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Bring Back Big Joe? Don't think so...

By Andrew James :  25/09/2010 :  Comments (42) :
There was a fan article recently that suggested a possible alternative to David Moyes could be Joe Royle. Now as much as I love Big Joe who lit up my adolescent years, I think we've lost it if we think this a viable solution. Either that or the rose tinted glasses are 2 for 1 in Specsaver. 

Joe Royle took us from relegation fodder to FA Cup success and, the following season, a decent 6th place finish. However, only 12 months later he was gone and the club were too close to the wrong end of the table. Yes, he did have some hinderances:

  • Peter Johnson
  • Duff players bought by Walker and Kendall (Samways especially) 
Nevertheless, he also profited from players previous managers had brought in, such as Amokachi, Ferguson, Stuart, Rideout, Parkinson, Hinchcliffe, Limpar...

His man-management was highly impressive and The Dogs of War were testament to that. But his own signings (and he had a bigger budget than Moyes ever has had, relatively speaking) were sublime to the ridiculous. Kanchelskis and Speed were class. Barmby was disappointing. Short and Barrett uninspiring and incompetent at times. Why were we buying Short when Alan Stubbs was on the market at Bolton? 

Yes we had some great games against Liverpool and Man Utd but there were some awful performances. Remember the shocking home defeat to Wimbledon? Away to Coventry? Away to Wimbledon? Away to Coventry? They were humiliating.

Also, back then there wasn't a Sky Four. There weren't four teams with massively larger spending power way in excess of the others. Man Utd, Blackburn, Liverpool, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Villa and ourselves all had a few quid. Hence why we allegedly bid for Shearer and Collymore. Can you imagine David Moyes in the running for Berbatov or Tevez? 

People criticise DM for being defensive but JR was just as stubborn with his use of the "big man" up top. When Rideout and Ferguson were injured or suspended at Loftus Road he opted for Angell and Barlow, leaving Amokachi on the bench. Unsurprisingly Angell was awful and our poor defending meant we went behind. Amo came on and changed the game. JR was a little behind the times tactics-wise. 

His subsequent managerial posts have not exactly suggested we missed a trick although Man City treated him very poorly. Bringing him back now would be crazy as he is not equipped to deal with modern methods and coaching. 

So my point? Joe Royle was a successful but limited manager with no real long-term design. He had funds and the jury is out on how he spent them. David Moyes is a successful and sometimes frustrating manager. He has a long term plan, not had great funding and certainly did not inherit the wealth of players Joe Royle did. Yes David Moyes was fortunate to have Rooney but there were no Limpars, Stuarts or Amokachis. 

Therefore, things are admittedly not great but I sat through a strong and enjoyable performance today where we should have won. It beats my visits to the capital under Big Joe where we were agricultural and sometimes embarrassing.  That aforementioned Fan Article is the kind of thing that leads to Howard Kendall Mk III. Need I say more? 

Reader Comments

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Stephen Larkin
1   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:00:09

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Think u need to take the rose tinted specs off . Joe was the last manager to win us a trophy an his teams fought for us anyone who didnt was dropped . With some investment might have been different. Not sayin I want him back but retrospective looks can c ondemn with faint praise
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:03:34

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Andrew the fabled bid for Shearer was bullshit to sell season tickets an early example of things to come and Collymore chose to play with his "mates" at the RS, Barmby's career was resurrected when he came to us and he got into the Engerland fold only to also get up his own arse and got his move to the RS and slip down the shitter since. Every manager has their horror stories and unlike DM Joe Royle won a trophy in a lot less years, Remember how many humiliating cup exits we have made under DM? DM has the unenviable record of our lowest points tally in the EPL, finishing the league with a minus goal difference and some of the biggest humiliations and spankings since the EPL has started, unfortunately many of his faults are repeated week after week and season after season with short spells of the good tempered with dross.
Andrew James
3   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:08:19

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Yeah because when we lost 4 nothing at Wimbledon the following week players were dropped? No! And when Ferguson stupidly got sent off at Leicester was he left out after suspension to be replaced by Stuart or Amokachi? No.
Andrew James
4   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:12:21

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Gavin - you always speak sense.

But fact remains that Royle subsequently did not set the world on fire - I love him but for people to suggest him returning?
Gavin Ramejkis
5   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:18:23

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The trouble now Andrew is that apart from the usual suspects the league is made up of also rans playing anti-football in order to retain their Sky money. Without money the best any manager can expect is a stab at Europa and the off chance that one of the bigs boys slips up and fourth becomes available. The real death sentence for DM right now is his reluctance to remediate the obvious glaring mistakes; players out of position, favoured players and the downright stubborn refusal to change the 4-5-1 to change a game. Nine years is a hell of a long time to learn lessons that thousands of paying supporters can see every week.

I agree that Joe Royle probably isnt a long term solution but in times of need something has to change and soon and if that is a managerial change to retain our place in the league then so be it.
John Daley
6   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:20:11

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Obviously to suggest JR is a realistic option to return to the club as manager is ridiculous but I think the criticism of his reign is a bit harsh. The season he left the team were in the top six at Christmas and then went on a bad run of form for a few months and slipped right down the table. Joe then had a bit of a Dallas out with the local press and the pressure began to build.

The team under Moyes has often suffered similar
poor patches but he has always stuck it out and been given the chance to turn things round. Then again Moyes has never come under the same pressure or faced the level of criticism that Royle had to endure. The Echo these days are basically loathe to print anything negative about the club, the chairman or the manager.
John Daley
7   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:33:47

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Fuck knows what a "Dallas out" is? That should say "fallout with the local press". Bloody predictive text.
Andrew James
8   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:36:32

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Gavin - I agree as we had a good set up today but Billy should have come on much earlier.
Dennis Stevens
9   Posted 26/09/2010 at 01:09:59

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What a peculiar piece to write! I've also seen a few comments about Big Joe replacing Moyes (as well as one or two calls for HK IV!), but figure this was an indication of how desperate some people feel about the current situation rather than a serious proposal. However, I'm shocked that anybody should feel it necessary, on that basis, to try & justify Moyes's failings by slagging off the last successful manager at the club.

I'm not too sure about the two humiliations away to Coventry City, although I do recall a 2-1 defeat at Highfield Road under Royle. We did also seem to have Wimbledon as a bit of a bogey team at that time, however, as a trade-off the man never lead us to defeat against RS.

It also seems odd to highlight the match versus QPR, & in particular the selction of Barlow & Angell. Neither of these players were signed by Royle & he transferred both from the club in 1995. As I recall that first half was the only first team appearance Angell made under Royle, even so it seems harsh to critcise your striker because you concede a goal through poor defending! When Amokachi came on at half-time we did equalise - through Barlow! However, we then went behind again - was Amokachi now responsible for our poor defending? The game then turned our way via an own-goal & a winner at the death from Hinchcliffe.
I also fail to see how making a substitution at half-time that, "changed the game" is an indication that Royle was "a little behind the times tactics-wise". I suppose he should have waited until about half way through the second half, eh?

It may not have been your intention, but this piece reads as a pitiful attempt to downplay the positive aspects of Royles short spell at the club (let's not forget he only actually had one full season at Everton), & in so doing portray our current managers tenure (eight full seasons so far) in a better light in comparison. A poor show!

Jay Harris
10   Posted 26/09/2010 at 03:55:59

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I think it's ridiculous to cticise big Joe.

He had far inferior players than Moyes has at his disposal now and was not given the opportunity to build because he wanted to buy Tore Andre Flo for 1 million and the board refused so he resigned. You remember him the one Chelsea paid 5 million for a couple of years later and turned out to be a great goalscorer.

Joe also gave me my greatest memory since the "Bayern Munich" night and that was the 4-1 thrashing of Spurs in the semi final when all of the media darlings had already written the script for a ManU v Spurs final.

No, Joe was and always will be a Blues legend and great manager but his time HAS passed and we need a modern manager with tactical nous and modern methods.... Anybody know one that would work with Scrooge and his buddies.
Matthew Lovekin
11   Posted 26/09/2010 at 07:06:25

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How can you criticse Joe Royle? He was the last Everton manager to win anything. Do you not want Everton to win trophies???

As for David Moyes having a long term plan...

He has been manager for eight years. How long term is his plan? How many more years do we have to wait before he gets Everton to win a trophy?
Colin Potter
12   Posted 26/09/2010 at 09:06:41

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Joe Royle was a better Everton manager than Moyes will ever be.
Gareth Fieldstead
13   Posted 26/09/2010 at 09:10:55

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Mmmm Considering I was going home and away then I don't remember any spanking at the hands of Coventry. Yes one bad result at Wimbledon but nothing compared to the maulings we have recieved under Moyes, Arsenal, 7 0, 6 1, Newcastle 6 2, City 5 1 should I go on? As for long term plan Moyes has been at the club over 8 years and he still does a great job at making out that he still doesn't know his best team! As for tactics, you really think Moyes is superior to Royle? The man has nearly took us down twice, he stumbled upon the very defensive 4 5 1 and six years on if that fails there is no plan b! As for Joe, his record against most of the top teams was brilliant and the game against Spurs in 95 remains my greatest Everton memory, yes more than Bayern and Rapid! Remeber this was virtually the same squad of players that managed to beat Wimbledon to stay up the season before yet under Joe they turned in a performance that ranks amongst anything Everton have delivered before or since, I honestly cannot say a Moyes team has ever done that. As for spending well Royle had a net spend of 8 million when he left, roughly the same as Moyes. Frankly a more supportive chairman would have allowed Royle to rebuild and start again eventually delivering CL football. For big money buys Royle beats Moyes no problem as on the two occasions Moyes has wasted the Rooney and Lescott money on utter garbage. Every one of Royles major signings resulted in profit. Who knows if he can still do it at the top? He remains active in the game and Donachie is a great coach. City he did brilliant before being stabbed in the back and three times he took Ipswich to the play offs despite the huge financial problems resulting in administration and points deductions. Joe is great, genuine legend, end of
Dominic Bobadilla
14   Posted 26/09/2010 at 09:38:45

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I think Big Joe was suggested as a temporary solution only.
Charles King
15   Posted 26/09/2010 at 08:54:48

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Dennis @ 9.

I agree, I've called for Joe and I'm desperate (on so many levels is that true)

There was a consensus pre season that we now have a reasonable squad not only to push on, but to play better. Instead, we end up bottom after 6 games.

Moyes is trying to play through teams but it is'nt convincing, we don't know if we're Arthur or Martha at the minute.
We need to change this introspective, woe is me bollox that permeates this club and I'm afraid Moyes does'nt or can't change so he's down the road as far as I'm concerned.

Joe knows the score, is as sharp as they come and is a big enough character to influence things short term, which is realistically what he'd be doing.

Charles King
16   Posted 26/09/2010 at 09:39:46

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Forgot to add the Spurs game must rate among the all time great Everton displays.
Big game, big performance, 2 fingers up to the media experts.
Ian Bennett
17   Posted 26/09/2010 at 09:53:24

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Couldn't agree with you more. Joe Royle isn't an option - forget it.

And judging by the pith that West Ham and Villa got I would say stick with Moyes work it out as the talent isn't out there.

A new manager with no money and no transfer window to work with itsn't going to improve the situation. Stick with it. We have played a lot worse than yesterday and won. The Yak despite his misses looks like he is coming back. COYB
David Hallwood
18   Posted 26/09/2010 at 10:40:57

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John Daley #6 I don't know what a "Dallas out" is either, but it sounds great. Get it in the OED NOW!
Ray Robinson
19   Posted 26/09/2010 at 10:46:29

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Wasn't that humiliation against Coventry under Kendall?
Brian Waring
20   Posted 26/09/2010 at 11:10:32

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I know, lets try and take the heat off Moyes, by slagging off Royle. Sorry Andrew, pathetic attempt.
Aiden Doyle
21   Posted 26/09/2010 at 11:19:21

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I can understand why people want Moyes out (although I don't yet feel that way myself) but to even think about Joe Royle returning is just ludicrous.

Why on earth would anybody want to hire a guy who, proportionally, wins fewer & loses more than our current manager? A guy who's seen his sides relegated at least four times (three since he left us)? A guy who presided over four seasons of mediocrity at Ipswich - in a league that is genuinely competitive? A guy who's recent emergency intervention at Oldham yielded one win in nine attempts?

Joe was the right man at the right time for our club, but that time has well and truly gone.
Kevin Naylor
22   Posted 26/09/2010 at 11:14:16

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Wasn't a lucky manager either, remember being away to Newcastle one up with about 25mins to go. Ferguson was clean through one on one and missed and would have been game over, they almost immediately went up the other end and equalised, then scored 3 goals in 15 mins and we lost 4-1. I believe Joe went soon after that.
Brian Waring
23   Posted 26/09/2010 at 11:49:34

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Also Andrew, even now Royle would probalby walk over broken glass for this club, Moyes would want a pay - rise and a pair of Doc Martin's to do it.
Declan Brown
24   Posted 26/09/2010 at 13:26:15

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Andrew you say that Joe Royle used Brett Angell and Stuart Barlow?

Brett Angell never got a start under Big Joe, surely he was bought by Kendall and released by Walker before Royle arrived? Barlow never kept Amokachi out of the team, Duncan, Rideout and Stuart did.

Get your fact right before dissing one of our own legends.
Declan Brown
25   Posted 26/09/2010 at 13:31:07

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Andrew read Joe Royle's book about how he was forced out by Peter Johnson. It will make you think twice before dissing him, he never wanted to go, he was forced out.

The Horne, Ebbrell, Parkinson (Vinny Jones said he was his hardest ever player he had ever played against) midfield, with Limpar (later it was Gary Speed) and Kanchelskis on the wings with Big Dunc upfront with Barmby.

Moyes has done a great job. Big Joe did a much better job, he took over a club bottom of the table in mid November, got 5 consecutive clean sheets in his first 5 games and kept us up when 4 teams went down that year. And he won an FA Cup. Moyes took to 17th in his 2nd full season, Royle was forced out when we were 11th. Speaks volumes.

I'd have Big Joe back at Goodison in any capacity. The players would love him.
Dominic Bobadilla
26   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:01:54

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@22 Declan Brown: It was MIKE WALKER who purchased Brett Angell from Southend.
Dominic Bobadilla
27   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:05:48

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Posterity has been harsh on Peter Johnson. He actually had the balls to tell Big Joe that the Dogs of Wars mentality was slowly turning into lunacy. Will Kenwright tell Moyes that he is fed up with his defeatist tactics?
Paul Loins
28   Posted 26/09/2010 at 17:51:39

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Big Joe should've never been allowed to resign. We stayed up with him in a year when 4 teams went down with top 5 form followed by a top 6 finish the following season. We we're sixth at xmas when we had a lot of injuries and he was told by Johnson to shop at the Aldi with a fiver and he wanted change back. We had excellent results against top six sides and you were proud to watch them.

Under Moyes we are negative playing one striker against smaller teams even when Cahill is injured. We have three tough games coming up that could see us start to be adrift at bottom of league. Go now, Moyes ? you have lost the plot with your poor tactics and substitutions. Come back, Joe, till the end of the season and save us once again...

In Joe we trust, under Moyes we will rust!

Charles King
29   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:11:00

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Paul @ 26

T- Shirts with "in Joe we trust, in Moyes we rust" should sell out if he comes in.......a nice chuckle.
James Mulhern
30   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:17:35

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In the end, Joe lost the plot ? selling Barry Horne and then trying to resign him on transfer deadline day was last straw.

As much as I like Joe, I hope we dont ever have him back as manager.
Kristian Boyce
31   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:23:07

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Joe Royle went into the Everton history books 15 years ago with the FA Cup win, and that's where Joe should stay, in our history. Football has changed and moved on since the 'Dogs of War' days, and for us to go back to that style would be absolute suicide.
Declan Brown
32   Posted 26/09/2010 at 20:31:25

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Wrong Dominic, it was Howard Kendall, Angell's first match was the 2-0 victory over Liverpool (the Danny Cadamarteri and Ruddock og Derby), and he was on the bench, because Kendall was asked if he would risk starting Brett in the Derby in his first game.
Declan Brown
33   Posted 26/09/2010 at 20:33:45

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And Angell's first game was after the 4-1 humiliation in the League Cup at Coventry and Kendall made the players down a warm down on the pitch afterwards, worked wonders because the media thought we were in tatters when it actually roused the players for the oncoming Derby.
Richard Bowes
34   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:52:21

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Declain, if you are going to accuse someone of getting their facts wrong, you'd better hope it doesn't bite you in the backside. In this case it has.

The Coventry thrashing and the following 2-0 Cadamarteri derby was during Kendall's third spell (97/98) and Angell was long gone by then. Check the Premier League History page for further details....
Gareth Fieldstead
35   Posted 27/09/2010 at 01:59:07

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Declan, you are well out, mate. Angell was initially signed on loan by Howard Kendall shortly before the end of his second stint in charge. Walker re-signed him on a permanent basis in the January/February of '94. He scored on his full debut against Swindon.

Joe did start him against QPR the following season only because of a horrendous injury list and he played awful. In fact, when he got booked for a late challenge, we were baying for him to be sent off! Not surprisingly, he never got near the first team again and was subsequently sold to Sunderland in the March of '95.

By the way, Dominic and Aiden, you thought Johnson did a good job? Kenwright is the equivalent to Moores in comparison, the man was a lying, conniving piece of filth who undermined two legends and nearly took us down three times!

As for insulting Royle, have either of you any idea how bad it was at City? City were close to liquidation, Royle managed more points in the final third of the season than Clark had managed in the previous two. The fact he took them up two divisions in succession with only £5 million to spend and then was only given a further £8 million to try and keep them there whilst getting rid of 15 players from a playing pool of over 50 was remarkable.

As for Ipswich, the fact he took them to three play-offs against a back drop of administration and having to sell any player worth a fee during his time there speaks volumes of the man. He is a great manager, end of.

Remember the only player he bought during his first season in charge was Barrett and Ferguson who was already there was signed permanently. He used what players where already at the club including the wonderful Spurs game when all the players were either Walker's, Kendall's or Harvey's. So much for not being able to use what he has got...

As for the so-called 'Dogs of War', Royle had already well dispensed with that midfield by the start of his final season in charge. Tony Grant was established alongside Joe Parkinson before both were injured and Gary Speed and Andrei Kanchelskis were wide left and right ? hardly Dogs of War!!!!!

The only reason Barry Horne was asked back was because of the most horrendous injury list the club had known, including Andy Hicnhcliffe, Dave Watson, Craig Short, Duncan Ferguson, John Ebbrell and the above two. Add Anders Limpar and Kanchelskis buggering off and Peter Johnson not supporting his manager, nothing new there then ? that is why Royle had to ask Horne if he would be willing to return.

Dominic Bobadilla
36   Posted 27/09/2010 at 07:37:47

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Gareth (35) and Declan (32): you both have a fuzzy memory. Angell did NOT score against Swindon.

Ebbrell (5) 1-0; Cottee (43) 2-0; Moncur (56) 2-1; Bodin (61) 2-2; Ablett (72) 3-2; Cottee (83) 4-2; Cottee pen (89) 5-2; Beagrie (90) 6-2.
Jason Lam
37   Posted 27/09/2010 at 09:16:41

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WTF has this to do with Angell?
Gareth Fieldstead
38   Posted 27/09/2010 at 12:18:42

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Sorry, Dominic, it must have been the 4-2 Chelsea game? He was still garbage though! Jason, I think some of the above readers were trying to use his signing or inclusion in certain games as Royle's fault somehow?!

All the arguments are pointless anyway, Moyes will not be sacked by Kenwright because he has never given him any financial backing. With the exception of the Yak, Moyes has only ever spent what he has raised from transfers. Kenwright simply wouldn't have the audacity considering what Moyes has had to work with and the fact Kenwright has always been willing to make a point of it.

Aiden Doyle
39   Posted 27/09/2010 at 14:07:38

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Actually Gareth, I didn't mention Moores. At all. I have no interest in him and no opinion of him.

As for Royle, I accept that it's a matter of opinion rather than a statement of fact, but I still see nothing in his managerial career since leaving us to suggest that he was anything more than adequate at his job.

Regularly finishing amongst the also-rans in the Premiership is one reason that people feel that Moyes should be replaced. Regularly finishing amongst the also-rans a division lower makes Royle "a great manager"? Hardly.

There's no denying that Man City were going through a rough patch that was not of Royle's making. Managing under such tight financial constraints can't have been easy (just ask the man who had to sell Wayne Rooney) but City were always a big fish in a little pond in the lower leagues, with home crowds over four times the average for their division.

The less said about Joe's recent comeback at Oldham the better.

Regardless of those opinions, Joe no longer has what it takes to be a manager - which is attested to by the fact that he has only managed nine games in the last four & a half years. He effectively acknowledged as much when he chose not to take the Oldham post permanently when offered.

I'm grateful to Joe for his time at the club but nowadays I wouldn't want him back as a manager any more than I would want him back as a sixty-something player.
Dominic Bobadilla
40   Posted 27/09/2010 at 15:37:51

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Yes, Gareth (38), he scored a goal in a 4-2 win at Goodison, but my memory fails me as to who our opponents were. I think people are way over the top in this discussion. Someone merely suggested Royle as a temporary solution in the event of Moyes being axed.

In any case, it is not too difficult to bring about the resignation of a manager. Both Peter Johnson and Billy Kenwright know all the tricks of the public relations business. If you want your manager out, you must ridicule him in public and interfere with his decisions. This is precisely what Peter Johnson did. Realising that sacking a manager was an expensive business - i.e. Mike Walker - he dealt with both Royle and Kendall in a far more cunning way.

Kenwright could resort to similar means in order to bring about the resignation of Moyes. But of course, we have on our hands a symbiotic relationship between Ken and Mo. They stand or fall together.
Gareth Fieldstead
41   Posted 27/09/2010 at 23:31:49

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Thanks Dominic, it was the Chelsea game, not Swindon, my mistake.

Aiden, I was not suggesting you had mentioned Moores, I was merely pointing out that Johnson was filth and that you could compare Moores with Kenwright in comparison. Again I think you are being unfair on Royle during his time at Ipswich. Their financial situation was terrible, Leedsesque you could say. Relying on youth throughout his time at the club yet consistently he had them challenging for promotion.

As for City, reading his book and our own experience of regular defeats at the hands of lower league teams in the cups, every side that played City that season they were in the old third division treated it like their cup finals. Something like 22 out of the other 23 teams had their highest gates of the season. All sold out their allocations at Maine Rd. All the sides were desperate to beat them, as Royle said they had to literally fight their way out of that league.

As for the 1st Division there was plenty of top sides in the league that season, all who had decent crowds: Blackburn, Wolves, West Brom, Birmingham to name a few. This argument is irrelevant anyway, as Dominic (#40) points out: Kenwright would never sack Moyes, they succeed or fail together.

Martin Handley
42   Posted 27/09/2010 at 23:50:53

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Paul Loins, well said, lad. Moyes has bored us long enough with this 4-5-1 shite! Time to get back to basics with 4-4-2 and actually have a go at teams and strike the fear of god into them! If we actually play Yak and Becks together we will score goals,... but neither likes playing the lone role.

Oh sorry but it's the strikers fault for not scoring goals, so says tactical genius and ginger tosser! Well, way to give them confidence, mate! Slate them in public! YOU bought them, you daft prat, and you've destroyed them!

Every striker he's signed he's wrecked! Look at the evidence!
Beattie: 20+ at Soton ? shite at Everton;
Yak: 2nd only behind Henry, great first season... then shite;
Johnson: 20+ great 1st season then shite;
Saha ? a 1-in-2 striker when fit... now shite

Beckford ? 20+ at lower level, so about 12-15 in th Prem? You've guessed it ? now shite!

NO, they're not ? it's Moyes and his coaching methods that are shite! And his unswerving belief that 4-5-1 is a good tactic... no, it's not ? it's shite!

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