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Papering Over The Cracks


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#1 The Beard

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 16:34

Lets get things into perspective and admit last night was an accident waiting to happen. a five match unbeaten run was papering over the cracks. apart from the second half of the Man Utd game, there was no real period of positive possession, perversely the only sustained periods of good play seen all season have been in the first half against Arsenal and the second half against Man Utd. Fulham, Bolton, West Ham and Boro, may count themselves unlucky not to have beaten us, I am not trying to be so negative, just honest.
So where lies the problem, last night the tactics and leadership must really be questioned before we even start on about individual performances. Having Cahill playing wide midfield, is he ever going to beat a full back to the by-line and put over a cross?, then switching him with Arteta every 10 minutes because things were not happening did nothing for continuity, every time there was a switch the rest of the midfield appeared to lose there own roles. There was no passion, no pace and definitely no skill. I lost count the amount of times the ball was either hoofed out of play or given away when no-one was under any pressure, basic skills that just seem to get worse. We where outfought and outplayed by WIGAN, yes Wigan, who with Lee Cattermole, a young kid who couldn't get a game for Boro running the show. At half time, who felt brave enough to make a change, well it wasn't Moyes. His substitutions leave a lot to be desired, waiting for 60 odd minutes before putting on a guy who can get stuck in, upset defenders, out on the wing rendering him worthless and a right back to accommodate a left back with 5 minutes ago smacked of clueless.
Spirit appears to have dissipated, Arteta appears elsewhere, Yakubu is having one of his strops(we where warned), Lescott has lost the plot with basic defending and Neville the ability to kick a ball have all accentuated events. Watching Neville trying to gee up the payers last night, when he lost possession so many times himself was comical or rather unbelievable.
Moyes needs to realise that some players are not indispensable and can be dropped, to be honest apart from Jagielka and Howard from last night that leaves one heck of a choice.
There are I believe many more problems to be resolved but I shall open that for debate and again lets not paper over the cracks and admit we are a very average and at times appear a poor side.
Before I go, maybe two words that may have played a big part in the abject performances we have seen so far this season.........Steve Round, Who?
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#2 Romey 1878

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 16:46

I was with you until your Steve Round comment.

FFS, he's one man and Moyes barely frigging talks to him on the bench during the games. If it's tactics that are to blame then that fall squarely on Moyes IMO. It's out of order to try and pin it on an ASSISTANT. At the end of the day Moyes gets the final say on everything and he looks lost on the touchline - no clue and no ideas, and he doesn't seem willing to turn to anyone else for ideas. Too big an ego perhaps?

That being said, the rest of what you said is spot on.
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#3 dark

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 16:57

I am with you on most points apart from like Mark said with Steve Round. He's an assisstant and won't really put all that much imput into the game we play. I don't think we should be holding most of the critisism against him. We do need to sort ourselves out about skill and passion. There was none last night, at spells I thought that Mo and Howard were the only one's trying and at times Mo didn't seem to bothered about us losing. Phil Neville played a stinker but he's done well this season on a while so we can't have a blast at him just yet, he's still a fantastic captain and calling him for jeering the team up is kinda' poor, he's the captain and even if he is playing poorly it's his job to get the team out of the dumps. Were going to struggle unless things turn around and serious work needs to be done.
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#4 Romey 1878

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 17:07

What is increasingly evident is that we're operating a system of square pegs and round holes. Last night we had Osman as a holding midfielder for god sakes. Everyone knew we'd have to replace the players we let go with similar players. We haven't replaced AJ's pace and work ethic and that's costing us big time, a lot more than I thought we would do and I'd guess that most people didn't think we'd miss him as much as we do. Carsley is another. I wasn't his biggest fan and I was happy to see him go tbh, and I think if he'd been replaced properly then we'd be pretty sound right now. It's not like it should have been a shock that he'd need replacing, he wasn't exactly young and would have needed replacing soon enough anyway. So it should have been a priority of Moyes' but evidently he hadn't even thought about it because he made a half arsed attempt at it and it's blew up in his face.

I'm angry tbh.
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#5 Bill

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 17:28

My heart bleeds to see so many professional footballers without a clue, never in my memory have i seen so many in our 1st eleven playing without the heart for a fight (bring back Joe Royles Dogs of war), i can forgive some players for not having an abundance of skill, but i will not forgive anybody who is not prepared to break into a sweat for the Royal Blue shirt.

50 thousand pounds for a couple of hours on a football pitch, is it too much to ask that they at least look as tho they are trying to earn the money and look as tho they are trying now and again.

I agree with everything The Beard has said, we have somehow managed to get some points that we did'nt deserve, because we have played rubbish all season, and bringing players on for the last five minutes of a game shows Moyes is having serious problems, like the Board of Directors above him, our manager also appears not to have any "plan B". <_<
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#6 Blue 250

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 17:38

Good post Beardy! I can take losing, but last night was hard work.We aren't as good as we think we are, and if we can't improve will find ourselves in that mad scramble at the bottom....because THAT bottom isn't really far below us.
Every time an Everton player got the ball, there was a blue and white striped shirt in his face, a bloody big blue and white striped shirt!We actually played some neat football at times, and a good job we did or Wigan would have walked all over us.
When their defenders/midfielders had the ball, they never had the same problem with us getting in their faces...WHY?
Yak laid a great ball into Sahars path, if he'd scored who knows! but we didn't deserve to win or even draw.
We haven't played well this season really.Like you said it was Bruce who made the change at half time, bringing on the goalscorer!Moyes has a lot of work to do, if we do get a buyer and are handed lots of money.....do we think Moyes will spend it wisely?
The Wigan players and manager wanted it more than ours....and that's not nice to watch :angry:
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#7 Ian

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 17:42

Totally agree, I think we have been very fortunate to pick up the majority of points we have this season. I've been a season ticket holder for 10 years now and this is one of the worst seasons I have seen. Sure, we have had worse teams but the lack of effort and heart shown this year has been very worrying.

Tactics have been questionable to say the least.

Substitions have occured too late (not that this is anything new under Moyes)

Players have looked slow/unfit/shadow of their former performances - fellani/yakubu/artera/cahill/lescott etc...

Expensive 'replacements' have confused me:

A) The manager admitted that he does not see him as a replacement to Cars...more of a cahill (15 million for a player who does the same job as a player who has performed this duty brilliantly for years now???????)

B) The player looks too slow, gives away countless amount of fouls, does not read the game well.

OK he shows a couple of good touches and has got a few goals but he nearly missed one of them (Bolton) and in the games he scored in, wasnt brilliant anyway. I hope Fellani proves me wrong I really do but for me the Jury is still out on him, I havnt seen him break a sweat yet.

As for the other 'additions' they again have been questionable. 'Papering Over The Cracks' sums this up brilliantly. For 15 million and a couple of smart loan moves would have been better than Panick Buying at the latter stages of the window. Moyes seems to have lost the thing that made him one of the most promising managers in the Prem..his eye for a bargain and getting the team to play as a team.

Please dont think I'm a doom merchant (I know it appears that way :lol:). I like Moyes and believe he has done an excellent job at the club but the board/players and himself have to take a good long look at themselves and fight for the club we hold so dear in our hearts.

NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM
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#8 The Beard

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Posted 25 Nov 2008 - 18:52

FAO, Romey and Dark. If you read properly I wasn't attaching blame solely on the shoulders of Round, if i was blaming him at all, hence the use of the word 'may'. I was merely pointing his input out, as first team coach, I am presuming he would have some say in what tactics are used and how players use them. If that's not the case then what is the point of him being there at all. Is it coincidence that we bring in an alternative second in command and performances drop? Either he is getting used to the Moyes and Everton way or Moyes and Everton are getting used to his.
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#9 carlmc25

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 10:20

Totally agree, I think we have been very fortunate to pick up the majority of points we have this season. I've been a season ticket holder for 10 years now and this is one of the worst seasons I have seen. Sure, we have had worse teams but the lack of effort and heart shown this year has been very worrying.

Tactics have been questionable to say the least.

Substitions have occured too late (not that this is anything new under Moyes)

Players have looked slow/unfit/shadow of their former performances - fellani/yakubu/artera/cahill/lescott etc...

Expensive 'replacements' have confused me:

A) The manager admitted that he does not see him as a replacement to Cars...more of a cahill (15 million for a player who does the same job as a player who has performed this duty brilliantly for years now???????)

B) The player looks too slow, gives away countless amount of fouls, does not read the game well.

OK he shows a couple of good touches and has got a few goals but he nearly missed one of them (Bolton) and in the games he scored in, wasnt brilliant anyway. I hope Fellani proves me wrong I really do but for me the Jury is still out on him, I havnt seen him break a sweat yet.

As for the other 'additions' they again have been questionable. 'Papering Over The Cracks' sums this up brilliantly. For 15 million and a couple of smart loan moves would have been better than Panick Buying at the latter stages of the window. Moyes seems to have lost the thing that made him one of the most promising managers in the Prem..his eye for a bargain and getting the team to play as a team.

Please dont think I'm a doom merchant (I know it appears that way :lol:). I like Moyes and believe he has done an excellent job at the club but the board/players and himself have to take a good long look at themselves and fight for the club we hold so dear in our hearts.

NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM

Excellent post and an excellent thread from Beard which I totally agree with. Our football under Moyes has generally been poor, but we have constantly moved in the right direction, the commitment has been there and finally last season it looked like we were building a young, exciting team which was prepared to pass and move, to hit teams on the counter attack and score some excellent goals - then this season the wheels appear to have fallen off. The football has degenerated to the worst in living memory, not just for one game but for every match so far this season. Results matter but the way we are playing we are surely only heading one way and that's down the table. As Bill said, lack of skill, lack of form etc is forgiveable but there can never be an excuse for lack of effort, that is the minimum everyone connected with Everton deserves and under Moyes we have received, but this season the workrate and will to win has been absent in too many games. IF our players had really cared, if they'd really got stuck in I think we could realistically be sitting in 4th position now, yet the players seem content to play abysmal, to turn up and get paid and just win the odd match here and there without pushing themselves. As lazy and infuriating as Yakubu has been he hasn't been helped by the absolutely terrible midfield. I was a massive fan of Carsley but even I didn't predict the massive hole his absence would leave in our midfield and I cannot believe that we didn't replace him properly. As Ian said, why buy Fellaini if he was always seen as a player of similar ilk to Cahill? Cahill has been our most effective player in a 451 for years, the player our team was built around so why get someone else in who can do his job, all it's done is totally unbalance the team and everyone is suffering. Cahill's form has dropped, his energy and desire appears to be evaporating and his partnership with Fellaini looks doomed. As Ian said, Fellaini just doesn't look up to it, no one can survive in the Premiership playing in his position unless they are mobile yet he is incredibly slow. When we signed him the Belgian fans were saying how he hated to lose, how he was some sort of running machine, yet so far he's looked disinterested in games and like he's about as fit as Anichebe last year.

Something needs to be done and Moyes needs to act. If he just came out and said, we're playing abysmal and we're struggling, then makes some changes I think the fans would react and back the team, but at the moment it's almost as if he's trying to pretend that everything is ok - not dropping players, saying how our performance against Wigan didn't quite match our recent performances (when in reality we've been rubbish for weeks - except for possibly 'Boro) and it's just starting to get to the fans. Coach's definitely can have an impact and I fail to see what positive impact that Steve Round has had on the team, I'm not saying things are his fault but I can't see how we've improved anywhere on the pitch since he's been here.
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#10 Romey 1878

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 10:42

Is it just me that feels like this is worse than the season we finished 17th with Rooney still in our side? It might just be because that was a while ago, but I feel more downhearted and like we're playing worse than then.
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#11 jofanon

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 11:12

I'd feel less bad if we were running our hearts out but were struggling for invention. I just see no passion with these guys at the moment.

Don't know why?

Moyes needs to shake things up. Its not like he much choice from the subs bench though.

Start bloody Baines for a start!
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#12 carlmc25

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 11:35

Is it just me that feels like this is worse than the season we finished 17th with Rooney still in our side? It might just be because that was a while ago, but I feel more downhearted and like we're playing worse than then.

I think it's the expectation levels, after finishing 5th last season everything since has been a disappointment - transfer window, UEFA cup, League cup and performances in the league. We all know the players are better than they are currently showing and I think we keep expecting things to turn around and something to click, yet at the moment every week we are let down by poor tactics, poor substitutions and poor performances. As you said earlier, having to use Osman as a sitting midfielder is an absolute joke, he's tiny, skinny and his main attributes are all going forward and yet he has to do the defensive job purely because no one else appears either up to it or willing to fulfil the role. To be fair to Osman, he was one of the only ones against Wigan who got stuck in and appeared to care and he deserves a lot of credit for the way he has tried to compensate for Fellaini's virtual non-existence alongside him.
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#13 EFC-Paul

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 12:46

I have to agree with everything that has been said its not looking good and i can not see it getting any better to be truthful. We have a tough run of games coming up and on current form we will be lucky to get two points out of a possible twelve and with only five points from or current position to the relagation zone i can see us slipping very quickly.
One thing i would like to say is that Moyes made a big blunder by letting it be known that we will not have any funds for January which wont fill the fans or players with any confidence. If we had kept hold of AJ like some have said his pace and desire would be more then welcome now and also brought in Hunt for 4-5 mil and a few loans we would be a much better squad in a far better position in my book.
I dont like sounding so negative and i hate being this disheartened about our Club but like Beard said if we are realistic i can see us having a very bad season.
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#14 The Beard

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Posted 26 Nov 2008 - 15:24

Ok, we have managed to get a few things off our chest, now lets look on the bright side(Yes there is one). The fact that apart from the top 3 or so, everyone appears to be able to beat everyone else. However whilst the likes of Stoke, WBA, Sunderland, Fulham, Blackburn etc. have to be at, for most part their best on the day, we are capable, as results have shown, of nicking wins when we play poor. Although this may not constitute great, flowing, attacking, pacy football it is something we have gotten used to over the past 4-5 years. Once Moyes gets that mentality and desire and passion re-instilled, things will pick up, it may not be pretty but damned effective......... Honest. Easy this football manager lark.
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#15 dark

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Posted 27 Nov 2008 - 07:31

Is it just me that feels like this is worse than the season we finished 17th with Rooney still in our side? It might just be because that was a while ago, but I feel more downhearted and like we're playing worse than then.


This seems to be one of the worst season that I've experianced as an Everton fan so far. I actually can't wait to finish it all still in the Premier League. We are now dangerously close (as everyone else it) to the relegation zone. We finished 17th and the spirit was low. But players like Campbell, Radzinski, Unsworth and Rooney helped to get the team going and in the end we survived.

I think that this season could turn out to be more of the same. Fellaini was bought and he was a fantastic player but one man dosen't change things around and that's what we need to realise. We need to understand that it's our own fault and that we should look to play our way out of trouble. I expect nothing like last season's performances but at least have some pride against the good teams.
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#16 nogs

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Posted 27 Nov 2008 - 13:15

I couldnt agree more Beard. Ive seen us play 90 minutes of good football all season - first half versus Arsenal, second versus Man Utd. Going five matches unbeaten and playing badly is fine - as long as you let that breed confidence and start improving. And tbh, I thought that was what was happening - we were dreadful against West Ham and won thanks to 5 mins of magic from Saha, and then played much better against Boro but just couldn't score. Again, fine, it happens - what you do is pick yourself up, regroup, concentrate on what you were doing right and go again. So where the performance against Wigan came from, I'll never know. Is confidence still that low in the dressing room that a home draw against Boro, despite on the whole not playing badly, can inspire a total no-show like that? Is there in-fighting, is Moyes losing the players? I just don't know. Ok, it's one result, but from looking at being back in the top five we're now staring at games against Spurs and Villa where, unless we improve dramatically, I can't see us getting anything, which will put us back in the bottom half. and yes, it is a very tight league and everyone is taking points from everyone, but we've got to concentrate on what we're doing, and the summary is still defence shaky, midfield totally unbalanced, strikers not looking potent enough. I await what kind of response we see at Shite Hart Lane...
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#17 Oztoffee

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Posted 29 Nov 2008 - 03:14

What an absolutely stunning post Beard. I've had 3 goes at putting my feelings on paper after the Wigan debacle, but each time I got so angry I couldn't put a sentence together without the f*** word in it!
Beard's post has put it all in perspective.
I can only add that weeks ago I said that Moyes' luck was running out and that he should re-sign before it was too late for him. How prophetic! But unfortunately it's turning out badly for the team. We have been lucky this season, having had some narrow escapes against crappy opposition and our position in the table belies how badly we've played.
Sorry guys, I really have given up on Moyes now. He should have gone weeks ago and I agree with one poster who said he f***ing clueless! (Sorry!)
I think maybe it's time for a replacement. Why? Because he's been really lucky since he took over at Goodison and his luck has run out!

Edited by Oztoffee, 29 Nov 2008 - 03:17.

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#18 Romey 1878

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Posted 29 Nov 2008 - 11:17

The thing that really bothers me is that after 6 years in charge our football is still absolutely dire. Sure there have been patches where we've played some excellent football but for the most part we're still a shockingly bad football side, Moyes seems to have no concept of how to play decent football. You can actually hear him on the touchline shouting for the full-back to hit the front man :huh: . We have a very capable midfield, fucking use them!
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#19 EFC-Paul

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Posted 29 Nov 2008 - 11:43

I agree in terms of playing good flowing football we are pretty dire in that department, I felt when Moyes took over he instilled abit of belief and we got down to being a solid unit similar to how Bolton played when they came into the Prem no flashy football but good effective hardwork and graft. The thing that worries me now as its obvious at the moment we are not playing as we used to is whether this is just a faze that will pass or is this what is in store for the remainder of the season.
I cant see any major improvement in how we are playing to be honest we are playing very poor football it seems we are low on confidence which we have been from the start of the season which can only fall on Moyes's shoulders plus with no funds come January to strenghen or add that much needed spark things look bleak to me as i've already said we will be lucky to get two points out of the possible twelve in the coming games and the league being so close this season we will soon find ourselves near the bottom three.
If i where Moyes i would start dropping players and giving younger lads a go as are football cant get worse and we will at least play with abit of heart.

Edited by EFC-Paul, 29 Nov 2008 - 11:44.

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#20 dark

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Posted 29 Nov 2008 - 13:24

The thing that bugs me about Everton now is that they have no passion. So far this season I have only been pleased with Neville, Jagielka and Fellaini. Players from last season like Lescott, Arteta and Yakubu just haven't looked good at all and should be better either at a differant club or on the bench. I would happily sell Yakubu and bring in Vagner Love.

We need to be better when going foreward, our confidence is low and we look scared to attack the ball from far out. Arteta has shown he can hit a ball (Fiorentina) and he seems scared to do it now, we seem to be moving backwards as a club rather than forewards and you have to look at Moyes to turn it around which I am sad to say he isn't.
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