BBC BLOGS - Phil McNulty
« Previous | Main | Next »

Moyes & O'Neill lead by example

Post categories:

Phil McNulty | 09:54 UK time, Friday, 13 February 2009

Chelsea's sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari briefly sent bookmakers into overdrive as a list of exotic foreign names was produced before the temporary appointment of Guus Hiddink.

Two names that never appeared near the top of any odds were Everton manager David Moyes and his Aston Villa counterpart Martin O'Neill - a tribute to the stability of their positions but also inexplicable given their proven abilities.

O'Neill crept into some quarters at 33/1 and Moyes at 40/1, but might they not have actually been just as suited to doing the job at Stamford Bridge as Hiddink?

Former Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, Bayern Munich's Jurgen Klinsmann, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic and Spartak Moscow's Michael Laudrup were placed ahead of both in the betting.

Is it because they are not fashionable or showbiz enough for the top four? Is it that the default position for many clubs is to simply reach for the familiar list of foreign names when two prime candidates are actually on the doorstep?

Mysterious, but just perfect for two great institutions of English football who meet in the FA Cup fifth round at Goodison Park on Sunday.

This is not an attempt to drive either Moyes or O'Neill out of their respective jobs and into the arms of others. Who is to say they would even want to take charge at a club that sacks a World Cup winner after only seven months?

It is, however, a recognition of the work they have done at Everton and Aston Villa. The teams they have produced are a credit to them.

Big vacancies come and go at places like Newcastle, Manchester City and Spurs - and yet Moyes is never seriously linked with any of them.

Everton fans will state, with great justification, that Moyes is already at a club that is at least as big, if not bigger, than that trio other than in financial terms.

But it seems strange that a manager who has made Everton regulars in the top six, and even broke into the top four to reach the Champions League in 2005 on a shoestring is never mentioned when the major vacancies occur.

Moyes is under-stated, dour at times admittedly, but he has produced an Everton team full of passion, character and team spirit. The days of Goodison Park's flirtation with relegation have gone.

The Scot rules pretty much all he surveys at Everton. He is not to be trifled with, just ask Victor Anichebe when you next see him, and his players are seen rather than heard.

He has manouevred his budget skilfully, using particular guile when dipping into the Championship to pay £4m for Phil Jagielka from Sheffield United, £5m to buy Joleon Lescott from Wolves and - in one of the game's great bargains of recent times - £2m to take Tim Cahill from Millwall.

David Moyes and Martin O'Neill

All three have been huge figures for Everton, with Jagielka arguably the pick of the crop this season.

He has been outrageously written off as an international player by some on the basis of a misplaced pass for England against Spain, arguably the world's best international team on Wednesday, but ask Moyes for his rating of Jagielka and he will put it at pretty much priceless.

Indeed, it is interesting that much of Everton's recent resurgence has been based on an all-English back four of Lescott, Jagielka, Tony Hibbert and Leighton Baines.

Moyes has proved himself an able builder of teams, willing to give young English talent a chance and dip into the lower divisions to find talent. He is also happy (well relatively happy) to work within a restricted budget and yet still comes up with results.

If there is a gap in his track record, it is his failure to mount any sort of cup run apart from reaching the semi-final of the Carling Cup last season. This would be the best opportunity to provide silverware to go alongside his outstanding work in giving Everton stability via their Premier League placings.

Moyes will see a home tie in the fifth round of the FA Cup as an opportunity to put that straight.

One columnist wrote last week that it would be - and I quote - "a disgrace" if Moyes was not favourite to fill one of the top four jobs when they next become available.

It is hard to argue with him - but a delight for Everton fans that this theory has escaped the notice of boardrooms up and down the country.

O'Neill deserves praise in equal measure for his transformation of Aston Villa, in partnership with the mature and low-profile leadership of Randy Lerner.

The nervous tics and touchline mannerisms of O'Neill are an acquired taste for some, but he has built on a reputation shaped at Wycombe Wanderers, Leicester City and Celtic after arriving at Villa in August 2006.

Lerner's money has been used carefully, with O'Neill seemingly keen to sign and nurture young English talent in the shape of Ashley Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Curtis Davies, Steve Sidwell and James Milner.

He has welded these signings on to experienced campaigners like Brad Friedel, John Carew and Gareth Barry to establish a formidable side using the familiar O'Neill template of pace and power.

Gabriel Agbonlahor's development through the ranks has added to his weaponry, while he returned for one of his former players, Emile Heskey, to add squad strength in January.

O'Neill has proved a shrewd motivator and never gives the impression that football is anything other than a simple game, a mantra of his legendary former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.

Good players want to play for him. Ally this to a common sense approach to tactics and you have O'Neill's Aston Villa.

He is just as formidable a personality as Moyes, as proved when he stood firm against Rafael Benitez and point-blank refused to see Barry to Liverpool in the summer.

Villa won a dramatic game at Everton 3-2 earlier this season, but both sides have improved since then.

Moyes and O'Neill will see victory on Sunday as opening up a potential route to Wembley - and adding further gloss to their glowing reputations.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Quite why are Newcastle and Spurs bigger jobs than Everton or Villa?

    Everton & Villa both are big clubs, have passionate fans and massive support and are going places.

    Newcastle = 52,000 supporters when they like the manager in a city wheres theres nothing else to do on a saturday but go watch the football.

    Spurs = Massive overspenders and massive underacheivers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Phil - completely agree. Although I tend to lean towards Moyes as a better manager due to the financial limitations placed upon him. That is to take nothing aay from MO'N who is another fantastic manager.

    I've been saying for quite some time that when SAF leaves Utd that Moyes will be the man to replace him (if a suitable contender is not found from within). I'm sure that Everton fans would be devestated to see him go, but as a neutral I'd love to see what he could do with a significant budget.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm delighted Davie Moyes is being overlooked for all the top jobs down south. He is a Celtic man through and through and was a decent player for us in his day. I think and hope that he will become Celtic manager when Gordon Strachen decides to move on.

    As for Martin O'Neill, a truely legendary manager for Celtic, he is now showing that he can still succeed when he is on a showstring budget (compared to the big boys). I think he will be the next Man Utd manager with SAF decides to step-a-side.

  • Comment number 4.

    Given the way Chelsea is being run at the moment, the main reason O'Neil and Moyes were both outsiders for the manager's job was because both managers are too intelligent to take the job on.

  • Comment number 5.

    The fact of the matter is that Moyes, and O'Neill are great managers who are working at suitable clubs, I have no doubt that they would do well at any of the "BIG FOUR" but i doub't they'd be too interested in these positions from the view that they are building something with their current clubs, and would they really get given good time with the top teams, well prehaps, but definatly not at Chelsea!

  • Comment number 6.

    But it seems strange that a manager who has made Everton regulars in the top six, and even broke into the top four to reach the Champions League in 2005 on a shoestring is never mentioned when the major vacancies occur.


    It's because he's also finished just outside the bottom 3 with (every other year) consistency too, and failed to make it past the qualifcation stages of the Champions League.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'd rather have Zola and Clarke thanks!

    Villa and Everton play some of the most dour and attritional football on the planet!

    If that's success, you can keep it!

  • Comment number 8.

    The return of Villa and Everton to the upper echelons of English football should be welcomed by all fans outside of the Sky4. It certainly is to the fans of both teams. They are going about it in a relatively quiet, dignified way and has much to do with why, with the exception of Ferguson (rightly so), the respective managers of those clubs Bentiez, Scolari (gone) and Wenger (although unbelieveably so in his case) have come under so much pressure.
    I would look forward to the day when the 2 English giants challenge consistently the 'Top4' even though this may never be the case as the deck of cards is stacked against them.
    Villa have a Chairman of vision and a Manager of insight.
    The numptys involved in hiring McLaren ahead of O'Neill at the FA should resign if they haven't already done so.
    Moyes would not leave Everton unless it was for Man Utd after Ferguson retires - why would he want to go to the others? no win situation

  • Comment number 9.

    if they both continue at current rate it should be a straight scrap between the two for the utd job when SAF steps down probably in about 2 years

  • Comment number 10.

    Fully agree - based on the limited funds at their disposal, they surely should be in the running for manager of year.

  • Comment number 11.

    stability is the name of the game,fergusson, moyes,o'neill,these names are fixtures and fittings to their respective clubs and long may they continue to do the business.

  • Comment number 12.

    Not really telliing us anything that any half-brained football fan didn't already know and who's to say when Wenger, Benitez or Ferguson move on that Moyes or O'Neill isn't top of the list of replacements. Just because Ambramovich is clueless and the press/bookies know this doesn't mean that everyone else is unaware of the brilliance of these 2 managers.

  • Comment number 13.

    moderation,here we go again, you wont find any naughty words in my posting duckie.

  • Comment number 14.

    Although, does anyone think Moyes would really be keen for the United job when Ferguson retires given he has already attempted to sue one of their best players?

  • Comment number 15.


    Typical of any supporter who can't take the fact that if youre below Everton

    Still sour we robbed you 3-1?

    Apart from one season in recent memory have W ham been any where near the top six......

    No of course not that's why you're carpping about Everton.....

    Clearly you missed the Everton/Villa game in December, probably the best game in the prem this year

  • Comment number 16.

    O'Neill has been very good this year, Moyes outstanding.

    His attitude is first rate and to steer his injury hit team up through the table is a great achievement, especially considering he had much less money than many teams to spend in January.

    Credit must also go to the chairmen/owners of these clubs for having faith in their managers and letting them manage without Interference. It isnt luck that puts well run clubs like Villa and Everton up there and a shabby operation like Tottenham at the bottom.

  • Comment number 17.

    Both good, solid, sound and sensible bosses. In short, ingredients which on their own doesnt even begin to qualify either for a top Club job. Both are ideally placed to stay exactly where they are. As you say, both are 'masters of all they survey'. With the CV that both have, it wouldnt quite be the same in a 'pressure cooker' job that Everton and Aston Villa certainly arent.

    Its not the 'foregn exotic' thing (your comment makes you seem anti foreign by the way, which isnt surprising for an english media hack) that makes top Clubs look abroad. Its pedigree, talent, technical nous and toughness backed up by a far more impressive CV than these two can offer that gives others the lead over Moyes and O Neill when the top jobs are available.

  • Comment number 18.

    Superb blog as usual, relevent, well written and bang on accurate.

    Moyes and O'Neill are prime examples of the reality of football: managers build teams, they don't create them from nothing.

    It doesn't matter how much money Chelsea and City have, they won't be any good until the manager has determiend where to spend it. You can buy a £30 million striker who makes an immediate impact, then flakes out two years later. A manager will change nothing for a year or two, and then consistency and success are yours. Doesn't matter how good Scolari was (and he was very good, portgual is a nation of 10 million people, so his success should be ocmmended, especially with an often under performing Ronaldo), he couldn't ever hope to match SAF and his twenty years of experience in the league, or Benitez and his experience of top level club football.

    A Manager has a learning curve to follow, you get a talent with the capability to win games at will once in a generation - and chances are there will be another who has experience to boot.

    Chelsea, Man City, their unlimited funds will isimply tide the clubs over until they give a top manager the time to build his squad into a winning team. Hughes is capable of this, and if the sky-blues stick with him, they could really be onto something.

    A good centre-back might help though.

    And speaking of England/Spain, was Abiol just a little too good looking for a big centre-half.... Looked more like the gelled tumbler than hard as nails cannavaro. Not that Puyol shouldn't lose that hair, mind.

    Top Phil.

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree both managers have done fantastic jobs at their clubs. Moyes has worked wonders with a limited budget and small but excellent squad, while O'Neill has transformed an under-achieving Villa with some great, mainly British, signings. Just goes to show what you can do with some sound financial investment and a chairman willing to stay out of the spot light (Chelsea and Liverpool please note!)

    However, If I was a chairman at one of the so-called "big four" clubs I'd want to see Moyes maybe succeeding at another club first before appointing him. O'Neill has proven himself with Wycombe, Leicester, and Celtic before leading Villa into the top 3 this season. Moyes did well at Preston before taking over at Everton, but I'd maybe like to see him suceed at another premiership club before appointing him.

  • Comment number 20.

    7. I think you'll find Villa have scored a lot more goals than West Ham.
    I think Everton must be really gutted they are going to finish above West Ham
    14. Attempted to sue because he wrote something stupid, naieve and untrue which turned out to libelous I think you'll find. The ultimate revenge thougg Moyes is too dignified and professional to get in the way of management

  • Comment number 21.

    Big managers that win nothing? I don't think so. Moyes has proven that he can win nothing. No Cup finals, Nothing to celebrate.

  • Comment number 22.


    No, Villa don't play attritional football, rather fast-paced direct counter-attacking. Which you'd know if you'd actually seen them play. If you're talking attritional football you need look no further than Jose Mourinho.
    Unlike Chelsea Villa and Everton are true giants of the English game and it's good to see them at the right end of the table.

  • Comment number 23.

    'Villa and Everton play some of the most dour and attritional football on the planet!

    If that's success, you can keep it!'

    Assuming the first line of your comment references you as a Chelsea fan (and nothing against you for that), I think this comment is excellent.

    Admittedfly, Everton are strikerless, yet are still performing, with Fellaini and Cahill highly rated as creative, technical and physical players. The defensive style of Everton is superbly successful, if not entirely entertaining, but also rather reminiscent of a certain title winning Chelsea side.

    And Aston Villa? Attritional? Two wingers, one cente forward and a last man striker? With ready support from Barry or Sidwell? What Aston Villa do you watch?

    And what is it with Villa? David Villa, Capdevilla, Aston Villa, Villareal? I might change my name you know...

  • Comment number 24.

    Just noticing how WiStAhM obviously wouldnt know class if it slapped him in the face, being successful with a budget it what true managers are made of, Chelsea would never understand this, just imagine the day Abramovic pulls the plug through boredom of bein unsuccessful, with a team full of arrogant primadonnas, i wish whoever takes over that shambles the best of luck.

  • Comment number 25.

    for Parish87 - no. 6.
    Dont tell me you are poberly a Liverpool fan,

    and the comment below (no.7) about the football that Everton and Villa play, dont tell me Chelsea fan.................

  • Comment number 26.

    Good blog, it's nice to hear that Moyes and O'Neil are getting recognition for doing great jobs at Everton and Villa.

    And Parish87, what on earth are you talking about? Moyes saved Everton from potential relegation at the back end of the 01/02 season, finished 7th the next and then following that did finish 17th admittedly. However, to say that Moyes' Everton have finished just outside the bottom 3 with consistency is laughable. Check your stats.

    And as for the comment about failing to qualify for the latter stages of the Champs League, drawing Villareal was an incredibly unfortunate draw (especially considering that Liverpool only drew TNS after failing to make the Top 4). Think before you speak.

    I imagine that you're the type of fan who'd love the 39th game and gets over excited when Sky advertise 'Grand Slam Sunday'.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great article Phil.

    Shame that there are so many comments in the "my club is bigger than your club" camp.

    Unless you support one of a small handfull of clubs then you just have to live with the fact that you are, to a certain extent, a feeder club.

    Most players and managers will, if opportunity knocks, want to take on what they perceive to be the bigger challenge of one of the global brand clubs.

    Oh, and #3 - Moyes moving to Celtic?
    Not sure you've been taking your medication.....

  • Comment number 28.

    I completely agree regarding O'Neill, very impressive at Leicester, Celtic was an easier task but he still delivered. It is Villa's current renaissance that is really impressive - penetrating the top four (I'd be flabbergasted if Arsenal finish above them) so quickly, and although he's had money to spend they haven't gone particularly crazy in the transfer market, like Spurs, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool have in the last year.

    I thought O'Neill had basically said he wouldn't be taking any job that would force him to relocate from the midlands and therefore bookmakers, chairmen and chief executives don't tend to consider him (if this is true, lazy journalism Phil, if not I apologise).

    Regarding Moyes, I disagree slightly because all he's really done is defend his way up the league using a defensive minded 4-5-1 formation.

    Everton's defensive organisation and high league finishes are impressive, but i'd be horrified if he managed my team in this manner, Everton are probably the most boring team to watch in the premier league and these tactics are ultimately bad for spectators and bad for the game. I don't blame Moyes for using these tactics, because he is so constrained financially, but I don't think he should be praised for it.

    It is for this reason that he isn't considered for jobs like the Chelsea one, some Chelsea fans and allegedly the owner didn't completely appreciate Mourinho's approach because it wasn't attacking and entertaining enough, so why would they employ Moyes?

    You have to respect what he's achieved, but in managerial terms he's probably the biggest fraud around.

  • Comment number 29.

    AlwaysWittonLane - get your head out of your you know what please. Don't talk about Newcastle in such derogatory terms. You clearly know nothing about the city, otherwise you wouldn't have made such ignorant comments about the place. There are reasons the Newcastle and Spurs jobs are bigger, more money, more fans and, in the case of Spurs and Newcastle until recently, an ambitions board.

  • Comment number 30.

    26. At 1:34pm on 13 Feb 2009, BigNevsTache wrote:

    Good blog, it's nice to hear that Moyes and O'Neil are getting recognition for doing great jobs at Everton and Villa.

    And Parish87, what on earth are you talking about? Moyes saved Everton from potential relegation at the back end of the 01/02 season, finished 7th the next and then following that did finish 17th admittedly. However, to say that Moyes' Everton have finished just outside the bottom 3 with consistency is laughable. Check your stats.

    And as for the comment about failing to qualify for the latter stages of the Champs League, drawing Villareal was an incredibly unfortunate draw (especially considering that Liverpool only drew TNS after failing to make the Top 4). Think before you speak.


    Okay, maybe saying outside the bottom three was a little dramatic, but you did finish 7th, then 17th, then 4th, then 11th. Which is what I was referring to.

    L'est you forget, Liverpool faced TNS in the FIRST Qualifying round, we played (and won) 6 games to qualify for the group stage that year.

    I suppose getting humilated by Steaua Bucharest was also an "unfortunate draw"?

    And no, the 39th game idea is shambolic, and I know more about football than you have forgotton.

  • Comment number 31.


    Why exactly should Moyes prove himself at another premiership to be considered for a top 4 job?

    Wenger, Benitez and Ferguson had zero experience of Premier League management before taking up their roles at their current clubs. What's the difference now?

  • Comment number 32.

    21 - Yes id much rather be pompey or spurs who both won cups that did them no good and arent in the top 6 and have little consistency with players and managers coming and going

    just brimming with envy here....

  • Comment number 33.

    to the comment about clubs outside the top 4 being feeder clubs (assume thats what you meant, disregard this if im wrong) but rooney and graveson are the only players i can think of that everton have sold to big clubs in last number of years

    and having got £30 million odd for rooney with cash still coming and graveson being in decline even if they hadnt wanted to go i still think moyes would've and should've sold them

  • Comment number 34.

    I think Moyes would suffer at one of the top four, his teams just don't play attractive football. He's done wonders on a shoestring, but earlier comments are right, his team is so inconsistent. Good season, then fighting relegation every other season. Be interesting to see how they go next season :)

    Would have liked to see MON at Liverpool when it was touted before Rafa to be honest.

  • Comment number 35.

    "in the case of Spurs and Newcastle until recently, an ambitions board"

    ignore the fact that everton are building a new stadium and the chairman is spending more money than he can actually afford and that moyes said he wouldn't stay unless the club had serious ambitions and the chairman claimed he would gladly sell the club if it was in their best interests

  • Comment number 36.

    MON and Moyes > rafa

  • Comment number 37.

    Moyes and MON are both great managers - and despite what a lot of the blogs say, play different styles of football - villa the counter-attack speed and power game, whereas everton are more set-piece play built on a strong defence.

    I fancy a draw in the FA Cup game and a replay - although it is possible with a favourable draw Everton could win the FA Cup this year! Villa may settle for a Champions League place instead!

    One last point - Moyes has a -£35million budget from last 5 seasons - Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea spend that on two players!

  • Comment number 38.

    I know I'm not the first to mention it in these comments. As a Man United fan I think Moyes would be a suitable future manager for Manchester United. What are your thoughts on this, Phil?

    I think he's more suited to them because (as it stands) things are far less stable at Liverpool and Chelsea, while Arsenal fans are now accustomed to Wenger's free-flowing football. United rode the trouble that came with the Glazers arriving and have now settled down again. Admittedly it's not the Glazers who have the track record of sticking with Ferguson, but they don't seem willing to tinker with the club and the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton and his ilk would surely give a manager like Moyes time to settle into such a different job?

    I used to hope one of Fergie's old boys would emerge as a contender but I'm still a bit unsure about Hughes and Bruce. And I don't want them to bring in some superstar manager necessarily, though Mr Mourinho might be tempting and he'd have the brass neck to not feel the pressure of succeeding Ferguson.

    But still, of the current Premiership managers, of the current British managers, I think I'd go for Moyes at the moment.

  • Comment number 39.

    Actually I am fairly sure Moyes was being linked with the Newcastle job 2 or 3 managerial changes ago, but in all honesty I cant see why a bloke who seems pretty sensible and level headed would want to swap Everton for that soap opera/greek tragedy.

  • Comment number 40.

    Good article. Whilst a Villa fan I reckon Moyes may have done a even better job than MON this year. A smallish budget and no strikers and yet they are not far off the top teams in the league this year. The early UEFA exit is probably the only 'blip'. You have to tip you hat to him.
    As for O'Neill, along with the board and some signifcant money, he has transformed the club. From a stale team with declining gates with little interest outside the supporters, we have a young exicting english based team, and are the talk of the league. It could be a vintage year and fingers crossed we can get a FA quarter final spot by beating Everton on sunday.

  • Comment number 41.

    Re 28.
    Celtic was an easier task? Celtic had just had one of their worst seasons in memory... John Barnes in charge, losing to Caley Thistle 3-1 in the Cup, 21 (approx) points behind rangers at the end of the season and a squad needing a major overhaul. He scooped the treble first season, got to UEFA Cup final, helped Larsson win European Golden Boot etc O'Neill worked absolute wonders, transforming the careers of certain players. Notably Chris Sutton - how he never led the line at 02 world cup after being the main supply for larssons 53 goals is beyond me - can you imagine what Owen could have done?! Petrov - unsettled, didnt know his best position. Thompson - on Villas fringes, even got an England call-up. Hartson - hadnt settled at any club for a decent length of time - over 100 goals later and now a celtic hero. He even made Bobby Petta great for half a season!! Look at Agbonlahor since O'Neill also. To have Villa ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea is fantastic - I hope he gets Mutd job in the future.

    I also think Moyes is a top manger as well i must say.

  • Comment number 42.

    2 best managers this season because of the resources available - if the season ended now i'd give it 2 moyes just as he has had minimal cash and a massive injury list but still 3 months 2 go

    ps come WiStAhM u telling me u wouldn't rather be in villa or evertons position - zola top manager but next season will be the real test when he has 2 try and achieve what everton have done so far this season at least

  • Comment number 43.

    28. why shouldn't Moyes be praised for what he has achieved and how does that make him a fraud?.
    He has made the best of the resources that he has been given if only Mr Scolari could have done the same!, plus Mr Ferguson has won 8 of his last 12 games 1-0 does that put him in the same boat???

  • Comment number 44.

    It's because he's also finished just outside the bottom 3 with (every other year) consistency too, and failed to make it past the qualifcation stages of the Champions League


    I think you'll find Moyes finished 17th once (if we discount the 15th after taking over in March 2002); the other 'bad' season resulted in an 11th placed finished, and that was remarkable in itself given that we'd started the season the way Tottenham prefer to.

    So that's 7th, 17th, 4th, 11th, 6th, 5th.

    As for getting knocked out in the Champions League, well, it's no disgrace to lose to a team who almost beat Arsenal in that year's semi final.

    But anyway, it's self-evident that Moyes and O'Neill are first-class managers - in another era, they'd have gone even further than they have.

  • Comment number 45.

    Villa are not an attritional side. They play fast, direct football tailored to their strengths. Sounds like good management to me.

    It is clear that Moyes and O'Neill have their critics, and some fans do not appreciate how their teams play, but if you look at where their teams are in the Premier League, they must be doing something right.

    On Everton, there is nothing wrong with building your team around a strong defence. You must tell me the names of the successful teams who did not have a strong defence (Brazil 1970 maybe).

    Moyes also had to deal with the loss of all of his first-choice strikers at the same time and still got results.

  • Comment number 46.

    And #28 - Everton play some quality attacking stuff - we do defend in great numbers, yes, but the way Arteta, Cahill, Baines, Osman and the like took apart a Bolton team who'd set up to do apparently what Everton only do last week shows we don't just defend.

  • Comment number 47.

    Others have already commented on post 7's ludicrous statement, so I'll try and stay relatively clear by just adding the following point:

    As an Everton season ticket holder I can honestly say that over the past 18 months Evertonians have been treated to arguably the best brand of football seen at the club for 20 years. Some of the passing, movement, pressure, workrate and goalscoring has been magnificent, with (amongst others) Arteta, Cahill, Yakubu, Pienaar, Osman, Andy Johnson and Fellaini to the fore.

    Unfortunately David Moyes does have a tendency to play very conservative football against the so-called "big 4", particularly away from home. He has been criticised for it at times amongst supporters, and rightly so - I for one feel that he now has the players at his disposal to have a go against these clubs, which we did in the cup replay against Liverpool at Goodison and the league game at Anfield, if not the FA Cup game at Anfield. However, because of the ranting of people like Benitez and the fact that our home games with the likes of Sunderland, Hull and Bolton aren't on Sky , many non-Evertonians believe we play dour, negative football. Nothing could be further from the truth, and (as has already been pointed out) the league game between Everton and Villa at Goodison this season was arguably the best game of the year for neutrals to watch, with Everton on the front foot and producing a lot of pressure and Villa playing a very typical, but thrilling counter-attacking game.

    In summary - I think most Evertonians (and Villains for that matter) are getting very good entertainment value from their clubs this season!

  • Comment number 48.

    Fitlubo - Moyes a Celtic man through and through? He actually grew up a Rangers fan and has stated that he would relish the chance to eventually manage either side of the Old Firm!

    Both managers have done a great job, I think O'Neil would be the more attractive option for the top 4 as his Villa side perhaps play a more attractive brand of football than the Toffees? (And may even end up with better than a top 4 finish this season)! But its Moyes for me, the job he has done there is 2nd to none, consistently punching above his weight (in terms of finances). What they both have is coming is the total commitment from the boardroom; they are left to stand or fall by their own decisions without any interference!

    Should be a cracker, if only it wasn’t on the same day as the Old Firm, I’m sure I’ll be too busy partying to watch!

  • Comment number 49.

    Is this news Phil ?

    It seems this topic is printed and recycled every few months ??

    Moyes and MON are doing decent jobs but I dont think they are doing a better job than Hodgson at Fulham , Sbragia at Sunderland or , Brown at Hull ?

    SAF is still pulling rabbits out of a hat !!!
    Wenger is still producing outstanding new English talent!!!
    Benitez is hanging in there even if he is acting a little strange.

    In reality Moyes and MON are just doing O.K.

  • Comment number 50.

    arsenal, liverpool and man u one can respect.

    but chelsea are a bloated bag of a team!

    why would anyone go manage them?

    moyes and o'neill are too good for chelsea. and will - sooner or later - take everton and villa into the top 5.

    man u, liverpool, arsenal, villa and everton.

    and chelsea will go back where they belong.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ah Parish87, a Liverpool fan I see. I accept that you're in a good position to make rational fair-minded comments about Mr Moyes then.... You do seem like a sensible knowledgeable fan but your initial comments possibly had a club v club agenda.

    Do you not think that finishing 7th (in your first full season), 17th, 4th, 11th, 6th, 5th and currently sitting in 6th represents significant progress? This is down to the manager do you not agree? Bearing in mind that the said manager has had very little money (comparatively speaking) I think your negative comments smack a little of anti-Everton bias.

    And no, getting humiliated by Steaua Bucharest was an awful result but I don't think that makes Moyes a bad manager, do you?

  • Comment number 52.

    to be honest i cant see how anyone can compare moyes to oneil this season or any other for that matter. yes moyes is good but oneil is without doubt the best manager in the premier league outside of saf. trophies for leicester and celtic combined with the fact villa currently sit 3rd 11 points ahead of everton say it all. the man is a legend.

  • Comment number 53.

    I think Villa and Everton have done fantastically well this year. its good to see some teams step up and challenge the big 4.
    both managers have good young sides with a mix of pace, power, experience, are good offensively and defensively, play to their strengths and most importantly are grooming good english players.
    Whilst watching england on weds both Jagielka and abonglahor didnt have great games but then Spain aren't ranked no 1 in the world for nothing. both should be squad players for the future.
    i dont think either moyes or o'neill would want the chelsea job, who would want a job where if you werent 15 points clear in the league by feb and guaranteed champions league success wasn't forth coming you'd be sacked in 6-7 months! crazy!!
    managers need to build their teams and both these guys have done that and are still doing it.
    let these two excellent managers keep on doing what they do and we'll see what lies ahead.

  • Comment number 54.

    To IanWelby...Moyes has been mentioned as a possible future manager of Manchester United in some quarters, but I suspect they would be more likely to go for a world-renowned name.

    I still have a sneaking suspicion that Jose Mourinho might end up at Old Trafford - and I am not mischief-making with that statement.

    One thing is for certain, Sir Alex Ferguson is a huge admirer of Moyes and the respect is mutual.

    Whether this will lead Moyes to Old Trafford remains to be seen. I would say not.

  • Comment number 55.

    Moyes to Liverpool? Somehow I just couldn't see that one coming into fruition regardless of how well he does

  • Comment number 56.

    Sorry Phil, last time I checked the league table, O'Neill's Villa were 'top 4'.

  • Comment number 57.

    Please will people stop writing that "David Moyes has a good season and then a bad season" rubbish.

    As has already been said, he took over at the end of 2001/02 when we finished 15th despite looking likely to be relegated under Walter Smith.

    The team overachieved massively in his first full season to finish 7th in 2002/03.

    2003/04 was a bad season, with a 17th place finish (par for the course at Everton befoer David Moyes).

    Since then its been 4, 11, 6, 5 and 6th at the moment. Is there another premiership club apart from the top 4 that hasn't finished 11th or worse in at least one of the last 4 seasons?

    European form has been disappointing; that's a valid argument for being wary of having David Moyes as a big 4 manager. However, plenty of teams have struggled in Europe after a long absence, and there are signs Everton have turned the corner in that respect.

  • Comment number 58.


    You seem to touch on the reason that O'Neil and Moyes have been successful, yet don't seem to grasp it entirely. The pure and simple reason for good football clubs is a chairman who knows enough football to be able to hire the correct manager and make the correct decisions in the background, yet know that he/she is not going to know more than their manager.

    Take Mike Ashley or Daniel Levy as examples. Both obviously know something about football, but they both think too highly of themselves, and as such their clubs inevitably fail to reach their goals. On the other hand, people like Kenwright, Lerner or John Madjeski understand football enough to know who will do a good job, will be in constant contact with the manager, but will not intefere with whatever "plan of attack" the manager comes up with.

    All in all, the manager is really just a departmental manager, and can only work with what the chairman and his/her team can provide him with.

  • Comment number 59.

    Great blog Phil , very accurate , ... Is it just coincidence that the main critics are Liverpool or Chelsea " fans " ? and the odd Spurs , WHU and Geordie .. How some of them can offer an opinion on the brand of football played by EFC and Villa is beyond me when they're basing their knowledge on watching 5 mins of MOTD . Try going to a game , boys , It'll open your eyes ! :)

  • Comment number 60.

    Well said Boycie - Rangers had been the team to beat for 15 years prior to O'Neill turning up at Celtic and he transformed them and they are still the team to beat 4 years later.

    As for who has done the better job. Tough call but I would go for Moyes this season as has had less resources than MON, in fact less than half the division.
    What would Newcastle, Citeh and Appy Arry give to be in Everton's place - lots I suggest?

    Scouse_Torres - I can assure you as a neutral Liverpool are more unappealing to watch as Everton. One bus parked at Villa Park this season, 4 home 0-0 draws v mid/lower table teams. Shut up shop when away at Emirates v 10 men. Oh yeah Liverpool are wonderful to watch.
    Not forgetting Liverpool have spent hundreds of millions to be that boring

  • Comment number 61.

    Which rag was this article taken from?

  • Comment number 62.

    Moyes used to get accused of having boom and bust seasons, but that accusation has been redundant for some time now.

    Everton have finished 4th, 6th and 5th in three out of the last four seasons and I would back them to finish top six this season.

    An old argument that one.

  • Comment number 63.

    I can't agree that David Moyes is a top boss. Despite their league position, Everton are mediocre and at times ugly to watch. Their football against Liverpool contained so much dross, Harry Catterick would have been turning in his grave and Howard Kendall would have coughed politely. Can we please stop puffing up mediocrity and trying to pass it off as quality.

  • Comment number 64.

    Phil, I do agree with you that Jose Mourinho is a good shout to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford as long as he invests as much time and effort in United's youth policy as Sir Alex does.

  • Comment number 65.

    I'd argue that Moyes has actually been helped by injuries this season. Their form has been much better since they lost Yakubu, Saha, Vaughan etc because it allowed Moyes to play his favoured defensive formation all the time. This also gets the best out of Cahill by not playing him as part of a 4 man midfield. I'm not saying that Moyes might not have been willing to play the way they are anyway but if he had Yakubu and Saha fit he'd be under a lot more pressure to play with 2 forwards. I haven't seen evidence yet that Moyes is good at setting up a really attacking team which the boards of Chelsea United etc. wouldn't like. Chelsea have played some dour football as well over the years but i's not what the owner wants. O'Neill is an attacking manager but has a tendency to keep away from big name players which would worry those same clubs if asking him to come in to take over a bunch of big name players. the best thing for them to do is break into the top 4 with the clubs they are with and then stay there.

  • Comment number 66.

    As a Liverpool fan it pains me to say that Moyes is a fantastic manager (although I remember him at Preston) - although not sure that Liverpool would countenance him, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U should though - would be a bad day the other three (unless O'Neil manages one of them).

    I am a fan of Rafa, in the most, but when we were looking for a new manager, I was convinced that we'd get Martin O'Neil. They both deserve their chance at one of the big four, I actually rate both of them much higher than Sir Alex (but then I have never liked him).

  • Comment number 67.

    Getting back to "Newcastle are a massive club", where the hell does that come from?
    They have got massive support, but the last trophy they won, was it in the 1950's?

  • Comment number 68.

    Phil, that is true, but the other two seasons out of the last five were 11th and 17th. So basically we're saying they have finished bottom half of the table 40% of the time in the last five years. Not a great record!

    Also by a top 6 finish i'm assuming you mean 6th and no higher? Unless Jo fires for them I can see them really struggling in the run in.

  • Comment number 69.

    62. At 3:15pm on 13 Feb 2009, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:

    Moyes used to get accused of having boom and bust seasons, but that accusation has been redundant for some time now.

    Everton have finished 4th, 6th and 5th in three out of the last four seasons and I would back them to finish top six this season.

    An old argument that one.


    If you write it that way, sure it is..

    If you write it properly:

    Everton have finished 17th, 4th, 11th, 6th and 5th in the last seasons, meaning last season is the only anomoly in his run, and the way the league table is this season, and one may suggest getting away with these results with no strikers will last forever, top 6 (and with is European qualification) is in no way a certainty.

  • Comment number 70.

    Both Moyes and O'Neill are good managers, probably the best british managers around - apart from Fergie, of course.

    It would be nice to name an English manager, too, but for some reasons England produce the same amount of worldclass coaches as they produce worldclass keeper: none.

    From the two I think O'Neill has a better chance of being in charge of a top club one day. He has won things with Celtic and Leicester while Moyes is without any trophy. O'Neill at least took Celtic to the UEFA Cup final but Moyes even failed twice to qualify for the group stages! You cannot afford that at a top club.

    It is one thing to manage Villa or Everton that are happy to finish in Top Ten and qualify for Europe every now and then - but at the Big 4 you are under much more pressure. For the media and some owner (and some "fans"!) not even 2nd is good enough. Not only will you have to deal with the biggest stars in the game, you also have to be tactically very good and know how to play in Europe. And that is where I have my doubts about the two.

    My predicition is that the top clubs will continue to appoint foreign worldclass managers because they want someone who is already proven at the highest level.

  • Comment number 71.

    MON would be my choice for next Man utd manager. Has the same ethos of developing young homegrown talent and building a side with them.

    Villa are an enjoyable team to watch too. If Mourinho took over from SAF would that mean utd would change to his boring, defensive style of play that he began to get critiscized for?

  • Comment number 72.


  • Comment number 73.

    What happened to Allardyce when he went to a 'bigger' club (no disrespect Bolton)? Why do you lot trot out the same old clap-trap time after time. Do all Journos follow each other like sheep?

    Moyes is a good manager and has done extremely well at Everton but Chelsea etc want Champions league guarenteed so they're hardley likely to take the gamble are they. O'Neil did great with Celtic but although it pains me to say it compared to the financial clout of Chelsea they are minnows. O'Neil hasn't yet spent or had the oppertunity to spend big bucks.

    Phil, it seems as though Journo's have to bang the British drum with no actual justification for doing so exept to just keep the foreigner haters at bay.

  • Comment number 74.

    MON is the MAN!

  • Comment number 75.

    Jaielka has been rightly written off as an international player by most on the basis of an entire misplaced game against Spain after he was outrageously overhyped by a few journalists who watched the Everton Liverpool cup game. Re-run the tape, but be warned, you might lose the will to live. Although against Liverpool Jagielka did make a few decent interceptions marking an unfit Torres, every pass he made out of defence was misplaced. He is not international class, there's nothing to see here, now move along please.

  • Comment number 76.

    If and when Wenger decides to call it a day - something that I hope will not happen for a good while yet! - I can think of few better candidates for the job than Moyes and O'Neill.

  • Comment number 77.

    Good article, made decent reading for the Friday wind down.

    MON has done wonders for club, as has Randy Lerner. Going back as little as 2-3 years ago, before MON arrived, the club was struggling. Fans were leaving in their droves and we were struggling to sell season tickets. Since MON came in we have seen the best gates in 20+ years. The atmosphere is superb now and the days of doom and gloom under the previous chairman appear to have gone.

    I would imagine the same people who are slating the way Villa play are the same people who were criticising Agbonlahor on 606 come Thursday morning. The same people who haven't seem him lead the line for Villa on his own for 3 months and help us into the position we are in now. He wasn't outstanding by his own standards but he needs the service, which he didnt get. No point bringing in a pacey player who runs the channels and gets in behind the back four and then firing the ball into him when his back's to goal.

    Moyes has been doing a superb job at Everton for years now. He and the team have coped well with the injuries and remained at the right end of the table when many thought they would drop like a stone. Again, maybe not Brailian style but Moyes is doing what he can with the players he has available.

    The game at Goodison between the 2 recently was a stormer and all being well it will be the same on Sunday (Although hoping Villa edge it!)

  • Comment number 78.

    Moyes would need time at a big 4 club, something which Chelsea at least would most definately not give him. I think there would be too big a set of egos in the dressing room for him to control as well - the Everton lads team spirit is based around a bunch of honest, hard working lads, with Moyes brilliantly pulling the strings.

    Martin O'Neill however I rate as probably the best manager in the PL with Sir Alex Ferguson, and would be able to fill his boots when he leaves Old Trafford.

  • Comment number 79.

    At 2:43pm on 13 Feb 2009, BigNevsTache wrote:

    Ah Parish87, a Liverpool fan I see. I accept that you're in a good position to make rational fair-minded comments about Mr Moyes then.... You do seem like a sensible knowledgeable fan but your initial comments possibly had a club v club agenda.

    Do you not think that finishing 7th (in your first full season), 17th, 4th, 11th, 6th, 5th and currently sitting in 6th represents significant progress? This is down to the manager do you not agree? Bearing in mind that the said manager has had very little money (comparatively speaking) I think your negative comments smack a little of anti-Everton bias.

    And no, getting humiliated by Steaua Bucharest was an awful result but I don't think that makes Moyes a bad manager, do you?


    I think Moyes has done a great job to be fair. Taking a team which was lucky to avoid relegation (on goal difference if I recall correctly) to top 4 was a fantastic achievement.

    And yes, it was anti-Everton bias, what more would you expect from a red? ;)

  • Comment number 80.


    Seeing as you used to work for the Echo (and I'm pretty sure you were the Everton correspondent before you were promoted to the current Dave Prentice role commenting on both EFC and LFC) you must know Moyes personally.

    If so, you'll be well placed to comment on his career ambitions. Does he want to win trophies or is taking a club like Everton to consistent top 6 finishes enough for him? If it's the former then a personal view is that this shows lack of ambition. He's settling on being a big fish in a small pond rather than venturing outside his comfort zone to see how far his managerial talent can take him. Would he be happy if his career ended up like Harry Redknapp where he was an above-average manager for 20 years but all he has to show for it is a single FA cup?

    I'm an LFC fan and I don't dispute the fact that he's a very good manager. However, he now seems to be getting to that point where pundits, journos and fans alike are saying that he is deserving of a "bigger" job than Everton. In my mind that translates as a job where he can genuinely challenge for honours. So what kind of jobs does that mean in reality?
    You can forget Newcastle and Spurs for a start. Big clubs yes, but even less chance of challenging than Everton
    Liverpool? Not in a million years would Moyes take that job
    Chelsea? By the standards of this week it looked like the Chelsea job was "too big" for Moyes as, like you said, he was a 40/1 chance.
    United? If Chelsea are "too big" then surely the same logic applies here? Furthermore, Fergie is never going to retire and you'e going to end up with a Queen Lizzy/Prince Charles scenario
    The Old Firm? well you can forget Rangers as he played for Celtic
    Can you really see Moyes managing a top club abroad? I can't.

    So by my reckoning that leaves Arsenal, Celtic and Man City. A pretty slim field I'm sure you agree.

  • Comment number 81.

    I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me if I'm repeating what anyone else has said, but I would love to see Moyes and O'Neill stay exactly where they are and develop their teams over a number of years.

    Many fans complain about SAF and Man United, but objectively it is a fantastic story - the manager started off shakily but was given time to find his feet and stamp (almost literally!) his personality on the job.

    Moyes and O'Neill have survived through sometimes variable form and are now starting to reap the benefits, and I would love to see both Villa and Everton do even better (except against us, obviously!).

    Why should they be poached by clubs with more money? Why not stay where they and break the monopoly/monotony?

  • Comment number 82.

    Why do people always think Everton playing 4-5-1 is negative?? Even with our strikers injured we have had always played with a midfield/strike force of Arteta, Osman, Felliani, Pienaar, Cahill - NONE of which are defensive minded in any way - and P Nev sitting holding. We have Rodwell (who has the potention to be brilliant) and Castillo as defensive players but they hardly play. Throw Jo, Saha, Yakubu, Anichebe and Vaughn into that ands its hardly a defensive team!!!

    Dont confuse a team who dont concede many because of a quality defensive unit with defensive play - we play counter attacking football, which at times is as much of a joy to watch as any other team - take the Bolton game, we destroyed them playing great football!!

    Moyes has been amazing in what he has done for us in recent years on what can only be described as 'on a shoestring' - its only a matter of team before someone tries to tempt him away (The Scottish National team will probably be the one one day!!)

    And as for O'Neil the English FA should have paid him what they paid Sven and the WC and EC would have been very different stories.

  • Comment number 83.

    What have O'Neal and Moyas actualy achieved? O'Nele took Celtic team to the finals of UEFA. Thats about it.

    Rafa took Valenica to La Liga titles and CL finals. Valencia are not richer, nor spend any more than Everton and Villa.

    Wenger took a 12 th place team to title in two years.

    Couple years ago everone was full of praise for Mark Hughes and Big Sam for what wonder the had doen with samml clubs Imagine what they would do if they had players and money. Well wonder no more. Niether made an impact when they got money to spend with bigger clubs.

    Liverpool club in 2005 was fairly average bunch and yet they won CL under Rafa and a year later nearly took second place in PL.

    Moyas and O'Neil type are good taking your Bolton, Everton, and Villa of the world play solid and conservitive or coutner attacking Football and pile up enough points and that is about the extent of it.

    When was the last time these guys won a UEAF cup or even made a deep run with these clubs. Last English manager that took an English team to European cup finals
    was Maclarean takin Bor to finals of UEAFA. he receeved the ultimate in managing prize-manage England team. Fact is managing Evrton and Vilkla the bar is set so low that
    comming close to 5th place is BIG ACHOIEVEMENT. And they put all of their effort in PL just to achieve this. They don't even compete in Carling cup, where the usal big supsect put a joke team.

    Win something then they can talk about big time managment opsotions.

  • Comment number 84.

    No matter who you write about there is always room for a pop at Rafa Benitez. Personally I think your anti Liverpool agenda is pathetic. Every blog has a pop here or there. If its not about transfer dealings then its about rotation.

    Moyes has no track record of spending big money and blew £15m on Fellaini who would no doubt have been branded an expensive flop you and your ilk had Benitez signed him. It is one thing to make an average team difficult to beat, its another thing to suddenly become a big fish and break down the park the bus lower level sides (as Houllier found out at the cost of his job).

    MON is doing well, but has also been well backed but is doing no better than Liverpool were in their 2nd season under Benitez. I still find it amazing that you continue to only blame Benitex to the Barry saga and ignore the fact that MON persistently made public the transfer negotiations and was the 1st to speak publically on the matter.

    You seem to do little more than read the red top headlines and then fan the flames of controversey. No doubt this will be filtered before it gets through as nobody is allowed to criticise your blogs.

  • Comment number 85.

    Phil is dead right and – if further proof were needed - neither Villa nor (especially) Everton get the coverage they deserve on Match of the Day either which, week after week, is dominated by often embarrassingly mediocre games played by “favoured” clubs in much lower positions who happen to have expensive and/or overrated players. Evertonians know there’s probably not much point in switching on until just before the end to watch the part of programme devoted to mopping up the also-rans. Don’t expect much, if any, match analysis either – just be grateful for a quick “another good result for Everton there” from Gary if you are lucky.

  • Comment number 86.

    regarding martin o'neill, i believe he is a graduate of queens university in belfast, i believe he has also has a law degree and has more class in his little finger than the murinhos of the game. he was in toronto with villa a few years ago and was a joy to listen to while being interviewed by local television people. he was never once codensending towards the game here in canada. i hope he wins lots of trophies with villa and then one day walsks the touhline at old trafford. he could also give northern ireland some respectability like 1982 world cup days. David form pickering

  • Comment number 87.

    Everton can be quite negative which could put some top clubs off Moyes having said that so is Benitez as was Mourihno so I don't see why that should be the case, I wouldn't be surprised if these two were front runners for the next United manager.

    Also Spurs and Newcastle think they have a divine right to call themselves big clubs and sleeping giants but why? what have they ever done particularly Newcastle that club is an embarrasment and they tend to think they're better than the rest of the league when was the last time they actually finished in the top half of the table!!

  • Comment number 88.

    #14 Although, does anyone think Moyes would really be keen for the United job when Ferguson retires given he has already attempted to sue one of their best players?


    Succesfully sued the jugeared one. Money donated to charity.

    As for anyone who says Moyes finishes outside the bottom 3 every other year, get your facts right. It started that way when we had a quite awful squad, but stability has arrived and long may it last.

    Infact, if the 'Big4' are more interested in managers whose international teams played well against England once or twice, go them, quite happy to keep Moyes at Goodison for a long long time.

  • Comment number 89.


    Actually today's Villa are not happy to just to finish in the top 10. The new owners want to win the league, European Cup and everything else going.

    Time will tell if they manage it. With Martin O'Neil in charge they have a great chance. Personally I look forward to the day when this 'Big 4' bullsh*t is a thing of the past. I don't know how old you are but believe it or not football did exist before 1992 and at that time Chelsea for one were a p*ss poor little outfit. Before the nineties Villa had won more FA cups and league titles than Utd (fact not checked, but I'm pretty sure it's true)

  • Comment number 90.

    ScottishScouser, it's arguable that MON has the money to spend at Villa. I think Lerner would dip into his pocket if his manager said it was necessary - Ashley Young was rather expensive wasn't he - and Chelsea don't like spending anymore.

    Yes, it would be harder for him at Chelsea, but for exactly the same reason any manager would find it difficult: a demanding chairman and a set of players who think they are better than they are - especially the English contingent.

    But I agree this article is a bit out of place. Topics in the news at the moment: England, Beckham, Scolari, Hiddink and maybe Middlesborough. Not really Moyes or MON.

  • Comment number 91.

    #46 - Spot on.

    One reason for this perception of Everton as dour is that the vast majority of our games that get televised are against top 4 sides (who feature every week).
    In these matches we do tend to be more defensively minded but who isn't?

    When we play teams equally matched or seen as underdogs to us, Moyes does actually get the lads playing some wonderful expansive passing football - even away from home. However TV only tends to show brief highlights (usually on close to last MOTD!) or merely the goals.

    Everton have a strong defence and are well organised sure, but they wouldn't be where they are without real attacking quality either (and that's with no fit strikers!)

    How can a team with Arteta, Pienaar, Baines and Cahill be boring to watch??

  • Comment number 92.

    O'Neill has been considered for big jobs before in England Leeds wanted him back when they were top 4/5 both when Graham went and when O'Leary went and there were lots of rumours that Liverpool wanted him when Houllier was in charge and before Benitez was appointed. So essentially the only big job he hasn't been considered for since the turn of the millenium has been the Chelsea job when it has regularly come up. Reason being O'Neill is far too clever to want to go to such an unstable job, especially now he is building his own title challengers at Villa.

    The reason he has been considered for big jobs is because he has actually done a good job at a big club before. Celtic may play in a lesser league but they have the same expectations as the supposed 'Big 4' of the title and a good Champions League run every season.

    Moyes is less considered because can you really imagine Everton truly breaking the top 4 again and challenging for honours. They just seem too defensive with too little cutting edge. Plus it would be a hell of a gamble for a club wanting to win something every season and play in the Champions League every season to appoint a guy with little European experience who has ultimately won no major trophies in his career.

    O'Neill by contrast has got to a lesser European final and been a Champions League regular at Celtic while winning 3 Scottish Titles, 3 Scottish Cups, 1 Scottish League Cup and 2 English League Cups. Not as big as Premiership or Champions League trophies but it still means he has led teams to silverware 9 times. Not such a risk as appointing Moyes.

    Yes you could say Moyes hasn't been at a club like Celtic but we still don't know for sure that he could win things and why hasn't he won things at Everton when O'Neill did at a lesser club in Leicester.

    Overall then O'Neill has a better resume to land a top job (regardless of what you think of their respective achievements) and has therefore been linked with top jobs while Moyes doesn't have a great resume for a top job despite being a top manager and therefore doesn't get linked with them. Therefore this article is not very good.

  • Comment number 93.

    7 - This perception Everton (or Villa for that matter) play attritional football is way off the mark. The only reason that continues is because 90% of the viewers see those sides what, 6 times a season on the TV, perhaps more, More often than not they are playing one of the SkyTV 4 and are usually set out for the draw or to sneak a win - and because recently we have been doing it, all of a sudden it's attritional.

    The remainder of the season against the lower table sides, and im including Westham in that (last seasons back to back away wins were both good attacking performances) Everton are set out to attack, keep the ball nicely and score plenty of goals from open play after passing moves. The recent swathe of set piece goals is purely to compensate for the fact we've not had a recognised frontman that isnt injured or been sent home for swearing at Moysie.

    14 - "Attempted to sue" - try successfully sued for libel after nonsense in yet another rooney biography. And, im sure you'll find that if Alex Ferguson recommends Moyes to the board as his successor, which he might, Rooney's opinion wont even be a consideration

  • Comment number 94.

    Scouse Torres - "I can see them struggling in the run-in"

    Have you actually looked at the run-in, apart from one game at Chelsea - we dont play another top 4 side all season and play a lot of bottom half sides who, obviously will be motivated, but they are in the bottom half of the table for a reason too.

    Who you got in the Cup this weekend?

  • Comment number 95.

    As a Villa fan i can say ive never been happier and ha more faith in a team in the last 15 years than i do at the moment. We may well lose tomorrow and im not confident of winning, but the progress we have made over the previous 2 1/2 seasons has been astounding.

    O'Neill has spent well and not just looked at a players technical abilities, but he also wants players who have the right attitude. While Arsenal and Chelsea struggle to perform while their main strikers (Drogba and Adebayor) are sulking because they are only earning 80k a week, the likes of Agbonlahor and Heskey will always give 110%. What they lack in finishing they can make up with sheer work rate by contributing to goals through others.

    O'Neill has got us playing good, solid football with some players who are great to watch and who have an excellent team spirit. I will be over the moon if we crack the top 4, i think few would deny we deserve to on the evidence so far this season.

  • Comment number 96.

    TalksRubbish-Clooneys a clone - What? Liverpool already had a top 4 team when Benitez took over, what progress has he made? We had a bottom half side and get less money than you do every season. We spent 40 this season, you spend that every single season yet we are keeping up with you. And MON made it public? Yeah iv heard this little "rumour" before, O'Neill talked about it after it appeared in a Liverpool rag. Its pathetic what lengths some people will go to to try and claim they arent wrong.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    I don't think Ladbrokes 40/1 is a good measure of Moyes ability...why can't the LFC fans remain neutral. Ladbrokes will be factoring in what makes them money, the fact Moyes is not vacant, and the fact Hiddink was clearly lined up as he got the job a day after Scolari was sacked! Coincidently already getting paid by Roman for the Russian job.

    Im a massive Toffee but its hard to engage in this debate over whether Moyes is good enough. Whoever follows SAF will have impossible challenge and set up to fail. Arsenal could definately use Moyes, LFC obv couldnt happen, and would want to see Moyes working with a club that disgracefully lets Drogba and Ballacks ego go above their managers passion and position. Moyes would kick them both out.

    Whether DM is top 4 we will never know unless he gets the chance. No point saying he cant based on no trophes as Everton, as we all know from last 15 yrs that the days of a top 8 side challenging are incredibly rare. Its not as level playing field as pre mid-90s. In fact untill last season we were the last team to win the FA CUP outside the top 4.

    This is about a wider sadness where finishing 4th has become a trophy in itself. I danced up and down 4 yrs ago for an afternoon after beating Newcastle for forth. Tradgic reality is money has killed the game and we celeberate the 'qualification' to CL like the world cup final.

    Moyes would be more attacking if resources were there....typical moaning top 4 fan mentality about the fact there over payed players cannot adapt to 4-5-1 playing teams (Wenger especially). If we had Ronaldo, Torres, Deco, I guarentee we would not play 6 in defence!


  • Comment number 100.

    Both are excellent managers. Most people get down on their hands and knees in adulation when discussion turns to Fergie and Wenger, but the fact is if you have a lot of money to spend on players it is easier to be successful on the field. If each team spent the same amount of money on players and wages then you might be surprised at how quickly some of the "great" managers come back to earth and how underrated some managers at the "smaller" clubs really are. BTW - I'm a Liverpool fan, who thinks there are a number of managers who could do an equal, and probably better job than Rafa given the funds he has had over the past few years.


Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.