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Time for Change

By Nick Armitage :  30/12/2010 :  Comments (24) :
I haven?t written an article for ToffeeWeb for some time now, mainly because, I don?t get as irate about Everton as I used to. I don?t go to Goodison much anymore and this is because I begrudge wasting my free time and spending my hard-earned cash on filling half-arsed players? garages with super cars. My season ticket went a long time ago and my desire to pay to endure negative insipid Moyes-led garbage, has almost evaporated.

Moyes had a 5-year plan when he arrived, but since that point, we have gone backwards. Money was not an issue when he arrived so Moyes should not be hawking that lame excuse around any journalist lazy enough to print it. With the exception of Osman and Hibbert, Moyes has signed, or introduced, and then coached every single member of that first team squad.

  • The lack of money is not an excuse for not moving at throw-ins.
  • The lack of money is not an excuse for hitting the first man at every corner we take.
  • The lack of money is not an excuse for most of your defence playing hoofball season after season.
  • The lack of money is not an excuse for midfielders never running beyond a forward.
  • The lack of money is not an excuse for not moving into space.
  • The lack of money is not an excuse for consistently passing sideways when the aim of the game is to move the ball into the opposition goal.
All of the above are all deficiencies in coaching and when Moyes says he is at a loss as to why we are not winning games, I can tell him why: The reason is that when he has opportunity to spend money he has blown it time and time again.

He spent big on the gifted, but limited and pedestrian Bilyaletdinov. He spent big on the gifted, but limited and pedestrian Felliani. He spent big on Yakubu and then systematically disintegrated what made him such a threat at other clubs. He spent big on Heitinga and then refuses to play him in his best position; instead Moyes chooses the error prone, hoofing, yard-dog Jagielka at centre back... The list goes on.

With such a heavy investment in so few players, who either sit on the bench or are constrained by the rigid Moyes structure, there is no free capital to procure players with pace and or flair. Hatem ben Arfa and Victor Obinna were both available over the summer but did Moyes even consider them? I doubt it. Moyes hates flair but flair entertains fans and wins games ? but is Moyes interested in winning games? I think his team choice and time-wasting substitutions at West Ham provide all the evidence one needs to prove that Moyes isn?t interested in winning games anymore.

And Moyes?s reluctance to try and win takes me back to his dogmatic adherence to his 9-year-old pattern of 4-5-1. It is dour and negative, because our midfielders cannot or will not overlap. It doesn?t matter whether this is due to a lack of pace or an overly defensive mindset, it is soul-destroying to watch. Conference teams could defend against our set-up; all they need to do is double-up on the target man and mop up the second ball, then break with a hint of pace ? Everton nullified.

Moyes has turned us from perennial relegation candidates into mind numbing also-rans. He will never win silverware because his sides are consistently incapable of maintaining any type of form for a cup run, never mind a whole league campaign.

We have lost all the home games I have been to so far this season and every time I make the effort to go to the alehouse to watch a game, we have been shite. We are coached not to concede and for Cahill to nick the odd goal. This is not the Everton I grew up on, this is not the School of Science, it is football played on the balance of probability and it typifies the defensive mindset that permeates Everton?s current coaching staff.

But unfortunately we have a catch 22 at Everton. This mind-numbing mediocrity allows Kenwright get to keep his train set. And while Kenwright retains his train set, and those in football are under the laughable illusion that Moyes is still working miracles, he is beyond reproach. Moyes is free to carry on stuffing his pension pot with your hard-earned wedge ? no questions asked. Much of the Goodison faithful are sick to their eyeteeth of this media hyped self-perpetuating illusion of ?over-achievement?.

It is time for a change at Everton, but we have a typical cosy club with no internal impetus or external drivers for change. We will carry on lurching from crisis to crisis until one of Kenwright or Moyes leaves Everton. And neither of them wants to leave.

Reader Comments

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Lance Manion
1   Posted 30/12/2010 at 14:15:03

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We cant afford to pay the remainder of his contract, so we're stuck with him untill it runs out.

But im sure BK will give Gollem another massive contract anyway, so as much as I do think its time for a change its not happening untill Moyes decides he wants to go.
Simon Jenkins
2   Posted 30/12/2010 at 14:36:06

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We have 'gone backwards' only since May 2009, 18 months ago. We have done so because money is a an issue; to kick on from finishing 5th twice we needed money spent, not selling Lescott and using the money to buy three players, two of which - Heitinga and Bily - simply aren't good enough or arsed-enough.

Money is the biggest problem at Everton; it is not an excuse, it is a valid glass ceiling that now exists.

Change does need to happen - in the boardroom and not in team management. Kenwright needs to accept that if he can't find investment then he needs to step down as Chairman and get in a businessman like - dare I say it - Martin Broughton (or someone of that ilk) who can actively sell the club or at least find investment for Moyes.

David Moyes is not the main problem with Everton Football Club at this time. Nick, I know several people like yourself. It is football itself you are falling out of love with, not Everton. You have clearly reached a certain point in your life when cynicism takes over, and it will probably happen to us all. I remember talking to an old fella who was actually at the game when Dixie scored his 60th. This fella had a season ticket for 50 years, but stopped going in 1983 because he'd had enough. I asked him if he ever went 1984-1987 (the glory years). He said no, not even for a one off. When your time comes to call it a day, you just do. He was sick of the players spoilt attitudes in 1983 when he stopped going to. Blaming Moyes for an endemic football culture of 2010 is not really fair.
Stephen Kenny
3   Posted 30/12/2010 at 15:33:27

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The title says enough without you even needing to add an article. I agree with it all by the way.

I only hope that when attendances inevitably start dropping Bill is forced to act due to the obvious financial implications.
Christopher Masters
4   Posted 30/12/2010 at 16:25:36

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Whilst I understand your frustration Nick, think about this .... Who would we replace David Moyes with ... David O'Leary ... ? Big Sam ... ? The Fat waiter ? The truth is that no decent manager (assuming there are some out there ...) would want to come to Goodison as we don't have any cash to build a new team with ....!

Even Martin O'Neil could only manage to get Aston Villa to a 6th place finish and during his time there he spent more than Moyes ...

The truth of the matter is it is pointless replacing Moyes at the moment as there is nobody better out there who would want to come to our club ....
Leon Perrin
5   Posted 30/12/2010 at 16:50:21

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Simon @ 2

You wanna rein your neck right in.

If I'd written this and you come on telling me about how it was time for me to go because of age or whatever smart arse analysis you come up with i'd have told you to fuck right off, cheeky little twat.
James Smith
6   Posted 30/12/2010 at 18:16:01

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In a strange first half of the season in the Premier League as a whole, admittedly it hasn't gone our way. Lack of firepower was always going to be a problem with the funds of Kenwright's "Train Set" mentality (which, by the way, is almost as overused a phrase as the Fat Waiter's 'Net Spend' critique).

Having just defeated the blood-stained petro-billions of Man City on their own patch, and outplaying an admittedly shoddy looking West Ham on their own ground, currently sitting above the Redshite who we soundly whooped this season, and sitting 12 points behind Chelsea, things are looking better for 2011 and I believe that us moving up the table is inevitable this season.

However, maybe like you say, Kenwright should derail his 'train set', sell our club to some chicken farmers, get rid of Moyes, poach Alan Pardew from Newcastle and sign a few big players on £200,000 a week who will subsequently fall out with the new poultry-based regime and go on strike and we can all start complaining about boardroom wrangles and the chicken shit we've got ourselves into.

Any club that has to play Tony Hibbert at centre back is clearly looking for investment but there is a recession and our stadium is made of wood. I don't understand what else is supposed to happen to the club we love, and sacking Moyes would be an unmitigated disaster as most people who know anything about football would be able to tell you (I reckon even Alan Shearer might be able to tell you that, just maybe).

Maybe you should move to Surrey and start supporting Chelsea, then you can call for Ancelotti's fat head on a plate every week. Other than that, see who we get in on loan in the transfer window, sit tight, and trust in Moyes that we will again finish strongly as we do every season.

Marcus Kendall
7   Posted 30/12/2010 at 18:56:40

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It annoys me when people say "Who can we get to replace Moyes?" and then proceed to name managers just because they have a highish profile.

Plenty of managers would love to manage Everton, lower league managers who have showed promise and there are lots of these (Poyet, O'Driscoll, Lambert to name just three)...

And Poyet espeically would see us playing much more pleasing football. Sure, it's a gamble... but so was employing Moyes in the first place.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:16:46

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Another overused phrase James is: "Most people who know anything about football."
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:10:38

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James (#6) ? amusing that you chose to use as an example a team that would use Tony Hibbert as a Centre Half as one clearly looking for investment. Can you share your cosmic wisdom on why that investment hasn't happened in over a decade of BK's ownership and how the current recession has any relevance to that figure again ? slowly over 10 years, unless you know what global economists haven't realised and that the recession is really a decade old too.

If you chose to denigrate this website with your opening salvo, then why bother browsing to it, reading an article and commenting? Are you really Ian Ross by any chance?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
10   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:29:58

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Well, the recent discussions seem to have flushed a few of the neanderthals (oops , another big word!) out of the undergrowth... Time for some new policy statements:

1) This website is for the discussion of Everton. Generalized denigration of this website, the debates and arguments or the posters and contributors will result in a loss of posting privileges.

2) We will no longer tolerate this garbage about "lack of football knowledge" or "know nothing about football".

3) We will no longer tolerate people suggesting their fellow Evertonians should consider supporting another team.

Discuss the topics without throwing abuse around, please. If you have any issues with this policy or its implementation, contact me directly via the feedback page.
Mark Pierpoint
11   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:33:36

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Marcus, your targets are good. O'Driscoll for me would be worth a punt. The whole debate though is totally pointless. Without Moyes resigning, it is a non-starter.

I think that we can do something though. As a club, we have to insist on a change at coaching level. As I have mentioned on another thread, I am sure that there have been little changes since Moyes took over, other than Round.

All of these have seemingly kept a Championship mentality if performances over the last 6 years are anything to go by. The board should be telling Moyes that fresh blood is needed. we need people like Poyet etc on our coaching staff ? all of our staff are simply old-school English lower league players. No wonder we have no creativity.

Paul Johnson
12   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:33:21

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James. You are I am assuming one of those guys who thinks we are lucky to be were we are but lets get something straight here, mediocraty is not something my arl fella told me I was signing up to 45 years ago. It was a winning mentallity built on style, skill and hard work. It was watching the best wear the famous Royal Blue. It was not watching my team play West Ham for a point away.

Granted there have also been some poor Everton teams over that 45-year period and some I have expected to lose at West Ham but not this one. I was gutted when the line-up was announced but it seems to me like you must have been dancing round like we have won the cup.

What drives guys like you to follow Everton and be so happy with your lot? Go do yourself a favour and go and support someone whose main ambition is to stay in the Premier League.

James Stewart
13   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:47:27

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Christopher, there are better out there, my friend.

I would love to see what Holloway could achieve with this squad.
Dick Fearon
14   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:08:12

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The West Ham game showed that Moyes does indeed have a Plan B. That was clearly demonstrated by the speed we could switch from 4-5-1 into a 4-6-0 formation and then to 10-0-0.
Paul Johnson
15   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:50:04

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PS James: Like anyone on this website would give a fuck what Alan Shearer had to say.
Marcus Kendall
16   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:58:51

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James Stewart, don't get carried away with Holloway; sure he's doing well currently but he's had enough failures to suggest he could be a Phil Brown type one-season wonder.

I agree with Mark, the problem is Moyes is here to stay... so to debate potential new managers is rather pointless.
James Stewart
17   Posted 30/12/2010 at 20:30:16

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Marcus, not carried away with Holloway at all but he has been a breath of fresh air this season. It's the Moyes ethos I can't stand and that isn't going to change.

So I would much rather have someone who is prepared to attack.

Marcus Kendall
18   Posted 30/12/2010 at 20:33:29

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Holloway is a media sound-byte; trust me, his Blackpool team are not as attacking as his media fanclub would have you believe. Also, look at the expectations of Blackpool, he can pretty much do whatever he likes and he'll know he won't have the fans/board against him.

Truth is, if Holloway took over a club with bigger expectations, he'd be more cautious and I'd wager he'd fail miserably as he did at Leicester.

Joe Rourke
19   Posted 30/12/2010 at 20:41:51

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Nick, A couple of points for you:

1st Point: 4-5-1 or 4-1-3-1-1 as was the then version of it introduced to Everton when Cahill arrived and Rooney left. That was 2004 ? 6 years ago, not 9. I think it was more a reaction to the squad of players (mainly inherited) that Moyes then found himself with.

He had played with a 4-4-2 (diamond) formation before that and it had generally worked. Actually, Moyes had proven able to generally get the best out of his squad by picking a formation to suit the players abilities / limitations.

His most recent version of 4-5-1 which was successful against Chelski and Shiteh was closer to a 4-2-3-1 (double pivot) ? a different kettle of fish entirely and probably suits the players we have the best. Ideally, with the right one or two players in or out, Everton could have the option of playing an attacking 4-3-3 aka Chelski as an alternative. Why did he switch to 4-6-0 for West Ham with (was it) 4 strikers on the bench? ... I don't understand.

My point is that it has not been always as singular and dour as you say.

2nd point: what, if not good, exactly was the FA Cup Run of 2009? We beat the Redshite in a replay, Aston Villa were walked over, Manure narrowly and Middlesboro after a bad start and I think some Championship team before losing not too disgracefully to Chelski in the final. Villa, Liverpool and Manure were all ahead of us in the table when we beat them. I dare you to find a cup winner who beat more than four Premiership teams or old Division One in a cup run in recent history.
Nick Armitage
20   Posted 31/12/2010 at 00:30:38

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A couple more points for you.

Moyes has virtually always employed a 4-5-1. Radzinski ran the line as a lone striker and he was replaced by Bent. AJ then followed and did the same job. The only time I remember a 4-4-2 was on the few rare occasions Ferguson came on as a sub or Rooney or McFadden came on as a support striker. To say the 4-5-1 is a recent invention of Moyes's is plain wrong.

You confirmed my assertion with the abject Cup Final display ("not too disgracefully" ? did you even watch that game?). I said that a Moyes team cannot sustain form for an entire cup run ? there is the evidence. I was virtually on the touchline at Wembley and the body language was all wrong from the off. We lost it before the KO and again, all his usual favourites in a negative 4-5-1 was employed, and Chelsea ran us around the houses.

Everton will never win a trophy under Moyes, if you are happy watching him coach all flair and skill out of players then good luck ? you have got the dour and negative manager you deserve. I expect more from the club I have supported for a lot longer than he has been employed here.

Moyes has had his chance, for fans to say "who else could we get?" is a pathetic kop out. Don't tell me there is nobody in world football who would not be willing to coach that squad to go out and try to win games and entertain a very disinterested Goodison faithful. That is all I want.
Derek Thomas
21   Posted 31/12/2010 at 01:38:16

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Nick (#21) ? that's a big "hear, hear" from me.
Ryan Rosenberg
22   Posted 31/12/2010 at 08:34:19

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Roberto Di Matteo...
Brian Mills
23   Posted 31/12/2010 at 11:28:07

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Moyes systematically dismantles strikers/goalscorers. Remember, Ferguson, Rooney, Beattie, AJ, Yak, Bent... Each one came to us with reasonable track records and every one left with their reputation destroyed.

There's no point in playing Cahill as a lone striker. His goals are scored when he attacks the ball from midfield, unmarked. Playing as a lone striker he is permanently up against 2 centre-backs.

Now I am not a tactician, but it's there for all to see. Moyes is too negative. How can you play West Brom & Wolves at home with one lone striker???/ Defies logic!!!

Michael Kenrick
24   Posted 31/12/2010 at 16:28:16

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Nick, a pity that these are the circumstances to bring you out of your shell. You write with crystal clarity and bang all the nails straight and true.

It needs saying, and you say it far better than I ? thanks for posting.

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