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The End of the Beginning...

By Alan Kirwin :  22/09/2010 :  Comments (140) :
I would have commented much earlier than this, but have been in Antibes for a week and only had an iPhone for connection. Having returned from long beach lunches with one of the late Desmond Leslie's talented daughters, I thought I'd add to the analysis already offered by several contributors who are not natural glass-half-empty everyday fans, unlike some... :)

I have never, repeat never, been an unqualified supporter of Moyes. I have always called it how I see it, credit where it's due and complaints likewise. On many occasions I have registered my distaste, and even disgust, on aspects of EFC as influenced by David Moyes. I recognise (as some don't) that one can't honestly beat someone up regularly for not achieving more when, under his tenure, our team have been transformed from regular relegation fodder that aspired to mediocrity, into a team finishing 4, 5, 5, 6 & 7.

League performance is like a ratchet in some people's minds, in that it can only go up, and indeed it must. It ignores the efforts of other clubs. By any reasonable analysis, had we sat and pondered on our league potential 8 years ago, the idea of finishing 4th or 5th would have been fantasy. Those who deny such are being ridiculous. We have to acknowledge that the ratchet has moved upwards by 8 to 10 places in our average league standing. The fact that this has been achieved within the financial straights that we all know about has to be acknowledged.

But statistics can be dangerous things. Football involves passion and emotion. This brings with it a fuzzy logic and partly explains the (arguably) illogical reaction of some fans to their team's relative success or failure, or to other things in & around their club that drive opinions.

One such example is the events of June - October 2008. It was in this period that David Moyes was expected to (and indeed indicated as such) that he would sign his new contract with Everton. It is, I believe, unarguable that his prolonged dithering over a contract worth best part of £4M a year as a basic salary (or 5% of our total turnover) led to confusion, demotivation and poor performances from the team. I wrote at the time that I viewed his behaviour as unacceptable and that a strong CEO would have dismissed him. He should have been sacked then; that remains my view.

Moyes has many supporters within the game. This is understandable given his "performance" in turning Everton into regular European contenders. But one of the things which has niggled me for a long time is just how much of what's happened has been down to him. To disregard his impact would be utterly ridiculous. But closer examination of what's truly happened is required. What follows is mine and, I hope, explains why I feel the way I do and hold the opinion that I do.

Are we really up for it?

When Moyes first arrived, his philosophy seemed to be one of trying to win every game. Sure, we came unstuck a few times, but we often just "went for it" to coin a phrase that I like. There are many such examples, but one that I wish to recall again: It was in October 2002 and we played Man Utd at Old Trafford. The result isn't the important thing; we lost 3-0 to 3 goals (1 pen) in injury time. It was the way Everton played that was extraordinary. At that time, Man Utd were well into their pomp and we were broadly shite. But that night, we went for them from the first whistle. Thomas Gravesen and Li Tie were magnificent. Almost every ass was forward. We took the game to them throughout. Moyes brought Rooney on with about 20 mins left and he nearly won it for us before the misfortune of the final few mins. But the way we played, attacking, offensive, positive, in their face, has always left me wondering... WTF?

Somewhere along the line, that philosophy vanished. I think we learned to live with that for a while, especially when 4-5-1 and Marcue Bent delivered Champions League football to Goodison. Slowly and surely, Moyes has been allowed to rebuild Everton. Regardless of the situation right now, we do have the best, strongest, most skillful and most valuable team for probably 25 years. So what's going on?

Who's in Charge of Tactics?

I have a recurring thought that David Moyes doesn't actually have the tactical acumen that we thought he had, and that he sometimes alludes to as a pundit. How else to explain his effusive pleasure at seeing how Spain play, and how teams playing flexible 4-2-3-1 formations manage to be the most successful in the major tournaments, and yet he maintains 4-5-1 at home and, to most people's increasing anger, forces good players to play out of their naturally best positions?

There was an interesting piece in The Independent recently about Ancelotti, and how he'd changed his formation around at Chelsea to get the best out of the players he had. He now unleashes 4-3-3 in almost every game. I have been banging on for months about Everton reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation and for two very simple reasons. Firstly I believe it suits the players we have and we would have everyone in their natural and optimum space; and secondly, because I think it would make us tighter at the back (against better teams) and even more offensive and positive because the full-backs provide the width, expanding the midfield when on the attack, and covered by the deep midfielders. It could even be 4-1-3-2. But it should not IMHO be 4-5-1 because we do not have any natural wide players and so it all falls down.

The Ingredients are Surely There

Man for man, our first team is a match for almost any in the Premier League. That has been proven on the pitch, but I truly believe that an objective analysis of our players yields very favourable results. And of course Moyes has brought those players here. So again, WTF? He has performed master-strokes with Areta, Pienaar, Fellaini, Lescott, Howard, Heitinga, and even on occasions with Saha. But sure, he has made some mistakes, just like every other manager including SAF and the Special One. When Fellaini was being slagged off by some on here, I responded that I thought he would become a god at Everton. I think his value is now at least twice what we paid for him. But that doesn't fix the problem.

But The Writing is On the Wall

The analogies with the dying days of Walter Smith's regime are growing stronger. That's purely from the meek, negative & clueless approach that we seem to adopt in games. Everybody is playing within themselves and ? given that Moyes has the best and fittest squad ever at his disposal ? what the hell is going on?

If we look deeper, I think some of the clues are there. During last season's injury crisis, Moyes's body language and public demeanour was awful. He didn't just look depressed and clueless, he pretty much admitted to it. There seemed more than a hint of self-pity. And Walter Smith, for all his faults, never dropped his guard or looked for excuses. Some managers never forget that the most important 11 players in the club are the ones on the next team sheet. They all need to feel that they deserve to be there and have a chance.

And this season, Moyes has expressed similar befuddlement as to why, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SEASON, we get left in the traps. He said he'd thought about it, took the players away earlier & changed some things around. But, oddly, one thing he didn't change was the quality of the opposition. The first, and only, real game we played (Wolfsburg) came just one week before the season. We didn't simply lose it, we may as well not even bothered turning up, so meek was our performamce. I'm sure those Evertonians who paid serious money to go & support the team in Germany were not impressed. After a handful of close victories over crap teams, the Wolfsburg game put things into perspective. That perspective hasn't altered since the season started, despite 68% possession at Villa Park.

The Case Against

David Moyes is paid too much. In fact, much too much. That size of BASIC salary, for a club of our means, and team performance, is a big mistake. And yes, it is Kenwright's mistake. I'm not against friendships at the top of businesses, but this one seems now to be working against us. David Moyes has been allowed to feel too safe and too powerful. I've enjoyed our stability compared to almost every other club, but it has to be earned, and re-earned, and it has to bear scrutiny. Moyes should have been paid around £2m, with bonuses for top 6, top 4 & winning the league.

David Moyes now seems incapable of sending out an Everton team to simply "go for it". We started this season with really nothing to lose. With the big 3, City, Spurs, Villa, Liverpool, another 8th-place finish would not have been a disgrace, but it's not now about positions or points ? it's about performances. His reluctance to adapt our formation (I hate 4-5-1) to suit the players, his persistence with playing good players out of position, his seeming lack of tactical invention to change & influence a game, his demeanour of being lost for a solution, the team's lack of direction, lack of flair, lack of attacking intent (apart from the last 3 mins against Man Utd ? when did we last counter-attack a team?), our unacceptably rubbish pre-seasons and our unacceptably rubbish starts to every season lead me to a very strong and very simple conclusion...

Moyes has shown that, from a tactical, motivation, flair and ambition viewpoint, he is unable to deliver the goods. He has reached his ceiling and more money for players will not fix it. In fact, one could easily argue that, the more options Moyes has, the more difficult he finds the job. Events of this season pretty much nail that idea for me.

Had we started the season this way 4 years ago (as we did), or 3 years ago (as we did), or 2 years ago (as we did) or last season (as we did) then there may have remained the threads of bad luck and one last chance etc. But not now.

It matters not a jot to me how this season is transformed because it is almost over when assessed against its opportunities. We have been found wanting against Blackburn, Wolves, Newcastle and Brentford. If this is a blip then it's beginning to look like a big blip. And Moyes has form on big blips. Our start to the 2005 season was shocking, as was our finish to the 2004 season (both club records for the wrong reason) when we only missed going down because the bottom 3 only had 33 pts.

And the Answer is?

Based on an assessment of Results, Tactics, Formation, Team Selection, Style, 8 poor pre-seasons, 7 poor/shocking starts to a season, no answer or idea for change, etc, etc ? and being paid far too much (Benitez is on less at Inter Milan), it is now time for David Moyes to go.

I'm not upset about my pre season optimism. Despite the sneering of some contributors on ToffeeWeb, optimism about Everton was shared by several top managers and several top pundits. There was a reason for it... and that reason was because it was possible. It now isn't.

This season is in danger of lapsing into total ignominy if we don't turn this around soon. the fact that we have been here before, like 5 or 6 times, speaks volumes. Sometimes in life, enough is just enough. Our resources are being wasted, a change is crucial.


Someone on an earlier thread suggested Manual Pellegrini. That's interesting. I suggested the same thing 2 or 3 years ago following a similar situation with David Moyes. I was hugely impressed with Pellegrini at Villarreal. He built a team out of rejects and unknowns and got them playing the best football in Spain at the time and from nowhere into the Champions League. He was also most gracious and urbane about Everton in particular and football in general. He is fluent in English too. Yes, Manuel Pellegrini has the right CV for me.

After that, I just don't know. But what I do know is that it should not be Martin O'Neill. How could it possibly be? Moyes has under-spent and out-performed O'Neill almost every season. O'Neill's teams are one-dimensional and often boring. No thanks.

I'm rather taken by the idea of Big Joe as general manager, with a smart young coach under him. Just a thought...

I guess the last point is that, of course, this isn't going to happen because Kenwright will not sack Moyes. He has a personal & financial reason for not doing so. That would be a big mistake. It is now clear that our team needs change and needs refreshing. I think all or most of the ingredients are there. In the right hands, with the right formation, right players in right positions, a mandate to attack and entertain, and all Evertonians behind him (or her!), a new manager could do a lot.

It's over for David Moyes. I think this can only get more difficult for him and I wish it would be quick & dignified & friendly (because we DO owe him a lot).

Reader Comments

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Nelaj Behajiha
1   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:11:13

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Got to say Alan excellent article. I have often wondered about Moyes tactics as well.
Kieran Fitzgerald
2   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:00:40

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For me, Alan, it really is the fact that nothing has changed over the last three or four seasons. Fifth and sixth place finishes have not really been capitalised on when we really were the best of the rest. Moyes could and should have added more strings to his bow, both as a coach and a manager. Money, after all, really isn't everything and our squad has the talent and experience to play a number of different styles and tactics as they were introduced by the manager.

Instead, Moyes, and the team by extension, have remained one dimensional, while other teams who we were the best of, have progressed in one way or another.

Spurs now have champions league football, plus the cash they always had and have a great squad who can play great football. City now have wads of cash and while they may not reflect this with a top four finish this season, they will definitely be a top six team. Villa still have enough quality and experience to be there or there abouts and depending how the appointment of Houllier, a solid and experienced manager, goes, could be in for a decent season. Throw in improving and now more experienced teans like Birmingham and Fulham and suddenly you see how easily it will be for a number of teams to overtake us this season.
Kevin Tully
3   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:07:19

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If he does not turn things around in the next three games, Fulham (A) Birmingham (A) and Liverpool (H), I fully expect him to walk. We require two wins and a draw.
Kevin Tully
4   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:21:09

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Excellent piece BTW.
Trevor Lynes
5   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:29:42

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DM will not walk... he wont quit as O'Neill, Keegan etc have... he is a stubborn and proud man who will strive to correct things.

The problem with DM is his stubborness... he has great difficulty in change and tends to dig his heels in !! To his detriment sometimes.

As I have said before, any new manager of any pedigree will demand money to buy 'HIS' pick of players and he will not get it at EFC while BK is in charge of the purse strings. Money will only be available if the FANS stop going to watch and force his hand.

Andy Crooks
6   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:32:22

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Alan Kirwin, that is one of the best articles I have ever read on this site. Your last paragraph says it all. Those who have criticised him are not Moyes haters. His time has come to move on.
Andrew Presly
7   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:30:13

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I'm not an IMWT man and am depressed as the next guy, but remember to be careful what you wish for....

Lets say the urbane Chilean (on circa £2m p/a) loses his first 6 games, following on from sacking Moyes, then in Jan brings in a load of cheap South American randoms......

I'd give Moyes the whole season (we won't go down will we?!...) and that's the time to say either thanks for winning the cup and getting us 4th (ahem) or...thanks & goodbye for getting us back to respectability..just.

3pts this weekend would be an unexpected delight.
Ian McDowell
8   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:38:40

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I have just been looking up Manuel Pellegrini on wikipedia and he looks like a top class coach very unlucky at Madrid.
Ian McDowell
9   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:46:50

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One thing that shocked from last night was Moyes saying to Round after 20 mins, "it wouldn't be our night"!!!
Declan Brown
10   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:32:30

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Brilliant brilliant article, one of the best i've read to date on this site (and that's going back years!). Fair play to you. Loved the Big Joe reference...

I have a dream, defeats to Fulham and Birmingham, Moyes is gone before the next international break, Kenwright the Gobsh1te is struggling to find a suitable candidate, Big Joe sensationally returns to take the reins in time for the Merseyside Derby, gees the squad up and gets the belief back into them instantly, a hungry and angry Everton go after Liverpool with real venom, sending them back with their tails between their legs, their big mouths shut and their egos / shells well and truly bruised. It's almost a case of deja vous of 1994 all over again.

What memories that brings back. A bottom of the table Everton side come out of the traps in the Merseyside Derby and gunning to get tore into Liverpool from the start giving them not an inch and powering into every tackle like their lives depended on it. Who could ever forget Big Joe's smile after Paul Rideout's goal?

Pity a David Moyes team couldn't get tore into Liverpool like we did under Big Joe. I'm dreading this oncoming Derby, i genuinely believe this will be Moyes' last one at Goodison. Last night was his Middlesboro moment (where Walter had to bite the bullet). That's when i realised i had enough of Moyes and his 4-5-1 tactics to stave off the threat of the mighty, well respected and reknowned Brentford midfield / attack.

As for Big Joe and the romantic comeback for the Derby in a few weeks time, I/we can only dream...
Declan Brown
11   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:54:45

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Just wondering also, where did Moyess' bottle go last night?

Was it thrown into the Everton fans by chance (boom boom) by the Brentford fan?

Just a thought to lighten the mood a bit!!!!
Nick Entwistle
12   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:56:49

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Lots of people sensing blood on these pages. After 5 league games do you really want to do away with the man who gave you those hopes? He's fucked up starts before, and he'll take us to great and better places in the future.
Mike Gwyer
13   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:46:14

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Kevin (post 3): You state that he should walk if we don't take 7 points from Fulham & Brum (A) and the RS at home.

Fuck, he will be walking then; over the past decade Everton have put together zero wins at Fulham and a single win at Birmingham, couple those amazing stats with the derby and you say "7 points or he walks".

Why fuck about? ? just sack him!
Mike Green
14   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:19:14

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Great article Alan, pretty much sums it up for me. Well done.
Robert Daniels
15   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:01:39

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Very logical description of life under Moyes. Every word packed with emotion, and common sense! I tip my hat, sir; Excellent work.
David Edwards
16   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:10:54

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An interesting article, Alan ? I don?t necessarily agree with everything (I think the effect of the contract dithering has been slightly over-played), but much of it resonates. I do think that Moyes and the team have lost that spark of recent years. The second half of last season raised all our expectations, but we now have the blue-tinted glasses well and truly off ? and the club is in a very uncomfortable position.

I think Moyes is lost! I don?t think he knows his best team; I think his relationship with players is variable and less commanding than before; I think he is resigned to the shoestring budget offered by Blue Bill; his ?star? players are failing to deliver (those who have re-signed contracts and those who have failed to commit) and the potential of many of the younger players has stalled. The ?underdog? spirit of old has faded and our technical ability and tactical nous (both the preserve of the players and manager ? not just one) is shown up time and time again.

Difficult to say if Moyes?s ?comfortable? position as manager has sown the seeds of the current position. We had yo-yo sequences of seasons before ? but the hunger of the club is not the same this season, and everything is stale. The players? performances silence the crowd and in turn our negativity somehow seeps back to the team ? a vicious circle if ever there was one!

I was thinking of starting a separate thread regarding ?lost potential?, but I?ll air it here to feed the debate ? something we need to thank ToffeeWeb for! I was thinking the other day about all the players we?ve had through the club (many still here) who have not lived up to the potential first shown. Now before I start I realise injuries have had their say, so please don?t discount that effect (most obviously with the Yak, but maybe even with Mikel perhaps).

However, it has to be said that we?ve had numerous players who have joined us or come up through the ranks with great promise, developed to some extent and looked like being the next ?big thing?, only to show us that that is about as good as it gets. They all seem to reach that ?future international prospect? status but never quite deliver. Arteta shows that class in tantalising glimpses, but never really climbs to that next level, Pienaar fails to become that perpetual ?danger man? in midfield I thought he was turning into. Vaughan, Anichebe and Gosling flounder in that ?what if? zone. Osman hits his ceiling and never develops despite opportunities; Baines rises, falls and rises again, but looks destined to be an also-ran in international terms. Fellaini has a similar rollercoaster ride, only out of sync with Baines, while Bily remains an enigma. Cahill gives us something, but his ?jack in the box? goals don?t fully disguise his lack of finesse, control and bite in midfield.

Add AJ, McFadden, Beattie and Lescott and we are left with a view that Moyes and the coaching team only seem to bring them up to a certain standard and then no more. Whether it is tactics, motivation, training techniques, guile or flexibility of approach ? all our players find their level and hover there. I?m not a personal fan ? but it could be argued that Rooney wasn?t being developed as well as he could have been at the club after his initial burst onto the scene, and now I fear Rodwell will suffocate in Moyes?s presence. Do we fear the loss of any player to a bigger club (such as the way of Lescott) who might appear over the trench wall for the usual suspects to snipe at ? do we fear Jags going the same way (perhaps one of the very few examples of a player who may have achieved his potential!)

In the stage play and film of ?Amadeus?, Mozart?s embittered rival Salieri declares he is the "patron saint of mediocrity?. Is Moyes ultimately a limited manager who has taken us as far as we can go, and who is too comfortable in his position (effectively keeping Bill?s cheap toy in the top flight)?

Experience tells me Moyes will survive and by sheer desperation we will crawl out of the relegation hole at some point ? but I now think the time has come to consider changes at board level and at managerial level. If we fear a ?Leeds-style? meltdown from billionaire involvement and ownership, or a ?Charlton-Curbishley? fall from grace following a managerial change, then we remain vulnerable to a slow drift to the Championship ? maybe not this year (although never discount it), but soon after.

The club is at a pivotal point in our history ? and we need some true Evertonians to voice the way forward! Keep debating and arguing, but let?s have clear thinking and less rhetoric. How do we save our club in this dark hour ? batten down the hatches and await better weather, or go outside and face the storm ? As Mr Grossman once said - ?David... over to you!?

John Maxwell
17   Posted 22/09/2010 at 22:49:34

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Good read Alan, obviously you've enjoyed the sunshine on holiday and not getting chased by Patrick Barclay around your wine rack anymore somewhere in Sussex ?

Good call on a replacement manager.... we need someone with european experience..

I remember the Man U match, we were awesome that night... I remember storming out of the pub after those 3 goals went in...

I was thinking last night who would apply for the job ? Expectations are to finish 4th or above with no money ? Who in their right mind would want that job ??

So when will Kenwright say enoughs enough ? I'm expecting defeat at Fulham, then maybe a draw at Birmingham.

The fans need to voice their opinion, only then will BK listen ?

Anyone know how much the compensation package is to pay off Moyes on his 65k a week salary ??
Kevin Tully
18   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:17:11

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Mike #13,

Just think we owe him 3 more games. That will give him 10 this season if you include the 2 C.C. games. If there is no improvement then he must see it is a lost cause. He will have lost the abilty to motivate his team.
Jamie Crowley
19   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:12:08

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Alan -

Great article. Absolutely superb.

Nick (12)
I so desperately want to agree with you. And I agree with your long-term vision: Moyes has done wonders for the Club and all this has happened before. He will correct the situation and have us climbing up the table again.

But I fear with Moyes' approach this just won't occur. We're at the point where a major shake-up has to occur. With player selection and positioning, formation, et al.

Moyes has never been one to turn over the proverbial apple cart - and as much as I want him to b/c I like the guy so much - he won't.

I agree with previous comments - the man has 3 games to really flip the switch and turn things around. If he doesn't a shake-up needs to occur at the top.

Alan once again I have to say excellent article. Possibly the best I've read.
James Flynn
20   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:24:48

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Nick (12) Thank you.
Jay Harris
21   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:15:52

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A good article, Alan, which for once I dont find much to disagree with.

The only difference I have which you might expect is that I feel Uncle Bill and the board get off too lightly.

I hear constant noises that Moyes has been pushing the board for more money to get better players and has always been told jam tomorrow.

When you say he took us to a certain level and not beyond... could this be the reason why?

We have to give him credit for taking us from a team of has-been and never-was squad to a squad of younger and better players which has uplifted the quality and therefore the expectation.

However, who could foresee Utd and Liverpool going into massive debt to get some of the world's best players or Chelsea and Man City getting rich benefactors or Arsenal or Tottenham having good managers to go with their superior finances.

I really don't believe ANY manager could have got more out of the players to date given the lack of funds not forgetting the major cutbacks in the squad size.

I can't disagree about questionable tactics, team selection or substitutions but what manager doesn't get questioned by supporters.

My only real issue is that I believe if Moyes goes then we will be visting the Championship sooner than expected and pinning our hopes on one suitable replacement (Pellegrini) is not a good reason to sack Moyes.

I rate big Joe very much but he is yesterday's man in the modern game and anyway a good coach will see straight through Kenwright and his empty promises and, when it comes to nailing your colours to the mast, I cannot see beyond Moyes given our fiscal circumstances.
Phil Rodgers
22   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:41:07

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Excellent article. The best I have ever read on this site. Sean O'Driscoll is the man for me. What he has done at Doncaster is absolutely extraordinary. On a nothing budget he has taken rejects (one of our own in Jon Oster) and makes them play the best football in the Championship. Ask anyone who has seen them and they will say the same. This guy is destined for great things.
Mike Gwyer
23   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:38:57

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Tthe current posts on TW have the making of men looking for a hanging, I include myself as I responded to a post on Sunday with all guns blazing.

No doubt the bottom line is that supporters can play hard ball and they do force the termination of a managers stay at any given club, however, that is not the Everton way. Mike Walker's dismissal aside, I would almost guarantee that the Everton board will play no part in any public hanging.

So join in and feel free at picking who you think would fill Moyes's boots, but Moyes is not leaving and the Everton board will not force him either.

Roger Kinsella
24   Posted 22/09/2010 at 23:42:45

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This is my first ever post on ToffeeWeb. I have supported the club for 54 years since taken by my uncle at 6 years old to Goodison. I have had season tickets, been to many many away games, been the sacrificial invitee to Old Trafford on too many occasions, and always listened to matches while working abroad.... An ultra ardent fan like most Blues.

I feel the pain, like all Blues, when we do not play well. I have seen the good times, never understood some of the reasons for the bad times, except when managed by WS, and now am so exasperated by the doom and gloom of this thread.

I do know, personally, from talking to some first team players, that the culture and team spirit within the players is excellent. I am told that EFC is one of the best clubs that some of our players have ever been with. From my long and sometimes horrible experiences, as an EFC fan, all that has happened thus far, this season, is a mixture of poor finishing, good keeping, good luck by the opposition, and poor refereeing.

I do wish that David Moyes would change some of his thinking but we never complained towards the latter end of last season, and I have no doubt that we will start this seasons soon enough.

Not a time for criticism....

John Andrews
25   Posted 23/09/2010 at 00:53:33

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I can only agree with Alan. I do believe that it is time for Moyes to go. But I also agree with his last paragraph. We do owe him a lot but I still think he should leave.
Michael Kenrick
26   Posted 23/09/2010 at 01:07:54

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Welcome, Roger (#23).

If, as you say, "all that has happened thus far, this season, is a mixture of poor finishing, good keeping, good luck by the opposition, and poor refereeing'" then I'm more than a little puzzled why you would "wish that David Moyes would change some of his thinking"???

Surely it's "Not a time for criticism..." unless you happened to be one of the unfortunate Blues who put themselves through watching in its entirety that utterly dire performance against Newcastle at the weekend. And just hearing about some of the arguments amongst the players, and with the manager, going on at Griffin Park would suggest that the team spirit, which may have been fine last season, is perhaps not so fine right now.

David Moyes's failings as a manger are plenty of cause for criticism, as 90% of recent contributions to this website by a very wide cross-section of Blues clearly demonstrate. Sadly, I very much doubt that their concerns are at all misplaced.
Thor Sørensen
27   Posted 23/09/2010 at 01:21:01

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Alan Kirwin, this is one of the best articles I've read on Toffeeweb for a LONG time!

Articulate, well thought-out and reasoned, balanced and fair. Masterpiece! :-)
Michael Parrington
28   Posted 23/09/2010 at 03:09:49

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Let's face it Moyes isn't going to leave, and he isn't going to get pushed unless things get much worse.

IMHO the club need a better quality assistant manager, or one who adds to Moyes's managerial skills. It's pretty obvious that Steve Round isn't a very good tactician either. Moyes needs to see that he needs some tactical assistance and search out a tactician. Remember, even Mourinho was an assistant manager for quite a few years.

Getting a better skilled assistant would keep the stability at the club, which is good for convincing players to come and stay, and perhaps add the tactical nouse that seems to be lacking.

Honestly, I would be scared shitless if we had a managerial change mid-season, because of the lack of stability it would bring to the club. Plus we probably can't afford the payout for Moyes.
Mark McDonald
29   Posted 23/09/2010 at 03:02:07

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Brilliant article. It probably sums up a lot of what the fans are thinking and wishing for! But that aside, I can see Big Joe coming back short term to "rescue" the club until a suitable candidate comes available.

I did mention yesterday that Martin O'Neill was out of a job (I was just stating the fact that he was out of a job) but the suggestion of our first foreign coach (Pellegrini) is very interesting and if he can do what he done at Villarreal then I certainly would entertain the idea.

Hopefully then we shall have a side that plays attractive exciting and entertaining football. But I have just woken-up from my dream and see BK and DM are still gonna be there come the end of the season.

David Chait
30   Posted 23/09/2010 at 07:57:09

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Yeah Good article Alan... this is the first time since Newcastle I have gone onto any sports site.. I was just so fed up of all things football I called a blackout... but back I am.. sooner than I wanted... in any event...

Alan after the Blackburn game I made the statement that this season the buck begins and ends with Moyes.. I will not berate players... it all comes down to Moyes. Saying that I think people think its black or white and I'm happy you have shown its possible to still appreciate a manager but have the insight to critisize him at the same time. I think Moyes has been good enough sporadically in seasons for us to achieve godd final positions.
If he had been consistent for any one full season we would have CL by now.
I agree with your analysis. but I don't believe it is time for him to go. He needs to be given a chance to correct his mistakes (again). I see our football degenerate into pumping long balls into the box now and scrapping for wins... It's not going to be fun to watch the next 3 months.. and in fact Moyes was only successful with poor quality football in the year of Marcus Bent.. since then our best results came when we would play fluid football making us all think we have turned the corner only for Moyes to revert to type... well we started with "nice" football and no result.. expect the worse!
Jonathan Tasker
31   Posted 23/09/2010 at 09:00:23

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I am actually now onto who we should appoint after Moyes has gone.

He has done very well in patches at Everton but I cannot believe what a mess has has made for us by not procuring any strikers. Unless Cahiil is fit, how are we going to win matches?

Towards the end of the Walter Smith era, and I am not proud of this, but I was almost hoping we would lose to bring about his demise. I think we are close to that now.

Martin O'Neill will be the journo's favourite. Aside from Owen Coyle, who I previously mentioned, what about Roberto Di Matteo? He has done very well so far and his teams play nice football.
David Grace
32   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:18:55

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Excellent article that Alan one of the best I've read, although I don't agree with the Moyes out but certainly an interesting read!
Asbjørn Opstad
33   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:32:44

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Excellent from "Despondent Evertonian"
Alan Clarke
34   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:23:43

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Well written Alan without being pretentious.

I think you overstate the talent within our squad. The players aren't as good as a lot of us make out. The balance of the squad is wrong too.
Moyes has stockpiled central midfielders with no pace. Pienaar, Arteta, Bily, Cahill, Heitinga, Fellaini, Rodwell - none of them wide players. You could argue that although Donovan played well on the right for us, he too is not a wide player. Then we wonder why we are so slow and one dimensional when we attack.

Also look at the price of that midfield - close to £40 million spent. Now you can argue that it's Kenwright's fault for not backing Moyes and he has had to generate funds himself by selling Rooney and Lescott . But when it comes to it how wisely has he spent that £40 million? How long have we been crying out for a natural winger, someone similar to that Ben Arfa fella who tore through us at the weekend? But after failing to sign Wright-Phillips, he signs a defensive midfielder in Fellaini.

This is Moyes' squad and his team. It's his fault he's fitting round pegs into square holes because he has not bought wisely.
Thomas Christensen
35   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:06:29

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Alan - lovely work.

One thing I will say, is that throughout the jounrney we have been on with DM as Everton fans, the way that we are seen by other teams has changed and their tactics evolved to follow suit.

When Moyes rocked up, teams believed they could get a win if they attacked us - and as relegation fodder they were often right. These days when teams play against us they play counter attacking football, with 10 players behind the ball when we have possession. Watch this seasons games against Blackburn, Villa and Man U - as soon as they loose possession they fall back in a 'team bus' formation. We are treated with more respect, for example Man U no longer play a weaker 1st 11, which has to be a credit to Moyes, but he seems to be oblivious of this and setup his tactics to hoof it up, push it wide and cross it into an area full of opposition players - it that fails we're fucked. This is possibly why we need a change, because he doesn't seem to be totally aware of how to combat these defensive formations - well if he is we aren't combating it.

Andrew Fair
36   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:49:27

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Big Joe? Are you kidding me, there is a reason why after Everton his career went down and down, I dont even know were he is a pundit now. He had one inspired cup run that's it.

Give Moyes till Christmas (I am one of his biggest fans) but if it is not sorted by then well we get someone else in. The ingredients are there, minus the cherry up top and hopefully Moyes will become the master chef again (sorry, I'm hungry). If he can't get this lot going then currently there is only Martin O'neill who realistically could do a job for us although I have never liked the man and doubt his ability to bring anything different to Moyes.

Eugene Ruane
37   Posted 23/09/2010 at 08:40:28

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Sorry, but this is the most long-winded piece of self-justification I've ever read.

Right from "I have never, repeat never, been an unqualified supporter of Moyes" it was obvious where this was going ie: 'I was right about Moyes back then, I've changed my mind, but I'm still right'.

I won't go through it chapter-by-chapter but two segments particularly grated.

"I have a recurring thought that David Moyes doesn't actually have the tactical acumen that we thought he had, and that he sometimes alludes to as a pundit"


Speak for yourself!

Can I point out (re Moyes) that 'crazy' Tony Marsh pointed out all Moyes tactical failings and lack of imagination years ago ( a couple of paragraphs) and those who agreed with him were crazy by association.

The second bit that speaks volumes (which is apt) is..

"I'm not upset about my pre season optimism. Despite the sneering of some contributors on ToffeeWeb, optimism about Everton was shared by several top managers and several top pundits. There was a reason for it... and that reason was because it was possible. It now isn't"

First of all there's the assumption that 'top pundits' (ie people who watch highlights of four Everton games a season) know more about Everton than Evertonians.

They don't and their 'insights' generally are banal, uninformed and pointless.

There's also at work here the famous AK sleight-of-hand, ie: those who disagree are 'sneering' (this from one of TW's top sneerers)

And finally, "There was a reason for it... and that reason was because it was possible. It now isn't".


Well by that 'logic' ANYTHING is possible....until it isn't.

The point of prediction is to use one's judgement, to make 'the right call'.

'Logic' tells us the wrong call suggests judgement was/is impaired.

Those who said we'd win the league or get top four, judged things badly, but that's not a crime.

However, it sort of would be if they were on here now saying "I was TOTALLY right, it's just didn't happen the way I said it would"

Sorry but this piece comes across as some kind of personal damage-limitation exercise.

Worse still, there is an incredible arrogance about 'we need a change BUT....only now when I say we need a change'.

Look forward to "Bill Kenwright, he wasn't a shifty twat but he is now"
Thomas Christensen
38   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:51:16

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Declan - 10 and 11.

Really good idea, I'd love Big Joe to come back to take us through to the end of the season and inject a bit of passion in our play...who know he might just win the FA Cup like last time.

Love the joke.
Peter Laing
39   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:13:40

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Great article Alan, you have obviously kept your powder dry over the past couple of weeks and produced a perfect analysis on the current situation at Everton FC. Your article is measured, shows gratitude to the 8 years of service given by David Moyes but also exposes some of the traits and deficiencies that exist within his character. I personally like David Moyes and would love him to turn this around and finally add some silverware to our trophy cabinet. I too though feel that the sands of time are turning and if we do not see an immediate improvement in the next three games then the Club will have little alternative but to dispense with Moyes services. I hope that Kenwright et al read this article and take stock, there is no personal attack or vengeance, malice or poison, an altogether spot on analysis of current affairs. Thanks for the read Alan.
Brian Waring
40   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:21:01

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I don't know why, but for some reason, when I started reading your piece Alan, I started singing 'My way' by Sinatra.
David Hallwood
41   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:44:57

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I?m in agreement with all and sundry about the quality of your article Alan, bask in the sunshine and enjoy it while you can. I was at the game at Old Trafford, but I drew a different conclusion than you about it. When we came out, most of the people I was with were saying we?re on our way up, and even we?ll be champions in three years! But to my mind the display by Man U showed what you need to be a champion, because they were under the cosh for most of the game and somehow found that extra 5 or 10% from God knows where to get all 3 points.

We have never been ruthless and Moyes has never instilled a win pretty or win ugly but just win. Look at the latest failure in the Carling cup, and compare it to Man U vs. Scunthorpe, who were ruthlessly put to the sword by United?s second string, and like Brentford, this was Scunthorpe?s cup final. That ruthlessness was on display against us, despite us playing all the pretty attractive football, their first chance came out of nothing, and every opportunity was either put away or brought an outstanding save by TH.

I?m banging on about United because that?s where we want to be for the fabled next step and I believe we?re as far away from it as we were that night in October 2002.

So can we do it under DM? there was a thread last year ?You are David Moyes? or YADM for short, so what would you do. Moyes isn?t stupid and realises that we have a problem down the right and that all our attacks come from left. Now other teams are aware of this and set their stall out accordingly. To my mind Moyes? attempt to sort the problem of the right has destabilised the team, because he keeps trying different combinations and so far none has been effective.

I?m with Alan on the change to 4-2-3-1, because we have the players that suit the system, but will Moyes change? I would like to think that he has enough football intelligence to try something different, because like a number of posters, I don?t think the Moyes will walk any day soon.

Charles King
42   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:34:30

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Too considerate for me.

I don't recall us going for teams as a matter of policy, I've seen us play well more on a whim than as a game plan, generally the next game will see us drifting around aimlessly and consequently we get a 17th place mixed with abysmal cup exits.

The better league position? A bare minimum return for a bomb proof job such as manager of modern day Everton.

His support within the industry cuts no ice with me, it just means he's no threat exemplified by his son of fergie status, if he won stuff like Wenger or danced down Old Trafford like the young Mourinho with Porto, Fergie wouldn't be so fucking friendly.

Moyes and tactics: Personally, tactics is a mis-nomer, a justification for talking bollox about why you can't win: you either set up your team offensively or defensively. Moyes has NO IDEA what to do with attacking players. When the injuries gave him the 4-5-1 and we got results, his mind was set.

The ingredients, are they really that good? Saha is our only top class player but he's either made of glass or doesn't want to play ? as a forward under Moyes would you want to play?

Moyes has assembled the usual homogenous mix of mid table prem types, neither great nor shite but should'nt be getting relegated or knocked out by Brentford. Notably, Bily who can play, can't get a game.

The writing on the wall is now a huge neon sign. All the mitigating circumstances carrying Moyes are evaporating, the Wolves, Stokes, Sunderlands, Birmingham Citys of this world are not playing ball, they're not imploding they're emulating the Moyes gameplan and fucking us over, rising up the league by default ie doing fuck all in the transfer market and hoping the others fall over has caught up.

Interesting Alan, but slightly fluffy.

Brian Waring
43   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:11:09

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David, if Moyes isen't stupid, and he knows we have a problem down the right, why hasn't he done something about it sooner? It's not as if this problem has just occured this season, it's been going on for yonks. He could have done something about it, he could have used the £9m spent on Bily.
Keith Knowles
44   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:09:34

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Very good piece Alan, although an issue sI would like to raise are these;

A few seasons ago there was a highly regarded manager in Spain doing brilliantly with a 'smaller' team in both the domestic league and Europe; he was coveted by many but eventually settled on Merseyside.......and what a state the Red-Shire are in now!!!

As much as Moyes frustrates me I am one blue who is prepared to stick by him, I cannot think of many managers who could have put together the group of players we have on such a small budget........sometimes its the players that need a kick up the arse, Arteta, Piennar, Jags, Distin, Billy, Osman, to name but a few, are all playing shite.
Thor Sørensen
45   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:09:24

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I know who I'd like to replace David Moyes........Roy Hodgson!

I'll probably get slaughtered for saying this, but I'd love to have him as our manager.
He's got massive experience, both in England and in Europe, is a shrewd tactician, commands respect. In many aspect a complete manager.
Norman Merrill
46   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:07:49

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A fine article Alan, and from a fan that obviously cares.
I can understand fans coming on Toffeeweb with their reasons for complaint, as long as they are sensible, and not insulting.
Well done.
Alan Clarke
47   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:46:54

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Thor, what a great idea!
Charles King
48   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:43:19

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Something about this thread put me in mind of :

Never mind the quality...feel the width. Phrase used to persuade you that quantity is more important than quality. Originated from unscrupulous London backstreet tailors palming you off with cheap material instead of the good stuff for your suit.

Don't know why...
Alan Kirwin
49   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:57:05

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Mr Ruane - Rarely does one person spend so much time, writing so many words, about something apparently so empty & undeserving. Life is all about opinions. I find yours perpetually content-free & as risible and pointless as you find mine. I'd just say it in fewer words and I'd probably argue with you over the subject rather than slag you off personally. I mean, that would be just too easy.

Brian Waring - A Eugene Ruane for the illiterate and hard of thinking.
Keith Knowles
50   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:15:52

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Is it April 1st Thor?
Thor Sørensen
51   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:18:39

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Alan Clarke # 45. I'm sensing a fair bit of sarcasm there. :-p

Seriously, though, as mad as it may seem at the moment, only a few months back (before he joined the RS) I'd be happy to have him taking over from David Moyes somewhere down the line.

He's, no doubt, a very good manager. Indeed, it would be quite remarkable, but impossible?
He wouldn't even have to change houses.
Mike McLean
52   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:27:24

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I believe that a natural tipping point comes in the shelf life of managers. The match going crowd, suddenly, almost telepathically, reach the conclusion that enough is enough. That will be when Bill understands he has a serious problem. At the moment, I believe that the majority of match goers still support David. The internet is very easy for a Chairman to ignore.
Alan Clarke
53   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:05:38

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It's like for like Thor in my eyes - both play a negative dour style of football that is effective but not pleasing on the eye. If (a big IF) Moyes were to ever leave, I would like to see an adventurous and attack minded manager take over. It would be an apportunity to really break from the negative football that has gripped Goodison for the past 15 years.
Mark Murphy
54   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:10:41

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Thor - the day that "big" club appointed Roy Hodgson as their manager signalled to me, finally, that they had lost any remaining self delusions that they were still fit to eat at the top table!
I'm not a Moyes fan (well, not at the moment anyway) but theres no way LFC have the better manager on Merseyside!
If Moyes had just Torres and Gerrard we'd be champs by now.
But hey, rumours abounding over on TPF that Moyes has skidaddled!
And Martin Jol is apparantly at FF...

Oink oink, shit! - nearly hit my head that one...
Mark Murphy
55   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:17:50

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I have a theory about Moyes.
I think he is a great "backs to the walls" manager who can get the best out of a team against the odds and who gets them to stand up in adversity.
Once he has achieved that I dont think he knows what to do next.
When all is set for him to play his best team on the pitch and get them to play their best game I'm not convinced he knows how to handle it.
He's at his best motivating limited resources.
I dont think he will ever manage Man Utd.
Brian Waring
56   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:26:10

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"Brian Waring ? a Eugene Ruane for the illitrate and hard of thinking" Ahhh thanks Alan.

Now where was I... Regrets I've had a few........
Mike Rourke
57   Posted 23/09/2010 at 15:10:16

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Alan, glad to see you reference the level of opposition we played in pre-season.

It was truly shocking. For all the discussion on tactics and formations, for me the biggest single reason for our disastrous start stems from another pre-season playing against truly sub-standard opposition.

Pelligrini would be an interesting replacement for Moyes, although obviously the point is moot given that BK will never ever sack him.

So as we are stuck with Moyes for the foreseeable future let's hope he breaks the habit of his tenure so far and actually learns some new tricks, starting with dropping ( or even better selling) Leon Osman and ending with a decent pre-season against top level European opposition prior to the 2011/12 campaign.
Nick Parker
58   Posted 23/09/2010 at 16:15:19

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Excellent article ( pains me to say that after you slaughtered one of mine ages ago but thats TW democracy ).

Got to ignore Pelligrini at Madrid cause they sacked Del Bosque after winning loads.

The best form of defence is attack.
Eugene Ruane
59   Posted 23/09/2010 at 16:02:07

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Brilliantly not answered Alan!

Any alternative point of view?

"Er...content-free, risible and pointless!"



I made NO points regarding your piece?

Well you can disagree with every word, but believe me, to dismiss contrary points as 'pointless' is not making me look a shifty prick.

Same goes for the trademark sleight-of-hand

"..blah blah rather than slag you off personally"


I've just re-read it, there's nothing gratuitous, everything point IS explained (again you can disagree, but accusing dissenters as 'slagging', again, only makes you look shifty)

Fact: I can only respond to the piece in front of me, if your name is under it, of course it's 'personal'.

I didn't invent your quotes and simply pointed out what I see as gaping holes of inconsistency.

Sorry, but if not fawning all over your article and finding it self-serving and disingenuous is 'slagging', then TW ends here.

You may not believe this but it is NOT personal with me.

If I have seen opinion of yours in the past that I have agreed with, I have posted and said so.

I post on what I read - simple as that.

By the way, your comment on Brian Waring - THAT was slagging (and he's right right)

Alan Kirwin - a Richard Dodd for the ever so slightly less gullible.
James Stewart
60   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:26:29

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An interesting read Alan. Pellegrini would be a very interesting coach. For me the right European coach would be a very wise choice. Fresh ideas and someone who could not only take us into Europe but who could actually compete in it. The season we finished 4th best sums Moyes up I feel. Good achievement but we only really got there by the skin of our teeth. We barely stumbled over the finish line with some terrible form after Gravesen departed. Then we were embarrassed by European opposition. A regular occurrence under Moyes.

I would disagree on O'Neill however I think we could do a lot worse and I don't think Moyes outperformed him at all. Some shouts for people like Holloway or Dave Jones for example would be a disaster that is exactly what we don't need.
All subjective though and irrelevant as Moyes will not be going anyway this season I feel. I think the suffering of Osman at RM and a rigid 5- 4 - 1 will continue til the end of the season at the earliest. LOWER mid table beckons at best! : (
Thor Sørensen
61   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:12:10

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Moyes pins blame........,19528,11661_6395162,00.html

Hodgson makes apology........,19528,13864_6394435,00.html

Don't know why I'm posting this. Maybe I just want David Moyes to take responsibility sometimes and accept that he himself is to blame.
Phil Bellis
62   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:13:35

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Having returned from long "afternoon delights" with one of the late Desmond Dekker's untalented but beautiful nieces, I find I am too shagged out to read all of your missive

When I recover from this and the Torquemadan 90 mins against Newcastle, I will do you the courtesy of having a shufty and subsequently offer any necessary response
John Crossley
63   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:24:35

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Superbly written article every point made is a valid one.
Des Farren
64   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:48:07

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A good stimulating read.
Moyes has unquestionably been good for the club insofar as our player pool is far superior to when he took over.
And that could be part of our current problems.
There would appear to be a discontent among the squad not previously apparent.
The criticisms directed at the manager: poor tactics,poor substitutions,poor team selection,an inability to change/influence a game,poor motivation,players being regularly played out of position are all well documented and familiar to us all.
Moyes has been here for 8 years.Many of the players have also been here for a long period.It is not a new squad.
Managers at most clubs,unless extremely successful,have a shelf life.
Could it really be as simple as this..
Oiver Molloy
65   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:51:05

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Fulham 1 Everton 2. oh yes..
Eugene Ruane
66   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:20:58

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Phil - it boils down to "Moyes has to go now coz..I think he has to go now".

Much more interesting - how did you meet DD's niece? (and what form did these 'delights' take?)

Phil Bellis
67   Posted 23/09/2010 at 18:36:54

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As the only white Rasta-Trog-Xaverian on Granby St in the 70s, I have retained my friendships within the ex-pats L8 Reggae/Ska community

As for the other: as you know, a gentleman never tells but I refer my learned friend to the 1976 ditty performed by the Starland Vocal Band

And, thank you for the synopsis
Trevor Lynes
68   Posted 23/09/2010 at 19:17:44

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Why Oh Why even mention O'Neill...he left Villa because there was no money to fund transfers....if we change managers which I very much will NOT be a manager who wants money !!!!
Get off his case FFS !!!!
David Price
69   Posted 23/09/2010 at 19:00:44

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Fuck me, we're all fucking English teachers marking the article A+.
Judge the team over a season, that's when the quirks of fate balance out.
Moyes is being judged on a run that could be easily a lot different.
As bad as the Newcastle game was, we've again conceded one goal from one decent effort on target and we still missed two sitters in injury time.
5 games gone could easily read 2 wins and three draws.
Would the mob still be running towards castle goodison with flaming torches vowing to rid the world of Baron von Bill and his Monster Moyes if we had 9 pts on the board with exactly the same displays on the pitch?
Probably not, so we have 2 pts and i believe Moyes will sort it out.
To disect his performances during his 8 years and make out we could've been relegated if the first half of a season this and a second half season that is ridiculous.
So the sweet talking stranger ushers profound words in paragraphs to die for and we all gush glowingly whilst jumping on a destructive bandwagon, destroying a top manager and some top players.
Then the following posts attack Arteta, next to be named shite, what a fucking joke.
Opinions yes, over the top alarmists absolutely.
I would gladly take top 7 every year with the hope of breaking higher as a bonus not a divine right.
With our finances, we should be 11th to 17th and hoping for top 7, it's thanks to Moyes our expectations got a liitle too high, so back off and watch the team get better.
Andy Codling
70   Posted 23/09/2010 at 20:24:23

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Dave Price, you epitomise every thing that is wrong with Everton today, settling for 7th every year, now thats a fucking joke
Ciarán McGlone
71   Posted 23/09/2010 at 20:58:34

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Interesting article, Alan... but I think you've purposely avoided the bigger picture..

I'm not sure how anyone can write an article about giving Moyes the hook without giving serious copy to the role of Bill Kenwright in this scenario.

Moyes will be going nowhere... he'll probably make a few enforced changes and we'll finish in the top ten.

But ultimately we'll be back here next July having the same conversations ? and guess what ? Those people who 'sneered' that the lofty aspirations were ludicrous this summer - will undoubtedly be right next summer again.
Ian Bennett
72   Posted 23/09/2010 at 21:08:08

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Andy, that's fine, mate ? but, without Champions League or the gulf behind you, that's what's going to happen, whether you are Everton, Liverpool or Villa. If you don't like it, you may as well pack in football now.

Moyes has a lot of issues: 4-5-1, how we destroy strikers after one flash season, refusing to wheel and deal by recruiting better than you sell, having no pace in the side, square pegs in round holes around the pitch, persisting with some players who would not make it at equivalent clubs etc ? you name them.

One that really got me was not bringing even any loan signings in. If we are skint is one thing ? but not even a loan player, we clearly have more than just a winless streak problem.
Alan Kirwin
73   Posted 23/09/2010 at 21:17:58

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Left wondering what a Ruane makes of earlier articles on Moyes from same author, going back 3 years & espousing the same conclusion. Does he know? does he care? Are the facts relevant when a personal attack is the sole aim? Is it jealousy, arrogance or mere delusion?

Bizarre to find a jealous tart with such a superiority complex that he/she actually believes he/she's entitled to an opinion, not only on WHY someone else holds a different opinion, but even WHEN he/she believes they are entitled to express it. This is one disturbed dude.

The article was simply a personal judgement on Moyes over 8 years and, crucially, taking into account the state we were in when he arrived. It's not all been doom & gloom, hence the attempt at a balanced assessment. I wanted Moyes out 3 years ago and 2 years ago based again on what I thought was a fair assessment. But I also defend him sometimes and don't relish it when things go badly, as some clearly do.

Not everyone agrees with everyone else. That's the beauty of opinions. Different people can draw different conclusions from the same facts or stats. That can be argued about, sometimes vehemently. When the messenger becomes the sole target for abuse this has to stop, or TW is holed below the water.

Michael K - I realise you can't patrol every single post on every single thread, but I'd suggest the above drivel from Ruane and Waring has nothing to do with this or any other thread. If personal vendettas (as that's how they sound) are allowed to pollute Toffeeweb then it will descend into attritional farce. The article and 99% of comments, in my view, support the spirit & intent behind Toffeeweb. 2 contributors are just polluting it.

Either the gloves are on, or off. I imagined & hoped the former, but can easily comply with the latter until it drags the site down.
Declan Brown
74   Posted 23/09/2010 at 21:31:17

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Well said Andy Codling.
Chris Jones
75   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:03:18

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Great article.

"I've been worried for a long time"

"I had a feeling after 20 minutes it was going to be our day."

"It's fat Yak's fault."

"The Jews are to blame." etc etc

Three games to turn it around or he's got to go.
Glen Anderson
76   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:30:13

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For some reason whenever I think of who could possibly replace Moyes my mind keeps on pointing at Ian Holloway.

I know he's done sweet fa at the top level but I just love his 4-4-2 never say die attacking principles.

He puts round pegs in round holes and square pegs in, guess what? That's right, square holes.

I wonder what he'd do with better players than he has at Blackpool.

Will probably get slaughered for mentioning his name but he's the interesting and available option that pops up in my mind whenever I think of "what if" scenarios.
Eugene Ruane
77   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:07:36

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Talk about tarts - could you be any more dramatic?

You're wasted on here, you should write for Eastenders.

Two dissenting voices and you're running for the teacher - "SIR, SIR TELL HIM TO STOP SIR"

You have no idea how like spoiled kid you're sounding

Personal vendettas?

Alan does 'agree completely' sound like someone with a personal vendetta?

I ask because that's what I wrote in response to your piece 'Return Of The School Of Science' in August.

This was fine of course because when people agree, they're being reasonable, adult and logical.

It's only when they have the nerve to take an opposing position that the problems begin

You stated there was reason for optimism because top 'pundits' thought there was.

I disagreed, suggested this wasn't valid and gave my reasons.


THIS is when problems begin and those problems MANY times come from your snotty responses to anyone who dares question your genius.

But you know what - fair enough, I'm happy to abide by any decision taken.

If my initial response has absolutely no merit or relevance, I'll be happy for it to be removed.

If I made no points and there was no validity to anything I said, I will accept the decision and that will be that.

I do however have a suggestion you might approve of though.

Why not start your own site where you can print tomes of your 'reasonable' waffle and only print the responses of those who agree.

Everyone's a winner!
Michael Kenrick
78   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:48:05

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David Price claims: "5 games gone could easily read 2 wins and three draws.
Would the mob ...blah,blah, blah... if we had 9 pts on the board with exactly the same displays on the pitch?"

I just wonder what sort of mental affliction generates this kind of logic? I mean, we in the real world are assessing and reacting to what has actually transpired... points gained (not many), goals conceded... goals not scored.

Then there's David Price and his fucking fantasy football. For that's all this is. Some parallel fucking parallel universe crap that none of us are part of. How can anyone make such a ridiculous meaningless point? It honestly just baffles me that there are supposedly intelligent people who think like this and pass it out as reasonable comment on proceedings.

Of course it COULD be different... but you know something: IT ISN"T. The results are what they are; the performances are what they are. If we wanted to discuss and react to a fantasy football league then that's what the website would be about.

But it isn't. It's about the Real World and what is ACTUALLY happening!!! There must be a name for this kind of totally worthless thinking... and a rule against it!
Phil Soutar
79   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:08:58

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Excellent well thought through comments (in my opinion). One extremely salient point: Moyes may have indeed been made to look better in recent seasons when there were limited resources at his disposal due to injuries etc. In other words, with limited numbers, the team virtually picked itself and there was little variance possible with the substitutes.

Now he has a (virtually) complete squad from which to choose, he appears to be more bewildered than ever and "all at sea" when it comes to trying to put things right. Time to go, with reasonable progress achieved and dignity intact, would be my verdict!

Ian Kearney
80   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:17:16

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On the point of possible replacements I'm suprised the name Paul Lambert isnt mentioned, possibly the most talented young british manager about, as a player he won titles abroad and domesticly and a euro cup to boot. As a manager he worked wonders at Wycombe and then Norwich.

The second name I'd mention is John Collins, another classy midfielder who recieved some education abroad like Lambert, his Hibs side was playing great football and making real progress till he left.
Nick Entwistle
81   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:21:00

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Just realised the title of this doesn't make sense. Don't you mean the beginning of the end? You're calling for an end to his reign, that's the tone of the article. Did I miss something?
James I'Anson
82   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:22:25

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What would happen if David Moyes came on here and told Alan that he thought his article was a bit shite, an that he doesn't even care if he tells Michael.
Steve Carter
83   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:43:14

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Michael, speaking about rules against things, I recall you in an earlier post taking to task posters who tad pejorative in the language they used to respond to their fellow Toffeewebers.
James I'Anson
84   Posted 24/09/2010 at 00:07:15

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Why don't the owners of the club get this same kind of reaction?
After all they've been fucking it up for a lot longer than Davie Moyes has.
And besides we owe them fuck all.
Mick MacManus
85   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:51:44

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Moyes has done an excellent job regenerating and reinvigorating the club with quite limited resources from where it was when he originally took over. I doubt most other managers that we may have realistically got in over the 8 years could have done anything like this. They wouldn't have had his focused sheer determination and the patience to stick to the task despite all the well documented constraits.

Moyes has his faults, as has every other manager. He is judged harshly by some from the starting point that he should perform perfectly all the time, this considered the acceptable default of any football manager by their supporters.

I believe his strengths and what he brings to the team far outweigh the negatives. The start has been very disappointing for us all, but calling for his head now is well wide of the mark. Indeed, if Moyes went now, I believe it would lead to a long period of stagnation for the club and the demise of the current squad. It is far from guaranteed that a change of manager will bring anywhere near the success we all desire. In any case I will make my full assessment of him towards the end of this season and not before.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
86   Posted 24/09/2010 at 00:45:45

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Alan, if anyone is guilty of lowering the tone by constructing personal insults, thinly disgiused or otherwise, I think it is you.

I suggest you cut out the dismissive "content-free" jibes, the references to TW contributors "sneering"" and other such "attritional" guff that trips so lightly from your keyboard, and actually (a) read what Eugene is saying, and (b) actually respond to the points he is raising.

And as for Mr Waring's comments... what is offensive about "My Way"? I thought it was rather clever, and certainly somewhat undeserving of the personal insult you shot off to him.

I can only conclude that your desire to have these irritations expunged from a thread of otherwise unalloyed praise is something of a quest for narcissistic self-aggrandisment that I'm certainly disinclined to indulge.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
87   Posted 24/09/2010 at 01:06:48

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I fact, something's been bugging me, Alan, about your navel-gazing since I waded through this missive, fixing various typographic errors...

I've finally found it: something I had to wade through a week or so back, from the The Real Alan Kirwin, follows...
Alan Kirwin
88   Posted 24/09/2010 at 01:11:15

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Tell me what you want, what you really really want...

Well, go on then, tell us. We're still waiting.

I used to think that the penchant for repeatedly telling us what they don't want, rather than (somewhat more helpfully) what they do, was a characteristic of women.

Then I discovered Toffeeweb and realise what an insult that was to the fairer sex.

Despite repeatedly asking the doom & gloom merchants & those that seem to hate the chairman with degrees of emnity for examples of what they do want, the answer never arrives.

Oh sure, you get the occasional asinine response that suggests Leicester is the model to follow. No, really. I mean they are doing better than we are because they won the Mickey Mouse cup 10 years ago and have since been relegated & had several years out of the top league, whereas we've only had countless top 6 finishes, European football, an FA cup final and our best squad for over 2 decades. Ah, but no silverware.

The list will never arrive because, as some of these chaps have explained, there's no such thing as relative. No, really. It's just not good form comparing Everton to Newcastle, West Ham, Leeds, Liverpool and even ManU. It's not good form for the simple reason that to do so is to re-enter the real world. You know, the one where the grass is only greener because it's been painted and when the paint wears off the grass is poisioned.

And why raise this old chestnut again now?

Simple. Just take a look at what's going on across the park at LFC. Now, do you remember all the whoop whoop a few weeks ago from those deriding the apparent lack of interest or offers in EFC when LFC seem to have half a dozen to choose from?

And do you recall the derision, shouts of "apologist", go support ManU and other such drivel against those who suggested wait & see, as paper talk is, rarer quaintly, not always true. Yes, fancy that.

And now of course our illustrious neighbours are not only saddled with huge debts but are facing a fire sale as RBS has ran out of patience and moved its loan to their toxic assets division. This opens LFC up to all manner of gold-diggers & asset strippers as RBS is now solely focused on getting its money back asap.

And who can forget the emotions amongst some Evertonians when Waldorf & Stadtler showed up on their white horses with promises of rainbows, trophies, super stars and regular blowjobs for all fans.

And then who can forget the response from some fans on TW when some of us ventured that it could, oh yes it really could, be worse. What is it that afflicts the brain and blinds it to the notion that change = risk, that sometimes the devil you know may (stress, may) be better than the one you don't.

And just to clarify; this is not a manifesto for no change. This is purely an illustration of what can happen if you change horses and the new horse turns out worse than the old one. And guess what, in the recent annals of football club history, the vast majority of major takeovers have been unmitigated disasters.

But worry not. because we apparently have the worst chairman in the league, liar, 24/7, Kings Dock etc etc. But here's the thing. We have major imperfections here at EFC. Given our parlous financial state the club should, no, must, open up to supporters. if ever there was an opportunity to exploit and utilise the People's Club concept then it is now. Kenwright & the board are missing a big trick.

But sometimes the baby does get thrown out with the bath water. Fans of Leeds, ManU, Newcastle, Liverpool, Pompey and West Ham all thought they were in heaven with their new owners, who had the best interests of the club and its fans at heart.

And there's the rub.

Outside of the billionaire nonsense that is Citeh and was Chelski, it's all a fantasy, a very rude awakening. The reality is that Kenwright is both a liability and an asset. if you don't believe the latter just ask the manager and the players, and indeed his peers throughout the game. But his lack of strategic wherewithall and finance has left us (in the minds of some) boxed in and unable to compete.

I disagree with all of this. Football, and fans especially, need to live in the real world. In the real world investors do not give money away from the heart. In the real world there are often more risks with takeovers than there are benefits. And in the real world you have to pay your own way.

The solution to Everton's problems is not a sugar daddy billionaire. The only solution is a well conceived strategic plan that promotes self-sufficiency & takes the fans with you. Clubs should not over-reach because the risks are too great. Whilst a millionaire's name might be on the documents at Companies' House, clubs intrinsically belong to the people. The fantastic, phoenix-like, return of Wimbledon AFC to the fringes of the league is testimony to that.

To me there is, and has only ever been, one solution to the problems at both EFC and LFC. It is a world-class joint stadium of perhaps 65,000 capacity, jointly funded by the clubs, local, regional and EC grants and delivered in time for the 2018 world cup. A new architectural & sporting masterpiece on Merseyside amongst the many others. Its utilisation on a weekly basis, attraction for huge non-football events, economies of scale and simple attraction to fans from all over the UK and the globe, will render it the key to our future success. Conversely, saddling either club with the huge debt required to build its own stadium is ridiculous. Either solution would be inferior and would put the club at the same risk as LFC is right now from RBS.

So, to get back to my original point. People who only complain, especially about the same thing time & again, are just making noise. Those who at least bother to articulate their dislike with a solution or two are worth engaging with. I care not much if Kenwright stays or goes. My tolerance of him staying is simply based on the law of averages & how my mates who support Leeds, Newcastle, West Ham, Pompey, LFC and ManU see the world. In almost every case they yearn for what was before.

So, about that list...

Mike Green
89   Posted 24/09/2010 at 08:28:31

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I must be missing something here....

If is any consolation Alan, I really enjoyed the article above and the subsequent posts until Eugene put the boot in.

I either have neither the wit, intelligence or an Engima machine to fathom what the hell his posts are about and to be honest dont really care - its got nothing to do with the topic and I have to agree is a blatant "eh up - Kirwin's posted something here, lets get the knives out."

Sorry but thats the way I see it and couldnt agree with Alan (73) more.

A shame that such an excellent article was reduced to childish bickering.
Alan Kirwin
90   Posted 24/09/2010 at 09:22:02

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Michael Kenrick (86) - Thanks for re-printing my previous post. Did you plan to tell all the boys & girls why? Or are you & Ruane competing for the prize of most abstract & irrelevant post?

Frankly, if you are seriously suggesting (and nobody is that ridiculous) that Ruane has anything approaching a point (about the article that is, you know, the content, the subject, that bizarre notion of context) then I suggest you enlighten everyone else as to what it is. To blow smoke up the arse of a content-free tart and to dismiss the article as you so glibly do, is final evidence of the infantile sewage that has subsumed this site in recent times.

I left this level of argument behind when I was 9. I wish you, Ruane, Waring and your miserable cohorts a fine time pushing the sewage around and slagging off as you see fit. As an administrator/overseer you've proved yourself to be a complete idiot.

No more for me. You've lost another contributor.
Tony I'Anson
91   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:16:10

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Alan (#88) "Those who at least bother to articulate their dislike with a solution or two are worth engaging with."

How about a hair-brained scheme called The Everton Fan Share? It'll never happen though said the Gooner to the Toffee.
Charles King
92   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:24:34

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I can do an impression of Elvis.

Now that's an irrelevant post
Michael Evans
93   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:34:16

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Mike Green@89 - " I must be missing something here ..."

You and me both Mike !

I felt Alan Kirwin's article did express fairly well a lot of the angst, teeth gnashing etc that most are feeling at the moment.

However, it's tone has obviously struck a chord with Michael K and Eugene.

Is that because it's tone is perhaps too omniscient/pompous ? Or is the accusation that Alan K has just blown with the wind of current opinion ?

Not taking sides guys. Just sitting in the confused corner with Mike Green.

David Price
94   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:29:16

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"Mental affliction" you cheeky twat Mike, keeping it real you ask, the reality is we create chance after chance, loads of corners, bulk of possession yet have 2 pts, these stats usually generate more points and the missing ingredient, goals of course.

Moyes will sort it as Manager so for your part manage the discussion instead and not lead the initial thread away to some sort of grammar school spelling test to be judged by Stephen Fry.

Stick to football and not this aimless "who can upset who the best" shite.

Brian Waring
95   Posted 24/09/2010 at 11:12:04

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David, the missing ingredient is a manager with some tactical nous. Playing players in their correct positions would be a start. Going into games with the balls to just go for it, instead of the safety first mentality.
Stop playing players who are just not up to it.

While obviously goals are part
of the problem, it's not as simple as that. Also, we seem to be saying every season " Moyes will sort it " Thing is, by the time he does, it's too late.
Phil Bellis
96   Posted 24/09/2010 at 11:32:19

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I will miss Mr Kirwin's articles and essays... a bit. I found them useful in demonstrating to students the maxim that, in order to take up a critical postition they must first acquire the skills to summarize the text concerned. His use of reporting expressions was a real challenge in précising his articles.

On a personal note, he lost all credibility with his stance over Kirkby and his opinion that is was legitimate in the business world to lie.
Still, good luck Mr Kirwin on your future travels

Lee Smith
97   Posted 24/09/2010 at 11:48:45

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I just think Moyes is too stubborn to change. The way things are at the moment, I can see David Moyes now, in the pre-match interviews at Craven Cottage, reciting Rudyard Kipling's 'If', followed by "Ladies and Gentlemen, Everton will be playing, Four, Five, fucking, One".....
Roger Trenwith
98   Posted 24/09/2010 at 11:04:43

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I'm with Mike(89) & Michael(93). This article was a very well written and well thought out piece that expresses a lot a fans' fears in a far more cogent and articulate fashion than I, or many others could muster.

Until Ruane entered the fray the responses were fine too. WTF is ER, and for that matter, our prickly editor on about? It seems to me like they are for some reason known only to them trying to pick a fight with AK.

I don't often contribute to this site as it has become far too cliquey in recent times, and threads often descend into juvenile slanging matches.

I fully expect to be shot down....

Tony J Williams
99   Posted 24/09/2010 at 12:30:49

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I would love to know how the "Hallowed" new manager will make the same shower of shite we have at the moment play any better.

Enough with this player them in the right place rubbish, these are supposed to be professioanl sportsmen and just because they are a little more to the right/left/ahead/behind it doesn't give the big galoots an excuse as to why they can't seemingly control the ball/pass to an unmarked player/ fecken shoot on target and/or with pace.

These feckers in the middle need to step up and play the way we know they can. This is the same team that last season played so well against United and Chelski and completely and thoroughly twatted Citteh twice.
David Thomas
100   Posted 24/09/2010 at 12:41:08

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Alan 90, Mike 89, Michael 93 and Roger 98.

I agree 100% with your posts. It is simply petty attempts at point scoring by the usual suspects.
Phil Bellis
101   Posted 24/09/2010 at 12:57:02

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ER 7
BW 5
AK 3
DT 1
MK -3*

6 points deducted for no reason at all
James I'Anson
102   Posted 24/09/2010 at 14:58:27

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Mike (89) Michael (93) and Roger (98). So it was only a good article and forum when everyone held the same view then?
Roger Trenwith
103   Posted 24/09/2010 at 15:09:56

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James(102) I said "Until Ruane entered the fray" the debate was good. So posts 1 to 36 all agreed with Alan Kirwin? Don't think so!
Mike Green
104   Posted 24/09/2010 at 15:23:29

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James I'Anson
105   Posted 24/09/2010 at 15:26:22

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EJ was the only one that actually challenged the article while everyone else was fawning over it. OK then, 90% of the posters had the same view, hence the reason for the nice cosy forum.
Phil Bellis
106   Posted 24/09/2010 at 15:48:17

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TW posters may stop posting for many reasons
some kick the bucket;
some were merely pseudonym users masquerading as fans (the Tarlingtons, Maddens and others in the Kirkby fiasco, e.g.);
some may have awoken from a coma suffering from bilingual aphasia;
some may have been buried under the patio;
others, perhaps Tony "Missing" Marsh have won the lottery and thought "fuck the lot of you"

But, is Alan now unique in ToffeeWebdom?
I appreciate he didn't do the full "righteous, I am' and go on to delineate his valid points and emphasise his superior intellect but, it appears he is ToffeeWeb's first flounce
Unless other more longer-standing `contributors' know different...
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
107   Posted 24/09/2010 at 16:15:49

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So Alan's flouncing off into his own "content-free" little sunset. Challenged to debate rather than dismiss... he chose the later. FIne; I have no problem with that. It's the sneering jibes and thinly veiled contempt for his fellow posters that I won't miss.

I think this demonstrates Eugene called it right when he said "this piece comes across as some kind of personal damage-limitation exercise. Worse still, there is an incredible arrogance about 'we need a change BUT....only now when I say we need a change'."

After Alan's typically dismissve response (#49) this thread turned on his own post at #73, and its bizarre request for me to censor respondents he had an issue with. He made an error of judgement in that call that he is not going to admit, hence the flounce. Everything had been fine up until that point.

Mike Green
108   Posted 24/09/2010 at 17:04:29

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Mike Rourke
109   Posted 24/09/2010 at 17:16:01

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Will someone puh-lease validate my 'a fucked up pre-season equals a fucked up season' theory!

Two fucking threads I've opined the same thing and not even one of you has had the decency to agree with me. (Or even the temerity to disagree.)

You have until midnight tonight to comply, otherwise this 'sewer' loses another rat! Capische!

(That is how it works around here, right?)
Mike Green
110   Posted 24/09/2010 at 17:37:02

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Mike - I dont subscribe to that, I think pre-seasons a red herring to be perfectly honest.

Thor Sørensen
111   Posted 24/09/2010 at 18:06:55

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Mike Rourke # 109.

I'm undecided on this.

There's every chance a poor pre-season will see you carry this into the season and have a poor start. However, you can also perform badly in pre-season, but use these fixtures to realise what your problems are and where you need to strenghten/what you need to to, then rectify these issues and benefit from this when the season kicks-off.

Also, not everything is connected to pre-season performance, as you can have good pre-season, a brilliant first-half to the season, and then see results and performances drop after Christmas. Of course, this may be a result of poor fitness-work during pre-season, but can also be due to wrong tactics, injuries, lack of confidence and a number of other things.

All in all, I think pre-season plays a part, but that other factors is equally important.
Jon Cox
112   Posted 24/09/2010 at 18:08:05

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Just wondered, the season we arrived at fourth in the league can anyone remember off hand who we played pre-season. I'd check it out myself but I haven't got a computer.
Ciarán McGlone
113   Posted 24/09/2010 at 18:22:46

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Mike Rouke,

I agree to an extent.. but you simply can't blame pre-season (no attempt to fill the obvious holes or get the side playing) on Moyes's inability to learn a single fucking lesson.

We have two problems at this club - the board and the managers failings... they have both contributed to our current malaise.

I was an eternal optimist who thought that Moyes could come good ? and augment the clear skills that he has ? by learning from his mistakes. Now I think i've been led on a wild goose chase. I feel dirty.
Andy Crooks
114   Posted 24/09/2010 at 19:39:32

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Alan Kirwin, reconsider your decision to walk away I liked your article, some didn't. It's debate on a football site. Get real.
Dennis Stevens
115   Posted 24/09/2010 at 20:13:18

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This is the first "debate" on here that's made me smile since the Skunks embarrassed us last weekend, although only the live match day thingy v Brentford has actially had me laughing out loud - my thanks to all concerned with providing such jollification. I suspect Emperor Alan may be looking for a blanket to wrap himself in!
Charles King
116   Posted 24/09/2010 at 21:30:45

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The first para of Alan's piece set me and a few others on edge, why include your social activities when setting a debate about Everton?

Especially when it was a very long piece

Sometimes less is more.
Mike Green
117   Posted 24/09/2010 at 22:25:26

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Charles - that didn't set me on edge, I rather enjoyed the thought of Alan skipping across the sand in Antibes.... Ciaran McGlone feeling "dirty" in (113) however - now that really is toe-curling stuff....! Nearly as bad as Johns arse in Embarrassing Bodies. Jeeeez...
David Price
118   Posted 24/09/2010 at 23:19:11

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Mike #109, 30 minutes to save you fella, and the answer is to pre-season friendlies being relevant... No idea.

Tough opposition surely can't make us worse and instead prepare us better.

Apparently in 1985 we went to Canada and as an English club we were banned from friendlies in Europe. Didn't do too bad without winning a trophy mind, something to do with having a great side I guess.

Jamie Crowley
119   Posted 25/09/2010 at 05:11:31

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How about this?
Excellent, balanced article by Alan.
Valid, direct criticism by Eugene.

A very well written piece that made me think. A very clever counter-opinion that made me think some more.

I hope Alan keeps contributing. I hope Eugene always calls it like he sees it.

Kind of what makes this site so superb??

Now shake hands, give a quick man-hug, get over it, and keep it up.

Please - for those of us who enjoy so many differing, valid, intelligent, and entertaining posts.
Garry Martin
120   Posted 25/09/2010 at 07:27:33

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In order for Moyes to go, outside vacancies would have to be available, therefore, for the time being he's staying. However come Jan/Feb he could well be in a position to walk away when other fellow managers are under similar pressure.
Eugene Ruane
121   Posted 25/09/2010 at 07:28:36

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Jamie - absolutely fine with me and I couldn't agree more with your summing up of this thread and the appeal of TW generally.

'My way' generally is to say 'agree completely' if I do and to point out what I see as holes or flaws if I don't.

This, despite what some might think, is not 'personal' but is bound to head in that direction if the response to any points one might raise is that "this post is content free".
Jim Hourigan
122   Posted 25/09/2010 at 12:16:49

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An excellent article Alan, you make a lot of sensible and balanced points. My only observation is that Billy Liar perhaps escapes with less criticism then he deserves and personally I thought you were quite 'gentle' on Moyes.
Michael Evans
123   Posted 25/09/2010 at 12:23:26

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James@102 - "So it was only a good article and forum when everyone held the same view then ?"

No, that wasn't what I was saying when I posted @93. I consider this site to be about debate and sometimes debates do get very heated. That's fine by me because by visiting TW I've been forced to consider other viewpoints and have learnt by that process. I'm not a big fan of when debate on TW degenerates into personal attacks, mud slinging etc. However, that's MK' s job as moderator to intervene if he thinks the eye gouging, hair pulling and biting has gone too far.

All I and Mike Green were asking for was clarification as to what in particular had annoyed Eugene and MK about this article. I did give the article some praise (although not fawning) but suggested possible reasons why it had peed them off.

Eugene Ruane
124   Posted 25/09/2010 at 14:54:27

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Michael Evans, for the record, nothing about this article 'annoyed' me. I read the piece, disagreed with certain points and responded accordingly. What DID annoy me was AK's response to my response. It seems not only was I not allowed to have a difference of opinion, but any I'd had up until then was content free and should be deleted.
Brian Waring
125   Posted 25/09/2010 at 17:46:54

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Alan's problem was he thought he was the all knowing oracle, and he couldn't hack it if anyone questioned his wisdom.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
126   Posted 25/09/2010 at 17:56:20

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Very strange really. While the original piece was very well written, and touched on a number of resonant current themes, I found myself re-reading it, asking what was the key point ? which is where Eugene must have touched a nerve.

Nothing annoyed me about the article either; it was more the response from Alan, the persistent "content-free" jibes which are so irritating, and especially being asked to delete certain comments! Yes, I guess that did piss me off... It goes against the fundamental idea of what we are providing here. If, rather than defending your position, all you can resort to are insults and whitewash, then for me you lose all credibility ? no matter how good the original article is.

Brian is right about the arrogance and sneering conceit, which has been a common feature of Alan's approach to his fellow Evertonians on here, but which he had well in control for this piece, and I think that helped win the acolades of an adoring public that was a nice boost for his ego.

Which makes the request for deletion of "content-free" challenges, followed by the flounce, all the more odd. Perhaps it was harsh of me to show him up by posting that other piece but I felt it underlined a point Eugene had made about him changing his tune.

As someone else said, this is a football forum: it's about opinions, batting them back and forth in necessary ? no place for being so precious, surely?

Paul Oakes
127   Posted 25/09/2010 at 21:12:47

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That fucking clown Round needs gutting literally. Everywhere he has been has ended up with either national team or club being fucked over by how bad he is... coincidence? Hardly

England where fine without Round before he arrived; as soon he arrived, he managed to continuously make a mess of McClaren's selections. He then goes to the Skunks who were high flying at the time, no sooner was he installed as the second coach, they fell to pieces completely...

And what does this ginger minger do? Only go and recruit him... perhaps Moyes will be much happier with Everton in the Championship, where his current abilities lie.

Still the buck stops with ginger minger and he really does have to go. I find it hilarious how some people think no-one could have done what Moyes did with no money... where was this pulled from?

There was no ambition at board level, it was Smith who told fat controller about Moyes, not the club actually looking for anything in the first place.

That's why the rot needs routing right now, from the Board down to the Manager and Steve Round... all must go.

God forbid someone might actually want to buy us and we might actually win some shit. Instead of 6th, which most people are happy with... call yourselves Evertonians? My god, let's get relegated now and pack it all in.

Craig Burrell
128   Posted 26/09/2010 at 08:12:11

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This was a good well written argument. A few things that I didn't necessarily agree with but logical. Unfortunately it got spoilt when Eugene started his poorly written, content based diatribe of sentences (no paragraphs used by him ever) as noted by some others. Alan's response was not the best but it's not the first time Eugene has done this. I usually scroll down Eugenes comments but most threads he joins these days usually become spoilt as he gets personal.

Alan, you will be missed. Your comments were usually both reasoned and well balanced with two sides to the argument.
Mike Green
129   Posted 26/09/2010 at 12:57:49

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I'm with Craig on this one 100%.

Get yourself back on here Alan ? it's a cliche but don't give them the satisfaction ? hopefully see you posting again soon!
Brian Waring
130   Posted 26/09/2010 at 14:34:45

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Mike, take a look back through some of Alan's threads and posts, and look how many times he has a dig at people, dissing them just because they don't agree with him.

All I said at first was I couldn't help but sing ' My way ' whilst reading his post, never abused him, but he comes back calling me illitrate, did you think that was called for?

Before you start creaming in your kecks over Alan, read through some of his other posts first.
Mike Green
131   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:41:56

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Brian - to be honest I thought your "My way" comment, whether meant in jest or not was perfectly accurate. If I was Alan I probably would even have taken it as a compliment!

What I objected to wasn't anything you said at the top of the thread more Eugene Ruane's and Michael Kenrick's constant bating of the bloke which in the end has led to him throwing the towel in, much I am sure to their mutual satisfaction.

I'm not creaming my pants over anything - I'm simply objecting to what I view as pretty inappropriate, tastless behaviour by the editor and one of its contributors.

No offence meant.
Michael Kenrick
132   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:54:20

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Mike Green: Alan has not been driven away, he has indicated he no longer wants to post.

No-one is stopping him from posting except himself ? and presumably his own fear of being questioned or challenged by others he takes pleasure in sneering at, whose views he despises and whose posts he delights in characterizing as "content-free".

And I am certainly not "satisfied" by anything he has done since he wrote his responses on this thread. I assure you I feel no satisfaction with his flouncing ? far from it. But everyone is free to post or not post.

"Constant bating"??? I came on this thread in direct response to a request he made of me. If not for that request, I probably would not have responded at all. Apart from this one issue ? of him requesting the removal of responses to his article ? I can only recall responding to him when he challenges the right of others to post, or otherwise questions the fundamental basis of the website ? to post and discuss diverse opinions about EFC. It would be nice to think you could therefore retract your accusation but I know that is unlikely.

"No offence meant" Yeah right. Your accusations are not only offensive, they are inaccurate and deliberately inflammatory. Since you have set yourself up as judge on this thread, tell me honestly what you thought of his request? Did you read it? Do you think it was reasonable? And if so, how should I go about implementing it as policy on the website?

Eugene Ruane
133   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:42:38

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Can I say that I have NOT posted under the name Craig Burrell ( and 129)

I know some of you might be thinking that's the case, given his 'criticism' is SO fucking easy to pull apart and is SO full of staggering inconsistencies, but I DID NOT write it.


"Unfortunately it got spoilt when Eugene started his poorly written, content based diatribe of sentences (no paragraphs used by him ever) as noted by some others"

Ok, I have a question - is it possible to accept/agree (including even the most reasonable of the reasonables, even those who see my name and immediately think 'twat') that 'poorly written' is a 'personal' remark?

Craig continues..

"I usually scroll down Eugenes comments but most threads he joins these days usually become spoilt as he gets personal"


Right - four things.

One: Apart from missing the hyphen in well-balanced, Mr 'poorly written' has missed the apostrophe from 'Eugenes comments'.

Only 'logical' conclusion (coz Craig likes logical) - inconsistent double standard

Two: After telling everyone my responses were 'poorly written' he then has the fucking nerve to say I'M spoiling things by getting 'personal'

Only logical conclusion - inconsistent double standard.

Three: Does anyone know if 'content based diatribe of sentences' is supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?

Four: He gives AK a complete pass - "Alan's response was not the best but.."

Not 'the best'!?

Try snotty, condescending and arrogant (oh already have!) - again an inconsistent double standard.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely fine with snotty, condescending and arrogant.

I am/was more than happy to take AK's best snotty shot.

My problem comes with the genuinely fucking odd attitude of those (like Craig and AK) who see faults/problems ONLY in others and (apparently) believe themselves to be part saint, part Bamber Gascoigne.

Those who whine about the behaviour of others while OBVIOUSLY getting their digs in (SEE CRAIG BURRELL!)

Talk about having your fucking cake!

I'm honestly dead curious about Craig's post.

Was it self-righteousness or the need to get a dig in that blinded him to the GLARING inconsistency of what he posted?

Did he not read it before posting?

As I say, fucking odd and I definitely look look forward to his response.

I'm guessing..

"See, tolde you, Eugene is a useless fuking cuntt who writes like an illllitterate gobshite and always gets two personal"

Finally, anyone (ie: Mike 100% Green) who believes THIS post or any other post of mine is total bollocks - absolutely fine with me.

Just point out which SPECIFIC bits you disagree with, or which SPECIFIC bits you think are bollocks (nb: like I did with my initial response to AK!) and we can discuss it.

I give you my word, no matter how harsh you are, I promise I won't ask Michael to remove it.
Mike Green
134   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:45:51

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OK Michael - this is how I see it.

Alan writes - IMO remember - a good quality article about the managers position.

People post their views on what they thought of it, no problem so far, then Eugeune Ruane posts - what I see as, so just my opinion remember - an attack on Alan Kirwin thereby making it personal. This is not, IMO, the first time this has happened. It would appear that I'm also not alone in thinking the post was off the mark.

Alan Kirwin asks you as editor to step in - which IMO was pretty reasonable as I viewed Eugenes post as inappropriate and directed at Alan Kirwin personally.

You appear to disagree - which is your perogative - but instead of remaining neutral pour fuel on the fire by joining in critisising Alan Kirwin.

We're clearly going to have to agree to disagree for if you think what I posted was abusive and deliberately inflammatory compared to Eugene's then we clearly have very different standards to each other - which I guess is what makes this forum go around. Each to their own.

All I'm doing is speaking out for what I think is right and proper and I guess you, Eugene, Alan, Brian and everyone else is in this debate is too - it's just that those principles clearly mean very different things to very different people.

Do I think Eugene's post should've been deleted? Maybe not. Do I think you as editor should've requested he stay on topic? Absolutely.
Eugene Ruane
135   Posted 26/09/2010 at 20:17:13

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Mike - could you for fuck's sake be specific about this attack?

You say...

"..then Eugene Ruane posts - what I see as, so just my opinion remember - an attack on Alan Kirwin thereby making it personal"


Seriously, have you read ANY of the above?

First of all can we agree that if I'M disagreeing with HIS post, of course TO A DEGREE it MUST be 'personal'?

However, by continually not giving the context, you're being completely disingenuous and inferring that 'personal' was/is along the lines of "you fucking nob-head what a load of shite"

It wasn't - again, read the fucking thing!

The fact is that Alan had already got his 'retaliation in first' in the main piece before anyone had responded - "Despite the sneering of some Toffeeweb contributers..."

Why sneering?

Why not difference of opinion?

That use of sneering to me was a dead giveaway.

Do not DARE to contradict!

Well I did contradict (WHAT A BASTARD!!) and gave two or three SPECIFIC examples of things that made no sense to me and more importantly, I explained WHY i thought they made no sense.

THIS was a personal attack?

This ISN'T allowed - "I think you're wrong and here are my reasons"?

His response to this was....well you know what it was.

Pram, toys, accusations, etc.

You know something, at that point, I could reasonably have complained myself to Michael about my posts being described as 'content free' and myself being described as 'distrurbed' or being accused of pursuing a 'vendetta' but I didn't - for one reason.

Because I'm not a big fucking soft tart and I can fight my own battles.

Craig Burrell
136   Posted 26/09/2010 at 19:52:42

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Thanks for proving my point quite nicely with your response. Perhaps a more persuasive writing style would result in more people agreeing with your comments ? Just a thought.

Mike Green - you are spot on with your last comment (in my opinion).

I'll leave the last response to Eugene on this one naturally. We need to move on with some things Evertonian.

Mike Rourke
137   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:28:46

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Mike, Thor and Ciaran.

Thanks for responding.

I'll accept that 6 games into the Premier League season a lousy pre-season can no longer be offered up as an excuse for continued poor performance, however, I remain adamant that a properly competitive pre-season would have had our boys flying out of the blocks. I guess we'll only really know this time next year, if Moyes (or whoever!) really changes it up, substituting the likes of Clyde and Preston with Barca and Juventus (fingers crossed).
Eugene Ruane
138   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:40:01

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Oh goody!

Thanks for the advice Craig, what a sage you are.

So let me get this straight - write nicer, be more popular?

Craig this seems to be the bit you don't get.

I don't give one flying fuck about people agreeing with me, I post what I post because it's what I believe (and unlike you, I don't post unsubstantiated generalisations).

In 133, I pointed out for all to see the many inconsistencies in your post.

And now all have seen your failure to respond to one specific point.

Nothing to say about point one?

Point 2?

Didn't think so.

Well remember it might have been me that pointed out that you made a twat of yourself, but it was YOU who didn't look before you leapt.

So you stick to your lovely friends-winning 'writing style', I'll stick to specifics.

Michael Kenrick
139   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:42:16

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Mike Green: Thanks for a more measured reply. I half-expected the apology would be a step too far; nicely dodged.

I would tend disagree that Eugene's response was "personal" in the sense of attacking the person rather than the points he's making... It was strongly worded and forcefully expressed, but that's Eugene's style: he takes no prisoners.

The problem was caused in the main because the two of them, had "previous" and Alan used this as his "content-free" basis for a totally dismissive initial response to Eugene (#49), followed be his request for posts that offended his sensibilities to be removed.

But now you are saying Eugene's first post was "off-topic"? I don't understand how you can claim it was off-topic when he was actually quoting and responding to elements of the original post?!? And for what it's worth, I thought the stuff Eugene pointed up about AK's "sneering" was bang on topic. That's one reason I got involved, that and examples like this:

"Bizarre to find a jealous tart with such a superiority complex that he/she actually believes he/she's entitled to an opinion, not only on WHY someone else holds a different opinion, but even WHEN he/she believes they are entitled to express it. This is one disturbed dude." ? How much more personally offensive can you get? Would you tolerate posts like that if you were editor? (Or should that be "glorious editor"?)

Then what about this for sheer arrogance:

"The article and 99% of comments, in my view, support the spirit & intent behind ToffeeWeb. Two contributors are just polluting it. Either the gloves are on, or off. I imagined & hoped the former, but can easily comply with the latter until it drags the site down."

See that last bit: trying to stay aloof from a battle he fomented through his spitefully sneering first response to Eugene, then claiming if the gloves were off the ensuing bloodbath would "drag the site down" ? unbelievable arrogance! But, instead of staying around fighting fair (hopefully addressing issues raised without the sneering jibes) as he threatened, he ups and flounces... What a total shitbag.

And just in case anyone is tempted to tie that description of the person (for his ultimate actions) to the article itself, let me, make it clear I didn't think the article was all that bad... certainly a thousand times better than his previous diatribe that I had withheld. It would be appreciated if he could stayed around to debate the issues but no I guess that ship had well and truly sailed.
Dennis Stevens
140   Posted 27/09/2010 at 11:41:05

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WTF?? Do we now actually have AK "apologists" on here now?

It seems to me that many people are somewhat blinded to quite valid points ER makes due to his "strongly worded and forcefully expressed" style which is a shame, though not to ER as he doesn't "give one flying fuck". I can understand this to some degree, but not when people are moved to respond to his posts & yet fail to supply any specific examples of the points they are trying to make - not something you can reasonably accuse ER of. However, I must also admit to being guilty of the same sin, as all too often I've paid scant attention to AK's posts, which also often contain some valid points, simply because his style is one of "arrogance" - "dismissive" & "sneering".

Surely we all know by now that whatever view youexpress on here somebody is liable to pick holes in it - quite possibly the same person who was in complete agreement with you in another topic ! The debate may not reach any conclusion - people often have to agree to disagree, but if the debate isn't conducted by making & countering specific points it all too easily degenerates into vague generalisations, issues relating to style rather than substance & thence into personal abuse - although I've yet to see anybody here offer to meet up to settle differences 'face to face', as I have come across elsewhere!

I like TW exactly because of the wide-ranging views & the general quality of debates on all things Everton. You can express any view, but don't expect everybody will agree with you all the time. I really do hope AK decides to continue to contibute as his opinion is worth reading, even if I don't always agree with everything he posts. If he does return I hope he will fight his corner, but not by such unworthy comments as highlighted above.

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