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Fans Comment

Mad Dog gets a few things off his chest

8 May 2004

Well the torture is almost over.

I think most of us Evertonians are wise enough to realise what this club can achieve in its current state. We all know we've got no money, nobody wants to buy us, we've got players who know they are on their last big gravy train adventure and are clinging on desperately before they are let loose into obscurity.

I think we also know that we should be doing slightly better than we currently are.

Football in general these days is pretty mediocre. The players are getting paid huge amounts of money but if you take away all the glitz and glamour (well, that's what SKY would like you to believe) there are very few teams or players who make you think I'm glad I bought the match ticket or subscribed to Sky Sports. The premier league is like a modern day Ratners.

But still even in these days of mediocre football, Everton manages to produce football that can't even be described as that. There is a total lack of passion, pace and technique in our side now apart from the one or two unfortunate individuals.

Martyn is a great keeper. Yobo could be a great defender if he turned a bit nastier. Gravesen is not a Peter Ried (he's a bit more skilful) and never will be but he's one of the few artists at the club...unfortunately we cant afford to buy any new paintbrushes to help him complete his work. Rooney is...well Rooney and as an Evertonian who appreciates good footballers I pity this fella at the moment. He so wants to stay and play in a good Everton team but its just going to be a waste of his talent staying at Goodison at present.

We've also got the best aerial attacker (albeit mostly injured) in the Premier league, we've got an attacker who works his socks off with his pace and determination (but misses too many chances), we've got one of the most consistent left wingers in the league (even if he is too tall) and we've also got a young midfielder coming through who scores for fun in Division One (if he played for another club we?d probably be linked with him in the summer).

And yet I still cringe when I see Everton on the TV. It's embarrassing. We are dull and if I'm brutally honest, we have been dull ever since the initial run we had when Mayes took over. Yes we are a better team than when under Walter Smith but have we progressed this season...nope.

But again, given the financial background, its not been all that surprising. What I've found hard to take is the way in which are so called "focus on youth" has turned into something more akin to a culling of the kids.

Rooney and Hibbert are two youngsters who have been given a chance. One is naturally gifted enough to take it in his stride, the other is being forced to work harder for it. Even if Hibbert doesn't make it and ends up at somewhere like Oldham or Rotherham, he can have few complaints. He's been given a chance (made much harder by the fact that the team he is coming into is so poor). It's no use comparing our youngsters to those at Man U. I would bet that if the likes of Nicky Butt (Am I the only one who thinks this player is crap?), Fletcher and O' Shea had to start in a team like Burnley or dare I say it Everton...they'd look average at best. Clarke has been given his chance and unfortunately he didn't do himself justice. Osman has just been given a chance...scored but the team lost so all impact was ignored. Chadwick has done well also and although will never be first choice, he would at least be a cheaper backup to the first choices than Campbell or Ferguson. As for the rest of our focus on youth...well I think we got rid of it all bar two players at the academy.

It smells of cost cutting. In fact the state of Bellefield and our "Academy" proves it's cost cutting.

The only way out of this mess is to do some transfer juggling a la Bolton. A club in a very similar state to us but with one of those new plastic (half empty) stadiums. The problem with that is that Sam doesn't buy players in the normal sense and that's something we as fans will have to get used to. Moyes had a go with Rodrigo last year but was unluckily injured...then he tried with Jeffers this season but I never wanted him back after what he did at the Arsenal game.

On a level playing field, with the same resources as every other manager I reckon Moyes would be in the top 6 but that's just a pleasant daydream I allow myself to have every now and then.

The club seems to have decided not to invest in the has Moyes by the looks of things. The wage bill is being reduced slightly this summer with a few offloads so that should allow him to start changing some faces. I think this is the summer when he needs to be creative in the transfer market...and this is the summer when we can judge just how good a Manager he really is.

Mad Dog

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