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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Top ten is more than mediocrity

 38 Comments: First  |  Last

I was chatting to my old man about this situation earlier. Kenwright, the spilt amongst the fans etc. He has been supporting the club a lot longer than I have.

Although I was alive when we won our last two league titles, I was far too young to remember. He is more fortunate as he has seen us win the title twice before then, so four in total. The only real memory I have of us winning a trophy was 1995, of course we have had a few cup runs both in Europe and domestically with Moyes, but sadly we haven?t been able to replicate any of that success of late.

In my old mans life time, four League titles, 3 FA Cups and a European trophy? most of the fans of the 92 clubs in the Football League would envy the fact that most of us have seen their side win major trophies.

But then I look at the likes of Notts Forest, Derby County and Leeds United. All clubs who boast proud periods of success, similar to that of Everton. It is remarkable to think that clubs like that don?t even play in the same league as us.

Most pundits have us down to finish in the 7-8, which is pretty respectable considering the lack of money we have. We are very fortunate to have one of the best managers in the game at the moment.

Although we boast a proud list of trophies, we are at the end of the day, just another club. We have had periods of struggling and real mediocrity. We live in the shadow of our neighbours, it's sad but it's true.

We have no real right to challenge the likes of our illustrious neighbours, of course things could have been different had Heysel not happened, but it did.

We have had our fair share of decisions or unfortunate events. We get on with it. Shit happens.

When we started last season and went on that god awful run, I thought to myself, could it get any worse? I thought back to Walter Smith's last game in charge, we lost 3-0 to Boro away in the cup. I thought to myself, that was possibly one of the lowest times to be an Evertonian. I questioned whether Kenwright was too nice a guy to make the big decision and get rid of Smith, thankfully he did.

Comparing the squads we had from then and now, and we are light years ahead of how we were there. Most of that is down to David Moyes and what he has done for the club, but you would be foolish to think that Kenwright doesn?t deserve some credit, getting rid of Smith, astutely appointing Moyes as his replacement.

Our transfer policy of selling to buy, granted is not the best situation to be in. But we are still ticking by, adding season after season of top flight football, which we all want to see. We are just another club though, we have no right to success anymore than the likes of Leeds, Derby, Forest or Newcastle for that matter. We had long periods of average-ness long before probably the most successful period during the 80s.

Maybe if we had a new stadium, we may have looked far more of a prospect to buy. Had the controversial Kirkby stadium gone through, we may have had a new buyer, maybe not. Having more corporate boxes and better stadium facilities would appeal to an investor. Then again I'm happy we stayed at Goodison, as are many of the fans, therefore attracting an investor gets a little more difficult.

We can't have it all. Yes, I have questioned some of the other decisions BK has made over his tenure... Kings Dock, Fortress Sports Fund, etc. He would probably say that he could have done things a lot better than he has. But for me we have gone through almost a whole decade of stability, something we lacked so much for much of the 90s.

We are a top-half side; given the way football has changed since the Premier League has come about, that?s a decent effort. You can call me a ?knobhead? for accepting mediocrity. But there are at least 86 teams in the Football League who would love to be in the position we are.

Liam Appleby, Manchester     Posted 12/09/2011 at 13:15:32

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James Morgan
1   Posted 12/09/2011 at 15:06:42

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Put in that perspective Liam it's a fair point. Thanks to some decent finishes under Moyes we expect it every year, but realistically due to what we spend, should we really finish higher?
Obviously there is occasions where we say we should of killed off this team or beat that team but don't all teams say that at some point?
Andrew Ellams
2   Posted 12/09/2011 at 15:28:27

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But, people are concerned with where the club is going in the next 10 years. It's OK talking about respectable finishes under Moyes, a cup final etc, but they have all gone now. The worry is what happens next. So far under Moyes, if we have sold a key member of the squad the money has been reinvested, that is not the case now and we have to keep selling players and giving the money to the bank, we may well be crying out for top 10 mediocrity.
Robert Daniels
3   Posted 12/09/2011 at 15:29:16

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Oh dear.....

None of them clubs have 9 league titles,

At the start of the Premier League we had one less than Arsenal, and one more than Man Utd.

We've stagnated under Kenwright, now we should be grateful we're still in the Premier League?!?!

Kenwright and Moyes have lowered Evertonians' expectations, year on year, till people finally believe the hype, astonishing....
David Chait
4   Posted 12/09/2011 at 15:53:39

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I am tired of hearing we should not expect more because we don't spend more... !! what we paid for our players to their true value is a massive difference. The players we have, if all fit, can and have beaten any team in the league. Consistency is the issue and our lapses against poor sides. I'm not going into team tactics.

If you want to ask a team if it is possible to continuously crack the CL on a positive net spend every year - ask Arsenal! They hardly ever spend more than they get in.
Anthony Hughes
5   Posted 12/09/2011 at 15:53:15

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We don't have a sell to buy policy, we have a sell to survive policy.
I've been fortunate enough to see us win the trophies in the eighties and it is galling to see us floundering about trying to compete and i agree with Andrew the next few seasons really do merit concern.
Hopefully we will never become a Leeds or a Forest
Liam Appleby
6   Posted 12/09/2011 at 16:45:16

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# Robert - four league titles since the beginning of the war. one every 15+ years. Hardly basis for us believing that we should challenge for the title every season. On those grounds im going to say we are in the same brackets as Leeds United, Forest and Villa. Dont be delusional and think we are bigger than we actually are. Im proud that we have won the title 9 times in our history. Im also proud that having spent fuck all we can still gain respectable finishes. In time hopefully the situation will improve regarding the finances. Im quite content sticking with what we have got for the minute, until BK finds the right man.
Ciarán McGlone
7   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:10:42

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The point that you people appear to be missing, is that we could be challenging with a meagre bit of investment..

People who are content with our lot, use Moyes' achievements to supplement the support for the board..

Just for one second, imagine what we could've achieved if Moyes had not, NOT had his hands tied. If he'd had a bit of money to buy someone other than Phil Neville for our 'assault o the Champions League...

Why are people content with the current scenario, when we are not that far away from establishing a truly decent attempt! And the only barrier to that attempt is a man who thinks he's the best person to sell this club (but who admits that business men leave his office having decided they don't want to buy because of what Bill's told them! - His words not mine!!!)
Tony Waring
8   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:33:13

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Ciaran #7 ...."a meagre bit of investment" ? I only wish. You mean the mere hundreds of millions Man City have spent over the past couple of years. They were crap before that. Buying a good player every now and then just does'nt seem to work these days unfortunately. It has to be megabucks and getting the option on a brand new stadium like Eastlands is rather useful as well ! I truly think that mega NOT meagre is the answer.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:13:54

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Liam, in 12 years BK hasn't found a soul, do you honestly think he ever will? How much longer would you give him - a year, five years, ten years? In those twelve years other teams have had successful buyers and some have had bad ones, we've had nothing, zilch or so BK says.
Dennis Stevens
10   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:39:52

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Mega or meagre, Tony - we won't see either whilst this Board remain in control of the club. How long will Moyes continue to achieve top ten finishes against the odds? We may soon be looking back quite wistfully at the days when we could challenge for a place in Europe.
Trevor Mackie
11   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:35:47

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Although I disagree with every word Liam I'm glad you said it, in actual fact I believe like minded souls should be brave enough to post similar.

My angst is based on not living up to expectations, the more I read posts such as this and hear of the crowd reaction the more I realise it's pointless.

My garden's coming on a treat.
Jay Wilson
12   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:46:30

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I don't think Moyes has lowered our expectations, he has highered them. When he arrived we didn't believe we could challenge but now people believe that with a bit of money we genuinely could. Some even believe we can now with the current squad which to my mind is ridiculous.

Robert Daniels
13   Posted 12/09/2011 at 17:43:37

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4 league titles,
3 FA Cups,
7 Charity Shields,
3 Youth Cups.
1 league runners up,
5 FA Cup finalists,
2 League Cup finalists

Since the war: 18 trophies, 8 runners up.

Going by your maths excluding the 12 years of Kenwright, Approx 2.7 years a trophy..

12 years.........Hmmmm ..........let me think,

1 finalist,............Hmmmm........

Fuck all.
Gerry Morrison
14   Posted 12/09/2011 at 19:44:04

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Well said Jay. What were the expectations of Evertonians when Moyes took over? We expected to be in a relegation battle. Say what you like about Moyes, but the idea that our expectations have been lowered under him is ludicrous.
Michael Kenrick
15   Posted 12/09/2011 at 19:50:19

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Yes, Moyes raised our expectations... and we lived up to new expectations of being "The Best of the Rest". But we peaked in 2008 (5th: 65 pts; GD = +22).

Flattered to deceive in 2008-09, crucially bottling it when we finally had the opportunity to win something. We have been slipping ever since. Expectation now is no longer top five: top ten is made out to be success.

Expectations have indeed been lowered under Moyes. You only have to listen to him talk...
Dean Adams
16   Posted 12/09/2011 at 20:14:08

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Michael Kenrick

Before Moyes we all expected to be in a relegation battle. Now we look at top five or top ten, how on this planet does that equate to lowering our expectations. Last season Moyes said we could finnish top four, only to see us have a woeful start.

This season he is just being rather modest. I believe that now Mikel has moved on we are about to enter a new generation. Without belief none of us have anything.

Moyes is still a good manager but he does have his flaws as we all do.

Steve Pugh
17   Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:17:02

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Our expectations have been raised by Moyes, and until now he has been happy to let us believe. But right now, with the way things are at the club he is telling us to lower our expectations for a while because he does not believe he can produce the finish with the squad he has got. People say that we have a team capable of getting into the top 4, and I agree. Unfortunately our squad is so shallow we should be fighting relegation. Should we base our expectations on the ideal first team or the squad?
Robert Daniels
18   Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:33:33

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Davey Boy and Billy Boy will be coming out with the 40 points safety thing next.

Lowered our expectations?


Mine? NO, NO, NO, NO, NEVER..............
Ian Smitham
19   Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:30:44

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Robert, Liam has constructed a well thought out piece that I enjoyed reading, though the points he raises bring home the reality of our position as a club.

I dont know how old Liam is but at a guess , say 30ish. He is older than my kids but they could have written the same, especially as when I play football with them and make a save in goal i refer to "Southall saving the day". They are true Blues, living where I do, it would be a whole lot easier for them not to be. How boring it must be for them living on my fantasy world of that era

The stats you use may be right, to be honest I do not know, but he is obviously a supporter and I am sure he does not need to be hammered in the way you try to use those stats. As for NSNO our club emblem from all those warm and cuddly years ago, it is irrelevant in todays world of football, as sad as that is for me to admit.

So, for those of you who like to depict Mr Moyes as one who is accepting mediocrity, may I ask that you share with us exactly when we did live up to that NSNO phrase that is used to hang everyone?

BTW, as much as I enjoyed that 3 year, yes 3 year, period in some archive of nearly 30 years ago, that period is the only time we have tangible consistent results (wins at the top) that we have to offer.

All of which was spoilt by "others" who I for one will never forgive or forget and yes I am a bitter blue and will always be so. A point also noted by Liam.

Tom Jones
20   Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:52:59

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Steve #17.. best to base it on the squad as Moyes still has no idea who his best team is? Though I agree expectations are only being lowered because they have risen so much in the last few years ? in my opinion despite Moyes's tactics and management (though overall the fella has a good record with a chequebook).

I would say it's likely that Everton may win a trophy / qualify for CL not when we get a billionaire in, but simply when Moyes learns to do this fucking jigsaw puzzle he has created... Granted he picks out some good pieces, but his problem is he has put a couple of the first few pieces together in the wrong place, and now he stubbornly believes they are in the right spot and does his best to force the rest of the pieces into place around them... What we need is a big fucking shake up of the box and a fresh perspective.

New owners may mean a new jigsaw puzzle but I've never seen anything that suggests David Moyes has ever learned anything from 10 fucking years with this current puzzle to finish another one properly. The solution is Bye Bye, Davey and get someone else in.

If Kenwright can't find a buyer, it's the least he could do for the 1000s of us who are just sick of watching the same Groundhog Day of shite tactics, substitutions and bullshit misery-arseness from the man who's supposed to lead from the front.

>him for the time being... God knows how many so-called journos he's paying off with that £24m/year but I'll bet Martin Samuel got himself a new Ferrari this weekend.

Robert Daniels
21   Posted 12/09/2011 at 22:55:30

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Ian, i too am a bitter and proud of it , i have two sons and countless nephews, and i too feel for them .

I dont believe i was unduly harsh on Liam , and would not have
said anything , but the truth is , we have been conditioned to accept second best under Kenwright.

The stats are right,

Until he took over we had never, repeat never, been described as a small club,

Liam, is obviously a passionate supporter, and the future of our club,

He,s posting on here, and not out doing drugs, mugging old women or playing cod on xbox.

He loves Everton ,and i would never ridicule a fan such as him.

If thats how it appeared , it wasnt my intention.

Point is Ian, lesser clubs, Stoke etc believe they can make the c/l,

Have a look at there turnover, and look at ours?

They have lowered the next generation of fans expectations, and made us out to be a small club,

all in the space of Kenwrights tenure.

Liam Appleby
22   Posted 12/09/2011 at 23:56:16

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#18 thank you Ian.

#Robert - the fact that you have included 7 charity shields and 3 youth cups to make up your 18 trophy count for the club is pretty tenuous if not slightly embarrassing.
Robert Daniels
23   Posted 13/09/2011 at 00:14:59

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Liam son,

4 titles, 3 FA Cups, 1 ECWC, and 7 shields?

15 trophies then, still a better average than you implied.

What does your dad think?
John Daley
24   Posted 13/09/2011 at 00:08:18

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"Our transfer policy of selling to buy, granted is not the best situation to be in"

You're right. 'Sell to buy' is not the best situation to be in. It's not even the situation we're in though, is it? Unless I dozed off and missed out on the whole buying part of the equation?

The sad thing is that 'selling to buy' would probably sound pretty good to most Evertonians round about now.

I'd certainly take it over 'simply selling', 'selling to
get the bank off our back for another year', or 'selling right at the death to ensure no time to reinvest'.
Craig Walker
25   Posted 13/09/2011 at 13:00:04

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Some well argued views. My opinion is that Moyes has lowered expectations. I watch Everton now expecting a draw at best, a lot of effort put in by the players but slow pedestrian football. If we sneak a win 1-0 then I'm ecstatic. This isn't just the case with away games, it's now my frame of mind for home games too.

I agree that the standard of players at the club is vastly superior to the team which took the field in Smith's last game in charge. There's a key problem though with using that as a barometer of progress. This Everton team would probably win the league if it were competing in Smith's era. THE problem is that every other club has moved on greatly too.

Sure, Moyes has taken us on from being relegation fodder and he has gained some respectable finishes and earned a good reputation amongst his peers. Evertonians want more though. We want exciting football coupled with success. It's those wishes which make me proud to be an Evertonian. Finishing 10th with the "don't lose" philosophy football, no width, no creativity, and one up front if we're lucky is nothing to aspire to.
Liam Appleby
26   Posted 13/09/2011 at 14:05:58

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Robert, as Evertonians we should all be proud of our successes in the past. I am no different. But the clubs success since the war is comparable to other teams, who are currently in far worse situations than the one we find ourselves in.

Since the war -
Leeds United - League winners x 3 , FA Cup winners x 2, Uefa Cup x 2, League Cup x 1

Forest - European Cup winners x 2, League winners x 1, Fa cup x 1, League Cup winners x 4

We are just another club and have no right to challenge at the top of the premierleague anymore than these clubs do. Of course I would like to think that one day we will challenge again, but because football has changed unless we can find someone who is willing to put the same outlay as the owners at City have done, it may be sometime.

As for the people who say we are not even selling to buy, granted there has not been the activity we would have liked in recent times. Our last major player to leave the club was Lescott, the money we gained from his sale purchased Heitinga, Distin and Bily. Im sure had we had more time in the market a signing would have been made from the proceeds of Arteta, coupled with the smalls deals we made from other outgoing players. As for the players we did get in on loan, i was pretty happy.
Robert Daniels
27   Posted 13/09/2011 at 15:43:08

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If our club had been better managed, we would challenging for titles and winning things.

This club has gone backwards, and still is. Kenwright does nothing at all, maybe his recent wake up call will change that, but I don't think so.

I can only tell you what I know: Kenwright had a billionaire in Grantchester, and Gregg wanted control of the club. He stopped them, he ruined us, the thing he says he is searching for, he had right at the start.

Tell me this, Liam, why do you think they stopped the Park End development? When you have worked that out, you shouldn't be content with what we've got.

Kenwright hasn't brought stability, he's brought chaos.

In all my time of supporting them, there was never division like there is now between Evertonians, He and him alone has turned us, in other people's eyes (yours too, by the looks of things) into a small club. I won't accept this and neither will thousands of others.

His time is over and he knows it. I'm guessing about your age, but by the time I was 30, I had seen Everton play at Wembley 15 times, I had seen countless semi-finals...

If you're happy with what you're getting out of your club, carry on supporting this buffoon. Not me, never accept second-best.

Nelly Verdonghan
28   Posted 13/09/2011 at 18:30:28

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Let's get this straight.....Finishing 10th is NOT success and NEVER will be....

WINNING trophy's....that's success.... NOTHING MORE....NOTHING LESS !!

What the fuck is 'best of the rest' many trophies do you get for that ????

Man Utd are the most successful English club because they've WON THE MOST TROPHIES...simple as

Robert #27...HERE HERE Sir....
Peter Fearon
29   Posted 13/09/2011 at 21:27:40

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Ciarán - Moyes had his hands tied? Who tied his hands and made him buy Bulshitletdinov or Yakubu or Beattie or Johnson or Kroldrup or Lucas Neill or Simon Davies and some other duds? Yes, I know he's done some good business too but that's 38 Million worth of "talent" Even at today's inflated prices, you could buy some decent players for that. Tied his hands? To quote you elsewhere - "ludicrous". Let him get the best out of the players we have,.Our problems on the field boil down to the inconsistent performances of established and talented players. If we had 4 points from three games against top teams that would be one thing, but don't tell me we should not have beaten QPR and Villa with the players we have. That has nothing to do with investment. it has everything to do with preparation and consistency and game management.
Ciaràn McGlone
30   Posted 14/09/2011 at 09:03:06

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How many players have we bought in the last two years? And how many have we sold?

We have gaping holes in our first team, nevermind a squad which is tiny.

As with your other appear to be missing the rather obvious point.

Nelly Verdonghan
31   Posted 14/09/2011 at 09:38:36

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Ciaran....I'm sorry to say this but it would appear that it is in fact YOU who is missing the point....
Ciaràn McGlone
32   Posted 14/09/2011 at 10:20:22

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Care to explain how, Nelly?
Dale Forbes
33   Posted 14/09/2011 at 12:56:09

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Tom Jones #20 has hit the nail on the head: it's all about leadership & EFC are sadly lacking in that department. Playing players out of position; playing inferior players, having a defensive mindset all the time - on that basis no matter how much money Moyes has, he will continue to make the wrong decisions.
Tony J Williams
34   Posted 14/09/2011 at 13:15:53

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Dale. most of the inferior players you refer to are our only players. We have had the smallest squad in the Premiership for years now and it keeps getting smaller each year.

"Bulshitletdinov (Russian International who had more goals and assists last season and before than the Golden Boy Piennar)or Yakubu (First 20 goal a season striker in decades) or Beattie (Got us into Europe) or Johnson (Got us into Europe, sold on at a profit) or Kroldrup (Shipped out as soon as he was fit, major disaster) or Lucas Neill (a free signing and sold for a profit after 6 months) or Simon Davies (played in Europe for two season and bought to try and solve our winger problem)

All apart from Kroldrup, they all played in a team that qualified for Europ. can't be that shit can they? Unless Moyes is that good he gets shit players playing well......we know that's not true.

As always, I ask, if our players are that shite, why are people so incensed when we lose? Surely it is to be expected?
Nelly Verdonghan
35   Posted 14/09/2011 at 13:45:58

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Not really because I think a number of people before me have done so and you cannot see it

You think that if Moyes had money at his disposal then that would end all our problems as he would be able to buy players to strengthen our squad.
The fact is as pointed out by Peter #29.....Moyes...YES MOYES....has squandered large amounts of cash on sub-standard players.... £10 mil for Bilyajokedinov being his last foray into the transfer market...

It is my belief (and that of many others...please read the posts over the past few months) that if Moyes was given a large transfer kitty he would probably waste it on more players who are quite simply not good enough.....added to the fact that his tactics and style of play/game plan are for the most part absolutely awful..4-6-0 in two home games this season already....Before everybody jumps down my throat...we had no RECOGNISED striker on the field at the start of the Villa game....everybody is well aware what happened in the QPR game.

Does that explain it enough ?
Ciarán McGlone
36   Posted 14/09/2011 at 14:58:08

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No, it doesn't explain it in the slightest. You obviously don't understand the point I'm making..

This thread was not about Moyes ? it is a thinly veiled attempt to justify our current board's handling of the club's financial affairs. If you've followed this website for any lenght of time, you'd know that I've been critical of Moyes and his faults ? not least his high profile failures in the market...

However, that is neither here nor there when we are discussing the actions of the board. It is a convenient trick by those who think 'we should be thankful for what we've got'... There are two issues here: Moyes and the Board... this thread is about the board.

If you're going to tell me I am missing some point being made, then at least try... TRY and understand the point I'm making in the context of the thread.
Robbie Shields
37   Posted 14/09/2011 at 21:46:54

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Tom Jones, excellent analogy, 100% spot on. I might add that DM has put the corners in the wrong places and doesn't know what happened to the box, he hasn't got a clue what the end result should look like and in his desperate attempts to finish it has been getting pieces from other puzzles, sticking them all over the place seeing if anything will work. Now though his job has been made all the more difficult because Bill, having sold the box cover to pay for some more pieces, has now run out of things to sell, so he's now going to have to sell some of the obviously correct pieces to buy some more pieces. So what will we end up with? Not the fucking Mona Lisa that's for sure, it'll be a half chewed Thomas the Tank Engine if we are lucky............ or it'll just get chucked away and forgotten about once everyone loses interest, because we can see that the picture now unfolding is crap anyway.
Tony J Williams
38   Posted 15/09/2011 at 13:20:53

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"It is my belief (and that of many others...please read the posts over the past few months) that if Moyes was given a large transfer kitty he would probably waste it on more players who are quite simply not good enough" - It's very easy to say that, as we all know Moyes will not get any "proper" money to spend.

As has been done to death already. Look at his "expensive" signings, and I mean that in connection with prices in general. His expensive signings have all done well, the biggest let down is far, as he has yet to actually play and continue to play in his correct position. Look at Ossie, reviled on here by many, gets played in his correct position and had a good final third to the season. Played in his right place on Saturday and scores.

Play Bily where he is supposed to be and he will get better than what he has shown so far. I still remember his first couple of months with his brilliant corners and about 6 assists in 10 games

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