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Stuck between a rock and a hard place

By Matthew Lovekin :  26/09/2010 :  Comments (33) :

I am a very positive, glass half-full type of person.  I have always been a fan of David Moyes and (prepared for the criticism) Bill Kenwright.  It was Kenwright who appointed Moyes as manager and both of them have taken Everton from a consistent relegation-fighting team to a team competing for and (obviously not this season!) in Europe.  All this has been achieved with a lot smaller resources than our main competitors.  In fact, even mid-table teams like Birmingham and Sunderland seem to out-spend us now in the transfer market.  In summary, what Moyes specifically has achieved for Everton in this modern day football era has been nothing short of remarkable.

All the terms used by the media for Everton such as "overachievers", "hitting a glass ceiling", etc are probably correct.  Moyes has taken a small-middle table resource Premier League club that is Everton to a top 6-8th position. However, I feel that it is not just Everton that has overachieved, but Moyes himself.

A club, or a person, cannot carry on consistently punching above their weight; sooner or later, it will catch up with them... and Moyes has had a good run.  This was the season that pushed Everton back into the big-time, 8½ years of squad building, all the potentially good younger players that were bought were now hitting their peak.  It was supposed to be Everton?s time to gatecrash modern day football with traditional values of hard work and building a team properly rather than splashing money around.

But now, Moyes?s deficiencies as a manager have been found out.  He is not good enough to be in charge as a top four manager in the Premier League, whether it be in charge of Everton or another club; he has blown his chance of managing Man Utd.  Moyes?s level is a small club fighting hard and doing well to finish mid-table in the Premier League. Unfortunately, Everton deserve better than that; us fans demand it ? we have seen it before and we want it again.  The only person that seems content with mid-table is Kenwright.  Moyes will probably end up at Celtic ? you don?t have to be a good manager to do well in Scotland, just look at Gordon Strachan... even Walter Smith, relegation material in the English Premier League.

The only question is when will it happen?  When will Moyes leave Everton? 

Kenwright won?t sack him as he is happy for mid-table.  There have been highs and lows under Moyes, a Cup Final appearance, a 4th-place finish, European adventures... but also the dour hoofball, the mind numbing defensive formations, and now rock bottom of the league.  This all averages out to make Moyes a mid-table manager. 

We will never win anything under Moyes, there have been and currently are, far better managers that our league attracts:  Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger are all a far, far better manager than Moyes will ever be.  Moyes has nowhere near the same tactical knowledge as someone like Mourinho.  Moyes gets praised for his skills in the transfer market, but how many world class players has he bought like Ferguson or Wenger?  It?s not about the money, it?s about spotting the talent, Ronaldo was signed for £12m, Henry for £10m, Vieira, Bergkamp, etc, all signed for about the same amount that Everton paid each for Bily, Fellaini, Yakubu!

Ok, Fellaini may yet develop into a world-class player and you may argue that Henry, Bergkamp, etc were great players that would have turned down Everton, but they weren?t that great when Arsenal signed them and in fact their careers were struggling at Juventus and Inter.  It?s managers like Ferguson, Wenger and Mourinho that turn good players into great... but Moyes doesn?t have that ability.  Players like Bily, Fellaini and even Rodwell will never become great players under Moyes?s leadership even though they have the potential.

I still believe in the traditional values that if you are good enough, then you will make it to the top regardless ? even in the modern era of money talks ? but that applies to managers as well as players.  Look at foreign football with Wolfsburg or Twente, two sides that won their national leagues within the last two years that are both much smaller and with less resources than the likes of Bayern Munich or Ajax. 

You may argue that the Premier League is stronger but I think that Moyes is simply not good enough a manager to take a team into the top 4 in England, let alone champions.  Look at Blackpool, most people expected them to get relegated from the Championship last season; instead, they got promoted and now in a position that Everton would be jealous of in the Premier League!  If the managerial ability is good enough then it can be done: Jewell at Wigan; Hodgson at Fulham, etc.

Moyes?s main problem is that he is too conservative.  He is worried about losing.  He found a system that worked six years ago, but is still using it now.  Times change and you need to change with them or you will get left behind.  Just being good at your job isn?t good enough any more ? you need to be excellent... different from the rest... something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

That is why Everton finished 4th before as it was only us and Chelsea (under Mourinho) that played a new formation (4-5-1) in this country; it was something different and opposing teams didn?t know how to play against it. Teams know how to play against us now.

In order to win a trophy, you either have to be exceptional at what you do, or do something different from the rest.  At the World Cup, all the quarter-finalists played this new formation, 4-2-3-1, teams like England didn?t know how to play against it and because England were only an average side, they got left behind and failed miserably.  That is what Everton are doing now. 

Moyes is so reluctant to change anything, tactics or players. What does he have to lose? We are already bottom, it can?t possibly get any worse. The majority of pre-season, he tries different ideas, plays 4-4-2, plays Rodwell in an advanced role, tries the youngsters, all of which seem to work, but then come the start of the season, it?s back to normal. Rodwell never got his deserved chance before his injury, Coleman only got his chance because of injuries but ended up being our best player against Fulham. Why can?t he change the formation?

Even against Brentford, a side struggling in League 1, we play with only one striker. Mourinho, Ferguson and Wenger have all used variations of 4-5-1, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 with players playing different positions.  Moyes needs to be brave and try different things ? and not just for the last ten minutes of a match.

Therefore, if Moyes is not the manager to take us to the Promised Land, with or without money, surely the answer is to sack him and get a manager in that can, a Mourinho from 10 years ago, an Alex Ferguson from 30 years ago, a manager good enough that is going to prove his potential? Well, no. Unfortunately, there doesn?t seem to be a manager out there at the moment.

Martin O?Neill is available and good but would he put up with the financial constraints at the club before walking out in a huff after a few months?

Ian Holloway possibly. He has done an incredible job at Blackpool and plays attacking football with a 4-3-3, but would he cope with a slightly larger budget, bigger egos and bigger expectations or would that make him go even more insane?

Di Matteo, Martinez? Good... but good enough? I doubt it.

Gus Poyet, who at my hometown club Brighton has turned them from relegation material to League 1 leaders in his only year in his managerial career and playing good football, is a possibility but the Premier League is a hard league to learn your managerial training and a steep learning curve.

This is Kenwright?s decision: either he takes a massive gamble on someone like Poyet and Everton do a Wolfsburg or Twente... or we do a Paul Ince at Blackburn and flop, probably end up getting relegated.  His other choice is to stick with Moyes and have a few highs, a Cup Final every eight years, and a few lows, fighting relegation a couple of times every eight years, but ultimately end up mid-table mediocrity.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, eh?

Reader Comments

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Nick Entwistle
1   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:13:37

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Another of the countlessly reworded anti-Moyes postings this week. Bloated with too much writing, too little content.

Henry, Viera, Bergkamp? What era are you talking about here? Baffling.

The ills of this season's start have many Toffeewebbers guilty of a diagnosis momentum, with the extraction of Moyes the only cure... Yes, I have just watched House.
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:32:30

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Oh, and Moyes will never win anything? The only teams out of the top four to win anything since 2002 have been Portsmouth in the FA Cup, and Blackburn, Spurs and Boro in the League Cup.

I'd take Moyes's CL chases over one of these sold out tin pot trophies and expect the same come May.

Charles King
3   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:15:24

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Great article Matthew.

I've always had reservations about Moyes but the mitigating circumstances and occasional glimpses of promise earned him his right to have a go with a decent squad.

It ain't happening for him and he carries the look of a man thats resorted to prayer.

The end is nigh.
Eugene Ruane
4   Posted 26/09/2010 at 16:21:21

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We can argue (have argued?) about Kenwright another time.

Regarding Moyes, I agree with just about everything you say.

Particularly..

"A club, or a person, cannot carry on consistently punching above their weight; sooner or later, it will catch up with them... and Moyes has had a good run".

The problem for Everton FC (ie: us!) is that deciding when a good run has come to an end is not dictated by the run itself (ie: the results) but money.

I'm not sure how much we'd have to pay him off (guessing £5-8M) but that payoff added to the (guessing again, £6-8M) new contract for the incoming manager means... well, DM will be staying as long as HE wants.

The only other way out is for Man Utd to come in and poach the manager of the team bottom of the league...

So as I say, he'll be staying as long as he wants.
James I'Anson
5   Posted 26/09/2010 at 17:25:20

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Bill has another option.

If he cared about Everton as much as he'd like everyone to think, he would have fucked off years ago.

Or maybe Phillip Green has got him by the bollocks.
Nelaj Behajiha
6   Posted 26/09/2010 at 17:20:03

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"Another of the countlessly reworded anti-Moyes postings this week". As ever when an anti-Moyes post is written, his supporters just give some half hearted attempt at having a go at the poster. Get a grip, we're meant to be Evertonians. I agree with you on the trophy point, but my problem with Moyes is he doesn't learn anything from his mistakes.
Jim Hourigan
7   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:13:30

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Moyes' tactical ability is summed up by his substitutions yesterday. Cahill played as the additional forward to get up with the Yak and upset their back 4. His injury takes its toll, he comes off and is replaced by ........... Osman........ that notorious attacker that uses his aggression, heading ability and general nuisance value where? in central midfield ........... mind numbing......

Then a whole 3 mins to go and he makes another change and on comes Billy. Did he actually touch the ball? Could anyone, even Pele do anything in 3 mins at the end of the game?. WTF was the point of that substitution? wasting time? holding out for a draw?

Tactics and Moyes should never be used in the same sentence, and this is not just a knee jerk reaction .......... Spurs anyone?
Kunal Desai
8   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:32:56

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Moyes is undoubtedly a very stubborn man and one that sticks to his principles.There is little chance of him resigning as there is him changing to a 4-4-2

Something which i've picked up this weekend and is very worrying for us is the service and delivery of crossing in the box, the likes of Sunderland, Stoke and Villa have all put great balls in from wide positions to create chances and goals for their strikers.

The real worry is there are teams that finished below us last season playing with real vigour and renewed confidence does not bode well for us.
Stephen Kenny
9   Posted 26/09/2010 at 18:50:23

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I'm in two minds on whether I want him to stay or go TBH. I agree with your analysis of his management and assessment of others out there we could potentially take on if he leaves, BUT to many outsider's he is the next Mourinho, Ferguson etc.

Also you say that you still believe that if you are good enough you make it to the top. For players that may be true but as a manager that's not really possible. With the exception of FC Twente, who play in a poor league(moneywise) every other group of teams at the top of their respective leagues are the ones that spend a lot of money.

It's arguable that every side Mourinho has managed should win thier league comfortably. Although he is obviously a great coach, he would not accept a challenge like Everton because he know's the limit of what can be achieved on coaching alone and it's not a league title.

It's a critical time for the world's worst chairman as we obviously have no money, and a squad who are getting towards ages where the main men have little or no transfer value. If he's bringing a new man in these player's will need to be sold in order for the new guy to build his own team and put his own mark on the club. I think the wise decision would be to give him until the end of the season and see where we finish. If it's outside of the top 6 I would like to see us go for Owen Coyle, Pellegrini or Ferguson??
Dave Smith
10   Posted 26/09/2010 at 19:50:36

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Nick - "Oh, and Moyes will never win anything? The only teams out of the top four to win anything since 2002 have been Portsmouth in the FA Cup, and Blackburn, Spurs and Boro in the League Cup."

I don't think we should be getting rid of Moyes just yet either, but we were better than all the clubs above at the time they won their trophies. So where's ours?

I may not agree with the Moyes Out brigade, but they're right about one thing; it's time we won something. I don't have the answer as how to achieve that. The hope is Moyes does.
Nick Entwistle
11   Posted 26/09/2010 at 20:16:32

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Where were we Dave? 4th 5th 5th 6th?
Its about time Villa, Man City, Newcastle, Tottenham even Leeds won something... more than the LC of course for Spurs.
Dennis Stevens
12   Posted 26/09/2010 at 19:58:10

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A fair piece, Matthew, regardless of whether it's percieved as "anti-Moyes" - perhaps it's more pro-Everton.
It's clear that Moyes would like to have us playing good football, & sometimes we do so, otherwise he wouldn't sign the players that he does. He could easily get large athletic players instead if he wanted to play a more physical game in the Allardyce style. However, having assembled a reasonable collection of footballers in his current squad he doesn't always seem too sure how best to deploy them. It's rather as if his footballing ambitions are greater than his ability as a coach.

Although I'd be reluctant to see him go mid-season if he can overcome the current crisis, I wouldn't be unhappy if he were to move on in the summer, but changing manager mid-season should always be an action of last resort as it's so disruptive.

I am also coming to the conclusion that we'll never win anything under Moyes. I think the moment I started to lose faith in his ability to do so came away to Sporting Lisbon where he failed to seize the opportunity to progress & totally handed the initiative to the opposition. I just don't think he's got what it takes to be a great manager rather than just a good one.
Matthew Lovekin
13   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:33:22

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Stephen (#9) Good shout on Owen Coyle. Done well at Burnley in a short managerial career and good start at Bolton on limited resources in what is a very competitive league. He likes to play attractive football as well, but at the moment would he see Everton as a better proposition than Bolton???

Dennis (#12) Spot on; "It's rather as if his footballing ambitions are greater than his ability as a coach." I think Moyes is a good manager too, just not a great one.
Martin Mason
14   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:42:01

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I found Matthew's article a good read and pretty much spot on. It may miss the point though, which could be that we ARE a mid-table club at best, limited by our resources, which has overachieved but been rumbled. We have no god-given right to be in the top 4 and I'm beginning to think that it's irrational exuberance to have those aspirations.

Perhaps we just need to give Moyes a break, respect him for what he has managed to do and be more happy with what we have (hoping that we improve from our present position which I think we will). I agree with the Gus Poyet choice but surely we can't afford to ditch Moyes now because of the cost of paying his severance. I would also put the risk of implosion and relegation just as high as that of immediate break through the glass ceiling by taking on a manager that we can afford. How can we become a top club without top club financing?

I believe that our Motto becomes ever more a nonsensical millstone around the neck of the club. It implies that we can somehow be given the best when we don't have the essential resources to do so.

I was very positive about this season but of course it was always the illusions of the success starved Blue who remembers well the 60s. When I reflect now it may well be that we have a good chairman, a good manager and a weak squad of players and that we are not a top club because we simply don't have the resources to be one.

Jay Harris
15   Posted 26/09/2010 at 21:58:45

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I thought I heard David Moyes name being chanted at Fulham yesterday but thereagain maybe I was hearing things.

I thought I read on Toffeeweb that Ian Holloway and Owen Coyle are better managers than David Moyes.

Have either of these mangers ever managed a team for even one season to the top 4,5 or 6 or ever taken a team to the cup final.

Thought not.

Knew I was dreaming.
Ray Robinson
16   Posted 26/09/2010 at 22:14:59

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Jay, you weren't dreaming - Jewell was also mentioned. Now let me think, once Wigan were up, what did he do? If he's so good, who is employing him now?

I thought the post started very well but was undermined by the extolling of managers who have achieved far less than Moyes.
Paul Oakes
17   Posted 26/09/2010 at 22:04:51

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Matthew - a Cup Final appearance, a 4th-place finish, European adventures...

OK, firstly let's analyse this statement. A Cup Final where we were ultimately raped... we were ripped several new arseholes that day.

4th place finish... I remember... I remember us being raped for the last 10 matches of that season too... we were fucking awful. The form we finished on that season was below relegation standard, it was the shite around us who were just as crap as we were. We would never have finished 4th if the Shite had won a couple of their matches or even drawn them.

Yes, European adventures... where Moyes ? being the ball-less fuck he is, shit himself against decent sides. It's no accident we got twated every time we played anyone decent. Villarreal absolutely fucking embarrassed us at home, Bucharest in the Uefa Cup ripped us new arseholes.

"Let's give him time..." so, year after year, we enter the Uefa Cup or Europa Cup and get laughed out by teams we should be ripping apart... but it's us that gets ultimately slaughtered and embarrassed.

You honestly believed the ginger minger was good enough for United ? the super team that demand to win everything? Somehow him playing their reserves in a shite 4-5-1 with everyone out of position with the instructions just to defend and don't shoot outside the box... the fucker would be lynched by the crowd by full time ? and I mean lynched.

While I agree with some of your sentiments, Matthew, it is we as Evertonians that fostered this shite, and why we the likes of Mr Kenwright and Mr Moyes (Laurel and Hardy) are still in control 8½ fucking years later.

I am sorry but to suggest that Moyes and him alone got us into Europe is hilarious. We got to Europe despite Moyes, not because of the fucker.

We do well when the team picks itself, so I do hope injuries start piling up massively, so we can actually win matches and get off the foot of the table... but nothing will ever exonerate this inept clueless twat from remaining in charge...

Everton is suffering from gangrene... and it's spreading quickly...just get fucking shut of the lot.. the board and the wankers in charge of our team. I for one want us to win something, I for one want to us play among the cream of Europe and actually win shit... remove the fat cunt and Moyes, and we can go places. We only have the fat twat's words he is looking for pretend investment... no cunt in their right mind would invest in a football club in the Prem when they could buy it and take it all for themselves!!!
Paul Oakes
18   Posted 26/09/2010 at 22:23:00

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Jay Harris - we were chanting "Moyes Out".
David Thomas
19   Posted 26/09/2010 at 22:48:53

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Paul Oakes,

Who was chanting Moyes out??? Whoever it was must have been doing it very quietly. I was in row JJ and I never heard a single Moyes out chant and have not heard anything like this at any everton game. As Jay said, I did hear 2 or 3 pro-David Moyes songs.
Steve Mink
20   Posted 26/09/2010 at 23:59:10

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So, to summarise:

1 Moyes isn't as good as Mourinho
2. Bily isn't as good as Bergkamp
3. Ian Holloway and Gus Poyet might be better options than Moyes, but then again they might not.

Flippin' eck, I bet Gabi Marcotti is quaking in his boot after reading analysis like that!
Albert Perkins
21   Posted 27/09/2010 at 00:01:00

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I don't think there has been enough thought that Moyes can learn from this situation and grow as a manager.
Hopefully we grow as people by experience; players grow and Moyes can grow.

It's easy for us to pick the team, make the substitutions and know we will do better than Moyes. Our team selections would have had us further up the table. Maybe.

I'm all for a more positive attacking culture, but what if it fails and we get relegated? It wasn't my decision. But it would be Moyes's. He would be to blame and not us on the terraces.

I would personally attack, attack, attack! But I'm not in charge. I'm not having the sleepless nights, the responsibility for our beloved club and the peace of mind of 60,000 supporters. It's a lot of responsibility.

The side's good enough. So let's attack, attack, attack! To hell with the consequences.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
22   Posted 27/09/2010 at 03:42:04

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Okay, Paul... fine, I accept you're personally affronted by what's going on... But I'm getting personally affronted by your language: "ginger minger", "Kenwrong", "twat", "fat cunt".


Completely unnecessary. You're not doing yourself any favours. Cut it out now, please.

And his name is Moyes (not Moyse)... Use it.

Jon Cox
23   Posted 27/09/2010 at 05:45:54

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Michael, agree with you on the language, but I thought the "Kenwrong" was a classic.

Did anyone notice in the Newcastle game. They went 1-0 up and what did the Stoke manager do? He took off a midfielder and put on an extra striker.

WHAT!! The nerve, the audacity of the man. Has he never read the Moyes book on substitutions. I know the guy went off or got injured or something, but did he think it would change the game and even score two goals?

Oh yeah silly me....

If the tactics and substitutions were written as a soap script it would probably be thrown out because of the fantasy aspect.

I've always wanted Moyes to do well at our club but things just seem so stale at the moment. I only hope his and our fortunes change pretty soon.

COYB
Nelaj Behajiha
24   Posted 27/09/2010 at 07:22:50

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Over the last week more and more people have tried to work out why we are so awful, with numerous people offering excellent analysis of our current position. What I would like to know is who the majority of Everton fans blame?

I personally blame Moyes and Kenwright for our current position. Both fail to identify problems and seek to rectify them, and have landed us in this mess. But I understand that there are many people who will have different beliefs than me and I?d like to read what some people's thoughts are, as that?s what appeals to me about this great site.

Jason Lam
25   Posted 27/09/2010 at 08:41:57

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Over the years teams have sussed us out, and it's not typical of Moyes to reinvent himself and the team unfortunately.

Alan Clarke
26   Posted 27/09/2010 at 09:01:50

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I actually think a lot of teams and clubs have modelled themselves on Everton and Moyes - how to stabilise and not get relegated from the Premier League. Teams like Sunderland, Fulham, Stoke, Blackburn, Wolves and Birmingham have all adapted Moyes's style of play. These teams are defensive, aggressive and work hard, all traits of a typical Moyes team. They've all been assembled with limited funds and are capable of beating any team on their day.

The thing is, these teams and their managers are better at it now than Moyes and his team. We've been outfought by Blackburn, Villa, Wolves and Newcastle. Moyes has been out-Moyes'd.

I think you're wrong, Jason Lam, Moyes has tried to reinvent himself. He's just done a very bad job of it. We're seeing more possession and more control of games this season but we've lost all direction and all ability to attack. He's just clueless and all we'll see as this season turns into a relegation fight is us reverting to kick and rush football again just so we stay up.
Mike Green
27   Posted 27/09/2010 at 08:47:35

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Really good article Matthew.

I used to subscribe to the "we cant compete, we've not got the money" view but not anymore. People can achieve remarkable things if they put their minds to it providing they have the desire and the belief.

The frustration this season is I think many of us thought this would be a great year for us. So why hasn't it happened?

Because we didn't invest in a right mid and striker? Because Moyes has been playing too many players out of position? Because we've got a formation which no longer cuts the mustard? Because Moyes's approach is too negative to consistently convert draws into wins....?

I've got a feeling we are about to see green shoots of recovery and it's up to Moyes to grasp them. As much as I was urging us to sell Yak in the summer, something in me says he is on his way back... and I'm praying Beckford starts to click soon.

We have had a disastrous start. However, if we can click quickly, our season's not over. We are 5 points off 7th and 8 off a Champions League place which we I believe we can still scale but it will take a pretty monumental effort from now until May ? and Moyes and the players have only themselves to blame.

I see no reason why we can't get 3 points against BCFC and 3 points against LFC. We then go to WHL and fight like fuck for another 3 and our season is up and running.

I genuinely think we can still get 4th. Time to stand up to be counted David Moyes.

COYB.
Derek Thomas
28   Posted 27/09/2010 at 09:49:03

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Matthew, Alan 25, Paul 17 all valid points although Paul a bit OTT insultwise.

Time for a change
Paul Carr
29   Posted 27/09/2010 at 11:52:53

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Given our desperate AND LONG-STANDING need for an experienced class fast goal-scoring striker perhaps the Yak and Yobo could explain why they didn't recommend to DM their fellow NigerIian who is currently starring for West Brom?

If he finally plays 2 strikers at Birmingham I reckon we will end their long unbeaten home run, and kick start the season. If not, it will be yet another 0-0.

Trevor Lynes
30   Posted 27/09/2010 at 12:02:43

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My opinion for what it is worth... the article has many facts but no real solutions. Most of the teams in the Premier League play 'NOT' to lose in away games and in home games against Man Utd and Chelsea. Most managers grind out results and we are in that bracket... self-preservation drives this issue and relegated managers are often sacked.

No other manager would improve EFC without funds and many would not take the job without guarantees of funds so that they can buy their choices of player.

Our youngsters by and large are not good enough with the odd exception like Rodwell. We have players who can virtually guarantee a starting place in our side even when not fully fit. Competition is the best stimulus for any player and I'm afraid that some positions do not have that essential incentive.

I have no real idea why we have no money as our past seasons finishing places in the league should enable investment of some kind. We threw away the chance of generating something for transfers with the departure on a free for Gosling which demonstrated a lack of management nous.

I agree that DM is a lack-lustre, dour but honest man and he genuinely strives to keep our heads above water in the top league with his hands tied. Most other clubs in the Premier League have improved and the gap at the top is not so big... look at this weekend's results with Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal losing and Man Utd only drawing with Bolton. This season is developing into a period when 40 points may not be enough for survival and every game is a difficult one to win.

Our pre-season joyrides to the USA and Oz must stop as they are a total waste of money and domestic or European pre-seasons must be the norm against good, competitive competition. Money must be made available for January otherwise we will struggle no matter who is in charge.

David Price
31   Posted 27/09/2010 at 12:23:58

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I think Moyes is an excellent manager but he has left us a little bewildered this season. 6 games to put Coleman wide right and some of the substations etc. What we can't judge him on is, can he take us to the next level?

He hasn't the finances to compete on a level playing field with some of the excellent managers mentioned in the article (you left out Bruce Rioch, as he actually signed Bergkamp) so it's a tough call to make.

Personally, I know we'll be fine this season and Moyes will bring us back to parity by playing good football. It's that next level of top 4 that will give that £20m extra to spend. Then we'll know if he's good enough, but how do we get there with no-one on the board ready to take a gamble with thier own finances and not the club's?

John Barnes
32   Posted 27/09/2010 at 12:39:07

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Trevor, agree with most of your comments but think a different manager could do much better with the current squad; better tactics and substitutions, selection on merit, wheel and deal to balance the squad.

And regarding how good our youngsters are? how many actually get a chance? They may not be any good but how long have Baxter, Wallace and Duffy been around the squad? Surely if they're no good they should have been moved on by now? It's a pity Moyes hasn't been able to grow into what we all thought he would be and take the team with him to greater things.

Trevor Lynes
33   Posted 27/09/2010 at 18:28:18

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John... It's the Board that does not live up to the EFC slogan, not just DM and BK... we have never shown real ambition at the TOP. DM has become a mouthpiece for the Board and he is the 'aunt Sally' who trots out probably pre-written responses when questions are asked.

Since the Premier League began we have shown no ambition to be real challengers... investment is virtually non-existent and I still believe that Fellaini was a very late buy to silence the unrest after the club made no effort to sign anyone of note.

The places in the league that we finish in bring revenue which MUST be re-invested to improve our squad. Otherwise, why bother??? It looks like we are stuck with what we have and ? until relegation really looms and gates start to fall ? that's about all we can bank on.

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