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Judgement Decision for Moyes

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For the last 18 months, I have been saying that this is the season that defines Moyes's tenure as Everton manager. He has been manager for 9 years and this is his team that he has built. Although he has only had a net spend of £4M per season, he has still spent £90M in nine years. In my book, that is a lot of money and enough to assemble a decent squad which he has.

Moyes has only arguably lost two players that he didn't want to; Lescott and Rooney but received £50M from those two sales to spend. He may have kept Gravesen and Pienaar but I don't see those as real Champions League quality players, and that has to be the target that Everton Football Club are aiming for, and ultimately, failing under Moyes.

Back to this season, and even Moyes built it up as the season to deliver. His squad assembled and star players reaching their peak and real optimism before the season started that Everton could achieve something big...

As we now know, it has been one big disappointment and Moyes tactics, choices and decisions have come under intense scrutiny. The one glimmer of fading hope for the season is the renewed confidence from the last two games due to the enforced change in formation to 4-4-2 due to Cahill's absence. I don't believe for one minute that Moyes would have played that formation against Spurs if Cahill had been available. However, Sunday is the real test. An away match against our biggest rivals.

I believe the way Moyes sends the team out will determine this season, and therefore Moyes's tenure as manager. Will Moyes revert to his favoured 4-5-1 or stick to the currently successful 4-4-2? It's not just the formation but the way we start the game. If Moyes sends out the players to get behind the ball, defend, and try to nick a goal, even in a 4-4-2, his reign as manager will be looked upon as disappointment, as what might have been. If Everton go and attack from the first minute in a 4-4-2 and take the game to their opponents, Moyes might finally have grown some balls and his reign might still be in tact.

This game is certainly winnable if approached in the right manner. That manner is confident, assertive, positive and having the will to win.

Stand up and be counted, David Moyes, Sunday is your last chance saloon.
Matthew Lovekin, Brighton     Posted 14/01/2011 at 17:23:00

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Declan O'Shaughnessy
1   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:52:29

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I would love Moyes to stick with 4-4-2 and have a real "go" at Liverpool, but I don't expect him to. And let's be honest, if he does play 4-4-2 and attack from the off, and we get tonked 4-0, this site will be awash with supporters calling him naive and much worse.

We all have problems seperation results from performances sometimes. Sadly, this season, Everton (in my eyes) have failed to produce either result or performance. Here's hoping Sunday changes all that!
Rupert Coghlan
2   Posted 15/01/2011 at 08:44:10

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Whilst Moyes has had me tearing my hair out with some of his tactical calls this season, I still think he is our strongest asset at the club, apart from the fans. Moyes has stayed loyal to us, the club and the chairman when lesser men would have thrown a tantrum and walked out.

HE deserves a stronger board, WE deserve a stronger board.

PS. To put the £90m in 9 years argument into context:

Rafa Benitez spent £229m in just over 5 years.
and Spurs have spent well over £90m in 3 years. He has worked wonders to deliver the current squad on that £90m (and relatively humble wage budget) absolute wonders.

The problem lies with what I see as a tight pocketed and thoroughly underwhelming board, including Bill Kenwright.
Derek Thomas
3   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:06:10

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Declan not only will he be naive, he will be shown as short sighted / blind as not to see the evidence of his and our own eyes.

I think that our version of 442 is, along with his other odd, now and then departures from the norm, are only forced on him by circumstance, an over my dead body, but what else can I do option.

What team he selects and how he send them out to play ( and yes i will give him the first 20 mins to take up the from the whistle home team pressure ) will show the real Moyes.

I hope he has learnt the lesson in some significant way.

Bottle it,and all Marshy's coward jibes will have come home to roost.
Kunal Desai
4   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:36:12

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Declan - If we went 442 tomorrow want makes you think we'll get tonked?? Are you serious they are fucking shit.
I didn't see Wolves get tonked.
KPR Williams
5   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:27:19

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Yak has gone, leaving us two proper strikers; Vaughan I see more as a Kuyt type of player who chases down defenders. Victor i see as a lazy basket who will cover very little ground during the time he spends on the pitch.

If we start 4-4-2 it leaves us very little option of changing things, if they, god forbid score first. What do we do then?

I reckon they will start with Torres as a lone striker and pack the midfield. We really don't want that... it's one thing playing Spurs who never really played well at our place, but Liverpool in their back yard, with the fans and their songs and banners lauding King Kenny's less than triumphant return... It's gonna be a toughy.

God, I fuckin' hate Derby Day. I wake up with butterflies in my stomach, you'd think I was playing. All eyes on the O'Dowd in the first 5 minutes, let's hope they are tweeting pics of him in an Everton shirt and setting up pages on Facebook called O'Dowd Supports Everton come tomorrow evening. It'll mean they didn't get every decision.

Mark Browne
6   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:46:21

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Matthew as I posted here a few weeks ago, attack the best form of defence, now that the balance of the team looks much better, albeit by default, I agree that Moyes has to go 442 and attack tomorrow.

One of the reasons that the league this year is exciting is that more and more teams are going for a win and not holding for a draw. I also agree that the formation tomorrow will define Moyes tenure, and have stated that I hope he has taken notice of this attacking shift and join in the merry go round round,and go out tomorrow a la Blackpool and Wolves did at Anfield, and play them off the park.

Jim Hourigan
7   Posted 15/01/2011 at 10:11:15

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Its not about systems its about the players state of mind - which Moyes is responsible for. Go out to avoid getting beat or go out to win? If he wants to win he will pick a team to play on the front foot with Beckford and Saha, if he wants a draw he will drop Beckford and play Osman and Rodwell and look to hit them on the break. Can't look for set pieces 'cos Tim's not there!

Grow some balls Moyes and go for a win
Stephen Kenny
8   Posted 15/01/2011 at 11:19:30

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"Stand up and be counted, David Moyes, Sunday is your last chance saloon." 100% correct.

If the belief is there we win without doubt.
Alan Khan
9   Posted 15/01/2011 at 11:28:40

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Matthew, I agree. There's a lot more riding on the Derby than just three points and bragging rights.... and yes, team selection will be vital. Its apparent, and hopefully Moyes can clearly see it, that the team were more successful (albeit in two matches) with 4-4-2. I hope Moyes sticks with this - and I reckon the only question should be whether Pienaar players or not. My starting 11 would be Howard between the sticks, Baines, Distin, Heitinga, Neville in the back, Coleman and Pienaar down the flanks, Fella and MIkel in the centre and Saha with Beckford upfront. If Pienaar doesn't play, there's options to either play Ossie down the left, or flirt with Arteta in that position with Rodwell replacing him in midfield. COYB!!!! Makes, make us proud tomorrow. I hope our players will continue to stand up and be counted and repeat recent performances... Enjoy the derby everybody....

Steve Guy
10   Posted 15/01/2011 at 11:32:01

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"Stand up and be counted, David Moyes, Sunday is your last chance saloon."

These melodramatic statements don't add anything to a debate that has been done to death anyway in recent months. Instead of piling unnecessary pressure on our own team and manager ahead of a big game, try supporting them and help pile the pressure on the RS instead.
John Crook
11   Posted 15/01/2011 at 12:00:19

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Matthew ? almost everyone would prefer a 4-4-2 and everyone would want to see everton try and take the game to liverpool. But going gung ho right from the 1st whistle wont work. We need to get a hold on them first - win 2nd balls pass it as much as possible - frustrate the fuck out of them and their crowd. As well as avoid any early yellow cards (where possible). We need Arteta to have his best game in a long time. I'm assuming that Fellaini and Arteta will be the middle pairing and with colemans running and eagerness and hopefully one final shift from pienaar we should be able to outpower the likes of lucas maxi and poulsen because they are all shit. None of those would even warm the Everton bench.
David Hallwood
12   Posted 15/01/2011 at 12:11:51

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Got to stick with the same team that's scored 7 in the last 2 games, and before anyone says it was only Scunthorpe, remember our recent history in cup competitions. Spurs are a far better team than the RS, and if we can play Awwy?s men off the park, we can tonk the worse RS team I?ve ever seen with the same team. But who wants a tenner on Beckford on the bench replaced by Osman, Bily or Rodders.

I'm going to Mordor on Sunday COYB
John Daley
13   Posted 15/01/2011 at 13:27:18

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The following comments from Moyes defending his previously pitiful derby record suggests the old safety first mentality may well be in effect on Sunday:

"It's not as if we have been to Anfield and done badly. We would like to win more but you can't talk about that without talking about the whole situation. There is more in it. Maybe you should be turning around and saying the draws Everton got at Anfield were unbelievable, rather than we haven't won there. To have drawn so many games at Anfield over that period is incredible when you look at the difference in spending."

Incredible and unbelievable to come away from Anfield with a draw? The place isn't exactly a fortress and it hasn't been for some time. Why does he constantly seem to have this inferiority complex in regards to the redshite? They've been on the wane for years and currently look like a side bereft of ideas and confidence. They're shit! We should be going there to rip them a new arsehole.
John Gee
14   Posted 15/01/2011 at 14:08:02

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Last chance saloon? Are you sure mate?

Anfield is a bit of fortress for the RS, their home record is not too bad. And Torres's home record is excellent. I think we should play 5 in the middle and one up front because Torres will be coming deep to get involved quite a lot. With 5 in the middle we can snuff him out mostly away from the penaltey area.

Plus, we may as well get used to having one up front as tomorrow's story is the return of King Lenny (or whoever) so there is a good chance that the ref will be looking to even things up by sending one of our lot off early on.

If I was Moyes, I'd pull Pienaar to one side and say "Look son, it's your last game. It's at our local rivals. Go out there and write your name in the history of this club and get us a goal... For a fucking change you over rated, ungrateful get."

Robert Moore
15   Posted 15/01/2011 at 14:53:25

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4-4-2 is the only way, hit them while they are down. COYB
Alan Brown
16   Posted 15/01/2011 at 15:00:51

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Although I would prefer two strikers it's more about taking any chances that come your way. On Sunday don't try and walk the ball in, adopt a shoot on sight policy. I don't give a toss who scores as long as we score more than they do.
Karl Masters
17   Posted 15/01/2011 at 19:15:11

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"Stand up and be counted, David Moyes, Sunday is your last chance saloon."

Last chance saloon? Only with an idiot like you, Matthew.

That said, I would like the whole squad to watch a video f the famous Sharpie Derby at Anfield in October 1984. Not for Sharp's wonder goal, although that in itself shows what can happen if you have a go, but also for the way we attacked them from the off. We really got in their faces and created a lot of chances and 1-0 was not a fair reflection of our dominance.

At that time Liverpool had made a bad start to the season with Ian Rush injured (although he returned for this game and almost scored at 0-0, (but Nev saved when he was clean through on goal) just like this year and were 17th in the table and vulnerable.

All my neutral mates reckon we are favourites, so let's get stuck in!
Matthew Lovekin
18   Posted 15/01/2011 at 19:33:02

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Karl (16) how can you call me an idiot, then agree with me?

Do you think Moyes deserves more chances at Everton? He has had 9 years, bought 1 winger in that time, ruined 4 (£25m) good goalscoring strikers?

Before the last two games (where Moyes was forced to play 4-4-2), we had won only 4 games out of 20 this season, scoring just 21 goals. Is that really worth 9 years of squad building?

My statement of last chance saloon is also down to what I think Moyes will do. This was supposed to be his team, his season, but yet nothing. Nine years wasted, no big job offer now, just an inflated bank balance.

I have always believed that unless we achieve success (silverware or top 4 this season), Moyes will walk away in the summer. It's Moyes' own choice for last chance saloon, not mine.
Andy Crooks
19   Posted 15/01/2011 at 19:43:58

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Rupert, Moyes has stayed loyal because he earns £3.5 million a year. Better men, not lesser men would have walked out. There is no other club in the world who would pay a man, who has never won or looked remotely like winning a trophy, this amount. (The Chelsea FA Cup Final was an embarrassing tactical humiliation).

Where on earth will he walk away to? This is as good as it gets for him and he knows it.

Tom Bowers
20   Posted 15/01/2011 at 19:51:06

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Matthew, you make some good points about the Moyes philosophy which has been very hard to understand over the last few years. In the beginning, it was acceptable in order for him to establish himself in the ways of the Prem but he has since become more like Benitez..

He seems to have but one strategy and persists with that and using the same players come what may and that is why we have really moved nowhere in Premier League status.

When I see names thrown up recently of quality players who appear to be available and no apparent movement from Moyes, I wonder what he is waiting for. For instance Charlie Adam has been an inspiration at Blackpool and could slot in nicely in Everton's midfield but I read that other clubs are bidding peanuts for him. Is it really that bad that Everton cannot afford £5million for him which is the very least I think he is worth. Yak's wages have been taken out of the equation and soon Pienaar's will be too... so what is Moyes doing, if anything?

All I heard him say was that he is looking for a loan player which means Everton have no money at all to buy anyone no matter how cheap. He blew all the money we had on Fellaini and Bily who are in my opinion way off justifying the investments.
Okay if we win the Derby match he will become Saint Davy for a few days but it will not convince me that he is the right man to make us a top team again.

James Hollister
21   Posted 16/01/2011 at 06:28:56

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For the last 18 months, I have been saying that this is the season. So in other words the last two seasons... I can't be bothered to read more. Talk about trying to sensationalize and make your point.
KPR Williams
22   Posted 16/01/2011 at 11:39:52

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1st goal the winner I reckon...
James Hollister
23   Posted 16/01/2011 at 14:58:52

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I have to agree, although we've had a few chances, nothing at all on target.

To be honest we haven't really looked like scoring aside from the punts at goal.

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