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The Mail Bag

April 2011 Archive
Want to have your say?

Should David Moyes depart ? who next?

I have posted elsewhere an idea that I would like to float through the fan Article facility. Who knows whether David Moyes will continue to see his immediate and longer term future at Everton? It depends on so many factors that one could debate them forever.

Without doubt he has done a remarkable job at Everton in many aspects of management etc. There is much debate now as to whether or not he has reached a crossroads both in terms of his own managerial aspirations and the current complex financial uncertainty at the club etc.

Much debate revolves around who would replace him if he left. Obviously, who that person might be is determined by the ability of the club to resolve the many factors that may contribute to David Moyes leaving in the first place! Much talk then tends to focus on current managers and who Everton might try and entice to the club.

One post on the site raises the issue of Moyes going to Man Utd ? which I think would be highly unlikely as there would appear to be nothing in his career so far to suggest that he is ready to take over the most successful club in the last 20 years in England and perhaps one of the biggest brands in European and world football.

But I would like to suggest that the managerial link with Man Utd may not rest exclusively with Ferguson and Moyes. If Everton could get their house in order and put together a package both financial, and regarding the longer-term stability of the club, then I would suggest that they could do worse than take a chance on trying to entice Ryan Giggs to undertake his managerial and coaching aspirations with Everton.

Here is a young man with unparalleled credibility within the game; enormously successful over many years; winner of every honour in the game; the recipient of whatever insights Ferguson's managerial career may have given him and desirous of continuing his football career in coaching and management. If he could be enticed to enter that new phase at Everton, it could well be that he would bring a stature to the role that would perhaps bring a creative approach to the requirements of the first team that Evertonians of all ages have long craved - some of us longer than most!

Not only would that stature perhaps not tolerate some of the appalling levels of inability anbd lack of application evident in some elements of the current squad but it would also perhaps be such that it would attract aspirational players ? and the more established ? to consider a future at a newly invigorated Everton.

All this assumes that Everton get their commercial and ethical acts together. While in no way wanting Everton to "sell their soul" to the nearest "billionaire devil" in order to bring about a more optimistic future, nevertheless, if they could but bring about more stable conditions in an ethical manner, then I do think that a venture such as this could help breath new life into what at times appears to be a somewhat moribund enterprise. Just an idea.
Anthony Lamb     Posted 29/04/2011 at 20:55:17   Comments (131)

Here We Go Again

I don't beliieve it. Neville at it again saying we are on the up. Every time he or another player opens their mouth that we are 'on the move' then we loose and play badlly. Do they never learn?

Do it on the pitch and make the fans happy. The players can talk all they like but unless it's produced on the pitch it's cheap talk.

Frank Duffy     Posted 29/04/2011 at 19:30:49   Comments (20)

Champions League : A turning point?

A strange title you might think?

Like it or not, I wonder if Man Utd's progression to the Champions League final (as looks likely), might be a turning point for EFC?

There is much written about Man Utd and Sir Alex's chosen successor at Old Trafford. It's clear that Moyes is a candidate; personally I think he is of the same mould and although he does not have the silverware to prove his pedigree, Man Utd are different beasts and may trust in SAF's judgement and their own way of things, rather than jumping on the European manager/trophy winner merry-go-round.

I ponder this, because if Man Utd win the Champions League, SAF may decide to leave on a high; all achieved. Their ageing team needs rebuilding and should be done with a new long-term manager, and ironically so does EFC's which might work to change minds here too.

The time might be "right". I wonder if this summer is one of fundamental change for us.
Jeremy Benson     Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:38:49   Comments (55)

Striker issues

This has been a well documented issue this season; fans, pundits... even Moyes himself, moaning about a lack of quality striking options. I believe this is total rubbish and avoiding the real problems at Everton FC this season.

Firstly, how many clear cut chances have our strikers missed this season? What is our average clear cut chances ratio? How many quality crosses do we produce during a match? For example, against Man Utd at the weekend, we had one shot on target through the 90 minutes. I can remember a number of games where we have produced no more than 1 to 2 shots ? even against lower league opposition!!

The problem for me has always been a lack of craft from midfield and a serious lack of pace in the wings. We could have Messi upfront and he would struggle to get 20 goals with this team... we have no balance whatsoever: Coleman ? young, raw, a right back playing on the right wing, even though he has had a decent season; Bily ? not a winger (not even sure if he is a proper player) on the left wing.

Out of the midfield we have had, even when Moyes has had a full team to choose from, who is going to provide the chances? Who's gonna play the killer ball? Who's going to beat a man? Who's going to score 5-6 goals every season from outside of the box? Answers to them on a postcard.

The last time we looked a balanced team and played proper football was when we had Landon on the right and Pienaar on the left; now both have gone, we have zero creativity. I blame Moyes for that; every fan can see how much better we were with pace on the wings but he has done nothing to change that... in fact, when was the last time we had a proper playmaker? Or an out-and-out winger?

Get off the strikers' backs ? I'm sure if you look at the stats our strikers are not the reason for our poor season! This summer must bring too wingers full of pace and a playmaker; we have the workhorses ? now we need the craft. COYB

Sean McKenna     Posted 26/04/2011 at 13:35:27   Comments (63)

SAF's Puppets

I found it very interesting, when watching the United game on tv - that about 30 seconds after the commentator says "Fergusson is hounding the 4th official about Everton time wasting"..... Tim Howard was booked for time wasting!

I believe that the 4th official has radio communications with the ref. I can see how this all works now..... I reckon if you were to bug this system, you would hear something like this going on at Old Trafford:

4th Official: Erm, Peter. Sir Alex thinks that Everton are starting to get into the game and he's looking a bit stressed... his cheeks are turning purple. You couldn't just play centre half for United for a few minutes, make an interception or two to help nip this in the bud?

Peter Walton: No problemo, tell Sir Alex I'll make sure those cheeky scousers don't get anywhere near the United penalty area. How dare they come to Old Trafford and try to score.


4th Official: I know that big oaf from Everton has just absolutely done the England Captain on toast, made him look completely shite and devoid of pace, forcing him into committing a very clumsy foul in the box, but it is NOT a penalty... I repeat, Sir Alex says this is not a penalty!

Peter Walton: Looks a blatant pen to me ? but if Sir Alex says it's not then it's not. I can just say I was unsighted as I couldn't keep up with play ? I didn't realise that Anichebe kid was so quick... usually only see him rolling on the floor!


4th Official: Hi Peter, sorry to bother you again, but these Toffeemen just don?t look like they?re going to give up the points here. Me and Sir Alex have just been having a quick chat though, and we think United are due a goal from a corner. Sir Alex has asked if you wouldn?t mind giving United a couple of extra ones.

Peter Walton: Consider it done. Anything that goes behind and was within a meter of a man in blue, I?ll give the corner.


4th Official: Me again Peter. Sir Alex thinks Tim Howard is taking too long to take his goal kicks and he's not very happy about it.

Peter Walton: No worries, tell Sir Alex I'll book Howard, that will stop this nonsense. Be sure to tell Sir Alex not to worry though - if United take the lead, I'll still let Edwin take as long as he likes over his goal kicks.


4th Official: I?m going to put up five minutes injury time on the board.

Peter Walton: Can you please just check with Sir Alex if that is the five minutes where I can blow for time as soon as it passes four minutes ? or the one where he threatens to kill me if I blow up before 5 minutes 59 seconds?

4th Official: So long as United are ahead, just go for anything in the low fours. Blow even earlier if Everton are about to shoot, however unlikely that seems right now.

Jamie Sweet     Posted 26/04/2011 at 03:17:25   Comments (24)

Hibbo living in a Dream!

I like Tony - always gives 100% . But for goodness sake who does he think he is kidding? Came to win? One up front and hardly a shot at goal. God help us then if we had come to defend. 11 behind the ball?

Too close to Moyes and the excuses are rubbing off. Please players keep your mouths shut and just play exciting and attacking football.
Frank Duffy     Posted 25/04/2011 at 18:50:15   Comments (32)

David Moyes on MotD2

I was very surprised to see David Moyes on MotD2 tonight. Apparently, the first current manager for some time. Why was he doing it? He was treated with great deference and the only meaningful question he faced was with regard to our slow start each season. It seems it baffles him as much as the rest of us,

Frankly, I just don't get it. There was nothing there to benefit Everton but much to perpetuate the view that he is a great manager operating on a shoestring. He acquitted himself well but it seemed to me to be self-serving.

Certainly he comes across as totally determined but I'd rather he was relaxing at home over a glass of wine while pondering on another poor performance at Old Trafford and thinking of what he will do on Monday morning to remedy it; West Ham were better at Chelsea and Bolton showed more against Arsenal.

I have been prepared to write Saturday off because of injuries but there was a smugness and an acceptance of plaudits tonight that made me feel uncomfortable...
Andy Crooks     Posted 25/04/2011 at 00:19:05   Comments (71)

Damning analysis of Bily

I watched today's game on Sky Sports and was amazed at the analysis of Bily's performance today. I have never heard such negative analysis of a player on Sky, but the pundits were right in what they said. The commentator stated that the game was passing him by, and later that he didn't appear to be enjoying playing, and Chris Coleman added that he had contributed nothing in attack or defense. At half-time, Jamie Redknapp was asked how Moyes could change things, and he called it right by saying Moyes should get Bily off at half time ? which Moyes did.

A common defense of Bily is that he isn't a winger, but that doesn't wash with me. He was playing at Old Trafford in front of 70,000, with millions around the world watching. If he can't motivate himself for that, playing in his right position or not, he shouldn't be a footballer. I can accept any player having a bad game, but the least I expect is 100% commitment.

This lad's a waste of space, and it's not the 1st time he's stunk the house out. The occasional 30 yarder should not conceal his lack of effort/commitment etc. I hope someone in Russia is daft enough to buy him from us, because no-one in Europe will give him a go that's for sure.
Danny Broderick     Posted 23/04/2011 at 22:17:14   Comments (68)

To loan or not to loan?

A month ago, Everton?s promising Irish defender, Shane Duffy, was loaned to Championship playoff hopefuls, Burnley. The move was seen by many fans to be a perfect move for the defender, allowing him to gain valuable first-team experience at a high level. Everton fans were hopeful that it would prove to be successful, given that fellow Irish team-mate, Seamus Coleman, who is now a permanent fixture in the Everton team, found himself in a similar situation last season when he was loaned to Blackpool, while Burnley fans hoped he would strengthen their leaky defence. However, it was not to be.

When Eddie Howe announced the signing of Duffy on loan, it seemed as if the Irish under-21 international would slot straight into the Burnley defence. Considering that Howe had a wealth of central defenders available to him, the acquisition of Duffy suggested that he was viewed as a better option than Howe?s current defenders. On signing Duffy, the Burnley manager praised Duffy?s ability and his ?fantastic attitude?, declaring that, despite his young age and inexperience, he would come into contention to play, but he also suggested that the interest in Duffy was long-term.

Indeed, not surprisingly, Duffy immediately went into the Burnley starting 11 for the home game against Ipswich and, although Howe?s men lost the game 2-1, the general consensus was that Duffy acquitted himself reasonably well, considering that it was the young man?s first competitive club game since the life-threatening injury he suffered last May ? and, amazingly, only his third in his entire career. After the game, Eddie Howe spoke in encouraging terms about Duffy?s performance, stating that, overall, he was pleased.

However, in the following game, away to Leicester, much to the surprise of fans, Howe had once again changed his defence, dropping Shane Duffy to the bench, with 32-year-old Michael Duff being the favoured partner to Andre Bikey. Burnley suffered their heaviest league defeat of the season, losing 4-0, and both Burnley and Everton fans wondered if Howe was right to drop the 19-year-old... In the next three games, Duffy remained on the bench and Burnley lost a further game but the won the next two.

When Duffy returned to Everton at the end of his loan deal, Eddie Howe justified his decision to drop Duffy by saying that he preferred the experienced partnership of Michael Duff and Andre Bikey, concluding that he felt he was actually ?quite well off for centre halves? ? a statement which raised a few eyebrows. If that was the case, what was the point in signing Duffy to sit on the bench? He has been doing that all season at a Premier League club.

Nevertheless, Howe reiterated his view that Duffy?s loan deal was done with ?half an eye on next year?, suggesting that Burnley are still interested in Duffy and will continue to monitor his performances in pre-season. It remains to be seen whether David Moyes will be willing to let one of his most promising prospects join Burnley on a long-term loan or even permanently. If Moyes is interested in the development of his young players, the fact that Duffy played just one out of five games will be a cause for concern.

Meanwhile, Duffy went straight back into the Everton squad for the away game to Manchester United, making the bench as back-up for Sylvain Distin and England international Phil Jagielka. If Burnley do express interest in Duffy next season, the young Irishman just might have been put off by his experience. After all, if he wishes to sit on the bench, he can stay at Everton.

Ryan Kelly     Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:31:38   Comments (7)

What I expect from David Moyes

What's done is done. I believe we have had years of wasted opportunity, reasonable money to spend and have nothing to show for it. However, this is where we are now... so what's to be done?

Many would disagree but I hope I am open-minded enough to consider the opinions of others. Dave Wilson has made the point that, while Kenwright is here, he wants David Moyes around to pick up the pieces. It is a compelling argument and one that I am still pondering. However, assuming David Moyes doesn't walk in the summer (he will never be sacked), what is it reasonable to expect of him?

Firstly, I would expect him to seriously reconsider our pre-season preparation. It isn't working. We need stiffer opposition. If we are going abroad for commercial reasons, I think it is fair enough for DM to insist that it isn't worth it. I cannot believe that he is happy with what has gone on over the last few summers.

Secondly, I would ask him to show confidence in the players he has bought. He bought Bily knowing that he isn't a wide player. Give him an extended run in his proper position ? in my view, central midfield behind (if he insists on playing 4-5-1) a lone striker. If he doesn't come up to scratch, show the same courage that was shown over Krøldrup and sell him in January.

Thirdly, as far as possible (and allowing for injuries), put players in their best positions. By that I mean don't be afraid of putting good players on the bench. Heitinga is a centre back, if Distin and Jagielka are performing better then leave him on the bench. Don't shoehorn him into midfield.

Fourthly, 4-4-2 is not in fashion; however, I believe that we don't have a striker suitable to play 4-5-1. So play to our strengths.

Fifthly, and this is a strange thing to ask, show less loyalty. There should be no guaranteed places. If a player ? be it Neville, Howard, Cahill or Arteta ? is in a run of bad form, leave them out.

Sixthly, make the substitutions positive. Change a game boldly. Don't defend deeper and deeper when in the lead.

Finally, be a bit of an arm-round-the-shoulder sort of guy. What happened with Yakubu? If it wasn't cost cutting, then he should be here.

No money involved here but, if the chairman should find you a few quid, buy a cheap but solid left back and ? purely out of necessity ? play Leighton Baines wide midfield.

Right... now I feel like Malcolm Nash bowling to Gary Sobers, about to get thumped out of the ground.
Andy Crooks     Posted 22/04/2011 at 19:24:59   Comments (38)

Whose bright idea was this?

Having lived in Norway for nearly 30 years now and finding out how passionate the Everton supporters here are about the club, I can imagine there were a few that were really pissed off to find out that the club had for sale a t-shirt mocking the supporters here. Picture here:

I mean, what a kick in the nuts this was from the club we follow through thick and thin...

The fan club has now stopped sales and sent an official apology to ESCNB (Everton Supporters Club Norwegian Branch). I hope none of you bought one! I expect the "Norwegian Blues" would love to meet the person responsible for putting it out on sale.

Tony Cheek     Posted 22/04/2011 at 08:04:19   Comments (43)

Five Goals From Glory

I read David Moyes? quotes differentiating between needing a new owner, as opposed to the new investment which comes with a new owner - which is really like trying to pick mouse shit out of pepper. The underlying purpose is clearly to deflect his own responsibility for a disappointing season which is predictably picking up now there?s precious little to play for.

Yakubu and Anichebe produced just one goal between them in more than 1000 minutes of playing time ? and that is NOT including substitute appearances. Beckford has begun producing at last, it?s true, but how many times during this season has he hit Row X when it looked easier to score?

The fact is that we could have had a fantastic season if those three players could have produced just five more goals between them ? not asking much ? and turned just five of our 14 draws into wins. This would have had us fighting for a Champions League place and not lamenting another wasted season.

The fact that they failed to perform is down to the individual players. The fact that we had to rely on a brat with an over-inflated sense of entitlement (Anichebe); a fat, lazy, over-rated layabout (Yakubu) and a What-Me-Worry opportunist (Beckford) for so much of the season is down to Moyes.

In the Summer we need to unload Yakubu, Yobo, Anichebe Heitinga and Fellaini (Rodwell can do his job better ) and use the money to buy a striker who doesn?t need a gold-embossed hand-delivered invitation to score. Unfortunately, Moyes's repeated failure to identify such players is the flaw which stops him from being a great manager.

Peter Fearon     Posted 21/04/2011 at 18:03:06   Comments (32)

Arteta & Cahill to Valencia for £18m

Well in a nutshell I would take it! (Get Banega in the deal)

Both are on top wages (around 135k a week) and it could work out as a win/win deal, Teta?s 29 and looking past his best, Cahill?s 31 and deserves a crack at the champion?s league. We could get 3or4 younger players in with the fee & cover the wages to boot.

It?s not gone unnoticed that we do play better when we?re not setting the team up to accommodate Cahill, If it means we keep Felli & Rodders.& Get get rid of the Yak & Yobo (another 100k a week in wages) on top I think that would free up the wages to really freshen things up.

People say get rid of Rodders but it?s a false economy because he?s the one type of player we wouldn?t be able to attract or afford. He?s not on crazy wages & potentially our Gerrard for years to come.

I?m a big fan of both of them as players & people but we can?t afford to carry any ageing high earners when every penny counts.
Alex Buckley     Posted 20/04/2011 at 18:40:43   Comments (49)

Le Coq do the Business again!

I have just seen the new Home shirt for next season o Looks classy and continues the retro theme of this year's cream 3rd kit.

I just hope the socks are still white. Does anybody know what the shorts and socks are like yet?

The Away shirt is also out. Not so keen on that one though!

Does anybody know when these are launched? Should be early Summer so we can wear themon our hols, but somehow the Club have messed that up in the past.
Karl Masters     Posted 19/04/2011 at 11:30:13   Comments (42)

Cahill in or out?

With Tim Cahill nearing full match fitness, I was wondering what fellow blues thought about him returning to the side? I feel on current form Osman should be kept in the hole off Beckford as he has shown what a good wee player he can be.

Timmy is a legend but I feel now maybe the time has come to look for a different type player to play in the famous hole of the front man that Moyes likes so much. I am not saying Osman is the long term answer but somebody tricky with a good eye for a pass and a good shot should be looked at rather than Cahill who just seems to score with his head.

My candidates would be Bilyaletinov? With somebody fresh we could use Cahill as an impact sub and back-up striker if needed. It will let us move our play onto a new level and play the school of science stuff.

Stephen Leary     Posted 18/04/2011 at 21:35:53   Comments (38)

High League Place = More Money?

Although the recent good form is great to see after a season which promised more, if Everton exceed expectations from January when players were loaned out in case of a low league place fear, will that mean that Moyes will have a transfer budget in the summer?

Or does it matter not where they finish: 5th, 6th or 17th ? there will be no money?

Surely Moyes must see the incentive for a high league place to get him something of a transfer budget?

Jamie  Carroll     Posted 17/04/2011 at 21:47:34   Comments (39)

A true test

So now we are unbeaten in 7 games with 17 points out of 21 but in fairness these games have all been against teams below us in the league and we would expect to be beating. Next Saturday will see the real test of how this patched-up team has galvanised! Up against the Premier League leaders and Champions League semi finalists but not only that ? we will be up against the match officials as well (this of course is only my opinion!). You just have to look at the ratio of penalties for and against United at Old Trafford to see evidence of this.

I hope with all my blue heart we can sink them next week but, playing against their extra men, I would be happy with a draw in the interests of keeping this run of form and team confidence together.
Thomas Owen     Posted 17/04/2011 at 10:27:27   Comments (37)

The Wizard of Os

A few stats for you. Ossie now has 3 goals and 6 assists in the current Premier League campaign, from just 15 starts. Compare this with the late unlamented Steven Pienaar, who has just 1 goal and 1 assist in 23 starts for Everton and Spurs. What I've noticed in recent games is that Osman's been doing a great job of creating scoring opportunities for himself. Pienaar could never have scored a goal like Osman's against Villa.

Ossie's contribution goes beyond goals and assists. In the 15 games he's started we've got 29 points, compared with 18 points in the 18 games where he hasn't started. Nor is this just down to our revival since the new year. Three of our four wins before Christmas came when Osman was in the starting XI.

Not too much can be read into this kind of stat, because there are always lots of different factors contributing to the team's result. For me, it reinforces the impression that Osman has become more than just a hard worker: his overall contribution and influence on the game is as great as it's ever been, and there's no doubt that he's been instrumental in our recent good run of results.
Nick Wall     Posted 17/04/2011 at 09:18:18   Comments (41)

Euro qualification

With Man City's victory in the FA Cup semi-final, I'm wondering what that might do to qualification for the Europa League.

If City win the cup but are pipped to fourth by Spurs, do they take the Europa place for the Cup or for league placing? If it's the latter, then the cup runners up will take the extra place. If it's the former, as I suspect it is, then the Europa spot for league placing will move down to sixth.

This gives us, firstly, an extra incentive to keep up our fine run against City, and secondly, a real reason to hunt down Liverpool. Have I got this right?
Ben Patchesa     Posted 17/04/2011 at 09:01:19   Comments (29)

I don't believe it!

This think about Bily being the fastest player takes the (proverbial) biscuit ? It's from the Mail Online:

Quite simply (in best Victor Meldrew voice).... "I don't believe it!"

Peter Stone     Posted 17/04/2011 at 00:49:51   Comments (28)

There but for the Grace of God

I took a few moments today to remember the fact that I had two brothers at Hillsborough on that fateful day and was lucky that both came home safe, whilst many other families could not say the same.

In the days before mobile phones, my own journey back from Villa Park has stayed long in the memory; elation at our own result turned to disbelief as the tragedy unfolded over the radio whilst we drove back up the M6. Whilst we slag off our dear neighbours for so many reasons, this is one case were local rivalries pale into insignificance.
Steve Guy     Posted 16/04/2011 at 09:56:54   Comments (14)

If the shirt fits?

I was recently reading an article in the Guardian website about the first openly homosexual footballer in Europe since Justin Fashanu. He plays in the Swedish second division or something, and because his dad was former red, Glen Hysen, it?s a bit of a big deal over there.

Now one detail I noticed was that no footballers would front the FA's anti-homophobia video campaign. This to me is a real pity. Most of the people I know couldn?t give a rat?s arse what anyone else got up to in the bedroom. It really is ridiculous that, in this day and age, footballers still have to keep this kind of thing a secret.

Don?t you think some of Everton?s players should agree to help this campaign? If nothing else, it would show that this club is forward-thinking and progressive. Moreover, it would be the right thing to do. Plus I imagine we?re probably struggling to get rid of a number of pink shirts, so it could work out commercially too. I?d be interested to know what anyone else thinks.
Gavin McGarvey     Posted 16/04/2011 at 02:12:08   Comments (70)

Where Does Arteta Play?

I was just reading that Arteta is nearing a return. Maybe not against Blackburn, but it sounds like definitely in time for Man Utd. Here is my question: When he comes back, should he be put back on the wing, or in a central midfield role?

Before he got hurt, his form was finally turning around on the wing. Problem is, during those three games where he played as a winger, I have never seen him run harder. When he pulled up with the injury, he was in a dead sprint. I'm wondering if, after recovering from an injury like he did, maybe a role in the midfield would be better since he won't have as much space and won't have to run all out, like he does on the wing. Also, the form of Osman comes into the equation: Do we really want to replace Osman in the midfield with Arteta, after Osman's form has been so terrific of late?

Personally, I think there are pluses and minuses to putting him at either position. What does everyone else think?
Patrick Pulis     Posted 15/04/2011 at 17:14:05   Comments (22)

Player of the season

Seeing as it's a quiet time, I'd be interested in Evertonians views on the following:

1) Player of the season?
2) Most surprisingly good player of the season?
3) Most disappointing player of the season?

For me it's: Baines, Distin, & Arteta.

Andy Crooks     Posted 14/04/2011 at 20:10:04   Comments (64)

Entertainment and passion?

Goals are important in life, as in football. My goals are adversarial to the neo-corporate conservative elitism promoted by The Premier League, to whom Everton belong.

Sir Philip Green is the apotheosis of the pseudo-libertarian hypocrisy to which I?m adverse. And then there?s Bill Kenwright? Oh dear.

The Mersey Millionaire made my father?s generation happy; the current regime makes me sick. (I realise that I?m in the docile minority or alone with these views.)

In my opinion, football is a spectacle of entertainment. When the spectacle fails to satisfy, its organisers' crooked crevices penetrate like a cancer into true supporters. Happiness is the only acceptable excuse for the aforementioned and the only remedy for us fans.

Like the ?baby boom? generation, Everton aged recklessly, without grace or collective foresight. Statistical analyses of entertainment and passion are not for me. In lieu of something new, I?ll just say goodbye and good luck.

Chris McCullough     Posted 13/04/2011 at 16:24:29   Comments (136)

Fellaini?s Dad tries to get his Hair Cut too!!

With all the positive stories about how Fellaini now wants to stay and sign a new contract. It does highlight the question of his Dad?s role in shit-stirring at every given opportunity.

I get the feeling that he?s letting his son?s success go to his head by shooting his mouth off to the press with little or no substance to his 'facts'.

Are you telling me Fellaini hired his Dad! Yeah right! Easiest job in the world to demand when it?s your own flesh & blood. But at least he seems to be his own man, I bet that afro has started to piss him off.

Fellaini knows if he went to Real Madrid or Chelsea he?s not guaranteed a starting position & at 23 he needs to be playing every week to become a truly great player.

Great if he signs and we just sell off the Nigerian connection (Yak, Yob & Nob) & Moyes actually got a bit of cash to invest for a change.

Someone please buy us FFS!

Alex Buckley     Posted 13/04/2011 at 12:41:49   Comments (39)

Only two minutes...

Can any referees out there explain the rules regarding the calculation of added/injury time for this season?

It may seem trivial, but I was surprised that Phil Dowd only added two minutes at the end of Saturday's game. Three subs each were used; Anichebe, Forshaw and Vellios for us and Milijas, Kightly and Hammill for Wolves all within the 90 minutes. Bily was down for treatment as was Fletcher for Wolves. Is he saying the full amount doesn't matter due to the scoreline ?

It would be interesting to know the Premier League viewpoint, but they just send you a standard "fob off" reply.

Karl Jones     Posted 12/04/2011 at 21:52:54   Comments (28)


Question: What do Everton have in common with Southampton, Millwall, West Ham, Cardiff, Bolton, Wigan and Aston Villa?

Bonus point: Why are Everton worse than Portsmouth, Tottenham, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Birmingham?

Matthew Lovekin     Posted 12/04/2011 at 11:33:12   Comments (43)

Blooming Beckford

Ok - I like stats and maybe I have too much time on my hands but I put some more stats together that would seem to indicate Jermaine Beckford really is doing the business.

I took the current leading goalscorer of each team in the Premier League and looked at minutes on the pitch to get a comparison of how often these players scored:

Interval (mins)
Van Persie 1207 12 100.6
Berbatov 2191 21 104.3
Tevez 2388 19 125.7
Beckford 1092 7 156.0
Van de Vaart 1780 10 178.0
Ebanks-Blake 1354 7 193.4
Nolan 2499 12 208.3
Kalinic 1049 5 209.8
Gyan 1894 9 210.4
Odemwingie 2343 11 213.0
Drogba 2464 11 224.0
Campbell 2197 9 244.1
Dempsey 2777 10 277.7
Elmander 2792 10 279.2
Kuyt 2275 8 284.4
Gardner 1941 6 323.5
Piquionne 2117 6 352.8
Rodallega 2614 7 373.4
Kenwynne-Jones 2454 6 409.0
Young 2639 6 439.8

As you can see, Beckford is well up there. If you compare him to a £9M player like Kenwynne-Jones, you will see what a great job he is doing.

There are some pearls to be unearthed in the lower leagues. I rate Morison at Millwall, Mackail Smith and Boyd at Peterboro and Becchio at Leeds.

Jonathan Tasker     Posted 12/04/2011 at 08:48:36   Comments (51)

Here we go again...

The green shoots of spring are here again. The grim winter is behind us. David Moyes has done it again. He has, without funds, got us challenging for Europe once more. In fact, if the season were to start now... well, we'd be nailed on for the Champions League.

This summer is the most important ever. A couple of signings and we'll be there. The fans are happy again, except those, who apparently don't go to games, who are ridiculed on this site, and are at odds with those who can attend every week. Now, I'd be the first to admit that fans who attend every week see a different game and, frankly, their opinion might just carry more weight.

This is what astounds me: How can anyone be happy with this season? We have flirted with relegation for much of the season with a stronger squad than we have now. Why? The squad drops to utterly threadbare levels and we have our best run of the season, Why?

In my view, a lack of funding is irrelevant in this instance. This is a management problem. This is not intended as an anti-Moyes rant. I am aware of his qualities and the last six games have demonstrated them amply.

It seems to me that David Moyes is at his worst when the chips aren't down, when there are options to choose from and when expectations are high. It has been so in the past and it is about to happen again. It looks to me like the same story: David Moyes saves the day and Bill Kenwright looks good again.

I feel that David Moyes can have a deserved easier life elsewhere. I hope he takes us ahead of Liverpool and leaves with the respect of most of us.

Andy Crooks     Posted 11/04/2011 at 19:24:34   Comments (75)

Mirror Image

Going through some stats on our favourite football team, I was struck by the parallels between this season and last.

Have a look at this season versus last season and see the dreadful start, the big pick up, the fall away and the excellent finish.

Daily Mail League Position Analysis

Why does this happen? Why can't we be consistent over the season? Any thoughts?

Jonathan Tasker     Posted 11/04/2011 at 13:16:35   Comments (13)

Tiger Tim

First and foremost, I love Tim Cahill. He's a modern Everton hero and deserves a statue for the effort and guts he puts into every single performance.

However, despite him being arguably our best player of the first half of the season (and the only one to score goals), is it just me or have we dramatically improved (in terms of results) with him out of the team?

I know this debate has been had before but can anyone find out what our stats this season have been with him in or out of the team?

I have a strong feeling that they are much better without him. In no way am I dissing him as a player but it may be that, when he does play, there is only really one system that suits him (the Moyes's 4-5-1) and that this system, old as it is, has been worked out by other teams.

Anyway I'm not really sure what point I'm trying to make but was just trying to figure out why we have been doing so much better in these last few months... perhaps it is the absence of other big players? Who knows???

Sam Hoare     Posted 11/04/2011 at 12:24:10   Comments (32)

European Door Shut?

What a cracking weekend - the sun was shining, the Grand National was actually quite exciting, and Everton stuffed Wolves away from home to close within 1 point of 6th and that other shower across the park.

Now... if we can keep it going and get more from Blackburn at home than they can muster vs Arsenal and City, this time next week we'll be looking down on Dogleash and co and with a great chance of securing a top 6 finish.

My question here though is, aside from a few extra quid for the Prem place and local bragging rights (not to be underestimated I realise), what will that actually mean?

My understanding was that European places were pretty much sorted now and that (assuming top 4 slots for CL and 3 places for Europa), 5th would be the lowest league slot to get a Europa place. The other 2 going to Carling Cup winners (Birmingham) and then the Winners/Runners Up of FA Cup (assuming Utd and City have their CL places, then that means one way or another it'd be Bolton or Stoke with the other).

With Spurs a comfortable distance clear in 5th, it's pretty clear that 6th is the best Everton and Liverpool can play for. However, I've now heard pundits (including those on Five Live and MotD) talk about us being in the hunt for Europe several times in the last week or two. Do they genuinely believe we have a chance of closing a 9+ point gap in 6 games or have I missed something here?

For my money, the only even faintly realistic route to Europe is through the Fair Play League (where the EPL currently looks likely to get a place), in which we're 7th overall but 3rd out of those who wouldn't get a place otherwise... behind Fulham and Blackpool.

In which case, perhaps we'd be best suited to stop trying to actually win games and concentrate instead on shaking hands, avoiding fouls and sucking up the ref for the remaining 6 games?
Chris James     Posted 10/04/2011 at 19:31:04   Comments (41)

The Russian Enigma that is Bily...

I've watched every home game that Bily has played for us. My opinion of him as a footballer can be summed up as follows:

? Can't Pass
? Can't Tackle
? Can't Head the ball
? No pace
? As a winger he has never gone on the outside
? No confidence

In other words... Shit.

Then witness yesterday... an absolute screamer, best goal we have scored this season... then he embarrasses himself with an air shot my kids could have scored.

He is the player who has scored at least three of the best goals in the last two seasons. What can you make of him?

My own view is that we parcel up his goals on YouTube and get our money back.

Bob Skelton     Posted 10/04/2011 at 11:50:51   Comments (71)

Sunday League

I watched yesterday's match and was astounded how we came away with such an easy win. I mean, I've never seen such a lack of footballing ability in my life  ? truly shocking stuff from both sets of players!!

I know people will say "Stop being negative" but ffs we never strung more than four passes together the whole match!! We went in at half-time time 3-0 up by some wonderful goals; I thought to myself, "The game's won now, hopefully the guys will come out the second half and put on a footballing show..." But no: hoof the fucking ball constant kick it as far as you can and hope Beckford can get on the end of something... really was Sunday League stuff!!

Take into account that we had a number of first team players out, this does not excuse the fact at the total lack of basics at the club, fundamentals of pass an move. I've never felt so dissapointed after a 3-0 victory, I feel cheated that I had to sit and watch 90 minutes of hoofballs with 3 Premier League goals thrown in.

I've really had enough of football and Everton's style of play; if I want to watch that sort of shite football, I can go to the park every Sunday for free and watch it. Truly disappointed.
Sean  McKenna     Posted 10/04/2011 at 11:16:28   Comments (49)

April perspective on August hopes

As pleased as we all are today, I think it?s safe to assume that nobody here is ecstatic about how this season has turned out, and we?ve all gotten a little grumpy about unrealized expectations. But I think that?s misplaced. My perspective is that this season could have been a whole lot worse, and some key people prevented that from happening.

Back in August, we all had high hopes ? perhaps even a fifth-place finish and Europe ? for what we saw as the best Everton team in years. But those hopes would have looked pretty silly back then had we been able to look ahead to April and know that:

? Eight starters would miss large chunks of the season;

? Both of our midfield drivers would perform miserably, and one would leave the club while the other would be lost to injury again for the run-in;

? Our best goalscorer would start only 14 games, and our only real creative force would be the left back;

? Of our two young budding midfield stars, only one would develop into a true top performer, and he?d be blown out by injury;

? The loaner who sparked us last winter would stay home in LA;

? By spring we?d be so depleted as to send out a side featuring SEVEN nominal defenders and three players projected as reserves back in the summer;

? Our only real Player of the Year candidates would both be defenders.

Had we seen all that in the crystal ball last August, I think most of us would have expected to find Everton staring at the relegation abyss come spring.

Instead, after all that catastrophe, with today?s win we?re a solid 7th, one spot ahead of last year?s finish and only a slot or two back of where we had hoped. And if we can get past the RS into 6th, I'd say that would make it a pretty decent season.

I think we owe a great deal of credit to four people who get little appreciation, at least on ToffeeWeb. In ascending order, they are:

4. Tim Howard ? Yes, his distribution is terrible, but I don?t care. A goalkeeper?s primary job is to stop shots, and Howard is one of the best shotstoppers in the world. He makes every save he should (no bleeders or dribblers getting through) and more than a few that he shouldn?t. He?s kept us in games we could have, and perhaps should have, lost.

3. Phil Neville ? On most teams, the captain is usually the best player. On ours he?s one of the worst (today?s screamer notwithstanding!). But while Pip?s skills may be lacking, his leadership is breathtaking. He doesn?t just impose his will ? he uses it to drive his team on. The true test of a leader is his effect on the people around him, and Everton are a much, much better side with him in it.

2. Sylvain Distin ? Baines may be brilliant, but he?s able to rampage forward ? and get away with his soft defending ? only because he has Distin behind him. The big guy hasn?t lost a step at 33... he still has blazing speed and tremendous power, and he has made crucial plays in almost every game, with very few mistakes. As far as I?m concerned, he is Everton?s Player of the Season in a walkaway.

1. David Moyes ? Okay, here we go... I can hear the howls of the Moyes-out brigade from 5,000 miles away. Yes, his strategy and substitution choices drive us crazy sometimes. But a manager is judged by results, and year after year Moyes gets better results with less talent and fewer resources than anybody else in the Prem. Again this season we are looking down at teams with much higher payrolls and considerably more expensive talent. And again this season the only clubs ahead of us are the ones with all the multimillionaires. I?ve yet to see any of the fire-Moyes flamethrowers here actually nominate a potential replacement whose record matches up with Moyes?s. I?ll take this guy anytime.
Mike Gaynes     Posted 09/04/2011 at 16:20:02   Comments (35)

Everton Managers

How times have changed. I found a book in work today which mentioned William C Cuff. He took over Everton in 1901 and won the league in the 1914-1915 season. What happened in the intervening period.? Were there demonstrations outside the ground? Did he not have enough money to spend?

Anyway, my point is, where does David Moyes rate? The great Harry Catterick was boss when we were a big club, when the boss was the boss and, frankly, the views of the players mattered not a jot.

Billy Bingham was an old sergeant major type as well. Kendall was there as football began to change and in my view was the best. Catterick number two.

After that, well, I'd have Royle and then a dead heat between Walter Smith and David Moyes. That will annoy some people but, in my view, they are similar men and coaches.
Andy Crooks     Posted 08/04/2011 at 18:42:01   Comments (37)

Moyes?s Transfer Record

For every Arteta and Cahill ? has there really been a Per Krøldrup?

More than once on this site I?ve seen a contribution criticising Moyes?s transfer record with something akin to "for every Cahill there?s a Per Krøldrup", implying that Moyes has got nearly as much wrong as he?s got right in the transfer market in his time at Everton. I decided (on a quiet work day!) to look at all the incoming transfers (and subsequent sales) since Moyes arrived at the club to assess whether this view is true.

The list as I see it is at the bottom of the page (taken from the official website). The number next to the player is the amount they cost in millions. In brackets are the fees for those players who were subsequently sold.

Here are the facts: Moyes has bought a total of 43 players since he arrived (excluding loan signings). I?ve worked out an approximate spend of £124 million on these players (approximate because a few fees were undisclosed e.g Saha and I?ve had to guess the amount). Total sales of these players subsequently sold equates to approximately £55 million.

So Moyes has obviously been a net spender since he arrived ? to the tune of nearly £70 million. Over 10 years this equals an average net spend of £7 million per year. I?ve not counted the Rooney sale because he was already at the club when Moyes came and I?m not giving Moyes the credit for that sale, whereas the sale of Lescott at a £14 million profit is obviously a feather in his cap.

A quick eyeball of this list and I think Moyes has got quite a lot more right than he?s got wrong ? which is perhaps the most a manager can really be expected to achieve in the transfer market. Whether you think £7 million a year over 10 years has got the club as far as it should from a pretty low starting point (i.e relegation material) is a matter of opinion. I think he stands up against just about everyone.

Marouane Fellaini	15
Ayegbeni Yakubu	11.25 
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov	10  
Andrew Johnson	8.6 (10.5)
John Heitinga	7
Leighton Baines	6
James Beattie	6 (4.5)
Joseph Yobo	5
Joleon Lescott	5 (19)
Per Krøldrup	5 (3.5)
Sylvain Distin	4.5
Phil Jagielka	4
Simon Davies	4 (2.5)
Phil Neville	3.5
Richard Wright	3.5 (0)
Tim Cahill	2.5
Tim Howard	2.5
Nuno Valente	2.2 (0)
Steven Pienaar	2.05
Mikel Arteta	2
Andy Van der Meyde	2 (0)
Louis Saha	1.5
James McFadden	1.25 (6)
Rodrigo	1.25 (0)
Apostolos Vellios	1
Joao Silva	1
Magaye Gueye	1
Lukas Jutkiewicz	1 (1)
Kevin Kilbane	1 (.5)
Dan Gosling	1 (0)
Marcus Bent	0.5 (2)
Carlo Nash	0.5
Nigel Martyn	0.5 (0)
Scott Spencer	0.5
John Ruddy	0.25
Seamus Coleman	0.1
Aristote Nsiala	0
Jan Mucha	0
Jermaine Beckford	0
Shkodran Mustafi	0
Lucas Neill	0 (1.5)
Anderson de Silva	0 (1.5)
Alan Stubbs	0 (0)

Colin O'Keeffe     Posted 07/04/2011 at 12:41:00   Comments (66)

Best and worst European Away?

It's quiet for us this week so I thought I would start a thread for a bit of fun. What's your best and your worst European away?

Mine would have to be Nuremberg for the best, an amazing 5 days, being the Irish bar on the Wednesday and they ran out of beer Everton fans everywhere singing night all round town.

Worst Fiorentina terrible day all round. Stood drinking outside a cafe all day, police were a joke, no roof in the ground and it was raining... oh and we lost.

Mike Atherton     Posted 06/04/2011 at    Comments (29)

Well done, Seamus

Just heard that Seamus Coleman has got nominated for Young Player of The Year. Not sure if its PFA or Writers or the FA, but it is well deserved recognition of a fine break-out season.

Now, if he can just learn to put his foot on it and look up sometimes, I think he can go on and getter better and better, for Everton and Ireland. Not bad for £60k I must say.

Anyway I hope he wins it, because he has been as good any youngster this season. I ask my fellow TWers do you think our Seamie deserve's to win it? Or is there another young 'un you think should get it instead?

Stuart O'Malley     Posted 05/04/2011 at 20:07:02   Comments (28)

Am I just jerking my knee?

Tomorrow I wll be dropping my season ticket renewal off at the ticket office to get it in before the early bird closure date. I always do that as I have not trusted the post with important stuff since they managed to lose my dad's original birth certificate after having to send it to an insurance company when he went to that great Goodison in the sky a few years back.

I would normally have done this by now, within a day or two of receiving the paperwork, but this year I have thought very long and hard about it. I don't necessarily believe all the press reports about 'cutbacks' and having to sell all our better players during the summer in order to keep afloat but I have to admit that, although my decision in the end was to renew, my enthusiasm and optimism has waned markedly.

The heady days of this time last year, when, despite too many draws, I had an opportunity to watch Everton play some of the best football in years, resulting in a very high level of optimism for this season, are now long gone.

So I will make my usual annual investment and hope for the best... but I do wonder if this is only a result of a knee jerk, a habit. I have done it for so many years without thinking that I still did it this year despite thinking. I hope next season can rebuild my enthusiasm so that I don't have to think again next year... it hurts my head!

Dave Roberts     Posted 05/04/2011 at 09:45:46   Comments (39)

Magaye Gueye

I've just read that Moyes is going to give Magaye Gueye more chances to "demonstrate his potential", and that, apparently, his lack of first-team appearances thus far is due to his development being "hampered by injuries".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Gueye been sitting on the bench for almost 3/4 of the season now due to our beloved manager always opting for a defensive line-up and/or square-peg-in-round-hole formation?

While I have the utmost respect for Moyes when it comes to his dedication and honesty, sometimes I wonder if he actually knows what the strengths of his players are and, more importantly, whether he has the balls to play to those strengths.

I'm sure there will be others here who disagree, but think back to how long it took for Coleman to be installed at right mid, for Arteta to be moved from right mid to centre mid, for Jagielka to displace Yobo at centre mid, etc, and, conversely, why it is that Heitinga and Billy continue to play in positions which they've underperformed in for the majority of the times they've been there.

PS: I know this is an oft-repeated topic, but I feel it's one that continues to be relevant simply because Moyes continues to persist with his "square pegs, round holes" mentality. If this achieves nothing other than contribute to a growing chorus of calls for Moyes to be more adventurous with his tactics (to which I think he actually responds), then it may be worthwhile.

Ok, rant over.

Rob Teo     Posted 05/04/2011 at 05:49:14   Comments (56)

Shane Duffy Update

Just got home from the pub where a couple of my mates told me about the Burnley game on Saturday.

Apparently, our Shane had a nightmare. In the first half, he was partnered in central defence with Andre Bikey. According to my mates, Shane was well out of position for both the goals Burnley conceded in the first half.

They said he seemed well off the pace but thankfully he picked up in the second half. My friends were kind enough to say that maybe he was a little bit nervous on his debut. I hope so.

I know one game doesn't mean anything but, seeing as I am a Burnley lad, I thought I would keep you all updated on what the fans (some) think of Shane. We seem to think we know it all about our players/team...

Lee Courtliff     Posted 05/04/2011 at 03:01:30   Comments (13)

Is betting against the Blues unpatriotic?

I don't know why I am telling you this ? I meant to keep it a secret... but I had a dream last week that I was watching the Wolves game on telly in the Fly in the Loaf & we got stuffed 2-0. Worse than that, the second was scored by their goalie ? don't ask... but Howard was at fault (20 yards off his line).

Now the question is: Should I take this insider information to the bookies? (I never bet on the Blues.) Or should I see it as some form of divine intervention and get something out of the defeat?

I am not against betting against the Blues as a matter of hardened principle ? in fact, my mate Charlie is so hopeless at the bookies, I always plead with him to bet on Liverpool to win in the derby but what should I do about this one?

Be gentle with me...

Mike Keating     Posted 04/04/2011 at 23:05:02   Comments (23)

Is there any alternative to the Moyes model?

To my mind, Moyes is interchangeable with all the media friendly deadwood ? Curbishley, Allardyce, Bruce, Southgate, Strachan, Chris Coleman... the list goes on. Having got their snouts in the Premier League trough, they accomplished absolutely nothing.

Moyes will be gone before next season, his latest "I'm staying"... with caveats, is a sop and anyone believing that a phone call from Randy Lerner or whoever won't be welcomed by him is deluded.

Personally, I'm not arsed; I'm sick and tired of "centre-half" football, eye-bleeding caution and the pure uninspiring misery that surrounds him.

I really couldn't give a shit about a billionaire not bankrolling us, contrary to populist theory and despite what Sky and the papers tell you, it's always been the same ? the haves and the have-nots.

Moreover, the manager's job remains the same, ie deal with the circumstances, find good players (not just defenders!!!) and compete.

The coterie of Moyes-like managers that plaque football is what concerns me. Is there anyone of courage out there who might choose to build a team of hope and purpose who believes in footballers of ability and not just centre-halves???

Or is the game so bereft we are doomed to endure the eternal spectre of years of Moyes/Smith hopelessness.

Is such an alternative model available?

Ron Broadstairs     Posted 04/04/2011 at 17:45:37   Comments (35)

It'll be too late at the end of the Season...

I sat in the Main Stand on Saturday behind the press area; so close enough to be able to see Kenwright's grinning, smug face as he wandered out at half-time yesterday. What he has to be so smug about is beyond me...

On the pitch we had a patched up team doing its best to compete with a much more expensively created side; with a bunch of sixth formers on the bench should we get (more) injuries. Maybe he was smug because, even given the above, at that point, we were winning. However, maybe he was smug because he can't believe he's still sat there at all.

By any stretch of the imagination our current economic position is untenable. However, despite our pauper status, the paucity of the squad's numbers and quality and it's lack of consistency this season, we will still finish in the top ten; but not because of this squad's efforts, but due to the lack of consistency of those team's around us. A more predictable Premier League season would have probably had us in where Villa are now, with visions of relegation battles of the past sitting front of mind.

If only half the rumours are true about both our financial plight and the need to sell, I am convinced perennial relegation fights await us again next year and beyond. The person putting us in this position is Kenwright and an increasing number of supporters agree with this as the fundamental issue (if this and other websites are a reflective straw poll of our views).

The problem however, is ironically exacerbated by our current league position. We will finish in the top ten and Kenwright will be protected by this, as he can then cite any number of reasons for our being unable to fulfill Moyes's pre-season promises. More importantly, once the season is over, it will be much more difficult for supporters to vent their anger and frustration as players are sold with potentially few replacements. Some will also be angry if Moyes leaves (voluntarily or otherwise).

I can't sit at the keyboard and say what can be done about this because there doesn't seem to be anything I can do other than take my frustrations out by banging on said keyboard. But by next season, the transfers and the new squad will be de facto and momentum for change lost for at least another season. Unless a buyer steps forward soon Kenwright will be off the hook... again.
Steve Guy     Posted 04/04/2011 at 13:14:39   Comments (38)

Feed the Yak

Having watched Everton struggle to draw a game in which they created a hatful of chances against a piss poor defence and in Beckford had a centre forward who failed to jump for one ball, what am I supposed to make of the news that James Vaughan scored the winner for Palace and the Yak got all 3 for Leicester?

Can someone please explain what is meant by the term 'on loan' and if, as it implies, we can recall such players, please tell David Moyes. We should be 2 points behind the RS this morning.
Mike Keating     Posted 04/04/2011 at 11:33:08   Comments (27)

Charlton As Big As Everton!!!

I don't post on here anywhere near enough but I was incensed by what I have just heard on Sky Sports Sunday Supplement this morning. They were talking about David Moyes and the job he has done with the budget ? a discussion for another time...

However, one pundit then went on to compare Everton to Charlton Athletic and claimed Charlton were as big as Everton. What planet is this guy on? Based on what? We are still, believe it or not, the fourth most successful English team.

Charlton spent 7 years in the Premier League and managed a high of 7th place! They now ply their trade in League One. How can this guy claim they are as big as us! Beggars belief. What a clown!!!

Luke Jones     Posted 03/04/2011 at 10:24:33   Comments (27)

Will Magaye Last?

Well, Magaye certainly impressed me when he came on against Villa. He runs the channels well, he floats in good crosses, his free-kicks and corners are accurate, he backtracks to help out the defence, and he has creativity and invention.

But I noticed more than once during the game that Moyes was grimmacing and grumbling the few times Magaye lost the ball, or gave away a free-kick in our half. It would also not have pleased Moyes to see Magaye float all round the park ? sometimes on the right, then on the left, then in the middle, or upfront, and then back in defence.

Knowing Moyes as we all do, I'm sure he would have wanted Magaye to be disciplined, stick to his job on the right (much the way Coleman does), and to just follow instructions. I therefore don't really see Magaye having much of a future at Everton. I think one of two things will happen:

One, Moyes will coach all the invention, creativity and flexibility out of Magaye in an effort to make him more disciplined. Doing so may make Magaye lose his confidence and effectiveness.

Or two, in the attempt to do so, Magaye will just get frustrated, have it out with Moyes, and then be placed on the transfer list.

Sorry, I know it's only one game, and I may be making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but I just somehow sense that Magaye and Moyes are not good fits.

Timothy Sebastian     Posted 03/04/2011 at 08:10:30   Comments (32)

Baines vs Cole

Having read a rather derogatory comment about Leighton Baines in comparison to Ashley Cole after the England / Ghana match, I have been thinking about these two left backs.

Firstly, Leighton should be Player of the Season for us. He's played virtually every game and performed consistently with who knows how many assists and some fantastic goals (Spurs, City, Chelsea).

It's also telling how many chances are still being created down the left despite Pienaar going. Ahem.

Anyway, what grabbed me was the fact that Ashley Cole hasn't scored this season. Now, you number crunchers out there might prove me wrong, but I am fairly sure that Baines has assisted way more than Cole... therefore, given that both have made a couple of defensive errors with neither comparatively inferior on that point, this makes the Everton left back the better player.

My favourite left back was always Andy Hinchcliffe but Leighton Baines is on a different planet.

And he might think this song is about him.

Andrew James     Posted 02/04/2011 at 23:00:24   Comments (15)

Back in my seat

It had been almost eighteen month's since I'd been back at Goodison but today I made my long awaited and fortunate return.

The devastation of having to give up my season ticket for University was heartbreaking. Not even the heavy student nights and the early morning hangovers could ease the pain of not being able to see the boys in blue every other weekend.

It was great to be back. We'd only just parked the car an were already being welcomed by the polite young lads offering so generously to mind our car.

Arriving into the stadium, still the same friendly steward. Was nice to see he still recognised me. Up the stair's I went, I noticed the golden goal lady wasn't there any more.

Making my way back to my seat, soaking in the smell of warm meat and potato pies and Chang beer on the way, all part of one big recipe that creates that special Goodison atmosphere.

And then there I was, back in my seat, where I've longed to be and where I belong.

My boys on the field and my own team of well over thirty thousand people all around me.

Supporters young an old, there no matter the weather. Let the Z-Cars music play, and let us all stand up together.
Joshua George     Posted 02/04/2011 at 20:46:55   Comments (6)

Interesting/Entertaining interview with Ken McNaught

Good article on the Aston Villa website, an interview with Ken McNaught:

Got to pick Ken up on a couple of points, as I recall, we lost to Panathinaikos in the Quarter Final of the 1971 Europrean Cup. (Was it really 40 years ago! I remember coming out of Goodison, as a 13 year old, not 100% certain it had finished 1-1. The referee didn't restart the game after David Johnson had scrambled the ball home).

And Ken wants a Villa win!!

Phil Traynor     Posted 02/04/2011 at 03:39:22   Comments (3)

Daily Mail!

What is it with them? This latest 'story' about Leighton Baines really pisses me off. In the age of the internet, you regularly come across their articles & I?m sick of them always dogging our club down and stating how we should be happy with all our best players leaving for a fraction of their market value.

Just because we?ve not got some mad billionaire throwing money down the drain and we are living in the real world, doesn?t mean they can keep taking the piss.

Gets really under my skin, the shit these people dream up, must be some plastic bitter red shite in charge. Inbred right wing twats.

Alex Buckley     Posted 02/04/2011 at 00:47:32   Comments (40)

Rooney plays the blues card

How many of you actually agree with Wayne's comments that all Everton fans are right behind Man Utd to smash the kopites' record of 18 titles?

I know I'm certainly not and anticipate I'm in the minority here. I was raised to be a good Liverpudlian (as in a person of the city ?- my dad hates the 'racist and derogatory' term "Scouser") and so I was in the then not so rare position of enjoying a fair few games at Anfield as a nipper whenever my uncles wanted to take me. It sure beat staying in with the girls on a Saturday when my dad was off playing football and my kopite uncles were all off down the game so I'd go with them. It wasn't the friendly rivalry as a young nipper in the 80s it was painted out to be but my story isn't unusual.

All this has made me always back away from hating the kopites. In fact I was able to join in the celebrations along with a load of blues the day they won the European Cup and Dale Street was awash with people and I'd say at least 25% of the revellers were blues silently caught up in it all.

I most certainly do not agree with Wayne and in fact would go as far as to say I couldn't think of anything worse. I'd rather see Thatcher become Prime Minister again than rednose and his shower lift another trophy.

All my hatred in football is directed towards Manchester, blue and red, in fact all my hatred in general goes there too. I for one could never live there, work there or spend any great deal of time there. No amount of money in the world would make me do what Wayne did and I would rather see Liverpool pick up title number 19 than Man Utd.

Am I alone in this or is Wayne wrong?

Steve Ferns     Posted 01/04/2011 at 14:38:40   Comments (76)

Eric Dier

I was just wondering whether anyone had any info about our forgotten about this loan signing??? Will he be signed permanently or is he headed back to Portugal?
Rob Wilkinson     Posted 01/04/2011 at 11:13:38   Comments (7)

Hats off to Hibbo

I know it's April 1st but you can put that joke back in the box ? Tony Hibbert's real and perceived shortcomings have been well documented over the years but he always puts in a shift when selected and in these days of transfer-wrangling and press-leaking there's a lot to be said for an honest pro.

We want players to love the club; maybe we'd pick Messi and Xavi but it's not up to us. Here instead is Tony Hibbert, let's lay off the predictable scoffing and thank him for his ten years of service.

Sam Morrison     Posted 01/04/2011 at 11:02:17   Comments (32)

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