As I mentioned when writing about Arsenal’s so called ‘acid test’ against Manchester City last weekend, I made clear my disdain for footballing clichés. I especially dislike them when they don’t make sense or don’t address the main issue on a certain topic. This is why I disagreed with the ‘acid test’ remarks and it is why I also disagree with the notion of Everton usually being slow starters.
Last night while watching the League Cup I again came across a remark about David Moyes’ Everton usually being a side that made a slow start to a Premier League campaign. It is not only the fact that I find this statement to be incorrect, it also takes away credit from Moyes for what he is currently doing with his Everton side.
When I review the start Everton have made to this season I think ‘well done David’. His team has made a storming start to the season and are currently place much higher than many people would have expected. I do not instantly think ‘hmm that’s odd usually Everton are rubbish at the start of the season. However, this is apparently the attitude taken by the footballing media, lets not highlight how good he’s doing, lets highlight how bad he usually is. It seems impossible for Moyes to shake his poor starting past.
But do his Everton teams even start that slowly. If you look back at his decade in charge of the club I don’t think they do. In his first season the team finished 17th, if your team almost gets relegated you don’t start slowly; you start at the pace that you maintain throughout the season. My point is his start was no slower than the rest of his season. In his second season he lost only one of his first seven games and won five, an incredibly rapid start.
The purpose of this piece is not to say that the media are lying and that Moyes’ teams never start slowly, of course there are examples of seasons where the toffees did stumble out the blocks. 05/06, 08/09 and 10/11 are undeniably unremarkable starts the most recent of those being abysmal with no win until October. But can three years out of ten really tarnish a man’s reputation to suggest that he cannot start a season well, I don’t think so.
The amount of times I have heard a reference to Everton being slow on the uptake is ridiculous, but I could perhaps understand it if last season they had started disastrously. This doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact this at this point last season Everton had played the same amount of games as they have this season. Last season they had seven points out of a possible 15 this season they have 10 points out of a possible 15. If you mean to tell me that three points is the difference between a slow start and a highly impressive start, then I would have to disagree.
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