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A false dawn?

I know I'm being a bit previous but am I the only Evertonian who is a bit disappointed that there has been a deafening silence from Farhad Mashiri since he invested in 49.9% of our club's stock?

Many of us saw his arrival as a sure sign that things were changing and the control of all things Everton was no longer vested in Bill Kenwright. For several weeks after "the deal" was announced – and in spite of disappointing results on the field, there seemed to be a feeling of new hope for a bright future for the club in the comments and messages of the fanbase, both old and young.

It wasn't so much that there was, at last, real hope for a new ground and significant investment in new players but more a feeling that new life was being blown into the creaking structure that is Everton FC. Of course, it's early days, but for me the alarm bells started to sound when we learned that, far from aspiring to be our new leader, the investor didn't even desire a direct place on the Board.

On enquiring about this development via local and national sports writers, I was told that it was not Moshiri's style to grab the headlines nor seek hands-on involvement. His style, it seems, is to put up the money in support of a sound business plan and rely on others to make that money work for him. Sharing this message with ToffeeWebbers, resulted in much scorn being placed on me by fellow contributors who saw the new man very much as the New Leader and inspirational figure.

Kenwright was consigned to history, we were told – from now on "the new money" would call all the shots as Farhad and his proxy got their feet under the table. "Moshiri will see to it that Martinez is toast," they affirmed, and once the now apparently mythical Board Meeting took place, we would be looking towards Europe for a new manager. Of course, it's only Thursday evening and such an announcement may be being drafted as I write – although I think not.

So tonight, I reiterate my view that Moshiri is not overly interested in such details and is happy to leave football matters in Kenwright's hands. I can only say that such trust in our resident procrastinator is utterly frustrating to us mere "punters"... but, to the major Investor, it may prove ruinously expensive!

Phil Walling     Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:53:54

To be a manager of Everton FC

Yet another article on Roberto Martinez, for which I make no apologies – because he is still here.

There is no doubt he is a salesman and there is no doubt he is misunderstanding what it takes to be a manager of EFC. He is like the Mercedes car salesman when airbags first came out, as they were on the driver’s side only. The buyer said to the salesman: “I love the car but the airbag on the driver’s side causes me some difficulty. The car crashes, the airbag comes out and saves me but all I can hear are the screams of my wife going through the windscreen.” The salesman says: “Sir, this airbag is so good, you won’t hear a thing.”

That is RM – he is a super salesman but he is completely missing the point. He says he understands what it takes to be a manager of EFC but he hasn’t convinced the long-suffering supporters. Had he understood, he would have sacked his coaching staff and brought in somebody who could assist him with a Plan B and C, then assist him with how to structure a defence and practise defending corners and free kicks. He would refrain from boring the masses to death going back and forth along the back line to the point where he has managed to silence the crowd into a state of numb confusion. He would recognise that he has taken us from a top six side to a bottom half side and who knows where we might end up this season still?

So what does it take to be a manager of EFC?

First of all, it seems you have to be a sycophant sucking up to the ego of one’s Chairman, maybe even taking the wife to one of his productions. The Chairman’s partner has to think you are a really nice guy. You now have the additional problem of telling the new shareholder that you need time and that he must ignore the first three years. You have to smile at his representative on the board: “Success is coming, I’m building a squad to finish higher than 17th then in ten years I will have built a side gunning for the Europa League. Just stay with me, you will see”.

Let’s pray the new shareholder doesn’t have ten years to wait and the representative on the board sees a desperate man trying to sell a car to a buyer who doesn’t like the airbag being only on one side. He is no longer getting the point – he has lost the majority of the fans.

So the new man should avoid wearing brown shoes with a dark suit – too close to home that one. He should be a name above the average; know how to set up a defence and employ coaches who understand the basics of the game such as practising defending all kinds of set pieces. He should recognise that the new shareholder is his future and set out a plan fit for a king (or at least a billionaire) and not one for an impresario.

He should be such an appointment to excite those we want to keep. I am thinking of Stones, Lukaku, Deulofeu etc and give hope to the likes of Dowell, Davies, Connolloy and other up-and-coming young guns by immediately upgrading them to the first-team squad.

Most of all, he should understand Everton and Evertonians and not just pay lip service to our history. We want to be up there with the best, competing for a place at the top four table; competing for top players; players who will bring a smile of anticipation to our supporters. He needs to be a name which will command immediate respect. He needs to be able to understand that the car buyer was concerned about his wife’s safety and not the quality of the fecking airbag. He needs to get it and be his own man.

Everton deserves such an appointment.

Ian Burns     Posted 28/04/2016 at 16:28:47

Judge Me On Three Seasons

Roberto Martinez has asked to be judged not on the last three months of his reign, but on the last three seasons. He has, he tells us in that time reached two domestic cup semi finals, the round of sixteen in the Europa league and a top 5 finish in the league with a record points haul for the club. All sounds very good doesn't it?

Many people try to compare him to David Moyes as they are really the only managers the younger supporters really remember. The only problem is how do you compare a man who joined a club flirting with relegation to a man who joined a club always on the fringes of the top six. Well, like most of you I am fed up, not only of Roberto's ramblings but also of the people who believe him. So I took a closer look and decided to compare his impact on the club since his arrival with Moyes impact all those years ago.

As I have said David Moyes came into a club flirting with relegation. In the three seasons before he arrived Everton won a total of 34 league games out of a potential 114, we lost 47 of them. In Moyes first 3 seasons he changed that around completely to see us winning 44 and losing only 43. Taking into account his disastrous second season that saw us only win 9 games he certainly showed early promise about how to win matches. One thing was also clear in those early years, Moyes did not go for expansive, thrilling football. In fact his first three years saw us score 11 goals less than we had scored in the three seasons prior to his arrival (this is a little bit unfair as all 11 were in one season). What he did do was tighten us up defensively conceding 13 fewer goals than his predecessor.

So Mr Martinez how do you compare? Shall we judge your first three seasons.

Well to start with unless we win 2 of the remaining matches this season you will have won fewer league matches in your first three seasons than your predecessor did in his last three. That is a definite backwards step in my eyes.

You have already lost 5 more games over the three seasons than he did another backwards step.

In two of the three seasons you have conceded more goals than he did, the only season that your defence was better than his was that first season, the one that many observers claim was still his defence in many ways. As it stands you have also scored fewer goals in two of the three seasons, although with a little bit of application you should be able to turn this around by the end of this season. Even so for a man that claims that your teams are free flowing, goal scoring entertainers to be this close to the end of the season and to have scored fewer than the king of KITAP1 for the second time in three years is pretty appalling.

So league wise your first three seasons have seen us go backwards, in position, in wins, in defeats, and in goals conceded.

But that's okay because you have been phenomenal in the cup competitions haven't you. Two semi finals out of 6 domestic entries is pretty impressive. Let's forget that in the first two seasons you managed four wins between the four domestic competitions you entered.

In Europe you did okay, and do you know what that tells me?

That tells me that you should try managing abroad because in England you just can't cut it.
Steve Pugh     Posted 28/04/2016 at 14:38:11

New Owner – New Era

As an Everton supporter for 50 years, I've endured the highs and lows of our great club with other long standing fans. In this present time and on the brink of a New era, with a new owner, we would like to believe that we are about to have a new ground in the next couple of years. So, things are changing. I thank all of those over the years involved with the club, who have kept our club in the top flight and in a reasonable financial state.

The squad that we currently have, has been said by some, as the best that we have had for years, but the current league position does not reflect that.

I believe that we have the core players in the squad to add to, but there is an awful lot of 'deadwood' and players who either past their sell-by date or just not up to standard.

I would try to keep, Lukaku, Mirallas, Stones, Coleman, Deulofeu, Lennon, Besic, Funes Mori, Niasse (not had his chance)and Baines (as a squad player). Hibbert, Barry, Jagielka, Pienaar, Osman and Gibson are too old now and have lost any pace they ever had.

Here's my list of players who should be moved on:-
Oviedo, Browning, Cleverly, McCarthy, Galloway and Kone, despite all their effort, they are at best Championship players.

Barkley is an enigma, and looks like he's had too many games. Lately, he hasn't had the legs to chase back, and solely a playmaker / attacking midfielder. Perhaps he should be given a chance with better players around him.

The 'Riddler' Martinez has had his chance, but sorry he has to go. For me it's Ronald Koeman. I believe he has the pedigree for building a team to take Everton forward, as he has shown with limited funds at Southampton. Mark Hughes does not 'cut it' for me. He's a 'nearly man' as a manager, and just when it appears he's on the brink of success, he flops.

Whatever happens, change is about to happen, and it's yet to be seen if it's for better or worse. None of us can predict that. The future's bright, the future's a club without Martinez and his new-found word of the day – "Scrutiny"!
Malcolm Van Schaick     Posted 28/04/2016 at 160428

Kenwright's sales pitch

The root of the problem with firing Roberto Martinez probably lies in Bill Kenwright's sales pitch to Farhad Moshiri. Just last week, his buddy Alisher Usmanov came out and said Arsene Wenger is Arsenal's greatest asset so let us assume Moshiri thinks similarly. BK's pitch – which we are told has been ongoing for about two years – probably involved highlighting similarities between Martinez and Wenger.

"Here we have this intelligent, well-liked guy intent on building a stylish team around youthful talent. Our fan base is similar to Arsenal, our history is similar or was until I became chairman. All we lack is an Emirates style stadium and a bit of cash to add some experience to our young guns. You're used to being a silent investor so I'll run the club since I am universally lauded as a great chairman by the media. What do you think about making an Arsenal 2.0?"

All of a sudden, Kenwright looks foolish as the dedicated fans are belligerent while Martinez has been revealed to be more Walker than Wenger. Sacking Martinez would undermine the whole sales pitch, so the alternative is to hope against hope and stay the course.

The problem is that we all know the game is up. Roberto Martinez has lost the fans and probably the players. The danger is that we could have a Villa or Newcastle situation on our hands if our new investor takes offense at fan revolts and hostility. Inevitably as pressure grows on Kenwright to sack Martinez, eyes will turn to Moshiri to fire Kenwright. That involves him taking or a more active role than he signed on for. He may say "Screw it!"

The only way out of this is for Kenwright to act like a businessman instead of a proud old fool. Sack Martinez and present it in terms that Moshiri understands: it is all about results. If he fails to act, the fans will... and that could make a dire situation worse.

Kieran Kinsella     Posted 25/04/2016 at 17:42:16

Richard Keys on Martinez and Moyes

I've just read the article written by Richard Keys in the press over the weekend. I don't normally write down my thoughts regarding EFC because I just get more and more frustrated thinking about our "phenomenal" manager.

What Keys said summed up my thoughts entirely and it would be interesting to read other people's comments on the said blog article.

Here is some of what he wrote:

The headline in The Mirror read 'I can deliver glory. Moyes only brought TEN YEARS OF MEDIOCRITY'. Did he really?

The quote, of course, came from Roberto Martinez after Everton's FA Cup semi-final defeat. Mediocre? I suppose there's an argument that Martinez should know something about the subject, his whole career has been mediocre, both as a player and now a coach.

Football fans on Merseyside know their stuff. Evertonians have seen through Martinez, although it took a little longer than I thought it would. He's lost them and I don't see any way that he's coming back from the current situation. I think he'll be gone at the end of the season.

Lee Whitehead     Posted 25/04/2016 at 17:10:30

E-mail the club directly

I was scouring the EFC site for news on Martinez's departure and it dawned on me that the club has probably put a social media ban on all it's staff to avoid them getting too disheartened over the current situation. So I had a look at the Contacts tab to see what was in there. There is a Contact Us section where you can even choose to mark your feedback as a Complaint and list it as about Everton Staff... so this is what I wrote:

I am so saddened that the club is treating itself so badly by not releasing Roberto Martinez from a position he clearly cannot perform properly.This proud club has the motto Nil Satis Nisi Optimum which means nothing but the best is good enough.

I don't believe that there can be anyone associated at any level with Everton Football Club who feels that the team has been performing at its best this season, or even last season. Those performances are solely down to training, tactics, player selections and substitutions. The man in charge of those has let this great club down.

I know I am a lone voice in this e-mail but I don't want to get lost in the barrage of vitriol on social media. I just hope that the club will do the right thing and honour it's motto and in doing so show respect to the thousands upon thousands of supporters all around the world without whom, there would be no reason for the club to exist. Martinez must be relieved from his duties as manager as quickly as possible.

Yours respectfully,

Kerry Frahm.

I felt the politely but firm tactic might have the best chance at being read but I thought I would let you all know about this option and then let you decide for yourselves how you would like to jam up their email with complaints.

Share this contact information on all forms of social media as well as together we might stand a chance of being heard.

#martinezout #COYB
Kerry Frahm     Posted 25/04/2016 at 15:29:46

Analysing Roberto Martinez’s Everton career

Q. Was Martinez the right manager for Everton?
When he arrived at Everton he enjoyed success with Wigan in the cup but ultimately got them relegated, his playing style of short passing attacking football exciting fans but left his teams exposed and vulnerable defensively.

Most Everton fans were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and if anything he was somewhat refreshing after a dour yet effective end period under previous Everton manager David Moyes.

Q. Why were some Everton fans sceptical about his appointment?
A. The Everton team under David Moyes had stalled and with the New Everton team under Roberto Martinez Everton fans feared a major overhaul and the Wiganisation of Everton.

This fear came true somewhat with the signings of former Wigan players and coaching staff such as Arouna Kone, James McCarthy, Anton Alcaraz and goalkeeper Joel.
Martinez’s initial plans to field five at the back were thwarted with new signing Alcaraz getting injured forcing the manager to play four, a happy accident or clever management this almost seemed to galvanize Everton and rather than a complete overhaul for Martinez with Howard in goal, Distin or Stones and Jagielka, Baines and Coleman bombing forward as wingbacks, McCarthy and Barry solid in midfield, Mirallas, Pienaar, Deulofeu on the wings, and the emergence or top midfielder Ross Barkley and the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku upfront made Everton a team evolving rather than being completely changed and fans liked it.

Q. How has Martinez done so far?
A. He enjoyed a good first season and a poor second season domestically, his saving grace in his second season was the good progress Everton had made in Europe with Martinez himself even citing that the effects of playing Thursday-Sunday had maybe taken its toll. This the third season however with no European distraction it was expected Everton would have a much improved season in the league, in fact it has been the opposite.

Roberto Martinez is a nice guy and has plans in place for the summer including redeveloping the training ground, signing new talent and despite the poor league form he has guided Everton to two semi-finals.

Q. What about the poor League position and home form?
The league position this season is not acceptable and the cup runs have taken some of the pressure of the boss a little but the home form is not good enough.

Q. Why is the home form so bad?
It’s not easy to pinpoint the reason for the bad home form but there are many factors. There is a horrible negative atmosphere at Goodison Park this season at times which has seen the team perform better away from home as a result.

Factors such as the John Stones transfer saga, transition of the new goalkeeper who some still don’t think is good enough, the building pressure of not winning, Barkley not signing new deal despite apparently being offered one at the same time as Ovideo and Besic, Baines and Coleman being injured and perhaps being asked to do too much at times, Jagielka being too nice and not being an effective leader as we need at times, wingers none existent, Lukaku banging on to media every international break about his longing to play Champions League, Martinez kidding himself telling the press how phenomenal his team and players are when they quite obviously haven’t been, Kone failing to impress despite some good early season cameos, Niasse being a laughing stock coming in for big fee and never playing, Oviedo just not cutting it, McGeady and Gibson left in cold, ostracising Sylvain Distin last year after the good service he had given Everton have all played a small part in creating this bad atmosphere and the fact we are seeing no improvement doesn’t make it look good for Martinez’s Everton future.

Q. How can Roberto Martinez save his job at Everton?
His positon is perhaps now virtually untenable with a large proportion of the fans but despite this he is a big favourite with Chairman Bill Kenwright. Kenwright will almost certainly not want to sack Martinez and will hope his plans in place for the summer will give him one last chance next season to save his job.

Q. What about new investor Farhad Moshiri, will he be happy with Martinez?
A. Publicly maybe he will back Martinez and stand by Bill Kenwright’s side but privately we just don’t know. The bemusement on Moshiri’s face when he was interviewed with Kenwright and Kenwright’s cringe worthy praise of Martinez after a poor season perhaps tell a story in itself. Moshiri has come to Everton to invest his money and try to make Everton successful but he is no idiot.

Manager Martinez has talked about how Everton are rich now and despite his ambition is this really the way Moshiri wants to conduct his business and inflate the money Everton will have to pay out in the summer and perhaps he would want Martinez to play down his arrival and do business quietly.

Q. Is Roberto Martinez was to go is there anybody out there who could do a better job?
A. Perhaps there is and perhaps change is needed to refresh things at Everton now. Martinez was hoped to be a bright young managed playing attractive football and building long term a bright young Everton side.

If he was to go names such as Pellegrini, Bielsa, De Boer have all been mentioned but could they do a better job and would they be a good fit for Everton? Former Everton players and coaches have been mentioned but could they attract the top talent Everton need to progress?

Martinez has done a great job integrating himself into all things Everton and fans love this and like him, but they need to believe again and things do need to improve dramatically for him to save his job and sadly it is maybe too late now.

Q. Should David Moyes return as Everton manager?
Despite the good job Moyes did at Everton the way he left and comments he has since made have hurt fans and the fact he has failed at his last two clubs doesn’t exactly send pulses racing.

The good relationship he has with Bill Kenwright could help him lure his way back in but I believe in general the consensus is No we don’t want Moyes back, he ran out of ideas and there is nothing he would bring to the table at this moment in time to move Everton forward.

Q. What will happen if Martinez stays?
For Everton fans the season is now effectively over and they will hope the manager will be able to attract top talent in the summer and hold onto his best players.
Stones and Lukaku seem to want out and although it would perhaps take some of the bad atmosphere way from Everton if they were sold the message of intent and lack of ambition would not be good for Everton.

The thought of an Everton team next season without Lukaku’s goals is frightening and if he is sold do we trust Martinez to sign a suitable replacement.

Martinez is stubborn and will not let these players go if he doesn’t want to, however not doing this keeps a bad vibe pummelling throughout the place and sadly for him he is damned if he sells them and damned if he doesn’t.

Perhaps a new manager could keep those players here and hereby improve the atmosphere but realistically the appointment would have to be of a Mourinho-esque proportion to do this.

There is also a big question mark over the future of Ross Barkley and perhaps only a new manager now can stop him heading for the Everton exit door sometime soon even if perhaps not this summer.

Has he lost the players? I believe he now has and despite the faith I personally have in him, his ideas, his philosophy, I think a change may now be needed to try to improve the atmosphere if nothing else. The body language of the players, soundbites coming out and the performances in general are of a club in meltdown.

If Martinez does stay then this summer is massive I believe he may just do that but if he gets it wrong, doesn’t make the big signings we crave, doesn’t get rid of the bad atmosphere then it could and is sure to be a horrible telling season next year for Everton.

Andrew James     Posted 25/04/2016 at 12:16:39

Expectations versus reality

As an Everton fan, what are your expectations nowadays? Do you expect us to win or are you so ground down by years of nearly teams or promises that we are still developing, that you will settle for second best? Is this how it is for us now, we have just got to get used to mediocrity?

When I was younger I expected us to win; we have had periods when we were the best and the very least you could expect was for players to give their all, both physically and mentally. Today, the players receive vast amounts of money but seem unable to fulfil these simple tasks even for ‘big’ matches. Whose job is it to motivate these talented players. Hopefully some of it is down to the player’s individual pride in their performance, but ultimately that is the role of a manager. I have come to the conclusion like many, that it is time for Martinez to go.

What are his expectations? What reality does he live in? They say there is a fine line between genius and madness, I now believe the man needs help. A genius sometimes goes against the norm because they believe so passionately that what they are doing is right and some geniuses are eventually proved to be right, but where is Roberto’s evidence? Even in his first season I started to doubt because we fell away at the end when with a bit more drive and belief we could have had one of those Champions league places. It was almost like Roberto felt it was too soon and this was transmitted to the players.

Last season and this season has been a steady decline with the wrong sort of records being broken, with plenty of uninspiring performances and last minute panics, which have cost Everton a lot of points.Does Roberto see this? Well obviously not! He is still telling us that we fans should see the obvious development of the side and it is just bad luck that has been dogging our progress. Other teams have now worked us out, just like Spain were worked out at the last World Cup.

Managers and players know that if they press hard enough eventually we will give the ball away in our own half and bring pressure onto us.I hope the board are not living in Roberto’s reality and see the games like the rest of us and make moves to bring in a manager who knows how to prepare teams for attack but also defence and instil belief and confidence in the team so they are not willing to settle for second best and even win something. Maybe the board can “repay the fans” with a swift appointment. Martinez has been promising to “repay the fans” all season but has been unable to repay us with anything to give us hope in his continued management of this football club.

Paul Brown     Posted 25/04/2016 at 11:00:42

John Stones in centre midfield

Admittedly this is not any Evertonian's priority at the moment after last week's "defining" period, but if our young England star does stay with us this summer, I think it is something we should look at.

After seeing John Stones's performance at Wembley on Saturday, it jumped out at me and maybe thousands others, why not play him in centre midfield? I think he could handle this with ease and it may even help him long term. He is so comfortable on the ball and is always looking to drive forward or play a forward pass (the complete opposite to most of our midfielders). He is also not afraid to put a tackle in and is handy in the air, which would be ideal in the middle.

By having him further forward, he could take the risks on the ball and then still have a line behind him to cover. In defence he can look unreal one minute and then frustratingly amateur the next, as he lacks the positional sense and strength in the air of top, top centre backs. Look at what Spurs have done with Eric Dier this year, who will probably be England's holding mid in Euro 2016, and in my opinion Stones is twice the footballer he is.
Andy  Lee     Posted 25/04/2016 at 10:10:54

Time to start again

It's been a bad day, and for personal reasons, the utterly gutting defeat was the icing on a cake of shite. There are some positives to take; I thought Stones, Robles and Gibson were good. Barkley and Lukaku were really poor, embarrassingly poor. However, they will be good in the right line-up.

In my view, today was not down to Martinez, in fact, I thought we started bereft of confidence but then showed spirit and I think the coach did something right at half-time.

It is a good time for Martinez to go. To go out on the back of a fair effort and a gutting loss. The players gave it a go and he could leave now with dignity. They rallied for him one last time.

There is no future for him at Everton now and I would hope that he will see it and resign. We have a lot to offer a new coach. Stones will be great, Barkley needs a new coach along with some confidence and the loss of a few pounds. Lukaku whom I admire but who today showed the finesse of a blacksmith, will bring us in some money.

There is no better time to start. Roberto was not humiliated today but he will, in my opinion, relegate us if the merciful thing is not done. We need a temporary coach from within to see us through while a new dawn begins. Today was a start; the end of a project and the beginning of the real one.

Andy Crooks     Posted 23/04/2016 at 20:53:39

The FA Cup, family, and us

It's been a day of contemplation for us all. A tough day, having been humiliated at Anfield. Heartbreaking to find ourselves in such a shambles on the eve of an FA Cup semi-final.

Then, at just after 1:00pm, I was listening to Radio 2 and heard Jeremy Vine talk with Dame Vera Lyn, the woman whose songs kept alive the spirit of millions of people during World War 2. Songs that were cherished by my father, who spent 5 years away from home flying in bombers, scared out of his wits, winning that war for our freedom. The other things that kept him going were family, and Everton.

That man survived, and took me to the FA Cup Final in 1966 and 1968. We took him in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1995. He stayed at home in 2009. He took them in his stride, revelled in the victories, was philosophical in the defeats. He understood that no matter what happened, there was a bigger picture. BUT it mattered. The match mattered. Whatever was going on, Everton mattered.

So, whatever my feelings towards the inept manager and the wastrel, millionaire footballers, I'm going to go down there and support Everton FC. Thousands and thousands will do the same. Many will have similar family histories. We are born, not manufactured. It's what we do, it's who we are.

Embrace the day. As the old fella would say, "The darkest hour comes just before the dawn".

Peter Mills     Posted 21/04/2016 at 22:21:50

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. Nothing but the best is good enough.

For 40 years as an Everton fan I’ve proudly carried that message with me. It’s the perfect motto. It runs through the heart of the club. It’s even on the badge. (Interestingly, it fell off the badge around about the time Martinez arrived). Now, more than ever, “nothing but the best is good enough” has to be the benchmark by which EVERYTHING at our club has to be judged, from top to bottom.

Is having one formation you repeat over and over despite getting the same poor results “the best?”
Is our tackling?
Our spirit?
Our defending?
Our attacking?
The manager?

I’ve been very patient with Martinez. I even wrote a balanced article a few months back highlighting the good he’s done, as well as the bad. But now the bad so far outweighs the good, he has to go. You don’t have to look far to see the good a change of manager can do. Across the park another ex-Swansea boss with tippy-tappy possession based ideals was upgraded for a genuine, proven top-class manager and have never looked back.

Let’s be honest, for 30 years little at our club has been the best. We’re a club with a proud history of challenging for league titles – 9 league titles is the same as Man City and Chelsea combined. But, whilst other clubs have progressed, we’ve stood still, our stadium, results and ambitions never moving forward. It’s time for change.

The one hope I’m clinging to right now is Farhad Moshiri. We’ve needed major investment for decades and now we have it. Moshiri’s the most crucial man at the club because he has the power to change it. He has to be ruthless, judge everything, including players, coaches and managers by our motto. Every single in and out at Goodison has to be nothing but the best. Then, finally, our long-suffering fans will get back the club they deserve.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Peter Needham     Posted 21/04/2016 at 09:51:42

From Bosnia with love

Respected Toffees,

Pax vobis! As Saint Seraphim of Sarov said: "Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved!". So, I write this in hope to bring some calmness in these times, full with bad results and even worse atmosphere at ToffeeWeb, because we don't need that kind of spirit here. Of course, probably, any one of you invest more time and money in their support of Everton than me, but don't allow yourself to be overcome by sour taste of defeats at playing field. Don't do that to yourself.

Let's try and, once again, take from football only good things. Carnival and playful way of showing our celebration of life; hope, that men in blue shirts will play the best way they know , and our support if they can't do that, because only support and willingness to help and understand can lead us to greater achievements.

Try to push away all negativity football might offer, because we don't need it, and it's unnecessarily. Football can be beautiful game, only when you take away his potential to harm you, and I see that many are hurt by it.

I am finishing this short note, with best wishes for you all, and best wishes for Everton!
Ognen Mojovic     Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:21:42

How much is too much?

But for the helicopter flight out of London and over Stamford Bridge, it would have been Tottenham to benefit from Abramovic's billions.

But Chelsea were bought, and so were trophy after trophy. Man City benefited from the Saudi Royals, and again followed trophy after trophy.

Blackburn were the blue print in cheque book champions and though Portsmouth and Leeds had their successes, they lost everything.

Man Utd were able to lead the way at the start of the Premiership, as it was then, and reaped the financial windfalls of success which created even greater windfalls. So though they have spent just as much as anyone it was at least earned. The same again with Arsenal.

So why do I write this? Well, I always said if we became a billionaire's play-thing and the title came to Goodison on the statistical probability that follows outrageous expenditure, it would be hard to continue my support.

I know Chelsea fans, who of course enjoy their time under Roman, but once the initial successes were done with, another trophy, and another one, were just... bought. And emotions are difficult to sell.

Its like watching Indiana Jones knowing who would be the winner come the end of the movie. Only this is sport, and as such competition is necessary.

It would be best if our nice new investor would spend his pocket change on the club, and let the Prem TV contacts deal with the transfers and wages, but that's not the way things work, as the much heralded FFP is now a grand irrelevancy. So much for the level playing field.

It is easy to point out the inconsistency here, with our desire for investment over so many years, but a team financially juiced would be everything we've complained about in the Premier League since the Top/Sky/Big 4 came into being..

Is there any ToffeeWebber who would want to be another Chelsea? It could possibly mean we'd be another Leeds.

How much is too much?

Nick Entwistle     Posted 18/04/2016 at 17:46:14

The Peoples Cup?

I've been an Evertonian since 1983. My family moved from Hull (which is a huge Rugby city) and arrived in a village called Goxhill. Since I can remember I would go to every Hull KR home game with my late Dad and Auntie while living in Hull and had never heard of 'foot ball'.

My new class mates showed me the ball, which was an odd spherical shape, then asked me the hardest question of the day:"Which team do you support?"

Not having a clue I replied... "erm." My new class mates informed me that they all supported some team called Manchester United and one lad (who would later become my best friend) supported Liverpool. They kindly gave me 24 hours to pick a team to support.

Now, many people would've just gone home and asked their parents which team they supported, but sadly for me there was only my mum. My dad worked in the merchant navy and would be away for 6-8 weeks at a time. I used this new fandangled thing called Teletext. I brought up the First Division spotting boht Manchester United and Liverpool but, not wanting to be someone who follows a crowd, another club just called out to me. I don't know why? It just did. Perhaps it was because they were at the bottom of the league? Perhaps it was just the name? But it spoke to me. So the next day my class mates asked me the question again and I replied, "Everton".

Now, in my short time supporting Everton I've suffered some highs and many lows. I didn't see the Cup final vs Watford as, in all honesty, I just hadn't fallen in love with football yet. I remember not watching the final vs Liverpool after the Hillsborough disaster, mainly because I would feel guilty if we had won. (I watched the semi final at Hillsborough on TV and I couldn't believe what I was seeing; terrible day.)

The 1995 Cup final was my greatest memory. Against all the odds we beat a very good United side with a few key injuries. My younger brother and I (Yes, he copied me, as he had no clue about football either) bounced around our living room when the full time whistle went.

Then, of course, was the Chelsea final. We scored the fastest goal in FA cup final history only to bottle it. Again I watched from my living room.

My only visit to a Cup final with Everton was the Zenith Data Systems Cup when we sadly lost to Crystal Palace AET 4-1. Not only did we lose but I was sat next to two Everton fans who decided to take the piss out of my family and I until we moved for the second half.

This year I feel something. I don't know what but I just feel it. Now, living on the East side of the country with two kids, three and under, plus the fact I play on a Saturday myself, I don't get to Goodison that often so naturally I don't expect to get a semi final ticket but...

I just decided to search on a famous search engine for the possibility of tickets and lo and behold there are several Web companies offering tickets for the game.

My question is; which genius allows these ticket businesses to have a large amount of tickets while the clubs get a pathetic allocation? They keep saying it's the peoples FA Cup but in reality the "people" can't go. I sadly can not warrant paying £200 for a single ticket. It's the same for the FA Cup Final. 25,000 tickets to each club, therefore 50,000 in total, of a 90,000 seater stadium. So 40,000 tickets go where?

Now I do know each county FA gets some tickets as when I ran my own kids team we tried to get some for the Chelsea final but were unlucky. Still there is still a hell of a lot of tickets that go... somewhere.

Will I ever get to Wembley to see my beloved team? I don't know. I can only see the FA Cup Final becoming more and more taken away from the fans and given to sponsors, those with ties and ticket businesses. Money seems to have taken over the romance of a once great cup competition.

Stu Smith     Posted 17/04/2016 at 19:36:39

He's made me apathetic towards the club I love...

Maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic for effect – after all I am still writing an article here on ToffeeWeb. I visited the site on at least six separate occasions on Saturday alone, and I visited the BBC site at least four times during the game to see how we were getting on. That certainly does not suggest apathy, but something has certainly changed in the way I feel about my cherished Everton.

I wake up on Saturday mornings and I, like everybody else on this site, am more than aware of the horrendous football that has been on display for a great deal of time now. But ordinarily there is still that glimmer of hope that Everton are going to win this weekend. And there is my first big bug bear with Senor Martinez: how has he managed to change my level of expectation, with supposedly the best squad that we have had in the last 30 years, to a level where I am now merely just hoping for a win?

From roughly 2006 onwards, especially when we were playing on the hallowed Goodison Park turf, and even in the first half of Martinez's first season in charge, I expected us to win, and I, probably a bit optimistically admittedly, expected us to win well!

That feeling has now gone, and the reason for the title of this article is because when I woke up this Saturday morning, whilst I of course knew that we were playing against Southampton at home, and whilst there was still a glimmer of hope that we might win the game, a larger part of me expected us to lose. But by far and away the biggest part of me did not care if we won, lost, or drew the game.

And that is my second and probably the larger of my two bug-bears with our manager. He has made me feel – if not totally, then certainly a little bit – apathetic towards the club that I love. Yes, I know that is probably a contradiction in terms within one small sentence, but you know what I mean! And for me, that is unforgivable....

And so, to try and put a more positive spin on my feelings, rather than read the pre-match build up; potentially putting myself through reading any more inane ramblings from our manager; or, sending any faint glimmer of hope that I might have had into a full blown expectation of loss; and not caring if that was to be the case, I visited YouTube. I typed the following into the search bar: 'Best Everton Goals' and I came across the following video: Everton FC 2002 - 2013.

Can I suggest that prior to possibly one of the biggest weeks of football for Everton over at least the past six or seven years, that we as fans watch this video and get that fire and passion back in our bellies for supporting our club – not that I'm suggesting that people are stopping supporting our team of course, or have even lost passion. What I'm saying is that I'm certainly not trying to insult people, but from the gist of what I've read here on ToffeeWeb recently, a lot of people are feeling a lot like I am at the moment.

This video made me proud to be an Evertonian again, it reminded me of all the great displays: league, cup and European, that we have had over the past 10 to 15 years, and it made me feel good about our team again.

So, please, watch the video. Hopefully, if any players read this site, they might watch the video too, and if they can show just a small percentage of the passion that Rhino or Bug Dunc show in the clips, we might see something better from our beloved Everton in the coming week. And if ultimately we don't see anything better, hopefully the video might have reinstalled a bit of passion so that we as fans can believe again!
Steve Stobie     Posted 17/04/2016 at 06:19:47

Gary and Phil

This season has been so unreal. Monied clubs not getting it all their own way, a team in blue (not us) going to win the Premier League...

I got to the boozer about 6:30 and there was the same question: Were we lucky or unlucky? I had to say I was nonplussed. I mentioned the mini-pitch invasion, then someone remarked (a Burnley supporter), "Do you need a new manger?"

Out of left field – I don't know why – I said that, after today, the Chuckle Brothers couldn't do much with the players we have.

Then it struck me: Gary and Philip! One possibly looking to get back into management; one we know was a good captain, even if we all know he might not have been the greatest player.

But you saw him fight and encourage players around him. These are qualities we are seriously lacking, plus – a big plus – it would seriously wind that shower up.

ps: I still miss the the thoughts of Mr Matthews...
Alan Hayes     Posted 16/04/2016 at 23:43:17

Time for Mr Moshiri to take control

This summer could well be a watershed for Everton. For years we have been crying out for someone with real wealth to take over.

Well, now we have a billionaire who has bought a substantial stake in the club. He hopefully has had time to make a judgement on how we move this club back towards the top of the table again.

Understandably we havent heard a lot from him, but come the summer his decisions will indicate how hands on he will become. Does he go along with Bill Kenwright's view of the current manager or does he, like many of us, feel now is the time for a change?

Despite him saying that his first task was to try and keep the promising youngsters at the club it seems like Lukaku and possibly Stones may move on.

Would he be prepared to let Roberto Martinez spend the money the club might get for these two should they leave?

As I said at the beginning, this summer will tell us a lot about Mr Moshiri. I hope he left Arsenal for us so he could make a difference but time will tell.
Brian Harrison     Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:04:01

Down and out. But what if?

In my mind and countless other Blues' minds, Roberto has to go. No exceptions!

After the Palace game on Wednesday night this was the overwhelming view of myself and fellow Blues that had gathered to watch the game until someone raised the question: "If he (Roberto) won the derby on Wednesday and the semi on the Saturday, would you give him a chance?"

There was a long pause and a few mischievous grins but the overwhelming answer was, "he won't win at Anfield." Not yes or no.

So I ask the question, what would it take (realistically) to give Bobby another chance?
Jambo Jones     Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:54:43

Semi-final referee choice

I have been listening to talkSport this morning going on about Kevin Friend being taken off the Spurs game due to him being a Leicester City/Bristol City fan.

This was apparently done due to Spurs fans taking to Twitter in their thousands.

I must admit i have no idea how Twitter works but having heard the talkSport presenter state that for our semi-final being against United, the choice of Anthony Taylor as our referee beggars belief.

He lives two miles from Old Trafford, FFS. How is he going to be neutral? So fellow Blues, let's take to Twitter to voice our concerns about this.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
Stephen Jones     Posted 14/04/2016 at 12:02:44

Mix it up!

The week before last was my final straw. I watched an Everton team completely disinterested in winning. To say they were going through the motions is an understatement. Our starting lineup was:

Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jags, Baines, McCarthy, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Lennon, Barkley, Lukakau.

After that insipid, embarrassing performance, all I wanted to see - the only thing - was a response from our manager. The kind of response to players who make millions but shit on fans worldwide, akin to, "fine... if you're going to play like that, how do you feel with splinters in your ass?"

In short, personally I'd have turned the team / lineup on it's head and sent a message to underperforming and effortless players that what was on display against Man United is wholly unacceptable.

So what did we get?

Robles, Coleman, Stones, Jags, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku.

One change.

Things are going so poor at the moment. You'd think, after weeks of dished up garbage, any gaffer worth his salt would send a message.

Sin miedo has given way to sin bravado. No courage, no effort, no desire.

Shocker, I don't know what the answer is. But I do know one thing: playing any professional sport is a privilege, not a right. And it's high time many of our players understood this.

It's not too much to ask to see a team on display giving their all for the cause.

Inasmuch as Roberto is to blame for marching the team out in a very near "as you were" set up, the players have been diabolical. But Roberto compounds the misery by changing little to nothing while malaise and complacency rule the day.

Time to send a message Roberto. Even in the interest of self-preservation you'd be wise to do so. Swap players, change formation, play kids... do something. But for the love of all that is holy don't play the same disinterested, 70% effort, going through the motions lineup.

Before you leave, please grow a pair and go out fighting.

Jamie Crowley     Posted 11/04/2016 at 17:10:03

So how good are we?

Many folk on ToffeeWeb have, over the last 3 years, waxed lyrical about this being potentially the best team since the 1980s. We loved the football in Martinez’s first season and perhaps dared to dream. We have also looked at new signings favourably and, until the current slump, there was a feeling that this team could achieve.

Now I am not going to repeat the Martinez In/Out argument. Nobody is saying anything new now. Rather I am wondering about this so-called "great team":

Robles: seems pretty good but inexperienced. Does not read games that well but can make some good saves.

Baines: has had his best days.

Jagielka: good player but no captain. Too nice. Also nearing end of his career.

Funes Mori: I think he's a really good player.

Stones: not a secure central defender. Sometimes wonder if he would be make a midfielder

Coleman: can be great attacking full-back. Not world class defender.

McCarthy: workhorse but with little imagination.

Barry: key to our team. But should a man his age be so important?

Cleverley: never sets the world alight.

Besic: can be really good but seems injury-prone.

Barkley: has some great runs but I get really fed-up by his decision-making.

Lennon: good player but also not one who would be in a great team.

Deulofeu: talented player... but his fitness?

Lukaku: has scored a lot this season but missed some sitters too. I think he thinks he is better than he is and seems idle to me.

So those are my doubts about them as individuals. Are these the component parts of a great team?

Some may just blame it all on Martinez. I agree, he has many faults and needs to go, but I think it is a mistake to think a new manager would have all (or even most) of what he needs in place already.

Ged Simpson     Posted 11/04/2016 at 12:11:29


While the talk is about the defence and Stones in particular, we still haven't sorted the goalkeeping problem.

How many six-yard box headed goals have we conceded? Both keepers are rooted to the goalline or at best flapping at anything that's crossed. They look as if they have been coached by a hockey coach more concerned about making themselves big than attacking the ball...

But alas it's just one more defensive problem that hasn't been addressed over the past couple of seasons.
Mike Allen     Posted 10/04/2016 at 20:25:55

¡Martínez; vete ya! / Martinez out! chant

Personally, I am tired of the steady stream of slick excuses emanating from Roberto Martinez, week-in & week-out, while the team fails predictably and on-cue on the pitch. It looks to me that Martínez seems to spend more time coming up with management double-speak than coaching the likes of John Stones not to make errors that would embarrass the worst schoolboy footballer. Self-preservation seems to be foremost in his mind, the team´s performance is somewhere down the list of priorities.

So, I am well sick of it all and I think average Evertonian´s present displeasure with Martínez should perhaps be vented in a language that is more direct and is not ridden with Business Management, PR and PC double-speak: and that language is Spanish.

So here below, I´m going teach anybody that wants to learn how to tell him "to do a runner" in Spanish. It is the same phrase that was recently used to good effect recently on Gary Neville in Valencia. It is, as follows:

" ¡Martínez; vete ya!"

The literal translation is: "¡Martinez; (you) go already!"

To give it its correct pronunciation in Spanish, phonetically from an English speakers point of view it would sound like this:

"Marr-teen-ezz; Veh-teh-jah!"

As you can see it is a neat little phrase with just six syllables and probably a lot easier on the ear than "Martinez – do one now!" in a broad Scouse accent.

More to the point, it would not be something that would obviously upset the majority of the players on the pitch, as only the Spanish speakers (Ramiro, Gerry, Brian, etc) would get it and its full significance. And, since we are for Everton, and only against Martinez, that is a good thing. However, I do postulate that our "phenomenal" manager would get the message coming from the Everton faithful very clearly.

(By the way, do you know what the Spanish for "phenomenal" is? It is "fenomenal".)

So, I reckon it would work well as a simple call-and-answer type terrace chant with a basic 1-2-3 rhythm, like thus:

Marr-teen-ezz (call)

Veh-teh-jah! (answer)

So, finally, who would up for organising this at a match? Anyone? I can´t unfortunately. Please copy and paste as necessary onto other forums. It is my gift to the world of disgruntled Evertonians. And it would show us to be an erudite and learned bunch in the expression of our displeasure, I do reckon.

" ¡Martínez; Vete ya!" would work well on signs too!

(Additional; Guardian article on Gary Neville and `´Gary, vete ya!" from a while back )

Joe Rourke     Posted 10/04/2016 at 14:49:59

Social dynamics

In an earlier article I gave my 'Analysis For Change' based on the under-performance of probably our strongest squad in years. My summation being that great teams are more than the sum of their parts and sadly we are a poor team with a total less than the sum of the talented individuals who make up the team. My solution was change the manager for someone who could manage a great team.

I would love to be saying I was wrong, but I am more convinced in my own mind that the time since the article has simply reaffirmed my belief. Unfortunately it was not the defeat at United where I thought we did enough for a point, if not a win, or today's failure to beat a Watford who have not been at their best of late, but the rumblings of discontent hitting the media.

Social dynamics is basically the interaction between individuals and within teams. I watched the Leicester City team last week and whilst they may not be the best group of individual talent, they are the best team. Looking at them after another hard fought 1-0 victory there was unity and belief in the team. Whilst it is still not nailed on that they will win the Premiership I hope they will if only to show that you don't need to be employed by the big 6 to play Champions League the following season.

So to the other not quite so mighty blues! The FA cup win over Chelsea was a great result and we are now just 2 games from possible silverware. Premier league for next year pretty much guaranteed and absolutely nothing apart from pride and the fans to play for in the league for the rest of this season. It looks like we are getting exactly what we might expect!

Lukaku has had a good season, though I am not sure he is anyway near the finished article. If he is then he is not good enough for the best teams in Europe in my opinion. Lukaku is good, but not a game changer like the best on a regular enough basis. Am I the only one who wonders why we play long balls to Lukaku as, despite his size and physique, he never wins a knock on when the ball is in the air?

Now at the tender age of 23 he wants Champions league next season. Does he not believe that this can be achieved in his current team or simply with Martinez managing it? Either way I am pretty sure that any media comments from him, his family, or representatives could have been left until after he has scored an FA Cup final winner and repaid a big slice of our £28m investment.

Baines comes out with a comment on team chemistry and apparently feels the need to apologise according to Martinez or has Leighton just been smart enough to recognise that social dynamics have collapsed. It is a real shame that an established and long standing member of the team like Baines feels the need to make comment, but much worse that Martinez feels the need to go to press with misinterpreted nonesense. What does this achieve apart from promote a perception of entropy within the team.

The positivity from an FA Cup semi and the future investment from Mr Moshiri has in typical fashion been thrown away and once again the club fails to build on its strengths. It's a real shame that the positivity and confidence has been lost.

I still hope that we beat whoever gets put before us in the FA Cup and we finally win something, but what's happening in the league reflects more on the manager and his team's social dynamics. I am sorry Roberto, but win or lose you need to be the first to pack your bags and then just maybe Mr Lukaku and co may be less eager to leave and more open to one more season to show what they can do in a real team managed by a manager equal and worthy of it.

Mike Fisher     Posted 09/04/2016 at 18:41:50

Why Blues must always respect the motto

If you watched the football last weekend, you may have seen Aston Villa supporters holding aloft their paper protest: "Proud History, What Future?" Personally, I am disappointed to see a club that was always on a par with us fall into such a state on and off the pitch.

Their problems don't stem from lack of investment – Randy Lerner has ploughed hundreds of millions into the club. No, it's a prime example of poor managerial choices, clueless CEOs, disastrous transfer policy, and not replacing their best players when they sold them.

Which brings me to Everton. We have a new owner (or majority shareholder, if you wish) and the club will certainly lose some of its star players this summer. It's imperative the right decisions are made if we are to replace Martinez along with some of our most important players.

I haven't always agreed with the intense criticism of Martinez because he has sometimes been blamed for the temperature of the pies this season, but I do agree wholeheartedly that he should be held to account by the fans if performances drop below acceptable levels.

I don't know how much Villa fans protested when their slide began, but I'm sure the board, players and manager alike would have been aware of our feelings a lot sooner if this was happening at our club – and long may that continue!

We should never accept mediocrity, we need to ensure this club is always challenging at the right end of the table. No player, manager or owner should ever be in any doubt of what is expected. Our motto is our standard, and don't ever let them forget it.

Kevin Tully     Posted 08/04/2016 at 11:54:52

Flipping and flopping

For the first 10 years of the Premier League era, Everton Football Club declined steadily, hiring and firing a series of managers. The costs and instability if doing this very nearly cost us our Premier League status twice.

Over the last 14 years, we have had just two managers. The first turned round the sinking ship to such an extent that by the time he left expectations of actually winning something were back on the agenda. I would suggest that that was the result of backing (ie, not dismissing) the man in good times and bad while he helped balance the books – a virtuous circle.

That manager built around work, defence and ultimately won nothing, visiting Wembley twice I think in 10 years? Regularly embarrasses in cup competitions. Martinez has a surer touch in cups but has yet to convince anyone his team's can defend consistently - and this in a season when a tuppenny-happeny side are sweeping all before for the first time since Blackburn in 1994. Long may they continue.

Do we stick with this man, allow him his time to learn or do we hire a 'better' manager every couple of years? As we are now better funded, do we attempt to act like a 'big club' and throw money at this problem until all are convinced we now have a winning philosophy rather than our current 'soft' attitude that is a hangover from the past?

Certainly there now needs to be a step change. Once we have the funding there are no more excuses. If Leicester City win the Premier League, that goes double. That might well involve hiring better players and instilling a winning attitude/ aptitude but will we lose something?

Is developing local kids the route to winning the Premier League? I don't see much evidence of that aside from one or two who must be there on merit. That gives us the problem of how much playing time a developing player gets. In the past winning this season wasn't imperative as long as good players were developing in the side, giving us a better chance if winning next season. Now, if winning is all important as we are aiming to finish in the top 4, then they don't get that time. That means we must buy players much closer to the finished product and play them instead.

Do we keep changing managers? I refer you to the Newcastle Utd example of this approach versus perhaps Arsenal. Do we spend £200 million on new 'better' players – I refer you to our neighbours example.

Evolution, not revolution, is likely the way forward.
Thomas Lennon     Posted 08/04/2016 at 08:33:10

Being left behind

The other night I was flicking between the Champions League matches. Main interest was the Paris St Germain vs Man City game as I consider it the bigger game and also an English team. But then, Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid caught my attention and had me somewhat confused and angry. Not because Wolfsburg were winning 2-0, but because last season in the Europa League we beat Wolfsburg over two legs 6-1.

6-1! 4-1 at Goodison and then 0-2 at their place and they are here giving one of the best teams in the world a hiding in the quarterfinal of the Champions League!

What's happened to us!?

It's not only Europe we are being left behind in. In our very own domestic game, we are moving backwards in the Premier League, moving backwards in tactics, moving back in culture/spirit on the pitch, and moving backwards with the support. Leicester City will end up in the Champions League (they may still win the Premier League), so they will strengthen.

West Ham moving to a new ground, could still get into the Champions League and will strengthen. Spurs could win the league and will end up in the Champions League and will strengthen. Man Utd will spend money and still attract players and strengthen. Liverpool will spend money and attract players and strengthen.

What do we have...?

A club moving the wrong way in the league
An old stadium – which I still love though by the way.
No European competition
Star players wanting out
A manager who is tactically poor and not wanting to change
What seems like genuine unrest in the camp

We are pinning all our hopes on Mr Moshiri to work miracles in our beloved club and god do we need it.

He has stated he will give £150 million to invest in players – I would take a huge chunk of that and throw it at a big-name Manager. A manager who our players will want to play for and who can also attract top talent just because of who he is and someone who will sort out the chemistry and have us winning again.

We have the players (add a couple more in the summer) to do it, we have the support, we now have the money, But we do not have the tactics, the culture, fitness, planning, coaching etc... and who does that sit with? Martinez.

He promised us Champions league football when he took over – he is a far far way from that now.

We are being left behind by this man, he is taking us backwards (FA Cup win or not), he is damaging this great club and the best quality team we have had since the '80s.

Shaun Traynor     Posted 07/04/2016 at 08:53:49

Panama Papers

Having read the latest article on the BBC I am left wondering how or if Everton fit or are part of this massive fraud.

Our own Prime Minister has defaulted to the "personal issue" exclamation. And having reviewed the latest news it looks like no one is free from innuendo.

However, from a blues point of view, BVI (or the British Virgin Islands) is looking seriously prominent in many articles that relate to Mossack Fonseca.

Having recently gone through due diligence and the Yanks backing out of the deal, was this a consideration or blocker?
Paul Johnson     Posted 05/04/2016 at 23:16:54

Problems and solutions

Baines said it perfectly:


It is a collective failure this season.

In my opinion, the biggest problem is the DESIRE in the team. Lukaku is always on about Champions League football, but do you ever see him giving 110%? Do you see him working back every now and then to show the team that he is there to win? How often do you see him running at full speed or putting in a committed challenge?

That's the big difference between a team like Leicester and many others - especially Everton. This is due partly because of the manager, but in my opinion, mainly because of the players.

I'm not saying that Martinez is not to blame, as it is part of his job to get the team motivated. However I feel the youngsters in the team often get caught up in their own hype, and don't put in that extra effort which would take them and Everton to the next level. They rely on their talent and "potential" and don't put in the hard work that is needed.

What is the solution?

In my opinion, the midfield is the starting point.

As good as Barry has been, we need to move towards a good passer with passion and a will to win. I'd definitely give Stones a chance at the holding role, especially with his natural defensive talent and his ability to win areal battles in the midfield (getting back possession a lot quicker).

Therefore Stones and Cleverley (playmakers), and McCarthy and Besic (breakdown and aggression) would be my midfield.

Stones could always move back into defense if need be (such as Dier does). Leaving us with Jags, Funes Mori, Galloway, Browning in central defense - another area where an addition is needed - a rough and tough ball winner (old school defender) is needed. Someone like Shawcross or Dragovic, or possibly Cahill from Chelsea.

Another obvious addition needed is a goalkeeper, someone who can organize the defense and is a good leader (Cillesen is a good option).

There is a couple more positions that need a back up - I would follow Spurs approach of having two equally good players in each position. Additions such as Wijnaldum from Newcastle (a team player who works hard, plays LM, CAM or CM) would be my main target. Then players such as Yarmolenko and another right back would take us to the next level.

Without playing manager mode I'd like to see this next season:

GK: Cillesen/Mathew Ryan, Robles

LB: Baines, Oviedo, Garbutt
LCB: Funes Mori, Galloway
RCB: Jagielka, Dragovic, Browning
RB: Coleman, (youth player/new signing)

CDM: Stones, Cleverley, Besic, McCarthy, Barry (bench role)

Wingers: Wijnheldum, Deulofeu, Lennon, Mirallas, Yarmolenko,

CAM: Barkley, (Wijnheldum)

ST: Lukaku, Niasse, Kone

With youngsters filling in when necessary.

I wouldn't be extremely upset if we lost Lukaku for a massive fee, unless he changed his attitude and work ethic. If he did, he would be unstoppable.


Contrary to what most other Everton fans think, I would keep Martinez.

HOWEVER! I would definitely bring in another manager to bring the team together!

Ideally I would bring in Guus Hiddink especially after what he did for Chelsea. He is also available, as Chelsea have just appointed Conte for next season. I feel he could get the best out of Lukaku.

Assuming we get the necessary funds, I feel the above is possible & completely necessary.

Martinez and Hiddink working together would be a very very exciting prospect!

Just my thoughts, I would love to hear the rest of your ideas and comments!

Gareth Clark     Posted 05/04/2016 at 07:31:22

The case for now not later

I posted my views on a couple of threads, and there were plenty of supporters sharing my view that Mr Martinez must go now and we must not to wait until after the semi-final or the final(?). There are even some who think he should go at the end of the season/summer and, even more surprising, wait until so many weeks of next season. Even Christmas has been mentioned! Can you imagine the press conferences by then?

Let us look at the logic that says he has to go now:-

The fans know their football and he has been found out tactically and personally. He is more of a spin doctor than a football manager with the majority of fans very unhappy. Even some media pros have also seen through him at last, but it has taken a while.

The statistics do not lie either and have been mentioned on many threads. He has had enough time to show some humility and on-field improvements. But things are going backwards and we need to remove this blockage to progress.

We are on the verge of a new beginning, with possible new investment and maybe a stadium as well. We are fed up of the trophy-less years, the false dawns and this hopeless feeling that all Evertonians are suffering at the moment.

It makes sense to me to start now. Is Roberto Martinez the manager to take us to this new level?

We get more income for a higher finish.  Is Martinez the manager to take us to the highest league finish possible?

It would great to win the FA Cup of course. Is Martinez the manager that will galvanise the squad for a better chance of winning the semi and maybe the final?

It would be a huge statement if we could keep our "stars" and build a team around them.  Is Martinez the manager who the players respect, believe in his methodology and ambitions?

Finally, it would be excellent to attract quality (and fit) players to help the squad on the journey to more successful days. Is Martinez the manager,= that new players would respect, believe in his methodology and ambitions?

I would answer NO to all the above. The only question is how all of us can assist him on his way...

Paul Taylor     Posted 04/04/2016 at 22:11:09

Who is calling the shots?

There cannot be many happy Evertonians currently despite the prospect of at least one Wembley appearance.

A few recent surveys indicate that around 80% of supporters want Martinez gone even if by some chance we win the FA cup.

What most if not all of us dont know is how secure his job is and who is going to make the decision.

Logically one would assume that Moshiri will not want to invest multi millions on the playing squad and a new or developed Stadium project without having confidence in the manager and given that he is reasonably shrewd and successful must be aware of the disenchantment with Martinez and staff.

The question for me is that although it is obvious that Bobby has pulled the wool over Bill's eyes I wonder how much support he is getting from other board members including Jon Woods and Elstone who may also be backing Bill's stance.

I would imagine although I am not sure that the small shareholders have expressed their dissatisfaction through the normal channels but knowing Bill I wonder if this is getting through to Moshiri.

I get the feeling that an exit at the semifinal preceded by some dodgy results may be enough for a tidal wave of anger that is currently being held back by many supporters to be unleashed and although I am sure no Evertonian would not want us to get to Wembley for the final and win the FA cup I still wonder if that will be enough to save BB from the axe.

It all depends on who is going to call the shots in the boardroom.Hopefully we will soon know.

Lets hope that Mr Moshiri shows us the ambition that we all assume he is bringing to the club and that he closes the door on the dark ages that have prevailed for the last 20 years.
Jay Harris     Posted 04/04/2016 at 18:27:13

Season Tickets – To buy or not to buy?

I am at a loss as to what to do. Unlike some who have been season ticket holders for many many years, I have my first since I cannot remember when.

>p>It was brilliant and exciting to finally go to the home matches instead of trying to watch a feed on the PC. But now, nearing the season end and the renewals have come out, what do I do?

I never thought I would feel this way but, after watching all but one match, I am not sure what to do. The football most of the time has been predictable and slow with the feeling at any time we will implode and lose a lead (if we have one). I cannot express how let down I feel; is it me? Did I expect too much?

The way we play – apart from flashes of excellence – is not exciting to watch. We supposedly have the best squad in years but at home you would be hard pressed to believe it; top four? We are Lucky not to be bottom four... and no signs of change.

So, do I renew the season ticket? I can afford to this year; I want to... BUT I do not want to sit through the same again with the real possibility of relegation next season if the same manager employs the same system. I have the letter for renewal on the desk and look at it every day, fighting with myself as to what to do. With all the speculation about our team nothing is giving any indication that the manager will be changed for next season.

What should I do?

Christopher Dover     Posted 01/04/2016 at 15:49:12

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