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Has Moyes finally worked out pre-season friendlies?

Comments (41)

With the visit of Villarreal announced last week a trip to Birmingham has now been announced as part of our pre season preparations.

Much more competetive teams than recent seasons have offered.

I know there is American opposition and Bury early doors, but as the season gets closer we need to play some decent opposition.


Craig Taylor, Leicester     Posted 06/06/2011 at 10:51:25

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Danny Broderick
1   Posted 06/06/2011 at 15:42:11

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Much better than previous seasons...
Tom Mallows
2   Posted 06/06/2011 at 16:02:42

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To be honest it seems very similar to previous seasons. We often play a Championship side away and our final friendly is usually at home to European opposition - the Everton Chile game was an exception last season.
Chris Bannantyne
3   Posted 06/06/2011 at 16:33:35

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Yes, but we did play wolfsburg last preseason also. I'm not sure what our early season problems are, I just hope this helps.
James Stewart
4   Posted 06/06/2011 at 16:53:32

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Time will tell! Villarreal aint the team they used to be though.
Sam Hoare
5   Posted 06/06/2011 at 17:28:15

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Didn't Villareal just come 4th in La Liga. Not too bad, James.

I still wished we played in one of those tournaments like the Emirates cup. Bit more buzz and a better feel for competitive footy. Never seems to do Arsenal too much harm, they usually start the season strongly. Or is that just when they play us?
Kunal Desai
6   Posted 06/06/2011 at 17:28:54

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We should be participating and looking to get into tournements such as the emirates cup or similar not pissing about with rubbish like bury and preston away!!
Ray Robinson
7   Posted 06/06/2011 at 20:44:22

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Agree with Sam and Kunal. Some form of competition heightens the sharpness that you need when coming up against a good PL side.
Aiden Doyle
8   Posted 06/06/2011 at 22:01:35

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I?ve two thoughts on this:

A) Like the majority of clubs there?s a significant disparity between what the manager wants and what the he is able to get. There?s no reason to believe that our pre-season opponents for the next campaign indicate that Moyes has a better understanding of our needs than he did last year ? or any worse for that matter.

B) Alex Ferguson and Manchester United have repeatedly demonstrated the importance of gaining and maintaining momentum in the run in to the end of the season. Moyes generally does this very well but our limited finances mean that we simply don?t have the resources to finish strongly AND to get off to a flying start. Until we have greater strength in depth, this is unlikely to change, regardless of our pre-season opposition.
Ray Robinson
9   Posted 06/06/2011 at 22:13:31

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Aiden, don't understand your logic on Point B. If a club has limited resources, that's surely a reason to finish poorly as fatigue, suspensions and injuries kick in?

Lack of real match sharpness was one of the main reasons that we lost 6-1 to Arsenal (as well as the Lescott factor). We'd been playing second rate opposition while Arsenal were on top of their game after competing in the Emirates Cup.
Anthony Hawkins
10   Posted 06/06/2011 at 22:37:13

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The early season problem are easy to pinpoint and are down to morale.

Last season we lost a relatively key player late on (Lescott) plus Moyes hadn't signed his contract and this season it was due to the lack of major signings to improve the squad.

Both of these events had a big impact on the squad and morale was low. Had the morale been high the start would have been better, I'm convinced of it.
James McGrady
11   Posted 06/06/2011 at 22:59:40

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I doubt our poor starts are due to the opposition we face, more likely the training sessions during the close season.
Also agree with Anthony, the Lescott transfer was a cloud over the club all summer and should of been sorted out before the first game.
Tom Bowers
12   Posted 06/06/2011 at 23:15:29

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James you are so right. Everton's downfall is threefold, the quality of the squad, the attitude and the manager.
If we do not have the quality then we will always struggle wether it be the very start of the season,the Xmas period or the end of the season. We do have some quality performers but also have been carrying for many seasons some palyers who just cannot perform consistantly at a high level and they get to play a lot due to a variety of reasons thus reducing the winning percentage of the team.
Not having much money, not being able to afford the top wages or having a manager who cannot vary the way the team plays especially when they go behind are the main reasons we have been down the pack and will continue to be so as long as these factors remain
John Anderson
13   Posted 06/06/2011 at 23:40:21

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I think our main problem this past season was lack of sharpness and quality in front of goal, we can all offer opinion on why we failed to get off to a good start , be it our choice of opposition pre season, were we toured , lack of fitness etc etc, but the top and bottom of it is that we missed so many chances it was unreal, sort our finishing out and hopefully that will kick start us to a sucessful season.
Michael Brien
14   Posted 07/06/2011 at 07:13:49

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I don't see the point in playing Birmingham City away - yes a Championship club but one that we played last season. Personally I would like to see us play a couple of friendlies in Europe say in France/Holland or Germany.
Jason Lam
15   Posted 07/06/2011 at 07:12:56

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I think it is to Moyes' credit that he adjusts his players and limited resources for the end of season run-in, where other teams are feeling the wear and tear. If we went off to a flying start we may equally drop off after January (the season all 4 strikers got injured?).

At the start of the season, all teams are fresh and high on testerone, our pussy footing ladies in midfield simply get run over. Have Heitinga and Felliani in midfield and kick the shit out of the opponents and let the ladies take over after Xmas.
Jalil Noor
16   Posted 07/06/2011 at 09:14:45

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We could always make our own competition and invite big clubs to join ala emirates cup.

If Arsenal can do it why can't we?

Won't take much money to make medals or cups for the winners. And I'm sure with the matches being hosted at GP, people will come and watch the matches especially if it is like 5-10 quid a match.
Jalil Noor
17   Posted 07/06/2011 at 09:19:46

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Just to add, EvertonTV can show the matches for a pay per view as well for those overseas fans.
Sam Hoare
18   Posted 07/06/2011 at 10:27:09

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If we are talking the reason for our poor starts i for one think it has something to do with a pyschological weakness.

Too often this team buckles under the burden of expectation. This season there was lots of hype about how me might go so far as challenging at the top. Lots of us believed 4th place might be possible. And we struggled. In the same way, when Reading came to GP for a place in the FA cup quarters, we struggled. When we have a full team and no injuries, we struggled.

When playing the top 4, when decimated by injury, when expectations are reduced, thats when we do well. Half way through the season when any chance of Europe has faded and there;s not really much to play for...thats when we shine.

Of course there are exceptions to this and sometimes the team does well with expectation. But i do think psychological weakness has something to do with it.
John Crook
19   Posted 07/06/2011 at 11:09:37

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Im Preston based and im still awaiting news of our annual excursion to Deepdale. But i wonder if this will change now that PNE have dropped a division? We have played there 4 summers out of the last 5. But with regards to pre season fixtures - the main principle of them is to acheive match fitness - i dont think the quality of the opposition is the most important thing. Yes it would be nice to have a curtain raiser against a real madrid or barcelona but i think there should be a lot more pre season games - where it gets tot the stage the whole 1st team squad are playing in seperate games
Rob Murphy
20   Posted 07/06/2011 at 11:32:56

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Forget about friendlies,Moyes needs to organize the club Christmas party for the end of July/start of August!!
Daniel A Johnson
21   Posted 07/06/2011 at 12:23:27

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Our crap preseason stems from the fact we have the annual Moyes preseason strop and no new signings which puts the whole squad on the back foot psychologically. Especially as everyone else around us is spending like its the boxing days sales.
Duncan McDine
22   Posted 07/06/2011 at 14:10:27

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Jason (14) - I agree with your tactic of kicking the shit out of the opposition, but don't think Johnny Heits is up to it. He loves the thought of being tough, but when push comes to shove, he's not up to the task.

Phil Neville and Felli in the middle with Ossie and Arteta left and right, allowing full backs of Bainsey and Coleman to attack the flanks.
James Marshall
23   Posted 07/06/2011 at 14:47:28

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Phil Neville struggles to pass water and Fellaini is a liability. That would be a terrible central midfield partnership, Duncan.
Ben Jones
24   Posted 07/06/2011 at 15:20:14

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I think what people are forgetting is its not just the opposition we play, its also the training, which is perhaps the most important.

The thing in America does sound pretty decent, because the facilities there are very good, conditions will be very, very, very hot! And the opposition arnt too bad either, I mean, I think our record is attrocious there.

I was surprised with the Birmingham one, but seems good to me. A lot of ex Prem players there. And Villareal is a good ending.

Let's just hope we start better this time. I think its difficult to blame pre-season this time, as it looks ok.
James Marshall
25   Posted 07/06/2011 at 15:24:07

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What are we going to blame this time?
Mike Allison
26   Posted 07/06/2011 at 16:41:29

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Jalil I remember going to one in the nineties, I forget which season. It was Newcastle, Chelsea and Ajax. We beat Ajax 1-0 in the 'semi-final'.
Brian Waring
27   Posted 07/06/2011 at 19:30:57

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No different to any other pre - season.
Duncan McDine
28   Posted 07/06/2011 at 20:45:16

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James (23) - We don't have Iniesta or Xavi, and the likes of Arteta, Rodwell and Heitinga are bigger liabilities than Neville or Felli. One big problem this season was being defensively weak in centre midfield. All the meaningful attacking moves come from our wider midfielders linking with the full backs (and with Coleman at RB we'd actually do something down the right).

We don't need a creative central midfielder... we need players who win the ball (Felli) and get drag the tempo up (Pip). I'm fed up of watching Arteta, Rodwell etc doing f*ck all but pass sideways and then let the opposition jog past them when we lose the ball.
Tom Bowers
29   Posted 07/06/2011 at 22:51:48

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Some great comments here but the bottom line is the squad overall is not good enough.If and it's a big if, some players like Fellaini , Saha, Timmie and Arteta can have a good run free from injuries then together with some bright sparks from last season (Becks and Coleman) we may have a good season.
Ossie finally got a few good games at the end of the season but is still a little slow and weak in the tackle. Biley as everyone agrees should be sent packing but we need to see the new blood given some extended time in the pre-season games such as Velios and Gueye etc.
Tony J Williams
30   Posted 07/06/2011 at 23:51:51

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I honestly don't get the pre-season debate here. The lads have been playing professional football most of their lives. I don't care who you play pre-season, you don't forget how to play professional football and the fitness training they do is more than sufficient to get them up to speed.

If we play a better quality of team, only one thing will be different....we won't get any wins pre-season and we will still start shite
Norman Merrill
31   Posted 08/06/2011 at 12:38:53

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The only comment I want to make on the couple of pre-season fixtures announced
is the game due, at St Andrews in July.
If the match is anything like the fixture I attended earlier in the season then I will give that a miss.
I just feel that we need games against sides who will give us a test, and so give Moyes some insight into what is required, not what we have had in the past. little more than training sessions.
Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 08/06/2011 at 13:08:08

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With the steady decline of the reserve games in terms of quality then pre-season games are important and should be as challenging as possible, they should stretch the squad (not to breaking point as we've little enough first teamers without busting them) meaningless games against lower league sides do little to help any preparation. If we get beaten then so what as long as lessons are learned, Moyes could learn a bloody new trick too and try different formations and strategies and make subs early in a few to try to see what happens.
James Marshall
33   Posted 08/06/2011 at 14:20:15

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Duncan (28) - I would agree with everything you've said apart from your choice of players (again). Pip and Fellaini are hardly going to create anything for anyone, although you're right they'll defend.

The bottom line here is surely that we need to buy some creativity in the middle of the park and have done for years. Arteta is the new Vinny Sideways and Rodders doesn't have a clue what his best position is.

I just can't see Phil Neville spraying the ball about or bringing people into play - likewise Fellaini; he's rather headless at times and isn't exactly known for knocking it about like Xavi.

We need more players - simple as, but without the proverbial pot to piss in, I can't see much happening beyond the quoted Bothroyd, Mackail-Smith etc...
Chris Butler
34   Posted 08/06/2011 at 15:59:42

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Tony J ? I don't understand why you always have to defend Moyes on every article. Anyway pre-season freindlies give fans who cannot afford to purchase premier league tickets or cannot get tickets the chance to attend games. Many fans like me like attending games where you are not cramped by everyone else and it's a laidback game.

I would like to see us scrap these god forsaken jollies to America and Australia. What's the fucking point? I want us to play somwhere decent in Europe, fuck these trips to countries where they call football soccer. Why not play someone like Porto away then Juventus at home? Or visit somwhere like Ajax or Hamburg.

Organise cheap chartered trips for fans then the club can make some money. Or invite somebody like Ajax or Napoli to Goodsion as both clubs have large UK supporters clubs meaning we'd have away fans visiting Goodsion. Instead we play Villareal who take about 50 fans to big euro away games.

Duncan McDine
35   Posted 08/06/2011 at 18:47:49

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You're spot on James, and we're pretty much agreed, accept that I'm preparing for yet another season of making do with what we have (God its depressing!!!).

We desperately need someone (not to dissimilar to that gobshite SG accross the park) who can tackle, spot a pass, run their bollocks off for 90 mins, and lift the team. Unfortunately for us, unless Rodwell suddenly gains a die hard mentality, we don't have a player like that on our books. They're either committed and useless, or gifted but spineless!

All that said... I think we'll defo be in the top 4 next May!
Trevor Lynes
36   Posted 08/06/2011 at 19:16:54

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DM should stay home throughout the transfer window and MAKE SURE we bring in a couple of new faces...that is more important than the annual 'holiday' to the states or Oz..Lets get our priorities right and stop missing the boat !!
Robbie Muldoon
37   Posted 08/06/2011 at 20:20:34

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#18 Sam Hoare, I agree with you 100 per cent, there is definitlely a psychological weakness in this team that fails when expectations are raised.
Ernie Baywood
38   Posted 09/06/2011 at 02:34:11

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The reason for our poor start? Most of the players are fit and we don't what to do with them.
Tony J Williams
39   Posted 09/06/2011 at 18:56:54

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Chris, how is my post defending Moyes? Couldn't give a fig about him on this issue.

What is depressing, is that our players seem to forget how to play footy over the close season and need games to realise what they were doing, not 3 months before.
Tom Bowers
40   Posted 10/06/2011 at 13:39:34

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We do have cause to criticise Moyes as well as his employers. Despite 10 almost 10 years we have won nothing,struggled most of the time and seen mediocrity in at least half the games in that period. Yes, Moyes can point to the lack of big financing and for a while he did make some astute signings with what little he had but the fact remains we are going nowhere with this squad and despite some better scorelines near the end of the season we have little reason to feel confident about next season.
We need fresh blood at all levels.
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 10/06/2011 at 16:01:03

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Tom when did longevity equate to success?

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