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David Moyes Burned Again

By Dick Anderson :  11/04/2011 :  Comments (33) :
Last week, David Moyes was spotted sitting in the stands at non-league side Darlington apparently scouting 18-year-old defender Dan Burn. Rather then contact Darlington and arrange for an official complimentary visitor's pass, Moyes chose instead to travel in secret and buy his own ticket on the door with the rest of the fans.

Moyes clearly wanted a chance to look at the 6ft-6in teenage defender without making a fuss or alerting other Premier League clubs to his possible transfer targets. Unfortunately Moyes was spotted in the crowd by eagle-eyed Darlington fans and soon the press were tipped off to his presence at the game and his interest in young Burn.

The next day the press reported on the story and Moyes was forced to officially confirm that he was interested in signing Dan Burn for Everton. The weekend passes and today, it's revealed that Fulham have had a bid accepted for Burn and the youngster is currently at Craven Cottage undergoing a medical.

It's possible that Fulham were already aware of young Burn before the Moyes story was leaked. But it's also possible that Mark Hughes simply read about Moyes's interest in Burn and just decided good enough for Moyes, good enough for Fulham.

Moyes has a reputation of spotting gems in the lower divisions and who could blame other Premier League managers for attempting to steal Moyes's targets. It doesn't take a lot of money to outbid Everton. I would imagine there are quite a few Premiership managers kicking themselves for not outbidding Everton when Moyes signed Seamus Coleman for £60,000.

Certainly Harry Redknapp watches Moyes carefully. A couple of years ago, when he saw Moyes attempting to sign Kyle's Naughton and Walker, Redknapp simply outbid Everton and took both players to Spurs. Walker is now a part of the England squad.

It must be so frustrating for Moyes to spend time scouting the lower leagues and identifying prospects only for other clubs to outbid him right at the finish line. David Moyes is in danger of becoming the head scout for other clubs like Fulham and Spurs.

It's a real shame that Moyes's secret mission to Darlington seems to have failed. It's a real shame that he was spotted in the stands and the press got wind of the story. But ultimately its a real shame Everton dont appear to have the financial clout or the appeal to actually sign the players that David Moyes wants.

Reader Comments

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Norman Merrill
1   Posted 11/04/2011 at 14:32:04

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Dick, I suppose it's what rag you read and believe?

In the Express Saturday, he went to South Wales to watch Newport play Darlington. So Darlington fans who spotted him did so in Newport. So the Express state that he did a 400-mile round trip to South Wales to the stadium with Andy Holden.

Tony McNulty
2   Posted 11/04/2011 at 14:35:39

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Not sure of the full story here but presumably there were at least 22 players on the pitch that night, and he could have said he was looking at anyone or even said he had come to pick up some tactics.

According to a number of Toffeeweb followers apparently people come to Everton regularly to watch Anichebe fall over.
Andy Macrae
3   Posted 11/04/2011 at 14:33:39

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You answered your own point in paragraph 4, the rest of the story was a waste of time ? sorry.

To think that other managers/clubs aren't aware of lower league players is wrong.

Both Naughton & Walker were junior England players before Moyes was interested, so to say Redknapp only bid for them because Moyes did is crazy.

This young Darlo player probably had his CV hawked around the top clubs asking to be checked out, which most clubs probably did. Then Moyes will have heard the good reviews & decided to check him out. So there would have already been plenty of donkey work done. In today's game it would be foolish to sign a player without doing homework on a player.

Remember Souness getting his fingers burned at Southampton? That was magical. :D
Martin Clark
4   Posted 11/04/2011 at 14:30:31

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The real shame is definitely the last point. Moyes in my opinion has been successful when he's had money:

- Yakubu scored 20 odd before his achilles went;
- Beattie even had a period of being tipped for England, we only lost £1.5m,
- AJ was a good striker just wasn't clinical enough and we still took a profit from his sale;
- Heitinga, for £6m, as arrogant as he may be, is still a great buy;
- Fellaini is proving more than his price tag;
- Distin, could be questioned as £5m was a fair sum for a 31-year-old but he's been solid most of the season;
- Bily, frustrating as! Could be a great player but makes sloppy mistakes, not sure he has enough pace for out wide or room for him in the middle but hope he proves a lot of us wrong;
- Per Krøldrup, he came, he went, we lost £1.5m.

All these signings have been good or had the potential to be good for Everton. Krøldrup didn't last long and has shown in Italy that he had potential. I too just wish we had more money for Moyes to play with.

Also be nice if he felt adventurous with his selections a bit more, but these injuries have given us a taste of excitement about the possible prospects we have sitting on the bench!

Alan Clarke
5   Posted 11/04/2011 at 14:47:17

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Moyes didn't actually want Walker. The initial bid was for Naughton. Spurs put in a joint bid for both which Sheffield Utd accepted. Everton then matched the bid. Spurs then just outbid us for both.

I'm sure if Moyes had wanted some kid from Darlington, he could have had him ahead of Fulham. I'm also sure he has done the same to other teams. Beckford was set for Newcastle at one point and Cahill was set for Leicester.
Trevor Lynes
6   Posted 11/04/2011 at 15:05:19

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Don't we have a scouting system, as other clubs do??

An old friend of mine scouted for Crewe and unearthed Platt when he had actually gone to watch a different player... happens a lot!!!

Jimmy Hacking
7   Posted 11/04/2011 at 15:32:28

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Trevor #6 ? does your mate not fancy a job scouting for Everton?
Brian Waring
8   Posted 11/04/2011 at 15:43:50

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Andy (#3) has it spot on. To think that other managers only go for players because Moyes is interested, is ridiculous.
Matthew Mackey
9   Posted 11/04/2011 at 15:57:39

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Why didn't he wear a wig and a pair of sunglasses? Anyone else would've. Or a trilby hat and a dirty raincoat? Didn't he ever dress up when he was a kid?
Kieran Kinsella
10   Posted 11/04/2011 at 16:07:34

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"Moyes has a reputation of spotting gems in the lower divisions"

You mean Tim Cahill who was already pretty famous? or do you mean Lukas Jutkiewicz, Scott Spencer, John Ruddy, Iain Turner etc...??? Other clubs must be rushing to steal Moyes's latest find.
Dick Anderson
11   Posted 11/04/2011 at 16:38:23

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Actually Keiran I was talking more about Tim Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Seamus Coleman and Dan Gosling.

But yeah you can include Ruddy (played 40 games for Norwich this season and will be a Premier League keeper next season) if you want.

Jutkiewicz and Turner are also proving very useful players at Championship level so yeah them too.
Peter Laing
12   Posted 11/04/2011 at 16:33:06

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One of the most famous stories I read was that of Bill Paisley who used to don his flat cap and stand on the terraces amongst the fans and do his scouting. Apparently Paisley was rumbled in similar circumstances at Turf Moor sniffing around Trevor Steven before Howard Kendall stole in and made an offer for the up-and-coming player who he guaranteed the opportunity to break into the 1st team at Everton.
Stephen Leary
13   Posted 11/04/2011 at 17:16:32

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I really think if we wanted him that much he would come to us ahead of bloody Fulham.
Colin Potter
14   Posted 11/04/2011 at 18:01:36

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Maybe he went to do a quiet bit of dithering on his own.
Paul Olsen
15   Posted 11/04/2011 at 18:47:25

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It´s a shame Moyes can´t send an unknown scout to watch games if he really wants to keep it a secret.

Or are his scouts not really good enough? Probably not, they just make a living from watching prospects.
Dick Anderson
16   Posted 11/04/2011 at 18:46:18

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Fulham have poached another youngster right out from under David Moyes.

Is Burn the next big thing or just the next Sean Doherty?

Remember when Fulham pinched Sean Doherty from Everton's youth academy? It was big news at the time with Doherty being highly regarded and playing for England U17 and U21.

The press made a big thing about Fulham stealing the next big thing from Everton's youth Academy. Sean Doherty currently plays for Witton Albion in the Northern Premier League.
Graham Fylde
17   Posted 11/04/2011 at 19:07:57

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Some you win, some you don't.

Our very own Vellios today said, ?I had offers from Aston Villa and Fulham and a lot of clubs in Greece like Olympiakos and AEK, but here was the best choice for me."
Andy Crooks
18   Posted 11/04/2011 at 20:06:36

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Martin, any chance of borrowing your rose-coloured spectacles?
Joe McMahon
19   Posted 11/04/2011 at 20:12:05

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Paul Olsen ? we can't send any unknown scouts, as they've all been loaned out to cut the wage bill.
Thomas James
20   Posted 11/04/2011 at 20:10:19

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Hang on, Dick... Didn't we need cash to buy Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton??? Isn't that the reason why they both went to Tottenham?? We bid nothing and had no money until after Lescott chipped off.

Moyes also confirmed that Everton have submitted a bid for Burn.
Roman Sidey
21   Posted 11/04/2011 at 23:22:31

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Alan Clarke, wasn't Cahill meant to be solidly linked with Crystal Palace? Probably wrong, but that's what a lot of us Down Under were led to believe.

Most on here who give a toss know what I think of Moyes. I'm not going to go into it, except to say that the one thing he is very good at is finding good players low down, which there is always going to be an abundance of.

I would listen to most people who say are saying that it is only a coincidence that Moyes was looking at him whilst other clubs were too. The UK is a small place.

The only deterring factor in this story though is that it's Sparky that has, yet again, taken a player that Moyes fancies. Like when he was trying his best to get Lescott, Hughes shows fairly strong signs that he has absolutely no imagination, or time for scouting himself.

When he had all that money at City, he took that as an excuse that he could just bid for anyone who had proven themselves to be top drawer. Now that he doesn't have a book of blank cheques, he is doing the next worst thing, and reading the press for who is chasing who.

Matt Traynor
22   Posted 12/04/2011 at 01:05:59

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Roman #20 - Cahill was indeed set for Crystal Palace. It was only because their then-Chairman Simon Jordan refused to pay Tim's Agents fee that Everton got in.

Dick, reading the reports, he hasn't signed for Fulham yet. It could be mis-reporting in that he was invited down to look at the facilities. Therefore there may be an opportunity. Lots for the young lad to think about, proximity to home, moving to "dat London" etc.

As others have said, and indeed yourself, he's promising - that's all. Remember when we signed Jon O'Connor from a North Eastern club? He was tipped as a future England CB.
Adam Fenlon
23   Posted 12/04/2011 at 10:28:23

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We missed out on Mr Burns??

Kenwright out! ;)
Lee Courtliff
24   Posted 12/04/2011 at 10:58:14

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Matt Traynor *21 - What happened to Jon O'Connor? I remember watching him play about 3 straight games for us at RB back in the '95/96 season. He looked really good. Then just seemed to disappear!
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 12/04/2011 at 11:52:25

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What a daft article.

To suggest that David Moyes is the only person in the land that watches lower leagues is absurd.
Joe Etheridge
26   Posted 12/04/2011 at 13:53:33

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I actually laughed out loud when I read this: "But it's also possible that Mark Hughes simply read about Moyes's interest in Burn and just decided good enough for Moyes, good enough for Fulham."

No Dick, I'm sorry but I stopped reading here.

Mark Hughes definitely did not pick up his copy of the Express that morning and think "Shit, Moyes has found another one... someone get me Al-Fayed!!"

There are genuine criticisms to be made against Everton's transfer policies over the years. But this is probably the most lame I've heard.
Adam Rathe
27   Posted 12/04/2011 at 14:27:26

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Absolute toilet.

Mark Hughes clearly had his eye on him already, as did Moyes, and loads of other manages probably did. Moyes has been known to take gems but it's not because Moyes gets there first. Look at Cahill, he nearly signed for Crystal Palace before we got him. Vellios and Gueye more recent examples, the former wanted by Olympiakos, Villa and some Italian clubs, and the latter being wanted by Lyon.

Moyes clearly has his ways of getting players, but being the first and getting imprints of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades on his chest is not why at all.
Liam Kearns
28   Posted 12/04/2011 at 15:44:00

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Jon O'Connor?

I think the Terminator got him Lee!
Denis Richardson
29   Posted 12/04/2011 at 21:26:41

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this article is a waste of time. All top clubs have a scouting system that monitors the lower leagues and it is rare for any half-decent player to not be noticed by several scouts/clubs.

Win some; lose some... the guy's not even signed for Fulham and at 16, only has potential ? nothing else. I am not the biggest Moyes fan but let's keep things a bit realistic.

Jon O'Connor joined Sheff United in 1998, then retired a few years later due to glandular fever problems ? he hardly played any games due to injury.
Martin Anderson
30   Posted 12/04/2011 at 22:46:24

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Don't forget Lescott as well from Wolves for next to nothing & Arteta of course... No doubt Moyes has got a genius for spotting players ? with talent & real spirit & it wouldn't surprise me at all if Hughes keeps tabs on him ? you will recall the Hughes inspired Lescott saga was particulalry aggravating!!
Chad Schofield
31   Posted 13/04/2011 at 04:27:52

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I love the fact some people even think that this guy had not previously been scouted before Moves made the journey to watch him! How do these people expect Moyes to have heard of this kid? He's in the shower when suddenly *dun-na-da* his Defensive Utility Player Sense kicks into action he races to the blue tit cave, where his bumbling butler Kenwright has prepared the tit mobile?

Or perhaps David plays a more special interest fantasy football game than most and had checked out the form only to be turned onto the fact that this 6-ft 6-in beast could actually play a bit?

Arsenal's scouting system could be described as simply based on the idea that you simply need as many kids on the books as possible... perhaps that just stems from Wenger driving around in his child catching van (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style being sinister enough).

Then again Al Fayed does have an increasing resemblance to The Penguin and old 'Two Face' Hughes never really lived down making himself look like a cock over the Lescott purchase... so maybe he did just read it in the press.
Roman Sidey
32   Posted 13/04/2011 at 23:31:19

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Martin, I agree with you on your comments, but to suggest Lescott was bought for "next to nothing" when we paid 5mil for him in 2006 is a big call. I think at this point Beattie was our record signing still at not much more than that.

I know I'm nit-picking here, but just because Lescott was from a Chamionship club, he wasn't as cheap as some would lead you to believe.

Turned out to be a great bit of business though for more than one reason... luckily.
Sarath Koka
33   Posted 15/04/2011 at 11:44:31

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I'm ecstatic that we didn't blow around 4mil on Kyle Naughton. If we had signed Kyle then we would've been very unlikely to have signed Seamus Coleman. Even if we did he never would've been given the same run in opportunity like he had this season.

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