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Dour Street Halfway House

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Halfway through the season now and we're looking like total no-hopers. Managed by a very rich man who looks bereft of inspiration. A backroom staffed by cloggers, fine blokes I'm sure, but not exactly brimming with Joie de Vivre. How has it come to this from the (mild) highs of our Euro adventures and bobbing around the top six for the last half dozen seasons with a famed team spirit even the pundits noticed?

I remember reading articles on the younger Moyes and was glad he was with us, his meticulous preparation, his wallcharts and databases, his nerdish fascination with the minutiae of his players' wellbeing ("You wanted to see me boss"? "Looking leaner Wayne, but more Fish, eat nowt after 8pm Wayne"), his comical tracksuited windmills on pitch as he and the team warmed up like a PE Teacher encouraging his rag-tag lads to victory. Even when his assistant left to Preston NE, he took over both roles and we were better for it. Where has it all gone? Where has that manager gone? Where has the optimism gone?

Where once there was unity, now we seem to have unrest. Long-serving players like Yobo flung out to Fenerbahçe, secret weapons not getting on the bench. It all coincided with Heitinga arriving and our self-imposed wage ceiling being broken. Johnny, I believe, had also been shipped out from his last club, but I have no ammo to point the finger there so I'm going to leave it... but we no longer have that all-for-one attitude that guided us as the upsetters of previous seasons.

We have players playing that need a spell in the reserves; we have back up players that need a chance to shine; it's just a shame there is no real reserves anymore to make that process work as it should. To let Pienaar go seems footballing suicide: Pienaar to Baines... cross to Cahill ? is our only tactic unless one of Coleman's runs pays dividends.

I've been disillusioned and disinterest in football since before the World Cup, when France cheated to make the finals, but never did I think this disinterest would carry over to the team I've loved since Mick Lyons grimaced from the team photo on my bedroom wall as a child. But it has?

I don't even get upset when we lose, no sulking, nothing. I don't even expect us to win anymore. Even games like last night, it's inevitable we'll go behind, perhaps scrap one back and then, it's in the lap of the gods which team scores the next or if the ref feels we're all bored so blows the final whistle.

Since about match three this season I've been convinced it would be Moyes's last in charge, but then it's Groundhog Day each following match, with no murmur from up above.

Maybe its football I don't love and Everton are just a casualty.

Andy Mack, Banbury     Posted 29/12/2010 at 13:23:18

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James Stewart
1   Posted 29/12/2010 at 14:43:08

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Nice piece and it is interesting to contrast the Moyes of when he took charge to today. Two very different people.

His post-match comments defy belief. I think he has really lost the plot. One of the worst tactical displays I have seen yesterday that would rank up there with anything Walter churned out. Dire times.
Joe McMahon
2   Posted 29/12/2010 at 14:42:33

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Don't know where to start on how I feel but... ashamed, embarrassed, annoyed, and angry. This manager is paid £65,000 per week to make this team of expensive ? yes, many expensive signings, HIS signings ? work. No strikers in the starting 11. How is this any better than Walter Smith?

I have never witnessed Anti-Football like it in the top flight in my life. I'm not saying Holloway is the Messiah, but just look at how he sets his teams up to play. As Matt Busby said "Go out and enjoy yourselves."

Anthony Hughes
3   Posted 29/12/2010 at 14:49:58

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No recognised strikers, four fullbacks and a mish-mash of central midfielders with Pienaar coming inside all the time to help clog up this area. Poor team shape and downright shithouse tactics against quite frankly a fucking shite West Ham team who are going down. Indefensible.
Kunal Desai
4   Posted 29/12/2010 at 14:57:01

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Is Moyes doing this deliberately to the fans? He knows that BK won't sack him so perhaps he knows that he might as well fuck Everton up good and proper before he resigns?

It does seem all very suspicious, what other manager would make the same repeated negative decisions, week-in, week-out?

Al Reddish
5   Posted 29/12/2010 at 15:01:15

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I think this article has head the nail firmly on the head. It's inspration that seems to be missing, that bit of excitement or daring to do something a little differently to create not just chances, but a buzz around the club.

I like Moyes but it really is time to reinvent himself. Get shot of the dead wood and find some hidden gem with a bit of flair......then fucking play his proper position! (Although lack of help from his chairman is a major piss take.)

He is not alone in this and even the drunken ruddy faced alcoholic whiskey gulping red nosed alcoholic Alex Fergusdrunk has had seasons where his fans fear he has lost the plot, then he reshapes the side, does something new and usually wins a trophy or five.

Brian Waring
6   Posted 29/12/2010 at 15:12:55

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The thing about Moyes is that you wouldn't put it past him to start with Fellaini up front against Stoke.
Norman Merrill
7   Posted 29/12/2010 at 15:42:18

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Brian (6), I appreciate what your saying, but do you really believe that he thinks that far ahead? He and his sidekick are inept as tacticians. The face of the players, being brought off, or put on, say's it all to me.

After the City game the players really showed some emotions but I feel that its being eroded by those in control.

Tony Hughes
8   Posted 29/12/2010 at 15:57:33

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Brian, I wouldn't put it past Moyes to start with fucking Hibbert up front against Stoke!!
Paul Clays
9   Posted 29/12/2010 at 16:03:54

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Andy, there is one line in your article which perfectly sums up the emotion me and the majority of my mates who I go the match with have started to feel every single week ? WE DON'T EVEN EXPECT US TO WIN ANYMORE.
Colin Potter
10   Posted 29/12/2010 at 16:13:30

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Sorry Brian Waring, but I'm up front next match, for a small nicely filled brown envelope though, I could maybe get you fitted out with a sponge and bucket.
Dave Richman
11   Posted 29/12/2010 at 17:13:31

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Towards the end of the match last night, my wife came into the room and said "I thought Everton were playing tonight".

I said "They are. Just a couple of minutes to go", and she said "how come you're not screaming and shouting and going mad like usual?"

No point in me telling her that there was nothing to scream and shout about because she doesn't like football, but that statement from her hit it all home. I just don't really care much any more.

That little conversation sums it all up for me..... very very sad.
Brian Waring
12   Posted 29/12/2010 at 17:53:03

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Colin, I would check that brown envelope if I were you, especially if BK passes it to you, probalby be filled with green shield stamps.
Christopher Marston
13   Posted 29/12/2010 at 18:08:12

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Moyes is clueless. His comments after last night's game prove this. He said he wanted to play Cahill upfront with Rodwell and Arteta bombing up behind him. ???????????

If I was Moyes, I would be seriously rollicking those two and dropping them for the next game as neither of them looked to bomb up behind Cahill. I think Rodwell did twice to little effect.

It is now FACT that Rodwell is not the best since Rooney. I have not seen him have a good game. In fact, all I see is a slow, sideways passer with little skill. Is this Moyes's fault that he has become so bloody negative and is it coincidence that Arteta is now also soooo bloody dire??!!

Please leave, Moyes, and let's have someone with an ounce of charisma with the passion to win that the fans so deserve. Redface Redknapp chucked a striker on when Spurs went to 10 men, Moyes would have put on an extra goalkeeper!

Gavin Ramejkis
14   Posted 29/12/2010 at 17:37:29

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Dave, my Mrs said the very same thing to me, I was more interested in watching Robots (the movie) on TV with my kids
Kevin Elliott
15   Posted 29/12/2010 at 19:31:58

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Don't panic. Sir Alex's lad has just been sacked as Preston boss. Moyesie was a god there... let's hope he applies for the job quickly to keep him in continuous employment. Surely, the end is nigh...
Matthew Lovekin
16   Posted 29/12/2010 at 20:04:39

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Andy, it's sad, but it could have been me writing that post too. I feel exactly the same as you.
Eugene Ruane
17   Posted 29/12/2010 at 20:19:10

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Andy, this more or less sums up the way I feel right now (probably worse for me though as I had Sandy Brown grimacing at me)
Jay Harris
18   Posted 29/12/2010 at 20:51:24

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At least Sandy Brown could score goals Eugene even if they were in his own net.

Maybe we could dig him up and play himup front when Tiny goes because there isnt anybody else.
Rich Roberts
19   Posted 29/12/2010 at 21:03:06

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I'm too depressed to post .....
Martin Handley
20   Posted 29/12/2010 at 21:54:05

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Sorry to change the subject boys but I'm pissin meself laughin!
Those loveable redshites have just been beaten at home by Wolves!!
Oh dear wettin meself!
Merry Chrimbo chaps!
Roy Rennison
21   Posted 29/12/2010 at 22:05:24

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Cheered me right up that has, Martin.
Ryan Holroyd
22   Posted 29/12/2010 at 22:37:38

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I'd like to ask all the Cahill bashers who is going to score our goals and also create them seen as tho he is off after the next game and he has either scored or assisted our last 8 goals?
Charles King
23   Posted 29/12/2010 at 23:24:58

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The technical elements, coaching sessions, diets, fitness and the like is perfunctory stuff, you could get gym instructors to do it, but its not top flight sports management.
Getting decisions right being able to motivate people thats what £3 million a year is about.
The famous American Football coach Vince Lombardi said:

"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate."

Sacrilege to the x - box fans who get on here talking about 4 5 1 interminably like their kindred spirit Moyes.
Loads of fans sussed Moyes out years ago but there's still plenty on the x-box.
Philip Brown
24   Posted 30/12/2010 at 00:03:37

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Type or paste your comment here. No txt-speak, please try to use proper grammar, all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Philip Brown
25   Posted 30/12/2010 at 00:04:04

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Paul Gallagher
26   Posted 30/12/2010 at 00:03:18

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Moyes needs to tell one of his strikers that he is going to start the next 8-10 games give him a chance to get a run in the team and play without the worry of getting dragged off or dropped.

Personally, I would like that striker to be Beckford his movements good even though he might miss a few chances at least he is getting the opportunity's unlike Saha and the Yak, who knows... if he actually gets some time on the pitch, he might get a bit of confidence and start taking them chances.

David Hallwood
27   Posted 30/12/2010 at 00:22:23

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Martin Handley#20 You are the sort of Evertonian that gives us the nickname the bitters, instead of concentrating on us, you seem more concerned with the RS-No seriously you've got to laugh ain't ya, when Wolves scored I was on my knees sendind out txts to my lovable RS mates.
Mark Pierpoint
28   Posted 30/12/2010 at 00:51:10

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Firstly, one of the best mailbag articles written on ToffeeWeb. And I am sure we all agree. I don't know about changing the manager... not at this point anyway. I think something has to change behind the scenes. Most of our coaching staff come in with Moyes and probably have kept a Championship/League One mentality. At the helm of these is Steve Round who publicly at least has offered little. I think if Moyes is serious about staying, and i am not sure it is a given, he should have his hands forced with some younger, fresher ideas.

The playing staff are another problem altogether. Rodwell offered little, but at 20 asking for the sort of maturity and consistency required at present is asking a lot.

Arteta on the other hand needs a rocket up his arse, every game he gets deeper and deeper. If we are talking about players lacking spirit and togetherness, I think he embodies it. Lacks bottle and goes missing too regularly for me.

Heitinga, as I have said before, is an easy scapegoat for some fans. He has hardly played all season; when he has, it has been out of position. I struggle to see the supposed impact. Whilst there have been a few reports from dubious Dutch magazines, there are no reports of him being an unsettling influence on his teammates, or openly slagging the club off.

Andy Mack
29   Posted 30/12/2010 at 08:35:47

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Glad I'm not the only one feeling "empty" about Everton at the moment. I mean I used to get excited about the prospect of Cadamateri and Branch breaking into the team, so it's not like I'm hard to please. It'll get better... right?
Gerard Carey
30   Posted 30/12/2010 at 09:51:46

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Reading this thread last night and again this morning (lead a very sad life, I do...), halfway through the season, whatever happened to all the optimism we had before the season started? I feel like most of the rest of you, it's been slowly drained out of us. I think Moyes has to take the lion's share of the blame.
Dick Fearon
31   Posted 30/12/2010 at 10:37:08

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I wish Brian #6, Tony #8 ans Colin #19 would keep their thoughts to themselves.
Moyes is desperately searching for a goal scorer and he might get wind of your suggestion. Come to think about it he could not do any worse.
Tony McNulty
32   Posted 30/12/2010 at 11:33:50

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You no longer expect us to win. And in today's Echo, Moysie is wondering whether or not the team had the belief to win at West Ham.

I am far from one of Moysie's biggest critics - he has done a great job in many ways given the constraints he has faced. But what messages are conveyed to the team when you start a game without a recognised striker?

I'll tell you. It creates two self-fulfilling prophecies: (1) the team sense that the manager doesn't think they can win; and (2) the strikers think that the manager has no confidence that they can score (even if they get on the pitch).

Contrast with the City game.

Incidentally, not playing your strikers also devalues their marketability, including of course the price you could get.
Trevor Powell
33   Posted 30/12/2010 at 12:33:17

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Perhaps, a move for Owen Coyle may be the right way ahead
Lee Courtliff
34   Posted 30/12/2010 at 14:41:46

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Dave Richman ? Reading your post it occured to me that, during the West ham game, I was sat back on the settee for most of the game rather than the usual position of sitting on the edge, willing the team on. When I did lean forward, it was in a kind of token gesture type manner. I didn't even jump up when we equalised.

This season is draining me, us, the players and probably Moyes! My pool team is currently sitting just above the drop zone. In the pub the other night, me and the lads were saying that we can't wait for the season to end, get a couple of new players in, even just squad players to boost the numbers, and we can start afresh next season! We could quite easily have been talking about Everton!

I think I am going to take the captaincy on next season, lead us back to respectability! I have the track record: 3 promotions in 5 seasons during my first reign. I resigned a couple of years ago because I thought I had "taken the team as far as I could and we had reached our level. Our glass ceiling".... This is sounding VERY familiar!!!!

Mark Pierpoint
35   Posted 30/12/2010 at 15:01:07

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I would love us to get Coyle, but let's be honest, it is unlikely. I think we are overestimating the pull the Everton job actually has. To think we probably couldn't afford or even attract the fucking Bolton manager!
Mark Pierpoint
36   Posted 30/12/2010 at 15:03:11

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i have been a little harsh there. Lets be honest we are an attractive prospect, and i am not saying Bolton to Everton is a sideways step. I would imagine Coyle probably sees Bolton as a step to a higher level than Everton. possible future Arsenal/tottenham manager?
Anthony Hughes
37   Posted 30/12/2010 at 15:15:56

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On or off the field, financially or football wise, are we any better or bigger than Bolton at the moment? It's quite a sorry state of affairs when we're now comparing ourselves with the likes of Bolton.

We are an attractive proposition for the reason of our history but going forward our future looks dodgy. No money for new players and no chance of a new stadium.

Nelaj Behajiha
38   Posted 30/12/2010 at 17:35:10

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I agree I think Heitengas signing was the catalyst for our downfall.
Alan Rooney
39   Posted 30/12/2010 at 18:57:30

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There has to be higher meaning to all this pain.
Iain Love
40   Posted 30/12/2010 at 19:26:21

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The West Ham game was a bit shit, but we drew away, home wins away draws thats the plan.

We've started poorly and usually kick on in the second half of the season, wait till Cahill goes down under and Pienaar goes in the transfer window; then, with everything against us, we go on a hell of a run!

How's about this for a New Year's wish: Tactically were shit, but there is a great tactician on Merseyside currently unemployed... let's get Rafa in to work as Moyes's No 2.

Jay Harris
41   Posted 31/12/2010 at 03:05:02

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Iain, I hope you're joking there.

The only great tactics the FSW had was to spend a fortune on average players and double the wage bill in the process.

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