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Moyes & Hoofball

By Sean Mckenna :  16/09/2009 :  Comments (76) :

Regarding the manager David Moyes, I'm going to write a list of pros and cons — feel free to add any more if you think I've missed anything...


  1. Taken us from relegation to regular top 6 finishes
  2. Buys young talent
  3. He seems to be able to get the most out of a limited squad
  4. Likes to give youth a chance at first team football
  5. Won LMA Manager of the Year Award three times in eight years
  6. He produces teams with great team spirit
  7. Taken us to a Cup Final and the verge of Champions League football


  1. Moyes has not won a thing in 8 years (in fact, he's never won a thing ever)
  2. Truly awful football
  3. Tactics-wise, he does not have a clue
  4. Sees things too late (eg, somebody having a stinker and not taking them off)
  5. He is loyal to underperforming players
  6. He plays players out of position
  7. Substitutions too late or completely baffling

I may have missed a few along the way but this is just my opinion —  David Moyes is an average manager doing his best on the funds available while making us endure woeful football; I believe it is time for a change (Steve Coppell as a suggestion).

Now to hoofball, to be honest I'm sick to the teeth of it, its like masturbating without the pay-off!! Seriously though... can any Evertonian stand up and say they enjoy the football we play?

For years, we have been forced to watch teams grind out results... win, lose or draw, it's a grind, even when we are two- or three-nil up, the performance is still in general piss-poor, and before the pro-Moyes brigade come on saying, "Yea but remember Sunderland, Tottenham away, Fiorentina..." — these are just a few of a handful of decent performances.

And I don't want to hear about finishing 6th, FA Cup finals or having no money to spend, these are no excuses for the shocking style of play.  In fact, what the hell goes on at Finch Farm? Because it's obvious they don't practice pass and move because it just doesn't happen on the field... does it?

If Moyes is going to stick with this type of football, why not buy players like Davies from Bolton, Nolan from Newcastle and Delap from stoke and do the whole HOOFBALL thing properly instead of asking international players to twat the ball up the field to a Brazilian who ca'nt jump (culture shock or what?).

Remember this: most of our first team are full internationals who are all capable of passing on the deck; it's Moyes who doesn't let them play free-flowing football!! Some people will say it's not Moyes's fault that Yobo and Co twat the ball 100 yards up the field... well, yes it is, because if I was a manager and I told my players not to play the long ball... and he keeps doing it — what would I do?

Yes, drop him!! The fact is the players are doing what they are told to do... end of.

The person I feel sorry for most out of this is Jack rodwell, clearly a talented footballer and in my opinion he will be a great!! Why does this lad have to watch the ball sail over his head for most of the games when he is so so comfortable on the ball, left foot and right; why cant Moyes say, "Right lads, get the ball to Jack, give him options and let him be the focal point to link back to front" ... instead of by-passing his wonderful talent, and why does Moyes say he will be a defender in the future?

why doesn't he say to Jack, "You could be the next Steven Gerrard — go out and enjoy yourself, son. and shoot on sight"? But Moyes wouldn't do that — it's too adventurous; instead, he tells the lad, "Look son, you're gona be a defender in the future," — when it's clear to see he has the potential to be a great box-to-box midfileder..... It's just so frustrating.

Reader Comments

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Paul Conatzer
1   Posted 17/09/2009 at 07:03:32

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I fear there is something of Gordon Lee about Moyes.
Dave Wilson
2   Posted 17/09/2009 at 06:57:05

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I think the problem here Sean is that these players have demonstrated they can play. Nowhere near often enough as you rightly point out, but they’ve proved they can do it.
Everytime it looks like we’ve turned the corner, for some reason - and that reason escapes me - we return to the big boot.

As fella in the Fulham Palace road boozer said after Sundays match " Once you’ve given your missus the night of her life, she’s gonna let you know about it, when you try to return to your old route one approach
Dave Lynch
3   Posted 17/09/2009 at 08:47:33

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What your cons are really saying is.

1. We are mediocre
2. Shops in the bargain basement.
3.Plays negative hoofball
4.Have no strength in depth in the squad.
5. Means fuckall
6.Tells team to defend at all costs when we go one up.
7. Won nothing.
Dave Lynch
4   Posted 17/09/2009 at 08:51:41

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Sorry that should have read.
What your pro’s are saying.
Rupert Sullivan
5   Posted 17/09/2009 at 08:44:53

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Although I do not think that it is time for Moyes to be pushed out, I agree with the main thrust of your argument - there are many areas in which he has proved to be less than I want in a manager; especially in the way Everton play football.

The main disappointment for me is that Everton clearly has players (some of whom are world class) who can play the ball around, and yet when playing for Everton this seems to be avoided almost at all costs. DM pumps the midfield full of bodies to no avail, the midfield seems to be unable to keep the ball or make its presence felt.

If the system doesn’t change with the introduction of Bilyaletdinov then Moyes needs to go.

On another note, just read on the OS that Moyes is going to put Bilyaletdinov in to start against Athens... why is this ’News’ the lad is a 9m pound player for... he should be playing as standard, or did DM throw away 9m on a backup player..?

The public relations of EFC frighten me.
Richard Dodd
6   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:00:24

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Simple truth is that with a couple of wins, Davey will be back on the top of everyone’s ’love list’! (except Marshy ,that is!)
Graham Atherton
7   Posted 17/09/2009 at 08:56:43

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I wouldn’t lose sight of the fact that after years of steady improvement an important part of the spine of our side was ripped out last season, is still out and is unlikely to return with the same effect until well into the new year.

3 key players out of a small squad (now 4 key players) is a terrible loss as we cannot afford to replace them.

We are pretty much marking time, limiting the damage until these players return. Pretty football has to be put on the back burner for another while unfortunately.

Dave Lynch
8   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:05:37

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For gods sake mate !
Crap like that does not wash anymore.
It’s not as if we have just accrued these injuries, as you stated it was "ripped out last season."
Why then, has he not done something about it ?
Sorry but i’m not taking this anymore.
Like i have stated before.
He is a negative dithering loser. End of.

Now excuse me while i go and put me boot three laceholes up the dogs arse !
Henry Enzio
9   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:26:28

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Moyes is brilliant you lot dont have a clue. STEVE COPPELL??? Grow up!
Kase Chow
10   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:18:34

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Sean, in what world will Rodwell ever be like Gerrard? As much as I hate SG he’s an unbelievable player and if he played for us we’d get top 4 or better.

Jack Rodwell looks good but to suggest he will get 20 goals a season consistently and get around 50 caps plus and to win games by himself on a regular basis is a big shout.

I DO Hope you’re right but be careful not 2 exaggerate or it undermines your whole argument
Kase Chow
11   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:18:34

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Sean, in what world will Rodwell ever be like Gerrard? As much as I hate SG he’s an unbelievable player and if he played for us we’d get top 4 or better.

Jack Rodwell looks good but to suggest he will get 20 goals a season consistently and get around 50 caps plus and to win games by himself on a regular basis is a big shout.

I DO Hope you’re right but be careful not 2 exaggerate or it undermines your whole argument
Matthew Tait
12   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:40:07

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Sean, the Pros in your own article so massively outweigh the Cons that you’ve shown yourself that it’s a silly argument.

So let’s see - on the Pro side - taking a dire, relegation bound team to regular contention for the Champions League spots, and to the FA Cup final (beating Liverpool and Man U on the way), and nurturing a pretty talented, committed young squad. Generally considered by experts and other managers one of the best three or four managers in the premier league.

On the negative side - you disagree with some tactics and substitutions, and we don’t play like Brazil (especially when our best ball-player is injured).

Gosh, let me think. Actually, you’re right - MOYES OUT.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 17/09/2009 at 09:53:06

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’Regular contention for champions league spots’?

Controversial opinion. And tenuous to say the least.
Matthew Tait
14   Posted 17/09/2009 at 10:00:43

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Well ok Ciaran you can argue about how serious our challenge to the top four has been, especially last season (with three of our best players out injured most of the time, note). I agree we don’t look remotely like winning the league any time soon.

But anyway really, given you’re just nitpicking how I described our recent finishing positions just outside the top four, I’ll take it you fully agree with the rest of what I said. Jolly good!
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 17/09/2009 at 10:14:37

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I do actually agree with most of your post..

But I wouldn’t call questioning the misrepresenting our current position nitpicking.

We are nowhere near ’regular contenders for CL spots’...That’s the kind of glossy spin that I would expect from the OS...Not in an intelligent conversation about our current position.
Dave Lynch
16   Posted 17/09/2009 at 10:49:30

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Nail firmly on head.
"Current position."
Not last seasons or the season before................
Our current position is dire. When are these people going to realise that our previous seasons count for nothing.
Steve Pugh
17   Posted 17/09/2009 at 11:19:11

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Okay Sean, you are going to drop Yobo, and bring in who?

Rodwell - proved he’s not ready to be CB in pre season

Jags - injured

Neville - injured and everybody slated Moyes for playing him there last time.

Duffy - unproven at this level, really needs blooding in Carling cup.

If you are going to make comments like that you need to provide an alternative.
Alan Kirwin
18   Posted 17/09/2009 at 11:16:06

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Dave L. - Come on Dave, let’s maintain at least a smidgeon of reality. We’ve played 4 league games. We’re 3 points worse off than last season and, yes, we’re playing as badly as we always seem to do at the beginning of every season under Moyes.

However, please don’t throw away our most immediate achievements in consistency. I don;t understand people who, on one hand, hark on about our history and traditions from 40 or 50 years ago, whilst ignoring our form in the last 5 years and then re-focusing on just 4 games of this season. What madness is this.

However bad we are playing now, there is no way Everton will be in the lower half of the table, nor possibly outside the top 6,come season end. The only time to judge is May, just ask those team who win things.

And look, I totally agree on the drab & unfathomable rubbish that we seem to serve up between Aug - Oct under Moyes. I just do not understand it one bit. But this doesn’t fully represent where we truly are as a club. The second half of last season saw us, IMHO, move on considerably in both confidence and style. We swatted most teams and held our own against the Sky 4 with THE ONE EXCEPTION of the cup final. We played 10 games against the Sky 4 last season and lost just 3.

And here’s a quote from our new Russian winger Billy:

"And Bilyaletdinov reveals a strong recommendation from Hiddink helped convince he was making the right move in coming to Goodison.

ÒI talked to Guus Hiddink in Moscow, both when he was there and when we have been together in the national team,Ó says the midfielder.

ÒHe told me that to come to Everton would be a very good step forward for me as a footballer. He said Everton were one of a few teams that had impressed him very highly.

ÒI also mentioned that the team uses quite a contemporary approach and plays with a lot of passes in their game."

Now you or I can think what we like. But I’m sorry, where football is concerned Gus Hiddinck defers to nobody. He openly (in other media) stated his admiration for Everton, including our style of play. Don’t forget we should have won at Stamford Bridge just days after beating ManU at penalties at Wembley.

I’m afraid I have no time for polarised nonsense that suggetss all is bad, might as well give up now, that sort of crap. The posts from this time last season are still available. Check them out. Ring any bells?

What Im more interested in understanding is what the fuck goes on with David Moyes and our coaching staff between July and October. It’s so far away from where we ended up last season. We’ve already showed what we can do. We’ve since only lost Lescott from our serious squad contenders and gained Billy, Distin, Heitinga and Neil.

I would like someone to interview Moyes and hear his views on why we start every season so poorly, lacking energy, focus, sharpness, style and confidence. It used to be the last 10 games that worried me under Moyes. Judging by the last 2 seasons that’s almost conquered. I don’t deceive myself that we will continue like this. We won’t, and frankly to pretend that we might is ridiculous. But some questions need answering.

One of the difficulties with someone so (apparently) strong in their position as Moyes is that he effectively answers to no-one. His inner strength and resolve can be a great asset on occasions. But like many sich powerful people it can also be his undoing.

Current form is unacceptable. But let’s not get carried away.
Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:10:37

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I agree with most of that Alan...but I wouldn’t give more than a cursory acknowledgement to what other managers say..

Recommendations are slightly baffling to me....managers recommend players they don’t buy themselves...and in Hiddinks case we have an international manager bigging us up on the basis on one meeting...which somehow gave him the false impression we are a passing team..That in itself should rings bells..

It doesn’t mean much to be honest.

I also have to contest your suggestion that there is ’no way we’ll be in the bottom half of the table...

For me, this season is going to be very tight from 6th to 16th....therefore in my opinion we’ve every chance of being in the bottom half..especially if Arteta’s out for longer than originally though...because for me..our football and results will only improve once we get him back (unless Moyes makes some bold managerial decisions)..
Mark Murphy
20   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:17:20

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"I fear there is something of Gordon Lee about Moyes. "

I wish!

I was a regular home and away when "Everton are magic" was our anthem and Big Bob was banging them in, and Davey Thomas was flying down the wing, and Andy King and Martin Dobson were class, and when we climbed over walls to see us hammer Leicester away and when we were the league top scorers and gave coventry, brum and even chelsea some hammerings.
Gordon Lee’s reputation is unfair and undeserved - we had some great times with him around! Just because he didnt like Duncan mackenzie everyone called him dour! He makes Moyes look like Sam Allardyce!!
Come to think of it, Moyes IS like Allardyce!!
Matthew Tait
21   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:13:12

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Very good post Alan. I’m not quite as optimistic as you of a top six finish given how tight the league is looking this year and our ongoing injury problems affecting key players, but otherwise I agree.

Re your point about our slow starts to the seasons. I think the reason comes down to our poor and uncertain off-seasons regarding transfer funds and movements. Last year was particularly bad with the uncertainty around Moyes’s contract, which clearly seemed to affect the squad’s morale.

This year the Lescott saga and bringing in players so late looks to have been almost as disruptive. Until we get this sort of thing sorted out earlier in the offseason, we will struggle to progress and risk going backwards.

Oh and Ciaran I know what you’re saying and though I’d say you’re being a bit glass-is-half-empty about it I don’t really disagree. Even though we have recently been finishing best-of-the-rest or thereabouts, we’re always 5-10 points off fourth place. So a serious challenge is a way off yet. Still, my general point about Moyes’s success in taking us from consistently finishing in the lower end of the table to finishing very near the top end stands.
Dave Lynch
22   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:14:43

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Believe me mate, i am trying to keep a grip on reallity.
When we talk about our past, we talk about our success. You know, the great teams of the 60s and 80s.
Era’s when we actually won something.
Equally when i post about the state of Everton at present i am refering to the whole picture.
It is all linked in my mind.
The fact we have not moved with the times as far as modern football goes.
We have no or little investment, the transfer policy is a shambles, the kirkby debate ( please don’t turn this into another one of those threads lads).
All of these contribute to the state we are in as a club.
Coupled with a manager who constantly baffles me, and others, with his mindless tactics and negative strategy.
Honestly mate. Our last few league placings count for nothing. I know we won’t get relegated and believe we will finish mid table
But this is not progress. Our style of play is one dimensional and a lot of managers have sussed it.
That is why i think we will struggle.
As i said in an earlier post. Davey boy has given us stability, but nothing else.
So move him on and let someone take us to the next level.
Anyone for Hiddink ?
Graham Atherton
23   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:20:48

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Why hasn’t Moyes done something about losing talent that would cost £20 million (or more in the climate of last summer) to replace and to whom we still have to pay wages at the rate of around £6million a year??

I think that once again we have short-term thinkers mistaking knee-jerk reactions as solutions to long term problems. Moyes has to manage this terrible injury situation with minimal money, minimal wages available and one eye on improving the future team once injured players return - or would you have him bring in like-for-like knowing that he will have duplicated resources?

He has to cross his fingers very firmly that no further long term injuries occur, hoping that injured players return to the level they were at before injury quickly.
Dave Lynch
24   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:30:19

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Mark Murphy.
Superbly put.
I too was in my prime and following the blues everwhere like you.
Remember that Leicester game well.
I got arrested for trying to get over the wall.
Alan Kirwin
25   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:19:39

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Fair point on managers in general Ciaran. However Dutch people have an intrinsic need to tell it how it is, it’s part of their DNA. And I’ve heard Hiddink on many occasions and over any years. He’s matter of fact and doesn’t bullshit. That’s part of his appeal.

And the reality is that, at that time, he was right. We played increasingly well after losing Arteta. With him we are so much better, but I was quietly feeling increasingly smug last year about,not only our results, but our performance and style.

Your observations about the EPL middle-order are interesting and I can see where they come from. It may prove even tighter than normal this year (and actually from a fan’s perspective that’s good for the game) but I still rate us better than most of them. And we have form in this regard, which one cannot discount.

The biggest risk with Arteta is Mark Hughes long admiration of him. Do not be surprised if a £25m bid landed in January for our best player. It’s such a pity that we haven’t given this fantastic footballer (and let’s face it, fairly dedicated Evertonian) the platform to show what he can do. Only really since Pienaar appeared have we had anybody on the same wavelength. Arteta could be footballer of the year with the right men around him.

But all is not totally lost. Arteta, Pienaar, Rodwell, Billy, Fellaini, Neville. If all fit, that’s a good mix of steel & style.

I tend to take a reading around bonfire night. if we haven’t recovered by then it really is all over bar the cup(s). If we can exploit the relatively easy run of league games we have (next 8 all winnable) then based on our normal mid-season kick-on I’ll be optimistic. And even more so at the sight of Arteta & Yakubu in blue shirts and Jags back in training.

Now is, frankly, a rather ridiculous time to be calling time on Moyes and spraying woeful forecasts of doom & gloom. The evidence suggests such behaviour is premature.
Dave Lynch
26   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:38:18

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Having duplicate players is what it’s about.
Covering for injuries.
It’s called a squad. I don’t want superstars, just adequate cover will do.
Not players playing out of position all over the park.
Tony Marsh
27   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:50:18

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The football we play is and always has been shocking under Moyes.Regardless of loyalties any Evertonian who thinks the standard of play being set for our players by the manager is ok is seriously fucked up
in the head.

Lets get one thing straight though.If Moyes where to take this club down he woud still keep his job Gareth Southgate style.That is the way the club is run and we couldnt afford to sack him evn if BK wanted to.

We are stuck with Moyes for ever it seems and Hoofball is now the Everton way.Forget what is says in the song about we play it on he carpet because we dont we launch the fucker
every time.
Dennis Stevens
28   Posted 17/09/2009 at 12:39:37

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Moyes did a great job in stabilising the club, clearing out all the old players & steadily improving the quality of his squad - he has us finishing in european qualifying spots most seasons & is even starting to improve in the cups now. But nontheless, the quality of football is generally poor - there seems a genuine reluctance to get the ball down & play football. It’s not so much that Everton don’t play like Brazil, as that all we too often make the other team look as though they’re playing like Brazil - often quite ordinary teams too. As Dave Wilson says : "these players have demonstrated they can play." but "Nowhere near often enough ..." - Is this because of Moyes tactical approach or Moyes failing to get them to perform to a consistently high standard. One way or another I see that as a failing on Moyes part.
I don’t believe it’s correct to portray this as some early season failing - this has been going on for 7 1/2 years! I suspect that one reason for such a "knee-jerk" reaction after just a handful of matches into the new season is the dismay supporters feel to find their hopes dashed that this season might be the one where things change, when it’s "same old - same old", again. Neither is this a change in our style of play brought about by a loss of key players - we have never played good football consistently under Moyes, all we get each season are a few tantalising glimpses of what his teams are capable of before normal service is swiftly resumed.
I don’t want to see Moyes leave Everton, I want him to get the message that Evertonians like to see the ball on the deck & some joined up football. I’d also like him to realise that unless he can get his team to do this consistently he probably is at about the limit of what he can achieve. We either have to progress or we will be overtaken.
One thing I’ve noticed about many of the responses is how they dismiss comparisons with earlier periods when Everton were successful & playing decent football, but are happy to make comparisons with the previous decade when we spent part of the 90’s struggling to avoid relegation. It seems to me that many are too fearful of what disaster may befall our club if Moyes were to change (or improve, as I’d see it), or especially if he were to leave. The assumption seems to be that the club may not survive in the top flight without Moyes. This fear seems to be one reason why some can see no wrong in the man & can not countenance the possiblity that anybody else could do the job successfully.
Richard Osborne
29   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:11:40

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Firstly, Steve Coppel? Yeah, OK.

Secondly, Tony Marsh, we don’t always play hoofball. In fact, that is what makes the current and most recent displays so frustrating - we can actually play football!

With Arteta, Pienaar, Yakubu and arguably Neville in full motion, we actually play some great stuff. I agree that Moyes has constantly been found wanting in terms of tactics but please, let us not forget that it has been a long time since we saw the players mentioned above in the same game.

If those players come back, or the newbies come in and we still resort to the long-ball game, I’ll be as disappointed and upset as anyone. However, I think I’m being realistic (not an apologist, to all you righteous twats out there), when I say that until we get 3 of our best players back from injuries and gel the new signings, things may be ugly. But it’s Everton ugly. If they win (a big if!) I don’t care how.
David Booth
30   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:28:33

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I am really getting tired of all this anti-Moyes rhetoric.

We have had a dreadful start to the new season, but this is ridiculous, knee-jerk nonsense.

Over the past few years, we have emerged as THE leading contender for a top four spot.

It would be wonderful to break into that cosy foursome, but in today’s football climate, it will take a lot of doing.

But to attack Moyes so vigorously is stupid.

And worse, none of you ever propose a realistic alternative. Steve Coppell for goodness sake!

Indeed some of you - Ciarán McGlone for example - never have anything positive to say.

It is so easy to criticise, but your comments have no credibility without some form of positive, REALISTIC alternative.

Tony Williams
31   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:22:46

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(not an apologist, to all you righteous twats out there)

Love it Richard!

Mark Murphy, if Moyes is like Allardyce, does that make our foaming at the mouth fans the same as the dopes on telly screaming at him, "You don’t know what your doing"?

If they get their wish, I hope the same fate doesn’t befall us as it did Newcastle.
Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:41:33

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Lets get one thing straight..the anger we are seeing on these pages are not ’knee-jerk’ reactions...

They are the frustations of a set of fans who have waited for a rubicon moment - from hoofball to reasonable passing football - for nearly 8 years..

We have a right to expect the progress we have evidently made in terms of playing staff to be replicated by a change in the kind of approach and tactics we see on a Saturday afternoon.

David Booth, If you single me out, you can expect brickbats. Your suggestion that one cannot criticique our displays without having a fully demonstrable and empirically sound alternative...are the words of a gurning child who has lost its dummy.
Peter McHugh
33   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:54:07

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when arteta plays in middle and yakuba up front we do play passing football. I have watched some really exciting games with some good passing under moyes to say we’ve not moved on in terms of entertainment is wrong. I remember being away to villa under walter smith when he played kevin campbell on the left wing. 0:0 result unsurprisingly.

however, I. sick of people bashing evertonians who dare to criticise. it’s sad that many expect so little. People pro-moyes harp on (i.e. like David Booth) above about we are THE leading contender for CL spot. That’s garbage, last year we snuck into 4th - Aston Villa were the contenders, prior to that Spurs. We are not close to CL since we broke into top 4 and will not break in under Moyes unless Kenright finds an investor then perhaps, Moyes will get us in. And I say perhaps as Moyes is definately unproven as yet. Anybody can see that City and Spurs are way ahead of us at present in terms of quality football they play.

Ray Burn
34   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:04:20

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Paul Merson after Everton v Bolton last season.

"I thought they were a different class," he said.

"That’s as good a performance as I’ve seen in a first half from any Premier League club this season, they were that good"

I don’t think he was refering to the quality of Hibbert’s howitzers.

We can play good football, I agree that we don’t try and play it often enough but all the generalisations claiming non-stop unremitting ’hoofball’ are wide of the mark.
Roger Domal
35   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:10:13

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Here we go again...three years ago it was Martin O’Neill as the savior, now it’s Mister Emotion himself, who was so brilliant that he took Reading to its rightful place in the championship.

There are times when Moyes is very frustrating, but watch other matches as a neutral and see how other squads play, and then project yourself as a supporter of one of them. You’ll come running back to Everton in a heartbeat.

I’m thinking that a lot of you have NO idea what constitutes a side.
Ben Jones
36   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:02:44

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It’s kinda frustrating with the hoofball, but fact is Everton can play great football. So people like Tony Marsh is over-reacting because we do not play hoofball all of the time. What annoys me, and I think it’s similar views with Dave Wilson, is that why can’t we play passing football all the time, instead of reverting to hoofball when we don’t play well?

One reason is confidence. And the other is Mikel Arteta, But it’s still not an excuse in my opinion. All our midfield can pass, maybe not very creative, but can still pass, and we should play like that more often than not.

We play this hoofball, because the centre backs can’t see anyone they can pass it to, so they hoof it. So perhaps, the midfielders are to blame because they don’t make enough space for the defenders to pass it to them. But players like Hibbert and Yobo, in my opinion, don’t have the confidence to pass it under pressure anyway, so they are partly to blame too.

Moyes is nothing like Allardyce, when Everton are playing well and are confident, we play as good as football as most teams in the league. It’s just when we are in slump, we revert to hoofball, and it is frustrating. You can blame that on the players, not just Moyes.
Jay Harris
37   Posted 17/09/2009 at 13:50:30

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Anyone who goes to the game regularly will tell you Moyes is always screaming at the players to get it down and pass.

I firmly believe the quality of football is down to confidence not just in themselves but in their team mates too.

When we have the quality in the team I.e. Arteta,Pienaar and you know you can give them a pass without it coming straight back on you the football will start flowing again.

If we had the money of the SKY 4 to get the top quality players we would not be talking about hoofball but unfortunately we dont so we have to deal with the limitations of some of our existing squad.

I see the problem mainly in MF where we still dont have the correct balance between a "footballing" enforcer (Rodwell is close but not experienced enough nor enforcing enough) and a "hold the ball and play a creative pass" type of MF player a la Fernandes (which Phil Neville certainly aint).

Because nobody (apart from Rodwell) comes looking for the ball the back 4 end up hoofing it.

Yes Moyes should drop some of the players concerned but thereby lies another story.

One last point nobody is too good to go down!!
Jay Harris
38   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:18:05

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Ben Jones
just shows there are like minded Evertonians.

I hadnt seen your post when I posted.

Totally agree.
Michael Brien
39   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:22:43

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For me the biggest "Con" would be that Moyes seems unable to see beyond 4-5-1 — it’s almost as if it’s against the rules to play more than one striker. I remember the Tottenham game in August 2002, the 1st full season with David Moyes in charge — I seem to think we started that game with 3 strikers !!!Or was I just dreaming that ??!!

I know that playing one striker has worked well in the past. But if you play the same way ALL the time then isn’t it just making it easy for the opposing manager to work out your tactics.

We have some very good players in our squad, and the question to ask is Moyes the man to get the best out of them? I used to think he was, but now I am not so sure. There are times when he appears to act like someone who believes his own publicity. There are times when he is quick to criticise the players for a poor performance, but seems slow to accept his own responsibility. He picks the team and decides the tactics. In our last game I thought we were beaten by the better manager. And before you rubbish that comparison — does anyone think Moyes will get the opportunity to manage a club in Italy ??

Mark Murphy
40   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:42:44

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My point was that Moyes is negative and dour and to compare him (228 games - 285 goals) with Gordon Lee (234 games - 346 goals) is unfair to Gordon Lee! Gordon finished 3rd and 4th in successive seasons and was unfairly labelled because of his under rating of (mr magic) Duncan McKenzie. He is 5th in rank of EFC managers since the war (Moyes is currently 9th) and people quickly forget that up until march/april in his first season we looked like we were going to win the league!
(I was just using the Allardyce reference to make the point about Gordon Lee - I dont really think Moyes is similar to that horrible twat!)
David Holroyd
41   Posted 17/09/2009 at 14:58:44

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Don't know what you all think but why do people think Rodwell should be a defensive midfielder? He has 2 good feet can head the ball, has a good shot on... him maybe he should be used futher forward. He has a good football brain can pick a pass what more could you want, he could be our Gerrard.
Ciarán McGlone
42   Posted 17/09/2009 at 15:44:34

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I don’t see the potential to be a Gerrard...I’d be happy with a Makelele..
Dave Brierley
43   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:15:42

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"Your suggestion that one cannot criticique our displays without having a fully demonstrable and empirically sound alternative...are the words of a gurning child who has lost its dummy."

Ciaran McMoan. You’ve summed yourself up perfectly. Too much time on your hands pal...get a job.
Alan Kirwin
44   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:12:46

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Clearly an anachronism somewhere here.

Moyes shouts at the players during games to "play" and "pass", yet they often resemble a Sunday pub team for 3 months of most seasons.

So either the players are just plain fucking stupid, or incapable of playing proper joined up football (and movement, because without movement there is nothing) or, unbelievably, they don’t start the intricate pass & move stuff in training until October.

What other explanation can there be.

Tony M - sorry buddy, almost everything you say is emphatic, polarised and knee jerk. As plenty have exemplified on this thread alone, we have shown our ability to play very good stuff indeed. Even without our footballing, string pulling talisman. Indeed it is that fact that makes this latest shockingly banal start to a season all the more irritating and unacceptable.

I remember that strange quote from Arteta last season, after we’d lost all our forwads and used Cahill/Fellaini rather judiciously. Mikel came out publicly and said it was possibly the best football we were playing since he joined the club and he was really enjoying it. This man, more than any other, deserves to enjoy his football.

But it does leave a rather odd thought that we end uo playing good stuff almost in spite of, rather than because of, the manager’s philosophy or at least what is done in training.

It’s an infuriating state of affairs.
Ciarán McGlone
45   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:31:33

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Mavis Brierly,

Can you get me a start in the golden arches?
Ciarán McGlone
46   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:32:55

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Ah yes Alan...our 4-6-0 formation...I remember it with fondness..
Dave Brierley
47   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:37:27

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I think you’ve proved my point Ciaran.
Ciarán McGlone
48   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:46:38

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I don’t think you’ve got one Mavis.
Tony Marsh
49   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:43:01

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Alan Kirwin, knee-jerk reaction is something that is said quickly after an event that is seen by some as uncalled for. My viewns on Moyes are long held and hardly knee-jerk.

The same shit keeps occurring season after season, sometimes at different stages of the season, but they always happen regardless. Dithering over signings, dithering over substitutions, hoofball, sticking with crap out-of-form players, in-fighting with players, shocking tactical decisions that are never learnt from, phantom bids, etc etc etc.

How the FUCK is this seen as knee-jerk by you?
Paul Conatzer
50   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:53:00

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Mark Murphy,
Perhaps my remark about Gordon Lee was influenced by me ordering Duncan McKenzie’s book
Mark Murphy
51   Posted 17/09/2009 at 17:01:34

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I loved Duncan McKenzie - still do!
I admired Gordon Lee though - and I think he was harshly judged.

Stian Skaar
52   Posted 17/09/2009 at 17:02:31

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Fact of the matter is that Moyes signings this summer represents at step away form the hoofball you’re describing. If we play the same style aswe did against Fulham with Bily and Heitinga in the team, it would be ludicrous. And with Arteta back as well, and Yakubu, it actually looks like a team capable of passing football. Not to forget Rodwell.

All great teams have been built by establishing a solid defence first. We have been a great team defensively the last few seasons. The key to becoming a better offensive team — and we have been great in attack as well quite a few times under Moyes — is to allow the ball players into the side.

And about Rodwell — I agree that he could be a playmaker as well. He looks perfect for a 4-3-3, as the central midfielder.
Dave Brierley
53   Posted 17/09/2009 at 16:57:13

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Ciaran I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce."

Best wishes


Mike Green
54   Posted 17/09/2009 at 17:19:34

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Let's face it — it's frustration. Thats all. I was all bitter and twisted on Sunday but I’ve got over it.

I reckon we’re going to thrash AEK tonight with some of the best football seen by the boys in blue since the ’80s.

That’ll blow the cobwebs away!

Andy Codling
55   Posted 17/09/2009 at 17:24:11

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Sean good post and agree with most of what you say.
However there is a HUGE amount of our supporters who are quite happy to put up with the shite we watch and happy with the current regime overall.
This is because of a cup final appearance and finishing fifth in the league.
Sorry but my standards and ambitions are a lot higher to just accept that.
I dont know why some fans think this is great, maybe its because they are young and dont know any different.
Richard Osborne
56   Posted 17/09/2009 at 17:38:27

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Andy Codling, you say your ambitions are ’a lot higher to just accept that’. So what are you doing about it?
Mike Green
57   Posted 17/09/2009 at 18:13:42

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I’m still confident we’ll stuff this lot in a very high scoring match.

Have just backed any result that has a "4" or more in it at 9.6 on Betfair.

Also - Rodwell to score the first goal at 22-1.

You may laugh now....
David Booth
58   Posted 17/09/2009 at 18:09:37

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Ciaran McGlone: tempting as it is to engage in a thesaurus-inspired war of words with you, you still have not answered my question (posed to you and all others who delight in constantly bemoaning our fortunes right now): give us a viable, practical, feasible, affordable alternative?

Before you accuse me of compromise and settling for mediocrity (which I would vehemently deny), I’d like us to win everything, but am sensible enough to realise that every dog has its day and ours is yet to come again.

In the meantime, I think David Moyes - compared to the likes of Walker, Smith and yes even Gordon Lee - is doing a bloody good job.

Would you rather see him replaced? If so, by whom?

And thanks for getting unnecessarily personal. I am not a gurning child who has lost its dummy.

I resent the suggestion and disagree with your views, but will not stoop so low as to trade insults with you.

Your attitude - in addition to being consistently negative - also bears an unhealthy hint of assumed superiority and aggression. Neither are justified. This is a forum for fellow Evertonians, not fight club.

Brendan O'Doherty
59   Posted 17/09/2009 at 18:43:12

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Ray Burn, yes that was some performance.

Mike Green, absolutely right - frustration is all it is....there’s always the next game.
Alan Kirwin
60   Posted 17/09/2009 at 18:44:55

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Sorry Tony, you have a point old son. You have held, and indeed been kind enough to share, similar views on many occasions. Although fair to say not quite as vociferously when we’re on a run of 1 or 2 losses in 25 games.

I totally respect your point Tony. Odd thing is, I recall being just as upset as you, and about the same things, long long ago. I had a similar view with England, most notably in the 1990 world cup when we played well only once (the SF), but were otherwise totally shite and painful to watch.

But I meant knee jerk in relation to the fact that we are 4 games into the league season. You, and others, aired similar discontent at the same stage last season. I expect things to improve (by a lot, as it happens) because they usually do.

But of course that doesn’t actually excuse the painful style of football, nor the questionable team selections, or playing good players away from their best position, or making odd substitutions and leaving the obvious replacement still on the bench.

But you seem to leave out any sense of context or balance Tony. So whilst you might indeed believe to the contrary, things are nowhere near as bad as you paint them, nor have they really been at anytime in the past 7 years. Two exceptions to that where the total collapse in the last 10 games of 02/03 and the unbelievably moronic start in 04/05.

And even in 04/05, after losing 8 of the first 9 league games, scoring just 1 goal in 9 (and that an undeserved smash & grab at Bolton) and with a vastly inferior squad, we still ended up 11th.

The way we start seasons under Moyes really fucks me to the gullet. I don’t understand it and can’t accept it. But despite that, it is not, and never was, as bad as you continually paint it out to be.

Sorry mate. Just disagree with you.
David Hallwood
61   Posted 17/09/2009 at 18:53:21

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Mark Murphy’s reminising about the Gorden Lee days when "we even gave Chelsea some hammerings" not difficult cos at the time pre-Chelski were shite, I saw us beat them 6-0 with Latchford scoring his 30th goal(I think). But on to serious stuff to the Moyes out brigade-who would you have in? Steve Coppull?!! get the fuck!!
Andy Codling
62   Posted 17/09/2009 at 19:30:40

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Dick Osbourne if you read the post it means I expect better at Everton as opposed to the mediocre shite that gets churned out week after week.
It means I am not content with a cup final spot or fifth place , I think we should be investing and improving all the time.
But as I said some people are happy watching shite as long as we finish in the top half.
Dave Brierley
63   Posted 17/09/2009 at 22:26:17

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David Booth totally agree with your comments specifically about the half empty nasty Ciaran character who appears to spend lots of time on here attempting to impress us with his vocabulary and superior opinions.
He makes the mistake of believing that big emotions come from big words. Tonight I watched a team performance I was proud of.
David Booth
64   Posted 17/09/2009 at 22:55:20

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Thanks Dave. Glad to know there is at least one other Evertonian for whom the glass is half full.

A thoroughly good performance from start to finish tonight and three strikers on the field.

All the Private Fraser clones can have a night off: we’re not all doomed after all...
Brendan O'Doherty
65   Posted 18/09/2009 at 00:28:11

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4-3-3? ’Tactics of a Madman’....!
John Maxwell
66   Posted 18/09/2009 at 00:01:13

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Dave and David.

Theres thousands more who can see the glass half full.. who will be enjoying their drink this evening.

I didnt see much to moan about in that game...

Maybe those fans and supporters who has a good cry watching the Fulham game should take a look at those AEK fans tonight...

Moronic posts above, of which I never read.. should be taken for their worth.

Thats the response I would like to see.
Gary Sedgwick
67   Posted 18/09/2009 at 01:57:28

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1.Moyes has not won a thing in 8 years (in fact, he’s never won a thing ever)

Didn’t we win the BIGGEST cup in the USA pre-season?

Tongue in cheek...
Dan Brierley
68   Posted 18/09/2009 at 03:54:17

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A much need tonic, but I am not getting carried away. That was a very poor AEK side. But nevertheless, that could be a good source of confidence and inspiration for all the players. If we can transfer that into our next League game and get a convincing win, then we will establish the belief again. Nice to see a clean sheet, and Yobo and Distin seemingly striking up an understanding at the centre of defense.
Ciarán McGlone
69   Posted 18/09/2009 at 08:59:20

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’give us a viable, practical, feasible, affordable alternative?’

OK. Play the right players in the right positions in the right formations....ya know, something like last night.
Mark Murphy
70   Posted 18/09/2009 at 09:23:17

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Much better last night, and I’m not even going to give any "yeah buts..."

All I ask of Moyes is that he encourages the very good players we have to play to their best ability. Something we didnt do at Fulham, Burnley or against Wigan but did last night.

I’m not a Moyes hater — I just get annoyed when he, because I do think its down to him, doesn't get the team to play as well as they are capable!

Rodwell was fucking boss last night, wasnt he!

Mike Green
71   Posted 18/09/2009 at 19:09:05

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C’mon lads - at least some one give me credit for backing us to score 4 goals or more last night!

I thought we were great first half, dropped off second understandably, substitutions were to save the team but last 20 if I’m honest I thought we were a bit dogshit.

But then I was holding out for that 4th goal!


Once we get Arteta back and have him in with Bily and Pienaar watch the quality flow.

Loved it.
Tim Lloyd
72   Posted 18/09/2009 at 21:53:41

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There are certainly two people on this forum with wholly negative opinions on our present team and Manager. Tony and Ciaran.

They are of course entitled to their opinions as are we all. However, I do suggest that they look more closely at the set of circumstances that exist for David Moyes and have done ever since his arrival here, albeit he has improved the situation markedly, since his arrival

The financial situation here at Everton is dire now and has been for some considerable time. The reputation of the club is another thing. I suggest, that to those with knowledge, it has been one of the most famous clubs in English football ever since the formation of a professional football league.

To be offered the Managership must have appeared something else to the young David. Recommended to him I understand by Walter Smith, who was dolefully watching the club heading for virtually certain relegation. This from the Manager with so many years of great success with Glasgow Rangers.

David Moyes took on the challenge tho’ I don’t, for a moment, think he appreciated just what it would entail.

To start with, no money for new players and a playing staff of yesterday's has-beens and no-hopers.

Very slowly, he started to build. No on the floor passing movements so sought after by his critics on this site but by building a good team spirit and getting, from time to time, great ’bargain basement’ buys. We all know them.

Ever so slowly, as one must if the money is zero, he has started to acquire quality. I feel now, Bily, Johnny Heitinga and Distin are great buys and with the enforced necessity of losing Capt Phil, the club can concentrate more on the best aspects of good football.

Thursday evening was, hopefully, a sign of things to come. Our squad is certainly stronger than last seasons and with the return of Mikky and Phil Jagielka, we can make good progress.

Top four? With the competition greater than ever this season, unlikely but I feel we will perform sufficiently well to encourage our new boys trhat they made a good enough move.

DK should be resolved one way or another in the next month or so. I have hopes that it could be the means whereby the hands on the purse strings can be loosened somewhat. Moyes has performed incredibly when one considers the massive difficulties he has been under with lack of funds.

Nobody really knows why the Board has kept the money supply to David Moyes so very low but I feel certain it has to do with DK. In what way, I have no idea but I can’t think of anything else.

I do not feel quite so disheartened as some. My advice is ’Keep the Faith’
Ciarán McGlone
73   Posted 19/09/2009 at 12:06:32

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Quite a contradictory offering there Tim...

You seem to be asking ’the wholly negative’ [sic] members of the forum to look behind the scenes for reasons why Moyes makes mistakes... yet go on to acknowledge that correct personnel, tactics and formations on Thursday produced a high standard of football...

You are conflating the issue of Moyes's managerial decisions and the actions or inaction of the board. Although Moyes is restricted by the board, Thursday night clearly showed that it’s been his managerial decisions that have caused our poor start to the season, without delving any further into the calamity behind the scenes.

ps: I am not ’wholly negative’ — I am critical whenever it is merited and give praise when it too is merited — it’s called balance.
Mike Green
74   Posted 19/09/2009 at 15:47:25

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Ciaran McGlone

If you are not wholly negative how can you take our best performance of the season so far, a 4-0 win in our opening, inaugural game in the Europa league and use it to clearly show that it's the mangerial decisions that have caused our poor start to the season?

Why not applaud the managerial decisions that brought about that victory?
Ciarán McGlone
75   Posted 19/09/2009 at 17:50:00

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I did applaud them several times on this and other threads Mike.

Maybe you and the other finger pointers missed it.
Mike Green
76   Posted 20/09/2009 at 11:13:04

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Fair comment Ciaran - I try to read as little of the tripe you put on here as possible.

Enjoy the match! (Or at least try to)

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