Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Is The Grass Greener on the Other Side?

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With more players likely to leave than players coming in, I was thinking is the grass always greener on the other side of the Goodison pastures? I was thinking of all our ?big? players that have left in recent seasons.

Wayne Rooney ? Gone on to score 102 goals in 217 games. He has won 4 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Champions League and a Club World Cup. He has enhanced tremendously as a player and he is up there with the world's best. So he was right to leave Everton.

Joleon Lescott ? he is now one of the most hated ex-Everton players of his generation; apart from that what has he done? In two seasons he has played 61 games and scored 4 goals. In his first 2 seasons at Everton he had 76 Premier League games and scored 12 goals. He won Player of the Year as well. He moved to Manchester City for a stupid 24 million. We bought Distin with that money and he has been just as good as Lescott. Did a move to Man City help him? He won an FA Cup Final but Everton where in one too, and if we were playing Stoke we probably would've won as well. So I don?t think a move has enhanced his career.

Steven Pienaar ? I know he has only had 6 months at Spurs but if you see and hear the rumours, he is miserable in London. If you are on Twitter and follow him, he regularly has banter with Neville and Saha... maybe he misses Everton?s family spirit? He has had only 11 games in six months. That?s not a lot, each team play around 11 games in two and a half months. He is always going to be a squad player at Spurs; he is going to be Bales?s back-up. I don?t think Spurs was the best move for his career; he needs games as he is a confidence player.

Thomas Gravesen ? he left in January 2005 for Real Madrid. What player would reject a chance to go to the Spanish giants? But did it enhance his career? I don?t think so. He didn?t nail down a place and he his remembered for his attack on Robinho in training. Got to love ?Mad Dog?, he was sold to Celtic and then was loaned back to us. He was half the player that had left Goodison in 2005. Gravesen is a rare exception in this article; no one can blame him for leaving for Madrid, a very unique player who touched everyone at Everton.

Manuel Fernandes ? I know he was not an official Everton player but he was very close to it. He had a miserable time at Portsmouth and then we took him in on loan, he gave us some scintillating performances against Arsenal, Portsmouth and United. He loves being on the ball he can take on 2 or 3 players at a time. His feet are unbelievable, Everton where apparently working day and night to get this deal sorted but as soon as Valencia sniffed round him he was off like a shot. From there he made 56 appearances, loaned back to us. Did not impress like he once did. Then was loaned to Besiktas, where he has now made the move permanent. He has not done too well since his promising appearances in a blue shirt.

The point of this article is to show people that when players leave us it doesn?t always turn out for the best. For the likes of Fellaini, Jagielka, Arteta and even Baines, it is too show them that we are a unique club, even though we might not have the money or have the greatest stadium in the world. But we all unite together and fight as a team, the players understand that they need us as much as we need them. It is the greatest club in the world.

Landon Donovan was at Goodison for 3 months and this is what he said about Everton ? ?I'm 28 years old now and I've played over 100 times for my country, I've also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world," he said. "But I've never met a fan base like this, either playing for them or as an away player. Forget about football for a moment, this is a life experience I'll never forget."
Jake Wilson, Liverpool     Posted 15/07/2011 at 12:29:32

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Rob Young
1   Posted 15/07/2011 at 14:06:03

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Can't agree with on Lescott. He's palyed a similar ammount of games at City, actually won a throphy and will be involved in the Champions League next season. Next to that, I'm sure financially he doing a lot better and there's definetely more chance of winning throphies at City than at Everton in the near future. From his point of view, he'll be very pleased to have moved.

Steven Pienaar's only gone for six months, is surely collecting more in wages and Spurs are a good team. Again, I don't think he'll be comlaining too much (just yet).

Gravesen, like you said, moved to the mighty Real Madrid and maybe only Fernandes might look back in regret. Than again, if he'd become that good a player for us he would surely have looked to move as well.

Look, none of these players were ever Evertonians like us. We can't expect them to be a s loyal as we are. It's about money and, if they are lucky, about the chance to win silverware.

Maybe, judging by these players, the grass is greener indeed!
Mark Stone
2   Posted 15/07/2011 at 14:29:01

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I don't Rooney has progressed that much as a player. Certainly his best performances for England came when he was an Everton player in Portugal 2004. I'm not saying I don't think he is a fantastic player ... I just he was already a fantastic player when he left.

In line with this article Tim Cahill tweeted the other day something along the lines of that it was good to see Alan Irvine back at Everton ... followed by 'everyone who leaves the toffees wants to come back'.
Richard Parker
3   Posted 15/07/2011 at 14:01:54

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I think that Moyes is very good at getting the most out of players and has a nice tightly knit squad. I think the fact that players generally don't replicate form once leaving Everton is a sign of that.

Players leaving Everton for the likes of Spurs, Man City, etc are clearly taking a gamble and risk not playing. Whether their reputations and careers suffer, their wallets don't seem to.

As for Rooney being right to leave, I seem to remember his best patch for England coming just before he left us. He hasn't managed to have an impact on a major tournament since Euro 2004, so is he really a better player for leaving Everton? Not sure about that, although he certainly has a fatter bank balance and a nicer trophy cabinet.
Richard Parker
4   Posted 15/07/2011 at 14:45:02

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Mark - you just beat me to it!
Dave Lynch
5   Posted 15/07/2011 at 14:47:09

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Another two that spring to mind.
Barmby, more hated than Lescott. His career was revived at Everton and nose dived dramatically when he left us.
Radzinski. Greedy money grabbing bastard who again bombed when he left us.
Alex Buckley
6   Posted 15/07/2011 at 15:14:15

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Don't forget the Classic Jeffers! I bet he still cry's himself to sleep!!!!
Fran Mitchell
7   Posted 15/07/2011 at 15:39:15

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Rooney not a better player?????

Are you serious?

He scored a few belters for us, was obvously a great player in the making but to say he hasn't progresses isn't even blue eyes, it's sheer delusion.

He is world class now. Almost the complete player.

I also disagree that Distin has been as good as Lescott. With Lescott our defense was far superior, helped also by the fact we had Carsley, but Distin is not as good as Lescott.
Fran Mitchell
8   Posted 15/07/2011 at 15:48:37

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Radzinski was never that great for us, so to say his career dived after us is over-the-top. He had 1 decent season for us.

Gravesen also had 6 decent months with us, but before that was average.

Barmby had 1 good season with us also, then left. He was never a brilliant player, but by leaving us he got a few extra England caps and won the Uefa Cup among others.

None of these sit in an armchair thinking 'what could have been!'
Fran Mitchell
9   Posted 15/07/2011 at 15:53:24

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Also... maybe Crystal Palace fans sit there saying AJ must regret leaving... Southampton fans saying that JB must regret leaving.... Lokomotive fans talk of Bily... Middlesbrough say the same of the Yak

Simon Davies has been significantly better away from the Blue shirt... etc, etc, etc.
Dan Parker
10   Posted 15/07/2011 at 15:50:24

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Andy Johnson, James Beattie, Tomas Radzinski, Franny Jeffers and that's just in the striking dept. Mates at uni a decade or so ago would mock my Everton for runining players' careers. One thing I'll give Moyes credit for is making our club the highlight of many a player's career.
Anthony Hughes
11   Posted 15/07/2011 at 16:39:44

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It's stretching it a bit to include Fernandes and Donovan; neither player was ever ours.
Trevor Mackie
12   Posted 15/07/2011 at 16:56:34

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The question of players choosing to leave Everton has cemented my anti kenwright views.

If this coming season sees us unearth some gems from the youth set up they'll be gone in the blink of an eye - why? - because you can't fight ambition and money.

Rooney's still buying Everton kits for his lad ffs.

We need change - simple as.
Trevor Lynes
13   Posted 15/07/2011 at 17:33:55

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Some leave for better money but most leave because they think they have a better chance of WINNING medals....
With our present complacent, apathetic board its no wonder that players want away !!
Just read Elstone on the official site...he reckons that disgruntled fans are in the minority.....Ostrich and head in sand comes to mind...
Im just watching while lesser clubs than us are improving their squads while we do NOWT !!
Frank McGregor
14   Posted 15/07/2011 at 18:26:10

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I agree that a lot of the players leaving Everton do not achieve what they believe they can ? in particular, Jeffers, Barmby, Gosling and Pienaar. The wheeler-dealing of the agents behind the scenes is one of the main reasons, I feel, for all the transfer moves, as they want their piece of the action.
Max Fine
15   Posted 16/07/2011 at 00:40:23

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Distin as good as Lescott??! Talk about blue tinted spectacles...

As for the others you mentioned, sad to say I doubt any of them would sacrifice their inflated bank balances for more playing time on our hallowed Goodison turf.
James Flynn
16   Posted 16/07/2011 at 04:58:39

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Jake - Good stuff.

They were offered more money in their field and took it. Whatever their new working environment, the check keeps coming.

Think of being paid twice your current salary with some other company and finding your influence reduced.

"Fuck this. I'm going back to the company paid me have as much".

You might? I might, but likely wouldn't.

To me, this discussion points out our need of a few more dollars/pounds/Euros. Nothing more.

Very frustrating.
Tony Cheek
17   Posted 16/07/2011 at 06:45:41

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Nail...head James, they all left for money and maybe the chance to win a trophy. One or two of them might have been sorry, but then its pay day again and alls well.
Andy Johnson might just be the exception, not sure he got a better deal at Fulham, as I understand it, he just didnt like Moyes football philosophy.
Tony Waring
18   Posted 16/07/2011 at 09:25:58

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Most posters seem to hold the same opinion as me. Players leave for money primarily and if there are medals in the future that's a bonus. Frankly I should have thought - naively - that they play because they love football and at even the lowest paid club in the PL they would earn far more than ordinary mortals (fans) can ever hope to achieve. Would it not be wonderful if Murdoch's empire went belly-up ? The fall-out from that in PL terms would be unbelievable ! Footy back to sanity at last.
Tony Waring
19   Posted 16/07/2011 at 09:29:49

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I omitted to say that IMO money is the biggest problem facing the game today. It's the biggest problem with a lot of other things too.
Kunal Desai
20   Posted 16/07/2011 at 09:33:24

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Rooney left to WIN trophies and he's proved that. Lescott went for the money, he's got that and now won an FA cup/qualifying for CL and will probably now be on the verge of winning more if Man City still want him. In my opinion others who have left in the past are no great big losses. Rooney is the only player we have had who has been world class and we all knew it from the moment he made his first appearance and scored that memorable goal against the gunners.

Lets be honest you are neither going to get the pay packet you are looking for or the ambition to win things at Everton. If a player can get either one or both elsewhere then perhaps for him that counts as success.

I believe next season and the season after the core of the squad (good players) at the club will look to move on,if the current regime continues, perhaps for either of those reasons mentioned above but if the club continue the way of their inability to invest in new players as has now been the case for the last two seasons, then I fear a mass exodus next season and the season after.
Who really can blame them then???
Brian Waring
21   Posted 16/07/2011 at 10:33:06

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Did Arteta stay with us because he was offered a new mega 75k a week contract, or because he loved the club?
Trevor Lynes
22   Posted 16/07/2011 at 10:42:36

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Brian # 21...Arteta is close to the end of his career as is Cahill so they both stay at EFC as its a SAFE job....if they were transferred they would not fetch much money as they are both getting past it !!
We not only cannot BUY to replace these ageing stars we have no youngsters knocking on the first team door who can adequately replace them.
For all Heiting's chat about wanting a bigger club..who wants him ?? Or Bily for that matter ?
The players in demand are YOUNG and show some prospects of improvement.
If we do not find replacements soon for our ageing and in some cases injury prone former stars, we will slide into a mess !!
This is the first period of EFC history that I can remember where we have no money to compete in the transfer market with even the lowliest clubs and Ive been an EVERTONIAN since 1948 !!
That is what scares me.........in other bad periods we have been able to buy players.
GOD ONLY KNOWS where the money has gone because we get good gates every week and a big travelling support.
Tony Waring
23   Posted 16/07/2011 at 12:53:29

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Trevor #22 I also go back as far as 1948 - sixpence in the boys' pen !!! - and I share your disquiet. We were always able to buy the best players and your last sentence says it all. Where the hell has the cash disappeared to ? Surely not all in salaries ?
John Ford
24   Posted 16/07/2011 at 13:34:31

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Gravesen was a strange one. The 'mad dog' name was just a lazy footy fans tag. For six months he wasnt just 'decent' he was sublime. His passing , vision and more than anything his ability to be where the ball was and dominate games was unlike anything ive seen at goodison, including the 80s team. He was that good....but only for six mionths, then Real noticed him. It wasnt just about form, it was a transformation. I do wondfer how we'd have done had he stayed and carried that form for a few seasons.

I consider him a potential true Everton great. The one that got away.
James Flynn
25   Posted 17/07/2011 at 07:36:44

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Jake,
Good stuff and forgive me for moving away from your point.

Have to say, so many of your names I recognize these 18 months I've been in. Discovering some referencing post-WWII as your start as an Evertonian is humbling to this American.

With the loan period, chasing all things Landon I discovered Toffeeweb. In general, I hate discussion boards. I simply don't do them because they're so lame ("Fuck you! Fuck me? No fuck you!") and uncontrolled.

But this one's intelligence and wit, combined with such passion, has kept me in.

Once I commit to supporting a team, that's that. No need for some website to do so. But you lot keep me coming back.

James Flynn
26   Posted 17/07/2011 at 08:08:16

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Damn - Tony Waring (23). My apologies. You were the inspiration for my post above and forgot to mention you as my inspiration.

You're fucking old, Tony!! Did you have to dictate this to someone to type it for you?

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