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From my seat: Wigan (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  09/03/2013 Woe, Woe, a thousand times Woe... We had assembled in our matchday HQ and all the talk was about progression and possible arrangements for the Wembley trips. There was some wild speculation about 4- and 5-goal wins yet my assessment was of a game of a tight nature but one we should win and avoid a replay: notice, no thought of defeat. The walk up to the ground although wet and chilly bore a confident air.

Into the ground and just over 35,000 had assembled and with Wigan unable to take up anywhere near their full allocation we seemed set fare to progress. How wrong can you be?

From the opening minutes, as a header from a corner from Distin went wide and a Mirallas shot hit a defender, somehow I just sensed we were not out of bed for this early kick-off. Instead of kicking on, we went into soporific mode which caused frailty when trying to look after the ball, causing passes to not only go astray but also to cause tension between fan and player.

Long before we would pay a terrible price for our torpor, this malaise was illustrated when sloppy work allowed Maloney the ball and he seemed afforded a clear run and shot on goal which hit a post and rebounded into play, sloppy defending and a wake-up call, yes... but neither was heeded and it wasn't long before we would pay a heavy price for our torpor — or was it misguided arrogance?

Wigan started to take advantage of our disarray as Osman had to foul a player to prevent a break and Coleman, who seemed half-asleep, let in Maloney who got in a cross that was put over by Kone. As far as our attacking went, it was alright to the final third then ideas were at a premium; the best of our efforts fell to Jelavic who got a good left-foot shot in as he fell which forced the keeper into a good sprawling save.

We continued to play poor football all over the park due in the main to there being no structure which eliminated any decent runs off the ball or indeed any semblance of a killer pass. Wigan on the other hand looked compact and up for a battle and were always ready to break quickly as a chance arose and, sad to say, Everton aided them in this by sloppy passing and thoughtless decision making.

As the half-hour approached, the impressive McCarthy had a great shot that Mucha did well to push wide for a corner. The corner came in, wrestling in the box, ball to back post and the Wigan man rose unchallenged to head home. Oh dear, how many times have I written the same sentence of late? Almost a predictable setback that many may have thought we could come back from — but not today as we went into panic mode which for top pros is unforgivable; before they could gain any semblance of composure, they found themselves three down, game over, good night Wembley and any goodwill from the assembled faithful shattered.

A minute later our captain split his own defence and put in our old youth reject McManaman who raced to goal and cooly slotted passed Mucha. The crowd reaction was a four-letter hell toward our captain who hung his head — and so he might. This was the stuff of nightmares and in the very next Wigan attack the nightmare was complete as Kone jinked forward and Everton backed away he fed Gomez who shot first time, Mucha didn't move the ball hit the net and the fans hit the roof in vitriolic anger. Not a good word for anyone — and no-one deserved one.

Neville had all but lost it by now and was making mistake after mistake and then got booked for a very late tackle. Fellaini was being cat-called by sections of the fans and many urging the manager to withdraw him such was his manner of disinterest. Right on the half-time whistle, Wigan almost scored again when a free kick seemed destined for the top corner but Mucha got there and tipped over.

Half-time and some fans left, some blamed the manager, some blamed the players but all agreed the performance had been the worst for many a day.

Second half and Neville was replaced by Big Vic and we went into a sort of 4-4-2. Fair play to the faithful, they set up a terrific roar as the half started; here was the 12th man — just a pity the other eleven could not raise their game much above mediocre. Apart from Everton showing a little more endeavour, the half was played out by two teams who seemed to accept that the outcome had already been decided — and that stuck in the craw of many a Blue.

Fellaini's contribution had been woeful, petulant and sulky and it was no surprise when he was hooked in favour of a half-fit Gibson with 25 mins still to go. Not much to write home about for the rest of the game. Baines fired hopelessly much to the delight of his former admirers, the ref stopped play for a player who was injured but he was off the field of play? I suppose he just mirrors the standard of refs we have at this time. We were given another glimpse of Barkley but it was but a cameo and his main contribution was to let his legs collapse in the box and then from a superb pass that left him free and with time but he hurried things and the ball curled harmlessly wide. Goodison was now emptying faster than a sieve with just one big hole and at the final whistle those of us still left had easy egress.

MotM — Wigan No 4 McCarthy.

Overall, a day to forget but one that needs attention from all concerned with the club. I believe the board should now look into this game and not just because we lost or played desperately poor, as this can and does happen to all teams from time to time, but rather at themselves and consider did they do right in letting the manager dictate terms as to his contract timing — and is this "Will I or won't I?" stance having an effect on the playing and coaching staff.

Today this surrender was to a team second-bottom; next week it is against a team second-top. What can we expect? It can't be worse can it? See you there to find out.
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Craig Mills
153 Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:12:00
Excellently put Ken, for me, this was truly as bad as I have ever seen in my 25 seasons of following the Blues, I now take my 2 kids a 320 mile round trip to watch them, spend money I cannot really afford and this is what you get back - I really don't know why I bother, another weekend pissed off..........
Derek Williams
158 Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:31:45
I'm a fan of Moyes and will normally seek to defend him but why oh why did he pick Pip centre mid? A centre midfielder he is not. I assume Gibson wasn't thought fit enough for the full 90 but at some point young Ross has to be given a chance. people may say 'not in a big game like this when he hasn't played for weeks' but that's the point, he should have had game time and he needs to be trusted.

Credit to Wigan, they played well and crucially they didnt sit back when they took the lead they kept playing and kept looking to put the game to bed.

Too many simply gave up especially Fellaini, Moyes was right to hook him off.

Another great chance of a trophy missed, I'm glad I'm old enough to remember the great teams of !970 and 1984 'cos I'm beginning to accept those days are not likely to be repeated in my lifetime.

Mike Hughes
159 Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:30:22
Your penultimate paragraph is key, Ken.

Who calls the shots at Everton FC?
The acid test is does the board have a greater ambition that a now stale-looking, one dimensional, manager?

Withdraw the contract offer, let him see things out to the end of the season.
In the meantime, start the search for the next manager and get him on board as soon as the season ends.

Derek Thomas
170 Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:55:44
I think Martinez's job interview went very well, would he take it if offered is another question.
Dick Fearon
171 Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:33:52
Upon waking this morning in Australia, my only question was, has Moyes gone yet? If not, why not?
Derek Thomas
176 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:09:59
Quite right Dick, Walter got the sack for shite like this. I clicked on here saying please, please, please... but no.

Most of us know boys pen billy won't sack him, some of us even suspect that he can't sack him being only the puppet / figurehead for the faceless ones Earl and Green.

Leeds in slow motion.

Andrew Rimmer
178 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:14:14
Moyes's faith in the hapless is going beyond the pale. I always give a man a chance but Jelavic up front on his own again?? Neville instead of Gibson or Hitzlsperger?? The Heitinga/Distin partnership?? How many times do we need to see the same mistake over and over? 11 men back for corners leaving no escape route?

I am getting really fed up with this. The team looked as if they were sent out without any enthusiasm today. Why play such a cautious approach against year on year relegation fodder? Moyes has to go even if he has no offers.
Adkins In.

Barry Johnson
180 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:15:32
Today's performance was so abysmal, I'm surprised no-one has mentioned "match fixing". Unlikely I know, based on the high wages these guys get paid. But we all know what a greedy bunch of bastards the players and manager are.
Andy Peers
181 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:16:08
Can't wait for next week when we redeem ourselves against Man City. I suspect Neville will be saying that throughout the week as a rallying cry. Can anyone guess the score next week?
Andrew Clare
183 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:20:16
I had said this on another thread.

Nothing will happen after this result. We will still have the same manager and the same owner.

Very disappointing!

Patrick Murphy
184 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:19:15
Derek, If that was Martinez's interview then BK must tell Mr Whelan that a money spinning Wembley appearance is the compensation for taking his manager.

113 days at circa £9k a day – just over a million reasons for Moyes to see out his contract.

Andy Peers
190 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:25:01
Andrew #183, 100% correct, sad part is that there is nothing to play for so let's try something different. Hope nobody states league placing for money or be really daft and mention Europe.
Colin Wainwright
196 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:22:18
Y'know, Tony Marsh always used to call Moyes a coward or a shithouse, for his tactics and selections in certain games and TBH, I didn't agree. After todays disgrace of a game though, it finally hit home. I was trying to work out why the manager never gives the young lads a go. Senior players could be going through some poor form, half fit, or just shite but Barkley, Duffy, Oviedo, Vellios would never get a sniff.

"DM sees them in training every day" would go the shout. "They're obviously not good enough". Then it dawned on me (slow on the uptake, I know), to play a youngster requires balls, needs a steely nerve. If Moyes had of included Barkley and Duffy from the start, today, it would have been on his head. If it had gone wrong, he would have had to shoulder the blame and try to justify his selection. No such worries when you include a number of international players, a world cup finalist and an ex-utd, champions league winner. Then they have to take some of the flak, whether injured, out of form, not interested, on holiday, or finished, they are like a shield for Moyes.

David Moyes was a shithouse today, as were many of the players. You were right Tony.

Kevin Tully
200 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:42:03
Col, I have been saying for a while that Moyes plays first and foremost to keep his reputation intact. Don't lose (his words) and this clearly results in him never taking a chance on youth, tactics & formations, and his whole philosophy.

KITAHTKO is his mantra, and keep fooling anyone outside Goodison he is a football genius. He has assembled a highly paid defensive unit, who can win him enough games to keep us chasing the top six places.

When you think about it, it's fucking brilliant - look at his reputation, he has fooled 90% of the footballing world, and is only found out when there actually something to play for. He is always exposed in big games, it's written off because other teams have more money.

Colin Wainwright
203 Posted 09/03/2013 at 22:59:09
Kev, tbh mate, I know yourself and quite a few others have been saying this for ages. I always used to read the tactical threads and not really get involved, not through not having an opinion but because I originally signed up to TW, to oppose DK. I spoke about the footballing side of things with my mates; TW, for me, was about shouting from the rooftops about how incompetent and underhand the board were.

I think this in itself led to my defensive attitude towards Moyes. Things have changed over the past few months.

Derek Thomas
205 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:11:15
Welcome to the MOB, Pprivate Wainwright, move right along for your uniform onesize fits all — we pinched this from Davey's Ladybird Book of Fotball Tactic (singular)!
Patrick Murphy
207 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:20:01
Private Wainwright you'll find your uniform on the square peg next to the round hole.
Colin Malone
209 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:09:52
Teams have sussed the leftsided threat of Baines and Pienaar.

So Plan B is possesion in our own half with side and back passes then hoofball.

Colin Wainwright
211 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:29:04
Oh I didn't know there was free uniforms. I'd of joined fuckin' years ago.

Hang on. There not the old Mike Walker ones are they? If they are I've already got one. And I'm a sergeant, FFS.

Derek Thomas
213 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:35:20
Stupid boy
Colin Wainwright
214 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:40:54
Just about sums me up Derek. Great analysis.
Paul Ferry
219 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:17:55
No-one on the coaching staff or in the team today could have missed the shower of abuse and criticism raining down in a rising crescendo of expletives and a veritable bukkake of boos. The empty 2nd half seats were an eloquent statement, speaking poignant volumes in empty silence. Mean, some may say, but the gaffer, the impresario, and sideways Samways crab skip Pip deserved each second of their very vocal public dressing down.

Perhaps now the ginger Presbyterian gump and ace-at-finger-pointing-and-clapping Captain Fantastic will spend the Sabbath day in long bouts of punishing introspective self-reflection and examination and do the decent thing.

I've never heard anything remotely like that in the time of Moyes. Boos like bombs. I have a hunch that Moyes will resign this week or the one after – resign not re-sign, if you see what I mean. He needs a break. He's clearly unhappy. And we need rid to move on, hopefully with someone who will need to learn English.

It was a funny old ride at times, hey, Mr Moyes, ups-and-downs, the odd roller-coaster ride, smiles and tears but quite honestly heavy lumps of frustration and exasperation for the most part. Take yer sheepskin coat with ya and the Ultravox and Tears for Fears CDs and ya centre-back book of footie tactics. It will be funny somehow not having you around but go.

Phil Walling
220 Posted 09/03/2013 at 23:39:49
Good and fair report as ever, Ken. I went from your report to a belated read of the Moyes interview with Keown. Two segments said so much about our manager.

"Centre half is the hardest position. I'd worry more about playing a young centre half than a young goalkeeper."

So that`s why we never see Duffy – just how old will he have to be?

"We've got a brilliant chairman and my relationship with Bill Kenwright is really good. Bill would like to sell but only if it was an offer that would take the club forward."

Or he might have said, "He pays me a king's ransom to harvest 40 points a year and then say what a good bloke he is."

Now I`m turning the lights out!

Andy Crooks
228 Posted 10/03/2013 at 00:00:50
Ken Buckley writes excellent balanced reports week after week. Today, Ken, you sound utterly pissed off. To me, that is indicative of a change in the view many Evertonians are taking of Moyes.

The January transfer window ended our club's last hope of CL football and was the beginning of the end for Moyes; his era is over, better go sooner than stay and leave a bitter legacy. He can offer nothing more to Everton.

Bob Parrington
233 Posted 10/03/2013 at 00:04:46
Sound report Ken as usual. Utterly deflating performance. It is clear that there is something going on in the background at a high level and this is having a terrible effect on the players and team cohesion.

If this is to do with the board and Moyes not coming to terms with his contract offer, then I say, put up or shut up but don't ruin this club for the supporters, many of whom dig very deep in to their pockets eek in and week out in order to watch the games and truly support their team.

To say, "It was just one of those days" (Although he couldn't really say much else) was a cop-out in the extreme. This was a game there for the winning and the players were in no psychological condition for the match.

Having been a long term supporter of David Moyes, it is now clearly time for him to move on AND for the board to do its damn job properly.

Andrew Rimmer
243 Posted 10/03/2013 at 00:25:41
Phil Walling #220. You are seeing Moyes's youth policy as we have witnessed with Rooney & Barkley. How old do you have to be to play footy?
Roman Sidey
255 Posted 10/03/2013 at 00:51:27
"If you're old enough, you're good enough", right Andrew?

I've been moping around the house today like someone died.

Phil, very good point to bring up re: "centre-half is the hardest position to play". Convenient that the manager was a CB in his career. Just how full of himself is he?

Derek, Colin, I guess we should all get the sewing kits out because there's going to be a lot more orders for that uniform.

Also, Colin, hopefully more will now trust Marshy's summary that Moyes is a coward. In fairness, that is an insult to cowards everywhere.

MOB

Mike Powell
260 Posted 10/03/2013 at 01:01:35
Just got back in from the match, drank so much beer and vodka thinking it might help me get over that performance today but it was no help at all ...

I always back Moyes but, after that, he can fuck off and take Neville with him. Anyone who thinks Osman is good are deluded he is shite always on his arse. Neville and Osman in midfield... FFS, fuck off EVERTON!

Paul Ward
275 Posted 10/03/2013 at 03:08:00
A very balanced report as usual from Ken, but some of the comments each week on this site are absolutely baffling. Every week we have the "I am" or "I was a Moyes fan" — How long does it take for a normal observer of football to see what a failure David Moyes is as a manager?

It was obvious within five years that this man has no Plan B and has always been the coward referred to by Colin (#196). Eleven years is a fair go in anyone's language, so why is there still fans with doubt?

Also, why are people asking or debating if Moyes will sign a new contract? The fact is he should not be considered for a new contract. There has to be a new positive plan for this club and it can not include Kenwright or Moyes.

Dave Robins
292 Posted 10/03/2013 at 05:49:32
Colin,

Your comment is spot on, me too always thinking Moyes is doing well with the resources he has but lately how can one keep thinking, stick strong with the manager, but how?? To keep playing the same team, week-in, week-out (injuries aside), and not rotating the squad a little, just baffles me.

He is wearing the players down and can't keep playing at their top without a break – that is why teams have squads. Moyes has two squads: one to play and one to sit on the bench and play the last 5 mins. Moyes just won't show any faith its plain to see Baines needs a rest Jelavic needs to play reserves to find the net a bit easier. Duffy, Barkley, Oviedo, Vellios need game time. But hey, I guess we all can see that, except one – no guessing who that is... ...

Ajay Gopal
322 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:04:54
That was an unbelievably bad performance by almost everyone wearing a blue shirt on the pitch. The only players who came out with some dignity were Mirallas, Mucha, Distin, Heitinga (to some extent) and Barkley during his cameo. The rest were shockingly poor - how can so many players have such a shocker in 1 game? When I had mentioned in a post about 2 months back that Moyes contract situation would have an affect on the team's performance, I was shouted down. But, that is the only explanation I have for the performance yesterday.

At least now, Moyes should be brutal with the non-performers and play the youngsters. My team against Man City - Mucha, Coleman, Duffy, Distin, Oviedo, Mirallas, Hitz, Gibson, Baines, Barkley, Anichebe. SUBS: Osman, Jela, Pienaar, Heitinga, Vellios, McAleney.

Moyes needs to show some guts now to keep the non-performers out of the team and give a chance to the youth.

George McKane
394 Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:06:03
Any comments on the lack of desire shown by many of the players but in Fellaini in particular.

I am in The Park end I didn't see clearly the "gesture" he made to The Bullens but I did witness his total (seeming) lack of interest in the game, his petulance and nonchalance and absolute lack of any link or graciousness to the supporters (his employers) and his march straight down the dug-out.

The media and Toffeeweb seemingly have little to say about what I consider a dreadful and almost unforgivable (non) display by a very talented player but a sullen and seemingly disinterested man.

Shame on you Fellaini in particular and to some of those other players who spout "redemption and pay-back" in the press and then turn in woeful displays such as yesterday - which although particularly bad was not an isolated poor game.

Shame on Moyes and some the players for offering such a woeful effort up to fans who generally support them with pride home and away.

The list of those currently employed at Goodison who I do not wish to see next season is ever growing.

Ajay Gopal
412 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:04:54
That was an unbelievably bad performance by almost everyone wearing a blue shirt on the pitch. The only players who came out with some dignity were Mirallas, Mucha, Distin, Heitinga (to some extent) and Barkley during his cameo. The rest were shockingly poor - how can so many players have such a shocker in 1 game? When I had mentioned in a post about 2 months back that Moyes contract situation would have an affect on the team's performance, I was shouted down. But, that is the only explanation I have for the performance yesterday.

At least now, Moyes should be brutal with the non-performers and play the youngsters. My team against Man City - Mucha, Coleman, Duffy, Distin, Oviedo, Mirallas, Hitz, Gibson, Baines, Barkley, Anichebe. SUBS: Osman, Jela, Pienaar, Heitinga, Vellios, McAleney.

Moyes needs to show some guts now to keep the non-performers out of the team and give a chance to the youth.

Colin Glassar
417 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:04:06
Ajay, I actually think we will beat city and cover over the cracks for a few more days. I agree with your comments but I would give Jelavic a bit f slack he gets absolutely no service at all. All the passes to him are either too far ahead or behind him.
I thought Mucha played well and actually kept the score down. Coleman, Baines, Neville, Ossie, Pienaar and Fellaini had a nightmare and Neville should be banned from GP.
Roman Sidey
430 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:14:42
Colin, the funny thing is I actually think we'll beat City next week too. It's the way of the world, and in seven days all will be forgiven because of one result. Knee-jerk, anyone?
Kev Johnson
435 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:31:17
A knee jerk (otherwise knows as a patellar reflex) is a healthy physical reaction, showing that the body is working as it should be.

So, let's see which way Moyes goes with his team selection for the City game. Will he make significant changes - which, to continue the metaphor, would be the appropriate response to the traumatic discovery that the team/body is sick and dramatically malfunctioning - or will he pick the same side to show that he hasn't just had a knee-jerk reaction? We shall see...

Nick Oakley
445 Posted 10/03/2013 at 14:26:00
Unfortunately we have to face the facts. Osman lovely touch going forward but cannot compete defensively as lacking natural athleticism required. Neville was left alone by Wigan to collect from the back and he duly played into their hands as little ability to do anything other than the predictable. Lastly Fellaine - showed he has no real heart - he ought to look at videos of Reidy to see how someone fights and dictates the game, whilst not blessed with any of his natural gifts.
We need 2 new central midfield athletes as well as footballers - we can then then play something other than the prdictable ie 4-4-2
Winston Williamson
481 Posted 10/03/2013 at 15:40:46
I couldn't care less if we win every fucking game from Man City until the end of the season. I want Moyes and Kenwright and Fellaini and Neville gone from our club with immediate effect!

I am embarrassed to be an Evertonian today and it's because of these people.

Tom Bowers
498 Posted 10/03/2013 at 15:49:34
It would be easy to assume this was a one-off but it wasn't. There have been many displays like this under Moyes.
In fact this was coming and was no great surprise to me except the scoreline.
Okay they were at home and against "Wigan" but in all honesty performances this season even some of the wins have not been impressive.
Over the years Moyes has made some astute signings such as Baines, Jags, Cahill and Arteta to name a few but has not complimented them with players of the same caliber around them.
Fellaini at the price took far to long to prove himself and seems to be awaiting a move away these days.
I cannot see them getting anything out of City next week as Moyes will still be manager and has nothing new to offer and certainly has shown he has no motivational skills.
Could be Moyes will replace Benitez next season and we can see what he can do with money behind him.
Andy Walker
502 Posted 10/03/2013 at 16:07:50
Winston it wouldn't surprise me if Neville is gone within the week. I.e retired.
Chris Lawlor
607 Posted 10/03/2013 at 18:31:57
Moyes to Liverpool....the stuff dreams are made of! He is killing us now. A new gaffer with a fresh approach is what we need now, if firmly believe in most of our squad but Moyes has to go now before we lose even more ground
James Marshall
634 Posted 10/03/2013 at 18:45:04
What makes any of you think we'll beat City? We couldn't beat an egg at the moment - have you not been watching recent games? We snuck past a poor Reading outfit, albeit with 3 goals, and our other win was a struggled replay against Oldham.

You really need to look at the opposition we've been struggling with, before making claims about us beating City, given the quality they have. You can't just base an opinion like that on things like 'the way football goes' or whatever other cliche you can think of.

I'd love to be proven wrong, but I just don't see it happening with such a tired, lacklustre team out there. Moyes should be starting players like Oviedo to inject something a bit different to the same 11 every week. We've become workmanlike as a result. You have to rotate your players around to motivate them, and he seem to not notice this.

We may have a small squad, but use them - use Barkley as well, start him now & then, mix things up. We're so predictable even the players are telegraphing everything they do. Other teams have sussed us out because we only play one way, with one 11. Moyes has become utterly blinkered to what I believe are the facts of the matter.

He's lacking vision, tactical awareness, patterns of play appear to allude him, and he never makes changes to affect games. Our non-starting players must sit there wondering why they bother to turn up every week.

Time will of course tell, and he may yet sign a new contract based only on the potential for there not being another job out there for him to go to, and I can't help thinking that will happen because the club would prefer him not to leave for nothing as well. Don't be surprised that when the dust settles, he signs again and stays until another job comes up, then leaves, Everton get compensation and a new manager mid-season, or even next year.

Rob Smith
731 Posted 10/03/2013 at 20:23:03
Watching Osman and Neville, trying to second guess who they would lose the ball to, the misplaced passes, backward passes, sideways passes, fuck me, I think it was more frustration than disinterest on Felli's behalf, I have seen it in Baines and Pienaar at different times this year. Davey wouldn't be to happy at the lads unleashing on Club Cap Phil and Everton midfield stalwart and England international Osman, two of the most useless twats in the premier league. Another year with those two in our run on side and we will begin to slide
Sean McCarthy
732 Posted 10/03/2013 at 20:22:23
Gary Neville retired mid season when at half-time in a game v WBA he was apparently sat on the toilet in the dressing room after getting run ragged by some no-mark player for 45 mins and realised his legs had gone and he wasn't up to it any longer. He left with his self respect and dignity intact.

Do you think he could maybe have a word with his brother as the enjoy a family lunch for Mother's Day??

Nick West
891 Posted 11/03/2013 at 09:40:33
Although it was an abysmal performance, people are going over the top here. Whoever replaces Moyes will have no money to speak of and so we won't suddenly be challenging for the title — probably the opposite.

This season, we've played some good stuff and have showed real determination in games. It would appear as if something has happened recently to create this nadir. They say the Fellaini deal has been done. Maybe Moyes picked Neville because he likes him and felt he might as well put trust in effort. Who knows? But there were other things going on on that pitch apart from Neville's terrible performance. Why did Baines put the ball out, when he had no need to? It was surely a sign of malaise amongst the players.

Either way, Moyes appears spent — and who can blame him? He's been tetchy with the media for the last two or three years. Not a sign of a man working in a comfortable environment. He's had a decade of 'lick and stick' management.

But those with short memories should recall the fanfares surrounding the arrivals of Walter Smith and Mike Walker. Mike Walker's Norwich were world beaters having beaten Bayern Munich ...and look what trauma he put us through.

Moyes is a man of huge integrity, who has been a credit to the club. With a little more luck we'd have had a Champions League campaign which could have taken us in a wholly different direction. Such is the fickle hand of fate. So, while Moyes's race appears to be run, let's not demean ourselves — or the club — by spouting too much bile.

Peter Cummings
953 Posted 11/03/2013 at 13:07:32
If ever the fans deserved their money back for a non-performance, this was it. I have been an Evertonian for over 60 years, I have seen us at the pinnacle of success and in the depths of despair over those years, but this display ranks with the lowest of the low.

However, when Jags was ruled out with Howard, who had finally started to dominate his area, I had an ominous feeling given all the talk of a 'weakened' Wigan and all the signs of a one-sided walkover, which it turned out to be (for Wigan) along with the news from across Stanley Park and the semi-final draw made this weekend one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Harj Badwal
351 Posted 12/03/2013 at 01:38:36
Agreed, Moyes needs to play Duffy, Barkley and start with Anichebe. Osman and Fellaini should be relegated to bench.

Team:

Mucha, Stones, Duffy, Distin, Baines, Coleman (RW), Gibson, Barkley, Pienaar, Mirallas, Anichebe.

If we get beat, then so be it – plan for next year... Duffy and Barkley deserve a run in the team.

Unfortunately I feel Moyes will not have the balls to drop his favourites!

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