January 2015 Archive | Submit a topic
What a mess of a season. My guess is that after the Tottenham game Sam Allardyce (if he didn't already know) now fully realises the horrendous mess that Koeman has left the club in.
I actually feel sorry for Moshiri who I firmly believe is working hard to push the club forward. He pretty much has to go along with the decisions of the manager and Director of Football as he hires them for their expertise.
Of Koeman's signings my feeling is that only Bolasie, and Gueye are I feel acceptable, while Rooney and Sigurdsson are in the acceptable bracket but the outlay (transfer fees and salaries) does not relate to the expected level of performance. Only Pickford is top drawer. As for the rest they look about Championship level. I can only imagine how Moshiri is feeling about things now.
The reality is that we require many changes of personnel but what rather concerns me is the order of priority . Yes we require another forward, (hopefully addressed) but now I believe we need to fully focus on the defence. Someone will undoubtedly inform me if I am wrong but successful teams let in very few goals and looking at the better Everton teams our defence was always good. Even our neighbours have at last begun to recognise this fact.
So where do we stand. Individually other than goalkeeper we look short. RB Kenny, certainly a trier and may make it but I feel short of exceptional pace and lacks height and physicality. Will time help him? Jagielka and Williams both good in their day but not now. Holgate like Kenny I am not sure about him developing into a top player. Physically he may lack height, pace and strength to be a top player. Can we wait to find out.
This brings me to Keane, the most disappointing defensive signing who came in at about £30 million. A truly shocking signing for a team that desperately required pace in the middle of the defence. It is even worse as he is cumbersome, unathletic and lacks power. He is the opposite of what we required. I think whoever was responsible for signing him is a Liverpool fan. The left back, Martina, well he tries but everyone knows he needs replacing.
Collectively I feel this part of the team causes us the most problems (I know we have other issues) as we have to defend deep, they require babysitting by the midfield and will not push out with any urgency when we clear the ball. If caught one on one they are in trouble particularly the central defenders. Our midfield just can’t adequately support the forwards and the ball keeps coming back at us. There is little composure to make passes either as they tend to play hoof ball.
We are seldom able to push teams back and our team is too spread out from the last defender to the furthest most attacker. The midfield can’t physically support the forwards.
My concern is that we do not appear to be linked with any top quality defenders. Until the defence is seriously upgraded any other additions will struggle and I doubt we can much improve performance. I find this surprising given our manager if nothing else is aware of the importance of the defence. My preferred major signings at the moment would be for the defence. Build the foundations and we can progress.
I followed the agenda of last night's AGM as it happened via the Liverpool Echo, who had a reporter there giving a timeline and appropriate updates on what was said by the contributors on stage. For the first time I have began to (ever so slightly) question the viability of the new stadium project.
As well as the completion date being put back 12 months, it seems we are now relying on the persuasive power's of Joe Anderson to convince the full city council that they will provide financial backing for two thirds of the stadium costs. Yet, only three months ago, we were informed that the council was only going to act as 'guarantor'? So what's happened in the interim?
Added to the fact that the cost of the stadium, before a brick is laid, is now escalating, and approaching half a billion pounds? All this without the unknown factor of the 'Brexit' effect happening soon, by the way.
I also thought the comments made by Denise Baxendale were a bit silly. On moving her ever-growing empire to the Liver Building, she proclaims (albeit half-heartedly) 'the City will soon be all ours'. That's sure to endear us to the red half of the City, just when we're asking the rest of the City Council to support us.
However, the majority shareholder then fans the flame further, by claiming the Lukaku transfer situation was decided by a telephone call in which Lukaku's mother was guided/advised by a 'voodoo' priest that her son should sign for Chelsea. What on earth was gained by that statement? We didn't really need to know about the private conversation between the player and owner. The player wanted away, couldn't he have just left it at that?
Sorry, but the public statements just made the club look rather silly in the current climate.
Throughout the period 2000-2011, I was either a season ticket holder at Goodison Park, or a regular match-day attendee (home and away). Since then, for various reasons, I've become an irregular match-day goer (I probably get to four homes and three aways a season) and an armchair viewer. And it is from this perspective that I ask: What has happened to the volume of the crowd and quality of songs at Goodison Park over the last few years?
Perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me, but in that first decade of the 21st Century, not a home game would go by without several renditions of:
"It’s a grand old team", "We hate Bill Shankly…", the usual "E-VER-TON, E-VER-TON…" chant emanating from the Gwladys Street End. We also had lots of chants for specific players, including some great ones for Arteta, Gravesen, Pienaar and Hibbert (hijacked by Man City fans for Kolo and Yaya Toure). Moyes was regularly feted with a song about the colour of his hair. And, every once in a while, an old school chant of "Barry Horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrne", "Duncan had a pigeon", or even the "Everton, oh we love Everton" chant celebrating the 1985 team would go up. In short, Goodison was, more often than not, pretty loud and full of song.
Then, when Martinez took over, I remember going to my first game in September and thinking how great it was that we had some new songs in our repertoire: "Allez-allez-allez-oooooh" was a cracker, as was "The School of Science is on its way back". The songs for Barkley, McCarthy (the one to the tune of Karma Chameleon that was not sung enough) and Coleman were also great and original. I was dead chuffed that our fans had brought out some new numbers, but I also thought the amount of singing had maybe dropped a touch.
But now? What of the situation now? Well, to be totally honest, I’m not really sure we have many songs at all, or that we are loud in any way. Of the four games I’ve been to this season (including West Ham where we won 4-0 under lights), I have heard "E-VER-TON, E-VER-TON…". go up a couple of times, plus some chanting for Oumar, but that’s kind of it. And the games I’ve watched on telly? The ground seems very, very quiet. The two I recently watched, Swansea and Man Utd at home, you could only hear away fans. And when the away fans were quiet you could hear individuals talking to each other.
Is this the impression of people who go more regularly than me? Have we just become much more quiet over the last few years... and why? Of the current squad, I think we have songs / chants for Barkley, Coleman, Bolasie, Niasse and Rooney (the last two are just the same chant though). It can’t just be because the football has been depressing, surely? We have some of the best fans in the world, but right now I don’t get the sense that we are showing our identity as a club on match days well enough.
Like I said at the top, I’m not a regular anymore and the reason I mentioned that is because I want to hear the opinions of our regular match-day goers (Lower Gwladys Street especially) and, if people are in agreement, see if there’s something that can be done about it. I don’t want to sound like I’m having a pop at the match-going fans, just want to understand if this is a problem we should try and rectify.
Why change a winning formula?
Pick a back 4 and stick with it – check
Take each game individually – check
Find a way of playing Rooney and Sigurdsson together – check
Give players renewed confidence – check
Then – two winnable away games come along, and just throw everything you've gained down the toilet.
I was a firm No to Allardyce, but said I would support him as he was now our manager, and therefore one of us. Then, I was quietly impressed with what he was doing in difficult circumstances. The right decisions were being made and the players were responding well to the tactics.
Were the West Brom and Bournemouth games a turning point? Did the players question why they were keeping ten behind the ball against such opposition?
The interview after the United game would not endear me to Allardyce if I were one of them - "This team can't score more than one goal in a game"?!?!
Although I want to give Allardyce my full support, the last 3 games - and his bullishness after all the media praise – is not making that easy.
Season ticket renewal is being advertised now – mine is on hold for the time being...
Adam Baig Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:14:52
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