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It's Business Time

By Alasdair Mackay :  24/06/2010 :  Comments (51) :
All summer there has been speculation surrounding the future of a number of Everton players. Most significantly the debate has rumbled on about two players – Yakubu and Steven Pienaar. Now, it seems, both will be returning to England in the next couple of days and Everton should take advantage of the fact that they are home with time to spare in the World Cup to find a definitive solution to the issues surrounding both players, before the transfer market opens for real at the end of the tournament.

Yakubu looked isolated during the World Cup. Chances were limited as he was starved of service from a midfield lacking any creativity. When chances did come his way, however, he invariably spurned them. The most obvious one being against South Korea, but also when sent one-on-one against Greece with the match at 1-1 he hit the ‘keeper. At second glance a good save, rather than a bad miss; but the pre-injury Yakubu would have given a goalie of such standing no chance of keeping it out. I think all Evertonians have waited and waited for the Yak to recover from the mental aspects of such a bad injury, but the reality is we have a crucial season approaching and we need someone to step up to plate and provide guaranteed goals. If the Yak can’t hack it we need to find someone who can, while we can still get some money for him. I understand West Ham are talking about £8M for Yak, while Spurs are asking £6-8M for Robbie Keane. This seems like good business to me.

Stevie Pienaar is an outstanding player. I think it has been a frustrating World Cup for the lad, as he has been asked to carry that side. In every game he had two opponents tracking him throughout and it was so difficult to find space. On the few occasions that he did he was promptly robbed of possession in uncharacteristic fashion. While the commentators spoke about lack of form, it was clear to me (and I imagine to anyone who has ever played football) that the look on his face was one of frustration as he shrugged his shoulders at his team-mates as if to say “where was the man-on call lads?”

When all is said and done, however, it was a poor World Cup for him and the potential suitors from outside the Prem will have dried up. The best chance we have to sell him for the kind of money he is worth now will be to a rival English club (no thanks). I don’t know that Rafa was ever a big fan, but if he was to come calling with £15m for Peanuts (and we haven’t managed to get him to sign on the dotted line ourselves) it might be our best bet. Otherwise I say hold on to him and, if necessary, let him see his contract out. If we finish 4th or higher next season, perhaps we can afford to offer him more.

One more rumour that Evertonians everywhere would like to see evolve is the possibility that Landon Donovan’s short stint at Goodison could be transformed into a permanent move somehow. Recent revelations about his wages in LA (amounting to around £25,000 a week) have convinced many that he is not out of our price range, but his performances in the World Cup will not have gone un-noticed by the rest of the market. With the USA topping Group C, it is now reasonable to assume that they could very well progress past Ghana and the winners of Uruguay and South Korea and reach a World Cup semi-final. Their opponents at this stage are likely to be one from Brazil, Spain or Holland. All outstanding sides that would be strong favourites to beat the USA, but all with one thing in common – all three would list their most vulnerable position as Left-Back! So; Donovan fires in at least one more en-route to the semis and then puts in a brave performance in defeat against one of the World’s best teams. The stand-out superstar of the American side will be elevated to World superstar and ultimately priced out of a move to Everton – regardless of whether that’s where he wants to be or not.

I think we need to forget about Landon as a permanent transfer and concentrate on sorting out the futures of Yakubu and Pienaar urgently. The sooner we know what is happening with these two, the sooner we can respond accordingly and the more likely it is that we will have a settled squad for the start of next season.

Reader Comments

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Stephen Kenny
1   Posted 24/06/2010 at 17:31:10

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One thing abou the Yaks play that a lot of people seem to have forgotten about is his hold up and distribution with his back to goal. For me he was instrumental in the type of football we played prior to his injury.

Since he came back he hasn't showed much of this and has been pretty much shite in the World Cup too.

I wanted him to have a good World Cup and look something like the player who scored 21 goals in his 1st season. If he had done this I would be saying dont sell for anything less than what we paid. Slowly my opinion has gone from give him a chance to get back to what he was, to take the money and run. 8m in Moyes hands would get us an able replacement.

Pienaar and Landon have a lot of if's and buts surrounding their futures but I dont think either will be playing in Royal Blue (or pink) next year. We can't offer the type of wages Pienaar will have no doubt been offered elsewhere and with this being his last big contract he will want as much as he can get.

Landon has a contract and seems happy in the MLS. I respect him for not forcing a move and I wouldn't want us to be hypocritical after some of the sagas we've been involved in lately. I really don't see the benefit for the MLS in selling him to us, especially if what you suggest actually happens.

As per usual, the players we sign will be a shock to us all, especially the media.
Mike Allison
2   Posted 24/06/2010 at 17:40:14

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I disagree about Donovan. The issue has come up on other threads, notably the 'what price the Everton family' thread, and I think Landon's an example of someone who'd rather be somewhere he knows and feels appreciated than somewhere he'll make more money. After all, he's been bitten in Europe twice before.

The other point that has been made with regard to him is that by the time he left, he wasn't first choice for us. This may just have been Moyes planning for life without him though.
Stephen Kenny
3   Posted 24/06/2010 at 17:46:41

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On a side note, Jan Mucha looked like a Bobby Mimms impersonator against Italy. I'm not impressed on today's showing.
Tony McNulty
4   Posted 24/06/2010 at 18:14:39

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A year or so ago I recall an interview with Moysie in which he implied (and maybe even stated outright) that when he joined Everton he had been promised the money for one big signing per year (I am not sure it really happened that way last year; the signings seemed to be based totally on the Lescott money.)

I think Moyes also said that he had also been promised that he could always hang on to any of the existing squad that he wanted i.e. they wouldn’t be sold for the money. With the exceptions of the Fat Boy and Lescott who both wanted out, I have always understood that the other players who have left have done so with Moysie’s blessing (e.g. Beattie, Johnson.)

I am now awaiting this year’s “one big signing”, quite possibly no-one who has been linked with us so far, as was the case with Fellaini.
Alasdair Mackay
5   Posted 24/06/2010 at 19:57:34

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I was thinking that myself, Tony.

Moyes did say before the end of last season that he didn't feel the squad needed major surgery and his big task would be tying down his current key players to long contracts and adding depth to the existing squad.

This is certainly what has happened so far with extra depth added in Mucha, Beckford and Silva, while Cahill, Rodwell and (hopefully) Arteta all look likely to be on longer contracts for the start of next season.

His hand may be forced if Pienaar doesn't sign in the next 2/3 weeks though.
David Hallwood
6   Posted 24/06/2010 at 21:06:51

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Tony McNulty (#4) re Bily & Jonny H: that's why I don't believe anything I read in the papers.
Ciarán McGlone
7   Posted 24/06/2010 at 21:17:09

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I don't recall any game where Pienaar had two men marking him.

The fact is that he had a poor tournament. He raised his game slightly in the last game... but not much. You can blame the other players but I'm not sure that's a fair analysis... he constantly gave possession away — not exactly something you can blame on anyone else.

I don't know an other player who is so inconsistent and can be labelled as 'outstanding'. He is a good player and he is probably the best we can afford on the left — and we are probably his best option as well; that's why he should stay, and we should give him parity to keep him.
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 24/06/2010 at 21:17:09

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I don't recall any game where Pienaar had two men marking him.

The fact is that he had a poor tournament..raised his game slightly in the last game - but not much. You can blame the other players - but i'mnot sure that's a fair analyss...he constantly gave possession away - not exactly something you can blame on anyone else.

I don't know a player who is so inconsistent - can be labelled as 'outstanding'...he is a good player and he is probably the best we can afford on the left - and we are probably his best option as well...that's why he should stay, and we should give him parity to keep him.
Brendan O'Doherty
9   Posted 24/06/2010 at 22:04:55

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It might be a tad premature to say 'It's business time' on 24th June, given when we've done our transfer business in recent seasons. As we all know, this will frustratingly be late August again for the same reasons as before; i.e Sky TV money, whether we have sold anyone or not which means we don't have to go begging to the bank, etc.

Also I would presume the likes of the Yak and Pienaar won't be seen around these parts for a while. DM stated recently that all the WC players were getting a month's holiday from when they were knocked out of the tournament. (In the Yak's case of course this could be mis-interpreted to be 2 months).

In short I don't think we are going to get any of these issues that are raised regarding their futures sorted anytime soon. Don't hold your breath.
Michael Brien
10   Posted 25/06/2010 at 07:13:53

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I think the judgement on Pienaar's performance is rather harsh — after all, he was playing in a slightly different position for South Africa and in one of the lower ranked teams in the tournament. I believe that South Africa went into the tournament in the world rankings as the lowest of any recent host nation. Consequently there was greater pressure on the better players in their squad. I would suggest that Pienaar's performance were better than those of Lampard's in the 2006 World Cup — and I can't recall anyone suggesting that Lampard should have been left out of the England squad.

We seem very quick to want to be shut of the Yak. Perhaps it should be a case of being grateful that Arteta has made such a good recovery — it's often very difficult for players when they have been out of action with a serious injury. More often than not it can be quite a while for players in these situations to get back to not just match fitness but to the level of form that they were at prior to their injury.

We should cut the guy some slack. After all I can recall quite a few wanting to get shut of the best little Spaniard We Know, when he was struggling with a stomach injury 3 or 4 years ago. Thankfully common sense prevailed. And as for Yak - well okay he missed an absolute sitter — but give the guy some credit - they had a penalty and he didn'y shy away from taking it on. There's one or two England players who in the same situation would "bottle it" as they say.

Personally, I would love it if we were able to sign Landon Donovan. I saw the interview with him after the USA won through to the Second Round. You could tell how much it meant to him. He plays with his heart on his sleeve. He showed a great attitude when he was at Goodison . I think he would be a great signing.

I don't know about anybody else but last night I saw a real class performance from a striker — Honda of Japan . He had a brilliant match and certainly looked to be one of most skillful strikers at the tournament.

According to the BBC pundits, Bendtner of Denmark regards himself as one of the best strikers in the World!!! I nearly spilled my glass of Fullers London Pride at that one — think if they they were to bring out a beer to sum up Bendtner: "London Arse" would be a good one. Tommasson at 33 made his team mate look inferior, I think Wenger and any watching Gooners will not have been impressed.

Gavin Ramejkis
11   Posted 25/06/2010 at 08:09:27

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Michael Brien I agree fully with you about Bendtner and have never rated him even after he scored in the drubbing of Everton. I enjoyed the Japan game and thought they thoroughly deserved the victory.

As I mentioned in other threads about the World Cup, far too many sides went in complacent thinking they were going to play shite sides in the group stages and many have been given a lesson in how to eat humble pie, notably Engerland v Algeria and Italy v New Zealand and any of the France games.
Kieran Fitzgerald
12   Posted 25/06/2010 at 09:10:14

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I'd agree with you about getting Keane in with any Yak money we receive. We can't guarantee what Yak will turn up next season. Keane has always been consistent. He will get you between 15 and 20 goals, his link up play between midfield and the strikers is good, so he could fit into out favoured 4-5-1 lineup and his age can't be any higher than the Yak's so we would at least get a couple of seasons out of him. Whether or not he ould move to Liverpool after his experience with the dark side is another matter but I think making a bid for him would be worth a go.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 25/06/2010 at 09:29:45

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"And as for Yak — well okay he missed an absolute sitter — but give the guy some credit - they had a penalty and he didn'y shy away from taking it on"
----------------

On a side note, I heard plenty of pundits and people on here congratulating the Yak for a superb penalty... I thought it was a very poor penalty and he was very lucky.

However, the Yak should be going nowhere.
Kevy Quinn
14   Posted 25/06/2010 at 11:33:15

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I remember the Yak hit an exact same penalty againt Hull (I think) towards the end of the season. Myhill went the right way and saved it easy. He showed some balls to do the exact same thing, fair play to him. I think the less said about the sitter the better. Shocker!! That was a Kevy Quinn style finish.
Michael Brien
15   Posted 25/06/2010 at 11:48:40

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Ciaran - the point I was making was that at least he was prepared to take it - I can think of some England players who wouldn't have had the bottle to take a penalty in such a situation.
Alasdair Mackay
16   Posted 25/06/2010 at 11:55:23

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I really wish the Yak could get back to his pre-injury form and I full take on board what Stephen Kenny (#1) said about his hold up play, but I have been waiting too long.

Yak has been fit for 9 months now and is still not right psychologically. I think if we can get £8million for him and spend it on Keane it is a great bit of business.

As for his time across the park — I think Keane was played consistently out of position on the left wing. Benitez was/is a tactical muppet and I don't think Keane is or even considers himself at fault for his poor showing at Liverpool.
James Lauwervine
17   Posted 25/06/2010 at 13:21:19

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I'd rather bring Stuart Barlow out of retirement than have the insanely over-rated kopite idiot Keane in the team, what are you lot on?

Ciarán, I disagree that Yak's penalty was poor, firstly because he scored and secondly because he watched the keeper make his move and calmly put it the other way. I felt proud that he stood up to take it too, after missing that chance my nan could have scored.

The sad thing about the World Cup so far has been the African teams all (except Ghana) going out in the group stages. Especially Cameroon who I loved watching, particularly in the Denmark game.

Finally, I agree with Lyndon's earlier piece about the ball — it has been awful. It seems to me that now at last the players are getting used to it, but why the fuck do they have to mess around with this everytime so we have to watch irritatingly overhit passes and shots for the first week of every tournament.
Gavin Ramejkis
18   Posted 25/06/2010 at 13:52:51

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Haven't we had the whole "Gypo with more boyhood teams than anyone in the world" debate before? Keane a few years ago maybe but for that level of cash you would be looking for younger prospects rather than journeymen.
Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 25/06/2010 at 14:05:30

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Gavin,

That's an absolutely disgraceful comment. Calling someone a 'gypo' because they're Irish is ignorance of the highest degree.

Shameful.
Michael Brien
20   Posted 25/06/2010 at 16:28:55

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I have to agree with Ciaran on that one Gavin to call someone "Gypo" because they are Irish is ignorance at every level. Check your Everton history and you will find that there have been several Irish players who have had an important role in the history of our club - Peter Farrell, Tommy Eglington and Mick Meagan to name but three. And in recent years there was a bloke called Sheedy who represented Everton and Ireland with distinction.

It would appear that the " Let's kick out Racisim " message still needs to be plugged. I think we have enough national stereotypes in the tabloid press without using them on TW. I am not usually in favour of dishing out red cards - but I think you should get a straight red for that comment!!
Gavin Ramejkis
21   Posted 25/06/2010 at 18:02:27

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He's travelled between more clubs than a traveller, fuck me is it PC week again? I have Irish origins yet it doesn't upset me ladies!
Ciarán McGlone
22   Posted 25/06/2010 at 18:24:29

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Stop diggin'.
Michael Evans
23   Posted 25/06/2010 at 19:13:43

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Gavin - If you have Irish origins then you should know better mate.
Michael Brien
24   Posted 25/06/2010 at 20:40:58

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No Gavin it's not PC week it's just - "if you haven't got anything sensible to say then don't say anything at all week". So we shouldn't be hearing from you for a while then should we - as you usually talk a load of crap.
James Flynn
25   Posted 25/06/2010 at 22:59:29

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Did I just read a back and forth amongst "alleged" Irishman? Sorry about the quotes, but the exchange is an embarrassment.

Know what we say in America, we descendants of the Famine immigrants? On St Patrick's Day, everyone's Irish.

As THE immigrant nation on earth, the US has celebrations for every ethnicity, with more to follow. Only one, """""""""Only 1""""""" race is all-inclusive on their Day. The fucken Irish! 150-170 years after the great migration, this part of our ancestry we retain at the basic, stereo-typical level. Whoever wants to, can.

So you plastic paddies knock off the pretend offense about Gypos. It means you're Irish. Who don't like it, can fuck off.
Brendan O'Doherty
26   Posted 26/06/2010 at 00:44:23

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"So you plastic paddies knock off the pretend offense about Gypos. It means your Irish. Who don't like it, can fuck off."

I think you'd better explain your comments here James. Are you trying to set off an incendiary explosion? 'Plastic paddies'? 'Pretend offence'? I don't think that Ciarán McGlone, Michael Brien, or Michael Evans are either plastic paddies or pretending to be offended. They are correctly pointing out that Gavin's comment, however intended, shows ignorance and intolerance. I would suggest that your comments are actually much more offensive than his was.
James Flynn
27   Posted 26/06/2010 at 02:21:20

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By the bye, this quote in the American press reflecting on Howard and EFC's status, "By 2003 he had reached the English Premier League, playing for world powers Manchester United and now Everton". Yes, plural of power. Man U and Everton.
Jamie Crowley
28   Posted 26/06/2010 at 06:29:04

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James-
As a fellow American and one also of Irish descent I'd ask you to leave this alone.

I've read many of your posts and enjoyed them thoroughly. But leave this topic to the Irish and those bold enough to call one a gypo.

If you don't believe me, take note: you just had a man named O'Doherty suggest McGlone, Brien, and Evans should be offended by what you say. Take close note of the last names involved.....

Pls man, let it lie. Leave it to the big bhoys.
Chad Schofield
29   Posted 26/06/2010 at 07:12:04

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For what it's worth, I thought Michael Brien's first post about being harsh on Pienaar etc was spot on.

Personally I can't see Keane coming to us regardless of how many magic beans we got hypothetically from selling the Yak. I'd also not really want him, not because of his parentage/ancestry but more because his more recent history.

Maybe we can get back on topic rather than deliberating the weight of racial slurs and American history...
Alasdair Mackay
30   Posted 26/06/2010 at 11:18:00

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So if not Keane (he is 30 therefore not a typical Moyes signing) than who?

Assuming that Yakubu will never recover mentally - who scores the goals for us?

Pienaar or replacement - we have an exceptional supply line from midfielders like Arteta, Bily, Felli, Rodwell, Ossie. The problem last season was not finishing the moves off. We NEED to solve this problem before the most important season in Moyes's reign!
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 26/06/2010 at 11:35:09

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We scored goals and finished the moves off whenever we had two good players giving us balance either side of the pitch Alasdair...

If we don't go into this season with both wings sorted (which we currently don't) - then I think Moyes will have made a big mistake.

As for strikers, I think our transfers regarding that area are done. Any remaining money we have should go on the right side (and I honesty don't think we'll spend anymore than £10 mill).
Michael Brien
32   Posted 26/06/2010 at 12:11:14

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Shouldn't the main issue about Keane centre around his ability as a player and not his nationality or who he used to play for ? I wouldn't be bothered if we signed a Martian as long as he was a good player.
Chad Schofield
33   Posted 27/06/2010 at 00:11:02

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Martian, maybe, and I appreciate there's been lots of boyhood blues who've played for those lot - and sure vice versa. But yeah, had we have got him when Liverpool signed him in his prime as a striker, then no problem, but at 30 (more than anything), and the way he was so enthused by signing for Liverpool can't see it happening.

He may not have been a legend for them - but surely after that it would be hard to sign for us... Of course players do go to rival teams, but I don't know... Just doesn't seem very likely to me...

Also, agree with you Ciaran about sorting the wings.
James Flynn
34   Posted 27/06/2010 at 03:28:57

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Jamie (28) - Wrote what I wrote and that's that. Appreciate your note, but what big bhoys? Certainly not any bitch complaining about "Gypo"? Surely you don't mean to leave it to some whining baby claiming to rep the Irish in England? Over being called Gypo of all things?

Where you from Jamie? You're of Irish descent? Tell me all the tales of, "Whoa is us Irish" you grew up on.

None, right?

I'm not in Liverpool and have no opinion on conditions there for Irish emigrants beyond wishing them the best.

But any complaint over Gypo? Descended from the race Freud declared impervious to pycho-analysis?
James Flynn
35   Posted 27/06/2010 at 04:20:06

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Gypo?

Sorry guys, I just realized "Snatched" wan't a documentary.

All apologies to all plastic paddies.
Chad Schofield
36   Posted 27/06/2010 at 10:47:34

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christ James, you're being a proper prick. I suppose being American you're part "Scotch" too. I'm not even going to bother having a go as hopefully your naivety stems from youth rather than simply being American. And before there's cries of anti-US stuff, it's simply a fact that there's at least 10 times the idiots we have in the UK, simply because of population differences.
Ciarán McGlone
37   Posted 27/06/2010 at 11:26:38

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James,

Just before you get anymore ridiculous.

I'm from Belfast. And the various other people you've been calling 'plastic paddies' are also from various parts of Ireland.
Brendan O'Doherty
38   Posted 27/06/2010 at 12:08:14

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James,

You are an embarrassment to the nation you claim to come from.

I suggest to you take the advice of your fellow American Jamie Crowley and shut the fuck up.
Charles King
39   Posted 27/06/2010 at 13:29:47

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In the above article do the words "starved" and "Yakabu" co -exist?
Michael Evans
40   Posted 28/06/2010 at 09:57:31

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James Flynn@34 - your bigoted comments have spoilt my morning cup of coffee

My Father came from Welsh origins, hence the surname, and my Mother's family were Bootle blues with Irish origins of which they were quite rightly very proud (as am I).

Your " Descended from the race Freud declared impervious to psycho-analysis " comment fascinated me because I am a professional Counsellor/therapist. Don't be shy on this James. What are YOU personally alluding to with this comment ?

Ciarán McGlone
41   Posted 28/06/2010 at 10:35:06

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I don't think you'll get an answer to that Michael.

Hopefully he realises the stupidity of his comments.
Brendan O'Doherty
42   Posted 28/06/2010 at 12:18:53

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Michael

You might like to read James' 'explanation/justification' of his comments on the Up England thread.

I'm still waiting for him to retract them or apologise though.
Jamie Crowley
43   Posted 28/06/2010 at 23:46:22

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James-

I don't have any, repeat any, tales of my over-abundance of Irish-ness. I'm American. My descendants are from Ireland - County Cork - so I take a keen interest in my heritage. My family on my Mother's side was 100% and my Dad's side slightly watered down, a 50-50 split. We come from Crowleys, Meaghers, O'Briens, Reardons and Murphys as I've done the family tree research. But again, I am American. End of.

My only request was that you don't throw a term around so loosely. If you want to persist that's your perogative. I'm just frankly baffled by why you'd persist tossing a term around when fellow Blues might find it offensive. Frankly I think you're naive about the topic.

Plastic Paddy would be a term hurled at us Americans, or any other nationality who assert being overly Irish when in fact they are not. So if anyone's a Plastic Paddy it's me — certainly not any of the others who took offense to your "gypo" comment. But I knew it would most definitely rankle a few folks, so I thought I'd give a bit of advice to a fellow American to tred lightly or flat out drop it.

Honestly as well, with a name like Flynn I'd think you would be apologetic to an Irishman if you offended him. Even if you thought they were being overly sensitive.

In the end, do what you want. I'll make sure to not give you any advice whatsoever.

This was merely a suggestion from one American to another. God forbid I was trying to help another American who may have stuck his foot in his mouth — something we've all done at some point in time.

Take it or leave it. Your call.

My guess is you'll leave it. And frankly, I don't care. I was very excited to see another American on these boards. But as you basically just told me to mind my own business I will. Damn shame one American castigates another — especially when I'm just trying to help.

Maybe we should bury the hatchet over a Smithwicks? Now that would be very plastic-paddy-ish.

Jamie Crowley
44   Posted 29/06/2010 at 00:27:56

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BTW James, it's a really, really good fucking beer. If you haven't tried it you should.
Ciarán McGlone
45   Posted 29/06/2010 at 15:25:17

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Jeezzzzz Jamie...

Smithwicks? Really?

Kilkenny muck?

Yuck!
Liam Reilly
46   Posted 29/06/2010 at 16:12:17

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You're really going out of your way to offend Irish folk here James and you're winning no popularity contests.

I find it hard to believe that you believe what your shoveling. Best to shut the fuck up, fella.
Alasdair Mackay
47   Posted 29/06/2010 at 16:47:35

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As the person who originally posted this article, I wonder if anyone else would like to actually comment on it, rather than just slag each other off.
Jamie Crowley
48   Posted 29/06/2010 at 23:29:58

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Sorry Alasdair. Good post. If I contributed in any way to this downward spiral I apologize.

Ciaran - Jeez man, shit's awesome. Kilkenny muck or not. I don't give a toss if it came out of a horse's ass - tastes great!

:0)
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 30/06/2010 at 08:41:51

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Ah well...horses for courses Jamie..

Never got the hang of those dark ales...
Michael Brien
50   Posted 02/07/2010 at 13:44:44

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Anyone know if I can get any "Smithwick's" in Lincoln ?
Brendan O'Doherty
51   Posted 03/07/2010 at 00:17:32

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Unlikely Michael, as Smithwicks is merely the Irish version of the 'bitter' which is so popular in England.

Now if it's a pint of stout you are looking for......

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