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Moyes and SAF

By Varun Rajwade :  08/05/2011 :  Comments (25) :
Today was the day when Liverpool were possibly overtaken in the title trophies race... Congrats to Man Utd, and would love to rub it into my RS pals.

But as I saw the Devils "lift" the title, thoughts just shifted to Everton... Admittedly jealous thoughts... Wishin' when would we if ever be there...

Granted the financial gap is huge, granted that in SAF they have a magician - almost a once-in-a-generation manager, granted that in the Fergie boys they got a boost up that cost them nothing. Granted all that, granted all the reasons/excuses that we use to rationalize against our lack of progress.

But honestly what has been the most galling this year has not been the absolute lack of transfers, or the injury list which has has been super-annoying, or even the fact that for months we played well but did not get the results.

What has been the most heart-wrenching has been the lack of the "winning mentality", a lack of the single-mindedness against the bigger clubs, a lack of running through brick walls to somehow snatch the goal in injury time...

Often, we say that we simply don't have the money, here at Everton, to win.. But as yesterday (as well as Liverpool home and away, Man City away, Chelsea in the FA Cup) showed that we don't really need a Giggs, Bale, Messi, or Ronaldo to compete and even defeat the bigger clubs... But really what we need to do is to show the proverbial "middle finger" to these clubs...

Something that drives down to Moyes and how he views things: No doubt he has done an incredible job at Everton; no doubt we have been really lucky to have him as Manager... but really we need him to push us on. Take the club / players by the scruff of their necks and extract the last drop of performance & fight from them. This year, SAF's team has shown that, to be Champs, a team does not need to be super talented or win flawlessly. But what it needs is to win scrappily, unconvincingly, even luckily. But still win... And this is the mentality Moyes needs to take the club forward.

The fear is whether we will perennially be the "also-rans"... Always punching above our weight, but never enough to be really pushing the envelope, never enough to be setting the cat among the pigeons.

So, does that mean I want Moyes to be out? In fact I really like him and want him to take us ahead. But the critical question is: Can he? Let's hope for this club that he can!!!

Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 08/05/2011 at 21:16:55

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Varun, we show Man City and their coach no respect. There is a bitterness about the encounters and we do not fear them. Against Man Utd, there is a deference bordering on fear. A cosiness and mutual admiration that is a major factor in our abysmal record against them. I'd rather be hated by them than admired by them. Good guys win nothing but the feigned respect of the winners.
Antony Matthews
2   Posted 08/05/2011 at 21:10:38

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One big difference, Varun, United have 75,000 refs behind them and one on the pitch. Plus Moyes has a Timex for his timepiece and Fergie has a Rolex.

We haven't performed badly this year against the "top boys" its the rest we have let ourselves down against. Let's face it, United's team has had a shaky patch and still won the title. Good job Roy was in charge for half the season or that lot across the park could have challenged. Oh dear... perish the thought!

Andy Peers
3   Posted 08/05/2011 at 21:49:31

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Agree with this article 100%. We have had a dire season and still managed 7th place. Liverpool had a dire season and have 5th place. Dalglish has made the difference with key transfer moves and motivation skills. He got 1 point from the first 9 after he took over and that was from us, he also had nothing to lose. Moyes needs to learn from that mentality, we have nothing to lose! We should play every game like It's Man City we just play like we don't respect them or their money and show what a real team is all about. It was really hard for me to give Dalglish a compliment as I have hated him since watching him as a player.
David Hallwood
4   Posted 08/05/2011 at 23:05:54

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I know it's slightly off the subject but, prior to the Premier League, we had the same amount of League titles as Man Utd... talk about going backwards.
Brian Denton
5   Posted 08/05/2011 at 23:27:15

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David, prior to the Premier League we had MORE. 9 to their 7................
Jamie Sweet
6   Posted 09/05/2011 at 00:47:12

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I was left thinking the same as Andy #1 after this weekend. Could it be that our excellent record against Man City and their team littered with stars and internationals worth millions ? is that no matter who they've got in their team ? we still have the psychological edge over them and have the belief that we can beat them.

It's all about attitude. If it were about talent (and depth of talent) alone then City would most likely be Champions.

We are forever stepping out on the pitch against teams like Man Utd, with a side set up to defend and achieve a 0-0 and this negative approach rubs off on the players... we put everything we have into not getting beaten, rather than trying to win the game. See our performance at Old Trafford the other week.

Let's start having a real go at teams no matter who they are. Let's get our swagger back ? particularly at Goodison Park. We have a team capable of winning more than we lose if we do this (see second half on Saturday). We might just turn a few of our many many draws into wins. And you're much better off winning 3 and losing 2 than you are drawing 5!
Dave Wilson
7   Posted 09/05/2011 at 06:37:36

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"A deference bordering on fear" ? what utter nonsense.

We have had a desperate time of it against United down the years, that's what happens when you have people like Kilbane, Bent and Davies going up against people like Scholes, Giggs and Cantona, but Moyes has improved our squad in recent years and worra ya know we can now beat them. I didn't see any deference when we clawed back a two goal deficit against United at GP this year, or when we sent them packing in the semi final... oh and we where really humble when giving their biggest hidding for years at GP last season.

There was a huge over-reaction to our recent defeat at OT, but that's how football works, when you play teams that can afford to have more talent sitting on the bench than your entire first team is worth, they will occasionally beat you... even if they do need the aid of poxy late gift of a goal and a shithouse referee bottling decisions that may have seen us become the only team to win this season.

Michael Kenrick
8   Posted 09/05/2011 at 07:07:53

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As fans, I think some of us struggle to explain the disparity in results and performances from week to week, and will search to explain things in terms of for example. deference to SAF at OT, as well as the obvious weekly issues of poor team selection, bad substitutions, etc. But it seems to me that the lottery factor is perhaps in more control than we suspect.

Take Saturday: arguably Moyes got it wrong at the start, and we could have been slaughtered, but he put it right at the break and during the second half, hey, we finished up wining. But that didn't happen in the preceding weeks at DW and OT. So I'm not really convinced it is Moyes actually making crucial match-changing decisions.

Of course, according to the oft-cited "resources" argument, Saturday's result could not have happened. We don't have the players... we can't compete... we can't be expected to beat teams above us... Moyes has both arms tied behind his back... blah, blah, blah.

Maybe it really was Big Dunc down there giving them what for...
Derek Thomas
9   Posted 09/05/2011 at 07:36:03

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So a Manager who has no firm definite belief in himself or the decisions he makes...


Except for the very basic 'Footballing 101' , KISS, square pegs in square holes type decisions...

[Stops typing and re thinks...]

And goes for the stick or twist... well it can't be any worse option.

Has maybe a 50-50 chance of improving the team performance.

[Stops typing and re-thinks the re-think...]

EURAKA!

Dithering Davie to a tee.

So every time we go to the game, we are all at the mercy of the Dirty Harry option:

"Do ya feel lucky, well do ya??

"Coz I've got Victor Anichebe here, probabley the most powerful striker in the Prem."

So ask yourself.....
Tony Cheek
10   Posted 09/05/2011 at 07:48:52

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Varun, I do agree with you that it was probably the "no respect" attitude that brought the points home on Saturday, and has been sadly lacking in a lot of games this season. But it is Moyes's job to get his players in the right mindframe for games. How?

Well he could have started by dropping players who do not show the right attitude. When Heitinga welshed out of a tackle that cost us points, he should have been dropped down the pecking order.

Arteta on Saturday went past his man and was homing in on goal, when he suddenly decides to go to ground for no reason. I say bench next game. That's the way SAF does it. Either give everything or bench.
Alan Clarke
11   Posted 09/05/2011 at 07:59:31

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Man City have spent their money badly, that's why we beat them:

Whereas Man Utd buy Hernandez for £7 million, Man City buy Dzeko for £27 million. Whereas Man U buy Vidic for £7 million, Man City buy Lescott for £24 million. Add to City's list Jo, Barry, Milner (completely outshone by Ossie), De Jong, Kolarov, Viera, Bridge, Adebayor... They're a load of shite. It's no wonder that Mancini is asking for more money this summer.

We beat Man City basically because we've got better players. On their day, Jagielka is better than Kompany, Distin is better than Lescott, Baines is better than Kolarov, Neville is better than Zabaletta, Heitinga is better than De Jong, Osman is better than Milner, Rodwell is better than Viera, Arteta is better than Barry, Fellaini is better than Toure, Saha is better than Dzeko. If you took a fully fit starting 11 of Everton and a fully fit starting 11 of Man City who would you take? Their keeper, Silva and Tevez. I know in terms of squad depth they're better but, 11 against 11, Man City have shit players.

If a decent manager actually went to Man City and spent their money wisely on decent players who'd been scouted properly, not just on who is in fashion, all the team spirit in the world would not buy us a victory.

I wasn't happy at the way we rolled over against Man Utd but they've got better players and a brilliant manager and that's why we struggle against them.

Tony J Williams
12   Posted 09/05/2011 at 09:04:46

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A strange topic, expecially this season when our results against the teams above us, bar Arsenal, have generally been pretty good. The problem this season is the teams, we believe, should be below us and not having the skill to unlock their stone-wall defences.

"So I'm not really convinced it is Moyes actually making crucial match-changing decisions" Who is it then doing the subs and giving them a rocket up the arse at half time? Just watch the Distin interview, he slips up and confirms Moyes had a go at them and then tries to cover up by saying sometimes you don't need a rollicking. We all know your steadfast views on Moyes but this is taking it a little too far don't you think?

It's the usual mindset; We lose because of Moyes and we win in spite of him. Posters are extraordinarily quick to berate him but disappear when any smidgeon of praise is more suitable.
Adam Rathe
13   Posted 09/05/2011 at 11:01:53

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I'll wait for next season if your magical scheme takes place (which it won't) and then I'll wait for you to bitch and moan about how 'last season we got brilliant results against these teams, why have we gone backwards, we're never going to win anything unless we match these teams'.....erm....yeah, a point? We have matched these teams in most cases. Bar United away, our record against the 'big 4' and I'll include Spurs and City is as following:

Arsenal: home 1-2; away 2-1 (Granted, this is the exception, but on both occasions we should have got a point.)

Manchester United: home 3-3; away 1-0 (Our performance against them at home was superb after going 1-3 down and I think we were unlucky not to get anything away, despite our 'negativity'.)

Chelsea: home... still to play; away 1-1 (brilliant performance away where we should have won and we had the Champions at the ropes on numerous occasions. Also, the FA Cup performances were equally outstanding.)

Liverpool: home 2-0; away, 1-1 (No need to explain our dominance in these games here...)

Man City: home 2-1; away 1-2 (Again, excellent performances in both games.. well, the second half of the home game, that showed we're not just their 'bogey team' but an actual match for them.)

Spurs: home 2:1; away 1-1 (More than a match in both games.)

So, that's 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses. If this doesn't show potential to move us on, I don't know what does. It's just our performances against so called 'lesser' teams that need to improve next season.

Don't for a minute say that Moyes has taken us as far as he can: a) because he hasn't, and b) I genuinely don't think anybody could do a better job. Look what happened to Charlton. Not saying we'd do the same but be careful what you wish for.

Paul Knox
14   Posted 09/05/2011 at 11:33:49

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Why do we start games at home with a formation to get a draw, then, when we go down a goal, change to an attacking formation? If we started a game to win and then defend our lead... Is Mr Moyes too defensive? If so, why did he build a squad of mainly attack-minded players?

Mr Moyes -- allow our players to play with freedom, allow in-form players to play (and in their best positions), get out on the touch line and encourage the players when it's not going right (not stay sat in the dugout sulking). I may change my view of him.

Tony J Williams
15   Posted 09/05/2011 at 12:03:22

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Paul, you can't have it both ways. Some were having a go at Moyes for giving too many orders from the touch line and some, rightly so, were having a go at him for sulking at Bolton.

We start games at home the same way as we start games away, with a recognised formation that has seen us be better than a lot of teams below us for years.

The switch to the 4-4-2 wasn't a switch to a 4-4-2 at all; it was still 4-5-1 but with Victor moving out to the right wing... where he actually played well and got at people.

Our players aren't good enough for a 4-4-2 and, when we do go for that formation, it is usually out of desperation or the team we are playing are gash. Man Citteh aren't gash, they are about to get into the qualifying rounds for the Champion's League.

Also, it does seem to work at home now, as the last time we were beaten at home in the league was on 27 November 2010. The next 10 games, we drew 4 and won 6.
Victor Chang
16   Posted 09/05/2011 at 14:30:14

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Jamie Sweet@6, You could even say WIN 2, LOSE 3 is still better than 5 DRAWS.
Trevor Lynes
17   Posted 09/05/2011 at 14:52:11

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Fergies best hour was when he brought in a bunch of kids at the same time and he was criticized for doing so: Becks, Giggs, both Nevilles, Scholes and Butt ? he struck it lucky with everyone of them!!

However, Liverpool's 18 titles were won when the playing fields were equal, no huge money and no foreign players. Shankly for my money was better than Fergie and Busby... unfortunately, our manager Catterick did not create the same 'conveyor belt' of continued success as he tended to break the side up after winning titles.

I honestly believe that the Premier League title is getting more and more like the Scottish League title or the Spanish League title... only two or maybe three teams with a realistic chance of winning it.

I also believe that it will burst like a bubble if nothing is done to stop spiralling wages and greedy agents. I watched Alan Sugar's programme on the TV and it was patently obvious that the wages and transfer fees are creating a position where many clubs will be in administration. Players continue to get paid even if the club goes into administration which is a joke.

There should be a cap on salaries and if the foreign players don't want to accept the situation then they should move on back to wherever.

Our league has the worst debt of any in Europe by a mile.... Maybe it's a good job that we dont go after high profile players!!!

Adam Rathe
18   Posted 09/05/2011 at 19:35:43

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Agree with Trevor. I think everybody agrees with him in saying that wages are ridiculous. I find it astounding that the Portsmouth players, some of whom were on about £50,000+ a week wouldn't let a few weeks' wages slide for the good of the club. Perhaps Plymouth is another good example, though their wages would be far lower.

I'd hope that, if Everton were ever in that position, our players would do that, because it reeks of disloyalty and lack of fervency for the club if you don't.

Andy Crooks
19   Posted 09/05/2011 at 23:04:37

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Dave Wilson, you surely cannot believe that we were robbed at Old Trafford. We were comprehensively outplayed; we went to sneak a draw and that only confirms my point. We were frightened of a hiding and David Moyes, as he confirmed on MotD2, was well pleased that we didn't get it.

You know, Dave, much as I admire your passion, you are defending a lost cause. We have demonstrated that we can compete with the best but struggle against the rest. This is not to do with lack of funding but more to do with a fatal flaw in the coach.

You give me pause for though when you raised the very pertinent point about Kenwright's ability to select a successor; however, I think it is time to be bold and accept that Kenwright is going nowhere and the only other way forward is with a new coach. Someone, for example, who doesn't think that his previous pre-season exploits are, in fact, the way to go.

Roman Sidey
20   Posted 10/05/2011 at 00:46:23

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Alan Clarke ? agree, agree agree. Maybe lately Howard has improved and isn't as shit as Hart (low balls to the corner of the goal aren't his thing are they?), but I think Silva and Tevez are the only Man City players that are worth their transfer fee or wage (kind of).

Man City have paid higher prices for players because the selling clubs know they can hold them to ransom. Lescott wasn't/isn't worth £12mil, let alone £20M-odd. Dzeko's shit, but not as shit as Ballotelli. Milner and Barry were both better at Villa. Vieira is just putting together some supper, and I don't know who or what a Kolarov is.
Dalziel Kane
21   Posted 10/05/2011 at 01:50:39

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I bet Liverpool fans will be overjoyed seeing their long-standing 18 Championships being overtaken by Manchester United next week. Heh.

I'm not in love with either of them but, push comes to shove, hats off to United when they do it, just to erase the records and statistics if nothing else.
Dave Wilson
22   Posted 10/05/2011 at 06:28:05

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Andy

First we had to listen to claims that united fielded a weakened team. People like Fabio and O`Shea are not first team players ? a theory that has since been blown away. Now we have this "deference" nonsense.

When selecting Valencia, Rooney, Henandez and Nani, Fergie was throwing United's kitcthen sink at Everton, they simply had to win. You may claim we rolled over but that was not what I witnessed. Despite the failure of our more advanced players to trouble United, I saw a magnificent effort from our defenders and our goalie ? 85 minutes of absolute defiance.

You obviously don't believe the players when they say Moyes sent them out to win, or the fact that Moyes was seen on camera urging his troops forward. But you cannot deny these superb performances, defending and goalkeeping are essential arts of the game too and ours were magnificent.

We didn't ask for any special favours from the ref, just fair decisions. We didn't get it, we didn't get so much as a throw-in all game. The referee bottled not one but two decisions to give us a penalty...

Let's put it this way, if the roles were reversed that day we still wouldn't have heard the last of it now. Sure, we were under the cosh for most of the game, but we relied on our skills to keep United out... they relied on the referee to keep us out

Robbed? Fucken right we were.
Dave Wilson
23   Posted 10/05/2011 at 06:55:32

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"Wealth doesn't make a difference"

Despite the many many many millions SUPERALEX has spent on United, I believe if we had just one of their players (Rooney ) the difference between us would instantly disappear.

A full-strength Everton with Rooney would challenge full-strength Man United without him all day long.
Derek Thomas
24   Posted 10/05/2011 at 09:26:37

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I want to get back to MK's Moyes Lottery thing.

He, Moyes, has gone on record Re the US pre-season thing...We do it coz it worked for us in 04-05.

IMO what he doesn't realise it was just a fluke, no magic formula, no American Way, just Bents running, Martyn in goal, Gravensens only consistant half season form, ( I still thing Real wanted The Carsley look a like and got mixed up ) and Cahills goals.

If it is all a lottery, 50 -50, the 04-05 season was Uber Moyes, his and thus ours ultimate 50-50.

And to my mind he is still only the 50-50 Curates Egg man. The proportions may differ fron the straight 50-50 of 04 -05 but the end result is the same. 55 to 61 points, 5, 6 or 7th bad start good ish middle then fade.

Or as this season, poor, with the odd good one, then Good with the odd bad one.

And he still doesn't know what his best starting 11 is at any given time or how to play them.
James Stewart
25   Posted 10/05/2011 at 17:06:10

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Pretty much spot on at @11 Alan Clarke. City's signings have baffled me. If you have that much money why chase the Milners, Viera's etc.

They haven't got a clue. Now if you had Jose in charge at City or someone like that then it would be alarm bells for the rest!

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