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Questions for Mr Moyes

By Steve Stratulis :  23/10/2009 :  Comments (14) :
Having been going the match for near on 40 years, I think I have finally come to the end of my tether with Everton Football Club.

Although going to games in the 1969-70 season, I cannot recall too many memories due to only being six years of age. Growing up as a lad, I remember thinking we were really going to win the league in 74-75 only to blow it under the guidance of Billy Bingham... then came the screaming skull Gordon Lee and for two years we played some fabulous stuff with ‘The Latch’ and Davey Thomas on the wing, backed up by Andy King in the midfield.

Then came the glorious mid-eighties team of Howard Kendall. What a great time that was for me as a 21-year-old lad going home and away with the blues. We were sublime and should have dominated for years to come… but that is another story. Move on into the 90s and Joe Royle gave us a bit of hope with the dogs of war.

Between the times mentioned above, up to the current time, Everton were/have been pretty mediocre, but we just can’t give it up cos it's in our blood.

Well, that was until now. I now find myself going to the match and not enjoying the experience. My 14-year-old lad sits next to me and he has had a season ticket for 7 years now, but continually shouts at me for being negative about Everton. It’s not that I want to be negative, it’s just how the team plays that irks me. People criticise the media for not mentioning Everton, or why Match of the Day put us on as the last game… Well it is plain and simple: WE ARE BORING TO WATCH.

Then I started thinking about the current team and the criticisms that I have and thought, "Wouldn’t it be great if Mr Moyes could answer the questions I have?" Now you will see from this I am not his greatest fan; however, I do recognize the job he has done in turning the club around and making us more formidable, it’s just I want more flair.

The great Steve Bloomer said of Everton in 1928, “We owe a great deal to Everton. No matter where they play, and no matter whether they are well or badly placed in the League table, they always manage to serve up football of the highest scientific order. Everton always worship at the shrine of craft and science and never do they forget the standard of play they set out achieve.”

Anyway here are some questions I would like answers to.

1. Why do we employ all our players in our own penalty box when the opposition have a corner? Every game the people around me must get fed up with me shouting at Moyes to be brave and leave someone up (a) as an outlet when we clear the ball, and (b) to ensure they keep 2 maybe 3 players back to keep him in check.

2. Why are Everton the only club in the Premier League that has no pace whatsoever going forward? The only player of note with pace we have had over the last 5 years is Andy Johnson. Now I know he had his limitations, but that burst of pace helped us out at times.

3. Why, when teams have throw-ins within 20 yards of their goal, do we back off and allow them to find a man easily with time to look for a pass? Only last week, Wolves came to Goodison and penned us back, hustling us when we had a throw-in. I ask you to watch the next game and see how we back off and allow them easy possession.

4. When I was growing up, I was told that attacking was the best form of defence. Why then do we start against Stoke and Wolves with 5 across the middle behind the sole forward? It’s not like we are playing Barcelona… or Benfica!!

5. Do the 1st team squad practice pass and move on the training ground? Because we do pass (slowly) across the pitch, but the movement is very restrictive, hence the high percentage of hoof ball we play.

6. Why do we sign players to strengthen the squad after they become ineligible for the Europa League? Now I’m not saying Heitinga and Lucas Neill would have altered the result against Benfica, but I’m sure they would have certainly helped the cause. In fairness to David Moyes, this may really be a question for Mr Kenwright.

I’m sorry if I seem negative but that is how I feel after the last couple of seasons. I think we go out with the attitude of let’s not lose, rather than let’s have a good go at them. And that I believe is down to the Manager.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 24/10/2009 at 04:34:20

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So Steve... you’ve never posted before... which makes me wonder: have you ever read any of the threads on this site? Coz at least 15 of them feature most of what you cite. I mean, come on... we’ve been through all this already.

Okay, perhaps not all... the throw-in thing is a new one. But honestly, this is getting seriously tiresome! Is this what we’re reduced to? I’m losing the will to live...
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 24/10/2009 at 06:42:53

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It may be that all these questions have been asked before...BUT.

Where are the fuckin answers???

Moyes; Who me sir?

Voice; Yes you sir,

Moyes; Ar Ay Sir

TAXI !

Taxi for Mr Moyes.
Tony Hyland
3   Posted 24/10/2009 at 09:58:07

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With all due respect Michael surely Steve is entitled to give his views without being taken to task for it. Sure, the points he made may have been laboured about on this site for a long time but so have all of the really destructive comments a la Mr. Marsh etc. and that is not having a go at Tony just defending what I perceive to be a Blues fan having a say. Democracy Rules ok?
Nick Marsh
4   Posted 24/10/2009 at 11:40:16

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1. There are benefits to both schools of thought in regard to defending corners, for me though I think it is right to have everyone back defending. Most goals are scored from set peices not from a cleared set peice coming back into the penalty area.

2. I agree there is a lack of pace going forward but quality and speed together cost a lot of money but it is definately an area to be improved upon.

3. This is quite complex actually. It will depend on who you are playing against but let's say sometimes it's easier to let certain teams and certain players have the ball because of their limitations as a player, you can direct the play without the ball by closing down certain areas as oppossed to other areas. I don't really explain this as well as I would like. I think its fair to say as well that Moyes gets this wrong sometimes... the thing is though you only notice these things when they go wrong, a good example would be Wigan last year when we let them play though the middle without realizing that Cattermole could actually play. Contrast this to the reverse fixture where we did get tight from throw-ins and, well, all over the park!

4. I was told lots of things as a child. How about this... defending is the best form of attack!!

5. Not enough if you ask me.

6. Yes, a lack of finance.
Sam Higgins
5   Posted 24/10/2009 at 12:32:46

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Nick, are you related to our Tony?
Colin Potter
6   Posted 24/10/2009 at 14:53:47

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Good questions, Steve, but don’t expect any answers off Moyes.
Chris Stone
7   Posted 24/10/2009 at 15:46:40

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Some very valid points raised I feel. The ’defending corners’ routine has long puzzled me! Those who say, "Yes, Moyes should have everyone back defending" — do you not realise that you’re basically inviting all your opponent’s big players forward to attack the crossed ball? Add the melee of players in the area and deflections etc become even more likely.

I think Mourinho had it spot on by leaving 3 up front — the opposition then HAS to leave 3 or usually 4 players back! I know it may look kamikaze but think about it. And for those in the neutral camp on this, one or more players left forward at least gives you an outlet and a chance to relieve some pressure (we need this against the likes of Arsenal, Benfica etc). Does anyone else feel the same way?

Alex Newman
8   Posted 24/10/2009 at 08:08:49

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I cannot believe that instead of a minority of over-reacting fans demanding Moyes head, it's actually becoming the majority on this website.

Lets look at facts:

1) Squad depth... how many people commenting on lack of squad depth... we had 11 first team players out!!! the fact we still had 11 on the pitch on Thursday night shows we DO have a squad. We are in the ridiculous situation of having an ENTIRE team of players injured.

2) Until Thursday we were UNBEATEN in 7 games! The performances have not been good... but see point 1. How can Moyes be expected to have the team playing good football when his best players are not on the pitch? When beat Blackburn, Hull, and AEK Athens a few weeks ago with a few more players fit and won easily.

Thursday's result was awful. Pre-match, I expected it. At half-time I thought we could get a result. Afterwards, I was shell-shocked like everyone. But the side is limping along. What it needs is support not more criticism! Get behind the team that were FA Cup Finalists this year!

Stephen Graham
9   Posted 24/10/2009 at 17:47:59

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Alex,

That run of 7 unbeaten games counts for nothing after a performance like that on Thursday. Moreover it is not reflected in our position in the league, where we are closer to the bottom than the top (11 points away from the league leaders, 3 points away from the relegation zone).

Be worried.
Dennis Stevens
10   Posted 24/10/2009 at 20:07:28

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Whenever people complain that, all too often, Moyes does not send a team out to win playing decent football but sends them out to try & not lose & to nick the odd goal in the hope of getting a result, those who defend Moyes say the result is more important than the style & point to recent league finishing positions.

However, that excuse, flimsy as it is, doesn’t stand up at all once the results aren’t forthcoming either. Could it be that Moyes is just too much the dour Scot & his players simply aren’t enjoying what should be one of the best jobs in the world?

Steve Pugh
11   Posted 24/10/2009 at 21:00:18

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When I was playing football we were always told that if you have too many players in the box at a corner it increases the chances of a deflected goal. It is much better to have 6 well drilled players in the box than 10 normal players. You could then have 2 players just outside the box, one on the edge of the centre circle, and my favourite one on the half way line, must stay in our half until the ball is cleared. This puts pressure on the opposition to hold back more players, ipso facto less pressure on the corner.

To me that is simple, I don’t know what DM thinks.
Peter Hall
12   Posted 24/10/2009 at 21:43:51

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Steve,

Because some of your questions fairly and decently question Moyes’s tactics, I resisted the temptation to just think ’listen to your son mate - he’s right’.

But then I got to "I’m sorry if I seem negative but that is how I feel after the last couple of seasons. I think we go out with the attitude of let’s not lose, rather than let’s have a good go at them. And that I believe is down to the Manager."

Last season was our best for years — maybe 20 years — and one of our best for 40 years — I go back well further than you. We won more games than ever before in the Prem — I think —- and were top notch in two cups.

So you lost my interest with your finish and I say what Moyes might if he read your post and was free to respond,’Listen to your son, mate — he’s right’.
Chris Briddon
13   Posted 26/10/2009 at 13:31:57

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Can we please get over this "4-5-1 is negative" rubbish.

We play that formation all the time, pretty much; sometimes it's defensive... sometimes it isn’t; sometimes we play pretty football using it... sometimes we don’t. Playing 5 in midfield does not mean we will automatically be defensive & negative.

I will give the example (again!) of the home game against Stoke a few weeks ago: okay, we drew 1-1, but we actually managed 25 shots on goal, of which 17 were on target. So the idea that playing 4-5-1 at home is a negative formation is just ridiculous I'm afraid.

If you aren’t sure, look across the park. Liverpool have played it for most of the last 5 years with players like Mascherano & Lucas as two holding midfield players — hardly the most creative bunch in the world is it!

Chelsea & Man Utd have played 4-5-1 for ages (of course the media refers to their team as 4-3-3 but it's effectively exactly the same as the wide players are expected to defend when they haven’t got the ball).

I am not about to make knee-jerk reactions on the grounds of a couple of bad results, when Davey’s tactics have got us to a 6th and 5th place twice in three seasons — my guess is something is more likely to be right than wrong here given the resources available.

Stuart Hughes
14   Posted 26/10/2009 at 13:33:17

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I agree totally.

I'm starting for the first time in years now getting worried about our club; Moyes has done a fantastic job were he has taken us to an established top 6 team but weres the next step? I think personally we need fresh ideas because Moyes has gone stale!

We don't go after games, we wait and see what happens and when we do go behind we start to play football — like at Bolton yesterday. After Bolton scored two, it made us realise... "Oh, think we need to get going."

We should be battering these teams like Bolton, Stoke and Wolves. Fair enough, we have injured players out who will make a huge difference when they come back but that team out against Bolton could and should've won.

I'm off to Spurs which I’m not looking forward to in the slightest! There's no drive in the team, no player in the team looks arsed which annoys me because our away support against Benfica and Bolton didn't deserve what we got.

Time for a change!

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