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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

How not to succeed in business without really trying

 56 Comments: First  |  Last

OK, so we lost the game in Philly. The boys are getting back to fitness. It's just a runout. No problem. Eighteen thousand and change filled the stadium to capacity, with two to three thousand Evertonians in attendance.

I noted a group from Boston, MA; seven or eight hours away by road. A group of youngsters, maybe fifty strong, decked out in the pink strip behind the goal. Ex-pat scousers like me, some American fans all dressed in blue, just looking for an excuse to get behind the team.

Now I am lucky; I get to go back to England quite often to attend the match. For others, this is one of the few times the team has been on one of these trips to the East Coast. Note To Someone at the Club... where there is a large concentration of the population ? Not like Denver and Columbus.... tiny by comparison.

So there's a bunch of blues at the game, for whom this is a real special occasion. What does the club do... let's bring the team bus in the back door like this is Rupert Murdoch meeting at Number 10. Public relations... who needs that? We don't need any more stinking money.

Are we going to recognise the fans in any organised fashion? No, let's bugger off the pitch at the end of the game, leaving Seamus Coleman and one or two others making a fist of at least attempting a bit of fan interaction, while the big names scarpared.

If it's just about training and the club could give a toss about its US fanbase, do me a favor and stop covering it.

I am a bluenose through and through, but this was in my opinion a case where the club took its own fans completely for granted. I have a sneaking suspicion that this extended to tonight's opposition also!

Paul McGinty, Brielle, NJ     Posted 21/07/2011 at 05:54:49

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Tony Cheek
1   Posted 21/07/2011 at 07:29:43

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Yes Paul, I fully agree. It's tragic that the players cannot take the time for a little parlez with the fans when they are over there. A job to do there!

Didn't get to see the game, but would like to know why Fellaini didn't play and how did Jan Mucha look in goal? Have been waiting for him to get a chance.

Karl Meighan
2   Posted 21/07/2011 at 07:30:29

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Thats not good the way the American blues were treated as you say, but its probably gobshite officials and not so much the players that were at fault. That said its nothing for the players to show there appreciation after the game and at least clap the fans.

Things are not much different in England with the fans seeming to be the least appreciated part of most football clubs. Not all but most players now seem to fit the stereo type well, greedy, arrogant and the do you no who i am types with the fact they are heroes and role models to thousands of kids meaning Jack shit to most of them. Lets put it this way the days when footballers were young men in the community who were easily approachable are over, now bodieguards and security are in attendance when they sign shirts at the club shop.
Derek Thomas
3   Posted 21/07/2011 at 08:47:44

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Short version; Marketing and PR still a farce.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The next line is an even bigger farce.

We won't get fooled again....

For the Kiwi's bring on the Tui advert, all others...Yeah right.
Liam Reilly
4   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:12:41

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A hugely disappointing and quite damming report on the Club Paul and it really does show how out of touch our leaders are with the average supporter. It?s insulting; especially to the newer, younger generation of supporters, who are the future of the club.

We really can?t get shot of these arseholes quickly enough.

Can I ask; where the new shirts and other forms of merchandise readily available for purchase at the ground, or did they also miss this opportunity, a la Australia last pre-season?
Paul Gladwell
5   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:20:23

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Totally agree and its everything we do, Real Madrid go there this weekend and will scream from the rooftops that they are in town and not that they need too.
Anthony Jaras
6   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:25:39

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If that is the case, what a bunch of ignorant, self-absorbed wankers that we had on that pitch.

Fair play to the few who did attempt to show appreciation to the fans, the others should be ashamed of themselves.

If, as somebody stated, the officials had something to do with this, as players, they should have ignored it and still paid homage, as Seamus did.

Lee Armstrong
7   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:26:59

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I know it's a bit rubbish they didn't take the time to interact after the game but we are not a party to their schedule. I understand they head to Washington pretty soon if they have not already left.

Jags, Baines and Cahill did a signing session in a Philly bar / there was an open training session in Philly the other day too... I think the players at EFC are a lot better than most at fan interaction on the whole... if anything i felt this is an isolated incident.

Ryan Rosenberg
8   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:32:24

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I agree with you as well Paul. Also, I heard Barkley and Vellios looked promising, is this true?
Richard Dodd
9   Posted 21/07/2011 at 09:45:09

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Can`t argue with this one! `Marketing and PR still a farce`. How right you are... But then,with Candy Floss in charge of the latter, what do you expect?
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 21/07/2011 at 10:51:41

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I can understand Howard maybe fatigued from the Gold Cup but how hard is it to think, lets get him at the game meeting and greeting the crowd and lets push the brand and sell some replica kits and other stuff, not rocket science but again beyond the realms of the most myopic board the club have ever had.

Elstone quoted that the Australia trip cost the club £1m, did they bother their arse trying to recoup any of that through marketing and merchandising? Bloody doubt it, any other company would have given these clowns their comics a long time ago and literally hoofed them from the place.
Tony J Williams
11   Posted 21/07/2011 at 11:51:18

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Paul, how do you think we feel? We go to 19 home games a season and not once do those feckers stay behind after a game and talk to the fans in the crowd. Insensitive barstewards (written with tongue firmly in cheek)
Norman Merrill
12   Posted 21/07/2011 at 12:30:29

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Paul, Thank you for your email.

I would like to think that the club would take note, but knowing the lack of communication, between the hierarchy, at Goodison and the true fans, like yourself, I won't hold my breath.

I am sure you will keep the faith, and all the best for the future. COYB.

Christine Foster
13   Posted 21/07/2011 at 12:34:48

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Gavin #9, Club mechandise on the Australian tour last year was utterly disgraceful, overpriced, out of date kit, sold out of a trailer.
It had about 20 items in total and the demand was huge but extremely dissappointing. It looked like a car boot sale and I have seen better product on stalls in Great Homer street..
Eugene Ruane
14   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:01:59

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Depressing Christine and doubly so when there appears nothing on the horizon that might change this embarrassing, 'spivvy' small-time, short-sighted, fast buck approach.

(by the way, nice to 'see' you again!)
Adam Bennett
15   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:21:41

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I have been saying for a number of years now that, put bluntly, the person who heads up our marketing team, along with his/her staff, have not got a fucking clue.

Can you imagine how long these clowns would last if they where working for another sports team?

I seriously cannot understand how some people are in the line of work that they are in sometimes.

Give me and a few of my blue mates the responsibility of this work and I can guarantee that within in year the clubs marketing will be a gazzilion times better.

Just talking amongst ourselves over a pint we come up with more, and better, idea?s that the club has done for years.

It makes me so unbelievably frustrated that there are so many Evertonians out there who have a more of an idea on how to do things like this ahead of the ones who are actually in charge of doing it.

Chris Bannantyne
16   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:17:59

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Thats a shame. It was pretty much the same in Australia. Jags came over to the blue contingent at the end of the match against Brisbane, signed his boots and gave them to people, as well as his shirt. Posed for a couple photos. But that was just him...

Mind you, I absolutely loved the Aussie tour anyway. I will remember it forever, but it wouldn't be hard to get the squad to walk the perimeter and give a bit of a clap would it?
Phil Martin
17   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:17:27

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Christine, Eugene,

Some t'webbers here would tell you Bk and co are doing a fine job, and that there's very little anyone else could be doing to take the club forward.

I find it sickening, that many aspects of the way our club is run - is bordering criminally negligable. Yet others (an ever decreasing number) seem to believe "better the devil you know".

Forget the RS or any other club. We our are own worst enemy.
Gerry Quinn
18   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:25:33

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I notified the club about the lack of merchandise sales (none at all) in Houston v Pachuca and v Club America in 2004 ? and on every subsequent visit culminating in the televised match v the All Stars in 2009. I gave up, no replies, no thought towards the fans.

Players the same after the match ? my article on Salt Lake criticised them for not at least walking towards the fans who had travelled miles to see them.

Security? My arse. Hopefully one of them (Neville, I hope) will read this and CORRECT it.... then again, this is Everton.

Tom Astley
19   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:27:27

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On a side note, while we lost 1-0 to Philadelphia, Man Utd beat Seattle Sounders 7-0.

Pre-season game or not, that is the gulf between the two teams at the momen
Paul McGinty
20   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:33:25

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To Ryan 7, Barkley had a tendency to overplay. He was caught out defensively early after he came on. Heitinga to be fair gave him a don't worry about it, handshake. That said, he did look promising. Comfortable on the ball, and with an imposing body. Here's hoping. Vellios was OK.

It was real hot and a training game, but we really struggled to get any width to our game. When Coleman moved from full back to right mid, things improved a bit.

Anthony Jaras
21   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:46:22

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Tell the players on TWITTER what you think!!!!! Neville, Saha and Distin are never off the bloody thing.
Paul McGinty
22   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:42:56

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Tony 1, Mucha looked OK. Takes no crap from anyone. 95% humidity, 95 degree weather and he's warming up in tracksuit and under-armor. Got to love that.

No idea why Fellaini wasn't playing. He and Victor were wandering around before the game and has to be said he Felli signed some autographs. He also nearly tackled the 4-man army band to prevent the subs colliding with them before the game.

The goal we conceded was bloody awful. Loads of chances to clear... Keystone Cops defendings... sliced, mishit clearances... we conceded with a back four of Neville, Distin, Jags and Baines with Rodwell and Hetinga holding... that made it worse. I am using tiredness as the alibi as the Kopites await.

DC United will not roll over so I hope fitness has improved and the boys come out ready, or it's going to be a depressing Saturday night.

Gavin Ramejkis
23   Posted 21/07/2011 at 13:52:32

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Chris #15 at the end of the Bury friendly and mini pitch invasion from the young lads Jags stayed on as long as possible whilst getting mobbed by them and that was really appreciated actually moving towards the fans rather than towards the dugout and out of the place.
Ray Robinson
24   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:11:32

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I can't argue with what went on in Philadelphia because I wasn't there - but in the players' defence, they are the least standoffish of any Premier League stars that I've witnessed and seem genuinely to have a rapport and appreciation of the Everton fans. I don't think there are too many prima donnas in the squad.
Roger Domal
25   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:27:38

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My wife was ready to plunk down serious money on ANY Everton merch last night at the match. NOTHING! I was amazed that they didn't try to sell anything.

By the way, Screech isn't even walking all that well yet. He has a pretty stiff leg and walks with a bit of a limp still. I would bet Boxing Day for him.

Good atmosphere at a nice new football-only arena south of Philly in a real poor area.
Tony Cheek
26   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:38:32

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Thanks Paul, just read on the OS that Felli is still struggling with that injury.....come on Chelsea, put that money on the table!!
Kristian Boyce
27   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:42:46

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I bought my ticket for the DC game last night before the Union match had started. Hoping now that I'm not going to regret it after last nights performance. To go along with the $50 I spent on the game, I'm using up my air miles to get a flight from Florida to DC. I was planning to get some merchandise for my kids from the match, but how it sounds I'm not going to be in luck.
James McGrady
28   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:53:45

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@Roger ? 25.
Of course we didnt sell any merchandise, it's in the contract with Kitbag that we can sell at two shops. What a great way of alienating fans across the world!

I was in a JJB the other day, now there is a Man City stand, to go with the big four and the old firm. Another stand with a mixture of Spurs, Villa, West Ham and Reading. Yes Reading! Unbelievable, meanwhile fans who cannot get to Liverpool are forced to buy online with extortionate postage charges.
James Stewart
29   Posted 21/07/2011 at 15:00:47

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The match was abysmal. No creativity or width what so ever and for long periods we couldn't even get the ball back!

To make matters worse the defense, like it did last season, looked capable at any time of conceding a sloppy goal. Distin was a joke Jags was barely any better. The goal was a disgrace and calamity defending at its best.

Talk on here of breaking into the top 4 is deluded!!! We will be lucky to stay up with that kind of defending.
Tom Bowers
30   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:54:03

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No surprise in Philly. They are one of the top teams in MSL but could we at least not score a goal? Maybe the excessive heat or the jet lag.

Hopefully they will be fitter for the next game against lowly DC United.

David Mathieson
31   Posted 21/07/2011 at 14:51:34

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OP #0
I remember the players lunch when I was younger; I went most years so did most of my family. Mr David Moyes put a stop to that he thought it was not the best preparation for important matches. Spending an hour a month with fans taking pictures on top of his and the players vigorous schedule appears was too much for them to handle. I think Moyes just did not want to mix with "The Great Unwashed"

This removal or service is not exactly fan friendly and is missed in the Everton community. It was only something like £15 a head for the meal which was without the players but then you would go upstairs for an hour for pictures with the team. I feel like digging my pictures out with Barmby and Xavier for a burning session.

If Fellaini went to Chelsea he would get found out. I know if I had a choice of two in the middle; Essien, Lampard & Mikel would get the nod over the over-rated Fellaini, every time, he reminds me of Jeffers except Jeffers played better for us. Hopefully we will rip someone off like we did to Arsenal.
David Kershaw
32   Posted 21/07/2011 at 15:58:25

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I couldn't make the game cos of work but the players have been doing lots of PR work in the Philadelphia, meeting and greeting fans in bars... It's the admin/PR depts that are incredibly amateurish; they never reply to emails.

Yet again we are missing a great opportunity to increase our profile over here. See ya in DC!

Paul McGinty
33   Posted 21/07/2011 at 16:31:30

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Since I started this thread, I just want to make it clear I don't blame the players. Fans are travelling hundreds of miles to support the team at the game. The Club's Management should in my opinion make it a policy that at the end of the game as a team, the group acknowledge and thank all those in attendance, particularly its own fans ? Just like the Philadelphia Union team did!!!

Personally, it doesn't bother me; but its stupid to miss the opportunity to solidify fan loyalty.

A 2-minute lap or a center-circle wave is not that hard to organize, is it?

Anthony Jaras
34   Posted 21/07/2011 at 17:17:06

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Do players need to be told to do this? It's common sense and courtesy in my opinion.
Tony J Williams
35   Posted 21/07/2011 at 17:28:51

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To be fair, for all they know the fans could have travelled less than a mile to the game. Why should they make a fuss of them?

It is a fitness thing not a PR exercise.

Paul McGinty
36   Posted 21/07/2011 at 17:36:14

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If the club think there are 2000 Evertonians in Chester, Pennsylvania, then they must be crazy as well as stupid.

If its just a fitness thing then they shouldn't worry too much about getting embarrassed and losing to an MLS team. Heitinga lost his cool because Philly were taking the piss playing keep away at the end and he dived in.

If its just training, play behind closed doors.

Andy Peers
37   Posted 21/07/2011 at 17:38:21

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Tom # 30, we had that stupid 4-5-1 formation with Becford lone striker which never works! then instead of adding Vellios with Beckford he replaces him! It is going to be a long season with Moyes and his tactics. Mucha is a good Keeper and I think he should get a run in the team. I don,t know why Howard is such a lock. Bury ( I know its Bury ) 4-1 with a good 4-4-2 formation then P union 4-5-1 and no goals .. need I say more.
Brian Waring
38   Posted 21/07/2011 at 18:07:22

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Tony, if it is just a fitness thing, then why travel to America?
Anthony Jaras
39   Posted 21/07/2011 at 18:47:41

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To be fair, for all they know the fans could have travelled less than a mile to the game. Why should they make a fuss of them?

Possibly the best/worst comment in the history of this site.

Surely a joke, if so, funny, if not, definitely bordering on the insane.
Tony J Williams
40   Posted 21/07/2011 at 19:39:56

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Sorry lads, forgot the sarcastic font (as per post 11)
Anthony Jaras
41   Posted 21/07/2011 at 19:44:58

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Good humorous comment after all pal. Nice one.
Andrew Fair
42   Posted 21/07/2011 at 19:56:11

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But then we can look at this mans experience:

And we can see that the lads were fantastic with the fans when they had time. I'm sure after the game they will have on a busy tour like this get on the train and off to DC.

Paul McGinty
43   Posted 21/07/2011 at 19:56:06

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Thanks Tony... thought I had entered the Twilight Zone there for a minute.
Graham Holliday
44   Posted 21/07/2011 at 22:53:35

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Apparently Arteta has arrived in Washington. On crutches. Oh dear... it begins again!
Paul McGinty
45   Posted 21/07/2011 at 23:23:10

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One of the academy boys left on crutches. He watched the senior team right near me and was in bad shape. Hopefully it's a case of mistaken identity and it's him not Mikel that was spotted in DC
Paul Knox
46   Posted 22/07/2011 at 04:11:25

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Reading Paul's letter, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Everything is wrong at Everton. Most of the off-field balls-ups could be corrected by simple business practices, but you need someone at the top with a business brain, who builds a team around him.

Even in the 80's we did not build on our on field success. And what about when we had Chinese in our pocket?

Whenever Everton travel in the UK or anywhere, we must use it to promote the club. I feel for those fans over in the USA a little acknowledgement would have gone along way, spreading the word will lead to profits. The People's Club only applies to some.

James Flynn
47   Posted 22/07/2011 at 01:05:42

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Pre-season. The only results important is the health of the players.

Who won? So what.

Those who've posted regarding EFC in the USA? You're so right.

All us soccer fans here know about which teams are best (Barcelona, ManU, etc). Yet, no European team has aggressively pursued the American market.

Most peculiar, given EFC is the only team' given US players a chance over the years. We know that too..
Ged Alexander
48   Posted 22/07/2011 at 09:51:13

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Sorry chap - but you are wrong according to another US-based Blue who posted this on another forum:

"Passion like that is at its best when it is reciprocated, which brings me to my favorite part about the experience of watching Everton train. After the short session, most of the players came over to chat with us and sign various bits of memorabilia, which I suppose is expected of professionals in this situation. It was clear, however, that the players weren?t just going through the motions. There was a look of genuine enjoyment about them, especially when they saw the supporters from back home. Phil Neville got a huge kick out of the ?show us your stepover? banner. Being a part of such a close fan-player interaction was a massive thrill. Cahill has been talking a lot recently about team spirit and I?m starting to believe him."
Karl Meighan
49   Posted 22/07/2011 at 09:47:58

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Cannot agree with that James@47 the result may not matter but the performance certainly does. Fitness is the main thing but playing well and winning is a habit and breeds confidence.

The squad needs a boost more than the fans with the team crying out for pace and a goal scorer. We face a uncertain season were imo we could push around the top 6 if on top form but it could easily go the other way and we end up close to a host of other teams fighting for any position from 8th to 16th
Eugene Ruane
50   Posted 22/07/2011 at 10:11:15

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As I'm currently living in Gothenburg, I have been following something called the Gothia Cup (Google it). Anyway, while looking for game schedules, I noticed this site - - offering a trip to London and Liverpool. Liverpool is described as 'a soccer mad city with two teams, Liverpool and Everton'. Reading further, I noticed the itinerary offers a tour of Liverpool's stadium and of course, a tour of....Manchester United's. Siiiiiiiiigh.
Shane Brannigan
51   Posted 22/07/2011 at 12:06:43

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This is how you play to the Crowds!!!! Sir Alex has a brain and abit of humility
Stars my arse...Humbled!!
Ryan Holroyd
52   Posted 22/07/2011 at 13:23:25

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I know of someone who won a competition and got tickets, lunch with the players and generally had a great time.

I also see the players arrive at Goodison on a match day and Tim Cahill in particular signs every single authograph request.
Matthew Salem
53   Posted 22/07/2011 at 15:30:49

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I was at the game and my mates and myself were pretty much pissing ourselves how the players could not be arsed. I understand that this game means little, but Everton missed another golden chance to build a fanbase in the US. I feel like an utter knobhead when I try to tell Americans what is great about this club and why I have been an Evertonian for 25 years.

When I got asked why Howard was not playing, I seriously had no response. Losing against a no-name team is one thing, but showing such an attitude is quite another. Shite...

Chris Butler
54   Posted 22/07/2011 at 19:15:51

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We should've gone to Liege or somewhere... we're quite popular in Belgium after playing Liege in 2008. In Portugal, we're well liked after our trips in 2009 and 2010 ? why we can't reach out to shops out there I don't know.
Tom Bowers
55   Posted 23/07/2011 at 16:59:00

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Perhaps it's just a holiday for the boys? Maybe the games back home will show something more positive? Maybe Moyes will realise that goals come from offense not safety first defence? Maybe he will finally know what his best team is and go for winning games? Or, just maybe we will be the same old crap until Moyes goes?

DC lost again in midweek so surely we can score a goal or two?

James Flynn
56   Posted 24/07/2011 at 00:31:08

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Karl (49) - I want them to win as you do. I'm just not concerned about it pre-season. Moyes and the players use these games to get in shape; nothing more.

I'm one who doesn't connect our pre-season with coming out slowly. If we were getting blown out week after week for the first 8 weeks of the season? Then yes?

Except that doesn't happen. We lose close games, draw a lot, and win few at the beginning of the season.

The top teams do what Moyes does. They simply have better players. Can't see any way we switch Moyes with Ferguson and the results of the 2 teams come out different.

ManU have a stronger roster and would be shooting for #1. EFC would be looking for anything to get into the big money. Moyes or Ferguson either way.

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