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FAN ARTICLES

Where is the Inspiration?

By Christine Foster :  17/10/2008 :  Comments (18) :
In search of Inspiration. It?s not easy being a Blue. I mean, you were brought up to believe in such terms as ?The School of Science? or ?Only the best?... But they don?t apply to the club anymore, only its past. I am not going to look backwards or be critical of the current team or manager (God knows how easy that would be currently) but the most frustrating thing about the way the team play is the total lack of inspiration or passion for that matter.

As an Evertonian, I like to think I appreciate good football, good skill and a passion to win. Today, we are served a fare that is often devoid of the all of them and that?s simply not good enough. Perhaps we are arrogant in believing we have a god-given right to have the best players available playing for us, but we have fallen so far down the pecking order that few names seriously consider us. We are the poor relations of the Premier League to many prospective players. Moving to Kirkby won?t solve that. What will is finding players with inspiration, self-confidence, passion and a desire to play football. We may have them but in short supply and let's face it, we hardly ever see it. Too often do we fall back on hoofball, an indictment on the manager, tactics and the lack of confidence the players have in themselves and in the tactics.

For too long, this club has bounced on the bottom, rebounded for a couple of seasons and fallen back. We are better than that and we deserve better than that. What we need is a manager who can inspire, players with confidence playing to their best ability. But most of all as fans we need to be inspired with the brand of football we are trying to play; we want to see the passion and excitement of young players coming through, of yes, even those who both infuriate us at times, but also excite us with skills (Duncan MacKenzie springs to mind.)

The recent anger over Moyes's contract on this site is I believe, more to do with the ?way? Moyes sets out his stall. Despite all of us knowing that he has given stability and raised the game overall in the past few years, we are mostly of the opinion that going forward we have to improve, we have to be inspired, we have to believe and have something to look forward to. Sadly, we seem to have lost the impetus and the inspiration. It's not even the end of October and we are talking about salvaging a season already. That?s quite shameful after last season, but in my stomach I can?t help agreeing with those who think we are in for a hard year. I wish I could have the optimism of Richard Dodd but I don?t. Why? Because I look for the inspiration in the team and I can?t see it anywhere, too many players out of form, hiding on the pitch. No one stepping up and taking responsibility.

I don?t look forward to each game as I used to because we don?t play good football often enough to make it encouraging about the future. It?s like the bad old days when there was silence on the terraces or you dreaded turning on the game and watching in some morbid fascination because the result was inevitable.

What we need is Moyes to accept that improvement requires better tactics, better use of the players and the need for him to change. Football is about winning, but as an Evertonian it?s still important to me that we play in a way that gives us hope for this season ? never mind the future.

Change it, Moyes. Inspire us... Inspire the team... Go on... I dare you.

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 18/10/2008 at 06:47:39

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There were very definite signs last season that we were about to climb to the next level. Even DM?s biggest critics where begining to grudgingly admit that, but we came to a point ? and I?m not quite sure when it was ? when he stopped climbing and looked down, he seemed to lose his nerve and we reverted to type.

Moyes has signed on the dotted, so there's very little point in speculating who will take us to the promised land, If we are to get there sometime soon, he has to be the one to take us. He is a very proud man and having only ever experienced hero worship, he will have been stung by the way Evertonians everywhere are suddenly voicing their disatisfaction of the way we play.

Make no mistake, Moyes has got the message. He knows the hoofball has to stop, he knows he has to start playing a more expansive game. Many people believe he is incapable of producing an exciting team... We are about to find out

My lift's here, I?m off to the game and guess what?

I really can't wait!

Mike McLEean
2   Posted 18/10/2008 at 07:33:33

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Your artcle shows you have a brain and that you don?t attempt to patronise people ... so how could you be Dodd?

I take issue with two things while agreeing with the main thrust. Why are we "better than that" and why do "we deserve better"? Aren?t these remarks indicative of the delusion that surrounds the fans? We play hoofball quite a lot because the players, by and large, are of modest ability in EPL terms. Whilst I loath it, as a professional, Moyes will be acutely aware of the limitations of his players and use his tactics accordingly. In public, of course, he "bigs them up" for PR reasons ? but the hard truth of it is, they?re an OK team which occasionally gets good results, occasionally plays decent stuff, usually gets whacked by the big 4 and can?t be expected to do a lot more. Passion is lacking and that is a crime and the players and Moyes should reflect very seriously on that.
Gary dos Santos
3   Posted 18/10/2008 at 07:31:27

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Great thread and I believe it's Moyes's transfer dealings that are of great concern. As a manager, you have to buy players and keep players that are going to fit into your game plans and coach the younger players to fit into the structure.

Look at his purchases of £30 mil over the last 2 seasons: Felllaini, Baines, Yak all very different type players and this is where you have to decide how you want to play and go purchase that type of player. Take the Arse, for example: all young quick talented players brought in and structured in their exciting way of football.

So the moral of the story is Moyes has no clue as to how he wants to play and have to agree with TM: time for change.
Brian Waring
4   Posted 18/10/2008 at 09:12:46

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Mike, "The players by and large, are of modest ability in EPL terms." Nah mate, just not having that as an exscuse for our shite tactics. How hard can it be to get a team to play the ball around where it should be, on the floor? Pienaar, Arteta, Osman. All technically good players, who can play football.You can go up the field, Saturday and Sunday, and watch amateur teams pass the ball around; if they can do it, then why can?t highly paid professionals, and a very, very highly paid manager?

Why after 6½ yrs, do we still continue to play the same dire football, under Moyes? Surely that?s long enough to get a team to gel, and play the game as it should be? Keeping the ball, and passing it round, has nothing to do with money, etc, it?s what you are supposed to coach on the training ground.

If you were to give this team to Wenger, Ferguson, even the fat spanish waiter, I would put my house and life savings on it, that within 6 months, they would have us playing football, so why can?t Moyes do it? Maybe Mike, it?s not the ability of the players that holds us back, maybe it is because Moyes is just so negative?

Ken Jackson
5   Posted 18/10/2008 at 08:58:06

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Good point Gary, there is no pattern to Moyes?s signings. Take the three you mention: Yakubu; the manager expressed surprise that he was so static. Baines; manager says he can?t include him because he lacks height. Fellaini; manager feels he either does?t run about enough or, at least, not fast enough.

Now if he had signed these players to fit into a vision of how he wanted his team to play, he would have known about their supposed faults and avoided them. In the case of the Yak, he was able ? for last season at least ? to persuade the player to ?put himself about? a bit more, but he can hardly make Baines bigger or turn Fellaini into Lyndford Christie!

He has also failed to mold ?big money? signings like Beattie, Krøldrup and Johnson into effective contributors to his preferred style of play and been forced to move them on. That, of course, is why he feels so comfortable with automatons like Neville, Jagielka and Hibbert who are just happy to clear their lines and have absolutely no vision.

The stark truth is that Moyes?s vision is exactly that of his ?shot-stopping? goalkeeper Howard, who can only stop twitching when the ball is down the other end of the field. Down there, somebody could always nick one!

Dick Fearon
6   Posted 18/10/2008 at 09:01:07

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Evertonians should be aware that hoofball is an important part of Moyes's tactics. Other than direct orders from above, I can see no reason why it has become our number one option. Many times I have said the blame for hoofball lies with the Goodison faithful. For as long as they are prepared to accept that kind of garbage they will get it. The pay-at-the-gate supporters could and should put a stop to it before we lose everything the club ever stood for. Moyes, his back room staff, the directors and the players should be made aware that hoofball is totally unacceptable. Every hoof ball should be greeted not with moans and sighs but almighty roars of BULLSHIT!
Richard Dodd
7   Posted 18/10/2008 at 10:31:09

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With all respect, Christine, David Moyes is the inspiration! I say this not out of sheer jingoism ? as you will claim ? but based on pure fact. We all accept that the players this manager has had to sign and work with are not all top notchers but he has been able to inspire an often motley crew to the heights of 4th and 5th in the table where no Everton team had been since 1988!

If the quality of football has not always been to your liking, it is purely because of the need to substitute style for efficiency and in case it has escaped you it?s points that earn money and not EVER ?classy? football.

Needs must, lass, needs must!

Brian Waring
8   Posted 18/10/2008 at 10:46:04

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Doddy, if Moyes is the ?inspiration? then why are we out of 2 cup comps at the first hurdle, 1 pt from a possible 12 at home, 2 of them home loses against those giants of the prem, Pompey and Blackburn, and a draw against the laughing stock of the prem? Why are we lying 15th in the league, and still playing dire football? One more thing, why is it that some fans have been screaming from the rooftops, that this is the best squad of players since the 80s, but then go on to call them a team of limited ability?
Richard Dodd
9   Posted 18/10/2008 at 12:35:46

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Even you should realise, Brian, that you cannot judge six and a half years of solid achievement purely on the disappointing start we have had to this season. Moyes is a builder and to re-constuct the wreck he took over will take time. The Chairman in his wisdom has provided it. A little patience is called for.
Peter Clarke
10   Posted 18/10/2008 at 13:37:32

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Good even spread of posts on here boys.
I have mentioned in previous posts that some of the players we have today are of the same class (rubbish) as players we had in the late seventies, early eighties but today they are alot fitter. Take your pick at the players I am talking about and I am sure between us all we could make a full team. We are all a bit foolish really by supporting this dross with the money they recieve and we sometime need to question our own mentality and morality by putting up with it.
The blame lies at DM's feet with Everton but at the feet of caoching standards in general for not allowing youngsters to show their individual flair.
Christine Foster
11   Posted 18/10/2008 at 17:00:53

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Well for 50mins I was really pleased with the way we played, they scored and our legs went but no subs.. too late.. again.. Arsenal deserved to win but conservative tactics cost us

A better performance for half a game, Fellini was good, Areteta wasn't. The team seems better balanced with no Neville.

Man U any one?
Andy Spence
12   Posted 18/10/2008 at 17:23:27

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Doddy >>
"it?s points that earn money and not EVER ?classy? football."

Erm...have you watched Utd or Arsenal play in the last few years??
Mark Scarratt
13   Posted 18/10/2008 at 19:53:17

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Christine, that was a good article.
The problem we now have is that the Prem league is so boring and predictable.
Take today for example.

Chelsea win 5-0 away at Boro without the following players
Cech, A Cole, J Cole, Carvalho, Deco, Essien, Drogba, Ballack.

Thats? 8 players, all of whom would walk into our side.

Man Utd won 4-0 without Brown, Scholes, Hargreaves, Tevez, Anderson, Carrick, and had Gary Neville and Nani come off the bench. Most of those would walk into our side.

The RS won 3-2 without Torres.

Arsenal were supposedly suffering from injuries, had no Gallas, and rested Walcott and still beat us 3-1.

There is a huge gap between the top 4 and the rest. We could finish anywhere between 5th and 17th as evidenced by our yo-yo last few years. Until the league come up with a way of evening things out, then this situation will only get worse.

Next week Man Utd at home. I would love us to win and kick start our season, but if I am being honest (not to be confused with negative), I fear defeat.
Steve Barr
14   Posted 19/10/2008 at 00:14:00

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To coin an old phrase "There is nothing new under the sun? . One has only to look back in history to realize that Everton always fails to build on great platforms. Everton FC has a history of building up teams of the highest calibre only to shoot itself in the foot and fail miserably to capitalize on great opportunities to build lasting dynasties.

When I started to support Everton we had just won the league in 1963, which ushered in the great Catterick era. Although we stumbled through the mid sixties, league wise, the decade culminated in what I believe was the greatest ever Everton side that won the league in 69/70. A team universally hailed as the team destined to dominate the next decade. What the hell happened?

One could argue Gordon Lee had the makings of a great team, but he was limited. We missed another opportunity to build a lasting dynasty.

We did it again in the mid 80’s with Kendall’s team, only to fail miserably, albeit with the help of LFC fans at Heysyl.

Fast forward to the Moyes era. The 90?s was a sad era, notwithstanding the FA Cup win in 1995. He builds a team that looks like it can push on, only to see it painfully evaporate in a summer of utter ineptitude.

Frankly, with the set up we have at the moment we should not expect anything more than mid table mediocrity. Although a relegation dogfight is beckoning if we don?t get our butts into gear!

The common denominator in all of this is the leadership, or lack of it. Like all great businesses, and make no mistake that is what football is today, we have lacked a great leader and visionary at the helm. We haven?t had one since Moores. Kenwright is a fan, not a leader, and this is where we have consistently failed.

I am absolutely convinced that our great club will ultimately find that leader. Don?t be too harsh on Bill. He knows it?s not him. I believe he will move over once that person materializes.

In the meantime keep all these posts coming, the positive and the negative. It?s great reading and in a weird way reassuring to know that we have a fanatical but honest bunch of fans who exercise their right to say what they feel.
Andy McNabb
15   Posted 19/10/2008 at 02:59:34

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Mark Scarratt, you have summed up the whole situation. Apart from the Sky 4, we were all running around, trying to pick up the scraps.
I?ve said it before but it still rings true. I live and Australia and can?t stand Aussie Rules but they have a system here which means any team can win their Premiership. The recent winners, Hawthorn were at the bottom a couple of seasons ago. It actually means their supporters can have a bit of hope at the start of the season.

If we have an OUTSTANDING season, it means we finish 5th. Think about it for a moment ? how sad is that? We have just become conditioned to it. That HAS to get to players and management of teams like ours and was obvious as I watched a bit of Middlesborough last night as they stood and watched Chelsea play.

I feel venting our spleen on Everton players and management is a bit like my wife slapping me round if I walk off the tennis court having lost to Nadal. The playing field is not so much not level at the moment as upside down.

I know there are huge holes in what I have said here but what I am really trying to convey is that I?m very close to losing all interest. I was born, not created, so what the heck is going on when my first question upon waking this morning was, not how did the boys get on but did Andy Murray beat Federer?
I think I have a bit of an answer ? Murray actually stood a chance of winning.

Trevor Lynes
16   Posted 19/10/2008 at 07:44:52

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When I watch football I want to be entertained... EFC have not played top quality football for years and this can date back to the Ferguson era of high balls and physical intimidation. We stopped better footballing sides from playing.... but we were awful to watch and this has continued.

I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times we have played teams off the park by using ability and not just workrate and spoiling tactics. I cannot believe that any player enjoys playing the way we do. Tactically we have disintegrated and almost all our players have lost confidence and form. Arteta is a shadow of the player he was last season: Howard is fragile, Lescott is uncertain, Osman is weak and lacks stamina, Fellaini is too slow for the pace of the Premier League.

This is not just a minor criticism ? it is a FACT! Teams around us have all improved and really strengthened their squads whilst we have not. Only Stoke play football as dire as us and the basic skills of any pro footballer ? eg, passing ability and ball control ? is alarmingly absent in our team. When I watch any other team in the Premier League, their players control and pass better than we do.

How can the likes of Yakubu enjoy playing as a lone striker? It is not his natural game. He is a goal poacher primarily and needs support ? not hoofs to the corner flags to be chased down... 'm afraid that we are serving up the worst football and I cannot see it ending without a dramatic change in tactics and personnel.

Peter Clarke
17   Posted 19/10/2008 at 14:58:18

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We were once known as the millionaires so we should not complain about other clubs having the cash to throw about as we did not care about them a few years ago. It does not look like we will win anything for a long time to come but surely we can DEMAND decent football from players who recieve massive wages. Young Jack Rodwell may be a little out of his depth at the moment but at least he tries to keep the ball down and generally finds his man. Sad thing is that if he plays alongside the other clowns much longer he will follow suit with the hoof up front.
Nick Armitage
18   Posted 19/10/2008 at 16:56:18

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Trevor Lynes ? "Tactically we have disintegrated and almost all our players have lost confidence and form" ? this week?s award for smacking the nail squarely on the head goes to you.


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