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What?s Changed?

By Adam Cunliffe :  22/09/2010 :  Comments (26) :
I?ve not posted on here in a while, what with having just done my exams it?s hard to find time to write a decent article. I?m supposed to be revising now for a test but I can?t. I?ve had a shit day at college and it?s because of one simple reason: Everton Football Club.

I?m sure you?re all the same as me. When Everton loose, it puts me on a downer for the next few days at least; but what?s changed recently is that I don?t get disappointed ? just fucking angry. And that?s what hurts the most.

This is the best team sheet I?ve ever seen as an Evertonian. We have a choice of two international goalkeepers in Mucha and Howard, we have two international centre halves in Jagielka and Heitinga, the most talented midfielder not to get in Spain?s World Cup winning squad, and a supposedly proven goal scorer in Yakubu up front.

Not only this but we don?t have any injury problems to major players and there was no transfer ordeals with any of our best players leaving. Yet Moyes still persists in the 4-5-1 formation that does not work without Cahill and he still plays Osman on the right over a Russian international winger that cost us £10 million ? money that we can hardly afford to waste on a player that warms the bench.

Last night, me and my Dad were listening to City FM around the kitchen table with my Mum in the front room. And it struck me that this really was a return to the old days. When good ol? Walter was in charge, that was our Saturday afternoon; turn the radio on at 3, listen to Everton loose, turn it off at 5, then have a good old cry on my Dad?s shoulder as to why Everton were rubbish and how we shouldn?t have let Nick Barmby leave. Not much has changed at all really apart from I don?t cry to my dad anymore I just rant to my girlfriend instead.

Grahame Sharp mentioned in his commentary last night about a game against Bristol Rovers ten years ago that we lost in the League Cup and I couldn?t help but reminisce, if that?s the right word, about the old days. And I came to the conclusion that we're not much further on.

Yes, we no longer have to worry every season about avoiding relegation... but, on the other hand, Walter never did get us relegated, though he did try his best. We now have a manager who, very much like Smith, has an immediate objective of not to loose. No team has ever or will ever be successful simply by avoiding defeat. Everton as a football club are better than that and, whenever I see us playing 4-5-1 against anyone but the top 3, my heart sinks because you know that we just won?t go out and attack.

I hate to say this but, under David Moyes?s management, this will never change. As a team, it seems we peaked with the Cup Final defeat against Chelsea. Ever since, we?ve just gone steadily backwards; but, this season, teams are catching us up and going beyond us... and, as they continue to progress at the same rate, we go backwards ? it's going to get to the point that we?ll be stuck in mid table.

But what?s really pissed me off is that we can no longer rely on keeping a clean sheet whenever we're not playing quite so well up front. Recently, we?ve been so poor defensively and that?s completely unacceptable considering that?s supposed to be Moyes?s strongest point. We have Distin, who is playing shite at the minute, keeping out a Dutch international who himself has been off this campaign. All-in-all, only Jagielka is holding steady at the back and that is the one area where we should never be struggling in.

So yeah, that?s it really. Rant over. But, if it doesn?t change and change fast, we?ll be struggling to finish in the top half this season, and that?s the worst part of it. Because if we finish there once, I doubt we?ll make it back to the position we were in a few seasons ago.

Maybe Moyes?s time is up; maybe he?ll get us out of this mess..., but one thing is for sure: last night reminded me of a time I thought our club had been through and successfully come out the other side... Maybe not.

Reader Comments

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Nelaj Behajiha
1   Posted 22/09/2010 at 17:27:43

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Excellent article mate but I don't believe this is our strongest team. I believe our strongest team was in 2007-08. That season I actually enjoyed watching Everton and we played great football.
Jimmy Hacking
2   Posted 22/09/2010 at 17:23:30

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I do sympathise, and I also was pretty furious after the Newcastle game, but bloody hell some of you need some perspective here. We bossed Villa, were bloody unlucky against Blackburn and Man U and the points will soon begin to accumulate.

Have you lot seriously never noticed how other teams also have barren spells? Spurs were shite at the start of last season but the fans weren't moaning in May.

If you lot were chairmen there'd be a new manager every week.
Nelaj Behajiha
3   Posted 22/09/2010 at 17:46:42

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Jimmy but look at the next 4 games we're unlikely to get even 2 points from those fixtures. Except anichebe there's nobody to return from injury. We're just not good enough. Unless we can buy player's in January I believe there's a good chance we could be relegated.
Charlie Percival
4   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:25:56

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"but what?s changed recently is that I don?t get disappointed ? just fucking angry"

I'm the opposite; I don't get angry, I'm disappointed.
Charles King
5   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:05:56

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I was going to write a piece entitled "Moyes- the Myth" detailing, in essence, fuck all has changed under his tenure.
But why bother, it's preaching to the converted.

Mostly, we've all wished it was'nt true and acomodated his preferred hoofball because he is our manager, a decent man, constrained by a litany of oft quoted shite, and, by dint of job duration , an evertonian.

It is complete bollox that we are having yet another shit start to the season and complete bollox that we are back to where he started.
Because, don't be fooled, we are in a fight for survival in this league and no one at the club, and many fans don't seem to know it.
Joe Carroll
6   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:23:48

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Can't stand this Moyes Hate Campaign. We're missing one small but albeit vital component in winning football matches... goals.

It's no secret were making chances. That Barcodes game aside, we've performed like the good team that we are in every game.

I'm frustrated too, Adam, we all are. But let's get some perspective. If we start converting these chances instead of wasting them which we inevitably will start doing, then we start winning games. Quite simple.

I believe the stumbling block now is completely mental. We're low on confidence; don't underestimate this. It has its effects on all teams. If we've got any of this characteristic spirit left we're so famous for, now is the time to see it. Sacking Moyes is not the answer
Terry McLavey
7   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:13:19

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It would be great to buy someone in Jan, but if we're still struggling who would want to come to a team that's going to be relegated ? As for a new manager this one has had time enough, I was grateful for Moyes to get us out of the Walter Smith shambles but we seem to go one step forward and two back.We may have been unlucky against teams but results matter and you don't get remembered for good performances if you don't win,I think we are in big trouble , once doubt sets in confidence starts to wain and it's a downward spiral.But as football is a "funny old game" you don't really know whats going to happen, lets hope us doubters are proved wrong!
Charlie Percival
8   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:40:13

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I expect he will turn it around but wat pisses me off is after 5/6 games he is doing the same flamin things THAT ARE NOT WORKING. Why is heitinga playing further forward than arteta, why is fellaini playing further forward than arteta, why is beckford up front on his own, why is osman playn 94 mins every game, why is Coleman not first choice right back, why isnt heitinga and jagielka in central defence?
Andy Peers
9   Posted 22/09/2010 at 18:43:03

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I am angry too! We have not started our strongest team in any game this season and that is why we are struggling. Even if we do start our best team against Fulham we are now so low on confidence that they would play poor too. Moyes has really messed this team up this year. I have been a supporter of him all this time but this is an absolute disgrace.

I don't know where we go from here but after 5 weeks into the season we have only 1 piece of silverware to go for, the FA Cup... and Tranmere will probably knock us out of that. The only thing that might make us feel better is if we beat Liverpool twice (not much chance of that either).

Martin Mason
10   Posted 22/09/2010 at 19:12:57

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4-5-1 has been good for us and the players we have. The problem is now we have been twigged and are easy meat. It's how we react and change that will determin how good Moyes is. My bet is one trick pony but he could do it.
Charlie Percival
11   Posted 22/09/2010 at 20:04:35

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Martin I think 4-5-1 will work, its just the fact players are in wrong positions.

This is Moyes team


Hibbert Jags Distin Baines
Osman Fellaini Pienaar

Whereas mine is:

Coleman Jags Heitinga Baines
Bily Arteta Pienaar
Mike McLean
12   Posted 22/09/2010 at 20:54:26

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"Everton as a football club are better than that."
Really? Why would that be then?

Good article by the way. Thanks.
Brian Denton
13   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:28:36

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Sorry to pick on you, Adam, as it seems now that just about every writer on a message board does it:- but the word 'lose' (as in "when Everton lose") is not spelt 'loose'..........
John Shaw
14   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:56:32

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Charlie #11
I really don't think Coleman is anywhere good enough as a defender yet, but he is great going forward. I'd therefore play him wide right with Pip behind him at RB, similar to how Spurs get the best out of Bale.
Martin Clark
15   Posted 23/09/2010 at 05:29:59

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It is questionable, why is Fellaini not in front of the back four? It seems its to accommodate Heitinga? It can only be Moyes obsession with a right and left footed combination at the back, leaving Distin in the team. I rate him but he's in bad form at the moment and he needs dropping! Heitinga was great at the back last season and others mention the lack of height of Jags and Johnny but Johnny's 6ft! I'm not sure why Moyes is so resistant to playing two international centres together that will allow fellaini into his best position leaving room for Osman or Rowell when he returns to play in the centre and bring Billy into the side.

Another strange one! Moyes bought Billy for decent money and doesn't seem to back him, leaving him consistently on the bench! Not sure what others make of him, I thought he'd be super keen this term to get a regular spot in the side!
Adam Cunliffe
16   Posted 23/09/2010 at 07:55:17

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Sorry about that one Brian, because loose is actually a word itself, spell checker didn't pick up on it.
John Nelson
17   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:20:21

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My team would be:

Hibbert Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Coleman Arteta Pienaar

And if Yak is still out of form, I'd move Cahill up front, and put Bily where Cahill was, as he is an attacking centre mid, NOT a fucking left winger. Also Neville can issue his "rallying cries" from the bench, as in footballing terms, no fucking way should he be in the team.

However, all of the above is in vain as no doubt Moyes will play Neville and Osman week in week out and continue to play players out of position.

Sort it out Moyes, it's not rocket science.
Michael Carney
18   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:07:21

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The clamour for Billy to play instead of Osman wouldn't be there if people seen his performances when he does play and his lack of involvement or willingness to get into the action.
Both players are out of their depth here.
No matter how many times you polish a turd it's still a turd
John Nelson
19   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:34:46

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Michael Carney I have seen Bily play - all last season in fact, and fits and starts this season - and true enough, he looks to me like a lazy bastard who is out of his depth... ON THE LEFT WING. He is not a winger, we all thought he was at first but for his previous club and indeed his country he plays centre mid.

Now I'm not saying it's a dead cert he's going to be brilliant (if and when played centre mid), however he has never been given the chance - so to write him off completely would be wrong.

We all know he's got a cracker left foot and is capable of scoring quite a few, so why not give him a go. Anyway it can't be much worse than the shite we've been served up so far this season.

John Pendleton
20   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:13:06

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Brian (13) Adam (16)

Spelling 'loose' to mean 'lose' is a regular occurrence on these, otherwise well-proofed, pages. Even more so this season.

Perhaps we're just bad losers?

Mark Stone
21   Posted 23/09/2010 at 16:00:44

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The start of the season certainly hasn't gone as anticipated! However there must be a reason we all had so much expectation - I assume it's because we know that we have very good players?

A run of a few bad results doesn't make us a bad team and I'm sure things will soon settle down when we find a bit of form and confidence. In fact, until the Newcastle game we had been playing some good football.
Richard Tarleton
22   Posted 23/09/2010 at 16:51:43

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Where's Tony Marsh when we need him?
Colin Taylor
23   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:53:20

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Charlie #8, totally agree with you and I think every supporter agrees but there is one problem: Moyes is a stubborn fucker and he obviously does not read TW. I cross my fingers before every game hoping to see Heitinga and Fellaini in their best positions but so far this season he has not done it. This puzzles me as that was what the 2nd half of last season's succes was built on... but what do we know?
David Price
24   Posted 23/09/2010 at 19:53:39

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Adam mate, how can you be having a shite day at College when all the females are ranged between 17 to 20, enjoy it lad before Everton fuck the weekend up !
David Thomas
25   Posted 23/09/2010 at 20:26:00

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Coleman should not be right back, he is a very poor defender at present.
Dean Adams
26   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:38:34

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I still miss the Arteta and Pienaar wide pairing where they swapped over now and again and completely took opposition defences apart. Arteta has been shit this seson so why not give it a few weeks, at least we will have crosses for our front men to feed off.

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