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

Moyes revels in latest coup

Post categories:

Phil McNulty | 16:45 UK time, Saturday, 20 February 2010

At Goodison Park

Everton will not win the Premier League title - but the way they swept aside Manchester United after inflicting similar punishment on Chelsea confirms they are intent on having a decisive say in its destination.

As David Moyes basked in his latest coup, a deserved victory after Everton proved too strong for the champions, he may just have allowed himself to think that a resurgent season could yet yield an unlikely reward.

Everton's hope of finishing in the top four still remains the longest of shots, but their upturn in form since the end of last year means they stand only six points behind Liverpool in fifth place and five behind Tottenham in sixth.

And as Sir Alex Ferguson's champions went the same way as Premier League leaders Chelsea in Everton's last home league game, Moyes will feel a tinge of regret that their season started so slowly and resulted in this game of catch-up.

Everton celebrate Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's goal
Everton drew level through Diniyar Bilyaletdinov almost immediately after Dimitar Berbatov's opener. Photo: Getty

Everton's recent league record against United was worse than miserable - so the raucous scenes of celebration that rocked Goodison Park at the final whistle were understandable.

There were no smiles for Sir Alex Ferguson, who was grim-faced and left with nowhere to go other than accept and admit United were beaten by the better side. It was a damaging day, an opportunity to turn up the pressure a notch on Chelsea wasted.

And it was a prime example of just how vital Wayne Rooney is to United. Rooney was well-shackled, a couple of moments of danger apart, by John Heitinga and Sylvain Distin and the reduction in his influence had a startling effect on United.

In previous visits to the club he worshipped as a boy and where he shaped his reputation, Rooney has been fuelled by the animosity rolling off the terraces - occasionally over-fuelled by it.

If not exactly kissing and making up, there has been a softening of feeling in recent times and the only abuse Rooney suffered on Saturday was mostly of the "boo-hiss" pantomime variety. Everton's fans were even forgetting to jeer towards the end.

Rooney did a lengthy interview with Everton's own television channel a few weeks ago, while Moyes spoke in glowing and conciliatory terms on Friday about Goodison Park's one-time golden boy.

Could this have had an effect on Rooney, as well as the obvious after-effects of his blockbusting efforts in the Champions League against AC Milan in the San Siro?

Whatever the reasons, and he cannot be expected to hit world-class standards every week, Rooney was not quite himself at Everton and his old team took advantage.

United may point to their exertions in midweek, but that would be harsh on Everton, who ruthlessly exploited the fact that Father Time is now surely tapping Gary Neville on the shoulder.

Everton have looked a terrific side in the last few months, barring aberrations against Birmingham City in the FA Cup and at Liverpool in the league, as they have outclassed Manchester City and beaten Chelsea and United at Goodison Park.

It was almost all too much for chairman Bill Kenwright, who deserted his seat as Everton held a narrow 2-1 lead, but returned relaxed when they added a third in the dying seconds.

Kenwright was surely suffering from an attack of nerves as opposed to a lack of faith because this was a performance in keeping with most of Everton's recent efforts.

As he resumed his seat, Goodison Park was almost literally shaking. It was at moments like this you get why so many Everton fans are reluctant to leave the old place. The atmosphere will not be recreated at any other Everton home - and it is a problem Liverpool will also have when they eventually leave Anfield.

To beat Chelsea and Manchester United in successive home games is achievement enough, but to do it having fallen behind in both matches adds to the lustre. And it was also earned without key midfield duo Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini.

Moyes was, by his own standards, beaming after watching Everton show the confidence to take United on with a passing game and reap the rewards. Leon Osman was the game's outstanding performer while the intelligence of players such as Landon Donovan - a superb signing - Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta gave them an elegance as well as their trademark resilience and character.

When Dimitar Berbatov put United ahead, it did not look like service would be disrupted. It was not the case as Diniyar Bilyaletdinov ripped an equaliser past Edwin van der Sar.

Everton then gave at least as good as they got before Moyes introduced two young talents making their way in the game - and in the mood to settle this one.

Gosling added to his winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup last season by putting Everton ahead, but the crowing glory was a magnificent surge and finish by Jack Rodwell to conclude the formalities.

Dan Gosling celebrates scoring for Everton
Both of Everton's young substitutes were on the scoresheet against United. Photo: AP

Rodwell is a work in progress, as proved by his poor cameo in the Europa League against Sporting Lisbon, but in a moment he showed why the word is United want to make him a £20m-plus summer recruit.

Everton will fight to keep him, aided and abetted by the fact that unlike when Rooney left, they do not need the money. And it would not pay Rodwell to quit Everton too soon. He will benefit from continuing his tutelage under Moyes, not as a bench-warmer at United.

Rooney could have left Everton and played in most teams in Europe. Rodwell is nowhere near that stature yet, but the raw materials are there to work with. This is a debate for another day.

Everton deserved the joy that swept around Goodison - along with optimism that they may still force themselves into a position to cash in on the unpredictability of this Premier League season.

You can follow me throughout this season at and join me on Facebook.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Keeps the chase for the title interesting! Imagine where Everton would have been without the early season injuries!

  • Comment number 2.

    Were Manchester United "swept"away by Everton?
    I thought it was a fairly even game untill the second goal was scored by Everton and I do not believe Rooney was as quiet as you have pictured him to have been during the game.
    All credit to Everton for winning this game,but the blog was pretty predictable.
    Am sure if United had won this game every one could have predicted how the blog would have worked out.
    There is no longer an element of surprise in this blog,and it is becoming very boring.

  • Comment number 3.

    5th looks to be in reach, which, with a good run in the UEFA would be an excellent season, considering the start.

    I just want to pay a special commendation to Osman, an Everton player from the academy, and was the best player (among a lot of very, very good players) on the pitch. After all the stick he's had from Everton fans, he was fantastic today.

    Phil, these recent displays have been great - Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Man Utd (a probable top four this season), but, injuries aside, and obviously with hindsight, what do you reckon caused the start of Everton's season's poor form? Lescott and injuries are obvious (and probably the most poignant factors), but we started this way last year as well. Why don't Everton start the season well?

  • Comment number 4.

    Great Result for Everton. Moyes is impressive and one of the best managers in the league.

  • Comment number 5.

    Everton are a quality team (I'm an Arsenal fan so not looking through Blue Tints). They should have won at the Emirates as well. If they hadn't had so many injuries between August - December they would definitely be bang in the race for fourth and aren't totally out of it yet anyway.

    Moyes should try to sign Donovan permanently too.

  • Comment number 6.

    Shut down Rooney and you shut out Man Utd.

    If Ronaldo was worth £80m to Madrid, then Rooney must be worth at lest double to Man Utd - without him, they'd be nothing and nowhere.

    Interesting to note the recent softening of the relationship between Rooney and Moyes, too; somebody's got their eye on Ferguson's job, methinks, and is working to remove a possible barrier.

  • Comment number 7.

    David Moyes over the years has been building a strong team, and he now has had the time in charge to actually have now built a very good squad. Before Christmas Everton had 6 key players out, no team in the top flight would be able to cope with so many players out. Even now Everton have 3 key players injuried, however because the manager now has a stroner squad, he has players able to come in and to not look out of place, which was indeed the problem in the first few months of the season. Everon will contiue to be a match for anyone this season, and on current form look better than most teams than have spent a lot more money than the manger has spent building an excellent squad on a very restricted budget.

  • Comment number 8.

    I cant believe all the BBC Chief Football Writer has to do is mind numbingly regurgitate how a match has panned out with no additional insight whatsoever. Add to that some of the 'facts' don't resemble anything that actually happened. This was a close game, which ebbed and flowed throughout, and Everton won by virtue of having a sharpness in the final third which United didn't, save for Berbatov's controlled finish from 5 yards.

  • Comment number 9.

    richmay1, you sound bitter...

  • Comment number 10.

    Every side has a 'what could have been' theory.

    Everton are an average team that occasionally have an inspired run.

    Much of that is down to Moyes.

  • Comment number 11.

    Phil, I think your writing is really good and hugely enjoy your blogs, and I don't like to get in on the act of needless criticising. But can you stop going on about Rooney quite so much? Doubtless he is United's best and most influential player, but every article you've written in the last I don't know how many, when the subject was United or England, there's at least two or three paragraphs dedicated to "how world-class" he is and "how important". Whether or not this is true, the point is that we get it; and on a day like today, rather than viewing it as an example of how vital Rooney is to United, mightn't it be more refreshing to go from the angle of how Rooney can be contained, and what that suggests about his weaknesses?

  • Comment number 12.

    One win in three in the League for United. Any other team and they would call it a wobble! Chelsea's form has been described as patchy in the last six games but they have actually won the same amount of points as Man Utd have in their last six games! I personally think all the championship contenders look good at home but shakey away with both Man Utd and Chelsea having won just a 2 of their last six away fixtures (and United actually being beaten in 2 out of the other four!).

    Still think Arsenal have a great chance with only 2 of the top 7 still left to play. They may not be good enough to beat Man Utd or Chelsea in one off games, but as Liverpool found out last year when they hammered 4 in at Old Trafford being superior to your rivals home and away means nothing if you don't pick up points against the "lesser" sides. It is perhaps noticeable that Everton have only lost two games at home this season and Arsenal are one of the teams that won there (6-1 though admittedly on the first day of the season).

    Lots of points to play for though and with no side looking dominant: plenty more twists and turns I'm sure before the end of the season!

  • Comment number 13.

    Phil how are Everton possibly going to decide the title?

    Chelsea AND United lost to them, so unless you think Arsenal are now back in it (despite ruleing them out after their loss at Chelsea and refusing to change your mind after they beat liverpool) then both teams have lost away to everton, that means they both got the same amount of points from everton, ie NONE, now you don't need to be a mathematical genius to work out that if both teams take no points then after 38 games if one of those teams wins then the Everton fixtures will have had no bearing on the title race.

    We are now simply back to where we were before Chelsea lost to Everton a few weeks ago. After that game I'm pretty sure you wrote a piece about the league having plenty more twists and turns yet so to say this game could decide the title is foolish in the extreem.

    All credit to Everton, the last 3 months of last year and the first 3 of this they had some very nasty injuries to a lot of key members of their first team squad, and despite many in the press gunning for moyes, saying he should leave etc (looking at you too phil) he has shown that he has ammased a lot of good talent at that team.

    As a Utd fan I was disapointed today, but not surprised, we've had many poor games this season (as have Chelsea Arsenal and Liverpool) and despite being on a decent run recently our defence is still shaky, No Rio or Vidic who we built our title winning run on last season and anyone has a chance to score against us. Evra looks to be failing under the pressure of being the only consistant member of our back four and Neville is in and out like a rusty yo-yo. That being said on a different day had Rooneys touch not let him down for the first time since Christmas we'd have gone 2-1 up and it could have been a different game enitrely from then on.
    Credit to everton once again, they played inteligent football and took their chances, played as a team and won as one. When Fergie retires I've said for the last 2 years that out of the current PL managers Moyes would be my choice and he keeps on vindicating that choice. One of the best managers in the league without doubt.

  • Comment number 14.

    10# exactly mate...

    I would say if City hadn't drawn 6-7 on the trot where would they have been today?

    If Arsenal had not lost to United and Chelsea both home and away?
    Outside the current top 4 teams Arsenal have only lost to Sunderland away.. the remaining 5 losses are 2 to Chelsea, 2 to united and 1 to city..

    If only we were better against them..........
    Besides I would love to see at the end of the season which team have suffered most from injuries...

  • Comment number 15.

    Well done to Everton they outplayed United today and definitely deserved all three points. Well done to David Moyes as well, he's a great manager.

    Jamie, London

    Read my blog guys, there's lot to talk about...

  • Comment number 16.

    @ No 9 Gemima,
    Am not bitter.Infact if you read my post properly you would see that I congratulated Everton for their victory.
    What I can not stand is Mr McNultys' football sumersaults every blog he puts out.
    If United had won he would have been praising Rooney to the high heavens as he did after the match with Milan midweek.
    Pretty predictable stuff.
    By the way I do not support Manchester United.
    Calling it as I see it,thats all.

  • Comment number 17.

    IMO today's match reflects ,
    1. Moyes outwiled the other Scot.
    2. Donovan will be England's nemesis in WC.
    3. This with a team without Fellaini.
    4. Just imagine the titles Moyes can land if he is is handed a load of greenbacks, like Man U's financial instruments. He will definitely put the Toffees all over Europe Football map.

  • Comment number 18.

    Aswell as Moyes and the players taking the plaudits I think we need to pat on the back the Chairman and the board for sticking with Moyes and for giving him time to build a squad of players who can compete with the "big 4"
    Many clubs swap and change managers too quickly and therefore have a high turnover of players and no stability.
    The last few months we all have seen a vast improvement and this is because he has had time too build and develop and bring through good solid players (not world beaters) who all know what they have to do and do it too the best of their abilities - Bravo Everton.

    keeping Pienaar and signing Donovan are vital for next year which could see a top 4 again.!!

  • Comment number 19.

    Maybe Everton should put a cheeky little bid in for Rooney. (If they dont need the money from the sale of Rodwell)

  • Comment number 20.

    Wonderful Phil!
    Somehow this still manages to be a glowing report on the talents of Wayne Rooney!
    This match you say 'proves how vital he is to Manchester United' - how does it do that? There is no logic behind the statement whatsoever!

    Had Rooney not been playing and United lost then of course you could say that... Or you could say this match proves how important Berbatov is for Manchester United, still scoring when the team didn't play so well... but I fail to see the logic in it proving Rooney's talents at all.

    This was a great victory for Everton, a team who are probably one of the most under-rated in the league at the moment.

  • Comment number 21.

    So pleased for David Moyes, surely up there with the best managers in the premiership. Did anyone hear him moan between August and December about all the injuries the club had? - the man's management style is pure class and has created a great team ethic at Everton. Following Moyes' second difficult season at Goodison, the story goes, he spoke to everyone at the club from the tea lady up to get their opinions regarding the way forward - there has been improvement ever since. And with some great signings, the team (when all available) are a match for anyone.

  • Comment number 22.

    A bit sensationalist; not sure Everton's dominance was all that assured until the last half hour/twenty minutes of the game.

    I agree with the sentiment that Everton have to try and get Donovan on a permanent basis. Bilyaletdinov; as awesome as he can be, still needs time to adjust to the pace of the English game, so we need someone who can provide width to our play. Donovan has done that in spades and, what is more, he has the vigour and, some of the flair of a hyperactive Arteta...always trying to roll, flick and trick the ball past defenders if he sees no other option. His performances have been mostly fantastic, but always committed and I think he has the skill, and attitude to fit in at Everton.

    What I do not agree with is dogeared's assessment of Everton as an average side...They have shown themselves, consistently, to be better than average. Indeed if you are touting Everton as 'average' you will also be berating the 15 clubs that have finished beneathe them in the league the last two seasons as worse than average...teams like Tottenham, Villa, Man City et al.
    They may not have had the millions to throw around but what they have had is some inspired purchases; and a canny manager who understands that sticking a team of mercenaries together does not make a 'team'. If you want to know how the biggest players don't make the best team, ask 1966 world cup winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey; who chose the players that suited his system, and not the ones who were touted as 'the best'.

    A lesson seemingly known to Moyes, and hopefully, for England's sake, Mr. Capello; who for all accounts seems to have more of an interest in taking patchy-formed former bench warmer and dressing-room-splitter Wayne Bridge than unsung, pacey, free-kick specialist, immense crossing powerhouse Leyton Baines whose left flank escapades with Pienaar/Bilyaletdinov are a big part of Everton's form and a big part of the reason for this blog!

  • Comment number 23.

    Richmay clearly didn't go to the game as he is completely mistaken and is basing it on tv footage which never shows the whole picture, only where the ball is

    Some Man U fans I overheard on the train back from Goodison said that as soon as they went ahead, they were dominated totally by Everton. They said that Everton outplayed, outmuscled and were better in all departments. I agree as I was at the game and not guessing as certain people have clearly done.

  • Comment number 24.

    And as for dogeared...clearly a Liverpool fan....

    Name me one team that had 13 first team players out at the same time? Don't say Liveerpool as the likes of Pacheco, Kelly, Spearing and Edna the tealady don't count as first team players.

    And to AndreiArseShaving....if is a big word. IF Pompey had won 8 more games they would be pushing for Europe, IF Man City had LOST those games they would be a lot lower. IF, IF IF.

  • Comment number 25.

    I completely agree with Karl #22, and particularly disagree with the comment saying Everton are an ''average'' team. I don't understand how an average team could finish in the top 6 for the last 3 years running and also break the top 4 back in 2005. The fact is, you wouldn't say Aston Villa are an average team, or Tottenham who have both finished below Everton in the last 2-3 years, so why say it.

    Man Utd just got beat by a team who wanted it more on the day, this doesn't mean Everton are a better side the United.

  • Comment number 26.

    @ BeyondThePale,

    You are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Everton had a good game and that's all. United couldn't match them at some stages of the game and there is only one reason why that happened. MU played a very emotionally and physically demanding match on Tuesday against Milan and players didn't manage to recuperate on time. Only two United's players, Berbatov and Valencia, were looking fresh and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that. If the match were played on Sunday, I don't have any doubts, the result would've been different.

  • Comment number 27.

    >>Name me one team that had 13 first team players out at the same time?

    Hmm interesting your first team should only have 11 players so how can 13 of them be out at the same time?

  • Comment number 28.

    To comments saying United were tired after Milan,

    SAF himself said in the post-match interview that in training his players were bouncy and energetic after the Milan and don't forget Everton also had a mid-week match against Lisbon, I am not saying they weren't tired but as champions that excuse isn't really a valid one as if they had won the game there would be no moaning about this issue.

  • Comment number 29.

    @26....Everton played Sporting Lisbon...ok they had 2 hours more to recover, but your comment is just pathetic

  • Comment number 30.

    Stellar Penny Bun
    lest we forget Everton had a european game on Tuesday too...and don't have the massive squad, and depth of talent, to replace those who may be exhausted from midweek escapades...

    That's a poor excuse for a team that should have done better today. There are no excuses for United; they showed the same shaky defence that has been scrutinised in every one of their bad performances this season; and were on the day beaten by a team that, if not considered better, at the very least matched them on the day.

    This idea that it is the 'bigger' side that loses the game, and not the 'smaller' one that wins is simply ludicrous.

    I do agree that the game was closer than it will be touted, at least for the most part...but United were beaten on the day by a better side...that is how football works; and no other explanation, no excuse should 'justify' a team of the strength of depth, and with the aspirations of United losing a game. They were simply beaten.

  • Comment number 31.

    at 27...have you never heard of subs? Anyway, this debate is about the Premiership, not Legaue One which is where you'll end up next season.

  • Comment number 32.

    Everton also had an emotionally charged mid week game against Sporting Lisbon so i dont think mid week games are an excuse for man utd and besides they have never effected results before and never should with the resources available

  • Comment number 33.

    also to 26....

    Everton 3 Man United 1

    Close debate

  • Comment number 34.

    @ RhinoW, @ Blue Dill, are you suggesting Sporting Lisbon are at the same level as AC Milan? Have you seen AC Milan vs MU?

    And yes, Everton had a good game. That's all.

  • Comment number 35.

    im going to stick my neck out but Everton for the league next season we are the best team in the world at the moment

  • Comment number 36.

    It would be very harsh to mention Man United's "mid week exertions", as Everton also played in Europe on the same night!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 37.


    That is no excuse at all, you have quality players as back up, you can only work as hard as your body allows you too, 3 full days recovery should be enough for the champions, stop moaning and accept it?

  • Comment number 38.

    @34....well, Sporting Lisbon ARE younger and fitter than AC Milan.

    It doesn't matter who you played you still run round as much.

    I hope Chelsea win the Premiership, although you'll say it was because you didn't have Neil Webb or David May or some other pitiful excuse

  • Comment number 39.

    Apart from Rooney and Evra, you'd be hard pushed to name a Manchester United player on show today who would improve the Everton squad. That's both a compliment to Moyes' shrewd signings, and a sign that United's roster needs urgent surgery - they still haven't replaced Keane, no matter how hard Fletcher works.

    United failed to apply any real pressure and Everton looked comfortable for much of the game. That's why Everton's result against Chelsea was far more impressive.

  • Comment number 40.

    @10 Ooh, spot the RS fan, lol

    @26 How ignorant, one-eyed and sad can one person get?

    I very rarely bother to enter comments, they're usually neener neener moronicness, but this thread has been realistic. Barring these 2, obv.

  • Comment number 41.

    i was hoping to read some tactical insight. really disappointing article. it is just the match summary and then some words of praise for a few players.
    for example, what is the point of writing this: "Everton then gave at least as good as they got" That's a tired cliche and adds no value at all.

  • Comment number 42.

    As has been pointed out, but it bears repetition, the result today does the opposite of "have a decisive say in [the premierships] destination". Had they lost to United then it would have had a bearing. I wonder if you read through your blogs before posting them?

    Great result for Everton though, and they are clearly in good form. They did this without Fellaini and Tim Cahill. The addition of Donovan and the return of Arteta, has perhaps, added a much better passing capability to the team, and I dare say that had those two players been available we might have seen a different style employed by Moyes and even a different result. So, while I applaud Moyes, I suspect he rode his luck a little here.

    Rooney, as usual is the focal point of United, and Everton did well to restrict him, but I don't see how he is any more tired after midweek exertions than Everton players would be after their game, which was a day later.

    Evertons move up the table has co-incided with the rapid fall of Birmingham and Sunderland, two teams that Phil McNulty gushed over in earlier blogs this year.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well done today,heres to hoping you catch those red eejits, god how we ALL would love for ye to finish ahead of them,David Moyes has done a fantastic job with little or no resources(and hasnt asked for more money!!!)Fair enough they might have done the double over ye, but Evertons integruity,through their manager,chairman & fans deserve the utmost respect from the rest of us. Well done, Utd fan . P.S How much for Jack?

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    Phil should be allowed his moment of joy....after all he is an Everton fan and is entitled to be delighted with their form.

    Everton were excellent and Moyes is a fantastic manager. Well done Everton!

    The point about Rooney is overplayed though. What Utd need more than anything is Rio and Vidic back in defence. Brown and Evans have been struggling lately and it is costing Utd.

  • Comment number 46.

    I watched Manchester being outplayed by a great Everton team, and thought how well Landon Donovan has seemingly fitted into the Everton scheme of play. I thought he had a great game. Now will someone please tell me if Manchester United are still being sponsored by the insurance company that we American taxpayers were forced to bail out to the tune of 170 BILLION dollars last year. Ever time I see the AIG on the Man. U jerseys I see RED!

  • Comment number 47.

    United like any other team need a midfield general, a great man (Bobby Robson) advocated that in an interview that i once saw, and as a junior football coach that is what i advocate as well,the midfield is where it all starts and where it all stops, Barcalona pass you to death, Arsenal have tried to do that, but it's nothing new, Liverpool of the seventies used do that, but if you don't have the passing skills thats required then your going to come up short, i don't mind addmiting that the best central midfielder in Europe at the moment is probably Essien, but i believe, and always will, that in midfield you need a stopper and a starter.

  • Comment number 48.

    #17 Why does everyone assume that Moyes, with an unlimited transfer pot, would do any better than he has?.

    To say that shows that Moyes management style escapes you completely. Look at how he has operated since taking over. His first job, stop the leaks, he tightens up the defence trains the 'dogs of war' and makes Everton hard to beat. Once he achieves that, culminating in the run of 'dull' 1-0's that carried us to fourth spot, he then starts to add flair and craft.

    Arteta is added and Moyes designs a formation to exploit Tim Cahills' talents to the utmost. Then he lets those additions meld with the rest of the team and evolve the playing style. Next he brings in Baines, Howard and Neville adding width, security and experience. Then he lets those new factors graft on to the team structure. Next its a bit more firepower with Yakubu and extra flair in the shape of Steve Pienaar.

    Each time its, relatively, small changes - a player or two - who bring something new into the mix and, most importantly, are spliced into the team and given time to bed in. All of the players having the right character and temperament to follow that kind of teamwork vision.

    Moyes' system works so well because it doesnt necessarily need huge sums of money. In many ways hugely expensive players, with commensurate ego's, would be less likely to succeed in a Moyes team. Thats not to say some money now and again wouldn't be well spent - Yakubu and Fellaini are examples, but, they are always likely to be the exception rather than the rule.

    The enabler for Moyes' vision has been the patience shown him by the board and, most, of the fan base. Without that it doesnt work because teams aren't made overnight - as a certain unemployed welshman with poor business habits discovered to his cost.

    Thats why Moyes will never replace Sir Alex of Ferguson. The ManU board would never give him the time to build his squad and let it develop naturally as he knows it needs to. The only top 4 side I could actually see Moyes moving to, ironically, would be Arsenal. A harkening back to the Graham days and an understanding board would, I think, be attractive to him. Question would be whether the fans would wait for a new manager to build up another new side after Mr Wengers experimentations.

    Hopefully a question that will remain purely academic for a long time.

  • Comment number 49.

    well deserved win for everton. it would be nice to see which teams have spent more than everton. any idea anyone ?

  • Comment number 50.

    Everton are always considered to be a hard working, dogs of war type of team, but yesterday their midfield had the better footballers with more skill and ability than the United one. Carrick was conspicuous by his absence.

  • Comment number 51.

    Phil another good post.

    Quick question. It is very possible that Sir Alex Ferguson will retire within the next three years. By the time he does, the money men at Manchester United may just have placed some pretty severe restrictions on the amount allowed to be spent on transfer fees at Old Trafford.

    Considering what David Moyes has done on a relatively small transfer budget and the sense of strong squad spirit he has helped cultivate, do you think the Scot will be one of the main candidates for the top job at United?

  • Comment number 52.

    Thought Id post a comment to just to say how impressed ive been with Leon Osman. He has been a regular in the Everton midfield for years despite the addition of some quality players such as Pienaar etc. He was awesome today and easily the best player despite the caliber of play on show. I feel sorry for the lad in the fact that he has never got the recognition he has deserved and has always been overlooked in terms of an appearance at international level.

  • Comment number 53.

    Chuffed for Moyes. Far better manager than Rafa IMO

  • Comment number 54.

    #51, you're presuming managing United will remain a plum after 2-3 years. Why should Moyes aspire to do his thing elsewhere when he has the potential to achieve it at Everton. He can already boast of several nonentities turned into heroes and near celebrities coming to bloom at Goodison. Everton is on the move and may be going places!

    The rate at which Davids signings come good is amazing. I really see a very committed team at Goodison. Osman, Donovan, Fellaini, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Distin, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling, Howard, the guy who limpeted Rooney (Heitinga, is it?)-its a caravan. Impressed by his talent scouting developmental abilities, I am all too aware he may already have a fight on his hands zealously guarding his burgeoning riches/Rodwells.

  • Comment number 55.

    To # 49,
    IMO without the financial wherewithal and muscle no matter how good a manager, and his system is, his team (without surpus quality players and depth) will not achieve Top Tier Success or Titles!. Especially over the long haul and rigours of the EPL season.
    C'mon, its a given that an excellent manager needs the financial backing of the owner to succeed, to wit Mourihno and RA's billions. It goes hand in hand. Its very rare to see a successful CL team, without the financial wherewithal and a good manager at the helm.
    My postulate is that if AW (and or Rafa) had the millions to spend(rather than forced to sell or due to the lack of or budgetary constraints) to finetune the squad they would have garnered a few more titles!
    Lastly a cogent case in point, with the decimated injuries of his key players was Moyes successful at the start of the season? If you are suggesting that by sound managing ALONE, then perhaps Moyes should have done the trick by managing some wins out of his lack of depth in his squad then! Everton would now be at the top tier of PL and we would rightfully claim he is a genius for winning the EPL title!
    The Fact to Win Titles and to be a Successful Title & Trophies Winning Manager like SAF & Mourinho, may have elude you(per comment No.17 Pt.4). No?

  • Comment number 56.

    Correction! My reply in #55 was in response to No.48.

  • Comment number 57.

    Everton and Moyes have a formula against the 'bigger' teams, they try to outwork them. They challenge the entire pitch and concede nothing.
    How many times have we seen Man U and Chelsea get behind and their opponents become too defensive? Everton kept the their shape and their commitment to winning.

  • Comment number 58.

    To people complaining about united's quality this year... We are missing the best player in the world from our squad this year... without ronaldo and without vidic and a fit ferdinand... united is good side but not great... considering all that i would say united has had a great season...

    and no they are not a one man team... they were not a one man team year before too... that total BS... united has a big squad... and i seriously think even with this squad with a first choice defense... they might just nick it... but after loosing ronaldo and tevez and without spending money... this is awesome!

    stop being so negative ppl!

    We now need a right back... brown is good in defence and rafael good in offense... we need someone as good as evra on other side... we also need a creative midfielder... scholes is not as consistent anymore and carrick isnt goof enough... a young striker and a young CB who would be top class in 2-3 years time would be a bonus...

    till then... glory glory man utd!

  • Comment number 59.

    I see poor manU fans not feeling comfortable with anything phil writes..And everyone knows the reason.
    Anyway phil,most of the things you wrote,i had already read that in the live text n news thereafter. Should have taken your time and prepared a good write with some insight,that makes you chief football writer or whatever.
    Regarding the match,i don't see how united fans say it was balanced.Count the passes leading upto donovan and bilyeletdinov misses,count how many times osman and arteta dodged your midfielders...Everton totally outclassed the champions except for some fringe time early in both halves. I really didn't understand fergusons decision to bring on obertan and scholes.I don't see anything in that kangaroo-looking player who can run in and the defender won't do anything coz if he did touch either obertan'll get injured or the defender'll get himself sent off.Truly too much predictable.Park except for his fragility is truly a committed player and as hardworking.Few would praise him for what he did in this game,but among those few ferguson should be one.
    Its a hell of a season,phil. You never know your prediction has still a mathematical probability to come true,i'm deluded,i know.Bring on city,torres to start.

  • Comment number 60.

    Don't know why my original post was referred for moderation. Maybe coz i asked phil to put a lil insight in his articles.But everyone here is begging for that.

  • Comment number 61.

    @ No 23 RhinoW,
    I did watch the match in question and I stand by and on my posts at number 2 and 16.Thank you.

  • Comment number 62.

    Moyes continues to prove he's not only an astute manager, but has the long term backing of the board and the owners. I'm not surprised they think he's the right man for the job, as he's careful with their cash, and doesn't waste it.
    More power to Everton, and i hope they see some European action next year as they deserve it for their efforts. When most of the rest of the EPL is swimming in debt, Everton's future looks pretty good. Were I a player at that club, i'd feel more secure than perhaps anywhere else.
    You could say both Everton and Arsenal are reaping the rewards of astute management not just tactically, but fiscally, whatever the supporters expectations of glory may be. Both Moyes and Wenger know how to play the long game, and the teams they build, playing the style of football they do, does benefit the game.

    Well done David Moyes and Everton for a good result, and what was most certainly a decent game plan, skillfully and determinedly carried out by the players..

    If i owned a club, i'd have both David Moyes and Arsene Wenger at the top of the shopping list for a manager.

  • Comment number 63.

    Phil, i find it amazing that you praised rooneys talent even when he was poor and manchester utd lost. This defeat does not underline his importance to the champions but infact it shows how crucial ferdinand, Vidic and giggs are. The defence was shambles and had it been giggs coming on instead of obertan, Utd might have got a result.

    And by the way, what is your opinion on Arsenals title challenge. Two points behind man utd who are 4 points behind chelsea. so if you rule arsenal out Phil, you have to rule Man u out aswell.

  • Comment number 64.

    To those questioning just how superior Everton were yesterday, you only had to listen to the words of Sir Alex Ferguson after the game. He admitted United were well beaten and they were.

    Many Everton fans were left wondering yesterday what might have been after their poor start to the season. I feel there were a combination of factors at work here, from the bitterness and disappointment at the manner of Joleon Lescott's departure to the need to accommodate new faces with the season more or less under way.

    I have watched Everton twice at home in recent weeks, against Manchester City and Manchester United, and it was not just the fact that they won that was so impressive, it was how they won. They played some marvellous football in both games.

    For United it was a bad day, and the reason I mentioned Wayne Rooney (and I won't be apologising for it) was because he was returning to his old club, something that has been discussed at length just about everywhere else in the build-up, and the fact that he was so subdued had an impact on the outcome.

    Rest assured I will be mentioning his quality regularly in future - and hopefully with monotonous regularity during the World Cup in South Africa.

  • Comment number 65.

    Alas, Everton are a selling club. The fringes of Europe are the height of their aspirations.

    I think Moyes is a very real contender to succeed Ferguson at United one day.

    Everton have seen mixed fortunes, but Moyes always manages to bring them round when they have a bad run.

    There are a lot of similarities between Fergie and Moyes. Shrewd and tough, they both hate losing. Neither are afraid of speaking their mind either.

    He makes the most of the resources at his disposal and he must be destined to have a crack at a really big club, no offence to Everton fans.

    Do you see United beckoning in a couple of years, Phil?

  • Comment number 66.

    Phil, do you think Rodwell could be a surprise inclusion into the World Cup squad?

  • Comment number 67.

    #65 , I can understand your opinion that Everton are a selling club , however I'll think you'll find that Joleon Lescott is the only player to leave Everton since Rooney , 6 years ago that left without Moyes' blessing . Every player has his price no matter who they play for ie Ronaldo , does that make Utd a selling club ? I'm sure SAF didn't want him to go , The Everton players who are being spoken about as targets recently , Saha , just signed a new contract , Pienaar , has made a statement he wants to stay , Rodwell , ditto , Fellaini ditto , Arteta is completely committed to Everton , That hardly makes Everton a " selling club " May not have a vast budget to spend but the current squad , injury free is a match for anyone , not to forget that tere are still gems in the academy waiting to take their chance ,ie Baxter , Duffy , Forshaw , Wallace , to name a few , not known to many yet but how many had heared of Jack Rodwell 2 years ago ?

  • Comment number 68.

    Well done Everton. A thoroughly deserved 3 points and a wonderfully take 3rd goal.

    As i was watching the game though i could not help being reminded of when Man Utd lost 3-0 to Milan a few years ago. We looked very heavy legged in the final 1/3rd of the game (as we did that night too), and it was no surprise that Everton really came into it at this point.

    I am a little bit concerned by this, and hoping it was just a bad day at the office and not indicative of a long and hard season catching up on the players, because if so, Chelsea could be out of sight in the league table before they come to OT.

    I know people will say that Everton played midweek too, so should suffer the same fatigue, i disagree. With the greatest of respect, there is a difference physically and mentally in playing Sporting at home to playing AC Milan away.

    However, wins against City, Chelsea and now United show that this is not just luck. There is a real fortress mentality being built at Goodison, and teams looking for 3 points will not enjoy having to go there to play.

  • Comment number 69.


    What you are missing there SoccerInt is an understanding of the sheer number of injuries we had early doors. The problem we had was long-term injuries left over from last term - which we had squad cover for i.e Osman covering Arteta, Jo covering Yakubu, but, we then picked up signiicant injuries to those covering players as well.

    How many sides, even current CL ones, have three full sets of quality players to call on?. Not even the mightily financed top CL clubs could take 13 first team players out of their squads and be near as effective yet that was where we were.

    Anyway that point is largely moot as the point I was making wasn't that you can win the EPL on a shoestring budget. What I was saying was that Moyes success is in the gradual building and moulding process of a team and a squad. The time he has been given at Everton is pivotal to his way of getting the team balanced and infused with his work ethic. Try to take that time away and throw stupid amounts of money in to replace it and it doesn't work.


    Everton are a selling club?. This is why both of the high-value players sold within recent years had to put in transfer requests before they were allowed to go. I dont think that you could justify that comment if you tried!.

    If you do think it necessary to brand clubs didn't our illustrious opposition yesterday flog off one Portugese player for a rather large sum in the last window. Did Liverpool not move out Alonso in order to fund the arrival of Aquilani. Are they then, by your definition, also 'selling clubs'?.

  • Comment number 70.


    Don't see how you think Everton's aspirations are the 'fringes of europe'? Everton have been a very successful club in the past and should and would have won the european cup if not for the Heysal disaster in 1985 as they had arguable one of the best teams in europe at the time. All Everton fans want to return to the days when they were consistently challenging for honours and if the right investment comes in and Kenwright approves of it, i can see Everton returning to the business end of the league, not just the 'fringes of europe' where they've been the last few of years.

  • Comment number 71.

    I like moyes and its nice to see him give a bloody nose to the prem bullies. But I dont think he would do any better than the other managers at the top level given extra spending. Evertons league position reflects their outlay. I'd suggest that Fulham & B'ham have done better given their budget.

    What would he have needed to negotiate the early season injuries and how much would it have cost him and where would that leave him in comparison to the other managers?

    Like many other contributors on here, I believe that the transfers and wage kitty has a big impact on league position and to break into the top 4 is hard and to get into the top 2 is even harder. But I think Moyes would probably do just as well as Martin O'neil & Roy Hodgeson would given extra money and maybe as well as Wenger, Benitez & Acholotti in the EPL. Basiaclly, he would deliver the results expected of his budget and no more. But not all managers are capable of even that, so respect to Moyes.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    "71. At 11:01am on 21 Feb 2010, Bud Mashc wrote:
    I like moyes and its nice to see him give a bloody nose to the prem bullies. But I dont think he would do any better than the other managers at the top level given extra spending. Evertons league position reflects their outlay. I'd suggest that Fulham & B'ham have done better given their budget."

    It's not just this season, Everton have been the best of the not so big 4 since our (Spurs') 5th placed finishes, and, less relevantly, were the last club to break into the top 4. It's no guarantee he'll do well right at the top but for me he's done considerably more to suggest he's likely to do well at a "Sky 4" team than any other current PL manager bar Martin O'Neill. Admittedly Martin O'Neill has the experience of managing a top team in the Scottish PL which could be a significant advantage even if the actual standards of play in the two leagues are streets apart.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ferguson claims tiredness cost them the game, didn't Everton also play on Tuesday night, it wasn't quite the same mentally as winning at the san siro but it's still 90 mins of physical football, is anyone else sick of hearing managers using the old "tiredness" cliche? Do the UTD players get "tired" of earning 100 grand a week!

  • Comment number 75.

    More or less, a correct article.
    Besides being a Manchester United fan, if I was to write it myself, I would just add praise for Everton, because they fully deserve it.

    Jagielca has been missing all season for Everton, while they came into the match without Felaini and Cahil. They played a Europa Cup match midweek, on the same day as Utd, so they were not any fresher themselves. They also went behind, having a terrible record against Utd. The omens were there for one more defeat. But did they react.

    Manchester United came to the match with intent to win. They came with their strongest possible first XI. This match was very important for my team. And Everton literally spanked us. I can't come with a better description. Not to mention that, besides Phil McNulty being polite and not mentioning it, Everton should and could have scored 5 or 6. They had also the better chances.

    I have only admiration for this club and the way it contacts its business in the premiership for years now. They operate the right way.

    In midfield, they have the maestro, the artist, in Arteta; a player who adds the icing on the cake to their football.
    They are blessed with a resilient squad, with players who make the headlines for the right reasons - you will not read on the tabloids about their players being involved in this or that unethical or substandard activities.
    They have an owner who loves the club and doesn't mess in the manager's feet.
    In Moyes, they have stability and a manager who will get along with his job, no matter what will hit his club. He will never start whinging and will get along with his job.
    They are masters in making golden moves for players, without having to spend what my team has to spend.
    And last but not least, they have a good bunch of english born players and a golden duo, in Rodwell and Rosling who came through the ranks of a football nursery that produces Talent. You see the Arsenal youngsters playing well when they play lesser teams but those young players, at times, appear more arrogant than their manager. You turn and see Rosling and Rodwall and you see two young, very british kids who perform miracles against the real McCoy of english footballing reality and even when it hurts your team, you have just admiration for them. To give an example on this contrast, I remember an incident with Vela in the champions league match against Olympiakos in Greece. He was in the ground and hit an opponent in Beckham's red card style. Had the referee seen it, it was a red card with capital letters. He was feeling having every right to react that way. You compare his antics with Rosling or Rodwell and you start being philosophical.

    Everton have great players in every line.Had they started the season without injuries, who knows where they would be now. Certainly, the 6-1 against Arsenal who were lucky to play them at the start of the season who be a different result, as the Emirates display of Everton suggests.

    This defeat is difficult to digest for me, but all I can say is "Everton well done. You deservedly thrashed us."

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Phil, nice response to the critics RE: #64

    As for Richmay and RhinoW, please guys, cut it out, it's getting a bit petty RE: #33 and #61 (#33 more so)

    My own opinion...great blog Phil, it certainly got the bloggers going, and you are right, ManU got outplayed, Everton were the better team on the day. Moyes said Everton played the better football, Sir Alex said Everton played better, so why do the non-experts think otherwise?

  • Comment number 77.

    At the end of every season Everton become overwhelmed by transfer speculation, and last time the protracted Lescott transfer had the effect of taking speculation away from Arteta's "inevitable" move to Barca, Arsenal etc...
    The Lescott affair also proved that Moyes has decided to dig his heels in when it comes to selling his best players. I also believe that this effects the pre season so that Everton make a bad start. Coupled with a list of key player suffering injuries this season, it is hardly surprising that Everton have had to climb the table as opposed to pressuring for a top four spot.
    Now that Arteta is back Fellaini is out! It would be interesting to see what Moyes could achieve with a fairly injury free campaign. Nothing is set in stone, but I think Moyes is close to getting the sort of football team/squad he wants at the club and will have top four potential each season for the next few years.

  • Comment number 78.

    Regarding my earlier comment about Everton being a selling club.

    I certainly meant no offence by it. But I think most toffees would admit that if you had kept Rooney, you may well have been regularly in the top four and, who knows, even better?

    Today's definition of a selling club is anyone outside the top four and Man City.

    I have a great regard for Everton and Moyes. I think he will take someone to the title, even if that isn't Everton.

  • Comment number 79.

    'he cannot be expected to hit world-class standards every week'

    Its a side point but others players do.

  • Comment number 80.

    Year after year, I keep reading and having a laugh about the best something in the world. In the UK, it must be a brain malfunction that a product, a something anyway, is the best in the world.

    I am sick and tired reading day after day, week after week, about Rooney being the best player of the world. He is not. At least, not yet. Rooney is a player I admire for his talent and will to improve, play good football, contribute for his team and score. However, he is a player who still has to prove things in various arenas. This is the first season he performs as main striker for Manchester United. We haven't seen him being so influencial and proving himself in the world cup. Let him play in the world cup, let him make the right headlines there, let him provide a repeat season of such excellent return in scoring and when he reaches 28, we can all look back at what he produced up to then and make a judgment. But, best player in the world, right now, no he's not.

    It has been mentioned that Manchester United may bid for one of the duo of Everton's youngsters. Although they would both be good acquisitions for my club, I would like it if they stayed at Everton. It is nice all teams to have their good players. It is nice for Spurs to have a Modric, a Lennon, a Defoe. It is nice for Everton to have an Arteta. It is nice for Aston Villa to have an Agbonlahor, an Ashley Young. It is nice for Fulham and West Ham and every team to have key players that make football matches events you want to come to see how they will react and how they will influence a football result.

    Every so often, Manchester United fans react like spoilt kids when they see a good manager and start seeing him as a replacement to SAF. Ferguson has at least 3 more years in him as a manager to Manchester United, the hunger to win more, the liberty of Manchester United and the time he can still be at the helm of the club is 'centuries' in terms of the time a manager lasts in a football club.

    To give an example, take Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real change managers like the dinner of the day, while the latter took Guardliola, a through and through Barcelona person and ex player, put faith in him and the following year they won both their championship and european cup, playing the Barcelona way. Looking into it, Manchester United could have both Steve Bruce and Roy Keane, who both produce with limited resources. Bruce manages clubs with limited resources well, bringing in England players nobody heard of who turn to be real gems for their clubs, while Keane, even at Ipswich had his best results against the strongest teams in the division. However, SAF is untouchable and a man you can trust with your club any time.

    Whatever my fellow Manchester United fans may say about the result yesterday, Everton were magnificent and beat us thoroughly. When it comes to the title, it makes me laugh reading about passionate Arsenal fans talking about their chances. If my team was embarrassed by both its main rivals I would feel ashamed to want the premiership that year.

  • Comment number 81.

    A lot of Everton fans getting very excited about David Moyes, but what has he actually won?
    I think like all the "In Rafa we Trust" brigade at Liverpool, its nice to give the guy support, but isn't it incumbent on the team to compete to actually win something? Should he not be measured against that criteria.
    Liverpool have been universally derided this year for poor results, which has been attributed to the very weak squad players that support what is perceived as a "tow player" team. So forgetting for a moment that Benitez paid a lot of money for some of the guys labelled as poor players ("mid table at best" is a phrase issued by a number of former Liverpool players). How is it that despite having the worst run of form for a Liverpool team in decades, they are still 6 points ahead of Everton, having beaten them twice.
    How is it that Moyes super squad, carefully crafted, and players embedded with patience etc. etc. Are no better (indeed worse) than the dross that is being served up at Anfield.
    Its a mystery to me...

  • Comment number 82.

    Post 80 SoccerUK.....

    Did you feel ashamed when Liverpool embarrased you in BOTH games last year and you won the title??? No you didn't. We all know you won the title by defeating the smaller teams... Stop talking BS...

    You were talking sense until the last bit......

  • Comment number 83.


    Liverpool beat us on the last two years, while there were a double-figure years when they were in 'our pocket' as football fans tend to say.

    The year before the last, you really don't want to know what Manchester United won: it might make you cry or look for prozak :)

    Last year, when Liverpool beat us at Old Tradford, the premiership was already won by us. In contrast, when Chelsea and Manchester United beat you this year, you had all to play for.

    I wish Arsenal good fortune in the easy matches at Stoke, Birmingham, Spurs and especially at home with Man City. I would love it if you come within reach of the title. It is because I want your club's policy to continue.

    Said enough?

    Talking BS? Does it hurt? :)

  • Comment number 84.

    #78 thewelshboycott

    That's where you've made your mistake. If Everton never sold Wayne Rooney, we'd have been relegated. Nowhere near Top 4. When Everton had Wayne Rooney, we had a fair amount of debt, and consequently no transfer budget. Therefore, we relied on Rooney; we had become the ultimate one-man-team. Every time we had the ball, we'd look for Rooney, instead of the man in acres of space.

    Not only did this put an immense amount of pressure on his shoulders, but it made us incredibly predictable and easy to defend against. As a result, we slipped further and further down the table and finished a mere 17th (admittedly we had secured survival weeks before the end of the season). There was no balance at all to the team, so in came £30m and out went our young prodigy. Boo-hiss boo-hiss.

    The deal ended up saving our club. We payed most of our debts, and finally had some money to spend, allowing Moyes' infamous shrewd transfer dealings to blossom. It was no coincidence that yesterday's starting Everton team amounted to just over £30m, a similar figure to what was recieved for Rooney, and that's not even accounting for the fact that £22m of that starting team came from the Lescott deal (i.e Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga and Distin).

    Ironically, you claim we'd be a top four side with him in the team, but the year we sold him, I'd like to remind you where we finished. Fourth place.

  • Comment number 85.


    Part of the package of winning the league is by beating the teams outside the top 4, just because they may have lost to some of the top 4 teams doesn't mean they shouldn't win the league. The fact is if they won the league losing to the top 4 teams, then the other teams lost more games to the teams outside the top 4 for some reason, making them inconsistent. It all boils down to who is consistent throughout the whole season and this team will go on and win the league.

  • Comment number 86.

    Another sensationalist blog once more- i expect you to be writing for a tabloid newspaper soon Phil.
    Everton had a terrific game yesterday,but I don't believe they were facing a United team that were anywhere near their best.
    I was watching the game and I felt that United were still feeling the strain from the Milan game. It was a huge game at Milan, and to beat them at the San Siro is a huge achievement; and it was a nervy and stressful game at that.

    Everton didn't face much of a challenge. To say they outplayed United doesn't really tell the whole story in my opinion.
    Everton had a nice rest coming up to this game, United had a few days from a nervy hard fought win.
    From what I saw Rooney wasn't particulary shut out by any of the Everton defenders; Rooney certainly had his fair share of the ball and chances, but players around him werent up the task of keeping up with him.

    This says alot about the fatigue, but also about the quality and depth of the squad.
    As a United fan, I actually hope we miss out on the PL this year, just so SAF has no choice but to rethink his squad.
    The man is a genius when it comes to getting the best out of his squad- unfortunately the promising players just havent blossomed this time around.
    Its no worry for United, as long as SAF is here we always have a chance of glory even with less talented players than we are used to.

    As for Everton, I like to see them do well. There is no doubt they deserved the points, but I hope next time they face us we'll actually be there to compete. I recall an absolute thrashing by United last time we met- so i think Everton had it a bit easier yesterday.
    Still, if United were to be beaten by any team; i would rather it be a team like Everton.
    Well done lads, I'm looking forward to the next time we meet.

  • Comment number 87.

    Ah i also forgot to add the important factor of the game which i thought showed conclusive evidence of fatigue.
    In the last 10 minutes of the game, where United are famed for pushing at teams and adding pressure; they couldn't. They were far too tired and exhausted and didn't have the energy to keep going.

    I really don't want to sound bitter; but i expect i'll get criticized anyways, because i'm putting a slight downer on Evertons big win- but i hope Everton fans understand what i'm trying to say, and at least concede to some extent that they weren't facing the United team they are used to.
    HOWEVER...i do think with Everton's performance yesterday it would have been a incredibly close game, even with a fully fit United side- and Everton did deserve the points.

  • Comment number 88.

    To my dear ArsenalArseneArshaving friend,

    I am really sorry but I have to say this (I hope it doesn't hurt) :)
    Talking about BS is not politically correct for an Arsenal fan.
    This word specifies an organic extract that is released out of a bodily part of a living organism that ressembles so close to your teams name, your manager's first name, one of your better footballers' name, the end product of your team in the last decade and your manager's statements to the press, week after week, year after year.

    I hope you don't feel bitter on this. But, please, use other words, mate :)

  • Comment number 89.

    I want as well your clubs policy do continue so you can beg money left, right and center...

    And no you didn't have the title in the bag already when you played Liverpool. Webb gave it to you on a golden plate against Spurs...

    So you had Liverpool in your pockets the previous 5 years. Now they have you in your pockets, but that is not enough for the title.. The team that finishes top deserves the title and you know this.... United deserved it the last 3 years. And I think in one of them they were the worst team in the mini top 4 league. Do you argue that you didn't deserve it then???

  • Comment number 90.

    what a title race we have on our hands

  • Comment number 91.


    Don't forget Everton had a European game on the same night as United. So the ''nice long rest' you think they had is not true. Yes United weren't at their best, but as champions that compete in Europe often, this should not be a problem as if you won the game, the issue would never of been raised in the first place.

  • Comment number 92.

    #84 Spot on.

    Everton outplayed Utd following Billys goal, I don't understand all the comments from the Utd fans that we only controlled the game in the last twenty mins. Outwith the goals, Rooney had the one chance (rounded Howard) yet Donovan almost had a lucky break in the box and Billy had a good chance that sat up for him, ignoring all the sleek passing and possesion that we had for a lot of the match. Ossie and Heitinga were immense.

    Looking at Evertons run in, you cant really see any reason for not continuing this form and at least finishing 5th (again).

  • Comment number 93.

    # 86 & 87

    Everton played on Tuesday also. The only tangible differnce being that Utd played away in Europe.

    Utd didnt push on because of Everton, at one point Saha had the ball in the corner and turned around to play back, it eventually wound up being passed back to Howard, point is we kept the ball, meaning Utd couldnt press. And if Utd had not been pressing as suggested I doubt Rodwell would have found so much space to push into in the 90th minute.

  • Comment number 94.

    It's amazing how much tripe can be spewed about one result!

    Everton were at home and a bit fresher, those two things made all the difference. That's it.

  • Comment number 95.

    The title will be won by either Chelsea or Manchester United which has been the case for the last 5 seasons.

    Whichever way you hype up the Premier league the single fact remains that the majority of clubs simply have no chance of winning it.

    So the moral of the story is either find yourself a billionaire owner or rack up 750+ million pounds of debt and you can win (buy) the title.

  • Comment number 96.


    Manchester United always deserves what the team gets.
    - three premierships on the trot (a fourth is 50% on the way)
    - a second champions league cup and another final
    - a world clubs cup
    - and other trophies, in the last three years.

    When it comes to Man Utd fans, counting trophies is a tiring task. We won too many.

    Enjoy your evening :)

  • Comment number 97.

    I think poster 86 has missed the pint completely. Everton also played in Europe on tuesday against top drawer european opposition in Sporting Lisbon. Everton didn't have a rest as this ill informed poster has commented.

  • Comment number 98.

    OLDBLUEGIT Telford....I was waiting to fall out of bed at Goodison yesterday & discover it was a dream!~But no the frost bite was real!....The biggest player we need to keep???Rodwell,Pienaar,(Catch the wind)Donovan??? NO...It`s DAVID MOYES....PRICELESS a great player of the transfer market!!He has transformed the club,much the way AF did(befor he had the Glazier fortune to play with..HA!!)with MU,with talented youth & canny skills winging through the transfer market.Where is BLEWDAD now?From experiencing the classy side we had mid-eighties to now potentially this squad is currently better.We just need a back-up quality keeper & possibly one more squad player.We would have for sure beaten(unrecognisable)Liverpool...if they had decided to play football.Now the biggest cloggers in the premiership...BOLTON mark2.Thanks MR Nulty...Any relation to Geoff(MAC)Nulty??

  • Comment number 99.

    OLDBLUEGIT>>>PS...For all this about Rooney agree with TIM CAHILL LEFT GLOVE...Rooney said about one true thing at the time of his transfer.."Can the club afford me?"...The answer was NO!..The team needed rebuilding...which we did.Now as Moyes states we don`t need to sell....The future is in his hands...Premiership Champions 2010~11??...or will I fall out of bed again??

  • Comment number 100.

    As a Utd fan I was not that optimistic going into this season. Utd have done better than I expected results wise, yet I still feel they have been false; their results are better than our performances.
    In the summer I expected us to improve our midfield after selling Ronaldo but we didnt. This makes me think that Fergie just wants to see what players are up to it in a new style and he will improve after the World Cup.
    As well as the defensive injuries which have not helped but with our first choice defence I feel that the midfield is the place where we can be exploited and beaten. When put under pressure Carrick crumbles and he is not much help defensively, so him being deployed as the deepest midfielder means there is a lack of protection for the defence. When Valencia is on the field I also feel that all the balls go to him from the midfield and it becomes a bit predictable because he is the only one that creates with his pace.
    Everton, credit to them, exploited our weaknesses and our defence looked shaky and had no cover because of the closing down of our midfield. We were outclassed and I feel that we need to buy in the summer and sell a few players who are surplus to requirements.
    I actually see Arsenal winning the title this season, it will be very tight but Arsenal have no big matches left, if they can beat the smaller teams they have a good chance, Utd still have Spurs, Chelsea, City and Liverpool(who we will probably lose to again because they close us down and pressure the midfield too). I feel that this season the League is more competitive because the best teams have got worse. Utd and Chelsea are worse for me.


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.