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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Message from Neville to Moyes?

 30 Comments: First  |  Last

Just seen this on the BBC Football site where Phil Neville is adding his ?expert? comments:

BBC Radio 5 live summariser and Everton skipper Phil Neville: "If Stoke win a corner, Newcastle are leaving two up the pitch to give them the opportunity of a counter attack. Newcastle are looking solid in defence too."

Do you think this could be a coded message for David Moyes to do the same? ? ie you can defend well AND leave players up front when facing an opposition corner!?!

Methinks Phil will be getting a slap from Davey boy tomorrow for even thinking such heretical thoughts!

Rob Williamson, Sheffield     Posted 31/10/2011 at 20:43:06

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 31/10/2011 at 22:22:04

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This is one of the things that really gets on my tits, why does he have to have everyone back for corners?

Alex Kociuba
2   Posted 01/11/2011 at 04:07:55

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Where does it end though? What would happen if we kept three or even four players on the halfway line?
Robbie Shields
3   Posted 01/11/2011 at 04:42:29

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Alex, you are being sarcastic aren't you? I can see Davey now......

...... Oh my God, if we left one up front, then others might follow, we might even break away from our own box a wee bit and not have to defend a 2nd, 3rd or 4th phase, why do you think I fill the team with bloody would be anarchy I tells ya......aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.......
Kase Chow
4   Posted 01/11/2011 at 08:32:30

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See, here's partly why I've become bored of Moyes. When we went down to 10 men v L'pool - we all knew deep down that we'd lost. When they went down to 10 men at Anfield against us when Kyriacos saw red, they still went on to win.

When Chelsea went down to 9 men against QPR they still nearly stole a draw

My point is this: we have an absence of belief, of confidence, of flair. And things like bringing eveyone back from cornes etc breed that fear. Don't concede, DON'T concede, DON'T CONCEDE...........if we concede it's game over cos we're so sh1t going forwards

Arsenal (and last season Blackpool) accept that their defences are rubbish. The fact is that since Lescott left, our defence is rubbish too (we hardly ever keep a clean sheet). So why not try and outscore the opposition? Play 2 strikers: Saha & Vellios, 2 wide players and then allow Rodwell and Felliani to contest the midfield. Yes, we'll concede but who knows, we might even start scoring goals again?
James McPherson
5   Posted 01/11/2011 at 08:49:06

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On the same radio show, preceding the game, Mark Chapman asked the question (to Phil Neville) as to why there were so many goals being scored this season?

Neville's response?

Teams were now electing to go for it as there is a realisation that playing defensivley and going for a point is no longer the way to go.

Little doubt that this message will not get back to Moyes either.

All together depressing.

John Daley
6   Posted 01/11/2011 at 11:05:19

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"Neville's response?

Teams were now electing to go for it as there is a realisation that playing defensivley and going for a point is no longer the way to go."

So that's why he was dropped recently. Curb that cavalier attitude Phil.
Dick Fearon
7   Posted 01/11/2011 at 11:39:40

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It was that Krygiakos send off in the derby that started me questioning Moyes's tactical nous. It is universally accepted that the side with a full complement of players should play a wide game. We tried without success to batter our way through the middle where the RS had parked their bus.

There was no attempt by Everton to use acres of space down the flanks. For the greater part of the game, Moyes stood with arms folded making no attempt to change the useless pattern. My appreciation of him took a hammering that day and has never fully recovered.
Danny Burke
8   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:08:05

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I agree about wanting to attack more and not bringing everyone back for corners, although I really don't think that in itself is a big deal. I wish people will stop using Blackpool as an example though. Yes they were hugely entertaining but they still went down and may not be back up for a long time.
Ajay Gopal
9   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:14:15

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We have won with 10 men under Moyes - I think it was last season away at Spurs, with a great battling performance from Osman (all too rare, I know), so there it is. This season, the Manager and the players seem to accept defeat too easily (Kase Chow #4, I agree 100%). Something needs to change - it usually does under Moyes around this time, but at this moment, it appears that even Moyes has given up.
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:19:17

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Leave Saha up on the half way line, as he hasn't the legs to get back and then try and chrage forward, or even Osman.

Just one player....please....
Kase Chow
11   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:23:47

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@Dick #7
Interestingly, when Gerrard got sent off against us in the FA cup tie (when Gosling scored), we actually DID play it wide in order to force the game. Rodwell continually played it out to Van der Mede who kept getting the ball in the box and eventually we undone them like that. It was Rodwell's best game for us and we actually made the extra man count.

I accept I'm feeling very gloom right now and I will willingly (and hopefully) come on at the end of the season to apologise should we trun it around, but we're fairly crap at the moment

@Danny #8; You know what? I'm BORED by Everton at the moment. Ask Blackpool fans if they were bored last season. Would I risk our Premisership status to play better and more adventurous football? Maybe I'm mad but I'm that bored that the answer would be yes
Chris Matheson
12   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:39:39

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Rob I also saw that comment on the BBC Live Text commentary and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry,

The obvious person to leave half way up would be Sir Royston Drenthe. a) he is not very tall so less use at defending corners and b) he is the fastest player we have.

And none of this "good at holding the ball up" rubbish either. I don't want a player that holds the ball up and gives the opposing defence time to get back. Get the ball and bear straight down on goal, put the keeper under pressure.
Bob Skelton
13   Posted 01/11/2011 at 12:55:02

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I watched United on Saturday. They left two up, until near the end when we were bombarding them, for corners.

If you have no-one on the half-way line, when the ball is cleared... IT COMES STRAIGHT BACK. Unfortunately this observation is completely lost on our strategic Commander. I also get palpitations at the match when we get a corner against one of the more astute teams who leave people on the half-way line. It means we are then in the crap as the ball breaks to them.

ps: How many headers has Ossie won defending a corner? May as well put him on the Centre Spot....
Peter Fearon
14   Posted 01/11/2011 at 13:31:44

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If you put two or three players - you really only need two - on the half way line for corners for a breakaway, obviously the opposition has to bring back at least two defenders who cannot join the attack. When you have everyone back, as Moyes does, the opponents can bring everyone forward. the way Moyes does it is ludicrous frankly.
Andrew Laird
15   Posted 01/11/2011 at 13:48:48

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It would be interesting to know how many goals Everton have conceded from corners in contrast to other Premier league teams in the last 10 seasons to see if Moyes is vindicated in his approach.
Al Reddish
16   Posted 01/11/2011 at 14:44:23

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I recall an interview with Neville a few months back where he praised Moyes but did say the most annoying thing about him is insisting on having everybody back for corners. It would be interesting to see what the stats are for goals scored against us from corners compared to other teams in this League. The one thing we all agree on though is that it is no good for keeping possession and I cant really remember a goal recently where we have hit someone on the counter attack from their corner.
Al Reddish
17   Posted 01/11/2011 at 14:48:30

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sorry andrew i should have read above me first!
Gary Mortimer
18   Posted 01/11/2011 at 10:58:29

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2 points from Saturday:-

Man Utd left 2 up when defending corners.

When DM brought Vellios on, he moved Saha back into the "hole". We were 1 down and he still refused to go for it.

Surely it makes sense for there to be 2 players up there to fight for Jags/Jonny H/Hibbert's hoof's upfield?
Rob Teo
19   Posted 01/11/2011 at 14:52:02

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Andrew#15 and Al#16: While I think it would be interesting to know how many goals we've conceded from corners, I think the broader point is that, by having all our players back to defend corners, we risk inviting sustained pressure from the opposing team.

Perhaps a more relevant statistic to know is, compared to other teams, how often are we immediately placed under pressure again once we've "cleared" a corner.
Andrew Laird
20   Posted 01/11/2011 at 15:07:29

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Rob, I agree, except we dont "risk" inviting sustained pressure we practically roll out the red carpet for it.
David Hallwood
21   Posted 01/11/2011 at 16:51:04

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I can't remember who we were playing as it was over 20 years ago, but when we got a corner they put 2 men almost lke wide receivers on the wings about 40 yards out and we had to take 30 men out to make sure we didn't get done. I've never seen it done before or since but we certainly didn't score from a corner and they had a man over.

For me it is second only to Howard hoofing the ball out to a lone striker and pressing the 2nd ball, everyone back for corners with no outlet ball, makes me scream with frustration.
David Hallwood
22   Posted 01/11/2011 at 16:58:48

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obviously that should be 3 men not 30!
Stephen Doyle
23   Posted 01/11/2011 at 17:37:37

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Neville also remarked before the Stoke v Newcastle game that it was going to be an old-fashioned Premier League game with 2 wingers on either side going for the full-backs. Hmmm.
David Mathieson
24   Posted 01/11/2011 at 17:53:07

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What was noticeable in the Newcastle game was how they played with two upfront for the whole game, even in the last 20 also they had an attitude from the off to go out and win, it was refreshing.

Will we ever see Moyes do this again?
Domino Darkley
25   Posted 01/11/2011 at 19:26:49

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"On the same radio show, preceding the game, Mark Chapman asked the question (to Phil Neville) as to why there were so many goals being scored this season?

Neville's response?

Teams were now electing to go for it as there is a realisation that playing defensivley and going for a point is no longer the way to go.

Little doubt that this message will not get back to Moyes either.

All together depressing."


Andy Gray tackled this conundrum on talkSPORT this morning.

And you know what?

It's bollocks.

Andy said there are 0.38 extra goals per fame being scored this season.

That's less than half a goal a game.

Dick Fearon
26   Posted 01/11/2011 at 20:45:47

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If Phil Neville has staked a claim on our next managers job he would get my support.
Domino Darkley
27   Posted 01/11/2011 at 23:43:02

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And mine.

I have quite came to like Phil since he came here.

I wonder if he has "done his badges"?
Matt Traynor
28   Posted 02/11/2011 at 12:03:24

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Having listened to 5Live on Monday, I thought Neville came across very well, intelligent and balanced. Quite a contrast to some of the pundits they have, including some current / former managers!

Whilst his older bro seems to be going for the easy option of a career in the media, I am pretty sure Phil is doing his badges. Who knows though? In this day and age, footballers would never need to work again. Maybe we'll end up with more players who never made it at the top level develop as managers, a la AVB.
Brian Waring
29   Posted 02/11/2011 at 17:09:34

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I actually like Gary Neville as a pundit.
Dave Wilson
30   Posted 03/11/2011 at 06:04:48

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Despite Evertonians constantly complaining about EVERY player coming back for corners, we were not the only ones. Last season every other team in the prem was doing it too. I believed it to be latest "modern coach" trend sweeping through the game, but there`s been a change of emphasis at corners this season and rather surprisingly it has been led by the previously ultra negative Mancini.

I`d heard from City fans that he was leaving two up when defending corners.
In their opinion he`s figured that his supremely talented - and speedy - attacking players were pants at defending and are far more use on the half way line.

I was interested to see how we were going to cope with OUR corners when we got to their place and to be honest Moyes and his team didnt know whether to stick or bust, we kept three back marking their two - which I suppose is ok - . .but then we had two outside the area - to pick up anything that came out - which again, I suppose is alright.

Trouble is somebody had to take the corner which meant City only had to mark 3-4 players for OUR corners.

One man puting the arm shackles on Cahill and another to block his run and it was job done . . We looked more vunerable than they did.

A classic case of attack being the best form of defence and it has not gone unoticed by other coaches, a couple of them are leaving two up when defending a corner.

Will Moyes do it ? doubt it. Most of his players are better defending, better without the ball than they are with it and none of them have the pace to worry people like Kompany.


We have our differences mate, but you are a Blues Brother, so I will always have your best interest at heart.

I urge you to either seek help, or stop making that kind of confession in public

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