The Mail Bag

June 2009 Archive
Want to have your say?

Define “flop”

I read on here and a lot of people seem to think that Jo was a flop with 5 goals in 11 games.

Now forgive me here for being maybe too optimistic but 5 goals per 11 games could possibly be said to be 15 goals over 33 games. Maybe if he was to play all 38 league games over the season, add another 3 goals. So that's a possilbe 18 goals in 38 games (not including cup games or anything).

Now, I know if he was to play a full season at Everton things may be a tad different but still he fared better with confidence with us than he did with Man Shitty. But it's still a better average than Beattie, Johnson, McFadden or even Bent offered us.

Every stiker signed by everton is compared to our great strikers of past, but with the state of our strikers in recent seasons what would you perfer? One 20 goal a season or two 15 goal a season strikers?
Tony Hale     Posted 30/06/2009 at 17:20:14   Comments (0)

M'Bia's second choice?

I have to say I am very wary of M'Bia. We've been linked to this guy for two seasons now and I'm concerned about what his commitment level would be. There was so much double talk last season where he wanted to come to us, then wanted to go to Arsenal, then wanted to stay.

Now we have M'Bia's agent/lawyer trying to bleed more money from all interested parties by declaring that Marseille just needs to sweeten the pot a little more because he wants to play Champions League footy, but he'd settle for us if he had too (that's the inference from the Sky report). I don't know if he can be trusted ? I think he'd bolt at the first opportunity.
Chris Wilson     Posted 30/06/2009 at 08:09:55   Comments (23)

England U21s and Jack Rodwell

If you saw the U21 game last night, England were comfortably beaten by a very good and highly motivated German side.

Jack Rodwell came on at about 75 mins ? to me it seemed he slotted in at right back. Within a minute he was chasing down a german who headed for and scored their 3rd goal. The 4th Goal also happened down Jack?s side and nothing he could do about it either.

Why oh why was Jack brought on to play right back? He?s definitely not a defender and had a great first game against the Germans in midfield. In fact, even the german TV commentator wondered why the only player to score against them up to last night was on the bench.

England were not at the races and Jack should have been on much earlier in midfield. Sorry Stuart ? I know it?s easy to manage from this fence and after the game we?re all wiser ? but I was disappointed with your handling of one of England?s best young midfielders.

Yes, I am biased as a toffee ? but I think I?m right on this one. It may not have changed the outcome, but England wouldn?t have been so overrun in midfield with our Jack.
Kevin O'Regan     Posted 30/06/2009 at 06:00:48   Comments (2)

New Online Store Arrangements

Just a quickie to say how impressed I was on using the new online store. Before now postage to us here in Oz has been so ridiculously high that I had to get my Dad to go to the store, buy stuff and mail it.

Now the (UPS!) rates are very good. But what surprised me was the speed of our 2 new Home Shirts arriving. They came yesterday (Monday 29th), just 2 days after the first UK deliveries! In fact if UPS in Melbourne had done their job properly we would have had them on Friday 26th, A DAY BEFORE the UK! Very impressive.

One possible sour note — the Chang branding looks VERY flimsy and not a patch on the recent Umbro versions - handwash only I reckon (!). Otherwise it is a lovely piece of clothing. Anyway, must dash, got the Season Review DVD to watch and see Jack, Joleon and Peanuts one last time before they chase the $$$$...
Gregg Ainsworth     Posted 30/06/2009 at 02:42:46   Comments (1)

Literature corner

Although 35 years older than the intended target market, I was very pleased to get a copy of Martin Dobson's "Ultimate Goals" for my Birthday last week. (Thanks Mum). Martin Dobson novelist ? Couldn?t resist it. Basically, it?s the tale of a couple of kids making it through the youth systems of two middling but ?old style? clubs to meet in the FA Cup final. The clubs are fictitious but all the other actors and teams are real-life. I read it all in one sitting on long haul flight yesterday.

Although Martin may not get a shot at the Booker prize any time soon, you can't fault him for lack of drama. Our former midfielder was all grace and sportsmanship on the pitch but he?s a right tearaway with a pen. The plot takes in adultery, heroin, alcoholism, religion, wife-beating, a broken leg, fractured skull, smashed jaw and the Asian Tsunami. Oh yes, not forgetting two punch ups, three spells in hospital and a hike up Machu Picciu.

In between all this mayhem, Martin?s affection for Everton can still be detected. There?s a cameo role for Bob Latchford (?looking distinctly trim?) which provides an opportunity for a dig about the injustice of the 1977 semi final. When each kid?s respective team meets Everton in the league, the blues enjoy comfortable wins.

The book?s aimed at the 12-14 range I?d guess, so I?m hardly in a position can?t offer any meaningful criticism. It?s clear Martin has a passion for youth football development, and although the story is set in the present, it?s a tale of local heroes, long-suffering fans and firm but fair gaffers rather than Drogbas and debt refinancing. Definitely a buy for anyone?s kid in the close season doldrums.

Mind you, today?s average teenager must be made of stronger stuff then I was back in the days I used to watch Martin. Strewth. Do they really get up to all that?
Michael Coffey     Posted 29/06/2009 at 17:43:40   Comments (2)

The midfield...

The transfer window opens soon and there have been lots of debates on who we need, who we should get rid of etc,etc. The midfield has been the Number 1 topic, and rightly so. Most people seem to think we have enough quality in this area (apart from the right wing). I tend to disagree and heres why.

  1. Osman doesn't cut in the top flight; lightweight... goes missing too often.
  2. Cahill, although he has the drive and passion, lacks passing skills, pace, and awareness.
  3. Fellaini has done excellent in the second striker roll, but has struggled as a box-to-box centre-midfielder that he was bought in as.
  4. Phil Neville is not a midfielder, fullstop. But he has done wonders as a stopgap.
  5. Rodwell, though much improved, is still young and needs time; he is not a regular first-teamer yet.
That leaves us with Pienaar and Arteta; no problems with these two at all ? they are creative gems.

I think we need another creative midfielder (Defour, Moutinho), a defensive midfielder, (Cana or M'Bia), and a wing man (Pennant or Kieta?). If we get those three, will top 4 be ours?
Sean McKenna     Posted 29/06/2009 at 16:50:37   Comments (31)

Conspiracy Theory...

Here's one for all you who are bored given the lack of action at present.

Now that Jacobsen has departed, what odds do I get on Joleon (sadly) leaving in a deal for cash plus Micah Richards??
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 29/06/2009 at 15:15:38   Comments (7)

Jacobsen move signals intent

With the news that Blackburn have "swooped" (I like the idea of Sam Allardyce swooping!) for Lars Jacobsen on a two year deal, are we about to see moves in the market from David Moyes to shore up the right back position? If so are we looking at a young player in the mould of Kyle Naughton and has Jocobsen been allowed to go because at 29 he doesn't fit into DM's plans for young recruits?

Or is this a case of the player going because we can't offer him the right length of deal, rather than an issue of how much playing time he will get?

Or are we persisting with Hibbo in that position with Neville as cover with no intention of creating competition for a place in that berth?

Not expecting inside info, just opinions.
Daniel  Marfany     Posted 29/06/2009 at 14:52:27   Comments (18)

Jozy Altidore

As an American Evertonian I am always interested in my fellow Blue's opinions about American players. I do have to say that I'm little surprised at some of the recent backlash upon Tim Howard, but each to their own I guess.

But it was just announced on ESPN (news crawler at the bottom of the page actually) that Jozy Altidore told "Goal.com" that he DOES NOT want to return to Villarreal; that he wants to go someplace where he will play on a fairly regular basis. He was the most expensive U.S. transfer ever ($10 million), and there were rumors that Moyes was interested in getting him on loan in January.

I will say that he is only 19 and was not fully fit in the Confed Cup because he has hardly played this season except for U.S. World Cup qualifiers. Would you want to see him in a Blue shirt?
Chris Wilson     Posted 29/06/2009 at 13:14:41   Comments (16)

Howard must leave

Yes, I was among those who were enthralled by our win against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals. But I certainly didn't uphold the alleged brilliance of Howard in terms of explaining our triumph. Yes, he saved two poorly executed penalties, but that doesn't mean he is a Nietzschean Übermesch.

Southall would have saved Lampard's winner in the FA Cup final. And this is my main point. A superb goalie will land us 20 extra points and grant us the top spot in the FA Cup.

There are better goalies out there than Howard. I would suggest paying £5 million for Shovkovskiy of Dynamo Kiev. This will be a worthy replacement for Neville Southall.
Dominic Bobadilla     Posted 27/06/2009 at 21:24:22   Comments (46)

How much is enough?

If I were a professional footballer coming to the end of my career, this is what I would like to have achieved:

  1. Financial security for me and my family.
  2. A regular place in the Premier League.
  3. As many honours as possible.
  4. Played for my country.
  5. Played at club were I was happy and were I was respected by my team mates.
  6. Left supporters with the idea that I cared as much as they did.
I have read Evertonians on this site state that they don't blame any player for moving if he can double his salary. What nonsense. Personally, as someone who is poorly paid in a job I enjoy I would, with some regret, move for double the money. However, this is entirely relative. What quality of life can £80k a week provide that £40K a week can't?

I don't believe that footballers generally are any different to the rest of us as far as money goes. There are of course exceptions, Ronaldo being one, who have apparently focused on football to the extent that they have failed to develop any sense of proportion or morality.

All footballers are not like that and I strongly believe that Everton can offer as much to a player as anyone. We tick all the boxes except regular honours. That will come. We should be an attractive proposition to any thinking footballer who can see past the greed of his agent.
Andy Crooks     Posted 27/06/2009 at 20:49:18   Comments (1)

Confederations Cup thoughts

As a proudly South African blue living in Cape Town I thought I'd like post a few observations in the aftermath of the Confederations Cup currently being contested here.

1. It's oft not advisable to judge a player after one major tournament (Daniel Amokachi anyone?) but I believe that I have seen the best goalkeeping talent to emerge from South Africa since the likes of Gary Bailey and, more recently, Andre Arendse. The boy Khune (pronounced 'koo-neh') has been a revelation.

I only really began taking note of him after he saved David Villa's penalty in the final group game against Spain, but he truly has caught the eye both in the remainder of that game and in the semi-final versus Brazil. What immediately caught my attention was the way he catches the ball when struck from distance, hardly ever offering rebounds to strikers lurking in the box.

Another instantly recognizable attribute is his agility, and the size and accuracy of his goal-kicking. At 22, I expect to hear much more about "spiderman" after his exploits at the Confederations Cup.

2. Steven Pienaar is a gem of a player. Reading a few of the comments about the little man on here in the past few days, I must say that I concur with what the majority are saying. And then some! Naturally, I am biased, but Steven Pienaar is the type of player that is a joy to watch. When he's on song, he runs at defenders and into space all the time, dragging them out of position before delivering a killer pass.

The way he dictated much of the play against Brazil (five times World Champions, lest we forget!) made for delightful viewing, and if he improves his game even further (becoming more of a goalscoring threat, for instance), then Pienaar will become an even better player.

As to whether or not he should don the "Mikel mantle" and begin orchestrating things from the middle, or continue his fruitful link-up play with the improving Leighton Baines down the left is a poser, but that is part of what David Moyes is paid to do ? make those kinds of decision. I suppose much will depend on Arteta's recovery, and activity on the transfer front.

3. This tournament was a roaring success, any way you choose to look at it. It produced some scintillating football, some wonderful goals and a couple of results that can only be good for the game. As wonderful a sight as Spain are when they are in the mood, I believe that the USA were the better team on the day in their semi-final, and in many ways reminded me a lot of the way Everton play in that and their other games. No superstars, just defending as a unit, knowing their strengths and limitations and sticking to a gameplan ? and look at the results!

ps: To the site moderators: thanks for a fantastic website, both in terms of design and content! One of the first places I visit daily I assure you ;)
David Gallant     Posted 27/06/2009 at 18:58:08   Comments (9)

Past Masters?

I am sitting here watching the masters and its so sad to see the likes of Paul Gerrard and Tony Grant in an Everton shirt again. I had to watch them as a child and I hoped that would be the last... Thank God for Matt Jackson and Graham Stuart, we just drew level with Wigan. :)

Seems like a good amount of Blues in there though making quite a bit of noise...
Lewis Abbott     Posted 27/06/2009 at 18:04:50   Comments (3)

Joey Yobo ? A Tribute

With Jagielka's superb season, Lescott's England call-ups and well deserved praise being heaped on Everton's defensive qualities, Joseph Yobo has had to take somewhat of a back seat of late. I, like most would put both Jags & Joleon as first choice centre backs, but now seems as good a time as any to honour just how good a servant Yobo has been for the blues.

One of Moyes's first buys (possibly his first? stat-heads will confirm this or otherwise), Yobo has been outstanding for us over his long spell at Everton. We all know he can be a little erratic at times and is prone to the odd error or two, but what a good signing he's been for us. He's not a badge kisser, he doesn't spout on about his love for the club and yet he's spent the best part of his career at Everton and has recently put pen to paper on a new deal, even though he has been warming the bench for large parts of last season and you never hear him complain. Players like Yobo are few and far between nowadays.

We've been spoiled with Jags and Joleon. Those two could make most defenders look ordinary in comparison, but Yobo has been and is still a quality centre back. I for one am glad he's sticking around and, with the possibility of Lescott moving on and with Jagielka out for the fist part of the season, Yobo is more than likely going to play a vital role in 2009-10. So here's to Yobo!
Ian Ankers     Posted 27/06/2009 at 12:26:35   Comments (11)

Groundhog Day

Starting to feel as though this close season will be a similar washout to last time. The media will link us with every Tom, Dick or João until a final "flurry" of loan signings with a day or two to go.

I just hope we don't sell Lescott only to have Jô (loan) and Jacobsen paraded as "new signings" with the rest of the money spirited away for Kirkby with a final "Sky money" deal made with minutes to go.

Roll on September - please!
Mark Wynne     Posted 27/06/2009 at 11:38:31   Comments (11)

The worst of all time!

Really hate this time of the year in the football calendar so to captivate my depression I thought I would make a topic about the worst ever Everton team from all the players over the years, its probably been done a thousand times already but heres mine!

Manager - Mike Walker

GK - Espen Baardsen
RB - Earl Barrett
LB - Terry Phelan
CB - Per Krøldup
CB - Carl Tiler
LM - Andy van der Meyde
RM - Niclas Alexandersson/Osman?
CM - Alex Nyarko
CM - Danny Williamson
ST - Michael Branch
ST - Stuart Barlow

Subs: anyone from a good choice of 50!
Dan  Machin     Posted 27/06/2009 at 08:56:53   Comments (13)

Some good news at last!

A brief distraction from all the rumours about comings and goings (ok, more about goings), but Keith Hackett, oft-emailed head of Professional Game Match Officals Ltd (PGMOL) is stepping down.

Replacement is none other than Mike Riley.

This must surely mean that Riley's retired? I missed that if true.

So should be another 2 pens for us, and two legitimate goals not ruled out.

Update that prediction thingy...
Matt Traynor     Posted 27/06/2009 at 00:21:26   Comments (0)

Everton Direct (Kitbag)

Just a little word of warning to all those who will order the new kit tomorrow and expect to recieve it in the next couple of days.

I have only just recieved my Fathers Day present even though my wife paid the extra £7 to get the stuff delivered in 2 days. After the delivery did not arrive, she phoned Everton Direct who stated that, even though she had paid the extra shipping charge, it still takes 4 DAYS(!!) to get the stock out of the warehouse. This is supposed to be a multi-million pound company, yet it takes 4 days to get the stock ready for despatch?!? Come on, what a load of crap!

I hope this is not a sign of things to come in the next 10 years!

Happy buying!
Scott Jenner     Posted 26/06/2009 at 17:01:26   Comments (7)

Pienaar against New Zealand Brazil

Watched the Brazil V South Africa game. Peanuts had a great game in the whole of the midfield. What a player and bags of energy. Nearly scored twice with long-range shots.

Hope he can do it for the Blues ? needs a free role IMO. If he and Arteta can click, we will see some great football.
Frank  Duffy     Posted 26/06/2009 at 07:57:46   Comments (18)

Big Tim's Big Night

Tim Howard's USA team were very worthy winners in tonight's Confederations Cup semi-final against Spain.

The norte americanos played a well-organised, disciplined, strong and very mobile game. The skill level throughout the team was good and I particularly liked their mid-range passing out of defence and into attack. Howard was called upon to make important stops ? one from F Torres ? and to command the area as Spain pressed for most of the match. He had a glorious night.

The Spanish, by contrast, looked bewildered. They played well enough but clearly didn't understand why they were losing. Clearly, they thought they had a God-given right to win, and a Uruguayan ref who, at times, seemed to agree. And with all those Liverpool players they had to, didn't they? Oh dear, what a shame, never mind.

So Tim will be up against Steven in the final on Sunday? Only the small matter of Brazil for Bafana Bafana to overcome tomorrow. But after tonight, who knows?

Come On You Blues!
Keith Glazzard     Posted 24/06/2009 at 18:50:16   Comments (15)

Lescott

I'm just interested to hear what people have to say about the whole Lescott to City thing. My own view is a mixed one.

On the one hand I can understand the benefits of keeping our current squad together, especially when our back four has been one of the meanest defences in recent seasons. Moyes is trying to build and having a settled squad where the players know each other is a huge part of this.

On the other hand though, if Lescott gets his head turned by the idea of a double your money deal, and we don't let him go, how much of a sulk will we get next season? Also, we haven't got a lot of money to spend. £15 to 20m is a lot of money, and we know City are good for it. If we asked for say, £12m plus Richard Dunne, people would argue that this is the most of the price for that midfielder we badly need plus a very decent replacement for Lescott.

On the balance of things I think I would be okay with seeing Lescott go, providing an adequate replacement was brought in.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 24/06/2009 at 05:47:45   Comments (76)

It's Us!

I, along with most others, read the story that an Arab Sheikh had bought a 60% controlling stake in an unknown Premier League club.

Now I've been told by the moderator of England-Mad (who lives and works in UAE) that the unknown club is Everton.

If it's true, you heard it here first... If it ain't, I don't know what you're on about, mate. :0)
Lee Hind     Posted 23/06/2009 at 14:03:19   Comments (25)

Europe League - seedings

Well today was the draw for the 1st and 2nd qualifying rounds of the Europa Cup. So, 6 weeks this Friday, we know who we are going to play on Thursday 20 & 27 August.

First off ? Everton are ranked 52 in Uefa this season. As these are based on the last 5 seasons, then we are behind Newcastle and Boro, who did so well 3 or more years ago. But as we know, they, Spurs and 9 other teams are not in Europe so that makes our effective qualification 40th.

Now of these 40, 17 of them have qualified for the Champions League group stage ? which makes us, at worst, 20th seeds in the Europa League. Guarantees a seeding against a lower ranked team ? like last year when we got Standard Liege.

Uefa do seem to have come up with the most complicated system this year for the Champions League. They have spilt it this year so that in the 3rd Qualifying round there are 20 teams who were champions of their league and the 10 losers from those matches come into the same round in the Europa Cup that we are in. Of the unseeded teams, there is no one there to fear. The 10 winners then play another round and 5 winners go into the Champions League and the losers into the Europa League Groups.

The problem is that there is also 10 teams who did not win their title and the 5 losers from those matches come into our Qualification round of the Europa Cup. Some of them could be tough but hopefully, if they are the good teams, they will have a high ranking so will be seeded and we will not have to play them! The 5 winners are then joined by 5 teams from England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France and the losers come into the Europa League group stages.

And the final piece is there are 8 teams ranked above us who enter the Europa League in the rounds before us and could get knocked out ? unlikely, we know, but more strange things have happened.

So where does it leave us?

  • Worst seeding = 20th
  • Assume all seeded teams win their 3rd round CL Matches (Shaktak Donesk, Sporting Lisbon, Panathinaikos, Olympiakos, Celtic) we are seeded 15th
  • Assume the higher seeds entering Europa League in 2nd or 3rd round are knocked out (Roma, PSV, Hamburg, Steaua Bucharest, Fenerbahce, Basle, Lille, Sporting Braga) we are seeded 7th
So anywhere between 8th and 20th seeds. So who will we face? I would love it to be Toulouse or even better, Guingamp. They won the French Cup and finished halfway down Division 2 and located in the middle of Brittany, just a 4-hour drive from where we are on holiday. Everton and Me, we are never that lucky...
Phil Roberts     Posted 22/06/2009 at 12:48:49   Comments (4)

Defour Bid?

According to Sky Sports (never wrong for very long...) we've had a bid turned down for Standard Liege's skipper and midfield maestro Steven Defour.

Now in my opinion, Defour was the talent we should have picked up instead of Fellaini last summer, but I can understand the reasoning behind signing the big man ? seeing as Defour is another pocket rocket. However, there is no doubting the little man's class.

I'm very glad to hear that we've been linked to a player who will undoubtedly add the creativity and guile we lacked after Arteta's injury last summer, and who will hopefully bring the best out of his former compadre Fellaini. However, the negative side is that it may mean that the protracted chase for Moutinho is over as they are almost identikit players.

That is unless we are in the process of being purchased by a mystery Sheik and we're after them both?

Here's hoping...
Richie James     Posted 22/06/2009 at 10:25:10   Comments (15)

Setanta Advert

There is a Setanta advert on the site advertising Premier League Football... Not sure that it is relevant anymore!

On a serious point, Setanta got things wrong right at the beginning. Their advertising campaign was all about the Big 4. This alienated lots of would-be subscribers. They then overpaid for England and FA Cup rights. I fear for anyone up against Sky as there will only be 1 winner.

Let's hope that the ex-Setanta matches will be freely available.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 22/06/2009 at 05:58:55   Comments (12)

Could it be our turn?

Just been trawling through the usual pages to see what's going on with the transfer gossip and came across this bit of 'gossip' from the BBC Sport site:

BREAKING GOSSIP

2010: Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr al-Qassimi, member of a ruling family in the United Arab Emirates, has bought a majority stake in an unnamed Premier League club. Sheikh Ahmed, a member of the ruling family Ras al-Khaimah, will be honorary chairman of the club.

Ras al-Khaimah is one of seven members in the UAE federation which also includes key oil producer Abu Dhabi and regional trade and tourism hub Dubai. (WAM news agency)

Then I checked the source of the information WAM News Agency:

Ahmed acquires 60% of a leading English football club

Jun 21, 2009 - 08:30 -

WAM Ras Al Khaimah, 21st June 2009 (WAM) -- Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Customs and Seaports, has acquired 60 per cent of a leading English club of premier league Sheikh Ahmed will be the honorary chairman of the club.

More details about the deal will be announced at a press conference to be held within the few coming days. The part of this 'gossip' I am most intrigued by is that the Sheikh will be made an Honorary Chairman... so could this be Bill's way of keeping hold of his train set and getting the pot of gold he's been waiting for?

So, in blind optimism more than anything, I am hoping it is us and not the Darkside that are being bailed out yet again! By process of elimination, Man Utd nor Chelsea are likely to have a new backer. Arsenal have Usmanov and Hill-Wood plus others on their board. Villa have a wealthy backer in Randy Lerner, Fulham are not exactly short-changed with Al-Fayed... and then there is Spurs whom are owned by Daniel Levy whom is by rights flush with spondoolies! West Ham have just been taken over. So by that rationale that just leaves the mighty EFC and those lovable inbreeds who inhabit Anfield!!!!

COYB!
Brendan Fox     Posted 21/06/2009 at 18:48:42   Comments (38)

Fergie Sniffing Around Again

Our old friend Fergie is ?according to the press? sniffing around Everton again ? this time he fancies Jack Rodwell, and unfortunately who doesn?t. Alan Smith, Sky commentator and ex-Arsenal, was recently quoted as saying ?Rodwell will be the next Rio Ferdinand?.

Rodwell as we all know is currently with the England U-21s in Sweden and I?m absolutely sure that the likes of Milner, Agbonalor, Mancini, Onauha, etc will be telling Jack that his £8k a week is paltry with the going rate of £30k in the Premier League and you?ll be able to double that with a CL team ? Ronney all over again.

I?ve now noticed today that Moyes has gone out of his way to say Rodwell will be key to Everton next season and hopes to give him 20 odd games ? all designed to say bugger off Ferguson, and we love you Jack.

I believe Moyes missed a trick with not giving Rodwell an FA Cup Final appearance, even as a sub for 10-15 mins. The lad, if you looked at the pictures after the Final, looked devastated and Ray Hall also said in an interview last week that Jack was really down ? a Cup Final appearance is only likely to come around once or twice in a career.

Can we keep him?


Mike Oates     Posted 21/06/2009 at 13:08:10   Comments (14)

Kenwright, Kirkby and our Future

News on the websites about new signings and who's going is all getting very boring... it's all conjecture. I feel we need a debate about the big issues concerning Everton: Kirkby and Kenwright.

I have various reasons as to why I disagree with Kenwright regarding a move to Kirkby:

  1. Support will dwindle
  2. Design of the stadium is cheap-looking, no thought has been put into it.
  3. It will move us away from our roots.
  4. It will not bring any more money into the club ? for that, we need at least 48,000 per game.

Kenwright has been holding us back year after year with no money, false promises and years of neglect by the Board off Directors he has sat on for years. There have been too many lies and broken promises to the supporters.

Hopefully, Kirkby will not happen. Why is the club refusing to even discuss other options to Desparation Kirkby?

We have to stay in this great city to live and grow, if we move to Kirkby town, our club will slowly die. We will end up like Middlesbrough, Wigan and Coventry, with brand new stadiums but empty grounds.

Please Mr Kenwright, Mr Earl and Mr Green, stop this move to Kirkby for the future of Everton FC and all its supporters, and the future generations of Everton supporters to follow.
Gerry Dignam     Posted 21/06/2009 at 10:21:10   Comments (30)

Central Midfield

I wonder why are we constantly being linked with central midfielders when it's plain to see that out wide is where our problems lie?

Personally, my prefered central midfield partnership is Mikel Atreta and Tim Cahill with Marouane Fellaini playing just in front of them behind the striker. That leaves us Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell as back up.

However out wide we only have Steven Pieenaar and Dan Gosling and the latter is not yet ready to be a regular starter. So we need a decent back-up left winger plus another winger to come into the first team, it doesn't really matter which side as Pienaar looks comfortable on either side.
Karl Graham     Posted 20/06/2009 at 06:59:48   Comments (23)

Founder Member Petition

Some of you may know there has been a bit of chat in the mailbag recently regarding "Founder Member" being printed on the shirts of the 12 founder members of the Football League. I created an online petition regarding this, which reads as follows (I'm forwarding the same message to all the of fanzines of all 12 teams in the hope that if one goes for it they all will!):

Next season in the Premier League marks the first time 7 of the founder members of the Football League being present, which is a record! They are Everton, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Therefore I think there should be a petition to have "Founder Member" printed on the shirts of all those teams. Here is an online petition that you can sign. There?s a Facebook group to join as well!

The 12 football league founder members are:

  • Accrington
  • Aston Villa
  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Bolton Wanderers
  • Burnley
  • Derby County
  • Everton
  • Notts County
  • Preston North End
  • Stoke City
  • West Bromwich Albion
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers
I think if we got enough people signed up to this and we make a proper petition, then the clubs might go ahead with it!

So anyone who is a supporter of one of the clubs above, or any team for that matter who agrees, sign up for this and send the link to other fans and fan websites etc as well. Then click on this link and sign the petition. Once we have enough signatures I'll send it to the clubs and see what they say!

For those of you who have not already signed up to this, do so now!
Mark Jardell     Posted 19/06/2009 at 14:45:02   Comments (19)

Moutinho...

Whenever I read anything from the mailbag 99% of the time there will be a mention of Moutinho as the missing piece of the jigsaw. This continues to amaze and annoy me in equal measure!

Firstly, take a look at our squad and identify the number of attacking central midfield players we already have: Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini, Pienaar and Osman. That is five players for a maximum of 2 positions! For those who suggest Pienaar is a wide player, let me remind you he never once played on the wing prior to Everton and continues to play in his natural position of attacking centre midfield for his country.

The same case can be made for Arteta. It was no great surprise to see a drastic improvement in his form when he resumed playing in a central role. My Point being we DO NOT need anymore attacking central midfield players when our squad is small at the best of times.

Also how many people hailing Moutinho have actually seen him play!? He offers nothing Arteta can?t better or equal lacks pace and is very lightweight. Now I am not saying he is not a good player, he is! But he plays in a position we have plenty of talent of his equal in already.

So please please, please let's stop the Moutinho talk once and for all and address the positions that do need to be strengthened! Wide Players! For the record, I love ToffeeWeb, and this is my first post to the mailbag directly.
James  Stewart     Posted 19/06/2009 at 10:22:30   Comments (15)

Founder members

Wondering if anyone can answer these little teasers, as I'm too lazy/busy (delete as appropriate) to research it for myself?..

With Burnley and Wolves joining the top flight for next season, that's a total of 7 of the Football League's founder members occupying spaces in the top division (ourselves, Villa, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, Stoke and Wolves)

Questions are:

1) When was the last time all twelve were in the top flight together?

2) Is 7 the record since the Premier League started in 1991?

No prizes apart from the satisfaction of being cleverer than me.

Cheers!


David McGrain     Posted 18/06/2009 at 10:39:04   Comments (27)

Saturation point

I don't know what kind of TV coverage you get in the UK but here in Oz it is almost a case of too much of a good thing.

Not so long ago we were lucky to see our game mentioned in general news bulletins. Nowadays, on Sky we have the choice of all Premier League and World Cup games. Free to air SBS shows all Champions League games plus others from around the world. We also get world youth and ladies tournaments plus all A league games.

That brings me to the Confederation Cup currently being played in South Africa where our Steven Pienaar has just put in a best on field performance in SA's 2-0 win over New Zealand.
Dick Fearon     Posted 17/06/2009 at 21:36:09   Comments (10)

Wembley Way Photo Story

Hello. Just thought your readers might be interested in seeing some pictures that I took on Wembley Way last month. I set out to capture the spirit of the occasion by photographing little candid moments and funny faces that caught my eye. It's something I've done for the last six cup finals at Wembley but this one was special as an ex-Enclosure season ticket holder who's been in exile since 1989. Don't worry, I've mostly edited out the Chelsea lot.

To see the 22 pictures please follow this link to the page on my website: ianhughesphotos.com.
Ian Hughes     Posted 17/06/2009 at 19:58:50   Comments (4)

The center back dilemma

We are in a very fortunate position, in that we have three center backs of a very high standard. Normally as with this season i would say this is sufficient; however, with the Africa Cup of nations and Jags being injured, it causes us issues.

Would people prefer to spend some of a small pot of money on a centre back? Get someone in for free or on loan as cover?? Use Rodwell as cover and hope for some good fortune???

I suppose the ideal would be to bring is a class right-back who could also play centre-half but I think these players are in short supply.

It's really tough as I would not like Moyes to spend any money on this position but, without one extra head, it will leave us very short of any really cover.

Moyes will obviously have to take a calculated risk in some areas next year, as funds won't allow (I would imagine) both a CB and an RB.
Ian Barker     Posted 17/06/2009 at 19:31:23   Comments (19)

The Derby Fixture

Simple question guys: Why is the first derby fixture of every season held at Goodison,and the trip across the park to the home of Satan second ?

Probably getting paranoid-but it happens every year ! It's been scratching at my mind for a long time,and my fear is that the shite are given the home tie in the spring,when they're "challenging" for the title, and home advantage gives them a better opportunity to get the 3 points, so as to aid the above mentioned "challenge."

I think from memory, (and probably wrong here) the Kev Campbell derby was our last November Anfield fixture: we won,so have the feckers in red asked the FA to arrange games in that particular order to suit their own deluded purposes ?

Information,opinion and answers on a postcard please folks.

Or is it just me ?
Kevin Hudson     Posted 17/06/2009 at 11:05:13   Comments (16)

Timmy's brace subdues Japan

Timmy was on song for a second half brace to subdue lively Japan in Melbourne tonight.

The first half was a sleepy dog enlivened by a useful headed goal from the Royale Blues.

The 2-1 win means the Socceroos finish on top of their World Cup qualifying group. A draw would also have sufficed. At the end a tacitern Timmy gave a fawning media short shrift and praised the 70,000 home crowd.

He and the squad were reported to be heading for a Melbourne nightclub that asks punters to leave nicely at closing time rather than calling the gutter press, as is the case in Sydney.
George Stuart     Posted 17/06/2009 at 11:03:40   Comments (11)

Fixture List 2009-10

EVERTON - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Wed Aug 12 Carling Cup 1
Sat Aug 15 Arsenal H
Wed Aug 19 Manchester City A
Sat Aug 22 Burnley A
Wed Aug 26 Carling Cup 2
Sat Aug 29 Wigan Athletic H
Sat Sep 12 Fulham A
Sat Sep 19 Blackburn Rovers H
Wed Sep 23 Carling Cup 3
Sat Sep 26 Portsmouth A
Sat Oct 3 Stoke City H
Sat Oct 17 Wolverhampton Wanderers H
Sat Oct 24 Bolton Wanderers A
Wed Oct 28 Carling Cup 4
Sat Oct 31 Aston Villa H
Sat Nov 7 West Ham United A F.A. Cup 1
Sat Nov 21 Manchester United A
Sat Nov 28 Liverpool H F.A. Cup 2
Wed Dec 2 Carling Cup 5
Sat Dec 5 Tottenham Hotspur H
Sat Dec 12 Chelsea A
Tue Dec 15 Hull City A
Sat Dec 19 Birmingham City H
Sat Dec 26 Sunderland A
Mon Dec 28 Burnley H
Sat Jan 2 FA Cup 3
Wed Jan 6 Carling Cup Semi-Final (1)
Sat Jan 9 Arsenal A
Sat Jan 16 Manchester City H
Wed Jan 20 Carling Cup Semi-Final (2)
Sat Jan 23 FA Cup 4
Wed Jan 27 Sunderland H
Sat Jan 30 Wigan Athletic A
Sat Feb 6 Liverpool A
Wed Feb 10 Chelsea H
Sat Feb 13 FA Cup 5
Sat Feb 20 Manchester United H
Sat Feb 27 Tottenham Hotspur A
Sun Feb 28 Carling Cup Final
Sat Mar 6 Hull City H (FA Cup 6)
Sat Mar 13 Birmingham City A
Sat Mar 20 Bolton Wanderers H
Sat Mar 27 Wolverhampton Wanderers A
Sat Apr 3 West Ham United H
Sat Apr 10 Aston Villa A (F. Cup Semi-Final)
Sat Apr 17 Blackburn Rovers A
Sat Apr 24 Fulham H
Sat May 1 Stoke City A
Sun May 9 Portsmouth H
Sat May 15 FA Cup Final

Louis Huglin     Posted 17/06/2009 at 06:34:30   Comments (15)

Come and get me

South Africa's Teko Modise has issued a 'come and get me' call to English Premier League clubs.

He told the Daily Mirror: "I'm a fan of English football and I've got a friend who is playing there in Steven Pienaar at Everton. We talk a lot about it and if the opportunity comes for me it would be very important.

"For two years now Steven has been telling me to move on from South Africa. But it's kind of difficult because I'm playing for a big team and the price tag as well - that was an issue."
Bradley Nolan     Posted 16/06/2009 at 11:00:12   Comments (19)

The Fixture Conundrum

I must admit, there are a lot more variables that go into producing the fixture list than I'd ever considered, even though I'd often given this some thought.

It is good to see there is some fan representation when the draft fixtures are produced, but clearly with a new competition, plus an early finish to accommodate the 2010 World Cup, maybe tomorrow's published fixtures will be another exercise in hair pulling!
Matt Traynor     Posted 16/06/2009 at 05:53:14   Comments (13)

Owen!!!

So here we go again, another summer with no football to watch, nothing to discuss, and all we talk about is potential Goodison heroes!!! I've been reading a lot of threads about who we should sign, plenty of opinions on players who we should go for and what we need etc etc.

Now in dreamland these players we speculate about are stars and are going to come to Everton and propel us to the elusive Champions League spot we desperatly crave. However, these players we speculate over (M'bia, Ledley, Delph, Moutinho etc) are not proven Premier League footballers ? we don't know if any of these are up to the task.

Players who play well week-in, week-out in the Premier League are sadly beyond our means... not even world beaters ? just good players like Barry, Valencia. We compete in one of the best (if not the best) league in the world, so who knows if we splash the cash it will pay off? In my opinion, every transfer has a risky element to it.

You probably know where this is going due to the title of my post... Yes, Michael Owen. Now don't automatically believe that I'm so gullible to believe that Owen is the world superstar galactico he was 4 years ago... but I do believe he would be potentially a great signing. I understand people's reasons to be completely against this idea.

These are:

1. Injuries: Simple... offer him a pay-as-you-play deal, that way, if he's on the table all season, who cares?

2. He's past it: Yes, I understand that Owen is probably as quick as Marouane ? we all know he's lost that pace ? but I believe there was always more to his game than pace!! How many times have you seen him score with his head, beat the offside trap with a perfectly timed run, and slot it ? nobody can deny he is a goalscorer.

3. Hunger: Does Owen still have the hunger for the game??? It's not a secret that he loves his racehorses: however, this is his last chance saloon, especially with the World Cup approaching, and who better than David Moyes to draw the maximum potential out of a player?

Now in conclusion, I believe that Owen is a lower risk than any other transfer. Firstly, he's free... and (providing he will sign pay-as-you-play) he will not much cost. If he's not up to it, release after a year. Another defensive issue for Owen is that we all forget he did play for Newcastle, can anybody remember the last player or manager to give a decent account of themselves at that club??? Errr ... Shearer (as a player)??. I don't see why we shouldn't go for him ? he's not really that old, a similar age to / player as Robbie Keane (pace gone), and we all know who paid £20million pound for him!!!
Chris Pickles     Posted 15/06/2009 at 19:36:22   Comments (39)

Kirkby

Just wondering what happended to the enquiry result. I am sure it was said to be announced in June. All very quiet. has anyone heard what's going on and is Peter Reids consortium waiting for this result.
Mike Mcloughlin     Posted 15/06/2009 at 20:08:31   Comments (12)

So you're David Moyes...

OK, so you?re David Moyes and right now you are sitting on a beach thinking to yourself that the £15M your generous chairman has given you won?t even buy Christiano Ronaldo?s right leg. You have a squad that is fundamentally sound ? very short on depth and lacking class down the right.

You don?t want a repetition of last year when dithering in the transfer market led to an awful start and ultimately cost you 4th place. If you are going to do well in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carling Cup next year, your squad may have to play upwards of 60 games, so you need quantity and quality.

You really don?t want to have to resort to ?free? aging injury prone has-beens who have resorted to advertising themselves with glossy brochures preferring to try and find quality young players who you can blend into the squad. Do you sell? If so who?

So you write the following plan in the sand, you know it won?t please everyone and not all of it might be possible but it?s plan A!

Buy Joe Ledley from Cardiff
Left Wing Back Age 21 Cost: Big Vic + £1.5m

Buy Kevin Nolan from the Bar Codes
Centre Mid Age 26: Cost £3m

Buy Kyle Naughton from Sheff Utd.
Right Wing Back Age 20: Cost £4m

Buy Sebastien Bassong from the Bar Codes
Centre Back Age 22: Cost £5m

Buy Jo from Man City
Forward Age 22; Swap for Joleon Lescott + £1.5m

Buy Micah Richards from Man City Age 27
Right Back / Centre Back Age 22

6 players in, 2 out, all aspects covered ? ?phone chairman ? relax and soak up some rays.


Steve Ashton     Posted 15/06/2009 at 11:32:57   Comments (67)

£1m for Anderson da Silva

Barnsley have slapped a £1m price tag on midfielder Anderson da Silva. How much did we let him go for? Does anyone know how well he's been playing and how he's developed as a player?

I am assuming from the headline the announcement is in response to interest from bigger clubs than Barnsley? ? Does that mean we were too hasty in letting him go?

Must admit I never saw much of him at Everton and have seen even less of him since he left.
Matt Bone     Posted 15/06/2009 at 06:32:22   Comments (20)

What ever happened to JPK?

Just a quick post guys to ask what everyone thinks about little John Paul Kissock being released? Now I may be mistaken but there were murmurings on here and in the press that this boy was going to be a decent footballer and certainly one that we would be watching in the Royal Blue of Everton.

As I say, a while ago, I remember Kissock being linked with Chelsea and a reported fee In excess of the hundreds of thousands was being touted as an attempt to un-settle one of our most promising youngsters. Does anybody else think it is slightly strange that this lad has gone?

As I understand it, his stature and strength were being questioned with regard to him being able to handle the rough and tumble of the Premier League (at this stage of his career) but Moyes gave Ozzy the chance to build up and ready himself for it; did he not view Kissock with the same regard?

For me this actually poses a couple of questions:

  • Firstly, is this about getting the wage bill down just that little bit more so we can afford to build the first team? If so, this could be seen as another damning indictment of the terrible financial situation we face at Goodison.
  • Secondly, could this be viewed as an 'Everton on the up' scenario? It may be that Moyes already has real quality players lined up to bolster our ranks (I live in hope) and he didn't want to squander the the talent of a young footballer that he wouldn't be able to promise first team football to for the foreseable future; again, given our recent financial plight, I can't see that being too plausible!

    I always read with pleasure the posts on here so here is one of my own, I leave it open for discussion.
    Luke Berry     Posted 14/06/2009 at 18:58:45   Comments (35)

Jacobsen ? keep him?

And play him instead of Hibbert?

Well the heading speaks for itself really... should Jacobsen be offered a new contract or not? And do people think he's better than Hibbert?

Firstly, I think he should be offered one to be honest. Although he has had a limited number of appearances, he's looked steady but not particularly outstanding. I prefer Jacobsen to Hibbert, mainly because Jacobsen looks a better all-round full-back, compared to Hibbert, who is mainly very good defensively. I also have not seen many faults with Jacobsen defensively, though he has only played a few games for us.

I've always thought that full backs have a duty to attack as well as defend, and Jacobsen fits the bill better than Hibbert, I'm afraid. I am gonna say Hibbert did play very well during the middle of the season, but to me, he hasn't really developed his game since Moyes first started playing him 4 or 5 years ago, when he looked very promising and could have been a future England right back.

But with regards to Jacobsen, keep him unless we sign a holding midfielder so Neville can play right back (M'bia fits the bill there), or buy a new right back (Naughton fits the bill there).
Ben Jones     Posted 14/06/2009 at 08:02:04   Comments (50)

Not guilty, M'lud.

According to the FFA, (Football Federation Australia) It is untrue that Tiger Tim was drunk when escorted from a Sydney night club at 3:30am.

Tiger and his Socceroo mates had earlier that night sealed World Cup qualification and were having a quiet celebratory drink. The bar was closing, they were asked to leave which they did and that's all there was to it.
Dick Fearon     Posted 14/06/2009 at 03:23:38   Comments (14)

Is Moyes on the Ferguson Model?

Following last season's failed bid to get Aaron Ramsey and the acquisition and development of top quality youth, including our supposed interest in Fabian Delph, I just started to wonder if Moyes sees this as the ONLY way for EFC to have a tilt at the title, given our financial difficulties.

Recalling one of his quotes last year, he seemed to suggest that it would take 3 to 4 years to build a quality Everton side and some people took that to mean he was resigning himself to be second best and excusing the current squad. However, Ferguson started at Man Utd relatively unsuccessful and then started to track down and poach all the top youth players and as we know, unfortunately, the rest is history.

I have been involved in football long enough to know everything has a cycle and I do believe ours is now on an upward one but can we attract the top youth players in the face of big money offerings from the top 4 and Man City and 'Appy 'Arry??? Only time will tell.

We know from the Rooney experience that heads can be turned but let's hope they can be turned in our direction from now on.
Jay Harris     Posted 13/06/2009 at 12:32:59   Comments (13)

Ticket Error

After a successful season watching our beloved Everton I had decided to buy 3 season tickets and take my partner and the old man to Goodison Park next season.

I live in London but still managed to watch 7 home games last season and have decided to make more of an effort and hopefully play a part in Everton's transition into a side capable of challenging for honours (HOPEFULLY!).

I purchased 3 tickets via the Box Office 2 weeks ago, behind the goal in the Gwladys Street end (seats F 109, 110 and 111). I have gone onto Evertonfc.com today and looked at my purchase history and, to my surprise, seat 110 has been cancelled and moved to Row G seat 105. The change effectively means that none of us are now sat together.

I have just phoned the Box Office to ask :

1. Why has the seat been changed?
2. Why has it been changed without anyone contacting me first?
3. What now are my options?

Unfortunately the person who changed the ticket is not in until Monday so I will get a call back then to get some answers.

I am assuming that the seat has been sold twice, and was wondering if anyone else has had any similar experiences with the Box Office?
James Crolla     Posted 13/06/2009 at 07:07:00   Comments (8)

Thank you, Nuno

I'd just like to take the opportunity to thank Nuno Valente upon his release. He has been the model professional that everyone seems to want but no one seems to appreciate.

He came to Goodison at a tough time. All our leftbacks (remember Pistone?) were injured long term and he did his job quietly and effectively, without causing any controversy whatsoever. It is a shame that his release comes at the same time as "good riddance" to Andy Shandy, I wouldn't put those two names together ever again for those two have been quite the opposite in their contributions to the club.

I've heard reports that Valente shares a great rapport with the manager and also with the players. If anything, he probably helps behind the scenes, communicating with Portuguese speaking players such as Jo.

It is a real shame that he has to go and could not be retained as part of the backroom staff (a la Stubbs). I wish him all the best.

Farewell Nuno and once again, Thank you.
Nigel Gregson     Posted 12/06/2009 at 22:13:44   Comments (30)

Departures mark the start of Moyes's summer spending?

As many may know by now the deparures of Castillo, Valente and Andy Van de Meyde plus Kissock and Irving's release have been confirmed on the Official Site.

I believe this is a sign that Moyes is ready to start his summer spending plans after getting rid of the squad's dead wood and freeing up £40k a week in wages.

I wouldn't be surprised if in the next two weeks we see one or two new faces being added to our squad before pre-season starts. (I'm not going to bother with that "watch this space" lark..)
Ian Tod     Posted 12/06/2009 at 18:12:25   Comments (30)

Released

Club website has a list of players released: Castillo gone back from whence he came (Red Star Belgrade), Valente and vd Meyde released, along with Scott Spencer (never became the player he looked like at 16), JP Kissock (never became the player he was in his own head), defenders John Irving and Cory Sinnott and Irish winger Eunan O'Kane, along with some academy kids.

Interestingly, Lars Jacobsen seems to have been retained, so I assume we're in discussions to keep him- there were rumours at one point he was going to Bayern Munich, but they now seem to be after Bosingwa from Chelsea.
Richard Porter     Posted 12/06/2009 at 17:25:45   Comments (10)

Everton's bid for Neven Subotic

I was reading Sports Bild (German sports daily) yesterday and came across an article about Neven Subotic. I found this quote interesting:

"Along with Hamburg's Joris Mathijsen, Subotic holds the record for playing the most long passes in the Bundesliga season, only 34% of which found his team mates. Distribution is his biggest weakness"

Since the article went on to say that Everton's bid was rejected by Dortmund and Subotic pledged his future to them for at least one more year, what price Moyes putting a bid in for Mathijsen at some point this summer?
Geoff Edwards     Posted 12/06/2009 at 09:33:37   Comments (19)

Farewell Joleon?

It seems to me to be inevitable that Joleon Lescott will be departing for Eastlands this summer. I expect him to become unsettled by all the talk of a move to City and talk of the rich rewards that will come his way by such a move. The media/agent circus is in overdrive. Perhaps this may play out as follows:

  1. City make £15M bid;
  2. Bid rejected out of hand by Everton;
  3. City bid £15M plus offer Everton Jo on a 'free' season long loan;
  4. Everton reject bid out of hand;
  5. Lescott hands in a transfer request;
  6. Everton issue statement that the player wishes to leave and hence have no option but to get the best deal for the Club;
  7. A deal is done for £17M unconditional cash and Jo comes to Everton for a year with an option to buy at the end of the season for pre-determined fee (£5M).
Lescott?s main motivation for the move will be mainly financial. There is no way Everton could come anywhere near offering him the same package (plus sign-on fee) that City can offer.

They quite simply can blow anyone out of the water. They can give Lescott a five-year deal, perhaps earning double what Everton can afford. Also, big things surely will happen at City ? they will get better and better with the financial muscle that they have at their disposal ? so Lescott?s motivation may also involve the quest for Champions League football? some may say more realistic at Eastlands than at Goodison (another debate for another day perhaps..).

The worry for me is that other players such as Arteta and Cahill could also have their heads turned. No matter what Moyes says, agent, money and player power will win the debate surrounding whether he sells or not.

The summer will indeed be interesting for us and, I fear, there will be inevitable outgoings? but I also expect some decent incomings with cash generated from said outgoings.

It will be a shame to lose Lescott ? I cannot honestly see him resisting the City ?project? ? but I fear there is little we can do to prevent his inevitable departure. Hopefully, others will not follow. Perhaps we will see Rodwell starting at centre-half alongside Yobo next season (until Jags is fit) ? with a little more steel in midfield to protect the back four in the form of M?bia?. who knows?.?
Steve  Callaghan     Posted 12/06/2009 at 09:01:31   Comments (53)

£80M for Ronaldo???

I know he's one of the best players in the world and has been impressive in the premiership in recent years. But ???

These latest transfers fees amongst the european elite are getting ridiculous, how the heck are we meant to compete against this?

I hope they break off and form their own league, then we can have at least a chance of winning the Premier League each year.
John Maxwell     Posted 11/06/2009 at 07:04:57   Comments (44)

We need English-based players

Let me start off with the fact that I am a South African and very proud of Steven Pienaar. The thing is, every time I look at the all the transfer gossip, I hope and pray Everton is going for an English-based player.

Why? Well, Liverpool lost out on the title race because they did not have the fight in them, why would the Spanish National team run themselves into the ground for the EPL title?

I believe Man Utd is always doing well due to the fact that the core of the team is English-based. We beat Liverpool in the FA Cup with 8 English-based players on the field, while they had one left at the end of the game.

Barcelona was excellent because the majority of the team was Spanish-based players.

I maybe wrong, but I always feel that you can count on the English players to fight for the team until there is nothing left. I suppose it sounds silly for a South African / Everton supporter to say this, but I really hope Moyes will bring in English-based players for the new campaign.

Please do not get me wrong, the foreign players in the Everton side are doing great, but the first thing I do, when I look at the team sheet, is to count how many English-based players we have on the field.


Machiel Barnard     Posted 10/06/2009 at 03:39:38   Comments (65)

Good, Bad, Ugly... and the Future

Looking back on the last season, it's important to reflect on how we as a club performed:

The Good:? top 5 finish; FA Cup runners up; good youths coming through; Liverpool's financial worries...

The Bad:? loosing the final, loosing Jag, Yak, Mikel.

The Ugly:? agents trying to pimp our better players; clubs asking stupid money for shite players; Kenwright's constant lies and back-tracking... (I have not been to work for the last 10 months as I have been watching the space!!!)

The Future:? well that's the million-dollar question and until the season 2009-10 starts and 31 August draws closer, we will not know... We can guess, get excited and then ultimately get depressed ? whilst "watching this space" for the next 10 months.
Chris Perry     Posted 09/06/2009 at 17:21:08   Comments (11)

The DK Decision-Maker

John Denham MP Will make the decision over the future of Destination Kirkby and Everton's proposed ground move.

As part of the Cabinet reshuffle on 5 June 2009, John Denham was appointed to the role of Minister for Communities and Local Government replacing Hazel Blears who had resigned from the post on 3 June 2009.

Apparently he is a keen Southamton FC fan, so at least he will understand football and the needs of a football club, unlike that 'air head' Blears.

Will this appointment make a difference??
Brian Baker     Posted 09/06/2009 at 12:00:24   Comments (12)

Tie Pienaar long term

Just read some articles about clubs interested in Pienaar, and I?m very impressed with his commitment to the club. I watched the South Africa vs Poland game and have to admit, Pienaar can really work magic with his passing. He played a central attacking role (his old Ajax role) and still looks brilliant as ever feeding the front line (this is an area David Moyes really need to start exploring).

South Africa vs Spain on 20 June is going to be the big test for Pienaar on showing what he can do in the central attacking role.

DM needs to offer him an improved contract and tie him up long term before the Confed Cup starts this week. (It's on record him stating that he?ll like to stay long term.)
Ricardo  Humphries     Posted 09/06/2009 at 05:04:31   Comments (21)

Setanta

Looks like, according to the Daily Mail, Setanta might be going to the wall. Given they're talking about the knock-on effect possibly putting several Scottish clubs out of business, it surely has implications for any money the Blues hope to receive from the Premier League. Whether loans are guaranteed against this money, or whether it affects our ability to sign players, who knows?

It's not a good day for football though. It's like ITV Digital all over again.
Mark Wynne     Posted 08/06/2009 at 19:28:56   Comments (18)

Our Jack

I have just watched the England U-21 team win 7-nil and it was a delight to see our Jack come on for the second half. The future is certainly bright. From the moment Jack Rodwell came on, he looked total class, dominating the midfield, stroking the ball around, and taking control. I am convinced he will get better and better and will be the fulcrum of Everton and England for many years to come.

I think next season Pip will find himself right back with Jack dominating the defensive midfield position, linking with Mikey, which is mouth-watering. Moysey needs to strengthen the right midfield but with Peanuts, Tiger Tim and the Big Fella, I think we can compete with the best. We must not sell Joleon and get one more quality striker and we are off!!!
Tim O'Connell     Posted 08/06/2009 at 18:28:22   Comments (15)

'On the banks of the reflex blue Mersey'

Looking at the info in the Everton Direct flyer, the colour of the new home kit top is given as 'Reflex' blue... when did we change from 'Royal' blue.

"On the banks of the reflex blue Mersey..." ? just doesn't have the same ring to it...
Ken  Williams     Posted 08/06/2009 at 13:37:28   Comments (20)

Priorities...

With all the transfer rummors doing the rounds already, just wanted to discuss the key areas that need strengthening for next season: 1) Decent right winger ? we need an outlet down the right, someone with pace who can stretch teams. 2) Holding midfielder ? a strong midfielder who can their foot in and win the ball. someone in the mole of Mikel of Chelsea. 3) Decent right back ? who can support going forward better than we have a present. Everything comes down our left at the mo, be nice to be able to shift the play to the right, knowing a decent right back will be overlapping... These positions to me are key for next season. You could argue that we could do with another left back as cover etc, but just wanted to discuss where we see our priorites lie...
Rich  Grisdale     Posted 08/06/2009 at 12:10:38   Comments (44)

Honest, it's not out there...

I am like many thousands of Everton fans dismayed with the progress of the club. I do not mean the playing and team management side ? I think Moyes is doing a fantastic job ? the only thing that does worry me about Davey is, does he believe Bill Kenwright when he says there's no investment out there?

Blue Bill tells us that it's a difficult time and there are no people who want to invest in football clubs... oh really!! Someone better tell Sunderland, West Ham, Portsmouth that they are imagining it all!

We need to know what the fuck is going on! Why does nobody want to touch us? Is it because the rumours about DIC or Peter Reid are correct and it's going through, or is Kenwright holding out for the stadium to go through so he can make a killing on his " beloved " Everton? Does he really have the best interests of the club in mind?

I can honestly say that I believe the transfer dealing this summer will not be as great as last summer; we will go for freebies, loans, crocks, etc ? no £15 million player and next season, as Davey Moyes predicted for the seaon just gone, we will be lucky to be top 10 as we are competing not only against the sky 4, but also Spurs, City, Pompey, West Ham, Sunderland and probably Villa and Fulham.

Come on, Kenwright... what the fuck is going on?
Chris Perry     Posted 08/06/2009 at 09:49:02   Comments (31)

Players' Valuations

I am not advocating that we sell our best players ? in fact, I do not want to sell any of our squad, being the size it is at the moment. However, I do not understand how media gossip on players' valuations are so different when it is for our players. Let me give you some examples.

Today Valencia may move for £16M+ and F Campbell from Man Utd for £6M. while the rumours have Lescott going to Man City for £12M, Arteta to Arsenal for £12M...

How is it clubs seem to get top dollar for players except Everton? It is a joke how little the media or in fact the buying clubs think our players are worth!
Rob Lyons     Posted 07/06/2009 at 11:39:39   Comments (39)

Statistically, An Unusual Season

There has been much debate regarding the achievements of David Moyes this past season, with supporters and opponents divided about whether our beloved Everton would have done better or worse without him. Whatever your opinion, this season goes down in history for the following two reasons:

We equalled our least number of away defeats since the inception of the Football League in 1888-89. In 1889-90 we lost four of eleven away games, finishing second; in 1969-70 we lost four of twenty one away games, finishing as Champions. This season we lost four of nineteen away games, finishing fifth.

Secondly, this is only the third season in our history that we have achieved more points away than at home. In 1912-13 we took 19 away points against 18 at home, finishing 11th; two seasons later, 1914-15, we scored 21 home points and 25 away, winning the championship.

I realise that this is somewhat esoteric information, very anorakish, but I think worth noting. Many thanks to evertonresults.com.
Brian Hill     Posted 07/06/2009 at 05:58:08   Comments (31)

Definition of a fraudster

One who deceives, a trickster.

Can we start another thread (as it?s unfair to David Nichols) there again it may take a book to debate all the deceipt and tricks BK has performed.

"The money for Kings Dock is ringfenced"

"The cheque will be in the bank in the morning"

"I would not sell Rooney for £50 million"

"I have been looking for investment 24/7"

"The council would not give us planning permission for Stanley Park"

"I want to sell the club to a billionaire"

"The directors of EFC do not want to sell their shares"

"I watch videos of the players we are about to buy and I go Wow!"

"Watch this space"

Et cetera... DISCUSS!
Jay Harris     Posted 06/06/2009 at 15:14:13   Comments (112)

Summer Blues or Hopes Eternal

Here are my thoughts for the close season, and remember I have been castigated on here for my anti-Kenwright / anti-Moyes posts, but believe the reason this site is the best is because everyone who is passionate about Everton and the state of the club can have their say.

I must say though that I agree with the comments on Osman but would defend Hibbert in that, when he has some protection in front of him, he can be a top Premier League defender. Long may this continue.

Whatever happens in the transfer window, this site will be full of comments like:- "This is not the way to go..." "We should /should not have signed him but gone for him instead." etc. If we are all honest, the speculation of who is, who is not, who might sign for us makes the summer months bearable. And we all have in our minds who we would like to see signed and those that we wish we would. And which of those linked that wouldn?t be fit to wear our Royal Blue Jersey.

We cannot change that Everton have a limited transfer budget, the good news is that the Club have all their senior players signed on long-term deals, and Moyes has developed his transfer policy and has over the last two or three transfer windows done quite well.

So here goes who would I like / not like. Given our budget, I doubt if we will sell anyone this window with the exception of Lescott to a silly bid from City or Arsenal. I also think Saha should be off-loaded but don?t think this will happen.

Johnson from Pompey; Richards plus £10M for Lescott (if the club do decide to sell, which will be left to Moyes. This would leave money for another striker to replace Saha who is not Premier League standard anymore; Bentley on loan with a view to buy; Owen, maybe... but on our terms and only on a pay-if-you're-fit-to-play deal.

Players coming to us also know that they will get a game which is a big advantage in World Cup year and also that we are now seen as a potential top 4 side. I think we should look long and hard at M'Bia as he bad-mouthed us last year and will be away for six weeks during a crucial time of the season. (I think the AFCON will have a major impact on Moyes?s transfer policy.)

In conclusion, I am quite confident that the manager will move Everton up to the next level and I have never had this confidence in Moyes before. I think the appointment of Steve Round was a masterstroke and the team spirit within the squad is unbelievable, also there is no World Cup or other tournament where our best players can get tapped up.

After the window closes, we will all reflect on what could have / should have been done to strengthen the squad. We will have criticised and praised Moyes; no doubt Kenwright will have been pilloried but, come that first game, we will all be cheering on and supporting our blue boys. My hope is that given the season we have had and the fact that the players experienced a Wembley final, they will want it again. This could be a fantastic season for us and I am wishing the months away till August.
Steve Sweeney     Posted 06/06/2009 at 07:46:48   Comments (6)

Mersey Stadium Woes

Our friends across the park have now basically admitted that they cannot fund their new stadium (nor indeed it appears get a new owner anymore). Kirkby rumbles on, not IMHO the disaster many on here predict, but hardly nirvana.

Both clubs obviously need new grounds. We are now faced with likely scenarios of either both inadequately tarting up what they already have, or both looking under their respective sofas to fund two separate sub-optimal and sub-standard grounds.

This is now transparently absurd. There is only one solution. Two clubs, one city, one world-class ground. Who now has the leadership qualities to make this happen?
Neil Pearse     Posted 06/06/2009 at 05:40:37   Comments (8)

Negativity surplus to Everton requirements

Ever since we lost the cup final to Chelsea, it seems the feeling is that we have gone as far as we can and the only place is down. I believe this is far from true and the coming season will be our best chance of getting that fourth spot or higher after our second consecutive fifth place finish has proved we are the "best of the rest".

It definitely seems we only need a decent right-back and right-winger to really challenge Arsenal and possibly even Liverpool (if their financial problems affect their playing staff) for third and fourth as Arsenal look like they are for the taking. I do think we will finish in one of those places next year because Moyes will address that right side early on in the window so they have time to gel in pre-season.

Have a little faith and for once don't get negative in the close season and ridiculously assume we are so skint we can only afford free transfers before the transfer window's even open!....... Although I wouldn't blame anyone for having a dig at the moronic bib and bra strap on the new kit.
Ian Tod     Posted 05/06/2009 at 16:23:19   Comments (27)

Stephane M'Bia The New Cars?

Setanta Sports are currently reporting that sources in France say that Rennes midfield enforcer Stephane M'Bia has agreed to Join Everton. This story may well have some truth as we were linked the the Cameroon man last summer as well.

Although I can't claim to have seen him play myself, Arsene Wenger is also a fan and he seems to fit the bill as the type of midfield enforcer we tried so desperately to attract last summer.

A series of competent displays in midfield from Phil Neville have disguised the fact that we still haven't sufficiently replaced Carsley. If M'Bia does sign, he should nicely complement a fit-again Arteta in centre-midfield with Pienaar out wide and either Cahill or Fellaini operating behind Saha or the Yak. Phil Neville can return to right back to complete a back four of England internationals.

If we can just sign a top-class wide midfielder to play on the opposite side to Pienaar, our side could have a lovely balance to it next season.
David Nicholls     Posted 05/06/2009 at 11:34:40   Comments (37)

So... What's next?

Right lets all take a few moments to stop and think about what our team has acheived this season.

5th in the Prem... FA Cup finalists... And?

Don't get me wrong ? after the start we had, we have done incredibly well... but we have not won anything and did not improve on last season, from a league position point of view anyway. Now the talk is not so much about who we will buy but who we will sell.

City do have loads of cash to splash around (as do others) but are they a more attractive proposition to players than us? I don't think so. Talk about selling any of our top players is just wrong, no matter how much is on the table. People saying they would sell so and so if this much was offered should think about what we are trying to do at our club. ie, build a team cappable of challanging for trophies ? not become a selling club again... we have been there and it was not a good experience.

Before you all say, "Our club will need to sell to buy," think about it: what we need is investment, to keep the class players we have and to build on the progress we have been making over the last few seasons. If players want to go (it can only be for money), don't let them, show the football world Everton are not a small-minded club and will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. These players are under contract and once the transfer window is closed will soon be giving 100% to the team again.

I know some of you will be saying, "Get in the real world," but now is the time to make our stand ? either we are a big club moving forward and aiming for the Champions League and trophies, or we are a mid-table mediocre selling team, hoping for a half-decent cup run and praying we avoid the dreaded drop.

I am sure we all want to move forward and that will not be achieved buy selling our best players and accepting an FA Cup Final defeat as success, so Blue Bill: invest or go out and get the investment required ? but don't start selling the assets we have or there will be a lot of unhappy and disillusioned fans who will only remember the fact that we never really improved under you and Mr Moyes and have been left no better off.

So to sum up: YES, we need investment; YES, we need a new ground (I don't care where); YES, we need 2 or 3 class players and a few squad players... NO, we don't need to sell our best players; and NO, we don't need to accept an FA Cup Final defeat and 5th place as a success.
Peter Rogers     Posted 05/06/2009 at 05:35:50   Comments (9)

Moyes and the Sky four

Interested reading all the comments after Saturday. A lot has been written on these pages about the tactics and way we play against the Sky 4 under Moyes in the past. It is hard to argue we don't play differently against the likes of Arsenal, Chelski etc... but what is the reason?

Many suggest Moyes and his negative tactics but Ican not disagree more. For me, we have too many players who bottle playing their own games against these teams. On Saturday we played 'hoofball' for large parts of the game. But I do not believe that Moyes sends his teams out to play that way.

I think it's the likes of Hibbo, Pip, Jobo and to some extent Cahill who panic and tend to hoof it, much to the displeasure of Moyes. I noticed at the West Ham game Yobo hoofing it and Moyes gave him a rollocking. So who do you think is to blame... Moyes or the players?
Alex Newman     Posted 04/06/2009 at 09:04:22   Comments (33)

Man City's move for Lescott

This keeps resurfecing in the media and I was wondering what price would Evertonians be happy with for Everton selling Lescott?

My idea would be £20m with Moyes wisely getting in a replacement for around £5m. Unless of course we get a proper investor, ahem, in which case we won't need to sell our best players.

The Man City thing is starting to worry me now, it's going to be difficult competing with them next season, I just hope Mark Hughes is still in charge.
Tommy Coleman     Posted 04/06/2009 at 08:56:54   Comments (57)

Obafemi Martins

Ok, its silly season, were gonna be linked with a million and one players in the coming months, and probably sign someone we haven't even thought about signing. But, it is June and we need something to occupy ourselves for the next 8 weeks.

Sky Sports and his agent are claiming Everton, Villa and Arsenal are targeting Martins. He's 24, Nigerian International (so might be 32... lol). He's got pace and strengh. 28 goals for Newcastle, in 3 seasons, not exactly prolific. However he has had injury concerns and he played in a very poor team. Similar to Yak in that he isn't known for his work-rate.

Clearly he has potential, but would we be able to cope losing him and the Yak for the African Nations? Also, what fee would Newcastle demand? He cost £10million, so I could imagine a fee of around £6-8million. A potential bargain, has ability to become a 20-goal striker, and would give team pace.

Also have a familiar strike partner in the Yak, so could they play together giving option of 4-4-2. Or even wide right, like Henry plays wide left for Barca, with Yak in middle and Pienaar on the left. He certainly has the pace for that position.

Whoever we sign, it necessary to have them in the first week of pre-season training. Yes, Transfer window opens July 1st, but we all know deals will be made before and registration goes through july 1st.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 03/06/2009 at 19:06:21   Comments (35)

Europa league play-off

Everton now find themselves in the play off stage of the Europa league, the same qualifying stage as Aston Villa, having finished above them and having reached a major cup final. This round will include 76 other teams some very good ones but most of which even Wikipedia would not have heard of, we will then progress to the group stages with 48 teams, and then to the knock out stage with 32 teams.

It seems a bit unjust that Aston Villa will be on the same level as us, and in actual fact there far too many teams in the comp, and it's far to long. It will also be difficult for DM to get funding for the size of squad required, on the basis we could progress or be knocked out in the play-off round, which would leave about a week left in the transfer market. I hope We get through just for the midweek games, but the revenue that came to Villa last year was not great. Over to you, Mr Kenwright.
Will  Brown     Posted 03/06/2009 at 08:47:47   Comments (36)

Kirkby verdict?

Hazel Blears has just resigned from Secretary of State. Now if I'm correct, she was the person making the verdict on our potential stdium? Does anyone know if it will be delayed again because of this?
Tom  Campbell     Posted 03/06/2009 at 09:05:08   Comments (16)

Premier League debt

There is an interesting piece on the Guardian website today (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/jun/03/english-premier-league-debt) It paints a pretty grim picture of the state of some clubs finances (esp those across the park).

As frustrating as it is to be constantly out-spent in the transfer market it looks like other clubs, even those with rich backers, are spending cash they haven't got (and still finishing below us). I think that makes our achievements on a sensible budget all the more remarkable.

I for one am praying for the bubble to burst as we seem to be one of the better run clubs in the division. The others can then face the consequences for their irresponsible spending. (Interesting comments about Kirkby too ? do they know something we don't?)
Tom Mallows     Posted 03/06/2009 at 07:28:54   Comments (11)

Youth

I'm trying to get over the fact the Premier League season is over, but would rather not torment myself trying to think who may or may not be joining Everton this coming silly season.

So, I was wondering if anyone in the know could provide us with some information on some "one's to watch" from the Academy.

Finch Farm is meant to be top draw so I'd presume we are really able to get the best out of our talented youth.

Just wondering if anyone on here had any idea whether we can look forward to the emergence of the next Jack Rodwell this season?
Michael Ferguson     Posted 02/06/2009 at 20:43:25   Comments (9)

About the worst kit I have ever seen

I know that it's the players who play in it and it does not matter what kit you wear, etc, but I have to say this new kit is quite simply embarrassing.

I for one won't be buying it and I know that there will be a lot more with my opinion on it as well.
Mark Holmes     Posted 02/06/2009 at 20:21:10   Comments (57)

You can't be serious!

So today's Mirror has Michael Owen on his way to Goodison for a £50k a week salary package.

If this is true then Moyes lost his head completely! This serial sicknote will totally undermine all the good work 'our man' has done in putting together a group of hard-working, non-posing players who have brought a bit of respectability back to our club.

Owen's thirty goals over four seasons at Newcastle cost the Barcodes no less than £700,000 a piece and proved once and for all that he really is 'the finished article'.

Please, Mr Moyes, you can do far better that this ? SURELY!
Brian  Noble     Posted 02/06/2009 at 07:54:01   Comments (61)

In expectation of the new shop..

Just been having a mooch on EvertonDirect.com and I have to say, if this is a reflection of the range and quality of gear we can expect from the new shop then we should all be pretty pleased! Couple of really nice items on there ? I've already dropped Father's Day hints to my wife about the Dixie statue and the framed Bob Latchford shirt!

Suffice to say, the club will certainly see my merchandise spending go up as a result of this. We're often accused of being quick to criticise when the club get stuff wrong, but on this showing the merchandising (admittedly shocking for at least the last ten years) looks to be heading in the right direction. Nice one!

NSNO
James Dawson     Posted 02/06/2009 at 07:19:12   Comments (17)

Everton in Edmonton

News reports from the Alberta Soccer Association say that Everton will play in Edmonton on July 25. This event will celebrate the ASA 100th year. The other club said to be involved are River Plate. The ASA tried to get AC Milan, but there were scheduling conflicts. The game will be played at Commenwealth Stadium, all grass field, seating capacity is about 58,000.

Oh happy day, I hope that it will give "soccer" a great boost over here, and raise the mighty blues profile on this side of the pond.
Kieron Byrne     Posted 02/06/2009 at 03:54:07   Comments (7)

Restored

27 years ago I threw a book in the dustbin. Today, I bought it again.

I was in tears, a teenager who had just seen his idol sold by the manager. I could not bear seeing "Ball of Fire" with the books in my room. Bally was no longer ours. I had tossed up with putting them in a parcel and sending them to Harry Catterick with a message "Lest we forget"

So thanks to e-Bay I upgraded from paperback to Hardback and it will be back on the shelf.

We sold him when we were going downhill but we did not use the money wisely. It is so much better when your team is getting better. Heroes stay.

Two years ago, I was on a business trip in China and I was waiting for an internal flight at Canton airport and my wife rang and told me Bally had died. I was with a colleague, but how can you explain to a Chinese female, who Alan Ball was and what he meant and what this team of ours means to us?

I am so glad I am an Evertonian.
Phil Roberts     Posted 01/06/2009 at 20:00:41   Comments (12)

Everton Targets

I stayed in the same Hotel (The Grove) as Everton last Thursday/Friday and had the pleasure in meeting the team as well as the backroom staff. I ended up having a long conversation with Mick Rathbone about future players and our targets for the coming season.

I mentioned that the rumours were circulating on websites about Joao Moutinho and that it was mentioned that individual terms had been agreed and it was only a matter of the fee being sorted out.

This doesn't seem to be the case, Mick told me that nothing had been looked at from Everton's side and he definitly would know because of the medical aspect of it.

He did mention that the most likely targets could or would be are Darren Bent, Joe Ledley and Stuart Downing because of the wages and the kind of fee they would commmand.
Graham  Cook     Posted 01/06/2009 at 07:05:42   Comments (58)

Cash in on Cahill

Based on recent performances does anyone agree that it may be time to cash in on Cahill? He looked a shadow of his past on Saturday.
Chris Otway     Posted 01/06/2009 at 07:14:34   Comments (68)

Touts

Just a message to all the touts and so-called Everton fans trying to rip off fellow blues and quoting £450 plus and then saying they didn't want to make money. I hope you choke on it. For future reference go to the McDonalds at Wembley Park where I got a ticket in the Everton end for £100. Chelsea ones were going for £80.
Kris Alexander     Posted 01/06/2009 at 07:07:44   Comments (11)

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