I'm 35. I became an Everton fan in 1995 (too late, sadly, it was in the autumn). Apologies if this article is long-winded. In many respects, it's a form of therapy, if only for myself.

The net result, has been watching a club decline. Supporting a club that's a shadow of itself, in the shadows of two red clubs (supported by most of my immediate family), was a chore. When my siblings could celebrate signings like Cristiano Ronaldo or Xabi Alonso, I had to make do with players seeking a retirement home, like David Ginola, Paul Gascoigne, etc.

While my Manchester United supporting siblings could support home-grown players like the Class of '92 or, in Liverpool's case, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, Everton fans could support... well, every time we produced anyone half-decent, we sold them. Usually on the cheap.

The beauty of supporting Everton in the nineties and noughties was that you at least grew a thick skin. Because we were shit. It was embarrassing to support us.

Not for my generation, the highs of supporting a Championship winning side, or the odd FA Cup. Instead, we were treated to relegation battles, and the horrors of supporting a club that assembled a squad full of museum pieces that, almost 20 years later, Farhad Moshiri would promise would not be a museum. The nadir of this period was, of course, the 3-0 defeat against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup.

Into this, came David Moyes. I'll admit, this debate has been done to death on here. But I'll give you the teenager's perspective on the man. For the first time in my life, Everton weren't a complete embarrassment to support. Looking back, at the beginning, the football was... functional, occasionally, but tell me that you could do better when your centre-forward was an aging Kevin Campbell, your centre-midfielder was Mark Pembridge, and the average age of your back four was about 384.

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But we improved. We beat who we were supposed to beat (in the league, at least). We lost against who we expected to (sometimes, brutally). We were hard to beat, and hard to play against. We were fit, organised. The transfer dealings were savvy (they had to be: the Queen blinked when Bill Kenwright opened his wallet). And, of course, with notable exceptions, we were still, generally, shit in the cup competitions.

The football, especially between 2006 and 2009, was stellar, as we assembled a squad which most of us still yearn for this day – Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini, Baines, Jagielka. Modern day legends, albeit in an era where the word "legend" was bastardised.

Moyes left us in 2013. Many at the time argued he should have left years earlier, failing to recognise it was that the paucity of resources at the club, and not just the man's conservatism, that had kept him from bringing a trophy, and a win away at the old Sky Four.

Roberto Martinez came in (manager of Wigan Athletic, who had also humbled us 3-0 in the FA Cup – as I said, we're doomed to be shit in the cup competitions), and at last had a centre-forward to go with the squad assembled by Moyes. The football was sexy, the results were stellar, and we had a positive goal-difference (what a weird feeling).

Alas, even in that first season, the warning signs were there – the Boxing Day defeat against Sunderland, the nightmare against Crystal Palace, and, not unlike the full season under Carlo Ancelotti, a late-season collapse of results that would cost us Champions League football.

What followed were two seasons of some nice-looking but impotent football, the erosion of the team ethic assembled by Moyes, and a transfer policy that saw us eschew the signings of players like Andrew Robertson, Harry Maguire, etc, in favour of the likes of Ramiro Funes Mori. Is it any wonder that playing Football Manager as Everton in the 2010s was such a chore? Everton, that.

Then… we finally had money!!! We were paupers no more. A rich man, as promised by the our great saviour and Chairman, who gave us Destinaton Kirkby – and who gave Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. We hired Ronald Koeman as our new manager, and Steve Walsh as Director of Football.

And they squandered that money on a succession of players who nobody else would bid big money for. There are many canny people on this very website, who warned 5 years ago that this largesse would come back to punish us. But hey, the rich man would continue to finance his toy, right?

For a little while, he did. Right as Bill was about to get the gang back together, bringing back David Moyes, Moshiri stuck his oar in again, bringing us Carlo Ancelotti (I, personally, wanted Steve Cooper, given that, as a Welsh man, I was familiar with the work he was doing at Swansea City).

For a little longer, Moshiri continued to sign cheques. We spent a small fortune on a midfield that we couldn't afford, and whom we would not be able to sell (does any of this sound familiar?). Like Martinez, his first full season was initially a revelation. The Champions League, and even the league itself, was within reach: we were 2nd in December! But, like Martinez's first season, this too collapsed.

Two more years of utter calamity followed, Moshiri continuing to hire names rather than working to a plan – this can be seen in the fact that the two hires were so utterly antithetical in both nature and footballing style and philosophy. The cheques, however, were no longer being sent, except to pay for our beautiful new stadium.

Once again, Everton, the second love of my life, were an embarrassment. Once again, we were reduced to signing the old, the feeble, and the unwanted. We were easy to play against, disunited, relying on the brilliance of Richarlison, the heroism of our one-man wall, Jordan Pickford, and the very rare appearances of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Almost by accident (at least to my eyes), we stumbled upon Sean Dyche. Many of us championed the man's hiring, while others had been burned before by Everton hiring the manager of a club that had been relegated the season before.

Rather like the end of the 2001-02 season, the football was... functional, occasionally, but tell me that you could do better when your centre-forward was Neal Maupay, your centre-mids were... well, forgive me for thinking that you've already read this. We survived. Again. Like the season before, and like in 2002, we survived.

Over the summer, it was clear that Sean Dyche had prioritised fitness, team spirit, and hard work. Maximum effort was the minimum expectation, right? Except for the start of the season, we have beaten who we were supposed to beat. We have lost against we expected to, except it has generally been unlucky, as opposed to the chastening beatings which we have become far too accustomed to.

We are hard to beat, and hard to play against. We are fit, organised. And rather like they were under David Moyes, the transfer dealings were savvy (they had to be: the King blinked when Everton Football Club opened her wallet).

Once again, we were living hand-to-mouth. Once again, we were relying on the pragmatic skill of a manager who demands hard work and prizes endeavour over élan (as a Welshman who's spent nearly 16 years watching Warren Gatland do the same for our international rugby team, it's very familiar).

This time, however, there are differences. Owing to two separate circumstances: (1) the predations of the Premier League, who have used us to try to argue against the need for an independent regulator, and (2) the removal by circumstance of our former and current owners.

We have a new stadium being built. This stadium will be the envy of every club (other than Tottenham) in England, and will finally allow Everton to move away from our museum, and to move forward to a future. The fanbase are united, in opposition to the Premier League, and at long last, in allegiance with a club which has for too long taken us for granted, treated us as an embarrassment, and which, in the spring, sold us out to the media in an attempt to deflect attention from the way which she had been run by both Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright.

What we are seeing at Everton Football Club at the moment is nothing less than the gradual erasure of all the damage done to herself, by herself, by her management and custodians over the past decade.

In 2013, the club welcomed a manager who promised exciting football, and to ease the shackles of a superb, but limited manager who had dragged the club as far as he could.

In 2023, Everton welcomed a superb, but potentially limited manager, replacing a manager who had promised exciting football, but who had ushered the club to the brink of the abyss.

I'd like to see my beloved Everton win something. But, for now, I'll settle for what I had under David Moyes. A club which spends carefully, which is able to stand up for herself, and which can, from time to time, give the elite a bloody nose.

Reader Comments (49)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 26/12/2023 at 08:48:32
A well written article, Rob. From the heart.

I guess it's a generational thing.

I wouldn't accept the Moyes-style years. Plucky little Everton.

I don't remember when I started supporting Everton. I just always did since I can remember. My earliest memories are the mid to late 70s. No choosing. Just Everton.

My standard are the tales of the 60s and my own experience in the 80s. I apologise to the lost generation, but that is my marker for this club, one of the greatest institutions in English football.

Never drop your standards or expectation. Always believe in the impossible. The title says it. Back to the Future.

Forty years on (yes 40) from the dark December of 1983 when we were staring down the abyss, who knows what can happen?

Dyche is doing a really good job in difficult circumstances. And he is no Sam Allardyce. We play some good stuff as we demonstrated against Tottenham and were unlucky.

Spirit. Forever.

Brendan McLaughlin
2 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:10:23
Perhaps the most balanced, thoughtful and realistic assessment of the last 25 years I've ever had the misfortune to read.

Good one Rob.

Christopher Timmins
3 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:19:19
Rob, your expectations reflect the situation which the club found itself when started to support it. Having not experienced titles / cups during the past 33 odd years it's maybe easier to live with that as "what you don't have you don't miss".

I barely remember the teams in the 1960s but the team of the mid-1980s, will live with me forever and so I cannot accept anything less than trophies coming our way.

Your assessments of the various managers is spot on in my opinion and the recently departed manager at Nottingham Forest would not have been a bad shout either.

Happy New Year to all!

Dupont Koo
4 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:26:01
Well written, Rob.

The only thing that I would beg to differ is that under our NSNO motto, the Moyes era (notwithsstanding the season we finished 4th) should only be viewed as a Pain-Killer that got a lot of Evertonians to sit on their laurels.

A lot of Evertonians don't know much about the mid-1980s success under Kendall, but just go to the Wikipedia and read about the stats, the tables & the Champion Trophies during that time: the Moyes era is not to be compared to that period of time by any means.

IMHO, until our beloved club has achieved something comparable to the likes of Real Madrid, Barca, the Mancs & Bayern (look up against whom that we won the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup, the equivalent of Europa Conference Leagues, at worst, nowadays) should we be satisfied.

With BMD going to get us closer, why stop dreaming AND dreaming BIG?

Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:27:50
Great story Rob.

It's the endearment for Everton Football Club, that keeps Evertonians going.

There's a long way to go but I believe that on the playing side, Everton is on the right track.

The Spirits of the Evertonians, past, present and future, ensure that this Football Club, will will always be very special.

All have a great Boxing Day!

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:29:05
You write very calmly considering you are talking about the decline of our great football club, Rob.

It didn't look like decline because the club averaged around 7th place in the league for a good few years, but football is about winning, so it was during this era that the people involved in Everton Football Club, began to fail the history of the club's illustrious past.

A new dawn is upon us so hopefully Sean Dyche, can get Everton competitive in the cup competitions, and finally give those younger Evertonians – who have definitely stood the test of time, and more – a trophy that they all deserve🤞

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 26/12/2023 at 10:54:23
A story of the Blues, in your time, very well told, Rob.

I couldn't stand Moyes but I understand your point of view; he gave you a better team to watch than you had been used to. Although I have to point out that, while Everton had little money to operate with during Moyes's spell, he was one of the highest-paid managers in Europe.

The rest of your story most of us will agree with, we all suffered the agony and embarrassment that you did, thanks to the way the club was run.

Sean Dyche coming in has started, and hopefully continues, the slow rise of Everton FC to where we once where. Every now and again, we would win or contest for silverware and produce some wonderful and exciting players to applaud and savour with plenty of poor and barren seasons in between.

Thanks again for your post, Rob, I hope in 10 years time you will make a terrific post of how the team has won that silverware again in a most majestic way.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 26/12/2023 at 11:03:45
Great piece, Rob. Nice balance of realism and cautious optimism.
Rob Jones
9 Posted 26/12/2023 at 11:26:18
I do hold to the belief that we're on the up. Sean Dyche is exactly what we need at this time, and, despite the protests of some upon his hire, the man is not a Sam Allardyce (I'd like to add, by the way, that as much as we may all dislike the man, I don't believe Everton would have plumbed the depths we have since we sacked him had we held our noses and drank the medicine, bitter and acidic though it was).

My opinion, as you'll surmise from the article, is that Sean Dyche is an updated David Moyes, in every respect. They hold similar footballing philosophies, they don't tolerate bullshit, and their teams are honest, hard-working, tough. I do accept that view of the older generation, who have watched this movie before, and recognise that the leading actor has limitations, and will not be able to win the Oscar.

For now, I'm content with the direction of travel. As a fan I've known humiliation, a period of respectability, and then a time of hubris which brought another long stint of humiliation. Right now, I'll take the respectability.

Until we get another John Moores, or we get purchased by some savvy consortium, we're not getting back to the top. If we're very lucky, we won't get asset-stripped by the crooks we're about to be sold to. With that in mind, respectability is probably the best we can hope for. For now, anyway.

I want that trophy.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 26/12/2023 at 11:44:06
Good article, Rob.

I have about 6 years on you as being an Everton fan but, apart from the cup win, there was nothing much of note in that time.

It's been fairly depressing throughout but there's a few reasons for optimism:

1. Dyche is genuinely good.

2. Thelwell is also performing well given the financial constraints.

3. The Kenwright era is over.

4. The Moshiri era is almost over.

5. We will soon have the best stadium in the city (and one of the best in the country).

6. As Moyes and Martinez showed, you don't need a fortune to build a very good side – you just need to shop in the right markets for the right profile of player.

7. The support is almost unbelievably good, given how hard the past 35 years have been.

8. We have the makings of a very good side. With the addition of a high-quality Number 10 and a right winger, the first XI would be excellent (albeit the second XI is still ropey).

9. The club seems to care about the cup competitions again.

10. Before too long, we can reasonably expect European football again.

Rob Dolby
11 Posted 26/12/2023 at 11:47:19
Good post, Rob. We have thousands of fans your age that haven't seen us lift a trophy, there must be some great stories out there. Are you the rebel in the family?

Under Moyes, I was fed up with the continual lowering of expectations. Sport should be about aspiration – not gracious defeats. He is at it again at West Ham. The man is good at his job but very dour. We are well shut of him. If Kenwright had got his way, he would have been back here instead of Ancelotti. That last sentence sums up the then-chairman.

I don't see Dyche as being anything like Moyes. He is a positive person, he builds the players up and credits them for their performances. He has surprised me with his tactical nous.

He is getting the best from what we have rather than trying to enforce a playing style on players like Lampard did.

The club is a shambles with Dyche being the shining light holding it together on the pitch. We need some stability off the pitch which I don't see happening with 777 Partners.

UTFT.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 26/12/2023 at 11:54:04
If Dyche doesn't become a better Everton manager than Moyes, then I will be very surprised, Rob D.

As you rightly say, he comes across as much more positive, and I also feel he is a lot less egotistic than David Moyes.

Barry Hesketh
13 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:11:48
In normal circumstances, what Dyche is doing and, with the core of the team of the right age and ability, I would be very optimistic about the club going forward.

However, so much of the other stuff is up in the air, will the points deduction be reduced or removed?

Will the new owners be interested in the football side of the club, or will they interfere in order to keep all of their own plates spinning?

I think the club is entering a tipping-point period, where the loyal and long-suffering Evertonians, may start to question that apparent unquestioned loyalty to the club as they've given so much as a fan-base, yet seen very little in return.

If Dyche can keep producing a team that tries to compete and plays in such a way that is defensively sound, yet able to create chances, then many will see that as progress, but the true test not just for Dyche but for the club, is can something be built that will stand the test of time or will we continue to see the revolving door approach, where key players are sacrificed for the financial good of the club, but to the detriment of building a team.

We hope that 2024, sees a more stable environment for everyone connected to the club to work in, and that the football stuff is left to the football people. Less noise and more poise might see us progress significantly, once the task of remaining in the division is accomplished.

Happy New Year to all ToffeeWebbers and we'll continue to march down Goodison Road until it's time to leave our cherished home.

Joe Hurst
14 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:17:36
I would have to add my name to the “Anti-Moyes” list.
History has shown him to a ‘blushed flush'. We couldn't show progress against ANY of the league's leading clubs, and he showed how he earned the nickname of “captain KITAPO”.

I'm proud to have followed this club all my life. The only time I've been to Wembley is the ‘84 FA Cup. (I didn't turn 10 until August of 1984!)

It's a love I've always had, this devotion to Everton.
Weekends were spent at my grandparents, down hill by a few hundred yards from Shaw Street – I could see Prince Rupert's Tower from the bungalow I stayed in.
#UTFT

Rob Jones
15 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:33:05
Rob (11), I'm an Everton fan by pure chance. My mother's side of the family were from Manchester, and they (and most of my siblings) are Manchester United fans. One of my brothers rebelled, and chose to support Liverpool (strange boy). I was bought an Everton shirt from a Butlins sale, and by default, Everton chose me.

I'd have to admit that it's more or less shaped my personality. Fatalistic and defiant to the last (honestly, I think Everton, both as a fanbase and as a club, have always been at their best when we've had an enemy to defy or defeat - in punishing us so grievously, the Premier League have done more to unify the club and the fanbase than anything else has since the early 90's).

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I have no problem admitting that Moyes has his limitations. When he was given the "big job", he was unable to handle the expectations of the club or the fanbase, and he was quickly found out. I disagree with the take that's he been found out at West Ham, however. He's built a good squad with meagre resources, largely funded by the sale of their best homegrown talent (the man's entire career is a rerun, apparently). The porn kings have seldom put money into the club. Their fans, in the meantime, have reached the point we did in the years before he left us in 2013 - grateful for the respectability and the progress, but wanting more. I hope for their sakes that their owners are more sensible in choosing his successor than the man who chose ours.

Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:34:03
I think this piece proves, whatever your view of Everto,n the experience is derivative of your generation.

Being of an early '60s vintage, I measure Everton as a major power tainted by an unhealthy scarring caused by Liverpool's empire emerging at exactly the same time.

Their growth and our deficiencies since 1970 made the entire experience a monumental disappointment. The handful of seasons when the sun shone culminated in a Merseyside cup final which I knew was the acid test. Beat them and the Shankly-inspired life blood would drain away being their first real setback since promotion from the Second Division.

Of course we fucked it up and eventually vanished into the ether and they gained strength.

People don't like to admit it but, for some of us, success will only be total when we've killed those across the park.

Dale Self
17 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:39:15
Nice Rob, you and I started up in the same season. The comparison is valid no doubt. I would only offer that some differences are where the league was financially and the early observation that we can take out some of the bigger clubs now.

If this present form holds through the injuries we may be at an inflection point here that offers more than what was possible with Moyes. Davey did the job no doubt but the style was quite static and even with addition of some quality players that style was fixed. Dyche has shown an ability to build here whereas at Burnley he never had the chance. The way Everton is unfolding new ways of playing and finding ways to win gives me considerable optimism not just for the football but also for the club overall. The grass is good.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:52:18
Barry @16.

Your post number is an Omen.

16th March. Mark the date.

We take them.

And I'll still stand in the Arkles for my Grandfather and look them in the eyes.

Every single one of them.

David Bromwell
20 Posted 26/12/2023 at 13:38:04
The thing I remember most about the Moyes era was that he had a positive effect off the pitch as well as on it, and although his style of football was sometimes frustrating, he did restore the club's reputation and made us respectable.

I have been supporting the club for over 70 years and, whilst there have been successful periods on the pitch, off the pitch the management of the club has been poor. I was offended when Benitez called us a 'small club', but I think on reflection he was right. And this will make restoring the club's fortunes on the pitch all the more difficult.

It's great to see our present manager and his team working wonders with a limited budget but we have a mountain of debt and no realistic way of resolving this situation, and it seems that our most likely new owners have no clear plan either.

So, as we approach 2024, more than ever we need people with a clear business plan and deep pockets to steer the club away from years of reckless mismanagement. Only then will we have any chance of bringing back success on the pitch.

Barry Rathbone
21 Posted 26/12/2023 at 15:45:29
Dan 19

Your undiminished optimism and hope together with all who join under the same banner represents the true lifeblood of this club - never lose it.

Curmudgeons like me are nearly lost causes - nearly.

Brendan McLaughlin
22 Posted 26/12/2023 at 21:42:50
Rob #9,

Good call on the Dyche/Moyes comparison. Dyche really is the second coming of the ginger.

We just have to hope that he doesn't have the limitations which ensured that Moyes would only be a very good manager rather than a great one.

I'm optimistic as far as Sean is concerned... looking forward to the New Year.

Been quite a while since I felt like that.

Robert Tressell
23 Posted 26/12/2023 at 21:50:58
I think the Moyes comparisons are fair – but certainly Joe Royle too… and you could make a case for Ancelotti.
Paul Hewitt
24 Posted 26/12/2023 at 21:57:48
Until Dyche gets us at least six Top 7 finishes, there's no comparison.
Brendan McLaughlin
25 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:01:53
Paul #24,

Moyes's first few seasons were a bit of a roller-coaster.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:08:49
No Everton manager should ever be able to stay in the job by delivering six Top 7 finishes and the sum total of nil trophies, in twelve seasons.

David Moyes was a very, very, very lucky manager and wouldn't have lasted more than a couple of seasons during any other era, imo.

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:12:58
What Tony says.

Without the points deduction, which we could claw back, we'd be 10th knocking on the door ahead of Chelsea and Bournemouth.

Expectation to compete and succeed.

Brendan McLaughlin
28 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:20:36
Tony #26,

If Sean does that albeit in a different era, he'll be here as long as he wants to remain although one of the monied clubs would probably tempt him away.

Hopefully he'll do much better but stay longer.

Hope you had a good Christmas, Tony.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:23:10
Joe (14),

Your grandparents must have lived close to where I spent my first 20 years at the bottom of Everton Brow.

Rob Jones
30 Posted 26/12/2023 at 22:56:37
Comments on Moyes' finishes need to be placed in the context of the club's penury. No, he wouldn't have lasted 12 years in any other era.

The reality was that, like now, the club didn't have a pot to piss in, and Kenwright had an irritating habit of not putting any fucking money into the club. Which meant that we kept having to sell our best players.

Don Alexander
31 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:00:31
Even though it's Christmas, I'm sorry to say that I can't see any reason at all to be cheerful on our immediate, years minimum, future.

The reason for that is the total crock of shit deluged on us by Moshiri and those who pulled his strings.

It'll take years, colossal good fortune, and skill and integrity in the boardroom, to shake off the depths we've been plunged to.

In the meantime, I admire and respect the way Dyche, his staff, and the players are just now displaying a professional attitude despite the vicissitudes we fans have had to put up with for decades.

Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year in your private lives folks!

Jeff Armstrong
32 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:21:51
Do you know what? After reading about those Moyes years, I cannot believe after first staving off relegation and given all the resources and money he was handed by Kenwright he didn't actually challenge for the league title in his fourth season, I mean it was on a plate for him wasn't it?

No? … Keeping us in mid-table and getting into Europe, and the odd semi and final was complete failure in some fans' eyes. I don't remember you moaning back then, oh and to get into a semi you need to win a quarter, which we failed to do last Tuesday. (Sorry, Sean, I really rate you.)

Not Moyes's biggest fan but get real on here some people.

They were the best years of some fans' lives.

Brent Stephens
33 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:26:37
Dave #29,

Do you remember Havelock Street? All built over now?? Steep as fuck.

I used to cycle from the Old Roan just to try to ride up Havelock Street. Cobbled as I remember it. Out of the saddle and therefore with the back wheel hardly making any traction with the road.

Brendan McLaughlin
34 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:43:06
Jeff #32,

Not the best years for me but Moyes did us proud.

A lot of managers after couldn't hold a candle to the man!

Jeff Armstrong
35 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:53:24
Brendan #34,

But they were the best years for anyone under 36, and some of those years were decent. Yet plenty on here dismiss those years as irrelevant and a waste of time, that is so disrespectful to the fans of that time who enjoyed those seasons.

They weren't “good times” as Kenwright tried to sell, but they were better times than the last 7 years,.

No Everton manager should stay by delivering six Top 7 finishes and the sum total of nil trophies in 12 seasons.

Well TA, with a couple of cup runs, it's about average for Everton on a 12-year cycle. Not too shabby given our history.

Don Alexander
36 Posted 26/12/2023 at 23:56:20
Jeff (#32), you're absolutely right in saying a Europa tie or two are the highlights for so many young fans when the very wealthy-on-our-back-power-that-never-was employed the fabulously well-paid sycophant Moyes to do his thing.

In 2018 Dyche matched Moyes whilst at Burnley, with a team created by way less spending.

Still, if some want to revere Moyes-under-Kenwright it just shows to me how much that shithouse (and I have no gripe with Moyes) has to answer for in causing our demise for decades.

Repudiate In Perpetuity.

Brendan McLaughlin
37 Posted 26/12/2023 at 00:15:00
Jeff #36,

I'm 37, I wish.

I'm very fortunate to have watched Everon under Howard Kendall but dismissing Toffees because they are "younger", haven't seen success, and are willing to accept shite.... sorry not for me.

Brendan McLaughlin
38 Posted 27/12/2023 at 00:38:47
"Well TA"

That's you Tony...

I'm using that...Ta Ta

Ian Pilkington
39 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:09:25
David Moyes:

Not a single away win v the then Sky Four.
An FA Cup defeat at Shrewsbury who finished bottom of League Two.
4th place tarnished by a negative goal difference following a 7-0 humiliation at Arsenal.
A feeble FA Cup Final defeat.

I could go on….

Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 27/12/2023 at 01:58:33
Christopher Timmins points out you expect based upon what you first watched.

I started watching Everton in the Spring of 1984. So does that make me lucky or unlucky? I dunno…

Steve Brown
41 Posted 27/12/2023 at 05:18:01
Moyes will never change.

The 5-1 defeat inflicted on the Hammers in the Quarterfinal of the Carabao Cup at Anfield proves it.

He always bottled the big games.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 27/12/2023 at 06:30:07
Jeff @35,

Moyes served his purpose for several seasons and then it got frustrating for a lot of supporters. There were a couple of seasons where we played some decent stuff, but then more when we were not easy on the eye in my opinion.

I've long given up blaming managers. It's down to how the club has been owned and managed. But there was a point when his time was up. In hindsight, he'd taken us as far as he could at the time with the resources available.

I don't think Moyes helped himself with some of his language. The "knife to a gunfight" quote preparing for a match against tonight's opponents still grips me and epitomised his and Kenwright's plucky little Everton. And the manner in which he departed is still shrouded in controversy for many. I'm talking about a relative here, but he didn't seem to come over as being totally honest about how it came about.

The capitulation against Martinez's Wigan and that semi-final. We frequently froze on the big stage when the expectation was there.

It's a generational thing. They are my youngest brother's best Everton years. For me, I eventually got frustrated as my expectations were different.

Anyway, I wish I hadn't been drawn into a conversation about West Ham's manager on match day. We've got Sean Dyche, the team and Manchester City to think about. Incidentally, Dyche has surprised me if I'm being honest. We may not dominate possession, but we play some good stuff, especially when we go forward.

I would never dismiss young Evertonians, Brendan. My son was born 5 months before we last won a trophy and is as passionate as me. If anything more sensible.

When I'm on my travels watching the Blues, I am amazed at the young supporters driving the team on, starting the singing and bouncing in the concourses around the country at half-time. It makes me smile with pride.

It's easy for me as I know what we've had and believe we will get back there. They've had nothing yet they keep going and believing. Total respect.

Dave Williams
43 Posted 27/12/2023 at 10:37:12
Times have changed and a top 7 finish is now more difficult because there are more teams with money to spend and we have blown all of ours!
Mites was a good manager who ruined his name as far as we are concerned with the manner of his leaving and his behaviour afterwards in trying to get Baines and Fellaini on the cheap. I think he went stale in his last couple of years and possibly found it hard to keep motivating himself. He built a good team with Arteta and Pienaar and had we acquired a top striker that would have made the difference in the same way as we would have won the league back in the 1970s had we signed Shilton.
Dyche is impressive and is showing that his teams can play good football. He hasn’t had the chance to show this in the past and needs to keep hold of his good young players if he is to be allowed to show what he can do with us. We have taken the so called “ big name” managers/ players/ director of football Road before and wasted a fortune on has beens who had no real interest in the job. Dyche has a lot to give if we give him the chance.
Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 27/12/2023 at 11:12:10
Brent (33), Yes Havelock St. was close to St. George’s church, all those streets were very, very steep and you see plenty of boxers and athletes, I presume, doing their training around there, ask Tony about those streets and how he used them for training, this was when he finished with football.

You did very well to get up that street cobbled or not, how often did you attempt those rides?

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 27/12/2023 at 11:33:27
Jeff (35),Yes of course those years under Moyes for anyone under 35 were decent in comparison with most other managers since but I was complaining about Moyes quite a lot in the Pink Echo from the time Wayne Rooney played, he never knew how to use him, was more interested in not losing rather than concentrating on how to win the game in far too many games, my final letter to The Echo, about Moyes, was when he went with the headline “ Free at last, Free at Last, Free at last”. We’ve had worse managers since but I would never want” Dour Dave “ back here, once bitten and all that.
Brent Stephens
46 Posted 27/12/2023 at 11:40:27
Dave #44, did it just a couple of times, enough to say you've done it. I can just imagine your Tony running down Havelock Street!
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 27/12/2023 at 12:38:49
Brent (46), Tony came here just after I wrote that post @ (44), I told him about Havelock St. he started laughing, he helped run The Sandon Sunday football team, full of characters, auld arses and pisstakers, he said when he took them to Havelock St, for a run up and down most of them said “ Fuck that for a laugh”!!

He took them to a couple of other streets around there not as severe as Havelock Street but still tough going.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 27/12/2023 at 12:43:05
Dave #47 - great stuff.
Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 27/12/2023 at 13:04:00
My criticism is not really directed at Moyes, Jeff, but more towards the disgusting regime, that seemed to rejoice at turning us into plucky little Everton.

I never understood the bit about us punching above our weight either, because I’m sure we usually came around seventh, and had the seventh or eighth highest wage bill around this period?

I thought Moyes left us a good team, and I also thought he was very unfortunate to be without some of his best players for the cup final, but do you think he would have been given longer than two years if he had been serving at Everton, under any other era?

I don’t, but maybe I just always had it in for Bill Kenwright? This man changed the narrative, and although he always spoke about Everton in glowing terms, Everton football club had always won at least one major honour for most of our existence (except after the Second World War) which is a bit more than what you said about twelve year cycles Jeff?

Brendan, I grew up always expecting Everton to compete and was never really interested in just making up the numbers. Ta Ta, was something that I knew the mancs were going to be saying to David Moyes, very quickly, because although most shrewder people could see Sir Alex, hadn’t left David, the greatest squad, I think Moyes forgot about football, the minute he got the Man Utd job?

Nicholas Ryan
50 Posted 28/12/2023 at 16:12:33
Rob, I mean it as a compliment, when I say: 'I've read your piece and I have nothing to add.'

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