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COLUMNIST JIM HOURIGAN

Are there positives?

By Jim Hourigan :  23/08/2009 :  Comments (10) :

It's so damn depressing and it's so hard to find the positives. Those of us who appreciate football for what it is and not just blindly accept dross because they happen to wear blue shirts are finding it hard to accept. However, it’s not just the quality of football but all the other things going on at present.

If you’ve played football for money, you will know that DavidMoyes’s stance on Lescott was ridiculous. Players get tapped up all the time; always have done and always will. Offer somebody more money and the possibility / illusion of winning trophies and the player will always go.

Lescott is a Brummie, he has no affinity for Everton beyond the fact that they pay his wages; we are the ones with blue blood — not the players... so don’t expect something that can’t be delivered. Moyes was just as mercenary last year as he negotiated his wage increase and does anybody think he would have stopped if the club hadn’t met his wage demands?

His stance on Lescott was pathetic and shows his one-dimensional nature – I don’t think you should go, therefore I am right!!! Why was he not planning for Lescott's departure and getting somebody in at a lower price, before the deal was agreed? – Poor management, lack of maturity and incredibly naïve.

Then we continue to have to suffer the dross on the pitch. No system beyond ‘hump the ball’; little if any imagination or tactics. Players that are patently not good enough – Osman and Hibbert. Players playing out of position and failing to contribute – Cahill, Neville, Fellaini. Too many squad players who are not currently good enough – Yobo, Gosling, Jo... and then too many youngsters on the bench.

Once again, if you know about serious injuries, you will have recognised that Arteta will not be back until October, Jagielka not until December (at the earliest), and Yakubu will most likely be a yard slower until he has played / trained for at least 2 months. So what sort of pre-season did we have to prepare for these problems???

Good management is about covering possibilities and predicting / anticipating what might happen. But then again, that isn’t really one of DM’s greatest strengths is it? How many times can we say that his reading of a game and his tactics / substitutions have influenced the outcome?

But back to pre-season for a moment. Once again, we have come out of the blocks like a revved-up snail... me thinks DM thinks he’s managing MU and plans to start playing from November. The problem is, he isn’t... and we’re not, and by then we could be in deep trouble ‘cos we don’t have the quality they have.

Our pre-season preparations are a joke. No additions to the squad, no back-up for several key positions – goalkeeper, fullbacks, centre backs, playmaker (joke), width. We actually seem OK at centre-forward, pity we don’t have the ability to get the ball to them!!!

Now we hear that Banega has no intention of joining us and never had. Somebody is lying. Is it DM? is it Valencia? Is it Elstone? We will no doubt find out very soon as the recriminations start, but who are the mugs? Yes, sadly its me and you.

We keep believing in Everton; we believe we will buy good players; we believe we will get the ball down and play football; we believe that the club will progress. We believe we can beat teams like Burnley, hell some even believe what BK says (not me). But where does that leave us?

Let's face some facts then: bottom of the table with no points; only one centre-half, no effective right-back and no cover for the back four; no idea how to pass the football under pressure; no midfield creativity or pace (Pienaar does come close though)... and finally, no money, no new players and somebody telling almighty lies.

Hold on, though, I did find two positives  — we sold more season tickets... and we beat Sigma 4 - 0

Reader Comments

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Joseph Elworthy
1   Posted 24/08/2009 at 04:55:30

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I totally agree with Jim’s comment regarding DM’s mishandling of the Lescott affair, as well as the shambles of the so-called pre-season. I for one have never enjoyed the football played under DM, but could sacrifice aesthetics for results credit. The discipline and work-ethic that achieved those results seems to be a thing of the past, the Moyes prototype (Stubbs, Carsley, Gravesen) has been replaced by ponce continentals (Fellaini, Saha, Jo) who don’t fit the Everton mold. It’s been raised before, but maybe Allan Irvine deserved more of the accolades that were heaped on DM.
Kirk McArdle
2   Posted 24/08/2009 at 07:17:09

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Positives? Struggling here!!!
1. Loyal fanbase who put up with shite week in week out.
2. Not sure if it is a positive but haven’t read much eternal pessimism from Marsh or dumbfounded optimism from Dodd for a while.
3. State of the art training facilities. Shame the level of football being practiced at said complex is Conference level.
4. ? See told you I was struggling!!!

Negatives?
1. Quality of football. Lack of any quality.
2. Tactics employed.
3. Ramshackle of a stadium. Corragated iron boards. Wooden seats FFS. ( I know DK exsists and its another debate but still )
4. Constant lies from Board level.
5. Home and away kits. Sack the designers.
6. Our goal difference!!
Marc Williams
3   Posted 24/08/2009 at 07:57:44

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Fully agree Jim.

I did find a positive though: my self-imposed strike on me & the kids not going to the Arsenal, Sigma & Wigan games plus refusing to buy the new kits has saved me over £300. Vote with your feet but make sure you tell the club why, if enough do it they’ll take notice, Elstone certainly did when premium games were NOT sold out last year.

KENWRIGHT OUT!
Ciarán McGlone
4   Posted 24/08/2009 at 08:44:34

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I wrote an article a few weeks ago suggesting the biggest problems could be what happens to the money whenever Lescott goes. If you think it’s been a circus so far, wait till you see what’s coming...

Unfortunately there’s a season of discontent ahead. Kirkby has effected the team since the day of it's inception... that was the worst lie of all.
Colin Potter
5   Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:21:22

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Very good article Jim. The thing is, it won’t get any better until we get rid of those two clowns, that are running this club.
Gerry Western
6   Posted 24/08/2009 at 10:13:30

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Jim, I agree with much of what you say though I do believe Moyes handled the Lescott situation well in terms getting the maximum fee from them. It's worth remembering that City made their move shortly after the club declared its accounts. They were clearly looking to take advantage.

Compare their bid with that agreed for Johnson who went for £18m. Lescott is a much better player than Johnson and yet there was no haggling needed there. Moyes dug his heals in, played hardball and eventually City relented. A great piece if business.

Having said that, I have to agree that as part of that plan I fully expected us to announce the imminent arrival of a suitable replacement. It is of huge concern that we are now saying we need to now try and find a replacement... totally beggars belief. The Banega affair has left me dumbfounded and leaves us looking totally incompetent.

On your appraisal of the players, I agree with a lot of what you say. I think Gosling could be a decent prospect though I have to say it’s worrying that he cannot displace Osman, who is truly awful. I’ve got to the point now where, every time he screws up, I feel like screaming.

With regard to transfer activity generally, we are nothing short of a disgrace. Moyes is culpable in some ways but for me Kenwright and his cronies are dragging the club into the gutter in order to maximize their profits and jeopardizing the future of a once great club.

We should really have kicked on this term on the back of our relative success last year, sadly yet again, it’s a case of one step forward and two steps back.

Graham Haines
7   Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:19:17

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Jim, good article. I pretty much agree with what you are saying, although I thought Moyes handled the Lescott well except for the fact it was obvious to all and sundry he was going to leave probably weeks ago.

So prompt comment of the week from Moyes:- "It doesn’t leave us much time to get a replacement......" Surely not not he even he could be that naive to think Lescott wasn’t going and why hadn’t the club spent the last month at least having a ready made replacement ready to sign once Lescott deal was confirmed.

It is time for massive changes from top to bottom.
Phil Bellis
8   Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:57:41

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Richard Dodd, Defender of the Indefensible... your readers await!
Steven Jones
9   Posted 24/08/2009 at 13:38:09

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Positves - youth set up building reputation and conveyor of talent - Rodders has awesome potential; Team has three class payers on their way back; We have money to buy a few new addiitions.

Negative:
Everyone else (eg Arse, Shite and Man Utd) has a similar issue in getting new signings done at the start of the trasnfer season with things dragging themselves out because all parties agent, players, clubs trying to haggle for the best deal on a number of fronts and only as the cards fall does it get clearer at the end of the transfer window.

Please do not believe every rumour and then slag our club off for things they have not done or supposedly are interested in doing. Judge at the end of the window and be realistic with our resources and our signing aspirations.
Andy Crooks
10   Posted 24/08/2009 at 15:27:18

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David Moyes’s handling of the Lescott transfer has been guileless and inept. He looks like a fool who doesn’t have the first clue what is happening on and off the pitch.

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