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Why did Moyes forget all he learned last year?

By Dave Cooper :  17/08/2008 :  Comments (23) :
To me the most worrying and disturbing fact to come out of yesterday?s loss was that DM does not seem to have learned anything from last year. If he has, he either chose to ignore it or hoped that magically things might have changed. This is not going to be a rant against DM (for whom I still think is the best manager we could have at this moment in time) but to question his positional choices.

Last year it was blatantly clear that the best back 4 defensive line-up was PN or Hibbo at right back (let?s forget about the merits of either player as there does not appear to be any other choice unless Gosling is the answer), JY and PJ in the middle and JL at left back. Time and time again we played our best with this line-up. Yesterday with a weakened line-up from the end of last season, DM gambles rather than at least keeping one defensive unit together who have proved themselves.

When you are short of players, doesn?t it make sense to keep what has been proved to work together?? JY and JL do not look comfortable together, either they both want to play the same position or they are just not cut out to play together. TH clearly has no confidence in giving them the ball to pass the ball out from the back when they are in central defence.

It is different when JL plays at left back as he appears a lot more comfortable getting the ball there from TH and can then build from the back rather than play ?hoofball?. JL can also start and end moves when given the freedom of playing wide especially in the absence Peanuts.

PJ also proved that the only position he is any good at is in the middle of the defence. He does read the game reasonably well from there, reads JY?s errors, is dominant in the air and is the best at making last ditch efforts to clear the ball when under pressure. In fact even the England manager recognised his abilities. His only real fault that he wants to kick the ball as far forward as he can (but maybe that?s under DM?s instructions?. DM was a centre back!!!!). So why the fuck do you stick him in midfield and cross your fingers he can ?do a Carsley????

OK? let?s not get into WTF Carsley is doing at Birmingham and not in our central midfield? how much could it have cost to give him a contract for 2 years??? Even if he never touched the ball next year? hey aren?t we doing that the ?Flying Dutchman????? PJ tries as hard as anyone on the team but is not a central midfielder, defensive or otherwise? he prefers the ball coming straight at him rather than from around. Plus you throw in a very nervous and inexperienced Rodwell (who I think in time may be a starter?but not in the first game of the season) and you're destined for disaster.

Next?. DM puts NV and LB at left back at for the first and second halves?.both of whom have proved they are not up to those positions from a defensive perspective. Blackburn are a team full of 6 footers (did you watch any of the other games and see how many of the so-called ?lower teams? are full of 6 footers?) who exploited getting their wide players behind our full backs when attacking crosses? PN got absolutely roasted on crosses by Pedersen (and just about everywhere else) but we have no alternative at the moment.

So with a clearly weakened team from last year, DM makes 2 vital defensive positional mistakes; and we pay for it: 1st Blackburn goal?. PJ dives in and Dunn skins him and scores from outside the box; 2nd Blackburn goal?. screw up between JL and NV? might/would not have happened if JL had been coming in from wide rather than from a central position; 3rd Blackburn goal is down to the Yak?. oh well... he?s not paid to defend is he!!!!!

Even with this very weakened team, if we had kept a clean sheet, MA and the Yak would have fashioned at least one goal and we scrape home 1-0? but we didn?t and now DM is under pressure with probably no money to do much about it?

So, even if we don?t get any reinforcements either in the way of new faces or returning players, if we pick a good ?positional? team, play to our strengths, we still have enough to beat most of the teams in the Prem!!!!! (...until we get a few more injuries and then we will be royally stuffed!)

COYBs... next Saturday is another day!!!!!

Reader Comments

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Paul Walsh
1   Posted 18/08/2008 at 02:24:31

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Joleon Lescott maybe the reason Moyes set up the defence in the way he did. Lescott doesn’t want to play left back, as good as he is there. He sees himself as a centre back and I’d prefer him there too long term. Jagielka is honest but if we had the numbers he’d only be understudy to Lescott and Yobo anyway,surely?
Gavin Grayson
2   Posted 18/08/2008 at 03:30:44

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Seeing PJ play in the centre of midfield almost made me turn off the telly... A summary of why he should not play there include...
(1) He cannot pass the ball. Period.
(2) His positioning is totally off... He kept shadowing Rodwell and left acres of space.
(3) He does not read the game well in that position. Chasing the ball like a headless chicken.

I know that DM has said that he will not add to the squad just for the sake of adding to it, but based on what we saw last Sat, even getting Smith would be a good bet than putting PJ back in that position!!!
Steve Carter
3   Posted 18/08/2008 at 06:32:16

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Interested to hear your assessment of Pip Neville, then, Gavin Grayson...
Nigel Gregson
4   Posted 18/08/2008 at 06:20:22

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I guess this is where we miss Carsley. What I dont understand is if we weren?t gonna replace him, why did we let him go? Nuno?s just as old and he got a one year extension.

Carsley with one leg and no arms could have a done a better job last night than Rodwell and Jags combined.

I don?t know why Moyes doesn?t consider alternative tactics to accommodate the players we have. How about 5 at the back with 3 central defenders.

I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing. And besides the schoolboy defending, our attack held up all right.
Ray Roche
5   Posted 18/08/2008 at 09:35:24

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Nigel Gregson

As I remember, Cars’ contract was up and he turned down a 1 year extension in favour of Birmingham who offered 2 years and the chance to live closer to his home.
Michael Brien
6   Posted 18/08/2008 at 12:19:02

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At the start of July when several Evertonians were bemoaning the lack of transfer activity I responded with a sort of " Don’t worry - there’s plenty of time" sort of approach.
I fear that I am running out of patience. We have wasted a lot of time when other clubs have been strenghtening their squads. In reality in the last 6 months we have weakened our squad rather than strengthen it. We have lost McFadden,Carsley and Johnson and we have not replaced any of those players. David Moyes has mentioned several times that we lack numbers. Yet we allow players to leave and we don’t replace them !!? I know in the case of Lee Carsley there were personal family reasons for his move.But you would think that someone would have planned for the day when we had to replace him and had some kind of shortlist of "candidates".

I still have confidence in Moyes - but I have to confess with every day that passes and there is no news of anyone joining Everton that confidence is being eroded.
Rod Boyd
7   Posted 18/08/2008 at 12:31:47

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Moyes is incompetent. He should hold his hands up and take the blame.

To have such a depleted squad is disgracefull. He’s the manager if he didn’t agree with the shenanigans going on at our great club. He should say so.

Come on lets have the TRUTH.
Steve Syder
8   Posted 18/08/2008 at 12:39:23

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Carsley’s move had a lot more to do with his (Downs Syndrome) child than it did with the twp years contract.

Moyes has let everyone down by not buying, but we don’t know what was going on behind the scenes that might have tied his hands.

However, he picks the team, and rule one is DON’T CONCEDE, so I agree 100% that he should not have changed the back four, even if that did leave us weaker in midfield.
Michael Brien
9   Posted 18/08/2008 at 12:48:52

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I have just read some coments from David Moyes on the Echo website - he refers to some of experienced players not really doing their job on Saturday. What has he been doing over the close season ? Doing his job ? Not very well it would seem. I mentioned that my confidence in Moyes is gradually being eroded - a few weeks ago I would have responded to Rod’s critical comments with a defence of Moyes.Now I am afraid I am perplexed to say the least at Moyes actions these last few weeks.

If he is not careful David Moyes will lose support faster than Gordon Brown !!!!!!
Dave Wilson
10   Posted 18/08/2008 at 13:30:33

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Jolean should be told where he’s playing, not asked, the jag is a better center half anyway, Lescot is terrific at left back and gives us options going forward too, as for Phil Neville . . .
When your playing against top draw players, Like Blackburns center forward, it helps if you go with your best defence - including a right back who doesnt see the top balconey as part of the pitch
Pete Blanshard
11   Posted 18/08/2008 at 13:51:10

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The fact is Moyes had 10 Senior players available for Saturday and two of these are laeft backs, so I do not think you can criticise Moyes for not playing a centre back at left back. If he had then Baines and Valente would have had to play left wing and centre mid which is just scary. I think Moyes picked the only side possible.

Just as scary as having no players is the fact that Phil Neville (top man, good captain, awful footballer) has a new five year contract, if he is good enough to play for Everton in 4 years time then we really would be a club in crisis!
Gareth Jones
12   Posted 18/08/2008 at 14:10:52

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Good points, but hard to bloody follow with the initialisations of everybody's name.
Jay Harris
13   Posted 18/08/2008 at 15:13:58

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Along the lines of what others are saying:-

Lescott regularly makes errors at CB and does not seem to have an understanding with Howard.

Whereas at LB he can use his strengths and goalscoring ability and go marauding up the pitch.

Conversely Jags is useless at anything other than a John Terry type role at CB where last minute tackles and throwing himself at shots are his forte.

Right now I would use Baines at left MF and use his crossing ability to better effect.

Although Pete Blanshard makes a good point in that with only 10 fit senior players where would you play Valente.

Just shows why FM is easier than real management and why this board has to go.
Peter Hurley
14   Posted 18/08/2008 at 14:53:28

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Couldn’t agree more with your point on Neville getting a 5 year contract Peter Blanshard. Are we really that short of leadership in the first team, oh sorry I forgot we don’t actually have a first team anymore do we!
Declan McCarthy
15   Posted 18/08/2008 at 13:31:54

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It's being a difficult summer for all of us!!! It's hard to know where the truth is!!! I take it that we will have signing's soon, one thing I do have trouble with is why was Fernandes not bought!!! I don't really want to begin another Manny thread but can anyone think of any valid reasons he wasn't bought, seems to be doing ok with his new coach and is settled again in Valencia. I accept Moyes's has a better understanding of him than we could, but seems a strange decission to me!!!!
Dave Wilson
16   Posted 18/08/2008 at 19:31:19

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I understand the point Pete made about left backs and would have played valente myself, but why the fuck does Jags make way for Lescot at the center of defence ?
the Jags concentration level is far higher than Lescots, we would never have conceded that second if he was marking Santa Cruz, what makes it even worse is that Jolean is easily the better footballer of the two, wouldnt it have made more sense to have moved him into midfield ?

The bottom line is though, we can all put our views as to who should step into the midfield, but the fact that anyone should have to, just about says it all
Alex Burrell
17   Posted 18/08/2008 at 20:18:40

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Please guys, do you seriously think that Moyes is deliberately choosing not to sign anyone? That he actually wants our starting XI to be comprised mainly of players still in short trousers?

Pull the other one. It is not Moyes?s fault that there have been no new faces as Goodison Park this season. We all know whose responsibility that is.
Paul Olsen
18   Posted 18/08/2008 at 21:35:16

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Fair point Dave Wilson!

Indeed is Lescott a far better ball-player than Jags, i could have been worth a shot.

Or maybe even Yobo? He played some defensive midfielder in his earlier days and is by far our most technically gifted defender.
Keith Glazzard
19   Posted 18/08/2008 at 22:22:31

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I sympathise with what Alex is saying. We don’t know what goes on between DM, BK and God knows who else, but he must have wanted to have his starting line-up stronger five or six weeks ago. Having said that, I think he has great belief in Rodwell and especially El Baxter. Perhaps this is why he is saving ’his’ money. I hope it doesn’t cost us.

Dave - I agree with you on two points, that it might have been better to put Lescott in front of Jagielka, but that someone else to do the job properly should have been playing there in the first place. (But try to get Joleon’s name right - he sounds like a Dolly Parton song the way you spell it).
John Andrews
20   Posted 19/08/2008 at 01:04:19

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Have to agree with Paul Walsh here. If we ever manage to put out our strongest team Jagielka will not feature in it !
End of.
Jason Lam
21   Posted 19/08/2008 at 03:44:29

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Our 3 centerbacks have their faults playing CB; JY and JL lacks concentration, PJ lacks positioning. PJ is a scaled-down John Terry. He’s got the heart (shouts a lot too) but unfortunately doesn’t have the physique. And like John Terry he basically excels in last ditch tackles and lunges.

The back 4 needs to be PN, JY, PJ, JL, with PJ flanked between JY and JL.

Gareth Southgate was a better CB than anyone of them in his day, but playing a CB in MF is doing a Keegan. How about buying a defensive midfielder? How’s that for an idea?
Robert Sorenson
22   Posted 19/08/2008 at 09:16:02

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On the starting 11 we didn’t have a player that could play a holding role. neville’s distribution is awful and jags reminded me of when he first cam the 10 games or so in midfield were he didn’t look the business until he went to centre half.

I’m really pissed-off over our squad and the fact we ain’t built on last year. We never replaced any of the players released regarding carlsey, & jimmy mac or AJ. We get white-washed with talks of ambition and a new tesco stadium which i think the ballet was rigged.

The fact is we sold AJ, we got money from the chang re-newal, money for jjb being our retail partners, thompson being our travel partner, revenue from season tickets, shirts which is a farse not letting kid’s have the chang logo so they won’t buy as many cause they look jarge and they were designed wrong, plus the revenue for finishing 5th, the 600,000 for the uefa, the rooney add ons for the manure winning the C.L &E.P.L and did every team not get a guarentted 30 million plus from Tv revenue,.

Basically were is the money and talks of stadiums you need a team to play on it first.

JUst as i feel we’ve got rid of a lot of dead wood with half a dozen stil left like lerch the capatain, hibbo, shandy andy turner etc, i felt we were building a quality squad with J.L P.J, yak, the best little spaniard, cahill etc we seem to be going backwards and when we get a squad won’t we be thinking come the end of season that if we had the squad for blackburn we would have had another 3 points in the onion bag.

I know blue bill loves Everton but he can’r organise a piss-up in a brewary every1 knows he’s a corrie panto buff just cause he walks round goodisn before the game and brings rocky so what. Our progress in the last 4 years say is down to the gaffer with red hair nobody else. He’s got the best out of less than average players then cleared out and started to get more a less his own squad then dissaster in every department. It’s better than fighting relegation don’t get me wrong but we shouldn’t settle for that we should only settle for the latin logo on out belovered badge.

Now lets hope we can gwet moutinhio, milito, m’bia, love, tiago or the likes and then get 3 good english based players to boost the squad. We diod good last season in league and cups but getting beat by fiorintina took the wind out of us and we ran out of steam then so now how are we gonna better that.

Even loan players could fill a gap if its that dire even if there not what moyes wants to add to the squad its only a short term loan the likes of mannie again would be nice.

I love Everton and if i believed in re-incarnation i’d be from the banks of the royal blue mersey again.

Get kenwright out and C.O.Y.B lets get it all sorted out and do our business on the pich hey lads
Jon Martin
23   Posted 19/08/2008 at 23:50:33

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10 Rules to be a Popular Everton Manager:

* recognize that you are playing in front of an educated crowd. If you put good players in their weaker positions, it’s your fault.

* recognize that you are playing in an educated city. Don’t try to blag it in the media. You will be mocked harshly, and deservedly so.

* recognize exactly what the club means. You can’t live off the ’People’s Club’ thing forever.

* recognize that Evertonians are voracious readers on all topics concerning Everton. We can tell when you are bullshitting us.

* recognize that everyone knows there’s no money. We don’t care, we’re used to it by now. Use what little you have buying the likes of Howard, Cahill, Arteta, Jagielka. That’ll guarantee the full houses you crave, rather than wasting the entire summer chasing a ’big buy’.

* recognize that no right-back, ever, in the entire history of EFC has ever been any use if their first name is Tony or Phil. Same for defensive midfielders.

* recognize that not everyone Alex Ferguson offers you on the cheap is any f***ing use.

* recognize that Evertonians expectations were so low, and that you raised them, and that you should really utterly totally not want to piss that away in one season.

* recognize that big fat ’sport executives’ are as despicably fickle as a flavour of the month striker. Just because an Everton fanzine sucked his d**k is no reason to trust the creep.

* recognize that, unless this gets sorted, the theme tune won’t be ’Z Cars’, it’ll be ’You don’t know what you’re doing’.

Good luck, you ginger person. Oh almost forgot. Next Man Utd manager? Not you matey.

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