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Moyes: What the Stats Say

By Stuart Reid :  24/10/2008 :  Comments (31) :

In the ongoing debate about the ability of David Moyes, I am never entirely sure what my opinion should be. When I watch Everton play (admittedly on television as I cannot attend matches) I often find myself decrying several things: the total inability of Phil Neville to play in midfield, the total inability of Tony Hibbert to play football at all, our defenders hoofing it instead of passing it and so on. David Moyes does make some strange decisions, that is for sure, and our style of play leaves much to be desired.

On the other hand, looking at where we were under Walter Smith and the squad he left compared to now it seems rather foolish to think we should sack Moyes. Yes, he has spent a bit of money but most of this has been earned through league position bonuses and European qualification. And every manager makes strange decisions (as a Scot I watched Kris Boyd being overlooked for Iwelumo ? oh, that miss!). Even the best managers have favourites that are picked ahead of others; for example, does anyone other than Arsene Wenger think that Eboue is any good? How does Darren Fletcher get a game at Man U? More to the point, how did Phil Neville?

As I was so undecided I thought I would take an unbiased look at the stats. The figures for Moyes I have taken from the official league tables. The stats for other managers admittedly come from Wikipedia so anyone with the inclination might wish to check them more thoroughly.

At first glance it looks pretty good. The last two seasons have seen two top-six finishes, one of them with more points than our Champions? League qualification season, and during both of them we have had the best goal difference outside the top 4. Not bad for a negative, defensive team. Moyes has delivered top ten finishes in four of his six seasons, something that had only previously happened to Everton once in ten years of Premier League football. All in all, undeniable progress and pretty good results.

Taking into account the league results in Moyes? six full seasons plus the beginning of this season and the end of the 2001-02 season, he has a win rate of exactly 40%. This rises to 41.69% when you consider results in all competitions. He has a career win rate of 44.7%.

So how does this compare to his peers and other high profile bosses? Let?s get the ludicrous one out of the way first ? Jose Mourinho. For those who doubt how good he is, which includes myself, his win rate at both Porto and Chelsea was 70.8%. He has a career win rate of 68.89%. Sir Alex Ferguson has a record of 57.94% at Manchester United, 56.77% for his career. Arsene Wenger?s record is 57.35% at Arsenal and 52.93% for his career while Rafa Benitez has won 56.97% of matches at Liverpool.

Of course, the differences between these clubs and Everton in resources and international reputation (important for attracting players) makes it unreasonable to put Moyes? record against these managers?. With the quality of players available to him he could not be expected to match them. So what about the managers of other clubs?

Newcastle could be considered a comparable club. Unfortunately they don?t keep managers long enough for any accurate comparison to be made. But we?ll take Kevin Keegan?s record. His career win rate is 50.8%. Obviously this covers the periods in charge of Newcastle when they were a top club, and at Fulham when they were spending Premier League money in the lower leagues. I?m not convinced Keegan?s record tells us anything at all. On one hand his teams certainly play exciting and attractive football but on the other hand he would probably have struggled to work within Moyes? financial constraints.

Phil Brown has been mentioned by fans on this site following Hull?s promising start. Things have gone well for him there and his win rate at Hull is 44.44%. However his short and unsuccessful stint at Derby (21.2%) and a few games as caretaker at Bolton (an impressive four wins and a draw from five games) make his career win rate 39.8%.

Steve Bruce has a win rate at Wigan of 37.14%. His career rate of 38.4% has been achieved in part at a lower league level and has included promotion and relegation seasons. He has arguably not managed any clubs at Everton?s level but did have a fair amount of money at Birmingham.

The three managers in the Premier League that I believe make the best comparison to Moyes are Mark Hughes, Martin O?Neill and Harry Redknapp. All manage clubs at roughly the same level as us with reasonably similar resources.

Hughes has a win rate of 70% at Man City but his Blackburn figure of 43.61% is probably more relevant. His career figure of 44.94% is very similar to that of Moyes. Harry Redknapp?s win rate at Portsmouth of 42.98% is remarkably similar as well, though his career figure drops to 38.47%. Martin O?Neill has a win rate at Villa of 38.7%, though winning three-quarters of his matches at Celtic gives him a healthy total of 54.10%. (To give an idea of the difficulty of achieving this, Gordon Strachan has figures of 32.55% at Coventry, 35.45% at Southampton but a mammoth 67.62% at Celtic.)

People can and probably should draw their own conclusions from all this but for what it?s worth here are mine. The figures for the most comparable managers are very similar and probably indicate that they have similar levels of ability. Harry Redknapp?s huge experience is probably a crucial factor in his success at Portsmouth, and he clearly is very good at getting players to want to sign for him. Perhaps he is more decisive than Moyes in transfers? As for the others their performances match up well.

This shows that Moyes is not statistically inferior to these other managers, but nor is he as critical to the club as Kenwright feels he is. The Moyesiah is just Moyes. He is no better or worse than many others, so is the shite football really worth it? If he could just work out what went right in the good seasons and wrong in the bad seasons he would be on to a winner.

The statistics also raise the interesting possibility that the 45% win rate mark is as high as it is possible to go unless you are the boss of a Sky 4 club.

Reader Comments

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Darren White
1   Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:19:14

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intersting reading those stats, they seem to reflect the spending power of the clubs as much as the tallent of any managers in particular.

However bit harsh I feel on the style of play, when fit and one their game this team does play some cracking stuff, lest we not forget some of nights in europe and the way we battered teams at times last year. We just dont have the bodies to sustain it when the going gets tough over the course of a season (ran out of steam last year) or if we have bad luck with personell being available (like the start of this year and last year)

Stats would no doubt back up that we win more when we have a fit team and when we win more we are more confident and therefore we play some of that good "on the floor type stuff" that we saw last year.

I know we aint arsenal but it isnt all that bad.
Dave Lynch
2   Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:34:33

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" We win more when we have a fit team and when we win more we are more confident."
No shit Sherlock !
That. "On the floor stuff."
Was only played in a handfull of games as far as i can remember. The rest of the time it was route one as usual. No we are not Arsenal and yes it is that bad.
Benji Learman
3   Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:22:57

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The same resources as pompey and city? Pourtsmouth have a lot more money than us, and are you forgetting city being takenover? Robinho? Ring any bells? As many other evertonians, well, all of them, i am very dissapointed to the start of this season, and i dont think anyone can say, that if you were asked at the end of last season were would you see us being at this present time... you would not even dream of being knocked out of the 3rd round of the carling cup, lying 16th in the premier league and being knocked out of the uefa cup, not even making it into the group stages. We didnt think this is were we’d be because we are better than that, we finished 5th last season, and wether you think it or not, we do have a stronger side. We couldnt spend as much as others did, at the end of the day everton are a club with very little money compared to a LOT of other premier league sides, and i think DM has done brilliantly with the funds hes had, he could of walked, he could of gone to a club with better fundings, even before this season he could of, but he didnt, if moyes left us we would be in the shitta! And it would all come down to a brand new manager, and the start again of re - building, exactly what moyes is doing now, he hasn’t finished, not by a long shot! I think we should just get behind the boys and the manager, and show everyone what this club is all about, passion, commitment! I dont no about the rest of the evertonains but i would hate to be takenover by some indian fat cat or any foreigner that would know absolutly nothing about the club, no passion, no nothing! I respect Kenwright for not rushing into anything and throwing away the club he loves and knows we all love, thats is why he wants to find the best thing for us, i admit i do get anoyed at him, quite a bit haha, but youve got to respect and understand the fact that he wants to hand it over to someone who will not be in papers more or less every day being slaughterd for lying and not keeping to their promises they made to the club, which has happened to many clubs over the last 3 years or so! He wants to find a trusting owner! Lets get behind the boys on Saterday and give them an extra man! Why cant we beat united on Saterday? Come On You Blues!!!! Lets put those bitter blues behind us!!!
John Andrews
4   Posted 24/10/2008 at 15:53:51

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I believe that you are somewhat mistaken Benji. The fact is that Billy Bullshit is keen to stay on after any takeover and that is what maybe holding things up ?
He has, as I understand it, no intention of leaving. With this in mind I suspect he is looking for an "Investor". Basically somebody with pots of money who will let him hang around.
"Watch this space !"
Brian Waring
5   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:03:58

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Just out of curiousity Stuart, I wonder what his cup stats are like, compared to the other managers you mention?
Stuart Reid
6   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:24:03

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Of course I am aware of Man City’s takeover but most of Hughes’ record comes from his Blackburn days. This is what I meant but I realise it is not clear from my words.
Benji Learman
7   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:31:45

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If you owned Everton, and in the end had to sell, would you want out completly John? No you wouldn't, why would he want to leave a club he loves? He's admitted he does have to step down a rank, but why leave completely? if I was him, I wouldn?t leave, no way I would!
David Alexander
8   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:38:35

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What about losses and Draws - does moyes’ aproach to games leave him drawing more and loosing fewer than his peers? in that might lie a significant diference - he might be the man who turns 0-1 losses into 1-1 draws and so preserves a sides confidence.

It would also be interesting to see these figures stacked up against net transfer expenditure.

Oh and I think redknapp is pot luck in the transfer market he’ll sign anyone with a bung attached and so gets some good and some bad...
Tom Collie
9   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:49:32

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We’ve heard all this stuff before, it’s as obviously contrived today as it always has been.

Gary dos Santos
10   Posted 24/10/2008 at 16:36:53

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Oh Benji, let's face facts: if you were to invest in Everton, you would keep Billy Bunter on with no marketing skills, club scouts who belong in the Baden Powell group, a manager for the next five years with a tactical ability of an Eskimo in a tropical climate, transfer market blunders,a second grade proposed stadium/shopping mall, a youth academy that cannot produce mash from a potato, a totally disgrunted fan base that cannot fill GP when the CL champions visit just to name a few hiccups.

We need change from top to bottom because we are a champion club not a Walt Disney senario of being Mickey Mouse, check our history and the blood sweat and tears we have being through we as Everton deserve only the best so lets change and get REAL Evertonians in power!!!

Declan Burke
11   Posted 24/10/2008 at 19:08:33

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Stuart, if you want stats lets look at Ian Dowie. Got job at QPR in May. 15 games played. Ninth in the Championship table. Last 16 of the Carling Cup, where they face a trip to Manchester United after knocking out Aston Villa in the third round. Seven points off automatic promotion.
Reward? Sacked! You’re a lucky lad Davy that you have Bullshit Billy as a boss!

Marc Williamson
12   Posted 24/10/2008 at 19:19:45

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Hoof Ball
Moyes is not to blame for hoof ball. Its not Fifa, its not pro evo, the players don?t have remote controls. Once they are on the pitch that is it Moyes can't control each and every pass. that is down to the player.
If Jags decides to hoof the ball down the pitch after a week of Moyes telling him not to. All Moyes can do is drop him. Then Yobo comes in and does the exact same thing. The only other thing he can do is sell them and bring someone in who can pass the ball which he is in no position to do.

Moyes has a problem with the timing of tactical changes. He will only do something about a bad situation when it is too late and the opportunity has long gone.

Neal King
13   Posted 24/10/2008 at 21:12:46

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Re Mark Williamson; of course Moyes is to blame, he watches the same game as we do so he's either a shite manager who can't see it or he's telling the players to hoooffff!!!

He should be working on that shit in training, getting midfielders to drop for the ball early and start an attack, what a stupid thing to say that it's not his fault, he's the manager for fucks sake!!

Alan Ross
14   Posted 24/10/2008 at 21:32:06

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Bit selective aren’t we.

Care to do a reappraisal at the end of THIS season?
John Chambers
15   Posted 24/10/2008 at 21:36:55

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If you add up the total points achieved by each club during the 6 full seasons Moyes has had at the club we lie 5th behind the Sky4. Like David Alexander I would like to see how the net spending of Everton in the transfer market compares against that of the other clubs over the same time. Whilst I would like to see us playing attractive, attacking football, it shows Moyes has done a good job with the resources available. Until we get new investment who could we attract to the club who would do a better job?
Dave Moorcroft
16   Posted 24/10/2008 at 22:09:38

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I think most of us agree that Moyes has done his bit, but 6½ years is along learning curve. Yes, we progressed under Moyes in that time but that's as good as it gets I,m afraid.

I have been watching Everton for 42 yrs now and I was there when we played Carlisle when we had 8,000 odd in the Milk Cup or whatever it was then. So I don't think its too much to expect when we do so well one season like being unfortunate to go out to Fiorentina and finishing 5th in the league. That we should believe that we are looking at good times ahead. And then we have to put up with this shite and we have people saying we have to be patient and trust the fucking liars and conmen who are Laughing at the people who line their pockets.

I don't think for 1 minute they know or fucking care what it felt like to be an Evertonian in this fucking city after that non-turnout in the derby game the other week. Going back maybe 10 yrs or so, if an Everton player didn't try in a derby game he wouldn't be able to show his face 'til he gave a very good show. I would rather have the Dogs of War any fucking day.

We are certainties for the relagation dogfight and I don't think we have the manager or the squad he has put together. But I will still be there. After they have gone.

Marco Bonfiglio
17   Posted 24/10/2008 at 23:42:37

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I think the problem is the mantra "If you know your history", because I?m seeing Moyes compared to Catterick, Shankly, Ferguson, O?Neill and Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all. Catterick had an open chequebook; Shankly had minimal expectations, Ferguson had an open chequebook and half a lifetime, O?Neill?s been at Villa five minutes.

Moyes took over a club that was on its knees, and financially, still is. Kenwright is going to have to bite the bullet, and accept a buyer, not an investor. Maybe he?ll get lucky with a buyer who?ll go with the idea of him as Life President, or Chief Mascot, or whatever, but the fact is that it?s obvious Moyes has ideas, and those ideas are going to cost money. Ferguson?s did. Vaughan, Anichebe, Rodwell et al are going to need to be bolstered by big money signings.

Meanwhile, later today, Money United at going to need to be scared by one bastard of a roar at noon.
Marco Bonfiglio
18   Posted 25/10/2008 at 00:05:59

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But no booing Rooney. It only gets him going.
Gaz Bennett
19   Posted 25/10/2008 at 04:21:39

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Haven?t read all the comments made but just in reference to the main text: Moyes is much younger than all these top Premier League managers mentioned and he has a very similar record. Lots of these articles seem to be anti-Moyes, but who in all honesty could we get to replace him? He?s done a fantastic job with very very limited money, I for one am made up he?s signed a new contract and feel that as a manager he shouldn?t even be a slight bit of concern... Money is the issue and only if you have an absolute banker of an idea you shouldn?t put this crap on here!

Another example is the guy who wrote the article about the the Arsenal game saying we should have gone 4-4-2 when it was 1-0 at half time!! The way Arsenal came at us in the second half was frightful and if we were 4-4-2 it would have been 6 or 7-1 at the end.

Luke Gould
20   Posted 25/10/2008 at 09:42:00

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Hughes and Bruce would be of a similar age if not younger, O'Neill is hardly old, yet have all done well in their early careers. I think using his age as an excuse is a new one I haven?t heard! And as for replacing, he aint going nowhere, he just signed on for 5 more bloody years!
Phil Stevens
21   Posted 25/10/2008 at 14:16:40

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Moyes = 45
Hughes = 44
O?Neil = 56
Bruce = 47
some of the comments on here obviously come from very bitter fans - opinion is all well and good but it?s just hot air without a little perspective. Statistics are not a guarantee of the future - what were Ferguson?s stats for United in his first 6 seasons?
For anyone who thinks Moyes should have been sacked, I?d be interested to hear who you think his replacement could of been - bearing in mind we have no money to spend!
Jonathan Ashton
22   Posted 25/10/2008 at 15:43:35

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There aren’t that many managers in the last ten years who have had the fairly consistent level of success that DM has had on the money he’s had. Stuart Reid has brought up a short list of comparable names here.

Plenty of others have fallen by the wayside. Then there are the managers with fine records whose approach somehow wouldn’t transfer (Alardyce, Curbishley, ?Ramos, etc)

Given the kind of managers we’re likely to attract, change might well be a big risk. (Rednap went South I think because he knew there’d be a big transfer budget and he and his wife wanted to live by the sea, O’Neill because Lehrer offered him big things, Hughes was unproven when he started, etc).

So just suppose for a second that Moyes doesn’t deserve as many awards as he’s picked up. He’s still obviously been a class act. If we get tired of his preferred style of football or whatever and he gets the big "E", what are the chances that we’ll get a Mark Hughes and not a Sammy Lee or a Graeme Souness?
Tim Lloyd.
23   Posted 26/10/2008 at 12:01:11

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And then there was yesterdays game against Man U.!
David Alexander
24   Posted 26/10/2008 at 23:02:01

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Hoof ball?
Even if Moyes is telling the back four to hoof it, you can't blame him... everytime they try to pass short they give it to the opposition. Most of the time our centre-halves couldn't find a man in a blue shirt if they were sat in the Street End. Safest thing is to tell them to hoof it!
Heath Pearson
25   Posted 27/10/2008 at 13:08:20

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"How does Darren Fletcher get a game at Man U?"

Probably because he?s really good at football and one of the more underrated players in the game.
Tony Williams
26   Posted 27/10/2008 at 14:26:57

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"We are certainties for the relagation dogfight "

Eh? !!!
Damian Wilde
27   Posted 27/10/2008 at 15:25:04

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Dave Lynch,

re: on the floor, a handful of games?? At times it wasn?t, and 99% of this season it hasn?t been, but for half-two thirds of last season we played some great stuff on the deck; Osman, Pienaar, Arteta, Yak, etc.
Alasdair Mackay
28   Posted 31/10/2008 at 10:31:38

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Reading this article and responses a bit late, so I may have missed the boat, but I would be interested to know what the draw ratios are for the compared managers.

If you win 50% of your matches, but lose 40% you are not as good (in my opinion) as someone who wins 45% and draws 30%, only losing 25%!? That is why I think Keegan is rubbish!
Brett Bradshaw
29   Posted 31/10/2008 at 13:18:32

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I think Moyes is the best man for the job at the moment to be honest. I know it?s not pretty and it is most of the time frustrating but I can?t see how it could be any better with anyone else.

I'm not even sure I would want someone to come in and buy us for silly money. It?s too short term. I want to see what happens to the Chelseas when people start getting bored. Chelsea in the Championship in 5 years time? I will (maybe not happily but will) see it through.
Ben Fizgerald
30   Posted 31/10/2008 at 22:22:10

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As an Everton exile (27 years ago I left), it's amazing to see how things have hardly changed. With the exception of Kendall?s glory, we maintain the gentleman's agreement with the RS to always be half a division below them no matter how crap they are.

DM, if you read this, understand this club is one of the founder members of the league, the ORIGINAL team in the city of Liverpool, the team with the longest and greatest pedigree in this country, we boast the greatest centre-forward in the game's history, our support is the loyalist and most representative of its area anywhere, but mostly we are football supporters.

I was there when Ipswich hammered 4 in to us at Goodison and the ground rose in appreciation of the quality of their 4th goal. And the same when Joe Royle scored at the Street End for Norwich and when Alan Ball returned with Southampton to an ovation that so affected him he couldn?t concentrate on his game.

There are a handful of clubs who at any given moment could grab this league and rule it as though by birthright; if you don't know, this club is one of them. The greatest difference between us and Liverpool is the faith that winning and decent football do not have to be mutually exclusive.

I travel around the country and you will always find Evertonians hidden away all over the place, of course the lack of silverware irks but it is how we play that kills us. Remove the shackles, dare to play, let the School of Science re open, give to us a GOLDEN VISION.

Joe Weir
31   Posted 05/11/2008 at 14:03:01

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Darren Fletcher is class. He was there best player for long spells against us.

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