Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Damage limitation? No thanks!

 17 Comments: First  |  Last

Before getting onto the main topic of this post, i'd like to state that I am still in favour of Moyes remaining in charge of the club, but only just. If he were to go now, I think that we could spiral into a far worse position than we already are. However, his recent tactics and decision making have been nothing short of depressing.

After the City game and his policy of playing with no strikers on the pitch I could sympathise with him a little despite the fact that we have beaten them the past few seasons. The derby was a write off because of an appalling refereeing decision, the game on Saturday at Chelsea was just sheer negativity though and really pissed me off.

Okay, lining up 4-5-1 was relatively attacking for Moyes and understandable going away to Chelsea, but at the same time the whole thing is just beyond predictable now and hasn't really worked for some time. If the majority of the fans can see it, I just don't understand why Moyes is persisting with it? He's got players sitting kicking their heels, most notably, Drenthe, Vellios and Barkley, who can all offer us something different and unpredictable to other teams but won't seem to use them!

For me, apart from Baines and Distin, no one in the current starting 11 could have any complaints if they were to be dropped. For Moyes to come out today and bascially imply that Barkley isn't in contention because of possible mistakes he may make is unbelievable. It's got to a point now where I would be much more content seeing us get beat by 5 if we have had a go and attacked the opposition, rather than trying to nick a one nil and ultimately getting beat fairly easily.

Things need to change and soon. Sometimes it's almost as if Moyes is still relying on the once secret 4-5-1 weapon which he used so successfully in 04/05 when we came 4th. The reality is though, this tactic was found out a couple of seasons ago and has gone stale. It's sad to see the crowds drop at Goodison this season but I don't think the club can expect people to keep turning up and paying good, hard earned money to watch football which they cannot get excited about. Moyes needs to change his negative, damage-limitation tactics before the fans really start to turn on him. Coyb
Matt Roache, Leeds     Posted 18/10/2011 at 18:57:06

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Domino Darkley
1   Posted 18/10/2011 at 23:17:42

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Amen to all that.
John Ford
2   Posted 18/10/2011 at 23:19:46

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Matt, Im a supporter of Moyes and I agree with your main points.

Its not that 4-5-1 has gone stale, for me its more that we don't have the players to do it any more. We've had a fluid, active midfield which has also proved strong in defence. Unfortunately we don't have the same quality. Rodwell provides very little and sadly Cahill who was once a wrecking ball is now seemingly finished. Add to this the failure to replace Pienaar, Donovan and Arteta and you're left with not very much.

What we do have is some young talent and new signings. Having two up doesn't necessarily mean you score more goals, but for us Moyes preferred 4-5-1 is no longer an option.

The lack of money is the fundamental cause of our problems. It has prevented Moyes from getting players in to continue his favoured style. What he needs to do now is change. His approach isn't wrong, he just hasn't got the tools for the job anymore. Give your players another option, Davey.
Jimmy Sorheim
3   Posted 18/10/2011 at 23:31:04

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That seems to be his plan, alianate then leave. Save face, get a new and better job, but first a long holiday in Dubai.
Simon Atkins
4   Posted 19/10/2011 at 11:08:04

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John Ford I am with you mate. I agree with this post in the main but how the hell do we change anything when BK has not given him the cash to freshen anyting?

I am of the view, and have said it before, that the persistent lack of new faces is like a disease that eats away at all that Moyes has built. The players that are currently at the club become complacent (see recent defending for evidence), those players also get older and generally start going downhill (Cahill, Neville, Saha, Osman etc) and there is then no way to address the slide without new faces but they cost money!

I have always been pro-Moyes but I am slowly turning given the negative tactics and the fact that there really isnt anything to get excited about concerning Everrton Football Club.

Just to deal with one final point: I fully trust Moyes in relation to his assessment of a players quality. Coleman clearly doesnt have the defensive ability to be trusted at full back (see Chelsea goal) and Barkley doesn't yet have the football brain he should have... maybe linked to his two years out of the game through injuries.
Peter Laing
5   Posted 19/10/2011 at 11:24:35

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Let me provide you with a personal analogy regarding watching Everton of late and having to endure the cosy relationship of Bill Kenwright and David Moyes. I once had a great aunt who I used to visit during my early childhood, she seemed ancient and revered by my Mother. We would visit on occasion and would be greeted with a welcome and the same old musty biscuit tin containing stale hovis biscuits.
After a while I became tired of visiting old kitty, upon realising my reluctance my Mother asked me why I didnt want to visit, my answer went something like " I dont mind visiting Kitty, Ma its the biscuits". I get the same feeling nowadays when I visit Goodison Park, I still love the old place dearly but the same sense of staleness with the product on offer resonates.
Matthew Roache
6   Posted 19/10/2011 at 14:09:49

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John, I agree with what you say as well. If we had the players capable of fitting into the 4-5-1 system, then there is no reason why it couldn't still work. The problem is though, as you say, Cahill ? who has arguably been our lynchpin in the 4-5-1 ? has struggled this year... which is why I think he has to start looking at other ideas and going with 2 up front.
Brian Waring
7   Posted 19/10/2011 at 15:09:16

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I thought the idea of Moyes being paid all that money, was to try and find a system to play, if the old one isen't working, and do it with the players he has got?

Marcus Kendall
8   Posted 19/10/2011 at 15:19:55

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give me a reason why Moyes couldn't try this

Howard (GK)

Coleman (DR) Heitinga (DC) Distin (DC) Baines (DL)

Neville (DMC)

Fellaini (BOX TO BOX) Rodwell (BOX TO BOX)

Barkley/Gueye Drenthe
(WIDE FORWARD/AMC/FREE ROLE)
Saha
(LONE STRIKER)

that system looks flexable and solid enough, sure both full backs arn't the best defensively but with Neville playing the holding role it gives them the license to go forward

Barkley/Drenthe/Gueye, 2 of those can play wide or through the middle and basically they can have the license to roam and support Saha

We'd have pace and more directness in that team with players who are capapble at running at defences and commiting them

Tom Bowers
9   Posted 19/10/2011 at 16:08:08

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I agree with these comments.
We have Timmie who hasn't really achieved anything since January when he was injured playing for Oz. That's a long time to be ineffective.
Jags has also been sub-par since last season's injury. Distin has been pretty consistant although getting long in the tooth. We don't have a really good right back despite a few players appearing there.
Midfield is our biggest problem because of the system Moyes employs constantly match after match.
Now that Arteta has gone the midfield is like a ship without a rudder. When Arteta was on song we could match strides with most teams but not any more.
It doesn't help that Moyes doesn't seem to have much faith yet in Drenthe or Barkley or persists with weak-kneed Osman. Others such as Neville,Biley and Heitinga seem to be out of favour.
I am still waiting for Rodwell to really have a big impact as a midfielder this season and the same goes for Coleman.
The offence sputters because of the problems elsewhere notwithstanding the fact Moyes sent 3 forwards packing.
Fellaini,Howard and Baines are playing well.
All this adds up to a team that will compete but have difficulty getting points.
Although Kenright is crying poverty we have wonder why and also why Everton of all clubs cannot get an investor.
Having said that ,the product on the field is underachieving and appears at times unmotivated which and this must lie on Moye's shoulders despite what some of his supporters are saying some of which are players.
There needs to be some big changes but Moyes seems unwilling to give a kick up the backside to some of these players by dropping them for a few games.
Things won't get any easier this month with a visit to Fulham (another unhappy hunting ground) and games against Chelsea and Manure.
Neil Pickering
10   Posted 19/10/2011 at 16:30:55

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Whilst it is unanimously accepted that we have no cash and a small squad, what i wont accept is that there isnt capacity for us to become more attack minded in games with the players we have in the squad. Aside from about 13/14 players who have been playing regularly for the past 3 seasons Moyes point blankly refuses anyone else such as Guaye, Vellios, and Barkley. I simply will not accept that how we are doing now is how it is going to be until we have money to buy players. Why not try having a go and seeing how good these young lads are? Granted they may be rubbish, but they may also be very good lads who can make the step up and then some. Too many players in the squad are trading on past reputations at the moment, and if Moyes wanted to he could shake it up.

Also, how is reserve team football good for these lads anyway? And what is it doing to their confidence not being involved regularly? If i was them i wouldnt feel like i was being taken seriously at all.
Frank Duffy
11   Posted 19/10/2011 at 18:27:36

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Simon @4 Thought Hibbert was the Right back not Coleman. Where was he? In the middle as a 3rd Centre Half. He never marks the wide player or stops the cross coming in. Past his best.
Richard Reeves
12   Posted 19/10/2011 at 18:46:07

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After ten years I think we all should know that Moyes is never going to play attacking, creative football. It's all there, you just have to open your eyes, not wide but just a little. What does it tell you about a manager if he has to listen to the fans to change. Obviously not the right man for the job. I don't want Moyes to change I just want him to go.
Simon Atkins
13   Posted 19/10/2011 at 19:40:44

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Frank @ 11 I accept that is a valid point re Hibbert and he doesnt escape blame. My point however is that Coleman clearly lacks the defensive ability to play at RB and I think you would see a lot more of those errors should he be put there on a permanant basis.

Again of course without being too basic this all comes down to money or lack thereof. How the hell do you solve glaring problems such as we need a decent RB or a 20 goals a season man without a pot to piss in?
Gerard Carey
14   Posted 19/10/2011 at 20:23:23

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Do we have an attacking coach on the books. How has our defence become so poor with all the defensive coaches at the club
John Ford
15   Posted 19/10/2011 at 20:46:04

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Simon#4 I too trust Moyes to know how to get the best out of his squad, but I think he now needs to take a chance. Hes a bit of a control freak, which has served us well, so changing formation will be a big challenge for him.

Neil, It is indeed the right time for a change round, but only because there really isnt a choice. What i find difficult about Moyes detractors is the failure to recognise just how well Moyes has done with his approach. Theres a constant denial and a failure to recognise the context for Moyes achievements. No one anywhere has come as close as use in breaking the mopnopoly of the money clubs. I want to win things, and do better but the whole thing is stitched up!

Whichever view you have I now believe Moyes has had his options reduced. The problem is he knows that clubs who prioritise the attack so often are left to regret it come the end of the season. Bolton West Ham Blackpol and Sunderland all did it last year and finished below us or relegated. These teams were praise for their approach. Moyes knows theres a good chance it wont work.
Anthony Millington
16   Posted 19/10/2011 at 23:07:59

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Exactly, why not try having a go? It's no wonder Moyes has never won at Man U, Chelsea (apart from pen's), Arsenal or Liverpool in all the years he has been here. Does anyone know why? Because generally if you set up not to get beat you don't win. I'd rather we went and had a go, yes we'd probably have had a few drubbings but we'd also have picked up more points overall I think and that's more important.
Mark Jensen
17   Posted 20/10/2011 at 15:39:59

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One thing I am becoming more and more pissed off with is the 'we must try to compete BUT THEY HAVE SPENT A LOAD OF MONEY'.

Everyone, including a load of Championship sides has spent more that us. Does that mean we might as well pack up now as Moyes thinks ONLY money matters???

This is the man who has bucked the trend in recent years apparently throwing in the towel. MY biggest gripe is that Moyes NOW believes he CAN'T do anything without money ... YET he still supports the board.

Priceless!

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