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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag


 47 Comments: First  |  Last

I've criticized David Moyes just like most others on this site. Why does Bilyaletdinov start? Lost at least 10 million waiting to sell Pienaar. Osman on the right? 4-5-1? But lately, I've come to see things a little differently; managers are judged by results and nothing else.

If a manager gets positive results, formations mean nothing, substitutions mean nothing, which players play means nothing. Tactics are simply means to a positive result so why do we judge our manager based on the tactics he employs.

We spend approximately nothing yet we finish in the top half of the table on a regular basis. I'm not content to just finish in the top half but given the financial circumstances, anything other than relegation is a good result. How many other teams have run into a situation like ours and have not been able to stay afloat? West Ham, Leeds, Southampton, etc. Moyes has kept us in the Premier League. Maybe he has done so in spite of rather than because of his tactics but there is no other manager in the league who keeps his team operating on such a short budget.

In terms of results, Moyes is a great manager. We can argue about whether or not he can do a better job but for anyone to insinuate the we need a change in management is, in my opinion, absolute lunacy.
Pat Finegan, Oaklyn, NJ     Posted 19/09/2011 at 21:42:35

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Mark Rankin
1   Posted 20/09/2011 at 07:23:24

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Perennial moyes question, judging him at the end of each season he's done well. When you factor in wengers current meltdown there are few that could have done better. However, as you allude to moyes has a few weaknesses that have stopped him becoming 'great'. Don't think pienarr was a mistake of the magnitude you are suggesting though.
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 20/09/2011 at 07:14:33

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Because Football maybe a business but it part of the ENTERTAINMENT business.

How many times have you left the Ground thinking...

A) Well that was worth money.

B) Ho - Hum, same old same old.

C) What a load of shite, if only....blah, blah, fill in all Moyeses faults to suit.

I would wager that the C's out weigh the A's and both are hammered out of sight by the B's.

You even say it your self, Moyes has kept us in the Prem.... in spite of, not because. I think you have inadvertently answered your own question Re Moyes.

It is relatively easy to turn 17th into 7th or 5th. It seems increasingly impossible to turn 7th into 4th or 3rd.

Both BK's and DM's ' good ' points ( yes I know, but that's another debate ) have got us where we are.

All their ' bad ' points stop us from doing any better and may even contribute to our sliding back from our so called peak of a few seasons ago.

It ain't what you do, it's how you do it, when it comes to entertainment
Chad Schofield
3   Posted 20/09/2011 at 07:10:00

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In many ways you're right, it is a results game. But you do have to keep in mind the opposition.

If we capitulate to a team that has spent more on players than it would cost for us to have a new stadium, then it's,frustrating but not necessarily surprising. However, let's caveat that with it depends on the manner.

Of course there will be those who are unhappy unless we are thrashing everyone in our wake... But not that many. But there will be many more who feel playing one up front (especially if the one is a makeshift striker), at home against teams that look weak is depressingly dour. If it's an out and out tactical decision based on the opposition, then there's a point... If not, many will point out we could do better - especially when a result doesn't go our way.

Yes, football is entertainment, but we do not want to go down. Far too many sides have shown a cavalier attitude, and as much as a few would suggest that's what they expect, they would most likely also be loud if it all started going tits up. But Moyes is more likely to arrive in a dress than show a cavalier attitude.

Often the team looks unbalanced and it is only changed by painfully slow substitutions. If we take the lead all too often we sit back simply inviting the opposition to attack. We all too often isolate strikers and expect them to chase lost causes. There is no need to bring everyone back or corners as attack minded players often get in the way and we have no outlet to clear the ball to... Just one person out would be great!

Too harsh? There are many more faults that you could pick out, but the above frequently frustrate. Especially when a week later the same team we played an attritional game against are picked apart by a team who show just a fraction more invention and balance rather than setting up like a pub a match outside of their league.
John Welsh
4   Posted 20/09/2011 at 07:56:33

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I agree with the main thrust of your argument. However, you're wrong about one issue. Moyes might not have spent much on transfers compared to other clubs over the past 2-seasons (prior to that our spending was at least average), but the club has spent more on wages than a lot of others (the so-called smaller clubs)

I still think Moyes gets us higher than our spend, but we haven't been spending like we're relegation candidates.

The issue now is will this continue? We've cleared a lot off the wage bill in the last month. The next couple of transfer windows will be interesting.
Mark Stone
5   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:26:23

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Derek #2, given the location of the OP, I would assume that the answer to your question is 'rarely, if ever'. As a local lad, the answer for me is pretty much none of the above, too. If we win I couldn't give a toss how we play, it's all about the atmosphere that the 3 points generates. If I want aesthetics I'll watch the game in the Pen & Wig!
Ian Tunstead
6   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:22:33

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Moyes tried the fansey passing attacking football, it got us no where when the opposition parked the bus. He is trying to replicate as much as possible the season we finished 4th. If that means boring hoof ball for the season with 5 and 6 in midfield and we finish in the top 4 again which saves this club from financial melt down, so be it. Do what ever it takes Moyes, sod everyone else! You know far better than these armchair managers.
Gavin Ramejkis
7   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:34:43

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Ian partially agree with the fancy stuff didnt get us as far as it could but that was down to the final third failures and meaningful passes from midfield, we have on the admittedly rare occasion seen defence splitting passes but far too rarely.

Moyes needs to learn more than one trick and evolve and to play each game as it comes not hard and fast no matter what with the same strategy, thats percentage football and its boring as hell
Mark Stone
8   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:32:49

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Secondly it is reading thing like this that stop me getting frustrated by things people post on forums; it is a timely reminder that the web gives a platform to people who really ought not have one!

"it is relatively easy to turn 17th into 7th or 5th"
Pinch of salt, eh.
Anthony Fox
9   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:40:00

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Derek 2# So if we play entertaining football and go down you'll be happy? I am as frustrated as anyone at times with Moyes but isn't every fan with every manager?? Look at Arsenal at the minute.. We need to be careful what we wish for. I hope that all these people who want Moyes and Kenwright out, without any idea of who will replace them I might add, are willing to come on here when it all goes tits up and put their hands up.. Then again most will be that fickle that they will just walk away from Everton blaming someone else for the problems.. I remember people on here calling for Big Sam a few years ago.. Where are these people now?? They should be shot!!
Mike Gwyer
10   Posted 20/09/2011 at 08:57:03

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Yep, results really do plaster over a whole load of shite. I mean, we could win at City on Saturday and find ourselves in the top 4.

However, if you attend GP and have to sit through that mind numbing shite that is turfed up for most home games, then you will begin to ask questions. You will wonder what the fuck Moyes is doing playing 4-5-1 or 4-6-0 against teams like the mighty Wigan. You will wonder if the crowd at GP can get any quieter, any less involved - believe me Saturday, against Wigan, was bad.

But hey, we won - a wonder cross from Hibbo which lead to Vellios's doing equally as well and then a nice shimmy and knock in from Drenthe.

Yep results really do hide a lot shite.

Ciar�n McGlone
11   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:02:42

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It is a fair point..however, generally in teh world of football..the quality of your performances determines the results..

We've had two terrible performances, one good performance and one average one this season.. and in my opinion Moyes has had his hand in the performances on Saturday, Blackburn and QPR..We are inconsistent at best, and below average at worst.

Some would say we are riding our luck.

It is not about entertaining football, that's a misnomer. It is about playing coherent football..doing the simple things right - closing down, finding space, making a pass, making the right decisions...

Having said that I expect a decent perfomance on Saturday.
Nick Entwistle
12   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:16:46

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'In spite of his tactics, not because of them'? Wow. Now I'm a Moyes supporter and I'd say we haven't finished higher because of that sentiment but suggesting we finish where we do in spite of his tactics is a little crazy.

Tom Winek
13   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:28:35

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Just ask all the teams that have finished below us over the last 7-8 years whether it's easy to turn a botttom 7 team into a top 7 one. All those teams have outspent us and are either still languishing below us or in the Championship. Moyes bucked the trend and continues to do so and for that he deserves some credit.
Dave Lynch
14   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:33:36

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Saturday will be a real acid test.
If Moyes goes with the Wigan formation i fear we will get walloped.
You have to get at teams like City and rattle them.
Derek Thomas
15   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:08:38

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The point made was that it is ALL about results. Well pardon me for disagreeing, but in my opinion if and I realise it maybe a biggish if. Say we set out to actually win a game, rarther than not to lose, it would be better to watch for no net loss ( under achieving meltdowns can happen any time ) in league position

Also stated was that we maybe where we are in spite of Moyes not because.

Mark Stone #7; 17th to 7th... don't be deliberately obtuse, the key word is ' relatively ' and you know it. A bit of Moyes-esque or if you go back a bit, Gordon Lee-esque hard work, effort application ( and even having a forward rarther than a converted midfielder, even if he is a mini legend and diamond geezer ) will move you up, but only so far.

Anthony Fox #8; The old...' be careful what you wish for ' none arguement.

Moyes is Too cautious, all I and others want is a slight change of emphasis.

Decent Teams and I still class us a decent team ( like I wouldn't ) should always have a bit of hard work and some Elan.

More than likely we agree to differ.
Lee Courtliff
16   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:40:43

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Who actually bid ten million for Pienaar??

It's one thing to criticise the manager for his tactics but you can't call him for not selling a player that nobody actually bid for.

I am sure this has been said before on here.

Oh yeah....just because you read in a tabloid that a certain club was interested in Pienaar that doesn't mean they actually bid for him.

I do agree that Moyes is very frustrating sometimes with his selections. Surely on saturday we must start Vellios and Drenthe,just to suprise the opposition if nothing else.
Richard Dodd
17   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:56:12

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Moyes is probably the most pragmatic manager in the Prem. He knows and has come to accept the constraints within which he has to work and seeks to deliver what is asked of him-probably no more than a top half place.

Yes, I am sure he would prefer to entertain but he is, at heart, a defender and his first priority is to keep a clean sheet. Virtually anything else is a bonus.

We all wonder why his team selections and substitutions often seem skewed but he likes to work totally within his own comfort zone and we have to accept this.

It will come as no shock to learn that I, for one, believe nobody could have done a better job with what he has had to work with.

Not ideal, I accept but then,look at Arsenal!

James Morgan
18   Posted 20/09/2011 at 09:57:55

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I get as frustrated as the next fan when I see us play two midfielders up top especially against relegation fodder, but looking at the league, you tend to finish in line with what you spend. We spend next to nothing yet buck the trend quite well, so in that sense all credit to Moyes.
However, the number of points we have dropped against some teams by not going for the kill or finding that final ball is what has kept us out of reach of the top 4.
Jimmy Hacking
19   Posted 20/09/2011 at 10:28:26

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If we win the league, FA cup and League cup this season, about three-quarters of this site's users will still be demanding Moyes leave immediately since he didn't start suchabody back in Obctober
Tony Cheek
20   Posted 20/09/2011 at 10:32:59

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Again Pat, its not what we do, its what we COULD have done. Of the four games played so far, only one was up to the standard I expect from the players used. Lets face it the Wigan game was dour and uninspiring until the last 15 mins. The next five games will show what Moyes and the squad are made of. Come the end of October, we will know where we stand.
Mark Stone
21   Posted 20/09/2011 at 10:55:49

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Not being 'obtuse' at all. To state that it is easy to get from 17th to 7th is, put simply, wrong (even WITH a bit of money)*! The fact that some Evertonians have opinions so far wide of the mark explains a lot of the negative feelings towards Moyes. Pat is absolutely spot on here, and I for one enjoy the match a (and the rest of the day/night) a lot more when we win and play crap than when we play well and get beat. Whilst it may not always be attractive, it is more effective than what ALL other managers with similar budgets do.
Trevor Mackie
22   Posted 20/09/2011 at 11:08:23

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Derek Thomas

I agree with every word.

The A, B and C comments cover it as evidenced by the attendances.
John Ford
23   Posted 20/09/2011 at 10:49:26

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This seemingly endless argument about Moyes should basically be split into two. By any criteria, and particularly in terms of money spent he consistently over achieves as far as our league position is concerned. He deserves massive credit for that and anyone claiming otherwise or suggesting we could have done better has no weight to their argument as there is no other team to touch Everton in these terms.

Second is our style of football, tactics etc. We can argue all day about this and im sure we will. If someone says ' i just want us to try to play more open, attacking football' then fair play, but you're probably going to increase the risk of finishing lower down the table. Evidence of this is all over the place. Sunderland, Stoke, Bolton, Blackpool, West Brom and West Ham all played better looking football than much of ours last season but they all finished below us. This is because only the very best sides can open up and not risk getting mullered defensively. Tactically Moyes knows how to achieve over a season.

How many here marvelled and gave examples (e.g WBA at our place) re those teams, when over a season they were getting beaten regularly because their managers were actually clueless. Oh but it was pretty when things were going well. Bollocks to that.

Moyes knows what he's doing. He looks to play the game at high momentum, crisp passing (doesnt always happen) and our midfield getting forward when they can. If you want the cavalry, watch a John Wayne film.
Andrew Laird
24   Posted 20/09/2011 at 11:27:52

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John #21..."anyone claiming otherwise or suggesting we could have done better has no weight to their argument as there is no other team to touch Everton in these terms."

This statement equally applies to anybody stating we would be WORSE off/ relegated without Moyes.
Matteo Rosingana
25   Posted 20/09/2011 at 11:53:54

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Derek (2). Entertainment is a by-product of the sport. The manager of the team does not consider entertainment value when setting out his team, and nor should he. Any entertainment that comes from a game is welcome, but is secondary to the main reason for the whole activity: football is a competitive sport.
Aiden Doyle
26   Posted 20/09/2011 at 12:05:05

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Say we set out to actually win a game, rather than not to lose?

Looks like Moyes can?t even get that right, having won 180 and drawn 112 in his Everton career. With the useless bastard repeatedly accidentally winning things like that it?s no wonder that people want to get rid of him.
Brian Harrison
27   Posted 20/09/2011 at 12:33:54

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Amazing our fans, we have a manager who everyone in football admires. Yet some of our fans are still not happy. Mind I think if some of these had been there when Jesus turned water into wine they would have complained about the quality of the wine.
Bob Skelton
28   Posted 20/09/2011 at 12:48:17

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I have to agree that Moyes really does achieve an awful lot in terms of keeping us in the PL. He does this in spite of being given no money and with tactics and players( Bily Lightweight....) that dumbfound GP.

The problem we all have is that this achievement is now restricted to 6th - 10th place. We all want better.......
We remember Managers being sacked for finishing 4th.BK and Moyes currently only offer mid table mediocrity and this will soon lose a lot of supporters who need us to play with a bit of panache and a bit of Silverware.

Keep us going Moysey........Until someone with plenty of filthy lucre lures you away. BK must get bored with all of the criticism... he may go first ...haha
John Ford
29   Posted 20/09/2011 at 13:14:31

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I agree we want more, and to me it just doesnt sit right that even if we do really well we'll realistically finish 5th/6th at best. This is the top heavy finance and the football world we live in . Its not a question of accepting it, it's sadly just where we are thanks to Murdoch/Sky (ive just ended my sports subscription). Its quite depressing starting every season knowing you have absolutely no chance of winning the league.

To be fair to Moyes, mid table isnt something he's familiar with and we usually occupy 5th to 8th just below the money clubs.

Some reckon Moyes is actually at his best working with a restricted budget. However im certain everyone here would love to see what he could do with good funding.
David Mathieson
30   Posted 20/09/2011 at 13:20:27

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Moyes may not have a massive net spend at Everton but he has spent big on a few occasions anyone who says otherwise is in denial also over the last decade I would bet our spending would put is in the top ten of the Premier League (top ten spend top ten club) not net spend but still spend how many clubs had Rooney to sell? Definite advantage to the position we otherwise would have been in.

Over the last few windows Moyes has not spent who has? The likes of Newcastle, Villa, Sunderland, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd have all sold big so they could spend most have a negative net spend. Moyes over these windows has chosen to go with what he had and when he did have money from outgoings he shit it up the wall and never got rid Per Kroldrup style when he should have.

I think in the next window we will get all the Arteta money or a large amount of it. I remember people thinking the Johnson and McFadden money had gone to the bank which it did not(or mostly not) and we bought Foolini for 15 million on deadline day, infact I would rather have Johnson and McFadden.

To be honest if you think Moyes is the only reason Everton are Premier League you are chatting out your arse.
Max Fine
31   Posted 20/09/2011 at 13:42:06

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Lost £10million on Pienaar?! So who bid £12million for him then? Answer: nobody. Reason: because he was a £5-6million player in the last year of his contract (and he wanted nearly £4million a year in wages)...

Apart from that, I agree with everything you say. I think there's only me though that'd like to see Bily given a run in the side playing through the middle. I thought he played well in the first half against Wigan - as did Osman before fading magnificently in the second half.

With a bit more match time and a lot more confidence, I can't help but think the odd flashes of class he's capable of could turn into a run of form that might warrant his initial price tag. Hope springs eternal, eh?!
Ryan Holroyd
32   Posted 20/09/2011 at 13:48:45

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I agree with Lee. Can someone, anyone, show me a report when we turned down at £13m (we got £3 million for him so by the OP reconing £13m) bid for Pienaar?

I can't remember seeing one.

Or is the OP talking rubbish?

David Mathewson #27 - You'd rather have McFadden and AJ rather than Fellaini? Good one.

People are very harsh on our manager. That's not to say he is perfect because he isn't.

It's not like he's got a £20 million pound forward who can make a difference is it? In fact, our forward line cost

1) Saha = Free
2) Vellios = £50k
3) Cahill = £1.5m
4) Denis = loan
Victor = Free
David Bingham
33   Posted 20/09/2011 at 14:01:32

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Dave at #13 We did the double over City last season with our 4-5-1 formation and Big Vic starting up front on his own. So to be fair that tactic does work even against the co called fancy teams. Admittedly City are possibly better than last season with their summer signings. We've also had a better start to the season this year than last despite using the same tactics. Still what do I know, I don't have my coaching badges!
Jeff Stone
34   Posted 20/09/2011 at 14:18:14

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Moyes is not perfect, and he is not above criticism. The hoofball drives me crazy. But seriously, who would be better? More importantly , who would be better given the current circumstances? Those who are so critical of him-- name names. Who would you prefer? Jose Mourinho has a job.
Dave Lynch
35   Posted 20/09/2011 at 14:44:36

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From what i have seen of both teams this season i stand by my comment.
They are playing attacking football and scoring lots of goals.
We are our usuall self defending the point we start with and trying to pich a goal.
City are not "possibly better" they are "markedly better" than last season.
But as someone once said. "It's a funny old game" so let's live in hope.
Kiern Moran
36   Posted 20/09/2011 at 15:28:55

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I do not think Saha was a free signing, was it not an undisclosed figure of about three million?
Ciarán McGlone
37   Posted 20/09/2011 at 15:04:42

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"I think there's only me though that'd like to see Bily given a run in the side playing through the middle"

You're not alone...any fool could see that's his position.
Jamie Barlow
38   Posted 20/09/2011 at 15:43:15

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David@27. You say you'd rather have Faddy and Johnson instead of Felli then go on about people chatting out of their arse.

Pot, kettle and black come to mind.
Aiden Doyle
39   Posted 20/09/2011 at 15:49:57

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Sorry David (p.27), but it simply makes no sense to ignore the net figures and focus upon transfer spending - and, when taken as a whole, the transfer figures show how well Moyes has done.

The Transfer League website has a convenient 2003 - 2011 (i.e. the Abramovich era) table of spending. We?re 15th out of the 20 clubs currently in the Premier League. When you include Birmingham, West Ham, Middlesboro and Hull, who have all been in the league in that period, we we only have the 19th largest spend in that time.

Are you really so blinkered that you?re suggesting that?s not impressive that Moyes has consistently delivered top half finishes under those circumstances?
Danny Biddle
40   Posted 20/09/2011 at 14:56:45

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What i want to know is...

"If we did a manager swap with any of the other teams that will be in and around us (Sunderland, Stoke, Villa, Newcastle etc.). Would we be in a better or worse position then we are now"?

In my opinion, if Moyes was in charge of any of these teams, within a couple of years they would finish above us on a regular basis.

He is doing a good job with the resources he has available. People seem to want Harrods quality with the budget of pound savers!
David Bingham
41   Posted 20/09/2011 at 16:02:26

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Dave #32, the point I was trying to make is that we still beat them with our defensive style of play. To beat a team that has the style and swagger of a City is possibly only on the break/set piece to try and nick a goal. With the team we have that is at times all we can hope for. I for one am very hopefull that Drenthe is going to provide some much needed exitcement this season.

City must have spent in the last 3 years more than Everton have in their whole history. Maybe someone can check that out!
Ellen West
42   Posted 20/09/2011 at 15:56:08

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Well blow me down with a feather!! I'm not used to coming home from a hard days slog and reading positive comments about Moyes.

Threads like these should come with a warning.

Steven Connor
43   Posted 20/09/2011 at 17:01:04

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Aiden # 36 spot on

And when you look here: ? at the 10-year Prem table (i.e. Moyes's tenure at this club) and compare that with the net spend analysis it really does tell you something concrete about Moyes's performance as manager.

But of course its much easier to construct arguments around personal prejudices than anything based on fact, dismiss those facts as Moyesiah worship and come up with alternative like Ian Holloway, which this site was awash with this time last year!

David Mathieson
44   Posted 20/09/2011 at 17:19:07

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Jamie # 35
During the time Fellaini has been here I could see Johnson and McFadden adding far more to the squad than what Fellaini has, what exactly has Fellaini done? He is weak, awful; if you like Fellaini go watch a real class footballer like Parker.

Aiden Doyle # 36 fact is since Moyes has been at Everton he has spent according to your source 109 Million Pound! Easy in the TOP TEN of spending in the Premier League in the era I count 2003-2008 which is the time Moyes had his money. The era 2003 2011 we are 11th in total spend which has three seasons with no spend in it so the idea we should be getting relegated can be put to bed now as bollox.

The table you quote has Swansea ahead of Everton with a 12 million Pound Spend compared to our 109 million (because of net) spend. Net spend does not tell the whole story here and you have to be prudent and look at all figures I have no fear in showing the link either ^^^^^ All the figures show here for instance is Swansea had to spend more net because they had no assets ie ROONEY etc and I am sure these figures include this seasons clear out.

Put it more into perspective but I feel it will fall on deaf ears... Newcastle are below us in this table and so are Arsenal but both have spent more than us. Wolves and Swansea are ahead of us with 1/10 spend and1/2 spend of what we have spent just not net; get it? Got it? Forget about it.

Moyes has had money and he has wasted the most of it who knows we may never see another Everton manager spend 106 millon + in a 6 year period 2002-2008.
Ryan Holroyd
45   Posted 20/09/2011 at 18:39:47

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'Moyes has spent £109 million'


Fuck me, Man City spend nearly more than that on left backs!!
Aiden Doyle
46   Posted 20/09/2011 at 19:04:10

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A simple "yes" would have sufficed, David.
Pat Finegan
47   Posted 20/09/2011 at 19:42:31

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Didn't mean to insinuate that we are where we are in spite of Moyes' tactics. Some think Cahill up front is a really bad idea. I'm not saying those people are wrong, I'm saying that regardless of whether that was a good decision, we still won.

Had we sold Pienaar in the summer, we would have pulled in between 10-15 million for him. This time last year, Moyes was being criticized for holding on to him. I don't know how factual the 10-15mil number is, it's just there to provide an example of Moyes' criticisms.

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