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To His Apologists...

I've gotten plenty of flack for daring to question the exalted position of David Moyes, and his continuing failure to really step up to his post as Manger of Everton Football Club. A lot of it was precipitated from yesterday's tirade about the level of "respect" the man deserves for his faltering attempts at progress.

Today's fantastic result will of course be used as proof that I am wrong about David Moyes. The irony, though, surely lost on all the contributors who have who posted a myriad of pathetic excuses for a continuing dirge of failure and lousy football, is that this game today epitomises just exactly what people like me have been asking for from Everton under David Moyes for months and months and months.

Unlike the massed ranks of the Moyes Apologists, we knew it was not unreasonable to expect the players Moyes had collected to play to this high standard and produce this kind of fantastic result. Yet we were repeatedly told by wiser minds — who claimed to know far more about the current game called Premier League football — that such things were not possible.

For the record, we have been told repeatedly, AD NAUSEUM, that:

  • The Premier League now is all about money and Everton are skint
  • Everton do not have the resources to beat the Sky 4 on a consistent basis
  • Everton cannot be expected to play flowing passing football on the ground — we don't have the players... we can't afford them.
  • We have no other option than to play hoofball, which is a valid form of defensive play in these modem times.
  • Parking the bus and hoping to nick a goal was our only hope for success against better teams
  • Producing expansive football in open play against teams that cost hundreds of millions to assemble would simply be suicide.
  • Our squad is so small, we be cannot be expected to perform when we have crucial first choice players (Jagielka, Cahill, Fellaini anyone?) missing or out injured.
  • David Moyes has done the best he possibly could with one/both hands tied behind his back through lack of support from the Board of Directors.
Put all of the above statements against the performance today, coming as it did hot on the heels of a similar performance against Chelsea 10 days ago (and therefore clearly not a one-off) and there is only one conclusion: what a load of utter shite people have been spouting.

Every single one of those points has been blown out of the water and shown up for being absolute garbage. Today's game showed what the current Everton are really capable of.

And for the record, my lack of respect for Moyes is only enforced by the fact that he fucked about for months at the start of this season (and last!!!), totally defeating any chance we had to really progress well into the top four — something which should have been fully within our grasp based on the "progress" you acolytes have been touting.

Real progress is a steady upward curve — not the lurching roller-coaster ride we have had — and may well continue to have — under David Moyes. Time and time again since we finished fourth ("over-achieved", supposedly) we have failed to kick-on, and for me that has been down to the continuing failings of David Moyes. In my judgment, these have far outweighed any positives since 2004. [and please, let's not have the Walter Smith crap for the umpteenth time... surely we are well past that now?]

In other threads, people have talked about balance and giving Moyes credit while recognizing his weaknesses. Well, I hold him to a higher standard and I make absolutely no apologies for doing so. Because today's victory is vindication for everything I believe in in terms of what these players, this team, the club and our supporters are really capable of.

What has been missing is self-belief and a winning mentality. And for those glaring omissions, the finger points unerringly at one person — David Moyes. Is it something that has now finally changed? I bloody well hope so... but only time will tell.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 20/02/2010 at 13:35:16

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Reader Comments

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Matthew Tait
1   Posted 20/02/2010 at 16:55:35

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Let me get this straight Michael - you’re actually seriously suggesting that the team putting in a great performance and beating Man U somehow vindicates Moyes’ critics, rather than those who try to defend him from the knees-jerking Moyes-Out brigade??

Let me have some of what you’re smoking, please.
Sam Hoare
2   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:01:49

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We beat the champions 3-1 comfortably and you somehow manage to turn that into justification to villify the manager.

If you can’t just enjoy days like this then that is an unfortunate state of affairs. Surely Moyes has earned at least one day off from his detractors!
Gavin Fennessy
3   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:02:14

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Michael, I can only imagine you are trying to get a response with that ridiculous opinion piece. If you have an issue with Moyes and the football, then fine - many of us do. However, the hyperbole and bitterness doesn’t really fit a day when Everton have enjoyed a rare win over Utd. Just smacks of someone who has found events conspiring to undermine his belief system.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
4   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:08:15

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Matthew, there is no "Moyes Out Brigade". As I’ve always said, I want him to be a better manager. I don’t believe I have ever campaigned for him to go, despite what people like you repeatedly claim.

In the last four years I have become extremely frustrated in that desire for him to improve, to the point of failing to believe that it will ever happen. But my wish has always been for him to become a better manager.

On recent evidence, he might well be getting there, finally. But as I say, only time will really tell.
Tom Harries
5   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:07:18

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The most important thing, as Michael points out, is that we DON’T WASTE the summer again. if we do, today’s result doesn’t mean a thing, no matter how great it was.

However, right now we are 6 points off automatice qualification for Europe, 7 points off 4th place, and we don’t play any of the Sky 4 again (I think).

David Moyes did his job brilliantly today. But we need this kind of game, team selection, positive attitude (and great substitutions) every week.
Richard Jones
6   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:12:07

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A ’roller coaster ride’...don’t make me laugh. A rollercoaster ride of 5th, 6th, 5th over the past 3 seasons...what crappy amusement park do you visit Michael?!

We all want silverware, but we also want to have a team that is not constantly flirting with relegation and a collection of second-rate nobodies. So why not enjoy today’s result (and the other 2 games that we’ve won this month against top sides), rather than bait other Everton fans with your negative drivel?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
7   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:16:00

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No Danny, clearly you don’t understand anything. Try re-reading the points I was making and see if you can figure it out. The point is, people said this was not possible. I was one of the few who believed it was (otherwise why would I critcise Moyes for showing too much respect to the top four?)

If I didn’t believe we could be doing much better against the top four than we were, why would I even bother to critique him? I would have accepted the mediocrity that was supposedly all we could expect from him and his players.

Surely it’s not that complex a concept for you to grasp, is it?
Nathan Ward
8   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:19:07

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Today is one of the great days of being a blue. To start an arguement again for no apparent reason also makes you look a fool.

For what its worth, the truth about Moyes is somewhere between the two arguements yesterday. Better than Smith and most of the other EPL managers but could still do better.

Today he did.
David Booth
9   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:11:41

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Tempting as it is to denounce all your arguments, I will say just one, very pertinent thing: if, as you claim, it is time to get over Walter Smith and any comparison with 2004 - then going back another nine years to your favourite anti-Moyes rant, the FA Cup win under Joe Royle, is completely irrelevant.

We beat the champions 3-1 (having beaten the league leaders 2-1 a week ago), and you criticise.
James Flynn
10   Posted 20/02/2010 at 16:59:06

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I’m an American new here as a Toffee supporter. I knew of Everton as a solid side in the EPL from following how are Timmy was doing in goal. Once our best player Landon was signed, I signed on too.

With that, it seems Everton is doing pretty well overall and very well lately. Yes, players win games, not managers. But it seems that when things are going well, the manager should get some credit.

I’ve seen Moyes argued back and forth here since following the club. If I following rightly, the main argument is if our strategy is timid; hold back and defend and hope for a break. That certainly will keep in you games, but completely eliminates "Nothing risked, nothing gained"; a key factor of success in any field.

We’re a successful attacking side lately, as Michael points out above. Certainly Moyes has something to do with that change in strategy. I have only followed the Toffees closely since Donovan arrived (and want to think he has something to do with the step-up in the attack). But I notice we were also getting players back to health. And again, players win games, not managers (Put SAF managing a relegation side and sit back with a beer and enjoy the comedy).

On the other hand, Michael’s article points out what’s worth repeating, "Nothing risked, nothing gained". That is an axiom of success in war, business, love, certainly competitive athletics. The other guy has to be scared of you, too. That’s an attitude change, difficult to quantify, that definately exists. And that’s how I read Michael and agree. If you have the attacking talent, attack! No question.

With all that, up the table we go!! No complacency. 4th place is up for grabs and Everton has to have both hands in reaching.

Up Everton

Dave Jeanrenaud
11   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:15:49

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I’m not sure Moyes can be blamed entirely for the wasted summer(s).

It seems to me that the problem lies in the lack of financial support from the board. Let’s not also forget the catastrophic injuries that we have suffered and from which we continue to suffer.

Mr Moyes continues to work miracles with his hands tied behind his back.

Pound for pound the best manager in the Premiership.
Tom Tani
12   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:17:41

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Hello from across the Big Pond...

I have been following Everton since Tim Howard joined and my son has jumped on since Landon hooked up. I bought him his first soccer jersey off the EFC site.

From where I sit nothing David Moyes does will ever satisfy Mr. Kenrick. When Everton loses, he stinks. When they win, like theu did today, he STILL stinks. Thankfully, it seems Everton’s management does not share that opinion as he is still the manager.

Congrats to the club today. My son and I watched the whole match this morning starting at 7:45 AM. The team has really come a long way and with players returning from injury a shot at the Top 5 is not out of the question.

And it is nice to see two USA players being such a big part of it all!

Have a great day.... you too Mike.
Geoff Edwards
13   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:13:41

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He’s secretly delighted about today’s win and he loves David Moyes for it. He’s just got this post in in order to pre-empt those who will write in and take him to task for his attack on Moyes the other day, which was somewhat flawed in my opinion, given that his base for comparison was Joe Royle’s Dogs of War, who, from what I remember, played a lot of long ball football, finished no higher than 6th in the league and nicked a 1-0 win in the 1995 cup final with a good display of defensive football.
Christopher Marston
14   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:31:26

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Moyes is turning a corner, he now has the personnel to really go for it... onwards and upwards folks!!

Let’s all get behind the Blues and encourage them to go for it... Champions League is well within our grasp!!

Mark Reid
15   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:30:48

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Micheal. Wrote on here yesterday you want to calm it down. You have an opinion; Moyes’s supporters have theirs.

And take the flak where Moyes proves you wrong.
Eric Myles
16   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:23:48

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Bashing your head against a brick wall here, I think, Michael.

For those of you that don’t get the point, it is that this team is capable of performances like this, they have been all along.

There’s no reason they can’t do this every week but a lot of posters on here think it’s impossible — see the points raised by Michael to see the excuses why.

Andy Morden
17   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:28:07

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I can see what Michael is saying. He speaks from a position of frustration. We can do it, but we need to do it more often.

I’m not convinced that the pre-season preparations are entirely Moyes fuck ups, lacking funds, agents cocking up negotiations, Players playing up and demanding moves to alleged ’bigger and better’ things are not his fault.

Not entirely convinced about our players being in tip-top condition for the start of the season though, that has to go down to the Manager and his coaching team. It mystifies me why we let Fellaini play on through weightloss and debilitating tooth infection for half a season before sending him for an op. He does also seem to buy some odd players at odd times.

Still, he is in charge, I am hopeful (perhaps wrongly) that he will learn — see his recent comments about handling Rooney — and I look forward to this summer with a perverse curiosity. It is a big test for the man in charge...

Neil Pearse
18   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:22:59

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Michael, your problem is in your first sentence, talking about those "daring to question the exalted position of David Moyes". This is not who you are arguing with, although no doubt your usual strawmen make things easier for you.

Some of us believe that Moyes has his good points and his weaknesses. Like most managers actually. We believe that consistently outpunching our financial weight cannot be a coincidence. We know that he has a hard-driving team-based defensive first style. And we are not one-eyed enough to believe that this has nothing to do with our relative ... [Ed Note: word missing... poverty?]. And we notice that he consistently transforms players to make them better than they were when he bought them (usually for not very much).

In short, we believe he deserves some credit and not your pathetically self-serving "we won because now he is playing my way" comments that you make when we win. Which are in any way inaccurate since he is clearly playing very much his way and not yours.

As for money, your comments are stupid. Look at the table. The richest clubs dominate the top places. Ask yourself why Burnley and Wolves are not in the top four. Or is that too hard for you?
Christopher McCullough
19   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:32:50

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In Michael’s defence — even Tiler and Gray noted that Everton have shown ’too much respect’ to the Big Four.

He was definitely affected by the Anfield aura.

A bit of perspective reveals, however, a building momentum.
Colin Southern
20   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:28:14

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Its really sad to see that Toffeeweb is becoming a bit of joke at the moment, with its ultra-negative stance against the club.

I just think you’re trying to be a bit too provocative and its even beginning to creep into the match content.
Gary Robinson
21   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:33:33

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Except from that Moyes didn’t do anything different this game then he always does.

He stuck with 4-5-1 rather than played two strikes, he played entirely players he’s brought into the club including the much criticised Osman and Neville instead of more outwardly attacking players like Coleman and it was the high tempo, pressing style that he’s coached into us that won the game.

This was exactly the kind of performance Moyes’ team often gives, there was nothing new about it. No new tactics he’d adopted just the old tactics working.

How you can say our great performance proves your criticism right, when this was basically the same team and tactics that you’ve been criticising is beyond me.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
22   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:40:42

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ps: Too much personal abuse in this thread so I am going back and removing it. Also any posts that are not on topic will be removed.
Dave Jeanrenaud
23   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:38:01

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The very fact that we have a team capable of beating Chelsea and Man Utd at home in the space of 10 days is all down to the fabulous job done by David Moyes in building the best squad we have had since the mid 80s.

He deserves credit for this.
Will Leaf
24   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:36:26

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Quick aside: If this thread does not confirm we need to retain the services of a certain Landon Donovan, I do not know what will.

Has sold one jersey, at the least!

Come one, come all, ye Americans, the Everton Express is leaving the station!
Matthew Tait
25   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:38:54

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Exactly Neil.

The issue is, Michael, that all you’ve done is set up and knock down a silly straw man of a ’Moyes Apologist’ perspective that doesn’t exist. The points you’ve made as representing an ’Apologist’ perspective are gross oversimplifications.

We all want Moyes and the team to improve - you and the other incessant critics don’t have a monopoly on wanting us to play good football and challenge for the title, you know. Some of us are just a bit more realistic than other about our ability to do that week in, week out on our current resources. But the team has been built over time, players are developing and maturing and blending into a unit - all of which is down to Moyes...!

But anyway, I think this result should be celebrated, rather than used as an opportunity to try to score some petty points...
Neil Pearse
26   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:39:30

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Michael - I missed a word which you supplied above. It wasn’t ’poverty’. It was that the Moyes defensive style obviously has something very much to do with our relative success under Moyes (given our resources).

If you think that we won today mostly by playing "open expansive" football you must have been watching another game. Although it does suit your self-justifying view that finally Moyes is coming round to the Kenrick style of football. Fortunately not.
Howard Don
27   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:39:07

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Michael - Talk about getting your defence in first! And you just can’t argue logically without being insulting and sarcastic can you? Apologists my foot, I’ll criticise when I see reason, and praise likewise. Just happens I see lots to praise in Moyes.

You’ve just posted paranoid, self justifying drivel I could take apart bit by bit except you’d cut it and I haven’t got the time to waste as I’m taking the wife down town for a meal and going to enjoy the moment. I suggest you relax and do the same.
Kevin Sparke
28   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:38:56

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Michael, I know you’ve been on the end of some flack recently for your assessment of our manager and not all of it has been deserved — you are as entitled to your opinion as the next man; even if this opinion is verging on crackpot.

However, this is the leading unofficial Everton supporting site... we have just witness one of the finest performances by an Everton team for 20 odd years, the whole Blue half of Merseyside is buzzing.... and yet you chose to lead with this self-indulgent navel gazing claptrap...

Is this what you set out to achieve when you took the site onwards?

Is this what Toffeeweb is about?

I urge you as a fellow Evertonian - take a deep breath and consider your aims - most Evertonians are celebrating a famous victory... this is the leading unoffical Everton site and you’re engaging in petty-minded vitriol... shame on you

And you wonder why the site has such a mixed reputation amongst the Everton community.

Nick Entwistle
29   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:25:49

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I’m a big suppoter of Moyes, and for me the sun does indeed shine from his butt, and MK does have many vaild points.

Though he says today shows it can be done, I think that is wrong as all his points are geared towards the bigger picture i.e. final league position.
I haven’t checked the table after today’s games but the top four are still the top four, unless the City billionaires have jumped over the shite.

Pushing on to the top four is possible for us.
But its Moyes who needs to show this can be done by 1, playing football for a whole season, and 2, getting a summer completed as required for the first time since ’06.

In his tenure, he will either acheive this once more, or he won’t. If he doesn’t he will be viewed as an almost man, and an almost man is a faliure. But all this teatering on success is a pain in the ass as other than financially, everything is in place.

This summer is a biggy. Though you never know, we may be buying for the CL!!!!
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
30   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:47:17

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Sorry I misread your mind there, Neil.

As for "oversimplification", that is far too easy blanket putdown that I reject out of hand. Have not all these excuses (and a myriad of others I have thankfully forgotten) been put forward as reasons why we cannot win games against better teams? Well, we just did.

Yes, a very simple point perhaps... but a very meaningful one for me at least.
Russell Smith
31   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:49:23

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Worst article I have ever read on here Michael. You only need to look at what we achieved in the few seasons before Moyes and look at what we are achieving now to see how good he has been for us.
Nathan Ward
32   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:51:34

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re Will Leaf - agree totally. Cracking player and did a wonderful job today. My MOTM

Even thinking of getting a Donavan shirt for my hols in the US later in the year!
Gavin Ramejkis
33   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:44:27

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I agree with you Eric and it’s my stance too, given some of the football we saw with our own eyes today, the players we have are more than capable of outplaying a top side. I’m not saying Man U are the Man U of old and are a different side than the one which won the league without Ronaldho and Tevez but one which still beat a decent Milan side during the week and the same high in the league. What I want to see is that sort of performance every week.

I’ll hold my hand up and say I expected at very best a draw today without Fellaini and Cahill and was surprised at the comeback from what was their only shot on goal during the match, I’ll also hold my hand up and say I felt the Gosling sub at the time was wrong as I thought Bily was having a decent game and felt Gosling isn’t as good but will hold my hand up to say fair play the lad scored. Overall am happy and hoarse from the game but want that sort of commitment every game not just in fits and starts.

I’m happy with all the players today as they all put in a shift especially Osman who was my Man of the Match
Guy McEvoy
34   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:03:02

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Kermit fella. Seriously, we just beat one of the best teams on planet earth. Five days ago we beat another of the better teams in Europe, and a week before that we beat another of the best teams on planet earth.

Enjoy the moment. Go and buy an expensive bottle of bubbly. Gather your freinds. Drink it. Rejoice.

Life’s too short for negativity!
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
35   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:06:46

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Guy, don’t worry about me. I enjoyed the game (see my Match Report). And what underlies my OpEd is positivity — not negativity.

I’ve always been positive about the fact that we could beat teams like Utd, City, Chelsea... anyone in fact.

See what I finished with: self belief and a winning mentality... how much more positive could I be? That’s why I’ve become so frustrated with Moyes’s abject negativity... it’s been driving me MAD!

Christopher Marston
36   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:09:33

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On another note, wow to Landon Donovan. We must move heaven and earth to try and sign this player even if it appears unlikely he will come permanently. However, after tasting victory against Chelski and ManUre, and being applauded in every game so far, he must know that sticking with the mighty blues would be the best move for him! Please stay Landon!
Andy Hegan
37   Posted 20/02/2010 at 14:16:14

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I wonder what we'll get on MOTD tonight? Does anyone have any suggestions on what angle they will put on todays game? They won't say that it was down to Everton outplaying them, that's for sure.
Mark Scarratt
38   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:08:54

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At the start of the season and during most of this season at various times we have had the following players missing for some or all of the season


Only now are the injured players numbering single figures and it will come as no surprise that we are now playing better football because our best player (Arteta) is back in the team.

This is not rocket science. How many other managers could cope with such a huge injury list?

Liverpool lose Torres and turn into a pile of crap

Moyes could not have forecast such a huge amount of injuries. You criticise him for not spending to cover these injuries. Tell me which players who are better that the ones we have, could have been bought. How many midfielders of Arteta’s quality are available???

People who come on here and criticise Moyes need to get real. He has done a magnificent job as have all the backroom staff at EFC especially at youth level if you look at the number of homegrown players being brought through.

Some people are never happy. Shame on you all.
Paul McGinty
39   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:58:51

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I am just enjoying the moment. A lot of good performances. Heitinger did a wonderful job on Rooney today I thought. The midfield 5 won its battle and Saha dominated Brown and Evans. Tactically , the Manager got it right today and given the opposition he is to be commended for that . Switching Billy and Donavon around worked as did the substitutions .Thoroughly deserved and a great day to be a blue.
David O'Connor
40   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:19:08

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Spot on article, Michael

Completely agree. More self-belief, less hoofball, and we could comfortably finish in the top 4 next season.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
41   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:21:13

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Mark, a couple facts: injuries have been in double figures only very rarely this season... something like two or three matches I believe.

And today we were missing three of our best players — Jagielka, Cahill and Fellaini. Yet we still beat the current champions and potential Champions Elect — something I’ve been told on here is a fantasy, an unreasonable expectation. Not so.

Neil Pearse
42   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:15:33

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Fair point on not being able to read my mind Michael! Apologies there.

One thing I can agree on. It does seem that there is some more self-belief and less deference in the side now when we play the big teams. But I don’t think Moyes has at all changed our style of play. That is where I think you are wrong. The dominant feature of our play today, like always, was keeping structure and chasing back. When our more skilful players are available, Moyes has always added neat quick passing moves like the ones that got our second goal today. That was Moyes all over.

And maybe Moyes shouldn’t take all the credit for the stronger mentality. I am a believer for example that Heitinga is a very important player now in many ways for our team. He exudes strength and confidence and appears not to give a toss about anyone’s reputation. That helps.
James Tunstead
43   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:15:11

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Today's angle will be that United were tired from playing in Italy in midweek and having to play the early Saturday game.
Des Farren
44   Posted 20/02/2010 at 17:46:22

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A memorable game, great performance from our lads and I feel, special mention should go to Leon Osman for a truly wonderful effort. How this guy gets the stick he does on here baffles me.

I don’t think however we should get carried away —remember how poor we were for last 30mins against Sporting.

"The proof of the pudding" as they say will be in how many consistent performances, like today’s, we will see over the remaining games.

Nathan Ward
45   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:28:35

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Good call on Heitinga.

Turning out to be a cracking player - would be one of the first players on the team sheet now regardless of who else is fit.

Seems also to be a natural leader - perhaps a captain of the future
Mike Green
46   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:14:43

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At the start of the season I looked at this month (not counting the Europa League fixtures v SL) and thought "that’s shit or bust" time.

At the start of this month I just wanted to have got through it and not fallen too far back into the mire.

What we have achieved in the past couple of weeks has been fantastic, and should we get through v SL and get 3 points at Spurs then Moyes will get manager of the month without doubt, if he’s not got it already.

Football’s a funny old game - we have spent the hole season firing on half our available cylinders due to injury and I personally expect there to be plenty of ups and downs until the end of the season.

I do think that February 2010 could be the month that Moyes has truly stepped up to put his hat in the ring with the big boys.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
47   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:27:56

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It’s a fair point you raise about tactics and style of play, Neil. But I’m not sure I really agree. I’ve got this image fixed in my head of a bus parked... and nab a goal off a set piece if we can... and if we go behind... fuck it. Based on this season up until just a few games ago, that has been "Moyes all over" — certainly not the open expansive passing game that led to our excellent second goal.

I will no doubt invoke even more wrath by saying that was down to Donovan, who hasn’t had his natural attacking zeal Moyesed out of him yet. ;-)

Other people elsewhere are maintaining that we played well, and I don’t believe that tactics (other than the dreaded hoofball) were included above in my punch list.

Agree with you about Heitinga, though. He’s been excellent.
Neil Pearse
48   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:36:11

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Naughty on Donovan Michael! I saw him chasing back many many times today, and clearing our lines from inside our own box.

I would more say that Donovan was brought to Goodison and has done so well so quickly in the team because he is a Moyes type player absolutely all over. Compare as I said before to ’attack only’ players like like Valencia or Babel who wouldn’t get near a Moyes team - or would be comprehensively (and rightly) ’re-programmed’ if they did.

It would be fabulous if somehow we could keep Landon.
Mike Allison
49   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:36:32

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"something I’ve been told on here is a fantasy, an unreasonable expectation. Not so"

That’s a misrepresentation Michael. What people do when they argue with you is offer a defence of a manager who you unreasonably criticise.

Your bullet points above are also a misrepresentation of those who disagree with you, and frankly, they’re all reasonable points, which just increases the respect Moyes deserves for the job he does. The football simply isn’t as bad as you seem to think it is, it certainly doesn’t justify your bizarre, backed into a corner stance. Come back, join in, be happy.

Every fan who’s come on here and supported David Moyes even when we’ve been bad wants us to play great football and win every week. The difference is in how we react when we can’t have what we want. Some of us take it on the chin, look at the bigger picture, and look for the positives and the rays of hope, others moan and whinge.

Some of you seem to have the impression that you’re like Martin Luther King, standing up and speaking out for truth, justice and the Everton way, and seem to see the rest of us as meek Uncle Toms, blindly accepting, sheep-like, our place in the world and whatever’s given to us. If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem.

My analogy would be more like two kids who want a toy but neither of them are allowed it. One kid quietly accepts the situation, whilst thinking about the reasons why he’s not been bought it, and wondering how he might be allowed it in the future. The other kid stamps his feet, screams, cries, throws a huge tantrum and tells his parents he hates them. Which kid would you rather be?

If we could play brilliantly and win every week fine, but many of us see that it’s not that simple, and there’s often the small matter of the highly paid opposition running around stopping us. We have no divine right, simply because we were brilliant every week in the 1980s and some of you were lucky enough to see that. Being a football supporter is about taking the rough in order to really enjoy the smooth, something a lot of people feel more able to do after recent games, and why would anyone want to deny anyone else that?

Using Moyes’s own success as ’proof’ that you’ve been right all along is incredible, you belong in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Moyes’s Success proves his Failure.

Jim Austen
50   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:46:16

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Woah. We beat Manchester United in the same ten-day period in which we’ve bettered Chelsea, coming from behind in both matches and outplaying the respective teams in both matches. Not to mention a midweek victory over Sporting Lisbon. And the editor of this supporter’s website, uses this as an occasion, the occasion, to suggest that Moyes is an underperforming manager, to suggest that we’ve not been successful? And not only that, but to personally insult members and Moyes?
Firstly, the stupidity of the first paragraph, written as follows – ‘I’ve gotten plenty of flack for daring to question the exalted position of David Moyes, and his continuing failure to really step up to his post as Manger of Everton Football Club. A lot of it was precipitated from yesterday’s tirade about the level of "respect" the man deserves for his faltering attempts at progress’.

You later go on to suggest that we’ve had rollercoaster success.... Now let me check my memory, because maybe they are wrong... But When Moyes took over, weren’t we fighting against relegation? And last season.. Didn’t we finish fifth and get to the final of the FA cup? And haven’t we finished in the top six in the last three seasons?

And is it not fair to say that if it wasn’t for the Lescott saga and disproportionally bad luck with injuries that we would in all likelihood be in a very strong position with regards to Champions League qualification this season? And all of this with a fraction of the budget of our rivals? And that’s... unsuccessful?

Everton beat Manchester United today, and Chelsea last week, because of Moyes not in spite of him. When we were doing badly, Moyes had a lot of support, not because people blindly follow him, but because of what Moyes has done for Everton FC and because we knew that when injuries cleared up, when luck balanced out, that we would again go back to making an impact in this league. Those supporters were proved right.

Trying to suggest that today’s result and performance is indicative of usual underperformance and therefore as a reason to question Moyes is even, in a mind so clearly misguided as yours, absurd. We have lost generally to the top four under Moyes’s reign because we are not as good as them. Not because we have underperformed, but because we lack their money and started under Moyes, on a far lower footing. We are getting closer, this season we have been affected by injuries, but we are getting closer, that is clear.

The reason for that? I’ll give you a clue, he has won three LMA manager of the year awards and is the likely contender for Sir Alex’s job. He has taken a club from relegation fodder and given everyone of us European football and a reason to look at the top half of the table. The most remarkable of all is that he is done this in spite of, in your words, ‘his continuing failure to really step up to his post as Manger of Everton Football Club’

Why don’t you try and take your head out of the clouds you evidently spend too much time in, and come back to the real world? The real world in which we’ve just beaten Chelsea, Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United in a week. You will enjoy it down here, believe me.

Conor Waters
51   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:46:27

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Michael, I too get frustrated by our inability to punish the so-called bigger teams, when clearly we have established a great squad of players, with obvious talent and flair. And yes, when we’ve now done it back to back against the two best teams in the country, it does make you wonder why we dont do it more often - but as i stated already, just enjoy the day FFS.
Ian Tunstead
52   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:46:41

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Michael, I am almost lost for words how you can turn such a good performance and great result into a dig at David Moyes. You and others have said in the past that we should be able to criticise when neccessary as well as giving credit when credit is due, but you don’t seem capable of giving any praise or credit. There is always a negative spin on things.

It is David Moyes who has put this team together, so why not show some appreciation? You say ’’What has been missing is self-belief and a winning mentality’’ — You are right but his does not suddenly appear over night, this can take years of winning big games and trophies to instill that kind of self-belief or by bringing in players like Neville and Saha who are used to winning, which again Moyes is responsible for, yet others on here want Neville out the team for a player who has player half a dozzen games and won nothing.
Stuart Ansell
53   Posted 20/02/2010 at 18:31:28

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What a performance today, the lads were superb. To go behind to Chelsea and then Man Utd and then come away with 6 points, there’s not many teams that can say that. I think the game was really tight, and for once we didn’t show Man Utd the respect we normally give them. It was gutting to go 1-0 down as I thought we were playing quite well but then to see Van Der Sar watch Billys thunder bolt bust the net was pure bliss. To be honest 1-1 at half time was a fair score. The second half was also a tight affair and when Moyes put Gosling on for Billy I was screaming, I was hoping for Vaughn or Yak but how wrong was I to be proved. I even moaned when Rodwell came on, but again I was proved wrong, and what an important goal at such an important time. I actually enjoyed the last few minutes for a change instead of nearly having a heart attack and physically being sick.

I know our team played really well but I think the major factor to our win today was Rooney having an off day. It really highlighted how much Man U rely on him and how fantastic he has been for them this season. I know most Evertonians see Rooney leaving us as a sore point, but I really think we are probably where we are down to the transfer money we got for him. Everton now has a squad of players that can compete and beat any team on there day. We are no way the finished article, but with the resources we have I am so proud to say I support Everton, I question Moyes substitutions and teams sometimes, but I have to say that Moyes has brought some pride and joy to the blue side of Liverpool in the last few years. If you look back to the 90’s everyone would be overjoyed to see how we are playing and competing now.

Tough game this week, I hope we go to Sporting Lisbon with a positive attacking set up. Really don’t want to sit back and suffer the away goal ruling.

Fantastic Result a smile like the Cheshire cat.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
54   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:01:45

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Nice shot at twisting my words around there, Mike Alison. Very creative. No "proof" offered, however; simply an opinion based on what I see versus what I read. Many have said the football has been dreadful at times; fine if you disagree... but again, I can only go by what I see. And I have seen that Moyes has had us playing plenty of dreadful football this season.
Mark Murphy
55   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:08:31

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Michael I agree to most of it but leave it till Monday fella!

I’m still bouncing!!!


Steve Hopkins
56   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:10:32

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Bad day Michael? All I can say is that I’m astounded by your posts today
Mike Allison
57   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:07:26

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Er, okay:

Moyes Success Demonstrates His Failure

That doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. If you’re upset about stuff like that then you genuinely don’t seem to realise how you come across on here. I’m not sure why the word ’proof’ matters so much, as the sentiment is basically correct. I hope you read the rest of what I said rather than focusing on that bit at the end. At the moment you’ve been bought the toy and you’re still kicking and screaming about not having been bought it earlier.

Some of our football has been poor (with many mitigating factors) but you have an incredible, extreme position on our manager, and even compared him unfavourably to Joe Royle’s team (including style of play) the other day. I’m simply saying the football hasn’t been poor enough for your position to make any sense.

Barcelona just scored by ’hoofing’ it straight down the middle by the way, and we’ve scored goals doing that at times. You overreact to it.

The Moyes ’apologists’, as I’ve said before, don’t think he’s beyond criticism, and many of us are happy to criticise him when we think he deserves it, but we also don’t expect perfection, and accept Moyes’ weaknesses and mistakes in the wider context of all the things he does right. You seem to be happy to ignore all the things he does right as things we should naturally expect anyway, they are our right as Evertonians. That aint the case.

Without Moyes, we probably wouldn’t be in a position to complain about style of play, our results would be everything, and we wouldn’t be close to winning anything, except perhaps the Championship.
Shaun Sparke
58   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:20:35

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Whilst I agree with many of the points that you allude to Michael, today was a fantastic day for every Evertonian and introducing this topic before the dust has settled does you no credit at all.
Stefan Tosev
59   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:13:46

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"• The Premier League now is all about money and Everton are skint" – Yeap that’s true, the small squad will always be struck by injuries and the reserves are far, far away from being able to replace them like for like and as a result – Everton will struggle with injuries to their key personnel

"• Everton do not have the resources to beat the Sky 4 on a consistent basis" – Also true look above it depends at what time we meet them with our top 11 or with make shift squad

"• Everton cannot be expected to play flowing passing football on the ground — we don’t have the players... we can’t afford them" – To the contrary, I have always stated that I have seen what a fully fit Everton team performs like and always advocated for patience until we have at least some of our ball players back.

"• We have no other option than to play hoofball, which is a valid form of defensive play in these modem times" – I've never said anything like that

"• Parking the bus and hoping to nick a goal was our only hope for success against better teams" – That is legitimate tactics used by Chelsea and Hiddink vs hugely superior team of Barca and can't be ignored, although I would prefer the self-belief approach

"• Producing expansive football in open play against teams that cost hundreds of millions to assemble would simply be suicide" – With an inferior squad, yes; with our first eleven I stated for the last two years that we are match for everyone in the league

"• Our squad is so small, we be cannot be expected to perform when we have crucial first choice players (Jagielka, Cahill, Fellaini anyone?) missing or out injured" – Yes that is true too, we missed Jags but we had cover in Distin (another awful mistake btw), Cahill was replaced by Billy and Pienaar was moved to the supporting role... let's not forget that we had Yak and Vaughan on the bench, I must also confess that I have never thought that Osman could put such a performance as a central midfielder.

Last but not least: Howard Gosling Hibbert Distin Coleman Rodwell Fellaini Bilyaletdinov (60’ Saha) Cahill Yakubu (Baxter) Jô Subs not used Nash Duffy Akpan Wallace Agard – this was the team vs Benfica;
Howard Neville (c) Heitinga Distin Baines Donovan Osman Arteta Bilyaletdinov Pienaar Saha Substitutes: Nash Yobo Vaughan Gosling Yakubu Rodwell Coleman — this was the team today; I would like to hear your comment on the both teams

"• David Moyes has done the best he possibly could with one/both hands tied behind his back through lack of support from the Board of Directors" – I don’t share that vision I think we could have done better on a couple of occasions but I can't see anyone better than him in EPL for our situation.

"• My lack of respect for Moyes is only enforced by the fact that he fucked about for months at the start of this season (and last!!!), totally defeating any chance we had to really progress well into the top four" – Again he didn’t fuck around neither the start of this nor the previous season. Our small squad, the injured players, the missing internationals at the start of the pre-season and the lack of funds which means that he has to sell before buying or receive the Sky down payment leads that new players are drafted very, very late and lacking pre-season aren’t able bed straight into the team, all these factors transpire in our start of the season. You have the records, we have started our pre-season with 6 senior players for the last 2 seasons – what do you expect?!?

"• Put all of the above statements against the performance today, coming as it did hot on the heels of a similar performance against Chelsea 10 days ago (and therefore clearly not a one-off) and there is only one conclusion: what a load of utter shite people have been spouting." – I think that this performance reinforces my stand – we have for the first time this season strong and available team squad, five of our ball players are fit Arteta, Pienaar, Bily, Osman, Donovan (I will put Fellaini there too and even point to the improvement of Cahill's hold up and passing play too), we have for the first time a fit Arteta and Pienaar together – hence more cohesive passing display; we have Donovan, Pienaar, Bily and Baines to provide width, we have stronger bench and options to change things around – is it coincidence that our form picked up?!?!?

Mike Jones
60   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:07:32

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Michael, what is a "Moyes Apologist"?

I don’t profess to either unconditionally champion or condemn Moyes; did I make mention of either in my original post on Thursday that has led to such fallout on these pages? I said I didn’t understand some posters who criticised him unequivocally, which is something totally different.

If you don’t think we have some dignity now that was missing in large patches over the past 25 years then that is your view; however I’m not sure how or why my posting generated such a caustic response from you.

"Zero respect" is what you said you have for Moyes - so you criticise unequivocally? As I see it, I don't understand that. Your extension of my comments to include "pride" as an element of your response suggest to me you are on a fixed track of thought and want to share that regardless of the content of an original posting. I think that is taking your editorial prerogative too far, as is reference to "pathetic excuses"; aren't these just different opinions to yours?

Anyway, fair play to you, you do almost finish above on a positive, so maybe you’re not an unconditional critic, but would that make you a contradiction?

Paul McGinty
61   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:38:24

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Neil are dead right on Donovan. I have seen a lot of the guy and to be honest was not a fan of his because he has tended to be a prima donna. Credit to the coaching staff because they have him playing both ends of the field. We knew he had pace and acceleration, but his ability to protect the fullback in our defensive third has been a pleasing revelation. He has adapted to the Everton system really passengers. Everybody tackles and works hard.
John Sreet
62   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:44:12

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The term ’moyes apologists’ is only spoken by those who arrogantly think Moyes supporters are stupid, have no football knowledge, and cannot see how crap he really is. These are the folks who know ’how to’, who remember the good old days of Walter Smith, Joe Royle, Mike Walker. These are the folks that think whether you have 200 mill to spend or nothing, the outcome depends on the managers tactics and courage.
This is a pathetic ridiculous don’t even have the decency to say ’well done’ David Moyes.
We played great, and they were crap, therein lies some of the rationale that brought about our win today.
I am not a Moyes apologist, as there is nothing to apologise for!
Mike Allison
63   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:51:33

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"unless I have inadvertently hit some kind of nerve."

You’re unbelievable. No, you haven’t hit some kind of nerve, you continually put down our club, by putting down the manager, and what you say negatively impacts on fans enjoyment of our achievements. You have a negative effect on us and the way we feel. How many people will have come on to Toffeeweb to share in the unadulterated joy of a great result only to be greeted by yet more negativity.

Even if you were right, this would not have been the time to say it.

I also ’demand’ that you relinquish all claims to sensitivity about people who criticise you. If you are able to describe our opinions as ’utter shite’ and ’pathetic excuses’ then everyone else should be able to say what they want, if they are so inclined.
Mike Green
64   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:47:12

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I’ve got to eat my words about Donovan too after recent performances. I think technically he’s pretty good but what he brings to them team is a winning instinct and you can see that its becoming contagious - he’s never going to sign for us full time but would be great to have him on a semi-permanet basis a al Beckham. Off the pitch will be working wonders for us across the pond.

Apart from that...

"David Moyes, David Moyes, David Moyes.... (repeat)"
Neil Pearse
65   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:42:14

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Michael, as so many of us have said, you really ought to quit the ’Moyes Apologist’ tag.

First of all, it is insulting. It implies that those of us don’t share your (to us) very unbalanced and very negative views are somehow sycophantic and willing to accept second best. But we criticize Moyes too when he is overly cautious, makes late substitutions, and plays people apparently out of position. We just also think that he deserves some credit sometimes too. On the basis of today, you don’t seem to agree.

Secondly, it is simply illogical. ’Apologists’ are people who make excuses for bad things. But what is the bad thing we are apologising for here? It would be great if you could let us know Michael. Perhaps it is, as I suspect, that you think somehow because of our history we are simply entitled to win things, and anything less is some sort of shameful disgrace.

We all want to win things Michael. But given the state of the current game, top six finishes for most of the last five years is surely not a shameful disgrace to you, is it? Is it really something that needs to be ’apologised’ for?

Finally, you regularly trot out a line that seems to make sense but doesn’t when you think about it. Namely, whenever we play well you say (smashing Moyes over the head with your baseball bat): ’why can’t we play like that ALL the time?’ Simply illogical and unrealistic Michael. NO team, however good, plays well all the time. Notice Man U today? It is the nature of sport, part of what makes it interesting, that some days you play better than others. Sometimes the other team (there are two playing usually...) plays particularly well and beats you. As a simple matter of logic, no team can play at its best ALL the time. So stop beating up Moyes because ours doesn’t.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
66   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:52:49

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Mike Jones... "Moyes Apologist" — you seriously can’t figure that out? I could give you my definition but I don’t think you’d like it.

As for the rest of your comments, I’d prefer not to conflate those points with this thread (although I agree there is a strong connection). I think what irked me about your original post was its offhand dismissal of the absolutely fantastic 1995 FA Cup Win (My most abiding memory of the last 25 years... well, along with the Spurs semi-final!) and thereby any credit due to Joe Royle, whom I hold in highest regard as possible the best (and my favourite) Everton manager. Then to do so in a pious platitude to a manger who has still won us ABSOLUTELY ZILCH after eight long and increasingly painful years of "promise" and "progress" and "over-achievement"... well, it just sent me over the edge.

I focus on Moyes’s failures because they are what I want to see him change — not his successes. To a large extent, I take his successes for granted — after all, that’s what he should be doing. So, if "unequivocal criticism" equals "positive focus on seeing the manger improve his failings"... then yes, guilty as charged. And proud of it.

The only way the current Everton will get where we want them to be is if Moyes does a better job as manager. That’s fundamentally why I criticise him. "Unequivocally"? Perhaps... Consistently... yes, definitely. I see no contradiction.

Neal Pearse, the point is we can do better. Today was evidence for that. And evidence that all the "Moyes Apologist" excuses are just that — weak, negative, insipid, spineless excuses for failure to progress. Sorry but that's the way I see it.

Mike Green
67   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:07:28

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Michael Kenrick

To put the whole thing to bed, so that this argument can be measured properly. Drawing a line under all that has gone before (lets call it quits)

To regard Moyes as a success or failure what are your tangible expectations of him

a) for the rest of this season

b) for next season

c) until the end of 2014-2015 season

At least then we’ll have something concrete to judge him by.
Mike Green
68   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:12:42

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Mine are:

a) Top 6

b) Top 6

c) Top 4 and at least 1 Cup.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
69   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:16:54

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Sorry, Mike Green, but my parameters are different from yours. My focus is game to game, how Everton play.

Winning something would obviously be a massive, massive success. Dennis Stevens has us winning the Premier League next season, and I kinda like the sound of that.

Let me throw it back at you: is that something you think Everton can actually achieve under Moyes... or not. (Be positive, now, ya hear!)

Just 6th? — why that’s no better than Joe Royle!

John Keating
70   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:07:27

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Paul have to agree that in a short time Donovan has adapted to the Everton system. I just wish the coaching staff would spend the same amount of time on Bily. Hopefully next season will see a vast improvement . His talent is undeniable, but his effort and commitment is undeniably piss poor. He scored a great goal today but the team cannot cope and does not have the luxury of carrying passengers for 89 minutes
Mike Allison
71   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:23:50

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"any credit due to Joe Royle, whom I hold in highest regard as possible the best (and my favourite) Everton manager."

Okay, he won the FA Cup, I don’t want to dismiss that, I bloody loved it at the time, and its still the last thing we won, but where else was Joe Royle better than David Moyes is?

Joe’s tactics were battle, tackle and defend hard, lump it up front to Ferguson and/or Rideout and pick up the scraps or score from Hinchcliffe set pieces. The superb signing of Kanchelskis allowed us hit teams hard on the counter attack as well.

Do you think we played your free flowing, attacking football under Joe Royle? We didn’t. What are you remembering that I’m not?

"Just 6th? — why that’s no better than Joe Royle!" Yeah it is, its a lot better, this current team would hammer the 95-96 team. The Premier League has become the strongest league in the world (with the possible exception of La Liga in Spain) which it certainly wasn’t back then, for evidence, I offer the performance of British teams in Europe, and the number of international footballers playing in the league.
Mike Green
72   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:24:31

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Michael - I’ve made no comment whatsoever on Joe Royle on this site, ever.

Do I think we can win the league under Moyes? Definitely. But whatever you say - IMO he needs decent money to do it.. Can you accept that £ for £ he does as well as anyone in the league - if so, bit more cash, bit more success...?

"My focus is game to game, how Everton play" is frankly a cop out.

Come on - lets hear it.



Mike Gwyer
73   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:34:46

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Logged onto TW for a good old rant regarding our three one thumping of United, yet I’m reading a thread concerning how good, bad or shite Moyes is.

Michael you need to look at when and why you release such posts.

Neil Pearse
74   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:28:31

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Michael, let me let you into a little secret. Everton will not win the Premiership under Moyes with anything like our current resources. Neither, as it happens, will Villa, Spurs or Liverpool with theirs. Nor will Fulham, Sunderland, Burnley or Torquay United for that matter.

Do you have any clue why this might be Michael? Would you care to explain your theory behind Chelsea, Man United, and Arsenal being top of the table again? I can’t wait!

At least now we understand you. Moyes is a failure deserving outraged condemnation and disrespect because he can’t win the league against teams with massively greater resources. As you say Michael, it’s all down to the manager improving, and then we can win things. Except it isn’t.

Let me ask you a question Michael, since you are so fond of asking others. Pick who you think is the very best manager in the world right now. Guardiola, Mourinho, Wenger whoever.

Do you think they would win the Premiership with our current squad of players?

If not, why not?
David Hallwood
75   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:18:31

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It would be interesting to get the thoughts of other team’s supporters who have wandered onto this site. Most of them would be amazed at the total negativity of it. Go on their websites and they’re full of praise of DM, even the Sky 3 (you wouldn’t expect it from the RS) have nothing but admiration of DM, for instance on most of the Chelsea & Man utd sites most of the posters would have been happy with a point.

If DM did leave, much to the delight of the Michael Kenricks of the world, it would very quickly turn into a case of, you don’t know what you’ve got 'til its gone.
James McGlone
76   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:38:37

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What Mike Allison said - 100%.
Brendan O'Doherty
77   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:56:52

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Mike Allison - agree with your analysis 100%.

Apologies, I thought this article was going to be an apology for not being an apologist but it turns out that the apologists should apologise for being apologists; however there is nothing to apololgise for. Ridiculous apology for keeping trying to dig yourself out of a hole you’ve already dug for yourself.
Neil Pearse
78   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:48:50

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Michael, we won the FA Cup in 1995 by doggedly defending in a way which makes most Moyes teams look like Wenger’s Arsenal.

Let’s see: Horne, Ebbrell and Parkinson or Fellaini, Arteta and Pienaar? No, I can’t choose!

Rose tinted spectacles are one thing, but completely distorted vision is surely something to be avoided?
Aiden Doyle
79   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:47:02

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Michael, it doesn’t matter who’s right & who’s wrong - the bottom line is that you’re currently out of touch with the majority of your audience.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
80   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:58:27

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Neal, it’s about a lot more than just comparing names on the teamsheet. Self-belief and a winning mentality: that’s what Joe Royle gave Everton circa 1995.

I have yet to see anything approaching that in teams from David Moyes. I believe (positively!) that is what can make the difference... and yes, I believe (naively perhaps) that, even under Moyes, it could be enough to win us the league next season. Not stacks more money ... but self-belief and a winning mentality, with the players that Moyes (to his credit) has assembled as a team.
Chris Butler
81   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:57:45

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Well I agree I still don’t like Moyes. I Think that like Micheal said why it should take months each season to finally get ourselves going I don’t know. Everton seem to always have these people that jump on the bandwagon. The people who don’t attend a fixture for years then turn up at Wembley twice. The fans who berate players such as Cahill then when he scores he’s an Everton legend. Really we will never break into the elusive top 4 unless we come into form far earlier.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
82   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:05:20

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David Hallwood, I admit to usually just ignoring your posts because they do seem to come from a ’different planet’ as the saying goes... but honestly, does any Evertonian care a jot about what other fans think?

Why do you think we don’t tolerate other fans posting on here? It’s an Everton website, for Evertonians!!! And if you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re not all robots (is that one of your daft phrases?); we don’t all think the same.

Sometimes I seriously wonder why I bother!
Dick Fearon
83   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:00:31

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What a brilliant game, what great football, what a total difference to all that has gone before.

Where we went for low scoring negativity we now go for attack, attack, attack.

Has Moyes had a road to Damascus vision, has he suddenly seen the light?

I agree with Michael on this one.

Harvey Miller
84   Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:23:57

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Great Days! It was like Chelsea game, conceding a soft goal then the Team go full ahead.

Today, Osman played his best game for us, I have slated him often but today he played well.
Rodwell will probably go to Man U eventually but his goal was astonishing: a boy who is supposed to be centre-half just runs across the Champion's defence and scores. Like Beckenbauer or Bobby Moore maybe?

Today Moyes’s subs were more than accurate. In the past, they haven’t been that .

Mike Gaynes
85   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:53:44

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I would have taken the satirical route, but Brendan beat me to it by a few minutes. So I’ll play it straight.

Michael, I must tell you bluntly that I resent -- and have always resented -- the endless flogging by you and others of the term "Moyes apologist" for those of us who think, as I do, that Moyes is one of the best managers in England. The implication that Moyes has anything to apologize for -- or that we who support him do as well -- drips with a contempt that, in my book, you are totally unqualified to feel for anyone. The smugness of your twisted conclusion today is, in my opinion, the unwarranted arrogance of the closed mind.

For the record, I consider Moyes the second-best manager in the EPL after Sir Alex. I have disagreed with his strategy frequently, but I have been proven wrong more often than right. I have disagreed with his lineups and substitutions on occasion, and have been proven wrong almost every time. Moyes is a superior judge of talent, a consummate motivator and a decent strategist, and he does more, with less, more often than any manager in the Prem.

And while he certainly shares some of the blame for the dismal performances earlier this season, I think far more of the blame falls on the players and the vagaries of ill-fortune, particularly injuries. I firmly believe that Fellaini, Osman, Yobo and Cahill were all playing hurt (or sick, in Fellaini’s case) early this year, but they had to soldier on because there was literally no one else. I think what we saw from Fellaini before the Liverpool game and what we’ve seen from Osman in the past two weeks is eloquent testimony to their abilities -- and redemption for Moyes’ faith in them, which has been so heatedly criticized in this forum.

As for you, Michael, I bow to your expertise on the absence of a winner’s mentality. In fact, I salute you as the poster boy for that syndrome.
John Burgess
86   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:08:17

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Mike Allison, I've been on ToffeeWeb for the past three years —best post I've read by a million miles, quality!

ps: Leon Osman was international class today!

Tim O'Connell
87   Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:43:19

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After a great day it is disappointing you have decided to promote a negative view. I think we have to take a realistic view and the key points are:

1) We do not have the financial resources that a large number of premier cliubs have

2) we have had a crippling list of injuries to key players that I suggest any manger in the world would stuggle with. Importantly these have been our playmakers and our captain.

3) Today is just an example that the team is a team and fight for each other. They would not do this is if they do not trust and believe in DM

4) In my view this is the best team(immediate squad) since the glorious mid eighties) and DM has put it together, but due to injuries we have not been able to consistently play it and therefore suffered accordingly.

5) when the playmakers are available we play good football, when they are not we play a more defensive route 1 - is this not inevitable? No top team can rely on the kids to get top positions - but they can give us optimism for the future!

6) DM now has made us a top premier club - the league positions do not lie!

Sometimes I disagree with DM and I think he is consistently learning but I would rather have him than any other manager.

We have to be realistic but despite our financial restrictions DM enables me to dream and have faith that we can achieve and I defy any other manager to give me this, based on our constraints - but when the lads are all fit I really do believe we can compete with the very best.
Neil Pearse
88   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:10:14

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Okay, Michael, I now think you are off on the Planet Zog.

Unless it was some sort of fluke, If Moyes won the Premiership with our current squad of players next year, this would without doubt be hailed as the greatest management achievement in the history of the English game. It would make what Clough did, in such different circumstances, look like a walk in the park.

I will nail my colours to the mast. With Mike, given basically current resources on all sides, top six again this year and next would constitute a management achievement WAY beyond anything that Joe Royle achieved.

I can only conclude now Michael that you are somehow unaware how the structure of football has changed in England to so favour a very small number of teams. It’s 2010 now, not 1980.
Rob Fox
89   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:14:28

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I celebrated today by going the pub and getting bladdered. Still, each to their own. Maybe you are teetotal Michael and need other ways to show your delight.
James Crolla
90   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:01:30

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I often get frustrated with Moyes but cannot think of any better manager to take our great club forward.

Yes we have to balance the books and sell our better players and this will continue in the short term unless the current financial climate significantly changes football’s inequality. I watched the Pompey game today and felt very sorry for the club and more importantly their supporters, but on the other hand I am grateful we have managed our wage budget in a more sensible way (thus in the short term we will continue to sell our better players). However there are 3 things that make me believe we can still continue to improve :

1. produce quality young players at a rate where we can still afford to cash in when necessary (there is evidence that this is already happening)

2. Improve our style of football and playing more European football. We need to qualify for Europe next season!

3. Spend wisely - I don’t think it has gone unnoticed that Moyes’ recent track record has improved significantly (buy young talent that can improve the team)

Despite the challenges of finance I believe we are making real progress and I am proud of how our club promotes tradition and invests in young talent. Hopefully todays result will become more common place as we challenge the SKY 4 but do it in the right way!

I am so happy today!!!! :)
Davie Turner
91   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:10:38

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MIchael, I believe that you and those you call the ’Moyes Apologists’ are just the polar opposites, by that I don’t mean you are are a ’Moyes Out Brigade’ member but, if the Moyes can do nothing wrong by the Apologists, to yourself, it often seems he can do no right.

Think Moyes summed it up in his post match interview today, when he came his goal was simple, win games improve the league position, now we in the next segement improve the ’quality’ on the pitch. I actually think Moyes has done a very good job, the Premier League is a lot about the money but not all, Moyes shows this with patient building over a period of years on a budget.

Fully fit first team we are starting to show we can give anyone a game, our weakness? Squad depth (though this has also improved).

I am a big fan of Moyes, he has come on as a manager and I think he one of the best there is in the prem personally. The Moyes years has seen progression from the desolation that was 1990-2002, that now the past, we expect higher and rightly so.

We are now a top6 prem side which is a long way from 10 years ago and in my opinion we are pushing on and under Moyes I can see us winning a cup and I can see us finishing top4 again. Won’t be this year and maybe not next, but in the next 4-5 years I think we could well achieve both.

Moyes still has stuff to learn as a manager, but he does learn and to be fair and the team has the same to do.

We can play delightful football but I think now we will see more and more of that.

2 excellent wins plus the win against sporting bring good times, but we not the finished product. It has been real progress though just looking at league placings show that, we consistent increasing playing good stuff.

My only criticism to you Michael would be sometimes I feel you don’t give Moyes credit when he deserves it, you very quick to hand it to the players.

You right though in many ways to demand a lot of what you have over the years, personally I think you asked too much too soon, but that’s fair enough, everyone is entitled to their own views at the end of the day.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
92   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:21:59

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Tim O'Connell, how many times do I have to say this: it isn’t a "negative view" it is an extremely positive one — far more positive than all these lame apologist excuses that are trooped out like a catechism of purgatory to mitigate the continuing failure of David Moyes over the last four years to take this club where he should have. Today demonstrated more than anything I could say how possible that is. How much more positive could I be???
Mike Green
93   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:14:19

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Michael - seeing as you are unwilling / incapable of nailing your colours to the post (might make you look ridiculous? might bite you in the ass...?) I’ll make it a bit more cloudy for you.

What are your tanglible expectations of the Manager of Everton FC over the next 5 years.

If you cant do it, you cant judge him.
Neil Pearse
94   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:27:12

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Michael - WHERE should Moyes have taken us that counts as such a dreadful failure? I can only assume that you mean that he should have made us a Premiership winner or at least consistently top four. I.e. consistently beating Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Which year do you think we should have won the league Michael? One of Mourinho’s perhaps? Or against the Vidic / Ferdinand and Ronaldo / Rooney team of last year maybe?

Are you for real Michael?

Do you think Nick Clegg will be a "failure" as LibDems leader if he doesn’t win the forthcoming General Election, Michael? Surely he just needs to manage his party a bit better? Develop that "winning mentality" that Lloyd George and Gladstone had...? If they could do it, surely Clegg ought to be able to?
Kevin Gillen
95   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:50:33

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Shameful, Michael Kenrick. Without Moyes, we would be in League One now. We should be celebrating the day when this team finally come of age not justifying our carping about the manager.
David O'Keefe
96   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:44:41

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I don’t think you're in a position to ask if anyone "is for real" considering your apologetics for DM.

As for the issue at hand, I agree with Michael. The Moyes of 2002-05 would have taken the team of the past two seasons into the Champions League, in those years Moyes took more risks, relative success as that is all that he has had; has led to him taking fewer risks. Like Michael, I want Moyes to be positive and take risks, instead he takes the safe option and goes for the point instead of the jugular.

I want the brave and bold Moyes; not the conservative Moyes that the apologists defend at all times. This result vindicates everyone as we all want positive attacking football, but have we had it in every game this season? No, we have not and this justifies Michael's critique of Moyes the language may be intemperate, but if we could retreat form our entrenched positions for one moment we would come to one conclusion — Moyes can do better and this game proves it... so, why isn’t he doing better?
Barry Johnson
97   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:05:08

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Alright fellow Toffees. Calm down, calm down.

Most of the posts on this thread make valid points about Everton’s performances under David Moyes and although many are contradictory, they all point to the belief and passion that we show as fans. Opinions are just that, not statements of fact.

Here is one statement of fact. Everton have generally been playing far better since Jo was sent packing.

Now just enjoy our fantastic result today and stop throwing your toys out the pram.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
98   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:52:00

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Mike Green, sorry to disappoint but I’m not going to play your little game. Neal — have you not felt, at the end of each of the last four seasons, that we could have finished higher up the table than we did? That we could and should have gone further in the cups than we did? That we should definitely have played far better in that horrible cup final than we did... especially after going a goal in front.? At one level, "there’s a fine line"... and yet for us to really succeed is such an impossible dream? Sorry but I don’t get it.
Mike Jones
99   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:12:25

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Michael, re: your response to Dave Hailwood at 21:05 "but honestly, does any Evertonian care a jot about what other fans think?". Why then in your original post do you say "Yet we were repeatedly told by wiser minds". Who do you mean? Surely not the opinions of non-Evertonians? Contradiction again?
Mike Green
100   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:26:36

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What "little game" Michael?

In my job between April 2009 and April 2010 I have to bring £1m into the business I work for. There are other indicators but the bottom line is if I do this I keep my job, if I don’t I look for another one.

I don't know what the expectations are for next year but I am expecting the target to be £2m — same rules apply.

As a judge of David Moyes — what are your measurable expectations of him over the next 1, 2, 5 years...?

It's not a "little game", it's a straight forward question.
Mike Gaynes
101   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:21:10

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Congratulations to Mr O’Keefe for spitting Michael’s favorite insult not once, but twice.

I say again... NOBODY here apologizes for Moyes, or our support of him. On the contrary, we boast of it.

Deriding those you disagree with as "apologists" doesn’t make you look any smarter, or your conclusions look more sensible. And it certainly doesn’t make anyone want to reconsider what you refer to as "entrenched" positions. Insulting people and then expecting them to calmly consider your point of view is ridiculous.
David Cornmell
102   Posted 20/02/2010 at 21:42:06

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Calm down, calm down. As my RS cousin pointed out this afternoon - pity you didn’t play like that against us.
Some fair points from Michael, though he chose the completely wrong moment to make them. {You should have posted it the next time we play gash against some lower half team MK!}
But I’m with Michael to be honest. We were purring against Arsenal not that long ago, and I turned to the arl fella and asked him why we couldn’t at least attempt to play like this more often. He didn’t have an answer for me, and I’m not sure I do either.
It’s no good blaming Kenwright, the economy, Walter Smith or anybody else. It’s Moyes team, has been for a long time. He decides who we buy, what names are on the team sheet, where they line up and how he’d like them to play. If they can’t do what he wants or expects he gets rid. End of.
As great a feeling as todays is, I have not forgotten how I felt after the derby. Or after last years cup final for that matter either. Not only disappointed that we were beaten but disappointed HOW we were.
Where do we go from here? More todays or more yesterdays?
We need to start to expect performances like todays, not just be pleasantly surprised by them. When that happens, I’ll be happy. Until then, I’ll follow MKs lead and take it one maddening {at times} game at a time.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
103   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:44:58

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Mike Jones: No contradiction, sorry. "Wiser minds" was an admittedly sarcastic jibe at the very Moyes Apologists who now claim their perennial apologies and whining excuses for Moyes’s continuing failure to really step up to the plate are indeed nothing of the sort (Yes, you, Mike Gaynes). It had nothing whatsoever to do with fans of other teams, or pundits for that mattter — neither of whom I have any time for.

I’d much rather discuss things about Everton with Evertonians... even if some of us see things differently. Makes for lively but generally informed and much more pertinent discussion!!!

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
104   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:51:45

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Mike Green, I have to admit I’m not very good at looking forward in time: my job is mainly about analyzing data that has just been collected and figuring out what is really going on, based on that data. I have to make financial projections too and I’m hopeless at that part of it. I just accept whatever target they give me and deal with the flack if I don’t make it. Funny thing is, I’m still employed, mainly because I do a fairly good job of that data analysis stuff, and writing reports... which is all very interesting... but WTF has it got to do with football?

Oh yes, your little game. I learnt a long time ago not to predict the outcome of football games. Consequently I’m not a betting man and I don’t do predictions. A lot depends on the circumstances, which are unknown for your little quiz. 10th could be a success; 3rd could be failure.

Even for this season, I have no idea. But based on the fact that we squandered such a big chunk off it already, I can’t help feeling that, yet again, we’ll finish lower in the table than we should have. And that for me will not be a success. Because I will be dogged by the knowledge that, but for Moyes fannying around again, we could and should have finished higher.
David Alexander
105   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:01:18

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After loosing today a united fan could word for word put your post on a UTD fansite saying they thing they are not progressing in the right way, they should play better, the players are capable of more etc etc. it would be nonsense if they did and its nonsense here, teams dont play well all the time, dont get lucky all the time but everton keep improving, learning and getting better, until we start getting worse we should not change the manager.

Lastly I am not an apologist, that language is divisive. what I am is a Moyes supporter.
Dermot Ryan
106   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:53:17

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I’m curious. How many players on this team got their first start at Everton via Moyes? How many of them did he buy? How much did he buy them for? What would those same players be worth now?

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
107   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:12:28

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David Alexander, what’s your point? This is EVERTON. We are talking about Everton, not fucking Manchester United!!! I don’t give a shit about them.

The point is we have not kept improving — if we had, we’d be bloody fantastic by now. It’s been instead a massive roller-coaster. Two steps forward; one .. or two... or three steps back. But I understand if you’re a Moyes apologist you are not going to see that.
David O'Keefe
108   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:12:31

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Gaynes, how would you like me to describe an individual that offers uncritical support for a particular cause/institution/individual? If you don’t like being called an apologist, how about toady or arselicker?
Seamus Murphy
109   Posted 20/02/2010 at 22:40:53

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Mike Gaynes well said. I echo those sentiments 100%.

And I am by no means a Moyes fan. I have criticised him frequently and at times been at my wits end but credit where it’s due, now that we have a lot more players back, we are much better. The start of the season was not only down to Moyes's negative tactics — there were huge injuries not to mention huge squad upheaval over the Lescott saga.

Mike K - For You to lay all the blame at DM is simply wrong. And for a long time before we started getting results we had turned the corner performance-wise. We have been playing well since the RS game in November, incidentally another one where we didn’t "park the bus" as you say, but played well and didn’t get the result we deserved. As we did at Arsenal away also. Not to recognise any of that is remiss of you.

David Alexander
110   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:22:33

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My point is that a man U fan could say the same about there side but knowone would question the quality of their manager. everton are making steady progress year on year, be patient and see what happens, with more money the progress would be faster. If we have moved backwards this year then not being able to field a settled side for most of the first half of the season is a valid excuse. We are on the up, since the turn of the year we have beaten UTD, Chelsea, City and very nearly arsenal. The progress is there for all to see. All those without blinkers that is.
David O'Keefe
111   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:41:58

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Neil, we will always have Doddy.

As for the unacceptable comments being censored...don’t you mean the comments calling into question the editors integrity? I also object to you waging a censorious finger at me for bad language before using the t-word. Sums you up.
Mike Green
112   Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:38:02

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WTF it has to do with football is you’re pulling Moyes to pieces without giving him / us a simple measurement against which sucess / failure corresponds.

Sounds like you’re in the anaytics game - so you’ll have to excuse me as I’m in the doing things which get analysed game - but isnt that a starter for 10?

Or is it without an anchor you can change as swiftly as the seas?

Man up Mike. Man Up.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
113   Posted 21/02/2010 at 00:15:50

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This thread has clearly caused a stir and the discussion is at a point now where it’s not doing anyone any favours. Comments will be closed from here on.
James Flynn
114   Posted 21/02/2010 at 04:00:51

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The article, "To His Apologists" by Michael Kenrick's was cut off for comments. Why??

The back and forth was terrific. I thought Michael took an extreme position in FAVOR OF the Blues to only see him ripped repeatedly. That everything negative is Moyes’ fault also seems extreme. After all, players win or lose, not the guy on the sidelines watching. That guy does, however, have to put the spirit into the team. And Everton seems to come to play.

We have to get past the "Sky 4 are better" as fans. I have been a fan since Landon was signed and have not watched a single game since where the opposition was more talented or better-led. If that’s not Moyes, than who?

There is only one thing to consider as far as I’m concerned. The top 4 is there for the team that goes and gets it. Even Arsenal is not out of reach. To me, the focus has to be on the team playing to the best of its ability here on out. Not for pride or some such nonsense, but for the very real possibility this season and the next few.

Man U and Chelsea are old. Rooney and Drogba are camouflaging the perilous position those two squads are in. Collapse is imminent. Everton is young and ready. Too bad the injuries (and lack of Donovan) held the team up for too long.

But the top 4 is right there to be had by the EPL’s best-playing team over the last 2 months.

Up the Blues!

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
115   Posted 21/02/2010 at 06:40:28

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Yes, a bit sneaky of the WebMeister to pull the plug while I was looking the other way... He doesn’t have the same appetite for a bit of hearty debate as I do! Indeed he's felt the need to redress the imbalance provided by this thread, penning his own lengthy assessment of things.

It is odd, James, how a positive analysis can be characterized as "negative" but there ya go: black is white.

Truth be known, I would have to admit that the likelihood of my points being acknowledged by the target audience was just about zero, so entrenched are they in their views that, for example, 6th is the limit of our ambitions this season and next (how shamefully negative is that?!?).

Anyway, the Meister has pulled the plug, and to be honest, far too many people could only respond with personal abuse, rather than discussing the issues, so perhaps we have to accept that Lyndon’s decision was the right one.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
116   Posted 22/02/2010 at 21:25:48

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far too many people could only respond with personal abuse, rather than discussing the issues, so perhaps we have to accept that Lyndon’s decision was the right one.

As with the closure of the discussion on my own article, that was my reasoning, yes. It seemed that what little there was left to debate had been replaced by a slanging match. Time to put this behind us and move on...

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