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It Should Have Been Us!

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Although they made it predictably difficult for themselves in the first leg, last night I watched Spurs cruise into the group stage of the Champions League with mixed feelings. Great as it is to have anyone other than our neighbours entering this annual football Shangri-la, this plus-point is more than tempered by my feeling that Spurs, already in a much better financial state than us (isn?t everybody?) will now start to leave us trailing in their monied wake.

Last night I found myself actually wishing it had been the reds in that game, as at least the money they would make from the CL would be swallowed up by their massive debt burden, whereas ?Arry will probably be given bucket loads of dosh to improve an already strong team.

The points of my ramble are that IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US, and years ago at that, and that this is the season where Moyes has finally to achieve something (4th or better or a cup) or it?s time for a change in manager.

I have always been a Moyes supporter ? not ?apologist? as some permanently downcast pessimists here would have it ? as I cannot see how anyone else could have done better up to now. Remember, he got a team that was lower mid-table at best in terms of talent into the same stage Spurs were at last night, and since then has assembled a squad that is better than any other we?ve had for twenty plus years.

I would have made the same point at the start of last season, but the decimating injuries put paid to that; however, this season everyone is fit, we?ve kept our best players (it doesn?t look like Pienaar is going now), so this is the make-or-break season for Moyes for me.

Despite our lethargic start, we all know what this squad is capable of; it?s now up to Moyes to loosen his mental shackles on the team and actually let the players express themselves on the pitch to the extent where we brush aside the likes of Blackburn or Wolves. Hopefully last night?s practice match will prove to be the jump start our season needs.

If we fail to achieve something this season, then I?m afraid the good ship Goodison will need a new captain.

COYB!!
Roger Trenwith, Northampton     Posted 26/08/2010 at 10:24:00

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Davey Thomas
1   Posted 26/08/2010 at 14:26:15

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Without investment, I can't see who can come in as manager and do any better... Redknapp's had more than enough to spend, we have nothing.
Andy Mack
2   Posted 26/08/2010 at 14:30:47

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As much as I dislike 'Arry, he made no bones about Spurs having to win the game and that's what they did. I've seen us in similar situations and each and every time Moyes sets up the team far too cautiously and we end up chasing the game and almost pulling it back, not to mention the board not spending at the one point we maybe should have.

Best of luck to them in the Champs League. Good to see another team involved rather than same-old same-old, although I wished to hell it'd been us.
Carl Moulton
3   Posted 26/08/2010 at 14:44:25

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And lets not forget Spurs played a team that are 7th in the Swiss league.... we played a team that went on to the semi-final! The fact is we have two cups to play for this season and at least 7 other teams will feel they have as good a chance as us to win one of them. To say top 4 or a cup or Moyes out is OTT but I would agree we have a great squad and I want a good run in each cup and a top-six place, minimum!
Dave Smith
4   Posted 26/08/2010 at 14:48:56

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If not David Moyes, then who? Who is good enough/willing to come to Goodison, not spend any money and deliver instant success?

It has taken Moyes 9 years to get the squad to this point, is anyone willing to wait another 9 with another manager? Can anyone else do it quicker?
Kunal Desai
5   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:01:03

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It should have been us but you get the feeling, had we beaten Villarreal, we probably would have been embarrassed by teams in the group stages a la Dinamo Bucharest and Benfica. That team was not anywhere prepared for CL games. Think we bought Neville that year and had Beattie up front. Says it all.

Perhaps the £15-20M revenue generated might have helped us kick on a bit, but I think we need a lot more than that for Everton to further themselves. BK would have probably have given Moyes about £5M to spend with the others going on improved contracts and the rest vanished unexplained.
GJ Butler
6   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:05:13

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Well said Dave (2).

When Blues fans give Moyes an 'ultimatum' on where we need to finish, I can't help thinking of Charlton Athletic and how they thought Alan Curbishly had brought them as far as they could and they needed a change to press on.

You don't know what you have till it's gone I s'pose...
Roger Trenwith
7   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:19:12

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Dave - I know you're probably right, altho' success this season would hardly be "instant" would it?

We've a great squad, and we have a better chance of doing something this season than any other in Moyes' reign. However, unless he jettisons his over-cautious attitude, I can see us falling short yet again.

All I want is some reward for 9 years of patience.

Roger Trenwith
8   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:24:23

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GJ - So what would keep you happy then? 6th and a semi final? After all this time I just want a pot on the shelf... the tinpot League Cup would do!
Dick Anderson
9   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:12:00

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Spurs got very lucky. Young Boys. Jammy Bastards. Couldn't have asked for a better draw.

Everton with their incredible bad luck drew Villarreal. A very decent side who had Diego Forlan up front.

Villarreal went on to beat Benfica and Lille in the group and even Man Utd coudn't beat them recording no-score draws home and away.

In the last 16 Villarreal knocked out Rangers.

In the quarter finals they knocked out Inter Milan.

And then in the Semi Finals they narrowly lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

We get Villarreal and Spurs get Young Boys. About sums it up really.

And the really annoying thing is we only just lost to Villarreal. Amazingly Everton's team included Simon Davies, James McFadden, Kevin Kilbane and Marcus Bent.

We were losing 3-2 on aggregate and Big Dunc scored that perfectly good goal with his head. The Worlds Best Referee Pierluigi Collina for some unforgiveable reason disallowed it.

Big Duncs goal would have made it 3-3 on aggregrate and with the momentum going Everton's way who knows what could have happened.

Sadly with the goal disallowed it left Everton throwing everything at Villarreal and in the 90th minute the back door was left open and Diego Forlan scored to finish it 4-2.

But still if Big Dunc's goal had stood Everton probably wouldn't have been so desperate for a goal and I bet we would have gone into extra time.

We'll never know. But it sums up Everton's luck. First we get Villarreal then Pierluigi Collina makes probably the only mistake of his career.

And Spurs get Young Boys.
Roger Trenwith
10   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:35:47

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Yup, the Villarreal game was a sickener. But the reason Spuds got Young Boys and we got Villarreal was down to seeding. When we got 4th we had no recent European history, whereas Spuds had been regular participants in the Uefa Cup/Europa League. Annoying but true.... and had we got to the group stages, it would have been embarrassing!
Anthony Hughes
11   Posted 26/08/2010 at 15:50:58

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Unfortunate for ourselves but I think Spurs will have a good season. They have a very good squad with pace and depth and an attack-minded manager. Just our luck that, when we have our best squad in years and the Redshite look to be dropping away, then bloody City and Spurs look to become regular top 4 competitors.
Nick Entwistle
12   Posted 26/08/2010 at 16:23:18

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And Collina retires soon after that match... and UEFA are happy with only the 4 English sides in the league stages... It still stinks to me, that game!
Kevin Hudson
13   Posted 26/08/2010 at 16:31:42

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Agreed Nick - it was a blatant fix. They didn't want us there.

The Reds on the other hand..
John Daley
14   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:01:44

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Fair play to Spurs. They hauled themselves back into the tie after going 3-0 down in the first leg and went out to win the game from the off last night. They never froze, looked anxious or tried to keep things tight, but instead simply went for it. Would we have done the same I wonder? Or would we have shit ourselves and flopped miserably like we always seem to do in the big games?
Gerry Quinn
15   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:08:07

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It would have looked really good, wouldn't it?

Group H: ARSENAL, Shakhtar Donetsk, SC Braga, FK Partisan

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, EVERTON, FC Twente

Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel Aviv

Group F: CHELSEA, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, MSK Zilina

Group D: FC Barcelona, Panathinaikos, FC Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan

Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

Group C: MANCHESTER UNITED, Valencia, RANGERS, Bursaspor.

Group E: Bayern Munich, AS Roma, FC Basel, CFR Cluj
Andy Crooks
16   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:12:33

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Roger, I agree with your post. This squad, while not as good as many Evertonians think, is the best for some time. The coach must not waste this chance. My expectations are not high. A cup, FA, or League, or even Europa league qualification would do considering the lack of funds this summer. Anything less would surely call time on David Moyes.
Jimmy Hacking
17   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:33:49

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Davey Thomas (1) has answered this perfectly.
end of.

Ian Evans
18   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:16:01

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Just remember, the "best squad we've had in 20 years" is all down to Moyes who's worked on a shoestring budget throughout.

No cups or top 4 and Moyes out? Get real. Yes he is a tad defensive but he is looking to gradually introduce flowing more attacking football as the second half of last season demonstrated (a little too gradually for some but it is his aim nonetheless).

Ian Evans
19   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:50:26

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This season there are 7-8 very competitive teams at the top (ourselves included), this is partly the reason for the optimism before the season start.

Yes, we could claim top 4, but equally we could end up similar to last year ? hope not, obviously.

Lets see where we are at Christmas... but, even if we're not looking like Champions elect, I would certainly hope Moyes is still in charge at the start of next season ? all this optimism is as a result of his management over 9 years.

Eugene Ruane
20   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:33:59

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I've never been able to 'hate' Moyes. Still can't. I like him as a person.

I like how he conducts himself (especially by comparison to Sir Alex red-grid, TFSW, Morinho). I actually spent a lot of time arguing his case with a particular mate of mine, who had a downer on DM after about three years.

But the last three years or so has chipped away at my support of him. It always irritates to see mistakes repeated and he's been guilty of this. The standard of football and tactics, apart from the odd game, I find dull and predictable.

To those who point to Uefa/Europa 'success', I understand where you're coming from and I've enjoyed the trips as much as anyone, but (like a lot of blues my age) I just feel it's not good enough for Everton.

People say well we've got no money, who do you replace him with? It's a good question. Personally, I'd look for a lower division manager (like Moyes was) but one who favours a less defensive set up.

I've accepted that I'll never see us win a title again, What I can't accept is the idea of never seeing a thrilling Everton side again (I mean for a season ? not the occasional half).

Roger Trenwith
21   Posted 26/08/2010 at 18:57:15

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Eugene - Entirely agree with you, my points exactly. You must be of similar vintage to me - I started supporting us in 1969 so I've seen a lot over the years, good, bad, but mostly average.

Like you I'll never "hate" DM, and if/when he goes I will thank him for what he has done for us and wish him all the best in future (until his team plays us of course!), but after all this time I just want to see a season of decent footy and something to show for it at the end. Not too much to ask is it?

Brendan O'Doherty
22   Posted 26/08/2010 at 19:48:58

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Right. So if we don't finish in the top 4 or win a cup, Moyes must go.

Let's throw away 9 years of painstakingly hard work, and start from scratch again, shall we ?

What a fantastic idea.

After all, there are plenty of managers out there who can build a top premier league team with next to no money, aren't there?
Roger Trenwith
23   Posted 26/08/2010 at 20:01:01

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Brendan - So how long are you prepared to wait?
Dave Smith
24   Posted 26/08/2010 at 20:18:33

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Roger and Eugene - If Mourinho was at Everton and playing his way, but winning everything, would you still want him out so he can be replaced with a more 'exciting' manager? My point being that attacking entertaining football doesn't always get results (Arsenal).

This young, up-and-coming manager from the lower divisions you want; how long would you give him? Because, with what David Moyes has to spend each year, any manger would need at least a couple of season to get the players they want in.
Brendan O'Doherty
25   Posted 26/08/2010 at 20:35:05

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Roger, like you I will be disappointed if we don't finish top 4 or win a cup this year.

But if we don't, sacking the manager and starting again is not the answer.

The time for DM to go will be 1 of 2 scenarios:

1) He decides he's had enough of progressing this club with no money

2) He loses the backing of the vast majority of MATCH GOING Evertonians, and/or the dressing room.

Fortunately, scenario 1 is much more likely than scenario 2, despite what you read on here.

We are only really starting now, because we haven't had the squad before. It may be his 9th season, but it's year 1 of expectation. The previous 8 years have been about getting us to where we are now. Have faith.
Robbie Muldoon
26   Posted 26/08/2010 at 20:42:29

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Dick Anderson's post #9 has just made me feel like throwing myself down the stairs! What is the point with our luck!!!!!!!!??
Ray Robinson
27   Posted 26/08/2010 at 21:43:56

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Robbie, because with the attitude of blaming circumstances, referee's decisions etc or anything else for that matter, we can never really move forward. It's not what has happened that's important, it's what's yet to happen that's of consequence.
Tony J Williams
28   Posted 26/08/2010 at 23:00:57

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Ray, I am not one for conspiracy theories but that game stunk to high Heaven. I was made up we got the fella from The Hills have Eyes.... until he makes that ludicrous decision and retires after the game.... Something not right there.
Eugene Ruane
29   Posted 26/08/2010 at 22:41:34

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Dave Smith, you say..

"My point being that attacking entertaining football doesn't always get results (Arsenal)".

True, it doesn't.

So here's a question for you.

Given we know entertaining football doesn't always get results.

And given we DEFINITELY know dull, defensive, hoofball with one attacker at home doesn't always get results (so to be clear ? no type of football ALWAYS gets results).

Which type would you prefer to watch Everton play?

And by the way, Mourinho's teams might not be as easy on the eye as Ferguson's, but to hint/suggest that his tight formations won the trophies is stretching things a tad.

Yes, he plays it tighter than some, BUT with 20 world class players who don't need three touches to get the ball under control and don't hammer balls over team-mates heads every time they get it.

His title-winning sides battered many teams and played a lot more football than we do.

Or, to put it another way, his 'dull' was a LOT more exciting than our dull.
Michael Kenrick
30   Posted 26/08/2010 at 23:10:09

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Brendan (#25): "It may be his 9th season, but it's Year 1 of expectation. The previous 8 years have been about getting us to where we are now."

"Year 1 of expectation" GTF!

What was going down Wembley Way, 30 May 2009 if it was not Expectation?

What was all the hype in the League Cup campaign 2008 if it was not Expectation??

Not to mention League campaigns where we were (until last season) "Best of the Rest"... Arrrrrgggh!!!

Year 1 of Expectation... now I've heard everything when it comes to enabling underachievement.

I hereby crown you, Brendan O'Doherty, King of the Apologists!

Brendan O'Doherty
31   Posted 26/08/2010 at 23:37:44

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A title I humbly accept, your editorship.

You know what I mean. It's year 1 of REAL expectation; i.e. we now have the squad to achieve on ability, rather than over-achieving (as some see it) for reasons such as 'great team-spirit', 'well organised', etc.

Many (including yourself) bought into this as a reason for being truly optimistic about this coming season.
Jamie Crowley
32   Posted 27/08/2010 at 03:51:45

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Brendan -

Did you just become an English lord with Land and Title?
Roger Trenwith
33   Posted 27/08/2010 at 09:25:59

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Eugene - Again bang on, there's nowt more to say really.
Brendan - Your choice of Moyes leaving scenario is probably right, and my guess is it will happen in May 2011 unless we've won a pot or come 4th. As for "Year 1" - gawd you must have the patience of a religious hermit!
John Schrempft
34   Posted 27/08/2010 at 09:15:07

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Just a couple of comments about the Young Boys- Tottenham game.
I went to the first leg game fully expecting Spurs to win the match easily and so did most YB (Young Boys) supporters.
YB hit the post after 2 minutes and were
3-0 up after 28. Everyone around me could hardly believe it.

Tottenham got one back before half time from a corner and as you all know ,the final result was 3-2.
However, Young Boys missed two "sitters" in the 2nd half so it could quite easily have been 4-1 or 5-1.
The "YB" trainer clearly said in the local papers that the team would play attacking football at White Hart Lane. Granted, Spurs first goal was due to naiv defending but the killer goal by Defoe was quite clearly preceded by a handball. Everyone and his dog could see it but not the ref or the other 4 officials!
My point is: Spurs would have won anyway, but such incidents as above, turn games.
Call it luck, a fix, what you will ,but Tottenham had a lot of luck getting through and Everton didn't against Villareal.
By the way, Young Boys have not had a good start to their season, just like Everton haven't but they'll both improve sooner rather than later.
Roger Trenwith
35   Posted 27/08/2010 at 09:33:15

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Just a thought - If old beetroot face wins the title this season thus beating the Shite's record, I'll think he'll retire and recommend his footballing "son", our very own David Moyes for the job.
Dave Smith
36   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:33:24

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Not trying to go off topic but: "... to hint/suggest that his [Murinho's] tight formations won the trophies is stretching things a tad"

I don't think it is. Everywhere he has gone he has won trophies. He has built a squad he wants, and played them his way. To put it down to the player's is naive. Remember the Real Madrid Galacticos who won nofthing?

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