Well another season ground to a halt six weeks ago, and I think its fair to say that sadly off-field events rather than on-field events grabbed the headlines at the end. Thanks to the usual frustrating cup exits (Arrrgghhhhh!), last season is more likely to be remembered for David Moyes leaving than anything that happened on the field of play.

This is something of a pity. Everton played some good stuff at the start of the season. In fact, I struggle to remember us playing with as much attacking fluidity as we did in the first 10 games of the season. I really enjoyed those first few matches, particularly the home game against Man Utd.

At the same time, I also remember the way that refereeing decisions, which kept going against us (just because youre paranoid doesnt mean theyre not out to get you) seemed to have the team going into their shell at times. As so many of us feared at the time, it was the failure to capitalize on our early season form that would ultimately lead to our failure to qualify for the Champions League.

I know a lot of people think that the failure to strengthen in January was key to us not qualifying, but I think wed have had to recruit a really top striker if it was going to have made much difference. How serious was the bid for Negredo? Well, looking at the business that went on over Fer, "not very" would seem to be the answer to that. I cant imagine Fer would have made too much of a difference all on his own, but he looked an exciting prospect and might have given the rest a lift so I guess it was a possibility.

And towards the end of the season, a lift was something they badly needed. Fair play to the team: they kept going to try and get that fourth place, and their efforts, away from home to the other teams going for CL, were a credit to them even if they did fall just short. One of the upsides to that spell was the re-emergence of Ross Barkley. Fingers crossed for next season, because if we can incorporate more players like that into the team maybe we can break into the top four.

Disappointing as the end to the season was, things just got downright weird after that. Now, I was convinced that Moyes was going; that being said, I think all but the most ardent Moyes fan must have been surprised at him going to Man Utd. Less surprising was it being used on this site as a stick to beat the MOB with; and the MOB being less than graceful with their fond farewells to David Moyes.

After the dreadful home loss to Wigan in that crucial FA Cup game, I was pretty glad Moyes was going. Things had run their course, to my mind at least. If hed stayed on, it would have been all too predictable in terms of style of play, transfers etc For better or worse with Moyes, you knew what you were going to get. I was also angry at the manner of the cup exit, angry at the fact that it was the same match that we had seen against Reading etc Angry that all the hope of actually winning something had come to nothing, again.

Id calmed down a bit by the time Moyes went to Man Utd, so for me at least he went with my best wishes, though obviously not when theyre playing us. If nothing else, it did produce some fairly surreal exchanges on here between his supporters and those who wanted him to go... with those who wanted him to stay supporting his going, and those who wanted him to go deploring his going. As one who wanted him to go, I was glad he was going. Personally, I reckon hell do okay at Old Trafford. Of course its a poisoned chalice, but you can see why Man Utd went for him. Good manager, good return on transfer funds, good league finishes; on top of all that, he cost nothing so if they do have to get rid of him in a year or two they wont have wasted mountains of cash on someone who may well be doomed from the start.

The appointment of Roberto Martinez as the new Everton manager was a bit of a let-down for me. Not only was I still angry at him for having the temerity to beat us (and come to think of it, I probably still am; Im not the most forgiving of souls and have a sort of warped logic when it comes to football), but also it felt a bit pedestrian. We all knew who he was, how his sides play, he seems alright but people had started mentioning more charismatic, glamorous names on here and Id started to wonder whether there might not be some sort of mad genius on their way to Goodison Park. Alas, no. Still, to put it in context, I’ve been disappointed with every transfer into the club since Andre Kanchelskis and, come to think of it, I never got to see him because I was on the dole at the time. Curse you, fate!

Anyway, so far its been "the king is dead, long live the king". Exciting names mentioned, rumours everywhere, and all the good ones being bought by other clubs. Kone looks a good player but, if hes going to cost 5 million, then hed better stay uninjured. Im not overly familiar with Alcaraz but my mate says hes a ball-playing centre half which would be good. My only concern is that Martinez is going to play 3-5-2 which, when we played it last season (at Stoke?), didnt produce the most attractive results.

On a more balanced note, the appointment of Martinez is not without its positives. If hell get the team playing more attractive football, then I can live with us getting a few less points. Moyes played the percentages. If Martinez can instill an attractive attacking philosophy into the players, then I for one will be happy. I do think that expecting better football and better results may not be altogether realistic. Obviously I wont be happy if we end up in relegation territory but, short of that, like most Blues, I just want to see us attacking and playing with a bit of style.

What I will be disappointed with is if those who called for a more attacking philosophy get on Martinezs back when things dont go to plan. This appointment is just as challenging for him as Moyess is at Man Utd, just as much of a poisoned chalice. Provided things dont go completely pear-shaped (Mike Walker, anyone?), then he needs to be given time (5 seasons to get a trophy?).

Anyway heres to a new season, and hopefully a new style of play. COYB

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Reader Comments (33)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 07/07/2013 at 22:34:45
I don't care about "attractive". Let's finish all the easy ones we didn't. If Martinez delivers that, he's OK with me.
Garry Corgan
2 Posted 08/07/2013 at 01:16:36
Where does this myth that we were excellent for the first half of the season come from? This column mentions the first ten games. Yes, we started well against Man Utd and Aston Villa but five of our first ten league games were those frustrating draws punctuated with a terrible defeat by West Brom and a shambolic league cup performance against Leeds.

We didn't start well and tail off. We were fairly consistent in being inconsistent for the entire season and we were certainly no worse at the end than we were at the beginning.

Derek Thomas
3 Posted 08/07/2013 at 01:12:23
James, don't get too hung up on the feelgood attractive tag; all it is is a shorthand for playing to win rather than playing not to lose... which for many was the cause of us not finishing the easy ones.

Martinez does not have to throw the EFC baby out with the Moyes bathwater, just tweak the ongoing in-place system and staff, a shift in emphasis here... a new face or 2 there.

The 15 draws: each draw we turn into a win we get +2 points and, if with our re-tuned system, we lose a couple, we only lose 1 point.

Eric Myles
4 Posted 08/07/2013 at 05:58:06
5 seasons to get a trophy Gavin????

It didn't take him that long at Wigan!!!

Peter Warren
5 Posted 08/07/2013 at 06:29:02
Looking forward for seasons to come. A manager who is positive and insists players play with belief and no fear of losing. Fantastic.
James Martin
6 Posted 08/07/2013 at 10:49:53
Gavin although I liked most of your points I can never agree with this 'then I can live with us getting a few less points'. As soon as aesthetic football becomes more important than winning then the media really have won their brainwashing battle to get everyone playing the same way. The premier league is the league it is because a team like Stoke can hoof a team like Arsenal off the park no matter how badly they're playing. It is that variety and unpredictability that makes it what it is. If everyone plays the same then surprise surprise the teams with the better players will just do it better and every single match will just be like a chess game. I like it when Everton play Stoke because its different to every other match. Too many teams now just play the boring pass it round the back four for an hour game. If anything that is more KITAP1 than the direct game is yet because the ball is on the floor rather than in the air its somehow more exciting.

If Martinez gets us playing quick incisive football that brings goals then I'm all for it, andf I don't care if that involves getting it wide to a winger who crosses for a forward to head in - nothing wrong with that. If he gets us playing possession football that doesn't go anywhere then it will be even worse than the supposed dour football we had under Moyes.

Steve Carse
7 Posted 08/07/2013 at 11:21:04
James (351) you're right about the possibility of 'go nowhere' football. Although Martinez has a reputation for good football that football is of little use if it's all being played in our own half or in meaningless midfield areas. Having seen Wigan a few times it seems to me that alot of their 'good football' is innocuous. Martinez is going to have to do much more in the dangerous areas to please the GP faithful.
Tony J Williams
8 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:06:24
I love all this fawning over the "attractive" football.

It will never happen at Everton until we get better players. We mixed it up last season with some decent footy and also some route one. That is the key, when do you play either style against a specific opponent, when do you change it mid-match?

Swansea have been called out with the attractive tag..... they were absolutely shite against us last season, some of the most defensive boring footy I have witnessed at Goodison and I would never, ever label Wigan as an attractive football side. Tippy tappy at the back and either punt it or lose it.

We have some player who can do it, but unless you get a side like Arsenal, all this "attractive footy" stuff means sweet FA.

I would gladly sit through 18 turgid 1-0's at home than have an exciting 5-5 draw.....because we "went for it"

Dan Brierley
9 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:33:39
"If hell get the team playing more attractive football, then I can live with us getting a few less points. "

Sorry Gavin, I am also not in favour of attractive football over effective football. Being able to play like Barcelona needs...players like Barcelona have. Unless are going to come into a lot of money some time soon, I think Martinez would be a fool to expect players that have been specifically bought for a Moyes system will suddenly be able to play fast flowing attacking football.

Robbie Shields
10 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:42:19
God you're dull Mr Williams, I'd hate to be your wife, Jeebus. A couple of big differences between the mighty blues and the not so mighty Swansea and Wigan.....

1) we have far better players
2) we have 40,000 mad Evertonians at home games
3) we have 4,000 mad Evertonians at away games

Erm, perhaps 1 less if you go both home and away looking forward to turgid 1-0's. Am I allowed to call you a plank and not get banned????

Robbie Shields
11 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:52:03
Make that 2 less mad Evertonians, God you Moyes lovers are dull, no wonder he got away with it so long, sometimes it's bloody depressing coming onto these pages and reading this defeatest tripe. It'll be a knife to a gunfight next, sigh.
Ross Edwards
12 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:53:49
"I would gladly sit through 18 turgid 1-0's at home than have an exciting 5-5 draw.....because we "went for it""

Well Tony J, go to Old Trafford then next season if you want your turgid 1-0s. Is this becauase you're missing Davey?

James Martin
13 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:55:53
Robbie what does the size of the crowd have anything to do with how a team plays football? Do Everton have some sort of divine right to play good football just ebcause we have bigger crowds than Swansea or Wigan? Tony was right Sansea were dreadful when they came to Goodison and parked the bus from the first minute with two right backs playing. When they had to go for it at home we tore them apart ebcause we're a better team than them and play better football no matter how much praise the media want to lump on them. that's why they finished all those points below us in the premier league table. 38 1-0 wins guarantees you the title. 'Good football' guarantees you nothing. All I want from any Everton manager is to win more frequently than the last one. I don't care what the football looks like. Winning football is good football.
Ross Edwards
14 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:56:11
Delusional Dan strikes again. You can join Tony J at Old Trafford next season then Dan if you want boring, effective, turgid performances.

God sake, all the Moyes lot criticised the MOB for not having decent reasons for disliking him, I have not heard one reason why Martinez isn't the man for the job.

If you're suffering MWS, Old Trafford is the place for you next season.

This anti-Martinez crap is really annoying me. He has only had a week in charge, not even given a sufficient chance yet.

Before a supporter of our ex-manager criticises me, Moyes had more than enough chances in 11 years thank you very much.

Derek Wadeson
15 Posted 08/07/2013 at 12:47:14
Tony (362)

" I would gladly sit through 18 turgid 1-0's at home than have an exciting 5-5 draw.....because we "went for it "

How about 18 1-0's and one 5-5 to complete the 19 home matches?

Robbie Shields
16 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:01:33
Jeebus, make that 3 less!!!!

Those that know need no explanation......... I'll let you work out the rest James.

Ross Edwards
17 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:04:58
Well James, you can see your type of football next season at Old Trafford. Apart from the winning bit...
James Martin
19 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:05:25
'Those that know need no explanation' - is this some sort of codeword amongst your delusional dream world club? No one's said here that they don't like good football, everyone does. (How to define good football is another thing altogether). All people are saying is that winning football takes precedence over what some in the media term 'attractive football'. Robbie would you rather win the premier league title the Mourinho way of grinding out relentless wins or would you rather come nowhere the Brendan Rodgers way but have the media fawning all over you? If choosing the latter qualifies you to be a mad Evertonian then count me out. There's nothing wrong with wanting Everton to win yet you make it sound like a crime. Of couse I'd rather see Everton winning the league with wonderful football, but if it was with rubbish football and the league title still came here then I would not care.

Ross, rather than telling other people to go and watch another team for expressing a desire to see a winning Everton team, why don't you go and watch Man U at Old Trafford next year because it seems as though you have a bigger David Moyes obsession than anyone on this site.

Robbie Shields
23 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:16:55
James, why does it have to be one or the other????? Good football and winning something isn't mutually exclusive you know.

I happen to believe that the beautiful games should be played that way AND that that way is the BEST way to actually WIN, as well being enjoyable to watch (God forbid actually entertaining) and uplifting.

Kev Johnson
25 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:31:32
The grieving process traditionally has four stages: the first is shock and denial; the fourth is renewal ('moving on'). It seems to me some people on both sides of the argument are stuck in stages two and three when it comes to life after Whatshisname.

(2) Intense concern often manifests by being unable to think of anything else. Even during daily tasks, thoughts of the loss keep coming to mind. Conversations with one at this stage always turn to the loss as well. This period may last from six months to a year.

(3) Despair and depression a long period of grief, the most painful and protracted stage for the griever (during which the person gradually comes to terms with the reality of the loss). The process typically involves a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Many behaviors may be irrational. Depression can include feelings of anger, guilt, sadness and anxiety.

Put your money away, there's no charge...

James Martin
26 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:40:07
Robbie and Ross, do you ever read what anyone else posts or do you just read the one line you want then vent out all your anger? Nowhere have I said, Ross, that i'd rather watch 90 minutes of hoofball than good football thanks for just assuming that. Robbie, I've actually said that I'd prefer to win with good football than doing it the other way but that I'd prefer to win rather than not winning with good football.

Ross, Martinez hasn't been criticised endlessly. Most people are just waiting to see how he does. the only person being criticised endlessly is Moyes by you.

Ray Roche
30 Posted 08/07/2013 at 13:53:29
Tony J Williams,
"We mixed it up last season with some decent footy."

Tony, I suggest you read through some of the match reports on ToffeeWeb, Man Utd home, Villa, Swansea away, Saints home, Newcastle bad refereeing decisions, the RS again bad refereeing decisions with Suarez and Gerrard lucky to be on the pitch, and others.

We played at times some of the best football seen since the 1980s. Even Wenger was full of praise and Jol actually compared us to Barcelona, after his side had stolen a point at CC. We were all frustrated at dropped points but let's not get all American and start re-writing history to suit our argument.

Tony J Williams
31 Posted 08/07/2013 at 15:10:46
I don't get your point Ray. You seem to agreeing with me then telling me to re-read match report....

Ahhh the Ross and Robbie show. How is it that posters get threatened with a ban for calling other koppites, yet the two nuggets are suggesting that I become a Manc, even though my post has nothing to do with Moyes and little more to do with Martinez?

Derek, I would happily go for that.

Gavin McGarvey
32 Posted 08/07/2013 at 15:24:46
Kev 388

Thanks for the free advice. Looking back over my article it is a bit overly long, and rambling. I guess I'm at stage 2 as I am becoming obsessed with whether Martinez will try to shoe horn the players into a 3-5-2 system against their will (the fiend)... Six months to a year of this! I'm going to get a second opinion.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
33 Posted 08/07/2013 at 16:09:00
Tony, Ross's subsequent posts have been removed and he's been sin-binned for that very reason.

Robbie went close to the line but had the decency to ask first. Robbie, the answer is No.

Ray Roche
34 Posted 08/07/2013 at 16:23:14
Tony, I guess I took your comments in a more negative way than was meant. I think that we played , in my opinion, superb football at times, especially early on in the season, and took your "decent" comment as damning with faint praise. Apologies.
Tony J Williams
35 Posted 08/07/2013 at 17:29:28
No probs Ray, I too thought we played well at the start.

I known a man in Seguras that was so happy that he thought we had a shot for the league.......Alcohol is baaaaad...mmmmkay

Kevin Tully
36 Posted 08/07/2013 at 17:41:03
Hopefully, every game of the new season won't turn into a "Go Compare" between our last manager and the new one.

Let's try to judge Matinez on his football / results in no particular order.

Robbie Shields
37 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:07:46
Thanks for not banning me Michael, it was tongue in cheek, honest.

It does disappoint me that 'He who shall not be named' was given 11 years (and many supporters wanted to give him 11 years more) despite not winning a thing and never winning at the big 4 away, yet Martinez, who actually wants and strives to play entertaining and attacking football and is really positive is being attacked 1 week into his reign and without a ball being kicked. WTF??

Harold Matthews
38 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:32:36
Michael. This particular thread is quite timid but there have been occasions, today included, where certain TW's have overstepped the mark. This should not be allowed.

Where I come from, men do not call other men names.
It's a girlie thing.
Yet here on TW it is commonplace.

Some people are hurt. This cannot be right.

Ross Edwards
39 Posted 09/07/2013 at 10:09:22
I would just like to say that I apologies to everyone, especially James and Tony J for my comments yesterday on this thread. I acknowledge that I overstepped the mark too many times and it won't happen again.

Now we are moving along nicely with transfer targets and rumours, I will not mention anything to do with the last 11 years. I admit I am becoming a broken record, saying the same over and over again.

Onwards and Upwards with Roberto. COYB!

Tony J Williams
40 Posted 09/07/2013 at 12:07:27
Fair dos Ross.
Kieran Fitzgerald
41 Posted 12/07/2013 at 14:15:51
I've been planning out August here in work today to accommodate my son's school holidays. It mostly involves swapping from early to late shifts. It means that I'm at home in the morning and my wife is home from work before I go to work.

I used up two or three annual leave days as part of this. I managed to slip in the 17th August and have got my wife's blessing to go out for a couple of beers with a buddy of mine. I'm now like a child waiting on Christmas. First day of the new season and I'm on the beer!

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