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Season 2011-12

From my seat: Norwich (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  17/12/2011
 47 Comments (Last)
Just 31.000 of us bothered to turn up, which in some ways is about average for the last Saturday before Christmas... unless the Blues were on song and likely to make a splash in the league.

Today they proved they were nowhere near making a splash for anything; despite almost total domination and some 15 attempts on target, and almost the same number off target, we came away almost glad to take a point from a game where the opposition had just 1 on target and made it count. 1-1? It almost sticks in the throat as 2 points are dropped from a game as witnessed should have been a gimme. The manager didn?t help by delaying subs to offset obvious failings.

Magaye Gueye was started down the left and after his display, I wondered whether it was because we had injuries for that position or Moyes pandering to calls from the faithful... but whichever, it didn?t work.

The game progressed in what can best be described as fits and starts with some half-decent contributions by players who quickly returned to anonymity. Baines was first to show with a low cross that Fellaini could not convert over the keeper after a flick from Cahill. Baines then blotted his copybook by making a poor effort at a cross after being put in by Gueye by allowing the first man to block for a corner.

And that was to be the sum of Baines's contributions at getting in a decent cross or pass; he seems to have taken responsibility for the Arteta role by hitting the first man at dead-ball situations, in fact Hibbert on the other flank looked much more likely to create something from a cross than the England Number 2 left back.

Just before the quarter-hour mark, Saha set up Osman to curl one toward the top corner only for a defender to get back and head away. Then, just before the half-hour mark, the ball was fed to Holt in the box. He was Jags' man but he was nowhere and Heitinga came across but he was too easily turned and the big striker hit one past Howard, off the post and in. A sucker punch that was more than preventable but once again we lose a goal and leave us fans almost expecting another 0-1 reverse at home.

We may have been well on top but looking like scoring was non-existent. We continued to have the better of the exchanges without ever looking like scoring and the nearest we came was a Saha effort that beat our ex keeper Ruddy but once again missing the target albeit by no more than a few inches. Half-time loomed, Gueye had come and gone, Baines was nowhere near his best and Hibbert was left exposed on the right and, despite getting in a few good crosses, had no-one showing when he had the ball, which resulted in backward passes allowing Norwich to regroup.

Half-time came and the chat was of a negative nature as most agreed possession was fine but end-product was almost non-existent with shots admittedly on target never getting anyone out of their seat. No changes, so the second half began with little or no change from the first.

We were the better team but came nowhere near proving it in goal scoring terms. Saha although fouled stayed on his feet and fed Osman who forced Ruddy to parry away for a corner. Nothing came of it. Then Osman fired wide when better was expected then Gueye took on the Arteta role and hit the first man from a free kick. Norwich were nowhere but ever looking for a quick break and from one of these Holt pulled on to Hibbert and looped a header goalwards but just beat the far post. Not a great threat but one that reinforced the fact that if we can?t score goals when we are plainly on top then we are susceptible.

The hour mark saw the first change when Cahill got the hook and many a fan wondered why the manager took so long in working out that the man himself was having a mare. I am a Cahill fan but in some ways I was glad to see him rested and hope he will remain rested until some form returns or the inevitable happens and he is overtaken by a younger man. Stracqualursi strode on and within the blink of an eye he was making a difference by flicking on to Saha who was most unlucky to see his effort saved at point blank range by Ruddy.

Then, just after Hibbert did wonders in getting to a ball and feeding Heitinga who had his shot punched out to Saha who cracked it in only to bounce off a defender and away. My first thought was why didn?t he chip it but hell his effort should have been enough for me as he has been short of those of late.

70mins and not before time Gueye was hooked in favour of Drenthe who I am pleased to say was a victim of misinformation and had not upset the manager.

Now Denis and Royston started to buzz. Not with the greatest thought or skill but enough to spook the Norwich defence that had been looking relatively comfortable and surging runs and combative challenges from both raised the volume from the faithful and for the first time in the game became a vocal force where only Norwich voices had been heard.

Ten minutes to go, Drenthe had been denied twice when he again burst through and hammered one in that rippled the net. Pandemonium as we celebrated a goal. The announcer acclaimed Drenthe as the scorer but a replay on the big screen confirmed that Osman had got a vital touch to take it away and past Ruddy. The announcer must have watched the replay for he quickly announced that it was indeed Osman with the goal. Who cared?

We were level and full of running but those last minutes plus 3 extra failed to produce a winner the nearest being a Drenthe blockbuster that no more than hit Ruddy, it wasn?t saved, McAleny on for Saha missed a great chance right on the death when he seemed to panic and screw wide. Final whistle and the trek back to the alehouse was littered with remarks such as we did well to get a point and we should have sewn that one up with ease. Those comments seem to sum our season up so far ? We are a nearly team that can go two ways with what we have got.

MotM. Difficult. For me it was between Hibbert and Osman until the manager threw on Stracqualursi and Drenthe who just lit up the place with good old fashioned ?Go for em? so it?s Denis and Roy for me.

Overall a disappointing day and performance. Cahill seems to need a rest and Jags still seems to have his mind elsewhere at times. All the usual flaws showed up e.g. No or little creativity from midfield, not enough bodies getting in the box when we attack and an ongoing propensity to give a daft goal away. January transfer window can?t address all of the ills so the odd loan here and there may help.

I must say here that I am delighted to see Donovan back. But just 2 months? I am sure it will leave me as non-plussed as last time. How has a club like Everton come to champion a 2-month loan signing when they should be aspiring to sign adequate players on some form of decent full time contract? OK that is another argument but until we get there we will have more days like these
I just hope the manager noted what two subs could achieve by being nothing more than totally committed with a willingness to just have a crack.

Wednesday v Swansea will be interesting in team selection but much more for me will be the mindset and intent of the players to get out there and play for the cause, the club, the fans and forget the finer arts and just go for the jugular. The fancy stuff can come once 40 points is achieved. Forget what you should be and where you should be, look at what is and do something about it.

Three days training and then under the glare of the lights. Don?t let us down, Manager and players. The Christmas Card in the programme today was a nice gesture. Now give us three points as a pressy to put the icing on the mince pies.

See you Wednesday.

Reader Comments

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Trevor Lynes
1   Posted 17/12/2011 at 22:42:28

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It is strange but the players you mentioned are both on loan and so is Landon...the players we actually have on contract are a very small, mediocre bunch !
Tom Owen
2   Posted 18/12/2011 at 00:14:40

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Great break down of the game. I have to agree on Denis and Royston as MotM ? they made a real difference. Until Royston came on, there was nothing happening on our right side, everything was going up the left and was too easy for them to read. I just hope to fuck Moyes was taking notice!
Phil Roberts
3   Posted 18/12/2011 at 00:27:17

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Now wonder we never create anything, no one in midfield. Saha, Straq and Gueye all on the field at the same time. Swopped Saha for Drenthe and back to 4 in midfield and then we score.
Anto Byrne
4   Posted 18/12/2011 at 00:33:16

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In fairness to Magaye he was not a headless chicken running up blind alleys and he played a wonderful thru ball that split the defense for Baines or was it Osman. Acres of space and loads of time to pick out a man in a blue shirt but fuck me we had no-one presenting and it petered out to nothing.

Overall, the game was pretty dull; for an hour Norwich really coped with everything quite well and Ruddy looked a very capable keeper. We let him go on a free while we kept Howard who really should not have been beaten by Holt... 'nuff said.

Coleman back for the Swans and Rodwell for Neville? Had Vellios, our top scorer for the season, not been dropped from the bench, would that have meant the Strac coming on for that last 4 minutes instead of the last 30? Whats the chance we start with the 11 that finished the game for the Swans game? Moyes in charge.... no chance.

I had to laugh at the signals from free kicks and corners. Two raised arms = far post... or was it the near post? I think they forget, and then Moyes screams and shouts from the line how he wants a free kick taken, so, instead of a quick short free kick to keep possession, the game is held up while the numbers go forward and the ball is hoofed in and out for a goal kick.

How bloody pathetic that he cant just take a seat in the stands and trust his players to play the game. Howard Kendall was there today and from his expression on his face he must be as frustrated as the rest of us.
Richard Dodd
5   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:09:23

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Whilst I totally agree that Denis and Royston made considerable impact when they came on, I do suspect that both are just that ? impact players ? and we should not get carried away because they were able `to light a spark` in what was a very drab game.

At the risk of sounding unusually negative, I also suspect that neither player has a long-term future here and that they will both be sacrificed to make way for other, more established loanees in the forthcoming window... Bugger me, am I becoming a realist?
Stephen Kenny
6   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:09:37

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I have to disagree with a few comments. I thought Gueye along with Fellaini was our best player in the first half. He didn't play as an orthodox winger but he did bring a lot of variation to our play. He faded after the break but he can only get match fit playing matches.

I thought we were pretty incisive today. Denis looks poor on the floor but is actually a very good target man. He wins more than his fair share and can lay a header into the runners path as he done a number of times yesterday and against W.Brom in the cup. He also gets himself into some very good positions in the box when crosses come in. I think he would get a few with our style of play. Having someone up top who can challenge for long balls would suit us at the minute so I hope he stays and we see a bit more of him.

Drenthe looked like he's got a point to prove. I haven't seen a better display from a winger at Goodison since Ronaldo, albeit for only 20mins. Hopefully we will see a lot more and get him signed in Jan.

Poor defending from Heitinga lets us down and Jagielka was all over the shop at times. His positioning seems very poor at times. We need to find a way to tighten up at the back and stop conceding or these results will keep happening all season. The only combination left to try is Distin/Heitinga, which I wouldn't bet on seeing as we all know Moyes is just waiting for a chance to get his favourites back in.

Today showed we've got the players to play the right way, we are a much better side than were we are in the league and having two or even three up top against inferior sides isn't suicide.

I was happy with the performance today and it was good to Osman influencing the game as he did the second half of last season.

Just makes me wonder how well we could do if we started the season playing this way?
Stephen Kenny
7   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:41:18

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Letting Royston go would be one of Daveys biggest errors. He is lightning and hits the target from everywhere. He goes past people like their not there.

I hope we sign him up!!!
Darren Smith
8   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:46:17

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What has happened to Chang?
Martin Handley
9   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:57:04

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My team for Weds v Swansea would be,
Might as well let our impact players have an impact from the start eh!
Wayne Smyth
10   Posted 18/12/2011 at 11:26:19

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Richard, most people on here don't take you seriously, and if you honestly think that:

1) Drenthe is an impact player only.


2) We'll get someone more established in the transfer window.

I think you seriously need your head seeing to.

Drenthe is easily as good as Pienaar, but he also has masses of pace and a directness that Pienaar never had. With Moyes showing so little confidence in his team, and in particular players like Drenthe, I can't believe that Drenthe would want to stay, never mind actually doing so.

Maybe Moyes can get us a new right back in January though, then he can play hibbert on the right wing when seamus is unavailable.
Colin Taylor
11   Posted 18/12/2011 at 11:30:30

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I thought Gueye had a good 1st half but faded the 2nd half. Norwich were poor and that's what is frustrating. Moyes is too predictable with his team selections sticking with Saha and Cahill when both are clearly off-form.

I bet he starts with them two again on Wednesday and then we will all be sat here again on Thursday wondering why we drew 1-1 again. Moyes would win a lot of fans back by just thinking 'fuck it' and going for it by being more positive instead of this negative shite we are being served up.
Richard Dodd
12   Posted 18/12/2011 at 11:52:12

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You may well be right, Wayne, but I`m far from sure that Royston has the all-round discipline to his game that Davey demands.

And there is a limit to the number of loans, I believe, the barrier of which we are pushing at the moment.
Gavin Ramejkis
13   Posted 18/12/2011 at 12:01:34

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Doddy, you are so wrong on Drenthe being an impact player, in comparison to Pienaar he is considerably more talented and more likely to actually score.

Regards your mention of getting shut of loanees to make space for more loanees, didn't you post in this very parish just a short while ago that your "insider" had told you we were signing up a striker ? more twaddle?
Kunal Desai
14   Posted 18/12/2011 at 13:57:00

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Ken - Did say in your last report against Arsenal that we won't get 6 point from both Norwich and Swansea more like 2 or 3. Sadly I don't think we'll beat Swansea either. I think Moyes will be "delighted" with another draw.
Dick Fearon
15   Posted 18/12/2011 at 13:40:41

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Good report, Ken, though I thought Magaye did OK. Drenthe was a breath of fresh air. Someone should point out to Moyes that is not against the laws of the game to make your first sub before the 61st minute.

I reckon the old fellow seated behind Moyes is paid to repeat murmering 'You are not a god, you are not a god'. I haven't the foggiest whay Round is supposed to do... let alone the rest of the mob.
Phil Walling
16   Posted 18/12/2011 at 13:15:54

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I`m desperately hoping that Drenthe IS more than an impact player although, as I wrote the other day, we are so bereft of players to admire, anyone can become a hero in 20 minutes these days!

Strac will need to do more than `hold up` play although he does `put himself about` a bit and compared to Anichebe, he`s a bloody genius at that!

But, pray tell me, why, in a season in which goals are harder to find than Davey`s smiles, have we reached December and have yet to see these two have an extended chance to display their talents? Do they sit on that bench for free or something?
Ian Tunstead
17   Posted 18/12/2011 at 14:28:31

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What about the tactics vs quality players debate? Lambert seems to be the main man being put forward to replace Moyes because of his great tactics but I thought we dominated the game and the stats back that up.

I don't believe in tactics so much though, I thought if anything proved it it was Drenthe's performance. He showed the difference a quality player could make.

We didn't have a shot on target against Arsenal or Stoke but play Drenthe and he had about 5 shots in 5 minutes creating all the chances himself and creating the goal.

If Moyes had Money on a similar level to the top 7, players like Drenthe would be signed up and Pienaar and Arteta would probably still be here. Imagine what a side we would have.
Ian Kearney
18   Posted 18/12/2011 at 14:35:49

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I can't believe the decision to play Neville CM ahead of Rodwell, Drenthe or Barkley hasn't got more coverage.

It was an appalling choice, and only one man out of the 31,000 in goodison would have made it.
Martin Faulkner
19   Posted 18/12/2011 at 14:55:24

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Ian, I beleive Rodwell "Felt his hamstring" in the pre match warm up, ruling him out of ever being on the pitch. I believe he's also a doubt for the Swansea game midweek.

Drenthe is coming back from an injury and although not played from the start I thought bringing him on at half time for the currently inept Cahill would have been better.

Still baffled by Barkley not being able to make the squad.
Rob Teo
20   Posted 18/12/2011 at 14:44:40

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Ian,#15, First of all, it's strange you don't think that tactics play a part, yet believe that Drenthe, by virtue of his being a "quality player", made the difference.

How about this for a thought: Moyes, when selecting his line-up and what formation to adopt, considers including Drenthe from the start instead of leaving him on the bench for the first 70 mins? Think that's a "tactic" worth considering? Or is there another reason/excuse you can think of that absolves Davey of any responsibility for his shite tactics? (And if you say it was Davey's decision to bring on Drenthe anyway, you're simply obfuscating the point.)

Second, Norwich were playing away, and while we had chances to win it at the end, Norwich also had a chance to go 2-0 up at one stage. Sure, we dominated in the overall "stats", but in relation to the most important stat of them all - i.e. the final score- it remains that Everton FC dropped two points at home against the Norwich, while Norwich gained a point away from home.

Third, true, we didn't have a shot against Arsenal and Stoke, but we also didn't have Strac on the field against them. Coincidentally, within seconds of Strac coming on, Saha was on the end of a flick-on and managed to let loose - you guess it! - a shot. So, it's not just about Drenthe; it was also about Strac who presented himself as a target-man-type forward for the Norwich defenders to defend against.

Whether this resulted in the Norwich players starting to feel more harried or more Norwich players pulling back from midfield to help out, resulting in more space for Drenthe to work his magic, I'll leave it to the analysts to work out. But maybe, just maybe, the fact that there were now two out-and-out forwards in Saha and Strac to lead the attack contributed to our ability to rain more shots on goal. Such an arrangement is usually referred to as a "tactic".

Finally, I agree that if Moyes had money on a similar level to a top 7 team, it would be great to "imagine" the "side we would have". But I also have another suggestion: If Moyes adopted a more adventurous line-up each week, if Moyes dropped out-of-form players and/or played each player to his strength, if Moyes trusted in his players to not have to constantly micro-manage every throw-in and free kick from the sidelines, if Moyes didn't always feel the need to field 7 defenders on the pitch, if Moyes made his substitutions according to the game and not to the clock, if Moyes approached each game without downplaying his team's chances in the press beforehand but with optimism and balls, if Moyes didn't insist on having all players back to defend every corner, IMAGINE what a side we would have!

Oh, and if tactics aren't important, let's just sack Moyes. Since the board doesn't have any money to spend on new players anyway, whoever's in charge will only need to pick the 11 most expensive players currently in our team and their inherent quality will "show the difference" on the field. I'll ask my gran if she's free.
Ian Tunstead
21   Posted 18/12/2011 at 16:12:55

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First of all Rob, it was a risk playing Drenthe at all because he is returning from injury and luckily came through unscathed.

If he had a re-occurance of his injury and we were forced to play with 10 men and potentially losing Drenthe for a number of games what would you be complaing about then? Would you be moaning because Moyes was playing injured players or would you except it was a risk worth taking?

As for Strac, he had a good day at the office ? that doesn't mean he would have the same impact in every other game. Moyes sees him in training and he obviously doesn't show the same contribution.

"Oh, and if tactics aren't important, let's just sack Moyes."

It isn't about his tactical awareness, it's about his ability to work on a shoestring to find quality players for next to nothing and get the best out of them.
Andy Peers
22   Posted 18/12/2011 at 17:56:57

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Osman had a decent game yesterday, for the first time this season, but should never be picked ahead of Drenthe, Barkley, Gueye or Rodwell when they are fit. The game was crying out for a 4-4-2 formation with Straq and Saha up top and Cahill should just be holding Round's clipboard. I can not stand having Neville in midfield and he should only ever play right back. Moyes is just getting it wrong way too often this season.

This run of fixtures should be are march to safety with Norwich, Swansea, Bolton, Sunderland and West Brom. There is no way we should not be taking 15 points from these fixtures with the potential the current squad has. Sadly Moyes will be content with 5 points and just state we are doing well under our current financial situation. It just makes me angry at the man and any one that agrees with that philosophy.

Ian, Moyes has players right now that he got for next to nothing and he is not getting the best out of them or anyone for that matter. I am also sick of the "Moyes sees them in training" argument for his team selection, you ever hear "can't see the forest for the trees" quote?
Ian Tunstead
23   Posted 18/12/2011 at 18:54:00

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Andy, you must have played for a football team and when you all play each other in training you can see who the best players are. We only trained twice a week and it was clear who the stand out players were and those same players would be the best players on the field on match day.

I'm sorry if you are sick of it but it cant be ignored, Moyes see's them everyday in training and it is always going to be a massive decider as to who plays at the weekend. If Neville is bossing Barkley in training and his team is beating Barkleys team then it is likley we have a better chance of getting 3 points playing Neville and so Neville deserves to play.
We saw what happend with Barkley when he came on aginst Man Utd, thats probably what he's doing in training.

I think Moyes is getting the best out of his players, have you ever thought of the reason why his players might cost next to nothing. Do you think it is perhaps because these players are not rated very highly or might not actually be very good?
Phil Bellis
24   Posted 18/12/2011 at 19:11:46

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Cost? Value?
They do not get paid next to nothing, though; neither does Moyes
If what he see in training matches determines his selection, could if not be possible that his judgement may be ever so slightly, occasionally flawed
Unthinkable I know , but as Holmes said...
Paul Ferry
25   Posted 18/12/2011 at 19:03:28

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This Turnstead fella spouts some drivel doesn?t he; this is the same brain who informs us that he pulls the words of all the Moyes bashers around him on these boards to pieces. So, let?s see his latest shredding of an argument that is not in line with his myopic miniscule footie nous. Here it is:

?It isn't about his tactical awareness, it's about his ability to work on a shoestring to find quality players for next to nothing and get the best out of them?.

He?s been on a high horse rant for a couple of days now, pulling posts to pieces by distinguishing between players and tactics to explain the dross that Moyes has served on the pitch in recent weeks. You see, it has little or nothing to do with the boss; it?s all down to players on the pitch and their performances on the day. Nothing at all to do with the ginger dud who

(1) picks the team
(2) decides where to play the players
(3) decides on his 4-5-1 formation and accompanying tactics
(4) sits down with the team before the match to tell them how to play
(5) picks players ? Cahill/Neville/Jags? ? who he will not drop even though we all know they need to make way
(6) sits down from kick-off to watch how the game develops
(7) is supposed to react to how the game develops by making decisions about how we are playing, how the other side are playing, and who to play and where ? (8) regroups at half-time to discuss tactics, set-ups, decisions about individual players and the team more generally
(9) decides when to make subs and who to take off and bring on
(10) must decide as we get deeper in the 2nd half is we need to close the game down and protect what we have or to chase the game as we are lagging behind.

You see it?s absolutely nothing to do with tactics and nothing to do with Moyes and the 90 mins or so he stands on the touch-line drawing pretty patterns and drawings with gormless Round.

Oh, hang on though, Moyes does count, after all, because he?s working full steam ahead on limited sponds to get us game-changers on ?next to nothing? and by God, Turnsteadmoyes says, he can squeeze the best out of them. Nothing to do with tactics, he buys them and plays them and without tactical nous mattering manages to squeeze out whatever good they have in them. Let?s imagine him on the side there, standing in front of the dug-out, beaming (but he never beams) as his bargain basement snatches do their uttermost best on the pitch but with no tactical input from the boss who was once a very good boss.

Wow, you ought to start moaning about this Turnstead: all that money in his pay-packet each week to stand on the touch-line doing nothing, coz, folks, ?It isn't about his tactical awareness?. Let?s deflect attention away from Moyes on the pitch and start counting all those marvelous next-to-nothing buys. First thing, there aint that many of them: next-to-nothing means next-to-nothing, let?s say 50K in my book, all though that?s hardly next-to-nothing, but klet?s give Turny some slack here. Oh, jog my memory, how many of those next-to-nothing buys have we had in say the last four years who, and here?s the key, are having a positive impact on the team today.

Turnstead likes the past and the Moyes he slobbers on from finishing 4th. But the thing is that he aint that good on the present. His Moyes hardly exists any longer. His Moyes used to smile now and then, showed some spirit and inspiration (and I backed him for that; turning in the other direction has not been easy, and perhaps it is even now not too late to hope for a sea-change, though I doubt it), and did not talk down our chances of winning games before a ball is even kicked with his dour and drab pessimism droning on about how we can no longer compete because we aint got the sponds.

This is vintage Turnmoyesstead, too: we?re doing the best we can, honest Guv, struggling to scrape by, counting each last penny. It?s all about the molehill we have in the bank, nothing to do with tactics and nothing to do with selections and nothing to do with formations and line-ups and nothing to do with reacting through tactics and subs as a game develops. It isn?t about tactical awareness or lack thereof.

Start smiling: we?re sandwiched between the baggies and QPR in 14th,be grateful you uncharitable Moyes bashers. We?re doing the best we can. Money, money, money, not the manager. No-one else could do better, remember. Oh, and no-one else could get anything better out of the next-to-nothing buys (in Turnmoyesstead?s world it is blind bleedingly obvious that Moyes is getting the best out of his players).

I?m shaking and quaking as I draw to an end, miserably mulling over how Turnmoyesstead and his devastatingly sharp footie/Everton nous is about to tear me and anyone else who shares anything I believe about our current drab malaise to pieces.

Unleash the Turnmoyesstead!
Andy Peers
26   Posted 18/12/2011 at 19:22:11

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Ian, I agree with you on the standout players in training especially at an amateur level. I do not agree with Neville over Barkley against Norwich maybe against Man. Utd, for experience, but not Norwich. That is were Moyes gets it wrong and that is my point. Osman even did well against Norwich but never looks good against Utd. The team against Norwich should have been our best attacking formation and appropriate players to fill that formation. We all know Moyes micro-manages and he needs to step back and see the trees like a lot of us fans always see.
Ian Tunstead
27   Posted 18/12/2011 at 20:32:28

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Maybe you are right Andy, two of the things i hate to see is Osmen on the wing and 2 defensive/holding central midfielders on. Both happened on Saturday. It irritates me as much as everyone else, But i still trust in Moyes to get more right than he gets wrong especially compared to most of his peers which he has proven by consistantly finishing best of the rest.

I think if he had the money and had a bench full of proven experienced quality players like the top 7 teams it would be much easier for Moyes to drop Neville and Osmen and we would be competing for the top 4 again. If another manager came in you will probably not agree with every decision he makes either but at least Moyes has a proven track record.
Ian Kearney
28   Posted 18/12/2011 at 22:07:42

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Thanks for the info on Rodwell, Martin, still, I'd rather have Brett Angel play CM than Neville though, he is an awful midfielder. The idea of Neville bossing Barkley in training is laughable, Neville isnt fit to lace his boots, hes a yes man and a Moyes favourite so gets picked regardless, just like the other Moyes favourites. If Cahill and Neville have been flying in training then continue to be utter gash on a match day, surely the lesson for Moyes is dont pick the matchday squad based soley on who collected the cones most efficiently at the end. Not that I believe they are setting the world alight in training for a second.
Jamie Sweet
29   Posted 18/12/2011 at 23:00:53

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Ian "I still trust in Moyes to get more right than he gets wrong".

Look at the league table. This clearly shows that he has got it wrong more than he has got it right THIS season. Stop living in the past. Yes Moyes has done a decent job in previous seasons, but he is clearly a spent force.

And he is as stubborn as you are. Just as you still think he's the best man for the job despite witnessing the absolute shite that he serves up each week - he still thinks the likes of Saha, Cahill and Neville are the best men for their jobs, despite the fact that their performances have also been utter shite. Can't even fathom that someone new might be able to come in and freshen things up a bit.

So stubborn. So short-sighted. So frickin infuriating!
Ian Tunstead
30   Posted 19/12/2011 at 00:25:45

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Jamie, I am not living in the past, I am looking to the future, I say judge him after 38 games which is what I always say and every season we finish strongly. There is no point looking at the league now. SAF says don't look at the league until after Easter.

As for "witnessing absolute shite" do you not watch other teams outside the top 7? It is the same for everyone else. We were shite in the last couple of games but the teams we played were even worse.
Jamie Sweet
31   Posted 19/12/2011 at 00:43:15

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Ian - only Wigan and QPR of these teams outside the top 7 have scored fewer goals than us this season (only one goal less each). But then I guess to be a Moyes fan , you have to share his philisophy that trying to score goals is not the most important part of football.

Just an interesting stat for you here. Last season, we started only two league games with two strikers on the field (Saha and Beckford). We won both games, beating Spurs 2-1 at home, and Newcastle 2-1 away. I guess it was the fact we conceded in each game that made Moyes think this wasn't a very good idea and go back to one up front. 12 months on, we're playing shite, we're not scoring goals, and yet it's still one up front. I used to be a big Moyes fan... but I simply can't accept his mis-management of our team.

Oh, and no, Cahill wasn't available for either of those games mentioned, so yes, this crazy idea of two up front was somewhat forced upon our otherwise entirely one-dimensional manager.
Ian Tunstead
32   Posted 19/12/2011 at 00:42:52

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Ahh here you are Paul, I was wondering what had happened to you after I wiped the floor with you on the Match Report (Osman rescues poor score draw), you never got back to me?

Wow, My word, your rabbling is sad to see, I really seem to have got to you. I never intended to break you, only teach you a lesson after you brought me into something that I had nothing to do with. I don?t want to have to embarrass you again, It?s as painful to me as it is to you, I don?t like humiliating fellow Evertonians.

It seems to be getting quite personal to you, this is a place for Evertonians to give their opinions and discuss things about Everton it is not about Paul Ferry and ?Ian Turnstead? or is that ?Turnmoyesstead? Are you still drunk from last night or are you 12 years old? You are becoming very obsessed making everything about me even before I make a comment. Please for your own sake go to bed and sleep it off.
Ian Tunstead
33   Posted 19/12/2011 at 00:59:39

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Jamie, you are right I don?t really care who has scored the most, I care about where we finish in the league.

You seem to be suggesting that Moyes knows we can win games if we start 2 up front but is purposely playing one upfront in case we concede a goal. Surely if that was true that would be counterproductive? It just doesn?t make any sense and so I cant go a long with it.

You seem to be very against playing 5 in the middle even though many teams chose to play that formation. It hasn?t done Barcelona any harm, and it hasn?t done us any harm down the years when we have consistently finished best of the rest and even 4th.

I agree Cahill is out of form and should be dropped/rested but I still don?t go along with this 2 up front is better or more positive than 4-5-1. An on form Cahill is far more prolific and effective than unproven players like Strac, Vellios and even Beckford. He scored his goals but his all round performance was that of a league one player.
Jamie Sweet
34   Posted 19/12/2011 at 01:26:01

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Well at least you agree Cahill should be dropped Ian. It shows that you're not quite as blind to the bleedin obvious as our manager is!

4-5-1 (or 4-4-1-1) with an in form Cahill was an effective system, especially when Saha was also on the top of his game. However, it has been clear for some time that neither Saha, and in particular Tim have been quite right yet still Moyes sticks with that pairing.

I'm not saying that an alternative of two up front would definitely work, but surely it is clear that something has to change when you're getting such a poor return from the current system.

I think the last 20 minutes against Norwich showed that we can do better by changing things around a bit. I thought the same 12 months ago when we put in a great performance when beating Spurs and playing two up front. Shame Moyes is too stubborn or scared of change to do something different from the start of a game, particularly against weaker opposition like Norwich.

If it's the same old Cahill Saha combo at the start of the Swansea game, I'm sure even you Ian will be questioning the man you support so fanatically.
Bob Parrington
35   Posted 19/12/2011 at 02:20:30

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Paul #25, you certainly stuck it to Ian Tunstead and I'm sure you feel much better for getting the frustration, with the crap that's going on, down in writing. I could sense the frustration in every sentence.

If it wasn't for this fact of you needing to get rid of this frustration (like the rest of us, I'm sure) you could have succinctly stated "The team management and coaching group is an IMAGINATION FREE ZONE!"

I was watching the game on Foxtel and got in to trouble for waking up our 8 week old grand daughter, I was shouting so loud in frustration at the bleedin' TV.

Stay cool! COYB
Phil Bellis
36   Posted 19/12/2011 at 12:00:33

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"I wish I could be half as sure of anything as Ian Tunstead is of everything"
Gerald Barzan

Stephen Kenny
37   Posted 19/12/2011 at 12:39:15

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Your only humiliating yourself mate. Have a camomile tea.
Peter Barry
38   Posted 19/12/2011 at 12:58:57

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Stephen Kenny I second your sentiments regarding Tunstead. The guy has his head so far up Dour Davey's arse he tastes what he has for breakfast, which I am sure is porridge oats with salt on for our Dour Jock Davey boy. Tunstead's arguments in defense of the indefensible are just pathetic.
Tony J Williams
39   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:07:09

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Actually Peter, he argues both sides.

He posts what he thinks Moyes does well but unlike some other posters, he sees the other side and posts what he thinks Moyes does poorly.

Stephen, the humiliating thing is when posters try and single out Ian when he is not even involved in a thread. The same way posters have a go at Doddy and Dave Wilson.

It's the mob mentality you see. They feel safe "having a go" at these few posters because all their internet mates will back them up.

"Tunstead's arguments in defense of the indefensible are just pathetic" - So you think the board have fully supported Moyes then? Do you feel that ther players are blameless too? That is a "pathetic" viewpoint. The blame lies with all three, not just Moyes and that is what Ian argues.
Ian Tunstead
40   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:06:26

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I'm the one humiliating myself? I'm not the one obsessed with another toffeeweb contributer, i'm not the one who calls people childish names like "Turnmoyesstead". The thing is i love it when people hurl the insults because that is when you know the argument is lost because you cant have a grown up discussion.

You are entitled to your opinion Stephen thats what its all about, but maybe i should i start giving you the Paul Ferry treatment if i dont like your opinion and see if you change your mind.

When you defend yourself you will be the one humiliating yourself? After every game even when you havnt made a comment i will try to take the piss out of you, i will bring your name into the after match report and quote the kind of crap i think you would come out with, a bit like school children might do.
Maybe you are right, maybe toffeeweb will be all the better for it.
Phil Bellis
41   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:24:36

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Your name alzo vill go on der list....
Stephen Kenny
42   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:18:35

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No he doesn't. He tries, and usually fails, to absolve Moyes of blame for any and every happening at the club.

His faith in Moyes is akin to a born again christian.

Now he's claiming to "wipe the floor" with other posters??? Do me a favour, can't you spot a wind up merchant?

I don't think anybody has a go at Dave, they may have a go at his opinions, the same as Dave will have a go at thiers. If we never none of us would post. I think Doddy has become a bit of a caricature of himself and gladly sends himself up knowing it will wind people up.

I've had plenty of debate with Ian, nothing to do with mob mentality, just a difference of opinion, the exact same as I've had with plenty on here who are far more skilled 'debaters' than me.

Has Moyes been fully supported? No, thats why theres plenty of protest to remove the board.

Are the players blameless? No, But it's Moyes job to pick them. He has got options as we seen with our subs Saturday. Moyes is not blameless here and your player apologist line won't wash. Moyes is the biggest player apologist going. If he weren't you'd get dropped when you haven't scored for a year.

You know as well as I do that theres a finite number of discussions we can have. We've had the Bill Kenwright one at least 1000 times since I joined TW. what does it matter where I post my opinion? It's still up there to be shot.
Tony J Williams
43   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:36:48

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"Moyes is not blameless here and your player apologist line won't wash."

That's the point, no-one is saying Moyes is blameless. Posters are putting arguments forward to show why he is not solely to blame for the predicament we see our club in.

There are lots of player apologists on here and it does wash.

Take Saturday, why did it take for us to be a goal down before Saha starts shooting?

Why can't a World Cup Finalist sort his feet out enough to block a shot from an average forward?

Why can't Ossie/Gueye/Baines not get a ball passed the first man from a corner?
Stephen Kenny
44   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:42:39

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Arteta was hitting the first man on corners for two years, why weren't he taken off them? Who's job is that? Should I blame Arteta for being poor at corners or Moyes for allowing him to take them?

Perhaps the World Cup Finalist is just getting used to playing at the back again? After all he hasn't had much time there while two non World Cup Finalists were conceding goals and chances left right and centre. Do I blame Johnny or Moyes?

Has Saha had a chance to do much shooting lately? Perhaps he's out of practice or the novelty went to his head? Perhaps the way the team played at that point meant he hadn't had the opportunity to shoot, he done plenty once we made a few subs.

Let's just hope we kick on so we don't have to bother with this debate every single week.

Ian Tunstead
45   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:21:50

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Sorry about this Jamie, I am being distracted from the grown up football discussion we are having. You make good points. As I have stated, I don?t agree with everything Moyes does, (see post 27) I am not blind to the obvious as you agree, but I am also not blind to the fact that the positives far outweigh the negatives. We are never going to agree with every managers decisions, but other managers must be getting more wrong than Moyes because he continues to finish above most of his competitors.

I think it is only a matter of time before Cahill is dropped. If you think back he was dropped for the Blackburn game for Barkley, as it happened Barkley was just as bad and Blackburn gave us a beating, but Cahill came on and we won the game.

You will point out that Barkley is a midfielder and not a striker but when we have started strikers like Vellios he has done nothing. I think some players for now are better off as impact substitutions.
I do agree though, I would like to see 2 up front given a go more often but I think 4-5-1 is still the proven template for success over the course of a season for Everton and 2 upfront is the best option in the 2nd half if we are chasing the game.
Paul Ferry
46   Posted 19/12/2011 at 14:57:52

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You are completely wrong Tony: Turnstead does not share the blame around as you suggest. He comes out with ridiculously slanted remarks to clean Moyes of any dirt. So bad are his defences, in fact, that he hasn't even responded to any of the points I made from the other corner. He cannot; instead he descend into childish avoidance and schoolground talk.

So, Turnstead, as you can't deal with all of the points at one go, let's do it one one by one, okay, that will make it easier for you. Let's start with this one:

Can you please tell me how many of these next-to-nothing bargain basement buys you harp on about have been made in say the last four years?

And can you tell me, and this is important, whether any one of them has a significant impact on Everton now, not in your Moyes-tinted past, but now. Next to nothing!

Yet another attempt to defend poor old Moyes, who, bless, has had to struggle with no money for funds for so long now ? except for his own bulging pockets, needless to say.

Address the issues and questions and points Turnstead, instead of your last two posts on this that have been sheer 100% avoidance, hiding behind your smugness.
Trevor Lynes
47   Posted 20/12/2011 at 13:08:52

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Can the editor please get the above idiots off the articles as they are making this column into a stupid personal argument which is not what Toffeeweb is about.

If they have nothing constructive to submit then they stop writing in !!

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