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Dance like there's no body watching

By Derek Thomas :  03/12/2010 :  Comments (32) :
Many of the teams that get into the EPL are back down again in 1, 2, or 3 seasons, some are up and down... Most start off with a hiss and a roar, attack like there's no relegation, and are up there in the single-digit league placings having taken some notable scalps on the way.

It's almost a constant, not just in Football, how many Noddy Nobodies lead major golf tournaments on the first day. They lead coz they're not afraid, nothing to lose, play the course, hit ball in hole, job done. They fade away coz they have not got the shots in the bag, or in football terms the players in the squad.

Manager = Golfer; extra bit of class to do it properly = players in the squad.

Just like it's a constant that when we have our ever familiar poor patch from our ever familiar poor start and pre-season. And we are all waiting for our ever familiar Neville moment, or Hull/Wigan game (which seems at the moment to be later and later in arriving). Thus we get many of the managers touted by both sides of the Great Moyes Divide not afraid to go out and attack the course or the opposition. In fact, know full well how to do it on an almost instinctive and couldn't do it any other way.

Let's take Hull and Blackpool as two recent examples of this (others include Reading and Bolton): Right, here come the Naysayers... "But Hull and Reading went down quick-smart, their Managers were, and therefore are, crap, their ethos is flawed, attack my arse, see where it gets you; and us if we tried it." You can almost hear the footballing CJs: "I didn't get where I am today..." etc etc.

So just where are we then? We are with a manager whose ethos is just the opposite of the Hulls, Blackpools, Readings etc... and, surprise, surprise we are heading the same way but by the reverse route. Not a manager whose squad is too poor to do it the way it should be done. A manager who HAS a decent squad (least said about the Krøldrups, AvdMs of this world) but for the last 5 years at least has had no fucking Idea what his best 11 is and no fucking idea what to do with them if he does fluke the selection process.

So don't be giving me:

a) "Yeah but who you gonna replace him with?" (Answer: almost fuckin anyone);

b) "...and not xxxxxxxxx or whoever, coz he will finish below usand or has been or will be relegated." (Wanna bet this season just how many finish below us? Answer: not many)

Attack the course, sorry that shot is most definetely NOT in Moyes's locker.

Taxi or Golf cart, whatever, just get him gone... watching this shite is killing me.

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:15:41

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Hughes, Holloway, Coyle, Cushion face, De Matteo... They`ll all finish below Moyes ? again.

If it's to be changes, FFS let's at least make it for the better. The right guy for Everton is out there, someone who will, inspire, play exciting footy, beat the shite, well and often, win a trophy or two... but he is unlikely to have made his name yet ? otherwise we cant afford him.

All the people who want Moyes gone have to do is put their trust in BK finding this guy. Feeling lucky?
Stephen Kenny
2   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:16:29

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It's not Moyes going that worries me, it's the idiot who will be picking his replacement that gives me the shivers.

Moyes brought in the ultra defensive, superfit, super organized and combative style that has been a hallmark of promoted clubs and those wanting to stay in the division. The game has since changed and teams have figured this style out and play an attacking game with pace all over the pitch. With the players we have and the tactics the manager employs we can't match this style and are now heavily reliant on individual brilliance (Baines, Pienaar, Cahill) to get us results.

Moyes's stubbornness in persevering with players who can't do the business and his inability to change his sytem outright and mid-game is solely to blame for this situation we are in at the moment. I don't think he knows how to change it and I think he's lost his way in terms of motivating the players. For these reasons, I agree with what you say ? only I would give it until the end of the season.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:50:40

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Very well put Stephen.

I have to say though that I do not agree the players are as good as some think.

Our MF consists of players who can't defend and can't score goals and for me therein lies the problem. It is all well and good having skillful attacking players but if they can't score goals and can't defend they are useless.
Steve Guy
4   Posted 03/12/2010 at 15:08:21

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You sound like TM's love child.......
David Thomas
5   Posted 03/12/2010 at 15:36:49

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"(Wanna bet this season just how many finish below us?)"

Yeah, if you want I will have a bet with you that come May 2011 there is quite a few teams below us.
David S Shaw
6   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:15:28

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What manager will win us a trophy with a one million pound budget?

A proven manager would be daft to join Everton with such a desperate budget.

So you'd be talking about an unproven manager. Bit of risk that isn't it? And for what?

What do people realistically expect from our budget?
Brian Lloyd
7   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:35:28

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Dave Shaw. This £1 million budget is irrelevant. A proven manager with foresight would have used the transfer market to his advantage and moved some of the deadwood out to release the necessary funds to add a couple of class players in the much needed positions of wide right and up front that you, me and 37,000 others, plus the girls on the hot dog stand could see we were needing to push on this season.
Gerry Quinn
8   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:59:44

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Sorry Steve #4 - but who is TM?
Mike Allison
9   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:38:03

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Weird article, I thought you were sticking up for Moyes for the first half of it. I'm still not sure what you were trying to say.
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:49:31

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A lot of the naysayers forget the bumper pay packet old ginger misery is on and how few managers in the EPL are paid more. Save a few quid on that and you've got a few more quid in the kitty. Gerry, no doubt it's Tony Marsh, a contributor who has hit the nail on the head far more times than he has missed.
Sam Hoare
11   Posted 03/12/2010 at 18:09:46

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Agree with Mike Allison.
Lee Courtliff
12   Posted 03/12/2010 at 18:06:43

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Moyes deserves at least this season to prove he has not run his course with us! From relegation candidates EVERY season for years before he arrived to many, many of us Blues (myself included) thinking we could get top 4 this season. He deserves more than to be kicked out after 15 games.

Yes, he does piss me off with his predictability but let's just see how things end this season. I don't believe for one minute we will go down. No way.

Steve Guy
13   Posted 03/12/2010 at 18:22:45

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Gerry +6 TM are the initials of the ubiquitous Tony Marsh. Apologies, but I thought his fame went before him :-)
Alan Clarke
14   Posted 03/12/2010 at 20:59:22

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Dave Wilson, all those managers you mention have all done more than Moyes did. Moyes's qualifications for the Everton job were taking a smaller club from the 2nd division to the brink of promotion to the Premier League.

What have Phil Brown, Steve Coppell, Ian Holloway and Di Matteo got in common? They all got relatively small clubs into the Premier League ? something Moyes failed to do. So why is Moyes any more qualified to do the job at Everton?
Bob Parrington
15   Posted 03/12/2010 at 21:33:18

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Derek, interesting article clearly borne out of complete and utter frustration with our performances. But........ I like the title. If the team could perform (dance) like nobody's watching........ if only!? It's all down to the manager.
Christine Foster
16   Posted 03/12/2010 at 23:39:55

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Derek, whilst I agree with most of what you say, but Stephen Kenny has it right when he asks who will select his replacement. Given that fact, I would rather wait for the club to be sold than let us be subject to a small time manager with no budget and lots of journeymen.

At least with Moyes we know we can play football SOME of the time...

That's a poor defence of what we have and where we are. But, unless Moyes falls on his sword, I think they will be continue to be joined at the hip until the club is sold.

Moyes should sort it out. In the summer... well that's a different story.
Jamie Crowley
17   Posted 04/12/2010 at 03:39:38

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Do we not have one of the best squads we've (you've, I'm not long enough in the tooth) seen for years? Answer is yes. Our individual talent, and talent as a whole, is by far the best in my almost 5 years of support. And reading others comments, the best we've had in many, many years.

If that's the case, wouldn't we do better with a manager that gets the best of that supposed talent, and minimally plays men in their proper positions?

The cautious, "he's got to stay on because at least we won't go down" approach might be what's holding us back from our true potential?

The potential's there. We need a manager to play people in their most effective positions, adjust accordingly, and unlock that potential. There's no point in being scared of your own shadow.

But "they are joined at the hip", so we're forced to ride it out - and settle for talent being wasted.

But a "small time" manager that puts men in their proper positions and then preaches go for it seems to me the way to go. A real positive approach. For all the Holloway bashing in that "he's just come up don't lose your shorts over the guy let's see how he's faring a year from now" ? I'd kill to have a manager that says: "Alright boys, we're going straight at them. Attack. Give up 4, score 5. You can do it!"

I'd rather crash and burn with that approach. Currently, we're just slowly dying with the same old boring and predictable tactics and player selection / positioning.

Throw caution to the wind. Be bold. We're good enough to do it, but too timid to try ? and that's all down to Moyes currently.

Hope I'm wrong, I do like the man.

Tony Cornmell
18   Posted 04/12/2010 at 04:05:00

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If I had my choice for the next young not-yet-tapped manager, my choice would be Paul Lambert at Norwich. He seems to be heading in the right direction.
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 04/12/2010 at 07:22:28

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Alan Clarke

The qualification is that he finishes above them and will again this season. Sorry, but I want better.

Besides you are missing my point: If Moyes gets the sack, the job of finding his replacement will be Kenwright's and, after he's paid Moyesie off, he`ll have about £7½M less to spend.

So I ask you again... are you confident he ? or Jenny ? can do that? Are you feeling lucky?

I`m not against criticism of Moyes ? you pays your money... but I`ll continue to support him, if only because I recognise Hobson's when I sees it.
Derek Thomas
20   Posted 04/12/2010 at 06:47:09

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David #5; bit of a 'throw away' comment there, aka bile and angst.

I have said all along that Moyes was and is a '50% manager' who gives us '50% seasons', the classic being 04-05. Others include, (how many is it now) poor starts, throw in a Neville moment, a goodish middle, and a fade at the end.

Mike Allison; as to weird, well the jury's still out on that, as for defending Moyes in the 1st half, do you suffer from some sort of reverse-ism syndrome (slight tongue in cheek here) I mention attacking like there's no relegation, taking notable scalps 'is this how you think Moyes is???

Tony Marsh's love child... I wish, but... sadly not, more like Mycroft to his Sherlock, With Doddy as Moriarty, so you can fight over the Watson position among yourselves, with the silver medalist getting the Inspector Lestrade job.

There was a time, pre-Rooney sale, I went on record and said that Moyes had the potential to be the 'Blue Shankly' and maybe work a similar miracle. But the potential has, I'm afraid, been unfulfilled. Steadied the ship, yes... and that's it.

We were told, right at the beginning that he was Dithering Dave, from Preston fans, but not only is love blind, it is deaf dumb and stupid as well. (MK: is the article 'The Preston Perspective' still on the site??)

I too worry about BK, I worry about how long it will take him to see the light and how far in the shit we will be if and when he does.

And do I trust him to pick the next contender? After all, his 'promises', if he told me it was Wednesday, I would check to see if it wasn't Tuesday or Thursday...

Tony Cornmell; Norwich? Negative waves there.

Is this is the exception that proves the rule? Well, my premise anyway... that an attack-orientated Manager will be good for us. That was, or so I believe, one of the reasons we hired Mike Walker and that all turned to custard at a right rate of knots.

Paradoxes abound, so no wonder some would rather stick with the devil they know.

But all things must pass... and I believe that Moyes is yesterday's man.

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Paul Gallagher
21   Posted 04/12/2010 at 09:43:25

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I'm just wondering how Moyes is meant to sell the deadwood at Goodison and bring in a couple of class replacements. If they're deadwood, how much money are other clubs going to pay for them ?
Michael Coffey
22   Posted 04/12/2010 at 09:49:32

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This mental block about who replaces him is quite telling. Ten, twenty years ago, there was always a compelling shortlist when this question came up. A Clough, Robson or Revie could turn 2nd division nomarks with no support into European giants.

The reason we struggle to come up with an acceptable name now is that managers are just less relevant nowadays.

Isn't the current set of equations simply

a) great manager with cash: you (might) win things

b) great manager without cash: you avoid relegation (for a while)

c) average manager without cash...
Leon Perrin
23   Posted 04/12/2010 at 11:22:59

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Derek @ 19

I'd be interested in reading "the Preston Perspective" as well, never seen it first time round.
Jay Harris
24   Posted 04/12/2010 at 13:14:00

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David Moyes is the highest achieving manager Preston have had in the last 60 years.

His average points per game for Preston was 1.7 per game.

Which goes to show if you have no money but an historic past Moyes is a safe pair of hands.
Christine Foster
25   Posted 05/12/2010 at 03:03:19

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Jamie, what I am attempting to say is that I can't ever see Moyes being sacked by the board of Bill Kenwright (unless we are relegated) and therefore I think the fate of Moyes (and indeed BK) is firmly in their own hands. No one can realistically force BK out and as long as Moyes keeps us in the Premier League, he is safe under BK.

Of course that changes IF he falls on his sword or the club is sold. I can't see a "name" manager joining Everton as they would want to construct their own team and even if he used a fair number of the squad he would need to bring in his own fresh faces. That costs money and if we can't afford £3M at the moment, who is likely to come? I guess they would not see it as an incentive or perhaps they would see it as destined to fail.

So therefore it's a poorer option in manager with lower expectations and more inexperience...

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
26   Posted 05/12/2010 at 05:31:57

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Sorry about the Preston Perspective... I'm thinking it's stuck in some portion of the massive ToffeeWeb database from 7 or 8 years ago that we haven't got round to remounting yet on our new servers. Give it time...
John Ford
27   Posted 05/12/2010 at 10:32:46

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I dissagree with this as it takes a very short sighted view.

There may be a point about Moyes needing to attack more at times this season, but to use this as an excuse to suggest his style is the reason we're down where we are ignores the facts over the longer period.

Since Moyes picked us up into a good team in 04-05 we have the best league record outside of the sky four. So taken over that period Moyes must be doing something right.

I'm sick of this short termism and the strawman criticism that comes with it. We're struggiling at the moment, sure, but criticising the style of a manager who has outperformed all but the richest over a long period is wafer thin.

Replace him with 'fucking anyone'? Really?
Brian Donnelly
28   Posted 05/12/2010 at 12:39:47

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Well said, John Ford (#27).

I am fed up to the back teeth with the view that anyone can do a better job than DM.

We are all pissed-off with the position we are in and our football has been poor this season, but realistically you have to wait until later in the season before passing comment on this season. I know, for some, this is a long-term criticism but we are also gradually changing our style of play ? we are not hoofing it half as much as we used to.

Give the bloke a break ? look at the shambles that Walter Smith left behind and he?s a very experienced & well thought of manager. There seems to be an assumption that any manager coming in will, besides being more attacking, also have the same strengths as DM, ie, in general:
- Ability to get a good team spirit (admittedly slightly missing this season)
- Players playing to the best of their ability (yep I know ? this season...)
- Youth development ? certainly best since the mid-eighties.
- Reasonable league positions considering our outlay (alright, in cups we?ve been poor).
- A pretty good transfer record.

The bottom line is that in the long-term, with most managers we can afford or are likely to get, we would be worse off.
Michael Kenrick
29   Posted 05/12/2010 at 16:19:42

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Surely a manager has to be judged more on current form than on past history at some point. And harping on about what Moyes achieved in his first two or three seasons to pull us up by the bootstraps seems somewhat irrelevant today ? especially as we are almost exactly back at the point where we were when he took us over!

Strange as it may seem, I'm not one to advocate changing the manager... although I have been a very strong advocate of the idea that the manger himself change ? to being more positive and encouraging better, more forwar,d attacking play when Everton are in possession of the ball.

But I'm talking about this season ? not seasons past... which are now firmly consigned to the history books. All the runes suggested this was to be a great season for Everton and David Moyes... it doesn't look like it's turning out that way although I'm a great believer that things could change, starting with the next game.

But at some point, you have to reach the conclusion that, despite his history, based on current performance, the manager has done all he can and needs to be replaced. Some people have clearly reached that point; others haven't. Despite being one of his harshest critics, I'm not there yet with Moyes... but sometimes I do get close!
Jamie Crowley
30   Posted 05/12/2010 at 21:38:06

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So therefore it's a poorer option in manager with lower expectations and more inexperience...

More inexperience, yes. "Lower expectations" - why? If you ask me, fresh blood, a new approach with attacking open play with our current, extremely talented squad would actually raise expectations.

Why? Because all that talent would be utilized. Not sitting back 10 men behind the ball hoofing it up the field a la yesterday's first half. Surely no one can be proud or satisfied with the first half against Chelsea. But man did it look familiar ? all too familiar. And it cost us 2 more points. Imagine if we had a manager that started Beckford straight away, kept Fella and Rodwell as starters in the midfield, kept Coleman on the wing, benched Heitinga, and went for it ? for the entire game, not just when we go down 1-0 and decide to throttle up in the second half.

That's down to Moyes. And IF we had a less experienced but more aggressive and adventurous manager, wouldn't that raise expectations for the club?

It sure might part a lot of dark clouds in people's minds about the path we're on and our future ? and the matches would be a ray of sunshine to behold.

But your real-world analysis of the landscape is, as you usually are, accurate.

Smiling as I write....
Derek Thomas
31   Posted 06/12/2010 at 00:28:07

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The Chelsea game is an example of the whole point in a nutshell.

It's how you see it that counts.

Was it 2 points lost against a stuttering side that is in denial about being in a transitional Phase and past it's sell-by date on and off the field (why was Wilkins sacked )...or

A point gained against one of the modern giants of the game... with a side order of plucky over achieving, see I told you that Moyes is the man and / or would come good.

Even smaller nutshell:

Moyes must change or Moyes must be changed.

I am happy with either of the 2 options... But I know that the path of least resistance will win out and we will keep on getting the status quo (without the music) until constant over-achieving is, one day, balanced out by a season of under-achieving. Maybe not this season.

But that will never happen coz we are too good to go down?
Derek Thomas
32   Posted 06/12/2010 at 08:19:11

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John Ford; Short term?? short term??? nearly NINE FUCKING YEARS and here we are coming up to the halfway point of the season, averaging as near as makes no difference a point per game.

I'd hate to see your long term plan!

Well not to put too fine a point on it, I don't have a shit show of seeing it, as I've been watching since Bobby Collins came, the odds are against me and a good number of us grumpy old men.

Brian Donnelly, not the Walter Smith card after all this time??

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