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Fantasy land I know, but...

By Brian Price :  29/11/2010 :  Comments (26) :
I still can't believe the performance on Saturday. The players were awful, the manager was awful, the ref was awful and the fans were awful (but who can blame us!).

For a long while now, I have started to get bored watching us. We are lacking genuine pace and I no longer see the passion or enthusiasm I once did ? instead, disillusion and complacency. It's boring, and I can't take much more.

How are we supposed to encourage the next generation to pull on a blue shirt and get behind our beloved blues, when the club doesn't seem to have a clear direction or the funds available to match the ambition of its supporters?

No new ground/redevelopment. No new players (to get excited about). No new investment. No new answers as to why no new investment.

I want to look forward to going to the game again. I want to have something to get enthusiastic about. I think everyone is waiting for the Neville v Utd tackle again... but where is it?

For me, the manager has a lot to answer for. But really, can he be blamed? He was a defender by trade, so why should we be surprised by his defensive approach to our games? For me, I think it has reached that time. The equivalent of when you tell your mrs that 'I think we should just be friends...' You know it has to end ? you don't want all the drama and you're still happy to say "Hi" when you meet.

I'd love to see Zola or Di Matteo manage us, with a winner such as Wilkins or Clarke alongside them, supported by a backroom that is genuinely passionate and cares about Everton ? Dave Watson/Peter Reid/Graeme Sharp.

Playerwise, I think we could do worse than mix it up. I know, as with the manager situation, it's too easy to say "Let's get him, him and him for x,y and z..." but if we could, how about:

Arteta £15M
Jags £15M
Howard £3M
Saha £2M


Shay Given £3M
Adam Johnson £12M
Landon Donovan £10M
Roger Johnson £8M


That leaves a bit in the pot to give Pienaar what he wants ? I'm not a great believer in player power but he looks like our only spark at the moment and I really think he'd do a good job on the left of three centre mids:

Coleman, Roger Johnson, Distin/Dann, Baines
Cahill, Fellaini, Pienaar
Donovan, Adam Johnson

Fantasy Football/Champ Manager at its best, I know, but I think it would give us a lift as well as the side some experience, professionalism and ambition. Not to forget, something for us ? sitting there in the freezing cold, still spending on the Blues in the middle of some really tough economic times ? something to get excited about!

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Hacking
1   Posted 29/11/2010 at 14:50:50

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I'm sorry to pick up on just one small point from your article Brian but the bit about "He was a defender by trade, so why should we be surprised by his defensive approach to our games?" is ludicrous; off the top of my head, Arsene Wenger and Louis Van Gaal were defenders but they're managed some bloody beautiful attacking teams.

I do agree with your idea that we need some sweeping changes at the club, the sense of stagnation has been clear to me for about 2 years now, yes we seemed to be on the verge of great things in the not too distant past, but I sense that the moment has passed and we need to try something new. well, that's what I reckon anyway.

I certainly wouldn't baulk at the same of some of our star players (providing the price is right!)
Brian Price
2   Posted 29/11/2010 at 15:09:09

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Fair shout re. LvG and AW Jimmy. I imagine their continental defensive approach may have differed to Moyes but I do accept that some defenders do become attack/attractive football minded coaches ? just a shame ours hasn't I suppose.
Gary Creaney
3   Posted 29/11/2010 at 15:20:13

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And to further add to the defensive minded argument - look at what Owen Coyle has done at Bolton. A bundle of hoofball merchants under big Sam and Megson now transformed into a fluid exciting side. They concede goals every match but so what. We concede goals every match too but at least Bolton have a go and are 10 places above us in the league for their efforts.

Brian, I was finding it very difficult to sum up my feelings for Everton at the minute but the 'I think we should just be friends...' synopsis is a perfect description. I never ever thought I would feel that way but David Moyes' approach/attitude/tactics have become appalingly bad. Many will argue they were always bad but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for earlier seasons as league finishes were respectable.

But consider the flaws:
- He's very poor at bringing young talent through. Rooney got messed about with 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there. The Rodwell situation is unfolding the same way. What young player have we actually benefitted from under the Moyes regime?
- No clue how to coach our players to attack fluidly
- Players playing out of position to the point where they will fuck off at the first available opportunity (Heitinga).
- No clue how to manage a fully fit squad, just play the fucking best starting 11 Davey will ya!!!!

Its truly heartbreaking all this shite so for the time being I think me and Everton are just gonna be friends.
Lee Courtliff
4   Posted 29/11/2010 at 15:41:49

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I am sorry but I cannot take anymore of this shit about Rooney being given a mere bit-part under Moyes!

In his first season, 02-03, he was a superb impact sub who won us quite a few points bearing in mind he only scored 6 league goals. Big goals, the ones that really count, like almost all of Cahill's goals. I think when he started games he was not as good (Rooney) and this was perfectly understandable for such a young lad.

But in his 2nd season, 03-04, he started many, many games. He went 4 months without a goal from Aug '03 against Charlton away and Dec '03 against Pompey, also away. That season, Rooney started the vast majority of our league games and ended the season with a total of 9 goals.

Moyes has his faults but this particular stick some are STILL beating him with is complete bollocks. "Wazza" left us for bigger things not for more "game time"! End of. Let it go.

Alan Mullally
5   Posted 29/11/2010 at 15:46:05

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Zola... are you insane, what because he did such a good job at West Ham, with limited resources?! Have you lost the plot altogether?!

As for getting rid of Jags, I think Distin would be a better option. He makes 5 mistakes for every 2 good tackles. Also, I'm not sure where you're getting your figures from but most clubs in Europe are in serious financial difficulties and I couldn't see us getting the money that you're looking at.

The nuts and bolts of it is, we have a very good squad and they proved that in the second half of last season. We've outplayed nearly everyone this season but we're seriously lacking firepower. I reckon 1 quality striker would make a massive difference to our results and that's all that's needed.

Dave Lynch
6   Posted 29/11/2010 at 16:31:36

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The plane, The plane......
Sam Hoare
7   Posted 29/11/2010 at 16:28:03

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Champ man at its best.

Have to say that, as I watched Tottenham last night, I felt truly jealous. How I would love a team with some pace on the wings in the mode of Bale and Lennon.

It seems Moyes abhors pacey midfielders, however, hence the slow predictable nature of our build-up. We get counter-attacked upon frequently but rarely instigate ones ourselves.

Sadly can't see any of this changing, let alone sweeping transfer moves such as the ones the OP suggest.
David Holroyd
8   Posted 29/11/2010 at 16:43:23

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Steve Round said on Everton TV some team was going to get wallopped, that team was us. Posted yesterday its all gone stale for Moyes lets have a whip round for that taxi.
Gaute Lie
9   Posted 29/11/2010 at 16:41:59

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I agree with most of your article, Brian, but I can't see anyone paying 3 mill pounds for Saha. I really don't see anyone paying anything for him at all. He doesn't score. He's highly injury prone. He's 32 yrs old. And I'm sure his wages are too high for anyone taking a chance on him. Hopefully, someone will take him for free.

I also would keep Howard. He's a good keeper all in all. Everyone does the odd mistake, and surely Howard does'n do them (the mistakes) too often?

however, I think the first priority is to do something (sack him) with Moyes position. In Norway we have a habit of playing defensive. Like Moyes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But it's never fun to watch the games, because our (norwegian) players just learn to use muscles and kisck the ball as far away from their own goal as possible, and hope for some of their own players to catch it later. Playing the ball on the ground with neat passing is almost forbidden. "God help us all if someone is to play the ball".

Looks a bit like the way Everton plays right now.
Phil Martin
10   Posted 29/11/2010 at 17:18:01

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Let's see where we finish in the league, compared with Bolton. Yes, Coyle's done a good job but let's not rub ourselves senseless over him just yet.

I remember reading the same kind of drivel two years ago when Phil Brown had Hull in the top 6 at this stage of the season. Where is he know?

Also exactly what great football and how many trophies did Zola win as a manager? Didn't West Ham sack him?

FFS. Moyes is the best we can afford. Why not look to the source of the problem. A total failure to invest in the team for over 4 years. Who's fault is that? We've not even spent what we have got from sales over the last few years.

I read a comparison with Spurs. Well if Moyes had £100M to spend on attacking players, dont you think he would? How can you compare us to a club which regularly spends £30-40M per year and runs a sound commercial business. We do neither and hence we cut our cloth accordingly. Blaming the guy who has to make do, isn't really getting to the real issue.' Appy 'Arry wouldn't do any better with our current squad.

So before we sharpen our knives for Moyes. Let's just remember what the big picture is at Everton: No money, no investment, no new ground, no ambition. These factors are finally making an impact on the pitch now. Open you're eyes and realise no-one (established or of reputation) will want to manage us in this situation.

As for Roger Johnson... do a whip round for me ? a taxi out of Goodison Park.

John Daley
11   Posted 29/11/2010 at 18:15:21

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"FFS. Moyes is the best we can afford"

Really? Everton are currently paying their manager £3.2m a year. Only Ancellotti, Wenger, Mancini and Ferguson get paid more than Moyes.

You think we're getting good value for money at the moment when you consider the sour faced 'Sir' Alex gets £3.6m a year from Man Utd?
Jay Harris
12   Posted 29/11/2010 at 18:25:53

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John I'm sure some of that is "hush" money following the pay off our ex Chief exec got.

I do agree with Phil to a point.

24/7 must now be as tiresome to the players and the manager as it is to the fans.

If we could have afforded a "Drogba" or a "Torres" in the summer we would be much better than where we are now and it is sucking the life out of the manager, players and supporters.

Kenwright needs to sell the club quickly and let a proper board of directors take over.
Brian Price
13   Posted 29/11/2010 at 18:02:55

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Playing attractive, attacking football, with passion and strong support from your players = insanity? He even managed to make Carlton Cole look half decent!

And let's remind ourselves how many trophies have we won under Moyes, who has, no matter what we might want to believe, at times spent fairly big amounts of money and appears to have a harmonious relationship with his chairman, compared to Zola, who was a sitting duck as soon as Sullivan and Gold arrived? I agree we need investment - but perhaps if we put ourselves in the shop window by playing a few sides off the pitch every now and again we might have more chance of getting it.

We have matched at best the likes of Newcastle, Bolton, Wolves, Sunderland and now been outplayed by West Brom. Certainly hasn't felt like we've outplayed nearly everyone.

Zola (with a strong backroom), like Di Matteo would lead by example and inspire the current and future Everton players throughout the academy to play in an entertaining and purposeful way. They would bring back an arrogance, a swagger that I can only dream about us having now.

Roger Johnson - he looks like a good centre half to me, and if we got him for half what we could sell Jags for and then use that money to help bring in some pace, creativity and threat in front of goal, I don't see any reason not to.
Leon Perrin
14   Posted 29/11/2010 at 18:39:24

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Alongside another post suggesting selling players I'd prefer to change the manager first simply because I suspect someone could make a decent team out of whats available - if they can't fair enough.

Touched on by previous posters I too am divorced from this Everton set up, so surreal is this seasons reality.

living in the midlands we are footnotes in the national press, our uneventful and obscure identity hardly causes a ripple. This Everton set up is beyond ridicule because it's invisible.
John Ford
15   Posted 29/11/2010 at 19:48:45

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Brian, odd though it might be, we really can't judge a Premier League manager too much on "what he hasn't won" because no-one wins anything apart from the Sky Four... money has well and truly seen to that. It's a closed shop.

Imagine the difference Rooney would make up front now, even in a poor season like this. It's an obvious example but illustrates the point that money has denied us from buying top quality, and can also take our quality away.

There are other themes to support or slag Moyes about but not winning trophies just ain't one of em. You could level that claim at every non-Sky Four manager. Top English football just isn't competitive in that way anymore.

Jay Harris
16   Posted 29/11/2010 at 20:33:11

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I would like to know who all these wonderful managers are who would have done a better job than Moyes.

Martin O'Neill only finished above Moyes for one season ? despite a bigger kitty and playing dour football to boot... and Houlier is doing no better.

Phil Brown was being touted as the best manager on the planet at one time, the same way Holloway is now. Zola got found out very quickly and if you want Big Sam or 'Appy 'Arry, god help us all.

The only manager I can think of that might improve things is Pellegrini but can he cut it in the Prem and would he come to us?

I am at the end of the road with David Moyes now but I blame Kenwright more for not facilitating a proper plan and transfer budget at the right time.

The Prem is getting tougher and we are not so something needs to happen soon.
Rob Hollis
17   Posted 29/11/2010 at 20:49:56

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£15M for Arteta? When did he ever get a game 'by the scruff'?

Fellaini is the ONE player we have who could command that fee and Rodwell maybe...
Jay Harris
18   Posted 29/11/2010 at 21:21:13

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Brian, if the Johnsons are available for £20 million, I wouldn't mind two of each of them.

In fact, if Adam Johnson can be had for £12 million from a club we screwed out of £24 million for Lescott, I'll appear naked in TJ Hughes's window for a week.

You were right about fantasy football. Don't you all think Moyes has put his A list to Kenwright and pals and been told to submit a D list?
Robert Daniels
19   Posted 29/11/2010 at 22:02:17

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Jay Harris, Everything you write about our board and especially Kenwright is spot on. But Moyes has to go; not next year, not end of the season, but right now.

This imbecile of a manager, has now decided to put the defeat against West Brom, down to Beckford ? a player who has come from Division 3, >and he bought him, or rather signed him... and it's all his fault?

The best forwards on the planet miss open goals, we've all seen it before, but to single out this one player is to me criminal. He hasn't yet give him a decent run in the team, you know, ten games, then we would know if he can cut the mustard.

Arteta got sent off? Saha and the Yak were fucking useless again, Heitinga was a fucking joke, Again, this player doesn't play for Holland in midfield, he plays in defence; would Jags get into the Dutch back four? I don't think so...

Jags was woeful at times, but Moyes dropped Coleman, who at least plays at a 100%; Moyes is still protecting Rodwell? Shades of Rooney here ?Wenger's not protecting Wiltshire is he?

Played an unfit Anichebe, who to his credit worked hard. No Bily, you know £9 million Bily... Again, give him a run in the team, he looks a good prospect to me.

By the way, these players aren't getting any game time now, they don't seem to play in the reserves? So, when he brings them in, they struggle with the pace of the Prem.

No secret weapon... what a fucking joke! Gueye is now so secret that Moyes has forgotten about him!

Sorry, Jay ? I like Moyes as a man, but it's the end, he has lost the plot. He was linked with Spurs at the weekend, and you only have to go on one of their fan sites to see what they think of him, it's the same as what is said on ToffeeWeb every day. They can see how boring his teams are, that's other fans, Jay, not me.

I went to my local shop on Sunday, after being ripped off paying for that disgrace of a performance on Saturday, and the guy in my local shop is a Manure fan, we have a bit of banter as you can imagine, and a common enemy (the Shite).

Anyway, I said we need to get Moyes the fuck out, and to my surprise (cos of the media darlings) he replied, "Every time we are linked with Moyes, I go sick in my stomach." Shocked, I thought everyone thinks he's a great manager, you know Eddie fuckin Shoestring... He said, "Moyes would be ok if he only had 11 players to choose from, he couldn't pick his best team if it bit him on the arse." He said he was a good Championship Manager, or be good for the likes of Wigan, etc.

Jay, Every thing you say about the liar, could've come out of my mouth, but there's Spurs fans and United fans who can see that Moyes is a very limited manager.

Moyes is good in a fight, a good stabiliser if you like, but that's all he will ever be. I hope he goes of his own accord because his stock is falling, he should go now, and we can all say thank you. He did help us, he did give us some pride back, his pinnacle was the Cup Final, but it's all downhill from here.

We're not too good to go down.

Daniel Johnson
20   Posted 30/11/2010 at 00:22:58

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Unbelievable that Arteta can go from "the best little spaniard we know" to a subject of such derision. Since when has it made sense to sell players when they're out of form, especially those that are amongst the better of the current crop.

And if you don't want hoofball, don't sign Roger Johnson, a player that has prospered in an utterly defensive team in Birmingham City.
Daniel Johnson
21   Posted 30/11/2010 at 00:30:45

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..."especially when they're amongst the better of the current crop?"
Eric Myles
22   Posted 30/11/2010 at 02:40:02

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Sam #7 "How I would love a team with some pace on the wings in the mode of Bale and Lennon."

And what exactly did they do against us? And Sunday Lennon was up against Konchesky, me Gran would have looked pacy up against him.

Tony Cheek
23   Posted 30/11/2010 at 05:59:26

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Good post, but then you put Yakubu in the team... WHAT?
Mike Rourke
24   Posted 30/11/2010 at 09:43:35

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Fantasy I know, but I reckon we'll bag that Onion fella...
Phil Martin
25   Posted 30/11/2010 at 12:18:40

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#11 John Daley.

Do tell. Out of the currently available managers who would better have managed Moyes over our last 8 years? Again, who with a proven track record do we turn to, if we sack Moyes?

To the Di Matteo, Phil Brown, Owen Coyle crowd. I remember Everton hiring an "exciting" young manager who had a very brief turn of sucess at a much smaller club in the 90s. Mike Walker anyone?

#13 Brian Price. If Zola is such a genius, why is he still out of work? If he wasn't such a great payer himself. Would anyone give him time of day as a manager?

I don't for a second believe Moyes is blameless here. He gets paid a lot to manage. However, shooting Moyes and allowing those clowns upstairs to remain is pointless. It's akin to putting a plaster on a gangrenous limb. The rot beings at the very top.
David Booth
26   Posted 30/11/2010 at 14:04:02

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Kendall out!

Ooops, sorry, then we wouldn't have won the league twice, got to three FA Cup Finals (winning one) and won the Cup Winners Cup soon afterwards would we?

And we were in a much worse position then than we are now ? with confidence and crowds at an all-time low.

But then something happened and a team of promising players found their mojo.

I'm as disappointed (and shocked), by our poor start as everyone, but still feel that with the players we have, we are on the verge of making that next step.

So Moyes deserves at least until the end of the season before we hang, draw and quarter him.

If you know your history, fellow Evertonians...

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