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Disastrous Display Ends Everton's Quest For Redemption

By Lyndon Lloyd   ::  09/03/2013

Everton 0 - 3 Wigan Athletic

If there was one thing driving Everton on deeper into this season's FA Cup campaign – arguably more so than David Moyes's quest for silverware after 11 years in charge at Goodison Park – it was a shot at redemption. Redemption for their abject and painful collapse against Liverpool in the semi-final last year.

A home game against a Wigan Athletic side haunted by the very real danger of relegation from the Premier League come May was about as a good an opportunity for the Blues to book another place at Wembley and an opportunity for atonement as they could have asked for.

Instead of looking forward to a day out at the national stadium, however, Evertonians are left to reflect on another cup disaster; a shocking 3-0 defeat at Goodison Park that not only ends their quest for cup glory – and with it, perhaps, their season – but also dredges up serious questions about the ability, commitment and mentality of some of the players and Moyes's managerial tenure as a whole.

The minutiae of the game itself are barely worth dwelling on it was effectively over as a contest with just 33 minutes gone after Wigan – who, it should be said, deserve enormous credit for an energetic and spirited first-half display – stunned their hosts with three goals in a little over three minutes.

The early warnings offered by Wigan's frequent forays down their left flank and Shaun Maloney's terrific, curling 11th-minute strike that smacked off the face of the post with Jan Mucha beaten all ends up were not heeded. When James McCarthy's accurate snapshot from the edge of the box was pushed behind by Mucha, Maynor Figeuroa rose more or less unchallenged at the back post to head home the opening goal from the resulting corner. Everton's now infamous set-piece vulnerabilities exposed once again.

Barely a minute later, Phil Neville, who was atrocious througout his 45 minutes on the pitch, gifted the ball to Callum McManaman with a wayward back pass that put the Wigan fullback through on goal whereupon he beat Mucha with aplomb with a low shot into the far corner. A mountain to climb needlessly created by sloppy passing by a vastly experienced player who, in retrospect, should never have been preferred to Darron Gibson in the first place.

And the nightmare deepened almost immediately after that; the ball came down the Latics' left flank once more – where Jean Beausejour had been enjoying the freedom of Goodison while none of Moyes, Coleman and Steven Pienaar could find a solution to ensure he was picked up – and when the ball ended up with Arouna Kone in the left channel, he squared it to Jordi Gomez who impressively stroked the ball into the net from 25 yards with Mucha, stranded again, rooted to the spot.

Everton did not know what had hit them and though they showed brief sparks of determination and drive to try and find a way back into the game, in retrospect their efforts were feeble, disjointed and, frankly, a disgrace to the reputation they have forged not only this season but over a number of recent campaigns... at least in the Premier League.

In the FA Cup, Everton under Moyes have shown a depressing propensity to choke when it really counts and the "nearly men" of Goodison collapsed again when the going got rough and couldn't muster a response to Wigan's blitz of sufficient quality to get even one goal back let alone three.

Indeed, though Nikica Jelavic had forced a diving save from Joel Robles when the scores were still level, the Blues barely worked the goalkeeper in the second half. The closest they came was in the 90th minute when Leon Osman's half-volley was parried by the 'keeper and Coleman made a mess of the rebound, heading well wide with the goal at his mercy.

By that stage, Marouane Fellaini had been pulled off by his disgusted manager with 23 minutes still to play having apparently given up... not only on this match but, on this evidence, his Everton career. The Belgian's attitude fell away appallingly once the visitors had gone 3-0 up and after throwing his arms in the air one time too many and then turning his back on a live ball in a sulk midway through the second half, Moyes had clearly had enough. The team's leading scorer and the man who had almost single-handedly led the comeback against Aston Villa was withdrawn with a quarter of the game still to go. He left to a chorus of boos, either aimed at him, Moyes, or both.

Had he and Neville been the only two players to let down the Royal Blue jersey, it would have been bad enough; as it was, perhaps only Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe and Nikica Jelavic – Mucha made two good saves and was blameless for the goals – earned their corn and emerged with any credit from what was just a dismal showing by almost all concerned. And yet again, the other Belgian's industry and craft was rewarded with substitution by Moyes, that coming a couple of minutes after he had put the ball in the net, albeit from an offside position. Maybe Moyes was looking beyond an already lost cause but it's mystifying how Osman, for example, stayed on the field.

Osman was simply dreadful, Baines laboured and, apart from a low driven free kick that almost squirmed through the 'keeper's legs, off-target with his shooting, Coleman was night and day worse than the player who was so good against Reading, and Pienaar was again ineffective in the final third.

It spoke volumes that Ross Barkley, Mirallas' replacement in the 79th minute, showed more heart, purpose and effectiveness in 10-plus minutes than almost all of the more experienced and supposedly superior players on the field in Blue around him. He almost fashioned an opening but was muscled off the ball at the crucial moment before he lashed a sliced shot just wide with six minutes to go.

The game was up long before that, though. How much physical fatigue, mental weakness or managerial failings were to blame is hard to know. What was starkly evident, however, was that Wigan were quicker in movement and thought, slicker in their passing, and more strident in their desire. That they showed up a Moyes team to such a degree that they ran out 3-0 winners is massively concerning.

There has, understandably, been some pretty strong reaction at the nature of the performance and the result but the writing has been on the wall for a while now, arguably since the Blues lost their unbeaten home record to Chelsea just before the New Year.

The victory at Newcastle proved to be a false dawn and as fatigue set in to an over-stretched squad, the transfer window passed without any senior-level additions, and Moyes sowed further uncertainty by delaying the decision over his contract, the Blues' form has worsened despite the huge carrots of Champions League football and Wembley in front of them.

Today's debacle has been coming. The sorry finale at Norwich was the first alarm bell and the win over Reading merely papered over the cracks. The debate over where the club goes from here will surely rumble on now as Moyes tries to stanch the bleeding lest the League campaign collapse with some tough away games to come.

And it's fair to say that Fellaini might have cooked his goose with supporters and manager alike; his form in recent weeks has been poor and while he celebrations suggest a man whose heart desires success with Everton, his frustration when things are going awry betrays a player who feels he would be better off elsewhere.

The wider issue of the manager's future and a Bill Kenwright regime teetering on the edge of very real decline after being propped up by Moyes's achievements over the past decade now come into sharp focus. Change at the very top is badly needed but unlikely; as far as Moyes goes, the feeling that his tenure has run its course is becoming inescapable. Real change is needed and he has probably felt that for a while now. He would leave Goodison Park without ever reaching the heights his tenure once promised but with the reputation as a nearly-man, the man who fought financial constraints all the way but couldn't quite turn the very good team he built into a real success.

All very sad...

Reader Comments

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Dick Fearon
293 Posted 10/03/2013 at 05:42:37
Fellaini's display raised supporters hackles yet probably would have done the cause more good had he taken his frustration out on one or more of his team mates. It obviously worked wonders for Wigan after that clubs 4-0 loss to the RS.

I would've loved to see the big fella hoisting Osman's off the ground by the throat.

It would cost the club a fair packet in fines but by golly what a memorable scene to be talked about for generations to come.

Long into the future, grizzled old-timers would fondly remember the big Belgian's deeds on that day.

The way things are heading, it could very well be the only event in the life time of recent decades worthy of note. Framed pictures could be hung in our trophy cabinet.

Anthony Flack
304 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:06:58
"dredges up serious questions about the ability, commitment and mentality of some of the players and Moyes's managerial tenure as a whole."

Spot on a lot of the Moyes bashing on here irritates me, but after yesterday.....

There is in imagination and outside the core 12 or 13 players he cannot see a way to win. Much is made of having used the fewest players in the premiership this season. This is only in a small part down to squad size.

I think result might have been different and the performance would have had more energy and heart if the centre of the park had Gibson and Fella in it, with Anichebe and Jella up front. I for one was an arse for suggesting playing Neville made sense not a mistake I will make again.

A couple of the senior players showed a lack of character and strength this is part of a managers job to lead inspire and instill the drive and confidence. Beglin on ITV might be a tool, but he was right when he said the players were hiding as individuals and waiting for someone else to do something.

I would not be sorry if Moyes went but this does not mean I m going to insult and abuse him but the time is right. Not sure who could replace him and if it would make ny difference with the same regime at the top table?

Not confident we are going to bounce back next week or at all as he will pick the same old team and put it down to "one of those days"

Mark Wilson
310 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:21:01
Lyndon, I've been struggling with the anger and sheer mind numbing frustration since leavinggoodison yesterday and couldn't bring myself to read through the TW posts rom the match report. But your article above pretty much says it all so well done for somehow being calm enough to sum it all up in such a cohesive fashion.

In any other club there would have been ructions but as we found ourselves outside the main entrance fourty mins after the ref ended our misery it was remarkable how quiet and almost deserted the place was. Somehow it summed up the frustration and hopelessness of a club, a team, and a manager caught up in a Groundhog Day scenario of punching above our pathetic financial status yet frequently displaying no guts and no real "plan" when it matters most. I have Jo idea what happens next but cannot understand how Moyes stays now, he's surely had enough and has again looked a beaten man since mid Jan. the Boards disgusting failure to strengthen in the January window has helped destroy a promising season but then the managers refusal to take measured risks by giving proper chances to a handful of hungry

Ian Bennett
311 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:24:18
The key will be sorting a new manager early. Moyes has done a good job, but the parting of the ways is now inevitable.

A new manager needs to be identified and hired early, as the player turnover needs to be high. Mucha, Neville, and Heitinga you'd expect will all go, plus cashing in on the family silver in the form of baines and fellaini. That's 5 players minimum, with us desperately short already. The new man has to be looking to bring in 7 or 8 players minimum and this can't be left until 31st August.

Mark Wilson
314 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:35:22
Oops.... Handful of hungry players is depressing and hard to fathom. The next week will be huge for this team as they should spend it trying to come to terms with a shameful display. This comes down to either a remarkable fight back and a stunning last ten games or a total collapse and there will not be a middle ground. It's shit or bust in an attempt to salvage something from this disgusting mess.
Chris Leyland
316 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:46:09
Dick - I would have loved to have seen Fellani actually look like he gave a fuck and make even a passing attempt to prove that e is half the player he thinks he is in his own mind. The lack of desire, commitment or effort he showed was epitomised by several incidents yesterday. He has no one to blame other than himself. I hope he fucks off in the summer and can go and display his petulance and ego at someone else's expense.
Dick Fearon
318 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:43:17
Ian 311, Could you please make room in your list of leavers for Osman.
Our 11 man defence at corners is damn well annoying but it is even more annoying to barely see the top of little Leon's head surrounded by 6 footers on our goal line.
What earthly use is he in those situations. I would rather see him and Pienaar positioned for quick outlets.
That would force the opposition to hold extra players in defence which would ease pressure on our goal.
On the other hand I guess such a logical and simple idea has no chance of penetrating the mind of our maestro.
Kieran Fitzgerald
319 Posted 10/03/2013 at 08:36:35
I was briefly very depressed yesterday at full time. This morning, my response has just been to think that this is the way the season has gone and this is just where we are at. I'm not angry or depressed or even trying to look at what's positive. As Lyndon has said, yesterday's result and performance sums up exactly where the team, the manager and the club is at right now.

The day of the Norwich game, I actually gave little or no thought to the game until I got back to the house at 4:30pm. It never entered my head that we were even playing. The only reason that I got the score was that I was flicking through the channels on the box and happened to come across Final Score on BBC. This was a point that I was coming to since before Christmas. The Reading game and the build up to yesterday's game had raised my interest levels. What happened in yesterday's game had made me lose all interest again.

I know this makes me look like a sunshine supporter and honestly I'm not. But it just feels that the club is doing little or nothing right to grab my attention and raise my passion as a supporter. From the Board to the efforts of the squad to Moyes to the lack of investment, there is nothing to make me say that things are improving, that the club is on the up. It feels like the first couple of months of this season have only served to build me up, just so that what has happened since has been a harder kick in the bollocks. It's not that I have become cynical or jaded, I just feel like I can't keep making the time for the biggest thing in my life outside of my family and my job when I am getting no return or sense of fulfillment.

I look at Spurs and think about how they are the prime example of how a club of our size should be run. Their supporters must be full of optimism. I look at Swansea and think that their fans have something to be genuinely pleased about. Good football, settling into the PL and a trophy to boot. I even look at Newcastle and think that they have the ability to spend cash and pick up a decent squad of players. It's something positive at least for their fans to talk about, regardless of how they can mess up other aspects of running a club.

With Everton, it just feels like we have hit our peak after several seasons of being on a supposedly upward curve. Instead of building on several seasons of improvement, of doing things properly and kicking on, we've decided to make a mess of it all. The worst of it is that we haven't messed up through external influences, or because of a dramatic crisis, but just by being ourselves.The club just doing what it does is what has brought me to where I am as supporter.

I won't walk away from the club, I've been a supporter for too long. But will I continue to give it anywhere near the same amount of attention? Definitely not. Until something drastically changes within the club I think more and more fans will start to tune out.

Brin Williams
320 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:04:28
That report Lyndon is spot on and exactly the way I saw it and the way I feel.

This had been coming and the club is a shambles - I have never felt so let down by the Club.

Disgusted.

Paul Gladwell
323 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:12:59
It was just an off day to Moyes, this clown continually gets away with murder. It was more than just an off day to us Moyes.
Then to add to his constant bollocks after protecting Barkley because he gives the ball away now and again he throws him on in a game so lost and with the crowd baying for blood it was comical.
I pay my money to watch that shite and I am sick of that ginger prick and outsiders who don't pay to watch that , constantly telling me to sit down shut up and be careful what we wish for .
Christopher Timmins
332 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:23:26
Sad, so very sad is the only way to describe things this morning. The Moyes era is coming to an end and at the end of this season his record will be there for all to see. Your league position is the only measure of a club. Where we finished over the past ten complete seasons is fact your view on whether this represents success or failure is opinion.

Yesterdays result was coming, anyone who watched the Monday night game against Southampton could see that. We have a squad lacking in numbers and it shows.

The lack of support that the manager has received in the transfer market over the past 10 years is in my opinion nothing short of criminal. The 24 7 search for investment and a new stadium is beyond a joke at this stage.

It will be a very different picture when the season starts next August, those who are not good enough will have to be moved on, those who have a significant transfer value, there are maybe 3, will want to move on and we will have a new manager who will have a little money to spend.

When it comes to purchasing power then over the past 10 years Everton are a small club, certainly not in the same ball park as the Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs, not in the same ball park. I suggest that over the past couple of years that based upon net spending figures we are also behind Newcastle, QPR and Stoke.

To those who say that the budget is not all important well what did Chelsea win pre the Russian and what did City win pre the Arabs?


John Bourne
335 Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:34:37
If ever we needed a reality check, it was provided for us all yesterday, oh my yes it was provided, and then some.

Wigan didn't catch us on an off day, they quite simply played us off the park, deploying a style of play which asks many questions of the coaching and managerial staff at Goodison.

Brin Williams@320 - Yes this had been coming, we have scraped through far too many games for far too often, once Wigan had added a third goal, it was obvious (to me at least) that there was no way back, we simply don't have the ability to generate goals the way other teams do.

I have never been Fellani's biggest fan, he has always drifted in and out of games, yesterday his mind was elsewhere, I have no doubt he want's out.

So when he does go, he needs to leave room in the taxi for one other and ask the driver to head for Preston.

Spot on post Lyndon.

Paul Gladwell
348 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:14:59
Christopher, yesterday was not about money, they rested players too, if I walked down the high street I would not recognise one of their players if they even butted me, pass and move is not hard but for Moyes, Neville and co it is, but hey, he was right to hold Barkley back as he gives the ball away now and again.....fuck me.
Peter Warren
350 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:18:00
Wigan outplayed us earlier in the season this was just a typical performance which got punished - Wigan simply played better than they did earlier in the season. I said after reading game I was sick of Moyes it's just the same performances all the time, sometimes our better players mean we win sometimes not but I see no positive tactics or changes by our manager and reluctance to change is so frustrating.
Steve Guy
351 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:06:01
About as good a summary as is possible of one of the most abject displays from an Everton Team I have witnessed in a long time.

I still don't buy this "small squad" bollocks though. We all know what the best 11 would be give or take a player, butfew teams get that lucky with injuries that this 11 play each week. Not is it desirable for 60 games. It's obvious.

We have a group of young players who, on their brief appearances have been usually impressive and done OK or better. Why have they not been used more ? What have Velios, Duffy, Barkley (to name three obvious candidates) done on the training pitch to deny them the chance to play ? How are they meant to get the experience to turn them into EPL players if they don't get played and help the senior players through a long season ?

Raises lots of questions around Moyes and his staff's coaching for me and I would like to see these lads given a regular opportunity betwee now and the end of the season. Couldn't do worse than yesterday.

Mike Green
358 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:31:44
This is also the same squad who Moyes and Neville kept reassuring us 'only had a game a week' for the second half of he season. A game a week!

Wigan looked like butchers dogs compared to our lot, Everton have had the life and soul slowly sucked out of them.

What has happened to Jelavic?! Last season he looked like one of Europes most natural goalscorers, now he looks like he couldn't score if his life depended on it. I'm sorry but it has to be down to Moyes.

Gareth Fieldstead
365 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:34:44
Sorry I am totally fed up of hearing about lack of investment as an excuse for a one trick pony that has so many people believing he is this great coach, frankly he is not. Since he has been at the club numerous clubs with smaller budgets than our own, great example Wigan have played us off the park. Swansea are another club that has shown you don't need big money to play good football AND win trophies. They lost Allen, Sigurddson and Sinclair at the beginning of the season yet they have carried on playing even better football than last season. Moyes has certainly improved the club since he came in but that's it. This will be his 8th season now without European football, no doubt another season without a win at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates. Never mind a taxi we need a mini bus for him, his defensive back room staff and the several players that also need to be shown the door. The board are crap but in general they are no different to fourteen other boards in the PL, they allow the manager to buy when he sells. That result was coming. No contract should be forthcoming. He should be shown the door in May and the board should be actively looking for a replacement now.
Brian Donnelly
372 Posted 10/03/2013 at 10:44:37
Lyndon sums up our FA cup exploits very well when he states
‘In the FA Cup, Everton under Moyes have shown a depressing propensity to choke when it really counts and the "nearly men" of Goodison collapsed again when the going got rough’.

Yesterday’s defeat was no surprise, but the manner of the defeat certainly was. Too many outside commentators have mentioned that EFC are getting back into form, all on the back of beating Oldham & Reading at home. Now I don’t think we will get an easier P/L game than Reading at home and we were hardly convincing against Oldham in the last panicky 20 mins.

We have managed to play the same about 14 players in every game. The youngsters get no chance – a one off game against Leeds where Moyes put in too many at once and now, when it matters, won’t chance a single one for more than 5 mins. The whole team looks flat and stale and with transfer funds or not, it still boils down to Moyes and a lack of bottle to take a chance with younger players.

Kevin Tully
376 Posted 10/03/2013 at 11:04:39
The question is, what if we have an awful finish to this campaign, which is looking more likely by the week, and Moyes then signs for another 5 years?

Even flicking over the the club's mouthpiece - Bluekipper, you will find dissenting voices regarding Moyes, unheard of in his tenure.

The thought of him being here next season sends shivers down my spine, can you imagine his starting 11 with all his favourites guaranteed to start?

We need a clear out of overpaid players like Heitinga & Neville - there's over £100k a week there, and need to be looking NOW for hungry Swansea like players happy to play for £20k a week, who can pass those two fuckers above off the park.

They are out there, but Moyes admitted yesterday he is a dithering idiot, watching a player 20 odd times before committing ( where the fuck are our scouts?) so he needs to just pack his bags. He's not up to it, and clearly does not have a team to identify players, an incredible admission from a man paid so much.

We have a back room staff full of his ex-defenders, the place is rotting, and desperate for new impetus, and fresh ideas.

Moyes is not the man to reinvigorate this club, he is as stale as the old farts in the Boardroom, thanks and goodbye David.

Kieran Fitzgerald
377 Posted 10/03/2013 at 11:32:47
What chance any of the young players have the confidence to even grab their opportunity if they get it. Duffy and Vellios must be thinking that they first chance they get they're out of there. Gueye probably couldn't wait to go out on loan.Why would be come back?

I think that even now, with ten games left, a full quarter of the league campaign still to play, many of this squad have already started booking their summer holidays.

John Audsley
402 Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:30:23
As always LL a very good piece of writing.

Whats to say, its all been said by far better people than me but JESUS H CORBETT what a fucking shower of shite yesterday was

Even me mam rang to check if I was ok and gave we the usual "John, its only a game"

She always said that after crap matches in the 90's

I feel as flat as the Semi Last year but at least we competed a bit in that game.

The team had no idea and no tactics, I didn't rate Martinez that well till yesterday but he worked us out completely

and as for Moyes after match comments............FUCK OFF you clearly don't understand your supporters at all

John Crawley
405 Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:28:23
Yet another season when we are failing to put together two consistently good halfs of the season. Yet another season when Moyes bottles it in big games. Yet another season without a trophy. Yet another season without young players being given a chance. Yet another season when favourite players are picked regardless of form. Yet another season when the manager only re-acts to problems on the pitch instead of being pro-active. Yet another season with Moyes patronising and insulting the fans with his comments. Yet another season when players aren't played in their best position. Yet another season when we have failed to deliver on the promise shown.

The club should immediately withdraw the offer of a contract and Moyes should go. I will be renewing my season ticket but dread going next season if he is still in charge.

Phil Friedman
425 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:12:24
A truly awful display, and the landslide started off by – what else – a set-piece goal against. There have been so many instances that we've either lost or dropped points from set pieces. It's bad tactics in these, and the fact that none of Baines, Coleman, Osman, Gibson are within hailing distance of 6ft. Get some players with some size out there. And somebody please shoot Neville and put us out of his misery.
James McPherson
426 Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:53:14
Great piece LL. On another thread (we need the 12th man) I was critical of Moyes' hypocrisy in this matter. His actions over his contract, though perfectly legal, have clearly had a bad impact on form and focus. Him saying it hasn't is a scandalous insult to our intelligence, unswerving support and financial commitment.. Far far far worse still, he is putting his own self-interest above the club. Unforgiveable. Reason alone to move him on - he's changed. Couple of years ago, when things went wrong, his explanations and communication had dignity and respect. 'One of those days' will go down in (infamous) folk-lore. The 'People's Club will pale into insginificance.
Phil Sammon
432 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:15:57
John Audsley

I don't think Martinez deserves all that much credit yesterday. He might be a decent manager - I don't know enough about him - but a chimp in a tracksuit could have masterminded that victory against a hapless Everton side.

All season long we have been dreadful at set pieces and sure enough that was to be our undoing...though in truth it could have come much earlier.

The second goal was gift wrapped. Neville had already played one diabolical ball in the first 15 minutes but luckily this was in the opposition's half. On 31 minutes though, he was not so fortunate.

Players that play into their mid thirties have certain qualities that get better and better, while their speed and strength leave them. Paul Scholes has decided where hes passing that football 5 seconds before hes even received it. Kevin Phillips knows what the defender is going to do, and uses that to get into goal scoring positions...I could go on. The point being: Phil Neville has never been anything above average. His one major strength is his desire and proffessionalism. Sadly, his body has given up and there is no way to disguise that. How the fucking hell has Moyes not seen that.

The third goal was a good finish but again it's our own fault. Either Ossie or Neville had to be following Gomez. Ossie was nearest...but still 10 yards away.

Just terrible all round really. I'm sick of writing about it.

Ray Said
434 Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:26:15
The problem is that both Bill and Moyes are welded at the hip and even after that appalling shambles-to add to a growing list of appalling shambles- nothing will happen. Boys Pen Bill is happy with anything better than 10th place. They are co dependent in a way that no other chairmen and managers are. Better Everton managers have been sacked for the results that Moyes is praised for.
The standard question every Everton chairmen should ask themselves is 'What would Sir John have done'? In this case Moyes would have been on his way a very long time ago. Can we imagine John Moores letting a manager turn out such crap Zombie football year after year? He would have taken action, and yes I know that things have changed, and that billionaires rule the top of the league but he would have insisted that we play Everton Football. Can anyone truly say that Moyes football is in the traditions of this great club.
Go and Go quickly
Craig Mills
443 Posted 10/03/2013 at 14:16:15
Great piece Lyndon, I don't know how you mange to compose such a piece, whilst i'm sat here gritted teeth and still full of frustration and anger over yesterdays game. I personally don't know where the blame lies, i'm a huge fan of DM, always have been and whist I agree with so many of the issues that other TW members have with him, salary, tactics, contract etc.....i still think he has given the club stability within the Premier League and we simply did not have before his arrival, and that counts for a lot in my eyes.

Where we go from here will be interesting, I hope to see a huge response on Saturday against City, I don't think we will win, but at least some fight will help restore my love for the Blues!!

Onwards and upwards - and trying to keep the faith!!

Ben James
455 Posted 10/03/2013 at 14:54:36
1. Why does the manager insist on bring every player back to defend corners? We still can’t defend them properly and concede goals regularly, including yesterday, twice against Oldham and Norwich. It doesn’t take a tactical genius to work out that when a corner is cleared it comes straight back as there’s no outlet upfront.

2. We are poor with our own corners as well – the best corner is an inswinger, we have Baines and Mirallas who can deliver superb crosses, but they both seem to take them from the wrong sides. How often is a corner cleared and the opposition immediately on the counter attack? Yesterday even at 3-0 up Wigan left either Kone or Maloney up front.

3. Does Moyes not realise that the reaction to a team “out-tacticing” us (too frequent recently) has to be more than just Pienaar and Mirallas swapping flanks?

4. Why take off Mirallas who was as likely as anyone to either create or get a goal, when Osman was contributing nothing from the 1st to 90th minute? It reaffirmed what we all know about Moyes and his favourites

5. Re-wind to last season, would have been interesting if Drenthe had made the mistake that Neville made yesterday for the 2nd – I don’t suppose Moyes would have waited til half time to get him off and don’t suppose he would then be back in the starting XI a week later, like Neville will most likely be.

6. What has Vellios done wrong? I’m not necessarily for throwing the younger players in – I don’t think Barkley is anywhere near ready for a start and not sure if he can live up to misplace hype – but Vellios would have been a better option on the bench than Hitzlsperger to maybe change things.

7. It's rank poor management to not plan for injuries properly. Mucha may not have been at fault for the goals yesterday, but he has no authority, looks half asleep, and I am sure makes the defence in front of him nervous. If Howard is out for the season, this is what we have to go with and that’s poor from the manager. He should have brought in a better deputy at any point over the last 2/3 years.

Phil Rodgers
463 Posted 10/03/2013 at 15:08:26
With all the problems life throws up. Everton are just a problem I don't need. At 30 I am too young to have witnessed the glory years and too old and cynical to expect there will be any in the future. But I don't think anyone saw that coming. If a manager cannot motivate his players in a game as big as that then he does not deserve to be the manager of our club anymore. I am certain it's time for a change. Moyes has done well but he simply doesn't have the right to hold this club to ransom. Someone with fresh ideas has to come in who is proud to be our manager.
Ben Dyke
477 Posted 10/03/2013 at 15:20:18
There's not a great deal we can say about yesterday, but it does start to feel like a watershed, even after having some more time to calm down and think a bit more more rationally.

I think David Moyes is complacent in his beliefs about what works at Everton, having tasted the relative success of finishing top half and having an infrequent cup run. He trades off the fact that his tenure is better than the previous decade but what we really need now is someone who has a totally different belief system about Everton Football Club. Yes, the off field situation will probably remain just as bad for the next manager, but you just know now that a manager like Martinez, Laudrup, Rodgers (spot the Swansea theme) would approach things with a totally fresh mentality. And Yes I would take the odd crushing defeat of this approach with the freshness of a new manager, new beliefs about what's possible.

David Moyes has blatantly fallen out of love with Everton (who can blame him) and is now trying to lead a bunch of fellow jaded, overpaid 'stars' when he himself clearly is fed up. Yes, in his integrity he will try and motivate them and be 'professional' but thats not enough for football. We want passion, excitement, something to believe in. We tasted that under Moyes but its gone now and wont come back I believe until we have a new manager. It could go wrong but we all know its defintely worth a punt now. A line needs drawing after yesterday. It needed drawing before (and I say this as someone who is very positive about Moyes reign generally) but come on - its time for a new era at Everton.

Mark Scarratt
708 Posted 10/03/2013 at 19:58:47
I don't care if nobody reads this but I just need to vent my spleen
We were shit
No desire, no effort, no hunger, no idea
Donate your wages to charity you pathetic bunch of crap
Fellaini is supposed to be our star player and couldn't be arsed. Have an off day by all means, but at least put a shift in. Pathetic man. Leave so we can rebuild.
Thanks Moyes, you did okay but the time for change was about 3 years ago
Sell Howard, Heitinga, Fellaini, Jelavic, Naismith
Neville and Hibbert please retire
We can wave goodbye to the top 4, so lets build for the future and give the youth a go, we got nothing to lose.
Look at the semi final draw.
All we had to do was beat Wigan and the cup final was ours.
Wigan are bottom 3
We blew it big time

I could go on for ever, but what's the point.
Totally pissed off.

Yet again we bottled it on the big stage.
We need a new goalie, centre half, centre mid, right wing, striker x2 and a few decent squad players.

Finally congratulations to Wigan, well deserved, sorry we just couldn't give you a decent game

Darren Alexander
801 Posted 10/03/2013 at 23:07:09
I've backed Moyes since he took over but I think this season he's really got this all wrong - one of our big problems at the moment is trying to operate with a manager who will only deign to stay with us in the absence of a better offer in the summer (assuming he's not been tapped up already). This non-decision by Moyes has seeped into the side and turned what was a promising season into one which now offers nothing but essentially meaningless fixtures between now and May - no cups left to go for, no European place a realistic prospect, and no relegation battle. The arrogance of someone to say they'll wait and see how we do before signing a new contract - as if he has nothing to do with the team's performance? It's the sort of thing someone might say when they were thinking of renewing their season ticket. His faith in a charmed few players is also starting to grate - he talks about Tim Howard not being ready to play in the City game or whatever - but, hey, how about making Howard earn his place back? Mucha's had a lot of stick but has done OK these past two games - even in yesterday's shambles, where his main fault was being too easily occupied by the Wigan player on the line for the first goal. But Howard will always be picked ahead of Mucha in the same way as Neville will always be selected ahead of Hitz.
Moyes has done some good things for us but sadly he will be remembered by me (as someone lucky enough to remember the days when we won things) in the same way as I remember Walter Smith - chiefly, for not getting us relegated (although to be fair Smith was well on the way to achieving that when he got fired). Yep, we'll all remember the 4th place/champions league spot, but all the other league positions under Moyes tenure are unmemorable - completely unlike, say, just one success in either of the cup competitions.
Christopher Timmins
859 Posted 11/03/2013 at 06:49:20
Paul, I suppose I was reflecting on the last ten years rather than the events of Saturday. I have on several occassions made it quite clear that the captain should never be playing in the central mid field area. I also think that although Victor is not everyones cup of tea on this site he has shown over the past 3 months or so that he is our best option up top at this point in time. Like Duffy, who watches the Dutch man every Saturday it cannot be easy to spend most of your time on the sidelines while the centre forward goes on a 12 or so game run without a goal. Jags was a huge loss as he has been our best defender this season.

We have been playing badly for weeks and we need strenghtening. If we were going to push on after Christmas than we needed to buy both the Dutch midfielder and the Spanish centre forward. Liverpool and Newcastle took the cheque book out but not us. We have to sell to buy and we just get picked off by the stronger clubs. We have lost players to Man City and Arsenal in the last couple of seasons. Arteta and Lescott wanted out, they wanted the chance to win the big prizes.

When Everton could win, we could buy the best and keep the best. Now?

When the first whistle of the new season blows in August I want a manager who will get us playing more attractive football, Coyle had a good reputation before his time with Bolton.

Øystein Heggelund
865 Posted 11/03/2013 at 07:54:29
After Saturday's horror show I've been desperately trying to find out whether some cold comfort was to be taken from the youth team and their FA Cup semifinal against Norwich. At least give us some hope for the future! According to thefa.com this fixture was played on Saturday, but I simply cannot find out how it went, netiher at thefa.com or Everton's official site. Does anyone know??
Dave White
883 Posted 11/03/2013 at 08:50:25
Great piece Lyndon. It really does feel like the end of the Moyes era now, I've said in the past better the devil you know but the feeling of stagnation is overwhelming now. A change is desperately needed.

For me Saturday was far worse than the Liverpool disaster last season, this defeat was so comprehensive, and over the full 90 minutes I am struggling to take a single positive from it.

We have the core (5 or 6) of a really good team but those players need to be supplemented by young and hungry potential to reinvigorate the side which appears to have lost it's passion and belief.

Thanks David for your efforts but I think it's time to let someone else have a go.

Michael Brien
972 Posted 11/03/2013 at 12:58:24
A very good piece Lyndon, some food for thought there indeed. Yes the performance was absolutely dreadful. I remember as a student watching a less talented Everton team, play in 3 League Cup Finals and 2 FA Cup Semi Finals in 1977. We lost but we came away with our heads held high and pride that our team had pushed the opposition all the way. You could not say that about Saturday, I think only Mucha, Distin, Mirallas and Jelavic of the starting 11 were worthy of the shirt – the rest were truly diabolical.

Last week whilst off work sick – the effects of Chemo – I watched the DVD of the 3-0 win against Liverpool. It is very easy to forget that, even in that match – certainly for most of the 2nd half – we let Liverpool come at us and seem content to defend the 2-goal lead rather than build on it.

I am sorry but the lack of funds argument carries very little weight with me. There are many other managers in the PL who have had less transfer funds but who just get on with it. Laudrup at Swansea hardly brought in a load of mega signings did he? And if Moyes wants to play on the "lack of funds" card then why invest £15M on one player, Fellaini? Why not spend that amount on 4 or 5 players?

Moyes's comments about the lack of numbers in the squad is hardly going to encourage some of our young players, is it? And as others have mentioned the likes of Vellios, Barkley and Duffy have hardly been given the opportunity to show whether or not they are PL standard. The only way to find out is to give some of these lads a chance.

I think Moyes should go – personally I thought his attitude re the new contract was extremely arrogant and also I don't think it was very clever to "go public" as he did – hardly the stuff to build up the morale of players or fans. I think that he has taken us as far as he can, his tactics have become predictable and tired, we know we are going to get the same old same stuff. And if we can read him, then so can opposing coaches. Last summer when the Spurs job was available, Moyes was mentioned as a possibility. David Moyes or AVB – answer honestly who would you rather have as manager? And does anyone out there really think David Moyes would be a serious contender for say Chelsea, Man Utd, or Man City manager?

There have been many comments about the poor display on Saturday – but it wasn't just the team who were outplayed by Wigan, Moyes was outplayed by Martinez and I would go as far to say that Martinez will go on to do far better than Moyes in his career. Moyes needs to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for Saturday – he prepared the team, decided the tactics. He seems all to ready to accept the plaudits when things go well – he should be man enough to accept the blame when they go wrong. Martinez clearly picked his team up after a bad home defeat the previous week – can Moyes do the same? Time to show us what you are made of, Mr Moyes, and whether or not you are worthy of a new contract – never mind what you think and whether you will sign, that's not the point – do you deserve a new contract?

Colin Jones
279 Posted 11/03/2013 at 21:44:24
It's about time Moyes left, he continually plays the same guys and never tries to introduce young blood into the first team. I think we all remember the first few weeks when Moyes arrived, he stated that he would bring down the 'average age' of the first team squad, but alas today he only plays the 'dependable' over thirties. They must all go after the season ends and until then Moyes must start playing the younger guys in readiness for next season whether Moyes is here or not. Personally I hope he goes.

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