So, although I can't make my mind up what I want to happen, there are some things that always strike me when reading through articles and comments on Moyes. In no particular order, here are some things that I think need to be considered:
- Do we conflate and confuse playing style and success? Virtually all of the examples of expansive-minded managers that get trotted out are simply not as successful as Moyes has been: Lambert, Martinez, Rodgers would all kill for the sustained league positions that Moyes has achieved. Moyes generally beats these managers when he meets them, sometimes playing good football, sometimes not.
But style and success do not go hand in hand. You can be ugly and successful, and beautiful and unsuccessful. Sometimes, when the stars align, you can be both beautiful and successful (Barcelona over the last 3 years, Arsenal under Wenger for about 2 years). But to think that playing more attractive football will improve our results is naive, I think.
- Do we allow success to alter our perceptions of style? We finished 7th last season (again). Honestly, looking at the teams that finished above us, how many do you think play a more attractive kind of football than us? For me, the list is limited to Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal. You might not agree, but in Man City, Chelsea and Newcastle, I see teams and managers in the Moyes mould. That is, play nice football when you can (start / end of season or when teams roll over and let you do what you want), but then be pragmatic the rest of the time. When the chips are down, don't take chances, be strong defensively and try to nick a goal at the other end. That is the de-facto modus operandi of most teams (successul or not), and Moyes is no different.
When I see Man City, I see a Moyes team with almost half a billion quid spent on it. I don't see Barcelona. But, if we had our own oil sheikh, would we still moan about the style of football under Moyes, or would we lap it up? I'd guess the latter. I've seen nothing in Moyes to suggest that, given the advantages of other teams, he couldn't win trophies as well. I've also seen nothing to suggest he'd turn us into another Barcelona because I don't think that's his philosophy.
- Do we all swallow the Sky bullshit a little too easily? For all the success of the teams I mentioned in §2 above, I would argue that only Man Utd have a clearly identifiable ethos that they stick to. Fergie likes his teams to play fast, attacking football and to impose themselves on teams. Spurs pretend they do, but let's be honest (George Graham, Santini, Gross... just off the top of my head). Arsenal used to, but these days I think they're just not good enough to actually impose a philosophy on anyone (they have a vague intent for short passing, but that's as far as it goes). Chelsea, under Di Matteo, have been awful to watch.
And yet, for all that, Sky will have you convinced that these teams are better than Barcelona for the most part. The most routine save or goal will be met with an orgasmic moan by the Sky commentator / pundit / fuckwit. And I think fans lap that up a little too easily. It could, of course, simply be "the grass is always greener" syndrome. Stabiliy is boring, and often Everton under Moyes are boring, so sometimes the alternatives seem more attractive.
- Do we confuse end result with end product? The line of thought always seems to be that "Moyes plays crap football. Moyes has won nothing. Therefore, crap football never results in trophies". However, I would contend that this is a false syllogism. And in my defence, I would offer the following exhibits: Chelsea under Di Matteo, Man City under Mancini, Inter Milan under Mourinho. Teams that have, in recent seasons, won the Champions League and the EPL, have been fucking awful to watch. But they've still won.
Sometimes, a little luck (or a lot of luck) goes a long, long way. It also doesn't hurt that these clubs are incredibly wealthy. But my contention is that the only difference between these clubs and Everton is money; not style. Give Moyes that kind of budget and I think he'd deliver a trophy as well. I also don't think his style would change though. But the idea that Moyes will never triumph because of his negativity or conservative nature is just ludicrous. All he's doing is emulating what he sees around him. Success is bred from money, not footballing philosophy.
So, beyond that, I can't make my mind up. I just think that sometimes we reduce the argument about Moyes and his merits to almost comic-book simplicity, and we are all too guilty of failing to see the granular detail.
Editor's Note: This response by Declan to the Why IS David Moyes Still at Everton? thread was deemed worthy of being published as an article in its own right.
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
947 Posted 19/06/2012 at 01:27:47
All the names tossed about whenever there's an opening? Put their names in a hat and pick one. Little difference who you pick. Managers/Head Coaches are way, way over-rated. Any sport. It's the quality of the players that counts.
But a few do matter and Kenright lucked into one of them; Moyes. If he's re-signed, I'll be happy. If our extremely rich owners don't give him some few millions (by EPL standards) to keep and enhance the team, what difference does it make who manages the Club?
954 Posted 19/06/2012 at 01:59:00
I think the questions are valid as we have all seen variable performances from season to season as well as within seasons; some easily accounted for by player availability but others with no obvious discernible cause. At times the same players have appeared utterly clueless at how to overcome obdurate opponents and have meekly succumbed to fired up opponents, and yet have been inspired and utterly fearless against teams expected to be superior in every way. Though not universal, the number of seasons we have had that have begun poorly and were then rescued after Christmas has been frequent enough under this manager for many of us to wonder if there is a direct link of cause and effect that is created by his way of operating.
Unfortunately it is only by directly contrasting and comparing that truly meaningful answers for these sort of questions can ever be revealed, and that means serious financial investment in the squad or a change of manager at some stage (who would then have to operate with the same squad of players for a significant time for any true comparison to be made). I think the majority think that Davey has earned the right to show what he can do with some cash to splash, but it is highly unlikely that any Everton manager in the near future will be leading the way in transfer activity.
955 Posted 19/06/2012 at 02:41:53
What I mean by that is the mythical attacking, strategic master mind type manager we would all love to see won't come to a club like Everton as long as the current board refuse to spend money.
I know Moyes is on good money but I can't think of many top class managers who would sign up at a club with our exposure and risk having to get results on the smell of an oily rag.
Moyes isn't the greatest of managers but like it or not he is consistent and that's all this board and a good portion of the fan base want. Sad to say...
956 Posted 19/06/2012 at 03:05:27
Man U typically have a strong defence which is why they have won so many trophies in the past though they did concede 4 goals v us and 6 goals in their derby this season.
969 Posted 19/06/2012 at 09:15:07
Anyway, the editor was right to fish it out. A superb article, written by an obviously keen observer of the game.
972 Posted 19/06/2012 at 09:43:04
The manager has a tendency to be too defensive
The players aren't consistent enough, as Si points out, sometimes they are brilliant, the other dire.
The board for not giving the manager funds to push forward instead of always tying to replace our better player when sold with prospects.
It's not just one cog, it's the whole machine
973 Posted 19/06/2012 at 09:58:03
Under Moyes, how many times have we seen Everton freeze when it matters? When we go 1-0 up in the first half against better teams, inevitably we end up with an isolated striker and a mass defence. Now sometimes this has worked, eg Spurs at home last season, but even when it has been successful it has been more by luck than anything else.
You need to go back a number of years to realise that this isn?t just the current team problem. Years ago we played Man U at Goodison and went 3-0 down & then came back to 3-3. At this stage Man U were on the ropes, confidence drained, all the momemtum was with the home side and you?d expect EFC to go for the winner. Instead we sat back, trying to hold onto a draw and got beat 4-3.
Now I am pretty sure that Moyes didn?t tell them to sit back but it?s built into the team that the emphasis is always on defence. In some ways we are so scared of getting beat that we end up to scared to go for a victory.
Obviously the biggest damnation of Moyes tactics is that in the P/L we still haven?t won away against the original big four ? what more needs to be said?
979 Posted 19/06/2012 at 09:35:30
If you see football as true competition where on any given day the money league idea is discarded other things come into play. I adhere to Danny Blanchflowers comment that the game (indeed all sport) is about glory.
Courage, wit, invention, surprise and innovation all play their part in that most glorious of events - defying the odds.
My biggest criticism of Moyes is OVERALL there is little of that in what he does.
Dour predictability approximating to where are finances are in the league pervades our thinking. This present EFC could not do what Big Joe did in smashing the much fancied Spurs in the semi final and beat a Utd in a cup final, it just isn't designed that way.
Being Everton means nothing, read any forum from any club the same criticisms, desires and arguments prevail, my simple argument is 10 years of what Moyes provides ie top mid table without glory is enough for anyone.
It's not about winning the league, getting CL or any of the spoofery quoted by his fans it's about someone bringing vision, excitement and yes, some glory to our Goodison.
984 Posted 19/06/2012 at 10:29:09
Not just against better teams Brian, but mostly against lesser teams.
988 Posted 19/06/2012 at 10:57:35
Also we defied the odds by getting beat by QPR, Blackburn etc
993 Posted 19/06/2012 at 11:33:43
995 Posted 19/06/2012 at 11:55:29
2 of our goals were scored deep into injury time. That's hardly sitting back is it?!
998 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:10:23
003 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:24:13
004 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:28:35
007 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:24:46
For me, I'd just like to see a team go out, without fear of the opposition and play to their potential, excite the crowd and excite me, not bore me to death most of the time. I want to enjoy watching the mighty blues again and be proud of the way they went about it, not embarrassed and deflated for the most part.
I wonder whether this year IS the year Moyes finally figures this out and goes for it from the off, puts attack before defense and takes it to everyone. Surely even he must be fed up of the same old same old. If Moyes destroys Jelavic like I believe he has so many strikers before him then god help us all. I've seen Rush, Lineker and Wayne Clarke, Jelavic is simply the best finisher I have ever seen, if he can't get 20 goals with the players at our disposal then Moyes has no place at Goodison.
I'm prepared to give Moyes ANOTHER chance, don't fuck it up, go out and be positive from the off, fuck this 40 points target, I want Champions League footy before I die.
010 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:31:32
Everyone back for corners, pack the midfield, keep your shape, track back, keep the other team from scoring rather than us going at them - especially the Sky top four / six of the day. Forget all hope away from home against these teams.
When we have had a pasting (that 6-1 by the Arse on the opening day still haunts me) it sends Moyes back into his shell, and back to KITAHTN1 mode.
He definately does not want his reputation to suffer, and will never try to change now ? it's too late.
So, get used too 4-5-1, the magical 40-point marker as our ambition, and decent footy the last few games, when the pressure is off.
014 Posted 19/06/2012 at 12:52:36
It's in the decisions and choices Moyes often makes that frustrates us most I think. NOTHING to do with money, FFS!!!!
015 Posted 19/06/2012 at 13:02:52
020 Posted 19/06/2012 at 13:22:26
No matter who is the manager, if he is not provided with sufficient funds to enable progression, then the only way is down!
I hated the style of play we had when we seemed to only score at set pieces and generally played to stifle other sides with better players.
But, what was the alternative? If we had played expansively we would have lost more games and consequently been sucked into relegation dog fights.
Mr Moyes has actually played to whatever strengths we have had to enable survival and unfortunately it made us one of the least attractive teams to watch.
We are probably the only club to achieve a top four position with a negative goal difference and, once we played against top opposition in Europe, we were found wanting.
I would rather attain a top ten finish and avoid playing in Europe as we DO NOT have the squad to compete effectively.
Once again, we have shown little interest in signing someone quickly, as DM stated he required to enable progress.
We consistently provide 'Jobs' for the likes of McFadden and Hahnemann who cost very little to patch over the squad deficiencies.
Our youngsters must be really poor if those has-beens are preferred as bench warmers.
In conclusion, I would say that no other manager would have achieved as much with so little, in my opinion.
036 Posted 19/06/2012 at 15:51:31
Eric (984), I agree with you, it isn't just the top teams that we sit back when we are 1-0 up. It is just that it is more noticeable against the top teams because we are under constant pressure.
Trevor(020) you state: "But, what was the alternative? If we had played expansively we would have lost more games and consequently been sucked into relegation dog fight."
Admittedly we may lose more but we would also win more. Few people are saying that we should play like Blackpool, ie, all out attack. My view is we should try to win games rather than trying not to lose games ? there's a huge difference!
100 Posted 19/06/2012 at 20:29:56
182 Posted 20/06/2012 at 09:43:05
Maybe because they realise, when it comes to winning trophies, he can't deliver the goods!
220 Posted 20/06/2012 at 15:12:28
You mean me? Can't recall where I "defend Moyes to the hilt". I watch every game I can, yelling "attack, attack, attack", every time we have possession and "Hit the fucking thing. Let the keeper worry about it", whenever we're in or near the box (found myself needing to do so less and less second half of the season). Who am I yelling at, though? Not Moyes, the players.
I rate Moyes, nothing more or less, and would like to see him retain those we finished with last season and get some kind of budget to augment the squad.
"Why not get an enthusiastic person who exudes confidence instead of someone who comes over all dour and dull"?
Not sure what that means. Like life's-a-barrel-full-of-monkeys Wenger perhaps? Davy doesn't come across dour and dull to me. Now, Peter Barry . . . . .
223 Posted 20/06/2012 at 16:37:07
We know what Davey is and so it seems do they.
226 Posted 20/06/2012 at 17:06:54
I have it on good authority that Moyes has already told Levy where to go because he wants to win something with us.....it must be true, I have just made it up now.
229 Posted 20/06/2012 at 17:54:41
Barry @979 - agree with regard to Blanchflower's comments about glory and, in the context of this post, I just wish DM would put the conservatism aside when we play a big match and take a "screw them"/ attacking / get stuck in / approach - especially in Merseyside derbies.
The difference now from the Blanchflower era is the Leeds scenario. The downsides of not surviving in the top flight for Everton would be far bleaker than in Blanchflower's era. It's a safety first approach due to hamstrung finances.
As Trevor @020 states - no manager would have achieved as much with as little. It's a viewpoint I agree with but sums up the "conundrum" nicely. Also, would prefer the Vellios of this world given more of an opportunity to the McFaddens.
(P.S. Can't comment on the "Sky Bullshit" part of the article as I don't have Sky. However, if they're in the same mould as TalkSport then I won't be getting it even if I have a big lottery win. Is the typical TalkSport listener a southern, Sun-reading, white van driver or am I just stereotyping?)
237 Posted 20/06/2012 at 19:00:51
Maybe successful up to a point but as a spectable would rather watch paint dry.
255 Posted 20/06/2012 at 22:19:04
38 games 93 goals.
278 Posted 21/06/2012 at 05:18:49
281 Posted 21/06/2012 at 05:52:41
284 Posted 21/06/2012 at 06:43:43
288 Posted 21/06/2012 at 07:50:03
'Stability is boring.....'
How true. A big slice of the side of me that wants Moyes out comes from a destructive bent for change, just to scratch the 'can we do better...?itch. Not proud of it but it's definitely there.
Jim Harrison - worry not, the majority of Spurs fans have grossly elevated ideas of their standing. I had a debate with a mate (Spurs fan) over who was the bigger club, he was absolutely go smacked when I put 9 titles on the table, had no idea.
Spurs over performed under Redknapp, especially in the start of last season, and their underperformance in the end took them to about where they belong. I think they're looking at 5th or 6th at best next year, if they lose Bale and Modric and manager flops then even lower. Normal service resumed.
Redknapp spent over £80m net in 4 years. If Moyes had £80m to spend I think we'd sleep walk into the Champions League spot to be honest.
290 Posted 21/06/2012 at 08:45:05
So - like we've said so many times before - start the season how we finished the last, get our heads down and why not Champions League next year?
293 Posted 21/06/2012 at 09:00:46
Show me his article in October when were 16th. :D
294 Posted 21/06/2012 at 09:06:36
306 Posted 21/06/2012 at 10:07:29
Trophies tell the tale and we have won more titles than they have.
In fact ALL the London teams were seen as soft touches away from home and that included West Ham with Bobby Moore etc. The only London team to have performed well throughout their history is Arsenal... Chelsea and the Hammers have mostly been also rans.
Liverpool as a city has won more trophies than any other city in England including London with their many clubs. But then, every dog has it's day!!
611 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:19:08
Fans remember Moyes losing 4-3 8 years ago, but forget the 3-3 when jags had a chance to score and the ref blew. Try not to re-write history on this one.
614 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:37:41
615 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:28:23
616 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:39:31
620 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:41:02
If it take's a man and a half, a day and a half, to dig a hole and a half - how many holes are there in the 'He he hardy ha Great Wall of China'?
621 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:46:48
622 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:48:36
624 Posted 22/06/2012 at 23:51:21
626 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:05:03
'Lay, Lady, Lay " Bob Dylan.
That's part of it, isn't it...?
627 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:08:29
629 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:21:36
632 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:23:55
Moyes tactics are ? ( usually )
Two seperate words, these posts will be binned as they are not part of the debate anyway ?
633 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:28:06
These posts WILL NOT be binned btw. They're bloody brilliant :D
635 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:30:19
Off to work he other one out...
636 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:32:26
645 Posted 23/06/2012 at 00:23:17
In general you have to be right. Substance trumps style in this game of football. West Hammers crave style, though most of them have never seen it in their lifetime. In the end, the end justifies the means. For most of the year I live amongst Man City supporters - great lads who have seen them through it all - and they couldn't give a monkey's about fuck all now that they are "Champions". Substance.
Barcelona is an anomaly in European football. The fact that the hated (and sitting here in Catalunya, I know what I mean) team from Madrid took the title has to tell us something about football in general. A local version goes something like 'Barca will pass you to death, but Madrid will stab you through the heart'. Messi (love the guy) or Ronaldo - be honest now, who would you take?
Sky? A trashy arm of a corrupt empire that attempts to influence which government we have. With some success. I know that some amongst us pay for that privilege. That's entirely up to them. Not me.
To go back to an early point you made. I think Wenger has hardly progressed from the squad he inherited (the back 4 being the mainstay) and Moyes making the best of what he inherited being the blueprint for years to come. And in both cases it works. Big houses in the country assured, they are both in charge of top teams.
Must get you a parking space somewhere.
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