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Of Titanic Proportions

By Jay Harris :  29/11/2010 :  Comments (14) :
Let me start by saying I have always respected David Moyes for his integrity and honesty and will always feel that he is a good manager trying to manage under very difficult circumstances. However, I think even the most positive Evertonians are rapidly losing faith in this current regime.

My analogy with the Titanic is I believe very apt: they said it was unsinkable; they said it was the best ship ever built; they got complacent because of all the plaudits coming their way; the Captain had concerns but was told to keep quiet and get on with it; they hadn't prepared for adversity; they were too slow to react to the impending disaster; finally, the ship sunk rapidly with cries for help being ignored.

In my opinion, holes first started to appear when we failed to invest in reinforcing the squad when we got into good positions (CL in 2004, Europe in successive seasons, and FA Cup Final etc). I also think Destination Kirkby proved very divisive amongst fans who, for the first time I can remember actually started a vitriolic exchange of views in large numbers. This didn't help the vocal support and the atmosphere the team had been used to at GP, although away support has always been fantastic. I also believe that DK took the management and team's eye off the ball and prevented consideration of further team investment.

But the Lescott situation was a real watershed that we have never recovered from with Moyes standing up to Earl and Green ("The men who make the decisions" according to Mark Hughes) and becoming totally obstinate with a player who wanted the opportunity to make himself a fortune. (No matter where you stand on that one, it was what the player wanted and was endorsed by a number of the senior players.)

And it wasted the whole of pre-season preparations. I think this lost Moyes a lot of respect amongst the squad and combined with the wranglings over his bumper contract caused further issues amongst the players. I posted at the time that I felt Moyes should go then as I could feel the famous "spirit" evaporating...

Enter a certain John Heitinga on record wages and, all of a sudden, players are starting to ask for better contracts. Pienaar and Arteta for starters... and let's not forget to compliment Cahill and Rodwell for expressing their feelings for the club by not making excessive demands. However, I believe the rot was setting in already and, despite a positive finish to the 2009-10 season, only 8th place was achieved and no Europe to look forward to.

Enter the 2010-11 season and we have Elstone telling us there is a transfer budget available to David Moyes and David Moyes telling us that there is no money available but he has the best squad of players ever. As I said, I have always admired David Moyes for his honesty but feel that in this he was being economical with the truth.

In the meantime, back to the engine room where we have Blue(?) Bill telling us he is continuing his 24/7 search for a new buyer/investor/benefactor, which all and sundry, including the players, must be sick of hearing. We start the season with an enormous amount of misplaced optimism with some fans believing "We're gonna win the league"!!!

We play well enough in patches (except v Newcastle) but without conviction, like a side of wannabe top 4 players but without the killer instinct that top sides have. Our famous team spirit is not in evidence anywhere, with Heitinga, Beckford and even Coleman arguing with team mates on occasion and even the Yak not wearing his customary grin anymore.

As the iceberg approaches, will the captain go down with the ship or are the crew willing and able to repair the damage? I fear the Captain has lost the plot and is showing real signs of panic, which is not good for the crew nor the passengers ? especially with the public criticism of Jermaine Beckford, who in my opinion has been the pick of the strikers this season (assuming Tim Cahill is a midfield player). Anybody can see this is not motivational and is not typical Moyes.

I conclude by saying the iceberg will come rapidly in the form of Chelsea, Wigan and Man City... and I hope for Titanic contributions from the players, manager and supporters ? otherwise, I can see a Titanic consequence in the departure of David Moyes and the further decline of our once-great club... while Bill and his buddies continue, er, 24/7.

Reader Comments

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David Thomas
1   Posted 29/11/2010 at 22:16:11

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Jay,

I am a bit lost on this article. I sensed at first you think Moyes regime is near the end but then the last paragraph seems to suggest you think it would be a disaster if he went.
Paul McGinty
2   Posted 29/11/2010 at 23:08:09

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On a side note, looking at Barcelona against Real tonight ..... what a performance. High pressure without the ball to win it back, pass... pass... pass all over the park, and then cut the opposition apart around the box. With such fluidity it makes the old 4-4-2, 4-5-1 etc arguments so often the topic on ToffeeWeb, a bit of a nonsense. They looked on a different planet to everyone tonight; a pleasure to sit back and admire.
Nick Entwistle
3   Posted 29/11/2010 at 23:24:21

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Paul, I've never seen a game like it. Astounding. If it was a CL final it would have been hailed the greatest performance ever. Madrid and Jose had nothing, except resorting to kicking, barging and thugary.

The possession under pressure was so majestic that you could hardly call it pressure, the movement, the one twos, the triangles, angled passes, flicks, dummies, control, creativity ? it makes Arsenal look like a team full of Nevilles and Hibberts... how many passes in the entire match were lofted? Two? Football like you say from a different planet. So good it was rediculous. They'll probably have to look for a different sport to do because they've mastered this one... and I don't think I'm even the slightest bit over the top!

John Ford
4   Posted 29/11/2010 at 23:32:57

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You criticise Moyes for not buying good quality players, then for trying to retain a top quality player (Lescott) then for paying a 'top quality player' the going rate. Doesn't stack together.

Paul, I saw the Barca game. Your summary is right, they also move and play the ball at such pace and complete accuracy. They're so good.

Jay Harris
5   Posted 30/11/2010 at 00:38:43

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John, I did not criticise Moyes for not buying good quality players. My criticism is aimed at the board for failing to reinvest at the right time.

I do believe the "Lescott" saga was badly handled. If a player wants to go let him go ASAP and move on.

Who is the top quality player who was paid the going rate and what is the going rate? Is it £25k per week like most Premier League clubs? Is it £150k+ a week like most Chelsea and a few Man U players?

I do however believe you can still get reasonably priced top quality players at reasonable wages but certainly not for £1 million!!!!
Brian Wilson
6   Posted 29/11/2010 at 23:57:00

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The same things going through my mind as Paul @2, ie, systems shouldn't and don't count for that much if your players can play football. Barca demolished and embarrassed Real with personal and collective skill.

With that in mind, my gripe is that too many of our lot aren't even playing at their own, comparatively modest, levels or, in some cases, not at all!

There is only so much any manager can do once players cross that line ? even for Mourinho. But one wonders what our lot do on the training pitch. While they can't all be Messi, certain skills and basic playing ability can be acquired and honed, notably taking free kicks, corners, shooting, ball control, passing properly (even without trying to reach the heights of the fancy stuff Barca served up tonight). Hence don't buy that the utter shite from some and the below par form of others is because the precious little dears are on some strange planet called a slightly different bit of the park.

Also, where is the personal professional pride and commitment to do well for self and team? For some, it's gone missing... while, for some others, it's simply lacking.

Ah well rant over and as always and whatever COYBs, but not without giving players the verbals as well when deserved... (eg, what's Dutch for you're a fucking disgrace?)

Christine Foster
7   Posted 30/11/2010 at 02:35:47

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Jay, tend to agree with all you have said, in terms of lack of investment its been apparent for a number of seasons now that Moyes is growing increasingly frustrated with promises and a lack of funds. At the time of his own contract discussions I believe Moyes was hanging out for an assurance on investment funds only to find they weren't there. All of us can remember how strained he was and looked with BK at the time.

I think this will be Moyes last season at Goodison Park. I believe he will go at the end of the season, Why? because he had built a team which was moderately successful on a shoestring. It was hard work for a decent salary. Everyone expects Moyes to go to another club that has money or back up to Scotland. Moyes realises he has to rebuild another team and replace many of the team as it stands. Given the track record on investment thats going to be difficult (if not impossible). I don't think he has the stomach for it and I think that he doesn't have the same trust in BK as he once did.
Ste Traverse
8   Posted 30/11/2010 at 04:56:10

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Christine. Maybe Moyes doesn't have the trust in BK he once had but after the derby win he publicly stated he "wouldn't swop Bill Kenwright for anyone else".

I lost faith in Moyes the moment I heard that soundbite. Would he really not want a more competent chairman who gave him more cash to spend ahead of that lying Bungling Buffoon who currently occupies the chairmans seat?
Brian Waring
9   Posted 30/11/2010 at 09:09:52

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Moyes had his hush money in the form of a huge pay rise. He will continue to toe the club line, as long as that fat cheque every week gets deposited into his account.
Bob Parrington
10   Posted 30/11/2010 at 09:24:46

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Quite an insightful posting, Jay. I don't know if I agree with all of it but the thread is plausible.

I've been a Moyes fan but I am wondering what is going through his mind this season. In fact, when I look at the defensive performance against WBA and the performance of Yak and Saha, Heitinga, Arteta and even Pienaar, I have to despair.

What's going on in the boardroom? You don't get crap like this without the "top" dynamics being wrong.

On a more restricted note, Beckford has been taking a lot of criticism. However, at least he is getting in to positions to score, which is more than our so called main strikers are doing. I think there are certain sides against which he should be started. WBA was one I picked as well as Bolton. He looks at home against them. I think he will start to score and regularly at that, given the chance......... and no public criticism by Moyes.
COYB
Mike Rourke
11   Posted 30/11/2010 at 10:00:31

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Ste, while Moyes's public response to the question 'How's your relationship with the chairman?' was indeed "wouldn't swop Bill Kenwright for anyone else", I have it on good authority that Wikileaks are about to expose an 'explosive' memo sent by Moyes to Steve Round which stated "Well in reality he's a bit of a luvvie half-wit, with a penchant for exaggeration and storytelling. He's also tighter with money than meh granny 'Gorbals Bessie' "

You heard it here first.
Bob Parrington
12   Posted 30/11/2010 at 11:09:29

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Och Aye the noo! Mike. You could be ruyt with that!

Now there's a point! ROUND! Is he the ruyt assistant for a non-dynamic, defensively minded manager?

Ernie McAllister
13   Posted 01/12/2010 at 02:35:02

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If David Moyes was honest, he'd hold his hand up and announce to the world he is an inept twat... and out of his depth completely at Everton and in the Premier League. Nuff said, imo.
David Hallwood
14   Posted 01/12/2010 at 11:21:44

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I watched the Barca display, and it made me depressed. Mainly because they turn British football philosophy on its head, but will it change the mindset over here? GTF.

Speak to any coach or scout in the English game and they will tell what they're looking for in a boy of 10(ish) is pace and power, how many players have you heard of being released because they're too small? Messi, Xavi, Iniesta ? all 5'-8" ? if they had been at Everton, they would've been released when they were 15.

One of my relatives was released by Everton because he was too small, and my abiding memories of going to watch him in Netherton, was Andy Holden standing on a podium a la Hitler, screaming ?Get rid of it!?, ?Close him down!?

What we need is a football revolution, and the model is already out there and runs around in a Barca shirt.

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