I have found myself reflecting on two recent comments from E J Ruane (a very skilled writer) and Michael Kenrick
Firstly, E J, quite rightly IMO, pointed out that there may be a dichotomy in the perception of David Moyes and the team between younger fans and a 40-something. In many ways there is some middle ground between us. As a 40-something, I agree to an extent with the view put forward by many that Moyes has brought some stability back to the club after the rollercoaster years of the perpetual threat of the relegation abyss. It is also easy to agree with the concensus view that players such as Arteta, Yakubu etc are of a greater quality than the Brett Angels of previous years
When DM arrived at the club after limited managerial success and experience at Preston, I felt he was a breath of fresh air and exactly what we needed at that time. He was hungry for the challenge that being a Premiership manager presented and refused to accept excuses for the mediocrity of the fayre that was being offered to the long-suffering faithful.
In the best traditions of "Oliver" we demanded more and DM delivered. With his wild eyes and gritty Scottish demeanour the Moyes legend was born: the Moysiah had arrived and IMWT threatened to replace NSNO in the hearts and minds of the fans
However, those of us whose birth certificates dictated that we had seen a far better team, players and quality of football were slightly more cautious and reserved our judgement. We realised that merely steading the Everton ship was not enough. The real test for Moyes would be, if he was given the time, could he build a team that could play expansive, entertaining football in the best NSNO tradition.
That leads me to Michael Kenrick's recent reply to a post about what would happen, Heaven forbid, if David Moyes left. In essence, Michael said he felt that Moyes was a "confidence trickster" and that after 6½ years at the club he should have built an ethos of passing football and not hoofball. He also alluded to DM having become on a national level a media darling whilst Evertonians have to cope with the negative, percentage, mind-numbing football. As with E J Ruane's views, I also found myself agreeing with Michael Kenrick.
So, at what point exactly did my view on Moyes change? Chelsea 2nd leg Carling Cup.
Let me briefly turn the the clock back to the mid 80s and the title winning team of Reid, Southall, Gray et al. We Evertonians are often accused of living in the past on former glories but I believe that history has much to teach us. What made that team so great ? Well, of course hyperbolic superlatives could be applied: internationals, skilful/great players etc etc etc. And their manager? Well he had already proved himself as as a successful player (unlike Moyes).
Kendall had shown the mental strength needed to win. His players knew that and they respected his judgement. I had the privilege of being at the Bayern game at Goodison. The players followed Kendal's lead on mental strength and were able to overcome setbacks and prevail. That's what a winner's mentality does.
The Chelsea game you may recall was shown live and as the game was about to kick off the cameras panned the Everton bench. At that moment I saw the apprehension on David Moyes's face. This was a defining moment for DM and the club, an opportunity for the Manager to lead by example and show that winning mentality, In my view, he failed. Coincidence or not, the players have frequently shown a lack of mental strength, capitulating far too easily on too many occasions and have been in freefall since Fiorentina. Is Moyes negativity commuting through the team? I think so. The players seem paralysed by fear. Would Moyes have had the courage that Wenger showed by allowing his young players to so fearlessly express themselves in the hostile environment of Fenerbache away ? I think not. Would Reid, Southall or Gray have accepted a manager who so readily holds up the white flag with his negative 4-5-1 tactics. No, because they wanted to win and had the courage to do so.
There is an inconvenient truth here: football is not for the faint hearted.
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1 Posted 24/10/2008 at 05:04:03
For me, the high point in DM?s tenure was a sweet free from Arteta headed in by Dunc against the Mancs on a Wednesday Night in April. There was joy that night, and I haven?t been that happy since that night. We took the game to them, and beat them with a determination that sadly we now long for.
Michael Kendrick?s point is well taken. Unfortunately like the mortgage crisis consuming the world, we have taken out a sub prime coaching mortgage and the value of the contract far outstrips the value of man.
2 Posted 24/10/2008 at 06:29:03
"Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality ? in your own mind?
3 Posted 24/10/2008 at 07:55:30
I think what the last few years have shown us is just how far we had slipped in the previous few years and what we as a club are now prepared to accept as success.
Your quite right about those of us with longer memories who have tasted that success being more sceptical, we have a right to be.
Truth of the matter is when the whistle blows its 11 vs 11 ( well depending on the ref you have) all with two feet, one head and many with oversized ego’s adn inflated wage packets.
The thing is FIFA / EPL / FA changed the rules, literally.. so we saw the end of the physical challenge, and with it the ability to compete.
Ask George Best, ask Pele..they both came up against hard players who countered skill with graft. Thats what made the gain even more exciting a contest. Thats not to say that thuggery is ok.. it isn;t. But when ypu see a player of Big Dunc being unable to challenge without "offending" then that is wrong too.
Yes times have changed and so has football, but a desire to win, to out perform a player of superior class means that the personal battles on a pitch are worth seeing.
The current Everton side is about as passionate as a wet paper bag and not as strong. There is a need for mental aggression to pyhsically compete,m, but there are no rocks in the team, just men with feet of clay who crumble in the rain.
On another thread we bemoan the lack of a Peter Reid, A Bracewell or someone with steel. I could not agree more.
Thou shall’t not pass should not mean hoofball but letting the opposition get past you. Someone should tell the midfield., We need the quality plauers but we need the ball more than we have it these days to allow them to play. We need a few dogs of war to enable the quality to shine through. They provide the platform on which a good team becomes great.
we need playmakers but we also need play stoppers. We need winners and we need to be hungry for a fight. We need a few good men to stand up adn take responsibility. Ask that in the Everton changing room and listen to the wind blow..
4 Posted 24/10/2008 at 09:18:26
Joe Mercer once wrote,’After five years they’ve heard it all so often they don’t believe a bloody word...’.I think that now applies to most Evertonians as well as the team we support!
5 Posted 24/10/2008 at 11:22:05
This is a great post, I agree with pretty much everything you say. I too was lucky enough to be at the Bayern game in 1985, and I think it was the sheer will to win that allowed us to come back from being a goal down at half time and go on to win the cup. That, as well as the talent of what were some of the best players in Europe.
This current Everton team is led by a dour, spineless man that wouldn’t be able to inspire a team of 12-year olds, let alone international footballers. His body language, choice of words and facial expressions communicate loud and clear to all that he goes into games against the ’big-3’ and Liverpool thinking we haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of winning. Hang on for 90 minutes, try to stifle them with negative tactics and a five-man midfield, and hope something turns up. It hasn’t worked for three years now and it isn’t going to work in the future, but Moyes lacks the flexibility to try anything new.
And then that joke Kenright goes and gives him a five-year contract! Five bloody years? Who gest a five-year contract in football (other than some teenage wunderkid) if you expect to motivate them to succeed?
Guess what - there’s unsold tickets for tomorrow’s game with the Mancs even now on general sale. I wonder why?
6 Posted 24/10/2008 at 11:30:32
4-5-1 is not exclusively negative. Ignoring us, Chelsea play this and are not negative. For the most part of last season Utd played this and were not negative.
In fact even including us. We played 4-5-1 for most of October to March which saw the best football that we have consistently seen for 20 years.
7 Posted 24/10/2008 at 11:51:06
I agree, there is nothing wrong with a 4-5-1 formation per se, particularly if it is one of a range of possible formations that the manager understands how and when to use. My point is more to do with Moyes’ overwhelming negativeness, and that I agree with (both) Michaels and Harry that this negativeness is communicating itself to the players and supporters both before and during the game.
Coupled with Moyes’ tactical inflexibility, his pig-headed refusal to try anything new, his 70th minute substitutions that bolt the door after the horse has bolted and his stupidly-long contract, this all adds up to games that are lost before the referee has even blown the whistle to kick the first half off.
I have nothing personal against Moyes, I believe that he has got it in him to be a great manager. He has many excellent attributes that I respect and admire him for. He could change and improve, but at present he is choosing not to.
And that breaks my heart when it damages my Everton in the process.
8 Posted 24/10/2008 at 11:36:50
However there is a great quote from a former CEO of HP "the strategies that have made us successful in the past will guarantee our failure in the future".
Therefore where I agree with you is that I dont believe he is capable of coming up with a new strategy and an alternative to 4-5-1 - without one we will fail.
I actually think that most managers are one trick ponys who have one way of managing and setting their side out - even successful managers like Wenger and Mourinho generally only play one way.
Some tricks are more successful than others and the odd truly great manager is able to reinvent themselves. Moyes trick has had its time.
By the way - refer to Moyes body language and dourness by all means but using words like "spineless" I think cheapens your point and is objectionable - he’s a decent man with limitations
9 Posted 24/10/2008 at 11:57:32
Basically with the right players it could. Based on what we have at the moment we could do this:
Neville Yobo Jags Lescott
Arteta Fellini Cahill Pienaar
10 Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:08:12
Fair point. I guess I’m just angry and disillusioned at the moment.
I’m happy to withdraw the ’spineless’ word.
11 Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:16:50
12 Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:52:37
13 Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:52:50
The players of this generation are bigger, faster, fitter, stronger, and more "colorful". It is impossible to compare the run Maradona made through all those defenders 20+ years ago with the way Ronaldo works today. Firstly, Maradona would have been hacked down about a third of the way into the run, and the game would have come to a halt for a free.
I know we all love Big Dunc, but he was a bit clumsy and the defenders he went up against were simply better than in years past. Plus, if you go back even further, there were no foreign players or players of color in the league, and if you say it was better then than now... well, that simply isn?t true.
I?m not saying the FOOTBALL is better, but the players are better. But the money corrupts and the team concept suffers. If you really believe the rules have changed to protect the players and the players respond to it, then tell that to that forward who had his leg shattered last year for Arsenal.
14 Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:56:42
How many times have you all written him - and Everton - off only to be confounded by a string of victories which puts us back near the top? I think you will get a surprise tomorrow but even if the Mancs do manage to beat us, we shall turn the corner soon. Trouble is, you?re all so miserable you?ll hate that too!
15 Posted 24/10/2008 at 13:25:14
We are the ones who actually care, hence the postings on here. Remove your blinkers man, all is not rosey in the garden, if we all buried our head in the sand and pretended that all will be well as you seem to advocate then its hardly suprising that we are getting are arses kicked week after week.
16 Posted 24/10/2008 at 13:25:03
17 Posted 24/10/2008 at 13:40:18
It will certainly be well before the KO and he’ll communicate that to the team, who will take to the pitch terrified.
18 Posted 24/10/2008 at 14:19:44
Come January Yak will move on and become yet another ’Record’ buy and striker who moves on.
That will leave Everton with Saha and the the two youngsters to rescue a season which is becoming more intolerable by the day.
Perhaps with all your inside info you could inform us idiots as to the real situation regarding the club.
Do the club get greater Govt grants towards a ground move if we go into the championship?
It won’t be long before attendances fall to under 20,000 if the club and manager continue to operate as they are doing.
19 Posted 24/10/2008 at 14:52:29
The point is, is the questioning, moaning etc more detrimental to the team than people got behind them. Particularly during the match.
Obviously people voicing their opinions here has no effect on the team and is the right place to do it.
But people not turning up, or when they do booing our own players seems to me to have a negative impact as you can see the players’ confidence go.
Especially now that Moyes has signed his new deal, he’s not going to get sacked. Therefore the most helpful thing people could do is support the team and try and help drag them out of this rut.
Although maybe people feel they can’t and that is why they are staying away?
20 Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:37:16
21 Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:54:37
I just wish to add one more point to your quote Doddy.
No manager is bigger than the club, if they believe they are, they must be replaced.
22 Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:05:37
23 Posted 24/10/2008 at 17:16:34
A couple of points.
i) If you actually took the time and effort to read my posts, you would see that I have not ’written Moyes off’ or anything of the sort. I am worried and angry about his lack of imagination and lack of flexibility. I do believe he has it in him to be great - but only if he is willing to admit (to himself, in private) that he is in the wrong about the way he is currently approaching his job and that he needs to try new ways of playing. Your response to the thread of comments on here proves to me that you are more concerned with knee-jerk responses of blind support to Moyes and Kenwright than with genuinely interacting with other fans who are voicing genuine opinions.
ii) Believe me, nothing would give me more pleasure tomorrow than a win for the Toffees against those horrible Man U gits. I take no pleasure whatsoever from Everton’s current plight, no matter what you might think or say.
iii) As Shaun Sparke says, you should remove your blinkers and actually think about our current situation. You might see that perhaps if more people were questioning Moyes and his (failing, predictable) tactics, team selections and substitutions, this might force the pig-headed man to think again and try something else.
24 Posted 24/10/2008 at 17:57:22
25 Posted 24/10/2008 at 18:16:28
26 Posted 24/10/2008 at 19:16:46
27 Posted 24/10/2008 at 18:10:03
Then, as an absolute minimum, he would be blind to the continuing frustration and despair expressed by the very people who pay his wages: Evertonians!
That, as an absolute minimum, should ask the question of whether he is the right man for the job.
28 Posted 24/10/2008 at 20:09:01
29 Posted 24/10/2008 at 20:32:33
30 Posted 24/10/2008 at 21:32:09
I not only followed them home and away during those heady days but I was also one of the 15,000 or so on a crap Saturday when we drew with Coventry 0-0. I was one of many shouting for Kendall to be sacked, the team lacked everything.
Actually it reminds me very much of todays team. Never forget you are only one game away from transformation.
31 Posted 24/10/2008 at 21:53:57
32 Posted 24/10/2008 at 23:29:56
My point being that the game in comparison is sanitised from what it used to be and I believe the pendulum has swung too far in favour of protection and as a result you have 11 less skillful players playing against 11 more expensive ones.. who's going to win? In the past we have had people who would throw themselves into a tackle for the team in an effort to win. Not now when they get a yellow card for their first tackle after three minutes for intent...
If we can?t afford the skill we use what we can, what alternative do we have? I am not saying that we need to return to the way it was in the 60s or 70s but it is a contact sport. Imagine Rugby if your couldn?t tackle, rather pointless really.
33 Posted 25/10/2008 at 23:15:25
I am a supporter of David Moyes, very much so; I am glad he has signed a new contract ? what I want the man to do is realise that we aren't up there with the big money boys and to shake himself into being the inspirator that we know he can be ? and he knows he can be. He seems to have lost his drive and vigour to fight and inspire!
We all know deep down that it must be hard for him seeing the money clubs buying all the talent in the world and buying success, and having such big squads to choose from. I firmly believe DM has got to look at himself first and foremost and realise he is more than capable of greater achievements regardless of our lack of the big lolly. I don't know wether you read these comments, DM, I hope you do!
Just a word about today's game, regarding a certain Mr "No Brains" Rooney. I was brought up in the same area of Liverpool as him, and I was absolutely appalled to see what he did today. He went off my Xmas list a long time ago anyway. As far as I'm concerned, he is the greatest traitor of all, he is not worthy of mention in any genre ? in my mind, he is a nonentity!!!