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Class of 2008

By Tony Marsh :  20/10/2008 :  Comments (99) :
The result and performance at Arsenal on Saturday was not unexpected. In fact, the outcome was the biggest banker of the weekend on the fixed-odds coupons. I know people who are making a living out of backing against Everton in games these days. Quite simply, we are not good enough for this league any more. We can argue all day about the contributing factors that have turned Moyes's team into the laughing stock of the Premier League but I look no further than the man himself: David Moyes.

In the season ending in 2004, when Moyes achieved the impossible, a 4th place finish, we stole a march on the rest of the league that year with the new 4-5-1 system DM introduced and it worked a treat for a while. Credit to Moyes for a bit of forward thinking and bringing something new to the table. After the 5-1 thrashing at Spurs on New Year's Day, though, the wheels fell off and Moyes was well and truly sussed. It was so easy to beat us after that and that's what they all did thereafter.

I think we won only four games during the remainder of the season and limped across the finishing line in a terrible state, the big points tally gained earlier seeing us home as the season fizzled out like a damp Roman candle. I sat there with my pals at games shaking my head in disbelief saying, "How the fuck have we finished fourth playing the way we do?" Moyes, with his 4-5-1 plan now exposed, needed to change things but he didn't know how. Caught like a rabbit in the headlights of an articulated lorry, Moyes stood on the touch line and froze as the games past him by.

What transpired the following season is what finally proved to me that Moyes didn't have what it takes at this level. We had a horrendous time after the Villarreal exit and teams were queueing up to thrash us.

The 5-1 Butchering in Bucharest was followed by the 4-0 hammering at West Brom who were relegated that season. A poor Villa side beat us 5-0 at their place, Blackburn dumped us out of the FA Cup at Goodison Park 4-1, and then there was that horrible night against Spurs at Goodison that still sends shivers down my spine. You know the one? Where Naysmith was brought on as a sub then taken off 20 minutes later. Had Moyes finally lost the plot? Well he went 4-5-1 again at home to an already relegated Norwich and we just about scraped a win thanks to an own goal. Another shocker for the archives. The only reason we finished 4th that year was because Liverpool were shite. End of story.

Through all of this, I still used to think to myself, "Why did David Moyes think we could beat Villarreal over two legs playing James Beattie as a lone striker?" I mean it was plain for all to see that this shit didn't work anymore... but apparently not to Moyes. We could've signed Dean Ashton and Darren Bent for the same money it cost to get Beattie in but Moyes doesn't do pace and flair does he?

With a little more desire to win and a bit more tactical nous, we would've beaten the Spaniards back then, who were nowhere near match fit. In the end, the outcome was ineviatable and the rot had well and truely set in for the coming season.

Fast forward to the present day and what do we have? Well we are still being thrashed by crap sides and we are still playing the 4-5-1 system that doesn't work. Hoofball is still high on the agenda and Moyes is still signing and resigning players not fit for the purpose. Just like the 2004-05 season, we are once again in Shit Street thanks to Dithering Dave and his crazy antics.

After the 4-1 cup exit against Blackburn in 04-05, a few of us had words with Bill Kenwright in the Joe Mercer lounge. He told us in no uncertain terms that Moyes would not be sacked. I believed him then and now I believe we can never sack Moyes. We are stuck with him even if we go down. BK can't afford to give Moyes the bullet after the contract he has just signed...

In all honesty, this Everton side is performing as bad as any I have ever seen ? including the Mike Walker and Walter Smith sides ? so going down is not as far-fetched as some of our lot think. We are a one-dimensional side with a negative manager and on current form deserve to be relegated. I mean when was the last time you seen a David Moyes side do something different out on the pitch? A new move at a corner or free kick for example. A set play from the training ground perhaps. There's nothing there at all is there? What can Moyes possibly teach the players he has under him?

Every team in the Premier League has about four or five players standing over the ball whenever a free kick is awarded. They fight each other to take the fucker... and Who do we have?.... erm, Arteta and erm .... Arteta. That's it! One player at the club; Moyes has one dead-ball artist at Everton after 7 years in the job ? it's Pathetic. As many times as Arteta tries, the first man is never beaten... yet, time and time again, we employ the same tactics... WHY??? It's not working so change it FFS!!! It's small details like these that Moyes constantly overlooks.

If the unthinkable did happen and we were relegated, does anyone think the bunch of wimps Moyes has assembled as a squad will be able to fight their way out of the Championship? Imagine Osman and Pienaar up against the battle-scared street fighters from that Division. They wouldn't stand a chance.

Now we all know that the usual suspects will come on and ask me who would I select as a manager in place of DM. Well, that scenario is irrelevant now; David Moyes is here to stay and there is nothing we can do about it. The St End can sing OH DAVEY MOYES in full knowledge that the clown prince is going nowhere.

Evertonians used to sing We Shall Not Be Moved but in reality it's DM who will not be moved. Can you really put up with five more horrible dreary years? Five more years of boom and bust Hoofball with no reward at the end of it. We deserve better than this don't we?

Reader Comments

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John O'Driscoll
1   Posted 20/10/2008 at 15:22:59

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Before the season opened I had a very substantial bet on the EPL Top Six being Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Spurs with a `saver` on Aston Villa. Well,I`ve already blown my bread but Paddy Power is offering me 9/1 against Moyes being the next manager to lose his job ? and I'm tempted! There are a lot of rumours flying about over here that an Everton takeover is imminent and Moyes may well take a pay-off on that brand new contract. Should I strike the bet?
Jay Wilson
2   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:26:00

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Quite carefully ignored last season and the season before, Tony, where we finished 5th and 6th. My god I?m so bored of Everton fans... I wish I wasn?t one... but hey we are what we are.
Anthony Hawkins
3   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:30:32

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I thought this was going to be like a car crash ? you just can?t help but look at the wreckage!!! Alas not!!

Well done, Tony Marsh, on a good article.

I?d like to point out, however, that it is not and has not been because David Moyes hasn?t had any other plans ? under the last two seasons (excluding the current), Moyes hasn?t had any alternatives because of the squad he?s had. The way the squad had to be built up, Moyes was only afforded one option. This season he has more options but unfortunately lacking the strength. Will the strength/resilience return? Who knows ? the question is who will provide that strength and resilience? Last season, Lee Carsley provided some of it along with Tim Cahill. Carsley provided the dog work and Cahill the spirit. This season we?ve lost Carsley and have no hard-solid-worker.

Along with every other Everton fan, I?m hoping someone or something provides the necessary motivation to kick start our season before it?s too late. Don?t think Man Utd will provide the opportunity ? we?ve got to look beyond that game.

How far? I don?t know but hopefully not too many games!!!!!!
Andrew Payne
4   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:42:38

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Tony, half of this article isn?t relevant. Why are you using the bad results of 3-4 years ago to justify your point? Fair enough there have been some poor results, but there have been a lot of good ones too that you have conveniently forgotten. Point taken that the team isn?t playing well at the moment and Moyes is going to have to earn every penny of his new contract to put things right, but look at the situation as it stands now and don?t cherry pick the shite moments of the last few years to criticise the manager.

And you refer to Bent and Ashton:

"We could?ve signed Dean Ashton and Darren Bent for the same money it cost to get Beattie in but Moyes doesn?t do pace and flair does he?"

Since when does "flair" apply to these two?

This article is nonsense.
Jay Harris
5   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:42:57

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Tony, it?s so hard to argue against any of the points you make especially at the moment.

I did post an article however just 12 months ago when we appeared to be flying. Carling Cup, Uefa Cup and good performance in the league but with a huge split in fanbase over Kirkby.

I called then for all fans to forget their differences and unite behind the team and believe that we were going places because, if that belief transpired from the manager through the players and supporters, we would potentially recreate another 80?s.

I said then that I could never forgive Kenwright for that but as far as that goes it was nothing to compare with the shambles this summer. We have gone from a side that was on the brink of becoming a top side again to a laughing stock that is only softened by the woes of Newcastle and Spurs. Unlike you though I firmly blame Kenwright for all his deceit and lies.

With his now infamous "watch this space" bullshit he has created a club of apathy and disillusionment of supporters, players and unfortunately the manager.

All we can hope for is new owners before the January window and then a new manager and players to save our Premier League status.
David Kiely
6   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:35:33

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Tony, I think you?re getting ahead of yourself by bringing in the spectre of relegation at this stage! But I do agree with you about the lack of flair in Moyes? sides. Whilst we?ve won with flair in a handful of games in his tenure (Villa away three seasons ago ? 3-1 I think ? was a highpoint with Arteta pulling the strings) it isn?t the type of football I want to watch. You?re dead right to highlight pace, because I think its absence has haunted us. It?s something Moyes has never addressed since being at the club. You only had to see the difference in Arsenal breaking forward as opposed to us to see what we miss out on. And I?ve never known such a toothless Everton midfield. With the exception of going hell for leather to sign Sean Davis a few years back, I dont think Moyes has ever felt the need to get bite in there.

But all that said, I still think we have to look at what goes on off the pitch to understand ultmately why Moyes has been so one dimensional in his approach to tactcs and signings, because I can remember watching his Preston side a few times and dont remember him serving up this brand of anti-football there. His net spending at Everton is ridiculously low for a team reaching 4th, 5th, 6th in this league. To achieve that I think you have to go with work ethic, a core of decent but essentially grafting players (especially those playing up front) who play week in, week out and strike up a camaraderie. It?s never usually pretty to watch, and it?s looking particularly ugly at the moment, but all told it?s been effective for us.
David Powell
7   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:48:58

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Tony, You slag of Moyes and finish with "The only reason we finished 4th that year was because Liverpool were shite. End of story."

I think considering the squad and the money we had it was a fantastic achievement and didn't a certain manager get the Manager of the Year award? The way people like you moan and belittle the players the manager the chairman and any fan who supports the above makes you sound like a bitter rs supporter.
Villarreal got to the semi finals of the CL that year, they were an excellent team and we went out because of a biased ref and bad luck. Who scored our goal in Spain? Er oh I know, a Mikel Arteta superb free kick. He is still far and away our most talented player who needs our love and support not criticism.

If, god forbid, we get relegated, I agree it would be a real mountain to climb to try and get back at the first attempt but the problem would be no Yak, Cahill, Arteta, Lescott, etc cos they will move on for sure if we go down.

The Street End and all blues sing We Shall Not Be Moved in good times and bad. Let's all get behind the lads and make sure we start climbing the table. With a turn for the better in confidence and luck we can still get a top six finish. Once a blue always a blue.

Mark Cassin
8   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:06:30

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Change the record.
Clyde McPhat
9   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:02:29

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Tony is absolutely correct in bringing the past transgressions to the forefront again... We are doomed to relive the past. The capitulation against Spurs at home a couple of years back is still vivid in my memory as the moment I knew that DM could only take us so far with his one-dimensional style. So, in no order let me present some questions for Evertonians to answer:

Do you think the Yak is best served as the front man in a 4-5-1?

Can you believe that the best we can do at right back after all these years is Tony Hibbert?

Name one single player who has been on the squad for any length of time whose game has actually improved under DM? One player... anybody. One.

Do you think the other clubs have us figured out? It must be real hard to prepare for Everton in the week ahead of the match... I can imagine being on the training ground where reserves for Man U are playing a 4-5-1 right now so United can get in a little time against the formation. And the reserves are all scratching their heads saying... "This is the single stupidest formation in the entire Western World. It will never cause trouble for the boys."

DM now has a long-term deal that will cost us boatloads of money to unload. Whole container ships. We are now stuck with him. Does anybody really and truly have faith in him that he is going to turn around our club. It has now been almost 9 months of bad football on the pitch, and horrible management off the pitch. And for this he gets a reward?

I don?t know who would be the man to replace him. I am a supporter not a magician. But the players that he has assembled are not currently winning and haven?t won since February of the previous season. These facts are not disputable.

As Tony says, the wipeout in the CL is not old news because we have just experienced the wipeout in the Uefa Cup. Don?t forget how we went out in the first round of the FA Cup last year as well.

Please, I?m begging you, stop saying we should play this guy over that guy. It doesn?t matter. The manager?s style overruns the players' style. We took two of England?s strikers and made them Championship style players. Lescott, who was on the verge of years of England appearances, is barely keeping his place in our starting 11. Yobo, who was highly rated less than 18 months ago, is on the down side. Arteta, whose injuries last year cost us dearly, seems to have recovered his fitness, but lost his abilities.

And then there is DM himself, who couldn?t do a thing during the summer before picking up Big Bird and Castillo right at the end. Castillo is already in the Per Krøldrup mold of forgottenness. And Big Bird looks like the real deal if he only cost £5 million, but £15M, really????

BK and DM have spit in our faces with the way the close, pre, and actual season have been conducted. Lies, half-truths, stumbling statements, bad choices, and a horrible beginning to the season have lent an air of despair to Everton. I don?t see us coming back from this precipice because this is no longer a short-term losing streak. This is a pattern that has developed over the last few years, and Tony March is correct to point it out. You can?t teach an old dog new tricks, and we have the fleas to prove it.

David Holroyd
10   Posted 20/10/2008 at 16:43:12

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Bit of a horror story there, Tony... so why did someone give Moyes a new contract? Nobody can't say that Moyes is not a worker. I suspect that we've all thought that his tactics were a bit dodgy but he has been playing with most of the top cards in the deck not there. We don't have the players in the squad that can hurt the top sides. Its stating the obvious but the midfield doesn't work in a 4-4-2 and sides have sussed out 4-5-1. We all want the same thing which is Everton to be challenging.
Tony Williams
11   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:29:57

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Clyde you ask for one player whose game has actually imptoved, I give you Osman, the one who was loaned out and usually a bit player mostly on the bench. I will also give you the Yak, whose allround game has improved, his touch and his movement, nothing wrong with his scoring boots.

Can?t be arsed reading the Marsh post, I expect it is how Moyes is shit and how the past was great blah blah blah, isn?t it funny how we have about 6 or 7 artiucles from Tony, yet when you look back to last season there is 1 in about 3 months.

Him and Richard Dodd are just wind ups on the opposite side of the spectrum.
Brian Waring
12   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:27:54

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That?s a good point Clyde, teams just know what to expect when the play us now, because it is so predictable. In 6½ years, you would have thought Moyes would have had different game plans, to play different teams, but he just keeps rolling out those predictable, negative tactics, hoof it up, that?s if you can actually call them tactics?
Steve Sweeney
13   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:44:53

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I cannot believe that Osman is regarded so highly by Everton Fans. The guy is skilful but he is far too small weak slow to be a top Premier League player. I just fear that this is the year of the drop. The team is not really a team at this moment and are playing shite, Howard, Hibbert, Osman, Neville should all be bench warmers, unfortunately DM has no-one else, as stated on a previous post he has known for 2 years that Carsley was going and everyone and his dog knows that Cahill cannot play in a 4-man midfield, well not for Everton anyway. I agree with Tony, we are in deep shit.
Jeff Leahey
14   Posted 20/10/2008 at 17:07:16

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Tony, pity you didn't mention the horror at Shrewsbury and really put the knife in. Days like that are unforgiveable in my eyes. Moyes tends to hide behind the fact he doesnt have the funds to really go any higher. That we?ve come this far on a shoestring budget, shite football or not I think that?s why people are willing to give him some slack. It's going to be interesting when someone comes along with a few bob to throw at it. Market forces will see Moyes go sooner than a lot of people think.

Moyes will get cash to spend soon and the paying public and new owners will be a dam well more demanding. The well worn excuses of budgets and squad size can?t be used and sadly Moyes managerial nouse will be there laid bare and the taxi will be called.

Paul Rigby
15   Posted 20/10/2008 at 18:21:12

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Another fine piece from an outstanding Evertonian. Keep it up.

Steve Guy
16   Posted 20/10/2008 at 18:38:19

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You really are loving this aren?t you Tony? The number of "articles" you have penned this season must almost number our points total. You have also pitched in big style in your responses to anyone not agreeing with your views.

This is another predictable article; save yourself the trouble in future and just copy and paste earlier diatribes; either that or change the record.
Simon Templeman
17   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:01:06

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Tony Marsh does conveniently forget the good times, however (and I know it?s early days), Moyes?s bleatings about lack of relative funding must be making Phil Brown at Hull chuckle.
James Smith
18   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:14:01

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"Does anyone think the bunch of wimps Moyes has assembled as a squad will be able to fight their way out of the Championship? Imagine Osman and Pienaar up against the battle-scared street fighters from that Division. They wouldn?t stand a chance."

That would be the Leon Osman who absolutely dominated the Championship in the dozen games he played for Derby there, and who they still sing about today?
Neil Pearse
19   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:23:18

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Tony, your enthusiasm to stick the knife into Davie at whatever violence to the truth is getting rather obvious.

You drag us through horrendeous detail of Moyes?s two worst periods in charge, separated by the throw away classic "Fast forward to the present day..."

I have some sympathy with your views on Moyes?s hoofball limitations, but this kind of farcical bias ("let?s just miss out the periods when Everton played better than most of the rest of the division...") makes your article impossible to take seriously.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:33:37

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"I cannot believe that Osman is regarded so highly by Everton Fans.
The guy is skilful but he is far too small weak slow to be a top Premier League player"

I wouldn?t say I hold hold in high regard, I simply answered a question given by Clyde, who asked for one player who has improved since Moyes was here.
David Foster
21   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:42:43

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Tony, stop moaning mate. I agree with you to a certain point about Moyes, but the bottom line is he has signed up for another 5 years and if we want rid of him it will cost the club about £15 Million. Also we are 8 games into the new season and have 30 games to turn our fortunes around. So lets get behind the team stop slagging the manager off and see what January brings us hopefully 2 or 3 quality players. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
Kevin Bennett
22   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:47:49

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Tony might have overloooked last year's achievement but his words are still relevant.

What did last year mean? No trophies and the one notable prize (Uefa Cup qualification) already banished to the history books at the first attempt.

Give me 7th or 8th playing quality ATTRACTIVE football any day if we can?t actually win anything. Instead of the crap that we have to endure week-in, week-out.
Nick Entwistle
23   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:56:42

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What has 3 seasons ago got to do with now?
Dave Jeanrenaud
24   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:44:36

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Another five minutes of my life spent reading one of your submissions that I will never get back. Cheers.

You are like a broken record. Repeating the same old shite week after week. You no doubt already have your next article penned for after we lose to United at the weekend. Just cut and paste this one, change the paragraphs around and throw in a few more insults at David Moyes and hey presto.

You have nothing constructive to offer because you do not live in the real world. You hark back to more successful times in our history but it was a different game back then. It is near on impossible to break into the top 4 without major investment that we do not have. The fact that David Moyes "fluked" it once tells you all you should need to know about what a fine manager he is.

If you were a Nottingham Forest fan you would be slagging Colin Calderwood for failing to win the European Cup. Well Cloughie did it twice so it cannot be that hard. Can it?

I?ve seen some people on here tell you to go and support that shower across the park but I would not wish you on any other team. I have got a suggestion for a team that you might want to support though. They play in royal blue at Goodison Park. Right now they need support from their fans as much as ever.

I?m not sure you have got it in you to support the team though Tony. After all you would not want to be proved wrong in front of your "pals". Much better that we lose and you can continue to pen these articles every week.
Mike Hayes
25   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:59:43

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Mark Cassin
Tony Marsh will change the record when Moyes changes his tactics and starts winning games.
Steve Guy
26   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:08:29

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Mike Hayes. Unfortunately for your theory Mr. Marsh’s track record proves you wrong I would suggest. TM is consistently critical of both DM and a host of the players in good times as well as bad. I think he may have choked on his cornflakes once a while ago but other than that has been unredeemingly negative on his comments.
Dave Wilson
27   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:00:00

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"the capitulation against Spurs is still vivid in my memory, blah blah blah "
Sounds like you?ve been bitten by the same rabid dog as Tony.
Just because you generally agree with him doesnt mean you have to agree with everything he says.

I?m assuming the way we?ve twice played them off the park on their own midden since then has conveniently faded from your memory. I mean that's a good thing and we can only talk about the bad things can't we?
Are you sure you dont want to talk about Darren Bent's FLAIR? Or maybe Dean - the only man to be outrun by Alan Stubbs - Ashtons pace?

Tony Marsh has submitted some first class articles here, but he is letting his hatred for Moyes blind him, most of this article is babble.

I want Everton to make me proud, win lose or draw. I want them to play with a bit of panache, but Moyes has signed and constant rants stating the blindingly obvious wont change that.

The way I see it is this . . . .You have two options.
You accept that your unlikely to be perched on the edge of your seat for the next 5 years, but you?ll hang in there, hoping some unexpected flashes of inspiration or something will change. Or . . . You throw your hand in, you do one

Oh, I just thought of a third option. You can hang around, poison the well and drag the rest of us down too

Richard Dodd
28   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:06:14

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Nothing will stop Tony slagging off DM in perpetuity. It?s pointless to offer a contrary view because he will just rail against it, blaspheming in the process.

What cannot be denied is that Davey has steadied the ship as no other manager in our Premier League history has managed to do. OK, Joe Royle brought us the FA Cup and there was a good case for giving him more time. But as I remember it, he walked out in disgust at the treatment he was afforded by Chairman Johnson.

So let?s imagine that Blue Bill had chosen someone else other than the devil incarnate Moyes. Nobody, including the genius Marsh, could possibly know whether that man could have been any more successful that Moyes! If Bill had emulated other chairmen we would probably have had three or four managers in the last six years and still been in 16th position today ? probably without sampling the excitement of Europe in the meantime.

Tony, we all know you hate Moyes. Don?t bore us by repeating yourself. Face the fact that he is to be our manager for the next five years at least and lend the man a little support in making Everton a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, I suspect you only glory in our defeats so that gesture is completely beyond you.

Alan Codd
29   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:16:59

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Simon Templeman, what exactly are these "good times " that you mention? What's the odds Davey boy goes with exactly the same tactics on saturday as he did against Arsenal.

Then he will stand there barking his orders and won't have the nous to make a tactical change at least not untill we concede, then he will dither for ten minutes to get Saha on all this whilst Utd bang another 1 or 2 in.

The man is a joke, the football he offers up is some of the worst Ive seen and there is nothing that will make him wake up and realise his tactics or lack of them are woefull. I can safely say that this will be my last Season ticket for at least 5 years when this prick and Billy bullshit have gone. But by then I suppose we will still be playing ale house football but in a fucking retail park in the middle of nowhere.

Steve Beck
30   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:15:41

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6½ years and no plan B, no pace, no passing and no variation in tactics. This is what has been acheived by Moyes. I know we have had some good seasons under him but this looks terminal. Saturday's game was a home banker as is any game against the Sky four. It would would be magnificent if he could turn it round but I think he's been rumbled by the rest of the league.
James Boden
31   Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:37:43

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As much as I'd like to say that Tony Marsh is talking complete and utter shite, I sadly can?t. His views are so honest and unfortunately so true. Almost 7 years and still the same one- dimensional football.

Okay, credit where it's due for thinking ahead with the 4-5-1 formation but once we started to struggle that was when it had to change but no, he had to stick with it. And 4 years on weve still got that same formation. We clearly can't hold out teams anymore.

And look at this. Since we went out to Fiorentina, our league form has been: Played 17 Won 4 Drew 5 Lost 8 Scored 20 Conceded 27 Points Total of 17.

I'm sorry but that isn't acceptable. And going back to previous games, in Moyes's defence, we were criminally robbed against Villarreal; however, Bucharest cannot be forgiven and was as shameful as it gets. Arteta still taking set pieces when 99 times of 100 misses target, if he even beats the first man.

And unfortunately Tony is right, we have a serious struggle on our hands this season; anyone who actually believes we can rally for a top 6 finish must be a closet kopite because that is way beyond us.

And indeed ?MOYES WILL NOT BE MOVED? ? Thanks for that, Kenwright, you've really made Everton Football Club proud now haven't you?

And finally on to the new ground. I'll no doubt get a slaging for this but I think we have to move grounds. Goodison Park is not fit for modern day and will eventually fall apart. And while anti-Kirkby fans will argue no one will go there. I also think that a lot of Evertonians will refuse to go the match so long as we are at Goodison, as sad as that is to say. Now we could go on about how it would rip the soul out of our football club...

But let's be honest here: Does it really matter anymore. Does being at this stadium since 1892 matter? Does Dixie Deans 60 goals really matter? Does the Golden Vision really matter? Sadly, the answer is no. History and tradition means absolutely nothing in modern terms. I hate to say it but, if Everton Football Club has to sell its soul for success let's do it.

We have to keep up with the modern day stuff, no matter how much bullshit it might be. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM is what the club was once about and i personally agree with it even if it sounds like im contradicting myself. As far as I'm concerned, Everton shouldn't be happy with 2nd best, but sadly it seems our supporters have now become satisfied with coming up short. Hopefully these things do go in cycles and 1985 is relived without Heysel to destroy us this time and then we will be up and away. COYB FTRS

Donncha Lynch
32   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:22:01

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At the weekend I sat down to watch the Premier League highlights on Irish Tv. John Giles analysed The Arsenal V Everton game and pinpointed numerous occassions where Everton Players stopped tracking back, didn?t tackle and in general showed a lack of focus/effort. It was shocking and it proved to me why we?re losing games so easily. Moyes has to totally shake things up.
Trevor Bent
33   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:37:50

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Doddy, that?s the first sane post you?ve made in two years. I agree with every word. Try and be more sensible more often!
Andy Crooks
34   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:27:34

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Richard, I don?t think that the main thrust of Tony?s article is repetitive. He has certainly reminded me of some disasters over which Moyes has presided that I had somehow wiped from my memory.

It is taken as given by pro-Moyes Evertonians that DM was a revelation compared with Walter Smith; I disagree. The impact of a new manager saved us in the season he took over. He brought spirit and self believe to the club. Tactically, however, I believe he has brought us nothing. Had Walter Smith had the same money as Moyes I honestly feel he?d have done as least a good job. I am no fan of Walter Smith but he stands up very well in any comparison with David Moyes.

4-5-1 has gone as far as it could .It is an essentially limited formation which peaked with our fourth place.

No Evertonian glorys in our defeats, Richard, but many of us feel extremely unhappy at DM?s contract. Personally, I believe that the contract is an attempt by Kenwright to stick another £18million onto the value of the club and make its sale even more unlikely. I fear that Moyes and Kenwright will bring this club to its knees.

Troy Bayliss
35   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:42:06

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I have read this article before numerous times - TM?s diary note comes out for his weekly moan. The inference now is that when we get relegated we won?t be able to get back out of the Championship. Brilliant! Just when you think it can?t get any more ridiculous, another gem comes rolling out. At least we will always be on TV when we are in the Blue Square Premiership, a big name like us will get loads of attention.
Chris Brad
36   Posted 20/10/2008 at 20:51:21

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I don't mean to nit-pick but Villa only beat us 4-0 not 5-0 in that disaster season of 2005-06. You also missed off that Bolton thrashed us as well 4-0 and at Goodison... god, we were shit that season, bit like now ? but we have better players now, or do we?
David Turner
37   Posted 20/10/2008 at 21:07:23

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Tony, I agree with quite a lot of the useful observations you make, but sometimes I think you lose them in the useless bits you throw in.

As far as I can tell, we are not the laughing stock of the Prem, that award is currently shared between Spurs and Newcastle; and I can?t agree with the current team being as bad as that under Walker. The way we're playing yeah it as bad as it was under Walter, but not Walker.

I don?t think we will go down, but I don?t think it is going to be a season to remember. You are right that Arteta seems to have dead-ball situations by default with no arguements, why Baines isn?t having more of a go at these situations I don?t know, Pienaar can take a decent corner I seem to remember.

As for Osman, I like the guy, I think he adds something to the squad, he will always give 100% and he has good skill and a good brain on him. I would never want to see him sold, but I would agree, in more physical games he can be taken out, and you may have to make the choice between him or Pienaar not both. To be honest at the moment, I would throw Arteta back onto the right hand side, play Castilo and Fellani in the middle of midfield with Pienaar on the left, with Saha and Yak up front, but that just me possibly, and either way irrelevant.

Moyes has flaws a plenty, and they are all at the moment in the forefront, he has to get things changed and sorted now. As a man I have huge respect for him, and I believe he has achieved quite a lot with Everton.

But Tony, I can?t argue, Moyes can?t make a game breaking substitution, he has gone too defensive, his brand of football is uninspiring and Arteta seems to put in one decent corner every 3 months.

I just think, sometimes, you only look at the terrible and ignore the fact the guy has done somethings in his time, that I dare say even put a smile on your face!
Craig Manderson
38   Posted 20/10/2008 at 21:51:52

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Dull, Dull, Dull. Just like the football being offered ? and neither seem like changing anytime soon.
Clyde McPhat
39   Posted 20/10/2008 at 21:23:07

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I hate to point out to the folks who keep claiming that we are yelling "Fire" in a crowded thearter, but as somebody pointed out a few posts ago, we have played 17 league games since we went out of the Uefa Cup last year and taken home a point a game, that is almost half a season?s work with a decidedly relegation like tone. And with one or two exceptions it is basically the SAME squad of players to choose from.

In all fairness, friends, why do you think we are suddenly going to get better? If it was 5-6 matches, I would tend to agree with you that we are sounding the alarm a little bit too early. But, this collapse is now getting to be a long stretch.

Here is a logical look at the rest of this calendar year....

We have 11 matches remaining before the transfer window reopens. Only 2 of the 11 are against the Sky 4. If you put those two matches aside for the moment, that leaves 27 points to be had by the end of the year. What would be a great return on those matches? I would say 6 wins, a draw and two losses would be fantastic.

Right now, it doesn't matter if the matches are home or away because our form is currently upside down, but we have Bolton, Fulham, West Ham, Boro, Wigan, Spurs, Villa, City, and Sunderland (Chelsea and Man U... both at home). That would be 19 points from 9 (figuring we are losing both Sky 4 matches... any points there are a bonus!).

Okay, I?m being logical here... I?m not bashing or having a go at anyone. From where we are right now and considering where we have been for run-in last season, and the two Cups so far this season, can you make the point that we will get 19 points from the next 11 matches.. (and really 19 from 9)? Are you at all worried that we can?t do that? Is there anything in recent games (and recent goes back a while now) that tells you we are going to break out a have a great run of games?

There is nothing more that I want then to have a decent run of games, and for us to perform at the level we showed last year in the stretch from October thru February. But, and it is a big BUT, we have basically the same players, the same formation, the same tactics, the same substitution pattern, and the same Manager that has provided us with barely a point a game in the last 17-18 games. A point a game gets us nothing but a relegation battle. Look at it with me logically.

Tony speaks from the heart, and some of you who disagree with Tony also speak from the heart. But, what CONCRETE evidence do you have that tells you we are suddenly going to turn this thing around and get 19 points out of a possible 33 by the end of the year? We have 11 matches to turn around a horrible calendar year. And I?m asking for 6 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses as a goal. That isn?t a CL pace, but in reality, that?s what we have staring at us right now. Do you think we can pull this off?

Jonny Attos
40   Posted 20/10/2008 at 22:45:10

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I?ve read all this banter between Tony and everyone else who has opposite views... it's getting boring now, massive over reaction. Seems to me Tony that you are on a crusade to oust David Moyes. I don't love Moyes myself but every game you are posting something negative about our team. Never seen you find any positive in anything. Why is there never any balance to your arguements, for every bad loss there has been some great victories. The truth lies somewhere in-between.
Laurie Cooper
41   Posted 20/10/2008 at 23:04:39

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I find it interesting that when any attempt is made by anyone on this site to question David Moyes? abilities as a Premier League manager in the current climate they are subject to the usual round of personal attacks. Okay, some of you love Mr Moyes (and probably Bill Kenwright) but, at the end of the day, the evidence is there for all to see ? Everton are in freefall at the moment and are facing the very real prospect of relegation if things don?t change and soon.

Over the past months we have seen the usual excuses offered for this situation being peddled out. They range from ?lack of funds for players?, ?uncertainty over Mr Moyes? contract?, the ?proposed move to Kirkby? (which I notice in one newspaper the other day that Moyes has used to suggest that further success at the club might not be possible for four years, presumably because of the upheaval involved in moving), not enough time for the new players to blend in and a disastrous transfer window which climaxed yet again with panic buys.

With the exception of the last couple, these issues may have played a small part in our current decline but they have neither created nor sustained it.

The problems we have are a direct result of team management, the players who have been recruited, the way the team is selected and organised both in training and on match days, and the ability of the manager to get the best out of the players he has at his disposal. I won?t bore you with statistics but, as two other posters have pointed out, Played 17 Won 4, Drew 5 Lost 8 Scored 20 Conceded 27 Points Total of 17 is not acceptable form, well, not if you want your team to remain in the Premier League. At the moment, we don?t have a proud and spirited football team, we have a bunch of dispirited lads who look as though they would rather be somewhere else.

And it is the job of the manager to sort this out and, rather than indulging in making statements to the press about team re-building, he should be analysing his whole approach and addressing our current problems. Why do I think he is not doing this? Simple. He continues to peddle the same lines to the press and he spins out the same team formation and match tactics each week. The fundamental principle of problem solving is that something has to change and I do not accept his mantra that perhaps the new players have to brought to re-energise the club and address the situation.
I believe David Moyes has to change his approach because if he doesn?t, then you can almost guarantee that we will be re-visiting the current crisis again in a couple of years only with a bunch of new faces.

To do this, he would have to firstly identify what exactly is wrong and by that I mean he would have to go back to the second Fiorentina game and ask ?what has changed since then that has led to this downward spiral?? Included in his analysis should be the issue of a seemingly unchangeable formation (4-5-1) and the negative match tactics he appears to adopt ad nauseum. And it?s all very well for fans to attack the players for indulging in ?hoofball? and for their inability to string successive passes together, but where do they learn this? This is not a phenomenon that just happens on match days. Equally, players who in March 2008 were able to string passes together and consistently break open quality teams in the EUFA Cup competition don?t just lose this ability overnight. Anyone who has played competitive sports understands the dictum that ?what you practice at training will directly influence what you do on game day? and it is this discipline that provides a sustainable basis for a team to play its football. And at the moment we are bereft of any footballing discipline on the park.

In order to sort this situation out Mr Moyes? toughest task will be in adopting a brutally honest approach to reviewing his own conduct.

He has not developed a reputation in British (and probably European) football for being tactically stubborn and intransigent for no reason.

Equally, his man-management capabilities have been subject to quite a bit of discussion and analysis by informed football commentators and columnists and assessed in less than complimentary ways. The primary evidence they use are his apparent inability to influence creative football and his insistence that his restrictive match tactics and positional plays be adhered to by all. His insistence on consistently playing players out of position doesn?t help either. The treatment of players such as James Beattie and Andrew Johnson ? whatever you may think of their respective abilities as Premier League footballers ? has also been noticed by other players and, in my view, has, and will no doubt continue to, influence the decision of players to join or not to join Mr Moyes? Everton.

And all of this is the responsibility of the manager. I?m not suggesting that he is, as one wag described him, the ?devil incarnate? but he is his own worst enemy at the moment, demonstrating a lack of flexibility and his waving of the big stick called ?squad re-building? is not exactly contributing positively to re-building team confidence. In any event, it is no use re-building if you are going to produce the same dross with new players.

My main concern at the moment is that, come the January window, if our team spirit and our standard of play has not improved markedly, the good players we do have will become unsettled to the point that they will want away from Everton.

Just a few observations about criticisms of Tony Marsh made on this thread.

Sean McKenna wrote ?Oh tony just had a thought mate, if moyes is so stupid and has no ability.etc.etc.etc.etc, why did the most respected manager in world football want him as his number 2??. If you are referring to SAF, whilst it was rumoured that he made this comment, it was subsequently formally denied by Manu club management. In any event (and I?ve asked this question of Mr Moyes? supporters in the past without getting answer), ?do you really think that Manu would risk losing Rooney by bringing in David Moyes??

In response to Richard Dodd (?Nothing will stop Tony slagging off DM in perpetuity.?) equally, nothing will stop you blindly hero-worshipping David Moyes. So I?d call it a draw between you two, Richard.

As for your comments to Tony ( ?Don?t bore us by repeating yourself. Face the fact that he is to be our manager for the next five years at least and lend the man a little support in making Everton a force to be reckoned with.?) Richard, If you really believe that David Moyes can ?make Everton a force to be reckoned with? good luck. Because the way the team and Club is heading, it could well be in the Championship. Besides, if those who are currently alienated by his approach are to get behind David Moyes, then he is going to have to start producing both good football and results.

Tony Marsh
42   Posted 21/10/2008 at 01:14:44

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Fantastic, Laurie, Just fantastic. You are my new hero, mate. I wish I could put it so eloquently.
Stephen Henrick
43   Posted 21/10/2008 at 01:50:50

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Seems to me that it?s another case of selective amnesia. Tearing your hair out when Moyes goes 4-5-1, playing hoofball, and subsequently getting knocked out of 2 European competition consecutively, while conveniently forgetting that 4-5-1 and hoofball were what that got us into Europe in the first place.
Thomas Williams
44   Posted 21/10/2008 at 01:38:01

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The top and bottom of everything that is wrong today, is the board. Instead of arguing whether Moyes, Kirkby or any players are good enough, consider this: since Walter Smith and Moyes have been in charge up to Aug 1st 2008, 11 seasons, our net spend on transfer fees is £43.5M, that is £3.9M net per season. Now, given we sold Rooney, Jeffers and Ball for £43M-ish, it means that 3 players that cost nothing have funded our whole transfer dealings net for the last 11 seasons!!

We have the smallest squad, pay the lowest wages of the estabished Prem teams, so where is the money going? Moyes has faults like all other managers, but what chance has he got spending £3.9M per season? How can you possibly progress spending that amount?

History is repeating itself from 3 years ago, we challenged the gobshites, finished above them and needed investment to push on. Nothing was forthcoming that summer either, a raft of free signings on last day of August plus some has-beens/unknowns, we finished 4th bottom and went out of Europe early; see a pattern this season after getting near to challenging them last season, the rug was pulled again, regarding finances.

Me thinks BK is a stooge, agent provocateur, failed with the finance, failed to stop Stanley Park, failed with the KIngs Dock, failed to get sponsors when NTL and Granada where throwing money around, failing with the Kirkby project? Failed in his relationships with 4 CEO?s... so I ask all of you again, what chance has any manager or players got with the board we have?

the reality is we have done very well with League 1 spending, we should really be in Championship given our spending, but have somehow managed to finish 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th. Until we start asking where has all our money gone, instead of all arguing with one another, things will remain the same. Check all transfer fees on, if you don't believe the figures.

Clyde McPhat
45   Posted 21/10/2008 at 03:30:17

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Darren... why have a go a Tony? Can you offer anything that you think will get us out of a death spiral that has been going on for over 20 matches now? Are you happy with the start of this season and the run in from last season?
Jason Lam
46   Posted 21/10/2008 at 02:59:34

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A very honest article, and excellent summary by Laurie Cooper too. Our current form is relegation material and what we need is CHANGE. Unfortunately, as many posters have already mentioned, this is completely alien to Moyes. And when you place a group of powerful and stupid people together (BK and DM) we’re heading for disaster. There’s no-one with the balls to tell them otherwise as the staff they hire are puppets, yes-men and spin-doctors. The crowd keep on hammering about the 4th place a few season back and Everton being only team to break the monopoly. Oh FFS I’ve been married, expecting a second child, and changed homes and jobs since then!

It’s a very dangerous situation we’re in when everyone thinks the Titantic will never sink. I never thought Nottingham Forest would be relegated back then, and they had won the opening game against Liverpool that season. Coughie as manager. Will Spurs be relegated this season? Of course, unless there’s CHANGE. Which sadly is more likely to happen at Spurs and Newcastle than us. Change is part and parcel of management FFS.

4-5-1 was meant to be a short-term quick-fix solution, and Moyes had a few years to acquire affordable personnel so he wouldn’t have to ALWAYS play 4-5-1. FFS even Hull have spoken out saying the need for change, to score goals other than from set-pieces. And they are fucking 3rd!

Finally I just want to add (as Laurie also mentioned) is that Moyes will kill off all our strikers. Radz, Rooney, Bent, Beattie, AJ, Yak, Saha, Vaughan, Anichebe RIP. Oh, thank God Rooney got out.
Kevin Chung
47   Posted 21/10/2008 at 03:45:01

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Since Moyes is so shite... why not we get Juan Ramos to manage Everton...
Jay Harris
48   Posted 21/10/2008 at 03:56:51

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Thomas Williams
Spot on.

When a friend once asked me how to make his Sunday league team better I told him get better players.

In the last few years in particular the squad size has been reduced to an unmanageable level and we?re expecting less than the best quality players to compete and beat the best.

OK so Hull have managed a few decent results but what other side have come up and done well in the prem without spending a bucketload of money.

Since the success of just 12 months ago we have lost McFadden, Stubbs, Fernandes, AJ and Carsley to name a few.

At the same time we had injuries to Arteta,Cahill and Pienaar and for a few weeks Osman.

Tie all that in to Everton?s reputed financial problems and it?s no wonder the team and manager are demotivated.

I actually believe Moyes is beyond the point of no return now although I hope I?m wrong but I think he?s mentally "had it" with all the bullshit from upstairs.
Derek Thomas
49   Posted 21/10/2008 at 07:44:03

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Dodd, delicate but wrong, Marsh, miserable but right.

I don’t think we will average more than a point per game for the next 7 games.

Poor form up to now and borderline relegation form from the next 7 will leave us running out of time.
Noel Kelly
50   Posted 21/10/2008 at 08:19:56

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Its a difficult one. My view is that Everton as a club - not just a team - have never adapted to the modern game. We are a club with a deep, rich history but we havent moved with the times. I have a job that sees me have meteings at both Goodison and Anfield and the LFC board room is impressive, sleek and modern - the EFC board room is like your nans living room.

We were unable to build on the fantastic years in the 80s. I know the Euro ban affected our finances and profile and ultimately led to the break up of our greatest side but its all typical Everton. We need to accept that no matter how much we love the club we will never make up the lost ground. I dont think waiting for a billionaire will do us any good either.

To be honest I'm proud that we are Everton, that we haven't lost our tradition and we can hold our own in the top division in this country. No matter what you winge about, EFC are not going down this year. We won't be getting a Uefa Cup place through the league but what good did that do us anyway ? ask the four clubs who finished below us.

We have no divine right to be challenging for anything but we need to have a reality check ? we won't be in the Champions League but at least we know who we are and where we come from. A decent top-10 finish a good run in the FA Cup, a bit more backbone against the better teams and I wil be happy (and realistic!!).

Rich Jones
51   Posted 21/10/2008 at 08:30:14

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I find it very amusing that for that few seasons, when things were going well, Tony Marsh?s name was scarcely to be seen. It can?t have been easy, waiting to unleash reminders of bad results from 4 years ago, with an up to date poor run of form.

Oh well Tony, now you can fill yer boots! But let?s be honest, this season was always going to be tough with the investment in other clubs. Now we can add to that the form of the newly promoted boys, none of whom are the pushovers we?d ahve hoped for. In fact, 2 wins and a draw against the ?new 3?, looks pretty decent compared with their other results so far!

Yes we?re having a bad run, but so will every other team in the league at some point. We?re just getting ours out of the way early...sorry for the optimism by the way! Tony, may be you can take us on another downer along with all the other panickers and ungrateful doom merchants.
Paul Gavin
52   Posted 21/10/2008 at 09:09:42

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FFS - you?ve dished out enough criticism to last me a fucking lifetime. Do me a favour, save it for the end of the season and write War and fucking Peace on the season

I want what's best for my team, but I have about the same clout as you ? which is fuckall. Rant all you want Tony, but me ? I can't be arsed reading it any more.
Ciarán McGlone
53   Posted 21/10/2008 at 09:46:18

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People are asking the relevance of results from 3 years ago...

I would’ve thought that was quite obvious..MOYES IS STILL MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES HE WAS THEN!!!!!!!!
Lee Wilson
54   Posted 21/10/2008 at 10:04:37

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Donncha Lynch, you?re spot on. Moyes needs to ?shake it up?, but sadly he doesn?t have the squad size, or ability in the sqaud to be able to ?shake it up?. Why? Because he as the Manager (calling all the shots as he mentioned when signing his new contract) has allowed the squad to be reduced to an unmanagable and grossly under strength size for a Premier League team.

It was great getting rid of ?dead-wood?, but as many people on here have said for the past couple of years this deadwood and squad numbers needed replacing - this hasn?t been done. Now, with his team of overachievers (which is what the team has done for past two seasons), now being a team of underachievers, (or being unable to compete to a level they have done) Moyes is left utterly clueless and without options to make the wholesale changes required.

Richard Harris
55   Posted 21/10/2008 at 11:20:24

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Noel Kelly wrote "I have a job that sees me have meetings at both Goodison and Anfield and the LFC board room is impressive, sleek and modern - the EFC board room is like your nan's living room".

As I?ll never get near to the boardroom then can I visit your nan?s living room so that I can pretend that I?m mixing it with the powerbrokers :0)

EJ Ruane
56   Posted 21/10/2008 at 10:25:53

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"...How much longer do we have to listen to Tennyson’s anti-Cardigan rants? I’m not saying the ENTIRE day was a success, but it’s worth remembering all the horses were given a jolly good run out and exercised thoroughly. The day’s activities also provided the opportunity to make sure all the guns were in full working order. As for so-called ’Valley of Death’, a truly picturesque place. The kind of place one might enjoy a picnic or an agreeable promenade or ramble"

Extract from ’The Charge Of The Light Brigade - A Fresh Look’ (1885) by Icahabod Alfred Laudenum Wurkhaus Dodd.
Chris Lawlor
57   Posted 21/10/2008 at 11:53:27

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The team are definitely going through bad times. Since Fiorentina at home the wheels have come off and we are shipping goals almost every time we play. This means our main attribute of having a mean defence is out the window.

Midfield as we all know is berift of strength and power, although that is supplemented by trickery and guile in the guise of Arteta (when he?s on form) and Piennarr ( when he?s available).

Up front I don't think we have a problem. The Yak will score all day as long as he recieves the service. Vaughan and Vic are also well able and now we have the added bonus of Saha who can be class on his day.

It's the overall cohesion of this team that lets us down. The average players who cannot pass a ball (Hibbo, Pip et al) and those in the team that can play a bit are not able to link and this is why we are shuddering to a halt.

I?ve always been an admirer of Moyes and I do believe he is a good manager capable of taking us further, however, he must become more adventurous and have his teams come out fighting from the off. Forget about loyalty to certain players and play those who are in form and look hungry.

We will pull out of this slump but our season is as good as over because it was all left to late to make the changes.... Ring a bell?
John Cats
58   Posted 21/10/2008 at 12:07:01

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I find it amusing when people imply that Moyes is this poor victim of the club’s inability to match just a few clubs and their spending ability. Because as far as I am aware, we are not exactly at the bottom of the league when it comes to spending money. We’re just not at the top. So can people please stop perpetuating this bullshit myth that Moyes has had no money to spend. He has spent money, and not always wisely. Or, rather, he has spent money, and has then been shown to be unable to work with the people he has brought in.
Chris Fisher
59   Posted 21/10/2008 at 12:23:20

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What a load of shit! Recently I have been agreeing with a lot of the things Mr Marsh has been saying but that was bollocks. To suggest we are no longer good enough for the Premier League is bullshit, the last few seasons show that at the very least we are a major part of this league and the fact that this campaign has hardly even got going! And by the way, Baines has been seen fighting Arteta for the free kicks lately!! And one last thing the laughing stock of the Premier League are Tottenham! Have you not been watching?!
Anthony Lamb
60   Posted 21/10/2008 at 12:01:52

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Much as it grieves me to suggest this but, when all is said and done, there is very little that supporters of the club can do to rectify the appalling situation that the club and the team find themselves in at the moment. Talk of "let?s get behind the lads", while admirable in its expression of loyalty and commitment, fails to take into account that we are not dealing with a boys? club/school team scenario here. We are talking about today?s multi-million pound industry where supporters are the very least of a club/players? concern....until......those supporters...say "no" and stop going!

Perhaps the time is coming when supporters simply have to take today?s football clubs on on their own terms. If they have made it into a rutheless business and we are seen as nothing more than "punters" (to coin Sammy Lee?s horrible first use of the word to describe supporters) then what your "business" is serving up to us is not acceptable, thank you very much, and until you respect us enough by showing us some evidence that you take your responsibilities seriously, ie, show us some obvious evidence of work, commitment, tactical ingenuity, skill development etc in order to entertain us when you come before us on match day, we will simply stop coming.

As I say, as an Evertonian of 55 years standing, it grieves me to suggest this but such is the parlous state of the club at the present that I feel it may well come to be the only option open to supporters in making it clear to the management at all levels and the players themselves that what they are "producing" is simply not good enough and so we will spend our £35+ in other ways that do not bring on the onset of premature heart conditions etc.

As my son said to me when walking down Spellow Lane after a game last season, "Well, dad, what other industry can just take in over £1 million at an event and not have one person go home happy as a result?!" Even Everton, who must have the very worst public relations set-up in football history, would take notice of the very "shocking" impact that that withdrawal of support would make on the club?s current decline and perhaps inject some degree of urgency into seeking appropriate remedies?

And one final point! All this talk about having no money to spend on players etc. We have just spent £15 million on Fellaini. No disrespect to the young man because he himself did not charge the fee etc. But in the current state of the team and the last-minute nature of the signing etc it reflects the shambles that must exist behind the scenes.

In our current state for £15 million you want and need a player of obvious impact. Examples from history? 1958/9 when we lost the first six games of the season. We paid a lot of money for the great Bobby Collins from Celtic nobody spoke of him needing to "bed in" etc ? it was clear to a blind man that here was the player to galvanise the team. 1966/7 we paid a lot of money for Alan Ball who even in a 1-2 first home defeat to Utd showed that here was the player to galvanise the team.

I fear that if David Moyes continues to bemoan the lack of funds etc then you have to be very careful with how you spend the limited funds you have and I fear that this signing may well prove to be a millstone around Mr Moyes?s and the young man?s neck for some time to come.

Chris Perry
61   Posted 21/10/2008 at 12:45:14

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I agree with Tony Marsh on this well written and justified " rant" as some people put it.

The facts:
7 years in charge and no silverware; yes, we got into a CL position and blew it; yes, we qualified for Europe but go knocked out; we got to the Carling Cup semi and got knocked out.

If we look for improvement then you do not expect one good year followed by a poor year. We have not improved under Moyes to anywhere the standard we should have; other clubs have faired equally but decided enough is enough with their club management.

If we look at Moyes's argument that we do not have the money other clubs have, then consider the key transfers under Moyes and rate them either flop,hit or jury out!

Howard - Jury out
Yobo - Hit
Jagielka - jury out
Lescott - hit
Baines - Jury out
Valente - flop
Peanuts - jury out
Arteta - hit
Felliani - Jury out
Saha - jury out
Yakubu - hit
Kilbane - flop
Beattie - flop
Danish defender - Flop.
Cahill - hit

5 hits
6 Hury out
4 flops

I am afraid at this level Moyes has not got it, Kenwright is an ego-merchant and if the stories about him turning Lerner down are correct, then he also does not have the interest of Everton at heart.

Ste Dunne
62   Posted 21/10/2008 at 13:20:56

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Note to E J Ruane;

Genius my friend.
Monty Carlo
63   Posted 21/10/2008 at 13:04:19

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I have read articles from Tony Marsh many times in the past but never once felt strongly enough to respond. Funnily enough (and I am seeing this more and more often with other posters), when I first started reading them I was at the polar opposite of Tony as I seemed to disagree with most of what he had to say.

But this season? Well I agree about his evaluation of the implosion of plan (a) 4-5-1. It’s over. We need a plan (b), (and nothing written in ye olde englishe). And I agree with the plea for an end to hoofball (in any formation), but I will add that I would put up with hoofball for a while if it was winning us games...

I also agree with the observation about the lack of variation at set pieces - although this is not the cause of any of our problems, it does indicate a staleness at training and a fixed way of thinking (what the hell is Steve Round supposed to be doing for us anyway?). How obvious is it for a a left-footed player to take some free-kicks or corners when appropriate?

I am not yet at the point of considering relegation but I may be convinced at Christmas
Ben Jones
64   Posted 21/10/2008 at 13:47:10

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I gotta admit, some of that article is very good. You have some points about one-dimensional tactics and the fact we don?t really have no deadball specialists.

But still, some of it was shocking!! Like the way you referred to all of our bad results over the years, when there were clearly good ones too!! 7-1 at Sunderland? 3-0 against Liverpool? There are more...
Peter Lynch
65   Posted 21/10/2008 at 13:34:01

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I’ll give you this, your opinions certainly inspire response.

I felt compelled to write (having read your last 3 blogs) because you either; a) clearly misunderstand modern football or b) just hate David Moyes. Your revisionist (you might have to look that up in the dictionary) analysis of the past 3 years is hilarious.

To say we’re no better than under Mike Walker or (even funnier) Walter Smith encapsulates your lack of knowledge.

Let me give you some facts:

1. Everton (as much as it pains me) is no longer a big club. (As used to be Top Five of Everton, RS, Man U, Arsenal and Spurs - now usurped by the Sky 4)

2. This is, in part, owing to the fact that it’s a commercial shambles - witness no city centre store, no merchandising anywhere other than outside Goodison as far as I’m aware, asset stripping since the days of Peter Johnson and most critically, absolutely no foresight whatsoever.

3. Therefore it can’t attract, nor afford, the best players in the UK, let alone Europe/Worldwide

4. You’re then left to analyse the current squad as against the Smith/Walker/Kendall (in this 3rd incarnation) squads. I’ll give you just a few comparisons which should ensure your face turns crimson.

Earl Barrett vs Joleon Lescott
Brett Angell vs Yakubu
Graham Stuart vs Mikel Arteta
Preki (remember him?) vs Leon Osman

I could go on ..... and on!

I think I’ve made my point.

Peter Lynch

James Marshall
66   Posted 21/10/2008 at 14:39:09

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What Peter said.

Can we close this now please Ed?
Neil Styles
67   Posted 21/10/2008 at 15:14:24

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Tony who would you like to see brought in to replace DM?
Just curious.
Neil Pearse
68   Posted 21/10/2008 at 16:44:10

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Chris Perry - I think almost the last thing Moyes can be criticised for is transfer dealings - tactics would certainly come first, fight and motivation would come second in my book.

I can’t agree with you on not putting at least Jagielka and Pienaar in as ’hits’ (especially given their prices), and even Valente too. This would put Moyes miles ahead of most other Prem managers in terms of getting value out of his transfer dealings.

Remember, even Wenger bought Jeffers and Ferguson bought Djemba-Djemba. And as for Benitez, quite where would you start? Not to mention repetitive fiascos at Tottenham and Newcastle. Perhaps, again, only Martin O’Neil just might be a clear winner over Moyes in this regard.

Credit where credit is due. Moyes has done pretty well in the transfer market. The problem in many cases is what he does with them when gets them on the pitch...
Christopher Mowll
69   Posted 21/10/2008 at 17:37:29

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Neil Styles- Tony won?t answer this question. In his last rant - which was pretty similar to this one, but with a different title slapped on it, Tony said ?that talk was for the playground?.

Well for me this article is for the toilet, for me to wipe my arse on - again.

Bored of you Tony -
Damian Kelly
70   Posted 21/10/2008 at 18:00:57

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How often has Marsh ranted about people banging on about finishing 4th because it was years ago and therefore no longer relevant.

He then hypocritically bases the majority of an article on the bad stuff that happened several seasons ago.

If Moyes reign has shown us anything it is that there are enough relative highs and lows to selectively justify any previously decided viewpoint - this article adds nothing new.
Steve Ashton
71   Posted 21/10/2008 at 18:38:28

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Richard Harris - shouldn’t that be PAWNbrokers!
Steve Jones
72   Posted 21/10/2008 at 18:59:02

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I am happy with the way Tony Marsh tells it. I cannot disagree with him. I am sorry I cannot offer more than this. I am a sad Evertonian.
Tony Marsh
73   Posted 21/10/2008 at 19:23:03

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Niel Styles, you ask who would I appoint in place of Moyes. Well that question was put to me a few years back and at the time the names I thought were available and get able were O'Neill, Hughes, and Rednapp. Now we all know what's happened dont we?

Clubs and chairmen with more ambition than our own have snapped them up so now its to late, especially with the bumper bonus pay rise Bill just given Dave. To be honest I think most mangers out there would give Moyes a run for his money these days. Davey Boys aura has crumbled away and all we are left with is a shell of a man.

Personally I liked Martin Jol when he was at Spurs. Lennon, Defoe, Berbatov, Bent, Keane, Robinson, he was putting a great side together who knew how to play football when the men up stairs forced him out. I would take Jol in a heartbeat right now.
Christopher Mowll
74   Posted 21/10/2008 at 19:51:04

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Well done for answering the question Tony That?s a first. Here is an extract from a Spurs supporters website regarding Jol:

?With consecutive 5th place finishes, and coming within a whisker of the Champion’s League, he raised hopes and expectations and ultimately became a victim of his own success. He didn’t crack the top 4. He didn’t win anything. But he came so close, and in each of his seasons in charge, we had something to play for, right until the end of the season.

After that, we expect more. We demand it. A bad start to the season saw the big Dutchman out of a job. Everyone seemed to forget we’d been crap for years before BMJ came along. Suddenly, we should be in the Champions League. Anything less would be underachieving?..?

Sound Familiar?

And as for their records head to head:

G W D L Win %
Jol 148 67 38 43 45.27
Moyes 283 118 65 100 41.69

Not much in it is there?

And you must agree, Spurs made a huge mistake sacking Jol. Should we follow suit and sack Moyes?
David Turner
75   Posted 21/10/2008 at 20:02:51

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General question.

In English football, exactly what have Redknapp, Jol, O’Neil and Hughes won trophy wise individually and between them?

Off the top of my head I get the feeling O’Neil has won something but I can’t remember what.
Steve Ashton
76   Posted 21/10/2008 at 20:22:13

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David - that is a great question - O’Neil won the League Cup with Leicester.

There are two things that concern me, firstly, in our last ten games against the teams that finished above us last season we have only managed one draw and 9 losses. That in itself is a condeming stat if we are supposed to be ’bridging the gap’

Secondly, I watched Newcastle last night and Kinnear has got them playing for each other and believing they can turn things around he also made a couple of really astute tactical subs and for long periods in the second half they passed the ball well inspite of being a man down.

Point is we have done very litte of any of those things this season, we’ve no fight, no belief and certainly little of the football we showed in the second half of last season - Saturday was awful kick it as far as you can and see if you can hit Felliani on the head.

I believe that Moyes will turn it around and you have to say that the problems on the pitch are just the public evidence that the club is in the mire behind the scenes.

I mean if you are trying to sell the club (and we all know BB is on the case 24/7) I would have thought that the last thing you would do is give a 5 year contract to a manager who has taken you to 16th in the division.

But Moyes has not become a bad manager over night and now that the contract is signed hopefully normal service will be resumed, especially at the back.
Nick Armitage
77   Posted 21/10/2008 at 21:12:58

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I wish Everton would sack Moyes, not because I want him sacked, just so people like Tony Marsh would shut the fuck up.
Guy McEvoy
78   Posted 21/10/2008 at 21:15:31

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Christopher Mowll - Fantastic Challenge to Tony Marsh.

Tony Marsh - respond to him!
Tony Marsh
79   Posted 21/10/2008 at 21:50:10

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Christopher, I have long accepted the fact we won't win anything the way football has gone these days but what I do want to see is a decent standard of football being played by my team. Please don't say the way Jol's teams played and the way the David Moyes sides perform are the same.

Jol was still building up Spurs and they played lovely football every time I ever saw them.

When did Moyes ever send a team out loaded with pacey attack-minded players. How about the Berbatov find by Jol. What was it £7 million and later sold for £30 million. Beat that Davey Boy.
Tony Marsh
80   Posted 21/10/2008 at 21:57:28

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David Turner, O'Neill and Hughes won European Cups and League titles and Hughes won a Spanish title and Cup while at Barca. O'Neill took a small club like Wycombe up through the leagues from non league. Later in his carrer O'Neill got Liecster City promoted and won a League Cup. Harry Rednapp has produced half the current England side while at West Ham and lifted the FA cup last season. Is that enough for you or what? FFS WHAT'S MOYES EVER DONE???
Clyde McPhat
81   Posted 21/10/2008 at 23:35:50

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I was never a TM supporter, but I was a DM supporter for years. But, Davey?s ability to turn an England Striker into a dog chasing a fire engine down the street is what has turned me against him. 4-5-1 when you don?t have any talent can win you games because the opposition is lulled to sleep the first couple of times you see it. By the 6th year, the players on the squad that players the 4-5-1 are asleep. I used to be a Tony basher, and in fact MK banned me for awhire, but I see we have Nicky Boy weighing in against Tony now. But Tony speaks from the heart and he speaks the truth. We aren?t any good and we have a legintimate shot of going down. If you can?t see that, then get yourself a map of all the Championship grounds... because you are going to need it for next year. And then we?ll never recover.
Eric Holland
82   Posted 21/10/2008 at 23:08:18

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Hang on there Tony.

Moyes gave us 4-5-1 and hoofball, you gotta give him some credit for that.
Sean Condon
83   Posted 22/10/2008 at 02:29:17

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There is no question that we were the worst team ever to finish as high as 4th in the Premier League.
David Turner
84   Posted 22/10/2008 at 02:50:56

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Tony calm down, I was asking as a general question, don’t read more into it than that, I am sorry, but I ain’t a box of footballing knowledge that I know every managers list of achievements. I stick with pretty much having some clue on are own. Must admit I didn’t even remember Portsmouth won the FA cup last season.

So all Hughes were as a player too, makes sense.

Cheers, as I said, I just wondered.
Sean Condon
85   Posted 22/10/2008 at 04:06:43

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...But right now I could care less, because in March or April I will be travelling many thousands of miles to see Goodison for one last time, and the first time since Christmas ’86.
I can’t wait. Who knows, maybe i’ll be there just in time to see us scrape the ugly one-nil against City or Wigan that will ensure PL survival for another year. Ha!
Sean Condon
86   Posted 22/10/2008 at 04:13:11

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I’m so close to being a Tony Marshite. It’s just too fucking hard to disagree with him these days. Where would I start? Moyes has clearly lost the plot, and some lukewarm revival that sees us finish 11th isn’t going to change that one iota.
Damien Kennedy
87   Posted 22/10/2008 at 09:33:08

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I am so sorry I didn't get onto this thread from TONY FROM MARS earlier. But to be honest I am sick of your negativity about David Moyes and Everton that the very sight of your name makes me nauseous. We can all bring up dissappointing defeasts from 3/4 years ago. You really lost a grip on reality a long time ago Mars Bar Boy. The facts are David Moyes has turned this club around, with a fraction of the resources of the so called bigger clubs, it has not been easy and not without its obstacles and rough periods, but the fact is we finished 6th, then 5th in the last 2 seasons, we have seen European football again, granted sporadically so far, for the first time in 10 years. So talk some sense go back to smoking your abusive substance, its dulling your brain..........
Christopher Mowll
88   Posted 22/10/2008 at 10:35:32

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Tony - I accept your comments about our poor quality of football - but as I point out Jol and Moyes’ records are very similar. You seem blinkered into thinking that Jols sides were all out attack? Goals per game stats show Jol is 0.45 goals per game, and Moyes is 0.41 goals per game. Does this mean if we played prettier football, but achieved the same results you would be happy? ? because we are getting the same results.

Referring back to my post ? Moyes has raised the bar, we expect more and deserve more, but don?t keep damning the man who raised our expectations. The grass isn?t always greener as they say ? Ramos anyone?
Joey Dela
89   Posted 22/10/2008 at 11:17:11

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Tony, I agree with everthing you post on here, DM was a Championship manager & in desperation we grabbed him under the advice of Walrter Smith, whose football was also boring! I heard a debate on radio Merseyside a few years ago on EFC holdings & the rift betwenn BK & Paul Gregg it was stated then that Paul Gregg wanted Moyes out when we finished 17th. You kindly did not mention that appaling season. Bill Kenwrong is killing our club & if he pushes destination Kirkby through that will be the final nail in the history of our great club! To award DM with a five year £65k contract after all the stalling when we are skint according to BK ? is this the Everton way????????
Damian Wilde
90   Posted 22/10/2008 at 12:25:13

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You make some good points, but you are just too extreme. I agree with a lot of what you said in your article, there are a lot of negatives. The problem with you, Tony, is that you only ever concentrate on the negatives and ignore any positives. You completely ignored the 6th and 5th place finishes and the decent cup runs from last season. You also said that the only reason Everton finished 4th was because Liverpool were shite. Does that mean the only reason Man U finished 3rd was because Everton were shite? You?re being ridiculous. Could it perhaps be that Everton finished 4th because they played well at times and accumulated enough points, etc.??? Okay they faltered, but there were some good performances. I think you should take a look into ?locus of control? Tony.

The problem with you Tony (you said this in another article) is that if we don?t win the league the manager is shite. I think you need to wake up ? Man U, Arsenal are years ahead, they are the sides that will win leagues. 5th may seem shite but I?m afraid that?s the best we can hope for, Moyes?s fault? I don?t think so. You think a replacement will suddenly do the double Tony, ye?? FFS. Get your head out of the 80s Tony.

Oh Tony, which clubs did O?Neill and Hughes manage that won European Cups?? David Turner was asking what they have won as managers, ffs! Basically fuck all, that?s why you thought you?d put down their achievements as players to make it look good. Stick to the facts Tony.

Oh, you also mention that HR is responsible for most of the England team, etc. So it?s just HR alone, no other people could poss. have influenced them; other coaches, managers??? Okay, that means Davey Boy is responsible for one of England?s best players, Rooney, right?

Calm down a bit Tony, present ALL of the facts and people might listen to you more.

Oh, Jay Harris, there was a murder not too far from where I live recently, did Kenwright do it? Probably he?s responsible for everything else, right?

Laurie, people don?t mind Moyes being questioned, etc. but it annoys people when only certain facts are presented and others are ignored

And as for relegation, I think people are catastrophizing, the sort of people who when they bang their leg think it?s broken. We?re not going to do well, probably finish 13th or something. We are shite at the mo, but not that shite. We?ll lose to Man U because we always do as they are much better than us and after that we need to start getting some points on board.

Tony Hart
91   Posted 22/10/2008 at 12:55:52

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Regarding comment about set plays and Arteta the only one involved. Why doesn?t Leighton Baines take free kicks from the right hand side of the pitch? He used to have a a powerful left foot shot.
Anthony Hawkins
92   Posted 22/10/2008 at 13:39:10

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OK, all of a sudden I?m regretting saying I agreed with Tony M.....
Stefan Tosev
93   Posted 22/10/2008 at 13:13:04

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Berbatov was bought for 11m GBP and in fact Everton were linked to him and eveyn made an inquiry but were put off by the price. You know money are missing at GP...

I see now that Hughes, Redknapp and O’Neil are your first choices, what about yor previos flavour of the moment let me remind you:
"...Mike Newell or a Peter Taylor or even Dave Watson?" not to forget Steve Coppell. The one and the only time you were challenged to name your team you came only with 10 players, you see its not like FM the real world but keep trying you have your 5min of fame use it...
EJ Ruane
94   Posted 22/10/2008 at 15:32:50

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Jesus Damian, that’s a VERY long-winded way of saying..

"Tony you’re right but I hate to admit it so....I won’t"
Damien Kennedy
95   Posted 22/10/2008 at 16:16:27

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EJ - that is not what Damian is saying at all, he is saying that Tony ’pot smoking’ Marsh is a completely negative, Moyes hating individual, who only highlights the bad things that have happened at times over the last 6 years. And forgets just how bad we were prior to Moyes’s arrival.
Clyde McPhat
96   Posted 22/10/2008 at 15:54:14

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Before everyone runs out of steam on this latest TM post, let?s get everyone to agree that the next two months are crucial to the survival of Everton as a Premier League Club. We have on-field and off-field happenings that certainly will go along way to that end. There are 11 matches before New Year?s Day, and a meeting that may decide the new stadium proposal. We need points (19 points is a fair return) and we need an answer one way or the other on Kirkby. We are out on a precipice, and the footing isn?t that solid. A stiff breeze and we fall. And like a lot of proud clubs, we might not make it back for a long time. I think we should call a halt to the arguments until New Year?s, and then see where we are. Does anyone agree?
EJ Ruane
97   Posted 22/10/2008 at 17:39:49

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Damien Kennedy, you read it your way, I?ll read it mine.

Any post that, in the first paragraph, says "You make some good points" and "I agree with a lot of what you said in your article" - then spends another 356 paragraphs calling the writer ?negative? is in my opinion doing EXACTLY that.

And remember, one man?s negative is another man?s realistic.
David Turner
98   Posted 23/10/2008 at 12:42:46

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Tony Marsh - To be honest I wasn?t going to defend Moyes on this thread, but sod it, since my question asking over other managers achievements got me yelled at!

Moyes? record at Preston where he started his managerial career is impressive.

Taking over he saved them from relegation in the now League one. Took them to the Playoffs the next season, the season after they took the title. Following that up with going straight to the Play Offs in the Championship where they lost in the final in Moyes?s only season there.

That is impressive for a start out manager.

Moving to take over from Walter, Moyes at Everton has taken two LMA Manager of the Year awards and rightly so. Again he took a relegation threatened team, and took them higher. No one can argue that. And the season we did finish fourth happened to be the one where we lost a certain Wayne Rooney just before the start and had Marcus Bent as his and Radzinski?s replacement, with a certain Tim Cahill.

Yes the second half of that season was shocking but a season is over its length not its bad parts.

To say Moyes is a Championship level manager is totally off. He isn?t, he is a good standard Prem manager. At the end of the day, it is down to money, clubs want to stay in the Prem and Moyes does that, albeit by the skin of his teeth on the odd occasion. Still nothing under Moyes was the same as a few last-day rescues we had in the past.

The question is, for me, if Moyes has what it takes to be a winner at the top level. Not just a plucky start up. And whether he can address the faults that are quite apparently to us all. I scream regularly about the fact we hoof it to nowhere, never seem to get the second ball, and often seem like we don?t have a clue when we are a goal up. The fact he can?t change a game with a killer substitution often (he can sometimes). I long for days where we play like we did at Man City away last season, or when we took apart Sunderland. Moyes can do it, the fact is, he's too cautious and doesn?t go for that side of the game that we all know we can play.

The managers you mentioned earlier. O?Neill no one would complain at any team as their manager. The guy is quality top draw. Hughes I am undecided on; I see him as being very similar to Moyes as a Manager. Yes, as you pointed out, he won a hell of a lot as a player, but as a manager, he is still proving himself, and I personally, if the choice had to be made one day, would prefer Keane over Hughes. The other one to throw in is Steve Bruce who is doing very well with Wigan, and they are great to watch into the bargin. Lastly, Jol, I liked the guy as a man but we don?t have the money for him to make it successful in the Prem and Redknapp, I just can?t stand, decent manager, but you mention his West Ham days and the youth players he brought through. Is that down to him or the other backroom staff? I don?t see Portsmouth being full of young exciting talent he has brought through?

All this manager talk is fun but useless, Moyes ain?t going anywhere, but should fans put up with what is going on? That is a hard one, I think he deserves a lot if not all the flak he gets. I for one, seeing as we realistically have Moyes for at least another 2 or 3 years, just hope that at some point he gets his head out of his journeyman centre-back arse and plays the way we did on those days at Man City etc. Will it happen? I don?t know, but if it did, I could see him winning silverware, if it doesn?t, well, mid-table is our place.

So Tony, those are my views... maybe I am a Moyes Apologist as the phrase seems to be, but to be honest, I don?t think I am.
Stefan Tosev
99   Posted 24/10/2008 at 00:31:42

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Michael used to give out "Post of the day" comment and I think you deserved with your responce - by far the most logical and well though of all thread

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