael Kenrick
7   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:39:19

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Tony, of course it’s improvement but we are so far beyond that it’s just ridiculous for people to keep harping on an on about how we are "no longer relegation fodder". Who of the teams above us has been relegated more recently than Everton? Both Liverpool and Man Utd!!! (Maybe Chelsea as well ? I can’t be arsed to check). Do you think their fans harp on about them not being relegation fodder? It’s ridiculous.

Evertonians like you seem satisfied to see "progress" and "improvement" every season... while others do ? after SIX YEARS ? expect to see at least a decent attempt at doing what’s needed to actually win a trophy. That means inspiring a winning mentality ? something that seems anathema to Moyes at the moment.

Watch the games. Watch the way we play. Read his comments... it is simply not there. And until it is there, I find it hard to imagine us winning anything. But we may continue to progress" and "improve"... Well, it’s not enough! It’s not enough for me, Tony, and it’s not enough for the fans who are frutrated because they know the players, this tyeam, this manager can do better.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum... Sorry but that is what this is all about.

Chris Briddon
8   Posted 04/05/2008 at 18:48:50

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I can’t believe what I am reading on here tongiht (ok I can cos it pretty much sums up most of the posts I read on here) some people just love to moan and are never satisfied.
Michael - you mention Liverpool, Chelsea and man Utd not considering themselves as relegation fodder - well that may have something to do with the fact that its probably about 15 years since any of the sides mentioned finished the bottom half.
the fact that we haven’t been relegated in the last 50 years doesn’t mean that we haven’t flirted with it on far too many occasions and for pretty much every year of Walter Smith’s reign at Goodison Park - i.e the manager preceeding Moyes.

so how you can have a go at people for using this as a defence is ridiculous. Last year people were complaining about so called ’yo-yo seasons’ and that we never finished 2 seasons in the top half.
Well guess what, last year we finished 6th and this year there is every likelyhood we will improve on that. Where else do you exepct us to go.
I would love us to go to the Emirates and get points by attacking free-flowing football, but at present that isn’t going to happen as that’s when Arsenal will run rings around you. Our best chance at places such as this is to keep it tight, try and get a clean sheet and nick a goal - it worked for a 1-1 last year and everybody was marvelling at the game - what’s changed?

We play positive against the teams we expect to beat and are slightly more conservative away from home at the top 4. I really can’t see what the complaint is.

Oh and to whoeve rmentioned it, Villa last week obviously wasn’t a must win game as we didn’t win it and are sitll favourites for 5th place!!!
Joe McMahon
9   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:14:29

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Chris Briddon - Sorry I have to agree with Micheal. Just not to be relagation fodder every season is not good enough for a club with the rich history of Everton Football Club. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum ? think about it please, Chris.

Every time Moyes is given a big test, he is clueless at what to do, when his first option of negative hoof fails. He has no ideas of substitutions or/and how to change a game. Please don?t give me the we are 5th, as I?d rather be 7th with Mark Hughes as manager ? he picked up Roque Santa Cruz for £3.5 million, not Andrew Johnson for £8.5 (will he score again?)

Sorry but I?m just too pissed off with negative managers we always seem to get.
Gerard Fox
10   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:23:06

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In 6 years we have come from being perennial relegation fodder to qualifying for European competition in 3 out of 4 seasons. In a twisted sort of way I would like to see Moyes walk. I reckon that within 12 months some of the deluded tossers on here would really have something to complain about.
Tony Williams
11   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:26:03

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Joe, I agree with the "relegation fodder" thing completely but what has our history got to do with the Premier League the way it is now? Just because we used to be good doesn?t give us the right to be challenging now.

"Please don?t give me the we are 5th, as I?d rather be 7th with Mark Hughes as manager, he picked up Roque Santa Cruz for 3.5 million, not Andrew Johnson for 8.5 (will he score again?)"

Words fail me at this point, so you would rather we not be in the Europe again just so we can have a manager who picked up a gem for a small price? Hang on, what about Cahill, Arteta and Pienaar?

I would have thought Moyes's big test this season would have been to improve on last season, which he has done.
Michael Kenrick
12   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:31:58

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I think it was a three-part test, Tony:

(1) improving on last season is massive, because his prior league record with us is Yo-Yo in extremis. 5th is good; 4th would have been better, and was definitely within our reach. So for me, I'm disappointed we let 4th slip so pathetically.

(2) Do something about his awful Cup record. Mixed feelings there: two good cup runs... but not good enough in the end. We really should have been in both the Uefa Cup and Carling Cup finals. Winning them is a different matter...
(3) Then there was the need to really have a go at the Sky 4 . I should check, but I believe at 1 point from 24 against the final top four, that is probably his worst record in six years.

And the all-too-common thread is bottling it in the really important games.

Tony Williams
13   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:38:50

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So in essence he has passed his test, in a roundabout, skewiffy kind of way ;-)

I just don?t know what is happening against the better sides just that I believe that they are better than us and it takes all our players to have a good day to beat them or them to have an off day, which they haven?t done this year.

The only positive, which is a miniscule one, is that we seem to be only getting beat by the odd goal now when we used to get stuffed by them. Both ManUre games lost to a one second lapse of concentration and the Derbies, well the less said about them the better.

The Arsenal games were the worst, again a lapse of concentration and they win 1-0 but the Goddison game was a killer as we were basically done by own tactics of hoofing the ball.

We can say that Moyes has bottled it or we can simply accept that our team is not good enough to compete with them, either way we still only managed 1 point out of them this year, which is of course dissappointing to the extreme.
Joe Crosby
14   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:44:14

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So, are you not goin back next season, Michael?
Dave Jeanrenaud
15   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:57:36

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Explain to me how we "bottled" it in all the games against the Sky 4 this season?

The sad fact is we are playing against teams that have better players in most positions and therefore the loss of such games is not entirely unexpected.

I genuinely think it is not a lack of "bottle" and more a case of coming up against better sides that we cannot presently reasonably be expected to match.

It would be great for us to be regularly beating these 4 sides but you have to be realistic.
Karl Masters
16   Posted 04/05/2008 at 20:24:28

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I am a Moyes supporter and think he should continue, but Michael does have a valid point. To break into the Top 4 and beyond, we simply have to start beating these teams more often.

So this season has been an improvement overall, but it’s been achieved with 6 points each from Boro, Wigan, Derby, Man City, Bolton, Sunderland ( 36 points ) and 4 point hauls from Birmingham, West Ham, Spurs, ( 12 points ). Add on 3 points each from Reading and Fulham and that’s 54 of our 62 points from teams 9th or below and only 8 points from the other 7 teams in the Top 8!!

We’ve become very good at upholding the Form book.

I want to see Everton go onto the pitch against the Top 4 in particular, but also the likes of Villa, Blackburn and Pompey truly believing we are their equals and can beat them. I’m not prepared to believe it’s not possible. Last season we took 4 points each off Arsenal and Liverpool, 1 from Chelsea ( and it could easily have been 6 ) and were 2-0 at home to Manure until a panic induced capitulation.

One team who generally give the Top 4 a hard time are Blackburn and that’s because their Manager won’t accept they can’t compete. He’s been there, done it etc. Villa have also given a good account of themselves against all but Manure with a Manager who goes out to attack.

Keeping things in perspective, we have had a good season, and had little luck with injuries, but to take it on further Moyes has to

Sharpen up tactics ( Neville NEVER in midfield ) and continue the reduction seen in hoofball this season has seen.

Expand the squad

Adopt a more positive approach in the big games. We were second to almost every tackle at Anfield for example and that is not acceptable. We seem scared of these teams too often. ’ Nothing to fear but fear itself’ all too often.
8/10 this season, but we expect more next time, please.

I think it will happen, by the way!
Jim Hourigan
17   Posted 04/05/2008 at 20:41:28

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For me the realities are quite clear:? Moyes has done well, he stabilised the club, got rid of the deadwood and brought in some decent players. He made us hard to beat, introduced tactics that stifled most teams and had players who were comfortable defending for long periods. This meant we no longer worry about relegation, and our mindset should not even allow it to enter the psyche as we go into each season.

So yes, he?s done well and for that we are all grateful, however is coming 5th the sum total of our aspirations?

How many want to see us in finals again?
How many want to see us beating the Sky 4 at home and occasionally away?
How many want to see strong midfield players able to play incisive passes forward?
How many want to see wide players with some pace and the ability to threaten and worry defenders?
I would suggest we all want this.

Now the real issue is not whether we should be eternally grateful and bow down to Moyes record (and how have people the temerity to question his past), but does he have the credentials to create an even better future in keeping with our history and traditions? Is he the man to lead us to the next level? Does he have the tactical acumen to do any of the above?

Well sadly his record to date is not actually very good on any of the above. He has a poor record in all Cup competitions having never reached a final. Cup games require a winning mentality not a ?don?t get beat mentality?. Creativity (Arteta apart) has been sacrificed at the alter of hard working, journeymen. Width has never existed but we are very good at working and challenging - Carsley, but passing and creativity!!!

So for those questioning the people who have dared to criticise Moyes, do you honestly think hand on heart that he has the ability to lead us to the next level? If you do, I applaud your loyalty but I think you are sadly deluded and have been seduced by the fact that under Walter we were so bad that this seems like paradise. He?s taken us on but will take us no further; end of story.

Tony Williams
18   Posted 04/05/2008 at 21:47:11

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"Creativity (Arteta apart) has been sacrificed at the alter of hard working, journeymen"

Which players would they be then?
Jim Hourigan
19   Posted 04/05/2008 at 22:13:26

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Neville, Carsley, Cahill, Johnson, Jagielka, to name but 5.
Dave Jeanrenaud
20   Posted 04/05/2008 at 22:23:20

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Given the present level of funding I do not think any manager including David Moyes will be able to take us to that next level.

I would sure as hell rather have David Moyes trying to do it than any other manager though.

Unless of course Jose Mourinho fancies the challenge!
john carlson
21   Posted 04/05/2008 at 22:26:29

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Idoits. Kendrick, you havent got a clue lad. You live in the 80’s.
Nick Xenos
22   Posted 04/05/2008 at 23:15:02

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The thing is, Arsenal had nothing to play for, had 5 first team players out, and looked disinterested in most parts. Moyes had two strikers on the bench, and a striker on the field who has been lacking in confidence for God knows how long. Did we ever seriously look like scoring? We have a great back line but I think Moyes is putting too much pressure on them to keep cleansheets with his negative tactics. Mistakes do happen and it is always possible that a team will concede, no matter how well they are drilled. Getting to the point, it is a dangerous game playing for 0-0 results. Moyes had the ’tools’ to grab the game by the scruff of the neck yesterday and he didn’t use them.
Nick Xenos
23   Posted 04/05/2008 at 23:31:19

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....until it was too late!
Ste Booker
24   Posted 04/05/2008 at 23:50:57

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I find this a sad topic to post on tbh! Everton were a club destined for the shithouse when Moyes took over, we are now challenging for a European competition for the 2nd season on the bounce! I agree we need both strength & depth, but we are on the front foot! Moyes will operate on a transfer budget that the 4 teams in front of us would spend on 1 player! When DM can spend £30m on 1 player then we can sit down & talk about a lack of creativity from his side! For now we should be proud of what we have achieved!
Mark Simmons
25   Posted 05/05/2008 at 00:03:20

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Why do people keep quoting NSNO as if that somehow means we?ve got a right to be the best? Here?s a thought, forget mindlessley quoting a phrase, how often have we actually lived up to that phrase in the past 40 years?

Answer that and then re-evauluate your expectations based on the reailty of the situation.

It?s all very well saying ?we expect this and we demand that?, but WHY should you get these things?

Some people on here need a huge reality check.
Paul Momber
26   Posted 05/05/2008 at 09:33:50

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It’s true that Moyes tactics are frustrating at times but the problem I have if we replace him is the next manager will not be able to buy like Moyes, he does seem to find some gems for a good price which is something you don’t see happen much with all the other managers like Hughes, bruce, Curbs, and so on and so on.
Tony Waring
27   Posted 05/05/2008 at 09:51:26

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Get real you moaners. Moyes is the best manager we?ve had for years and he?s given us some stability. We lack cash and therefore a large squad. I?d be happy with any of the 5 "reserves" Arsenal put out yesterday. Incidentally did anyone notice that we didn?t play hoofball against them, that even Phil Neville only misplaced about 2 passes all afternoon, that Fernandes, so comfortable on the ball, is a "must buy", and that Arsenal managed to reach our penalty area about as often as we reached theirs? It?s been a pretty good season with admittedly some big disappointments but at least we are on the fringes of our illustrious past, which is more than most teams can say. I don?t know where it?s going to come from but we need cash to make much more progress.
Peter Grant
28   Posted 05/05/2008 at 08:23:44

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Like most readers, I guess, I haven?t posted before - making me one of the silent majority . Today though, silence feels like dumb acceptance, and I feel compelled to add my tuppence-worth... Arsenal were there for the taking yesterday; they didn?t look at all arsed (sic) and at half-time it was obvious that 3 points were there for whichever team took the first positive step.

After 60 minutes I was screaming for Moyes to make a tactical substitution - or at least replace Johnson and Carsley (who were ineffective and injured respectively) with Yakubu & Anichebe for the last half-hour. But as usual, this was a vain hope. Of course, Wenger did bring on fresh legs and predictably they scored the inevitable soft goal (the injured Carsley unable to get in front of Bendtner) and our heads dropped. End of contest, although it need not have been. STILL there was no response from our bench until it was way too late.

This is what frustrates me with Moyes - I recognise his good points and I?m not the fickle, reactionary or disloyal sort (those are RS traits) but I?m all out of faith with this manager. How many times more must he prove to us that he is incapable of thinking on his feet, showing a bit of insight, guile or taking a calculated risk to try and win a game? I am now totally sick of it.

For the first time since the infamous Tottenham game I was wishing he would just pack it in and go. The difference this time round is that in the cold light of the morning I still feel the same way. Whatever the man?s qualities are, I don?t believe he?s a winner, or that he ever will be, hence I can?t foresee that Everton will ever make further progress while his negative, risk-averse influence is directing the team.

This begs the question "Who else?" For me, if we had any money, I?d say Eriksson; but as we don?t (and probably won?t anytime soon) all we can realistically hope for is to alter the mindset rather than the relative quality of our players compared to the better teams. This being the case, then how about someone like Paul Ince? As a player he was as ruthless a dirty red son of a bitch as they come - but for my money he was a 100 per center, a risk-taker and a winner precisely because of these virtues, and a fairly decent footballer too. A personality of that sort, I believe, is needed at Everton to invest a winning mentality.

Like most, I can handle us being outplayed and beaten by superior teams built upon resources beyond our reach, but rolling over to them without any real defiance is utterly unacceptable. Like an earlier poster, I would also prefer finishing a couple of places lower in the table if that was the price to pay for watching Everton play whole-hearted, tough and positive football. Far better than the present situation, where we seem content to beat rubbish teams and lose to anyone who?s any good - playing the percentages to try and finish as the "best of the rest".

I don?t give a toss about comparisons with how bad it was pre-Moyes - it was diabolical, and now its better, but its still not good enough. Everton ARE better than this, and we DO have a right to expect more. Our team yesterday, if it was inspired with a little more self-belief and positivity, were capable of battering the opposition, and the fact they never even came close owes more, in my view, to the manager?s failings than the players?. Taxi for Moyes please.

Tim Keen
29   Posted 05/05/2008 at 12:15:33

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Do the Moyes-outers not accept that the "terrible" football we have seen since the Fiorentina game has coincided with the injury to Cahill, Arteta and Pienaar - our 3 most creative players. We have a goal difference of plus 22 and were the top scorers in the UEFA cup until our elimination.

Clearly what we lack is strength in depth, this doesn?t come down to a lack of ability in Moyes but a lack of money to compete. If Moyes even had Tottenhams budget let alone Chelsea?s I?m sure we?d be watching far better players playing. However, he doesn?t and until such time as he does coming 5th is as good as we can hope for. Sad but true.

Jay Harris
30   Posted 05/05/2008 at 12:34:48

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Peter Grant
Paul Ince as EFC manager have you lost the plot. Great players (and I don't think Ince was that great) do not make great managers. Look at Bobby Charlton one of the greatest players ever and an abysmal failure as manager. What has Ince done as manager (MK Dons FFS?) compared to Moyes (2 manager of the year awards and now consistently top 6 finishes). Having said that I still think Moyes is only a good average manager but under this board I can't think of anyone better.
Nelly Blythe
31   Posted 05/05/2008 at 12:38:04

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NSNO doesnt give us the right to expect to win things but it should mean that we do OUR BEST in TRYING too...unfortunately best of the rest isn’t success to me and shouldnt be accepted as such.
Chris Perry
32   Posted 05/05/2008 at 12:47:21

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FFS you lot are easily pleased, we are shite against any of the top 4, we have taken 1 point from a possible 24 against these. Moyes has lost the plot and he needs a quality No2 to pull him back. Neville, Osman, Carsley, Hibbert, Johnson, should all be got rid off in the summer.

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