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Next game is the most important

By Charlie Percival :  28/11/2010 :  Comments (26) :
I'd say the next match is the most important game in David Moyes's Everton managerial career ? and it's the BEST game we could have. This will tell us a lot about him and whether he really does know what he is doing and if he knows we need a drastic change in team selection and mentality.

The reason I say it's the best game is because we are away to probably the strongest team in the league or who have been in the past few years. Also, they are in a bit of a crisis themselves and they will be wanting to make amends by putting 10 past us, which on current displays, could be coming to us.

David Moyes seems to have lost respect in the dressing room and I can see why. He has done the same thing Walter Smith started doing ? square pegs in round holes (Steve Watson up front comes to mind). Maybe Dan Gosling made the right decision after all. Going to a club who play football, a club who understand the aim is to attack and put the ball in the opponent's net. If you can do it with style... great! If not, then you can can get by... If you can't do either, it's Everton Football Club.

I don't condone the "Moyes Out" brigade after he has done wonders on no money (that's another issue and we know he has had nothing but we should be challenging 4th this season, he's helped build our expectations but also given us good reason to believe even he thinks we're ready).

So, if he was to go, I think Kenwright would choose a someone like that idiot Steve McClaren. I would want someone like Slaven Bilic, Ian Holloway, Steve Coppell, Andy Gray (lol ? he knows his stuff). Anyway, I hope it doesn't come to him leaving... starting v Chelsea.

Okay... so basically the players are pissed off for not getting a game on (1) form; (2) in their preferred position; and (3) with enough support from the players who are meant to be playing next to you. Our midfield and strikers are so far apart from each other, they may as well be on another pitch. Then, even if our midfield has the ball, they don't know how to pass forwards around the corner of the last man, our strikers don't know how to make that type of run, and by the time we work the ball wide, the opponents have packed the box. Only Beckford knows how to make these runs; he doesn't even get a chance.

Saha is unplayable on his day, but he's not a one-man striker and he plays just in the hole cos he's awesome at dropping his shoulder, making half a yard and digging it from 25 yards (with both feet).

Howard I won't slag off because he has been immense for us in the past and really has saved us a lot of points. Even though he has cost us a few this season, he has saved us a few (that incredible reflex save v United comes to mind).

Anichebe is not fit, but can still put in a good 60 mins. So I had no qualms with him starting... BUT HE IS NOT A BLOODY RIGHT WINGER. I remember thinking he was a good striker when he first came on the scene: very strong, held the ball up well, won us quite a few penalties (if I remember correctly) because of this. Now he has got pace I never knew he had at first and he would be a bloody good option upfront. He can finish too; I remember a few nice goals he's scored.

I cringe everytime I see Jonny Heitinga play. He should not even be at the football club. He wants out, is going, and is a gobby donkey who thinks he is a hero. He undermines the philosophy and so-called team spirit which Moyes and we have come to believe in. Anyway, he's a centre-half first and foremost ? why the hell is he always playing further forward than Arteta? He reminds me of a really crap Tommy Gravesen (Gravesen was ace for us and a really good player but what I mean is Heitinga runs around clueless, not knowing where he should be, and basically seeing how many yellow cards he can acquire).

Moyes said West Brom scored two from set plays ? isn't that how we score most of our goals? He said '2 chances, two goals......' Yes, Moyes ? that's what your meant to bloody do. It's called good ratio! Ratio Premier League standard requires! Thank god we have Tim Cahill, he hides a lot of our discrepencies when it comes to creating chances.

The players have no confidence if we are to get anything on Saturday; no-one has mentioned either that we haven't had Europe this season so Moyes and unfortunately our next manager, Phil Neville, can't use that as an excuse: "Too much to focus on...", "We're only on £50k a week and can't run around like headless chickens for 270 minutes in 168 hours..."

Anyway, this must be the team, Moyes. (I will do two teams ? hopefully he will do 4-4-2; I expect he will shut up shop and do his 4-5-1. If he does 4-5-1 with the same players, he has taken this club as far as he can go. If he does 4-5-1 with a more sensible and balanced team, then lets see how we perform and what our mentality is like. If he does 4-4-2... great. Keep it bloody balanced!!!)



Baines Distin Jagielka Coleman

Pienaar Fellaini Rodwell Anichebe

Cahill Beckford

Okay, with this team, it's Cahill or Saha. The reason is Cahill plays in the hole, just like Saha, Beckford runs behind, so you have to sacrifice one or the other and you've seen my choice; if you drop Cahill, then that's suicidal. I wouldn't mind seeing Anichebe upfront and Coleman right mid. But that means Hibbert right back and I'm trying not to put Tony into an Everton team (sorry, Tony). He was run ragged in the FA Cup Final v Chelsea anyway, as my £500 ticket found out. Rodwell plays further forward and has more license to roam than Fellaini.



Baines Distin Jagielka Coleman

Pienaar Fellaini Cahill Rodwell Anichebe


This team with, Fellaini and Rodwell holding, Pienaar, Cahill and Anichebe giving Beckford ample support.

The team Moyes picks ? which also tell me he should walk:


Baines Distin Jagielka Hibbert

Pienaar Heitinga Cahill Fellaini Anichebe


Remember, David Moyes ? "It's better to burn out, than to fade away."

Reader Comments

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Kunal Desai
1   Posted 28/11/2010 at 21:47:44

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I'd take a repeat of last years performance in similar circumstances to this season; we were struggling, and managed to pull off a 3-3. However, this time around, King Louis isn't the player he was 12 months ago. Although this appears a home banker, funny and stranger things happen.
Dean Adams
2   Posted 28/11/2010 at 21:49:29

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Both your teams would suit me, but we are lacking self-belief and don't expect to win, do we?
Anthony Lamb
3   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:24:53

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Charlie, I simply have to disagree with the description of Saha as "unplayable on his day" and "awesome at dropping his shoulder"! I am not sure you have seen too many games to evidence the first claim unless you were watching Fulham in his early years or the odd game in his early Man Utd time.

To describe someone's ability to "drop his shoulder(?) as awesome" is somewhat inflationary don't you think? A footballer who has had undoubted talent in his day I am afraid Mr Saha and his constant occupation of the treatment room (??) is better described as something of a charlatan at this time of his footballing life.

Young Anichebe has so much to prove that it is impossible to put that much faith in him.

John Daley
4   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:38:34

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It doesn't matter who we play. Our piss poor results are not the fault of the manager or players. It's all down to that pesky half-time break.

From the OS:

"Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes the Blues were foiled by the half-time break as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat at home to West Brom."

Is he being serious or is he taking the piss? Talk about clutching at straws. Accept some responsibility, stop making excuses ("we played well, we were unlucky, on another day we could of won, we just need to start taking our chances" blah, blah... bollocks) ? can the soundbites and show some spirit and professional pride please.
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:54:05

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Sorry, your piece lost credibility when you mentioned Anichebe as a striker.
Leon Perrin
6   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:48:52

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I disagree about the Chelsea game being the most important ? it'll be the next at Goodison; if it's same old, same old, Mount Etna exploding will be like a campfire compared to the faithful's fury.

The silence of this season's Goodison has been the quietness of simmering discontent. Despite the media love-in Moyes enjoys, you can't fool the troops forevever.
Gaute Lie
7   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:20:16

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I'm not complaining about fantasy. Not towards the team. Or other things, when we are talking about fantasy.

I just don't see anything good happening to Everton. Not as long as Moyes is the leader of the pack.

However, it is nice to fantasize and daydream now and again.
Lee Courtliff
8   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:09:37

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The only time Vic has looked like a dangerous striker was during the 07-08 season and that was in European games against mostly 2nd rate opposition. In these games he could barge defenders around like the school bully because those continental defenders were not THAT used to physical contact like our defenders are. When Vic tries this with Terry, Carragher, Upson or basically any English centre half, 90% of the time he comes off 2nd best then proceeds to sit on the floor crying to the ref.

This is what annoys me the most about him because there was a time when I thought he might just be something. As for the league goals he has scored, I remember a tidy finish against Fulham (in April 07) and the rest seem to be scrappy at best. I think playing him up top over the Yak or Beckford is a woeful idea.

Obviously I hope he reads this, hulks up and bags a clinical hat-trick in his next game! Anybody wanna bet on Vic getting a hat-trick (in the League) this season??? I know I don't. I hope I am wrong though. COYB!!

Logan Shave
9   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:27:56

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Charlie, you say "Anichebe is not fit, but can still put in a good 60 mins. So I had no qualms with him starting... BUT HE IS NOT A BLOODY RIGHT WINGER" but then you pick 2 teams with him starting at right wing!

I agree wholeheartedly that Moyes is far too defensive and unimaginative but, if you're going to criticise, you should have some consistency in the points you make.
Lee Courtliff
10   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:29:40

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I should have said any Premier League centre-half ? not any English centre-half. Sorry.
Lyndon Lloyd
11   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:43:56

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I'm with Leon P. on this. I don't think the Chelsea game is the most important at all ? even in the best of form, we could go to Stamford Bridge and get beaten based on the evidence of the past few seasons ? although I do agree that Moyes's team selection and the attitude of his players will be significant.

Wigan at home is the one that everyone will have their eyes on. Lose that and the knives will really come out...

As far as team selections go, I'd say Coleman has to return to the side, whether it's at right back or right midfield, Rodwell should partner Fellaini in centre-mid but I can't decide which of Yakubu or Saha should start up front. Certainly I don't think it would be wise to throw Beckford to the wolves after his profligacy in the last two games. Might do his confidence more harm than good.

Sean Patton
12   Posted 29/11/2010 at 00:26:34

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What the hell are you on about ? "that idiot McClaren" puts Moyes to shame? God forbid Everton should have a manger in charge who has won trophies.

I hope more than anything that Wolfsburg give him the chop and that Kenwright picks him after Moyes leaves for Spurs. That is my Christmas wish sorted right there.
Roman Sidey
13   Posted 29/11/2010 at 00:44:08

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The only way Moyes should keep his job on Monday is if we win, or comeback from 2-3 goals down for a point after some inspired subs - hahahahahahahaha... (those are laughs of dispair).

Everyone says 4-4-2 will be a good formation. At the rate we are conceding, why not go for a 5 or 3 man defence? Jags, Johnny, Distin as three halves. Let Seamus and Baines go forward as they already do. Not gonna happen, but our defence has been so useless it couldn't get worse for trying.

So, with normal formation in mind:

Howard (last chance)
Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Baines (one of only 2 to select themselves this year).
Bilyaletdinov, Neville, Rodwell, Pienaar,
Cahill, Beckford

I know most will have Fellaini in there, but he's rusty. And If Gueye doesn't get a run soon then it shows Moyes really doesn't know how to run a transfer window.

Roman Sidey
14   Posted 29/11/2010 at 00:52:11

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I meant Coleman, not Bily, but if Neville is still injured, then Johnny back to mid, Coleman back to RB.
Brian Swift
15   Posted 29/11/2010 at 06:27:06

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A team that leaks goals, and can?t score is going nowhere fast. Arteta being out for three games maybe not as bad as we think, a three-week break will give him time to reflect on his performances this season, which have been well below par.

I would like to see Fellaini and Rodwell given the centre-mid spots,with Arteta reverting to wide on the right on his return. Pienaar wide left until he moves on, then to be replaced by Baines, with his power running and crossing ability.

Back four: Jags like Arteta is not at his best at the moment. I would prefer to see Heitinga and Distin along with two new powerful fullbacks who are real defenders. Tim Cahill, forget his midfield tag, he?s a centre forward, and two up front ? him and Beckford.

Cash in on the Yak and Saha, and recall Vaughan as soon as possible. Second half of last season Heitinga and Distin where outstanding together, can happen again.

Christine Foster
16   Posted 29/11/2010 at 06:24:47

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Good post Charlie, I firmly believe that there are a number of players that should have gone / been replaced, at the end of last season. It wasn't done probably (because of finances) and the gamble has failed badly. We are left with players that have performed well over tha past few years but many have/ had reached their peak. The problem is we have nothing to fall back on which ends up in Moyes playing musical chairs regarding team selection and position.

I was mildly ridiculed some weeks ago for daring to suggest that half our squad should be sold and new blood brought in starting this Jan. But the writing was on the wall and a rebuild MUST start now.

Beckford finds the holes that Saha and Yak doesn't. He deserves the chance to continue. Sadly on latest showing Saha doesn't.

Johnny H has to be let go for the reason stated already, he is clearly not happy and frankly we aren't happy with him either.

Tony Hibbert is almost certainly on his last season at Goodison and has been an outstanding player for us, but time passes and he is beginning to look so exposed against quality opposition.

We are likely to lose Pienaar in Jan if we continue to play the way we are doing, which brings me to a contenuous decision.

Rodwell. Is not being played in his favoured position and unless Moyes believes that because JH is better ( Yeah sure.. must have signed that deal in an Amsterdam coffee shop...) then I can see that we will have to sell Rodwell to fund new players.

Landon Donovan and David Beckham?

The first yes, the second possibly.. why? because the most painful thing this season is the lack of wing play running at full backs and cutting back from the goal line. Instead we get it launched from the full backs some 40 yards out of hoofed from the back whilst our midfield play with each other in the centre of the park.

Big Vic? its sad when people are looking to him for a solution. He will never make it at a top level and will end up in the Championship within the next couple of seasons. He has the heart but not the ability of an Ashley young, a Landon Donovan or Lennox,

So my advice to Moyes would be don't get scared of defeat and play the players in their proper positions. Do not be afraid of dropping so called stars, Look to try something different. Magaye Gueye looked promising on tour, but not even five minutes in the EPL.. if he is good enough to be in the squad then he deserves the chance too..
Christine Foster
17   Posted 29/11/2010 at 06:50:02

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That should have been Lennon not Lennox.. my apologies..
Tony I'Anson
18   Posted 29/11/2010 at 08:56:12

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I was saying last week that I thought the WBA game was as important as a cup final.

Dec 2010 should be treated like 5 cup finals. We've got 3 hard away games, and 2 teams watching the recordings of matches at Goodison this season.

We need to treat each of these games like lives depended on it. I think it's been to cosy and rosy amongst the ranks and this crop of players need to feel the spine tingling wrath of a baying mob of patient Evertonians about to blow their top. For those players who have not witnessed it, be scared and grow a pair.
Gavin Ramejkis
19   Posted 29/11/2010 at 10:52:48

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Moyes will go to Chelski and park the bus, he hasn't got a fucking clue of how to play attacking football and will be shitting himself at another guaranteed loss (my bet is a late surge and couple of goals from them), he will name a striker (single) and will play the majority of the 90 mins as 4-6-0
Denis Richardson
20   Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:20:37

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Christine - sorry but I was taking your post seriously until you mentioned the Beckham could be a good signing.

We dont want him and I would eat my hat (if i had one) if he wanted to come to us and spend 3-4 months in a relegation fight. He may be able to pass but has no legs so how would this solve our lack of pace on the right wing? Use the money for someone else.

Frankly it was embarassing having to read in the papers that Moyes was sending out an SOS for him.

I still maintain our team is a good one - IF the manager played the key players in the right bloody positions. My team for Chelski, for what its worth would be;

Neville Heitinga Distin Baines
Coleman Fellaini Rodwell Pienaar
Cahill Beckford or Yak

Beckford or Yak to cause problems for the Chelsea back four for 60 mins and then give him a break for the other.

Will see............
Peter Norris
21   Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:34:52

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Charlie - good article but he will play Neville right back and JH in the centre of the park with Fellaini if all are fit.

Lee 8 - remember Anichebe's strike at Birmingham last year on 2 2 draw? If only he would stop whinging when he gets tackled (fairly) and looking to blame others then he may have a chance of doing something more. Drogba whinges but he knows when to get on with it.
Beckford was the only positive up front from Saturday ? at least he tries to move and create openings as opposed to that lazy shit Saha.
Peter Norris
22   Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:34:52

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Charlie ? good article but he will play Neville right back and JH in the centre of the park with Fellaini if all are fit.

Lee 8 ? remember Anichebe's strike at Birmingham last year in a 2-2 draw? If only he would stop whinging when he gets tackled (fairly) and looking to blame others then he may have a chance of doing something more. Drogba whinges but he knows when to get on with it.

Beckford was the only positive up front from Saturday ? at least he tries to move and create openings as opposed to that lazy shit Saha.

Ernie Baywood
23   Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:42:07

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Not sure the Chelsea game can tell us much. I'd expect us to play defensively against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. If he suddenly decides to attack and we get hammered then I'll think he's an idiot for playing defensive at home and then opening up against the best side in the league on their turf.

But I expect us to have a crack at average teams at home. That's the real test ? can we attack at home? If not, then he might as well walk..
Chris Keightley
24   Posted 29/11/2010 at 13:55:32

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Honestly, I think we will get battered 4-0 and draw with Wigan, and still he will keep his job... Di Matteo maybe? Gotta be worth a shout if moyes goes, which to be honest is not that far away ? if he is still there for the Scunthorpe game, defeat will definitely signal the end.
Jimmy Hacking
25   Posted 29/11/2010 at 14:45:59

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I'll probably be accused of having a small club mentality or something, but our prospects realistically depend on how well Chelsea play. if they turn on the style they could win by 4 or 5 goals and there won't be a lot Moyes can do about it. They outclass us in every department, let's face it.
Christine Foster
26   Posted 30/11/2010 at 01:05:31

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Denis, understand what your saying and frankly I would normally leave alone with a large pole..
However, my doubt regarding letting Beckham pass by, is purely because of our lack of delivery from the flanks into the strikers, the lack of killer balls and the experience to marshall those around him.

All things we don't have.

All things that are killing us

I agree he doesn't have the legs but then Donovan does, but it does feel like straw clutching and I think Beckham would look at Everton and say no thanks anyway..

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