I know one swallow doesn't make a summer but I don't mind admitting that I was screaming with delight and relief when the final whistle sounded last night.
City may be a flawed side with obvious weaknesses but you don't come that close to being top at Christmas without some real quality in your squad.
To hear the gnashing and moaning of the anti-Moyes brigade in the last few weeks you would think we were down already, but last night's performance showed all the determination and will to win the players have been accused of lacking in recent times.
The AMs can point to the perceived negative formation and castigate Anichebe for his recklessness but there were plenty of reasons for optimism to draw after escaping from the siege. Baines and Fellaini in particular looked like class and Distin and Jagielka both deserve plaudits.
It's only one win but it's an important one at a vital time and I maintain that this squad is certainly capable of improving its results and league position. I still don't believe that a change in management is the way to do that.
And by the way, any Everton player caught wearing a snood should immediately be dropped.
Michael Upton, Posted 21/12/2010 at 14:17:51
1 Posted 21/12/2010 at 14:47:28
I don't think Moyes will ever get us relegated, I do think we will probably have a good run and end up finishing 8/7th in the league.
But this is the best team Everton have had in my lifetime, and the Manager fails to get them playing well on a consistent basis.
Every season we start and its as if the players have forgot how to play football... That is the manager's fault.
No doubt, come June, Moyes will be being praised for once again 'turning the season around', but for what, for another 7th place finish?
Moyes should be blamed for what happened in the first 17 games... even if were great in the next 20 I shall remain against him staying, as if he stays no doubt there will be nothing to play for after November.
He has built a good team, but has no idea to use it. It's one thing defending well and achieving the occasional smash and grab, like yesterday; it's another thing making a team dictate play and score goals against weaker opposition. Moyes is good at one, woeful at the other.
2 Posted 21/12/2010 at 14:58:40
I dont know whats been going on since I've been away but it was great to see us return to winning ways for my own return. I will look forward to watching the rest of the season and with a lot of optimism. COYB!
3 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:46:26
4 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:48:28
I personally feel lucky that we've got a manager that has been with us for 9 years and hate these tin pot clubs who chop and change every season because their expectations are way off the mark. Don't get me wrong, another 5 years without silverwear and I may change my view, but I honestly think that getting rid of Moyes and bringing in another manager would be a terrible move for the club.
5 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:55:33
6 Posted 21/12/2010 at 16:02:36
Fair play to the lads for managing to pull it off, they worked their socks off. But it can only be tactics from the manager that led to a 'hold on' mentality with an hour to go.
We have shown time and time again that when we play football and attack we can mix it with the big boys. This was a missed opportunity in my opinion. If you play a team off the park for 20 minutes and are two up, keep playing like that - embarrass the opposition - at least till half time, and then after an hour maybe defend that lead. It was a similar story at the derby, we had an opportunity to demolish that lot and didnt, and I rekon we had a similar chance to tear apart a top club.
As I said, fair play to the lads for pulling it off - they were great at playing that system. But the system is a shocker. We were lucky.
7 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:59:10
When Big Vic got sent off, and he made the subs, we actually outplayed City, and could have got another. Maybe all we need is a good attacking coach to work alongside Davey... and, after last night, maybe, just maybe DM isn't the one-trick pony that we have all been accusing him of.
8 Posted 21/12/2010 at 16:14:42
Maybe we should stick with a winning team with players who want to play for us, because we had the old Everton team spirit back again yesterday.
9 Posted 21/12/2010 at 16:19:10
Is it just me or does anyone think that Fellaini is walking a tightrope with some of his tackling, he could possibly have had 2 red cards last night for showing studs in tackles.
10 Posted 21/12/2010 at 16:50:02
11 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:11:31
12 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:22:34
13 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:11:51
I'm traditionally a Moyes supporter but have wavered this season after what I see as lack of preparation / professionalism. It is no fluke that we are now known as a club that starts the season slowly. It's a long way from "Nil Satis" and a good second half of the season won't make up for it.
Michael ? the only elements of your post I agree with are "one swallow doesn't make a summer" and the issue of snoods.
"This squad is certainly capable of improving its results" -? 10 out of 10 for stating the bleeding obvious. I don't advocate the manager's head on a block every time we have a bad result but is the limit of our ambitions a fringe European place? Remember ? best squad ever!
14 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:51:43
15 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:01:21
16 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:04:53
It was a good result.But why just doesn`t play normal football for 90 minutes,we had a good spell the first twenty minutes and after that it was a disgrace to watch defend defend defend and only defend even with 11 players.we could easily won with 1-4 or 2-5 if we played our game, shitty were shite and we were very lucky not to concede two penalties.
17 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:04:13
But, when this is supposedly the best squad of players ever,and a team capable of challenging for a top 4 place, according to the man himself,
what we have had to put up with this season, isen't good enough.
And whilst Moyes gets a pat on the back for last night, words like
" Negative formation " ( How he sets up every week ) " Relief " and
" Escaping from the siege " says it all.
18 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:09:56
Sorry, but it'll take a lot more than the occasional siege mentality victory to convince me.
We could easily be described as "the richest club in the world" because we own Man City.
24 shots to our 4, penalty claims, Howard saving shots from outside the box.
Xmas is an away game at City for Evertonians.
We've been here too many times to herald this as "the ressurection"
19 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:30:20
If we'd thrown away the lead, there would have been another groundswell of "Moyes Out" bile. I think the team deserves a little credit for holding out in the circumstances.
And all this moaning about having everyone behind the ball ? have you all forgotten we had ten men for the last 30 minutes or so?
Brian (17) ? that's why I use words like relief and siege, because a decent team constructed for £200m+ inevitably battered our ten men once the had the man advantage.
So we smashed and grabbed at a team of potential title contenders ? the main thing is we won the game. Not many will do that at Eastlands this season.
Why is the instinct to be miserable and downbeat instead of seeing this as a platform for something better?
20 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:50:00
21 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:45:16
I'm downbeat because of going round the same block with Moyes umpteen times ie unexpected victory sandwiched between losses, draws and downright ineptitude.
To me that means we have a potentially successful team if handled the right way consistently.
Others of more patience continually see the dawn of a bright new era.
22 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:47:37
A Bolton fan at work said to me today that after watching you guys last night, Everton play Anti Football. He said it reminded him of the Megson (Bolton) days. I asked him if we could swap manangers and he just said NO FUCKING WAY.
We've never seen a SAF united or even Dundee Utd employ these tactics.
Even Holloway goes for it.
23 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:50:29
Why didn't we keep the pressure on City and go for more goals especially in the first half when we dominated.
Was it the players decision or the Manager's? No prizers given.
If we can carry on to the next game and play a full 90 minutes and win against B'ham & WHU then I'd believe Moyes has seen the light.
I still live in hope. But Blues always live in hope.
Happy Christmas to one & all.
24 Posted 21/12/2010 at 19:00:48
25 Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:52:46
Great result, especially with 10 men for the last half-hour. But forgive me for not celebrating this like a semi final win. I expect us to give City a game away from home.
26 Posted 21/12/2010 at 19:22:09
Seem to recall Pienaar being awesome and frankly instrumental during our brilliant second half of last season.
I've always found it rather ludicrous when someone notices a blatant coincidence such as this thing about Pienaar missing our (precious few) victories and then clings to it to make a ridiculous point. Pienaar has been very good for us this season.
27 Posted 21/12/2010 at 19:39:02
28 Posted 21/12/2010 at 19:57:55
Especially when the coincidence is not true anyway. Or have we decided to cancel our win against Stoke.
29 Posted 21/12/2010 at 20:37:42
I belong in the Michael Kenrick school of thinking. The one whose motto is 'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.' Despite the win, I was still ashamed at the way we spent 70 minutes of the game with eleven men behind the ball defending for our lives. We can talk about the 16 passes that led to the second goal, or the fact we just needed a win to restore our confidence but I will never ever be happy to see my team playing like a relegation threatened yo-yo club battling for their lives.
I know City are a massively expensive, talented side, consisting of some of the best individuals in the world but I hate the way that our players seemed to pander to that. We looked like a League One side battling for a cup upset.
I know some of you will brand me overly pessimistic. After all, we won, we defended well and we did it without two or three of our best players but I will always, always feel a sense of shame when I see our team so completely outclassed on the pitch.
City were misfiring last night. And they're still a gelling team. Let's be honest, we didn't win last night because of what we did (the stats tell you as much) we won because of what City didn't do. On another night it could have been embarrassing.
30 Posted 21/12/2010 at 20:48:28
Firstly, the two goals were excellent, the second was simply superb. That was School of Science stuff... NSNO of the highest order.
Well, two goals up: Park the Bus. (After Vic went, fine... no problem with that... although strangely we had a good spell in there, 10 v 11, possession football in their end... best not look too closely at that, eh?)
Yes, of course there's justification for it. Especially if Moyes the Moyesiah says this is the way it must be. But it just pains me to watch that kind of football ? and perhaps explains why the media simply ignore us ? after all, what was there worth commenting on other than as Garry says, the plucky League One side battling it out for a cup upset.
Michael Upton ? "Platform for something better?" The thing is this was the standard Moyes gameplan in action: grab a goal or two: defend to the hilt. Moyes is playing the percentages. Sometimes it works... but not all the time. We played pretty much the same as we have all season ? The Everton Way. The difference was we scored two excellent and vital goals. That gave use something meaningful to defend. And defend we did ? like our lives depended on it.
31 Posted 21/12/2010 at 20:50:31
So I looked at the league tables for the last 4 seasons.
We have scored 222 goals in this time, which is just under 1.5 goals a game. This is some 67 goals more than we have conceded, an average of 16.75 per season.
In the same time, Newcastle (those critically acclaimed providers of attacking football) scored 123 goals in 114 games, and got themselves relegated. Villa scored 220 goals and even the mighty Tottenham (to whom some on here look up to like a shining beacon of goalfests) scored just 13 goals more than us, a whopping 3 per season.
So, as the title of the OP says, ?not so bad after all??
32 Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:27:13
It would be a very naive manager who did not sit on a 2-0 lead and rely on break a ways.
33 Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:32:35
34 Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:22:42
I was delighted as anyone to see the lads hang on for a heroic win against the odds. It's 3 very valuable points towards the 40 points I'm aiming for this season! It was great to see the 'team spirit' I've been stating we've been missing these last few months and to see a small, but welcome tactical shift by Mr Moyes.
As a former Moyes supporter who has had his faith in both him and Blue Bill severely dented of late by the lack of ambition, tactical nous, poor football and poor 'fighting spirit' of my beloved club - I will be more than happy to eat humble pie come the end of the season if we make a sufficient U-turn to make a run at the Europa League places, or even an FA Cup run - but I will need to see more than 'one swallow' to regain my optimism at the start of the season.
We still do not look like a fully-functioning team, our players are very inconsistent (Distin was great last night, but we all know the games this season he's been less so). We are nowhere near solving our striking or right flank issues, and as for any long-term vision from Bill (or Davey), well..........
Well done lads for your gutsy performance last night (though let's not kid ourself it's the second coming of the School of Science). However, I'll wait till we get a more convincing run of results before the glass gets even half full (at present it's up from a quarter to a third - the joy of using 'analogue' measures over 'digital'!)
35 Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:52:33
Just out of curiosity, were you saying this at the start of the season when we were dominating games but failing to put our chances away ie Fulham, Villa and Wolves etc etc???
I remember a lot of people including myself coming on this site and saying we deserved to win and getting told no we didn't because we did not finish any of our chances so we can't say we deserved to win. Now, we do win and the team we beat missed a few chances and suddenly I have heard people saying we didn't really deserve to win because City had so many chances and we were just defending for our lives. Well isn't the same argument that people were using to criticise us after these early games still in use now in the case that we finished our chances so deserved to win last night?
36 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:20:44
37 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:39:50
38 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:35:12
We have some other player that are just as influential on their day(Distin lately, Jags, Fella, Arteta if he´ll start playing again and potentially Jack)
Pienaar is not there for me. He always flatters to deceive, lots of huff and puff and hardly ever any end-product.
As rubbish as Mikel have been for us this season he has scored what? 2-3 goals and maybe an assist as well.
Pienaar never scores and he hardly provides goalscoring passes either. He is a player that is nice to watch, but he won´t win us anything. I´d like to keep him, but that´s not very likely now is it? And certainly not at a 50k+ wages.
39 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:46:34
One guy is ashamed at our last 70 minutes of play, some-one believes Fellaini should have been sent off twice, Distin, whilst good last night has been awful (by my memory, at last 12 games ago since his last poor game). 3 pens for City, rode our luck etc etc.
It's fair to say, the season so far is clearly affecting people's opinions when analysing a single game.
For me, we were an excellent attacking unit for 20 minutes, capping a 17 passing move with a superb goal. To then say we were negative from there is unfair; what happened was a team bought for £200m woke up and put us under pressure.
The defence was heroic, the keeper, back to his best, and, above all, Fellaini was pure class. His reading of the game was majestic, his calm passing out of the defence, his strong and in my opinion, fair tackling was top drawer.
Moyes gambled on Anichebe and he was a willing striker, his first game for a while, as with Osman, and they coped well. We did miss Pienaar, he would have helped us counter-attack more I'm sure.
The substitutions were positive, Rodwell moving to the right enabled Cahill to link with Fellaini for a solid defensive unit. The last ten minutes were comfortable until the Tevez effort because of that.
The team still has a long way to go for payback towards our early season expectations, but seeing what that win meant to them at the end with Cahill and Neville spilling blood for the cause was a start.
Well done Everton, proud of them and the fans last night.
40 Posted 21/12/2010 at 23:38:52
The pressure wasnt all down to them waking up, at times we had Anichebe defending at left back. It was literally 11 men behind the ball. With 30 minutes gone in a game, and your team is defending and all they can do is boot it to the half way line and wait for another attack because there is nobody there to hold up the ball, is embarrassing. I forget who said it, but it was like watching a League One side trying to get a Premier league scalp in the cup.
I think (hope) I speak for everybody when I say the lads played really well to hang in there. It was a brilliant defensive effort, and nobody can fault their performance in that respect. But to defend for 70 minutes is not gonna win you silverwear...and after all isnt that what Moyes has admitted to his time here being judged on, winning silverwear and being successful?
That system, a system we have seen for years, is poor...and surely we can all agree that that means the man implementing the system is poor also.
41 Posted 21/12/2010 at 23:38:08
Just want to add how brilliant Cahill and Distin were last night ....!
42 Posted 22/12/2010 at 00:04:19
Do you people really think that David Moyes told the team to defend, defend, defend !?!? Once the game has started, its down to the players to put things into action, and as everyone has accepted, we started the game positvely and sprinted into a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. I think having done that, the team naturally stopped taking any risks and became protective of a lead they probably didn't expect to have at that stage.
You also have to take into consideration that the team, the players, are well aware of their poor start to the season, and suffering from confidence and wondering when the results would start coming. A lack of goals and missed chances does not bread confidence, and so for a team desperately battling to regain or recapture the form they know they are capable of, the way we played simply showed how desperate they were to keep the result.
At half time, i'm sure the whole team knew city would look to charge at us to get back in it and turn the game around, and we can't expect us to play everyone off the park, especially away from home. The opposition do play too you know !!
I thought all things considered the team performed brilliantly, and did a great job. They rushed into a lead and looked to protect it away from home, given their current form, simple as that.....I wasn't overjoyed myself at seeing us defend and hold on for so long, but I could certainly understand it. We frustrated them, and when we went down to 10, we had no choice but to continue the way we were.
I also must mention how great Distin was and has been......Osman did well too....Fellaini and Baines were absolute class, Howard was in flying form, and Anichebe did a good job holding the ball up well, and I also thought Bily did well when he came on, even if I was surprised but pleased to see him entering the game (still think he could turn out to be top drawer !).......I could name everyone really....
We've played miles better this season and lost or drawn, and that is what we needed to do to get a much needed win, then so be it. Hopefully we can build on it, grind out some results and then start to relax into the flowing football we are capable of.
I think we've played very well in most part this season. We've outplayed most teams, but either lost or drawn. We've failed to take chances and failed to beat the lesser teams, yet gained decent results against the bigger boys.
Changing Moyes is not going to make things better in my opinion.....its he who has built this team, and now that he has a decent one after all that hard work, I think he atleast deserves the chance to have a go with it for a while. We were happy to allow him to build it for a few years, so lets allow him to play with it for a while !!! Spoil sports !!!
43 Posted 22/12/2010 at 01:00:59
Draws: Man U, Chelsea, Spurs
Our results against the "big boys" are pretty decent actually.
44 Posted 22/12/2010 at 00:49:55
No, I haven't previously commented on any match this season. My comments above were in relation to last night's match alone. At no point did I mention Moyes, his job, his tactics, etc.
For me football is about entertainment and anybody entertained by Everton last night must have particularly masochistic natures. We didn't play well for the first twenty minutes - we simply had two good chances and put them both away. That happens sometimes. What I didn't enjoy was the 70 minutes of anguish that followed.
Do you think any neutrals watching last night would have said "My God, Everton deserve this - they're defensively brilliant!" Of course not. We let City take the game to us, consistently won the ball back on the edge of the 18 yard box and hoofed it. A great defensive performance isn't about that; it's about getting and keeping the ball. Make the opposition chase shadows and frustrate them. We were simply fortunate that City couldn't seem to find the final ball they needed and the Howard (finally) had a stormer.
Like I said, I'm old school. I want to see Everton compete with the best, so I definitely expect to see them compete against a band of soulless, overpaid mercenaries, with inflated pricetags. You can stand in awe of names like Toure, Tevez and Balotelli if you like but actually, despite our squad being built on a shoestring we ARE capable of competing. Our players are good enough, have a great team spirit and know how to work as a team.
While it may have proven (result wise) a sound decision last night, super defensive play, a 4-6-0 formation, and a striker on the left wing just leave a bad taste in my mouth.
45 Posted 22/12/2010 at 01:19:09
46 Posted 22/12/2010 at 01:28:58
47 Posted 22/12/2010 at 09:06:11
"Do you think any neutrals watching last night would have said "My God, Everton deserve this - they're defensively brilliant!" Of course not". I couldnt give a shite whether they did or not. We went to the richest club in the land with unlimited options and beat them for the third year in a row. We got the three points because we scored more goals than we conceded. In my opinion this is the whole point of football. Maybe we should ask the FA if they can give City a point and take two of us because they did more attacking. Then we could ring Aston Villa, Wolves and Fulham and ask the to give us the points we should have because we attacked them constantly and they were defending for their lives. Then maybe we could ask that lot across the park to give back their European cups as they made an art out of defending for their lives away in Europe and grabbing a goal.
"Like I said, I'm old school. I want to see Everton compete with the best, so I definitely expect to see them compete against a band of soulless, overpaid mercenaries, with inflated pricetags. You can stand in awe of names like Toure, Tevez and Balotelli if you like but actually, despite our squad being built on a shoestring we ARE capable of competing. Our players are good enough, have a great team spirit and know how to work as a team."
Nothing about being old school at all. I have been going each week since the mid fifties and I would love the club to be winning trophies every year just like I am sure someone who has been going from the start of this season would.
You say you expect our team to compete with them. Well I'm sure we beat them 2 - 1 did we not???? Is beating a team at their own ground showing we can compete with them??????
48 Posted 22/12/2010 at 19:56:43
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