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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Sympathetic doesn't mean apologetic

 57 Comments: First  |  Last

Another disappointing defeat and the vitriol against David Moyes is at its peak again on ToffeeWeb. The debate has seemingly become so extreme that anyone arguing any mitigating circumstances is immediately an apologist, and disagreeing that Moyes is a terrible manager who needs to be sacked immediately is somehow based on stupidity or blind faith.

David Moyes is clearly not a bad manager. He's brought stability and a modicum of success to Everton. I've generally been a lot prouder and happier to be an Everton fan over the last decade than I was for most of the decade before that. Moyes has not become shit, we *don't* just play hoofball, we've finished reasonably well placed in the league throughout most of his tenure, and we've done that despite significant financial constraints in relation to many of our competitors.

Which is not to say in any way that Moyes is perfect. I believe that he has stagnated to a degree, most particularly since last season when I think he seemed particularly disappointed that, when we genuinely did believe we had an opportunity to step forward, he wasn't backed and we didn't perform as hoped. I think as a result of that stagnation, and also as a reaction to the continued and increasing financial pressure, he's become increasingly conservative in his management.

I understand why; he wants to ensure that we're tough to beat, to maintain general parity, and perhaps hope for a point at which he might be provided with the opportunity to have the funds needed to refresh the team. I disagree with this approach; I don't think the conservative approach is the best way to approach the season, but I *do* understand why he's taken that route.

Much as he's stagnated as a manager, I think we, based on some of the responses on ToffeeWeb, have become entirely unrealistic in our expectations. If something can in any way be interpreted as a mistake, or as Moyes's fault, then you can guarantee someone on this site will be touting that opinion. It doesn't really matter what the circumstances are, the majority of the coverage on ToffeeWeb looks to find a negative interpretation of Moyes's actions. It's crap. There are many legitimate criticisms of Moyes's management, but no genuine discussion of those criticisms can be had when the argument starts "Moyes is a coward, Moyes out, we're going down because of Moyes, he's shit and he's always been shit...."

Perhaps most importantly, increasing criticism of Moyes effectively distracts from the real issues, which are the deeper problems facing the club. As the excitement over the BU march has dwindled, and without the prospect of immediate change, it seems to me that the main target of day-to-day criticism has moved back to Moyes and not Kenwright.

I genuinely doubt any manager is going to achieve much more than Moyes, and certainly not for such a sustained period, given the restrictions that they would be under given the current ownership and business model. That's what needs to change, *far* more urgently than the manager. I'd like whatever manager Everton has to not be hamstrung by the circumstances he's forced to work under. And when those circumstances *do* change is the right time to evaluate our management options, not now.

It might be that if we do achieve change and Everton are on a more solid footing, then it might be too late for Moyes; that he'll have been too long at the club, too set in his ways. That'd be a shame; I'd love to at least *see* if he would change his approach given greater freedom. But simply shouting down Moyes now pretty much just means you're raging at a symptom of Everton's problems, not the cause of them.

Robin Cannon, Ewing, NJ     Posted 27/10/2011 at 00:36:59

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Lyndon Lloyd
1   Posted 27/10/2011 at 06:49:57

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I agree with much of what you say, Robin. No Evertonian of sound mind can legitimately argue that Moyes is a bad manager and there is no doubt that he has brought about a decade of stability at a club that, for the preceding 10 years, knew nothing but instability.

I think a lot of the knee-jerking is symptomatic of sheer frustration. It is very hard to watch Everton at the moment and feel excited about very much at all. Much of that is, of course, down to the ever-increasing inequality in the Premier League and the distance that EFC has fallen behind clubs we regarded as our peers when the PL was formed in 1992.

Moyes *is* operating at an almost comical disadvantage to the moneyed elite but, like you say, he is far too conservative at times and that is incredibly frustrating. Like you, I understand why he's taking that tack — actually, understand isn't right; I can see why knowing what I know about Moyes based on his track record but I don't understand why he feels he needs to err on the side of the negative against even the poorest teams in the division — but I don't agree with many of his decisions this season.

His treatment of Barkley angers me, to be honest. Now, whether it's entirely his decision, I guess we'll find out in December/January but the fact that this kid with so much promise is being frozen out with the lame justification that he makes mistakes (Jagielka, hello!) just pisses me off, to be totally honest.

His refusal to try 4-4-2 with two natural strikers (even for a half let alone from the start) is just as infuriating. He complains about a lack of resources but he never tries anything different to maximise those which he does possess. Apostolos Vellios, for example, like Jermaine Beckford before him, is clearly not at his best playing as an isolated lone striker but Moyes would rather persist with Tim Cahill, who hasn't looked fully fit all year and who hasn't scored in just as long, than try anything different.

I too believe we'd be screwed without him while the bankrupt Kenwright regime is at the helm and I'd be petrified to lose him. I'm just aching for him to change and be a bit more daring, a bit more adventurous, a bit less, well, Moyes-like!
Peter O'Connor
2   Posted 27/10/2011 at 07:46:02

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It's not often I agree with you Lyndon but you are 100% right there.

Last night taking off Rodwell and bringing on Stracqualursi was bizarre.

No adventure in our play until the last 20 minutes of normal time.

Brian Keating
3   Posted 27/10/2011 at 07:51:08

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I couldn't agree more.

Moyes has a lot of faults, but some of the abuse he get's on here is ludicrous.
Mike Atherton
4   Posted 27/10/2011 at 07:42:47

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I realise you have made several valid points there. I just have one question. Why do you and several other people keep harping on about us playing 4-4-2? The formation is very dated; no top club side really plays it anymore. Also, the England manager was widely criticized in the last World Cup for playing this formation as it is clearly dated.

If teams of the standard of Manchester United and City play 5 in midfield what?s makes you think we are going to be able to win games with 4 as we clearly don?t have as good as midfield as them.

I do agree that Moyes is too negative, but playing 4-4-2 is not the answer!

I would be interested to hear your feedback on this matter. Thanks in advance.

Eric Myles
5   Posted 27/10/2011 at 08:05:16

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Mike, I think the short answer to your question is that the 5 in midfield for United and City are attacking midfielders who will go forward and score goals and leave defending to the back 4 while our 5 are all defensive and don't get into positions to score goals but set out to stop the opposition scoring.
John Kenyon
6   Posted 27/10/2011 at 08:18:47

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Robin, great post! It's good to read a well balanced article. It's all too common to read posts that are negative and damning of Moyes (although at times, thoroughly understandable), without giving him a modicum amount of understanding.
Alan Clarke
7   Posted 27/10/2011 at 08:54:44

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How do you explain the attendances this season? Some are saying it's because of peoples' personal finances in the current economic climate but attendances weren't this low last season when the economy was still in a bad way. Some say it's because of Kenwright but the warm applause he received at the Villa game suggests a lot still support Kenwright.

The reason attendances are low is because watching Everton is not fun anymore. Going to the game is hard work. Not that long ago, I used to go to every game believing we'd win (certainly at home) but now I have no expectations whatsoever. Moyes gave us some belief and hope and perhaps he deserves a stay of execution because of that but to me the writing's on the wall. Now it seems that Moyes has sucked all that belief out of the fans.

You can assess Moyes's performance just on his results and not watch us. You can think we did well to win at Blackburn, we did well to beat Wigan and we did well to beat Fulham. But if you watch the games you know Blackburn missed 2 pens and hit the bar, you know Wigan hit the bar when it was 2-1 and you know Zamora missed a sitter that would have won it for Fulham. You can say that's the game of football but you can't deny that we have been complete and utter shite to watch and we're lucky to have as many points this season.

People are more arsed about what they're watching than who's running the club. Moyes seems to have lost all belief himself so what are the players supposed to believe and what are we supposed to believe in? Most fans now think all Moyes is doing is collecting his massive wage and if finances are tight at home, why do you want to pay towards that?
Richard Dodd
8   Posted 27/10/2011 at 08:55:45

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I think this article pretty much sums up how I feel. Moyes is none of the things he is accused of being but his sin is failing to provide a consistently EXCITING team for Evertonians. The circumstances in which he operates have necessitated him taking a pragmatic approach designed to gain at least SOMETHING from every game.

Most of his critics constantly plead for `a shit or bust` approach to EVERY game ? but particularly cup matches. This might well get him and his team short-term headlines (à la Ian Holloway)but few of us would relish the inevitable end result.

When Curbishley left Charlton after 13 years of mostly mid-table stability, it was said his teams and tactics had become `boring`. About six managers later, they are at last beginning to excite their supporters. They are top of the League... League One. Note well where lust for excitement might lead us!
Ryan Holroyd
9   Posted 27/10/2011 at 09:34:09

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I can only speak for myself Alan and the reason I did not renew my season ticket this season is because I detest Bill Kenwright.

Everton have not invested in the team for 3 years now and I don't see why, when Bill Kenwright has never put a SINGLE penny into the club, I should go on helping to fund his running on Everton on the cheap.

We've sold our better players, the better players we have are getting older, we've no money to buy replacements, we've mortgaged our future season tickets, sold the land on Finch Fam for £2M and are now paying rent of £1.2M a year, we play in an old ground, he lost us Kings Dock, he messed up NTL...

Bill Kenwright is running Everton into the ground.

When BK goes, I will return.

As for Moyes, would I be that bothered if he left tomorrow? Not really... but I do wonder with some trepidation how the hell we would attract a better manager with no money to spend (even less money because we would need to pay Moyes off).
Andrew Ellams
10   Posted 27/10/2011 at 10:14:37

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I'm sorry but Moyes is poor. He is tactically inept, one-dimensional and dull. Promising youngsters have continually failed or stagnated under his stewardship and we are becoming a laughing stock.

The lack of investment has become a convenient smokescreen for Moyes's managerial frailties. It's an acceptable excuse for not winning titles or qualifying for the Champions League, but not for falling behind the likes Stoke and Newcastle. We are now competing behind the likes of WBA, Fulham and Sunderland.

I firmly believe that, if a manager with an attacking mindset got his hands on our squad, we would see changes for the better. And no, I am not talking about Ian Holloway.
Mike Atherton
11   Posted 27/10/2011 at 10:46:51

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Eric, I understand your point but I think in terms of what you say about Manchester City and, to a lesser extent Manchester United, is a little exaggerated. City played virtually the whole of last season with two holding midfield players; yes, Mancini was criticized for being too negative but, at the end of the day, they qualified for the Champions League and won the FA Cup.

It was only this season, when other world class attacking players (players we obviously can?t afford) have been brought in, they now play more attacking. In regards to United, look at their set-up at Anfield the other week: far from 4-4-2 attacking for the win.

I understand people want us to play more attacking football, and I agree... but football has changed for me since Mourinio went to Chelsea: teams now in general set out more defensively; thus, surely, with the average Premier League squad we have, we need to try and match the opposition.
Trevor Mackie
12   Posted 27/10/2011 at 10:39:53

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Football isn't about being rational ? it's about hopes and dreams... the fact is we are still the 4th most decorated club in English footballing history means many of us still dream for more than avoiding relegation.

I disagree with the majority of the OP and the "I support Moyes BUT........blah blah blah" is anathema to me. If you recognise the faults, why support him?

The arguments are set in stone now and if you think Moyes is the greatest thing since sliced bread, fair enough, but this waffle about not apologising for him after admitting all his faults is garbage ? YOU ARE!
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 27/10/2011 at 10:11:48

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Agree with just about every word of that, Robin. I could hardly believe some of the comments I read this morning from last night's live forum. What stuck me was the level of anger...

You are of course right: the most determined of Moyes`s critics now seem to have reached a stage where he can do no right, everything is his fault and there are no mittigating circumstances... and if you don't agree you are some sort of raving apologist.

The criticisms levelled at Moyes last night may have carried some weight if his detractors were actually watching the game, but it appears there were no internet videolinks.

When Everton left the pitch on Saturday the 3-4,000 fans who had forked out hundres of pounds to get to the capital and watch their team were deafening in their support for Moyes ? Don't take my word for it, ask the ever fair Ken Buckley.

Evertonians around the world who rely on TW for their information could could be forgiven for believeing there has for some time been a real anger amongst a high percentage Evertonians towards the manager. There isn't; however, regular visitors to this site will know that a lot of the flack frequently thrown at the manager is thrown by the same realatively small group of people. It ain't a lot of people criticising, it's a small amount of people criticising a lot.

A packed Goodison stood to a man and applauded Moyes at the end of last season ? just as they had done the season before and the season before that. They are not blind to his shortcomings and only a fool would suggest they are.

Times are hard at the moment, fans up and down the country are finding it increasingly difficult to justify spending their hard-earned to watch football, clubs like Villa are falling about 10,000 short of capacity, even for matches against fierce local rivals.. for all their multi million pound squad, Man City struggle to sell out.

Yet, despite around 7,000 Evertonians forking out the best part of a grand to support their team in West London in the past couple of weeks, it's very likely that, come 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon, Everton's average attendance will be level or even higher than last season's.

I know we will have played two big fictures, but attendances for the remainder of the season will depend very much on how well we are doing.

Talk of mass desertions are a little premature...
Brian Waring
14   Posted 27/10/2011 at 11:15:34

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Moyes isen't a bad manager, he's a decent manager, nothing more, and deserves credit for what he has done. The problem for me, is that it is the same safety first negative approach every game, and you can only take so much, too many times he has you scratching your head after another strange decision.

As mentioned before, it has got so boring watching us, its unbelievable. My 12-year-old lad would now rather play on his Xbox live with his mates, rather than go the game. For me, that is a big problem; we should be trying to attract the support of the younger generation.
Dave Wilson
15   Posted 27/10/2011 at 11:28:40

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Sorry RoBin
Mike Atherton
16   Posted 27/10/2011 at 11:51:48

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Trevor, I think they call it 'having a balanced argument'
Tony J Williams
17   Posted 27/10/2011 at 12:20:49

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Mike, it would be interesting if all posters tried that (I know you were being sarcastic) but the second that name calling enters into it, all pretence of a sensible debate is lost.
Alan Clarke
18   Posted 27/10/2011 at 12:46:39

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It's ironic that Robin complains of being labelled an apologist but any criticism of Moyes he labels 'vitriol'. Are we not allowed to criticise or say he's not the best man for the job?

Also Dave Wilson, it's not 7,000 fans, it's more like 3,000 fans who've paid twice. They're the same fans who go home and away whatever Everton's situation. They'll be there if Everton were playing non-league. I'd be far more concerned about the 7000+ who aren't going anymore but were going last season. Why can't they justify the expense anymore?

It's because there is no hope now. Moyes will probably keep us up. With Kenwright in charge, we've no hope of success because there's no way of building a team. People might just be a bit happier though if we had a manager who could provide some entertainment on matchday.
Joe Clitherow
19   Posted 27/10/2011 at 12:36:36

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Dave Wilson

Your assessment of the different scenarios of the relative fan groups (match vs TW) is in line with mine as a regular matchgoer. I don't hear comparable comments/vitriol from the many surrounding me which in any way compares with analysis of the postings of the few dozen responsible for 95%+ of the comments on here.

Perhaps if armchairs were made small enough to get through the turnstiles that dynamic might change.

There is a reason Ken B always refers to the Faithful...
Denis Richardson
20   Posted 27/10/2011 at 12:38:04

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I dont seriously think you will find many (if any) Everton supporters who are now 'anti-'Moyes that would not be willing to appreciate what the guys has done for the club in the early years.

However, as has been said many times on here, IMO he has gone stale and reached a point where he cannot take us any further. Whether that is something to do solely with lack of cash is another matter.
After 10 years on the job, I think the best expression I can think of is that he 'needs another challenge'.

The 'style' of football is certainly turning fans away; anyone arguing against this only need to look at the average attendances so far this season at GP. Whether we win or lose a game, for me the important thing is to actually believe that a win is possible before the game kicks off. These days I automatically expect the worst and hope for the best ? even if it's only a Blackburn or Newcastle at home.

One thing is guaranteed, neither Moyes nor Kenwright will be at the club forever and each week that passes is one closer to change (whenever that may be). In the meantime, I just hope we continue to scrape together enough points to firstly stay up.

I really wish he would leave Tiny Tim on the bench until he has recovered from injury/lack of form. We can surely try someone else in the 'hole' or god forbid start with two recognised strikers (to bring the best out of them).
Robbie Muldoon
21   Posted 27/10/2011 at 13:02:36

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Well said Denis. I think Toffeeweb should add a like and dislike button feature to the comments section like most comments sections have. Would give a good idea of opinion of people reading the comments.
David Nicholls
22   Posted 27/10/2011 at 12:51:49

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A refreshingly balanced post Robin. Sure, every fan has the right to critisize and I've got Man U fan mates that constantly complain about some of SAF's selections and tactics but some of the abuse that Moyes gets on here is frankly, disgusting and is the reason I hardly ever post.

We are talking about a man who is revered almost unanimously throughout all areas of football. Players both current and former, managers, the media all seem to appreciate what a fantastic job he is doing considering the financial constraints placed upon him.

Yet, there are many on this site, these bearers of a mystic wisdom who see what everyone else cannot and that Moyes is in fact rubbish!

I appreciate that even the best managers are often so consumed with their job that they become stubborn, shut themselves off from outside influences and fail to see what is obvious to everyone else. Wenger and Capello are prime examples.

I don't think for a minute that we would be doing any better if Pep Guardiola was our manager and I fear one day in the not to distant future we will have to face life after Moyes and in the current footballing climate that could be a very dark time.
Dave Wilson
23   Posted 27/10/2011 at 13:25:44

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Alan Clarke

I agree with you, there is a hardcore who go home and away, but to suggest they are the same people, regardless of where the match is, or the expence involved, is simply untrue. I would guess maybe 5-6,000 Evertonians regularly go to away matches but there are very few who get to them all.

I`m not sure where this "dramatic fall in attendance" is coming from. If the figures I`m looking at are true, then our average attendance is just under 35,000, down by hundreds on last season and with Man U comming on Saturday, it's likely to even show a slight increase.

There is a natural wastage amongst matchgoers; every season some will stop going and traditionally they are replaced by people who will start.
Robin Cannon
24   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:05:25

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@Alan (17)

I don't say that any criticism of Moyes is vitriol. There is a big difference between legitimate criticism and vitriol or abuse.

Lyndon is absolutely right; a lot of the anger comes from sheer frustration. What's most frustrating to me is that every season we have a few performances where we see flashes of what the team is capable of, when they approach a match positively. I don't agree that formation is as much a part of it as the mindset; I've seen us play attacking and creative football in a 4-5-1. It's more the lack of flexibility and the lack of desire to take risks.

I'm completely in agreement that it's infuriating to see continued unwillingness to trust different players than the "old guard"; and I think that's definitely something I think has changed and become more entrenched in Moyes's management style over the past few seasons. Tim Cahill is my favorite Everton player by a long way, but even I think both he and the team would benefit from him having a rest; both to give other players an opportunity and to give us a chance in the long term to see a fully fit Cahill contributing rather than an 80% Cahill struggling on a week-by-week basis.

I feel that frustration would be more effectively directed at the circumstances in which the manager is forced to work under, rather than the actions the manager himself takes.

And, like Lyndon, a lot of my frustration is just about the general state of football. That affects us directly, but in general terms it's reaching a farcical level. I don't care at the moment. I hate the league and the way it's a fixed game. A few years ago I didn't understand when my dad used to say "I don't particularly like football, I just love Everton". I understand that now.
Tony J Williams
25   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:20:31

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"Why can't they justify the expense anymore?" I know one season ticket holder missing is down to pure financial restraint, he has two kids now so wants to save his money, nothing at all to do with Moyes, the football etc.

I, next year, will probably not renew again due to financial issues, wedding, new house. Nothing at all to do with the shite football we have to put up with.

That's just two in a small group who go the match.
Tony J Williams
26   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:32:10

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"I don't care at the moment."

Robin, that is the most oft used phrase with all the Evertonians I know. I use it all the time, even after a win I can't be arsed with football anymore.

Haven't hardly watched a live game other than at Goodison for a while now, last night I didn't even log on to look for a feed, just settled with checking the scores on my phone.

Football at the moment bores me... Citeh will push United for the league and then next season will go out and buy even more World Stars and the league will get even worse and worse. Look at Citeh's last 6 games, averaged over 4 goals a game... that's shite. Great for Citeh fans but just shows how big the gap is for the haves and the have-nots.

This league was always only going to be won by a few teams but it has gone too much like Scotland now, with about 13/14 of the teams being fodder for the rest, with the occasional upset from a "plucky underdog".
Tom Hughes
27   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:31:50

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I believe there has been a substantial reduction in season ticket sales... and the gate against Villa for instance was well down on the corresponding fixture last season. If the trend continues, this season could see our lowest average in well over a decade with possibly even some sub-30k attendances. Derby tickets and Man Utd have been harder to sell than ever.

It's very unfortunate that people are blaming Moyes given the constraints he's had to work within... it would appear some will refuse to blame BK even to the extent that they would rather lump it all on Moyes. He was always going to be an easier target, and he should've realised that before he so vocally supported the chairman despite the complete lack of financial support he's received from this board.
Brian Waring
28   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:01:48

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Someone is actually willing to marry you Tony!!!!

Only messing Tony, congrats.
Trevor Mackie
29   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:24:38

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Mike Atherton @ 15

"Trevor, I think they call it 'having a balanced argument'"

What..... with yourself?

listing faults then ignoring them could be described as wistful thinking, head in sand, contradiction, abdication of responsibility, delusion, madness .....

"balanced argument" - no way baby.
Tom Hughes
30   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:38:01

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Does anyone know if these stats are accurate:

It is now 5 years since we finished below a team that spends less than us on wages.

The teams that have finished above us average a £100m a year in spending over us, or half a billion pounds each during that 5 year period.

In his time in charge only Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have accumulated more points.

In the last 6 years we have a better goal difference than all but those 4 clubs. The next best, Spurs, aren't even close.

Only those 4 clubs plus Spurs (just, less than 3 goals per season) have scored more than us.

When overall wages+transfers are considered only 2 managers have consistently outperformed their wage budget in a statistically significant way. Sam Alladyce when at Bolton and David Moyes. Only Moyes has maintained this over performance over a decade.

If true, it would be quite hard to argue for Moyes dismissal, and perhaps should focus people's attention on the real poor performers at our club. That's not to say I think Moyes has been flawless (what manager is?).... but those stats appear quite impressive.
Brendan McLaughlin
31   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:51:09

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Tom #29
Sort of expecting a "Life of Brian" moment after that with some 0.02% stalwart asking "But apart from..(lists impressive statistics)...WHAT has David Moyes ever done for Everton?
Chris Butler
32   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:46:08

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I agree with Alan, I have given up going to games, down to Moyes. I'm sick of watching us play sideways football, I'm sick of watching his boring, predictable football.

Contary to what Tony J Williams will have you believe, many fans have given up going, down to Moyes. We've been in recession for years, yet this season things have completely changed.

We will seriously struggle to get a decent attendance on Saturday. I believe our attendances could even go under 30,000 which hasn't happened for a long time in a league game.
Mike Atherton
33   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:05:38

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So because I don?t back Moyes in every single decision he makes It automatically means I should think he should get the sack and believe he is a crap manager?

I know plenty of United fans who don't always agree with Ferguson's team selection and tactics but it doesn?t mean they want him out. But I suppose they all have "wistful thinking, head in sand, contradiction, abdication of responsibility, delusion, madness ....."
Trevor Mackie
34   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:04:57

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"It is now 5 years since we finished below a team that spends less than us on wages."

Do you mean the writing was on the wall 5 years ago?

I'm fuming..... look at the shite we've turned into since

well spotted that man.
Trevor Mackie
35   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:10:02

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Didn't say that did I, naughty naughty
Lee Courtliff
36   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:56:49

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Robin, that quote from your Dad is absolutely fantastic. I have times when I feel like that.

I agree with your article.

Many times Moyes has pissed me off no end but some of the slatings he gets on here are out of order.

The one that pisses me off the most is when people try to blame Moyes for Rooney leaving us. These people claim he left because Moyes didn't play him enough (and I have read this many times on here but can't remember the names of the people who said it).

Just look at the stats for Rooney's last season with us and you will see how many games he started. The vast majority. And he was only 17/18 years old during that season.

Moyes has enough faults without us having to invent them.
Gavin Ramejkis
37   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:17:07

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Doddy just out of interest losing a cup game by one goal or ten is the same right? It has no detrimental effect on the bread and butter league placing so why the hell no try to fucking win a game and put players on early enough to go for it. The negativity during far too many games just to try to sneak a point and retain EPL membership just doesn't wash in cup games which are a one night only or one day only event.

Tom, the scary thought would be to finish below a side which has spent more money than us over the last two years (now that would include conference teams)
Tony J Williams
38   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:27:02

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"Contary to what Tony J Williams will have you believe, many fans have given up going, down to Moyes"

Prove it then.
Michael Kenrick
39   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:30:42

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Lee (#36), regarding your bone of contention, it's certainly my recollection that Moyes could have played him far more than he did. It all depends how you view things, of course, but I would consider having him on the field for the entirety of LESS THAN HALF the 38 league games is indication enough of what was going on that season.

There are reports that Rooney was increasingly frustrated at the way Moyes shackled him when, with that prodigious talent, he should arguably have been the centrepiece of the team Moyes was building.

He was played from the off by SAF, with none of Moyes's trademark "protection", as soon as he got to the Big Stage at the "Theatre of Dreams" [puke]. I think that's why, with good reaosn, some Evertonians consider this another of Moyes's many failings, albeit hidden (like many others) from the mainstream.
Trevor Mackie
40   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:45:50

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I am one, my brother and 2 friends are others.
James Stewart
41   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:43:09

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Everton are boring. And we have become boring under Moyes.

Moyes is not a bad manager I agree, but nor is he a very good one. One track minded to the extreme.

I rarely enjoy watching us play anymore and some of that has to be down to the manager.

Drenthe is the kind of player that is exciting to watch as Arteta, Pienaar, and to some extent Donovan was before him. There is hardly any genuine quality left in the side now though. Baines is probably our best player and he is a left back!

I would much rather Barkley, Gueye, Vellios etc were played and allowed to shine and yes make mistakes too.

Sure as hell beats watching the mundane Jagielka, Osman, Bily, Cahill, Neville etc...
Jon Ferguson
42   Posted 27/10/2011 at 18:11:28

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Robbie 21 - a like and dislike button on the comments would be a great shout and would be an indication of where the majority of people on the site stood.
Trevor Mackie
43   Posted 27/10/2011 at 18:52:38

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Jon Ferguson

Which matters why?

Surely your opinion is your opinion.

We're not electing anyone are we?

It becomes a clarion call to groups of spotty oiks - not for me.
Jon Ferguson
44   Posted 27/10/2011 at 18:56:18

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Trevor - a lot of people on here say they speak for the majority of the fans, others claim those same people are a vocal minority. By giving those who are members of the site the ability to 'like' or 'dislike' something, it would give some quantifiable numbers to back up or disprove what is being claimed in this respect.

Simon Harris
45   Posted 27/10/2011 at 19:05:20

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I think the lack of investment and total stagnation at board level is a reasonable excuse for Moyes having a poor start to the season.

The man hasn't had a bean to spend in nearly 3 years, but has had to deal with losing his best players with no means or time to replace them. I'd be really interested to hear of other managers who have performed better under those circumstances.

It's beyond a fucking joke now and Kenwright should face the wrath of fan frustration, well before Moyes does, IMO.

3 years! ? Kenwright out!

Kevin Hudson
46   Posted 27/10/2011 at 21:55:58

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In the midst of all the ridiculous, dummy-spitting hysterics, it's reassuring to read such a balanced piece.

You acknowledge that Moyes isn't perfect. You point out his strengths, flaws & draw attention to both the difficult challenge he faces & the positive aspects of his tenure.

In offering a measured summary of the battle-lines drawn between the ToffeeWeb patrons, you accept there is a valid argument to be had amongst well-meaning, Everton-mad, yet polarised camps.

From a match-going perspective, I do NOT see or hear a similar level of vitriol at Goodison, than what I read from the "Moyes Out Brigade", the "Armchair Screamers," or the "Armageddon Crew."

Some of the "Moyes Out Brigade," produce decent argument.

However, it is the spiteful fringe element who's aggressive, Socratic wisdom: (eg;) "An absolute cunt of a man," "Ginger twat," & "Mercenary," who serve to undermine even rational debate,often even greeting good news with cynical disdain, ineffectually masking it as "sardonic wit."

Robin, an effective rebuttal/ summation of the dichotomy.
Robin Cannon
47   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:42:03

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Incidentally, I was thinking about Moyes's conservatism and how it contrasts with his early tenure. I took a look at the fixtures when he first arrived ? at the end of the 2001-02 season:

Fulham - won 2-1
Derby - won 4-3
Newcastle - lost 6-2
Bolton - won 3-1
Chelsea - lost 3-0
Leicester - drew 2-2
Southampton - won 1-0
Blackburn - lost 2-1
Arsenal - lost 4-3

9 games, 17 goals scored, 21 conceded, average of more than 4 goals per game total. I was thinking back then as to how energized we were to have a manager willing to take risks, prepared to lose in order to try to win. It demonstrates that Moyes hasn't always been inherently conservative, and it at least gives me a glimmer of hope that he doesn't always have to be in future.
Kevin Hudson
48   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:50:27

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Reads like Blackpool last season.

They do say ? the older you get, the more conservative you become...!
Gavin Ramejkis
49   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:52:14

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Robin, using a similar yardstick to his recent years, especially his away record against the Sky darlings... it stinks ? and he's never gone for it.

Statistics are quite damning when you roll out the entire season's worth, showing far lesser teams on paper than Everton have turned over the Sky four on their turf, yet Moyes never has. I admire optimism if it's not completely blind to the reality of probability and form.

I don't think Moyes will get back to his original eager self he showed when he first arrived unless he ups sticks and moves to a club that can offer him funds to do his job. He has made his bed with BK and is reaping the rewards: £65k a week but given no chance whatsoever to build a team and merely treading water, he appears to all intents and purposes to have accepted defeat ? and it shows.
Brendan McLaughlin
50   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:59:35

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Robin #47
Moyes early tenure was characterised by us finishing with a negative goal difference every season. I can remember some of his critics pointing to this as evidence of his negativty back then. About halfway through his tenure Moyes eventually put together a group of players that consistently produced positive goal differences....and yet he's perceived as more negative now?
Ciarán McGlone
51   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:58:03

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Let me get this straight. You understand why Moyes makes mistakes, and yet you also understand this is why some supporters get angry. Is there some sophisticated point I'm missing here?
Kev Lucas
52   Posted 28/10/2011 at 04:04:40

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The thing that annoys me most is the negativity towards our manager. As fans we all have our opinions and no doubt have our favourites (which obviously is a trait that Davey shares) who we would have in our team. But looking at out manager subjectively how can anyone argue that he isn?t good for our club?

Us as fans see games every week and can see Moyes?s flaws. Many on here think that because of these issues he is not good enough. I?m not condoning some of the wrong decisions Moyes makes. But everyone makes mistakes!

So, seriously and realistically, look at the managerial aspects of our club and tell me that Moyes isn?t the man for the job. And hopefully I?ll (with the help of others who agree??) get most of you to realise just how good he is for the club. So ? stop, have a think, and ask... What exactly is Moyes doing wrong? How could he improve? If the answer is anything other than ?very little? then I?d love to hear your arguments.

Liu Weixian
53   Posted 28/10/2011 at 07:34:24

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#Ciarán McGlone

Let me get this straight. You understand why Moyes makes mistakes, and yet you also understand this is why some supporters get angry. Is there some sophisticated point I'm missing here?

The point is simple. People are not angry with Moyes for making mistakes. It is his inability to learn from his mistakes that pisses off his detractors.

All too often we see the same shit:

(i) playing very conservative football against poorer sides and dropping points as a result;

(ii) the defence making stupid mistakes and giving away cheap goals;

(iii) conceding goals to long shots because for some reason we give the shooter time and space outside the box;

(iv) players standing still instead of moving into space to make themselves available for the pass;

(iv) playing players out of position constantly;

(v) making 1,000 (okay, I exaggerated) sideway passes when we have the ball or are starting an attack or counter-attack;

(vi) playing injured/out-of-form players when we have fit replacements on the bench;

(vii) not daring to have a go against the Sky Four, which results in our appalling record against them, especially in away games;

(viii) his 4-5-1 formation, which makes us such a negative and suicide-inducing side to watch.

For a man who is paid millions to do his job when the 99% are struggling, he ought to do a hell lot better.
Derek Thomas
54   Posted 28/10/2011 at 07:27:37

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If these 'Life of Brian' stats for the last 6 years are correct, well fair play to Moyes.

But what stats are is a sort of average, high and low and all the other stuff thrown in and averaged out, shown as a percentage.

It's a sort of snap shot and some people take different things from it.

The 0.02% are seeing a decline over the last 2 season COMPOUNDED by Moyes ever seemingly increasing reluctance to try to take it to them on a regular basis

What of the other 10-year snapshot of no win at the 4 Sky darlings?

For every 'good win' over Spurs, City, Chelsea, Arsenal and the RS there are (or so it seems) more 1-4 WBAs.

Q) How many times do you come out of the game and think to yourself: "Yes! that's why we keep going, well worth the money"?

A.) 0.02% ?????

On the one hand we have the Moyes of the 6 years Life of Brian stats.

On the other we have the 10 years of no wins at Sky darlings.... And we all know you can show almost anything with stats.

The Moyes snapshot of now is not too shit hot.

Now mind, 8 games in, it's in the Greece-Italy basket.

Apologistas, put your hand on your heart and say it ain't so, not mitigate the whys and the wherefores... lack of big money does not equal defeatist attitude.

We on the otherhand (well me) thinks that a change in emphasis ? not loose into try to win, would be enough.

Plan A has not been too good, has it?
Tom Hughes
55   Posted 28/10/2011 at 08:49:03

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Derek, I think the stats are for over the full 10yrs. I also think that a large proportion of the current downbeat demeanour of our manager may be attributable to the uphill struggle he's endured for those past 10 years, and the realisation that he's never going to have the tools to make a decent fist of it.

That's not to say I think he's the greatest manager ever, nor infallible nor too negative on occasion..... however his performance and attitude has to be viewed against the backdrop of the constraints he has had to work with. The tiny net spend, the loss of key players with no hope of adequate replacement ? all adds up to a formula for disaster that is really not of his making!
Lee Courtliff
56   Posted 28/10/2011 at 13:36:06

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Michael Kenrick - I have always remembered Rooney playing many times that season. A lot more starts than his first season.

But,we all know our memory can play tricks on us so i did the old Wikipedia thing.

During Waynes second and last season with us he made 34 league appearances and 6 cup appearances. Scoring 9 goals in all comps.

That is definitely the majority of the season. Especially considering how young he was.

Wayne did not leave us because of the 'shackles' but because his head was turned by the thought of trophies and money. Simple.

We cannot blame Moyes for this. And that's a fact.
Robbie Muldoon
57   Posted 05/11/2011 at 09:32:46

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I don't think Moyes is a bad manager... I think 6 days of the week he is very good, but on matchday he just seems hopeless!

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