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Moyes Striker Mistakes

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I am a David Moyes fan. I think over the past 7 years he has done a great job and turned the club around. Regularly finishing in the Top 5. Bringing regular UEFA football. The FA Cup final. And even qualifying for the Champions League.

All great stuff from Mr Moyes who has an uncany ability to get the best out of his squad. But I have no sympathy for him over this striker problem. There are two specific dates which need replaying:

1) August 2009 ? An unnamed club (rumored to be Besiktas) lodged an official bid for Louis Saha. David Moyes himself confirmed the bid in an interview claiming "Louis is someone we had a big bid for. But he didn't want to go and we didn't want to sell." In the 16 months since turning down the bid Saha has scored just 12 goals. And only 4 in the last calendar year.

2) August 2010 ? West Ham lodge an official bid for Yakubu. rumored to be £8 million. Moyes turns down the bid. Since turning down that bid Yakubu has scored just one single goal.

Over the past 16 months Moyes has had opportunity to offload both Saha and Yakubu and in the process rid the squad of two ageing strikers well past their best. If Moyes had taken the money and sold Saha and Yakubu, he would have made the best part of £15 million. With that sort of money, Moyes could find one if not two decent younger strikers and maybe this goal scoring problem would not be ruining our season.

In a way, I respect Moyes because he stuck by his players and turned down the money. But unfortunately its come back to bite him on the ass as both Saha and Yakubu seem to have given up trying to score a goal. I can understand why Moyes turned down the Saha bid. At the time Louis was scoring goals and looked a decent player. But Yakubu has never been the same player since his injury and frankly Moyes should have biten off West Ham's arm and taken their offer.

Just imagine if Moyes had sold Yakubu to West Ham for £8 million. Think what that money alone could have done. Rafael van der Vart cost Spurs £8 million. I'm sorry Mr Moyes you made the decisions to stick with Saha and Yakubu and now you have to accept responsibility for them both failing to deliver the goals. One thing is for sure. No club is going to bid big money for either player again.

Moyes made mistakes there and its costing Everton the season, Moyes his reputation and at this rate possibly our beloved club its Premier League status.
Dick Anderson, Essex     Posted 01/01/2011 at 20:15:45

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Mark Pierpoint
1   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:25:15

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Dick, you do make some interesting points here. I agree with you regarding Moyes having to take responsibility for his selections. He has kept faith with Yakubu through the injury and now doesn't play him. This seems strange to me also.

There are a few inaccuracies though. WHU never offered us £8M. They offered us £6M for him. Moyes said he did not think we could replace him for that. In hindsight, a poor decision, but had Yak been given a run in the team, maybe not?

Saha and Besiktas is an interesting one. Is it 'morally' right to force him to move to Turkey if he doesn't want to? If Louis goes into David's office and says "Listen, I don't fancy the move," then you have two options:

1) "Fair enough, we will keep you and keep faith."
2) "Not bothered, Louis, you either go to Turkey or play in the reserves."

Would anyone really back a manager doing the second?
Mike Elbey
2   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:40:47

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Dick,

A valid post in my opinion. I posted not so long ago saying Moyes was too stubborn for his own good in the summer. He basically said to Kenwright that he would work with no transfer kitty as long as any outgoing transfers were only authorized with his approval ? Kenwright obviously bit his hand off.

What Moyes should have done is wheel and deal with the squad he had as you suggest. He didn't though... and the results are there to see.

Yes, Moyes has been good for Everton over a number of years but his performance over the past 12 months has been woeful.

And to those who point to two defeats in the second part of last season, think of all the games we dropped vital points due to his overly negative approach ? think of Wolves, West Ham, Liverpool, Stoke...
Luke Dunn
3   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:47:47

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I don't believe any club was ever stupid enough to offer £8M for Saha (crocked forward) or £14M for Jags (hoofball defender who cracks under the slightest bit of pressure) ? these are just lies, lies and more lies. We would do well to get £2M for the Yak.
Ian Barker
4   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:24:12

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£2M is what West Ham were reported to have offered in the summer not £8M.

This time last year, we were mostly saying how important Saha was to this team as he had a strong start to the season.

We have a number of players likely to leave in January: Heitinga (£6M), Vaughan (£2-3M) Pienaar (£2M). The frustrating thing is this will cover maybe one or two loan signings ? not a £10M centre-forward.

To his credit, Moyes has generally sold better than he has purchased, eg, Beattie, AJ, Lucas Neil, Lescott, McFadden... I think his judgement in these situations is decent.
Marcus Kendall
5   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:37:05

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On the subject of Van der Vaart, he would never've joined us ? his wages alone would be too much.
Alan Rooney
6   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:36:31

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I know that our strikers aren't scoring at the moment, but as I understand it they have to be one of the eleven Everton players on the pitch during the 90 minutes. If a manager thinks a player in our squad is worth more than £6M, surely he should be playing him more frequently (regardless of what others think). >

So I think that you make a good point Dick ? if he didn't want to play them, then he should have got rid. And he still should... in fact, he should drive the taxi for them. Second thoughts, he'd better not; they would never get there.

Mark Pierpoint
7   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:46:05

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True Marcus. I meant to mention Van der Vaart. He was a bargain but it is totally unrealistic to expect him to have joined anyone, including Tottenham, had they not been Champions League or been able to pay Man City-esque wages.
Paul Masher
8   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:31:43

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With regards to the Yak, I feel that Moyes took a risk and it's backfired big style... He wanted £8million plus, when it was only £6million on the table and he rejected the bid. I think he was gambling that Yak would do the business and he stays or he does the business and sells him in January for the £8million plus. Neither has happened & the Yak hasn't played much, which would lead you to believe his attitude / efforts have not been upto scratch and we're now in a position where we 'have to' sell and we'll be lucky to get £3million for him.
Peter Fearon
9   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:42:18

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We will look very foolish if Yakubu goes to West Ham for less than we were offered in the Summer. Actually, we look very foolish now for paying nearly £12 Million for him in the first place.
Andrew James
10   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:35:00

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I can see why he stuck by the Yak and Saha. The former bagged 21 goals in his first season and that was with a slow start and going off to the ACN. He gets injured the following season and spends the best part of 18 months recovering fitness. Come summer 2010 and DM looks at the offer from West Ham and considers the following:

> Can I get the same goal return for £6 million elsewhere - probably not.

> If he gets only half the haul of goals he did in his only injury free season it's still in double figures.

Therein lay the logic. Subsequently we can only speculate but something isn't clicking and is DM unconvinced about the Yak's commitment and effort in training or on match day or just generally hence why the Yak has been benched.

As for Saha, same reasoning. The guy scored 17 goals last season. DM was playing the percentages plus the striker didn't want to leave anyway.

I can understand why we didn't sell either of them. It's backfired spectacularly but, for me, the signing of Beckford clearly has not made either Saha or the Yak feel their places are under threat. That comes down to the old problem of lack of finances.

Nevertheless, DM must sell one of them if not both now. They are both past their best and we need the funds and to get this dead wood out. I bet DM would never have thought it possible this quickly for the 2 highest scoring strikers (goals in a season) he's ever had, both become so toothless nearly overnight.

I like the call for Beckford and Vaughan to go up front. Plenty of energy, pace and fight and at least the ball would stick up top. DM has moved with the times using quick and skilful players out wide in Baines and Coleman but needs to have a good look at who is doing what in the middle of the park.
Tom Bowers
11   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:46:40

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We, Joe Public are very rarely privy to any transfer discussions and even more so the fees that are negotiated.

Yes we are usually aware of players who hand in transfer requests but a lot of everything else we hear is just rumour and media bullshit. It's easy to assume that some players will leave Everton this month but who and for what we really can only guess.

It's a very painful time for Evertonians and God knows we have had enough of those over the last 20 years. Like a lot of other clubs we want things to turn around but that usually starts at the top and until Moyes goes I think we will remain a mid-table team-something I said back at the beginning of October.

This squad is not good enough for anything much higher as they do not have any form consistancy as a tightly knit unit on the field. We have been beaten by teams who themselves are having lousy seasons-Villa, Blackburn, Stoke, Newcastle and West Brom and drawn against Wigan, Wolves and West Ham. These statistics give a clear indication of our quality or should I say lack of it.

We have Spurs up next followed by a tricky cup-tie and then Liverpool. This month could be the defining period regarding Moyes's tenure.

David Lee
12   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:59:54

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Imagine if Moyes had sold Yak & Saha and bought a £15M striker and he was misfiring like they currently are. He would be getting slaughtered on here for selling 2 proven goalscorers. It's easy in hindsight.
Paul Masher
13   Posted 02/01/2011 at 19:29:04

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It's not the strikers who aren't scoring in all of this that bothers me, it's the attacking mentality and contribution from the whole team that worries me.

Where are the shots on goal from our midfield?
How often do we get 5 or 6 in and around the box looking to cause havoc or have a shot on goal?
Where are the goals from our CB's from set pieces?

We are toothless... But it's not just the strikers!! Yak & Saha may, or may not, be past it but if you don't give them good service & support in the final 1/3 then it's irrelevant who we have up top.
Frank McGregor
14   Posted 02/01/2011 at 19:35:22

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I believe one possible solution to effect change of tactics would be to recruit an attacking-minded ex-player like Peter Reid or Zola to work along side David Moyes on a short-term basis to implement the changes with most of the present squad in place.

As an ex-coach myself, I found this helped my team to produce successful results. Sometimes all the situation needs is for the present coach to be given a different prospective on the teams approach and the players main strengths, assets and mindset on the game.

Andrew James
15   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:00:36

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Paul - totally agree. Pienaar and Arteta have been the biggest culprits but then neither have ever been high scoring midfielders. For once we could have done with Osman who likes a shot.

What is disappointing as well is that Fellaini and Rodwell don't seem to want to have a crack. Both have shown they can shoot from the edge of the box and score so why are they so reluctant to now? At Upton Park we kept on getting time and space about 25 yards out to have a go and played a pass instead.

Baffling and very frustrating!!
Daniel Cremin
16   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:42:47

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I can understand the frustrations people have but I think there was method in Moyes's decision (some may say madness) in keeping both Saha and Yak when bids came in.

He gambled on Yakubu regaining his form and fitness and this would mean that Saha's inevitable 1-2 month injury bouts could be covered for. I accept Moyes has little faith in 4-4-2 and again this will be frustrating for many fans, but when you look at the games Saha and Yak played from the start together in 2008-09 and 09-10, they never quite click. I think Yak and Beckford or Yak and Vaughan would work well but I doubt we'll see that combination used on any regular basis.

The frustrating thing is, when we play Saha, there's an air of predictability this season that he's just not going to get the service or make the most of the chances that come his way. He's suffered a major loss of confidence and he's clearly not 'fully fit' (or as close to it as he ever is) but he's also positionally dropping way too deep and never seems to be in centre space for crosses.

I still think Yak can come good ? he's not the player he was in 07-08 and probably never will be again, but I wouldn't write him off yet ? he's capable of producing quality performances and scoring great goals like the one against Stoke but like Saha has lost a lot of confidence.

Is Moyes to blame for this? Partly... because his semi-bashing of strikers in December has clearly taken its toll judging by Yak's "I'm unsettled" call in the media. But it's also down to him and he's got to work harder.

The bigger problems we've got are:

1. Arteta playing far too deeply to really influence the game ? he's a shadow of himself, and we're badly missing his quality.

2. No out-and-out defensive midfielder who's playing regularly (Heitinga ineffective, Rodwell not trusted, Fellaini injured, suspended or forced to play in an advanced role because of Arteta.

3. Pienaar contract ? I think it is probably affecting the atmosphere behind the scenes ? Moyes seems pretty intransigent on the issue and I think fans and players are right to be incredulous about the club's refusal to offer him a Cahill/ Arteta level contract or just sell him.

4. Distin ? far too jittery and with the exception of last game when Jags was clearly at fault, most of the goals we conceed that are defensive mistakes tend to be Sylvain's.

5. Bily and Heitinga after-taste ? we spend £16 million on two professional footballers who warm the bench. Bily scored 7 goals last season and, despite his pace problems, has ability; Moyes clearly has issues with him and would rather play Big Vic coming off a major injury than Bily. The same goes with Heitinga ? a World Cup Final defender who can't get in the team and clearly has his sights on a move to a bigger team.

Moyes seems to have mishandled the situation with both his big summer signings, and if they don't enjoy his confidence he should cut his losses. I think as fans that's the really frustrating thing ? seeing good players rotting on the bench.

I get the anger people have about the current situation and the manager naturally bears the blame. Moyes is having a bit of a shocker at the moment but he's got time to turn things around and he's a good manager. We won't be relegated but we probably won't get higher than 8th or 9th at this stage.

Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 02/01/2011 at 22:28:25

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David (#12) ? Saha and Yakubu had both gone off the boil before last season finished; Moyes was at the World Cup watching Yakubu and Saha got crippled by a cross wind in a meaningless game for France. The top managers like the Grinch at the Theatre of Wet Dreams cuts his losses and gets shut.

Andrew (#15) ? bravo, it really pisses me off no end that Everton have some bizarre desire to walk the ball into the net. Remember Bily's goal against Pompey? How often have Everton scored from outside the area in recent times? How often have we even shot at goal from outside the area? Something fundamentally wrong with the coaching there, nothing else can possibly explain it.
Tom Bowers
18   Posted 02/01/2011 at 23:14:16

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Andrew ? Osman scoring? Did you see his feeble effort when clean through against Man City? Sorry he's one we should ship out with a few others. The failings of our offense attack usually results in one mistake in defence costing us the points.

Remember the first game against Blackburn, then the Villa game and the Wolves game and quite a few since. The opposition only scored once through these errors but it was enough to cost many points. The offensiveattacking players we do have are lacking in speed and shooting and the system Moyes plays also contibutes to the malaise.

Beckford, Gueye, Bily, Duffy and Yakubu have not figured much in Moyes plans except as bench warmers even though others are playing well below par. Yes, I know Duffy has only just come back but an erratic full back like Hibbert was preferred in central defence against the Hammers. Moyes has to go.

Paul Masher
19   Posted 03/01/2011 at 00:07:32

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Andrew, the lack of shots from outside the box winds me up something chronic!! I know the players do shooting practice in training, but then they don't seem to apply this in a match... Surely this can't be down to Moyes's coaching, can you imagine: 'No lads, don't you dare take a shot on goal when 25 yards out, shit yourselves then give the opposition the ball back instead...'

Tom (#18) ? the Hibbert at centre-back v West Ham decision baffled me to an extent, but Moyes's mantra is experience over youth.

Prior to Jagielka's injury, Duffy was given the green light to go out on loan to gain experience, with the gaffer supposedly rating him as a player... which begs the question: if you rate the lad then play him!

With reference to some of the other players: Gueye is supposedly the business in training, but then is hit and miss in the ressies match. I hope he's going to come good soon and get a chance, cos he may well be the man expected to fill Pienaar's boots when he finally departs.

It's clear as day that the current players, regime, system, tactics, formation (delete as appropriate) are not doing the business, so something has got to give... And sharpish!!

The spirit in the camp can't be that high at the moment, so we can't rely on that to pull us out the shit (waiting for next interview with the skipper), so every player, coach and (most importantly) the manager needs to take a good look at themselves and ask if they're giving a 100% effort at the moment and fulfilling their individual, and combined, potential. Only then will we see a change in results.

The next three games are crucial.

Terry Hayes
20   Posted 03/01/2011 at 00:29:23

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Here's an idea, Moyes, and it won't cost a penny... pick eleven players, tell them to play 4-4-2, get on the pitch and fucking get on with it.

Meanwhile, sit the fuck down, zip your gob up, and let them play without standing screaming and telling them every frigging pass to play, who to throw to and whatever other shite that you spout at them, over-complicating and confusing the fuckers just doesn't help. I couldn't work with the gaffer constantly screaming at me and I'm sure it must piss them off too... Let them loose, let them breathe ... let them relax and enjoy the game. Go on, try it against Scunny and see what happens...

Oh and when you do decide to put a sub on, don't spend ten minutes filling his bonce with shite ? just put them on ? they already know what they're supposed to do FFS.

Norman Merrill
21   Posted 03/01/2011 at 09:45:44

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Terry comm 20, Spot on mate.
I wrote on another thread the way Moyes has got Rodwell and Coleman looking at the bench all the time, with his shouting.
In fact Coleman in recent games has took things into his own hands giving Neville, and Felliani against Stoke Sat a ear bashing for giving poor passes.
Next time Rodwell plays watch the kid he keeps looking at the bench rather nervously, and that cannot help.
Ray Roche
22   Posted 03/01/2011 at 09:49:59

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"Louis is someone we had a big bid for. But he didn't want to go "

We can't sell someone who won't go.
And a couple of seasons ago statistics stated we'd scored the fewest goals from outside the area and conceded the most. So, no change there,than.
Jonathan Tasker
23   Posted 03/01/2011 at 11:19:22

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Look at the players listed on the official site as forwards- go through to the end of the season and, at the end of the current season, we will almost certainly have the worst ever season for forwards in our history. That takes some doing.

I would persevere with Anichebe and Vaughan and Beckford. Saha is finished and Yakubu is surely on his way. I really hope the 2010-2011 version of Kevin Campbell is on his way to save us or I really fear for us.
Michael Brien
24   Posted 03/01/2011 at 11:46:21

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Dick you make some interesting points, however I must disagree with the overall emphasis of your article which is to appear blame the players. Consider the following:

1) At most clubs it is the manager/coach who decides upon the tactics and who decides which players to sign. David Moyes is only to ready to accept all the praise when things are going well, personally he should accept responsibility when things are not going well. US President Harry S Truman had a plaque on his desk with the motto "The Buck Stops Here". As far as Moyes is concerned his motto is "The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here".

2) 3 simple numbers 4-5-1 familiar to you? They have become more than familar all Evertonians. Moyes would employ that formation if we were playing Marine at Goodison in the FA Cup. His tactics are predictable, boring and negative.

3) Yak scored loads of goals at Boro ? playing alongside Viduka. Have you considered that one of the reasons our strilkers are struggling could be down to the formation that Moyes uses in virtually every game? The great Dixie Dean once said that if he had played aongside Peter Thompson and Ian Callaghan he would have scored 100 goals in that recored breaking season. Indeed read any book about the great man and you will notice how often he praised the contribution of the Everton wingers in creating goals for him. In other words any striker relies greatly on the service that he receives. The likes of Saha,Yak and Beckford have not exactly had the best service.

3) If we as fans can predict Moyes tactics, then don't you think that the other managers can?

4) If Blackpool can play 4-3-3 in some games, and some of those have been away from home , then why can't Moyes be more adventurous.

5) Consider this Dick ? there is an saying "Fortune favours the brave". I have yet to find one that says "Fortune favours the over cautious" If only Moyes could change his tactics, but realistically how likely is that. And as regards man management, I think that he is gradually losing the dressing room. Cahill as a lone striker against West Ham ? can you honestly defend that!!! That really must have done wonders for the confidence of the strikers that he left on the bench.

6) Ian Holloway has a reputation for speaking his mind and often gives everyone a laugh. However, he also talks a lot of sense and compare the way he backs his team when talking to the media.

Dick you said that you are a David Moyes fan, well so was I ,just like I was a Gordon Lee fan and a Tony Blair fan. What have those 3 got in common? Promised much, but delivered little of lasting substance.

Guy Wilkinson
25   Posted 03/01/2011 at 12:04:53

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Andrew @ 10 - Great post. It certainly explains Moyes reasoning for not selling - especially when coming off a good end to last season. However having faith in his strikers he then doesnt play them.

I cannot understand the Yak - bashing going on. He's come back from a major injury and has done the business when given a full game. When he scores the ginger bell end drops him!
Robert Sabinasz
26   Posted 03/01/2011 at 13:17:47

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I can understand the frustration of the Everton fans, but to the people that whine about the dropped points against the poor teams, yes, but then you forget the results of the past season against City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea etc, the 4-5-1 formation has shown that we can win games and play great football. Anyway, 4-5-1 is a must with Timmy, you are not going to play any other formation with Timmy in the team, and I dont think any everton fan would want to see Timmy dropped in order to play 2 strikers who are terribly off form, people need to realise that with changes there are consequences. Although, saying that, now that Timmy is missing for the month, I wouldnt be against changing the formation temporarily
Sam Hoare
27   Posted 03/01/2011 at 14:04:57

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David Lee @12 nails it for me.

Hindsight is a glorious thing.

If only I'd sold everything and brought those Apple shares 10 years ago!

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