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Class of 2008

By Tony Marsh :  20/10/2008 :  Comments (0) :
The result and performance at Arsenal on Saturday was not unexpected. In fact, the outcome was the biggest banker of the weekend on the fixed-odds coupons. I know people who are making a living out of backing against Everton in games these days. Quite simply, we are not good enough for this league any more. We can argue all day about the contributing factors that have turned Moyes's team into the laughing stock of the Premier League but I look no further than the man himself: David Moyes.

In the season ending in 2004, when Moyes achieved the impossible, a 4th place finish, we stole a march on the rest of the league that year with the new 4-5-1 system DM introduced and it worked a treat for a while. Credit to Moyes for a bit of forward thinking and bringing something new to the table. After the 5-1 thrashing at Spurs on New Year's Day, though, the wheels fell off and Moyes was well and truly sussed. It was so easy to beat us after that and that's what they all did thereafter.

I think we won only four games during the remainder of the season and limped across the finishing line in a terrible state, the big points tally gained earlier seeing us home as the season fizzled out like a damp Roman candle. I sat there with my pals at games shaking my head in disbelief saying, "How the fuck have we finished fourth playing the way we do?" Moyes, with his 4-5-1 plan now exposed, needed to change things but he didn't know how. Caught like a rabbit in the headlights of an articulated lorry, Moyes stood on the touch line and froze as the games past him by.

What transpired the following season is what finally proved to me that Moyes didn't have what it takes at this level. We had a horrendous time after the Villarreal exit and teams were queueing up to thrash us.

The 5-1 Butchering in Bucharest was followed by the 4-0 hammering at West Brom who were relegated that season. A poor Villa side beat us 5-0 at their place, Blackburn dumped us out of the FA Cup at Goodison Park 4-1, and then there was that horrible night against Spurs at Goodison that still sends shivers down my spine. You know the one? Where Naysmith was brought on as a sub then taken off 20 minutes later. Had Moyes finally lost the plot? Well he went 4-5-1 again at home to an already relegated Norwich and we just about scraped a win thanks to an own goal. Another shocker for the archives. The only reason we finished 4th that year was because Liverpool were shite. End of story.

Through all of this, I still used to think to myself, "Why did David Moyes think we could beat Villarreal over two legs playing James Beattie as a lone striker?" I mean it was plain for all to see that this shit didn't work anymore... but apparently not to Moyes. We could've signed Dean Ashton and Darren Bent for the same money it cost to get Beattie in but Moyes doesn't do pace and flair does he?

With a little more desire to win and a bit more tactical nous, we would've beaten the Spaniards back then, who were nowhere near match fit. In the end, the outcome was ineviatable and the rot had well and truely set in for the coming season.

Fast forward to the present day and what do we have? Well we are still being thrashed by crap sides and we are still playing the 4-5-1 system that doesn't work. Hoofball is still high on the agenda and Moyes is still signing and resigning players not fit for the purpose. Just like the 2004-05 season, we are once again in Shit Street thanks to Dithering Dave and his crazy antics.

After the 4-1 cup exit against Blackburn in 04-05, a few of us had words with Bill Kenwright in the Joe Mercer lounge. He told us in no uncertain terms that Moyes would not be sacked. I believed him then and now I believe we can never sack Moyes. We are stuck with him even if we go down. BK can't afford to give Moyes the bullet after the contract he has just signed...

In all honesty, this Everton side is performing as bad as any I have ever seen — including the Mike Walker and Walter Smith sides — so going down is not as far-fetched as some of our lot think. We are a one-dimensional side with a negative manager and on current form deserve to be relegated. I mean when was the last time you seen a David Moyes side do something different out on the pitch? A new move at a corner or free kick for example. A set play from the training ground perhaps. There's nothing there at all is there? What can Moyes possibly teach the players he has under him?

Every team in the Premier League has about four or five players standing over the ball whenever a free kick is awarded. They fight each other to take the fucker... and Who do we have?.... erm, Arteta and erm .... Arteta. That's it! One player at the club; Moyes has one dead-ball artist at Everton after 7 years in the job — it's Pathetic. As many times as Arteta tries, the first man is never beaten... yet, time and time again, we employ the same tactics... WHY??? It's not working so change it FFS!!! It's small details like these that Moyes constantly overlooks.

If the unthinkable did happen and we were relegated, does anyone think the bunch of wimps Moyes has assembled as a squad will be able to fight their way out of the Championship? Imagine Osman and Pienaar up against the battle-scared street fighters from that Division. They wouldn't stand a chance.

Now we all know that the usual suspects will come on and ask me who would I select as a manager in place of DM. Well, that scenario is irrelevant now; David Moyes is here to stay and there is nothing we can do about it. The St End can sing OH DAVEY MOYES in full knowledge that the clown prince is going nowhere.

Evertonians used to sing We Shall Not Be Moved but in reality it's DM who will not be moved. Can you really put up with five more horrible dreary years? Five more years of boom and bust Hoofball with no reward at the end of it. We deserve better than this don't we?

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