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The Club that we deserve

By David O/Keefe :  10/12/2010 :  Comments (54) :

The performance against West Brom was unacceptable and I will offer no defence for it.  I will, however, ask that calls for David Moyes to be sacked end now.  I appreciate that many of you are justifiably angry, but a moment's calm reflection would convince you that it is not the answer.  The club's problems go beyond the team manager.

Those that think we can get a new manager to work under David Moyes's budget are kidding themselves ? no manager would agree to work under those conditions.  They know this to be true, so anyone drawing up a list of possible replacements is wasting their time.  Replace David Moyes and then what?  He will still have the same group of players and no meaningful budget to spend on new players.

The meaning of Saturday's game is not that David Moyes should be replaced, but that money needs to be found to replace a squad of aging players that were soundly beaten by a younger, faster and stronger set of players.  This result has been coming in the past few weeks and will sadly be repeated throughout the season.

The lack of resources has finally caught up with David Moyes and he knows it... and he even knew this day would come.  Remember his ?we may need money? comment after the League Cup Semi-Final defeat to Chelsea in 2007?  We can demand better, but he is no longer in a position to give us anything better; key players want to leave and there is no budget for replacements.  We need money, but the club does not have it; he knew this would happen and we ignored him.

The lesson that we should have learned from yesterday is that David Moyes can?t be resourceful with an ever-dwindling amount of resources.  Does that get him off the hook?  No, he is still culpable for the last home defeat, but I must ask you to consider the constraints that he is working under.

Moyes only has a squad of 21 named players over the age of 21 to select from a maximum of 25, and of the seven players under the age of 21, only Jack Rodwell has first team experience.  It is a major handicap starting a season short of four players, unlike his Premier League contemporaries.

The lack of financial resources over a sustained period of time has led to the club going into the new season with an ageing squad, only 4 of the 21 are under the age of 25. This should be a cause of concern as only two of those four are first team regulars (Marouane Fellaini and Seamus Coleman) the others two are peripheral figures (James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe).

The net transfer spend of Everton football club since the founding of the Premier League is approximately £3 million.  There hasn?t been a net spend on transfer fees from 2007 until this summer, when £1million was spent on Maguey Gueye.  This matters as players need replacing as they age, due to a combination of injuries and the increasing physical demands that professional sport puts on their bodies take their toll.  The club have not been able to do this due to a lack of financial muscle and this is now being reflected on the pitch.

The only source of finance the club has used during the past ten years is asset utilisation.  If it's not nailed down, they will mortgage it off and use the proceeds to buy players; it's a strategy... but, if it's the only strategy, you?re going to get into serious financial trouble.  The club has 14 mortgage debts that need paying off and they have recently borrowed against next year?s TV money to meet today's financial demands.  The club is in trouble, but don?t lose hope as we can always sell off a promising youngster to satisfy our creditors ? it's worked in the past.

So... no business plan ? apart from mortgaging/pawning the family heirlooms ? leaves the club's finances in a desperate state.  The current board, having failed to bring two stadium projects to fruition, have neither the ideas nor the finance to develop the club; their only plan is to mortgage off an asset or, when things are truly desperate, sell a promising youngster.

Only three players from our current squad will command a serious fee, but is this the only strategy?  Under the current board, it is...  So expect Rodwell, Coleman or Fellaini to be sold off for a big fee after the usual protracted transfer saga.

No finance, an aging squad and the only source of revenue to be made is from selling off the promising young players.  Does Moyes really have a chance of building a strong Everton under these circumstances?  Can anyone?

The structures don?t exist to develop the club into a major player in England and Europe, the club lacks the finance and facilities to compete with their peers.  More pertinently, who are the club's peers?  If you think it?s Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal, you?re mistaken; most of our supporters no longer believe that as we haven?t competed with them for a long time and don?t appear to have the desire to do so.  If we did, we would be challenging this state of affairs.

I don?t know of any other group of supporters that would allow their club to fall so far.  That would allow a board and chairman to not only fail them twice, but lie to them repeatedly and let them get away with it.  To do that, they have to accept that they can?t compete and can no longer expect to do so.  Standards have been lowered and all of us have tacitly accepted this sorry state of affairs.  We have also been deluding ourselves that we can compete on the cheap; we can?t expect a return on no investment ? it's time to accept that salient fact, as the West Brom game has proven beyond a doubt.

The most disturbing aspect about the West Brom game was the crowd reaction to this embarrassing defeat.  There was no anger, only resignation, as we trudged home in silence.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 10/12/2010 at 06:17:21

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A strange one, David. It's been almost a fortnight since the West Brom game... were you sitting on that for some reason?

I'm not sure I agree with you that the squad is aging, that we are in decline, that we can not improve, that we need money... etc etc.

We just need Moyes to pick the right players and get them performing up toward their true potential. We saw some of that in the second half against Chelsea. It can be done and there's no really valid reason why we can't rescue a big chunk of this season.

All this talk of money and resources and buying players... it's missing the point. Moyes has a decent squad... he seems to have forgotten how to use them properly... and some of them are not playing very well. But I live in hope from game to game.
Stephen Kenny
2   Posted 10/12/2010 at 07:15:28

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Can anyone name a better strategy within the current constarints we face. This is basically how Wenger has kept Arsenal afloat through his tenure.

Buy low, sell high ? I'm not averse to it until someone with genuine business acumen takes over the running of the club.

One of Moyes's ever dwindling redeeming features is his skill in finding relative unknowns and selling them on for a significant profit/improving their value. IMO, this may be what keeps him in a job if we continue as we are on the pitch.
Ryan Holroyd
3   Posted 10/12/2010 at 08:38:36

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Spot on, David.

You know, when I get pissed off after games and say 'Moyes Out', my mates look at me and and from football reasons just laugh and say Everton are a small to medium sized club, punching above their weight, finishing on average in the top 6 after spending the 15th highest net spend since Moyes took over but expecting to finish above Man City, Spurs, Liverpool etc even tho they spend millions more then Everton.

Michael, it's not missing the point at all. Do you not think that supporters of every club moan about their manager at some time?

Even Guardiola did after winning the treble.

Moyes is a good manager who makes mistakes, like all humans.
Eric Myles
4   Posted 10/12/2010 at 08:53:57

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Isn't this the same squad that went unbeaten (bar 2 games?) for the second half of last season?
So what's money got to do with it?
Dick Fearon
5   Posted 10/12/2010 at 07:09:22

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Had we a 50/50 start to the season, we would be pushing for a top four place. Moyes must accept at least some of the blame for that. So-called lesser teams have come at us with two or three strikers and usually rolled us over. What does Mr Moyes do about it? Stick with his failed system of having a lone striker, that's what he does.

There might be some merit in having a lone striker but whatever it is escapes me. I suppose it could be usefully employed when hanging on for a result late in the game. But to use it from beginning to end is the sign of a coward who is bereft of imagination and courage.

Wigan, as with West Brom and others before them, are games that cry out for something new on the attacking front. Let's see if Moyes has finally learned something.

What do you do if your system keeps on failing? In Moyes case the answer is don't do anything. He has stuck religiously to a failed system of having a lone striker. That tactic could succeed if that lone striker was fast, mobile with a good first touch and physically strong. Sadly not one of our 3 aspirants for that role has all those attributes.

A wise man once said, the only thing to fear is fear itself.

John Barnes
6   Posted 10/12/2010 at 09:31:18

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You'd get a lot of managers to work for Moyes's salary, whatever the budget. So don't kid yourself on that one. Lack of finances is hardly breaking news at Goodison and he eventually signed on again.

£8M turned down for Saha? £6M for Yakubu? £12M for Jagielka? Gosling? Pienaar next?

I've said it before that if anyone of us lost or cost our company or business that much in today's economic climate, we'd be out of work.

Colin Potter
7   Posted 10/12/2010 at 09:43:14

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David, are you honestly saying that for £3.5M a year we couldn't get someone else to come in and do Moyes's job?

You never know, we could get someone who played players in their proper positions, something that seems beyond Moyes. If he had any self-belief that he could do something as a manager, he would have stood up to Kenwright a long time ago, or resigned, but he's had it too easy here.

KPR Williams
8   Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:05:23

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John #6

Where did you get these figures?
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:00:56

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David, a few corkers in there:

"We need money, but the club does not have it; he knew this would happen and we ignored him." - "We" didn't ignore him as "we" have fuck all to do with giving him funds to buy players, that rests with the chairman and his band of yes men ? or Green.

"Those that think we can get a new manager to work under David Moyes's budget are kidding themselves ? no manager would agree to work under those conditions" ? as John above has said, offer any manager £65k a week and you'd see a big queue forming.

Personally, and I've read many more with similar views, I'm unhappy that DM won't change the record. His strategy and formations are always the same, despite this one-trick pony football failing he won't change things.

Many claim this to be the "best squad since the 80s"... well, football evolves, every other team has too and more often than not they have changed their tactics and beaten us. For £65k a week you should be able to do your job, change the football, change the tactics, coach the players, put defenders into their proper position, drop players who aren't performing.

The resignation of defeat is comparable to the mausoleum effect at GP, the football is shit, the teamsheets are predictable, the football is predictable, the subs are predictable, the results are predictable. Provide entertainment and you'll get a response... rip your paying customers off and you'll get fuck all back.

Since last, season I've questioned how long the sales of players can continue without impacting the team and its fallen on deaf ears, I've asked why fans are so compliant in not letting BK and his cronies know how unhappy you are to no avail. When it all turns to shit, I won't smugly claim I told you so, I'll shake my head and move on.

Richard Dodd
10   Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:06:44

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Total rubbish. Our club is in no worse a state than 15 of the other Prem outfits. For some reason, several of our players have failed to play up to the standard of which they are capable. I still have faith in Davey to sort it out.
Gavin Ramejkis
11   Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:15:59

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Doddy, why has DM taken so fucking long to sort it? Where has black Bill disappeared to while all of this has happened? N.B. he always does his shithouse rat trick when we are losing.

Every season we get to hear golden nuggets from you like "wait" and every season I have to remind you the season starts in August not September or October or November or December or January.
Sam Morrison
12   Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:33:49

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I agree, money is an issue. An aging squad though? Not really. There are only four regular outfield players over 30 ? Distin (who's hardly sluggish), Neville, Saha and Cahill.
Mike Allison
13   Posted 10/12/2010 at 11:07:02

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I think his general point about the state of the club is reasonable, however, I don't think it can be linked to current results.

The problems at the club definitely do go beyond the current manager, but the players in the squad at the moment are good enough to attack teams like West Brom at home and beat them handsomely.

The OP makes two separate points (club has no money, we lost badly to West Brom) but confusingly conflates them into one whilst at the same time saying the second is separate from the first!

Overall, I agree that Moyes shouldn't be sacked, but I have itchier feet than I've ever had before because I want us to attack teams at pace when we play at home, whereas our current tactic involves a lot of slow passing which allows the opposition to get their ten men behind the ball. Slow possession football might be fine away from home to take the sting out of the opposition, but at home it should be saved for when we're already 2-0 up, something that has barely happened so far this season. This is something that is squarely at the feet of Moyes and the players and not the general state of the club.
Dave Wilson
14   Posted 10/12/2010 at 11:17:00

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What an odd post.

I think it's the Evertonian who seem to have upset you most, Just one point : You ask "what other supporters would allow their club to fall so far"?

In the sixties Liverpool were relegated.

In the seventies Man Utd were.

In the eighties it was Tottenham and Chelsea.

Down the years, Newcastle, Man City and Villa have gone up and down like yo-yos, as too have Sunderland, Birmingham, West Brom and Blackburn.

Man U and Liverpool have been shafted. Portsmouth AND Southamption have faced extinction, Leeds, Forest, Derby and The Sheffield clubs have gone through more than one trap door...

The more I think of other clubs' supporters excepting far more than we have ever had to put up with, the more examples spring to mind. Everyone of them has supporters as passionate as you or me but guess what... As "mere" supporters, they could do fuck all about it.

FC United and AFC Wimbledon are the only supporters I know who have taken any sort of action that actually changed anything.

Next time you see a banner-waving Son of Shankly, ask him: "How is the fight to keep Rafa in a job is going?"
Eugene Ruane
15   Posted 10/12/2010 at 11:58:41

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I take 'on board' points about money and the board but the fact is, on the field, we're not getting better, we're getting worse.

It seems we're becoming (or have become) one-dimensional, easy to 'figure out' and not difficult to beat.

The question you have to ask yourself is: 'Can Moyes change this?'

I very much doubt it.

(nb: I'm definitely not a 'Moyes hater', but I am a Moyes TACTICS hater)
Charles King
16   Posted 10/12/2010 at 12:05:17

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As a supporter I accept the board are likely to be pantomime villains trying to balance the books, but I expect the manager to be pushing them.

I expect the manager to be in tune with supporters not the money men. Moyes has toed the party line, presumably protecting his own interests; after 9 years joined at the hip with Kenwright, criticism is well deserved.

Martin O'Neill at least fought his corner.
KPR Williams
17   Posted 10/12/2010 at 13:08:43

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I just don't think we are playing well just now. Under performing individuals. Blame it all you like on Moyes but with pretty much exactly the same squad we were pretty much unbeatable from this time last year until the end of the season...

Fingers out and all will be well...

Jay Harris
18   Posted 10/12/2010 at 13:15:31

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David, totally agree with your sentiment but, for such a principled man, I was disappointed that David Moyes didn't resign when his contract negotiations were going on to make his point about lack of board support.

Instead, he took his 30 pieces of silver, which has compounded our lack of finances.

Moyes and Arteta ? overpaid by at least £1 million a year each ? would contribute quite a bit to getting a good player in or retaining Pienaar.
David O'Keefe
19   Posted 10/12/2010 at 14:09:36

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Thank you for the responses, so far, that includes you as well Doddy.

Michael: I have been sitting on this one for a fortnight, I did this for one reason only; I wanted to provide a calm reflective article instead of an angry article.

Thank you again for tidying it up.

As for the aging squad, we have one most of the squad are in their late 20s or early 30s, they need replacing, but we can't afford the replacements. That's why Osman and Hibbert were given four-year deals recently.

The named squad contains 21 players, meaning Moyes has fewer options in comparison to his peers. He can't rotate or drop players in poor form and this is costing as points, if we want him to be more adventurous he needs more options.

I don't want to absolve him from all valid criticism, but I want everyone to consider the constraints that he is operating under. He needs more resources and I think he should demand more from the board and if they can't provide them it's ultimatum time.

I don't think we can get a comparable manager to operate under the Moyes circumstances. The money will be excellent, but you're not exactly going to reach your potential under the club's current structures.

I suppose the debate is centered around is: Structure vs personality.
Brian Waring
20   Posted 10/12/2010 at 14:24:38

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Whose decision was it to play Anichebe, a striker just returning from injury, and play him right-wing, leaving Coleman on the bench, who had started playing well?

Whose decision was it to keep playing Heitinga in the middle of the park, when we could all see he was shite there, and keeping Rodwell on the bench?

Whose decision was it to keep playing Saha, when he was playing shite?

Whose decision was it to play Arteta so deep, that it may have played a part in him looking so bad?

I mean FFS, there was plenty on here week-in, week -out, questioning these decisions,... if most of us can see it, why can't Moyes?

At the end of the day, Moyes is one of the highest paid managers in the Prem, he's got to start earning the money.
Brian Waring
21   Posted 10/12/2010 at 14:36:30

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David, you may, or may not be able to get a manager to work under the fiancial restraints, but with this squad of players, I bet you could get a manager who would get them playing to their potential as a team.
Michael Kenrick
22   Posted 10/12/2010 at 14:34:54

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Dave Wilson: "In the sixties Liverpool were relegated."

Really? That's gonna come as a bit of a surprise to some... but we of course bow to your superior football knowledge.
David O'Keefe
23   Posted 10/12/2010 at 14:45:33

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Brian: Really? Most of us have a bad day at work and players have bad games, or a run of them if the manager hasn't got a capable replacement. Resources matter.
Brian Waring
24   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:04:48

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David, he could have replaced Heitinga with Rodwell.

He could have replaced Saha with the Yak or Beckford. The funny thing is, the Yak was starting to show a bit of form, and then was dropped for Saha.

Also, isn't this supposed to be the best squad of players ever, according to Moyes?
Michael Kenrick
25   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:13:34

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Mike Allison (#13) ? we have our disagreements but I gotta say, a spot-on analysis and response!!!

David (#19) ? you're just repeating everything again as if nobody had posted any responses that negate many of your points.

David O'Keefe
26   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:15:26

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Mssers Kenrick and Allison. The team has three misfiring strikers and lacks pace that much is obvious. I think there is a state of denial about the teams capabilities they're 15th for A REASON. We have to accept that this team is not that good.

As for the issue of conflation, I don't see it, the defeat and the lack of resources are linked. West Brom brought on a striker that won the game for them, Everton brought on a misfiring Jermaine Beckford. One was bought for a fee the other cost nothing-get what you pay for I suppose.

The bigger issue is that the supporters fail to understand that what goes on at board room level has an effect on the pitch.
Michael Kenrick
27   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:29:28

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David... The REASON is Moyes. It's been documented up the ying-yang on here. If we were playing well ? as essentially the SAME squad with the SAME resources were last season ? Moyes would be reaping the accolades and his critics (er... ME!) would be quiet as church mice.

He CAN do it... with the resources he has NOW...

David O'Keefe
28   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:33:57

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Sorry, Michael, I don't accept that at all. The rest of the Premier League have invested in their squads and not Everton. It's the same squad, but it's a year older, many of the players are approaching 30 or the wrong side of 30 and it is starting to show.

I don't absolve him of all criticism, but the lack of resources has an effect ? it's the same squad but it's smaller, slower and weaker than many Premier League squads.
Norman Merrill
29   Posted 10/12/2010 at 15:49:15

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One thing that I want to see from Moyes is, play players in the position they are comfortable in. And give Beckford more than 10 mins, preferable starting the match, rather than coming on when we are chasing the game.
Neil Pearse
30   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:07:54

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David O'Keefe - I agree (hopefully that is not too upsetting!), and I disagree.

I do believe that Moyes could have done many things better this time around ? like play Fellaini ALWAYS in his proper position, give up on Saha earlier, never play Rodwell on the wing etc. So I agree partly with the 'Moyes is the problem' line on here.

But David is right. Moyes really is labouring under a severe resources problem. He is not an idiot. I am sure he knew in the close season that we needed a new striker. But we simply could not afford one. So we had to make do with Jermaine as a freebie. He gambled on Saha and Yakubu pulling something out of their declining years ? and they haven't. That has been our single major problem. One decent striker in the team this season and we would be at least half a dozen places higher.

I disagree with David's point about apathy. Or rather I've never quite got this one. So we all get angry. Then what happens? Does this somehow magic up a new owner with £300 million to buy us some new players and build us a new ground? How does that work? (If it does, just sign me up: I'll get angry.)
David O'Keefe
31   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:20:09

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Neil, to clarify the apathy point, and I must confess that I too trudged home in silence. Cast your mind back to November 98 after the Spurs defeat that left the club bottom of the league- that provoked a 20 minute stay behind protest. This won't happen today.

Can we also leave the straw man arguments re the Sugar daddy owner out of it, Neil? Thats another argument entirely, but the big question is why is there no pressure on the board?
Denis Richardson
32   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:20:02

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Erm... not sure how to respond:

1) I am not in favour of getting rid of DM now, give him until the end of the season and see where we are.

2) IMO much of the problems over the last few months is DM consistently playing people out of position ? his fault.

3) We have a good squad and, as far as I am aware, only SP wants to leave. If DM is wise enough he will sell him in January and use the funds to try and get a replacement ? e.g. Kranjcar.

4) DM has been here for 8½ years. He is also responsible for the youth development side (i.e. picking the people who look after this side). If we have so few players coming through - who is to blame there? 8.5 years is long enough to have sorted this side out.

5) He has not exactly given the likes of Baxter many games, maybe they are not good enough... but then again, the youth side is under him as well.

6) Other 'lower' clubs have managed to get players for very little money who have performed ? West Brom, Blackpool to name a couple. Why have we not been able to get players as well, e.g. at least on season loans?

etc etc

All-in-all, it's too soon to be calling for his head but IMO a lot of what is wrong is not necessarily due to lack of funds.

Playing players in their right position and a POSITIVE attitude would go a long way. Start trying to win games rather than looking to avoid defeat first.
David O'Keefe
33   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:27:51

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I look forward to the day you admit that I'm right about everything, Neil, but that day will hopefully never arrive-and I sincerely mean that.

Neil Pearse
34   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:29:55

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David, the question from me is: what would 'pressure on the board' achieve? Now if they had some money they were sitting on that 'pressure' would release that money - again, I'm all for the pressure.

But as you very clearly point out: we don't have any money. We are quite obviously scraping around from year to year, selling this and mortgaging that (and quite possibly borrowing from Green etc.). to do the best we can in straitened circumstances.

So what is the pressure on the board supposed to achieve? My supposedly strawman point about a new owner was that I can understand the argument that severe pressure would force board resignations and usher in a new owner. I understand it, but I think it's not true and wouldn't happen. And resignations without a better new owner would be pointless.
Gavin Ramejkis
35   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:42:57

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Denis #32, nice point to raise and one I've only just recently chatted to the guy who sits next to me in the Park End at the West Brom humiliation. How come Everton as displayed most half times seem to have won a myriad of trophies in every class; handicapped, blind, women, kids maybe those not even fucking born yet cups but we never seem to see new academy players coming through or we get a glimpse of them catching splinters or be told about a secret weapon that is so fucking secret DM has forgotten about him.

DM gets paid a tidy some to sort out what happens on the pitch and it's not working. He was at the World Cup and he must have seen Yakubu bloated and shite and realised he'll take some time to get back to scoring again. He must have heard about Saha break in a freak cross wind breeze playing a meaningless few minutes for France. He made the call of not cashing in and finding a replacement(s), so again it's down to him.
David O'Keefe
36   Posted 10/12/2010 at 17:56:01

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Gavin and Denis: Many are called and few are chosen is how the academy and youth system works. Each club is lucky if one or two make the first team squad. More pertinently has Moyes released any youth player and been made to regret it?
Michael Kenrick
37   Posted 10/12/2010 at 18:06:44

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So David, if you are correct, then a revival like we saw last season would now be impossible? (Unless the squad is dramatically improved in January... which we all know is simply NOT going to happen.) Have I got this right?

So, if Moyes and these players do go on to turn this season around... where will your argument be then? If we actually start playing more like we did in the second half against Chelsea, and we get the goals and results we deserve, against any and all teams in the Prem ? where will your argument be then?

I'll tell you where: in tatters.
Art Jones
38   Posted 10/12/2010 at 18:31:15

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On a similar thread, I gave an opinion that maybe a lot of our problems were down to plain old bad luck, I gave my reasons and also included the caveat that, of course, not everything can be blamed on this but it has had a significant contribution. It now seems one of our players have agreed with me in an interview last night. No matter how good your team is, you need your share of fortune, it's something we've had very little of recently.
Dennis Stevens
39   Posted 10/12/2010 at 18:35:03

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If David's article is to be taken seriously, then it actually makes the case for Moyes to be sacked asap. If we accept that Moyes cannot be expected to do any better than he has so far this season, then maybe it would be worth taking a chance on a new manager who may save us from the threat of relegation.
Leon Perrin
40   Posted 10/12/2010 at 20:08:29

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Can articles be made smaller please I haven't the patience to read all this.

If the gist is Moyes needs money and he can't have it then he should do better with what he's got or piss off.
Richard Dodd
41   Posted 10/12/2010 at 20:18:28

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The Albion match is well behind us and the splendid draw with Chelsea will have done wonders for the players' confidence. Added to which, we have the return of Ossie on Saturday and the inclusion of the Yak (or Beckford) from the start to give us a boost.
David O'Keefe
42   Posted 10/12/2010 at 21:09:31

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Dennis: wrong end of the stick. Sack Moyes and replace him with who? Who will work for a club with no resources?

Michael: Even if the team did improve and go on a run, the damage has been done and it's eighth if we're lucky.

The decline has already started, it's time to stop kidding ourselves. The club fell three places in the league last season. I don't think they will improve on that.
Rob Hollis
43   Posted 10/12/2010 at 21:27:03

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Mr Richard Dodd: 'Splendid Draw!' ? With aspirations like that you could be our Manager.
Ian Smitham
44   Posted 10/12/2010 at 21:51:00

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Micheal, it's Ian "bias" 109 the other day. Critics (er ME) (27 above)... water bridge under. Really good debate of various diverging views on this subject. Well done to all and Michael (olive branch).

BTW Rodwell and Fella ? I have been banging on about this for a bit. It's the future. Then, if the Manager has constraints around budgets, get rid of a few who add no value to the first eleven. JH is and never will be tall enough to be a CB and his attitude anywhere else is at best suspect. We have two guys up front who are past sell by dates. Sell the lot, and a few others ? financial constraints? Wood and trees. And if someone can't see it then maybe.....

The left back may well be the second best in the league ? and that is a great achievement by LB. At RB we have an issue as Pip may well be a great Capitan but ...

The goalie needs coaching on long free kicks.

Rant over ? keep the faith and supporting our team and I trust all us to turn it around as in 37 above.

Jay Harris
45   Posted 10/12/2010 at 21:54:57

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pressure on the board might mean them dropping the asking price by £50 million or more and thereby bringing more potential buyers in and leaving more for investment.. but, with Earl and Green involved and typically Evetonian apathy, I don't anticipate it.

Unfortunately, I fear it will take relegation to unseat Blue Bill and his buddies.
Marc Williams
46   Posted 10/12/2010 at 22:09:38

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Richard (#40) "a splendid draw & the return of Ossie."

Yes... it's smashing isn't it, I too feel blessed to be following Everton in these halcion days of glory under the wonderful benign leadership of Mr Kenwright (Hallowed be his name).

Hopefully our wise & insightful Davey can inspire another spondiferous draw against the mighty Wigan.

With Ossie back, I see no need to spend in January, as his return to our bountiful squad is like a myriad of new signings.

The future is bright, the future is Kenwright.

Toodle Pip.

Jamie Crowley
47   Posted 11/12/2010 at 03:50:08

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Constraints? Yes.

But Brian @20 simply hits the nail on the head for me.

We DO have the squad to compete ? and Moyes did put it together. So kudos to him.

But if he continually starts players out of position, sits players coming into form, et al (again, see Brian @20) then it's down to Moyes.

Moyes: Pete and Re-Peat were on a boat. Pete fell off. Who's left? Re-peat.

Pete and Re-peat were on a boat.....

It just never ends. If so many here see it, how in God's name can Moyes not?

So David, despite constraints, most of this is down to Moyes, his selection, and tactics. It's really that simple.
Dick Fearon
48   Posted 11/12/2010 at 07:14:50

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Someone above said even the best team needs a run of luck... By that same token, Barca must luckiest team in the world.

Speaking of luck one of my favourite sayings was by South African Golfer Gary Player to a reporter who suggested that some luck was involved in a particular shot. Gary's response was "It seems that, the more I practice, the luckier I get." Makes me wonder how many extra hours of practice our three strikers are putting in.

Gavin Ramejkis
49   Posted 11/12/2010 at 19:40:04

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Doddy, your usual gushing shite, now amaze with a show of true awe your take on the " we have the return of Ossie on Saturday and the inclusion of the Yak (or Beckford) from the start to give us a boost.", Osman was seen jogging up and down the touchline a few times but didnt get a game, Saha started and Beckford did more yet again when he was finally brought on and Yakubu must have frozen his arse on the bench and he didn't even get to warm up. Come on give us all some of your pearls of shite wisdom.
David O'Keefe
50   Posted 11/12/2010 at 21:19:40

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Please don't tell me that the constraints have no effect at all. We have a squad of 21 over age professionals, actually its 20, Yobo's on loan. He can't rotate or drop under-performing players, or even replace aging players. He hasn't got the options that other managers have to change things.
John Daley
51   Posted 12/12/2010 at 01:27:27

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"Please don't tell me that the constraints have no effect at all. We have a squad of 21 over-age professionals, actually it's 20, Yobo's on loan. He can't rotate or drop under-performing players, or even replace aging players. He hasn't got the options that other managers have to change things."

Ok, but in exchange please refrain from making such pathetic excuses for the man. You honestly believe every other manager in the league has some sort of unfair advantage over Moyes?

He assembled this squad and declared himself happy with what he had at his disposal. He even went so far as to proclaim it is his "best squad ever".

The lack of transfer funds does not preclude him from getting the maximum out of the players already at the club, does it? You say he CAN'T change things, I say he WON'T change things. He's a stubborn twat with one solitary game plan that he refuses to deviate from.
Steve Jones
52   Posted 12/12/2010 at 19:21:40

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David stop ignoring the bloody obvious. Everton's formation and tactics are totally stale and Moyes refuses to change them with the options he DOES have available to him.

He favours those who work hard over those with natural ability, he coaches that ability and attacking football instinct out of players who have it and insists they work hard and track back. I don't want my strikers tracking back, I'm happy for them (yes, them, TWO strikers on the pitch at the same time, thus giving options going forward and something for the opposition to think about!) to stand on the halfway line for 89 mins if they score the winner in the 90th.

We can't break with pace as everyone is always back in our half and our isolated striker is usually Saha who isn't suited to the lone striker role and sits too deep, hence Cahill being the furthest forward in recent weeks.

The biggest flaw in your argument is that the start of this poor run coincided with Moyes changing things after our good run in October. On the back of scoring the winning goal aginst Stoke, Moyes chose to drop Yakubu. Just when he and Cahill were gelling (i.e. working as a partnership, playing off each other, knowing where the other was instinctively etc etc) and we have not won any of the seven games since then. He also dropped Coleman who was hitting form for the Bolton game that started this poor run.

As numerous other people have stated, he has stuck by Saha for the 7 games since the Stoke game when there is no-one else in the country who would have started him ahead of Yakubu, or even Beckford, who were both available for that time.

Before Arteta got his 3-game ban, Moyes also watched him play far too deep, week-in, week-out, without changing it. To make it worse, this was for the most part whilst Arteta was playing alongside a central defender in central midfield who, as well as looking completely out of his depth, also played in an extremely deep position. I could go on forever... 3 years of Osman at right midfield when there were other options etc etc.

No one disagrees that we have a small squad but it's no excuse for the poor tactics and a refusal to drop under-performing players when options are available (& in the main this season they have been ? look at our bench all this season and you'll see Moyes has had striking and midfield options that he could have changed things with).

Moyes has never faired well when faced with options, look at our most succesful runs and they are always when injuries mean Moyes's team picks itself. When given decisions to make he always goes with the same players and formation, irrespective of form. This makes it fairly easy for the opposition to pick us off, week-in... week-out.

The opposition always know Moyes will go 4-5-1, they know we'll have a lot of possesion with little cutting edge, they know we'll use the left in the main as our outlet, and they know that, as the games progresses, we'll start leaving more gaps at the back as we try to equalise or take the lead that they can exploit with a little pace (every team seems to have pace except us).

I have a lot of respect for Moyes, I think he's a decent honest hard-working man who made Everton a solid team with limited funds. He is not, however, the man to take Everton forward. This season has proved that beyond all doubt with our "best squad since the 80s".

Please do not respond by asking me who should be in charge instead because that is not the point; the point is nearly 9 years on and we are in exactly the same position we were when Walter Smith was sacked. Smith was sacked with 30 points from 29 games and Moyes has averaged a point a game at almost the half way point of the season (1 game from being half way through)

Moyes had the advantage of Rooney breaking through just after he took over. Rooney breathed life into the club with his performances; then, when transfered, provided finance for new players. Moyes kept us tight as underdogs and used the best formation (4-5-1) available to him well.

He has not moved on in the nearly 9 years since then whilst Football has ? the game is quicker now, based on pace, incisive passing, constant movement and the aim of scoring with as few passes as possible (as Dick Fearon has already stated) whilst we play possession football in the centre circle. Moyes is limited tactically when the onus is on us to take the game to teams and he has always struggled to get his team out of a rut, this was one of the first things a Preston season ticket holder told me when we got Moyes.

The quote below could easily sum up Moyes's position if he left now:

"By the end, nearly all the fans were fed up with him, while the know-nothing media pundits and journalists were defending him almost to a man."

It is actually from ToffeeWeb on summing up Walter Smith's time, need I say more?

David O'Keefe
53   Posted 13/12/2010 at 00:38:19

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Steve: I also think you're ignoring the bloody obvious.

I make the point about who would come in because I believe the club will not find a suitable replacement.

I think the Saha point you make adds weight to my reference about the lack of options and resources that he has available... face it, Yak is finished and if Beckford is our only hope, then we are in a truly desperate position. The point about pace ? costs money ? also adds weight to my lack of resources argument.

Criticisms about his tactics are valid and I won't dispute them, but the lack of resources are now having an effect. This is a small, aging and slow squad and this season should shatter our top 4 delusions, but things may have to get worse before the penny drops with some on TW; and I sincerely hope they don't get worse.

Throughout this thread, no-one has disputed the resources argument, there is however a failure of imagination amongst the readership ? a few can't make the link between the resource issue and the impact it has on the pitch and Moyes tactics and selection.
Steve Jones
54   Posted 13/12/2010 at 20:22:26

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Of course we'd find another manager, don't be so naive. No man is bigger than the club. A suitable replacement is anyone who manages over a point a game, who is willing to play attacking football so I can actually enjoy going to Goodison, who has a plan B, who can see the obvious that Moyes can't week in week out.

Yakubu was just getting back into form before he was dropped, there was no reason to bring Saha back in as he has been completely ineffectual. Moyes has made a bad decison and continues with it. If Yakubu's finished then god knows how to describe Saha. Everytime Yakubu or Beckford get some confidence they are dropped in favour of the dire Saha, that is Moyes refusing to use options he does have not due to lack of options. We have the striking options to play 2 up front and we never do, poor tactics plain and simple. You're right players with natural pace cost money but coaching your team to move the ball forward quickly doesn't and Moyes clearly hasn't grasped that in 9 years. Watch every Everton attack, it's full of sideways and backwards passes until eventually it goes out to the wing (Usually the left). No one ever drives forward and makes opposition centre backs work, we always let them get back into position and prepare for the inevitable Baines cross which yes soemtimes works but it shouldn't be the only bloody option!
Of course no one has disputed the resources argument because we have a small squad but teams with less resources play far more attractive football and have far more points. The reason we have so few points this season is because teams know how to beat us plain and simple. Our play is slow, labourious and obvious.
It is Moyes who lacks imagination with his formation and tactics, I think just about every game this season there has been options on the bench that would have allowed a more positive attacking team but Moyes has stuck to the same tired ideology for 60-70 minutes. Time and time again results have proved the more resources Moyes has available to him the worse we do. Our squad is not as ageing as you make out and the you vastly underestimate the quality of the bulk of the players, it is the formation and tactics that are past their sell by date and have the biggest impact on the pitch.

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