Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu

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This is a Japanese proverb I was once told, it means, "If you do not enter the tiger?s cave, you will not catch it?s cub."

To me, David Moyes and his Everton set-up do not ?enter the tiger?s cave? when faced with a tough challenge. Under Moyes, Everton have never won at the Emirates, never won at Stamford Bridge in the league, never won at Old Trafford, and hauntingly, have never won at Anfield.

I would not expect much, but it has been a decade. Not once have Everton caught one of these teams off guard. Not once have Everton out-thought one of these superior teams in their own patch. Not once have Everton managed to punish one of these teams in their own Tiger?s cave. In 40 attempts.

Moyes must be aware of this but, year-in, year-out, he shows he has no other ideas than to ?keep it tight and organized, and hope for a set piece or lucky break?. A great manager is cunning, shrewd, and ruthless. Can Moyes claim to be either of these?

I am not completely anti-Moyes. He has been a successful acquisition; I recognize that under his tenure Everton have improved in infrastructure and on the pitch, since the dour days of Walter Smith. However, the reason above, along with many others, shows me that it is time for him to go. I hope he does not sign a new contract, and Bill Kenwright should have a shortlist of young, bright, Championship managers (we cannot afford anything better) of men to replace him.


Robbie Carew, Wirral     Posted 06/11/2011 at 12:36:27

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Trevor Mackie
1   Posted 06/11/2011 at 15:37:44

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Old Moyesie looks like he couldn't give a shit, like most he's depending on 3 teams being worse so he'll just hang in doing his same old same old till a suitable job comes in.

He'll piss off without a backward glance.
Alan Clarke
2   Posted 06/11/2011 at 15:51:16

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What is Japanese for "do fuck all and hope somehow, by a stroke of luck, the tiger's cub magically appears in your hands"?

Does anyone remember the Derren Brown show about the horse racing? To demonstrate his point about a wining streak and the balance of probability he flipped a coin for about 8 hours straight. Eventually he had a run of 10 identical outcomes i.e. the coin landed heads up. Of course he only initially showed the 10 straight heads up coin flips before he explained what the outcome was.

If you apply this to Moyes' tactics, on the balance of probability, he'll have a winning streak like when we finished 4th or when we reached the cup final but on the whole us winning is a completely random event. Moyes is not a master tactician, he is someone who works on the balance of probability. But that means the same rule can work against you and in the same way you got lucky with a winning streak, you can be unlucky with a losing streak. The up and down form and performances of Everton over the last 10 years shows Moyes leaves the whole thing to chance.
John Gee
3   Posted 06/11/2011 at 16:14:54

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okay, I'll be the first to say it...

We'd get mauled.
Robbie Carew
4   Posted 06/11/2011 at 16:35:40

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John Gee- I am not asking for open attacking suicide. Naturally teams should look to contain the oppositions better players, and at places like the emirates and old trafford that might mean having to go on the defensive. But sometimes we look utterly clueless going forward, Moyes has had a decade to build up an attacking stratagy.
Matteo Rosingana
5   Posted 06/11/2011 at 16:35:03

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Beat me to it John, Grrrrrr!
Eugene Ruane
6   Posted 06/11/2011 at 16:53:14

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- (adopts upbeat and overly familiar tone) - Hey come on guys, lads, mates, fella! What about a bit of optimism for it's own sake? Come on, let's turn those frowns upside dowm! IN MOYES WE TRUST! Er...COYB! (repeat daily until relegated).. No seriously, I've got a really good feeling about. Wolves or..um..'turning things around' or...erm...something. Anyway, whatever it is, I've got a really REALLY good feeling about it, so you can all relax. COY...oh wait, I've done that haven't I
John Gee
7   Posted 06/11/2011 at 17:03:10

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Robbie, I think Moyes has built a few attacking strategies. If he hadn't we would have been relegated a long time ago. This "ultra-defensive" manager has shown faith in a lot of attack minded players over the years. But what can he do when Arsenal, United, Real Madrid, a rising Spurs or a City on the verge of a supersonic rise come knocking for our best players? What can he do when a multi-millionaire just doesn't "fancy" it any more?
Whenever one of our players shows he can perform to a consistently high level he's chased by a richer club.
With the exception of Big Dunc, who retired, every one of our best attacking players has fallen into either one of these two categories.

As for the Mike Basset school of "take the game to 'em" and the forum experts with their "Moyes is clueless", I have a question... If Moyes is such a terrible manager how is it that he's survived in the top flight with successive teams that consist, mostly, of other clubs reserves, rejects and cast-offs? He must have done something right.

BTW, wheres Peanuts?
Brian Waring
8   Posted 06/11/2011 at 17:29:37

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The best quote of the weekend goes to Neil Warnock.
" We thought, ' If we're going to get beat, we might as well have a go at them and get beat '


Brian Waring
9   Posted 06/11/2011 at 17:33:10

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John, QPR took it to Man City, and were unlucky to lose the game, but at least they had a go. QPR by a narrow margin had more possesion, and more shots on target than Man City.

Dave Lynch
10   Posted 06/11/2011 at 18:10:58

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The more times he signs Mcfadden, the better chance of him becoming world class ?
Nah ! That statement is as far fetched as a bucket of shit from China.
Andrew Gilbert
11   Posted 06/11/2011 at 18:24:53

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You should leave Tiger cubs alone, they are cute!
Alan McGuffog
12   Posted 06/11/2011 at 18:43:39

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Osman and Hibbert look like the kind of banditos who would steal a tiger cub. Get shut now !
Kevin Hudson
13   Posted 06/11/2011 at 18:46:15

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(Adopts downbeat & overly mawkish tone)

Wake up Apologists! We've been telling you for years now how much of a ditherer, dour Davey is. (But we'll only acknowledge the 7 top 8 finishes in 9 years, grudgingly..followed by the word: "But.")

What about a bit more relentless negativity, Moyes out! Apocalyptic references & ginger c*nt, 0.02 % can't be wrong etc..for IT'S own sake?

No seriously, I've got a REALLY bad feeling we'll be playing Championship football next year - let's sack the coward/ cancer that is Moyes & replace him with Poyet, Martinez, Holloway or Nigel fuckin' Bluff..

And those who don't agree with us can go visit the mindless, thicko optimists at Bluekipper!!

MOYES OU..Oh wait, I've already done that, haven't I?!
Kevin Hudson
14   Posted 06/11/2011 at 19:37:11

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(Repeat until victory..)
Mike Oates
15   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:10:49

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If you think its bad now just wait - Moyes will be absolutely determined to "claw" us back up the table - and you know how - by being "tight "dont give goals away" and you cant lose and hey that's halfway there . There is absolutely no chance we will go out and attack, Moyes will stay with a 4:5:1 formation and will hope we nick a goal . This will continue until we've had a couple (2-3) wins on the run and he just maybe become more open.

I think we have reached a stage were the players are totally lacking in confidence and no one is taking any risks and creating space for others - there's just no movement and they've reached a stage were they will gladly follow Moyes's instructions and game plans .

I've been a supporter of Moyes throughout his time but I do feel he's now truly living on borrowed time .

A good outsider if he ever decides enough is enough should be Ian Adkins (a scouser) managing Southhampton at the moment . I live down here and the football they are playing is so good to watch .
Alan Clarke
16   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:22:30

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Kevin, any suggestion of managers' names who could do a better job always get slated by people like yourself. Rather than do that, why don't you ask yourself who in the lower leagues justifies being offered the Everton job more than Moyes did? Moyes had got Preston promoted from the 3rd division and into the play-offs of the 2nd division (he bottled the big game). That's it. Big round of applause for Davey. He was appointed Everton manager having not really achieved much.

The club is in a far worse state now than when Smith left yet everyone seemed over joyed at Moyes' arrival. It now horrifies people that we should consider sacking a dour defensive Scotsman and giving a younger hungrier manager a go at a top job. This season has a great sense of deja vu to Smith's last season.
John Daley
17   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:33:55

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"if you don't buy a ticket, you won't win the raffle"

"if you don't plan to succeed, you plan to fail"

"If you don't eat crap, you won't be a fat cunt"
Martin Handley
18   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:34:24

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If we fail to win at home to Wolves then I think that could be the straw that breaks the camels back with most of the fans.If we LOSE at home to Wolves I think even Kenwright will have to take action.
A lot of people are saying it's ok as he(Moyes) will come good as usual. Well this time guys we may be too far behind to play catch up,remember West Ham were too good to go down last season weren't they.
Well we all know what happened there don't we.
Jimmy Sørheim
19   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:43:52

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I suggest Moyes arrange a friendly or two during the national break against a conference and League 2 side, just to give McFadden, Stracqualursi, Vellios, Gueye, McAleny, and others who are not playing internationals some confidence with goals scored and self-belief. I mean why not? It couldn't hurt.
Tom Bowers
20   Posted 06/11/2011 at 23:23:28

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Moyes has done all he can with this Everton squad and for sure Everton will not start climbing the table at least not to a point where it really stands for anything.

After last season and the pre-season games I ventured to state that we would still be a mid-table team and that was before Beckford, Arteta and Yakubu went. However I had not anticipated that Osman and Hibbert would still be regular starters nor that the defence would be all over the place even against Fulham.

Our form because of team selection and strategy has put us in the frame with the likes of Wigan and Wolves and rightly so. Moyes bringing back McFadden is a ridiculous move. We are a slow enough team offensively as it is and McFadden is very one paced much like Osman.

Moyes has to go and the sooner the better. On a better note ? great to hear Rodders getting the call to the full England squad.
Christopher Kelly
21   Posted 06/11/2011 at 23:59:47

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I hate Saturdays now. Can't wait for Mondays.
Derek Thomas
22   Posted 07/11/2011 at 00:17:47

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Eugene and Kevin: you both missed out season defining.

(Adopts cunning Arthur Daley-esque tones )...If any body DOES happen to come across one of these Tiger Cubs, let me know sharpish, probabley the best British 200cc bike ever built.
Eugene Ruane
23   Posted 06/11/2011 at 23:08:28

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Kevin - I'm sincerely flattered (see imitation etc)
Richard Harris
24   Posted 07/11/2011 at 01:06:45

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Don't know about tigers in their caves but how about following Muddy Waters advice to Put a Tiger in Your Tank..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC_dFk8e-Bc
Jamie Sweet
25   Posted 07/11/2011 at 01:40:24

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Jimmy #19 - He'd still play with one up front and leave all those mentioned on the bench. It's the only way he knows I'm afraid.
Charlie Percival
26   Posted 07/11/2011 at 07:09:03

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I was told a saying 'If You Play With Fire You Will Get Burnt'
Karl Meighan
27   Posted 07/11/2011 at 07:31:52

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We badly need to keep clean sheets, its ok playing more strikers and midfielders but lets be honest Baines and Howard apart we have a couple of average players and the rest are poor.

The manager may not be able to turn players into match winners but he should be able to have them work hard, well organised and fight for the jersey.

I wouldn't say Newcastle have much more than us but there leauge position tells me what can be achieved when everybody pulls in the same direction.

As negative as it may sound if we dont keep a clean sheet we will win very few games, stop conceding goals and we stop losing games. A good start would be to stop crosses coming into the box it takes away gobshites like Heitinga and Jageilka panicking like fuck.
Richard Dodd
28   Posted 07/11/2011 at 09:36:03

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Very disappointed by Moyes's admission on Saturday that `we travelled here without expecting to get anything`. If that was conveyed to the players, no wonder we lost!
Michael Kenrick
29   Posted 07/11/2011 at 13:31:59

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To be fair, Richard, that's called taking something out of context.

I'm no Moyes apologist but read what he actually said:

"We didn?t get as many chances as I would have liked but it was a stonewall penalty when it hit his [Dan Gosling?s] hand. The ball was going in as well. The goalkeeper wasn?t getting it. But we came here not expecting to get anything from anybody.?

He was clearly talking about getting decisions from the officials.
Brian Waring
30   Posted 07/11/2011 at 14:10:30

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Michael, you apologist!!! Agree, that's the way I read it.
Richard Dodd
31   Posted 07/11/2011 at 18:09:56

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My sincere apologies for doubting Davey`s motivational skills- ? I obviously mis-heard his comment.
James McPherson
32   Posted 07/11/2011 at 18:21:30

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Doddy, hope you are ok. Never really agree with your views but credit to you, you have held a consistent line throughout.

Can I just ask what you are thinking about the present situation.

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