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Flash point for Moyes

By Joe Jennings :  12/02/2009 :  Comments (34) :

"I am from a city (Glasgow) that is not unlike Liverpool. I am joining the people's football club. The majority of people you meet on the street are Everton fans.

If ever there was a collection of words that would well Evertonians with pride, an opportunity to make dejected fans sit up and take notice, a chance to reinstall the hope lost under the previous regime - then Moyes coined his words to a tee. It was a statement of intent and since, David Moyes has set about keeping his promise.

It took barely thirty seconds to spark the Moyes revolution when David Unsworth powered home into the Park End net against Fulham back in 2002, but it has taken seven years to construct, assemble and deliver a squad capable of finally living up to the Everton motto displayed on the club crest, that for too long has been neglected: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

There have been unbridled highs, catastrophic lows and frustrating mediocrity, but generally, David Moyes has retained the backing of most level-headed Evertonians throughout his spell as Everton manager. It?s easy to see why really. The reign of Walter Smith tested a lot of Evertonians, some more so than others. Evertonians never really connected with Smith, not properly anyway. He wasn?t ?one of us?. Whether he was alluding to the endless issues he faced or shirking liability for the unfolding disasters, Smith proved his own worst enemy. He had been the beneficiary of such prolonged patience from the majority of our supporters, but he threw it all back in our faces. He just wasn?t Everton.

David Moyes, on the other hand, was very much what we looked for in a manager. He was passionate, he was ambitious, he was proud. He had that winning mentality about him. We had been told the Everton job was unachievable because of the financial restrains. The fact David Moyes has since proved that hackneyed Sky-four fan one-liner to be unqualified rubbish probably shows how far we?ve come under his headship. Expectation has risen ? massively. Whether David Moyes can handle the weight of expectation of guiding a club of Everton?s size, stature and history back to where we as supporters feel we need to be ? the forefront ? remains to be seen. He?s certainly going about it in the right way, though. The oil tanker is certainly turning.

Some supporters have often criticised the Glaswegian, citing negative tactics and hoof-ball mentality as legitimate reasons for grievance. Fair cop: Evertonians have been treated to a certain style of football over the years, proper football. It would be nigh on impossible then, to deceive them when it comes to passing the ball to feet. David Moyes, in the last few months in particular, seems to have grasped this concept. Prior to that, could we really have said the style of play was acceptable? It wasn?t to me...

Great teams have great players, but they also have great dressing-rooms. Would you swap the spirit and togetherness ? something that seems to be shoved in our faces at every given opportunity ? of our squad of Everton players right now? I know I wouldn?t. David Moyes has engendered this special team spirit and willingness to fight for each other. In doing this, at times, he has had to make a stand and root out the bad apples. Ask Victor Anichebe.

David Moyes has consistently picked up players for next to nothing, or from the Championship and turned them into much coveted Premier League performers and internationals. I don?t think anyone could argue that Everton are now an established top-10 team and Goodison Park is a place that all clubs fear. We are also a team that every manager seems to respect, there are no ?easy? points to be taken from a David Moyes side.

To truly progress though, has his philosophy changed sufficiently to allow us to truly challenge for major honours? One of the keys to this is calmness under pressure, which, whilst we have improved vastly in recent times, is still something I feel is lacking. Can he spend the big money wisely and bring in the ?football? players to take us to that next level? The jury remains out on record-buy Marouane Fellaini and to be fair, David Moyes has a history of big money disasters in the past. Yakubu however, has been an unmitigated success on the flip side.

Most importantly though, with Bill Kenwright at the helm, and all the challenges that in itself presents, can David Moyes maintain his focus and desire, can he continue to motivate himself and work miracles with so little tangible support?

David Moyes: "Everton is one of the biggest clubs in the land. There's only three or four clubs in the country who could even consider themselves bigger."

I believe he can.

Reader Comments

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Mike Dolan
1   Posted 13/02/2009 at 02:43:56

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I agree Joe he has taken us so far with so little. The start world wide financial crisis buggered up his plans in the summer, and he was clearly deflated at the beginning of the season. There have been some odd results this year but I think we are perhaps under-achieving by about six points. I think Aston Villa are over-achieving by about nine. I kind of think the cup tie might mean as much if not more to both teams Prem standings as it does as a cup game. I take Everton 2-0. With a squad the size of ours will be perhaps weakened by victory.
This time of the year it all gets a bit Macbeth.
Adam Fenlon
2   Posted 13/02/2009 at 06:13:49

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Describing us as an established top 10 team reminds me of when DM a couple of years back talked up the woefully unambitious achievement of Everton having "consecutive top 10 finishes", which I don't think we even ended up achieving in that year.

Thank god we?ve moved up a gear from that to the point where most of us would be a bit disappointed if we "only" made the Uefa Cup again this year..... Reach for the stars lads!

Jay Campbell
3   Posted 13/02/2009 at 07:22:45

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If Moyes was given £30 million in the summer Everton would be in the top 4 NO PROBLEM!!

But while Kenwright is at the helm this is NEVER gonna happen. He is holding Everton as a club back and has attracted NO INVESTMENT since his fat arse has been in the hot seat.

Big big letdown he is.
Perry Umbown
4   Posted 13/02/2009 at 09:46:18

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Jeez, one decent performance & win against a less than good Bolton team and everyone's gushing away like we won the league.

OK, I like it and long may it continue ? but watch how quickly the tone of these posts changes if we go out to Villa on Sunday. Get a grip lads and save it for the end of the season IF we actually achieve something...
Lee Hind
5   Posted 13/02/2009 at 10:48:09

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The tone and inference of this post is bang on ? Moyes has improved Everton regardless of the Bolton game.

Perry, for me, it will depend very much on the manner of the game if we go out on Sunday. We already know that Villa are a good side in top form, pressing hard for a CL place, possibly automatic if they continue as they are. Equally we also know that we have the beating of them; dominating the league game at Goodison as we did despite the final score.

If we take the field on Sunday, play good football, with commitment and passion and still lose then so be it ? I won?t be happy but I?ll get over it. What?ll get my goat is if we go out with a whimper but, since this season has turned for us, when did we last play with a whimper? Exactly!

Nick Entwistle
6   Posted 13/02/2009 at 10:48:54

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Joe, you drew some critisism with your last article for not really having a point and being wordy. Maybe you want to make up for that with another article straight away, but sorry dude, what point are you making here?

It's a broad generalisation, a flimsy over view on the Moyes years... I think the article could have gained weight had you mentioned that we play in blue, but that?s just me.

I don?t like to critisise as it's not my website, but wait till you have something specific to say before wiriting an article... or become Tony Marsh and crank up the hyperbole and frow in some F words... that always gets people going. But hey, what do I know...

Tony Williams
7   Posted 13/02/2009 at 10:49:31

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God Forbid Perry that people write good things when things are seemingly going well.

Do you come on and have a go at the posters when it is the opposite way around or do you revel in the misery? Do you tell them then to get a grip?

"David Moyes has a history of big money disasters "

We have only had two, Yakubu and Felliani, "big" money buys, one scored over 20 goals last season and the other has almost become a cult hero overnight for his daft hair and dodgy tackling. There was uproar when Moyes didn?t take him off at half time the other week, so I would say that the "big" money buys so far have been ok.
Martin Cutler
8   Posted 13/02/2009 at 11:43:53

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Perry "one decent performance & win against a less than good Bolton team and everyone's gushing away like we won the league."

What utter tosh! One performance? How about every bloody performance since losing to Villa (only losing once since then) or as far back as the Man Utd tied game... only losing 3 times total since then! And advancing in the FA Cup and playing the so-called top four repeatedly!

As to the Bolton game... I would love for all of us to gush away... it wasn?t that it was "just Bolton", it was a bloody fantastic display of football by 11 tired men in blue.

Nick... I will take Joe?s "broad generalisations" any day over a lot that gets said on here. How?s about you making your point instead of having a go at somebody else?s post merely for the sake of just having a go instead of making a point!

My point >> COYB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's stuff the Villa on Sunday!!
Alan Kirwin
9   Posted 13/02/2009 at 12:07:33

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I was thinking what an excellent article this was.

Then I cam across the "history of big money disasters in the past" ? what on earth are you talking about? Fellaini is a young kid & full international who will just get better. Despite the price tag, he?s one for the future. Every manager makes mistakes on players, just ask Benitez. Moyes?s record is second to none.

And then you throw in the (standard, boring, traditional) Kenwright dig just before the end. Under Kenwright we have broken our transfer record year on year, upped our wages to attract & keep our best players and finished top 6 almost every year. We have a good, strong & young team that can now challenge the top teams.

We also have a state-of-the-art training complex for our first team and academy. Why do people like yourself feel the need to blight an otherwise decent article with such pointless nonsense? Perhaps we should revert to Peter Johnson?

Nick Entwistle
10   Posted 13/02/2009 at 12:15:59

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Martin... er, eh?
Gary Creaney
11   Posted 13/02/2009 at 12:59:47

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Nick, imagine having a go at Joe?s article when you can?t even spell "article."

Fact of the matter is he has posted a pro David Moyes piece, which I mainly agree with. He was talking as a Glaswegian about another one.

We all come on here to read about all things Everton, whether a literary masterclass, negative dross or pointless.

Bring on Villa on Sunday. They?ve been frauding the world in recent weeks. No more of it I tells ya!!
Stewart Littler
12   Posted 13/02/2009 at 13:20:54

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I don?t know about a ?history of big money disasters? but we all remember Per Krøldrup!! However, can?t think of many others, and he even got his money back for big Per!
Peter Laing
13   Posted 13/02/2009 at 13:50:01

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Nick, such a smart arse and contrived response to a fellow Evertonians opinion reeks of somebody who wishes to massage one?s own self-depracating ego. I enjoyed the read, Joe, it has a feelgood factor to it, mate ? and long may it continue. Onwards Evertonians... we shall not be moved!
Christopher Mowll
14   Posted 13/02/2009 at 13:14:06

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Perry Umbown, WTF? You must be a barrel of laughs at parties!

Nick Entwistle, your spelling doesn?t bother me ? it is the shite you write that bothers me!

Joe, nice article ? COYB
Bernie Ashe
15   Posted 13/02/2009 at 14:19:10

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I enjoyed the read too, and agree with most of it. Some people will find displeasure, if that's what they seek, whislt others may seek treasure when all looks bleak. Or put another way; it depends on your point of view. That?s why every post has somone disagreeing. It's good, it's healthy, and makes you see the other side of the coin even if you don't agree.

We all feel the passion, and long may it continue, and I think that was the general point of the article.

James Boden
16   Posted 13/02/2009 at 14:12:50

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Doesn?t it feel so much better when we can enjoy not just winning but our quality of football? At the moment the only thing I'd change is replacing Osman with one of the kids. Aside from that, I can't really groan.

The way we have been playing for 2 months now is what we have been clamouring for years on a consistent basis. Even when we started to play some neat stuff last season, as soon as something went wrong, panic stations hit and hoofball made its return. Even if Villa do beat us Sunday i wouldn?t change the way we play because it has been serving us well and we are adapting to it very well.

I think if we win Sunday (and god do I hope we do) then I don't see why the Cup can't be ours this year. We have the momentum to break our long duck and if we do win it this year then surely we must push on this time. But as an Evertonian, I know I shouldn't get too excited yet as we?ve had plently of kicks in the bullocks throughout not just my life but our history in general. But there?s always hope.

Nick Entwistle
17   Posted 13/02/2009 at 15:01:34

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There?s a number of fan sites for Everton on t?internet and what makes Toffeeweb stand out is content and oppinion through contributions made by the readers. That?s what I think, but if you?re here for other reasons then so be it...

It would be nice if I could write an article each week just ?to massage one?s own self-depracating ego? but never do unless I have a point and a read worthy of the reader?s time.

Mikey Symington
18   Posted 13/02/2009 at 17:20:00

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Excellent article Joe. I?ve been critical of Moyes?s attitude in the past, but I genuinely feel now that he is taking us in the right direction. Only time will tell if he can make Everton heavyweights in the transfer market, however.
Nick Farr
19   Posted 13/02/2009 at 17:18:30

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That Entwistle chap is so intelligent. I wish I was more like him.

Perhaps he should start his own website and then never write any articles for it? That would be great.
Neil Steele
20   Posted 13/02/2009 at 18:01:19

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Nice work Joe, a good summary of where we are in the scheme of things and you have covered the salient points. I notice a few people have picked up on the ?big money disasters? and questioned that point but, for me, they simply need to regain perspective and cast their mind back to the time. The market has changed, prices have inflated again.

AT THE TIME, which is key, Simon Davies, James Beattie and Per Krøldrup WERE big money signings. They were, without doubt, bad signings. They hurt us even more with money being so sparse at the time. It is again to Moyes's credit though that he has been big enough to admit his mistakes and move them on. Let's not re-write history though, he has certainly made some mistakes along the way.

Keep it up Joe, great stuff.

Martin Hughes
21   Posted 13/02/2009 at 21:55:40

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I can't beleive how quickly the years have gone under DM, the majority has been the most exciting for the supporters, top 4 finish, Uefa Cup run, Carling Cup run... To be fair, Moyesey has done it on a regular basis, which begs the question what would he do with £30 million ? a top four finish. This season we are flying high again (after a poor start to the season). Imagine where would be with a decent home record at the beginning, the only problem with this season was the lack of signings during pre-season (but I reckon DK had a lot to do with it).

I know Blue Bill is holding the club back but if he can't find an investor why do him down (he has allowed Moyesey to break the transfer record over 3 consecutive seasons now). I?m sure he would be delighted to sell to Russian/Saudi or whoever millionaire, maybe a decent finish in the league (again) may make EFC an attractive buy.

I reckon this season is our season for the FA Cup (especially if beat Villa).

So only one thing for it then COME ON YOU BLUES ? we're all behind you!

Kevin Fitzsimons
22   Posted 13/02/2009 at 23:07:13

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I love to hear the opinions of my fellow Toffees but you know what I have loved even more, this last few weeks.... the grudging respect being shown by all the rest!!!

The conversations at work, in the pub and on the chat shows about the good football, the resilience, the camaraderie, the spirit ?.. even on Five Live earlier today 2 or 3 of the punters put Everton in the FA Cup final? the only discussion there was who would they face??

And I know it?s all talk, but it?s good talk? it?s positive talk and it?s what I want to hear until the final whistle of the final match of a season that I thought was going to seed but might just be about to flower??

So for now COYB?.. and I hope to re-print this when the post mortems begin?..
David Edwards
23   Posted 13/02/2009 at 23:44:51

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Nick, you picked the wrong post to pick a fight. The points made are valid and a bit of humility to other people?s views would be advisable. You normally write some reasonable stuff, but I think your criticism is off the mark here. Let it lie ? let?s enjoy the feel-good factor for once!
Peter Bradshaw
24   Posted 14/02/2009 at 01:28:06

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Totally agree about the feel-good factor on the site and in the team ? if you want to moan, go talk to the Samaritans... they will listen to you. We should enjoy the footie for once and hope that we get the luck of the green for once.

But let's face it, everything is in our own hands now, with the Cup, and especially with the league, we have a decent run in for a change, 5th is a fair cop. And big money transfer flops, Big Per is a yes and so is Simon Davies... but that's about it.

Derek Thomas
25   Posted 14/02/2009 at 03:16:09

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Do I hear an unspoken ? BUT ?

So Moyes has done well and by association, Kenwright.


All these positives are why we are where we are and, as nobody is perfect, It is the negatives that come with both men (you can?t have one without the other) that may well stop us going much further.


Nothing lasts for ever, circumstances, people can and do sometimes change. Bill might end his search for investment. There is though, still much left to do that is doable with what we have now.

The hard part is going out week-in, week-out ? and doing it.
Garry Martin
26   Posted 14/02/2009 at 07:48:14

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Good, well-balanced post Joe.

For me, DM can take us further, he is still in a learning curve. His best mate Alex Ferguson, if we remember, was on the verge of being sacked after his first 5/6 years at Old trafford.

Team spirit and motivation are elements in any industry that managers strive to achieve and can not be bought; DM has without doubt instilled this in the majority of players (apart from Anichebe).

Providing we can keep him ? watch this space.


Kase Chow
27   Posted 14/02/2009 at 09:22:15

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Gerry, if we keep Anichebe, watch this space?

Yes I agree, too many peole have been too harsh on the guy and he will be the 20-goal a season player to propel us onto the next level starting tomorrow!

Chris Jones
28   Posted 14/02/2009 at 10:26:59

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Nick - I enjoy your articles mate but I don’t understand why you come on here just to criticise the style or content of another contributor. By all means disagree with his opinions but don’t have a pop just because you don’t like the way it’s written.

It’s clear from the amount of responses that Joe IS making a point...
Nick Entwistle
29   Posted 14/02/2009 at 15:20:13

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Chris, I?d never come on here just to criticise. I?ve given my reasons for doing so, and of course it's cool that people may not agree. I do though like his style, but needs to support it with content.
Paul Connell
30   Posted 14/02/2009 at 16:27:16

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I don't really understand the need have a review of literature style as if this some kind of English course we are studying. I prefer to talk about Everton.
Phil McKracken
31   Posted 14/02/2009 at 21:14:08

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Nick, er eh?
Tony Doran
32   Posted 14/02/2009 at 21:46:52

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I too have been baffled by some of Moyes?s tactics in the past but won't deny he?s done a great job on limited funds. Recent results have been great but I can?t help thinking they could have been even more convincing if he had made some changes. I think Osman needs a rest and Gosling looks unfazed to fill that roll.

I also think what started off as a front two of Cahill and Fellaini playing just behind him has turned into two out-and-out strikers. One must play deeper and get some graft in the midfield. As for the Yak, he?s to lazy.

Simon Church
33   Posted 15/02/2009 at 20:18:13

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Joe, I must say I find your posts devilishly heavy going and not worth the effort. I get the feeling that they are more aimed at massaging your ego rather than making valid points regarding Everton FC hence I tend not to bother reading them on here and on NSNO. I'm sorry, it's only my opinion.
Timmy Mongiat
34   Posted 17/02/2009 at 00:44:06

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Well every manager makes some transfer mistakes, it's not possible to always buy well. However, for me, Moyes has brought as well as anyone with the possible exception of Wenger. To think that he has changed us from a relegation fighting team to a top 6 team pushing the top four with a £35mil net outlay is amazing.

And it should be noted that even the best managers in the world make mistakes. Wenger paid near on £10mil for Jeffers and approaching £17mil for Reyes; Ferguson brought Kleberson, Miller, Smith, Djemba Djemba etc ? and don?t get me started on Liverpool.

Looking at the transfers Moyes has made lately, they?ve been top notch. I love this sudden pro-Moyes stance, I've been advocating it since the start of the season despite the idiotic pessimism of some on here and I honestly believe that given money to spend Moyes would make us a top four side.

I think we need to get some perspective as this form can?t continue indefinitely but at the moment what we are doing is incredible and it bodes well for now and in the future.

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