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No Excuses

By Chris Butler :  01/03/2010 :  Comments (7) :
After Sunday's defeat to Spurs, probably the best side outside the top 4 at the moment, it occurred to me that there clearly isn’t much difference on the pitch than our position in the table may suggest.

At the end of the FA Cup Final, there was a sense of optimism for next season as most loyal blues stayed behind to clap the team for their tremendous achievements that season. There was also a sizable minority who left the stadium as soon as the final whistle went. I thought to myself what more do these people want? We finished 5th, beat Liverpool, and got to the FA Cup Final. Last season we didn’t realistically have a chance of finishing any higher or winning the FA Cup with our small squad.

At the start of the season, I like many others thought that Everton would struggle as we spent awfully in the transfer window and still had a huge injury list. Against Arsenal, we were outclassed and quite rightly deserved to get thrashed but until we played in Portugal there wasn’t one other game when I felt we had been outclassed.

The problem has been this season Everton have wasted so many chances to rise up the table. We gave away games such as Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Fulham, Burnley, Stoke, Sunderland, Aston Villa, and Birmingham and, on Sunday, Spurs. These were all games we should've left with the points; instead, we gave away stupid goals and we have been punished for our mistakes.

Many people blame injuries... I don’t as we knew that we needed to buy about 8 players and it was stupid not to get anybody so the injury excuse isn’t valid. The Destination Kirkby nonsense frankly isn’t an excuse as the players are meant to concentrate on matters on the pitch, not off it.

This is what certain people would have you believe: We don’t have any money so should not bother to even trying to break into the top 4. We must accept that DK was the only way we could get a better stadium. We must accept that Moyes is a tactical genius and also makes the right decisions.

We must accept the drivel that certain ex-Everton players spout of national TV of on the OS. Why does the same man Kevin Ratcliffe whose name was being chanted in the first leg in the "Oh we love Everton" song, decide to give 90 minutes of anti-Everton slurs on the TV? I’m sick of Sharp as well... as all these people seem to live in a Moyes world.

As I’ve often been accused of not having a conclusive opinion, I’ll tell you the reason why I think this season has been so poor. I believe that the blame lies with the manager as our tactics have been awful for example play 4-5-1 against Wolves then to play 4-4-2 against Manchester United and Chelsea away. Moyes has played underperforming players in big games. Moyes clearly can’t see the same things most blues can as we could be easily in 4th place now as our competitors are not much better than us this year.

We need make some serious decisions in May as I believe if we continue to under perform and lose our best players each season we are only going to go back to the days of Walter smith.

Reader Comments

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Dick Fearon
1   Posted 28/02/2010 at 23:30:34

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Good... maybe. Great... definitely not...

In the Carling Cup final a much maligned, often ridiculed, at least on these pages, Sir Alex, did what David Moyes has never done or possibly ever dreamed of doing. With the game evenly balanced, SAF altered its flow by making two tactical changes BEFORE half-time... Those changes swung the game in United's favour and from that point there was only going to be one winner.

That, David, is the difference between a great and a good manager. The great one has won 28 trophies in 23 years. the good one has not won any... or for that matter even gone close to winning one. (I do not count an abysmal FA cup final as going close.)

The great manager will back his intuition while the good one is permanently shackled by self-doubt.

Chris Briddon
2   Posted 02/03/2010 at 10:14:00

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Did I seriously have to read that - my goodness I can’t believe people keep having the same arguments over and over again.

So injuries isn’t a valid excuse, well Man Utd and Liverpool to name but 2 have sued it all season (and they’ve only usually had a couple of players missing). We aren’t Man City, if we have 8 players missing we can’t go out and buy 5 or 6 players to cover until they’re fit again.

Tactics - well we play 4-5-1 if we have the players to do it, but you could hardly describe it as negative when it has a midfield 5 of Pienaar, Bily, Arteta, Donovan and Osman in it. The first half of the season we occasionally played 4-4-2 but mainly due to lack of other options due to missing players.

As for the money - well we DON’T have any, I would love us to break the top 4 but also accept that financially we will struggle to compete. It is only thanks to our manager how we have managed to do this at all and raise those expectations.

Dick - If Davey had the option to bring someone like Rooney on when things weren’t going your way then maybe he would, but generally our best players & options are already on the pitch - When you have a small squad, that’s what you do - if you are Man Utd / Chelsea / Man City, you can have 5 or 6 other top players on the bench instead.

As for fans seeing things the manager can’t well, if you don’t mind I will go with the 3 times maanger of the years opinion rather than yours thanks!

James Boden
3   Posted 26/02/2010 at 12:52:06

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Editor's Note: This long comment was submitted soon after the disaster in Lisbon, but got caught in our site transition problems... sorry for the delayed posting.

Here we go yet again. Total humiliation. Out of another competition. Another trophy less season. You really couldn’t make it up. I mean for fucksake we were playing a team who are struggling in a pub league and they battered us from start to finish. As much as I would like to say I am surprised truth is I am not at all. I for one saw this coming from a million miles away. I could see that the negative twat of a manager would set out to spend the entire game defending what we had. Had he not learnt a fucking thing from the Cup Final when he tried to defend a 1 goal lead for 89 minutes? Is he really that inept and clueless?

I guess he is because that game exposed Moyes for what he really is- an embarrassment. This supposedly great manager of ours once again showed himself up when it mattered most. His supporters harp on about the pride he has installed and that he is better than Walter Smith and Mike Walker which automatically makes him great I suppose.

However many seem to forget how many times we have been humiliated under him. Aside from that result in Lisbon we saw our record defeat in Lisbon at Benfica overtake our previous record European defeat- also set by Moyes for the record. And that was against Fucking Dinamo Bucharest for heaven’s sake. Also it is worth noting that this was our 4th defeat in 6 games in Europe. And apparently European Football is our forte. HAHA BRILLIANT!

If this guy is to take the plaudits for fantastic displays and results against Chelsea and Man United then he should also be held accountable for appalling displays such as these. Of course he only reacts to adversity. It seems to be clear to me now that the shocker at Anfield turned his head to react and set out differently against the top 2.

But just when I thought just maybe he has finally learnt his lesson and can transform us into a top side he goes and fucks it up again. And this will not be the end as history has shown as it has happened TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN under Moyes. His loyalty to the same old faces is unreal.

How have the likes of Neville, Yobo and Osman survived this long? I will be fair to Osman who is playing alright at the moment and certainly better than our supposed playmaker Arteta. When will Evertonians ever wake up and realise that this guy is painfully average? We have an 18 year old on the bench who has 10 times the talent of OUR MICKY! The guy who always hits the first man on the corner and who does little but stupid flicks. I mean our fans had the cheek to slate Manuel Fernandes who wasn’t given a sniff by Moyes despite clearly possessing twice the talent of Mr Overrated.

But back to Neville. Why is he still playing for us? The guy is a liability. He was roasted all night long and was at fault for all 3 goals. Don’t get me wrong he has good leadership skills but now it is time to hand over the captaincy to either Heitinga or Jagielka and fuck him off! And that Yobo too should be fucked off as should that waste of space Distin. I mean Moyes has on the bench a young right back that so far has shown a lot of promise. And what was his reward for a marvellous performance against Spurs? Getting dropped. You couldn’t make that up if you tried. What a confidence booster that was provided by our knob head of a manager. But that pretty sums up what Moyes is all about and why we will win fuck all under him and ultimately go downhill from here. Not to worry only another 8 years of failure. Maybe we may have learnt by then.

Robert Daniels
4   Posted 28/02/2010 at 20:58:36

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Editor's Note: ... ditto...

Oh dear... where to begin? I'm afraid to say it but i cant see us ever winning anything under the great white hope that is Mr Moyes. I so much wanted him to be our Shankley, as a man I have the utmost respect for his honesty and integrity and believe these qualities are beyond reproach.

However, when it comes to tactics and gameplans, knowing a players position he is totaly out of his depth.

I have posted on here before and have slagged Moyes off many times, that is our right as supporters, but the writing is now firmly on the wall, he has to go!

He has taken us as far as he can... and before anyone starts talking about Wembley, yes, I went and it was great. But since Moyes took over at Everton, the mighty Wigan and Millwall and a host of other crap teams have enjoyed a day out there as well, in fact a lot quicker than us — so don't even go there.

I can hear it now: we've just beat Chelsea and the Mancs... same answer as above, it just took us longer. Now I do believe we have the players, in fact a good as squad as anyone apart from the top three and Man City. Here we go again; Moyes bought them, agreed and deserves great credit for doing so. But I could buy a grand piano tomorrow and still make it play crap!

You watch, next game, Johnny, who looked great as the holding midfielder today, will be in defence against the mighty Hull, and you know it. Together with the world class Fellaini, and the young Rodwell, Johnny would be part of my holy trinity when all fit.

Pienaar and Donavon wide, with Coleman and Baines behind them, Louis up front and Jags with one of the other CHs at the back. Under Moyes this team won't ever play together only by default. Anyway, I've said my piece and may get some stick for it but I don't care, I'm afraid it's time to say goodbye to Mr Moyes.

Oh and by the way, I know it won't happen, not while Mr Kenwright is there, but it should!

Dave Smith
5   Posted 02/03/2010 at 15:24:50

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So many knee-jerk reactions....

If only real life was like those Premier Manager games. Everton would have become world beaters years ago....
Peter Warren
6   Posted 02/03/2010 at 16:00:05

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I’m not Moyes's biggest fan but excuse is injuries and I am excited by the squad we have. I think moyes should be given even more time and we should judge him next season as that will really be his team then and after 2 seasons of "bad luck" , I really would offer no excuses no matter what problems persist on or off the pitch
Gary Hughes
7   Posted 04/03/2010 at 20:48:08

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There is a simple pattern to follow when trying to fathom out our ridiculous inconsitency. When Moyes sends out a team to win, like against Chelsea & Utd we are more than capable of getting a result. When he sends us out to get a draw, like against Sporting & Spurs, we get beat. It’s not really that difficult to work out.

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