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February 2008 Archive Want to have your say?

How old is the Yak?

Now I know I'm guna get some stick for this post, and the only reason I'm posting it is that it made me laugh today in work. I am currently 2 weeks through a month working trip (sentence) in Lagos, Nigeria ? Apapa Docks to be more precise. After having another strange meal in the canteen on site(bushmeat stews and that), I got talking to a local, who was either called Gooner, or was an Aresnal fan.

After a short interagation, he told me the Yak's real age... he told me the Yak was quite a skilled painter, and he went to the same college as his brother ? his brother is 34!!!!!!

He seemed quite serious, and he was much bigger than me, so I wasn't going to call him a liar. After hearing this, I've put another local on the case.

Is he really 25? Personally, I couldn't care if he keeps banging them in (but £11 million for a 34-year-old is abit scary). Anyway, I will let you know more after my investigation: How old is the Yak?
Mark Culbert     Posted 27/02/2008 at 20:27:06   Comments (2)

Seeing is believing

I have been watching Everton since the early 70's, more years than I care to remember! In that time there have been many highs and too many lows.

For most of that time, if I am honest, I have travelled more in hope than any other emotion (apart from despair). The only exception was the mid 80s. League titles, cup finals and magical nights in Europe... marvellous.

Having spent most of the 70s and early 80s hoping for better times, the success of the subsequent years took some time to get used to. I just didn't expect us to win games, let alone whole competitions! I think I just about got there when it was suddenly all over.

Since then the FA cup in 95 has provided some silverware (more than most see in a lifetime) but I have all too quickly reverted to my 70's mindset; not expecting too much, not expecting us to win.

This season has changed my mindset back to that of the 80s. I now expect us to win every game. Of course we won't, but that's not the point.

The bar has been well and truly raised. We only need one trophy and I think more will follow. If it's not this season it will be next; but City twice is definitely on as is 4th. I believe again!
Steve Guy     Posted 27/02/2008 at 20:16:17   Comments (12)

Forget about fourth

Let?s stop all this talk of finishing fourth. We are only five points behind Chelsea and are still to play them at Goodison. No reason why we shouldn?t be pushing for third this season. That's what I want to see Moyes and the rest of us concentrating on from now on.

Incidentally, it would be nice for those who only post on here after we have had a bad result to write something positive. I want to hear your opinions on our current form and whether you may have had a change of heart regarding Moyes. I am not being provocative, or having a go at any particular individual here but your views would make interesting reading.
Shaun Sparke     Posted 25/02/2008 at 22:59:28   Comments (16)

Now That's What I Call... Class!

No doubt like many, I was cursing not having Our 'Tater on board and Davey's decision to go back to 4-5-1. However, I have no hesitation in saying that was one of the most professional and well-organised displays our lads have put together in a potentially difficult top-flight Premier contest for a while, and it reveals a increased maturity about DM and the team.

I thought the defence was immense - obviously Jags (again!) and Yobo, but everyone else - including our defensive midfield. Hibbo had his best game for ages and completely nullified City and Petrov in particular! The midfield looked sparky on the counter and the Yak looked colossal up-front. I'll leave it to others and our superb away support to comment - but think that away win, at Fortress Eastlands, against a supposedly buoyant CL rival, ranks up there with any this year. It could have been 4- or 5-0 too! Superb lads ? keep it up on Sunday!
David Edwards     Posted 25/02/2008 at 22:36:31   Comments (8)

Refereeing descisions

Will we ever get a penalty decision or any decent decisions for us. We been denied two blatant penalties. This is getting annoying now. The state of refereeing this season as been atrocious!
Trevor Thompson     Posted 25/02/2008 at 21:33:00   Comments (31)

Hibbert likely to start?

As Hibbert played so well with keeping Petrov out of the game last time out, maybe this is a game we should be hoping he starts?

I know he has come into alot of critism lately especially around these parts, but like AJ was on Thursday, maybe he is only one game away from redeaming himself!?

I would like to think so anyway!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 25/02/2008 at 17:25:10   Comments (5)

AJ revisited

I'd just like to say that I'm well happy with AJ's contribution against Brann. I only just got to see the highlights on EvertonTV.

He's come in for a lot of stick on these pages recently, which I can only partially understand. He's been an incredible servant for the club and a model of how I would like all Everton players to conduct themselves.

I think he showed that he can have a future at Everton, if used effectively. He scored 2 absolute corkers and was really unlucky not to have a 3rd. He also made the Yak's 2nd with his running and played a big part in Arteta's goal.

Fair enough it was against Brann and not Man U or Barcelona, but those 2 strikes (3 including the post!) would have beat pretty much any keeper. Anyway, I really hope he kicks on now and gets on a scoring run.

While no player is above criticism, I feel it's too early to write him off as a future Toffeeman. He's not had a great season so far, but let's get behind him and hope he finishes it on a flyer.
Richard Parker     Posted 25/02/2008 at 10:27:58   Comments (29)

Uefa Cup Qualification

Guys, there seems to be a number of threads suggesting that Uefa Cup qualification through the league is only from 5th spot. However I beleived that this season we had 4 spots awarded as 1 for the Carling Cup, 1 for the FA Cup and 2 for the league therefore being 5th & 6th, as demonstrated in this link.

Also a further 3 places are available across Europe for fair play awards and further spots can be obtained if English clubs win the Champions League and Uefa Cups. Can anyone give a definitive answer as to whether 6th spot is automatic qualification?

Having said all that lets beat City tonight and go for 4th anyway!
David Whitwell     Posted 25/02/2008 at 08:34:08   Comments (14)

Biggest Threat?!

Just finished watching Villa beat a very poor Reading side (well at least on the day) and Villa are now on the same points as us and we have a very big game Monday night that if we lose will really mix things up for run in for 4th/5th/6th.

My question is, who is our biggest threat for those positions given the remaining fixtures? I did the BBC Premier League predictor and I have us 5th just ahead of Villa by 3 points and 6 points ahead of City...
Mark Griffiths     Posted 24/02/2008 at 14:20:35   Comments (23)

Hobnailed Boots

I was just applauding the success of twinkle toes Jimmy Mac's heroic double to save brummies a point, when the full horror of that broken leg tackle unfolded....... We've all played footy at one time or another and you know in that split second whether you are in with a shout of getting the ball or if you are going to cripple the guy....

The odd accident aside, it's as deliberate as a smack in the gob. I don't know if it's just my perception or not, but in the old days of flapping shorts and steel toe-capped hobnailed boots, there hardly ever seemed to be any injuries. Most players would play every game, all season.

Nowadays with higher skill and fitness levels, why don't the players themselves sort it out ? look at rugby self discipline... I thought the days of the dirty Leeds of Bremner, the giraffe and Norman Hunter, were over...

What will the fine be??? Or will he go down for GBH? if I did it, I'd be eating porridge for a long long time. COYB
Dave  Walsh     Posted 24/02/2008 at 10:51:27   Comments (27)

More than a bit too touchy

I wonder what the Nigerian FA thinks about Yakubu's late return from the African Cup? Has it offered any form of compensation or suggested reprobation or censure. The Nigerian FA was responsible for Yakubu and he was under its control from the moment he left England up to his return.

Perhaps such things are acceptable to the Nigerian FA? It is a pity the Nigerians are not so sensitive to the problem one of its players created for Everton.
Dick Fearon     Posted 24/02/2008 at 02:50:27   Comments (36)

Another taker for free kicks on goal??

Was watching the highlights of the overnight games and saw McFadden score a cracker from a free kick outside the box. Also noticed Simon Davies score a few from free kicks this season as well. Now as much as I rate Arteta I still have found myself asking the question many a time this season, "Is he the best man for our free kicks on goal?"

Arteta's crosses from free kicks in search of finding Cahill's or Lescott's head are exceptional and would undoubtedly cause sleepless nights for goalkeepers, but I feel he doesn't have that killer finish to put the ball in the back of the net. Yes, he has the flair and touch but seems to lack the power to get it past the keeper when he does get the ball on goal from the free kick.

Do we need to start to share the responsibility as the Fernandes effort a couple of games back was a cracker??
Steve Pendleton     Posted 24/02/2008 at 02:32:19   Comments (16)

Should they stay or should they go?

David Moyes has admitted that he would like to keep Steven Pienaar on a permanent basis at the end of the season. Have we seen the best of the South African midfielder? There is believed to be an agreed price of £2.5million for the permanent transfer of the Borussia Dortmund playmaker, does this represent good value for money and yet another sound signing by David Moyes?

Moyes will also have to decide on the futures of Pienaar, as well as Manuel Fernandes and Tommy Gravesen. With the strange goings on regarding third party ownership of Portuguese midfielder Fernandes, should we get involved? Is he good enough to command a big transfer fee like the £12million being banded about?

Tommy Gravesen is enjoying his second spell at Goodison, but do we really need to keep him at the club after his loan spell expires? He was a fantastic servant to the club in his first spell and it was devastating to see him leave for Real Madrid, but does the Danish midfielder still hold the same influence over the midfield battle as he used to?

It remains to be seen what Moyesey will do but, if his track record in the transfer market is anything to go by, it is almost certain he will make the right choice in the best interests of the club.
Daniel Gregory     Posted 24/02/2008 at 01:20:23   Comments (6)

What to do with Andy van der Meyde?

Is it time for David Moyes to put Andy van der Meyde out of his misery and let him leave Goodison?

The troubled Dutch winger arrived at Everton with a big reputation, and a lot was expected of him. But problems off the field have seen the player struggle to perform when given his limited first team opportunities. Is it now time to let the player go, or would we be missing out on the talent that may eventually come out if he is given a little more time?

The former Inter Milan winger has shown (very) brief glimpses of what he is about, and his ability to beat a man and whip in a good cross; could he go on from there if given a chance?

We aren't exactly blessed with an array of wingers at the club at present, and haven't had an out-and-out quality winger since the depatures of the mecurial Russian Andrei Kanchelskis, and the Swede Anders Limpar. So would it be too soon to let him go without reaping the rewards of his talents on the pitch?

There is no doubt the lad has his problems, drinking said to be the main one. The question is, can he put them aside and find his form on the pitch for Everton?
Daniel Gregory     Posted 24/02/2008 at 01:18:41   Comments (4)

Gardner... Why?

Getting Pienaar signed up soon will be an outstanding piece of business, but not a surprising one. It is exactly how the Tim Howard deal worked last year ? except with Pienaar we do not have to worry about any gentlemen's agreement. We can safely call EFC a ?savvy? club when it comes to player transfers.

Moyes, by all accounts, is the best when it comes to scouting defensive talent. Krøldrup aside, he has signed some outstanding defenders in Yobo, Lescott, Jags, and Baines. Which leads me to my question ?Why has he signed Anthony Gardener? Has Moyes seen something in him that Spurs (who have been one of the worst defensive units in the recent past) can?t see? Moyes is not to type to panic buy, even on loan and especially defenders. Gardener will find first team appearances tough to come by at this stage of the season with Lescott, Yobo and Jags fighting it out for the central defensive spots; so why is he here? Does Moyes see him as a potential squad player?

Gardner is injury prone, others are ahead of him in the pecking order, and I can only thinkhe was only bought for short term and loan won?t be renewed.

On the other hand, p[erhpas Moyes sees in him a long-term imposing Center Back, both for cover and for a time when he might want to use a 5 man defense (I know I?ve just committed blasphemy)
Nigel Gregson     Posted 24/02/2008 at 00:03:57   Comments (1)

How many tickets for Fiorentina?

Considering Fiorentina' s average gate is just over 31,000 and their capacity is just over 47,000, do you think Everton FC will actually learn the lessons of all our European travels this season and ask for an amount of tickets comensurate to our travelling support? Do we think they've got the gist of how many fans we are likely to take to Italy? I personally believe we could take 6,000 to Italy and will not be happy if we receive less than 4,500 tickets. Let's hope BK,KW et al will come up with the goods!!
Tommy Gibbons     Posted 23/02/2008 at 22:29:39   Comments (1)

Everton Fans Player Fund

50,000 Everton fans to invest £200 each to raise £10 million. Anyone think this could be a realistic proposal to compete with the elite/rich teams? This could help fund the squad and buy that special player we need to challenge the top 4 year-in year-out. I have heard a few other fans suggest this on other forums, I dont think this is impossible, the fans wantt success and they could potentially buy it! An extra £10million could go along way. Sorry if this has already been suggested....
James Hazlehurst     Posted 23/02/2008 at 20:39:17   Comments (29)

Uefa Cup Final

Now I know that it is too early to be thinking about the Uefa cup final, but after looking on the Uefa website, I found a page about the ticketing arrangements for the Uefa Cup Final. The City of Manchester Stadium holds a capacity of 44,000 and 7,000 tickets will be allocated to the 'European football family' which consists of commercial partners, local organising committees etc. 13,000 tickets will be given to each club to distribute to their supporters. And finally, a further 11,000 will be sold worldwide on uefa.com, and this will be done by a 'lottery scheme.' You basically apply for a ticket and then after the dealine has passed, 11,000 people are picked out of a hat and they will have a ticket. Although its early days, lets all apply for tickets and get a few more blues going to city twice. All the information on the ticket allocations and the link for applying for these tickets can be found on this website. COYB!!!!!
John Murphy     Posted 23/02/2008 at 14:26:43   Comments (10)

Piennuts

This very poor play on words in the title is meant to describe my delight on hearing that, as was hoped for (and maybe expected), Pienaar will sign for the Blues in the Summer.

What's made me even happier is that the fee was pre-agreed! I reckon liitle Peanut's form this season would otherwise have added at least a couple of million to the fee.

A shrewd piece of business indeed. There is little doubt he brings both guile and width to the team and was sorely missed whilst away in Africa. His return could make all the difference over the next few months both in Uefa and the EPL.
Steve Guy     Posted 23/02/2008 at 14:19:45   Comments (19)

Next Year in Europe (UEFA Co-Efficients)

Just checked and

1. We are now 3rd in terms of points from this year's matches (ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea!)

2. Our points for next year is already 40.305 which puts us 56th overall in Europe

3. That ranking would have put us 15th in this year's UEFA Cup qualifying round - we were actually the 34th seeded club

4. That ranking would have made us 12th seeds in the 2005 Champions League Qualifiers

For me that shows how much progress we have now made - how much easier it will be in the future as we will get drawn against weaker teams and finally how vital it is that we make it back into Europe to cement the position we now have.

This is just soooo Good!
Phil Roberts     Posted 23/02/2008 at 12:06:24   Comments (4)

Midget Gems

I've been reflecting on some of the fan's concerns for the size of some of our current squad. I was actually reading an epitaph of Brian Harris (A Midget Gem Himself) and began to think that all of our successful teams during my time as a fan (1958 onwards) have contained "Midget Gems". I'll start a list please feel free to add any I havent mentioned.

  • Alex Young - the finest header of a ball for his size.
  • Roy Vernon - The Welsh Wizard - one of the few players I've ever seen who from Kick off could dance around the opposition and put the ball in the net.
  • Alan Ball - dont need to say anything = LEGEND.
  • Colin Harvey - another great ball player.
  • Dave Thomas - tricky little winger who provided a lot of Joe Royle's goals.
  • Duncan McKenzie - You had to foul him to get the ball off him (even our own players aswell).
  • Andy King - the bain of the RS.
  • Paul Bracewell - one of the best box to box players.
  • Adrian Heath - Inchy - Sharpy's inspirational sidekick.
  • Tony Cottee - fine goalscorer.
  • Anders Limpar - one of the most Skillfull wingers ever
  • Graham Stuart - A true pro.

Jay Harris     Posted 23/02/2008 at 10:44:50   Comments (11)

Ball retention

It may seem odd after a 6 ? 1 win that any of us could find reasons to complain about the performance, but I feel that our ball retention and passing could and should have been much better. Ok what does it matter, the game is all about scoring goals and that is something we did in abundance. But if we do harbour aspirations of competing with the very best then we must learn to hold onto the ball once we have won possession.

I have seen too many average teams come to Goodison and out-pass us in the middle of the park. Something is still missing in our midfield. I love the idea of Pienaar, Arteta and Fernandes playing together as they are all capable of adding that extra bit of creativity. However, we need to find somebody who can act as a fulcrum and bring a little cohesion to the midfield. Osman, Cahill and Carsley are all good players I agree, but they have not got the ability to provide the link between attack and defence.

Fernandes has the ability to spot a pass that other players could never see. I saw signs on Thursday that, despite an annoying habit of giving the ball away in dangerous places through over-elaboration, Fernandes could develop into one of the best midfielders we have seen for a long time. If Moyes can bring in that elusive ball winner/playmaker in the summer and sign Pienaar and Fernandes permanently then I think we will have the basis of a very good team who may even have the credentials to put more than a little pressure on the top 3.
Shaun  Sparke     Posted 23/02/2008 at 11:06:23   Comments (4)

Best finisher I've seen

Yak is the finest finisher I have seen in a Blue shirt in my lifetime — I'm 28. The only ones who could maybe contest this are Cottee and Lineker, but in my opinion Yak just edges it. I have waited until now to voice my view, because I wasn't sure when he signed how he would fit in to our style of play. But I am now chuffed to say that Moyesie got it right when he shelled out for him, and it pleases me that he's putting himself about for the team as well...
Danny Broderick     Posted 23/02/2008 at 01:36:51   Comments (25)

No need for Z-Cars?

Seeing as we came out last night and played some of the best football of the season without Johnny Keating and his band stirring up emotions in the background.. maybe its time to ditch it! ;)

Also, can anyone remember what the name of the song that the Brann fans were singing that reminded me of an old kids programme?
Ric  Wallace     Posted 22/02/2008 at 19:47:50   Comments (10)

4-4-2 for City?

Last night's performance was great and should do confidence the world of good for the massively important City game coming up on Monday. There were two major things i took from the game:

1) Pienaar's importance to the team is huge - its no coincidence that he comes back into the team and we find our scoring boots again - He had FOUR assists last night, played a big part in a fifth and hit the post. He has more assists than any other Everton player this season.

2) Despite reports to the contrary, it would seem that both Cahill and Johnson/Yakubu can play in a 4-4-2 effectively. Cahill played better than he has for a while and AJ and Yak showed us that potentially they can form the strike force that we all want them to be.

AJ's confidence will be back up now after two great goals (both from outside the box!) and with Cahill showing he can perform in a 4-4-2 and Pienaar creating opportunities as well as taking some of the pressure off Arteta to be our creative spark, I really hope Moyes will now persist with this system for the City game.
Seamus Murphy     Posted 22/02/2008 at 13:22:19   Comments (38)

Away Games

Is it likely that the match away at Sunderland will go ahead on 8th March (2 days after our jaunt to Italy)? Usually weekend games following a Thursday UEFA fixture get moved to the Sunday but there's no suggestion of this on the the Official Site.
Mark Stone     Posted 22/02/2008 at 10:17:06   Comments (3)

Moyes was right

Having seen last night's game and then reading Sky Sports News today, I can clearly see that Moyes chose well in the transfer market last summer.

Last night we saw a goalscorer on top of his game in the form of Yakubu. I was a little worried intially when he started the season and then again when he went AWOL. But he has proved to Moyes, his team-mates and us the fans how important he is.

It makes it all the more satisfying when read that Redknapp will not stand in the way of "£6 million" Nugent if he wants to join Championship side Ipswich. He obviously wasn't ready for the PremierLeague as Moyes had guessed and certainly not worth the money Portsmouth paid for him.

Pinnear has been an absolute revelation. He has sparked our team in to a different dimension when he is playing. Just needs to stop going over too easily.

Last night I could have seen James Beattie blasting Yakubu's third over the bar. Another player who is finding it easier in the Championship.

Roll on the Red Shite getting knocked out of the Champions League, Everton winning the Uefa Cup and grabbing that 4th Champions League spot while Beneath Us finally gets the sack (or stays on if we want them to keep doing crap!)
Peter Keating     Posted 22/02/2008 at 09:40:58   Comments (10)

How old is the Yak?

Just a slightly worrying comment from Mr Moyes in the wake of our excellent win last night... when talking about The Yak he said:

"When you consider he is 24, albeit a Nigerian 24, so if that is right he has got a good few years ahead of him.?

I really hope he said that tongue in cheek and we do actually know for definate how old he is. I'm sure the club will have done their homework and it was just a joke, but still got me worried none the less.
Andy Hudson     Posted 22/02/2008 at 09:43:52   Comments (23)

Whither Leighton Baines?

These days it`s a brave man who passes an opinion on this site which is contrary to` the club line` so I`ll content myself with posing a question. Whither Leighton Baines? Since his much hyped and very expensive move from Wigan, the little fellow has made only 10 Premier starts and is now regarded as the manager`s third choice left-back. True, he has been serially injured ? having been signed in such condition ? but we are coming into March and he is still a very peripheral figure.

My own view, for what it`s worth, is that Moyes slipped up with this one and already recognises the fact. Too small, too fragile and too easily by-passed is my suspicion...
Colin  Tunstall     Posted 22/02/2008 at 08:52:18   Comments (17)

Fittest player in Prem

In terms of fitness, I have to say AJ must be amoung the top few.

When he first arrived he was doing all his running but couldn't hack it for more than 60-70 mins. For me, this was accepted as I thought it impossible to put it that kind of work effort over 90 mins!

The past few games though, he has been doing it consistently for 90 mins albeit without too many goals to show. Can anyone else think of a player who can do as much work/running as AJ for 90 mins? The guy just won't give any defender any time at all!

I can see it rubbing off on the rest of the team and especially the Yak.
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 22/02/2008 at 07:32:44   Comments (3)

Spoilt for choice

Watching tonight's game was one of the most enjoyable for a long time. Not only did we have a strong first eleven we had a really strong subs bench with real genuine options. On top of that we had Joseph Yobo and Thomas Gravesen fit and ready in the stands.

I can't remember the last time an Everton Manager had so many quality players at his disposal and this bodes well for the season's run in. It means if any of our players form or fitness dips there will be another player ready and able to step in.

The other pleasing thing was how together the squad are, even the likes of Leon Osman and James Vaughan who had no involvement tonight looked genuinely pleased for their team mates who had done the business out on the pitch.
Karl Graham     Posted 21/02/2008 at 22:33:49   Comments (25)

Six of the best

What a beautiful scoreline. Six goals and a comprehensive thrashing. One of the collateral benefits of handing out a hiding - even to a relatively limited team such as the Norwegian Champions, is that it makes other teams a little more defensive minded, a little more wary, and of course that plays into our hands. The question is whether we are prepared to be as positive and as aggressive in our remaining games. It's time to say goodbye to the lonely striker running for scraps...
Peter  Fearon     Posted 21/02/2008 at 21:53:37   Comments (25)

Everton vs FC Brann

Strong Line up and Bench tonight Howard Neville Lescott Jags Yobo Arteta Cahill Carsley Pienaar AJ Yakubu Subs Wessells, Hibbert, Baines, Osman, Fernandes, Vaughan, Anichebe
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 21/02/2008 at 19:26:15   Comments (44)

Time to move on

If one thing can hold back Everton from becoming a real force in the land it`s sentimentality. The news that Carsley is to be offered yet another one year deal says it all for me.

Worthy servant though the little man has been, he ? like Gravesen ? is well past his sell-by date and should soon be moved on.

Can you imagine one of the Big Boys re-signing such a limited player? Of course not, but Moyes has a soft spot for bald headed old `uns and just can`t pull the plug.

At a time when he should be moving us on with a dynamic midfield signing he clings to the past. What's the betting AJ will still be running up dead ends in 2015?
Brian  Noble     Posted 21/02/2008 at 17:59:04   Comments (24)

4 Place = UEFA Cup?

An horrendous thought was returned to my conscience yesterday having watched Inter's feeble attempt to ?achieve? a draw rather than a decisive away win.

The dreaded "what if?" scenario, the unthinkable: what if the red lot were to somehow win the Champions League this year ? and lets face it, the hugely improbable has happened before. AND if Liverpool finished outside the top 4 in the PL with the big 3 on sat on EFC?s shoulders?

Based on the fact that only 4 Premier League teams are permitted entry to the CL including the last CL winner, then the holder of the PL fourth place straight away becomes UEFA cup fodder. We would have achieved 4th only to get a slap in the face.

Yet again the Blues could be faced with being shifted sideways ? well more like shafted by our red neighbours. It could happen and whilst it's not life and death the possibility is an extremely irritating thought.

In the meantime were doing great, we want more and us fans will continue to support the boys to help ensure continued success. But let's just hope that sooner rather than later, they do get the proper seeing to on the big stage they deserve, otherwise they could get ideas of grandeur ? and OUR TIME IS NOW.
Andrew Gilbert     Posted 21/02/2008 at 16:38:03   Comments (11)

Gazza: Sad to read

This article appears on the BBC website today. It's a shame to see how far from grace this once great player has fallen. He may not have been at Everton for long, but he was certainly an entertainer on his day and I hope he can, with the right help, get some kind of handle on his life before he pays the ultimate price.

Incidentally, note the good old Beeb ignoring us again. Check the list at the end of the article naming the clubs they say Gazza played for. No mention of us, I see.
Tom Edwards     Posted 21/02/2008 at 15:48:09   Comments (6)

Sir Paul The Toffee

So its confirmed, Macca is definately a blue. Of course he is! So Bill, how about a cheeky question to Sir Paul.... maybe along the lines of ? "Would you be interested in investing some of your millions into Everton FC?"

Its got to be worth a try, hasn't it?
Craig Taylor     Posted 21/02/2008 at 13:15:14   Comments (7)

45 for Van der Man?

With a fully fit squad available for the 2nd leg v Brann ? 2 away goals in the bag ? I was thinking is it worth givign Van der Meyde 45 minutes tonight?

I know we have Peanuts, Harry Hill, Arteta, Ossie, Timmy, Manny and Mad Dog all in with a shout for a place, but now finally injury free, is this not a good opportunity to give Van 45 to gain some much needed match practice/put in the shop window?
Si Harwood     Posted 21/02/2008 at 12:08:17   Comments (47)

Moyes and Kenwright

A number of recent posts talk about how good Moyes is and how Kenwright must go yesterday.

I wish these people would get real. Both of these people back each other (publically) totally. There is no hint of any discord between them. So if we trust Moyes ? and we do and must ? then we have to trust his belief in Kenwright. After all, he is the one who knows the real Kenwright much better than (virtually) any supporter!

I think there is a significant possibility that if one goes, then so will the other (shortly after).

COYB
Laurence Hart     Posted 21/02/2008 at 08:49:34   Comments (37)

Bellefield money for Kirkby?

So the report in the Echo says that the money we have got from the sale of Bellefield was on the premise that it would be used to go towards funding a new stadium.... from none other than LCC. I'm confused,does 'Destination Kirkby' fall within the boundaries of LCC? Is there another agenda? Does LCC mean for a stadium within the Liverpool boundary? My head hurts!
Paul Henshaw     Posted 20/02/2008 at 20:49:37   Comments (26)

A fully fit squad!

I just read that we have a fully fit sqaud for Brann. I can't wait to see Pienaar back again!

This is where we wanted to be. Another post asks is there reason to be cheerful? Of course there is. I think most would have said when the African lads went that if we could stay in and around 4/5 then we could push on when they come back. Now they are back, fit and rested after the weekend off.

Finally we will have options in midfield again. I for one am very optimistic and am confident we can go to City and win (after beating Brann of course!)
Paul Lenehan     Posted 20/02/2008 at 11:21:43   Comments (29)

Reasons to be cheerful..... ?

Just having a mild moment of trepidation here and wondering if anyone else is feeling the same? Whereas I am sure that we will do just fine against Brann in the second leg at Goodison on Thursday, my focus has been pulled back to the league.

Perish the thought that we should lose against Man City but, should it happen, we could find ourselves in 7th position only just ahead of Portsmouth on goal difference with the same points (44). Am I being negative but right now I would bite a hand off for a guaranteed draw right now!

I shan't ramble on about the 2 key "refereeing" decisions that have cost a probable 4 points. However, how much better things would look if we were sitting on 51 points now and with a 2 goal better goal difference and of course Liverpool on 2 points fewer (42) and in 8th place! The blue blood has started to boil again so I shall leave that point aside as it is over, but I pray that we get a dodgy decision or two that go our way in this "run in".

Yes, I know we are currently "riding high" but how quickly (in 2 matches) that could all change. So anyway, back to my point can anyone out there give me reasons to be cheerful? Perhaps by saying that from now until the end of the season (somehow), we will start playing some encouraging football again and find some of the style we had in late 2007, and have lost in 2008?
Steve Woods     Posted 19/02/2008 at 18:11:16   Comments (32)

Best 11 since our last trophy??

A young Everton supporter asked me the other day "What would be your best 11 since winning the FA Cup in 1995?" This got me thinking and thinking and here's what I came up with:

Nigel Martyn
David Weir
Dave Watson
Joleon Lescott
David Unsworth
Mikel Arteta
Thomas Gravesen (first time)
Gary Speed
Andrei Kanchelskis
Kevin Campbell
Wayne Rooney

I'm sure there are better but this is what I came up with; not a bad side??
Chris Keightley     Posted 19/02/2008 at 15:09:42   Comments (73)

Looking for some Everton reading...

I'm a yank who fell in love with Everton and the EPL 2 years ago and have become a fervent supporter (as much as one can be on this side of the pond).

Thanks to ToffeeWeb, I have been able to gain a layman's understanding of where we stand today, but I'd like to know more about Everton. Can anyone recommend a book or two for me to read to better understand the richness of our club's history and culture?

I'd prefer a player biography if possible (tends to be a more engaging read), but if there is a 'history of the club' that is a must read, please let me know about that too. I'm looking for a good read that will help me dive deeper into the club. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I'm familiar with the names of some of the club's greats, but have no favorites (yet) and am hoping to find one or two through this process.

Thanks for your help. COYB!
Chris Brown     Posted 19/02/2008 at 03:05:19   Comments (29)

Trams and Stadia

I read with interest that the Merseytram scheme is back on the agenda.

I was more than disappointed when the icliverpool site stated that Line 1's business case had improved to 2:1 because of the Kirkby Stadium development. As a former consultant to the project when I was UK-based, I think it's unwise to use a development that still may be called in, and has so much oposition to it.

I'm not provoking a pro- or anti-Kirkby debate ? merely pointing out to the good tax payers of Liverpool that this is your money. The original Merseytram scheme had a positive cost-benefit ratio. It was screwed by Government. To use a potential stadium development as a case for justifying ridership / revenue merely weakens, rather than strengthens the case, in my opinion.
Matt Traynor     Posted 19/02/2008 at 01:47:01   Comments (8)

One Uefa Cup spot

Whilst we all had a good laugh at Liverpool on Saturday, their demise has brought nearer the real possibility that there may only be one Uefa Cup place available via the league this year. If Spurs win the Carling Cup (very possible) and if Man Utd draw Chelsea in the semis of the FA Cup(possible), then we will have to finish 5th to quality for Europe.

Like everyone else I still hope and believe we can go into the Champions League but the line between success and failure is going to be very very fine. The Man City, Liverpool and Villa games are going to be enormous and we are going to need a minimum of 5 points and possibly 7 to make sure we travel abroad next year.

With the other three clubs having a lot more money than us European qualification next year is vital to keep things moving along and it is going to be a tense couple of months...
John Doolan     Posted 18/02/2008 at 18:24:29   Comments (31)

Anichebe ? the new Ferguson??

I have had the pleasure of watching Victor Anichebe since he was about 15-16 years old; his ability and strengh was evident then. This season he has shown he is ready to mix it at the highest level; he has attributes that mirror Big Dunc ? strong, in-your-face centre-forward that I love. His goals in Europe ? and especially the one where he shoulder-barged a centre-back on the way to scoring, ? are memorable; he is clearly learning his trade off the Big Yak... and similarities could be drawn. Fingers crossed, we have unearthed a new Ferguson!!
Chris Keightley     Posted 18/02/2008 at 16:44:28   Comments (61)

Talking Bill

Just read Bill's pledging millions story in the Echo and wondered if someone could decipher it for me. I stupidly thought this might be a factual piece explaining how Bill intends to inject money into the team and the mechanisms at work behind his masterplan. I've read it through a couple of times and can't see how the story relates to the headline.

I know I'm not the brightest blue, so maybe some of the more enlightened members of this forum could explain what it all means. I'm particularly confused about the reference to rabbits and how much money Spurs spend in a day, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Marcus  Dawson     Posted 18/02/2008 at 13:27:12   Comments (57)

Fourth or sixth on the European coefficients-list?

In the front-page article about the Uefa coefficients it says: "(Shouldn't we be sixth as we have played one more game than Arsenal and Chelsea?)"

Yhis to suggest that Everton's coefficient of 16.8360 points, equal to Chelsea and Arsenal, is less impressive because we had an extra match to reach it. But Arsenal and Chelsea got 4 (four!!) points for free as every team that plays in the Champions League group stage gets three points just for being there and another point is gained by qualifying for the round of 16 in the CL. To compare: the first "free" point earned in the Uefa Cup is given if you reach the quarter finals. These extra points are, amongst others, to make up for the 'loss' of 4 matches when the second group stage of the CL was abandoned.

So methinks we're doing great. We're the first team on the list not to have received those freebees. Only Man Utdand Hamburger SV have draw once and won the rest in Europe this year, and I dare to say that we had a tougher draw in the Uefa Cup than Hamburg had. If anything, we really should be higher in any logical sense! Just shows how much Uefa rates the CL and the Uefa Cup equally... NOT!
Erik Dols     Posted 18/02/2008 at 12:17:05   Comments (10)

Brian Harris

Sad to hear of the passing of another great Evertonian, Brian Harris. 360 appearances, League Championship & FA Cup Winners medals, Brian's record speaks for itself. An excellent player fondly remembered.
Ian  Pilkington     Posted 17/02/2008 at 18:15:14   Comments (11)

Gardner.... why?

I am just curious... I completely understand Moyes letting Stubbs go ? but we obviously needed some cover right away, in case of injuries and supsensions. So why, oh why did we sign (on loan) a player who ARRIVED with an injury ? and is STILL injured! This seems rather pointless! Surely there must have been a fit defender available on loan for 5 months from somewhere?! It seems very strange to have signed as cover for injuries etc. an injured player!
James Carroll     Posted 17/02/2008 at 17:19:21   Comments (19)

Have you guys seen the scores from today?

Liverpool 1 - 2 Barnsley....

AAAAAAAAhahahahahahaha!!!!!
Viv Sharma     Posted 16/02/2008 at 17:13:47   Comments (92)

A Tale of Two Clubs

Let me tell you a story of two footballing clubs. Our visit to Bergen to watch the mighty Blues against SK Brann will forever be embedded in our minds for some fantastic reasons and, unfortunately, some sour ones also.

On the Morning of the match we decided to make the trek to the ground to get a glimpse of their stadium. We walked up to the ground and was met at a gate by an old guy. He gave us a brief history of the club and casually threw into the conversation that he played for Brann in the 50s. His name was Hans Bjonn Skaqen, he played outside right (see photo 49).

We were shown around the ground and even sat in the dugout where the Blues would make their camp for the evening game. He was the Dave Hickson of Brann (a gentleman and scholar).

At the dugout we were met by a proud gentlemen who also gave us an in-depth view of Brann FC and explained that they owned the club outright and were developing the stadium bit by bit. This guy turned out to be the Wyness of Brann (what an hospitable person he was).

The evening before the game, we wandered into the SAS Radisson hotel in the heart of the town and came across a function that was taking place with Graham Sharp, Kevin Radcliffe and Ian Snodin giving a talk on everything Everton. We bought our drinks from the bar and listened to the 3 legends, but trouble was brewing as individual officials from Everton Football Club began a task of removing us from this gathering.

Was it because we were aliens from another planet? Maybe it was because we weren't wearing a cravat or even smoking cigars. Why was it that loyal Evertonians where being treated like a piece of shit that had got stuck on their shoe? Bingo, we knew. Our T shirts gave it away. What was written on the front? It read simply "Keep Everton in our City".

After being refused another drink from the hotel public bar at the request of these individuals and being told to leave, it all fell into place why they had so much hatred during those 25 brief minutes. If this is the policy being injected through the club towards its supporters no wonder there is a campaign the remove Keith Wyness from his job.


Alfie Hincks     Posted 16/02/2008 at 15:50:18   Comments (45)

Critical Appraisal versus Criticism

An earlier thread on here about Andy Johnson seems to have provoked a mixed reaction in that some, myself included, don?t think he?s quite as good as we thought he was and those who believe that he?s fine really and that he is merely suffering from a crisis of confidence and from the strange tactics that we employ to try and get the ball up to him (which is also undoubtedly true).

This led to me to consider what is critical appraisal and what is out and out criticism. I would never boo an Everton player no matter how bad he was unless he clearly wasn?t trying. Fortunately, I haven?t seen too many of those sort. However, equally I wouldn?t want to necessarily criticise anyone on here for expressing a less than totally rosy, but sensible, opinion about a particular player ? after all that?s what this site is about surely ? a discussion forum.

What really matters is how the manager sees things and, if Moyes is doing his job properly, he will see that Hibbert and Neville have gross distribution problems, that Howard can improve his decision making with crosses, that Arteta should be able to put better crosses in from dead balls, that Johnson?s ball control is poor, etc etc. It?s called critical appraisal and is the way that individuals / teams move forward, recognising at the same time, of course, that no player is ever perfect.

The current squad is the best we?ve had for years and everyone has played a part in it (well maybe not Andy van der Meyde!). The team spirit is obviously fine and I would hate to see a player ditched for no good reason. However, there is no room for sentiment in the Premier League and you have to move on ? or someone else will overtake you. That?s why, budgets permitting, Moyes will probably be looking at certain positions and attempting to improve them. If that means selling Johnson, for example, at some point, despite his obvious selfless efforts for the team, it should be done.

We?ve seen McFadden go recently despite the man having obvious talents and despite having a key influence in certain games. Further back we saw Derek Mountfield depart, despite scoring lots of goals as a centre back, to be replaced by Dave Watson because the latter was clearly a better defender. At Arsenal, Wenger gauged the time was right to sell Henry...

I don?t want to make comparisons with previous players and be satisfied with what we?ve got. Probably every player we have now is better than his counterpart 10 years ago. I want us to move on to the next level ? whatever that is ? and it can only be done by attracting players who are consistently better than those we already have.

If that means a certain player has to go at some point, or become a squad player rather than an automatic choice, so be it.
Ray Robinson     Posted 16/02/2008 at 11:52:02   Comments (7)

Is Manny going to make it?

Although I felt good when Manny was brought back from Spain on loan in January, I am feeling less good as the matches go by. At first, you could blame match fitness as an excuse, but now after a run of games, I?m beginning to think we can do better by not splashing the cash on making the loan permanent. I know there is a large segment of supporters who think he is the real deal, but after this last Uefa Cup match, I?m of the opinion that his lackadaisical approach will never benefit our side.

I have read many comments on this site about his ability to play the ball to feet and to make the good incisive pass, but so far he has made exactly one great pass that sent AJ in, and hit one great shot off the post on a free. Outside of that, he constantly gives the ball away cheaply, lacks crispness in short passing, and appears not to give a lick whether he plays or not.

His play last season was much stronger than this season, and compound that with his late decision in the beginning of this year to go to another club, and one could believe he doesn?t want to be here.

Final nail for me was his inability to put in a cross with four chances in the early part of the 2nd half the other night. All against a less than top-notch squad. That game was his for the taking, and he decided he didn?t need to take it. I?m thinking Valencia may have been right. But I?m open to all views, so let me know if you think he is the real thing or can we do better in the close season.


Clyde McPhatter     Posted 15/02/2008 at 21:55:32   Comments (39)

Sepp Blatter talking sense!

I don't usally listen to anything that Sepp Blatter says as he talks utter shite most of the time, but I fully agree with him regarding the Premier League's plan for evey team to play 1 game a season abroad, when he says:

"This does not take into consideration the fans of the clubs and it gives the impression that they just want to go on tour to make some money,"

"I support the fans 100%," he said. "If I was a fan in England I would say: 'no, please play at home and don't go and exercise your talents abroad'.

"If the plan includes official league matches then, as a fan, I would protest against this."

Hopefully now, this ridiculous idea will be finished.
Ian McDowell     Posted 15/02/2008 at 18:08:59   Comments (12)

Watch The Pennies & The Millions Will Take Care of Themselves

I saw a report on Sky TV last night which stated that Everton are sitting just outside the Top 20 richest clubs in the world and that by this time next year with TV revenue, we should break into the top 20.

Although I don't totally understand the ins and outs of this rich list and I know Blue Bill and the Board have been slated at times for not stumping up enough cash for players at the right times, and I also realize that under the current leadership we will never be competing with Man U or Chelsea in the transfer market, but I feel we do have to give the Chairman, the Board and the management massive credit from digging the club out of the preverbial and getting us to the level of stability we currently have at the club.

It wasn't too many years ago when it was touch and go, we were at the same crossroads as Leeds United. I'm just thankful that we took the correct turning! I know we are not Real Madrid just yet, but we are so much better off than the Peter Johnson era and that's largely down to Bill & Co!
Ian Ankers     Posted 15/02/2008 at 12:09:34   Comments (33)

Andy Johnson

I was ready to write an piece about Andy Johnson and his future with Everton, but I came across this excellent article which covers pretty much everything.

AJ was the right player for us when we bought him but our progress has seen him come up lacking. With Yakubu leading the line and our two favourite youngsters knocking on the door, I feel his time has finished.
Philip McAvoy     Posted 14/02/2008 at 23:08:23   Comments (33)

Petition to Remove Kevin Ratcliffe

I'm 23 so I don't know much about Mr Ratcliffe during his playing days with us, but what has he got against us? I assumed he loved Everton like we all do. He is so negative and he sounds like my Grandad when he watches Everton. No enthusiasm or acceptance of good play, just dig, dig, dig.

I constantly get angered by the negativety and awful analysis of what goes on during these Everton games.

Can we get Andy Gray (screw his contract with Sky!), or Joey Parkinson in the commentary hotseat because I would rather listen to Alan Hansen than Ratcliffe at the moment as he is really getting on my nerves with his backstabbing comments.

The amount of shit we've been through over the years (I've never had reason to celebrate apart from 1995), I would have thought Mr Ratcliffe would be happy and positive in his approach and comments. I would even go as for to say that I prefer that woman on MOTD to commentate!

He is employed to commentate on Everton matches to Deliberately make us fans and himself feel related in the way we should. But his commentary skills are bloody awful along with his bias against Everton!).

Sorry if I'm rabbiting a bit, but I know when somethings not right, and this is one of them. Please can he either buck up his ideas or allow somebody more with more affection towards Everton to commentate.
Charlie Percival     Posted 14/02/2008 at 13:08:58   Comments (97)

Norwegian view on Evertonians in Norway

Thought I'd give you the general take on how the away support fared in Norway yesterday. Might be bitter reds, but they're not leaving the travelling support much honor today.

- Evertonians made a great noise before the game, but weren't singing at all during the game (except for the two goals + after the game)

- Evertonians were drinking so much they were barely able to stand, thus unable to sing for their team.

- The worst away support Brann has encountered so far in this year's Uefa Cup.

Your takes on this rambling from the bitters? Bollocks, or somewhat true?
Paul Olsen     Posted 14/02/2008 at 11:37:21   Comments (32)

Kissock

Sorry to distract from what was a good win last night, despite what the snobs in the media are saying (why is it when the big 3 win ugly its quoted as being a requirement for success?), but last night young JP Kissock was in action for Gretna. Although they lost 4-2, Kissock was apparently at the heart of everything good about Gretna, posing an attacking threat and also earning responsebilty for set pieces.

He also got MOTM in his debut last week against Hearts, on the Gretna website at least. His signing of a first professional contract got a little bit of media attention, so hopefully one youngster who wont slip into the lower league football after a few loans. Just thought his performance was worth a mention.
Ian Kearney     Posted 14/02/2008 at 11:23:36   Comments (15)

Money: overrated

Interesting, isn't it? We are looking good for the last 16 of the Uefa Cup, at last a decent showing in a domestic cup and going well in the league too. Genuine contenders for the fourth Champions League place, probably the strongest outside the Big Four (TM) and although given their form over course and distance I'd make Liverpool favourites to get 4th, I'll tell you what: I reckon they're bricking it.

And evidently it doesn't require deep pockets to achieve this: of the top 20 richest clubs in terms of turnover, six are English and we are nowhere to be seen. What adds a deeper layer of interest is that besides the obvious four the other two are Spuds and Toon, neither of whom this season has been a model of sensible football club operation, and our three immediate competitors (Liverpool, Villa and Manchester City) have their hands in very rich mens' wallets. All of which begs the question, how good could we be if we had that sort of finance at our disposal?
Richard Pike     Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:57:27   Comments (10)

Moyes and his pearls

Wether you love him or hate him, you have to give David Moyes credit for his extrordinary ability to unearth a potential star from obscurity.

Arteta, Cahill, Lescott are the first names you think of but very very quickly the names Jagielka and Pienaar have joined the list. All are players that joined the club without much fanfare at bargain basement prices who have multiplied their worth and become top-class premier league players.

Moyes has a keen eye for a player with potential and more importantly has the ability to extract the very best from these guys and turn them into PEARLS. Who will be the next player to add to the ever growing list???
Peter Bourke     Posted 14/02/2008 at 09:46:35   Comments (5)

Jug-Jelka

To quote one of the finest captains this club has ever had....."Jug-Jelka has been man of the match tonight & probably Everton's best player in the last few weeks" ? That came from the mouth of Kevin Ratcliffe last night, who was & still is the epitome of an Everton centre half.

Phil Jagielka has been Everton's most outstanding performer over the last couple of months, not weeks for me. He has been immense. He has been that good that in recent weeks I have been thinking who is best to play alongside him!! As he must be first choice at the minute.

Let's not forget he is in a team with players like Lescott, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Yakubu, Yobo who always get the headlines when we are mentioned but for me Jagielka has been the best centre half in the Premier League over the course of the last few months (although the Dunny Monster might have something to say about that!!).

I want some of the ones who didn't think he would cut the mustard after a shaky start but he has shown me that at centre half he is absolute quality & long may that continue.
John Lloyd     Posted 14/02/2008 at 08:28:09   Comments (6)

What Happened to Chang??

First off, well done to the lads, especially without Mikky and Peanuts. I listened to the game on the official site radio this morning. Sounded like it wasn't the best performance, but job done non the less and we're set up for the home game.

The Yak sounded like he is now refocussed again, though Manny seems to continue to puzzle. Well done Ossie for what sounded like a great strike!!!

Anyway the point of this post. Just seen some pic's on various news sites and noticed no sponsor on the shirt tonight and wondering if anyone had any insight into the reason for this??
Darren Reeves     Posted 13/02/2008 at 21:56:31   Comments (25)

On Reflection...

Having endured a dull game tonight I have made some observations.

Jagielka was quality, future captain? Much better than Neville, in all areas. Ok, so his distribution is just as poor, but then centre backs are not known for there passing, and they don't really need to possess great passing skills.

Neville on the other hand is on the flanks, so he has to possess passing abilities, something that he lacks in great quantities.

Carsley to me seems to be getting slower and slower, once a great servant, but now he is starting to show his age, and against better opposition than this Norwegian lot, he would be exposed.

Cahill, can't play in a 4-man midfield. End of story.

Osman, needed to stand up and be counted as he had nobody else to shift the responsibility too, and I have to say that he impressed.

Fernandes, flitted in and out of the game in a position he is clearly not comfortable with. Must do better though.

Yakubu, he has to know what he is doing because there were times I saw him jogging, and then the next I saw him chasing back and winning the ball. Scores goals, willing to chase back. What else do we want?

AJ, summer bid wouldn't go a miss. I'm sorry but he offers very little up front, and the fact he has scored in the Derby means nothing to me, no immunity from me. Ok, so he runs the channels, but to what end? Throw-in? Why doesn't he use his pace to break free of the last man, he's a centre forward, he ain't going to score goals on the wing.

Cheebs, well its clear to me, he is only effective when coming on in the last 15mins. But to be fair, his goal was made by the pass, he had very little to do. Jury is out on him till he impresses from the start.

But, happy with the result. Would have liked to have seen Rodwell introduced for more experience, sounds like he is tearing up trees in the lower ranks.

On Reflection, it is looking good. Still winning, and still playing crap. Imagine when we start performing.
Nick Toye     Posted 13/02/2008 at 21:51:43   Comments (45)

Today's team

With no Mikel Arteta for tonight's match, I wonder how Davie will shape his midfield. My prediction for tonight:

Howard
Neville
Yobo
Jagielka
Lescott
Osman
Fernandes
Carsely
Cahill
Yakubu
Johnson

I would like to see Van der Meyde make an appearance tonight. As much as Moyes doesn't like him, there is no point in having him and paying his wages and not playing him. In my opinion, when he has played, he's played well. He is the best crosser of the ball in our team by a distance.

COYB!
John Murphy     Posted 13/02/2008 at 15:40:20   Comments (58)

Metro

Just a short note asking if any of you fellas and ladies read the Metro today.

In an interview yesterday Nigel Reo-Coker was stating how the diving/play-acting in football is a joke, saying you could hardly call it a man's game anymore.

The Metro, in their wisdom, then put a little piece in with the top 5 divers listed. They are Klinnsman, Michael Owen, Robert Pires, C Ronaldo & ANDY JOHNSON!

I am fucking fuming, what a lazy, incorrect and generally piss-poor piece of journalism this is.

I am in the process of writing to the rag to let them know my feelings. I wouldn't normally but with the current wave of posts about the lack of or negative attention we receive I feel if we don't start hitting back then it will only continue or get worse.
John Lloyd     Posted 13/02/2008 at 15:20:48   Comments (10)

Arteta's Injury

Does anyone else have the feeling he could be out for a good few weeks? The way Moyes worded it was "we don't know how long he'll be out but we've sent him to a specialist in Spain".

That sounds like a fairly bad one, because a normal groin strain would be dealt with the physios, wouldn't it?

And Howard has said, "we wish Mikel well." To be honest, I'm really worried that it's the end of his season.
Dave Trudgeon     Posted 13/02/2008 at 13:37:53   Comments (21)

Nervous Norwegian Blue...

I hear the manager and the players say "all the right things" about respecting Brann. By far the best Norwegian team right now, but hopefully them being out of season will be a disadvantage for the home team.

Still, I worry if Everton can cope with the conditions on a pitch where passing will be difficult and the home team will be direct. Can the Blues stamp their authority in midfield, or do they think they can "class" their way through... And that midfield is weaker today than for a long, long time.

Let`s hope another Buchuresti is not on the cards, but I am fearing the worst..
Tore  Fredlund     Posted 13/02/2008 at 11:18:44   Comments (8)

Global Premier League: Asia speaks....

Well, the Asian Football Confederation (they're the equivalent of Uefa), in response to Dicky Scudamore's plans for the 39th game, have urged member countries (all of Asia and Australia) to refuse to consider the proposal so as not to impact on the development of domestic leagues in Asia.

If you've ever watched an Asian football match, it's invariably shite football, club owners are bent, allegations of match fixing are rife, and the refereeing is atrocious. Personally, I think the Premier League would fit right in.
Matt Traynor     Posted 13/02/2008 at 06:55:10   Comments (8)

Hundreds already in Bergen

Just got off the phone to me mate who are already in Bergen.. Says there's hundreds of Toffees already there! I'm off to Stansted with the lads to Bergen via Oslo.. We'll all be in SK Brann supporters club tomorrow where a pint should be cheap at £4!

A special thanks to our mate Runa, a top Norwegian toffee from Bergen... What can I say.., 4th european away trip on the bounce.. which silly fuckers said this competition was shite!!!
Tommy  Gibbons     Posted 12/02/2008 at 21:06:25   Comments (14)

Unsie's 500 Up!

Probably gone unnoticed by most, but last Saturday Rhino made his 500th League Appearance in 1st team Football. There is a lovely tribute to Unsie here : http://www.clarets-mad.co.uk/news/loadfeat.asp?cid=EDB4&id=377098 and it is great to see that he is very much appreciated by his present club Burnley. A fantastic Evertonian to the core - well Done Rhino! When you see him in the Gwladys again shortly watching the blues as he does from time to time on his spare days don't forget to congratulate him!
Steve Callaghan     Posted 12/02/2008 at 20:37:19   Comments (9)

Away glory is the key

Earlier this season I wrote that for Moyes to take the team forward he had to deliver a key victory away from home, as ultimately that's where good teams turn into great teams, as any number of sides can do the business at home. He duly delivered with the Carling Cup Quarter-Final win at West Ham.

He now needs to move to the next stage and deliver a key victory away from home in the league, something which as far as i can recollect he has not managed so far in his time in charge. Before the Moyes Boys wade in and say that some fans will never be satisfied, I am not being unreasonable but simply stating the obvious ? ie, you have never 'arrived' in football and you always have to look to the next challenge

The games which stand out for me are Man City and the obvious fixture at the end of March. Victory in one or preferably both of these games will really signify that things are on the move and that we are a coming force.

If City can do it at Old Trafford it's high time we did it at Anfield.
John  Doolan     Posted 12/02/2008 at 18:49:14   Comments (14)

How many mistakes before you get the boot?

Interested to read that Clattenburk's latest cock up in sending Lee Bowyer off with a straight red in his attempted hurdle NOT injury attempt in the West Ham game has been rescinded. Just how many times will the so-called professional referees and assistants be allowed to cock up before being relegated to the lower leagues or better still given the bullet? I'm not holding my breath.
Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 12/02/2008 at 16:54:47   Comments (4)

Reserves

Did anybody happen to catch the reserves game last night? I'm interested to hear how Gosling and Rodwell got on in the midfield. Any chance of them stepping up any time soon?
Ben Howard     Posted 12/02/2008 at 16:15:13   Comments (2)

Search for No. 2

If it's true that Moyes is looking abroad for a new coach then why not try the Showers' recently departed no. 2?

By all accounts he was well respected, experienced and tactically sound. He would be invaluable in Europe and according to some RS is the reason why they've been so piss poor recently. Just a thought.
John Keller     Posted 12/02/2008 at 14:53:05   Comments (6)

The Ignorance of BBC World

Here is a copy of the note I emailed BBC World after it failed to even mention the name Everton FC during a programme on the city, which spent a good portion of time extolling the virtues of that other team in the city.

"Last week's Fast Track featured the City of Liverpool as Europe's Capital of Culture. A good portion of the programme focused on Liverpool FC. Not one mention of the city's other Premier League team Everton FC was made--literally not one word, not even the name Everton. Now how ignorant or daft is that?

"Okay, so Liverpool FC may be more glamourous at the moment, but come on, half the city supports Everton and it currently stands in fourth position above Liverpool. To not spend 10 seconds and mention Everton by name shows a laughable lack of understanding of the city you covered and was plain unprofessional."
John Boyd     Posted 12/02/2008 at 13:03:20   Comments (17)

Off to Brann with No Arteta!

I see from the OS that Arteta did not travel. Pienaar also didn't travel. That leaves us a little short creatively for Wednesday against a team that will no doubt be well organised.

I'm not sure what starting eleven I would pick. Certainly with Arteta being injured and Saturday's first-half showing I think Moyes will now start with a 4 4 2 formation. I would imagine the back four will remain unchanged. Midfield of Ossie, Cahill, Carsley and Fernandes?

Up front will also be interesting. I would go for Yak and Johnson. I know Vaughan made a big impression when he came on on Saturday but I fear two big men up top would encourage long balls from every angle (I suppose you could argue it happens even when AJ plays!). But still I like the idea of a big man and a quick player like AJ complimenting eachother.

Whatever Moyes choses its crucial we pick up our performance and leave with a win.

PS its good to see Rodwell and Gosling travelling with squad ? these experiences can only benefit them in their development.
Paul  Lenehan     Posted 12/02/2008 at 12:16:07   Comments (35)

Am I merely passive?

I was having a chat with someone that doesn't know an awful lot about football (he thinks Newcastle are a bigger club than us FFS) and something he said got to me and made me think for a minute. He said because I don't go to our matches and I don't live in Liverpool, I'm just a passive fan.

I used to have a season ticket to GP for about 5 years until my dad left the RAF and could no longer afford it, I've always lived and breathed Everton but I just wanted to know if general consensus is that I'm just a Passive Fan rather than an obsesive True Blue as I currently see myself.
Rob Jones     Posted 12/02/2008 at 00:59:54   Comments (16)

Drop Johnson and Cahill

During his time at Palace and initially at Everton, Andy Johnson was a success because of his speed and skill. Defenders were faced with two options in dealing with him: a) tackle him and risk conceding a penalty or b) back of for fear of conceding a penalty and allow him enough time and space to score. Thanks to Arsene Wenger's campaign to have him branded a "diver", defenders can now do what they want to AJ without fear of conceding a penalty. For his part, AJ seems to shy away now from contact because he knows no penalties will be given and he will be bruised with no hope of reward if fouled. Consequently he has ceased to be effective.

Cahill during his first year here benefitted greatly from the hard work and unselfishness of Marcus Bent. Bent was in the Graeme Sharp mould of an old fashioned foward who would do all the running and hold up the ball to allow other players to score. Since Bent left, Cahill has had two injury-plagued seasons and it is only now that he has had a decent run of games during which it's obvious that with more selfish strikers he isn't getting a look in. In a nutshell, Cahill can't tackle, pass or dribble so if we don't have someone like Bent creating openings for him then he is completely ineffective.

Every time someone hints at dropping Cahill we hear people on here saying "He could leave us for a bigger club." Frankly I don't believe that is the case. Who exactly could Cahill displace from the staring line up at any Big 3 team? If Cahill were to leave, the best he could hope for is competing with the likes of Sidwell and Silva for a spot on the bench. If he wants more money he may get it at Newcastle or Spurs but would also be joining a weaker team. Therefore we should have nothing to fear by leaving him on the bench for a few months until such a time as we need him to start again.

Having watched Vaughan on Saturday, I would love the opportunity to see him play alongside Yakubu in front of a four-man midfield devoid of Cahill. Vaughan with his running and speed makes up for Yakubu's lack of energy but between them they would be a formidable duo.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 11/02/2008 at 23:01:08   Comments (47)

Nasty winners

Sometimes it's refreshing to see our players behaving on the pitch but I wish we'd be a bit more nasty at times. They talk about how the crowd at Goodison can influence the ref by shouting for everything but why don't the players? I'd love to see the players get at the ref more. Why didn't someone risk a card by getting right in Wiley's face at Blackburn? The FA have shown they'll drop the charges when their man is in the wrong!

Also, when Hunt was trying to square up to Carsley on Saturday, I noticed Everton players trying to calm him down. Why didn't they wind him up some more and get the little bastard sent off? Maybe it's not the School of Science way but I just wish our players would show a little more arrogance towards the officials and the opposition.
Alan Clarke     Posted 11/02/2008 at 20:03:56   Comments (13)

The Big 3!

I was just having a look around at the odds for us finishing 4th and found it really funny that a couple of the bookies (namely Skybet, William Hill & Paddy Power) now have odds to win the league "WITHOUT THE BIG 3" ! Does this mean that people are now beginning to realise that the red shite really are shite? I was a bit pissed off at first that our odds were around 3/1 whereas the shite's where 1/2 but it just means I'll win more money come May!
Paul Blayney     Posted 11/02/2008 at 16:12:31   Comments (16)

MP Andy Burnham

I have just been reading the article on the OS regading the new Secretary for Culture, Media & Sport, MP Andy Burnham. What interested me was the fact at how pro-the City his opinions were, with quotes such as "I?ve reminded the organiser of the capital of culture that there are two clubs that they should be celebrated equally this year". Now obviously a claimed life-long Evertonian from the City should be very proud of this fact, but it doesn't seem to sit well next to all of the official pro-Kirkby stuff that seems to populate the OS at the moment.

I wonder how long his views will be shown the light of day through official Club channels if he keeps this up?! It will be interesting to know what his views on a relocation to Kirkby are, and if Wyness and Co will try and butter him up as a heavy weight pro-Kirkby ally if the plan is "called in?".
Lee Smith     Posted 11/02/2008 at 15:24:39   Comments (10)

Shearer for Mensa

At the end of this Saturday's MOTD the pundits reviewed 3 contentious tackles: one which resulted in a red for Lee Bowyer; and two, including Carsley's on Hunt, which received no caution for the player. It was designed to highlight the inconsistency of officiating which we Evertonians know all too well.

Shearer commented Carsley should have seen a straight red for his tackle on Hunt. I'm not going to defend Carsley's mistimed high challenge on leprechaun Hunt but it amazes me this is the same barcode brainiac who thought Bednter's challenege on AJ at Goodison on 29 December, which resulted in 12 stitches in a leg wound, was only a (2nd) yellow card and not a straight red. His justification: "It was a striker's challenge and the ref got it right". Still a dirty cowardly bastard challenge as well, Shearer! The head of Mensa must be quaking.

Based on this we can now extend the old adage that, "good players do not necessarliy make good managers", to include, "good players do not necessarliy make good pundits either".
Peter Rea     Posted 11/02/2008 at 10:09:51   Comments (24)

Shall I Turn Up?

Coming up to Liverpool for a wedding on 1 March, I was disappointed to see I would be denied a chance to see the Portsmouth game. Spirits were raised last week when I saw on the EFC website that the game had been moved to the Sunday at 1600 and that tickets would be on sale from today 11 February. I duly rang the number only to be told that the game is in fact being played on the Saturday. Checked the website again and it still shows a Sunday kick off! What sort of administration is that and can someone, anyone please tell me when the match is actually being played?
Tony Waring     Posted 11/02/2008 at 10:17:56   Comments (11)

Painful EFC memories

I was watching the History of EFC video (BBC, from late 80s, Motty narrates) last night for the millionth time. I've always wished that the program had more 70's footage. I grew up in Orrell in the 70's and went nearly every other week between '74-'77 (paddock, Lower Bullens, always). This time period is not generally regarded as a glorious time in our story, but it is special to me, and, really, if we hadn't lost home and away to Carlisle in '74-'75.....

Anyway, once again I was struck by how amazed I am that an event that occurred over 30 years ago still retains the power to cause fresh pain. I am referring to Bryan Hamilton's disallowed winner against the RS in the '77 FA Cup semi-final. I watched it like, six times in a row, stupidly hoping that somehow it was going to be given. Fuck.

But that can't compare to Bobby MacDonald in '86. I need to let this shit go, I know. For instance, being an adult now, I've already processed, dealt with and mostly forgotten Clattenburg and am moving on from Wiley/Tanner as well. But those traumatic childhood events just keep lingerin'.

I think that I would've been better off if I'd been a fuckin' altar boy. At least I could get counselling (and perhaps money) for that!!!
Sean  Condon     Posted 10/02/2008 at 21:06:54   Comments (16)

The League Table doesn't lie

Were 4th... and that?s:

  • Despite having some injuries to key players.
  • Despite having one of the smallest squads in the Premier League.
  • Despite losing three of our best players for nearly a month.
  • Despite being robbed by incompetent referees.
  • Despite having midweek Uefa Cup matches.
A long way to go but this is shaping up to be one of the best seasons under Moyes ever. I?m pretty chuffed at the moment we?ve won 14 matches have a goal difference way over 10+ and have a good outside chance of nicking 4th. Who would have thought that at this stage of the season we would be in this position? We're even able to beat teams now whilst playing crap.

We're 4th in the table because, as of 10 Feb 2008, we are the 4th best team in the Premier League plain and simple.

COME ON EVERTON!!!!
Dan Johnson     Posted 10/02/2008 at 14:20:23   Comments (13)

£12m Manny or £4m Koumas

Wish Moyes would clarify what position Manual Fernandes plays. We looked so unbalanced in the first half. If he is a holding player then he is not needed. If he is an attacking midfielder, he'd better start getting more petrol in the tank.

Just read that Koumas is available at £4 mill. Our Davey has brought the best out of the Yak and Jags and I'd fancey he would get the best out of Koumas who has got the skill to be a great attacking central midfielder, with the bonus that he wants to come here. He would love to come here.
Colin Malone     Posted 10/02/2008 at 13:17:45   Comments (23)

Better 'Layt' than Neville...

I have just been looking into our defensive stats and they make very interesting reading.

Ok, we all know that without the Yak, we have been very focused on our scoring prowess, or lack thereof, but yesterday was our third clean sheet in a row and I don't think our defense is getting the plaudits it deserves!

In fact, in our last 10 premiership games, we have 7 clean sheets(!), conceded just 7 goals (2+4 to ManU+Arsenal,plus Jags unfortunate o.g against Wigan).

Howard is the 'Actims' 4th best keeper, Lescott the 3rd best defender and Jagielka has gone from 'damn, we should have signed Bramble instead' to 'Can he Really be better than Lescott?!'

With Baines out, Lescott is able to play LB, where he is always outstanding and thus allowing us to play Jag and Yobo in the middle. These three on form are 3/5ths of a world class defence.

Now I'm no Hibbo-hater (bless the guy, 110% every time but lacking going forwards) but
Neville is his superior in that department and perfectly decent at RB (and hence the title of this article i.e. I'm glad it wasn't Neville we had to do without as LB is far better covered than RB).

Howard also gets slated on here regularly but just look at the stats people! Great keeper, big Tim Howard fan here!

Neville has been able to drop back into defense since we loaned Manny back (yes he has been under par so far, but give him time, and plus an off-colour Manny is better than Nev or Jag covering that role!) so well done Moyes for shipping out Stubbs as we do have 3.5 good CBs now, got a midfielder to replace Neville in CDM, previously a major weak point of our formation, and once Peanut is back in action we will have good competition in midfield to be able to play those on form.

My point is this, everyone is getting anxious that our forwards aren't producing, but missing the fact that we are back to being a rock solid unit, which we weren't at the start of the season.
We are an improved side from the previous CL qualifying side with more attacking prowess (A crocked Peanut and a sulking Yak are still better than Beattie and Bent on a good day!)

So, Chelski to beat the shite later, Man U to win the derby, Arsenal on top tomorrow and us to beat SK Braan midweek and our season is back on.

BRING BACK THE OPTIMISM!


Viv Sharma     Posted 10/02/2008 at 12:35:21   Comments (13)

Are we becoming like the redshite?

I went out for a few beers with a couple of Reading fans and a Spurs fan last night who I drink with now and again. Obviously, the conversation turns to football and one thing that Chris (one of the Reading fans ) said, which the other two agreed with was that he sai,d " You lot are just getting like Liverpool fans, arrogant little shites, always fucking whingeing, thinking you have a god-given right to everything ".

They were saying this was becoming the consensus amongst their own fans, and fans of other clubs they know. As you can imagine (after a belly-full of ale, it became heated, but calmed down, when I pointed out where they both are in the league (was that being arrogant?) in respect to us. But, it got me thinking, I do actually think we are becoming arrogant. Not as bad as the shite, but going in that direction.
Brian Waring     Posted 10/02/2008 at 11:42:40   Comments (9)

Fernandes

What was up with him yesterday? Is he injured? He didn't look in the slightest bit arsed considering he's playing for a contract. I'd love him to do well and show his form from last season but I was really disappointed with him yesterday.
Alan Clarke     Posted 10/02/2008 at 10:08:16   Comments (9)

Believe it or not ?

Before I begin let's make it clear that I have always been a supporter of Bill Kenwright whom I see as a true Evertonian although on occasion a very misguided one.

Let?s begin. Before one of our home games I was having a drink in the pub with a very good friend of mine and he told me a story about a consortium of investors from Ireland that wanted to invest/buy into Everton F.C.

This friend, through his business, knows people and mixes in the circles of people with the sort of money most of us can only dream about.

This group wrote to Kenwright asking for a meeting, assuring him they were serious and with the finances to put Everton back where it should be.

They got no response.

They again wrote to Kenwright but this time giving the letter to one Howard Kendall to deliver personally by hand, which he did.

Again no response.

All this guff that Kenwright puts out that he is constantly looking out for new investment is knocked into a cocked hat by this story. Kenwright didn?t even have the decency to reply in any form.

Believe it or not yourselves but I think it?s all true, I do not doubt for one second the integrity of my friend and why he would make such a story up.

This fella travels thousands of miles every year to follow the blues and is as rabid an Evertonian as you?ll ever meet. The punch line of the story is that this consortium switched their intentions to another club, which they successfully invested in.

That club is Sunderland and you may point out that it hasn?t got them very far but with the right management attitude etc. who knows where this may have ended. I don?t know the sort of money they have behind them but it?s got to be more than we have now.

I do not think that BK is looking for investors; in fact I think he?s actively discouraging them, frightened to death of giving up ownership of our great club.

If nothing else this story will add to the debate. COYB


John Kelly     Posted 10/02/2008 at 03:02:42   Comments (18)

Nigel Pearson?

I see that Nigel Pearson has been booted out of Newcastle by Kevin Keegan. If my memory serves me correctly, he was one of the names being linked as Moyes' assistant. Could he now step in to fill Alan Irvines boots?

On another note, why was there not a one-minute silence for the Munich disaster?
John Murphy     Posted 09/02/2008 at 23:57:45   Comments (3)

Respect is a two way mirror

How refreshing to read in today?s Guardian that despite his wish to one day play in Spain where he believes his chances of playing for the national side would be improved, Arteta states that he feels at home at Everton and is desperate for us to do well even it does cost him international recognition. How refreshing that he cites the continued support of the fans, even during that dreadful start two seasons ago, as a major factor in his reasons for staying.

So anyone who thinks that the players don?t notice the fans loyalty and support, please take note when you next decide to hurl abuse. It could just be the difference between attracting / retaining a major talent.

And Yakubu, please take note and take a leaf out of Arteta and Cahill?s book and respect the fans that pay your handsome salary.
Ray Robinson     Posted 09/02/2008 at 21:29:17   Comments (9)

Michael Bradley

Just finished watching PSV vs Heerenveen and was impressed with the player Bradley. I know he has been linked with us before but coming to the aftermath of the crucial 3-pointer with Reading, I seriously feel that we lack attacking options in midfield.

I have been following the recents threads and agree with some that this is not about toothless strikers but a lack of 'forward-moving', creative and lethal-finishing midfielders. Knowing that Cahill is off-form, Osman is lightweight in the flanks and is better off in central midfield, Pinaar is injured, Arteta is tightly marked by the whole opposition team and Fernandes who is yet to prove his point...who is going to be the next option for Moyes to ring the changes?

McFadden used to be one, even though he doesn't contribute that much! Don't think AvdM or Gravesen would light up the midfield contigent as well!

This is where I feel, Moyes should keep backups... when the chips are down, someone to turn around things. I'm not talking of someone who is worth a dozen million, a star player who played for a european giant or a superkid who is in all the top clubs' shopping list. Here we need a player who is willing to be on the bench, someone who could create an impact coming off the bench, someone who could add another dimension in midfield.

I have seen this Bradley bloke play and he seems to have the fitness and 'comittment to cause' attitude which is in the Moyes mould. His flick-ons, backheels and through passes to his forwards would definately be a positive attribute to Everton's game. He goes back to defend whenever he's needed, a la Cahill. He is someone who can start a move in midfield and also could be at the end of it(he's goal-scoring record of 13 goals can be a living proof...the 13th just arriving today, which was the equaliser against PSV!)

What Moyes needs is this type of young players (he's only 20) to make sure there is an attacking threat as well as a good ammunition supply for the forwards to bang in those goals. Having a playmaker on the right (Arteta),having a creative midfielder on the left (Pienaar), having a combative midfield general (maybe Fernandes?) and having an attacking midfielder who runs the opposing defence ragged (maybe Ashravin??) Moyes might need different options to change games.

He should analyze opposition's weakness and play around with his formations. Maybe opting for a 4-5-1 formation he might as well use Cahill just behind the lone striker or could bring in an anchorman (Carsley?) But what if Cahill is injured or Carsley is suspended or something like that. Then players like Bradley might give a new dimension. He plays behind 2 strikers..like the lil' Argentina player we all know..and he can play in a Cahill's position as well..whatever it is he can provide option... and that's what Moyes really have to shuffle with..Hopefully we won't be bringing this problem up next season. COYB!!!
Vinod Kumar     Posted 09/02/2008 at 20:44:23   Comments (6)

Poor Ref.....again..

After watching another poor performance from the ref, why, oh why, do we have to put up with such poor performances on a weekly basis? It is not just Everton that are given poor refs. It happens across the board. How often do referees get criticised from managers after games?

Poor performances from refs seem to be part and parcel of the game. With some of the decisions made today, you have to wonder what game the ref is watching. It amazes me at times.

What can be done about it? I believe that we fans have no power at all to sort this out. It seems we just have to accept it. The FA say all the refs are fully qualified, and that refeerees are held accountable for mistakes etc, etc, but bottom line is, it seems poor referee performances like today are here to stay. When ever do we see a decent ref?
Rich Grisdale     Posted 09/02/2008 at 20:21:11   Comments (4)

Absolute Rubbish

Sorry to provoke "the faithful" but today's game was absolute rubbish and Everton looked as unaccomplished as that lot from down south!

Whether we like it or not, we are a hundred miles off being a good side and our frailty in front of goal is frightening.

AJ is looking more and more like an expensive luxury and only the youthful enthusiasm of young Vaughan kept us in the hunt.

I never thought I'd be saying this about an Everton side in fourth position but it is totally false and it will take more than the forgiveness of Yakubu to keep us in a European position.
Brian  Noble     Posted 09/02/2008 at 20:02:35   Comments (18)

Our glorious leader

Just heard Wyness on 606 talking about the 39 games. I heard him say, in it's defence, that if it were left to the fans we would still be having all the games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday... Nuff said. And the future of our club is in his hands...
Alan McGuffog     Posted 09/02/2008 at 19:56:26   Comments (3)

Jags — A great signing

When Moyes signed Jagielka I wasn't that excited at first. A utility player, I thought he would be a fringe player playing multiple roles, especially in midfield and defense and act as cover for injured players.

Was I wrong. He has turned into a great central defender that improves with every game which again he proved today. Not only did he score, but made some great challenges to deny Reading, who did play well today, from scoring. With Yobs, Jole And Jags and Nev, we have a very solid backline. Well done, Moyesy, for again taking a chance on Jags thats proved to be yet another great/significant signing.
Anj  Stamos     Posted 09/02/2008 at 17:00:15   Comments (0)

Team News

Assuming Baines is injured Moyes has got it spot on. Would have preferred not to throw Yobo back in but right not to start Vaughn as many people have been saying. Gives us a good option on the bench and all our best performances come with a 4-5-1.

What are the chances VDM gets a run out today? I'd say similar to that of Phil Neville scoring a goal that he doesnt mis-hit!
Ian Barker     Posted 09/02/2008 at 14:21:47   Comments (12)

A vision of the future

Two major issues appeared to have exercised the recent meeting of Premier League clubs: substitutions and globalisation. I suspect the decisions that emerged are only the very tip of the iceburg.

We have already heard Alex Ferguson calling for ELEVEN on the bench and I have no doubt that, ere long, he and his ilk will be calling for FIVE to be introduced to the field of play. Perhaps Sven was ahead of the game after all!

Similarly, I believe the proposed "39th game" was merely a softener and I have little doubt that the Januarys of the next decade will be taken up with the "Global Games". An expansion of the Premier League to 22 clubs would allow a return to a 42 game programme with the extra four played on the world stage. Either that or we might be expected to sacrifice a couple of home games apiece a la the Rugby League's "Cardiff Weekend". At least, the inevitable seeding of the Big Boys would ensure that each "sector' could host at least one game involving the super heroes!

So how to accomodate this ultra-demanding mini-break from domestic dross? Easy that. Restrict entry to the Carling Cup to Football League clubs and either make the FA Cup optional or open only to those clubs outside the Euro places! And all to be done in the interests of the game and as the PM suggested this morning "to enable the clubs to keep prices down".

What a marvellous vision it all conjures up. The chance to see up to 32 players in each game and to sit in the warm watching Sky and Sentanta all through every weekend in January.

Come to think of it, why waste all that money on a new ground, anyway?
Sam  Coddington     Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:35:08   Comments (3)

Who owns it?

The "it" in question is the EPL.

Can anybody tell me who are the shareholders and stakeholders. The reason I ask is that the sole reason of it's existence is to "make" ever increasing amounts of money. For who's benefit is this meant to be? With the exception of a couple of clubs most EPL clubs are burdened by all this additional cash. This is not a windfall bottom line bonus, it's a cause of massive inflation to a club's expenditure and we all know what happens when that spirals out of control.

Somebody somewhere must be banking huge amounts of money from the EPL but I don't believe it is the clubs as that money is there just to service the debts?

Can anybody shed some light please?
Peter Jones     Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:52:43   Comments (3)

Pathetic

Now I don't want Kirkby but obviously will do what the majority want, but if it's a win-win deal like Bully says, why is he emailing supporters with Kirkby addresses for help in persuading the good people of Kirkby to say yes? If it was good for them they would agree without any outside influence.
Roy Coyne     Posted 09/02/2008 at 01:40:51   Comments (20)

Lack of Respect

Yakubu, what a fool. He?s shown no respect for David Moyes, and stuck his fingers up at us fans. Just when we thought the African Nations effect had passed, it returns to spoil our fun. Just when we began to cheer Nigeria and South Africa?s early exit, we find that, Joseph Yobo apart, we are no better off.

Yobo was with him in Ghana, and would have warned Yakubu against going to Lagos. But Yakubu clearly weighed up his priorities and decided he would risk incurring Davie?s wrath.

Yakubu was always going to struggle to win over the fans due to his casual manner on the football pitch. But there is no doubt that he is an excellent goalscorer, and could well be the difference between Champions League and UEFA cup qualification.

What makes my blood boil about this is that Yakubu knew he would be late, and would miss all the training prior to the Reading game. So he is effectively stating that he didn?t want to play for us on Saturday. Is this the kind of person we want to pull on the Royal blue shirt? How difficult will it be for the fans to get behind him and cheer him after such a public snub?

The bottom line is that Everton pay his wages, and thus should be his priority. Cahill went to the far side of the world during midweek and still tried to make it back on time. Yakubu has had all week to travel home and couldn?t be bothered rushing.

Now we all know how stubborn David Moyes can be, so is there any way that this situation ends well? If Moyes allows him back in the team, at the expense of Andy Johnson or James Vaughan, who have both been thoroughly professional, attending training and making themselves available, how annoyed would they be? I?d be bloody furious.

But we have been desperately short of goals without Yakubu. Desperately. No goals in three games. We?ve been playing good football, but not had the class up front to put them away. If only we had someone like Yakubu who WANTED to play football for us.

So does Moyes send him straight back into the team for Brann Bergen and risk losing the respect of the other players who HAVE shown respect, or does he exclude him at the possible detriment to our chances of progressing in Europe? Either way, I?m really hacked off with Yakubu. Grrr....
Joe Wightman     Posted 08/02/2008 at 15:59:10   Comments (30)

Tomorrows Team?

It seems with the number of injuries we have and the Yaks decision to take an extended break we don't seem to have a lot of options in terms of what 11 Moyes will put out.

It looks like the main decision moyes will have to make is whether to put Yobo back in and move Lescott to left back or leave Joey on the bench and stay with Lescott and Jags.

I would leave Joey on the bench and have him back in for Wesnesday's trip to Norway. Similarily if there is any hint of discomfort in Baines' ankle I would rest him and put Valente in. He has been very solid in the past few months and I see no reason why that would change on saturday.

In midfield I think I would also leave Cahill on the bench. As far as I know he only landed this morning and having recently returned from a year in Oz I know all about the flight home (although I doubt Tiny would have flown economy!). Aside from the travelling his form hasn't been great of late. I don't think he suits playing the system of one up top if the striker is as small as AJ. Also Reading are in a poor run of form and leaking a lot of goals so I think we should be positive and go 4-4-2, which again doesn't particularliy suit Cahill.

That would leave a team of Howard, Neville, Jags, Lescott, Valente, Osman, Mannny, Carsley, Arteta, Vaughan and AJ. That team is more than capable of comfortably dealing with Reading.

Leaving a bench of Wessells, Hibbert, Joey, Cahill, Baines. Not a lot of attacking options, but our midfield is versatile and could adapt to whatever the game throws up.

I predict (hope) 3 - 0. COYB!
Paul Lenehan     Posted 08/02/2008 at 14:22:38   Comments (16)

Four to Zero — Megolamaniacs and Ludites

This is the number of fronts Everton were apparently engaged on back in December. Everyone was shouting from the rooftops how wonderful the collection of players at Everton were, the megalomaniacs amongst you were buying the tickets for the Cup Finals both domestically and in Europe and the luddites amongst you were contemplating life at Goodison in the season 2012 and onwards.

I have been an Everton fan since the age of 6, had a season ticket for 15 years then sadly moved away, but still make the trip to Goodison 8 or 9 times a year and watch them when they play in London and other Southern clubs.

I am really struggling to understand some of you so-called Everton supporters, who after winning a few games or getting to a stage in a cup, shout off about silverware, etc. It's not going to happen. We still have a massive amount of room to make up. Yes, we are getting better under the Ginger one, yes our players are much better quality than they were a few years a go, yes we are on the up, but please understand the gap.

This was never more evident than when we played Chelsea, 10 men against 11 and then their virtual reserve side. Yes we had some key players missing but it's all about strength in depth and we just do not have it. Mr Moyes made the comment it is probably going to mean spending money.

It's embarrassing to read, hear Evertonians shouting we are going to do this and do that and then fail, its also embarrassing shouting on about the history. Yes, we are a proud club, yes we had a great period in the 80's, yes we are in a similar position to 5 or 6 other teams. Yes I hate the Redshite, but at the moment they still have the bragging rights based on the last few years silverware.

I think we will get there, I think we will win major trophies and I think we will attract big name players, but its going to take time and with Meglamaniacs and Ludites its going to make it that much harder. Where does the Ludite theme come from? All thjose who do not want us to move to the new stadium!! come on, whats wrong with moving forward? With a new staiumm we get new investment, new players, more revenue, its all a giant continuous circle, just look at Manu.

We all need to support David Moyes and his plans, Blue Bill and his plans and realise what they are doing they are doing to try to restore us to our rightful place.


Chris Perry     Posted 08/02/2008 at 12:29:23   Comments (24)

The Super Eagle has landed

It now appears that Yakubu is back on Merseyside and heading for a showdown with Moyes. I think we would all do well to delay any kind of knee jerk reactions on his late arrival. It has always been the case throughout the history of the ANC and more so the COPA America that players invariably return a bit late. In fairness to them, they are out in sub tropical climates playing at times out of kilter with the rest of their season, I would imagine these guys want a break before heading back to the furore of the EPL.

Yes I know EFC pay his wages and he's expected back with Joey, but at the end of the day, we're all human and everynow and again need downtime. I would much rather an up for it Yakubu who is rested and ready, than a burnt out half arsed fella running about the pitch. I may be slated for being soft but we have to take a step back every now and again and realise that its not the be all and end all for everyone. COYB.
Chris  Lawlor     Posted 08/02/2008 at 11:37:02   Comments (24)

Another nail in my coffin

Sorry for the gloomy title but it does just get worse. That clueless tit (Mike Parry) who has no inkling about what we are about, has just been sucking up (again) to his hero Wyness on the radio.

Well, lo and behold the man who bleats "The People Club" is all for this overseas games proposal. When are the fans going to rise up to these men? They are a cancer to our beloved game.

I have no intention of turning this into a Kirkby issue and whatever your views are then good for you. I am gutted over this move, but will be prepared to give it a go with a fear that it won't feel right.

If this new proposal comes into effect it will be another nail in my football going coffin, I have nearly had enough of the piss-taking and utter disregard for us loyal supporters. Can people not see what these men are doing to our game ? how on earth can we trust them with our history and lifestyle we love?

Well there you go I suppose I have turned it into a Kirkby thread which I can only apologise for. It's just really pissing me off.
Paul  Gladwell     Posted 08/02/2008 at 10:20:09   Comments (18)

Substitutes

We hear about the dearth of young English football talent constantly. At the same time, we hear about the forthcoming rule change from next season to allow 7 subs on the bench from which upto 3 can be used.

Would it not be a great idea and timely that the rule change is amended to ensure that at least 2 of the 7 subs HAVE to have come through a club's junior ranks or Academy. This would ensure that young talent have the opportunity to come through much to the benefit of both the clubs and the national team development.

What are your views of this opportunity?
Ron Joynson     Posted 08/02/2008 at 06:42:27   Comments (7)

Is it the end for the Yak?

It didn't take Yakubu long to revert to type, did it? A player renowned for wanting a move every twelve months or so — and well versed in getting one — goes AWOL virtually the first time he's let out on his own.

Those of us who study these things always thought he would be doing a Lineker on us and refrained from heaping praise when his goal tally fell just below the £1Million apiece mark a short while ago.

With his next club no doubt already lined up, I guess we can now look forward to the "second half syndrome" that another correspondent referred to yesterday. Sad that such a talent is such a short-sighted, easily misled individual but there's plenty of his kind in this sick old game these days! I wonder who is the next one we'll attract?
Kieran Donnelly     Posted 07/02/2008 at 23:00:04   Comments (77)

Bad Calls

The reason we aren't getting any decent calls is simple. It's not the ref incompetence, it's not some FA / Sky Conspiracy, and it's not personal bias from the officials (eg Clattenburg is a RS)

It's that we're not asking for them!

Look at Man U... they've got Ronaldo who screams for a foul every time he's touched.

Liverpool have Carragher and Gerrard...same deal, remember the derby?

On the other hand, there's us, and Moyes usually doesn't whine about anything in the press room and the players don't shout at the ref on the field a la Ronaldo.

We aren't going to get any calls on our side unless we appeal for them at some point! So come on guys, get unprofessional!
Jimmy Crack     Posted 07/02/2008 at 17:21:39   Comments (10)

Summer Signings

Just watched the USA V Mexico game. Ended 2-2. Howard made three or four very good saves. Good game, end to end stuff. The US gave Jozy Altidiere his debut, 18 yrs old, center forward, and, he was very good, scored with a cracking header, but, was very impressed with Michael Bradley. He is 20, six feet tall left-sided midfield player, playing for Herenveen in Holland. Has scored something like 12 goals in 24 games, but is considered a defensive mid fielder.

Very athletic, and very strong in the tackle. Would not command a huge fee, and, is the mold that Moyse is looking for. I assume Howard would give Moyes a heads up.
Jimmy Daly     Posted 07/02/2008 at 14:05:13   Comments (12)

Top clubs consider overseas games

"At a meeting in London on Thursday, all 20 clubs agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games.

Those 10 extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them. It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other."

WTF, even if this did happen and as stated the points would go towards the league, then why have a seeding system so the top five dont meet each other? Utter greed.

This is the day I pack in and find something else to do of a saturday? Does anyone else think this stinks to high heaven?
Alan Codd     Posted 07/02/2008 at 13:05:39   Comments (45)

The most disappointing thing being a Blue

Just read the article, It?s Offside this Onside Rule? and I must admit I agree with most of it. But it had me thinking, what has been the most single disappointing thing that has happened while supporting Everton. There are obvious things like losing F.A. Cup finals and the Europe ban, but the more I give it some thought, it occurred to me that for me it was the appointment of Mike Walker and the optimism people had when he got the job.

He had taken Norwich to the San Siro and played some great football, I remember thinking, this is the manager to take us forward. How wrong I was, he was the worse manager in our history. Just wondering what other people's biggest disappointments have been. Not trying to bring any doom and gloom, but we all know our best moments and I am getting a bit fed up with some posts slagging current players off.
James Murphy     Posted 07/02/2008 at 12:44:32   Comments (43)

What a loan of rubbish!

However unfashionable it is to criticise David Moyes these days, you can't help wondering who advises him on the signing of peripheral/loan players. In the last six months he has managed to unearth three absolute gems in Wessels, Gravesen and now Gardner.

I can't imagine that he had ever seen the German goalkeeper "perform" or, indeed, studied his record much. One thing that is certain, however, is that he unearthed the natural successor to Dickie Wright!

As far as "Mad Dog" is concerned Moyes's old mate Strachan really worked one across him there for virtually every newspaper in Scotland had reported for months that the old boy's legs had gone and Celtic couldn't wait to get rid.

And so we come to Anthony Gardner, Spurs' permanent "Sick-note" almost since the day he joined them. Quite how he managed to get Euro cup-tied is a mystery about a man who makes about a dozen appearances a season! But apart from the fact that he's out until Easter, he'll be a useful addition for the run-in, wont he?

Now I know that to write in this vein is to evoke the wrath of those for whom Moyes is God but before you tell me how successful have been the loan signings of Pienaar and Fernandes, consider how much more comfortable we would feel if the three players I have mentioned were even slightly capable of making a meaningful contribution. Then you could say Moyes was a prudent manager!
Neil  Manders     Posted 07/02/2008 at 09:38:53   Comments (9)

Second Time This Season

Couldn't help but notice that for the second time this season a referee has been dropped from officiating the next Premiership game due to bad decisions made in an Everton fixture.

The first time was Mark Clattenberg and his bias towards the Red Shite. This second time its Alan Wiley and the lines man for firstly not sending off David Dunn for a second bookable offence and then the offside goal that was not offside!

After the many penalty decisions we didn't get last season do people not think on these 2 occasions this season we have been hard done by and by them dropping the referees from the next fixtures is proof we are being hard done by with very bad decisions. We could well be challenging for 3rd place. I

I know that there is a bias towards the Sky 4 but what do officials have against Everton? Can't remember and incident of a ref being dropped from the next fixture for bad decisions in games involving the Sky 4 (except the Merseyside derby). What have Everton done wrong to deserve this?

Would like to hear people's thoughts on this.
Peter Keating     Posted 06/02/2008 at 23:43:57   Comments (26)

Dreading Reading

We've never done that well against Steve Coppell teams for some reason down the years so Saturday will be a big test. We are 4th and they are 4th from bottom so the game is huge for both sides. Reading who can't stop conceding will feel good about the fact we haven't scored in 270 minutes and they are due a win.

With players jetting back in from Oz and Africa to meet up with the tired and frustrated folks who have been at Goodison all week I just feel that we are vunerable heading into this one.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 06/02/2008 at 23:21:15   Comments (24)

100 Goals?

Will we ever see another Everton player score 100 goals again?, if so whom? When?

This topic has probably been debated on ToffeeWeb many times before but it always amazes me that there are only six Everton players who have achieved it. Obviously, there are quite a few that have come close like Sheedy and that little fat ungrateful twat Tony Cottee amongst others.

A lot of you out there may think that there's more chance of Alan Gobshite Green paying us a compliment but I would like to think that we now possess at least three players in our squad who, providing they stay loyal to us and stay fit could crack on and score 100 goals.

They are, in my humble opinion:

Tim Cahill - (27goals)
Andy Johnson - (12 goals)
Yakubu - (12 goals)

The above figures are not exactly brilliant but with a bit of luck, the odd penalty every couple of seasons and some decent officials in general, then who knows?
Matty Dawkins     Posted 06/02/2008 at 21:21:19   Comments (23)

Carsley's Possible Replacement

There has been some debate on this site about who various people would like to see replace Lee Carsley. My personal choice is Gareth Barry. He has all the attributes plus he is a good passer of the ball. Another thing he has is versatility which Moyes loves his players to have.

I know he is happy at Villa and they would be reluctant to let him go, but I feel if we qualified for the Champions League and they failed to qualify for Europe at all, the chance to compete on the European stage would be too tempting. I believe all players have there price and a bid in the £7-10 million range would be tempting for Villa.
Karl Graham     Posted 06/02/2008 at 21:14:22   Comments (23)

Two minds

Currently watching the Engeeerrrland v Swiss match. 1-0 up at the time of writing. Question at half time is how the f.c.u.k Jo Lescott did not get the shout before a) Upson or b) Brown. This is allegedly a side which has been picked on form not favouritism or reputation !. FFS!

The only conclusion you can come to is that Crapello has already become London-centric and "big 4"-biased after one game.

However the point really is Jo not playing for England means he is off the radar of other clubs at he and abroad but, if Jo doesn't his chance will he get pissed off and want to go anyway? I reckon AJ is already starting down that road although Jo has the class to be a true international. Just wait for the pundits to start with "he'll only fulfill his potential with a bigger club" a la Shrek.

Discuss...
Steve Guy     Posted 06/02/2008 at 20:41:50   Comments (12)

Can We, Will We, Have We?

Can we, will we and have we all gotten over the snub from Manny Fernandes in the summer?

We all know what happened and although the story has been changed slightly since his return to try and make him look blameless, I fail to see how he can't be partly responsible for snubbing Everton. Ok the deal was complicated, Everton dragged their heals, Manny was poorly advised, but I remember BK stating that he had dinner with Manny the night before his move to Valencia. At that meal he promised that he was to become an Everton player and the deal was as good as done. Next day he was in Spain and a Valencia player. Yes there are different stories about what actually went on, but in truth Manny has to be held responsible for the snub!

My point is that I believe because of all that nonsense, it's going to be extremely difficult for Fernandes to re-settle on Merseyside. I, like most Evertonians would love to see Manny settle well, turn out to be superb for us and then sign a deal in the summer, but I am fearful that this will not be the case. I can't help, but hold a grudge and I feel I am not alone. His early performances have been poor and the crowd have been very quick to get on his back about it. I just think what happened with Fernandes and Valencia is niggling away in alot of Evertonians minds and as much as we try to bury our disapointment some of us will need alot from Manny on the field before we can embrace him into the fold again. Because of this I feel it will be very difficult for him and I've a feeling he just won't settle here again. Some say you should never go back, there are cases to prove this as true (Kendall, Gravesen, Jeffers) and the odd case against this (Stubbs did ok when he came back) and i think with Manny he may end up being a failiure this time around.

In an ideal world we would all forgive Manny, I am trying to do just that. Us fans can be fickle, a few good performances and I'm sure bygones will be bygones, but on the other hand, I find myself being very hard on Manny simply because of what happened in the summer. I can say "Its nothing to do with what happened, it's just his performances have been poor so far", but in the back of my mind, I know theres more to it than that and the more truthful Evertonian will probably admit the same! I hope Manny proves me wrong and becomes a success, I really do, but I'll be surprised if it happens and I promise, I'll be the first to eat my words on here if it turns out ok!
Ian  Ankers     Posted 06/02/2008 at 12:28:16   Comments (22)

There's Nobody Better

Now, I'm not trying to be deliberately controversial here, although some people may see it that way.

I've been reading all the debate about Tim Cahill's best position and form etc and I've decided to get something off my chest.

Now I'm not being a doom monger, but does anyone else think Mikel Arteta is over rated? At least by us lot, the fans.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a massive fan of Mikel (and of Cahill) but I honestly think he's over rated. When hes on top of his game, playing against the likes of Wigan at home I agree he can be unplayable, but lets be honest, he's not that consistent is he? As for his corners...

As has been mentioned before, he does not do it against sterner opposition, why is this?

As I said before, I'm not one of those fans who sees fault in everything, and Im made up with the way the season has gone, I just wonder if Im alone in thinking this. Probably.

Right, my shields up. I await your responses...
Franny Porter     Posted 06/02/2008 at 11:19:41   Comments (33)

Cahill Unscathed

My fellow Evertonians, you'll be happy to know that Cahill got through the game and only played around 60 mins.

He scored one of his classic headers (being biased here, any goal from him is a classic!) and assisted in another goal.

He played a different role to his stock standard role for us as he sat in front of two strikers that did all the donkey work which enabled him to use his skill and energy to create a number of chances for himself and others.

I've read a number of posts that have said that he needs to be benched if we move to a 4-4-2 set up. I battle to see the reasons why when he continually plays well for Australia in this formation.

Unfortunately he's being stereotyped in a certain role as he's been instructed to play that way for us. I think we need to release his shackles and promote his attacking nature.
Steve Pendleton     Posted 06/02/2008 at 10:42:18   Comments (19)

Can we do it again?

However you look at it and whatever the hard luck stories, Everton have failed to score in their last three games. Indeed,they have found the net only four times in the last seven outings.

Probably the most disappointing feature of this lack of penetration has been the failure of Andrew Johnson to capitalise on the absence of Yakubu. Similarly, the "young bucks", Vaughan and Anichebe, have looked a world away from the finished article and Nigeria`s elimination from The Cup of Nations has not come a moment too soon.

Fans of Portsmouth and Middlesbrough are fond of telling us that The Yak gets tired and disillusioned after Christmas and they are just waiting to see his Everton goals dry up. Personally, I feel that Moyes may be capable of getting a "better second half" out of the Big Fella than did his predecessors but I am still mightily concerned about where the goals will come from.

Eighteen months down the line, I now see AJ as very much the hardworking support player — more a grafter than a finisher — good to have available but by no means a trophy winner.

Cahill's goals make all the difference to Everton's penetration but he's now way off the boil, increasingly unavailable through injury suspension or International preference whist, at this stage, we can view the youngsters as mere impact contributors.

So the likelihood is that we shall again see our team relying on sound defence and "picking up the scraps" from now until the end of the season.

This is how we claimed the coveted fourth spot three years ago but can we do it again? Somehow I think not but, all in all, it's been a good season and one that has generally made us feel pretty good.Just a pity we had to go off the boil though!
Martin MacDonald     Posted 06/02/2008 at 09:50:56   Comments (3)

Yak to Rot?

If it is true that Yak has gone AWOL the I fear DM will let him rot in the stands along with VdM. This is the only appropriate action to take.

He wanted to play at Wembly. Woud he have come straight back if there was a place up for grabs?

He shows total contempt for the club, his team mates and supporters by his absence. Anyone with such an attitude does not belong at Everton F.C.

If the apology he comes with, on his reappearence, is accepted then he should be fined and given some community work to do to get him back in touch with reality and his responsbilities.

I wonder also about what kind of conversation took place between him and our future captain before they parted company? I believe Joe was on the first plane back. I refer to an article on Nil Satis Nisi Optimum site.
Brian Garside     Posted 06/02/2008 at 00:21:21   Comments (3)

Moyes' best buy

Wether or not you think Moyes is the messiah or a coward, who do you think has been DM's best buy? The obvious choices may be Arteta, Cahill, Yakubu, Howard and Lescott, but maybe some of you think A.N. Other.

Personally, I'm going for Lescott. From the moment I saw him come on against Watford, I thought he had quality and this has been re-inforced during the last 18 months. Would be nice if we could get this in a poll perhaps, Michael?
David Pilling     Posted 05/02/2008 at 22:47:38   Comments (56)

Cahill Debate

I know I'm probably going to cause a stir here, but I think Cahill should be dropped for the next match. For me he hasn't offered anything since Yakubu went away.

My idea would be to deploy Fernandes in the free role, behind Vaughan and Johnson. With Fernandes in recent games, he's been covering Carsley way too much and by time he gets to attack the lad is knackered...any thoughts?
Andrew Duncan     Posted 05/02/2008 at 11:29:40   Comments (47)

Err, what's Manny's position?

The games I've seen Manny Fernandes play thus far, he seems to be playing in a more defensive role like Carsley rather than attacking. I thought we got him back to support Arteta in attack while Carsley hangs back but there are times when we push forward, he seems to be playing a bit too deep for my liking. Is this part of DM's instructions? Is it because DM is working him back in the game or just being cautious? Great talent/potential though!
Anj Stamos     Posted 04/02/2008 at 23:48:39   Comments (26)

Assessing our chances of finishing 4th

After my initial disappointment and frustration with the disallowed goal and final result on Saturday, I have come to the conclusion that we have a squad of players capable of finishing in 4th place and going on a long run in the Uefa Cup.

With 3 of our top players missing , because of the AFCoN, we dominated a good Blackburn side. Also, give Fernandes a couple more games to attain match fitness and he will be a force to be reckoned with, particularly on set pieces ( he hit the post on Saturday). I believe we have a better squad than Villa (whats the fuss over Carew ?- he turns about as fast as a double decker bus), Man City, Portsmouth, Blackburn and West Ham ( we beat them twice in one week recently on their ground).

The only potential stumbling block is the crowd across the park. However, they have a tougher schedule than us to cope with. They have still to go away to Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal and ? talking about tough games ? a trip to a revived Tottenham. By comparison, as regards the "Big 3", we have Chelsea at home and Arsenal away . The only other tough looking away games we face are at Man City, who look like they are fading, and , of course, the derby game at Anfield. IT COULD ALL COME DOWN TO THAT ENCOUNTER ON MARCH 30!

All in all, its shaping up to be one hell of an exciting finale to this season. COYB!
John Horan     Posted 04/02/2008 at 21:10:11   Comments (17)

Swings and Roundabouts

By my reckoning poor refereeing has cost Everton at least five points so far this season. First we had Battenberg in the Goodison derby (1 point), then Spurs last week (Johnson penalty 2 points) and finally the Blackburn game (2 points).

By comparison I am struggling to think of any games where our opposition could be said to have have been similarly hard done by.

Using the old adage that it all evens out over the season, I can't wait for the dubious decisions to start going our way for a change!
Steve Guy     Posted 04/02/2008 at 19:04:43   Comments (11)

History?

I am on a day off and have lots of time to ponder, albeit this has bothered me for some time.

I would like to ask True Evertonians what their thoughts would be on the subject of stopping the singing of "If You Know your History"

We know our history; nobody else cares and to be honest it does not really matter any more.

Football only started in this country in 1992 and thats a fact ( Sky).

Example: Ronaldo best free kick ever, like fuck it is.

How about Sheeds doing it once then showing everyone how to do it again straight after (Wonderful)

Anyway, back to my point, it's a crap song any way and means nothing any more. Some lyricist out there, give us something else that represents all that we are.

A club that will always be a big club no matter how much money is pumped into the game and a club that will consistently move with the times, we always have and are doing so again.

We can't live or think of the past any more ? it's the future and in my opinion a bright one.
Paul Niklas     Posted 04/02/2008 at 15:52:52   Comments (37)

1 Penalty in 40 domestic games

After quickly scanning Evertons results over the last season and a half, I noticed that we have only been awarded 1 penalty in our last 40 domestic (league and cup) games. Despite having several blatant/very good shouts for penalties turned down.

The fact we've been given 4 spot kicks in 5 Uefa Cup games, suggest that Premiership refs are either incompetent or bottlers... Or both! Are we the only Premier League club not to have been awarded a penalty this season?? Anyone know??
Krung Thep     Posted 04/02/2008 at 12:00:57   Comments (34)

Furious With AJ and Refs

Sorry but ever since Wenger and Mourinho said Johnson was a diver, he never ever appeals for penalties, etc. He just lays on the floor and does nothing. I know refs should pick it up, but he looks scared all the time of going down because he has it on his mind all the time.

These statements from Wenger and Mourinho have ruined AJ and he never has confidence of getting penalties etc as he even now thinks himself he's a diver. I honestly don't think he will ever get a penalty again.

Has the ref/linesman from Saturday got Kopite connections (hmmm.. I wonder)?
Charlie  Percival     Posted 04/02/2008 at 12:00:21   Comments (4)

The Referees Speak

For some reason I have been in e.mail correspondence with Keith Hacket, chief of the refs, ever since the Clattenburg debacle. He is kind enough to reply to my litany of complaints!

On yesterday's events I got this: "Andy Johnson should have got a penalty and the goal was not offside. David Moyes has every right to be annoyed, so am I when our officials make honest mistakes".

However Keith calls my conspiracy views about the Rich 4 "nonsense". Well you can't have everything. I suppose at least it means that the officials from yesterday might be getting a bit of an earful. Doesn't bring us the extra two points unfortunately.
Neil Pearse     Posted 03/02/2008 at 22:14:35   Comments (32)

Cahill

Cahill has been missing as far as any type of performance since the Chelsea game away. He has looked tired and in my opinion has offered nothing to the team recently. I admit playing a defensive role and expected to get forward and score goals in a 5 man midfield is tougher than any other role; therefore for the team I would expect him to be tired.

Sorry, but here's the rub, the last three games he's has been non-existent, the cynic in me says he has not wanted to risk injury and miss his trip to Australia.

I am prepared to be shot down in flames here but the facts are he has been the worst performer in the team for weeks now ? is this just a coincidence or is it something we have to just face up to? Australia, it seems is far more important than Everton.

Apologies to Tim who I love. Playing for Everton he is a hero, but the difficult questions have to be asked at times.
Paul Niklas     Posted 03/02/2008 at 21:56:43   Comments (35)

Jags or Yobo?

Next week's game will be vitally important in our fight to finish fourth. I'd hate to be the one picking next week's team... at the back Jags has been bloody super: good one-on-one, solid tracking back, but then Joey Yobo is just as solid... who would you pick?? In my opinion, the spot is Jags' right now, unless he's moved to right back, but with that being Pips possy I can't see that... If he is dropped to the bench, fair enough, but he'd be dreadfully unlucky...
Nathan Round     Posted 03/02/2008 at 21:02:53   Comments (23)

Bring the African boys back home!

Just watched Nigeria go out: mixed feelings, as I wanted them to do well, but essentially the Blues are more important so wanted them knocked out!

Let's get Yakubu back for Reading to end the goal drought so we don't have to rely on woeful linesman and referees! With our full squad, barring injuries, being available again Im pretty confident about fourth place. After watching Liverpool play really poorly and without confidence yesterday, despite being gifted a win by a poor side and dodgy refereeing, I feel in no doubt that we are the better team. They have a couple of decent individuals, but they aren't cohesive at all ? maybe because their manager doesn't know his best eleven after years of being at the club and spending countless more millions than Moyes. Villa lost today as well, which is a bonus. they don't look ready to get fourth for me, too inexperienced. I think Portsmouth are going to get a real push by Defoe, but I think our squad is much better.

After a good day for the blues I'm backing us for fourth and a good chance in Uefa Cup. Exciting times... come on you blue boys!! In Keegan style 'I would love it, I would love it if we got in the Champions League'!! That mythic "next level" hype-filled "top four" is beckoning. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum... and optimism!!!
Alex Quigley     Posted 03/02/2008 at 18:52:02   Comments (12)

Howard: Shot-stopper

There?s not a lot of debate on these pages about the goalkeeper. I think Howard is piss-poor. As a shot stopper he?s ok, but that is it. Virtually every other aspect of goalkeeping finds him wanting. Afraid of crosses, terrible kicker, will never save a penalty, quick to point the finger at those around him,etc...

Don?t laugh, but I think P Robinson is at the same stage of his career that D James was when he acquired the Calamity tag. Robinson has deservedly lost his job at Spurs this year, but I am sure he will bounce back. In the past he has proven to be a fantastic keeper on his day, and I find it hard to believe that he has completely lost it.

I don?t think for a second that DM will change his No1 in the summer, but in the long run the Yankee is going to cost us...

On a related note...I am still scratching my head wondering how in the hell Richard Wright ever made it to the professional ranks. Thank fuck he?s not still at GP!
Sean Condon     Posted 03/02/2008 at 18:03:39   Comments (44)

The Team of the 80s

I have only been a supporter of Everton since 1988, so I missed out on the glory days of the mid 80s. I was just wondering about the great team we had back then. Apart from Lineker, I think, did we ever buy any big name signings? Did any players come with good reputations, or was the team built from 'no-name' players. Just curious that's all.
Trevor Thompson     Posted 03/02/2008 at 15:02:49   Comments (10)

David Moyes... Too nice!

David Moyes is doing his utmost to not critiscise referees and linesmen after games despite the fact that there is a blatant bias towards the Big 3 (and the delusional '1'). Now maybe it's a bit like traffic lights and you only really notice them when they are against you, but the absurd decisions that keep impacting Everton could potentially destroy our season and we seem to be more affected than any other team. No penalties all season after the blatant injustices against AJ last season, are just one prime example of this.

It seems to me that Ferguson, Wenger, the waiter and Grant never stop attacking decisions that go against them, they highlight every minor thing that doesn't go their way. Even yesterday the RS ref was the same one that had to fucking apologise to the RS for the penalty he gave to Chelsea and guess what?... he turned down a blatant Carragher handball and then gave them a penalty! These managers slyly apply constant pressure to officials, even against other teams... Wenger's comments about AJ going down too easily have undoubtedly cost us several penalties and it makes officials reluctant to go against them unless it is almost ridiculous to ignore.

Everybody's sick of this stacked deck, but it seems to me that it's not going to change so I wish Moyes would go on the attack and highlight this blatant favouritism and apply pressure to people who officiate our games. Let's face it, him staying quiet about the treatment of AJ and the clear bias to the media darlings is doing us no good whatsoever, and I'm sure a few fines would be well worth a slightly leveller playing field!
Mike Price     Posted 03/02/2008 at 04:51:23   Comments (27)

McFillet O'Fish

"McFadden wasted another chance, his poor touch allowing Carroll, making his debut after signing from Rangers, to make a save, before Larsson finally gave the home side the lead."

Inconsistent in a great side, crap in a poor side. Says it all really. Don't think we'll miss Faddy at all but I still wish him all the best. Closed.
Dan Parker     Posted 03/02/2008 at 01:18:44   Comments (12)

270 minutes and counting

Rather than getting so irate at Gordon Brown's silly, off-hand, unnecessary and poorly timed but broadly accurate remark (we actually haven't lived up to that motto for years...), I'd be more worried about the fact that we have all the bite up-front of a new-born lamb. It's now 270 minutes without a goal and that has cost us what could prove to be four very valuable points and a place in a Wembley final.

We need to play two strikers, not one ineffective lone striker ? who plays too deep or too wide most of the time anyway. I'm not sure if it's Johnson or the way he is used that's the problem but there is a problem. I suspect that he is not going to be the solution to our lack of power up front any time soon. Even Yakubu's imminent return isn't filling me with confidence.
Peter Fearon     Posted 02/02/2008 at 17:36:22   Comments (17)

We we're robbed... again!!!

WE should have had a 1-0 win if not for the stupid linesman. How was AJ offside when Vaughan played him through? He was only offside when Vaughan made the initial header but wasn't involved in the play. If we miss out on Champs League through this we should riot!!!

Now I'm off back to bed with that off my chest as its 4am here.
David Moore     Posted 02/02/2008 at 16:56:43   Comments (50)

Fourthtuitous

So Davie has made a statement about Everton rejoining the pinnacle of the English game and that major investment is needed. Will Robert Earl continue to underwrite overdraft cheques from Barclay's? This season is getting better and better and is made sweeter with what's happening to Liverpool.

You have to hand it to the Evberton Board of Directors ? they have so far managed to come up with some funds. Are we on the verge of great things? Will Everton once more dominate English Football? The excitement is too much, it's enough to make your heart go.....

Come on Everton the last third of the season is beckoning. Champions league qualification is at stake with every game played.
David  O'Brien     Posted 02/02/2008 at 11:24:51   Comments (10)

Moyes innocent

All charges have been dropped against David Moyes for his comments following the derby earlier this season. Does this mean:

  • The FA think he was right?
  • That Clattenberg was wrong?
  • That Clattenberg will now be charged with bringing the game into disrepute?
  • That the RS will be charged with corruption?
  • That the game will be replayed?
  • We will win and be 9 points ahead of the RS?
Bugger... just woke up and realised it will be swept under the carpet and the FA think it will be forgotten. Not by us guys - not by us!
Steve Ashton     Posted 02/02/2008 at 09:59:50   Comments (7)

Nuno Valente

While reading the posts on this site I realised no-one has mentioned anything about Valente. I think he has played as well as any of the back four since being brought into the side.
Jamie Barlow     Posted 02/02/2008 at 00:41:37   Comments (7)

Arteta and Spain

Just seen the Spain squad for their friendly against France and noticed no call up for Mikky again. I've only had chance to watch games on TV this and last year, but from what I've seen Mikky hasn't really been in as good a form as we've seen in the past few years (I really wish he would have a dig a bit more!!!).... but is anybody else concerned that his continually being overlooked for Spain (especially when Albeida who can't get a game for Valencia and some 17-year-old from Barca make the squad) may spur him to look to moving?

I hope not and hope we'll see the best of him again and for sometime to come yet..... Fingers crossed we can get back to winning against Blackburn with Mikky, Manny and Vaughany on the scoresheet..... COYB's!!!!!!
Darren Reeves     Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:09:01   Comments (6)

Intertoto

I have just read that Man City have applied for Intertot cup. Does anyone know if we applied? I read Ericsson said that 'hopefully they wont need it, but it is an insurance policy...'

So:
a) have we applied
b) if we do hold on to 4th, would that be detremental to have enetered?
c) if we haven't and you have the choice of playing or not if you do end up in a good final position in the league, why the hell didn't we!?

Anyone clued up?
Viv Sharma     Posted 01/02/2008 at 19:16:24   Comments (15)

Gordon Brown

I've just heard Gordon Brown - the Prime Minister's - comments on Everton FC. He has made a speech mentioning the club motto and then poking fun at our lack of trophies. Talk about getting your priorities right. The cheeky get should sort his own issues out bcause he's got enough of them. I'm a labour voter but I hope he personally gets trounced in the Commons at Question Time, the fat, useless tit. Mind you, he's a politician so we only have to wait til his "teenage homo affair" is unveiled. Alan Green in disguise.
Mike Hughes     Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:33:27   Comments (45)

Everton Kit

Been meaning to mention this for a while now, but what is gong on with this supposed partnership with JJB and Everton merchandise?

Two years ago JJB stores had whole areas took up by Everton kits, jackets, toddlers kits etc, now there is hardly anything in any of the stores near me (Chester and nearby) in fact there are more Lverpool kits at JJB at Cheshire Oaks!!

I know i can get stuff at the club shop but i don't want tpo be lugging it around the match with me and the pubs! Who is to blame? JJB?? EFC??

They also told me there will be a new kit in the summer, we seem to be having one every year now, which some people just cannot afford.

Any theories, answers???
Mark Griffiths     Posted 01/02/2008 at 13:57:16   Comments (32)

Burn Out

I get the feeling that we may be paying the price for a hectic recent schedule and lack of depth. On face value i think most would agree that a couple of our best players seem to be a bit down on form recently.

The good thing is although they are down a little on form it hasn't translated to losing games. Cahill, Arteta, AJ and Cars have all been a little below their best in recent games. I believe they may be suffering Burn Out and are in need of a break. Because we lack the depth of the "Money 3" we cannot afford the luxury of keeping such players fresh. Combine the hectic schedule of games over the past couple of months along with international committments and it is a wonder we haven't lost games and dropped valuable points.

If we can go on and finish in the top 4 in the Premier League and progress further in the uefa it will be nothing short of an amazing achievment. I think we have the current squad can hold their heads high and be proud of what they have achieved so far under difficult circumstances and suffering obvious burn out. It will take more than tired legs to stop us. COYB!
Peter  Bourke     Posted 01/02/2008 at 08:54:48   Comments (2)

Transfer Window

Great work to cement 4th place in the league. The rest of the champions league/UEFA cup hopefuls must be quaking in their boots after our tremendous signing of a world class player...

3 players out, 1 in!! Whats going on?? I would have expected to us to sign another midfielder at least, not just another sicknote. Left midfield was a priority, Peanuts injured, Osman very ineffectual from that position. We'll be lucky to hang onto a Uefa Cup place now.
Allan Barratt     Posted 01/02/2008 at 08:50:35   Comments (26)

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