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January 2008 Archive Want to have your say?

3 Hours to go...

Will there be any more transfers!?

With Faddy and Stubbs leaving this Jan we are now looking rather threadbare... With only 3 centre backs its looking risky, the wings need more strength and generally we lack the numbers to cover potential injuries / suspensions.

Will DM bring anyone else in?
Amanda Huddleston     Posted 31/01/2008 at 20:32:17   Comments (110)

Injured Pienaar heading home

South Africa is out of AFCoN, which means our injured Pienaar is heading home, where he should have stayed in the first place. The little guy has a knock; did play against Senegal, but should be fine by the time he gets home. South Africa had a bad AFCON, but they can be greatful for our Everton player producing the goods in the middle of their midfield.

Pienaar really showed again that he is one hell of a midfielder in the middle. Should Moyes give him a shot in our midfield? This little magician should be snapped up before bigge clubs start knocking. I know his tide to a loan contact, but these days that means jack!

Can't wait to see Osman Pienaar Manny Arteta in midfield!
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 31/01/2008 at 19:28:49   Comments (20)

Frustration and Andy Johnson

The game against Tottenham last night represented a massive opportunity for Everton FC ? especially when looking at the other results after the game, with Liverpool and City slipping up. We were certainly down to our bare bones, with Shandy Andy, and even Da Silva (who's name was spelt wrong on the big screen at Goodison!) on the bench. But the team put out was certainly one that could, and should, have secured three points.

So how did we fail to score? No ideas in the final third, and a poor final ball. Arteta worked his socks off but was not up to his best; Fernandes too worked hard but just didn't have the concentration, giving the ball away all too often in silly areas. There were positives ? Lescott had a fantastic game, Jagielka cannot be faulted, and Carsley was excellent. Anichebe too put himself about and looked threatening. But for me the problem was Andy Johnson up front.

AJ was poor last night. His touch was not good enough; on a number of occasions you just wanted him to get it under control and turn, or play a pass out wide, but his touch let him down and Woodgate or Huddlestone were quick to dispossess him. He was weak, even his penalty shout was touch and go, he went down pretty easily in my opinion, which is not something I like to see (though not a patch on Chimbonda's act of agony earlier on!) His shooting was poor when he did have a chance ? the turn and half volley was top notch but always a bit speculative ? but it was the one-on-one that got me, where he put it straight at Cerny with the goal at his mercy. Would Torres have missed? Van Persie? Anelka? Rooney? Yakubu? No. AJ started so well, but has fallen well below expectations, at least for me. West Ham wanted him for 8-10 million last season? Let him go if anyone comes in with silly money like that ? use the proceeds for Manny and Pienaar, and look for young talent up front in the summer.

We have Anichebe, Vaughany and Yak and AJ is close to falling down that pecking order. He needs to step up, particularly on last nights evidence ? no matter how hard he works, he is a striker and needs to score goals to be regarded as worthy of a starting place.
Louis Huglin     Posted 31/01/2008 at 15:52:22   Comments (35)

Stubbs joins Derby

Alan Stubbs has joined Derby County from Everton on an 18-month deal.

The veteran defender agreed terms with Paul Jewell on a move that will see him pitched straight into the Rams' desperate relegation battle at Birmingham on Saturday.

Stubbs, who last played for the Toffees in their shock 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Oldham Athletic, has been allowed to leave for a minimal fee in recognition of his services to the Merseyside club
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 31/01/2008 at 15:28:28   Comments (47)

I want my money back

What gives with Shandy Van Der Vodka? Why, as a season ticket holder, am I contributing to this sponge of a man? What exactly is he doing to actually even earn a wage at our club?

I want DM to make some statement regarding the direction this player hopes to be taking. Will the player pull it together to wear our royal blue shirt,or will his contract be cancelled? Does this player have no shame? Does he care little about the perception he has?

Can the morons at the park end who clap him for warming up please stop it? He has done NOTHING at this club to earn any respect. He ought to be barracked by a loud and clear message:

Get your arse into gear-you are taking the piss out of us!! Sorry for the rant. It must be the Chang!!
Kevin Hudson     Posted 31/01/2008 at 10:19:31   Comments (35)

Fernandes

Making the assumption that we are not going to do any more transfer business this window, and we've banked about £4-5m for Faddy, we have got to sign Manny in the Summer. If the deal was there with the bank for his transfer last year, then we have got to get this third party ownership query sorted second time of asking. For a young player he can pick out a fantastic pass and considering his lack of match practice his contribution is very good.

We are on the verge of (virtually) stealing Peinaar, and picked up Arteta at a fraction of what he's worth now. If it means breaking the transfer record for a third year running we need to do it. This is the type of player that will help us become a top four side, ousting our neighbours from their perch.
Adam Carey     Posted 31/01/2008 at 10:14:15   Comments (22)

How much is EFC worth?

Having just seen the article on the BBC website concerning the move by some LFC fans to try to raise enough money to buy their club, I am moved to raise an issue which I have wanted to raise before yet had only hinted at when posting in favour of the 'No' vote earlier this season.

One of the principal reasons behind the move to Kirkby ? as opposed to staying at Goodison or inside the boundaries of the City of Liverpool ? is given by the club as that of money. As such, it has always struck me as strange that the club have not asked the fans for any.

The last price I was quoted was £1,750 for a share in EFC, and just what power does that give a shareholder and how does it benefit EFC? The LFC proposal is that for £5k one of 100,000 fans can own a part of the club ? just how many EFC fans would do that? And just think of the stadium EFC could build for £500million......
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 31/01/2008 at 03:01:16   Comments (19)

Another horror show

I will keep it short. It was another horrendous show from Darling Dave ? at home against a relegation candidate going with 8 defensive players (WTF!?!)

Make no mistake about it Spurs were there for the taking, team with only one win on the road and what is our coward manager doing ? easy he is going with 5 defenders out, please bring back Walter Smith.

Can someone please explain me of what use AJ is ? overrated, useless Championship flop who could not find his place on the bench of Birmingham yet ?Dithering Dave? is paying £8.5m for him.

How can we expect success when we are going out at Goodison with 5 defenders, 2 defensive midfielders, Championship reject and an fat, lazy, useless poor Heskey no-mark youngster, with no skill, vision or decision making is beyond me.

Oh hang on our plan was defence, defence and hoofball ? no-wonder it finished 0-0 so all Moyes apologists can bleat that we are fourth, when actually its another opportunity missed to open a gap between us and the other also-runs, it makes you wonder about NSNO and all that?
Stefan  Tosev     Posted 30/01/2008 at 23:34:51   Comments (62)

Glass still almost half-full

I realize I should be grateful that City and the RS also screwed up their opportunities to rack up vital points but somehow it only makes it worse. How is it that we shoot ourselves in the foot so often when two additional points would have meant so much? Where is the bite up front? There was some good football but we're toothless.

The problem is still the same as it was before we bought Beattie (and after) We have no opportunist goalscorer who can put away straightforward scoring chances. Johnson was virtually a winger tonight, Anichebe was anonymous, Vaughan probably should have been brought on much earlier.

We can guess Cahill and Yakubu would have made all the difference but perhaps not. We need a class striker and there wasn't one on the field tonight.
Peter Fearon     Posted 30/01/2008 at 21:53:33   Comments (17)

The Big Crunch Game...

The Teams has been announced:

Tim Howard
Phil Neville (c)
Leighton Baines
Joleon Lescott
Jorge Nuno Valente
Manuel Fernandes
Lee Carsley
Mikel Arteta
Phil Jagielka
Victor Anichebe
Andrew Johnson

Alan Stubbs
Stefan Wessels
Andy van der Meyde
Anderson de Silva
James Vaughan

This thread is now open for your match comments....
Michael Kenrick     Posted 30/01/2008 at 19:17:18   Comments (105)

Model Pro or Big No-No?

Phil Neville...

To me, he is the biggest mystery in football. Is it just me? What is it I'm missing?

I hear many ex-footballers and many current footballing people talking about how Phil Neville is the model professional and I have to agree, you can't fault his commitment and attitude, in fact it's first class. The question I have: Is that enough?

Yes, he's won more medals than most and Sir Alex had him on his books for many a year and he's no mug, but I just cannot see for the life of me what he has to offer as a footballer and by that I mean actually playing football! Just watch him in any given game (or at least 9 out of every 10), all he seems to ever do is give the ball away or give away stupid free kicks and I truly believe he offers nothing else. It's ok to have commitment, experience and desire etc. but he is truly a very poor footballer. He has his fans, I know, but are these people fans of his attitude alone or are they also fans of what he can do with a football?

Surely the main focus has to be on his game and not his attitude or his medals list and if so I really cannot understand how he has made a career for himself at the top level. There's something about him, that I cannot deny, but I also cannot say what it is because it baffles me! When I watch him (and I mean really watch him and pay close attention to what he's doing) I really cannot beleive he's got away with it all these years!

So is it just me? Help! Tell me what it is you're seeing, Phil Neville Fans!
Ian Ankers     Posted 30/01/2008 at 17:30:20   Comments (15)

Tim(e) to prioritise?

I have just seen on the OS that the SoccerRoos game is a FRIENDLY! I can't believe Cahill is prepared to jet to the otherside of the world and miss 2 crucial Prem games against Rovers and Reading.

I am please DM has left it to Cahill to decide his own fate but think DM should take his own advice that he dished out re African Cuppers and not pay him whilst off on his jaunt.
Amanda Huddleston     Posted 30/01/2008 at 12:03:09   Comments (16)

Incognito

On January 24th the following was published in the Echo: Everton promise to pay for Kirkby parking

I thought "well done" as the Echo was finally publishing what I consider a fair piece of journalism as it offered both sides of the argument. It seems that Liverpool Echo's Tina Miles may have had her hand slapped by her seniors and the club for her troubles judging by the follow up.

On Saturday (the 26th) this was published: Everton FC promises to be a good neighbour

I was personally not present at the Kirkby residents meeting but I have read accounts by people who were and some state that an Everton public relations employee was in attendance but he was not happy to be asked questions as he had not brought any relevant information on the proposed move with him. I may be wrong but if an Everton employee is present but not in a capacity to speak publicly to Kirkby residents then he is not at that time an Everton representative?

KRAG's spokesman Ian Morris was in attendance at the meetings and he was not aware that the club's public relations officer was also present, I am absolutely certain he would not have publicly stated "they didn?t even turn up to a public consultation" had he known.

Did the Everton employee wear a badge on his chest proudly proclaiming 'Everton representative' on it or did he stand towards the back of the hall, away from line of questioning knowing if he introduced himself he would have been the subject of a barrage of questioning?

Originally the picture on the Everton promise to pay for Kirkby parking article was of the proposed stadium in a retail park. The original article now has the glossy picture from the voting brochure in place of the picture of a stadium in a retail park. It's a subtle change but it makes a large difference to the outcome of the article.

Something is certainly amiss here, surely. Why is the club public relations officer turning up to Kirkby resident's groups incognito and why has the picture been changed on the Liverpool Echo website?
Louis Platt     Posted 26/01/2008 at 05:55:18   Comments (20)

Do we have 16 fit players?

I'm not certain we have 16 fit players for tonight. Jack Rodwell or another reserve will probably be on the bench.

Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Valente; Osman, Arteta, Carsley, Fernandes; Johnson, Anichebe

Wessels, Stubbs, Vaughan, Baines and who?
Stuart Duncan     Posted 29/01/2008 at 22:03:39   Comments (52)

Cahill's suspension

I know that Cahill is suspended for the game Vs Tottenham for 5 yellows but according to the Beeb, EFC Official Site and the official League Cup site Cahill was NOT booked. (see below links) Can any light be shed on this as he was not booked against Wigan either.
Jack Calvert     Posted 29/01/2008 at 21:13:37   Comments (10)

Yak and Yobo return delayed!

Bad news for us is that our Nigerian players just qualified for the last 8 of the African Cup of Nations. Looks like we're heading for the Reading game next week without them! Are we being punished? I hope Moyes keep his eyes on a few Angolan players that really impressed and we can pick them up for next to nothing.
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 29/01/2008 at 19:44:40   Comments (0)

Ambition should be our goal

Consider this premise: top teams invest whilst still at the top.

Of course I am very pleased with the progress of the current squad, but I feel they are performing well with effort rather than natural ability. I fear we will never be able to break into the top four until we adopt a much more realistic approach and attitude to investing in strengthening the squad.

Each transfer window shows that we are 'not at the races' when signing top acquisitions and I sincerely hope that we don't just cash in on our better and more desirable players aka, Lescott and Arteta. If we are truly ambitious then we must sign top-class players and develop promising youngsters to supplement the present squad and not just talk about it. We are becoming more frugal than Gordon Brown and although this might work in politics, it certainly will not in football.

If our present Board of Directors cannot invest sufficient funds to meet top team requirements then we must allow outside investors in to fulfill every Everton fan's dream of really competing and winning something.
Trevor Lynes     Posted 29/01/2008 at 15:07:17   Comments (2)

Signings?

We needed to build squad numbers, to cope with the extra games this season (there are still a lot to come). Where are these extra sqaud additions? We lose McFadden, gain a loan signing and a 17-year-old that will probtrably become another De Silva and never see the first team. Where is the McFadden money going to? We do want to win the Uefa Cup... don't we?!?
Joe  McMahon     Posted 29/01/2008 at 12:09:46   Comments (43)

10 Tough Toffee Questions Needed!

I am compling a Toffee quiz for a group of friends who claim to be true blue noses and could do with some help compiling 10 tough questions.

They need to be tough but not anorak level!

Many thanks!
Amanda Huddleston     Posted 29/01/2008 at 10:56:01   Comments (37)

What would you do with £9 million smackeroos?

Rumour has it today that Everton have had £9M bid rejected for none other then Stewart Downing!!! I have many an issue with this:

  1. Firstly ? he is rubbish
  2. Secondly ? he doesn't fit the bill - Tall strong attacking midfielder (he's a fanny)
  3. Thirdly ? the price: £9M?
If you were Davey Moyes and you were told that £9million smackeroos was yours too spend on a player of your choice. who would it be and why? I seriously doubt anyone would say Stewart Downing... unless your name is Juande or 'KK'.
Tom Rowe     Posted 29/01/2008 at 10:37:51   Comments (34)

Fortress Sports Fund

Not meaning to drag it back up but, while bored, I was surfing and found this old(ish) (2005) story from The Guardian website stating that the above investors now own Leeds. Perhaps this shows that these investors were real at the time and now. It is the first time I have seen them mentioned outside the Board Meeting in which Samuelson (aka (Clarence Robocop Boddicker) couldn't 'remember' Derek Temple's name.

'January 2005 Residing in Monaco, Bates buys Leeds United, the club's debts having been reduced from £103m to £30m. Leeds is now owned by a trust based in Geneva, the Fortress Sports Fund. Its owners are anonymous'.
David  O'Brien     Posted 29/01/2008 at 10:05:17   Comments (6)

It would have been Chelsea

I was watching highlights of Oldham lose to Huddersfield and thinking about what might have been. With only 6 premiership teams left in the FA Cup final 16, I was interested to see who Huddersfield would be drawn up against in the 5th round..... CHELSEA!

If we'd had still been involved that would have been us travelling to Stamford Bridge ONCE AGAIN!! There were 10 non-premiership teams in the draw and yet once again we would have found the toughest route. I haven't checked the stats but it just seems as though every year we end up playing Chelsea, Man Utd or Arsenal in the cups. This bad luck has to end some time right? I mean it's one thing getting to a semi or a final and playing them but in the early rounds it just sucks.

It is almost as if the draw is fixed because Aston Villa have been drawn against Utd no less than 4 times in the last six seasons in the third round! I think that fo a team like us or Villa to win we need a chance to build up a head of steam in the arly rounds and then momentum would give us a chance. When we last won the cup it wasn't until the quarter finals that we met Newcastle who were "big four" at the time. In 89 we didn't play anyone of significance until the final and likewise in 86. Now the big four knock us and the likes of Villa and Spurs off early then sweep through the masses of lower division teams left who make up the last 16. It is just bloody irrittating and it has to end at some point right?
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 28/01/2008 at 23:05:01   Comments (11)

Return of the Yak?

Apologies if this has already been covered in another thread, but I wonder if people can shed some light upon the qualification system used in AFCON? I ask because if, assuming that the top 2 teams from each group qualify for the next phase (as happens in the World Cup), Nigeria need to better Mali's result tomorrow or they are out of the competition. This would mean a much swifter return for the Yak and Yobo than we had originally anticipated.

Likewise, if the above rule applies, South Africa need to beat Senegal by 5 goals on Thursday to have any chance of going through (due to their vastly inferior goal difference and the fact that they lie 3 points behind 2nd place in their group). So Peanut could be home by the weekend too?

If the above is correct and results go against Nigeria and South Africa this week, could we have our 3 African stars back in time for the Blackburn tie on Saturday? OK, maybe not Peanut as he is playing Thursday, but maybe Yobo and the Yak?
Neil Humphrey     Posted 28/01/2008 at 19:33:49   Comments (3)

The thrill of the chase

After being relieved of the unwelcome distraction of a cup run in a Mickey Mouse competition (at least that is what is often said after an exit), we can at last look forward to the more regular hustle and bustle of the league. The match against Spurs represents an intriguing challenge, in more ways than one:

- Will EFC have recovered (mentally) from the defeat against Chelsea, or will they succumb to a depression as in 2005 after the Champions league adventure?
- Will Spurs have recovered from their implosion against Man United at the weekend? They've had less recovery time.
- We all know that they're in a bit of a false league position. Them with Villa, Pompey, Blackburn, Citeh and the Anfield soccer stars are our direct competitors. A win on Wednesday would send out a message to this tier of would-be challengers. It'd put us on 45 points with Liverpool our closest challengers if they win their games-in-hand.
- Is it time to finally ditch Aj as a lone striker and instead pair him up with a second striker from the off?!! Surely Moyes will have realised this by now!!!
- Will we actually see Vaughan finally complete 90 mins?!!
- Will the second coming of Fernandes herald an upturn in our fortunes much as last season?

At any rate, there's a large part of the season yet to come but we've still reason to be optimistic, COYB!!!
Harvey Smith     Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:16:55   Comments (18)

Club v Country

Just read on the OS that Cahill in talks with Moyes re: leaving to play for Australia and that the bottom line is it's up to Cahil.

What concerns me here is that obviously at this important stage of the season we do not want him to go, however I know he will want to.

He has not being playing well lately and has looked very tired so what would he benefit from in making the trip and more importantly what benefit to his club.

I think this could be a thorny issue with Everton and one that needs to be resolved quickly ,with Tim realising this time he has to think club first which to date he has never done.

I am not being negative more of an underlying concern I have with Tim that he could leave us with a problem, or based on recent performances the opportunity to play 442 more often, which in my opinion we cant when he is the team.

Club First Tim, stay we need the options you provide us with.
Paul Niklas     Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:29:44   Comments (25)

5-year plans

Reflecting upon recent events, my primary concern is not solely that we missed out on a chance of silverware (gutting that this was)... but more importantly where that leaves the 'mental attitude' of the players.

I am with Moyes in his desire to build things over time. Principally, how else can he take us forward? I am concerned however with the effect the defeat will have on certain key players.

The assumption is that Moyes will continue to build upon what he has with the hope that, sometime soon, we arrive at the trophy winning table. However, if Lescott and Arteta were to go... then we are not rebuilding... we are merely 'keeping going' on the hamster wheel of the 'also rans'. That's not Moyes's fault.

Moyes needs to demonstrate the club's commitment to get Everton back in our rightful place... he needs the finances to do this. That's the real issue as we move forward from the Chelsea game.

ps: Regarding Lescott, let's make this again a salutory lesson in not promoting any Everton player to the England set-up. Cries of this player that player for national squads, in our position, is ridiculous bordering on the suicidal.
James  McPherson     Posted 28/01/2008 at 08:25:14   Comments (12)

Lescott to Man Utd?

Righto, let's get it right: who out there thinks Joey will go to Old Trafford if he's offered a massive wage increase and guaranteed Champions League games every week (which will help him into Capello's mind)?

I, personally, hope he stays but he's never said he's blue through and through so who knows? What is the opinion if Manchester United offer £10m for him? Any takers? Just a thought, guys an gals...
Matt Kay     Posted 27/01/2008 at 22:16:28   Comments (46)

Pienaar - a credit to the game.

I only switched on when South Africa were hard up against it (how many 'naturalised Brazilians' are there in the world?), but I wanted to see how Steven Pienaar was getting on.

Getting on?!? Playing in an African tournament is quite different from the Prem League, but skill, awareness and attitude will always stand out. What a fine example of what is good in football he showed today, and anywhere on the field (please note for the future).

As Moyes and Co knew when they brought him to us, he was already a classy player. I'd like to think that EFC have given him something in exchange to take to his national team. All the same, Steven, please come home asap.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 27/01/2008 at 21:32:20   Comments (5)

Remember Spurs' last time here

Remember the Spurs debacle last season? I think it was Moyes's wake-up call with regard to playing some decent football and the aftermath was probably as close as he has come to leaving. Let's hope the lesson was well learned and we can look forward to pay-back time on Wednesday...
Jimmy Royston     Posted 27/01/2008 at 20:32:27   Comments (16)

Doing the hard work

Let me nail my colours to the mast; I am a Moyes supporter. There is continued debate on this site regarding Moyes with, at the extremes, some pretty polarised views which require no further elabortion here. I would however like to offer my thoughts on an area that is less frequently discussed.

I believe that Moyes (and his team) are endeavouring to build something on solid foundations. There seems to me to be an unprecedented effort to recruit young and promising talent to create a level of stability not seen at this club for as long as I can remember. I not not able to back this with facts and figures as I have neither the knowledge to hand nor the time for the required research necessary. It is however a perception, a feeling that this is how it is and I steadfastly believe that this can only be good for our club.

Contrast this with the the strategy of everyone's "second favourite club" Newcastle. Didn't we just know that they would go for the highest profile manager possible? Never mind the quality feel the width. Now we got all the replica wearing retards on side ? what do we do next? I know... let's throw as much cash as we can at high profile, "today's news"-type players. Step three: wonder why we're still shite after spunking all that money....

Back to Moyes, as stated earlier I believe that his approach is different, he is still doing the hard work when it may be easier to become complacement given the high regard he is held in by his employers and probably other suitors. He is aiming to create a legacy. How good is that in today's short term, instant success driven environment? Moysiah or not this is creditable and commendable and for that he should be rightly proud and I for one thank him for his efforts.
Peter  Jones     Posted 27/01/2008 at 11:06:44   Comments (8)

Two sides of the coin

Firstly like to say what a great website this is for Everton ? keep it up Micheal and Lyndon.

My point is the head side of the coin is big money investor to take over at Everton, but I am glad to rather have an Evertonian in charge and no offence than a Yank or an outsider. Now the flip side of the coin is in my opinion is the solution to get back to the top where we belong.

We have just spent 1 to 2 million on Gosling which i don't have a problem with, but why not put up Everton football academies in Australia ,West Africa, Southern Africa, USA, Asia ? run professionally by soccer coaches trained on the Everton way? And every year hold an academy tournament in England or elsewhere where Moysee can go have a peek at the talent he can bring to Finch Farm.

I guess two or three new recruits yearly can be spotted.The rest of the players will be snatched up in their countries' leagues,with Everton holding the players rights if Arsene Wegner or Fergie want to grab. Advantages of this system are that run properly you have sixty new faces to look at yearly plus you starting to snuff the big boys talent searching.

I worked out it will cost about a £100,000 sterling to run an academy in Africa and Asia yearly. If Earl is as good as he says he is in marketing, the academies would be sponsored by local business. So all you blue bloods out there ? give me your feed back.

(This is my first post on this site that i read daily and must admit my blood has been blue for forty years and hopefully another forty.)
Gary Dos Santos     Posted 27/01/2008 at 10:15:10   Comments (9)

Neil Warnock

I was interested to read Neil Warnock's comments in today's Independent in which he seems to align with the Toffeeweb Mailbag's criticisms this week of that over-rated, over-fed windbag Alan Green on R5L. Warnock's comments were along the lines that these know-all commentators should try managing a team against the Big Three before they criticise the likes of David Moyes' tactics. I always found Warnock a bit of an irritation but he seems to have an allegiance to EFC since we signed Jags.
Mike Hughes     Posted 26/01/2008 at 14:10:00   Comments (2)

Midfield four

I have read lots of reports on this website that we are not being attacking enough and we are playing too much long football following the match at Chelsea. I agree with these reports and may have the solution.

Now be honest? Doesn't a midfield of Fernandes, Osman, Pienaar and Arteta sound awesome! I know Carsley has been brilliant and people will disagree with me about dropping him when he has done nothing wrong. But against lower opposition, surely just try this midfield quartet out?

I mean I know Fernandes can play the holding midfield role, because he kept swapping that position with Carsley at the Chelsea match, I remember Carsley the furthest one up the field in one move.

I know it seems a bit lightweight midfield four, but against smaller opposition and with the creativity of that midfield, it would be great football to watch, and our fans deserve to watch great football following on from the great football earlier in the season.

I remember Moyes playing Li Tie and Linderoth in centre midfield, two lightweight good-passing midfielders, and that worked very well, weirdly. So this midfield four has every reason to work...
Ben Jones     Posted 26/01/2008 at 12:54:20   Comments (22)

Moyes's tactics

I've read old Marsh's comments and John Doolan's mailbag submission too. I would like these guys to come up with their suggestions on how we could have undone Chelsea on Wednesday night? Who did we have on the bench that would have made a difference? What tactics would have made a difference against the obvious talent Chelsea have? They nullified us completely. Our play is down the flanks. Chelsea closed us down quickly between their fullbacks and wide midfielders then Makelele came across. Their was no room to play our normal game when they had three men in the channel.

Moyes tried something different with Fernandes to get us playing through the middle and give us a different option but he was rusty and got caught on the ball too often. Chelsea closed us down all over the pitch and we don't have the talent to play in tight confined spaces. We just don't, we can't afford those players that can. So we resorted to hoofing it, but honestly what else could we do? Throw Anichebe on to try and head the thing? Does anyone believe this would have made a difference? Moyes, I feel, stayed positive by leaving Johnson on to try and encourage the team to keep it on the floor and stop hoofing it.

The reason we lost on Wednesday was because Chelsea have a lot more talent in their team than we do. The reason they do is beacuse they have more money. They can afford to spend £30 million on a player who doesn't even make the bench. They've spent £22 million on players this January, we've brought in one player on loan and sold someone for £5.5 million to balance the books.

So please tell me Doolan and Marsh, what the hell difference would playing any other system or any other players in our squad have made? We just have to accept the depressing facts of football in this country ? that unless you have significant investment you will not win anything. But let's thank Moyes for trying!
Alan Clarke     Posted 26/01/2008 at 09:59:53   Comments (42)

Missing the boat on AJ

Guys and girls, somethink has been nagging away at me for a while now (not my wife!).

It is AJ! I really think he is never going to get any better than he is now and to be honest I think he has lost something from his days at Palace ? or maybe he never really had it and the prem is a bit too much?

Don't get me wrong, i really love his attitude and effort, but I really do not think he is good enough in our next phase of breaking that top 4 and winning trophies.

He seems to have lost pace and the ability to go past defenders and in an ideal world we could keep him as a sqaud player if finances were flush. But my point/question is, should we be cashing in on him before he gets older, less effective and noticable to other teams, so we can get a decent price, maybe make a profit and then bolster the positions we need, winger, midfielders??

I just think another two season could go by and he could get worse or at best stand still but his value will definately drop, should we cash in now before we miss the boat on him???
Mark Griffiths     Posted 26/01/2008 at 09:26:51   Comments (33)

American midfielder Michael Bradley

How interesting to see ToffeeWeb make mention of the TribalFootball report of American midfielder Michael Bradley drawing attention. Just two days ago, I actually saw him on a football program that covered the Dutch league. He's scoring goals and looking good. He would indeed be a great asset to the Blues, especially as DM is looking to build such a great young squad.

Actually, I've been thinking of another yank that would be just what Everton need: Clint Dempsey, currently at Fulham FC. I think he has bags of creativity, runs around like crazy, and has the height we need. I would love to see him play next to Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill. Fulham look to be going down so perhaps we can pick him up in the summer.
Alberto Camacho     Posted 26/01/2008 at 02:06:13   Comments (13)

Petition for Tony Marsh to stop posting

I suggested this in Tony Marsh's last rant 'Shattered Dreams' Basically sign your name and reason for signing, if you agree with the following and lets finally get some peace:

I propose that Michael, Lyndon and Colm stand up and take notice of the offence that Tony Marsh is causing to some, and just plain annoyance to others, he has proven over the years that he is outspoken and many of his comments have been out of order and many of us are fed up of the constant unconstructive criticism that he throws at the team and only seems to post on the back of a bad result or a controversial decision, so my proposal in short is that Michael and co. stop letting through the rants that he posts, which would hopefully force him into posting his opinion in a rational and acceptable fashion.

Just post your signatures if you agree with the above. Thankyou for your time.
Robert Jones     Posted 25/01/2008 at 23:59:59   Comments (0)

The Moyes love-in

Ah bless! ...the ToffeeWeb mailbag has come over all warm and cozy and Moyes is apparently destined to lead us to greatness. Or maybe ? and with great regret, of course ? possibly outgrow us and move on to that top job a man of his genius deserves...

Do me a fucking favour!!! ? the Phil Neville of the managerial world (ie, better than the majority of his peers thru sheer hard work and effort) once again demonstrated in both legs of the Carling Cup semi-final why he will never join the ranks of the greats.

He sat back against 10 men at Stamford Bridge and he just lacked the bottle or nous on Wednesday to go for it, either from the off or least at half time. If he had, we may have lost anyway but in the end we just slipped to a certain and slow, painful defeat.

It's all okay, though, as apparently he is still learning ? give me strength!!! But maybe he can learn in time for the next game that once you decide to make a sub, have some balls and actually make the sub instead of becoming a writhing mass of indecision

Next Wednesday will be very interesting as, one year on from his most infamous act of cowardice, he will come up against a man who in a couple of months has turned a rabble into a very formidable attacking team ? how's that for a learning curve.

Never mind, though, as most fans seem to believe that Davey Boy will get there in the end... For god's sake, wake up! ? it ain't going to happen.
John Doolan     Posted 25/01/2008 at 20:44:16   Comments (34)

Yobo & The Yak

So, if Nigeria lose to Mali tonight and the Ivory Coast beat Benin, that means Nigeria are out, which in turn means Yobo & The Yak are coming home early. Bad news for Nigerians, great news for us!

Just thought I'd mention it.
Allan Hobbs     Posted 25/01/2008 at 14:30:02   Comments (10)

Everton vs Sky 4

Since the Liverpool game in October we have only been beaten by one of these so called Big, Top, Sky 4 teams (excluding Oldham ?that was an absolute fluke where 99/100 we would win!) Even prior to that we had lost 3 times, 2 of which followed the gruelling matches against Metalist and even the best sides sometimes struggle after European excursions. Also, early season form can be a little patchy as new players and new systems are introduced. Maybe inconsistencies at the start caused by a lack of rythym by changes to the team.

Back to the point in hand, we are beating everybody outside the Sky 4 and losing to all inside it. Where then does this rank in progress? At the moment all 4 of those teams have the most resources out of anyone in the League. There are also several other teams that again have more resources at their disposal than ourselves and yet we are out-performing them.

All clubs strive for that consistency to get them up the table. And we have it in abundance. Yes, this season we have been bitterly disapointed against these teams but is it not better to be in the position we are in rather than be like City and only win at home, or like Reading who have beaten ourselves and Liverpool, drew with Utd. and yet lie mid-table?

We have been beating everyone we need to be beating. Yes the sky 4 is our goal and I am NOT saying that this won't get us there. We are laying the foundations for a challenge to finish top 4. All we need now is for at least one to have a horrendous season (Liverpool) in order to capitalise on it and maybe, as Moyes put it after the Chelsea game, provide the "X-Factor."
Jack Calvert     Posted 25/01/2008 at 12:46:25   Comments (12)

Cahill Suspension

Can anybody explain why the club website is saying that Cahill picked up a yellow card on Wednesday night and is suspended for the Tottenham game? I did not see him get booked and I can find no match report that refers to it either.
Keith Taylor     Posted 25/01/2008 at 09:48:31   Comments (8)

The Missing Link

David Moyes (and Michael Kenrick amongst others) talks of this 'something else' we are missing that we need that can be the difference in games such as the semi-final defeat to Chelsea. This made me think and wonder what they meant.

I thought of Gerrard pulling Liverpool out of the shit on numerous occasions on the biggest stages when it counts and I thought of Rooney and Ronaldo for Man U to a leesser extent but becoming more and more influential over time ? perhaps to surpass Gerrard in the not-too-distant future. Each of these have that something else, that 'X-factor'... the ability to produce something out of nothing.

Then I thought of what we have or had and other possibilities. Arteta has the most ability of any of the players in the squad but is not known for prolific scoring or scoring when it counts. Some have gone as far as to say he doesn't produce against the big teams. Cahill is quite reliable in terms of scoring but lacks the ability to produce that something extra.

There is now talk of players such as Arshavin ? is he the key, does he have that something else? But more importantly could we afford him? The only player who came to mind that matched this discription and possessed these qualities to produce something different who had this 'something else' that we could actually afford and had was... wait for it ? James McFadden!

Although other discriptions would include 'enigma', 'eratic'... maybe even 'shite'. But the fact is James was able to produce the unexpected; not only did he confuse his own players and fans but also the opposition and when given the opportunity in the big games, when it counted most, (although few and far between) he usually produced ? and not just for Scotland such as against France.

Games for Everton that spring to mind are the Metalist game, Charlton, and he came very close in the first leg against Chelsea. Who knows, maybe James might have been the difference between winning and losing that game and winning the Cup itself.

I was wondering if, given the chance, what would be prefered: £5 million in the bank or the Carling Cup in the cabinet; is money more important than a trophy?
Ian Tunny     Posted 24/01/2008 at 23:45:11   Comments (38)

Cahill — neutralised by our own tactics?

I believe one of the main reasons why Tim Cahill is looking so knackered recently is because he is the victim of our own tactics.

When Howard takes along goal kick or we have a throw in, Cahill is positioned so as to challenge for the ball in the air. Previously it was Campbell, perhaps even Watson, then Ferguson, then Beattie and even Kilbane - now it's Cahill.

Now if you've ever had to jump from a standing start at least 30 times in a match, you'll know that it's knackering. Also, being a target man is an anathema to Tim's game. He is the sort who makes up for his relative lack of height by timing his runs. You can't do this with a big man right up your back facing a 40 yard punt.

Just because he's good in the air, doesn't mean that he's good for this sort of aerial challenge. I know that we have of late tended to play the ball a bit more on the ground but playing Cahill as a target for long balls is effectively neutralising his potency and knackering the guy in the process.

Alternatives anyone, given the relative lack of height at the moment?


Ray Robinson     Posted 24/01/2008 at 21:08:12   Comments (15)

Bobby Earl

"Everton fans might be surprised that their major American shareholder, entertainment mogul Robert Earl, finalised his deal with boxing promoter Frank Warren for the April 19 Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe fight in the box he has at White Hart Lane ? after seeing Spurs trounce Arsenal in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.

"Despite having a 20 per cent stake in Everton, Earl has been a Tottenham fan for 46 years since running a successful tourist entertainment business in London with friend Joe Lewis, the billionaire behind Spurs chairman Daniel Levy's ENIC investment business. Yesterday, Planet Hollywood owner Earl showed his promotional savvy at the Calzaghe press conference by bringing along a piece of iconic boxing film memorabilia ? the giant slab of meat prop that Sylvester Stallone was forced to use as his slaughterhouse punching bag in the first Rocky film."

Didn't know he had a box at WHL! Also didn't know he was our 'major' shareholder — obviously an error. Does anyone know if 20% is the correct figure?
David  O'Brien     Posted 24/01/2008 at 19:47:08   Comments (12)

Alan Green Is A Liverpool Supporter

I saw the other thread regarding Alan Green, and Ii hope the follwoing clears up just who he actually supports.

Alan Green?s father was in my dad?s petrol station over here in Belfast back in September / October.

Alan Green's father told the guy working for my dad that Alan tries to get him over to watch all the Liverpool home games, but he refuses to go over with him as he has no interest in watching Liverpool and prefers to watch the local game instead (that made me laugh).

The guy working for my dad was a Man Utd fan and asked Alan Green's father if it was true Alan was a Man Utd fan, but he said "no, he?s definitely a diehard Liverpool man through and through".

Hope this clears up any doubts about that snide little toerag!
Declan Brown     Posted 24/01/2008 at 17:36:35   Comments (5)

Something we forgot to do...

...blame the ref!

A cross was played into the penalty area, Cech went to catch, then dropped the ball, and on his way to the ground came into a collision with Jags.

The ball ended up at the feet of Johnson with an open goal. Alas the whistle was blown for a foul on Cech.

If play was allowed to continue then would the boards be so negative of our players today?

All ifs and buts I know, but it was a wrong call.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 24/01/2008 at 15:59:00   Comments (5)

Sky Conspiracy?

It seems that the Goodison faithful were a lot louder than what appeared on TV. I watched the match at home and was thinking to myself, "Why are we not out singing the Chelsea fans?" It seems that Sky have been using their 'creative licence' to make Chelsea fans sound more like they were up for the game than us.

To be fair I can't see what Sky could possibly gain from this, and would probably be in their best interest to make out Goodison was rocking; but hey, who knows what goes on in Sky's minds? Can anyone who was at the game shed some light on this 'conspiracy theory?'
Trevor Thompson     Posted 24/01/2008 at 14:56:20   Comments (22)

We lost it in London

I think that we lost the game at the Bridge ? 11 versus 10 with half an hour to go, we failed to capitalise on it and push for the winner, we gave them to much respect were content playing for a draw and were punished, this was the defining moment from then on it was an uphill task to win the tie.

Instead of taking win or a draw to Goodison Park and defending some kind of advantage and believe me we have the players for that it was Chelsea coming to The Old Lady knowing that a goalless draw would sent them through and their game plan was pinpointing it - 4-5-1 with 2 defensive midfielders, content to soak up the pressure and wait for a killer.

Everton huffed and puffed but were found wanting. Credit to the boys they created 3 good chances but it wasn?t to be, we lacked that arrogance that won us the game at Wigan and for me also missing the lady luck. I can?t blame neither the players for their efforts or the manager for his tactics. Some will blame DM for going with 4-5-1 and not the more attacking 4-4-2 but its simply not sustainable against top team playing for a break ? we struggled with 5 man midfield to keep possession and what about with four with Osman on the left ? unthinkable.

Osman and Cahill were not at the races, not to mention Manny, Johnson was also wasteful on the ball ? these are critical players for our system and sadly they couldn?t deliver the goods when it mattered. I may be the only one but for me Lescott was responsible for the goal and not Valente, who made last ditch attempt to clear the danger.

All in all I am very disappointed with it but as I said we missed our chance at the Bridge and not yesterday, DM and Everton have to learn how to kill when they smell blood in order to bring us something to cheer about.

ps: It's nice that we have a break this week the last one was very absorbing
Stefan Tosev     Posted 24/01/2008 at 14:27:23   Comments (4)

Long ball

I find it very ironic that Everton often being accused of going 'route one' have now been sunk by long balls from supposedly more attractive teams playing the 'long ball'.
Eddie Gibbs     Posted 24/01/2008 at 13:12:58   Comments (9)

Cahill and Arteta?

Considering Cahill and Arteta are meant to be two of our best players, does anybody else feel let down by their performance last night? Cahill hasn?t played well for a few games now. He was anonymous again last night. Arteta never plays well against any of the better teams in the league. He gets the ball does a little bit of skill, which often isn't really needed, then instead of taking people on and attacking their goal, he checks and either plays it back or comes inside.

Also, when AJ is a lone striker, what is the point of playing 40 yard balls to him that hang in the air when he?s up against a 6ft plus defender, such as Alex or Carvalho. AJ needs balls played through to him for him to run onto and he?ll do the rest.

When its a semi final match at home I want to see all the players give it 110%, I want to see attacking football and get value for money for the 280 mile round trip I do every other week.
Graham Duffy     Posted 24/01/2008 at 11:29:34   Comments (33)

More Questions Than Answers

Driving home from the game last night I pondered a number of questions regarding all things Everton.

Undoubtedly, we have made giant leaps in terms of where we are now and where we were five years ago, but I just wonder is the team or squad reaching its maximum potential?

Are we always going to be finishing about fifth or sixth with occasional forays into the 'Champions League' group stages or can Moyes really bridge the gap and propel us into third or fourth spot on a regular basis?

Even if the proposed move to Kirkby comes off, then supposedly we will only generate an additional £10m per season, hardly enough to turn a promising team into genuine title contenders?

Take last night's game; I always felt that ALL the Everton team would have to have very good games if we were to progress thru to the final.

As it was, a number of players had poor games overall, and as much as I love them as wholehearted players, would Leon Osman, Lee Carsley or Nuno Valente get anywhere near that Chelsea team?

I am also a little concerned that the manager continues to believe that the best way forward is to hit long balls up to our lone front runner Andy Johnson, who at 5' 8'' was not going to win too many headers against the Chelsea back four.

Much as I hate to say it, if we are to 'join the Sky Three party' then a massive investment is required on the playing front, one which probably requires a change of ownership at boardroom level.

Meanwhile, hats off to our crowd last night, they were truly magnificent, they were so much better than the obnoxious two thousand who bothered to make the journey from London.

Incidentally, Chelsea laid on a 'football special' train at £10.00 a head in an effort to increase their support at Goodison.

Pathetic really.


Steve Hogan     Posted 24/01/2008 at 10:50:01   Comments (1)

Unlucky, now lets bounce back!

That was the first game we really missed our African trio, but that's only because of the quality of the opposition! Cahill was expected to do Yakubu's job and hold the ball up but that just isn't him and had Yobo and Pienaar been there then we would have had a threat down the left (due to Lescott then being able to play left back)!

Chelsea had a gameplan and stuck to it perfectly, always having 8 or 9 behind the ball and usually about 3 of those on Arteta, then catching us on the break! Also we just needed a little luck like the couple of times when the ball pinged off Cech and could have gone anywhere, however it always seemed to fall to a Chelsea players foot!

Gutted, but well done Everton, back to the league now and let's bounce back like we have done after every other defeat and show Spurs why they are 15 points behind us in the prem! COYB!
Dan McKie     Posted 24/01/2008 at 10:26:02   Comments (2)

Fans

Gutted, absolutley gutted. Got some opinions but I'm gonna watch the game back on tv before I come on and praise/critisize players.

But the point I wanted to make was the fans, ours were magnificent. Forget stupid comments from TV viewers as the noise levels very rarely come across on TV well (Man Utd, Villarreal, Bucharest etc prove my point) but we were at it from before kick-off 'til after final whistle an I'm proud to have stood next to youse last night, as I always am.

On the other hand, thier shower of shite do not deserve the owner or the team that they have & the 11 fans they brought prove that they arent a big club & never will be a big club. Because if all the recent success they have had can't ensure more fans, what will????
John Lloyd     Posted 24/01/2008 at 10:12:48   Comments (2)

Missing Ingredient

David Moyes's post match reflection clearly indictates that he is well aware of the defeciencies that exist within the team that has so far this season prevented us from beating any of the so called 'top-four'.

Without singling out any one player, collectively Carsley, Osman and Cahill offered very little creatively in the 4-5-1 formation. All three player's are vital member's of the squad and never shirk responsibility; however, when it comes to opening up the opposition Arteta and Piennar aside we have very little else.

Moyes is looking at remedies and I'm sure that a midfield playmaker is a priority. Arshavin has stated his desire to play in the EPL and is continually linked, although cup tied for the Uefa Cup, he would bring experience and an extra attacking dimension to play.
Peter Laing     Posted 24/01/2008 at 09:17:20   Comments (5)

A series of lacking events....

I was going to use the word unfortunate in the title but I think lacking is more apt. There were a few areas I think Everton were lacking in last night.

Number 1 being a killer Instinct: we always seemed like we were trying to walk it in, even when stood on the edge of the area no-one had a shot.

Number 2 was the lack of game expirience from Manny: I know he hasn't had a lot of first team football at Valencia (that's why he's back) but the amount of time he passed to a player in BRIGHT YELLOW was ridiculous. I think Moysey should have subbed him at half-time ? it's not like it wasn't an important game and he wasn't doing any harm! Also, the times Manny did go on a run, he was trying to be to fancy.

I think Moysey lacked ideas too and needed to change formation when he saw it wasn't working, Tim looked well confused most of the game rendering him unaffective for most of it. I really think we missed the Yak and Penuts last night. I persoanlly thought that Lescott looked more of a striker than AJ.

As Arteta pointed out, we needed to keep tha ball down, we were firing in high to 4ft AJ when there was a 7ft Cech waiting to catch, parry or punch it away. (The lacking here is footballing nouse!)

I know this seems like a long winge, and I know im going to have the MOD (Moyes' Obligatory Defence) on my ass but it's only because i was dreaming (as im sure we all were) of Wembley.
Craig Ashford     Posted 24/01/2008 at 08:45:48   Comments (1)

“It may take money...”

That's what David Moyes said last night after we we huffed and puffed but couldn't blow the Chelsea mansion down.

Is this David Moyes maybe realising he's taken us as far as he can? Maybe he has? All any manager with Moyes resources could do is maybe get us 5-6th or at a pinch 4th.

But will money be forthcoming? I'm sure if Blue bill had the money he would give it Moyes, but lets face it all Moyes is gonna get is £10 milllion a season tops, not a great deal though when you are trying to capture players good enough to break into the top 4 and challenge for honours.

It beggars belief how we have not had any signs of investment. We're 4th in the league, in Europe have a fairly decent squad and fanatstic support. What we need now is that £100 million+ to push us further. Will that money ever come?

Not if Wyness shoots his load in excitement everytime we get offered small sums of money. What Wyness got for the Chang deal was scandalous. As a team in Europe pushing hard for 4th we should and could have got a lot more.

So as Daid Moyes says, "It may take money". When he realises hes not gonna get it dont be shocked to see David Moyes walk, he's maybe done all he can. I think deep down in his heart last night he realised that.
Dan  Johnson     Posted 24/01/2008 at 08:50:44   Comments (9)

AJ

i love AJ... his workrate and sense of team is enourmous... but (and there's a but...) playing one up the front against a great defensive unit was a gamble.

He ran his arse off and chased everything, but he needed support and Timmy just doesn't cut the mustard in the good good supportive role. 4-4-2 with Vic, with his strength and good touch would have been the waqy to go.

As the game left our hands, i thought we needed a killer instinct striker. AJ for me just doesnt fit that bill... although as a side note, Cech was awesome. The Yak should get the nod when he returns ? he's the better suited to the 4-5-1 role.
Nathan Round     Posted 24/01/2008 at 08:45:41   Comments (2)

Fernandes

In a nutshell, not good enough. The lad has good vision but as I have said on this site when Manny was here last time, no stamina, no engine. Last night, he'd pass the ball then stayed were he was. When we broke and needed support on the edge of the box, he was still in our own half. The lad thinks he's better than he is. I watch Steven Pienaar and I see a skillfull player but also a player who will run his socks off for the team.
Colin Malone     Posted 24/01/2008 at 06:57:50   Comments (17)

(T)rouble at mill??

The best pound-for-pound team just got devalued against the Rouble. So does that mean we are really in the sub-prime bracket? well on balance, imho no.

We, as in Moyes and the team, seem to be slowly learning how not to lose, ie Wigan, West Ham etc. But the fact remains we have still to beat a team from the otherside of the glass ceiling.

A trip to Wembley would have been nice and since Spurs won we would have fancied our chances, no mental block there.

So it's back to the PL to try and get some momentum and confidence going to keep 4th place, whilst giving Manny time to get some games under his belt. All the better for some more Uefa jam on our 'plain' PL bread and butter.
Derek Thomas     Posted 24/01/2008 at 03:49:53   Comments (14)

What Can We Learn From Tonight?

C'est La Vie... The lads grafted as hard as ever, but as Moyes said, we just lacked that little something extra. Well, I think we need to give some consideration not only that little something, but to some more fundamental issues as well ? if we are to raise our game up that next level.

Firstly, I'm unsure 4-5-1 works against the top teams. Let's face it, it's currently used to accomodate Cahill pushing up from midfield in his 'jack in a box' role. But if the lone striker doesn't dominate in the air or hold up the ball (which AJ can't seem to do), and the midfield is too deep or cannot penetrate a solid defense (a la Chelsea), then we are frankly buggered (as we have been a number of times this season). Can the Yak do it? Perhaps better, but I still think 4-4-2 is the way to go and if this occasionally means Tiny Tim sitting out, then so be it (I love the guy but his form has dipped significantly).

We really missed our African chums and with Arteta double-marked out of it, I think it shows we are still lacking something in midfield to link it to the attack more effectively!

Anyway, just a few random thoughts to take my mind off the result, now I'm back home. I'm gutted and I know we were beaten by a better team over the two legs ? but I still think we aren't that far away from make 4th our natural position.
Dave Edwards     Posted 24/01/2008 at 02:11:58   Comments (27)

Proud to be an Evertonian

We lost. We aren't going to Wembley. The dream is over. Something I have waited my whole life for, something I have been buzzing about for a week, has failed to come to pass. I am gutted. But at the same time I am so proud to be an Evertonian.

Chelsea are not a team. They are the very symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern game. Their fans couldn't even half-fill a 5,000 seat allocation. They are, on the whole, a collection of mercenaries, some of the best players in the world, and it is near impossible for any club that is not Man United or maybe Arsenal to beat them if they actually try their best.

Their performance tonight was one of defensive excellence ? even when they had a corner they often left 5, yes 5, men back.

Everton Football Club is what it is all about. For me, anyway. A place of tradition, family, and a fantastic following. Being at Goodison tonight was fantastic ? the noise, particularly in the first half, was brilliant, a level above anything I have ever experienced in my 19 years (I was not lucky enough to go to Wembley in 1995 at the age of 7).

When we realised the game was up, we started to sing again, louder still than at the beginning, and we continued after the whistle blew, the whole ground on their feet, giving the players a standing ovation. They had tried their best and failed against what is probably the best team in the world at defending a 1-goal advantage.

Yes, we were not at our best tonight; the best team won. But it was a night to remember ?we gave it our all, on and off the pitch, and I am proud to have been there and done my part.

Anyway, we're gunning for bigger and better things this season. 4th spot up for grabs. And there's another Cup we are still involved in. We're going to City twice...
Louis Huglin     Posted 24/01/2008 at 00:44:38   Comments (20)

FA Cup

The team selection against Oldham didn't pay off did it. We would have had a Home tie against Huddersfield; as it is we have the weekend off. Still a lot to do to win the Uefa Cup, so clsoe but again so far. Look at Spurs quality last night. It's not ALL down to investment, Moyes still isn't learning a Plan B or formations from the players available. I'm just fed up really.
Joe  McMahon     Posted 23/01/2008 at 23:59:47   Comments (18)

AJ - Is he good enough on his own?

Yes ,I know he works tiredlessly and he runs around for 90 minutes ( generally down the flanks with nobody in the middle) but can he play the lone striker role? He has no height so cant win the ball in the air (not his fault) but his control and distribution is poor to put it mildly. I say sell now when we get silly money, a la Faddy, come on boys we can do better. Remember Nil Satis? Sadly AJ is not that.
David Pilling     Posted 23/01/2008 at 23:51:59   Comments (12)

Disappointed...

....not in the result, not in the team, not in Moyes, but in the crowd.

Those 38,000 were so lucky to have been there they should have done their part and cheered on our team.

But they didn't.

There are so many Evertonians around the world (myself included) who would have killed to be in the stands and would have without a doubt done a better job of drowning out the Chelski bandwagonners.

I am unbelieveably disappointed and extraordinarily angry at those who were at Goodison and let our boys down.
Jimmy Crack     Posted 23/01/2008 at 22:39:49   Comments (28)

The Match Summary

The immediate gut wrenching disappointment can, if we are not careful elicit an overwhelming desire to attribute blame ? it's part of today's British culture. But as entitled as you are to express a view... particularly given the many hours you must devote to this great site... I do think to attribute blame to David Moyes does you little credit.

In truth, over two legs Chelsea possessed the stronger more technically superior squad and despite a great deal of applied effort we could not create sufficient openings or scoring opportunities. Sorry to have a go... something just struck a chord. Keep up the good work.
Mike Smith     Posted 23/01/2008 at 22:29:42   Comments (7)

Who's sorry now?

Another dissapointing night for us blues. Chelsea were just too organised for us on the night and we badly missed our African Nations trio. If we are to take that last step to compete with the top 3 we need a big cash investment from somewhere and also learn from our mistakes.

No more lone striker formations at home.
No more weakened sides in the FA Cup.

Oh and one more:
No moving ground to Kirkby!!!!
Eddy Bernard     Posted 23/01/2008 at 22:25:34   Comments (5)

Same as, same as.....

Stuck at home with the flu, I never once thought like we looked like breaking Chelsea down. As ever, some of our distribution was woeful and I don`t think we had even one direct shot at goal. Moyes was again proved not up to it with a sterotype game plan and the usual 70-min substitutions. Regretfully, we still have a long way to go before we will make an impact on the Big Boys!
Brian  Noble     Posted 23/01/2008 at 22:01:35   Comments (8)

Opportunity knocked... and went away!

I am sitting here at 3 in the morning infront of my computer finding it hard to express how sad im feeling right now. We were so passionate in the build up to the match with players and fans both so geared up for it... it came after all the hype... and now its gone.. just like our chances of a cup this year.

Our staring line-ep looked promising especially with Manny back and I felt we had a great chance. I was following the game on my computer and it was evident from early on that Chelsea were bossing the game. We had a lot of possession but it added up to nothing... Cech was having a great game too saving well from the chances that we had.

Since I didn't watch the game i cant rate the players but I think that the defence especially Jags had a good game but the midfield... especially Cahill looked dead. We should have brought on Big Vic and Vaughan much much earlier in the 2nd half... instead we made them warm up just as Chelsea scored. After that it was just impossible... Back to the drawing board now, let's kick on with the league and the Uefa Cup. And forget this debacle as soon as we can.. I for one will be at work in 4 hours time with next to no sleep at all and a heavy heart!
Santosh Benjamin     Posted 23/01/2008 at 21:48:09   Comments (52)

The BIG GAME!!!

I'm going to open this as a live matchday thread for comments during the game.

This is the team line-up:

Tim Howard
Phil Neville (c)
Joleon Lescott
Jorge Nuno Valente
Phil Jagielka Leon Osman
Tim Cahill
Lee Carsley
Mikel Arteta
Manuel Fernandes
Andrew Johnson

Subs: Stefan Wessels, Tony Hibbert, Alan Stubbs, James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe

COYB!!!
Michael Kenrick     Posted 23/01/2008 at 19:25:42   Comments (87)

Enjoy Yourselves!

No going out onto the pitch at Goodison with heads filled with tactics. Just two words in the ears of the players......

ENJOY YOURSELVES!!! ...

Is that the advice for Everton tonight? Maybe... but these words were delivered by Oldham's manager before he sent his lads out for a famous victory!

Sure the world and his uncle expects Chelsea to win tonight's tie but, even if they are in a different world of finance and team strength from Everton these days, there is surely no greater difference between our Blues and their Blues in a single game than there was between Everton and Oldham, and look who won that one!

We hid from Man U and Liverpool at Goodison losing by giving both sides too much respect but let's hope that David Moyes forgets all the 'Top Three' nonsense that has so many sides cowering away from the big guys and sends Everton out tonight to have a real go at 'mighty, wealthy' Chelsea.

Smack Petr Cech hard and early and see how his nerve stands up. If we get lucky tonight ? Wembley beckons! Have a great night folks and good luck to Moyes and his lads!
Glen Strachan     Posted 23/01/2008 at 16:37:19   Comments (31)

Enjoy your Special night

To those of you who have never been to a BIG cup tie, and with no disrespect, there are many, savour tonight's experience, as, if we all get our wish, you will remember it for many many years to come.

I have been going to the game regularly since 1960, and I am so excited I have been awake since 2:30 am, and I will be a right mess by the time it kicks off for me at 3pm! I started taking one of my daughters in the early 80s and she was bitten right away, and although she was lucky enough to have been at Wembley '84, and Rotterdam '85, she has not missed a lot of games since. She will be there tonight with her sister (in my Park End seat) who also went to Nurenburg, and my 11-yr old crazy Blue Grandaughter.

I will be with them and you all in spirit and support, in front of my 6in PC screen, courtesy of Setanta Sport USA, screaming my auld arse head off as usual ! Go and enjoy it, with your family, mates, and other blue brothers; make lots of noise for what is becoming a very good team, you will never forget it!!!

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!
AN IF YA KNOW YER HISTORY!!!!!!! ELLO ELLO ELLO!!!!!!!

PS Does anyone know if I can get a full screen on PC, watching in US? I'm a PC novice by the way!
Jay  Capper     Posted 23/01/2008 at 10:17:10   Comments (25)

Not Used To Winning Things, eh?

Just browsing a few websites for information before I leave for tonights game and I can't believe this article on Teamtalk.

Obiously Mr Grant has never studied his history of the "English game" because jf he did he would realise that his club are "jonny come latelys" whose recent achievements are down to a Russian sugerdaddy.

Please Davie, post this article on the dressing room door tonight along with the article posted by some moron on the Chelsea website after the first leg.

We are Everton - The Peoples Club. See you all at Wembley on 24th February! COYB!
Declan Burke     Posted 23/01/2008 at 09:07:29   Comments (19)

Kirkby Moratorium

Editor's statement: We don't like to do this but, as you all know, today there is a massive, massive game on ? the biggest Everton match in 13 years (10 if you count the scrape with relegation in 1998).

In recognition of this, and in response to some requests that the whole issue really has been beaten to death and beyond, we are announcing a moratorium on any discussion of the new stadium / Destination Kirkby or anything related until next week. So please, save your posts until then. Also, all current stadium-related threads are closed to comment.

And focus instead on the mammoth but very do-able task that faces the players tonight... COYB!!!
Michael Kenrick     Posted 23/01/2008 at 03:24:15   Comments (1)

Jonas Gutierrez

Just been watching Revista de la Liga and the pundit linked us with a move to Real Mallorca's spiderman saying that we are one of a number of English clubs interested in the Argentine winger. I did a quick bit of research after being quite impressed by the clip they showed of him, and also watched a couple more on youtube. Spiderman is his nickname due to getting out a Spiderman mask and putting it on every time he scores, apparently (see the you tube clip). Still it beats the dummy celebration.

Any of our Spanish friends have anything to add about him? Would he be a decent addition and is it down the left that he plays?
Steve Ferns     Posted 22/01/2008 at 23:51:31   Comments (14)

Trophy or CL

Looking at our current situation I am wondering what most people regard as our priority: Champions League football or a trophy? I ask because Spurs despite a terrible season are a game away from a tangible victory that would be recorded in the history books as a piece of silverware. We despite having won 21 games by mid season could well end up trophyless if we lose tomorrow.

Based upon the team we sent out at Oldham and Moyes's renewed interest in 4th spot, I am of the opinion that his priority is the league rather than the trophy cabinet. In the short term that might seem smart but no one looks back now and says "Hey remember when Newcastle kept finishing in the top 4". They just look back and say "Newcastle haven't won anything in nearly 40 years ... losers !" Where do fans on here think our priorities should really lie?
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 22/01/2008 at 23:37:29   Comments (17)

What's going on with Anderson?

Can anybody tell me what is the story with Anderson Da Silva? We went and bought the boy, having to wait quite a while for clearance to get him, and he can't seem to get a look in. Does anyone know why we bought him if we're not going to give him a go?

From what I see on the net, he seems to have done really well at Barnsley, so, what's the go? As I'm in Oz I'm not privy to a lot of info so if someone could let me know I'd be most interested.
Dennis Karanikolopoulos     Posted 22/01/2008 at 22:03:03   Comments (7)

We need to play like Tottenham did

I'm sure David Moyes watched the Arsenal and Tottenham game today, since it decided his would-be opponent in the cup final. That being so, I hope he got some inspiration out of Tottenham's performance. What I saw was a team playing their best players and playing their game. And that is what we need to do tomorrow.

We should play our best formation, 4-5-1. Our best skilled players should play, Manny and Osman should play, with Neville slotting in at right back. If we can play the slick game we have played in Europe then we can beat Chelsea and have it be a performance we can be proud of. This is what I hope for tomorrow. I want to win pretty.
Joey Brown     Posted 22/01/2008 at 21:45:35   Comments (25)

Bringing Goodison with us...

One end of Croke Park here in Dublin is known as the Hill End, or Hill 16. The number comes from an uprising here in Dublin in 1916. The rubble from parts of the city was used as foundation for the stadium when it was being built soon afterwards.

Having the rubble built into into the Hill End for the last ninety odd years has meant that this part of the ground now holds a special place in Dublin supporters' hearts. Whenever there is a big championship game on in Croker, Dublin supporters make the Hill End their own and the passion is there for all to see.

Just to put it out there, how would Evertonians feel about having rubble from the demolition of Goodison used in the building of any new stadium. Would it make a difference to your view of the new ground? Would it make the place feel like the home of Everton FC? For myself I think it would help with the move away from Goodison.

I know to all of us this is something that is very close to the bone. To many, it may be a very morbid issue. But it's just that it's something I don't remember being on the website before and I'm just curious to see what you all think about this.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 22/01/2008 at 19:13:48   Comments (19)

Baines's injury problems

I read a piece about Leighton Baines and his recent ankle injury, he may well need to see a specialist. I'm beginning to worry that he might be a little injury-prone... Let's hope he's been just unlucky this season.
Trevor Thompson     Posted 22/01/2008 at 19:08:57   Comments (11)

The Person Next To You

I'd just like to urge every Evertonian lucky enough to be going the game on Wednesday to make a difference.

Shout yourself hoarse and roar the team on to Wembley and encourage the person next to you to do the same.

You can be that mythical "12th man" .Just ask Andy Gray or Graham Sharp... you are not just spectators. Play your part!
Terry Maddock     Posted 22/01/2008 at 18:08:15   Comments (24)

Fernandes to play?

Do you think Moyes never played Manny at the weekend to use him as a surprise in the cup? I'm sure the Chelsea backroom team would have had an eye on the game with a view to tactics and all. Perhaps he's being saved as a trump card. I'd love to see another goal like the one against Utd last season. Fernandes or No Fernandes, I predict a win for the blues. 2-0. I'm full of confidence, they were shit against Birmingham, who are also shit.
Tom Rowe     Posted 22/01/2008 at 13:37:33   Comments (41)

Cahill to get Aussie call

It looks highly likely that Tim Cahill will get a call up for the Socceroos opening World Cup Qualifier in Melbourne on 6 Feb v Qatar. This game is midweek (Wednesday), squeezed between the Blackburn & Reading games, so hope he goes first class!

After that is a games v China (away) on 26 Mar (4 days before the derby game). The rest are in June.
Ciaran Duff     Posted 22/01/2008 at 12:38:44   Comments (4)

Everton tv

Has anyone had any dealings with the company that runs the Evertontv service?

I've just found out that they've renewed my subscription which I'm none too happy about. The only way to contact them is by e-mail so I've sent off a request for cancellation and refund.

I also phoned Everton and was told this service is nothing to do with them (???) and they only have the same e-mail address for them!!!

How hard is it going to be to get a refund? How can Everton have so little to do with a service they seemingly provide, promote and profit from?
Carl Ryan     Posted 22/01/2008 at 11:31:25   Comments (11)

Super Lee ....

I really think that we should hand Lee Carsley a longer deal in the summer, rather than risk losing him to a lesser club who will offer longer terms. Like Wigan last year, there will be plenty of clubs willing to offer him at least a 2-year deal.

I hope we dont keep giving him a year extensions and run the risk, He has proved for the last 3 years how vital he is for us and there is no-one we have that is it fit to lace his boots in the position he plays. I cant even think of a player we could get who is either....

I'd give him a new 2-year deal without any questions asked as there is no sign at all of him starting to show his age, you'd think he was in his mid 20's the shifts he puts in, he loves the club and I think we should keep this squad together for as long as we can. (if you have Evertontv look at his interview from the Wigan game, HILARIOUS!!)

I think he's a legend and he is as important to us and the way we play, as Joleon, Tim, Yak etc is ........
Ben Nichols     Posted 22/01/2008 at 09:08:06   Comments (7)

Weight for it

James Vaughan seems to have bulked up around the chest and shoulders, I hope this doesn't continue too much and lead to him losing the explosive pace. Yes, I know that all the top sprinters have muscles to spare, but pace is not the same as sprint.

Football, even more so now, is a middle distance / stamina sport. One of the differences between the good, very good and great is the ability to put in that 5, 10, 20 or 30 yard burst to get into the box.

Vaughan has the potential to put together Yakubu's instincts for space with AJ's pace and work rate.

In keeping with my rep. as the world's worst tipster, I won't jinx it with a score for tomorrow, but it IS do-able
Derek Thomas     Posted 22/01/2008 at 05:57:23   Comments (2)

Winger and a Prayer

Can't help but notice how narrow our play has become since Peanut left for the ACN. Now with McFadden gone and Shandy still no nearer to getting his arse into gear, I feel it would make better sense to spend whatever budget we have on a wide player, rather than an injury prone journeyman like Davis (if the rumours are true).

Perhaps if we offer the smoggies £7 million for Downing we might just get him. He has his critics I know, but I think he is a player who could improve further with better players around him and would prove to be a very useful asset in both the short and long term.
Paul  Chisholm     Posted 21/01/2008 at 16:01:05   Comments (20)

Hibbert 'til 2012 ? Crikey!

I'm starting to believe the rumours that Hibbert is the illegitimate love-child of Blue Bill or a teenage Moyes! Just when I thought he was caringly being pushed to the sidelines as his workmanlike graft wasn't sufficient for the more stylish current Everton squad, he's wrapped up for another 4 years...hmmm.

Then I see he is warning off Chelsea for the 2nd leg and is going to be given a starting berth! I fear the worst.....!
Dave Edwards     Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:21:24   Comments (46)

Sean Davis

I see the Rumour Mill is linking us with Sean Davis again. Having seen him described on the web as "A strong tackling, solid midfielder who can pass and keep the ball ..." might he not fit the bill as a prospective long-term replacement for Cars?

There's no doubt Moyes was keen on him for a long-time ? witness the almost season-long saga of us trying to sign him from Fulham prior to his knee injury. And, to be fair, Davey's not done too bad with midfield signings: Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Fernandes, and Kilbane & McFadden (looking at the balance sheet), although AVdM and Simon Davies were/have been disappointments.

Anyway, perhaps the lad can fit the bill? It's obvious Moyes has seen something in him. Maybe this time?
Chris Jones     Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:54:44   Comments (27)

Championship form!

Some are comparing the 42 points we have now with the 44 points that we had at this stage in 2005. I decided to dig a little deeper, and I can reveal that we also had 44 points at this stage in 1987, when we went on to win the title (13 wins, 5 draws, 5 losses). Not sure what this proves, except maybe that a few years back 42 points would have gotten more respect than it does today.
Nick  Wall     Posted 21/01/2008 at 12:34:42   Comments (13)

We're Safe!

The Blues have reached the 40 point 'safe from relegation' mark, how come no one has mentioned/celebrated this milestone?

Not too long ago it was seen as our major target, if we reached it before the last couple of games it seemed Christmas had come early, now not a mention. That & the fact that it has happened with 15 games to go & that we got there ahead of our 'dear' neighbours from Hell surely shows how far we have come in the last few years.

A third serious Euro challenge in four years, an ability to consistently get wins home and away against bottom half of the table teams and nearly £6M for your 5th choice striker hopefully indicate that the number 40 will soon lose all significance to Evertonians.

Now what is the magic number for a Champions League finish?
John Pickles     Posted 21/01/2008 at 11:33:53   Comments (24)

Doing Doubles

Never in my Everton supporting life have I seen the team complete so many "doubles" over people. Not even in the season we finished fourth (although stats may prove me wrong).

We have beaten Wigan, Bolton, Boro this season and we have done the hard part against Pompey and West Ham (getting results away).

This I feel could be a decisive factor in where we finish the season as it proves we are better than these teams and we are not just "lucky".
Dave Trudgeon     Posted 21/01/2008 at 11:31:48   Comments (5)

Tim Howard

I wrote on here after the Chelsea 1st leg that Howard is costing us goals and I had a lot of people disagree with me. There's something about his concentration and decision making that keeps costing us goals.

Yesterday, he should have come for the cross against Wigan but didn't - we concede. Same against Chelsea in 1st leg. He cost us the game against Arsenal for their 3rd goal when Yobo left the ball for him (if Howard didn't want it, why was he so far out of his area?). It meant we couldn't come back into the match.He also cost us in Europe with his terrible roll out to Lescott.

I like he guy, he made a great save against Wigan yesterday and I recognise that he has his good points but Ijust don't think he's good enough

Great win though and great to be above Liverpool!
Karneet Chowdhury     Posted 21/01/2008 at 10:56:21   Comments (23)

Let The Grand Old Lady Roar again

Fellow Blues, on Wednesday night we will witness one of the most important games for a long while at 'The Grand Old Lady'.

I myself have witnessed some of the greatest nights of my life at Goodison in the 37 years I have been attending the match, and I am urging all Evertonians who are attending on Wednesday to crank up the volume to the hilt and scare the living daylights out of the London luvvies.

I am sure everyone will agree there is nothing like Goodison under the floodlights with a full house and a truly intimidating crowd breathing down the necks of the opposition. Those of us who were fortunate to be present at the Bayern Munich game in 85 will know what is expected of us, and those who are too young to remember, make this game your 'Bayern game' and the one you will talk to your children about in years to come.

It is so important for us to be the 12th man for 90/120 minutes on Wednesday.

I say this because although it is 'only, the Carling Cup, it is so important in the rehabilitation of our club to get to a final. Not only will It raises the profile of our glorious football club and take us back to the top table of English football, but you would like to think the Chelsea players will come off that pitch and say that is the most intimidating crowd they have witnessed, and maybe they would like some of it. And believe me the players remember these things. I was fortunate to be in Nurnberg with my 12 year old son, and we were present when the players got on the coach to go to the stadium at the city centre hotel. They were overwhelmed when they saw the Evertonians singing in unison and on mass around that coach. You could see it gave them a sense of determination to achieve the desired result.

So fellow Blues, lets make sure the football world knows on Wednesday that what Arsene Wenger said last week is true. That we are loud, aggresive and intimidating. Lets get under the skin of the Chelsea players and make them panic and frightened, and make the Grand Old Lady Rock to the foundations one more time.

And as an additional incentive, dont forget that slanderous article on the Chelsea's website after the 1st leg, which basically thought we should forfeit the 2nd leg because we didnt have a chance. That on its own is enough to raise the volume.

ONWARDS EVERTONIANS - Remember Nil Satis Nisi Optimum applies to us as well as the players.
Steve Stratulis     Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:15:12   Comments (16)

Keith Wyness on Talksport

Did anyone else hear KW on talkpsort today? I just only managed to catch the end of it re. the ground move and he was asked about those that oppose the move saying (I think) its around 20 - 25 % that don't want it. I'm sure it's a lot more than that.
Raj Parbat     Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:05:08   Comments (3)

Sean Davis?

Surely not? A backward step to the old days of buying players who are average at best. He will not improve our squad, he will simply add a body, I would much rather we gave Vidarrsson a proper go in midfield rather than spending money on players who can't get into other premiership teams.

I know Moyes has a history of being like a dog with a bone when it comes to players he has selected as a target, but surely he keeps track of them in the intervening years...
Jeremy Benson     Posted 21/01/2008 at 08:57:10   Comments (8)

Wigan ? Clinical and Professional

Normally I would not write game review as Ken and Santosh are doing it great but today I cant agree with either of them so I am sharing my view. I think it was the most competent performance I have seen from Everton this season.

Yes, we have played better; yes, we were more convincing the other day; yes, it wasn?t pretty... but from the first few minutes you knew that we would win it. We were in total control of the game; it seemed that Wigan were on top but for all their possession they were lacking quality upfront and I couldn?t see them scoring.

You have seen it countless of times: when it just seems that a small team will score and cause an upset, the big guns struck clinically and put the game to bed. Well, for me today this was the case, but today Everton were the team playing cat and mouse.

We hadn?t seen much of the ball but when we had it, it was always dangerous in the final third. First Carsley came close, then Mikky missed a sitter and finally AJ opened it ? from this moment we were never in danger of losing the points. Two minutes later and it was game, set and match.

The second half was more of the same ? even when Jag scored an own goal, Wigan were never really threatening and we were happy to see the game off with one eye on Wednesday. Moreover, you could feel the confidence around the team with DM stating with some arrogance that we are now favourites for fourth place and today?s clinical finishing and professional performance just proved it.

Now Davey ? prove that on Wednesday as well.

ps: I was very upset today when the top news on Skysports.com was ?Hicks rules out Reds sale? and never a mention of Everton moving to 4th with our victory branded ?Bramble blunder costs Wigan? ? it sucks really.
Stefan Tosev     Posted 20/01/2008 at 22:11:41   Comments (12)

Moyes improving as well?

The squad is obviously improving, but I wonder if anyone else senses that the manager is improving as well?

We can?t see what goes on off the field, butt we can see substitutions. Can?t prove it, but I just know that in his early years Moyes responded to game situations only after they had gone against us. We went behind, we switched to 4-4-2 : attempted rescue. Once in a while it worked, mostly it was too late.

OK, the options on the bench were not what we have now. But in the last two games Moyes has made substitutions when we have been ahead and has changed to 4-4-2 because (I guess) he saw that we were getting swamped and couldn?t get the ball out of our half. Each time it has stemmed the tide and could easily have resulted in a goal to finish the game — but at the very least it took some pressure off our defence.

Ferguson is a master of substitutions to change the game before a crisis. Wenger? You can see a sub and change of plan coming in the crease of his brow.

I feel Moyesy has moved up a notch recently in his reading of the game and confidence and is making changes before damage is done. Am I the only one to think so?

Afterthought — could it help his decisiveness that he has no-one to consult now Irvine has gone?
Peter  Hall     Posted 20/01/2008 at 21:42:56   Comments (11)

Question of Balance

What did today's game at the JJB highlight? Firstly that we are capable of winning when not playing well ? which is always a sign of a good team. 12 wins away from home this season proves our resoluteness and determination.

However, today's match also illustrated some potentially worrying aspects. Firstly, we seemed a SMALL team and Wigan caused us lots of problems in the air ? good job that Lescott and Jagielka were up to it. I actually thought Bruce missed a trick when he brought off Heskey and replaced him with Sibierski as I wasn't quite certain how our defence would have coped against Heskey, Bent, Sibierski and Scharner from set pieces.

Secondly, we were frequently knocked off the ball in midfield. We do have some lively but lightweight midfielders. The heavy pitch really slowed down our midfield and negated their superior touch. We certainly need some athleticism and muscle in midfield.

Thirdly, we don't seem to have a natural target man anymore (even when Yakubu plays). When we do hump the ball long (mercifully less so these days) we seem to rely on Cahill to contend for the ball. Well he's great at arriving late to score with headers but when jumping from a standing start, he's understandably not so good ? although he competes manfully. Perhaps this is why he looks so knackered these days?

Obviously these aspects are not hitting us too hard at the moment and hopefully Moyes is looking to bring in players with these attributes to complement what is looking like a very promising squad.

Final thought as we approach Wednesday night ? how come Chelsea have an extra day's rest before such a big game? TV dictating schedules again!
Ray Robinson     Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:38:13   Comments (16)

Tactics v Chelsea

After a hard-fought victory over Wigan, we now turn to Wednesday night's second leg against Chelsea.

I'm wondering what sort of formation we will play and how we will approach the match. The obvious one is to crank up the volume, play 4-4-2 and try and blow them away a la Bayern Munich all those years ago. However, it should perhaps be remembered that even then it was a 45-minute demolition job, not a 90-minute one. Can we sustain that sort of pace and power for the entire match against a very strong willed team like Chelsea? I think that might be too much to ask for.

I'm hoping that Moyesie shows a new found maturity in this situation and treats it like a European tie. Remember that 1-0 will be enough to take it to extra time and, if it stayed that way, to clinch the tie. Therefore, I'm hoping he plays it cagey in the first half, we go in at 0-0 and then we turn up the heat after the break and nick a goal. It's worth recalling that on the two occasions when Liverpool beat Chelsea in second leg semi's they did it with a 1-0 and that a gung-ho approach was not employed.

Get to 1-0 and then see what we feel we can do. If it's going well bring on Big Vic and or Vaughany to go for the kill; if they still look dangerous, keep it tight and hit them on the break.

Of course, to do this will need a new found maturity from us fans too ? ie, don't pressure the players into trying to force the game too early. In recent Goodison games against Chelsea we have scored first 3 times in a row, and led at half time, but never held on for the win. You can almost score too early against them!
Karl  Masters     Posted 20/01/2008 at 19:04:23   Comments (3)

Massive 3 points

Well it wasnt pretty but a huge 3 points today. These are the games where you have to hang on, dig deep and get the result.

I think we could've made things easier by bringing Fernandes on and putting Neville at right back just to try and keep the ball better. Although the state of the pitch probably put Moyes off this move. It's a joke that players such as Arteta had to play on that rugby pitch.

Now we can concentrate on beating Chelsea..... Come on you blues.
Ryan Holroyd     Posted 20/01/2008 at 15:41:47   Comments (32)

Can't believe Fernandes isn't starting

See Ossie is back, but I can't believe Fernandes isn't starting. I would have put him on from the beginning and brought him off after 60. How can Moyes get a look at him pre-Chelsea if he's only on for 10 minutes?

We need some magic from Manny if we are going to break open Chelsea on Wednesday. "Same-as" and Neville in midfield will surely leave us short.
Stuart Duncan     Posted 20/01/2008 at 12:53:26   Comments (22)

Everton v Chelsea Match Day info sought

I?ve been lucky enough to get a ticket for the game v Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Can?t wait for the game; saw the Blues at Sheffield Wednesday and Derby earlier this season but it?s years since I was able to get to GP. I used to go to all the home games (standing behind the goal in the Gwladys Street terrace) in the early 80s to early 90s, including the Bayern Munich CWC SF. It would be fantastic if the atmosphere (and the result) on Wednesday was something similar to that game!

Anyway I?ve got two questions I hope someone can answer:

1. My ticket is for Lower Bullens (LB5, row D, seat 240). While I realise this is only four rows back anybody know if the view from here is restricted and if so how badly? (It doesn?t say so on the ticket but I guess that?s no guarantee!). Is LB5 somewhere near the half-way line?

2. Does anyone know somewhere relatively safe to park? I?m coming over from Chesterfield so will be approaching GP from the M62 and down Queens Drive. Don?t mind walking for 15 to 20 minutes from the car to the ground.

Thanks in advance. COYB!
Dave Johnston     Posted 20/01/2008 at 11:45:19   Comments (2)

Firing on all cylinders

The following statistic on the BBC is a great testimony to our current team and manager:

"Everton have used the joint fewest players in the Premier League matches this term; 21, as have Blackburn and Aston Villa. But own the joint longest goalscorers list with Tottenham of 13."

Let's beat those pie-eating Wiganers!
Dan Parker     Posted 19/01/2008 at 23:41:31   Comments (5)

Games on US tv?

I'll be missing my Park End seat for the next few weeks, in North Kentucky / Ohio USA, 'til mid-February, so please, can any US blues tell me if I can get to see the next few games ? Wigan, Chelsea etc, on any sports tv channel, live or delayed? Thanks. COYB!
Jay  Capper     Posted 19/01/2008 at 12:17:32   Comments (7)

Contemptible Kirkby

I have borrowed the headline from the KEIOC site which contains a crumb of encouragement for those of us who dread the K word. In addition to objections from West Lancs and Sefton councils it is stated that LCC have lodged an objection to the entire project. No doubt such objections are based on the fact that the Kirkby project might attract business from the adjoining areas and they are not objecting to the stadium as such. However, you can't have one without the other so this is good news as far as I'm concerned.
Alan Rodgers     Posted 19/01/2008 at 11:22:32   Comments (41)

Manny left?

I seem to remember Fernandes being employed down the left flank in one or two games last season - what money on him now fulfilling that role until Ossie or Pienaar make it back. As I recall he didn't look particularly comfortable out wide, so here's hoping some other options materialise and quick!
Andrew Humphrey     Posted 19/01/2008 at 09:41:24   Comments (18)

The late Wally Fielding

It's with sadness, that I heard of the passing, of the great Wally Fielding.

As a schoolboy, in the 50s, I would look forward to getting into the Boys Pen, and watching the little imp, with sleeves grasped in each hand, he seemed always to play with a smile on his face. It wasn't until the late 90s that I finally got his autograph, when he signed, my Gwladys Street, Hall of Fame book at the Adelphi Hotel, along with Tommy Egglington, and Bobby Collins.

Wally, died at his home in Cornwall, he was 89. God bless Wally, and now enjoy the company, of Dixie, Labby and Bally, and also your old team mate, Jimmy O'Neill. Rest in peace.
Norman  Merrill     Posted 19/01/2008 at 07:20:52   Comments (2)

Daily Mail article

I cannot believe what I just read in the Daily Mail. They suggest that Newcastle and Tottenham were wrong not to consider Moyes when there were recent vacancies!

Has the author even seen the League table? Why would Moyes leave us for a team in the bottom 3? Why would he go to a team in turmoil and without a proper trophy in 50 years? (Even Uefa don't recognise the Fairs Cup)

And I thought that the southern press had begun to wake up to the Everton renaissance. The whole article smacks of little Everton are so lucky to have a manager like Moyes. Is it written by some moron who has never been to Goodison or knows nothing about us or football?

Furthermore, it implies that Moyes is a soft touch! Does the author know anything about his managerial style? Surely of all the managers in the league, Moyes is the biggest task manager going. I have heard that Alex Feruguson today is a gentile grandad compared to the tyrant of the early 90s who had cruise around his players homes making sure they were tucked up in bed. Which manager of the two had Rooney on the scales every day to ensure he stayed fit? Certainly not Ferguson.

I don't know why I expected any less from that paper, surely it is worse than any tabloid.
Steve Ferns     Posted 19/01/2008 at 02:12:39   Comments (29)

Arshavin and our team

All this talk about Arshavin... it is, and always has been just a rumour!

I don't understand when people make statements that he will complete our team and help push towards the Champions League; he is one player, and yes he may have looked good against us the other month, but we were poor that night. Let's face it, any player could have stood out in that team as they were even worse (and I don't know that many of us have watched Russian football a lot). Besides, he will be lacking in match fitness for a good month because their season is over.

To push for the Champions league we need more than that one forward, we need a winger and a right back, Neville is a decent player for right back right now but that should only be temporary.

What I do agree with is that we should buy now, while we are practically joint 5th (with goal difference and games played separating us and Liverpool), in the semi-final of a cup and still playing in Europe. Now is the time to buy; Arshavin may be good but he still doesn't complete our team quite yet.

Let's just get in the spirit for Wednesday night; the fans need to sing like never before ? we could really do with knocking them out just to wipe the cocky smiles off the Chelsea faces. If we get to the final of the cup, maybe we could attract even better quality even though its the Carling Cup still.
Dave  Ashton     Posted 18/01/2008 at 23:20:12   Comments (5)

Forwards or Backwards

I think we mostly all agree that the money we have got from McFadden is good business, but as Lyndon has stated it could well be that it will be used to "balance the books".

If this turns out to be the case, is this a step backwards, not investing this with more talent to improve the team?

Should we not be using this money and some, to push on and invest in taking the opportunity to move forward and catch up to the top 4?
Mark Griffiths     Posted 18/01/2008 at 20:32:56   Comments (27)

Ruleteros Society

Does anyone have any information on the Ruleteros Society? ? there is no longer any trace of their website on the internet?
Chris  Jones     Posted 18/01/2008 at 16:46:56   Comments (4)

Le Tiss Talking Tosh

Matt le Tissier talks about the Wigan game on Sky Sports and after starting by saying he has been impressed with us this season he then goes on to basically slate us and say that we will not be able to cope without our Africans and McFadden. He says we will get knocked out of the Carling cup by Chelsea, and won't beat Wigan.

No mention of the fact that we have just signed Fernandes, or that we have AJ, Vaughan and Anichebe to feed instead of the Yak. Come on boys prove that gimp he is wrong. So So Wrong!
Craig Taylor     Posted 18/01/2008 at 13:56:36   Comments (24)

So long, Faddy

Just read that the McFadden deal has gone through.

I am sure my fellow Evertonians will join me in wishing him all the very best in the future. He could be an infuriating player, while his Everton career never took off in the way we had all hoped he did give us some moments of sheer brilliance. My own favourite being his goal against Charlton when he flicked the ball up and volleyed it into the bottom corner. Best of luck Faddy, except when you play against us that is.
Graham Nolan     Posted 18/01/2008 at 11:25:51   Comments (69)

Away goals count...

.... but only at the end of extra time.

Many people seem to have missed the away goals rule in the Carling Cup. I myself was unsure after the first leg and after arriving home did my own research:

"The four quarter-final winners compete in this round. The ties are played over two matches (one at each club's stadium) with the aggregate score being used to determine the winners. If the scores are level at the end of the second match extra time is played. If the scores are still level at the end of extra time the team which has scored more away goals goes through. If the number of away goals is level a penalty shootout is used to decide the winners."

In essence this means 1-0 to us after extra time secures victory!

Roll on Wednesday and COYB!!!!!!
Alex Naylor     Posted 18/01/2008 at 09:23:43   Comments (9)

The glory glory game

I know that in the real world a Carling Cup Semi-Final is not supposed to matter and it's positively uncool to show any excitement at all for this competition. However, I have to say I don't care and personally can't wait for next Wednesday to arrive. Like every other Blue, I am despertae to see us return to Wembley and even more so to see us win a trophy again. Sixth place or even fourth place would be very good, but ultimately meaningless and wouldn't even come close to the feeling that picking up silverware would generate.

My head says the odds are heavily stacked against us and we may even take a beating if we are not careful. However, my heart says tha,t if we can get the first goal then we could do it.

I am not usually one for talking up the crowd before a game ? normally the RS are so up their own arses that they are the cringeworthy world champions at this sort of stuff. However, I think the Chelsea game is an exception and we really need 35,000 demented lunatics in all parts of the ground. I know Wigan on Sunday is an important game but just cant work up any interest at the moment. >

For a whole new generation of Blues, the Chelsea game could be a watershed moment that could lock in their loyalty for years ahead. I really hope we can pull it off and once again experience the glory glory game.
John Doolan     Posted 17/01/2008 at 21:07:46   Comments (30)

New chant challenge

Things on TW have been getting very heavy lately so I thought we could lighten the mood a bit with a challenge.

Can somebody come up with a better song for Victor Anichebe than the one being sung at the moment? It is a very poor effort.

Sorry but I'm not smart enough to start us off.
Peter Corcoran     Posted 17/01/2008 at 13:24:11   Comments (66)

FM Alert!! Best 11

Just wondering now what all us Evertonians think our best starting 11 is (assuming everyone is fit and available to play). In the past its been easy to pick our best 11, but now there's one or two that I'd be loathed to leave out, but have no choice unless we can get away with 12 or 13 on the pitch at once!

Although our squad needs growth in certain areas, when we have the rare luxury of a fully fit squad, difficult decisions have to be made. 4-4-1-1 and no Johnson? 4-4-2 and no Carsley? What about Fernandes? Lets see what you all think!

In my humble, opinion, I like the looks of this:

4-4-1-1

Howard Neville Lescott Yobo Baines Arteta Fernandes Osman Pienaar Cahill Yakubu

This would mean no Carsley (who has been a revelation again this term. No AJ either! Obviously its extremely rare that you'll ever have a fully fit squad and rotation is needed at vital times, but its a hyperthetical question just to see what you all think. The only problem with my choice is that we may be a bit lightweight in centre mid. I'm 50/50 about Osman, but he gets my nod!
Ian Ankers Ankers     Posted 17/01/2008 at 12:47:00   Comments (37)

More signings?

<% 'Reinstated as I'd already penned my reply by the time you binned it! -- LL %> I know this is a bit of a football manager type question but im interested in what other Blues think of the current first team squad and if they feel we need to add another player or two in this window.

It looks like Faddy is on his way and Grav looks like he could be going too. I still feel we are a little short in Midfield cover. I was travelling in Australia last year so only saw a few games in which Fernandes played, but he appears to be more of a central player. We could be a little short on the left.

I expect Moyes not to give to much away anyway so it will just have to be wait and see. Although as many have already said on this site Arshavin would be nice!
Paul Lenehan     Posted 16/01/2008 at 18:21:46   Comments (91)

Hearts — Stadium plans

Anyone seen the new plans, images and 3D walkthrough of the new Hearts stadium, redevelopment of Tynecastle?

Just take a look! It makes the Kirkby promos look amatuer and far from impressive!
Andy Birch     Posted 16/01/2008 at 15:54:54   Comments (37)

Gosling to get a game?

Whats your thoughts on Dan Gosling getting a run out this season? We have paid a million rising to 2 million, which represents a good deal. I have been fortunate enough to see him play, he has good pace, likes to attack, and for his age sound on the ball. I know he's a pup, but because we have paid a fee I'm sure David Moyes would like to get a look at him, maybe from the bench over the next few months.

It always excites me when young talent is brought on, could he be an answer to the defensive midfield position, or am I getting carried away, he has played at Championship level and would have experienced some of the robust strikers in the division, he may find he can express himself more in a faster flowing match What are your thoughts?
Chris Keightley     Posted 16/01/2008 at 14:29:35   Comments (11)

Sidwell on loan?

The speculation this morning is that Steve Sidwell of Chelsea would snub a loan move to Sunderland in favour of Everton.

Personally I think he'd be an excellent acquisition and a perfect successor to Carsley in the holding midfield slot. He was one of the best players in a good Reading side that took the league by storm last season to finish 8th.

I was surprised when he went to Chelsea and so far his transfer has mirrored that of Scott Parker's as both played second fiddle to arguably better players.

If we could nab him on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy I think that would be great business.

What do fellow Blues feel about this?
Ben Howard     Posted 16/01/2008 at 12:24:23   Comments (21)

Osman is vital!

After reading a number of articles on here I keep getting confused as to why the majority are leaving Leon Osman out of our new look midfield after the inclusion of Manuel Fernandes? Don?t get me wrong, I?ll be sad to see any of Cahill, Arteta, Fernandes, Pienaar, Carsley and Osman sitting on the bench, but in a 5 man midfield (or maybe 4) this is inevitable.

Osman has been one of our best players this season and has shown 100% to the club. It wasn?t too long ago we were sending him out on loan but he has proven to be a top class talent who will surely impress the new England boss once he?s fit. Personally, as much as I don?t want to say it, I feel our best five would have to see Carsley make way to be replaced by Fernandes. I know he?s been a massive player for us but I just feel technically, Fernandes can offer more. But back to my first point, I think Osman needs to be recognised as one of our most valuable assets.
Ben Jackson     Posted 16/01/2008 at 09:10:05   Comments (2)

An enigma wrapped in a Blue shirt

First things first, I really like McFadden. He's a throw back to a previous age. When skilful players would come down from Scotland and wow us with their play.

Yes, extremely skilful. But often maddingly infuriating. One brilliant game in eight, followed by a couple off good games. Then games why you wondered why they weren't stood on the terraces with you.

Faddy's like that. And in our instant gratification age, we forget his good and great games. We forget the volleyed goals and remember the dribbles that ended up with nothing. I think if he goes this month or the Summer. Everton and English football will be the worse for it.

Sadly the boo boys of Goodison will have won. I'm old enough to remember Alex Young, who I admit McFadden couldn't lace his boots. But, he was a similar player. Yet in those days, we recognised his brilliance.

If McFadden had been born in France or Spain he would be lauded to the skies. Because he is, on his day, A WORLD-CLASS player.
Mike Berry     Posted 15/01/2008 at 17:36:53   Comments (74)

Midfield of the Future

Reading a few posts about our midfield at the moment got me thinking about how it's going to look in the future. A midfield of Osman, Arteta, Pienaar and Fernandes certainly has some flair and graft and we should see regular better football than before this season was a luxury.

My issue is, other than Carsley, we lack a real ball winner in the middle of the park. I know he's having one of th ebest seasons of his career but what happens if he gets injured? Phil Neville still isn't a centre mid (despite some good performances of late) and Cahill can't tackle full stop.

We need to be careful we don't go too far the other way and fail to compete with the more physical sides in the league. <> To be honest while having Manny is nice, my preferance would have been to add a bit of quality in this area.
Carl Wright     Posted 15/01/2008 at 14:46:11   Comments (45)

Top 5 Managers

Can all Evertonians out there list thier top 5 managers from our history & reasons why (keep it short as poss).

With the recent debate about our current manager, I was interested to know what the general consensous of people was concerning top managers & their reasons for putting them there.

For the record I'll reveal mine in a few hours, wanna see other peoples opinions first....
John Lloyd     Posted 15/01/2008 at 14:23:41   Comments (31)

Thank god for Blue Bill

As I read daily of the troubles at Liverpool and Newcastle , the mountain of debt at Manchester Utd and the vulnerability to foreign political influences at Chelsea and Manchester City, I thank God that we have just an`ordinary guy` as our principal owner and Chairman.

Whatever his shortcomings ? and I know there are those who are all too keen to point them out ? in Bill Kenwright we have a man who not only eats and breathes Everton but was shrewd enough to choose a manager who could make the club great again and then let him get on with the task.

Not for Bill the daily knock at his man via `sources close to the chairman`or the veiled threats when things were not quite up to expectation, only the calming assurance that in Moyes we had a man who one day would rank among the greats of his profession. Very few of us now doubt that that time is not far off and most would say that Moyes is second only to Kendall in modern Everton achievement.

However, if Bill had not been the calm and discerning man he is,and had listened to the `Goodison Faithful`on many occasions during the last six years, Moyes would have been toast, no doubt well on the way by now to making Newcastle, Man City or Middlesbrough great instead of our club.

So thank you Bill, from the bottom of my heart, for being sound, single-minded and most of all a far better judge than most of your club`s supporters. Long may you continue to be so!
Loworth Hughes     Posted 15/01/2008 at 12:33:30   Comments (50)

Ladies Pink Shirt

Don't laugh at me, its not for me! I read a while ago that the pink shirt is being released after Christmas. Well, it's after Christmas now and I can't find any info on it I wanted to buy it for the missus... anybody got any news on it?
Dave Trudgeon     Posted 15/01/2008 at 12:45:10   Comments (30)

Goodison better than Anfield

In this morning's Metro, Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Everton fans recognizing what all blues have known for years; we are better than them. He goes on to say

?Liverpool is the same kind of support but Everton is a bit more aggressive, over last two years it has been one of the noisiest grounds in the country and has a great atmosphere, Liverpool is more genteel.

Let?s put this in perspective: good PR in the London press, from one of the most respected managers in football. Recognizing that Everton fans are far superior to Liverpool?s we may have known this for years but finally, finally some much deserved recognition for our efforts.

Onwards and upwards blues.
Darrel  Pugh     Posted 15/01/2008 at 08:34:01   Comments (4)

Three Years- Top of the Pile ?

It's my hope that we as a club are moving forward, and within the next three years Everton will be challenging the big four... make that three! ... for the Premier League and other major honors. I know the last five years have been a somewhat slow and sometimes painful experience for most of us Blues, but I feel we have improved nearly everything about the club under Moyes in the past 5 years or so.

We have great a manager (but not faultless), a mostly young side and I can see we have a lot of quality coming through the ranks, not to mention the new training facilities which can only attract better quality youngsters to join the club. The future's bright, it might not be this season (hope it is) but I feel all of us Evertonians will be celebrating some silverware in the next two/three seasons, and I'm talking about the big stuff.

Great to be a Blue at the moment. Chelsea, you will be the first one of the so-called big gun's to be hit with Everton's new resolve and resurgence. Chelsea you have be warned, or is that Vaughan-ed!
David  Lawless     Posted 14/01/2008 at 21:59:38   Comments (28)

City of Culture? An Outsider's View

I was in Manchester city centre today where they give away the Manchester Evening News, so I took one to read their match report on the bus. A reasonable account by Chris Bailey, given his home town bias and the readers he was writing for. But what jumped out at me was what he said about Goodison, after some stuff about the City of Culture 'celebration'.

"It is hard to see where this old ground, ragged around the edges but still much loved by its patrons, fits into the 12-month celebration of all that is enlightening, enriching and civilising about Merseyside.

Goodison is something of a working museum these days, cramped and squashed in the same way that Maine Road used to be.

It's hardly surprising that the Everton hierarchy are keen to move to a state of the art stadium and those who oppose the switch - and there are traditionalists clinging to the memories forged in the Gladwys Street end - should look at the rise and rise of City in terms of income, crowds and now success on the pitch since they left their former home to realise moving is a catalyst for invigoration."

I think he missed the bit about sending your wife home to face corruption charges when he got onto success on the pitch, and the money that has cost.

For myself ? like every Evertonian I can imagine ? if Goodison could be redeveloped to be what we need, perfect. But that's not going to happen. So perhaps the thoughts of someone who, as far as I know, has got no interest in the matter, might add to our thoughts on the subject.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 14/01/2008 at 20:39:04   Comments (23)

Good ole whinger!!!

If you do nothing else tonight, please at least do this one thing for me. Turn your TV to ITV 1, press the teletext button, type in page 404 and wait til it turns to page 3. Enjoy the read and a big well done to all the fans that create this "intimidation" every home game. I am proud of you.
Alan Reddish     Posted 14/01/2008 at 21:02:04   Comments (15)

Change Kit

Rather a mundane topic this, far less exciting than how good or bad the manager or players iare. But it is something that intrigues me. When I was about 8, I was given an Everton change shirt ? it was yellow with blue collar and cuffs. I have supported Everton ever since (35 years) through thick and thin (quite a lot of thin).

Now our change kit is white and black, which necessitates a third change kit when we play teams like Blackburn and Birmingham. Why don't we use the traditional yellow and blue anymore?

Is it because we wouldn't need a third kit and the kit manufacturers would lose out on the sales of that kit? Is that how cynical things have become? Who makes these decisions? We got white socks back a few seasons ago, why not yellow and blue next? Got to get my anorak....
Michael Kidd     Posted 14/01/2008 at 19:50:13   Comments (22)

Feeding frenzy

It would appear following the dismissal of Big Sam from his employment at the helm of the Toon army that the media have become tired after gorging on the feeding frenzy of recent months that have witnessed eight Premier League managerial casualties.

The continued bating of Benitez aside, which in itself for any Blue makes pleasant reading, recent Red-Top stories would suggest that they are adopting a more 'holistic' approach to the benefits of stability. Personally I enjoy the shenanigan's at Newcastle and the revolving door policy to the hiring and firing of Manager's with the net gain of them remaining trophy-less, a bigtime Club with a fan-base that consists of delusional grandeur and mythical austerity. Give me David Moyes's 5 year plan and People's Club mantra any day of the week to Big Sam's prozone or should it be prozac effect, war-room approach and his favoured feng shui policy's.

At the beginning of March David Moyes enters his 6th year in charge of Everton, another 5-year plan drawn up in the Summer that aims to build on the bedrock of his tenure which has to date focused on stability. For many it's been an arduous 5 years, undoubted progress but nothing in the way of silverware.

In an age when honours have become the reserve of the 'big-four', finishing fourth is now the quantum leap or nirvana for the chasing pack. Lyndon Lloyd expertly analyzed Moyes achievements in an article back in December and it's refreshing to feel the positive effects that David Moyes is continuing to have on our Club. With the side-show that is developing at Newcastle United, however you personally feel about Moyes, would anyone seriously want it any other way?
Peter Laing     Posted 14/01/2008 at 16:07:26   Comments (7)

Everton 1886

The other day I received, in the post, my final Christmas present from a wonderful girlfriend: An Everton replica shirt,as worn by the club in the year 1886. It's a beautiful rugby style white top, with old-fashioned buttons on the collar and cuffs.

But intriguingly,the heraldic design of the badge has baffled me ,as it features a large red rose (presumably to indicate Lancashire)but also a conspicuous Liver Bird!!!

As a 31-year-old season ticket holder, I pretty much know my history as much as the next man, but I was not aware of our club sporting the Liver Bird on our shirts at any time.

My bird happens to be a red, so either one of three things is happening here: An honest mistake; A malicious and insidious prank; Or it happens to be true!! The shirt can be viewed by anyone at the TOFFS website.

My question is simple:Can anyone please shed any light on this for a confused,and paranoid blue?! Was the Liver Bird ours?
Kevin Hudson     Posted 14/01/2008 at 15:35:03   Comments (8)

Hibbert

Having just read Paul Traill's account of the game on Saturday I have to say I was very impressed with the article right up until the ratings. Hibbert 6/10? Thought apart from Lescott he had a great shout for man of the match, I have not seen him play that well in a long time (ever?), and it reminded me of when he first came into the side and was touted as a future England right back.

On another note, the Man City away fans must be the most boring in the prem! No wonder their team struggle so much away from home, they sang two songs all game! When I am at away games with Everton it is the spirit and togetherness of the few thousand of us geting behind the team which I enjoy the most. I really believe we our fans are a credit to the club.
Steve Smith     Posted 14/01/2008 at 14:28:43   Comments (15)

McFadden's value

Just been getting my daily fix of all the latest January transfer nonsense, trying to keep an eye on any rumours involving the blues that have any basis on fact (funnily enough, I'm struggling to find many!) and wondering is it just me or are the valuations being bandied around for McFadden ridiculously low in terms of the current market?

If he is going to be on his way, which seems as though it will be the case if not now then maybe in the summer, then take a look at what is being suggested for McFadden (£2.5 to 4.5 million being offered). Then compare this to some other players and I can't believe that this is all we can get for him.

Don't get me wrong - the whole value of players today is ridiculous but that is due to the money in football. But take todays papers as an example where Gary Cahill at Villa is being touted at more than £4 million and this is around the same value as McFadden who has played Prem football for a number of years, is a top international player, and is widely regarded as a special talent.

I personally feel that we should sell him as the frustration he brings far outweighs the magic he produces sometimes. He is too inconsistent for a team trying to compete at the top of the prem. But my point is this, surely he is worth more money than some of the other dross being touted round as the same value as him?

I know that contract status, variables etc are all things to be taken into account when it comes to player values, but good lord, Pompey paid £6 million for Nugent so can't we get more for McFadden??

A lot of people moan about our inability in the transfer market when it comes to buying players ? but aren't we equally as rubbish when it comes to selling players?
Anthony Bentley     Posted 14/01/2008 at 13:46:52   Comments (26)

Manny Gets Green Light

Great news for everton! The news comes as plenty of uncertainty surrounding the area. Some believed Fernandes would not be allowed to take part due to the fact he appeared in this season's Champions League with Valencia. The rule apparently states that players who move from a team competing in the Uefa Cup to a team competing in the Champions League are then eligible to play Champions League football. However the rule does not apply if a player moves from a team competing in the Champions League to a team competing in the Uefa Cup.

Fernandes' situation is an exception however. according to rule 17.18, which suggests that extra players can be made eligible before the first knock out round, and due to Valencia's non-involvement after not qualifying, Fernandes is free to participate.

Excellent boost for the teams road to Europe.
Rob Chanman     Posted 14/01/2008 at 13:08:08   Comments (12)

Who actually owns Manny?

Sorry to have to post another question regardin Manuel Fernandes, but the information just isn't coming out of the club at all. I reckon they must monitor this website as answers to questions raised here seem to come out fairly soon.

Looking at Manny's comments regarding his thrid party ownership and why he didn't come in the summer, he indicates 3rd party ownership in the present tense only ? ie he is still owned by a someone else. Does anyone know for sure ?

Hopefully this is only a language difficulty ? can you imagine us losing points at the end of the season due to a technicality which wasn't sorted out ?

This is what he says on icliverpool.co.uk (Echo and Post) ?If I hadn?t have wanted to come here in the first place, I wouldn?t have. But the other group that owns me meant it was difficult for me to come here, but hopefully it can happen this summer.?

Lets hope the club secretary has all this boxed off !
Steve  Jones     Posted 14/01/2008 at 12:59:11   Comments (11)

How big are Everton?

My job takes me around the country and I come into contact with a lot of other fans. Some are very clued up, but some are just clueless.

I personally think Everton have the 3rd bigest fanbase throughout the country and together with our history I believe we are a massive club. But reading and listening to some of the phone ins, you would think we are behind the likes of Newcastle and Spurs, in terms of stature.

I even read in some rag, that Moyes would jump at the chance to manage a club the size of Newcastle. Call me biased but I believe we are a bigger club than Newcastle and Spurs, but what constitutes a big club, money, fanbase or history?
Mick Simo     Posted 14/01/2008 at 12:19:33   Comments (21)

Surplus to requirements?

The welcome news of the loan signing of Manny Fernandes would suggest that the enigmatic career of Andy van der Meyde and the uninspiring form and fitness of Tommy Gravesen will mean that both will become surplus to requirements. With Steven Piennar also on loan, Lee Carsley entering the twilight of his career and Anderson da Silva and Bjarni Vidarsson unlikely to make the grade then we still look short in the midfield department.

Moyes has suggested that there will be little other inward business in the transfer market during January with an acceptable offer for James McFadden probably accepted. The business end of the season is beginning to shape up with some important games ahead; hopefully a lack of personnel in midfield will not prove to be our archilles heel. Andriy Arshavin is apparently available from Zenit and if the McFadden deal goes through would cetainly be worth a punt.
Peter  Laing     Posted 14/01/2008 at 12:18:08   Comments (10)

Kirkby Sustainability?

As the stadium debate rages, I began to wonder how sustainable the new ground will be. Tesco have some ineffective wind turbines dotted aorund the nation but they are nothing more than show-pieces. As the new ground will be intended to last well in to the future ( I hope) surely the club will be taking measures to save energy, fuel, water. I make this point because if fuel prices rise which they will then surely this will be re-cooped by raising ticket costs for the supporters?

A cautious approach at the planning stage could save the club a lot of money and perhaps keep ticket prices down.
Chris Birtles     Posted 14/01/2008 at 11:37:21   Comments (4)

The Assistant Manager's position.

The arrival of Manny this week hides the fact that we are still waiting to fill a crucial role at the club namely the Assistant Manager's job.

Andy Holden at the moment is doing a good job however there are rumours going around that Stubbs may get the job full time. He?s a model pro and has the respect of the full squad and is a bright prospect etc. However, I am against Stubbs getting any senior coaching role at Everton. He needs to learn his trade and make mistakes somewhere else. I?m not saying never but I?m saying not just now.

What we need in order to make that next step is an experienced world class coach preferably foreign to give us an added tactical depth and introduce a new way of thinking on the training field. A situation similar to Carlos Queiroz and Ferguson at ManUre would be great for Everton. Moyes said he wouldn?t rush this appointment I just hope he gets it right.
Dan Johnson     Posted 14/01/2008 at 09:14:30   Comments (3)

Valente

Just a quick random thought after watching Valente play over the past few months.

Having seen him prior to playing for Everton (internationals etc.) and in his early Everton days, my opinion - and i think the opinion of most - would have been that he is a decent defensive fullback, with an outstanding range of passing, if not a whole lot of pace.

Over the past few months, however, he seems to have gone the oter way, in both respects.

His defending has generally been top notch, for mine, since November. However, his passing & crossing has been inconsistant at best. Although he seems to have quite an understanding developing with Pienaar.
Jarrod Prosser     Posted 13/01/2008 at 23:03:20   Comments (15)

Stubbs moving on?

This is a hunch... but do you reckon we will get Van Buyten on loan then Moyes will offer Stubbs the Assistant Manager's job? I know it's a bit of a long shot.. .but I would favour that. As much as Stubbs's experience on the pitch has benefited us, he can bring that on the training ground now. It would be a great move in my opinion as Van Buyten would be an ideal replacement as well.
Ben Jones     Posted 13/01/2008 at 22:18:28   Comments (12)

Everton in the 80s

I'm one of those rare yanks that know that English football isn't just Man U. I became an Everton fan back in the early 90s when I was hooked on the EPL. Was it Josh Wolfe that made me decide on Everton? I can't recall, but thank the gods I did.

Today I was at my local newsstand and saw a magazine (single edition) called "English Football in the 80s." As I flipped from page to page, it was great to see so much Everton history! Our famous strikers, goalkeeper, and of course manager. In fact, the magazine had at the very end an all-star 80s team with Kevin Ratcliffe and Gary Lineker as starting 11, and oh joy, and surprise (or not) Howard Kendall as manager of the team.

This mag really made my day and I recommend any Toffee in the States pick it up! Cheers!!!
Carlos Camacho     Posted 13/01/2008 at 21:38:20   Comments (1)

Is Fernandes ineligible for the Uefa Cup?

Just watched Manny's interview of Everton TV on the OS and he says he can't play in the Uefa Cup!

Can anyone confirm this? I thought that if you had played in the other European competition you could play in the next phase of the alternative ? or is this just for the Champions League? I dont see why it should be different, and we could do with him in the squad. Let's hope he is mistaken.
Steve  Jones     Posted 13/01/2008 at 17:41:03   Comments (44)

Big Three now

Does anyone else think that the phrase ?big four? is a joke now? Anyone can see that that the big three are on their own. Liverpool have the same chance of finishing in the top three as Derby do ? zero.

There?s going to be a hell of a battle for fourth place which the press have been handing to Liverpool as a birthright. But maybe Liverpool won?t even finish in a Uefa Cup spot if they maintain their current form and so do the Blues, Villa and City, not to mention Portsmouth. And their last 17 games include visits to the Big Three, while the likes of Villa, City and Everton won?t be willing to let them add to their four home league wins.

The Observer today says that Gillett and Hicks are expected to fail to make their loan repayment due end Feb to RBS, partly because they won?t put their hands into their own pockets. An Arab buy-out is possible to save Liverpool from becoming owned by a reluctant bank. But if they are in sixth position and Inter have dumped them out of Europe? Not such an attractive prospect. A big history won?t mean anything if you are mismanaged financially, ask Leeds fans

On another subject ? ?Everton 1-0? - last time we made the top four this is what the press called us as we won six 1-0s in a row. Unless I?m mistaken, yesterday was our first 1-0 win in the league this season in our 22nd game and 12th win. Happy days!

(Mind you, five 1-0 wins to follow would be quite acceptable)
Peter Hall     Posted 13/01/2008 at 11:07:40   Comments (25)

A Point from Safety

After just 22 games, we are a point from safety ? doesn't this show how far we have come under Moyes? It's never entered anyone's mind the relegation fight or even being safe now. Pre-Moyes, we would have these points at the end of a season if were lucky.

What makes our improvement all the more impressive is the way that 6 or 7 other Premier League clubs have been taken over and have been splashing cash like wild fire!!! Some of these teams may have not been taken over, but have still spent a hell of a lot more than we have....

If Liverpool (even tho I think we're better than them), Man City, Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham, even Chelsea and Villa have improved, and we're still on their tails (even above most of them), that only has to magnify the job Moyes has done. If these take-overs hadn't happened, then our team would easily be a guaranteed top 4/5 spot minimum each season.

The only other team to perform to a high level and bring through youth (although never English!!) is Arsenal. Team spirit is priceless. That's what we have and always will have with Moyes at the helm.

NSNO
Charlie Percival     Posted 12/01/2008 at 23:09:07   Comments (18)

Varying viewpoints

Interesting to see that Matt Le Tissier was pretty complimentary about our control of the game today, even when City were on top possession-wise. It's clear, however, how difficult it is to be in the know about all Premier League teams, when he went on to say this about Mikky:

"Every single chance that Everton create comes from him. His dead-ball delivery is fantastic and it was his cross which set up Lescott's goal."

Wrong ? a common misconception which has changed since Pienaar's arrival. I believe they are now level on assists after Arteta's today

and.. On the Chelsea game, it's surprising how different a view regular game-goers have of proceedings compared to sometime TV viewers like myself. I live in London now and barely ever get to see the boys live. Went to Chelsea (and had to sit with the West London scumbags) and thought we were abysmal first half, we seem to have been instructed to not leave our half. After the game though, it was good to chat to some proper Scousers (not often enough) and regular game-goers who had better perspective than me.

On the site itself, great job guys, so good in fact that I can never concentrate on revision for my finals! Wish me luck
Chris Odedun     Posted 12/01/2008 at 22:04:04   Comments (12)

African Nations Cup

I must take offence at Michael's final contributon to our absentees taking part in the Afican Nations Cup. Arrogance at it worst comes into effect, that we have to release players for this competition half way through the European season.

Capitalism and superiority are the first things that come to mind. I dread to think of the alternative. When you think of the European wide input of African players in recent seasons, who the fuck are we to question the timing of this competition?
Robert  Carney     Posted 12/01/2008 at 21:13:52   Comments (35)

Credit where it's due

Today's game reminded me of matches in previous seasons where we'd snatch the lead and then defend like mad to hold on. I think the team and Moyes have moved on since then but it does show our limitations when the squad is suddenly bereft of so many "first choice" players.

But credit where credit is due. Lescott was immense after an early bout of lack of low confidence when he seemed to want to clear everything first time (a reaction to Wednesday night?), Jagielka was outstanding, Valente solid. Although I don't generally rate him, I also thought that Hibbert had an outstanding game.

It was nice to see Arteta back and I thought he also had a good game albeit in a workmanlike manner. He certainly got around making up the space for some of the other more pedestrian midfielders.

Although, quite a few players were subdued, even substandard ? McFadden anyone? ? the real disappointment for me was Anichebe. Despite some earlier promise, he doesn't look the part to me. Why is it that he always looks totally knackered after 60 or 70 minutes?

Anyway, a good win, 3 points in the bag and level with our neighbours. Fourth place for the Blues anyone? Onwards and upwards but we'll have to have a stronger midfield against Chelsea! I'd play Baines left midfield instead of McFadden but there you go, just my opinion.
Ray Robinson     Posted 12/01/2008 at 19:11:21   Comments (33)

Hit The Bar ? Win A (Secondhand) Car

Good today to see a fan winning a car by hitting the bar only to find out the car is a second hand one? How many other clubs would offer second hand goods as part of their prize for such a highly publicised competition? I am just intrigued to know... ps: Not having a go at the club at all ? just an observation.
Adrian Francis     Posted 12/01/2008 at 17:26:34   Comments (7)

Will you be staying long, Sir?

So the ink is dry and Manuel Fernandes is back in a blue shirt. Whether you are over the moon or disappointed with the loan signing it is important to note Moyes?s words:

"We would have (made it permanent) but because of the third party agreement it was impossible, which is something I agree with.

"I think in football it should be correct that players should be owned by the clubs so I have to agree with that, but he's now back here and we?ll see how he does again. Whether we would be able to afford him is another question!"

What does this mean? Well my interpretation from reading between the lines is that the collapse of the deal when he went to Valencia was not due to his greed and if anything appears to due to the fact that WE were not able to sign him due to difficulties over the 3rd party agreement. Is this the truth or the club?s current stance? I suppose we will never know for sure.

We are unlikely to make the deal permanent. The 3rd party ownership has not been cleared up. And note Moyes?s final comments where he casts doubt on whether we can afford him. Just what is the fee to buy him outright? Is it a fee just to Valencia or is it a fee to Valencia for half just as it was to Benifca 12 months ago? Moyes clearly has doubts as to whether it will be made permanent.

I just hope we sign him up, and that we can work hard for the next 6 months to ensure there is no snags in making the deal permanent. The FA should give us the same courtesy afforded to Man Utd (twice) and Liverpool.
Steve Ferns     Posted 12/01/2008 at 17:04:52   Comments (19)

Everton v Man City

And the team is:?

Howard Hibbert Jags Lescott Valente Arteta Cahill Carsley Neville McFadden Anichebe

Subs: Vaughan, Gravesen, Stubbs, Baines, Ruddy.

AJ and Wessells have knocks and the Fernandes deal was not completed in time for this match

We welcome back Mikel Arteta though!!!
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 12/01/2008 at 14:33:30   Comments (32)

Robert Earl and Gosling

I have just read on the Plymouth Herald newspaper website that the Dan Gosling transfer will be completed now that Robert Earl has given his approval! I appreciate that he is the second-largest shareholder but surely he should be leaving football matters to Moyes and Kenright?

If true, it also highlights (again) how poor our communications department is if we are finding out this information in a local Plymouth rag!
James Armstrong     Posted 11/01/2008 at 22:23:54   Comments (21)

The Manny medical

Basically I just wanted to know the importance of a medical for a player who is only going to be signing (initially that is) on a short term loan? Just sign him on loan and give him 6 months. If he is knackered then surely we just do not sign him permanently and conversely he has 6 months to prove his fitness prior to a transfer. After all how did Tommy pass his medical?

And, finally, medicals shouldn't be the be all and end all of transfers, what if say Anelka does his cruciates this weekend, he would have passed his medical today and then (hypothetically) suffered an injury ? the medical becomes useless. Granted the club doesn't want to sign crocks, but it never stopped Everton signing Pistone (the second time) or indeed Gravesen.
Jack Calvert     Posted 11/01/2008 at 20:35:33   Comments (22)

Fernandes reception

I know Manny hasn't signed yet but I sincerely hope he does. Anyway, as a long term absentee from the Old Lady, I'm wondering what kind of reception he will receive when/if he is re-introduced? Many contributors to this site have unequivocally denounced him as a traitor — will you make those feelings known?

I have a very strong belief that this move, if it happens, will be the making of Fernandes. He will be one of those players for whom Everton becomes "home" a la Duncan McKenzie and whatever follows will be mere anticlimax. Apologies for the speculative nature of this submission but I truly am intrigued as to the possible reaction of those who have so openly condemned him.
Brian Hill     Posted 11/01/2008 at 15:57:48   Comments (31)

The return of Ossie?

Just a quick post to see if anybody has heard when Osman is likely to return. When he first broke his toe it was said he will be out until the end of Jan/start of Feb. I haven't heard anything regarding his rehab since.

One other thing has Manny played in Europe this season?
Paul Lenehan     Posted 11/01/2008 at 16:00:14   Comments (3)

“Official ” squad for City

The Official Site has the following squad for tomorrow's game with City:

Everton from: Howard, Wessels, Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, Stubbs, Lescott, Valente, Baines, Carsley, Arteta, McFadden, Gravesen, Vaughan, Anichebe, Johnson.

Hoping Neville plays right back, that leaves us with a choice of 6 from 7 players to play in front of the defence! Is the Official Site just inept? The squad is declared in an article that says Fernandes may play a part and where's Timmy?
Phil Traynor     Posted 11/01/2008 at 15:09:09   Comments (8)

Box office shambles

I didn't think I could make the City game due to unusual work commitments, so I gave my brother's lad my ticket, then somebody stepped in ? ironically a City fan ? and freed me up. Obviously I couldn't tell the lad I`m taking my ticket back, so I thought I`d just buy another. Been down here in London this week so I tried to buy online... the OS service is a joke, so I tried to phone. I must have rang 20-30 times on Wednesday and Thursday, but all I got was a message saying "all our operators are busy; please try later." Please try later? they may just as well have had a message saying "Piss off ? there`s nobody here" ... whatever happened to the queing system?

A total of 70 odd minutes I spent ringing the number provided; I rang customer services time and again too, but guess what ? no one answered, this must be the busiest the box office has been for years and nobody is manning the phones...

In the end someone who knew someone, who knew someone... so I`m sorted, but what an insight into the service we provide? I`ll be extremely angry if I see empty seats tomorrow.

Sort it out Bill, or better still try ringing the office and see how you feel. Undermanning the office and loosing ticket sales is surely a false economy
Dave  Wilson     Posted 11/01/2008 at 13:24:53   Comments (32)

Is £5M peanuts?

In a previous thread I advocated keeping McFadden, especially with the African cup making us a bit short in midfield and up front, both roles which Faddy can fill - but had another thought.

Presumably we still have the Fernandes money to acquire him in the summer, but perhaps not enough to sign Piennar as well. Of the two I would take Peanuts for his greater involvement throughout the 90 mins, but perhaps if we are in a financial situation where we can only afford 2 of the three, Manny and Piennar is by far the best use of money - which may make selling McFadden neccessary.

Come the summer we need CB re-inforcements as well and I just don't imagine we'll have the financial leeway to hang on to all our players and bring in sufficient quality to cover the aging squadies such as Stubbs and Carsley. We'll see I guess, maybe only a top 4 finish will allow us to do that!
Andrew Humphrey     Posted 11/01/2008 at 12:06:55   Comments (17)

Massive few games ahead!

I know I'm stating the obvious here, but these next few games are huge. Obviously from a league perspective, wins against City and Wigan will cement 5th place (with the possibilty of going 4th) and keep us in the mix for a Champions League place.

I believe if we are to go through in the Cup everything needs to be right for us. If we go into the Chelsea game on the back of a few poor results, it will be an uphill battle before the game even starts as confidence will not be what it could be.

Imagine going into the game in 5th/4th place on the back of two solid wins. The lads will be buzzing and the recent poor results would be a distant memory. Goodison will be jumping and fingers crossed it could turn into one of those special nights.

So our League Cup assault starts tomorrow with a home win against City!! COYB!!
Paul Lenehan     Posted 11/01/2008 at 10:42:47   Comments (14)

It's Started... the Capital of Kopites

On BBC Breakfast this morning - an item about the City of Culture "kick-off" today. Lots of stock footage of the Liver Buildings, the Fab Four, LFC's badge on their gates, the Shankly statue, fans queuing, Alexei Sayle saying that true scousers are born within earshot of the Kop.... and of Everton? What a surprise, no mention whatsoever. I really hope we beat Man City & Liverpool lose this weekend, so we can be above them at the start of the CofC year ? that'll get up the noses of the media...
Paul Turner     Posted 11/01/2008 at 09:33:26   Comments (59)

Mr Ashley, You're Missing the Point

Having read Bill Kenwright's comments about his phone conversation with Mike Ashley, I feel that if the quote is accurate, it drastically misses the point.

So Newcastle would, 'never do that to Everton...', I think they would struggle to have the ability to do so even if they would like to.

Newcastle are undoubtedly a big club but I think the thing that irks supporters of other clubs, is the seemingly deluded opinion of their fans that they are the be all and end all.

Why on earth would Moyes move to a decidedly unstable club with the most fickle fans in the country, a strange 'phoney fan' for a chairman and a bunch of overpaid, over-rated players, speckled with the odd hooligan.

David Moyes has developed a young, committed and certainly extremely able squad at Everton and that has taken no shortage of effort and dedication. To exchange that for the above would be close to lunacy.

Newcastle have won virtually fuck-all in the last 50 years and look no closer to changing that in the near future.

My response to Mr Ashley's call would have been to point out this rather obvious point and ask him kindly to lower his inflated opinion of the draw of his club.
Richard Osborne     Posted 10/01/2008 at 17:48:19   Comments (38)

£5.5m!!???

If reports today are correct McLeish is ready to pay £5.5M for McFadden. I know the squad is on the small side but at this price we should bite their hand off. But Moyes needs to ensure the finds are put back in to squad building rather than ate up by the board.

Fernandes will be a good signing and more than aducate replacement but another young risings star midfielder would be fantatsic.

Take the money and run Davey!!
Carl  Wright     Posted 10/01/2008 at 15:35:59   Comments (39)

Assistant of Moyes

Don't get me wrong ? I think Mr Moyes is building slowly, given his lack of resources compared to the Sky 4, and Spurs, Newcastle.

But I feel we he does need an assistant, who may be able to advise during a mtch- tactics, subs. Against Chelsea, Oldham and Arsenal I feel he has made some wrong decisions. It really is a pity Gary Speed didn't come...
Joe McMahon     Posted 10/01/2008 at 13:42:11   Comments (10)

Moyes Linked to Newcastle Job

Just seen on Sky Sports, there has been a betting surge on Moyes to take over at Newcastle. I cannot see that happening myself, I hope its just a case of the media linking everyone to the job.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 10/01/2008 at 12:02:26   Comments (53)

Arteta a lightweight??

Recently on here I have noticed a few comments regarding Arteta being to lightweight, easily pushed of the ball, poor delivery, etc. What those that knock him need to know is that he is the most fouled player in the Prem. His quick feet and turn of pace is an asset but, unfortunatly after being chopped down he has to get to his feet and then deliver the ball into the danger areas.

Having played for Luton at reserve level on the wing, being a target every game and keeping cool is tough, so although he appears to be lightweight his contribution in winning free kicks in dangerous positions is valuable. If we were to invest in a dead ball specialist, his great work would be more recognised.
Chris Keightley     Posted 10/01/2008 at 11:36:51   Comments (21)

FM Central

Who Will Be Carsley's Successor???? Maybe this thread has been written 6 months too early, but upon reading the previous thread in regards to signing Fernandes (Assuming he comes in on loan) & Pienaar on a pernament basis, the topic of Carsley's successor was brought up. Everyone said we need to eventually replace him, because, let's face it, he ain't gonna be around for too much longer. But no one gave any suggestions of who it should be. So who should Everton realistically target as Carsley's successor??
Andrew Paolacci     Posted 10/01/2008 at 10:07:47   Comments (20)

Sky Sports News Reporting

I have read various articles on this site over the past few weeks regarding the Sky Corporation focusing on the big "4" + Newcastle easpecially in Sky Sports News articles. I hadn't really made my mind up as to whether or not they simply concentrating on the bigger stories or if they had a different agenda.

Last night i witnessed the worst piece of journalism on the Sky Sports News Channel

10pm: First Report - "Sam leaving Newcastle" (fair enough! Big story!). At the same time a two-line report in the small box at the bottom refers to Manuel Fernandes's medical at Goodison tomorrow (today) ? Great, I thought, there will definetely be a piece on this coming up... Second report: "Gary Neville Returns for Reserves" Fair enough... Man Utd Captain returning from a longer injury. So I watched. He had scored a goal and made a tackle against Everton Reserves. Cut to video footage ? No mention of the score either verbally or on screen apart from the the score in small print on top left of screen as it was broadcast on MUTV.

The first clip they showed was Gary Neville's goal. Everton were 2-0 ahead at this stage. No mention of this. No footage of the Everton goals. No mention of who scored the goals. The next clip showed an Everton attack thwarted by Gary Neville. End of piece.

I wanted to know the Everton scorers and had to go on the Everton website to find out. What a crap piece of journalism.

As of 11:15pm, no piece on Fernandes ? surely a loan signing of a portugese international and £12mn player is worth a brief article!

Off to bed I went ? annoyed!
Andrew Steen     Posted 10/01/2008 at 09:38:50   Comments (13)

Welcome back Manny, but where does that leave Peinaar

It will be good to have Manny back if he can do for us this half-season what he did last half-season. But, with having him AND Pienaar on loan with an option to buy in the Summer, which one do we want to keep if the choice comes down to it? (Note: I'm discounting Gravesen as I don't believe we will, or should, sign him permanently.)

Given that we need to be looking for a replacement for Carsley in the Summer too, will we be in a position to bring in 3 midfielders (PLUS a right back?), or will Carsley's job be given to Neville? (I hope not!)
Eric Myles     Posted 10/01/2008 at 01:39:50   Comments (42)

Porkies?

" David Moyes knows nothing of a reported move for Manuel Fernandes. Friday's Daily Mirror claimed that Everton were keen to sign the midfielder on loan. Fernandes joined Everton in January of last season on a temporary deal and enjoyed a successful six-month period on Merseyside, but then surprisingly joined Valencia in the summer. But the Portuguese hasn't figured regularly for the Spanish outift and rumours of a departure have surfaced.

Moyes, however, was bemused by suggestions of a move for the player. 'I didn't even know that,' he said of the rumours. 'Have I? Not that I know of!' The Blues boss added that while no transfer activity was imminent, he was looking at what players might available. "

This is a quote from the OS on Jan 4th. As I think, Michael Kendrick commented when the rumours resurfaced, someone is telling porkies. While I am very pleased that the rumours are true and not David Moyes's response, does anyone else think our manager needs to be careful how he expresses himself, particularly on the OS?
Eric  Hardman     Posted 09/01/2008 at 23:29:39   Comments (20)

Anderson

Anyone know what has happened with Anderson? He has played for Barnsley for most of the season, adored by the fans, and presumably has match fitness. He doesn't seem to feature for the reserves at the moment. Considering we waited at least 6 months for him to get here it seems odd that he hasn't featured.
Trence Regan     Posted 09/01/2008 at 22:39:52   Comments (9)

Phil Neville

Has anyone noticed an mprovement in Phil Neville's performance in midfield? It might be just me.. but he seems to have much more confidence passing the ball now. I'm definitely not saying he should play in centre midfield and his best right position is definitely right back, but it's nice to see he's playing decent in the middle of the park for once!!
Ben Jones     Posted 09/01/2008 at 22:35:55   Comments (20)

How arrogant are Chelsea?

Wow is all I can say. I have just read that piece of 'journalism' on their official site regarding the fact that Everton would benefit from having an option of recinding our right to play out the second leg of the cup semi due to our innate inferiority and snow ball in hells chance of progression.

Well, I'm sorry, but I sincerely hope that the majority of Chelsea fans don't think like that as the reality is that the beauty of cup competitions of this nature means anything can happen. I for one will be at Goodison on the 23rd, baying for the Blues to knock Chelsea out. Make no mistake, we need a Herculean effort to do it, but it would be awesome to be in a position to ram that author's words down his throat. COYB!
Andy Morden     Posted 09/01/2008 at 19:52:05   Comments (56)

Reserves

I'm off to the reserve game with Man U tonight... I reckon it should be good: in addition to the usual suspects for the resrves (but no VDM because of injury, and Jutkiewicz and Boyle are both at Plymouth, aren't they?), Baines, Vaughan and Anichebe are all playing, which I'm looking forward to.

Everton: Ruddy, Densmore, Baines, Irving, Dennehy, Rodwell, Morrison, Vidarsson, Vaughan, Anichebe, Kissock. Subs: Harpur, Stubhaug, Downes, Agard, O'Kane

Man Utd: Zieler, Neville, Simpson, Eckersley, Chester, Hewson, Gray, R. Jones, Brandy, Dong, S. Evans. Subs: Cathcart, Heaton, Lea, Cleverley, Fagan

I think with Vaughan and Anichebe in, we'll have a good chance of winning ? which would move us ahead of Man Utd in the Reserve League table.
Richard Porter     Posted 09/01/2008 at 17:03:36   Comments (10)

Ye shall reap what ye sow

I am tired of the whinging about the big 4,of the moaning about Sky and the paranoia about G14. The fact is that in 1991 the big 5 proposed that they and others should break away from the Football League and form an independent Premier League.

The benefits were almost purely financial in that TV money would be negotiated seperately and no longer shared among the 92 League clubs. Furthermore each club would keep its own gate money and no longer have to pay a share to the visiting club.

Who were the big 5 who put their names to this proposal.. Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United, Spurs and EVERTON. No Chelsea, City, Villa, Newcastle you will note, although they willingly joined the plot hatched by the Big 5.

Arsenal and Man United took full advantage of the financial windfalls that followed hence their mega stadia and financial clout. Liverpool whilst reasonably successful in playing terms by common consent missed the financial opportunities presented, due to a Chairman out of his depth in a business environment and an incompetant Chief Executive. Unfortunately, Everton and Spurs not only missed the financial opportunities but also managed to be similarly unsuccessful on the playing field.

We instigated and supported the changes the Premiership and TV money offered and it is pointless blaming those clubs that exploited the opportunities.

Face the facts. The big 4 exist not because of Sky but in the case of Arsenal and Man U because of far sighted business and football management, in the case of Liverpool because of the proflle 20 years of domestic and European success in the 70s and 80s gave them and in the case of Chelsea because of the Russian bilions.

The way forward is to put aside envy, jealousy and ridiculous cospiracy theories and to support the club in its present slow but sure revival.
Craig  Jones     Posted 09/01/2008 at 15:15:55   Comments (3)

A Question on W R Dixie Dean

Just got this off a cousin who is researching his family history: I have a "Dixie" Dean problem. I reckon he was educated at Laird Street School in Birkenhead.

Wikipedia have him as one of the most famous pupils at S.F.X in Liverpool. My Dad always told me that he went to school with Dixie, and they both left when they were 14. Dixie went as an Apprentice Boiler Maker in Birkenhead.

Any help anyone can give would be gratefully appreciated.
Mike Hayes     Posted 09/01/2008 at 15:18:40   Comments (5)

Fernandes is signing today!

Rumours Fernandes is signing today!

Spanish speaking media outlets are today reporting that Manuel Fernandes has travelled to the UK in order to complete a loan move to Goodison Park.

A return to Goodison would provide a huge boost for David Moyes who has seen his numbers in midfield depleted in recent weeks through suspension, injury, and the African Cup of Nations.



http://www.nsno.co.uk/news.php?item.3043.59
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 09/01/2008 at 14:43:49   Comments (54)

Ref Justice

Scouring some of the Chelsea websites prior to the game, I read an article about how their supporters feared the influence and lack of ability of the designated referee, one Peter Walton. Post match, I can now understand their fears as I cannot believe how he missed so much last night.

For a start, when AJ went over Hilario, it's a penalty, no doubts. Alright, there was no way he could have got to the ball, but a foul's a foul, no matter where it may be on the pitch or how far you knock it past.

Next was 'Jags' last ditch lunge on Joe Cole, advantage played, but surely he was the last man and stopped a clear goalscoring opportunity?

Then there were the tackles, the lunge on Carsley after 5 minutes, it's a cast iron booking, but 'Cars' gets booked for protesting, fair enough, he dragged the referee back so he deserved that one.

Next, the stamp on Carsley by Sidwell, sending off in my book, nasty tackle, much worse than Mikel's, which I had down as no more than a yellow.

The one that totally bamboozled me tho was AJ's yellow for 'trying' to stay on his feet after being tackled, totally baffling, and maybe AJ needs to get back to going down properly when he's fouled instead of listening to the media drivel of sore managers.

And dont even start me on the midget's push on Lescott in the last minute.... Grrrrrr!!!
Col Wills     Posted 09/01/2008 at 14:19:03   Comments (8)

True Blue Emissaries

Just wanted to congratulate every single man jack of the away support from last night. I managed to nab/blag a box ticket for last night and the away support was an absolute joy to behold and reinforced my already immense pride to be a blue. One of the comments from the group I was with was 'that's what you call proper support...'

Seems I'm not the only one to thing so either...this letter was sent to F365 from a Chelsea fan

"Just wanted to say that the Everton fans were amazing last night. Although we eventually won the game, their spirit and singing was remarkable throughout the entire 90 minutes. Although they often get lumped into the same bracket as Liverpool for being scousers, they form an incredible travelling support and full credit to them."
Richard Jones     Posted 09/01/2008 at 12:23:12   Comments (24)

Settling for a draw

I was at the match last night and it seemed to me that Moyesie was settling for a draw in the end, even though we had the extra man. They had no attackers on the pitch by the end of the game, it was clear to me that they would have taken a 1-1 at that point. The trouble was so did Moyes.

We were absolutely hanging on at the end, when it should have been them. This tactic backfired miserably. Where were the subs? Even if he wanted to keep the same formation, why didn't he bring on some fresh legs before he brought on Anichebe in the 87th minute?

Don't get me wrong, I am firmly pro-Moyes, but I think last night we should have tried to seize our advantage. It will be harder to get an advantage over 11 men at Goodison, when they only need to play for a draw, than it could have been last night...
Danny Broderick     Posted 09/01/2008 at 11:31:31   Comments (8)

A bit more craft and guile

Think about our defeats last night and against Utd. Think about our 13 game unbeaten run before Christmas. What was the one thing in common? The winning side had better players, better at keeping the ball and was able to grind mistakes out of tired opposition players at the end of a game.

In other words, Chelsea and Utd did to us what we've been doing to the rest of the Premier League all season. Chelsea beat us last night not because they were lucky, not because of Howard and the inspirational Lescott, but because despite being one man short, they could keep the ball and always had options.

I've previously criticised Moyes due to the talk of 'consecutive top 10 finishes' and crap football. I've enjoyed this season because we're playing better football, beating the sides we should be beating and we're on two cup runs. That is genuine progress.

It's very easy to say Chelsea were there for the taking, but when Mikel was sent off, my first thought was 'how will we take advantage of this with the team we have on the pitch?' Oh to have had Arteta and Pienaar at that stage!

I've been saying for the last three years that we ought to be fighting to be the 'best of the rest ' and challenging for cups for starters and then moving on. Happily I think we're at that first stage ? the hard challenge is to get among the 'big four'. What was clear last night is that we desperately need a midfielder who can keep the ball, run the game and take the pressure off our defence. Neville and Carsley are good hard-working pros who are at the top of their game living with the like of Chelsea and Utd. A bit more craft and guile is needed to take us further. I'll let those with the purse strings decide who we can get.

None of this is meant in criticism of Moyes, who I think has recently bought well and shuffled his limited pack as well as he could. I think the last couple of weeks has shown us our level and what we need to do to build on our recent and, at last, genuine progress.
Paul Tran     Posted 09/01/2008 at 10:27:00   Comments (4)

Chelsea Still Strong in Clash

Despite Chelsea having some key players out they still fielded a strong side in the Carling Cup Semi Final at The Bridge.

We showed again an inability to be able to keep the ball and pass it fluently, surely this must be a training session priority ? Tim Cahill although I'm aware not fit just does not fit in to a 4-4-2 midfield role, its not his game and he was absent for long spells in the match. I would have been looking at a 4-1-4-1 with Tim pushing on behind the Yak and Johnson playing out and out right wing, Hibbert pushing him up as the game dictated.

Lescott had an awesome game and has learned the hard way that you must concentrate until the final whistle. I don't think it was Howard's ball to claim from where he was, if in doubt, get rid of it.

Yak gave away too much possession in the first half and the makeshift Chelsea defence didnt have too many problems with our best two strikers.

All in all, I'm feeling a 2-1 loss with a possible crucial away goal isnt a bad result considering we didnt play well at all.
Andrew Fletcher     Posted 09/01/2008 at 08:59:21   Comments (4)

Can somebody clarify?

Okay, I'd like to put a general question out to all Everton fans, especially those who physically saw the game. I didn't see it (I listened to it on the radio which isn't the same). Now a lot of people were saying yesterday that assuming we didn't win that we had to score a goal (we did) and we had to keep it close (which we did also).....it's a one goal difference and basically 1-0 or a win by 2 goals will do it for us in the second leg.

I'm not disputing for one second that this (sounded like) a poor performance but why all the doom and gloom? All of a sudden Howard (I've yet to read any prior criticism of him unless I've missed it) is a goalie we need to replace? Lescott, normally he's fantastic... even if it was poor defending how often does he score an own-goal?

And for the second leg they still wont have Drogba and Terry (not sure about Lampard) but we will have Arteta... we won't have Yakubu/Yobo , that'll hurt I know. However, if today was a poor game for us and that's mainly why we lost, who's to say we can't turn in a blinder next time and win it?

So I'd like some feedback as to why everybody appears to be so doom 'n' gloom surely we have every chance of beating them in the second leg? (If not, then surely we didn't expect to win today either!).

I'm just confused. (Pissed off, angry, cutting up pictures of SWP etc.)
Martin Cutler     Posted 09/01/2008 at 05:53:50   Comments (34)

Setanta, ESPN and the Big 4

Someone mentioned that Setanta do not disappear up the collective arseholes of the Sky-appointed "Big 4", and may be getting bought out by ESPN. Well, bad news I'm afraid: ESPN (US) and ESPN STAR Sports (Asia) are all part of the stable known as News Corp. Which includes Sky.

Don't know what ESPN are like State-side, but in Asia they are possibly even worse than Sky in terms of eulogising the Big 4. Even so far as guest pundits invariably having been former players.

To be fair, I did ask some of the presenters why this is the case, and the not-unsurprising answer is because "most" followers of the English game in Asia support one of the Big 4. Guess you gotta give the viewers what they want....

Overall though, coverage of the Prem is far better over here than in the UK. Get to see almost every game live, or on tape delay, as long as you can put up with the time difference!
Matt Traynor     Posted 09/01/2008 at 01:08:44   Comments (9)

Goalkeeper and clean sheets

I said on here after Saturday that we need a keeper in this transfer window. Howard may well be our number 1 (because Wessels is hopless and Ruddy too young) but he is no Nigel Martyn. That ball should have been his-the height it went up in the air in the box.

He seems afraid to comunicate with Lescott sometimes and doesn't command his box. Remember Larissa in the Uefa Cup when he bowled the ball out to Lescott despite him being closed down resulting in Lescott being robbed of possession and them scoring.

Right now Howard as no pressure on his position in the team and just how many clean sheets as he actually kept this season?

That is four defeats now since December 23rd so City at home on Saturday is a must win game or as good a run we were on before Christmas could easily become a struggle to salvage the second half of the season if we are not careful.
Colin  Hughes     Posted 08/01/2008 at 22:50:11   Comments (28)

The quality just isn't there

As I watched, in agony, the seemingly inevitable cock-up tonight, I wondered how much progress we are actually making as a team.

Against a vastly weakened Chelsea we were second best for 90% of the game and never at any stage played any real football. Both of Chelsea's goals came not through pressure or great play but as a result of abject marking and a schoolboy error. Yet again, against 10 men (the Anfield derby anyone) we looked like the team one man down at the key moments.

Every time we try to play the ball around, it looks like the players are shit scared and invariably over- or under-hit the simplest of passes. Most of Chelsea's best moves started with us giving the ball away under no real pressure.

Until such time as Moyes can produce a team which is comfortable under pressure, we will never make any genuine progress as a club that can regularly challenge for Europe or the cups.

I am sure the crowd effort in two weeks time will be immense but I am equally sure of two other things ? Avram Grant will be supremely confident on the basis of our display tonight; and few if any blues would put the mortgage on us winning. I desperately hope for the best but I expect another scrambled, battling, backs-to-the-wall job and hope for the best.

We will only be making real progress when we really control such games and on the basis of tonight that is still a billion years away
John Doolan     Posted 08/01/2008 at 22:16:12   Comments (31)

Analyze This...

I know I'm going to get stick for this, but I'm beginning to think the whole squad needs to go into psychoanalysis. You look at a performance like that - struggling against a weakened side, then thrown a lifeline, struggling back onto level terms and throwing it away at the last moment. Do these players think they don't deserve success?

How many times have we sabotaged ourselves in major do or die games this season - Liverpool, Manchester Utd, Oldham, Chelsea. I swear they all need shrinks. It's not just a question of failure, it's a question of pathology at work here. Another chance to sabotage ourselves coming right up.
Peter Fearon     Posted 08/01/2008 at 21:43:48   Comments (50)

The stupid mistakes

What is going on? I feel like the only goals we give up anymore are our fault. How could Wright-Phillips ever jump higher than Lescott? The Arsenal game. The MU penalty. How many ridiculous goals can we give up until the team learns to communicate. Maybe they're all waiting to hear if Moyes is going to yell who should take care of a ball. Bottom line is I'm tired of watching well earned wins and draws be thrown away by foolish academy mistakes.
Joey Brown     Posted 08/01/2008 at 21:40:22   Comments (41)

Patrick Boyle

I know it's just hours away from a very important match tonight, but I just can't resist asking anyone who knows anything about the situation of Patrick Boyle.

I remember he was to be our first choice left back at the beginning of last season, but then he got injured for almost the whole season. Now he's on trial at Plymouth Argyle for a possible permanent move? I remember I read a lot of positive comments here.

Can someone tell me something?
Daniel Lim     Posted 08/01/2008 at 15:10:17   Comments (13)

Andy van der Meyde

Given our midfield at the current moment (Arteta suspended, Osman injured, Pienaar called up and Gravesen being crap), I will be surprised if Andy van der Meyde doesnt make it into the squad tonight. Yes, the man's had problems, but I haven't heard anything about him for weeks... Is he injured?

And what about Dan Gosling, what's happened to that deal?
Adam Doyle     Posted 08/01/2008 at 13:46:05   Comments (30)

Twisted Firestarters

What is it that makes those posters write the "Downing/Fernandes/Lord Lucan/Shergar/Riquelme to sign on Monday, say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink" emails and post them on the various blues sites?....Are they like the people who start fires in America and Greece, and then like to stand back and admire the chaos and disaster they cause?

A bit of a harsh analogy, but I just wondered what motivates these mystery posters to spread these rumours. I know we are all desperate to hear who Everton are going to sign next, and compared to many clubs, we don't appear in the gossip columns as much but even so......anyone have any insights into this phenomenon?
John Williams     Posted 08/01/2008 at 13:24:43   Comments (24)

Mr Motivator

Now is the time for Moyes's motivational skills to come to the fore. In truth after Saturday, the players should need no motivating, but the loss of all creativity from the side (with the news that Pienaar will be missing) means that it will, to my mind, need a battling display from the 11 who start.

Everyone (in the media) seems to be trying to make out Chelski are beatable tomorrow, that this is a "good" time to be playing them, but I'm having none of that. They're are a very good side and will be very difficult to break down. A draw will do fine, get them back to Goodison and with crowd backing, turn them over then. COYB.
Steve Guy     Posted 07/01/2008 at 19:08:25   Comments (36)

Liverpool Senior Cup

For reasons best known to myself, I was reading Warrington Town's fixture list this morning. And I noticed that they have a Liverpool Senior Cup quarter final tomorrow. Now, the quarter final is the stage where we enter, so I spent some time searching for our fixture. Our official website and the Liverpool County FA website had no sign of a fixture list, and even Liverpool's website didn't acknowledge the tournament (mind you, they did withdraw at the semi-final stage last season, failing to fulfil their fixture with us).

Anyway, I emailed the Liverpool FA to ask them. For those who are interested,The Quarter Final Draw is:

WARRINGTON TOWN V PRESCOT CABLES ? 8TH JAN
MARINE V SOUTHPORT ? 22ND JAN
EVERTON V LIVERPOOOL ? TBA
TRFC 0 SKELMERSDALE UNITED 2

I wonder if Liverpool will find space in their busy schedule for us this season. Bit of giant killing by Skem in there as well (I believe Carl Osman, Leon's brother, plays for them).
Richard Porter     Posted 07/01/2008 at 17:20:02   Comments (2)

Fifa

So Fifa are stepping in and making Pienaar go and wait two weeks to play for South Africa. But I'd like something cleared up: do we pay his wages? I know it's a poor arguement, but if we are paying him over the next few weeks that he's playing for South Africa, surely we have a right to let him go and team up with the squad when we are ready to let him go?

Unless of course football has become like cricket and each national team signs players to central contracts and they pay wages during these competitions, and that news has passed me by.
Mike Bates     Posted 07/01/2008 at 16:49:31   Comments (35)

Pienaar to play

The Official site is reporting that Pienaar will play tomorrow against Chelsea. This clears up where he is.

He is probably training as we speak. David Moyes has cited the 14-day rule. South Africa's first match is to be played 15 days after our match against Chelsea so David Moyes is well within his rights to hang on to the player until then.

Fair play to DM is what I say. With the South African FA seemingly playing hardball over this, it is nice to have a manager doing what's best for his & our club.
Graham  Nolan     Posted 07/01/2008 at 13:12:54   Comments (33)

Midfield concerns for Tuesday

Does anyone have ideas as to our midfield line up for the Chelsea game?

We only have Carsley and Cahill left, with Osman injured, Pienaar gone, Arteta suspended. Maybe just Carsely if Cahill is not passed fit.

I guess McFadden and Neville will be brought into midfield, but neither are really midfielders. We could turn to some of the youngsters, but the Semi Final of a cup is not really the right place.

Was hoping Fernandes would come in time, but that's not going to happen. I am really worried we are going to get rolled over in the first leg.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 07/01/2008 at 12:13:13   Comments (37)

Keeping everyone happy

With the risk of being shot down in flames I will give you an uninformed point of view to the reason Saturday was the disaster it was.... apart from the disaster that is Gravesen who is clearly finished and needs to get back to Scotland as soon as possible.

I am a great admirer of David Moyes and he, like anyone wanting to succeed at any level, is clearly developing as a great manager. Through that process, he will make many mistakes, as we all do, but, if progress is seen each season, then good luck to him.

My point at last: Saturday was not about squad rotation ? it was about keeping everyone happy. Those that no doubt feel they should be in the team were given the opportunity and failed.

You cannot give everyone who is not getting a game a position all at the same time, which is what I think David tried to do, and in hindsight he will know he should not have. We should have stayed with the tried and tested and successfull formation and played a team around that, not one that ? even with our best eleven ? we can't play at the moment.

Advice, if I was so bold enough to give it to him, and advice he will learn from with time, is that he needs to be a bit more ruthless because, bottom line, you cannot keep everyone happy and you never will.

One saving grace for him will be that those who think they should play and don't will be pretty quiet for the next few weeks, allowing David the space to start picking the team he believes in. Albeit one or two of them will get another chance due to the departure of Pienaar, Yobo and Yakuba, .

Please, Everton, buy that central midfielder we so desperately need.
Paul Niklas     Posted 07/01/2008 at 09:50:21   Comments (18)

So, the Loop is too small?

In its planning submission to Kirkby, Everton Football Club and Tesco's have "confirmed" that the Loop is not only too small, but could only be fit for a 35,000 stadium.

Given all the anti-Kirkby articles on ths site, I am a bit surprised that we haven't had at least 4 articles demonstrating why such a statement is nonsense.

More important for me is that I am still waiting for our saviours from Bestway, and of course Council Leader Warren (don't blame me) Bradley, to respond.

Should make some interesting reading over the coming week.
Ajamu Mutumwa     Posted 07/01/2008 at 07:39:18   Comments (14)

Carling Cunning

There are a few positives to the Carling Cup; it?s a backdoor into Europe ? you have to win fewer rounds to claim it, and you inevitably come up against teams who field weaker sides. If you make the final, fans get a trip to Wembley. That?s it.

When Liverpool won the mickey mouse cup as part of their so called ?treble?, I?m sure a lot of Everton fans laughed at the cheek to proclaim this cup as a worthy trophy to win. But look at us now. We have fielded our strongest sides during each round and have thrown away a run in the FA Cup by resting players for the Carling semi. Why?

Let me ask you which cup you?d rather still be involved in? Arsene Wenger has the right idea about playing his youngsters in the Carling Cup because that?s what it?s for. We don?t have that kind of talent, but we could blend a good team from our youngsters, fringe first team players and first team regulars players coming back from injury. If we get knocked out early, would anyone truly care later in a successful season?

We wouldn?t have had this situation where Moyes rests some his first choice players for an FA Cup tie in favour of a Carling Cup Semi. ToffeeWeb wouldn?t get bombarded by deluded Everton fans who expect us to win all our home games despite 3 first choice midfielders being injured or suspended. If the FA cup kicked off for Premier League teams prior to the Carling Cup starting, we could gladly put a fit first eleven out on the park for each round and give the Carling Cup the respect it deserves. None.

Please note the last time I wrote in was when the club released a DVD to commemorate one of the few home derby victories we?ve had in the last decade. What a joke.
Jerome  Esterhazy     Posted 07/01/2008 at 02:06:36   Comments (15)

Gosling

Just a quick question; Does anyone have an update on Gosling?

I know its not headline stuff but he looks a real prospect and if he as good as he seems, maybe will have rid of Hibbo (I hate knocking the lad, he's clearly all heart and dedication, love him to bits but basically he's rubbish and we need more RB cover for when davey opts to use our most skillful flare player (PN haha!) in the middle.)
Viv Sharma     Posted 06/01/2008 at 20:46:04   Comments (13)

The Manuel Plot Thickens...

The Observer today confidently states as fact that we've got Fernandes on loan: :

Everton have taken Portugal international Manuel Fernandes on loan for the second consecutive January window. The former Benfica and Portsmouth midfielder had agreed to join the club on a permanent transfer last summer only to switch to Valencia at the last minute.
My own view is that none of us really know what happened with his proposed move in the summer. So I'm happy to give him the benefit of the doubt in the hope that he helps us maintain our momentum for the rest of the season. But I do think some people have gone a bit overboard describing him as 'world class', but he's obviously a talented player who will hopefully contribute positively.

And if there's even a hint of him not playing ball or messing the club about then it's off you pop my son, back to your mate Koeman..
Ben McCann     Posted 06/01/2008 at 14:52:16   Comments (50)

Does He Care?

First of all, well done Oldham! It just goes to prove that pride and passion will always count in a competition like the FA Cup.

At the start of each season, the two domestic cup competitions are realistically our only chance of winning silverware. Added to this, if you win either competition having played say six games (barring replays) you qualify for the Uefa Cup, as against playing 38 games through the Premier League.

Our abysmal cup record over the last 5 seasons under David Moyes (excepting this season's League Cup run) leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot fathom his logic in not concentrating on the cup competitions given the exposure and lift it would give to us success-starved supporters. While I was not at yesterday?s game, I kept in touch via the net. When I saw Moyes?s team selection, I had a terrible feeling that we were in trouble. Why put out a team with a large number of players lacking match practice in vital positions against a team who had won 7 games away from home this season?

The manager probably feels that after a good league run that teams like Oldham will roll over. David, show some respect to other teams, our club and our supporters. We want to win the Cups.
Declan Burke     Posted 06/01/2008 at 14:26:14   Comments (17)

Positively 4th St??

We were in 4 out of 4 comps, now it's 3 out of 4. In 2 months and 10 games it could be 1 out of 4, or, if the league form slumps it might be 0 out of 4. Numbers eh! you've got to love them. They dominate our lives, on and off the field. The little buggers are everywhere. 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 3rd round, League 1, 0-1, Moyes's 2nd 5 yrs.

So there's numbers everywhere you look, especially in the players bank balances... Strange then how our main problem with numbers is, on 2 counts, where it counts, is a lack: In the Bank; and in the Squad The only thing we don't seem to be short of is has-beens, never-will-bes, suspensions, injuries and ACN participants.

Davie has, along with upping the standard of the best 11, upped the standard of the 2nd tier and in doing so given us the best squad we've had since the very late 80s. All it means is his continued sell 1, buy 1, loan 1 is here for 4 more years

I do feel though, that it will be a case of Highway 61 revisited and we will end up with yet another of Davie's 50 ish% seasons, albeit through no fault of his own

An 11th / 6th finish is somewhere on the cards. This will, for me, not be the end of the world due to the improvement of the overall STYLE of football.

1 step at a time.
Derek Thomas     Posted 06/01/2008 at 05:30:52   Comments (18)

Can we beat Chelsea ?

Looking ahead to the Chelsea game though we have a problem as we are without any of our first-choice creative midfield players. When we played Chelsea rcently it seemed as though we set out our stall for a draw in the first half and Chelsea completely overran us. The second half saw us attack them and eventually we got the goal we deserved. Given that Arteta, Pienaar and Osman will be missing on Tuesday I am wondering who we have that can allow us to attack them. If we sit back and go for the draw then sooner or later they will open us up but I don't feel too good about relying on the all too often disinterested McFadden or the past it cheerleader Gravesen to lead the cavalry either.

The game is the first of two so hopefully we can undo any damage that is done in the first leg, with a larger pool of players (hopefully) to choose from in the second leg, but I think the main thing giving me any reason for hope now is the fact that Chelsea have several key players missing as well. I think full strength Chelsea would beat our best hands down but how will our makeshift team do against their makeshift team? This could be a great occasion for the likes of Hibbert and McFadden to stand up and prove all of us doubters wrong.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 06/01/2008 at 02:50:09   Comments (18)

The spine of the team.

After witnessing today's debacle it's obvious our squad is not as good as some might have thought (Moyes incuded). Yobo is about to leave for Africa which leaves us with Stubbs, who is clearly past it; Lescott, who seems more comfortable at left back; and Jagielka, who is clearly not of Premier League standard yet.

Couple this with the possibilty of Howard getting injured we are left with Worzel Gummidge in goal ? remember 1986 when Big Nev got injured? it destroyed our hopes of the double. For me we need a keeper who is better standard than Wessels, even if it is just to keep Howard on his toes, and an experienced short term replacement for Yobo as Stubbs is no longer the answer.

If Moyes does nothing in the window then we will get what we deserve if things do go pear-shaped in the next month or so. We are still handily placed; let's not throw it away now Moyes.
Colin  Hughes     Posted 05/01/2008 at 23:52:43   Comments (9)

Calm Please

Would we be coming on praising the manager to be a messiah had we won today?? No. So why castigate the manager for a freak result that happens every so often. Today is embarassing but it is not the end of our season nor is it the drama or defining moment in our season that some will make it out to be.

We are playing some of the most positive football in years and moving forward so visibly that to lambast Moyes now seems wholy disproportionate. The team he sent out today was unbalanced yes, Gravesen hasn't the legs to play in a 4 and Stubbs just hasn't got the legs full stop. But in saying that, it was a team that 99 times out of 100 would beat Oldham.

With such a big game on Tuesday, had we played the usual 4-5-1 with the usual personnel and won, people would have been in uproar that we hadn't rotated the squad. We've just come through a gruelling Xmas period and today was a one off minging performance. The best way to brush it off is to come away from Stamford Bridge with a good start to the tie and to beat City next Saturday and go 4th. Yes, 4th. If those two things happen, I forsee a brushing under the carpet of this game and we can get on with our best season in years.

The season we finished 4th was based upon so many 1-0 wins and gritty defensive performances but now, in a much more competitive league, we are on a fantastic run and but for a sticky period through Sept-Oct we'd be right up in the top 4 now looking down on the red shite. So let's not go jumping down Moyes's throat just yet.
Niall Clinton     Posted 05/01/2008 at 22:20:46   Comments (17)

Don't Panic

Having spent the afternoon in my usual seat in the Park End, I?m gutted! Unlike a significant minority of contributors to this site, especially the editors who rely on Ronny Goodlass, and delete the offending match reports (I'm referring to Middlesbrough at home, feel free to check the dead link) when one of our esteemed editors declared that he was 'glad he'd saved his money and watched it on TV', I actually have a season ticket and go to the games.

Watched it on the Internet? Fuck off and support your team!

Supporting your team means going to the games, take note Michael and Lyndon.

Don?t want to move to Kirkby, why not, you don?t even go to Goodison?

Posts submitted at 8:15pm on European nights prove this conclusively. Running an Everton site and not going to home games, you are a disgrace!

Anyway, we shouldn?t be losing to Oldham even with our reserves out, but there it is: we lost. Moyes played a poor, poor team and we got done by a team with more desire and a good away record. Shit happens, but given the choice, I?d rather sacrifice the FA Cup than the semis of the Carling or Uefa, or the Prem.

It?s a blessing in disguise, believe me. We haven?t got the squad to compete on four fronts. Roll on Tuesday and keep the faith!

Hey, here?s an original idea, if you?re going to write a match report, go to the match, or leave it to Ken.

Go on, have some balls and publish, the usual sycophants will jump to your defence!
Michael  Thompson     Posted 05/01/2008 at 22:21:06   Comments (1)

Moyes is found out again

David Moyes says that he felt the team he fielded at Goodison today was strong enough to beat Oldham but that his side "never got to grips" with their League One opponents.

Well, David, anyone who knows the fundamentals of football knows if you make too many changes to any team the understanding and team pattern goes and players will then under-perform. So with the forced changes that had to be made today it was criminal to leave out the likes of Howard, Lescott, Yakubu and Neville.

For me this was one of the most important cup games so far this season and yet again Moyes has helped to cause another humiliation. How many is this now and as we all should know it won't be the last. But let's keep on rolling out the excuses for a manager that just isn't good enough...
Ged Dwyer     Posted 05/01/2008 at 21:01:43   Comments (39)

Can we stop the shed falling in?

Even before today, I was really concerned about our squad ? especially when I heard David Moyes quoted that he didn't foresee many if any players coming in the January window and followed that by denying that we were pursuing Fernandes or anybody else. We all have seen that we are light in central midfield and have had over a week to line up reinforcements for the injured Osman, Cahill, (VDM) and suspended Arteta and the now confirmed departure of Pienaar before Tuesday.

I hope I am wrong but I dont feel the same sense of urgency coming from Moyes or the club and as Moyes seems to be very passive about it wonder if he has been told there is nothing in the kitty. Does anyone else have the same feeling?
Jay Harris     Posted 05/01/2008 at 20:31:24   Comments (5)

A Mug's game

Just left the abysmal Oldham game... could rant for hours about that and waited to get my season ticket seat for the Chelsea Worthless Cup home game.

Can somebody (preferably at the club but that ain't going to happen) explain why an adult ticket at Chelski is £20 with under 16s and OAPs paying £10 while the club have been ever so generous to charge £31 for the Park End (not a suite a normal seat) and that is with a £3 discount!!!! People's Club my arse.
Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 05/01/2008 at 18:39:49   Comments (8)

4-4-2 formation

How many games have we started with 4 4 2 and been comfortable? I'm a season ticket holder and I cannot remember one. Our midfield is not good or strong enough for that formation. Gravesen today was marking Lee Carsley instead of supporting the front two, he upsets the side: get rid now.
Colin  Malone     Posted 05/01/2008 at 18:34:59   Comments (6)

Only one word...

There's only one word to describe that performance and that loss and that is DISGRACE. The moment I saw the line-up I was worried we would stumble into trouble. Why must we always underestimate the motivating power of the FA Cup to lower league teams?

We just weren't up for it. They were. David Moyes has to take responsibility for this one. Playing a weakened team was just another motivator to Oldham. We are humiliated once again. I only hope it is not the start of yet another New Year slide.
Peter Fearon     Posted 05/01/2008 at 17:36:45   Comments (79)

What's happening against Oldham?

I am following the Oldham game on the net and we have less shots on goal... more fouls... less possession and to add insult to injury, Oldham score a cracker just before half time. I am really worried that this maybe a very tough second half for us.

I can't even start to think of us losing this game, hope we can pull our socks up for the 2nd half and get a win, somehow, don't care how.
Santosh Benjamin     Posted 05/01/2008 at 16:21:46   Comments (63)

Baines on YouTube

Rumour has it that Leighton Baines is featured on the '95 FA Cup song. Take a look, somewhere between 24 seconds and 25 seconds.


Brian Richardson     Posted 05/01/2008 at 12:11:22   Comments (1)

Manny has signed on loan!

Ive just heard from my very pleased brother that Manny Fernandes has signed on loan until the end of the season.

He heard from his good mate who got it from Prentice at the Echo. I know it sounds a bit like idle "he said she said" transfer gossip, but my brother has an annoying habit of telling me who we have signed before it comes out!

You heard it here first!
Alex  Quigley     Posted 05/01/2008 at 11:56:22   Comments (22)

The Goodison Indian?

I was talking to my Dad about the blues recently and he told a great story about a bloke who used to sit in the Bullens Road area of the ground, this is possibly in the 60s or 70s, and every time Everton scored a goal, he used to emit a deafening "War-cry", Red indian style!!!

I thought this was great and I was wondering if anyone else remembers this or could shed any light on what happened to this guy? My Dad said you could actually hear him whooping or whatever it is red indians do, above the sound of the crowd cheering!
Craig Stanley     Posted 05/01/2008 at 08:34:23   Comments (5)

Should we welcome Manuel Fernandes back?

It's that simple.

Should we welcome Manuel Fernandes back?
Charlie  Percival     Posted 04/01/2008 at 21:27:24   Comments (105)

Carling Cup Semi-final

Can't believe there has been little mention of our semi-final next week. Perhaps our biggest game in a deade and hardly a word! I got my ticket early thinking they would be like gold dust but they have been on general sale for a week now and we have still not sold out. I think we probably will sell out and we have had a lot of other games to distract us but am I alone in thinking that the game isn't generating the excitement and attention it deserves?
Mike Horn     Posted 04/01/2008 at 18:10:46   Comments (11)

A little look at what could have been

This is the image in today's Echo about the new Liverpool Echo Arena or the 'Kings Dock' project as we know it. We didnt get support by the council but they went ahead and built it anyay.
Tom Rowe     Posted 04/01/2008 at 17:24:39   Comments (17)

FA Hearing for Moyes?

Don't know wether I've missed the boat on this one but does anyone know what the outcome was regarding the FA charging David Moyes and him requesting a hearing? Is he still yet to attend a meeting or has he been fined regarding that shitbag Clattenburg???
Andy Codd     Posted 04/01/2008 at 11:47:18   Comments (8)

Transfer Window (Non)Sense & Sensibility

So its January and everyone wants to know who we're going to buy and who we're (more likely) not going to buy.

The merry-go-round begins here and as usual its going to be heresay abounding with big talk of Manny in Pizza Hut and Ronaldinho hanging out in Abra-Kebab-ra, with the ultimate prize of a 17-year-old from the West Country the most we can hope for (really?!)

So, rather than trawl through our vacant memory banks and hope for some light at the end of an all-too-distant tunnel, I happily stumbled across this piece on Football 365 which makes for interesting reading; it also puts to bed a lot of the arguments about whether the January transfer window is a Godsend... or a bit of a pain in the bum.


Allan Hobbs     Posted 04/01/2008 at 08:52:43   Comments (41)

Good work

Being an Evertonian always comes with a health warning. In spite of our position in the league, winning crucial matches against European opposition, etc, I am always worried when we play "lesser" teams, in the cups.

I just hope when we play Oldham that we go balls out to win and not just try to take it easy, expecting to win. Don't forget they will be playing the game as if their lives depended on it, we should also take that view but with a semi-final against Chelsea looming up, one or two may take the foot off the gas. COYB.
Eddy Grundy     Posted 03/01/2008 at 18:01:09   Comments (16)

Gosling's a gem!

Having seen comments on an earlier post regarding Dan being too young, chuck him in the Reserves for a stint, etc... I have seen him play 9-10 times over the last couple of seasons. He made his senior debut at 16, has played 8 times for Plymouth in what is a decent Championship outfit and has scored twice, one of which was a cracker.

The lad has great ability, is pacier than Hibbert or Neville, his delivery into the box is also good and he reads the game well. I have noticed Moyes has said he's one for the future but I believe that was tongue in cheek. He will play a good 10 games for us by the end of this season — he's by no means a "ressie".
Chris  Keightley     Posted 03/01/2008 at 15:39:26   Comments (24)

Inferiority Complex

This season has been weird for me as an Everton supporter. The reason for it has been that as the season has gone on, the inferiority complex I would have had as an Everton suopporter has disappeared in a big way. I am now a confident and truly expectant Everton fan.

I was always proud to be an Evertonian, and always set out at the start of a new season with a lot of hope for what might happen. But yet I always approached certain games more in hope of a win than actually expecting one. Against the big teams like Arsenal or Utd there has sometimes been a sense of dread, that salvaging a point would be something unbelievable. The other mid-level teams always seemed to get better results than us, or seemed more capable than us. Cup ties were just potential banana skins waiting to happen. Qualifying for Europe was just a pipe dream.

Then this season came along. We more than hold our own against the big teams, outplaying them for large parts of each game. We start scoring as many, if not more goals, than the top teams and our supposed peers like Portsmouth, Man city and the like. We are more than matching them, and get just as good if not better results. By way of example, all I have to do is remind myself that we scored seven, yes seven, against Sunderland. Cup ties, both domestically and in Europe, are just a joy to behold.

Now I know I sound more like a twelve-year-old than a bloke in his mid-thirties, and have veered from one extreme to another in the one post, but this season really has been this good for me.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 03/01/2008 at 11:09:21   Comments (27)

Dan Gosling

Looks like we are wrapping up a very good signing, keeping with Moyes's stragegy of buying bright young players and building for the future at Everton.

For me personally I am excited by the fact we are going to be signing a RB that is capable attacking with the ball, rather than someone like Hibbert who is strong defensive, but that's about it.

Although employed on the right flank by Plymouth this season, Gosling prefers to play at right-back and Moyes believes that is the youngster?s best position. With Gosling and Baines we will have two great young English fullbacks!

Along with Lescott, Yobo and Jags we have a great young defensive unit.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 03/01/2008 at 11:19:30   Comments (20)

James McFadden in midfield

After a more-than-satisfactory display playing in midfield and pitching in with a well-taken goal, has David Moyes found a new midfielder in James McFadden?

I know it was only one game and it was a less-than-impressive Middlesborough for opposition, but I thought he worked hard, tackled back well, passed inteligently, and linked up well in counter-attacks. What more do you need from a midfielder?

Should Moyes risk giving him more exposure at playing in midfield, or look for midfielders in the transfer market.... or both?
Brian Baker     Posted 03/01/2008 at 10:24:13   Comments (8)

How far is Kirkby?

As I live in Oz, I don't actually know where Kirkby is. How far from Liverpool-based would fans have to travel to get to a game there, and does anyone think that the extra travel time would affect attendance figures?

On another note, geez that Pienaar is a good player. Hope we sign him permanently. Not sold on Jagielka at centre back yet, not against the big guns anyway. We are lucky down here we get the Viewer's Choice option and can select any EPL game we want every week. Haven't missed an Everton league game this season.
Dennis Karanik     Posted 03/01/2008 at 01:12:45   Comments (62)

Midfield Maladies

The usual transfer window twaddle has started up but recent events make this January more critical than ever before.

I think these points have been touched in various different guises before but we now have a 1)suspended Arteta for the semi-final 2) Pienaar off to sunnier climes 3) Osman injured 4) Gravesen injured 5) Cahill injured.

It would seem that at this very critical juncture of the season, we have lost most of our midfielders and by next week will be left with Carsley as our only fit and functioning midfielder (not including Neville purposefully).

I know Davy is not particularly prone to moving fast in the transfer market, but here's hoping he pulls his finger out! But even if we do make a couple of signings, it is virtually impossible to make a midfield gel in a fortnight.

It also strikes me that the names we have been linked with in the press ? for what that is worth ? have not really been the Uefa cCp friendly choices that Davey discussed a few weeks ago. He made a pronouncement that we need more players with Euro experience, so it does seem unlikely that we would settle for those young lads from Plymouth or Barnsley.

This leads me to the conclusion that it is very likely that Manny might be on his way back, purely as he has that Euro experience and knows the team and the way they train... speculation I know, but things are getting desperate! It would be criminal if our great first half of the season were to slip away because of an injury crisis.
John  Williams     Posted 02/01/2008 at 17:12:15   Comments (37)

Players starting to take notice

It seems now players around the world are starting to take notice of Everton and their performances. We must be now seen as an attractive side to play for. Looking at the following qoute when Pandev told a Macedonian newspaper: "I've told to my agent that I'd like to play in the Premier League. Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton are the most interesting sides for me. I'd like to play for one of those clubs."

A player like this looking to leave Lazio and Everton an appeal must mean where finaly moving in the right direction, playing football that people are finding attractive. This is a good sign and let's hope it long continues and bigger and better players declare they would like to be apart of the blue army.
Andy Walton     Posted 02/01/2008 at 13:17:38   Comments (15)

Oldham Memories...

Re the epic Everton - Oldham Cup ties back in 1990, I was playing footy on the local park with the radio on, supremely confident that we'd win the replay... went home rather deflated as had to listen to the penalty go in and that was that...
Nick Entwistle     Posted 02/01/2008 at 10:09:55   Comments (14)

Pienaar v Arteta

With his assist for AJ's goal today Peanut has tallied more assists than Mikky in all competitions. Also considering he, like Arteta, has scored two goals (and we know who takes the penalties), it looks like the our little South African is proving himself a key asset. So my question is, has Pienaar become as important if not more important than Arteta?

I'd say he's as important now and he seems to be the more consistent performer of the two. Arteta still has him beat on skill but that could change too.
Joey Brown     Posted 02/01/2008 at 01:21:29   Comments (20)

Transfer Window

Well the transfer window is now open and the media are starting to link us with every name under the sun. Today reading The Mirror, there were two seperate articles, one linking us with Lassana Diarra of Arsenal, and the other Dan Gosling from Plymouth. I feel that if we could get Diarra, he would be an excellent coup and an ideal replacement for super lee, as this looks like it could be his last season at the top level. However, Diarra is not the sort of midfielder we are craving. Someone with a bit of flair and can create goals for the front two. I personally would take Manuel Fernandes back in a heartbeat. Whilst I was on holiday, I was talking about Evertons game against Wigan and a Plymouth fan over heard me and we got talking. Although he was a Plymouth fan, he said his second team was Everton and he always looks out for their results. He then started telling me about a young lad they had called Dan Gosling. He said he was destined for the top and there is no way he would be at Plymouth come the end of the season and definatly one for me to look out for. Happy New Year Everyone
John Murphy     Posted 01/01/2008 at 17:18:12   Comments (39)

Superb Response!

A fantastic result on the back of an excellent performance at the Rioverside today from the Boys in Blue. Done us proud they did. Happy New Year indeed! Come on Moyesey, let's make it a special one for Everton FC!!!
Paul Hardcastle     Posted 01/01/2008 at 16:54:09   Comments (35)

Walter Smith and his neglect of young players

After watching the City v Liverpool game and the performance of Richard Dunne who was an absolute colossus and Michael Ball who was very assured I am of the thought that under Walter Smith we lost two of our most talented youngsters of that time.

I know they were much younger and immature then and got into some troubles but Smith seemed happy to neglect them and players like McCann and purchased expensive flops like Materazzi. During this period we also had Cadamarteri and Branch and dare I say Jeffers, possibly the best crop of younger players we have had for some time.

I know we had serious money problems then but I can't help thinking if Moyes would have been around then the likes of Dunne and Ball would still be here.
James Elworthy     Posted 01/01/2008 at 16:12:34   Comments (21)

Supertitious

What a superstitious old sod I am. Have just realised that I have had red and white flowers sat in my lounge, bought for me by a Liverpool supporter, since Christmas and, guess what, we lost to Arsenal! What colour do Middlesborough play in? Yep, the red flowers have been removed!! Initially I blamed my son for bringing bad luck to the team by displaying his 2008 Everton calendar on his bedroom wall before 1st January ? that can't have helped!!
Patty Beesley     Posted 01/01/2008 at 11:06:00   Comments (14)

Diving blues

Phil Neville looked silly, Arteta looked silly on the replay, Yakubu toppled over, but did he dive? Pienaar has been caught going down easily on several occations this season.

Are we becoming one of those sides? I've thought i've seen it in previous games as well, but not as blatantly as against Arsenal. Personally i think it's a disgrace if that's the sort of thing Everton should be associated with in the future.

Sure, we play more attractive football, but do we need to invite along this aspect?
Paul Olsen     Posted 01/01/2008 at 09:11:56   Comments (5)

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