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Moyes... 7 year hitch

By Charles King :  02/12/2009 :  Comments (30) :
After 7 years of DM a relegation fight beckons... so what now? Back him or sack him?

I knew little to nothing of him from his Preston days... I was encouraged by the accompanying press releases, "brightest young manager about", "plays progressive football" (no giggling at the back, please!) and generally positive vibes from the football world at large.

He started with a blinder, "The People's Club", a declaration that nicely upset the reds, winning votes from the off. He presented himself well... confident, strong, not cocky... and duly paid respect to the heritage of this remarkable but ailing club.

In short measure, he brought stability, improved the team adding some really good signings and incredibly brought European adventure back whilst adding an FA Cup Final for good measure. He gave us some dignity, he restored pride, he won Manager of the Year awards.

So is the messiah already among us? Should a marble statue be commissioned?

The graph hasn't always gone straight upwards; after initial progress and infiltration into the top 4, the embarrassing Champions League saga preceded a floundering Premier League campaign and questions about him began.

Rooney. Regardless of what has since happened, the embodiment of this club's history, its aspirations for the future, were manifest in this 16 year old Evertonian, but as quickly as he appeared, he was gone... Reports of squabbles with senior players made Moyes appear inflexible and possibly a factor in this most demoralising episode.

He hasn't won anything; we now glory in the "hard working, organised, stable" tag I'm sure some clubs would welcome... but is that it?

His team usually plays to contain, consequently Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd games are usually non-contests, and unfortunately we are getting stuffed by big scores now. Recent performances suggest any team with a modicom of ability can see us off comfortably.

Pre-season preparation including transfers, too embarrassing for comment.

His persona; like it or not, utterances in the media affect what's going on at the club, Mourinho covered up Chelsea's functional style by outrageously turning the spotlight on himself. Moyes is as cautious with the media as he is with his team formations, clearly the "People's Club" declaration was an honest observation rather than a masterstroke of motivation, which is fair enough, but you can see he's not comfortable. Rallying the fans and I suspect the players is not his strong point.

Further, he does exhibit traits of being stuck at middle management level, he refers to calls to Bobby Robson, Alex Ferguson and the like for advice... sensible? ... or lacking confidence?

His pronouncements are full of it too, particularly that dreadful habit of speaking about himself in the third person "David Moyes doesn't think that way...", usually followed by a statement of the bleedin' obvious: "We might find ourselves in a relegation fight, but it's my responsibility to get us out... ". Add: "We've got no money and a massive injury list but I'll never use it as an excuse," and David Brent begins to appear.

His unwitting exclusion of the words "we" and "us" usually saying "Everton" or "the team" and instead of "our fans" we are labelled "the fans" is probably the biggest indicator that we just haven't connected.

But does it matter?

The role models of Man Utd and Chelsea are positioned entirely by money and I detect most modern supporters are just waiting for their own wealthy benefactor to follow suit, in which case managerial input is incidental. Just pay them off, get a new one.

He nearly went last season... was he right to stay?

Reader Comments

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Ciarán McGlone
1   Posted 02/12/2009 at 14:45:23

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Of course he was right to stay...just look at the pay deal he secured.

I think his growth is being hampered by the current owners - but on the other hand he takes an age to learn a lesson that should really be learnt he first time. He does himself no favours with some of his bizzarre reasoning.

At the moment all I can say is that Bill Kenwright has got the manager he deserves...
Colin Potter
2   Posted 02/12/2009 at 14:49:19

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I think he should resign. Surely by now he must realize he cannot take us any further. He has had a good run with us, and I don’t think he would have lasted this long witrh a lot of clubs. Stand by Charles for the "well who would get in his place" brigade.
Mike Allison
3   Posted 02/12/2009 at 15:36:12

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I still don’t understand this idea of ’Champions League embarrassment’. We equalised, at 3-3 with equal away goals and ten minutes left to play in that Villarreal away leg. The only embarrassment was the decision by Collina to disallow the goal.

Sure, Villarreal were a better team, and this was in our Marcus Bent up front on his own days, but why rewrite history?

Whether you like excuses or not we ARE massively hampered by injureis at the moment and have been all season, we’ve been without our best player for around ten months and had to make do without Pienaar recently for an extended spell as well. Where Moyes should take criticism is in two areas, (i) a failure to sign the right players over the summer (how much of that is to do with money, Kenwright and the board? I don’t claim to know) and even those he signed were too late to play Europa League and (ii) A continued insistence on playing players out of position.

These are things he has done/is doing wrong and he should be criticised, however, to take out our general frustration at our current overall circumstances on the manager and get rid of him would be a mistake.

Someone pointed out on another thread the other day that at any other club Moyes would have been sacked by now, and all I had to do was point out that that is why we’ve consistently finished above those other clubs.

And Colin, your pre-empting it doesn’t stop it being a good point. Name some names.
Mike Gwyer
4   Posted 02/12/2009 at 15:53:16

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Good post.

For me Moyes never seems to be in a steady state of mind, always swinging one way then the other. One match he seems very unlucky, then the next extremely lucky. Hence it’s the same with decisions on the pitch. He delays a substitution, sure enough the opposition go and score whilst he’s pondering on the substitution. Additionally, the players he picks and the positions he wants them to play are, at times, so baffling it will soon be a topic on Master Mind.

The above traits seem to have caught up with him though, and with the fixtures we have ahead, the bottom three by xmas is very possible. Not sure how Moyes will then react to the negative feedback from the EFC fan base as he has had, in fairness, been successful.

IMO this season has turned into a bit of a nightmare bearing in mind the success we had last few seasons.

Pablo Mc
5   Posted 02/12/2009 at 16:23:35

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I’m still very much in the Moyes camp. I’ve been impressed with him and his attitude since day one, despite a fair few ups and downs, tactical blunders, etc. that are to be expected of a young manager learning his trade, especially with the circumstances/board he has been forced to work with.

I’m not going to ask "who else would we get ?" but I would like to ask how many other managers can you name that speak so passionately and with such obvious pride and reverence about the club that they work for ? (You can throw all the accusations about his salary around that you like but he has always spoken like this and it really doesn’t seem like an act to me)

This might not mean anything to some of you but it really should to the majority of you - Moyes "gets it" - despite the fact that he’s not a born-and-bred Evertonian he very clearly "gets it" and has since the day he arrived.

He is focussed, dedicated and determined and I don’t think he feels his work at Everton is in any way done - certainly not with the way we’ve been playing this season !

Throughout his tenure at Goodison, he has been one of the only people that has consistently strived for Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. This season has been 95% awful so far, but we’ve been through worse with him and we’ll get through this as well.

I’m not at all ashamed to say that I’m 100% behind him and I don’t see my opinion changing any time soon either.

In Moyes *I* trust
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 02/12/2009 at 16:57:32

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’I still don’t understand this idea of ’Champions League embarrassment’. ’

To take on the elite of Europe...we bought..Phil Neville.
Mike Allison
7   Posted 02/12/2009 at 17:17:41

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Who had already taken on the elite of Europe numerous times. Ultimately, we were only knocked out by a stinker of a decision against a very good side (was it that season they reached the semi finals and were a missed penalty away from the final? I may not be completely accurate but plenty of other teams struggled against Villarreal). I still don’t see where embarrassment comes into it.
Paul Foster
8   Posted 02/12/2009 at 17:20:35

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You know you’ve got a good manager when your best weapons for criticising him are:

1. his tendency to refer to himself in the third person
2. his willingness to ask world-class managers for advice

and, most bafflingly of all ...

3. simply answering questions in press conferences

Are you really having a go at him for stating the bleeding obvious in interviews? If so, you have no idea how the media works.

Just imagine, for a moment, that you were interviewed by the press every time you left the office, and they hit you with inane questions like: "You slipped up today, do you think you will come back stronger tomorrow?"

Like Moyes, I suspect, you’d bat them back with statement of utter banality, like: "It’s all about how you respond to slip-ups. I’ll do my best to be back on top form tomorrow and I’ll work harder than ever to put things right."

Ferguson does the same, as does Wenger, as do all the top managers in the division. It’s the ones like Keegan who let their feelings show who end up faltering. Moyes knows that the best way to conduct himself in a press conference is to keep things quiet. Why should he try to inspire the moronic journalist asking him questions?

As for his apparent failings to motivate his players, well that is just a remarkable accusation. I think it’s fair to say that most players who have played under Moyes, including Rooney, have said he’s an incredible motivator. That, in fact, seems to be by far his greatest asset - which is why we have so regularly over-achieved during his tenure.

I’m astonished that you’ve thrown it in as something to be criticised.
Colin Potter
9   Posted 02/12/2009 at 17:40:09

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Hello Mike Allison,
Off the top of my head quickly, because I want to find a link. How about Dick Advocaat, Guss Hiddinck. There’s yon lad from hoffenheim, who is highly thought of. for £3m a year Mike, I think you could have quite a queue.
Dave Brierley
10   Posted 02/12/2009 at 17:39:28

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You’ve captured Moyes pretty well Charles. I don’t think he was ever particularly inspirational or exciting but up to this season he always came across to me as passionate and enthusiastic when in the public eye. I’m assuming he was the same with the players and that to some degree mirrored their onfield performances.

The David Moyes of this season however is a different animal. He reflects total misery every time I see him on TV. Depression, frustration and irritation are very evident each time he speaks. Maybe something to do with our team performances this season so far?
James Stewart
11   Posted 02/12/2009 at 17:56:32

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David Moyes can be summed up in one word. Boring.
Ray Said
12   Posted 02/12/2009 at 20:07:44

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James Stewart; it’s 3 words. Boring dour hoofballer.
Andy Griff
13   Posted 02/12/2009 at 20:08:59

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Dear oh dear. Who are we going to get?
Dave Worrall
14   Posted 02/12/2009 at 20:13:47

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Oh dear....not even Christmas and yet more utterly, utterly predictable kneejerking sh1te from some. Again. Some people just don’t get it at all, or have conveniently forgotten the financial restrictions (thanks Wm Kenwright, OBE!!!) Moyes’ works under. So much for the "most knowledgable fans". Get a grip or get some treatment.
And, yes, I would have stated the same whatever the result tonight.
Andy Griff
15   Posted 02/12/2009 at 20:26:09

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Well said, Dave.
Nick Entwistle
16   Posted 02/12/2009 at 20:55:34

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When another team are able to break the glass ceiling of CL qualification, then I’ll take on the issues raised by people saying he’s taken us as far as he can. It maybe so, but it does nothing to entertain the question, can any team go further than 5th? Playing the joined up football or playing the hoof, can it happen to anyone? Perhaps it can this season, as when we made 4th, Liverpool again are having a stinker. But it hasn’t made the billions at City look favourites has it.
Richard Dodd
17   Posted 02/12/2009 at 22:59:42

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Did a pretty good job tonight,though, didn’t he?????
Jim Riches
18   Posted 03/12/2009 at 00:21:31

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It seems to me that many of the people that want rid of him are after more entertaining football. Ever seen West Ham play? Nice side to watch - can’t finish above 12th.

What do people want? We finish in the top 6 consistently for years. We all know we CAN’T go higher without major investment. So what would changing manager do? Please answer this question someone?? Who cares if we get some hoofball if we’re in Europe year in year out?

And who is this knight in shining armour that will bring us success? Who will manage our threadbare squad in a clapped out old stadium in Walton? And who will accept a pittance of a transfer budget?

Folks modern football management is all about the money. Simples.
Mike Allison
19   Posted 03/12/2009 at 12:08:53

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Advocaat, no thanks.
Hiddink, dream on.
Young lad from Hoffenheim? Maybe, but think Christian Gross, Jacques Santini, and Juande Ramos before you get too excited.

We’re more likely to get someone like Darren Ferguson, who I rate by the way, I thought he was unlucky and the victim of foolishly raised expectations at Peterborough.

PS> Just looked up Ralf Rangnick (Hoffenhiem), has a back story along the lines of Mourinho, Wenger and, ahem, Houllier. However, I would like to judge our current position under Moyes when we have something remotely approaching a full squad rather than what we’ve seen so far this season.
James Stewart
20   Posted 03/12/2009 at 18:05:05

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Ray I stand corrected — your 3 words are more accurate.
James Stewart
21   Posted 03/12/2009 at 18:10:54

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Mike comparing Ralf Rangnick to Christian Gross is very unfair. Ralf Rangnick has achieved miracles & is generally seen as the next Wenger by a lot of people.

I very much doubt he could be tempted here! Great manager though. László Bölöni would be more realistic.
David Booth
22   Posted 03/12/2009 at 20:54:46

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All this speculation about David Moyes’ future is ridiculous, on two counts:

i) The season’s barely a third over and roughly a third of his best players have yet to return.

ii) He is doing a bloody good job!

Do the people who clamour for him to be replaced really think ANYONE could have done better than him under identical circumstances? And if so, who?

Give him more time and a little more money and then we’ll see if he’s capable of taking us up a level?

Until then, be thankful we have an admirable, hard-working, dedicated, honest, astute, loyal, sportsmanlike man in charge - delivering consistent year-on-year improvement.

He’s a credit to this great club of ours and for him to be branded a failure - as some of you are suggesting - is disgraceful.
James Stewart
23   Posted 03/12/2009 at 22:26:14

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Hmmm David Booth interesting comment. David Moyes is doing a bloody good job!? Errrrr no I don’t think so!

Year on Year improvement!? Wake up! Some of us are sick of watching this man’s disjointed team play negative shite week in week out. Hoofball Merchants is all he has turned Everton into this season. I will be glad to see the back of him! Your the disgrace.
David Booth
24   Posted 04/12/2009 at 10:55:48

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Thanks for the compliment James.

So consistent top six finishes, an FA Cup Final, a League Cup semi-final, consecutive seasons in Europe and the best squad we have had for 20 years is not a job well done by David Moyes? That seems like improvement to me, or did I miss something Smith and Walker did?

Like you and every other Evertonian, I’d love more. But correspondingly, it’ll take a little more time.

Yes, we might have booted it upfield a little more than we ought to have done so far this season, but when we have a midfield consisting of Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini and Bilyaletdinov, do you seriously think that will happen?

We showed we can play properly against Athens the other night. But with three-fifths of the above quintet missing for much of the season, sadly that has not always been possible.
James Stewart
25   Posted 04/12/2009 at 14:23:43

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Injuries Injuries Blah blah blah.

Yes with that midfield i think you would get exactly the same results. I’m afraid your statements of the best squad in 20 years is just very much your opinion.
This is the same squad that could not beat Hull, Wigan and Stoke yes?

David Moyes is the root of the problem. He goes into every match with the same attitude of keeping it tight and trying to nick one. Boring and predictable. He is the reason we play such utter shite!
David Booth
26   Posted 04/12/2009 at 16:06:16

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No blah blah at all: the facts are there for everyone to see - as evidenced on a rain-sodden pitch on Wednesday when Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini and Bilyaletdinov showed we CAN play good football after all. The same can be said for the game against Liverpool a few days earlier, despite the hugely misrepresentative outcome.

With what constitutes our first team on the pitch, we are a completely different side.

Plus that’s still without the greatest little Spaniard we know.

Oh, er, and we DID beat Wigan. You must be getting confused with Chelsea - who got beaten 3-1 by them?

I seem to remember Villa losing to them too.

And would you swap our draw with Stoke for Tottenham’s home result against the same team - when they lost 1-0?

So sack O’Neill, Ancelotti and Redknapp too. They must be useless.

It’s easy to be critical now. Did you have the same opinion about Moyes whilst walking up Wembley Way last year after yet another good season under his stewardship? I would wager not?
James Stewart
27   Posted 04/12/2009 at 17:32:49

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No not confused with Chelsea, I meant to say Wolves as it was that awful run at home.

Nor would I suggest sacking O’Neill, Ancelotti and Redknapp. Are their teams in the position we are? No. Do those teams play football on the ground from time to time? Yes. Plus two out of the 3 have won silverware.

Has David Moyes done anything to match those achievements? Not for me. I have always held the opinion that Moyes is not up to the task actually for years.

Wembley was embarrassing. Saha apart we were really shown up. All subjective though. You obviously like Moyes and his style of play. I do not.
David Booth
28   Posted 04/12/2009 at 18:36:05

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So, taking the Chelsea/Abramovic dream ticket out of the equation: did Spurs or Villa reach the FA Cup Final last year?

Did Spurs or Villa finish above us last year (or the year before)?

Are Spurs and Villa into the knockout stage of the Europa Cup?

Is the 2009/2010 season over yet?

The answer to all those questions is the same as to whether Moyes should go...

A resounding NO.
Mike Allison
29   Posted 04/12/2009 at 18:42:03

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Got to say I’m leaning more towards Booth than Stewart here, although James I totally sympathise with your frustrations about the style of play. I agree with David that we will play (and have done in the past) much better football when our midfield is fit, particularly Arteta, and I pray that we stop playing defenders in midfield sooner rather than later. Still, professional footballers should be able to pass the ball to each other, move into space and pass it again. Its clear at the moment that we’re not even trying to do that, and that is Moyes’ fault. Its his job to tell them what to try and if they lack confidence its his job to build them up and get them to do it anyway. Mind you, Tony Mowbray was great at getting his players to pass to each other last season...

As for comparing Christian Gross and Ralf Rangnick, its not particularly unfair. Gross did well in Europe before he came here and he’s done well again since. Ramos is also a very good coach. I think there are a number of examples of coaches whose methods worked better overseas than in England, and my point above was just to say that bringing in a manager with no experience of the English game represents an extra risk.
James Stewart
30   Posted 04/12/2009 at 19:48:43

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Mike there is doing well in Europe and then there is working miracles! To lead a team to promotion and then in the very next season to challenge for the title is nothing short of remarkable. I can’t think of anyone to do that in one of the major leagues except Ralf Rangnick.
Certainly not bloody Christian Gross! Irrelevant anyway as he would never come here.

I would like to share your optimism Mike that once Arteta is back all will be well. Sadly I don’t as that is incredible pressure to put on one player. Especially coming back from a very serious injury. It will take weeks probably months for him to get back to the same level he was at. By which time where will we be I wonder? I guess it boils down to expectations. I obviously expect more from a manager on a very lucrative contract.

So yes, I do blame Moyes for the primitive style of play on offer. For constantly trying to fit square pegs in round holes. It took him years to work out Arteta wasn’t a winger for fucks sake! He then repeated that same mistake with Pienaar. I actually think he has no pressure on his job what so ever. He will never be sacked and that is a very dangerous position for Everton to be in.

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