VIEW FROM THE BLUE
Playing at the City of Manchester Stadium clearly agrees with Everton these days. Coming into this Monday evening fixture, one of only three games from this week's programme to survive the weather, they'd won their last three games on Manchester City's home turf and they again frustrated Roberto Mancini's side for 90 minutes before departing back along the M62 with all three points... all despite playing the last half hour with 10 men.
The win, only the Blues' second on the road all season, was vital and will have warmed the hearts of those hardy Evertonian souls who braved temperatures languishing at -6 at kick off. But the second half was a grind as City tried to press home their one-man advantage ? until, that is, Kolo Toure joined Victor Anichebe down the tunnel after picking up his second yellow card ? and royal blue-shirted heroes threw everything between them and Tim Howard's goal, repelling attack after attack until, finally, Yaya Toure managed to find the net... but only via the leg of Phil Jagielka.
In the end, despite then losing Jagielka to an apparent injury, David Moyes's side held out valiantly thanks largely to towering displays by Howard and ex-City man, Sylvain Distin. The American goalkeeper made a string of important stops while Distin continued the form that has made him an early front-runner for player of the season by shackling Carlos Tevez and generally dominating his sphere of influence all game.
Seemingly adjusting to the icy conditions quicker than their hosts, an Everton side featuring two changes from the one that had started against Wigan, stole into an early lead. There were barely three minutes on the clock when Anichebe could only glance a Leighton Baines cross beyond the City goal where Seamus Coleman picked up the loose ball and picked out Tim Cahill ? who else ? perfectly. With no one near him, the Australian nodded a simple header inside Joe Hart's near post to score his ninth goal of the season, his third in a row at Eastlands, and hand the Blues the lead.
Though City eventually adjusted to the slippery surface and David Silva had half the stadium thinking he'd equalised with a left-footed half volley that rippled the side netting, a lovely Everton move ended with a second goal after 18 minutes. Baines fed Anichebe down the left flank before charging inside on the overlap while the striker found Cahill in the area. He laid it back first time into the path of Baines who picked his spot in the far corner of the goal with a placed right-footed shot that left the 'keeper with no chance.
2-0 and the stadium had become a caludron of frustration that bled from the home fans to City boss Roberto Mancini who was already venting his spleen at Cahill for a clash of heads that meant that Zabaleta was in the dressing room getting stitches when the Blues scored the second goal. Now he was staring defeat in the face. not to mention also the prospect of passing up a gilt-edged opportunity to top the Premier League table over Christmas following the postponement of his rivals' matches over the weekend.
Not surprisingly, the pressure began to build on Everton who sat back a little and when Rodwell had headed behind after Zabaleta had been given the freedom of Eastlands down City's right flank and all the time he needed to pick out a cross, Balotelli volleyed the resulting corner over the bar.
Then, with a little over half an hour played, a passage of play that would be repeated many times in the second half. With Everton unable to get the ball away from their area, Vincent Kompany's shot following a corner was blocked by Jagielka and Silva hammered the rebound goalwards where it struck Phil Neville's arm, the home fans baying for handball on both occasions. Again SIlva's shot was blocked as the ball pinged around the visitors' area and Jagielka finally relieved the pressure when his lunge denied Zabaleta.
That spell of panic aside, Everton were fairly comfortable in the first half and only a direct free-kick attempt by Kolorov that was probably going to cannon off the outside of the post until Howard finger-tipped it wide threatened to pare back their two-goal advantage.
Undeterred, Kolorov tried his luck again three times in the early stages of the second half, first driving a powerful half-volley that Howard, leaping to his left, fisted away, then rifling a 20-yard shot narrowly wide, before finally smashing another free kick into the wall after Leon Osman, playing in place of the injured Steven Pienaar, had been adjudged to have fouled Zabaleta.
A few minutes earlier, Anichebe had been very harshly booked by referee Peter Walton for colliding with Hart as he tried to charge down a clearance and it was a decision that would take on much larger significance on the hour mark when the young striker, who was about to be substituted, caught Zabaleta in full flight and was flashed a second yellow card.
Predictably, Everton then had to dig in and defend their lead and City came forward with renewed vigour as the half wore on. Silva was again denied by Neville's arm and then again by Jagielka before Gareth Barry's dipping volley grazed the top of Howard's crossbar.
But the pressure told in the 72nd minute when Silva faked a shot and slipped the ball through to Adam Johnson. When he found the route to goal blocked Distin, he laid it off to Yaya Toure whose shot deflected off Jagielka's leg and crept inside the far post to make it 2-1.
Moyes responded by withdrawing the tiring Osman in favour of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and then following up a minute later with the introduction of Louis Saha for Coleman, but it all looked for nought with 12 minutes left when Yaya Toure sprung the offside trap to put Balotelli in on goal. The Italian clipped the ball over Howard but then watched as it bounced off the post and back in play in front of the yawning goal. As they chased down the loose ball, Howard did enough to shoulder Balotelli to the side before making a sprawling block to deny Tevez from the angle.
It was a heart-stopping moment and it would be the closest City would come to wresting two points away from Everton, even when Jagielka was forced off with an injury and Tony Hibbert was pressed into service as an emergency central defender. Indeed, the verteran picked up where Jags had left off, charging down Barry's shot in the 85th minute and then inadvertantly stopping Silva's shot with his arm a minute later.
Desperate, City kept coming forward and when Yaya Toure was given too much time to set up a shot from outside the box, Howard tipped it wide at full stretch before turning around and berating his teammates for backing off and allowing the shot in the first place. And the USA international was on hand in stoppage time to foil Tevez with another excellent stop, a two-handed parry that pushed the ball away to safety.
That left enough time for Kolo Toure, who'd been booked moments earlier for chopping Distin down as he tried to maraude down the right wing, to get his marching orders from the referee for clipping Bilyaletdinov's heels as he swept past him on the counter-attack. It evened the teams in terms of numbers but this was to be Everton's night in terms of the scoreline as the final whistle sounded a minute later.
Given the frigid conditions, this was never going to be a vintage performance but it has to be said that Moyes's side played some pretty tidy and patient football at times, even without their two main playmakers in the form of Mikel Arteta and Pienaar. Marouane Fellaini was a strong presence in the defensive midfield anchor role, breaking up attacks and putting himself about with purpose (so much so that he was booked for showing his studs in a crunching tackle with Tevez) and though Jack Rodwell didn't assume much of an attacking or playmaker role, the Blues still managed to fashion two nice goals from the left flank, thanks to Baines.
On the right, Coleman's only real contribution all evening going forward was the assist for Cahill's goal and Neville rarely ventured forward so the final analysis centres more on the defence and an impressive team performance than any lauding of the Blues' attacking play.
In terms of the season, Everton avoided an eighth game without a win, a milestone they haven't reached for 18 years, and it could yet provide a belated catalyst to reignite their dimming European hopes. Certainly, an unexpected win away at title-chasing opposition should provide a shot in the arm for morale, but Cahill's loomimg absence in the New Year will continue to provide cause for concern, unless Moyes has a rabbit to pull out of the hat early in the transfer window.
Howard 9*, Neville 7, Jagielka 8 (Hibbert 7), Distin 9, Baines 7, Fellaini 8, Rodwell 7, Coleman 6 (Saha 7), Osman 6 (Bilyaletdinov 7), Cahill 8, Anichebe 6
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1 Posted 21/12/2010 at 07:54:52
2 Posted 21/12/2010 at 08:50:38
The real challenge for Moyes is get us performing against those teams who are difficult to break down. Unless Moyes starts throwing more caution to the wind, I'm still worried we'll see more nil-nil draws this season than wins like last night.
3 Posted 21/12/2010 at 08:48:42
Spot on tactics from Moyes ? which is definitely a positive on his poor season ? but the team wanted it and worked hard for him. Without the disruptive Heitinga and Pienaar! Is it a sign?
Defence immense ? back to the early days of Moyes.
Quality goal from Baines from front to back! If Arsenal scored it people would be raving.
Stand-outs: Distin ? never rated him until this season when he has shown to be solid as a rock; passing poor at times but had Tevez for breakfast.
Baines ? Awesome always... simple!
Fellaini ? needs to stop the silly fouls but is such a talent, get his new contract sorted soon.
Special mention for Anichebe ? bit silly to be sent off but led the line well and is a powerhouse, hopefully goals will come with fitness.
Overall very promising ? hopefully not another false dawn. Onwards and upwards? We can only hope!
4 Posted 21/12/2010 at 08:54:27
Did we sit back? Were we pushed back? Or, were we pushed back because we sat back?
Does this change anything vis-a-vis the Moyes position which, 10 days or so ago, in some people's eyes (mine) was virtually untenable?
As a one-off, this was a good game to win. The sort that I used to relish as a player and later coach. At the end, it was obvious from the players' reactions and those of Moyes that it was Christmas come early, with the added cherry on the top for the ex-United players.
One game at a time is the supposed watch word. Is this the kickstart we require? (If so it's getting later and later...) and is this the start of yet another of the good halves of the typical Moyes 50% season???
More questions than answers, yet again.
5 Posted 21/12/2010 at 09:09:45
Moyes has always been good at setting out the team defensively, and grabbing unexpected results.
Now that Moyes has better players at his disposal, we're becoming better at defending resolutely against the top teams and getting results.
The problem is, with these better players, he needs to go gung-ho against the lesser teams at home ? but as yet, he's not worked out how to set a team up to dictate and win a game!
On the up-side, Ossie showed again that if/when we do lose Pienaar, he can fill that role competently (he was also excellent in that position once earlier this season, though the opposition escapes me) ? maybe it has been Baines making Pienaar look good!
6 Posted 21/12/2010 at 09:02:20
We didn't see the ball for the last 75 minutes and Anichebe's sending off did not affect the pattern (if it can be called that) of play which we had already adopted. If the City forwards and the referee had been half competent, we would have been beaten by 4 or 5.
As for the time wasting by Howard from early on in the game, I can only cite the reaction to Wigan's efforts in the last game. And as for Moyes's substitutions, they can at best be described as bizarre.
Whilst the majority of the television audience would have been pleased to see City beaten, they must have been shocked by Everton' s performance.
7 Posted 21/12/2010 at 09:41:23
Game of football... objective: to win... Outcome: win... mission success... Not if your a whining fuckin evertonian.
We haven't won in 8 fuckin games... they haven't lost in 8 games. We score two good goals. we concede an own goal. We play as a unit. We take the points...
8 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:04:56
9 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:25:48
Loved every minute ? especially Distins performance and Bily's cameo!
10 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:22:35
We deserved to win playing that like away from home, in "Moscow" conditions.
However our lack of firepower upfront continues to be a huge concern ? without Cahill we are dead.
Blame Moyes ? it's easy; I would love to see someone do better with no money.
Take what you can get ? we are a REAL football team, with real problems; not a bunch of over-piad prima donnas like Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea etc.
11 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:37:13
Enjoy the result but don't be fooled into thinking Moyes is some great tactician all of a sudden.
12 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:46:39
Ossie was excellent, but Baines has replaced Arteta as my hero. Come on Mikky, win me back!
Manicini has replaced alco-face Ferguson as the manager I most enjoy seeing suffer.
13 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:52:02
Final point: good to see Jo is as good in the City side as he was in ours.
14 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:22:24
This against a team looking to go top, the richest club in the world. On their own midden. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong... and we STILL won! Our boys were fucken magnificent!
Sure we rode our luck... but how many times has it gone against us this season?
Enjoy it boys and start searching through the bins for those betting slips you`ve prematurely ditched.
The naysayers have long since written us off. Let's see what they are saying by the time those "potential champions" Spurs arrive at the Old Lady.
No white flags here. This season is far from over.
15 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:49:25
Agree with the comments praising Distin too. Let's hope we can get a little run going now (so long as these games go ahead over Xmas). I hope my West Ham tickets get here by Friday or I'm fecked!!!
16 Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:48:33
I'm a Moyes fan, can you tell? My memory stretches as far back as last season when, with the same squad playing as a team, we could win regularly at home an we were quite difficult to break down away. I won't be fooled into thinking we are suddenly shite because people here tell me we are.
I can see with my own eyes what is happening. I can see that scoring goals has been our downfall. I can see that last night we scored two goals away from home against a very good team that would have gone top of the league had they beaten us. I can also see a team that tried their fuckin arses off for the 1st time in a very long while and played for the good of the team...
Now I couldn't give a flying fuck if we played with 10 defenders and scraped 1-0 wins every week to get us out of this shite position. If they put in the commitment they did last night in every game then we will be sound and I will be a very happy Evertonian, I'll leave bitching about the merits off 4-4-2 at home or away to them who don't matter.
17 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:11:05
18 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:52:12
19 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:49:26
On to Birmingham ? this is a game which on paper should be a solid win/3 points. I just hope the confidence from the Man City win will mean David Moyes sets the team out to go for a win and not the usual defend first ? at home!
The Spaniard is back and presumably Pienaar will be fit again so it will be interesting to see who he takes out of the middle as I cannot see him not bringing the two back in. Ozzie for one and please, Moyes, do not break up the Rodwell/Fellaini combo in midfield. Put Arteta on the right and move Coleman to the bench.
Up front ? does it matter? 3 goals from 4 strikers in 18 games?? ? toss a coin.
Thanks for the win....
20 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:44:23
21 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:55:50
There was no-one trying to provide an outlet and all eleven players seemed to be crammed into our 18-yard box. I lost count of how many times I thought Anichebe was playing at left back.
Yes, we had no creative players fit; yes, if we had left space at the back, City would have really stretched us, but only for the fact that they couldn't finish last night we could have been hammered anyway. It was just as well they only scored as late as they did.
On saying all of that, I was delighted with the result, it was a huge team performance and you could see it in the players at the end, and I also think we took both goals very well.
22 Posted 21/12/2010 at 11:53:16
I do give a shit about watching negative 4-6-0 tactics against the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, West Brom and Wolves and not winning. People go on about resources but Moyes has had far more than those teams put together. None of those teams have a £9million player and a £6.5 million player sat on the bench.
I'm not a Moyes fan, he is stubborn and too rigid with his formation and tactics which is why we will probably see a return to the same old shite against Birmingham. The criticism of Moyes has been totally justified and I'm not going to get carried away just because we beat Man City with a backs-to-the-wall defensive display which made us look like a plucky non-league side enjoying a day out in the cup.
If Moyes plays an attacking team on Boxing Day and we smash Birmingham then I'll come on here and apologise to you but I've been watching his negative dross for too long to think that will be a reality.
23 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:01:54
My concern now is the injury to Jags and the threadbare look of the squad in general. it was a case of patching up and making do (manfully) but finger tip stuff.
I said before that the tactics we use are much better suited to away games than they are at home. I reckon DM is utilising the squad he has to the best we can expect and we are still very thin on the ground with no youngsters forcing themselves into the first team and us having to rely on players coming back from injury without being able to play a full 90 minutes eg; Osman and Anichebe. I reckon Vic did quite well and I would have given him a 7. Also, Baines was worth a 7 or 8.
It was an epic victory against the odds but we are a long way away from anything better than a mid-table finish to the season.
24 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:19:11
25 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:16:30
Anyway, beating Sitteh is so sweet nowadays, I don't care how we did it. There's nothing wrong with going ahead and then defending it to win a game. Problem this season is we usually don't go ahead.
26 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:13:47
Saha looked more up for it than I have seen him all season. But for Victor, this could have been a handsome win. As it was, it was a win ? I'll take that.
Oh yeah.. They didn't score ? Jags did and until Victor went stupid, Howard hardly had a shot to save.
27 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:18:05
28 Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:52:02
Irrespective of how it was achieved, the result will always be: Manchester City 1 Everton 2.
But of course, there are still the usual suspects on here who can even try and use that as a stick to beat Moyes with... claiming that it means nothing unless we 'smash' Birmingham on Boxing Day.
When will they wake up and realise that, this season more than ever, there isn't a single team that anyone can expect to 'thrash' any more.
So wake up, grow up, enjoy the three (unexpected?) points and try and see some positives for once.
This might just be the kick start our season so desperately needs.
29 Posted 21/12/2010 at 13:02:35
That team has an agenda too, whether it be Premier League survival or glory, the players are sent out with their own set of instructions. They will have looked at our previous games and have a plan of action.
Nobody smashes Birmingham; they get beat in games by the odd one, may it be home or away, playing the Everton way. Hard work and endeavour... maybe nick a goal.
You don't have to apologise to anybody mate. You have your opinion and I have mine. If we score first on Boxing Day, I think we will win... but this is one team I think 4-5-1 is the only option against.
30 Posted 21/12/2010 at 13:57:16
Boxing Day will end up 1-1, we always draw with them. I hate playing them.
31 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:03:21
If it's true then it's Moyes fault :)
32 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:13:34
33 Posted 21/12/2010 at 15:06:01
Enough said for now.
Let's all enjoy the moment!
34 Posted 21/12/2010 at 16:12:14
In addition, I?m with KPR Williams that a win is a win, but that doesn?t mask the fact that whether we?re playing Man U/Arse or West Ham /Wolves, if we score in the 1st 10-15 minutes, we will then defend the 18-yard box and it becomes a backs to the wall job, the amount of times that I?ve seen us let teams back in when we should be cruising. It?s as if he lacks confidence in the players and their ability to control the game and push on to win by 2, 3, 4 goals or more.
To quote Frederick the Great of Prussia ? "He who defends everything, defends nothing."
35 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:37:42
We have no money, they have loads. Our shortcomings are down to the fact that we can't afford decent players, that David Moyes has no resources, that the Premier League is all about money, that you can't compete unless you have money to buy the best players... etc etc etc.
Yet we won? Poor plucky little Everton, with our no-mark players, won. How is that possible? Somebody must have something wrong somewhere...
36 Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:49:30
When we win, the reason is Moyes got it spot on, Moyes shows his brilliance when we win.
When we lose/draw against lowly opposition, it's not Moyes's fault. Nothing to do with tactics, playing players in wrong positions, but the fact that we don't have money.
37 Posted 21/12/2010 at 20:06:30
Alan above queries the tctics. I applauded 4-6-0 last night against the wealthiest club in the world, about to be top for Xmas. Yaya and Koulo and Ballo and Tevvo. The tactics were right and as for the other thread us being "plucky" FFS, we were a Premier League side set up to get a result against a challenger for the top spot. Do you want 4-4-2? Well why not go for 4-2-4 ? we have enough strikers?
No, the team were magnificent last night and I defy anyone true Everton supporter to find fault with any of them.
But also, as Alan says, what about home games against lower opposition when they choose to be organised.
INHO we are good at some things but lacking in others.
Hope this helps.
38 Posted 21/12/2010 at 20:30:19
39 Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:57:04
Michael, even the sun shines on a dog's arse sometimes.
40 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:03:23
Jesus, how deluded the EPL is and particually if fans from a club that will be very lucky ever to overtake Everton as the fourth most succesful club in English football history.
Man City and you fans we salute you - Wolverhampton Wanders are a bigger club than you.
Get used to it or die trying.
41 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:07:23
Never said we should be challenging for the title... but we're 14th; it's December... yet some think Moyes is blameless.
The first 10 games of the season are the most important. We had a near fully fit squad, very few had a tiring World Cup, a full pre-season and we were crap.
A single win against Man City means nothing in the context of this season.
Also, if we are being held back because of Bill Kenwright, surely David Moyes should say something... But no, he has toed the party line, so is thus part of the problem.
42 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:19:04
43 Posted 21/12/2010 at 22:20:43
Must be a big ground for 45000+
Our loyal fans at the end - the team on the pitch-watch it-me? i was nearly crying.
Pip had that ballo bloke boxed right in and Fella, Fella, Fella, the doubters sort your selves out. I worry about Jags and the Goalie, and a load more, thats why i am not a football manager, our fans at the end Proud Proud Proud "two nil...."
Hibbo, Ossie, Victor Seamus (almost) cost nowt and were great.
For the Ossie haters, watch the move where he beat 3 on the left and then nailed the fullback-Lightweight-tell him to his face
Hibbo-came on at CB against sooon to be Jo- moaning -no-haters ? Ask Ballotelli.
Same time-Fella organising at CB while Jags goes off.
And for the fuckwits amongst you-Moyes substitutions-Jags was injured for about 5 mins and PIP signalled to get him off
And for the more advanced fuckwits, Bily was brought on to do the defending stuff against the real threat of their RHS and how well he did with Baines. To be fair he made a difference and witness that by the sending off of their man who had by then realised that the Fella and Jack were not going to be turned over.
Finally, to bore you, and the half wit on the other post who could not (or chose not) to understand the subs. Coleman was knackkked. Ossie was also. We were down to ten men (it only takes ten men) and Moyes went for it adding Saha (who i regard as sicknote) who won everyone of the 6 headers up against his man, and Bily who to be fair was really good especially at orgainised defending against the main man.
44 Posted 21/12/2010 at 23:43:24
but if we dont play 4-4-2 against brum and smash em then Coyle is 'the man'
45 Posted 22/12/2010 at 01:45:24
Three questions spring to mind:-
Are you a 'Moyesiah' disciple more than an Evertonian? There's plenty about when he takes us down, they'll still be pleading his briliance.
When did you discover the Blues? Last 5/10 years perhaps?
Have you ever actually been to a match?
46 Posted 22/12/2010 at 06:19:31
Silva, Ballotelli, Toure: scarves and gloves.
Everton squad: no gloves or scarves.
Short-sleeved shirts: Baines; Jagielka; Cahill, Osman, Rodwell, Coleman
I'm just saying
47 Posted 22/12/2010 at 08:09:40
I discovered the Blue's in about 1975 when all the sound lads round mine were Blues and all the ignorant bell-ends wore red. First match was in about 1981 against Villa when they were shit hot... the game where Tony Morely (sp) scored the goal of the season running up the left wing cutting in and unleashing a fooking bullet....
First season ticket in the Main Stand the season after the Wimbledon game. Ended up in the Gwladys Street up until the year after my little girl was born in 2004 when Everton became my second love...
Who the fuck are you? The Everton police?
48 Posted 22/12/2010 at 08:33:01
49 Posted 22/12/2010 at 09:14:02
50 Posted 22/12/2010 at 10:03:04
51 Posted 22/12/2010 at 12:33:52
You said you apparently don't need money to compete, I asked the last team to win the League without having oodles of it and your first reaction is to talk about an embarrassing defeat (albeit by a team above us in the league) that's not an answer
So Moyes should berate Billy liar should he? Worked wonders for the Fat Spanish Waiter at Milan didn't it?
52 Posted 22/12/2010 at 12:47:46
? Fellaini playing attacking mid simply because he is big, and propping Cahill deeper at the start of the season.
? Heitinga playing central mid.
? Rejecting a bid for the Yak then dropping him when he finally gets up to fitness and what appeared like form.
? Playing Rodwell on the wing?
? Playing Saha becasue he needs a goal, even though his form is woeful.
? Persistence with Neville in every single match.
? Not even giving Bily a sniff (as you say, we're poor, so when you sign a player for £10million and he fails (even though he hardly been given a fair crack this term) then the manager should take some blame ? we rightly praised him for Cahill and Arteta, so we rightly criticise him for Bily)
? Signing two centre-backs in Heitinga and Distin when one would have done (seeing as though we got shot of Yobo due to having no room)... sure the £5M for Distin or £7M for Heitinga could have been well used on a forward or winger.
? For creating a team with Pienaar, Fellaini and Arteta in the middle of the park yet playing percentage football. Why have a great midfield if it's hardly used.
? Everton sign Tim Cahill in 2004, in 2004-05 he is our most important player and when he doesn't score we generally don't win... It's now 2010-11... deja vu, anyone?
? MOST IMPORTANT, NO MATTER WHAT ANY INDIVIDUAL RESULT HAPPENED... EVERTON ARE 14th IN THE TABLE. WE LAUGH AT LIVERPOOL, YET THE WORST LIVERPOOL TEAM IN DECADES IS STILL BETTER THAN 'THE BEST EVERTON TEAM IN DECADES.
Would we be better if we had £50M to spend?... Of course, but that does not let Moyes off the hook for taking a group of good players and not preparing them, training them, motivating them, improving them sufficiently.
I have always been a fan of Moyes... If you saw my previous posts on this website, I have always been a supporter of his, praised him for what he has built... But it cannot be denied that this season HE has failed, and I believe he will repeat this failing again.
Another manager would not guarentee success. But I think we can be sure we won't attain it under Moyes.
I would love to see what a Scolari, Pellegrini etc would do with these players. I believe they would make them better.
I have long been a Moyes fan... My previous posts on this site will prove this... But this season has changed my mind.
Loyalty to one thing or the other doesn't dictate my mind on this... Football and results do. If Arteta plays poor ? drop him; if the manager underperforms...
53 Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:02:17
When he doesnt play no one else seems to kick anyone else up the backside during the games.
Although I think footballing ability he should not be in the side....
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