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We are not as bad as we make out

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Let's be sensible for a minute, you can put our poor performances down to three fundamental problems.

1. No belief! We do not approach games with the right attitude, we stand off players in possession, the crowd isn't showing the encouragement it should, the Plan A is usually only followed by Plan A+1 ? there is no Plan B.

2. Three positions are letting us down badly: no defensive leader (Jags not performing as he should); no midfield enforcer (no-one dominating our play with skill or vision); and no finisher (perhaps Beckford will be the one to operate with Cahill). I think with Big Vic and Seamus we should be ok on the right wing (... until Donovan comes that is!).

3. Poor team spirit, probably brought about by a number of factors; Heitinga's lack of interest playing for us particularly in midfield; Pienaar ready to jump ship; Arteta unable to recapture form; no confidence in the TWO underperforming strikers (Saha & Yak); Bily out of position and out of his depth...

Bring in three class players in these three positions and we can dominate teams that would be expected to dominate us.
Steve Cotton, bootle     Posted 30/11/2010 at 17:26:33

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Peter Laing
1   Posted 30/11/2010 at 21:15:19

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Bring in three class players, Steve ? we have already been forewarned that there is NO cash available for transfers come the opening of the January transfer window.
Mike McLean
2   Posted 30/11/2010 at 21:40:47

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Isn't this the Kopite refrain of the last 20 odd years? "The missing piece of the jigsaw"?

And tbh, "If only we had better players, we'd win stuff", is pretty obvious.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 30/11/2010 at 21:46:04

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Steve, we are.
Sean McCarthy
4   Posted 30/11/2010 at 23:05:31

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We still having the love-in with Donovan then?? We don't have a pot to piss in, let alone talk about bringing in 3 class players!!!
Tim Kells
5   Posted 30/11/2010 at 23:04:43

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Steve ? I'm a half-full sort of guy as well but if it was only three positions then I might see some light at the end of the tunnel. But of the current squad only Baines, Cahill, Pienaar and maybe Distin are playing to their full potential. Of those, Pienaar is obviously going to leave next Summer and, with no money too invest, as happened over the last two summers, then you do think things can only get worse ? not better.

Trouble is we are Everton and we expect better than mid-table obscurity, which seems to be where we are heading again with no investment and an ageing squad.

Sure, Moyes is at fault for his tactics / playing people out of position on many an occasion... but we really need some investment to stop the deterioration or for him to once again raise the bar and squeeze more out of the current squad's abilities.
Andy Crooks
6   Posted 01/12/2010 at 00:26:32

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Steve, things are really bad. Bring in three class players? With what and from where?
Jay Harris
7   Posted 01/12/2010 at 00:46:07

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Steve, the problem as I see it is at club level.

No-one wants to play for us anymore.

They're sick of hearing Kenwright say he's looking 24/7.

They're sick of hearing we have no money and then find Heitinga, Moyes and Arteta get bumper deals.

And now they're sick of the crowd getting on their backs.
Ernie McAllister
8   Posted 01/12/2010 at 00:56:38

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For me, Moyes has lost the plot completely. He is a man resigned to shoving anything out on the pitch and picking up a £60 grand pay packet per week.

He awards Arteta with £75 grand a week, then tells Pienaar, sorry sunshine you ain't worth that kind of money per week... then he is offered something around £50 or £60 grand.

No doubt the other lads have looked at the Arteta deal and have thought to themselves, if he deserves a pay rise then so do we... and its fully understandable.

Then we have Pienaar, a player absolutely integral to our team... suddenly shown the exit door... I can't see anything else other than that as the attitude at Everton. Yet at the same time we have enough money to go out and pay £7 million or something for someone in January? ... it's laughable.

Team spirit is zapped because the lads are gonna loose one of their own yet again... it must be very demoralizing to them to see their team mates walk out the door.

Then we have players played out of position. I have read lots of people's views on whether the Jag can play with Heitinga, and I just don't think thats remotely possible. So, to accommodate both, he throws Heitinga into midfield where he is incapable of playing.

Coleman is then dropped for Anichebe? sorry Coleman who still has a lot to learn is far far better than Anichebe in my books.

For me, Anichebe should have been sold to Hull last season, we don't need his services, we really don't.

We can see an analysis what the problems are, but apparently Moyse can't or won't see the issues... and gushes, "I don't know why we are getting results like this." Well, Mr Moyes, you need to start caring about your job and do your homework... you have a very very unhappy squad of players out there.
Ernie McAllister
9   Posted 01/12/2010 at 01:13:01

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Trouble is we are Everton and we expect better than mid-table obscurity which seems to be where we are heading again with no investment and an ageing squad.

The way we are playing and with absolutely no improvement or prospect in sight, I'd be a lot more worried about relegation... we can't score for shit, and leak goals like a tea strainer its shocking.
Art Jones
10   Posted 01/12/2010 at 03:27:22

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Just a thought but could a lot of our imagined problems been down to just plain "Bad Luck"? How many games where we've dropped points have we totally dominated the opposition but had shots hit woodwork, cleared off the line, fantastic saves by the keeper or terrible misses?

It could be rightly argued thar referees errors have cost us points in our last two games. Bad results that have been brought on by bad luck can have a demoralising effect on teams leading to goal attempts snatched at and players being scared to shoot and taking one touch too many, something we certainly have been guilty of...

I'm not saying that this is the sole reason for our lowly league position but I'm sure it has contributed.

Anthony Hughes
11   Posted 01/12/2010 at 08:15:58

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Steve, you forgot to mention bringing in a class manager as well. The players and squad we have now are all what he has assembled and it's all his coaching. If this is the so called best squad he's had, what the fuck is going on?
Steve Cotton
12   Posted 01/12/2010 at 08:17:42

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I suggested 3 players who I feel would improve us not as a flight of fancy, but because they are out there and if we have a good scouting system (that we probably don't) then they could be found... even from lower divisions, at least they would want to play for the shirt.

Where we get the money is obvious. Heitinga must be sold: £7 million, Bily must go back to Russia, ok probably only £6 million, Pienaar must be exchanged in January (he may be playing ok but knowing he is off is disrupting us) and see if we can still get £2-3M for one of the strikers??

There is £16 million and a swap player for Pienaar. Ok, it may affect us for a month or two but it will be better long term. Also, bring back Vaughan in January as he knows our system and sell Arteta next summer.
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 01/12/2010 at 08:24:46

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Steve google Maria ? My favourite things, the lyrics.

You are living in a dream world.

Whiskers on kittens my arse.
KPR Williams
14   Posted 01/12/2010 at 08:59:55

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Team is not performing to anywhere near it's ability... Why? we can only speculate, and Christ don't we.

Fact of the matter is we need improvement in all areas, top to bottom and fast. Performance levels need to be raised so that everybody can say they did their best when they go home. I think if that was the case we wouldn't be having the discussions we are on this forum.

Colin Potter
15   Posted 01/12/2010 at 10:07:18

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Steve, the fundamental problem is Moyes.
Anthony Hawkins
16   Posted 01/12/2010 at 10:55:50

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I disagree. It's only TWO. 1. Right midfielder. 2. Striker. Currently we can cover the right back slot which will become less important if we fill the right midfield postition.
Dave Lynch
17   Posted 01/12/2010 at 12:37:16

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I hate this blame the crowd mullarkey.

We pay good money to watch multi millionaires play shite football, coached to them by a millionaire manager and we are part of the problem.

I am not having that for one fucking second.

Peter Warren
18   Posted 01/12/2010 at 13:08:44

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Yes ? you're right, 3 class players would change us. I just don't see us signing Messi, Ronaldo and Torres anytime soon.
Jimmy Hacking
19   Posted 01/12/2010 at 13:23:08

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Peter Warren - quality!

I agree with the basic points in this post, but its simpler than all that: (whisper it) we HAVENT actually played all that badly so far this season.

overall we have been mediocre at worst, I certainly don't agree with the doom and gloom some of you lot are coming out with.
Mike Hughes
20   Posted 01/12/2010 at 13:21:50

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I am not a Moyes-basher but my support is starting to waver. Approx 40% of the season over and we have 3 wins.

"Everton's typically slow start" is now quoted regularly by the media. The slow starts are an insult to the fans and verging on fraudulent in terms of approach. This is lack of professionalism and no accident. One definition of stupidity is making the same mistake time and time again. Poor pre-season planning and preparation (how else can it be explained?).

It also underlines a previous mailbag posting of mine that we have become a mediocre club in terms of our psyche. Nil Satis... they are joking aren't they?
Anthony Hughes
21   Posted 01/12/2010 at 13:33:38

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3 wins from 15 and embarrassed by Brentford... hate to see us when we do go on a bad run.
James Marshall
22   Posted 01/12/2010 at 14:24:34

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I suspect Beckford has trouble finishing his meals, let alone his chances.

Barn door & banjo spring to mind.
James Marshall
23   Posted 01/12/2010 at 14:46:14

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We are as bad as we make out, by the way.
Ben Howard
24   Posted 01/12/2010 at 14:50:48

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To be fair, I bet all the strikers have trouble finishing their meals with Yak about!
James Marshall
25   Posted 01/12/2010 at 14:52:17

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Feed the Yak and he will... gain masses of weight and lose all his ability.

Kinda lacks the same 'ring' to it than the other words.
Brian Denton
26   Posted 01/12/2010 at 15:22:11

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James (#22) ? When Stuart Barlow was about, the target was 'a cow's arse' not 'a barn door'.

Either way, he couldn't hit...
Michael Brien
27   Posted 01/12/2010 at 15:14:14

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Just before the Ireland v All Blacks game in a TV interview Paul O'Connell the Irish forward, currently out injured, stated " We aren't a bad team, we are a good team that's playing badly at the moment". He was of course speaking about the Irish Rugby team, but he could easily have been speaking about Everton.(incidently I believe that he is an Evertonian)

I don't believe that we have a bad squad of players the last few seasons has surely shown that we have a good squad. However clearly we haven't been playing well and I think it is time that David Moyes stepped up to the plate and conceded that he himself has been "off form". When we are doing well he is all too ready to accept the accolades ? well it's time to accept the criticism as well. I believe it was US President Harry S Truman who had a plaque on his desk with the motto "The Buck stops here". It's time for David Moyes to accept his share of the blame. He is the one who signs the players and he is the one who decides on the tactics.

In over 95% of our games we play 4-5-1. His tactics are so easy to predict. The young French lad is a striker with pace ? so guess what ? Moyes will use him as a wide attacking midfielder. Take a look at the signings that David Moyes has made ? I think that you will find that there has been a large turnover of strikers. Have they all been bad players ?

Could another coach/manager get more out of the same group of players? I believe that the answer to that is yes. Just look at how Owen Coyle has transformed Bolton Wanderers. Did you see their second goal v Blackpool on MotD? The passing and movement was as skilful as Arsenal at their best.

The role of the coach/manager is all important. He is the one that decides the tactics etc and it's time that David Moyes accepted his responsibilities for our current position. As this will probably lead to accusations of Anti-Moyes bias, can I say I would be overjoyed if he could turn things around. However, I don't believe that he can, he sticks too rigidly to this 4-5-1 formation and, rather than try to change tactics to make things happen, he waits until things have happened before he will change tactics.
Wayne Smyth
28   Posted 01/12/2010 at 18:03:10

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Whether we need to buy any more players depends entirely on what our aspirations are.

We are certainly a few players off a Champions League spot. However, if we would like to push for Europe and possibly scrape a Champions League berth, then I think the squad we have is good enough.

For years, DM has got his team punching above their weight. For the last couple of seasons, the opposite has been true.

The current issues with results can be traced to poor tactics, i.e. negative defensive football and playing players out of their natural positions. The players also seem to lack desire and confidence. A £3.5M / year coach should be able to deal with all of that without spending another penny.
Leon Perrin
29   Posted 01/12/2010 at 18:33:36

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Steve, 3 valid points.

I believe the manager of the football club is paid specifically to avert or deal with said points. I'm afraid these and other deficiencies of Mr Moyes are brutally on show in this first excuse-free season, if he is as honourable as he portrays, he'll resign. If not, he is a shameless fraud.
Sam Hoare
30   Posted 01/12/2010 at 18:39:46

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For what it's worth, I do believe we have been slightly unlucky this season. Not necessarily with injuries or refereeing decisions but just with things not quite falling for us.

So much possession and so many shots on goal (statistics that usually correlate pretty solidly with points and success) but just not happening, perhaps due to having 3 strikers about as dangerous as a custard cutlass.

Still, it's no excuse. We should and must do better and not rely on luck.
Andy Burke
31   Posted 01/12/2010 at 20:53:37

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I don't think we are as bad as we make out at the moment; however, I don't think we are far off.

Whilst I agree entirely with the first and last points, I am not convinced about the second. Based on the teams performances of late, I think there are a lot more than three positions that are letting us down badly. With the exception of Distin, Cahill, Coleman and last of all Baines (good enough but not at his best), I think the entire team and management has been a serious letdown this season.

Is there anybody in particular to blame? Well, I honestly believe it is the players' fault for the performances early on in the season and Moyes's fault for the more recent games.

I am a Moyes apologist and will make no bones about it; however, I have started to seriously doubt Moyes and this is mainly due to some of his substitutions (or lack of) and team selections this year. In relation to his 'gameplan' (please note the singular), my emotions have ranged from fury to disbelief then general malaise.

I don't think anybody would argue that Moyes's biggest weak point is tactics and I agree with people that say he is stubborn (or at least appears to be), often negative and sometimes very very negative with his tactics. However, I really don't believe that tactically he hasn't improved or that he likes his negative tactics anymore than we do. When things were going well at the latter half of last season, you could hardly call us and negative team. Granted, not prolific in front of goal but neither were Mourinho's Chelsea.

In my opinion, we have slowly (very slowly) improved as a team under Moyes and, although his reign has been peppered with mediocrity, I am not yet willing to give up on him and the current squad.

I know that, in many Evertonians' minds, this season is already over... and that the dour tactics have occurred one time (or more for many fans) too often ? but, when I remind myself of the bigger picture, I really am a while off wanting to see David Moyes's departure from Everton.

And no offence to those Evertonians that want to see the back of DM but I am glad that you don't have control over the club.

Anthony Millington
32   Posted 02/12/2010 at 12:39:21

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James, no-one has fed the Yak, they have been feeding Beckford instead.

We clearly need a right mid as well, have done for years... and Moyes has done nothing about it! Unbelievable, it summed it up when we were lining up against Blackburn first game of the season and Osman was playing there again!
Roberto Birquet
33   Posted 02/12/2010 at 13:02:07

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We can't fecking score is the big problem. Our performaces are top ten despite everything but, other than Cahill ? who's about to leave for a month or so ? who looks like scoring?

You can't go selling loads of players, as we need cover. But needs must and unless Moyes has faith that Bily can replace Pienaar, then he should go for about £6M (£7M if lucky).

Extra funds required? Then it's probably time to say bye-bye to Vaughan (always injured) or Anichebe (not first choice at anything). And if we can get Krancjar for Pienaar, do it! And some winger on loan in January. But priority? striker, striker, striker.

As for Moyes, those wanting him out will probably get their way if 'Arry leaves for the England job next year.

Tony Gee
34   Posted 02/12/2010 at 19:56:39

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It amazes me how some fuckers spell lose as loose....

Back to school knobheads.
Mike Hughes
35   Posted 02/12/2010 at 20:20:32

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tony@34

Shouldn't "knobheads" be hyphenated?
Billy Fisher
36   Posted 02/12/2010 at 20:42:14

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Bill Kenwright reminds me of our landlord who keeps sayin he's gonna fix the boiler. Willy Fuckinbollox
Michael Kenrick
37   Posted 02/12/2010 at 22:24:50

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Mike Hughes @ 35: I don't think so; knobheads is a recognoised compound; however, it should be preceded by a comma: "Back to school, knobheads."

Oh, and "tony" is a Proper Noun and should get an initial capital letter, don't you think?

What we need is a good editor....
Mike Hughes
38   Posted 03/12/2010 at 12:10:51

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Thanks Michael. I stand coreckted......
Mike McLean
39   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:10:35

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The vocative comma is all too often neglected, Michael.

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