Crisis Point

Having managed to ship 4 goals in the last 15 minutes against very poor opposition in Watford, it is natural that we might feel like a crisis is upon us. After all, we are once again skint, once again shipping goals through zonal marking, and once again putting up with woeful individual displays.

Robert Tressell 24/10/2021 159comments  |  Jump to last
Having managed to ship 4 goals in the last 15 minutes against very poor opposition in Watford, it is natural that we might feel like a crisis is upon us. After all, we are once again skint, once again shipping goals through zonal marking, and once again putting up with woeful individual displays.

Blame lies at the usual suspects: Benitez, Moshiri, Kenwright, Brands and so on and so on.

The reality is that this is one of our annual humiliations and we are probably still on course to finish somewhere between 8th and 12th – being our rightful spot in mid-table. And of course, we’ll bow out of the cups with a whimper.

Whilst this is typical for us, it’s actually a very unusual position to be in. Since we won the FA Cup in 1995, there are only two clubs in the football league who have won nothing and not experienced relegation or promotion. Those clubs are us and Oldham Athletic. (ps: I heard this on the radio and can’t seem to verify it anywhere…)

Like all of us, I thank our lucky stars that we have not suffered the humiliation of relegation and the possibility of years in the wilderness, like Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday etc. We certainly came close in the 1990s.

However, this weird stability in mid-table (with no success in the cups) must have a strange effect on the playing staff.

On the subject of meaningless, there is a famous suicide note:

“Imagine a happy group of morons who are engaged in work. They are carrying bricks in an open field. As soon as they have stacked all the bricks at one end of the field, they proceed to transport them to the opposite end. This continues without stopping, and every day of every year they are busy doing the same thing.

“One day, one of the morons stops long enough to ask himself what he is doing? He wonders what purpose there is in carrying the bricks? And from that instant on, he is not quite as content with his occupation as he had been before. I am the moron who wonders why he is carrying the bricks.”

There’s a lot you can read into this. Perhaps the fans are the morons. Let’s not even go there.

I’m going to interpret things this way. Newcomers to Everton arrive with a sense of ambition but, once they have experienced mid-table security and no cup wins for a few years, then they are gripped with a sense of pointlessness about the whole thing. They become the moron who stops being content.

We all know something is badly wrong with our club. A lack of bravery when it counts, our charity towards non-scoring forwards and clubs on the slide – and the fact that we are simply existing in mid-table without hope of better or fear of worse.

Ultimately, for over 25 years, there has been no purpose to the football at Everton. So, we are in crisis – but it’s a kind of existential crisis rather than simply a footballing one.

To my mind, there are a few ways to overcome that sense of pointlessness; ways which are achievable. These include going all-out in the cups every season – we simply have to win something. It might also include being a champion of British youth. There will be others.

Until we can find a sense of purpose again (or the billions needed to compete), then we’ll be stuck in this situation.

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Brent Stephens
1 Posted 24/10/2021 at 12:57:06
I'm pretty much with you on that piece, Robert. I've always thought that we should put out a strong starting XI in the cups, regardless of the opposition; if and when we get a "comfortable lead" (I know, I know!), then and only then should we ring the changes. Not the sort of approach used against QPR this season and so many other examples.
Kevin Prytherch
2 Posted 24/10/2021 at 13:04:08
Being an Everton fan living in Oldham, I know that stay well. Not only do I support one of the 2 most depressing teams, I live in the town of the other!!!

I don't think it's a crisis yet; however, I can't see Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin staying another season if we're not in Europe. I feel, with the current inept recruitment, that's when the crisis point will be.

Michael Penley
3 Posted 24/10/2021 at 13:06:43
"Perhaps the fans are the morons. Let's not even go there."

Why not?

And let's say we did win things. What would that change? For both the players and the fans.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 24/10/2021 at 13:08:40
I'm just shocked why anyone is actually shocked.

Truth is, since the end of Roberto Martinez's first season, we have become a laughing stock.

Martinez didn't actually get much money but, fair does, he did sign the best striker we've had in 30 years and make some other canny buys with limited funds in terms of what we have pissed up since then.

Moshiri has proved himself a bungling fool with inability to make correct and wise football decisions.

Why did nobody take Koeman aside in the summer of 2017 and take him to task on why we needed a combined £70 million on Sigurdsson and Klaassen?

Why did we allow ourselves to lose Lukaku and not replace him with a striker that at the time could have built on that previous seasons 7th place finish?

Absolutely abysmal management from all of them put together and results like yesterday come as no surprise, it's what happens when you spend shit loads of money on players from clubs that have just been relegated or used to fighting relegation.

Kunal Desai
5 Posted 24/10/2021 at 13:53:50
My biggest concern is that not a single person at this club has a plan. You are doomed to failure without one.

I suspect they are happy to stay in the Premier League until the new ground is built.

Forget Europe. It's not happening.

Matthew Williams
6 Posted 24/10/2021 at 14:21:42
Heads need to roll fucking bigtime. Moshiri has to come down hard on all concerned that yesterday will not be repeated. Our gaffer must change things round by dropping under-performers and being shrewder and braver in games.

As soon as the January window opens, we need to find a leader, a captain, a talisman that can really get us going and bring some real guts, fire and passion to our play and fucking inspire our lackluster team... look to the Championship to find him! In fact, sign two of them!! It's also about time that some of our young lads got game time, even those on loan.

We are the live game up next on a Monday night on Sky. A repeat of yesterday's fuck-up and we could be in serious trouble with even tougher fixtures to come in the run-up to Chrimbo.

Sort it out, Blues... for fuck's sake.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 24/10/2021 at 14:23:04

Oh they have a plan alright!

It's called Bramley-Moore Dock and every time the team is struggling, we can always comfort ourselves with the little snippets from the club.

"See that shiny new thing getting built, that's our new ground that. Don't worry if the team is shit, that can play in a spanky new stadium looking shit in it."

We are rudderless, right from the off, Moshiri set the tone for me when he said "We don't expect to beat the big clubs".

That to me sets the bar at mediocrity and the players know that they can get away with another one of the shellings yesterday. It might be at Wolves, maybe home to Spurs, Liverpool, who knows, but it'll happen again and the players know it's okay.

Kunal Desai
8 Posted 24/10/2021 at 14:33:06
You're right, Jim. Remember that very clearly after Spurs trounced us 3-0 and Moshiri came out and said it wasn't one of the games we expected to win.

That definately set the tone, embarrassing sound bite from an owner who is clueless on footballing matters.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 24/10/2021 at 14:49:00
Oldham have been relegated twice since we won the cup so that stat in terms of the relegation aspect is wrong.
Stan Schofield
10 Posted 24/10/2021 at 14:52:42
It’s not a crisis at all. It’s simply the usual from Everton. The ups and downs of a mediocre midtable club.
Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:06:10
Kieran, I think it's the only 2 teams not to have either won a trophy or been promoted.
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:11:02

That sounds right but I won't fact check it — could take a while, lol!

Kevin Naylor
13 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:21:13
Benitez would be wise to watch The Damned United and see how Brian Clough built a Championship-inning team by signing the right type of players (Mackay, Hector, Todd etc) who would run through brick walls for you.

Alas, in today's cotton-wool wrapped over-paid football world, I doubt whether many of that type still exist anymore.

Gerard Carey
14 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:26:13
Of course it's a crisis. We have maybe 7 players – Mina, Allan, Doucouré, Townsend, Gray, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin – that come up to scratch. Of those 7, two or three are injured. So we are left with:

Coleman, past his sell by date.
Keane, slow of thought and even slower in action.
Godfrey, needs to be rested, to fully recover from Covid.
Digne, terrible defender.
Davies, sorry! never going to make it.
Iwobi, terrible footballer, more like Lassie the dog, the way he chases the ball around.
Rondon, worst centre-forward we've ever had(!) and that's saying something.

Then, there's Gomes, Delph, Gbamin, Holgate, Kenny and a few untried U23s. Then our first choice goalkeeper who doesn't inspire confidence, whose distribution yesterday was appalling.

So, definitely we are in crisis. Those thinking we can finish anywhere between 8th and 12th might be revising that come Christmas.

We have a bunch of players who rarely show fight when the going gets tough, so we could be in for a bumpy ride for the next few months.
Gary Smith
15 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:29:53
Michael @ 3 - you raise an interesting debate: are our fans a big part of the problem?

It's hard to not say yes based on TW alone (albeit I don't feel it's a true representation). Many on here “accept our stock”. They're happy to say ‘Rafa is good, because he will stabilise the team'.

Personally I don't want stability. I want to gamble….I want us to be the Dortmund of the Premier Leaue, the team that gives promising youth it's chance.

The only place we made money in the Moshiri reign was on the likes of Vlasic, Lookman and Onyekuru. Sure, none of them have set the world on fire, but it's a much safer investment place than the like of Walcott and Bolasie.

We need to find the next Haaland, the next Sancho, the next Bellingham…. get them in, and play them. Anything else is perpetual mediocrity.

Easier said than done, of course, but I doubt that either Marcel or Rafa are the men to do it.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:31:54

You can't do that these days because players have too much power over their clubs.

30 years ago, we would have said to Moise Kean "You are fucken staying here lad, get your head down and show us why we paid £20 million plus for you".

Kean wants out so we decide to allow a player leave that we paid big money for leaving Calvert-Lewin our only available option and a lumbering free agent, oh and the invisible kebab seller who permanently seems crocked too.

You just can't force players to run and work hard anymore, we live in a snowflake country.

Same with Godfrey, if the lad is still ill then go to Jarrad Branthwaite, and tell him "See that centre-half position, well it's yours for now because X, Y and Z are either injured or just shite."

We just don't live in that world anymore.

Kevin Naylor
17 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:40:02
Totally agree with you, Jim.

Maybe I'm just fantasising about the past and when footballers actually cared about playing for the club that paid them.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:57:10
West Ham win again, a team of well drilled and brave, yes "brave" players with Kurt Zouma excellent again for them.

Spurs' next away game is a trip to Goodison Park so don't worry Harry and boys, your woes will be gone.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:03:28
When we accept very quiet owners, who say very, very little, but say we don't really expect to beat some teams, then, looking at it logically, it is us: “We really are the morons”.

I've been feeling a bit of apathy coming into the crowd, and maybe, just maybe, many are starting to have that exact thought, Robert?

Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:30:31
Robert, good summary.

Matthew #6, you hit a point I have made repeatedly. This club has not had a truly inspirational leader on the pitch since Barry and Pip.

Kevin #17, there are still a few leaders like that out there: Ward-Prowse, Schmeichel, Maybe Coady (notwithstanding his limited talent), Noble (although his sun is now setting), and, much as I hate to say it, Henderson. But guys like Roy Keane and Kompany and Terry are pretty much an extinct species.

Seamus has the fire but cannot inspire.

Mike Owen
21 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:35:58
Regardless of the truth of that "since 1995" line, we have certainly been what you may call "static" over the last quarter of a century.

The words "existential crisis" came to my mind this morning, Robert, but for a different reason, which I may try and explain some time.

I agree about going all-out in the cups. I am a supporter overall of Benitez, but was appalled by the seven or eight changes for the Huddersfield game, which we just scraped through.

Watching the Man Utd game, with the great counter attacks and some good defending, I thought I saw a team that could do well in the FA Cup this season, certainly with Calvert-Lewin added; not just for up front, but also with his defending at opposition set pieces.

Although I know, especially after yesterday, we would need some kind draws, a bit of luck and much greater belief. Among my most cherished match-going memories is boisterous Evertonians singing "We Shall Not Be Moved" on a good FA Cup run. And one of those can be a catalyst to turn things around.

Gary, 15... stability or gamble... that is perhaps the key debate for us supporters. But I am sure Moshiri & Co are going to go for stability on the pitch, due to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. But then I see that as a huge gamble.

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:37:14
It probably has reached that time now where Everton fans are no longer willing to be patient.

We have been patient for too long listening to the board making excuse after excuse.

As Everton fans, it's even harder when your neighbours are arguably the best team in the world right now and winning all in front of them.

Dale Self
23 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:38:17
So, just like the big money largely establishes the Top 4 same goes for the clubs just out of reach of European regular appearances. With a few exceptions that seems to hold.

Teams that have been forced to make drastic changes have been successful breaking through, like West Ham and Leicester. Sustaining those advances is difficult land probably speaks to the upper office skill set.

I suspect Rafa may crank up the pressure for change but the overall club culture is not well suited for it.

Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:44:20
There is some feeling of inevitability in that the club is in a Biblical type epic being cast into the doldrums, for what seems an eternity.

The consistency of the numbers of serious injuries to Everton players and the threadbare squad, you could argue means in context there isn't really a full squad with enough strength in depth. You reap what you sow and the purchase of poor players by the Clogg, Walsh and Sam, is taking a significant impact on the effectiveness of the Everton first team squad.

But how is that what happened yesterday, last seen v Spurs almost 3 years ago, and God help Everton, when Spurs are up in a couple of weeks.

No more prisoners of the past as the past is now 26 years, and a few semi-finals and one FA Cup Final defeat, for Evertonians to lament.

The facts don't lie and history doesn't lie. But hope eternal, but this is going to be a hell of a tough run of games, into the New Year.

So for Wolves on Monday night week. Let's hope and pray for a positive reaction from the team. But we all have to graft for our livings, and it raises the questions about the attitude and commitment of the Everton players.

Some thing mentally is not right with the physche and dynamics at Everton; towards the end, the players' bottle and belief spontaneously disappeared.

This is a business and it's improving and mediocrity is becoming the standard reference for Everton FC.

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:49:11
You have to want to win, it's about desire.

You watch Liverpool today, yes they have superior players in every position to us, but it's the sheer hunger and desire to keep going forward, to keep scoring.

Contrast that to us yesterday, it goes 1-0 to us early on, we didn't have a scooby doo what to do about pushing on, hence Watford equalise pouncing on our players' malaise.

Mentality is something I don't think you can buy and even breeding it into players is hard.

Players like Cahill had it, a very good footballer but never a world class superstar, but he had an absolutely never-say-die attitude.

P Ron Wells
26 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:51:58
The fans. The level of anger after the fourth goal yesterday among the fans leaving the ground (when I did) was intense. I have only seen such anger at political meetings.

We have accepted too much too long. We have become resigned and used to it. Every year, every manager, every transfer window, is a false dawn, like the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. What's a stadium without a team? Bolton?

Betrayed every time. We have become inured to a culture of defeat, where the mediocre is acceptable. I agree a clear out of the old boy network is long overdue. The EFC mentality would not be tolerated by fans on the other side of park.

It's about time EFC fans started organising a resistance group of several thousand to pressure the owners and be visible in demanding more than this mess of pottage we are presented with every season.

Yesterday, a kid at Sandhills station was walking up and down the platform with a Gray scarf chanting "It was only 5". I thought to myself "I saw Hickson, Young, Pickering, when I was a lad." I felt sad for him. What has he to hope for?

Paul Birmingham
27 Posted 24/10/2021 at 16:56:07
Jim, exactly. It hurts to say but in the true notion of being professional and caring and believing in Everton, the levels of the basics missing from Everton teams, the last few years, raises the question.

Liverpool, I hate to say, just get on with the job and take every game seriously.

It seems our recent Old Trafford performance was just another flash in the pan.

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 24/10/2021 at 17:11:06
Yes, Paul,

Prime example really.

Does anyone think that Mo Salah would be this great a player if it had been us that poached him back in 2017?

We would have trained any ability out of him after a year and he'd have probably become another Theo Walcott.

The standards that lot set across the park from the academy level (witnessed when their kids schooled us last season) is just to be admired and I only wish this club had a similar mentality.

Kunal Desai
29 Posted 24/10/2021 at 17:39:45
Let's rewind back to 2010.

We were at similar levels with our neighbours. There fans hounded out Gilette and Hicks and the rest is history.

We on the other hand have done nothing in over 30 years to remove Bungling Bill and have eaten shit everyday since.

Rob Dolby
30 Posted 24/10/2021 at 17:41:49
Robert, well-timed article.

As fans we are powerless in how our club is run.

Our main objective is to watch the blues and come away feeling like we gave it a go whilst being entertained and, dare I say it, challenging for trophies. That hasn't happened for years.

The owner and the previous one have different objectives. Stay in the league, build a stadium and wash some rubles, don't rock the boat, plucky Everton.

We are in a league that has attracted some of the richest owners on the planet. We can't compete financially with the top teams.

To install some pride, the club needs to do things differently. We need innovation and a new way of running the club. The current ways of working are a failed outdated model that is slowly killing the club if we aren't going to win the league or even challenge for it.

I want the club to have an identity. Red Bull have an identity with young hungry players. Bilbao have an identity in picking a percentage of local players. I want something similar. I want to identify with what the club are doing.

I want to see young hungry players leaving everything out on the pitch every week. I want to see us bringing in players with certain characteristics for each position for the Premier League.

I am fed up of big-club cast-offs or players that aren't suited to the Premier League. It's criminal that we don't have two players for each position for the first team. We probably have more coaches than first-team players...

The whole thing stinks.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 24/10/2021 at 17:52:13
We will wait and watch the response (or lack of it) at Wolves.

No doubt surrender possession and keep it tight until late on and lose it 1-0, pat on the back.

I want to see some real desire and hunger a week on Monday.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 24/10/2021 at 18:42:19
Jim #28,

That's a really good example. Had we got Salah (or Firminho or Mane), I feel as though we'd have had them chasing the channels and tracking back to make sure we didn't lose games, and resting them in the cups to make sure we finished 8th not 12th.

We have to have the courage to win, and to compete for trophies; otherwise, it is a complete waste of time.

Martinez saw that on arrival and nearly pulled it off. He's the only man brave enough to attempt to have us behave like a big club in decades.

I desperately hope Benitez goes all out in the FA Cup.

David Pearl
33 Posted 24/10/2021 at 18:54:35
It will be same again vs Wolves unless we can get another midfielder on the pitch. Play compact maybe to control the ball.

And Robert, you are right. Martinez was the last manager to be brave enough to try to change our state of mind. One of my favourite games under him was away against Arsenal.

Although, if he had the Moshiri money, what would have been done with it?

Lee Courtliff
34 Posted 24/10/2021 at 19:56:03
Robert #28,

Yes, absolutely yes!! Bobby did have us behaving like a Big Club for a little while. It was such a refreshing change after the old, "knife to a gunfight" fella.

This article sums up how I've felt for a while. There is nothing wrong with the players or managers, in general. Every team makes a bad signing at some point.

The problem is the club... it must be some sort of Old Boys Club where everyone looks after each other to protect their cushy number.

Look at the players who've started well and drifted off the pace after a few months. Remember how Pienaar looked faster than ever when he returned from his short spell at Spurs? He was jet-heeled compared to his time with us... Needless to say, it didn't last long.

What about the stories of how you could order a full breakfast at Finch Farm? I can't remember which player told that story.

How many ex-players get coaching roles despite never really achieving much in their careers? Fuckin Jeffers was the finishing coach and he never scored 10 league goals in a single season in his entire career!!!

Why the fuck did we bring back Jose Baxter? A player who never did anything and threw away his chances to be a pro footballer due to a series of poor life choices!!

What do we expect with this softly, softly, "It's okay 'cos he's one of us" type bullshit?!?!

Leighton Baines aside – he was a quality player. So was Duncan and he was my childhood hero, along with Kanchelskis, but which other club allows an ex-player to stay on as assistant manager under 4 different managers? None that I know of.

It's just bizarre. I'm actually starting to think that, if we'd got relegated in 1998, it might have been a good thing. A complete reset of the club from top to bottom.

I wasn't even all that pissed off yesterday because, well, we've seen it all before. We'll beat Wolves and grind out a point against one of the big boys and around and around we go. Just like the last 25 years.

Paul Birmingham
35 Posted 24/10/2021 at 20:16:17
Jim, it’s a frank reality check of how far Everton have lost track, and it seems that it’s as if mediocrity on the park is acceptable.

Battle for 4th place, no, but realistically I think this season is going to be mid table.

The next 2 months of fixtures will determine the fight and spirit of this squad. Rafa has his biggest managerial challenge of his career.

But now for Wolves..

Peter Neilson
36 Posted 24/10/2021 at 20:31:47
I'm not sure relegation in ‘98 would have helped. The country club mentality would have continued.

Moshiri seems as lost owning a football club as Ellis Short, Randy Lerner, Tony Fernandez etc. I guess he's now just focussed on staying in the Premier League, building a stadium and selling up. For that bold ambition, I look forward to the December announcement of the season-ticket price rises.

Barry Rathbone
37 Posted 24/10/2021 at 21:26:23
Robert, very good points which personally I became reconciled with during the Moyes years.

In my lifetime, the only clubs evolving into dynasties have been Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal – all led by managers who were from the one-in-a-thousand bracket – Busby, Shankly and Wenger.

Beyond that, the maverick but fatally flawed Brian Clough worked miracles at Derby County and Nottingham Forest only for his personal demons to fail him.

The point is, beyond Man City and Chelsea, every club in the country is looking for such a manager and it's pot luck.

No “plan” exists at any board, beyond finding the next Shankly et al, hence the failings of umpteen billionaire owners who haven't got lucky.

There is an argument that our bad luck has been offset by not being relegated like others, although the new football stadium curse will almost certainly address that.

Without ownership by a country, as per Newcastle Utd, we are doomed to living in mediocre central and there isn't a single thing we can do about it.

Philip Bunting
38 Posted 24/10/2021 at 21:28:10
December prices rises are enviable when you consider our league position this past 2 years. If each position is worth £2M and say we budgeted for 8th but finished 12th, that's £8M lost last season alone.

Look no further than the players, as they continue to underperform, they continue to cost the fans money.

Paul Hewitt
39 Posted 24/10/2021 at 22:20:16
I really don't understand why fans get upset anymore. Once apon a time, yesterday's result would have ruined my week; not anymore. I was pissed off for 10 minutes... then forgotten. I've got far more important things to be doing than worrying about that pile of shite.

Sure I will watch the next game and the game after that. But do I expect anything different from before? Not a chance.

This club is rotten from top to bottom. Just don't let it ruin your lives.

Mike Hughes
40 Posted 24/10/2021 at 23:43:48
Paul #39,

I've felt like that for at least the last 5 years. I wonder how many others feel the same because EFC have a way of wearing you down.

Like everyone else here, I watch, listen, shout, scream – but I can't do much else about it. I was pissed-off and shell-shocked for an hour or so last night but that was it.

Once a Blue, always a Blue – but on weekends like this, I feel like Woody Allen in the opening scene of Stardust Memories …. there's just no way out!!!


Note: I went out for a half hour run when Liverpool were 0-2 up. The Wirral streets / roads were so empty, I thought another lockdown had been announced. God knows how many prawn sandwiches were being eaten.

Stu Darlington
41 Posted 24/10/2021 at 00:04:18
I have been an interested observer of ToffeeWeb threads for many years, but this is my first attempt at a post after yesterday's performance. Many ToffeeWebbers are quite justifiably criticisising team performance, substitutions and overall incompetence of the club hierarchy, but I would just like to try and throw some reality into the situation.

We all know the squad is thin and lacking quality in important areas. Take 3 of your best players out with injury, add 3 or 4 players lacking form or carrying knocks, and we are going to struggle. No excuse for not playing with guts and heart but an uphill task.

What we need is a period of stability in the club and people calling for the manager's head need to come up with an alternative.

It's a long-term project but Everton FC will prevail because of us! COYB

John Raftery
42 Posted 24/10/2021 at 00:10:05
Let's not worry about the long-term. I am not taking it as read we will achieve mid-table mediocrity this season.

We were lucky last season that Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were available for the majority of the season but still struggled when the Doucouré & Allan partnership was disrupted by injury. Another injury to one of our first choice eleven could prove catastrophic.

One or two signings in January will not be enough to cover the gaps in the squad.

Derek Moore
43 Posted 25/10/2021 at 01:34:13
Agree entirely with John Raftery. Some unfortunate or even just badly timed injuries and this team will sink like a stone. We look a lot to my eye like Randy Lerner era Villa right now.

The response on the field to Watford will be revealing.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 25/10/2021 at 07:26:54
The purpose at Everton is Premier League survival. The whole system is geared to achieve that and nothing more and many are doing quite nicely and comfortable at that.

Top 6, a European place, a long cup run is extra work and upsetting their comfort. Mid-table; the majority at Everton are happy with that, because that is what they want to achieve,

The crisis is that Rafa is not at Everton to 'survive' by achieveing a mid-table position and is confronting those that accept and want it. He is currently encountering resistance,

Robert Tressell
45 Posted 25/10/2021 at 08:05:21
Mike Hughes #40.

If there's one good thing to come out of this article, it's your link to Stardust Memories. I'm a big fan of Woody Allen but never seen that film. I'll now make sure I do.

Mike Hughes
46 Posted 25/10/2021 at 08:30:45
Robert #40

It has been a lousy weekend, showing how poor our progress has been in the Moshiri era, despite the profligate spending – so glad to help with the Woody Allen link.

(The girl on the other train was a young Sharon Stone in an early role.)

Coming back to the Everton theme, Woody also made a film called, “Play it Again, Sam” – a very good movie – but maybe not in an Everton context.

Andrew Bentley
47 Posted 25/10/2021 at 08:55:23
As Gerard @14 called it and Derek & John highlighted (@42 & @43), we are naïve if we think that we have a divine right to finish mid table again. Even using that phrase shows how far in decline this great club has come.

Our depth in central midfield and upfront has been exposed with these injuries with no sign of this changing quickly. Our first 11 isn't bad when all are fit and firing but we are not going to see that until January at the earliest at this rate. By which point we could easily be in a relegation battle, and I'm not convinced any of our team have the stomach for that kind of fight!

When the spine of your team is as poor as ours is (with who is available), then make no bones about it this is a bottom half of the table team at best.

I am really concerned this year more than others with the state of the club and, come January, I'm not convinced we are going to make the signings to turn this round. Especially with the likes of Newcastle now coming on board to spend money.

David Pearl
48 Posted 25/10/2021 at 09:15:09

Does that work better?

Lost count of the times we had to pay to loan out for 2 or 3 years just to run out contracts for players that cost millioms. Paying off millions to failed managers. Allowing the last guy to leave for nothing, which must have been in his contract.

It's not over yet either. There's still Sigurdsson, Tosun and no doubt lwobi in a couple years all set to join the not so freebie club. £100M worth of players, plus £60M in wages. With what its cost to pay off managers contracts. Losing on Sandro, Bolasie, Walcott, Bernard, James... as in big wages plus giving them away for nothing.

We tried, Moshiri tried. But failed. Failed to break us into Europe. Failed to raise our profile. In fact he could just so easily have put us out of business.

The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will save him. Just about. That will be his legacy. As l said, as huge as that is. Just about.

Unfortunately next summer, unless Usmanov finds another backhanded way to bail us out we will not be able to afford the gamble to bring in expensive signings and will have to continue to balance the books with the sales of Calvert-Lewinand Richarlison. I believe Richarlison has 18 months left so 100% we will sell him, probably to PSG. I mean we couldn't allow him to run his contract down to leave on a free, like Mbappe has done. Could we??

Michael Lynch
49 Posted 25/10/2021 at 09:40:12
I don't really see us falling into a relegation battle unless we have an incredible run of bad luck and injuries.

Realistically, we never looked in trouble against West Ham, despite their possession figures, until they nicked one and did a classic Moyes on us. We had enough chances to be well ahead before they scored. Against Watford, we imploded after twice leading.

Obviously, it's easy to say we've been unlucky but, even without Calvert-Lewin and with the lump they call Rondon ambling about like an amiable hippo, we look capable of at least a lower mid-table finish. Just one point against Watford would have put us temporarily into fourth, and one more goal for Liverpool yesterday would have put us 7th.

I know, ifs and buts, and we are looking really poor at times. And there is a deep problem at the club which has been there, in my opinion, since Moyes left and took with him any kind of fight and pride in the shirt, which has rarely been seen since.

Long-term, someone needs to take hold of the club and shake it up both on and off the pitch. We need leaders, sadly absent both on the board and in the squad. We're not going to challenge the Top 3, they're in a different league and I'd be surprised if even the "richest club in the world" is going to get anywhere near that level over the next few years, but there's no reason why we shouldn't be challenging the Top 6.

Dale Rose
50 Posted 25/10/2021 at 09:49:02
Derek #43. That comparison sprang to mind.

That was a grim but accurate read. Having said that, injuries and other stumbling blocks have hit us hard. They show how vulnerable the club is.

I have said for a long time, there are players who lack technical ability, in particular, passing and ball control. If there was ever a time for getting back to basics, this is it. Do them right and things will improve.

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 25/10/2021 at 09:56:14
I know many times on here the saying is " its the hope that kills you" but I think we are even losing the hope. And who can blame us?

We thought when Moshiri came in and promising to spend and stop us being a museum of memories are hopes would at last be realized. He within months sacked Martinez and brought in Koeman with a new DOF Steve Walsh, and we were all excited, spending money was no object and this was the beginning of a new era a new dawn.

Sadly, like all our other new dawns that have appeared over the last 5 years they evaporated very quickly. Since the disaster that was Koeman and Walsh, no lessons have been learned we kept on changing managers who were buying expensive players who the majority would never ever have got into a Top 4 squad. Yet somehow we believed these under performing players would transform into something most had never been ie top players.

So we over the last 5 years have assembled the most expensive misfits that this club has had the misfortune to put together. So much are they misfits that nobody wanted to buy any of these players when it became apparent that they weren't good enough. So we sent most on loan but ended paying most of their wages.

Can anybody tell me another club that has loaned players out yet pays most of their wages? Then, after these players were sent on loan, most clubs didn't want to renew another loan deal so they came back here to see out their contracts, and we still have 4 or 5 doing that now.

So, because of our reckless spending, we now are in breach of FFP rules which has and will curtail our spending. We are also building a new stadium which will take a lot of money, so will reduce our ability to spend in the coming years.

Added to the fact that our academy doesn't seem fit for purpose. So is it any wonder that our fans are now even losing hope that things will change?

So, Mr Moshiri, you have pumped in £450 million to take this club backwards, and I would suggest that you and your financial backer, Mr Usmanov, stop treating Everton as a plaything and get in and make it work, like your other successful businesses.

Bill Rodgers
52 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:06:00
Let me help. This is nothing to do with Moshiri or Kenwright. It is time that supporters stopped clinging at easy, useless answers. The owners found and let others spend enough money for a dozen Watfords.

Similarly, there is absolutely no doubt that Benitez knows his stuff. He has organised and won with many different outfits.

We are left with the players. But look at King. Useless with us but a hat trick for Watford? That does not figure and we already know that many of the players have the quality to do well elsewhere.

So what explains Everton's apparently unique predicament? We not only collapse quite regularly. We are routinely outplayed by just about any other team from the bottom half.They lack our quality players but have a commitment and intensity that we have lacked for at least a decade.

Whatever is wrong, it originates at Finch Farm. Our players (whoever they are) turn up without determination, team spirit and collective will.

Reading these pages for years, the standard answer is "Kenwright" which makes no sense whatsoever. We turn good players into bad. We have manager after manager. But we still turn out half-hearted teams who fall to bits constantly.

It seems to me that EFC suffer from a sentimental attachment to dinosaurs; until Finch Farm is levelled and rebuilt, we will continue in this limbo.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:10:57
Michael (49),

I read your post and got a bit of heart and a lift from it regarding we won't be in a relegation battle.

Then I looked at the reality of the squad and what it consists of – the lack of a leader and a fighter on the field, hardly any substitutes to come in and do a competent job – and I realise that relegation is a real possibility; we will be closer to the bottom positions by January.

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:13:43
I like your description of "existential crisis" as that is more of where we are right now rather than in an actual crisis.

I'm coming down off the ledge and by Wednesday, I'll be back to thinking we've got a shout of 6th or 7th, the FA Cup and Europe! On a serious note, the threadbare squad biting us early as well as mentality. Let's hope we snap out quickly.

Mike Gaynes, you make a good point about leadership. Not just that we don't have a lot, but positional. Seamus gives us a bit, Allan to a degree, but we don't have that true leader in the sense. And not enough of them.

I'm more a fan of the captain being a central player. Not a centre-forward or wide player. Centre-back or centre midfield and with the right individual, the Keeper. I don't know if you meant it, but I think just about all you call out are a mix of those positions?

I agree, Dale. I think Benitez is going to be "advising" right up to board level as well as down at Finch Farm. And I think it's going to ruffle some far too comfortable feathers. The guy has proven before, he has no interest in being popular.

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:16:26
David #48

"I believe Richarlison has 18 months left so 100% we will sell him, probably to PSG. I mean we couldn't allow him to run his contract down to leave on a free, like Mbappe has done. Could we??"

Leaving aside the Mbappe case, I'm not sure about the argument to sell a player before end of contract (say with one year left on contract (eg, Year 4 of a five-year contract), in order to gain a fee (unless the player has been "unsettled" by another club and is more trouble than he's worth).

Other things being equal, selling early recoups some of the initial fee paid. But, at the same time, you still have to buy a replacement of equivalent quality earlier (unless you have equivalent quality coming through the ranks). So where is the advantage? And you're in for agent fees earlier than you would have been?

If the logic of selling early is sound, then by extension shouldn't you sell in Year 3, even Year 2?! Maybe there is logic in selling with a year still on the contract? And / but maybe there is no logical extension to Years 3 and 2?

I assume the intricacies of amortisation have no bearing??

Don Alexander
56 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:25:03
Bill (#52), it's you who needs help my friend.

For you to say Moshiri and Kenwright, as our owners for decades, have "nothing to do with it" and then spend the rest of the article quite rightly coruscating everything done, or not done, by everyone those same owners have employed is frankly bizarre as far as I'm concerned.

The deep pool of mediocrity created by Kenwright and now deepened by Moshiri will be well more difficult and time-consuming to drain than itsy-bitsy Bramley-Moore Dock, I fear.

Colin Glassar
57 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:35:05
Bill 52, if you work for a company who has low standards, produces shabby products, lacks discipline and direction, has a hands off policy, wastes money on mediocre directors and managers etc…. Who’s fault is that? The owners or the workers?

Kenwright, and now his puppet, have overseen decades of steady decline and you still make excuses for him!!?

Gary Smith
58 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:41:38
Latest names Linked: Perisic, Sanchez, Lacazette…….combined age: 364 years old (ok, slight exaggeration, but not much).

Rafa Benitez will be a bigger disaster for this club than Koeman was.

Coupled with the ineptitude of Kenwright and Brands, and the inevitable 3 way fighting over whatever money is being spent on, the real crisis point isn’t now, it’s 12 months from now.

Chris Jones (Burton on Trent)
59 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:43:04
"Blame [for Saturday's defeat] lies at the usual suspects: Benitez, Moshiri, Kenwright, Brands and so on and so on."

No, it was down to losing two goals at least to primary school defending. One of them a defender failed to clear to safety and dicked-about instead, the other was three so-called professional sportsmen getting in each-other's way.

I'm not having a go at him (because he had a good first half) but had Gordon put that chance away when we were 1:0 after a couple of minutes, it could all have been very different.

Danny Baily
60 Posted 25/10/2021 at 10:58:17
Doucoure on Twitter saying 'this season is far from over'. I should hope not, it's not even November!

There's no crisis though, just a very bad day at the office. Next game can't come quickly enough.

Scott Robinson
61 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:01:41
Some interesting points and agree, mediocrity breeds well... mediocrity. The Moshiri years were meant to change that.

I though there was purpose in the Moyes era. We had a respectable team with real players who tried and cared - Cahill, Gravesen, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Arteta, Saha, amongst many others. They were just unfortunate not to win anything, let alone the FA Cup, despite leading in the early stages of the game.

I think Martinez showed intent, but was let down by the quality of the playing staff at the back.

Since then, it has been utterly abysmal, apart from some flash in the plan moments under all of the previous managers.

Paul Hewitt
62 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:08:27
I have to say I find the title for this article a little OTT. Crisis point. Hardly a crisis losing a game of football.
Eddie Dunn
63 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:23:36
Watching the Man Utd defence do an impression of ours yesterday shows that it isn't about the quality of player. Maguire and Shaw got in each other's way, just like Godfrey and Keane etc. I don't think our neighbours even played that well.

United missed two early chances while the away team popped theirs in. It is all about teamwork.
We lost our way as a team but the two key points are that our defence regularly gets sucked over to our left once Digne has been caught upfield. It happened at Aston Villa amongst other occasions. Everyone moves over and invariably a man is left on the far post. I think it is this zonal system. If they were man-marking, it would be less likely to happen.

King made runs across our box and responsibility for him was passed on as he progressed. It caused chaos.

The other big problem is a simple one. Two in midfield is difficult even when the machine that is Doucouré is fit. Rafa needs to play a compact three there, and I would suggest that we should dump Rondon and play a false No 9. Drop one of the wingers to the bench.

A big worry is Godfrey. He isn't getting up high enough at set plays, and seems to have no idea where to play. His dynamism has gone and he seems to have nothing between his ears.

Alan J Thompson
64 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:23:41
There seems to be a little revisionism going on with regards to Martinez. Certainly his first season was good but other teams worked him out and he failed to correct the deficiencies or have a "Plan B" and, apart from Lukaku,he also bought Alcaraz, Robles and Niasse, so he had his fair share of hits and misses.

However, with decent management further up the chain, somebody might (if they didn't) have asked for reasons for the sudden change in on-field fortunes before replacing him.

Matt Henderson
65 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:31:43
Agree with Kunal at point 5. There appears to be no plan at all and there has not been for a long time.

How can anycompany get itself in a position whereby it spends so much that it is now forbidden to spend at all due to FFP? All Companies do forecasts (ie, plans) and most large ones do at least 5 year forecasts. What was in Everton's forecast?

How could they not see this occurring years before it did? Were they forecasting to generate loads more revenue to offset the spend, if so how (surely they weren't budgeting to make the Champions League).

We can continue to change manager all we want but our recent history has shown this gets us nowhere. The problems at this Club start at the very top and Moshri (who is meant to be an accountant?) gets way too little scrutiny. Why aren't the press asking greater questions about how this financial mismanagement can occur.

All our Senior Management positions appear to have been internal promotions for years which would be fine if the Club was a breeding ground for success. We need a new CEO sourced from another Club and we need a long term plan with a destination in mind.

Any success for us is not going to be achieved in a hurry and we need incremental improvement and milestones within the plan. We have been treading water at great cost since Moshri took over and we have literally gone no where.

Unless the top of the Club gets sorted we will be in the same place we are now (or worse) in a few years and no change in Manager will make a difference. All the money in the world can be spent but, with no plan, there will still be no success. (Look at Man Utd for an example!)

Barry Hesketh
66 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:33:24
Everton has suffered 105 Premier League losses by 2 or more goals since Moyes was appointed manager in March 2002, and 63 of those were against the teams we might expect to beat us by 2 or more, with 42 defeats coming against the lesser ranked clubs. Over half (23) of those 42 losses have come in the last 7years.

Since Roberto Martinez was appointed Everton manager, the club has suffered 43 Premier League home defeats with 23 different clubs leaving Goodison with maximum points.

On a side note whilst researching the stats I saw that Everton's first home defeat after Moshiri became the owner, was against Arsenal in March 2016, a week after we had beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup at Goodison. Man of the match was a certain Alex Iwobi who made his debut for the Gunners and scored in that victory for Arsenal.

The BBC reported:

He boasts footballing pedigree as his uncle is former Bolton and Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha.

Iwobi was brimming with confidence in attack and had the most shots of any of his team-mates.

He linked well with Welbeck and showed composure and strength to hold off the challenge of Ramiro Funes Mori before scoring his goal.
Man of the match - Alex Iwobi

Everton have now won just one of their past nine Premier League games at Goodison Park.

They have the league's worst defensive record at home, conceding 28 goals – already the most they have shipped in a 38-game Premier League season.

The Toffees' record is worse than bottom club Aston Villa, who have let in 25 at Villa Park.

They have kept only two clean sheets at home in the league this season and their Goodison Park record reads: played 16, won four, drawn four, lost eight.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "We were second best. I thought Arsenal had more bite and intensity.

"It was so disappointing, the contrast in performance from last Saturday [the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Chelsea] is difficult to explain.

"We never got a platform into the game, we were ineffective, we had second thoughts in every action and Arsenal were, in every single aspect of the performance, better than us."

Following Saturday's debacle, we have to hope that the current manager can address the issues that were laid bare for all to see and that he doesn't do a "Martinez"!

Tom Bowers
67 Posted 25/10/2021 at 11:45:59
You nailed it, Robert.

We are and have been an average club for many years because of the laid back attitude of the people running it.

We all thought Moshiri would change that but, with the controversial appointment of Benitez it would appear we are no better now than the we were in the Moyes era.

Granted this season's walking wounded hasn't helped him but persisting with the walking dead (Rondon) on Saturday did little to help his credibility.

The meltdown in the second half came only weeks after a similar meltdown at Villa Park and in each case Everton were looking good for at least a share of the spoils, as was the Hammers game also before the late setback.

The confidence and leadership is at the bottom of the bucket at the moment and one hopes that is quickly reversed at Wolves.

Having Richarlison back is a big plus but the defensive discipline has gone to the dogs.

Rafa's reign may indeed be a short one after all.

Phillip Warrington
68 Posted 25/10/2021 at 12:24:43
We could end up with the best stadium in the Championship.
Jim Bennings
69 Posted 25/10/2021 at 12:25:16
Regardless of what we think of Benite,z there's no denying he's come to the club at the worst possible time.

The hurricane of ridiculous spending has now subsided leaving us with tight FFP restraints.

The injuries to Mina and Doucouré are arguably just as bad or not worse than Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

If Mina and the Doucouré are fit then we aren't losing that game 5-2 on Saturday.

With those two out, our imposing physical presence has gone completely.

It's easy to say play the kids but we did that in 1997-98 and we almost got relegated.

Rondon is not the player he was at Newcastle; age and two years in a poor Chinese league has done for him and his match fitness and he's clearly not the player Benitez trusted up in the North East.

Lucas Digne looks a million miles away from the player he was in his first season under Silva, when he linked up so well with Bernard on the left there were murmurings of the new "Bainaar" but Digne looks totally gone now too as a player.

Stu Darlington
70 Posted 25/10/2021 at 12:30:18
Matt @65,

Totally agree. You've really nailed the nub of the problem. The question for me is “How do we solve it?"

We as supporters can't get rid of Moshiri, appoint a new CEO, etc – much as I'd like to! Who would they be? Where would we find them?

And the biggest question of all: “Who would appoint them?” The same bunch that are already there? Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas! They are not going to give up their nice cosy earners easily.

What we can do as supporters is to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them by protest and publicity at every possible opportunity.

There's 38,000 at Goodison every home game despite the crap that has been served up over the past 25 years. That's considerable supporter power and it needs something drastic to overthrow the moribund status quo we have here.

Ray Roche
71 Posted 25/10/2021 at 12:46:45
Scott @61,

Martinez wasn't let down by the ‘quality of the playing staff at the back'... they were let down by a lack of defensive coaching, by a lack of coaching at set-pieces, and piss-poor levels of fitness, again, as a result of an inadequate training regime.

Martinez was another manager who, when he stamped his mark on the team, stubbornly stood by and watched a defensively good team disintegrate. The man was a footballing fool.

Bob Parrington
72 Posted 25/10/2021 at 13:00:07
I think Jim Bennings@25 hit the spot. There has to be the desire to win. Our team shows no such desire.

There is a need to match the team and the coach. If we don't, it will never work. We've tried several coaches with this squad (generally speaking) and it hasn't worked. Let's back Rafa to completely change the squad (including backroom drongos) to make a total change in the team persona!

I'd sell Keane, Iwobi, Davies, Rondon as well as the usuals and start again. Sell the usuals and bring in some genuine players including some of the youngsters.

Time for a change!

Len Hawkins
73 Posted 25/10/2021 at 13:42:25
I'll say there's a crisis. The fans are either:

(a) The most loyal fans in Football


(b) The most gullible.

For what it is worth, I think it is (a) because, season after season, the same thing is said: "We can't be worse than last season" ... but yes, another manager, another clean slate, another season of dogshit football – and embarrassing dogshit at that.

There are Evertonians who have been born, married and have kids of their own decked out in Everton kits who have seen us win Jack Schitt. Then you have the buffoon Kenwright spouting rubbish about other clubs looking to Everton to see how we do it.

Other clubs look at us to see how not to do it but the fat prick just doesn't care – he's lined his pockets, he doesn't pay to get in, he doesn't sup his tea from a plastic cup or have the fat out of a hot meat pie running down his chin. He hasn't a clue – not one iota of a clue – and he is prompting Moshiri with his experience in football...

His experience is waxing lyrical about long since dead Everton players who could still put up a better show than this pile of festering shite.

Barry Rathbone
74 Posted 25/10/2021 at 13:43:26
Ray Roche @71,

You shoot yourself in the foot with “a defensively good team” – they weren't.

Any defensive strength the team allegedly had was a result of the entire unit being setup to defend. Once the team was set up to attack, the defensive issues of our defenders were magnified a thousand fold.

The real issue was Martinez wasn't given comparable monies to clubs he was trying to emulate to bin Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka and rid the squad of festering Moyes-mongers like Pienaar, Osman etc in one fell swoop.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel for the likes of Alcaraz, Kone, Cleverley and McGeady could only end one way.

Martinez wasn't perfect but, for a brief shining moment, he showed this club the way out of its stupor. Sacking him instead of telling fans to fuck off was Moshiri's first and most expensive mistake.

Derek Cowell
75 Posted 25/10/2021 at 14:00:31
Tin hat on.

For me, Moyes was the best manager we have had since Howard Kendall Mk 1 (apart from Big Joe's short stint).

At a time when we had no money, he stabilised the team and we were just about consistently between 4th and 8th place at the end of most seasons. We also had fit players as he took no shite from them. Yes, he had his failings and we seldom beat the top teams... but then not many did!

Someone earlier mentioned a great game under Martinez in his first season v Arsenal. That first half was the best I have seen an Everton team play for years. Fluid passing football but there was no goal threat.

With Martinez, it looked like we trained on pitches with no goals. Plus in modern football with so many goals scored from set-pieces, it was criminal not to practice them.

Would we be conceding from so many corners with Moyes in charge? I think not. He is doing what he does with West Ham and they are better than us with better players. They have Antonio and we have Rondon, for fuck's sake!

I know Blues on here hate Moyes for the way he left and it was a disgrace... but people were after him going for the last few seasons. I would swap those seasons for the utter shite we have got now.

Moyes never had money to spend and was never even backed at Man Utd.

We are all entitled to our views and mine is that we have done worse since Moyes was here every season bar Martinez's first one which was a result of his footballing flair coupled with Moyes's fitness and defensive nouse still remaining in the team.

Like I said, tin hat on!

Barry Hesketh
76 Posted 25/10/2021 at 14:06:30
Barry @74,

Martinez's first season did give us all hope that he was the right man at the right place but his final season was a disaster, as my earlier post alluded to.

Everton have now won just one of their past nine Premier League games at Goodison Park.

They have the league's worst defensive record at home, conceding 28 goals – already the most they have shipped in a 38-game Premier League season.

After that defeat at home to Arsenal, his team went on to record one win from nine, including the Semi-Final at Wembley, before Roberto was put out of his misery. I can't see how the board or owner listened to the fans over the actual facts of the matter.

Michael Lynch
77 Posted 25/10/2021 at 14:24:36
Derek @75,

I'd better put my tin hat on too, because I agree with you. Sure, Moyes could be frustratingly negative with his subs and set-up at times, but we also played some good football, classic Everton School of Science stuff at times.

West Ham are blessed with a number of stand-out players but then so are we. But they are a much superior team right now.

My hope is that Rafa – given time – will do for us what Moyes has done at West Ham, but with better players once he gets a budget.

By the time we're inthe new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, we'll be a decent side, maybe even winning a bit of silverware. I just hope I'm still alive to see it!

Andrew Ellams
78 Posted 25/10/2021 at 14:29:05
Barry @ 74.

Moshiri had to sack Martinez, he'd clearly lost the players which was never more evident than the night we were humiliated by Allardyce's Sunderland team.

The mistakes Moshiri has made have included pretty much every managerial appointment since then – and both of the Directors of Football too.

Ray Roche
79 Posted 25/10/2021 at 14:47:16
Barry Rathbone

Everton's defensive record in Moyes's last season was the fourth best in the Premier League, better even than Man Utd's Champions side. Coleman was 25-26 and Baines 28-29? You would have binned those two, at that age?

Alcaraz, Kone and Cleverley were all ‘Martinez' men, just like Condom is Rafa's man. He'd have bought that flotsam
no matter how much money he had.

Kone was also a year older than Baines and Alcaraz; the Sicknote Kid, was two years older. But hey, don't let that get in the way.

And, yes, for one beautiful, fleeting moment, we were all seduced into thinking Martinez was the Messiah, when in actual fact he was just a very naughty boy.

Joe McMahon
80 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:05:00
Can we please stop talking about Moyes, he left years ago and was winless at Anfield (even when they were dreadful under Dalglish) for 11 years.

My brother in law is a Sunderland fan, we have an agreement not to mention him – he would froth at the mouth.

Jay Harris
81 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:05:47
Crisis? What crisis??????

We are on the same points as Man Utd, Leicester and Arsenal with the worst injury situation in recent history. We have thrown the baby out with the bathwater on too many occasions in recent years.

What we really need now is to get the 12th man to rally around the manager and support the team through this difficult patch.

I know its hard because Ive spent all weekend kicking the cat, the walls and anything else I could find but we have to find belief within ourselves no matter how tough it is.

The players became nervous wrecks on Saturday because they picked up the negative vibes from the crowd.

We are all disillusioned with the lack of planning and poor decision-making from the top and the paucity of the squad but we cant blame Benitiez for that although we can and should blame him for inflicting Rondon on us and some poor decisions on Saturday.

However, let's not turn our situation into a crisis, like the media would love us to do. Let's show the manager and the team some support until we can get reinforcements in and players back from injury.

Ray Robinson
82 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:09:57
I still think Martinez was one of our worst managers ever. Mind you, I'd had prior warning about him from someone at Wigan.

A "phenomenal" first season, based on Moyes's core team, but steadily downhill after that. He was a Bojo football manager – everything was rosy in the garden, when clearly the shit was hitting the fan.

I'm pretty certain that we would have gone down under him but for the players openly defying his tactics and starting to play to their strengths instead of playing aimless tippy-tappy football for possession's sake.

No organisation, no realism, no defensive nous, no attention to detail... but he still managed to convince some fans (and still does apparently).

Never been so glad to see the back of a manager as him. Moshiri got that one 100% right.

Ray Robinson
83 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:16:15
I agree with you, Jay, but our situation is slightly worse than you portray in that we haven't played any of the "bigger teams" yet. But crisis? Not yet by a long stretch!
Kieran Kinsella
84 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:38:19
It's pathetic really.

Pre-Kenwright, we had won more titles than Man Utd. Now, their fans look at Van Gaal as a failure as he only won the FA Cup, and Mourinho as he only won the Europa League. Meanwhile, we talk about Moyes and Martinez – who won nothing.

It's not a matter of "Who was best?" it's a matter of which era (be it the manager's ineptness or the ownership) was the least-bad?

Overall, Moyes's era was the least-bad, but pre-Kenwright, we'd never be having such debates. Bingham, Lee, Walker, etc failed – end of story.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:42:32
Joe #80, I'll go you one farther. Not just Moyes, but Martinez and Koeman and whoever else. The most pointless debates I see on TW are about previous managers. They go nowhere, illustrate nothing, and are utterly irrelevant to the present day. I can never understand how a guy who left in 2013 still triggers so much verbiage here.

Jay #81, the strangest comment I've seen on this entire thread is yours. "The players became nervous wrecks on Saturday because they picked up the negative vibes from the crowd."???

Really? Do tell. By all means, explain how you know that. Especially since the team fell apart at the moment that the crowd was at its most joyous, celebrating Richarlison's goal.

Bill Hawker
86 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:47:57
I became an Everton supporter in 2000-01. So, 20 years of supporting this historically great club.

Unfortunately for me, it's been the same thing, year over year, year-in and year-out. The exact same, season over and over and over:

1) No battle for the Top 4.
2) No real chance in the cups.
3) Some exhilarating wins and some crushing losses.
4) Players come and go.
5) Managers come and go.

We've been consistently mediocre for over two decades now... 20 years. That's a long time.

I'd really love to tell you that I had an answer for a way out of this mess but I don't.

Stu Darlington
87 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:51:49
I agree, Jay, we are not in crisis... yet! But the signs are a bit worrying. If we can get the right players on the pitch playing in their best positions with the right game management and attitude, with the 12th man doing its job, we can give anyone a game. This is a forlorn hope, however, given the size and quality of the squad.

We need to start the re-build in January by bringing in young players with the potential to take us to the next level. (I thought this was why Brands was brought in... silly me!)

I know we are strapped for cash but surely this is where the scouting skills come in. We all know where we need strengthening and little seems to be coming from Finch Farm so start now. Identify potential targets and start wheeling and dealing.

For what it's worth, I think we need 2 full-backs, a central defender, 2 creative midfielders with skill and pace, and a striker. Silly, I know... but Christmas is round the corner.

Kieran Kinsella
88 Posted 25/10/2021 at 15:58:33
Mike Gaynes,

Agreed. I love these ridiculous "blame the crowd" remarks.

Last week versus WHU people were complaining the crowd were too quiet. Now the crowd are too noisy. Is there some kind of happy medium decibel level we have to sustain to positively impact the players?

Or is there maybe a correlation in that the crowd noise is a reaction to the team's performance?

Niall McIlhone
89 Posted 25/10/2021 at 16:30:16
We seem to be perpetually in crisis, Robert, this is no better evidenced than our propensity to:

1) Throw away points to inferior opposition, especially at home.
2) Repeatedly mess up with poor results when we have a good chance to shift up to the leading group. (Infuriating!)
3) Carry too many injuries, and too many players who fail to perform to a decent level when returning from illness or injury (eg, Gomes, Godfrey).
4) Persist with zonal marking, when it clearly isn't working.
5) Place little trust in young, untried but energetic players who may make a difference off the bench. (Two sub keepers on the bench – the point is……?)

These are just five areas, there are more. I think that outpouring of rage after the Watford game had been coming, but at very least, the manager must be given the support of all concerned to tackle the cyclical crises we have faced season on season.

Ken Kneale
90 Posted 25/10/2021 at 16:35:40
"Everton expects success. We've a very good crowd and our crowd are very loyal. But, of course, they pay money and they expect to see us do well. If we don't do well then something should be done about it and something will be done about it."

That is from the late Sir John Moores.

I don't buy in to that crowd theory Jay – there is no club in the land that has a better or more loyal support than Everton as is shown by the anguish and utter bewilderment that the club, with such magnificent and pioneering history, is in the present position thanks to the deliberate and calculated meddling of the ownership of the last 30 years – we are entitled to grumble when things are wrong, and they are wrong.

If the players are happy to receive the adulation when we see them performing – a rarity in recent years might I add then they have to face the brickbats too – and, as noted by Mike G, they fell apart when the crowd was with them on Saturday.

John Boon
91 Posted 25/10/2021 at 16:36:23
Reading all the posts, the only word that comes to mind is "confusion". Evertonians must be the most ardent fans in the country, but we are so screwed up that we are all grabbing at straws to try to guide our team to some sort of recognizable success.

Since Moyes, we have had Koeman, Martinez, Ancelotti, Silva plus others, and now Benitez. Benitez has not had enough time to prove to be as useless as all the others. Just what happens?

1. Plenty of money, most of which has been wasted.
2. Not a single player who is a "dynamic" leader.
3. A wealthy owner who has probably saved us financially, but has only been able to appoint "Buffoons" to take charge.
4. A youth program that has not produced an "outstanding" player in the last 5 years.
5. An inability to get the best potential out of players. Vlasic and Lookman as examples. We have let them leave too soon.
6. Absolutey terrible signings who we have paid far too much for. There are too many to name them all.
7, 8, 9, 10 – your choices.

I am only a fan. One of the most ardent. I am also as confused as most other fans. I used to be able to say such things as "We just need a right-back, or a midfielder, or a centre-forward"...

Now, we need a major operation, but I don't even know what that means. I am as confused as anybody. Basically we need a magician, or for all those of the spiritual persuasion, "A Saviour".

I think I will start praying...

Jack Convery
92 Posted 25/10/2021 at 16:49:27
If I had been Benitez this morning, I'd have interviewed the players one by one and asked them a very simple question: Why are you here? and wait for their answer.

The first one to say - because I want to win things for this club. Then ask: What are you prepared to do to make that happen? The answer to that one must be – whatever it takes.

If anyone answers the first question with a different answer, they should be put on the transfer list immediately.

Football is about hunger – hunger to win your individual battle with an opponent, hunger to score goals, keep clean sheets, win games, fight when losing, be as one with your team mates, and – most of all – to win trophies. If you're not in it for that, then why are you here?

The same applies to the boardroom – hunger to be the best team. The team that wins trophies. Not once in 25 years but on a consistent basis. Nothing else matters. If it's not that, why are you here??

ps: There was also a lot of left over anger from Carlo's debacle last season in that reaction on Saturday. I just hope we get back on track soon but then again does it matter to those who can make it happen?

It matters to the fans – a few thousand will go to Wolves and give their all for 90 minutes, as they always do – home and away.

David Currie
93 Posted 25/10/2021 at 17:00:44
Growing up as an Everton fan, my dad would always say that the fans are some of the most loyal fans in the country. He was right and would often say they deserve so much better. If he was alive today, he would be saying the same thing.

Sadly the only ambition that the owners have is to stay in the Premier League.

Dale Self
94 Posted 25/10/2021 at 17:12:48
Stu, good to see your contributions!

I suppose first I should say that short-term I support Rafa for stability, non-culpability for our current situation, and for his activism in trying to address structural problems and not seeing the barriers and making retirement plans.

That being said, when you lose like that and the talk starts up and it is a historically rhyming tune that played last season, there is sufficient cause for uproar. We all get to be as shocked as we want and throw a fit and then return to the table to see some fairly obvious and limited ways forward.

I am pissed off that Rafa went old boys on the subs. And waiting this long for Rondon is fucking futile. But take a second and figure that Rafa is no fool and try to see how he would think those were the best moves?

Something isn't right with some players, some of that has to do with the poor management that was in place to develop them; and now, upon seeing their failure, we're having a go at their character as footballers that represent a special area for all of us. Are we being realistic there?

This club still has the core to get right and be what it is in our sentimental mind's eye. We need to somehow figure out how to apply positive pressure and stay behind those who are in fact working to improve us and I'm afraid to say just grind our fucking teeth on the rest until we are out of this jammy dodgy donut of a situation.

Brian Harrison
95 Posted 25/10/2021 at 17:24:37
Jay 50,

While there is no doubt that sometimes the nervousness of the crowd can transfer to the players, what made the crowd nervous was our lack of ability to hold onto the ball. This gave Watford confidence and they won all the aerial battles all over the park.

They were more physical than we were and, once they got level, they could smell blood, and the ineptness of our players to do even the basic things.

Also, this team did exactly the same thing at Aston Villa, where we folded and let in 3 goals in a 10-minute spell, so not the first time we have capitulated this season.

Having lost our last home game and throwing away a lead with 12 minutes left, is it any wonder this crowd get nervous? We were 2nd best for long periods against Southampton, Burnley and West Ham and could have lost all 3 games.

So we are seeing a side who can play in fits and starts, both good and bad, so how can you have any confidence when, 9 games into a season, we haven't put together a decent 45 minutes – never mind 90 minutes?

I accept that Doucouré, Mina, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin missing from the starting line-up is bound to have an effect... but half our goals conceded have been from dead-ball situations — something that Silva had when he was manager, and something Benitez needs to solve very quickly.

Jay Harris
96 Posted 25/10/2021 at 17:41:05

I agree. I wasnt blaming the crowd but I do feel that contributed to poor players falling apart. They know they are not that good and, if nervousness creeps in, they fall apart as they did. I take your point, Mike G, but even at 2-1, the nerves were showing.

Good players lift the crowd and vice versa, the atmosphere lifts the players, but until we get better players, we need to rally around the manager and those wearing the shirt – no matter what our opinion is of them – and just hope that Moshiri gets a proper plan together with professional football people who know what they are doing. Les Reed of Southampton springs to mind as an example.

John Keating
97 Posted 25/10/2021 at 17:55:20

I cannot accept that the crowd in any way contributed to the shite we saw on Saturday.

When we see imposters wearing our shirt and getting paid a fortune, we have every right to vent our feelings.

Football is all about passion and the moment. If these players put 50% of the commitment the supporters put in, we'd win the league.

Our whole week, if not longer, is ruined by performances like that. The players might be upset that evening. In the case of Iwobi, not at all!

A double shift at Alder Hey and loss of a weeks wages paid to charity might focus this shower of shit.

Bill Rodgers
98 Posted 25/10/2021 at 18:11:51
I reckon that, in 5 years time, we will still be reading these pages and the same old will say "Kenwright is to blame, Moshiri was at fault".

Simultaneously, they will say "Give Big Dunc the job". I hope they do.

Jay Harris
99 Posted 25/10/2021 at 18:14:38
John, Very few players play badly deliberately. With all the injuries we have and Godfrey playing when he shouldn't be, I'm just saying we need a sense of perspective.

Nobody in their right mind would have Saturday's team as first choice but it is what it is. We have had atrocious luck with injuries, loss of form and poor recruitment.

All I am saying is we shouldn't allow it to become toxic.

Bill Gall
100 Posted 25/10/2021 at 18:28:44
You can be extremely critical about the owner of the football club and the director of football who he hired, but the major problem has to be the manager. He coaches the players, he decides on the style and tactics of the team, and he picks the starting 11 and the subs bench.

There are two clubs in the premier league in the Top 4 who don't use a big bustling #9 and yet manage to score multiple goals. We are not blessed with having enough players of their standard, but it is senseless playing an unfit player who is not Premier League standard, hoping he we will get better. Reminds me of my wife playing the same numbers on her Lotto ticket every week, hoping to win but not surprised when she doesn't.

We are in a crisis, that is defined in a dictionary as: "A crucial turning point in the progress of a series of events as in politics or business."

Bill Kenwright is getting most of the blame and deserves it prior to the takeover; before the takeover, he said he wanted someone with money to run the club and he got it.

Since then, we are on our 6th manager plus a couple of interim managers thrown in, and the majority of the managers have been given plenty of money to stabilize the team and squad.

This has not happened, and we are now in trouble with the last manager we hired, who seems to have the right idea how the club should have been run from the beginning, but is the one manager out of the six with his background that cannot afford to make many mistakes before the knives come out, and so far, he has not been given the same financial backing as his predecessors.

All us older supporters (I'm since 1954) remember John Moores's memorable saying, and we were known as the Mersey Millionaires then. Today, there are a lot more billionaires running Premier League clubs and the competition is a lot stronger.

It is no longer the owner putting the money in. Through various rules put in by the league, it is how the club is run on the football side of things and the three people responsible for that are: (a) the owner, (b) the director of football, and (c) the football manager.

The present manager is in a rather unfortunate position in that he has not received the financial backing, and a number of supporters did not want him, and he has more of the "wait and see" support before they will back him.

The players must shoulder some of the blame as they are supposed to be professionals, but it is the manager's responsibility to pick a team and set out the tactics and make sure they are giving 100+% for the shirt they are wearing.

The club may apologize for poor performances, but that means nothing to the 35 to 40 thousand people who pay to watch plus the thousands of media watchers; they don't want apologies they want action and, most of all, they want to see players fit – not players playing to get fit, and not players at the club who will never get fit.

Rant over until next Monday.

Ciarán McGlone
101 Posted 25/10/2021 at 18:49:53
"Coming back to the Everton theme, Woody also made a film called, “Play it Again, Sam” – a very good movie – but maybe not in an Everton context."

I'd say we are the Virgil Starkwell of the Premier League.

Christopher Timmins
102 Posted 25/10/2021 at 18:58:09
The topic heading should read "injury crisis" not crisis point. We have played 9 games and have accumulated 14 points. We are in the top half of the table. We are not playing Wimbledon or Coventry next weekend looking for a result to stay in the Premier League.

Saturday was bitterly disappointing but, given the quality of players that have come through the door since Moyes departed, and given the injuries to the spine of the team, it's not that surprising in some ways.

If fit, Mina, Doucouré, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin all start.

I cannot think of any other club who would put a Director of Football on the Board of Directors in such a short space of time on the back of a very mediocre recruitment performance.

I harp back to the start of Silva's second season, Zuma and Gana leave and Sidibé and Gbamin arrive. We look to sign Zaha and get Iwobi instead. You could not make it up.

If we take a further step back to the Walsh & Koeman era, the recruitment was even worse. Martinez brough Romelu Lukaku to the club but how many of the Wigan acquisitions worked out? Robles? Alcaraz? Kone? McCarthy in year one, absolutely... but thereafter?

Mike Gaynes
103 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:06:16
John #91,

I take all your points except #5. Failing to realize potential is not necessarily the fault of the club or the managers, and letting them leave is not always the wrong thing to do just because some fans think they might come good in the future.

Lookman got his chances -- first with us, then at Leipzig and Fulham, now at Leicester -- and he has not succeeded. Hopefully he has matured at 24 and will realize his gifts, but it hasn't happened yet.

Vlasic never got a proper chance with us. He then succeeded at a lower level, stepped back up into the Premier League, and so far has done absolutely nothing at West Ham to justify a €30 million transfer fee. Would he have made it if he'd stayed?

I actually think our record of letting young players leave is pretty good. Not many have done much to make us rue their departure. Barkley? Vaughan? Lundstram? Rodwell? Gibson? Pennington? Dowell? All names we gushed over at various times, but have we ever regretted letting any of them go?

I can only think of one in recent years that keeps me up nights. Antonee Robinson.

Martin Mason
104 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:12:51
Some on here should stop watching Everton or even football in general and get a life. Supporting a club and then booing them off the pitch is cognitive dissonance.

I look at the situation now and ask should I be attached to an organisation where the worst paid player in the first team squad earns more in a week than the better paid fans earn in a year, and I wonder...

Barry Rathbone
105 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:18:54
Barry @76,

The question is "Why?".

The simplistic answer is Martinez was crap but bringing in Barry, Lukaku, Deulofeu, McCarthy and transforming Stones and Barkley suggests there is more to it.

I can't for the life of me join in with the Martinez beating because the rest of his buys were shite despite costing the Premier League equivalent of 5 bob.

Also, remember that only the best international outfit in the world, France, have stopped his Belgium side. A clear demonstration that, with decent players, he ain't "crap".

Andrew Ellams @78... see above.

Ray Roche @79,

Coleman and Baines have never been more than mid-table at best; they are examples of a desperate fanbase lauding ordinary to extraordinary.

The acquisitions of Lukaku, Barry and Deulofeu demonstrate Martinez had more about him than going back to uncle Dave Whelan at Wigan, even if it has been conveniently erased from memory that two of those mentioned were loans.

He made a transformation unimagined under the previous regime but the idea he could repeat the trick in subsequent seasons was laughable. He needed monies akin to the peer group he aspired to join and Moshiri was as thick as some fans in not seeing it.

Brian Williams
106 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:19:38
Supporting a club then booing them off the field is an example of cognitive dissonance?

Bit of a stretch that like.

Stu Darlington
107 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:23:04

Managers can only go with what they've got and, in our case, that's not much at the moment. Sure they decide game plans, tactics etc but the saying goes that "a plan never survives the first contact with the enemy".

Also, I don't believe Guardiola, Klippety etc would be able to do anything better with this squad. Even the best managers get it wrong sometimes... look at Man City's tactics in the Champions League Final; I'm convinced Guardiola lost them that game. No disrespect to Chelsea, he just got it wrong.

I'm not denying a manager's skill and experience is paramount but it's only one part of the equation.

Barry Hesketh
108 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:24:29
Martin @104,

I think your point about the differences in the salaries of most ordinary fans and the players does lead many to question their loyalty to the cause, and perhaps the fact that, in many fans' daily lives, errors are not tolerated and some will have their livelihoods on the line if they make too many or make major errors that adversly affect the businesses they work for.

It would seem that Premier League footballers and those who manage them can make as many errors as they want without sanction, as they will find another daft club to employ them if and when their contracts are terminated.

As for fans booing, I feel it is up to the individual to display his or her feelings within the bounds of the law. I didn't see yesterday's game but I bet the Man Utd players received one or two boos during and after the match?

Brian Harrison
109 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:30:54
I have just read Michael Ball's article in the Liverpool Echo, and he pretty well sums up my thoughts about our current problem.

He says that Benitez said that he understands what Scousers want to see from their team, but Michael Ball suggests that the type of football we are playing suggests that Benitez doesn't understand what we want.

As Ball says, in nearly all the games we have played, we have been second best in the possession stats and, as he says, having that stat for the home games is not what fans want to see.

Ball also suggests that Benitez is and was always stubborn about zonal marking and that, when he played Everton, we would have Tim Cahill attacking the near post knowing he would have a free header because of Benítez's zonal marking.

He also says our build-up is slow and after the centre-backs passing slowly to each other, it usually ends with one of them just launching it downfield.

He says Everton fans like to see our teams getting in the faces of the opposition and, as he says, we haven't seen much of that under Benitez. Ball suggests Benitez needs to change his style or he thinks we are in for more poor results like Saturday.

As he says, so far, we have been outplayed by teams who were in the bottom half of the league last season, so heaven help us if we adopt the same tactics against the better sides.

Martin Mason
110 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:34:33
My point is that supporting and booing is exclusive. You support or you boo. If you support, there is no justification for booing.
Ciarán McGlone
111 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:39:17
Mason... that's quite frankly bollocks, commandeered from primary school logic.
Barry Hesketh
112 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:44:12
Martin @110,

During yesterday's match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Barca fans were apparently very vocal in support of their team for the whole 90 minutes, but failed to roar on their favourites as their team succumbed to defeat.

Some of those same fans mobbed Koeman's vehicle after the match, showing disdain and anger for their manager. They probably, no definitely, went too far... but booing a poor display isn't the end of the world, is it?

The number of empty seats inside Goodison Park on Saturday at full-time spoke far louder than any fans who remained to boo.

Kieran Kinsella
113 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:44:21
Martin Mason

You're confusing the club with individuals. Supporters or fans (fanatics) support the club. People boo when others involved, eg, employees of the club, fail to perform their duty and thus uphold the honor of the club.

By the same token, other fanatics, eg, the Bolsheviks, killed other Bolsheviks who weren't Bolshi enough. Nobody said "You should just happy clap those mediocre Bolsheviks because you're a supporter of Bolshevism" – because they understood the difference between supporting a thing, concept, idea, entity, legend is different than supporting other people who in some respect are presently engaged in its cause.

Ray Roche
114 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:44:25
Barry @105,

Referring to Baines and Coleman as “mid-table at best” is ridiculous. That's just my opinion, and as forums are about opinions, I shall leave that to others to expand on.

Whether or not a player is signed on loan or not, they are players that the manager regarded as additions that would improve the squad. Some work; some don't. Some loanees Blind Pugh could see would be a crap idea; some regard the chance to prove their worth and, like Barry, do well.

And don't forget, Lukaku was a club record signing when he joined, so it can't be said that Martinez had no money to spend. He had more than Moyes (apologies for mentioning his name, for those of a nervous disposition).

“As thick as some fans” — name names, Barry!

David Pearl
115 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:49:30
Barry @105,

I can't agree with you at all re Baines. I'd put him head and shoulders above Digne (France) and Shaw (England). 32 goals and 53 assists.

Bill Gall
116 Posted 25/10/2021 at 19:51:29
Stu #107,

Yes, the manager can only go on what he has got, but he has to manage what he has got. I was trying to offer this manager some excuses in the lack of funding he was given but, at the same time, he is insisting on playing a player who is nowhere match fit and, if fit, will not be up to Premier League standards.

The crowd can accept a young player trying his hardest, but what they can't accept is a seasoned professional #9 not getting a shot on goal and being left on the pitch.

Brian #109,

Last week, Tim Sherwood said that Everton are a mid-table team, and that was before they played West Ham, as Benitez only has the one game plan of defend, and strike from the defense.

Dale Self
117 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:04:08
Martin, if you take booing out, what other feedback does a common fan have?

I'm not a fan of booing but sometimes a little negative feedback can get the attention of those who perhaps are not getting the situation.

Ray Roche
118 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:08:58
David @115

I regard the best left-back I've seen to be Ray Wilson. I can't think of any right now who, apart from Wilson, were significantly better than Baines. Pat van den Hauwe was good but I'd have Baines all day long.

I hope your back is improving. 👍🏻

Barry Rathbone
119 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:09:51
Ray Roche @114,

You are being duplicitous; Lukaku was originally a loan, as was Deulofeu – both integral to the miraculous transformation of that first season.

The odds were off the scale that loans of this quality would pop up every window, providing a solid platform for a season on season Top 4 assault.

I jacked in posting here after beating Man Utd at Old Trafford because it was as plain as the nose on your face that this was not sustainable. We needed a wholesale and immediate clean sweep of the remnants of the Moyes mediocrity crew and it wasn't going to happen without "proper" dough.

Subsequent developments now running into years were just a demonstration of what even "Blind Pugh" 🤣🤣 could see coming – marvellous!

Peter Hopkins
120 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:10:33
I haven't read all of the comments so this may have already been made, but surely Brands should be getting some heat?

He was known as a talent spotter, finding youngsters and bringing them through to resell at a profit. Where are these players?

Is it because his specialty is South America? The rules are different over here regarding work permits, so does that bring it back to Moshiri and a bad decision again?

Surely Brands knows players from other countries. He has been here 5 years, youngsters he brought in when he first arrived should either be in the first team or sold at profit – but they are not; they have been released or are not going to make the grade. So is that then down to Unsworth?

The whole club from top to bottom is satisfied with mediocrity, just happy to plod along. Will that change with the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock? I very much doubt it.

Eugene Ruane
121 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:11:47
The suggestion that booing of the sort heard against Watford is the result of some sort of considered, you-have-a-boo-or-not-choice thought process, is frankly ludicrous.

I mean you're at the game, the 5th (nb: FUCKING FIFTH!) Watford goal goes in... and you DON'T boo?


Sorry but, as someone who for most games just quietly mumbles "Tut! For fuck's sake Everton" and/or "Dumb... fucking dumb" I loudly booed the hole off myself on Saturday and felt entirely justified.

And why?

Because the manager, players, coaches, Moshiri etc need to know that performances like that will simply not be tolerated and supporters of this club will never quietly accept a 2-5 defeat at home by relegation favourites with a calm "Oh well, disappointing but I'm sure it was just a blip. Up the Toffees".

Fuck that.

Mike Doyle
122 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:20:47
Having watched Rondon's “efforts” so far, I wonder if I've seen a worse centre-forward turnout for us since I first attended in 1970?

Thoughts inevitably turn to the likes of Rod Belfitt, Bernie Wright, Brett Angell and ‘The Stracq' but – and perhaps it's the passage of time dulling the senses – I think even this lot were marginally better.

Perhaps an older poster (eg, John McFarlane) or a more regular attender (eg, Rob Halligan) could offer their thoughts?

Stu Darlington
123 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:27:24
Bill @116,

Benitez would not have been my choice for manager, not because of his association with Liverpool but because I considered him yesterday's man and football has moved on. I was underwhelmed to say the least with the signing of Rondon but am fairly sure he won't be in contention when Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are available

Take your point about young players... but who? Gordon is not a No 9 and throwing Dobbin in at this time may do him more harm than good?

That is what I meant by going with what you've got. Even the best manager in the world can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!!

Joe McMahon
124 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:29:46
Mike, do you remember in the late 90s, another Everton classic, John Spencer?

When I think of the lot across the Park, with decades of goalscorers, and us with our lowly lot. I may be wrong but isn't Lukaku our highest goalscorer in the Premier League era? It's ridiculous, Mediocrity FC.

David Pearl
125 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:34:57

Nope, not better at all. Very tired of it actually. I've stopped taking the painkillers, sick of them. Till the next game of golf.

I'm sure my dad would agree with you about Ray Wilson, his era.

I thought Moyes came pretty close, bar a couple additions l'm sure would have taken us to the next level. The year we finished 4th was a real head-in-hands moment – we didn't go out and really go for it. I liked a lot of the players Moyes bought in: Jagielka, Distin, Arteta, Fellaini. His striker choices not so much... Beattie and toe bunger Johnson...


I've never booed myself, even when l felt l should l simply growl. You should try it. I'd be aiming my booze at Moshiri, and hope it was still in the bottle and not a plastic cup.

Nicholas Ryan
126 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:35:49
I can't talk about Saturday, I'm still in shock.
Ray Roche
127 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:37:17
Barry @119,

Originally a loan or not, Lukaku became our record signing.

And don't use words like 'duplicitous' at me until you're sure I know what they mean.

Ray Roche
128 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:41:47
David @125,

Sorry to hear that your back hasn't improved, David. Really troublesome thing.

As for Moyes's strikers, Marcus Bent deserves a mention. 👍🏻

Rob Halligan
129 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:45:25
Mike #122.

Stuart Barlow wasn't called 'Jigsaw' for nothing. He couldn't hit a barn door, but was he a centre-forward? He was definitely an attacking player.

Actually, I take it all back about Barlow, as he scored a belter of a hat-trick against me before he finally made his name at Everton. Every one a 25-yard screamer, I had absolutely no chance with any of them.

Raymond Fox
130 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:46:59
It's a decent bet each season that the same Top 6 will finish there as usual. They are a more attractive destination than us now for the top players – and most of these clubs have deeper pockets than us.

If we produce a top player, we can't keep hold of them. That's a hell of a handicap to overcome; it's going to take a minor (major) miracle.

We keep buying players that the best clubs don't want; that's never going to work.

Ken Kneale
131 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:52:12
Eugene – a fine account of how many felt; well said, as ever.

Your comments are less frequent these days but always worthy of reading.

Graham Mockford
132 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:54:12
Barry 74 and 105,

Here's those ‘Moyes mongers' and a ‘mid table' left back doing the sort of stuff we would give a body part for these days.


Some fans eh

Mike Doyle
133 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:00:44
Rob #129,

I never really saw Jigsaw as a centre-forward. According to Wikipedia, he scored 10 goals for us in 71 apps – which was a surprise to read as I don't recall him scoring any for us. Maybe the 3 he put past you are included in those 10?

David Pearl
134 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:01:55
Ray, aah Marcus Bent. Didn't he replace Rooney? He helped us to that 4th place spot... although l remember him more from a home game when Big Dunc flattened him at a corner, l think. He gave his all though, l also remember that. Not so sure Rondon is doing the same.

Raymond. Now for the second year in a row, 4th place is up for grabs for whoever is ready for it. We are further away than last season... till we get Doucouré and Dom back.

Ray Roche
135 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:06:29

Marcus Bent was the ultimate ‘run the channels' forward but, give the lad his due, he ran his bollocks off every week.

Rondon couldn't run a bath.

Chris Leyland
136 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:15:44
I'm with Eugene – I booed and I booed loudly on Saturday.

I worked hard all week and had paid £72 for me and my lad to watch that shit-show. It ruined my week and put me in a foul mood.

As such, I felt like I'd earned the right to let the players, manager, coaches and directors know that that performance was unacceptable. Booing rather than happy clapping felt the appropriate method of expressing my feelings.

Kieran Kinsella
137 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:25:46
Mike Doyle and Rob Halligan,

Didn't Barlow score 2 or 3 (?) to give us an insurmountable lead over Bolton I think (maybe Oldham?) one year... but second half, they turned us over and we lost 2-3 or 3-4 at Goodison.

That's the only time I recall him scoring.

Kieran Kinsella
138 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:28:28
Okay, I just researched it. It was the FA Cup Round 3 and it was 2-3 versus Bolton. Barlow scored twice, they had a comeback, young Alan Stubbs got their winner. Mike Walker was our manager that day.
Andy Crooks
139 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:30:30
Eugene @121,

Booing is mightily underrated and should be used more often. It is, though, a communal thing.

I was waiting on Derby on Saturday for a £10 treble (Charlton 4/1; Peterborough 5/2) for £831. When their 1-1 draw came through, I wanted to boo them from my armchair but didn't.

Had I been at the game on Saturday, I would have bowed to no-one in booing. It is the only thing they get. The only thing left that connects them to reality.

Supporters shouldn't boo??? Bollocks!!! If I was at the next home game, I'd boo the fuckers on. That's supporting the club and letting the hired hands know that we do not hold them on pedestals, we hold them to account.

Rob Halligan
140 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:34:37
Kieran, wasn't that game a night game? Pretty certain it was, so was probably a cup replay.
Rob Halligan
141 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:37:23

I gave Benitez loads of verbal from the Upper Gwladys Street stand. Obviously he wouldn't have heard me, but it made me feel a damn sight better.

Barry Rathbone
142 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:44:42
Graham Mockford 132

Great that.

Is the footage of them lifting silverware on it's way?

John Boon
143 Posted 25/10/2021 at 21:47:48
Mike (103). You are right in regards to the players we have let go. Few have lived up to their potential – including those you have mentioned (Barkley, Vaughan, Rodwell, Pennington and Dowell). There are plenty more as well.

My question is: Why? Why have so few young players been able to reach the potential that was once seen in them? It takes good coaching and inter-personal skills to draw the very best out of young players.

We have all had teachers who somehow could get the best out of us, along with those who made us want to give up. I can only think that Everton have not hired the right type of teachers (coaches) to help young players reach their full potential.

The likes of Rodwell is an example of a young player who must have decided that he no longer had to work hard because he had "Made It".

I do realize that he had injury problems. The very best players such as Ronaldo and Messi are never satisfied with their own ability and still put more into practice than the average player. Because of that, they also stay fit and are rarely injured.

I am not sure if it is just bad luck that we have some players, such as Delph, who are constantly injured. Eventually, fans and probably players just give up and accept that they are just injury-prone. Are Everton players as fit as they should be? I don't know... I am just confused.

ps: Agreed. We did lose out on Antonee Robinson, who we basically gave away.

Bill Gall
144 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:16:13
Stu #123,

Yes, Gordon is not a #9 but Richarlison has been used before by both Everton and Brazil in this spot. I believe 90% of the supporters on Saturday thought he was being brought on to replace Rondon and not Gordon. It appears Benitez is being stubborn keeping a player on who was ineffective.

Mike Doyle
145 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:28:16
Joe @124,

I must be honest – I've no recollection of John Spencer playing for us. However Wikipedia says he did play a few games in the mid-90s. A case of “blink and you missed him” I suspect.

Bernie Wright made only 11 apps and scored 2 goals for us - but I remember him clearly!

I also recall in the 70s and 80s we had 2 forwards called Mike Walsh (one being the brother of our much derided former DoF, Steve Walsh). Both were more mobile than Rondon but equally hopeless I think and were shipped out after a handful of games.

I think I'll stop these recollections – it's getting depressing.

Don Alexander
146 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:32:13
Mike Gaynes (#103) provides this list of Everton youngsters as those who failed to progress when we got rid of them:- "Barkley? Vaughan? Lundstram? Rodwell? Gibson? Pennington? Dowell?"

He goes on to say, "All names we gushed over at various times, but have we ever regretted letting any of them go?"

Add to that, under Kenwright's tenure, Jeffers, Baxter, Forshaw, Clarke and Garbutt and you really start to have to think, don't you, that Finch Farm is absolutely dross, decade after decade, with Kenwright's luvvies doing their ineffectual stuff, when it comes to producing Premier League talent?

Of course everyone at Finch Farm "gets" Everton, which – allied with being really cheap to employ – is hard-on attractive to the disingenuous git who still masquerades as our serious chairman, permitted as he is by a serially unsuccessful billionaire, Mr McGoo.

Eugene Ruane
147 Posted 25/10/2021 at 22:49:04

The most interesting thing (to me) about booing (specifically Evertonians booing) is that everyone clearly has a different BOOOO!! breaking point.

For me it's actually something I rarely do, but I reserve the right in extreme cases (ie: getting beat 2-5 at home by shite like Watford) to use it.

For others, booing comes much easier and there have been times over the years when I've been seated next to some very angry and committed booers.

George Telfer and his psychosomatic limp?


0-0 at home against Spurs. Moyes brings on a defender?


7 nicker for a pie and a plazzy bottle of pissy lager?


Problem of course with booing everything is when you've REALLY got something to boo, many people will ignore you thinking you're just a very angry person who probably boos when served a cup of tea that's not hot enough.

Anyway everything you need to know can be found in a new book 'Booing Etiquette For Evertonians' by Bull N. Zrode.

Bill Gall
148 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:14:05
I believe it is the club that has prompted the fans to boo as they took the cushions away that they threw.

Everyone has the right to protest as long as it does not become confrontational or violent and booing is no different than clapping, they are both just describing different emotions.

Kieran Kinsella
149 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:44:14
Martin Mason

If you were at Goodson and saw a fellow with dark curly hair warming up on the sideline and the tannoy said “Everton substitution: Number 17 coming on for Tom Davies is the serial killer, Frederick West.” Would you clap or boo?

Barry Hesketh
150 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:51:42
Fred West? League One level at best, Kieran!
Derek Cowell
151 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:55:01
Was Barkley really that much of a failure,e as has been said above?

He came on as a sub on Saturday for Chelsea and almost scored but for a good save by the keeper. He is playing for the European Champions and Premier League leaders. I would definitely have had him in our team against Watford.

Kieran Kinsella
152 Posted 25/10/2021 at 23:56:58
Barry, haha – that would be the ToffeeWeb response!
Martin Mason
153 Posted 26/10/2021 at 08:42:21
I don't think there is a more derogatory term that can be aimed at a so-called team supporter than Boo Boy... and that is correct.
David Pearl
154 Posted 26/10/2021 at 09:11:20
It's not such a bad idea to go for Barkley on a loan next window. He could certainly fill a big gaping hole in our midfield. My first choice would be Bissouma, more of a Doucouré type, although we couldn't afford him.
Des Farren
155 Posted 26/10/2021 at 10:31:18
Barry #127,

Lukaku may have been our "record signing" but he was paid for on the never-never, which rather dilutes your point.

Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 26/10/2021 at 11:02:47
Eugene (147),

Is booing prevalent in other cities? I remember in the early fifties a religious brother at De La Salle, from Glasgow, absolutely hated the sound of booing at sporting events, he was of the view that booing only happened in Liverpool and Glasgow.

I was used to it at Goodison and Anfield and thought it happened everywhere. It was much in evidence at the Liverpool Stadium if the crowd thought the wrong boxer was declared the winner.

I've done a few boos in my time but would prefer the crowd to remain absolutely silent (impossible) when the team runs out at the next home game, let them know they've got to earn those cheers.

Ray Roche
157 Posted 26/10/2021 at 15:48:24

It was me that made those comments Des, and my point is not ‘diluted’ at all. Almost all transfer payments are spaced out over the length of the contract so my point is still valid. Lukaku was our record signing.

Martin Mason
158 Posted 26/10/2021 at 18:47:14
Barkley must never come back to Everton after being a victim of the Boo Boys.
John Keating
159 Posted 26/10/2021 at 19:43:45

if Fred West had replaced Tom on Saturday, I would have clapped for sure.

If Rosemary had come on for Rondon, then I would have cheered.

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