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Where do we go from here?

By Kirk McArdle :  28/10/2009 :  Comments (22) :

This is my first mailbag submission but I have posted comments on other threads. I will try not to cover points raised by other posters but please excuse me if some do overlap.

First, let me state that I do believe that David Moyes is the correct manager for this club. No other manager would have delivered the league standings over the course of the last 6 seasons that he has with the budget constraints applied to him. I am aware that he has broken the transfer record several times since he has been here, but, how many transfer windows have we seen several additions of £10m+? None.

I see on other threads than some posters are calling for him to be sacked. If we were to change personnel at any point during the season it will have a detrimental effect on this club as a whole. This is not the correct course of action for a couple of reasons.

  1. Mike Ashley sacked Big Sam and replaced him with King Kevin and then Joe Kinner and eventually Alan Shearer. Result. Relegation.
  2. Who of any quality is available to take over the reigns?
  3. Who (with any form of an IQ) would become manager of this club with NO money to bring in "his own players".

I am also not saying that I am pleased with the current level of player performance or tactics used but as many threads have covered (and are going to cover!!) this subject, here is my two penny's worths.

There is obviously room for improvement. Players returning from injury will help in some key positions but the lads who have been failing to produce the goods over the last month or so need to take a long hard look at themselves. Cahill, Fellaini, Heitinga and Jo seem to be the biggest culprits. Although I do feel David should be slightly more adventurous when giving the younger players ie. Baxter, Wallace, Duffy..... more playing time. The odd 5 mins will never aid player development.

On the subject of Cahill and calls for his installment as captain, sorry but on the last few games' displays there is no way he should be anywhere near an armband. He is not vocal on the pitch and certainly doesn't seem to be looked upon from team-mates for on-field inspiration. The only player at the club with any leadership qualities to take over from Pip is Jags. Distin to a certain degree has the leadership and definitely the experience but at 32 is not long term. On-pitch leaders is an area that needs addressing and quick.

I know many of you mostly disagree with a certain Mr McGlone and his comments, but one of his many contentious points is the way David sets up the players in a formation. Centre back in midfield. Centre mid at right wing. Square pegs in round holes. This is one area which I agree with Ciaran on. If we have no Bily or Pienaar then give Baxter a crack on the right. Playing Osman with his lack of pace and strength and Cahill with his total lack of creativity and limited passing is not the answer.

We all bleat on about returning players from injury but it will take them a while to get up to match fitness and knowing David's policy the likes of Jags, Arteta etc... will have bench time and 10-15 min sub appearances for a few games. So this is what we have until January at best.

Talking about January. This brings me onto a couple of points to which I do not know the answers to but please feel free to reply if anyone knows.

  1. With returning players, will David even look to add anyone even loanees if there continues to be no funds?
  2. I have read on other posts about a new financial loan being agreed. Any news on how much and for what purpose?
  3. IF Kirkby does not get the green light (I for one do not want to move there) what happens to the funds "ring-fenced" for our share of the construction? Does this then go towards transfers, upgrading Goodison or servicing debt levels? Or do Green and Earl take another large cut?

I feel that his may be the last season that we see David Moyes in the home dugout for, as well as he is paid, there is only so much he will take. We all make fun of some of the conversations that take place behind closed doors, but, what happens if David has said "Sorry Bill. Something has to give. How can I take this club to where I want and you demand it to be with no money and selling my best players to improve numbers?" I cannot believe that David likes the way this season has developed but must be thinking to himself, "See Bill. I told you this would happen eventually".

In a world through my rose tinted glasses, Bill realizes that investment doesn't exist and finds a worthy successor with enough cash to finance a new era for Everton FC. Like him or loath him, Bill has overseen stability from the downward years from the Johnson era, but must see that he himself has taken the club as far as he can. Either sell his shareholding to Green and Earl and enjoy retirement and let us see who really runs this great club. Or insist on more financial backing from these two parasites sitting in the dark corner.

I do not know what the future holds for this great club but I do feel we could be at a very major crossroad:

  • To the left is Moyes leaving, Kirkby gets approved and no new money and the team eventually falls apart and relegation.
  • To the right, the players return from injury and the team gets it right. Kirkby gets a NO from the inquest and the funds go towards team strengthening. Bill wakes up and sells to a man/group with significant funds to take us to the next level.

I know which road I would like to go down.

Reader Comments

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Jay Harris
1   Posted 28/10/2009 at 22:20:00

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Kirk
you raise a number of good questions.

Firstly let me say I cant stand Kenwright for 2 reasons

1. He is a compulsive liar
2. He is incompetent.

Now I do not want to turn this into another lets bash "Black Bill" thread but I must support your point about Moyes and the lack of financial support he has had from day 1.

OK people point to record signings but we’ve had to sell to buy and have reduced the size of the squad significantly in the process.

In fairness nobody could have foreseen the injury list we currently have but we knew before the start of the season that we would have 3 key players missing for about half a season and the Afcon would take a few valuable players out for about 6 weeks.

With league places worth about £0.75 million a place the loss of about 6 places is £4 million per year and the knock-on effects of not qualifying for Europe etc etc. so it wouldn't take a fool to work out we can't afford NOT to invest yet for 2 years running we’ve followed success on the pitch with abysmal close season activity.

I don't know about fans calling for Moyes to be sacked, I can see him walking because his recent demeanour is not good.
Andy Morden
2   Posted 28/10/2009 at 22:36:23

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This question of the manager, I personally find it quite an intriguing one. You make a point of highlighting the hideous mess that Newcastle ended up in with their merrygoround of managers. But their situation is different to ours; they had a number of managerial ins and outs.

Moyes has had a damn good innings as boss in Premier League terms. If we got rid, it wouldn’t be the latest on a list of casualties at an unstable club. I would also highlight the impact a change of manager can have mid-term.

Roy Hodgson at Fulham for example, he positivley reinvigorated Fulham when they were looking certs for relegation a couple of years ago. Ditto Harry Redknapp at Spurs last year and when he rejoined Portsmouth when they were in a precarious situation a few years ago.

Hell, look what Moyes did for us when he joined — we looked positivley fucked under Wally Smith and initially he was a breath of fresh air.

I don’t think we are in deep trouble yet, and I hope Moyes turns it around. But I think to deny the possibility of a manager, his methods and relationship with players can go stale is churlish.

Maybe we do need freshening up. Moyes clearly takes a certain approach and has some fairly set beliefs in tactics and what his players can do. Perhaps a more flexible and creative manager might get more out of what we have? Just a thought....

Many on this forum have pointed out Sir Alex at Man Utd as an exemplar of sticking with your man though thick and thin... ie, you reap benefits. I’m not quite so sure that we will get that with Moyes.

Alan Kirwin
3   Posted 28/10/2009 at 23:50:14

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Moyes has had a tough time. But he is paid a very large sum of money and is at least the co-architect of some of the problems we experience.

Our injury list is horrible. No debate about that. But he constantly overlooks the idea of giving young & fringe players their chance. Why not? Is the Carling cup really the height of our ambition? of course not. Tonight both Arsenal and Liverpool played almost reserve sides — and probably learnt a lot from doing so. But despite a horrific injury situation and 3 games in 6 days, Moyes plays he same players. Seems madness to me.

I wouldn’t campaign against Moyes. He rescued our dignity and has transformed us from bottom 6 to top 6. But the lack of ambition and expansive thought is worrying. I would personally not be overly upset if he were to go, on the basis that we might get Roberto Martinez in his place. Rather another exciting young Turk than an old fart.
Iain Love
4   Posted 29/10/2009 at 03:32:51

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To push on, we don't need to change the manager, we need money. But what is better: Evolution or Revolution?

We have under Moyes & Kenwright gone the right way, improved the team, got the average age down, finished in much better positions than before, and not spent a fortune on shit players.

I agree that our current form is poor but look at the players who are out! I agree that other teams have kicked on and improved to a greater extent than ourselves but, without that rich benefactor, we simply can’t. Remember Leeds!

I agree with Kirk, and think he has made some good points but some other posters do need a reality check.

John Gaulton
5   Posted 28/10/2009 at 15:22:27

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I have always been a fan of David Moyes, but this season it is really starting to waver due to the constant moaning and excuses about injuries and team selection.

Yes, we have a lot of players out at the moment but there a good number of first-team regulars still playing. So there is NO EXCUSE for the dismal displays we have all had to sit through for the most part of the season.

We can't even string two passes together never mind even look like a team that can get a result. Now the media blackout that he has started only proves that he has also thrown his toys out of the pram.

I am one worried Toffee, as I am sure you are all to. 11 points in the league and already out of a cup. It's not looking good.

Everyone looks to the manager for support and encouragement and at the moment that is really lacking, and damaging to the team and support overall.

Let's all hope that he gets it together like he always seems to, to be fair, or is this season one to far?

Rob Hope
6   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:05:19

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I am in the middle with thoughts similar to Alan Kirwan, I wouldn’t protest against Moyes; however I wouldn’t be to sad if he walked, thus freeing us from a costly pay off.

I do feel the fans are getting tired with his tactics especially at home were he had a €15Mil midfielder and a £12 mil forward sitting on the bench, with 6 defenders playing. That to me is a turning point where I have started to question if the man has any bootle at all. We're used to no bottle against top 4 but Wolves at home?

My prediction is we will make a recovery but Moyes will sill go, a new manager will come in with a new approach and question the condition of the players, etc. I do believe we have a good squad when fit and a good technical attack minded coach wouldn’t do to bad. Some people think we would go under but we have been around for 130 years. The loss of one slightly better than average manager won't change that.

Having said that, I feel his achievements shouldn’t go unnoticed and he would be welcome back at Goodison for many a year.
Ciarán McGlone
7   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:34:53

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Interesting responses.

Personally I think we’re in a strange dynamic, resulting in some of our supporters confusing their affection for Moyes with their love of the club...David Moyes is ultimately not the club, and neither is Kenwright..

It’s clear that a lot of Bill and Dave’s support resides in sentimentality..in fact, I would suggest that all of Bill’s support resides in sentementality - because he has done little to advance this club - beyond the appointment of Moyes..It’s unlikely that Johnson would’ve got away with any of the stunts that Kenwright has perpetrated over the years...and it’s unlikely that Johnson would even have had the brass neck to attempt them...Kenwright seems to have a tacit acceptance that he can get away with certain things because of the sentimentality factor attached to his ’blue credentials’. This, I find to be an abhorrent situation.

As for Dave - there is obviously a huge degree of sentimentality attached to his tenure due to his personality. Through that dour exterior he exudes the principles of integrity, honesty and commitment....All traits that we should expect in a manager but are most definitely lucky to have...and we embrace him for that..

But lets get one thing straight, sentimentality is not the only string to Davey’s bow...He has performed well since his arrival here - if solely on a results based criteria...He has assembled a squad of reasonable players, and has bred a degree of confidence.

However at the moment this confidence is not manifesting itself on the pitch...and although there are external factors which obviously mitigate this .. it could be argued that Moyes will never play the kind of football or buy the kind of players that the crowd at Goodison crave...

It’s clearly possible to outgrow a manager...certain managers are perfect for doing certain things at clubs...Phil brown and Mick McCarthy are great at taking clubs to the permiership - but are they really the managers to keep them there...It may simply be a case that Moyes is a great manager for taking clubs from near the bottom of the table to near the top of the table - but never any further.

Maybe we’ve simply outgrown him - and he’s at the top of his game... Maybe he’s a casaulty of his own success, and the aspirations that he’s created have now outgrown his ability.. Whatever the reality is - ultimately we can’t let sentimentality get in the way of what’s best for Everton...

Personally, I’d like to see what he does with the current team fully fit...only then can we really judge the man - because then there can be no excuses...or can the sentimental mob always find a reason?
Colin Potter
8   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:31:25

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We cannot afford to sack him. The only way would be if he got fed up and walked. I don’t think he has the bottle myself. I don’t think there are many managers around who wouldn’t have told kenright to fuck off by now. Kirk moyes has had a fair wad of money over the years, and he has wasted quite a bit of it . I know he isn’t responsible for the injuries, but his for us only having a small squad, for tactics and poor pre season build up etc... I agree with Andy Morden, getting a new manager in now could revitalize the whole club, its just getting him to that is the bugbear. I know it would upset the moyes boys, but the club comes first not his ego.
Eamonn Turner
9   Posted 29/10/2009 at 11:55:13

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Last paragraph sums it up Ciaran ( sorry Mate not computer smart enough to do the fada). I’m as down in the dumps as anyone about the recent run of results with the possible exception of one David Moyes.

Seriously though folks, how can we even suggest we have outgrown Moyes? If we had backed him with Abu whatever like cash then fair enough. Shit run at the moment alright-but the season isn’t over yet. Not one team in the Premiership has shown real consistency yet this year.

As for the supposed media blackout. Did anyone see the post Bolton interview? After giving away a late winner from a spirited fightback Moyes gets asked "So David is it a feeling of mixed emotion leaving the reebok?’ FFS!
Stewart Littler
10   Posted 29/10/2009 at 12:20:55

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If we had had the same injury crisis when Moyes first took over, we would have had the following as a strongest line up available:

Paul Gerrard, Steve Watson, Alessandro Pistone, Peter Clarke, David Unsworth, Leon Osman, Scott Gemmill, Tobias Linderoth, Idan Tal, Tomasz Radzinski & Duncan Ferguson. With only Kevin Campbell as a recognised sub.

And the following equal to our current TEN injured players - Stubbs, Weir, Naysmith, Hibbert, Alexandersson, Pembridge, Gravesen, Carsley, Rooney, Max-Moore.

So it really confuses me that we have had to "reduce the size of the squad significantly in the process" as Jay Harris suggests. If anything, it has remained roughly the same, whilst the average age has come down significantly.

Fair do’s to suggest and agree with said suggestion that Moyes has not had enough financial backing. But to go OTT with wild unfactual statements?

Agree very much with Ciaran’s post, and I too feel that until we have got a semblance of our strongest team back, we will have to wait to judge Moyes long term.

Dave Wilson
11   Posted 29/10/2009 at 11:47:27

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I’m not sure I hold with this "Moyes cant be sacked, so no point in speculating on alternatives theory"

Managers are sacked almost weekly and yes it usually cost the club doing the sacking a lot more than they can actually afford.

Rightly or wrongly fan power is everything, the fans can get a manager sacked by merely staying away, Ask Gareth Southgate. They can also bring irresistable pressure on the board.
Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham fans have been choosing their managers for years - and as in the cases of George Graham, big Sam + big Phil, sacking them.
without the Kopites support, Rafa woulda been gone by now.

If the majority of Evertonians wanted Moyes out, out he would go.

We all like a good moan, but the overwhleming majority of us Know which side our breads buttered on, replacing Moyes would be too big a gamble and we know it, very few of us are completely happy with him . . . but with so many other uncertainfies currently surrounding the club, to many of us he represents stability . . the devil we know
James Stewart
12   Posted 29/10/2009 at 14:42:41

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This post is so one-track minded it's untrue! A lot of bold statements with no truth behind them.

Andy Morden’s response pretty much said it all for me so I won't go on and list the same reasons.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 29/10/2009 at 15:03:47

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Ah go on James.....

Tell us where we’re going wrong..
Peter McHugh
14   Posted 29/10/2009 at 14:57:16

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Agree with most of post and point about utlity players / players out of position. I think the reason is because we have a small squad and hence, moyes tries to plug the gaps. I think if he had money he would buy players with expertise in every position.

The point is, we are never going to have any money whilst Kenwright is at the helm. Moyes. Therefore, is Moyes right manager for us. He has limitations, I’m certain there is room for improvement but I think with the current board, Moyes is probably best man for the job.

I’d give him this season and next — I think next summer is a frightening thought and — if we don’t invest — players such as Jags, Arteta, Pienaar may well look to move... and I can’t say I’d blame them.

Sean Keigher
15   Posted 29/10/2009 at 14:53:20

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Only when we have all our squad fit can we judge Moyes this season. We had 9 points this time last year with 9 games played sitting in 14th position with a fully fit squad more or less and we still finished 5th. We have 11 points this season sitting in 14th position with 11 first team players injured.

When Arteta, Pienaar, Jags, Neville, Baines, Yobo, Bily, Osman fit and ready for selection can we begin to scrutinise Moyes.

If we are still in 14th position next May having had the majority of our players fully fit for the second half of the season I will be the first to hold my hand up and say Moyes can bring this current squad no further, time for change and not just at pitchside level but board level too.

Phil Neville’s crunching tackle on Ronaldo was a turning point last season, the fans' mood changed and so did the players'. This was shortly followed by Saha’s late winner against Fulham. A win against Villa on Saturday is just the tonic to get the fans singing again and what better way to follow it up than a European night at Goodison.

Call me a dreamer but the facts are there from last season, there is time to turn things around.

Don’t panic just yet!
Phil Martin
16   Posted 29/10/2009 at 17:33:55

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Every fuckin year the Moyes bashers (rightly or wrongly) call for his head. And almost every fuckin year, when we get players back from injuries and hits some form, he turns the season around. It normally happens before Xmas too, EVERY year.

The real issue is why, EVERY fucking year, Moyes has to sell before he buys? Why his primary transfer targets are never acquired OR not acquired until after the season starts? Thats Bill and Co’s look-out.

Unfortunately, Moyes owes this club nothing and will probably walk rather than go through this drama for a 3rd summer in a row. So I assume we’d know more then (if nothing is revealed sooner) about the true state of our club.

Andy Morden
17   Posted 29/10/2009 at 17:36:06

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I think Ciarán is right; we do need to see how Moyes (and the team) perform when everyone is fit. I think I should clarify, I was not calling for Moyes to go. I was reflecting upon the potential positives of getting in a new manager because quite frequently the ’worst case scenario’ of Newcastle gets put forward as case in point of what would happen to us.

Hugely fascinating debate — it seems quite a few folk do feel Moyes has gone stale where others point to the ’structural’ constraints that Moyes has to operate in as being to blame. Time will tell; for the club's sake, I hope he pulls it round.

Mike Green
18   Posted 29/10/2009 at 18:36:55

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If Moyes is going to walk, can we have some realistic suggestions on where exactly he’s going to walk to?

Like it or not, he’s going nowhere.
Brian Waring
19   Posted 29/10/2009 at 18:37:34

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Wait till Moyes has a fully fit squad, and then judge him. So in his 7 years tenure with us, has Moyes never had a fully fit squad to pick from? Because the way some of you are talking, you would have thought not.

We have had some good ’Footballing performances’ But for most of his tenure it has been dour, predictable football, and on tactics, well, does he actually know what they are? And whilst he deserves a lot of credit for the league finishes he has brought us, at times it’s been hard work watching.

Even with mega-bucks to spend, it would just probably be more of the same, but with more expensive utility players brought in.
Dennis Stevens
20   Posted 29/10/2009 at 22:25:55

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I have a lot of respect for Moyes, he has done a decent job at Everton & I would love to see him take the club back to the heady days when we used to actually win things. However, I do have concerns over whether he will ever have a team playing decent football consistently enough to achieve that level of success at Everton. Although, I’m in no rush to see the back of him, the idea that he is irreplaceable is to place him somewhat unrealisticly on a pedestal. There are other capable managers around.
I can not see Moyes leaving of his own choosing anytime soon, either. Firstly, because I believe he still wants to achieve more at Everton. Secondly, because I can’t see there being a queue of clubs wanting him that he would consider a step up - we saw last year when his contract negotiations dragged on for months that there was no great queue of clubs sniffing ’round him & I doubt they will be until he has a little more on his cv & also, perhaps, until his teams consistently produce a better standard of football. Football is, after all, a spectator sport & most businessmen will want there to be some football to get people to want to come & spectate.
Dennis Stevens
21   Posted 29/10/2009 at 22:50:17

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By the way, Kirk, following your "logic" that changing manager mid-season is detrimental, the Peter Johnson would not have replaced the hapless Mike Walker with Joe Royle, who not only turned ur apparently doomed season ’round after our worst start to a league season but also lead us to the last piece of silverware the club has won - all in the same season!
Mike Green
22   Posted 30/10/2009 at 10:31:11

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Dennis Stevens - spot on.

Personally I think the frustration we’re feeling is its a bit like " yeah... yeah... we know you can save us from relegation... yeah yeah.... we know you can get us in the top half.... yeah yeah we know you can qualify us for Europe.... yeah yeah.... we’ve seen all that but is that all you’ve got Davey? What about Chs League? What about silverware? What about consisitent silverware? What about winning the Prem? What about building a dynasty...........? And while you’re at it what about playing like Brazil.................................?’

We’re fickle demanding fuckers us football fans.

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