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A Winning Formula?

By Adam Cunliffe :  05/07/2008 :  Comments (33) :
Our first signing of the summer has been tied up and Steve Round has completed his move to Everton from Newcastle. Alan Irvine, Moyes's first assistant, has been missed a lot since he left and I think that the results from the last 6 or so games proved this. But who can begrudge him a shot at being manager of one of the biggest Championship clubs, Preston North End?

Alan Irvine was a winger in his playing days. We could do with a decent winger next season in my opinion. One who could feed the Yak. Now last season, with Moyes and Irvine in charge, we were strong at the back with Jag's, Yobo and Joey Lescott and we had Cahill, Arteta, and Osman, who had a great season last campaign. Who can forget that goal in the Uefa Cup? Then upfront we were feeding the Yak and scoring. For three months of the season we were playing the best football I've seen in my whole life at Goodison. I don't want to compare it to the 80s because I wasn't alive then but my Dad says it was just as good as the times when Peter Reid and Trevor Steven were feeding Sharpy.

However, as I mentioned before, some of the football last season was awful. Hoofball was an understatement. Our defence was sound but our attack seemed non-existent with AJ running wide and Yak not seeming to be able to hit a cows arse with a banjo. Moyes is a fantastic manager and he has shown his coaching attributes defensively by the amount of goals conceded this year. It's no coincidence that since he's been in charge, clean sheets have been increased ten-fold.

I've done some research into Steve Round and found out that he was a full back at Derby County until an injury ended his playing career and he went on to become Newcastle's assistant manager. I don't want to be pessimistic but, like Moyes, he was a defender in his playing days and usually defensive players tend to be defensive managers ? Brian Robson, Steve Bruce to name but a couple.

Spurs have got the right idea I think. A strict disciplinarian Juande Ramos in charge with a touch of flair alongside him in Gus Poyet. Spurs may've conceded a few goals last season but they scored just as many with some fantastic football all around the park. Yes, they have more money than we do, but I think the style of football a team plays is more to do with the type of management the players are given than the players them selves. Anyone can hoof the ball 70 yards to the striker... equally just as anyone can look for the nearest blue shirt and play neat one-twos to feet. Arsenal do this fantastically, the pass-and-move style they play is excellent on the eyes. I think that this just proves that it's more down to tactics than the calibre of player involved.

Now Steve Round seems to have some great qualities as a coach which I don't doubt for one minute. My only question would be are they any different to the qualities Moyes already possesses? He has built up a great spirit throughout the squad and management,which make us a team extremely difficult to break down. But to break into that top four, you also need to posses flair and quality which we showed in spells last season. Arteta provides this; so does Osman, but all too often, when we are struggling or have a few injuries, the ball gets launched in the air towards a striker who isn't that tall.

Now I know the old saying ?If you don't concede, you can't loose.? which is very true. But ?If you don't score, you won't win.? But I think it's time to decided what we want. Should we take a risk and play it on the floor? Or should we cut out the middleman and send it forward in the air, knowing that we won't concede many because Lescott and Yobo are at the back?

All I know is that I wish Steve all the best and hopefully next year we'll be playing like the class of the eighties week-in, week-out.

Reader Comments

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El-Ray Jackson
1   Posted 05/07/2008 at 19:36:49

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Croatia play good football on the floor, Slaven Bilic was a centre back.
Connor Rohrer
2   Posted 06/07/2008 at 10:51:20

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Who’s to say he wasn’t an attacking fullback? If Roberto Carlos took over a club would his input be described is defensive? I don’t think so to be honest.

Arsene Wenger was a defender in his playing career so I don’t really think it matters.

I think we’ll have to wait and see what Steve Round offers. I was a big fan of Alan Irvine so he’s got big boots to fill in my opinion.
Brendan McLaughlin
3   Posted 06/07/2008 at 11:17:23

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Disagree with a lot of what you are saying. Adam.

Firstly, for me last season showed that when we have our best players available & on form, we can play good attractive football & achieve a run of results. When injuries bite, however, we don?t have sufficient quality replacements & the football/results suffer.

Irvine was here at the beginning of the season - we started badly. His leaving also coincided with a purple patch for us. I recall a number of posters to this site, at the time, suggesting that perhaps it was Irvine who was responsible for all the hoofball as our play improved significantly at the time of his leaving. I have kept an eye on Preston since Irvine went there & he has done a tremendous job there. I wish him all the best for the future.

I also think people are overstating the role of a number 2. For me they are young aspiring managers hoping to enhance their future prospects or older solid professionals who perhaps realise that they don?t perhaps have enough in their own particular locker to make it into management. Obviously I think Round falls into the former category.

Finally, I think your post hankers back to the ?negative Moyes? debates. I trust that if Moyes is allowed to bring in sufficient quality in midfield for next season this, like most of the other criticisms that have been levied at him over the years, will finally be put to bed.

Have to agree though, all the very best to Round for next season.
Duncan McDine
4   Posted 06/07/2008 at 11:52:31

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Hi Adam, I can see what you?re thinking... but I don?t really think this will be the case. A good defender will know that the other team can?t score so long as we have the ball. No defenders like to lump it up field only to see it come straight back at them 10 seconds later - its a lot more work for them that way!!!

There seems to be a lot of central defenders who have made it into management because of their leadership roles on and off the pitch. Most of the teams 20+ years ago had a centre half as captain, and a lot of these leaders have become good football managers.

DM knows we play our best football on the ground, but when injuries & suspensions meant defenders were playing in midfield it understandably went pear-shaped. We will definately bring in 3 midfielders this summer (possibly including Fernandes) and should have better quality cover for those midfield places this season. Fingers crossed.
Trevor Lynes
5   Posted 06/07/2008 at 17:32:41

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I'm personally less than excited at us signing a new second in command to DM than I would be if we had signed at least three decent PLAYERS!!!!! Our squad has dwindled steadily over the past year or so and last season showed how much we need more players to fill in for injuries and suspensions.

Arshavin was missed when we completely overlooked his obvious potential in the games against us. We could and should have stolen a march on the top 4 teams by snapping him up BEFORE the Euro Championships and not waiting until after when all the top players have been identified and their price tags raised beyond our reach.

Suddenly it seems we are watching our backs to attempt to keep our better players when it is painfully obvious that our management seem to need us to sell before we buy anyone.... Arteta and AJ are supposed transfer targets whilst our activity is slow and non existent.

How on earth any manager is expected to put a team out to challenge the best in the Premier League without adequate support and investment is beyond me. I'm really frustrated myself so DM must have the patience of a saint. The bringing back of Gravesen and the pathetic loan of Anthony Gardner must make us the Premier League paupers... no wonder Carsley left. Our wage bill has been reduced and we have cleared out another crop of youngsters to be developed elsewhere.... It's like Old Mother Hubbards cupboard, I'm afraid !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donka Doran
6   Posted 06/07/2008 at 23:01:46

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Every team has to play to their strenghs. Tottenham play attacking football because they have quality up front. When Everton had all the midfield fit they played 4-5-1 because with Cahill, Arteta, Osman and Peanut and Carsely sitting deep, that was our strengh.

Last year was a write-off for the forwards: McFadden was hot and cold, Anichebe is still very raw, the Yak had a decent start, and when he was forced to play Johnson... well, to me, he?s Championship at best. But Vaughan looks class and he will be a big plus if he can get fit and playing regular football, Moyes will have the confidence to play 4-4-2 more often.

ps: Swienstieger of Germany is the bollocks (can we afford him?)

Kevin Sparke
7   Posted 07/07/2008 at 02:37:44

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You say:

"Moyes, he was a defender in his playing days and usually defensive players tend to be defensive managers ? Brian Robson, Steve Bruce to name but a couple"

I?m assuming you mean Bryan Robson, who was one of the finest attacking midfielders of the last 40 years....?!?

FFS he scored well over a 100 goals during his time at Man Utd and West Brom!

Shit manager... yes... but get yer facts right fella
Peter Hurley
8   Posted 07/07/2008 at 02:25:58

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Adam, Alan Irvine left Everton in November, are you saying that it took us 4 months to miss him and that our purple patch was a tribute to him!

Finally if you had done a bit more googling ahem I mean ’research’ you would have notived that Mr Round has some excellent credentials in being part fo the Middlesbrough coaching team which saw them lift the old League Cup in 2004 as well as experiencing the England set-up. Oh and the fact that Chelsea and Newcastle wanted him also tells me that he must have something to offer. Personally I think its a sound appointment which has the potential to turn into a fantastic one should he fulfill his clear potential with that which sits with our players.

Although I do agree with you on one thing and that is wishing him all the best and extended a very generous welcome to him. COYB
Adam Cunliffe
9   Posted 07/07/2008 at 07:44:22

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Kevin, my mistake.For some reason I thought he was a centre back.Don’t know why.

Peter, I’m not disputing what you say about say but Chelsea IMO have the best number 2 in the Prem in Steve Clarke and Newcastle are no where near as good as us so we should of been the obvious choice

Ciarán McGlone
10   Posted 07/07/2008 at 10:44:17

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I certainly can?t say I?m overly excited about signing Steve McClaren?s right hand man...

And exactly what difference this will make to Moyes's shaky tactical nous, or transfer policy - isn?t clear.
Looi Wan Teng
11   Posted 07/07/2008 at 11:41:14

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I understand your concerns but it doesn’t have much at all to do with the No. 2, much less the position he used to play when he was a player - which is what you’re saying really. You have Steve Clarke and Arsene Wenger high up on your list, but they were utilitarian defenders/midfielders with a distinct lack of flair. Playing and managing, while you can’t say are unrelated; are actually very different and specialised fields. I could name more examples, Southgate for instance, I won’t consider his Boro team to be overly negative. George Graham was a kinda Le Tissier in his day, but look at his teams! This assumed link of players = managers, most probably led on by the likes of Cruyff, Van Basten etc. is just ill-conceived. But Moyes is still a conservative arse, that I’ll admit!
Peter Laing
12   Posted 07/07/2008 at 16:28:02

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My impression of our ’purple-patch’ last season was related to two effects, firstly we managed for once to keep the ball and not treat it like a hot potato and secondly the run bred confidence within the ranks. Steven Piennar was an absolute revelation during this period, he inspired those around him to pass and move and he negated the poor form largely experienced by Arteta for large parts of the season. We need to replace Carsley so my guess is that Moyes defensively minded as he is will splash the bulk of his transfer budget on a powerful defensive midfielder, Fernandes on loan and maybe 2 or 3 squad players.
Mark Salters
13   Posted 07/07/2008 at 18:05:31

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I just think a lot of Evertonions are just a bit frustrated because of the lack of transfer activety. But let's not lose sight that last season Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Vaughan and Johnson were all injured for large chunks of the season, coupled with Pienaar, Yobo and the Yakubu missing at the African Nations Cup, most teams would have struggled. Well what if Liverpool lost Gerrard Torres and Carragher and they were out for a time? We would have taken fourth easily. Let's just hope the break and no African Nations Cup this season, three to four good signings, a new Number Two in Steve Round, the future's bright and we could be in for another really good season. As for transfers, let's look at Liverpool ? they cant stump up the cash for Barry unless they sell Alonso or offer Crouch plus money and it put's a smile on my face so let them be the laughing stock for a change. (COTBB)
Jay Harris
14   Posted 07/07/2008 at 22:23:25

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Mark, don't forget that Stubbs, McFadden, Fernandes, Gravesen all played some part last season and Carsley was a virtual ever present.

Now if you think we can sign 5 players plus a Goalie in less than 4 weeks you must be an optimist ? and that's just to keep the squad numbers the same, never mind increase them.

Trevor Lynes
15   Posted 07/07/2008 at 23:53:52

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Looking at the latest news, we will soon be facing problems from the start of the coming season with an already depleted squad due to kick off the coming season without Hibbert and the fans living in hope of a fully fit Cahill, Arteta and Vaughan returning in top shape. We must have at least as much money to spend as some of the clubs already active in the transfer market... but off we trot to foreign climes seemingly obliviously optimistic that next season will see an improved team to renew a decent challenge for Europe...

New players should be at the club as early as possible to blend with our squad and form playing relationships etc. If the news is even half-correct there is more likelihood of departures than there is of incomings.... We just talk of quality and are never in the race if reality is really faced. It seems that we must sell in order to buy so how DM can ever really have the luxury of any real improvement and the ambition to win anything seems just pie in the sky.

We have hardly developed any youngster since Rooney left and season after season we release virtually all our kids en bloc. I truly hope that my pessimism is baseless and that our messiah contrives another succesful season... BUT the loaves and fish miracle man may soon get fed up with the lack of kitchen help.... :(

Steve Grimshaw
16   Posted 08/07/2008 at 06:26:52

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Anybody considered the possibility that Round was offered the job as Moyes replacement a year from now to entice him to Goodison??
Colin Grierson
17   Posted 08/07/2008 at 07:54:19

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I don?t know anything about Round but I have faith in Moyes?s judgement, even if he does pick Phil Neville every week. He will definitely help and I?m not put off by the McClaren link neither. Let's judge him on what he brings to the club.

On the signings front though!?!?!?!?

The club would be mad if they said how much they had to spend but their resounding silence on all fronts unnerves me no end.

Does anyone remember the days when you could genuinely look forward to the new season not knowing whether you might go on and win the league or not?
Mark Reid
18   Posted 08/07/2008 at 08:36:24

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Ossie Ardiles was an attacking player and so was Kevin Keegan...

Both like to lose games 5-4!

And how you can say Everton were defensive when we demolished some teams last season I don?t know.

The teams foundation is a strong disciplined defence upon which attacks come from, via the playmakers in midfield.

That's the Moyes Doctrine.
Peter Hurley
19   Posted 08/07/2008 at 11:57:28

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Hey Adam hold on a minute wasn’t Steve Clarke a defender in his time also?

Does that mean you don’t mind an ex-defender as coach so long as we win 2 titles and a couple of cups ;-)
Adam Cunliffe
20   Posted 08/07/2008 at 15:41:13

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We could play 10-0-0 if it meant us winning cuos Peter!
Adam Cunliffe
21   Posted 08/07/2008 at 15:42:48

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We could play 10-0-0 if it meant us winning cuos Peter!
Ian Jones
22   Posted 08/07/2008 at 21:25:10

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Where do people like Adam Cunliffe get the idea that they are football experts and are qualified to treat the Everton fan base with such banal and shallow views on soccer tactics and the effect tactically on David Moyes recruitment of Round as his second in command? Moyes toiled on without a deputy for many months of last season and one has to respect his appointment. I find fan?s articles like this uninitiated hogwash and wonder whether the opinionated Cunliffe would advise his local doctor, dentist or civic officials on the best way to run the profession on which they have spent their working lives!!
Brendan McLaughlin
23   Posted 08/07/2008 at 23:36:35

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Ian - Adam ain?t claiming to be no expert. Let?s face it, if any of us were expert we would be earning a living from the game rather than tittle-tattling on a fans site. I actually disagreed with most of Adam?s post but if people like him didn?t take the time & trouble to post an article - rather than a 10 line caustic rebuke - this site wouldn?t be worth visiting.
Michael Kenrick
24   Posted 08/07/2008 at 23:57:12

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Seconded, Brendan... which is why Ian Jones won’t be posting without Editorial review. Just a reminder: discuss the issues raised, but please refain from side issues like the credentials of the poster, your opinion of whether or not they should be posting, and of course, personal abuse. If the idea of a free discussion forum upsets you in some way, it would be best for us all if you don’t participate.
Patrick Whitty
25   Posted 09/07/2008 at 07:17:15

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Does anyone think the so called " Credit crunch" is having an impact on the transfer market? When you think how many clubs are in debt or require loans to finance transfers. There is bound to be a knock-on effect somewhere along the line.
Adam Cunliffe
26   Posted 09/07/2008 at 07:45:50

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Ian Jones,
I don?t claim to be an expert and if you think I have banal and shallow views on soccer tactics thats your opinion. And I have shown mine in my article.
I wouldn?t advise my doctor, dentist or civic official, just like I?m not advising Moyes or anyone within ToffeeWeb or Everton Football Club. I would give them my opinion though on anything they do that involves me as most people would.
Having said that I?m convinced I could run my high school better than the head teacher we currently have. But don?t all teenagers think they know best?
Jason Lam
27   Posted 09/07/2008 at 08:03:10

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Fat lotta use if we don’t have players for them to coach
Richard Harris
28   Posted 09/07/2008 at 13:39:10

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Adam Cunliffe wrote "But don?t all teenagers think they know best?"

Adam, it?s the nature of teenagers to think that they are right all the time, so don?t be deterred by the old whingers on here!! I must remember that next time I moan about kids today......
Bill Hawker
29   Posted 09/07/2008 at 14:58:15

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Well that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the word "flair" linked to Osman.

And to answer your question Steve Green... No.
Keiron Hardy
30   Posted 09/07/2008 at 19:20:21

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Arsene Wenger played as a defender, but the most attacking manager.

Mark Hughes more flair than most as a player. Manager... ohh a bit of a defensive one I think.

Mourinho - Father a goalkeeper, not a footballer at all, most defensive manager in the business.

Suffice to say it don?t to my mind make any odds where they played as a player. What matters is what's up top. George Best and Gazza spring to mind.
Jon Martin
31   Posted 12/07/2008 at 01:33:54

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Adam, I used to have a fridge magnet which read:
’Teenagers: Please run this house, keep it clean, get jobs so you can pay the bills, make doctor/dentist/teacher appointments for the kids, drive them there, and bring them home. Fix the roof and feed the pets. While you are at it, put an end to Wold hunger and Poverty.

But do it soon, while you still know everything’.

Plus, mate, your Dad has lost his mind or his memory, or both. Allowing for modern fitness levels, the mid 80’s team would dismember the current crew
Keith Glazzard
32   Posted 18/07/2008 at 15:31:44

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I’ve never seen a successful team which wasn’t built on a successfu defence. DM knows how to do this. If Steve Round adds to this quality in our performances it will do us little harm.

Attack? Anyone know how to coach that? He must be worth more than the vastly overpaid goalscorers who ply their trade in the game today.
John Wilson
33   Posted 01/01/2009 at 17:04:15

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Bolstering the strikeforce appears to be the flavor of the moment so, as the pundits have Moyes scouring the world in the January market with money he does not have, my bet is he?ll buy Driver and borrow Nugent and these will prove to be smart deals ? short and long term!

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