Is it right to flame Moyes for derby defeat?
You all saw it (if you didn’t, don’t watch it) so we’re not going to crawl all over that. It’s fair to say that David Moyes has received some serious criticism from his own fans, unusual for a manager who has been lauded from all sides recently.
That’s because, whichever way you look at it, this wasn’t just another defeat. The end of an unbeaten run. This was different.
So we’re going to take a different perspective, the argument for and against our manager and some of the accusations coming his way.
The ‘truth’ probably lies somewhere in the middle, right now, who knows?
Resting players for the derby?
For : This was a calculated gamble which didn’t pay off. The Blues have been slowly getting their players back from injury and this was a good chance to use the relative depth of the squad. The Spurs game was a grueller (tiring to watch even). Last night after a slow start, Everton started to improve and it was in fact our pressure which left us exposed for the first goal. That was always going to be vital. Had we turned our pressure (20 -30 mins) into a goal, we then had a durable line up well equipped to defend the lead.
Against : Why do they need a rest anyway? After last night they still had four days recovery time. After the class Jelavic showed on Saturday, why resort back to the likes of Denis? Heitinga and Distin have looked brilliant in the past weeks (three consecutive clean sheets against City, Chelsea and Spurs) and he changes it and we looked really dodgy at the back. And Cahill loves a goal at Anfield (a true derby day player) and doesn’t even get on. Doesn’t he realise that we care just as much as we do about the cup game?
Moyes’ away record against the ‘better’ sides?
For : This probably goes for most teams at ‘our level’. Villa/Newcastle scrape the odd win at Arsenal or whatever but it’s pretty tough going to these places. Let’s not forget the team who have spent more than any, Man City, are a glorious exception. Until this season, we couldn’t stop winning there. And we won at Chelsea on pens last season too.
Against : To have failed to win at Arsenal, Liverpool (OK no longer in the ‘big 4’), Chelsea and United is embarrassing. Let’s not forget how piss poor we were at Benfica, Sporting and Fiorentina. The team seem to go out trying to avoid defeat rather than planning to win. Last night was another in a long line of abject failures.
One up front is negative?
For : During Moyes’ reign, playing one up front (often with Cahill and at times Osman behind) has worked really for Everton. From Bent to Yakubu to Saha to Denis, we’ve seen hard-working strikers with support from behind meaning that we can effectively play five in midfield which helps the side defensively. Don’t forget the last three home games have worked well and when we try two (try Bolton home) it rarely works.
Against : One up front at home might work sometimes, but we’ve got nothing away from home by being negative. Even the away wins we’ve got this season have been very fortunate and it’s important to be positive as a statement of intent. We’ve consistently spent money on midfielders (Fellaini, Bily) when we’ve got loads of them and what we really need are two top strikers.
Rodwell to fulfil potential?
For : He has shown glimpses during his time at Everton what a fantastic player he can be. His goal against United at home was an indication of this, as was his part in the Arteta goal at Man City. Jack’s had a tough time with injuries, speaking of which he was excellent for England. He raises his game when the opposition is better and he’ll be a permanent fixture in centre-mid for years to come/as long as we can keep hold of him.
Against : Shite. Sell him asap. We’d get plenty of money for him and could strengthen elsewhere. If Spurs/United/whoever really want him, let him go. He doesn’t impose himself on games and just looks like he’s going through the motions. Seriously over-rated.
Winning the the big games?
For : That’s pretty harsh. Most of the teams we are playing against have got much bigger financial resources. We’ve beaten United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and City at home on a regular basis (more so than most around us) and we had the great cup run which saw us beat Liverpool, Villa and United (3 of the top 5). We ‘own’ City and don’t forget Chelsea away in the cup.
Against : Glorious failure is as close as we get. We didn’t turn up for the Cup final against Chelsea and even beating United to get there was against a reserve team and it took us penalties to do that. Fiorentina (home) was great but we still managed to ruin it on pens. A very average Liverpool team have done the double over us on far too many occasions and have left Goodison with three points times. We even lost both legs against Villareal.
So enough fence sitting, what are the views of Ian Marshall’s Matters?
Well on the derby thing you can see the rationale or logic of what he’s tried to do, but surely everyone was shocked by the number of changes. Another (preferable) view is that you play your best team, beat Liverpool and the momentum carries you on to beat Sunderland – even if one or two players are running ‘on fumes’. Maybe he feared the injury and red card riddled derbies of the past, but again that’s to fear the worst not the best.
If we’d beaten Liverpool and then Sunderland followed by being picked off by Arsenal, who really gives a shit?
On the other points, he’s right on one up front (like it or not it works) and our home record against just about anyone has been pretty impressive.
We defo need to see something more from Rodwell (flatters to flatter to deceive?) and we’ve been disappointing (and conservative) away for ages, even pre-Moyesy.
That’s it – over to you. See you Saturday.