Inane, bite-sized ramblings by
4th September, 2003
If you ask me, David Moyes had a highly successful deadline
day shopping spree. The Francis Jeffers deal had been in the works since
mid-August — frankly, it was strange that it took as long as it
did, but I think Moyesey was getting desperate and elected to worry
about the buy-out option for next summer later on — so it was
nice to see the jug-eared one return on Everton's terms. Nigel Martyn
will be good competition for Richard Wright and can only benefit young
Iain Turner. And while there were a few eyebrows raised on concern at
the acquisition of Kevin Kilbane, he is a regular international and
we will just have to wait and see how he fairs under Moyes. But the
most exciting signing has got to be James McFadden and with Moyes
appearing to favour employing him as a winger, Goodison Park may
once again see some width in an Everton side!
3rd September, 2003
Well, it's been a while since my last entry — things
can have been busy trying to keep up with all the transfer gossip and
news, what can I say?! ToffeeWeb has been smashing records left right
and centre for traffic this past week, such has been the thirst for
information about players who may or may not have been signing for the
Blues. In the end, we were the first site anywhere that I know of to
announce that McManorwoman had chosen a different shade of blue than
the one he reputedly grew up with in his veins. But we were as late
as anyone with the most surprising signing on deadline day — that
of Kevin Kilbane. And, of course, we were privy to some top secret information
about the Jeffers deal that we would have loved to have shared but couldn't!
One thing is for sure: the season looks a whole lot more promising than
it did a week ago.
12th August, 2003
So Wayne Rooney has struck up an unlikely
friendship with Robbie Williams after receiving an invitation to
the singer's final Knebworth show. In return, The Boy gave The Ego an
open invitation to Goodison Park so we could see more of the Robbie
in the stands on match days. In days gone by, an exotrovert ex-Take
That star on club-going A-list might have been the worst thing at Rooney's
age, Williams' experiences dealing with fame at a young age and the
fact that he has now sworn off booze could actually be a good thing
for young Wayne.
11th August, 2003
Lots of rumours doing the rounds at the moment: Nigel Martyn
for £400k; Pascucci has been signed on for the youth academy for two
years; the Li Tie deal was sewn up long ago with a £600k fee being paid
by sponors and commercial partners; and Everton only offered Fulham
£900k up front for Sean Davis with the rest of the £3.5M paid over the
life of the contract (no wonder it was rejected!) because Moyes only
has a transfer kitty of £1.5M. Going full circle, if we've got so little
to spend, why splash out almost half a million on a 37 year-old goalkeeper?
Ah, rumours, rumours, rumours...
11th August, 2003
One reason why you can't use pre-season friendlies as an
indicator of how teams might fare when the real action starts is because
players usually hold back, for obvious reasons. From the disappointing
results Everton have had over the past few weeks, you'd have thought the
players really were being conservative but two key injuries have resulted
from two of our friendly encounters. First Wayne Rooney was crocked at
Rangers and now Kevin Campbell tears his hamstring on the eve of the new
season. Even if Duncan Ferguson were eligible, this would be a major
setback, but it does allow Nick Chadwick the chance to really impress
and where better than at Highbury!
7th August, 2003
The news that Sean Davis has handed in a transfer request at
Fulham will no doubt alert David Moyes who, it was reported, had made the
23 year-old midfielder his top priority this summer. He even suggested
that once Davis had signed he would turn his attention to Steve McManaman.
Unfortunately, Middlesbrough, who have more financial clout than we do
(doesn't that just make you sick?), are also in the hunt for Davis's
signature and it could come to who offers more cash to Fulham, the
player... or both.
2nd August, 2003
So, an uneventful close season has given way to a worrying
pre-season as David Moyes's "as-you-were-then" squad struggles
to build any momentum going into the new season which kicks off in just
two weeks' time. Much of Moyes's success at Goodison thus far has been
founded on confidence, morale and motivation but with nothing happening on
the transfer front (I'm sorry, but as wonderful as it is that Joseph Yobo
is staying, he doesn't count as improving the squad because he was already
there), there is a growing aura of concern around the Blues' chances in
2003/04 among the fans. I stated in my last Viewpoint
column that I believed last season's 7th-placed finish was founded on
Yobo, Radzinski and Rooney and, with the possible addition of a fit Tony
Hibbert, it's hard to see anything being different in the coming campaign.
17th July, 2003
You've got to love Mark Pembridge when he claims
he can solve the problem of Everton's lack of goals from midfield if
David Moyes gives him an extended run in the team. No one can deny that he
was a regular scorer from midfield at Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday
indeed, we fell victim to him on more than one occasion during his
days at Hillsborough but since arriving at Goodison, his rate of
scoring has been less than impressive. Now, rushing headlong towards his
mid-thirties and hampered by a lack of pace that would embarrass most
people's grandmothers, the player we affectionately dubbed "Pembinho"
feels that he can still command a regular first team berth in a side with
European aspirations. Unfortunately, as well as he has repaid the
£850,000 we initially paid Benfica for him, the Welshman is part of
Everton's midfield problem rather than its solution.
9th July, 2003
Not surprisingly, David Moyes's £3.5m offer (rising to £5m on
appearances, etc) was rejected by Fulham today and the rumours are that he
will now turn his attention to Charlton's excellent midfield dynamo, Scott
Parker. Unfortunately, I can't see how Parker will be any easier to prise
away than Davis. Alan Curbishley will be keen to hang onto his prized
asset and it will surely take more than the amount offered to The
Cottagers for Davis for Moyes to land his man assuming, of course,
that he's interested in Parker!
8th July, 2003
So we're finally dipping our toes into the transfer market with a
bid to an "undisclosed" club even though we all know it's
Fulham and the player in question is midfielder Sean Davis! I have to
confess to not knowing much about Davis so I suppose I'll have to trust
Moyes on this one, but I suspect it won't be as straightforward as
offering the rumoured £3.5m. Fulham will probably dig their heels in on
their vastly inflated valuation of the player, even though they are in
dire need of cash.
25th June, 2003
These Steve McManaman rumours have been flying around for months
now and all we hear is consistent denial that he even wants to return to
the UK this summer. Yet the possibility of him fulfilling his
supposed desire to play for the club he supported as a boy keeps the media
rumour mill grinding away. Assuming he is now thinking of leaving
Real Madrid with a year left on his contract, would we even want him at
the age of 31 when David Moyes is clearly looking to build a younger
team? And would McManorwoman (old habits die hard!) consider taking
a £40,000 pay cut to join us anyway?
21st June, 2003
So, the fixtures for the coming season are out and Everton are
presented with an opportunity to make a flying start to the campaign and
get one of our worst games out of the way from the get-go at
Highbury. Arsenal away; don't we just hate going down there?
Still, with young Wayne's goalscoring record against the Gunners, there's
always the chance to send some early warning signals to the rest of the
Premiership that is assuming Moyesey has made any significant signings
between now and then. Did you know we're 100-1 for the title at the
moment? Stick a tenner on that. You know it makes sense!
The release of the new fixture list also presents another opportunity
to laugh at the unfathomably anally retentive loons that govern football
in England. Yes, for the third successive season, you have to
purchase a rather expensive license to display something that's already in
the public domain. The FA argue that this factual information is
copyrighted because of the software and databases that are needed to
generate it and that they charge money for its usage to protect the member
clubs by driving traffic towards the official websites. Protect
them, my arse. It's purely a scam to rake in more cash which is why
we're not playing that game. Even if we could afford to buy a
license, we probably wouldn't and if that means we at ToffeeWeb can't
display the full fixture list, then so be it.
20th June, 2003
I always vowed I wouldn't succumb to this fashion of so-called
web logs, or "blogs" for short, but it struck me that it would
be the ideal alternative to another plan I had been turning over in my
head: namely to condense a few subjects into two or three Viewpoint
articles on one page rather than have to write out time-consuming
diatribes for each one.
So, here it is, the Toffee Blog a little area where I can put some
Everton-related thoughts down as often as they come to me. Not that
I'm assuming it will be very interesting, but if you find it worthwhile,
make it a regular stop as you cruise around ToffeeWeb! This page
might often be updated every day, sometimes several times a day or once
very few days; I suppose it all depends on what there is to talk about
regarding this club we all love so much.
The views expressed on this page are solely my own and are not
intended to represent either ToffeeWeb, Everton FC, Evertonians in general
or anyone else, really.