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12 Years of Hurt or Success?

By Scott Campbell :  06/04/2011 :  Comments (48) :

I have no doubt that it is stating the obvious to say that this summer is perhaps the most important summer in the history of our great football club. A whole new regime is needed for us to head into the 2011-12 season or we will be left behind.

Let's go back to 1999 when Bill Kenwright's consortium secured the deal which led to ownership of the club moving from Peter Johnson to effectively Bill Kenwright. After completing the deal, Kenwright said the following:

"Acquiring Peter Johnson's shares is only the first step to restoring a great club to where it belongs ? to where it should be. If you are going to run a successful football club, you need two qualities: you need to be realistic and you need a plan. I'm realistic and I have a plan."
The whole Kenwright buyout in 1999 was itself built upon extremely shakey foundations with alleged monies being borrowed from various parties, something Kenwright has made a habit of doing throughout his time running our club. Kenwright's sheer desperation to wrestle control of the club from Peter Johnson forced him to effectively carry out a leveraged buyout; the banks didn't back him and so he went about cap in hand asking people to lend him money in order for him to secure the £20 million for Johnson's shares.

At the time we were in an incredibly stricken financial situation ? around £14 million in debt ? hence our prospects for investment were bleak. Then, like now, we were effectively, for want of a better word, uninvestable. Nothing has changed in 12 years in that regard, things have gotten worse off the pitch.

Since gaining control of the club in 1999, Kenwright has overseen one disaster after another ? NTL, Kings Dock, Destination Kirkby ? as well as overseeing a massive increase in debt. It was Peter Johnson that led us into this financial blackhole but it has been Bill Kenwright that has guided us towards the point of no return. So that leaves me wondering who will be sold off in the summer in order to appease the banks? Because, let's face it, Bill Kenwright has been doing business at Everton that way since day one. Francis Jeffers and Michael Ball were sold to appease the banks in 2001, likewise Wayne Rooney was sold in 2004 so inevitably we must ask who will it be in 2011?

After 12 years of financial neglect and mismanagement under Bill Kenwright's setwardship he still relies on the propaganda of yesteryear ? "I'm an Evertonian!" And, just like that, the wool is pulled over thousands of Evertonians' eyes! In his time as the main force in the Everton boardroom, we have seen our debt spiral to almost £50 million; the club's wage bill has likewise risen to a staggering £54 million (almost 70% of our income); losses are running into the millions, and his relationships with numerous fellow directors who have disagreed with him has soured which leaves me thinking that our chairman is not just an incompetent man but is also an arrogant, one-track-minded one.

It leaves me shaking my head in disbelief when you hear Kenwright or Elstone going on about sensible financial management! How stupid do they think we are? They both seem to think that we're in a good position right now! A couple of months back Elstone said:

"The simple facts are that approaching 85p in every £1 we bring in ends up, one way or another, at our Finch Farm training ground. From young prospects, to scouts, to medical support, to coaches and, of course, to our first team squad, almost £70m, out of our £80m of income ends up there."
It's absolutely terrifying to think that these men are running our beloved club yet still so many Evertonians hear Bill Kenwright say the words: "I'm an Evertonian" and accept that he's the man for the job.

So what do we have to show for all that investment which Robert Elstone talks of? Well, that leads me to look at the second part of the problem: David Moyes.

People have talked and talked about David Moyes performing miracles at Everton Football Club. "He works on a shoestring budget," they say. "He gets no money to spend" is another commonly quoted nugget. Seriously though, let's once and for all put this matter to bed: David Moyes has spent money! Whether or not the outgoings on transfer fees has come from money raised from the sale of other players or not, he has still spent money.

For four consecutive seasons, Moyes broke our record transfer fee ? Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu, Fellaini ? spending just over £40 million on four players in the space of 3½ years. It is utter stupid to counter this with the "Well, he's only spending what he brought in!" argument (let's leave that to the shower across the park). Granted I wholly agree that the chairman should be providing extra funds on top of what Moyes has brought in but that's another point. For now, let us just accept that David Moyes has spent money, because he has.

Moyes has been somewhat hit-and-miss in the transfer market: for every Arteta and Cahill there has been a Per Krøldrup, but I do think it would be fair at this point to say that every manager in the Premier League has signed his fair share of duds. However, because of the board's neglect, Moyes is having to use what money he does get (which has been from time to time £20 million from the Lescott deal) very wisely.

On the contrary though, Moyes has been incredibly irresponsible if not stupid. How else do you explain spending £9 million on Bilyaletdinov and not really offering him a run of games in his correct position? £6 million on Heitinga only to play him completely out of position? He even spent £1 million spent on Magaye Gueye only to not use him until he absolutely had to! That's £17 million on three players that are not, it seems, in Moyes's first-team plans.

Moyes currently has a staff and squad of players which, as I discussed above, take just under three quarters of our total income. I can't pretend to know just how much each player earns but I'm guessing that several of our first team players in no way shape or form justify the salaries they earn. Louis Saha for instance is not my cup of tea in general but I'm fairly sure he will be one of the top earners at the club and he pays us back with spending more time on the examination table than on the pitch. Likewise I admire Phil Neville's professionalism as much as the next man but how much money is that professionalism costing us?

Finally, and this is something I would love to know the answer to: how much is Victor Anichebe earning after he signed his new deal not long back? Anichebe for me is one of the worst "footballers" I have ever seen in an Everton shirt! A centre forward with 7 goals in 86 appearances who is clearly detested by a number of fans and who cannot even use his imposing build to put in a bit of effort to make up for his clear lack of ability. Yet Victor Anichebe, for all his lack of effort and lack of ability, signed a new 4½-year deal worth a reported £30,000 per week with us several months back! It's decisions like that which leave me shaking my head in disbelief. Whoever makes these decisions is making a major contribution to the debt problems the club is already fighting. If it is David Moyes then it is nail number one in his coffin for me.

One major issue we're having at present is the bizarre situation regarding the size of the squad and the number of players out on loan. We have Jermaine Beckford left as our only recognised first team striker right now ? Anichebe is an non entity as far as I'm concerned ? yet we have Vaughan and Yakubu out on loan. Why? Is it Kenwright forcing Moyes or is Moyes happy to let the squad numbers dwindle?

We're short of cover in a number of areas yet, for whatever reason, we're letting players go without replacing them. I did not understand, for example, letting Lucas Neill go last year. If I remember rightly, Moyes spoke of how we were getting a profit of £750,000 for a player who cost us nothing - likewise the whole Pienaar debacle was explained away in much the same manner. Lucas Neill came out and said he didn't want to leave but Everton wanted to sell him. It's these decisions that make wonder what's going on? Is this Kenwright's mismanagement once more or is it down to Moyes? Either way, is that what we've come to? Scraping around for what is by today's standards miniscule amounts of money to pay off debts!?

On the field, I find David Moyes incredibly frustrating much of the time; I find him tactically inept and utterly one-dimensional. When Moyes's one way of playing football doesn't work ? his beloved 4-5-1 ? we're screwed. He is either unwilling or unable to change things around. It is only when his hand is forced that we see something a little different.

A manager that is unable to adapt his way of playing can never be a success. His 4-5-1 formation is heavily reliant upon us facing a team that will open up. If we face a team which defends and hits us on the break, then we usually lose. Moyes's mentality is such that we are completely unable to create chances and break a team down. David Moyes is all about backs to the wall, let's get a result. Rarely does a David Moyes team go out, outplay and beat a team ? yet that is what football should be all about.

Likewise, his persistence in playing people out of position has had me scratching my head for a number of years now. We have needed a truly class act in the box for years now and he's never adequately filled that role; the same thing can be said about our need for an out-and-out wide man who can beat a defender, as well a creative midfielder!

This draws me to my final point about Moyes. Tim Howard is for me absolutely abysmal! I see him as far and away one of the worst goalkeepers in the Premier League. I do not want to go into discussing him completely because he warrants an article all of his own. Howard has cost us a number of ties in Europe in the last few seasons as well as domestic matches, including, one could argue the FA Cup Final in 2009, yet Moyes has stuck with him. I really do not get this at all.

A top class goalkeeper should be the starting point of any good side. Look what Birmingham did when they had Joe Hart on loan last season compared to them having Ben Foster this season; likewise, look at the number of clean sheets Nigel Martyn kept for us then look at the amount of goals that Tim Howard lets slip. Suddenly, the 1-0 victories with Nigel Martyn turn into 1-1 draws with Howard... or worse. He is a poor goalkeeper and the fact that Moyes does not see this only strengthens my belief that in certain areas he is clueless.

I asked earlier what do we have to show for all the investment in wages and so on and the answer is simple: we were FA Cup Runners Up in 2009. That is reality. People always defend David Moyes with league positions and European qualifications but please do not insult the great history of our football club by telling me that is success ? it isn't!

What is needed is a revolution on and off the pitch over this summer in order for us to build a better future for Everton Football Club. All these Bernie Mullin rumours last week just reinforced for me how much and how great a change is required off and on the field. Kenwright and Moyes are a double act doing nothing but damage to our football club and both need to go this summer if we ever want to be successful again.

Of course we don't know what the future might bring but a US-based consortium helmed by Mullin could be the answer we've been longing for. I would like to think that, following Kenwright's departure, Moyes would also leave... either way, one of them has to go first. Who would we go for to replace Moyes? I'm sure we all have our own views; personally there is only one man for me: André Villas Boas. If that is a little too fantasy football then I'd like to see a European coach come in. Johan Neeskens would be the man for me or perhaps even a younger coach like Luis Enrique from Barcelona. Somebody with a clear effective system of playing football who can deliver us the one thing we crave: real success.

Looking back it's clear that Kenwright sold us a lie in 1999; he was neither realistic nor did he have a plan. It's also thanks to him that the future is gravely uncertain for us at present. It's impossible to know just what is to come but the one thing I am sure of is that Kenwright must not be allowed to sell us another lie and that he and Moyes cannot be the future for Everton Football Club.

Reader Comments

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John Maxwell
1   Posted 07/04/2011 at 00:49:14

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"This summer is perhaps the most important summer in the history of our great football club"...

Just like last year, the season before and next summer??? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
David O'Keefe
2   Posted 07/04/2011 at 01:14:37

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"For four consecutive seasons, Moyes broke our record transfer fee ? Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu, Fellaini ? spending just over £40 million on four players in the space of 3½ years. It is utterly stupid to counter this with the "Well, he's only spending what he brought in!" argument (let's leave that to the shower across the park).

Granted, I wholly agree that the chairman should be providing extra funds on top of what Moyes has brought in... but that's another point. For now, let us just accept that David Moyes has spent money, because he has."

Well aren't you confused? Can we use the net spend argument or not?

As for "Moyes Out", it's a minority opinion. Opinions on Kenwright? Nobody knows.

Rob Keys
3   Posted 07/04/2011 at 01:22:54

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With all due respect Scott, nothing new here. Also, I think the talk about an out-and-out wide man, class act, creative midfielder cuts no ice. How many wide players exist in today's modern game? Who doesn't know that we need a class act in the box and a cretaive midfielder? All these cost you and arm and a leg. And you don't always unearth gems everyday.

I will give you credit for highlighting Moyes's baffling use of (or lack of) players like Bily et al. But stating the obvious about those key positions... c'mon, the going rates for those players cost as much as our debts.

Brian McGee
4   Posted 07/04/2011 at 05:22:41

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Hear, hear. While I believe your comments would be the views expressed by the majority of the older generation of supporters, I feel it's a tragedy that the majority do not consent to these sentiments.
Ste Traverse
5   Posted 07/04/2011 at 05:28:36

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As far as I'm concerned, Kenwright has only ever been on an ego trip fronting this club since Day One. He acquired EFC with absolutely no idea how to fund it ? and, nearly 12 years on, still doesn't.

We are only going to go further and further into a black hole while this joker is clinging to power.
Brian Lawlor
6   Posted 07/04/2011 at 07:43:11

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You say to look at all the clean sheets Martyn kept and the goals Howard ships. Doesn't Howard have the record for most clean sheets in a Prem season? The season before he broke it, he equalled it.

You're going on about Moyes having spent money. Tell us all what he's spent net and then you say whether he truly has or not.

Heitinga is being played out of position because a) our squad is depleted and b) the two centre halves, Distin and Jags are keeping him out. We have 3 good centre halves which is the minimum you need. Should Moyes play all 3 at centre half to keep you satisfied? When Jags was out, Heitinga was immense.
Brian Lawlor
7   Posted 07/04/2011 at 07:59:39

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To clarify my point on Howard, it's the club record he has.
Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 07/04/2011 at 08:17:44

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The great James Beattie transfer record? £6m. Johnson? What was his? £6.5? Then the Yak at £11m and The Big Hair at £15m.

So many other clubs had spent higher fees than Felliani's prior to the Beattie transfer.

For all the negative aspects mentioned it would be just as easy to write a positive article on all the good things Moyes and Co do.
Derek Thomas
9   Posted 07/04/2011 at 08:22:28

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Move along, move along... nothing (new) to see here.
Mark Murphy
10   Posted 07/04/2011 at 09:10:34

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I think its a bit unfair to simply dismiss Scotts effort as more of the same. He has his thoughts and opinions and has every right to put them on here for discussion. Whilst I don't agree with much of it, I applaud his effort and the thought behind it.

Brian Lawlor beat me to the bit about Howard's record of clean sheets - Howard is not the problem. There may be better but he's not that bad. In my view, Moyes's failure has been to fail to play to the strengths of our strikers.

Beattie was a good striker and I was excited by his arrival but his strengths were attacking crosses and high balls at angles. During his time here, I don't remember any wing play suitable to getting the best from him and he ended up trying to bluster through the middle.

Andy Johnson was extremely quick and able to burst on to through-balls to the edge of the box, behind the defence, so we resorted to pumping high balls to the wing to him. Yakubu did well but mostly through his own work. He was strong and was able to burst through defences but, just as he was returning to form, we gave him to Leicester for the season.

Now we have Beckford, who is similar to Johnson with pace and, although raw, I think he will come good. He needs the through-ball behind the defence but who do we have who delivers that? Arteta? He should but he doesn't. Neither did Pienaar strangely and I can only assume that the players are not being coached to do this? It's just not a tactic we use... why?

On the whole, though, I think Moyes has done the job better than Kenwright could have imagined and kept Bill out of the firing line. Yes, we are sometimes dour and predictable and, worse in my eyes, completely lacking in daring or ambition against the better teams when we have nothing to lose by going at them, but I honestly believe that with any other manager (within reason ? ie not Mourinho, SAF etc) we would have gone down by now under this regime.

Liam Reilly
11   Posted 07/04/2011 at 09:00:22

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You can?t just look at what he's spent on bringing players into the club, you need to look at the Net Spend, which is somewhere around 3 million a year.

Fucking scandalous for a Championship club, never mind a Premier League club with supposed ambitions for cracking the top 4.
Steve Harris
12   Posted 07/04/2011 at 09:33:58

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Moyes has been magnificent -

Show me a manager who hasn't made a few duff signings, I think Moyes has worked miracles in the transfer market hampered by either lack of funds to purchase a player or the clubs wage cap.

The players you mentioned like the Yak, were in our shop window at that time and even they had highly inflated values, Moyes has had to build according to our position both financially and in the league, that is why I firmly lay the blame at Kenwright's door for missing the opportuntiy of a lifetime when Moyes amazingly secured a Champions League qualifying spot.

We HAD to invest, we HAD to seize this opportunity... but no, Moyes was left scrambling around for gems again and unforgivably Scott Parker signed for Newcastle. I often wonder what could have been if Moyes had had the investment when it really counted, when we would have been able to entice players who ordinarily would have chosen a bigger name in European football... or, err, Newcastle!!!

It beggars belief how Kenwright can sleep at night knowing what he's done, and continues to do. The only saving grace is that we have got David Moyes as our manager and long may that continue.

Gareth Humphreys
13   Posted 07/04/2011 at 09:59:29

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In 9 years he has won manager of the year 3 times.
I could rip your argument to shreads but the above simple fact does it for me.
Trevor Lynes
14   Posted 07/04/2011 at 10:01:14

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I tend to agree with Liam and I cannot for the life of me understand why a club with a fantastic amount of loyal fans in a two-club city can possibly be as short of money as they say we are. What is so different than the times when we bought Bily and Heitinga? Why can't we still budget each season for strengthening our assets (players)? And why is the loan business the only option?

I hate the loan system, it encourages boards to lower their wage bill... BUT it stops transfer funds coming in!! It is the cause of squad weakening when inevitable injuries occur, and there is no provision to bring players in once the legal period has expired. Clubs like ours (lamentably) are walking a tightrope and one day they will fall off.

We have come perilously close at least twice in the past years and this year we are in a better position to escape the drop due to having the minimum point requirement, but it's been another 'brinkmanship' debacle. Liam is correct... it is a shameful situation for a club of our size and history. We cannot attract top players nowadays and we are making legends of journeymen.

DM let the cat out of the bag when he said that he feared the game with Villa because of the number of players unavailable... I reckon he breathed a huge sigh of relief when Jags got the 'dodgy' penalty and rescued a point.

The bench was disgraceful with a bunch of unknowns filling pews... and this is not the first time. We actually STARTED one season with a CRECHE on the bench. I am becoming really disillusioned with Everton's so called ambition....

Simon Jones
15   Posted 07/04/2011 at 11:17:41

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Bill Kenwright can do what he wants because he was the man who raised the money (whether it was his or borrowed off his mates) and got it together to actually buy the club. It is easy to moan about the man, but was anybody else trying to buy the club?

Money has totally changed football, whether we like it or not. Those that don't like it banded together and started their own clubs: AFC Wimbledon, FC United... those that can't leave their beloved clubs stick with it and seem to bemoan the changes.

You don't have to like or agree with anything that BK does but, unless you or a group of people can get the money together to buy the club, or buy enough shares to have a voice, then I'm not sure what you can do to change things? All the gold and green scarves in the world haven't changed anything down the M62. It shows the supporters care... but that's about it.

Thomas Owen
16   Posted 07/04/2011 at 11:27:42

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While I understand that BK has run the club into the ground financially and Moyes's tactics and team selection can be dubious at best, we should also remember that, before he took over, the club had been hovering above relegation and been involved in a few last day escapes. I do believe with the right financial backing he could still take us back to the top, if he wasn't a good manager then why would the Mancs want him to replace Fergie?
Eugene Ruane
17   Posted 07/04/2011 at 11:48:51

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Thomas Owen ? they don't.
Mark Murphy
18   Posted 07/04/2011 at 11:49:37

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Who at Man Utd has said they want Moyes to replace Fergie? The press speculation has been so insistent on this over the years that people have come to see it as inevitable but I don't believe Moyes will get that job. He'll go to someone like Newcastle, Villa or Celtic imho. Maybe Spurs if / when 'Arry gets the England job.
Daniel J Johnson
19   Posted 07/04/2011 at 12:10:57

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I would have to agree that the money gained from the Lescott transfer has been somewhat wasted as Bily still looks as if he's new to the league and Heitinga is up and down to say the least.

I still haven't got over the fact that in the summer of 2005 we brought in Phil Neville, Simon Davies and Per Krøldrup as a way of consolidating our fantastic 4th placed season. We actually did pretty well against Semi-Finalists Villarreal considering the gulf in quality.

It was the same story after the FA Cup Final season and a fifth placed finish ? don't think it was until Lescott was sold that we invested anything into the squad which was riddled with injuries.

And once again, last year, after finishing the season so strongly, the most that Moyes could spend was £1 million on a French-U21 player.

I don't really understand how you can insist Moyes has had money to spend when it is quite clear he has operated on a shoe string budget compared to other (currently less) successful clubs.

Ryan Holroyd
20   Posted 07/04/2011 at 13:19:05

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You say

For four consecutive seasons, Moyes broke our record transfer fee ? Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu, Fellaini ? spending just over £40 million on four players in the space of 3½ years. It is utter stupid to counter this with the "Well, he's only spending what he brought in!" argument (let's leave that to the shower across the park). Granted I wholly agree that the chairman should be providing extra funds on top of what Moyes has brought in but that's another point. For now, let us just accept that David Moyes has spent money, because he has.

Wasn't AJ and McFadden sold to fund Fellaini?
David Moyes has spent money but so has every other single manager in the Premier League.

He also has a wage bill that is around 11th in the Premier League.

I mean, Jesus, Houllier spent £24 million on Bent and he's only been there 5 mins.

It is also funny when we say Moyes is cautious. Just looking at the league table and we have scored the same as Liverpool and ONE LESS than the 'free-flowing' media-driven Harry Redknapp and Spurs who have spent fortunes compared to us.

You say we don't play to Beckford's strengths. Well it must have only been me who saw Beckford fluff a one-on-one with the keeper on Saturday and has missed countless other opportunities in many other games.

He misses them simply because he is not quite a top forward. Now I like Beckford and admire him, after all it was only 5 years ago he was working part time, but he is a free signing from League One, or the old Division 3.

You say Howard is a poor goalkeeper. He isn't tho. Granted he isno Southall or Martyn but he kept a record of clean sheets a few years ago. But that was when we had Lescott, Yobo and Jags who complimented each other so well. I'd have Lescott back in a heartbeat to be honest.

Personally I believe we should have been playing Phl Neville.
John Holmes
21   Posted 07/04/2011 at 13:27:16

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There's a fair amount of nonsense in this column but I thought I'd focus on the claim that 'for every Cahill or Arteta there's been a Krøldrup'

I don't see that. For me Moyes has only made a small number of bad (major) signings, namely: Krøldrup, Van der Meyde, Beattie and Bilyaletdinov.

Johnson did a decent if unspectacular job and we made a profit, Yakubu was scoring freely before injury scuppered him, Heitinga is without doubt our stand-in centre-back and who would feel uncomfortable if he played?

You could point to players like Valente and McFadden but they cost small amounts and made decent contributions with little fuss.

Set that alongside the likes of Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Howard, Neville, Fellaini, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Lescott, Saha, Bent and Martyn and your claim that Moyes has a mixed transfer record doesn't really stand up. The list I've just given contains around ten players bought for less than £5m and all of them made major contributions to Everton or are continuing to do so.
Tony McNulty
22   Posted 07/04/2011 at 13:40:10

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A lot of us on here are broken records in that we say the same thing repeatedly (me included).

I do give Bill credit that he is an Evertonian, I believe he wants to sell, and I think that he wants to sell to someone who will not ruin things further and put us even more into debt. I also think he wants a few quid out of it.

However, I fear that he has missed the boat in terms of selling. It isn?t impossible but it will get harder not easier, and without transfer funds we are destined to continuing mediocrity. The age of miracles on a shoestring in the Premier League is passed. I also fear a depressing Summer in prospect punctuated by the occasional spin from the club via the OS: ?Club announcement: shirt sold in Taiwan! And it was an outsize!? Well roger my neighbour twice with a pogo stick.
Peter Warren
23   Posted 07/04/2011 at 13:38:29

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Scott's article makes some good points, we still lack creativity, goalkeeper is suspect, still no wide players despite Moyes spending a lot of money. Whether Moyes can be forgiven as he hasn't been able to splash loads of money for single players (exception perhaps Fellaini who I think is fantastic and money spread over many years) is another issue.

Rob 3 # how many wide men exist in today's game ? loads. Giggs, Valencia, Malouda, Downing, Young, Phillips, Johnson, Jarvis to name some.

I think the point being made is Bily was bought to be creative and a wide player and for £9m for whatever reason, it hasn't happened.

Without doubt, money has been wasted by Moyes ? Wright, Krøldrup, Davies ? but every manager makes blunders in the market and Moyes has never been backed fully.

People talk about people saying we all wanted Lerner and look what state Villa are in ? for me, looking on the outside, he has been a fantastic chairman, made lots of investment and I would be made up to have someone like him.
Mark Murphy
24   Posted 07/04/2011 at 14:09:14

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Ryan, unusally for me, I didn't see the whole game on Saturday so can't judge Beckford over 90 mins... BUT I saw him put through and elect to shoot early and the keeper saved ? is that the one you mean he fluffed? Wasn't that a pass back by a defender that he latched on to?

The only other time I saw him put through he "scored"! Wasn't his fault the linesman was a kopite!

And John, I agree with Krøldrup and VDM but in my honest opinion Beattie and Bilya were both good players misused by Moyes. Bilya could still come good given a choice and, having seen him several times, I think there is a good player in there just waiting for the chance to prove it. I just hope he hasn't given up following his treatment by Moyes.

Lee Mandaracas
25   Posted 07/04/2011 at 14:04:45

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IMHO your article started very strongly and I had little to counter it. Then you began to attack Moyes in some strange manners. He broke the transfer record four times but each time that was funded by MULTIPLE player sales, thus depleting the squad and getting quality over quantity. If anything, I applaud this so I started to drift away from you there.

Then you moved on to your evident distain for Howard. Others have highlighted that he matched a top flight clean sheets record and followed it by breaking the said record the very next season. Not only that but he beat the greatest 'keeper we've every had's record of clean sheets in his first 100 games for us. That may not make him a better 'keeper than Big Nev overall but it makes a colossal statement to rubbish your bile towards him as "far and away one of the worst goalkeepers in the Premier League."

To top it all, you think a prospect for us to take a punt on a young, upcoming manager would be to tempt Barcelona's Luis Enrique to Walton, Merseyside. Abject nonsense!

I wonder if you could draw me a map to cloud cuckoo land as I could do with a holiday and thought I might join you there for a while. Now, where did I leave that cuddle jacket?
Ryan Holroyd
26   Posted 07/04/2011 at 14:29:55

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Mark 23

Yes, that's the one. Where he panicked and hit it straight away when he could have gone a good few yards further.

On the 2nd, why did he it it so hard? He does this all the time. Tried to smack the leather off the football. He did it home to West Brom, away at Sunderland to give a few more example. Like I said, he has grown on me and I respect him but he is still a League One forward jumping two divisions. I don't blame him for not been quite good enough tho.

Just feel with a top class forward, eg, Bent, then we would be challenging for at least 5th this season.

As it is, we are challenging for 6th which is not bad when you consider Sunderland have spent £50-odd million in recent years. Plus the huge sums the top 4 have at their disposal.

Unfortunately, Liverpool will spend big in the summer I believe, making it even harder to achieve anything.
Scott Campbell
27   Posted 07/04/2011 at 15:21:32

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The point I am trying to make regards the net spend is that of course Moyes should have been backed with finances from the board ? he hasn't and for that Kenwright should hang his head in shame ? but he has still spent the money which he has raised through sales! To simplify, Moyes knows the board ain't gonna give him money to spend aside from what he makes through sales so any money he does spend has to be spent wisely! So, why go out and spend £9 million on Bilyaletdinov unless you are 110% sure it is going to work? Javier Hernandez cost Manchester United less than what Bily cost us.

I absolutely agree that signing class acts in any department costs money that we don't have but Moyes has not even filled the positions we are craving out for with good, committed, hard working players who are decent. For a wide man, I would have been looking at somebody like Matthew Etherington (cost for Stoke ? £2M). He'd have done a job for us out wide. Even proven top-quality players in the top flight would have cost the equivalent to Bily ? Stewart Downing cost Villa £10M, Adam Johnson cost City £7M. Even somebody on loan like that Cleverley at Wigan.

In the centre of midfield there are loads of creative midfielders we could have gone for. The point I am making is that, if you know you are not going to have much to spend, then spend it wisely. There are decent options out there that will not cripple you financially, Moyes has done it before.

I know it is all a matter of opinion ? I think Howard is suspect; some agree with me, some don't. I think Moyes isn't so great; some agree, some don't ? and I happen to think we should aim big when we go for our next manager; some think this is unrealistic. I don't think I'm living in cloud cuckoo land to suggest we could attract a top European coach, if we had a decent board and decent investment, I really don't. Why shouldn't we target the best? Are we not worthy of being managed by Luis Enrique? Should we just stick with Championship level managers? If so, Paul Lambert, Brendan Rogers and Sean O'Driscoll are all decent prospects. Personally though I'd aim higher.

Re Moyes, I think it's safe to say nobody at Manchester United wants him to replace SAF, and as for the LMA Manager of the Year statement - "In 9 years he has won manager of the year 3 times" ? this is the same award won twice by Steve Coppell as well as having been won by George Burley, Alan Curbishley, Danny Wilson and Frank Clark ? what a great bunch of managers they are!!! Obviously Moyes winning that award three times must mean he's the best... Please do rip my argument to shreds though, I look forward to hearing more of your logic.

Neil McKinney
28   Posted 07/04/2011 at 16:33:58

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"Why go out and spend £9 million on Bilyaletdinov unless you are 110% sure it is going to work?"

By that logic, why spend any amount on any player unless you are 110% (?) sure it is going to work? What are you talking about?

So Bily isn't all he's cracked up to be and is possibly going to be shipped out having been one in the flop column for Moyes, but I just don't buy most of your argument.

With regards to managers and players as targets, we as Evertonians think our club is the best place for anyone to be, but our current stock is not that high. If you're saying go for the best, then why not Mourinho, SAF, Hiddink etc? Because they would have no interest in coming to EFC, that's why. We can aim high, but we'd most probably hit nothing but fresh air.

Clubs with more to offer in terms of wages and challenging for trophies can often attract quality players for smaller fees, à la Johnson, plus he was still a bit of a punt and you have used hindsight (his good form since signing) to say we should've bought him back then. Maybe he wouldn't have wanted to come to EFC? Maybe he would? Who knows.

As for Downing £10m was highway robbery in my mind, moderately talented, extremely one-footed and hasn't exactly dazzled at Villa.

By the way, most would agree that Howard can be "suspect" at times and could definitely command his area better but "absolutely abysmal" and "far and away one of the worst goalkeepers in the Premier League"? That's hyperbole IMO and I have to disagreee with it.

Neil McKinney
29   Posted 07/04/2011 at 16:40:26

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It's not that I don't think we should have more ambition, I certainly wish we did at times, but it has to be within the realms of possibility.

Moyes is over-cautious, tactically slow to react, safety first, etc etc. There are a lot of things to criticise him over, I (and it would appear many others) just don't agree that his record in the transfer market is one of them.
Paul Rice
30   Posted 07/04/2011 at 16:48:16

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Relegation battles to battling for Europe.... how can that be deemed anything other than a success.

Mistakes are made ? they always are and always will be.

Just enjoy not having a bollock tingling last day of the season every year.
Ryan Holroyd
31   Posted 07/04/2011 at 16:57:03

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'I don't think I'm living in cuckoo land to suggest we could attract a top European coach, if we had a decent board and decent investment, I really don't'.

But we don't have 'a decent board and decent investment'.

Do we? Which is part of your article.

In terms of buying players, hindsight is such as great thing.

I'm sure when other managers, for example, the greatest of them all, Sir Alex Ferguson' when he bought Juan Sebastian Veron was sure he'd fit into United. But he didn't. Everyone makes mistakes.

You're talking in riddles.
Ron Broadstairs
32   Posted 07/04/2011 at 16:59:33

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I agree with everything you've written.

Since the Reading FA cup debacle I've noticed these pages are dominated by the statistic merchants giving the LMA awards and survival in mid table as justification for Moyes and by association Kenwright.

They're wrong.

Season ticket sales will reveal the true depth of despair over the regime these 2 run.

Stephen Kenny
33   Posted 07/04/2011 at 19:59:39

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No offence but I couldn't go through all the thing I agree or disagree with cos we'd all be here for ages.

One thing I have to back you up on is Tim Howard.

The fact that he broke the record means nothing! Does this mean he's a better keeper than Big Nev or Martyn? Absolutely no chance!

He broke a record playing for a defensive manager, in a defensive formation behind a great defence. One which has made him look a damn site better than he really is.

IMO he's cost us at least 10 points this season just from obvious errors. You could probably stick another 5-10 on that based on how slow he is off his line.

The only thing I will give him is he occassionally makes a save that needs to be seen to be believed. I'd rather have a commanding goalie that does the basics properly TBH.
Andy Crooks
34   Posted 07/04/2011 at 20:25:01

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Scott, I think you've written an excellent article, much of which I agree with. I have read some good defences of David Moyes on this site but I've yet to read a convincing defence of Bill Kenwright. Would someone who thinks he has done a good job please write an article about it. Richard Dodds, perhaps? I'd genuinely like to read it.

Finally, I don't think Tim Howard is a great goalkeeper but there aren't many around. The Bolton goalie whose name I won't try to spell has been, in my view, the must under-rated player in the last ten years. I'd certainly take Howard ahead of what Arsenal have.

Thomas Owen
35   Posted 07/04/2011 at 21:52:12

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Eugene (17) and Mark (18), my apologies for stating rumours but most of the time these rumours stem from somewhere. In Moyes's case, he is being linked with these clubs because he is a good manager.
Roman Sidey
36   Posted 07/04/2011 at 20:54:37

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To everyone who keeps saying this word:


This does not validate your argument any more than saying "Moyes has spent plenty of money" invalidates someone else's argument.

Net spend, sure, Moyes has, yadda yadda fucking yadda.

The fact is, the money is not Moyes's in the first place, so if we sell a player, that money belongs to the club, not Moyes, and is to be used as the club sees fit. If I was running the club and saw how Moyes was using players bought with that money, I'd cut him off too.

Also, Gareth Humphreys. Moyes has won the LMA Managers of the Year award three times. Which means it was other managers who gave him this award. Some of the managers that gave Moyes this award are now unemployed. Managers voting for other managers is dodgey anyway because they all have different relationships and allegiances.

At the end of the day, this is something Moyes won, not Everton FC. Not sure about the rest of Toffees fans, but I do not enjoy watching a ginger twat cluelessly standing on the side of the pitch yelling at our players to defend, defend, defend for his own personal gain.
Paul Roderick
37   Posted 08/04/2011 at 01:52:56

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Tim Howard is useless. I was gutted he beat Southall's clean sheet record, because he is not fit to lace big Nev's boots. He is crap for us, was crap for Man U, was crap for the Metrostars and even crap for the Imperials. I hope we get rid of him soon.
Paul Roderick
38   Posted 08/04/2011 at 02:11:09

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That is get rid of him soon by the way.
Andy Peers
39   Posted 08/04/2011 at 05:34:21

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I don't think Howard is useless but I do think Mucha should play a few games to make Tim realize that he is not a guaranteed starter every week. Goalkeeper is the only position that we have ample backup for so make it a little more competitive. Howard has made a few errors, this year in particular, but to me his biggest fault is his distribution to start a quick attack once he has the ball. Hate to admit it but Redshite Reina is probably the best at that and he is better than Howard all the way around.

One more thing is that our league position is all Moyes's fault. You may say 7th is not bad but, as far I am concerned, with better team selection and tactics when we were at full strength, we could have had 12 more points and a chance of Europe. However I believe Moyes is at his best when we are in our current position of a depleted squad and just playing to do the best we can under the circumstances.

Dave Wilson
40   Posted 08/04/2011 at 06:03:20

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The people who defend Moyes are often "blamed" for the fact that he is still the manager of EFC... WRONG.

The reason so many jump to Moyes's defence is the sheer inaccuracy of articles like this.

Tom complains about wages being paid for Saha to sit on the treatment table, or Neville's "professionalism" ? but freely admits to not knowing what those wages are.

Attacks Moyes`s dealings in the market, when even if you feel it`s more by luck than judgement, his ability to operate on a shoestring is universally acclaimed throughout the game.

Attacks the man who holds the record for keeping clean sheets ? for not keeping clean sheets

Claims that the Pienaar transfer was explained away by claiming it was for profit? WTF? What was to explain? The world knows He left because Spurs paid him what he wanted and we couldn't. We merely took what we could get, why try to make something else out of it?

When you start make things up like "£30,000 a week for Anichebe" ? especially after you've admitted you don't know what players are paid ? you are lost, the post and argument becomes utterly meaningless.

Moyes has some intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate enemies on this site, he is a sitting duck, there to be shot at.

I`m at a loss to understand why you guys settle for submitting inaccurate post that are about as predictable as Everton attacks, then get all annoyed when they get batted clean out of the TW park.

Some quality criticism please, Nothing made up, just irrefutable fact... there's plenty to work with.
Steve Pugh
41   Posted 08/04/2011 at 09:03:54

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If you didn't buy players unless you were 110% certain that they would fit in, then you would never buy anyone. Certainly we would never have bought misfits like Arteta or Pienaar who were both failing to fit in elsewhere. Nor would we have bought players like Cahill or Lescott who had never proven themselves at the top level.

Before you criticise someone you really ought to understand what you are criticising. David Moyes looks for players that he thinks are undervalued and buys them, sometimes he gets it wrong like Bily, but most of the time he gets it right, and we get good long term players (Arteta) or a quick profit (Neill).

Tony McNulty
42   Posted 08/04/2011 at 11:42:52

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A friend who works in the City once described to me a "long-term investment" as a ?short-term investment gone wrong?

In that light I guess Bily is currently in the long-term investment category.

Nevertheless I think even Moysie?s harshest critics (and one can take a pop at some of the tactics etc.) have to admit that he has added value to quite a large number of the players he has brought in (e.g. Lescott, Arteta, Baines, Coleman, Pienaar, Jagielka).

Roman Sidey
43   Posted 08/04/2011 at 13:24:13

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Tony, that is fair, those 6 players have all risen in stock since joining Everton, as well as some players sold for less not exactly being a loss, as you get use out of them, and then sell them after they've provided a service. The only extraneous point about putting that virtue on Arteta, Baines, Coleman and Jags is that they haven't been sold, so their value is actually $0. You can't borrow against the value of players, therefore they aren't worth anything until someone pays for it.

Dave Wilson, while I agree with you that there were a lot of holes in the argument against Moyes, there were some good points in there, especially regarding Moyes's handling of players in and out.

Anichebe sums David Moyes up, in my book. In November or December he kicked up a stink because he wanted a new, better contract. He is, to back up someone else earlier, the worst footballer I've seen in an Everton jersey in a very long time. The fact that Moyes gave him his new, better contract and then let other players go out on loan shows that he either is unprofessional and has his favourites, or has no idea about decent footballers.
Andy Crooks
44   Posted 08/04/2011 at 22:41:16

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Dave, you are posting some decent but provocative stuff. How about writing the article you have long promised? I think it was along the lines of who was qualified to have opinions and which should carry more weight; does having played the game at a high level give one's opinion more weight? Does seeing the game live give one's opinion more weight?
James Flynn
45   Posted 08/04/2011 at 23:26:11

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Dave (40) - Thank you.

Let me ask: If Moyes is as bad as some insist, why doesn't EFC lose more? We know why we don't win more; no great goal scorers. But if the club is so poorly run by Moyes, as so many here claim, how come we don't lose more games? Isn't LOSING the key indicator of a poorly-managed club?
Dave Wilson
46   Posted 09/04/2011 at 05:40:55

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Anichebe has scored arguable the two best individual goals by an Everton player in the past 5 seasons. There is very obviously a player in there somewhere, whether Moyes or anybody else can ever bring it out is another matter.

He played fine games this season at Anfield and at Eastlands and it was only AFTER his reported "kicking up a stink" did these ridiculous claims that he is the worst player ever surface, he`s only played about 5 hours football all season ffs.

His wages are just over half of what Rob claims they are, but then nobody was complaining when he was firing us into the next stages of European competition when earning an incredible £1k a week ? London taxi drivers earn more.

Anichebe may well drift out of the game, but if Moyes is only half right, he may well go on to be worth £4-5 maybe even £6 million. That's why he has been offered another contract.

If we sell him for a million, we get our money back; if we sell him for £4-5M, then it's good business; either way, the club were never going to repeat the same mistake they made with Dan Gosling.
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 09/04/2011 at 06:06:47

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Is right Mate, Rob claims "we usually lose" in his post which again is inaccurate, only two teams in the Prem have lost less than us in the past 15 months ? and one of them had to win it to do so.

As you rightly point out, too many draws are killing our hopes of competing, something a top class marksman would go a long way towards putting right.

BTW James; We`re getting all excited over here about the way Rory`s playing in your Masters... think he`ll do it?
James Flynn
48   Posted 13/04/2011 at 02:50:49

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Dave (47) - Sorry brother, haven't checked this one lately. Rory? If I was a betting man, I'd say no. I sense a certain S. African...

For the rest, I understand supporters' passion and resulting bias, but it continues to amaze me how so many ignore the fact that the only thing missing (the singlular, big "Missing") is top class finishers.

I've posed this question in another thread and had it ignored, so let's have our own little confab.

What if we had Ronaldo this season? I'd put us at 60 points right now.

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