07/11/2023 59comments  |  Jump to last

Former Everton player Phil Neville, has been given a rough reception by fans of MLS side Portland Timbers, where he has been made Head Coach. 

Portland Timbers have named Phil Neville as their head coach on a contract to the end of the 2026 season. Neville, who joined the Canada men’s national team’s coaching staff after leaving Inter Miami in June, replaces Giovanni Savarese at the MLS club.

» Read the full article at The Guardian

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 07/11/2023 at 17:18:15
Pip Neville will be introduced today as the manager of the MLS Portland Timbers, with this warm welcome from their passionate fan base:

“We are deeply disappointed that the club has reportedly settled on a finalist for head coach who has a history of sexist public statements that run counter to our ethos as a club, city and supporters' group, and who also lacks a proven track record as a manager.”

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 07/11/2023 at 23:07:21

My pal Paul Columb (Irish-born Blue, occasional TW poster and Live Forum participant) is a Timbers season ticket holder. I just texted him for his reaction. Will share when he responds.

Paul Ferry
3 Posted 08/11/2023 at 05:00:56
Poor old Pip Neville, Mike G, this is my Timbers mate on snapping up our former skipper.

'just disgusting. Honestly, his horrible tweets wouldn't bother me quite so much if the ownership group wasn't coming fresh off a number of scandals involving protecting a coach who sexually predated on players on the womens' team, creating a hostile working environment for women staff members, potentially covering up for a player on the mens' team who abused his girlfriend, putting pressure on a female employee to not speak out about it, claiming that all the "bad eggs" were now no longer involved in soccer operations but in their own press release making clear they were involved in this hiring AND having the gall to ask the (very upset) fanbase to trust them and say they've totally changed the culture and turned over a new leaf. Hiring a total asshole with a history of misogyny after all that? Jesus'.

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 08/11/2023 at 05:16:35
Mike & Paul;

Given his background Neville probably has the same Agent as Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs and let's be honest, the majority of Premier League managers have won nothing to very little in their closed shop environment, I can think only of Laurie McMenemy and Jose Mourinho who aren't ex-players actually managing clubs. As they say, it's not Rocket Surgery.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 08/11/2023 at 06:38:26
The thing is, Alan, Pip was just hounded out of Miami by an outraged fan base after managing the best player ever to dribble a ball -- a player who no doubt shared his opinion of Pip with management.
Dave Cashen
6 Posted 08/11/2023 at 07:14:47
Paul and Mike.

If you are going to make a list of St Philip's short comings let's not overlook his greatest crime.

His performance against Wigan (0-3) in the quarter final, when it looked as if the draw had green lighted us all the way to Wembley, was quite possibly the worst individual performance I have seen from an Everton player. He was by far and away Wigan's best player.

At least Glen Keeley had the good sense to get himself out of there and a despairing supporter had the good sense to do the same for Alex Nyarko.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 08/11/2023 at 07:38:57
Dave Cashen, did you have to?

Glen Keeley and Alex Nyarko.

I think we could add Per Kroldrup to that list.

Now you've started me.

April 2001. We should have got a free kick, but they get one. They move it about 10 yards forward unchallenged and McAllister squeezes it past Paul "Coco the Clown" Gerrard, who flopped like a wet salmon.

Thanks Dave!

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 08/11/2023 at 07:50:30
I still can't get the half time team talk at Wembley, whilst leading a very poor Liverpool team, that where definitely there for the taking out of my head🤦‍♂️

We knew Liverpool were going to throw everything at us during that second half. They were fucking shite, and we gave them way too much fucking respect out of fear, even though every single one of the 35,000 Evertonians inside that stadium, would have walked through a massive inferno for Everton, on that very sorry day. Fear!

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 08/11/2023 at 08:24:49
Tony, now you're at it!

We had them on the ropes and in the corner. As you say, there for the taking.

We came out second half, changed it and bottled it, leading to me having a heated debate with some red cousins on the way to Wembley Park Stadium.

I don't blame Distin for the mistake, I blame the change in tactics. It was our trophy for the taking if we had believed.

Ian Jones
10 Posted 08/11/2023 at 09:00:54
Tony and Danny,

I couldn't remember too much about the semi-final and how we lost it so looked it up

Here's a link for those that might want to drown their sorrows.


Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 08/11/2023 at 12:04:37
Mike (#5);

Get off it, Mike, George Best passed on years ago.

Dave Cashen
12 Posted 08/11/2023 at 19:14:37
Sorry Danny. Didn't mean to get your day off to a bad start. I think we all have performances which haunt us. Let's leave the past where it belongs on that score, or we'll be here all night.


George Best was electric. The best there's ever been. Never have I seen a man instantly put so much daylight between himself and the defender/s He just beaten.. He was fast. Had gravity defining balance. Instant control and according to legendary "hard man" Ron Yates ( He who we sing about hating ). He also tackled "like a tank"

But greatest dribbler ? Sure best had magical feet, which often took him last 2/3 defenders, but on pure dribbling skills alone. I can't make my mind up between Charlie Cook and Wee Jinky

You'll remember that City had a dribbler when they were really poor called Kinkladze ( think that how you spell it) He liked to Slalom his way through a packed defence too.

Good post. I've always loved players who could weave their way through a crowded defence.

They don't seem to make them like that anymore

Bobby Mallon
13 Posted 08/11/2023 at 19:29:42
Messi is the best player ever( imo) and played in the best footballing team I have ever seen in Barcelona
Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 09/11/2023 at 02:15:58
Bobby (#13);

I don't know how many you've seen but, for me, the best team ever was Brazil 1970, even their centre-half was capable of going past several players.

Gerson ran it and Pele was just the icing, their only weakness seemed to be the goalkeeper.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 09/11/2023 at 06:53:15
I said best player ever to dribble a ball, not best dribbler. Although Messi is among the top five dribblers I have ever seen (I never saw Best or Matthews).

And I truly believe Messi is the best player ever, after carrying Argentina to a World Cup and a Copa America, plus eight Ballons d'Or, 40 club trophies, and more international goals against better competition than Pele.

Eric Myles
16 Posted 09/11/2023 at 07:54:14
Paul #3, tell your mate not to worry, when they win the World Cup or whatever the locals call the trophy there in USA, they'll forget all about what he said in the past.
Ray Roche
17 Posted 09/11/2023 at 08:58:25

By ‘ Wee Jinky’ I’m assuming you mean Jimmy Johnson? Willie Henderson wasn’t too shabby either!

Just two of the many brilliant Scottish players who graced the game.

James Marshall
18 Posted 09/11/2023 at 09:34:13
To be fair, I'll wager most of us came out with some pretty unsavoury shit when we were younger. I know I certainly did - only difference being I'm not in the public eye and I never posted it on the Internet because the Internet didn't exist.

The majority of my views as a younger man are certainly nothing like my views today. One's past shouldn't determine one's future in my view.

On another note, Pip Neville is a terrible manager, and that alone should be the reason they don't want him.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 09/11/2023 at 09:51:47
Is anyone else having difficulty with ToffeeWeb functioning, the headline is covering most of the posts and I can only go so far going from bottom to top, lots of other interference, all other internet articles are okay.
Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 09/11/2023 at 09:56:43
Dave@19. Thank god for that. Thought I needed new glasses. Yeah it's the same for me.
Tony Everan
21 Posted 09/11/2023 at 11:00:24
Dave, Paul, Same here, one page overlaid on another.
Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 09/11/2023 at 11:04:23
Paul and Tony, I've switched my iPad off for half an hour and just put it back on, ToffeeWeb is still fucked up!
Michael Kenrick
23 Posted 09/11/2023 at 11:06:23
Seems pretty serious as it's affecting page casting in both Chrome and Edge for me on my Windows laptop.

Sorry but it's above my pay grade to fiddle with the coding... where's AI when ya need it???

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 09/11/2023 at 11:16:07
Michael (23),

Have a look at that fuckin' name checker. I bet he's finally gone off his nut and interfered with the system, you can't say I haven't warned you about that Dickhead.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 09/11/2023 at 12:03:31
Ask the BBC about AI Michael. They talk about it every day as if they understand it.
Mark Murphy
26 Posted 09/11/2023 at 12:30:07
Same issues with my iPhone. Annoying advert covering the top few lines then another page appearing overlaid on the next few posts…
Ian Jones
27 Posted 09/11/2023 at 13:39:31
Hi, I'm no web expert but are the difficulties people are experiencing on the site down to the poppy being added to the logo in the header.

I quite like the poppy!

Allen Rodgers
28 Posted 09/11/2023 at 14:09:13
No problems on my phone or pc. TW performing as per.
Brian Wilkinson
29 Posted 09/11/2023 at 14:28:33
I think it might be a problem with iOS Dave, I am getting the same issue on my iPad, I have tried on my Android phone and no glitches coming up, it’s only when I go on my iPad the the words are overlaying over the original post.
Ian Burns
30 Posted 09/11/2023 at 15:33:23
I saw George Best live on a number of occasions (and also Stanley Matthews on one occasion Mike) but Best was a joy to watch, the best I had ever seen until Messi came along. I went to many games at the Nou Camp and he was mesmerising. I would put Messi over Best simply because of his achievements were so much greater and the number of years he has put his magic together will never be matched. One oddity about Best was the 1968 European Cup Final, he was anonymous until he scored in extra time. John Aston was Utd's best player that night.

Oh and to comment on the article, Neville should never have a manager's job even in the National League, he has proven time and again he hasn't got a clue.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 09/11/2023 at 15:46:06
Brian (29),

My IPad is working okay now (touch wood). Michael won't admit it but I bet it was that bleedin' name checker!

Tom Finney was my favourite dribbler, beats George Best, for me, because of the length of time he played and his perfect temperament, dribbling and kicking with both feet, a gent on and off the field.

Alfredo Di Stephano was my favourite footballer.

Brian Wilkinson
32 Posted 09/11/2023 at 17:57:09
Same here, Dave, mine is fine now.

Gone over my head about the name checker you are on about, Dave.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 09/11/2023 at 18:10:46
Brian (32), Glad your ToffeeWeb is up and running again.

Don't worry about the name checker, Brian, Michael knows all about him.

Paul Ferry
34 Posted 09/11/2023 at 19:15:53
James M (18): Phil Neville was 34 when he posted about beating his wife up and also, sadly, playing for us.
John Pickles
35 Posted 09/11/2023 at 19:57:06
Paul #34: Except he didn't. It was an ill-judged attempt at humour, which was confirmed by his wife.
Paul Ferry
36 Posted 09/11/2023 at 21:18:47
Sorry, John, I didn't mean to say that he did do this and I know that it was a rather dumb stab at what he thought was funny. Thanks for the opportunity for clarification. His wife later told us, for what its worth, what a fabulous hubby he is and all that and one of the best fellas around
John Pickles
37 Posted 09/11/2023 at 22:57:53
Thanks, Paul, I didn't want anyone reading your post going away thinking he actually was a wife-beater. Next thing you know, it spreads and becomes 'fact'.
Paul Ferry
38 Posted 09/11/2023 at 23:13:33
Absolutely, John, glad you came on to point that out. I just assumed we all knew it was Neville being stupid but you're right and once gossip spreads wings etc.
Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 09/11/2023 at 23:55:08
Dave #31, I'm intensely envious that you saw Di Stefano play. I saw Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer in person, but if there's one player I could go back in time to watch, it would be Di Stefano.

On the question of dribblers, I just got off the phone with a Brazilian former teammate, and he just laughed at some of the names mentioned here. As far as he's concerned, nobody was even close to Garrincha.

John Keating
40 Posted 10/11/2023 at 06:15:11
I would wager most, if not all of us, in the past have said or done something that these days we wouldn't.

Times change and because someone said something years ago they shouldn't be brought up for it now.

Years ago, one of the most popular programmes on telly was "Till Death Do Us Part" and its follow on "In Sickness and in Health" with Alf Garnett. Staple watching for millions each week. In fact, I'm watching a rerun of the later on the telly now.

These days of course it wouldn't be allowed and most of us would be mortified. However, how many of us laughed our bollocks off when it was on every week.

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 10/11/2023 at 07:41:14
I only caught Cruyff and Beckenbauer in their twilight.

But watching documentaries, you can see they were true greats. Players that changed the game. The Cruyff turn and Beckenbauer putting his mark on the modern sweeper role (originally a midfielder).

I watched Maradona and despite England supporters distain towards him because of the hand of god, another of the finest footballers to have graced the field of play.

What about Zidane? Does he belong at the top table? In the modern game, Messi certainly does.

Pete Neilson
42 Posted 10/11/2023 at 07:49:23
Mention of Garrincha reminds me that I read a biography of him during the previous World Cup, “Garrincha: The Triumph and Tragedy of Brazil's Forgotten Footballing Hero”. The title is no exaggeration.

One of only three players to win The World Cup, Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the same competition.

Dave Cashen
43 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:06:30

Yes I was talking about Jimmy Johnson. The one thing that held him back from being all-time world great, was his attitude to the game.

While Maradona, Messi and Best would Leave their opponents for dead, Wee Jinky could not resist coming back to beat them again – "I was always an entertainer first, The pitch was my stage. The whistle meant it was showtime."

My old boss, a big Celtic fan, used to tell me that he would send the Celtic park crowd home dizzy.

Having said all that, he still won multiple leagues and cups (including the European Cup). There was clearly a little more to him than being just an "Entertainer".

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:21:46
Mike (39),

Don't be envious – I only saw Stefano on the box, quite a few times, more than enough to see he could have played any position on the field and look good.

Dave (43),

Jimmy Johnstone one of the many ‘ Tanner ball dribblers' who played in Scotland, I was disappointed he never played at Anfield the night Celtic got beat in the semi-final of a European game, big John Hughes played instead… well he was on the pitch!

Jinky Jimmy might have made a difference to Celtic's close defeat.Tommy Ring was a wizard with the ball as well.

Pete Clarke
45 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:30:15

I've got a book here right next to me called “ Estrella Solitaria “ ( Lonely Star ) which is about the life of Garrincha. A beautiful but ultimately sad read because of the way his life ended.

I bought it as a way to learn Portuguese a few years ago whilst living there briefly.

Most old pro footballers I met in Brazil, including my ex-girlfriend's father who played top level, often mentioned Garrincha as the greatest football player and oddly enough Pele was well down on the list according to many older Brazilians.

Messi for me is the greatest footballer to watch. His millisecond-thinking brain and quick feet were beyond normal and I will often put his highlights on when I'm bored. He took 5 a side football to the big pitch and If it wasn't for him then Xavi and Iniesta would have had a couple of Ballon d'Or trophies.

Another thing with Messi was how tough he was for a tiny player. Probably at his best when angry too.

It's amazing how few players these days have good skills and in fact a lot of top-flight players have little or no skill at all which is sad when you think that we pay good money to be entertained.

There's been very few at Everton for a long time who can get you off your seat.

Brian Harrison
46 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:34:15
Dave @44,

I was lucky enough to see the great Alfredo Di Stefano play live at Old Trafford against Man Utd for Real Madrid. They had Gento, Suarez and Santa Maria in their side and Utd had Charlton, Best and Law.

For me, he is the best all-round centre-forward I have seen, good in the air, ball control excellent, and obviously a good finisher. As you say, Dave, he wouldn't have looked out of place in any position on the field.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:45:35
Brian (46),

I most probably saw that game on TV Brian, I think one of the Man Utd vs Real Madrid games was a friendly game, I think it finished 2-2.

It was on Granada TV and as soon as the game started it cut to the adverts – unbelievable or maybe it not in those days, I think Gerry Loftus was the commentator.

Real Madrid were an excellent team but they should have been because they bought the best from all over the world, they had a good look at Alex Young but never made the effort to buy him. They were like the Harlem Globetrotters – played to entertain but also to win.

Brian Harrison
48 Posted 10/11/2023 at 09:58:58
Dave @47,

Yes, it was the friendly game, when I think back to the quality that was on that pitch that night, I only later in life realized how lucky I was to see them all on one pitch live.

I know it’s a bygone age when footballers weren't over coached and just went on the pitch and displayed their skills.

A time when fans could go to a game and appreciate an opponents skill without having to shout abuse at him for possessing that skill.

When players played the game they loved not for untold riches but just for the joy of being able to display their skills at the highest level.

Dave Cashen
49 Posted 10/11/2023 at 10:01:49

Top man for putting up the correct spelling of Johnstone.

Makes it so much easier to Google and YouTube somebody if you spell their breeding name correctly.

John Keating
50 Posted 10/11/2023 at 10:12:41
Talk of Johnstone brings a real perspective into mind.

Not only were Celtic the first British winners of the European Cup but every player was born within a few miles of Glasgow.

Nowadays there's no chance any team will be full of homegrown players, never mind win anything.

Mind you that's when the Champions of Europe meant something, unlike this crap Champions League nonsense.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 10/11/2023 at 10:37:05
Dave Cashen @43,

Your comment, although informative, gave me flashbacks of watching Peter Beagrie.

Beat a player to go back and beat him again. Only there was often no end product and he infuriated as much as he entertained!

I'm not putting him in the same category, just saying!

Pete Clarke
52 Posted 10/11/2023 at 11:31:24
Who was the last Everton player to really get you off your seat?

Wayne Rooney certainly did but it was all too brief. Peter Beardsley was great to watch and Kanchelskis was definitely one who was worth the entrance fee but otherwise, we've been starved of entertainment for a few decades.

Pete Neilson
53 Posted 10/11/2023 at 12:04:03
Pete, maybe Samuel Eto'o away to Burnley when he rolled back the years.

Besides his two goals, the memorable moment for me was when what seemed like half the Burnley team converged on him and he just strolled out the other side of them with the ball. Too brief a time with us.

Allen Rodgers
54 Posted 10/11/2023 at 12:37:36
Yes Pete Neilson , Samuel Eto'o was pure class. But I would have to go for Lukaku in full flight and memories of him cutting in to the goal, the Park End in particular.
John Pickles
55 Posted 10/11/2023 at 14:04:28
Deulofeu when he first arrived. It was great watching him against defenders who couldn't read him, it became less exciting when, it became obvious, his own teammates couldn't read him either.

Unfortunately, the truth was, as often as not, he didn't even know what he was doing and was exhausted after half an hour anyway.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
56 Posted 10/11/2023 at 14:59:23
Last Everton player to get me out of my seat.

Loads of them each season: "You lazy idiot!!!"

Andrew James
57 Posted 15/11/2023 at 14:25:22
Deulofeu belonged to that recent group of Everton players like Lookman and Barkley where you'd watch and think "nobody can live with him at the moment, he's got them terrified."

I did think Lookman and Geri were thrown on too late in games, often when we needed the winner or were bereft of goals or chances. Whenever they got the ball, they'd be alone up front and expected to beat their entire defence with several tricks and skill sequences. Two of them went down too easily so you can guess where that usually ended.

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 15/11/2023 at 15:40:45
Pete #53, that's easy. Lukaku. Especially 2015 against Chelsea. Out of the corner, slaloming through four guys, spinning Cahill like a top and burying the shot inside the far post. Awesome.

And honorable mention to Rooney scoring from his own half.

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 15/11/2023 at 15:55:51
Mike #58 - yes a superb goal by Lukaku against Chelsea beating 4 men on the way.

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