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The End Justifies The Means

By Anthony Dyer :  05/11/2008 :  Comments (65) :
A spin on the President Elect of USA victory speech.

This club has had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about an Evertonian... he?s a lot like the thousands of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this forum except for one thing ? Richard Dodd is a fan of the future.

And tonight, I think about what the many Evertonians have seen throughout their century at Goodison ? the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that Evertonian creed: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

At a time when fans' voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, we lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the season ticket: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

When there was despair in the Johnson years and relegation loomed large, we saw a club conquer fear itself with a New Owner, new players and a new sense of common purpose: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Everton is a club where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our club, David Moyes?s pragmatism is the answer.

It's the answer told by the lack of queues that stretch around the stadium; by the absence of people who once waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this manager must be different; that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Bullens Road and Main Stand ? Evertonians who sent a message to the Board that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of Upper and Lower Gwladys : we are, and always will be, Everton Football Club.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be loyal, and hopeful, and optimistic of what they can achieve by washing their hands of our history and bend it once more toward a pragmatic utopia.

It's been a long time coming, but now, because of what we did on Saturday, in this season, at this defining moment, change has come to Everton.

Reader Comments

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Michael Hunt
1   Posted 06/11/2008 at 05:58:00

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Bullseye Anthony! Hoofball is not good enough after more than 6 flaming years, but it seems the end justifies the means for many. Shame that (at best), the end ’achieved’ is being labelled ’best of the rest’....NSNO indeed!
Trevor Lynes
2   Posted 06/11/2008 at 05:56:07

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I think back to the days when Goodison had gates of over 70,000 and I was there for the biggest against Liverpool. I was also there for the biggie against Spurs in the 5th Round of the FA Cup and I was also there when EFC beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA cup when BOTH grounds were filled and thousands more outside shouting up asking the score. Those were the days when crowds came and were ENTERTAINED by top teams with players who had great skill...

When the football is brought up to similar standards at Goodison, the crowds will flock back and we will get YOUNG supporters instead of just a dying breed of oldies who remember some good times.

The problem is that now we have a bunch of players who in some cases do not have the basic skills of ball control and passing ability. The only difference between some of them and the rest of the lower league standards is FITNESS. I would gladly pay to watch players who were better on the ball than I was BUT, I'm not paying for supposedly professional players who cannot provide the basics.

EFC will regain their rightful position in the heart of the fans when they provide a little flair and sometimes a little magic. Can you imagine the crowds we would get and the fervour of the fans if we had a really TOP team? At the moment when we are on the box it's a non-event and a lot of people dread us being on because its shameful watching the dross we serve up, especially when we are followed by really good games.

I want to see us play, win and entertain and not just spoil and stop others from playing. The result is important to keep us in the league, but it would be nice to see us play proper football and beat teams on merit... Richard Dodd I reckon is a myth, a figment of some sarky bastards imagination. Reality is, we are a poor team to watch and I'm afraid DM will go with the rubbish so long as it gets some sort of result and saves his future as manager.

3   Posted 06/11/2008 at 08:01:56

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I remember when we were the School of Science, my god that seems so far away now.
Jack Merchant
4   Posted 06/11/2008 at 08:52:29

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After 40 years as a regular, I stopped going to Goodison two years ago and since then have spent many entertaining Saturdays watching the likes of Prescot, Marine and Burscough. I swear that the general standard of football is no worse than I suffered under Moyes, player discipline/respect is far better, histrionics non-existent... and the endeavour totally honest.

Oh, and as an OAP, it costs me £3.50!

Craig Wilson
5   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:13:02

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Have to say I am fed up listening to people stick the knife into our club. If we play well and lose it's terrible, if play shite and win it's not good enough. Apparently we are supposed to play like Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd all rolled into one to keep people happy these days. Facts are facts: when we have the money of the above 3 then maybe that will happen.

I am pretty sure our manager doesn?t go out and tell our creative midfielders to play shite, make sure corners don?t get past the first man and all free kicks are to be blasted into the wall or upper Gwladys. But if he were to drop the likes of Arteta then everyone would be out with the knives again.

As for dwindling crowds, I am afraid this simply down to Sky and the credit crunch, who really wants to pay £25 to watch us play Fulham at 12:45 on a Saturday when it's on the TV and you're not sure if your job's safe in the lead-up to Xmas? Anyway, keep going, guys, putting the knife in... big Sam is just itching for a job!!!

Now on a positive note and I know am sticking my neck out but when we beat Villa on the 7th December and move into 5th place what are you lot going to moan about then? Will it still be we are playing shite still? I wonder.......

Lee Hind
6   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:35:56

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Craig, I couldn’t agree more.

There seem to be a few ’supporters’ that are just never going to be happy whether we win lose or draw. As you rightly say, when we play well and lose they’re unhappy, when we play shite and win, they’re unhappy.

Maybe Moyes does tell Arteta not to create much today, tells Pienaar not to bother passing to anyone in blue for 75 minutes? Really? I think not.

Whose better than Moyes then? Somebody give me a shortlist of genuine contenders for the EFC job if Moyes is sacked tomorrow.
Russ Quinlan
7   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:37:34

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So then, Craig, you are happy with the way we?ve been playing this season? Happy with the farcical approach to the transfers last summer? Happy with playing 4-5-1 at home? Happy with throwing away all last season's positives by not building on that during the summer? Happy when we qualified for the CL only to be an embarrasment again because of the antics during the summer (like this summer)? So everything is rosey in the blue garden is it?

Well, sorry mate but I have been watching the blues since 1966 and I feel I have the right to complain that we are nowhere near the Sky 4, even when we get the chance to push them, the Club blows it. Its all down to the whole way the club is run, not just the players and why we are pissed off.

So many chances to build on the progress, and we don?t. Always been 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Unless the whole structure of the Club above DM changes then we will go nowhere. If you?re happy with that then I feel sorry for you. It's not the Everton I?ve supported for 42 years, I expect more and I doub?t if I?m the only one.

One more point, why not drop Arteta, he needs a kick up the arse like any other player not performing, he?s too comfortable knowing he's always in the team no matter how he plays, so it's about time he was dropped until he has the hunger again ? if he can?t be arsed then he doesn?t deserve to wear the Royal Blue.

James Boden
8   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:49:28

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Unfortunately, I have to agree with Russ. The club is an absolute shambles top to bottom. Yes, sure we've won a couple of games and are now in 7th place but when we lose Saturday we will be 16th or 17th. So it's all terrible again. With the inconsistency of the league, we can't take things easy, and it shows how poor this league is if we are 7th when weve been woeful this season.

And shame to all you defending Moyes and Kenwright. As Russ said: Are you happy with the crap this season? Happy with the summer farce? Happy with 4-5-1 against the likes of Fulham? Happy that everytime weve made progress we dont build on it and end up in a right mess again?

You would have thought they would have learnt from the summer of 05 when they dithered after we finished 4th, and look what happened, knocked out of European Cup qualifying and humiliated in Bucharest.

"So many chances to build on the progress, and we don?t. Always been 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Unless the whole structure of the Club above DM changes then we will go nowhere". That is what Russ said and Russ was 100% right. We have an inept manager, a clueless chairman, brainwashed fans who are convinced that this is all good.

As the 1st person on this mail said we?ve now come to accept that being the best of the rest is a good thing. Well, I'm sorry if I have some ambition and want my football team to be the best. THE SCHOOL OF SCIENCE? MY ARSE!

Duncan McDine
9   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:47:28

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I agree with Craig I?m afraid... Michael and many others label the football we play ?Hoofball?. For me, Joey Yobo is the only player you could label a ?hoofer?. He frustrates me as much as anyone when he overhits every hopeless ball up to his mate Yak.

To say that Moyes encourages it (which is the view of a lot) is ridiculous. It was so quiet at Goodison on Saturday, you could hear his voice barking instructions like "Stevie (Pienaar) go and get the move started"... "Keep moving" etc. Not once did I hear him shout "Get rid of it" or "Lump it up there".

The players will now find a bit of confidence from clean sheets and winning games. Passing football will return, just like last season... and let's be honest to ourselves - last season?s football was the best we?ve seen in almost 20-odd years. Try to glamourise the relegation battles in that time, and you?re just proving to everyone that your memory is a bit dodgy!
Steven Mills
10   Posted 06/11/2008 at 09:56:40

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Russ, you, like so many other blues, have got this rose tinted view of Everton and ?the way things used to be?. You bemoan our lack of success and inability to challenge the top 4. That?s all very well, there?s nothing wrong with striving to be the best, but all this ?we?ve got a God given right to be up there?, ?It?s were we belong?, and ?NSNO? rubbish is, quite frankly that, rubbish.

If you truly do ?know your history?, then you would know that, over the past 40 years, we very rarely have ?been the best?.

So what?s new now?
Colin Potter
11   Posted 06/11/2008 at 10:21:53

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You go to the games, and you think Yobo is the only hoofer..??? If I were you, lad, I?d get myself down to Specsavers!! Russ you are 100% right!!
Kirk McArdle
12   Posted 06/11/2008 at 10:28:43

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Unfortunatly too many people live in the past on this site. Football has changed since the early 90s let alone reminiscing about football crowds from the 60s and 70s. Yes, I would love to challenge for the league year on year but we do not have the resources of other clubs. Not just the Sky 4 but we can?t compete with Villa, Spurs or Man City nowadays.

Spurs spent close to £70M in the summer. All O?Neill has to do is say to Lerner "I need this player" and he has got the funds to go get him. Would Kenwright or Moyes dither about £1M as Liverpool didn?t meet O?Neills valuation of Barry. No way. They would've had the cash.

Yes I do think it is time for a lot more outside investment because we will start to fall away without it. I can understand frustrations with Kenwright "Watch this space..... 24/7!!!" but he has given Moyes funds to spend and as a Club management team they have got us to the top of the tree. The only tree that we can climb. The top 4 branches are unreachable without a bigger and more expensive ladder.

I WANT us to play good football. I don?t like to see any team give dour value for money but each team must play to their strengths. Stoke showed that at the weekend against Arsenal. They can?t match them football to football so they ruff them up and get in their faces. Surprise surprise Wenger doesn?t like it.

We all will agree that the best we have played all season is about 40 mins in the 2nd half against Man Utd. What did we do? We got a bit of steel about us and gave it to them and they didn?t like it!!! If we can?t match these teams, we have to improvise.

Duncan McDine
13   Posted 06/11/2008 at 11:19:56

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Who else do you see as ’hoofers’? ...and I do go to the games lad!
Lewis Austin
14   Posted 06/11/2008 at 10:41:34

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?Hoofball? is down to the mentality of the Everton players not the tactics of David Moyes, I don't believe Moyes would send his team out to play this way. It is no coincidence that when Everton hit a bit of form and start winning regularly, the hoofball seems to dissapear.

For me, when the going gets tough and we are lacking confidence, the players (defenders) revert to hoofball. It has happened during games this season, eg, first half against Arsenal we got an early goal and it gave the players confidence, we started to pass the ball along the floor and played well. Second half we conceded an early goal and the players' arses went, hoofball was restored and the game was over.

Then there's the Utd game when we started awful, conceded a goal, just kept hoofing the ball and were lucky not to be three down at half time. After the break it took about ten minutes to get going but when Neville livened things up with his tackle on Ronaldo all of a sudden the players came to life, the confidence came back, we got a goal and the ball was then kept on the floor ? hoofball forgotten. There have been other games (Newcastle, Hull).

At the end of the day the mentality of the players isn't good enough, it's this that needs to be worked on not the tactics.

Craig Wilson
15   Posted 06/11/2008 at 11:45:41

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Some of you are missing the point, it's all very well wanting change top to bottom but that relies on one thing only... money!!! And if you haven?t noticed we are skint compared to other teams. What you should do is look at teams with money, ie Spurs and Villa ? have they done any better? No not at all.

I have already posted an article over dropping Arteta 2 weeks ago... not many people agreed with me so it's interesting to see people are know blaming DM for keeping him in: damned if he does, damned if he don?t.

As for blaming the back 4 for hoofball, how do you think they end up with the ball in the first place? Watch closely next time; it's normally Howard to Lescott, Lescott to any of the so called creative midfield who then pass it back to Yobo/Jags/Neville who then have a centre forward closing them down hence hoof ball or more like panic ball.

The main point is support your team through thick and thin not walk away to watch Marine or Burscough. Why not just jump in your car and go and watch Man Utd if that?s the case...

Michael Dawson
16   Posted 06/11/2008 at 11:45:03

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Spot on Craig.

Too many people on here are living in the past, and exhibiting an attitude that causes so many problems in this country - namely that it is their ’right’ to whinge and moan, and they can simply ’refuse to accept’ anything they don’t agree with.

Russ said, ’If you?re happy with that then I feel sorry for you’. Well mate, feel sorry for me all you want. It doesn’t take a genius to see that things at the club are far from perfect, but the fact is that last season we finished fifth in the biggest league in the world, behind four of the planet’s richest teams, and did it playing the best football I’ve seen from Everton in my lifetime. That makes me pretty happy.
Tony McKeown
17   Posted 06/11/2008 at 11:38:46

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There are valuable points made by all but ? and it is a big but ? we have to accept that at present we can not compete financially with the the clubs who have major investment, we can however set our stall out to combat different teams in different ways.

If we play the like of Man U or Arsenal etc let's stifle them, lets be cautious, I completely understand this approach; however, explain to me why because we had the right result against Man U do we then stick with it against Fulham or Bolton? We should take the game to these type of teams, we should attack them from the first whistle, let them be on the defensive; we don?t.

We do however accept that the end justifies the means, this is not going to bring in the crowds, nor will it attract players. We and they need to feel that it is not going to be percentage football but know at times that we will adopt a style that helps us combat the richer clubs.

Moyes has taken us as far as he can... not his fault ? he needs a bigger budget, I agree... but he appears guilty of having fallen into a self-fulfilling prophecy. He feels we have to play not to lose in every game; he should be in the mindset of we are only going to play not to lose gainst the bigger clubs.

He has also fallen into the trap of having several players who feel they will play irrespectively of how they perform. If we take Arteta as an example, I agree probably the best attack minded player we have and I personally would not drop him; however, I would tell him not to take every corner. Why Pienaar can't take some just to vary things up is beyond me, it also sends the message to Arteta that he has to be putting in good corners on a much more regular basis than he is now.

Cahill is another example: I cannot remember him being substituted by Moyes, unless injured... why should he have remained on against Fulham, I have no idea, does anyone?

What has Baines done to be treated so shabbily by Moyes? He has performed well each time he has played this year; another thing about Baines is he has a good shot on him. He scored some great free kicks for Wigan but he has never been given the chance to demonstrate this under Moyes... Why did Moyes sign him? if he felt he was too small against some teams, did he not check on his height first???

I am frustrated by the way Moyes sets out his team; he does appear to stifle the players but I also believe he is the right man for us. He needs to get back to the positive manager who we signed; be bold, be positive, be cautious when the occasion requires, stop dropping players who have performed well and give the hook to those under achievers. It will have a good knock-on effect. If a player thinks they are untouchable they do not have to perform; if they don?t like it, they have two choices: up the ante or sod off ? we will be better off without this sort of element.

I will renew my season ticket when I feel I am going to see my team go out and wear the shirt with pride, have a steely disposition, use some imagination, give 100% ? nothing less. And I suppose most importantly I want them to care as much as I do.

Phil Martin
18   Posted 06/11/2008 at 10:43:49

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Yes, we play crap football but when the manager is given £0 and 0 pence until the last day of the transfer window, what do you expect?

Yes, hoofball is not the Everton tradition but if Moyes had £18M to spend on Moutinho or £20M on Asharvin (players who would dictate play) don't you think he would spend it?

The fact is only Arsenal, Man U, and Chelsea play attractive football. That's 3 out of 17 clubs (of which we aren't even big spenders compared with those teams). We have the financial clout of a moth and we expect TOTAL football.

Of course I?d rather watch the School of Science as opposed to the Dogs of War. But we don't have the cash to afford players who can bring both great football and results which (until last season) they had.

Robbie Muldoon
19   Posted 06/11/2008 at 12:43:02

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Phil Martin... our survey sez... uhh uhh
Chris Perry
20   Posted 06/11/2008 at 12:45:08

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What absoloute shite people spout, going on about no money to spend is justification for serving up the shite that we have this season, particularly against Fulham. If Moyes had spent more wisely in the past, e.g Krøldrup, Beattie, it may give us more confidence.
Phil Martin
21   Posted 06/11/2008 at 12:54:49

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Err Robbie Muldoon....

you don't think finishing 4th, 5th, 6th on a net spend of £5M is worthy of some recognition ? irrelevant of what football we played? Consider where we could've been if Walter had remained in charge?

I guess some people just have short memories.
Tony McKeown
22   Posted 06/11/2008 at 13:08:02

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Phil Martin
I disagree with your opinion of the clubs who play football. Chelsea have, apart from this season been a boring team, they have played some dross football at times.

I don?t dream of total football in the sense that we should be playing it, but I dream of us playing better football more of the time. I refer to the fact that, when we want too or when it suits, we can and do play some nice neat football. What gets my goat is simply we do not do it enough.

We have a team of players that appear to like the ball to feet, they like to be imaginative; we have forwards who like the ball played into them in and around the box; we have the options of going direct when the need requires, not choice 1. I do remember Walter's teams, I also remember Gordon Lee's teams; I don?t want that sort of football for Everton.

David Moyes sets his team out not to lose, that is the problem. I want him to adopt that position against the bigger clubs, not have it has his main philosphy. My memory is not short it is very long, I have watched us turn in some ugly performances under most of our managers at some point or another, but these ugly performances are now becoming the norm.

Hope you understand I am not trying to knock my team, I am just very disillusioned at what is on offer at this time.

Russ Quinlan
23   Posted 06/11/2008 at 13:15:46

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All I?m saying is we, sorry, they, screwed up twice. Once after we finished 4th and then again last season.

There was the whole of the transfer window to strengthen the team. In '05 we didn?t for whatever reason and we were dumped out on our arses. Then last season we finish 5th and again only buy on the last day, giving the new players no time to settle in before the season started. Result this time is a team that looks like they?ve never played together and no confidence.

What Id like to know is who?s fault is that? It doesn?t take a brain surgeon to figure that one out. Either the board or DM, take your pick. Either way, it means the team is in a mess at the moment and unless it's sorted we?ll be struggling until May.

I also put the blame on the players. Looking at the teamsheet they should be easily good enough to hold 4th but they are not playing like they believe they are ? whose fault is that ?
Not mine, that's for sure!!!

Colin Potter
24   Posted 06/11/2008 at 13:05:31

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How about; Neville, Hibbert, Jagielka, Baines, Yobo and Lescot? You can also add any defender that Moyes may buy, if any, in Jan ? if he isn?t a hoofer now, he soon will be under Moyes. I know we don?t have money, and sometimes you do have to make desperate hoofball clearances, but other than that, it doesn?t cost money to play footy on the deck, and to pass it to a man who is on your side. Oh and you can add Howerd to that list of hoofers.
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 06/11/2008 at 13:36:11

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"Michael and many others label the football we play ?Hoofball?. For me, Joey Yobo is the only player you could label a ?hoofer?."

I would?ve thought that Yobo is the least likely player to hoof it, with Jags being the biggest culprit, Neville coming second and Lescott coming in a close third...
Tony McKeown
26   Posted 06/11/2008 at 13:35:16

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Hi Russ

There does seem to be a poor set up when it comes to transfers. I have no idea about the internal goings on at Goodison Park, but we do seem to have an almost unbeatable record of ballsing things up. I agree with you 100%, though ? we cannot apportion blame at Moyes?s door, he identifies the players he wants and then hopes the hierarchy sort it out.

This year was a perfect example of how to make a cluster fuck of a transfer, Moyes wanted Mouthino (I think that's how you spell it); they asked for a price, we said too much, we then pay £2 million less for Moyes's other option ? surely we should have given them the £17 million and given Moyes the chance to settle him in?

It confuses me every close season or transfer window, we cannot attract the players we want... Is it money? Is it location? Is it Moyes?s tactics that put players off? I don?t know... By all accounts Moyes always gives a good account of himself, his plans for us; we present a good team ethic, it can only be the hierarchy.

I predict a continued future of us occasionally turning out promising talent, finding players from other leagues etc only for them to move at the first opportunity to clubs that offer more. Breaks my heart; we have lost revenue left right and centre for over 20 years. Yes, I know that, if it was not for the ban in Europe, we would have had riches beyond our dreams, but I still believe that the board would have found more imaginative ways of squandering that.

Kirk McArdle
27   Posted 06/11/2008 at 14:08:45

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I do think we can blame Moyes for the transfer failure this summer. We have no director of football so targets come from this man. The terms of the deal ie x amount up front y amount over 4 yrs was the killer of the Moutinho deal. Liege more than likely went for lower payments for Fellaini hence lower figure. They knew the figure was inflated and we were desperate in the end. Moyes should have switched targets earlier instead of offering different amounts over same length for Moutinho.

But this aside I am in no way advocating a Director of Football. Look at the problems Wise has brought to the barcodes and the Commoli debacle at Spurs. The manager should run all aspects of team affairs without interferance from other people. The buck should also stop at him!

Will Brennan
28   Posted 06/11/2008 at 14:20:14

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Colin/Cairan, whilst I agree with you that most of our defenders regardless of name, give far too many long aimless balls which totally annoys me, all I will say is the next time any one of them has the ball at their feet, look at what options are open for them. Virtually every time all they see is arses... yes, the arses of our midfielders. What I?d like to know is WTF do they do in training? Duncan, Yobo the only one???
Michael Hunt
29   Posted 06/11/2008 at 14:34:44

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Tony McKeown,

Moyes can?t be exonerated of blame for failed transfers as it may well be a failure of his pulling power (and that of the Club).

Players want to be inspired by their manager and (while I don?t respect the one eyed SAF of old trafford) SAF stated that managers need to win something to be respected by top players. Either that or have real pulling power and strong player relationships/motivational bonds (e.g. Jose Mourinho).

To a top player I doubt Moyes (who they could see as dour and uninspiring) has the pulling power. Since we can?t afford to pay over the odds (like Man City), we need the X factor to attract top players...but sadly we don?t appear to have it!

I think this may be why Moyes seems to have lost his ?mojo? this season. He wanted to look at bigger profile players and they told him where to go. E.g. Whilst it was likely spannish Albert Riera would prefer costa del lucypool, it was alarming to see that his club accepted a much lower bid from the shite after he was in process of agreeing terms with us! Quite a few players seemed to be on verge of signing and then backed away.

In a possibly defeatest manor, Moyes has recently said he may go back to buying from the lower leagues trying to unearth more Cahills! If that gets us to the top then great, and I am an optimist, but of that even I struggle see see is getting much higher than the also ran middle reaches of the table... and not much realistic chance of winning a cup of any description. Hope I?m wrong... COYB!!!

Duncan McDine
30   Posted 06/11/2008 at 14:43:41

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Ciarán and Colin - regardless of who you think the most likely ’hoofer’ is in our back 4 (which is clearly debatable!), do you believe that Moyes instructs them to do it?
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 06/11/2008 at 15:21:14

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Thats a difficult one - he certainly doesn’t instruct them not to do it!
John Andrews
32   Posted 06/11/2008 at 15:06:31

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Duncan, If he does not instruct them to do it then they should be dropped until they learn not to do it!

In my opinion, Jagielka is a nightmare for bashing the ball to all four corners of the ground. Even when Fellaini showed for him in the derby what did he do? Yes, he whacked the ball straight upfield and, of course, it came back with interest. Jagielka used to have a willing runner in AJ but none of our current strikers, with the possible exception of Vaughan, is going to chase the ball towards the corner flag.

I, personally, cannot see any of the proper players we need coming to Goodison. Moutinho was a prime example. I believe our first offer for him was £11m! For pity's sake, who in their right minds thought that up?

Second thoughts here. As the whole of the back four seem to hoof the ball upfield then we would not have one. A back four that is. Perhaps we could drop them one at a time. HaHa.

Phil Martin
33   Posted 06/11/2008 at 15:31:17

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Tony McKeown,

Your point about Chelsea not playing stylish football (before this season) only backs my argument. We demand quality football yet only the very wealthiest clubs can actually afford it.

Do we honestly think Moyes would sit on £15M all summer watching targets A, B and C disappear and not spend it until the last minute (literally)?
Or is it more likely that there was NO money until the TV money was paid literally moments before the Transfer window shut?

How can we build a team in this kind of environment.

We play crap football but so does every other club who has our budget (even richer clubs play crap football). Yet we still hit the top 6 regularly. Blame the board and lack of investment.
Gavin Ramejkis
34   Posted 06/11/2008 at 16:15:00

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Kirk it would be suicidal to let a manager perform the deal for players that is done by a Chief Exec and Chairman, sadly Everton had a chancer who has now happily been fucked off to screw another club over and a Chief Executive living in cloud cuckoo land who lies every time he opens his mouth. So to blame DM for the derisory offer for Moutinho is way off the mark, he should and well may have identified his targets in January/February last season after that it?s up to the money boys upstairs to do the actual wheeling and dealing.

Have to agree with John Andrews about the tactics of the defence bypassing the midfield with hoofball shite we have all seen every one of them do, if DM doesn?t want them to do it he just drops them, he hasn?t so he either hasn?t seen it as a problem (being a hoofer defender himself in the past) or he won?t as he doesn?t have the depth of squad to replace anyone he drops or risks losing the dressing room which if that is the case then he isn?t a manager for me as the manager needs to be able to call the shots or the players will.

Credit crunch aside I do believe many are voting with their feet, can anyone remember not selling out against Man U or the RS during the last credit crunch? Be an interesting stat if anyone can find it.
Kirk McArdle
35   Posted 06/11/2008 at 16:42:28

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Do you mean the CEO that had left half way through the summer and the Chairman / Owner who was in front of the SKY cameras promising "Watch this space". We are still watching!!! All I am saying is, is that it must have dawned on Davie that the top targets were just not going to come / happen. If the relationship between Davie and Bill is so good surely Bill would have told him that the extra funds to secure these players were just not there. If Davie believes that even Bill was lying to him over what funds were available all summer why has he committed himself to possibly 5 more summers of our and his frustration? Talking about CEO. Has Elstone been appointed full time as I remember his "promotion" was as interim?
Brian Waring
36   Posted 06/11/2008 at 16:55:53

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Craig Wilson, it doesn?t take money to get a team to play football, it takes a coach who is capable of getting them to do it. Also, some of you mention that Moyes doesn?t send them out to play hoofball, that it is down to the players. Well, if that is the case, (with the odd exception, now and again in a season) why have we played shite football, in Moyes?s tenure? Surely by now, he would have clicked that the lads are doing it, and done something about it?
As I said, "It doesn?t take money to get a team to play football". The money excuse, is a load of crap.
Richard Dodd
37   Posted 06/11/2008 at 17:19:46

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I am delighted to see so many posters echo my view that Everton are in good hands. They recognise that David Moyes has performed wonders on a restricted budget and our recent resurgence provides much hope for the future.

I have no knowledge of the brand of football served up before the English game got real in 1992, but the history books do not reflect well on Everton?s past achievements apart from a few isolated periods in the 60s and 80s. However, I do know that a number of teams ?playing pretty balls to feet? as our manager so eloquently put it have suffered the indignity of relegation from which they have only recovered by turning to a more direct style as favoured by our man.

Given the choice of ?pretty balls? or a regular top half position in the Prem, I certainly know what most of us would prefer.

Damian Kelly
38   Posted 06/11/2008 at 17:53:56

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Brian Waring - agree that it is up to the Manager to get the team playing football but you need the money to buy the right calibre players to play at your level.

By all reports, Dario Gradi used to get Crewe playing lovely football but if you?d have put that team in the Prem they would still have been battered every week and wouldn't have had the ball to play with.
Ste Dunne
39   Posted 06/11/2008 at 18:25:07

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Good item on Radio 5 today about the unveiling of the statue of Brian Clough. Clough gave all his players very simple instructions. John Robertson said that his was to get the ball and pass it. If he didn?t then Clough would find someone else to do the job. Where does the blame for hoofball lie if not with the manager? I cannot believe that people can see it any other way.
Brian Waring
40   Posted 06/11/2008 at 19:03:19

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Damian, "You need the money to buy the right calibre players to play at your level." Are you saying that we don?t have the right calibre of players, and that is the reason for us not playing football? Last time I looked, there were a few teams, who I would rate no better than us, but they seem to play football, with players, no better than we have, so how come they can do it? Also, your Crewe point, if Dario Gradi can get a team of average players, playing football, with no money, then surely, that shows my point, that you don?t need cash to get a team playing football?
Dick Fearon
41   Posted 06/11/2008 at 21:15:43

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Anthony Dyer?s spin on Obama's inspirational speech brought memories of my old dad, also a blue nose, who would say, ?There is no such word in the English language as "can?t"?.

On and off the pitch, our club is facing formidable problems yet from somewhere deep inside I can feel a small but growing voice that whispers, YES WE CAN!
Tony McKeown
42   Posted 06/11/2008 at 23:09:35

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HI Kirk

We did have an acting Chief Exec, after Wyness opted to leave; that aside, I agree that a Director of Football is a bad idea. However, I still don?t think we can apportion the blame totally on Moyes. Yes, he should be have the final say, but these things appear to be dealt with at board level by all other clubs without the same issues that regularily impact on us. I do feel that there is something amiss at the club but what it is I am not sure. Ultimately we struggle. Thanks for the constructive comments.
Tony McKeown
43   Posted 06/11/2008 at 23:19:11

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Michael Hunt

Moyes does appear seemingly to have lost his "mojo" but when he first arrived he had no money and got the best out of his players, he was positive in his decisions, right or wrong, but he made them. Now he seems to hesitate and then panic, this appears to be the same in the transfer market. I want to see him be more dynamic, make the decisions that need to be made without negative thoughts. I agree the some blame lies at his door but the board don?t appear to have what it takes also. Thanks for the comments.
Tony McKeown
44   Posted 06/11/2008 at 23:25:11

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Phil Martin,
I am not sure if that is the case, but a fair point if it is so. I still have to bring it back to Moyes and his own self belief, I am not convinced he has the dynamic attitude he first had when he came to us. I do apportion blame with the board. But the board cannot be blamed for team tactics / substitutions ? this is where Moyes flounders. All too often he hesitates and this costs us. I want him back to his former self, he should have the balls to drag off a player who is not performing, but at times he confuses me with his decision-making. I wonder if he is this hesitant when it comes to informing the board who he actually wants to sign?
Michael Hunt
45   Posted 07/11/2008 at 06:24:23

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Tony McKeown,

I think you are onto something there...Moyes did seem much more decisive and bold when he first arrived. ’Dithering Dave’ (and ’Dour Dave’) needs to take in a deep gulp of Brilliant Blue Blooded Breath and lift the Goodison Gloom, breath Life and Fire back into the side and onto the Pitch, stride forth and become ’Demonic Deadly Decisive Dave’, leading his charges to become new Great Gods of Goodison!

(Or am I just a Deluded, Deranged Dickhead..... and we’re all Doomed!)
Ciarán McGlone
46   Posted 07/11/2008 at 09:03:24

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Nice illieration!

We can debate all we want but the bottom line is that Moyes is responsible for the type of football we play...
Richard Dodd
47   Posted 07/11/2008 at 10:08:36

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You are right, Dick Fearon ? but there is a word ?cant?! It means hypocrisy and so many Evertonians are guilty of it for demanding those ?pretty balls to feet?. Because if Moyes espoused that doctrine and didn?t get to the 40 points we need each season, they?d all be screaming for his head.

We simply can?t afford the kind of players who can win that way and even Wenger is now getting stick for ?pretty? play. Our man deserves praise for sticking to a style he knows can bring the results to achieve the initial target.

James Boden
48   Posted 07/11/2008 at 11:03:43

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It would seem like David Moyes himself writes half these letters because it appears to be a Moyes Love in.

"What absoloute shite people spout, going on about no money to spend is justification for serving up the shite that we have this season, particularly against Fulham. If Moyes had spent more wisely in the past, e.g Krøldrup, Beattie, it may give us more confidence".

Well said Chris Perry, and there was also another letter which correctly pointed out that Moyes sets his teams out not to lose. That's the problem. When we play the likes of Fulham, Bolton and Stoke, we shouldn?t set out to match them. Ok you may point to the fact we won all 3, but all 3 were struggles. Thats shambolic in my opinion. "Oh but Arsenal lost to Stoke" I'll hear you say.

Part of the problem is half of you always have an excuse for Moyes. So last season was the best football weve played in years. The reason you were so thrilled by it was because the football over the years had been so dire that the slightest bit of good football we put together is going to kick up a fuss.

We never take advantage of a good oppurtunity. Both games against Man United last season were there for the taking, but nope, we will sit back. And what happened? ? we were punished for it. 0 points ? all because a draw will suit us even when on the day it was winnable.

Again with Arsenal at the Emirates in May; all we needed was a draw to qualify for Europe, so Negative Arse sets us out to play for the point, and even when during the game it was blatantly obvious that Arsenal were there for the taking, nope! draw will do, and what happened? ? punished.

Chelsea away in the League Cup: When we equalised after they'd gone down to 10 men that was when we should have gone for that killer goal... but no, we will soak up the pressure and what happened, PUNISHED.

And who's responsible for all of this? DAVID MOYES ? THAT'S WHO. He is tactically inept, a boring, negative manager who has no idea what to do other than grind out results.

"Give him time." Only another 5 years to prove he?s not all he?s made out to be.

I'll be happy with this dire football if we are top of the league but we're not. In Summer we had the chance to strengthen and Arsenal were clearly there to be overtaken to 4th, but no, we will dither as usual. And if Kenwright was fully to blame then why didn't Moyes come out and say "hang on he?s taking the piss here"? Why? ? because Moyes was just as guilty.

And if he knew how good Fellaini was, then why didn't he buy him in June when we could have got him for about £5 million? The message that was sent to me was that he was only bought because he played well against The Shite.

The sad thing is that the only thing that will make Kenwright and all you Moyes lovers realise he?s a clown is if we get relegated, and we wouldn?t be able to afford flogging him off, so unfortunately he?s here to stay for 5 more years. What a frightening prospect that is.

Tony McKeown
49   Posted 07/11/2008 at 11:13:41

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Phil Martin/ Richard Dodd
I don?t think you are any of the above. Maybe we are all a little disillusioned, I don?t expect (but would love to see) total football all the time, but is it too much to expect to see us try and play good football some of the time?

Some fans are never going to be satisfied unless we win every game playing with style and imagination, even if we won every game by large margins. I can remember Kevin Ratcliffe being given stick when he first played for us. I can remember some fans criticising Kendall for some of his tactics.

"You cannot please all the people all the time" but you can try to appease all the people... I want the points on the board, I want us to be safe away from relegation battles, I never want to experience a last game of the season like that one against Wimbledon. All I want is to see Moyes send out a team that believes it has the ability and the backing of him that can (when needs be) have a go at teams by playing football the way we like to see it being played.

I do think Moyes deserves praise, I think he is the best manager in the league bar none, I just think he has become too cautious. I would like him to sit down and remember the things that first endeared him to us fans, apart from alienating himself with the reds ? the "People's club" quote was top drawer.

He now appears to be satisfied with mediocrity; this appears to have cascaded down to the players and onto the fans. I don?t want to be satisfied with being always in the other group, I want us to be serious contenders for a Champions League spot, so that any potential investors that show an interest will also think, this club has ambition.

Do you see my point? It's the whole package that we need to sell. We need to be saying, "Look at us, we have no money, but we still want to put on a show, we still want to be challenging for the top honours..." Imagine what we would be like if we had some real investment.

Phil Martin
50   Posted 07/11/2008 at 11:30:06

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James Boden,

You seem to forget that all managers make bad signings. You think because Moyes cocked up on Beattie or Krøldrup that makes him a poor manager? What about Wenger signing Jeffers, or SAF signing Taibi, Kleberson, or Djemba Djemba? Are they sht managers too? Are they not wise with their money (like Moyes) simply because they get it wrong once every 6 or 7 purchases?

With regards to the quality of football, we have to be realistic. ONLY Man U, Arse and Chelski play nice football. The other 17 teams play hit and miss. Yes, this year we have been a lot more miss than hit. But it?s still only 11 games in. Personally if we do get a run of form and in January, Moyes is given adequate funds (FOR THE FIRST FUCKING TIME IN HIS EFC CAREER) to buy QUALITY players ? NOT Championsip gambles, or foreign journey men! ? we will be alright.

On our budget, we can't afford players who can produce trophy winning performances and top draw attractive football. We simply can't afford them at all. So we have to make do ? which is why DM is highly regarded as our league finishes are the best in our PL era.
Phil Martin
51   Posted 07/11/2008 at 11:40:00

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Hi Tony,

I do accept your view and you are correct there has to be a happy medium in-between shit football with success and good football with struggling. Not that good football and success are mutually exclusive! It's just not realistic when we have to sell 3 players in order to buy 3 more.

We can't add to our squad. We can only replace and hope the new guy is better than the previous. We can't afford to even make a step up and sign a player of proven CL quality. You can't polish a turd and Kenwright can only afford turds!

Which goes back to your last point, Tony ? you are spot on: "imagine what we would be like if we had some real investment".

If we gave DM £40M to spend during the summer on players, I'm sure we would've got Moutinho, and more exciting players. Rather than 2 freebies and a loan. If we had those players and still played shit football then DM would defo need to be booted out.

Tony McKeown
52   Posted 07/11/2008 at 12:09:01

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Hi Phil

Nice analogy, though give credit where it is due, Moyes has done his best at polishing up some very average players (turds). As for Kenwright, I am more and more concerned; I know he only has Everton at heart, there are very few more loyal Evertonians than him... However, I am beginning to believe that he is asking for too much, with reference to the sale of his shares. I am led to believe that the price is not the stumbling block, but in fact some of his terms. He allegedly wants to retain some control/influenceover what any new investors wants. Imagine going out to buy a car with the intention of modifying it to suit your particular needs, only to be told by the seller that you can only buy it if they have a say in what you intend to do with it.

If this is the case, we will not be able to attend to Moyes?s requirements to be given the right funds to challenge for a top 4 place every year. I am afraid that it is Bill?s passion for Everton that is ultimately his own stumbling block, he wants to make sure we never get the likes of the Johnson in control again, but any investor would require total say in what happens.
What a Catch-22 situation we appear to be in, he wants to sell but wants to remain in control... It does not bear much hope of us ever finding that pot of gold.

Tony Williams
53   Posted 07/11/2008 at 13:43:31

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People have used the Clough analogy with regards to the "hoofball", stating if the players don?t win the ball or pass it they will be replaced... great sentiment, however who do we replace them with?

All of our back four are guilty of it, so we have Baines to come and then.......??

We have no idea what this Jacobsen is like, Hibbert can tackle but can?t pass for a piece of piss, Valente is going through the motions before he retires.

Rock and a hard place comes to mind...
Tony McKeown
54   Posted 07/11/2008 at 13:52:39

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Tony Williams

I agree that all our back four hoof the ball, but they should only do so when the need arises. Last season, Lescott often went further up-field and made telling contributions to our attack; Baines I believe can give the same option this season if he is given the opportunity. Yobo in my opinion does not really hoof the ball up field, he only ever seems to try and drop it over the midfield in some vain attempt at delivering a good ball (I don?t think it is in his nature to welly it).

I think far too often this season, we have been too anxious to play it out from the back and henceforth we play it long. Moyes should instruct all the back four, whoever he selects, that unforced hit-and-hope balls that by-pass the midfield will put their place in the starting line up in jeopardy. This should have the desired affect.

We have been at our best when we have utilised our midfield; at this moment our midfield is only showing in small parts of the game, that must improve if they are given the ball by the defence more often. I agree that Hibbert appears unable to pass a ball any length, so surely if he is going to play, the midfield should come short to collect it from him or any of the others. As I say, the long ball out or into Row Z should only be an option when danger is apparent.

Jacobsen, Valente and Hibbert are at present time squad members, the four in the starting line up are the ones who should be playing to our strengths and we should not not berate the ones out of favour.

Richard Dodd
55   Posted 07/11/2008 at 14:11:06

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Please let?s start worrying about the standard of football when we?ve got those 40 points on the board. Until then, it?s any win will do, surely?
Tony McKeown
56   Posted 07/11/2008 at 14:21:04

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Really Richard, is that what we want? I' not convinced it is, I believe it may be the ethos of Moyes "I want 40 points" ? in fact I think 36 will be adequate to keep us in the Premier League, but no I want more, I expect more, I think we can give more. Moyes needs to believe we can do these things, and so (if I may be so bold) do you.

I can tell you are as passionate as most of us, but don?t you think you may be beginning to accept what you are being given as ok? Should we expect more, if we accept it and don?t offer our disapproval then things will not change only remain the same or god forbid get worse. I agree with a lot of what you post, just think we differ in what we are willing to accept.

Don?t you ever feel that, sometimes when you have watched us, a moment or passage of play was worth the entry fee alone? That feeling is missing for me far to often, I don?t want to shout out in praise of the team, but find myself only getting to my feet in protest at some bad decision or tackle from referee or opposition player. It comes to something that the only time we are all united is in our anger at the latest outrage.

Steve Cotton
57   Posted 07/11/2008 at 14:19:28

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Couldn?t agree with you more, Richard. Tony Marsh, Kenrick & Co seem to live in a dream world. We need 8 more wins to be absolutely safe and then they can start pinging it around. Trouble is too many Evertonians are in love with the type of football they haven?t seen at Goodison for twenty years and more. FFF get real!
Phil Martin
58   Posted 07/11/2008 at 14:29:31

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Completely agree with Richard Dodd - when we are guaranteed to finish top 8 every year (at the very worst) let's worry about the standard of football then.

And Tony Mckeown pot on. BK is the major problem here. We all appreciate he is a blue but after employing Wyness and knocking back Randy Lerner?s investment (allegedly), is he really fit and proper to judge who?s good enough for EFC? Sure he holds all the cards as owner but that doesn?t make him the right man. The lack of investment (down to BK) in players and the standard of football on the pitch are 100% linked. I think the buck has to stop with the board.
Paul Tran
59   Posted 07/11/2008 at 14:30:17

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Why can’t we have some proper constructive debate here? Everytime someone makes a critical point about the club, there’s a barrage of ’fuck off and support Utd’, ’don’t criticise the club, etc, or my own personal favourite, ’you want Sam Allardyce’

Football didn’t start in 1992. I’ve been going to Goodison since 1970. Every Everton manager and every Everton team has had criticism, generally from diehard fans who will go anywhere to support the Blues. Having an honest opinion about what you pay to see is what this game is all about.

The club is in better shape than it was. It could be a lot better. We should be able to use this improvement to attract better players and investment. Why aren’t we all fighting for further improvement rather than telling ourselves that wherever we finish is ’good’?

I appreciate that for some supporters, Moyes is the best Everton manager they have seen. Just for once, I’d like someone to outline precisely how they think he’s going to maintain progress, rather than trash our previous success and accuse me and others of being anti-Everton.

I’d like someone to tell me what their idea of genuine progress will be, not to tell me that Moyes is better then Walter Smith.

I’d like someone to say what finishing position would be ’good’, rather than tell me that cups ’don’t matter’ or that our history is meaningless because football started in 1992.

My blind faith is with Everton FC, not with the person who happens to have the title of manager. I’ll be with the club longer than they will.

I’ll happily debate all things Blue with anyone -please don’t be scared of different opinions to your own.

By the way if you must agree with all things said and done by the manager - how many of you were calling for Walter Smith’s head? Were you being disloyal, or were you, like me, judging things by what you were seeing?
Richard Dodd
60   Posted 07/11/2008 at 16:03:42

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Paul, of course I realise there was an Everton before 1992. The record books show it was a force in the land before the Second War but enjoyed only sporadic success thereafter. But whilst all that history is to be tresured and relished it is just that... history. It has no relavence to what?s happenning in 2008 when unlike the old First Division, the Premier League is a competition between teams made up of some of the WORLD?S finest players.

I know it gets me endless stick but I continue to hold to the belief that ?Tenth is Good? although, of course, I hope and pray for a lot more!

Alan Dyke
61   Posted 07/11/2008 at 16:12:53

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Doddy: I think it was you who posted that our all-time Premier average finish stands at 9th not 10th ? so 9th should be classed as just that; AVERAGE. Thus an 8th finish would be ABOVE AVERAGE and 7th GOOD. Similar criteria would make 6th VERY GOOD, 5th EXCELLENT and anything above that a fucking MIRACLE!

So let?s have no more of this ?Tenth is Good? shit..... PLEASE!

Harry Meek
62   Posted 07/11/2008 at 16:27:08

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I?ll buy into your criteria, Alan, although if only we could see some good quality football along the way it wouldn?t half help. I saw another Brian Clough quote today: "If God had meant football to be played in the air, he would have made the clouds out of grass." Think I?ll send it to Moysey and some of our defenders!
Tony McKeown
63   Posted 07/11/2008 at 21:34:14

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Phil Martin.
I believe that Bill needs to sell, but I also believe he is so concerned that another Johnson may come onto the scene, he has doubts and won't sell. I am not a believer of the theory that he wants too much for the club, but I take on board what you say and have to think there is no smoke without fire. Let's hope he finds the buyer he is looking for and soon, then we may get the investment we need. Then Moyes can be judged fairly, because he won?t have any excuses for the cautious approach he takes now.

I still think Moyes has done as much for the club as anyone could, but still hark back to my first thoughts: why be so cautious all the time? We could still reach safety by playing cautious against the bigger clubs... how many points have we lost by being negative? How many times have we sat on what we have only to be caught out?

Thanks for the comments, I have to say these interactions/debates make me realise that, while the likes of us are willing to discuss with passion and belief, we will eventually come good again and then, we will have to find something else to debate. Cheers one and all.

James Boden
64   Posted 07/11/2008 at 22:02:03

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Richard Dodd, are you being serious in saying "Tenth is Good"? That is totally unacceptable. However, I do owe someone praise but not in the sense I wanted it to be. Paul Tran wrote a magnificent letter.

Every time one of us has a rant at Moyes, some of you go mad and come out with ridiculous comments. Apparently that makes us anti-Everton. I guess because David Moyes is a better manager than Walter Smith that everything is rosy. It's like whoever loves the manager the most is Everton's biggest fan.

As Paul said, we should be fighting for improvement rather than telling ourselves wherever we finish is good. Some of you moan at us lot for wanting attractive football, yet you're happy with top 10. It seems to you that the be-all and end-all is if we make it into top half that's good enough.

And we can't really use the excuse that the world's finest players are here. In the 1960s, the First Division was host to some of the finest footballers ever to ply their trade in this country but there was only 1 European Cup win for any team. Does that mean the teams now would be better than the teams then? I don't think so.

Yes, I can't argue that Moyes has helped us progress, but he cracks when it comes to the big occasion. If we are to get into the top 4 and beyond, it won't be with him at the helm. And if I'm not mistaken, if we fail to win anything this year ? wouldn?t that make Moyes our longest reigning manager never to have won something? Not good enough I'm sorry.

Paul Tran
65   Posted 08/11/2008 at 09:29:47

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Richard, I share your hopes and prayers.

It?s just that if we really do have a great chairman, if we really do have a great manager, if the club really is in good shape, if there is really no need for any of us to come on here and suggest improvements, I?d expect to be doing more than hoping and praying.

In my 45 years as a blue, I?ve seen a lot more bad than good. Within the rare good periods, I?ve seen some simple things that made them good. Moyes has replicated some of them: organisation, discipline, hard work, good low-budget signings. So far, he?s missed out on passing, pace and bringing some genuine characters to the club. There?s also an over-reliance on running, which is the main reason why Moyes?s sides go through periods where they look leggy and physically/mentally shattered.

I thought Moyes had turned a corner for part of last season when we passed the ball, played the game in the other team?s half, scored some goals and gave some teams a good beating.

Was this luck, was it by accident, or was it because during that period he found a way of getting that message to the players?

Whatever it is, when we get that back, 5th place in this poor league will be ours.

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