Back to the 1990s

Robert Tressell   24/04/2021 50comments  |  Jump to last
On 7 May 1994, I was in Wolverhampton of all places. As an adolescent, I didn’t have a great deal of control over my whereabouts at that time and was therefore unable to watch the mother of all “must-win” games for Everton Football Club up against Wimbledon. I won’t go into the reasons for this, save to say I didn’t think they were very good reasons, but was overruled very forcefully when I voiced that opinion.

Early that afternoon, I managed to get a glimpse of the latest football results on Teletext. At that point, we were losing 0-2 after 20 minutes. A Gary Ablett own-goal and a strike from Dean Holdsworth had all but condemned Howard Kendall’s Everton to relegation and made the already shit afternoon of a miserable teenager quite a lot shitter. But, against the odds (and possibly against the law too if rumours are to be believed), we stayed up.

Obviously, things started badly the following season, when it transpired that Mike Walker really had fluked his way to success as manager at Norwich and was going to ruin us. The appointment of Joe Royle as manager sorted us out soon enough though and we won the FA Cup after the inspirational loan signing of a violent maniac from Rangers (Duncan Ferguson) and plenty of accompanying violent play in midfield.

Supporting Everton was starting to feel good for more or less the first time because I can’t really remember football before the European Championships of 1988. In terms of Everton, I have a fairly dim memory of Stuart McCall scoring a brace in the FA Cup Final we lost in 1989, but that’s about it. To complete the picture, we finished 11th in 1988-89, 6th in 1989-90, 9th in 1990-91 and 12th in 1991-92. My memory fails me until the end of that period when we were really tailing off.

But back to the 1994-95 season and fuck me if we didn’t go and sign Andrei Kanchelskis. It was an extraordinary bit of business – like signing Sterling or Mahrez from Manchester City today. We also got two players named after physical attributes they didn’t have, Speed and Short. It seemed to me that Joe Royle knew what he was doing and was definitely going to be better than every other manager]in the history of Everton which, for me, meant Harvey, Kendall Mk II, Gabriel and Walker.

We finished 6th that season which was good but a bit disappointing because we had a really good squad. Better was surely to come, though, because that summer we bought Nick Barmby (the rich man’s Craig Hignett), Paul Gerrard (the new David Seaman) and Claus Thomsen, who seemed to be a big lad and had a good previous season with Ipswich. Shame to see Kanchelskis and Daniel Amokachi go, of course, but still a good squad. Strange, then, to finish 15th in 1996-97 just 2 points above the drop zone.

The 1997-98 season began with, I think, all that business with Tor Andre-Flo and a makeweight in a deal that didn’t happen called Eftefaag (or something like that) then Royle left and the Kendall Mk III era began with lots of new signings, including Peter Beagrie – hopefully to live up (fairly late in the day admittedly) to his “new George Best” billing. The new Sheedy (Gareth Farrelly) and new Steven (John Oster) also arrived.

Despite this, we finished 16th (down a place on the previous season) but a whopping 5 points clear of the drop zone, so in many respects progress. Somewhat fortunate though because, in another mother of all must-win games, we only drew… but results went in our favour anyway. Gareth Farrelly wrote his name into Everton folklore with a goal to secure a point against Coventry which ensured our Premier League survival.

The arrival of Walter Smith for the 1998-99 season gave the impression that we had someone in charge who knew what he was doing again and loads of exotic players turned up to improve what was, by then, a really awful squad. Bakayoko, Collins, Dacourt and Matterazi were the glamour names but Simonsen was an exciting signing too since our keepers had been gash since Southall lost his mojo.

We also had Jeffers, Cadamarteri, Ball and Dunne coming through – and the likes of Ferguson, Hutchison, Barmby, Unsworth, Bilic and Short still in the squad from previous regimes. It was therefore pretty disappointing to finish 14th. And that was because of a late showing from the on-loan Kevin Campbell that steered us away from the relegation zone.

No matter, it was surely just a case of finding the right blend. Out went Dacourt, Bakayoko, Matterazi, Short and Oster. In came Campbell (permanently), Xavier, Pembridge and the two geriatrics – Hughes and Gough. Progress indeed. For the 1999-2000 season, we finished 13th – just 3 points off the Top 10 and a full 17 points off the relegation places. It was our best finish for 5 years. With this upward momentum, surely the new decade – the new millennium – would be better? Expectations were high.

Walter Smith signed the new Vieira, Alex Nyarko, from Lens – the club we sold Dacourt to the previous season. He also re-signed Big Dunc along with a series of expensive established Premier League players – Pistone, Alexandersson, Steve Watson, Steven Hughes (the new Petit) along with Gary Naysmith and Thomas Gravesen. Gazza also arrived!

Of course, all of this had to be paid for – which we did by ripping the guts out of the side by selling Jeffers (which broke my heart), Barmby (which pissed me off), Dunne, Hutchison and Collins.We finished 16th that season on 42 points, 8 points above the drop zone.

The following season involved more departures: Ball (broke my heart) and Xavier (pissed me off) – and a few less glamorous signings (Radzinski and Linderoth) to accompany Stubbs and the perennially injured Blomqvist. The squad by this stage was a complete mess again. We were going nowhere under Smith and finished 15th – just 7 points above the drop.

Cue the arrival of David Moyes – a very young, inexperienced manager who had done good but not amazing things with Preston NE. In his first season (2002-03), we finished in 7th place. It was only our 2nd Top 10 finish in the Premier League era and the first I had really experienced as a fan. Moyes, albeit with some ups and downs.

It was back to our usual relegation fight in 2003-04 when we finished 17th but then things picked up big time. The sequence is this: 4th in 2004-05, 11th in 2005-06, 6th in 2006-07, 5th in 2007-08, 5th in 2008-09, 8th 2009-10, 7th in 2010-11, 7th in 2011-12, 6th in 2012-13.

The Moyes era was the best it had been for me apart from a very brief period under Joe Royle. Apart from the year Moyes did it, you have to go back to the 1987-88 season to find a Top 4 finish for Everton. His record is really very good, especially considering the budget available to him, albeit much of the football was boring and we were never really in danger of winning anything, even when we got to an FA Cup Final.

Since then, it’s been Martinez (5th in 2013-14, 11th in 2014-15, 11th in 2015-16… but definitely going to be relegated if we didn’t sack him), Koeman (7th in 2016-17 and 8th in 2017-18 after being rescued from possible relegation by Allardyce), Silva (8th in 2018-19 and 12th in 2019-20… but heading for possible relegation before Ancelotti took over). That’s three genuine relegation worries in the last 5 years.

In all this time, we’ve won one trophy, never come within a sniff of the title, made the Champions League once but got knocked out before it really started, and had a bit of a thing with the Europa League for a few seasons. Also, in all of the Premier League era, only one of our players has ever scored more than 20 goals in a season.

Much of the football has been appalling. We may not have been relegated or gone bust, but we’ve had fewer highs than Newcastle, Leeds, Leicester and Blackburn. This dreary period might explain why I focussed my interest in the recruitment side of that game.

The combination of Ancelotti, Brands and Moshiri promises much but we all know the squad is in a mess (it’s probably about the 8th or 9th best squad on paper) and about £500M behind the Premier League royalty. Nevertheless, we do have a promising combination of money, know-how and experience – which means we could be in for a summer that’s more exciting than the actual football.

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Derek Moore
1 Posted 25/04/2021 at 01:27:57
Slight quibble, Robert. You sort of imply that Smith finished 15th and then just disappeared in favour of Moyes or something.

You actually wrote "We were going nowhere with Smith..." This is demonstrably incorrect; under Smith, we were going straight to the Championship.

When Kenwright made one of the few universally good decisions of his reign and sacked the gimp on 10 March 2002, we were in deep deep shit. Smith had won 1 in 13, taken 7 from the previous 39 available points and had us firmly pointed at the Premier League trapdoor. Moyes actually won three of his first four games as a Premier League manager to get us clear of a true relegation scrap.

Not a huge deal, just thought it was worth mentioning for the record.

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 25/04/2021 at 06:18:36
I'm trying to remember the 2003-04 season and I think it was one that, while we finished 17th, there was never a mathematical chance of us being relegated and the impression I had was that the players were not overly enamoured with Moyes's tactics so he let them play the game they wanted for a short period towards the end of that season and were found wanting. After that episode, none of those players ever again questioned him.

As for the upcoming transfer window, I wonder what effect this ESL shenanigans and its likely or possible reappearance might have on any Chairman's or club's enthusiasm for pouring too much into transfer fees or if that might be countered by younger, promising players considering their future with any possible breakaway club?

In any case, a most interesting read, Robert.

Tony Everan
4 Posted 25/04/2021 at 09:14:05
I was in the upper Gwladys Street for the Wimbledon game in 1994, I remember being overwhelmed with stress and getting told off for swearing by an honourable lady sitting nearby. Still recovering from that game, the the therapy is helping.

Going through the list and the players mentioned it is of little surprise that we were going nowhere fast. We were scraping around for money year after year and the comparative quality of the squads always reflected that.

I thought Moyes did as well as he could and was the perfect manager for us during his period. He gets well and truly slagged off but he stabilised the club and created a platform during years that we were living on fresh air. We won nothing, but there was a bit of hope and pride in our performances. An identity rekindled. And no, I don't want him back, he is the past.

This summer transfer window has become crucial. The last one was about fixing the midfield. This next one has to be about become more of a faster, dynamic side with more goals.

All the three positions we will sign must bring it to the table. Right sided attacker/winger Bailey ?, Sarr ?, Saint- Maximin looks an excellent direct player , Midfielder to drive forward with assists and goals Buendia, Rabiot , Right back ( Aarons may be getting priced out but I watched Dagba , who you repeatedly call for , last week and he impressed me) I'd have him as part of he Kean deal. That's if that lad wanted to come here! Also there has to be some diamonds in this position there for less money. Brands may surprise us.

Ian Burns
5 Posted 25/04/2021 at 09:59:13
Robert - when I saw the title of this article I didn't want to read it as I was enjoying my Sunday morning and I didn't want to ruin it.

However as it's all things EFC, I forced myself to go through it.

Really enjoyed it - the memories made me miserable - but well worth the read, knowing we are hopefully on the road to redemption.
Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 25/04/2021 at 10:35:55
Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 25/04/2021 at 10:40:39
Walter, as a success in Scotland, was the last manager brought in to win things the unravelling was partly due to a dreadful realisation we could no longer compete financially. As has been said the job didn't match the brochure and the poor man was eaten alive by it all.

Moyes was the perfect tool to accommodate respectable survival a man schooled in a back to basics method and for a few years, we as a fanbase, would tacitly abandon ambition for stable existence.

The problem was a few years became 11 and the entire ethos of the club was changed. Martinez was killed because of his bravery in trying to go back to "old Everton" without the requisite funds.
Thomas Richards
8 Posted 25/04/2021 at 10:55:37
Morning Barry,

Have you calmed down after bragging about your fighting skills last night
Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 25/04/2021 at 11:56:52
A good read that takes me back to a depressing time supporting Everton as the realisation we had and continued to spectacularly spiral downwards in our fall from grace.

7th May 1994 I was in Cyprus. I've recalled the tale previously, but I required assistance back into the house by my expectant wife and a neighbour after they helped me out of a storm drain, where I was happily resting and singing following an afternoon of relief induced drinking in the local village. Bad husband.

In 1997, I was pacing up and down my garden in Woolton with my best friend, unable to watch. We left both of our very young children alone in the living room. Bad parent.

A terrible decade. Even though we won our last trophy, the dogs of war, for me, where just not enjoyable to watch. I suppose there are parallels to some people's disenchantment with what we are served up now in some ways. I remember a particularly bad performance in 1994, that I watched from the Park End. Duncan Ferguson rose to score the opener but we went on the get mauled 4 - 1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. A dire afternoon indeed.

Of the players, I enjoyed watching Barmby - I had some consoling and explaining to do to my young son when he left. Matterazi I still believe is one of the best Everton centre backs we've had in recent times. Not because of what he done at Everton, but because you could see the player we had. He was just surrounded by mediocracy. Not the same, but in a similar way to Beardsley and, later, Rooney. I also really rated Dacourt. Gutted when he departed.

And then there was the whole Peter Johnson debacle. Dark days.

I won't stray into the 2000s and Moyes years. That's for another discussion. The 1990s are not one I remember with fondness overall in Everton terms. Despite some brief highs, way too many lows.
Robert Tressell
10 Posted 25/04/2021 at 19:50:38
I know what you mean about Matterazi and Dacourt. Both had real ability. The former, though, got a good dusting up at the hands of Wayne Allison in the cup against Huddersfield in a game I remember. I thought it was funny when he got billed a hard man in international football because Wayne schooled him a bit that day.

As for Walter Smith, you're right Derek, we were heading down. What a peculiar time those years were.

That's why it makes me laugh when I hear people say they're being served the worst football ever by this current team. As for the worst football, at least 5 or 6 other managers would be vying for that dubious title.
Andy Crooks
11 Posted 25/04/2021 at 22:28:55
Good post, Barry @7. Walter Smith was dealt a poor hand and I can recall MOTD pundits constantly saying he did a fair enough job under difficult circumstances.
However, we were going nowhere and Moyes, despite me being a vocal member of the MOB in his later tenure achieved something very important; he stopped us being referred to as "crisis club Everton". He made us safe and kept us safe. That was good for a while, but safe comes at a price, it creates fear of risk.
" Be careful what you wish for", who could do better? Look at Sunderland,Leeds, Portsmouth etc,etc".
Also, Robert, I just do not accept that Sam saved us.

Andy Crooks
12 Posted 25/04/2021 at 22:29:17
Good post, Barry @7. Walter Smith was dealt a poor hand and I can recall MOTD pundits constantly saying he did a fair enough job under difficult circumstances.
However, we were going nowhere and Moyes, despite me being a vocal member of the MOB in his later tenure achieved something very important; he stopped us being referred to as "crisis club Everton". He made us safe and kept us safe. That was good for a while, but safe comes at a price, it creates fear of risk.
" Be careful what you wish for", who could do better? Look at Sunderland,Leeds, Portsmouth etc,etc".
Also, Robert, I just do not accept that Sam saved us.

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 25/04/2021 at 22:36:38
If I look back with honesty on the managers (ignore the off the pitch turmoil), I think Walter Smith steadied the ship. That then allowed Moyes to come in and build on something slightly resembling a steady platform.

Don't get me wrong, I remember being sat their after that FA Cup defeat against Middlesboro which led to Smith's departure wondering how much worse can this get, but the guy worked with the hand he was dealt with.

My word, they where bad days. And people complain about now. I don't dispute anyone's right to do so, but to claim this is the worse we've ever been served up, there must be some short memories out there.
Paul Birmingham
14 Posted 25/04/2021 at 22:54:33
Good to recap that Wimbledon game, a very close escape, and it was a dire period which aside from 1995, and winning the FAC, an a few good Derby results, has been a barren period.

Repeated again v Coventry on the last day in 1998, with Gareth Farrellys finest shot.

Let's hope that the tide is turning in Everton's favour.

This summer and next summer hopefully the deadwood and lazy don't cares, like Delph will be gone.

That lad is a disgrace and his body language on the Park and is likely at training must tell a story.

Even pisshead Gibson showed more care that Delph ever has.

But for now the focus is on beating Villa and hopefully some results go our way.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 25/04/2021 at 23:17:00
Beat Villa and we are in a strong position Paul.
Don Alexander
16 Posted 25/04/2021 at 23:24:32
The one constant at the top of our club throughout this extremely interesting but depressing thread is still our fucking chairman, in a "newly enhanced" role no less, according to our owner!

Is this summer going to see him deliver anything wanted at all, for once?

As if!

And yet he remains, as ever.

And our difficulties endure.
John Raftery
17 Posted 25/04/2021 at 00:14:05
We were a mess in the nineties, recovered in the next decade before descending into another mess after Martinez's first season. The process of recovering from that has begun but much remains to be done.

The paragraphs regarding the 1997/98 season contain several inaccuracies. Most notably we did not finish five points clear of the drop zone; the Toré André-Flo episode triggered the departure of Royle in April 1997 not in 1997/98; the Beagrie signing was not made until deadline day in 1998 in a desperate bid by Kendall to stave off relegation.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 26/04/2021 at 08:16:24
The thing that strikes me about this trip down memory lane Robert is how shite we have been for a quarter of a decade. Moyes had a couple of good seasons, Martinez had one, and yet some people are moaning over Ancellotti, after a season and a half, coming into a club that had spent a lot of money badly, and also at will.

Whilst I don't think Evertonians, have ever lost our soul, I think it's fair to say our club hasn't had much direction for a very long time, but hopefully soon we will start to exist to try and win again, after all these years running up the sand dunes into the wind, fingers crossed!
Robert Tressell
19 Posted 26/04/2021 at 08:37:58
Probably quite a few historical inaccuracies in there John & others. There was a lot to squeeze in and my memory and appetite for more detailed research failed me. I think Tony you have hit the nail on the head. Our situation is not something that can be solved with a good summer spending spree. The Koeman and Walsh era probably proved that. We've lost decades of ground on clubs that exploited Premier League riches better than we did. We've got people of calibre and experience in the key positions at the club now and as the article shows, I'm not sure that can be said of any period since the late 80s.
Thomas Richards
20 Posted 26/04/2021 at 08:40:41
Madness, Tony.

After what we have watched for decades, to give Ancelotti a hard time trying to revert this after such a short period is madness. Does anyone think he is playing this type of football as his preferred method?

Imo, the football will improve as we get rid of the players who are not good enough and bring players in who are good enough

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 26/04/2021 at 12:05:43
I've said it before Thomas, and although I'd be in the minority, I'd absolutely love this to be Ancellotti's preferred method mate, but only if he got better players.

I watched City yesterday, the way they manipulate the ball is incredible, and I watched Chelsea, beat City last week at Wembley, because they were all very, very comfortable on the ball.

The gap in “real quality” is huge between those teams and us, and you can also put Man Utd, in that top bracket, so although its a must that Everton add more quality, we can't afford to lose our pragmatic style imo, and especially not if we really want to start competing with the best teams.

Good point Robert, we have got a lot more experience and know-how at the club now, but patience is a dirty word sometimes, especially for a fanbase that have won nothing in a lot of our supporters lifetime, true loyalty that has really stood the test of time.
Thomas Richards
22 Posted 26/04/2021 at 13:09:39
All the best teams are built off a solid base, Tony, I agree. My point was more on the turning defense into attack aspect of our game. It will deffo improve mate whatever system he goes with.
Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 26/04/2021 at 14:13:18
I believe it's a case of knowing when to be patient and knowing when to go. Yes, that needs the players to be comfortable on the ball. Otherwise they go forward for the sake of going forward when it's not on or there is no movement in front of them. The result more often than not is possession is given back to the opposition because the players force the game. Or they endlessly stroke it around at the back for the sake of it.

Allan done very well for our rather fortuitous goal against Arsenal if you watch. He has the ball pretty much on the edge of our box. He looks up; nothing doing. He waits. Looks up again. Still nothing doing. An easy option would be knock it back to Pickford or roll it sideways to the centre back.

He waits again. Eventually spots Richarlison making a run and plays a purposeful, meaningful ball forward that puts us in for the goal. That was turning a defensive situation into an attacking opportunity Thomas. Patience until something was on then go forward with purpose and intent.

City master that. They will happily be pragmatic and knock it sideways, backwards, play it to the keeper and back out to the full back. Often, repeat previous. But when they spot it, they go forward with purpose and meaning. Obviously, that requires better quality players otherwise you are Martinez like possession for possession at the back sake or you are forcing the game. Or both.
Thomas Richards
24 Posted 26/04/2021 at 16:27:10
Danny,"That was turning a defensive situation into an attacking opportunity, Thomas."

I know it was. Doesn't happen anywhere near enough with this group of players.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 26/04/2021 at 16:31:19
True Thomas, because most of them would have just gone for the easy option. Allan waited to see what was on. He used the time he had rather than shift the ball sideways for the sake of it.

Like Davies in the derby for the build-up to the penalty for the second. Interesting, the outlet on both those occasions was Richarlison.

Thomas Richards
26 Posted 26/04/2021 at 16:35:04
The run makes the pass, as you know, Danny. We are far too static.

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 26/04/2021 at 16:42:53
Yes. We can bemoan all we want but if the movement isn't there, no point punting forward.

I said on Michael's post match, I saw Gomes and James when he dropped worryingly deep (likely from frustration but please don't!!) getting visibly frustrated as they looked up and saw few options in front of them, so inevitably turned inside or backwards.

That's what I liked about what Allan done for what proved to be a decisive pass. Turned an edge of our own box situation into a goal scoring opportunity with a bit of patience and a decisive pass. Richarlison still had a bit to do mind and almost cocked it up with either a poor cross or poor decision, but we got the goal. I'll take those.
Steve Carter
28 Posted 27/04/2021 at 05:11:40
Good to see some balanced commentary on this thread re Moyes. Outcomes-wise, still the best manager we have had since the mid-1980s. Carlo has not bettered him despite having the likes of Richalison, DCL, James, Allan at his disposal. Let it be recalled that Moyes's 2004-2005 regular first teamers included the likes of McFadden, Bent, Beattie, Kilbane, Naysmith...
Alan J Thompson
29 Posted 27/04/2021 at 05:46:29
Steve(#28); I suppose it has to be asked who signed the five players you name, or are you trying to say he had little to spend on players but, at those days prices, Beattie, Yakubu, Fellaini didn't come cheap even if that kind of money didn't seem to always be readily available and most came on a buy now, pay later basis and, I think, led to us rarely signing a player until the annual Bank repayments had been made each 1st August.
Frank Sheppard
30 Posted 28/04/2021 at 06:43:31
A very good article thank you.
A lot of worrying times for Evertonians indeed.
Illustrates what a very good job Moyes did for us.
I think he gets too hard a time on here, and people forget
His style of play was pragmatic because it had to be, because
we were in such a mess.
Frank Sheppard
31 Posted 28/04/2021 at 06:43:39
A very good article thank you.
A lot of worrying times for Evertonians indeed.
Illustrates what a very good job Moyes did for us.
I think he gets too hard a time on here, and people forget
His style of play was pragmatic because it had to be, because
we were in such a mess.
Ian Bennett
32 Posted 28/04/2021 at 07:36:30
I don't know if its right, but I saw a post that said Moyes had a net spend of £5.6m over his 11 years tenure.

Yes, his teams never played like Brazil 70, but with that type of outlay it's not totally surprising the sides didn't do much more than being best of the rest.
Brian Murray
33 Posted 28/04/2021 at 07:41:00
Frank post 31. Your surname is quite apt because him and his emotional sidekick in the stands brainwashed a generation of blues into accepting second best and the plucky tag that we should be grateful to even be in the prem and the odd and very rare good days is all we could expect. Very average manager with or without money.
Richard Parker
34 Posted 28/04/2021 at 16:39:12
The fun of being a blue... the full range of wild optimism all the way to deep, dark negativity. And that just in the 90 minutes they're on the pitch.

On the one hand we just had the best summer transfer window in recent history (4 players all an improvement over the first XI at the time) but we're in the same league position as we finished under Sam Fucking Allardyce.
Martin Mason
35 Posted 28/04/2021 at 17:00:32
Great fact based article unlike some comments. I was lucky for a while at least, I started watching Everton in the 1960's. It was inconceivable that we wouldn't be at the top or nearby forever. But no, that was to be Liverpool.
Frank Sheppard
36 Posted 28/04/2021 at 17:47:23
Brian - post 31. I think that's a very harsh and unfair summation of Moyes.
Frank Sheppard
37 Posted 28/04/2021 at 17:47:34
Brian - post 31. I think that's a very harsh and unfair summation of Moyes.
Ajay Gopal
38 Posted 28/04/2021 at 19:22:56
The Premier League had just started telecasting live matches and weekly PL highlights in India at about the time that Moyes took over as our manager. I remember being frustrated at him for not playing Rooney as much as I would have liked. I believe that was the reason that Rooney and Moyes fell out. Anyways, I turned part of the MOB (Moyes Out Brigade, for the recently initiated members of TW) only much later. There was much good that Moyes did for Everton in the initial years. But, at crucial times, he lacked belief in himself and his players that they could achieve success, even though, ironically, it was Moyes himself who had built some very good teams. The team that had Tim Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Osman, Yakubu, yes Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert, as well, was very, very good and deserved to win something. But, the fatal lack of self-belief became a millstone around EFC's neck, one that it has not yet managed to shake off to this day. Which is why, I was sure he would fail at Man U, and which is why, he will end a very respectable career in football management without any silverware.
Thomas Richards
39 Posted 28/04/2021 at 19:34:47
Ajay,

Some good points in that post.

Are you in India mate
Derek Moore
40 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:26:09
I agree with almost everything you wrote as well Ajay.

It always seemed to me Moyes biggest limitation was ultimately himself.

It's funny to me that the range of opinions on Moyes is still so varied to this day! IMHO it's fairly straightforward, he came in and did a very good job and then ultimately stayed way past his use by date.
The awful record at Anfield, Highbury, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford was a huge red flag that probably would have cost him his job at almost every other period in our history until then. But Moyes job was never in question; his success on a relative shoestring budget became part of a virtuous circle - depending on your view.
Moyes ability to generate decent league finishes without forcing the owners to dilute their holdings, seek outside investment or borrow enormous amounts of money was a huge part of it. In return, Moyes was rewarded with loyalty and a long term and personally very lucrative appointment. Although our net spend was indeed very low in the Moyes years, the canny Ginger bastard got a decent dividend in the form of a very high pay cheque.
Moyes was the key in enabling Kenwright to essentially perform an LBO on the club without enormous amounts of leverage. (The "L" in "LBO"). There was a lot more to it than that as well, a lot of it all but forgotten now. The timely arrival of Rooney was another huge element. Fake news press releases regarding Fortress Funds to stall for time is an example of the smaller piece of the puzzle.

The upshot is whilst the club essentially hibernated as far as success on the field goes, the owners were able to hold out until they they got the offer they dared not refuse. That eventually arrived in the form of Moshiri - and we as Everton fans promptly exchanged one set of problems for another.
That's my little added take on the Moyes/Kenwright era anyway.
Derek Moore
41 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:26:17
I agree with almost everything you wrote as well Ajay.

It always seemed to me Moyes biggest limitation was ultimately himself.

It's funny to me that the range of opinions on Moyes is still so varied to this day! IMHO it's fairly straightforward, he came in and did a very good job and then ultimately stayed way past his use by date.
The awful record at Anfield, Highbury, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford was a huge red flag that probably would have cost him his job at almost every other period in our history until then. But Moyes job was never in question; his success on a relative shoestring budget became part of a virtuous circle - depending on your view.
Moyes ability to generate decent league finishes without forcing the owners to dilute their holdings, seek outside investment or borrow enormous amounts of money was a huge part of it. In return, Moyes was rewarded with loyalty and a long term and personally very lucrative appointment. Although our net spend was indeed very low in the Moyes years, the canny Ginger bastard got a decent dividend in the form of a very high pay cheque.
Moyes was the key in enabling Kenwright to essentially perform an LBO on the club without enormous amounts of leverage. (The "L" in "LBO"). There was a lot more to it than that as well, a lot of it all but forgotten now. The timely arrival of Rooney was another huge element. Fake news press releases regarding Fortress Funds to stall for time is an example of the smaller piece of the puzzle.

The upshot is whilst the club essentially hibernated as far as success on the field goes, the owners were able to hold out until they they got the offer they dared not refuse. That eventually arrived in the form of Moshiri - and we as Everton fans promptly exchanged one set of problems for another.
That's my little added take on the Moyes/Kenwright era anyway.
Derek Moore
42 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:26:25
I agree with almost everything you wrote as well Ajay.

It always seemed to me Moyes biggest limitation was ultimately himself.

It's funny to me that the range of opinions on Moyes is still so varied to this day! IMHO it's fairly straightforward, he came in and did a very good job and then ultimately stayed way past his use by date.
The awful record at Anfield, Highbury, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford was a huge red flag that probably would have cost him his job at almost every other period in our history until then. But Moyes job was never in question; his success on a relative shoestring budget became part of a virtuous circle - depending on your view.
Moyes ability to generate decent league finishes without forcing the owners to dilute their holdings, seek outside investment or borrow enormous amounts of money was a huge part of it. In return, Moyes was rewarded with loyalty and a long term and personally very lucrative appointment. Although our net spend was indeed very low in the Moyes years, the canny Ginger bastard got a decent dividend in the form of a very high pay cheque.
Moyes was the key in enabling Kenwright to essentially perform an LBO on the club without enormous amounts of leverage. (The "L" in "LBO"). There was a lot more to it than that as well, a lot of it all but forgotten now. The timely arrival of Rooney was another huge element. Fake news press releases regarding Fortress Funds to stall for time is an example of the smaller piece of the puzzle.

The upshot is whilst the club essentially hibernated as far as success on the field goes, the owners were able to hold out until they they got the offer they dared not refuse. That eventually arrived in the form of Moshiri - and we as Everton fans promptly exchanged one set of problems for another.
That's my little added take on the Moyes/Kenwright era anyway.
Steve Shave
43 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:32:11
Sorry to post this here - does anyone have a link to the PSG Man City game?
Don Wright
44 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:53:25
steve try this http://livetv.unblckd.pw/enx/eventinfo/1061132_psg_manchester_city/#webplayer_alieztv|154157|1061132|1596224|7|1|en
Thomas Richards
45 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:54:40
Steve,

Dont, it will frighten you

We would do well in this competition next season 😁
Robert Tressell
46 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:58:16
I think Moyes did a very good job and managers with less pragmatism and more romantic aspirations might well have seen us relegated. We could easily have spent a decade or more in the wilderness like Sheff Wed and Notts Forest given how the 90s were working out. But I always got the sense that he spent peanuts brilliantly but the occasional riches poorly - and he plays football on the back foot. So he's not a big club manager and now we've got money we should be aiming for more than that.
Steve Carter
47 Posted 29/04/2021 at 05:49:41
Ajay [38], as Derek [40-42] says, you do make some good points. However, with respect, there is, on the one hand, hope and wish and, on the other, reality. The side that you refer to is not too different in terms of quality from the one we trotted out for the 2009 FA Cup Final: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini and Saha. In my view, our performance on that occasion did not exhibit a “fatal lack of self-belief”. Moyes didn't have us ‘hanging back', he had us up and at them. We were up against a side of vastly superior quality - on paper and ‘in reality': Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole, Obi Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Anelka, Malouda, Drogba – oh, and the subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Belletti, Mancienne, Ballack, Di Santo and Kalou (ours were Nash, Jacobsen, Casillo, Rodwell, Gosling, Vaughan and Baxter…). I'm struggling to think of an Everton player that Gus Hiddink would have picked in his squad over anyone in it – perhaps Cahill? We lost because Hibbert got absolutely skun by one of those of vastly superior quality: Malouda. If we'd been able to contain that, we (and Moyes) would have won “silverware”.
Ajay Gopal
48 Posted 29/04/2021 at 18:11:26
Thomas (39), yes I am in India. The situation is grim, so much sickness around including in my family. But, hopefully, we will see the peak soon and this deadly 2nd wave will start subsiding.

Steve (47), I agree about the Chelsea FA Cup Final, and also I remember that we were missing almost the spine of the team - Jagielka, Arteta and Yakubu were out injured. But, as fans, we knew that even after we took an early lead, Moyes would try and eventually fail to protect that lead. Watching that game on TV, I knew we would be gallant losers.
Mike Gaynes
49 Posted 29/04/2021 at 18:22:39
Stay safe, Ajay.
Thomas Richards
50 Posted 29/04/2021 at 18:24:01
Sad situation in India Ajay, heartbreaking to see the people fighting for oxygen to buy.
The poorer tens of millions of society, the lower classes ( a term I despise) will really struggle here.
A beautiful diverse country with lovely smiling people.
All the best mate
Richard Duff
51 Posted 30/04/2021 at 15:20:57
Steve (47) and Ajay (48), I too was at Wembley that day and had hardly sat down when Saha scored after 27 seconds.

Immediately, my mate and I knew we had scored too early, Chelsea now HAD to attack for 90 minutes and dear old Davey would have us defend for 90. we lasted about 30. One way traffic and no threat of us getting a second. Looking back I feel a bit cheated that we didn't even get a chance to build up to a goal, no real celebration, just a WTF moment that was gone in an instant.

Reality is though, Jags, Arteta and Yakubu were our leaders in terms of defence, creativity and goal scoring and we were on a hiding to nothing.

Finally, Drogba, in that match, was the most complete striker I've seen, won everything.


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