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By Tony Marsh :  23/09/2008 :  Comments (70) :
Can someone more knowledgable than me about football please explain what David Moyes and his team are trying to achieve this season?I mean the manner in which we are going about the game leaves a lot to be desired don't you think?Hoofball is back and I don't like it one bit. Who does?

What ever your opinion is of Moyes and his methods one thing is now perfectly clear. After almost 7 years in the Everton job, Moyes still does not know his best formation or even his best starting eleven. He never has done and I doubt he ever will.

A shambolic performance in midweek against Liege was followed by yet another at Hull City ? these two games following on from the horrible performances against Pompey and Stoke. Where the fuck are we heading?

In every game we have played this season there have been periods in them all when the whole team has looked lost and hasn't a clue as to what they should be doing. Three of these games where against newly promoted sides so we could've been in deep trouble if the fixtures had not been so kind to us.

Who is to blame for the way we have started the season? Can we look any further than the manager or is Moyes still beyond being criticised by so many of our fans? Having a small squad is no excuse for sending out a team to play like amatuers is it? Resorting to hoofball is not the sign of a manager at the top of his profession is it?

I shudder to think what the kids at Finch Farm are being taught when they are training every day and it's no suprise to see even the top players at the club struggle to perform. The defence is constantly under pressure because what playing hoofball guarantees you is that you will give up possesion within seconds of taking control of the football. As quick as you launch it forward it will come straight back at ya. Not rocket science is it?

One thing is for certain this weekend. Concede a goal first in the Derby and we will lose for sure. David Moyes's sides always crumble in derbies when they conced first. It's the Bill Kenwright effect: NO PLAN B.

We are now virtually at full strength so please don't say things will change once Pienaar is back because they won't. We could sign Robinho, Rohnaldo and Kaka and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. Moyes is a long-ball-game manager and it's a system that will never ever produce a team that wins a trophy or even competes properly with the better sides we play.

If like me you are now resigned to the fact that Moyes, if he wants the job at Everton, will never leave the club ? which in turn means we will never win a trophy or get to a final ? then what do you actually want from your football team?

What I would like is a bit of proper footy played on a Saturday afternoon and maybe see some skill on show. Never mind all this backs to the wall siege mentallity, we should go out and play the game in the correct manner. We might even be good at it if we try as we have all seen at times over the years that the players can do it if allowed to.

To sum up the season so far I would say that, once again, we have blown a chance to progress and Moyes is returning back to his roots with his Dambusters style of play.

If the one thing Moyes is supposed to be ? that is being a "genius" at which is getting his team to defend ? stops working, then where does it leave us??? Moyes has never been my kind of manger because his flaws outwieght the decent things he does

  • For every Cahill, there is a AvdM
  • For every Yakubu, there is a James Beattie.
  • For every Arteta, there is a Neville
  • And for every best-ever finish in the Premier League, there is a worst one as well.
Sorry guys but Moyes is not a winner. He has never been a winner as a manger or a player. To me, that speaks volumes about the man and I just don't think he's good enough for our football club. If you don't believe me watch what happens next week in Belgium... It won't be pretty.

Reader Comments

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Alex May
1   Posted 25/09/2008 at 10:19:41

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Barry Sherlock - not Sherlock Holmes with your powers of deduction.

’Moyes the best manager we have ever had’ - Behave yourself. I hope you never sing ’And if you know your history’ because you clearly haven’t got a clue.

As for Ramos - he won a cup in his first season. Moyes hasn’t won one in 15 attempts now. Spurs have had their season destroyed by being raped and pillaged by Liverpool and Man Utd. If he had the team now that he thought he was going to have as he entered August, they’d be superb right now.
Richard Harris
2   Posted 25/09/2008 at 10:49:42

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Barry Sherlock wrote "He is the best man manager we have ever had. He is a winner.."
So what has David Moyes actually won in his time as a manager ? A promotion from the 2nd Division to the 1st Division with Preston ? I think that glowing appraisal of David Moyes should apply to Howard Kendall (Mark 1). David Moyes has achieved best of the rest but unless you win something then it doesn’t count for anything in the long term. When you go to the Emirates stadium, Arsenal’s achievements are respresented by trophies and the year that they were won, listed on the upper tiers around the stadium. Wherever we end up playing how will it look to have 4th or 5th place in the Premiership listed and UEFA Cup knockout phase, Champions League qualifying round and Carling Cup semi final? I want to see trophies, not keep reading the same old excuses of David Moyes is a young manager and is still learning. Let a young manager learn at a smaller club and then come to us when they have achieved some success. Not use us as a testing ground to gain a reputation. Have a successful reputation first and then enhance it by coming to a bigger club.
steve jones
3   Posted 25/09/2008 at 12:13:01

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I can’t see how anyone who was actually at the game last night can disagree with Tony. We were abysmal, we did hoof too much from Howard & right through the defence. When we had the ball on the ground the playesr pondered too long before then making the obvios pass. Our whole game was based on winning set pieces. Why we didn’t spend the £6m on Fernades who could walk back into the team and actually drop deep to stop the defence hoofing it. he’s the only player I’ve seen do that in recent years. Bottom line last was an f’in disgrace 3 hours & £30 I’ll never get back.
stephen stuart
4   Posted 25/09/2008 at 14:12:38

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@ Barry Sherlock - "he is a winner"

Moyes has won absolutely nothing in his eternity at EFC.
David Barks
5   Posted 23/09/2008 at 14:28:26

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You say the same thing every season, that we have lost our chance to progress, yet two years ago we finished higher than the previous year. Then last season you said we?d be out of Europe at the first hurdle and go nowhere in the Cups, yet we reached the last 16 of the UEFA Cup and the Semi?s of the Carling Cup. And oh yeah, we finished higher than we did the season before. So this is the 3rd straight season you have said we?ve missed our chance to progress, except you?ve been 100% wrong the previous two times. I guess you believe the 3rd time will be the charm for you. The goals we?ve given up have nothing to do with hoofball Tony, they were down to very poor defending and lack of concentration from normally reliable defenders.
Steve Boyer
6   Posted 23/09/2008 at 14:32:57

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Wow and I thought I could be negative.....................................
Paul Lenehan
7   Posted 23/09/2008 at 14:40:27

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I'm sorry, Tony, but our style of football is not costing us at the minute, its simple defending. This is the same back-four that looked so solid last year. So you can bemoan this so-called hoofball all you like, but the facts are we have scored 11 in 6 but conceded 13. It doesn?t take a footballing genius to see where the problem lies. Our defending just simply has to improve, especially from set pieces.
Danny Marfany
8   Posted 23/09/2008 at 14:33:39

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Tony, you seem upset. What’s wrong? Is hoofball giving you the hump? What would you say is the answer? Is there anything positive to be said at all?

Though I suspect I know less about football than you I think there are positives. If our defence had been anything like it was last season at the start of the current one we probably would have won all our games by two goals, except Pompey of course. How many real chances did Stoke make? And Hull? Even Blackburn were gifted goals. But up front we have created chances and the Yak, Cahill, Osman, Arteta, Castillo, and Anichebe have all got on the scoresheet for the Blues.

Now there were times last season when we played some really attractive football and not just against rubbish teams. First 45 against Arsenal anyone? And don’t just point to the undeserved final score because we are talking about hoofball here. The hoofing starts when the midfield can’t find space to play through, and this is often down to not playing the ball quickly enough and a lack of width higher up the pitch. With Pienaar back this should give more space through the middle or give us another outlet. And if Fellaini realises where he is and pulls his finger out there might be a chance that we can get some solid linking up through the middle.

If Moyes does sort out the defence and we start to win a run of games playing attractive football, will you grumble? Yeah, probably.
Neil Pearse
9   Posted 23/09/2008 at 14:59:23

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Tony, we’ve signed Fellaini and Castillo to try to play more through the middle - and have been doing so a bit more already to good effect (all those goals we are not used to). If Moyes was simply a hoofball man, why has he signed these guys? Give them a chance!
Phil Bellis
10   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:16:29

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Tony
Have you ever managed a team at any level? Do you really think Moyes sends them out with the advice ’c’mon lads, play like pillocks, you at the back...no talking! Jags...if you see an easy pass, ignore it and hoof the ball to the opposition’
We play to a predictable pattern and do some strange things - e,g., the players must be being told to leave nobody on the half-way line when defending corners - so coaching must play a part
However, when I played we didn’t need the manager to tell us when things were not right and we didn’t wait til half-time to sort it
I maintain that a big part of the problem is we have NO leaders on the pitch...no Reid, Ratcliffe, Ball, Gray, nobody with the clout, inclination and authority to sort things out, give a bollicking, kick arse
Do you really think Arteta would still be taking ALL the dead balls if we had a strong character in the team?
Once you cross the line...
Alan McGuffog
11   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:22:07

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Have to agree with much that TM says. However, I have to pick him up on the idea that we crumble when we concede first in a derby. Over the years I?ve seen us capitulate after taking leads... on too many occassions.... from Anfield in 1970 up to Goodison 2007 in fact.
I guess a lot will depend on how well Stevie G referees the game.
Tony Marsh
12   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:28:36

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Like I say Phil, blame the manager. It's David Moyes who buys and plays these players; if they are not clever enough or brave enough to do a job in the EPL it's not their fault they were signed on, is it?

Another problem is the players never get a chance to express themselves as Moyes is permanently on the touchline shouting out orders. The players don't get a chance to think for themselves when in possesion and the end result is usually a long punt forward.

Gloss over the facts if you want but no team in the league goes out and plays the way the players want. It's the manger's gameplan that is implemented ? not thiers.
Phil Bellis
13   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:38:05

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Tony
I think I’m showing me age but the truth is probably somewhere in between
We’ve got some decent players - imagine Arteta, Lescott in the 80s team, for example. Would they blossom under Kendall?
Would Reid, Steven and Gray under-perform in Moyes’s team?
All I know is the current players are not taking responsibility on the pitch and, as millionaires, I don’t see them being terrified of Moyes to the extent they would play slavishly to a non-working system
The players must take some blame for their own performances
Richard Dodd
14   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:30:03

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We ?re doomed, we?re all doomed! First full salvo of the season from ?Much Blinding? and we are all expected to curl up and prepare for relegation. I think we?ve made a half-decent start to the season. Given the manager's early season travails with unavailable players and disappointments in the transfer market our return so far is commendable.

Admittedly, individual errors have cost us dear but apart from in the Pompey game we have looked to have added quality over past seasons. I think we can be more than confident that another good campaign is in store and a commendable top-half finish a nailed-on certainty.
Stay home Tony, stay home!

Tony Marsh
15   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:49:06

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Phil, it's been obvious for years now that we need a leader out on the pitch. Ever since Dave Watson left we have had no-one. Moyes must know this as well but I think he is scared of players with big personalities hence all the small choirboy types he signs.

The two midfielders Moyes has just brought in can't speak a word of English between them. Two more players who will offer nothing in the leadership department no doubt.
Gary Creaney
16   Posted 23/09/2008 at 15:44:13

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Tony, undoubtedly we witnessed a lot of hoofball on Sunday, I fully agree with you there. If you take Jags for example, most occassions he hoofed the ball up the field, agreed, but for our second goal, he got the ball and passed to Arteta. Why did he do that under such instructions from the manager to thump the ball up the field?

Fact of the matter is, players do make their own decisions based on how the play unfolds.

Every game, every team will hoof a ball up the field. Even free flowing Arsenal last year hoofed a couple of balls in Goodison and we all know where the ball finished up.

You seen last year the type of football we are capable of playing with a full team (yes Pienaar WILL make a difference - movement, looking for a killer pass etc). And I don’t believe i’ve seen Castillo or Fellaini hoof a ball yet so i’m utterly convinced that in 6 or 7 weeks time with a full team, we’ll be as free flowing as last year.

Have you ever asked yourself why just about everyone attempts to counteract your argument despite Toffeeweb having many other doom mongers? You really are out of hand with negativity.
Richard Harris
17   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:00:47

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Richard Dodd wrote "I think we can be more than confident that another good campaign is in store and a commendable top half finish a nailed on certainty".
So that’s a Champions League Place out of the question, with a doubt on a top six place and no mention of a nailed on certainty for a trophy in either the Uefa Cup, FA Cup or Carling Cup. But a top half finish is ’commendable’ ? How long do we have to wait for David Moyes to actually win something ? Oh, I forgot - he won a promotion from Division 2 to Division 1 with Preston. If it is true that his new contract is worth £3.5 million per year then I hope that a vast chunk of this is performance related and that he only gets the full amount each year if we win something......
Kevin Victor
18   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:33:09

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I suppose what you’re trying to say is Moyes told Lescott "Hey mate, let them get pass you and let them score".

And he told Jag when we play Stoke "Hey Jag, please head an own goal".

And of course he told Neville, "get infront of Jag and make it an own goal"

Tony, you’re just so damn stupid and Anti Moyes, why don’t you send in an application for the manager post. I’d like to see you manage Everton.
Joe Rourke
19   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:07:16

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I?m sort of mixed about his Tony. It's all a bit unbalanced. What does this type of argument achieve? You have some valid points about too much hoofball but I think you shoot yourself in the foot with the unbalanced nature of the rest of it.

Moyes ? from any neutrals point of view ? has overachieved and is a good generally honest manager. Personally I think he has limitations but so have the club in general, particularly with regard to money. I?ve found it hard to know which is more influential in limiting the team?s performance generally Moyes or the Board.

Every manager ? even Wenger ? has had his massive flops when it comes to the transfer market. Moyes is operating in a more difficult part of it than the like of Wenger. I think his mistakes have been handled well so far ? he got ¾ the value of Beattie, Krøldrup and Davies and even seems to have made a profit on Johnson ? who wasn?t an unmitigated failure. A comparative example would be Sunderland paid 15 million for Richardson and Gordon last year while we paid 5-6 for Pienaar and Howard. Similar players but we have £9 million to spare. Thats 80% of a Yak. This was good business from what I could see. There was a point in 2005-06 that I thought Moyes had blown it big time with transfers ? Davies, Neville, Krøldrup, AvdM and Beattie but he has generally got it right since.

It's not his fault too if players like Parker or Lucho etc didn?t wish to play for Everton or if some good players are simply out of our financial range. He can only work with what he can get his hands on. Maybe this explains a lot of the hoofball?

And Cahill should be captain for me. He embodies Everton and it might take the slightest edge of his tempestuous moments. I?m so sick of Phil Neville.
Colin Grierson
20   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:16:07

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Tony,

I have to say that I agree that the way we set ourselves up against some opposition is excessively negative. We have been poor so far this season and I don?t believe that it is simplt down to players decisions when they cross the white line.

If you play 4-5-1 then you surrender possession to the opposition and must rely upon counter-attack football in order to get a positive result. Simple a that! If you then go about hoofing the ball up the pitch then where are the counter attacks going to come from? The Yaks header against West Brom came from a hoof and we got lucky!

The last 20 minutes against Hull was the first time for a long time that I have seen us look like a decent footballing team. We reverted to 4-4-2 and with Saha and Yak up-front we worried the opposition and therefore didn?t have to worry about them. We played the ball in to feet and therefore retained possesion and didn?t need to hoof the ball after a period of pressure from the opposition because we HAD THE BALL!

You're right, Tony, it's not rocket science. Moyes does have to rethink his tactics if we are to be successful. I like Moyes, however, and think that he is a great manager and motivator. I just think he needs a tactician at his side and we could do really well. He made a great decision to leave Lescott on the bench as he?s been shite this season so far and has cost us points. Howard has fucked up a few times this season too but I think Moyes knows them as characters and treats them accordingly. A vote of confidence may be the best thing for Howard rather than the morale sapping benching.
Anyway Tony, who?d be a manager for £60+k a week eh?!
Cheer up mate!

Carl Rutherford
21   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:28:13

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Your argument is full of holes just to pick a few out -

"Moyes still does not know his best formation or even his best starting eleven. He never has done and I doubt he ever will. "

I think last year we had a pretty settled starting 11 when fit and availible 4-5-1
Howard, Neville, Jags, Yobo, Lescott; Arteta, Carsley, Osman, Cahill, Pienar, Yakubu.
This has been true of previous years as well.

I was at the game on Sunday there were very few long balls, we played all the football. Thursday’s game was a very entertaining game of football. In fact our defensive problems this term probably stem from playing a more expansive game.

"For every Arteta, there is a Neville"

£4m for Neville, now club captain and a regular in side how is that bad business?

"And for every best-ever finish in the Premier League, there is a worst one as well. "
and all but 1 finish in the top 10; a 6th place a fifth place and so on.

Last year we had 12 points from the first 10 games you wrote the same things then, it seems the only thing that has changed is you have less patience.
Ray Said
22   Posted 23/09/2008 at 16:39:13

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Well said Tony.

We are producing rubbish football and the blame for that must lie with the £3.5 million pound man. For years he has produced hoofball teams outside of the Everton tradition.

The tradition of EFC type football produced by Catterick and Kendall ? the ball played at speed on the deck between blues shirts. The football of Royle who instructed his men to go out and win their individual battles especially when we played Liverpool, Man U etc. Remember those days when EFC played to win rather than played to avoid defeat? Remember when the bigger the opponent the more we took it as a challenge. Nowadays, Moyes's teams are safety first, last and always. Now when we play a big opponent we withdraw into a shell.

We have sacked managers for turning out better teams, playing better football than Moyes will ever produce.

He is great if you, like R Dodd etc, are happy with a top ten finish and a bit of a cup run ? strike that; he can't even provide a cup run. If you want an EFC that actually thinks big and wants to challenge to win things then move Moyes on and go back to the EFC tradition.

James Marshall
23   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:08:50

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Zzzzzzzzzzzz, all your posts are the same Tony, and all the replies are the same, mine included!

We have 7 points and we?ve started badly, so what? We aint gonna win the league mate so chill out, enjoy the season and just maybe you?ll actually get some enjoyment out of the game - otherwise you may as well not bother watching, or even following it. Football isn't always going to be about winning every week, and I get the impression you?re not some 12-year-old kid who doesn't understand the game, or life for that matter. How come you havent understood that, as an Evertonian, you?re not a follower of one of the biggest teams around?!

We?re an upper mid-table team and that's about the size of it these days, so relax, watch some good footy, enjoy some of the good players we have and try and enjoy the fact that at least you dont support a Championship side who can probably forget about ever making it to the top division.

James Marshall
24   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:13:11

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Oh and Ray Said, moving Moyes on and bring in who exactly?

You’re talking tosh mate - Catterick and Kendall...errr Kendalls team was 20 years ago mate let alone Catterick!!

Living in the past gets you nowhere - being a bitter blue likewise.
Anthony Hawkins
25   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:17:13

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I don’t know why I’m even bothering to write this.

Tony Marsh - You never have anything positive to say and, from now on and until you do put up a reasonably positive post, I will not be replying to anything you write as it is absolute drivel and has limited basis for any form of conversation and most of the following post spend there time pulling your threads to pieces or pointing out how negative they are.

No, the Everton team have not done themselves proud so far this season however they have managed to put in some spirited displays and some immense come backs that would never have been seen before Moyes came in. Is Moyes perfect - no. Is the team perfect - no. Have the team been threadbare - YES. Will the team perform more on a par with last season when the other first team players come back in - PROBABLY.

Get a grip, mate!
Clive White
26   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:27:54

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Well even if we don’t finish in the top half which Doddy thinks is good,it won’t be Moyes getting the flak-he can do no wrong!
It will be poor old Bill for letting him blow £15M on a one-paced Belgium who can’t jump.
So many Evertonians are so easily pleased these days, I honestly don’t think Moyes has to do anything but turn up for his £70K a week!
Ray Said
27   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:28:14

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To James Marshall,
Rather than pay Moyes £3.5M, I would move him on. I would replace him with a manager that will play football not hoofball. I am not playing Football Manager and don't have a shortlist of names to throw at you but there are many managers out there that play football of the type I mean (Standard Liege seemed to produce good footy as an example).

I realise that the Catterick and Kendall era is over 20 years ago ? I spent a significant period of time watching Kendall?s great team ? but it's the football principles that those teams stood for that stands out not how long ago it was. Man Utd live up to the Busby tradition and I don't see why we should abandon our tradition so easily, do you?

I don't live in the past, James, but i do honour the football traditions established in the past by great managers of this club ? and so should all blues.

Keith Harrison
28   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:31:28

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Toffeewb wouldn?t be the same without you Tony mate. Some salient points, some not so. A bit of invictive, and like wise in the replies.
I think if we steered a middle course between you and Richard Dodd, we would be somewhere near the truth.
I would throw a couple of extra things in though:-

AJ says Fulham dont play hoofball, and he?s playing with good ball-players like Bullard, Murphy and SIMON DAVIES.

Preston showed a complete turnaround, and pass the ball on the deck under their new manager called Alan Irvine.

Did the wrong man leave ?????

Finally, Tony, please tell me that it wasn?t you that was the Tony Marsh on the X factor on Saturday night - the guy who sang/danced Jacko?s Black or White. Absolutely fucking hilarious.
Daniel McCloughlin
29   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:52:05

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To be honest, I think you are talking absolute bollocks. He guided us to 5th place last season ? name me a manager who we could replace Moyes with who could do that. If anything this board and Kenwright aren?t god enough for Moyes ? that's where the problem lies.
James Marshall
30   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:56:55

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Ray - yours and Tony?s claims about so-called hoofball are nonsense, we play attracetive football in the main and have scored some lovely goals this season already. If you want total free flowing football I think youre going to need to support Utd or Arsenal, we simply don't have the players for it, and that has nothing to do with DM?s style, its all to do with the players ability.

I think if you look at the stats you?ll find the hoofball thing is a fallacy.

Clearly you see past glories as being the benchmark and that's great, but it's not realistic nor is it relevant to modern football. Catterick's and Kendall's teams would get murdered by Moyes's team purely on fitness alone.

I see your point in that you want us to be the best, but it's not going to happen and the continued reference to the old managers, players etc simply serve to make you sound like an old fuddy-duddy, with respect.
Neil McKinney
31   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:32:32

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"Can someone more knowlegable than me about football..." Cue the stampede.

IMHO a fucking single cell organism has a better understanding of football than you Tony. You are entitled to your opinion and I enjoy reading the responses from fellow blues but sheesh you talk some crap.

I can’t be arsed to pick out all the profound flaws in your uber-negative ramblings, but I will, as many others have, challenge you to suggest some alternative tactics, transfer targets and suitors for Moyes’ job. I will be shocked if I get any other response than more BS from the Marsh production line.

Keep writing mate, it just provides more evidence of your football ignorance. Again, that’s just my opinion, but just like you I’m entitled to have it. I wonder what you even like about Everton or football come to that.

Like somebody posted above, I think you occasionally raise a good point then bury it in crap. I’ll look forward to the next instalment.

COYB
Brian Waring
32   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:48:16

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Tony, you're wasting your breath mate, too many fans with their blue-tinted specs on. When anyone dares question Moyes?s ability. And you will always be shot down concerning Moyes, when there are fans out there like Richard Dodd, who in another thread, reckons 10th place would still be good.

In AJ we had a prolific scorer, before he came to us, and look what the Moyes magic turned him into, a chicken with no head. It?s funny, when AJ went, no blame was attached to Moyes concerning his form, even though he was always played out of position. But he was just labelled shit. Could 2 of our former strikers both be wrong? AJ says we play too much long ball, and Beattie said it was great to play in a side (Sheff Utd ) who played with width and actually crossed the ball.

James Marshall
33   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:11:57

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Brian Waring - AJ plays for Fulham, Beattie plays for Sheffield Utd and the last time I looked we were better placed in the league than both of them, in the Uefa Cup, unlike both of them, have more money, more fans, a bigger ground, a better team and a better manager than both of them so I think you point is lost somewhat dont you?

Beattie says Sheff Utd play wider than Everton, errr... your point being?

AJ says Fulham don't play the ball long as much as we do, errr... your point being?
Joeynkoo Ludden
34   Posted 23/09/2008 at 17:50:18

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Completely agree Tony.

However, perhaps you answer your own question. What do we want from Everton this season, next season etc? Given the nailed-on fact the top 5 will now be, for the foreseeable future, an assorted finishing of Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool, what is left for us and the rest of the so called chasing pack? 6th place may or may not give you an Intertoto, and this place is hotly contested by a bunch of sides, so we?ll have to win a cup to get back into the Uefa Cup.

But what's the point even of that? It?s the very poor relative to the glam money-rich CL. It hasn?t helped us sign anyone this summer, us being in it this season. The refereeing standard in the competition makes those guys at the Watford game look competent. It won't provide the finances we need to bridge the Sky 4 gap (and there?s but a few people on the planet that can bridge the gap to the finances of Chelsea and Man City now). So what?s the point?

What can we realistically achieve now, with Moyes or someone else? The answer is this: a push for 6th spot, and an attempt to win all 3 cup competitions. All we can do is enjoy it, because even if we pulled it off, which we won't, it still wouldn?t change a thing for the season after.

Jay Harris
35   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:06:53

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Football stems from confidence.

Hoofball stems from lack of confidence and nobody taking responsibility.

For me and I know Tony and others hate him but little Leon Osman is the catalyst for good footy.He links up with play well and is up and down the pitch.
His only problem is his size.

I would also discount the first couple of games because we had no MF whatsoever and the new lads (who cant speak english)are only just bedding in.

IMO the season could go one or 2 ways.

We get a couple of good results and build confidence or we get hammered and totally lose confidence and have a real problematic season.

Lets hope we get some much needed luck as well and move onwards and upwards.
Tony Marsh
36   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:36:12

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Niel Mckinney, I was asked the question "Who would I replace Moyes with?" about 2 years ago and back then my answer was Martin O'Niell or Harry Rednapp, who were both out of work and available at the time.

Since then Martin O'Niell has totally transformed Villa and Rednapp lifts the FA Cup for Pompey in lesss than 18 months. Add the name Mark Hughes to the list and there you have my candidates but now I am afraid it's all a little to late.

I know Moyes won't be sacked but at least he should consider some help from a proper footballing coach. Surely there must be someone who can guide him a little in the right direction... Please dont say his old mentor Howard Wilkinson though.
Brian Waring
37   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:36:25

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James my point isn’t lost. We had in AJ before he joined us, a prolific striker, who was regarded in high esteem by his peers, he joins us, and his career spirals, Moyes played his part in that. Beattie was regarded as one of the best young strikers in the prem, he comes to us, and guess what his career spirals, to a point where the best he can hope for is the championship. The other thing James, could it be, that the point they were both making, was that we don’t play football. If you think about it, how many times did you see us twatting balls up to the corner flags, and saying to them " go on lads, run after that " ? Also, James, we have more money than Fulham? Tell you what mate, I wouldn’t like to put my house on that.
Sean McKenna
38   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:42:41

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Like you, Tony, I hate to see hoofball, and can't understand why players who get paid a fortune can't play a simple pass!! Our midfield have to be braver and go looking the ball, like Manny did. As for the new boy, Fellaini, he doesn't look like a £15 million signing, hope he proves me wrong.

I see another problem, I think if Saha stays fit we will see a lot more hoofball due to his areial ability.

Just one more thing: has Steve Round introduced anything new?? Dosen't look like it...

Connor Rohrer
39   Posted 23/09/2008 at 18:47:46

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Have I read this thread before? I think so to be honest, around the first leg Metalist game If I remember correctly. "It?s going to be hoofball all season, Moyes isn?t the right man for the job, Metalist are going to knock us out and we are going to have a terrible season."

After that things started to click, the new players bedded in and we had a good season. Two cup runs and a top 5 finish.

Same old same only to be honest, nothing new here. Let's see what happens before we come out with these repetitive articles time and time again.

Naturally things are going to take time, the new players where brought in late and it?s going to take a while for them to settle in and know the roles they are going to play. Hopefully they will and we can kick on.

It?s still very early though, I?ll moan and get negative if things actually do become as bad as a lot of people claim, we?ll have to wait and see.
Tony Marsh
40   Posted 23/09/2008 at 19:24:01

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Same old same old, Connor? Perhaps you are talking about Moyes's tactics then? I keep banging on about the lack of nous we show in games and the terrible way in which we play football. 7 years of it don't lie, mate.

Yes, last season was a success ? for you and many others ? but I want more. Maybe I will never get more but I will not sucumb to this Alehouse brand of garbage Moyes's teams churn out.
Connor Rohrer
41   Posted 23/09/2008 at 19:36:28

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Tony Marsh, which is why I said let's see what happens. You said exactly the same last season and we improved, as did the football.

I?m not saying it was perfect by any means but there was an improvement, you said that yourself during periods last season.

I want more myself, hopefully Moyes can provide it. If he can?t then your spot on but we are only a few games into the season, there?s lots of time to improve the football and the results.

So as I say let's see what happens, anything could happen once the new players bed into the team and we get the likes of Pienaar, Saha, Vaughan, Castillo and Fellaini in full flow.
Ray Said
42   Posted 23/09/2008 at 19:51:07

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James
My claims about playing hoofball are not nonsense ?it's called having an opinion.

Rather than tell me that i should support other teams if i want total football maybe you should be raising your standards and demanding better football.

You point out that the stats indicate that the hoofball is a fallacy ? what stats would that be? Tell me where such stats can be found and I will have a look at them.

Finally James you state that constant reference to past glories makes me sound like an old fuddy duddy, funny I thought it made me sound like an Evertonian demanding better, you know like on the badge and in the song...?if you know your history?.

Tony George
43   Posted 23/09/2008 at 19:45:26

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But you?ve got to give the man more time. Christ, he?s only been here six and a half years and you can?t build a footballing side in that sort of time!
By the time Davey?s £4M a year contract is coming up for renewal we shall be seeing signs of real progress and Uefa Cup qualification will be a cert most years.

Why is everyone so impatient ? he?s only a young manager ? they all need 10 years to get it sorted. This is bloody Everton you are talking about!!!

Dave Wilson
44   Posted 23/09/2008 at 19:41:16

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The majority seem to accept top 4 is out of our reach

We?ll do well to survive either Belgium or Ewood... we could be looking at the FA Cup as our only possible hope of a trophy and we all know our record in that.

I don't know what we expect to achieve either, If Hoofball can't get us a trophy or top 4, you have to ask, why the fuck do we do it?

I think playing a defender who?s kecks don't roll up every time he?s in possesion would be a step in the right direction.
Martin Hughes
45   Posted 23/09/2008 at 20:08:51

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Mr Marsh,

I?m sorry say but Everton?s 1st team has not had the chance to gel yet. From what I can see Anichebe has a good start, Yakubu has had a terrific start (some qulaity poacher's goals may I add). They have played WBA, Stoke and Hull ? all negative sides. I thin EFC will excel against Liverpool this weekend.

So yes, Moyes is a winner ? look what he took over and roll on 7 years to date we have much better players Arteta, Cahill, Yakubu Pienaar to name but a few. Saha will be the bargain buy of the season. Carry on with these comments of Moyes not beeing or will never be a winner, then he won't sign the contract, sod off to Gerodieland, and then we will wave them goodbye when we are on the way down!

Wake up all you pesismists, EFC is a role model to the Blackburns, Man Citys and Villas of the footballing world.

COYB - Carling Cup run starts at Ewood!"
Mike Evans
46   Posted 23/09/2008 at 20:33:09

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Is it true that you can buy a compilation book of all Tony’s contributions to TW entitled "Everton - Everything’s completely and utterly shite" ? if so, could someone give me the ISBN no.?
Stefan Tosev
47   Posted 23/09/2008 at 20:58:55

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Mike Evans,

you dont need it mate if you read one then you have read it all, nothing new just BS, without any substance
Clyde McPhat
48   Posted 23/09/2008 at 21:12:38

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I have always wanted to know what Tony?s credentials were when it comes to tactics and the like.... but I have never been given an answer.

Anyway, can you imagine if ?Arry was managing us and we shipped 6 against City? What would Tony Marsh have had to say about that?

I think we have completely changed the focus of our play from a sitting defensive midfielder to a new combination of midfielders that will take time to come together. Carsley, who some slagged last year, was very important to the back four and they relied on him to be in position every single moment of the match. Now, he?s not there and the Belgian is up the field playing knockdowns and Castillo is still in Peru. It will take time. And as the game progressed on Sunday, and our legs gave out, we played a little hoofball, but we also came back from 2-0 down and tied the match. I find nothing wrong in that.
Robin Cannon
49   Posted 24/09/2008 at 01:57:57

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Ray - I think the stats being cited are last season’s Opta stats, which show us as the team 12th most likely out of 20 to play the long pass.



Reading 21.08%
Birmingham City 20.87%
Middlesbrough 19.19%
Wigan Athletic 18.45%
Derby County 18.45%
Fulham 18.37%
Bolton Wanderers 18.24%
Portsmouth 17.81%
Sunderland 17.63%
Newcastle United 17.37%
Aston Villa 17.33%
Everton 17.27%
West Ham United 17.19%
Liverpool 16.88%
Blackburn Rovers 16.71%
Tottenham Hotspur 15.70%
Manchester City 15.12%
Manchester United 13.86%
Chelsea 12.48%
Arsenal 10.33%

Now I’m well aware that statistics can be misleading. But while I’m aware of various issues with our play, I do feel that the constant accusations that we just play hoofball are unfair and inaccurate and have been for well over a year now. I believe we play some really good football at times - periods last season where it was great to watch. As recently as the weekend our second goal against Hull was a really well worked team passing goal. As was the first goal against Liege.

That’s not to say that we never play those frustrating long punts, because clearly we do. But I don’t think we do it any more than most other teams, though I think we notice it more because it’s our team and so the more frustrating. And I think we sometimes revert to that practice too easily when we’re struggling. But I definitely don’t subscribe to the idea that we’re just a long ball team or that Moyes is just a long ball manager.
Jason Lam
50   Posted 24/09/2008 at 02:35:40

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The midfield’s going through a transition period. I would give Castillo and Felliani time to settle. What is true is we lack leadership from a ’character’ player, and it may be that Moyes is afraid to sign this type of player. Neville leading the team out is not going to install confidence and pride in the other players. At this moment I would like to see Arteta given a run as skipper. He’s not afraid to confront the ref and won’t talk crap on EvertonTV. This diplomatic and beaucratic stance from Neville is not going to gee up the boys and win us the midfield battle. This choir boy shit needs to go and I want players practice swearing their arse off at ear-piercing decibels in training. Also, stop shaving 3 days before the derby. Fucking tits the lot of them.
Russell Buckley
51   Posted 24/09/2008 at 03:17:45

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Jason,

Phil Neville is the safe choice and has loads of experience. But I agree we need more than a rallying call every now and then. I think Arteta would be a good captain, but if your after a leader with passion and character look no further than Cahill.
Lee Smith
52   Posted 24/09/2008 at 06:28:36

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@ Keith Harrison, 23/9 17:31

Tony was on XFactor, but he didn’t do the Jackson song, that was a guy called Alan Penfold.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbYfHB05dQw

Our Tony done a Boyzone number, and a very good job he done of it too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55BuupH1bYk
Nick Entwistle
53   Posted 24/09/2008 at 08:13:25

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Does anyone now just read Tony’s first paragraph, get the general jist, see how long it all is and think they won’t bother?
You don’t like Moyes or his players or his brand of football... what’s new?
Derek Thomas
54   Posted 24/09/2008 at 08:42:37

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Tony Marsh, Ray Siad, right-ish

Richard Dodd, wrong-ish
Dave Lynch
55   Posted 24/09/2008 at 09:39:16

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The defence is crap because of one reason.
Mr Round. I posted on here when he was appointed that he has an abysmal track record.
Boro
Derby
Bar codes.
All shipped goals for fun. You cannot go from being a tight defence one season to being leakier than a sieve the next, with the same personell. Without there being a common denominator.
That denominator is... Steve Round.
Dave Wilson
56   Posted 24/09/2008 at 09:47:45

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Robin

The title of the article is "Futile Football"

I think your stats adaquately demonstrate how futile Hoofball is - with a couple of exceptions, the more a team uses the long ball, the lower the are likely to finish.

We play a percentage game, were we squeeze the play after we have played the long ball ? in case you thought hoofball couldn't get uglier ? gaining or conceding a throw-in near the other team's corner flag means don't have to boot it long twice in the same passage of play. We?re a long-ball team alright, we are just better than most at it

I was hoping our new assistant would influence our style of play, but I can't work out where he fits in yet...
Eamonn Turner
57   Posted 24/09/2008 at 09:34:29

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"For every best ever finish in the Premiership there is a worst one as well"

Thankfully not so far Tony, but Im sure if your dream comes true we can play some lovely football with the right manager in The Championship.
Joe Rourke
58   Posted 24/09/2008 at 10:04:49

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I’ve been pointing to Round too as a possible source of all this. hard to know just yet.

Maybe Alan Stubbs can help!

Maybe we can graft his head on to Jagielkas body or something?.
The Joker
59   Posted 24/09/2008 at 11:49:40

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And I thought my jokes were bad.
Dave Lynch
60   Posted 24/09/2008 at 12:35:44

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Joe.
I work for the NHS.
They havn’t perfected that particular op yet.
But know where your coming from.
Robbie Muldoon
61   Posted 24/09/2008 at 12:38:17

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What speaks volumes to me is the Arsenal reserves in the League Cup. They are coached properly and encouraged to play free flowing football, which they enjoy, and the result is better cup runs than our long ball minded 1st team every season.

Jamie Evans
62   Posted 24/09/2008 at 11:12:57

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Dave and Joe...I too think Steve Round has something to do with our poor defence this season....I hope I am wrong....but I personally think he was a bad appointment!

He needs to start earning his wages!
James Marshall
63   Posted 24/09/2008 at 13:48:32

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Ray, you and I are clearly cut from very different cloth - I can't stand that bloody song that we always sing!

I stand by all my comments and I do understand your opinion despite them.

The Opta stats were exactly my point by the way - we don't play so called hoofball, we actually play pretty decent football in the grand scheme of things.

Supporting your team should be first and foremost, but sadly people like you and Tony fall into the category of people who would rather berate before supporting. If you could turn your negativity into positive thought or action, then you might find you?re a much happier supporter, not to mention person. Again, no offence. :)
Barry Sherlock
64   Posted 24/09/2008 at 15:59:41

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I can’t understand this post at all. Tony Marsh; do you even watch the same games as everybody else? We have players like Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Cahill, the Yak, Saha, Baines. These types of players are NOT lump it up there footballers. Anything to jump all over DM.

He is the best man manager we have ever had.

He is a winner. We have got a few problems. I saw a post you put on here last year calling for Ramos to come over from Spain. Now he is at Spurs - what magic has he weaved there???
Joeynkoo Ludden
65   Posted 24/09/2008 at 17:21:54

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Eamonn, I'm relying on my shakey memory here, but if it serves, I think the season we finished 17th under Moyes and stayed up on GD, was our worst season in over a century (so therefore our worst PL finish and what TM was referring to). We have had better seasons (in terms of points, goals etc) and gone down. Moyes gave us a 4th spot, but he also gave us 17th ? thanks to the fodder below us, we survived. If I'm right here, WHU went down the next season with 42 points, when we had less than 40 the year before.
Tony Dooves
66   Posted 24/09/2008 at 21:58:06

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Dear TM

It seems that you hate the team, can only be negative and never get any satisfaction out of following our fantastic team. In any other sphere of life, anyone but a masochist, would give up following something he felt so negative about. Enjoy the game, don?t let it eat you up.

I call the team fantastic by the way because they?re Everton. I love them no more or less on a day we avoid relegation to the day we got into Champions League footy. Being an Everton supporter means we have won the lottery of life. Enjoy relax and relish.

Robin Cannon
67   Posted 24/09/2008 at 22:45:38

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Dave Wilson - You’ll certainly get no argument from me that a passing game is the preferred option and generally the better a passing team the more successful.

My point is that, while in no way believing we are some example of footballing purity, neither do I subscribe to the idea that we’re a predominantly long ball team, or that the management and players pursue "hoofball" as a primary tactic.
Andy Spence
68   Posted 25/09/2008 at 14:49:28

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Let me start off by saying I do, and always will, love our team. I will follow them through thick and thin, and will defend them against the red scum (some of whom actually infest our city). Whenever an argument starts, I?m there sticking up for the blues.

But................................ Tony Marsh is spot on when describing our brand of hoofball. It is absolutley shocking to watch on occasions. I struggle to understand JM when he states we play attractive football. Like I said, I will always stand by my team, but we have to be honest at times and admit we play like an ale house team A LOT OF TIMES.
Bue till I die...

Ken Taylor
69   Posted 25/09/2008 at 16:43:38

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That Rhonaldo is brilliant.
Steve Lyth
70   Posted 24/09/2008 at 22:43:19

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Say What You Like about Tony Marsh, His article on Futile Football is spot on.

In seven seasons under Davey we have only played football consistently in one of em, last year. If you want to watch also-ran football that's fine, it's even better when your team can play a bit. I can't fault Tony's latest piece at all and this Belgian boy may well turn out to be a right Felony. Early days or no, the kid hasn't shown anything that justifies Moyes's claims that he has wanted him for two years. We may well need divine intervention come Saturday, because Davey's lack of tactical nouse is being exposed yet again.



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