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What could be and what will be

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I've just about got over the awful start to the season. There really is no point in further talk of what might and should have been. The time for that is in the boring summer period when the optimists will talk of the Champions League. What about the immediate future?

Well, we have three winnable games coming up. What could happen is we will win all three and the season will suddenly look totally different. What could happen next is the return of our injured players, giving David Moyes options. By the end of January, we could be on the verge of a top four place, embarking on a decent cup run and preparing for a strong finish.

What will happen? We will get five or seven points out of the next nine. Then our injured players will slowly return and get David Moyes out of his backs-to-the-wall mentality. Suddenly, he will have choices... and (as usual) his brain will fall out. He is not a man who can handle options. Give him a crisis where the team picks itself and he will motivate the hell out of them (eg, the derby). Give him options and the man is lost.

If the owners of West Ham wanted saving David Moyes would, and I'd bet my life on it, save them. If the owners of Man Utd want a similar decline to that of post Busby then David Moyes is the man to provide it. He's a crisis manager which is a testament to his talents. Everton are ready for more.
Andy Crooks, Belfast     Posted 28/10/2010 at 19:17:59

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Jay Harris
1   Posted 29/10/2010 at 03:23:33

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Andy I know how much you dislike Moyes but how many "crisis" managers have achieved consistent top 6 finishes and been one of the few managers to have broken in to the top 4?

In addition, being voted Premier League manager of the year by his peers and all that while operating on a shoestring budget in comparison to competitors.
Dennis Stevens
2   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:18:49

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Moyes clearly wants his team to be a good footballing team, as evidenced by the players he buys, but there is definitely a question mark over his ability to get the best out of the quality of squad he has now built. However, we could still end the season as Champions, so there's all to play for.
Jon Ferguson
3   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:37:22

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A harsh assessment of Moyes in my opinion.

My memory of last season was that we had an awful start, mainly due to the fact that a large number of our best players were not available. Then when they came back from injury, and with the addition of Landon we went on a Champions League standard run of form.

That?s how I remember it anyway!

(Admittedly there are no such excuses for the early bad form this season)
Declan O'Shaughnessy
4   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:38:04

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Andy, I'd take your point one step further and disagree with your overall conclusion. I think Everton (as in the players we have, but maybe the club as a whole these days) is a crisis club. Put our players in an impossible situation, where nothing is expected of them, and they'll fight and battle and try their hardness and more often than not achieve good results. Put some pressure of expectation on them, make it clear there are no excuses for failure, and they'll crumble and fail to deliver.

We've seen it time and again in the League Cup, in Europe, in the Premier League against weaker opposition. We are not comfortable being the favourites for anything. We much prefer being the underdogs.

I think this lies at the heart of our piss-poor start to the season. When expected to deliver, our shower will inevitably fail. Is Moyes to blame for this? Well, he's done nothing that I can see to arrest the situation, but it did exist before he came here. It's one of the reasons I've lost patience with Moyes to a large extent. Whatever we achieve this season, we could have done more. And next season will be no different. We'll keep fucking up when we shouldn't, before staging an unexpected recovery and run of results.

Problem is, I don't know a manager out there who could realistically turn the situation around. It needs an entire sea-change at the club, from top to bottom. Everybody needs to operate under the same message: Failure isn't an option, pressure is to expected and you need to deliver. No excuses, no regrets, no "what ifs". Just achieve.
Mike Green
5   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:55:51

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For me I think our bad start was down to complacency.

I think we started to believe our own hype, took the results from the last half of last season, conveniently forgot the results from the first half and came to the logical conclusion that it would be a cake walk into the top 4. (Before the Polemics pipe up I know you lot didn't but quite a few of us were going into this season with great optimism).

I think the players and the club did the same and have remembered that with the players we've got the thing that gets us results more than anything is graft more than craft. I think, rightly or wrongly, we are going back to that philosophy and results will come along with them.

Might help if we had some teeth up front too....

COYB - stuff Stoke on Saturday pleeeeeaasse!!!
Brian Lawlor
6   Posted 29/10/2010 at 09:07:42

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Andy - thankfully your opinion counts for absolutely nothing.

It might do at Glentoran or Linfield.
Wade Gregory
7   Posted 29/10/2010 at 07:43:08

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I do get very frustrated at comments like yours directed at DM. We are all critics with thoughts on how the team should be played or who should be picked and when.

The fact is, DM is in charge, wether we like him or not. Critique all you want, I for one cannot forget the days of Walter Smith and the likes, where every season was full of doom and gloom, where the only thing May bought was summer.

The man is doing a great job, has guided the club back from the brink, inspired all, & given hope to all EFC supporters. We can now hold our heads up high and not be considered cannon fodder to all and sundry. The team has fight and passion in spades along with some great football thrown in.

Let's not forget the seasons pre-Wimbledon and scoring with seconds to go, survival by our short & curlies... I haven't.

David Price
8   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:13:46

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Andy does raise a fair comment.
Most us said what a massive test this is for Moyes.
Delivering with a squad of players that look to challenge the top 4.
It started poor and mistakes were obvious in selection, positions, substitutions and tactics.
As the players return, we hope Moyes has learnt a few things from the first 6 games or so and play to our strengths, right players in right positions, quick ball to the front man, press high up the pitch with tempo to match.
I still rate him but it's a good point raised by Andy, one that we hope Moyes is aware of and takes action on to avoid being classed as this style of Manager.
Kunal Desai
9   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:20:36

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For all the criticism and the crisis we're in, let's be positive for once; beat Stoke and we're 7th temporarily!!
Anthony Hughes
10   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:17:32

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I think it's just business as usual this season at Everton. Early exit from one of the cup competitions, no money to spend unless players shipped out, slow start to be followed by gradual pick up of results, top 10 finish more or less guaranteed,abit of a flirtation with the Champions league minor placing and at best Europa qualification. Nothing will change season on season until we have heavy investment in the club.
I'm not the biggest Moyes fan by a long chalk but he does what he does with what he has. I think this is the best we can hope for at the moment.
David Hallwood
11   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:18:02

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I posted at the time of our 'crisis' give it until Christmas and then start screaming. I've seen a lot of Everton teams in my time when after the 1st four games of the season you're looking at the run in in April-May to see who will send you down. This team doesn't even come close to that.

We didn't so much start badly but strangely; I cannot recall an away matchs where we were so dominant against Villa & Fulham and didn't come away with 6 pts. Likewise against Wolves, in the 1st half we were cruising and then fell apart, and it was the first time in a long time that we bossed the United game, only to be done by quality forward play.

Surely everybody out there (wll maybe not) must realise that if Moyes could've brought in Donovan and a class striker, what could've been.
Andrew Ellams
12   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:52:33

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I cannot believe the number of hypocrites on this site. Three or four weeks ago this sort of post was the norm and the whole world wanted David Moyes chased out of Goodison. We beat Birmingham and the RS and all is rosy,

Andy's post has more than a ring of truth about it, we are backs to the wall specialists, but when we do gather some momentum from that we usually make the most of it, last season being the perfect example.

I think what it comes down to is that we are not title challlengers and we are above upper bottom half mediocrity and that means sometimes we are great, sometimes we are awful and that leads to a real rollercoaster ride, welcome to Everton.
Mike Gwyer
13   Posted 29/10/2010 at 11:48:54

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Look at our recent results and then try thinking with your pint half-full.

Where we are is as per Moyes's comments: no goals in the early games ? though you cannot argue that we did not try and put the ball into the net.

Let's leave all this negative shite well alone and concentrate on each game as it comes ? as a matter of fact, get your arse to Goodison and watch the blues, not only will you will feel the atmosphere but more importantly you will see that EFC are not as shite as a net link, or MotD, lets you believe.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 29/10/2010 at 11:52:01

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"sometimes we are great, sometimes we are awful and that leads to a real rollercoaster ride, welcome to Everton"

Everton FC of present summed up succinctly in a sentence.

However Andrew, who are the hypocrites? People are responding to another Moyes is the Devil post the same way they were when the nutters were screaming for him to be sacked.

People are disappointed at our crap start, but it is the people who decided that we were now Champions Leagues contenders after buying a League One striker and a couple of unknowns.

We are an average team that on some days can play great football, we fall down with a mixture of tactics, substitutions and a lack of consistency for our "better" players.

Moyes is not the only cause of our poor start, that fact that Arteta has been playing gash, Howard has had two howlers costing us points and our forward are unfit or unready.

"will have choices... and (as usual) his brain will fall out. He is not a man who can handle options" - Absolutely mindboggling statement
Chris Rudd
15   Posted 29/10/2010 at 12:42:39

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I thought I'd slipped on to a Led Zep site when I saw that thread title. I must be dazed and confused or there's been a communication breakdown.

Anyway, Moyes is like most managers - there are always going to be good times, bad times.

So let's get behind the Blues tomorrow, show them a whole lotta love, give no quarter, make sure Stoke are trampled underfoot and bring it on home.

Let's hope it's a celebration day and our time is gonna come.

To anyone under 40 I apologise, anyone else... thank you.
Tony J Williams
16   Posted 29/10/2010 at 13:11:01

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Chris, the problem with some posters as that their song always remains the same.......eyethankyou
Mike Allison
17   Posted 29/10/2010 at 13:20:13

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The problem with Everton is they can be a real heartbreaker when you get your hopes up. at least Moyes is prepared to admit that its "nobody's fault but mine" when things go wrong, and so should be praised when they go well. Come Saturday, in the evening, I fully expect to be sitting in the top half. Anyone else gonna ramble on...?
Jay Harris
18   Posted 29/10/2010 at 13:38:24

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Now we have some sensible posters.

Lets start on the Stairway to Heaven against Stoke tomorrow.
Tony J Williams
19   Posted 29/10/2010 at 13:48:41

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Well due to the "communication breakdown" with Pienaar and Moyes, Pienaar's demands is leaving Blue Bill "dazed and confused" Pienaar could be saying "Babe, I'm gonna leave you" and this season will be his "swan song".

I am hoping that Pienaar gets the Everton bug and thinks "I can't quit you baby"; if not we have Gueye coming through and Moyes will keep him happy by telling him that "Your time is gonna come"...

No more, I promise.
Andy Crooks
20   Posted 29/10/2010 at 14:08:33

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Brian, what have Glentoran or Lindield got to do with it?
Chris Rudd
21   Posted 29/10/2010 at 14:42:23

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Yeah Brian - I don't remember any Zeppelin songs with Glentoran or Linfield in their titles!
Andrew Ellams
22   Posted 29/10/2010 at 14:43:55

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I'm currently reading a book called A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks. In it is a passage where a wife of a newly elected MP is preparing to host a dinner party for various people. The author describes her as not quite at the top of the social ladder but not scrambling around at the bottom, he then goes on to call her a 'Social Everton'. Think that pretty much says how the we are seen by the world.
David Thomas
23   Posted 29/10/2010 at 15:17:37

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So in essence if we don't win then it will be because "(as usual) his brain will fall out".

However, if we win it wont be because he is a good manager full stop it will be because he is a good "crisis manager".

I'm getting the impression whatever he does will not please you.
Christopher McCullough
24   Posted 29/10/2010 at 16:39:28

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Even within games when we are playing quite well, e.g Fulham first half ( "Moyes is an idiot". "We are beyond shite "), Evertonians seem to be a notably myopic bunch. So, three whole games isn't bad.

That said, I believe the team and manager have tangibly benefited and could still benefit from sustainable, unwavering encouragement over, let's say, a season. I think Arteta appreciates the support, for example.
Dave Roberts
25   Posted 29/10/2010 at 17:12:02

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Just because Moyes is good in a crisis (and we were in one helluva crisis when he arrived) does not mean he is ONLY good in a crisis.

Notwithstanding our usual poor start to the season, the standard of football I have watched here and there over several seasons is light years away from the dire shite I was watching 8,9 or 10 years ago. I appreciate it's not good enough yet for us to be serious contenders consistently but last season the Wolves manager said Everton were as good as anybody they played that year, and last week the Spurs manager said Everton were as good as anyone (I assume he meant in the Premier League), Mark Hughes said after the game at Fulham that we were in a false position and were a far better side that the league position warranted.

We are now being recognised as a pretty decent side. Comments like that from opposing managers seemed impossible to hope for in the bad old days.

So a lot of progress has been made despite the comparitive shortage of hard cash where, for instance, even Stoke can outspend us! I do not believe that money is the answer to everything in football but we cannot attract the one or two really class players we need in order for us to really move up a rung or three and I don't think that is Moyes's fault.
Dave Roberts
26   Posted 29/10/2010 at 17:29:29

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I do like that bit about 'Social Everton'! (#22)

We've had the People's Club so how about the Social Club?.......

Oh no, that wouldn't work would it?
Leon Perrin
27   Posted 29/10/2010 at 17:53:06

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Declan @ 4. I agree entirely.

What is most concerning is the acceptance of our parlous state by the majority of Evertonians. Where we are now is as good as it gets. We don't have the belief to win a cup nor finish in the top 6. Worse still, promoted teams are now making more of a fist of things, our static club is in danger of being overtaken yet people don't or won't see it ? or amazingly just accept it.
Andrew Presly
28   Posted 29/10/2010 at 18:53:04

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As the OP says, look at the next 3 games. That's 9 points to any team worth a CL place. Who honestly believes we'll avoid a cock up against one of them? Sorry, but it's inevitable.

Sadly I can't envisage, in my wildest dreams, an Everton team containing Neville, Distin, Beckford, Hibbert or Osman winning silverware.

That Guardian interview with Neville just sums up the spirit of mediocrity that has engulfed the playing staff and management at EFC. 6th - 9th for the forseeable......
Tony J Williams
29   Posted 29/10/2010 at 19:49:46

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"That Guardian interview with Neville just sums up the spirit of mediocrity that has engulfed the playing staff and management at EFC"

Why? Would you prefer it if he came out with his medals all over the show and and started saying how fantastic he is and he doesn't need his team mates? Modesty does not equate to mediocrity. Look at Meattie, he was a big head and he was shite, trying to pose after he scored a penalty, which were his own two goals the whole season.
Jon Cox
30   Posted 29/10/2010 at 19:49:00

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That Guardian interview with Nev was nothing to do with medicrity.

It was to do with a guy who's a mega rich footballer but has spades of something thats all but lost in todays top players. It's called humility.

I for one is glad he's at our club. He's good for the rest of the team and losing to him has never been an option.

Nev is not the most skillful geezer on the planet but dont forget you never know what you've got till it's gone.
Dean Adams
31   Posted 29/10/2010 at 20:32:47

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Leon Perrin
"What is most concerning is the acceptance of our parlous state by the majority of Evertonians. Where we are now is as good as it gets. We don't have the belief to win a cup nor finish in the top 6."

What sort of comment is that? We finished in the top 6 on more than one occassion in the last few years, lost the FA Cup Final after beating Utd, RS and Villa to get there. Fans with no grip on reality are our major problem.

As for the promoted sides, how many of them have finished above us in the last few years?

Leon Perrin
32   Posted 29/10/2010 at 20:40:51

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Dean, the final against Chelsea is what I'm getting at, getting there is one thing bottling it on arrival is another.

Reaching 6th again, just can't see it with City, Spurs and the Sky 4 (don't write off the shite just yet).

If you don't think the Wolves, Stoke, Birmingham, West Brom are improving on what they've done in past years, I think you're complacent.
Dean Adams
33   Posted 29/10/2010 at 21:00:36

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Improving yes. But the gulf that they have a problem with is the one that we have bridged previously. It's why we need to get a bit of pace out wide. We have proved we can achieve top 6, we just need a little more to break the stranglehold.

As for the Cup Final, I was ecstatic that we reached the final and was beyond words in the first minute. So it went downhill, but the point is we have beaten them at Goodison, Wembley was just that bit too far. Next time, we will have some experience.

Sean Patton
34   Posted 29/10/2010 at 21:23:58

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The game against Stoke is a perfect chance to judge the recent improvement in the team. It is the likes of Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn that Everton struggle against.

This is a bigger game than the Spurs one as down there nobody gave us a chance but tomorrow we are expected to win. I really hope Moyes has learned how to cope with sides that turn up to defend but I think he or the players will mess it up.

Oh and before I forget, let's hope it's a 'Celebration Day', and not one where we are thinking 'How many more times?'
Leon Perrin
35   Posted 29/10/2010 at 21:53:47

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I agree, although the results initially were shit I was encouraged by some of the play, now we're getting results we need to show our confidence by beating Stoke and the like for the reasons you say.

It's fuck ups in games like these I get into Moyes and co, no let up boys, no going into your shell.....expose your massive organ.
Kevin Tully
36   Posted 29/10/2010 at 23:46:14

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Have you got a brother called soy?
Alex Robinson
37   Posted 30/10/2010 at 00:27:22

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One thing to take note of about Moyes and our current Everton team is the amount of respect other teams' fans have for us. I can count among my friends Spurs, Forest, Crystal Palace, Man Utd and even Red Shite fans, and every single one of them respect and fully appreciate what Moyes has done for our wonderful club ? a lot would want Davie as their team's manager if he ever became available!

The problem with starting a season so badly is still a bit of mystery ? even Moyes himself has gone on record saying he's stumped. I personally blame all the games players have to play these days. If we had even a quarter of Man City's money we could cover the bases player-wise but we don't. It's a "needs must" situation, which Everton excel at.

As for this year, we're up-and-running earlier than usual. I would be surprised if we weren't top six by Christmas. If we can get Landon back for a couple of months in Jan (and hopefully longer), plus get a clinical striker (I hear a certain South American at Citeh is available), then a push for the top 4 is still very realistic.

In short, we've got a stability most clubs would kill for, we play football the way it should be played (mostly!), and Moyes knows how to handle issues if they rear their ugly head. To talk about getting rid of the manager now would be akin to shooting ourselves in the foot.

Matt Traynor
38   Posted 30/10/2010 at 05:19:46

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Blimey, occasionally you read a post and responses on TW that get you thinking!

My tuppeneth: Moyes irritates me cos I can't bring myself to dislike him, and I can't eulogise him either.

As some have alluded to above, I think the problems are deep-rooted. Forget shady billionaires, just new ownership with enough to ensure that our net spend is more than bugger all will allow us to really compete.

I'm sad to say, but the current regime was depending on Moyes' miracles to stand still. Now our real competitors (forget breaking the Sky monopoly) have not just caught up, but overtaken us somewhat.
Leon Perrin
39   Posted 30/10/2010 at 13:59:09

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Kev @36

You saucy boy
Andy Crooks
40   Posted 30/10/2010 at 15:00:40

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Brian, If you believe my opinion counts for nothing because it is utter shite, well, fair enough. But, if it is because of where I live, then I must disagree with you
Mark Laverty
41   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:55:15

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Just looking at yesterday's Missing Men on the Sky Sports site, it was the FA Cup win over Stoke in 2002, and the starting XI was:

Simonsen; Xavier, Unsworth, Stubbs, Weir, Blomqvist, Gemmill, Gascoigne, Naysmith, Ferguson, Moore...

When I thought of that midfield (and one of the strikers) compared to the options we have today, it made me cringe/smile all at the same time ? cringe when I thought how could we cope with such a midfield outfit... and smile when I thought of today's choices.

I know it was not a weekly starting XI and Gravesen, Watson, and Carsley would probably be first choice but that still sounded dreadful. Anyway, I just thought it might bring a smile to anyone having doubts about the choices Moyes has these days compared to what he had when he arrived.

COYB (more than ever today; I know money should never come into it but in final 5 in last man standing comp!!)

Brian Lawlor
42   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:33:45

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Andy ? both mate.

Just got back from the game, another win, one goal in 4 conceded and 7th in the league. You still think we need a new manager?

Thank fuck your opinion counts for fuck-all.

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