It’s not exactly a good time to be a Toffee at present. The Everton board continue to drag their feet in finding much-needed investment while in the league they’ve already lost touch with the chasing pack for Europe. Worse yet David Moyes persists in sending out teams to avoid defeat, not attain victory. As the club prepares for home games against Norwich and Swansea that may define their season two blues, Andy and Ian, pen open letters to their manager pleading for a plan B.
I’ve been asked to write an open letter to you from the heart so here goes. I’d like to start by saying during your time at Everton you have worked miracles and given me many memories that I’ll never forget. But that was in the past and at the moment we are in a bad way. As a season ticket holder since ’94 I’d like to think I’m entitled to my opinion and if you read this I’d appreciate a response. Your mentality is negative. Now, when we were winning games 1-0 and gained Champions League qualification that was fine, but when the team – your team – is playing so poorly it is not. The substitution on Sat withdrawing Saha for Distin just summed up your mentality. Similar at Newcastle Neville (playing CM) got injured and you replaced him not with Cahill or Barkley but with Distin again even when Newcastle’s creative midfielder Cabaye had gone off injured himself. Back to Arsenal, Heitinga had been having his best game in a blue shirt and he and Jagielka had looked solid, yet you chose to disrupt this and move Heitinga into midfield. You then put Jags where Heitinga had been playing and Distin at the left sided centre back. And then Arsenal scored and your initial response was…….to swap Cahill and Fellaini around, as you’d done the previous week at home to Stoke. Then when you made a sub you bought on the untried youngster instead of our top scorer Vellious, or even the player you brought in after allowing last season’s top scorer and Yakubu to depart Straqu…… ok I’d have bought myself on before him but the point is you bought him in on loan from Argentina and he is woeful! I’ve just realised this letter has no structure but I’m not a journalist: just a football fan speaking from the heart. I’d like to know the answers to the following questions.
– Why won’t you leave any players up when the opposition has a corner. It leaves a great chance to counter attack and also means the opposition has to leave players back.
– What is going on with Ross Barkley? You picked him in nearly all pre-season games, he played the 1st game of the season and got MOM, then he gave away a pen at Blackburn and he’s barely been seen since.
– Tim Cahill. I love the man. He’s been a great player for Everton but he just isn’t performing. He needs to be dropped. As does Saha. But then I guess who plays? I’d love to see Barkley in front of a midfield four supporting Saha as we have no other options as Beckford and Yakubu were sold on deadline day.
– Our defence isn’t keeping clean sheets and we cannot score. Play Coleman at right back and that at least allows another offensive minded player to play in front of him. People say he can’t defend but he’s never been tried in his natural position. Baines isn’t the best defender but what he gives you going forward makes him an automatic pick.
– Billy. He’s rubbish and has had enough Chances. Play Guaye/Barkley/Osman there if Drenthe is injured.
I hate the fact that I’m questioning Everton’s manager but you’re paid money that I can only dream about to make these decisions so as a paying customer my voice should be heard. Something that upsets me is that I don’t think you have a plan B. You just shift players around. Against Stoke Osman started CM, then when Rodwell came on for Billy Osman was moved left. Then Guaye came on on the right wing. About 5 mins later you decided to swap Guaye to the left and Osman to the right. Then you swapped Fellaini and Cahill round. Coleman finished at right back after starting right midfield. These to me are not the actions of a man who knows what he’s doing.
I’m going to end now by saying I hope you turn things round, but please stop being so negative. Attack teams; no shots on target in our last two games is unacceptable. Your system and tactics are not working. Grow a pair and change before you are given your p45.
I’m probably going to get stick for this but it’s just my opinion. I just want the best for Everton Football Club. Let’s go out and beat Norwich and Swansea like we should. Attack them. Start Coleman at right back, play Barkley……Come on Everton these are shite!!!!
Suffering Top Balcony Season Ticket holder.
The team’s top scorer this season is 19 year old Apostolos Vellios, who you recently said was only good enough to come on as a sub. Hardly inspiring words.
It was 0-0 with 25 minutes to go at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday when the fourth official held up the substitution board to tell Louis Saha that his game was over and that his replacement was Sylvain Distin. Off trotted the only Everton striker on the pitch and on came another centre half. Five minutes later Robin Van Persie scored a fantastic goal and that was pretty much that. Instead of holding up the subs board David you might as well have got the fourth official to wave a white flag on your behalf. That substitution clearly shows what you think of your own team and demonstrates the total lack of ambition that you now have.
Everton under your stewardship have never won at the Emirates and they never looked liked they believed that they were going to change that on Saturday. In fairness, Arsenal are a very good team, it’s a hard place to get a result; Van Persie is world class, a point would have been a good result etc etc etc. So let’s roll things back to the first day of the season when Everton played Q.P.R. at Goodison Park. The first day of the season, at home, against a newly promoted team and you went with a back four and two defensive midfielders and one up front. The result was the same as at Arsenal – a 1-0 defeat.
It is well known that Everton have no money and there were no permanent transfers in during the close season. It is unlikely that there will be any major incomings in January and the frustration for everyone connected with the club is understandable. But what you are no longer doing is making the best of what you’ve got, and what you have got at your disposal is actually pretty good. The starting eleven at Arsenal have 374 international caps between them. There is a good chance that five of that eleven will feature at Euro 2012 this summer. If it weren’t for Phil Jagielka’s toe then three of the eleven starts for England against Sweden would have been Everton players. They are a team of seasoned international footballers with a number of very talented young players (Rodwell, Barkley, Drenthe). Contrary to popular belief, Everton do not punch above their weight; they underperform and the main reasons that they are currently under performing are negative formations, poor tactics and substitutions and, above everything else, a lack of belief in the team from the man at the top.
The manager’s job is to inspire, to instil belief and to mould a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. David, you have done all of those things in the past, but you now seem tired and jaded and to have run out of ideas. Your loyalty to the players that have served you and the club so well over the years is admirable, but time catches up with everyone. Tim Cahill hasn’t scored for almost 12 months; corner flags are under more threat from a Bobby Zamora shot than one of his goal celebration these days. Louis Saha – who has had more knocks than a Soho prostitute’s door – has only scored one league goal this season. The team’s top scorer this season is 19 year old Apostolos Vellios, who you recently said was only good enough to come on as a sub. Hardly inspiring words. When he does come on he is usually playing up front alone as the idea of playing with two strikers seems to terrify you.
I’m sure lots of people will point to the lack of transfers, the lack of money and say that having to sell Mikel Arteta has ripped the creative heart out of the team, and that is true. However, going back to the opening day of the season against QPR, Mikel Arteta was still an Everton player and he didn’t get on the pitch until Everton were already behind. The bench that day had Arteta, Felliaini and Saha on it and you didn’t even bother to put Yakubu on the bench even though he was still an Everton player too. When you had the options you still went with a very negative team and that decision cost the game and has set the tone for the season.