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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The Stoke example

 36 Comments: First  |  Last

I know watching MotD doesn't give a sense of what a match is really like, but I watched last night and was struck by two games — ours at City, and Stoke at home to Man Utd.

Stoke aren't a team filled with quality, but they have a positive attitude drummed into them by the highly underrated Tony Pulis. They had a go at United, they tried to attack them — and guess what, they thoroughly deserved a point, could have won it and had every fan in the ground roaring their appreciation.

We're a team filled with more quality (I think) but compare the attitude we showed against City. Desperate not to get beat, not really showing any intent to try and win. Guess what, we lost, deserved to lose and have plenty of disgruntled fans.

This isn't about going gung-ho as some people commenting on yesterday's game seem to think being positive means. It's simply about going out believing in yourselves, having a manager who believes in you, having fans who believe in you and just trying to win. Isn't that what it's all about?

I don't compare us to Stoke, but you know what... I really bloody admire them at the moment.

Christopher Brown, Bristol     Posted 25/09/2011 at 14:14:29

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Paul Knox
1   Posted 25/09/2011 at 16:08:09

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You're 100% right.
Jalil Noor
2   Posted 25/09/2011 at 15:56:54

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Are you for real Christopher?? As alot have said here Moyes got it spot on with his tactics and selection yesterday. There is no such thing as upsets in football. If on paper the team who have the better players will win. That's why against the likes of Manc teams, Chelseas we should park the bus and hope for an incredible draw because we have knifes while they have guns. Doesn't matter that at the end of the day it's 11 man against 11 man and not 11 man against gods.
And what's the point of being positive and instill some belief to the players and fans with some inspiring talk before the game since we are just gona lose. Let's downplay our chances all the time so if we lose hell it's expected so it's alright. And if we don't lose big fuck yeah even better! That's why the likes of QPR can never beat us... oh wait a minute.. they did.
Andrew Flanagan
3   Posted 25/09/2011 at 16:16:19

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I have just wasted 30 seconds of my life reading that. What do you want? I suggest a season ticket at the Britania maybe?

When was the last they finished above us? Did we not beat City twice last year? In fact 7 out of the last 9 times and the last team to beat them in the league. Beat Chelsea home and away (cup)? Drew with United coming from two goals down? Beat Liverpool at home and drew away.

With a squad as thin as ours do you really expect us to go and have ago at them and then get turned over. Moyes did exactly the right thing yeasterday (substitutions aside maybe) with the resources at his disposal. There are other more important battles to come this season. Starting with Liverpool on Saturday. COYB.
David Thomas
4   Posted 25/09/2011 at 16:49:57

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Did you have the same admiration for them 7 days ago when they got thumped by mighty Sunderland 4 nil?
Ray Roche
5   Posted 25/09/2011 at 17:16:17

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I think Stoke are what we were several years ago. We have improved, or we had until just lately, in regards to quality but we may have lost some of the spirit we had then and which Stoke have now. Debt free, they could well be a club to be admired as well as envied.

A bit off topic, but a good pals daughter hasd organised this Sports Dinner at Rhuddlan Golf Club, it would be good if as many of us as possible could support it and help a True Blue in the process. This is taken from the Message Board.

"I work for Colwyn Bay Football in the Community and Vi-ability Educational Programme - which teaches individuals out of work and education about all aspects of the football industry. I am a huge Evertonian and to raise money for Vi-Ability I am hosting a sports dinner with ex blue Ian Snodin and Comedian Sean Styles on Thursday 27th October 2011 @ Rhuddlan Golf Club, North Wales at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £20 each or £150 for a table of 8 which includes a 3 course meal. If anybody is interested in purchasing a ticket or would like any more information please let me know asap, my contact details are 01492 518884 or email on
Keri Jones prestatyn
Brendan McLaughlin
6   Posted 25/09/2011 at 17:46:19

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So now everytime some "lesser" team pulls one out of the bag...we should hold them up as some sort of shining light to be followed. Stoke this week...I wonder who it will be next week?
Jon Cox
7   Posted 25/09/2011 at 18:15:25

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Ray, this is the sort of stuff i would love to do. But, this (Sunday) is a sad day for me because both my boys who are ardent Evertonians are going to a/ Uni B/ six months tour in the Royal Navy taking Ceasar water ski-ing checking the Iranians out, and C/ Work commitmants, so I cant do this. Anyway,

You are right about Stoke. We where here several years ago. I remember several seasons ago Palace away. It was all attack. It was all Panache, it was all, come in your knickers and dont give a fuck who watched!

Sadly now the reverse is true.

It's okay to blame money, but I think this is a cop out. The season we finished fourth, were we the billionaires of the Premier League. NO WE WEREN'T. We had a great attitude, Moyes' attitude, and it worked.

Sadly now that attitude is all gone.

Result, dour football, head in hands rubbish. Why not, 3.5 mill a year why should I care.

To solve the problem, get a hungry manager (just like Mopyes used to be) + get hungry players who want to attack and score goals.

The longer the club put it off,.....

The worse it ( in terms of tears) will end.


Jimmy Sorheim
8   Posted 25/09/2011 at 18:53:35

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Tactics spot on? Yeah right so why didn't we get anything out of it?

Why didn't Moyes adapt better and put Heitinga in if he wanted to hold out when he brought in Saha instead? That for me was the golden moment of the game, Mancini out-smarted him at that point he brought in Balotelli.. Everything changed after that in the favour of Man City.

Brendan O'Doherty
9   Posted 25/09/2011 at 19:50:41

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Stoke ??!!! Now THERE is 'direct' football if I ever saw it. And it is set to continue after their recent giraffe signing. A shining example for us ? Do me a favour!

Dick Fearon
10   Posted 25/09/2011 at 21:22:08

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How many times does Moyes have to say that 10th is our new top four. How many times will he name a team that does not have more than one recognised striker if at all he has any?
How many times will he set out his stall to avoid defeat at all cost.
How many times will we see 11 Everton players crowding our own six yard box while unmarked opponents are ready to pounce from the edge of the box? 'Ware' Stevie GBS next week!
A famous man once said, 'The only thing we need to fear is fear itself'
Sadly, in Moyes case fear is the dominant factor in his psych and it comes to the fore in every game, home or away regardless the opponent.

Christopher Brown
11   Posted 25/09/2011 at 22:08:21

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#9 Brendan
I'm not saying their style is a shining example, it's their attitude I admire. I simply don't admire our attitude that extends beyond playing City away, but infects us when we play Wigan etc at home

#3 Andrew
Don't be daft - I want to go to watch us every week and watch us try to win!
Brendan McLaughlin
12   Posted 25/09/2011 at 22:10:05

Report abuse often have we finished 10th in the last five seasons?
John Ford
13   Posted 25/09/2011 at 22:05:56

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Off the point but I still reckon Crouch would have done a good job for us.His holding and distribution was top draw yesterday.

Stoke are an example of a mythical ideal - 'they're positive, attacking and are an example to us all'' Nah sorry it doesnt stack up. What that really means is they'll have half a dozen fighting performances when everyone will take notice, then they get dicked regularly.

Like the man says how many people remembered they got whacked by Sunderland last week? Of course not, because we only hear about these 'plucky fighters' on the odd occasion they do well.

All Moyes can do is keep us top 6/7/8 until Kenwright goes and the money comes in. I'm afraid its limbo below the top four until then

Trevor Mackie
14   Posted 25/09/2011 at 22:34:57

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There's a load of shit talked about Stoke's style briefed by the same lazy media that have Moyes as a genius.

They've come from absolutely nowhere and not only consolidated but have done it with strikers and wingers by y attacking.

It's no coincidence the Britannia stadium is now proclaimed the loudest in the division while GP is a graveyard.

They could have beat ManU with a bit of luck.
Brendan McLaughlin
15   Posted 25/09/2011 at 22:49:51

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Trevor #14
Not another Stoke convert...let's follow their example & yo-yo up and down the divisions over a few seasons. Trevor will they finish higher than us this season...I'm saying
Dean Adams
16   Posted 25/09/2011 at 23:29:25

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Well Stoke are OK in my book, they did the RS with one strike on target. I would take that next week.
Trevor Mackie
17   Posted 25/09/2011 at 23:35:56

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Very likely Brendan, but the hinterland between euro places and relegation is of no import except to the statto's who justify Moyes shite with it.

More importantly I'd swap Stoke's up and at 'em approach to see GP rocking every game and us trying to beat teams.

Of course I don't expect you to agree GP being a graveyard is a fair price to avoid criticism of Moyes isn't it.

Like fuck it is.
Mike Green
18   Posted 25/09/2011 at 23:46:23

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I fucking hate Tony Pulis's Stoke. I'd rather go down. I'd probably rather go down on Tony Pulis : S Horrible horrible horrible shit. Proper shit. "We're playing more expansive football now we've stabilised as top flight club etc etc"

Like fuck!

Trevor Mackie
19   Posted 25/09/2011 at 23:55:25

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Mike Green

Coherent and insightful stuff.

(mental note - skim over anything with this idiots name on)
Brendan McLaughlin
20   Posted 25/09/2011 at 23:52:47

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Trevor # 17
"Very likely" that Stoke will finish above us..can you confirm so when I gloat at the end of the season, you can't say I misunderstood.
Mick Davies
21   Posted 26/09/2011 at 00:29:54

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Jon Walters is an Evertonian and a lad I would like to have seen at Goodison. He epitomises the new spirit at Stoke and it helped them reach a cup final last season. Sadly we seem to have lost that spirit at Everton and seeing three attacking players leaving on deadline day and the manager not even batting an eyelid depresses me deeply. Joe Royle would have done his nut if that happened to him. I believe Moyes doesn't care a shit anymore, I think he's the second longest serving manager now and he's never won nothing yet he's getting a contract extension to an already long contract in Jan, whereas other managers would have been getting their P45's
Eugene Ruane
22   Posted 26/09/2011 at 08:07:18

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Can I just point out that because something has happened in the past, doesn't mean it will happen in the future (ie: "Yeah lad but how many times have..." etc.)

Christopher, generally agree with your post (even though I fucking hate Pulis and his'twat-hattery'.)
Stephen Kenny
23   Posted 26/09/2011 at 10:48:18

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As well as Football I also watch a lot of Boxing. In both sports attitude and mentality are as important as skill and ability, while neither can be the substitute for the other.

In boxing if the mentality isn't right you can often see it and know the fighter's beaten before he's in the ring.

Moyes comment's about going into a gunfight with a knife told me we were beaten before we even played. I knew he would pull his usual backs to the wall crap, and to add insult to injury he didn't even bother with trying to nick one.

One corner we had three or four players in the box, ridiculous considering the aerial danger we pose from set pieces.

I'm not going to say that if we had gone 4-4-2 we'd have battered them etc. as we all know they are a quality side, BUT we had a15-20% chance of getting the win if we had played in our usual fashion. Moyes had took the thought of winning out of our players minds and replaced it with fear. This gave us a 0% chance of getting anything out of it.

It's all too depressingly familiar and is the reason my group has gone from 6-8 a game to 2, I was on the verge of picking and choosing myself, bar a churchillian speech by my mate who didn't wanna go on his own.
Gerard Carey
24   Posted 26/09/2011 at 11:23:46

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Every Saturday is groundhog day, defend in numbers, hope to nick a goal, concede one and then for the last ten or fifteen minutes put on a striker. Hate it. Even against the so called weaker teams the same thing. I wish the Manager had some faith in his players.
Nick Entwistle
25   Posted 26/09/2011 at 11:38:20

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City are a different beast to Utd. Moyes wouldn't park the bus against Utd, but City are so technically adept they're like Arsenal of old. Once they unpick our lock then you're on for a hiding.
Karl Meighan
26   Posted 26/09/2011 at 12:45:39

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Agree with Stephen@23 ? beaten before we kicked off, obviously were underdogs but why give the players a defeatest attitude? Why not say fuck all and approach it like a cup match with the everyone against us we will show them attitude. If you don't expect something, it's no suprise to get fuck all.
John Barnes
27   Posted 26/09/2011 at 13:21:16

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If Cahill is fit next week what do you think our line up will be?
Eugene Ruane
28   Posted 26/09/2011 at 13:48:50

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WILL be?



A striker.
Charlie Dixon
29   Posted 26/09/2011 at 13:55:33

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I'd play

Hibbert Distin Jags Baines
Coleman Rodwell Fellaini Osman
Paul Thompson
30   Posted 26/09/2011 at 14:23:56

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This article is based on an outdated assumption about plucky, underdog Stoke. In the last 3 seasons, Stoke have spent £52m and sold players for £2.5m. We have spent £21.5 and sold £40m.

Their attitude, at home at least, is admirable. But they have bought 'quality', including Crouch, Palacios, Pennant and Kenywn Jones for big money, and Woodgate and Upson for big wages. How? Their owner - Peter Coates - is the 25th richest man in British football. None of this justifies or supports any matter of team selection or perfromance at Everton, but ain't just about attitude.
Ryan Holroyd
31   Posted 26/09/2011 at 14:53:29

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Amazing, people go on about Moyes and his 'long ball' game then advocate Stoke as a role model.

They got hammered at Sunderland, should have got beat by Liverpool.

Come on.

This Moyes bashing is really becoming a joke now.
David Thomas
32   Posted 26/09/2011 at 15:43:57

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Ryan 31,

Could not agree more.

Stoke are the only club I have ever seen that had their goalie taking a free kick on the halfway line 5 minutes into a match with every other member of their team stood in our box.

Is that really what people want?

To be honest though once we finish above them again this season, like we do every year, people will deny making any of these comments.
Stephen Kenny
33   Posted 26/09/2011 at 16:03:34

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David and Co.

Nobody is asking us to play like Stoke or using Stoke as a shining example of football, just that you can go out with a positive attitude against better equipped sides and get a result.

We were by no means favourites on Saturday but, if we had a go, we at least had a chance. We set out purely to contain; at one point it was like a training game with even our striker on the edge of our box... we all know how that ends.
Joe McMahon
34   Posted 26/09/2011 at 19:39:55

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David Thomas (4) if you are going to use that argument, then they thrashed Bolton 5 - 0 if thier FA cup semi, when we Negatived ourselves to a penalty shhot out against a Man Utd second team. As Stephen Kenny says, it's theirr attitude that has to be admired.
Trevor Mackie
35   Posted 26/09/2011 at 21:36:51

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Trevor # 17
"Very likely" that Stoke will finish above us..can you confirm so when I gloat at the end of the season, you can't say I misunderstood.

Are you serious?
If it's the other way round I won't give you a second thought.

Hang this more of your roy of the rovers bollocks.

Juvenile tit.
David Thomas
36   Posted 26/09/2011 at 22:12:25

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How about having a bet with me then. I think we will finish above Stoke this season. I get the impression you don't? How about having a wager with the money going to charity?

Joe 34,

How about yourself? Do you fancy putting some money on it?

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