Now here's the thing — none of these were the captain — that of course was Ratcliffe who wasn't a shrinking violet either by all accounts.
So basically you had a team where a number of key players were so committed to winning that they were prepared to impose their will on underperforming team members, physically if necessary. And the results were there for all to see.
I've been racking my brains as to why the current team — possibly the best FOOTBALL team collectively since around that time — can perform so majestically one match and so abjectly in another. For every Man City there's a Birmingham; for every Chelsea there's Lisbon at home; for every Man Utd there's Lisbon away; for every second half against Spurs there's a first half against Spurs. It's bloody frustrating and inexplicable.
There is a mismatch between the apparent quality of the players (in general — we could all suggest improvements) and the consistency and quality of their performance.
We've had discussions on here, sometimes heated, about the quality (or otherwise) of Moyes's tactics or his substitutions or their timing, and we've discussed the shortcomings of players, both individually and collectively.
After a bit of thought (well a bit more than a bit) I've come to the following conclusions or at least notions.
1) Successful teams have strong leaders on the field and in the dressing room — witness Rooney for England and in Europe for Man U;
2) Nice cosy dressing rooms where people are giving hugs and high fives to each other (as has been said about our dressing room in the recent past) will never contain a team that wins trophies consistently;
3) Unreasonable people are responsible for progress and success — these don't necessarily have to be cloggers, but they are prepared to stand up and make themselves unpopular;
4) Good players perform better where the expectations of their teammates are high and demanding and they stand to be held accountable by their peers;
5) Demanding, committed players are prepared to take charge on the pitch and if necessary change tactics themselves — they don't have to be told at half time;
6) Perhaps this current team errs on the side of nice guys with insufficient bastards knocking around, or people who maybe don't feel up for it on the day.
I think I would characterise Neville as a leader... and Cahill and by all accounts Jagielka and Baines. I'm not too sure about the rest though, and it strikes me that at least three of those have been missing for chunks of time in the recent past — which may explain a thing or two on reflection.
Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here but if it's not this, at least in part... what the fuck is it?
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1 Posted 06/03/2010 at 02:16:23
As to Jagielka, he strikes me more as a Fozzy Bear than the Terminator.
Now Heitinga is a different kettle of fish. If he becomes Captain, I can imagine walls cracking, the sky clouding over, and people suddenly getting very busy indeed. But there again, he can back up words by being very good indeed at his job.
2 Posted 06/03/2010 at 03:35:05
3 Posted 06/03/2010 at 04:07:19
4 Posted 06/03/2010 at 04:52:14
5 Posted 06/03/2010 at 05:29:16
6 Posted 06/03/2010 at 05:44:41
7 Posted 06/03/2010 at 06:29:24
For starters, the survey was done as a favour to John Moores after he donated a very expensive computer. I expect lots of hard words would be thrown around our dressing room and I do not imagine for a moment the atmosphere is all luvvy duvvy.
8 Posted 06/03/2010 at 08:39:26
9 Posted 06/03/2010 at 08:49:16
Heitinga squares up as the type who could do it now. But it’s not just a question of who is a hardnose, but whether they are also a communicator.
Also hardnoses often want to be top dog. Moyes is the manager and he sees himself as a hardnose. Trouble is he’s not out on the pitch and wasn’t much of a player.
10 Posted 06/03/2010 at 09:21:09
Phil Neville and Moyes have a pretty good relationship, in fact as good a captain - manager relationship as there is in the Premier League.
I do feel,though,that we need a player in the team who clubs dread playing against. Some examples:
11 Posted 06/03/2010 at 10:04:41
Could it have been a veiled reference to the suggestion that Sol may or may not be gay?
Be bold and say what you mean.
12 Posted 06/03/2010 at 10:35:29
13 Posted 06/03/2010 at 10:35:56
In my opinion we have never replaced him. Big Duncan might have made a few players nervous with his brand of lunacy, but it was rarely for the benefit of the team and I think many actually provoked him knowing what the result would be. Reid was far too canny for all that digging someone right in front of the ref, hard-man bollocks.
As for Phil Neville, nice feller.... and that’s the problem. I know nobody enjoys losing but I’d love to see us buy or develop a few genuinely nasty bastards who REALLY despise losing.
14 Posted 06/03/2010 at 11:30:14
I know which Everton I prefer to see.
The only thing that’s missing from EFC competing for trophies is NOT a "Hard man" it’s better quality players.
Do Arsenal or Man U have any "hard men" (Rooney excepted).
Villa by comparison are full of "hard men" and they’re no better than us.
Football has moved on significantly since the 80’s (and for that matter the 90s) and Cavemen are no longer IT.
15 Posted 06/03/2010 at 11:42:42
Norman "break your legs" Hunter
and Tommy Smith
I wouldnt like to referee a match between those three.
16 Posted 06/03/2010 at 11:42:54
First of all, nobody said or is saying "let’s get a team of hard bastards, all of whom, who can’t play" (as you infer). You accept that United have a hard bastard then you quote... Arsenal? Arsenal have never replaced Viera (nb: a good player AND a nasty bastard). OBVIOUSLY a team of Peter Reids (a ’caveman’ according to you) wouldn’t win much but...who said they would?
The point being made is that two or three good players who ALSO have a bit of Reid/Keane/Souness (whoever) in them, WOULD be a good thing for Everton.
17 Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:36:02
Name me a team of "hard men" such as Reid, Keane or Souness that has consistently won something.
Football may have moved sideways and backwards but it has definitely moved on and I dont think anyone could dispute that there is now a far better quality of "footballers" in the prem than in previous decades.
And IT IS quality of "footballers" that win things not necessarily "hard men".
18 Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:58:47
Footballers may have improved in quality... two main reasons: (1) they are fitter and practice more and are trained like athletes; and (2) because the media says they are better and we want to believe them because everyone wants to know what they have is the best!
You need a balance in a team and nobody in this thread wants a team who can’t play, but do want a team that will compete and challenge.
19 Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:47:19
Let me ask you a serious question — do you only read every seventh word of each post? The reason I ask is because I SPECIFICALLY said nobody (nb: NOBODY!) is suggesting a team of hard bastards.
Your response? You ask me to name a team of hard bastards who have consistently won stuff!? Tou-fucking-che!! Did you actually read the bit where I wrote ’TWO OR THREE players?
Here’s a tip you might find useful. Only debate the ACTUAL points people make on the thread and ignore the really weak ones being made by the imaginary people in your head.
20 Posted 06/03/2010 at 14:56:33
You need to read the thread, not me.
I WAS not suggesting a whole team of 11 hard men, I was querying whether we WANT a team including the likes of a Gerrard and Carragher who, as a case in point, have also failed to win anything for the last few years.
The original thread was looking for "Hard bastards" who would shake the dressing room up.
I still defy anyone to show me a team that has had consistent success in recent years with that philosophy.
Far from feeling ridiculed, I actually feel vindicated because nobody has... eg, Bellamy is such a player IMO. What has he won for all his talent?
21 Posted 06/03/2010 at 15:59:48
22 Posted 06/03/2010 at 17:47:52
a man of your undoubted intelligence and wit should have known I did not mean a team consiting of 11 "hard men".
No such team exists just ask Sam Allardyce he has tried hard enough to create one.
The thread IMO was about having a few "hard men" who "would put other players against the dressing room wall".
IMHO again I believe any of the top 7 or 8 sides have "winners" in the team but NOT "hard men".
We should leave that to the Allardyce’s,Puliss’s and Browns of the world.
FFS it’s only 5 minutes since posters were crying out for EFC to play football exactly what we did against Arsenal,Man City,Chelsea and Man Utd.
Following those games we now need "Hard men".
You couldnt make it up.
23 Posted 06/03/2010 at 17:56:45
I’m now having my final nightcap so get your coat off the door on your way out.
24 Posted 06/03/2010 at 18:34:38
25 Posted 06/03/2010 at 18:08:15
26 Posted 06/03/2010 at 18:30:18
First in line, we had Big Nev, who were not only one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. His presence could also scare anyone out there.
In front of him, we had four big centre halves, taking care of every long ball aiming for our defence. They were Matt Jackson, Dave Watson, David Unsworth and Gary Ablett.
Our Midfield consisted of four fullbacks (I know Horne was a midfielder but he actually played fullback for us a couple of times). Around Barry Horne, we had Joe Parkinson, Andy Hinchcliffe and John Ebbrell (even though he didn’t play in the final, he was still a very big part of the team that got there.)
Upfront there were two target players in the form of Paul Rideout and Duncan Ferguson.
So let us summarize this. We had 4 centre backs. 3 dogs of war. 1 fullback and 2 target players. How do we translate this to supporters, that are too young to remember them? Okay, I’ll give it a try here:
27 Posted 06/03/2010 at 19:50:25
One scary player is enough for me. Maybe two.
P.S Eugene Ruane should be a professional writer or comedian. Superb.
28 Posted 06/03/2010 at 20:03:25
29 Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:58:47
You need a balance in a team and nobody in this thread wants a team who can’t play, but do want a team that will compete and challange
30 Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:58:47
You need a balance in a team and nobody in this thread wants a team who can’t play, but do want a team that will compete and challange
31 Posted 07/03/2010 at 03:38:09
The sister’s in-laws (Gooners) were at a family do last night and we got talking about this, they were bemoaning the fact that Patrick Vieira had never been replaced and believed that was the main reason they haven’t lifted any trophies.
I see Jays point, being just a hard man will only get you so far, but players who could play too, people like Keane,Vieira, Reid and Souness - sorry but he could play - are an essential part of any team that wants to win trophies
32 Posted 07/03/2010 at 04:05:56
33 Posted 07/03/2010 at 05:14:55
In the days before replays and live football on the box,you went to the match and went home with your memories. But on a site called vimeo,log on to Alan Ball and a match of the day from 1967, Everton v Manchester United. Watch Alex Young
go over the ball against a young George Best, In all my years of watching the blues I had no idea that the "Golden Vision" was in fact an " Angel with a dirty face"
34 Posted 07/03/2010 at 06:35:13
A legend of your own keyboard, lad.
35 Posted 07/03/2010 at 06:19:20
Personally i would prefer a team filled with "The will to win" or a "burning desire for sucess" than someone who pins me to the wall, as that type of approach wouldn’t work with me. Although i appreciate it would with some people.
A lot of my mates say to me " That Moyes looks a bit fucking scary with them mad eyes i wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him " so maybe he’s bad cop and Neville’s good cop ?
36 Posted 07/03/2010 at 06:50:04
37 Posted 07/03/2010 at 08:30:02
38 Posted 07/03/2010 at 09:20:10
The game has ’moved on’, whether people like it or not. You will get a yellow card much easier now than you did twenty years ago. Ultimately, this is a good thing for the footballers that grace the pitches. The mere fact that Wimbledon and Coventry lasted as long as they did in the top flight, only serves as a testament that something was fundamently wrong with football. These teams offered very little in terms of footballing prowess, and relied on ’hard man’ tactics to disrupt the opposition.
To suggest we need more hard men is ridiculous. In this day and age, hard men just spend more time off the field suspended, which is of very little value to a small squad like ours. What we need, is more people that can consistently play decent football.
But it does demonstrate yet again how so many of our fellow fans are stuck in a time warp. ’When I were’t lad...’ adds nothing valuable to the future of anything.
39 Posted 07/03/2010 at 10:48:52
40 Posted 07/03/2010 at 11:07:05
41 Posted 07/03/2010 at 13:46:58
dont call Eugene Irish he’ll get really upset which is a bit of racism really and an insult to the Irish with their superb wit and humility.
Dan I totally agree as you can see from my posts.
The notion that piining your teammates up against the dressing room wall gets you results is as antiquated as it is farcical.
The last person at GP to use that philosophy was Archie Knox and look at our results and performances then.
Eugene you are now officially turning into the "english" version of the notorious irish provacateur.
42 Posted 07/03/2010 at 14:47:07
43 Posted 07/03/2010 at 18:16:07
Seems like I’m not the only numb nuts on here.
I dont know what’s happened to your normal lightheartedness on here but you seem to have gone all serious and offensive on this thread.
Lighten up and get a life my son.
44 Posted 07/03/2010 at 21:30:28
Now, back then lad, in my day, footballers carried meat cleavers onto the pitch, as they were too poor to buy their own food.
45 Posted 07/03/2010 at 22:47:09
46 Posted 08/03/2010 at 06:44:17
For me a hard man, in this context is someone who by his actions is looking to win games and by extension trophies by taking responsibility for his own and other people’s actions, imposing his will both on and off the field.
I was not condoning thuggery in any way - it has never been the way at Everton. The players I mentioned were real players but were prepared to take on this additional responsibility and to hold people to account if they failed to do their job properly. This very possibly is a ’hole’ in the make up of the current squad.
I believe that omitting Heitinga was possibly an oversight, and from his performance yesterday, where he was pushing for MOTM, he could very well be that type of player. (I suspect Victor may well have got a bollocking in the dressing room for example).
It is possible for ’hard men’ to be good players too, and the ones mentioned, by and large, have been proper players, But I would not have, for example Gerrard anywhere near our club, but I would be happy with Carragher - purely personal and based on a view of Gerrard’s character and serial cheating.
I suspect that in Man Utd dressing room that people like Gary Neville might be moved from time to time to express an opinion, perhaps even forcibly, alongside Rooney, Vidic, Ferdinand, Giggs - and Sir Alex himself could even be scarier than DM, so standards may not be an issue there.
Alex Young was as hard as nails - even Tommy Smith said so in his book. But so was Ball, Kendall Harvey Wilson, Labone, Morrisey and they were all proper players.
Maybe the game has moved on on the field but I’m not sure that such influences are now redundant in the dressing room, and of course ’that tackle’ by Neville on Ronaldo was actually credited with turning around both a game and a season!
47 Posted 08/03/2010 at 09:10:11
Football has moved on by I still stick to all the great sides having a great spine to their team - and one of the crucial positons in that spine is a "hard man / enforcer / midfield general". For this read Reid, Keane, Veira, Essien, Souness, etc.
Look at the difference Winston Palacious has made to Spurs - breaks up and stops the opposition form playing, wins the ball and plays it off simply to the more creative players.
Should Arsenal win the title this year I think they may achieve it without one such player - the same I guess applies to Man Utd. So maybe the game is changing but I still think it holds sway as a major tenet of the game.
48 Posted 08/03/2010 at 11:42:16
So you’d all rather see Gerrard and Carragher types in our team?
Yes Jay, i think we would all like a player like Gerrard in our team. Name me a team who would not want one of the best midfielders british football has ever seen.
49 Posted 08/03/2010 at 21:38:39
I know the Gerrard clan very well and would not want him anywhere near a team of my choosing.
Isnt it enough that he and his gang of "hard knocks" beat a guy up in "self defence"!! let alone all the cheating and "refereeing" of games while "biographically claiming he abhors cheats!!
Just because he is a media darling and England captain does not mean he’s not off the same block as Joey Barton.
50 Posted 09/03/2010 at 04:21:38
As with 99.9% of other football fans i don’t actually know any players personally like you obviously do.
From what i see on the pitch i also find the bloke arrogant and someone who tries to referee games on a regular basis. However, judging him on his football ability alone there is no getting away from the fact that he is a fantastic footballer and if we as a club want to be at the top of the league fighting for honours each year we need as many of these types of players as possible.
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