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Are Everton really good enough?

By Matthew Lovekin :  14/09/2010 :  Comments (49) :

As the clock struck the 90th minute of Saturday?s game against Manchester United, there I was feeling depressed and pissed off, as I usually do after another inevitable defeat.  I was going to write this article before injury time had even started, and most Everton fans would have expected it to be completely different at the end of those three added on minutes.  However, after all the excitement and drinking has died down, my feelings are still similar.

It was an excellent and unexpected point gained from those final three minutes, but does it really change that much?  The only thing that did change was that my football faith had stopped wavering.  I have always been a massive Evertonian and general football fan/anorak, but after this summer?s World Cup, my enthusiasm for England has died completely.  I always found it strange that a lot of Evertonians don?t seem to support England but now I know why.  They are a bunch of the most over-hyped, overpaid, biggest let-down group of players in the world.  

The last England team to play consistently with any pride any passion was under the reign of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson.  Not long after, the Premier League was formed... and I feel this has ruined our national side in more ways than one, not just the amount of foreigners but the ridiculously high wages paid out by club sides.

A lot of fans may point out that the last two England performances have been greatly improved. This just makes it worse. Why couldn?t they do that in the World Cup? Perhaps the opposition was inferior in qualifying. Perhaps there was no John Terry disrupting the dressing room or no Frank Lampard disrupting the tactics or the fresh impetus of younger players like Adam Johnson fighting for a place in the team. Whatever it was, I don?t care about England any more; qualifying is pointless, it?s the big tournaments that matter and England always disappoint and let me down.

Anyway, enough of England... my focus is on my beloved Everton, especially this season.  I?ve put up with relegation battles, Mike Walker, Peter Johnson, Walter Smith, Brett Angell, Stuart Barlow and many more before the hoofball years of David Moyes.  But now, after 8½ years at the helm, David Moyes has finally got his team. A well structured, put together team of flair and creativity built on a strong defence with little money to spend and youth players coming through.

This is supposed to be the season that Everton break through into at least the top four places with the main players all hitting their peak.  It has to happen this year or certain players will start getting past their best, Moyes will get disillusioned and leave, and the younger players will be poached by bigger clubs.  Three games into the season and it?s our worse start for 13 years; next up is Man Utd.  If Everton can?t get up for it against United at home, then we might as well give up and disband the team already, as we will never break the top four. 

The game starts well and we lead through Pienaar.  However, United come back into it and it?s business as usual as they lead 3-1 just before injury time.  Now I?m pissed off: why can?t I have a bit of reward for my loyalty, a bit of success?  Why do Everton always let me down, they must be just like England after all.  Why do I put myself through this, is it all really worth it?  Ok, the last three minutes restored my faith, in Everton at least, but why can?t we break the top 4, how do Man Utd be so consistent and always win even when they are outplayed?

I then started judging Everton?s players.  Perhaps we?re biased and our players are not as good as we believe.  The Premier League is basically split into three mini-leagues at the moment: the top four/Champions League places; the next four/European places and potential contenders; then the rest, the bottom twelve places, happy just to be there and just don?t want to get relegated. For this purpose, I?ve put Everton?s seasoned, professional, regular players into these three categories to find out if we have got enough Champions League quality players to be in those top four spaces.

Champions League quality players

Johnny Heitinga  World Cup finalist centre-back, don?t understand why Moyes can?t play him there...

Marouane Fellaini  Oozes class wherever he plays and still very young and learning

Mikel Arteta  Now in his peak and preferred position and captain!  Would get in most sides apart from the very elite, e.g. Spain!

European quality players

Tim Howard  Can produce excellent saves and penalties but doesn?t command his area enough to be a Champions League goalkeeper.

Phil Neville  Leadership qualities put him in this category like that tackle on Ronaldo

Leighton Baines  Attacking and defending full-back

Phil Jagielka  Turning into great defender, just can?t pass.

Steven Pienaar  Undoubted class act, just needs to deliver a bit more to make Champions League standard

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov  Plenty of ability but struggled to adapt to Premier League life.

Tim Cahill  Talisman who gives everything and performs to best of his abilities, limited as they are.

Yakubu  Goalscorer but needs to get back to his best

Louis Saha  Champs League ability but inconsistent and injury prone to non-league standard makes him difficult to categorize

Average Premier League players

Tony Hibbert  Reliable and consistent, just not enough quality.

Sylvain Distin  Good PL defender but gets caught out against strong opposition

Joseph Yobo  Too error prone for European standards

Leon Osman  Works hard and has ability but definitely a central midfielder without the physique!

The younger players such as Rodwell, Coleman, Vaughan and Anichebe I considered to still be under the ?potential? category and will ?level out? to find their category.  Beckford and Mucha haven?t had enough experience of the Premier League to judge them fully and therefore would come into the average Premier League player category.

I think that says it all; the majority of our players are of a top eight standard that deserve to be playing European football, but the Champions League seems a bit of a big step-up. Only Heitinga, Fellaini and Arteta I would consider great players that could get into most other teams in the Premier League.  I truly believe that the potential shown by Rodwell and Coleman could make them Champions League players which would make five real quality players. 

The other difference between Everton and the top four is that the others tend to have at least one world class player ? a player that can win a match by himself: Rooney, Torres, Drogba, Ronaldo, Messi, etc.  Unless we can get a player of that ability, it could still be very difficult to break the top four consistently.  As for Hibbert, Distin, Yobo and Osman, they should only be squad players and get a game when we have injuries.

Reader Comments

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Charles King
1   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:09:20

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Matthew, the last few minutes of that game saw us charging en masse at Manu overpowering them with skill, power and belief.

I say again....... overpowering Manu.

The team played like the shackles had been removed, they were free men, so clearly we ARE good enough, but it hardly ever happens.
Unless this becomes a road to damascus moment for our management team and it registers that this is how we should be playing we'll be forever scratching our heads at this team.
I'm not holding my breath though.
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:34:35

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I didn't need to read the article to know the answer: Yes.
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 14/09/2010 at 17:21:19

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Interesting assessment of the players, but a successful club isn't just determined by the quality of the players but also the quality & performance off-field, fom themanager & coaches, etc. to the Boardroom & club administration & commercial operations. How would the Board, our CEO, Manager, etc. be graded?
Jon Cox
4   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:07:25

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Charles, "Damascus moment" earlier post, you could of give me a little credit!

Matthew, I'm an England supporter and as with our beloved club we support the team and not just who is in that team at that moment.

We can all see what the Rooney problem was in the World Cup. I always thought it might have been a Gerrard thing.

"Now I?m pissed off: why can?t I have a bit of reward for my loyalty, a bit of success? Why do Everton always let me down, they must be just like England after all. Why do I put myself through this, is it all really worth it?"

Mat, Everton is like the woman you love, she cheats on you but what ever happens you just can't leave her alone. Get used to it son, she wont divorce you and you can never get away.

Welcome to the club.....


Joe Carroll
5   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:23:24

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A sound assessment of our squad there Matthew.Enjoyed the article and agree that the majority of our squad is made up of what you call 'Euopean Quality Players' with a select few regarded as Champions League class.

Fortunately for us, to get into the CL we dont need to play like a CL team with CL players.We just need to be better than 16 other Premier League teams, most of which I believe we are 'leagues' ahead of in footballing terms.

I feel we are good enough to claim a CL place.Whether were good enough to PLAY in the CL; well that's another article Matthew!
David Price
6   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:37:41

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Interesting to assess what the measure is when deciding, are we good enough?
An exhausting article would see us breakdown each player from last seasons top 7 and opinionate accordingly as per the honest assessment of Everton in this article.

Man for man for example, Liverpool may have 3 players we would like, Reina, Gerrard and Torres (when he isn?t sulking) and that?s it.
Spurs look excellent on paper but on grass they?ve lost at home to Wigan, and got out of jail at Stoke and West Brom.
We are a match for Utd; we?ve put 6 past them in 2 games for gods? sake, Chelsea? The bullyboys are scoring goals for fun against Wigan, West Ham and West Brom, but seriously, would you fear a hiding the next time they play us, home or away?
Man City look terrified and ready to crack under the pressure of expectation with Villa set to implode once monsieur ?allo ?allo gets stuck into the job.

We still have this excellent squad from pre-seasons expectations, so are we good enough for top 4? Damn right we are.
Des Farren
7   Posted 14/09/2010 at 19:46:27

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Some of your feelings at the game mirrored my own. However, on the vexed question as to whether we are good enough, the answer, if we are honest, on the evidence so far, is no. No team with top four aspirations can survive with a defence as porous as ours.
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 14/09/2010 at 20:36:12

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Good enough for what?

Winning the league? certainly not. But only the delusional wen withn that one before the season.

We are a decent top half team, and we are beginning to play decent football. A decent cup run is about as good as it will get for us...

Without significant investment we will never get anywhere near the League title. Them's the cold hard facts.

However, I'm really starting to enjoy waching us... for the first time is a very long time.
James Stewart
9   Posted 14/09/2010 at 20:37:18

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I feel you are slightly missing the point. The players are good enough but is the manager? Moyes got out of jail on Saturday as his tactics were terrible.
Nelaj Behajiha
10   Posted 14/09/2010 at 20:39:04

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Got to disagree with you on Arteta he peaked in he 2007/2008 season I think. Pienaar took the game to United on his own I think he should be in there as well, as he's as good as if not better than Arteta. Pienaar has came on leaps and bounds and has became in my opinion Everton's most skillful player for the last few seasons. Jagielka isn't in the team for his passing ablity he's there to defend. Heitenga is a excellent player but I don't think he's utilzised well enough under Moyes.
Charles King
11   Posted 14/09/2010 at 20:58:58

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Jon Cox #4

Profuse apologies if I've plagiarised your stuff.........speed reading you see, don't get everything.
Michael Evans
12   Posted 14/09/2010 at 21:10:42

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Charles@1 - "The team played like the shackles had been removed"

The question then becomes are the shackles self-imposed by the players ? Are they inhibited by a mental block ? Self-doubt perhaps or paralysing fear ?

Or does resposibility for the players self belief etc lie with the manager ? I personally believe that a manager sets the tone for this but perhaps others see it differently.

Jamie Tulacz
13   Posted 14/09/2010 at 21:52:12

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On a separate point, I see Vaughany has cracked in a hat-trick for Palace tonight.

Would be interesting to see him get a run of games to see if he can get a bit of form going as still think he could have a role to play ,even if it's only as a squad player.
Charles King
14   Posted 14/09/2010 at 21:41:14

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Michael #11

Heartbreaking to admit but I've virtually given up on Moyes.

I see him in a few years as David O'Leary Mk II having had a crack at somewhere like Celtic, found wanting, then vanishing into the football wilderness.
Jamie Tulacz
15   Posted 14/09/2010 at 22:32:25

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Funny how most others seem to see Moyes a little differently though:

Can we wait more than 4 games before judging things ffs!
Dennis Stevens
16   Posted 14/09/2010 at 22:49:18

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You're quite right, Jamie - will about eight & a half years do?
Christine Foster
17   Posted 14/09/2010 at 23:36:39

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Matthew, I think you have almost got it right, from my perspective the team has a number of very good players, and a number of good to average EPL players.
As a team when they are motivated and they click, it works really well. Except its not consistant

The real difference comes down to two things.
1. How good the players themselves actually are, the top four have some great players which cost a great deal of money. If they perform at 80% of their capabilities our guys have to be operating at 120% of theirs to compete. We can do it for a game but not a season. When they have an off day there are three or four others to pick up the reins, when we have an off day its painful.

2. Motivation & Management, I think Moyes is one of the best in the business when it comes to motivation, he is shrewd in purchasing but is defensive in approach and that shows in the team tactics, his most questionable area.

So are we good enough? on our day yes, over a season, not yet. We still lack balance on the right, still have a poor pairing at centre back and missing a preditor of international class.
Andy Crooks
18   Posted 14/09/2010 at 23:54:19

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On our day we look a top class side, well we did on a few occasions last year. The fact that it doesn't happen often enough must be due to tactics and coaching. Christine, when you say"not yet" do you believe it's just around the corner? Two years ago I did but not any more. We have a coach who is fearful. He is undoubtedly a safe pair of hands and many Evertonians fear a future without him. I don't.
Alan Kirwin
19   Posted 15/09/2010 at 01:16:24

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Des Farren - spot on. Our defence is not good enough for top half, nevermind top 4, and the weak link is Distin. I strongly suggest Moyes bites the bullet and sticks Heitinga there for rest of the season. We can bring Fellaini and (when fit) Rodwell to help defend set pieces.

Distin had a shocker on Saturday. But I have to say Baines needs to learn a few things on the defensive side, like the art of closing down. The space he gave Nani to cross for their first goal was just ridiculous. Talk about on a plate.

Lescott's departure signalled the end of our defensive balance & solidity and we are paying the price. All 3 of the ManU goals were shocking defensive mistakes.

It would be nice if Shane Duffy made the breakthrough and gave us another option. I liked what I saw of the kid in the Europa game last season.
Ernie Baywood
20   Posted 15/09/2010 at 02:11:02

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I would argue our best team is right up there and has decent strength in depth.

Chelsea are far and away the best side in the league but after that most teams have some deficiencies, not least our most recent opponents with their basically shite midfield. They only had one player with any pace on display against us.

We just need to play our best team and this will come together. For the life of me I can't understand why we are using plodders when we have much better options available.

Maybe the problem is our management setup? Moyes is outstanding at getting the best out of hardworking players and can certainly spot a bargain in the market. He also seems to have great patience and sticks to his principles without panicking when it comes to choosing players for our club. But that doesn't necessarily make him a matchday coach. There's something lacking there. Other clubs have high profile assistants who clearly play a big role - is that what we need?
Christine Foster
21   Posted 15/09/2010 at 04:19:47

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Andy, no I don't believe its just around the corner, I think to get up there we need to improve the squad quality and the overall tactics employed by DM.

That effectively means we would have to spend more ( which is unlikely) and improve tactically ( which is also unlikely especially without the influx of better players.

However I do think the team would benefit from a number of changes positionally and tactically at the moment. We are not playing to our individual players strengths which limits our overall effectiveness and the results.

So I can't see it improving on a consistant basis until both are addressed. When we get it together its great to watch, but injuries, loss of form and poor tactical choices all impact on the club more than the top four.
Thats the problem
Richard Dodd
22   Posted 15/09/2010 at 08:23:42

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I, too, echo the question `good enough for what?` Unlike many who post, I am a realist and therefore judge the season on whether we attain our maximum potential given our resources in comparison to other clubs. Thus, last year I aspired towards 8th place and was delighted we achieved it... This time round, I think we can realistically expect a Europa place ? any dreams beyond that are pie in the sky. Accept it or live forever in a world of gloom and failure!
David S Shaw
23   Posted 15/09/2010 at 10:40:44

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Well most fans thought we were goofd enough come transfer deadilne day so yes, and tough shit if we're not
Dave Lynch
24   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:01:41

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Good enough for what ?
Good enough to stay in the prem comfortably, yes. Good enough to win trophies, no.
This to me is down to the manager and his tactical nouse, or lack of it.
He will not and never has learnt from his mistakes. We do not kill teams off when we have them on the rack, he seems to spend more time worrying about how to contain teams when we go a goal up rather than how to kill the game off.
Eight years and counting.
David Hallwood
25   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:13:36

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Matthew Lovekin?s list reminds us all that when it comes to football we?re all little boys at heart and we never stop making lists. My list is slightly different in that I have two criteria; replaceability (I know it isn?t a word) and desirability. Replaceability-is there a better player in any given position (e.g. left back) that will fundamentally improve the team. Desirability ?How many players in the team are wanted by so-called big clubs, and obviously the graph will be a mirror image.

If we start pre-Moyes, with Farrelly, Carl Tiler, Scott Gemmill etc, Replaceabilty (marks out of 10)11, and desirability 0 (or even -1), so how does the present squad stack up? Well you could make a case that all the players could be replaced (with the possible exception of Rodwell) and make a fundamental difference, but now the replacement would take millions to replace them. For instance to replace Baines with a better player, it would have to be Evra or Cole. Likewise Arteta, it would need a Gerrard, Fabregas to replace and fundamentally improve the team.

Desirability- according to the papers at least 4 of the team have been the target of the ?big? clubs and it?s quite conceivable to see Baines, Heitnger and Fellani becoming targets.

To sum up, Moyes took over a quad with 10/10 replaceabilty and 0/10 desirability, to about 4/10 replaceabilty and 8/10 desirability, more work needs to be done but getting there. Just shows you what shite goes through your head when you're lying in bed ill with too much time on your hands!

Jimmy Hacking
26   Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:22:53

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We're good enough to beat Blackburn and Wolves.
Dave Lynch
27   Posted 15/09/2010 at 12:44:48

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"We're good enough to beat Bburn and Wolves.
No we're not and the results show that !
Alex Doyle
28   Posted 15/09/2010 at 12:56:09

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It strikes me that the team is coming together and once it does, we'll do fine. This wealth of attacking talent is new to us. I'm still concerned by the presence of Distin when Heitinga is fit. This doesn?t seem to be working and I can?t fathom an explanation why he is continually chosen over Heitinga.

With Rodwell out, surely that means Felliani holding and Arteta free to roam and dictate. For the Coleman enigma, he reminds me of Bale. Fantastic going forward, but not much of a defender. So why not start him on the right mid with Neville behind him. Pienaar on the left and Cahill plus one of Saha or Yakubu up front. Happily there?s others too pushing for those places, so that bodes well over the season. Moyes will get it right, as he always has done.

On criticism of the board and so called mismanagement of the club, let?s highlight what they have done right. 1. Managed to reduce a large debt effectively and more responsibly than many, many clubs. 2. Employed David Moyes. 3. Provided Moyes with the funds to massively improve the squad.
David Alexander
29   Posted 15/09/2010 at 13:13:22

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Yes were good enough for the top four but only on our day. There is still a level of consitancy thats missing, usualy against wolves, blackburn, stoke and the like where we seem to wilt in the face of the physical challenge.

Have to say on your player assesment nevile should be champions league class - he has a medal to prove it. Johnny and Felli both have things to prove Felli's renasance as a defensive midfiled general lasted less than 10 games before he got injured. And johnny as a champions league center back - on sat he got done for pace and power by fletcher of all people which leaves me wondering how much of a mess the likes of drogba would make of him in the champions league.
Tony J Williams
30   Posted 15/09/2010 at 13:21:32

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Alex, why have Neville behind him? Hibbert has been one of the better performers this season.

Dave you say tactical nous, I actually think that he doesn't have good enough players, like your Essien's, Gerrard's etc, that consistently play well all season long, even their bad games they do something good.

Our best players are aguably Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini and possibly Baines. Arteta is inconsistent and doesn't show too much against the bigger sides, Pienaar has been cack until the ManUre game and again is inconsistent, Fellaini, well many were calling for his head last his first season and Baines's defending this season has been a bit, let's put it, woeful at times.

These are arguably our best players, yet they have already had stinkers this season.

We then look at the rest of the team, who usually get slated by a large number of posters, yet it is somehow ONLY the managers tactics that is the reason that we can't win things.

We can't win things because we are not as good as we like to think we are and there are other teams so much better than us and they usually win the silverware, apart from the odd blip every now and again.
Alex Doyle
31   Posted 15/09/2010 at 13:42:51

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Tony, I think Neville is a better right back than Hibbert and has leadership qualities to boot. Hibbert is great to have but ultimately limited, Neville would be a much better mentor for Coleman.

You shouldn't be so quick to judge this team as it is. It needs time and our support.
Tony J Williams
32   Posted 15/09/2010 at 14:08:54

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Alex, funnily enough I am considered too optimistic on here but we simply are not that good.

We are an above average team that on its day, when everyonr is playing well, can get results against the better teams; however when a couple of players are having an off day we revert to average again.

This team hasn't change much in a few seasons, so not really a quick judgment.

I have always said that it's madness that the same posters who constantly say how poor most of our players are then in the next breath have a go at Moyes because he is not making these "donkeys" world beaters.
Dave Lynch
33   Posted 15/09/2010 at 14:15:12

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The point being we have proved we can play proper joined up footy.
Chelsea, Man Utd, battered Citeh on there own midden and murdered L,pool in the most one sided derby iv'e ever seen. Not to mention taking the game to the arse at the Emirates and coming away with a more than deserved point.
It has to be down to tactical nous, or lack of it.
Tony J Williams
34   Posted 15/09/2010 at 14:49:38

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So in that sense then Dave, he must therefore already have the tactical nous in place to beat the better teams, given the matches you mention. He either has it or doesn't and the fact that you have reeled off several games against good opponents must mean he has it. How can the games you mentioned be won because of his "lack of it"? It just doesn't make sense.

The fact of the matter is that on a good day, we can be as good as anyone else, unfortunately the playing staff we have cannot consistently have good days, that is why they didn't cost £30 each, like most of the players in the "big" teams. Money buys you consistent performers, we don't have any and we don't have enough consistent performer in our team, tactics or no tactics
Dave Lynch
35   Posted 15/09/2010 at 15:10:36

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Can see what your'e trying to get at mate.
But look back over his history and you will see that his team changes and formations are at times baffling.
You are right in stating "he has it". It's just that he doesn't use it often enough, he reverts to type. Dour hoofball against weaker opposition. The man drives me crazy, i would love him to succeed cos that would mean we would be succesful and win trophies.
Dennis Stevens
36   Posted 15/09/2010 at 16:13:14

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Alex Doyle : "On criticism of the board and so called mismanagement of the club, let?s highlight what they have done right. 1. Managed to reduce a large debt effectively and more responsibly than many, many clubs. 2. Employed David Moyes. 3. Provided Moyes with the funds to massively improve the squad."

Eh?? Was this paragraph wriiten with tongue in cheek??
Andy Crooks
37   Posted 15/09/2010 at 17:29:57

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Tony J ,you sound a little bit gloomy. At last, you have seen the light. Good posts.
Jamie Tulacz
38   Posted 15/09/2010 at 19:51:09

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Realistically we've been roughly on a par with the likes of Spurs, City, Villa and the Sh*te, in the last few years which we're doing pretty well to be considering we're only on a fraction of their budget.

Yes we're not consistent, but nor are most of these (eg Spurs lost at home to Wigan the other week) and we're actually only 3 points behind most of these and we're only 4 games into the season. We always seem to start each season slowly, so let's give things a bit of time and season how the pan out.

I know we'd all love to be doing better, but given the state of our finances it's just not realistic and I don't see many sides in a similar financial position playing at our level. Whilst we have some very good players now, I don't see many as being in the absolute world-class category, hence the inconsistent performances.

I know we're often pretty frustrated by some of the manager's tactics and selections, but I'd trust a man who sees these players in training every week more than most of us. Especially since although many of us criticise these selections/tactics at times, but then disagree as to what he actually should do.

The fact that he's highly rated by most impartial observers suggests to me that he's doing something right, no ones perfect and all managers make plenty of mistakes or do plenty of things we disagree with.

Right rant over- time for dinner!
Wayne Smyth
39   Posted 15/09/2010 at 22:21:46

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Player-wise the squad is good enough to take on any team in the league. We have a couple of problems, however.

The first problem is that we have no natural wide midfielders and no pace in the squad. None of the players we play on left and right side of midfield would consider that their best position. When donovan was playing, we looked a lot more dangerous and effective. That is not a coincidence.

The second problem we have is that Moyes seems to be a very negative manager in terms of his tactics. I think this rubs off on the players. We seem to go into games to nick a goal and hang on for grim death, rather than get a goal and then continue to push to score as many as we can. That is either because those are the team instructions, or the coaching staff do not instil the confidence and belief in the players that they are good enough to do so.

Against Manu we didn't even have a striker on the pitch for 70 minutes. Its not surprising we created very little early on. Even against "lesser" teams we would expect to beat, we seem to play in a very negative fashion with a lone striker often separated by 40 yards of space to 5 midfielders.

When yak and the more attack-minded coleman came on, we actually took the game to manu and looked far more likely to score something than we had earlier.
Ciarán McGlone
40   Posted 15/09/2010 at 22:34:39

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"This wealth of attacking talent is new to us" ...what?

"On criticism of the board and so called mismanagement of the club, let?s highlight what they have done right: 1. Managed to reduce a large debt effectively and more responsibly than many, many clubs. "

Er... what?

Are you sure you're on the right club's site? We neither have a wealth of attacking talent nor have we reduced our debt... quite the oposite in fact.

It always amazes me whenever Evertonians fail to educate themselves about this club.
Brian Zhu
41   Posted 16/09/2010 at 00:44:23

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For me, Arteta, Cahill, Howard and a healthy Saha are our best players.

We need a right winger who can provide quality crossing, Osman is a good center midfielder, but really not suit for this position. Also we need a tall and strong forward at front, who can give us a starting point for our attacking, Fellaini is brilliant player but the match with MU showed he is awkward at front, and need to work on the first touch and anticipation on the pitch bit more.

I think Coleman and Gueye will give us suprise at this season, Moyes just need give them more chances.
Dennis Stevens
42   Posted 16/09/2010 at 16:46:03

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Indeed Ciaran, although I'm not averse to criticising Moyes on occasion, I think Alex's comment: "Provided Moyes with the funds to massively improve the squad" rather does Moyes a dis-service as he has generated so much of the money he's spent through the sale of players, generally at a decent profit.
Martin Anderson
43   Posted 16/09/2010 at 21:25:56

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Alan, #19 ? yes Distin was shocking last week and by far the weakest link, even worse than Hibbo ? both must go asap. Fellaini & Rodwell should always start if fit, we need their skill & beef.

Coleman actually showed some pace in addition to his mazy runs ? although that is the only position left for El Capitano, who I belive is still greatly needed. Remember last year he was the catalyst for a our good run after returning in the Burnley game, so I'm not sure how that could be done, but I think Arteta's form is suffering from the Captaincy, as is so often the case when otherwise great players take this on; he is not a natural leader.

Anyway, I don't agree that Heitinga is a CL player ? he was quite good last year partnering at centre-back & since Joey has been forced out & Distin is so terrible, he has to go back in there... now!

Jay Harris
44   Posted 17/09/2010 at 00:40:09

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Alex Doyle # 31 (Alias Richard Dodd),

As Dennis Stevens said, Are you having a laugh?

Since Kenwright took over the club debt has risen from £5 million to around £80 million, despite selling off our training ground etc and £25 million for Rooney, which is why we're paying significant amounts of interest every year and can't make a profit.

As for supporting Moyes financially, Moyes has had the lowest net spend per season of any Premier League manager.
Alex Doyle
45   Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:26:43

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For my money, Everton are in a hugely stronger position from when Kenwright took over. The squad is unquestionably better. According to the debt in 2009 is lower than it was in 2004. If anyone would like to quote a more up to date and accurate source, then please do so, but my point is that this is a reasonably manageable amount and we haven't been reduced to the leveraged mess than Liverpool and Man United find themselves in. You could argue that this debt has been roughly serviced by the sale of Rooney and has since increased year on year. But we all know that it does cost money to build a squad and retain your better assets.

With regard to the Net spend, I wouldn't disagree that Moyes has had one of the lower ones of the divisions. We clearly have no super rich oligarch to turn us into Man City. Still we have still managed to come up with the cash for Yakubu, Felliani, Bilyaletdinov etc. That implies to me that when push comes to shove, Kenwright has fulfilled his role.

I like Jamie's point about Moyes being in a better position to make player decisions based on his day to day dealings with them. He obviously has much more information than we do, so we should trust his judgement, even when it appears odd. I would argue that the same logic applies to Kenwright, possibly more, as we do not have access all areas to the financial data.

I'm not deluded enough to think that Everton can win the league. But I do think that there are many reasons to be cheerful. We have a decent chance of either doing well in the league or getting some silverware and that represents progress. COYB.
Brian Waring
46   Posted 17/09/2010 at 14:26:41

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Alex: "He obviously has much more information than we do, so we should trust his judgement even when it appears odd. I would argue that the same logic applies to Kenwright, possibly more."

You are joking, Alex? This is a man who, when asked a question, came out with "Don't ask me, I'm just the Chairman"!
Steve Abraham
47   Posted 17/09/2010 at 15:27:27

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Some teams are better than their individuals. The blues of 85 and 87 for example. You don't need a team of superstars to be great, just players who can play together as a team. That said it would be great to have a top centre forward in his prime.
Neil Vaughan
48   Posted 18/09/2010 at 14:03:37

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Steve #47 are you serious...The teams of 85 & 87 were jammed packed with TOP CLASS players...superstar is an image not a reflection of your ability....

Are you saying Southall wasn't the best around....Ratcliffe, Reid ,Bracewell ,Steven, Sharp, Gray , Sheedy...the list goes on.

IMO not ONE of the present team (not even Arteta) would get a regular place in either of those teams..and this squad should NOT be mentioned in the same breath as the teams of 85 & 87
John Andrews
49   Posted 18/09/2010 at 17:23:16

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For FFS what is going on here ? That is apart from Moyes continually picking the wrong bloody team.

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