Embattled Manager of the Week: David Moyes

Embattled Manager of the Week: Everton's David Moyes
Moyes... Embattled (Image: Jason Gulledge)

Wednesday’s windswept home defeat to Bolton Wanderers felt like a nadir to many a disgruntled Everton supporter, so naturally the various online forums – always a hotbed of reasonable, informed defeat debate, of course – have seen a sharp incline in complaints pertaining to one David Moyes. Football Burp snuck a peak, scanned the available information like some voyeuristic Terminator and reproduced some of the more eye-catching comments below…


Embattled Manager of the Week…

David Moyes, Everton

Stands accused of…

“Even though I am firmly in the ‘done an amazing job with #### all resources’ camp, at what point am I allowed / supposed / going to think ‘I do believe he has taken us as far as he can under these circumstances’? Cos it’s starting to irk me now. Obviously not as much as our beloved custodians do, though …” – GOMH, The People’s Forum

“It’s not like Moyes was forced in to that team selection, he easily had other options, Heitinga and Neville as our only two midfielders, Jesus f***! Heitinga fair play to him did his job defensively and can’t really be faulted but what can we expect to create with those two in a midfield of 4. We’re just too static and predictable and Bolton knew exactly how to shut us down, just like any team would by now, we actually have the players to vary our formation and style of play, but no it’s the same shite week in week out from Moyes who daren’t try anything new. Never thought I’d say this but I would no longer be sad to see him go, we are stale and yes the board may have it’s part to play but the fact remains we still have a lot of quality in that squad, just perhaps not the right man to bring it out.” – SaboEFC, Blue Kipper

“His inability to use the best players for their position is incredible. He selects the XI with minor attributes and not their actual strenghts. What does he manage if he only picks the most self-managing people and while his tactic is to defend for a draw and maybe snatch a win, we have material to win bad teams like Sunderland, and the track record for actually defending a draw this season doesn’t really exist. We’ve been shipping in goals like **** and we don’t pose a threat up front.” – somuchfun, Grand Old Team

“So sick of this walter smith clone, i honestly don’t know how bad things would have to get before our supporters would rise up against this shite. And before people make excuses about a lack of funds or having to sell players, kenwright is the fault of that but moyes continually backs his chairman to the hilt. It wasn’t always like that, moyes used to talk about the need to find money to take us to the ‘next level’ or he at least used to try put pressure on the board to come up with extra cash. But he doesn’t do that anymore and you can trace that back to him signing his new hefty contract. We sold lescott around that time too so perhaps that transfer made him realise he would never get us to that ‘next level’, perhaps kenwright promised him his massive wage rise if he’d play the game with him a bit more and dampen expectations amongst supporters rather than talk about pushing the board to find money that they are incapable of doing so. No matter what has happened, it’s very clear that the moyes of the last couple of seasons is a pale, pale shadow of the man who revitalised us a decade ago. People who talk about what he has achieved in the past need to wake up and see what is happening in the here and now.” – Ger, The People’s Forum

“It’s unreal that we have two sh*te defenders playing in centre mid.” – Liam-EFC, Blue Kipper

“What does he expect when he plays Neville and Johnny CM. I honestly do think that there are plenty of managers out there who can do a better job than Moyes at the moment, and Kenwright is used as an excuse far far to often. Kenwright dosent pick the negative team every week thats Moyes, Kenwright dosent wait until were a goal down to change things thats Moyes, Kenwright dosent start 2 defensive mids every game thats Moyes, and Kenwright dosent persist with shite like Phil Neville every week.” – TheRam, NSNO

“We never seem to play with any balance whether it is only attacking down one side or having to have clear divisions within the team (attacking and defensive elements – i.e. 2 strikers means we have to just plug the midfield rather than have a ball player like Osman in there). I think it’s time for us to go our separate ways now – he’ll take us down like Clough did to Forest.” – Allan_Skaarup, Blue Kipper

“I’m not a fickle fan in the slightest and always felt Moyes was a bigger asset than any player but things have gone stale big time really since last season. We can no longer string results together like we used to (albeit after Christmas of course) becuase we’re too predicable at home, away from home we look slightly better but only becuase the onus is on the home team to attack and create chances. I think we all look at certain players in certain positions that Moyes persists with for no apparent reason and ask why the fuck but perhaps the 1 that never gets asked is why has he never given Heitinga a game at right back. This is basically Heitinga’s main position after centre half but I can’t recall him ever getting a chance there in the 3 seasons he’s been with us (he’s on 50/60 grand a week remember). I suppose it’s the wrong time to be questioning this given Hibbo’s form but it highlights Moyes in a nutshell; he’s got his favourites and his methods and like fuck is he going to change them for anything or anyone. And why the fuck can’t Barkley get a game after starting the first couple of the season? Yeah, there was the contract situation but that was sorted a while ago, why is being held back when quite clearly we’re crying out for someone with spark and creativity in the middle of the park?” – Rupert’s Tower, Blue Kipper

In his defence…

“Moyes will see us in the top ten at the end of the season, a position we have no right to be in and I think it’s clear that he needs a new challenge. He’s been here 10 years and been given £0 to spend, after taking over a club haunted by relegation every year and turning it in to an established top 10 premier league club, there’s simply only so much he can do. The rest of the league is dwarfing our spending and will inevitabley overtake us.” – BillyBullens, The People’s Forum

“Our options are sh*t though. Jags went off so Rodwell on. Rodwell injured so Cahill on. Al fair substitutions. Gueye gets worse so can see why he played Ossie out there. People want 442 but time and again we look wrse for playing it. There comes a time when despite Moyes failings you just have to realise our players arent good enough. 3-4 years ago we needed new players… we didnt get them… now we are the same squad with the better playes from it with no replacemeants. The playesr arent good enough simple as that. Its sell to loan… we already have 3 loans only 1 more is allowed then thats it.” – scott_efc, Blue Kipper

“We have the worst striking options in the league, there is practically no striker in the league who wouldn’t get into our top 3 strikers and most would start for us. In the last year we have sold 20m pounds of players and not spent a penny. We have lost Pienaar and Arteta, our only 2 creative players and not had any money to replace them. What teams could lose 2 players of that quality, not have money to replace them and expect to do ok? While Yak, Vaughan and Beckford weren’t great we had to sell 3 of our 5 strikers so the banks didn’t force sales of players we didn’t want to sell. He is facing a squad that had to sell a lot of players and not able to replace them. The ageing players all seem to have gone at the same time and it is has left him with hardly any options. I don’t understand what people expect from him? We could finish 7th because there are a lot of bad teams in the league but realistically the squad we have, the strikers we have and the little money we have we could be a relegation team bar a few players. If he gets us in the top 10 this season with what he has done well in my opinion.” – Rhys, NSNO

“Moyes has been worn down by the internal austerity at the club. He chose to sign up to that – and he can certainly be criticised for doing so – but the reality is nobody could manage this club’s decline as pragmatically as him. That’s his task: manage the decline. Nobody worthwhile would sign up for that now – and even if they did, the financially retarded state of the club would make backing a new man in the transfer market impossible. We’re managing a decline, now, and Moyes is the best bet in doing that.” – Drico, The People’s Forum

“Look, I criticise Moyes as much as anyone, and he deserves a lot of it. But you can’t blame him for tonight. He was completely undermined by three injuries, played a fairly positive line-up considering what he usually plays. At the end of the day, there were three players on the pitch at the end that wouldn’t have been under normal circumstances. Donovan would have played 60 minutes, Stracqualursi not much more and Saha would probably have been withdrawn at some point too. Mindless calling Moyes for all sorts when it’s clear he wasn’t to blame for what happened tonight is just stupid. It undermines the times you can have valid criticism of him. You can’t have your cake and eat it. He played 4-4-2, he started Donovan. That’s what most fans wanted, and yes, the centre of midfield was still not ideal, but other than that, let’s be realistic. So, in short, stop having a melt and think about what happened.” – Tubey, Grand Old Team

“Terrible season so far but I can’t blame Moyes too much for it. He has certainly made mistakes but he is a conservative enough manager with the right players available so how can you expect him to give the younger lads a go and put 442 out every week with the dung we have available at the moment. I’d love Barkley to get more games but will accept Moyes has a better insight than I do and leave it at that. A couple of years back when we went almost unbeaten through the second half of the season, there was some great football on show in that period. Saha was firing, Cahill a threat, Donovan and Pienaar wide, Arteta and Fellaini in the middle. We had a very strong first eleven. But we failed to keep Donovan, sold Pienaar and Arteta (and Yak). Now Saha, Cahill (and returning Donovan) are older, we’ve brought in feck all really to replace the quality we lost and we have had to resort to taking McFadden back!” – Ron Vete, The People’s Forum

“Are we all in agreement that towards 2008ish, Moyes had built a genuinely good team? A number of players like Cahill, Arteta, Jags, Lescott, etc were all at their peak. The principle involved when you have constructed a team is that it eventually needs to be broken up and re-engineered. Ferguson has done this a few times at Utd now. Because of financial restrictions, Moyes hasn’t been able to do this and we’ve had to watch while a number of players have declined as they’ve got older and others have been sold off to appease the banks. Since 2009 or so, we’ve been in decline as we haven’t been able to bring anyone in. This season has been made much worse as a result of forced sales of players – Pienaar, Arteta, etc. Realistically speaking, we were always going to be in decline relative to previous seasons. We are now stuck with an ageing squad – Distin, Neville, Cahill, Saha, Hibbert and Osman are all on the wrong side of 30. All first team regulars. We simply don’t have any money to replace them, so as they decline so will we. I don’t envy Moyes at the moment because our expectations far outstrip his resources. I’m not going to defend some team selections, his reliance on the old guard, perceived negativity, etc because before now he has punched above his weight despite those annoyances, I’d feel churlish moaning about it now since it’s nothing new and in the long run he has always come good. Genuinely don’t think changing manager would help with the more fundamental problem we have – we need players, and quite a few of them but we can’t afford to buy any. Ergo, we’re heading downhill and there’s not a lot that Moyes or anyone else could do about it.” – toffeeblue9, Blue Kipper

So, How Does Moyes Square Up On The Embattled-O-Meter?

Unpopularity rating…


Derisive nicknames…

The Moyesiah (sarcastically), any form of comparison to his predecessor Walter Smith

Estimated number of games left to save his job…

N/A. Chairman Bill Kenwright is highly unlikely to sack Moyes any time soon for two reasons: 1) He’s on a lucrative contract which he couldn’t afford to pay off the remainder of, and 2) Moyes’ stellar work over the years has largely papered over the increasingly apparent cracks at Goodison Park.

Football Burp says…

Some fans will pore over all the little details from match to match, picking out perceived faults and using them as a stick with which to beat the manager regardless of how much background information is in the public domain, but the bigger picture of Moyes’ mostly excellent record at Everton still looms large over the present failings. The Toffees had a similar number of points at the same stage last season and went on to finish 7th, and the sad truth is that they haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of finishing any higher than that unless any of Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool suffer a spectacular fall from grace. Factor in the empty transfer ‘war chest’ and a distinct lack of adequate replacements waiting in the wings, bar the usual flavour of the month choices, and it seems really rather likely that Moyes leaving would spell disaster at Goodison.

Moyes: in or out? Have your say in the comments section below…