Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

A man for half seasons?

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Whilst Christmas Eve debate in the Freshy seemed to focus on the plan to transform our watering hole into a gastro pub (yuk!), there was still time to put forward our New Year predictions for Everton.

Encouraged by the knowledge that Moyes's teams invariably `came good` in the programme of return fixtures, I had no hesitation in plumping for a top half place. Others were less encouraged by recent performances and opted for toil and struggle.

Eventually, conversation turned to why, throughout Davey`s reign, we`ve almost always been rubbish up to Christmas. My own view was that it takes half a season for the manager to drum his drills and tactics into his team but as several pointed out, we now rarely have fresh faces, so that arguement falls.

The cynics ? and all Liverpudlians ? felt it was because the players were crap and as we true Evertonians know that just ain`t so, the blame went back to the manager. Because I`m an unashamed Moyes `apologist`, I continue to hold that it has something to do with familiarity of style and tactics and the fostering of team spirit which in these days of disparate wages cannot be taken for granted.

What do others put the problem down to?
Richard Dodd, Freshfield     Posted 26/12/2011 at 09:10:59

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Joe Aylward
1   Posted 26/12/2011 at 15:51:05

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Self awarenessid the key to enlightenment Doddy - we're crap
Andy Crooks
2   Posted 26/12/2011 at 16:02:07

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Richard,the players are just too used to a coach whose one trick pony tactics have been found out. Average players need an above average coach which,sadly, we no longer have.
Barry Rathbone
3   Posted 26/12/2011 at 17:00:04

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We play the same throughout the season, all the other non competitors start off like gang busters then run out of steam.

We are the tortoise to their Hare.

The difference is the race is for best of the rest - shite really.
Jimmy Sørheim
4   Posted 26/12/2011 at 17:09:09

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Before the season, Moyes said that he would give lots of playing time to the youngsters. That has not been the case.

His tactics do not fit with the squad we have, it is that simple. We have no pacy wingers, that excludes 4-5-1. But Moyes doesnt know anything else.
Ricardo Gimpardsle
5   Posted 26/12/2011 at 17:07:47

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if the players out there knew how to pass the ball and then run into space for the return pass, we might, just might start to play football. These ETON WALL GAME tactics of Moyes are awful to watch.
The government should make all prisoners watch this as a punishment.
Phil Walling
6   Posted 26/12/2011 at 17:33:05

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I have a theory that Moyes is sending out these crap sides to impress on his mate Kenwright just how badly he needs reinforcements. Generals employed similar tactics in World War 1.

Thankfully, only Everton`s credibilty is sacrificed ? not lives ? but, for certain, his own is going down the pan with each `same again` team he selects. The man ? like his over-generous paymaster ? is a fecking joke!
James Stewart
7   Posted 26/12/2011 at 17:50:58

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Moyes has the tactical brain Forrest Gump!

It's only when his "first choice" players are unavailable and he is forced to change his dour tactics, if you can call them that, that we slightly improve.

Anyone thinking we are gonna surge up the table this time however is very naive. We simply do not score enough and are becoming embarrassingly defensive to the extreme. The squad has been thinned out and what we are left with is quite frankly the dregs. Moyes's only salvation could come with playing youth but he will never do it. Expect to see the impotent Cahill and Saha with the clueless Neville and Heitinga in midfield for the rest of the season. How Barkley wasn't brought on today I will never know! Shameful.

We are in as worse a state as when Walter left and that is some statement. Rodwell, Barkley, and Baines aside, there is zero quality left in the squad.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 26/12/2011 at 18:56:45

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Maybe he should only get paid for half a season?
Mick MacManus
9   Posted 26/12/2011 at 19:09:42

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Remember when we used to buy players at the absolute last moment in the summer transfer window? Well it probably took until Christmas for them to integrate properly into the team. If only we bought them earlier, say in June, we might have got going much earlier in the season.

This time it's different. We sold at the last minute without replacements. Unfortunately I believe you won't see the second half boost this season Richard, just lower mid-table mediocracy and the despair building within the management, team, squad and fans as the once great Everton and the optimism of the last decade under Moyes slowly fades away.
Michael Evans
10   Posted 26/12/2011 at 20:18:23

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Blame it on the boogie.
David Hallwood
11   Posted 26/12/2011 at 20:43:25

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I agree with Michael#10, there has been very little sunshine, night games are played under floodlights as opposed to moonlight, and there has been no good times
Paul Tran
12   Posted 26/12/2011 at 20:31:33

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It happens because Davey is doing his best and over the past couple of years it hasn't been good enough.



It happens every year because the people managing Moyes aren't kicking his arse about it. They, like many Evertonians, regard him as a genius for what he once did rather than what he's doing.

He deserved all the praise he got for the top 6 finishes, but over the last few years, he's been a genius for finishing in the top 8 and now it's 'keeping us safe'.

He's been in the job too long and is unable or unwilling to modify what he does, unlike Ferguson, who despite consistent success, regularly freshens up his backroom staff.

'Who could do better'?, people ask. No-one genuinely knows the answer to this. Hard to compare a manager with others when he has been given at least 7 more years than most managers currently get.

I find it absurd that those who praise a manager who after so many years at a club with no success are quick to criticise younger managers who have 'done nothing'. The likes of Martinez and Lambert have achieved promotion/kept up clubs with much smaller budgets and profiles than ours in much shorter time. That's more than Moyes had done when we appointed him.



Moyes won't leave. He won't get a better job. Spurs? United? Don't make me laugh. The likes of Villa and Sunderland may have approached him, but their chairmen wouldn't put up with 'half a season', would they?



Moyes is a good, honourable man. I just don't think he's the only manager capable of spending all this time at a club like ours and achieved what he's achieved.

Let's judge him on what he's doing now and what he's going to do, rather than what he did a few years ago.
Richard Dodd
13   Posted 26/12/2011 at 21:44:23

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For all the criticism of Moyes on this and other sites,not once have I EVER seen or heard any journalist,pundit or fellow manager say a bad word about him. Are they all idiots,naive or easily fooled? Of course not,Evertonians just expect too much.
The man is a bloody hero!
Derek Thomas
14   Posted 26/12/2011 at 22:00:50

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Blame it on the moonlight
Christine Foster
15   Posted 26/12/2011 at 22:11:28

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RIchard,a fair and reasonable question to ask as many have done so before, personally I think its down to pre season fitness training, game preparation and the lack of cohesive team building in given positions.

Which if we are honest would amount to how the team is coached and prepared for a new season.

We have seen, far east trips, America, mediocre training games etc but the result is always the same.

So whats left? the players? no, we have had enough changes of personel over the years to put that to bed. We are left with the preparations and fitness training.

I have read several times that Moyes drives fitness training hard pre season, nothing wrong with that as long as its done in conjunction with other aspects, such as kicking a ball now and again.

I tend to think the players are trained so hard without a ball that it takes then a few months to work up match fitness and gel again as a team.

I am afraid its down to Moyes .. too many times not to be.
Roman Sidey
16   Posted 26/12/2011 at 22:20:59

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Doddy, come on. Pundits, journalists, fellow managers; how many of these are Everton fans who actually care if Moyes is good or not. Quite frankly, most of them live in a world where football was invented my Sky TV in 1992, therefore making Everton a small club that have won nought but an FA Cup.

They don't pour over every game like we do. They don't see every miss-kick, wayward hoof, every defensive corner that we see.

They see a man who proudly tried to stand up to City by trying not to sell one of his best players. They do not see a man who sold one centre half and replaced him with two centre halves and central attacking mid, when we all knew we needed a right back and an attacking winger.

They see a man who managed the side to be the second best team in the second half of the season last year (and probably in others) on a limited budget. They don't see a man who could have managed the side to be the best in that period had he played a forward against West Ham, or actually gotten his team to turn up against Man United.

Michael #10, I reckon Moyes' rebuttal would go along the lines of:
I just can't
I just can't
I just can't control my players feet enough to be as all powerful as I would prefer.
Dick Fearon
17   Posted 27/12/2011 at 01:46:01

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Richard, to put matters in perspective that tawdry draw at the Stadium of Light was made possible by an atrocious refereeing decision that kept us slightly ahead of other relegation battlers. But for Howard Webb's mistake Villa, Sunderland and Fulham would have leap frogged over us and we would be sitting 4th from bottom. That place on the ladder would be an accurate result for our performances to date.

Different reasons are give for this sorry state of affairs with lack of money topping the list. My main culprit is Moyes and his hapless hopeless band of assistants headed by Steve Round.

I go back to a time before 90% of you were born and never in all my experience have I witnessed an Everton so completely lacking in direction. What we get from Moyes before, during and after the game is negativity heaped on negativity. It shows first of all in his team selection designed mainly for his pinch a point tactics.

Moyes himself answered the question why our second half of the season is better than the first. Only recently he said he is not happy until we get 40 points. He has no intention loosing the shackles or aiming for open football until that target is within reach or matters are really desperate. According to stats from other games most teams had more shots at goal than we have in an entire season.
Joe McMahon
18   Posted 27/12/2011 at 03:36:49

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Dick, the best answer to any question ever. The Man (Moyes) will never be offered any job better than Everton, and sadly he knows this. I'm even envious of football played in lower divisions, just because it's "Entertaining", the one word that will never be associated with a football team managed by Moyes.

I'm stunned at the arrogance and attitude of the man, he's nothing but a leech. Thanks to him and his master Kenwright, I have now not set foot in Goodison for nearly 3 years, I just cannot justify paying good money again until they both just fuck off. And still they cry out: "If not Moyes who?" The answer for me is 'Anyone'.
Tony Cheek
19   Posted 27/12/2011 at 08:31:05

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Its going to be a long haul, but I think I might just bear it through to the end of the season with Moyes.
But the prospect of going into a new campaign with him as manager is an unbearable thought.
He has completely lost the plot and the uncertainty he himself has, is evident in the diminishing self-confidence of the players.
He continues to play Cahill and Saha as our main strike force, when it obviously is a hopeless pairing. His determination of not playing Barkley is so mind-baffling that it is becoming a joke! (can someone please explain that to me). As is the decision to not give Bily games where he should be playing, and despite a goal drought keeps Straq on the bench instead of letting him grow into the team.
Cahill plays despite not scoring for a whole year, and Straq gets dumped after a game. Not saying he would be a sensation, but I know he would score more goals than Louis bloody Saha!
Stop bloody moaning about what you cannot afford, and start using properly what you have got!!!!

Craig Bellew
20   Posted 27/12/2011 at 10:08:34

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Just something for you all to mull over pardon the punn and relative to jimmy @ 4 comments -

When Moyes took over the team from Walter Smith he said and I quote " It is my intention to lower the average age of this Everton squad".

Well guess what Doddy and all the IMWT brigade - TODAY IS THE OLDEST EVER TEAM EVERTON HAVE FIELDED IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE!

This is were part of the problem lies. He played Neville & Heitinga in there when he has a kid with great ability warming the bench. Heitinga is a defender and Neville a right back IMO.

Square pegs n round holes ! But how many times have you heard that when like I said he has a kid in barkley with great ability who surely would have done a better job than either mentioned.
Craig Bellew
21   Posted 27/12/2011 at 10:10:41

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Oops I meant to say YESTERDAY WAS not TODAY IS ! too much of the mulled wine me thinks !
Jimmy Sørheim
22   Posted 27/12/2011 at 10:32:58

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I have been in favour of Barkley gradually being used as a first team player, but not this.
He isnt getting ANY playing time at all, and that to me is strange, very strange.
Given the way we played yesterday and games before that it would have been a good idea to use Barkley. We had Fellaini out, and I thought that would give Barkley some needed playing time, but no.

Moyes plays Neville who is a poor right back in midfield, how backwards is that.
There are other alternatives to Neville, even Mcfadden would have been better.
And Cahill and Saha, wow, I dont know where to start,. They are so poor and lazy they look like they are playing without being paid for a year!!

If any fan got the chance to play for EEverton we would have put in a more hardfelt effort then what Saha did yesterday.

Our main concern should be to bring in a striker or two, no matter what.This will make or break our season, if we had either one of Beckford or Yakubu we would be better off than this.
I can not defend Moyes in his choice to sell all our first team strikers in one transfer window, without replacements, Vaughan, Beckford and Yakubu.
Yakubu was the worst as the transfer fee of 1.25 million hardly gives you the foot of Berbatov, to me especially that sale was insane, as we bough him for over 11 million and sold him for a 10 million loss, that has to be an all-time high!!!
A rumor posted by a guy yesterday said that Moyes was ready to apply for the job at Sunderland, but Kenwright begged him to stay and promised money in Jan.
If that is true then I say, off you go then Moyes,.
Richard Gilbertson
23   Posted 27/12/2011 at 11:25:40

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If Moyes can only manage for half a season, maybe he should only be paid for half a season. The 'we'll come good after Christmas' mantra is really starting to grate now.

Moyes is one-dimensional and has been sussed out by oppo managers and his own players. Ten years of a five-year plan is long enough.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
Paul Tran
24   Posted 27/12/2011 at 15:49:48

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Richard, I think the media still think we're finishing in the top six each season. They're also believing their constant mantra that you need millions of pounds in order to get players who can pass a ball and show a bit of pace and movement. These are the same 'experts' who were amazed that the England team did so badly in the World Cup and the teams are underperforming in Europe.

I agree with Christine; he flogs them in the summer, they're knackered and find a second wind come January. Like many current British managers, Moyes associates fitness with the ability to run for 90 minutes, rather than movement, flexibility and intelligence.

Having brilliantly taken us to regular Europe qualification, Moyes has stood still and we've all watched the mid-table mediocrity catch us up with their own versions of organised defence and nicking goals.

Richard, the man was a hero, he's now been overtaken and has no apparent Plan B.
Chris Leyland
25   Posted 27/12/2011 at 20:23:05

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Dick #17 "I go back to a time before 90% of you were born and never in all my experience have I witnessed an Everton so completely lacking in direction."

I take it you weren't around then during Mike Walker's tenure? I assume that you were out of the country for Kendall's third spell? And I wonder where you were during the heady days of Walter Smith?

Because, for Walker and Kendall Mk 3, we avoided relegation on the last day of the season and under Smith we were perenially bottom 6. Strange then that all 3 of these managers had "direction" in your book but dithering, directionless, dour Davey doesn't.
Eugene Ruane
26   Posted 28/12/2011 at 22:32:29

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What's the problem?

To me, that's like asking why Pelé won't be selected for Brazil in the next world cup.

(answer - coz it's obvious even to Lennie fuckin' Peters hat he's simply not up to the task anymore).

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