Moyes: Not An Asshat By Nature Or Necessity?

Most people in football are largely despicable. David Moyes and the majority of his Everton side appear to buck this trend. Is it simply because the Toffees are skint?

Last Updated: 09/11/12 at 14:21 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Ozil Starts To Answer His Critics...

3 comments

Matt Stanger watched Mesut Ozil answer his critics with a telling contribution in Arsenal's 3-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. It's now a question of playing him alongside Alexis Sanchez...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

Post comment

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

All Articles

On Monday night, Huddersfield forward James Vaughan flipped Blackpool goalkeeper Matthew Gilks into the air with a late, flying tackle. After acquiescing to gravity's insistence that he thump into the ground and lie there for a moment, Gilks stood back up and gestured to the referee; so far, so normal. However, because his gesture was a 'no worries, ref, no harm done', rather than 'send him off now, ref, I think he's ruptured my spleen', he was praised to the skies by Sky's commentators. Where the ordinarily decent has become the remarkable, it's time to turn the whole thing off and find something else to do.

For football, particularly top-flight football, is a shabby business, and the people involved - players, managers, owners, administrators - are largely despicable, in one way or another. Some are violent, others arrogant, others hypocritical, others vindictive. Some are probably corrupt, others simply dishonest, while plenty simply care about nothing but number one. Those in the suits lie to those in the stands, and those in the boots lie to those with the whistles. It's a mess.

This is why it's always dangerous to warm to somebody that doesn't initially appear to be a shuddering plantpot. Disappointment is almost inevitable. Take Danny Welbeck: before this season he was an entertaining, promising and occasionally brilliant forward with cracking hair and a fun celebration. Now he's just another diving goon (though the hair's still good). Football, in all its venal footballness, will get to them in the end. Everybody will let you down.

Well, almost everybody. David Moyes is alright.

To pre-empt a series of spluttering 'but what about the time he said this/did that/set fire to the other', the point is not that Moyes is a paragon of human virtue. The point is that he seems fundamentally decent, like the kind of a man who'd happily offer you a lift even if it was a bit out of his way, but wouldn't take advantage of a captive presence in the passenger seat to explain just how the country's gone to the dogs, share a wonderful investment opportunity requiring only a modest initial outlay, or outline the one true path by which a damned and mucky soul can be cleansed, saved and returned to Jesus.

It reflects in his team. Run down Everton's squad and there's a surprising (and refreshing) lack of douchery. Leon Osman is the Iniesta of the North, Leighton Baines is a Shropshire building society, Darron Gibson is David Gedge, and Tony Hibbert is Tony Hibbert. Phil Neville's greatest crimes amount to nothing more than an unwise tackle against Romania and having a sock-sucker of a brother. Then there's Marouane Fellaini, the scourge of Manchester United, who's taken it upon himself to resurrect the treasured English footballing tradition of being big, strong and having a comedy perm. Moyes has even got Duncan Ferguson helping with Everton's academy, which is both endearingly optimistic and mildly terrifying.

Sadly, though, as with everything these days, it comes down to money. Everton are skint. This enduring skintness means they have no choice but to operate in what is, more or less, the right way: sensible wages, intelligent purchases, a strong focus on the youth system. That, in turn, reflects well on their manager, who also gets plenty of credit for his loyalty and for playing decent football within such constraints. But there's the rub: his job's a hard one, one of the hardest in the league, and so there's precious little time or opportunity for bluster or knobbishness. Is he actually sound, or has he just got nothing to gain from being a pillock?

Perhaps if Everton were to strike oil under the Gwladys Street stand, or Moyes were to jump to a richer club, then he'd start muttering about conspiracies, whining about his opponents, and offering smaller teams' youth players hugely inflated salaries. Maybe we'd have to watch another acceptable human grasp the opportunity to de-decent themselves. But for the moment Everton's eminent sensibleness, when set against amongst the clamour, chicanery and dick-swinging of the rest of the Premier League, gives them and their manager a faintly noble air. Not being an asshat may not be much, but unless we're all going to start watching korfball, it'll have to do.

Andi Thomas

Andi also writes for SB Nation and The Score, and is on Twitter. He also contributed to the Surreal Football Magazine #1, which is out now, and available here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Arsenal win 3-0 at Aston Villa to end the hosts' unbeaten start

Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by a devastating goal blitz as Arsenal enjoyed a 3-0 away win.

Premier League: Newcastle draw with Hull City as Papiss Cisse scores two

Substitute Papiss Cisse saved the day for Newcastle and under-fire manager Alan Pardew in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Premier League: Victor Wanyama earns Southampton 1-0 win at Swansea

Victor Wanyama broke the resistance of 10-man Swansea as Southampton left the Liberty Stadium with a 1-0 win.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property