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The art of positive thinking...

By Matt Lavery :  15/12/2010 :  Comments (57) :
Why are so many posts on this website so negative? I know for a fact that certain players read these websites (a number of youth members who have flitted in and out of the side within the last 3 years are those I know read the website). "How do you know and what are your "SOURCES"" ? A friend of mine is a sports psychologist and has worked closely with members of the team.

The negative atmosphere at the ground is appalling and with people calling for Moyes to quit, I'm baffled! I've come to the end of games and been angry and question certain tactics but the honest truth is I haven't the faintest clue how to be a manager of a Premier League football team and do what Moyes is paid handsomely (granted) to do. Nor does anyone else on this website for that matter.

I coach two youth teams in a school and but for my tried and tested "Keep going", "don't give up", "Make him make a mistake!" my teams pretty much dictate what they do themselves. At half-time is when I manage to make any change in how the team is playing and the one thing I ensure is that the lads are enjoying themselves. They are not bitching and complaining towards each other and parents who have a go at the kids are "red carded" and sent from the field. I don't want negativity around the game because it's no fun and it has a massive negative effect on the way they play the second half.

My best player the other week said before extra time in the cup that we were going to lose. We were playing away against a team with superior players. He said this and I substituted him straight away. The lads had started to agree with him, it was freezing and miserable and I could tell they were just about to give up and be negative.

The game went to penalties and eventually sudden death penalties. By this point there was a fairly large crowd of their home "fans". For young lads at their age and with a negative attitude, it could have been game over.

As it happened, the lad who I had substituted (roll on/off subs) stepped up and silenced them. It was a great moment and they all agreed that is was simply down to a change in attitude that they could win and they had been given the platform to do so. I believed in them and let them know it in no uncertain terms. They are not the best players for their age group but they are the best available to me and they did themselves and their parents and friends proud.

I'm not telling anyone to stop venting their frustrations but some of the negativity is just appalling to listen to. As an example both Moyes and Anichebe were "shocked" at the response the lad received when coming on to the field. We're in a poor position, banging on Wigan's door and in bringing Anichebe on to the field we were giving ourselves an attacking option. What do people do? Boo and jeer him because a newspaper told us to. How the hell is that going to help?!

If my job was going poorly for whatever reason and if I had a boss constantly ridiculing me and if I had work colleagues incessantly abusing me I'd not be filled with the inspiration to improve things too quickly.

The lads are not playing as well as we know they can, most of the team who were quite frankly fantastic for large parts of last year are exactly the same players as last year. The manager, who has been a massive shining light for Everton since the truly morbid and depressing days in the 90s, has done an amazing job. This year his work needs to improve ? not his commitment but his approach. However, to call for his head (I hope he doesn't read this website himself) just shows how clueless (in my opinion) some of you are.

And to those naysayers, my opinion is my opinion. Half of you who are angry at him are angry because you feel we should be doing much better than we are currently. Your expectations are relatively high. Why? Because generally speaking, over the last few years we've been used to challenging for something. Moyes and only Moyes has made those expectations possible.

Give your negative thoughts a break and give the lads a big fucking roar the next time they come out to Z-Cars. Be positive and let that show next game. It?ll be far more productive and helpful than the booing and negativity over recent weeks. They may even surprise you and win the game ? something we know these boys are more than capable of doing.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, only the best fans will do. COYBB

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 15/12/2010 at 16:20:53

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I`m having that all day long, Matt, a good article.
KPR Williams
2   Posted 15/12/2010 at 16:37:14

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Prepare for the backlash Matt...

Nice piece though... could almost hear the inspirational music building to a crescendo when the game went to pens...
Craig Wilson
3   Posted 15/12/2010 at 17:23:43

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We are all guilty for getting on the players backs when the chips are down, but it is hard to get behind them when the chips appear to be down week-in, week-out!!!

Sometimes it takes a player to get the crowd going, remember Neville's tackle on Ronaldo? Let's hope a good away result against the oil rich City will kick start something, maybe even a tackle of Neville on Lescott might just do it!!
Johnny Darkhouse
4   Posted 15/12/2010 at 17:28:08

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I thought your article excellent. I moved seats this season to the Upper Bullens balcony and feel almost embarassed when trying to urge on the team. Feel like I'm at an away ground with the home supporters. More positive support can only help.
Stephen Kenny
5   Posted 15/12/2010 at 17:31:47

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Contrary to what some think, the crowd is doing it's best to get he team going. In a number of games this season we have been behind the lads, usually just before the other side score and shut us up.

I think Goodison is itching to get right behind the side, it's just very difficult when you're watching poor play, worse management and more than a few times piss-poor reffing. Against West Brom we were just getting into full voice when they scored, Man Utd the same and 1 or 2 others I can't recall fully. We still tried to pull us back into it.

I bet when we get a decent performance you will see the crowd respond accordingly. Ignore the myth that some clubs who have fans singing away when they're getting twatted, it's romanticed media nonsense.

With regard to the overt negativity of this site, despite what some think, it has been a bleak few years for us, with Kirkby, successive transfer windows without any dosh, perennial poor starts and 24/7 bullshit.

The start of the season we were all talking of best squad ever, 24-year rule, Champions League etc. This was all based on the sides performance over the previous 6 months. The negativity is also based on that. Hardly TW's fault. Almost everything gets published??
Nick Entwistle
6   Posted 15/12/2010 at 17:40:55

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Why are people on here so negative?

Because what we needed and expected this has been replaced by a giant backward step.
Michael Kenrick
7   Posted 15/12/2010 at 17:33:07

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Matt, my sense is that people are simply reacting to what they see and feel ? both here on this website and at the match. Why that should be labelled "negative" I don't understand.

1) If they have paid good money with the happy prospect of being positively entertained by the very well paid players and their manager, then a failure to meet those expectations is inevitably going to draw some critical analysis... but is that truly "negative"? I don't believe so.

2) If they are extrapolating current form and projecting relegation, is that really "negative" ? or is it identifying a potential danger and alerting the need for (positive?) action to prevent that outcome?

3) If they are identifying common trends that are contributing to a current situation ? let's say it's the negative approach of the manager, for example ? and are thus driven to encourage more positive, expansive play, how is that considered "negative"?

4) If they are going further, and suggesting that the Manager has reached his limit, and is taking the club in a downward spiral, then surely suggesting a change in management is a positive thing... is it not? It's meant to arrest that negative decline.

5) If they are identifying that certain players are not contributing in any meaningful way, that their influence on the outcome of games is negative, and that, for the sake of future progression toward a more positive outcome, those players should be rested and replaced by others who may make a more positive contribution... what's "negative" about that?

6) Booing one of our players certainly sounds negative, I'll give you that.. but it's actually sending a very positive message for him (Anichebe) to sort things out with his "advisers" negotiating his contract if his fine positive words about the club and the fans are to mean anything at all in the real world.

This whole positive-negative thing is really not as black-&-white as you might suggest. For me, it's a case of making an honest assessment of what is going on at Everton Football Club. I believe that most people who post here are doing the same thing. To label their posts as "negative" is disingenuous, arbitrary and capricious.
Jeff Magee
8   Posted 15/12/2010 at 18:32:17

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Nice one Matt ? I ?ve been trying to come up with a thread along these lines for sometime now but have not been able to get it down on ?paper?.

I have often winced at some of the comments on TW and believe that more than a few of the squad must read it ? what with all the time they have on their hands they must occasionally trawl the net for something other than porn and it's only human nature to read what people are saying about you.

I dread to think what most of the TW readers are like as touch-line Dads ? I wouldn?t fancy being one of their sons struggling to live up to their unrealistic expectations I can hear the touchline ?coaching? now?.

?Hey soft lad ? yes you, Son? you?re fuckin? shite ? always have been always will be?. you?re far too fuckin? negative and you look a right mess in your cheap kit and boots? why don?t you buy better?? What? ?. you cheeky fucker I give you plenty pocket of money ? Back it the day I could get Alan Ball white boots for £2 7s 6d ? your £10 should get you a couple of pair of Predators ? I don?t care if the other lad's bigger and better than you just fuckin? beat them and stop making whining excuses ? stop hoofing it up the field to no one in particular, I ?ve taught you better than that ?. no, no, NO! ? how many times have I told you you?re not Duncan fuckin? McKenzie don?t try to dribble or pass it .. if in trouble it's Row Z?. I don?t know what?s up with you, your older brother was twice the footballer you are and he WAS fuckin? shite ? you both used to be brilliant ?. I don?t know what I?ve done to deserve this I?ve ruined my voice shouting at you two week-in, week-out ?? I don?t know why I bother???

There must be a better way?
Lee Courtliff
9   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:02:25

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Good article mate, wish I had seen that dramatic penalty shootout. But I have to disagree about "Big" Vic. For such a mediocre player to refuse £30 grand a week at a Prem club is shocking. I do realise that booing him won't help him play better though. Your article made a nice change. COYB!
Andy Crooks
10   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:07:05

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Matt, I have never been any thing less than 100% behind the team on match day. Slating the team and individuals achieves nothing and I hate to hear players abused. However, on this site I feel entitled to express honest opinions and concerns.

Frankly, if the players read this site, I'll be delighted, then they might have some idea what it feels like to watch the dirge they have served up this season. Contrary to what you and others seem to think, no-one wants to be negative.

All we want is a hint that this club is going the right way... some positive football, some flair, some imagination, some indication that David Moyes can learn and move forward. We want to be positive but, my God, David Moyes and his partner Kenwright make it difficult.

Dominic Bobadilla
11   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:38:15

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Who paid you for writing this corporatist-get-behind-the-leader nonsense? Moyes must go. It is time for regime change.
John Ford
12   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:55:16

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Good stuff Matt!

I can deal with considered criticism, of which there's plenty. But Its the head banging, short-termism and selective analysis which is so wearying.
Danny Burke
13   Posted 15/12/2010 at 20:11:36

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I like to think of my glass as half full. It's nice to see some "positive" writing on here. It's well documented that the crowd can A) get the team going and B)intimidate the oposition even C)influenec the ref. As someone who wasnt given the talent to go out and influence the game on the pitch, all I can do is get behind the lads come kick off to try and do what I can to influence the game. Booing has not and will not ever make a player play better (unless its the opposition). I personally have never booed my team but I understand those who do, maybe keep it for the final whistle though.
Matt Lavery
14   Posted 15/12/2010 at 20:02:25

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Michael, can I ask you to firstly put the dictionary away and secondly when someone has a comment that differs to your own personal thought, please don't feel it your duty to degrade that person for their thoughts. I've noticed you do this quite flippantly particularly with posts that have a "positive" spin. I am simply asking people to think twice about their negativity, a request completely acceptable in my book, particularly when some of the comments I have read and heard are aired on this site or at the match.

To end I do feel as though I was being sincere, I don't think asking certain people to have a more positive attitude for the good of our football club to be an unreasonable request, and finally: capricious? Well, I?ll have to wait for that word to show up on my word of the day toilet paper before I can respond appropriately.

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. ~Oscar Wilde~
Dick Fearon
15   Posted 15/12/2010 at 20:24:19

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Matt, I have been there done that with kids and mens teams for the best part of 60 years yet I recognise the huge gulf between that level and proffessional football.

Having paid an exhorbitant entrance fee, the Goodison faithful should not also be have to lift the standard of highly ? some would say obscenely ? paid proffessionals players. That is the job of highly paid and presumably qualified coaches.

An important part of a top level coaching course are seminars facillitated by highly qualified sports phsycologists. Crowd response is not mentioned anywhere on in those seminars. Perhaps that is why some managers are shocked, outraged, saddened when the crowd vents it dismay, disgust or downright anger.

Leon Perrin
16   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:04:51

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Matt, you're in sales aren't ya?

"Don't know how to be a Premiership manager" ? granted, but I do know how to be a manager and a kick up the arse is sometimes the only medicine.

Why did you take your best player off instead of taking him to one side? Properly motivated he might have scored a hat trick, who knows

You say if your job was going badly you wouldn't be happy with surrounding negativity. I was threatened with the boot, I sorted it out and went on to run the place.

Our "manager a massive shining light"...... I'm just not going there.

"Expectations high because of Moyes"...... My expectations are to see Everton as they were pre Moyes, Smith etc.

Incidentally, when Z-Cars starts, the boys are always roared on, it's what they get up to after that dictates how positive the support is.

Watch the old "Kelly's Heroes" film with Oddball the hippy tank commander, full of positive waves, and Moriarty the engineer who keeps the tank going.
Here's a clip:-

Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
Moriarty: Crap!

Oddball was a good laugh but they wouldn't have got there without Moriarty dealing with the reality.
Christine Foster
17   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:18:51

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Matt, I agree that positive thinking can motivate and drive individuals and teams to greater heights, no doubt or problem with that.

But... it takes a leader to create the right conditions for it to happen. Something that Moyes, by his own admission, has failed to do on numerous occasions. (Incorrect substitutions and team selection.)

No-one is perfect and we all make mistakes and that's life. But the negativity that is shown towards the manager and the club management in general is the frustration of seeing it not being learnt from and continuing to happen. No amount of positive spin can disguise that.

The players and manager are paid what is considered by many to be obscene amounts of money to entertain. Fans' money. When they fall short of this on a consistent basis, then fans feel let down and angry.

Why? Because sometimes the futility of watching and paying for what is served as entertainment is overiding any feelings of positive thoughts.

ToffeeWeb is a vent for those feelings and for the keeping the faith and belief going. We are still a family who passionately believe in Everton.

We may be unhappy with results, management and the individual players but we believe and hope for better things. That's two of the biggest positives you can ask for.

We know the present situation needs to change, just about everything about the club has to change, to change is creative and positive, to continue is to stagnate and decline.

I'm for change. I love my club, I retain the right to be vocal about things I disagree with. I will praise them to the heavens when they get it right but chastise when they continue not to listen or learn.
Denis Richardson
18   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:41:17

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Matt, think you are confusing crticism with negativity. Analysing some of the games this season (and the results), people are entilted to criticise some of the quesionable team selctions and tactics employed by the manager.

There have been very few things this season to shout positively about, espectially given the fact that the squad was pretty much fit at the start of the season.

Bad performances lead to unhappy fans, it's not really anything complicated.
Tom Collie
19   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:17:22

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As Dominic (#11) has already pointed out, the post is just a load of corporate, meaningless gubbins. Designed, I suspect, to deflect criticism of a highly overrated manager who is steadily being found out.

Matt refers to those of us less than impressed with his hero as 'clueless'. There's a tendency lately for the Moyes fans to ridicule any negative comment as unintelligent, 'know nothing'.

As Matt appears to be claiming the higher ground, perhaps he'll share his wisdom with us and tell us when, in his apparently expert opinion, Mr Moyes is finally going to fulfill his all this potential we hear about?

Kevin Tully
20   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:56:11

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Got to ask Matt, are you Davey Moyes?

We have won three in 17. The time has long passed for gentle cajoling and encouragement. The players who are on between £30k - £70k A WEEK should not need anyone to help them play. These are highly paid professional athletes. Their own pride should be enough alone.

They all need to take a long hard look in the mirror, are they giving 100%? Cos I sure haven't seen it bar for one game ? the Derby.

Sorry mate, sentimental stories about jumpers for goalposts doesn't wash.
Russell Buckley
21   Posted 15/12/2010 at 23:04:50

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Hit the nail on the head, Kevin,

3 wins from 17 is relegation form. Are we the fans to sit by and applaud as we watch our much loved club slide?

People don't boo from the first whistle but are entitled to vent their fury when they are served up sub-standard half-arsed performances by PROFESSIONALS.
Tony I'Anson
22   Posted 15/12/2010 at 23:13:16

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I've not read any comments after this article, so apologies if I repeat points.... Moyes being shocked at the reaction to Big Vic suggests the penny is only starting to drop in relation to the extent of fans' patience running out.

In relation to being positive. Some react to the carrot, others to the stick.

At the moment, stuff the carrots. They need great big sticks to show them how to win games and play like their lives depended on it.
Andy McNabb
23   Posted 16/12/2010 at 00:42:10

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Good post, Matt. No-one is denying the situation is pretty horrible at the moment but if we all spout negativity, then the ship will definitely sink.

I'm a little bemused by the response of "Black Saturday" etc. I'm the first to say that I only pay a subscription to Sky and don't have to endure from the stands but on our highlights programme over here on a Monday eve, it looked like we battered them but couldn't score.

Sky never try to make us look good so the chances are there. We all know whole seasons can get tipped on their head by single incidents (Neville's tackle on Ronaldo). If Tim's header had been 3 inches to the right, we wouldn't all be so ready to slit our communal wrists.

John Daley
24   Posted 16/12/2010 at 01:08:48

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"A friend of mine is a sports psychologist and has worked closely with members of the team"... He's obviously done a cracking job there then.

"Ok Louie lad, you can overcome your fear of injury via the power of positive thinking. Imagine that you're not really made of glass and underneath your fragile French skin you actually possess an invulnerable adamantium skeleton, like Wolverine out of the X-Men. You're unbreakable, indestructible, immovable.

"That's all for today. Next week we'll discuss your penalty box phobia and your fear of finding the net, before trying to get to the root of your running repulsion and the reason why breaking into a sweat scares you shitless."

Eric Myles
25   Posted 16/12/2010 at 01:50:37

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Michael #7, what you've described is what is called Risk Assessment, Risk Analysis and Risk Management ? and in the industry I work in, and I'm sure many others, is used to obtain positive results.
Jay Harris
26   Posted 16/12/2010 at 01:54:39

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as someone who understands Psychology surely you can understand the fans' frustration with Directors and managers who should know better than to continue with unsuccessful methods, teams and tactics... combined with a Board of Directors that run the club more like a Monty Python series than EFC and NSNO.

I have supported the Blues for over 50 years and have to say I have never felt more disillusioned with what is going on at the club. It is very hard to cheer something you are fundamentally in disagreement with.

You are right, there are a lot of keyboard "know it all's" but there are also a lot of knowledgeable Evertonians who know when something stinks at the club and will not put up with it.

I cannot fault any fan who questions why Saha is picked week after week when a blind man can see he is totally out of form... and why the Yak starts to get games, looks a lot better, scores a goal and is then benched for the next few games... or why Beckford, who has scored 2 goals recently, is left on the bench when we are crying out for goals and we are playing Wigan, FFS.

It does not take a genius to work out that David Moyes has run out of gas this season... and if he is reading this, I hope he takes note that this is not the David Moyes of a few seasons ago.
Michael Kenrick
27   Posted 16/12/2010 at 07:06:38

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Sorry, Matt (#14) ? I'll try to stick with words of no more than two syllables... damn ? that one's got three!You expressed concern about posts on this website. I felt it was my duty to respond. I'm not saying sorry for that.

But I did not intend to degrade you by my questions re your thoughts, and I'm sorry they had that effect. I guess my points caused you to feel that way because I questioned why you label posts on here as you did (the N-word).

Most fans accept they may get questions when they post here. Can't we even discuss what you said and what I questioned? I thought that's how it worked in a forum like this...

The problem I have is I don't see all this N-stuff you claim... so I see no need for people to think twice about what they post. I think that what people post is mostly true to their thoughts. People are posting their feelings about what they see on the field. They say these things because they have concerns about the good of the club. Why should they muzzle themselves? I really don't get it ? I am sure they are doing it for the good of the club, as my points show.

Why did you ignore my points? I have added numbers to help you respond. Perhaps you can help me see why these things are really not good for the club, as you say.
Martin Mason
28   Posted 16/12/2010 at 09:28:26

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I agree with your sentiment although I do agree with the right of anybody to offer constructive criticism. What we sometimes get on this board though is a form on institutionalised negativity which is definitely not constructive. Some fans, especially in the lower divisions give their team positve support and even at Everton this could be a good thing to get the players believing in themselves.
Dave Richman
29   Posted 16/12/2010 at 10:08:11

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"Your expectations are relatively high. Why?" Because this is Everton Football Club!
Gavin Ramejkis
30   Posted 16/12/2010 at 12:05:51

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Matt, I too have coached and managed a youth team and as I've got older managed both small and larger teams of adults in various industries, some in extremely critical environments where "dropping the ball" was often a red card and off the project offence. Different people react differently to different management styles but I can confirm that there are occasions when you need to give people a rocket up the arse with some well deserved criticism.

I like your example of dropping your negative player having a positive effect on the result, pity DM hasn't dome the same. Then again, how long before DM changed his mind and played Coleman on the wing or dropped Heitinga? Dropping Arteta was forced upon him and look at Baines's corners since? As paying customers to what is supposedly a form of entertainment, the crowds have every right to react and say what they like if they aren't happy with what they have paid to see.

It's a bit like the double edged sword celebrities play when they demand privacy one minute then whore themselves to the media the next. You simply can't have it both ways. Footballers earn disgraceful amounts of money and I for one don't give a rat's arse over hurting their overpaid feelings if they aren't performing and likewise DM making the same mistakes week-in, week-out. The world isn't like the cover of a Watchtower magazine, they are grown ups so they have to take the good with the bad.
Dave Wilson
31   Posted 16/12/2010 at 13:36:59

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A few words of encouragment often goes a long way.

The good old-fashioned boot up the arse might work for bullies looking for a short-term solution but it's brainless as trying to detroy 1/11th of your OWN team by booing him before he gets onto the pitch.

Criticise by all means ? it's not only your right, its your duty ? but save it for these forums or at least until AFTER the match.
Dennis Stevens
32   Posted 16/12/2010 at 14:01:21

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A cleverly written piece, but ultimately a plea for Moyes based on your opinion that he ?has been a massive shining light? & ?has done an amazing job? ? expert analysis from somebody who admits ?the honest truth is I haven't the faintest clue how to be a manager of a Premier League football team and do what Moyes is paid handsomely (granted) to do? but nonetheless goes on to suggest that, based on his own experience, ??teams pretty much dictate what they do themselves? ...

The implication being that it?s not really Moyes fault if the players let him down on the field of play, which is in turn explained as being a direct result of the lack of positive support from the stands, together with a small reminder of his perennial struggle for resurces: ?They are not the best players ? but they are the best available ??

I also find it hard to work out on what basis you feel those who call for Moyes head are ?clueless?, as you admitted it?s not due to your own expertise ? no, it seems to be based on your assumptions regarding that of your fellow posters.

Based on your comments, it?s hard to fathom why you rate Moyes so highly or are concerned about calls for him to be replaced, hardly seems like it really matters who the manager is if they have so little influence on proceedings. If your assessment of our collective football managerial knowledge on this site is accurate (i.e.- none), then the poster who calls for Moyes to go is no more clueless than the one who thinks he must stay ? regardless of who may be right or wrong.

I find your work-place analogy a little inaccurate too, as you fail to make any reference to the customer, which is what supporters are. In any workplace, if you fail to perform adequately for your customer, they will let you know, sometimes most emphatically. Whilst I don?t think booing or insulting players is beneficial during the match, the odd direct comment to let them know we expect better of them is entirely reasonable.

As for Anichebe, my first thought re the newspaper comments was: who put this out & for what purpose? If it was Anichebe?s agent seeking to gauge sympathy for his clients plight then he didn?t get the response he wanted, but if it came from the club then perhaps they did.

You correctly note that people are angry because their expectations are not being met (who would have been expecting a relegation battle this season?), and also mention that the winning performance we crave are ??something we know these boys are more than capable of ?? ? that?s why people are so frustrated!

Our expectations are based on ability we know is within the squad ? we?ve seen the evidence on the park. This is why Moyes is the target for criticism, this is his squad ? the best he?s had he says, & he no longer seems capable of managing them effectively. How do we know this despite our lack of football management expertise? ? Again, we can see the evidence every match on the pitch.

Andy Codling
33   Posted 16/12/2010 at 16:19:46

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They earn thousands and thousands of pounds a week and perform shite... but, hey ? let's have a pop at the fans because we don't happen to find Moyes's fucking garbage entertaining and have the audacity to express an opinion.
Charles King
34   Posted 16/12/2010 at 16:10:38

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Brave man giving off-the-wall philosophy to a tribe who make Doubting Thomas seem gullible.

Scousers of my era still think the word "ketchup" is for ponces... its "red sauce".

Reality is all, and it can be brutal.
Johnny Darkhouse
35   Posted 16/12/2010 at 16:42:03

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Jeff Magee (#8) ? I thought your post was a joy to read. Apart from supporting Everton, we have both endured years of watching/coaching youth football where the spectators know nothing about the game, but try to live their dreams by verbally bullying their or someone else's son. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.:-)
Eugene Ruane
36   Posted 16/12/2010 at 19:11:07

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When I started work (1980) me and another feller shared a tiny office.

However, as we got older we got moved to bigger and better offices.

Basically, the more senior, the better the office.

Oh and the boss of course had the biggest, plushest office.

Then a few years back, in office-buildings everywhere, open-plan arrived.

And a relatively short space of time after it did, most office workers were working open plan'.

It looked good, utilized space better, people could interact easier and it was more economical.

It was basically better in every way.

Well, actually there was ONE problem.

It all worked better until you added.....people.

Then it basically became like working in a huge fucking distraction.

In open-plan, you didn't just have to listen to your phone, you had to listen to EVERY cunts phone.

In open plan, you can't put a sign on your door that says "Dead busy, please don't come in" coz you don't have a door.

You can't have a 'George Costanza-style' kip or a private phone conversation or look at a bit of 'Frankie Vaughn' either.

Trying to concentrate in open plan is fucking near impossible because of other people.

However I bet the blueprints looked ace.

Linear, clean, neat and practical.

And that's what I feel about this post.

It all makes perfect sense....until you add humans.

I don't doubt some will buy into it and good luck to them, but to me, given the world we live in, a very logical path is 'expect the worst until proven wrong'.

(If I'm right, I was expecting bad news, so no big shock, If I'm wrong,'s a nice surprise).

Not a 'sunny' outlook I admit, but guaranteed less disappointment.

(nb: I doubt if my 'personality' is down to any genetic predisposition and suspect Everton has had a BIG hand)

Eugene Ruane
37   Posted 16/12/2010 at 19:52:45

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Charles King, this..

Scousers of my era still think the word "ketchup" is for ponces... its "red sauce".

This made me LO.....erm.....I mean smile loudly.
Brian Waring
38   Posted 16/12/2010 at 20:23:33

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Matt, when Moyes has come out and had a go at of one our players, isen't that showing negativity towards that player?
Tim Welsh
39   Posted 16/12/2010 at 21:20:07

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Matt is right.
Get out your copies of 'the Complete Record' and witness the sinusoidal wave form of our fortunes throughout our history.
Negativity breeds negativity.
Opinion is fine, but it must be backed up with positivity, solutions, suggestions and action.
The only way fans can show positivity to help the ailing egos of our beleagured strikers is to give them unconditional support. Not boos. Anichebe stands more chance of scoring than someone booing in the crowd. So get behind him and forgive him, at least until full time.
Be part of the cure, not part of the disease.
Dick Fearon
40   Posted 16/12/2010 at 21:32:41

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A good coach or manager would already have found that different blokes respond to different things. At the half time break only a poor manager lets rip in the same fashion at the whole team. Some players would respond positively yet to others others it would have the opposite effect.
Between those extremes there could be a range of differing reactions.
The aim must be to raise everyones performance so thought must be given to who and with what is best for each individual.
Mike Hughes
41   Posted 16/12/2010 at 21:54:09

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TW versus OS

TW hands down.

If you want so-called "positivity" go and listen to the laundered dross emitted from the mouths of players implicated in the current mess that is EFC - e.g. this week's installment from Jags, "We need more consistency". No shit Sherlock.

Why do people come on the site if they don't like it?

Whinging bugger.
Dominic Bobadilla
42   Posted 17/12/2010 at 01:08:10

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Tim Walsh (39): if negativity breeds negativity, then surely those who want Moyes out are justified in so doing, given the appalling performance of the team.
Bob Parrington
43   Posted 17/12/2010 at 07:12:39

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This was a great posting by Matt. It has certainly received mixed reactions and that is one thing I really like about Toffeeweb. Even in negativity there are some great insights. However, I agree that a negative attitude can barely produce a positive result.

Bare with me, please, while I relate a real-life sports related story that contrasts the two thought processes.

Some of you might not believe that we have an Ice RInk here in Adelaide, South Australia. But, about 6 years ago, the business owner went belly-up. This is the only rink and with Canadian, British and Scandinavian immigrants aplenty it was a potentially disastrous situation.

What a few of us did was create a "not-for-profit" organisation as an ice sports federation, lobbied govt for support and took over the business. This salvaged things for the hockey lovers etc. What we did next due to one person's dream was to create a program for "disadvantaged youths". In this, we now have 12 schools, from the lower socio-economic areas, participating. This means about 150 to 180 disadvantaged teenagers per term.

The students are usually staying away from school, the schools don't particularly want them there anyhow, and the teenagers have a fairly dour future ahead of them. Some are in to the drugs scene and some can't even read ... at 15 yrs old. A condition of joining the program is that they have to attend school. We call the program ICE FACTOR and, essentially, the teenagers learn to skate and play hockey. They participate in life skills program, learn to create their own tournament finals program and, invite ""dignitaries"' to them and they learn to apply for sponsorships.

Bare with me on this, please.

Every second year we hold what we call an "Ice Factor Spectacular", which is a fashion show. It is attended by about 550 paying guests at the Adelaide Hilton. The students are the models, strutting the catwalk.

Here we are, 150 to 180 students from poor families, the centre of attraction - now passing year 10 or year 11 or year 12 (I think that's A level in UK). Parents just like those I used to see on the touchline in Newcastle and Birkenhead when coaching (at least they went to see their kids play!); just like Jeff Magee #8 recognised had given these kids a lifetime of negative. BUT, you should see the positive resulting from a group of positive people providing positive inputs. It's fantastic to see these students pulling themselves out of their negativity.

Apply this as you like to the posting subject matter but, for me, somewhere along the line people have a reason for their negativity and that goes for Everton now. My view is that there are those who should be showing leadership and they are mostly those directing and managing the club.

Definition of madness ........ doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result!
Everton fanatic since 1953
Eugene Ruane
44   Posted 17/12/2010 at 07:49:48

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Tim Welsh, you say..

"The only way fans can show positivity to help the ailing egos of our beleagured strikers is to give them unconditional support. Not boos".

Unconditional support?

Couldn't disagree more.

You know who gets unconditional support?

Cult leaders.

"Never question, just do as we say".

Sorry but fuck that.

Bob Parrington, I'm glad your Ice hockey thing got sorted and it all sounds worthwhile and undoubtedly a result of a positive attitude.

But it's one example.

Like a lot of fellers of my age (51) I have an interest in WWII.

When you read about the period between the wars (l & ll) Winston Churchill insists throughout the 30's that Germany is re-arming and intent on war.

He is shouted down by all sides and called a war-monger.

These days (particularly these days when successful politicians are basically walking smiles) he'd have almost certainly been accused of negativity and told he should send 'positive vibes' or some such.

I'm NOT using this extreme example to say "So positivity is always wrong" but think it's fair to point out that for every story where positivity won out, there will be a story where an overly positive attitude came a cropper and ended up being seen as naive.

I imagine most of those who staked everything on finding gold in 'Californee' were positive thinkers and no doubt one or two ended up very rich.

The majority however ended up ruined and piss-poor.

On a 'bigger picture' theme, I noticed this line in your piece.

"Some are in to the drugs scene and some can't even read ... at 15 yrs old".

Sad (obviously) and great that they're getting help and being stimulated.

But I ask myself (and we ALL should) WHY are they like this?

I'm not looking for quick, easy answers like "Coz his mam's a piss-head" - I'm mean what is THE reason.

One theory is (very basically) 'the 60's'.

In the 60's, a lot of 'the old rules' went out of the window.

The 'young generation' decided that they wanted to break free from what they saw as a dour, negative, too-restrained generation.

And they did.

Music, drugs, flowers, bollocks to your parents etc blah.

It was obviously fun for many and was for a long time seen as an era of incredible positivity, but it turns out there WAS a price and I think your 15 year olds are (along with millions of others) paying it.

Just an opinion, not saying it's fact, but I do believe there's a lot to it.

Ultimately I think what I'm saying is that there IS a place for negativity and for those Evertonians who at the moment feel very negative towards the team/manager/board, this attitude is entirely justified and realistic.
David Bridge
45   Posted 17/12/2010 at 11:30:35

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Matt, no-one at the game is negative as the lads run on the pitch, we all have great pride and expectation and I still think as I always do we will win every game I watch... However, there is only so many times you can smile and remain positive when you see Saha alone up front who can't get near the ball and can't be arsed when he does get near it, you see Arteta take no active part, Neville unable to find a blue shirt, etc etc.

All this and then some beaut called Anichebe who is awful on the ball turns down £30,000 a week (more than I earn for hard graft in a whole year).

It won't stop me going and won't stop me spending any spare cash I get but please don't tell me to blindly follow this load of crap with positive thinking because it may work with the under-9s but doesn't work with millionaire journeymen players who don't actually love the Club they are at ? so don't really care!

Peter Roberts
46   Posted 17/12/2010 at 13:01:57

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Matt, nearly all the kids you no doubt coach will end up doing 9-5 jobs, earning maybe somewhere in the region of the £26k per year average salary. The athletes we are talking about are paid on average £30k a week!!!

They are winners ? the reason being is you don't become a Premier League footballer without a winners mentality. Are you suggesting that for one minute that these players respect the average man in the street's opinion of them? Of course they don't ? after all, if we knew the first thing we would be playing or managing.

We are just constantly fed the same PR announcements from Captain Nev or Jags saying "season starts here, most important game next etc etc"

The fans deserve every right to vent frustration, absolutely! If the players and Moyes don't like it then do something to address it.

For me, Moyes has reached his heights and is now arching downwards. I think he actually doesn't enjoy having options, because options raise expectations and he can't make good decisions. Limit his options (injury, no money etc) and he will rub his hands together, sing Dame Vera Lyn songs and tell any player who is prepared to play anywhere that they are world beaters and we grind results out. The patronising press will then sing his praises and say how lucky we are to have him.

Moyes's mentality is similar to mine when I had an old battered set of golf clubs, ? the snobs I played with laughed and wondered how I could use them, I did and could use them ? very well and the fact that expectations were low meant I looked a better golfer. Roll on my new sparkling set of clubs, expectations were high, pressure was on, I found myself experimenting and performance dropped, I realised that low expectations was my safety blanket. My Moyes has the same issue.
Matt Lavery
47   Posted 17/12/2010 at 18:08:30

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In my post, I explained that I was not against people being annoyed and frustrated, I was merely asking people to try and approach the next home game with more of a positive approach. I have said that there are times (many this season) when I've been frustrated with how we've played but, judging by the lack of improvement (results-wise) in recent weeks, I felt it necessary to not be all doom and gloom.

I am positive this does not have a positive effect on how the players play and I stand by my request to ask people to cheer on the lads in the most constructive and positive way possible. Regardless of age or money, we're all human and when the chips are down we can all do with a camaraderie and approach that will lift us out of the gloom. Just as not every millionaire is not happy with their lives as money doesn't buy you happiness, I am positive the vast number of players at Everton are not merely in it for the money, particularly when so many of them past and present have expressed their heartfelt love for and pride of the club.

Those who doubt Moyes has done a good job I am still bemused and calling for his head still makes me cringe. He has worked on a shoe-string and often his hands have been tied behind his back. Show me another manager who has produced what he has for as long as he has with what has been available to him. I did not request people to stop sharing their thoughts and opinions on all things Everton. What a boring reality that would be if we were all either positive or negative. As John Ford (#12) said, "I can deal with considered criticism, of which there's plenty. But It?s the head banging, short-termism and selective analysis which is so wearying" that disappoints and frustrates me.

Those who asked if I'd been paid to write the article are far wide of the mark; not every Evertonian thank God are as pessimistic and negative as some others on this site and at the game. The key word in that sentence Michael is SOME and therefore I am not referring to all who use this website. A website I often love to love and sometimes love to hate!

And finally, Michael - your second post was as condescending and haughty as the first. As for your points are you expecting me to disagree with them all? The simple answer, and if you'd bothered to read my post you would know that my answer is no, I do not wish to disagree with all of your points made. That's why I wasn't so pedantic as to reply to each of them separately and instead take it for the demeaning and condescending post that it was. I have addressed some of the general points you have made below:

There are players that need to improve. There are tactics that need to be improved. There is room for improvement at the club. All these points I inferred within my first post. The general point I was making was that: as there are improvements to be made at the club regarding management, players, owners etc, there is also room for improvement from some of the supporter?s attitude towards the club, management and players in light of the obvious progress made.

I will not apologise for being positive at this time of year when the boys in blue need us most, so Merry Christmas all and here?s to a good festive Everton season for us all! (Starting Monday)

And it?s a grand old team to play for, and it?s a grand old team to support, And if, you know, your History, It?s enough to make your heart go?
Matt Lavery
48   Posted 17/12/2010 at 18:59:34

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And I forgot to say, I hadn't read Tony Marsh's post about 'My Xmas is ruined'. But now that I have, this is the stuff my article was predominantly against.

Enjoy the weekend boys and girls.
Andy Crooks
49   Posted 17/12/2010 at 19:05:38

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Eugene, really good post. Matt, I respect your glass half-full article, I really do. But, like it or not, Tony is right. We are mediocre and saying so isn't negativity, it is realism.
Tim Welsh
50   Posted 17/12/2010 at 19:15:12

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Hey Eugene. Please don't get too excited.
We are talking about a football match/club not a political or religiuos ideology, and if you notice I do put a time limit on it... if Big Vic hasn't performed by then, then by all means criticse his performance... but if you want anything from a striker looking for form then perhaps encourgement is better than villification... I am a teacher with 19 years experience and I know what works best.

And Dominic, you have a good point, though I don't believe that Moyes is especially 'negative' in terms of tactics... cautious maybe, even over-cautious, but look at what he has achieved with us after the misery of the nineties ? you will surely not deny that we have had some good times since 2002? A man with his experience can provide more.

The 'problem' with Everton is probably many small problems, and what many people are looking for is one quick fix (which usually means the loss of the manager's job). One of those problems is the eerie silence from the fans, another is their vitriol aimed at players who could effect a change. Hence, I stand by what I say: be part of the cure, not part of the disease.
Christine Foster
51   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:26:17

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Tim, have to disagree with your final comments, the problem as you so put it, is not many small problems, its one and that singular issue has caused all the others.

Leadership and the lack of it.

The club is where it is due to mismanagement and poor decision making on and off the field.

We can't even point to a lengthening injury list this season. No excuses.

We have the wrong players playing in the wrong positions.

We have a manager who keeps making the wrong decisions over tactics (own admission).

We have a Chairman who has failed to attract a buyer / investor / for several years and as a result has stood by as the club that once shopped at Harrods now shops at Aldi.

We see a club that lives on a credit card and can't meet the monthly minimum payment.

We have the best set of players who can't play football together.

It's not negativity, Matt, it's reality, frustration and annoyance to watch it happen and for the penny not to drop.
Christine Foster
52   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:38:50

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I would go one step further.

It sheer bloody complacency that has got us where we are today. On and off the pitch.

Look around you at the reality of the Premier League in the last few weeks, Blackburn, West Ham, Newcastle. Your not even as good as your last result!!

I am tired of people telling us that we should be thankful for the Moyes and Kenwright partnership. I'm not.

If you want a positive outcome, Change. It's the only constant.
Eugene Ruane
53   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:07:09

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Tim Welsh you say..

"Hey Eugene. Please don't get too excited".

Dear me, what a desperate start.

The ACTUAL oldest trick in the book - "I'll suggest he calm down, which makes him appear excitable and me in control, how clever I am".

Problem is, my response was not in the least excited, in tone or in any other way (however, if I'm wrong please point out any raving paragraphs).

You continue informing us..

"We are talking about a football match/club not a political or religiuos ideology".

Yes thank you for your 'insight' Mr Chips (hope you don't teach your pupils to spell religious that way!).

Fact: 'We' are debating positive V negative in relation to football AND (as it's allowed!) using examples to back up our points.

That's what I attempted to do and that's why Bob Parrington used his (nb: non-football) Hockey example.

Come to think of it, very inconsistent that you didn't post "Come on Bob, this is not about Hockey!" (was this because you agreed with him?)

Oddly, you finish with..

"I am a teacher with 19 years experience and I know what works best".

That I won't pass comment on, that I'm just going to let sit there.
Charles King
54   Posted 18/12/2010 at 14:18:10

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I do think the foundation of your piece is wrong.

The myth that supporters will support anything is nonsense. Everton and Liverpool are the dominant clubs on Merseyside because of success, Tranmere Rovers aren't.

Notable ground atmospheres recently have included Portsmouth, Hull and Stoke. Stoke still is, because relatively speaking they are successful. Hull and Portsmouth are down to the diehards because of decline.

Fans have always been customers and if they're not getting value for money they'll let the supplier know... ultimately they'll stop spending hard earned on them.

Get real.

(If Kenwright and Moyes are reading... you to!)
Geoffrey Ireland
55   Posted 19/12/2010 at 01:12:41

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I have had my own grumblings towards Moyes over the years, especially this season, but I don't see anyone out there who could do any better. Unless money is available, we will be hard pushed to compete at the top level.

Yes, he's made mistakes... but missed chances this season have cost us dear. It saddens me to see all the negativity at the club... it's not ALL Moyes's fault.

People booing their own players during games, and I don't just mean Anichebe last week ? this has to stop. Get behind them if you love them. The away following is fantastic and the performances are better away from Goodison Park. Let's get behind them.

Amit Vithlani
56   Posted 20/12/2010 at 11:06:44

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I am with you Matt. I am old fashioned. I don't believe a supporter is merely a paying customer. If that were true, we would [a] queue up to watch the Big 4 or [b] Sit at home and watch the telly. We are supporters. We support. Through thick and thin, what has made football fans unique amongst sports fans is the enduring nature of our loyalty.

Yes, our loyalty has been tested this season but that's what makes the good times even sweeter. When we do win a trophy, after all the years of frustration, it will be a very sweet moment indeed. The other characteristic amongst football fans is optimism. At the start of every season we always believe....

I don't mind being slated for being too romantic, in this cold-hard-nosed era of objectivity, analysis and statistics. As I said, I am a little old-fashioned..
Chris Keightley
57   Posted 20/12/2010 at 16:19:01

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I have no idea what your kid's youth team and negativity has to do with paying fans watching dross! We vent our anger because as paying supporters we have a right too ? don't use your so-called wisdom and loose connections to tell me what or how I should support my team!!!

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