The Mail Bag

October 2008 Archive
Want to have your say?

Why are we Blues?

I think there are two types of Evertonians, those born to it and those who choose.

Many of us who chose Everton live in Ireland or further afield. So why pick Everton? Well, as an 8-year-old watching the 1966 FA Cup Final, I'd some sort of allegiance to Nottingham Forest (I liked their name) but at 2-0 to Sheff Wed I decided Everton are my team. Best decision I ever made. The happiest days of my life have come from supporting this club.

Now, I realise that this is not a controversial or exciting post but I'd genuinely like to know how those not born to Everton, picked Everton?
Andy  Crooks     Posted 31/10/2008 at 18:27:33   Comments (37)

Good or Bad?

How do you decide if your manager is good or bad? To me, if you cannot have success, the next best thing is a nice style of football. If you can't have that, the least you want is a team that will show desire and passion and will give 100% every game. So we all know Moyes has not had many chances to get success for the simple reason of money. What about a nice style of football?

In five years the only time I have enjoyed the style of football was last season from December to February ? that's three months in five years. One of his best features is his team spirit and the way his teams over the years have given their best most of the time. This season I think Moyes has tried to change us into a team that plays football. This is were we might find out whether he is good or bad.

The decision to not give Carsley a contract was one of his biggest ones yet as Everton manager, especially then giving our captain a four-year deal. His decision not to play Baines week-in, week-out, when he continues to keep faith in Hibbert... I start to question whether he can turn us in to a team that is going to play good football.

All in all, I think Moyes is a good manager and always gets the best effort out of his team but will never be a football manager and play nice football because, although he is trying, he does not have the football nouse or the staff to do it. Let's just hope we get our 100%.
Kev Woods     Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:23:08   Comments (2)

New Stadium the Future ?

I went to the game last night and although the team did alright the whole experience sent shudders down my spine

Having been away to a lot of the new stadia's where some of our opposition now reside, the horrible Reebok would probably be the closest thing that I can relate to the Kirkby project. I can accept that one day we will be moving to new premises but there is a lot to take into account before plumping for a retail park home.

The lack of character that some of these places have a reflection on the residing club and seem to have an affect with the passion of the crowd The atmosphere inside these sardine style cans is usually pretty poor, the acoustics in the ground are shite and any noise reverberates into a drone. There is little chance of the '12th man' crowd being effective as it can be at Goodison

Unless you are happy to leave 10 mins from the end you have no chance escaping the gridlock that follows. And you never know you might miss a last minute winner, thankfully last night I didn't. Granted parking is pretty handy once you manage to get to it but what a pain it is to get just a few hundred yards before and after a game

The facilities in the breezeblock villages are usually limited, food outlet and toilets the size of phone booths catering for the throng that follow Everton, they might be able to cope if it was Morecambe that was visiting club The rows that you have to sit are no more than narrow perches, bloody dangerous if you ask me as I found myself one row below, facing the wrong way when we scored. How can you teach yourself to have controlled celebration when we score!

There are modern grounds that I like, Stadium of light and Eastlands spring to mind, where the pitch is below street level and seem to have a bit more about them. I would like to experience the new Wembley before it gets too dated. I believe in the right location with a good network of transport options to disperse people quickly, it is really important and most I know struggle to cope.

If we need a new ground, we should build a fortress, one that is completely different for all the right reasons, one that is designed to be imposing, one that can cater for and harness our support and help make us be heard. Maybe a massive home end that can become legendary, one that can make a difference.

I fear that the Kirkby project will be another clone for not the right reasons other than the debate of actually being in Kirkby, unfortunately.
Alan Thompson     Posted 30/10/2008 at 20:46:26   Comments (18)

Fickle

Fickle: Not constant or loyal in affections. This is something that us fans are constantly being accused of. Once things go wrong for your club of choice, you desert the club in droves. No loyalty, they say, no heart, no love for the club.

Well, I beg to differ. To me, I will always have a strong emotional tie to Everton. Whether or not I show a physical interest in the club simply depends on which particular set of emotions is to the fore.

Over the last five months since the end of last season I have experienced elation, joy, despair, anger, bitterness, hope, depression, petulance and incredulence.

And yet, despite having such extremes, all it takes for me to swing from a deep depression to pure joy is 45 minutes of football like we experienced against United on Saturday. Months of torture, catastrophe after catastrophe, both on and off the pitch, and suddenly I am full of happiness again. Being a fan has nothing to do with being fickle, not a jot. It is simply a love affair in all it's crazy glory!
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 30/10/2008 at 18:44:52   Comments (35)

Unkind Fixtures

A little bit of fun now that we seem to have possibly turned the corner!.

As I have mentioned previously, I did a wee bit of mathematical modelling in my youth and I've tried over last few years to predict Everton's points over the whole season starting from the start of the season. This is roughly done by giving every team a co-oefficient (like Uefa does) and takes into account 3 consecutive fixtures ? ie 3 poor teams on run is likely to predict 7-9 points, 3 good teams maybe only 3-4 points, but if we only get 1 pt or so it then effects our next 3 games... Bored? Good!!!

Last year I predicted 63 points back in August, finished with 65 ? not bad. I update model with the true result and then get new prediction of total points. The highest prediction was 67 points after the Sunderland away win.

This season's initial prediction turned out to be 62 points. Current prediction is 55 points only ? even though we are only 1 point different from last season at same stage.

The reason I have just realised is the "unkind fixtures!" we have been given. Last season, the BIg 4 games were spread, and therefore no serious knock-on effects to loosing to them. This season we have:-

Oct - Liverpool, Newcastle, Arsenal, Man Utd
Nov - Aston Villa and Chelsea
Jan - Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd
Apr - Aston Villa and Chelsea

As you would expect, we don't gain many points and the effect is dramatic. Therefore, last night's win was excellent as I had predicted a draw.

Hope you all have a laugh ? regular updates available if required.

COYB
Mike Oates     Posted 30/10/2008 at 12:44:54   Comments (16)

Fellaini the new Cahill?

Just wanted to throw this into the mix, but I think Moyes may see Fellaini as a long-term replacement (improvement) on our Tim.

The last three matches or so, he's been the one bombing forward from midfield ? I reckon he's told to get his head on anything inside or approaching the opposition box. He's a box-to-box player and he's clearly got a knack of scoring (3 in 3 is it now?).

But, and here's the rub, he seems to have more all-round footballing ability than Cahill. Don't get me wrong, I love Tim and what he has given us for a few years. But the general impression I get from most of you is that ? much as we love him ? he doesn't have the ability to hold a midfield together and drive a side on with his creativity when playing in a 4-4-2. (When was the last time you saw an eye-catching, defence-splitting pass from him?)

He's great in a 4-5-1 when he has licence to play as a goal-scorer, but I've heard a lot of people say our glorious 4-5-1 has been found out and we need (correctly in my view) to play two up front. Perhaps Moyes agrees and bought Fellaini as a Cahill who can pass and create?

If that's the case then a) What's the future for Tim (how long will Moyes go with playing them both together); and b) we still need a replacement for Carsley (as Moyes has obviously seen enough of Castillo already).
Chris Brown     Posted 30/10/2008 at 11:39:13   Comments (30)

Suspensions R Us

Sadly (or on the strength of some of the comments, maybe not so sadly), the game wasn't broadcast live here in SA, although I managed to catch the last couple of minutes this morning on the delayed broadcast.

Now, by all accounts Fellaini's booking means he misses the Fulham game, having picked up 5 yellows so far. As far as I'm concerned, this is yet another fabulous example of shite refereeing ? right across the board. The lad has had ? being very kind ? a 'slow' start to his Everton career, but the improvement has been marked, not to mention the priceless goals. Obviously the confidence must be picking up no end, but now he gets to sit out the Fulham game due to an absurd yellow given during the goal celebration....... 20 year-old record signing, under massive pressure, scores a vital winner in the last minute.... cut the guy a little bit of slack surely? AND, as far as I could see, he stopped at the hoarding and didn't actually go into the crowd, or for that matter take his shirt off.

Contrast that heinous offence with some of the.... 'tasty' challenges, and disgraceful behaviour during the Chelsea v Redshite game last weekend. In particular I remember Carragher almost cutting Lampard in half on the edge of the box, and Alsonso's two-footed late challenge from behind. Neither of these earned yellows.... Alonso got a bollocking.

Yet the refs brandish the yellow at Fellaini at the drop of a hat. Some of them have been for absolutely nothing tackles.

Bitter conspiracy theorist? You bet.
Dave Richman     Posted 30/10/2008 at 10:48:38   Comments (11)

AJ

Just wondering what peoples reaction to AJ will be at the weekend? I saw us give Simon Davies a pleasant round of applause last year at home v Fulham, but that's very easy to do when you know that they were shite and aren't going to do much in the game.

I think AJ probably crafted himself a move a little this summer, but in the most part he's kept shtum ever since, bar a minor sideways dig at the way Moyes sets us up to play hoofball. I think AJ enjoyed his time with us in the most part and was respectful to the fans. He gave us one of the best memories in recent times scoring twice vs Liverpool!

Perhaps most prominently in my mind though, I hope we give him a good reception so he doesn't get his back up at the weekend. He looked in good nick last night, and don't you just hate it when ex-blues score against us.......
Gareth  Cooper     Posted 30/10/2008 at 10:48:42   Comments (19)

Woeful display

Just watched the Blues v Bolton live, due to the magnificent coverage on Fox Sport down here in Australia, but I'm going to ask them to scale down the coverage of my beloved blues, as I can't be put through the shite that I saw this morning anymore. The football was nothing more than a disgrace, one of the worst performances I've seen in a long long time (and there've been some stinkers).

I once believed that old saying that winning was more important than performances (and a little of me still does), but how the hell can we be an attractive proposition to any interested investor when we continue to play such disgusting football on the eye?

Now people will say that it's Bolton's style of play that's dragged our performance down, but I don't buy that as they were arguably the better side who could pass for 4 consecutive passes before giving it away. Most of this blame to me lies at the feet of the man that apparently we could not afford to lose, he's the man who's supposed to get the players up for the game, he's the man who pick's the side, he's the man who dictates our style of play... now how hard could it be to get the lads up for a match against a team that were there for the taking, especially after such a spirited 2nd half against Man Utd only the other day?

And how mystifying it was to see our teamsheet, not the formation as I believe that 4-4-2 is the way to play, but with Cahill back how could the consistently disappointing Osman demand a starting berth? As for our style of play, we simply haven't got one.

Now for all my moaning here, it still didn't stop me screaming the house down early this morning, be it in jubilation, be it in frustration, but when the big Belge got on the end of that Pienaar cross, I went back to my old beliefs about points v performance again & decided to forget about this one as surely we could never play this badly again.

So come on, Mr Moyes, pick your game up and that of those around you... and remember our motto, and what it stands for. Here's hoping for better against Fulham & the slaphed whinger. COYB'S!!!
Gary Lawler     Posted 30/10/2008 at 02:36:02   Comments (29)

A WIN! and A CLEAN SHEET!

Back to basics I guess. 3 points, a 1-0 score, and a horrific display of football. Got to say its comforting. These high scoring affairs don't seem to suit us well. I'll take a 1-0 for the rest of the season thanks. I also, am taking this time to take back my bad words towards Fellaini. Today he was clearly the best player on the pitch and his MU goal is building his star power deservedly so. Slowly fulfilling his price tag.

One final word. PLEASE no Saha to start against Fulham, give Anichebe or Vaughan a chance! They get on and actually look bright! That's all Up The BLUES! Literally, 12th in the table.
Joey  Brown     Posted 29/10/2008 at 23:52:07   Comments (8)

Large or small slices

I do not believe all at the club is right and that all can do better, more investment, better players, more committment, and though as our Manager I want to support him, I read on here constant critisism of him and the tacticts along with transfer dealings.

Generally, I think we need to understand that supporting the club and those involved whilst not merely accepting the OS propaganda, is a good thing and more so simply critisising the Club and those running it for the sake of it is none productive.

All this leads me to the point of the post. Critising a player after a couple of games is no help at all, (a foreigner, non-English speaking, aged 20), rather than encouraging a young prospect for our future.

It is easy to critisise, have knee jerk reactions to early poor performance, but the hard thing to do is get behind the team and individual players and maybe we will progress to higher levels.

Our goal scorer tonight, how big is your slice?
Ian Smitham     Posted 29/10/2008 at 23:04:05   Comments (12)

Digging deep and getting dirty...

Mugging Bolton in the last minute. Magic. It's taken 8 league games but finally we are starting to roll up our sleeves. Big Mar has come under some major unnecessary flak for not doing the business from his first kick of a ball, but this guy didn't put that price tag on his head. Delighted for him tonight. COYB Let's kick on from here and get our customary 3 pts at home to Fulham on saturday. Well done boys!
Conor Waters     Posted 29/10/2008 at 22:59:27   Comments (9)

Lee Carsley

An article on BBC Sport suggests that Lee Carsley left because for footballing reasons, he was offered only a one-year contract by Everton.

At the time, it was described as a move back home because of his kids. If this isn't the case, I'm annoyed we didn't give the guy two years because we're missing him already sorely.
Dan Parker     Posted 29/10/2008 at 21:59:04   Comments (0)

Will he never learn?

I see David Moyes is back playing his old record: "Our strikers must work harder." Apparently, Yakubu, Saha and Co should be back fighting for every ball "as we just haven't got players capable of playing pretty balls to feet." Now whilst that tempts the question as to "why not, after six years?", I can't help thinking that his destruction of Beattie and Johnson as effective strikers has taught our manager nothing.

Whilst I agree that forwards should always put in a good shift, few top-notch finishers have ever expected to be covering every blade of grass as Moyes demands of them. Surely, 'being available' up front is the most likely means of scoring rather than via the headless chicken approach so beloved of this genius.

I haven't the slightest doubt that Yakubu will not be with us for long and whilst Saha will do everything initially to impress his manager, I doubt whether he has any chance of maintaining his career record of 1 goal in 3 under this regime.

Still, only five more years to endure, eh?
Brian Noble     Posted 28/10/2008 at 11:03:40   Comments (124)

Defence

Ok, most of us will be feeling a bit better about the team after the weekend. It's no news that our defence has been very poor so far this season. It was one of our strengths last year and then suddenly went missing. While we still have room for improvement I thought we did better on the weekend and was for once quite impressed with Phil Neville's game. It just proved to me again that he is a right back ? end of.

I see on the official site that Tony Hibbert is expected to return this week. I have nothing against him and he is coming back from a serious injury but in my opinion he has been very poor this season.

I will be shattered if Neville is in midfield and Hibbert at RB. I know having options in all positions would be a dream but I can't understand some of Moyes's selections. What is our best defensive line up? Personally I'd go for the following: Neville, Yobo, Jags, Lescott and have Baines as a rotation for more attacking options. Hibbert is normally decent at out and out defence but at the moment I don't think he warrants a spot.
Russell  Buckley     Posted 28/10/2008 at 00:45:20   Comments (26)

Some Hard Decisions

Well, he gets paid enough but Moyes has 2 big decisions to make which will demonstrate his true "1st eleven".

To me it's only:- Lescott vs Baines; Cahill vs Osman.

I would personally go for Lescott over Baines even though I think Baines is a far better attacking fullback. Lescott will as we know give us goals; Baines won't. It's a major decision as I think both will not take the bench lightly or for long.

I would also go for Cahill rather than Osman. Whilst both will give you goals, Cahill is the livewire, the aggressor, the 'gets under your skin' type player. Everton's record is far better with him in. The only worry I've got ? are Fellaini and Cahill too similar? Who will hang back?

So my team for Wednesday is: Howard; Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott; Arteta, Cahill, Fellaini, Pinnear; Yakubu, Saha.

Subs - Nash, Hibbert, Rodwell, Osman, Vaughan, Anichebe, Castillo.
Mike Oates     Posted 27/10/2008 at 23:19:52   Comments (38)

Credit Crunch

Football faces has some testing times ahead with the current financial climate. I read in papers daily it seems that once the crunch hits fully, clubs in the Premier League will topple like a house of cards as credit lines are harder to come by.

Whilst in the bath on Sunday, I pondered this subject and have considered the following argument. Unlike the FTSE, NIKE and the Major High Street Stores, the football industry doee not lean on confidence in the wider marketplace to evidence strength and stability. It can call upon a much rarer commodities: passion and commitment. No matter how hard things get people turn up for the match.

I agree that, if credit is harder to come by, a lot of people will find it difficult to renew their season tickets... but fans find a way. This then surely make?s a Premier League club appealing to potential investors. When you consider the current lines major of income:

? Gate Receipts
? TV Revenue
? Sponsorship
? Corporate Hospitality
? Merchandising

How many of these will be affected by the current market forces?

We have covered Gate Receipts and, although credit for individuals may be harder to come by, I believe the footfall lost to this would be minimal. TV revenue on the face of it looks more secure than ever with Setanta Sports now challenging Sky?s monopoly in the knowledge that football will always have an audience. This then leads nicely into sponsorship; I have worked in advertising and can tell you, if you can hold people's attention for any length of time, you can earn cash in return for a slogan ? it is that simple.

Over time, the slogans will change but if lots of people are looking, people will pay to be there. As for merchandising, passion and loyalty evidences itself not only in the stands but in little scarves you put in the car, the DVD you always want for Christmas of the greatest derby moments (remember 7th Heaven which looked brilliant until you seen Steven Gerard holding the Champions League Cup aloft on the next row down)... THe point is it may be crass but you buy it. How many of you reading this post are drinking tea from your Everton mug?

This is why I think even though things may get a little harder. I don?t believe for a minute that it is the end of football as we know it. In fact I think big things may be around the corner.

So, to summarise... fuck the credit crunch: COYB!

Now all we need is a like-minded billionaire to read this post, and know it makes perfect sense to buy Everton... closely followed by Kaka, Dalmat, Dafor and Villa.
Carl  Knight     Posted 27/10/2008 at 21:24:36   Comments (11)

Moyes and subs

As someone who has critisised David Moyes over the last few months, I am very happy to give him credit for the second-half performance on Saturday. There is one area, however, in which I feel his tactics are particularly abysmal, ie, substitutions:

It seems to me that Moyes uses subs when someone is hurt, to have a final desperate throw of the dice or, to waste time near the end.

We need to start to play a thirteen man game. The finest team I have seen in recent times was the Juventus team that included Ravinelli and Vialli. They constantly pressurised the opponents' back four and goalkeeper. The effect was to make a back pass almost impossible. Playing out of defence was also hazardous and the opposition were forced to play the long ball.

I would suggest that we play the Yak for 90 minutes (he's a quality goalscorer, but, to be frank, he won't pressure anybody). Alongside him, for 45 minutes each we play any two of Vaughan, Vic and Saha. Constantly press, chase every ball and make our opponents change their tactics to suit us. Positive substitutions; proactive, not reactive.
Andy Crooks     Posted 27/10/2008 at 19:46:11   Comments (18)

Fellaini

In light of the last couple of games, I think the time is ripe to write in defence of our record signing.

As has been pointed out before, £15m is a lot to pay out for a 20-year-old, and a pretty much untested 20-year-old at that. But the way in which some ToffeWeb readers ? and fans on other sites for that matter ? have written him off says more about them than it does about the big lad.

As far back as the 90s we have cried out for size and strength in midfield. I have seen us bossed by many an inferior team, simply because they have fielded some big planks in the middle of the park. How refreshing it was then to watch Fellaini at Arsenal and now against Man Utd causing problems all over the pitch with his size and awareness.

How many times have we seen Everton lose out in midfield because of aerial challenges that we dont stand a chance of winning? Now we have the solution, a big, ball-playing central midfielder, who seems to pop up in the opposition box more often than not.

Yes, he needs to work on his defensive positioning; yes, he still seems slightly off the pace. But he is not the first foreign player to experience this affliction.... cast your mind back to last season when Pienaar was widely dismissed as being lightweight, and even described as an inferior Osman, when it was simply a case of him becoming accustomed to the pace and physicality of the English game. When he finally came good ? (as did Yakubu at approximately the same time) ? we went on a fantastic unbeaten run which took us up the table. Hopefully, if the defence has sorted itself out, we can embark on a similar run.

We do need to make a couple more midfield signings... a proper winger for one, and potentially an experienced holding player to keep the position warm until young Jack Rodwell steps up. But to seek out blame for our woes at Fellaini's door, or even blame Moyes for signing him is misguided IMO.

As has been written here last week, a central midfield duo of Fellaini and Rodwell could be giving the so called Big Four nightmares for years to come, with their size and ability to pass the ball. Let's hope it is sooner rather than later.
John Williams     Posted 27/10/2008 at 13:41:32   Comments (30)

Lost Youth

Not sure if this topic has been done before but my mind wandered off in a random direction this weekend...

I've been excited for a while about James Vaughan and to a lesser extent Victor Anichebe but am starting to think they might not come through ? especially if they don't actually get any playing time. This got me to thinking of all the "great hopes" we heard about from the youth team who either flattered to deceive or just disappeared from view.

What is our best team of the players who never were ? ie not a Rooney or Dunne who made it elsewhere but the players who were hyped to be world beaters who never lived up to it.

Team I've got to start is (lacking a keeper and a left back):

1
2 Jon O'Connor
3
4 Steve Schumacher
5 Peter Clarke
6 John Ebbrell
7 Tony Grant
8 Billy Kenny
9 Francis Jeffers
10 Michael Branch
11 Danny Cadamarteri

Also, I have a distant memory in the 70s of a young lad called Martin (?) Murray who we got from Home Farm and was meant to be the next George Best ? or did I make him up?
Damian Kelly     Posted 27/10/2008 at 11:47:15   Comments (24)

Keep the faith

I read a terrific article by Neil Pearson early last week titled "A good time to play United" He was upbeat and told us he felt optimistic, this wasn't the blind optimism normally associated with a certain Mr Dodd. It was a reasoned argument suggesting the recent signs of improvement would continue and could see us home

Unfortunately, Neil's prediction didn't quite come off, but he was a sight closer than some the people who responded.

Neil was told: "You`re clinically insane" "You`re crazy, crazy I tells ya " "you`re more naive then optimisitic" And "You`re sad and deluded individual"

He was asked, "Are you insane? Can't see it being less than 3-0 to United." And "don't you mean its a good time to play Everton?"

Other responses included, "United will win 3-0, in second gear" "I can only see three goals in the against column" "We will get hammered 4-1"

One guy even claimed "Moyes always runs up the white flag" ... then proceeded to run up the white flag himself. I'm sure everyone who responded to Neil would have been more than happy to be proved wrong.

DM is here to stay, whether we like it or not, but he knows aimless hoofball will no longer be tolerated. I believe that, over the past few disasterous weeks, he's been given that message loud and clear, the last two games would indicate this ? even if Arsenal had too much for us.

At the end of the day, Saturday's game only gave us a point, but if everyone adapted Neil's defiant attitude, we will be in much better shape for the battles to come.
Dave Wilson     Posted 27/10/2008 at 08:14:46   Comments (2)

Moyes had Options?

Before I start, I want to make it clear that I am not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but this really has got me thinking.

Spurs have just ditched Ramos, and paid Pompey 5 million for Harry. It seems this happened 'overnight'. But surely Spurs would look at Moyes before Harry? So it makes me wonder if the delay with Moysie's signature may have been related to some contact with Spurs? It seems very coincidental that Moyes has a significant delay in signing on with no clear reason as to why, and then quickly after he does, Spurs ditch their manager and take on Harry. Was Moyes first choice?

Like I said, it has only got me thinking. And I do concede I could be completely wrong (and hope I am). I am wondering if anybody else noticed this?
Dan Brierley     Posted 26/10/2008 at 16:13:07   Comments (19)

A different game

Coming home from the game today and listening to Ferguson being interviewed, I must have been at a different game to the one he attended. I didn't take my eye off one minute of the game so I am left wondering which were the dangerous tackles on his players he was moaning about. I didn't see any at all.

Phil Neville's tackle on Ronaldo was perfectly fair, a lot fairer than the tackles Ferguson used to put in as a player and a lot fairer than challenges some of his whiter than white players (e.g. Keane, Rooney & Scholes) have put in down the years. I can't think of any poor challanges at all, Jagielka was booked for a mistimed challenge and Felliani for one foul too many. Yet Giggs escaped with a lunge from behind and persistent chirping to the referee with no booking at all (in fact I thought Giggs refereed the game much better than Wiley).

What an ungracious character Ferguson is. He complains about Wiley when any observer wouldn't hesitate to say that the referee yet again favoured a Sky4 club.
Lee  Gorre     Posted 26/10/2008 at 09:50:50   Comments (21)

Take note, Mr Moyes?

Interesting comments from Mikky.....

?Maybe we are not playing the style of football that I like, but my attitude is I have to try and do this for the team.

?I know we are never going to be a passing team with like 500 passes every game. That is not the style of Everton for the last 20 or 30 years. I know that."
Rich Williams     Posted 25/10/2008 at 23:52:35   Comments (8)

David Moyes reads the Mailbag!

Just about the only advantage of having to drive 125 miles home from Goodison is that it gives you the opportunity to mull over the afternoon's events. Not that I don't concentrate on the traffic but the tedium of travelling down the M6/5 can be somewhat relieved by reconsidering the afternoon's proceedings.

On rare occasions, one wants to dwell on moments of great skill and artistry although in recent times 'the dwelling' has been much more on hoof-ball and lack of application. Tonight's journey was altogether different because, for the first time since February, I genuinely felt my team gave value for money. Even in the first half, when United`s class shone through, I felt our lads were up for the task.

Just for once, Moyes had set his store out to give 'the big boys' something to think about. We were in their faces ? and even when we went one down, it didn't signify a surrender but seemed to spur our lads on to even greater effort. What Moyes said to them at half-time, I know not... but it worked and the public kick up the arse he afforded Fellaini midweek had particular effect.

We got back on terms and with a more neutral ref and a favourable run of the ball could easily have won it. So how did this transition come about? Was it down to the return of our Captain Marvel? Was it because the players had started to believe the assine crap that the club's Media Centre circulates in their names every day of the week?

NO... It was because David Moyes reads our Mailbag! He's taken on board all we've been saying ? and acted on it. We told him to forget about Neville in midfield, go 4-4-2 and cut out all that hoof-ball-and it worked.

Perhaps he should consider sharing that £17 million with us; we've given him enough advice over the last week, after all!
Harry  Meek     Posted 25/10/2008 at 19:54:20   Comments (17)

The Real Blues

Today was the first time this season I have really enjoyed watching the blues, especially in the second half. Just now need to keep it going.

Just one little point. Why didn't our manager bring on the subs a bit earlier? You could see both the Yak and Sahra were tired as was Fellaini. Great goal... and he looks better every game. Beat both Bolton and Fulham and the days are bright again.

Happy to go to work on Monday and my 2 grandchildren in Canada were over the moon. Happy days !!!
Frank Duffy     Posted 25/10/2008 at 20:09:31   Comments (12)

Today's Team

David Moyes has gone for a more attacking line up today......

Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott; Arteta, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar; Yakubu, Saha

Anyone know any links to view the match?
Graham Nolan     Posted 25/10/2008 at 11:21:17   Comments (154)

What can save our game?

Looking through various posts, it is fairly obvious that people are rapidly being turned off by football, in particular the Premier League. From how Sky are marketing the bigger clubs to the dubious refereeing decisions which seemingly always go against the smaller club, it seems people are more disilusioned than ever before.

The dominance of the Sky 3 and Liverpool is really beginning to grate on me. It isn't down to the fact they have got more money or get more exposure than us that bothers me, it is how they are allowed to operate.

Chelsea can spend money they could never hope to generate as a business down to personal loans from Abramovich, Arsenal are sweeping up the continent's best young talent with impunity and Liverpool and Man Utd also have massive squads full of players who would get in virtually any team in the Premier League, but don't get a look in for them.

I believe the only way for football to become competitive again is to limit squad sizes to 20 players and limit the amount of debt a club can owe to one year's turnover. This would stop clubs hovering up all the best players and allow clubs to start devoloping their youth without Ferguson or Wenger snapping them up before they've had a chance to help the club who developed them.

It would also allow well run successful clubs an advantage which may lead to better financial management, something sadly lacking at our club!!
Ste  Kenny     Posted 24/10/2008 at 19:20:56   Comments (10)

Sick and tired!

I am sick and tired of people making up all sorts of stories about our summer of transfer woe. I am not talking about a lack of money or bad decision making, simply the facts, then I hope I don't have to read another 'made up story' about it.

1 ? Moutinho
A - His agent indicated he would come.
B - Moutinho publicly said he would come
C - Sporting accepted out bid (around £17mil).
D - We showed them the structure of our bid (as is usual in world football) and they asked for it all up front. Deal dead a week before the deadline.

2 ? M'Bia A/B--see above
C - They asked for time to consider it so they could tempt him to stay for 1 final year.
D - He agreed to stay for a year.
Deal dead a week before the deadline.

3 ? Other signings ? during this time we thought we would get Moutinho/M'Bia as the deals were so close so we moved on cheap options as we were going to be out of cash.

4 ? Fellaini was signed after a 'rumoured' tentative enquiry last season. Liege would not budge on the asking price until Moyes upped the bid and closed the deal in Belgium.

Whether we were unlucky or left it too late, these are the simple facts of the summers goings on. Let's move on now and get behind the team we have and hope they all come good.
Mark Cassin     Posted 24/10/2008 at 14:10:52   Comments (12)

The whole hog

Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton, has come up with an idea that I believe has great merit and certainly worthy of consideration. Phil bemoans the way the Premier League has become too predictable. I think we could all agree on that point. Phil goes on to suggest having a Premier League One and Premier League Two each with 18 teams.

I would be all for that with the proviso that at the end of each season the bottom 9 teams of League 1 are relegated and replaced by the top 9 teams of League 2. Apart from greatly increased variety, it would allow for a mid-season break when international games could be played. I wonder what the rest of you think?
Dick Fearon     Posted 24/10/2008 at 12:35:01   Comments (21)

Future ambitions

Like all subjects the Everton fan base has those of us with extreme views that represent polar opposites (eg Dodd and Marsh). The big question is where does the club's realistic position and future fall. As we often do the merits of these overly negative or positive opinions can be debated all day. While the current gloom around the club is understandable I'm interested in what fellow Evertonians see in our future.

Are we happy to wait patiently in the hope that steady progress is the answer or are we crying out for a major shake up such as a new manager of ownership?

I personally believe the steady progress over the past few years is a positive and credit should be given to Moyes and the players for punching above our collective financial weight. The issue I see with this is its near impossible to consistently fight against the odds of other clubs having greater resources. The other issue is if best of the rest is our limit why what are we content with that or do we demand more. It this struggle to constantly punch above our weight that means no matter how much effort we put in we have seasons like the one we are currently suffering. So the other option is to be taken over allowing us to be on an even footing with clubs in terms of resources.

My perfect situation is we are taken over by someone that can provide funding for Everton but still understands that football clubs are called clubs as opposed to corporations for a reason. Owners like Randy Lerner who seem to understand that stability is a key component.

I?m not seeking to discuss if a takeover is likely but rather if its our only hope for the future. In my opinion yes it is. I began to support this club a few years back and one of the key reasons was I wanted to be part of a journey that earned success rather than bought it. I have since come to the personal conclusion that we don't even have the resources to allow us to successfully sustain a slow climb to to success.
Russell Buckley     Posted 24/10/2008 at 05:18:10   Comments (20)

Elstone

Just visited the Official Site, and read a blog by Robert Elstone where he says, "It's Wednesday evening, before our second biggest game of the season and we've still got good tickets on sale." He then goes on to say, "We 'ink in' what would be a full house for Man United; that's now in doubt, and that hits our budget badly."

If I remember, there were tickets left for the Liverpool game as well... could this be a sign that the natives are not happy, and are voting with their feet?

I know there is still a couple of days left for the remaining tickets to go, but, when was the last time it was this easy to get tickets against the Mancs? It's not as if it is on the box either.
Brian  Waring     Posted 23/10/2008 at 20:11:21   Comments (49)

Our season starts... when?

Every Evertonian I have spoken to is convinced we shall get nothing from this Saturday's game versus Man United. Such is the sense of resignation that the scene seems set for yet another home defeat as we turn up to witness, rather unwillingly, another landmark in the career of a former hero. Now Doddy keeps telling us 'our season stars now' but his 'now' seems to have become a moveable feast whilst Marshy is convinced the season will never get underway because we're, well...... doomed!

So what's the truth of it?

If we get nowt off the Mancs (has it really come to this?), can we expect our next opponents ? Bolton, Fulham, West Ham, Middlesbrough, Wigan and Spurs to just roll over to kick start our campaign? I think not. By the time we play that little lot, their needs may be as great as ours and I suspect we're in for an autumn dog-fight.

Having over-dosed on the doom and gloom ? it seems to go with the turf these days ? I`ve been searching for a few positives, so here goes!

Firstly, we've always been pretty good at dealing with downtable teams. Few of the 'graveyard set' have escaped with points when playing us in recent seasons and we've got reasonable records against most of that lot.

Secondly, for all our pessimism, there HAVE been signs of improvement in our last three matches. We seemed far more able to string a few passes together against Liege, walked away with the first halves against Newcastle and the Mighty Arsenal. Oh, and Davey said that 'we played better' in all those games and was pleased at the youngsters' progress.

Now I desperately want to believe these signs of revival (hardly the right word though, is it?) but I'm shitting myself that if we get really hammered on Saturday, confidence will decimate and we shall really be back to square one! But that's where I came in! So just when will our season start???
Eddie  Jukes     Posted 23/10/2008 at 13:25:07   Comments (10)

BBC Response re Alan Green

Dear Mr Taylor Thank you for your e-mail regarding coverage of the recent derby between Everton and Liverpool on 27 September. Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

I understand you disliked the commentary Alan Green during this broadcast and note that you felt he was biased against Everton. BBC journalists and presenters are well aware of our commitment to impartial reporting. However, it's in the nature of commentating and punditry that programme contributors are expected to provide their personal view on the action and events surrounding the match they are watching.

All we can expect of them is a fair assessment based on their own knowledge and experience. We regularly employ a range of commentators, alternating between them and other guest contributors, to provide as wide a range of views as we can and to help cater to different tastes.

It would be a very rare radio personality of any kind who met with the approval of everyone in our vast and varied audience, and from the heavy correspondence which we receive it is clear that viewers' and listeners' opinions on them do vary considerably. BBC Sport regularly receives both positive and negative feedback about individual commentators and presenters used in our programmes.

We do pro-actively research viewer opinions about our presentation teams as well as monitoring complaints. If we receive only negative reaction and feedback then we would certainly look to address this. I would therefore like to assure you that we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Regards

Stuart Webb

BBC Complaints


Not really worth the wait. Something fairly standard about the email. They are happy with Alan Green being a twat.
Craig Taylor     Posted 23/10/2008 at 12:46:43   Comments (19)

Stephen Appiah

Does anyone know why Stephen Appiah is still a free agent and why we have not seriously looked at this player to strenghten our seriously depleted midfield?
Scott Jenner     Posted 23/10/2008 at 10:34:43   Comments (16)

Something to smile about

''Everton Ladies Demolish Liverpool"

Sign them up!!
Sean Hooley     Posted 23/10/2008 at 06:03:07   Comments (7)

Charlton or Everotn

I am confused by all the negativeness and the fact that know one is dicussing the takeover situation? If the media is to be believed it is either going to be us or Charlton to be transformed into another possible Chelsea in terms of financing. It's a lottery it is YOU!
Clive Lewis     Posted 23/10/2008 at 00:22:30   Comments (14)

Rooney's 100th Goal

I just read that fat boy Sshrek is chasing his 100th goal while visiting. With his birthday just around the corner and it being at Goodison Park, I am fearing the worst... again.

I say 'again' because I had the same feeling when Gerrard came over in search of his own 100th goal!

As a win seams out of sight for this one, Everton and fellow Evertonians, whatever it takes, please FFS do NOT let this twat put one past us!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 22/10/2008 at 17:55:43   Comments (19)

Why don't WE loan Beckham

News today that David Beckham may be spending a few months on loan to Inter Milan. But why don't Everton make a move to sign the England talisman?The team is desperate for width and the whole club is in need of a boost. Such a move would see us in the word's newspapers everyday and could only act as a boost in Blue Bill's search for a buyer.

So how about it, Moysey? Do something dangerous for once in your life ? bring Beckham to Everton ? you'd sell out every game!
Brent Tansey     Posted 22/10/2008 at 14:02:53   Comments (25)

If David Moyes had quit...

...there would be an awful lot of top managers quaking in their boots this week. I'm no Doddy, but I cannot see for the life of me why so many Evertonians are knocking Bill Kenwright's decision to give Moyes that contract. My biggest worry was that the manager be so disaffected by now that he would have decided to move on. Had that happenned, I'm sure the likes of Ramos, Megson, Ince, Hodgson, Pulis, Strachan, Smith, Burley et al would all be dreading a phone call from their chairman.

Believe me, Moyes would have been hot property and could have taken his pick of the clubs anxious to sign him. Personally, I think he would have taken a sabatical whilst he saw how the situation at Newcastle worked out but whichever he chose it would have been Everton's great loss.

Given the difficulties the man has faced over the past 6 years, his achievements have been phenominal and are recognised as such throughout the game. That the experience he has accumulated will see us through this present blip I have no doubt. Let's just thank our lucky stars he decided to stick it out!
Sebastian St Clare     Posted 22/10/2008 at 13:12:43   Comments (31)

Arteta for the chop?

Am sure this will invoke numerous comments but here goes anyway. With Arteta's loss of form this season and the end of last season will Moyes bite the bullet and bench him for Saturdays game? After DMs comments in the week about certain players not pulling their weight at the Emirates and Arteta's poor, form linked with the fact that he hasn't had a decent game against any of the Sky 4, is it time for the shepards crook? This would create a problem in the sense what team do we play but I think it's time to give him the kick up the arse he clearly needs. Now where is that tin hat...
Craig Wilson     Posted 22/10/2008 at 10:38:30   Comments (27)

Good time to play United

Perhaps I'm being optimistic, but I reckon we've caught Manchester United at exactly the right time. They may be cock-a-hoop and Fat Boy scoring for fun but they will be coming out of a hard game against Celtic (two Manc goals were clearly off-side!) and cocky with it. On the other hand, we could well reap the bonus of having no European distractions and be all revved up to register our first home win. Additionally, we shall be at full-strength (apart from Tim) whereas I suspect Ferguson's arrogance will see him fielding a weakened side.

I have not the slightest doubt that Moyes has learned his lesson about trying 'to contain' these chequebook teams and will go for the jugular. He has pledged to re-build and we may well see that applies to his tactical approach as well. There has never been a week of such gloom and doom in the Mailbag ? I have this lovely feeling that next week will be entirely different.! COYB
Neil Pearson     Posted 22/10/2008 at 09:16:01   Comments (46)

Andy or Not Andy

I read that Andy Van der Meyde is going to be playing for the reserves tonight. The other day I slatted him for robbing the club of his wages over the past few years... which is true. So I'm not sure if I want him to do well for us or not anymore.

Let's have a show of hands, do we want Andy to play for the first team or not???
Thomas Christensen     Posted 21/10/2008 at 17:20:39   Comments (43)

England/Everton

I was having a discussion with a friend this weekend who argued Ipswich had more England internaitonals play for them than Everton (he'd had a few drinks!). We had a bet and I duely won. During this discussion we brought up the subject of who the 5 best players were who had played for England and Everton at some stage. I could rattle off 4 quality players straight away, but the 5th was a bit of a struggle:

  • Alan Ball
  • Gary Lineker
  • Paul Gascoigne
  • Wayne Rooney
The 5th was between Dixie Dean (Everton legend but not really an England legend), Peter Reid and Colin Harvey (again not renowned for their England performances) and Dave Hickson. Anyone else come up with a 5th suggestion (and no, I'm not desperate enough to include Phil Neville) or a better 4 than the above??
Adam Croft     Posted 21/10/2008 at 12:28:09   Comments (46)

Moyes has given up

"And that's why I made a point the other day that the expectation of the media has risen because of what had happened over the last three or four years at Everton.

"They think that Everton maybe should be doing even better. But I think that when you look at the whole thing then we've had a decent go. We don't have the finances to compete.

"But we have done everything we can with what we have available."? DAVID MOYES

What the hell kind of pathetic excuse is that?! Hey we've done what we can?!? And it's not just the media Moyes, IT'S EVERYONE! We bought a player for quite a lot of money to add on to a squad that on paper should be breaking the top four, and he goes back to the money excuse. It's all about belief and momentum if anyone doesn't believe it, tune into the World Series of Baseball because the Tampa Bay Rays are in it, and if you look at their past season record you'd cry. It's not all about money! Tottenham have buckets of money... where are they?!

I've tired to bite my tongue since I bashed Fellaini, and kind of regretted it. But THIS, this is the reason we are this close to relegation. Excuse after excuse from a manager that's either realized he is tactically inept or he is just so frustrated that he can't see clearly.

Anyone who has played a sport can tell you they don't want a leader who keeps making excuses. If he was worried about money so much then why the fuck did he put us in the hole more with his huge contract? I'll give him 3 games after the MU game and if we aren't mid-table then Moyes should be gone.
Joey Brown     Posted 21/10/2008 at 02:01:32   Comments (51)

When Saturday Comes

So what will happen on Saturday? In my view it's the most important game for years. Will we go 4-5-1? I suspect we will. I also believe that we will suffer, as a result, another unlucky defeat. How about this starting line up instead:

Turner; Gosling, Baines, Lescott (Captain), Jagielka; Arteta, Castillo, Fellaini, Pienaar; Yakubu, Vaughan

We play hi tempo passing football and after sixty minutes we bring on Osman and, if he's fit, AvdM. Tell you what, Alex Ferguson won't expect it and no one will accuse DM of being negative. What's to lose? Let's go for it.
Andy Crooks     Posted 21/10/2008 at 00:14:45   Comments (40)

Sad for future Evertonians

Like all of us, I have a task trying to convince my 7-year-old son to follow Everton (like Dad) rather than all the rest of his school mates with Man U & Liverpool.

I took him to the football museum at Preston yesterday. The guy in the shop asked him which team does he support, he said Everton. He was then asked who was his fave player, he the turned to me and siad "Dad who is our best player", and just had to reply "we haven't got one".

I have been supporting Everton since 1977, and for the first time I can't think of one of them who is currently "our best player". What a pathetic shambles it is, after 6½ years Moyes still thinks shite like Hibbert can cut it in this league. While we have this manager, expect more of the same.
Joe McMahon     Posted 20/10/2008 at 19:37:19   Comments (27)

Kenwright said no to Lerner

Today`s NSNO story that Bill Kenwright said "no thanks" to Randy Lerner before the MBNA tycoon took over Aston Villa is one of the more baffling aspects of our chairman's continuing tenure.

Doug Ellis told me, personally, two years ago that Everton had been the American's first choice, situated as we are, so near to his home and business base in Cheshire. Now Doug's a tough old swine but an expert angler and he wouldn`t have needed a second cast to have hooked his fish, I can tell you!

We are only left to wonder why Kenwright said "no" to the man who has proved a model owner at Villa. Was it the money? Hardly, I think it much more likely that Bill wanted to continue to wield much more influence than Ellis's role of Life President affords him these days at Villa Park. David Hall     Posted 20/10/2008 at 18:12:25   Comments (19)

An Open Apology

As an Arsenal fan I am disgusted by the behaviour of my so called fellow supporters. I would like to apologise to all Everton fans that were at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The actions of these people disgust me. I deplore any violence at any game but spitting is abhorant.

Not all of us are like that. I am ashamed of being an Arsenal fan. I hope my club find these people and ban them for life.

Once again I am so sorry.

WelshGooner
Gwyn Bethell     Posted 20/10/2008 at 11:53:44   Comments (13)

A view from afar

Being an Irish-based Toffee, Saturday was my first opportunity to see the team first hand this season. Without going over those well penned comments specific to Saturday?s game already added to the site, a couple of observations:

Pre-match warmup

Arsenal's starting 11 gathered as a group in a small area near the corner and spent 10 minutes doing sprints / hops over markers to get warmed up supervised by their assistant manager (I think) while the subs stretched under the eye of Wenger in front of the goal. All very organised.

In the other half, our full squad, including players who were not even listed as subs together with 3 or 4 staff (so 20 plus blue tracksuits I reckon), stood around for 10-15 minutes either kicking balls to each other, jogged over and back the pitch or simply chatted away for a few minutes. Looking down from the stand it gave an ominous sign of the relative organisation of each side for the 90 minutes ahead. A general lack of purpose being the prevailing image.

Confidence

Once we first conceded at the beginning of the second half, there was only ever going to be one winner. Why is it that we NEVER look to be capable of mounting a comeback or indeed defending a draw as soon as we concede a goal? What shaky confidence there was on display on visibly drained from the players about 4.10 on Saturday as Arsenal's first went it. This mindset is not unique to this season and has been apparent since last March or thereabouts.

Substitutions

The need for an extra striker was apparent for 10 minutes at least... can't see why that change was delayed so much. Why, oh why, do we always wait until something happens in a match (in this case two goals) to make a change???

One aside ? contrary to most of the opinions here, I thought Fellaini had a good game particularly so in any aerial challenges he was involved in. He did look tired when he came off but prior to that, I felt he put in a very good stint. I'm hopeful of his influence growing in the side. I was shocked by Arteta who, frankly, was appalling and looks like his heart is no longer in it for us I am afraid. If this is the case, cash him in in January.
Alan Doyle     Posted 20/10/2008 at 11:44:03   Comments (6)

Its a Miracle

The away team dugout at Emirates stadium is an unlikely setting for an event of biblical proportions yet it was in that very place where David of Glasgow recieved enlightenment. Alleluja!

"Hear yea, hear yea," he cried to those who bothered to listen, ?Our problem lies in a midst fieldith that hath too many undersized friggin weaklings?. Amen and Alleluja!

Tony of the Marsh and Dick of Oz had long proclaimed that very problem yet for our candour we suffered at the fingers of Moyesiah disciples on the keyboards of ignorance. Alleluja!

Whatever the Moyesiah does with his new-found insight had better be quick. After next weekend, with one third of the season gone, we could be in a relegation battle.

Is it hypocritical to wonder if he really is the Moyesiah or could he be an overpaid chancer.
Dick Fearon     Posted 20/10/2008 at 05:40:54   Comments (5)

A Distraction...

I offer up the following as a distraction from our own footballing crisis, if you don't mind. I am posting a few sentences from a Wall Street Journal article by Joe Queenan entitled ?What We Really Need Is a Skybox Bailout,? published in the October 18-19, 2008 issue on page A11. Probably absurd to many, still the message is valid in the current environment. I sliced and diced some of words/sentences to make it relevant to our club.

As a result of the financial crisis, ?the status of sports as a psychological buttress is now under ferocious attack. Sports franchises cannot survive without immense support from corporations. An overwhelming source of revenue is generated by leasing luxury boxes. But now, with some of the most revered corporations (think AIG at Man Utd) going under, sports teams can no longer count on the inexhaustible revenue generated by these behemoths.?

?Because the government has already committed itself to bailing out (banks), it will soon find itself obligated to bail out many of the ancillary enterprises that depend upon (them) to survive.? Because ?without the emotional uplift provided to the people by the (likes) of (Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, and yes, even Everton), this society could descend into a maelstrom of depression.?

Maybe these arguments can be used to get the local government to invest some money in our club or participate in the construction of our new stadium?
Sur Jo     Posted 19/10/2008 at 21:34:14   Comments (7)

Moyes now, who next?

There have been many articles on this site about the doom and gloom of Moyes signing for another five years. There has also been the odd article backing Moyes and looking at the bigger picture of where we have come over the last few years.

Personally, I have always been a Moyes supporter after starting supporting the Blues in the late 80s, I have seen the incompetence of Walker Smith, etc. I'm glad that we are not consistently flirting with relegation. However, after the summer's inactivity, the stadium debate, the dreadful start to the league campaign, out of two cups already and the long drawn-out contract saga of Moyes, my faith in him is wavering.

If this season carries on the way it is, we are going to be in serious relegation trouble; with Hull doing so well, it looks like a big club could go down this year. With the likes of Tottenham and already Newcastle going to change managers, they will get instant results as players want to impress the new manager. If results don't change, and Moyes won't leave, and we have no money in January for reinforcements, what are our chances of staying in the Premier League? If we do go down, with our debt, we could easily be the next Forest, Sheff Wed, Coventry, Leicester, etc.

However, for all you fans out there saying Moyes should leave, who would come in? There is no way we could attract a big name like Mancini or Laudrup or Aragones. Although these names are out of work, they would want to manage a club in the Champions League (we are not), we are not even in the Uefa Cup now this season, we have no money and we are in 16th in the table. We also have the uncertainty over the stadium. We are not an attractive proposition for a new manager, let alone billionaire owner!

Therefore, if Moyes was to leave as some fans are calling for, we would only end up with the likes of Allardyce or Curbishley or Mick McCarthy! Are these names really better than Moyes? Is the grass really greener without Moyes?
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 19/10/2008 at 20:32:33   Comments (31)

One positive: Rodwell

Just a quick one to point out one positive thing coming out of yesterday's capitulation to Arsenal. I thought Jack Rodwell had a great game and showed maturity beyond his years. He did his chances of cementing a place in the side no harm at all.
Graham  Nolan     Posted 19/10/2008 at 15:26:49   Comments (20)

Just how will Moyes re-build?

Several times in the last week David Moyes has mentioned 're-building'. First there was a hint to his present mob that if they didn't shape up soon he would feel the need to replace them. Then, last night, in praising 'his youngsters', Rodwell and Fellaini, he again used the "r"-word ? seeming to indicate that they were the first bricks in the wall as it were.

Now I may be reading much more into these throwaway lines than I'm entitled to but I do sense something is afoot. Certainly, the hand-ringing we witnessed from him in the last 'window' would give no indication that funds are in place to recruit a 'new' team although I suppose the sale of the likes of Arteta, Yobo and Yakubu might raise him a few bob.

I'm sure the cynics (moi included) would greet the announcement of a January 'fire sale' as yet another devise to keep Blue Bill's ship afloat but funding via 'new money' would be altogether a different prospect. Perhaps Mihir Bose was nearer to the truth, after all... We can only hope!
Brian Noble     Posted 19/10/2008 at 14:07:56   Comments (22)

Tim Howard; cause of the defensive frailties

Does anyone else think that Tim Howard has a lot to do with our current dreadful defence?

How many times this season have we seen him half save shots. like yesterday's second, which spill out and cause a goal. Don't know much about Carlo Nash but , the way Howard is playing at the moment, he needs a rest.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 19/10/2008 at 12:44:44   Comments (14)

The stats don't lie

All you lads who come on here, slagging off anyone who dare have a go at Moyes, here's a bit of reality: since the Fiorentina game last season, we have a paltry 16 pts from a possible 51. Thats a whopping 35pts dropped. Surely, if you took off those blue tinted Moyes specs, you would see that is dire, and the man may not be the Moyesiah you all preach to us about?

Off course, I will be told that last season is history, etc. One question, though: if all you apologists can come on here and use Walker, Smith etc to back up your opinions, why shouldn't I be allowed to use history as well, to make my point?
Brian  Waring     Posted 19/10/2008 at 11:45:33   Comments (17)

Half-Time at EFC

It can't have escaped everyone's attention how vulnerable Everton seem to be in the first 10 minutes of the second half. How many goals do we concede in this period? In an age of sports nutitionists, isotonic drinks, etc, I have this image of the EFC players running into the half-time dressing room to be offered a choice of starter (prawn cocktail, smoked salmon) to be followed by a roast dinner with all the trimmings. Dessert will be optional but a pint of Guinness rounds things off nicely. An exaggeration maybe but, when they come out for the second half, it often seems like this has been the scenario. Or is it just the team talk?
Mike Hughes     Posted 19/10/2008 at 08:55:47   Comments (3)

Money not well spent

Five million pounds a year for a manager who can boast 16th place in the league and being knocked out of two cup competitions so far. He was up against a manager who's team was 1-0 down after 45 minutes of play. That same manager gave his half-time team-talk... resulting in his team winning the game after firing in 3 goals.

What did the 5 million-a-year manager's talk at half-time acheive? It resulted in the same it always does....... no more goals and a loss.

Just a guess but I reckon next week will be more of the same only we could be even closer to the relegation zone. Is this money well spent?.... I think not.
Andrew Ingram     Posted 19/10/2008 at 02:30:05   Comments (26)

Who hurts most?

Another defeat and another match from which positives can apparently be drawn. Does anyone wonder how the players feel tonight? Gutted I hope, but so gutted that they can't face the thought of heading out to spend some of their huge salaries? Now I don't expect players to be suicidal after a defeat but I would sincerely hope that their weekend is as fucked as mine is.

Tomorrow I'm going to lunch with the in-laws. My father-in-law is a fanatical Liverpool supporter, so... what fun awaits. Of course in the great scheme of things it doesn't matter at all. But... if I earned what our manager and players earn I'd think of the supporters who earn (like myself) shit, and I'd feel embarrassed.

Who hurts most? Quite frankly, I think the people who care enough to post on this site do.
Andy Crooks     Posted 19/10/2008 at 01:04:18   Comments (6)

No excuses Moyes

After another oh-so-predictable defeat, I think its time the fans begin to hold Moyes to account. As he is now reportedly the best paid manager outside the top 4 and a genius to boot (copyright Kenwright, the national media and Richard Dodd) I think it is reasonable to expect the following:

  • A 5th or 6th place finish every season with 7th or 8th tolerated as a one-off if we win a cup;
  • No more cup humilations against lower league opposition - after 2 in six years he has used up his full allocation for the rest of his contract;
  • One cup semi-final appearance and one final appearance in the next 5 years ? after all, his appalling cup record surely cant go for on ever can it?
  • Before we play the top 4, he is banned from mentioning how much money they have spent ? we know already, Dave and we all know it's really about you giving the players and yourself an excuse to lose;
  • In every derby match, the team must record at least 1 shot on goal - I know this target is fantasy but what the hell...
Now some fans may see the above as pitifully easy but I think Moyes will fail on every one. If of course Moyes is the genius his followers believe then it won't be a problem

From now on, I am going to voice my anger at every Moyes fuck up and in particular his comedy sub routine ? Dave, it takes 30 seconds to make a sub ? try it sometime instead of boring them to death on the touchline.

I know we have the most whipped bunch of fans in the world but I would urge others to join me ? If Kenwright won't do what is needed then the fans will have to do it for him.
John Doolan     Posted 18/10/2008 at 20:07:25   Comments (30)

Too late again Davy

For most of the 2nd half it was blindingly obvious to all bar complete fools that we desperately needed a game changing substitution.

At the same time I bet most of us just knew that Moyes would not make any change until it was too bloody late. It is almost unbelievable just how predictable that man is. When the subs were finally made, why in hell's name was Arteta not one of them.
Dick Fearon     Posted 18/10/2008 at 17:06:09   Comments (67)

Rodwell Starts

After all the talk, it's finally time to see exactly what our great manager is going to do to set the seal on this new era...

Jack Rodwell starts for Everton, with Neville on the bench and Wallace making up the numbers. For Arsenal, Theo Walcott is rested and that Wenger has two or three other absentees as well.

Tim Howard
Tony Hibbert
Phil Jagielka
Joleon Lescott
Leighton Baines
Jack Rodwell
Mikel Arteta (c)
Steven Pienaar
Marouane Fellaini
Leon Osman
Ayegbeni Yakubu

Subs: Nash, Neville, Valente, Gosling, Wallace, Saha, Vaughan

Match comments here...
Michael Kenrick     Posted 18/10/2008 at 13:51:20   Comments (98)

A sign of things to come?

As a slightly disgruntled fan, I was initially disappointed that Moyes signed his contract for two main reasons: 1, I thought he'd taken the team as far as he could; and 2, with the squad he's built, I feel we go into game very defensively... 4-5-1 and Hoofball.

But this morning I am very pleased to read that the man himself acknowledges the quality deficit this teams are showing and that mostly he needs to rebuild the squad. <-- I am a bit tired (and bored frankly) of coming on this forum and reading about how rubbish Moyes has been and from the comfort of their armchairs fans could do better... whatever!!-->

From the top 4 teams, we are seeing a level of consistency on the field and financial backing of it which is unprecedented in the modern game. The result of which has locked out other teams from Premier League titles, Champions League spots and pretty much the FA Cup (I note the occasional exception with the FA Cup, but it doesn't guarantee a CL place).

So we need to look at Moyes's achievements in this context; he hasn't had a lot of money to spend and, with last-minute transfer now his calling, it does suggest he isn't given the finances to get who he really wants. For example, with a proper transfer budget, would we have signed Saha, Jacobsen, Castilio on loan? No, we'd have signed better, more consistent performing players, not cast-offs. So Moyes has to play with what he's been dealt.

Some people just want too much and unrealistic expectations have been set. Even 'one of our own', Neville Southall has said top 10 would be alright. Moyes wants better players to play better football, let's get behind him and see if he really is going to leave a legacy that he is suggesting he wants... as he indicates in that Independent article.
Thomas Christensen     Posted 18/10/2008 at 11:53:15   Comments (9)

The Patient Evertonian

There has been a great deal of talk on ToffeeWeb recently about 'modern' Evertonians settling for less than the proverbial 'optimum'. Many of us younger followers have been made to feel like second-class supporters for daring to believe that under Moyes our club has made reasonable progress.

By my reckoning, Everton have won only seven trophies in the sixty odd seasons since the second world war ? that`s four League Titles (the last in 1987) two FA Cups (the last in 1995) and a single European pot, the Cup Winners Cup also in 1985. So, however great our history may be, the truth is that like Aston Villa and Newcastle most of it is so long ago even our dads didn't see it!

Talking to my own father, he is very fond of telling me that only for brief periods in the sixties and eighties did Everton play football that could honestly be branded "School of Science." Under a variety of managers like Kelly, Britton, Bingham, Lee, Harvey, Walker, Royle and Smith our play was often as dour as it has been under Moyes and only Carey, Catterick and Kendall (first-time round) have ever aspired to provide "the beautiful game."

Now, being only in my early twenties, I have to take his word for that but as an avid watcher of the game via TV, I don't see many teams who play it much differently to our own. Even Chelsea and Liverpool can be pretty pragmatic at times! So when you 'experts' lecture us young bucks about settling for 'hoof-ball', just think on how much of that 'slick passing' and 'joined-up football' you've really witnessed over the years.

Oh, and for good measure, work out how long was the wait between the Catterick and Kendall titles and you might just reflect how patient YOU had to be for success to arrive!
Malcolm  Bennett     Posted 17/10/2008 at 13:48:21   Comments (27)

What's the point of the match tomorrow?

Just wondered why we are even bothering in playing the game tomorrow. We always lose against the Big 4 and tomorrow will be no different. Just a case of how many we let in; at least it's not on telly.

Sorry for being negative but that's how I feel about that team at the moment.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 17/10/2008 at 13:28:38   Comments (35)

'That`s another fine mess....'

I think it true to say that the vast majority of Evertonians are greatly underwhelmed by the news that Moyes has been tempted with a king's ransom to stay on another five years. Perhaps he's done enough to justify a two-year extension with a 20% rise but five bloody years on double the money? That's plain bloody daft.

Of course, with Kenwright at the helm, it's what's to be expected. Initially welcomed as a saviour, he got off to a bad start by kicking King's Dock into touch. He took a long time to do the same with Walter but partly redeemed himself with the appointment of his successor. Trouble is, he fell in love with the man and has now rewarded him with a ludicrous contract which may well prove an impossible burden to him and the Club.

In the meantime, he makes another unwise decision to pin all our hopes for a new ground on 'Tesco in the Sticks' and compounds it by having a skewed poll which splits our supporters as never before. Then, dealt a 'get out of jail card, he decides to plod on with the scheme whilst simutaneously announcing "I'm outa here", if only that smooth man from Seymore Butts can find a bonkers billionaire!

Those of us old enough to remember the man with the ladder and paint pot will long have associated Blue Bill with that scene-although I'm never quite sure which of the two comics he best plays. You see, they were both compulsive fuck-up merchants but, on balance, I'll go for Big Olly ? he never told the truth about anything either!
Tony  Marchant     Posted 17/10/2008 at 09:31:44   Comments (6)

Wagner Love

I saw an article on the BBC websiite football gossip and rumours section yesterday that Spurs had had a £12m offer accepted for the Brazilian and were confident he was going to be at their place in January.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but haven't we already secured the services of the player and he will be coming to US in January?

Help...... anyone!?
Tom Edwards     Posted 17/10/2008 at 08:04:37   Comments (8)

Which Everton do you Support?

You can't really win an arguement about who is a real Evertonian & who isn't, who went where & when, who was at a particular game in the 80s & who wasn't. It all really comes down to levels of expectation & satisfacion.

Many on this site believe that not fighting relegation is something to be celebrated, they are generally fully paid up members of the IMWT brigade. The more I read of their unconditional devotion to DM, the more detached from them I become. The reason for this is that I must support a completely different Everton to the one they do.

I started going to Goodison in 1983, within 18 months we swept all before us. Maybe I was spoilt but the Everton I supported would put 5 past Man Utd, 6 past Arsenal, cross the park to swat that shower of shite aside with the minimum of fuss.

Yeah I know it's not the 80s anymore, times have changed, it's all about money blah blah blah but the Everton I support are second to no-one and fear no-one. Unfortunately we are managed by a coward who surrenders matches to 'bigger' clubs before a ball is kicked. The recent statistic that in the last 3 derbies we haven't managed a single shot on target is indefensible yet so many people on here still blindly think DM is the answer.

I will give an example of how to achieve success on a limited budget: take one look at Standard Liege, a team assembled at a fraction of the cost of ours, managed by a man earning a fraction of DM's inflated fee. This team is everything we are not... fast, strong, tall, physical & comfortable in possession. Tactically adaptable, see how the carved us to pieces at Goodison then counter-attacked us in Belgium & let's not forget that despite playing in an inferior league they were more than a match for both Everton & Liverpool. Yet so many still claim that DM's unique brand of anti-football is acceptable.

The Everton I love deserves better.
Gary Hughes     Posted 17/10/2008 at 02:17:22   Comments (31)

The WayBack Machine Sheds Some Light

Looking on the old WayBack Machine...

15th in the league, beaten by Liverpool and Aston Villa. Steve Watson telling us that performances where inexcusable! The fans still believing that Walter Smith is the right man for the job.

I know that this season has started with a lot of turbulance but thank fuck where not back in 2001...
Carl Hamlet     Posted 16/10/2008 at 21:42:51   Comments (2)

Joey coming home?

Working in Newcastle and spending too much time in Quayside watering holes(!) I met a few of the Toon fringe players in "3i8ht" last night watching the England game and they were adamant Joey Barton was on his way to us come January. I know he can be "bad music" but he could be just what we're lacking in midfield.

And we're a forgiving lot, aren't we?
Dave  Sheridan     Posted 16/10/2008 at 17:32:56   Comments (39)

Ireland vs Cyprus

When I was sitting in the lower stand last night I looked up to the next tier where the directors box is. There was David Moyes peering over the railing with his arms folded. Perhaps he was on a holiday or maybe he was having a look at Duff, Mc Geady or maybe Kevin Doyle?

I think any of these three would be good for us! What do you think?
Tom Campbell     Posted 16/10/2008 at 12:55:52   Comments (23)

What can we hope for by 2013?

I see somebody described me a "a miserable old git" in a recent posting and I am sure my wife would endorse the sentiment without reservation! I have to admit that my spirits have not exactly been lifted this week with the news that we are 'stuck' with David Moyes for another five years. It's not that I don't recognise that the man has improved our situation no end (so don't feel it necessary to chronicle his 'achievements', PLEASE!), it's just that I find the man boring in the extreme and his brand of 'football' very similar to that on offer at my local Blue Square South club.

But Blue Bill has decided that "the devil you know" etc... and unless someone can find a king's ransom to pay him off, it's Moyesey 'til 2013. So what can we hope for by then? I suppose most people will answer "it all depends who owns us," and whilst that will have a big bearing on the situation, it's not as though Everton are the only club likely to have changed hands.

In the event that half the Premier League clubs are owned by billionaires, there is every reason to suspect we shall still be outside the top eschelon. I just do not see Moyes as having the perspicacity to sign the right blend of players of real quality whatever the funds available. And as for the tactics.....!

On the stadium front, I can only see us at a greatly improved Goodison Park or possibly in a shared stadium with our local rivals. I have always regarded Kirkby as a 'no-no' and my own local experience of Tesco planning failures has only re-inforced that view.

So, in a sense, I foresee my cup as being half full. I'm sure we'll have a more wealthy (and professional?) owner and positive we shalln't be stuck out in the sticks. On the other hand, I just don't see us as a force to be reckoned with where it matters ? on the field.
Harry  Meek     Posted 16/10/2008 at 09:50:40   Comments (18)

Everton paranoia

I read the Guardian every day (except Sunday); because they make so many cock ups, they have a corrections and clarifications service every day.

In order for them to have published the Everton bit , the club would have had to have contacted them. The thing is, they must be aparanoid to have bothered about something that, in the general scheme of things, is infitesimal.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 16/10/2008 at 08:57:22   Comments (4)

Reserves at Goodison

Why is it Everton never play any reserve games at Goodison?

Surely the games against Liverpool, Man Utd, and Arsenal would draw supporters to the ground and increase revenue for the club. It would give the supporters a chance to have a look at what we have in reserve. Then we MIGHT understand why centre halfs and fullbacks get put in midfield, centre forwards get put on the wing. We might... but I very much doubt it.

The state of the pitch cannot be the reason. If we were still in cup competitions, then maybe. I'm pretty sure the mini-derby would bring in more than under three thousand supporters if played at Goodison, which in turn would be a moral booster for the young fringe players like Gosling and Kissock.
Colin Malone     Posted 15/10/2008 at 19:36:51   Comments (10)

Cahill again

Looks like Timmy has just has just played a blinder for the aussies against Qatar today, scoring one, winning a penalty and setting up another and all this from a midfield role in a 4-1-3-2 formation. Who say's he can't play in midfield?

Of course "it's only against Quatar", I can hear the doubters on this site saying, but when fit, I don't believe there is a better player currently wearing the blue shirt.
Liam Reilly     Posted 15/10/2008 at 13:12:25   Comments (32)

Gutted

Personally. I am gutted that Moyes has signed a new contract. 5 more years of this man's inept and cautious tactics, I feel will bring us no closer to any honours than we are now.

I read on here people stating that "football has changed." Well it hasn't in the way it should be played. The ball is the same size, as is the pitch and the number of players. Quite simply. You believe the hype and bullshit the so-called experts spout on Sky etc. Football is a simple game played on the floor by passing and moving.

I am not trying to be condescending here, it's just that the simple philosophy of the game is lost on Moyes. Long ball to midgets, players played out of position, negative formations and tactics, the list goes on. He has had the best part of 7 years to create and build a side that can do the simple things all youngsters are taught, and he can't coach grown men to do it.

Money is not an excuse, there are players out there and players in our team by the way. That can pass a football, so why the hell aren't they doing it? Answers on a postcard to D Moyes.
Dave  Lynch     Posted 15/10/2008 at 12:33:23   Comments (57)

Trophy-less managers?

Upon hearing that the 'will he, wont he' Moyes contract saga has come to a close, and contemplating another five years of Davey, it got me thinking. Moyes has been at Everton for six and a half years now, and not won a cup. I was wondering what the record was for how long it has taken for a manager to win a trophy for his club? This isn't a 'Moyes Out' campaign, just curiosity!
Chris Sillett     Posted 14/10/2008 at 22:11:07   Comments (44)

James Vaughan

After scoring 2 goals in tonight's mini-derby, surely the time is right for Vaughany to be given a run in the team? PerhAps dropping Yakubu will give him a bit of a kick up the arse!!!
Graham Nolan     Posted 14/10/2008 at 21:31:51   Comments (19)

Double Standards?

For the away game at Bolton I see we have been allocated approx 1900 tkts @ 32 quid each. Blackburn, for this Saturday have been given 2900, and have asked for more, all priced at 15quid! Is somebody taking the piss or am I just being cynical?
John Pickersgill     Posted 14/10/2008 at 19:34:36   Comments (5)

Moyes Signs On Dotted Line

Love him or loathe him, Davey has signed a new five year contract. Well at least with "the uncertainty" of the manager's commitment now sorted, time to step up to the plate lads and start behaving like players fit to wear the our beloved shirt.
Declan Burke     Posted 14/10/2008 at 19:32:07   Comments (54)

Everton in Limbo

In common with a number of Premier clubs, Everton are in limbo at present. Whilst we wait for news of a new owner, this situation of uncertainty suits Bill Kenwright very well. It gives him a good excuse for doing the only thing he does well - NOTHING!

Of course, we are uncertain about other things as well: whether we have any prospect of a new stadium; whether we want it if it has to be in Kirkby; whether to appoint a new CEO; whether Moyes will ever sign that bloody contract; and, most important of all, whether the team we have is fit for the purpose.

Now I may be a simple soul who can only handle one problem at a time but that little lot looks a bit prohibitive to me and if you add the undoubted fact that every possible line of credit has been used up, Everton looks like a club in crisis to me. The solutions to some of these problems may only exacerbate the calamity.

If Kirby gets the go-ahead, how can "our share" possibly be funded AND allow money for team building? If Moyes signs the ridiculously expensive contract, will he be able to turn our season round? If he can't, will we be stuck with him for another five years?

So, as Bill looks for "the right and proper owner" to succeed him, he really has got the perfect excuse to let things just roll on. Can't talk to anybody about an alternative ground, not worth appointing a new Chief Exec, no good spending money on the team etc etc etc...

Everton in limbo? Deep in the shit more like. Or am I exagerating our woe?
Brian  Noble     Posted 14/10/2008 at 16:25:36   Comments (5)

Mexican stand-off

I suspect we are in a different place today regarding the Moyes contract than we were 3 months ago.

We are now in a Mexican stand-off. Moyes has declared his hand; he considered leaving Everton and was open to other options hence the delay in his contract signing. Now he is waiting to see what develops with regard to the takeover and will either sign the deal when the new billionaire owner is revealed or will use the failing search for the sugar-daddy to ultimately exit Everton and join Celtic or another club better suited to the new over-confident Moyes.

For Kenright?s part he is balancing the important sale of his biggest personal asset whilst not wishing to threaten the rosey image of a united club with an all-out war on his manager for embarrassing him and the club by prolonging his contract signing.

This will ultimately be the end of an era on two fronts; first a keen, popular but naïve and forward thinking manager has matured to become a greedy and manipulative manager who now views Everton as nothing more than a vehicle for his own ego. Basically Moyes has been seduced by the riches and celebrity of football.

Second, the die-hard Evertonian Kenright has become tired of the weight of supporter expectation. The chairmanship of his ailing ?first love? is now too difficult an undertaking for him to dedicate so much time. He continues to feel obliged to not rubbish his manager in public and hopes that the problem that is now David Moyes will shortly become another?s concern.

Kenright sees an opportunity to exit the club with his investment having grown and his reputation only partially scarred. Blue Bill is the last of a generation of ?caring chairman? motivated only by their love for their club. Once gone he can only be replaced by an out-of-towner who cares neither for the fans nor the history of Everton.

Moyes will eventually be a key part of Everton?s history having contributed to the rebuilding of the club after the barren years of Smith etc and for that he deserves our respect and thanks.

Ultimately Kenright will retain some integrity and dignity after the contract farce and will still be an Evertonian. Moyes will be richer, will still be in management but will never be as Blue as you, me or Kenright.

Only my opinion but time will tell.

John Sheron     Posted 14/10/2008 at 16:47:50   Comments (32)

Who's next?

As I write this I assume that David Moyes has not signed a new contract. My own opinion is that he feels he can go no further with Everton and is waiting for something else. Maybe it's Spurs and if so I wish him luck, he'll need it.

I think it's good news for Everton. Things at Goodison have gone stale and hoofball is the game we play. Who could do better? Well here's a list:

Hoddle
Maldini
Bilic
Keegan
David Jones
Alan Stubbs

They are in no particular order but I believe that any one of them would motivate the squad more than our curent de-motivated, negative, defeatist, safety first coach is doing.
Andy Crooks     Posted 14/10/2008 at 00:18:55   Comments (41)

Squad Value?

After watching Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports, apparently Newcastle in their breakdown of club valuation to prospective new buyers have their squad valued at £100 million... cue much laughter and shock from presenter and guests.

It made me think what would our squad valuation be? If Newcastle's squad is that much surely ours must be a little higher? Or lower!
Dan Machin     Posted 13/10/2008 at 15:41:20   Comments (17)

Simple as A,B,C

Reading the OS article by Pienaar (http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/pienaar-we-re-a-scalp.html) about EFC being targeted scalps for smaller clubs got me thinking about the team and club's psychology at the moment.

IMHO, a team's psychology can make a huge difference to performance. Not sure about you folks but as a Blue, I always feel more comfortable as the underdog. That backs to the wall and "dogs of war" attitude to me epitomises the Everton spirit. So, given our current situation (let's forget why we are where we are for a moment), this is the rallying call I would be making if I were DM.

A is for attitude. I'd be trying to motivate every team member to go out and prove to themselves, team mates, fans, the top 4, International managers, DM or whoever, that they are great players. Basically, DM needs to get them fired up inside.

B is for belief. DM needs to talk to each player, explain their role and show real belief in them. Its not a "you're dropped if you lose the ball", its a "I know you are a great player who can do XYZ. Go and show me". This goes for all players but I have particular players like Castillo in mind here.

C is for commitment. Putting A & B together with team spirit gives team commitment. The Everton team that won the league back in 86-87 did so through team spirit. There were some great players but they also had a fair share of injuries and quite a few unknowns who stepped up to the mark and played their part. We need that same spirit and commitment now.

I hope DM can instill these values into the current squad. Signing his contract might help too!
Ciaran Duff     Posted 13/10/2008 at 08:34:34   Comments (10)

When Saturday Comes

Is there still a Liverpool FC fanzine called "When Sunday Comes"? It was ironically titled because LFC matches were so frequently switched to Sundays for TV in the late eighties. I almost feel like this title should now belong to us in the blue half of the city.

If you haven't noticed, we've had yet another Saturday 3:00 pm kick-off changed (this the pre-Christmas fixture vs Chelsea ? now on a Monday night!!). It will mean no traditional Saturday afternoon kick-offs at all through September-December 2009. Our next scheduled Saturday 3:00 pm kick-off is Hull City in early January.

Perhaps it's the annoyance of such a poor start, exit from the Uefa Cup and too many broken promises that has me angry at present. But no traditional kick-offs until 2009 ? and we've been knocked out of the Uefa Cup! For me this means havoc with family and travel arrangements and the possibility of missing at least two games.

Maybe it is the poor start. Maybe it was as bad as this last year... but it didn't feel like it. There were great afternoons (that became great evenings) against Fulham, Sunderland and Man City in 07-08: By 5:00 pm on those days, we were floating with joy ? and with Sunday to recover if required.
Gerry Allen     Posted 12/10/2008 at 21:27:15   Comments (16)

Moyes, is he he man to take us forward?

I really would like to know people's take on DM's "technically sound" managing skill since taking over.

Personally I'm very greatfull for what he has done for us in the last 3 season but I think his time at Goodison must come to an end. We need to play with Euro's elite, and it doesn't look like that is ever gonna happen while Sir David Moyes is still in charge.

If Moyes does decide to go, i think a few players need to follow him....
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 11/10/2008 at 21:10:40   Comments (39)

Do WE have to sell?

As a very `small shareholder`, tonight`s news that Kenwright is on the verge of selling out to a `Middle East Consortium` has come as a bit of a shock. My humble holding has been in our family for nearly a century and is of particular sentimental value. Do I HAVE to sell?

As I understand it, Kenwright and his henchmen hold something over 50% of the equity and I assume that the reported £180M valuation covers only these shares and the debts the directors have accumulated whilst the club has been in their charge.

However, when Doug Ellis sold the Villa, ALL the shareholders were obliged to sell to Randy Lerner and I wonder if the same will apply here. Can someone provide some guidance, please?
Norman Willetts     Posted 10/10/2008 at 19:28:54   Comments (26)

Club for sale?

A brief report on Five Live has said that Bill Kenwright has got on a plane to have a meeting with a potential buyer. Apparently the sale is for £180M. I guess there must be some substance to this for it to make it to the radio. Anyone know where he's gone? Who he is meeting?
Simon Jones     Posted 10/10/2008 at 17:09:19   Comments (22)

We need a laugh

Guess What? Andy Van Der Meyde is nearly ready for a comeback. Did you know he's only been out for ten weeks!
Andrew Cunningham     Posted 10/10/2008 at 13:38:06   Comments (47)

Realistic Ambitions

After a fairly poor start to the season, there are a lot of us concerned at where we are going. Dithering Dave isn't signing the contract and we have a number of players who are well out of sorts along with others who really aren't up to the job. This isn't a thread to criticise individuals ? it's more about where did we really think we'd end up this season?

We aren't ever going to break the top four. They are well clear of us. Who is next? Man City once the January transfer window opens. Villa with a bit of cash and a decent manager. Can we count the Barcodes and Spurs out?

I'd like to suggest that 5th was lucky last season and our early exit from the Uefa Cup shows we just ain't up to it at that level. Are we mid-table material and that's it? Or are we relegation candidates? For what its worth, I think we're mid-table once we get some confidence back.
Mark  Ramshaw     Posted 09/10/2008 at 22:23:36   Comments (19)

Give Castillo a run!

I feel very sorry for Castillo. I reckon at the moment... he is our best defensive midfielder at the club, and apart from the game against Blackburn, he has put in some good performances. Unfortunately, if we're playing 4-4-2 Moyes would pick Fellaini over him, and in a 4-5-1... I don't think he can play that well with Fellaini... though, given time, that might change.

I just feel he deserves a chance, but I'm just wondering how to fit him in the team... Would you drop Fellaini? Or would you go back to 4-5-1 and play Fellaini or Castillo? I haven't got a clue to be honest.

In retrospect, I think we could've done better in buying M'bia at the transfer window as well, as he can tackle and has presence... and is a defensive midfielder!! But ah well.
Ben Jones     Posted 09/10/2008 at 19:08:12   Comments (40)

Midfield Balance

David Moyes spoke today that the balance of the midfield hasn't been right and that last Sunday against Newcastle was what he thinks the best he has been able to field. Does this mean that over the coming games there will be no place for Captain fantastic or will he simply put him in at right back? Either way, Moyes will make sure he can accomodate Phil Neville in some capacity regardless of his piss poor form.
Alan Codd     Posted 09/10/2008 at 17:20:02   Comments (13)

Everton Mints

Why is it we can't buy Everton Mints at Goodison Park?

The answer is, the company Sedexo, who runs the Everton catering and shops at the ground, have stopped selling the Everton Mints that have been sold at Goodison Park since Goodison was built.

When I contacted Sedexo, they said they stopped selling Everton mints because the proffit was too small for them. I contacted the suppliers who did supply the Everton Mints to Goodison and they told me Sedexo stopped selling Everton mints because they couldn't get £2.50 for a 200g bag so they stopped selling them. I again contacted the suppliers and they told me Sodexo only paid 45p a bag for the Everton mints.

A great tradition stopped by none Everton Supporters.
Joe Cain     Posted 09/10/2008 at 14:59:35   Comments (18)

Michel Platini ? what a shrew

So Mr Platini thinks that Everton should forget about investment and focus on bringing through youth ? I doubt very much that this attitude would be seeing the light of day if it were Spain or Italy who were the current big attraction in European football. In fact, in the not too distant past we had the Spanish and Italian leagues running riot in terms of spending, wages and debt ? did we hear a peep out of Uefa then. Of course not.

Football is a transient beast...Leagues grow and leagues diminish, and in the current financial climate it is inevitable that the growth of the English league will arrest itself to some degree. In fact look at the Russian league, absolutely dripping with money.

It's interesting that Platini preaches to a club like ours, with little understanding of what it's like to know your club will never be top dog without obscene amounts of money. Do this man seriously expect us to embrace his nonsense? Or am I being a little unfair? Is Platini actually mirroring the jealousy of supporters who don't have money. Is he merely doing a similar Charlie Bucket routine and gazing through a shop window at a chocolate bar he longs for? If he is then he's dangerous person to have at the top of Uefa.

I severely doubt that he could get agreement on the wage caps, or the ludicrous and potentially illegal 6+5 rule. But what would happen if they did?

In my opinion, we'd see a number of things happen, a number of things that would merely sustain the status quo with the rich clubs being able to exploit the situation while the relatively poor clubs scratch their heads thinking that they still need major money to compete.

Uefa's adoption of these rules means they would probably only apply to their competitions ? so that means that the rich clubs would still dominate their domestic leagues and still be the usual suspects in the champions league positions come May ? so little change there.

When it comes to the Uefa competitions, I think it is inevitable that the big money clubs create a two team club (which they can obviously afford to do) ? one team having the Uefa remit and the other having the domestic remit ? so no change there ? the big boys still have the capital to dominate.

And what of this Academy concept? If you ask me, the writing is all ready on the wall for that one ? we've seen the likes of Chelsea buy nearly every kid going only to be stashed away for some future rule change. And we all know what happens after a foreign kid has been sitting in some academy in London or Manchester for 5 years... magically their nationality changes and, hey presto ? two rules undermined in one swoop.

Perhaps Mr Platini should just keep his jealous and poorly rationalised solutions to himself, and let us get on with watching quality footballers. And whats wrong with wishing that one day money will return Everton's former status of top financial dog?

And in the meantime, if anyone needs to moan about obscene player wages, we're quite capable of doing that one ourselves.
Ciarán McGlone     Posted 09/10/2008 at 09:15:16   Comments (26)

Moyes's contract clock

Perhaps we could have a clock on this site so we show how long it is since Moyes was supposed to have signed his contract. To remind you, he made the ridiculous comment that it might have even been signed before the last home match against Newcastle.

I can put up with many things in this life but being assumed to be stupid is not one of them. Does Moyes and the club must think we are that gullible all the time? How many times now have we had the "Moyes is poised to sign his contract "crap.?

I'm guessing Everton cannot be bothered to force the issue and it suits Moyes to keep his options open. Neither partty comes out of this smelling of roses.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 08/10/2008 at 13:17:50   Comments (63)

Yet again we prove we are 'The People's Club...'

Latest news breaking today is that Everton have changed their main phone number to an 0870 number.

http://evertonfc.com/news/archive/new-phone-number.html

Great... we now pay a flat rate of 10p per min.

Do they not realise that most people get FREE minutes on their mobiles and landline phones to other landline numbers?

OR, perhaps they do realise, and have latched onto this idea possibly as a money spinner?

Yet again, evidence of the club trying to take us for mugs.
Steven Astley     Posted 08/10/2008 at 12:52:23   Comments (21)

A level playing field

I hate to say it, but the Premier League is boring. We have got absolutely no chance of finishing in the top 4, never mind winning it.

There needs to be a radical overhaul of the way football is run in this country. The top clubs are massively in debt, but are allowed to get away with it. They pay 80% of their turnover in wages. If they were run as proper businesses they would all be bankrupt. We need to adopt the American system as used in NFL:

  1. Spread all TV money evenly.
  2. Salary caps. Put a limit on how much each team can spend on salaries. That would free up squad players of the big teams to be spread around the league.
  3. Restriction on foreign players so that more home grown players can emerge. (I know this is against the free trade movement within the EU, but it works in other sports such as cricket, and should be explored).
  4. A draft system for the young up coming players. In the U.S. the top college players are drafted into the league, and the weaker teams get first pick. For this to work over here we would have to set up a junior league similar to the college system in the states, so that when a young player reaches 18/19 he is then eligible to play in the Premier League and will be drafted by a club.
  5. A set quota of home grown players in each first team squad.
I know this would be hard to do as our league is run differently to that in the States, but the aim of this article is to encourage responses from other readers as to how the Premier League can become more competitive. I hate going into each season knowing that finishing 5th is seen as some sort of success. 5th is nowhere and should not be lauded.

Since 1995, only us and Portsmouth (outside the Sky 4) have won the FA Cup, and Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea have had the league sown up for years. Even our wonderful neighbours haven't won the league since 1991, so what chance have we got?
Mark Scarratt     Posted 07/10/2008 at 23:31:35   Comments (38)

Moyes Uncertainty

Don't know if it's just me but does anyone else think the reason Moyesey hasn't signed a new contract, is because he is being lined up to take over a number of other Premier league clubs i.e Spurs, Newcastle, Man Utd? With numerous clubs in the Premier League set to be takenover in the coming months by the collection of the billionaires in the Middle East, I believe he may have had secret talks ? with whom I don't know....
Paul Lynch     Posted 07/10/2008 at 22:06:27   Comments (21)

Well it worked before!

When Lee Carsley bid farewell at the end of last season, everyone wished him well; some felt he was no more than a journeyman and he would soon be forgotten. Others knew better, they had long since recognised Carsley's value. Although unspectacular, he was brave and saw danger very early; his ability to snuff out danger gave us a sort of assurance. The better footballers were given a freedom they can only dream about now.

Two years ago, Davey Moyes confined Alan Stubbs to the scrap heap selling him to Sunderland. Everton quite simply fell apart. The football community, especially the gobshites, fell about laughing when Moyes brought Stubbsy back, but, incredibly it worked. Stubbsy, having got the deal he wanted, steadied the ship and Moyes was given a further couple of seasons to sort his defence out.

Moyes quite clearly didn't learn from his error: before you unload any key player, you need to replace him. I wonder what price I'd get for a Carsley return in the January window... ???
Dave Wilson     Posted 07/10/2008 at 19:09:16   Comments (55)

We can still qualify for Europe?!? WTF

Well, I was truly annoyed by the end of the transfer window after a summer of turmoil, and pointless end-of-season signings. I remember when we signed Tim Howard and Lescott pretty much straight after the final whistle a few seasons ago and Moyes was banging on about how this will be the Everton way from now on, ie giving players time to train with the team and get into the way we play and the team spirit.

I then went on the most amazing 4 weeks, travelling around Thailand, during which I forced myself to avoid the internet in the hope that all would come good. Then, on the day of the derby, I found a pub that was showing the Liverpool game. I decided to check the internet and could not believe the results that had gone on in my absence. But that could not prepare me for the mauling we had to put up with. Even miles away in Thailand, there are kopites ready to give it out, and fair play, they earnt the right that day.

I am now in Sydney and things have gone from bad to worse. Crashed out of the Uefa Cup and conceding another 2 goals to a terrible team to give away a 2-goal lead. Now here is what I can't understand. I have been reading through the mailbag and I keep finding people saying, "So what? We played well in the first half, we were on the same points nearly last season, so can still make Europe." WELL, WE WERE ALREADY IN EUROPE THIS TIME LAST WEEK UNTIL WE FUCKED IT UP!!

We are in real danger of relegation this season. Why?? Well because last season and for the previous Moyes seasons we were getting away with 1-0 wins. The best in the country. But we were never convincing. All it takes is for the defence to wobble slightly and all of a sudden the 1-0 scrapes become 2 goals to the opposition.

Premier League football is intense. Managers like Sam Allardyce and Avram Grant adopt new ways of getting an extra 0.5% out of players because the margins are that tight. However, the majority of Everton fans don't seem to realise this, and say "yeah but this is the majority of a squad that got us to 5th last season". Who gives a fuck? We didn't strenghten when we had the opportunity to kick on and now we are paying the price.
Peter Tomlinson     Posted 07/10/2008 at 16:25:54   Comments (14)

Not so Super Cup

I was a little too young to remember this, but does anyone have any memories of Everton losing the Super Cup final against Liverpool in 1986? It was for all the teams who would have otherwise played in Europe that season. This wiki report (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Cup_(English_football)) gives an over-view but just thought it may be interesting to get some fan's views.

Howard Kendall didn't think much of it as apparently his team talk for the Norwich game was "What a waste of time this is ? out you go." Haha, excellent. Also, anyone make it to Wembley for the Zenith Data Systems Cup Finals against Forest and Palace?
Nick Entwistle     Posted 07/10/2008 at 15:23:59   Comments (18)

Is Owen right for Everton?

Several reports this morning say that Everton are putting together a £6Million bid for Michael Owen in the January window. Now we all know that Owen's family connections meant that he was brought up as a blue-blood but would his long and successful association with the darkside rule him out as the saviour we might need by Christmas?

Clearly `Owen 08` is not the model who took Liverpool and England by storm when he was a teenager and he is currently having great difficulty in convincing Mr Capello that he is still of International standard. Furthermore his expected demand for a £100k a week wage would shadow even our manager's mega-salary!

So, all things considered, is Owen the man we should turn to for salvation or would Moyes be better to swallow his pride and go for the slightly cheaper option of trying to re-sign Tim Cahill?
Maurice  Buchanan-Smith     Posted 07/10/2008 at 15:06:16   Comments (20)

Joleon Lesser-cott

There is a sixty-something Evertonian who sits two seats away from me in the Park End, who moved to Wolverhampton several years back. Word in the Black country is that our normally brilliant defender had some corrective operation in the summer, and simply hasn't felt the same since. His performances would seem to bear that out, and his confidence is clearly on the wane.

Can anyone corroborate?
Kevin Hudson     Posted 07/10/2008 at 14:43:11   Comments (22)

How upset were you this morning?

When the Uefa Cup draw was made and we were the only Englsih team that had failed to qualify from the previous round? I was gutted.

Would love to think that the players were too but I doubt whether they are.

Meanwhile ? surprise, surprise ? another day and nothing on the Moyes contract. Can we still withdraw it?
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 07/10/2008 at 13:11:15   Comments (12)

JJB

It looks like JJB is really in trouble due to its suppliers no longer being able to receive credit insurance. This is exactly the time we should be renegotiating the deal we have with them as yet another kit is delivered well into the season. Well worn points of not being able to get a blue shirt outside of Liverpool could now become the club's responsibility....
David Parks     Posted 07/10/2008 at 09:05:26   Comments (4)

Tim Cahill AGAIN!!

Last year I posted a comment about Tim Cahill, the abilities and the downsides of Tiny Tim.

In resopnse to my comments, I got a hot reception the majority of the fans writing in to ToffeeWeb site but I also found that some surpporters agreed with me. In my opinion, last year and many of the years before, I thought that Tim Cahill was a one-trick pony! Before you start to throw your dummies out of the pram, hear me out please.

I had stated that Tim has NO pace, NO passing ability, NO skill in beating a man... Can't tackle for love nor money, and can't play in a four-man midfield. There's no doubt that Tim has the passion of our great club and that he wears his heart on his sleeve plus works his balls off in every single game. I'm not trying to sound like Tony Marsh on this subject but I expect more!!

Yes, he scores goals from time to time but we have strikers who can do that. And the main reason we play 4-5-1 is because of Tim; Moyes knows in his heart of hearts that Tim can't fulfill the roll of most modern midfielders, pass and move with pace vision, tracking back ,and playing that through ball.

I love Tim, I really do ? he has done a good job for the team ? but I think it's time for him to go. You may argue that our other midfielders aren't that great but we all know that. With Tim in the squad, it causes a problem with the formation, why have 4 good strikers at the club with only one place up for grabs!

I know I will be slated for this comment but if you really look at tim you will see he offers very little!!
Sean McKenna     Posted 06/10/2008 at 20:23:27   Comments (69)

Full backs a cause of defensive uncertainty?

Since I couldn't respond to some comments on another thread yesterday, I thought 'd open up the debate about our two current fullbacks. I don't have a major problem with Baines's ability but I do with his size.

From where I sit in the Park End with the Family Enclosure to my immediate left, it was obvious that in the second half Newcastle were targeting the chipped ball over Baines for the winger / full back to run onto. Baines had a very reasonable game but he spent a lot of time in the second half, defending running towards his own goal line. Lescott, being bigger, usually(!) cuts out the lofted ball, as does Valente.

And if I were an opposition manager, I would put a big man on Hibbert's wing to target a high ball to the other post. Again, Hibbert is not brilliant in the air, but, more significantly, he is prone to ball watching, coming inside and forgetting where his man is. I don't need to really discuss his ball control do I?

Aren't these aspects of our defensive mess that we can do something about?

That's why I stated in the other thread that I thought the two full backs are our weakest defensive positions at the moment. Teams are simply getting too many crosses in.
Ray  Robinson     Posted 06/10/2008 at 19:41:58   Comments (27)

Liege Issues

Well where do you start on last Thursday's debacle? Let's be brutally honest, it was not a good performance as our Davey suggests by a very very long margin. I have read many, many articles over the last couple of months and Moysey is either lauded up as the chosen one or slated and we want his head on a silver platter.

I personally think on the whole in 6 years he has done a good job considering the clowns upstairs running the club but, there comes a time for change and I think we can go either 1 of 3 ways:

  1. A mighty rich billionaire comes in, uses Everton as his play thing for several years to promote dozens of other interests, keeps David and Bill at the helm. Moysey spends hideous amounts of money in a very short time and we do absolutely nothing for another 2/3 years and he eventually gets the boot after mediocre seasons reaching cup semis, another top four finish and a flirtation in the Champions League / Uefa cup. OR
  2. A mighty rich billionaire comes in with a new broom and clears out everyone (in approx 12 months); all the clowns upstairs, Bill and David included, brings in a quality foreign coach, buys half of Liverpool to put us where we belong in a swanky new stadium costing £500 million and sticks two fingers up at Liverpoo. We go on for the next 3 years employing countless coaches/managers until we hit the jackpot and bring in loads of trophies!
  3. No billionaire ever comes in Moysey gets sick to the back teeth with no money and walks. Form goes out the window, our best assets on the field get picked off, we continue to argue and pursue a ground move that will NEVER come off and we do a Sheffield Wednesday / Leeds Utd.

Now, back to last week. Like I said earlier, it was NOT a good performance, by Neville, Cahill, Osman, Baines, Hibbert, Saha, etc, etc, for example. These guys could not even put their foot on the ball and pick a decent searching pass inside the opposition's half. You could see after 20 minutes the balance wasn't right and why the hell is Cahill playing when he looks seriously out of shape?

Davey Boy's body language summed it all up that night and all we hear from him last Thursday was his moaning about the supposed red card and penalty decision. David, you make your own luck when playing with the elite and Thursday night we did not deserve a thing never mind a gift from Espinoza.

I never laughed as much when Pat Nevin came on after the game saying tactically "David is spot on, when there's a decision to be made he goes and does it quickly. He made several decisions tonight when the balance was not quite right in the 1st half in midfield."

Nevin, you must have rose tinted spectacles, mate. From where I was watching, David's team selection was baffling to say the least!

I for one would like to see David come out and say, "enough's enough. I will leave at the end of the season after my contract's up and get my dream move to Celtic or United. I have taken you as far as I am tactically able and thanks for some fabulous years. COYB


Simon O'Bien     Posted 06/10/2008 at 15:50:26   Comments (4)

Negativity?

My assesment of the worst Everton displays of woeful negativity I have seen since relagation just after the war. Do not forget my friends, they were getting paid next to fuck all for offering up shite in those days.

Here is my honest opinion after 60-odd years of watching the blues

  1. commitment: none
  2. endeavour: none
  3. skill: absolutely none.
  4. determination: none.
  5. attitude: none whatsoever.
  6. stigma: (according to dictionary) social disgrace, what this shower of Jessies are trying to make the club and followers.
  7. to manage: (again dictionary) to succeed (lol,)

I could go on, on, on. I've seen it all over the years, and yes there have been good times, but Christ lads and lasses this lot have to be the worst ever for what they are getting paid!!!!!

Surely nobody can argue with the above.
Teddy Draper     Posted 06/10/2008 at 14:50:18   Comments (24)

Only bad news counts when it's Everton

Just out of interest but you know when you feel that the only time Everton appear in the media it's only the bad news? Well, I've just read this report of the England Under-16's game at the weekend. Why is it that the only named player who doesn't have his club mentioned is one of ours...Ross Barklay? Oh and he's only 14 so playing a year above himself.

Paranoid? Me?
Rob  Williamson     Posted 06/10/2008 at 13:32:54   Comments (2)

You're The Investor

You're a multi-billionaire who has just aquired the first club of the City of Liverpool. It's January, it's the transfer window, the club is currently in negotiations regarding a 'called-in' possible ground relocation to Kirkby, a move which has the fanbase divided. You have 4 options. Do you...

1) Carry on with the proposed move, fighting nail and tooth with the authorities in an attempt to push through the 'mid-level' stadium in Knowsley, even though there is a growing portion, some would say now a majority, of fans who oppose it?

2) Retract any involvement in the move, and instead focus on the refurbishment of a once grand stadium, back to its glory days?

3) Retract any involvement in the move, and instead concentrate in finding a piece of prime real estate in the Liverpool boundaries, and commission work to start on a brand new stadium?

4) Retract any involvement in the move, and instead decide to stay, for the time being 'as you are', and instead concentrate on ploughing your money into the squad, just like your mate in Manchester is doing?
Lee Smith     Posted 06/10/2008 at 13:16:01   Comments (18)

Will longevity guarantee success?

The Kenwright PR machine known as TalkSport carried a piece this morning in which David Moyes was quoted as saying that comments by Sir Bobby Robson had persuaded him to put pen to paper on THAT contract. Apparently, money had nothing to do with it and love for his "People's Club" wasn`t mentioned. No, it was the noble knight's assertion that longevity alone could guarantee success.

As ever, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were trotted out as the exemplars of this creed alongside Sir Bobby's ten years with Ipswich. Ability, nouse, foresight, tactical awareness didn't get a mention for apparently it's all about "sticking with your man." After all, look what other long-serving managers such as Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley and even dear old Dario Gradi achieved during their decade or more in the same job!

So as we look forward to another five years with `The Moyesiah`(don't hear him called that these days!), can we be certain that success is just around the corner? Will Our Davey turn out to be a Fergie and conquer the Prem and Europe or just a Big Sam who "does well with what he's got to work with"?

I guess, under the present ownership, it has to be the latter and however critical we are about Davey, we find it difficult to come up with a replacement who would do any better. On the other hand, he bores me rigid, has all the tactical insight of Walter Smith and the charisma of a kitchen top. But in the present circumstances he's a safe pair of hands who will have everybody's hero, Captain Phil, alongside him throughout his extended tenure!

But will time-serving alone transmute him into a managerial genius? I think not... But then, it depends what you mean by success. I suspect it will require both a change of ownership and a very different manager to bring that back to Everton!
Brian  Noble     Posted 06/10/2008 at 10:57:09   Comments (11)

More bullshit (only if you believe in bogeymen)

I just read the Times over my tea & toast. In my humble opinion it has become the best read & most reliable content in the last year or two amongst the "quality" press.

Here's the article regarding the apparent impending sale, or certainly expected offers, for Everton. What's notable here is the apparent difference in emphasis in the strategies for selling Everton and selling Newcastle, both of which are being handled by Keith Harris' company.

It also mentions that other satanic master of mystery and all round black prince, Philip Green. This unsuccessful billionaire and patently clueless businessman has seemingly had the temerity to advise Bill Kenwright (they are friends, can you believe it!). Don't know about you, but I smell a rat, and a black one at that. Advice? Guarantees? Introductions to potential investors? What next...

The suggestion is that Everton's sale is being handled with greater patience and diligence than Newcastle's. For those who know Kenwright, and it's no surprise whatsoever, is that he cares who takes over the club. Such due diligence on future ownership can only go so far, but it reflects Kenwright's convictions and his colours.

If I were a Geordie reading the article I'd be saddened. Astley is looking for a quick fire-sale and hopefully a fast buck. Contrary to the ludicrous suggestions of the Kenwright haters on this forum (and just watch them respond to this article :-) he is out to give Everton much much more than he would ever take from us.

For some the grass is always greener and the glass is always half empty. Actually I think the journalist is clearly a "friend" of Kenwright's. Either that or he has been drugged into submission by Everton's satanic PR machine into giving us good copy.

The thing is, if all this does actually go through as some expect, who or what will these doom-merchants, scare mongers and blame merchants put the knife into next?

Watch this space :-)
Alan Kirwin     Posted 06/10/2008 at 08:52:35   Comments (18)

Meltdown!

Moyes's stock must have fallen as much as AIG and Meryll Lynch in the last few weeks. Personally I sold mine when he bought Beattie for a record fee and stuck him in the team ahead of an at the time, pacy, effective Marcus Bent! Square peg and round hole is a recurring theme, and that was the first shining example... It was despite Moyes that we finished 4th that year... as usual we were relegation material after Xmas until Duncan Ferguson filled the charisma void and we stumbled into 4th place... not that it did us any good whatsoever.

I used to post more often but not so much now; but I just can't help but read every day... just like most of you I'm sure. I'm staggered that Moyes has so much support ? we're all Evertonians and want the same thing but I just can't get my head around this bizarre level of support!

He's a clueless, charisma-less PE teacher. A horrible joke surely thrust upon us by our RS neighbours.... has any manager had a worse record in derbies?

He's inept in the transfer market, doesn't recocgnise utter shite when its as clear as the ginger on his head; has no regard for power and pace, and even skill seems an uncomfortable fit with him. He is not regarded by players... he was a shit player, he is no Mourinho in the charisma stakes and simply has no impact to attract players to the club, or to motivate the ones that are here.

Phil Neville is his on-field personna, his mirror image! If he's allowed to sign this ludicrous contract that's been reported in the press then you've just witnessed one of the biggest disasters in Everton's history. He's probably a nice, if boring man, but he's a joke as a Premier League manager.

And for all those clowns who attack Tony Marsh with "Who else?" ? Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Tony Mowbray, Phil Brown.... even Joe Kinnear! Anybody is better than this clueless PE teacher. None of those are my ideal, but £3 million a year could get you just about any manager in the world of football; Liege, Villarreal etc, etc.... that's a tough decision.... getting rid of a tactically clueless moron shouldn't be!

If he doesn't go now prepare to suffer shite football, zero success and relegation worries for the next few years. Just remember, before you go on the attack... I'm an Evertonian like all of you, I pray for the day when you are all filled with pride about our team, our club, even the way we play football. It will NEVER happen with this over-rated clown in charge!
Mike Price     Posted 06/10/2008 at 07:18:12   Comments (6)

Steve Round

There has been a lot of blame aimed towards the manager and the chairman for the start that we have had this season, the late introduction of any new players, etc but no-one has looked at the change of the coaching staff. Steve Round came in as coach during the pre-season to help organise a team that had one of the best defensive records over the last few years and immediately we started conceding goals ? not just during this season but also pre-season. Here is a coach who worked with Steve McClaren for England and at Newcastle last season... need I say anymore?
James Arnold     Posted 06/10/2008 at 07:39:02   Comments (3)

Has he signed yet?

In light of yet another inept performance, I have come to the conclusion (at last) that if DM can't motivate the current crop of players he should be shown the door. Two up and to capitulate in such circumstances was bloody pitiful. I'm ready for a change... anyone else?
Eddy  Grundy     Posted 05/10/2008 at 17:57:30   Comments (80)

Remember the season of '76?

Remember the season of '76? Not 1976.... the season where we conceded 76 goals in a Premier League season???

2008-09, by the looks of it, as we continue to concede 2 goals per game and need to core twice for any kind of points or progression. This has to be the worst defensive display in my lifetime.

Its time to drop the big names, and bring in Rodwell et al ? they cannot do any worse, surely.
Jeremy Benson     Posted 05/10/2008 at 17:44:35   Comments (18)

Captain Arteta!

A nice positive line up. Come on you blues, lets smash the barcodes!!!

Arteta, deliver today, please.
Sean Thompson     Posted 05/10/2008 at 15:39:34   Comments (126)

We need more Amo

I was just watching a documentary on Eurosport about Amokachi and it reminded me of our greatest recent players attributes. Amo won us the FA cup in 1995. It was the last trophy the club won with his 2 goals against Spurs after which the final was a formality due to Royles hoodoo over Utd. With increasing speculation that Moyes may hang up his gloves and retire I realised that Amotaxi would be the best man to carry us to success.

We have a strong Nigerian contingent at the club and it has worked in the past for Chelsea to have an Italian boss with an Italian spine team and Arsenal with the French so why not the Nigerians with Everton. Clearly Amo is still an Everton fan or else he wouldn't have chosen Duncan Ferguson to be his best man. An ideal scenario would be Amo with new owners being the Nigerians who courted Newcastle.
Anthony Welsh     Posted 05/10/2008 at 14:28:25   Comments (18)

Foreign Ownership

Reading today we've attracted offers from 2 potential buyers, great news, is it? We need this to compete apparently. Compete for what?

The league? Top 4? Top 6? Let's face it, with the amount of multi-billionnaires buying the Premier League clubs, who's to say if we accept this offer, we won't be back down the pecking order in a few years after bigger richer men come in and buy the other clubs? Then the clubs who were at the top, will slip down, and be bought up by even more foreign money, and it will either go on and on, or become so boring it'll fizzle out leaving the Premier League and the game on whole in a right old mess.

It can't last, and it's a fruitless chase. I'd rather see us as we are, yet I'm told I don't want the best for the club, I'm told I'm not ambitious. I don't care. I wish the G8 or whatever it is would form this European Super League and leve the rest of us to get back to playing real sport. This is not football we're watching anymore. It's a game played out among the world's richest. For the sake of the Peoples Club, let's not become another pawn.
Nick  Flack     Posted 05/10/2008 at 10:38:58   Comments (11)

Buyers from the Middle East

Now I know it is only a rumor and we have been down this street a few times before, but IF we were to get a buyer for our club from the Middle East, trust me this would be a great thing.

I lived in worked in this region for the past four years and have represented a lot of the major sovereign funds and they are different from the likes of the muppets across the park and Ashleys etc. These guys are all about prestige, not return. As an example look at the properties the Abu Dhabi Royal family buy in London, all high-priced with low yields (returns); however, they all have glamorous addresses. Perhaps the next piece of glamour is a Premier League football club?

There is so much money in the Middle East region, that they wont even notice a few hundred million here or there if it promotes their country and gives them a hobby/interest.

Oh, and for what its worth, my money would be on a new owner from Saudi or Qatar before the UAE ? not a rumor, just an opinion.
Dan O'Brien     Posted 05/10/2008 at 07:25:03   Comments (3)

View from Portsmouth

I never thought I would say this but I am glad we are out of the cups so far this season ? it give us a chance to catch up. The league is far more important than anything else.

Everton are so behind the curve it is unbelievable. No confidence. No idea about what is our best team. The signings were late and although promising not an instant success.

DM must sign on or leave soon. It is undermining the whole team and the supporters' view of it. This uncertainty is divisive.

The team selection needs sorting; Phil Neville is a full back at best, Cahill cannot play in a 4-4-2 and we should play 4-4-2 at least at home and go for the win.

At the moment, Yobo and Lescott are liabilities or at least out of form. Is it the new defensive coach??? Newcastle are well known for their defence!!!!! The same players from last year look like they have never played together.

This is the the biggest game for a long time on Sunday, forget all the cups ? this game will map out the season to come.

Get behind the blues on Sunday... God knows they need.
John  Talbot     Posted 04/10/2008 at 22:57:16   Comments (11)

Setanta Strikes Again...

I'm a Kirkby exile, now living in Chesterfield and working in Sheffield. I'm also a season ticket holder in the Top Balcony. Ideally for me, Goodison games are played on a Saturday with a 3pm kick off. Remember the fuss last season when the Chelsea game was brought forward to a Thursday night!

What this means to me is, I have to work 8 until 4 on the day of the game. I then get stuck in rush hour traffic in Huddersfield and then again in Manchester. Eventually, I park up near The Albany but I don't have time for a pint as I have to get a wiggle on to reach my seat in time for kick off. After the game, I do have a pint and head for home about 10:30 and get to bed about 1am.

It's so much more straightforward with a 3pm kick off on a Saturday!

So what? you say. The Chelsea game has been re-arranged to Monday, 22 December! That's what.
Phil Traynor     Posted 04/10/2008 at 09:39:25   Comments (2)

That Frickin' Contract Situation

Moyes said: "I am here and I will sign a new contract with Everton shortly, maybe even before the weekend. It is with the lawyers now and we can talk more about it once it is done."

Mmmmmm..... In the words of Edward Woodward as Sergeant Howie... "Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ! Oh my God! Christ! No! No dear God! No Christ!"

For those of you who have never seen the Wickerman (the decent '73 version, not the shit remake), apologies for the seemingly bollocks last paragraph. For those of you who have seen it, how many of you are starting to feel the same way about Davey Boy signing another 5-year deal at Goodison / Kirkby / An Other (delete as applicable), as Sergeant Howie did as they dragged him up and over the peak of that cliff?!

Seriously though, I have been a great admirer of Moyes in the past and, at the end of last season, was desperate for him to sign up for 5 more years. Now I don't want to start bad-mouthing the man when not all of the facts are known about what is going on behind the scenes. All I know is that currently we are playing shit football, getting shit results, and probably have shit all left to look forward to this season. Is this down to Moyes not signing his contract? ? at the very least it could be a factor.

So... why has the contract remained unsigned? From what I can see, there are a few options:

  1. Simply, Moyes is holding out for more money
  2. Moyes is wanting assurances that he will have X amount of money to spend over the next X amount of years in the transfer windows
  3. He is waiting to see how the ground move pans out because he wants to move to Kirkby / stay at Goodison
  4. He has been waiting to see if there is going to be any investment / a takeover as he is desperate for a large cash injection
  5. He has been waiting to see if there is going to be any investment / a take over as he has had a fallout with BK / the Board
  6. He and the club have simply agreed to wait for a great result to 'hang the news onto' as someone mentioned last week (which obviously hasn't come as soon as everyone would have hoped for!)
  7. He was / is waiting to see if a 'better' job offer comes around eg Man U number 2, Celtic, Newcastle
  8. They are genuinely agreeing some very minor small print issues
  9. His pen is broken
  10. A combination of the above
All I can say it that I very much doubt it will be signed before the weekend (it's Saturday morning now and no news), and I doubt it will be signed before Newcastle on Sunday as we have heard all of this, all before.
Lee Smith     Posted 04/10/2008 at 06:46:10   Comments (24)

The Liege Experience

The ground was a shithole, seating was disgusting. I was sat up in the pigeon shit next to a large red steel structure (even the top balcony seating was 10 times better). <>P> At the end, around 200 Everton fans were left for 30 mins waiting for buses to take us back to the station after the original 6 buses and then 2 more were stampeded. The organisation was a shambles. The cops didn't give a shit about us and communicated nothing.

Back in the city, the cops (bless them) were ready in riot gear and water cannons. What a lovely way to treat us. The whole atmosphere was horrible and at times I think the cops wanted a fight.

Having been to Nuremberg last season and Liege, I can honestly say I would never go back to Liege if they paid me to (I actually thought we would get treated worse in Germany).
Andy Wait     Posted 03/10/2008 at 21:10:57   Comments (11)

Who is calling the shots?

Like all true Blues I am as dismayed and disappointed as anyone over the start (or lack of it) to this season. What worries me most is the demeanor of Davey Moyes ? he has looked totally downbeat right from the off. What has happened to the animated leader who looked every player in the eye on the pitch before the Fulham game? You just knew that he was establishing which players were up to the challenge and which players he would subsequently replace.

Fast forward 6 years or so and you see a different persona altogether. So what has caused this to happen? Is it the contract that remains unsigned? I have the utmost admiration for what he has achieved on such limited funds even though I have not always been impressed with his style of football. But I do not believe that he is greedy. Could it be that it is something deeper?

For example, who decided that Phil Neville has to start every match? That does not appear to be consistent with Moyes's ethos of team spirit, hard work and earning a place in the team on merit. Does Yakubu fit into the category of striker that he has previously favoured? I think not. Were the transfers at the last minute his choice? If he chose to sign Castillo (who was arguably our best midfield player in the first leg) why was he not used at all in the away leg?

Things are not right but I don't think that the truth will come out unless it really does go tits up. In the meantime we need to get behind the team and make it fortress Goodison again.
Harry Johnson     Posted 03/10/2008 at 20:25:22   Comments (7)

O Captain! My Captain!

The qualities of a captain : "it is considered an important choice for the manager of a football club: the captain is in fact expected to be the manager's correspondent on the pitch. The relationship between a manager and a captain is a crucial one. Crucial qualities of a club captain include determination and stamina, being able to get along with everybody, and being an intelligent, tactically minded player"

So where does our Phil sit with that quote? As a leader of men I would doubt him as he does not motivate on the pitch; as the interpreter of his manager's tactics I doubt that he could ever understand the confused and confusing selection processes and strategies that Moyes undertakes; as far as stamina and determination - I would give him the doubt but I would counter that by saying that he is, week in week out, Everton's worse player; as far as being intelligent and tactically ware? A simple no will suffice.

Giving a 30-year-old United reject not only the captain's arm band but a 4-year contract is the worst managerial decision Moyes has made. Not only was it against the club's policy of 1 year contracts for players aged 30 year plus but it risked alienating the much vaunted team spirit.

What did the senior players make of Carsley's departure when we kept Neville and also made him captain! With the captaincy comes responsibility and while he continues to make the right noises in the media he does not inspire on the pitch. I never thought I'd say it but now Hibbert is back Neville should be at very best a reserve on the bench where his "versatility" and experience would be best suited.

Moyes must realise that having Neville as captain and therefore pencilling his name on the team sheet first for every game restricts his selection choices and therefore his tactics. If Neville was one of our better players or was as inspirational as Gerrard I could understand the choice but he is far from being either of those.

My suspicion is that the decision to give Neville the captaincy and the extended contract has caused a failure of team spirit and is one of the major reasons for Everton?s failings this season.
Vin Ferguson     Posted 03/10/2008 at 13:55:35   Comments (39)

Everton: Talking the Talk

Kharkiv spirit can keep Euro dream alive - David Moyes

Away days suit us fine - Leon Osman

Everton in the best shape to beat Standard Liege - Phil Neville

Stand up and be counted - Tim Howard

Let's not allow Everton Euro bid to die - Tim Howard

Everton players but their 'balls on the line' - Phil Neville

Everton will come back fighting - Phil Jagielka

Nowhere near good enough. Overrated players. Overrated manager. Route one football. An embarrassment.
Craig Walker     Posted 03/10/2008 at 13:14:43   Comments (14)

Time to Boo!

People keep talking about getting behind the players but enough is enough. If we just sit a smile and say "nice try lads at least there was one game this season where we only conceded one goal" what kind of message does that send? To me it sens a message of "mediocrity is good enough" and any player worth his salt will want to leave for a club with higher standards.

Moyes for his part makes me laugh. Maybe the Standard Liege player should have been sent off but ultimately what he is saying is that if we had had 11 players and they only 10 then we would have won. OK so even though we signed their "best player" for £15 million and have established internationals like Yakubu, Saha, Cahill, Neville etc in our squad we still need to have a numerical advantage in terms of players to beat an inexpensively assmbled bunch of nobodies from Belguim. Nice work Moyes worth £3.5m a year for that alone.

I am pretty sure we will either draw 2-2 with NU or lose this weekend and while Kinnear is hailed as a savior Moyes will say "We couldn't have done more, Nev had a shot off target and Yobo got one tackle in. Who could ask for more?"

I will say "I ask for more" because you've been here 6½ years, Kenwright even longer, and the nucleus of your team for almost as long so to show my displeasure I am going to "boo" because nothing but the best will do.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 03/10/2008 at 12:14:14   Comments (23)

Arrogant Moyes

What a start to the season. Out of both cup competitions in the first round. Three home league games all lost, scoring 2 and conceding 8. We have conceded more goals in the league than any other team. One derby already lost. Still playing players out of position, Cahill on the wing, Neville in midfield etc.

Despite all this Moyes is on the official website today reassuring us that he will sign a new contract. I must be missing something. In all his time he has never got us anywhere near winning anything, despite being allowed to repeatedly break our transfer record. This season we have played with no creativity at all and are very easy to score against. But for me the most damming inditement of Moyes leadership is the total lack of desire, effort and belief shown by the team.all season.

Bill, please have the courage to end this right now as this is not the Everton I have supported for over 30 years.
Tom  Sullivan     Posted 03/10/2008 at 10:38:22   Comments (9)

Sheedy Fernandes

I?ve never had the inclination to actually contribute to Toffeeweb before now. I?ve always been happy to get my fix sitting on the periphery of the debate. Last night it dawned on me that indeed Toffeeweb picked the team. Two up front, Baines reinstated, Yobo dropped, Lescott finally played in position, and the most relevant Pip in the holding/playmaking role.

It looked good, Everton controlled the game, with so much possession Pip and friend?s, didn?t know what to do with it. No real incision or threat on the Belgians goal however. This was the cue for the horrible no shots on target in the last three affairs with the darkside flashback.

So anyhow the inevitable happened, and I went home consoling myself with the fact we don´t have the squad to compete anyhow and for me it´s all about trying to finish above the enemy and the magical 4´th spot we had thrown away last season. Better off, with no mikey mouse cup distractions, now it's time to turn it around and beat the barcodes.

Upon arriving home I decided to distract myself with the Valencia game in the aforementioned mickey mouse cup. (I'm a football fan first and foremost). This is when even the eternal optimist lost all hope. Whose he running the show, incisive passing, shots on target, assists for goals, some guy in midfield playing like a deity. In fact this guy had all the attributes we were lacking against a pretty average Standard side. His name was Sheedy Fernandes.
Dara Vaughan     Posted 03/10/2008 at 10:28:20   Comments (9)

NO PCDD ? it's time for the taxi

I still cannot believe what I watched last night. I cannot believe that Neville played in centre midfiled, There was absoloutley no PCDD from anyone in the team or the dug out. PCDD? Pride in wearing the blue shirt and playing for Everton, Commitment in getting to Standard and getting in their faces, Drive from the midfield, Determination from anyone, it's just not there.

For me I would rate the performances as:

Howard 5
Hibbert 5
Jagielka 5 (mainly because of hoof ball)
Lescott 5
Baines 3 (I now realize why he does not get picked that often, another waste of £6M.)
Osman 7
Arteta 4 (time for him to go, his delivery is poor, he is not committed).
Neville 0 - complete joke
Cahill 5 (cannot play in a 442).
Yakubu 5 (starved of any decent play)
Saha 6 (starved of any decent play)

Subs,

Victor 7 made a difference
Yobo 10 - just in getting Neville off the pitch.
Peanuts 6 - did not show much.

I'm gutted, I cannot believe this is what we have to put up with week in week out, I honestly believe that on this season s showing we are destined for the Championship, I seriously cannot think of 3 teams worse than us so far. Tottenham will come thru they have class players, we dont, Newcastle are worse, or so i hope, we will see on Sunday and maybe stoke. Certainly not Hull, they played us off the park.

I have decided that until Moyes, and Neville go I ain't spending £100 each time to watch that shower of shite.
Mark Smith     Posted 03/10/2008 at 08:03:54   Comments (9)

Reaction to 2nd Leg

Early reaction to the game tonight. Well I was not positive going in to the game and the starting line up did not fill me with confidence. Hibbert lacking match practice, Neville in midfield with Cahill. My worries were well founded in an 1st half that saw us have a lot of the ball without doing anything positive with it. A game we had to win and we have one shot on goal in 45 minutes.

2nd half needed an instant change ? but we had to endure a further 10-15 minutes of poor movement and lack of service to the front 2. Osman and especially Arteta seemed off the pace, Neville always available but with no skill or vision ended up passing square or backwards.

On comes big Vic and all of a sudden we threaten. We look better, more positive and space appears. The game could have gone our way had Baines been more committed to win the ball rather than try to pull out.

All-in-all we got what we deserved. Far too many "star" players not performing again ? our season is almost over before it starts, only the league and FA Cup to play for; if performances do not improve, it is going to be a long hard season. The farcical summer has in some way contributed to the situation we are in, new players needed to be bedded in during pre season. Moyes needs to commit otherwise the uncertanity that the fans and obviously players have wil only deepen. Worse of all I can also see Newcastle taking us on Sunday - and this is from one of the most optimistic Evertonians ever..... says a lot eh!
Si Harwood     Posted 02/10/2008 at 21:32:26   Comments (47)

Spineless!

I have often almost been moved to contribute to this site before, but somehow never done so until now. After sitting through 90 minutes of woefully uninspiring rubbish on Channel 5, I can contain myself no longer.

One thing Everton teams under David Moyes have always been is resilient. Even in tough times, the players have always shown spirit and heart by the bucketload. Tonight that was not the case. Jagielka's goal should have been the catalyst for an all-out assault, but the team barely seemed to stir. Admittedly Liege were awarded an undeserved penalty, and they must also be given credit for their ball retention and counter-attacking towards the end, but we barely had another shot in those final 25 minutes. In the whole game we can't have had more than 5 or 6 attempts on goal, most of them speculative or feeble. Where was the desire, the backs-to-the-wall spirit that has led us to so many late wins and draws since Moyes took charge?

Some comments on the players and style of play: we did, for the most part, attempt to play football, but my God how ponderous and slow it was! It's not news to any of us, but when at least 3 of your 10 outfield players struggle with basic ball control, you will be severely up against it. We all know who I mean. Liege had such an easy time defending against our sideways and backwards passing. When we did try to go forward, the balls into Yak and Saha were so slow and predictable that they were each totally nullified. No pace, no width, no imagination, nothing.

As for individuals, it will be clear from the above how highly (or not) I rate Neville and Hibbert. I have never seen Osman have a worse game - how many times did he hopelessly misplace passes? Arteta was awful as well. We've come to expect poor set pieces from him, but his passing was pathetic and he failed to influence the game as a player of his class should. Cahill contributed precisely nothing. Yak looked disinterested. Saha at least tried, and succeeded much of the time, in holding the ball up, but then would lose it due to the lack of options.

Are there any honourable mentions? Lescott, Jagielka and Baines did ok, although I hoped to see more of the latter going forward. Pienaar was a shining light for the 20 minutes he was on - we instantly looked more creative.

Overall, it was a desperately disappointing, if half expected, performance. The flowing, exuberant UEFA cup football of last year is but a distant memory. I'm really not sure where we go from here. Moyes will not resign yet because he has nowhere to go. As has been pointed out countless times on this site, we are in limbo until the stadium / contract situations are resolved. We probably will beat Newcastle on Sunday, but that will be little consolation as our season is effectively over already.

Some will again blame the Moyes contract situation for the apparent lack of motivation amongst the players. I for one struggle to see it that way. They are supposed to be professionals with professional pride. Tonight was an occasion tailor-made for them to show Evertonians that they possess some backbone, and they have let the fans and the club down in an unforgivable manner.
Mark Boulle     Posted 02/10/2008 at 20:54:00   Comments (31)

Progress, or lack of it....

Well, Liege have just scored a penalty and we look out of it (not that their 2nd goal really mattered, but we aren't going to score again).

I have been a Moyes supporter ever since Kenwright took a gamble on the promising young manager from the Championship but I now have to ask ? has David Moyes done as much with Everton as his talent will allow? 5 years and more in charge and he still persists in picking players who are either colourblind or simply cannot pass to a team mate. The back 4 are entirely clueless when it comes to retaining possession (something which is amplified when we play in Europe) - look at the way Liege (or Fiorentina, or even Kharkiv) players keep the ball even when under pressure, whilst the likes of Hibbert, Neville and Baines simply hoof the ball up field. If the manager cannot get across such a simple message to the players then he must take responsibility for the fact that they either won't or can't pass the ball properly.

Moyes has done an admirable job and has for me at least restored some pride in being an Evertonian, but if we really want to break the top-4 monopoly (which I don't believe is a realistic goal in this day and age without bilions at your disposal) we need to step back and look at how much further he can take us. Even I can see that Cahill doesn't play well in a 4-man midfield, and why play Hibbert and not Neville at right-back with Castillo (who has been decent in Blue so far) in Midfield? Decisions like this make me scratch my head and have started me questioning Moyes for the first time.

If I was Kenwright I would withdraw the contract offer (yes I realise this leaves the door open for Newcastle to pounce) and see how the next 2 months go - with no UEFA and Carling Cup we should be able to concentrate on getting a good league run together, but if we are still below half-way at Christmas then I think it may be time for a change.
Neil Adams     Posted 02/10/2008 at 20:29:23   Comments (7)

Richard Dodd

Well Richard Dodd, where is Moyes' signed contract? You were spouting on here last week, that there would be great (in your opinion) news coming out of Goodison today, and after ironing out a few wrinkles, Moyes would be putting pen to paper. Now, I know it's still only tea-time, but with the lads gearing up for tonight, I just can't see it, can you? Your sources have got to be the shittest around, every prediction you come on here with, turns out to be a load of shite. One more thing, if Moyes does sign by the end of midnight, I will come back on here tomorrow, with a written apology.
Brian Waring     Posted 02/10/2008 at 16:26:09   Comments (37)

Conservative or all guns blazing?

After the result of the 1st leg and how naive we looked in defence (and in fairness ? how we've looked all season), how do you see them lining up tonight? Will we go for it with both Saha & the Yak upfront, or will we stick to the traditional model of Timmy in the hole? Will he play Baines after the way Dabo constantly mugged Lescott at LB? Quite a few difficult decisions for Moyes tonight as no-one bar Jagielka & probably Cahill has really earned a definite starting berth from the way we have started the season.

With Moyes traditionally opting for conservative formations and line-ups I can't see him going for anything other than a 4-5-1 to start with and keeping it tight for 90 mins whilst trying to nick a goal from a set piece.

I'd like to see us play this formation but a bit more attacking. If we put Neville & Castillo in CM to sit in the middle & protect the defence, we could then allow Arteta, Cahill & Pienaar/Osman much further up the pitch to support the Yak, as for me he has looked increasingly isolated and frustrated the last few games.

There could also be an argument to play Saha instead of the Yak as he is much more of a willing runner and could keep their defence occupied ? but with the Yak's eye for goal I can't see him being dropped.

And I don't know about anyone else, but I'm strangely optimistic about tonight (maybe it's the fact that we have to get better at some point as we can't get much worse!!) and I can't wait for it. Only 8 hours to go now......
Andrew Bentley     Posted 02/10/2008 at 10:25:44   Comments (283)

Another Triumph From Evertons Marketing Team

I today received an e-mail from EFC as I do most days usually full of rubbish but hey! This made me laugh (or I would cry) The title of the e-mail was:

Get A Free DVD

It later read:

Every DVD purchased on the new-look site comes with a FREE copy of the Everton 7 Sunderland 1 DVD. The Blues' biggest league victory for a decade was one of the greatest highlights of last season for David Moyes and his squad - and if you purchase one of the many great DVDs available from the Everton DVD Store before the end of September, you will receive a FREE copy of the game on DVD.

Now imagine how perplexed I was to find that the great deal had actually expired even before they sent the e-mail!

I beginning to realise why we are the "People's Club" ? it's because we have the great "care in the community" programme... it's called our marketing team!
Mike Newhouse     Posted 01/10/2008 at 23:40:23   Comments (22)

What will we say on Friday ?

I just read that Pienaar is fit to play tomorrow. Good news for optimists but it means we now have everybody fit so WHEN we are eliminated tomorrow night what excuse will we have come Friday ? Oh we're missing Shandy Andy and Nyarko is still probably under contract to us and is just on loan somewhere so once we get those guys back.......

This season is a piece of crap. It seems like we go through this every other year with Moyes and whenever we've had enough someone says "Remember Kendall was on the line in 84 bla bla bla" Look I am not blaming Moyes and I have been telling myself that same story about 84 for the last 13 years... so let's be honest: the seasons over.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 01/10/2008 at 21:35:48   Comments (33)

Could Captain Pip succeed Moyes?

I have an awful feeling Everton may be looking for a manager ere long! It's not just the interminable delay over the signing of THAT contract but the poor performances of the team and Davey's lost enthusiasm that troubles me.

So before we start talking of the likes of Allardyce and Curbishley, perhaps we can look a little nearer home for a likely successor. Now everybody, including BB recognises that Everton are in a period of uncertainty at the moment. Uncertain about DK, uncertain about a new owner and, to me, more important than anything, uncertain as to whether we're on the way up or on the way down.

So, rather than rock the boat too much if the worst happens, why not give a chance to a young man who these days is the lone voice of positivity in these parts ? Phil Neville?

Now I know that Captain Pip is not everybody's cup of tea as a player but most of us recognise that he's a born leader and never hesitates when it's time for someone to step up to the plate. He's won 50 odd caps for England and played with and against some of the best players in the modern game. I've no idea whether or not he has management aspirations but I do know he has the pedigree to succeed in the role, initially as an inspirational figure.

To me, he's our Gareth Southgate. Same generation, even better pedigree and always leading from the front. With no more experience, Southgate has proved a worthy successor to McClaren and I do believe in keeping it in the family. So instead of procrastinating over who could possibly follow Moyes, let`s look to Everton for an Everton solution. I propose Phil Neville ? have I a seconder?
Sebastian  St Clare     Posted 01/10/2008 at 20:04:40   Comments (43)

The buck stops here!!

At any club, whether it be in the Football League or in the Premier League the manager is ultimately responsible for what transpires on the pitch.

I have always backed Moyes, because I believe him to be one of the best young managers there is in the game. However, for the first time I am questioning his motives & integrity. Our poor start of the season must be attributed to him. He has yet to sign his contract, which we were told was ready to go many times before. He asks for 100% commitment from his players on the pitch, it is not unfair for those players (or us fans) to ask the same commitment from him.

He seems to be hedging his bets a bit and playing a waiting game. If poor results continue & his contract remains unsigned the more & more fans will turn against him, making his position at the club all the more questionable.

We are told the players are committed... the fans certainly are. Are you David?
Graham Nolan     Posted 01/10/2008 at 14:28:29   Comments (19)

Fair system?

I am not totally sure if Mark Clattenburg has officiated in a game involving the Blues since last years derby, but I think not. I am guessing that we won't get Mike Riley in the immediate future and we are not the only team to have issues with certain refs.

My question is this - If the refs panel have to sit down and work out who is ok to officiate at which ground for which team, is it a fair system?

If a certain ref has had no bad press/complaints from Blackburn at Ewood Park are you more likely to see him continue giving good performances (in the eye of the Blackburn manager) at Ewood Park? This surely can't be right can it? For example - Last year we had a perfectly good goal disallowed at Ewood and if I remember rightly no apology from the ref. So no complaints from Blackburn so he is fit to officiate there again.

After all, the refs are their to ensure fair play but it appears to me that all isn't fair in their own system?
Bob Trollop     Posted 01/10/2008 at 09:25:00   Comments (12)

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