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October 2010 Archive
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Eveyone Loves a Good Stat

I think I have a stat that Gary and the rest of the MotD team would be proud of. If I'm not mistaken we took less points than any other team in the first five games. I have an inkling that in the last five games we have won more points than any other team.

This is even more remarkable when you consider that these five games included Man U, L'pool, Spurs and B'Ham away. Maybe someone has already pointed this out? Maybe I'm just plain wrong? To be honest I'm too busy scratching my balls to check my facts, so feel free to shoot me down if you know better.


Nick Farr     Posted 31/10/2010 at 23:10:07   Comments (31)

The right to be critcal

Some wins of late have brought out citicism of supporters who dare to question our displays ? as though the ends justify the means... absolutely monstrous! The present Everton way is meandering ? sometimes we're up for it; sometimes not.

When ahead, we tend to retreat rather than push on and whatever the merits of 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 or any other bingo numbers, we are at heart a defensive team. The boy Coleman may suffer because of this as Beckford most certainly is; similarly Gueye, another forward, isn't getting a look in.

The fabled 10 game judgement period has come and gone, predictably we are in neither relegation nor european places and are out of one cup; and this is the rub: if Davey would just get someone in to talk attacking football, even on a short-term consultancy basis, I reckon we'd do much better and be more entertaining.

In my opinion, those giving blind support to what's happening play (or did play) in goal or defence and carry a deep-seated resentment against skilfull footballers. I might add without any false modesty I was a two-footed attacking midfielder of magnificent ability... think Cruyff when he was at it.
Leon Perrin     Posted 31/10/2010 at 18:55:06   Comments (35)

Dustbin puts the lid on it

I felt the need to correct my earlier ramblings about our porous defence and its inability to keep clean sheets.

I posted all summer and early season saying our priority should be a top-class defender not a right midfield player.

A number of us were crying out for Johnnie Heitinga to replace Sylvain Distin, and asking why Yobo was allowed to go out on loan... Well, I'm now happy to rewrite that.

I feel that, since the Newcastle debacle, the criticism of Distin has stung him into action and he is now playing as well ? if not better ? than Lescott ever did... and his partnership with Jags looks as solid as any in the Premier League.

I know its a marathon, not a sprint but I have to say right now, it's the most pleasing aspect of our game because, with the defence tight, it gives the midfield more confidence to get forward.

I just hope that we stay injury free and continue to consolidate.
Jay Harris     Posted 31/10/2010 at 13:18:29   Comments (53)

"Moyes is Useless" ? ???

I've heard this since Moyes has been in charge... Maybe the reason we've become a fucking good team ? and, more importantly, a hard team to play against ? is because...

I dont play the FIFA 11s or the Championship Managers anymore, I'm too old for that now... but did anyone hear Moyes on the touchline yesterday?? He was playing that game like X, X, X, (yes another X) and Y (to Bainsey) then (shit there's no) SQUARE []?...

David Moyes ? I love you, despite what maybe 75% (with Ciaran maybe 75.1%) may think on here...

In Moyes I Trust. He was on that pitch like he was still a centre-half for Celtic (although we know Moyesie can do better than that if he had an English passport). I wanna get in that Family Enclosure near him... is that good for the kids? Well, yea... they'll be learning the tricks from the trade... [to Ciaran:] ? as long as Neville's not on the bench!

Do any of you guys and girls (or Evertonians' wives) love the fact Moyes had an opposition ? not just Stoke but more importantly to himself ? Tony Pullis? And people forget: the team plays the team but, in Moyes's 'eyes', he's playing the person 10 yards away from him. They're coming to Goodison thinking... ... ... ... anyway.

A lot of this is never touched but I guarantee you ? and I hope someone will back me up here ? that the boys do it on the pitch but, in a manager's eyes, you're playing the other manager.

I've never ever seen a manager like Moyes who plays the game from the touchline; that's why I think, as Evertonians, we have an added bonus from what passes the white line... and more importantly, WE HAVE SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL.

And in amongst that something special, we have... DAVID MOYES.

Onslaught please, ToffeeWeb!
Charlie Percival     Posted 31/10/2010 at 07:05:01   Comments (16)

Pitiful Display?

I get on Moyes's back as much as the next person (or twice as much usually), but today's win against Stoke City was a performance that is Moyes's "bread and butter" ? a dogged battling victory against a side of thugs and spoilers.

No team looks good against Stoke ? occasionally, they'll flatline completely and a side will put six or seven past them, but generally they stick to formation, ruffle up the opposition and dig their heels in.

I think sometimes we're forgetting what the real deciding issue is with games like these ? and the issue is coming away with the win regardless of performance.

We have the Tottenhams and the Aston Villas of this world where we should be looking to outplay and outperform them (like we did against Liverpool), but up against the "lesser lights" you do what you can for the three points.

So, for once, I don't agree with the front page story on Toffeeweb. Rather than a "pitiful display", in my opinion it was a "hard earned win".

Three points in the bank.
Lee Kidd     Posted 30/10/2010 at 19:06:53   Comments (78)

Cringing at Neville

"I was cringing with the coverage on Sunday," Neville says. "I was totally embarrassed by it. Sometimes you have to take the plaudits, they don't come around that often, but I found it embarrassing on Sunday, so I stopped reading the papers and turned the television off. I found it disrespectful to Seamus Coleman, Johnny Heitinga and the other players who stopped Bale from getting the ball, or who helped me out when he did. I came out with a few plaudits and I don't really enjoy that because I am a team player. I don't shout about myself and I've always been team orientated, so maybe that is why I have always slipped under the radar throughout my career."

Is it just me or is it the case of the less said by our captain the better?Phil Neville doesn't shout about his performances, well what is this very interview about then if not highlighting his own worth? I know that he went on to talk about management etc but I just find that he says some very strange things.

It wasn't that long ago that he said that he didn't think that Everton needed anymore players and then thankfully the Yak came out and said that sounds like a player fearing for his own position.

I don't particularly like or rate Neville, an average-to-poor first touch, poor distribution and a decent tackle and decent long throw... hardly leading by example or the first name on the teamsheet material, as with other skippers. I think the reasons just mentioned are why Neville doesn't receive rave reviews and he certainly hasn't 'slipped under the radar.' In fact, after a couple of good performances last season, he was actually tipped for England.

I think it may actually be an intelligence issue (or lack of). Go on YouTube and watch him play the Yes or No game ? it's awful.

I think we need a right back still; I'm not sure that Coleman has the same ability to defend as he does to go forward, he conceded a penalty against Brentford and was fortunate to not have another (and red card) against Newcastle.

Anyway, the long-term right-back is another issue but for now, Neville ? leave the pre-/post-match interviews for Moyes, Cahill, Arteta et al, concentrate on your own game, and then receiving some praise in the Sunday papers shouldn't be such an uncomfortable surprise.
Ian Campbell     Posted 29/10/2010 at 20:27:12   Comments (52)

What could be and what will be

I've just about got over the awful start to the season. There really is no point in further talk of what might and should have been. The time for that is in the boring summer period when the optimists will talk of the Champions League. What about the immediate future?

Well, we have three winnable games coming up. What could happen is we will win all three and the season will suddenly look totally different. What could happen next is the return of our injured players, giving David Moyes options. By the end of January, we could be on the verge of a top four place, embarking on a decent cup run and preparing for a strong finish.

What will happen? We will get five or seven points out of the next nine. Then our injured players will slowly return and get David Moyes out of his backs-to-the-wall mentality. Suddenly, he will have choices... and (as usual) his brain will fall out. He is not a man who can handle options. Give him a crisis where the team picks itself and he will motivate the hell out of them (eg, the derby). Give him options and the man is lost.

If the owners of West Ham wanted saving David Moyes would, and I'd bet my life on it, save them. If the owners of Man Utd want a similar decline to that of post Busby then David Moyes is the man to provide it. He's a crisis manager which is a testament to his talents. Everton are ready for more.
Andy Crooks     Posted 28/10/2010 at 19:17:59   Comments (42)

Osman's threat

Leon Osman ? so I'm assured by the few people I know who see something in him ? has some attributes as a footballer. Unfortunately, that short list does not include the ability to kick a football, at least not any harder than your average toddler.

When I first saw the headline 'Ossie ? I'd sign for life', I interpreted it as a threat. Perhaps I have never forgiven him for the 2009 FA Cup Final. And I did notice that he ran around a lot in the derby... and that he can tackle better than Bily.

But for me, handing him a contract till 2014 is as clear an indication the club could give of a lack of ambition. 'Osman signs new contract', subtitle: 'Everton FC maintaining the status quo'.
Jon Sellick     Posted 28/10/2010 at 15:13:04   Comments (47)

Time for Pienaar to get off the fence

Recently I said on another thread that I thought we should have sold Pienaar in the Summer as he was patently not going to re-sign for the Blues and we could have got a fee for him to spend elsewhere on the squad. I still stand by that statement.

However, I would now like Pienaar to state his intentions. In recent days we have had statements on the matter from both Manager and Captain and a round of speculation as to his likely destination. But nothing from the player. I know he's not obliged to say anything. However, I do say that he owes it to the fans and more importantly to his Team to give a view as I think it will become increasngly unsettling for the squad to have such a key player remaining non-committal.
Steve Guy     Posted 28/10/2010 at 10:11:23   Comments (51)

Moyes questioned his methods

Moyes "can't put his finger on our poor start"?

OK Einstein, try this: All our strikers are injured, so we ship out the one remaining Premier League quality striker who isn't, i.e. James Vaughan, who is scoring for fun, and bring in Jermaine Beckford, who is completely out of his depth at this level.

His 'cameo' at Spurs was a complete embarrassment. Is that any clearer, Dave? A cheque to any charity will do. Thanks
Roberto Granelli     Posted 27/10/2010 at 08:43:22   Comments (59)

The Enigma that is Clattenburg

I know the subject of Mark Clattenburg, has been brought up before. But what puzzles me, and I'm sure many Evertonians, is why he has never been in charge of a Blues game at Goodison Park, and if my memory is correct, at any stadium in the Premier League, since that infamous derby match at Goodison some years ago.

I am sure some fan will be able to throw more light on the subject. I must point out that I'm not advocating for him to ever ref a match involving Everton. But surely when Mike Riley took over from Keith Hackett as Referee supremo, this must have been brought up? I am not going down a conspiracy road but something does not add up.
Norman Merrill     Posted 26/10/2010 at 12:51:46   Comments (50)

Stanley Park

So Liverpool FC have until April to finalise their stadium plans to the council before their current planning permission expires.

Although Kenwright will probably deny that Stanley Park exists, I hope Everton get something together to provide the council a Plan B for the site. I have a feeling though that a ground share might be the first choice for Liverpool's new owners.


Tommy Coleman     Posted 25/10/2010 at 13:43:59   Comments (45)

Common Denominator

Has anyone noticed the common denominator in our recent success? I'll tell you ? the absence of Fellaini. Simple as that.....

Two games unbeaten without him including dicking that shower of shite; we went 20 games and only lost twice, at the back-end of last year without him.

Say what the fuck you like - the numbers speak for themselves. He's shite and we don't need him in the team.

I'd like to know the exact record we've got with that clown in the team and how much better it is when he's not playing....

Record signing me fuckin' arse......
Andy Callan     Posted 25/10/2010 at 13:03:55   Comments (62)

Our Manc among Men

"A man among men":

? a person regarded as epitomizing manhood or mankind; (esp. as a term of praise) one who is the equal of or an example to all others; an active, well-rounded member of society."
For this quote, see Phil Neville. When we were losing at the start of the season, too many ToffeeWebbers were slagging Pip off for his unnecessary war cries and his pandering to the media. Yet when he has an awesome game and keeps currently the best left winger (on-form) quiet, not many people will come out with praise for Phil.

The praise has come from all respected media sources and the two managers on Saturday. Is it because he is a Manc? Is it because he is an unglamorous player? Whatever the reasons, I think the discription above aptly suits our team captain and hope that more Everton fans start to see him for what he truly is ? a battler, a winner and a passionate leader for our great team.


Andrew Fair     Posted 25/10/2010 at 08:50:34   Comments (30)

Pienaar: Decision Time

Steven Pienaar is back playing and January is fast approaching...

Moyes has recently said he thinks Pienaar will go and as he only paid £2M he thinks he's had his worth. I reckon that now ? in the next month ? either Moyes contracts him or openly puts him on the January market in order to get something.

What will it cost to replace him ? £5/6/7M?? Sorry but £1M is better than nowt.
John Keating     Posted 24/10/2010 at 19:56:20   Comments (27)

Howard or Mucha?

Two more points thrown away, and again it's Tim Howard who must take the blame. Is he doing a good enough job to verify selection week-in, week-out? How many mistakes does he have to make before the more-than-able Mucha gets a chance? With the three points he has cost us so far, we would have been 7th in the league, just behind United and a mile ahead of Liverpool.

So what happened yesterday? If he has made his mind up to go out and punch, then he must get a hand on it. He was high enough, the ball didn't go over him, he just missed it!!

Sometimes I feel he has a nonchalant attitude to his job. Takes things for granted. But did you see Van der Vaarts run? He anticipated where that ball was going, why didn't Distin? Surely if he sees the keeper leave his goal then it should be his job to cover?

A real pity because this would have been a great 3 points, we lost all initiative at a very important time in the game. Otherwise I thought the defence looked good, reducing a powerful Spurs attacking force to a handful of long shots. Pity we were so toothless going forward.

Well... Is it time Jan Mucha got a chance, or are we happy with the job Tim is doing?


Tony Cheek     Posted 24/10/2010 at 09:27:04   Comments (37)

Johnny Heitinga

This player is a strange case.

When he arrived at Everton, I thought £6m was a fair transfer fee to pay but his reported, then record, wages I thought were over-rated. I considered Johnny to be slow, inconsistent, thuggish and liable to do something stupid.

I appeared correct in my judgement after his first few games at the Club playing midfield and right-back. Then, because of injuries, he got moved to centre-back. Johnny then transformed into a colossus at the heart of our defence and Everton went on an excellent run. His form continued into the World Cup where Everton had only their second ever World Cup finalist and I thought he had an excellent tournament despite the sending-off in the Final.

A lack of pre-season and again playing in midfield and Johnny seems to be more of a hinderance than a help. I thought he gave the ball away needlessly against Spurs and looked slow and unfit.

I think Moyes needs to decide where to play Johnny: if it's in midfield, then I don't think he is good enough, especially when Fellaini returns, and he is an expensive (wages) sub and also appears to be a disruptive voice in the dressing room. Play him at centre-back and he is world class and happy.

Over to you, Davey...
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 24/10/2010 at 09:07:02   Comments (21)

Cahill not being rude

Hi all, this is my first post.

I also need help from other Australian Everton fans to find a video clip of a Cahill Socceroo goal from last year.

Why? To show (prove) that Cahill wasn't being rude to Seamus Coleman after his goal against Liverpool. This happened before during a Socceroo match where Cahill scored a goal. A team mate (I believe it might have been Luke Wilkshire) tried to give him a congratulatory hug but Cahill appeared to push him away. Cahill went to the corner to honour his Samoan people, who were at that time recovering from a Tsunami.

After he has given his tribute to the Samoan people, he hugged his team mate, Luke Wilkshire. This video clip was uploaded in YouTube but I couldn't find.

Please tell Seamus Coleman so he does not take offence. I read somewhere here that a team that celebrates together, win together. This is true. I wouldn't like Coleman to think Cahill did not appreciate what he had done for him to score that first goal at the derby.

With Cahill, I find that the fans come first and then his team mate. Evertonians, please go to YouTube and watch some of the games Cahill played for the Socceroos. In the Aus vs Jap game in June 2009, he scored a goal and then gave all the fans a heart sign, his way of saying, "I love you all."

I'm sorry if you guys misunderstood. With Cahill, his celebrations are always for the fans, then his team mates. Maybe Tim has to changed it a bit. Team mates first, then the fans so there's no misunderstanding.

Thank you.
Angelina  Tan     Posted 24/10/2010 at 04:24:08   Comments (16)

A pound for Pompey, anyone?

In view of the facts surrounding Liverpool's bailout, it saddens me to read about the plight of Portsmouth FC. They appear to be about to go out of existence, after numerous owners and a dodgy cockney spiv have raped them. [And before the "Better with Bill" brigade start, can we just concentrate on poor old Pompey?]

Everything that could be done for Liverpool FC seems to have been done, ie Barclays Bank, RBS, the courts... amazing how they managed to steal the club off the owners, before the deadline, and sell it on to new (American!!!) owners, yet no-one gives a toss for the likes of Pompey, and their great supporters.

Well I (for one) do, and if every football fan in England donated a pound, we might be able to save them... although it may be to late. What a sad state of affairs.
Robert Daniels     Posted 23/10/2010 at 09:34:14   Comments (21)

Ossie Out! Time for Bily to Step-up

Osman is out for 6 weeks. He may have become a bit of a scapegoat over the years, but I believe he is a very good player, albeit one who in his best position would not get into a fully fit Everton team (central midfield, where Arteta plays).

However, one other thing is for sure: When Everton play well, Osman is generally one of the better players (despite his often infuriating child-like weak shots that demean much good work). It is equally true that when Everton don't play well he goes missing. But at the moment we are playing quite well, and Osman has been one of the better players. The fact that he has been doing well in Pienaar's absence has made it all the more important.

Now the injury curse has struck again (proving that it wasn't all Baz Rathbone's fault), the time is for Bily to step up.

He is a totally different player, so one should not get angry is he doesn't do Pienaar's or Osman's chasing, but he does need to become an effective player. No more so than in the next game at Spurs.

I really hope he can step up to the plate, if he does then thisclub will benefit no end if he gets a good run of form. If not then we coulbe in trouble. Or will Moyes pump for Guaye ? a wilcard but one that rather weak Spurs defense won't expect either.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 22/10/2010 at 15:20:58   Comments (46)

Congratulations, Evertonians!

I just wanted to take a quick moment to say congratulations to all those great supporters of Everton Football Club for last weekend's win over Liverpool.

In my relatively short 4+ years of supporting the Blues I cannot remember a time, sans possibly the "Gosling" victory over the same Red Shite, where I was more pleased.

I felt compelled to mention to all those fantastic, life-long supporters whose words I read on this site almost daily: Congratulations! Just a fantastic win. If it meant so much to me.... I can't even begin to comprehend the joy it brought to so many here.

I've said on many occasions this site has truly been a revelation to me of how incredible the supporters of Everton Football Club are. So many people, here on this site, have been with this Club for so long. They've seen so many ups and downs. They've been through thick and thin. They've been simply model, perfect supporters in my opinion.

I was very, very happy for all of you last Sunday. Long may your happiness, and the fruits of your support, continue. Congratulations for what I saw as a victory in one of the most important derbies in my short-lived, Everton "career."

And I sincerely hope I have many more victories to savor with all of you like the one we saw on Sunday. Cheers! You deserve that moment. Greatest fans in the world. Although my term with the Club is short, I can say I did not choose, I was chosen. And I was simply overwhelmed with joy last Sunday!
Jamie Crowley     Posted 22/10/2010 at 02:55:28   Comments (17)

The cow follows the trawler!

OK, I know there's been a couple of threads regarding Rooney recently, and most people have given there opinion about:

1. Do we want him back.

2. Do we think its possible?

3. And for some, do we even care?

Now the press release from Old Trafford today is basically "No comment"! But for me, that in itself is a statement, ie, something strange is going on. Wayne wont sign a contact, Redface says he wants to leave... yet today they're asking there fans to be patient.

Some of there fans (sorry, most of their fans) already have gone into scouse hating mode, death threats have been mentioned, i take this as a warning if he were to sign for the arabs!

So, then you look at other clubs, and apart from chelski (Terry and Cole tapping him up) and Real Madrid aka, the chosen one. I can't see him going anywhere else. So why would manure not say today?

We are still talking to people, you know, Stretford, and whoever else and when its decided, we will let the fans know. But one thing is for sure: Rooney is leaving sometime in the near future.

There are manure fans that realise they could, and probably are on a downward spiral, and are desperate for Rooney to stay! Their fans are living in hope that he stays.

Why wouldnt a simple statement that, whatever happens, Rooney's going, have been said today! I cant understand why they haven't confirmed that he's leaving to sign for whoever. Not who too ? that can come later, but at least don't torment your own fans.

So, I now believe that he may stay there! All they have to say is, Wayne's deffo going at the earliest opportunity. Instead of limbo, even just for one more night? Put their fans out of misery, at least they would know.

Strange, very strange!
Robert Daniels     Posted 21/10/2010 at 22:42:03   Comments (22)

Is Champions League still possible?

Every team has one or two bad patches within a season, whether you're challenging for Europe or the title.

We are looking like we're on our way out of this slump: three clean sheets and 7 points out of the last three games is pretty good form, so 3 very possible points against Spurs, especially after last night, leaves us two points behind Spurs who are joint second!

I for one think it's possible if we are top 6 and within reach of fourth in January especially with our usual strong finish!


Chris  Hannon     Posted 21/10/2010 at 14:54:22   Comments (38)

The Management Team

We all have been at some time incredulous at some of David Moyes's team selections and style of play. We have all recognised his favourites and bemoaned his sometime square peg ethos. We all know that we are in much better shape since we have been under Moyes's stewardship, but what I would like to raise is the assistant manager's role.

Kendall & Harvey; Clough & Shreeves... individually ? not great; together ? brilliant. What about Moyes & Round? Round has been mooted for the Boro vacancy; how has he done for us?

I for one wonder sometimes when Moyes has made a cock-up and all and sundry on here can see it yet it seems no-one can tell Moyes ? isn't that his assistant's job.

Would we be happy to see him go? Is there anyone better? What does he do for the team?
Iain Love     Posted 20/10/2010 at 22:53:51   Comments (32)

Greatest Strikers ? Vote for Dixie

Guardian are running a poll looking for people to vote for the greatest players ever. Dixie is listed as one of the strikers so vote, vote, vote!!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/oct/20/greatest-ever-footballers-strikers
Rob Murphy     Posted 20/10/2010 at 21:58:55   Comments (25)

Ethnic Mix at Goodison

It is now the norm for at least 4 Black players to play in our first team ? considerable progress when you consider that only 16 years ago Daniel Amokachi became Everton's first high-profile Black signing.

However, from my observations at home matches, this shift is not reflected in the supporters' ethnic mix. I see some supporters from an Asian background but very few from an Afro-Caribbean background. 2001 Census data for Liverpool suggests that approximately 1% of local residents are Black and 3% of Asian ethnic background so it would not be unreasonable to expect over a 1000 supporters to not be white at a full capacity match.

Do ToffeeWeb readers have any insight into why this is the case despite the good work of the Club in the community and the virtual disappearance of overt racism at the ground (that I recall was all too familiar at Goodison and some other grounds in the 80s)?
Rob Sawyer     Posted 19/10/2010 at    Comments (71)

Rooney The Prodigal Returns?

Reading "The Independent" today I came across an interesting article by Nick Harris and Sam Wallace regarding Wayne Rooney.

Rooney could leave Man Utd next summer by buying out the final year of his contract for the cost of his current yearly salary (£5M) - plus small compensation fee. He could do this using the Webster Ruling - named after former Hearts player Andy Webster. See link for details: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/rooney-could-quit-united-for-only-1635m-2110324.html

Now just imagine this scenario, Rooney decides he wants out of Utd, his family who are all Evertonians as he is, see his future closer to home, with his wife and child. Over the last 18 months he has been building bridges with David Moyes, Evertonians etc. He decides to come back to Everton, will accept the wages he is on at Man Utd currently and EFC pay the £5M to Man Utd, we get a world class player, in his prime for a comparative pittance.

Will Evertonians accept him? After all, his transfer fee stopped EFC going to the wall, but his antics since have caused a great rift between him and Everton, but he did attend the FA Cup Final v Chelsea, his son is being brought up a Blue.

Stranger things have happened and the betting has him at 50-1 to re-join Everton?
Larry Boner     Posted 19/10/2010 at 10:55:08   Comments (150)

Tim Cahill is now undoubtedly an Everton Legend! Discuss!

This has prompted much debate on Toffeeweb in the last couple of months.

Here are some important stats:

49 goals in 168 league matches. 60 goals in 208 gams (all competitions for Everton).

This season he has scored 4 league goals in 7 appearances and a couple of very important assists, it can be argued that he has won us possibly 7/8 of our points this season.

He has also just become our post-war leading goal scorer in derby matches. That in itself justifies legend status. He ought, genuinely in my opinion to be regarded as a true Everton legend.
James Cadwaladr     Posted 18/10/2010 at 08:46:39   Comments (88)

Feed The Yak and.....

..?he will make a right bloody nuisance of himself!

So our big guy upfront didn?t score, but you can bet that Skrtel and ?that Greek twat? will be having nightmares about their ordeal having struggled to cope with his movement and physicality all afternoon.

Make no mistake, the Yak put a real shift in today and played an integral part in our success. Yes Distin and Jags were immense, Baines superb and Cahill outstanding? but Yakubu was the real highlight for me because that was the kind of performance we have been missing up front all season.

We can discuss the merits of 4-5-1 vs 4-4-2 all day long ? and many of us have done so recently here on TW. For me, Moyes?s favoured formation is at its most effective when you have a player up top capable of holding the ball up, linking play, and occupying both centre halves through intelligent movement and generally putting themselves about. Yakubu did all this with aplomb.

He showed hunger (the right sort of hunger) determination and a sharpness which many of us had given up seeing from him again. Admittedly, he started breathing out of his arse for the last 20-odd minutes when Moyes, in a pleasingly positive move, brought on Beckford along side him to take up the running from the front and keep up the pressure on the reds in the final third of the pitch.

If he can keep up this level of performance, I believe it is only matter of time before we?ll all be singing ?Feed the Yak and he will score? on a regular basis once again. I believe he is the answer to our striking problems. Not selling him to West Ham in the summer has well, been very much like a new signing!

It has been a beautiful day.... Enjoy, my fellow Blues? enjoy!
Jamie Sweet     Posted 18/10/2010 at 00:11:45   Comments (45)

Bily ? Don?t Be A Hero

Great victory today, the look on Caragher's & Gerrard's faces throughout the game was one of the highlights for me, as were the performances by Cahill, Arteta and some of those players who have been getting stick recently: Distin, Ossie and The Yak who I thought had a great game in the first half, but maybe tired as the game neared its conclusion. All of the above seemed up for it.

But I am sure there are many letters on this and I wanted to discuss something else ? Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

When he joined last season, I thought he had some ok games, he of course scored some important and great goals and I had high hopes that, following a long break in the summer, following the much published fact that he had not had a break for 18 months or so, he would come back as a main player for us. I saw a few pre-season games and he looked again okay, although I thought he looked the part against Norwich, but once the season has started, again it has just not happened. For me today was the final straw.

When I see players with so called lesser talent giving their all and tackling back, tracking the play, diving in to block anything they can, then I watch Bily and his slow, uninterested play it makes my blood boil. He had been on for about 5-10 mins today and I was watching the way every time Liverpool went forward he backed off and off and just let them run at him.

Then you see the likes of Cahill, Arteta, even bloody Yak chasing everything back who had already played a half and there he is wandering about. It didn?t take long for Liverpool to notice this and it got to the point where every attack was coming down our left and poor old Baines was trying to deal with the onslaught on his own.

Bily is almost a step behind the play, sticking out a leg in a vain effort to tackle and then just watching the ball go past him. I actually felt like we were playing with ten men and it is no coincidence that Liverpool came more into the game when he come on. (Yes, I know we scored around this time, but at the point Liverpool were attacking us.)

I don?t know what it is, but it is just not working out. Yes he is not playing in his correct position ? just behind the attacker, but really with the effort he put in I wouldn?t even have him on the bench. I mean compare young Seamus today with Bily and it is unbelievable that the youngster is the less experienced player.

I don?t like to turn on a player and even though I don?t like what Johnny H has been saying recently at least he seemed to be up for the cause today, it is just with Bily, I think the time has come to move him on.

At the end of the day sometimes things do not work out, there is no rhyme or reason, but a player does not settle or does not show what he can really do and I think this is the case with Billy. One of the most frustrating things is that I could see him going somewhere else and showing he is really a world class player....
Marc Davis     Posted 17/10/2010 at 20:36:36   Comments (32)

Happy Birthday to Me

It was my birthday on Friday and I had a feast of sporting events over the weekend in which I had a serious interest.

On Friday night, my local team Maritzburg United had its first victory of the season (similar story as Everton ? decent buildup but lacking a class striker). The KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins (my local first-class cricket team) beat the Titans by nine wickets, which represents a serious improvement in recent seasons' form. In the semi-finals of the Currie Cup rugby, my local side the Sharks pulled off a minor upset by beating the formidable Bulls to secure a place in the final (South African rugby's equivalent to the Premier League and FA Cup rolled into one). Come Saturday night and it's three out of four.

That left the Derby and I must admit to a fair amount of trepidation. We had been underperforming (which everyone here knows about) and Liverpool would surely be inspired by the positive (for them, I think?) events of the week. But to put the cherry on the top, was the Sports Betting column in our local Saturday newspaper, The Weekend Witness.

I always approach this column with a sense of anticipation as regards how the author predicts the Everton game, because he is almost invariably off the money. Let's put it this way ? if he made a living betting on Everton games, he would be insolvent. (I do think he deserves a bit of sympathy, because I am sure lots of ToffeeWebbers have lost money betting on surefire home wins in recent years against teams like Wolves, Stoke and Newcastle.)

Anyway, there it was on Saturday morning in the paper ? the kiss of death: 'Everton's position in the league does not represent their ability, and with Liverpool in total shambles on and off the field, I think the price of 13-10 looks good value for a big bet on Everton. If you want to back a side with Joe Cole as one of your goal scorers, it's not my problem that you have no respect for your hard-earned money'. There, I thought, was one of the most unequivocal tips this guy had ever given and it was on us. As I said before, the mother of all kisses of death. I was tempted to go out and bet on a Liverpool win and Cole scoring.

But, fortunately, he came right this weekend and we all know what happened. My birthday weekend comes to an end with a perfect four-out-of-four results and Everton three points off sixth. Interesting match-up against Spurs next weekend that will give us a realistic view of how we are doing. (Liverpool today were dire.)

Toffees forever!
Michael Kidd     Posted 17/10/2010 at 18:52:20   Comments (3)

Right side of midfield now solved?

I notice there is now some talk of Donovan returning to Everton in January on loan. It would be a great move and I would welcome him back with open arms. But is it such an urgent matter as it was?

Does anybody agree with me that Coleman has now found his best position? He is much better on the right side of midfield than he is at full-back and that should now be considered to be his role. While he is not the best defender in the world, he knows enough about the job to get back and cover more than effectively for Hibbert or Neville in a partnership that could match Baines and Pienaar on the other side (if Pienaar stays that is).

The lad is a revelation for me and it is disappointing in a way that the manager was a good way behind the supporters in advocating the lad's move further upfield. I expect him to stay there now because he may well turn out to be one of the most productive players in the Premier League in that position. On today's performance he probably already is!
Dave Roberts     Posted 17/10/2010 at 18:10:16   Comments (10)

Rooney: Stranger things......

Some time ago, I jokingly (very jokingly) commented on here that Wayne Rooney had kicked off a master plan when he moved to Man Utd that went something like this:

Rooney moves to Utd, financially saves Everton by his sale, wins all he wants to, and earns all he needs to. And then, when it comes time to renew his contract, he tells Sir Alex, "Nah, yer alright, I'll just run this one down if yer don't mind"...

...and returns to Everton on a free!

Feeling like all us Blues feel on this very good day... how would THAT scenario make you feel?
Brian Williams     Posted 17/10/2010 at 16:58:49   Comments (39)

Team news

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Heitinga, Arteta, Osman, Cahill, Yakubu. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Beckford, Gueye, Mustafi, Baxter.
Gerry Quinn     Posted 17/10/2010 at 12:55:23   Comments (16)

Sunday's selection?

Given the current injury list, who plays on Sunday? I would like to see how Carragher would cope against Beckford's pace...
Dave Reynier     Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:25:15   Comments (65)

Stanley Park

"Liverpool to develop Anfield" -- So Everton should now apply for planning permission to build a stadium on the park. This could attract investment and the Council could hardly refuse... could they??
Bobby Morgan     Posted 15/10/2010 at 15:55:46   Comments (27)

Merchandise

Right, Merchandise!

Love or loathe the Pink/Vanilla (not 2 colours that spring to mind when I think of Everton), but I have to admit, I am impressed with the Catalogue, and the professional moves we have made on the merchandising front.

Let me explain: my wife, god love her, has no interest in football whatsoever. And coming from Yorkshire, you can let it slide a little with her. Since we have been together, she has grown to accept the Mistress in my life that is Everton. And, although she does not understand, she accepts my love for the club.

She tries... really hard. Every player we have with dark hair is Cahill or 'The Spanish Magic fella'. And she acknowledges the big awkward bloke with massive hair. But that is it with her. That's her knowledge, and she has no desire to progress it anymore. So imagine my shock last night as she flicked through the new Everton Catalogue that arrived, and used words like "Mmmm, that's nice, I like that top." I nearly fell over!

And this is my (slightly long-winded) point: The professionalism in the Catalogue now. The Tower, Dixie Dean & even the Moyes ranges. Someone has looked at this, and seems to realise, to generate the money, offer us the ranges for all the family. This really is a massive move forward, maybe a little too late. But I commend the moves to make us a brand, a real professional brand. Something we have lacked before.

Now I am not saying we are perfect, far from it. I myself have encountered problems when ordering stuff online. But I just thought I would 'give props' to the forward movement of the merchandising aspect of the club ? long may it continue.
Steve Foster     Posted 15/10/2010 at 11:01:18   Comments (17)

Fellaini now out of the Derby?

I just heard on Radio Merseyside that Fellaini may miss the derby match. Anyone have any news?

Mike Hughes     Posted 15/10/2010 at    Comments (45)

A tale of two supported teams

Everton ? supported on the footballing front ? and (me being of an Indian origin) the Indian national cricket team. Both teams about which I am very passionate about but why does one disappoint me and another do me proud?

Well, I see a team in Everton who are frustrating. A very good team on it's day and a match for anyone; however, the way this team is coached is to set out and not to get beaten, and try and beat the opponent if an opportunity arises.

Now the analogy I make with the Indian National cricket team, and it made me think about Everton when watching them, is that they just go for the win, no matter if the series has already been won. Having watched India beat Australia in the two tests recently, they went 1-0 up and didn't for one minute decide to play for a draw, which they could easily have done, but they actually went on the attack and took on the opposition (bowlers) and went for the kill. The mentality instilled in this team is to keep on winning, irrespective of the outcome already attained.

My point is, with Everton, they are team who are cautious; they will defend a slender lead and never chase for a second. I would just like to see more adventure in my beloved blues ? just as I see in the Indian cricket team.
Kunal Desai     Posted 14/10/2010 at 18:48:19   Comments (16)

Would history have been different?

I only recently finished reading Jimmy Armfield's autobiography in which he stated that he was offered the Everton manager's job by John Moores. I wasn't aware of this, as it was at the time when Armfield was managing Bolton. He made all the right noises, but indicated that he felt he wasnt quite ready for such a big club. Armfield then went on to manage Leeds, but I think was just at the point when Revie left for the England job, and Leeds were on the way down.

Would we have done better under Armfield (whom Leeds later sacked)? Or do you think he could have "done a job for us" given the players we had at the time? All speculation, I know, but I got the impression he had the right pedigree, both from playing and managing, to have done well with EFC.

I dont have the book anymore, as it was borrowed from a friend, but I guess this would have been around 1975-76??
John Brennan     Posted 14/10/2010 at 18:42:54   Comments (4)

Sheitinga

If it is true that 'World Cup super star' Jonny Heitinger has talked up a move away to Bundesliga flops Bayern Munich, I think the little turd should get his wish but not before he gets a whacking fine off Moyes. After resurrecting his career and paying him Premier League wages, this is not the first time Heitinga has made ungrateful noises about moving to a 'bigger club'.

OK, the Prem is full of greedy twats but on the eve of a titanic derby match, what does he think he is playing at? Piss off Jonny but be careful what you wish for ? with 8 points from 7 games, Bayern are hardly setting the Bundesliga on fire.

Pity Jags is injured... otherwise I wouldn't even have him on the bench for Sunday.
Mike Keating     Posted 14/10/2010 at 12:23:04   Comments (48)

How to survive

Is there a reason for the unusual amount of injuries suffered by our young players when on international duty? Could it be caused by doing everything flat stick or perhaps a different kind of warm up routine?

If it is the first of these, an element of self-preservation introduced into their training could help. Throwing caution to the winds and tackling everything with gay abandon is a recipe for a short career. Too many times, I have seen the enthusiasm of youngsters and lack of care bring about their own problems.

On a strictly amateur level, when a junior was nearing senior level, I would mix their schedule with sensible auld arses just to learn the ropes in a kind of survival course.

On a professional international stage, young players should be made to understand that they are expected to exhibit the attributes that led to their selection, no more no less. They should not be expected to indulge in Kamikaze-like tackles.
Dick Fearon     Posted 13/10/2010 at 23:40:43   Comments (12)

BIll: Get on the phone!

I'm sitting here watching Liverpool get away with murder (as usual) but also thinking there is some billionaire who is sitting at home waiting to be sold to...

Look over the park, Peter, there is another club, with another great history and no debt (in comparison). Err Bill get on the phone to Singapore billionaire Peter Lim.

£300 Million could catapult Everton ahead of everyone and it's all about the future not the past? Who's with me but are Everton missing a massive PR opportunity to investors by coming out publicy and saying "We are as good as anyone to buy, come and get us." Or am I deluded?
Tim Muzio     Posted 13/10/2010 at 22:12:43   Comments (35)

Backs Against The Wall

Derby day looms and the misery that Liverpool was under has gone and a new optimism at Anfield has begun. This could be a good thing because we do not play well when we look the favourites.

Look at the examples; Derby at Anfield last season, we were on top and threatening them. Then Liverpool get a player sent off, and then we turn into a very average looking side. Last year, Manchester United score and we had our back to the wall and look what happened ? we absolutely annihilated them. We were better at keeping possession, we played in their half, we had a solid back four and we played with a purpose and we had venom with our finishing.

I know it is horrible to say but the Jagielka injury could be a blessing in disguise because this could be the thing that puts our backs to the wall and makes us fight and makes us want it. I think our best defensive player last season will get his chance and he will shine.

We should have 11 players on that pitch on Sunday who are willing to put their bodies on the line and get hurt if it?s necessary. I don?t think we?ve got 11 players who will do that, I think we have a few, like Howard, Neville, Cahill, Osman, Heitinga and maybe Fellaini. I wouldn?t include Yakubu who wanted out only 2 months ago and Pienaar who is stalling on a contract. I don?t think Arteta would go into a 50/50 if had a chance of getting hurt.

Moyes and Round both need to drill it in the players? heads that we have to go out fighting from the off and we need to set the tempo in what is sure to be one of the closely fought derbies in a few years. If we win on Sunday we gain ground on them. But if we don?t, we are in serious trouble. We have sSpurs away coming up which is not an easy game. Then we are running out of time going into the Christmas fixture list and the FA Cup starts up.

Everton promote that Nothing but the Best will Do. So let?s see that on Sunday and prove that we are in the wrong position in the league and really kick-start our season into gear. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum??
Jake Wilson     Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:30:57   Comments (15)

No YNWA at Goodison

Just read the Echo found that the family of murdered teen have rallied Everton to play "You'll Never Walk Alone" at Goodison Park before the derby. Now with the utmost respect to his family, I believe this is a highly stupid idea and could wreck the whole point of playing it in the first place. I believe that it would just turn into a crescendo of boos and I don?t believe it?s just.

I agree that there maybe should be a minute?s applause or silence but his murder doesn?t give any justification for somebody to play YNWA at GP. Derbies have highly charged atmospheres and there?s a hell of amount of hatred and passion shown at these games. I?d struggle to keep myself contained while all of those 3,000 day trippers were singing along, I?d become slightly pissed off.

I know people will say after the Liverpool played Z-Cars for Rhys Jones but that was completely different circumstances. The two sides weren?t playing each other and it was for an 11-year-old lad who was highly popular with his red mates and Everton mates. Also we don?t sing Z-Cars and it doesn?t have any words.

I believe we should have a minute?s applause or silence but I believe playing YNWA would be like a red rag to a bull and disgrace the memory of the poor lad.
Nelaj Behajiha     Posted 12/10/2010 at 13:38:09   Comments (89)

Derby Rituals

Ok. It's getting to the time before a derby that my arse is starting to twitch.

I constantly think about the game and stupidly perform little rituals in the hope it might bring us some luck, ie, today I am stirring my tea in one direction (no this is not a wind-up). Anybody else do daft things before derbies or other big games for that matter?

By Friday, I will be praying for the gods to shine on us for once. Daft thing is, I don't even believe in god. I just wish the game was over so i could just get on with my life, because from now until late Sunday afternoon it will dominate my every thought.
Dave Lynch     Posted 11/10/2010 at 10:44:04   Comments (28)

Derby Games

My record in attendance is 8 wins, 12 losses, 4 draws (including one I count when I couldn't get the ticket but went to Wembley):

  1. October 1984 LFC 0 - 1 EFC
  2. September 1985 EFC 2 - 3 LFC
  3. February 1986 LFC 0 - 2 EFC
  4. May 1986 EFC 1 - 3 LFC
  5. January 1987 EFC 0 - 1 LFC
  6. April 1987 LFC 3 - 1 EFC
  7. October 1987 LFC 0 - 1 EFC
  8. November 1987 LFC 2 - 0 EFC
  9. March 1988 EFC 1 - 0 LFC
  10. May 1989 EFC 0 - 0 LFC
  11. May 1989 EFC 2 - 3 LFC (I was outside the ground)
  12. September 1989 EFC 1 - 3 LFC
  13. February 1991 EFC 4 - 4 LFC
  14. February 1991 EFC 1 - 0 LFC
  15. December 1991 EFC 1 - LFC 1
  16. December 1992 EFC 2 - 1 LFC
  17. April 1996 EFC 1 - 1 LFC
  18. October 1997 EFC 2 - 0 LFC
  19. April 1999 LFC 3 - 2 EFC
  20. April 2001 EFC 2 - 3 LFC
  21. September 2001 EFC 1 - 3 LFC
  22. April 2003 EFC 1 - 2 LFC
  23. August 2003 EFC 0 - 3 LFC
I've not bothered in the last 7 years ? marriage, mortgage, kids. I expect a win next Sunday, nothing to do with ownership issues, just footballing ability. I've always hated derbies, but for the first time since I can remember (bar the 1984-85 season when we were the best ? my first full season as a season ticket holder) we are the better team (I was born in 1970, so two seasons out of 40 isn't bad!).

I think we will win; do you?
Mike Jones     Posted 10/10/2010 at 00:52:55   Comments (24)

Numerology and the FA Cup

In a season in which the FA Cup is our only hope of glory, I report this with a heavy heart.

While lying in bed reading my Everton Miscellany (a sad life really), I noted an extraordinary relationship between the years in which the Blues won the cup.

Our first victory came in 1906. Adding together the individual digits, 1, 9, 0 and 6 makes 16.

We next won it in 1933. Hullo, what?s this? 1, 9, 3 and 3 makes 16 again!

Then the amazing 1966 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. 1 + 9 + 6 + 6 = 22.

Then the 1984 win, with the digits 1, 9, 8 and 4 again adding up to 22!!

Amazing or what?

So then comes 1995 and Manure. 1 and 9 and 9 and 5 add up to 24.

So of course I started to calculate when next the digits will add up to 24. With sinking heart I realised that I will never see Phil Neville lift the cup. In fact, I will never see an Everton captain lift it again. For the next year whose digits make 24 is 2499.

Perhaps I should take up time travel.
Philip Kolvin     Posted 09/10/2010 at 17:58:05   Comments (17)

When Sky get the boot

After all the goings-on across the park, it got me to thinking about the fabled billionaire owner everyone dreams about!

Keith Harris maintains no-one is seriously interested in Everton, and also says most of the recent takeovers have been out of necessity rather than choice, eg Portsmouth, West Ham, Liverpool. In other words, there are no more billionaires willing to invest; the City deal and Chelsea were one-offs... (that sounds like a contradiction as soon as I said it!)

Anyway, you can understand what he means... but I actually think he's wrong! The time can't be far away when the Premier League clubs, refuse the Sky TV money to generate their own TV revenue. Now I haven't got any figures (and I would be grateful if someone could enlighten me) to back any of this up, but surely it's quite simple maths: if say Everton reach the FA Cup Final or even the semis, what would be the viewing figures?

I believe the cup final is watched world wide, with an audience of say 350 million; if the cost was £5 pound per head, to view it live, the money to be split between the two clubs would be astronomical. Maybe the viewing cost might only be a pound, it would still mean we received somewhere in the region of 175 million for one game. What would Davey do with that?

So, the fabled billionaires out there must be aware of this; I believe it will happen in the next ten years. The money won't go out of football... it's waiting to come in!


Robert Daniels     Posted 09/10/2010 at 10:02:33   Comments (31)

Team Selections

I am hoping that we can get back a bit of Blue Steel at the back and keep the points coming in. Before Jags got injured, I was wondering with all these rumours about teams sniffing around Heitinga whether Moyes was punishing him. Distin and Jags have had a few blips this season but Moyes hasn't seemed close to dropping them. Distin is a big strong defender and has pace. Problem seems to be a lack of concentration at times.

If Moyes wasn't going to drop the centre backs, would he consider playing Heitinga at right back? I feel Heitinga is a much better player than Neville and, although I admire Neville's leadership quality, I feel with the added quality in our squad, he's good cover for a number of positions. Though Moyes would always find some way to get Neville and Osman in the team!

Leading to the other expensive acquisition in question... Bilyaletdinov! If Moyes has issues with the way he plays, I read somewhere it could be his unwillingness to track back, though I'd have thought Moyes would have had it sorted by now.

I was surprised to see Bily left on the bench with Osman getting the nod to play on the left in Pienaar's absence. Although Osman apparently played well, I wonder how Bily is feeling? Now he's no longer a starter for Russia would also play on his mind. I feel he needs backing and giving confidence and the left midfield position should be his in the absence of Pienaar.

I just wonder if there is more to it, and find it unusual for Everton to have two players with the estimated combine value of £17 million sitting on their backsides!
Martin Clark     Posted 09/10/2010 at 07:29:53   Comments (25)

Recompense

Regardless of what we think of Jagielka's performance this season ? and it has been pretty so-so to say the least, he was picked for the present England squad. He is an integral part of our team and now, on England duty, he's injured.

This may affect, big-style, our team/selection ? not only for the derby but for other games. What compensation, if any, do we get from the FA... and is it adequate?

Yes he may get injured training at Finch Farm, and that's tough, but he didn't. Some of us like the lads playing internationals... some don't. This is one reason not to.
John Keating     Posted 08/10/2010 at 21:20:09   Comments (23)

Don't Bank On It

Still no new investment in the club. Hardly a surprise... and by that I'm not having a dig at Kenwright but rather stating the bleedin' obvious: there's a recession on. Nobody with any sense is going to sink a substantial fraction of their hard-earned into a football club just now. But let's turn conventional wisdom on its head: is the last fifteen years of operating the club on a ball of string, blu-tack and sticking plaster going to turn out to be an advantage that nobody expected?

Our lovable neighbours appear more and more like the bus at the end of The Italian Job: if they don't have a really good idea soon, the weight of all that money is going to tip them into oblivion. It's also been said, and I'll admit I have absolutely nothing other than what's already publicly well known to back this up, that Man Utd aren't so very far from the edge of the same cliff. Even Abramovich is keeping a tighter hold on his wallet these days...

Only Manchester City are spraying cash like they have a bottomless supply of the stuff ? which they more or less do. But how much use they can make of it in future with Uefa's impending plan to bar heavy-loss-making clubs from Europe, is open to question ? or more probably to creative accounting...

We all know that what's happened at Chelski and Middle Eastlands is at best grossly unfair, and anything that limits the influence of such biblically wealthy individuals on football has to be a good thing. Far better that we had, say, eight clubs each with a realistic shot at qualifying for the Champions League than four clubs that monotonously do so year after year after year after year after year after year.

That seems to be happening by itself to some extent anyway but, if Platini gets his way, this is a space worth watching. It seems just possible that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of this top-heavy wealth-drenched era in English football.

I'm making no predictions here. It's probably pie in the sky, and the rich clubs will find ways to remain so. But, just for the sake of argument, let's suppose I'm right, and the cash is starting to drain out of the game. Everton is well used to running on a budget, where the likes of Liverpool and Man Utd certainly aren't. You'd rather be heading into that version of the future from our situation than theirs...
Richard Pike     Posted 08/10/2010 at 00:14:44   Comments (43)

Has football lost something

International break, 1st win so can't winge about Moyes / Kenright etc etc . I got to thinking about my feelings for football this season.

I just can't get fired up about it as is the norm. Is it our dreadful start, fallout from an appalling World Cup, or just pissed off reading about these rich twats shagging this or that prostitute or wannabe wag. Is it just me or does anybody else feel a bit flat?

Normally, I would be laughing my head off at the kopites, even taking into account our dismal form, I play footie twice a week against diehard Reds fans and I can only muster feeble taunts that lack any real conviction or malice... What's going on? Moyes has made (and is still making, to my mind) some crazy decisions with team selections and I am feeling a bit disinterested.

Even reading some of the posts on here, they seem to lack a bit of bite, even when we where sitting rock bottom; mind you 17th ain't great. Anybody else out there just waiting for that seminal performance that's going to get the juices flowing again? Or am I just getting past it?
Iain Love     Posted 06/10/2010 at 22:21:28   Comments (33)

Fitting punishment

I read this morning that Newcastle's Jose Enrique had called for Nigel De Jong to be banned until Ben Arfa has returned from his broken leg. I now read that Newcastle are urging the FA to take "appropriate action" against De Jong. I also note that no-one from Newcastle urged the FA to take action against Nolan when he blatantly did Anichebe.

Why the PFA remain silent when one of their members deliberately threaten the career of another of their members has always been a mystery to me.

My question is, if a player deliberately takes out another player for a prolonged period of time, is a maximum 3 games a fitting punishment?
John Keating     Posted 05/10/2010 at 19:42:17   Comments (50)

Kranjcar for Pienaar

I've just read on the notoriously ill-informed talksport website that Moyes is allegedly weighing up an option to swap Kranjcar for Pienaar in January.

I love Pienaar and my preferred outcome would be for him to sign a new contract and end his career here (or at least give us a good bargaining position in the summer). However, if we got Kranjcar in return, I'd see this as good business rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the season. I've always rated him and was disappointed when we didn't make a bid for him prior to his move from Pompey. He's got proven Premier League experience and is versatile.
Ben Howard     Posted 05/10/2010 at 16:09:05   Comments (33)

Bursting the Bubble

Does anyone know more about this article?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11452434

This Portsmouth landlady is taking her case to the European Court of Justice to allow her to show PL games from a Greek provider for £100 per month, instead of the £1000 many pubs are charged. If the case goes her way, it will mean access to PL games regardless of time of fixture for a fraction of costs dictated by the PL itself for any territory in Europe.

This opens up many questions and possibilities to football and clubs individually. Could be the bubble will burst sooner than we think, and football may possibly come back to the people as technology available to us all outgrows the restrictions of copyright law rendering said territories and the purpose of the laws redundant.

Also the BBC has this only in their business section (now mysteriously taken off their ?what people are reading now? section), and the story is conspicuous by its absence in the national (Murdoch) press.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 04/10/2010 at 23:12:31   Comments (28)

Waited for this moment

I am sure I will be slated for this - but all my life I have said I don't care if we finished 17th as long as Liverpool were 18th. Well after all these years, that is where we find ourselves tonight. Oh for the season to end now!

Yes, they will probably take a point at least from Blackpool and push us back into the bottom 3, but just for these 24 hours I am going to enjoy the banter, ribbing and humour of the rivalry between our clubs.

Of course, by 2 weeks from now - when we beat them in the Derby, we will go back above them and also to mid table obscurity - but for tomorrow when I greet our vicar I will just re-assure him that they are probably too good to go down.

Don't you just love football!?
Phil Roberts     Posted 02/10/2010 at 23:54:07   Comments (174)

I kind of knew this would happen...

I knew we would get a big win today. It was well, well, overdue. We kind of all knew it was going to happen. Birmingham?s mighty 18-month unbeaten home record, to me anyway, never ever looked fearsome or daunting. Nor did it look so to David Moyes or the Everton players.

I have patiently bitten my tongue all week, and more so, all season. The season where we were supposed to push on and challenge the Sky Four. The season where we were supposed to battle the millionaire spending power of City, and the well tuned machine that is Tottenham.

I write this as a relieved Evertonian, but also as an angry one. Those who were, and maybe still are, calling for a new manager and a shake up on the training pitch, I hope are a little humbled tonight. How dare people question the attitude of the players and the coach at the helm? Are people serious about their claims that we were....are ..... in a relegation fight after six games?.....

?No, It?s ok now. We got that first big win, we?ll be ok. We?ll do the red shite next week and we can start dreaming about 6th spot again.....? No.... we did not get the win on the opening day at Blackburn that we all expected.... No... we did not get as many of the ?X? amount of points I as an armchair coach expected by this stage. But... we turned over Birmingham at St Andrews, something no team has managed for 18 months, and we should have turned over Fulham seven days ago a their home ground, again, somewhere no teams goes and just walks away with points..... and if we had taken one of the many guilt-edged chances we created we would be sitting a little more pretty in the league table....and a higher and mightier in the "i know when to sack the manager stakes" that so many of the fans seem to think they have a right to.

I will quote you directly from the Oxford English dictionary on the word fickle.... ? If you describe someone as fickle, you disapprove of them because they keep changing their mind about what they like or want?. The greatest fans in the world or the most fickle fans in the world? I ask you?

If we?d lost today, no doubt the Sunday papers would be rubbing their hands at the prospect of Owen Coyle or Martin Jol taking over at the helm at Goodison Park. One big win, renewed optimism amongst the real fans and I for one am looking forward to the Derby, a big win and ANOTHER great season under David Moyes? reign.

"But what If we?d lost today Peter...?"
Peter Laverty     Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:37:52   Comments (54)

The stuff of legend

Depending on subjective opinion both here on ToffeeWeb and the wider media, the title of 'legend' is often used and just as often abused. I ask your opinion on what qualities and/or achievements are prerequisites needed to be accepted as a legend. Specifically, I would like to know just what is required of an Everton legend.

To illustrate what I am talking about, let's take for example the suggestion that Tim Cahill, who is already a living legend in Australian Soccer, should also be considered as an Everton legend ? or at least one in the making.

The mere suggestion of such a thing gets some backs up and the Australian Mafia will get its usual airing. I ask those people, are you listening Mike Oates, who is it that they reckon is an Everton legend? And their reasons for it? Perhaps the time has come for a defined set of criteria that will determine what constitutes a legend.

Should there be a department or ombudsman tasked with evaluating criteria and declaring whether or not a candidate is suitable for legendary status?

Then there is the question, should the title be awarded only to those who are dead or should there be a category of living legends. My personal choice for the latter is Davy Hickson.
Dick Fearon     Posted 02/10/2010 at 00:23:48   Comments (36)

Fellaini no show

Well, my 7-year-old son saved his Birthday money as he knew Fellaini would be at Everton 1 the week after his big day to sign his top if he bought it that day from the store. Not to disappoint him, I booked the afternoon off work and make the 40-mile round trip. We bought the top, paid extra for the Fellaini printing and waited 2 hours in the queue... only to be told ?due to unforeseen circumstances, he could not attend?.

We were told by Everton staff ?this was due to team photos taking so long at Finch Farm?. Well, bad planning I was thinking. However, I came home only to check the website and see Arteta managed to turn up at Everton 2. We have been told we will be invited to a special event, which is fine with me, but try explaining that to a 7-year-old who has saved his birthday money to meet a hero...

I?m hoping the club make up for it as they said they will but, to be honest, I?m holding my breath. I feel once again we're being taken for granted. Was anyone else in the same position or had similar experiences? I just wanted to get your views. On a positive note here?s for a win against the Brum on COYB..
Chris Kennedy     Posted 01/10/2010 at 22:24:57   Comments (20)

How about grooming Howe?

In the first instance, may state that I am still (just) a believer in David Moyes and think he has enhanced our reputation with football fans of all persuasions around the country.

Inevitably at times of disappointing results and occasional performances, thoughts turn to possible successors to the incumbent manager. Personally, I cringe when under-achieving names are bandied about, O'Neill, Hughes, Holloway, Big Sam, Sven etc.. or unobtainable Van Gaal, Pellegrini etc... or even more sadly, blasts from the past such as Big Joe (albeit a legend).

When I am not at Goodison or at away games, I go to watch my local club AFC Bournemouth. In the last three seasons, their young manager, Eddie Howe, rescued them from a virtually impossible relegation battle when introduced mid season; the following season, the he got them promoted from League Two, and this season they sit top of League One. All of this was achieved whilst the club was in administration and unable to operate in the transfer market. So not bad although in the lower reaches of the league. Interestingly he is an Evertonian and coaches players to keep the ball, pass and move (they are currently top scorers in their league).

This brings me to my main point: would it be an idea to bring someone in, not to replace David Moyes but to watch and learn and introduce fresh younger ideas? I am not suggesting that it should be this particular guy but someone of this ilk that has not been tainted on the Premier League managerial merry go round (like Round for instance).
Gary Green     Posted 01/10/2010 at 10:55:43   Comments (17)

Pienaar or A N Other?

Does anyone know when the tranches of Sky TV money are paid? I think it's obvious that we didn't pull our usual last-minute 'rabbit out of the hat' transfer at the start of this season because the Sky money is not dished out in one lump sum like in previous seasons.

So it got me thinking, would we rather the money that we've received so far, or may become due by the next transfer window, be used to increase Pienaar's salary and so get him signed up to another 4~5 years?

Or say sod him, he can go for free in the summer and we'll use the money for someone (eg, Donovan) in January?
Eric Myles     Posted 01/10/2010 at 05:24:38   Comments (40)

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