Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up

The best form of defence...

I was disappointed but not in any way surprised to read in that Sporting Life article Moyes's reaffirmation of his deeply rooted defensive mindset when it comes to football management. It's an age old ethos that many will claim as the root to success... summed up in this line: "I would prefer a 1-0, as a coach that's what you do."

But it only works if you have the right kind of counter when your team (well... David Moyes's team) almost inevitably goes behind or loses that precious 1-0 lead by yielding a silly goal. Moyes's solution to the problem is not yielding that silly goal, sticking to the 1-0 win.

What do you do when the other side goes 1-0 on you (Blackburn)?

What do you do when you get the 1-0 lead, but then squander it and go 1-1 (Wolves)???

Obviously you must go up the other end and score!

The lesson from the first two games this season, which constitute a very poor start to this vital league campaign, is that you absolutely need something else when 1-0 doesn't happen.

You must attack when you have the ball, you must retain possession, you must play the ball out of the back, you must pass accurately, your players must move off the ball and show for it....

So to me the huge irony is this classic line ? not from Moyes but from the journalist:

Everton hit five themselves in demolishing Huddersfield in the Carling Cup in midweek but Moyes remains concerned by the team's general lack of goal threat.
Go Figure! Why do you think Moyes's teams carry a general lack of goal threat? Do you think it might have something to do perhaps with the manager's total preoccupation with defending? I wonder... ?

Well, to my eye, that's the way we play far too much under Moyes. His players must have this defensive ethos drummed into them 24/7 on the training field, attackers made to forever "track back" and defend.

Playing just one striker up front seems such a defensive formation but we have been told it can be attacking if you have width and play with full-backs who can come forward and overlap.

I don't want to get dragged into the Hibbert/Neville/Coleman argument, but it's hard not to think of Coleman's effect and be forever frustrated by the fact that this exciting player is being held back for the precise reason that his defending is a bit lacking!!!

So, just when we need to come out and attack to rectify the deadening effect of this poor league start, Moyes comes out with this affirmation of what I strongly believe has prevented us from winning anything under him these past 8 seasons.

Unless the ethos changes to embrace attacking play when we have the ball, I can see this preoccupation with defense could once again prove to be our undoing.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 28/08/2010 at

back Return to the Editors Blog

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Mark Bruce
1   Posted 28/08/2010 at 13:58:49

Report abuse

I agree. Re Coleman, it seems that all over the world there are full backs who are held up as being phenomenal but a bit dodgy going back and it seems to be accepted. I think the boy should be played in all our games against those teams outside the "Big Four". It's the only way he will learn the game.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 28/08/2010 at 14:13:35

Report abuse

Playing ultra defensively against Villa will play right into their hands; at the back of two straight defeats they will be reeling and up for another beating. Their midfield looked shite against the skunks and Rapid Vienna and we should be looking for early goals and getting their heads down instead of this defensive bollocks, watch as another game goes begging if we do.
Larry Boner
3   Posted 28/08/2010 at 14:23:56

Report abuse

Glen Johnson is one of the poorest (skill wise) defenders in the PL, yet plays every game for England, when fit, an England managed by a defensive minded coach in Capello. He is a seasoned PL player whose defensive frailties are far outweighed by his attacking attributes. This is the same fullback who Liverpool paid £18m for, sanctioned by another defensive coach in Benitez...

Last week against Wolves it was clear that whenever Hibbert overlapped his crossing and driving into the box abilities were sadly lacking and he is a seasoned PL player also, so he is not going to improve. He also then started to get run ragged by the Wolves left sided player in the last 15 min or so. We counteracted this by bringing on Osman, so compounding the problem.

An introduction of Coleman would have switched the onus onto the Wolves left side to counteract a direct attacker running at them... but no, we reverted to type and opted for Osman/Hibbert and got absolutely nothing down the right side for the rest of the game.

Steve Smith
4   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:07:35

Report abuse

Sorry Michael but I'm not sure I agree with you overall on this.

You make some good points, our ability to change the course of a game is very worrying, but we have done it against the best in recent times (Chelsea, Man United last season).

Also, look at our most successful seasons in recent times under Moyes. Two 5th place finishes, built on a solid centre back partnership of Lescott and Jags, we conceded more than 10 goals less both seasons than we did last year with a lesser new recruit (Distin), and a classy centre back who cannot play in the LCB position (Heitinga).

As Moyes says, we do need to get back to the basics of defending, then we wont concede the goals that put us 1-0 down to the likes Blackburn.

It is hard to argue that Moyes's style has got more defensive since 2008, just in 2008 we didn't make so many sloppy mistakes and we were better at playing that way.

Also, look at the players we have at our disposal, creative players we are fine for, we are lacking a genuine right winger and a top left sided central defender. A 20-goal a season striker would be a bonus.

But last season we scored 60 in 38 so this is not the problem for me.

A solution as to how we win a game away from home after going behind would be nice, but not going behind in the first place would be a lot better.
Matt Traynor
5   Posted 28/08/2010 at 14:48:48

Report abuse

I'm inclined to agree with much of what you all write, but one question.

Can anyone think of a manager who has been at a club for a long-ish time, who suddenly had a "road to Damascus" moment, and changed his total outlook? Cos I can't.

Actually, a second, related question:

If we suddenly had access to the transfer funds, would he sign players who would totally transform the way we play, or would he go for better players to play in his system?
Roberto Birquet
6   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:29:21

Report abuse

Over-reacting to particular comments.

Not conceeding and defending well gives forward players more licence and confidence to attack, and in a more flambuoyant way.

If you have poor defenders/ goalkeeper, then attacking midfielders and strikers will be less willing to take risks.

What do you do when 1-0 behind Blackburn?

Hell, I'll give you a different question. What do you do when 1-0 behind Chelsea or Man U? Well on the example of Moyes' teams the last time that happened, you go up the other end and score two or three.
Daniel Johnson
7   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:26:26

Report abuse

Michael Kenrick

100% spot on, this article will forever sum up David Moyes reign as Everton manager.

It's this rigid defense at all costs attitude which has seen us come unstuck in two-legged European football and also when we go behind to well organised teams.

David Moyes has built one of the best Everton squads in recent memory but maybe just maybe it will require another manager with a less inhibited/defensive mindset to get the best out of it.

David Moyes when Plan A doesn't work never seems to have a Plan B. It's one thing having a defensive formation etc but, when we go behind, Moyes also needs to have a attack plan as well, which, to be honest, we don't.

David Moyes has taken the team and the squad to a new level but I now firmly believe that in order to reach the next level we now require a different way of thinking.
John McLoughlin
8   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:36:20

Report abuse

Nobody should be surprised Coleman is to be left out. Same will go for Rodwell. Caution every time, We'll continue to grind out results without ever achieving what may be possible. Because a nice safe place is what we want.

We are the only club at our level where the only concern is to preserve the status quo. Rather than look to get better we just want to avoid going back to being bad. In a couple of years another club can enjoy Rodwell playing and being a great midfielder.

David Hallwood
9   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:59:17

Report abuse

I'm with Michael Kenrick on this one, what Moyes has never found is a formation that can be attacking but give very little away at the back. Man U have done it for years, allbeit with better players, the season before last they went 18 games(?) without conceding a goal, with an attack-minded team.

I think it is time for boldness, Villa are all over the place ? let's take the game by the scruff of the neck and go for it; to quote Fredrick the Great "He who defends everything, defends nothing"
Kevin Hudson
10   Posted 28/08/2010 at 16:46:13

Report abuse

I would say that 13-15 teams in the Premier League deploy a gritty & pragmatic style, with defence being the keystone upon which they build.

You make a great point regarding possession, as frustratingly, we so often lose it far too cheaply. I also agree with you on the need for us to be looking to dictate games, and habitually develop an attacking posture.

I often feel that teams who project confidence & intent, intimidate the opposition into retreat. There were signs of us hunting in packs at Ewood Park, and Blackburn withdrew to their own box. If our final ball had been better, they could have been lambs to the slaughter, because THEY had no secondary tactics at 1-0.

I believe we have the ability to learn how to dictate games, and perfect the art of picking the lock. In due course, I would take it as a compliment to see teams park the bus against us. Which of course poses more tactical problems! It isn't simply a case of shooting fish in a barrel...

... As I see the PL as a predominantly counter-attack based league, and I think that suits three-quarters of the teams. But, like all Evertonians, I know which quarter we would like to be occupying.

Therefore, the method of getting there, lies solely at Moyes's feet. Will he eschew the safety net, and grab the bull by the horns?

I doubt it, as I believe he sees more than one way to skin a cat. We may well see a continuation of the 'horses for courses' approach,continuing the gradual development of this club's psychology: from defence to attack.

Nota Bene: Please excuse my over-usage of farmyard metaphors!!
Joseph Strumm
11   Posted 28/08/2010 at 17:28:42

Report abuse

I think the key to playing the way we do with a lone striker and a holding midfielder is that this formation is held while not in possession but, once in control of the ball, a midfielder should get up next to or just off the striker and both full backs should get up with and beyond the midfield, and the holding midfielder stays with the centre backs to make a three. This system requires quality, discipline and supreme fitness.

In our case, we don't have the quality in wide areas for this system and the lone striker is rarely supported and generally spends most of the game frustrated with his back to goal. I would prefer us to play to our strengths and have Beckford and Cahill playing in tandem at the front of a 4-4-2.

Until we address the right wing situation, we are going to struggle with our current shape; DM's defensive mindset and his inability to positively react when things go pear-shaped just compounds the situation.

I personally would prefer it if we took more chances and attacked more, Pienaar must start on the left with Baines and that shirker Bily would be bombed out in favour of Gueye. I know this causes a dilemma in the middle between Fellaini and Rodwell but surely it would be healthy for them to battle for a starting place:

Hibbo/Coleman Baines
Heitinga Jags Gueye Pienaar
Cahill Beckford/Saha
Any takers?

Peter Laing
12   Posted 28/08/2010 at 18:59:40

Report abuse

Go for the throat from the off! I totally despise Aston Villa and their phoney Brummie supporters and Moyes needs to be on the offensive from whatever side or formation he decides upon. We are Everton and if we are to believe the pre-season hype from the likes of Osman about this season then this is an imperative, must-win game, even at this stage of the season. Anything less than three points and we can expect nothing more this season than mediocrity. Moyes and the Players ? FFS go deliver!
Mike Green
13   Posted 28/08/2010 at 18:59:29

Report abuse

Michael - if I offered you a 1-0 win tomorrow now, would you take it?

Thought as much.
Charles King
14   Posted 28/08/2010 at 19:07:22

Report abuse

Wonder if the players get as pissed off reading this guff from DM?
Michael Evans
15   Posted 28/08/2010 at 19:11:15

Report abuse

I'm with Michael on this.

I found DM's comments depressing but to be expected given the "safety first" ethos of his tenure as manager so far.

I want Everton players to play without fear, to be brimful of self-confidence and to be able to express themselves freely and play expansive, adventurous football.

For this to happen, the players need a Manager who loves the beautiful game and makes his players BELIEVE ? Is DM capable of this?

Jay Harris
16   Posted 28/08/2010 at 19:18:37

Report abuse

Michael I agree with your philosophy but have to say you've got to win the ball before you can play with it so defending is a very important part of any teams games. Just look at how few Chelsea and Man U concede.

My biggest criticism is that we seemed to have lost the will or inclination to press the opposition when they are in possession and therefore sit back too deep instead of defending further forward.

I posted something last season which I called "In yer face" which I think Michael changed for aesthetic reasons but we used to be right on the opposition and were keeping clean sheets.

Now we have discovered we can play football and pass the ball, we seem to have lost the art of defending on the front foot.

Even our striker(s) don't seem to chase defenders down as much anymore.
Mike Allison
17   Posted 28/08/2010 at 19:31:31

Report abuse

Michael, this is easily your best and soundest criticism of David Moyes. I usually disagree very strongly with a lot of what you say about him, and in the past even when you've had a good point you've often gone too far, but I think you're spot on here.

Even the title sums it up just right, you're unlikely to concede when you've got the ball, especially in the opponents half.

I prefer a 2-0 or a 3-0 to a 1-0, and a 2-1 is factually a better result than 1-0, as your 'goals scored' column is potentially a deciding factor. These are indeed depressing comments from Moyes, especially when it seems we are beginning to look to play good passing football regularly. Of course we need to defend well, but that's 'defend well', not 'be defensive a look to win 1-0'.

I can only hope this isn't going to be reflected in performances, as we're now in a position to create chances and goals regularly, so that's what we should be doing.
Brendan O'Doherty
18   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:14:46

Report abuse

Jay (#16)

"Now we have discovered we can play football and pass the ball, we seem to have lost the art of defending on the front foot."

Totally agree with that Jay, and I remember you making this point on a recent thread.

The closing down of the opposition seems to have receded in the last season or two. It used to be that there were games where we were ahead, and you absolutely knew that we would have no problem keeping the lead and getting the result. We were so difficult to break down.

It seems to me that since the Jags/Lescott partnership was broken up, this has dissipated. This has also coincided with the better style of football we saw last season. I think that getting back to being solid in this way, is what DM means when he talks about getting back to defending. Hopefully it will not compromise our relatively newly-found attacking prowess.
Michael Kenrick
19   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:31:12

Report abuse

Mike Green (#13): Wow, you stumped me there with your incisive debating brilliance... 1-0. Who could argue with that?




Wait a minute: 3-0... better another 6-0 slaughter of Villa! Far, far better than a 1-0 'park the bus' typical bite-yer-nails defensive Moyes display.

As Michael Evans (#15) says... WE WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED!!! It was only Huddersfield... but how much fun was that? Who didn't feel great watching the goals fly in?

Some good posts by others: Steve (#4) makes some fair points. The most effective defensive partnership Moyes built was Jagielka and Lescott: he was distraught that this was busted up, and that was a massive factor last season.

My problem is that it feels like he must rein in the attacking invention of the team unless he is totally 100% satisfied with the strength of the defence. For presumably that is the thinking behind the ability of these players to perform against Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City (x2) last season.

We DO have the players; I just want him to be more adventurous with them. This post fby Anthony Hughes from an earlier thread really sums it up well, I think:
Moyes is a conservative, safety-first manager; it's not his style to go out and play attacking football. Some of this has been down to lack of resources down the years but apparently we do now have options going forward; however, whether he can break out of his defensive mindset is another thing.

More often than not, though, when were linked with or buy players, they seem to be right-backs or centre-halves which is an indicator of howh is football philosophy is. Moyes has his positives when it comes to backs-to-the-wall, up-against-it mentality type performances but I don't think we'll ever be the great entertainers under him.
Mike Allison (#17) ? Cheers, lad! I fully expected the ritual slaughter for daring to question the wisdom and omnipotence of the Moyesiah... like this next post, which some guy called Jake thought was worthy of being a free-standing article...
Jake Wilson
20   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:44:51

Report abuse

The Moyes haters are back already. We have only been in the season less than 3 weeks and Moyes is being criticised. Yes, his tactics against Blackburn were bad, and maybe you could argue we could have changed things more against Wolves... but how can we criticise Moyes?

He is there at the training ground day-in and day-out. Even in his time off in the summer he goes and scouts players. He has made us from relegation favourites to top 4 challengers in 8 years. He broke into the top 4 by spending less than £5 million. Now what manager has done that since?

We are notorious slow starters, that has been the case for a number of years now but when we play a big team at home that usually kick-starts our season. Liverpool last year ? after that game we didn?t lose till February ? and Manchester United the year before.

I know Moyes could play Coleman and start Rodwell. But he knows what he is doing, I was there on Wednesday against Huddersfield and Coleman was great going forward, yes, but he was exposed at the back a couple of times. I know we didn?t get punished for it but they were Lower League opposition. Now against Villa we could get punished for them. We are best letting him break into the team gradually.

Rodwell on the other hand is a different prospect; he is more mature and is already experienced. But I think he needs Fellaini or Heitinga holding the midfield for him; that means you have to drop Cahill or Arteta. Now we cannot afford to lose Arteta in the midfield, he is the player that keeps us ticking. But we are playing Villa who have big men all over the park we need a player who will try and get every ball.

So the prospect of Jack Rodwell is very exciting but if he comes in it could upset the balance of our team. I know you will be saying but Rodwell can hold the midfield and he is young, strong, quick and has an eye for goal. He would be better in an attacking role as his goal record in pre-season shows. So Moyes leaving Rodwell out is the right thing in my opinion because the balance of the team would be disrupted otherwise.

Knowing our luck we will have a bad injury and Rodwell will come into the team and do well. So I'm going to end this article I want everyone to remember?.. In Moyes We Trust

Des Farren
21   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:32:54

Report abuse

I agree and Gavin's comments reflect my own opinions. We will not attack Villa from the off. We will sit, take stock, and see what we can take from the game. If it's a point, be grateful.

Btw, why does Howard, when he takes control of the ball, hold it until every player on the pitch is back in position? Surely a long throw/kick to someone moving forward, occasionally, might show dividends. But who am I...

Peter Warren
22   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:46:37

Report abuse

I can't wait for Rodwell and Coleman to get their chance, we'll be a far better team. With Moyes, I often get impression everybody can see what's needed before him, ie, arteta moving to the middle, jags not playing in midfield, substituions etc.

The things that cry out presently are that Heitinga should move into centre defence, have Coleman as an attacking right back, and play Rodwell.

Oh and he still doesn't seem to realise ? if you play Osman, don't stick him on the right!!!!!

Peter Warren
23   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:52:15

Report abuse

#20 - Jake - for the record, not a Moyes hater, he has fantastic credentials but the sun does not shine out his arse and he has plenty of failings too. He's learned from a lot of his mistakes and better for it but still needs to improve to be a great manager ? what many fans hail him as already.
Michael Coville
24   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:55:49

Report abuse

If you look at our record over the last few seasons, we had the following.

In the 2007-08 season, our record was won 17, drew 12 and lost 9 and in 2008-09 it was won 16, drew 13 and lost 9. Pretty consistent, unless I have the wrong numbers, which often happens. Now if we can change a few of the draws into wins and a few of the loses against poor teams into draws or wins, then we could be up their in the top four.

To do that, we have to change the way we have been playing over the last few years... and yes, I know about the injuries etc. So far this season, it looks like more of the same. We have a loss, which should have at least been a draw, and a draw, which should have been a win.

If we lose at Villa and then lose against United, we will once more have had a poor start to the season. It is stating the obvious to say the Villa game is a must-win. If we go in with a defensive mindset, I fear the worst.

Mike Green
25   Posted 28/08/2010 at 21:34:21

Report abuse

Michael - how about the next 36 games being 1-0 park the bus, nail biters.... one and all?

Would you take that?

Yes, you would, wouldn't you?
Charles King
26   Posted 28/08/2010 at 21:58:58

Report abuse

Just watched Blackpool draw 2-2 with Fulham on telly, raucous, exciting, passionate. Blackpool come from behind, nearly won it and they haven't got a player I've heard of. The ground was only finished the other day, the ex-chairman is about to be bankrupt, no-one wants to sign for them, everyone knows they're going to get relegated, and they should be beaten by 3 or 4 every game.

Yet the manager says, "We're going to have a go."

Another thread bemoans our pink away strip, we should consider tangerine.
Jimmy Hacking
27   Posted 28/08/2010 at 22:25:02

Report abuse

3 games, 0 clean sheets: Therefore, defence IS our biggest problem, and sorting the situation out should be Moyes' priority.

Can we score against Villa? Yup. will they score against us? Yup.

Everton are never going to be one of those sides who score 80 goals in a campaign (i.e. United and Chelsea and no sod else), therefore the key to a successful season is winning 1-0 instead of drawing 1-1 AGAINST SODDING TEAMS LIKE WOLVES.
Dave Lynch
28   Posted 28/08/2010 at 23:39:36

Report abuse

Moyes has built the best squad we have had in years. Problem is, he doesn't know what to do with it. I have never forgiven Moyes for the way we played in that Carling Cup semi-final against Chelsea. We gifted them that tie and threw away the chance of a Wembley appearance because of his defensive approach.
Ian McDowell
29   Posted 28/08/2010 at 23:45:04

Report abuse

I don't have a problem with Moyes's team selection, the main gripe I have is in the last two games we have needed a goal yet finished the game with just one striker on the field ? unless you count Cahill.
Andy Crooks
30   Posted 29/08/2010 at 00:36:32

Report abuse

Jake Wilson, your reference to 'Moyes haters' is unfair. We all want to love him but my God he is hard to love. Eight years plus and no trophy.

Now, I would be happy to say eight years no trophy but what a fun ride it has been. It has been in the main grim. Someone said (I apologise for not remembering who) that it was like the era of Gordon Lee. They were spot on, except for missing the comparative entertainment of those days.

I am hoping that injuries might bring a more positive side tomorrow but I doubt it. Time, I fear, will show that these have been wasted years. It didn't and it doesn't have to be like this.

Mike Green
31   Posted 29/08/2010 at 01:15:25

Report abuse

Not like the flirting with relegation before Moyes, eh Andy?

That was pure entertainment that was.

PURE entertainment.
Joe McMahon
32   Posted 29/08/2010 at 01:35:06

Report abuse

28 - Dave, the reason Moyes has built the best squad we have had in years is because he's had longer than anyone else, 9 years with no trophys.

31 - Mike, "Not like the flirting with relegation before Moyes". well ok, how about wiining things in the 80's before Moyes. Moyes cannot keep getting away with, well at least it;s better than the dark old days of Walter Smith, WS was the worst manager in our history.
Brendan O'Doherty
33   Posted 29/08/2010 at 01:35:23

Report abuse


I think that Andy might like Walter Smith back in charge. After all, he's on first name terms with him. Now that's what I would call "grim".

Nothing like wasting years finishing in the top 6 most of the time, is there ?
Liu Weixian
34   Posted 29/08/2010 at 05:52:28

Report abuse

Hi Jake (#20),

Why can't we criticize Moyes? His tactics have been shite so far and with the squad we have we shouldn't be playing hoof ball and defending so much against the likes of Blackburn and Wolves. We may be slow-starters in the league but it does not excuse his tactical failings as a manager. And is there any reason why we SHOULD start slow in the league? Wouldn't it be better to hit the ground running? One point from two games is relegation form!

Michael Kenrick
35   Posted 29/08/2010 at 06:42:10

Report abuse

Mike Green, Can we please get back to some semblance of the real world? It's not within your power to provide a 1-0 win, never mind 38 of them. The basis of your point is arrant nonsense. Let's see what the result is, how Moyes sets them up, and how we play, and then discuss it. Then on the the next game... one game at a time, please.
Antony Matthews
36   Posted 29/08/2010 at 08:57:47

Report abuse

Easy way to beat Villa today. Hide Youngs slippers. Seriously though. I would play Hibbo at right back and Coleman right wing. Young will be too pre-occupied in helping his full back keep Seamus quiet that he won/t cross the half way line. It/s easy this tactics lark.
Joe Bibb
37   Posted 29/08/2010 at 10:09:48

Report abuse

Post 31: Mike, in 132 years, Everton have only been relegated twice. Because Moyes is better than Mike Walker and Walter Smith doesn't make him a great manager. I have watched EFC for 50 years ? never once at the start of a season have I been worried about relegation and only twice in 50 years have i been worried at the end... so I don't see your 'Moyes has saved us' point.

What most Evertonians that don't agree with you are trying to say in simple terms is that we have a Great Racehorse but a BAD Jockey. This team would thrive under a positive attacking manager.

And dont reply by 'Well Who Would You Have' because Martin O'Neill won 9 trophies to Moyes's none, but is not good enough in your blind blinkered opinion. Steve McLaren won the Carling Cup, got Boro to the Uefa Cup Final and won the Dutch League but i know you think Moyes is better. There are many managers out there who would make this squad into a winning team.

Colin Grierson
38   Posted 29/08/2010 at 10:34:21

Report abuse

The racehorse ? jockey scenario is interesting. Moyes created the racehorse therefore he is due some credit for that. However, I think everybody gets frustrated when the racehorse isn't handled as we would like it.

If we played more attacking football then in my opinion we would win more games. It's horses for courses and we don't seem to be playing the right tactics given the teams we have been playing. Villa are there for the taking (if we attack them). Curtis Davis FFS! ? I rest my case.

John Vanderwerff
39   Posted 29/08/2010 at 10:31:49

Report abuse

I have never been Moyes's biggest fan ? for me, he is too defensive. However, that said, he has undoubtedly improved the club since he has been here. I find it difficult after two games to start thinking about how we change things!At Blackburn we were poor; against Wolves we were good in the first half and poor in the second.

I think if, at the end of the season, we have finished around 7th or 8th, then Moyes is a big enough man to recognise that as failure given the squad he now has at his disposal. Whether that results in the club and manager deciding to part ways, or to Moyes reviewing his defensive approach, then time will tell.

Gavin Ramejkis
40   Posted 29/08/2010 at 10:35:26

Report abuse

Des #21, I think there was a thread about counter-attack throwing last season and Howard's lack of it. As much as it chokes to admit it, Reina is very good at long throws out to his wingmen, starting counter attacks with the opposition still tracking back to their own half.

Couple Howard's lack of throwing and one of my pet hates that every single set-piece throw-in or corner in our area has every single player back in the box, leaving us no chance to counter-attack quickly. I wish Moyes would try to leave just one or two players near the halfway line for these, giving us a chance to counter-attack but it's another classic defend-at-all-costs example.

Terry McLavey
41   Posted 29/08/2010 at 11:09:18

Report abuse

1 - 0!! That will give the fans who earn their money by ACTUALLY WORKING value for their hard earned cash!!

Is Moyes channeling Walter Smith?! Every time I watch, I see different tactics. Moyes has had time now to win us something, how can you say after scoring 5 (6 actually!!!) we lack goal threat, admittedly against inferior opposition?! But I've been patient and now I want us to win something.

Like Joe (#57), I have supported the Blues for over 50 years and now want Everton to have a respectful slot on MotD! Let's hope Villa isn't another banana skin!

Charles King
42   Posted 29/08/2010 at 13:30:38

Report abuse

@Terry Mclavey

"is Moyes channeling Walter Smith"

I'm still chuckling, wish I'd come up with it... great stuff!
James Stewart
43   Posted 29/08/2010 at 14:27:56

Report abuse

Nice article and a welcome change from some of the recent crazy ones! I also like Gavin's point about counter-attacking. We very rarely retain possession from our keeper. Howard's throwing and general quickness at getting things going is poor and usually just ends up a meaningless punt upfield. That is down to training. If you watch Arsenal or indeed Reina everything is quick and positive at starting a move quickly. I wish we did more of this.
Brian Garside
44   Posted 29/08/2010 at 14:41:14

Report abuse

Before the team is announced, I would like to state my opinion that Coleman should start. It is really quite simple. AV´s biggest threat is Young. I say counter this with an attacking fullback to tie him down in his own half, thereby nullifying his threat.

Too simpleton? Maybe.... But give it a crack. We need those 3 points.

Roberto Birquet
45   Posted 29/08/2010 at 14:48:53

Report abuse

Go Figure! Why do you think Moyes's teams carry a general lack of goal threat? Do you think it might have something to do perhaps with the manager's total preoccupation with defending? I wonder... ?
Or maybe it is because an £11 million forward got crocked a year and half into his contract, We have spend months since with no availble strikers.

And the only money we've had since has been for £1 million players. And we have got four of them, three this year.

Had Moyes £10 million to spend, I think he'd get a striker, unless he's confident Yak will be back to anything like his best. The players he has got in the past three or year years show me that.

And why does this site insist on spelling defence with an s?
Martin Mason
46   Posted 29/08/2010 at 15:21:30

Report abuse

I'm really confused and angry now about Moysies tactics with Rodwell. To see him simply as a challenger for Cahill's spot is naive in the extreme. Rodwell is potentially infinitely better than Cahill and capable of playing in any position down the centre of the team. From what I read, Ferguson has also seen what he sees as a weakness in Moyes's position and handling of Rodwell and rumoured to be preparing a bid. Ferguson would play him every game to to allow him to develop with match experience too.

I like Moyesie but he does some very bizarre things, especially in the development of star material.
Andy Crooks
47   Posted 29/08/2010 at 16:20:35

Report abuse

Brendan, I wouldn't like to see Walter back but he was a decent man who did a fine job under difficult circumstances. To describe him, as has been done on this thread, as the worst manager we have ever had is ludicrous. Look at the money David Moyes has spent in comparison. By the way, we really aren't on first name terms. It's to do with laziness re. typing. It's Walter Smith; not Raleigh, De La Mare or Scott.
Brendan O'Doherty
48   Posted 29/08/2010 at 20:11:04

Report abuse

OK Andy. So we'll know who you mean in future when you use the word 'David'? Being as the word 'Moyes' has the same number of letters as 'Smith', and you being lazy at typing and all that...

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the Editors' Blog, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

Latest News

Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Online Football Betting with Betway

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.