The Mail Bag

April 2008 Archive Want to have your say?

Does size really matter?

I have been thinking about our squad for next season and all the complaints about the size of our Midget Gem midfield. A lot of fans are clamouring for more weight and height. However looking into it further all the top teams have the following players:

Man Utd: Scholes Hargreaves Carrick
Chelsea: Mikel Makelele Essien
Arsenal: Fabregas Flamini
Liverpool: Mascherano Alonso Gerrard
Barcelona: Messi Xavi Deco

You would be hard pushed to call any of those players "big". And look at Portsmouth and would you sooner have Diarra or Dioup.

I believe ability is more important than height or bulk. In a defensive MF player, the ability to tackle and pass well without losing the ball. In an attacking MF player, speed,passing ability and the ability to take opposition players on without losing the ball. In a goal-scoring MF player, the ability to score at least 10 goals a season while linking up well and holding the ball up without losing it. Common to all great MF players is a good engine.

My question again: Does size really matter?
Jay Harris     Posted 30/04/2008 at 23:38:12   Comments (35)

Good luck to the Baggies

Well, I've always hated West Brom for the cup final in '68 (even though I wasn't even born back then) but after reading this I hope Mowbray does well. If he does, it will show you what a lack of ambition Moyes has (you can play good football and stay in the league), and if he does badly (highly likely) then it confirms my feelings that football is utterly fucked.
Iain McWilliam     Posted 30/04/2008 at 19:24:58   Comments (9)

We're not going to Kirkby

I may be clutching at straws but events of the last few days lead me to think that the tide is turning against Kirkby. The increased likelihood of the government calling in the plans, the objection from Sefton Council and the scathing reports from the government's own architectural and planning advisors is all good news for those of us who dread the K word.

Will these reports filter through to Goodison ? Will the penny drop that Kirkby is a bad idea ? I hope so.

I don't trust Wyness and his lack of a plan B . I think there are a few people out there with alternative schemes for our beloved club but when will Wyness and co. start to listen? When Tesco pull out ?
Alan Rodgers     Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:16:32   Comments (21)

Sainsbury's and WHP

Just been on the Liverpool Echo website and there is a story on there entitled ?My Plan for Everton FC at Walton Hall Park?.

Basically, John Seddon, who set up Mersey Cablevision in the 1980s, which was eventually taken over and became Telewest, has made it public that Sainsbury?s came to him wanting to be a partner in building a stadium in Walton Hall Park with Everton.

?No plan B?, eh? Proof that Mr Wyness ?misled? the fans during the voting process.
Adam Bennett     Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:28:11   Comments (9)

Moyes' “Reserve” signings

In light of reading one contributor's comment about Antony Gardner, it made me realise about the signings Moyes seems to make every season in order to just play in the reserves.

Now I'm not having a go at Moyes, it's just that I can't seem to figure out why he has signed players with clearly no intention of playing them.

Anyhow, here is a list of the players (of what I can remember anyway):

Li Weifeng — I think he came as part of that awful Kejian deal, however I'm sure he had an interest in him anyway. I can recall him playing one game against Southampton away — apart from that, a few bench appearances.

Ibrahim Said — he was an Egyptian international who never even played a game; just a few bench appearances to note.

Eddie Bosnar — same as above but only this time an Australian international.

Guillerme Plessis — a French youngster who, like the above two players, just about got on the bench a few times.

Antony Gardner — in my opinion a bit of a yard dog every time I've seen him play. Was bought as cover for defence.

Now the issue here with me — apart from money spend on fees and wages obviously being pissed up the wall — is that why even contemplate signing a player when there is absolutely no intention of playing them? All of these players — and even higher profile players like Gravesen and Van Der Meyde — fall into this bracket, as there has been times over the years where we have been lacking in numbers in these departments, yet these have never been called upon. True, it might be because they are shite — which adds to the point even further of why even sign them in the first place?

I think Moyes is a brilliant manager and we are going places with him, and I would never put that in doubt. However he does need to detract from signing worthless players, because more and more questions will continue to be put in front of him.
John Nelson     Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:06:08   Comments (8)

Davey always gets his man...

Hope it's just talk, but www.4thegame.com are linking us with a summer swoop (!) for Wigan's out of favour midfielder, Jason Koumas. I know some of you on here rate him, but he's had chances galore in the Premier League and never cut it. He's also 28, so not one for the future. We'll be after Earnshaw next...

Didn't Davey learn his lesson after Davies? Don't go for someone you were after 5 years earlier when maybe they were half decent. Maybe with the finances that's the level we can expect.
Matt Traynor     Posted 30/04/2008 at 02:33:23   Comments (25)

Is a windfall possibly due?

I seem to recall that this season is the last where the club is due a payment if Man U win anything as part of the Rooney deal. Could be between 1 and 2 £ million?

Does anyone know if thats still the the case?
Steve Jones     Posted 29/04/2008 at 23:28:50   Comments (22)

EFC phone downloads: A warning.

Thought I'd warn fellow Evertonians about the "3D icons" downloads by a company called premiericons.com, available from the official evertonfc.com website. I attempted to purchase one for my phone on Sunday 27th April.

They don't send the download directly, instead they send you a link to a website, which you access by phone & then download. So it costs £3 for the item, plus wap charges on top. OK I thought, it's a nice phone wallpaper, so I'll have it. First attempt, download failed, so tried again. They charge you for each attempt & yes the second download failed again. That's £6 plus wap charges. I contacted the company (based in Australia!), but so far have not heard a peep.

This is on the official club website by the way & I have sent an email of complaint to them too. Is this any way way to treat fans?
Andrew Tomlinson     Posted 29/04/2008 at 19:23:55   Comments (7)

Yobo's Goal Celebration

Does anybody know what Yobo's goal celebration was about on Sunday?

He appeared to be making a 'talking' or 'keep your mouth shut' gesture to the Street End.

I was listening to a phone-in afterwards and a fan suggested it was a 'shut your mouth' gesture in response to criticism Yobo received. If this is the case, JO'BO is playing a dangerous game as Everton fans have been very loyal to him even following some major mishaps and mistakes.

Can anybody explain or comment?
John McKie     Posted 29/04/2008 at 13:52:39   Comments (23)

NOW is the time for hoofball

I have to confess that I`ve never had much of a problem with David Moyes`s penchant for `hoofball`. The man is a realist and when you have to rely on the silky skills of the likes of Carsley, Neville and Jagielka, it`s far better to play to their strengths than see them exposed as mere journeymen.

All in all,we haven`t done too badly by getting it and hoofing it have we? True we`ve played the odd team off the park but usually they`ve been the `no hopers` at the bottom of the league and we`ve got to fifth `on the hoof`. So on Sunday, I hope our man stays true to his natural inclinations and sends out a team to keep what they will start with. No point in trying to pass Arsenal off the park ? they`ll murder us ? so let`s tackle like dervishes and whack it as far away as is possible and get ready for the next onslaught.

Only by staying focussed on the job in hand will we get anything at the Emirates and the job in hand is to keep a clean sheet. So it`s five in midfield, the Yak on his own up front (and diplaying his newly aquired defensive qualities) and a huge cheer every time we wack it away. Don`t tell me that ain`t entertainment if Everton get a point!
Bill Merryweather     Posted 29/04/2008 at 12:47:37   Comments (31)

Tactics for the Arsenal game?

Been reading this great website for ages, but rarely bothered to post anything, but our struggle to finish fifth has got me sufficiently worried to ask what tactics should we employ on Sunday?

Considering that in the home game we matched them for half the game by playing football but came unstuck when they played a more sophisticated version of "hoofball" (ironic that, doncha think?), I think given our current form and missing or barely fit players in midfield, the only option is 4-5-1 and hope to sneak a goal. COYB
Roger Trenwith     Posted 29/04/2008 at 11:56:59   Comments (9)

Kirkby 'Design and Build' stadium is second-rate

It's official - the Kirkby 'Design and Build' stadium is second-rate. A report published by CABE — the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment — an ogranisation funded by, and reporting to, both the Dept for Culture, Media and Sport and Dept for Communities and Local Government has slammed Tesco's proposals for both the store it proposes to build in Kirkby, and the stadium it is building for Everton.

The report states:

"We also think that both Everton and Kirkby deserve a stadium of first class design quality, and we are not convinced that this has been realised by the current proposals"

Something many of the No voters have been saying since before the vote took place last year.

It goes on...

"We are concerned that the stadium design is being delivered by a Design and Build contractor. It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case"
The final paragraph is perhaps the most damning:
"The scheme proposed will have a detrimental impact on the town and is not of a standard that Kirkby deserves. This scheme does not meet the criteria in terms of design quality set out in PPS1 and we do not think that it should receive planning permission. "

The question remains. If it's not to a standard Kirkby deserves, why do Wyness and Kenwright think it's good enough for Evertonians.

The report, which can be read here also calls into question the crowd control measures.

Now is the time for all Evertonians to call for the club to reject the plans for this second-rate stadium. You may not be happy with Goodison, but what is the point to moving to somewhere that is not good enough?

If the scheme goes to a Public Inquiry, it will all be over anyway — both Tesco and Everton have said so. Perhaps we now have the reason Tesco bought out Development Securities last week — at least they have a Plan B.
David Thompson     Posted 29/04/2008 at 09:32:38   Comments (7)

A Midfielder Discovered?

Firstly, being here in Yorkshire (Rugbyland), this site has been my main source of keeping in touch with the thoughts and feelings at my beloved club. Whether I agree with all comments or not, keep up the good work lads.

Right, I have converted my new family into Blues, not been too hard really ? nothing else worth following over here, and whilst watching the game on Sunday, my Father-In-Law came up with what I felt was a genius idea.

Replacing Carsley is going to be hard, but what about Lescott? He constantly proves his commitment, his drive, he has an eye for goal, he has a good engine, and can drive forward, as we have seen many times from the back.

I would like to see this at least attempted. Baines will be a class left back, and looks like Jags & Yobo got the centre covered, so surely it would clear the way for Lescott to strive for this position.

Just an idea... I got a feeling we have been overlooking a potential gem for what would be a very expensive position to fill.
Steve Foster     Posted 29/04/2008 at 09:21:55   Comments (21)

80s throwback

I was thinking today over lunch about our team and I was trying to figure out if we are a good team that aren't playing at our best or if we're a mediocre team that is no longer playing above our best. I started analysing the players strenghths and weaknesses and comparing them with old players. The comparisons I came up with all happened to be from the same era when we were equally mediocre which I guess says it all but here goes.....

Yakubu: The new Cottee. Scores 3 when 1 would do but is nowhere to be found when we just need 1!

Pienaar: The new Warzycha. Brilliant .... until we signed him on a permanet deal.

Arteta: Beagrie. Skillful ...but all too inconsistent.

Johnson: Pat Nevin. Some say he should be a striker and some say a winger. Seems to have quality but somehow just can't fit into the team effectively.

Neville: Neil McDonald anyone? Good right back until we used him in every position and messed his head up.

I could go on but you get the idea...
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 29/04/2008 at 00:01:59   Comments (15)

Racial Abuse

I'm sorry to write this article but I am personally disgusted at the behaviour of some of our own fans. I am currently a season ticket holder in the Park End around the area of Row S/T in the low 100's.

For most of the season I and other ticket holders have had to put up with foul and abusive language that has escalated recently to include racist abuse against both Sean Wright Phillips and the lad Young from Aston Villa. I have had enough and will not be renewing this year purely because I am not listening to some mindless idiots calling themselves Everton supporters who find it amusing to behave in this manner.

I love this club but there are children in the area and something should be done to stop this without fans having the fear of repercussions as one of the individuals has been warned for his behaviour already. Good luck for next season and I hope you publish my concerns.
Steve Murphy     Posted 28/04/2008 at 21:09:35   Comments (22)

Another chance next season?

Yesterday's drawn game against Aston Villa must surely have proven to even the most staunch Moyes supporters that Davey Boy just isn't a winner when it comes to these big crunch games. Another big-time match and we are found wanting. Still Moyes is learning all the time, isn't he?

Having said that, we have played 15 games more than Villa this season and in the end our season has been killed stone dead by all the extra games we played this year.

I was ridiculed on this site earlier in the season when I suggested we would have been better off getting knocked out of the Carling Cup and the Uefa Cup in the early rounds and concentrated on a 4th place finish, but some of you just would not have it one bit. We can win 'em all, you said.

Even with the massive squads the big 4 have at their disposal they still understand that it's impossible to win all the competitions they have to play in and they cut their cloth accordingly. Sacrifices are made somewhere along the line and the domestic cups are now no more than reserve team runouts. Don't believe me? Then take a look at this year's FA Cup.

The treble that Man Utd achieved in 1999 was a one-off and will never be seen again in our life times, that's for sure. Even a club as big as Man Utd are probably thanking Pompey for knocking them out of the FA Cup a few months ago. The FA Cup being 3rd on the list of things to win, the Carling Cup is not even thought about and is treated with contempt by the real big clubs.

What I am saying is with a squad as tiny as Everton's we need to prioritise which competion means the most to us and go all out for it. For me that's getting in to the top 4 and getting on board the Champions League gravy train. Never mind farting about in Norway in the middle of January for little or no reward. We will never break in to the top 4 with our resources if we are playing every Thursday in the middle of Russia or the arse end of Poland then being asked to fly down to London on Saturday morning to play again on the Sunday. We just can't hack it. I hope Villa do take 5th and we miss out on the poxy Uefa Cup next season and here is my reason why.

Let's assume for a moment that the troubles across the park will rumble on through the summer and no funds are made available to the manager thus creating havoc (please, God, make it happen). This could well leave the door slightly open for one of the clubs below Liverpool to gate crash the party, i.e. Everton.

Now, if we are involved in the Uefa Cup again along with the 2 domestic cups and the Premier League then next season will follow the same path as this one, no question. It will fizzle out about February again because we are knackered. We need to streamline the amount of games we play to capitalise on any fuck-ups over at Anfield. Do you get the picture?

It's all well and good boosting our Uefa Cup profile with big wins against shite teams in European backwaters but it doesn't put food on the table does it? The Uefa Cup doesn't enable us to progress in a financial sense. All it does is put a strain on the team.

Unless we get a rich crooked foriegn investor or a Billionare Yank to come on board then a share of the Champions League honeypot is the only way this club can progress. We have to realise that surrendering the cups will be beneficial in the long term. Next season may well be our very last chance to achieve this goal. Does anyone reckon we would've ran out of gas in the League and folded so easily the way we have this season if we hadn't gone so far in the Carling or Uefa Cups?

Let's face it, we couldn't cope with all the games that came our way and instead of achieving anything of note we end up with nothing but heartache and despair. We where 5 points clear of the RS at one point this season and a combination of fatigue and Moyes losing his bottle did for us in the end.

To me, finishing 5th or 6th gives us nothing as a club other than being able to say... well it's better now than when Wally Smith was here.
Tony Marsh     Posted 28/04/2008 at 17:32:12   Comments (35)

Ins and outs?

Silly season is upon us and not doubt we will be linked with countless players. Spurs have already fired the first shot 16 million for modric — the boy's good but not that good; if he was he'd be going to Barca, AC Milan, etc.

So looking at players I would love for us to go for, Gudjohnson at Barca is a proven Premier league player not getting a look in there. And I'm sure he would complement the Yak.

I'm sure Moyes has his eyes on people but we could do good business by picking the bones of top clubs and hopefully picking up players with something to prove.
Phil Watson     Posted 28/04/2008 at 19:13:47   Comments (9)

Honey Monster return?

Rumour du jour in Dublin today is that Richard Dunne may well be coming back to Goodison this Summer. Even though Moyes has Yobo, Lescott, Jagielka and Baines, the word is Jag is likely to adopt the Carsley role, leaving us a body down at the back. In terms of backup we can still pick from Neville, Hibbert and Valente as backup or indeed sell any or all of the above and use the proceeds for younger legs as cover...
Alan Doyle     Posted 28/04/2008 at 17:34:28   Comments (9)

Who replaces Carsley?

I know Lee Carsley isn't getting any younger, and rumour has it that he's on his way to Derby. After another solid performance against Villa, who is going to replace him? Surely we should have someone in place before letting a player leave?
Colin  Malone     Posted 28/04/2008 at 15:16:26   Comments (5)

Phil Neville - right back, not central midfielder

I thought Phil Neville had a good game yesterday, and not just because he scored the opening goal. He looks a lot better in possession to me when he plays there, I just hope Moyes thinks along these lines and strenghtens midfield over the summer so that we never have to rely on the Carsley/ Neville partnership in midfield when we play any of the top 4. I also hope he keeps him there for the Arsenal game next week, though I'm not convinced he will...
Danny Broderick     Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:44:24   Comments (8)

Europe here we come?

Well, because Pompey lost on Sunday and we got a point it means, we are almost certain of getting into the Uefa Cup again next season. Even if we lost our remaining two games, Pompey still have to win both of their games and lose to Cardiff in the cup final, to stop us entering the Uefa Cup via the Intertoto cup. Don't believe stories that Pompey haven't entered the Intertoto cup, as we know from past seasons teams can join at the last minute, as Newcastle did a couple of seasons ago.

Villa still have to win both of their remaining games, while we just need a draw and a win, to get 5th. Blackburn and Man City can no longer catch us. As long as we don't get a banana skin in the Intertoto, we should be in Europe next year.
Brian Baker     Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:20:59   Comments (10)

Laursen - Silly??

Laursen has never had any bother from the Everton fans as far as I'm aware and he's never been goaded or shouted at with any real meaning.

So why did he feel the need to goad the fans on Villa's second goal. By all means celebrate the goal that your team has just scored, but why turn to the home fans and deliberately goad them?

Isn't there something in FA rules prohibiting this?
Brian Wolf     Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:11:52   Comments (5)

Problems on the wing

I think Andrei Kanchelskis was our last proper winger. I've just read an article here about AJ, and I think its right. AJ is a striker, yet he plays more on the wings. We play long ball to a guy who is 5'6 (and a half).

Yesterday, we had Pienaar, Osman and Fernandes in midfield and played longball to Johnson and the Yak. In my opinion the midfield didn't have a good or bad first half because they didn't see the ball, they were bypassed.

Pienaar is a great signing. But we need another wide player who can go past people, who will run at people, i'd say the next best player in the team is Lescott, our centre-left back! Johnson should be running on to through balls, on the ground! The Yak should be taking balls to his feet! Especially against Villa! Why were we playing long ball yesterday? It's beyond me.

For me though, my main point is, its because we simply do not have wide players in midfield that can do the job and haven't had for 10 years. Moyes seems to think that the pace of Johnson will have to do the job for the whole of the top third of the pitch. Unfortunately in 4-5-1 without Cahill, he's got no one to pass to! I'm just frustrating myself so I'll stop.
Stuart  Downey     Posted 28/04/2008 at 11:07:17   Comments (23)

Whose in it for the cash?

Thinking about our beloved team, would any Evertonians agree that some players play for EFC and are committed and have passion and feeling for the club, whilst others appear to be in it for pay day.

I would say that the following play because they love to play football:

Howard Cahill Johnson Osman Pinnear Jagielka Yobo Lescott Neville Hibbert Arteta Vaughan Anichebe Baines Carsley

For payday? Manny Yakubu Gravesen
Patty Beesley     Posted 28/04/2008 at 11:05:35   Comments (20)

The Spin Doctor

Reading the official Everton website, it brings a smile to my face when Wyness is telling us that 20,000 season tickets have already been sold for next season and that there are 1,000 on the wait list.

How we can have a wait list when the club starts selling half-season tickets every year on the run up to Christmas is beyond me. These figures to me are just spin from a man who is desperate to impress the fans on the run up to the most important time of our great club's history. What's your view?
Steve William     Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:53:37   Comments (0)

Best Season Ever?

Amazingly the point against Aston Villa means Everton have now earned 62 points, which is their best ever Premier League total. Add to that the extended Uefa Cup run and reaching the Semi-Final's in the League Cup and some would say this could be the best season since winning the FA Cup. So why does it all feel like a bit of a disappointment? Maybe because everything was so near yet so far.

  • We nearly made the League Cup final but were outclassed by Chelsea.
  • We nearly made a UEFA Cup quarter final but were undone by our penalty curse.
  • We nearly finished 4th but didn't have the legs to keep up with Liverpool.
  • Yakubu nearly scored broke the 20 goals a season mark but for some reason he's decided to start his holidays early.
  • We nearly finished 5th holding onto a Euro place but now it looks as though even that is going to slip through our fingers.
Everton have two more games: Arsenal (a) and Newcastle (h), it's very difficult to imagine anything more then 3 points from that. Villa have Wigan (h) and West Ham (a) which could see them earn 6 points.

The boys have never recovered from that crushing Uefa Cup penalty defeat and far too many of them have given up early (Yakubu and AJ particulary have to be blamed because when we need goals the most they have both gone missing).

I really hope Moyes can figure out a way of getting a point at the Emirates and then a win against Newcastle. Everton have been great all season and deserve some reward. For what has been arguably the best Premier League season ever its starting to feel like a real drag.
John Cottee     Posted 28/04/2008 at 08:23:00   Comments (13)

Fernandes

Did anyone else notice when we scored the second goal and the whole bench were going mad celebrating, that Fernandes was just sitting there in a big sulk. I think its apparant he couldn't give 2 shits about our club and is just out for himself. As good of a player as I think he can be become I don't want players at Everton who are like that. So for me its bye bye Fernandes at the end of the season.....
Paul Rimmer     Posted 28/04/2008 at 07:52:32   Comments (15)

AJ???

I alway's look at an opposing player, and as an Everton fan, someone who i alway's hope that we would sign, one of these wishes came true when we signed Andy Johnson. I alway's remember AJ at Goodison Park when he played for Palace... now I know they were shite, and we won 4-0, but everytime in that match when the ball went to AJ, there was panic stations. He looked dangerous every time. I thought to myself, I wouldn't mind him..."

So what has happened after a bright start? I do not think he is not good enough because he was proven for a worse team in Palace, But everytime I see AJ now, he quite simply is not dangerous. I never think he will score; is it the way we play, or is it the diving tag ruining him?

I don't want to see unselfish runs down the flanks ? I want my centre-foreward to be a selfish twat. Do not square the ball, go for goal, man... whatever it may be, I still think he is an asset. He scored 30 goals for relegated Palace, so what has gone wrong? I think it was the Wenger and Warnock gibes, the guy is terrified of going anywhere near the penalty box. When he was accused of diving he was the one on the end of the challanges, but he is terrified of the box now. For christs sake the man's a centre forward!!! But I fear he is not mentally strong enough.
Mick  Gillian     Posted 28/04/2008 at 00:28:08   Comments (29)

Amateurish Entertainment

No doubt most of the posts over the next few days will be about the Villa game. But I thought I'd mention something that consistently bugs the hell out of me at Goodison, even if it's not massively important.

Does anyone else, like me, feel consistently embarrassed by the half time "entertainment" at Goodison? I know there's a bit of a tradition of the jocular DJ at football grounds but really I think the club makes itself look like fools with what it serves up. I actually bury my head these days and cringe at how stupid we must look to the visiting fans.

Most recent example of this is our "holidays to Thailand" draw, with the whole slow build up eliminating various stands and seats. Five minutes of "It's not the... Main Stand, it's not the... Upper Bullens" as if it's supposed to be somehow exciting. Just draw the damn seat number and announce it.

Similarly the 1990-style computer graphics and the big deal about someone "pressing a button" to start off a farcically bad lottery-number style animation. Hit the bar is fine, it's pretty difficult to mess up.

Oh, and talking about our jocular DJ, can we please give up the "And lining up for the MIGHTY BLUES of Everton" at the team announcements. We're Everton, we don't need to big ourselves up like a Saturday morning TV presenter... or Bolton Wanderers. At least the "fair play handshake" crap is something we don't have any choice about.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention something other than the game, which was a more encouraging performance than recent weeks coupled with frustration.
Robin Cannon     Posted 27/04/2008 at 22:04:08   Comments (20)

Moyes!

I am angry at today's result, not because I thought we were the better team (as I think a draw was a fair result) but because I am sick to death of our manager failing to deliver in the crunch make-or-break games! You could say "that's football" but for me it is what seperates winners from losers on the pitch!

I am beginning to think that there is now a mental block in the camp in regards to these must-win games filtering down from the manager! A few people have shot me down today because apparantly its not Moyes's fault but why not? Consistently in these games it's the same old drivel and dissapointment! The fella seriously needs to get a mean and ruthless streak!
Mike Mulhall     Posted 27/04/2008 at 20:48:32   Comments (25)

Arteta - looks like farewell?

When he was warming up today receiving great applause from the Enclosure and Park end, Mikel didn't even bother to acknowledge the crowd. His body language said it all. I don't think he's got over the rollicking that he received from some of the Park End in the Chelsea match. Perhaps this really is the sure sign of an imminent departure?
Ray  Robinson     Posted 27/04/2008 at 19:24:37   Comments (45)

Nothing up front

It should be no surprise that the goals came from defenders as Yakubu was playing far too wide for most of the game and Johnson was playing far too deep. What exactly are their roles? If they are strikers then they should be focused on gettting themselves in a striking position. It is frutiless for Yakubu to play as an auxillary winger and for Johnson to be back with the midfield. Osman was anonymous throughout, Anichebe disappeared the moment he came on, Fernandes barely turned up. Arteta was the only significant creative threat.

Now we are in a position where we need to take something from the Arsenal game which will take some doing, frankly, with the tactics we tend to emply in such games. Deeply disappointing final third of the season. Totally unnecessary dropped points cost us a Champions League place and they appear to be about to cost us a Uefa Cup spot. It's not all down to Cahill's injury. Moyes tactics are also to blame.
Peter  Fearon     Posted 27/04/2008 at 19:02:20   Comments (20)

Arteta on the bench

Tim Howard
Phil Neville (c)
Joseph Yobo
Joleon Lescott
Phil Jagielka
Leon Osman
Lee Carsley
Manuel Fernandes
Steven Pienaar
Andrew Johnson
Ayegbeni Yakubu

Stefan Wessels
Tony Hibbert
Leighton Baines
Mikel Arteta
Victor Anichebe
Michael Kenrick     Posted 27/04/2008 at 15:39:08   Comments (57)

Realistically, we're already in Europe

Man City losing today leaves them 6 points behind us with only 2 games to go. Given that their goal difference is 0 and ours is 21, I doubt they can leapfrog us in the table. I expect, well not expect, presume Pompey will beat Cardiff in the FA Cup. Should that happen, they will get into Europe no matter where they finish, be it 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th. Aston Villa, our main threat for 5th place. Even if they beat us tomorrow (hope they don't) and secure 5th. We can come 6th or 7th and get into the Intertoto Cup (technically a Europe competition in itself, and one which we'll easily progress through).

However, I'd still like to see us finish 5th.
Adam Doyle     Posted 26/04/2008 at 17:47:55   Comments (23)

I tried and failed

I tried to complete the KEIOC survey and everything was going well then I was stymied by this question.

Should the move to Kirkby prove disastrous where would I apportion blame?

Several boxes listed KEIOCs usual villains and I was expected to tick one of them. I could not in all honesty place a tick against anyone on that list and that was where the questionaire ended my input.

Carefully worded questions will always produce a desired result and that appears to be the aim in this case. The survey could have shed a light on many things but now its findings are dubious because, at least in my mind, they will be tainted by more than a hint of bias.
Dick Fearon     Posted 26/04/2008 at 10:21:00   Comments (29)

Summer Clear Out?

Well, it's been a good season and finishing 5th will be what the club deserves but could still be taken from us if the players don't attack the situation before it's too late, I was just thinking another summer of silly links with players will happen and you never know some might come true, you never know. I want a summer of stripping back and rebuilding because Everton probably waste a huge amount of cash on players who have just been fogotten about. For example:

Andy van derMeyde - How much is he getting paid and where is he?

Nuno Valente - Probably too old for Everton now - How much do the club pay him?

Thomas Gravesen/Anthony Gardner - what's the point in them being at the club, when they are unfit and really cant be bothered? Who else is stopping the club from progressing? There must be at least £80k per week wasted. Come on, Moyes is a brilliant boss and has done a good job with what he has got but recently not done himself any justice by these 'fringe' players. I mean James McFadden wore the shirt with pride and he let him go and we could have done with him recently ? he was one boy who didn't want to sit on his tod and watch.

What about a summer clear out and players who are getting paid to do nothing?
Tim Muzio     Posted 25/04/2008 at 16:50:40   Comments (23)

The effect of George Howarth

I was reading with interest the various articles being published over any planning permission possibly being granted by Knowlsey council for Everton's new stadium. One article suggested that if permission was granted it would be 'called in' by central government for a public enquiry. A later article suggested that it wouldn't be called in as the scheme has the full backing of local MP George Howarth. Would George Howarth be able to influence wether a public enquiry took place?

To know that, you have to look at reasons that central government gets involved with local building schemes. Usually it's because it is in the national interest, or it affects an area of outstanding beauty, or a natural habitat of a rare animal spieces. The Newbury bypass is a good example. Remember Swampy and his mates? Now this scheme affected great swathes of coutryside including habitats of some rare animals, Swampy being one of them I think.

Heathrow's proposed 3rd runway will definitely be called in, because it IS in the national interest, and it involves bulding on 'green belt' and flattening 3 whole villiages. Now would you say the proposed scheme in Kirkby is of national interest? You will probably find that, outside of Kirkby and KEIOC, no-one in the UK gives a toss what happens in Kirkby. The scheme also has the backing of the local MP and has already gone through an exaustive public consultation, so why call it in?

Wasting public money and such a low profile project would be politically damaging to the government, and would also be seen as another example of central government interfering in a local matter. I think Goerge Howarth's stance is crucial here, and we may see the bulldozers moving in as early the autumn.
Brian Baker     Posted 25/04/2008 at 16:02:39   Comments (16)

Credit Crunch

Does anyone out there have the financial acumen to predict what effect the so called 'credit crunch' could have on Everton FC?

I'm thinking along the lines of the money required for the new stadium and financing on the pitch as well. I know the Sky deals should be fixed income, but I don't know how Everton will fare on other investment/borrowing plans, considering past attempts at attracting investment.

I know for a fact that things arn't good in the world of lending ? I can't sell my house, it's even been in the paper! (by the way it's a nice little two-up/two-down if anyone's interested...)
Ian Edge     Posted 25/04/2008 at 13:19:34   Comments (19)

What might have been!!

Having watched most of the Uefa Cup first leg last night between Rangers and Fiorentina ? a boring game, I thought ? it did make me feel very sick at what might have been. The game, as you probably know, ended up 0 - 0. Rangers did nothing but defend using the excuse of a team depleted by injury and Fiorentina where there for the taking... and now, of course, have the advantage of a home game. On last night's showing we could have beaten either of them. Ah well, there's always next year ? provided we make 5th. COYB
Patty  Beesley     Posted 25/04/2008 at 11:22:25   Comments (14)

4-5-1, 4-5-1. 4-5-1 PLEASE!!!

It can't have escaped anyone's notice that the Yak/AJ forward line is no more penetrating or dominating than my nanna and next doors dog playing together - it just hasn't happened for them. I am a touch surprised given AJ's unselfishness; however, when you spend most of your time either defending corners or chasing down the wing after an aimless long ball by one of Neville, Jakielka, Yobo, Hibbert etc (you get the picture), it doesn't leave a great deal of time to create a meaningful and prosprous relationship with your co-striker. Plus when your second touch is a header, it's pretty much a none starter.

Next time they do play together, have a look how often they are both in the box at the same time ? not very often I think is what you will find.

If memory serves:

W 1-0 Derby (awful game)
L 1-0 Fulham (herrendous)
L 1-0 L'pool (herrendous)
D 1-1 B'ham (awful game)
L 1-0 Chelsea (awful game)

These are just a few examples, but all were very very poor performances and strangely enough all 4-4-2 fomations. We don't create chances, we don't link through the midfield ? we simply don't look like a threat.

Sunday is a huge game, I can't stress its importance enough ? we must win, nothing else will do given that we play Arsenal and an in-form newcastle after.

AJ must drop out, with Arteta and Ossi coming back in. I would suggest:

Howard;
Neville, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott
Arteta, Pienaar, Carsley, Fernandes, Osman
Yakubu

We have played our best football this season playing this way; we break teams down then beat them on the break. 4-4-2 doesn't suit our style, or at least the style that Moyes wants them to play. Against the better teams we get found out.

A lot of people wil say no no, we need to go with two strikers and attack Villa. Well I would say no no ? Villa are playing their best football of the season with style and confidence plus they're scoring for fun (sods law when we aren't), something like 15 or so goals in the last 3, if we attack and it breaks down they have the pace to expose us.

We WILL play better with 4-5-1, it suits the Yak's game too as we play to feet more. 4-4-2 has resulted in long balls which has left Yak clutching at nothing for weeks now and his goal return backs that up.

It's not going to be easy, but there are 9 points left, and I for one want all 9 ? I just don't think it'll happen playing 442. COYB.
Barry Nunt     Posted 24/04/2008 at 23:29:43   Comments (35)

And who's the Greatest of them All...?

Little, curly Alan Ball.

Don't forget, good people... tomorrow April 25 is the first anniversary of the loss of the very best footballer I personally have seen in the Royal Blue of Everton.

Jeez, I miss him...
Art Greeth     Posted 24/04/2008 at 20:08:47   Comments (3)

Calling all fans of Everton FC

As you may already be aware, Tabacula, a Liverpool based film company are currently in production of the definitive drama-documentary of one of Everton?s most iconic sons ? Dixie Dean, entitled Dixie: The People?s Legend. We have already begun to gather some old newsreel footage and some archive stills as well as some preliminary interviews. Regular updates of the projects progress can be seen at tabacula.blogspot.com

In order to do Dixie?s story full justice the documentary will utilise traditional interviews, dramatic re-enactments of key moments in his life and an extensive use of archive footage, stills and audio. All visual records of the club at the time will be necessary to explore the life of the man and to highlight his amazing achievements.

We have the full support of Everton FC who has granted us access to their archives, the players and Goodison itself. We have also been lucky enough to gain access to Dr David France and his unbelievable collection.

As well as these excellent sources of archive stills we are still looking for any existing 1920?s & 30?s photos of the man, the club, newspaper archive or anything pertinent to the era.

If anyone has any old photographs or is aware of any other sources do not hesitate to get in touch at mail@tabacula.com as we are currently scouring the country to amass all we can to bring this amazing story to the big screen.

Jah Jussa
Producer, Dixie: The People?s Legend


Jah Jussa     Posted 24/04/2008 at 04:49:03   Comments (1)

Who's in midfield for next season?

The season isn't over yet and the major focus must stay on the last few games, however it's always fun to consider future options.

There have been a number of articles recently talking about the importance of certain individuals within the team, some of whom are relatively obvious — Howard, Lescott, Yobo, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Yakubu.... Next seasons headache is going to be the midfield for sure — especially given that Pienaar has just signed and assuming Moyes takes the option on Fernandes with Gravesen and VDM leaving.

Does Moyes play a 4 or 5 man midfield? Given the current run of formations it could well be 5 in which case it would be:

RM - Arteta
LM - Pienaar
CM - Cahill
CM - Fernandes
DM - ? (currently Carsley)

Which is classy in my opinion with lots of options and creativity. What about Osman? Is Neville going to play at rightback?

How about when changing to a 4 man midfield - who is dropped? would it revert to:

RM - Arteta
LM - Pienaar
CM - Cahill
CM - Fernandes

And then there are the questions asked if/when Moyes signs another midfield player. Arshavin has been mentioned — who gets dropped to play him? The team desperately needs a new defensive midfielder — is Manny up to that position?
Tony Hawkins     Posted 23/04/2008 at 19:36:59   Comments (42)

Gosling

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to say congratulations on "The deal of the century" no, not the Kirby deal of course but the signing of Pienaar. If the clubs rumoured to have been interested in signing him (Arsenal etc) were not, why not?

Secondly I also want to say that I am in agreement with Connor Rohrer (sp) regarding Fernandes. I don't think he is an attacking/defensive midfielder, rather a "deep lying playmaker". I'd also go as far as to say he reminds me alot of Pirlo at Milan. Ace players.

Anyway, I was really wondering about Dan Gosling. Moyes comments recently that he would have had a good chance of making the squad/team but for his recent injury (which he is now recovered from). I was wondering if he is a right defender/midfielder as different sites have reported different things. Also if anyone had seen the boy play?
Mark Cassin     Posted 23/04/2008 at 18:21:11   Comments (18)

Villa Game

This is a real crunch game so can I urge absolutely everybody to lose the library mentality and really get vocally behind the lads on Sunday. Why do I even I have to say this?

Well, true, the football we have been playing over the last 8 or so games (excluding Fiorentina at home) has been woeful. Naturally as we're so fanatical about our team it's easy for us all to criticise players during the game. I do it myself. Sometimes just the sight of Hibbert warming up sends me into a frenzy. Surely such outbursts from us or like the recent displays I've seen from the Park End lambasting Arteta and Neville cannot help the players, the team or the game's outcome? I'm sure when a player makes a blatant mistake they know they've done it. I don't think they will have intended to do it on purpose.

How uplifting must it be for a player to hear 40,000 fans singing their name? Wouldn't that make you feel good, confident and, hopefully, perform better?

So when you see Hibbert, Jagielka and Yobo hoof a long ball to a couple of midget strikers for the 20th time, don't boo ? sing their names!

When you see AJ run for the corner flag for the 10th time, don't boo ? sing his name instead!!

When you see the Yak miss a sitter ? sing his name!!!

When you see our players frozen in place watching their teammate with the ball, sing their names!!!!

If Pip gives the ball away, sing his name!!!!!

When we do something good, let Villa know Everton are the best football team in the world. This is our chance to make the players feel good; this is our chance to avoid having to write damning forum posts after the event; this is our chance to have a positive impact on the result.

This is our duty. COYB COYB COYB.
Mike Williams     Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:31:19   Comments (57)

Jack Charlton

What a fantastic book is Jack Charlton's autobiography. I saw the Girafe at Goodison with dirty Leeds in the late 60s when I was a kid.

What is intersting in this book is that Jack was a qualified Lilleshall Coach back in 1961 and that he could have signed for Liverpool in 1965 but Bill Shankly wouldn't pay an extra £500 to secure him. He even turned down the chance to play for Man Utd under Matt Busby. We all dislike hoofball but Jack had his own methods of making sure they played it on the deck. This book came out in 1997 and I found it in the discard section at my local library. It is a must-read for the true football supporter.
Bobby  Collins     Posted 23/04/2008 at 02:17:44   Comments (10)

The return of Sandy Brown

Don't like to admit this, I watched the Liverpool - Chelski game (only to hopefully see them get beat.) My night was ecstatically brought to an end with the superbly headed equaliser by SANDY RIISE what a fucking GOAL (for reference to the word SANDY ask any old arse like me.) Just can't stop laughing...
Teddy  Draper     Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:41:57   Comments (5)

YES Voters - Realisation!

I sent this email to KEIOC earlier today (no response as yet), was just wanting some general feedback, ideas and input from the cultured ToffeeWeb followers. Go easy guys... this is my first post, in the words of the awful but tasty Natasha Beddingfield, "I bruise easily!"...

Hi KEIOC,

My name is John McKie and I am a season ticket holder in the Lower Gwladys. I was entitled to a vote in the 07' ballot. My vote was 'YES' to the move.

I felt the move was sold in a positive manner (i.e. no or minimal debt, large high quality and modern stadium, developed transport links and corporate facilities, etc) to the supporters and the intrigued media. However, I am not normally a gullible person but regrettably, I feel I was on this occasion.

It now transpires that the move will cost the club in the region of the £75m mark and on the evidence of the more recent pictures, the ground would simply be of a mediocre standard (which is not good enough for a club of Evertons stature).

In a nutshell, I am unhappy with the inconsistencies (aka - LIES) that have been sold to the loyal supporters and I wish it was possible to retract my YES vote. Now I know that is not possible, therefore, I was wondering if there is any sort of KEIOC vote or petition that relates solely to YES voters retracting and/or changing their votes? If so, how do I access it? If not, can you please, please, please create such a vote/petition which can then be used to then block the move to Kirkby which is now sadly gathering pace. I feel there are many, many more loyal and avid fans like me that given the opportunity, would like to retract/amend their previous vote.
Thank you very much for your time and on behalf of all Everton fans I would like to offer appreciation for the efforts made on your part in preserving the history and tradition of our fantastic club.

Regards,
John McKie

John McKie     Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:16:49   Comments (54)

Hypocrisy or common sense

Now I have a big question for both sides of the Stadium debate. ToffeeWeb are asking if the development of Goodison turned out to be same as moving to Kirkby, What would you choose? I know my answer, it would be to remain at Goodison.

The question from a cost perspective is how much revenue would we lose whilst the stadium is not at full capacity during the rebuild. Sure, this has been costed in by KEIOC. To the question then: Would Everton supporters welcome (during the redevelopment using) Anfield as our stadium for what really would be two seasons?

I think this would be the best solution as doing the development piecemeal is time consuming and I suggest also costlier. The die-hards would have a problem, I don-t think the new franchise owners of the RS would have a problem as they would earn from it.

The question really is would you support that type of move, which in my opinion is worth considering.
Paul Niklas     Posted 22/04/2008 at 17:12:17   Comments (23)

Andy Gray query

Just reading through a few random footballer biographies on Wikipedia and the entry for our very own Andy Gray contains the following...

"He moved to Everton in November 1983 for a bargain £250,000... He is also remembered for his infamous 'diving header penalty' which resulted in an embarrassing miss, and a broken nose for the player."

Anyone know anything more about this penalty kick stunt? Did it happen during his time at Goodison? It's contained within the paragraph detailing his time at Everton but I'd never heard the story before.
Jamie Yates     Posted 22/04/2008 at 15:19:02   Comments (17)

Peanuts — signed!

We've just signed Pienaar for £2m.

Whatever you say about DM you can't argue that he doesn't find some real bargains!

For less than half the price we sold McFadden for!

That is some deal. Well done, Davey Moyes. Let's have a truck-load more in the summer please.
Jonathan Fletcher     Posted 22/04/2008 at 15:12:06   Comments (36)

Uefa Cup parachute? No say Beeb...

According to the BBC, Everton have no chance to qualify for Europe!

I'm not a conspiracy theorist so it's probably just bad journalism but no mention of Everton as one of the Intertoto applicants (we did didn't we?)

And when they mention the Fair Play place they say Man City are in the driving seat but when you look at the Fair Play League , we're 2 places above City.

You'd think the Beeb didn't want Everton in Europe again next season?
Eric Myles     Posted 22/04/2008 at 10:57:52   Comments (14)

Legal Action?

This has been on my mind for months now, or pretty much the whole season, but it's just now coming out now that 5th place looks unlikely.

Is there any way that Everton could bring a lawsuit to the FA or the Premier League to be awarded back lost points or money? Obviously we have been shafted time and time again this season, and an independent group would almost definitely be on our side.

I know it seems petty, and if we do finish in 6th it would just seem like we're sore losers, but we have had an excellent season despite often playing against 12 men and a couple of bad results have put it in jeopardy when in reality we should be in 4th place (rightresult.net) and I don't want to see it go to waste.

Anyway, is this a possibility? I'm sure Kenwright doesn't have the stones to do it, but if he grew a pair would we win?
Jimmy Crack     Posted 21/04/2008 at 23:18:16   Comments (29)

Manny doubts

Interesting news, especially for those who, like me, are keen on signing the potential star that is Manuel Fernandes: this evening Valencia have sacked their Spanish Cup-winning manager Ronald Koeman. He has left a team that is 2 points above the relegation zone and experiencing financial difficulties in relation to their new stadium, which, incidentally, looks like a supersized doughnut (possibly designed by H. Simpson Ltd ).

Anyway, to get to the gist of my submission, all this could have implications regarding Manny's possible transfer: Would Valencia be more or less likely to reduce his valuation? Will the new manager want to retain him? Would the player be keen to join us? Interesting times ahead...
Phil Bell     Posted 21/04/2008 at 22:36:46   Comments (29)

Play the Academy Lads

I think David Moyes should think very carefully about what team he puts out. We do not have the resources and the current team is tired and we have an injury crisis. But we do have an Academy and we have Reserves lads.

If the reserve lads are shit, then let them go ? don't have them in our Academy and refuse to use them when clearly we need them. A few lads have impressed me but it's clear that Moyes doesn't rate them otherwise he would have used them.

I think if we had had some pace upfront just to relieve the tired legs then Zarate wouldnt have scored against us. All other teams are using their young strikers, look what happened at the West Ham game. That's cost us fourth place. I want to see some reserve youngsters on the bench Jutkiewitz, Agard or Codling.

I don't want us losing fith to Aston Villa. Stop being stubborn, Moyes, promote the youngsters and give us a chance for europe at least. Aston Villa are in form; we dont want them doing to us what they did to Birmingham City.
Steve  Roberts     Posted 21/04/2008 at 14:40:15   Comments (2)

Battle of the Managers

The media in these parts is billing Sunday`s game as a battle between two of` "the brightest young managers in the game" and whilst you could argue that the word `young` can hardly be applied to a 50+ manager with over 20 years experience in the role, I sort of see what they`re getting at!

I suspect it`s true to say that for many Evertonians, Martin O`Neill would be a popular choice as successor to David Moyes if, perish the thought, our hero moved on... so how do their records compare?

I don`t keep records of my own so I went to soccerbase.com and found the following figures for the two as Premier status managers:-

Moyes (Everton only): P 280 W 117 L 99 D 64 O`Neill (Leicester City & Villa): P 303 W 115 L 93 D 95 Thus Moyes has a winning percentage of 41.8 against O`Neill`s 39.8 but loses 35.4 of his games to the Irishman`s 30.7.On drawn matches,the two are a distance apart with O`Neill`s sides tieing 31.4 against Moyes's 22.9.

Of course the Villa man has a wealth of managerial experience going back to his start with Grantham Town in 1986 whilst Moyes has only just celebrated 10 years since he took the reins at PNE, but in Premier League football they are very much on the same wavelength in win percentages.

So will O`Neill`s slightly more adventurous approach triumph over our man`s natural caution? Seeing film of last Saturday`s walloping of Birmingham City, I feared the worst but then I thought, hell that was bloody Birmingham, Everton will be an entirely different matter. I hope...
Alan  Woodhead     Posted 21/04/2008 at 14:01:36   Comments (22)

Whatever happened to...?

Pardon my french but where the fuck is Anthony Gardner? He is probably being paid £20k a week to sit in the stands, along with Gravesen (Chelsea game notwithstanding when he came on and was shocking) and Van der Meyde. Their combined wages must be 60 grand a week, a hefty drain on our meagre resources.

How disappointing it is that the press never ask Moyes where these players are, what their fitness is, and how he can justify signing them in the first place! How sadly typical it is also that the Moyes lovers amongst the fans choose to ignore these atrocious misjudgements in the transfer market.
Gareth  Hughes     Posted 21/04/2008 at 11:37:27   Comments (19)

Johann Vogel

Saw Vogel, who was heavily linked with a move to Everton, playing for Blackburn on Saturday against Man Utd. He looked like a good defensive midfielder and more than held his own against Mr Ferguson's boys.

The commentator said that Blackburn got him for free. Anyone know why he didn't end up coming to Goodison? He could have been a good replacement/cover for Carsley, albeit on a temporary basis as he's no spring chicken. Surely the wages wasted on Mad Dog could have been used much more wisely on this guy.

ps: Please don't buy Steve Carr DM
Jon Berry     Posted 21/04/2008 at 10:23:29   Comments (6)

Young and Lightweight

Earlier in the season, much was said of Pienaar and Osman being too lightweight and small.

Pienaar took a while to settle in but then balanced the midfield, before he was off to Africa and back injured. In his first full season in EPL, he has to become fitter as most overseas players do. Osman was doing well until injured, and was the leading scorer for the first 6 weeks or so. Without them helping Arteta (who has not been 100%), the supply to the Yak fell away.

Now how small is Ashley Young and look at him playing with a free role, creating and linking play? If they cannot catch you they cannot hurt you.
Anton Holmes     Posted 21/04/2008 at 10:18:48   Comments (11)

Captain, My Captain...

We at Everton have long and unwholesome history of picking out certain ones of our own for very vocal criticism (and we shouldn't necessarily be proud of this practice). It is a tradition that stretches way back to at least... erm... Earl Barrett.

One thing seems evident. This booing and barracking from the stands most certainly transmits itself to the players concerned. This season's whipping boys seem to have been McFadden, Hibbert and most recently Pip Chuckle himself (a man who has long suffered abuse from rival fans).

As a matter of interest, I was wondering when was the last time that such vitriol was consistenty handed out to a team captain. Thinking back through skippers of recent seasons, the likes of Campbell, Watson (and even Horne!) were certainly of 'limited' ability in our eyes but still, quite unreservedly, admired.
Lee Aitch     Posted 20/04/2008 at 20:43:26   Comments (34)

Midfield Maestro

With Carsley and Neville in midfield it has become blatantly obvious what type of player we desperately need to sign. I know we don't have mega-bucks to spend in the close season, but if we can only sign one player it has to be a box-to-box type of player.

Fernandes is a good player but over £10 million for him is a bit pricey in my opinion. He is excellent on the ball and can pick some beautiful passes, like the one to Osman vs Derby, but he's not one for tracking back in defence and bombing forward in attack.

All the top teams have one. Man U have Hargreaves, Chelsea have Essien, Arsenal have Helb and Liverpool have Gerrard. And if we are to make a step up we need to sign a player who has similar qualities of the above mentioned players. So come on, Kenwright, get your chequebook out and let's all see what gems Moyes can find.
Adam  Cunliffe     Posted 20/04/2008 at 18:52:49   Comments (25)

Our very own Play-off

It`s always been a criticism of David Moyes ?both here and at Preston ? that his teams never do well in vital `one-off` matches. Certainly his Championship Play-Off record didn`t bear inspection and most of us have have reason to think he brought the blight to our Goodison.

Well, Aston Villa`s recent resurgence and in particular their thrashing today of their Birmingham neighbours sets up what is almost certain to be a play-off of our own for the spare Uefa Cup spot at Goodison next Sunday.

Win the game and whatever happens against Newcastle and Arsenal I`m sure we`ve `done it`! Lose and the dream is over and so many questions will be raised about our manager`s capabilities. Make no mistake, how he prepares, selects and organises his team will determine not only Everton`s but his own future in the game.

High stakes indeed. Is the Moyesiah up to it?
Harry Meek     Posted 20/04/2008 at 14:04:15   Comments (41)

Uefa Cup Qualification

Coming home from the Chelsea game it was mentioned on Radio Merseyside that if Portsmouth finish 5th and win the FA Cup then Cardiff would enter the Uefa Cup!!! This left me outraged. Why should the FA be allowed to change their rules midway through a tournament just to suit one set of supporters? Never mind the Everton and Villa supporters who are going to lose out by this. All of a sudden Cardiff have gone from having no place in Europe to having a guaranteed wild card - and not the one offered by Platini either!

Yet according to the BBC sport website on their page of rules this would not be the case, if Pompey finish 5th and win the FA cup then the 6th place team would enter the Uefa Cup place. This is far more encouraging because IF (and its a big if at the moment) we somehow beat Villa then they cannot get more points than us before the end of the season. a further point from the next 2 games (and by that I mean vs Newcastle) would see us guaranteed 6th. And should Pompey finish 5th and win the FA Cup another European season to look forward to.

But forget about all of the confusion of what Cardiffs position on European qualification will do to us and do not blame all the referees who have not only cost us a CL qualification spot but possibly a Uefa Cup spot as well - WE HAVE A SAFETY NET! As it stands Everton are 4th in the EPL fair play league behind Spurs, Man U and the RS. England are also currently 2nd in the overall Uefa fair play standings where the top 2 nations as of 30/04/2008 will gain an extra Uefa Cup place to the team top of that country's individual fair play league.

So in other words if we were to lose against Villa, by the time we play Arsenal we would know if England did gain an extra Uefa Cup spot, then the mentality against Arsenal and Newcastle should be "Do not foul at any cost - confirm our position at the top of Englands fair play league and get into Europe!" Easy.

For once, let's make sure the FA and UEFA's stupid rules actually work for us once and not as it always seems against us.
Jack Calvert     Posted 20/04/2008 at 13:07:37   Comments (13)

Pienaar: 48 hours to deal?

Official statement - Pienaar should sign within 48 hours. This comes out of the club on Monday. 120 hours ago!

Deja vu, anyone? We cocked up Fernandes last summer (a player I still think we should buy if the price is right). But Pienaar is more important - this opportunity cannot and must not be missed; but it would seem the club are doing their best to throw a spanner in the works. Unbelievable.
Louis Huglin     Posted 20/04/2008 at 10:55:09   Comments (3)

A negotiating position?

I think TW?s slightly tired response to DM?s ?Another five or six years? comment misses the point. I think we should see Moyes's comments not necessarily as his opinion but as a negotiating position in his attempt to get more money to spend over the summer.

The reality of modern sport is that these kinds of negotiations are conducted in the newspapers as well as the Boardroom and I think DM's message to Kenwright is clear: "we've gone as far as we'll go without a spending a lot of money on the team ? so get the chequebook out".

Over the next week or so I expect Bill to happen to mention to a journalist about just how much we spent last summer and how we?ve broken to club transfer record three years in a row. Blah, blah, etc. etc.

This may not be Bill?s ?Everton way? but I think we?re going to see quite a lot of similar comments from both sides until DM?s contract is signed and the transfer budget agreed.

And the truth is, Moyes is right about this. Our increasingly crap end to the season shows that we?ve come a long way over the last 5 years but still are too dependent on a few good players, lack strength in depth and have some real problem positions such as right back. Only significant spending over a few years can solve these issues.
Richard Watts     Posted 20/04/2008 at 10:52:02   Comments (3)

Is it a Ploy?

I think we are all in agreement that we are in a far better situation than when DM took over. As DM said quite openly, it's another 4/5 years to get into the top 4, but only a couple of weeks ago he said we will push the redshite all the way, and haven't we already been in the top 4?

Could we assume that, with DM's contract up for review, he has stabilized the club, and that he no longer wants to go at a steady stabilizing pace for much longer? He knows as we all do that we need money to compete at the next level.

Now whatever your thoughts on BK, he is a fan, and he must be wanting to see silverware ? if only a League Cup. And he must know as a businessman that the money is in the Champions League with a run (along with bigger ground capacity etc); they both have to move onwards. As a manager and as a businessman, do you think DM wants to stay for 4 more years before starting to achieve the next level?

So, could it be this empty feeling we are getting as the season fades is the blandness that DM wants to make BK feel before he signs a new contract? Because DM is ready for the next step in his career and for EFC....

I think the end-of-season contract talks with DM and BK are very pivotal.
Anton Holmes     Posted 20/04/2008 at 04:28:10   Comments (8)

Moving forward?

So, Davey Boy says 'It will take us another five or years to be up there with a chance of breaking into the top four'.

I never cease to be amazed at how easily his sights are lowered. When we're doing well, he talks about preserving our top flight status. When we're pushing the top four and we lose to some bums, we get told how far the team has come; and when we are in contention for a Uefa Cup place and have a key home tie against a Chelsea side that has looked less than invulnerable, we get told it's a nothing match.

We now have Villa and Portsmouth breathing down our necks and subject to results (and an FA / Uefa wrangle), we could even be edged out by Cardiff City!

We get told the squad is big enough to get the job done, that we have the depth to compete on all fronts, then when Cahill gets crocked we go back to the Neville/Carsley central midfield combo, that has all of the G14 quaking in their boots. He then admits that we don't necessarily have the squad depth to compete.

I have no idea what the implications are of the latest comments. Does it mean we'll still be relying on Carsley when he's pushing 40, does it mean Neville is untouchable or does it mean the team is going to get the investment is dearly needs? Your guess is as good as mine.

I suspect he is banking on a steady trickle of improvement and a dodgy reliance on statistical extrapolation. We have to admit that teams like Villa, Pompey, Man City, QPR, West Ham and Spurs all have the financial clout to leave us in the shade in a race for fifth, let alone the top four. Yes, we need investment, not rabbits out the hat, but we also need a manager that has the nous to take us to the next level.

I'm not saying Moyes is a bad manager, but his limitations are there for all to see. Unless there is some great sea change at the club, I can't see how Uefa Cup qualification ? let alone the Champions League ? is going to be a realistic perennial ambition. He can throw whatever figure he likes at us: two, four, five or ten years. It won't change the fact that if we don't finish at least fifth, everything that has happened this season, will be all for nothing.

I don't know what's going on the club and whether it's Kenwright, Goebbels...oops I mean Wyness or Moyes who's at fault. I just want some transparency. We won't get it though.
Mark Wynne     Posted 19/04/2008 at 19:47:08   Comments (15)

Ch Ch Ch Changes.........

I heard a funny story today whilst in work, which will make some people realise that Bill Kenwright is not all bad.

The guy I was working with today was a Mansfield supporter and he told me that their chairman, in his wisdom, has decided that the name 'Mansfield' does not hold enough appeal to the masses. The chairman has then ? and this is not a word of a lie ? proposed that the team change their name to 'Harchester Rovers'!!! For those who don't know, this is the fictional team that is featured on Sky One's football soap opera, Dream Team. Now I've heard everything!
Franny  Porter     Posted 19/04/2008 at 18:50:24   Comments (11)

Damp Squib

I think everyone would agree that this season is fast turning into a damp squib. Maybe injuries are to blame, maybe team spirit was sorely damaged after the loss to Fiorentina, or maybe Moyes has lost the dressing room yet again, as some people on this site have claimed (why by the way?)

I say 'yet again' because this rumour seems to fly around at least once a season. The most famous of which being Big Dunc's alleged training ground head butt on Moyes. He´s lost the dressing room so many times that I don´t personally buy into that one.

Anyway, the point is that we are in danger of finishing the season like a wet fart after what was such an excellent three quarters. I feel it must be a problem within the club itself as I honestly cannot remember the last time that Everton didn´t finish a season like a wet fart. Can anyone recall our last strong finish in the Premier League?
Ron Martin     Posted 19/04/2008 at 13:53:19   Comments (2)

Manny on the wing?

With the short time he has to impress, why was Fernandes put wide on the right, then swapping with Piennar, wide left? For a short period of the Chelsea game he went in the middle and looked impressive with his passing ability. Moyes has got to play him in his rightful position.

There were a couple of occasions when the ball got rolled out to Jags, he then just hoofed it up field, when it should have been passed to Fernandes and posession would have been ours instead of blatantly giving the ball away. I'm Manny's biggest critic but give the lad a chance in his rightful position.
Colin Malone     Posted 19/04/2008 at 08:04:27   Comments (9)

Not 26 Million Pound Strikers, Eh?

Yes this is David Moyes's latest quote. I am afraid that this is exactly what is needed if we are to challenge the top four. We can only go so far buying cheap players who turn out to be above average players. World Class talent is spotted from a young age and if you aren't lucky enough to have it in your youth system then 20-odd million plus is exactly what you are going to have to spend to get it.

Look at the difference between us and the top four. Who in our squad would you say is worth plus fifteen million? That's right guys, no-one and its the same for the rest of the also rans of this sadly now uncompetitive division.

Look at the top four now and they have a mighty fine sprinkling of players in that bracket. Man United have Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Hargreaves, Ferdinand and in a few seasons Nani and Anderson.

Chelsea have Drogba, Lampard, Cole, SWP to name but a few.

Liverpool are sitting in fourth and as you would expect have slightly less. Only Gerrard and Torres would I place in that bracket.

Perhaps Arsenal are the exception to the rule. They don't splash silly money but scout players who arent exactly cheap but soon explode over the 15 million pound mark. This is down to a manager with an eye for talent and a world class scouting system, something we clearly dont have. They also have better prestige to attract the cream of the worlds youth talent.

It's a sad state of affairs, but Lyndon hit the nail on the head. We have hit the glass ceiling now. In my opinion the only way the club can smash the ceiling is to get a very wealthy investor. The board have done really well to steady the club and build such a solid foundation. I think it is all time for us to realise, and I think David Moyes already has, that we are living in a dream world if we think we can compete like this.

Bill Kenwright I salute you for your efforts but its time for the next stage of our revival and time for you to stand down. Find us an investor that you trust and sell the club. If we make it to the big time, you will be remembered in history as the man who made Everton great again.
Paul Coleman     Posted 18/04/2008 at 22:28:33   Comments (8)

Pienaar, anybody?

Wasn't he meant to be signing today or was that just a typical Everton white elephant? I can see this one dragging on for a few more months yet!
Craig Walsh     Posted 18/04/2008 at 22:08:58   Comments (11)

Tactics gone pear-shaped

First of all, why is Leighton Baines getting dropped to the bench to accomidate a centre half being put in his position? Bemused... too right: if Moyes belives in winning matches, he should've started the game with his strongest line-up available eg. Howard Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Fernandes, Jagielka, Carsley, Pienaar, Yakubu, Johnson.

Moyes seems blind to the fact that Carsley and Neville play terribly together in the center of the park. Also why when we concede a goal we sit back and defend instead of going for a goal? It needs sorting fast or Everton are going to leave the fans with no belief and no desire to support the team they love.
Paul Lynch     Posted 18/04/2008 at 19:51:59   Comments (17)

Anyone for Big Sam?

A journalist who follows the fortunes of our club much closer than most told me at lunchtime that several Sundays will carry the story that David Moyes is on his way to Celtic. Most of us have heard this gossip already but what intrigued me was the news that Sam Allardyce has already been sounded out to succeed him at Goodison. Sounds good to me...
Tony  Winter     Posted 18/04/2008 at 19:26:25   Comments (18)

A worry

If Moyes doesn't get the large sum of cash over the summer that he needs, I fear that this means a couple of outcomes that would really have me worried.

The first is that he may only be able to make one or two additions to the current squad because of a lack of a large amount of money. If he has to sell players to raise funds, does this mean that we will still have a squad too small to cope with a full season? Given his hesitancy in promoting young players, you could really see this happening.

The second outcome is that his hand will be forced and he will pad out the squad with a large amount of young players. While you know that some of them could well be brilliant successes, you would still feel that they would dilute the squad too much. We don't have enough senior players as it is and having to fill the squad with youngsters would mean a large step backwards in terms of progress and keeping up with top six finishes.

Yes, seeing Moyes getting handed a transfer budget of £50M would be great. Five new signings and three or four youngsters promoted to the senior squad would be ideal. It would be brilliant. It could happen, and I really hope it does, but somehow I don't see it.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 18/04/2008 at 11:46:26   Comments (3)

Can't We Ban Alan Green From Goodison?

Circumstances dictated that I had to follow the Chelsea game on Five Live last night. Once again that meant having to listen to that dreadful commentator Alan ('Good Face for Radio') Green for the majority of the match. It really was dreadful!

Now I know it's been mentioned before on ToffeeWeb, and frankly our team not producing the goods on the pitch last night didn't help our cause - but to hear him slagging off our players, club and even the grand old lady (with sarky comments about restricted views etc.) with such glee - really makes me think the club hierarchy should consider requesting that he no longer attends our home games.

Unlike others, I've no definitive proof he's a closet Liverpool fan (although the circumstantial evidence is strong), but I'm sick to death that this pompous, opinionated oaf is allowed to spread his biased views of our club to the nation as a whole (and even via the World Service) at the licence-payers expense. Please can our board think seriously about banning him from Goodison for next season!
David Edwards     Posted 18/04/2008 at 10:27:31   Comments (17)

Where are the balls?

Looking at our games against the so called "big 4" over the last few months and one thing that really annoys me most about us is our lack of fight and bottle.

I travelled back for the Liverpool game and genuinelly thought "Let's have them". With them having their major knock out tournament on their mind, it was my thinking that Moyes would tell them to get at them, see how important they really think this Chapoions League is and see if they fancy it.

To mine, and I guess many an Evertonian's disappointment, it was clear from the offset we were never going to do that. Not once did I see a player launch into a 50/50 with a bit of fight.

Liverpool played around as and ultimately, battered us. Last night, I thought the same thing, lets get at them, they have Tuesday on their minds, lets see which one of them fancies it; again ? nothing. Not even one player booked last night.

Now, I am not an advisory for bad tackles, far from it, I belive in the beautiful game, but you have to be able to mix it up a little. This has led to me kind of agreeing with the Tony Marsh theory (never thought I would say that) and thinking, are we just too lightweight in our tackles? Maybe so, but one thing is for sure, if we do not get our heads back on the ball soon, this season will turn out to be a major disappointment.

As an Evertonian I don't believe what we have acheived this season has been amazing, merely continued progress, but not getting 5th would, I think represent major failure!
Garry Lloyd     Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:34:57   Comments (13)

Plan B

I'm sure I wasn't the only supporter to groan when I heard the team news... in fact I could hear the collective groan at the ground from County Road. OK due to injuires and form, there wasn't a lot of other options. But surely the fans cant be the only people who see that this system just isn't working?

By playing two holding midifelders we just invite teams on to us, and the gap in between the middle of the park and the forwards means the only ball that reaches them is a long one. This could be overcome if the players had some ability but.... I'm not going to start on Neville (who had one of his best games for a while) or Carsley (who slows with every passing game, first touch a bad one, second touch is a tackle).

The main problem is that if this system doesn't work, and it's usually eveident in the first 10 mins. We have no Plan B. Whether this is down to the small squad, resources, players ability/form or managers ability, I don't know. All I do know is we have the most predictable sytsem of any team in the league. That's partly the reason why we have become stuck.
Carl Wright     Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:27:56   Comments (17)

Is it really all going pear-shaped?

The question we are all asking: "Will we finish 5th?"

Looking at things from Portsmouth's and Villa's point of view:

Portsmouth have to get 5 more points than us, from the remaining games. Villa have to get 7 more points than us, from the remaining games.

With Portsmouth our goal difference is worth a point. If Portsmouth and us end up with equal points then our goal difference should see us above them.

With Villa goal difference is not such an advantage, so if they finish with equal points to us, goal difference may not help us, but the gap with them is 6pts.

If we lose our three remaining games, Man City and Blackburn could catch us, but the equation with them is loaded in our favour. So losing the remaining games would probably see us finish 6th or 7th, which assumes that Villa and / or Portsmouth will pick up enough points to move above us.

Any points we can pick up will make the task of Portsmouth and Villa that much more difficult.

I reckon another 4 points should be enough to see us home. So 3pts against either Villa or the Bar Codes is a must.

As far as Intertoto qualification is concerned, we need to finish above Villa, unless they end up being 5th.

If we could look into the future and see Portsmouth win the FA cup, then we could all breathe more easily.
Brian Baker     Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:11:51   Comments (1)

It's as good as it gets

I am 49 years old so I remember being there when we won the League in 1970, and I remember when we dominated English football in the Mid eighties. Going into the 84-85 season I recall us being one of maybe ten teams that could have won the league. Although we won the FA Cup in 1984, it was still a very pleasant surprise when we emerged as such a brilliant team in 1984-85.

However, as they say, that was then and this is now. The Sky and CL money has destabilised football to such an extent that we know with more or less absolute certainty that the "Big 4 " (dont you just hate that expression?) will always be the Big 4 and it's just a case of which order they will finish in.

Unfortunately, as the rich get richer, they pull further awayfrom the rest. Go in any so called Sports Shop and the Big 4 products always predominate. With vastly bigger turnover the Big 4 are able to attract the better players and so it goes on.

Consider last night and look at the benches. They had Schevchenko and the other multi millionaires. We had the 16-year-old Jack Rodwell, the past it Gravesen and the never will be, Anichebe.

So , I don't get too upset about last night as I reluctantly accept the fact that Chelsea just have much better players than we do. What does upset me, though is that the end of this season, as we fall away Grand National style on the last bit of the run-in, is that it all has very similar echoes to a few seasons ago when we lost that match to Man Utd, finished 7th and missed out on Europe, having been up there all season.

Let's hope that Super Sven and my new favourite team, Man City, pull out all the stops to impress their owner tomorrow as I really cannot see us getting too many more points over the rest of the season.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 18/04/2008 at 08:17:45   Comments (5)

Would you trust him with £30M?

Driving home tonight, I felt for the very first time that we`ve reached the pinnacle with Moyes. The guy`s done a good job in stabilising the club and we all know Blue Bill thinks the sun shines out of his arse. But let`s be honest, if Everton suddenly came into money ? say £30 Million ? would you trust Davey Boy to spend it wisely? I don't think I could and that's why we shall never really trouble the Big Four.

It's a sad fact that we are blessed with a sound manager who hasn't got a clue about putting a class side together. OK, he's a workaholic but he's a man with limited vision obsessed with defensive theories.

He`ll never manage a top side ? here or anywhere else ?- and because his parsimonious approach suits his bosses he`s got a job for life with Everton. So he won`t be banging down the door for that £30mil ? he just wouldn`t know what to do with it!
Calum  Maher     Posted 18/04/2008 at 00:43:44   Comments (59)

Lowest of the low

I am from Rotherham and cannot claim to go the every game but I have supported Everton for 20 years and tonight I feel as low as I have ever been. That was the most disgraceful performance that I have seen since the dark days and I really feel as if Moyes has lost the dressing room.

I can't tell you how bad I feel, whether I am from Liverpoool or not I can tell you that I love this club with all my heart but I look at the players and I know that they can play so much better than that. Chelsea were awful tonight and we never tested Cech once. I am gutted and I blame the manager.

The decision to bring Gravesen on was the worst decision Moyes has ever made, he was truly atrocious. Lowest of the low.
Phil Rodgers     Posted 18/04/2008 at 00:06:09   Comments (35)

Get off Neville's back, you should be ashamed!

How can people seriously keep scapegoating Phil Neville for these Everton performances? Having just read the match report on Chelsea, it is so blindly obvious you have chosen Neville as your boo boy and can clearly not look objectively at an Everton performance.

Phil Neville is a right back, and a damn good one at that. He has been an exceptional part of our progression. In terms of Neville this season, he has been moved to right wing, centre mid, left back, and tonight left wing and you tell me whether it is fair to judge how good Phil Neville is in these positions?

How good was Phil Jagielka in centre midfield? How good was Joleon Lescott at Centre Forward against Fulham? Not good, and the reason is because they were way out of position and you can't expect them to play there. Phil Neville is thrown around this side like a rag doll and has become such an easy target because of it, and the fact that people can't come to accept the fact he played as a bit part player for Man United and is now our captain, stubborn idiots.

Neville has done a great job for Everton and our club is better for having him. In relation to tonight against Chelsea, Neville was doing work for two players in there as Carsley did absolutely nothing. He was winning the ball closing down and forcing errors and passing to Everton shirts and if you can't see that then it is clear you have tunnel vision where Neville is concerned and there is no point you making comment.

I have travelled to every game bar 2 all season and seen a player give his all for our club and also perform to a high standard constantly at right back and more often than not in his unfavoured positions, without a single complaint along the way. Get off your high horse with Neville, there are players out there who don't deserve anywhere near the credit and respect that he does and we should be grateful to have him.
Ian Mitchell     Posted 17/04/2008 at 23:29:34   Comments (54)

Clearout required

Watching tonight's game brought home to me just how far we really are away from competing with the top 4. We have too many players within our squad who just cannot cut it at the top level. I would happily keep the following for next season:

Howard
Hibbert
Baines
Lescott
Yobo
Jagielka
Arteta
Osman
Cahill
Fernandes
Pienaar
Yakubuv
Vaughan
Anichebe

I would retain Hibbert for his undoubted defensive capabilities and his mental strength.

The rest of the first team squad are either past it or not technically good enough or not mentally strong enough to play at the top level.

Unfortunately that leaves us with a squad of 14 players 2 of which are presently loanees! Let's hope Rodwell and maybe Kissock can make the step up next season and let's also hope our chairman makes a few quid available to the manager.

It could be a long summer!
Dave Jeanrenaud     Posted 17/04/2008 at 23:14:21   Comments (34)

Bad decisions?

Well another pathetic case of men against boys. I am tired of watching the crap we have served up since Fiorentina. What has happened to the team that only lost 2 games in 20 odd games?

No Baines in the starting XI when he has been one of the highlights of the last couple of weeks, he could have made a difference down the left flank where I thought Ferreira was particularly weak.

Then there were the subs, what is Moyes thinking? Gravesen who we know can't do anything at this level anymore and Anichebe who hasn't done anything since the Brann away leg for our one attacking midfielder and Johnson. I recognise that Johnson has also done next to nothing for a while but surely he would have still been a bit more threatening on one of the flanks than Neville. It really frustrates me. Maybe there are some things that we just dont know as fans that are going on behind the scenes but there seemed no logical explanation for these subs.

One bright note from tonight is that Fernandes showed glimpses of the class we all know he has. He may be the difference between Uefa Cup football and nothing come May. These performances are following a worrying trend.
Ben Polak     Posted 17/04/2008 at 23:09:55   Comments (5)

Well, it wasn't so bad after all

At least, we saw diligence and some grit from the Blues. Had we played like this in last five games, Liverpool would be much more worried about next week's encounter with Chelsea.

This game proved me wrong on some points. First, we don't need Mickey to create if we just have a will for a goal (win, maybe). That being said, I still think that he is our best player (brain) and that he should be kept at any cost. Second, we should try our luck on Fernandes if the price isn't too high. He's a poor man Lee Carsley (spine) but he has something that old fella hasn't and if he isn't a head case, he could be a last man in a powerfull midfield we may have in future. Third, eh... but yes, we need to give Moysey a new chance. After all, we are contenders now. If this man had guts enough to get us out of the relegation league, he just might've learned enough to push us forward.

Things we all know: we need fresh bodies (one point for Moysey - he is able to get us some); we need to steal some fitness trainers from Sky teams (if we are to fight with same eleven through 90 mins and more, we need to have them ready for additional 90 mins (look at Liverpool and you'll see what I mean), we need to keep Osman and Cahill (heart and soul) happy here even if we bring people here that could seriously challenge them... And so on and so forth.

Here we are, three games to go. Nothing to gain, wonderful season to lose. I am positive that we'll end it in high note (even if this mean three draws - but three draws enough). Just for the sake at looking back one day and say "Yeah, this was a tough one, but we knew we'll be champions even then".

COYB, Srdjan
Srdjan Sekulic     Posted 17/04/2008 at 22:25:29   Comments (7)

Class and Confidence

Well, it's what we lacked tonight. Too little class and low on confidence. We didn't look good going forward and for most part of the evening, it was hit and hope. Some good defensive tackles but in all honesty, we were really poor against a medium rare Chelsea.

I truly hope that tonight was Mad Dogs last appearance in the blue of Everton?! He was shocking, pathetic and dismal. I wonder why Baines wasn't brought in?

Whilst Moyes needs to be questioned over the team selection; starting with Neville and Carsley in midfield was always going to be dicey to say the least; finishing with Neville, Cars and Tommy was never going to be the ideal situation. We didn't service the Yak and AJ and Victor hardly made an impression.

This was truly disappointing and now we have all sorts of pressure to retain fifth, and to think just a few weeks ago we were banging on the door of a Champions League place.

We need more quality in midfield, and the likes of Arshavin could be just the answer. It will be an interesting summer to see how Moyes goes shopping but for now, I wish the lads all the best for the remainder of this season. We can still end the season on a high.... do it for the fans! Make us proud!!!
Alan Khan     Posted 17/04/2008 at 21:57:55   Comments (19)

Same old, same old

So it`s Neville in midfield and Lescott at left back. No doubt Moyes will say it`s our strongest team.To me the man is myopic and unimaginative when it comes to big games. Why not spring a shock and include Rodwell? Can`t see us getting didly-squat!
Dave  Shelley     Posted 17/04/2008 at 19:38:34   Comments (72)

Will the FA act?

Now that the two culprits have been charged and appeared in court for assaulting Phil Neville, two things I am wondering:

First, how can 48- and 38-year-old men act like they did? They must be mentally unbalanced and now their Identities are known and cctv leaving little doubt of guilt. What actions are Liverpool taking against these fans as surely a life ban must be in order.

Also, are the FA going to take any action as any club outside the so-called big four would be punished but the above four seem bullet-proof to rules and regulations.
Roy Coyne     Posted 17/04/2008 at 16:34:23   Comments (8)

Any news of Pienaar?

One of the items featured on ToffeeWeb?s News in Brief on Tuesday under the heading PIENAAR: 48 HOURS TO DEAL, quoted an article from the Daily Mail stating ?Steve Pienaar's permanent move to Everton should finally be ironed out in the next 48 hours once Borussia Dortmund confirm receipt of a £2million offer for the South Africa midfielder?.

That article was posted at 0.56am ? 14th April. Obviously the journalist in question must be:

1. A ?rookie?, otherwise he/she would have known that Everton never take the easy route where transfers are concerned and there are still 13 days to the deadline, plenty of time to mess up.

2. Maybe he/she is right, Steven may have already signed and I am probably a cynic. (I wonder why?)
Declan Burke     Posted 17/04/2008 at 15:39:28   Comments (4)

Final Night Game of the Season

I'll be honest with you, I've not been looking forward to tonight's game at all. After recent poor (maybe even pathetic) performances, coupled with injuries to some of our most attacking and creative players I've not really been able to see how we're going to improve enough to beat a team chasing Premier and Champions (HA!) League glory.

But then I visited the official website and took a look at the goals of the season awards section. Almost half of them are from night games, mostly in the Uefa cup. Goals such as Osman's against Larrisa after a cracking flowing move, AJ's belter against Brann and not to forget Arteta's pin-point finish from distance on that memorable (if ultimately gut wrenching) night against Fiorentina made my neck hairs stand to attention. I'd forgotten how many great memories I had from this season.

My point is, we've got one more chance for a memorable night at Goodison tonight. The atmosphere can be tremendous at times and when I think of the noise we made against Fiorentina, I'm sure that drove the players on to produce the best performance of the season.

I know there's no chance of the atmosphere quite reaching those heights tonight, but if we get behind the team early doors and not get on their backs when a few passes go amiss (cough, Neville!) then maybe we can have just one more memorable night at the old lady this season.

COYB!!!!
Paul O Hanlon     Posted 17/04/2008 at 14:07:32   Comments (5)

Rhys

Just got back from a night in a bar where we solved all the problems of our company and pleased to see that the scuffers have finally made arrests in the case of "our Rhys"

Hope that it is the right bunch and that they are cleared from the streets and that Melanie and Stephen can rest a bit more easily. All we need is "our Maddie" to be found alive and well and the season becomes perfect.

When it is a choice of UEFA/Champs League v Rhys' killers locked away and the safe return of Madeleine, then it puts life into perspective. It is great to have Everton in the paper but I would prefer it on the back pages, not the front!
Phil Roberts     Posted 17/04/2008 at 00:25:30   Comments (9)

One for the Rumour Mill

The Mirror, and Wikipedia, are linking us to Michael Bradley. Standing at 1.85m (6ft 1 in old money) and 21 in July, he plays for Heerenveen (Holland) in midfield. He knocks in a goal about one in three games. He is 'defensive' midfield for the USA, so should be visible in the forthcoming friendly.

It seems to make sense given his CV and DM's liking for English speakers. Mind you, Mark Hughes and others are thinking along similar lines - look him up in Wikipedia for I.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 16/04/2008 at 21:21:22   Comments (6)

Starting 11 versus Chelsea

Looks like we are still down to the bare bones for tomorrows visit fo Chelsea. Osman and Arteta are not fit (according to BBC) but no mention of Piennar so I am assuming he will just about be fit enough to pull on the jersey. (hopefully he will be a permanent signing by then too).

I think Moyes has very little option and should go with the following:-

Howard; Neville - Jagielka - Yobo - Lescott; Pienaar - Carsley - Fernandes - Baines; Johnson - Yakubu

Bench: Anichebe Wessels Graveson Hibbert Valente

Not a great deal there to change the outcome of a match.
Matt Bone     Posted 16/04/2008 at 18:56:57   Comments (29)

Next year's fortunes

Now then... I know that this is looking far ahead seeing as though the season hasn't finished yet and we are still (mathematically) in with a chance of 4th place, but are there any Evertonians out there like me that are concerned about next season?

I have just got this gut feeling that the likes of Villa, Portsmouth and quite possibly Newcastle are going to steam roller us next year due to these clubs taking risks and us sitting back on what we have.

Please fellow fans — tell me this is not going to be the case!
Chris Marston     Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:35:55   Comments (12)

Tesco: Everton Directors Would Not Sell

This extract was taken from KEOIC website where they have secured a copy of the revised planning statement.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright's words ?I have said for years that I am constantly on the lookout for investment for Everton" have seemingly come back to haunt him, that is if the latest document released by Tesco is anything to go by. The revised Planning Statement (document 18) released yesterday by Tesco, reveals that if there were investors who had the financial clout to wholly or partly fund any new or redeveloped stadium for Everton Football Club, then those investors would be turned away by the current board;

"6.10 A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club?s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the financial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club. "
Does this mean that despite his consistent claims, Bill Kenwright wasn't searching for investment "24/7" after all? Evertonians, you decide.
Luke Scott     Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:32:33   Comments (21)

Chelsea Fire Sale

Read in the Times this morning that 'Chelsea stars head for exit in fire sale by Abramovich' irrespective of Grant staying or going.

Is there anyone we would want who we could realistically afford? Think I would go for SWP, Bridge and perhaps Sidwell.
Steve Ashton     Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:24:25   Comments (9)

Player of the year

Whilst in my opinion the player of the year was always a forgone conclusion, with recognition to the runner up Tim Howard also. Joleon Lescott is by a country mile the winner.

My concern is the next category, Young player of the year. The candidates which by the list shows you the state of what we have coming through.

Anichebe — Useless
Fernandes — should not be on the list.
Vaughan — has hardly played and no doubt if not for injuries would be the winner.
Baines — Has hardly played.
Rodwell- one game.

The bigggest concern is due the bulk not playing due to injury and selection, we are forced to make Anichebe the young player of the year.

The problem: He thinks he is better than he is. He has done nothing to merit it.

His performances of late have just got worse. His ego and his attitude on the pitch is not what you would expect from a player developing and yet to achieve anything.

What will this do to his ego when he is awarded it (which he will)?

Platitudes and awards should be for something special and something well deserved, this year at Everton in this category it will not be the case, what does this say about the future players of the club .

Do us all a favour and don't vote as it is a pointless exercise and will achieve nothing other than maybe get Victor a few more admirers when out in town.
Paul Niklas     Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:16:17   Comments (5)

JJB Sports

I heard today that JJB have announced the closure of 72 stores nationwide. In my opinion they were providing a pathetic service to EFC as it was but now I can see it getting harder and harder to walk into a store to buy our merchandise.

Does anyone know if we can opt out of the conttact and open up another megastore? Or even a market stall would be better! Thank the heavens for buying online, eh!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 16/04/2008 at 12:00:57   Comments (15)

The real battle for 5th....

... will be the game between us and Villa. That's way more important than the game on Thursday!

In all probability we will be comfortably beaten by Chelsea and Villa will win the next game they have so the game between the teams takes on massive significance due to the fact that we then play Arsenal away. I'm counting Pompey out because even Redknapp has admitted that he doesn't care about the league anymore but Villa are bang in form.

They are also somewhat of a bogey team for us in my opinion as some our worst performances in recent memory have been against them! I personally think they'll come to Goodison thinking they can beat us!
Dave Trudgeon     Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:08:30   Comments (8)

Where's our money going...?

Forget whether Arteta's agent is touting him for sale. Forget who is the better right back - Hibbert, Neville or that bloke who wanders up and down the Park End and collects the corner flags when the match has finished. Forget (if you can) the potential move to Kirkby. The big news that we should all be monitoring is Philip Green's proposed move to Tottenham. The financial backing behind Bill Kenwright and apparantly also behind Robert Earl's conversion to a Blue.

This could go one of several ways; it could knacker up any plans we have of a substantial (for us) outlay on new players. It may, dare I say it, scupper any ground move... it may even lead to Bill having to look elsewhere or possibly even sell up.

Now I know BK is not the most popular person on here and I've heard all the arguments for and against, some of them vitriolic in the extreme, but there again it is a game of passion and that is what I believe he has in bucketloads for our club. If BK should decide that enough is enough and decides to get out where does that leave us?

A rich American? After the debacle over the park? Some shady character from Easter Europe who has no love for us but sees us somehow as a cash-cow? Or maybe we could find a million supporters to put £5000 each into the club just like 'them', and that's going to really happen, both for us and that shower, anin't it?!

There again, maybe Bill Gates suddenly decides that he is a life-long Blue and now is the time to do something about it... either that or Macca realises that he can't take it all with him and to stop Heather making another claim he offloads a cool half a billion our way. I can't see it somehow though, can you?

Anyone out there with a hot-line to Microsoft?
Eddie Grinley     Posted 16/04/2008 at 08:04:33   Comments (3)

This is your Captain spouting

Am I alone in feeling that our Captain should stop making his post-shambles rallying calls and declaring unrealistic targets for the remains of this season? I know that he is the Captain but I am less sure as to why he is the Captain. I know that he plays regularly but I am less sure as to why he plays regularly. More than that, I am completely bemused as to why he ever plays in midfield.

I would much prefer it if he played less often and never in midfield. When he does play, I would like him to lead by example and try to set pass completion figures to inspire his team. What I do not want to do is read these regular rallying cries (more like meaningless spoutations) after dire draws or inept defeats by a player who is consistently amongst our worst performers. Am I losing my grip or are there others out there who share my sentiments?
Brian Finnigan     Posted 15/04/2008 at 19:50:16   Comments (3)

Rallying Cry

This Thursday, all I want to see is the boys give it their all. We know at the moment the season is petering out as a damp squib, but these boys during the season, have put in some maginificent backs-to-the-wall performances to pull through tough periods.

The Spurs match at the start of the season, the Chelsea League Cup Semi Final first leg, the Derby match at Goodison and most recently the Fiorentina match. Although the team may have failed to win some of those matches through sheer awful decisions or bad luck, they still gave their all throughout the match and really wore the badge with pride on their shirt.

Now, at this critical stage of the season- we know we have to be results driven. But at the moment, the type of performances the lads put in are hardly going to achieve the results expected. On Thursday against Chelsea, if the team, tired with injuries and all, just puts on a lion's performance under the lights at Goodison I'll be happy. I'll be happy if they still lose and they went for it. As at the end of the day, the players can then kick on from a performance like that and push home through the last couple of games. The fans will roar them on if we see they have given their all.

I know some people may disagree but all I want from these players in the next few games is ONE brilliant performance that really makes us proud. One performance will go a long way to securing 5th ? otherwise, the team will continue to wallow in its self-pity that we can't play well with so many injured players.

One decent showing against Chelsea- and I'm sure the whole of the club and the supporters will push on all the way to the end. NSNO.
Ric  Wallace     Posted 15/04/2008 at 16:45:26   Comments (10)

Season to be proud of?

I about to say something that maybe against the grain, but I think we have had a really impressive season so far. Unless we mess up 5th spot, I am pretty pleased with how the season as went. There were a few games where I thought we were hopeless. But the fact that we are sitting in 5th, reached a cup semi-final and quater final. I would say well done to the lads.

Of course I want 4th, who wouldn't but I don't have too much complaints. This pre-season is important we need to buy quality midfielders and perhaps another striker and really push on. Another season like this and perhaps the media, pros and fans will see we are making progress.
Trevor Thompson     Posted 15/04/2008 at 16:37:49   Comments (15)

Wheeling and dealing

There's been alot of talk about how this squad has been progressing in terms of quality. As a way of aiding this process David Moyes has always been able to raise some extra cash by offloading some of the fringe players and those who have fallen too far down the pecking order. I took a notion when I logged on to the site today and checked the list of players to see who would, could or should be next for the chop. To me the pickings look fairly slim.

In terms of keepers, Howard is number one for the foreseeable future and Ruddy has been getting rave reviews while out on loan. This leaves Turner and Wessels and I don't know if they would be worth any great value in the transfer market.

With the defenders, the only players who look like going are Valente and Gardener. Gardener is only on loan and Valente's contract runs out in the summer so that's that.

With the midfielders ,the only player on a contract beyond the summer that might be on his way out is Andy Van and in all fairness we couldn't give him away at the present. None of the strikers listed would appear to be in any danger of being shown the door.

I've made these assumptions on those players who have been quality during the last couple of seasons or would be seen as Moyes favourites. ( Stand up Hibbert and Neville by way of example.)

Now this raises a very important point for me. Now that the squad is at that stage that all or nearly all the players are of a certain quality, status or value, Moyes is not going to be able to wheel and deal like he used to. This means that this summer and beyond, I, as a fan, will suddenly be expecting a lot more of the Board in terms of stepping up to the plate and stumping up the cash that is needed for the club to make that fabled leap forward. We all knew that the Board had to, but Moyes was always able to delay the day by wheeling and dealing. But now, he has run out of options and the Board is in the spotlight.

Where the Board is to get the money, God alone knows. But for what it's worth I think that this will be crux issue over the summer in terms of both progress being sustained and how Moyes approaches signing any new contract.
Kieran  Fitzgerald     Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:51:13   Comments (11)

Moment of Magic

We can take Chelsea. This is a demoralized team that has just blown its chance of catching Manchester United. What would have been a huge motivation to beat us has become enormous pressure to beat us, which is very different. Some of their players have one eye on staying fit for the semi-final and hopefully, final of the Champions League.

They may even rest some key men. What we need is to take the game to them, be physically intimidating and not try to defend deep or look to hit them on the break. If Yakubu or Johnson are played up front on their own, we will lose. If we attack Chelsea from the get go we can win.
Peter Fearon     Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:42:51   Comments (19)

A new assistant manager for Moyes

I was wondering what people's thoughts might be of who Moyes should appoint as his assistant.

The only rumours I have heard are Steve Round, Bryan Kidd, Billy Davies who would be good solid appointments IMHO.

But if he looks to go foreign, what about Sampson Siasia: http://www.siaone.com/

He's coached Nigeria's excellent youth teams and had asst roles with their 1st team. He comes highly rated by Mourinho and he would bring great experience of working with youngsters. He may also be able to open Moyes' eyes to promising talent from that part of the world.

What do you think?
Billy  Dean     Posted 15/04/2008 at 10:07:46   Comments (2)

Michael Johnson, ex-Blue

Apparently Liverpool have launched a £12 million bid for Michael Johnson of City. I see he was on Everton's books in the 2003-04 season in Gary Ablett's Under-17s, with 17 appearances and 4 goals. Does anyone know the circumstances of his leaving? Anyone see him play back then?

From the City matches I have seen, he has looked absolute class. He is somewhat slight, so perhaps he physically matured late in his teens. Pity... I think our midfield would have been transformed if he was wearing a darker blue shirt.
Will Leaf     Posted 15/04/2008 at 08:24:07   Comments (6)

FA Warns Moyes

Anybody remember the derby match? The FA seem to hope not. So a mere 6 months after the Clottenberg fiasco, and after the on-off saga that Moyes was going to be charged ? then he wasnt ? then he was again, the FA have finally decided he's a naughty boy but no fine and no touchline ban.

Is this the same as saying he was right all along? Clottenberg hasnt been given an Everton game since (or Liverpool?). Why can't they come clean and say he had a nightmare game. Even the RS will admit that he got more than a few decisions wrong ? all in their favour.

As to whether he is a died-in-the-wool koppite or merely a Stevie G suckup still hasnt been addressed. Equally there is an issue about Premier League refs having a nice jolly for exhibition games in the far east. Couldn't they send a local ref who isnt allowed to ref competitive games?

How long before we have to endure another game where he's ref? Should be safe again next year when we have all forgotten about it (yeah right).

How can the FA bleat on about respect for referees when they behave so shabbily themselves? No grovelling letter of apology from Hackett within 48 hours for us. Just an unexplained 6 month delay and a warning not to moan next year when we get shafted again.
Ian Stewart     Posted 14/04/2008 at 20:48:02   Comments (18)

Must be Manny's Midfield

Firstly I would like to establish the type of Blue I am. I am not an individual basher, I am of the opinion that the manager we have is doing a mighty fine job and like most, I hope, I want us to be the best. However, I do believe that, in order for our ultimate goal to be achieved, there are number of changes that need to happen, especially this summer, and most definately the most important being our midfield.

However tactically astute David Moyes is it, has to be noted that a majority of our success this season has developed from the defence or Yakubu. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Mikel Arteta, I also feel that Pienaar would be a bargain signing and an on-form Leon Osman is a definite asset to the squad. But anyone who watches us play must realise that flowing football from midfield is sometimes non-existent from us, not just from periods IN matches, but for periods OF matches. Granted, Cahill's a huge loss but even with him in the team we are left wanting in this essential department.

My suggested solution will probably anger some and others will undoubtedly agree, but first let me explain the practicalities of it. Manuel Fernandes (yes he is only on loan but surely he is ours if we want him?!), is a player of a different calibre compared to what we have at the minute. He is tailor-made to be as instruenmental to us a Mikel without having to change formation, style, system or mass personnel. Yes, Carsley and Neville win a lot of ball and do a decent job in front of our back four, but the sideways and backwards passing needs to go in order for the team to gain the extra impotus and really go at the opposition.

Personally I prefer us in 4-4-2, although I understand why Davey opts for 4-5-1 on occasions. nonetheless, Manny is the man for any shape. He is a ball playing, tackle winning, dribbling, creative team playing, goal scoring and versatile midfielder. As I said, I am sure others will have a different and in there opinion a better idea, but I struggle to see the weaknesses in mine.


Nick Russell     Posted 14/04/2008 at 20:08:39   Comments (33)

Striker crisis

According to the BBC rumour section Moyesey has "admitted he shoud never have sold McFadden in January" and has lost the race for fourth spot because of this. Jimmy Mac is doing great at Brum and is clearly a very useful player. I for one am inclined to agree. Having him in the side at Fulham and in the derby and we could have seen a different outcome. So, I´m interested to hear people´s views on this one: Did Moyes boob by selling McFadden?
Robert Prince     Posted 14/04/2008 at 12:41:18   Comments (24)

McFadden and a hint of the problem.

Reading the official site and the comments from McFadden, He stated it was a wrench to leave and no doubt it must have been.

Now I was not his greatest fan, however I think it has proven wrong selling him in January; it has impacted the depth and quality of the squad.

The telling comment for me is that he stated he quickly adapted to the Alex Mcleish way of playing football, ON THE GROUND, which McFadden prefers.

Is that a dig at Moyes and our prefered style of play? And does it say a lot about our current plight, as you will all have noticed we continue from Howard to pump long balls to midgets in the main, when really all the players we have are more suited to football on the floor.

Is the style of play completely not suited to the players? Therfore why do we continue to play that way?
Paul Niklas     Posted 14/04/2008 at 09:11:18   Comments (16)

Referees Closing Ranks

Interesting article in The Mirror about Mr Bean.... makes you wonder why the FA are closing down regarding THAT match refereeing performance...........

Now, we all have had loads to say on Clattenberg (and I am sure we haven't quite run out of adjectives, verbs, nouns, brand new words, etc) but what really is worrying is the more serious cover-up from those in authority who are supposedly ruling the roost.

Makes me wonder if this is going to be the last we will hear on the matter. Somehow, with Moysie as obviously miffed as we are, and successful in recent law suit, I don't think so....

I believe that he should really grab the bull by the horns and go for their throats to get some bloody answers from them...

Arrogant bastards!
Gerry Quinn     Posted 14/04/2008 at 03:16:25   Comments (10)

The Importance of Timmy Cahill...

Perhaps someone has already done this analysis, but a number of people on ToffeeWeb have talked about the importance of Cahill to our side.

Well, taking out the West Ham game in which Cahill went off shortly after the start, he has started 17 (i.e. half) of our Premiership games this year. In those games we have amassed 39 of our 61 points - that is, 2.3 points a game. In the games without Cahill, we have only achieved 1.3 points a game.

You can prove anything with statistics, but this is a BIG difference. Tony Adams on MOTD recently singled out Cahill for the trouble he had caused against Pompey. Despite his average passing, and somewhat random tackling, Cahill clearly does make a big difference. My assessment is that, apart from his extraordinary goalscoring record, this is both through the general extra energy and drive he gives to the team, and the space he frees up for other strikers (e.g. the Yak) when the opposition have to try to cope with his deadly late runs.

Timmy's absence is of course not the only explanation for our recent dreadful form (Neville's presence might be just as important). But we have certainly missed him.
Neil Pearse     Posted 13/04/2008 at 21:35:25   Comments (18)

They Also Play In Blue

Yesterday at Birmingham, for the first time in my life, I sat amongst the opposition.

In the unfortunately named Kop, row 13, seat 480 I sat between a pie munching, balding Brummie with a ponytail and a bloke who talked to his mate for ninety minutes about mortgages. Not sure which was worse, the smell of rancid meat or the waffle about house prices in Dudley.

Fortunately there was more than a smattering of people who seemed to know a bit about football. Guess what? It was just like Goodison.

Whenever we (frequently) came into their half you could almost taste the fear. When Birmingham got away they floundered on the rock that was Lescott. They were as worried as they were appreciative of their old boy AJ. They moaned at every failed pass, every inadequate tackle and thought that ref Bennett was clearly on the Goodison payroll. Until the non-handball free kick that is.

Change the accents, the beer and add a bit more humour and you could have been at a home game. Even the (non-existent) local transport was scaringly reminiscent of home games.

I have seen life from the other side and it is no different. Try it sometime and you will be surprised.
Albert Dock     Posted 13/04/2008 at 16:25:02   Comments (20)

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

I very much think we should follow the Nil Satis Nisi Optimum way of thinking. I just wonder if at the end of the season people will be a little bit more objective about how we've fared this season.

There's so much psychology involved in how we feel after a game and I think the same can be said about a season. For instance, at home against Birmingham this season we score 2 goals in the dying minutes. The majority of the game we didn't play particularly well but because of those last two goals and a winning scoreline of 3-1, we leave the ground feeling like world beaters. It seemed to erase the fact that we weren't that good during the game. What if we'd scored 3 in the first half then conceded one early in the second half and spent the rest of the game hanging on to our lead? We'd have left the ground feeling nowhere near as jubilant, happy with the 3 points but not the same feeling as scoring 2 in the last minute.

Apply this to our season, imagine if we'd have played rubbish and had the run we're on now but in the middle of the season. We then have all our players fit and on top form and finish the season on an unbeaten 14 match run. Overall our points tally and most probable 5th place finish is the same but our feeling of jubilance is not the same. Most supporters would think we were nearing a title challenge!

I'm as frustrated as everyone else that we haven't been able to kick on at the end of this season and really push for fourth. But fifth place and our highest ever points tally is still a bigger acheivement than last season. We won't overtake Liverpool because they have a bigger squad of more talented players because they have had unlimited resources.

I hope with a bit more perspective people will realise this season has not been the disaster everyone seems to be writing about after yesterday's result.
Alan Clarke     Posted 13/04/2008 at 15:01:41   Comments (16)

EFC standards?

OK we are all fed up.

A thought to consider about our club: Have we adopted a moral stance?

Penalties: we hardly complain about penalty claims. The top 4 are obviously trained to do so. I imagine DM would say that is not the way to win a game. Yet others win and climb the table because they are clearly trained to influence refs.

Transfers: we may miss out on a good player due to agent fees. Another stance?

After-game comment: mostly we do not use the media to change views. The rest try this at every opportunity and it clearly works. The one time we tried (aka AJ pens.... .it did nowt)

So ......what do we want? A pack of cheating players and staff but up there with the cheating best or a club with some standards?

Personally the latter for me but I am close to supporting Sale RFC.
Ged Simpson     Posted 13/04/2008 at 14:29:18   Comments (7)

Journey`s End?

I haven`t the slightest doubt now that this is as far as we are EVER going to go. Like all Evertonians in their mid-twenties, this has been the best season I have experienced.

True, me Da dressed me up to celebrate some of Team Howard`s achievements just after I was born but I think the odd gurgle was my only comment! I got very much into the cause when Joe Royle promised to put us back on the map in 1995 but that all disipated very quickly and generally it`s been more gloom than boom since then.

We`ve won nowt, of course, although relegation has become a word we no longer need the spell-check for. So can we assume/expect this is as good as it will ever go?

My gut feeling is that`s it. Moyes has done a very competent job without inspiring me to think a return to greatness is round the corner. His overall record is a good one but, like so many others, I now recognise that his vision and tactical awareness are too set in his lower league background and inspiration is not a talent he is over-blessed with. `The Organiser` will probably be the most appropriate epithet he will be given when eventually he moves on!

Of course, he is constrained by the funds put at his disposal ? although I somehow think he would not shine even in a Chelsea situation should it ever come to Goodison.... or Kikby.... or wherever Kenwright eventually pitches our tent. You see, I`ve become dubious about the future of our club. I WANT to believe in the manager but have many reservations but as sure as hell, I KNOW the strucure/financing/admin stinks to high heaven.

In short,I`m coming to see that 2007-08 is probably going to be the highground for me and that those of us for whom "yer 'istory" is just that will one day look back and say "We nearly became a big club again in 2008."

So... Journey`s End. I fear so.
Tony  Senter     Posted 13/04/2008 at 12:30:40   Comments (13)

Sums everything up...

Just read a report in one of the Sunday's which states that Fernandes is to return to Valencia whilst Carsley is to be offered a new one year contract. I was at the game yesterday and IMO opinion (and many others who travelled on my coach) Fernandes was the best Everton platyer on the field whilst Carsley was arguably the WORST.

Before you Carsley lovers jump on my back and tell me about his fantastic season I will concede that he can win a few tackles but what else can he do... ? Can't pass, can't head, can't shoot (two good shots in five years does not constitute good shooting!!)

And whilst we are on the subject of his tackling, how many more needless free kicks is he going to concede on the edge of our box because yesterday's was by no means the first.

IMO the fact that we are willing to let a potentially top YOUNG player go and keep an ageing workhorse with limited ability just about sums everthing up about our club and in paricular our Board... enough said !!
Nelly  Blythe     Posted 13/04/2008 at 10:37:26   Comments (11)

Everton helps Indian football

I dont think this has been mentioned anywhere - Everton has tied up with the state of West Bengal (arguably the most soccer crazy state of India) to provide soccer clinics. More details can be found on : http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/apr/13ever.htm
Nigel Gregson     Posted 13/04/2008 at 10:15:27   Comments (0)

Let your voice be heard

After watching David Moyes post match comments I am beginning to wonder who he is trying to kid or does he actually believe the crap that comes out of his own mouth.

His interpretations of our recent performances are so far removed from reality it is worrying. If he cannot recognise the absolute rubbish his/our team is serving up of late the future is indeed without hope. From our manager I would appreciate a bit more plain speaking and a bit less waffle

For example, at half time at St. Andrews what players did he demand should lift their bloody game etc. That at least would ease the mind of fans who wonder if he sees and is trying to do something about glaring faults.

Useless high balls are a waste of time and effort and damn ugly to watch. Moyes has found it mpossible to eliminate them from the players phsyche. Maybe its time that spectators made their feelings known.

If each of those hopeless punts was greeted with a thousand voices roaring BULLSHIT it would quickly bring an end to that kind of rubbish.
Dick Fearon     Posted 13/04/2008 at 00:15:20   Comments (6)

White men can't jump ....

... and neither apparently can Yakubu or Anichebe. What's that about? If you're going to play high balls to the guys up front, then at least challenge! Even AJ does that! Better still, keep the ball on the floor - but that's a different story .....
Ray  Robinson     Posted 12/04/2008 at 20:06:40   Comments (12)

Poor excuse for a striker ? Victor Anichebe

In all my years of watching and playing football, particularly in the striker's role, I am utterly appalled by the total incompetence and heartless substitute contribution of Victor Anichebe today against Birmingham City. Absolutely rubbish. In fact it would be an insult to rubbish to associate this piece of waste to it.

With fading hopes of Champions League football and much needed points on the board, this pathetic excuse for a striker wasted a full personnel slot in our team. Worse than being a passenger, it was like he needed babysitting. He looked completely lost, couldn't hold up or fight for the ball. No coordination with the team and his own two feet. Like a 12-year-old boy playing footie in the school playground waiting for his mum to pick him up. The left-foot 'shot' which he skewed to almost a throw-in shows EVERYTHING WRONG with shooting. With no idea where the goal is, he lazily whacks the ball without any composure or conviction.

He's afraid to mix it up with the opponent center halves as though he's afraid to hurt himself or his opponents' feelings. Maybe we should leave the dirty work to the midfield with average height of 5'4"?

With a bone structure and physique in which God kissed him on the lips, as Micah Richards, he is a complete waste of proteins, calcium, water and crap. What would James Vaughan have done with those attributes?

If Moyes is still giving him the arm around the shoulder treatment, I have lost faith in Moyes's ability in managing the youth. He needs a fucking kick up the arse, he's no longer a juvenile, he's a fully grown adult making a living, and playing for Everton Football Club with its famous history of center forward number 9s.

With McFadden in the Birmingham side, you would think any of the Everton strikers would put in a performance to justify Moyes faith in them and not Faddy.

We will see Anichebe play again for Everton. But I will not accept such pathetic excuse of a striker ever again.
Jason Lam     Posted 12/04/2008 at 19:54:13   Comments (44)

No more bullshit

I have no idea what name to give the kind of game we play but it sure is not anything like that of other Premier League teams including relegation battling Fulham, Derby and Birmingham.

To be honest, Moyes and just about every Evertonian would admit that Brum gave us a lesson on passing, shooting, free kicks, corners, throw-ins, first touch, ball control, team work and just about every other aspect of the game.

The big question is, will those lessons be absorbed and acted upon? Bad luck had nothing to do with this latest humiliating debacle. The Referee was not to blame, Birmingham?s injury list is worse than ours and to cap it off their owner and CEO were arrested and their board must be in turmoil.

To return to our own miseries. Based on his flittering performances to date I would not give Fernandesthe time of day let alone a contract. Pienaar, more and more looks and plays like a malnourished under strength Osman. It may be needless nitpicking but that ridiculous hair style makes him look even less of a man and more like a school kid.

It should not be too hard for Moyes to find replacement midfielders, practically every midfield player in the Pem would walk into our team, even that sod Kuyt.

IMHO James McFadden first game back after a recent knee operation showed more natural football nous and goal threat than the Yak and Johnson combined.
Dick Fearon     Posted 12/04/2008 at 16:55:10   Comments (19)

They have got to go!

I?m not going to slag my team off. I?m really disappointed with our form in the last month and a half, but we have had a great season and for the first few months we played teams off the park. Some of our play was the best I have ever seen from an Everton side.

I think it?s a sign of how far we have come that we are pissed at not nailing 4th place and getting knocked out of Europe. A few seasons ago I wouldn?t have given us a chance of being in Europe or playing for 4th place. I think we have some real class in our squad, and we some good young players coming through to back up the big names, BUT, we have got to get rid of the deadwood in our team. Carsley, Neville, Hibbert? and I know a lot of you we disagree, but also Johnson has got to go.

They are not world class, they are not even top flight players any more. We need to bring in 4 or 5 top players, no shite to sit on the bench (why does Davey never use his subs, he makes the big players work for the full 90 minutes and hardly ever brings on fresh legs?), but class players who can turn a game.

I know this is early to talk about transfers, but I think our season is pretty much over. No way we will get 4th, be lucky to get 5th with our run-in and current form, so lets start getting ready for next season and build a team around the Yak, Cahill, Pienaar and Lescott etc, players who have talent. But please lose the dead-weight we have! I want to see us play with some quality in our team not Carsley and Neville doing fuck all and boring the shite out of me. They have had their time and we have to move on? and next season is our time to really get up there and break into that top 4? and stay there.

Yes, I know Johnson works hard, he really works the channels etc etc, BUT HE CAN?T SCORE FOR SHIT. We need a 20 goal a season striker to play with the Yak.

Yes, I know Carsley has been great for the last couple of seasons, BUT HIS LEGS HAVE GONE AND HE CAN?T FUCKING PASS.

Yes, I know Neville has played at the highest level? 5 YEARS AGO, NOW HE IS JUST SHITE, simple as.

Yes, I know Hibbert can tackle, BUT HE CAN?T FUCKIN PASS AND HE JUST HOOF?S THE BALL LONG EVERY BLOODY TIME.

Bring in some fresh players so at this time next season, we don?t draw against shite like Birmingham and lose to crap like Fulham.
James  Elliott     Posted 12/04/2008 at 17:14:29   Comments (14)

The Uefa Cup Place Race

Its pretty much safe to say that the race for 4th is over. Unfortunately, the loss of form after the crushing Euro defeat and a run of injuries have ruined any chance we had of beating Liverpool and their massive squad to 4th. The question now is can Everton limp to the finish line and stay in the only remaining UEFA Cup place 5th?

We don't really have to worry about Portsmouth. They may well pip us to 5th but they should also qualify for the Uefa Cup via the FA Cup. Baring a freak result, Pompey will qualify for the Uefa Cup via their FA Cup win so their league placing doesn't really matter to us. The real danger is Aston Villa.

With only 4 games remaining Aston Villa trail us by 6 points. So let's look at the final fixtures for both teams:

EVERTON:- Chelsea (h) Aston Villa (h) Arsenal (a) Newcastle (h)

ASTON VILLA:- Birmingham (h) Everton (a) Wigan (h) West Ham (a)

Villa need to win all their games and hope Everton lose at least twice. Considering Everton have to face both Chelsea and Arsenal those two losses are not hard to imagine.

One thing is for sure. The home game against Villa is now a must win game for Everton. Its arguably our most important game this season.

This season has had some wonderful moments and generally has been a step forward but to lose out on Europe entirely would be a crushing blow sending the club back a couple of years.
John Cottee     Posted 12/04/2008 at 17:14:17   Comments (11)

Champions league? We ARE having a laugh

Wot the fuck was that? Fulham, WHU... now add Birmingham to the growing list of teams we should be steamrollering but fail to do so miserabley. Pip, Cars thank lads,.. now fuck off!

I just renewed my season tickets for next season'; glad I did it before I watched that pile of absolue, unadulterated shite. Since we got knocked out of Uefa Cup, we have been woeful.and please spare me the "the lads are down after losing in Europe, they are tired"shite. These are professional players, not little boys who sulk when things don't go the way they wanted. We all get tired, we all get pissed off at times, BUT we don't all get paid a kings ransom to do our job. That display of "football" was nothing short of embarrassing.

Sorry for the rant and maybe going OTT, but I love this club and when I see how they have played for the last month, I care about it. I care that we leave ourselves open to mockery from the scum across the park, because let's face it, these sort of displays are hard to defend. Got it off my chest now ...doesnt feel any better tho! Bring on Chelsea on Thursday night. Won't be too suprised if we get a result against them....or am I just hoping against hope? COYB
Andy  Spence     Posted 12/04/2008 at 17:10:57   Comments (6)

Another collapse

As so often has happened under Moyes, we seem to have had a late season collapse. Injuries have played their part but frankly some of the players e.g. Yakubu, Anichebe have made the decision that they can't be arsed any more and will just belly flop to the ground instead of running or participating any more.

Cahill claimed that everyone was determined to get 4th but since he got injured it seems as if everyone else has decided that 60 points is enough and they don't want to play any more. Fair enough but it looks as though we are on track to finish 7th now which MAY be Intertoto at best.

I can't be bothered to watch people who can't be arsed so after 4 dire games I have decided to call it quits until next season as I can't bear to watch us slowly die. so see you in August... when I am sure we'll all be wondering if the Pienaar deal will ever go through!
Kieran  Kinsella     Posted 12/04/2008 at 17:01:16   Comments (1)

Now or Never

If I could offer advice to David Moyes it would go something like this.

Go for broke against Brum, throw the kitchen sink at them, hit them with everything that remains of our armoury.

Do not pack the midfield or concentrate on defending deep.

Order Yakubu to play as an out-and-out hit man and not as the striker/midfield/partly defensive jack of all trades role he had in recent games.

Even if they are youngsters, have at least two strikers on the bench.

This is our last chance to throw a spanner in the RS works. Make sure that every player fully understands what that means to Evertonians. We expect nothing less than an all-out attacking game.

Defeat is acceptable only if it a glorious defeat.
Dick Fearon     Posted 12/04/2008 at 11:14:31   Comments (48)

Done deal for Peanuts?

Call me paranoid indeed, but are there not a couple of strange things about Moyes's statement regarding this deal?

1) Agent's fees. I guess there are no rules in football, but would you not expect that the Agent's fee wouldf come out of the money Dortmund receive? I guess there's a seperate finders fee (?) that Everton have to pay directly to the agent over and above what they have already agreed to pay Dortmund.

2) Why would the player himself claim to have zero knowledge of any deal if things were already done? Somebody is telling porkies here...

3) "As far as I know..." times 2!! We know he is clearly NOT involved in the minutiae of these contract negotiations, but would you not think that at least Moyes would be kept more clearly informed of matters by the Board?

It ain't over 'til he's actually signed on the dotted line............
Paul Hardcastle     Posted 11/04/2008 at 16:27:08   Comments (18)

Bloody Liverpool

I'm completely unmotivated by tomorrow's game. Certainly, if there was any motivation on my behalf it would be centred around clinging on to fifth and not challenging for fourth because, regardless of fixtures and form, the general feel of our place does not strike me as being strong enough to galvanise a tired and disillusioned squad.

The irony that our most successful season (in terms of points and cup runs) for years should end on such a downer shouldn't be lost on anyone. The reasons for this: Arteta's lack of form? a copntributing factor; injuries / small squad? a contributing factor; The bubble bursting post fiorentina? a contributing factor.

However, i can't help but think that underpinning all this doom and gloom is Liverpool's inevitable fortune/success. I know i'll get slaughtered for that, but it's how I feel. Year after year of poxy glory nights at Anfield and we get a defeat in a penalty shoot out to cling on to. The way it will always be I suppose.

The purpose of my post? To put my hands in the air and admit it's the way I feel. Just like every other blue at the moment I guess ? completely disillusioned?
Jon Sellick     Posted 11/04/2008 at 12:46:29   Comments (38)

Biggest spenders

The top four are the biggest spenders, and that's why they are in the Champions League, so says Ramos on soccernet.com. So we are all agreed that Moyes needs more kitty, but does that mean that it will get us there?

Or in fact that Spurs who have spent a lot, would get there? Or the this guys money at Man City? It's somewhat scary to see where this is all going, and then Capello said he thinks it's good for the English Premier League, 3 out of 4 teams left but only 6 Englishmen between them.

Can it only be just money? yes you have got too have lots, but what about youth academies. Real Madrid have plenty, how are they doing in the Champions League, this year or last or even before that???
Anton Holmes     Posted 11/04/2008 at 09:54:24   Comments (14)

Chance Lost

Rangers in the Uefa Cup semi-final. Yep that's all we might have had to beat to get to the final!

If we had put even a tenth of the shift in Florence that Rangers have continually done away from home, we would have been playing PSV tonight, and to put that in perspective, they lost at home tonight to Fiorentina, remember them? Yes, that's right, the team we battered at home!!!

At least we can root for Rangers if only because the other lot are a bunch of graceless arrogant gits who got lucky against us. Ah well, another season of what might have been!!
Martin Kulkarni     Posted 10/04/2008 at 23:07:53   Comments (25)

Stadium Naming Rights

Is anybody apart from myself having doubts over the value of the naming rights deal the club appear to be chasing for Kirkby?

According to the Daily Mail, the figure the club are asking for is £67.5 million over 15 years (£4.5 million per season). Previously the Sunday Mirror had reported £40 million over ten years (£4 million per season).

The above are both more than Arsenal's deal for the Emirates stadium which sold for £50 million over 15 years. Surely they must also include a kit sponsorship as part of the deal?

And where does Robert Earle come into all of this?
Louis Platt     Posted 10/04/2008 at 21:25:17   Comments (17)

Horses for Courses

Lack of even half-decent service has left Yakubu foraging for himself. Pleasing as it may be to those who believe that tearing around like a hairy goat shows a good work ethic, it does take him away from his target.

For no other reason than to score goals he was signed at enormous cost. Most of the time he is a lone striker yet because of our woeful midfield he has to drop deeper and deeper to get a smell of the ball.

It is damn annoying to see one of the game's great predators expending so much energy so far from where he is most effective. Just think of the times we were brought unstuck by an opponent who did very little other than lurk within goal scoring range.

There is a danger that Yakubu will end up like Emile Esky, another great young striker whom Gerard Houllier turned into a midfield workhorse... and an average one at that.
Dick Fearon     Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:53:24   Comments (23)

Arsenal on Sunday?

When did this fixture get moved to Sunday May 4th at 1.30pm?
Greg Murphy     Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:41:44   Comments (10)

Howard Kendall

Just thought I'd share an interesting bit of information with my fellow blues.

I currently live in a small town just outside of Newcastle called Ryton. This town is in fact the town in which our greatest manager was born.

I e-mailed the council to ask them to do something to commemerate the man's achievements. Does anyone know the right way for me to go about this? I just sent an e-mail to general enquiries but don't know if anything will be done with it.

I'm hoping to get a street named after him, or even a statue built... ok I know the latter is very unlikely to happen. If the council don't do anything about it I might petition to get something done.

I'll post another thread if I have any sucess.
Andy Hudson     Posted 10/04/2008 at 11:59:48   Comments (9)

Conspiracy bollocks

I wish everyone would stop with this 'we are being robbed by a conspiracy' shite.

We've had a few decisions go against us, fair enough, but enough is enough. I will go as far as to say that the Clattenberg derby was an unbelievable exhibition of a referee being influenced by the opposition. The yellow/red card switch left me gobsmacked.

But let's face it, if we hadn't fallen apart against Fulham and the shite at their place, we'd still be 4th.

The dirty half of Merseyside must be pissing themselves listening to all this whining about our lot being cheated by the powers that be.
Richard Parker     Posted 10/04/2008 at 10:03:16   Comments (19)

Turning points

A depressing week on the football front has got me thinking about how, for most of the last 40 years, we have ended up playing second fiddle to the RS. In 1970 we had the edge in trophies (just), money, glamour and reputation (yes, honestly) and facilities. The reason why my generation struggle so much with the current situation is that we were brought up to believe that we were the the ones with the history and heritage who deserved the best.

As with our current 'passing game', most of our wounds down the years have been self-inflicted and the most important errors have undoubtedly been made off the field. The ones that spring to mind are:

  • Lost to Panathanikos in the European Cup and Liverpool in the FA cup semi final in the same week - a blow which knocked the club for six on the field
  • Failed to sack Catterick straight away when he had lost his way and sadly his health ? a crucial error
  • Fucked up the appointment of Bobby Robson ? what might have been
  • Blew the '75 title when we should have strolled it
  • Sold Lineker before the World Cup, at a knockdown price, but more importantly we openly advertised ourselves as a selling club, a policy which has continued ever since
  • Appointed Harvey as manager when the club must have known he was totally unsuited to the top job
  • John Moores leaving the club in limbo with no exit strategy and no funds ? I personally believe this was far and away the most damaging episode in the last 40 years. When his health was still good he must, as a top businessman, have known what would happen. To think that some fans still hold him up as some kind of hero figure ? if I had my way I would dig up his bones and...
  • Reappointing Kendall ? has that ever worked?
  • The King Dock fiaso ? it still hurts and was a golden opportunity lost. For those that love 'Blue Bill' just ask yourself has he ever explained why it went tits up. No, of course not, and to this day no one really knows and this says everything about our current chairman

And what can we learn from the above tale of woe? Get the right people behind the scenes and the rest is easy. I somehow think we have some way to go on that front.
John Doolan     Posted 09/04/2008 at 18:42:51   Comments (42)

Tell me it ain't so

Just had a call from my brother as I'm working in Scotland again and he says Twattenburk is the ref for the Birmingham v Everton game this weekend ? he can get to fuck as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't give him a job outside of Liverpool's souvenir shop.
Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 09/04/2008 at 15:07:55   Comments (13)

Is it me???

...or are the Everton management dithering again?

1) Why doesn't Moyes know what the clubs aspirations and spending plans are going to be? re: signing his new contract.

2) Why haven't the club signed Steven Peinaar yet? Probably the best wide man since Trevor Steven. A snip at £2.2M. Even the player doesn't know what's going on!

3) Why do they need to look at Fernandes AGAIN, before deciding to buy him?? Has he changed that much since last year?

Instead of wasting valuble time and money sueing Keioc and trying to gag protestors over the Kirkby move, they should concentrate on the important things, like the players and the manager, before they all get pissed off and leave!

Get them signed!
Brian Baker     Posted 09/04/2008 at 12:57:27   Comments (25)

Why not look ahead for next season?

I know I am looking ahead here but I was having that email chat in work about who we need for next season...
Jimmy Millican     Posted 09/04/2008 at 11:08:48   Comments (9)

Uefa and a Big Can of Worms

As I?m sure you are all aware, Uefa have recently admitted that if Cardiff were to beat Pompey in the FA Cup final, they would consider giving them a ?Wild Card? to compete in the Uefa Cup. To some this may seem as the right thing to do, but I can see things getting very messy! A few points...

Why do Uefa feel the need to do this? Cardiff knew full well that when they decided to compete in the English FA Cup (I think it was during the 80s, correct me if I?m wrong) then they waived their right to compete in Europe if they were to win it.

If they do win the FA Cup and are offer a Wild Card, will this be an ADDITIONAL place to an ?English? team or not? ie if Cardiff win the FA Cup and Pompey finish 6th below us, will Pompey still get into Uefa Cup as FA Cup runner-up?

If Cardiff win the FA Cup and Pompey finish 5th and us in 6th, will we be offered a Uefa Cup spot?

If Cardiff lose to Pompey, but Pompey finish 5th above us and qualify for the Uefa Cup through their league position, will Cardiff still be offered a Wild Card, and how will that effect us?

These are very important questions in my view that need resolving NOW, not after the FA Cup Final !

Of course we could finish 4th and Liverpool fail to win the Champs League and all this would be of no relevance to us but I can't really see that happening I'm afraid.
Lee Smith     Posted 09/04/2008 at 10:06:06   Comments (7)

Why?

I sat at home last night watching the Red Shite beat Arsenal, I did not want it to end up that way, in fact when the gooners scored I was estatic, then the Red shite turned them over and it got me thinking how far off being a big club we are.

  • Why do the Top 4 Teams always turn us over?
  • Why do we dither on transfers, Pinnear etc?
  • Why do we leave it late before entering the trransfer market?
  • Why do we not have a bigger aquad, Moyes said he was happy with the size, how can he be?
  • Why do we play Neville, Osman, Hibbert, they would struggle to get in anyother top-half team?
  • Why are we insisting on hoofball when we come under pressure?
  • Why are we one dimensional, the midfileders are like "crabs" moving sideways rather than forwards?
  • Why are we so "defensive"?
  • Why do we not give the youngsters ago? If they are not good enough, get them off the books?
  • Why do we promise so much but deliver so little?
  • Why have we blown 4th and maybe 5th (Portsmouth are 4 points behind), we play Brum away ( 1 pt ) Chelsea ( 0) Arsenal ( 0 ), Villa (1 ) Newcastle ( 1 ) so we get another 3 points. I would love to be wrong but what shite I have seen over the last few weeks I do not think so?
  • Why is everthing such a "saga" at Everton, e.g. the ground move, Moyes number 2?
Someone fucking tell me WHY? I support Everton and spend thousands each year travelling to Liverpool to watch them? Someone tell me the fucking answers cos I do not know!!!
Chris Perry     Posted 09/04/2008 at 07:59:35   Comments (23)

Pienaar

When asked if he was contemplating a move away from the Blues, he said, "At this stage, no. I have enjoyed my time here, as I said. But the clock is ticking for me because I have a maximum transfer fee of 3-million Euros in my contract with Dortmund that is only valid until 30 April.?

Adding further: ?I can only wait for a few more days for Everton to reach agreement with Dortmund. If that's not going to be forthcoming, then I will then need to pursue the other options that I may have and finalise everything by the end of April.?

For me it would represent a huge mistake if we let him go as he is one of the few players comfortable on the ball and can play in different positions but as with almost all our signings I wouldn?t be surprised if he ends up elsewhere.
Stefan Tosev     Posted 08/04/2008 at 21:48:22   Comments (76)

Arteta's free kicks

Like many Evertonians I am a fan of Arteta, but am also highly frustrated with his contribution so far this season. Niggling injury? or Big Fish in Small Pond syndrome? I don't know, but yet again he didnt deliver the goods against a relegated Derby.

Many people have posted on here asking why Arteta is still taking the free kicks, and I just wanted to show some opta stat evidence (courtesy of Sky Sports) just why he should stop taking them.

In a letter to Martin Tyler, Lawrie Neal from Birmingham asked about the most effective free kick experts in the prem. Martin wrote this about Arteta:

"Everton's Mikel Arteta has the most off-target having sent 10 of 14 wide of the mark,"

Full article
Martin Roberts     Posted 08/04/2008 at 16:24:50   Comments (23)

Yobo : Jags : Lescott

Interesting to note that no Mail re the dropping of Jags for the Derby game. It had to come to a head sometime but if I was Jags I'd feel a little aggrieved.

It does beg the question - What is our best centre-half pairing? I think that Baines must be a must for the left-back berth, which means Lescott is back and is a must for the left-central position. The guy hasn't put a foot wrong for 2 years and is quite rightly being acknowledged at international level.

This leaves the right central position between Jags and Yobo. Up to the end of last season I would say Yobo was always a cert for it, he had the pace to counter any fast opposing forward and he didnt really have any competition for the place. We all know he's not the greatest of headers and more than anyone is liable to the odd costly mistake.

This season Jags after a jittery start has become a crowd favourite. Putting him in centre midfield was a bit too quick for my liking and I suspect his. He finally got his chance at centre-back late in 2007 and has probably been our best player over the last 4 months, and during that time has snuffed out some of the Premier League's leading marksman.

Both Yobo and Jags are woeful in the passing department, often reverting to the long inaccurate punt upfield. Though that said I would rather play Jags with Lescott for a number of reasons.

He makes less mistakes than Yobo, probably is as fast as him, a better man-marker and I believe he is a better communicator. Lescott is a quiet lad, as is Yobo and someone in that role needs to dictate/control the back four. One might argue Neville does it at right-back but I think the central role is more suited to the communicator.

Therfore for me Neville, Jags, Lescott, Baines - but its great to have Yobo as back-up.
Mike Oates     Posted 08/04/2008 at 10:41:32   Comments (42)

What's happened to the atmosphere at Goodison?

It has become evident over the last few weeks that the atmosphere when playing at Goodison has dropped off... considerably. It seems that the feeling ever since we lost out on pens to Fiorentina is that our season is over and it's just a case of waiting for this season to finish so we can start again next year and have another crack at the Uefa Cup.

Against Derby (whose fans were excellent throughout), I was sat in row LL of the Main Stand 2nd level and I could clearly hear what a number of the players were saying during the game on more than one occasion. The unfortunate thing is that, if we don't pick up in the remaining games, we might not have a Uefa Cup run at all next season.

The even more unfortunate thing is that if we had have kicked on after losing to Fiorentina i.e. against Fulham & West Ham the loss to Liverpool might not have been as devestating and the 4th CL spot would still have been realistic.

No, the performances haven't been good over the last month and no, I don't believe that there is truly enough quality amongst our ranks at the present time to break the 4; however, if there was EVER a chance to do it, surely it was now?

Looking forward to next season, the likes of Tottenham & Newcastle plus City, Villa etc are all going to be bigger and stronger and there's a horrible part of me that worries we are going to be left behind? Let's hope not. So, fellow blues, we've got 4 home games left - let's get behind the boys and let's cement that 5th place. And maybe, just maybe we can be there if Liverpool do drop the ball. And let's hope they fucking do!!!! COYB
Baz Hunt     Posted 07/04/2008 at 23:36:28   Comments (18)

Should we sell Arteta and buy Fernandes?

Another week passes and more rumors regarding Arteta! As they say there is no smoke without fire.... I hear that yesterday, Arteta had a few spats with sections of the Park End crowd. Is the love affair with Everton finally ending?

In Fernandes, there is an exceptionaly talented midfielder who, I feel , will develop into a real word-class player. He can arguably strike the ball as well as Arteta, spot the pass and tackle.

I think we should buy him even if it costs £12M, ideally I would like to see Aretea stay, but is it time for a freshen up? Baines will be like a new signing in 08-09; Giles from Derby is worth a punt, add in Arshavin,Bentley and Downing we will have a very strong team.

Well we can all dream!!!!
Gary  Tudor     Posted 07/04/2008 at 22:05:05   Comments (54)

How much will we have to spend...

... and what will we spend it on?

Now that the season is drawing to a close and the most likely outcome is a very respectable 5th place, it is time to start thinking about what we need for next season.

It's difficult to know how much we have to spend, however with our position from this season plus the Sky money I think we should be looking to spend around £30m.

Personally I would like us to sign David Bentley, Kevin Nolan and possibly Manny Fernandes. I think that would come to around £25m. The remaining £5m could be used for a decent right back and then bring a couple of free transfers in.

I think our current side with these additions could really push on and keep the pressure on that 4th place.
Iain Latchford     Posted 07/04/2008 at 16:54:33   Comments (4)

More crap to digest

I am often accused of not posting whenever Everton win, so here I am. To be honest, though, what is the point? I can take virtually no positives from the game other than it gives some of our more deluded fans a glimmer of hope for a 4th place finish. I personally think this result just prolongs the agony as Liverpool's superior goal difference in effect puts them another point ahead of us. It's now theirs to lose, if you like.

To say we where shite on Sunday is the understatement of the year. It was as awful as you can get and a throw back to the dark days of the Moyes tenure. Still no clue going forward and aimless long balls punted downfield as if we were playing Rugby Union. What is going on? This is Derby County we are talking about here and if we struggle against that lot then have we really moved on at all these past few years?

The league table might make good reading to some but deep down there is a fatal flaw in our game and the way we go about things on a match day. Forget throwing shit loads of money at Moyes or whoever else. If you can't get your team to play better than that after 6 years then the problem is much deeper than financial.

It's a crying shame what has happened to us this season and I truly feel sorry for some of our younger fans who have never seen Everton win a trophy or even come close. Unless you consider cowering to Chelsea in a semi final that is. Let's not forget a few weeks back we where 5 points clear of Livcerpool and looking as though we could make it all the way to Champions League heaven. That's what makes it all the more sickening to watch as the games tick away and we let slip the golden opportunity we desperatly needed for the club to progress.

Please don't be foolish enough to think that more Uefa Cup football is the answer because it most definitely is not. We needed the big bucks from the CL to attract better players and boost the profile of the club. Does anyone outside of Everton supporters actually think what we have done in Europe this season has even been noticed by anyone??? Because I don't. No-one gives a shit about the Uefa Cup unless it's the final and even then it's a load of cack.

Sorry for the negative vibe but it has sickened me these past few weeks the way we have pissed away our future like this. We won't get many more easier chances than this season to make the step up to 4th place and from here the only way is down.

5th place would have been a great achievement if we had come with a wet sail from 8th spot and grabbed 5th but we didn't. We blew it big time and handed it to the twats across the park on a silver platter. That defeat at Fulham like I said weeks ago sealed our fate and now we must pay the price.
Tony Marsh     Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:39:46   Comments (38)

Accurate Neville

I have highlighted this before, but thought it was well worth pointing out again.

Almost invariably, Phil Neville's pass accuracy is in the top 3 in our team. I often read the Telegraph reports and they always reveal these figures. Despite the criticism he has taken for his passing, Neville has rarely fallen below 70% all season. Only Fernandes had a higher pass success rate in the Derby game.
Brian Richardson     Posted 07/04/2008 at 13:26:15   Comments (24)

Manny Fernandes

I was just wondering whether Manny's performance was as good as it appeared to be on the TV highlights last night?

I wasn't able to get to the game but his workrate looked a lot higher than it had done in previous weeks. His covering and tackling seemed to be a lot better as well as his passing, the through-ball for the goal was class.

I've read numerous comments in this column over the last few weeks criticising his performance and I have agreed with many of them but credit where it's due, he did seem to up his game yesterday, albeit against Derby.

Interesting to note his comments on the EFC site that he feels he's fighting for his future... perhaps this is the real Manny now performing in a blue shirt?
Martyn Valentine     Posted 07/04/2008 at 13:02:04   Comments (34)

Transfer Rumours

I am never usually one to pay attention to silly transfer stories in the papers, although if it is in the Liverpool Echo then I usually start to show some interest, but after reading yesterdays 'rumours', I was rather concerned. In the People, we are linked with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake of Wolves. It says that Everton rate him at 4 million, but Wolves want 2 million plus either James Vaughan or Victor Anichebe. Are they mad?

But even more worryingly, The Daily Star says that Everton along with Portsmouth and Athletico Madrid are monitoring El Hadji Diouf. Like I said I don't listen to these rumours, but this one really is a worry if it turns out to be true.
John Murphy     Posted 07/04/2008 at 11:27:16   Comments (13)

Simple effective football; why not have a go?

Having watched West brom play Pompey on Saturday, it got me thinking: Why the hell can a team of our level and ability not play simple passing football?

Now I'm not talking about Ajax in the 70s passing football but the simple game that so many other teams below us seem to be able to do with aplomb. Watching the Blues can be a laborious task bar the odd occasion like the Fiorentina and Sunderland games.

Our players are paid Premier League wages and are mostly venerated from all points at Goodison but we never really get to see flowing attacking football. West Brom played lovely football on Saturday as they have done most of this season, and although they are in the Championship this should take nothing away from the fact that simple effective football is not a preserve of the elite teams.

Is our dour and mostly agricultural approach down to our defensive-minded manager or is it that we do not possess professional footballers who are able to string more than four passes together in movement towards the opposition's goal?

My opinion is that its the former. I am an admirer of Moyes's tenacity and man management but we sorely miss a back room man with a footballing brain, someone to bring a bit of verve to our playing style.

So, as much as we need a quality midfielder and a sturdy rightback, we just as much need an advocate of the beautiful game to help mould our boys into a team once again worthy of the School of Science tag. NSNO
Chris Lawlor     Posted 07/04/2008 at 09:17:49   Comments (23)

Andy Johnson, where 'ya going?

If I see Andy Johnson take the ball to the corner one more time when he could dip into the middle, I'm gonna fly over the pond and strangle the poor lad myself.

Every great scorer spends more time going towards goal than in any other direction. Sadly, Andy Johnson is not, and if we continue to start him next season, we will be doomed to mediocrity. Enough THUMBS-UPS on play's you JUST couldn't make, start scoring.

EFC NEEDS: new holding midfielder - Carsley is not proficient enough on the ball. Every top team has an influential player at this position, see Carrick, Mascherano, Makelele etc.

New #2 forward -- we should buy a player like Cahill, who can score and also stay fit.

New right back....Nothing more need be said. Maybe one who can fly forwards.

That's just the start!!! Go on you boys!
Chris Kelly     Posted 07/04/2008 at 01:02:22   Comments (35)

Midfield the key

Right cards on the table. I'm no Arteta basher and believe that he is among the top 5 most skilful players I've ever seen at Everton - and I go back to 1961 watching the Blues, but please tell me why he has to take every single free kick and corner? If the guy is operating with a niggling set of injuries, why is he setting himself up for a fall - because most of his dead ball deliveries this season have been awful.

This brings me onto our other skilful midfielder, Fernandes, who, admittedly prone to being caught on the ball in dangerous situations, is probably the only player with the vision to play that pass to Osman today. I thought he got better as the game went on - but was then substituted!

With some more guile, strength and change of pace in midfield, I reckon both of these guys would come on leaps and bounds. And the added competition would mean that the likes of Arteta could actually be dropped when he loses form. But then it's sacrilege to even suggest that isn't it?

Please, Davey Moyes, strengthen that midfield in numbers and quality because that's the only way we'll make the next step up.
Ray Robinson     Posted 06/04/2008 at 21:09:24   Comments (18)

4-4-2 and No Hibbo!!!

A decent-looking line-up to take on Derby County, with Hibbo out injured, TWO STRIKERS up front, and Manny getting a chance... although Jags dropped to the bench!:

Tim Howard
Phil Neville (c)
Joseph Yobo
Joleon Lescott
Leighton Baines
Mikel Arteta
Manuel Fernandes
Lee Carsley
Leon Osman
Andrew Johnson
Ayegbeni Yakubu

Subs: Stefan Wessels
Jorge Nuno Valente
Thomas Gravesen
Phil Jagielka
Victor Anichebe
Michael Kenrick     Posted 06/04/2008 at 14:39:58   Comments (36)

Points mean prizes?

People say we're stagnating in this second (an improved stagnation admittedly on the pre-Moyes era) yet we seem to be peaking and can go no further. A few years ago, we made fourth, even though we lost to Liverpool late on in the season, yet this season, it seems out of our reach.

Blame referees (for some shocking decisions); blame Hibbert and Neville (for being crap); blame too small a squad, a non-creative midfield; blame injuries to strikers; blame Shandy Andy if you want.

We have now got 57 points with 6 games to go. I think we can easily achieve 65 points this year, our previous best (in the Premiership) only being 61.

I believe the top 8 or 9 in the Premier League are the best they've been for quite some time, and this is a very good leaugue. We're improving on our best points tally for well over 15 years. This is the best team we've had. Success is not round the corner ? even with money I dont know if we'd get instant success. But the figures are undeniable. Ironically this year though, points won't mean prizes.
Stuart  Downey     Posted 06/04/2008 at 13:31:20   Comments (10)

Settling the nerves

I've just checked out our remaining fixtures again and it's reminded me as to how tough enough run in it could be. To try and settle my nerves a little I checked Portsmouth's and Villa's run ins, these clubs being our nearest rivals for fifth.

Portsmouth's are: West Ham (A) Newcastle (H) Man City (A) Blackburn (H) Boro (A) Fulham (A)

This set of games is almost as tough as our own and Portsmouth also now have one eye on the Cup Final. While I appreciate that players will be playing for places in the Cup Final squad between now and then, I think Harry would want a full and fit squad to choose from for the cup final and might rest players. The Cup Final is a rare opportunity for Portsmouth to win some silverware and I think it will grab their full attention,or at least distract them enough to allow us and Villa to take advantage.

Villa's games are: Bolton (H) Derby (A) Birmingham (H) Everton Wigan (H) West Ham (A)

This is obviously the easiest run in of all three clubs and I think that we have more to fear from Villa than Portsmouth. But, if some of these teams Villa are facing are still in with a shout of avoiding relegation then they might be tougher games than you would think. Villa, like ourselves, haven't got a huge squad and might not have the legs to overtake us.

So to our own games. Six points from Derby and Birmingham is a must for ourselves over the next week. And it is achievable. Chelsea have a run of games over the next couple of weeks so it is possible that we can take something from that game. The Villa game could be decisive but I would be happy with not losing ground to them depending on our results up to then. Arsenal and Newcastle are going to be genuinely tough games but we may just have done enough points at that stage to have fifth place sown up.

I know this all sounds a little fanciful but there would seem to be enough realism in it to settle my nerves for now. Ask me again Tuesday night after our game today and Pompey's on Tuesday and you might get a different answer.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 06/04/2008 at 13:09:08   Comments (14)

On yer bike!

Just seen the KEIOC article claiming Merseytravel have stated they don't have the 163 buses needed to transport blues to and from the games.

http://www.keioc.net/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=62&cntnt01returnid=15

What got me was the response from Mr Wyness (or so they claim), that he expects 1000 fans to cycle to the game as part of the Governements Green Policy. Surely this isn't true? It's like Marie Antoinette claiming "let them eat cake" during the French Revolution when Parisiens were starving! Who was it who wanted people to cycle to find jobs in the Thatcher days?

The travel arrangements are a major issue for me regarding Kirkby move, even more than leaving the city boundaries, and I have heard there will be steep fines for people parking in the shopping centre car parks - so this really needs to be addressed as part of the whole process.

Would you really cycle to Kirkby on a cold, wet January evening down the M57 for a midweek game?
Steve Jones     Posted 06/04/2008 at 11:21:14   Comments (20)

James Beattie: goal machine!

Just noticed that he has scored a hat-trick in six minutes AND missed a pen just before the goal glut. 19 goals for the season now.... Same as Yak!!!

[Ducks for cover!]
Peter  Eastoe     Posted 05/04/2008 at 16:49:52   Comments (27)

Memories from the 60s

A visit to my mother's in Southport recently produced one of those boxes of old papers that seem to accumulate over the years. Browsing through the yellowing documents I came across an official programme for the match against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison on Saturday, 17th September, 1966, one of the first matches I attended. And what a match! The final score was 5-4 with Everton's goals coming from Ball (2), Morrissey, Temple and Young. My main memory of the match, hazy after all these years, is of Alex Young dazzling and taunting opponents with his skills.

The programme, which cost 6 old pence, is fascinating. Both teams played 2-3-5, with Everton's team being West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harvey, Scott, Ball, Young, Hurst and Temple ? glorious names from the past. At the time Everton were 14th in Division 1 with 6 points from 7 games. We had beaten Liverpool 3-1 but had lost twice to Manchester United and once to Stoke City (who we might be playing again next season of course). We finished in 6th place, 3 points behind Liverpool in 5th. Manchester United were champions.

The Evertonia notes in the programme are interesting for the emphasis on quality ? "against United here we won everything except the points ... a golden display of football" and against Stoke "a splendid display of creative football .. no team can have engineered more openings" (we lost 1-0). The lack of goals was put Wdown to Fred Pickering being injured ? a shortage of strikers obviously isn't new! The team had only scored 6 goals in those first 7 matches but then managed 5 against BA.

Another interesting comment is that "in the First Division particularly the skill of the teams seems more equally-balanced than usual" ? if only this were so today. Still the same as today was the rumour mill regarding transfers. "Mr Catterick was far from amused to read another of those scare stories, that Everton were poised to make a bid for Davies, the Bolton Wanderers centre-forward .... these stories which are pure speculation could upset our players and also those of Bolton".

This old programme is now highly prized and won't be disappearing again. It has reminded me of all those wonderful days on the terraces. I haven't been to Goodison in many years. This programme has reminded me I should go back soon.
Chris Townsend     Posted 04/04/2008 at 16:59:01   Comments (12)

Moyes states squad is big enough?

Whilst I see where Moyes is coming from, I feel more depth still in the squad is needed. I understand Moyes is right in saying that replacing the deadwood will help massively though. In particular, how much better off would we be if we had functioning quality players in place of perennially unavailable Andy van der Meyde and Tommy Gravesen? Also a replacement for McFadden would be pretty handy just now!

Still, if we are serious about progressing in both domestic cups plus Europe (in addition to the 38 league games) then further reinforcements rather than just replacements are needed likely a necessity if we are to compete with the top 3.

Come on BK, back Moyes big time this summer. It is all very well saying we've broken the transfer record in successive summers but that is to be expected given the explosion in TV revenue.
Michael Hunt     Posted 04/04/2008 at 17:41:19   Comments (30)

Chelsea fixture

Clearly both Everton and Chelsea football clubs are not in favour on the change of dates of this fixture. The fans of both clubs are deffo not in favour due to work commitments, traveling, etc.

So with both clubs and fans speaking as one, why dont we challenge the decision? I don't know what happens behind the scenes, but it seems that what big brother wants big brother gets. Well isn't it about time we acted through both our fan sites to get this fixture changed?
Colin  Malone     Posted 04/04/2008 at 16:23:13   Comments (13)

Summer focus

What we have achieved this season so far has been brilliant. The way we have been hit by injuries and tiredness though has meant that a lack of strength in depth could really cost us come the season's end. Because of this I really hope that the focus of the club over the summer is on building up the squad.

I know that something like the whole stadium issue isn't going to go away. Nor, quite rightly, can it be ignored. Neither can we ignore developing our finances and revenue streams. But we are really close to developing a top quality squad, one that can really carry us forward. And unless the team is doing the business everything else counts for nothing. If we blow this chance with the squad we currently have, it could take us years to ever get this close again. And God knows how much ground we will lose to Villa, Spurs, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

Now I'm aware that with the European Championships being this summer, the transfer window is even more complicated and precarious than ever. I know it couldn't have come at a worse time considering our lack of money compared to others and the fact that the finals will inflate prices to a ridiculous level. But we must not lose sight of how close success is, and we must make every effort over the summer to continue next season where we left off at the end of this one.
Kieran  Fitzgerald     Posted 04/04/2008 at 15:16:07   Comments (18)

Lets hear it for the Girls!!!

The Everton Ladies team pulled off the double against Liverpool Ladies team last night by beating them 5 goals to 1.

If the girls can do it, why can't the men?
Patty Beesley     Posted 04/04/2008 at 11:25:10   Comments (12)

Replace or Improve? What not have both?

I've read many mail submissions questioning our midfield abilities and quite rightly so in my opinion. However too many of them advocate getting rid of particular players. Almost no-one has escaped criticism - mostly unfairly. At various times Arteta, Fernandes, Osman, Cahill and, occassionally, Pienaar have come in for fearful stick. I see that even today, it has been suggested that Arteta should be thanked, then shown the door.

Quite frankly, I think all this talk of selling is a nonsense. We should be considering adding to the squad, not reducing it. That is where we have been found out of late.

With this in mind, did anyone see the Zenit game tonight? Arshavin absolutely destroyed Leverkusen almost single-handedly ? away from home! If ever there was a player that we should do everything to sign, then its this lad. At Goodison, he was the best player on the pitch. I know we may struggle to get him, but we must try. He is a star.

Just think of the options we would then have. Next on the agenda would be a right back and competition with / long term replacement for Carsley. This would give us the strength in depth almost all over the park.

The catch? Do we have the money? Over to you Bill. We need to speculate to accumulate or prevaricate and decline.
Steve Williams     Posted 03/04/2008 at 22:10:21   Comments (14)

Health & Safety Regulations for Goodison Park

Only a quick posting as promised a few weeks ago from the thread of several posts saying club staff had intimated that new H&S regulations would put paid to remaining at Goodison Park. I have received a reply to my query to the HSE and this is their response. I'll now seek a response from the next link in the chain.

Dear Mr Ramejkis

Thank you for your enquiry regarding football stadiums.

The HSE do not produce any specific information regarding building regulations for existing and new football stadiums.

Information on Building Regulations can be obtained from the Department for Communities and Local Government:

Department for Communities and Local Government
Dover House
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AU
Tel: 0207 944 4400 (Switchboard)
Fax: 0207 944 6589
Website: www.communities.gov.uk

Also, information on building regulations can be accessed online at the following website: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1130474

Further information on building regulations can also be obtained from your local building control department at the local council. The telephone number for the Building Regulations Department of the Local Authority should be available from your local telephone directory. Alternatively, the details of all local authorities can be found via the A-Z of local authorities facility of the following website: www.direct.gov.uk

I hope this helps, but if you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact this address again or telephone HSE Infoline on 08453 450055.

Yours sincerely

Victoria Brady
HSE Infoline
Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 03/04/2008 at 17:02:03   Comments (33)

Captain's Armband Meaningless?

Read a comment made about Osman receiving the captaincy armband after Neville was belatedly subbed and it reminded me of the thoughts running through my head at the time like "What the hell!!" and "For Fuck's Sake!!

Could not fathom why the smurf recieved the armband as, being a traditionalist, I believe a captain is one who should lead from the front and inspire others to play above themselves when called upon.

It's pretty hard to lead from the front when you can't even stay on your bloody feet!!! I wouldn't be inspired by Osman barking orders at me while he's either dusting himself off after tripping over for the hundredth time or yelling from the floor.

Yes he has a dip and displays flair and skill at times, but I would hardly call him a leader by example. Maybe Neville gave it to him as a Lescott or Jagielka may have shown him up about what a leader is really all about. Personally, I would have thrown it to Lescott.
Steve  Pendleton     Posted 03/04/2008 at 13:52:12   Comments (21)

Arteta's Agent Talk

According to the "talk about anything" Sun, but on sporting life website, Artetas agent says he is unsettled and should be playing for Spain if he was in a top four team. We have recently extended his contract, and I think we would get good money. I think he is talented and have some fancy footwork, but I have to say this year his freekicks and corners have been a real let down, and just like Beckham his pace is not great, but he gains half a yard and uses his passing ability. My thoughts are has he lost the extra drive and passion, or has he reached his potential. Based on this season, if we got a great offer I would be very tempted to use that money to buy one or two or even three players, and maybe have a bit more weight and muscle in midfield to help Peanuts and Osman. We need one that scores 10 to 12 goals.
Anton  Holmes     Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:14:45   Comments (41)

No penalties

I was bemoaning the fact to my boss, who just happens to be a Liverpool supporter, that we had not had one penalty all season. His answer was "You don't get in the box enough!!" Won't tell you what I did to him but he just might be right!!
Patty  Beesley     Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:02:56   Comments (14)

Easing the move

The `nationals`are awash this morning of stories about the difficulties Captain Pip is experiencing in selling his tasteful little pile near Burnley. Apparently, he bought the pad whilst a key player at Man Utd but found its location inconvenient once he moved to Everton. Like anybody would, faced with such difficulty, he re-located to...... the centre of Manchester!

It seems to me that it behoves all Evertonians to help ease Pip`s financial strain in maintaining two, albeit modest, homes and I write to suggest that Toffeeweb sets up a supporters` fund to get him a club nearer to his residences. Bury, Stockport or Accrington Stanley would seem most appropriate.
Tony  Senter     Posted 03/04/2008 at 09:41:25   Comments (10)

Big Vic's Bad Guts

Now, let me state from the outset that I would have loved to see Vic pledge his allegiances to England but I respect his decision to play for Nigeria. Can people correct me if I am wrong but I believe last week was his first game in Nigeria?

I live in the Middle East and travel extensively through Africa on business, my own experience has been that when I travel to less developed countries ie all countries outside of South Africa and possibly Morocco I also become ill. This is irrespective of the quality of the hotel I stay in. The most common cause is a parasite that can be found in the water, that must get into your system in the shower (so the doctors tell me).

The reason I mention this is I hope for the sake of Victor and Everton that he can acclimatise to the difference in food, water and general hygiene when he is overseas otherwise this may not be the first occasion he returns from international duty with the trots.
Daniel O'Brien     Posted 03/04/2008 at 06:38:07   Comments (4)

Summer Re-Think?

Few people can doubt the giant strides we have taken in the David Moyes Era, even if it is still glaringly evident that there is still a giant chasm separating us from the Elite, of which we once belonged.

So how to progress then? How do we take it forward? Can we advance?

I'm not asking you all for a summer transfer wish list, I'm talking about managerial ambition, weighed against reality. Positive ethos, as opposed to negative pathos.

Moyes has forever been known for his dour pragmatism; initially it resonated well at the time of his arrival 6 years ago. We knew we were in the hole, and he didn't mince words. However, I distinctly recall him espousing the traditional ambitions of every Evertonian; namely to be a challenging force in English football, and indeed, we have begun to jockey the established order.

But can we step it up? With Moyes, I'm afraid I'm not convinced. Maybe it is his boney-arsed Glaswegian upbringing, but I don't see a positively-reinforcing clarion call to storm the citadel of the back-page 4. He seems limited in ambition.

He bangs on about how much Houillier/ Benitez have spent prior to every single derby game, which now seems to be his disclaimer, whilst relying solely on his outstanding coaching ability, which saw us 4th two years back, and today 5th.

Yet I don't know if even he thinks he can take us further now. I think he reckons that if we finish top 6 every season, that that will sate the hunger of Evertonians. It won't though.... will it?

So here's my question: Can Moyes painstakingly lead us back to the land of milk and honey? Will or can he become more ambitious? Or, like the example of say, Sevilla, could a better coach take over, and take it further to return this club to it's rightful platform and birthright ?

Answers on a postcard politely requested, minus the vitriol please...
Kevin Hudson     Posted 02/04/2008 at 23:56:57   Comments (35)

Light relief

Some heavy contributions this week, understandably so. I spotted this on the BBC under the heading "Banner of the Week". I haven't noticed it anywhere here:

BANNER OF THE WEEK
"Everton FC welcome all Liverpool fans to Merseyside."
Spotted at the Merseyside derby. (Jack, London).
Brian Hill     Posted 02/04/2008 at 18:38:13   Comments (6)

Rigged Fixture?

Has anyone else noticed that Liverpool are invariably drawn at Anfield in the return leg of any 2-leg cup ties. There may be a good reason for this, but what concerns me more is the fact that for the last 5 years at least, we always play the first derby match at Goodison. This usually means that, given our abysmal record at Anfield, Liverpool have the last laugh on us by winning the second derby. I thought the fixtures were supposed to be random.

Is it just a coincidence that we always play at home first? Given the choice, I would sooner play Liverpool away first, when we are relatively fresh — not at the season's end when our smaller squad begins to have an impact owing to injuries etc. Can anyone provide the stats for these fixtures, to back up my argument?
Mike  Goodwin     Posted 02/04/2008 at 17:52:29   Comments (16)

4th within our reach?

Considering Best scenerio, we win against Derby, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Newcastle. Draw against Chelsea, Arsenal. Total points end season: 71 pts

Liverpool worst scenerio: Lose against Arsenal, Spurs Win against Blackburn, Birmingham, Draw against Fulham, Man City. Total points end season: 70 pts

Based on our current form, we will likely lose it against Chelsea, Arsenal, draw with Newcastle & Aston villa, Birmingham.

Oh well...
John Blestone     Posted 02/04/2008 at 02:28:42   Comments (18)

EFC stars in Marbella

My mate from Marbella called me this morning to say he is sat in the same bar watching the Utd game with Osman, AJ, Wessels, Phil Neville, Howard, Jags, and Hibbert. Apparently they flew out here for some mid-week training. You have to love the way Moyes works, a bit of sun and a break from the harsh English weather will hopefully recharge the batteries in time for the final push towards 4th spot. In Moyes we Trust!
Neil Scott     Posted 01/04/2008 at 23:04:01   Comments (15)

Well done, Agent Wyness, Mission Accomplished

It is not the least bit surprising that Everton and Mr Keith Wyness should resort to threats and menaces to silence opposition to the departure from Liverpool. The club has been less than frank about the stadium move from the very beginning and when deception fails, censorship is often the next move.

The fact is that those forces behind Everton's departure would have no reason to resort to these tactics if their arguments were sound and the benefits of the move obvious. It is because the plan is so deeply flawed and so bitterly opposed that this sort of tactic is necessary.
Peter  Fearon     Posted 01/04/2008 at 21:22:07   Comments (25)

Television displays

I've noticed, we're nearly always shit when we're on the telly (Europe aside). I'm sure this whole 75% win ratio when Cahill is in the team also applies to when we're not on the TV. Does anyone have any stats on how we fare in 3 o'clock games compared with televised games?

Now that March is over (when every game has been televised) perhaps we can get back to winning ways. I always think the atmosphere is a lot better in Goodison when we play at 3pm and I'm sure this makes a difference to the team's performances.
Alan Clarke     Posted 01/04/2008 at 19:18:10   Comments (11)

Walton Hall Park

I was just having a look at the KEIOC website and saw their alternative sites. Now I never liked the Scotland Road site, because, firstly, it looked too small and then there was not enough land to have a partner.

However the Walton Hall Park site is a different kettle of fish. A site big enough to have a partner, and get this...Sainsbury's willing to be that partner. It's near to the local rail network and could have its own station. Finally, it's what we all want in that it is in the city.

Personally I have gone from pro-Kirkby to the complete opposite. I don't trust Wyness as far as I could throw him. If this Walton Hall Park is the real deal then I think we should abandon destination Kirby and start again! That is not going to happen until Blue Bill realises that Mr Wyness is leading us all up the garden path.
Paul  Coleman     Posted 01/04/2008 at 18:52:35   Comments (14)

Mr.Benitez

When Manchester United play Manchester City, both sets of fans scream abuse, often vitriolic and highly personal, at members of the opposing team.

When Arsenal play Tottenham, both sets of fans scream abuse, often vitriolic and highly personal, at members of the opposing team.

When Birmingham play Aston Villa, When Newcastle, Middlesborough or Sunderland play against one another, well, you get the picture.

After Sunday's game the Monday newspapers were awash with headlines about the foulmouthed abuse of Steven Gerrard. No mention of the foulmouthed and physical abuse of Phil Neville, or the game-long personal abuse aimed at Joleon Lescott, whose near-fatal road accident as a child has left him with scars that make him an easy target for moronic opposition supporters.

The reason for these outraged headlines? Step forward one Mr.Rafael Benitez. A man who cannot even accept victory with any measure of dignity or grace.

This is the man who, after Liverpool's victory in the last derby game, said without a hint of irony, that Joleon Lescott should have been booked for diving after he had been hauled to the ground by Jamie Carragher for what was surely the most blatant penalty not to have been awarded in the premiership, or probably any other league, this season.

Benitez could have looked forward to headlines reflecting Liverpool's dominance of the game, or the almost certain clinching of fourth place in the Premiership with Champion's League football guaranteed for another season. Instead he chose, with his stock at it's highest after a derby win, to ingratiate himself further with Liverpool's fanbase by making another jibe at Everton's expense. This calculated process of ingratiation kept him in his job when his failed rotation policy led to the serious possibility that Liverpool may not have reached a lucrative Champion's League spot this season.

The protective buffer zone of religiously zealous supporters that he has built around himself led to many Liverpool fans accepting his excuse that the American owners were to blame for the poor form of the team on the pitch. The ownership soap opera has lately become more bitter than ever, so surely Liverpool should be struggling for premiership survival by now. But no, Rafa abandoned his, (not Gillette and Hick's), rotation policy, and Liverpool are now sitting pretty, with fourth place all but assured.

He may not be a masterful manipulator when it comes to Premiership football, but for playing supporters like a finely tuned instrument there are few equals.
Dean King     Posted 01/04/2008 at 16:46:59   Comments (10)

Bestway 'stone-walled' Everton

Today's statement from Bestway all but confirms that the Scotland Road dream is well and truly over.

Malcolm Carter said:

"All efforts from me and my engaged professional team to meet with and openly discuss the Bestway 'loop site' and promote it as a potential relocation site for Everton Football Club, having gained the technical support of HOK Sport Architecture and WSP Engineers, totally astounded me.

"Realistically, I couldn't have done much more and I was just stone-walled for much of the time by Everton Football Club's Directors and to make things worse most all that was said publicly regarding the Bestway site by Everton Football Club or it's representatives was so inaccurate that so often it genuinely beggared belief and surprised me."

What hope do the club have of building a genuine world class stadium when they treat potential business partners with the same contempt they hold the fans in?
Louis Platt     Posted 01/04/2008 at 16:26:28   Comments (0)

Deja Vu?

The much maligned Beattie, Johnson and now Yakubu are ploughing the same lone furrow. When opponents cottoned on to our simplistic inflexible style, goals dried up for JB and AJ and the same will inevitably happen to Yakubu.

To be successful, the loner up front desperately needs assistance from a box to box goal poacher like Tim Cahill. He draws defenders and that gives Yakubu the inch of room he needs to do the business. Until Cahill is fit Moyes should go for broke and play two or even three up front. Action should also be taken with a few sacred cows that are wasting space in our midfield.
Dick Fearon     Posted 01/04/2008 at 00:07:54   Comments (19)

Archives

March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
Season 2006-07
Season 2005-06
Season 2004-05

About these ads

Recent News

Recent Articles

Talking Points, Messages & The Game

Everton in the Community

About these ads