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Five Goals From Glory

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I read David Moyes? quotes differentiating between needing a new owner, as opposed to the new investment which comes with a new owner - which is really like trying to pick mouse shit out of pepper. The underlying purpose is clearly to deflect his own responsibility for a disappointing season which is predictably picking up now there?s precious little to play for.

Yakubu and Anichebe produced just one goal between them in more than 1000 minutes of playing time ? and that is NOT including substitute appearances. Beckford has begun producing at last, it?s true, but how many times during this season has he hit Row X when it looked easier to score?

The fact is that we could have had a fantastic season if those three players could have produced just five more goals between them ? not asking much ? and turned just five of our 14 draws into wins. This would have had us fighting for a Champions League place and not lamenting another wasted season.

The fact that they failed to perform is down to the individual players. The fact that we had to rely on a brat with an over-inflated sense of entitlement (Anichebe); a fat, lazy, over-rated layabout (Yakubu) and a What-Me-Worry opportunist (Beckford) for so much of the season is down to Moyes.

In the Summer we need to unload Yakubu, Yobo, Anichebe Heitinga and Fellaini (Rodwell can do his job better ) and use the money to buy a striker who doesn?t need a gold-embossed hand-delivered invitation to score. Unfortunately, Moyes's repeated failure to identify such players is the flaw which stops him from being a great manager.

Peter Fearon, Liverpool     Posted 21/04/2011 at 18:03:06

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 21/04/2011 at 20:03:21

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Peter, Moyes has identified and signed strikers with excellent records,eg AJ and Yakubu. How it went wrong for them is open to debate but they both looked like good signings. Getting shot of Fellaini would reduce the quality of the squad and selling the others would not, even if every penny was given to David Moyes, raise enough to buy an unproven striker from League One.
Frank Duffy
2   Posted 21/04/2011 at 20:27:55

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Spot on Peter. Why Moyes thinks the Board are right for EFC is just unbelievable. There are at least 2 multi milliionaires who do not put a penny into the club. What do they get out of being on the board - a free meal and seat and sitting next to Kenright.

Unless we get a top goal scorer we will always be in the chasing pack for 6th place.

I wonder what the players think?
Jamie Barlow
3   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:15:04

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What I read into his comments is that he knows noone wants to buy the club and he wants some money off someone who is already at the club. That's why he says it won't take much. "Just give me enough to buy a striker you tight fisted cunts." That what he should have said. Just out of interest, can anyone tell me who has got money at Everton?
David Barks
4   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:30:59

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I'm sure the likes of Drogba or David Villa or Andy Carroll will be lining up to take what Everton can afford to pay both them and the midfield who supply them. I'm sure it's as simple as you make it out to be. I'm sure if Moyes could have just "identified" Drogba he'd be an Everton player and not at Chelsea.

Silly Moyes, how could he have thought Beckford was a better goalscorer than David Villa? Because, as you said, it must be simply down to Moyes being able to identify the player. It can't have anything to do with the transfer fee and much more importantly the player salary that determines who Moyes can "identify".

Duncan McDine
5   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:37:57

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Spot on, David (4)... he wouldn't entertain the idea of the Beckford signing if he actually had some money to spend.
Jimmy Wilkie
6   Posted 21/04/2011 at 22:18:54

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I can't let it pass ? Andy Carroll! FFS! The next Alan Shearer? The next Mark Hateley more like! Can trap a ball further than most people can kick it...
Peter Laing
7   Posted 21/04/2011 at 22:36:32

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Totally agree with your sentiments, Peter. If you look at the combined salary of the forwards on the payroll at the begining of the season, it makes you want to weep for what they have returned in terms of goals over the entire season. Obviously without being privvy to this information, one can only assume that Yakubu, Saha, Beckford, Anichebe and Vaughan must have been costing the Club in excess of £120k per week in wages. The crucial factor in looking at each of these players is that only Yakubu cost a fee and the others are either home-grown or acquired on a free.

The old saying is you generally get what you pay for (Torres... hmmm!); until Everton are in a position to either produce another home-grown goalscorer or find the money to buy the aforementioned finished article or up-and-coming prospect, then we are likely to continue to struggle for a bumper goals haul from a striker.

It is frustrating looking at the amount of games that we have drawn this season, the lack of a 15-20+ goalscorer is a factor, I might also add that our frustrating intention to over-play is also an issue when as in the roar of the Gwladys Street al a Neville or Hibbert "Shoooooooooot" is sometimes what is required!

Andy Crooks
8   Posted 21/04/2011 at 22:37:33

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Jimmy, calling Carroll the next Mark Hately is a compliment... He was a decent player. Here's the thing, though: £35 million? £35 million?
Marcus Kendall
9   Posted 22/04/2011 at 00:05:34

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I agree with Jimmy, Andy Carroll's first touch is so bad it's laughable they spent £35 million on him.
Sam Morrison
10   Posted 22/04/2011 at 00:25:18

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Thanks, David Barks, you said it so most of us don't have to. God knows Moyes has his faults but being completely broke is not actually down to him.

As managers go, he's very honest. He's said more than once he's done nothing here to be remembered by, so to start interpreting quotes like that as deflecting responsibility is a bit much.

And Rodwell better than Fellaini? One day I hope. But not at the moment.
Andrew Cunningham
11   Posted 22/04/2011 at 01:36:01

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Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I think at the start of the season a lot of us were all pretty happy with the strikers available.
James Martin
12   Posted 22/04/2011 at 03:26:52

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I would just like to put forward another perspective on our poor start to the season and the reason why our form has subsequently improved. In no way is it the only factor underlying our poor form but I think it is something to consider and that is:? "Was our team too good at the beginning of the season?"

This problem was highlighted for me when I was playing Fifa 11 against my brother. He's not really into football and as a late arriver on the video game scene he's not very good at Fifa 11. He has, however, in recent weeks overcome the gap in quality by adapting an ultra defensive policy. The frustration I felt was entirely similar to watching Everton at the beginning of the season. The signs were the same, no space anywhere, the ball going from left to right then back again, and having a non-existent mdifield on his breakaways, conceding from his few attacks.

From what I remember of the early games in the season it seemed as though we largely dominated possession against teams lower than us and seemingly moved forward as a team to the point where we would be camped out on the edge of their penalty area, both full backs forward, looking for the smallest gap in their defence. As the midfielders got sucked in, trying to work some space or playing more people in, we were invariably left with distribution of the final ball falling to a centre back like Jagielka, trying to thread an eye-of-the-needle ball into strikers who had been static in the box watching this merry-go-round for about 5 minutes surrounded by the opposition 11.

Unsurprisingly, one mistake in possession and the opposition would be running into open field as both our full backs and centre mids had gone beyond the ball trying to add to the attack.

This counterattacking techinique was used effectively under Rafa Benitez in the big games for Liverpool where superior opposition would pass it about for ages only to be smashed off it in the Liverpool half where the ball would immediately fall to Gerrard and Torres running freely at the opposition back two.

This could explain why our results improved against the better teams. Those able to get the ball off us meant possession was more easily shared and midfield space better distributed. An example would be our 2-1 win over Tottenham when 2 teams comfortable on the ball went at each other and we won because the quality of our midfield and frontline on the night actually outshone theirs.

A new striker is needed but I don't think it would have made a huge difference to our early season form. We were not creating chances galore for the aforementioned reasons and even the best strikers in the world can't do anything when surrounded by defenders because the build-up is too slow.

Our good form at the moment may be down to the fact that we're not capable of hogging possession. We give it away through long balls or inaccurate passing and the other team comes forward onto our reliable defence, all in their pre-organised positions, with Neville and Heitinga in front of them. When their attack breaks down, our distribution is invariably being led by Osman, Bily or Gueye with Beckford often in good space being able to make runs.

Notice how Baines has been quiet with his bombing runs recently? No need for them when the ball is being taken forward so quickly... and, if he does get one, he's getting it at pace rather than the infuriating standing start he used to have to go from earlier in the season.

To sum up this overlong ramble, I think we've taken a step backwards football wise for a step forward results wise, we'll probably get found out against Man Utd but it's beating the lower teams which is what was called for when relegation was threatening. The choice will be up to Moyes when his players return whether to pursue the total football in the hope of greater glory... or the football winning him games straight away.

James Flynn
13   Posted 22/04/2011 at 04:13:55

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Peter - Ugh.

We all know the missing ingredient is a top-class predator.

Why waste 250-300 words to say "Fuck Moyes".
Peter Fearon
14   Posted 22/04/2011 at 05:25:43

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David Barks ? the fact is that when you look at the money Moyes has spent on second- and third-rate players who have failed to make an impact in the Premier League for Everton, it does add up to a significant amount that would have been better spent on a decent striker.

As for everyone being so happy with Yakubu at the start of the season, how short some memories are. He turned up fat, out of condition and still petulantly demanding a transfer that had nearly gone through earlier in the season.

You are right: not every club can buy a Drogba, it's true... but we are the only Premier League club relying on a striker whose competence outside the lower divisions is still unproven. That's not about money... It's about judgment. Even in the current revival, the important goals are coming from defence and midfield.

Sam Morrison: the player whose loss would cause the biggest problem, should he be transferred this Summer, is without question Rodwell, not Fellaini. Fellaini is still unpredictable, often clumsy and always inconsistent. I like Fellaini but Rodwell is already developing more class.

Paul Gladwell
15   Posted 22/04/2011 at 06:51:14

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I have seen jack shit to say Rodwell does Fellaini's job better. I do think he will be good, but he is the most over-hyped Everton player in our history and this year he has been basic at best and light-years behind Fellaini.

On the slagging the forwards too, how about throwing Saha ahead of Beckford? He never scored for ten months and missed numerous sitters too.

Dave Wilson
16   Posted 22/04/2011 at 08:02:24

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This posts hits the nail bang on the head. In no way is it shortsighted or misguided... and it really nails The Ginger Fella.

Moyes should have re-signed Rooney, he should also have signed Drogba and Van Percie as back up. Who cant see that?

Moyes out!
John Talbot
17   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:04:56

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Let's face it: we need a clear out. We are desperate for a striker and a new centre half as Yobo will leave in the summer.

Yak, Saha and maybe Cahill to go he's getting on and Ossie is better now.

In midfield, there's a choice: personally I would cash in on Arteta; the youth of Fellaini and Rodwell will come good in the next 2 years.
Ian Tunstead
18   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:03:21

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Peter

What games have you been watching? We can't be watching the same Everton because I have seen virtually nothing from Rodwell to suggest he is anywhere near Fellaini. If anyone is inconsistent it is Rodwell, certainly not Fellaini who, along with Baines, stood up to be counted this season. His game has improved immeasurably over the last couple of seasons whereas Rodwell has stood still, making very little impact or contribution... sometimes completely non-existent in matches.

Fellaini has not only played well in most games ? he has also bossed the midfield or completly dominated games. Rodwell on the other hand, I can't think of a single game this season where I have thought Rodwell was the best player on the pitch today, and I can only think of a handfull of games were I have thought Rodwell played very well today.

I agree with Paul, certainly the most over-hyped player I can think of.
Gavin Ramejkis
19   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:05:21

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Moyes had already lost faith in three players before the season started:

Yakubu ? he was actually at the World Cup watching him lumbering about overweight and unfit but too stubborn to sell;

Vaughan ? he hasn't had any time for him for seasons but never came out and put a 'for sale' sign on him;

Pienaar who he stubbornly stuck with despite it not taking rocket science to see he wanted out by not signing a new contract for months before.

Why weren't all three put in the shop window? Who is that down to? Raising some money over the summer by ditching all three could have provided funds for a striker even on loan with a view to buy. As for losing all three earlier, what would we have lost?

Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:17:27

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Should have read "four players" ? you could also add Yobo... makes it look worse.
Eugene Ruane
21   Posted 22/04/2011 at 10:01:22

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Jimmy (6) - You should have seen Mark Hateley's 'oul feller. He was so one-dimensional, he used to head his penalties.
Mark Pierpoint
22   Posted 22/04/2011 at 12:26:32

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Agree totally with Paul and Ian on this. Felli is head a shoulders above Rodwell for me. Though it doesn't look it, there aren't many years between them either, it is not as if we are comparing Rodwell to a 28-year-old in his peak ? Fellaini is only 23.

This Beckford bashing is a bit unfair. Yes, he has missed some sitters, Sunderland comes to mind in the last minute where we were at a really low ebb. He has got 10 goals this year though, and I think he has done reasonably well recently when asked to stand up and be counted. He probably isn't a Premier League player but he is the best we have got. Unlike Yakubu and frankly Saha, I don't think you could ever say he has UNDERPERFORMED!
Brian Denton
23   Posted 22/04/2011 at 13:17:18

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Eugene, he also wasn't worth an 'apenny........ Showing my age there. !
Paul Gladwell
24   Posted 22/04/2011 at 15:21:15

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Peter, I would like to know at which game you have seen this Rodwell class, mate? I am not actually having a dig at him, but at the bullshit hype around him.

As I said, I agree he will more than likely turn out a great player but, watching him again last week from my seat, all I saw was a basic player with crab-like tendencies against the worst team I have seen at Goodison this season by a country mile. If that was not a chance for him to show us what he is made of, I don't know what is...

Then, when I have seen Fellaini this season, all I saw was class; watch his vision of looking for people around him before he even gets the ball, his close control... and check his pass completion, you can bet its up there with the best.

I don't know wether it is because Rodwell has come through the English ranks and they all love him too (just like Ebbrell), or just that everyone expects, as he is just coming off the same conveyor belt as Rooney. Either way, he has done nothing yet to justify a starting place in our first eleven when it is fully fit, nevermind a Champions League club.

Chris James
25   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:49:33

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What an absolutely ludicrous post this is ? typical of so much that comes from the of the negative nonsense on this site.

First you criticise Moyes for making a relatively benign statement (or more likely answering a question) about the obvious lack of money in which he ultimately backs his employers. What the hell else do you really think he could say? When asked a question the local paper about your boss Peter, I suppose you'd answer 'he's a snivelling overpaid git with no clue what he's doing'. This is press talk and nothing else, and like all press talk it is not necessarily entirely representative of what he thinks, in the same way for instance that when every manager says that they outplayed the opposition despite losing, or the penalty against them was harsh, they might not actually really think that; they might say it because it is what's expected/needed to support the team.

There is (whisper it) even the possibility that the press had slightly modified the statement or taken it out of context in order to make a better story ? to take this as the rock upon which an anti-Moyes campaign is built is frankly... well, naive at best.

The post also conveniently ignores the past times when Moyes has indicated displeasure at the lack of support from above ? which didn't make any difference either, as this won't. At the end of the day, it matters not a jot what Moyes says about the board in the same way it didn't matter what Ferguson thought about the Glaziers or indeed the guy driving the train thinks about First Great Western's management ? none of them have financial or political power to intervene, they are merely employees.

The second major flaw in the argument derives from the contradiction with regards to apportioning blame for our start to the season. In paragraph 1, it is solely Moyes's responsibility; in paragraph 3 it is the fault of our entire strikeforce individually, although you conveniently avoid the classy yet injury-prone and erratic Saha from your ire (he who has been Moyes's first choice when available).

Whilst I concur on the fact that the players are largely culpable for their own poor performance, I don't really understand your logic in some cases or indeed sympathise with your hindsight approach to the vilification. Yes Yakubu has been lazy and ineffectual this year but the last seasons he had been incredibly effective and his goal-scoring record alone made him a natural starter on most Evertonians' teamsheets. Yes, Beckford started slowly but, over a short and often broken run, he's actually become our most effective goals-to-games player. Even Anichebe has proven to offer something in the past, although ? let's face it ? his selection has primarily been when others are unfit.

All of these players (like any outfield player, particularly those returning from injury or raising up a division) clearly needed a little match time to work up form and confidence and, as has been proved with Beckford, this investment can pay off.

The real problem is that none of our existing strikeforce started the campaign properly and that we lacked a proven extra option. But that was a known problem that was linked solely to money.

All of which begs the question: what the hell else were you expecting Moyes (whom you blame) to do? He had no money to bring in players and so was faced with playing the team that he had before him (which, to be fair, in Saha and Yakubu included two class strikers who had delivered in the past and are certainly Premier League class).

So, I repeat, what exactly was he supposed to do apart from to make the best team for the squad and experiment when needed to get a better blend (which is largely what he's done?)

I don't know if I've got the energy to start arguing the toss about Moyes's ability to find good players who either do/don't create goals (Cahill, Baines, Coleman, Donovan loan, Pienaar ? who knows yet about Gueye or Vellios?) and I'm really not going to explore the Fellaini point (which seems plain bonkers to me).

In fact, the only thing I do agree with you on is that Yobo and Yakubu should/will definitely go, that Heitinga should/probably will go, and that Anichebe definitely should be let go (or loaned out) but probably won't be considering he's just signed a new contract.

Paul Olsen
26   Posted 22/04/2011 at 17:20:05

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One trend here seems to be the following. If we win a couple of games without some key players it must mean those key players are shit.

Newsflash, they are not.
Chris Bannantyne
27   Posted 22/04/2011 at 17:32:30

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Hibbert for striker next season.

It will be 'like a new signing'
Karl Meighan
28   Posted 22/04/2011 at 19:21:14

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I think what most are missing is Everton are a average side regardless of who starts.

At the start of every season new players are needed even if you happen to be champions.

Other teams bring players in and improve and so must Everton.

Yes we need a 25 goal a season striker but we also need to concede less.

Barca done the treble and brought players in and i certainly have not seen Barcelona style football at Goodison this season.

Football doesn't stand still and neither can Everton.
Karl Masters
29   Posted 22/04/2011 at 22:00:41

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Despite the moaning on here about our strikers we have the 6th best Goals scored record in the Premier League this season. We'd scored more than ' on so lovely to watch Spurs' before Wednesday's game.

Saha is what he is. Class act, but you only get around half a season due to injuries. Beckford has scored as many EPL goals as Drogba. Not bad for a free signing. Anichebe has disappointed, Vaughan has never had a chance this season ( 15 mins as a sub ) and Yakubu was playing OK till he fell out with Moyes.

Add in Tim's outstanding contibution in the first half of the season and you'll see it's not the forward play that's cost us but the defending where our record is distinctly average.
James Flynn
30   Posted 23/04/2011 at 02:13:00

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Karl (29) - We lack true firepower, the kind that intimidates other managers. Your statements are statistical and, so, certain. Those stats prove why we can not only see the brass ring, but also have it just out of reach. "6th best Goals scored"? 6th is about where we finish year in and out, no?

The source of our frustration. Legit predators tilt the pitch before the game begins. And we don't have one.
Peter Fearon
31   Posted 23/04/2011 at 14:40:39

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Chris James - you're right, we play great, score often, terrorize defences. It's just so strange to me that we are where we are playing the football we play when, as you say, everything is so rosy. It would probably be better if you actually read the posts you counter before you counter them.
James Hollister
32   Posted 23/04/2011 at 14:37:26

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All these discussions down to poor starts... it's bleeding obvious why we are poor unless your blind.

You play shite teams in the close seasons, you're not going to get the best from your players. It becomes a stroll, that's all.

You give the players motivation by playing decent teams not the likes of Norwich or Lincoln City or any old shite from the States. These matches are meaningless completely... there is no motivation to do anything at all.

Going to the States has never worked for this manager, so it eludes me why we must go to a country whose football is just laughable on the world stage, and on a par at best with League One... which is probably an insult to League One if I was honest.

No, what we need is for this club to pick its head out of its collective backside and arrange better teams to play in the close season... get into some of these cup tournaments in Asia, anything to motivate the lads before the start of the season... the malaise that set in during the close season is still there upto Christmas.

I'll tell you what scares me: the fact it took them this long to hit form, forgetting the shear embarrassment at Uunited today. Next season I wonder if they will ever get out of first gear.

For me, Moyes has to go, I don't care who comes in, it's time for a fresh change, we need to ship some of this shower out and get the general buzz a new manager brings.

I am sorry I just cannot for the life of me see how Moyes can possibly be given another year to squander. This is not about money ? it's about his decisions, his selections, his terrible tactics and his bizarre substitutions... anyone even contemplating playing fraudsters like Anichebe should be fired on the spot.

This season is now over due to the sheer inept display we put on today at United... all negative defending with two shots on target. Yet ironically this was a much weakened United side... and all we did was defend. I'm surprised they didn't hammer us the way we played!

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