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Everton FC ? Love and Despair
Part 3: David Moyes and the Team

By Mike Fields :  23/02/2011 :  Comments (53) :
David Moyes has been our manager for nine years and I first of all wish to stress that ? red hair or not ? I do not believe we could have had a better person in the job. There are some fans who are not (or who have never been) happy with him. However, it is my firm view that his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. Yes, he has weaknesses but so do we all. And, given the limited resources available during Bill Kenwright?s reign, there is a real possibility that we could have been relegated from the Premier League at some stage. Of course, things have gone terribly wrong this season, and that fate could still await us.

First of all, in terms of buying and selling players, David Moyes could hardly have done better. So many players of top Premier League quality have been brought in at relatively little cost ? I think of Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Jagielka, Baines, Lescott, Howard, Saha, Distin, Neville and Coleman for example. When he has been forced to sell ? I think of Rooney, Lescott and Pienaar for example ? a profit has generally been realised.

We have had few ?big? purchases, and certainly none at the prices paid by the rich clubs. However, Fellaini has been a great buy and I still have my hopes for Bilyaletdinov. He is comfortable on the ball and has a great shot; perhaps with a decent run in the team he will consistently meet the pace of the Premier League.

I know that there have been mistakes, but the fact that Per Krøldrup is mentioned so frequently in that context shows how rare they have been. With his limited resources, I see no better Premier League manager in this respect.

However, what about this season? Firstly, I accepted at the outset that we had a strong squad and agreed with the policy of securing existing top players with long contracts. Teams, though, often respond well to the freshness which comes from accommodating new, skilful players, and we have not really had that advantage. Only Jermaine Beckford, on a free transfer, stood a chance of being picked regularly. At first, like many, I did not think he had the talent to make it. Now though, I see why he scored so often for Leeds. He is beginning to show some skill and is also scoring goals ? good goals at that.

A further problem this season has been that a number of players are not yet what they were prior to long term injuries ? notably Jagielka, Yakubu and Arteta.

The situation worsened in January. We brought in only youngsters, losing Pienaar and sending Yakubu and Vaughan out on loan ? the latter two strikers, who have scored goals since, at a time when everyone knows we are short of good players in that position. The suggestion has been made that the club has been keen to cut the wage bill. I don?t know if this is true, but it would be worrying if such a policy led to a weakening of our squad.

Last year, we signed Landon Donovan on loan and he helped to rescue our season. This year, our players have been able to see Steven Pienaar playing in the Champions League in the San Siro Stadium. That is bound to have a negative effect on their morale, especially as no decent new players have arrived. Having said that, while the game away to Bolton was truly awful, no-one could doubt the players? motivation, skill and determination in knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup. We need to see this in every game.

David Moyes has had considerable success in buying players when the resources have been available ? no longer the case it seems. He has also built good passing teams who have generally competed well for European places. His teams have been well-motivated, sound in defence and inventive in attack, especially from set-pieces. This has applied to parts of games this season, for example against Man Utd, Chelsea (three times!), Liverpool, Arsenal and Blackpool. Unfortunately though, too often problems have been apparent.

We were humiliated at home to West Brom, and at home to Newcastle the away team showed all of the urgency and persistence which had once been characteristic of Everton. There have been many other examples of inadequacy.

In defence, clean sheets have become rare. There have been many individual mistakes. Johnny Heitinga looked good as a centre-back last season but now he is either suffering from World Cup burn-out or he wants to be elsewhere ? though that would not appear to have applied in the cup game at Chelsea! While Baines, Distin and Neville frequently display great defensive skills, the distribution of the latter two is often weak. Phil Neville, of course, has the added strength of being a great captain; he can also cross the ball well.

In midfield, Fellaini and Coleman have done well, with great support from Baines. Pienaar also played well, but how many crosses or goals did he deliver? I have hopes that Bily will be better. After injury, Rodwell just started to show great form when he was injured playing for his country. Cahill has been great, but after injuries playing for Australia he does not seem himself. While ?There is nobody better than Mikel Arteta...?, we have not seen much of his class this season, and we certainly need it!

Arteta is capable of great free kicks and corners but, recently, too often he has not got past the first defender. For the near future at least, Baines should take a much greater proportion of these kicks.

In attack, it has been great to see Louis Saha back to his best, only to be injured again, but we have always known that he was injury-prone. In these circumstances, why was Ayegbeni Yakubu allowed to go on loan, where he has scored four times in six games for Leicester? In the limited games he played following injury, prolific goal-scoring did not return, but we know he is a regular goal-scorer (if fed) and we need him in Saha?s absence. It has been said that he argued with David Moyes (the same being said of Joseph Yobo), and perhaps we will never learn the truth of this ? but, if so, it is the manager?s role to sort out such problems.

We can never know all that has happened in training, or the state of fitness of all of the players, but team selection has often worried me. I would like to see more attacking formations; it worries me when we play with one striker against fairly ordinary teams.

At Bolton, I could not believe that Victor Anichebe was selected as a lone striker. This is a player who very rarely scores a goal. He is powerful and can hold up the ball quite well, but his passing is ordinary, he falls too readily, and he is very tentative when in front of goal. Surely Beckford (in the absence of Yakubu) deserved a start after his goal as a substitute against Blackpool?

In my view, offering a new contract to Anichebe was one of the manager?s few mistakes. Anichebe is at best a squad player for Everton. In any event, if he did initially turn down the offer, it should have been withdrawn.

I do not subscribe to the negative views of certain other players often seen on websites and heard among the crowd. Hibbert and Osman are both very good squad players ? Hibbert is a great defender and tackler, though having weak distribution skills; Osman is a clever and skilful midfielder who passes well, but whose main deficiency is that he rarely scores.

Substitutions are also a concern. Why, when things are not going well, must David Moyes wait until 60 minutes before a first substitution? If Beckford is to be a substitute, bring him on at half-time. Be adventurous ? for example, both Baxter and Gueye have looked good when seen.

One big tactical concern has been always bringing all players back to defend corners and free kicks. Why? If, say, Saha stays upfield, the opposition are likely to keep two defenders with him. We are, therefore no worse off in defence, and stand a much better chance of scoring from any resulting break-away.

Having said all of that, my view remains that David Moyes is the best manager we could have had in recent years. With money to spend, he could lead us back to greatness.

« Part 2: The Club's Organisation

Reader Comments

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Charlie Dixon
1   Posted 23/02/2011 at 15:05:47

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Out of interest, what is his net spend since he's been in charge roughly?
Colin Potter
2   Posted 23/02/2011 at 16:00:31

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A well thought-out piece, Mike, one question. After all that praise you have given him, why are we 14th in the league? His mistakes far outweigh his capabilities, and to my mind at Chelsea he managed to insult every player on Everton's books by choosing Anichebe again (albeit on the bench) after Anichebe's disgraceful exhibition of himself at Bolton! Moyes was just as bad, sitting there sulking. It seems to me that, even after 9 years, he just refuses to learn from his mistakes.
Stephen Percival
3   Posted 23/02/2011 at 16:34:25

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In the summer, Bill Kenwright and his board gave David Moyes £20 - £30M to spend on players, and I think it will be an investment made in heaven. The investment should be manageable as none of us want the club to spiral into uncontrollable debt. We need to keep a relatively tight squad and continue to develop the youth academy but we just have to pay our best players to keep them here e.g. Rodwell, Arteta, Fellaini etc ?

Firstly, it will give Moyes the money he needs to buy a striker and one or two other players to help keep the reality of developing a genuine squad who can tackle the best, alive. Forget out league position this season. In most games we have effortlessly outplayed the opposition but we are becoming a bit predictable.

Goalscorers are premium commodities and new classy but workmanlike players will give the manager different options to give his side a more multi-dimensional look. At times the team and manager are looking tired in battling teams with players costing tens of millions more than Everton. We have some very good players but good players are not enough any more. They need to be clever, pace is a must, know when and where to make the most out of a challenge, know when to fall and when to time waste. The top teams all do that successfully or are learning how to do it and these players cost money.

The squad and team spirit needs to be maintained and if we are selling a player he needs to be replaced with a better one. This didn?t happen with Piennar although Bily might come good and that?s worth a gamble in the short term.

Finally and most importantly, we need to find an investor and quickly. Despite Bill and David?s heroic efforts, if money isn?t forthcoming and David?s magic deserts him, the club could easily go into freefall. There are plenty of other examples. The players and manager are the most important commodity.

Keeping a tight reign on purse strings alone is not the answer and I think Everton are lucky to have a manager who has got the club to punch above it?s weight despite that constraint. It?s a balance between sound book-keeping and calculated investment. Investing £20-£30m or even more each season in a team with a manager who is arguably the best in the business, who is adept at spotting genuine class at a working mans price, is a gamble well worth pursuing.

Charlie Dixon
4   Posted 23/02/2011 at 16:38:39

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Stephen, I hate to tell you but...... oh I can't be arsed.
Charles King
5   Posted 23/02/2011 at 16:29:23

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I've enjoyed your articles even though I disagree with quite a few points, many thanks.
Regarding David Moyes I grant you his success at buying some relative unknowns and prospering with them but they tend to be functional defensive types.

In my opinion, his minimal risk football should have progressed after 2 or 3 seasons ? it hasn't. Although guesswork, I think most coaches could do what Moyes does ? especially given 9 years secure tenure.

Martin Mason
6   Posted 23/02/2011 at 16:53:26

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I tend to agree with you Mike. I believe that in reality we were/are a relegation club that has been kept up. Moyes has his faults but he also has many strengths.
Tony Wilson
7   Posted 23/02/2011 at 17:29:14

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Mike, fair play to you for putting your opinions on the metaphorical pedastal. This episode is stronger than the last, which didn't actually seem to contain much info about the club's structure.

I hate to be pedantic but Osman is not simply poor at shooting. He is a powder puff. Nice lad, but too weak.
Kunal Desai
8   Posted 23/02/2011 at 18:07:32

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#3 Stephen - Where is this £20-£30M investment coming from? Do you know something we don't? Has BK found it under his bed?
David Bridge
9   Posted 23/02/2011 at 18:58:03

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Mike, are you Moyes?s spin doctor because you have just failed miserably to promote the guy. You do not believe we could have a better person in the job... really? How about Hughton, Reid, Gray?

Moyes has had money to spend (I agree not enough) but similar amounts to Wenger until recently and more than other Premier League Clubs.

Moyes has purchased good players as you mention, but has missed out on a lot more quality players who consistently turn us down even when we were in Europe. Moyes has to take the blame for this if we are to give him the credit. Then there is his dreadful signings ? Jo, Bily, Senderos, Van De Meyde, Spencer, Davies, Kilbane etc.

We have not had a strong squad under Moyes this season or during previous seasons ? he failed miserably to tie our best player (Pienaar) to a contract and threw money at his mates Arteta, Anichebe and Osman, all of whom would struggle to get in a Championship side. Moyes is too stubborn to use his signings OR they are not good enough ? either way, he must take the blame; he has totally shot Beckford's confidence.

Moyes failed to realise the potential in selling Saha for £8M and Yakubu for £6M when clubs offered; this would have released much needed money to strengthen the squad. Now we watch Saha sit sulking in rehab and Yakubu playing pub football at Leicester.

Let's be frank: Landon Donovan came for a few weeks in order to get match fit for the World Cup ? this was not a Moyes-inspired signing and merely kept him in his job a little longer than he should have been; we relied on him in the end, which is bad planning.

You have quite rightly stated how tactically inept Moyes is ? his failure to make a change until the 75th minute, his failure to play a striker, playing Anichebe, Osman, Hibbert at all... negative, predictable play.

What was it you liked about Moyes again?

Dave Wilson
10   Posted 23/02/2011 at 19:16:42

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In 40 odd years of watching top flight football I dont think I`ve ever seen a center half more comfortable than John Terry on Saturday, he was playing in a deck chair. The contempt with which he treated Beckford was embarrassing. When Anichebie came on he did more with his first touch than Beckford did the whole match, he also had Terry unsettled and whinging like a tart at the referee for the rest of the game.

Thank goodness Moyes doesn't take tips from people who have read a few dubious stories about Vic in the Sun.

In the absence of strikers, Moyes has asked Anichebe to play in a different position to where he has played for the past three seasons ? when fit after a career threatening injury ? to use his strength, become a battering ram, not necessarily to score the goals but to soften defenders up like he did at City and more notably at Anfield where the match goers repeatedly chanted his name.

Victor will never be popular on these pages, like Emile Heskey, too many people don't get what he brings, his team mates know though... more to the point, so do the John Terrys of this world.
David Bridge
11   Posted 23/02/2011 at 21:27:08

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Dave, re Anichebe, I must have been watching a different game to you at Chelsea ? the only face-pulling and whinging was being done by Anichebe after consistently failing to control the ball. There is no way Beckford should have been brought off for him especially when we were crying out for a goal.

Let's look at his record ? a total of 13 goals in 5 years of football ? a fantastic record for a striker, I'm sure you will agree, and worthy of a new contract every day.
Colin Prendergast
12   Posted 23/02/2011 at 21:32:41

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Dave, have to completely disagree. Yes, Victor did give Terry more of a game when he came on. Completely different type of player though, and with fresh legs and with his physique, he should make it more of a physical battle for Terry.

However, he never looks like scoring. Ever. His touch is very poor, bordering on terrible. Not to say Beckford's isn't as well mind.

Personally I also think he's got a terrible attitude, always scowling and complaining, which I don't believe endears him to his team mates as, say a Heskey might. It's nothing to do with reading pages in the Sun, it's to do with witnessing a player who simply isn't up to playing for a club like ours IMHO.

Mike Elbey
13   Posted 23/02/2011 at 21:49:45

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Moyes's net spend in nearly 9 years is £23m.

This stat is even more remarkable when you consider that, after his first full season (Summer 2003) he had a net spend of £12m.

In approaching 8 years he has a net spend of just £12m. Whilst I agree Moyes has many faults ? I get as frustrated as anyone by his negative tactics and mystifying substitutions (when they eventually happen) ? I don't think there is any manager who would have achieved what he has on that budget. As such, whilst we wait for an 'investor', I wouldn't want any other manager.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 23/02/2011 at 22:16:24

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David 9 "Hughton, Reid, Gray"

Hughton = Part of managing team that took Newcastle down.

Reid = Feck knows what he is doing now... Hero as a player, shite as a manager.

Gray = Oh just feck off will you, fecken Andy "You beauty" Gray? What has he actually done in terms of management apart from moving smarties around a board after the game has finished, saying, "This is what he should have done."

Andy Gray... feck me!

Brian Denton
15   Posted 23/02/2011 at 22:37:16

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Got to agree with Tony about Andy Gray. To be honest I was trying to think of another potential manager with the surname 'Gray', in case that is who David meant. I can't believe that anyone would seriously suggest that we give somebody who has been out of the game for over 20 years his first managerial job.
Dave Wilson
16   Posted 23/02/2011 at 22:44:09

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Dave (Bridge)

If you didn't see John Terry was so comfortable he had started to step into midfield when Beckford was on, and if you didn't see him levelled twice and moaning like mad about the battering he was taking from Vic then you are right, we were watching different games.

BTW, although he`s been out injured for two of those five seasons you speak about, although he`s been played out wide ? not striker ? in nearly every game he played since his injury and although he still has about 10 years of his career left, Vic's still scored more goals in top football than Beckford has or maybe ever will.

Beckford gets in the box, he is not asked to engage 1-2 central defenders like Vic and, if the ball doesn't come into the box, he our boy Jemaine, is redundant.


Do you really think the hammering Vic takes is nothting to do with newspaper reports? Really? IMO if he was merely a bad player ? and I accept many see him as that ? he wouldnt take nearly as much stick.

The point of my post is this: Moyes played a blinder on Saturday, we had one fit striker and he was having a Weston, Moyes decides to occupy the Chelsea defenders ? a decision that went some way to stemming the tide.

We got to the next round ? object of exercise ? yet according to Colin Potter (2) Moyes cocked up and insulted evry Everton player... didn't seem insulted or out of the cup to me when they were all hugging each other at the end

Mike Elbey
17   Posted 23/02/2011 at 23:13:58

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David (post 9),

I think your assesment of Moyes's tenure as manager is at best harsh and in reality quite insulting to what he has done for our club.

You list 7 particular signings as failures but 2 of these (Jo and Senderos) were on loan and cost nothing. Kilbane was sold at a profit after giving decent service and certainly excellent commitment to the club. Davies failed but was moved on at a relatively small loss. Yes the likes of VDM was a waste of money and, whilst there is still time, Bily also appears to have been a poor purchase but every manager will make some bad buys. Do you think Ferguson is a bad manager? (He bought Veron and lost over £10m on him.) He has also bought numerous goalkeepers only to sell them almost immediately at losses. Do you think Mourinho is a bad manager (Kezman, Scevshenko hardly success stories).

The point is every signing carries a risk and Moyes has done fantastically well to get us challenging the top 6 for most of the last 6 seasons having had so little to spend.

You state that Moyes has had more than most other Premier League clubs to spend ? I very much doubt that to be honest ? £23m in 9 years?

Here's a sobering thought for you ? many are suggesting that Fellaini will be sold for around £25m this summer, with the money going towards paying off the debts and not being reinvested into the squad ? would you be suprised if this happened? ? as I wouldn't. And if it did happen, that would mean Moyes transfer dealings in his 9 years would have brought 2m INTO the club, ie he would have had NOTHING to spend in 9 years. And you seem to suggest he is a liability?

Oh and one final point, if you think Arteta is a Championship player then there must be some very good players playing in that league. Yes, he has had a poor season this year but to suggest he is not a worthy Premier League player is just plain ridiculous. Still some people are never happy are they, Dave ? I wonder what you would have thought if we had sold Arteta in the summer ? I suppose that would have been Moyes's fault also hey.....
James Stewart
18   Posted 24/02/2011 at 03:00:09

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Anichebe a battering ram?!!!! C'mon Dave you don't seriously believe that? The guy is a complete pussy and is rarely off his knees.

Beckford has a horrible touch, yes, but he has scored half of Vic's entire goals total for us in half a season!

Now don't get me wrong ? I would have neither up front given a choice ? but there is NO WAY Anichebe is more likely to get a goal than Beckford.
Michael Kenrick
19   Posted 24/02/2011 at 04:59:36

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Mike Elbey, here's some more names for you from the last 9 years...

Segundo Castillo
Lukas Jutkiewicz
Lars Jacobsen
John Ruddy
Scott Spencer
Stefan Wessels
Anthony Gardner
Bjarni Vidarsson
Anderson Silva
Richard Wright
Li Tie
Lee Wei Feng
Eddy Bosnar
Guillame Plessis
Tobias Linderoth 
Patrizo Pascucci
Ibrahim Saeed
Espen Baardsen
Sander Westerveld
Juliano Rodrigo

That's quite a list! Add these to the ones mentioned already and you get a rather different impression regarding just how good Moyes is at spotting and bringing through talent.

Marcus Choo
20   Posted 24/02/2011 at 05:51:45

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Hi Michael (19)

Referencing the long list of names there, I think quite a few of those were actually free transfers or loans right (e.g. Jacobsen, Gardner, Baardsen at least...)?

And I also wouldn't classify quite a number of them as ?bringing through talent?. My definition of this would be young-ish players in the below 23 bracket. At the most I would say Jutkiewicz, Ruddy, Spencer, Vidarsson, Bosnar, Plessis, Pascucci as falling in this category.

Li Wei Feng & Li Tie I can understand as signings for commercial purposes. Some others I would venture to say were meant as squad players to cover injuries or numbers (e.g. Saeed, all the goalkeepers).

I could agree with you that some like Linderoth, Castillo, Silva were ?losses?, but they weren't big losses right?
Dave Wilson
21   Posted 24/02/2011 at 05:55:54

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James Stewart

I dont want to change this to another Anichebe thread, so this is my last word on it.

Of course Beckford is more likely to score, he`s a different player, that's all he does, ask yourself last time Vic even had a chance? Can't answer? That's because Moyes asks him to do 99% of his work outside the box these days, You should have noticed that sometime during the past three seasons.

Moyes felt Everton as a team were more likely to score with him on the pitch, as it happens we did, that makes Moyes right and you and Colin Potter wrong.

As for the Pussy jibe ? tell that to Toure, down and dazed for most of the half at Eastlands ? or Kelly, left in unconscious for several minutes after our second at Anfield ? or Zak Knight, down for 10 and eventually forced to withdraw... John Terry or anybody else who has had to mark the big fella. One thing you can guarentee, no matter how badly Vic has played, his opponents ALWAYS know they have been in a game.
Mike Elbey
22   Posted 24/02/2011 at 08:30:32

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With due respect your comments are ill founded.

Forstly at least half of the players you mention are either free transfers or loans whilst I am pretty sure Linderoth was not even signed by Moyes.

I don't understand how anyone can criticise Moyes overall transfer dealings.

Yes, there have been mistakes as any manager will make. However, the facts are that as a Premier League club, we have a net spend of only £23m in 9 years and even more remarkably only £12m in the last 8 years. For this outlay Moyes has worked a miracle to have us finishing in the top 5/6 so consistently over the past few years.

Put simply, Michael, if someone in 2002 had said we would turn the squad Moyes inherited into the one we have now for £23m would you have said that was a good deal or that we were spending too much money ?

Transfer mistakes happen and it's very easy to list the ones that turn out bad but we should really be looking at the bigger picture. Moyes has produced an excellent squad based on the resource he has been given.
Dean Peamum
23   Posted 24/02/2011 at 09:13:39

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If you go to you can see all the Premier League teams' spending from 1992 - 2010. Everton's average spend per season is just under £2.8m and are 11th in the table below teams like Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle, Birmingham & Fulham, although I think we usually finish above these teams.

Check it out for yourself.

Chris Hannon
24   Posted 24/02/2011 at 09:17:29

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Wow, wow, wow... Phil Neville a good crosser? He couldn't cross the road! Unless you ment cross dresser?? Hayley Cropper??
Colin Potter
25   Posted 24/02/2011 at 09:08:51

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Dave Wilson,
If you can't see where the insult is, you haven't any imagination at all. You seem to thrive on just disagreeing on a majority. You said on another thread, that at one time you didn't like Moyes at all. But as time has passed you got to like him more and more. Seeing how he has taken full circle back to where Walter had us, would you care to explain that piece of, to my mind, idiotic logic?
Aiden Jones
26   Posted 24/02/2011 at 10:59:55

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"he failed miserably to tie our best player (Pienaar) to a contract and threw money at his mates Arteta ...."

Come on Mr Bridge. Pienaar our best player?? At the time he signed his contract, Arteta was out most important player and most fans were made up when he signed. His poor form this season should not change how things were then.
Mike Elbey
27   Posted 24/02/2011 at 11:30:57

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Spot on regarding Arteta. I, along with most fans, was made up when we tied Arteta down in the summer ? I certainly wasn't complaining at him being paid £75k a week at that time. Indeed, I believed it to be refreshing that a modern player stayed with us when he could have signed for other clubs on a higher wage.

That Arteta has had a bad season by his standards should not change the way we felt in the summer regarding his new contract.

And also to all these people claiming Pienaar was our best player ? how many assists this season? How many goals? How many in previous seasons? Yes, he is good on the eye and keeps play moving but his end product is poor, this is a fact backed up by the stats.
Alasdair Mackay
28   Posted 24/02/2011 at 12:43:26

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Well said Mike Elbey (post 23).

On Anichebe. I am a fan. He always gives defenders a hard time. His first touch does need work and I sometimes wonder if he is better suited to playing wide (where he can run at defenders) or playing as the target man (where he can knock defenders over). I think if he improved his crossing and his first touch we would be talking about a potentuial world class talent. Remember he is only 22 ? he has time on his side for another couple of years at least!

I think Beckford is doing a great job in the Andy Johnson impact sub role. He has pace, movement and can finish. When a defender has been battered by Vic or shifted from side to side by Saha for 65/70 minutes, the last thing they want is to have to watch out for JBs pace and movement!

What we are missing is real penetration from midfield. Arteta, Fellaini and Rodwell are all too naturally deep. We need someone in there who is more box-to-box to drive the attack forward. Personally, I think Bily could do this well, but he has to get in the side in central midifield and he is too far behind the three aforementioned and too in-demand for our vacant left wing position for this to be a reality at the moment.

Tom Jones
29   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:10:00

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Mike... I'm still waiting to see the point of these long-winded summary articles you're posting.... hopfully the 4th one will have something to say!
Dave Wilson
30   Posted 24/02/2011 at 12:47:54

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Colin Potter

Moyes insulted no one, not one player could hold his head up and say he didn't stink the Reebok out or put in the effort they did at the Bridge. You might be the sort of person who feels they can point a finger at one person and hold him accountable for that lamentable display, but I expect higher standards from ALL of our players.
I spend a lot of money following this team and if they all stink, I prefer to get the machine gun out. If that puts me in a minority, long may it continue.

As for Moyes, I became more understanding of his situation because I opened my eyes, I saw our style of play was infinitely better than it was when he came, I saw him struggling to manage a big city club with expectations, whilst being out spent by small town teams who were just happy to be here. I saw people like you STILL complain about the job he did with his two cost-nothing strikers at Chelsea ? a team who've spent about twice the current market value of our entire club on strikers alone.

I think what I realised most is, that he has done a fantastic job with ever dwindling resources, something the overwhelming majority of match goers seem to appreciate ? why else do you think they always chant his name ? and that sitting there pointing the finger at individuals was only making me bitter and twisted.

Idiotic logic? Maybe... but its one shared by just about every top manager in the game.
Tony J Williams
31   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:20:01

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Alasdair, even though we got through on Saturday, I was actually a little bewildered as to why Moyes didn't put Bily in the "Cahill" position. He plays there for Russia and is clearly not a winger.

The man has skill but doesn't seem to react quickly enough and I don't think that can be trained....unfortunately.
Tom Astley
32   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:15:49

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I feel obliged to respond to your list of players you named there. As other posters have alluded to, you can name lists of players for EVERY manager in the PL (note Ferguson losing £10m on Veron).

This list of Moyes's signing include loan signings and free transfers (with nothing to lose), or youngsters which showed promise at a lower level but unfortunately never reached the standard for PL, like many others every season. A number of these signings were made during his early years when our aim was to not get relegated rather than to get into Europe. Our expectations have dramatically changed since then.

How about we list players who he has signed for relatively small amounts and been successes / sold on for a considerable profit....

Marcus Bent (did the job when we finished 4th and then was sold on for nearly £2m profit
Andy Johnson
Nigel Martyn
Lucas Neill (did a job, on a free, sold for £800k)
Joseph Yobo
Peter Warren
33   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:21:47

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Dave Wilson, perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree over Anichebe. However, he has serious annoying habits, like always complaining he's fouled, falling over and banging the ground with his fist. When he does something crap, like try and control the ball with his first touch and loses it, he then pulls a face like he didn't expect it to happen ?- fair enough if it's Arteta but not if it's him who often doesn't control the ball well.

Other problems with him, his attitude, handing in a transfer request, not signing contract ? he should be a role model and proud to play for EFC... it just doesn't come across.

Perhaps the most annoying trait of his for me is the fact he is always unfit. He always looks knackered and can't last more than 60 mins. I used to forgive him when he was younger, as has a big frame and the Premier League is demanding for a target man, but he's had five years now. I don't know whether it's injuries or perhaps training is wrong, but he looks like a weightlifter now as well and not speedy, particularly acceleration non-existent.

That all said, your opinion may well be right and indeed, it does seem to be shared by Moyes who gave him a new contract and certainly appears to see something in him. My own view is he's pretty naff ? although nowhere near as naff as somebody else who Moyes rated highly ? Jô!
Alan Rooney
34   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:24:40

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Yes Michael (19) what was your point? So you can list a lot of names. Unless he can be constructive perhaps the editor should remain silent and impartial rather than provocative?
Tony J Williams
35   Posted 24/02/2011 at 13:43:23

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Segundo Castillo = Loan deal
Lukas Jutkiewicz = £1m
Lars Jacobsen = Free transfer
John Ruddy = £250k
Scott Spencer = £220K
Stefan Wessels = Free transfer
Anthony Gardner = Loan Deal
Bjarni Vidarsson = Youth team
Anderson Silva = his commercial and federative rights
Richard Wright = £4.5m England international and first season missed out on Europe by a point
Li Tie - Free and did a job until his horrible injury
Lee Wei Feng = Free
Eddy Bosnar = Free?
Guillame Plessis - Free
Tobias Linderoth = Bought by Smith for £2.5
Patrizo Pascucci = Free
Ibrahim Saeed = Loan
Espen Baardsen = Emergency loan
Sander Westerveld = emergency loan
Juliano Rodrigo = £1.25m

19 players for £7.22m Terrible business that.
Brian Denton
36   Posted 24/02/2011 at 14:12:28

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I think you've shot yourself on this one, Michael!
Charlie Dixon
37   Posted 24/02/2011 at 16:12:05

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Thanks Mike Elbey(13).

Not Moyes biggest fan at the moment, however, his success in the transfer market cannot be denied. Not even by the most die hard of the Moyes out brigade

Hughton, Reid and Gray are not the answer. Even if we had all 3 of them at once!
Michael Kenrick
38   Posted 24/02/2011 at 16:37:23

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Wow, what a prickly bunch.

I was just doing some site maintenance and started seeing more and more of these long forgotten names... and then I recalled thread after thread on here praising the great wisdom of Moyes the Manager in the transfer market.

Yes, the handful of successes are apparently what we must focus on (always look at the positive, never the negative... who said anything about 'balance'?), while this rather lengthy list of total failures he has bought into the club over the last 9 years ? and paid handsome wages to don't forget ? can be safely ignored.

Sorry to have disturbed another Moyes wankfest by daring to lift the edge of the carpet and look underneath...
Charlie Dixon
39   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:01:51

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Ha, Moyes wankfest... I'm still struggling on Claire Sweeney.
David Bridge
40   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:21:46

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Tony @ 35 you clearly show 19 players signed by Moyes ? I would have to point out that every single one of them was absolute shit and wouldn't make the Tranmere Reserve team. These players highlight why Moyes is absolutely clueless in the transfer market.

Pienaar, Lescott, Cahill and Arteta are exceptions. I would also count Baines; however Moyes didn't recognise his worth as a player in previous seasons and this might bite him on the arse.

Would love to see a list of all the players who have turned Moyes down!

Please don't give Moyes credit for the Chelsea game ? we won because Jags (out of position in desperation) jostled for a freekick and they missed their penalties. I was made up this happened but this clearly had nothing to do with good planning by Moyes.
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:27:47

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Balance Michael?

Loan deals when we are skint and "could bes" How are they total failures? Handsomely paid... I very much doubt it (compared to me maybe but not in the eyes of Premier League footballers).

How many of them were actually bought with a view to go straight into the first team as a major signing? One - Richard Wright. The rest were squad players to boost numbers but that proves they were failures because these squad players didn't oust the first team.
Colin Potter
42   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:36:45

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Dave Wilson,

I know it's wrong to pick on one player, but he was the one player who gave up trying, and it really showed, but Moyes showed that he just will not drop his favourites. What do these other kids have to do to get a game?

Another thing, you do not need money to play people in their right positions, or to play a game as if you mean to win it, not just to go anywhere and play not to get beaten.

In his early days, he was much more attack-wise with his tactics, but you weren't keen on him; he now plays percentage football and you think he's great! Obviously mediocrity is your thing, Dave. I can only wish you good luck, and look after yourself at the away games.

ps: Ask those young fans that do the singing, What would they do if we had a manager that knew what he was doing?

Mike Elbey
43   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:59:07

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I can asure you I am not on a Moyes wankfest as you put it. Indeed he frustrates me as much as anyone with his negative tactics and after most home games I return to the pub demanding he be replaced with someone who may actually send a team out to score instead of not concede.

However, the one area he is really beyond reproach on is his transfer dealings. As I said in my previous post, to turn the squad he inherited into the one we have today for a cost of £23m is bordering on miraculous, irrespective of his bad buys. All managers have them Michael, its as simple as that. Even the great Howard Kendall bought some absolute duffers in his time ? Mick Ferguson, Alan Biley, Kevin Langley, Ian Atkins, Ian Wilson (?)....

The point is criticise Moyes for his tactics and substitutions, that's fine, we can have a balanced discussion. But once you start calling into question his performance in the transfer market, your argument becomes flawed and to be honest you just come across as someone who hates Moyes and is not prepared to give any credit to the man at all. That is a totally un-balanced point of view and as such you are contradicting your reasons for criticising his transfer dealings in the first place.
Michael Kenrick
44   Posted 24/02/2011 at 18:19:54

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Mike, you can wail on me all you want, it won't have any of the desired effect.

The perception is that Moyes is brilliant in the transfer market, and some of our fans will not accept any criticsm in that department, as you clear exemplify: "Bordering on miraculous" is how you put it. In my book, I think he was just doing his job.

"But once you start calling into question his performance in the transfer market, your argument becomes flawed..." ? See, that's what I thought too, in my ignorance. Why, I even fell into line and praised the man for his transfer achievements in a recent post**... but now even I have been forced by the facts to admit that perhaps the perception is a little too favourable.

As for "contradicting your reasons for criticising his transfer dealings in the first place" ... err... you lost me there completely. I didn't really have a "reason" ? as I said above, it was more of an accident. Most fans (including me) have forgotten at least half of those names, but if you compile the total list (including the likes of Van der Meyde and Krøldrup, his two quintessential and utterly abysmal failures), the "balance" doesn't look quite so favourable.

I'm just being honest with the facts here; don't shoot the messenger.

** Everton at a Crossroads; Post #21
James Stewart
45   Posted 24/02/2011 at 17:31:22

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Le Tie cost a £1m not free but was a decent player. Loans aren't free as Michael states. There will be a loan fee which in the case of Castillo was £1m plus wages. Loan fees can range up to £3m these days for the top players, plus wages.

The point Michael was making was that there are as many failures as successes in Moyes's dealings. Krøldrup anyone!!!? Don't wanna knock too much though as, although I'm not a Moyes fan, I do think the transfer market is probably his strongest plus. He has never been given £20m to go and spend yet has sold two £20m plus players. He deserves better than the funds he has had and my issues with him don't apply to his transfer market ability.

Dave Wilson
Your flip flopping now. You stated that Beckford would never score as many top flight goals as Anichebe has and now your saying Beckford is more likely to score has Anichebe doesn't play in the box. C'mon off it man! Can you imagine Anichebe turning and volleying the goal beckford scored against Blackpool?! He would have had a seizure! Anichebe is a sorry excuse for a striker or winger.
Dave Wilson
46   Posted 24/02/2011 at 19:09:17

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Colin Potter

Sorry to spoil your little theory but it's not just the kids singing Moyes`s name, it's people of all ages, match-going Evertonians, people who are in agreement with ALL the top managers, maybe they`re all wrong and you are right ? when did you last see us play percentage football... percentage football? Every Evertonian is complaining we won't shoot, overplay and pass sideways too often... and you think we are playing percentage football??? You bang on about playing Beckford, then lecture others about mediocrity... are you sure?

It's true you don't need money to play players in position but you need money to fill the positions in the first place. Trouble is, Moyes hasn't been given £60 million to buy a couple of decent strikers and a couple of wide players so he plays Beckford, Coleman, Anichebe and Osman ? they cost nothing.

James Stewart

No flip-flop, lad, I stand by what I said ? If Vic retires and never scores again, there no guarantees Beckford will catch him. Your hero has been around years longer, plays as an out-and-out striker, hasn't suffered anything like the injuries... yet he still cant score as many as the "worst ever player" scored before he was even out of his teens... Impressive.
Mike Elbey
47   Posted 24/02/2011 at 20:52:28

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I'm not wailing on you at all. I am just pointing out that if you want a balanced debate on Moyes then being critical of his transfer dealings is not being balanced.

A balanced argument would be that yes he is good in the transfer market but can he then manage those players? Are his tactics up to scratch? Is he too negative? Why is he so bad at substitutions?

I can see all the negative arguments regarding Moyes the manager, some I agree with, some I don't ? that's opinion. However I just can't see how anyone can criticise his transfer dealings overall when he has transformed our squad with £23m.

For fear of repeating myself, its easy to pick the failures and ALL managers have them. Overall his transfer dealings have kept this club going whilst at board level we have stagnated more than any other time in living memory.

Colin Potter
48   Posted 25/02/2011 at 08:56:53

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Dave Wilson,

If you are right about older people singing his name (I've no reason to doubt you) don't you think they want their heads feeling after having been through the really good times?

By the way, I have never said in my posts about Beckford, but I will say he gives 100% more than Anichebe.

Talking about top managers, would you really expect any of them to come out and say Moyes is a plonker? Of course not. So you don't know what they really think.

Just one more thing, Dave, you say you have spent thousands watching Everton. All I can say is, excellent, and well done! We need more like minded people, but remember Dave, that doesn't make your opinion better than someone who cannot go, and can only watch every game either on the television or the computer. In fact, they have the benefit of replays as well.

If you're going to sing tomorrow, make it, "We don't care..." etc and none of that other nonsense.

Dave Wilson
49   Posted 25/02/2011 at 10:16:52

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For years when the family were younger I couldnt even afford to go the match, there was no Sky or computers. I used to be glued to the radio listening to half-witted one-eyed accounts on Radio Mersyside to know what was going on.

There's only me and the missus now and so I can at last afford to go and recapture the good old days. Contrary to what the editor thinks, I never disrespect the views of others, I`ve had to rely on them too often in the past. I fucken hate individuals taking the blame though ? even if they are big clumsy lumps.

You're right about older people knowing better times, but they will also remember Billy Bingham, Gordon Lee, Mike Walker, Walter Smith etc ? none of whom had to sell their best players.

These are hard times for our club and you need to accept that although he has obvious flaws, many people will take that into account and are prepared to cut Moyes a bit/lot of slack.

Tom Astley
50   Posted 25/02/2011 at 12:51:18

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I think a point I alluded to earlier has been overlooked, to an extent, here.

When Moyes first took over, our aim was to stay up which, looking back, explains the number of loan signings and free transfers to try and make the numbers up in, what was, a pretty poor squad that Moyes inherited.

Players like Li Tie, Li Weifeng, Ibrahim Said and the like, would get nowhere near our first team now. But back then, with nothing else at our disposal, we had to bring in those type of players in AND use them. Which, when you consider it, makes what Moyes has done even more impressive.

Yes, he has made mistakes (Krøldrup, VDM et al.), but name a manager who hasn't. On the limited budget Moyes has had, he has done well to get us where we are, and it is only now, as other teams start getting more investment, it becomes harder to find these 'gems', as everyone is doing now what Everton did 5-6 years ago (snapping up good young players from lower leagues for small money ? nowadays it is more like big money though).

Bottom line is we need investment.
Colin Potter
51   Posted 25/02/2011 at 17:38:16

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Well Dave,
thanks for the posts,I've enjoyed the banter, I'm sorry but I'm afraid we will never agree over moyes, he just doesn't fit with me. You are right about blaming individuals, I like to look at the bigger picture myself, when I calm down, that's where my dislike of moyes stems from.
Ian Edwards
52   Posted 25/02/2011 at 19:10:38

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Moyes has failed miserably as Manager. Didn't he say at the start of the season that he was happy with his squad and we would challenge for the top four? We are three points from the drop ? solely as a result of his negative tactics. I'm afraid league games don't allow us to park the bus and play for penalties like we did at Chelsea.
Dave Wilson
53   Posted 26/02/2011 at 07:10:09

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Fair enough, Colin.

Not the first time we`ve disagreed and almost certainly won't be the last, but there`s no doubt we both want the same thing at the end of the day. Three points today would be a good starting point.

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