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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Bring them all on!

 51 Comments: First  |  Last

A poor start to the season and in some quarters the daggers are out for Moyes. The fears of relegation play on people?s minds...

I love nostalgia, me. Each and every year this happens. Makes you feel all warm and cosy... don?t it?

Four defeats out of five in the league conjure a very false position. About as false as Newcastle sitting pretty in third.

Those four defeats came when the red half visited Goodison (10 v 12), and the others against the almost unbeatable City, United and Chelsea. Among the best in Europe, they occupy 2nd 3rd and 4th in the betting to win the Champions League.

These three teams are tough. Verses the rest of the Premier League, they?ve picked up 76 points from 87. Only Chelsea have lost when two men down to QPR.

Now I?m not excusing the losses. I didn?t like the results or performances... but, come the end of the season, many teams will shout "Snap!" Their only benefit is not to play them all in a row. And look what?s happened to us. A number of fans have come to realise they don?t own a pair. Grow some.

We have Newcastle to play this Saturday and I?m expecting us to go to St James's Park and win. Newcastle have not played one of these three. In fact, they?ve had the easiest set of fixtures a team could hope for. Royston to rip them apart. We win by three!

And here?s what will happen this season. We?ll surge up the league. Wolves, Bolton, Stoke, Arsenal, Norwich, Swansea, Sunderland, West Brom, Bolton, Villa, Blackburn ? all to be swept aside. February... a little trickier.

By then, the kids will have put their toys back in the pram, they have something else to play with. Singing the name of the Ginger One, the Moyesiah, the good times are sure to follow.

And you know what? We?ll do this all again next season. Only we?ll all be going on a European tour.


Nick Entwistle, London     Posted 02/11/2011 at 21:44:05

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Kenn Crawford
1   Posted 03/11/2011 at 04:34:19

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Nick, I can see some merit in what you say but you lost me when you said we will be singing the Ginger haired muppet's name at the end of the season. The only way for us to progress is to get rid of the board and Moyes as they are killing this great club.
Rob Teo
2   Posted 03/11/2011 at 04:30:19

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Nick, I like your optimism, but I also think you overestimate the quality of our squad. I'm afraid I just do not see us having the quality to walk over some of the other teams as you've suggested. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of their managers are already rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of facing a toothless Everton, marking US down as a "sure-win" rather than the other way round.

Much as I hate to say it, we are a shite team, regardless of who we play. I would love to be proven wrong come the end of the season, but the signs (for me at least) are that we're on a downward trajectory continued from last season and that the best we can hope for is somewhere around 12th.

Europe? Forget it!
John Barnes
3   Posted 03/11/2011 at 05:15:26

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Love it. What are you on?
Eric Myles
4   Posted 03/11/2011 at 05:19:52

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He's been drinking with Richard Dodd in the Freshie and Doddy's slipped his meds into Nick's drink.
Tony Cheek
5   Posted 03/11/2011 at 05:36:57

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SURGE???.....With Moyes at the helm, this lot couldnt surge if we played downhill with a force ten gale behind us.....
I can strongly recommend Specsavers Nick!
Noel Lynam
6   Posted 03/11/2011 at 07:51:06

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We are not in a false position, we are where we are on merit. Much like Newcastle, who remind me a little of us in 04-05, ticking along nicely after being written off following the sale of their talisman striker, being patronised by the press and told by fans of other clubs they will slide down the table soon.

Arsenal showed how vulnerable the "almost unbeatable" Chelsea are at the back, despite twice falling behind, by attacking them with pace, purpose and no little skill. Not by chucking in the towel after conceding.

I would love to say I expect to see us win but I don't. Newcastle have belief, confidence and momentum in abundance. We are a long way from that right now.

We'll grind out some wins over the winter, won't be near being relegated but not near European places either. You only get so far with a shaky defence, lack of creativity and little goal threat.
Anthony Hughes
7   Posted 03/11/2011 at 08:33:41

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Regarding the Newcastle game i think both teams are fairly matched player wise, what it will come down to is how each manager approaches the game, attitude and tactically. Games like this are where Moyes needs to out think his opposing manager to make the difference.
Dave Lynch
8   Posted 03/11/2011 at 08:59:39

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I usually like your posts mate, they are nearly always well thought out and contain decent material.
But what the fuck have you been drinking mate ?
I'm gonna stick my head above the parapet here and state that if Moyes goes to St James with his favoured fucking 1 up front, we will get a tonking.
Tom Dodds
9   Posted 03/11/2011 at 09:00:24

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First (baby) steps towards tactical forward momentum:

1. Drop Osman... NOW; impact sub. Try Maguaye with consistence and intersperse with Barkley.
2. Try Bily behind Saha... I know, I know all about what Bily can't do on the wing... GIVE HIM A TRY THERE, MOYES, FFS!!!
3. Cahill, of course, impact sub. I think his feet/legs are however slowly, past their best and are too easily injured / fatigued.
4. Play Heitinga more next to Distin.
5. Rotate to keep Jags fresher; even Baines is jading through sheer number of appearances, of course there's the obvious predicament there...

No-one is perfect, and I've read and read practically every e.mail from all of the Everton sites for a good while now, like I'm sure most other people on this present thread probably have too. Moyes has many, many attributes and strengths... and, like some others said, if we do well, we`ll all hail him, but his whole scenario in a nutshell to me is he maybe 99% all round good to at least well meaning manager AND MIRACLE WORKER... LEST WE FORGET !...BUT ..The 1% left overturns sooo much of what he achieves by his consistently one line`tactics... and frustrating pandering to favourites,etc etc

I just can't help thinking, and I mention this often in my posts, and I will persist with my opinion, that he managed the team far better with Alan Irvine next to him. Other people have started to notice too, that this Steve Round guy has the same dithering body language as Moyes! Anyone with me on this???
Craig Walker
10   Posted 03/11/2011 at 09:36:41

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I love your optimism but I'd put my money on us getting beaten at St James' Park rather than a 3-0 win. I really hope I'm wrong!

It's a fair point that we've had poor starts in the past and recovered well but something about this season feels different. We've lost several of our better players and the likes of Cahill and Saha are much less effective than previous seasons.

The problems off the pitch are permeating to the fans and I've not known as many Evertonians be so dispiried for quite some time.
Ciarán McGlone
11   Posted 03/11/2011 at 09:41:14

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I don't have any doubts that we will go up the table. But that doesn't change the bad management. Poor article. High on fantasy, low on actual analysis.
Dave Wilson
12   Posted 03/11/2011 at 10:12:41

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The guy`s stuck his neck out Ciaran and for that I applaud him - happen to agree with him too.

If your looking for an article a little less, fanciful and a little more analytical

Get it up there, lets hear how you see things panning out

Kunal Desai
13   Posted 03/11/2011 at 10:22:54

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The next four games key! All winnable. Much will depend on the confidence levels of the players after a tough run of games. It;s imperative we get something from Newcastle to build on going into the Wolves, Bolton and Stoke games. Should we lose to newcastle I fear the poor run will continue into the next three games and lets face it we've, in recent seasons, struggled to breakdown the 'lesser' teams. The up and coming games are going to be a more sterner test for the side then the last five we have played.
Trevor Mackie
14   Posted 03/11/2011 at 10:19:47

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" Each and every year this happens. Makes you feel all warm and cosy... don?t it?"

The very essence of the Moyes support, joyful at the "best of the rest" no matter how shite the fayre.

See the anger at recent postings on "Moyes/Pardew" this bullshit myth is hitting the buffers.
Chris Fisher
15   Posted 03/11/2011 at 10:26:21

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I agree, we will win on Saturday and get in to Europe this season. I like the fact that people have forgotten about us and will be pleased to ram it down a few people's throats when we do well yet again thanks to Moyes who apparently we need to get rid of!!!

I have said it before and I will say it again ? if I didn't love Everton Football Club so much, I would love Moyes to leave then watch us get relegated so I could say to all the fans that keep calling for his head 'told you so'; you never appreciate what you have got until it is gone.

Until we get major investment what Moyes does for Everton every season is nothing short of remarkable. He does frustrate me sometimes, of course he does (against Man City this season especially)... but he more than makes up for it every season in someway.
Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:06:26

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At least you agree it's fanciful dave.
Frankie Brannan
17   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:17:59

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Hi Nick

After reading your piece and after almost 60 years following them I now know why I am an Evertonian.

Andrew Ellams
18   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:36:07

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Newcastle are unbeaten in 10, 3rd in the league and have a striker in red hot form. We are a sure fire bet.

I love a bit of optimisim in football but come on guys.
Ray Roche
19   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:38:57

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Hi Frankie,

After nearly 53 years following Everton I what I was going to write..
David Hallwood
20   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:45:54

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To quote Bill Shankley "The league's a marathon not a sprint"
Domino Darkley
21   Posted 03/11/2011 at 11:46:25

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"Four defeats out of five in the league conjure a very false position"


I agree 100% about us being in a false position.

But for Blackburn missing two penalties and Bobby Zamora bing a donkey, we would be on the bottom right now.

Not to worry, though.

The "surge" srats on Saturday.

A pity we haven't got Genreral Petraeus in command.
Tony J Williams
22   Posted 03/11/2011 at 12:10:44

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Domino, in the same view, but for QPR scoring from their only attempt on goal, but for the crossbar against ManUre, but for the red card against the Redshite etc etc
Lee Courtliff
23   Posted 03/11/2011 at 12:20:54

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Well done Nick. You must have known you would get hammered by some for this article.

I agree about the run of fixtures but like you kind of mentioned it was the lack of performance that bothered a lot of us.

I too have a sneaky feeling we will win on Saturday. So much so i am putting a bet on.

Newcastle have to lose eventually and wouldn't it just be typical of the Footballing Gods for that defeat to come against a side that are on such a poor run of results.

I think Coleman and Drenthe will have a big part to play on Saturday. And if Cahill is fit, well he just has to break his duck sooner or later. Probably coming off the bench to do it. COYB.
Mark Burr
24   Posted 03/11/2011 at 12:56:22

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Davie Moyes was getting his name sung by the away fans at the Fulham game so you may not be far wrong. We do need to be more positive though, hopefully Drenthe can do the business for us sat.

Could we stop with the if Zamora has scored... rubbish though please. If we had not had a sending off in the derby, if Baines free kick had hit the bar and bounced in.... every game will have if's and buts both ways!!
Peter Laing
25   Posted 03/11/2011 at 13:28:10

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The difference between the two team's is obvious, they are defending well and have a solid and well organised back four that know each other's game - something Lawro picked up on a few weeks back on MoT, we have a defence like a sieve. And obviously up front they have a goal threat in Demba Ba - we have exactly who ? I expect Everton to be treading water on Saturday, cant see us doing anything but lose.
Paul Traill
26   Posted 03/11/2011 at 13:47:29

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Nice one Nick....lovin' the optimism.
Tom Winek
27   Posted 03/11/2011 at 14:25:43

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Like it. Let's have some more. Not sure about 0-3 but I think we'll win.
Stephen Kenny
28   Posted 03/11/2011 at 14:28:35

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Here's a sentence I never, ever, ever thought I'd type......Newcastle have a defensive solidity that we can only dream of!!!

They are also scoring. Not many will go to Stoke and win comfortably. Anybody who see's this as anything but a real challenge is daft.

That's not to say we can't win. I'd take our first 11 over thiers all day. But I'd take thier manager over our's at this point because he's understood what thier fans want and expect of thier side and tried to deliver it.

Ours is interested only in keeping his media reputation intact until he can bail out.

I agree that we will climb the table as I see us having a bit more than nearly all the sides we will play over the next few months, I don't however think it will be pretty. I wouldn't be suprised to see us sitting in our natural position of 7th-8th come Feb, a run of luck could see us a bit higher.
Anto Byrne
29   Posted 03/11/2011 at 15:11:52

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I honestly didn't see anything in the games we lost to Shitty, Manure, Cheatski and the Shite to think we could be a force among the also-rans. Leaky defence, sideways midfield, and a powderpuff attack... now that's going to scare the living shite out of the rest for sure. Let's have an old-fashioned 4-4-2 and have a fucking go for fuck's sake.
Steve Higham
30   Posted 03/11/2011 at 15:20:40

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Saturday's result depends on how we approach the game. If it's the usual 'keep it tight and sneak a goal', it's not going to work; if we have a go, then we have a chance.

I have been impressed with Newcastle this year. They have improved immensely; good defensively and they play a nice pass-and-move style... If only we could do the same!!
Ryan Holroyd
31   Posted 03/11/2011 at 16:22:32

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Kenn Crawford

What has someone's hair colour got to do with anything?
Eugene Ruane
32   Posted 03/11/2011 at 18:49:33

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"Boss, boss...the plane, the plane"
Jamie Barlow
33   Posted 03/11/2011 at 18:51:38

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Great post Nick.

I really do think our season starts on Saturday and can't believe how many Evertonians have us beat already. Shame.
Jamie Sweet
34   Posted 03/11/2011 at 19:46:37

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Nice one Nick! I honestly hope that you are correct.

I very much look forward to your "I told you so" article in January after we've taken 33 points from our next 11 fixtures.

Personally, I think you've lost the plot though fella and failed to acknowledge that as a team we have gone backwards, while many of those in our up-coming fixtures have improved sufficiently to avoid being "swept aside".

Our main problem is that we have very little idea of how to break through defences and score goals. Goals win games. Not many goals = not many wins.

I predict 16 points or less from a possible 33.

I really hope you're right and I'm wrong though.
Richard Dodd
35   Posted 03/11/2011 at 20:21:54

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20 points by Christmas and 30 thereafter. That`s my prediction.......and I`m sticking to it!
Joe Clitherow
36   Posted 03/11/2011 at 20:49:39

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I hope you meant 30 ADDITIONAL points thereafter - otherwise we really are in trouble
Rob Hollis
37   Posted 03/11/2011 at 21:26:03

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It seems that we now have to consider Man U and the like unbeatable, even at home. I will refrain from further comment. No I won't. You have the same attitude as our Manager seems to have developed. If he is not going to try very hard to win then he should go. If he continues to accept defeat before a ball is kicked, he should piss off because that attitude is not acceptable.
David Bridge
38   Posted 03/11/2011 at 21:53:01

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Nick - European tour? Where you taking us mate because Moyes has no chance of getting this team there with his shit football.

Have you been watching Fulham tonight lets hope Moyes is too.
Michael Brien
39   Posted 04/11/2011 at 07:25:31

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Nick - I really admire your optimism !! I have to confess that I am not all doom and gloom myself as I feel that we have just come through a very difficult month of fixtures that would have tested many other clubs. I think that we have a good squad - where I disagree with you is in your overwhelming confidence and trust in David Moyes.

I do not regard myself as being a "Moyes Basher" but I have to say I can't place such confidence in the guy as you seem to do Nick. I find Moyes is one of the most frustrating Everton managers that I have ever known.It's almost as bad as when Gordon Lee was around and was more prepared to play Jim Pearson or George Telfer than Duncan McKenzie !!!

Last night I watched Fulham win 4-1 against a very good Polish team ( really the score could have been closer) but Fulham played TWO strikers !!!! Do you remember that !! Now I am not a betting man - with the exception of the Grand National - but what are the odds on David Moyes playing 2 strikers ? I would say virtually nill against Newcastle and I would say the same for our next home match.

Don't get me wrong I certainly do not expect us to go to the likes of Stamford Bridge playing 3 strikers and going all out attack but for goodness sake 4-5-1 for virtually EVERY game !! And can you please explain how Vellios and Strac are supposed to show what they can do in the odd "cameo" from the bench ? The Argentinian lad has been with us 2 months now - has he had a start ??

Moyes talks about not having the money to bring in new players - well even when he does bring in new blokes they hardly get given a chance in the team do they ? I wish Moyes could show a bit more adventure in his tactics, a bit more variety. A really top manager would do that - if you trust Moyes to get us back to a Eurpean qualifying place I fear your optimism is misplaced. As they say it is " he who dares wins" - not he who is over cautious.
Danny Lizars
40   Posted 04/11/2011 at 08:43:48

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Sorry for the late post but Nick what are you on mate?? I really do hope you are correct in what you say though but for the first time since ive been an evertonian my positivity is going probably to the same place as the postivity around finch farm and goodison park
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 04/11/2011 at 11:33:18

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Michael, what has Fulham being the mighty Wisla Krakow got to do with the price of fish? We beat Fulham 3-1 in their own back yard so it kind of negates your 4-4-2 will definitely win theory.
Anthony Lewis
42   Posted 04/11/2011 at 12:16:39

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Totally and utterly agree. With most of it anyhow. Doubt we'll get in to Europe next season. But Newcastle have to be one of the luckiest teams EVER!!!! Have you seen who they've played!?

3-1 to the Blues tomorrow.
Andrew Ellams
43   Posted 04/11/2011 at 15:53:04

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Anthony, Newcastle won comfortably at Stoke last week. I bet not many teams repeat that this season.
James Stewart
44   Posted 04/11/2011 at 16:14:47

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Fantasy football.

I can't see us matching last seasons finish.
A lot of teams around us have got stronger and we can only tread water for so long.

My prediction would be a boring 12th-10th.
Michael Brien
45   Posted 04/11/2011 at 16:43:05

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Tony #41 : where exactly did I say 4-4-2 will definitely win ? I was making the point that they won very well in Europe playing 2 strikers. I did say that I don't expect us to play all out attck in all of our matches - but do you really think that playing 4-5-1 in approx 95% of our games is good tactics ?

Yes we beat Fulham 3-1 but for that win to count for ANYTHING Moyes need to build on it. Do you think that his tactics in the 2 matches following did that ? His tactics in both games showed a lack of ambition. Yes the games were v. Chelsea and Man Utd - but both those teams are beatable - if you attack them that is! His substitutions in both games show that Moyes is too often reacting to the match situation rather than trying to directly change the game.

Being cautious might make a team hard to beat - but if we are going to move up the table then we need to win games and Moyes needs to be a lot more adventurous in his tactics.

And one thing that perhaps needs clarification - was Cahill fit to play against Chelsea ? If he wasn't fully fit then why did Moyes risk him with the Man Utd game on the following Saturday ?
Mick Davies
46   Posted 04/11/2011 at 17:32:10

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Coleman in at right back. "what" you all cry, "he can't defend". And Hibbert can? Gueye on the right, Osman out and 2 forwards, Velios and Saha (if he makes it). The mess were in now is caused by being defensive and cautious. Maybe we should try the cavalier approach to try and change it. I really can't see Moyes ever being lauded again like he was in 05, he's had his day and we now need a seismic shift in tactics, belief and attitude, sadly for the Ginger one, these attributes seem to have deserted him long ago
Trevor Mackie
47   Posted 05/11/2011 at 15:01:26

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Isn't reality a bitch?
Eugene Ruane
48   Posted 05/11/2011 at 16:19:56

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Reality Trevor? You're pissing in the wind on here. By Wednesday they'll be out in force again - the deluded wishful-thinkers club. "I've got a good feeling about..." and "I really think we could....". Fuck the evidence, this is where "Loving the optimism mate!" appears to be the closest many get to analysis. In Moyes we trust? Turkey's voting for Christmas comes to mind.
Trevor Mackie
49   Posted 05/11/2011 at 18:37:16

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I've noticed that, after the game everyone vents their spleen and the serial Moyes boys hide with the odd one changing their name to defend the indefensible.

When everyone's pissed off they creep in hyaena like covering each others arse to pick over the remains.

Nearly as grim as the Moyes tactics mate
Seamus Murphy
50   Posted 06/11/2011 at 13:05:31

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I really hope you feel silly now Nick. But like the rest of the apologists you probably dont.
Nick Entwistle
51   Posted 06/11/2011 at 21:52:25

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This piece was about injecting ToffeeWeb with some unbridled optimism. A chance for those without the doom and gloom to voice themselves, to express spirit and fight!

Some recognised the obvious, some seem to have been offended I even bothered, and now revel in defeat.

If anyone is still confused - I wasn't fortune telling!

Still, as the article says, we've been here before, and I expect another top half finish fighting for Europe.

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