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The Enigma That Is Moyes

By Steve Hogan :  06/02/2009 :  Comments (11) :
Just over five days ago, I wrote a letter on this site castigating the current manager for his cautious and negative attitude in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Being present at the game, I was angry and annoyed at his steadfast refusal to give young Gosling a run-out with 30 minutes left to play and United coasting.

At the time, Osman had all but disappeared from view, and we offered no threat down the flanks at all. The only way we looked like scoring was from a set-piece, and most of the players were running on empty. To this day, I still don't know why he had the subs warming up for a full 30 minutes without trying something new, but hey I'm not the manager, and I don't see the player's train every day.

In contrast then, I have to give praise where it's due. The last three weeks has seen Moyes continually out-think and out manouvre what most people believe is one of the most widely respective technical coaches in Europe. OK, he's acting like a total 'dick' at the moment but, when he leaves the Dark Side, there will be plenty of prospective employers throughout Europe ready to offer him a top job.

Why is it then that our manager continues to inspire and frustrate us in equal quantities? The last six years has seen us qualify for Europe almost on a regular basis, but by and large the brand of football offered has been dire. What cannot be in doubt is his level of commitment to the cause; he lives and breathes Everton, also he has the trust and respect of the players who seem to enjoy his authoritarian (and sometimes dour) style of management.

Because of our current financial position, our progress will always be two steps forward and one step back. However, no-one can doubt that the overall position of the club is much improved on when he first arrived in March 2002. Let's face it, we were a laughing stock, and every March/April it was twitchy bum time as supporters were trying to second-guess which of the remaining games we would take points from!

Now, although not genuine title challengers, the vast majority of supporters outside Goodison and outside the 'Sky 4' will praise Moyes to the hilt. He played the 'verbal' game with Rafa leading up to the replayed cup tie almost to perfection, right down to the comments aimed at the ref, 24 hours prior to the game. This to me showed signs of maturity in his style and the further comments after our great win where he said, "We do things with a certain amount of grace and humility" here at Everton once again showed the fat bearded one in poor light without actually naming him. Clever that.

I for one don't believe Moyes will see out his current contract at Everton; he was quoted after the game that he would "like the resources to take this team further". Don't forget, whatever supporters think of him, he remains fiercely ambitious, and I don't think Everton (unless we have a massive injection of cash), will be able to offer him that opportunity to exploit his own potential. I believe sooner or later, a club with bigger financial resources, not necessarily one of the 'Sky 4', will tempt him away... He would have insisted on that clause in his latest contract deal.

If this happens, it will be interesting to see if he is the 'real deal', or simply an effective coach who gets the absolute maximum out of the material he has to work with. A fantastic result on Wednesday night nevertheless, when you look at the resources available to the other lot, and the relative monetary value of each team. Whatever criticism he has received in the past, Moyes played an absolute blinder on that one, top man.

Reader Comments

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Trevor Lynes
1   Posted 07/02/2009 at 04:41:43

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I wholeheartedly agree with your comments and he deserves credit for getting the best out of the players he has. I would just mention the time when our CEO quit and DM had spent his time in the USA. I think that the trip could have been left to Round while he looked after the transfers at home.

I am sure that Fellaini was vastly over priced when Arshevin has cost Arsenal just £12 mil... and we knew all about him from the Zenit games. It was obvious to everyone that Arshevin was very good and could have been bought at that time for less than £10 mil.I just think he lacks something in the transfer part of being a manager.

OK, we got Cahill and Arteta cheaply but both were well known players, he took a big chance on Lescott which came off and Jags was already at EFC so we bought back someone we had dumped... same with Baines. I dont think our scouting system comes up with much and the sparseness of the squad is the reason that Gosling and Rodwell have been given chances.

Annually we tend to release virtually all our youngsters and it's just this last season that we have held on to them because of circumstances. I still think an element of luck has come into the equation but for all that DM has proved to be a very good motivator and probably the best manager we have had long term for years.

Kiern Moran
2   Posted 07/02/2009 at 08:57:59

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In the what has Moyes done for us section, I would add that he did purchase Gosling as well.
alan Kirwin
3   Posted 07/02/2009 at 10:14:36

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Excellent article Steve, in style & content.
Tim Lloyd
4   Posted 07/02/2009 at 12:41:54

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The grudging respect that so many give to David Moyes never ceases to astonish me. He is still a young man and has never been able to wave a big fat check book at a potential signing.

Just re-read this paragraph.

"OK, we got Cahill and Arteta cheaply but both were well known players, he took a big chance on Lescott which came off and Jags was already at EFC so we bought back someone we had dumped... same with Baines. I dont think our scouting system comes up with much and the sparseness of the squad is the reason that Gosling and Rodwell have been given chances.

]]The phrase damning with faint praise springs to mind . Name me one other Manager around today who has managed to sign so many top class players for buttons. Moyes appears to be able to spot potential talent clearly overlooked by other Managers like Benitez for example.

Depending on how his financial resources pan out in the next few years and without a crystal ball, I suggest none of us can, I can see David Moyes developing into the kind of Manager for Everton that Ferguson is for United and Bob Paisley was for Liverpool
Mike Allison
5   Posted 07/02/2009 at 13:49:04

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...and he’s brilliant in press conferences as well!

David Moyes is an unbelievably good manager. If you look at the rest of the Premier League, at what other teams have spent, the big international stars they bring in and the wages they pay, then compare that to what happens at Everton, the people who come on here and moan about Moyes should be ashamed of themselves.

I don’t agree with everything he does, but I’m seriosly grateful that we’ve got him. Everyone gets frustrated with their team’s manager, that’s why Football Manager games sell so well, but we have an absolute gem, only O’Neill, Ferguson and Wenger are in his league.
Andy Crooks
6   Posted 07/02/2009 at 14:44:15

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I recently posted a letter entitled "Not good enough".
One of the responses, and I apologize for not remembering who it was, made the very pertinent comment on the effect our 7-0 defeat at Arsenal had on David Moyes.

I believe that one result has dictated the style we adopt when playing an, allegedly, better side. It is time for DM to have confidence in his players and go to Old Trafford expecting to win. We have quality in the side, we have spirit and we have some special young players. Let?s believe.

Kase Chow
7   Posted 07/02/2009 at 17:16:26

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Steve, it’s big of you to be even handed and praise as well as criticise.

I admit that over the years Moyes has left me beweildered on many an occasion BUT somehow I think he’s entered a new level
- On Wednesday he out thought 1 of Europe’s best in Rafa. This was despite being shorn of all strikers

- Today we played FANTASTIC against Bolton. Surely everyone can accept 3-0 was a fair respresentation of the thrashing we gave them?
- We should have beaten Arsenal at home and lost to a weak penalty at Man Ure
- Jo looks great. We may well have the option to buy and keep someone who goes on to be Brazil’s no. 1 striker.....who could have believed that in their wildest dreams?!

Give the guys some money Bill (if you can find it) and watch him go.

The biggest thing about Moyes and the players is that we’re starting to BELIEVE...

James McGlone
8   Posted 07/02/2009 at 18:05:27

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Trevor, you say that the manager isn?t great in the transfer market and then you list 5 cracking buys (6 if you include Gosling)...? In regards to Jags and Baines ? Moyes didn?t let them go, and the article seems to insinuate that.

As for the kids being let go ? I hate to see that, but every club does it and we probably keep more than most. It?s also well known that Moyes manages to get the most of them out to lower league clubs rather than just dumping them.

Fellaini is over-priced, but a lot of it is add-ons and also do do with the fact we paid something like £5 mill upfront ? Kenwright can take the blame of that one.

He?s a top class manager who is improving every year as far as I?m concerned, and long may it continue.
Denis Richardson
9   Posted 07/02/2009 at 18:30:01

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Great result today against Bolton and with quality football being played. The team can now have a good rest until we hopefully move into the quarter finals next week.

Re Moyes, I?ve certainly had my doubts in the past (who can forget the start to the 05-06 season with just one league goal in the first 8 games and the crazy substitutions against Spurs a litle while ago). However, no manager is perfect and for his few faults Moyes has a huge number of positives. These days you need to give a manager time and I?m glad BK (for all his faults too!!) has stuck with Moyes.

If I have one small complaint, I do think the transfer situation could be improved. Case in point being the farce that was last summer. Everton should improve the scouting network and sort out transfers well ahead of the deadline (money or no money). We could have sorted out the Fellaini deal earlier and paid less.

Still onwards and upwards - COYB.
Tony Carey
10   Posted 07/02/2009 at 20:30:51

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Without Moyes, Everton FC would certainly be doing a Sheff Wed/ Notts Forest in the lower divisions.
Derek Thomas
11   Posted 08/02/2009 at 02:07:25

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I seem to remember some years (15-18?) ago there was a wholesale clear out of the nationwide scouting system and many stalwarts, famous and unknown were told that their services were no longer required. Anybody else confirm this??

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