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The End is Nigh?

By Mike Oates :  28/10/2009 :  Comments (25) :

Crystal ball time, and the worse case scenario is that we are witnessing the fall of Everton as we know it over the last 100 years or so.

Why?

(i) Because we are broke. We cant attract quality British, European, International players — only crocks (Saha), Championship players (Cahill, Jags, Lescott) or unknown Internationals (Fellaini, Heitinga, Pienaar, Arteta, Bily) who either come good or make us wonder why we’ve paid so much for them. We are falling way behind Man City, Spurs, Villa and now Sunderland with our financial clout. We like most clubs cant purchase early any more because most clubs realise that the prices go up nearer the deadline dates and its becomes a stampede and only the rich take the top pickings.

(ii) Our style of football is completely at odds with today’s vibrant, fast, attractive style being displayed by the likes of our so-called peers — Spurs, City, Villa and even bloody Sunderland, Fulham and Wigan. Did anyone see Harry Rednapp last night stating he’s not bothered about keeping clean sheets as long as Spurs score more. Clean sheets don’t win you games!!!

(iii) Our intense style of high tempo playing, might be okay with for 38-44 games a season, but for a club wanting to be at the top of the league, in Europe and performing well in the Cups, then the accompanying 60 odd games is unsustainable and ultimately gives rise to fatigue and injuries as we are seeing now.  Players know this.  Moyes’s reluctance to rotate when he can and substitute early in games is having a huge detrimental impact on the players.

Because of the above, this season could effectively be over now. We are not likely to see our quality players return until the end of November or end of  December... and by then, I suspect with the current available squad we will be out of the Europa Cup, in 14-16th place in the league, leaving only the FA Cup — and knowing our luck, we’ll draw Man Utd way in the 3rd round.

If this scenario pans out as stated and we fail to qualify for Europe and our income stream further reduces, then I don’t see Mr Moyes, Arteta, Pienaar, Yakubu, Fellaini, Heitinga, Rodwell still around for the 2010 –11 season and I don’t see Destination Kirkby on the horizon even if we get the go-ahead; once we are on this slide, all we will become is a feeder club to the mighty and the rich.

Now that’s the negative view... the other side — the positive one — is that we get all and sundry back in mid-November and we progress to the last stages of the Europa Cup, reach and win the FA Cup and end 5th or 6th place and guaranteed a European slot — or, failing this, we win the Fair Play League and qualify via this route. We then suddenly find a new investor, our income doubles and we stride on with DK and we suddenly become attractive both in attracting players, and also attractive to watch.

Now that’s the black and white side stated for this season, undoubtedly we will be somewhere in-between — “the grey area” as life always is... but what is the grey area?

Reader Comments

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Matt Traynor
1   Posted 29/10/2009 at 03:58:11

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Mike, you admit yourself that you’re showing two ends of the spectrum, and the reality will likely be somewhere in between.

A good point about crystal ball gazing, as the truth is a select few know what the options are if Plan A doesn’t work out (and despite the protestations of "True Blues" Bill & Tesco Terry, there will be a Plan B, and even possibly C. His friend and "our friend" Arcadia Phil, will surely have allowed for such scenarios in all of his advice to Bill.

There are numerous variables at play, central of which is DK. And the good news is that we should know, one way or the other, soon enough. The way I see it, simplistically, is there are 3 possible outcomes within that decision:

• DK approved without amendment. Tesco and EFC move on (putting funding to one side)
• DK approved subject to planning conditions and restraints. This may lead to an increase in cost / a reduction in the forecast increase in revenue, and bring the whole business case for EFC under the microscope. Surely EFC would not proceed with something if there was no demonstrable business case, unless outside forces were in play?
• DK rejected in its entirety.

Personally I think the middle outcome is the most likely, though my days of UK planning ended at the end of 2003.

It’s all very well people on here stating "be careful what you wish for", in fact it’s becoming as annoying as "end of", "FACT" etc.

I think what should be clear to all sides is that the current operation of the club at board level is not sustainable, even in the short term. So regime change is on the agenda. Be careful what you voted for!

Jamie Crowley
2   Posted 29/10/2009 at 04:26:54

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When you drive by a grizzly auto accident, do you slow down and have a look? That’s the way I feel before every game lately — and I don’t see it ending soon. The ship needs to be righted. Quickly.
Ending up somewhere in the middle of your two scenarios actually might be rosy. The bad end of the spectrum seems much more real with every passing match...
John Holmes
3   Posted 29/10/2009 at 09:23:51

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Utter nonsense

I don’t consider myself an expert on world football but I’d heard of all the overseas signings you list except Fellaini before we signed them. You conveniently miss other players off the list that were well-known such as Howard, Yakubu and Baines whilst Jagielka was bought on the strengths of his performances for Sheffield Utd in the Premiership.

Clean sheets don’t win games - which is why we finished 6th, 5th and 5th the last 3 seasons. I don’t dispute that it’s been ugly at times but clean sheets DO frequently win you games - Who won the title last year with a record run of them? You’ll also notice that Spurs haven’t been nearly as good since Modric broke his leg and the gung-ho attitude of Redknapp sounds rather like one Kevin Keegan - never got him much in the long run.

I’m not convinced that it’s fatigue and intensity that has caused the injuries. Anichebe and Neville were done by awful challenges. Yakubu’s was a freak injury, Vaughan has been suffering serious injuries all through his career without playing much football. Arteta, Jagielka and Pienaar’s injuries were all down to awkward falls and landings from regulation challenges. I would expect it to be muscular injuries that occurred due to too intense play.

As for being out of the Europa League. We’ve lost one and won two. Yes it was a dreadful performance in Benfica but at the moment we’re still comfortably poised to go through. Let’s at least see the return match before condemning us.
John Holmes
4   Posted 29/10/2009 at 09:31:20

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Just to add to my comment about clean sheets - the problem hasn’t so much been that we try to keep them - it’s been that we’ve failed to do so.
Dick Fearon
5   Posted 29/10/2009 at 08:59:03

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Mike is correct about the poor quality of our football. We are standing still while the rest of football is rapidly moving on. I will not accept that our huge injury list is the sole reason for our demise.

On live TV I have just watched the Arsenal vs Liverpool Carling cup game. Both sides were stacked with second-string players and kids straight out of their respective academies yet they played the kind of quick, joined-up, on-the-ground football that would probably have had the Goodison faithful drooling.

Unlike the mediocre garbage served up by our lot… to such an extent it is now the norm. I did not see a single aimless long punt from either side. Throw-ins were taken quickly, usually by the nearest player, and at corners and free kicks the defending side had at least one, often two players ready to a counter attack.

The display put on by the kids of both those clubs makes me wonder what the hell is going on at Finch Farm.

Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:33:48

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John Holmes, regarding the keeping clean sheets ploy, I think it ties in to the ultra-defensive dour football DM favours... so, instead of playing some attacking football which we have all seen, we have been served up defensive football at home and away to minnows like Stoke, Wolves and Burnley — to the detriment of actually playing players out of position to do so. with the consequences we have seen.

How the hell anyone could defend such utter tripe football at home is beyond me, you should make your home games the scariest place in the world an opposition team wants to come.

Listen to GP at home games now; like a fucking morgue and just as interesting. DM isn’t giving fans anything to cheer about, nothing to get excited about and it's taking the side to go a goal down before they pull their collective fingers out and actually have a go.

To the poor sods paying good money in the current climate to watch this shite home and away, this is taking the piss.

Brian Noble
7   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:20:16

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I have no doubt that the truth will prove to be in the grey area and that Moyes will get us to a ’respectable’ mid-table position as we approach the New Year. Of those of us who lambasted the idiot Dodd (where’s he, these days?) for posting ’Eighth would be great’ a few weeks ago, I guess quite a few would settle for that lofty perch given the emergence of a new order this season!

Meanwhile, a Labour Party colleague of mine continues to assure me that DK will be given the green light —but with many conditions attaching — and I have also had word that Kenwright has upped the finders fees available for what he is calling ’strategic investors’. I guess the recent Investec loan was a temporary expediency to ensure that he could claim to have funding in place when assurances are called for.

One way and another, I suspect the 2009-10 season will go down as a momentous chapter in the Club’s history — although, with Bullshit Bill in charge, it may well prove to be a VERY grey one!

Jon Gorman
8   Posted 29/10/2009 at 10:55:04

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Dick Fearon - Both sides were stacked with second string players and kids straight out of their respective academies yet they played the kind of quick joined up on the ground football that had me would probably have had the Goodison faithful drooling

Yes - BOTH SIDES had their second string players out. I’ve no doubt that Gosling and Coleman would have performed better in a reserve match as opposed to AWAY to BENFICA.

Also, Coleman and Gosling are hardly comparable with the likes of Insua, Walcott etc. In the new year our second string will be stronger - including the likes of Niel, Heitinga, Ossie, Jo etc.

We have had a run of tough games - three away fixtures in less than a week - that even with a full side I would have been wary of predicting any wins.

Personally, I can see our season coming good with the return of our two creative players, Arteta and Pienaar, Billy and Fellaini forming the rest of a formidable looking midfield. Yak and saha up front with Baines, Jags, Distin and Neville at the back.
Martin Mason
9   Posted 29/10/2009 at 11:33:27

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the low end of the spectrum is far worse than envisaged above. It is relegation to the championship and then there is no limit.
Mike Gwyer
10   Posted 29/10/2009 at 11:54:45

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Mike.

Down in the dumps hey!!

All your points lack punch and therefore make your argument predictable. You are an Evertonian, you must therefore know and understand the current events that are happening at Goodison.

We will play better, we will score goals and therefore we will win. Player confidence, well thats definitely lacking! Injuries, the less said the better — for one Rodders badly needs a break.

As with the my wife, good times and bad times come as part of the makeup of marriage. You pull together and get through the bad times. The nucleus of EFC is definitely in place and Moyes is the man who can and will make it happen.
Mike Dillon
11   Posted 29/10/2009 at 12:43:48

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Once we get a settled, preferred line-up, we’ll be turning up to Goodison with the same mentality as last year.

If you remember, it was turning up to see us play teams in the lower half — even around eighth or ninth — and relaxing, chatting and having a good time of it, knowing the boys on the pitch have the game won before kick-off. Even if it wasn’t the most gorgeous display of attacking football (and sometimes it was) we’d win. Titles and cups and high league finishes aren’t won by playing "pretty", they’re won by ruthlessly winning games. Just look at United over the past few years, or Liverpool in the 80s.

With Tim Howard reliable in goal, Brains, Distin, Jags and A Right Back (Neill’s edging it for me, even on one showing) supporting a midfield where Bily and Pienaar switch sides, Neville breaks up attacks, organises and motivates, and generally does his job, Arteta sweeps the play around like his pitch is a canvass for his artwork, Cahill pissing the opposition midfield/defence off and Yakubu loafing around for 88 of the 90 minutes — whilst slamming two goals in the other two — we’ll be sailing.

That’s not even mentioning the class — yes, class — of Yobo, Fellaini, Rodwell, Osman and Gosling who’d barely get a look-in.

Mike Dillon
12   Posted 29/10/2009 at 12:55:21

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So we’re not a billionaire’s plaything, and that’s why we’re going to be relegated/fall apart/die of swine flu.

Would you rather have relative stability and be relatively piss-poor (yet still manage to sign class players like Bily, Arteta, Heitinga and Pienaar — and yes, personally, I’d heard of them all. Arteta was class for Rangers, knew he’d played for Barca, Bily is touted as the next Kanchelskis — my hero. He’ll be awesome if he’s half the player Andrei was — and Pienaar was in one of the most awesome Ajax sides ever).

Think of the flip-side of the money market. The shite over the park are in dire straits with all sorts of things bandied about how they could well go tits up totally if they don’t make next year’s Champion’s League. That’s not even mentioning the squabbling schoolchildren.

United are having to re-finance loans constantly and are relying heavily on brand name and success on the field just to survive. What if the wheels fall off? What if Ferguson does one? They’ll be £800m up the shitter.

Chelsea? With an ageing squad, an inability to buy and an owner who is getting more and more pissed off with the lack of trophies (as there are obviously only two in the world to them) all it takes is for him to get disillusioned and walk. They look safe for now, and got lucky when he decided to opt for shares in the club instead of a loan repayment - but even they have had to refinance a couple of times.

Man City, however, are just a Football Manager Unlimited Money cheat code.... Tossers.
Stewart Littler
13   Posted 29/10/2009 at 12:44:53

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Crocks (Saha) — wouldn’t think I’d be too far wrong in saying he’ll be close to the amount of games he played for United in 4 years with us already in a season and a bit, and with 8 goals so far this season — some crock!

Unknown internationals (Fellaini, Heitinga) — that the same Heitinga who has over 50 caps for Holland and left a Champs League club to come to us?

Likewise, the worst case scenario seems to ignore a very real possibility (and real until 40 points are on the board) — relegation.

In summary, what a crock of shit.
Alan Rycroft
14   Posted 29/10/2009 at 13:08:42

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Good posts, I am afraid... in accord with my feelings too. It’s been horrible that last month or so — one of the worst I can remember for Everton.

Benfica was unbelievable! We couldn’t even field a team properly, not surprised we got beat at Bolton, and Spurs was as foregone and far gone conclusion! It’s now like you have to wake up and stand up again after a killer punch with half your squad decimated and your confidence drained away (has ever an English team been so totally outplayed in Europe?).

So many other clubs seems to have strengthened wisely and even at the bottom no pushovers Pomp and Hammered! I really hate to say it but relegation dogfight could well be on the cards... other teams are better then us, even at full strength we will struggle. The league is a diffferent place even from last season.

I can only pray for miracles! I do think we need a new manager too end of season, freshness... somehow things look real stale of late, shame we couldn't have got Gordon Strachan. Still hjope on hope I am proved wrong!

Tony Williams
15   Posted 29/10/2009 at 13:53:29

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Gordon Strachan????
James Stewart
16   Posted 29/10/2009 at 14:45:44

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Stewart Littler, my thoughts exactly!
Dan Brierley
17   Posted 29/10/2009 at 16:28:33

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Amidst all the sea of suicide and desperation, I keep noticing one thing from some of our fans.

The cries are for Moyes's head, as the tactics he plays are too defensive, no creativity. But when people cite injuries to the 3 most creative midfielders at our club as the mitigating factor, this is dismissed.

If we have our best players available, and are still playing this level of football, I will be first to ask for Moyes head. But I find it extremely harsh to slate him in the current predicament. With exception to Tony Marsh, who has been one of the only people to be consistent in his criticism of Moyes.

Rewind to 12 months ago, and many were praising the best team they have seen play at GP for years. Once that team is dismantled through injury and a major player departing, Moyes becomes the villain.

I personally think if he does not get us into Europe this season, or do well in a cup, he will actually want to leave by his own accord. I guess with a new manager at the helm, we can really judge just how effective Moyes was.

Tim Lloyd
18   Posted 29/10/2009 at 18:18:06

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We do seem to be in a bad way, according to the posts. However, as we all know from experience, a football season is long time.

So much depends on when our missing stars return, and, how long they take to return to the form they were in prior to getting injured. The Yak does not appear to me to be in quite the form he was in once.

With no knowledge to boast of, I just get the feeling that money is being hoarded by the Board for the time if and when they get the green light for DK.

We know they were prepared to buy the right back from Sheffield, the one who ended up at Tottenham. What happened to that money? The players we did get were all courtesy of Lescott's sale.

I’m sure DK will answer lots we don’t know at this moment in time. For good or ill, I prefer not to speculate on that one.
Martin Mason
19   Posted 29/10/2009 at 18:55:27

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I’d like to see Harry Redknapp come to Everton. He’s a cheeky chappy, a rogue... possibly a crook, but he is also a very good manager.

Not to destroy Moysey yet though. Where we are at the end of the season matters, not now... although I believe that he may be coming to the end of his own shelf-life. A board with vision and ambition would also help.
Karl Masters
20   Posted 29/10/2009 at 20:43:22

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This has to be the most deressing Fans Forum anywhere.

I think it’s the Board who have come to the end of their Shelf life, Martin, not Moyes. In fact I would say that was as long ago as the Summer of 2008 when we only got Fellaini in with literally 5 minutes left. That signalled to me that there was nothing to back any ambition on the field they had.

I think that if you looked inside their heads now, you’d find that their only real ambition was to get the Green light for DK, find somebody to pay for it and sell out with a tidy profit.

It saddens me to say that by the way.
Dick Fearon
21   Posted 29/10/2009 at 20:54:45

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In my earlier post on this topic, I was being too pessimistic but that should not detract from the main thrust of my argument. What I wanted to state was the yawning gap that is appearing between Everton and our rivals.

Having much of our first team missing for a long time is a severe blow and I am not blind to that. I was hoping to illustrate what in my opinion is the reason behind that growing gap.

The difference between us and them is not simply a matter of having better ball players. It is their sheer pace and enthusiasm that tears us apart.

Where they have two or three busting a gut to create passing opportunities, our lot are lucky to have one. Where they take very fast free kicks and throw-ins, ours are so slow I use that break in play to grab a drink.

The inspirational movement of opponents often make me wonder where the hell did he pop up from. Our moves are so predictable, I never can say the same about our team.

What we desperately need is less of the mundane and more of the showtime razzamatazz.

Matthew Lovekin
22   Posted 29/10/2009 at 21:35:43

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I’ve written similar comments about this recently. I think our league season is potentially already over with injuries not likely to clear up until xmas, let alone match fitness back. With the AFCON as well, we may not see the best of Everton until March!!!

A disaster will be Rodwell and Arteta leaving for ’bigger clubs’ next summer. From them on, it’s just a downward spiral.
Dennis Stevens
23   Posted 29/10/2009 at 22:54:08

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A bit perplexed, Mike, as you seem to have : "we stride on with DK" mistakenly listed as a positive. Whereas , I’d have thought that one factor alone might be the catalyst for the demise of this once-great club. The additional debt levels & lower than required average attendances will result in the sale of players to balance the books, with the inevitable fall from the top flight & even down again, I suspect, for the first time in our history.
Peter Bradshaw
24   Posted 31/10/2009 at 15:45:45

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Karl Masters, " most depressing fans forum going" have you watches Everton play, we are the most dire depressing boring team in the premiership, what do you expect????
John Green
25   Posted 01/11/2009 at 15:40:30

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"Crystal ball time, and the worst case scenario is that we are witnessing the fall of Everton as we know it over the last 100 years or so".

FFS get a grip — in the past 100 years we’ve been relegated twice and in the past 15 years we’ve avoided relegation on the last day of the season — are you really suggesting those days are better than now?

Since 1970 we’ve always sold our best players (Ball, Kendall, Lineker, Steven, Stevens, Rooney etc etc) and the world did not end... although at the time it felt like it.

We’ve had to put up with Brett Angel, Geoff Nulty, Ian Wilson, Rod Belfitt, Eamonn O’Keefe and Imre Varadi so give me the Championship and unknown internationals anyday.

Are you saying that the last 100 years have been an unbridled success and that the current state of play is somehow superior to the majority of seasons when we won nothing?

As I said, FFS get a grip.

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