Back to Finch Farm

By Paul Traill 01/01/2019 116comments  |  Jump to last

With all of us having a generally quiet New Year’s Eve, forcing a few ales down us wasn’t much of a chore at 11am on New Year’s Day. On the contrary, it preceded the actual chore of the 12:30pm kick off for Everton vs Leicester City. You hoped Everton would seize the opportunity to arrest a worrying run of results and begin 2019 with a win, but alas it wasn’t to be, and Leicester City ultimately ran out deserving winners.

I think Gaz was saying in the pub that we would benefit from competition for position for Seamus Coleman, and were therefore all a little surprised to see that Jonjo Kenny had instead got the nod at right-back for this game. Having been rested for most of the defeat at Brighton, Gylfi Sigurdsson was back in the starting line up, as too was Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Martin Atkinson (groan) officiated.

I’d checked ahead with the weather and it looked like we had a bit of sun and cloud so I grabbed my sunglasses on the way out of the house just on the off-chance that I’d need them. It was just as well that I did, as in our seat low in the Lower Gwladys Street stand, that sun is right in your face so seeing what was happening in the game, especially in the first half, was rather difficult.

It’s just as well then that there’s precious little to report on. Dominic Calvert-Lewin flashed a header wide; Kurt Zouma speculatively let fly from distance; and, Jonjo Kenny hit a great effort at goal but was a tad unfortunate to see it crash away off the upright. However, there was not a lot else from us, while Leicester City didn’t retaliate with much as Everton held firm at the back from some corner kicks. It’s good that we’ve learnt how to at least attack the first ball from corners as we began the season catastrophically in that department.

With the atmosphere decidedly flat, what struck me was how much you could hear the players talking to each other. Jordan Pickford is particularly vocal out there.

So the first half came and went and the second half wrestled all our current frustrations into one. Michael Keane punished for a mistake and Jamie Vardy scored with the Foxes' only meaningful opportunity up until that point. Fair play to Vardy though, he put it away well to put Leicester City ahead just shy of the hour mark.

Marco Silva didn’t wait around to get Bernard on the pitch but he, like all around him, couldn’t conjure a leveller in what was a lethargic, flat, jaded and ultimately disappointing effort from Everton. Bernard did put one dream of a ball across the 6-yard box but, despite having two strikers on the pitch, nobody seemed to anticipate and Harry Maguire was able to hook clear.

Everton, if playing poorly, were at least trying to force the issue and in doing so Leicester City did have further openings but with the game still at 0-1, substitute Cenk Tosun did have an opportunity late on but his header was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. However, as time frittered away we lost our discipline and gave away some unnecessary free kicks and surrendered possession too easily, all of which played right in to Leicester City’s hands.

We could have played all night and not scored, and Martin Atkinson let play go on as long as he could, but we made no in-roads and trudged off disappointed.

While the performance was by no means good enough, I felt the lads looked fatigued. A lot has been made of ourselves being the team playing the most games in the shortest time, and the players certainly looked tired today. Also, with so many games so quickly, it lessens the preparation time between games and offers limited time to work on correcting mistakes and trying new ideas. If it is the same time between games for everyone then fair enough, but it isn’t. Take the team that plays their games in the longest period of time, which would only be Liverpool of course. Which of these gives you better preparation time between games?

Friday (a)
Wednesday (h)
Saturday (h)
Thursday (a)

Sunday (h)
Wednesday (a)
Saturday (a)
Tuesday (h)

Now Liverpool are light-years ahead of us obviously but I know I’d prefer to have the two days rest either side of the two opening festive games. Also, why the back to back home or away games during this period? Personally I’d do away with the festive football, or at least make it less gruelling. I know Boxing Day games are important to people so that’s fair enough but could we live without the New Year’s Day game or even the Saturday one in between? Or, if it must remain so gruelling can it not be the same for everyone?

I’m relieved the festive games are now over and I hope we can rest as many players as we have to against Lincoln City (without compromising our competition advance, of course). We then, mercifully, have time between games again. Time to analyse, time to practice, time to fix mistakes, time to nail down a winning team.

We were in 6th position and playing well up to and including 96 minutes of the Merseyside derby and have been dire in many games since. Marco isn’t blameless. He has to find a way of getting them playing, but I hope that finally getting some time at Finch Farm with the players can help get us back on track this campaign.

Get behind Marco and the players. Do we really want to sack another manager and piss away yet more money again?

Player Ratings:

Pickford: I haven’t seen the goal again since so couldn’t say if he was at fault or not but he looked relatively helpless. Not much else to judge him on. He really didn’t have much to do. 6

Digne: Not at his best. Might have been an opportunity to give Leighton Baines a game. 5

Zouma: He was fabulous at the back and was one of few who took responsibility on the ball. My man of the match. 7

Keane: He will be remembered for the mistake but otherwise did quite well. While he undoubtedly should have done better with the error, I don’t think it was the kindest of headers into him from Theo. 6

Kenny: Had a good first half and was a bit unlucky not to score, but he struggled in the second. His mis-hit cross into touch was particularly embarrassing. 5

Gueye: He did well in there and accompanied his tackling and intercepting with taking responsibility on the ball. 7

Gomes: Hardly got going. Looks shot. Give him the Lincoln City game off and let’s have him raring to go against The Cherries. 4

Sigurdsson: Also a bit fatigued, I would wager, but his effort was there. He came quite close to equalising with a snap half-volley in the second half but struggled to find his passing and set-piece range once Gomes was removed and he had to drop deeper into midfield. 5

Richarlison: Very poor, I thought, and he is frustrating me as he blows so hot and cold. A mate of mine who is a Watford fan warned me that he’s talented but that he may start well and then fade. Well, unless this is also a bit of fatigue, this seems to be the case here. I’d be getting him as rested as possible for the Bournemouth match now as he is one of our best players and we need him firing. 3

Walcott: He’s the one who gets the flack from the crowd and he does do some things that frustrate, but I would say he’s disciplined and at least, unlike some of his teammates, always shows for the ball. Given his injury record, I’m amazed he’s began all four games this festive period. 5

Calvert-Lewin: Poor but it was always going to be tough for him on his own up there against Maguire and Evans. I’d persevere with him up there. It seems highly unlikely we’ll be getting another striker in before the January deadline so we might as well give him that run of games as he is the most likely of our strikers to come good. 3

Bernard (for Gomes): got involved and will be disappointed that nobody got on the end of his excellent ball into the box. 7

Tosun (for Walcott): tried but couldn’t really get the better of the defenders. 6

Reader Comments (116)

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Ralph Basnett
1 Posted 02/01/2019 at 15:55:09
Agree to your ratings except thought a bit harsh on Kenny. He needs time to gel with the team but thought he was brighter than most.
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:06:28
I’m sorry but as soon as I read about tiredness and fatigue I just feel it’s yet another excuse.

Other clubs play loads of games and it didn’t stop Leicester taking 9 points from 12 available, and bear in mind on December 18th they also had a Carabao Cup Quarter Final to play against Manchester City.

We complain when we have Europa League exploits to contend with and that’s not even been on the agenda this season.

We haven’t played a single Cup match since October 2nd.

The rot set in long long before the festive period, we were diabolically bad at home to Newcastle and were fortunate to scrape a draw at home to Watford.

The Pickford error in the derby has simply blown away any kind of positive feeling and momentum, I had that sinking feeling in the immediate aftermath that would be the case and the players have proven my feelings right.

We are mentally fragile and fail to respond to setbacks and that loss in the derby has had astronomical effects on the fragility of that mentality.

If we go to Anfield and hold out for a 0-0 we then had a month that started in November reading

Brighton 3-1 W
Chelsea 0-0 D
Cardiff 1-0 W
Liverpool 0-0 D

It would have kept a real foundation in place and the spirits high going into two very winnable home games against Newcastle and Watford but in many ways now it would have been better to have had a routine 2-0 or 3-1 loss to Liverpool because the way we lost that has just messed up everyone’s heads.

Can we even respond?

I’m not so sure right now if we have what it takes.

At the moment Silva looks as clueless as the players and stands on the touch line looking like a man deep in thought and quite dishevelled.

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:13:56
I've read through most of the threads on yesterday's game and it appears that plenty saw Keanes error that gave the ball to Vardy but nobody seems to have asked who Walcott was heading the ball back to and why he chose that direction, it didn't look like he intended it to anybody.
Stan Schofield
4 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:34:24
Jim@2: Can't help but have same feeling.

Most on ToffeeWeb were in high spirits going into the Derby, and us and the team would have been in even higher spirits subsequently if that mistake hadn't happened. Although it was a random mistake (shit happens), I suppose it takes mental toughness to keep going regardless, otherwise top sportspeople wouldn't need mental conditioning and sports psychology to keep their heads in the right place.

I always think of tennis for example, where it seems to be the mental attitude that helps separate the winners from second placed, the winners being the ones who will just carry on playing the same steady game even when they're three match points down.

In our case, although we might not have the players to be in the top-6, we certainly do have the quality of player to be far more consistent and to at least compete better against the top. The Derby seemed to show we were perhaps finally there, but as often happens with Everton, we just seem to have collapsed.

Danny Broderick
5 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:46:27
A very balanced report Paul. I’m sure Silva is not happy with a lot of what he has seen from our attacking players this last month. The trouble is, because of the transfer window, he’s had to stick with what we’ve got, which isn’t very much. I’m hoping him and Brands can ship off some more deadwood this month and get a talismanic striker in, maybe on loan? Trouble is, these players are in short supply.

Gaute Lie
6 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:55:02
I am starting to believe Silva is not the right man for Everton.

I had some faith in him but, with regards to his history with other teams, we now see same problems here.

I am sorry to say this, but I guess he will be gone in the summer.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:56:40
The next two league games will be huge in the context of our season and shaping where we go.

The Lincoln game is a free pass that even we can’t fail win and any failures in that tie would be a sackable offence for everyone at the club.

Shane Corcoran
8 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:08:13
Generous marks for some I thought.

Zouma fell asleep for a second half free-kick that Maguire should've scored from. How do you fall asleep at a free-kick? There's a good indicator of when the balls going to come in.

Walcott is quite disciplined but it's amazing how such a player can have "earned" so much money. Running into players rather than around them and, as mentioned above, what was he at with the header for their goal?

Agree on Gomes (just a terrible performance) and Richarlison has been annoying me with his moaning and falling to the ground for a while now. Toughen up lad.

And finally Pickford, not at fault for the goal but regardless of how cool he might think it looks, driving the ball up in the air at any of our front line results in .well exactly what happened, possession being surrendered.

4-4-2 v Lincoln. Stek, Kenny, Jags, Mina, Baines,Lookman,McCarthy, Davies, Tosun and Niasse. I'm missing someone to play on the wing but you get the gist.

Tim James
9 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:16:11
Enjoyed your report Paul, thank you. A couple of new players and a bit of luck and you never know - fingers crossed!
Anthony A Hughes
10 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:24:56
I'm not having the tiredness/fatigue excuse either. How many games have we played this season, 22? How many of the players have played every game and how many have actually played the full 90 mins?
Ian Hollingworth
11 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:34:32
Back to Finch farm indeed.
However we were told by those in the know that Silvas main asset was his coaching ability.
I am still trying to be positive so I am hoping that back at Finch farm he starts putting his coaching skills into good practice.
It does ask the question though as to what have they been doing at Finch Farm up until now?
Terry Hayes
12 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:44:19
For god's sake, when are people going to stop blaming this run of crap form on the derby!?!

Absolute nonsense.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:19:04
Finch Farm?

We were fitter when we were at Bellefield.

Jack Convery
14 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:27:59
Pick a reserve side v Lincoln and we will be out - no doubt about it. The two guys who manage Lincoln are doing a great job.
Paul Birmingham
15 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:30:45
Jim@13, I agree 100%.

Every team we play, seems mentally and physically sharper than our first team squad, by a long way.

Yes it does make you wonder what, they do at FF.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:40:15

I noticed that against Huddersfield and West Ham in September, how knackered we looked after 45 minutes.

It hasn’t got any better, in fact it’s actually worse now so I suppose it’s no surprise that the festive period took more out of us than most other teams.

We look wrecked and our powers of recovery are poor, one of the reasons why we haven’t won after going behind since December 2017.

Paul Birmingham
17 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:46:20
Jim, that a very fair call, and in my opinion, and without any prejudice to other people’s opinions on this subject, the demise In the mental and pyhsical fitness has gone exponential since Moyses left.

We too plenty of hidings in his time but the fitness was better.

Now it seems against many teams the players are transfixed, still in the tunnel or dressing room, or on the coach, train, or plane, and with no leaders on the pitch and fighting team spirit, the problems worsens.

Back to basics.

Paul Birmingham
18 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:47:48
Apologies for my typo errors again!
Joe McMahon
19 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:55:48
Like many have said, I'm not having tiredness either. Spurs played Barca away a few days later knocked 6 past us in another away game.
Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:02:08
Bernard had six months off before coming here. Gomez hardly played last season. Tired? Give me a break. Tired would be Hazard, Kane, Lloris, Pogba and anyone else who played EPL last year, plus long cup runs, plus every game of the world cup.
Alan McGuffog
21 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:03:39
How do you coach how to trap a ball ? How do you coach how to lay off a simple 15 yard pass ? How do you coach how to receive the ball from a throw in ? How do you coach how to keep your head over the ball and shoot hard and accurately ?
Surely if you need coaching in this you should give up and get a job in a call centre ( apologies to call centre folk )
Sam Hoare
22 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:03:49
I posted this on another thread but may be more relevant here:

Interesting what Pochettino said about Spurs and Everton both suffering over the festive period as teams that cover alot of ground.

By mid November we had covered the third most ground in the league after Arsenal and Spurs. And had done so with relatively little rotation.

I do think we have struggled in the last month with not being able to exact the high press and successfully. Not that this is an excuse. It's up to the manager to work out other ways to play and win or to rotate the squad when tired. I do think though the results and performances may improve when we go back to one game a week. Let's see.

Kunal Desai
23 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:09:14
Tiredness? Give me a break. Spurs have won five out of there last seven games. Including beating there north london rivals in the carabao cup and qualifiying for the knock out stages by getting a draw at the Nou Camp.
There only blip was against Wolves which came late in the game.

The club throughout is mentally weak, really need to stop with the excuses. It sounds very amaturish.

Jim Bennings
24 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:16:24
Joe 19

That’s true, and Spurs also had to contend a North London Derby in the Carabao Cup a week after traveling to Barcelona.

It feels like there’s always an excuse with Everton for failure.

When we are in the Europa League it’s always the cry that it has had a negative impact on the league form blah blah.

When we aren’t in Europe we still hear the same cry come early December that we are tired yadda yadda.

When players get knocked out the FA Cup the reward is off on a weeks long warm weather trip to Dubai (which has no use at all).

Now we’ve heard Silva blaming anxiety and nerves for yesterday’s loss.

Surely Leicester who’s manager Claude Puel is under constant daily scrutiny over losing his job should have been more anxious playing at Goodison?

Then last month we hear Jordan Pickford going on about “Everton luck at Anfield” after he made a woeful mistake?

It’s just a joke, it’s pathetic that we drag out the same excuses for failure on a yearly basis and then despite spending millions are brainwashed into just writing off each and every season as one in transition.

I just don’t know where we are going anymore, it feels rudderless right this moment.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:23:02
Don’t have it Joe, but it’s a fact. You can see it on the pitch. We’re talking elite athletes here. Just a 5% drop in fitness due to fatigue can look massive. It’s also easier to play through fatigue if you’re winning. A lot of our mistakes are mental.

The fact of the matter is team after team have played the same way against us. Solid back line, compact midfield and sit in compact and tight. Just wait for Everton to huff and puff and for us to lose our composure and be ready for us to make a mistake and capitalise on it. Newcastle didn’t get one, so they got a draw. But every team bar spurs has played this way and we’ve failed do something about it. The only time was when we got an early goal against Burnley and so they couldn’t keep it tight and so we blew them away. Spurs didn’t need to, they have better players and happily slugged it out with us and blew us away once our heads had gone at 3-1.

Don’t give up hope though. Silva’s comments show he sees this. I’d like to see him be a bit more Moyesian and say he’d try to eradicate the mistakes but maybe that’s from Moyes being manager for over 25% of my life.

Silva ain’t Martinez. Portuguese are happy to find a way to win, rather than to win in style. Silva will adjust his tactics. I just thought he’d have done so already. Leicester was a game we needed to win, but we needed not to lose more. Moyes would have taken the 0-0 if he’d have been in charge. But maybe that’s why Moyes had a ceiling where he did. Silva can get above that ceiling, because of how he can get us playing. We’re a long way off that.

Rest assured, silva will put the long hours in at finch farm, unlike Koeman who’d shrug his shoulders, and utter “but that’s football”, and make sure he was early for his 4.00pm tee off time.

Trevor Peers
26 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:24:11
To my mind when a team cannot string three passes together without giving the ball to the opposition there is something fundamentally wrong with the coaching methods at that club. It's not about tiredness it's about confidence and it seems the bubble has burst for Silva.

I expect us to thrash Lincoln in the cup and we'll see if that can be a springboard for some success in the league, heaven help Silva if we lose though.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:37:40
That’s rubbish Trevor. A lack of confidence makes the players do that. especially with anxiety added in. Every missed passed results in a groan.

Just listen to Gomes. He was a nervous wreck at Barca and couldn’t pass to a teammate. He’s been a revalation with us, as a confident player, last couple of matches aside (he’s clearly injured).

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:39:22
Look at the run we had in the 2007/08 season.

13 matches unbeaten before Christmas which included a run in the UEFA Cup (as it was then)

That was the same year Moyes had them running up hills in the Lake District and riding bikes through mud and rain.

Seems to me we are too mollycoddled these days and the fitness has suffered.

Tom Bowers
29 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:40:19
I don't buy into the idea that as a partial excuse, Everton's players were any more fatigued than other teams players.

They, as a squad are just not playing as a tight knit unit particularly in the middle third when not in possession.

When they are in possession they make too many poor passes and when a pass does get to the ''offensive'' line then it breaks down with a poor cross or finish particularly by Walcott who is now showing why he was left out of the Arsenal team for so long. by Wenger.

A lot of hard rethinking by the coaches and players has to be done soon to stop this trend.

By the way does anyone agree that Carragher and Neville are awful to listen to as co-commentators on the box ?

Trevor Peers
30 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:42:58
Calm down Steve lad, I just said it was a lack of confidence not tiredness please keep up, goodness me were all on the same side I hope, we want to see a massive improvement or are you angry because your boy is looking like a mug ?
Ray Roche
31 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:43:11
When you're playing well and on form you don't feel the tiredness.You can run all day, you want the ball all the time and you try the impossible and, do you know what? It comes off. The overhead kick, the first time volley, the cross field, first time pass, nothing goes wrong.

It's when you're struggling that you are frightened to do anything difficult in case you mess it up, and it's then that you misplace 5 yard passes. The groans from the crowd don't help you then either.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:43:28
Its not an excuse if we are tired. It's a problem. Don't know why people have such an issue accepting that its likely a factor.

Yes, other teams have played as many games (or more) but perhaps they don't press so much. Also its a fact that we had the most congested festive period of any team.

As Steve Ferns points out tiredness is much more likely to impact upon teams that are losing rather than winning. When Spurs went down late on to Wolves they certainly started to look very tired all of a sudden.

Steve Ferns
33 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:51:59
No Trevor, I'm angry because we've lost 4 of the last 5 games. All good Evertonians are pissed off right now.

Leicester only won that game because of Keane's mistake, up until this point they had done nothing. They were happy to get a point. Keep it tight and pinch one from the French Moyes. An excellent, but dour and boring manager. He knew we'd gift them a chance and with Vardy they always had a good chance of capitalising.

Leicester are a very good side, and they will be in the mix for 7th for sure.

Andy Crooks
34 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:30:57
I used to be strongly critical of hugely paid footballers being fatigued. Utter shite, it seemed to me. After all, I used to play three games a day for nothing!

However, I have listened to the opinions of people who know more than me and I know that it can have a devastating effect under certain circumstances. Lack of confidence, fear of failure, and the howls of derision after a mistake, just drains the muscles. It is a physical manifestation of mental stress. And you know what, all the money in the world, all the intensive, punishing training that can be endured will not cure it.

A lucky goal, a scrappy win might help. This team is shot of confidence and full of fear. The Burnley win should have helped and I am disappointed that it didn't. This is where we are and I hope and believe that Silva has it in him to change it soon.

Tom Bowers
35 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:42:59
Yes, Silva will change it all soon... or can he? Does he really have what it takes to shake this team out of its malaise?

Early in the season before even all of his acquisitions had gotten to start a game, the team looked so much better than last season.

So what went wrong when the team was strengthened by the appearances of Mina, Bernard and Gomes?

Th cup-tie is a great opportunity to rest all these ''tired'' players.

Grant Rorrison
36 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:46:01
Steve 25. The problem in the last two games and lots of other 'positive' performances this season is our failure to put the ball in the net. Not helped by starting with a team that has no recognised striker and a converted winger that falls over if someone looks at him the wrong way.

Fatigue and loss of confidence are probably factors too given the run we've been on recently. Why focus on the defence and bring that inadequate tit Moyes into your argument? How would you go about eradicating human error? By making sure the entire side is camped in it's own half and there's at least 2 other players within 6 yards of anyone at all times to pounce on the mistake and rectify it when it occurs?

Your damn right that Moyes probably taking a nil-nil at home to Leicester was causative in our failure to ever get anywhere under his leadership. So much so we only improved by 4 points between his first full season and his last one, 11 years later. It would have taken him another half a century to mount a serious title challenge at the rate he was going.

Things must be bad if Moyes is being eulogised on these pages.

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:51:03
Tom, no-one knows if Silva has what it takes to turn a losing side around. He's never been in that position before. His first three jobs all went well.

Hull were a losing side and he turned it round for a time, but there was no real pressure on him as the fans all thought they were down. At Watford he was sacked in such form without getting the opportunity to show it. For me it's the big question mark over Silva. Is he just a sunny day manager, or can he turn it around.

The only thing I do know for sure is that he will put the effort in, especially the hours. There's no doubt about that.

Unlike Koeman, of course. And unlike Koeman, there's no where else for him to go if he fails here. Only back to Portugal, and to a smaller club. Everything rests on him turning this around.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:54:27
I'm not eulogising Moyes, Grant. He was manager for over 25% of my life, and like it or not, he's the only one who got it right since I've been an adult. So, my thinking will always be heavily influenced by what Moyes said and did. Which is why I pointed that out.

I would add that Moyes had a ceiling, and his desire to churn out 0-0s when the going got tough is perhaps the reason he had this ceiling. I believe Silva has a higher ceiling and it's his desire to win every game that makes it so.

Neil Copeland
39 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:01:33
It worries me that so many on here seem to think that Lincoln will be a pushover. They won't; they will fancy their chances against us and we need to take them seriously. We must beat Lincoln to help regain a little confidence; lose against Lincoln and we will lose against Bournemouth too.

I really hope that Silva and the players don't think they simply need to turn up to win.

Grant Rorrison
40 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:03:32
Steve 38. If Silva is on all fours under the floor boards at Finch Farm, then he's got a higher 'ceiling' than Moyes ever had. The man is a total loser.

Got it right? By what standard? He won absolutely nothing in 11 years. He is the most unsuccessful manager in the entire history of the club. No-one failed for as long as he did.

Our last successful manager was sacked less than two years after winning the FA Cup. The club still had ambition back in the 90s. Luckily for Moyes, he wasn't in charge during this time.

John Raftery
41 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:03:34
I can't recall ever seeing a decent game on New Year's Day. All teams are suffering fatigue after so many games over the festive period. I agree with Paul that either the New Year fixture or the one before it should be scrapped. Yesterday's game always looked as though it would be decided by a mistake or a moment of quality. It was Keane's error and Vardy's quality finish which was the difference between the two teams.

Throughout the game, Leicester's small following made more noise than 36,000 home fans. That is not unusual. Our home support is the quietest in the league, which I guess is a product of mid-table mediocrity.

Steve Ferns
42 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:07:14
Grant, he took us to 4th and sorry to say, mate, that's highest we finished since I was a young child. So, that's getting it right, mate.

If you've got the years on me that you actually enjoyed those games in the 80s I was too young to appreciate, then you're a lucky man.

Neil Copeland
43 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:10:09
Steve #42, that team looks about right to me. I would include McCarthy amongst the subs if he is fit.
Grant Rorrison
44 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:11:22
Steve 42. What trophy do you get for finishing 4th?

It was a total fluke anyway. He never did it again and the total of points, 61, wouldn't get you anywhere near 4th place, 90-odd percent of the time.

Dick Fearon
45 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:11:47
Man Utd have just beaten the Barcodes 2-0. That is 4 wins from 4 and they look completely rejuvenated under their new manager.

Going into Xmas, we were above them in the placings; we are now 11 points behind. They suffered months of turmoil, strife and loss of confidence under Mourinho but what a difference a change of manager has brought.

Silva has had a lot more time to line up his ducks but, so far, is no better than Big Sam.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:13:37
Nothing, Grant... but growing up watching a club in terminal decline, battling relegation, time and again – well, 4th was the pinnacle.
Neil Copeland
47 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:21:43
Moyes saved us from certain relegation in the season that he took over. He then stabilised us and at least made us very difficult to beat with a very small budget.

Perhaps he was here for too long but that wasn't his fault.

And no, I don't want him back, thanks – but he should receive some credit.

Fran Mitchell
48 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:42:52
Grant, to say Moyes failed is ridiculous. Yes, we stagnated, but the fact is, since he left, despite millions being spent (which he never had) we have regressed.

Under Moyes, we went from being relegation candidates every fucking year, with dire teams and worse playing styles, to being a regular top-7 or top-6 team. We were always battling either Villa, or Spurs for 6th, we played in Europe, we dreamed of making the next step.

We signed rough diamonds at bargain prices, like Pienaar, Baines, Arteta, Cahill; we got the absolute best out of average players like Carsley, Neville, Kilbane, Osman, and Hibbert.

Before Moyes, our wingers were players like Alexandersson and Naysmith, with Steve Watson leading the line and a back 5. His time has gone, the game has moved on and all. But he is, like it or not, the best manager we've had since the 80s.

He got the best he could with very little, unlike our last 4 managers who've had resources but only ever manage to underperform. The reason we have ambitions for top6 is Moyes, because take away the Moyes years from our history books and we are a bottom half team with the occasional visit to the top half.

Don Alexander
49 Posted 03/01/2019 at 00:44:01
The very fact that Paul Tran, a Toffee who attended the match, can still only award our own MotM seven out of ten (Zouma, a loanee, if you're interested) says it all as far as I'm concerned about the mental shallowness, which is a real obstacle to any improvement, engulfing every squad we've now had for years and years/tears.

Four fucking managers in three years have made no difference to this miasma. God knows how many signings, transfers, and loanees have similarly failed to cure the problem because, as exemplified over the Crimbo matches (and, yes, even including the bizarre result at Burnley), we've looked shite.

So, just might the problem be with Finch Farm's ex-Everton player coaches, the guys appointed aeons ago by Uncle Bill, unqualified in any way as some were? They've been the one constant throughout the deplorable past four seasons – not the managers, not the squads, not the ownership, and not the boards.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Fran Mitchell
50 Posted 03/01/2019 at 00:51:51
*Premier League history books
Dick Fearon
51 Posted 03/01/2019 at 01:15:23
Don @ 49, I have pre-empted everything you say about our Coaching Panel. It has been a theme of mine on many posts on this and other forums.

Jim Bennings
52 Posted 03/01/2019 at 01:28:48
I've just had a brainstorm at 1:30 am: We need to sign Troy Deeney!

Target man, big nasty narky mouthy vocal bastard to play against, I reckon defenders would know they'd been in a game up against him.

Well, if you can't get the best, just pick from the rest! And I need to get back to sleep!

Laurie Hartley
53 Posted 03/01/2019 at 02:31:15
Don # 49 - there may be problems with the old boys club but, in the end, 11 highly paid professional footballers go out on the pitch and it is their duty as individuals and as a group to do their very best to win.

You can have the best manager in the world but regardless of talent, if the players haven't got the will to win, he won't get results. Have a look up the road.

Silva and his coaching staff need our support now. It is the players' responsibility to give the fans something to get worked up about – each one of them has to find the will to win and express it on the pitch.

Fortunately I see that quality in quite a few of our players. If the manager identifies a player that hasn't got that quality, he should bench them, regardless of price tag, reputation or what they do in training.

If I was the manager I would revert to 4-4-2 because with my limited knowledge of the game that looks the simplest formation to play to me.

Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Digne
Sigurdsson, Davies, Gueye, Gomes
Bernard*, Richarlison.

* Captain.

And I would play that team against Lincoln City.

Dave Lynch
54 Posted 03/01/2019 at 03:46:09
Our main problem is we have no natural striker, one with an instinct and desire.

Watch Kane from the weekends games and you see a striker busting a gut to get into the box when he has laid the ball off.

Ours seem to meander and stroll around in non-threatening positions, giving defenders nothing to fear or worry about.

All good strikers score a myriad of goals but the vast majority of them are straight-forward tap in's or scruffy 6-yard box scrambles; good strikers are opportunists, preying on bad defensive errors or decent balls into them.

Ours... Bluntly do fuck all.

Derek Thomas
55 Posted 03/01/2019 at 04:48:23
What the Fuck do they do at Finch Farm? ... First we had Barkley saying he wasn't coached; now, Lukaku is saying how he listened to his ex-striker turned manager and how he now looks to follow up on the keeper in case he drops it – result: 1 goal. What ever is the next level down from 'Striking for Dummies 101'? – then that nugget is on the first page.

Paul Birmingham @ 17-ish; Sounds like we need a PE Instructor... but it's too late now; all this needs doing in July. Hard work in July is like money in the fitness bank – "Train hard, Play easy" we used to get told.

We have all these highly qualified fitness gurus and sports scientists and we seem to be going backwards. I can't bring myself to write the name of he who must not be named ever again in connection with EFC, but who's the best Scottish PE Instructor we know??? Just for 6 weeks from 1 July or whenever training starts, and throw in a couple of mini vans to Ainsdale sandhills as well.

I can't believe I'm even thinking this... just keep him away from the teamsheet.

Paul Birmingham
56 Posted 03/01/2019 at 05:55:13
Getting back to basics but do the players and captains understand how to translate the manager's instructions on the pitch? Do the captains lead on the pitch?

It comes across as random motion for the bulk of this season's games. When good, it's fine but why can't good be consistent and very good and consistent and aim for the next level of excellence and reliability?

The club is currently mid-table and this season; at this rate if we make top 7, that will be a recovery from where we are now, but won't meet aspirations of most fans and the board. After all the money spent, it will be interesting to see any war chest funds for this summer.

If we make top 8, it's another season in no-man's land. The place monies for position finished probably may be required elsewhere, to support the Bramley-Moore Dock project.

If there was an esprit de corp shown every game, even in defeat, and the players have given their all, that's what you want to see, but that's not been the case.

We live in hope, but the FA Cup must be taken seriously by the manager. Let's take Lincoln and beat them and build. They will fancy their chances.

It's been a frustrating first half-season, let's hope the second half improves and the team gets the basics right, every game. Is that too much to hope for?

Darren Hind
57 Posted 03/01/2019 at 06:49:24
When top class managers talk about tiredness (and they all do it), they are not talking about the sort of tiredness the man in the street would feel after a poor night's kip. They are talking about energy levels.

Steve F is bang on the money... it not an excuse its a reason. Leicester saw far less of the ball, but they were able to play with an intensity we couldn't match.

There are lots of reasons why this happens, but the "Get them running along Formby beach" mentality isn't the answer. That's too simplistic, it's also prehistoric and would only compound the situation and draw more from energy levels.

I don't believe other managers have better methods of getting players fit than Silva does; that again is a tad naïve. The sports scientist and modern methods for testing a players energy levels have taken much of that responsibility away from the manager.

We need to sign more naturally athletic players, Gana is the only player we have who can match the athletes. Unfortunately he may save you games, but he will very rarely win them for you. Gomes is a decent player, but more athletic opposition will run him into the ground – no amount of training will alter that. Players like Bernard may be able to dazzle for 15-20 minutes, but players like Hazzard and Silva are just as menacing in the 90th minute as they are in the 1st. They don't just have skill they are natural athletes. That's the sort of player you require to break into the top group.

I'm no longer worried about the best, we are now really struggling against the rest. We've been sussed. They may not have players as skilful as ours, but most of them have better athletes and they know that our players will struggle against a defiant two banks. They also know we will give them at least one good chance.

If Silva is to be a top manager he needs to come up with ways to combat this. It's good to sign a Bernard now and again, but you also need to sign the occasional Sissoko. No amount of training will turn one into the other.

Jim Bennings
58 Posted 03/01/2019 at 07:52:10
If we need more athletic players (which is true, we do) especially in the centre of the park, then perhaps we'd have been better off targeting Doucoure than Gomes? Or will Doucoure (just an example) possibly replace Gana?

In hindsight now, Sissoko looks like he would have been a tremendous signing under Koeman. We need more meat and less fruit and veg in our team, there are too many players made out of puff pastry and far too flakey.

Give me some athleticism and some proper brute force.

Russ Quinlan
59 Posted 03/01/2019 at 08:45:11
One thing we lack just as much as a striker is a real captain. Jagielka, Coleman, Sigurdsson, Davies — none of them are leaders.

You don't see them like Ratty used to put the fear of god into the others if they weren't performing, someone to shout, praise, organise... None of those above are capable and, until we get a real leader, I'm afraid we will still see abject performances like the last 2 weeks (and more).

Sam Hoare
60 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:31:43
Darren and Jim (in agreement?!) yes, I've said before that we need (especially in the middle) players who can bring a degree of comfort on the ball and natural athleticism. At the moment all our players there seem to be one or the other.

There is talent in this team but there are some big holes too. I'd say that an all-round athletic central midfielder, a dynamic right-back (the old Coleman or a right-footed Digne) and a striker capable of linking play and scoring goals are top of the list.

Doucoure, Wan-Bissaka and Wilson would be the premiership options but I suspect those three would likely cost around £120m and that's where Brands must come in and maybe find more affordable options.

Dave Ganley
61 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:32:08
Obviously the derby has a lot to do with what's going on at the moment. I get that confidence breeds confidence but I'm quite staggered that a game (albeit an important game) has knocked confidence so much that, 6 games on, it is still having an effect.

I get that players are just human but the level that they play at surely they should be able to pick themselves up and take positives out of the derby as we all did and not just retreat into their shells. As to all those wishing Silva sacked saying we've been rubbish all season, how many were saying right after the derby game that they wanted Liverpool in the FA Cup? Plenty!

As to the game, well I feel a bit sorry for Keane as he had a decent game but was his mistake that gave away the goal. What really annoys me is how we manage to play our way into trouble at the back. I get we want to play football but sometimes that's not possible due to pressure. When that happens, it's okay just to put your foot through the ball not give it to another player under pressure.

We did that 4 or 5 times without seeing to learn from it. That's the frustration. Teams are able to beat us by us making mistakes not the opposition outplaying us. Even Spurs benefited by generous mistakes by us.

Gana, much maligned on here for being not "a game changer" is a game changer every game. He does exactly what he's meant to, break up play, win tackles, get possession back, pass to better ball players, what do people want? He's not the playmaker, he's not the goalscorer he's a defensive midfielder who does his job very well in the Carsley mode.

The rest need to take responsibility. Gana along with Keane (mistake notwithstanding), Kenny and maybe Digne, played okay, the rest were creatively shocking. No movement, no ideas and no heart. Effort seemed to be there but no end product. Silva does have his work cut out. There was no-one angry after the goal, no Cahill or Arteta or someone like that telling teammates it's not good enough and to step it up, that's what we really miss, players who inspire.

Steve F, I completely agree regarding Moyes. We did see some good football let down by limited ambition. 2007 to 09 he built a great little team with very limited funds and, if we had upgraded with a proven ambitious manager after the '09 FA Cup Final, then who knows what may have happened? What we do know is that, when Moyes had bedded in, then his teams would never have constantly capitulated. But you have to let a manager bed in.

We are probably only just better off now than when Moyes first came in. It took him around 3 years to get proper consistency (I accept that, when we finished 4th, the rest of the league wasn't very good) and the 07 to 09 team was very good. Only Moyes's cautious nature held us back. We have to give Silva time to sort out the mess he walked into.

Jerome Shields
62 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:16:21
As well as coaching, there could be a problem with fitness. But, if things aren't going their way, and the opposition is given and maintains possession, fitness will suffer.
Derek Thomas
63 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:52:09
Darren @57; I take your basic, silk purse / sow's ears point –- but go back to my original moan...what the fuck do they do at Finch Farm, specifically medically when you buy a player and before that what are the scouts are looking.

Many hate those stats, but if your prospective player is struggling to run 4 km in a 45 min half (Lukaku?) it may not matter in a goal hanger, but in a supposedly semi-mobile mid-fielder (Gomes?) its a bit of a worry.

Does anybody know if players are put on the aerobic treadmill measuring thingy, or is it just count limbs and cough... you'd like to think the former. I know you can put stamina on to sprint, but not the other way around.

So what is it? Can't Run? if so, whoever sanctioned the signing want sacking. Or Won't Run, if not why not... that's the manager's job. This then becomes a sort of contest, the loser, depending, either gets moved on or sacked... I'm sure it's not that simple, but is it actually that hard?

The basics have been known since the days of Bannister and before and improved on by Arthur Lydiate and others. In the AFL, they play 4 x 20 min quarters and the top guys run 15 km, the record is 17.2 km.

I ask again wtf do they actually do (wrong, if anything??) at FF that teams can out-run and out-muscle us in a game.

Short version: Can't run or won't run? That is the question.

Dave Ganley
64 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:17:10
Derek #63,

I'm not so sure it is necessarily a fitness issue in itself. Up to the derby game we competed well in games. The RS, supposedly the fittest team in the league, well we more than matched it, as we did at Arsenal, the Chavs and Mancs. What we have seen is a distinct lack of intensity since the derby.

Also we do not have the quality in the squad at the moment to replace players when they lose some intensity. What I saw against Leicester wasn't a lack of effort but a team bereft of confidence. They didn't stop trying, it wasn't a carbon copy of Allardyce or Koeman whereby we couldn't push ourselves over the half way line, we just had a severe lack of ideas.

After the derby the RS changed 7 players in their team for their game against Burnley and won comfortably. We can't do that and not lose out in quality. Since Moyes left the fitness levels have dipped alarmingly. Silva has got them fitter to the point that they will compete for the 90 minutes but mentally is a different kettle of fish.

The top teams have a ready made selection of replacements without losing cohesion;, we don't. As to the rest of the trams in the division, we are all much of a muchness. Peaks and troughs. Look at the table, we are all about the same. Teams go on half decent runs then bad runs, like ourselves. Leicester boss Puel has been under pressure but 3 wins from 4 has alleviated that, same if we went on a run.

We need a better squad to get better. Players to come in to do as good as those they replace. It will get better. The ones who have arrived since summer have done well for most part. The team needs freshening up but we don't have that luxury at present.

We will get better fitness wise. We are playing catch up in that department after probably 4 years of neglect. Shouting and screaming about what they do at Finch Farm isn't going to change that. I think some people feel like Silva took over a decent squad who were flying. He didn't; he took over a mess. Give him a chance to change that.

John Raftery
65 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:18:24
Don (49),

I have read the match programmes from our visits to every Premier League ground over the past decade. A constant is that club academies are stuffed with former players. The players produced by our academy at Finch Farm perform better than most. Both Under-18s and Under-23s are currently top of their league. We consistently produce players considered the best in their age groups and worthy of international recognition. Some of those players indeed have won a World Cup in their age group.

Where progress starts to level off is when players progress to first team level. The one constant at that level in recent seasons has been a merry-go-round of change. Each new manager brings his own entourage of coaches, fitness gurus etc.

So we had Martinez accompanied by Jones, Bergara and others. We had Koeman with his brother and others. We had Allardyce, Sammy Lee, Craig Shakespeare and others. This season we have Silva, Joao Pedro Sousa, Hugo Oliveira, Gonçalo Pedro, Bruno Mendes, Antonios Lemonakis and Dr Aboul Shaheir.

None of these exotic names had any previous connections with Everton or Bill Kenwright.

Alan J Thompson
66 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:47:33
I've often wondered when our Academy is referred to as a "Production Line" what exactly causes those few who make the first team to wane after promising starts. I thought may be looking at where those English players on Saturday started.

Calvert-Lewin; Sheff Utd
Keane; Man Utd
Kenny; one of ours...

Then again, I suppose one through our Academy every 2 or 3 years is as much as we should hope.

Derek Thomas
67 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:12:00
Dave @64; Yes Silva took over a mess, my point is, are the tools (take that how you will) and methodology he has at Finch Farm the right ones for the job and if so are they being used properly.

We can't find or afford a Mbappe, but fitness can be improved... not too sure on the correct attitude required to work on the fitness can ever be taught willingly – and there's the problem.

How fast, for how long, and how hard Lincoln will run... and for how much less money.

Dave Ganley
68 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:41:37
Derek, I agree with your sentiments but I can see a general overall improvement in fitness levels. From Martinez's second season to the end of last season, when we were chasing games (a regular occurrence) it was very rare that we actually had the energy to take the game to the opposition late on. We were laboured and overweight (see Barkley and Lukaku for obvious examples) and struggled to last the game.

Now at least we can have a go up until the final whistle. Now Moyes was a very strict disciplinarian and trained the squad very hard as I'm sure you know. He didn't get the necessary fitness levels right away, it took time. As much as I don't like comparing with across the park, the RS struggled with Klopp's fitness demands when he first arrived and it's only really this season, his third, for the change to be noticeable.

Now attitude is another matter. For me, I thought it was very unprofessional for the players over the last 4 years to let themselves get so lazy. I get the point that players get away with what they can and the manager should push them but also it should be a basic staple of a professional sportsman to be as fit as the can be regardless if the manager thinks it's necessary.

I would be ashamed if I was a top-level professional and I couldn't last a full 90 minutes. I think Silva is getting rid of those kind of players. Same players don't generally seem to be good team players either. Lincoln players will run and run but whatever team we put out should be good enough to get past them (famous last words).

As I said, I think the effort has been there but it's come as a kind of huff and puff with no guile. We didn't give up but we just had no ideas. Mentally fatigued imo. We still need to be fitter and sharper but that will come. It's the silly things we need to concentrate on, passing, decision-making and being cool under pressure. Up front, there just seems to be panic whenever we have a chance on goal at the moment. Snatching at a chance instead of cooly burying it. Lack of quality I guess.

I could be totally wrong about Silva, and time will tell but we still need to give him a chance. Whilst it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we are much better on the eye and fitter than we have been for a while so let's see if he can carry on improving.

Derek Taylor
69 Posted 03/01/2019 at 13:13:41
He'll soon be getting rid of Bernard, then. He's never managed 90 minutes since he's been here!
Matthew Williams
70 Posted 03/01/2019 at 13:57:26
What if Mr Brands doesn't rate Mr Silva!

What then?

Eddie Dunn
71 Posted 03/01/2019 at 16:44:54
On the issue of fitness, Gomes looks shot and Bernard is only good for half a game. Neither man had a preseason and this is likely to be the reason. Add the injury problems that led to that situation and it is no wonder that they are finding it hard in the PL, which, we are told, is tougher physically than elsewhere.
Siggi has had a lot of football including the WC and rushed back from injury for that.
At the halfway mark, Gomes needs resting and we need Lookman fit to give Walcott and Richarlison some competition.
John Pierce
72 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:12:13
The creedence of fitness, both mental and physical, sure it’s a partial reason to explain poor performances. But that’s too easy.
Silva’s decision to pick largely from the same 14/15 players has compounded the situation.
Why when we were doing well did he not select or rest one players or two?
His decision to continually select Walcott & Coleman over Lookman & Kenny looks a very poor decision. So when you are pleading that the players are fatigued, remember Silva had choices and has largely chosen to stick with the same core.

Lack of squad depth you say? Again true and probably a decent shout, yet Leicester & Brighton have tough schedules like all teams at Christmas and have poorer squads than us.

That tiredness and lack of depth surely work in our favour? We have better players?

But we barely laid a glove on either side.

So how about Burnley? Arguably the most physical game we had over the festive period and we breezed past a poor but very direct team. Must have been the turkey dinner the day before!

Look I’ve watched a stack of football over the holidays and it’s not been great but teams much lesser than ourselves have found a way. The fitness thing for me cancels itself out to a point, tactics however play a much greater role and they’ve been lacking. Further more when we go behind it becomes confused, and our shape is punctured as Silva lashes forward after forward on.

At Brighton when Niasse came on I saw a coach who has lost sight of what he was doing. It was desperate.

I hope we see a more controlled Everton in the next month and Silva tempers his gun-ho approach and starts beating the teams we should beat rather than lauding losing performances at the big boys.

Frank Wade
73 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:02:39
Derek #55, So no one told Lukaku he should follow in in case the keeper drops the ball. Hilarious.

Would it be expecting too much for him to figure that out himself? He hasn't figured out that if he worked harder he would do better for the team. Maybe he is due huge credit as he's now up to 5th worst in the league for average ground covered from last in the league when he was parked up front for Everton. 2 of those he has overtaken are Cardiff full backs.

Neil Copeland
74 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:04:50
Frank #73, perhaps Lukaku asked Ross Barkley who stared blankly and said “I dunno”. At which point Rom shrugged and returned to eating his pie.
Dick Fearon
75 Posted 03/01/2019 at 23:03:05
Neil @74, Nobody told Ross anything about anything so it was a waste of time for Rom to ask him.
Neil Copeland
76 Posted 03/01/2019 at 23:27:53
Dick #75, ha ha, either that or he burst into tears.
Laurie Hartley
77 Posted 04/01/2019 at 01:48:22
Darren # 57 - regarding Formby beach. I am a bit of a dinasour myself but I have always had a sneaky suspicion that running on sand out in the open air is far more demanding both mentally and physically than running up hill on a treadmill so I did a bit of searching on YouTube and came up with these two clips from NFL training. I think it is food for thought.



Ian Hollingworth
78 Posted 04/01/2019 at 07:11:57
Laura @77 spot on as being physically fit is hard work regardless of new technology.
The technology is there to monitor fitness levels etc it does not do the hard work of actually getting fit.
Grant Rorrison
79 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:03:07
Fran 48. How did Moyes 'fail' ? He won nothing in 11 years. That's called failure at a club with any ambition whatsoever.

Without Moyes we wouldn't have top 6 ambitions? We've won 9 league titles, beaten only by 3 clubs.

We were 6th under Royle in 1996. We were briefly in 6th until March 2000 under Smith. Look it up. 6th Isn't success.

Naysmith was a left back not a winger. Steve Watson seldom if ever 'lead the line'. He did get a hat trick under Moyes though, ironically, and didn't look any worse as a goal threat than the millions of pounds worth of strikers he signed and misused during his tenure.

There was no money bags City during most of Moyes time in charge. Spurs were a shambles and other clubs that spent money like West Ham and Newcastle were so mismanaged they could only achieve relegation. If anything Moyes benefited enormously from continuity and the lack of funds that could have been wasted on drastic and catastrophic changes to his team. The few times he was given decent money he misused it and bought players like Bilyanetdinov and Van Der Meyde.

Martinez wasn't really backed. He brought money in through the sales of Fellaini, Jelevic, Anichebe, Naismith, etc. and the only big purchase was Lukaku. He beat Moyes 65 points with 72 of his own and beat Moyes 1 final and the 3rd round of the league cup in 2009 with 2 semi's in 2015/16. His best signing is also our record premier league goal scorer. Moyes best signing, according to himself anyway, averaged 7 goals a year playing as the main goal threat of his team and made a name for himself by punching corner flags.

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:29:45
Grant, do you think Cardiff fans would consider it a failure if they got to the Champions League but didn’t win any trophies for the next ten years. I doubt it.

That’s the level we were at when Moyes took over. History doesn’t mean squat when you’ve got a crap team and no money to spend.

Moyes was far from perfect but he left the club in a much better state than when he found it. That’s a success in my book.

Marcus Taylor
81 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:35:18
Sam #80

We didn't get to the Champions League. We got to the Champions League third qualifying round. Big difference.

Sam Hoare
82 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:40:59
Marcus, you’ll have to speak to Pierluigi Collina about that.
Marcus Taylor
83 Posted 04/01/2019 at 00:00:21
Sam #81

Hahah you're not wrong there!

Dave Ganley
84 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:22:15
Grant you put down Moyes as failure and extol Martinez for his first season yet let's not forget that the toxic atmosphere at GP arrived during Martinez reign. Never and I mean never during Moyes time with us did the atmosphere get to that level. In fact it was Moyes who brought back the bear pit atmosphere at GP, Martinez destroyed that completely
Grant Rorrison
85 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:27:06
Sam 80. I don't particularly care what Cardiff fans consider to be 'success'. I think this comment sums up the mentality of the sort of people that rate David Moyes.

The club had under-achieved since 1987 to 2002 and Moyes had 11 years so I would expect to see some level of improvement given those 2 facts. So what?

He was beaten in terms of both best season premier league points total and one season cup record by Martinez. Fact.

Grant Rorrison
86 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:27:53
Dave 84. The crowd were asleep during most of Moyes reign.
Sam Hoare
87 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:39:27
Grant, I’d wager you don’t care what anyone else terms success. Most people would equate improvement with a type of success.

Martinez had one good season. With a team mostly built by Moyes.

Dave Ganley
88 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:40:54
I've already said many times on numerous threads that I thought Moyes should have gone after 2009 final but to say that GP was silent during his reign is complete nonsense. Up until Moyes arrived the likes of United etc thought GP was just a place to collect 3 points. By 2005 they hated going to GP. Take it you didn't attend much during that period Grant?

Yeah it's a fact that Martinez in his first season of taking over Moyes team got more points but look how he left it. If you're championing Martinez then no wonder some supporters have such a low expectation level. Yeah did well initially but created dull to boring football and left a toxic legacy. Yeah excellent stuff.

Dave Ganley
89 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:03:35
And are you really trying to compare Moyes teams with Walter and a brief period when we were 6th in 1996? Again what nonsense. You choose to leave out Coleman Arteta Cahill Pienaar Baines yakubu etc from your list of "loser" purchases. Yeah they were complete waste of time. Throw in jags lescott Distin too what a waste of space, none would get into Walters or Joe's teams. I mean, who wouldn't want Scottie Gemmil or Nicolas alexanderson or Gazza or Ginola on last legs! Joes 1996 team was ok but not a patch on what Moyes built. As Sam said, we were pretty much worse than the mess we are in now when Moyes took over and he made us competitive. Didn't have the balls to take it to teams away from home even though we were good enough and that's why he should have gone after Chelsea final but you either weren't there or you have amnesia to say he didn't build a good team. We under achieved due to Moyes caution not because he didn't build a good team with limited money. His 2007 to 09 team would rip most other Everton teams over the last 25 years to shreds
Tony Abrahams
90 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:15:59
“If the coach is not working as hard as the athlete, then it defeats the purpose,” brilliant quote, those clips were very interesting Laurie.

I know we shouldn’t mention the other crowd, but they are full of speed, rather than full of strength Laurie, which proves the adage that speed is strength, especially if you can keep up the intensity for long periods?

I loved that clip on the zig-zag run, because I used to take my team training on the hills on Netherfield Rd, and I remember an old clever boxing coach telling me anyone will get up the hills, in there own time, and he was correct.

That’s why they didn’t mind doing the hills, but they fuckin hated doing those zig-zags!

Laurie Hartley
91 Posted 06/01/2019 at 06:51:32
Tony - there is a lot in those clips so much so that it set me of on a search about sand dune training. I wasn’t surprised to learn that it has been used to great success in other codes.

Sand dunes and leg lactic acid

I reckon we should send our lads and our coach off to Fiji as part of their pre season next year. They could learn a lot from these lads.

If you want a heartwarming 20 minutes have a look at this clip about their preparation for and return from the 2016 Olympics which they won defeating Great Britain 43-7. Not a treadmill in site.


Maybe we should send Eitc there too - these people would make great Evertonians - they are a happy lot.

Eric Myles
92 Posted 06/01/2019 at 08:32:56
Laurie #91, I believe Moyes used the sand dunes a lot in training as well as a thing called The Hill that he came across on a pre-season tour of USA and had duplicated at Finch Farm.

But then again, Moyes was labelled a 'dinosaur' as a trainer.

Grant Rorrison
93 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:03:53
Sam @87 and Dave @88.

I can't really be bothered arguing with people that rate David Moyes. All I will say is 4 jobs, 3 sackings, 1 relegation.

Total laughing stock after his time at Manchester United.

Tom Bowers
94 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:17:27
Generally, the report on all the players is okay and the overall verdict is that some of them are sub-par and will not get any better. Silva doesn't appear to have what it takes to do anything more with this bunch and lacks the kind of intensity to be a successful manager at this level. It might seem a little early to make this criticism but you can usually see the signs.

Yes, there was a response early in the season, as so often happens when a new man takes over, but what problems were visible on a small scale then have become a full-blown manifestation to the point that any team that gets the ball in Everton's half looks dangerous.

They need some more signings now but, in the absence of anything happening, they should at least use some of the young lads to give them the experience.

Of the senior players, they do have some misfits who should be let go – even if they haven't been here long.

I suspect, however, that the powers to be are just willing to wing it with Silva and the current squad, at least until season's end, when it's almost certain Everton will finish mid-table.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:29:26
What did the great Mohamed Ali, say, Laurie? The fight is won far away from the ring, and well before the event, or words to that effect?

Dave Ganley
96 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:55:18
Grant, you're just not reading any of the posts and just sticking to your own agenda.

Fact of the matter is regardless of any opinion, Moyes left the club in a far better state than any of the last half dozen managers — even if he did stay 5 years too long. To say otherwise is just highlighting your own hatred against what he did.

I'm not interested in what he has subsequently done, it's irrelevant. I also haven't suggested that he should come back either.

You obviously dislike any kind of achievement and given the shit state of the club when he arrived I think he did a pretty decent job given the lack of resources. He made us competitive and gave us back some pride.

I can only assume that you missed a lot of the games like the mancs, Fiorentina, RS games etc where the atmosphere was electric due to your inherent dislike of everything Moyes. Let's not rewrite history eh. Guess the reason you can't be bothered arguing is that you have no argument.

Grant Rorrison
97 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:09:53
The guy had 11 years in charge! I don't think you really comprehend the enormity of that fact. He started from a position of the expectation level being "if we don't get relegated, this guy is boss".

Are you really glorying in the fact that, given over a decade in charge and starting from a position of being utter garbage, that he 'left the club in a better state than he found it'?

Sam Hoare
98 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:42:26
Grant, we're not glorying. You were the one who said he was a failure. Which is clearly (to most people) not true. He improved us markedly.

He didn't nail it. He doesn't deserve glory. But equally he wasn't a failure. There's plenty of room in between.

I don't ‘rate' Moyes. But he clearly did a very decent job with us even though he overstayed.

Fran Mitchell
99 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:47:07
Pochettino could well leave Spurs in the summer having won nothing. The last time they got any silverware was under the masterful leadership of Juande Ramos.

So, going by the 'he won nothin' approach to valuing success, Pochettino was/is a failure, and Ramos was a resounding success?

Also, Kenny Dalglish's recent spell as manager was obviously far more successful than anything that failure Jurgen Klopp has done. I mean, Dalglish won something while the hapless Klopp is just failing his way to no silverware.

Moyes was manager of a team that had an almost zero net-spend during his time as manager, and in all my 32 years supporting the Blues, my best memories of with him at the helm, the European nights, Fergies winner against Man Utd, Bainaar, Arteta, Timmy Cahill. We were always 6th/7th, we regularly played in Europe ( and were desperately unlucky vs Fiorentina). And yes, the game has passed him now, and I'd never have him back. But I won't rewrite history to suit an agenda.

If we had hired the right man after Moyes, we could well be where Spurs are today. But no, we have failed desperately to replace him, and are sat around mid-table and Goodison is a rather easy place for other teams to come and play.

And 6th under Smith? I was young, but I largely remember Smith taking us to 17th/16th and forever being miserable having spent my paper-round money to attend the game. Paul Gerrard in goal. Naysmith playing as a winger (I know he was a left back, but that was how I remember those woeful days), Scott Gemmil and Mark Pembridge the midfield gems, Mikel Madar and Joe-Max Moore doing god knows what up front.

They were dark times. Moyes took us away from that, and made us over-perform.

Since Moyes has left, and this is the key point, apart from Martinez's first season, we have been a team that has under-performed.

Silva has the task of at least making us play to our level (7th), but a good manager should make us play above our level (5th or above)

Anthony A Hughes
100 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:49:02
Train hard, fight easy!
Grant Rorrison
101 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:59:45
People that boast about Moyes talk about Fiorentina. A night where we got put out of the Europa League, itself a second rate competition, in the last 16, as if it were some all time great night in the club's history. They are an embarrassment to this club's history and traditions.

The crowd were buzzing, the ground was rocking, the atmosphere was electric. Who gives a fuck?! We lost!!!

They are small time thinkers idolising a small time man who has been well and truly found out in every club he has managed since leaving us. This tit actually left here believing he was a top coach for doing the sort of job an Allardyce or a Pulis could do. He made no progress in 10 years. The immediate improvement back in 2003 was due to how bad we were when he arrived.

At least Martinez tried to actually achieve something and got within a whisker of both finals in his last season here.

Paul Jones
102 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:01:03
Fran #99,

You make a lot of salient points and I agree with so much of what you say but I can't agree about this 'level' we're supposed to be at. Where does that come from? Who sets it?

Regarding Moshiri and his comments this week about our museum. I'm sick and tired of 'Grand Old Team' and 'Forever Everton' as an intro to 'Z-Cars' every home game. No wonder we're a joke. Ditch them. Keep 'Z-Cars' and ditch all that shitty yesteryear pre-amble to every home game and fucking move on!!!

Grant Rorrison
103 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:08:22
Fran @99.

Pochettino is a failure if he doesn't win anything and Dalglish was more successful than Klopp.

What is your point?

Andy Crooks
104 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:18:33
I was as critical of Moyes as anyone on this site. I thought he stayed too long and was appalled at his behaviour near the end.

However, it would be churlish indeed not to admire the good things he did. He stopped us from being called "crisis club Everton", he made some fine signings and at times played some fine football. Just stayed far too long.

Sam Hoare
105 Posted 12/01/2019 at 08:06:19
Grant @103, Pochettino is such a failure that he could probably have any managerial position in world football! Can you at least admit that a great proportion of football fans and professionals have a different notion of ‘failure' than you do? No doubt you couldn't care less.

Andy @104, spot on.

Grant Rorrison
106 Posted 12/01/2019 at 13:30:08
Sam 105. He hasn't won anything so it's not my opinion that he is a failure. It is a fact. Despite having 5 years this coming May he has only improved the win percentage of the team by about 2% over what it was under Villas-Boas and he had to deal with the upheaval of losing Bale and trying to integrate a bunch of new players. Some of which were shite.

You think Pochettino has been a success at Spurs? He has had over 3 times as long as his predecessor. Had the benefit of continuity and continual building. Saw players like Kane come through the youth set-up and still he hasn't won anything or improved their game-by-game success by any big degree.

Dave Abrahams
107 Posted 12/01/2019 at 13:54:42
Whether you like Moyes or not, you cannot get away from the absolutely amazing fact: 44 games away against the top teams and he never won one of them — not one!!! Has that ever been achieved (lol) before???
Fran Mitchell
108 Posted 12/01/2019 at 14:32:11
Jesus, you think changing the perrenial under-achievers Spurs into regular Champions League qualifiers, despite spending little (this summer they bought 0 players), playing attractive attacking football, and challenging for the title is failure?!!?

Yet scraping a League Cup title you consider success? Total bullshit.

And as for Moyes: from 2006-07 to 2012-13: 6th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th.

Since: 5th, 11th, 11th, 7th, 8th

Moyes had a net spend of £5.6 million over his 11 years.

The managers since, apart from Martinez's first season with a £12million profit (Fellaini sale), have had net spends of: £34M, £34M, £69M, £22,6M, £68,4M.

Again, I believe Moyes stagnated; I believe the game has passed Moyes by... I'd never suggeet having him back. But a failure he wasn't. Fact.

Sam Hoare
109 Posted 12/01/2019 at 14:43:09
Grant @106, if it's a fact as you claim (nb: you should Google what a 'fact' is defined as) then how do you explain the very high regard Pochettino is held in by nearly everyone in world football? They're all wrong and you're right?

Perhaps you define failure as not winning trophies but can you at least admit that there are other definitions and criteria?

I'm guessing that you'll never concede an inch in this (or any) argument.

Grant Rorrison
110 Posted 12/01/2019 at 15:23:19
Fran @108.

Before I respond to the rest of your post could you define what you mean by 'perennial under-achievers' in the case of Spurs? You clearly don't mean not winning anything as that would be a strange definition for you to use given the nature of your position in this debate. So what do you mean?

Sam @109. 'Success' = winning things. Pochettino hasn't won anything therefore he hasn't had any 'success'. Fact? Or should I 'look it up'?

Fran Mitchell
111 Posted 12/01/2019 at 15:34:24
The only way to have success is winning something? So Mourinho was a success at Man Utd? The Real Madrid manager is succeeding now, considering they won the World Club Cup?

You honestly believe Klopp and Pochettino have been 'failures'? Serious? Jesus wept...

Spurs before Pochettino were perennially below their neighbours, would flip between 4th and 8th (in recent years) whilst before even more inconsistent with finishes of 11th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 14th.

Under Pochettino, they have had finishes of 5th, 3rd, 2nd and currently sit 3rd. Yet, according to your wisdom, their period of success in all these years was when they finished 11th and won the League Cup.

Grant Rorrison
112 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:15:12
Fran 111. You're absolutely right. Not winning anything. That's real success right there. Moyes hold's our record of 11 consecutive years. Who's up to beating it? I don't think Silva with have the stamina for it personally and will probably bail in a couple of seasons. Oh for a new Moyes eh? Maybe one day his like will come again. :P
Sam Hoare
113 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:27:07
Grant: 'Success' = winning things.

That for example is an opinion, not a fact. Success can arguably take many different forms. Depends on the situation and expectations. If a League Two manager took his club through successive promotions and then finished second in the Premier League, you'd claim he'd had no success without a trophy?

So I guess you'd say No to Pochettino for Everton? Once again, you'd be in the minority.

Grant Rorrison
114 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:42:16
Sam 113. Winning promotion twice would be 'success' as promotion is a 'thing'. My definition allows for this. I don't know why you've mentioned finishing 2nd in the Premier League though. 2nd place is a position – not something you win.
Sam Hoare
115 Posted 12/01/2019 at 17:06:53
Grant, you get promoted for coming second. There'd be no trophy though. You didn't come first. Ergo failure in your books.

If David Wagner took Huddersfield to second in the Premier League and the final of the FA Cup, you'd say his season was a failure?!

Grant Rorrison
116 Posted 12/01/2019 at 17:17:32
No, but there would be promotion which is a 'thing'. You mentioned 2nd in the Premier League in your original argument so there wouldn't be any promotion.

How did a discussion about Pochettino and Klopp become a conversation about hypothetic lower league teams getting promoted anyway?

Top clubs win trophies. If they don't then they are not top clubs. Simple.

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