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The Mail Bag

July 2010 Archive
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Michael Arteton?

Fabio Capello has apparently spoken to Mikel Arteta regarding the possibility of him playing for England

Other threads have revealed divided opinion (though with a negative majority) about whether a reasonable chance of playing for his adopted country is preferable to clinging to the hope that injuries or a catastrophic drop of form to players might open the door to him playing in Spain.

The article states that gaining a UK passport, even after the statutory five year stay in the country, would normally take nine months. However it can be fast-tracked...Why, with net immigration up 20% from 2009, might this be allowed to happen?

Two reasons: a desperate national football team...with the cogs greased by an Anglised name to appease the nationalist / patriotic / xenophobic element of the Three Lions Support...?

I give you: Michael Arteton
Ben Patchesa     Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:38:20   Comments (52)

A Good Start Still Possible?

The defeat at Blackburn and the draw to Wolves have been a very disappointing beginning to Everton's Premier League season but I still believe that it's too early to start calling this a bad start to the campaign.

My opinion is that you have to look at say 5 games before you can claim if a team started badly or good. Imagine if Everton won the next 3 games... 3 wins, a draw and a loss would be a pretty decent start to the season I would argue. It's too early to judge how well Everton have started. Let's give it another 3 games then have a look. So who are the next 3 games against?

First up is Aston Villa. They are managerless and hurting after a 6-0 drubbing by the barcodes. Villa's European campaign is also on the verge of collapse after losing 2-3 last night to Rapid Vienna. But let us not forget Villa have some great players and finished a Top 7 side for the past three seasons. Chances are Villa will be desperate to bounce back and its not going to be an easy away trip for Everton.

After that we have a home fixture against Man Utd. Last season goals from Bilyaleletdinov, Rodwell and some other guy saw us roll over Rooney and company 3-1. You can never count on a result against Man Utd but we did it last season, so why not repeat it?

Then it's another home fixture against Newcastle. They may have slaughtered Villa but I still think they are going to be relegation contenders this season. They actually have a weaker team now then they did when they got relegated. Are Everton going to fear a team whose best players include Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Alan Smith?

So that's Aston Villa (a), Man Utd (h) and Newcastle (h). Personally I think all three fixtures are very winnable.

But we have to beat Aston Villa first. For me this is a must win game. If Everton want to claim a good start to this Premier League campaign then they need to beat Villa and get something of a run going.

Villa are in a bad way. Sure they will be looking to bounce back but we have to stop them and hopefully complete a miserable week for them.
Dick Anderson     Posted 27/08/2010 at    Comments (36)

Leon Osman: Future Everton Legend!!!!

We see Radcliffe, Sharp, Horne, Kendall et al around the club regularly and read pieces in papers, websites, all over the place from these ex-players & managers, and they are known as legends to us all. Well, I predict that in 10 years Osman will be one of the players writing about us, speaking at dinners and looking after us at Goodison. Why? because he is a modern day Everton legend.

Legend is used all too frequently in the modern game, I know, and if you compared him against Ball, Steven, Southall, then no, he is not... but we all seem to think Cahill is a Legend, Jagielka and Arteta too ? well, what about Osman? 210 senior starts and netting 34 goals in that time is a very good record for someone who came through the youth system at a time when teams except United didn't use their young players very much.

He will start on Sunday, I'm sure of that ? especially reading Rounds quotes on the OS... and he will give his all because Everton is his club, he's a blue and always will be and that shows through to fans like myself who don't look for the negatives but look for the truth. He's a good footballer with great awareness and skill and best of all he's a true blue. All hail King Ossie, modern day legend.
Andrew Fair     Posted 27/08/2010 at 13:31:48   Comments (53)

Aren't we all frustrated, Bill?

After reading about Bill Kenwright's frustrations regarding disappearing investors in the Echo and on the Official site last night, I have to say it left me feeling just a little uneasy.

Not at the failure to attract investment so much, but rather the fact that Everton seem, according to Bill, to attract a disproportionate number of timewasters. I am quite happy to agree that there are a lot of dodgy characters in and around football today but, if dodgy 'investors' are attracted to Everton so frequently and so readily, then maybe the Club needs to examine how it behaves in it's own right when such approaches are made and to research just why those potential investors disappear.

If a business continually fails to win contracts, it will have no option but to re-examine its business methods. If an individual is consistently refused finance, then he or she will inevitably have to consider why this is the case. It has to be the same for the Club.

It seems very unlikely to me, even if only statistically, that every potential investor interested in Everton is an unsavoury character and a timewaster and I can't help wondering whether the real reason for their constant withdrawals is that there is something wrong with what Everton, or Bill, are asking for.

Bill constantly talks about investment as opposed to the selling of the Club and I do wonder if this is the sticking point and the reason for the breakdown in negotiations. Could it be that they want to buy and he wants them to pump money into the Club while leaving everything and everybody else in situ?

I personally have no great desire for a Sheikh to aquire this Club; all I would be satisfied with is an improved stadium and a transfer pot each summer sufficient for us to keep moving forward. But Bill has to remember that supporters are investors too, and the most reliable ones at that, and while we don't have a 'legal' right to know what the Club's intentions and wishes are regarding investment, he should consider and decide that supporters do have a moral right to such information. Otherwise, in the firm belief that not every investor who approaches the Club can possibly be a lying, cheating gangster, I will have no choice but to consider that the Club is run by a gang of idiots.

Come clean Bill. Exactly what kind of investment are you looking for and is it your wish to be carried out of Goodison feet first or not at all?
Dave Roberts     Posted 27/08/2010 at 09:59:31   Comments (46)

Best team, always

In these days of mass media, micro-scrutiny of football matches, there has (and only ever will be) one way of best management practice of a football team ? that simply being to pick your best players in the right positions!

This may be a simpleton's guide to football management in today's era of player power, with egos inflated to the size of Buster's nads, but the best team in Europe in the 80s played in Royal Blue! We knew their names and what positions they played in.

Alan Harper and Kevin Richardson, when called upon, never let anyone down... at times putting in Man of the Match performances, they knew and we knew that Kendall would drop the axe the minute the player they were covering for was back from injury or suspension ? that's the way it was and it made for a winning machine.

Today's squad is the best since that time; the best eleven may not pick itself at the moment, but in my opinion the best players at the club should start every game. I'll stick my neck out here and say who I think should start (4-4-1-1):

Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin / Heitinga, Baines; Rodwell, Fellaini, Arteta, Pienaar; Cahill; Saha / Beckford.

So that has Distin & Heitinga fighting for centre-back, Saha & Beckford fighting for centre-forward. Change the system to suit the game, but put your best players on the pitch always.

Rodwell may become the best centre mid in the country one day; at the moment, let's see him on the pitch, likewise Coleman!! Get them on the pitch playing regularly. No favourites, no players for certain games, just the best players on the pitch for all the important games ? ALWAYS!
Barry  Hughes     Posted 26/08/2010 at 17:34:45   Comments (40)

It Should Have Been Us!

Although they made it predictably difficult for themselves in the first leg, last night I watched Spurs cruise into the group stage of the Champions League with mixed feelings. Great as it is to have anyone other than our neighbours entering this annual football Shangri-la, this plus-point is more than tempered by my feeling that Spurs, already in a much better financial state than us (isn?t everybody?) will now start to leave us trailing in their monied wake.

Last night I found myself actually wishing it had been the reds in that game, as at least the money they would make from the CL would be swallowed up by their massive debt burden, whereas ?Arry will probably be given bucket loads of dosh to improve an already strong team.

The points of my ramble are that IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US, and years ago at that, and that this is the season where Moyes has finally to achieve something (4th or better or a cup) or it?s time for a change in manager.

I have always been a Moyes supporter ? not ?apologist? as some permanently downcast pessimists here would have it ? as I cannot see how anyone else could have done better up to now. Remember, he got a team that was lower mid-table at best in terms of talent into the same stage Spurs were at last night, and since then has assembled a squad that is better than any other we?ve had for twenty plus years.

I would have made the same point at the start of last season, but the decimating injuries put paid to that; however, this season everyone is fit, we?ve kept our best players (it doesn?t look like Pienaar is going now), so this is the make-or-break season for Moyes for me.

Despite our lethargic start, we all know what this squad is capable of; it?s now up to Moyes to loosen his mental shackles on the team and actually let the players express themselves on the pitch to the extent where we brush aside the likes of Blackburn or Wolves. Hopefully last night?s practice match will prove to be the jump start our season needs.

If we fail to achieve something this season, then I?m afraid the good ship Goodison will need a new captain.

COYB!!
Roger Trenwith     Posted 26/08/2010 at 10:24:00   Comments (36)

Coleman's Mistakes

Wiser people than me have pointed out that Seamus Coleman is not ready to take over from either Hibbert or Neville because he is subject to the odd defensive lapse. I understand this.

It is perfectly understandable that people want a watertight defence and that they require a full back whose first talent is defensive capability.

Could an increasingly confused oldster ask one question? It's this: which of the current starting eleven doesn't make mistakes? Which of them has such a perfect definition of his role, that we are never exposed to a gasp of incredulity when he gives the ball away; fails to take up the right position; presents the ball to the foot of an opposing attacker?

Seamus may have an unrefined knowledge of defensive duties at present, but seems to possess something the team has lacked for too long; the offensive flair which frightens defenders. In my, perhaps unwise, estimation, attack is the best form of defence, and were it not for a Manager who is ultra-cautious, we might have within our ranks the man who could do the "Bale" role equally as well as Bale himself.

This is not an anti-Moyes rant by any means. It is simply a request for a more in-depth analysis of why Seamus should be sitting on the bench rather than owning the arses of opposition full-backs.
Mike McLean     Posted 26/08/2010 at 08:08:39   Comments (59)

'Watch the Countdown...'

I was just reading Steve Round's ramblings in the Echo and was rather surprised to pick up on a comment he made.

He was going on about Yobo and Yak staying at the club and recovering from their world cup endeavours.

He then did a "Bill Kenwright" while saying he thought Moyes was fairly happy with the squad he made the following statement:

?Something might break this week but I think the manager is pleased with his squad. I think he is pleased with where he is at. That?s not to say nothing will happen, you never know. Watch the countdown.?

Reading between the lines will we be surprised with the wide pacy player most supporters are craving, or will it be a quality CB like Taylor of Newcastle or are we going to get a top quality striker.

Or more likely will it just be a club announecement that we ried really hard to bolster the squad with new addition but it just didnt happen.

Remember the new catchphrase "Watch the countdown"
Jay Harris     Posted 25/08/2010 at 14:03:44   Comments (38)

Diamond Formation

I would just maybe like to add another insight into the various discussions on Toffeeweb, whether it is 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 formation, etc.

It is clear that the middle of the park is the strongest area of the team. Our wings look very weak at the moment and people like Pienaar and Bilyaletdinov are more natural central attacking midfield players playing on the wing.

I would like to see Everton play a 4-1-2-1-2 or a diamond formation, just as Chelsea did at the start of last season. In my opinion, it would work because of the amount of good midfielders we have.

Defensive Mid: Heitinga or Fellaini could easily play here, maybe Rodwell or Neville if we're desperate.

Two Central Mids: A number of players could play here: My first choice would be Arteta and Rodwell, but we still have Fellaini, Bily, Pienaar and Osman just to name a few.

Attacking Mid: My favourite would be Pienaar, but again Cahill or Bily could play there.

This formation would then sort out people's persistence to play two strikers: Saha and Beckford, I can see this pair perhaps working quite well together, with Yakubu and Gueye as back up. Yes ideally, I would rather see another top class forward but we do not have the luxury.

The only problem is the lack of width, which the full backs would be trying to provide. But we do not have a good right back to do this. Baines is sorted on the left. Coleman is great going forward and would potentially fill in this position but isn't good enough defensively. Neville and Hibbert might, but probably would not work.

Even so, this would be the only problem. I can see Everton having more success than not with this formation.
Ben Jones     Posted 25/08/2010 at 10:39:59   Comments (23)

Goals

I see many comments in other threads on the need for a 20/25-goal-a-season striker. Whilst this should always be the aspiration, the reality is that there are very few of these players around (Drogba, Rooney, Torres) and those that do exist are way out of our price range. The solution of course lies elsewhere with a team contribution to the 'goals for' column, particularly from the midfield.

This is one source of our current travails as, with the notable exception of Cahill, we just do not generate enough scoring opportunities and, therefore, goals from this area. I think the single best way to address this within current resources, other than Moyes exhorting Pienaar and Arteta to be more aggressive from the edge of the box, is to play Rodwell in an advanced role within the midfield.

He makes strong and powerful runs, has a good shot and seems to have the knack of being in the right place at the right time. I would definitley have Rodwell, with Arteta, Fellaini (holding midfield), Heitinga and Jagielka (centre-backs) as the first names on the team sheet as the spine each week. Everyone else should fit around this.
Dave  Hutchinson     Posted 24/08/2010 at 20:16:54   Comments (47)

Crouch for Pienaar - The long and short of it.

In light of the recent reports about a possible swap for Pienaar and Crouch, if true, I've been thinking about how positive a move this would be.

There are several key factors, the main one being if we don't offload him in this window, we won't be getting any money for him. If we sell him now we aren't likely to get enough money to find a decent replacement and we haven't any money to supplement a transfer fee. For this reason, I believe this has to be seen as a good option if Crouch is surplus to requirements at WHL.

Crouch may not be everyone's cup of tea but he is effective and more often than not does the business. People may be worried about the return of hoofball but Crouch has more quality than just being a target man and is very good at linking up with the wide men feeding the ball into decent channels.

The major concern is how will it affect the balance of the side which is already questionable. We have several options on the left, Bily, Gueye and Osman (ducking my head for the abuse at such a suggestion already but hear me out).

Pienaar is not an out-and-out wide player and I personally think that the reason our left side is as strong as it is, is mainly due to Baines's overlapping of Pienaar.

If we managed to get Crouch, I think Moyes will be looking at offloading two strikers. Yakubu being one to West Ham but what about Stoke?? They are still in the market for a striker and are being frustrated elsewhere and clearly they have money to spend. So we may after all get circa £7-8m for the Yak. Vaughan may also see his days at Everton numbered and I feel we could realistically get £1m for him.

Would £8-£9m be enough to land Donovan? I think it would be and hey presto the signing of Crouch facilitates the signing of Donovan.

Landon Donovan changed our side last season when he was here, not always because of his performances but the genuine balance that he gave the side, and it is clear to see that when he left our performances dropped somewhat and our challenge for Europe faltered.

So, if we can sort these dealings out the right hand side is sorted so let's look at the left again. Whilst I haven't seen enough of Gueye yet, from what I have seen, I think there is definitely potential there. Bily would be a decent enough replacement for Pienaar, allowing Baines to overlap as effectively leaving Bily to play a bit narrower, which is also a job that Osman can do.

Maybe Crouch holds the key?
James Cadwaladr     Posted 24/08/2010 at 10:35:44   Comments (56)

InterNev

Is this what footballers do these days in their spare time?

http://www.offthepost.info/2010/08/phil-neville-has-his-own-iphone-app/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+offthepost%2FTLAa+%28Off+The+Post%29

I agree with the author of the piece when he suggests that Phil Neville (gawd bless 'im, the Queen Mum of Goodison) would not be the first footballer you'd think of if you were asked to guess who has their own iPhone app offering fashion tips.

I haven't downloaded this as I don't have an iPhone but it's only 59p apparently so if anybody does then I'd love to know what it's like
Les Green     Posted 24/08/2010 at 10:08:12   Comments (9)

How Should We Approach The Huddersfield Game

Apart from trying to win it of course...

Is this a game to play both Rodwell and Fellaini in midfield for respective fitness and experience? Maybe also Gueye, Coleman, Vaughan and The Yak should be handed starts and told to play themselves into the thoughts of the manager for the weekend.

This is a strategy we have not been able to afford over the last number of years. Well, now we can.

Having said that, however ? it's a hard job being manager. One other argument is that Moyes should stick with what he feels his best team is and let them 'click.' That would mean sticking with the same spine of the team with one or two minor changes.

I personally would like to see Fellaini in the team to work on his fitness ? and I would also like to see Yakubu start... I want to see the hunger in his eyes. We don't have a more natural goalscorer at the club. But whether he still retains that ability is another matter.
Ped Pearl     Posted 24/08/2010 at 00:31:06   Comments (42)

Rights Issue

With the news that the club has supposedly raised another £14 million via a loan, surely the time has come for the Board of Directors to at least explore an untapped source of funding via a share issue.

I am not well up on these matters but I am a small shareholder and would be willing to increase my investment in these times of almost zero interest on deposit accounts. I am sure others who are not shareholders would be willing to put up modest amounts for a stake in their club.

What do others think?


Andy Riley     Posted 23/08/2010 at 21:16:00   Comments (24)

Every season is pre-season

I have been reading comments of why Moyes keeps players on the bench, the team having bad preparations for the season etc etc...

There's something that puzzles, irritates, frustrates me: that is Moyes's approach to his style of managing the team and his players. When you have the players available, when you have the youngsters who are playing well and so damn willing to play for the team, when it is obvious some 'other players' are not performing, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know which is the best 11.

This team which Moyes currently played, is last season's team, or maybe two seasons ago. After seeing them played week-in, week-out, he still doesn't realize that they are only good enough for 5th to 10th position in the league? (Honestly, that 4th we got was just one off, we were just lucky.)

His reason is, it will kill the new players and youngsters if they are put into the team too soon. But what is he waiting for? Till it starts to piss off Pienaar, Arteta and Heitinga when they realise it is not happening? Or maybe Baines and Jagielka? Waiting for another club to come buy our stars and youngsters?

He is just too conservative. Maybe he was a defender, never liked to gamble. He has been playing the waiting game for seasons. Rodwell... please wait. Coleman... wait. Silva... wait. Gueye... wait. Be aggressive and play 2 strikers... wait.

Eeer...what are we waiting for? I KNOW! NEXT SEASON!! COS IT IS STILL PRE-SEASON! DAMN!
David Duffy     Posted 23/08/2010 at 11:35:52   Comments (14)

Lack of Drive

Watching Match of the Day 2, Robbie Savage was talking about Mark Hughes's Fulham side against the Mancs... He pointed out how, every time they get the ball they look to pass and drive forward.

This is what has been lacking in what was meant to be a promising start to the season. Especially against Wolves, we had nice spells of passing in the middle of the park but completely ran out of ideas in the final third.

A player that could offer us this drive is Rodwell; I like most have no idea why Moyes is reluctant to play him from the off. The lad was as impressive as any ifthe other midfielders in pre-season aswell as the under 21 international.

We have missed out in what should have been a relatively easy start to the season. There is no chance we can play how we have been in our upcoming games so I hope Moyes is thinking about changing it up. Rodwell, and what I've seen of Gueye, would offer a more direct and postive approach to our play, but we need Moyes to show a bit of faith in them rather than ferrying to type with the likes of Neville, Hibbert and Osman (who will all play the part at some point, but not whilst trying to get some momentum).

I hope the start was a hiccup in what could be a good season! Have faith Moyes! COYB!
Mike Cow     Posted 22/08/2010 at 22:19:46   Comments (12)

Sacrafice Rodwell

Would anyone else like to see Moyes cash in on Rodwell? £20 million and take the £6 million for Yakubu and invest in a quality striker, right winger and cover at left back... I wouldn't mind Andy Carroll or Carlton Cole, Donovan and a decent left back. I thought we should've bought Shorey as cover.
Chris  Hannon     Posted 22/08/2010 at 20:22:13   Comments (70)

The way forward

I think we need to change our strategy and style of play to have any chance of winning the title wth this squad of players.

In my honest opinion, we are too weak where it matters, central midfield.

If you look at Chelsea with a 4-3-3 formation, Lampard, Essien and Mikel, and swap them for Heitinga, Rodwell and Fellaini, to me we look evenly matched.

With their back four including Terry and Cole, our back four including Jagielka and Coleman, again there's a common feel about it.

Substitute Drogba for Saha, then there's only the wide positions to contemplate. Pienaar or Bily or Osman for Malouda, Anelka, doesn't seem to work.

Maybe Gueye, Anichebe, Beckford, might be nearer.

The point I'm making, and will probably get slaughtered for saying it, is we need to play without Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Cahill, Bily, because they're not strong enough collectivelly to win us a title or trophy.

Man Utd play with Carrick and Fletcher, even the Shite when they looked like they may do something played with Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano.

Arsenal haven't looked like winning a title since they started playing with skillful but fragile midfielders.

Rodders, Felli, Johnny, is the answer ? our new holy trinity!

Build the rest of the team arround them and we won't go far wrong.
Robert Daniels     Posted 22/08/2010 at 18:21:37   Comments (42)

How much longer?

No Coleman, Hibbert preferred? Distin ahead of World Cup Final centre-half Heitinga, no Rodwell? Beckford taken off for the ever lazy looking Saha ? when was his last goal again?

And if that wasn't bad enough, Davey's love child, Osman, gets a chance to turn the game!? How much longer are we to be expected to put up with Dithering Davey's puzzling team selection?

Ok, not pushing the panic button, but how many of us got the opening two fixtures and thought, hhmmmm 6 points to start the season? My solution is simple: play the best players in their best positions! ie, Coleman is our best right back, so... PLAY HIM!! Distan is a good centre half, but Johnny is better than him so... PLAY HIM!!! Rodwell is better than Neville and Osman so... you get the jist by now!

I am sorry if it upsets anyone but Neville, Hibbert, Osman, Distin etc should only play if we have injuries ? surely its not just me thinking this?!
Matt Boden     Posted 22/08/2010 at 10:37:06   Comments (70)

Rodwell and Rooney

Does anyone else see the similarity between these two young footballers warming the bench, when it's obvious that there's lesser talent on the field? Rodwell will get fucked off just as Rooney did and will leave and rightly so. How can Rooney need protection at his age and not be in the Everton 11 each week, but play almost every game for United?

For fuck's sake Moyes. Please give the youth a chance and dismiss the old guard, before we lose another diamond.
Liam Reilly     Posted 22/08/2010 at 02:16:07   Comments (23)

Yakubu??

I wonder... Where is Yakubu? Is he so bad he's not able to get a place, even on the bench? Is he maybe even injured? Why don't the club tell us anything?

Maybe he's up for sale. Or maybe he's on a diet. Perhaps he's on a disciplinary reaction?

But why then... always the silence? Why don't our club have some decent media people? I don't mean for them to say everything, but always this silence.

Don't the people working at EFC know it's allright to say something truthful? I just wonder...
Gaute Lie     Posted 22/08/2010 at 01:01:05   Comments (18)

Here we go again...

Forget the hype, forget the optimism, forget CL ? we are clearly not good enough ? end of.

Our balance is all wrong, we our lob-sided, we have got options on the left, we have options in the middle, but we have no options at all on the right hand side.

All teams know that closing down Arteta will lead to an Everton team playing hoofball from the poorest passers in the Premier League, namely Jagielka , Hibbert or Neville.

We have been sussed out very early on by the league's most physical sides who normally can't put two passes together but have shown how easy it is to outplay Everton with it's multitude of craftsmen ? wait until any of the Top 6 get to us.

Moyes still hasn?t got a clue what his best team is and, more important, what formation he needs to adopt to get the best out of them (see my Article written yesterday).

Selection dilemmas:

FB - Neville or Hibbert or Coleman
DM - Heitinga or Fellaini or Rodwell
Hole - Cahill or Bilyaletdinov or Rodwell
CF - Saha or Beckford or Yakubu
RW - Osman or Pinnear

Clearly there are so many options with so little time to sort out.

Another result like today?s or last week?s at Blackburn at Villa next week and you?ll start to hear comments about lack of confidence , players not prepared due to World Cup etc etc and bingo ? here we go again as the poorest starters in the league.
Mike Oates     Posted 21/08/2010 at 21:09:39   Comments (39)

Pienaar: The final word?

In today's Daily Mail, David Moyes says: 'Steven was made a brilliant offer and it has been on the table for three or four months,' ... 'I've said all along I will keep him and I've not budged.' The Mail goes on to say that Moyes is adamant no offers have been received and that Pienaar, 28, will see out the 12 months on his current deal, rather than be allowed to leave on the cheap. According to the paper, the deal offered was £55,000 a week. With the usual caveats about the veracity of the Mail's story, this is the first time that Moyes has declared that he is prepared to let Pienaar serve out his 12 months rather than cash in now. I know ToffeeWeb contributors have different views on this subject but it seems to me that some real intentions have come out of this story:

1. Moyes will keep Pienaar and make him see out his contract;

2. EFC believe Pienaar is worth considerably less than Arteta;

3. It doesn't appear to be length of contract that's the issue.

I personally would have thought that Pienaar would have been a lot closer in salary (to Arteta).

This whole story begs the question of course: if Moyes sticks to this view, we are definitely going to lose Pienaar for nothing next year. Nose, face, cut?
Tony McDonald     Posted 21/08/2010 at 09:40:36   Comments (16)

What goes around comes around

David Moyes must have choked on his morning coffee whilst reading his newspaper and watching SSN. His best "mate" Mark Hughes was giving an interview on how unjust it was that Arsenal was trying to unsettle Mark Schwartzer, his goalkeeper at the start of this season.

What a bloody nerve the City reject has! Surely he hasn't forgoten what he did to us at the beginning of last season? Or is he just plain arrogant?


Antony Matthews     Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:15:38   Comments (16)

Money money money (or a lack of?)

Reading the article this morning about Steven Pienaar being wanted by Spurs, two things struck me:

First, is this now going to be a regular ploy between competing teams to try and unsettle a rival squad (a la Lescott, Milner and now Rodwell and Pienaar)? Allow the player to keep going through all of the pre-season then feed in rumours that you want to buy them to unsettle the squad? That's a pretty devious trend, methinks.

Secondly, West Ham say we'll offer you £6m for Yak then come back with a revised offer of £5m. Now they're talking about Spurs offering just £6m for Pienaar. Do they know something we don't? Do they suspect some sort of desperate agreement from us (if so, why?) or are these linked to the first point, trying to destabalise the player? For example, 'we'd love to have you play for us and give you tons of dosh if only Everton would be more reasonable' (whilst having no intention of a serious offer)?
Chris Gallagher     Posted 20/08/2010 at 08:11:45   Comments (21)

I'm coming home

The last time I was at Goodison Park, I was 9 years old. I can't remember what the place actually looks like or what way the game went, but I remember the atmosphere, to descibe it in one word it was mindboggling.

I live in Ireland and all my friends support Man Utd or Liverpool. To get over to Goodison has been nearly impossible for me; problems... money, no-one to go over with, girlfriend etc etc. I do have Sky Sports, ESPN, Football First ? and of course ToffeeWeb ? to keep me as close to the action as possible, but it's just not the same.

Now I've finally been freed from my exile!! I've persuaded two on my Man Utd mates to come to Goodison with me, we fly out on the 11 September 2010 (good omen!) and fly back two days later. The whole package was £235 each, we are staying in the Premier Inn, we have tickets for the Main Stand and our flights over... to sum it up ? I can't fucking wait!!!!

Can't wait to stand outside the stadium... can't wait to get in it... can't wait for the Toffee Girl... can't wait for Z-Cars... can't wait to feel the roar of the Goodison faithful on the back of my neck, and hopefully I can give my mates some serious banter if we win!

I'm really going over a bit blind; I don't know where the bars are were Evertonians gather for pre-drinks, what time do the players arrive before kick-off (which is 13:30 Sunday). Any help from youse lucky season ticket holders would be great! Cheers lads, and see you soon.

I'M COMING HOME!!!
Sean McKenna     Posted 19/08/2010 at 18:22:42   Comments (40)

Yobo loaned to Celtic?

Just read that our very own Joseph Yobo has been in talks to be loaned to Celtic. Surely this is a bad move for the club.

Loaning out youngsters to gain them first team experience is one thing but loaning out a player of Yobo's age shows the fact that he's not wanted by the manager or the club and will only lower his valuation. We should just sell the lad to the first club who offers a decent wedge for him rather than farm him out to clubs who are skint! (like us).

Personally, think this is a bad move
Tony Hale     Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:33:59   Comments (34)

Pienaar: Greed Or Value?

"Pienaar neglected to comment on what aspect was stalling the deal, but wages could be the obstacle..."

You don't say?

So negotiations appear then to be coming to a successful conclusion regarding the Bafana boy. I don't dislike this player, but I think his ego is larger than his talent. I wouldn't dwell too much if he left, as at 28 he'll soon be on the slide. Maybe others feel differently.

But set against the backdrop of a stricken L4, it's his comment about "wanting what's right," alongside the cliched, tokenistic and in my opinion, wholly disingenuous & patronising nod to the supporters, that annoyed me. Exactly what has he done to earn top whack?

Not seeking brick-bats ? I think he's a decent player. Just want to know if ToffeeWebbers think he's indispensable, and therefore worth every penny...
Kevin Hudson     Posted 19/08/2010 at 14:59:24   Comments (68)

Time for Young Guns?

I write this post after much deliberation and frustration ? not just at the Blackburn game but also at the no-show against Wolfsburg. Some fans are saying, "Calm down, it's only one game" but if you take the Wolfsburg game into account, that's two.

The worrying thing for me is that there seems to be a lethargy about the whole team that is not normally seen in an Everton team and, following on from all the optimism, it feels like a real letdown. We all have our views on formation, tactics, team selection etc, and I think most of us feel this is the best quality squad we have had for a long time.

My concern is that this is the season when our top young guns will be expecting to play and will get frustrated if they don't. Now we have Rodwell who is being touted for England by our Captain and yet can't seem to get a start for us!! We also have Seamus Coleman who IMO is the most exciting full back we've had since Ray Wilson. Add to that Jermaine Beckford who is promising but as yet untested at this level; Gueye who has looked good pre-season but again untested... together with the regular bystanders Vaughan and Anichebe.

Our manager, who I rate very highly, has a reputation for developing youth but I have a feeling that the energy and determination that youngsters have present a challenge to our supremo that he doesn't relish. Is it time for the Old guard to move over and inject some enthusiasm or are the old soldiers capable of upping their game to prevent the challenge which may mean losing some of our young talent?
Jay Harris     Posted 19/08/2010 at 14:38:43   Comments (44)

Right-wing trickster...

It is my view that other than, as an impact substitution, the day of the tricky winger has, at least temporarily, gone. Lennon. Wright-Philips and Walcott who promised so much have not delivered at the highest level. Now it seems that Izmailov might just be a possible signing for Everton.

Of course,he's not a tricky winger but a quick attacking midfielder who can play wide right. At his best, fit and managed tenderly he could maybe do a job for us wide right. At his worst he could be our new AVDM. Is it worth the risk? I suggest not. I believe the solution to our wide right problem is at the club. Yes, step forward Seamus Coleman.

Many contributors to the site have reservations about Seamus as a defender. I don't, but crucially I think David Moyes does. Most agree that going forward, however, he can be an effective threat. He doesn't beat a full back like the tricky winger but he has pace can run at and unsettle a defender and most importantly he can cross from deep.

If Tim Cahill must play then I feel he will be more effective with Coleman playing. With Bily playing instead of Tim behind whoever one feels is our best lone striker, Coleman still offers an option that was desperately missing at Blackburn. He puts in a shift and would make us solid on the right. Gosling with pace.

Leon Osman is lost on the right, Vic would be a short term fix. The solution is under our nose. Give him a chance.
Andy Crooks     Posted 19/08/2010 at 00:18:40   Comments (40)

Fanshares... anyone share a thought?

I've just read an article on the Telegraph website about a scheme set up by Arsenal fans that allows real football fans like you and me to stake a claim in the shares of their club... it's called Arsenal Fan Share ? funnily enough.

This is news to me... and, not knowing too much about it, I was wondering if anyone knew anything more specific about it.

Also, does anyone know of a similar scheme set up by Evertonians? The article states "Arsenal are already one of the last major clubs in England to have supporters directly involved in their ownership structure".

Does anyone know what this equates to at Goodison?
Joe Carroll     Posted 18/08/2010 at 20:25:26   Comments (9)

Dries Mertens

So we seem to be interested in Dries Mertens. To be precise: Dutch website Elfvoetbal says Everton (and Dutch clubs PSV and FC Twente) told his current club FC Utrecht their interest in the player and have already offered the player a contract. They claim another site as their source: vi.nl (VI is the biggest Dutch football magazine). But on vi.nl I cannot find anything about Mertens and our supposed interest. So probably this is another made-up rumour, although it could be that it was in the paper version of VI, I didn't read last week's edition.

Just for those who are interested in the player: he's an (attacking) midfielder, very skillful, great passing, good finisher. Can use either leg. His best position is a central one, although he has played on the right wing before. He is far more effective centrally as he has a great through ball.

Is he good enough to play for us? He has got the skill and the tactical knowledge/vision. And to me, he seems to have the right mentality. He has a big, big disadvantage though. He's only about 5ft 7in and from time to time gets muscled out by his opponents - in the Dutch league! I think he lacks the physique to really make an impact in the Premier League.

In short he's like an even smaller version of Arteta. I think we shouldn't go after him. If we want to buy a right winger from the Dutch competition, we should go after Bryan Ruiz (Twente) or Ibrahim Afellay (PSV).

Stay tuned for the next scouting report from The Netherlands!
Erik Dols     Posted 18/08/2010 at 08:24:04   Comments (30)

Has Kenwright ever heard of these two?

On the BBC rumour page come two stories about Blackburn being taken over:

1. Blackburn are a takeover target for two wealthy Indian businessmen. Representatives of billionaire Ahsan Aly Syed arrived at Ewood Park on Monday for talks, claiming they will inject £300m into Rovers. They hope to block a bid by rival Saurin Shah, who is due in Blackburn on Wednesday for talks. Full story: the Sun

2. Rovers manager Sam Allardyce will be given £100m to spend on players this season if Ali Syed's proposed bid for the club is successful. Full story: Daily Telegraph

What have Rovers got going on that makes them a better prospect than EFC?
Trevor Powell     Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:28:42   Comments (123)

Everton 3 - 0 Wolves

I've got great news everyone!

Our Kid's just invented this time machine and he asked me where I fancied going. I said Goodison Park, this Saturday, 3pm.

Next thing I know I'm sat in the Gwladys, Z-Cars is ringing in my ears and the boys are running out and the next 90 minutes are, quite frankly, a joy. Here were some of the standout performances:

Howard - not much to do but two blinding saves and keeping the penalty out helped us push on to victory.

Back four - solid, great work down the left by Baines linking up with Pienaar who still not quite at the races put a shift in and set up 2nd goal.

Arteta and Rodwell - what a combination in the middle of the park! Ran the shown and Rodwell's winner must be highlight of MotD...?

Saha and Beckford - did their jobs, Saha getting 1st, Beckford on as sub looking really sharp and clinical final goal.

What were we worrying about\? Blackburn clearly did a job and we weren't ready for them. Oh well, this is the start of our season now, we were brilliant. I've seen the future....

ps: Saturday night's Lotto numbers are 22, 24, 26, 28, 38, 40....
Mike Green     Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:02:21   Comments (25)

Moyes and Tactics

The most disappointing thing about Saturday for me is the negative approach of our manager. If we want to reach the top four, we need to attack teams like Blackburn and definitely go with two up front.

Blackburn's greatest attribute is their physicality and Moyes leaves Rodwell on the bench and plays Osman. Add in the fact that Heitinga is our most physical player and he is also left sitting. He then substitutes Osman for Beckford and we think we now have two up front only to then take Saha of and replace him with Rodwell. What's going on there, I ask.

Then there is Neville. He is totally out of his depth and offers nothing going forward. He makes Hibbert look world class and that's saying something. As for playing Saha as the lone striker is beyond me. He just can't cover that ground and I would imagine he finds it frustrating. I don't doubt he is an excellent man-manager and has assembled a great squad but tactically I feel he is very poor and this will be the crucial if we are to achieve anything.
Micheal  Lynch     Posted 16/08/2010 at 22:34:55   Comments (43)

Loyalty or lunacy but not tactical

Well, I for one believe the loyalty Moyes shows to Osman, Hibbert and Neville could well prove the downfall of our hopeful season. Reading the many summer articles, many people on ToffeeWeb were full of hope, excited that this season, if we had a good start, we could gatecrash the top 4.

Ok, losing the first game is not a disaster, as we recovered well after Arsenal beat us 4-1, we got 4th spot. Let's all be honest and admit that Neville Osman and Hibbert are not players who would get into the majority of Premier League sides and certainly not within the top half of the Prem. I understand loyalty etc but look where that got us with Gosling.

It's not tactical Moyes picked Osman and Neville as we all know there were better players on the bench who, if started, would have performed substantially better. Moyesy, you have 15 days to off-load these three and buy a Mars Bar with the proceeds! Seriously, we could lower the wage bill and get a bit of cash... I mean, for God's sake, Michael Ball is looking for a club and he would piss all over these.
Chris  Perry     Posted 16/08/2010 at 20:20:35   Comments (38)

Everton's bid for Sporting's Izmailov

The 27-year-old is supposedly meant to be injury prone which is his status at the moment; however he is also a winger who pulls the strings. He had a falling out with Sporting directors and coach and has said that he wants to leave. Manchester City bid £10 million for him at some point and due to Sporting's financial problems, we could get him at a cut price. It would be great to have a player who pulls the strings on the wing and is meant to be a great player when fit.
Jayden Pileggi     Posted 16/08/2010 at 14:32:27   Comments (19)

Pre-season preparations

Can anyone shed any light on why Everton are always so badly prepared for the start of the season? I wrongly thought this year would be different. There's no Lescott problem this year, no long-term injuries, no contract situation for Moyes, no midweek qualifying European fixture. Our top players, Pienaar aside, have all signed new contracts each stating their love for the team and manager.

Putting the tactics to one side and the selection of Osman on the right wing, the players didn't look up for it on Saturday. This to me is absolutely criminal. How can our players not be arsed about the start of the new season? This is far more of a fundamental problem than whether Neville and Osman play. If we'd have lost by an awful goalkeeping error but the team had shown some fight, I think a lot more of us would have been a lot more forgiving and left feeling more positive about the Wolves game.

So why the hell can't Moyes get his team properly preprared? Considering Blackburn had a very similar pre-season in terms of the standard of opposition they played (they also went on a tour of Australia), why were their players up for it and not ours? It has to be far more to do with getting the players right mentally, which Moyes obviously has trouble doing.

I've not lost all faith in Moyes because this team will still come good but we may well have lost too much ground on the likes of Spurs and City by that point. I'm getting sick of our season not starting until November and I'm sick of reaching May and saying if only we'd have started the season better.
Alan Clarke     Posted 16/08/2010 at 12:49:58   Comments (31)

A view from across the sea

As this is my first mail bag, let me introduce myself. I have been supporting Everton since 1969 and unfortunately, while I can?t explain why I began my fascination with the club, I can explain why I continue to support Everton today. The "People's Club" best defines it; it?s the values the club espouses, the tradition and heritage of the club, the love of the club by the fans, players, former players, management etc. I?ve been visiting this website for years now and love it so much that it?s my home page!

If Everton were taken over by a billionaire, even though I know this is the wish of many ToffeeWeb readers, I would be appalled. I look on in horror at what?s happening at Man City and regard it as a form of cheating, as it is at Chelsea. Money is destroying the Premier League, but at least this recession is leading to a more level playing field. Now don?t get me wrong, like everyone else, I want Everton to win silverware, it?s just that I don?t want them to buy their way there.

One of my brothers is a big Chelsea fan and I?m always going on to him about Everton, Chelsea, the Premier League in a similar manner that I?ve just done in the opening paragraphs to this article. On Saturday he told me about an article about ?my beloved Toffees?, to quote his words, appearing in the Irish Times written by Michael Walker. Obviously it was written before the disappointing Blackburn match, but the opinions are still valid and it probably says it better than I?ve been trying to do! It?s another view point and I hope you enjoy it. As always I await the many varied comments that I?m sure will arise!

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2010/0814/1224276818206.html
Gerry O'Riordan     Posted 16/08/2010 at 10:24:50   Comments (10)

Fellaini or Rodwell?

It appears that Moyes is going to persist this season with 4-5-1.

Cahill looks to be the man to play in behind whichever striker is fit, that leaves Arteta and Pienaar in the creative roles with Osman, Bily, Anichebe or A N Other wide right. This leaves us with the defensive midfield role which if we expect Heitinga to slot in at centre-half then it looks like its between Fellaini and Rodwell for the holding role. It's difficult to split them but it looks like Moyes is favouring Fellaini who he selected despite the fact that he doesn't seem to be 100%.
Anthony Hughes     Posted 16/08/2010 at 10:02:34   Comments (19)

Craig Bellamy

Being widely reported that Bellamy is on his way to Everton in a loan deal. He will undoubtedly have a point to prove but keep him away from the golf clubs..??!!
Alex Gibney     Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:31:30   Comments (56)

Victor's unknown injury

The OS states that Anichebe is suffering from an unknown injury...

Brings to mind: "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don?t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don?t know. ? ? United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

That's cleared that up then.
Dick Fearon     Posted 15/08/2010 at 12:51:48   Comments (24)

Where does Howard rate?

Short and sweet: where in terms of Premier League goalkeepers do you rate Tim Howard?

For me, there are at least 13 keepers in the Prem who are all better than Howard. Time and again, he makes poor decisions, is painfully slow to get off his line, and does not command his area well at all.

To his credit, he does occasionally make world class saves where I think "How on earth did he get that?" ... but, for me, the fundamentals are much more improtant than eye-catching saves.

If Mucha is genuinely here to challenge rather than play second fiddle, I hope he gets his chance sooner rather than later.
Stephen  Kenny     Posted 14/08/2010 at 23:26:19   Comments (52)

New Season... Same Old Shit

Neville and Osman starting. Listless performance. Players still on the summer break.

Season opener and a crap result and performance. And... a loss.

Sickening stuff really. Those are exactly the types of game we must win if we are to break the Top 4. Tough road trip or not, I expect much, much more of this season's squad. Just a complete let-down.

Suppose I shouldn't be suprised. Opening day, isn't it?

Same shit, different season.
Jamie Crowley     Posted 14/08/2010 at 16:55:07   Comments (119)

Arteta for England?

Steven Gerrard has revealed he would "love" Everton counterpart Mikel Arteta to come into the England fold. He told TalkSPORT's Drive Time: "I'd certainly love nothing better than to see Mikel Arteta available for England.

"You want to play with the best players, and if it makes the England squad better, of course I'd like to see it," he went on. "I think it happens to most national teams [that they pick non-nationals], but it's up to him if he wants to make himself available. You want to play with the best players, and if it makes the England squad better, of course I'd like to see it."

Gerrard added: "Fabio Capello is the man to answer the question because he's the manager, but for me he's an excellent player."
Chris Wilson     Posted 13/08/2010 at 19:49:36   Comments (62)

Fight, Fight, Fight!

As we start the season tomorrow, I find myself not being able to work or think about anything else and I can't stop thinking about going to Stamford Bridge on the last day taking 3 points needed to win the league. Regardless if this is being over optimistic there is a good reason for it.

As a 30-year-old fan, I have not knowingly experienced this optimism and excitement before. I have even been on to other fansites to see what they are all saying about us and as expected Liverpool, Spurs and Man City are all belittling our club and chances. Well fuck them and let's stick it right up where the sun don?t shine.

Let's all of us get that siege mentality for the next 9 months, support our team like never before and help them on to something special.

There is no more together settled and happy squad in the league as Everton's and to our players, all I ask is that you FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT ON THE BANKS OF THE ROYAL BLUE MERSEY! And who knows where we will be come May...

Good Luck to each and everyone of us!
James Cadwaladr     Posted 13/08/2010 at 13:46:59   Comments (38)

Could this work?

Looking at the players we have available, taking in to account the perceived weaknesses we have (Right hand side) is Anichebe good enough to be a regular starter? Is Coleman too defensively naive to be a regular starter at Right back?

The strength of the squad is sought primarily in midfield where we have a depth of talent (everybody fit) that would mean somebody missing out who is definitely good enough to start. I understand changing a system totally is something difficult and realise that it is very unlikely to happen as Moyes?s policy is generally very rigid and will usually set up in a similar manner whoever the opponent.

In order to accommodate both Heitinga and Jagielka both at Centre-Half, like it or not, Distin or Yobo has to be involved. In the modern game there are two types of centre half, one that attacks everything and dominates both in the air and on the floor. The second will drop off in to the space and clear up everything behind. Both Heitinga and Jagielka fall in to this category, Distin and Yobo the former.

As a result, Moyes will play one of each type together in a back four. Which brings me to my point: in order to accommodate as many of our best players as possible in to one system, it would make sense to play a back three. This also utilises the left / right footer on either side and should mean Heitinga should be the spare man and therefore given the opportunity to display his impressive range of passing from deep.

Distin - Heitinga - Jagielka

Playing this system also negates the defensive naivity of Coleman as he could be utilised on the right hand side as a wing-back... with Baines similarly on the left, where arguably he would be more effective. However, this may break up his partnership with Pienaar which has been so effective over the last couple of years.

Baines - Coleman

In Midfield we could then play a three fairly narrow as the width would be provided by the wing-backs. Possibly playing Fellaini holding and giving a platform for Pienaar and Arteta to get forward and create (both of which are arguably better utilised in the middle) without a massive need to get back in and defend. Obviously using the work ethic of Pienaar in particular we would have license to press a lot further up the pitch.

Fellaini
Arteta - Pienaar

Further forward, there is the opportunity to play with either Cahill/Rodwell in ?the hole? behind a main striker. Giving the opportunity to pick the ball up infront of the oppositions back four with options coming from both deep and out wide. Cahill provides a threat aerially and is notoriously difficult to pick up. Rodwell being a lot more technical I would expect could dictate the game from that position and drive forward as he did against Man Utd last season. Without getting into a debate on the merits of who should play, I would expect both would be effective in the role.

Rodwell / Cahill

Up front, there would be less pressure on the frontman to hold the ball up and wait for support as in theory there should be options wide and from deep. Therefore, Saha would probably be best deployed here as he is less adept with his back to goal than the Yak, but has a great touch, his vision and eye for goal are far and away the best we have at our disposal. So he would get the nod in this system. With Beckford able to use his pace and intelligence in behind when called upon. Also the Yak as a target if required.

Saha

Overall It seems a little far-fetched to expect Moyes to drop a system that has been so effective over the years. I just feel that, with the players we have at our disposal, this may suit what we have. I have not ignored the likes of Neville, Hibbert, Osman, Vaughan etc (that would be a different debate) but feel that the players mentioned would be the most effective in the system used.
Lee Armstrong     Posted 13/08/2010 at 11:05:06   Comments (26)

Arteta

A nice little interview published by the Guardian tonight about Mikel. Says he'll officially sign his 5-year contract tomorrow (Friday). Bit it's a nice little glimpse into the secretive world of Everton Football Club.

Interesting Arteta says, "...personally, [I] have been complaining to the chairman about how we need to improve this and that".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/12/mikel-arteta-everton-five-years
Alex Kociuba     Posted 13/08/2010 at 00:59:32   Comments (23)

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

With the squad that we have and our potential for this season, knowing what you do now by living through his part in our history, and viewing with hindsight, the 8 years of David Moyes; has it been worth it?
Nick Entwistle     Posted 12/08/2010 at 20:37:39   Comments (75)

What will change this season?

As an Evertonian 32 years old, it?s fair to say I?m more used to disappointment than anything else... so, against that background, please understand my question:

What has changed/will change this season from last season so that we win those ?must win? games that we simply didn?t win?

There were numerous occasions last season when it seemed like a win could propel us into Champions League contention but we failed to convert. Was it mental pressure? Was it lack of luck? Something occurred such that not only could we not win those games to contest 4th spot BUT we couldn?t eventually overhaul Liverpool either.

I know we beat Man U and Chelsea but the pressure was off by then. Those wins didn?t mean a lot. And even though it should have meant we were confident enough to win the ?must win? games, we didn?t.

I know there?s a lot of optimism around and I apologise if I dent that but I just want to know why everyone has by-passed this crucial question?

Please help?!


Kase Chow     Posted 12/08/2010 at 17:11:17   Comments (24)

Mr W R Deanovich

So you're on holiday in Benalmedena, a kid's drowning in the sea, you pile in pull him out and save his life, turns out he's the only son of one of the richest men on earth.

The doting father, Mr W R Deanovich, invites you to his palatial mansion above the picturesque village of Mijas he gives you a million quid as reward and asks is there anything more he can do....... then, pointing to the badge on your shirt he asks "What is Nil Satis Nisi Optimum?"

That night at the karaoke, you sing Tony Christies "Amarillo" like never before, for you are now the advisor of your new Blue Brother, Mr Deanovich, he has wanted to invest in football for some time but couldn't find a club of history, integrity, of potential majesty... as he says "Class is never cheap, would a billion be a good start?"......

What would you do first?

I'd clear the area near the top of Breck Road in Everton and commission a multi-use stadium with all the shops, hotel, museum facilities attached, and a removable pitch to ensure a good playing surface. It would be the most prominent building overlooking the Mersey with all the historic connotations nearby; I'd call it "Dixieland".
Charles King     Posted 12/08/2010 at 16:47:33   Comments (18)

Teamsheet for Blackburn

Ok, so excited now that I'm almost unable to do anything else except consider the new season and check all internet sites to do with Everton every 5 minutes.

Kick-off for us is just over 48 hours away and I really hope it's a better start to the season than last time around. I stupidly watched that Arsenal match with some Gooner friends of mine in the pub. After their 5th goal went in, i was so angry and depressed I simply got up and left without so much as a goodbye or backward glance.

This time I'm hopeful of a better outcome! Blackburn are no mugs though and we can be sure they'll throw a lot of balls into the box and big Sam knows hows to grind out results.

With Cahill injured, I am hoping Moyes has been reading Alan Kirwin's article and lines up 4-2-3-1 like so:

Howard Neville Jagielka Distin Baines Fellaini Rodwell Gueye Arteta Pienaar Saha

Brief justification:

Howard: Obviously
Neville: Gonna play somewhere, right?
Jags: Obviously
Distin: not sure Jonny's fit, plus it's gonna be a physical game
Baines: Obviously
Fellaini: If fit.
Rodwell: Did you watch England U-21?
Gueye: Joker in the pack. Always fun to have a new boy in and I hope he's got a bit of pace...
Arteta: Obviously
Pienaar: Obviously
Saha: Our best striker when fit in my eyes.

I think this team and formation should be more than a match for Blackburn so long as we concentrate and don't concede any silly goals. This team should be able to dominate possesion but also have stature enough to stand up to the inevitable long balls.

However, I have a feeling my wish won't come true. I'm pretty sure Osman will start somewhere and have a horrible feeling he will play Neville in CM.

Either way, can't wait!! COYB!!!
Sam Hoare     Posted 12/08/2010 at 13:47:24   Comments (59)

Huddersfield v Everton

Great draw for both clubs.

My dad is a lifelong Terriers Fan. It will be great to bring him to Goodison Park to watch what should be a great match. Huddersfield play good attacking football.

My dad pointed out that Rev Ben Swift Chambers was born just outside Huddersfield. So there is a bit of history linking us.

Here's to a good cup run.

COYB


David Childs     Posted 12/08/2010 at 11:09:37   Comments (8)

Everton or Villa, Mr Brazil?

Listening to TalkSPORT on the way into work this morning and the question was posed to Alan Brazil ? Who is the bigger club, Everton or Villa?

After much squirming and trying not to answer the question, he said that David Moyes would have a better chance at success at Villa due to the resources he would have available.

I can't deny that Villa have more money than us, but player for player and with a fit squad, we have by far and away better resources. I would hand on heart say that only the diver Young and Milner would challenge to get into our starting XI.

Martin O'Neill has wasted countless millions filling the Villa team with mistakes. Heskey, Petrov, Reo-Cocker, Sidwell and Cuellar are approximately £30 millions worth of evidence.

So, this lead me to think that, if only two of their players would get into our team, how much would a new manager have to spend to bring that squad in line with likes of us and Spurs?

This is why David Moyes would never leave Everton for Villa. It would be a 3-year regression for his career.

The fact that they finished above us last season can be argued, but looking at the form displayed by both clubs from November onwards adds credence to my argument.

I like Alan Brazil; I think he talks a lot of sense... but perhaps he wants to rethink this one?

Cant wait for Saturday ? Come On, Blue Boys!!!!!
Matt Barry     Posted 11/08/2010 at 18:41:11   Comments (31)

The Top 7

There has been a lot of optimism here about the new season for the Blues and a lot of it has been due I think to our more stable close and pre season coupled with (with the exception of Man City) a lack of transfer activity amongst the big boys. Also we have not lost any key players and the platform for success looks a lot more secure that in previous seasons.

So this is my prediction for the Top 7:

1 Man Utd
2 Chelsea
3 Tottenham
4 Everton
5 Arsenal
6 Man City
7 Liverpool

Despite Man City's spending spree, I just can't see them breaking into the top 4 this season. Too many comings and goings within their playing staff coupled with an overrated manager should keep them away from the promised land.

But I do think we have a chance to break into the Top 4 this year. I am not sure we can overhaul the top two who I think will still be the two teams to beat this season but, after that, I think we have a decent chance of 4th for sure and maybe even 3rd if Tottenham?s Euro campaign adds stresses and strains to their league challenge.
Alun Jones     Posted 10/08/2010 at 18:37:40   Comments (76)

Yak offer

I've just come in to the delight of the breaking news on Sky Sports. West Ham have bid for the Yak!

This is the second, and obviously a more improved offer, for what surely is a surplus to requirements striker. Now I know it is the obvious question I pose, but will we accept this time around ?

The much needed funds generated from his sale, would then be available to DM. In my opinion it's a question that needs no answer. With the strikers we now have on board, we could then utilise these funds to make the donavan deal a reality, and get pienaar to sign on the dotted line with the remaining funds going towards his inflated wages.

I know this is a debate that has been posted previously, but surely now is the time to act and get rid of a striker who in the eye's of most is no longer needed or wanted.

Everton, please make a swift and positive decision on this offer and don't delay with your response. We could then be starting our season with donavan on board and pienaar tied up for a few more years, and all in the knowledge that the yak has moved on with his best years behind him. I know who will be the winner in this deal and it ain't West Ham.
Craig  Bellew     Posted 10/08/2010 at 18:25:36   Comments (143)

The last word on Steven Pienaar ? again!

Very interesting quote from Pienaar's agent:

Steven Pienaar?s business manager has questioned Everton?s intentions surrounding his client, and cited the move to secure Mikel Arteta?s services as grounds for concern that Pienaar may not stay at Goodison Park.

?It is great news for the club that they have secured Arteta for the next five years, and it shows that they are able to move quickly when they want to, but in the case of Pienaar it is surprising that he is the player with the least amount of time remaining on his contract, yet the last to be tied up with a new deal.

?You have to ask yourself, ?Does this mean Everton actually want to sell him?? But there is nothing we can do about it. Obviously if he does not sign a new deal before the end of the transfer window on August 31 then the chances of him doing so are greatly reduced because he will be in the last year of his current deal and able to start negotiating with other clubs in January. He would be a very attractive proposition for them on a free at the end of the season.

?But the player has never said that he wants to leave and he is not the kind of person who goes knocking on the manager?s door halfway through a contract demanding more money and revised terms. That is why it is frustrating that it is taking so long to sort it out now.?
I was under the impression that EFC had offered him a contract worth £60,000 a week which HE is yet to sign but the agent is suggesting this is not the case. So we have another Mexican stand-off and could lose the player for nothing at the end of the season.

Brinkmanship is all well and good but IMO this situation needs resolving quickly. I get the impression that Pienaar wants to stay but if he is not accepting what the club are offering then we need to move him on and get a replacement in.

It would be a shame because I like the energy and creativity he brings but it would be folly to lose him on a free and IMO it would be disruptive for him to be talking to other clubs in January.

Get it sorted Davy.
Jay Harris     Posted 10/08/2010 at 13:09:54   Comments (57)

The 25-Player Rule

Excuse my ignorance here, but someone maybe able to shed some light on this issue.

Firstly, when does this 25 player squad list have to be submitted by? Is it Saturday?

Also, how does it work for us, let's say:- We announce a 23-man squad, and leave space available for future signings (hopeful I know).

ie, can we change when/if we sign sell someone. Is the deadline running in line with the Transfer window?

Also, we've been here a million times before, with the 'no money' then the 'maybe 1 or 2', surely we will be signing someone, hopefully Landon...
Steve Foster     Posted 09/08/2010 at 21:56:18   Comments (16)

Managerial merry-go-rounds

With Martin O?Neill?s departure, is it just me or did anyone else breathe a huge sigh of relief that in a parallel universe, this could have been Moyes after selling or about to sell one of his star players. Milner, granted, wanted to go... but did they try hard enough in the same way as Bill and Davey did with Mikel? Sometimes an initial pound note gain is outweighed by the destabilisation of the team spirit.

A club in tatters that promised so much ? rewind 12 months and who does it remind you of??? Moyes nearly went ...and again, Bill?s hard work behind the scenes picked him up, then got his contract signed, leaving Hull (away) as our rock -ottom moment. We survived, came back stronger... and are now in a real position of strength to push on.

So us Bluenoses utter "There but for the grace of..." etc etc. With relief, I can now chuckle at the next item on Sky, the potential LFC buyer, a Syrian ex-footballer, who is described as by no means a billionaire but quite wealthy ? or in other words, he?s not the messiah just a very naughty boy. Please let the deal be a financially corrupt Middle East disaster that is secretly funding an invasion of Israel to claim back Palestine. No wonder Yossi got sold...


David Price     Posted 09/08/2010 at 17:54:21   Comments (96)

Ben Arfa

As I'm sure most have you have read, French international Ben Arfa is in talks with Newcastle over a potential Loan move.

This is a player that has been linked with us for a while now and for good reason. He ran rings around us about 2 years ago in a pre-season friendly. He is just the kind of raw talent I believe Moyes could get the best out of.

A skillful winger with an eye for goal available on loan. What's the hold up. It's not too late to nick him from under Newcastle's nose!


Conor Ryan     Posted 09/08/2010 at 17:31:45   Comments (12)

Tony Backs The Blues

For those of you who haven?t seen Tony Cascarino?s Premier League Guide in The Times today here?s what he?s written about us for 2010-11 season?..

?Everton

I expect great things. They were as good as anyone in the second half of the campaign in 2009-10 once their injury glut had cleared. If all the key players are fit, I think they will spring a shock and qualify for the Champions League.

Predicted Finish ? 4th?

I?m not his biggest fan but good effort, Tony ? nice to see a pundit put their cock on the block and back the Blues.

COYB!


Mike Green     Posted 09/08/2010 at 15:24:17   Comments (35)

Amortisation

I wonder if one of our more learned members could help me out with something that has bugged me for a while.

Amortisation is the figure removed from our income every year to compensate for the reduction in the value of every player (at least those we paid a fee for) as they progress through their contracts ? you can see it quoted every financial year in the accounts (e.g. 2009 figures http://www.evertonfc.com/assets/_files/documents/feb_10/efc__1265113120_Everton_Annual_Report_and_Acco.pdf). It is usually around £10-12 million.

This money is deducted from the bottom line (not just assets) but isn't actually spent ? it is an accounting 'artefact' in a way which I presume is there because it is an allowed deduction before tax is payable? There then follows a statement every year that we made a loss on the bottom line even though this money is sitting there unspent and would comfortably push us into 'profit' every year.

To my mind, this money is available to be spent every year ? perhaps on renewing contracts or possibly 'concealed' capital we can make use of any way we like? Or am I completely wrong? Have we in fact been in profit for many years giving lie to the often quoted 'loss making' label?
Graham Atherton     Posted 09/08/2010 at 12:43:21   Comments (15)

Osman to Palermo

I've just read on various sites that Palermo are interested in signing our little Leon. Of course with all the media speculation over the summer, this could be no nearer to the truth than the one about Arteta going to Barcelona... but, if there is any truth to it and a good offer comes in, I would snap their hands off.

I've always thought that on his day he is a skillful and tricky player when used in the middle of the park but in all honesty I see him as a bench player coming on later in games, especially when you look at the type of players we have to fill midfield.

I like and respect any player who loves our club and gives all for the cause and Osman falls into that category for me but in terms of ability; from a purely business point of view, I would sell him. When looking at the squad we have, I (like most of us) have my own opinion on who are our better players and who are the weak links. To make the squad stronger, you improve on the quality of players and get rid of the lesser so.

I know it's good to have a mix of not just skilled players but players who can mix it up and put in a tough tackle, players that can defend, head a ball and so on... but, if Moyes is to continue buying young players with talent and potential and is going to get rid of lesser players and replace them with better ones, then these are the players I would move on:

Osman, Hibbert, Neville, Distin, Yobo, Anichebe and Vaughan.
Richard  Reeves     Posted 09/08/2010 at 11:58:35   Comments (34)

Healing Hands

I may have missed this during the Summer, but who has replaced Mick 'Baz' Rathbone as physio?

Whoever it is seems to be doing a good job thus far as we don't seem to be suffering the injuries this time around (touches wood as he types that!) and I wonder if anybody can explain Mr Rathbone's rather sudden departure?
Karl Masters     Posted 08/08/2010 at 23:29:55   Comments (10)

Best interests, my arse

There's been a lot of debate lately about Chairman Bill's role at the club, and the one phrase used a lot by his supporter's seem to be "he has the club's best interests at heart". This winds me up something rotten!

I'm not going to dredge up all his failings and cock-ups because everyone makes mistakes and I haven't got all day, but I would like to ask his supporters to answer a few questions for me.

1) If he has the best interests of EFC at heart, why aren't we playing in the King's Dock Arena?

2) If he has the club's best interests at heart, why did he try to take us to Kirkby ? based on the lie that Goodison Park could not be redeveloped... something that is now happening?

3) And last, but by no means least, why, if he's "just a fan", is he asking for close to £200 million for the club and having his mate Phil Green handle the sale?

Answers on a postcard...
Stephen Kenny     Posted 08/08/2010 at 20:03:50   Comments (41)

Dan Gosling: Not quite the last word

Here is my take on the Gosling affair: for a moment, put yourself in the man's boots.

He is a talented player just coming into the years when he may stake a claim for a position in the Everton team, possibly not yet as Everton has such players on their books as Arteta, Pienaar and Fellaini... but he should at 20 start breaking through and get some first team action ? after all, he has scored two impeccable goals, one in particular that will be remembered by Evertonians for a long time.

However, the competition for places at Everton is fierce, the midfield is crowded with such names as Neville, Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov and Osman... to add to this, Jagielka and Hietinga are possible and reliable stand-ins. Right back is covered by Neville, Hibbert and Coleman. Accordingly, your agent enlightens you to your future prospects and suggests that you think of moving to advance your career; what do you do?

Well, if it was me, I would listen to the agent and work out that I had as much chance in this team as Abu Hamza has of winning a wanking competition.

A club like Newcastle, back in the EPL, are looking for new talent, they pay well and have a small squad of average players. This situation may give you an open opportunity to advance your career.

I feel, after reading such derogatory comments on TW about Gosling, it would be worth thinking about the man's situation. Evertonians should take this as a compliment that we have lost a player because he simply cannot get into a quality squad rather than refer to him as a money grubber without loyalty.
Peter Pryor     Posted 08/08/2010 at 07:32:11   Comments (40)

The England squad...

...from our BBC Correspondent

I've just browsed the BBC Sport pages, and happened upon an article by BBC Correspondent Dan Roan. For anyone who's interested the full article is here.

For those that can't be bothered reading it all, the article includes the following statements...

"Michael Dawson and James Milner were arguably the only two players whose reputations were enhanced in South Africa"

Enhanced? Is this the same James Milner who played (and kicked out) like a headless chicken in the first group match? That wasn't commitment or quality, that was absolute rubbish. If a footballer earning in excess of £20k a week can't remember to keep his head and play FOR the team and not be a liability then he should suffer the same fate as those who have been deemed unworthy. Reputation enhanced? Not from where I'm at!

And then things get a whole lot worse...

"Next, in future squads, must come the likes of Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling, Cattermole, Phil Jones, and Ryan Shawcross."

Jack's qualities are there for all to see, but Gosling? WTF?

Gosling as a *MUST* for the near future... The only thing he's ever done is score a goal while the adverts were on ITV. (I'm glad he did!) But hasn't he just shown a complete disregard for his (ex-)club, and his previous (ex-)club?

He demanded to be played in the centre of midfield for Everton, meaning that David Moyes must drop either Mikel Arteta or Fellaini? Who in their right mind would even contemplate such a move? Ultimately he turned his back on an agreed contract and went on a free, removing the possibility of a much-earned fee for both Everton and Plymouth.

To be an England footballer, you need to have pride, commitment and loyalty. Neither of the recommendations cited here have these qualities at all. Milner has quality, but shows impetuous, arrogant, and ill-disciplined attitude towards the job in hand. Gosling, well there's another story, but what he has ever done to deserve an England call-up I really don't see at all.

What really irks me is that we in the UK have to pay a television licence fee every year and contribute to this prat's salary!


Lloyd Sloan     Posted 08/08/2010 at 03:29:07   Comments (22)

Sligo friendly

As I am planning to travel to Sligo for this game, does anyone know what sort of squad Everton are sending? After playing in Germany on Saturday, surely it won't be the senior squad.
Jamie Carroll     Posted 07/08/2010 at 22:09:01   Comments (23)

Too pretty?

I don't want to overreact to today's poor performance. I wasn't carried away when we beat poor sides and I wasn't too disappointed when we lost to a decent side today. It's next week that counts.

I have some concerns, though. It seems to me that it is much, much more difficult to get out of a Moyes team than to get into it. Despite the relative strength of our squad, I fear that next week we will start with DM's old favourites.

Also, I'm concerned at our coach's post match comments. We were "too pretty" and tried "to play too much" ? This, apparently, is something that is going to be worked on. Heaven forbid that an Everton side should play too much. Get that knocked out of them damn quick, Davey. Nothing is going to change, so I'm expecting the usual negative stuff and enjoying anything else as a bonus.
Andy Crooks     Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:59:25   Comments (18)

Arteta (and Cahill)

I was just preparing some of my betting strategies for the forthcoming season when I came across a video clip offering advice on Everton's forthcoming season from a betting point of view (on the Official Site). I find it quite amazing to learn that over the last 3 years Everton have lost less than 4% of matches and won over 60% of matches with Arteta and Cahill in the same side.

Okay, Okay, before I get shot down on here, I realise Arteta missed about a season in total and I reckon Cahill missed about a third a couple of years ago. But those are still very strong statistics if both can keep fit. Obviously Mikel is our best player and crowd favourite but it just proves how important Cahill has been and will be.

Lots on here are already suggesting Cahill no longer belongs in our strongest starting 11, but strong statistics suggest otherwise.
John Crook     Posted 07/08/2010 at 20:53:53   Comments (13)

Follow the leader

I?ve just read an article regarding our best 11 this season, as well as two others regarding Cahill and Heitinga, two of the most passionate and battling members of the squad perhaps, and I just got wondering...

The main gist of articles concerning Johnny have always been about doubts over his best position, too small to partner Jagielka at centre back, too few slots to fill in at defensive midfield, it?s either Fellaini or Heitinga in the Moyes 4-4-1-1 (or however you want to break it down). And personally I prefer Fellaini at DM due to his height, but can you afford to drop Heitinga?

No, you can?t... so let?s jump to Cahill, his pre-season form has been good, a hat-trick against the canaries and plenty of opportunities for more in other games. But cast your mind back to last season, a lot of people were questioning Cahill?s form and even his starting place, but let?s face it he?s the best supporting attacker we?ve got to a lone striker, isn?t he?

Now I just watched the Leeds v Derby match and both teams lined up in the now fashionable 4-2-3-1 formation that was the only thing more constant than those vuvuzela?s at this year?s World Cup. I know that changing formation in what is our most important season in years (in my opinion, our make or break season) would be suicide but going off some people?s opinions it seems like a decent solution, with Cahill as our Duncan Ferguson carbon copy super-sub (circa our top 4 finish a few years ago), Johnny and Felli dominating the midfield to give Arteta, Pienaar and (Osman/Rodwell/Bilyaletdinov/or anyone from Gueye to Donovan) a licence to create chances and retain the ball.

(Personally though I don?t see a problem with Johnny and Jags at the back, and quite frankly would love to see Sylvain 'Dozy' Distin as far away from the pitch as possible.)


Tom Curtis     Posted 07/08/2010 at 19:23:12   Comments (17)

Mikel Signs for 5 years

At last! The news that all Evertonians have been waiting for. Our influential midfield genius has pledged his future to EFC. So happy to hear that.

He says some very nice things about the club on the OS and praise comes from Moyes towards our much-maligned chairman. All we need now is Pienaar to follow suit...

On this issue, have I got it right in that, if Pienaar doesn't sign before the end of August, we effectively lose the £12-15M or so that's being bandied around as he can leave at the end of the year on a free?

If this is correct and he won't sign, then surely he has to be sold in the next few two weeks.
Tony McDonald     Posted 07/08/2010 at 15:38:23   Comments (72)

Vfl Wolfsburg Vs. Everton

Should be a good test for the blues this today, this game more than the others will show if were ready or not and im looking, well wanting to see if we can sustain our early pre-season form and carry on playing well and keeping our 100% win record and take it into the Premier League next week.

Oh and another thing, any decent links to the game today at all, cheers!.
Aidy Dews     Posted 07/08/2010 at 15:27:08   Comments (58)

15 into 11 wont go !

15 into 11 wont go, that?s the problem facing Moyes this week and what a problem, great to have but I suspect difficult to manage.

The 15 players at this stage who I suspect we all feel are the front runners for a starting place ? Howard, Coleman, Neville, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Bilyaletdinov, Arteta, Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Rodwell, Saha and Beckford.

Let's start with the shoo-in?s: Howard, Jags, Distin, Baines, Arteta, Pinnear, and Cahill and lets assume Moyes will play his favoured 4:1:3:1:1.

So who plays right back ? Coleman or Captain Neville?
So who plays the defensive midfielder ? Fellaini or Heitinga or Neville?
So who plays wide right ? Bily or er... Bily? So Bily?s in?
So who plays the lone striker ? Saha or Beckford?

I suspect that Moyes won't bite the bullet and play Coleman (just yet), he won't play Jags and Heitinga together at the back (too small a pairing) and won't play Beckford just yet.

So I suspect, injuries permitting, Moyes will play the following team at Blackburn ?

Howard
Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines
Heitinga (because Fellaini just returning after 6 months)
Bily, Arteta, Pinnear
Cahill
Saha

Subs: Mucha, Coleman, Rodwell, Fellaini, Beckford , Gueye, and Osman

The real fans' dilemma I believe is that Moyes has given Coleman and Beckford plenty of match time to demonstrate to him they can perform (and they can) but I really can't see him leaving Neville out and he?ll go to Saha as the real class act when he?s on form.

Whatever way you look at it , it really finally looks like a team/squad to challenge the top places. We still have Yak, Anichebe, Vaughan, chomping at the bit in the background as well.
Mike Oates     Posted 06/08/2010 at 22:26:10   Comments (8)

Savage

Apparently Robbie Savage cites not joining Everton as one of his biggest regrets. Well as far as I'm concerned he's the only one who regrets it. Nasty and overrated are my lasting impressions.
Steve Guy     Posted 06/08/2010 at 11:22:47   Comments (37)

Same old moans

I know we've all been over this a thousand times but it riles me so much. I'm reading in the paper today that it appears Stoke, yes fucking Stoke!! are looking to have about £23 million to spend on players. For a club of Everton's standing it's disgusting that we can't even compete financially with that.

We have been in the Premier League since its launch, each season receiving huge amounts of television money from Sky, never really spending large transfer fees unless covered by players going out.

Until recently we have only just started to pay big wages to our top players,we haven't spent any money on building a new stadium, we have had a few seasons of european football,we have regular 35 thousand attendances so could anybody help me as to where does our money go and how can some of these clubs come out of the championship and below and be able to out spend us. Where has it all gone?
Anthony Hughes     Posted 06/08/2010 at 11:03:00   Comments (64)

Stop complaining... for now, anyway

When logging on to Everton TV for the match yesterday, I was astounded and really pissed off having to endure Man Utd live, eventually getting the Everton vs Everton match half way through the first half.

I know from reading TW that we are constantly dissatisfied with the club's reaction to our complaints. In this case, however, credit where it is due, and I would like to thank them for the prompt and generous service reply....

Dear Gerry,

On Wednesday 4th August we had an issue with our live streaming system which meant that a small number of subscription users experienced an issue during the first half of the Everton versus Everton Chile game. We sincerely apologize for this.

Due to an incorrect routing configuration, some of our systems picked up approximately 20 minutes of the transmission of another feed and not the advertised Everton feed. While this was rectified as soon as it became obvious it still meant that you did not get the full advertised game which you had subscribed for.

By way of compensation we are offering you either a £5.00 refund or an additional month to your subscription and the guarantee that all is being done to ensure that this does not happen again.

Regards,
Everton Tv Support

Gerry Quinn     Posted 05/08/2010 at 17:51:27   Comments (9)

Short-sighted retail expansion?

I remember someone on this site saying that the reconstruction of the Park End stand was short sighted as it was an under-development of the only free space around Goodison Park.

Now I've lived in Oz for near 30 years and not been to Goodison for 17 years so perhaps someone can help me understand the proposed new development.

Am I right in saying that this proposed development will take up the best area for any initial stage of an expansion of Goodison.

Now some will say that expanding Goodison will never happen (and this proposal seems to confirm that), but just in case, shouldn't any development on this land incorporate some kind of expansion and moving back of the Park End stand?

As I said, I'm a long way away, and the comments on the OS seem mostly positive, so am I wong?
Keith Edmunds     Posted 05/08/2010 at 10:10:51   Comments (34)

Transfer merry go-round

With more clubs needing to sell before they can buy thanks to financial restrictions and this new 25-player rule (mainly City), plus some long-running pursuits of marquee players (particularly Torres and Fabregas), the transfer season feels a bit like a Heath Robinson machine this year, just waiting for one switch to be clicked before a whole host of interconnected moves are made.

Everton are no exception to this and have several of their own cogs in the infernal machine, notably Pienaar and most recently Arteta either of whom seem to be slotting into the plans of Inter, Spurs, Arsenal and latterly Barcelona. Suffice to say we all hope that neither cog is moved, as they're both pretty integral to our own midfield machine.

Naturally should one or the other move on they would free up income for investments of our own, specifically a right winger, left back cover and potentially an experienced striker.

A more palatable machination however is developing, which looks like this:

Yakubu (West Ham) and Vaughan (Blackburn/Bolton) out for c.£11M combined

Jelavic in for c.£3M
Donovan in for c.£8-10M

Granted there's still a shortfall of £2-3M, but I think even our stretched finances could probably cover that in light of Landon's potential commercial value.

Assuming there's nothing more in the kitty, left-back cover for Baines would have to be done via a loan deal OR by shipping out Yobo. Although as we've not been linked with any left-backs and there's been no word of interest in Joey, this is far more hypothetical.

Either way it's going to be a fascinating few weeks. Hopefully with a happy ending for the blues!
Chris James     Posted 05/08/2010 at 09:00:46   Comments (17)

Right back

The right-back position has often been criticised over the last few years as our weak link. However, I believe this is now one of our strongest positions with Neville and Hibbert seeming to up their game last season (both were even touted as possible England call-ups during last season) and the emergence of Coleman.

Choosing between these three is going to be very difficult as they all look to be at the same level, but for very different reasons.

Phil Neville. Club captain and extremely experienced, we realised how much we missed him when he was injured for a few months last year. Everton are certainly a better side with his leadership qualities in the side. A better right-back than midfielder and not in the same league as Fellaini and Rodwell to be in midfield. Therefore, as we need him in the team, do you play him at right-back?

Seamus Coleman. The highly-promising young Irishman. Seen him referred to as the 'white Cafu'. Blossomed after his loan spell at Blackpool and has looked one of our best players in pre-season after getting plenty of chances. Probably the best footballer of the three and looks great going forward. Still a few questions defensively but looks great for the future if not the present.

Tony Hibbert. Mr Everton and Mr Reliable, turning into a cult figure at the club. If Neville is too old and Coleman too young, Hibbert is the perfect in between. One of the best tacklers at the club and can't really fault him, just unspectacular. Seems to have cut out silly mistakes with gaining experience and gives 100% everytime.

It's a tough call but personally I would go for Coleman to start the season. He's looked very good in pre-season and youth deserves a chance. I certainly think he's good enough at attacking at present to trouble most teams in the Premiership. However, perhaps when we play against an out and out left winger or a top team like Man Utd or Chelsea, I would choose Hibbert instead. The only problem then is how to get Neville into the team?
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 05/08/2010 at 08:59:18   Comments (11)

Come on, Bill!

I had to laugh/cringe at Bill's comments on the OS regarding "closure" to the Gosling incident.

He said: "It was a nine month joke of an episode between Gosling's agent and this football club. If you can't rely on people's word and a handshake in this world then we live in a world I don't want to be in."

He added: "The agent said he would never have signed the contract (anyway) but the compensation would have been nothing like the figures quoted in the papers. It was a sad and sorry situation. This Club has been here for well over 100 years and it has never happened before and it will never happen again.

"Why did David Moyes and I go to a hideous tribunal and hear hideous stuff we did not want to hear about how someone did not want to play for this football club? I apologise to anybody who thinks somebody at Everton let them down but I don't think they did."

I think a slight admission that someone at EFC cocked up "just a little bit" might put an end to this stupid saga but all this does is make us look idiots. I don't know of any business where a simple word and handshake says DEAL DONE.

Its clear to me that whenever Gosling returns he will get torn apart. I agree he and his agent have been poor in this situation but its not ALL down to him.

Honestly Bill get real, everyone involved in this mess has to take some responsibility, at least have the good grace to say "EFC got somethings wrong"

His "Seeking closure" interview just stokes the fire further.
John Audsley     Posted 05/08/2010 at 07:26:27   Comments (17)

Beckford; this season's Rabbit?

I've just seen the goals from our game against the other Everton (weird innit) and this Beckford sure looks like he can finish. That was a top-class header and a particularly difficult skill to effect (ahem) effectively. Can he do it against better defenders at Premier League level? Time will tell. But I don't believe you score goals like that unless you're a natural goalscorer.

Peach of a ball in too by Gueye. Looks like one of them is odds on to be this season's Moyesie Rabbit... :)

Who will it be?
David Gallant     Posted 05/08/2010 at 01:17:55   Comments (26)

One man and his Everton dream

Just a short Mail Bag item to express my warm and genuine appreciation to one man and his Everton dream?.

No, not the founding father of the club.
No, not Dr David France.
No, not David Moyes.

My thanks go to the ?average teenager? as one newspaper article described him ? that teenager being John Shearon.
All of us by now must have read the fabulous story of how he developed an interest in the Everton from Chile whilst in University in Mexico.

It?s a brilliant journey, with, as we can see form todays match ? a brilliant ending.
Anyone who supports ?Everton? will win today ? be they Chilean, Uraguayan, Argentinian or just plain old English.

John; many, many, thanks from one Evertonian living in Texas who knows you have achieved your original dream.
Gerry Quinn     Posted 04/08/2010 at 18:58:51   Comments (7)

How Good Is Rodwell?

With the season about to start, I ask this question; how good is Rodwell? In my 8 months on TW, that Rodwell is, or is about to be, a stud in the EPL is the only thing I can think of that all TWers seem to agree on.

Yet in the discussion for this season, I?ve yet to see any, ?Hey, and don?t forget Rodwell this year. He?ll make a big difference? or ?Boy, the league?s about to find something out with this kid? type statements. If he?s that good (and I?m not questioning he?s talented), why isn?t he talked about more here as an impact player for 2010-2011.

So how good is Rodwell?
James Flynn     Posted 04/08/2010 at 13:27:27   Comments (30)

80 beats 45

I heard from my kid that the team from across the park managed to take a grand total of 45 supporters to their away leg in the Europa League last week.

Today The Guardian reports that Everton Vina del Mar are bringing 80 all the way from Chile for a friendly.

We are a special breed, whether the Merseyside based ones or the Vina del Mar based ones. For the 80 who have travelled, remember Evertonians are born not manufactured, we do not choose; we are chosen, those who understand need no explanation, those who don't; don't matter.

Sorry guys but I will be somewhere between Toronto and Amsterdam when the match is on. My two kids will be there. Enjoy. It is a special feeling to be part of this family. We know what class really means.
Phil Roberts     Posted 04/08/2010 at 03:32:10   Comments (15)

Gary Lineker... love him or hate him?

I'm a regular on another forum and have an Avatar of Gary Lineker on my profile. A member on that forum (who may well be on here) can't stand him and, to qoute him, he's: "probably one of the most unpopular and self-centred ex-Everton players I can think of. Mr 'lost me lucky boots' erased EFC from his cv a long time ago ..."

He also feels tha Lineker "played for himself and himself only. Unbalanced the team and certainly didn't fit in socially. And cost us the league title at Oxford with his shithouse excuses. Won the league again as soon as we unloaded him."

Do others feel same? I personally think he did well for us, 40 goals is a hell of a return for how much we paid, though going to Barcelona after a season put a dampener on things.
Trevor Thompson     Posted 03/08/2010 at 22:34:41   Comments (39)

Programme Subscription U-Turn

I have been as sceptical and critical as anyone of Everton's off-the-pitch antics over the years. To my mind, if they can mess it up, they will always find a way, but last week something rather surprising happened!

I have had the Matchday Magazine subscription since 1982, and I suppose that living ' down sarf ' it has always been a useful source of information for me, even in this internet age. I know it sounds a bit sad, but I have hung on to all of them and have all the Home programmes going back to 1974 when I began supporting the Toffees.

You may not know, but 12 months ago Everton took the publishing and supply deal away from Merseyside based Sports Media (part of Trinity Mirror, I think) and gave it to a company called CRE8 who are based in Gloucestershire and also do the same job for Spurs, West Ham and Celtic. The price fell slightly from £72 for 24 issues ( really annoying when we had 25 or 26 home games in a season as you had to re-subscribe during the season ) to £70 for a whole season regardless of the number of games. This was a good deal, although the programmes started turning up 4 days after the match rather than on match day as with the previous supplier.

Then, 2 weeks ago, I got the renewal notice sent by CRE8 on a wonky, photocopied sheet - up from £70 to £95!!! I e-mailed the Club and Robert Elstone expressing my disgust at a 35% price hike and he replied saying he knew nothing about it, but would investigate. Others at the Club, including Gary Wliton and Dave Biggar also took the trouble to e-mail me to say that they were meeting with CRE8 to find out why they had hiked the cost right up. I must admit it all went quiet for a while and I began to suspect that I was being fobbed off, but last Friday I got an e-mail telling me that they had met with CRE8 and the price was now coming back down to £72 from the frankly outrageous £95. Anybody who has paid £95 will be getting a £23 refund.

Whilst I am still concerned that a Third party supplier can almost get away with ripping Evertonians off seemingly unknown to anybody at Everton, praise where it's due. They sorted it out, and quickly too.

Maybe the times really are-a-changin'. Remember the 24 year rule! Really looking forward to this season.
Karl Masters     Posted 03/08/2010 at 21:36:51   Comments (4)

Arteta: Time to shuffle the deck?

OK, so its looks like the worst may be about to happen as Barca have come a calling for Arteta. We all know he wants to go back to Spain, and this would be a dream move for the lad.

I'm surprised it's Barca as they are well stocked in midfield (and skint!) but as soon as the move for Fabregas fell flat, they have identified a Spanish alternative out of the top drawer, though he may well see out his career warming their bench. If it's his dream move than we can't really stand in his way. Sad for us but that's life!

So what can we get for him? Anything less than £15m is an insullt, but we are unlikely to get over £20m. We will struggle to be able to attract a ready made replacement of that kind of class, but it gives us the funds to stock up in other areas of the team. Landon Donovan for one, cover at centre back and back up on the left of defence are key.

What Arteta brings to the team is irreplacable so we may have to play a different way, assuming Fellaini picks up where he left off last term, Pieenar was excellent in the centre alongside him but will be missed too much on the left, shame! Osman is better through the middle and would get games for sure, but lacks presence and grit.

If we are to remain a good footballing side we are going to have to rely on Rodwell to step up and make attacking midfield his own (defensive midfield or defence was always going to be a criminal waste of his passing and eye for goal, in my opinion).

This could be his time, and room needed to be made for him to get into midfield and blossom as the player he has threatened to become for the last 18 months. Failing all that give Bily a run at it because he sure as hell can't play anywhere else on the park.
Ian Trickett     Posted 03/08/2010 at 20:08:49   Comments (27)

Fair Competition?

Just when we are getting our appetites whetted for the new season with the usual who?s coming and who's going and who's staying within our usual budget of zero spend, up pops the headlines ?Liverpool considering 6 bids to buy the club? and they hope that any deal will be done before the transfer deadline to allow a transfer budget figure of £30m being banded about.

We all knew that to break into the old Top 4 would be difficult, but it has been made worse by Man City and Spurs joining them to become the Top 6 with us and Villa on the fringes.

The thing which gets me down is the realisation that if any of the Top 6 clubs get into money trouble, or if they fail to compete at the Top 4 table there will be some mighty benefactor(s) who will come running in to save them and plunge more monies in to shore them up. I don?t get any feeling that Everton will ever be in that position even if we ever manage to become a Top 4 club in regards to football stats. You could argue that no-one was interested in 2004 when we finished 4th.

And therein lies the problem, we will always be at an enormous disadvantage because for whatever reasons we will argue about ? Bill, no ground, 2nd team in the City, poor brand etc etc?. no-one wants us ? FACT.

Still we all live in the dream world and believe that Everton will this season show the rest how well a club can compete on a shoe-string budget, and how Moyes?s has developed the likes of Fellaini, Heitinga, Gueye, Arteta, Beckford, Coleman, Rodwell etc to become ? World Class? .

The irony will be that if this happens you can bet your last pound that all will be wanted by the Financial Top 6 for the following season with Moyes himself joining the list whilst Bill will be looking round to see how we can again move on with a zero budget.
Mike Oates     Posted 02/08/2010 at 20:56:31   Comments (65)

Chile tickets update

The club has opened another section of the ground for the Everton v Everton game on Wednesday night due to the rapidly increasing demand for tickets.

You can now buy tickets - £10 and £3 - for the Upper Gwladys Street.

Everton from Chile arrived in Liverpool on Monday after changing flights at Madrid where they went for a training session at the Real Madrid training ground.

Our visitors have been given special dispensation by the Chilean F.A. to postpone two games in order to come and play this game, which is being shown live on Chilean TV. When they left their stadium in Vina del Mar, they were waved off by 2,000 supporters.

Tickets for the game are £10 for adults; £3 for juniors and OAPs. They can be bought through the club website, by phone, or at the club box office.

www.theruleteros.com
Mike Owen     Posted 02/08/2010 at 18:25:07   Comments (14)

Rescue Landon Donovan

I am just back from the Galaxy game this evening here in LA. They lost 3-2. Donovan scored two pens. The game itself was a catalogue of errors punctuated by the occasional burst of competence. It was like watching two second division sides. Donovan was the best man on the pitch, but he seemed to be dragged down to the level of those around him.

I don?t think that Donovan will be sticking around here for too long. He has played in the Premier league, he was a star at the World Cup and he is at the height of his career. If we don?t sign him soon, then I think he will sign for somebody else before the end of August.

I would hate to see him lining up against us in September.
Gerry Morrison     Posted 02/08/2010 at 03:49:31   Comments (62)

ThaiBev - True Blues?

It's been widely reported that Thai Bev (no, not the cute girl in the GoGo bar that's actually a bloke) are looking to extend their 8 year association with Everton. The current 3 year deal was slated as being £8m, which putting that in context basically works out as covering the salary of one of our top earners.

In the apparent absence of an alternative, and given it's not like the club needs an excuse to change the strip, it seems logical to extend. Some interesting snippets about what else Thai Bev has done with Everton:

  • Created the Chang-Everton school for orphans in Phuket. This generated a lot of positive PR in Asia about the club. There was a visit of senior players and management in 2005 during the ill-advised pre-season sweat fest in Bangkok.
  • Chang are on a major brand push around Asia. A couple of years back they plastered up a load of buses in Singapore in a joint Everton-Chang branded promotion. In a country that is dominated by the Sky Dahlings, this was kind of refreshing.
  • They hate Liverpool. I got told by someone in "the biz" that Chang and Carlsberg had a co-marketing deal to promote each others brands alongside their own in the respective territories in Europe and Asia (ever notice how the font of the Chang logo is remarkably similar to that of Carlsberg?). Thai Bev upheld their part of the bargain, and no doubt having been influenced by the Dark Side, Carlsberg did sweet FA in Europe. Cultural note: if you piss off a Thai, they'll smile sweetly at you and get their revenge. Unfaithfulness to a Thai girl can lead to a "Bobbit" job, but in this case Thai Bev decided that they would go and sponsor Liverpool's nearest rival. It may not be the best beer, but it sure is better than Carlsberg.
  • They sponsored our night out for us Singapore Blues for the FA Cup Final.
Overall, I think we've actually gotten more than just money out of the deal. Certainly more than I can ever remember from previous sponsors. Those of us who care about our "brand" overseas would hopefully agree.

This is another reason why I hope Everton sign Donovan. I'm sure we'd recoup the fee in brand and merch opportunities in the US comfortably. I know some on here aren't interested in the marketing / commercial side of the game, but it's become ever more important with the increase in TV revenues, and it's a case of having to step it up, or fall further behind.
Matt Traynor     Posted 01/08/2010 at 11:34:12   Comments (14)

Advice, please

I am taking my son to his first Toffees game on the 21st against Wolves. Now, I am asking for advice because I would like him to grab a few autographs if possible when the players get to the ground.

Does anyone know the best place and time to get out side the ground so he can see some of his (and mine) heroes? Many thanks for those that can help.
Craig Taylor     Posted 01/08/2010 at 10:34:10   Comments (7)

Yobo's upgrade

For years now Joseph Yobo has been considered by many Evertonians to be like 'Bambi on ice'. Well, after todays showing it looks like he's taken on a senior role as now playing like Bambi's mum, dead in the first scene!

He is a complete liability and we need to stop playing him in case possible future employers send scouts whose feedback would not be good! Time to get shut...
Rob Wilkinson     Posted 01/08/2010 at 08:45:22   Comments (9)

Castles in the air or reality bites

With silly money being paid for average players how much would we expect in total for our best players?

Would it be enough to start building a stadium of our own in the city?

Any success our current squad might bring would be short lived if our best are filched away by better resourced clubs.

Would it be better to defer immediate glory for the long term benefit of the club?
Dick Fearon     Posted 31/07/2010 at 21:33:12   Comments (7)

Bily

Another really well-taken goal from our Russian hitman today. Quite frankly if he can put in those chances a number of times through the season, especially in important games, I'll be a happy man.

I used to think Osman was our best player for finishing outside the box but Bily seems to be that man for the job now.

Never mind if he can get lazy in games and isn't the fastest, Everton have been cyring out for someone who can strike a ball as well as him for many years, and with his knack to be in the right area at the right time he should turn out to be a great player for us.

Let's get behind the lad and wish him good luck for the season, eh?
James Bernard     Posted 31/07/2010 at 17:42:23   Comments (17)

Norwich friendly

Is anybody able to get the "live stream" for this match? I know people were complaining about not getting the live feed for Preston, so I was wondering if folks are having the same problems?

If you're having problems connecting to the stream, you can contact support.evertontv@level3.com — TW


Chris Wilson     Posted 31/07/2010 at 15:34:39   Comments (25)

What Bill didn't say...

Having just read the thoughts of our chairman Bill Kenwright on the subject of his love for the city and his early childhood, I was astonished to come across this little gem

"Seven or eight times a year, I will get a delegation which will be interested in investing in Everton."

Is it just me, or is anyone else totally surprised by this? The subject of Bill's desire to bring investment in (or totally ignore investors for his own aims ? depending on your point of view) has provoked much TW comment over the years, but I cannot believe that any of us thought that there were delegates approaching Everton with investment in mind every other month!

Why doesn't Bill tell us what happens at these little chats? Doesn't need to give us figures, just tell us why they collapse. Is it money? Is it people looking for too much control for too little cash? Is it perhaps that they want to take the club into an area that Bill is not comfortable with? Why not simply give us a clue?

I was always amazed that investors seemed to be ignoring our club in favour of other clubs with far less potential (as were many TW readers judging by the mailbag), but now I find that by Bill's own admission some 15 or so separate investment groups have been in conversation with us over the last couple of years. What gives?
Tony McDonald     Posted 30/07/2010 at 18:43:47   Comments (122)

Jags injury!

I really hope this rumour is completely wrong, but I have heard stories of Jags breaking down with his knee injury.

There is only two weeks to go until the season starts and we can't afford to lose one of our best players and our terrible injury curse strikes again.

I'm not sure if Heitinga is even back in training yet, he surely won't be match fit in two weeks, neither Fellaini.

We need our biggest and best defenders for the first game against an Allardyce side and desperately want a winning start.
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 30/07/2010 at 17:48:01   Comments (12)

Phil Neville Cutting Up The Dancefloor!

I got a first hand perspective of some of our players the other week and I've been meaning to share it with my fellow blues.

I was stuck in work a few Saturdays back. My work buddy used to be in Morecambe FC's academy and at the time became quite pally with Terry McFlynn, who now captains Sydney FC.

My mate was really chuffed when I told him his old pal had lined up against Everton earlier that day and sent Terry his congratulations in a text.

McFlynn, who seems a smashing bloke by all accounts, texted straight back to say he was currently cutting up the dancefloor with Phil Neville! Wow! I never had our skipper down as a budding John Travolta.

I badgered my mate to text McFlynn again and ask who impressed him from the Everton team. Again he texted back saying that Distin was the biggest fucker he's ever seen, absolutely massive and also unbelievably quick! He also stated that Arteta was an absolute legend and none of their boys could get anywhere near him.

Nothing there none of us didn't already know. I should have asked him about Phil Neville's dancing skills... haha!
David Nicholls     Posted 30/07/2010 at 15:21:12   Comments (3)

Vote Burnham!

Just thought you might be interested in Andy Burnham's appearance at a BBC Labour leadership debate

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10804438

We all know he's a blue, but I was a little surprised about how often he mentioned it, as an indication of him 'remaining a human' despite being a politician, and saying that David Moyes was one of the two or three people he most admires in the world!

He also said it was his personal priority to release the Hillsborough files if he was PM, and seemed close to choking when talking about it.

Let's hope he gets the job!
Andrew Humphrey     Posted 30/07/2010 at 11:06:17   Comments (17)

Shall we have a whip round?

I woke up feeling a little bit like Everton this morning. Pay day ? money in the bank, great. You?d think? By Monday morning, I'd have paid the bills, brought the weeks shopping and had a curry on Saturday night. This leaves me, all in all, skint.

Bill and Dave, I now realise how you feel. Money comes in one hand and straight back out the other. It seems you can work as hard as you want but the core foundations are just not in place to establish enough for a new pair of jeans that would improve my look / a new player who would improve the team?

This morning, news has broken regarding Landon Donovan?s future. He has recently been quoted saying that he would love a return to his beloved Blues. I for one would love to see him return to the club. I thought he brought a fantastic edge to our side that we have been lacking for years. Pace, direction, ability to best a man and a brilliant work rate meant he became an over-night success in the eyes of the Gwladys St faithful.

A considerable amount of shit has been published in the rags over the last few weeks regarding the future of our players. Most notably Jags to the Arse and Arteta and Pienaar to just about every team in Europe. Is one of these players dispensable if it meant having the funds to recruit the Yank from across the pond?

Firstly, in my eyes, Jags and Arteta are the only two members of our squad who I would label unsellable. I believe Fellaini will also be added to that list in the next season or two but as it stands, those two instrumental facets of our great club MUST stay. They are the spine of our team.

Jags has been instrumental and I truly believe he is not only a great defender, but a much needed voice of authority both on and off the pitch. The same goes for Mikel, who, in my humble opinion, would grace any side in world football (with the exception of Barcelona). He is our maestro; he keeps us ticking and can unlock doors. These two, for the money we would get for them, would be irreplaceable. We simply could not attract equal or better replacements. This leads me to my second point. We have an ex-player across the ocean waxing lyrical about ?his? Everton, and the great time he had with us. That commitment says it all! If only all our players had as much faith in what we are trying to build here. I am a true believer that with our current squad and a couple more additions we would, baring injuries, compete with the best of them. Give us Man City?s money and we?d walk the league! Imagine a midfield of Pienaar, Arteta, Rodwell/Cahill, Fellaini and Donovan? no ones in the Prem is better.

So what to do? If Stephen definitely wants to leave? let him and take the money from one hand and spend with the other? on Landon. Or maybe we should have a whip round. The papers quoted £10 million for the yank. 100,000 blues each give £100 - £10,000,000 ? there, we?ve done it? if only it was that easy.

Let's have a whip round...
Tom Shrimpling     Posted 30/07/2010 at 09:46:13   Comments (19)

Here we go Again!

Here we go again — hopefully not... but the similarities are just too obvious.

Cast your mind back a year ago — rumours of Lescott's transfer to City, then nothing further for a while... then a ? whatever it was ? £15M offer? Nothing said by Lescott; Moyes states no-one is leaving.

Rumours persist, out pop Baines and Neville to state that Lescott will/should stay and... Then City increase their offer and Lescott finally says he wants to go. After much in-fighting and name-calling, 3 weeks later he finally goes and we get £24M.

Now to the current situation: rumours of Arteta and Pienaar leaving or wanting to leave, but neither player actually say anything. Moyes states no-one is leaving. Rumours persist and hey, out pop Baines and Neville to say the lads will/should stay, the grass is greener here.

Are Baines and Neville the last throw of Everton?s dice to persuade the lads to stay?

Watch this space.
Mike Oates     Posted 29/07/2010 at 19:58:45   Comments (33)

Magaye Gueye

Many on this site have been crying out for Everton to buy a pacy midfield player... well, I think we have the answer to that problem in Magaye Gueye.

I've watched all the pre-season games on EvertonTV and every time he's played he's impressed me enormously. He's got skill, vision, pace and a good finish on him. He's maybe not a starter yet, but he'll be a great impact player for us this season, in my opinion.

I know it's only pre-season but he's excited me from what I've seen from him so far... yet another Moyesie bargain buy.


Ian Tod     Posted 29/07/2010 at 10:56:56   Comments (19)

Match day radios at Goodison Park!!

We are a comapny who have come up with an idea of selling radio headsets that provide live match commentary at Goodison Park.

The radios will provide commentary of the game, as well as both pre- and post-match analysis also. The radios would have a battery life of at least ten hours, with the opportunity to replace the battery when it runs out.

In order to go ahead with the idea we are required to do some market research to see if there is interest for the product. The questionnaire contains 10 questions and we would be delighted if you would spend 2 minutes of your time completing it for us.

Thank-you very much.


Chris Palmer     Posted 28/07/2010 at 12:17:55   Comments (46)

Kevin Prince Boateng

It appears that Boateng has mentioned in passing that there is interest from Everton and Liverpool in signing him. Is it possible he may be looked at as a possible replacement for Pienaar if he is leaving?
Tony Hughes     Posted 27/07/2010 at 07:55:31   Comments (24)

Raul

At this moment of time, I am looking at Evertons squad. It makes pretty damn fine reading. It's not quite an Oscar Wilde novel, but its getting there.

We all know we don't have any money. We're used to it so it doesn't bother us. But occasionally we should be allowed to dream, and upon reading the Football news, to see that one Raul was now a free agent, dream I did.

Raul is one of the players of my generation. Sky Sports and its weekly Spanish football (essentially FC Barcelona or Madrid games) was a weekly fix during my teenage years, and Raul was one of the highlights.

Not particularly quick, strong, big, or skillful without being slow, weak, small or flat footed. He is one of the modern football giants. Apart from Zidane, I have never witnessed a player be so great for so long.

We talk of the invaluable influence and importance of having one Phil Neville in the squad... Well look at Raul's Pedigree:

  • 228 League Goals, all time leading goalscorer of Real Madrid (322 in total).
  • 44 International goals.
  • 6 League Titles
  • 4 Spanish Cups
  • 3 Champions Leagues
This is the vital chapter of our squad that is missing. A player of his pedigree could only improve the squad.

Ok, he's 31/32. Ok, he's bound to be on a massive wage. Ok, he probably has an inflated ego. I know all this, but fuck, man... it's Raul!!! If you want a player who could potentially score 25+ goals in 1 season, he's the man. He might be interested in joining the Premier League.... Well, if we sign him, them we could win the bugger.

Also, if we signed Raul, could you really see Arteta wanting to leave?

We've sold Lukas and Ruddy; Got rid of Goslings wage... If we sell Yakubu then we may well be able to afford him.

If we are ever going to win the league, its going to be this season. A signing like this would make it possible.


Disclaimer: everything in this article is bollocks and should not be taken seriously.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 26/07/2010 at 18:08:09   Comments (27)

Homegrown Everton vs Foreign Everton

Being bored , I was idly speculating on what a British/Irish Everton team and a "foreign" Everton team from the current squad would look like, and I came up with the following:

British/Irish Everton XI:

Beckford, Vaughan, Osman, Rodwell, Neville, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Shane Duffy, Hibbert, Turner

"Foreign" Everton XI:

Saha, Cahill, Pienaar, Arteta, Fellaini, Anichebe, Bilyaletydinov (LB), Distin, Yobo, Heitinga, Howard

The "Foreign" XI has a better attack and mid-field, but the "Home-Grown" XI has the edge defensively IMO.

2-1 for the foreigners, I say. What do you think?
Ajay Gopal     Posted 25/07/2010 at 17:48:40   Comments (69)

Pienaar's return to training?

I've seen & heard zip regarding Pienaar's return to the fold followng the World Cup. Anyone know if he's actually back in town and in training yet? Seems to me he's had about a month off since Bafana Bafana exited.

I've found it difficult to make my mind up on Pienaar. He was excellent last season and on balance I think I'd rather have him inside our tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in. But the silence surrounding his position is becoming deafening.

If he's playing hardnose with the club then it's pointless keeping him and waving goodbye to a decent transfer fee. Thus, if he & his agent are being dicks then we must get shut and push boat out for Donovan.

But, regardless of anything, I'd like to see some info on just WTF is going on with him.
Alan Kirwin     Posted 25/07/2010 at 13:32:32   Comments (27)

Lescott in City Clearout!

Couldn't happen to a nicer greedier money-grabbing git. You should have stayed with the proper blues and become a legend, rather than dash for the cash.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1297434/Manchester-City-English-trio-door-Roberto-Mancini-weilds-axe.html


Andrew McGreavy     Posted 25/07/2010 at 12:29:05   Comments (63)

Who's Leaving?

Has anybody noticed the differance in the way most of us are feeling this close season? I for one am not waiting with baited breath for the big-money signing that will never come, I'm not scanning the rumour sites to see what player we are linked with and then have to look on YouTube to find out who they are. Even all the moaners on here seem to be a lot more contented with our current squad.

Well I for one would be quite happy to get to the end of August with the current squad intact, my worries aren't about who comes in but about who leaves. I don't really think that we will not lose any of the six or so players that have been talked about leaving. What i would like to know is, if any of them leave, who would you like to see them replaced with.

For example, Jags £15M... get Lescott for £10M from City (only joking but you get the point). This will save me time when all these names are talked about in the last week of the transfer window and give me something else to do than pray in front of the shrine to saint Mikel that he won't leave.
Peter Rogers     Posted 25/07/2010 at 11:56:43   Comments (11)

Friendly at Preston

This was live on Everton TV at 3:00. We're apparently playing 4-3-3, with Beckford, Saha and Vaughan up front.

Everton: Turner, Baines, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Bilyaletdinov, Neville, Arteta, Vaughan, Beckford, Saha. Subs: Gueye, Coleman, Rodwell, Silva, Mustafi, Forshaw, Wallace, Baxter.
Richard Porter     Posted 24/07/2010 at 14:40:56   Comments (22)

A Stateside View

There's a fellow on ESPN here named Bill Simmons (also known as the Sports Guy). He's a complete sports fanatic who can actually write what he thinks and feels about sports in a well-written, entertaining, intelligent way.

OK. He got hooked on soccer when he went on invitation to a USA-Mexico World Cup qualifying match in Mexico City. Landon Donovan et al and the atmosphere of national soccer hooked him and he remained hooked thru this World Cup.

Every now and again, he augments his super-popular columns/blogs/podcasts/twitters with what he calls "The MailBag". He posts his readers' questions and his response/comment on whatever is posted. What follows is his response to a question about LD:

Q: "The MLS is taking the stance that Donovan is not for sale. While I think it's great to have Donovan in the MLS, this is not beneficial for American soccer. Donovan is in his prime, unlike Thierry Henry (on the downside of his career). Donovan should be playing in the EPL against the world's best competition, not in the MLS (minor league soccer)." ? Art Morath, Akron, OH.

Sports Guy: "Couldn't agree more. I don't see the MLS ever being bigger than Triple-A baseball in America, which is fine; Triple-A baseball sells out stadiums, works as a feeder system for the majors and remains lucrative. The hook for soccer is the national team, and by proxy, the success of the best American players.

"And, as Art points out, our players can only get better by playing against the best competition. So, if we want to expose fledgling fans to the best possible soccer AND tap into the American/underdog/our-guys dynamic, the following scenario needs to happen:

"Donovan (the most famous American soccer player ever and still in his prime) needs to play overseas for a Premier League team (let's say Everton, given that it already has Tim Howard); Everton needs to sign two other blue-chip Americans (let's say Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley) and turn itself into America's Overseas Premier League Team.

"Then, ESPN needs to sign a deal to show every game live for this team ? and create a "Hard Knocks"-type show about a season in the life of this team."


James Flynn     Posted 23/07/2010 at 23:26:03   Comments (15)

Risk It All This Season

It seems that so many of us have a deep desire to win something right now. Well, this next season, anyway. I'm ready to risk it all this season. Why?

There are a number of reasons I can think of:

1. I have been holding my breath waiting for a trophy for so long I'm turning blue in the face. (At least it's better than red!)

2. So are the players. We have finally assembled a squad capable of making the breakthrough and some of our stars will not be satisfied to keep on playing for an also-ran club for much longer.

3. Same with our manager. Moyes must feel this is his best chance to win something at EFC. The better players are under constant pressure to move for increased earnings and the chance to play in the CL. Our closest competitors are outspending us and are developing good teams that could soon push us further down the table. And the same goes for Moyes. He is a hot item that could be picked off the shelf at anytime.

So what do I mean by risking it all?

If I were Moyes (don't we all wish we could?), I'd say no transfers at all this year. Tell the players they will have to wait if they want a move because this is our year to be great. Instill in the team the ethos of all-or-nothing. Put all the chips on the table in one exciting gamble for the big prize.

Don't let Pienaar go. That's a statement of how much we are risking (£12M) to reach the goal... Then hold on to your hats and go for gold!
Albert Perkins     Posted 23/07/2010 at 20:04:46   Comments (14)

The Bench

Over the past few years, teams Chelsea and United have quality players who don't start. Keeping them happy is man-management which I believe David Moyes is about to face for the first time. have been judged on the bench. On MotD we hear "look at the bench, players who could start at most other clubs in the Premier League."

This is what I would like to see our bench looking like for the opening day of the season: Mucha, Neville, Yobo, Cahill, Rodwell, Yakubu. Saha. I'm assuming Fellaini won't be fit. This is as good a bench as there is in the Premier League. If David Moyes gets the tactics right, this season can be the turning point in the history of Everton.
Andy Crooks     Posted 23/07/2010 at 17:41:23   Comments (13)

Distin's Comments

For those of you who arn't sad enough to get EvertonTV.

Distin was on talking about a diverse but expected range of topics — Jags, pre-season etc.

BUT right at the end he was asked about the squad and replied, "...we have a really really storng team this season and hopefully it's not finished. Hopefully there will be one or two new players to add strength to the squad."

Now it maybe because I'm on holiday and going stir crazy but that could be taken in a few ways.

1. Distin is making a banal comment and it has no relevance. (Unlikely as in other interviews Distin has always been articulate and seemed intelligent enough not to go against what his manager has said.)

2. Two he knows that there are players on the horison.

3. It is a veiled comment about how the players feel and a warning that they believe they need more help for the new season. (Again, I believe unlikely due to the professional nature of the player who I would expect to go directly to David if this was the case.)

Again this may all be the product of a bored mind but maybe some players will be arriving after all?
Robert Heaton     Posted 23/07/2010 at 10:13:32   Comments (23)

Liam McCormick

"Who is Liam McCormick?" you may ask. He is the winner of Football superstars 2010 in Australia... But, best of all, an Everton fan who admited to crying when we lost the FA Cup Final.

He also won a challenge with the prize being to meet Timmy Cahill. It was excellent to see him wear the Everton Jumper proudly all the way through the competition, and winning a spot in the A league for Brisbane Roar here in Oz.
Shane  Matthews     Posted 23/07/2010 at 04:53:49   Comments (5)

Landon Donovan

Tonight, Sky Sports News are reporting that Roberto Mancini is trying to sign Landon Donovan.

Will this force David Moyes to show his hand or can we simply not afford him? Either way, bloody Citeh trying to create a like-for-like Everton FC.
Dave Southon     Posted 21/07/2010 at 20:51:31   Comments (44)

Jutkiewicz

Rumour has it that Lukas is being farmed out for a third consecutive loan spell, and I'm struggling to understand why.

Given that we paid £1million for him 3 years ago, either the kid is good enough, or he isn't ? in which case, why not sell him for profit?

Factor in we have strikers who have question marks surrounding their fitness, and others as yet untried, Jutkiewicz banged in 11 in 33 for Motherwell last year.

So why isn't he given a go? And why is a 21-year-old player going on loan? Again? Do any ToffeeWebbers have the inside track on this?
Kevin Hudson     Posted 21/07/2010 at 17:24:22   Comments (14)

Trialists or No Trialists?

I find this quite amazing...

Here is the team line-up from The Scotsman for last night's Reserves friendly in Cumbernauld:

Davies, Thompson, Garbutt (Bidwell 46), Wallace (Savic 80), Nsiala, Mustafi, Schepers (Akpan 60), Barkley (Craig 69), Vaughan (Hope 73), Silva (Kinsella 54), Baxter

And here's the team line-up from the official Everton website:

Davies, Thompson, Garbutt (Bidwell 46), Wallace, Nsiala, Mustafi, Akpan, Barkley (Craig 69), Vaughan (Hope 73), Silva (Kinsella 54), Baxter.

Spot the difference? The Scotsman seems to have invented two players, Schepers and Savic that simply weren't involved, according to the Official Everton website.

The identity of Savic remains uncertain but Bob Schepers was linked with the club and various sources report that he is apparently on trial... So why the cloak and dagger deception? Okay, so he is of uncertain status... is that any reason to engage in blatantly false reporting?

Or was The Scotsman inventing what they saw?

Well... there used to be nothing quite like photographic evidence ? at least before photoshop!
Michael Kenrick     Posted 21/07/2010 at 14:56:39   Comments (11)

Arteta and Pienaar

I have recently visited the Everton 2 store at Liverpool 1 and noticed that all of the pre-printed strips had the names of Rodwell, Hietinga, Saha, Baines etc. On questioning a shop assistant regarding the lack of Arteta's or Pienaar's on display I was informed that this had been given as a Club directive, ie, you print your own shirt at your own risk.

I suppose there is nothing to be read into this other than the fact that the Club obviously remains unsure regarding the future of either player. What is the likely return date of either player to pre-season training? And the burning question that needs to be addressed by David Moyes is: are they to be included in ongoing preparations for the curtain raiser against Blackburn or do we start looking elsewhere?

The recruitment of Joe Cole across the park is having a galvanising effect on the likes of Gerrard, the last thing we need is a repeat of the fiasco of last season ? a la Joleon Lescott.
Peter Laing     Posted 21/07/2010 at 11:48:40   Comments (25)

Vuvuzelas

It seems like our club have banned the vuvuzela. GOOD. What a complete cacophony that shite created at the World Cup was.

The first game of the World Cup I saw had this ungodly noise going on and at first I thought it was a swarm of ten-inch african hornets on acid getting ready to attack everyone in the stadium. What a load of rubbish. The atmosphere is created by the noise that fans make.

As a side issue, what really pissed me off about the World Cup was the fact that the politically correct media would have everyone believe that this was a fantastic World Cup. NO IT BLOODY WELL WASN'T. It was complete corporate rubbish.

For a start even Mark Bright for the (sorry turn your eyes away now) BBC remarked that the ball was like something you get from a petrol station. Of which I ask to all the stattos on TW, how many free kicks went over the wall and landed in the net. I can't remember any.

So, there are quite a few clubs including ours that are banning the vuvu. And here's the best one, it's to do with health and safety. I never thought I would ever cosy up to health and safety, but I have now...
Jon Cox     Posted 20/07/2010 at 17:35:43   Comments (14)

Jeffers to Blackpool

So Jeffers moves on again. Has ever a player's career on down the drain as badly after leaving Everton?

In fact, with hindsight I think it's the best bit of business ever done by an Everton manager. I can't believe that I was actually angry when he was sold. Arsene Wenger was well and truly mugged.


Andy Crooks     Posted 20/07/2010 at 10:15:01   Comments (39)

Bily ? what next?

I was one of the few who stated loud and clear that Diniyar Bilyaletdinov would come good for us in the 2010-11 season. I saw enough at times to make me believe that he had enough quality to pose a real threat for us ? not too sure in what position but he would deliver from either wing or just behind the attacker.

Well, for the first time, I?m wavering. I would have thought that he would have taken the Aussies by storm, but he was probably our worse performer on the pre-season tour by a country mile. He was completely overshadowed by Rodwell and even Gueye in his 30-minute cameos. I also got the impression that Academy Director Ray Hall was voicing some doubts about his performance when he co-commentated.

The reason I?m changing about him is that he seems to lack energy, pace and awareness. You want to shake him like a rag doll and tell him to perform, to command, to dictate, but I get the feeling that he?s so laid back that, no matter what he?s threatened with, it wouldn?t make a bit of difference.

It?s becoming clearer and clearer that?s he not a winger. He cannot beat a man with pace nor physical strength (like Anichebe); he cannot beat a man with skill, energy, cunning (like Arteta or Pienaar). He will not compete against the likes of Cahill or Rodwell for that midfield/attacker role and will never in a million miles ever become our midfield playmaker.

So where to next, Bily? ? I truly hopes he completely turns the corner and shows us he can compete, can deliver skillful fast play, can make or score goals regularly. But I have my doubts. We will know more over the coming months ? if he?s still around.
Mike Oates     Posted 19/07/2010 at 14:14:28   Comments (32)

Injuries and Fellaini

Does anyone have any inside track on Fellaini's injury and when we might expect him back? Hope he gets some pre-season training in.

This website is usually pretty good for injury updates and see's him back for our first game: http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php

I have a feeling that our position in this injury table will be inversely linked to our position in the Premier League, so fingers crossed we'll be at the bottom, with no injuries.

Certainly if we can keep Jagielka, Fellaini, Arteta, Pienaar, Rodders and whoever proves to be our first choice striker fit for the majority of the season... that would be nice.
Sam Hoare     Posted 19/07/2010 at 09:27:07   Comments (9)

Everton's Medical Team

The Club has had some recent bad press for off-the-field activities, and some of it warranted, but I just wanted to pick up on something I read whilst scanning the Sunday papers online.

Andrew Johnson has apparently had a "break down" in pre-season training with Fulham. He was recovering from a knee injury that had seen him sidelined since January. He's now gone to see Richard Steadman (who must have made so much money out of footballers) in a bid to solve what is apparently a long-standing problem with his knee.

I know some supporters didn't rate Johnson particularly, but it was something of a surprise when he was sold, albeit we got good money for him.

Begs the question: did the Blues medical team spot a problem, that perhaps wasn't detected during the medical when we signed him from Crystal Palace? I don't recall his knee being mentioned ? it was always hamstring problems?
Matt Traynor     Posted 18/07/2010 at 11:18:00   Comments (15)

A Simple Question: Top Four?

It would appear entering this season there are 8 teams vying for 4 Champions League spots. They would be, in no particular order: Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Villa, Everton, Tottenham, and El Shit-o de Roja.

If Everton are to finish in the Top 4 this season, who's out?

Do the top 3 of Man U, Chelsea, and Arsenal stay intact with us nipping 4th ahead of the others? Or do one of the 3 aforementioned "big boys" drop out? If so, who?

I love our squad right now, but it appears the competition for the Top 4 this season might be as competitive as it has been in a long while...

Who makes up the Top 4? Or the maybe the other question that needs to be posed: who of those 8 don't make it?

My 4 outs: Spurs, Villa, Arsenal and Liverpuke.

Prognostications anyone? I'd be genuinely interested in people's opinions.
Jamie Crowley     Posted 18/07/2010 at 05:29:06   Comments (50)

Can any position be taken for granted?

For the first time in a number of years, I feel more confident about the squad we now have with a mix of flair and doggedness and youth and experience. So much so that I think, with the exception of Howard and Leighton Baines, no player can take his position for granted.

I think back to a recent post inviting posters to name their first choice team and very few put out the same team. I believe this bodes well for us but my only concern is defence because, if we're going to do anything serious this season, we need to keep more clean sheets. The GK and the back 4 all obviously have talent but the lapses in concentration, combined with Howard's penchant for panicking under pressure, are things I believe DM has to work on.

I know many posters have harped on about our marquee signing being a pacy winger or striker but I would prefer we got a solid left-sided centre-back. Apart from that, as I said earlier, I think we've got a strong squad with lots of potential. I can almost hear that famous Everton roar from Gwladys Street to the Park End now...
Jay Harris     Posted 17/07/2010 at 16:05:15   Comments (28)

What More Could Everton Do?

I?ve read on here a number of great things our beloved club could do, to both more involve and/or communicate to the fans and supporters; however, we are often left annoyed at the lack of communication back from the club.

I hope to be able to alleviate some of that annoyance as, after much trying, I have the contact details of someone who seems interested in resolving any complaints, issues and ideas.

An example of this is this morning I read on TW that the Wolfsburg friendly was listed incorrectly and my contact was able to change this in less than 30 mins.

I would now be interested to see if we can make our great club even better by getting further ideas and issues implemented or resolved. Please can you make your requests and see how far we can go...
Alastair Bates     Posted 16/07/2010 at 10:47:36   Comments (36)

Europe: The fallout

I've sat back and watched for a while as people procrastinate about our lack of funds, transfer inactivity, and player's itchy feet over the last few weeks.

And I think there is a point that hasn't been raised yet that is a major influence on all these things. Last season, our failure to qualify for Europe was a massive, massive blow. It impacts on us now. I know there are many people who think that the Europa League offers no financial reward and simply exposes a small squad to its demands. But this is not the whole picture. The reality is that qualifying for it:

  • - gives increased revenue through TV rights, gate receipts, and other commercial activities;
  • - the fact you've qualified for it indicates you've already had an extra wedge that closed season from improved Premier League placing monies; and
  • - helps keep, and attract, top players who either are internationals, or have international aspirations.
We didn't qualify, for reasons already discussed in depth last season. This has a significant knock-on effect to our ability to procure and retain players this season. Our income is down, transfer funds are reduced accordingly. And our better players want to play in Europe ? either for the kudos of the competition, to test themselves at a higher level, or to increase their chances of playing for their country (which seems to mean something for every non-english player). Players we want to attract, look at clubs playing in Europe as their preferred option.

You only have to consider some of the Everton players who have been linked with other clubs this closed season, and they're all clubs who can offer European competition (and the increased wages that can go with that on the higher stages). Liverpool fail to qualify for the CL, and Gerrard and Torres are instantly rumoured to be jumping ship.

It has ever been thus ? the top clubs can attract the top players and build a stable team, because they can offer the higher echelons of the game, and their qualification for these competitions means they can afford it.

Like it or not, our failure to finish in the top 6 last season has hit us financially, and in the make up of the dressing room for the new season.
Jeremy Benson     Posted 15/07/2010 at 19:42:36   Comments (26)

Missing a Trick

Just showing the new pink kit on the website to the lad's girlfriend and the women's away kit shows the men's one!!!! Now I would not wear the pink outfit but lots of girls will, unless it's shown as a man's fit.

FFS, we're skint and need all the money we can, yet something so simple is missed / cocked up. Now I spotted that, I wonder what else we are cocking up on... suggestions please, and can Mr Kenrick please pass them on.
Iain Love     Posted 15/07/2010 at 16:31:57   Comments (30)

How do we compete?

With David Moyes declaring there are no funds available, I am just wondering where this leaves Everton in terms of competing?

If there is nothing actually available then I find it hard to believe that David Moyes can actually persuade the contract rebels to stay. With Man City's uncontrollable spending and more importantly the obscene wages they are offering, can it really be any surprise if these players leave the club?

Moyes states he won't be bringing in anyone before the season starts but this mean he will have a late flurry which has happened in the last two seasons? I understand this is a pretty negative post but I would be interested to hear the views of others.
Philip Rodgers     Posted 15/07/2010 at 07:41:52   Comments (57)

Peanuts Pienaar staying?

Another site is reporting that Peanuts Pienaar is staying and quotes Moyes.

Moyes said: "We are not listening to offers for him, and he is not going to be sold, because we don't want to sell him. Steven plays for Everton, and that's it really, and I don't know any more than that."

Anyone heard anything as can't see this quote anywhere else.
Martin Berry     Posted 14/07/2010 at 17:42:04   Comments (32)

Melbourne Game

A nice run out in a massive stadium ? how many people were there?

Nice goal from Rodwell to open things up, off a great cross from that man Seamus Coleman, who looked good all game and certainly did not compromise his defending.

Loads of subs in the second half, including Talisman Tim Cahill, who played mostly very deep, with Rodwell doing the more forward role.

Louis Saha banged in a trademark goal, turning well on the edge of the area after collecting a good forward ball from Anichebe, and he curled it in nicely with his left foot.

Lots of young strikers on by the end ? Beckford, Silva, and Jutkiewicz, Beckford coming close with his first touch... Silva not at the races at all.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 14/07/2010 at 11:46:07   Comments (39)

Phil Neville - Everton Ambassador

I stumbled across the this link to a live chat that Phil Neville, hosted with Ozzie supporters yesterday via the Herald Sun.

Phil comes across as a true gent and a great ambassador for our club. I must admit that I doubted the wisdom of taking the squad to Australia but now that I see the interest in the local media and in some cases the passion that our presence is generating, I see the benefits.

The questions in the chat are quite varied and the key nugget of information that I took out of it is that Phil sees Rodwell as a future attacking midfielder rather than defensive or a centre back. I wish we have access to the players' thoughts like this on a more regular basis. COYB!


Glen Anderson     Posted 14/07/2010 at 10:12:52   Comments (10)

Arteta's wedding

Does anyone think it odd that Mikel has been given permission to leave the tour down under to attend his wedding? It's not as if Mikel has been at the World Cup and could not have got married during June (or am I missing something?).

Is the manager making an exception for a special player (perhaps in the hope that cutting Arteta some slack will encourage him to sign a new deal) or would he/should he be prepared to allow any player to do likewise during this critical stage in the preparations for next season?
Simon Maughan     Posted 14/07/2010 at 00:08:17   Comments (42)

Rodders is no plonker

In today's Echo, Jack Rodwell gives an interview that once again demonstrates great maturity and professionalism for one so young. The strength of character, self-belief and common sense conveyed by Rodwell is paticularly heartening coming mere days after Dan Gosling, a much less gifted player, has been exposed as an example of all that is wrong with the modern day young footballer.

Despite constant media speculation linking him with a move to Man United or Chelsea, Rodders has proved he is no plonker by refusing to buy into all the bullshit and hype. He proclaims that "when these questions were getting asked (about my future) I always knew I was going to sign a new contract. I didn't have a doubt in my mind"

Unlike Gosling who, supposedly, wanted to be a regular starter in his preferred central midfield position, Rodwell recognises that at 19 he is still learning his trade and is willing to be used sparingly wherever Moyes sees fit to play him: "I'm still playing for a massive club and we've got a big squad so i can't be wanting to start every game".

As for being played in a more attacking role rather than his preferred defensive position? "The manager has maybe looked at that and thought, try him there, so whatever happens I'm happy". Shame his mate Dan wasn't blessed with such a grounded outlook.

Anyway, what are Evertonians actually expecting from Rodwell this coming season? Is he yet worthy of a regular starting role? Should he be deployed further up the pitch or in front of the back four? I personally believe this is going to be a big season for the lad. In an ideal world I'd like to see him being given a decent run of games alongside Fellaini so that these two can strike up an understanding and then go on to be the fulcrum of this Everton side for the foreseeable future.
John Daley     Posted 13/07/2010 at 13:08:59   Comments (47)

Title contenders! Get me out of here.

This is scary. The Hawksby and Jacobs (H&J) show on TalkSport, good for intelligent discussion, had Jacobs (Chelsea) last week dismissing as far-fetched the idea put forward by a mate of his that Everton could win the Premier League this season.

Settle for that... but in today's programme they did it again and this time it freaked me out. Far-fetched had translated into serious contenders for the title; great squad, a team of "big-time" players, superb manager, fans to die for. Only reservation was keeping hold of Arteta.

This is good to hear but, at this stage, I'd rather not hear it. We need to keep below the radar and not raise expectations.
Frank Nolan     Posted 12/07/2010 at 21:33:56   Comments (78)

Diving

I think, as do most of you, that this year's World Cup has shown that there needs to be some sort of change in the refereeing system. Video review is an issue that we could have a whole thread about but I would like to discuss the other big issue: diving.

In hockey, a penalty is assessed by the guilty player being forced to sit out for 2 minutes and his team being left playing 4 on 5. There is also a penalty for embellishment. If a player is tripped and falls to the ice in a way that is deemed to be an exaggeration, both players serve 2 minute penalties.

I think there should be something similar in football. If a player is fouled and embellishes it, his team should get a free kick, since he was, in fact, fouled, but he should receive a yellow card.


Pat Finegan     Posted 12/07/2010 at 20:55:11   Comments (27)

No number 9

The Club has issued Squad Numbers for the new season, and there is no number 9.

Apologies to those bored of speculation on new players during the summer months ? but that is what concerns us at this time of year, simple as.

We can only surely assume that Moyes is after a new number 9... Is that Donovan? I'd be chuffed with that. More likely than Suarez, anyway.

And with so many strikers on the books after the inclusion of three in the last two months, I'd speculate further that someone is for the chop. Why would 4-5-1 requires so many strikers?

Or can there be another reason for no number 9? Then enlighten me!
Roberto Birquet     Posted 12/07/2010 at 14:11:59   Comments (38)

Leroy Fer

Although not the most reliable of sources, anyone have any more detail relating to the 2010-11 entry for this guy Leroy Fer at Wikipedia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Fer
Barry Johns     Posted 12/07/2010 at 00:07:55   Comments (14)

World Cup Blues - or not !

Further to the 'Could Everton win the World Cup?' piece by Nick Cowell, I found myself wondering about the various Everton players that have or haven't graced the World Cup Finals over the decades. As a consequnece, in the best armchair fan style, here are a few line-ups to consider/ignore as you choose :-

Firstly my Everton XI who never appeared at a World Cup Finals -

                      Southall
Neville Jones,TG Ratcliffe Jones,TE
       Kendall Harvey Mercer
                      Young
                Lawton Dean
Secondly, my Everton XI who did appear in the World Cup Finals as Everton players -
                    Howard
Wright Heitinga Labone Wilson
     Steven Reid Ball Sheedy
                Sharp Lineker
Lastly, my XI selected from those who performed at the World Cup Finals either before or after their stint at Everton -
                   Martyn
Neill Gough Materazzi Sansom
Whiteside Collins,Bobby Gascoigne
       Beardsley Rooney
                   Saha
Personally, I reckon the XI that never performed at the World Cup Finals would have the edge over the other two selections.
Dennis Stevens     Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:27:30   Comments (9)

Bad Boy, Johnny Heitinga

Unlucky Johnny, you had a quietly effective World Cup. Don't know how you managed to get sent off for those two fouls considering what went on from Van Bommel and De Jong before you. Let's hope you return to the Blues ready to go in August.
Ian McDowell     Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:37:31   Comments (38)

Everton's Best Boozer

It?s come to that time of year when there?s nothing really to debate or moan about so I decided I?d put something up about most football fans' second passion, the pub.

Everton probably has the most Pubs near their groun in the Premier League with a variety of different types. I?d just like to see people's opinions on their favourite Everton Pub. Reasons like price, atmosphere, location will be nice as I haven?t visited all the pubs in the vicinity of Goodison Park.
Chris Butler     Posted 11/07/2010 at 13:03:51   Comments (1)

Seamus Coleman

It has been mentioned on another thread that Seamus Coleman should be loaned out to Blackpool for another season in order to gain premier experience. In my view this would be a disaster. Blackpool will be relegated with the lowest point score ever recorded and Coleman may have his confidence shattered.

I would have him in the Everton starting line-up but that is unlikely to happen. As an alternative I would loan him to a side who will be challenging for promotion from the Championship. Boro, for example. He will return to Everton full of confidence ready to take his place as potentially the best right back in the Premier League.
Andy Crooks     Posted 10/07/2010 at 23:56:03   Comments (24)

Pretty in Pink

Sounds like a great turnout in Sydney today, the Oz lads did the boys proud it seems. Davie Moyes looked happy in his post-match interview.

Looked to me that João Silva was wearing the Number 9 shirt and Magaye Gueye 11.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 10/07/2010 at 16:47:20   Comments (24)

Time to organise things properly?

First ever post so play fair...

I have just been reading the BBC article about South Africa World Cup organising head Danny Jordaan's comments regarding player burnout at the World Cup.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8807476.stm

Agreement with what he says really... let's have a unified football calendar, let's have the individual confederations have their Cup every 2 years at the same time... Afcon, Euros etc, World Cup every 4 years. I know this means TV rights for the Euros and Afcon etc will be diminished but means every country is on a level playing field when it comes to the WC.

Scrap the Confederations Cup (the international equivalent of the thankfully abolished InterToto!) it is effectively a Cup winners mini version of the World Cup so what is the point?

All major leagues have 18 teams in the top tier... INCLUDING the Premier League!

All leagues have some kind of 2 week winter break... INCLUDING the Premier League!

Suddenly we have a level playing field for all nations and leagues and hopefully better competitions all round.

If only everything was that simple...
Richard Charles-Jones     Posted 10/07/2010 at 15:53:18   Comments (19)

Do we have the next Rooney?

A dozen young graduates of Everton Academy have been elevated to the status of full-time players who will likely figure in next season's Under-18 FA Premier Academy League campaign: Adam Thomas (forward), Johan Hammar (defender), Ben Heneghan (defender), Ross Barkley (midfielder), James Fitzgibbon (goalkeeper), Tyias Browning (defender), Matthew Harris (midfielder), Hallam Hope (forward), John Lundstram (midfielder), Ryan Higgins (midfielder), Jordan Barrow (defender), and Anton Forrester (forward).

I don't get to see any reserve games or watch any of the youngsters at Everton. Would anyone be able to enlighten us to who they think will be the one's to take the next step. Have we any ruff diamonds in there? Or are they all average Joes? Have we another Rooney or Rodwell in that pack?
Jimmy  Saville     Posted 09/07/2010 at 17:06:53   Comments (6)

Pienaar ? Staying or going?

Just read this article on teamtalk.com and Redknapp admits that, although he likes Pienaar, a deal is unlikely as he doesn't see it as a real goer, so does this mean he's going to sign a new deal or is he going elsewhere for money Spurs carn't even match?

http://www.teamtalk.com/news/2483/6253555/Spurs-want-Cole-but-rule-out-Pienaar
Aidy Dews     Posted 09/07/2010 at 12:54:45   Comments (28)

Stadium Development

I was wondering if anyone had heard anything at all about our new / redeveloped stadium since DK bit the dust all those months ago? As an Evertonian and a fan of stadia architecture, it seems to have gone rather quiet.

I know this thread has been done to death but has anyone got any preferences as to what sort of shape development should take or any thoughts on the style of a new stadium?

COYBB!
Mike Cheshire     Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:37:02   Comments (20)

The Team of 87

Just two questions for the Lads and Ladettes that were around... How did the 87 team compare to 85? I've seen a season review some time ago and to me the team didn't have the flair and panache of 85. Also, why did many of our big players go? Was it simply a case of the lure of European football?
Trevor Thompson     Posted 09/07/2010 at 08:58:50   Comments (14)

Aussie Training Session

I have just returned after meeting many of our players at an open traing session here in Sydney. I can tell you this was a dream come true for my son and I.

I was very impressed with the camaraderie amongst the boys and also the coaching staff. The new signings looked impressive although Beckford did not train due to a minor hamstring strain. João Silva and Mageye Gueye look very promising. I have a feeling that Bily is going to have a BIG season. He looked sharp and you can see how happy he is. Mikel and Timmy were often laughing and chating so I hope Tim is convincing him to stay.

Great to see the boys signing autographs and mixing with the fans afterwards. At times this training session was more intense than an A-League game and I don't think it matters who Moysey plays against Sydney, I'm sure the gulf in class will be evident. Well done Boys.
Peter Bourke     Posted 09/07/2010 at 06:19:09   Comments (11)

Expectations

I've been an Evertonian for all my life ? 61years ? and I'm fed up with low expectations of our supporters.

I don't want a top four finish or a good cup run, I want to win every competition we enter and anything less is a disappointment to me. This year again, I've put my money where my mouth is and bet at 250-1 to win league.

It doesn't matter who managers or plays for my club as long as we get success. Millionaires, prima donnas, egotistical players, media luvies... I don't care ? just go and get me trophies. As long as you wear the blue of Everton, succeed!!!
Tony  Cornmell     Posted 08/07/2010 at 14:00:41   Comments (33)

Johnny Heitinga, Proud Evertonian

Well, as Heitinga is entering the World Cup Final as a "proud Evertonian", just wondering what people's opinions are of him now?

End of May, he was a cult hero and marked by fans as probably our first choice centre-half. In June, opinions changed when he came out about "biking to Barcelona with a flag on the back" as well as mentions of Ajax, City and Liverpool, many fans immeadiately said get rid!

Now, it seems all to have been lost in translation ? or has he worded his words carefully (after perhaps hearing about fans' discontent?) to avoid a backlash when he returns after the World Cup??

What will Heitinga's reception be like in the first home game??
John Crook     Posted 08/07/2010 at 13:25:41   Comments (47)

How many have gone before him?

Seeing Mr Heitinga and his Dutch colleagues qualify for the World Cup Final, it set my mind thinking, how many Everton players have graced the pitch in the world?s largest match either while they were at the club or prior / after?

Knowng some of you guys are gurus of knowledge, I thought I?d throw it out there...
Paul Fuller     Posted 07/07/2010 at 11:13:05   Comments (31)

Joey Jones

I recently read Wayne Rooney: My Story. In the book, Rooney mentioned Joseph Jones several times, saying that Jones had come all the way through Everton's academy with him and Anthony Gerrard... and was a better player in the beginning.

In the end he said that only a few players can break into a first team side and the rest go to the lower divisions, and even Joseph Jones ended up at Macclesfield. I have since developed a curiosity about Joseph Jones ? wondering how a player that was once better than Wayne Rooney could end up in the lower divisions, I guess.

I know that he is not currently in the Macclesfield first team but on your site I confirmed that he transferred there from Everton on 18 May 2004. He was there as of 2006 when Rooney wrote his book and I have been wondering where he has gone since.

As you can imagine, internet searches are a nightmare since he has such a common name. I noticed that you have profiles for some of Everton's former youth players but not for him. I understand that it's harder to find so much on someone that ended up in the lower divisions but I wondered if someone could at least tell me what team he is with now.

No other sites even mention him ? and I have looked through lots of transfer records with no results. I figured that ToffeeWeb would be the best resource to turn to.
Katie Jones     Posted 07/07/2010 at    Comments (27)

Super? Danny Gosling

I read recent reports that suggested Gosling could leave on a free but didn't believe it as I was led to believe (from a club insider) that he had a year left on his contract.

I am amazed to read tonight that his agent has been in touch with the Premier Lague who say he's a free agent and can sign for whoever he wants.

Now if true (and thats still a big IF because we all know about "stories") it begs the following questions:

  1. Who is responsible for this massive cockup?
  2. Does he really want to leave for more first team football as has been suggested?
  3. That being the case, are we still responsible for his medical bills (bit callous I know but so is wanting to take advantage of a cockup!)?
  4. What club would take him in his current "unmedical" like condition?

Jay Harris     Posted 07/07/2010 at 02:13:54   Comments (226)

Joao Moutinho

I have noticed on Sky Sports that Moutunho has left Sporting to go to Porto for £9.1 million. I'm surprised we did not go back in for him.

If we offered £15 million 2 years ago, I would've thought we could've gone for him again at £9.1 million.

Gutted!
John Peden     Posted 05/07/2010 at 16:03:25   Comments (38)

John Ruddy

Think we could be looking back in a couple years regreting this one. From the point of view that I think Ruddy is a potential England regular in the coming years. I do not think he was ready to oust Howard this season and is too good to be warming the banch but i would have liked to have seen this as a loan move.

Good luck, John.
Craig Taylor     Posted 05/07/2010 at 14:19:21   Comments (32)

Signings so far

It has been a relatively busy start for Everton so early on in the close season. Whilst we may not have been splashing the cash so far, we have been busy and have clocked in four new signings, with more to follow. After a bit of study, I?ve come to the conclusion that we may have picked a couple of gems, whilst others are going to have to earn their bones.

So far we have:

Jan Mucha ? From his showing in the World Cup we are really none the wiser, but taking into account he helped his national side qualify for the finals, it?s a step up from Carlo Nash. Maybe he will challenge Tim Howard; maybe he won?t... but he improves the quality and depth in the goalkeeping department.

Joao Silva ? He is the player with most to prove, coming from the lower Portuguese leagues. Only time will tell. Let?s just hope he isn?t a Brett Angell.

Jermaine Beckford ? In my mind, he will either do nothing or take to the Premier League the same way Cahill and Jagielka did. I have a sneaking suspicion that he may turn out to be quite good.

Mageye Gueye ? This is the interesting one. After looking into his previous, it seems that he might be a great signing. As a 19-year-old, he scored 9 league goals last season then got injured. He?s also a France U21 player and apparently turned down Olympic Lyonnais to join us (after being scouted for a while). I think this one could be the best of the bunch.

There are others mooted, this Azerbijiani kid for one; and we?re still awaiting the big marquee signing. But importantly, these signings have been made early, so they?re getting the chance to bed in, in training and on the pre-season tour in Oz.

Whilst I would love the billions of Citeh, I (perversely) like what we are doing, ie, paying Yaya Toure (central midfielder/Barcelona reject) £220,000 per week is not the way to develop the team in the long term. There will also be conflict over pay within the squad, I?m sure Tevez would like to think he?s worth the same weekly wage.

I honestly hope that at least two out of the aforementioned signings step up and live up to their potential.
Giles Larkman     Posted 04/07/2010 at 18:13:12   Comments (21)

More Sunday Tabloids re Arteta

Okay, so it's in the News of the Screws, but they reckon that City will offer Ireland, Michael Johnson, and Nedum Onuoha as bait for Mikel. All at one time or other rumoured to be targets for Moyes.

Personally not fussed about Johnson. I know we let him go as a youngster, but his injury record since is Vaughn-esque. It does imply that this would be part of a package, which suggests money on top.

Clearly Man City do need to slim down their 1st team squad, and the rumours about Mikky do persist. If he really wants out, let him go, get these 3 in (maybe not Johnson, but up the cash) and move on.

The whole thing about his kid is unfortunate, and I hope it's not a smokescreen. It reminds me of when Ken Bates complained about Chelsea being "forced" to sell Gordon Durie to Spurs, despite the player saying he wanted to leave to return to Scotland. "So we sold him to McSpurs" fumed Bates.

With City's continued interest in all things Everton, maybe we've got our Middle East investment de facto. Maybe after Mankini fails, they'll go for Moyes?
Matt Traynor     Posted 04/07/2010 at 06:12:16   Comments (23)

Super Danny Gosling Cock-Up?

I have just seen article about about the possiblity of Dan Gosling going to Newcastle which came as quite a big shock to me. I was down in London on Friday and I bumped into Dan at Euston station, although I only chatted with him for a couple of mins he came accross a real nice lad.

Dan is still a young lad with a lot of potential, but that potential might not have been there to see if it was not for Moyes taking the chance on him. Moyes chose to sign him and even play him in an FA Cup Final so must clearly rate him. Hopefully Dan remembers this before he goes making any rash decisions.

Newcastle is like a soap opera, players only go there for the money and to retire. Not the place for a player just starting out.
Ian Tunstead     Posted 03/07/2010 at 18:57:48   Comments (25)

Coincidence or what?

If Holland go on to win the World Cup? ... What a coincidence with 1966. When England beat Germany, the winners had a player from both Everton and Liverpool... A blonde forward, and a bald defender.

So, without putting the mockers on Holland, can Kuyt & Heitinga, do what Hunt & Wilson did all those years ago?
Norman Merrill     Posted 02/07/2010 at 17:01:56   Comments (38)

Stick or Twist?

Knowing the persuasive powers of David Moyes, I'm sure that he has been working his charm on Steven Piennar whilst out in South Africa, and will hopefully do the same with Mikel Arteta whilst out in Australia. The aim for Moyes will be as ever that both player's are integral to Everton, that the grass isn't always greener, and that they have the potential to achieve much in the coming years.

However, in reading an article by Jack Rodwell prior to the squad's departure for Oz, it would appear that even the player's are conceiving the thought of life without Nuts and Our Tater should they decide to move on. Rodwell is quite right in assuming that David Moyes will fill the huge void or chasm that will be left should they move on.

Given this fact, the lack of contractual commitment to date by either player and the potential to starting the new season with such uncertainty, what do other readers feel is likely to be the solution? I would suggest that we would be looking at a combined figure of around £30 million for the pair given their age and expiring contracts.

I hope to God that they stay but it might be time to contemplating life without them. Creativity would obviously need to be brought in to compliment what we already have, who would we be able to attract and at what price?
Peter Laing     Posted 02/07/2010 at 15:26:24   Comments (29)

Squad for Australia

So it's nearly time for action again in the pre-season, and the squad who travelled to Australia ahead of the three friendlies there has been revealed.

Travelling squad: Iain Turner, John Ruddy, Carlo Nash, Tony Hibbert, Seamus Coleman, Phil Neville, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Shokdran Mustafi, Leon Osman, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta, Jose Baxter, Magaye Gueye, Louis Saha, Jermaine Beckford, James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Joao Silva, Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Tim Cahill will link up with the squad in Australia after a short break, and the other world cup players (Howard, Heitinga, Yobo, Yakubu, Pienaar, Mucha) will skip the Aussie leg of pre-season. Gosling and Fellaini stay behind for treatment on their long-term injuries.
Richard Porter     Posted 02/07/2010 at 13:42:54   Comments (20)

Striker Clear-out time?

Whilst it is delightful to see young strikers joining our club, I am a little perplexed. According to my reckoning, we now have six out and out strikers at the club, plus another 2 on loan. The young under-21 french striker Gueye joined today to add to Silva, Beckford, Yak, Saha and Anichebe. Plus Lucas and James on loan.This is surely an embarrassment of riches.

Even Man Utd et al haven't got this many. Do you think Moysey knows something we don't with regard to players leaving? For what it's worth, we also seem to have about 8 top quality midfield players with Jack, Timmy, Bily, Peanuts, Mikel, Felli, Ossie and Gosling (when fit).

I'm not complaining you understand, but just puzzled. This must be the first year in recent memory when it's been like this.
Tony McDonald     Posted 01/07/2010 at 15:22:23   Comments (26)

ANOTHER new signing?

Just saw this link, which apparently shows a medical for some Azerbaijani international who's 18. He's listed as an Everton player on Wikipedia, though that should always be taken with a heavy pinch of salt.

Here's the link anyways...

Whether it's true or not, at least we seem to be getting the ball rolling nice and early!
Adam McCulloch     Posted 01/07/2010 at 15:20:23   Comments (8)

New Football Rules

Sorry, can't help it... I just had to get it off my chest: Why am I, a football lover as long as I can remember, already pissed off with this World Cup?

Absolutely up to the eyeballs with whinging, acting ponces who cry out and feign injury at the slightest nudge. Inept officials (where did they find them?) and watching players being sent off and missing games because of rules that just do not work in the modern game. It is no fun to watch 10 players work their bollocks off against 11. "But that's a part of the game", I hear you say.... "No," I say!! "Football was meant to be played 11 against 11."

What is the most important part of a football pitch? The white line between the goal posts of course ... and in the year 2010, Fifa still do not have a system that can tell when the ball passes over it for ffs. If Fifa do not allow referees to use video after this complete balls-up, then the people who decide should take a long walk off a short pier.

Right, here are my new rules for football... ready?

1) Introduce use of video to decide crucial situations , i.e. goals, sending offs, offsides.

2) Players wrongly sent off suffer no match ban if video proves ref was wrong.

3) Introduce a third card (orange). This would mean player is sent off, but team can replace with substitute (less 10 v 11 games).

4) No double punishment in penalty situations, penalty against and red card is too harsh...

5) Shirt pulling must stop for once and all... (orange card)!!

6) Ban vuvuzellas!
Tony  Cheek     Posted 01/07/2010 at 08:41:09   Comments (36)

Moyes Book Cancelled?

Maybe this is old news & I'm just the last to hear about it, but I recently received a mail advising of the cancellation of the David Moyes book: Manager.

"We regret to report that the release of the following item has been cancelled: David Moyes "Manager"."

I'm not too disappointed, as I'd prefer to see Moyes write books at the end of a long and successful career as Everton manager. However, I'm a bit surprised that the plug would appear to be pulled on a book that was orginally advertised for pre-order quite some time ago.
Dennis Stevens     Posted 01/07/2010 at 01:59:50   Comments (6)

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