DAVID MOYES has laughed off criticism of Everton’s playing style – and believes Chelsea’s Champions League triumph underlines the long-ball approach remains as effective as ever.
Everton’s tactics were put under scrutiny in the wake of last week’s 2-2 derby draw with Liverpool when Steven Gerrard compared them to renowned route-one side Stoke City.
While Gerrard later retracted his comments, the suggestion Everton are a long-ball team has been rebuked by a succession of observers pointing to the more expansive game that has seen Moyes’s men enjoy their best start to a season in years.
Nevertheless, Goodison centre-back Phil Jagielka made no apologies for Everton mixing up their attack by utilising the aerial strength of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic.
And Moyes, whose team are at Fulham in today’s early Premier League match, said: “I watched Chelsea play Bayern Munich in the Champions' League final and they didn't come out at all, they hit it long, but they are European Champions.
“That means they played the right way on the night. There are different ways of playing, and the most important thing is to win.
“We pass it very well and hit lots of good long balls at the right time as well so I think we mix our game up and that is why people are talking about Everton.”
Moyes added: “I really don't care what people are saying about us. We have to keep doing what we are doing, which is getting results.
“I think people who have watched us will say we're playing really well, but more importantly if you ask our fans they'll tell you they're happy with the way we're playing, and ask managers – they'll say they are impressed by what we've achieved.
“I genuinely don't bother. The facts prove it's not the case. I don't care – really. I don't actually care how we win so long as we win, but we have been doing it in style, and I think our football has been outstanding at times, it really has.”
Everton have slipped out of the Champions League qualification berths after successive draws at Wigan Athletic, Queens Park Rangers and last week at home to Liverpool, and have won only two of their last eight games in all competitions.