It is with great regret that I once remarked to a fellow Blue as that line from Forever Everton blared out over the speakers at Goodison that it sounded vaguely like a threat. "As long as we?re behind them..." ? the cheek of that! Truth be told I said it as much in jest as anything else but as the heads of fans and players alike dropped at the sight of a Fernando Torres double in to the Gwladys Street End on 27 September 2008, my mate reminded me of my musings about that self same threat. Never have I felt more disillusioned in recent years than to see us outclassed by an average Liverpool team. Never have I been more despondent than to see us bow to the barcodes after eking out a two-goal first-half lead on Sunday. And never have I felt more sheepish than to have that result cause my mate to text me from Dublin calling for a ?Taxi for Moyes?!
For it is only a week ago that I broke from the loyal ranks and said it was time for our beloved manager to move on. Only a week since over the empty consolation of pints of Guinness that I extolled the irrefutable logic behind the necessity of acquiring a new leader in the dressing room. Perhaps a manager with some semblance of tactical nous? It didn?t require a university degree for example to realise that Fellaini was rendered impotent by his early booking in the derby and was strolling around like a big friendly giant for the remainder of the match. Not even Hercules Poirot was needed to see the equally galling effect of gravity on the Yak as he dropped like a dead weight to the ground in the Liverpool box early in the second half. But bereft of such luminaries as Poirot or Marple on the Everton bench we did what we always do ? we ploughed on, we made the reactionary Saha substitution, and we lost as the dissatisfied hordes exited the stadium. And as the blue mist descended I blamed only one man; a man who seemed to be more comfortable wailing on about a lack of finances and refereeing decisions than with sorting his defence out. I blamed David Moyes.
So, as a man who never considers himself to be in the wrong, a man who only ever believes he can provide an informed opinion, a man who refuses to ever communicate from a position of ignorance, I felt great shame in seeing dear Davey?s most loyal defender calling for his head on the back of our first Goodison point of the season. For I was wrong. As wrong as I had considered myself right only 7 days before. And I had converted the faithful to my misguided cause.
You might say that a week in the wrong is hardly the shame causing crime that I?m making it out to be. But you too would be wrong. Because to lay waste to six years of progress, albeit progress punctuated by near relegation, a Champions League and Uefa Cup exit and an extended stay at the foot of the table in 03-04 and 05-06 respectively, is to forget the horror we endured before David Moyes arrived on our doorstep. Lest we forget, those were the days of FA Cup humiliations and final fixture dicings with the drop. The days when players of quality wouldn?t give us a second look. The days when we won derbys, but little else. The days when 15th place was not a 7 game anomaly but a season long reality.
The fact of the matter is we are a far better club with David Moyes as manager than we would ever be without him. And as much as we feel let down over the summer and these past couple of months we are just as guilty of letting him down. He deserves more than that doesn?t he? Because not only has Davey been let down by some fans such as myself who have questioned his ability and motivation, he?s ultimately been let down by his players. Are we to believe that he told Pienaar as he headed out for the second half against Newcastle not to bother chasing a ball to the corner flag? Are we to believe that he gave the Yak his seal of approval for his laughable pass to Geremi? No of course we?re not.
Because despite not having the guile of my favourite Belgian detective what Moyes does have is an unquenchable work ethic and a desire to succeed, a desire I found to be lacking in his players on Sunday. It?s not that I think it?s wrong to enjoy your work but I did feel somewhat uneasy as Jags and Lescott emerged for the second half laughing and joking. Because I for one am not seeing the funny side of our current predicament, and all the apologetic sound bites in the world, and admissions of failing to deliver will not change that. Playing with some togetherness and some of David Moyes?s passion on the other hand ? now that certainly will.
Because it is nearly 12 months ago that following a defeat against our neighbours at Goodison Park which saw us with only 13 points from 10 games, I sat in a Dublin pub with my mate and proclaimed that if we didn?t look at the table again until the end of November, we?d be alright. We had played well, defended poorly on occasions but ultimately were undone by the referee.
Downcast but not defeated, the team had shown passion and togetherness aplenty. From the manager down to the last unused substitute there was the promise of a successful season. And so it transpired. The siege mentality that evolved from the unjust rulings of Mr. Clattenberg and the return of the effervescent Tim Cahill galvanised the team to go on a run that saw us climb to 4th by January. And so it can be this season.
Perhaps there have been no injustices visited on the players to spur them on this season. Perhaps there have been no seminal events to galvanise the squad. But there have been injustices visited upon the supporting faithful. Portsmouth, Liege, Blackburn and Liverpool ? these performances are not what we expect for parting with our hard earned cash and for our unyielding support! These are wrongs that must be righted, and they must be righted soon.
Now it would be either be foolish or optimistic in the extreme to expect that this will happen by way of 6 points from the upcoming fixtures against Arsenal or Manchester United. But we should demand to see the passion and pride in that Royal Blue jersey that is a must of any player in our team.
And of one thing let us be certain ? let?s not be found wanting as fans. Let?s cheer our boys on as if our lives depend on it. Lest the blame be placed at our feet, lest it be said that we haven?t been sufficiently behind out boys so that they wouldn?t let us down ? let?s stop complaining and start singing. You all know how it goes?? ?Everton, Everton, we?re forever Everton. All for one, one for all. Everton?s the team that plays beautiful football.? Who knows ? come December time we may once again be salivating at the prospect of another European adventure!
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1 Posted 07/10/2008 at 16:27:39
However the rub is this: how easy is it to support Moyes whenever he makes mistakes that he should?ve realised three years ago? How many times can you see Neville play shít in midfield before you put your boot through the tv on the revealing of the teamsheet? How many times can we field players in positions that are not their own, while leaving more suited players on the bench?
It?s easy to feel sorry for Davey ? after all, who could stay angry at those puppy dog eyes and that half-dead zombie expression ? but finance and boardroom troubles aside, he?s the one who keeps making the inept mistakes...
Everytime we wait for a teamsheet it?s a matter of infinite hope ? and nearly everytime that hope takes a good battering.
Hopefully the next few games will allow us to get some stability in forming a decent passing midfield ? but I won?t hold my breath that it isn?t scuppered by a return to what can only be called "Davey?s Way"...
2 Posted 07/10/2008 at 17:13:15
Well, Gerard, Who buys these crap players we have at the club? Who picks these said players to take to the field in the wrong positions every game? Whose numbskull tactics do the very same players have to try and implement during the course of a game? Whose fault is it that we have only one player at the club in Arteta who can take a dead ball kick [very badly by the way]. Who is it that dithers and farts about every summer when transfer time comes around? This summer and the summer of 2004-05 being the worst of them.
I will tell you who: It's your bezzie mate, Davey Moyes... and if you don't get it then you never will. Gushing out sentimental drivel will get us nowhere. This fool and his oppo Round need to do one quickly or we will go down the pan fast. How much longer do you want to wait before it slaps you right in the Kipper. We are in a terrible mess and its all down to DM end of story.
FFS Give me strength!
3 Posted 07/10/2008 at 17:35:23
4 Posted 07/10/2008 at 17:37:39
Total codswallop (a word not used enough in todays language I find). Let?s not blame Moyes then. But then if thats the case - why praise him either? If what is happening out on the pitch is nothing to do with Moyes, then when we win, that's nowt to do with him either is it.
6½ years is a long time to take to mastermind our results in the first 10 games this season. As always with Moyes, he giveth and he taketh away - 4th finish = Bucharest 5 - 1 Everton; 5th finish = out before round one again. Can't wait for the next 6½ years.
5 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:13:55
Well, I bloody don?t. I spend at least a grand a year to support my club whilst he pockets 70 grand a week to make me bloody miserable.
Gerard, you are talking crap, old son.
6 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:26:12
7 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:48:22
8 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:53:26
9 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:30:05
10 Posted 07/10/2008 at 18:55:03
Has our Cup record improved over the last 6 seasons or have I been supporting the wrong team? Must stay off the magic mushrooms.
11 Posted 07/10/2008 at 19:05:54
12 Posted 07/10/2008 at 19:21:05
13 Posted 07/10/2008 at 20:12:07
14 Posted 07/10/2008 at 19:55:10
Are you sure Gerrard ? Have you forgotten Shrewsbury, Tranmere, Oldham ?
"The days when quality players didnt give us a second look " They’re hardly queing around the block to sign now, are they ?
"the days when we won derbies but little else"
Well we’re still getting the little else bit right
15 Posted 07/10/2008 at 21:24:50
16 Posted 08/10/2008 at 10:53:16
Instead, we’ll wait until he’s signed a £15 mill (or whatever) contract and taken us down to the ’Championship’.
THEN we’ll get rid.
After that we’ll be linked with assorted ’great ones’ before announcing the return of The Dome.
(Echo 2009 - Kendall said: "Sitting at home with my wife was all well and good, but managing Everton is like being marr....hold on that can’t be right....no I meant my wife is like Man City......no my wife is a like man....ahhhfuggityermebestmate")
17 Posted 08/10/2008 at 11:31:35
I appreciate what you are trying to say but youre appealing to possibly the most fickle fans in english football.
Last season we had our best season, playing the best football we've played since the late 80s yet two months into this season and people are calling for the manager's head.
Me and most of my match going mates are usually pissed off coming away from Goodison due to the lack of support offered by our fans.
I'm not happy with the way this season has gone whatsoever but I still go the match and I still support Everton. I don't like every player and I don't like hoofball but they got us as high as we've been in 20 years.
I honestly believe we will come good this season and we will start playing the type of football we all want to see, I know we're capable of it because we played it for a large part of last season!!!
18 Posted 08/10/2008 at 13:15:37
19 Posted 08/10/2008 at 14:18:07
You two think you could do so much better than Moyes - I doubt it, even if you had the footballing background to take on such a job. My God you make me feel so depressed its untrue.
Honest to God, I hope you get your miserable outpourings stuffed down your gob by the end of the season, but then neither of you will admit that you might have been wrong because you are both so self-centred.
If I were you two I would go back to playing Football Manage ron your playstation or computer and leave the rest of us in peace.
20 Posted 08/10/2008 at 15:59:01
Premier league ties played 4 lost 4 (3 of which we were drawn at home)
Lost to Shrewsbury away (relegated from football league)
Lost to Oldham at home
Beat Norwich(h) , Plymouth(a), Sunderland(h) & Millwall(drawn a)
I don?t think you should mention FA cup comparisons with anyone ? Moye?s will always come out worse!
21 Posted 08/10/2008 at 16:37:39
22 Posted 09/10/2008 at 16:11:14
Ok Dave we got it, but what you were really saying is..... I can?t do this!.... Last year he believed he could and he did; this year he believes he can?t and he won?t............. think about it.
23 Posted 09/10/2008 at 16:24:36
24 Posted 10/10/2008 at 17:20:32
You people have short memories!
25 Posted 10/10/2008 at 18:13:00
The amount of vitriol that’s being spouted by sections of the Everton fan base is ridiculous. There are a number of people who appear to dislike Moyes irrespective of how much he has achieved with us.
It wouldn’t shock me in any way if the so called fans that are spouting the worst of this hatred of Moyes have hated him for a quite a while and are using this current period to their advantage in drumming up support for the ’Moyes out’ brigade
To you I say this, stop peddling your poison. Get behind the team or shut up.
I have to agree with Ste Walsh, some people have very short memories. What Moyes has achieved at this club with his resources is nothing short of miraculous.
I’ve got three simple questions for you Moyes haters
Where were we before David Moyes?
Has he or has he not brought this club forward in his time here
What do you adjudge to be success for Everton given our finances?
In the 6 years before Moyes, the only thing we had going for us was an unbeaten run in the Derby... and absolutely nothing else. Not one thing. No Europe, finishing above the RS was a fantasy. Look at the management and playing staff we’d had in those years, Mike Walker, Earl Barret, Stuart Barlow, Carl Tiler, Mitch Ward, Gareth Farrelly, was it any wonder we were fighting relegation every season
To my second question the answer can only be yes. Finished 4th, qualified for Europe 3 seasons out of 6. only 1 relegation dog fight, which was settled with games to spare
In short we’ve improved under Moyes
The last question is the most important
Personally, until we’ve got a new stadium and improved our income the only way we’ll qualify for the Champions League again is if the sky 4 mess up. The proof is there, the RS had a bad season that year and we had a decent one. The points needed to finish 4th since then has increased from 61 to 76. With all the money out there in clubs like City and the rest i think we should view success as finishing top 8, maybe Europe with a decent cup run thrown in too
I’m sorry but football has changed and it’s nigh on impossible to win anything without some decent levels of cash.
The Billionaire ownership bubble will burst for one very real reason, there’s only room for 4 rich clubs in our league. Clubs will become so top heavy with debt and salaries that in order to be profitable they will have to qualify for the Champions League and hike their ticket prices. There’s only so long Billionaires will want to play with toys like these without making money. Can you imagine if Chelski didn’t qualify for the Champions League 2 years running? The supporters would be on the boards back and Abramovitch would just cut his losses and sell on the cheap, leaving the club in a financial mire, saddled by debts and high salaries.
We don’t need that at Everton, I?ll be happy with consolidating what we have for the next 5 years and staying in the top half, getting into Europe every other season and winning a Derby. It’s better than where we were before Moyes.
Moyes isn?t perfect, he does dither in transfers (Fernandes) and waits too long to make subs, he does make tactical errors (4-5-1 in the Derby), relies on some crap players (Neville) and has bought some crap (big list), but he?s also bought a lot of good players too (bigger list) and been let down by players with good reputations (Beattie), He?s found some real bargains and gems (Cahill, Arteta, Lescott).
Moyes is the first manager we?ve had in years who has genuinely improved the 1st 11 markedly. He?s built a decent, albeit small, squad that is playing a bit crap at the moment, but close your eyes and imagine the first 11 playing at the top of their game and we have a team capable of beating anyone at home.
Give Moyes the chance and he?ll prove the doubters wrong.
Let me put it this way, how many fans of other premiership clubs would have Moyes on their shortlist if they sacked their manager tomorrow?
26 Posted 10/10/2008 at 21:09:42
1) Every Evertonian worth his salt knows where we were before David Moyes. Some even remember us being a successful trophy-winning club, some time before David Moyes...
2) Of course he?s bought the club forward in his time here ? that was his job. The problem is he hasn?t really bought it as far forward as he should have considering both the time and the money he has been provided. You make it sound like some fantastic revelation that these so-called Moyes haters are not aware of. Guess what! They know it all already!!!
3) Success would have been continued upward progression ? not yo-yoing up and done as we have; consistently improving cup runs, rather than consistently bad cup runs that include shameful loses to lowly opposition and pathetic capitulation against key Premier League opponents... and of course fighting every derby game as if we actually believed we could win, no matter what the difference in level of investment.
In seven seasons, Moyes really should have managed to win us at least one trophy. The fact that he hasn?t will be the biggest indictment against him... second only to the utterly god-awful football he has had the team playing! Or hadn?t you noticed that!
Do you really believe spouting off that litany of limited achievements is going to change the mind of someone who has watched everything that Moyes has ?achieved? and has figured out for himself that his manifest limitations are the real problem to Everton advancing?
Moyes has been given a sheldload of chances and all he has done is confirmed the views of the so-called doubters; he is a very limited manger who?s limitations will not take Everton to the next level.
Do Evertonians really give a shit what fans of other clubs think? I certainly don?t.
Here?s some advice for you. Try to just accept that there are Everton fans who are not as impressed as you are with David Moyes. Not by a long chalk. You won?t change their minds, while they obviously won?t change yours either.
27 Posted 11/10/2008 at 02:33:24
1. I too remember us winning trophies, but that?s in the past and isn?t really relevant to whether Moyes should be booted out in spite of everything he?s done for us so far.
2. The reason why I treat it like a revelation is because I?m so incredulous at all the ungrateful people who slag Moyes off, I think they must forget what it was like at graveyard Goodison back in the late 90?s.
I really don?t understand how you can sanely say that he hasn?t brought us as far forward as he should have given the time and money. Ok he?s had time, fair enough? but money?!?! Really? Your own argument falls flat here.
You?re basically saying that with the money Moyes has had, we should have done better. What about all the other teams in our league that have thrown more money about than Moyes? By your reasoning you would be expecting them to do better than us. Well guess what? you?re right, they are. The Sky 4 can offer higher salaries and can afford higher transfer fees, there are also a number of other clubs outside the Sky 4 that have outspent us over the last 6 Seasons and yet Moyes, with his comparatively limited funds has had us finish 7th, 17th, 4th, 11th, 6th and 5th in his 6 full seasons in charge. Not one relegation campaign for 4 full seasons
Now lets factor in that when Moyes came on board we had a small squad full of old players which were only just able to fight off relegation. A top half finish was success. We hadn?t had one since a ?blip? in 96 when we finished 6th. So, Moyes with less money than the big spenders and with giving each of them a head start, squad wise, has got us 7th, 4th and in the last 2 seasons has had us 6th and 5th.
Given all that can you, hand on heart, say you could have (reasonably) hoped for more? For better than what he has done? If you come out and say we could have done better than this given that set of circumstances you will only lose credibility. (I also find it interesting that in each of the last 3 seasons we have broken our transfer record and oddly enough Moyes has had us finish higher each season, not that I?m expecting 4th this season mind)
Unfortunately, the same applies to the Cup Competitions. Interestingly enough, before Pompey won it last season, do you know who the last team outside the Sky 4 to win the FA Cup was? I?ll give you a clue, they play in blue and you love em. The League cup is a slightly different story but it?s only recently that the Sky 4 have started to take it seriously and so it explains why clubs outside the sky 4 have been able to win it more.
So, if you tell me that we should have won a trophy in the last 6 and a bit years, I?d say you were unrealistic, especially as you have to give Moyes a couple of seasons to start to convert the squad from relegation fodder couple that with the fact other clubs have the capacity to outspend us and your argument looks weak? at best..
3. You cannot expect us to have continued upward progression every seasons, it?s not reasonable, not when teams like Man City come in with Billionaire owners and start splashing the cash, not when we can?t compete with these teams financially. In the main we have improved under Moyes. The last 3 seasons have shown progress by your own argument. Progression in the league each season, League cup semi final, UEFA Cup progress (albeit we were deservedly beaten by Standard recently, but we?ve been in shocking form this season)
You cite defeats as reasons for Moyes to go, surely then the victories should be reasons for him to stay. Correct me if I?m wrong but hasn?t Moyes won more than he has lost? (I?ll happy withdraw that if I?m proven to be wrong) I happen to agree with you about the Derbies, he does seem to be a bit too negative against them and the teams from the big 3. But he?s still learning as a manager.
Admittedly, we have played some bad football, but we have also played some good football too, in the main it?s mediocre, but point me to any team that plays ?good? football outside the sky 4 and their millions.
Moyes has been given a shed load of chances to win a trophy?! Of course he?s been given shed loads of chances, but at what odds? Long ones and I?m sure any bookie would agree.
The FACT of the matter is, Moyes is a victim of his own success. He has built an expectation around Everton. it?s just bad luck that he?s come in when we?ve not had the money to support him properly, to give him a fair crack at the whip to win the league or challenge for a trophy.
Go back to when Moyes took over, if someone told you that he was going to get us finishing 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th, in 5 of 6 seasons, what would you have said?
?Not good enough!?? ?Is that all??
Would you hell! You?d have called him the Moyesiah like the rest of us. As far as I?m concerned, the fact that Moyes has taken us from relegation candidates to the cusp of the Champions League and into Europe means he can have another 6 years and if he doesn?t win a trophy in that time so be it. It?s better than having to rely on other team?s results and a Gareth Farrelly/Barry Horne thunderbolt to keep us up.
Thanks for the advice but I can accept that people can have different opinions from me, it?s just when they?re wrong that I feel like I should say something.
I?m all for wanting to win something, but you have to be reasonable. We haven?t got the money to compete for trophies each and every season. Only the rich clubs can do this. We just have to keep building slowly, getting rid of Moyes will make Everton one of the poison chalice?s in UK football.
Opportunity available, Football team with unhappy fans, no money and high expectations seeks Miracle Worker to replace previous Miracle Worker.
28 Posted 13/10/2008 at 12:30:38
We have got to change from the bottom up.
29 Posted 16/10/2008 at 09:55:18
With regard to the many negative comments I appreciate everyone is entitled to an opinion, but could you at least try to give a balanced view.
Some of the comments are just ludicrous.
Lets get behind the team, the manager & the club & let’s see where that takes us.