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The Mail Bag

September 2010 Archive
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The passion of Tim Cahill

I expect and understand screams from those who do not want Timmy to fly to Oz for a friendly, especially before a Derby game. Though permanently based in Australia, I also would rather he did not travel for this one. Australia's new coach needs to get to know the players and bed in a number of newbies. This friendly against Paraguay is an important part of preparing for next summer's Asian games.

We all must recognise how passionate Tim Cahill is about representing this country where his remarkable popularity coupled with his promotion of good causes deserves and I think will earn an Order of Australia medal. Since this country dropped the British system of honours the OM has become the equivalent of a knighthood.

Tim is equally proud of his Everton connection and is an excellent ambassador of all things good about our club. If Everton has a formal means of recognising those players or backroom staff who give exceptional service then Tim must surely be a candidate.

Like everybody else, I keep fingers crossed that his international duty does not impinge on the derby game. One thing for sure is that Tim will be at the forefront of the battle, and not hiding, like one or two that I could mention.
Dick Fearon     Posted 29/09/2010 at 22:53:07   Comments (39)

Gloom Relief ? Fantasy Football

Ok then, humour me here.

A little attempt to avoid the doom & gloom we all feel, and please, this is not to belittle the thoughts/feelings/passion we all feel, but run with this.

Let's just imagine in an alternative world, BK is telling the truth, and some Billionaire buys the club. What would you do as far as purchases for the team?

Would you go the Shitty/Chelski route, and buy the best, and pretty much replace the squad, with exception of the odd few? Or, do you believe we are not too far off with what we have got and just buy the odd, World Class player?

If the later is your choice, who/where would you buy for?

For me, I would buy a CB to play with Jags, obviously a WC striker, and the right winger we all crave.

So, let's say:

RW - Landon
CB - Pique
FW - Higuan

You understand my gist of it all, a few signings and we could really be a force, we would not have to 're-invent the wheel', surely?


Steve Foster     Posted 29/09/2010 at 10:42:36   Comments (50)

Anglo / German Alliance

Lewis Holtby anyone? No, me neither... that was until TalkSport started bigging him up due to his dual nationality status on behalf of Mr Capello. He is, you see, the son of a Scouse toffee member of the RAF who has married a German freulein.

Holtby is reported to be an avid Evertonian who has dreamed of playing in England ever since his dad "infected him with the Everton virus" at the age of 5. I guess that should translate as "the Everton bug".

Anyway Mr Kenwright, there's your invitation, Rodwell and Holtby, English and German captains in the centre of midfield, over to you...
Col Wills     Posted 29/09/2010 at 09:42:56   Comments (19)

The Fellaini Enigma

This guy can do so much for Everton if he is coached correctly. He still has old habits but has improved somewhat. Unfortunately, he is tall and awkward which means he stands out in his aerial challenges and referees find it easy to penalize him rather than the opponent around the penalty area, similar to what happens to Crouch and also happened a lot with Big Dunc (although Big Dunc could dish it out far to obviously).

I believe too many referees cop out when these players are competing strongly and give the decisions the wrong way. Unfortunately, football has to live with a percentage of inept referees, just as it has to live with dirty defenders.

In the Newcastle game, Fellaini got some poor decisions against him. One thing he has to learn in the Premier League is not to antagonize referees after he is penalized fairly or unfairly by remonstrating too much which will only make him more of a target for referees.
Tom Bowers     Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:36:34   Comments (26)

Step 10: Admitting what you're doing is wrong

I really will not spend any more money on Everton for the time being, not until I see it as a product trying to be the best. There could be many reasons why I don't feel the way I used to about Everton, but it doesn't bother me the way it once did because, in the end, Everton weren't playing for a Championship this season.

Putting so much time and worrying so much about a team trying at best to finish 4th is pointless to me now. If I was a Chelsea supporter, I would be engaged, the games would mean something. But right now, in Everton\'s situation, what does it really matter if you finish 8th or 17th? The team gets a bit more money but that doesn't really matter when it comes to Everton. As we've seen, no money is spent in the Summer... whether we finish 4th, 5th, 6th or 8th. And it definitely has no impact on the individual supporter.

Honestly, I just don't really care any more. I don't see why I should let an Everton team that is run by people who do not have the ability to have them contending, ruin my day. I've said it before on other posts but it's truly how I feel now. Everton FC is an inferior product. Separate out the emotion and it is insane to continue to spend time, money and emotions on an inferior product.

But it's not just Everton, it\'s the entire league to be honest. The top 4 has been dominant for years, it's boring now. So Liverpool has dropped out of it only to be replaced by Spurs one odd year, just as we did.

But you're fooling yourselves if you don't think the new ruling class will be United, Chelsea, Arsenal and City. The rest will be battling for 5th, 6th, and hoping that maybe Arsenal have a poor run one season. But that doesn't interest me any further.

I wish the supporters would for once vote with their wallets and stay away from the matches. Our teams have no chance, why watch?
David Barks     Posted 28/09/2010 at    Comments (60)

Expectation, Distin Style...

I have just read Sylvain Distin on the icliverpool site and almost cried with laughter and despair at the same time.

He says 'We were disappointed with The Carling Cup but there is only so much you can do.'

No, Sylvain there is more. You can win! It is not like we lost to Barcelona on penalties after a valiant away leg is it? How much does he get paid for that attitude? The defeat was clearly not the fault of the team. Take a walk along with your boss.
Rob Hollis     Posted 27/09/2010 at 23:10:00   Comments (35)

If you know your history...

Evertonians who are in denial about the seriousness of our current predicament and who are still claiming that it is too early in the season to worry about our position should take a look at the league table for this time last season. The two clubs at the bottom of the table, Hull and Portsmouth, were still bottom at the end of the season.

The two at the top of the table, Chelsea and Manchester United, were still first and second at the end of the season.

Of the bottom six going into the last week in September, only one: Blackburn Rovers, had climbed to mid-table by the end of the season.

The fact is that movement within the table is relatively limited. The bottom clubs tend to stay close to bottom, slipping in and out of danger. The mid-table clubs hover in and around mid-table and the top five or six clubs move in and out of the top four.

Occasionally, a club goes into freefall, as Burnley did, after an encouraging start. What doesn?t usually happen is that the bottom club rockets up the table after suddenly getting everything right. Everton rose only five places from September to May last season after a much better start than this one.

In short, ours is a very, very, very serious situation, as serious as anything we have experienced since Mike Walker. I am not saying we are going to be relegated or it?s impossible to climb to safety by Christmas, but it is foolishness to regard this is anything other than a relegation fight.

The fact is we should not be in a relegation scrap at all this season and it is David Moyes's responsibility that we are. He has had a string of strikers, each of whom has arrived with much fanfare, and all of them have failed to make more than a temporary impact., and it is this position that has consistently let us down over the years.
Peter Fearon     Posted 27/09/2010 at 22:08:54   Comments (36)

Kenwright is at it again

I've just seen our illustrious Chairman on Sky Sports News ? apparently we have 3 interested parties interested in buying the club. Is this another rouse or coincidently the fact we have been shite and are bottom of the league?

After hearing the usual, "We need to work harder"; "We're too good to be down" here, now it?s "The club?s for sale"!!!

After so many false dawns and lies, I wouldn't believe him if he said today was Monday.


Tommy Hesketh     Posted 27/09/2010 at 19:25:02   Comments (72)

Groundhog Day Revisited

We have been here before, we will be here again. Intensely frustrating, annoying... but we don?t seem to be able to get it right, do we? We hear that the football and spirit is superb... well, not from where I am standing it isn?t. It?s the players, it?s the manager, it?s the club. The problem is we will have to endure this because the options are just not acceptable.

Now, if I appear to be going against the logic of so many of you, I?m not, but hang in there for a minute. Everyone wants Moyes to go. Well, nearly everyone... but somehow I can?t see it happening until the club is sold. As far as Kenwright is concerned, Moyes is one of the club's greatest assets and he is unlikely to get anyone better without having to find millions from somewhere. So he isn?t going to be sacked.

Moyes himself is much more likely to throw in the towel and say enough is enough. Then we would be in a pickle.

The only solution to the problem without making it worse would appear to be selling the club and any new owner changing the management at board and player levels at the same time. Except of course Mr 24/7 can't find enough hours in the day for a new BUYER not investor.

The seeds of our Groundhog Day were laid by the Chairman when he gave in to an excessive wage demand to an over-rated manager. Over rated because his tactical ability is limited and has been overcome by passion, fitness and astute purchases. Both Moyes and Kenwright knew of the imbalances of the team in the summer and did nothing but hope that under-achieving players would perform. They didn?t.

I said before that the difference with our players ability and the level of players in the top four teams is matched on an infrequent basis because they are operating at 95% of their ability to compete. To compete at the same level the top four only have to operate to 80% of theirs. They can afford an off-day. We don?t get it right and we are stuffed.

That we don?t get it right is down to Moyes; he takes the credit when it pays off so he must carry the can, with the players, when it doesn?t. His ability to adapt to situations is alarmingly poor. However, the situation is exacerbated by the poor decisions made by the Chairman and the Board of Directors. (Donovan; a striker; no new blood with a good pedigree / class / known ability.)

So Groundhog Day comes around again. The chairman goes into hiding, the manager is getting stoned, the team are toothless, and the easiest solution is to fire the manager. He should go, but we may have to hang in there until the club changes hands...
Christine Foster     Posted 27/09/2010 at 13:24:19   Comments (34)

Team Spirit ? Is it lost over money?

Over last few seasons, we have always said what great team spirit the team has, and how the team works for each other.... and the the big green monster: MONEY.

Tim signs a new contract for around £40k per week; then Arteta comes in and holds out for £70k... Now your likes of Osman, Bily, Hibbert earn a lot less ? so are we getting a "them and us" in the dressing room and the team starts to divide? Maybe... just a thought.

Regarding our totally overpaid manager... but the problem is he has given us expectation which we have never had since the 80s.


Mike Hargreaves     Posted 27/09/2010 at 10:50:30   Comments (23)

This Week's Clarion Call

According to the Daily Mail, our captain has issued yet another exhortation ... this time to the fans. It goes aloong the lines of, "Blame the players for our current predicament, not the Chairman."

Although I can't say I've heard very many blaming Kenwright - or perhaps this criticism has got lost amidst the avalanche of anti-Moyes stuff - but I find myself quite comfortable / intensely relaxed in blaming players, Chairman and Manager.

And increasingly tired of Neville's weekly pearls of wisdom.
Mike McLean     Posted 27/09/2010 at 06:52:38   Comments (33)

Shambles

I haven't posted for a while but I feel I must say something about the whole situation at MY CLUB who I have supported all MY LIFE.

Let's start at the top and work down. Bill Kenwright came along as though he was an Evertonian on a white charger to slay the Johnson red evil dragon and, at the time, I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. But now, after all these years, we are NO BETTER OFF FINANCIALLY. In fact, we are WORSE off now because of all the loans he has taken out since he took ownership of the club I have supported since I was a kid.

Now I am 53. He got our club for £30M. And when a shareholder at the [forum] meeting, after he said the club was for sale. a shareholder asked him how much he wanted for the club? His answer was, delivered leaning back in his chair and yawning while he said the question was... BORING!

Neither him nor any of the other parasites that infest our great club have invested a fucking penny of their own cash in the club. Now they are making this big announcement about a £9 million investment in the Park End development and whatever. But that fucking £9 million or less would have been better invested in getting rid of the obstructed views and fixing the other facilities that he and his cronies have neglected for years. We lose about three thousand paying supporters every home game because of obstructed views.

Then lets go onto his relationship with his manager (Stooge!) David Moyes. I would agree that David has done a great job up until the season before last. But then he was holding out for HIS CONTRACT! It would never have happened in Catterick's or Kendall's days. When they measured themselves on what they WON!!!

Moyes is believing the shit that the papers are saying about him being a great young British manager... but let me tell you, David, you're getting older by the week, it might not matter to you on your £5 million a year in your cosy little agreement with Kenwright. Kenwright said a couple of months ago, "I don't think I could work with another manager." ? Maybe you know too much, lad! Because, every season, you make a twat of a start.

Don't blame fuck all, not the bottle getting thrown at EVERTONIANS, WE can look after ourselves. Not injuries, Not fuck all, Just get them playing for ther lives. WE ARE SICK OF BEING HAPPY ONE WEEK, AND FUCKING TOTALLY DEPRESSED THE NEXT. After you and the rest have gone, ME AND MY KIN WILL STILL BE THERE!
David Moorcroft     Posted 27/09/2010 at 00:17:42   Comments (40)

The Final Ball

I went the game yesterday and it again highlighted the problems that have blighted the season so far.

  • Poor distribution from the back
  • Lack of movement in midfield
  • Laboured build up and a reluctance to shoot from distance
  • Favourites chosen over good performers
Moyes needs to have a word with Jagielka and tell him he needs to keep his passes 10-15 yards and simple. The midfield need to be told to stop standing still and give the man on the ball 2-3 options instead of the usual one. He also needs to instigate a "shoot on sight" policy which means defenders have to come out and close down, play further up the pitch and leave space in behind.

Moyes should also start picking players based on form over favouritism. Distin is piss poor and has been since the dawn of time. The reason he looked OK yesterday is because they were marking a poor right winger playing up front. There is no way he should play before Heitinga. Hibbert is also a much better right back than Neville and dare I say it he's also a much better crosser.

Above all this is the midfield's ? and specifically Mikel's ? inability to find a through ball or killer pass. I love the guy but it's clear that he is bang out of form and yesterday I was hoping he would be withdrawn. He has done little more this season than work the ball out to the wings. We need a lot more from him than that. With star status and the contract that goes with it comes a responsibility to deliver consistently.

Luckily most of this didn't matter as we were playing a poor Fulham side lacking a cutting edge due to injuries. It is fair to say we were well on top for the majority of the game and should have done better with one or two situations in the game. The Yak still looked a bit rusty but showed signs he can be the player of old and made himself a few decent chances against a really good defender (Hangeland).

Seamus also looked like he could be a long-term solution on the right, several bursts of speed and dribbling got the whole end up out of our seats and only poor finishing by the Yak would have seen him create a goal. Having said that, he faded badly in the second half, so maybe some match fitness issues there.

Overall, although problems remain, I'm looking toward the Brum game with cautious optimism and a feeling that we may well take 6 points out of six and get our season going at last. Better late than never!
Ste Kenny     Posted 26/09/2010 at 10:33:56   Comments (14)

A point at Craven Cottage

I went to Craven Cottage and was pleasantly surprised and very frustrated in equal measures. I thought the away fans, especially in the first half, were excellent while Fulham could barely be heard. Here's my thoughts on the players...

Howard ? quiet first half but coped well with the numerous corners they had in the second half although they were poor up front.

Neville ? he might be an organiser but he cannot organise a decent cross when needed. One after the other was overhit. Their lack of bite meant he wasn't tested defensively.

Distin ? coped well but again was not tested.

Jagielka ? some dreadful balls forward but got some good challenges in.

Baines ? the best of the bunch at the back and their poor right side meant he was given plenty of space. The highlight was his mazy run in the second half where he went past 3 Fulham players before crossing to Cahill who tried an overhead kick.

Coleman ? had a lot of joy down the right and gave them massive problems before fading in the second half.

Fellaini ? did a good job in the middle although looks a little lacking in confidence. Some of his distribution and control was excellent.

Arteta ? poor game by his standards. Plenty of effort but set pieces were frequently wasted.

Pienaar ? was our best player, chasing lost causes down and linking well with Baines and Fellaini. Needs to shoot more.

Cahill ? did not get great service and didn't look fit but gave his best.

Yakubu ? struggled in the first half but began turning his man in the second and, with a better shot and touch, would have bagged a brace.

Subs: Osman on for Cahill ? was bright; Bily on for Seamus far too late to help.

All-in-all, we were far superior to Fulham and, if we took our chances, could have thrashed them. It's going to take a rebound off the Yak's backside and the goals will come. Somebody is gonna get spanked sooner rather than later.
Andrew James     Posted 25/09/2010 at 21:09:11   Comments (42)

Have Evertonians lost their passion?

Have we lost the passion?

I've read some stuff on here. Beyond the entertaining personal feuds a few months ago someone happily said, leave the flag waving and singing to the reds, now someone states they'd be happy if we regularly achieved 7th, another is unconcerned about winning anything.

I get pissed off but increasingly feel like a dinosaur.

Pedestrian, unimaginative and unsurprisingly losing football, ditto a Board of incompetents, ditto wet-lettuce ivory-tower postings justifying why we're shit.

Our forefathers who told John Houlding to stick Anfield up his arse and picked up shovels and converted a boggy field into Goodison Park would be mortified at the pliant state of some modern day Evertonians.

The contrast to the kopites in their parallel start is striking, debates on radio and tv, calls for Hodgson to go restless natives, an indicator of intent......ie don't accept failure.

I'll stop now, the temptation to dissect the Moyes Myth is overpowering when my real point is .... "do enough Evertonians really give a shit?"
Charles King     Posted 24/09/2010 at 13:38:42   Comments (63)

Fulham (A) - what next for Moyes?

With the weekend approaching, and our desire to get 3 points from the game against Fulham higher than ever ? Fulham themselves are without strikers AJ, Zamora and the impressive Dembele all out injured - the pressure is on Moyes... ok well, from us fans and himself should he believe his post match interview ?that he his has been worried for some time?...

What team should we deploy? I would play:

Timmy
Hibbert ? Jags ? Heitinga ? Baines
Neville (C)- Fellaini
Bily ? Arteta ? Pienaar
The Yak
I think Bily needs a run of games to get things going. I know my team is without Coleman, but he was pretty exposed against Brentford as RB, so I?d have him on the bench and swap him for Bily should that not work out... Ossie, he needs a break.

I know Moyes will play:

Timmy
Hibbert ? Jags ? Distin ? Baines
Osman ? Heitinga ? Arteta ? Pienaar
Cahill (C)(if fit otherwise- Fellaini)
The Yak

Thomas Christensen     Posted 24/09/2010 at 11:47:18   Comments (35)

Fitness Fanatic

A very interesting feature in the Guardian on Mancini's fitness programme at City ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/sep/23/roberto-mancini-training-methods-manchester-city) in which the former conditioning coach Raymond Verheijen criticises the current Eastlands methods, which appear to have a touch of the Archie Knox about them.

RV reckons that, under Mark Hughes, "City played each game with the same team. The team had the best Prozone [computer data] statistics of the Premier League during the first part of the season. The players had the highest number of sprints and the highest total sprinting distance of all the Premier League teams." This doesn't bode too well for us against Fulham.

Has anyone any idea what sort of day-to-day programme Moyes and Round oversee at Finch Farm? Nothing too facetious, please!
Guy Hastings     Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:34:25   Comments (20)

Moyes has been worried for a long time

about where the goals are going to come from. So why didn't he buy a fucking proven striker in the summer???

He could have easily sold the Yak (who he has/had given up on) and got in say Robbie Keane. Ok Keane isn't exactly the most inspiring signning but my point is he could have changed things. I mean this is the bloke who said it is his best squad since becoming Everton manager...
Craig Taylor     Posted 23/09/2010 at 21:27:16   Comments (43)

Pienaar: Stay or go?

I have been hearing of rumours of a cut price deal for Pienaar (to Spurs) in January and wanted to weigh up the pros and cons to the deal.

He is undoubtedly a great footballer and one of our better players. If we were to turn the tables and say for a few million, we could have a class player for 6 months, we would take it. But in my opinion only if we are 'challenging'.

To my mind there is little point in keeping him; what he brings to the team will not bridge the gap to top 4 or possibly even the Europa League. We could also use the second half of the season as preparation for the life after...

Anyone else think we should just take the few million for him (transfer & wages) and make do?
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:58:42   Comments (40)

What does Everton mean to you?

I am a fourth year Visual Communication student. I am currently writing my thesis on the visual representation of the identity of professional football clubs.

I agree with Simon Kuper when he states in his book 'Football Against The Enemy' that ?a club is what it means to its fans.? Therefore I am currently investigating the real identities of football clubs as expressed by fans.

I would be extremely grateful if you or another knowledgeable fan of your club could answer the following questions to help me get the information I need.

1. What do you feel are the most important historical aspects of your club?

2. How would you describe the identity of your club?

3. Are there any official or unofficial political, religious, or cultural ties that you feel your club has or has had historically? If so, how important are they to the club?

4. Do you think that the identity and history of your club are represented accurately in the strip, crest, stadium etc? What would you change? What do you think works particularly well?

Thank you for your time.
Ceol Ryder     Posted 23/09/2010 at    Comments (39)

What We Need!

So, here we go again! Another chapter in the history of Everton entitled ?Shit start?. We get ourselves worked up into an excited, pre-season state, just for our expectations to be dashed.... and only 5 games in!

I?m going to try and refrain from lambasting our Manager, we?ve read plenty of posts and articles dissecting his pros & con?s, but it does raise some questions which are not easily answered. I mean, can we honestly say that this is not the best squad we?ve had in 15 years? Why are players, which look so good on paper, be so poor on the pitch? Yes, we?ve played some decent football, but it counts for absolutely naff all if we can?t get results!

I can simply put our current situation down to one thing..........no strike force! It?s simple when you look at it. If you don?t have a centre-forward that can bag you 20 goals a season then you ?aint gonna win things! Who have we got?

A classy striker called Saha, yep, he reminds me of Berbatov......last season! Lots of flair and pretty touches with as much goal threat as my Nan (and she died in ?86). Not to mention that he gets injured every time he ties his boot laces. What about the Yak. Well, he kinda reminds me of Jabba The fucking Hut, but with a weight problem! If you can?t get worked-up & fit playing in front of players like Arteta, Pienaar and Cahill, then you?ve got no right to pull on the blue jersey!

?Wait a minute?, I here you all protest, ?what about Beckford?? Yeah, what about him? He scores a goal against the Manc?s and that apparently qualifies him to be our main goal threat in a season when we should be pushing for a top 4 finish. No! We got him for free, he scored a couple in pre-season, against teams that would struggle on a Sunday morning, and disappears as soon as it matters.

That leaves Vaughan?? A decent player on his day, not 20 a season though! And in any case we apparently don?t need his services? Pack him off to the smoke, where he scores a hat-trick on his home debut!! Is it me or am I missing something? We need goals, and we need them now!

Maybe we?ll have another inchy moment and grab a scrappy goal which will kick-start the season? Maybe The Yak will spend more time in the gym and less on the X-Box? Maybe Saha will learn to play football without anyone coming within 10 yards of him? Or, perhaps Beckford will take off his excellent ?Clark Kent? disguise and reveal himself to be slightly better than my 3 year old Son?

We can?t rely on Cahill to keep scoring, or for Pienaar or Oman to find some adult size boots that can produce a decent shot! We need a goal scorer, we need him now! So, will the saviour please step forward and end this frigging nightmare?


Chris Bond     Posted 22/09/2010 at 21:01:42   Comments (21)

Goodison redevelopment

Ok, I think there is enough being written about onfield issues, so I thought I'd change tack by highlighting this: http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/2010/09/22/blues-submit-plans

The club appear to be moving to redevelop the Park End. Scant details thus far, but I wonder if this signals a staged redevelopment of the whole of Goodison? It strikes me as fairly pointless to just redevelop the best stand we have and leave the others alone long term. Surely the sensible option would be to increase existing capacity in the Park End to compensate for the lack of revenues if other stands were knocked down / redeveloped?

Any of you got any thoughts / greater knowledge / news?
Andy Morden     Posted 22/09/2010 at 20:29:50   Comments (26)

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers.

I was reading on toffeeweb a few days ago about arranging interviews with people from the club. This is no longer done as Michael Kenrick pointed out, we all too predictably know the answer to some questions.

Moving on, after looking at the Liverpool Echo Website. I see that a couple a Journalists (Greg O'Keeffe & David Prentice) from the local paper will be doing an online questions on answers forum.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/everton-fc/everton-fc-news//tm_headline=everton-fc-live-blog-greg-o-keeffe-and-david-prentice-answer-your-questions%26method=full%26objectid=27319819%26siteid=100252-name_page.html

After recent results and lack of direction now evident on and off the field, what I'm suggesting is that we collectively list out our questions (sensibly - otherwise they won't get answered) below and present them forward, or possibly source the best questions then present them for comment of the journo types. (Maybe something to include on the forums is the thumbs up thumbs down tab like the one on the OS, if this is seen as a improvement). Who knows it may give the Echo something better to put on it's back pages than a rallying cry from the usual suspects.

I'll be doing my best to log on around that time.

So come on let's be hearing you.
Shaun Brennan     Posted 22/09/2010 at 12:37:20   Comments (78)

The dark days of David Moyes

Well, it's come to this, A while ago, in response to a Moyes supporter who is silent now, I stated that I'd settle for Europa League or one of the cups. I don't think this was a demanding expectation considering the nonsense spouted on this site over the summer of top four or even winning the league. After all, David Moyes has assembled the best squad for years, and, let's not forget, on a fucking shoestring.

Here's the thing, though: he hasn't. The team he has built are not good enough. Of course one must take into account the effect of the coach on the team. Frankly, he has been found out.

Inept? Yes, I was criticised for using that word to describe our coach... but I feel happy enough to repeat it. Naive, unsophisticated, safety first to an almost cretinous level, unimaginative, dour and utterly incapable of moving our club forward.

Second from bottom and humiliated by Brentford. These are dark days indeed. I always thought that David Moyes was a man of principle and integrity; if I am right, he will have gone by the end of the week.
Andy Crooks     Posted 22/09/2010 at 00:30:04   Comments (151)

No Tim: no Teeth; no Spirit

It seems there has been a growing opinion amongst some fans that Tim Cahill is no longer an automatic selection in the squad and at best is an impact bench player. Over the past few seasons he has proven time after time to be our most vital player for many reasons not just goal scoring and yet still some people doubt his value to the team.

It is no surprise when Tim is out that we lack efficiency in front of goal and seem to be playing without spirit. I have lost count how many times Tim has saved our bacon in situations exactly that we found ourselves against Newcastle and Brentford. well at least these doubters have got what they wanted and are reaping the joys of not having him in the squad.

I'm not suggesting his absence is is the reason we are playing shite at the moment and we are not a one man team, but clearly he has been the victim of some unfair critique in recent times. The arguement that he played poorly early last season just isn't accurate given the circumstances.

The fact is that Tim has either scored or played a part in nearly all our goals this season and it seems that without him we are Toothless Toffees.
Peter Bourke     Posted 22/09/2010 at 00:04:36   Comments (19)

We have a game people!

After the rather large set back at the weekend and much debate, tonight's game at Brentford seems to have been overlooked... surely here is an opportunity to at least restore a little pride?

So... what will the lineup be?... and the result? I've been to the bookies and placed a fiver on 3-1
Chris Keightley     Posted 21/09/2010 at 16:35:15   Comments (133)

Daughters of Daglish

Just heard on the radio that our illustrious neighbours will lose their planning consent to build their new stadium in Stanley Park next year when it expires. The council have said it won't be getting renewed as the bigger picture, the proposed regeneration of Anfield, cannot be delayed... Great news!

This then got me thinking about our redshite neighbours... In view of the fact that they are not a top four club anymore (I enjoyed saying that)... In view of the fact that they are NOT a top four club anymore (great init?) ? should their perceived outlook from the media not be dissimilar to ours?

In fact, with their debt, mediocre manager (I actually think Woy is better than Moyes), need of a new stadium, etc ? are they not now a small club? You know what I mean, they're not challenging for the title, and not likely too, for the forseeable future (ha ha ? sorry couldn't help it.

Which brings me to the point: Should they not be happy, say finnishing sixth, maybe a cup final? Wouldn't Woy be doing a sterling job if he achieves Europa Football and a cup final appearance for them. Will he get manager of the year? Will the fans be happy with the 'this is were we are at now' approach?

The answer: No fucking chance. The reason: Daughters of Dalglish (Sons of Shankly) or whatever they care to call themselves... They won't accept it; they will, at some point, force the yanks out ? and the manager for that matter.

Now I know some knight (I mean 'twat') in shining armour will come along and save them, they will get new owners, and it will start all over again... You know, red bile about how they're gonna win everything again.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is called apathy. How did it happen? The TV pundits will never say, Woy's doing a great job there, he's kept them in the Premier League for the last 9 years, steadied the ship, blah de-fucking blah... Because he won't be there. They wouldn't put up with what we do.

Before everyone comes on here and says, "We have no money"; neither do they; "No new ground..."; neither do they. But still, the Daughters of Dalglish, will protest until they get the change they want.

Where's the Catterick Cavaliers? Howard's Heroes? ... what has happened to us?
Robert Daniels     Posted 21/09/2010 at 09:50:40   Comments (41)

Something to briefly cheer you up

I know that we are all feeling down after recent results so I thought that this might cheer you up (if only momentarily).

During the World Cup I posted a Mailbag item about there being no escape in Australia from adverts staring Tim Cahill. Well he?s back again, this time on the front cover of FIFA 11 computer game ? in the starring central role between Kaka and Rooney. Surprisingly he?s not in his Australian shirt (I believe Landon Donavan is in the USA shirt for the American version), but in this season?s Everton shirt. More exposure for us!

Here?s a link to a shop selling it so you can see for yourself: http://www.cdwow.com.au/games/fifa-11-playstation-3/dp/15263877#bc=3e70

Not sure how far the distribution is for this cover ? but it wouldn?t be beyond the realms of possibility that it covers most of Asia Pacific is it? Even if it makes people wonder for a second about what team Tim plays for ? at least it?s a second longer than what they might think about Everton.

Well hope that made you smile for a second.
Jip Foster     Posted 21/09/2010 at 04:17:51   Comments (12)

Beckford's chance to shine

Sorry if this has been covered before...

After reading the article "Beckford's Chance to Shine" where it suggests that banging in a couple of goals against Brentford could be the kick start his Everton career needs, a thought came back into my head which had been bugging me for a while.

Why oh why did Heitinga take the second penalty against Huddersfield? It actually really pissed me off and I think it may be an indication as to the size of his ego ? which had taken a knock having scored an own goal.

For the good of the team - yes the team - not Johnny's ego... would it not have been better for Beckford to notch his second goal for the club? All strikers need to have confidence, and having two goals next to his name rather than one would surely have given him an extra boost.

Perhaps I'm just being grumpy because we're playing so shite!
Jamie Sweet     Posted 21/09/2010 at 02:36:43   Comments (22)

The Coleman Enigma

I'm going to get this off my chest right away: I will ALWAYS take Tony Hibbert over Seamus Coleman at full back in an Everton shirt. There, I've said it... (shit, i really did say that... bollocks... pass me the medication!)

In my opinion,here's why..... I don't think Coleman has the capability to defend at this level and when coming up against world class opposition he will be found out. If our "Ginger Moyesiah" curbs the attacking play out of the lad, then that's his game gone. He doesn't have the blistering pace to get back when play breaks down when he's attacking. On Saturday, he was lucky not to give away a penalty against Nolan and a few times Ben Arfa got in behind him. There were other times last season (Benfica and for Blackpool in the Play-Off Final) when Seamus looked a little raw.

A defender is there to defend, that's it. I don't remember Van den Hauwe ever really getting the same abuse as Hibbert because he never got forward. And I don't think Hibbert's played too badly to be honest and I really think his crossing has improved (slightly!) and he has got more forward than before but give me a Hibbert every time over a Coleman at full back.

The shout for Coleman to be playing at right midfield is a difficult one for me. The lad shines when he has possession of the ball and dribbles. But IMO, he is given the space on the right side because the likes of Osman, Pienaar and Bily who have played ahead of him, are more centrally focused players and move inside to free up the space for Coleman to overlap. Would Seamus do any better without that space? it's questionable. He has the skills to get out of tight situations but as already mentioned, he doesn't have the pace to get round full backs. It's a tough one.

This isn't a rant at the lad because I really do think he has something to offer the side. But at full back... NO... right midfield... possibly. But FFS Moyes,he can't do much worse than Ossie so give him a chance!


Paul Henshaw     Posted 20/09/2010 at 21:04:11   Comments (42)

The tide has turned

During the summer, there were many Evertonians, whose views I respect, who predicted great things this season. I was hopeful but, frankly cynical. I felt that I was in a minority and questioned my own views on a few occasions. After our bad start, I really thought that we had been unlucky. Saturday changed that.

The downfall of "big clubs" seems to follow a pattern. Play well and lose. An unlucky defeat here and there.

Then, it is said, as on Match of the Day, "Everton won't be down there long"...

Next comes the injury crisis: "They'll be fine when they get their players back."

After that, it's the dreaded phrase,"No-one is too good to go down."

After that, it's the nail in the coffin: "every year there's always someone you don't expect..."

Now, I really don't expect that... but I've noticed a change of mood on this site. People who I would have expected to defend the coach have gone missing. This is not a dig at them. If they are waiting for the usual Moyes turnaround before they come on and ask "crisis,what crisis?" ? well, I'll be happy to say we overreacted.

But I challenge any Evertonian (apart from Richard Dodd) to defend the selection, tactics, coaching and motivation of David Moyes. I challenge them to defend the stewardship of Bill Kenwright. If there are any convincing arguments out there, let us hear them.

I believe that every poster this weekend wants to be proved wrong. We are worried; someone please offer reassurance.
Andy Crooks     Posted 20/09/2010 at 18:34:26   Comments (36)

The Case for Joey Barton

If Saturday's performance demonstrated one thing to me, it was the fact that you can have all the skill and artistry of a Mikel Areta or Steven Pienaar as you like... yet, when it comes to guile and determination, Joey Barton was streets ahead.

Barton is quite rightly reviled for his off-the-field antics and his familial association with one of the darkest chapters in recent Merseyside history. He may have served time, assaulted more team-mates than one cares to mention, and seemingly possesses the charm of a serial rapist; however, on the evidence to date, when he plays Everton, we very rarely get the better of him.

Compare Barton's performance to that of John Heitinga who demonstrated all of the attributes of a bad "Rright, said Fred" impersonator, chest pumped out, macho approach, pumping fists to the crowd... yet completely inneffective.

David Moyes has stated that the team need to toughen up, yet, without the leadership qualities of a Lee Carsley or Alan Stubbs as in previous poor starts to a campaign, it's hard to identify who will pick up the mantle and rally the troops.

For all his personal failings, Joey Barton proved one thing on Saturday through his attitude and workrate: he wanted it more than any of our players. A quality that sadly seems to be missing these days amongst the fancy dans within our ranks.
Peter Laing     Posted 20/09/2010 at 13:17:53   Comments (13)

Insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ? Albert Einstein

For example:

1. Playing Howard in goal after mistake against Blackburn.

2. Playing Distin in defence after mistakes against Man Utd and more, whilst playing a World Cup finalist out of position to accommodate.

3. Playing Hibbert who doesn't provide any creativity from the right EVER whilst leaving Coleman on the bench.

4. Playing Arteta so far deep he might as well be listed as a sweeper.

5. Playing 4-5-1 at home against so-called inferior opposition and expecting to score goals.

6. Not buying a right-winger in eight years in charge.

7. Playing the same tactics to ruin £30m worth of strikers (Bent, Beattie, Johnson, Yakubu).

8. Keeping the most promising youngsters on the bench (Rodwell, Coleman, Gueye) to stop another 'Rooney effect'.
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 20/09/2010 at 08:21:18   Comments (22)

It's Moyes's Fault

There are a lot of good articles on here and they all make good points. However, when all is said and done I think that the current malaise is only down to the manager.

He has had money to spend and has fashioned a squad with some good players admittedly but, one way or another, he has neglected to provide us with reliable forwards. Let's face it, unless you work at the club, none of us knows the financial situation at the club but we can presume that Everton pay reasonable salaries and Moyes has had money to spend.

Our current dire league position is mainly/exclusively due to our inability to score goals. Three one-nil defeats surely says that we struggle to score.

So, let's examine the problem. Who are the forwards that are supposed to score the goals?

  • Saha, always injured, never reliable and a dismal current streak.
  • Vaughan, permanently injured over the last 6 years. Potentially, our best prospect but it is never going to happen.
  • Yakubu; perhaps it should now be "Feed the Yak and he'll never score." He didn't do the worst miss at the World Cup by being good.
  • Anichebe, may yet be a good midfield player but not good enough up front.
  • Beckford, makes Marcus Bent look like Dixie Dean. Is he the worst forward we have ever had in 132 years? Oh and 2 youngsters who will probably never make it, Pinto and Gueye.
What a mess. And the worst of it is that we now have to continue with this lot until the next transfer window. And hope that we can bring someone in who can score enough goals to keep us up.

Those that still mention the CL are, in my view, insane. This is a relegation fight make no mistake. So , what to do? We have no choice but to play Cahill up front or maybe Ross Barkley, who was on the bench yesterday, may rescue us.

I would keep Moyes until the end of the season and then get rid. I am bored with him and he deserves to go after the fiasco that this season is turning into. His successor? I have seen many names but we like over-performing Scots. My vote would go to Owen Coyle, he has not done a lot wrong so far.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 19/09/2010 at 19:59:53   Comments (53)

Is it any surprise?

Yesterday may well have been one of my lowest points as an Everton supporter. Every year, I, like most Evertonians, approach the new season with huge optimism on the back of a strong finish to the previous one... yet, year on year, in typical Everton fashion, we are disappointed and left wondering ''what if?'' after we narrowly miss out on a top 4 or top 6 finish.

However, whereas normally most Evertonians feel assured of another long run of form later on in the season, guaranteeing a respectable finish, this season, most fans, including myself, have appeared to approach this disappointing start to the season with a more pessimistic view to what was supposed to be, ''our'' season. Why?

Because we've realised where actually not that good. Against Newcastle, we fielded FOUR Championship-standard players in our starting 11 ? Distin, Hibbert, Beckford and Osman. Add to that Heitinga playing out of position in center midfield, is it any surprise we lost yesterday?

I feel a foolish at the least for believing at the start of the season that Everton could show the shite-talking journalists that we really are better than the media darlings, and that we don't ''punch above our weight'' every year. Because, in the end, the press where right afterall. The media darlings are media darlings for a reason: they tend to produce.
Joshua Doherty     Posted 19/09/2010 at 17:07:25   Comments (11)

There's Always the Fair Play League

Good comment today on the box re credentials a team requires to make Europe, the major one stated being the ability to create and score goals ? please see below:

Man Utd ? Rooney, Berbatov, Hernadez, Nani, Valencia, Giggs

Chelsea - Drogba, Anelka, Malouda, Kalou, Lampard

Spurs - Defoe, Crouch, Pavluychenko, Lennon, Bale, Bentley

City - Tevez, Belotti, Johnson, Adebayor, Silva, Milner, Wright-Phillips

Arsenal - Van Persie, Walcott, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner, Fabregas

.
.
.
Everton ? Saha (always crocked), Yak (always unfit), Beckford (still at League One standard), Cahill (requires wide penetration for crosses ? Baines and er? er? er), Anichebe (always injured), Vaughan (always on loan)...

Enough said, please don?t anyone say our squad is Champions League level, because I will go mad.

Bye bye, Europe ? see you again when we get an owner who can give us £20m a season and a manager who knows how to set up teams with the right people in the right position to create and score goals.

Sorry, the title? ? we are still top of the Fair Play League ... there is yet a chance.
Mike Oates     Posted 19/09/2010 at 17:43:53   Comments (5)

Horses for courses

I've slept on it and reflected over it. Last night I wanted to come in and rant, rant, rant.

On reflection my views of yesterday?s shambles haven?t really changed. I'm not going to jump on the Moyes Out bandwagon ? save that for the end of the season if we fail to at least make it into the top 8. But one thing about the man?s tactical nous has to be addressed. He said that players have to stand up and be counted.

For one, I think playing players in their correct positions would benefit them and the team. Fellaini - before he got injured last season, was dominating games in front of the back four by breaking up play and starting our moves in a progressive manner. So why, when we have a couple of injuries, does Moyes revert to playing him as a big (basically) centre forward who spends most of his time flicking it on to a Division 2 striker (first half ? a point I'll return to) and an unfit/shadow of his former self, Yakubu?

Johnny Heitinga is driving me crazy. He?s like a child playing up to the crowd's perception of him being this hard man, gritty footballer. For one, he?s a centre-half; a World Cup finalist centre-half. His strengths are enhanced in that position as he has a bit extra time to pick a pass (which is always a bonus for any centre-back to have). He?s lost in the centre of the park and his position must go to Fellaini.

Give him a run with Jags at centre-half instead of Distin and see what happens ? cant be much worse than the big, tall, strong, quick, but ultimately idiotic dunce Frenchman. Physical attributes don?t make a footballer good. Otherwise Lennox Lewis would be at the heart of the England defence, and Usain Bolt would be the world?s greatest winger. Drop Distin, he?s not good enough.

Osman ? not a right midfielder. I feel for him as he seems to be a scapegoat for many fans. He?s too fragile and slow to play out wide, and his main attributes are complimented in a central role, with his ability to get into space and his quick feet. If there is no room in a central role, don?t play him.

Bily: Has Moyes forgotten this man? He scored 7-8 goals last season. I admit he?s always going to be a frustrating player to watch, but the lad has bags of ability. He can pick a pass, has a great touch and a superb shot. Are you telling me that, if the chances that have fallen to Leon over the last two weeks had fallen to Bily, the end result wouldn?t have been different?

I'm baffled by his constant exclusion. Especially in a team that lacks that cutting edge. We always play with a 5 man midfield ? we?re supposedly a top 4 team ? surely we can afford a luxury player in that 5 who may not be defensively disciplined and may drift in and out of games but he has moments of class that we need in times of adversity ? ie, Man Utd home last season, Portsmouth at home last season etc etc.

Seamus Coleman ? People, people, people ? you?d have thought Ronaldo or Messi had come off the bench at half time yesterday when Coleman came on. Yes, fair enough, he has played a few good games in an attacking sense. But defensively he is poor. He has no positional sense whatsoever and lacks the defensive discipline needed at the highest level. Maybe play him on the right side of midfield, but for now, leave him on the bench to develop.

Beckford ? I said it before he signed and I stand by it now ? the lad is not good enough. And at 26 he doesn?t have time on his side. You can pluck defenders/midfielders form the lower leagues and mould them into a team. But strikers have an instinctive talent that is hard to mould at the highest level. Beckford, unfortunately, lacks the guile and movement to ever be good enough. Ship him off in January for a couple of million to a Championship side and bring back Vaughan. We make a profit and the lad gets a game at a level more suitable to him: everyone wins.

Overall, with Fellaini back where he belongs, Bily given an extended run in the team, and Moyes adopting a more positive approach, I feel we could go somewhere. Team for Fulham (a):

Howard
Neville Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Fellaini Arteta
Bilyaletdinov Cahill Pienaar
Yakubu
They are our best players ? play them. No Hibbert (although he has done little wrong, he is ultimately not good enough), no Ossie (same as Hibbo), no Distin, no Beckford. 

Jim West     Posted 19/09/2010 at 12:25:10   Comments (13)

Less than quiet reflection

I was fuming yesterday, absolutely fuming.

The wife says I have far too strong feelings for Everton, something she can't quite get her head around. "How can you get so wound up? You care more about that club more than me and your kids!! Why are you so emotionally attached to that club?"

I suppose it's not too dissimilar questions that most TW readers get.

But when I got home last night, everyone got it, both barrells. I feel really bad this morning, very apologetic and I know it'll cost me a fortune down Toys 'r' us later. I felt betrayed and ashamed yesterday. The wife is right, I do care too much, I have put Everton first on occasions and wrongly.

I have been a staunch Moyes supporter, bur time is starting to run out for me now. His decision to chase a game by taking one striker off at half-time and play Arteta deep just took the piss. We could have played till midnight and not scored, we didn't look like scoring. About half-a-dozen crosses into the box from our wide players. We were playing against Championship defenders at best and it was probably their most comfortable afternoon in the Premier League so far for them. Even Villa gave them a harder time and they still lost 6-0.

4-5-1 is clearly not working, whether it means that Arteta has to back out to the wing to accomodate Cahill and 2 strikers, then so be it just to try and look like scoring again and at least being able to compete and trouble an opposing back 4.

Start earning your money Moyes, or go!
Matt Barry     Posted 19/09/2010 at 09:11:17   Comments (16)

The deadly double act

I won't be looking at the league table this week, apparently it doesn't lie. Chris Perry was accused of being insane when he dared to criticize the mighty Moyes on another post. Actually insane might be better applied to those who, pre-season, talked not only of Champions League qualification but of winning the league. Some people even bet on it.

We have been told that David Moyes has assembled the best squad for years. That might well be true... but when one looks at the league table, one must conclude that something else is wrong. In my view, the heart of what is wrong at the club is the Moyes ? Kenwright double act.

David Moyes signed a vastly inflated contract, way over what his achievements warranted. His brief seems to have been, keep us in the Premier League, look happy at our lack of investment, and keep your mouth shut. Bill Kenwright continues to live the dream on the cheap. His loyalty to his manager is admired and many (not so many on this website) are thankful that he has stopped us from being Leeds or Portsmouth. Meanwhile many Evertonians are grateful to both of them.

I don't like the term 'apologist' but surely no-one can defend that shambles today. In my opinion, one cannot attack Kenwright and defend Moyes at the same time. Kenwright is an incompetent chairman and Moyes is a vastly overpaid and overrated coach. He is dour, unimaginative and unsophisticated.

Mutual admiration between a coach and chairman is unhealthy and unhelpful. This double act can take the club no further.
Andy Crooks     Posted 18/09/2010 at 17:39:36   Comments (67)

He's not a saviour

Who was that guy that replaced Hibbert at half-time? Didn't really catch his name as he was anonymous in the second half except getting Nolan booked.
Eric Myles     Posted 18/09/2010 at 16:56:37   Comments (57)

Losers

All summer we worried about the Barcloena bid (that never existed) taking Arteta away. Before the season ended were concernded about the Arsenal bid (that never existed) taking Saha away. Then we had the Bayern Munich and Spurs bids for Pienaar (That never happened). We didn't have any bids for Cahill but we were worried he would leave. "Luckily" none of them left but we doubled their pay.

Thereafter, we heard them talk about how good they were and how they would challenge for the league. The basis of their claims was our victories over Chelsea and Utd last year. Gosling and Donovan (who have left) Rodwell (who is injured and out of favour) and Bily (who is out of favour) got the job done to beat Utd. By Association Arteta, Saha and Cahill got bumper new deals.

Pienaar was going to be the home team World Cup star but instead is sulking because we only offered 60,000 a week to him and nobody else has offered him anything. Period! The one player who did interest another club was Yakubu who West Ham with a derisory £2 million pound bid for and turned to someone "fitter and younger." Yakubu is 27...supposedly just entering his peak years.

Saha meanwhile has taken his new contract the way old Pistone did and gone straight back to the injury room. To my mind we have a bunch of guys who have WON NOTHING yet are PAID A LOT. Where is the incentive to try hard when you have a 5-year deal paying you £60k a week, wind, rain or shine?

We screwed up.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 18/09/2010 at 16:44:56   Comments (31)

Moyes is boring and you can deny it until your blue in the face

Moyes is boring. He picks boring teams. If he buys exciting players, he bores them with contract disputes. Same if a top-notch youngster comes through, he bores them with caution and contract disputes. He is boring.

I want to be excited. I want to be entertained. All you Moyes apologists need to get real and I decided to post this before we went 1-0 down against Newcastle. Cahill and Saha should have been sold for profit a long time ago, 4-5-1 will never win anything unless you have a class manager or world-class players in a shit league.

Moyes is boring. I am sick of it and so you should be!
Sunil Mudgil     Posted 18/09/2010 at 15:46:27   Comments (36)

Doing a 'Liverpool'

Finally, a Premier League club has shown how to negotiate the choppy financial waters of the Premier League ? none other than our neighbours from over the Park.

Yes they are in financial difficulties, Yes they cannot repay the 16% interest being charged ? but all this is going to change. When the loans run out in October, RBS will have full control, they can assume control of LFC and flog it (presumably at a price sufficient to payback the £280m loans) or they can impose a sale price on Hicks and Gillet above which they will have to sell.

So, Hicks and Gillet will make a huge loss, will have put the club into debt etc etc, but after all this, when a buyer arrives, the club will be entirely debt free and will not have been penalised the 10pts for going into administration etc. ...and all of this paid for by you and me, the taxpayer...

Everton, Arsenal, Fulham fans together paying to keep Liverpool Football Club alive ? who'd have thought it eh?

Bill Kenwright ? if you have financial worries mate, this is clearly the way to go...
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 18/09/2010 at 09:28:09   Comments (8)

Key reasons why we won't be winners under Moyes

It would be easy for me to type Neville, Osman, Hibbert, Beckford as four of the reasons, but I'll resist...

Why we will never be winners under David Moyes:

1) His atrocious team selection; last season, after Xmas, we were pretty good, we have all players available... but what does he do? Plays people out of position or not al all.

2) His obsession with 1 up front.

3) His obsession with leaving it until it's too late before making a substitution or having any impact.

4) His "pathetic" attempt at mind games.

5) His defensive approach.

6) The fact that he dithers and sees good players go elsewhere... Fernandes for one speaks volumes as does the crap he comes out with: "This is my strongest squad yet". Wake up, Dave ? you ain't at PNE now.

7) Loyalty ? gets him nowhere... as shown by that Gosling, who I hope falls on the football scrap heap.

8) His backroom staff.

9) His inability to take calculated risks.

10) Because he has never won fuck all in his life.

Tomorrow: 1-1... another shite display, no attacking options, no idea in the final third, no cutting edge, third-rate players like Osman, Beckford, Hibbert and Neville getting as much as a sniff of a start.
Chris Perry     Posted 17/09/2010 at 20:03:42   Comments (39)

Tomorrow's Victory...

Coming back from the dead against Utd will give a massive confidence. Having a match-winning chance denied to you will give a sense of deserving more. Your manager being brought up on charges for losing it in support of the team will add a desire to fight.

Could there be a better set of circumstances for a team with something to prove?

Newcastle tomorrow will suffer at the hands of a Goodison backlash as our catalyst for this season is discovering that just this once, drawing is better than winning.

4-0 to the Blues. Top 4 come the end of May.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 17/09/2010 at 13:19:42   Comments (37)

Is Mersyside Blue?

As an Everton supporter growing up in Coventry, I have allways been curious about the red and blue divide accross Mersyside and which club have the majority of supporters in that region.

As a blue, I have held on to the belief that the city of Liverpool and the whole of Merseyside have a larger population of Evertonians than gobshites but this is probably a biased view and, as I don't live there, I really don't know.

I had a similar conversation with a friend of mine who was born and bred in Knowlsley and had moved down to Coventry to be with his girlfriend. The conversation began with the topic of Everton moving to Kirkby and, although as myself he did not like the idea, he did claim that Kirkby had a massive Everton following. Can anyone from Meryside answer these questions for me?

The usual answer is 50-50 but, as we are the originals, I like to think we still have more.
Richard Reeves     Posted 17/09/2010 at 12:47:56   Comments (26)

Third Kit Thoughts?

So, the third kit is unveiled (http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/2010/09/17/new-third-kit-revealed).

For me, it is infinitely better than the pink abomination, but do we need a third kit? Is our pink away kit really going to clash with another team's? Has the pink kit sold so badly they went into panic mode and put together a third one?
Sean Smythe     Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:55:33   Comments (28)

Why Is Phill Neville Captain?

A question I find hard to answer. Maybe it's his proffessionalism that Moyes famously seems to like; maybe it's because he's not scared of a bone-crunching challenge... or maybe it's because Moyes thinks that he has as much influence on the field as off it.

I used to think that the captain was the most important player on the field ? forget about first team player, this is one of the first (if not the first) people who should be on the teamsheet, so why is our captain ? a player who should not be first choice in any of the positions he can play?

I would have Coleman at right back and from recent displays I would also put Hibbert in front of Neville, even though there is not much between them. Baines has left back nailed down dispite his average performances lately... and central defence is covered ? not that well admittedly, with Distin being constantly picked ? but what chance of Neville playing there if Moyes won't play Jags and Heitinga partly because of their height.

This only leaves defending midfielder and somewhere in the middle of midfield which, to be honest, makes me a little anxious as Neville regularly is aggressive and clumsy in that position (if I ever see another delicately needed five yard pass completely anhilihated).

As you can guess, I'm not Neville's biggest fan. It's not that I don't like him as a person, in fact, he seems quite decent, and I do believe he has genuine affection for our great club, but this does not hide the fact that he is in my opinion an average footballer who can stiffle his own team's gameplay with terrible passes and movement (especially in midfield).

At best, Neville is a squad player... yet the captain needs to be a regular first choice player, so, for this reason and others, I would hand it over permanently to Arteta. I know he has taken the captain's armband recently and maybe for all I know he is already the new permanent captain of our team.

Yet, looking at websites today, I read that Neville is fit and ready for the Newcastle game. It's strange that an announcement of the fitness and availability of our club captain can piss me off!
Richard  Reeves     Posted 17/09/2010 at 01:01:58   Comments (29)

After 10 games

Noticed a lot of postings saying judge Moyes and the boys after 10 games...

How many points would be acceptable at this point?

Go on put your neck on the block.... or are you all talk?
Charles King     Posted 15/09/2010 at 17:30:15   Comments (75)

Disappointing Reserves Result

While that is a word that is often touted on this site for most things Everton, I have to express my disappointment at the reserve team's result against West Ham.

Usually I'm not to concerned about the reserves but having reviewed the team sheet, its startling to think how we didn't manage to score 5, let alone lose.

Geuye, Coleman (apparently he's amazing), Yakubu, Neville, Beckford ? that's half the outfield players who could be considered senior team players.

If our squad is of quality now and we have good players on the fringes ? how come we couldn't beat West Ham Utd?
Jamie Rowland     Posted 15/09/2010 at 13:53:20   Comments (20)

The Fan Share Concept

Following up on Fanshares that only got 9 responses, I would like to point you in the direction of the http://www.arsenalfanshare.com/ website that explains in easy to understand graphics the Fan Share concept. There is a good argument that an Everton Fan Share should be set up as we are in need of a significant amount of funds for the Club. But can anyone find out how much revenue the Arsenal Fan Share concept has actually raised since launch?

We all know the Everton Board of Directors do not want to dilute their shares and anyone running a business will understand this. However, a very successful business person once said to me: "Tony, everything has a price". PLEASE let's not make this a debate about slagging off the Board or individuals on it as that's already been done to high heaven on here, and I will ask Michael to remove any such comments from this debate.

So for the sake of this discussion, let's just assume the board are willing to consider an Everton Fan Share, and have laid out an olive branch to the fan base saying.. .well, get on with it. Can we discuss the "Road Map" from a bunch of supporters using the much over-used phrase "someone's got to do something" toward setting up what Arsenal have.
Tony I'Anson     Posted 15/09/2010 at 11:01:35   Comments (46)

Pip's misplaced loyalty

We know Phil Neville is a Manchester United supporter and that's fair enough considering the years he spent and the trophies he collected there; however, as the current captain of Everton Football Club he has a responsibilty to the club and supporters to promote the Everton brand. This statement is a fucking disgrace:

"The pinnacle of [managerial] jobs in the world must be Old Trafford. In my mind, there is no shadow of doubt that, when Sir Alex chooses to retire, David Moyes is far from unimaginable as his successor. As yet he might not have won a trophy but he's top three in this division.

For Everton, it would be no shame to have the manager offered the chance to take over at United ? just so long as we've won that trophy first." ? Source: Sport.co.uk .

Next up: Our Captain tells us all how we should be grateful that Jack Rodwell can use Everton as a stepping stone to great things at Old Trafford.

Patronising twat.
Liam Reilly     Posted 15/09/2010 at 08:01:20   Comments (45)

Vaughan: Not so positive thinking

So... we find ourselves in a striking crisis ? Saha and Anichebe are injured, while Yakubu is far from match fit. Meanwhile, Beckford is so far struggling to adapt to top flight life ? albeit 3 games in. So who's left?

James Vaughan... So what does David Moyes do? He sends the pissing lad out on load.

And what happens in turn? A hat-trick!

Oh what wonderful thinking from Davey!

'No forwards so I will dump one and look now at my judgement'. Sometimes I worry about the bloke's sanity when he makes such a ridiculous decision.

And why has Beckford been binned already? I mean for Pete's sake, the bloke hasn't had 5 minutes. Of course since he isn't a Moyes puppet i.e. Distin, Neville or Osman, then he gets crucified at the first attempt! Oh what an oh so glorious start to this season!


James Boden     Posted 14/09/2010 at 21:30:01   Comments (45)

Have They Ruined English Football?

Have we let the Premier League go too far? I mean look at the power the players have in this league, they can dictate how much they get and get their agents a few bob as well. And it?s in every club, including our own...

Look at Steven Pienaar: he knows he is in demand and he knows it, he has asked for an extravagant wage for one very good season. Arteta has got his big contract after 5 years of commitment, loyalty and very good performances.

Look at the way Javier Mascherano forced his move to Barcelona, he refused to play for the club that have showed faith in him and made him to what he is today. In the German league they have a wage cap, and look how well they did in the World Cup; I know you could say they had a Pole and a Brazilian in their squad. But they had a youthful squad who had experience because the clubs put more money into their academies rather than big transfers.

I think English football has gone too far for a wage cap; look at Chelsea, Manchester City, United and possibly Liverpool ? they have at least 5 or 6 players on £100k a week or more. All this talk about budget cuts for schools, hospitals and schools... why don?t the clubs ask the players to take a cut for 6 months and use the savings to pay and the savings could go to community projects and stuff like that? But sadly footballers don?t think and neither do football clubs.

England will never win a major tournament because of the way the clubs are structured and the way they can do whatever they want. Every 2 years when there is a big hype about England and they flop, don?t blame Capello or the players ? blame the people who have let clubs spend their way to get success and then forgotten about young talent.
Jake Wilson     Posted 13/09/2010 at 20:35:44   Comments (32)

Time, gentlemen, please

Can you imagine the mixed emotions if Jags had thundered a 4-3 winner into the top corner only to turn round and see Martin Atkinson calling time and casting an eye towards Fergie for approval? Did Jags hear the whistle and give a "sod it" effort, or was it a genuine attempt? Perhaps we?ll never know.

However, the debate is around the added time: 2 goals scored in this part of the game, at the very least, 30 seconds to be added for each goal. This leaves 4 minutes to play yet he blows on 3:30 ? 30 seconds short. We complain about inconsistency between referees, but what about when one referee can have his own double standards?

When Michael Owen scored in the Manchester derby in the 6th minute of 4 added minutes to win the game for Utd, the ref added over a minute because Bellamy scored in added time. And the ref was...? Martin Atkinson.

Who can forget the Villa game at home in 2008. Lescott makes it 2-2 with 30 seconds left of the 3 added time. 90 seconds is added for the goal and Villa score in the 95th minute. And the ref was... ??? Martin Atkinson.

This probably explains Moyes?s temper at the end as he had the flashback of getting ripped off two years ago by the same guy ? the same guy, we all remember, who also stood back and let Liverpool kick us off the park last season at Anfield. How can the same idiot add 1-2 minutes in those games for a goal yet just 30 seconds for two on Saturday?

Maybe like Rugby, we should play on until the ball goes out of play, whilst the 4th official assists with accurate time keeping, taking the onus away from certain referee?s who are consistent with their inconsistencies.
David  Price     Posted 13/09/2010 at 18:16:49   Comments (39)

Distin for the dustbin?!

When Everton signed Distin I always wondered what Moyes's reason's were. He was 32 years old at the time and hardly a defender whom could give us guaranteed quality in the centre back position. In Moyes I trust so I presumed he knew something which I didn't about Distin so I eagerly anticipated seeing him in an Everton shirt.

After the Lescott drama I understood we were short at the back and us being Everton we never exactly have had the biggest of squads so to bring in Distin at the time was probably a decent decision. Lescott was a good defender for us, make no mistake about it. Everytime I watched Lescott, although sloppy at times, he always got the job done. He was pacey, aware, and even got us a few goals. We made a small fortune off him and brought in Distin. But why? For cover? Surely £5 million is too much money for a covering player. No, now I understand... it was to actually play this man, week-in, week-out, and make him an important first team member of our squad.

Now the question I put to you all is simple; why does Moyes continue to play Distin? Last season when he signed for us he played really well in his first few games which made everyone think he was an adequate if not better replacement than Lescott. Oh how wrong we all were. Surely it's time Distin is dropped from the first team for good. He is costing us goals and points and to me he seems like a player who doesn't care about Everton, he is there just to pick up his pay cheque at the end of each week.

Look at the goals he has cost us so far. I blame him for all 3 against Manchester United at the weekend. Poor positioning and pace for the first goal. Awful positioning for the second goal. And finally awful reading of the game, touch and pace for the third goal. Forgive me if I'm wrong but, against Wolves at Goodison, Distin ran towards the ball, totally out of position which allowed Ebanks-Blake to be unmarked at the back post. Ok you might think I'm making Distin somewhat of a scapegoat but you have got to remember he has sold us goals in the past, most notably against Sporting Lisbon were he couldn't control a back pass then made a red card challenge.

What amazes me is that we have a really good defender in Jags and he is being paired up with Distin every week. As Everton fans, I think we all try to justify Moyes's reasons for not playing the players whom we think should be part of the starting eleven, Coleman, Rodwell etc. But I can't justify Distin playing football for Everton FC any longer. Jags and Johnny should be the center back partnership and Moyes should play them now and let them get used to each other before its too late for us. Distin is only going to cost us more goals in the future.

What amazes me is that we have just let Yobo go out on loan when in my opinion Yobo is as good as if not better than Distin. I hate to say it but £5 million for Distin is now looking like daylight robbery and, unless he is dropped as soon as possible, Everton are going to concede goal after goal after goal.


Graeme Beresford     Posted 13/09/2010 at 01:25:51   Comments (38)

Obinna

Just watching the West Ham v Chelsea game on Match of the Day, and was surprised to see a former Everton target, Victor Obinna, showing up for and starring for West Ham.

I was wondering what was different from when we tried to get him last year, when the reason given for Obinna not being able to sign was a work permit declination, compared to this year when he's allowed to play in the Premier League. And, if a certain requirement was removed, why didn't Moyes come back him for him? He certainly looked useful.
Alex Robinson     Posted 11/09/2010 at 23:37:54   Comments (13)

Whatever the question is...

Be it where to best play Johnny H; Baines going walk-about up the wing; getting Osman out, without bringing in the other waster Bily; getting Coleman in ? two runs as sub and we looked a different team; more attacking action on BOTH wings; not leaving just two poorish decision makers on thier own at the back.

The answer is... THREE AT THE BACK:

Jagieelka, Heitinga Distin

I've been saying it since we signed Jags, an idea whose time has come?? IYWDM??
Derek Thomas     Posted 11/09/2010 at 22:16:23   Comments (22)

Case for the defence

Sometimes you need a day to gather the thoughts when analysing a game in detail... Sod that, it would take months to sum today's game up and then still miss something.

The match had everything. It's clear now, the formation that needs to happen has to feature Coleman at right back, Heitinga at the back with Jags and that is the defence sorted.

Fellaini is back, his form in the 2nd half was excellent as the holding player but still breaking forward. Yakubu needs to come in and partner Cahill. Osman stays right, Pienaar left, Arteta free to probe and attack.

The spirit is there to see and a fantastic comeback in an awesome game of football played by both sides. A credit to the game.
David  Price     Posted 11/09/2010 at 17:19:23   Comments (54)

I got a feeling

Saturday's Guardian has the revelation that Rooney was due to play for Everton in Carragher's testimonial. Moyes asked him, Rooney agreed and, seemingly, was relishing the prospect. Sadly Capello refused to allow Rooney time away from England, despite giving Gerrard that special dispensation.

The same piece offers an interesting quote from Mikel Arteta... "I don't like to see people behaving badly towards Wayne. He's been a terrific player and he loves Everton. He left for a massive club and brought a lot of money to this one. He\'s not said anything bad about this club and all the players and staff like him."

I have sensed something in the ether for a wee while. Rooney was still a kid when he left here, and a very badly advised one at that. He's still a flawed character, but he's moved on a long way. His feelings for Everton are, I believe, unarguable. When he plays against us he always, always, plays within himself.

The reasons behind my earlier pronouncements, i.e. that we should move on and not bait Rooney are partly born out of affection for a very talented young Evertonian, and partly born of enlightened self interest. A highly motivated and wound up Wayne Rooney can do us a lot of damage. I prefer him (at Goodison) as a wolf in sheep's clothing. 3 points are all I'm interested in.

But back to the earlier point; I sense an unmistakeable narrative being played out that will ultimately result in Rooney returning to the fold. The prospect will increase/decrease in line with our ability to compete for a CL place or even for the title.

Baiting Rooney tomorrow will only help one cause and that cause is not EFC.


Alan Kirwin     Posted 11/09/2010 at    Comments (26)

What if they hadn't become footballers?

Growing up, many of us dreamed of playing for Everton. Scoring goals in FA Cup finals... etc. But what about those whose childhood dreams were fulfilled and did manage to become professional footballers. I would like to ask what if they hadn't become footballers?

Where would they be and what would they be doing? Given the recent TW articles about past players and the antics of a former player, I would like to open the debate to suggestions. There are no restrictions on the player or the suggestion, unless MK says there has to be a relevance to Everton. Brendan McGlouglan read in his mum's catholic newsletter that Wayne Rooney would have become a priest if not a footballer, and was disturbed by the idea.

Pat van den Hauwe would have made a good assassin.

Andy Gray could have made it as a football pundit.

Neville Southall looks like a miner, so could have been one.

Yakubu - bouncer in town.

Phil Neville looks like a teacher. Don't know why?

Further suggestions below. But beware ? the red tops are watching...


Tony I'Anson     Posted 10/09/2010 at 21:59:26   Comments (17)

Team to face United

With Saha, Rodwell and Anichebe out for United, what team would you like to see?

I think we should play a 4-3-3 and take the game to them. Too often, Moyes sets his team up to react to the opposition's strengths and less about imposing our own attacking will and giving the opposition something to think about. I'd like to see:

                    Howard
Coleman Jagielka Heitinga Baines
        Arteta(c) Fellaini Pienaar
       Gueye Cahill Bilyaletdinov
I fully expect to see Neville in the team instead of Seamus but I think this would be a cracking game for him to really show what he's capable of. I also think Gary Neville will shit himself if Coleman and Gueye are running at him with Arteta orchestrating things from that side of the pitch. 

We have the partnership of Pienaar and Baines to operate down the other side with Bily ahead of them cutting inside and taking pops at goal.

At the back, we've got Heitinga to play the ball out of defence with Fellaini dropping deep when needed to help with the height.
Ben Howard     Posted 10/09/2010 at 16:40:17   Comments (21)

ToffeeWeb's official mouthpiece... The Mirror

I was reading this piece in today's Daily Mirror and thought to myself, these quotes sound very familiar? Carried on and thought I'm sure I've heard this before.

Lo and behold, they're all quotes from the recent Rooney debates on ToffeeWeb! There's even a namecheck for the "voice of reason" Alan Kirwin and Matthew Salem.

BTW although I don't wholeheartedly agree with Alan's sentiment's on the subject, they do paint ToffeeWeb and Evertonians in general in a good light.
Stephen Kenny     Posted 09/09/2010 at 11:29:51   Comments (56)

Jinx strikes again?

So the Mail are reporting that Jack Rodwell will be out for three months with ankle ligament damage.

After the recent injury to King Louis, are we in for an all-too-familiar start of the season...

Here we go again?


Robert Daniels     Posted 08/09/2010 at 23:48:57   Comments (38)

Our best in the Premier League

After Saturday's game I suspect we'll be back to debating the relative merits of David Moyes. In the meantime, Michael's blog got me thinking about who has been the most important player for us in the Premier League era.

For me, it has to be Kevin Campbell.

When he arrived on loan, it was at a time when I was looking ahead at the fixtures of every relegation candidate and wondering where the points to save us would come from. Kevin saved us.

Nine goals in eight games at a club ebbing confidence was, to me, as good as anything he did in his career. He was the right man at the right time. I saw him quite a few times and liked his attitude, he seemed to me to be the epitome of a team player.

To some extent, injury blighted his stay at Goodison Park but, to me, he was a hero. If he were ten years younger, he is exactly the striker we need now.
Andy Crooks     Posted 08/09/2010 at 21:44:20   Comments (44)

Ibrahim Afellay

According to the Gossip pages on the BBC Sport website, it was stated that:

"PSV Eindhoven's Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay, 24, claims he turned down a move to Everton this summer because he did not like "the feel" of the Goodison Park club."

This pissed me off somewhat, as it appeared a direct dig at Everton FC. I thought to myself, I wonder what happened? Was it Moyes he didn't like? The Chairman, the stadium, the city? When you read into it further though, the lad's actual quote was

"There were several clubs that tried to sign me this summer. Hamburg and Everton wanted me, but there has to be a good feeling with a club, and that was not the case, so I decided to stay at PSV."

Now is it me, or do those two quotes appear, although similar, actually quite different? I just think this highlights very well how the media, by putting a subtle twist on what someone has said, can make things seem quite different to how they are.
Lee Smith     Posted 08/09/2010 at 11:18:13   Comments (20)

England Centre-Halves

Interesting to see Jagielka and Lescott forming a pretty decent partnership for England. I didn't see the whole game but here's what I did see:

1. Not much long ball. Switzerland were not pressing much and there was always a full back or midfielder available, but still it proves the point that Jagielka can pass it short out of the back if its on and people available.

2. Partnership. They looked quite good together despite the gap. Not wanting to open up the "should Lescott return to Everton" debate, it's more about seeing how having a solid partnership can give an instant rapport even after 15 months not playing together.

3. Leadership. Capello was quoted as saying Jagielka was driving the back four for this game. I expect you might see him nudge out Ferdinand as "first choice" in the near future. Terry will be more difficult to displace I think.

I also think the midfield (Barry / Milner) and keeper should be blamed for a 25-yd goal when they're pressing.

Did anyone see the whole game? Anyone have a broader view of what happened and what we can learn from it at Everton?
Julian Wait     Posted 07/09/2010 at 22:14:27   Comments (87)

Questions, Questions, Questions

I, for one, would love to know just what happened regarding Kings Dock, as I get reminded every time I pass the Echo Arena. There must be somebody on this website that has the definitive explanation of why this club missed the opportunity of the century (the real one, not DK).

We find ourselves in the position now of investing nothing in the stadium for at least 5 years, selling off the car park area which basically stops any ground expansion, no investors in sight, no Plan B, C, D or any letter of the alphabet.

Where is the money that we were to use for the Tescodome? Why have we not completed the sale of Bellefield? Why are we paying players obscene wages that the club cannot afford, as the club has no business plan to recoup these funds?

Why was the CD Everton game not promoted more? Carragher\'s testimonial was treated like a World Cup game by local press and TV? Why do we never get the sponsorship deals that other comparable clubs get, why did Trevor Birch resign after a few weeks?

I spent 30 mins on the phone yesterday with my brother going through these questions and a hundred more ? that\'s not what I pay for when I get my season tickets, as I have done for decades... now the situation is bordering on the ridiculous, we seem to be run by people who have no idea how to promote this most historic of football clubs.
Larry Boner     Posted 07/09/2010 at    Comments (68)

Rooney returns this weekend

I wondered what kind of reception TW match goers were reserving for Wayne Rooney on Saturday? Not what they think the overall atmosphere will be, just their personal intent. You know, outright abusive slagging off; occasional mild unpleasantries; or a Corinthian ambivalence.

I also wondered what we thought were the chances of his returning to Everton... or even if we'd want him.

For the record, I still love seeing Rooney score. Something inside me still says he is an Evertonian, just as something still tells me he will return one day to prove it.

I even harboured a notion that our performance this season in the league would lend further credence to that fanciful notion.

I don't give a toss what a recalcitrant & ill advised 18-year-old did. I care more what a world class 26-year-old could do. And given what we've just done for Mikel Arteta, the financial gap is much less than it was.

Rooney is England's talisman. He's a Scouser and he's an Evertonian. The best thing Evertonians can do this weekend is to welcome Wayne back with warm applause. Rooney opeates better on the edge, so much better that we soften him up at the start.

That's partly born of genuine affection and partly born of enlightened self interest.

As for the game, please fuck that we win. Time for some of the boys to show they're worth the shirt and the money.
Alan Kirwin     Posted 06/09/2010 at 22:44:35   Comments (65)

Ticket Own Goal

Another well done to Everton for stopping my young lad from attending his first ever game at Goodison against the Mancs.

I am registered on the e-ticket system but you can only buy 1 ticket per person for the game so I registered my lad too in his own name. Guess what? He can't buy a ticket as he has to have bought a ticket for another game in the past in order to buy one now. Not just a game this season but any game ever.

Question is, how then does he get to go to his first game if he has to have bought a ticket to a previous game in order to get a ticket for his first game?
Chris Leyland     Posted 05/09/2010 at 18:32:04   Comments (29)

Many happy returns, Bill!

It''s 9:45 pm in TalkShite Towers... the old romantic has had his cocoa, and nodded off watching re-runs of Coronation St (the ones he's in).

Jenny creeps upstairs to check that her little boy blue is fast asleep, so she can get on the internet and start looking for his birthday prezzie! It's so difficult, thinks Jenny, what would he want?

She casts her mind back to last year's offering, yes he really liked that. The complete box set of Harry Hill. And the year before, a DVD of A Christmas Carol, starring Alastair Sim.

Then there was the year she decided to spice their sex life up, by offering him a threesome with identical twins. He wasn't sure on this though... "How would I tell them apart?" he had said, and Jenny replied, "Susan's got red hair, and Henry's got a mustache!"

It really was a problem; what do you get the man who has nowt? Maybe those lovely people on ToffeeWeb can suggest something for his birthday?

Yes, I'll ask them!
Robert Daniels     Posted 04/09/2010 at 14:26:19   Comments (117)

Optimism!

Here's what I do 3 or 4 days after every loss or draw that should have been a win. So... every time this season. I take a look at the table and then I look at the schedule and I get super optimistic. Here's all we have to do to feel good by the end of the month.

1) Beat Man Utd: We did it last year. The boys have got to feel like they have something to prove. We have played good footy but just not converted. IT IS POSSIBLE.

2) Beat Newcastle: We should... end of. Especially to rub it in Gosling's face.

3) Draw or beat Fulham: Very possible... and probable we can draw. And almost as possible we can win.

There ? 8-10 points from 6 games would be fine by me. More realistically if it ends up 4-7 well... let's just hope it's not 4!!
Joey Brown     Posted 04/09/2010 at 07:10:27   Comments (23)

Dave Prentice

When he was Everton correspondent for the Echo I admit I used to respect him, his match reports were pretty much spot-on, as were his views on all things Everton.

However.... since he moved into his new role, all he seems to want to do is cosy up to Bill Kenwright and the club and avoid criticising it at all costs which I find irritating. Defending the undefendable and most annoyingly, constantly stiching up outgoing players, the latest being Joey Yobo on Friday, who has been a good servant to our club.

I'd like to gage other Blues' opinions on Mr Prentice, the self-styled 'man on the inside of Merseyside football'.
Ste Traverse     Posted 04/09/2010 at 00:42:30   Comments (32)

My case for the total and utter destruction of the city of Birmingham

Nearly a week has gone by since the Villa vs Everton game and I am as smegged off as I was at the final whistle. I hate Aston Villa, more than I do the Shite. It's never straightforward with these tossers. There's always is a late goal, a red card or whatnot so that we never beat them.

This time it would be easy to blame Moyesie's ultra-defensive tactics for us failing to get a point (three actually) against a Villa side in turmoil. It would be easy for us to hold our hands up and admit to a tactical cock-up. But fuck that... it's easier to blame Villa instead ? so let's do that.

I fucking hate Villa. And slowly but surely I am beginning to hate the city of Birmingham in it's entirety. I have been to the British metropoles of Stoke, Reading, Brighton, Liverpool and Swansea amongst others but truthfully never to Birmingham. However, I have only heard bad things about Birmingham from Brummie mates of others and mine who visited. It's a fucking shit-hole from what I have been told where the women look like men and the men are fucking wankers.

Anyhow, I digress. From an Evertonian point of view, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose from the total and utter destruction of the city of Birmingham. You don't believe me? Consider the following:

1. No more Aston Villa: No more purple-clad tossers with a Woody Allenesque manager (ok that problem has been solved prematurely) who fucking make my life a misery. Fuck off, Lerner; fuck off Carew... and so fuck off, Ashley Young, you fucking tosser. I hate you the most.

2. No more Wolverhampton Wanderers: There was a time not so long ago I used to like Wolves. I probably just found their crest cute and was misled. Well, guess what... I hate Wolves, too. Fuck off, you cunts. Three 1-1s later, I cannot bare the sight of McCarthy (well, he is not exactly an Adonis to start with now, is he?). But my point is that I hate Wolves. Fuck them.

3. No more Birmingham City: God Almighty, I hate them, too. Not only were we unable to beat this subpar team last season, but we also got knocked out at home by them in the FA Cup in what would have been an easy run. Just like Wolves, they frustrated the shit out of me last season and need to be punished for that. Annihilation seems like the only reasonable solution.

4. No more West Bromwich Albion: Admittedly, they have not troubled the Mighty Toffees in recent years so some might argue that it would be unfair to be resentful towards them. That may be true, but consider the sparrow (is that a sparrow?) on their team crest. Although I find sparrows cute, I bet this particular one is a total tosser and would shit all over you if you walked under his tree. Destroy him before he destroys you. Annihilation!!!

5. There is a 5th team in Birmingham that I can't think of right now. Fuck them, elusive cunts...

Fuck Birmingham. I hate that city and so should you.

COYB! FTRS!
Matthew Salem     Posted 04/09/2010 at 00:00:45   Comments (60)

Louis injured again!

Looks like Louis Saha's injury curse has struck again. He came on for France as a sub in the 70th minute and went in for a pretty innocuous looking challenge 5 minutes later where he appeared to hurt his knee.

Having signalled to the bench that he should be withdrawn he was swiftly removed, his game not even lasting 10 minutes. He did come off unaided however and appeared to be more disappointed than anything else so let's hope for the best.

Looks like those leeches didn't help much. Incidentally Belarus are 1 up with less than 5 minutes to play.
Alan Gubbins     Posted 03/09/2010 at 21:35:16   Comments (21)

Brentford vs Everton

Just wondering what the feeling is towards this fixture. I know if you are a local Evertonian, it's just a date in the diary, but it's 56 years since we played Brentford and it is generating interest in the area that they (BFC) maybe would not get from another Premier League club (Brentford have played Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle in the past).

It's a great draw, and great for a small town in West London that is not fashionable. BFC on tv live Sunday, try to watch it, its a solid club that deserves the draw with the blues. I have waited 10 years for this fixture, cannot wait to see the Blues in Brentford.
Paul Skelhorn     Posted 03/09/2010 at 20:33:58   Comments (8)

The Best or Nothing

I assume I'm not the only Evertonian to have picked up on the brand new strapline for Mercedes. "The Best or Nothing" is so close to Nil Satis Nisi Optimum as to be indistinguishable.

Which presents an obvious opportunity, rather than a problem. Especially as Stuttgart (their base) doesn't have much of a team.

If I were Marketing Director, I'd be on to Mercedes yesterday to highlight this synergy and suggest a little exploitation of it. EPL games are screened globally. As good a marque as Mercedes obviously is, we can always do with some new marketing to wider audiences. I'd much prefer that smart logo on our shirts than an oriental beer.

I envisage management & players driving Mercs. Competitions for fans to do the same. A Mercedes stand with integral showroom & corporate facilities. Sheesh, the list of opportunities is endless.

Then again...
Alan Kirwin     Posted 03/09/2010 at 12:47:12   Comments (26)

Good old Goodison

No, not how dated it is... nor where our new stadium should be... not even how desperate for a new stadium we are.

Instead, where is you're favourite seat at Goodsion?

I've pretty much been in every stand with Lower Gwladys my favourite. Just wondered what others thoughts were?
Matt Brown     Posted 03/09/2010 at 12:02:23   Comments (28)

Pienaar's Contract

Okay, so the window is now closed and it has been, even by our high standards, a low-key end to the window ? and that's saying something. Now that it is shut, I would like to particularly focus on Pienaar and "will he, won't he" sign a new contract?

A few things that need to be discussed.

  1. Everton have made him a great offer, if we are to believe reports of £60k per week. However great this offer may be, I feel we may need to go another £5-10k per week to get the deal signed. I personally think that Pienaar is worth this as I class him in our Top 3 Players along with Arteta and Fellaini. Also, it is his last contract and if we can get him signed long-term it will settle him and we will get the best years of Pienaar's footballing career gracing the pitch each and every other week at Goodison Park.
  2. The alternative. Well, this is for Mr Kenwright to dig in his heels not stump up the extra let's say £10k per week and Pienaar gets offered let's say £100k per week and signs a pre-contract agreement in January with for example Spurs.
Look I know people talk about loyalty and all that but those days are gone. Do we really think, that as much as we all love Arteta, that he would have signed on for any less that the whopping £75k per week he is now getting?

Now the extra £10k per week would work out at £2.6M over 5 years... which, don't get me wrong, is a lot of money. The alternative, however, is to lose an asset worth £12-15M and get nothing but a Thank You card when he leaves for reserecting his career that had gone to shit in Germany.

Bill, stump up the bloody cash, for god's sake! It makes sense thinking with the heart and the head.
Brian Murphy     Posted 02/09/2010 at 11:52:47   Comments (70)

What will be our 25 man squad?

I suspect it will be:

Mucha, Turner, Howard ? 3

Hibbert, Baines, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman, Rodwell, Duffy ? 8

Bilyaletdinov, Arteta, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Wallace ? 8

Saha, Vaughan, Beckford, Yakubu, Anichebe, Baxter - 6
Helikaon Bow     Posted 01/09/2010 at 16:41:36   Comments (21)

Failing to prepare

With an International week ahead of us and anticlimactic transfer window behind us (I did watch the countdown on SSN, Mr Round, and all I got was the most annoying idiots in studio waiting for Big Ben to chime). I started to think about our limp starts we seem to have each season. A case of failing to prepare... or preparing to fail?

What puzzles me is the constant choosing of lower league opposition and, what I see is, substandard preseason teams. Maybe someone else on here has covered this, but can someone explain to me why, while we?re playing the mighty Melbourne Heart, our rivals are playing top quality opposition?

Here's a list of the teams from preseason on the OS (granted some of the games were just the reserves)

Sydney FC
Bangor City
Melbourne Heart
Brisbane
Airbus UK
Clyde FC
Forfar Athletic
Preston North End
Norwich City
CD Everton
VfL Wolfsburg
Sligo Rovers

The only decent team in that whole list is Steve McClaren's Wolfsburg, and we lost that 2-0!

As a build up this season,
? Man City played Inter, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia
? Spurs played Villarreal and Fiorentina
? Liverpoool played Grasshopper Zurich,Kaiserslautern and Borussia Monchengladbach
? Villa played Valencia, Feyenoord and Benfica.

All top opposition and enough to give the players a taste of what?s to come.

I can understand one or two lower league teams at the start to welcome the players back to the pitch and get fitness levels up but why a full preseason of them? I know the Oz tour was probably more to do with marketing than getting good match time under our belts against other top players, but surely games against top European teams is required.

I?d prefer to be losing to top opposition, than getting meaningless victories over lesser teams. You can learn more from defeat then victory.

Am I seeing this from too a simplistic view point? If it seems this obvious to me, why not Everton and David Moyes!...or am I missing something??
David McKitt     Posted 01/09/2010 at 11:54:13   Comments (35)

What goes through their head?

First of all, thank you, Joey Yobo for your service; you where great when we needed you but now we have grown into a much better side it was best for you to move on!

Surely Yobo going frees up £20k to £30k a week to spend on a loan signings' wages or why not just sell him, pay a loan fee... or again wages! Birmingham sign Hleb on loan who is a quality player, Birmingham's wage structure surely isn't bigger than ours! Ben Arfa signs for Newcastle on loan ? again their new wage structure isn't bigger than ours and both these players would prefer to be at Goodison than a small club and a relegation candidate.

And if we did make a late bid for Donovan or Bentley why not do it a week ago or well before Deadline Day! And Grafite from Wolfsburg, knowing Yobo was going, why not offer him the extra wages he wanted with the spare money! Or if he didn't want Yobo why not offer him to clubs weeks ago and give himself time to use the wages or loan fee instead of having an hour!

To me it seems really simple!
Chris  Hannon     Posted 01/09/2010 at 09:49:02   Comments (53)

Remember the Lucas Neill surprise?

Sitting over here in Boston on business ? checking my blackberry under the meeting table and seeing the deadline come and go with no activity ? it struck me that maybe Davey has a master plan: a great free transfer we can pick up in the next 2 weeks for nothing and then sell on for a milion squids in January, a la Lucas Neill.

So I just wanted to check the PFA free agent list... looking for a six-foot-plus centre-forward with Premier League experience who just might fit the bill... and we come up with Jeremy Alladiere, Benjani, Vas Te and Vennigor of Hesslink, along with a host of scholars just released. So that's that then ? no real quality, as you might suspect. Unless you like the look of 38-year-old Barrington Hayles...

Then I had a look for right sided midfielders with electric pace... couldn't find any ? unless we want Anderson Franco de Silva back again. So I guess we shouldn't expect any free transfers to give us a nice surprise ? or can you find a hidden gem who might improve our squad?

http://www.givemefootball.com/pfa-transfer-list

Answers on a post card please to one Mr Kenwright, OBE.
Steve Jones     Posted 01/09/2010 at 02:31:51   Comments (13)

What was all that about?

Lost in the disappointment of Sunday?s defeat and the crazy twittering of Transfer Dead Donkey Dday was something that caught my eye last Thursday or Friday?. It was officially announced that Jack Rodwell would play against Villa on Sunday.

How very strange... as Moyesie rarely gives anything away before the mandatory 30 minutes prior to kick off comes around. Now why would he do that???

Maybe it was to let Mr Capello know that he would be playing and it was worth coming along to watch? Maybe it was to keep young Jack happy before he got his head turned by offers from the Man Utd Godfather? Maybe ?maybe ?maybe?answers on a postcard?

Then, true to form, Moyes plays a master stroke and plays him out of position with more accustomed wide players Bily and maybe Ossie on the bench Poor Jack has a bit of a ?mare ? everyone knows his only position is in a central area ? but who are you going to move to let him play there? Jags, Fellaini, or John H ...when DM decides to play our best defender rather than leave him on the bench for the whole game?

Am I imagining all of this or does anyone else have a read on this strange happening or am I bored already???
David Cooper     Posted 01/09/2010 at 00:04:20   Comments (25)

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