Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Is being an also-ran okay?

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Now I?m not a dreamer, I know we cannot compete with the hundreds of millions of pounds being spent over the past few seasons by the ?big four? and Liverpool. But to suggest we cannot compete at all and should just accept defeat against these sides is okay, well it just isn?t. Last season we done particularly well against these sides and now this season it?s okay to get turned over? Not for me.

We are Everton.

We have something in our team spirit none of these ?big? sides have, we have players that at their best are a match for anyone on their day but we definitely need to step it up, as the players seem to have bought in to this negative attitude against the big sides, and start competing again.

With the young players we have coming through like Rodwell, Barkley, Coleman, Vellios, Fellaini, we can compete and Europe should be a realistic aim for us.

We just need a bit more belief, play two up front, give Vellios a chance or Denis, start Royston or Bily employed as a winger. Let?s just go for it for a couple of games and see where we really are. This month seems a month of hard (not impossible) games before the start; I imagine Moyes would have earmarked 4-6 points so we need 3 against Fulham. We then need to kick on up to Christmas.

Nothing is impossible ? we are Everton.


Stuart Saint, Southampton     Posted 17/10/2011 at 10:12:01

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Kase Chow
1   Posted 17/10/2011 at 14:26:14

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Wonderfully optimistic. I agree with the sentiment ? let's stop turning up waiting to get smashed ? let's fcuking have a go. And if we lose, we lose. But we lose trying to win rather than lose trying to nick a draw
Alex Corbett
2   Posted 17/10/2011 at 15:02:59

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Could not agree more. We know we don't have the money but I believe the squad we do have is still very much capable of European contention.

We need to start rewarding the in-form players with starting places and like you rightly say 'Have a go' and 'get stuck in' like Everton always do; parking the bus is not the Everton way. COYB
Tom Hughes
3   Posted 17/10/2011 at 16:01:24

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Stuart, your name is "Saint", you're from Southampton, and you support Everton?
Rob Williamson
4   Posted 17/10/2011 at 15:55:36

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Stuart - it is impossible. Although, as you say we ARE Everton, we are also managed by David Moyes. None of the 'give-it-a-go', attacking changes you mention will ever happen under his tenure. His obstinate negativity has managed to do what my wife has failed to do for years ? turn me off Everton. Him and his puppet master Kenwright are slowly killing this club and the quicker they go the better.

And before anybody says 'be careful of what you wish for', at the moment I don't care who comes in. Anybody would be better than this pair of Laurel and Hardy like immitators......

And don't get me started on the re-signing of McFadden! Slow, constantly getting caught in possession, always making the wrong decision, hardly a prolific goal-scorer... and that was on a good day!

They are turning us into a laughing stock and maybe when we're in the bottom three by the end of October other people might begin to recognise that! Nurse!
Domino Darkley
5   Posted 17/10/2011 at 16:22:32

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I think most people recognise that already, Rob.

For too long people vented their ire toward Kenwright and never looked too critically at Moyes.

But the QPR game was like the parade in the old fairy tale about the King's new suit.

The moment Beckford was taken off and replaced with a midfield player and us a goal down was like the moment in the story when the boy pointed a finger and said "the King is wearing no clothes".

Since then people have been looking at Moyes's "tactics" and realising he is like the King in that department....naked.
Wayne Smyth
6   Posted 17/10/2011 at 17:48:35

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Some of us have been looking at his tactics for a long, long time. Problem is, when they're achieving results, its difficult to complain about the manner in which those results come, especially when Moyes is working with a tighter budget than some.

As for your hope Stuart, good luck with that while Moyes is in charge. He's been here 10 years. We know what he's about. If there is anything we do know about him, its that he is predictable and stubborn. If we want a change in philosophy then he needs to go.
Steve Woods
7   Posted 17/10/2011 at 18:18:03

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Not sure if anyone remembers the early days of Davey Moyes tenure (maybe the first year or eighteen months?), the days when when he used to go out and work with the lads in the pre-match warmups.

In a post match interview with SKY after, I think, a narrow late defeat at Goodison by Man Utd. he was asked why he was so upset and replied, " I expect us to WIN EVERY game we go in to". I seem to remember him saying similar things after other matches in that period and thinking, that's the spirit!

So, what the hell has happened to the man?

Now, not only does he, post match, play down defeats without mention of expecting to win every game but now, pre match he is talking up the opposition and running down our chances.

I throw the question out there again. What has happened to the man?

Has reality caught up?

Have the limitations that the board tied him with got him down?

Have his own limitations come home to roost?

All or some of the above?

Trevor Mackie
8   Posted 17/10/2011 at 18:42:17

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Steve @ 7

The fella's stale, it's a real shame he's dissolving before our very eyes and people are even saying they hate him now.

While 3 million is a lot of dough, surely he can see it's best all round if he stepped down.

In the footballing community his stock is high he'll easy get another job - won't be as comfortable as here mind.

He needs to move on.
Mick Wrende
9   Posted 17/10/2011 at 18:48:41

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Stuart what is this team spirit we are supposed to have? The morale amongst the players seems to be at its lowest ever. They are being sent out to try and avoid defeat - what does that say Moyes thinks about them. Simply he must think they are not good enough. And to raise team spirit you have to get new faces that will lift the rest of the side and obviously Drenthe and Straq are just not up to it and neither is McFadden. We are 2 points off the bottom and Moyes is not even trying to get us 3 points - clueless and his time should be up.
Domino Darkley
10   Posted 17/10/2011 at 18:45:14

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"Have his own limitations come home to roost?"

This ^

EFC are a bit like UKPLC at the moment.

Deeply in debt and wondering how to get out of it.

On the one hand you can cut, cut, cut in the hope that it will bring your debt down.

It doesn't. It actually makes it more difficult to pay off because the more people who lose their jobs the less money there is to be spent on the High Sreet, less tax coming in and increased welfare payments.

Or.......you can attempt to grow your economy and the opposite of the above will happen, if successful.

So it was with Everton.

As recently as the beginning of last season we had a team capable of qualifying for the CL and the riches that entails.

The debt crisis here could have bee well on the way to resoloution with a season or two in the CL.

But Moyes hadn't the balls to go for it.....hence the apalling start to the season and the negative lineups aand points dropped against the likes of Newcastle, Wolves, Wigan and WBA in successive home matches last seaon.

And let's not even talk about the Upton Park fiasco when three strikers were sat on the bench and not on on the pitch against the bottom team.

Going back two seaons before that, we were fourt, five points clear of Liverpool as Eater approached only for defensive Dave to park the bus at Fulham and let West Ham take the iniative at Goodison on Easter Saturday.

I reckon we could and should have played in the CL at least four times this pst six or seven years and would have done if the manager had just went for it.

So instead we are having to cut by selling players to try and service the debt,,....but we just run to stand still.
Steve Woods
11   Posted 17/10/2011 at 18:18:03

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Not sure if anyone remembers the early days of Davey Moyes tenure (maybe the first year or eighteen months?), the days when when he used to go out and work with the lads in the pre-match warmups.

In a post match interview with SKY after, I think, a narrow late defeat at Goodison by Man Utd. he was asked why he was so upset and replied, " I expect us to WIN EVERY game we go in to". I seem to remember him saying similar things after other matches in that period and thinking, that's the spirit!

So, what the hell has happened to the man?

Now, not only does he, post match, play down defeats without mention of expecting to win every game but now, pre match he is talking up the opposition and running down our chances.

I throw the question out there again. What has happened to the man?

Has reality caught up?

Have the limitations that the board tied him with got him down?

Have his own limitations come home to roost?

All or some of the above?

Mark Jensen
12   Posted 17/10/2011 at 19:10:53

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Domino # 10. Have to agree totally.
I believe we should have finished higher in recent seasons and haven't because of Moyes.
He bottles it.
Always has done, always will.
He will win nothing at Everton.
Dennis Stevens
13   Posted 17/10/2011 at 19:14:43

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Tom, as I'm sure you're aware, Southampton aren't the only "Saints" - we have our roots in St Domingo's, similarly they have their roots in St Mary's. We could just as easily be singing "When the Saints ..."
Brian Waring
14   Posted 17/10/2011 at 19:33:12

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Stuart, Moyes and " Lets just go for it " just don't go togethor mate.

For Moyes, going for it, would probalby be leaving someone on the half way line when we concede a corner.
David Hallwood
15   Posted 17/10/2011 at 23:59:16

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I think Moyes has reached a point that most people do that lurch form crisis to crisis perfoming a fire fighting exercise, they start to feel sorry for themselves and say what's the point and give up.

His body language has been awful this season, and the team has become stale
Derek Thomas
16   Posted 18/10/2011 at 01:45:25

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Stuart; In your last paragraph Moyes would have indeed earmarked 4-6, but not points.

The only points he earmarks are the 1 you have at the start of each game ( he seems to have forgotten that the aim of the game is to take the 2 points up for grabs off the other team )

And any 4-6 in the mix will be the formation of choice to keep the one point he has.

But He and many others are missing the point.

The '0.02%' can't all be wrong
Tony Cheek
17   Posted 18/10/2011 at 13:42:13

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Agreed Brian..14.. or bringing a sub on at half time, or telling Rodwell to pass the ball forward, or playing 4-4-2, or leaving Osman on the bench, or.....................
Tom Hughes
18   Posted 18/10/2011 at 14:10:23

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I think if we could backtrack just 14mths or so, the tone of these articles would be diametrically opposed to what we have now. Then there was a lot of optimism. Optimism based on years of steady progress or consistency on the pitch, and incremental improvement of the playing staff achieved on a very low budget. The preceeding months had seen us produce many solid performances, beating everyone, even playing possession football of some quality at times. Some people even started referring to us as a poor man's Arsenal. Many were backing us to do great things when in actual fact the club's policies had run their course. We had been running on fumes for years, we no strategy to address the issues.

I think negativity on Moyes' part may well have helped lead to our current plight, but feel these other, longer standing defficiencies have had a far greater impact, and have probably played no small part in the manager's negative approach/demeanor. You may all be right about his ability etc..... I've no idea, I have never seen him suitably supported enough by the board to make a judgement of his abilities. What we have is a team built on an absolute shoestring, earned mainly by his ability to generate cash from players he's bought for very little. Even when he has had cash, it's been a relative pittance, and usually released when the shelf was bare. Despite all this, the stats say he's over-achieved (IMO)..... I think he's earned more leeway. I cannot say the same for the current board though!!!
Jason Heng
19   Posted 18/10/2011 at 14:49:45

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Are people just being forgetful? Everton's season normally begins only after Christmas.
Brian Keoghan
20   Posted 18/10/2011 at 14:21:11

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It's easy to blame the manager, we've had 7 since we last won the league and of those, Moyes has the best record. Outside the "big four" (now 5!), think of all the managers who have sunk almost without trace since Moyes arrived. The rest have simply jumped on the "Merry-go-round": Bruce, Pardew, Allardyce, Hodgson, Hughes and so on. Round and round going nowhere. Would you really want any of those just for the sake of it?

Moyes has taken us to the Champions League, Europa League, an FA Cup Final and on 2 occasions we finished 5th ? "the best of the rest". A better CV I'm sure you will agree than any of the above (put together?). At this moment in our history, Moyes is the best Everton manager we are going to get.
Domino Darkley
21   Posted 18/10/2011 at 15:02:30

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I agree with you about how things looked a mere fourteen months ago.

There was optimism around the place.

We all knew there was no money.....hence Beckford on a free was the "marquee" signing.

However, we were where we where.

Rodwell was the most talked about young player in the country and the team was chocca with international players.

Bur then Moyes refused to pick up the baton.

Those dismal early season performances against Wolves, Wigan, Newcastle and Baggies stopped us right in our tracks.

Why on earth would a manager line up against those teams at home the same way he would line up at OT or the Emirates?

It was demoralising for the fans and I am sure for the players also.

The derby win papered over the cracks and the customary second half of the season improvement softened the memory.

Here we are, a year on and it is the same old same old.

Let's forget about the board for awhile....we all know the situation there.

It is events on the pitch that will define our club.

We need to be making the most of what we have available and, as far as I can tell, not one Evertonian, even the most ardent Moyes fan, thinks he is doing that at the moment.

Kenwright needs to grow a pair and tell Moyes that he is not above criticism and that the club demands improvement.

Moyes needs to wake up and accept his share of the blame for what actually happens on the pitch.
Domino Darkley
22   Posted 18/10/2011 at 15:14:53

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Brian Keoghan...here is what I believe.

Any of those managers would have done the same happen they were at Goodison.

This club is still a venerable instituition in the football world.

Making Everton "best of the rest" is not an end in itself.

If Moyes hadn't came here then I am convinced he would have been on the same merry go round as the chaps you mention.

In any other era of Everton history his record of "success" would have had him out on his ear long since.

Moyes owes his reputation to his association with EFC.

Without us he would just be another jobbing manager in and out of jobs with yoyo teams.

All IMO, of course.
Paul Johnson
23   Posted 18/10/2011 at 15:12:35

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Brian, I can't quite make out how you base your argument. Maybe Pardew or Allardyce would have had us pushing for the title. I have been vilified a number of times on this site for asking why is it ok to settle for second best or in your case 5th-8th best. When it comes to big games against big clubs the guy's record is attrocious.

Time for a change as I am fed up of watching a team I love not only lie down and die against the so called top teams but also play lose its pride and heritage. Let's be honest ? what do we have to lose? We are in the lower half of the table and not looking great against anyone this season.

Fresh ideas wouldnt do the players or the fans any harm.
Brian Keoghan
24   Posted 18/10/2011 at 19:01:29

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Paul-can you really see Alladyce or Pardew managing an Everton team going for the title ?really?I have watched Everton long enough(1952) to expect o lot more than mediocre ambition but that was not the point.Our slow demise started, probably about 1990 and down the years many have been culpable,but this is 20 years on.The world and football has changed and we cannot afford to "suck it and see"when it comes to picking an Everton manager."Time for a change" as you put it,is not enough.If Moyes does go, he has to be relaced by a better man and at the moment who is there ? DOMINO-you refer to another era and i agree with you but this is now and our status is no longer what was in the good old days when we could attract top quality managers and players(remember Keown choosing us before United,Cottee preferring us to Arsenal).As I said to Paul,
Tom Hughes
25   Posted 18/10/2011 at 19:38:56

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Paul........ i'd say we've got everything to lose. This club is not capable of buying itself out of trouble. We cannot afford any mistakes. It's a very fine balance for us and Moyes has proved himself capable of "improving" things on a budget, and while this board is in place that's probably as good as it will ever get for EFC....
Dennis Stevens
26   Posted 18/10/2011 at 20:09:38

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I agree with your focus on the Board's failings, Tom. The emphasis needs to be on facilitating their departure as soon as possible. In comparison, Moyes is the least of our worries. But if & when the Boardroom situation is satisfactorily resolved then I suspect it won't be too long before we see Moyes' departure. Although I respect Moyes & appreciate what he has brought to the club, I'll be no sorrier to see him leave than I was to see Wlater Smith go.
Jimmy Sorheim
27   Posted 18/10/2011 at 20:22:53

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I have to say honestly that I dont feel as bad about Walter Smith. He got Marco Materazzi who got on to be a star. This Moyes has never done, and Rooney does not count, that is up to the scout and the youth coaches.
Actually I liked the old pairing of Weir and stubbs, they were rock solid for us. As was Duncan Ferguson.
Now if Vellios turns out to be a star for us I will be glad for Moyes, but I bet my life that had Walter Smith had the kind of MMoney Moyes has had plus the time, then we would had many stars in the club.
Now we dont. Only Mcfadden and Saha, the ones that miss the goal all the time or are out injured.
Mark Stone
28   Posted 18/10/2011 at 20:54:12

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'The kind of money that Moyes has had.'

What kind of money is that, Jimmy?
John Ford
29   Posted 18/10/2011 at 20:58:36

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There are arguments against Moyes, Steve @11 points to Moyes change in attitude, and comments about lack of a plan B may be decent shouts.

However it gets farcical when people say we should have finished higher up the league in recent seasons. This confirms to me that some of the anti Moyes brigade are utterly delusional.
Domino Darkley
30   Posted 18/10/2011 at 21:36:42

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Why do you say that?

Take last season for instance.

Two points gained from the visits of Wolves, Newcastle, Wigan and WBA in a disastrous autumn.

All games in which the dread 4-5-1 was used.

Let's add to that the absolure nadir of last season, West Ham away when not one striker was in the starting XI.

That is htirteen points dropped from five absolutely winnable games.

Say we had won them all. We would have finished one point behind Arsenal.

An extra ten points even would have had us still fourth ahead of Spurs.

Five extra points would have had us finish above Liverpool.

A more positive approach in those games would undoubtedly have yielded more points.

So it is not "delusional" to think we could and should have been finishing higher up the league in recent seasons.
Jimmi James
31   Posted 19/10/2011 at 12:19:29

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The problem is mate we don't have the players who can compete with anyone on their day. I just don't know what that phrase means "on their day"?

If it means when the players actually turn up and want to play for the shirt then that's just somehow wrong; they should perform each and every time. These are pro footballers for gods sake! Sorry, mate, but we just don't have the players to compete and that's sad.
Wayne Smyth
32   Posted 19/10/2011 at 17:19:30

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Have you ever worked for a boss who didn't have a clue?

Ever worked for someone where they tell you to do something and you just know its not gonna work, but you're not in a position to say or do anything about it?

I imagine, if I were one of the Everton players, this is how I'd feel.

If I played for Everton I'd always give 100% and keep fighting regardless, because I support the club and its probably the dream of every football fan to turn out for their club, but if I were a "professional", I'd just keep my head down, give 100% "effort" during the match so no one could accuse me of slacking and hope that one way or another the club will get back on the rails.

Our squad is not that much different from the one we had 12 months ago. In any case, we have a better squad that many teams, so I completely refute the idea that we don't have the players to compete. Half of the players we need are on the bench, and the other half are being sucked of all confidence by being played out of position.

The players are already going out for every single match 1 man down because Moyes mentally handicaps them with his rousing speeches about what we can't achieve and how we can't compete. Utterly astonishing way to manage a professional football team.
Richard Reeves
33   Posted 19/10/2011 at 19:05:44

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Stuart, belief will only get you so far, the rest and more importantly comes down to tactics, formation, the way your coached, you know... basically good management.
Andrew Clare
34   Posted 20/10/2011 at 17:37:45

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If only David Moyes was as positive as you are Stuart.
The reality is and I hate to say this is that we will play exactly as we have done against Fulham and lose and exactly the same way the following week etc etc.

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