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Work harder, donkey???

By Chris Kelly :  28/12/2009 :  Comments (24) :

No... Let's work smarter, Davey!

To me, David Moyes is like a relatively intelligent student who wills himself through hard work to get A-grades.  Very different from the stud on the other side of the aisle who just "gets it".  Not a bad thing... But not a great thing either.  Dave's a donkey.  He knows one route... and that's hard work.

If we are to progress at all in 2010, we are going to need to work smarter, not harder.  Listen up, David!  Moyes's answer to every failing is: "try harder, run faster, finish your tackles"... I want to introduce a new word to Moyes's vocabulary: "Tactics."

We now have (or will soon have) on paper the best team he's ever had.  We have "some" width, we have a tiny bit of speed, we have some brains, and we have some touch.  Not in that order and not all the time!  But what we don't have are cutthroat finishers who can poach a goal out of nothing, and a coach who can out-think his counterpart with an intuitive substitution and steal a game.

We don't need more bashing of the poor Putin look-a-like but why oh why is Moyes sticking with a player who is so limited going forward?  Is it because he's a donkey too?

We generate such a disproportionate amount from the left, it's almost embarrassing.  Baines is wily, exciting and potent while Hibbert is predictable, Moyes-like in his straightforwardness and utterly impotent!  With Bily, we can now do well on both flanks, we really can. His passes were far too cultured for Hibbert to understand and cope with today...

We have a young buck on the bench screaming to get a game (after his Man of the Match performance) yet Moyes lets him sit and steam...  Infuriating for the lad, I'm sure. Now Neville is back (Why oh why is he back when our two best players, who were hurt so long before him, stay in the stands still injured? Baffling...) and Coleman is pushed further down the pecking order.  He'll probably be farmed out for a year to get some experience.

What our donkey doesn't do is learn from his mistakes.  Face it, he's not THAT great at raising youngsters to the big time.  Not nearly as good as he thinks.  The best one we've had is gone (and put straight into the spotlight where he has shone for club and country) and the other was being treated with kid gloves until everyone else around him got hurt and he burst onto the scene. 

What do kids do when they grow up?  They make mistakes.  Let these kids make mistakes and LEARN from them.  They don't learn nearly as fast on the bench just playing reserves.

Speaking of LEARNing.... that's something donkeys don't do.  That's why Moyes will never coach Man Utd and we will be as high as this man goes.  Oh, and that's why me writing this, and you reading this, is just a waste of time.  He won't change.  He's scared.... utterly terrified of it.  Another reason we're in trouble: Moyes is a donkey. Donkeys are loyal and don't think.

We are finally playing some on the deck stuff yet we've known all along, that's what our team needs!  It's beautiful stuff — the way the game should be played.  But don't hold your breath; it won't last.  This is a trend, not a rule of our team.  And it starts from up top.  Don't think any different.  Ask West Brom.

So what am I saying?  I'm saying that someone, somehow, needs to take this team by the scruff of the neck and give us a goddamned identity.  Could be the Donkey... but probably not.  Could be Bill... but he hasn't got the balls.  Should be Pienaar... but somehow I don't think he has it in him.  Could be Neville... but he doesn't know any better.  Bily tried but he's too new and not quite good enough.  Someone hopefully will step up and straighten out this mess.  And when/if that does happen, hooray!

For the players that don't get it, just look left.  That's how you do it.  For those that can't catch on?  Thanks Tony; thanks Leon; thanks Victor — good luck in the Championship.   No time or money for passengers. We're too skint for that shit.

Anyway, here's to imploring Donkey Dave listen and take heed.  The best coaches in the world, any sport, are cold-blooded.  You're paid to make the harsh decisions.  Cahill (my favorite player) sucks; bench him.  Hibbert is one-dimensional; bench him.  Tired of seeing Osman JUST miss that curler, or JUST miss that teammate streaking to goal? Us too... Bench him.

This is why you get paid so much, Donkey.  To make these hard decisions.  Don't put your head down and work harder... THINK!!! Use your noggin' — as my Grandfather would say — and change the tactics.  Play tighter. 

I used to think behind those dead, steely blue eyes was a cold-blooded killer.  Now I just figure there's nothing...  Learn from your mistakes once and for all.  Don't be a donkey, be a man.  Be a legend.  Now's the chance.


Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 29/12/2009 at 05:47:21

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Great piece, Chris. Not something the acolytes are going to want to hear, and calling him ‘Donkey’ just blinds them to the truth in what you write, which is nailed on. THIS is exactly what has been driving me mad about Moyes almost every week since we finished 4th and failed to kick on.
Colin Potter
2   Posted 29/12/2009 at 09:35:32

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Great article, Chris, I couldn’t agree more. It’s just on 8 years now, and for me he hasn’t learnt a thing. The look on his face when things start to go wrong on the pitch says it all: clueless. He’s too pig-headed to drop his favourite players, even when everybody else in the ground can see they are not playing to their full potential.
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 29/12/2009 at 09:35:04

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Interesting, I heard some kids singing about a little donkey about a week ago... didn’t know it was coded reference to Moyes.

You’ve come up with a unique take Chris but looking at the facts your piece falls apart. Let’s digest some together.

Tony Hibbert - who has consistently been the best defender we’ve put out over the past three months. Not great going forward, but who covered in central defence admirably and without complaint when asked to do so. Coleman is exciting - but can he defend as well as our Tony? And that’s what he is paid to do - defend!

Moyes, not much cop at bringing through youngsters; well generally Chris, I’ve found if they’re good enough he plays them: witness Rooney, Anichebe; Rodwell, Gosling etc, etc... etc and who was that young lad who signed for us turning down Arsenal recently who said "Youngsters get a chance at Everton"

Blimey Chris, you have the memory span of a Goldfish - because I remember prior to the St James Park Massacre last season ’Good Football’ was our default mode... and it’s been back for the last four or five games - now suddenly some of you guys are calling us ’West Brom’ and calling out for a return to ’hoofball’... I really can’t believe my eyes!

Good piece, as I say Chris - but can you LOSE the tendency to CAPITALISE important bits - it really gets on my TITS.

(A bit like calling people who disagree with you a Moyes ’Acolyte’)
Sean McKenna
4   Posted 29/12/2009 at 11:27:26

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Spot on, Chris. Something you missed out on though, Cahill should be shipped off to the Championship as well as Hibbo and Ossie. Cahill has been brutal this year... while I love the man, I have never rated him as a footballer, if he dosnt score he does fuck all else, yet he starts every match.

I’d love to see Bily in the hole and Coleman on the wing, like what you said Chris. Bily is too cultured for Hibbo, and for me Bily doesn't get involved enough out wide. And just a mention for the Big Fellai, well done — you’ve proved me wrong and long may it continue. COYB
Steven Connor
5   Posted 29/12/2009 at 11:29:19

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Where have you been? ’Bench’ Cahill, Hibbert and Osman... and replace them with who? Have you seen Everton's bench for the last few games? And your proposal is to ’bench’ anyone you don’t like.

Furthermore, this Coleman bandwagon is fucking embarassing... hes played in two games. One we lost five-nil.

Finally, you claim you will introduce Moyes to tactics... and then go on to say absolutely nothing about tactics apart form the pathetic ’throw on the kids’ and regurgitate the same old shit about Hibbert, Osman and new public enemy, Cahill.

If this is what passes for a ’great piece’ on here these days I despair...

Brian Waring
6   Posted 29/12/2009 at 11:58:23

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Moyes fears change, that’s why he will always use the 'don’t get beat at all costs and anything else is a bonus' mentality. Also, tactically, he’s not the brightest.
Nick Entwistle
7   Posted 29/12/2009 at 11:44:20

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MK, labelling a Moyes supporter as an acolyte is one thing, but to say we are blind to his failings as noted in this regurgitation of the same old arguments is very interesting. Are you not in effect by dismissing us as blind, blinding yourself to all his good points which is the reason we are acolytes?

Moyes has chopped and changed playing style consciously throughout each season in charge and brings the club home in 5th, 5th and 6th.
I don’t understand why we don’t play the good stuff each week instead of hoof, but I don’t have £75,000 of football knowledge in my head each week either, but I do think there’s a method to it all.
Stuart Downey
8   Posted 29/12/2009 at 11:59:50

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It’s odd, I agree with a lot of what you say but not all. Perhaps we are a workhorse team, and that is definitely down to Moyes. To be fair though, as manager I’d rather have a Moyes team than a similar team (and I’m gonna compare with those across the park, completely different type and style of manager, imagine what he’d do with no money and a squad size of ours). I don’t think there are too many better managers that could and would want to do the job required at Goodison.

I agree completely Moyes has miles to improve. Persisting in players who are underperforming (when there are players available to sub) and in game he is so negative. Both with tactics and substitutions he seems slow to react.

My view is mainly we’re screwed without money, as we can’t afford the better players out there. I still believe Moyes is the correct man for the job, but his time is running out. He’ll be forgiven this year due to injuries, but this hardwork ethic shouldn’t last forever. Arteta isn’t everyones favourite due to hard work alone.
Des Farren
9   Posted 29/12/2009 at 13:22:48

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"So what am I saying?" — Well, apart from introducing the word donkey to the Moyes debate, not a lot. You begin with references to working "smarter" but don’t develop this argument at all. Likewise, you talk about introducing Moyes to "tactics" — what's that about?

Having read the piece twice it just seems to me to be an over-long, repetitive, disjointed bashing of the manager and a few select players. Nothing new in that.

David Hallwood
10   Posted 29/12/2009 at 13:14:32

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I’m glad that I’m not the only poster that gets pissed with capitalisation. FACT? — piss off; it's an OPINION.

Where do we start with this little one? Since I’ve been watching football, supporters of any club ask the same question as Chris: why does the manager persist with, for Hibbert read Gary Neville or Tony Adams or any other player that’s the current hate figure. The question was asked to Beckham (when he was still with Man U) at the height of the "Gary Neville’s a donkey" campaign by the media, he replied that when this fancy dan comes unstuck, donkey Neville is always there to get me out of the shit.

Just because a player hasn’t got the skills of Messi doesn’t make him a Championship player; however, because we pay good money, we want to see artists and turn our noses up at the artisans... but they are important to a team as silky skills.

And Stuart Downey, you obviously haven’t been watching Man U for the last 20 years. Great players but if they don’t have the work ethic they don’t cut it.

Now we get to team selection; I’m beginning to think that I’m the only poster who lives in Britain and all the rest of you live in the Artic Circle/ remote desert/space station cos the team has picked itself bcause of the horrendous injury list. To those of you who say that's an excuse, pick up a paper and read how Alex Ferguson and Ancelotti put their poor form and results down to the loss of key players — and Fergie/Carlo have only had up to 3 players out — not the entire bleedin team... FACT!

Jay Harris
11   Posted 29/12/2009 at 13:53:54

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Well said David Hallwood.

I am not a massive Moyes fan.

I think he’s a good but not great manager but I do love the fact he is so principled and dignified unlike the FSW.

As stated by others and obvious to all who are not DONKEYS, we are extremely poor, we have the smallest squad in the Premier League and we have been ravaged by injuries. I believe Moyes is the right man for us in our current ownership.

I know this season has been frustrating for many of us but hey, don't kick the man when he’s as frustrated as any of us.

Would any of the Sky 4 with 10 senior players injured still be in the top 4? I doubt it.

Are any of us better managers than Moyes? I doubt it.

So instead of the constant negatives, why don't we come up with some positive suggestions like how we can improve our goalscoring.

Please don't put that down to tactics because we had 20+ shots on goal yesterday and scored 2.
Eric Day
12   Posted 29/12/2009 at 14:11:54

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Let me start by saying that I am not dithering Davey’s biggest fan. However, I do respect what he has done for the club since he arrived and also wonder what would happen if we lost him as I do not fancy a new manager with this wafer thin squad.

I also hear the shouts for change but did you look at the bench yesterday? — it was not littered with options of proven quality. Certainly Tim has not been at his best but is he carrying an injury and who would we play if he was left out? Same with Ossie too. Hibbo may not possess silky attacking skills but he is a solid defender.

Just think about this: Baines looks good going forward although his quality of final ball is poor but defensively how many goals come from our left side of defence? So you have to ask what is a full back's primary role? Attack, or help stop goals?

Injuries have played a key role this season and we have not seen our two best players kick a ball yet. You only have to look across the park and hear how they complain when they have an injury or two.

In summary, this is not the time to pick on any individuals, it is a time to get behind the team and show our support. We can judge them all when we have a full squad and Davey has options to change tactics and selection, not when he is trying to fit the 11 available names into some kind of workable formation.

Howard Don
13   Posted 29/12/2009 at 13:52:58

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Sorry Chris, can’t go with you on this one. There is truth in some of what you say, but a lot that’s not. I’d love to know how you propose to bench all these players, when we’ve barely had eleven to put out some weeks.

I also agree with Steven Conner, the Coleman thing is getting out of hand. He’s played one good game and I’m excited by his potential, but to suggest, when we have a makeshift defence, we throw rank inexperience in instead of Hibbert who for all his faults in other areas, IS a very good, experienced defender, is a non starter for me.
John Andrews
14   Posted 29/12/2009 at 14:52:33

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Nice one, Chris... and I also could not agree more. Moyes is a donkey whichever way you care to look at it. And I for one will not be sorry when he finally goes. However, I don’t think that will be in the foreseeable future, unfortunately.

As for our injury crisis? We now have Phil Neville back although I cannot quite see how the injuries to Arteta and Jagielka are taking quite as long as they have...

Tony Hibbert. Why?

Leon Osman. Again, why?

Victor Anichebe. Even more so, why? The mighty Victor scored just one, possibly, two Premier League goals last year.

Colin Southern
15   Posted 29/12/2009 at 14:42:11

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I’m sorry, Chris K, but that's complete bollocks. I despair about a lot of the shite written on here at the moment. There are a few reasons for our failures this season and it's got naff all to with Hibbert and Moyes being too defensive.

Firstly, it's quite obvious he’s working with one hand tied behind his back. Moyes said himself its difficult trying to attract quality players for small fees and low wages. If you got clubs like Fullham and Hull paying more wages than us, it's always going to be a difficult situation of buying in quality players and getting them to work together. Yes, let's get rid of the mainstays of the squad like Tony & Leon, who' s gonna replace them, be as good if not better, and for lower wages than the smaller teams in the EPL?!

I still remember when he brought his Preston team here for the cup game and they played us off the park. So I’m not buying that crap about being too defensive-minded either.

All great managers know that you always build a team from the defence. If you’ve got a settled back four and a great goalie then your midfield and forwards can take more chances as they have got the confidence in their defenders.

Compare this and last season, steady back four and we’ve seen some brilliant football and that was without any forwards. Disrupted back four and we’ve been awful. I don’t think it's any coincidence that we’re playing a lot better now that the defence has settle down again.

Pleeeeeeeeeease let's have some perspective and stop all this CM rubbish.
Brendan McLaughlin
16   Posted 29/12/2009 at 16:20:54

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Moyes a donkey? I think you’ve just made an ASS of yourself there Chris. He-haw, he-haw, he-haw!
Sorry lads!
Howard Don
17   Posted 29/12/2009 at 16:11:39

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Well said Stefan Tosef, when an article like this gets labelled "a great piece" by the editor, you know where this site is coming from these days. Try and mount a detailed defence of Moyes as I did recently and you get censored and patronised, oh and a good bucketfull of sarcasm for good measure.

Also well said Colin Southern, you write complete common sense. Sadly it doesn’t fit with TWs negative and anti Moyes agenda.
David Hallwood
18   Posted 29/12/2009 at 16:20:07

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John Andrews, you don’t appear to understand that when an athlete (not just a footballer) has an injury it may take 3-4 months or even longer to get back to the level they were at before the injury. Look at the Yak; 20 years ago his career would’ve been over and people come on here slaggin him off cos he’s slow-I think the generic term is ring rust. As for Arteta/Jag injuries taking longer, that’s life. No one can predict how long a cold is going to last let alone a serious injury like MA & Jags have sustained.

In a wierd sort of way I’m looking forward to the reaction of TW when Arteta comes back, if his performance level is waqy below pre-injury. It’ll be fuck the Spaniard off. he’s finihed etc etc, when in fact if we get a half decent performance from him this season we should count ourselves lucky
Iain Love
19   Posted 29/12/2009 at 17:12:31

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A lot of criticism, but not very constructive. Last night's tatics / subs appear to have worked, so if we take the Sunderland game as an example, what would you have done to change the game???

As a small aside, Wenger changed Arsenal's game the other day by bringing on Fabregas, wish we could.

Ray Robinson
20   Posted 29/12/2009 at 19:25:41

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I share some of the sentiments in the article - namely that Moyes can be defensive and prefers workhorses to flair players (a few exceptions there). Also that his tactics can be a bit suspect.

However, calling him a donkey is grossly unfair. How much more could any manager really have done working on the shoestring budget that he has had? The only validity for labelling him a donkey is that he didn’t get on too well with Shrek!
Dave Wilson
21   Posted 29/12/2009 at 18:58:17

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You seem to have a problem with a manager who wants his players to "run faster, work harder". Sorry mate but thats what every other manager of every other team in the world wants.

You claim this is the "best team on paper we’ve had" ... wonder who assembled that and with very little cash too.

"We generate such a disproportionate rate of chances from the left its embarrassing" — So why have the majority of our goals come from the right ? And in case it's escaped your notice, Bily has spent the majority of his time on the left.

"We now have speed"... err whereabouts?

"Bily’s passes are far too cultured for Hibbert to understand". In football circles we call Bily’s type of passes 'inaccurate'.

"Let the kids learn from their mistakes" WTF? I think we have done that more in this season alone than any other Prem team have done in a decade.

"I’m saying that someone, somehow needs to take this team by the scruff of the neck and give us a goddamned identity" ... I’m guessing they’re the tactics your screaming for for? Hmm ... or maybe you want to "play tighter".

A jack ass of a post Chris, I so wish you’d have listened to your arl grandad and "used your Noggin"

Don't expect Moyes to suddenly become Arsne Wenger, a donkey doesn't even have spots to change spots.

Love to Know what you’ve been drinking, this festive season, was it Moscow Mules?
Amit Vithlani
22   Posted 29/12/2009 at 22:54:42

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"Moyes will never coach Man Utd".

Umm, why the fuck should we care? I only care about who coaches Everton. If he succeeds, I don’t want him to leave at any cost. If he is shit, I want him out at any cost.

I think the post by Shaun Sparke provides a more balanced view. Then again, being balanced may qualify us as being acolytes and donkey-followers if we are to believe the shite being spouted in some quarters.
Brendan O'Doherty
23   Posted 30/12/2009 at 00:34:54

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Neville is back (Why oh why is he back when our two best players, who were hurt so long before him, stay in the stands still injured? Baffling...)

....Baffling isn’t it, when a player returns from a relatively minor knee injury before 2 others who had their anterior cruciate ligaments torn apart.

About as baffling as the ’donkey’ logic behind this article, and the ’acolyte’ logic of those who agree with it. Oh sorry, it’s the "nailed on" truth!

Let’s just throw all the kids on in the next few games against Arsenal,etc. and lose 12-0.Get a fucking grip.
Jeff Magee
24   Posted 30/12/2009 at 09:00:07

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Thank fuck for this post, it has restored (almost) my faith in TW - I was just about to set my new years resolution as not reading it any more (except for Ken Buckley’s match reports) for whilst I think it is brilliantly run and presented site the anti Moyes/Hibbo/Ossi and generally everything EFC slant has been grinding me down over the recent months (as if our form/injuries/bad luck was not bad enough). Most of my thoughts on reading this have been posted above — particularly the comments about injury recovery periods — FFS!!
MK as I said above you and the rest of the team do a fantastic job running this site and I take my hat off to you all but I do feel that the pressure of doing so sometimes gets to you and your comment on this particularly post is at odds at your consternation that some people (as shown by the majority of replies to this post) feel that TW (on occasion) is too negative — any one who comes on with anything positive to say is quickly beaten down and I am sorry to say often lead by your own response/comment to the particular post — all I would like to see is a bit more balance. COYB

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