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Don?t reward the coward

By Mick Hoban :  30/09/2008 :  Comments (12) :

I was at the match on Saturday and thought the game was lost when I heard the line-ups. I can?t comment on what was happening at the club over the summer and why it took to the last minute for anyone to be bought. Its pointless debating what would be different if we?d got so-and-so in earlier, then we wouldn?t be in this mess.

I also can?t comment on what the club are doing in regards to the ground move. It?s been argued to death on these pages but none of us really know what?s going on inside the offices at Goodison Park. The same with Moyes?s contract situation. What I can do is offer my humble opinion of what?s happening with the team selection. I think Moyes has lost the bottle he had in his early years and is taking the cowards way out. For this reason, I feel that his contract offer should be put on ice to see if his heart still remains at the club and that he can start making decisions that he is well paid to make.

During the painful match on Sat, I challenge anyone to admit that they thought the 5 man midfield was working. Neville was toiling and giving the ball away far too much. Fellaini was, to put it kindly, crap. I think the wind was out of his sails with the early (incorrect) booking and he was scared of being red-carded. I?m prepared to give him time but he should have been withdrawn in this match. For me it was a simple half time change to remove both players and replace them with Castillo (my man of the match against Liege) and Saha. The fact that Moyes didn?t, convinced me that the man has lost his bottle.

I label him a coward because, again in my opinion, he?s ducking the hard decisions he needs to make when picking a team. I don?t know what goes on during the week and whose available but I think with a full squad he should be doing the following:

  • Right back ? tell Neville and Hibbert that they are playing for this one position. Put Hibbert?s mind at rest by saying the captain?s armband will not guarantee Pip a game. The man in form plays. I?d also be on the lookout in January for a quality RB that fulfils the best parts of each of these players game, without their obvious weaknesses.
  • Left Back ? the real conundrum. I feel he plays Lescott there not only because he did so well last season, but because he is too scared to drop a centre-half. Without Pienaar in front of him, Lescott has been very poor this season. The man doesn?t want to play there and is not a specialised LB. I personally think this is ruining Leighton Baines?s career. I would immediately re-instate him as first choice LB. And he?d also have the brief to tak corners/free kicks that are in his left foot territory.
  • Centre Half ? Two from Yobo, Lescott & Jagielka. And I?d start the next match with Jagielka plus one other. At least he tried at the weekend and was brilliant covering the others mistakes against Liege.
  • Midfield ? I?d play Felliani and Castillo with two from Cahill, Arteta, Osman and Pienaar till the new guys bed in. They must also have the brief of receiving the ball from the centre halves by always making themselves available. Then perm 4 from all midfielders. If it?s not working in a game ? change it immediately.
  • Up front ? Yak and Saha (if fit) with the young lads in reserve.

I would be on the lookout for further midfielders in January and also a goalkeeper. If we?re to progress, Howard needs to be taught to command his area as all class keepers do or be shipped out. I would also decide where Rodwell is going to play in the future ? school him in that position and loan him out for experience. Stop ruining his chances asking him to fill in too early in positions he?s not comfortable with.

I?d never, EVER, allow every man back for a corner/free kick. Ok, bring your big fellas back but what are Arteta and Osman going to provide in our own box ? Put them on the half-way line, 30 yards apart, to stretch their defence and provide an out ball to relieve pressure. And to keep at least 3 of the opposition on the half-way line.

You may or may not agree with me (and I?m sure you?ll let me know !) but I think these are easy decisions to make. I don?t feel we?ll win on Thursday ? I?d love to be proved wrong but I can?t see an established European side playing as naively as Metalist did last year. The game against Newcastle is a must win and it needs to be followed up with attacking formations against Arsenal and Manure.

I?ve been a fan of Moyes and all he?s done, but Saturday was one game too far for me. Same as Howard ? shape up or ship out.

You can abuse me if you wish for this ? I shan?t be responding ? but in my 45th year, I?m beginning to lose the enjoyment of going to watch Everton and that is very sad, especially after the promise of last year and the best day out that was Nuremburg.

Reader Comments

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Derek Thomas
1   Posted 01/10/2008 at 06:02:55

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No arguments from me Mick. Basic Football solutions that are viable in the Zingari League or the Champions League. Horses for courses, square pegs in square holes.

I agree with the ?Rodwell solution?; like him or loathe him, it helped Ossie when he went to Derby and it also did no harm to a d. beckham when he went to PNE. Although just what is Rodwells best position is another debate.

Moyes's whole demeanor shows the turmoil going on.

1) His loyalty to the Club and the man who gave him the chance, be he ever so not worthy of it.

2) His loyalty to us fickle fans, see his actions at the end Vs Stoke.

3) What he thinks is best for him and his.

Moyes: Champions League in integrity (BK conference)

Moyes: Championship in football and tactical nouse.

Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 01/10/2008 at 10:52:32

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i agree with all of your points...except that when picking a 442 - cahill should nto be on the pitch...

Your other points are so obvious and it does my head in that moyes has still not realised them.

Im coming to the conclusion that he has no capability to learn from his mistakes...and that, is the ultimate problem.
John M Hughes
3   Posted 01/10/2008 at 11:41:16

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Mick - no chance of any abuse from me; you are absolutely spot on in every respect. I went to the game on Saturday and like you could not believe the team selection.One up front at home against Liverpool- they must have thought all their birthdays had arrived at once.No wonder poor old Yakubu resorted to falling on his arse every time the ball was hoofed over the five man midfield! Disgraceful and like you, for the first real time in forty odd years I’m getting genuinely disheartened.Everton is in my blood and that will never change but it is a tough place at the minute.
Kev Prytherch
4   Posted 01/10/2008 at 12:02:11

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Anyone notice that Preston are doing significantly better than last season? Anyone notice roughly the time our form came to a halt last season (coupled with the attractive attacking football)?
Maybe Irvine was more important than anyone ever realised...
Guy Wilkinson
5   Posted 01/10/2008 at 14:14:21

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Wholly agree. The dead ball situation is especially worrying - clear cut decision needs making to take arteta off delivery.
Moyes has a nasty habit of repeating mistakes. He’ll never be CL quality.
Jules Ruddell
6   Posted 01/10/2008 at 14:51:49

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Everton are so predictable, I hate when he sticks in youngsters with no pace or strengh and they're always the weakest link. Why doesn't he send some of the reserve lads out on loan? They're being wasted playing reserves matches, they should be out there competing in real competition. For me, Rodwell and Baxter and even Vaughan and a few of the reserve lads could do with some good competitive loan spells. Their development would come along far quicker, and I don't want 5 million to work that one out.
Mick Hoban
7   Posted 01/10/2008 at 15:48:51

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One more thing - Moyes onced said that he played 4-5-1 because he needed a formation to fit in with the players he had. It worked in 2004.

We have far better players than that season but it seems he’s now trying to fit the players into this tired old system, playing centre halfs out of position and negating the best striker we’ve had in many a year.

Stick to your promises Moyes and change the system to suit the players we have !
dave jeanrenaud
8   Posted 01/10/2008 at 16:28:39

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Kev,

Alan Irvine took over Preston on 20th November 2007.

If you check our results in the period thereafter you will note that we trounced Sunderland 7-1 on 24th November and that we went on a remarkable run of form thereafter which only tailed off toward the end of last season.

Irvine has done a great job thus far at Preston but i do not think his absence is the reason for our poor recent form.

Joseph Moore
9   Posted 01/10/2008 at 16:45:54

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Typical whingers.
Face it : Liverpool have won 8 of the last 10 at Goodison.
Because of current form we were up against it before a ball was kicked.
I’ve stated before that this season is the test for Moyes, (and that means the full season). I’m confident we will not go down. We have a top 6 /7 target to reach this will show the consistency needed.
James Lauwervine
10   Posted 01/10/2008 at 20:20:28

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I like this post because it offers suggestions which generally make pretty good sense, but I still feel there’s too much whinging going on. I’ve got a feeling we’ll pull it off tomorrow night, and that, coupled with a much-needed home victory on Sunday, would make an massive difference to the start of the season. COYB!
Mick Hoban
11   Posted 02/10/2008 at 21:18:04

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Well he took heed of HALF my post.

Neville - again.

Tell me - what did Hibbert provide going forward ?
Where was Castillo ?

So so sad.

Sunday may be the do or die game.

COYB - please ?
Kevin Mitchell
12   Posted 02/10/2008 at 22:04:31

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Mick, enjoyed the right back part saying the player in form plays, gets funnier the more I think about it.
Personally my bigest gripe with Moyes is he seems to think we can play without a midfield. In my opinion Don Hutchinson was the last proper midfielder we had, how long ago was that?


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