Some of these conversations where with people who work in the football media; some work in football as agents (not all are bad eggs); other clubs... and some are friends of people who work for Everton FC. Their names aren't important but if you're one of those who demands names of sources, then stop reading now. This is all conjecture, in case any Lawyers are reading...
In April last year (so this is an old story), I was working with some people in live music events, and there was a gig going on with a top indie / rock band from Leeds. The particular lads I was with were not working on this gig, but a mate of mine who's a sound engineer from Liverpool was, and he'd called me up to say to drop by the venue and collect him, and we'd go for a pint. Anyway, we got there and they were having a problem with some software for the lights, and one of our guys managed to get software dropped off within 10 minutes that meant they were finished (rather than looking like they'd need to work through the night for the next day's show), and so pretty much the whole crew and a couple of the band decided to come for a pint.
After putting a few beers away, and putting the music business to rights, the conversation turned to football. The band were mad Leeds fans... then it came onto the team I follow. The Liverpool-based engineer told me that his house on the Wirral, which he rarely stays at as he's always touring, happens to be next door to someone who works on the coaching / fitness side at Everton. Now this lad wasn't particularly a fan of football, but if he had to follow a side, he'd be a red due to his family, but he told me that this neighbour of his told him that our manager was not popular with the players at all. Moody, kept his distance etc. (I've always believed a manager should keep a professional distance as he has to make the hard choices, but I digress).
So I got to thinking why things have been going downhill over the last 3-4 seasons. We have well known team spirit that people in the media often refer to. And I realised that, whilst the players may like each other, and some of the staff, it doesn't necessarily mean they like the manager. (Some of you older heads will remember some of the disastrous team-bonding attempts with previous managers, Chinese restaurants in Southport, etc.)
So also spoke to some people from the TV side I know and met at an event. One of the pundits said that they were always tipping us as the "surprise package", and usually ending up with egg on their faces come the season end. There has to be something wrong. So here's a number of theories and then over to you for your opinions:
- We all know we're skint, and the manager is annoyed at not having the
money to spend to take the team to the fabled "next level". With the
major outgoing transfers in recent history, only two were demanded by the
players ? Rooney and Lescott ? and we got decent money for them, some of
which went back into the team. Most others were sales sanctioned by the
manager to raise funds (we did get what we thought was good money for players
like AJ for instance, who most definitely did not want to leave).
- Moyes had his contract impasse, which was done to try to force the Board
to get investment in. He gets himself a top wage out of it, and almost
certainly amongst the top managerial earners in the Premier League (for a team
that isn't amongst the top teams and doesn't have any cash).
- At the same time, he makes what I thought was a mistake, where he admitted
publicly he considered leaving. That probably further put a strain on
his relationship with the Board, and the dressing room. As part of that,
he admits that one day he would like a crack at managing a top side, as he
didn't think Everton would be a financial force in his remaining career.
So begins the media speculation about him being lined up as Ferguson's
successor (he won't be ? most decent Man U fans wouldn't put up with his brand
- So now he's painted himself into a corner. A few years ago, as the "best
of the rest", we were probably the pinnacle of his career. But now,
under his stewardship, we're slipping into mid-table obscurity (er, hopefully
no worse than that!). He's still painted as a "bright young manager" ?
he's been here for 8½ years now! Benitez I think is actually slightly
younger than our manager, and yet has still won European trophies...
- So now his stock is waning, after EFC's decline in form. And who
will he blame for that? The Chairman. Some on here have pointed
out he's unsackable ? we couldn't afford to pay him off. If he were to
go to another club, they'd have to pay compensation to EFC. And probably
that was the deal-breaker if he really was Villa's first choice. (Villa, like
Man City, and Spurs etc. were all teams we finished above when we had the
4th-, 5th- & 7th-place finishes, but how many of us really expect to finish
above them now?) If he was to resign, and unwilling to pay EFC that
compensation himself, EFC would be within their rights to put him on gardening
leave for the remainder of his deal, as they would still be obliged to pay
- So our Chairman probably now realises that, giving him that 5-year deal,
but not being able to deliver on his 24/7 investment quest has come back
to bite him in the arse... alongside other let-downs like Destination Kirkby,
following on from Kings Dock etc. If football financing really is on the
slide, as many commentators would have us believe, then once again, Everton
have missed the boat.
- But, even worse: a lot of our "top" players are all on long-term, big-money deals. I think if they were being honest, most would admit that as a top 6 / borderline top 4 club, Everton was about as good as they were going to get. So they got their best deal possible at what for a lot of them will be the last major deal they earn as players. (But we don't feel sorry for them, do wee?). But now, if EFC can't arrest this slide, we won't be that top 6 club anymore, and some of them may be regretting signing such long deals. But don't worry, because if the Arab money, or the Russian money does come calling, we'll get a decent transfer salary, so our Chairman can keep the "debt manageable" and we have to keep unearthing the "next Rooney, or Rodwell".
This last weekend, I watched the game with some mates who support other
teams, and they all asked the same thing ? how can you play that bad with a
decent squad? Then the substitutions happened ? I can't remember who the
summariser was on the feed we had, but I think it may have been Mark Bright, an
ex-pro ? going mental that we were chasing the game, after our worst start in
Premier League history, and still playing with one up front!
I have read how some of you, suffering under the credit crunch, have stopped going. I made a tough decision to move abroad 6½ and a half years ago. I'm now finding it hard to even watch us on TV. Fans of other teams used to hate playing us, cos we were always capable of winning on their ground. Now they hate playing us cos they think we drag their teams down. I've had some media people admit they hate being rostered to cover our games now for the same reason ? they're not entertained and have talk up the game!
Players and managers come and go. EFC will always be there. Football goes in cycles... Maybe we will get back some time in the future.
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1 Posted 21/09/2010 at 17:21:26
The rest can be found throughout the TW pages and is just personal opinion on 'how things are'.
Spend all afternoon on that did you?
2 Posted 21/09/2010 at 17:12:47
He is also the club doctor for Arsenal, she asked him what Wenger was like, he said he was a bastard to his players and constantly shouts at them and nothing is ever good enough. Basically a perfectionist who only eats Pasta washed down with wine.
So our Manager is distant a liitle with the players, any Manager in any business has to be like this.
We now have to hope he can make clear and concise decisions to stop this slide.
We still some of the best players in the premiership, it's about right people, right place right time.
As for teams who think we drag them down, WFT? they sit back and we can't handle it.
Need to stick up for the team a bit more whilst being an Englishman abroad mate..
3 Posted 22/09/2010 at 02:44:43
So lets debate a conversation held in a pub, nice one.
A manager is not there to be liked, he's there for make sure his players and staff perform...
Brian Clough wasn't popular with his players, but he got the results, I'm sure SAF isnt the nicest guy in the world...
4 Posted 22/09/2010 at 03:10:16
I am so relieved.
I thought you were going to give a big expose on how Moyes was Osman's secret lover.
For the record Jimmy Gabriel's sister used to work for me and she told me he hated Catterick (one of our most successful magagers if you can cast your mind that far back) because he used to make the players play even if they had Knocks and as others have said it is healthy to keep a distance from the players.
Your suggestion also doesnt explain why the same players who played so well last season are playing lousy this season or why people like Landon Donovan say they would love to return to the club.
5 Posted 22/09/2010 at 03:22:24
6 Posted 22/09/2010 at 03:33:48
I ask you... a top indie band from Leeds? there's no such thing!
7 Posted 22/09/2010 at 07:24:36
8 Posted 22/09/2010 at 07:43:02
Nice one Rob :D
9 Posted 22/09/2010 at 09:47:02
10 Posted 22/09/2010 at 10:06:56
After so many years of shit under different managers and the slight hope Moyes offered at different points of his 8 years, the fans are lethargic. Apart from a majority on this web site most fans seem happy to still accept Moyes' brand of football and mismanagement. I just feel we're stuck with nowhere to go.
11 Posted 22/09/2010 at 10:35:29
12 Posted 22/09/2010 at 10:51:01
For what its worth I would'nt be surprised if the players tolerate him realising he at least provides stability, though 2 more shit results and he's gone.
(my neighbour knows BK's gardener etc etc)
13 Posted 22/09/2010 at 11:43:09
14 Posted 22/09/2010 at 12:00:56
15 Posted 22/09/2010 at 12:32:58
16 Posted 22/09/2010 at 13:57:30
As in cricket where bowlers win you matches, the retirement of Warne, MCGrath, Flintoff etc.. hailed the end of an era for great sides..
In EFC's case, the lack of scoring prowess throughout the side is the current cause of this current era ending... It only takes for that malaise to cure itself and then the era will be back be reborn.
4-5-1, 4-4-2 is irrelevant.. Every member of a football team, bar the keeper should be capable of scoring goals. Sadly we aren't capable of just that at the moment. Hopefully a new era will arise.
17 Posted 22/09/2010 at 14:22:55
Apparently Gosling didn't like him and now there's a revolt..
18 Posted 22/09/2010 at 15:03:02
Frankly, my dog could do an equally good / bad job as His Overpaid Nibbs.
19 Posted 22/09/2010 at 15:03:59
If I were running things I would be talking to Slaven Bilic, who would love the challenge of Premiership football, to Jurgen Klinsmann, who made errors at Bayern Munich but is at least committed to attacking entertaining football, and "Big Phil" Scolari, who is managing a club side in Brazil again and would probably jump at a Premiership club.
I wouldn't rule out O'Neill. His argument about transfer funds was really about how much of the sale of Milner would be available to him, not how rich or otherwise the club is. Incidentally, it is so obvious that Yakubu is playing for a cheap transfer it's a disgrace but he will certainly get his way. He's so overweight he looks like a sumo wrestler. Make him train with the academy and see who wants him when his contract is up - no-one. That will make other players think twice about similar tactics.
20 Posted 22/09/2010 at 15:07:39
One excellent quote from today's papers: "I knew after 20 minutes it would not be our night". So why the fuck did you leave it so late to try and change things????
Moyes tries to deflect the attention we played wank, but I still get paid and so do they. "Someone threw a bottle at the fans" How disgusting! Something must happen to them. "Is the attention on me???"
Then to make matters worse, shite players like Neville want the players to stand up and be counted.
Moyes is going to get "tough"... What a load of bullshit.
When you have players liike Osman, Distin, Neville then you know you are going to struggle. I actually think Moyes is worse that Rafa the fat spanish waiter. Championship here we come!! with Moyes strongest squad yet!!
21 Posted 22/09/2010 at 15:18:32
22 Posted 22/09/2010 at 17:49:59
Apparently the wedding was amazing but nobody talked about Everton.
However I do reckon all the players fucking hate Moyes, because everyone else in football thinks he is prick.
23 Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:52:48
24 Posted 22/09/2010 at 20:43:04
25 Posted 22/09/2010 at 21:50:35
I ask you... a top indie band from Leeds? there's no such thing!
I predict a riot!
26 Posted 23/09/2010 at 20:31:45
In the words of Al Pacino's character in the film 'Heat'... Well I am... over-fuckin' whelmed. What d'you want for that, a junior g-man badge?
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