The Everton scout who convinced Moyes to sign Stones

09/09/2015  29 Comments  [Jump to last]
Tony Henry tells the Echo how close Everton came to missing out on John Stones and how it was David Moyes's faith in his scout that tipped him towards signing the then 18-year-old on transfer deadline day in January 2013.

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo


Reader Comments (29)

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Anthony Dwyer
1 Posted 09/09/2015 at 01:49:20
Interesting read, well spotted, Tony.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 09/09/2015 at 13:01:57
The article didn't mention whether Moyes had been to look at Stones himself, yet it states that Davie could be put off if one scout didn't like him. The best way to see if a player is any good, is to have a look yourself.

No wonder he was called Dithering Dave.

Brian Harrison
3 Posted 09/09/2015 at 13:28:17
Dave

I think that Clough only signed players that Taylor had recommended, so if a manager trusts a scout then why not take a gamble. Surely that is what good management is about: bring in people you trust and then back them.

Whether Davie dithered or not, he knew how to buy some gems, Stones included with a long list of good buys. Yes, people will always mention Kroldrup and one or two others but he brought more money in than he ever wasted.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:13:51
Brian, Clough went with Taylor to watch most of the players his clubs bought, whether it was Hartlepool, Derby or Forest. I asked why Moyes didn't have a look at Stones himself.

Yes, Davie bought a lot of good players, he also bought quite a few that were not up to scratch and Everton lost money on them. He also bought Fellaini twice which tells me a lot about his choice of players.

John Raftery
5 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:43:54
Yes, Dave, I think it does. You can add the names of Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Coleman, Jagielka, Baines, Yakubu, Mirallas, Lescott and a few others to your list.
Alex Mullan
6 Posted 09/09/2015 at 23:06:38
I won't have it said that Moyes did poorly in the transfer market. He was brilliant in that regard. Credits due where it's due. Look at the state of the current policy and you'll see some difference.

I still have no idea who felt spending anything on Kone was a good idea. £9.5m on a random Argy that no one has heard of. Lukaku - about £15m too much. Not to mention the fact we have 17 right wingers.

Don't forget all the ex Wigan gems that Martinez uncovered. Our immense substitute goalkeeper instills fear... in his own back line. (Thankfully which Alcaraz is no longer allowed to be part of.)

Alex Mullan
7 Posted 09/09/2015 at 23:09:07
@Dave - oh and I forgot, Fellaini was a pretty great player for Everton on his day, which was frequent enough, so I wouldn't go using him as an example of a shite signing, especially considering we made a profit at the end of it all.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:19:44
Alex, I was talking about Moyes, never mentioned Martinez, he has been here 2 years not 11. I am talking about players' ability not how much they cost.

I have already said Moyes made some good signings; I also said he made some iffy ones, like Richard Wright, Beattie, Davies, Bilyaletdinov, the Portugese left back, and a host of on-loan players.

if you think Fellaini was a good player that's down to opinion; the first eighteen months he was here he looked like a novice.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:25:17
I was about to say Fellaini wasn't bad as an auxillary centre forward; as a midfielder he wasn't that good IMO, too many faults, couldn't tackle, lack of pace, didn't track back, poor discipline.

Moyes did alright... he did an awful lot better for HIMSELF.

Ray Roche
10 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:43:36
Dave, for all Fellaini's many faults: "couldn't tackle, lack of pace, didn't track back, poor discipline, bad haircut"... we almost doubled our money on him when he left. Not bad business in my book. However history views Moyes, his transfer record was exceptional with far more outstanding players brought into the club than bad ones.

Show me one successful person in football who hasn't done badly for himself.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 10/09/2015 at 10:29:10
Ray (10) fair comment, leaving the money aspect aside, did you think Fellaini was a good PLAYER?.
Peter Gorman
12 Posted 10/09/2015 at 10:59:38
The Portuguese left-back? Dave are you referring to Nuno Valente? If so, not sure what your point is unless of course you thought Pistone or Naysmith were the better options. A good signing at the time mate. You are clutching at straws a bit. The records show Moyes did extremely well in the market.
Teddy Bertin
13 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:46:33
Alex (#6),

I accept Kone has been a disaster so far, but he still may contribute something positive. However how can Lukaku be £15m too much? He cost Chelsea £18m as an 18-year-old. A few seasons later, he has proven at a very young age that he could score 15+ goals a season in the world's most difficult league. Not many players have done that in recent times.

You think that Everton should have convinced Chelsea to take a £5m loss on a 21-year-old who had just scored 17 EPL goals when they had a £50m striker in his late 20s who had just scored 5 goals in the same season. Also how much did Andy Carroll go for around the same age? How much did Man Utd just spend on a youngster unproven in the EPL?

I'm sorry but we can't criticise the board or Martinez for managing to bring Lukaku here at under £30m in today's market. It's like the Man Utd fans who claimed we should have been happy with £18m for the Wig. Why would we only take a £3m profit on a player that we developed into a consistent ELP performer and was under contract.

James Martin
14 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:06:59
Moyes gets knocked for a lot but his transfer record? Really? There's far easier targets to shoot for. Currently he bought the entire first choice Everton back four and players that at times make up 3/4 of England's back line.

We've still not replaced Arteta and Pienaar players he bought in for £2 mill each never mind Cahill. That was a top 6 midfield for half of what we paid for McCarthy.

Ideally you want to combine Martinez's ability to land a big name (Lukaku, Deulofeu etc.) with Moyes' ability to pick up diamonds for good prices. When Martinez shops in the bargain bin he tends to pull out rubbish (McGeady, Atsu, Traore, Alcaraz) when Moyes went high end he tended to get burnt (Bily and Kroldrup - although Fellaini Yakubu and Baines were all good for us in different ways) .

Brian Harrison
15 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:59:23
Dave

Whatever faults Moyes had spotting a player certainly wasnt one of them. I could give you a list of some of Ferguson's horror buys, so even he made some mistakes.

I would have liked to see what he would have done with the budget that Martinez has had, and he hasnt had to sell to balance the books like Moyes had too.

I don't rate Martinez at all, either in buying players or his style of play (whatever that is). Moyes was sacked by Man Utd and I said at the time whoever was the first to replace Ferguson could only fail. Just like the procession of managers who tried and failed to follow Busby.

What I will say in Moyes's defence he bought Shaw and Matta both regulars under LVG and last season he used Fellaini to great effect. Lets also not forget that LVG has spent £250 million and still don't look like winning the Premier League.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:29:57
I've had many a fight with Dave, over David Moyes. He believed he was a plodder, I couldn't disagree, but I thought he did a good job for Everton while he was here.

He made some very good, and some very poor signings, but my biggest disappointment in Moyes. Came with how he used the Lescott money.

We had a very good team at the time, and I expected a lot more than he delivered with the money at his disposal from Lescotts sale.

His net spend at Everton. Showed that he got more right than wrong, but I don't think there would be another manager in world football who would have paid £27 million for Fellaini, is what Dave might be trying to say.

The fact that he took the scouts word for it. Makes John Stones another of David Moyes's, fantastic signings, so wether he watched him or not is irrellavent. It's interesting to note that nobody else really fancied Stones though, and shows how much opinion changes from One person to the next, regarding football.

Had a couple of texts slagging Rooney, saying he's not England's finest ever player, but when I asked for better players that these people had actually seen play, Gazza and Beckham was the best they could come up with. That's footy innit!?

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:56:45
Peter (12),

You are right, Pistone wasn't very good, I don't know if Moyes signed him or not, but he gave him a new contract so he must have thought he was okay.

You think Valente was. A good player, I beg to differ, Naysmith was at least as good as him.

So if you fans think Moyes was good for Everton were you all happy with him as a manager?

Sam Hoare
18 Posted 10/09/2015 at 14:35:24
I was Dave. Of course he had his flaws like all managers/people but I thought he was doing a pretty good job with the resources we had and things had just gone a bit stagnant because we had reached the glass ceiling that some people thought another manager would be able to break. They haven't been right so far....
James Martin
19 Posted 10/09/2015 at 14:40:45
Dave, Pistone was a talented player but was just injured a lot. In 04-05 he was really good for a period he had injury free. Vale te was a good footballer with a cultured left foot. He'd slot into the current side no problem. Sadly the way we played at times and the physical nature of the league meant he sometimes got a chasing. Naysmith was all effort but had less talent than the other two.

Far too much of Moyes's tenure is judged retrospectively as though he had the team he did in 2013 for the entirety of his tenure. That was not the case. The early squads he had were unbelievably short on quality. The fact Moyes was qualifying for Europe with forward lines of McFadden and Marcus Bent puts into context what an achievement that was given the rest of the Premier League.

You also have to factor in that at the start of his reign he was managing against a United under Ferguson, Chelsea recently empowered with Abramovich and Mourinho, Liverpool with Rafa and their unbelievable US spending power (two lots worth). Even clubs like Newcastle, Spurs, Villa and Leeds were miles ahead of us on the pitch. Away wins at these grounds were rare indeed for us.

Against this backdrop Moyes took a relegation threatened side with an ageing squad and on a negative net spend (with his best players periodically sold) he turned us into a top 6 side, expecting European football, with one of the best academies in the league (now bearing fruit almost every year) with huge saleable assets on the playing squad such as Coleman Stones and Barkley. In place of tired old veterans he brought in players and developed them into top international standard players Baines Jagielka Coleman Lescott Pienaar Cahill etc.

Sure there'll be people who will say 'but he didn't win a trophy or win away at these certain grounds' but if you take a look at his job as a whole in the wider context it's one of the best in prem history. I can't think of another manager who has taken a relegation club and turned it around like he did on such little funds. O'Neill took a decent Villa, got a load of money and still couldn't place them above Moyes's Everton. They then imploded shortly after, as did Newcastle, as did Leeds. In the meantime none of these sides won trophies. You only have to look around now at decent managers being given good money and not achieving anywhere near as much AVB at Chelsea and Spurs, Pardew at Newcastle, Redknapp at QPR, will Hughes finish top 6 with Stoke? Will Monk with Swansea? Is the side that came 17th last season going to come 4th next year? Absolute zero chance.

The league has changed immeasurably and too many people forget what it was like for a long period of Moyes's reign. I understand post 2009 frustrations when we did have a decent team (although top 4 power 2007-10 was incredible as reflected in Europe) but beating Moyes for not taking some of his tin pot Everton sides to Old Trafford and battering Ferguson's champions off their own pitch with free flowing football is just absolutely inanely stupid.

There are many valid criticisms of Moyes's time here. Too much caution when he did have a good team, a poor injury record, squandering of some transfer fees when he did get a bit to spend, poor record in League Cup and FA Cup early rounds to lesser teams (a trait Martinez annoyingly has picked up), but if you're one of these people who refuse to credit Moyes with anything good at Everton, label him a hoof ball dinosaur, make out that other managers would have had us smashing the top 4 every year picking up trophies, battering Man Utd Liverpool and Chelsea regularly at their own places and playing great football all the time for 11 years then you are an absolute fool.

Ben Jones
20 Posted 10/09/2015 at 14:42:26
Dave,

In my book, there's no argument, Moyes was good for Everton. I sure as hell didn't like the dark old days of Walter Smith when we were flirting relegation. Moyes changed all that and now we're expected to at least fight the top half, if not Europe.

Yeah, his last 2 season frustrated the hell out of me, when we were stagnating and needed a successor, time will tell whether Martinez is that man, but that's not the argument.

Your question was whether Moyes was good for Everton? Overall, in 10 or so years he was in charge, not 1, 2 or 3, of course he was!! There's no argument.

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 10/09/2015 at 15:11:04
James and Ben, sensible replies, I don't agree with all of your points, but can understand some of them. Pistone had a decent style about him, was a coward of a player for me, he was given a sheep's heart for a Christmas present by the players at Newcastle.

Martin O'Niell had less money at Leicester City yet won trophies, I didn't expect Moyes to roll over big teams away, but expected him to try and win. He was much too negative in the big games for, especially Derby games at Anfield and the semi final against Liverpool at Wembley where a reserve goalkeeper never had a serious shot to save.

Nevertheless if you liked Moyes fair enough.

James Martin
23 Posted 10/09/2015 at 15:26:59
Agreed Dave, like I said post 2009 was frustrating as we had decent teams then but struggled against poor Liverpool sides. The semi final being a good example (although it's hard to believe that Gueye and Osman were our only options on the flank for that match). Not turning up against terrible Liverpool sides is a trait Martinez has continued. How he has not beaten Brendan the clown yet is beyond me.

Last season's Goodison performance was for right up there with anything Moyes did in a derby. Three defensive midfielders for a night match at home against an awful Liverpool side and we had one shot in the 90th minute. Absolutely shameful considering Martinez can field the likes of Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas and Lennon, attacking talent Moyes could only dream of.

Chris Corn
24 Posted 10/09/2015 at 16:40:54
Is it just me but is it lost on some that Stones was set to sign for Wigan before we got him? So clearly Martinez fancied him as well. Just saying like.
Thomas Surgenor
25 Posted 10/09/2015 at 16:58:56
Many things can be said of David Moyes era at this club. But after hearing about the behind the scenes work in the scouting room etc I believe he done magic at Everton in the transfer windows. I would have him back in a heart beat as a chief scout/defensive coach.

I hate how people let there short term memories cloud what the man achieved for Everton. Perennial relegation fodder into a consistent top 5 side.

He had many flaws but still one of our best ever managers! He left Roberto very solid foundations. Whereas SAF abandoned a sinking ship.

Sometimes I wonder if Moyes regrets not seeing his project through as he had a great core. I'm hopeful of Martinez's young core as well but he could never have had them if it wasn't for DM.

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:04:02
James (23) last year's derby game, both teams were frightened of losing, but as Everton were the home team we should have taken the initiative and attacked more.

Incidentally, I have given Martinez another chance this season, after a great first season in which he gave most Everton supporters hope for the future, he took away that hope just as quickly, so I'm giving him the chance to rectify the very poor and disheartening performances of last season with a more attacking approach this season. I hope he doesn't let us down.

Peter Gorman
27 Posted 10/09/2015 at 18:28:22
Dave, I'll be honest and admit I didn't mind seeing Moyes leave as I couldn't see him taking the team forward. That said, would rather have him than Martinez who is taking the team backwards.

We'll have to agree to disagree about Valente; he was better than what we had and eventually he made way for Baines and Lescott. Didn't break the bank either.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:34:48
Peter, you might be right in preferring Moyes to Martinez, let's see what Martinez does in the next few weeks, I couldn't take to Moyes when he was here and I wouldn't ever want him to come back, but that is my opinion.

Regarding Valente, he was recommended to Everton by Muriniho, again he never impressed me.

Craig Mills
29 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:36:56
Peter@27. Couldn't put your 1st paragraph any better myself. I was never a Moyes basher, nor really am I with Martinez, I just feel the club was in safer hands with Davy at the helm.

The players were far too sloppy last season, with the squad we had, we should have never had the run of games we did around Xmas where I think we picked up 1 win in 12/13 games from memory. I always thought Moyes would have stopped the rot far sooner, he would have demanded it from the players.

Chris Corn
30 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:41:40
Ray @10, you're dead right about Moyes doubling our money on Fellaini, because he paid it!

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