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ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — July 2005
 

ToffeeWeb Letters from June 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from August 2005


To the Moyes doubters, I would say that he can see the same flaws as us; his test (and the club's) is to do something about them, which in turn equalls team building. The timescale may not be as swift as we would like but building bit by bit is better than we have had in the past. With Euro games to come and (in my opinion) the more important matter of bread-and-butter Premiership games, let's hold our fire a little and get some hard evidence on which to base our rants.


We're all goin on a europen tour!!!
Just read those inane comments from the Morrisey Suicide Squad about the team and especially Davie Moyes!! After years of dross and underacheivment, we qualify for Europe and all the MSS can find to talk about is doom 'n' gloom... Me, I'm trying to book flights to Spain fer the game, you know — the EUROPEAN GAME EVERTON ARE INVOLVED IN!!

Win, lose or draw, we'll still be in Europe after that game, so I'll be ready to book flights for my second European away game inside a month.. you know the game — THE SECOND EUROPEAN AWAY GAME INVOLVING EVERTON....

It does beggar belief what goes through some supporters' minds... The simple facts are: we finished above the European Champions last term; we are currently a second-rate club with a first-class history; Moyes is trying to bring us back to being a first-rate club again; every team in British football bar Liverpool and the top 3 would love to be in Everton's position on the 9/10th August...

As for the transfer policy... every player we where linked with has signed for a club below us!!! Including Sissoko. Newcastle, Tottenham etc are spending millions just trying to catch up to Everton and Moyes!! He did not become the Manager of the year for nothing!!

Finally, go to the Official website and see the comments from the Fenerbahçe manager... There is the real Harbinger of Daum!!!! Singalong, boys: Champions League, we're avin a laff... until you get it into your thick heads just how much Moyes has acheived....
Tommy G, Aintree  (31/7/05)


The Devil Makes Work for Idle Hands
The internet is truly a place riddled with evil. It is a point of exhibition for online terrorist training videos and manuals, and it oils the screeching wheels of the rumour train.

I would ask Evertonians to look back at where we were last August; waiting for what seemed to be our final season in the Premiership, and dwindling hopes of the reinvigoration of Everton's elite status. I remember last year scouring all the plausible football sites searching for news of great players singing for our great club. It never happened. Though, we did sign two greats, who in their own right have been vital ingredients in our explosion upon the main stage.

At this stage one year ago, it was the darkest of times. But where do we stand now? With a Champions' League qualifier against beatable opposition, and the opportunity to step back into the long-lost limelight.

Why not let our divine manager and managerial team go about their business - to do their jobs? Moyes and Co have us in a once unthinkable position, so let us leave transfers and tactics in his more than capable hands, and fulfil our own roles in supporting Everton Football Club.
Daniel Greenwood, London  (31/7/05)

You nearly said it, didn't you... — Ed


Who freaking cares....
It was a friendly. So we lost. Big deal. All these wonderful doom and gloomers are the same ones coming out of the woodwork after last year's opening-day debacle against Arsenal.

Well now, that game was a great indicator of how the season was going to go now wasn't it?
Bill , Houston, USA  (31/07/05)

Stop being so sensible! Can't you see we are all in a mad panic? — Ed


Worry...
I've just come back from a long weekend away from phones, internet, papers, etc straight into all the doom and gloom.

Hate to add to it but I see that no-one's commented on the story that broke Wednesday-ish which was that of our new captain.

I guess a lot of people will disagree with me (especially the anti-Yobo posse) but surely the appointment of David Weir as captain is a backward step? (a) it means that he's likely to be first choice at the back - ahead of Krøldrup and Yobo surely a mistake? and (b) isn't it time to be building a new younger team and giving the captaincy to someone like Cahill or even Krøldrup as a foundation for the future?

To make matters worse since I sent my last mail I clicked on the Everton website and noticed that we lost 2-0 to Southport last Saturday. Brilliant.
Mike Oliver, Reading  (31/07/05)

The game against Southport was a reserve friendly, I'm sure. Also, Weir has been appointed club captain which is altogether different from team captain. Kevin Campbell was club captain for years and barely kicked a ball for us :) — Webmeister


Complete bollocks....
I've heard some dross spoken on this website but have heard it all now...Constantine??? That was a rubbish film! What are you talking about!!!??

Hahahahahahaha! That was just my little joke. Who says we don't have fun on this site?
Mike Stevenson, Liverpool  (31/07/05)


The Carnival is Over?
I think it's manifestly self-evident that the days of blind "in Moyes we trust" are gone. Is no one going to question this emperor who wears no clothes?

The man may be a great coach but he's only half a manager, and for this website to serve as his constant apologist only tarnishes it's once great reputation as a truly independant source.

Come on Davie, are you up for the challenge? Because if you're not, go hoodwink someone else and let us get someone in who is.
Bill Midwinter, Australia  (01/08/05)

Ouch!


Time for Collective Calm
Firstly, I agree with many of the issues raised by Toffees worldwide, i.e. our alarming lack of ability to play ball, keep possession or play 4-1-4-1 with Beattie upfront.

However, I'm sure David Moyes is someone who will always learn from every game. This is his first proper European game in charge, and he'll learn from this and adapt. No doubt it's a steep learning curve with the crucial Champions League qualifier only around the corner, but I'm sure we'd have a far better performance then. We have had great performances in the league against cosmopolitan squads like Chelsea last season, so there's no need to be so afraid of the so called 'continental teams'.

Yes, James Beattie and Richard Wright may turn out eventually to be duds, but even Alex Ferguson (Veron, Kleberson) and Jose Morinho (Kezman, Drogba) do sign duds on big money, so let's not get too harsh on Moyes just because we have less margin for error in terms of big signings.

At the end of the day, Moyes is judged by the results he brings in (not pre-season friendlies). As things stand now, he justifies our faith in him. Remember, last year we lost our first competitive match 4-1 against Arsenal at Goodison, and the knives were out in a jiffy. But Moyes learnt from the defeat, and went from strength to strength from there. Give the man some time.

Or perhaps would you rather have someone like Gordan Strachan at the helm after his comical start to the season as Celtic manager?
Timothy Lim, Singapore  (01/08/2005)


It's not too late!
If we bought Wayne Bridge, Phil Neville and Robbie Keane/Andy Johnson, we would be buying players that are better than what we have already (Yes even Phil Neville who could fill in when the injuries start to bite - very useful for a squad like ours) and it would cost us approx. £14M to buy them. This is of course assuming that a) the money is there or b) the Rooney money coming to us in September has not already been earmarked elsewhere... It is getting really annoying how players who seem to be in our price range and quality now seem to be passing us by, while before we were bidding for players who were more likely to be out of our price range in the first place! It's almost as if we have now given up on trying in the transfer market....
Nick Dommett, London,UK  (31/07/05)


Where have our players gone?
Where are last seasons stars? Kilbane not interested; Hibbert got split open too easily; Pistone invites crosses into the box; Wright not capable; Arteta still on holiday; McFadden has got to stop playing on his own. I could go on and I know it was only a friendly but it was still a measuring stick. By the way — Kenwright out!
Darren Findlay, Yorkshire  (31/07/05)

Ironically, the not insignificant issue of lack of investment aside, Kenwright doesn't appear to have been the problem this summer! — Webmeister


Moyes the joke
You really can tell that David Moyes has never had a transfer budget higher than £6M. If he was a manager with a lot of experience and had been at clubs that had money, he would have been on a spending spree but this is ridiculous, we finally get our chance to attract players of Premiership winning material and we fall at the first hurdle. Moyes has 3 days to buy at the least 4 or 5 players of a good quality before we get completly embarrassed in the Champions League.

Wayne Bridge and Andy Johnson, even if we signed them, would give us the chance to play a good left back probably the best left back we would have had since van den Hauwe and would also give us the chance to play 4-4-2 and have someone who can actually get the ball off Beattie's flick-ons. 5-0 against Fernabahçe is just a joke; if that doesn't give Moyes the incentive to buy I don't know what will. I'm starting to truly believe that Moyes is just a complete idiot.
Shaun Wright, Liverpool  (31/07/2005)

I was with you until the last sentence, Shaun — Webmeister


Doom and gloom...
So sad that people are waiting for the team to slip up just so they can say "I told you so". We lost a friendly, so what??? So are you all advocating sacking Moyes? Quitting the Champions League to save face?

Or maybe Bill should try bribing a ref or hiding a bung in a brown envelope so the club gets relegated to the first division without being embarrassed on the pitch.

With supporters like that, who needs.......
Ian Taylor, Stockholm  (31/07/05)

I think the doom and gloom brigade should stick on an old Smiths LP and cheer themselves up. Failing that I have a collection of Great Everton Matches, all on video: Shrewsbury, Port Vale, Bradford City, Tranmere..... - Colm


BIG CHANCE LOST
Well here we go again, another debacle and the blame lies clearly at no not Mr Kenwright but our Bomb-proof leader David Moyes! What is he playing at giving a 3-year contract for Naysmith - I wouldn't give him 3 weeks. Pistone, the offal-hearted jellyfish, re-signed because we only got Killer to play left back. Richard Wright still here when Stevie Wonder is a better keeper!

McFadden if he's the best the Jocks can offer then we think we got problems! That just to name but a few!

Yes we coined the phrase 'Champions League we're 'avin a laugh' Well yes it's true we are and it just is not good enough, we had a fantastic chance to put us back on the map but as usual BIG CHANCE LOST an I am gutted!
Lee Gray, Birkenhead  (31/07/05)

"I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour but Heaven knows I'm miserable now....." How many points do we need now to stay up?! - Colm


Give us a chance!!

There are so many pessimistic people out in the world. No wonder there is so much negativity around. Pre-season games count for nothing at all. It's not nice to lose any games; however, the ones that count are the games we need to worry about. I say be optimistic and have a little bit of positivity in your lives — you'll live longer.
Jon Taylor, London  (31/07/05)

And don't forget the sunscreen! - Colm


Relax!!!
Can everyone just relax! So what if we've just been stuffed by a good team. It's pre-season! As long as we're ready for the 9th of August that's all that counts. It's better that mistakes are made now and are ironed out in time for the new season. We could have beaten a non-league side and learned nothing from it.

And as for all this panic over transfers, there's another few weeks until the season starts yet. You'd think we were the only team to have missed out on players judging by some letters posted here. It's good that we are going for top players, but it's not easy to bring them in because we are still not as attractive as some other clubs, CL qualification or not.

It will take several seasons of finishing at the top before we can say that we are a really attractive club. Moysie knows what he's doing, and to fans wondering why we are not in for Owen, I would say how do you know we are not? How do you know Moysie is not trying to organise a year long loan or something?

Perspective is required, let's not spoil all the optimism we have going into what could be a great season. Last season really whetted my appetite again, remember last year, beating Villa away, beating Liverpool? Most clubs have been in the same situation as us this summer, there hasn't been much transfer activity, but there's still a month left until the end of the transfer window, so let's just see what happens...
Danny Broderick, London  (31/07/05)

Wow! Two in a row! Phil, are you reading? Phil???! - Colm


Relax
I never watch pre season games. I used to, until I realised that it was only me and a handful of other supporters who were daft enough to take them seriously. Consequently, I spent £3.50 on a film from Blockbuster last night instead of £7.99 on Setanta TV.

However, it seems I am alone in giving these 'friendly' games little credence. In just the same way as I don't believe Manure's indifferent tour of the Far East is an indicator for their season to come, I equally believe that it is not a predictor for Everton either. See last year... you would never have had us down for 4th off the back of an equally poor pre-season then... so why is this year any different ?

Only difference is heightened expectation. Chill. We never expected to be in Europe at all this season, so it's all gravy. The film was good too, 'Constantine' starring Keanu Reeves.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (31/07/05)

Well said that man! - Colm


What a gang of whining divvies on your website!
I don't visit your site very often because you seem to harbour the most determinedly miserable gang of useless people I have come across anywhere on the web.

This ranges from the practising churl Colm 'I-know-something-you-don't-know-and-even-if-you-did-I-know-better' Kavanagh to your average mail bag contributor and what passes for your 'editorials.' Kavanagh in particular reads like he's never smiled or enjoyed anything in his life, that the only satisfaction he gets out of anything is an ability to whinge louder and longer than anybody else.

Everyone, according to you, is up to their necks in a conspiracy to thwart your own ludicrous, paranoid view of planet football and the fortunes of Everton football club. Fear and loathing on what should indeed be called 'Toffeewhine.'

I'm all for differences of opinion. Nobody enjoys a good discussion more than I do but your website has gradually developed into a sort of continuous whining moan where nobody at the club can do anything right at any time. Even when fourth place was achieved last season it was almost as much as you could bring yourselves to do to say 'Well done' to everyone at the club for a superb achievement.

Sure there are things wrong at the club. There are at EVERY club. Most of them are things you'll find in any group of people in any activity anywhere in the world. The difference with you lot is that you escalate every difference and every move into a weird, twisted mirage of your own making. You seem inacapable of understanding that life as well as sport isn't neat and tidy and there are no standard easy formulae for things to run smoothly or successfully.

In short slang - you're a miserable bunch of twats with no common sense.

Just grow up will you.

And no, I won't bother e-mailing you again. Nor will I visit your site very often. There's no point, like much of your content.
Phil Edwards, Liverpool, England  (31/7/05)

Hi Phil - you don't visit ToffeeWeb often but know it's home to the most miserable bunch of whining Evertonian twats known to man?! Excellent! I'll have you know that I once did smile. Back in 1984, listening to side two of "Hatful of Hollow" by The Smiths (Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now a particular fave...). - Colm (a practising churl)


The worst performance ever

Firstly, what is it about Everton and being on telly - we play the worst football whenever we're on telly and last night topped it all by being the worst performance from an Everton team I have ever seen.

Richard Wright has got to be the worst keeper ever, we should go out this week and buy a defender and a striker ie, Robbie Keane and a keeper ie, Robert Green.

If we don't, Championship football is what's coming to Goodison. Also, Dave Weir should take his place on the bench. Krøldrup and Yobo in defence as Weir is well past it in my eyes; slow and sluggish... we must act this week and get it right otherwise Villarreal will be laughing all the way to the group stages.

I also think Cahill has given up, he didn't look interested last night at all.

On a final note, the only plus was how good of a defender Krøldrup looks - won every tackle and in my eyes is one good player.
Alan Atherton, Liverpool  (31/07/05)

Count your blessings Alan if you consider last night's game in Turkey as the worst ever performance by Everton. There's at least a DVD's worth of dross in the can. Anyone interested? - Colm


Pass me the Honey Roast...
Re Ste Combes on Cahill's contract:

"I can't believe Everton have offered Tim peanuts for his new contract. I heard it was around the £20k mark."

Jeez, Ste, you're right. Even I earn more than 20k. (Hell, even teachers can earn that much.) It's just a shame I have to do 52 times more work...
Alistair Roycroft, Stockport, UK  (31/07/05)

Only 52 times?! - Colm


Don't Panic About The Champions League Either

I've just been on the phone to Stelios over at Easy Jet and they're going to send Villarreal's luggage to Austria rather than Liverpool airport, so I think that means we win that one by default, then if we still have to play the 2nd leg we just stick Richard Wright in goal and play defensive LMAO. Even I couldn't keep a straight face while typing that. GOD HELP US! IMWT
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (31/07/05)

There's only one Richard Wright - and he plays with Pink Floyd. No further comment required. - Colm


Don't Panic, Mr Mainwaring

Don't panic my fellow Evertonians, tis all a ploy....

Remember last pre-season where they decided to have a civil war in the boardroom? We all felt ashamed and embarrassed! Well, it was all a scheme to trick the rest of the Premiership into thinking we'd be pushovers cos we're too busy fighting ourselves! Look where we finished... 4th!

So this year they've decided to create some more PR embarrassments, cock-up transfer dealings, cock-up contract negotiations, and play really bad against Fenerbahçe & the Thailand nursery team... All this to lull Real Madrid et al into a false sense of security (guess what, Real the jokes on you, Richard Wright doesn't even play for us & we're a team of world beaters really!!!)

With spin like that, slaphead Wyness must have Alistair Campbell working behind the scenes. Seriously though I'm starting to doubt whether they can organise a piss up in a Chang brewery!
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (31/07/05)

Look on the bright side, Steve - we're still top of the All Time League Table! - Colm


Transfers

Why do I keep hearing the same shite spouted by Moyes (he's even being quoted now by Paul Jewel) about the lack of quality available in the transfer market? Well, I say to Mr Moyes and his ineffective Chairman, read the back pages of most of today's tabloids, as there is a certain striker, who will guarantee you 15 - 20 goals per season, available for around £10M.

In case your wondering who this is, Mr Moyes, I will spell it out for you in big bold capitals... MICHAEL OWEN. Yes the same MICHAEL OWEN who scores goals for fun for both club and country, and who was a boyhood Evertonian to boot.

I guess, however, that you, Mr Moyes, probably think he isn't the type of quality you are looking for at the moment, or should we expect a bid to be made once he has already signed for Man Utd?

In Moyes we trust? Do me a favour!
Paul Christian, Liverpool  (31.7.05)

I heard Keith Wyness the other evening say on radio that we no longer need to borrow money in order to secure players. Signing a player of Owen's quality would indeed be a massive boost, for the team and Club in general. However, would he come? Could we afford his wage demands? I feel we can but dream... a bit like our Chairman in fact! - Colm


IMW(D)T

HA ha ha... it's good to see the anti-Moyes chaps out in force. Maybe he should be sacked before the start of the season? Who could we get in his place? Answers on a postcard please to Sky Sports who will run a poll with the winner being announced before the first Super Sunday of the season. After all, it's got to be better than what we have hasn't it?
Mike  Iddon, Marlow  (31/7/05)

Can I be first to mention Peter Reid's name? HK4? Lot of sore knees about this parish in the past 24 hours! ;-) - Colm


Consternation
Results at the tail end of last season did not bode well but I was reassured by the editor and a couple of responses that this was a one off; Everton would recover; it was season end, etc. Last night, I paid £7.99, hoping to see significant improvements in Everton's line-up and style of play, including all our "new" signings. I watched the whole game with avid interest. Unfortunately, I was hugely disappointed. Everton were destroyed by a side who will not travel that far in the Champions League.

How many attempts on goal, was it one or two? How many corners did Everton win? And free kicks? The midfield once it obtained the ball seemed to pass it backward rather than forward; it could have been six or even seven a repeat of Highbury! Have there been any significant changes since that game? Not on the basis of yesterday's performance. So I must ask:

  • Are Everton truly committed to progressing in the Champions League?
  • Is goal scoring an option remembering that we ended up with a negative goal difference last season?
  • Is the only ambition to end up in the top half of the table?

Andrew Fairfoull, England  (31/7/05)

Are you REALLY taking this one game so seriously? It was a frigging friendly! GET A GRIP!!! This is getting very ridiculous. — Ed


Embarrassing

Everyone is going on and on about players not signing for Everton. After watching that 5-0 battering, Krøldrup must be thinking to himself: "Oh my god, what have I done?" Cahill and Arteta apart, the rest of the team have not got a clue.

Poor Beattie upfront on his own again, you can see the frustration on his face. Let's be honest, after watching that, who is gonna want to sign for Everton?(Obviously not Cahill.)
Doug H, Cheshire  (31/07/05)

I hear Michael Owen's a done deal. And Ronaldinho... - Colm


Our chance

Attention, Mr Moyes: Man United are going to bid for Owen; we won't cos he's too good and we'd have to pay him real money. They will however off-load 3 players including Saha & a couple of midfielders. We like bidding for injury-plagued players; now's our chance! Make an offer, don't blow all our money on Johnson.
Rob  Smith, Australia  (31/07/05)

I agree! The return of Michael Owen to his beloved true home would see a welcome return of Cheese & Owen crisps to the Goodison snack bars. Mr Wyness has projected a 68% increase in snack turnover so you might indeed be right! - Colm


Can't think of a title that expresses my disbelief

So now we know, another 5-0 thrashing; this time by a top Turkey side. Moyes and his beloved 4-5-1 strikes again. Doesn't he know goals win games? Beattie is not an out-and-out striker; it is a waste of time playing him up front on his own. If this was a friendly, Vaughan should have been given a run out. But you know Moyes does not like to use young up-and-oming lads...

Looked on teletext, ceefax for any comments: none. But in today's Rumour Mill there is talk of bidding £2M for Nicky Butt, that says it all!

For me, Moyes has been found out. He is lacking that vital bit which sorts out good managers from also-rans. It's clear when you see him at games.

Time to go Davey, you seen it here first on my mailbag.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (31/7/05)

Don yer tin hat there Robert and oil those knees! - Colm


Pessimism increasing
Having read many of your fans letters and opinions over the close-season, I have to say that I found them to be increasingly pessimistic.

After watching 3 of our pre-season games, I am now starting to succumb myself. We were woeful at the end of last season and the rot obviously still hasn't stopped.

I do however think that our poor form in pre-season has been down to just a few things:

1 - As has been said, Richard Wright should NEVER EVER wear an Everton shirt again. Is it a coincidence that whenever he plays, we ship at least 4? No, he is shite and should be sold or shot.

2 - Joseph Yobo gives away at least a goal a game. He just makes too many mistakes and it's no coincidence that the years we've been lower down the league, Joey has been there playing regularly, giving goals away for fun.

3 - Well, James Beattie is the slowest, fattest, work-shy, profligate striker I have ever seen in my many years as an Everton supporter (except maybe Bakayoko).

Isn't it funny how that is the spine of our team? Get rid of those 3, but then again, maybe Moysey wanted to embarrass them and show the fans that they are not good enough so when he doesn't play them next season, we all know why.

Please stop the whinging about unsigned players though, if they're not playing for us, who gives a shit? Not me; I only care about players who are here and 3 of them have got to go. I believe Newcastle are short of a striker and a defender!!
Dean Johnson, Leeds  (31/07/05)

Oh the irony! Don't whinge about players elsewhere as you only care for present Everton players. Who you want out! Are you reading Davey Moyes! I'm off to listen to Hatful Of Hollow by The Smiths! - Colm


STOP PLAYING THE 1 UP FRONT, IT AIN'T WORKIN NO MO
The 4-1-4-1 was great for the first half of last season when we weren't conceding goals; bit boring but we were winning games. We didn't score many goals and we ain't goin' to, carrying on with this formation! I do like Beattie, he can be great Everton player but not on his own up front; he needs a partner.

Three times this year we have embarrassed ourselves: 5-2 at Spurs, 7-0 at Arsenal and 5-0 Fenerbahçe, and that's with a so-called more defensive formation... ha! It's got to stop.

Playing a more attacking game will get us more goals, and goals is what you need, especially in Europe. So come on, Moysey! Admit it ain't the right formation anymore and go either 4-4-2 or even 5-3-2. COME OOON UUUUU BBBLUES!
Andrew Shepherd, Cannock, Staffs  (31/07/05)

I've had a quiet word with the woman in Limerick who has just won €115M on the Euro Millions Lottery. She's going to provide the funding for us to secure the services of Ronaldinho, so worry no more. - Colm


One step forward and three back

One step forward and three back. This season is going to be long. Having just endured the worst summer EVER (all due to Liverppool not the weather) we, I fear, are going to be embarrassed in Europe as well as domestically.

Were we lucky last year? I think so... and if you thought the Arsenal result was bad, then this Turkish delight result is worse. By the way, did Beattie win the golden goal at half time one day and his reward was a football contract with Everton?????
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (31/07/05)

In all seriousness I think many express the same fears going into the new season. Our form since Gravesen's departure has been shocking and, fourth finish or not, we've not quite been showing the form of a side equipped to sustain a challenge on both domestic and European fronts. Still time for the Club to change matters but it's increasingly likely that we're spurning another glorious chance to bridge the divide that sees us looking on enviously at other sides chasing the top teams. - Colm


We can play a bit

Re-signing those players out of contract does one thing: it provides us with cover for the new recruits that are coming on board on the next few weeks. I'm sure Spurs will be happy to unload a few players as I reckon Robbie Keane (24) would be ideal with Beattie.

Geez, what a clown we have in goal — and we have had a few. So how good is Turner or Ruddy? With Yobo ond Koldrub, where is Davey Weir gonna play? Unless we go with a 1-9-1 formation or even 1-10 as we dont look like scoring goals even from penalties.

Maybe Vaughan and Beatie up front?
Ace Ventura, Australia  (31/7/05)

Who is "Koldrub"? Is "Koldrub" some mystical potion used by Mr James Lumsden Esq. to preserve our threadbare squad in the peak of fitness for the long haul ahead? - Colm


Icebergs ahead; Everybody stay calm

Am I being naive when I point out that Everton's approach to the game in Turkey might have been affected by the fact that Villarreal's coaching staff were probably watching and paying very close attention? Yes, I thought so... OK, well there's the heat, the crap Turkish food before the game, the flight... seriously, they really wanted to win and we really didn't care. That was the difference. Don't worry... Yet. We had a pretty spotty pre-season last year too.
Peter Fearon, London  (31/07/05)

I thought our approach to the game was more dictated by our approach to obtaining as much money on our travels this pre-season. No bonding sessions over a Karaoke machine in Houston this summer - instead, we hawk our wares in Thailand and then Turkey (via a Scottish detour). At the mercy of our sponsors I'm afraid though the lack of Turkish Delight last night will raise a few eyebrows. We're doooooooooooomed! - Colm


A crucial lesson

I was disappointed when I checked the internet today! Everton lost and without scoring a single goal!

However, I would rather think on the positive side. With limited resources, Moyes has not many choices, but I think he will learn from the lesson and in the vital games against Villarreal, no more 'silly' formations will be seen... I hope.
Ken Chung, Hong Kong  (31/7/05)

And what's wrong with all eleven players in the box defending a corner? :-) - Colm


Players wanted: please bring own boots
I'm not going to comment on the numerous players that we have missed out on but would like to ask whatever happened to Moretti the left-back we were meant to sign from Valencia? I know he was meant to be part of the Sissoko deal but given that at the time we needed a left-back (and frankly still do with Pistone and Naysmith not exactly instilling confidence) why has this deal died? Oh and to add my two cents worth, if we buy Johnson then you know it'll be 4-5-1 for the whole of the season (he's not good enough really especially at £7M+). Put in a decent bid for Robbie Keane, an out-and-out left winger, and a half-decent left back... and maybe, just maybe, we can rescue this season! However after 20 years of being a fan I go more in hope than expection....
Nick Dommett, London, UK  (31/07/05)

Moretti turned down a move to Everton, supposedly because we didn't offer him or his agent the right terms — Webmeister


Help!
What the hell was that I just paid £7.99 to watch tonight? I'll tell you what: CRAP, with capitals: CRAP. If it was a dress rehearsal, then God help us (whoever our God may be). If it was just a run-out then we need to be doing a bit more running! Our fitness levels were woeful, our first touch was non-existant, our shape was... pear-shaped, our ambition to win was ZERO.

Moyesie, for some daft reason, I think this result was all part of your greater plan. The sceptic in me says that you haven't got a clue and that we will be an embarassment this coming season. Please, please, please, sort it out, and you have less than 2 weeks to do it. Remember...NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM! In fact, NEVER forget it.
Oh Shit, Lancs  (31/07/05)

Nurse!! More medication needed!


Ain't life great being an Evertonian?
Ken from Buckley: yes, it is... and I loved your enthusiastic verb, guy! In all the time I have spent watching our football club, I have never met better fans. We are EVERTON; fuck the Board, fuck some of the players when they embarass us — like today. It does not get better; being an EVERTONIAN is for life. Do not buy a dog at Christmas.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (30/07/05)


Quit moaning
I wish our fans would quit moaning and dwelling on players we haven't bought! Moyes chose a difficult game on purpose. Other Premiership sides lost to lower league opposition today - we lost to European perennials. This is the next level; we can't be expected to start playing like the top European sides after years of relegation dogmire. At least we're in the Champions League! One moan I will allow is around 4-5-1 - it sucks! If it had been a serious game, he probably wouldn’t have put Wright in goal and kept Krøldrup on the bench!
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (30/07/05)


Unbelievable
Oh for fecks sake! Have been at a wedding all day. Absolutely shocked to come home to news of a 5-0 defeat. Personally, I now think that we are fecked against Villarreal but quietly hoping that fate will prove me wrong.

My God, I love you, Blues, but you feckin' test me time and fecking time again! And the sodding season hasn't even started yet!
Mike Murray, Kent, ex Liverpool  (30/07/05)

Nurse!


Gulf
Let us wake up to reality: without quality players being added to our squad, it is hard to see Everton making it to the CL group stages. James Beattie is not a player suited for 4-5-1 formation; Bent is. What we need is another Bent-type striker who can score 20 goals a season.
Joka Polo  (30/07/05)


Why Us?
Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Krøldrup, Ferrari; Emre, Parker, Cahill, Davies; Forrsell, Beattie (4-4-2)

It's just over a week until our Champions Leauge opener. A month or two ago this was the team I thought would run out against our opposition. If it was, I would be confident that we would be able to dispense of anyone that got in our way.

Instead, we still have the likes of the hard-working but talentless Bent leading our attack. The busy, bald, boring Carsley in midfield and the can't-kick-a-ball-straight Pistone in defence.

I'm sorry to be so negative but really, Everton, you did it again. You failed to build on your success and next season, us the poor fans will experience the false dawn we are all sick of seeing.

I can't put my finger on it but something is rotten at Goodsion Park and it needs sorting out - quickly!!
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (30/07/05)


Scared
I agree with Robert Jarvis and am scared that this season is going to be a complete embarrassment. Moyes was lucky last year, his transfer dealings are not great, especially when paying serious money. Along with his Walter Smith tendencies, we could really get shafted this year. Beattie was an atrocious buy, but I even feel a bit sorry for him being asked to play as a lone striker, when he is clearly a fish far out of its water! Why is Moyes persisting with something that clearly isn't working?...

And before you start being pedantic and saying he's Manager of the Year, knows more about football than the rest of us put together etc, just remember, he's won nothing, doesn't look like doing so, is poor at recruitment / man-management and, let's face it, we got very, very lucky last season with some 'dig deep' type performances,injuries, lots of close 1-0's, and rarely did we ever play any attractive, quality football.

Its time to pull your head out of the sand and stop this lemming-like mentality where Moyes is always right. Let's face it, £10M on Beattie and Wright clearly shows he isn't.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (30/07/05)

Oh goodness... you've revealled the awful truth and now I have lost my faith in Moyes... What are we to do? — Ed


I told you so?
I refer to my rant on the 3rd April 2005, after the recent results and today's debacle... I rest my case!!
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (30/07/2005)


Sunday league more like it....
Just as many seasoned supporters have been saying for months, Everton's current squad are playing like a pub team. How Richard Wright EVER gets a game of football god only knows; he appears to be the only keeper in the world who thinks the back of the net is for catching the ball instead of the keeper, it's worse with him in net than any keeper I can remember in 35 years of being an Evertonian.

David Moyes, when has useless Beattie (and I have honestly given him a chance to redeem his useless arse) EVER looked remotely useful playing up front on his own for any club he has EVER played at?

Playing 4-5-1 or the poncier notation 4-1-4-1 (still five midfielders) is getting Everton nowhere. Davie for christ's sake stop the procrastinating shite and buy a bleeding striker! Milan Baros was available but not a word; Robbie Keane could have been had but again not a sniff. Andy Johnson is crap unless you fancy a pile of penalties but is the only striker we get linked to for a rumoured £8M. £8M could and would buy you a lot better than Andy "swan dive" Johnson.

My final rant is the chestnut "Premiership experience" tagged onto players. There are loads of players with "Premiership experience", Eirik Bakke has Premiership experience but then again let's see... that's like saying any of the 1993 Swindon Town squad has Premiership experience — only their experience was conceding over 100 goals and winning only five matches. So let's not waste any money whatsoever on signing this crap as they arent even fit to warm the bench. Go for quality, £1.7M for Bakke, who is currently reported on £27k a week, was relegated with Leeds, and is carrying injury risk... or someone like Sidwell for about the same price who could improve.
Gavin Ramejkis, upholland  (30/07/05)


Friendly?
Did you see that? 5-0 in a friendly defeat. What the purpose was in terms of tactics only the pros can tell us, but to the fan it looked like abject naivety on a European stage. Many will point to the failures of many of the squad with perhaps Wright being singled out more than others. However, in my true blue case I would say we saw nothing we didn't already know. If you can't defend properly then any tidbits going forward aren't worth looking for i.e. they will always score more than us.

Let's just hope that this Turkish Delight captures hearts and minds from the top to the bottom of the Goodison heirarchy and we move on to great things. Why not? We have done it before...
Ken Davies, Buckley  (30/07/05)


Here we go, here we go
So the draw is made and we have Villarreal. Suddenly, King Billy awakes, commenting how tough the draw is. Whoa! Who woke him up? He has been lying doggo for the last half year, keeping his head down.

If that wasn't all, we had Moyes two days before the draw moaning about possibly facing Liverpool. He should get real as well. That prospect had been bothering both sets of fans since Liverpool were allowed to compete. What's up, Davie, has a penny dropped? It's about time some did.

We are now playing Fenerbahçe and what does our great manager do? He has the team playing 4-5-1 with Beattie up front! When is this so-called mastermind that you have faith in going to learn? I have to say he is so clueless, he should be in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

If that isn't all, our pathetic foraies into the transfer market continues to go pear shaped. So we did not get Sissoko, but what happened to the midfielder at Valencia? What is going on with van der Meyde? Do we want him or not? What happened to that Austrian we were chasing along with Fulham? The list just goes on and on. There is a fans comment on the EFC teamtalk page which reiterates what I have been saying all along about Moyes and the transfer market. He is a hopeless ditherer and therein is the real cause of our pathetic activity in the transfer market. Moyes is only able to sign players when he has no competition so he can spend weeks thinking about it. It is not that he is being careful for the club, it is becuase he is so indecisive. I mean just look at Tottenham, they are getting some really good players in there at White Hart Lane, their manager isn't poncing about.

I have seen many articles about how our great Davie got us to fourth and to have a go at the CL. People forget the previous season he nearly got us into the Championship league and really perhaps that is his level. Remember in that season he continally preferred to play Campbell before Rooney; never mind how young the lad was, even at 17 he was streets ahead of Campbell. He wanted to bring Rooney along slowly, what even if we had been relegated? How was that for judgment? Club before player Davie. At the moment he is showing a lack of acumen and as far as tactics go one dimensional. As for his favourite formation of 4-5-1 it was shown time after time last season that teams had got wise to this ultra defensive tactic and yet Moyes continues to use it. This is so pathetic.

I cannot see this Board of Directors or this Manager getting Everton back to being a top five club.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (30/07/05)

Moyes probably played 4-5-1 today because Bent missed the trip, which should be the loudest alarm bell of all. We need more players, particularly someone who can actually score goals. I've heard it said that you can't win games without goals — Webmaster


Depressed and betrayed
As I sit here writing this our glorious team are 4-0 down and have been given a lesson in what awaits us in Spain.

I feel depressed that Richard Wright is even let near the bench never mind actually playing! He is woeful and if he ever plays for us again then Moyes needs to go!

The gulf in class has been obvious for a long time and we have had a golden opportunity to buy players to upgrade the squad but unblue Bill and Dithering Dave carry on regardless and have only minimally improved what we had last year (we still have not won a game for a long time and our record over the last 12 games is....well depressing).

I think we need to spend and do so fast. We are being lied to and conned on a weekly basis and as the good supporters we are, we do not deserve this.

Get a grip Moyes and Kenwrong or go! Move over to let someone take us forward.
R Kav, Ellesmere Port  (31/07/05)

Oh dear... another one in need of the 12-step program? — Ed


Can you confirm this?
I know this is old news but I was interested if this had been brought up in the past. After Rooney had moved to Man Utd, I read an article regarding his new house in Manchester that he had 'recently' bought, it mentioned a problem with the planning permission that had been granted 6 months prior, at a time when he was still playing for Everton.... do I need to continue?
Jon Taylor, London  (30/07/05)

Can we confirm it with absolute certainty? No, not without some research. But the accepted wisdom at the time was that he had bought a property in Manchester well before he was sold. We carried sotyories about this 'conspiracy' all last summer but many people simply didn't want to know... many still don't — Webmaster


Season Starts Here
Now that the draw has been made, it feels like it's All Systems Go. Sod the rumours and get on with making travel arrangements to sunny climes. Get behind the lads and forget obscene wages, contract wrangles, paper-thin squads... Don the replicas and just bloody well enjoy the ride. Isn't it just great being an Evertonian?
Ken Davies, Buckley  (29/07/05)


European Tour
So here we are, waiting on the local constabularies of Merseyside and Valencia, to decide on when our games should be played. I am like every other Evertonian who, having heard the draw, hit "The Net" (for those who have it) to try and find a decent deal for 'The Trip'. Can I book one? No. How many direct flights can I find from the NW? One! Let's hope that the Blues People can get a few planes organised, at the right price, so we can 'keep our promises to our kids' who want to do the trip, the same as their parents!!!
Mark Brennan, Lancs  (30/07/2005)


Source?
I read with interest your piece about an increased offer for AJ from your "reliable" source. I would love this too be true but can I ask who your reliable source is? And are they usually spot on? Great site!
Lee Bloom  (29/07/05)

Read it again: "Sauces (sic!) tell us Everton are going to up their bid for Andrew Johnson to an incredible £8M!!!"

Guess I was beeing too much of a smart-alec. It's like having a lovely tub of ice cream plopped down in front of you, isn't it? Don't be tempted; just take a taste (ie, read it) and move on. It's the Rumour Mill. It's from a source... (now that would be telling...) but who knows how much sauce goes with??? And if he's been right or wrong before, do you think that makes a difference? Would you actually believe this before it was confirmed? And would that somehow change your life? I'm intrigued. It's only a frigging rumour!— Ed


Pardon EFC for existing
Good old Five Live 'Everton have avoided Liverpool in the 3rd round qualifier' Scuse me? It's as much about the RS avoiding Everton... I don't think they would have fancied that at all.

More followed...'Villarreal... tough team finished 3rd in La Liga' Scuse me? Everton didn't do so bad either if I remember correctly. For the record Villarreal were also seen as overachievers last season too.

Cue tame Spanish Reporter 'Villarreal play beautiful flowing football... lovely to watch... nothing like Everton' Scuse me? I know we don't exactly play the Brazilian way, but I can't agree with the conclusion that we are just a bunch of cloggers.

Radio Five are the vocal version of most of the media. Nothing positive to say about Everton and writing us off again already.

I understand Moyes playing our chances down with his immediate comments, but I do also hope that behind the scenes he is winding the players up to have a right go and hopefully stuff it up the English media again.

By the way, I hope it's true that we will be changing to play the first leg in Spain. I fancy our chances at home for the second leg, knowing what we have to do off the back of (hopefully) keeping a clean sheet out there.

Can Moysie also make sure penalty-taking becomes a regular feature of training in the next few weeks!!
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (29/07/05)

I have become totally inured to what the media say about us. The only thing that matters is what we do on the field. But Moyesie did succeed brilliantly in using the whole underdog (dead dog?) thing to great advantage as a team motivator last time out... just that it wore off once Tommy left. — Ed


Stunned
Well, I felt sure we were being set-up for a Champions League qualifier against Liverpool. It seems there is some vestige of fairness and openess in Uefa after all. I take it all back.

Personally, I think this is a great draw for us even though I realise that we may not win. For me another strong showing in the league has to be the priority. It may just show everyone who chose to go elsewhere for the money and a better chance of being selected that there is more to gain from being a footballer than getting into a World Cup squad.

Good luck lads! Blow 'em away in the first leg........
Tony Horne, Kettering  (29/7/05)

It's a tough life being a conspiracy theorist and having to survive on little more than fear and parania... :) — Ed


Villarreal!
Finally the draw has been made, fans can now start focusing on the players we do have and the game coming up (instead of following transfer speculation and focusing on the ones that got away).

It's not the easiest of games for sure, but this is what the Champions League is all about. It'll be a tough game for both teams; hopefully Deigo Forlan's ghosts from his time in English football will come back to haunt him. The atmosphere at Goodison will be amazing (imagine trying to get motivated for the likes of Albanian champions FC Tirana or CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria). The new pitch at Goodison looks amazing, a real stage for European nights and heroes in the making.

Win at home, draw away... it really is that simple!!
Ian Taylor, Stockholm  (29/07/05)

We'll get back to you on that... — Ed


Doubts
I appreciate the content of the comments. But what makes me think:-

  • Why is Everton always short of money, with all the seats full?
  • Why talk about merchandise — isn't that just the cream on the top?
  • Do we have to play some sponsor's guy in midfield for a few million?
  • Cahill, Ferdinand etc... why be a fan for 300 mercenaries in the Premiership?

Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (29/07/05)

  1. Seats are not "always full"; Load factor at Goodison Park last season was less than 92%. Proportion of income from ticket sales is around 30% of total turnover, so bums on seats is never going to be the whole story as far as club income is concerned.
  2. Cream on the top? Yes, but look how rich and thick that cream can be. This is where you can make a difference — just compare Everton's numbers with our main competion; we are well behind. This is where club's make significant extra income that funds discretional spending, whereas the seats generally fund day-to-day running expenses and are all spoken for (and then some).
  3. Li Tie? Is that who you are talking about? Kejian are no longer Everton's sponsors, in case you had not noticed. Li Tie only gets a game on merit. David Moyes would not have it any other way.
  4. 300 Mercenaries? Don't even go there... if that gives you a problem, time to take up macrame or basket-weaving; you will never find happiness as a football fan.
Editor


Moyes
I agree with Steve Lyth. Moyes signed our left backs (a misnomer if ever there was one). They are both poor. To give Naysmith a three-year contract was criminal but to re-sign the man from the shampoo advert is reckless!

I am also amazed that Moyes is so highly rated by fellow Blues. You would think he had won trophies galore!

He has done well in terms of getting the best out of the rubbish that we had last year but he is devoid of any tactical nous. The 4-5-1 formation was rumbled after Christmas and we were lucky to hold on to fourth. Add to this his reluctance to sign more new players and his abiltiy to dither about a plethora of things and he is not the best manager we have had as some would have you believe (e.g. all the rabid Moyes worshippers on Blue Kipper).

His record is not better than Joe Royle's. In fact, big Joe actually won something!

The big problem in my eyes is that Moyes is not sure what to do next. It is always better to achieve a little out of limited resources than to push on. Only the best managers do that. Don't think Moyes will.
Son of Lythy, Ellesmere Port  (29/07/05)

David Moyes has been able to shine in large part because Walter Smith, and Howard Kendall before him, were both so dire. Moyes did another thing, inadvertently giving the club a new name and pressaging a new lease of life, capturing the imagination of the fans in his very first press conference. But his overall record has been up and down, to say the least. It seems everything is "two steps forward, one step back", although everyone is over the moon about those forward steps. I'll get murdered for saying this, but it won't surprise me too much to see him leave the club sooner rather than later, becasue I see those backward steps dragging him down and sapping his strength for the fight. I do sincerely hope it doesn't happen and he stays for the long run, and grows into being a great manager at Everton. He's not a great manager yet, but he shows signs that he could become one. He is a breath of fresh air and has an innate honesty I really respect. — Editor


Many thanks, Lyndon
Your apolagy is graciously accepted. I had to save face else it really would have been a tough season for me! Great site mate, thank you for giving everyone an honest debating platform and for all your team's hard work.
Stephen Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (28/07/05)


To pay or not to pay

To be honest, I am one of those supporters who is always instinctively negative and suspicious towards the Everton hierarchy. But when I heard that talks over a new contract for Tim Cahill had broken down because Everton would'nt pay him a reported £30000 a week I wasn't wholly angry with the board. Instead I found myself asking whether a player who has had one good season in the premiership has the right to demand a 100% pay increase. If Tim has another great season then such a demand would certainly be justified.

There is, undoubtedly now, a sickness in football at the top level which represents extreme arrogance from players who have no respect for the game in general, and fans in particular. The two most glaring examples of this are Rio 'oops I forgot to take a piss' Ferdinand and Joey 'you can take the boy out of Huyton, but not Huyton out of the boy' Barton. Their behaviour, in Ferdinands case pure greed and Bartons simple thuggery, is making even people like me feel alienated from the game.

I am not for one minute suggesting that Tim Cahill is in the same category as the two players I've mentioned. Indeed Everton players generally show far more respect for the fans through their effort in games than players from many other clubs. It could be argued that Cahill is entitled to feel aggrieved when he sees inferior players like Beattie earning over twice as much as him, and the club perhaps poised to buy someone like Bakke, who has'nt played for two years yet will earn significantly more than Tim if Everton match his Leeds wages.

Everton should make Tim one of the top earners at Goodison alongside Arteta and Beattie but its regrettable that the player chose to so publicly air his disappointment at the outcome of contract talks when negotiations are still ongoing. Certainly if Everton allowed the player to leave or become disillusioned through their intransigence it would only confirm what many of us already think; that this Everton Board are totally lacking the nous and vision to make our Club great again.

Lets just hope that Wyness and Kenwright get their act together sufficiently in the next few days to make sure David Moyes has one or two extra players to choose from by the time we play in the Champions League play off. Lets face it, UEFA have already decided the draw.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (28/07/05)

The old saying, "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys" often springs to mind when looking supposedly enviously at other clubs when they parade their star names, all on excessive wages. Unfortunately we cannot compete at that level, though it has to be said that the Chairman was prepared to push the boat out (beyond our means?) to secure the services of Scott Parker. Should be an interesting week ahead on the transfer front. I'm sure the Club would not like to view Pistone and Naysmith as the last two signings this summer! - Colm


Just setting the record straight
Lyndon, of course I knew that Walter signed the two chronics we have at left back but when is a signing not a signing? When its a re signing! Moyes had a choice to make with both of these players and he elected to re-sign them. My god, fella, people know me on this Mailbag page; I'll have them singing and "Do you know ya history?" and I most certainly do.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (28/07/05)

Sorry about that, Stephen. I had a senior moment myself and forgot my recent 'istory — i.e. that we had recently re-signed Naysmith as well as Pistone. As you were... — Lyndon


Bravo!!
Just a quick note of congratulations to Kevin Gillen and Jim Potter for their excellent contributions. Both articles, although arguing from either side of centre, were intelligent and thought provoking. At a time of mild panic, balanced views are a welcome break!
Laurent Corneille, London  (28/07/05)


There's no pleasing some people.
The many, many posts on this and other sites is testament to the fact that blues are worried about our squad size. Then when we are linked to a player we have a go at Moyes. Get a grip.

I think signing Bakke would help pad out the squad as fans want. Moyes was linked to Bakke last summer before his injury, so he must see something in him.

I'd view the signing of Bakke like last years addition of Bosnar and that young French lad. Not bought as first team regulars but as cover should, god forbid, we get hit by an injury crisis. It would also be good to bring on Bakke towards the end of games to rest players, as we'll be playing more games this year. The lad also has champions league experience.

He's not a 'star' for sure, but the is no such thing as a bad signing for us now as we are desperate for players (well ok, RS rejects would still be bad signings)

It all goes back to the Moyes trust thing, he's got us this far, so lets cut him slack for the short term.

Just read an article in the Independent that Celtic's truly humiliating defeat might cost them 10m. We are not in the group stage yet and I'm glad our already shaky finances haven't been squandered buying big (although I view the 3 senior signings we have made so far as big by recent standards at EFC)

When our CL spot is secured after beating the RS, then Moyes will be able to take more risks using the potential money we will be assured of getting.

Sit tight, stop slating the club, manager and lack of players

Lets enjoy this whole European lark for the Bonus it is and put our fears on ice for a while. I mean, how hard can this European lark be if the RS can win it (although Dark Forces were at work). Come on you BLUES, do us even prouder!!
Ian Taylor, Stockholm  (28/07/05)


Moysey's missed his men
Prior to the start of every season the Ginger One has already identified who he wants. A couple of seasons ago David Dunne was top of his list, I know cos my mate was looking over his shoulder on a train to Preston going home to Bolton when the main man was contemplating.

David Moyes is a stoic guy, he will not buy for the sake of buying. You can bet your life that Scott Parker was top of his list this year and rightly so. My friends, if he cannot land Andy Johnson or others who figure highly on the OPTA stats list we wont be getting anybody else in prior to the CL qualifier. There's an awful lot riding on that game prior to the transfer window closing; win it we may get one or two class players, lose it and in my own opinion we face a long hard season.

As the main man said, "football is fooked"; Glazer and Abramovich know the game is going global, that's why they have come on board. What price Chelsea verses Boca Juniors in say five years time? You can see clubs like Newcastle, Tottenham and dare I say Liverpool, gearing up to stay in contention.

Moyesy know's what's going on and I think the guy is genuinely doing his best, however, the bright lights of London and the Gold coal of the North East have sent him home to think again this year.

The one thing this globalist strategy does not take account of though, is the fans — the creation of FC United is testament to that. The sooner the Truth reveals itself about the state of the modern game, the better. I am a Fan, not a business man with money to burn watchin glossy games without any passion.What will be will be!

[Totally off subject, to the lad on the Blue Kipper forum asking "when has Moyes made a bad signing?" here's three: Richard Wright (top keys for Floyd tho'), Pissed One and Naysmith. Everybody makes mistakes. Nite Nite.]
Stephen Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (28/07/05)

Messers Pistone and Naysmith were signed by Walt Disn'ae, I'm afraid, Stephen (although he has just re-signed the former, albeit through desperation) — Lyndon


Bad news
The worst news today from Everton's point of view was the 5-0 hammering of Celtic.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (27/07/05)


Moyes's lack of quality
Is David Moyes serious that there is no quality available? Yet again, his handling in the transfer market has damaged the good he does as a coach. Latest name mentioned: Eirik Bakke for £1.4M ...now there is quality at a price; a guy who played about 5 mins last season. Come on, Dave there are players out there… just maybe look a bit closer to home.
Paul Livingston, Whiston  (270705)

Steady! You're giving the impression you know more about this football management malarkey than Da Man himself. Surely that can't be so, can it? I mean, he lives and breathes this stuff, he gets a massive wedge for it, and he's proclaimed Manager of the Year! Meanwhile, in deepest Whiston...


Aussie Batler
Come on guys - be honest. In this day and age of football being a business, do you honestly expect Tim Cahill to be loyal to Everton for 4 years if he can make himself more money elsewhere? Money talks in football these days, whether you're playing for Chelski or FC Wimbeldon. If you've got the chance to take more you will.

Be that as it is, I can't see EFC wanting to sell Cahill. Even though some people on here reckon we are stong in midfield, I'd have to disagree; we've got a lot out of average and maybe players (for average read Lee Carlsey, and maybe read Leon Osman). Why would we won't to weaken ourselves in a key area of the pitch?

Mr Moyes has been forced to play the hand he's been dealt, and wheel and deal the best he can to get players in. Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn't. James Beattie, for example, scored a lot of goals at So'ton playing in front of a confident, attacking team - from what I've seen, EFC haven't always played that way. At the moment, we can't even play to our potential and we get beaten (albeit on pens) by the Thai kids team.

What EFC need at the moment is the belief they can go out and play to win each and every game - let's be fair, we all know they won't win them all, but we've got to get behind them and allow them to space and time to do that. Let's judge this season's team when this season has at least begun - just think of the glass of Chang/Carlsberg to be half full rather than half damn empty.
Rob Elliott, Brisbane, Australia  (27/07/2005)


Sceptical - Me?
I find it amusing that you still have correspondents who regard your site and its contributors as sceptics and cynics! Surely anyone who has endured the endless crap that has come out of Goodison over the last ten years - particularly from the mouth of our revered Chairman - has learned that scepticism is the only defence against endless disappointment? Alistair Campbell would be proud of the spinning that emanated from that source and stunts such as the Fortress Fund would surely grace the political party of which the Chairman is such an avid supporter!

No, I don`t believe a word of any official pronouncement, don`t get excited about any potential signing, don`t suppose ANYONE `plays for the badge` and never, just never, believe that in the long term the Manager can be trusted to do the right thing!

That way you can never be hurt,disappointed or let down. You`ll be an Evertonian, my son!
David Hall, Taunton  (27/07/05)

Ain't that the truth! — Ed


Lets Get Real...
For Christ's sake, have you people had your brains removed? The reason Tim Cahill has rejected this contract is obviously because Everton have messed about and offered him peanuts. It's not because he wants to leave the club and I doubt Everton announced it to 'supply Everton with funds', as some clown put it. I'll stake my life on the fact that Tim Cahill will be going nowhere in at the very least the next 2 seasons. Oh, and for fuck's sake lighten up.
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (26/07/05)


Toffeeweb Ed adding a new rumour...
No sooner do you add to the Rumour Mill about Davids than he's off to Spurs — no news is good news as they say! If you don't link us to anyone, we can't get rejected.

With all this transfer gossip, some people might be distracted from predicting doom and gloom for our Blue boys this season! Last 16 of CL and top six finish above the RS!
Ian  Taylor, Stockholm  (26/07/05)

We're just the messengers, Ian. We don't start the rumours ;) — Lyndon


Press Opinion II
Further to my earlier correspondence, I was only asking an opinion regarding the current newspaper columns regarding my beloved blues and not going down the route of 'everyone hates us'. I suppose bad news gets more readers?

I do actually feel quite optimistic about the forthcoming season and can't wait to see how the new players fit in and how the team performs. I believe that this is the year that we will see how far we have come and what we can expect for the next few seasons, and as long as we can be competing for european football places I'll be happy.
Adam Carey, Ascot, Berkshire  (26/07/05)


Fortress Fund
As self-appointed experts on everything that happens at Everton, can you possibly give an explanation as to what happened to the Fortress Sports Fund? By explanation, I mean one based on fact – a sourced one - if possible (not your usual unsubstantiated crap in which your columnists hint that they have some type of ‘hotline’ to all goings on at Goodison). It just seems that you spent pretty much the whole of last season bitching about Kenwright and now - when it appears there is actually something concrete to bitch about (his apparent failure to keep his word that investment was imminent) - you hardly say a word. Is it because you don’t know anything at all? Or perhaps you went quiet on Kenwright because he threatened to sue you for libel? It just all seems a bit inconsistent. I am genuinely interested. BTW, great site!
Harry Harrison, Isle of Man  (26/07/05)

Umm, thanks, Harry... I think. Basically, we have stopped going on about Kenwright and the Fortress Sports Fund because, as you say, we spent most of last season bitching about it due to the fact that, through various sources that neither we nor our columnists could reveal for reasons that should be obvious, we were pretty sure it was never going to happen.

In other words, we were banging on about it at a time when we believed it to be a concrete issue and to keep harping on about it now that those, like yourself, who used to be sceptical have come around to our way of thinking would be redundant.

Now, if you are more or less admitting that we were right all along about the Fortress Sports Fund being a red herring, would you also concede that what you refer to as our "usual unsubstantiated crap" might actually have some substance to it after all? — Lyndon


Press opinion
Is it just me or do all of the national newspapers seem to have turned against us?

Throughout last season they were (almost) singing our praises for trying to upset the applecart by mixing with the likes of Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea. This was despite the tactics we were using being less school of science and more gritty and laboured.

The last article I can remember that had anything positive to say was when Davey won manager of the year. I agree that there have been one or two cock ups (Cahill's contract, Sissoko turning red), but overall we have had a reasonable off season. We have replaced older players with younger and better prospects. Cleared out some dead wood that was signed to make up numbers and tied down key players to agreeable contracts. I know Pistone has returned but didn't Bolton release Okacha only to re-sign him when they couldn't get a replacement? I also think that Cahill will sign an extension when we put a realistic offer on the table.

If the papers were anything to go by, then we are may as well just give up now and do a rip van winkle until the World Cup next year. Who said the British press only build up to knock down? PS, where can I join the 'Bring back Ball' campaign!
Adam Carey, Ascot, Berskhire  (26/07/05)

I'm not sure why Evertonians develop this persecution complex so often and on such little evidence, but it is so commonplace, the feeling must have some validity. Yet the papers are just reporting what's going on. To perceive that they have "turned against us" is just shooting the messenger when you read things that sound bad. Take a deep breath. You have to get past that and get back to FOOTBALL. It happens on the field, and it starts in earnest in just over two weeks. — Ed


Mercenaries win again
So Tim, you have decided 12 months into the contract you were happy to sign a short time ago that you want to join your band of mercenary brothers!! Whether or not this is 'agent speak' for 'pay me more or I'm off' you have gone down big time in my eyes.

From the chirpy Aussie guy willing to run through brick walls for the club willing to take a chance on him, you have just confirmed what I already guessed about the majority of Premiership players, loyalty begins and ends with how much each agent can screw from each club.

I guess the fact that under your current contract (which you and your blood sucking advisor went into with your eyes wide open only a short time ago) you were only entitled to the same salary for the next three years, when lo and behold, the club then want to offer you MORE money 12 months later you throw the dolly out the pram and cry 'not enough' !

After one good season in the Premiership it's gone to your head old son, I'm still waiting for my new employer, who I joined last year, to offer me a substantial pay rise, after all, I think I have had a pretty good 12 months !

And to all those supporters who once again are blaming the club, think again boys, this is football, 21st century style!
steve hogan, Cheshire  (26/07/05)

Indeed. As Colm so rightly says... Football's Fooked! Get used to it. And stop believing all the Roy of the Rovers nonsense; that world no longer exists. Get used to it, or take up gardening as a hobby! — Ed


Tactics
Rather than speculate on Davey accumulating, why not look at what we have got? The team is shaping up well. But my conundrums for the coming season are as follows. If we play 4-5-1, can we play Beattie up front? The lone-striker must have pace to make this work and the big lad certainly does not possess Bent's pace but surely is a better finisher. If we play 4-4-2 as we have done pre-season then who starts in midfield? I would presume from right to left Davies, Arteta, Cahill, Kilblane. But that is harsh on Ossy - could he play in the hole up front with Beattie further up? This could work. So a starting 11 of Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Krøldrup, Pistone; Davies, Arteta, Cahill, Kilbane, Osman; Beattie ain't bad at all. What opinions are out there on this?
John Williams, London  (26/07/05)

Firstly, 4-5-1 totally sucks as a formation. I hate it with passion. It is so negative... we might as well bring back Walter Smith! Secondly, football may involve 11 players on the field, and it's fun to think who they might be at any given moment, but if you are going to play this game, you need to name 16. And even then, the whole issue this summer has been about making sure we have cover in ALL positions, so that's at least 22 names I want to see. — Ed


Underdog finished?
I just read Colm's column; you would think we were just relegated last season!

Let's keep things into perspective here. We just finished fourth in the Premiership and are about to embark on a Champions League campaign. We might not have had the best transfer summer but I for one am happy we have been sensible in our spending and will not go down the road of Leeds United. Also, if things are becoming so hard for small teams to compete in football, what exlains the last twelve months or so?

Greece won the European Championships, much to my delight, very convincingly (no need for a shootout or any goals conceded in the knock-out round.) CSKA Moscow just won the Uefa cup, the year before Porto won the Champions League and last season saw clubs like Sevilla, Sampdoria, Espanyol and Udinese compete for ECL spots.
Alex  Kakafikas, Melbourne, Australia  (26/7/05)

I told Colm people wouldn't like it; it's not what we want to hear, however true it is. — Ed


Here we go again
I firmly believe there is no money available at Everton at the moment, the Cahill situation is prompted by the club to transfer him and make funds available to David Moyes. I believe Tim will go and another kick in the teeth is on the way. I would say to Bill Kenwright "Do not insult our intelligence," the fans are honest in turning out every week, so repay us and tell us what’s going on. Message for Moyesy: please sign Robbie Keane, David Thompson, Phil Neville and Matthew Upson. — I believe these are "Everton-type" players.
Franky Burrage, Northwich  (26/07/05)

What you firmly believe, Franky, and what is really going on, are hopefully poles apart. Most fans are sobbing because the Club said anything public about Cahill, and here you are asking them to tell you what is going on! Keith Wyness, Everton CEO, said: "We have been in discussions with Tim Cahill. Talks will continue and we will continue to view all options open to us." You are calling him a liar. I don't think that's very nice. — Ed


Macclesfield or Milan
Why do we all have such short memories? How can anyone start questioning Moyes? We would be playing the likes of Macclesfield in the Carling Cup First Round if not for him. Instead, we have the Champions League qualifier to look forward to (and even if we lose, we are in the Uefa Cup). Moyes's plan was always going to be long term so let's get behind the him and remember where we were 12 months ago. I love reading ToffeeWeb but it feels like we have just been relegated or something on this mailbag. IMWT
Daniel  Ford, Newcastle  (26/07/05)

That's the spirit! — Ed


Why?
You may wonder about the strange title but there are a few very concerned "Why?" questions that I want answering from the club.

Why go public on the Tim contract offer after offering a paltry increase for someone who I believe to be one of the top 10 midfielders in the Prem? Are we trying to tell the likes of free spending Souness - "Come and nab our best player, we offered him less than our underperforming striker!" If anything, Tim is going to be cheesed off as the club have tried to secure him long term on the cheap knowing that his stock is rising. Footballers (most of them) aren't stupid, they know how much their peers earn and no matter how much they are on they will always want parity with ones they see as on their level.

Why state the names of the players that we are going for, Parker, Emre, Sissoko. It just so happens that we have missed out on these. Look, we understand the need for secrecy, why not surprise the fans one day by announcing a name after signing them. It makes me think that the club have no intentions of signing the players that we need to move forward, we are never gonna have an opportunity like this to capitalise after so many years of under-performing.

There are many more why's; Pistone - two year contract after more or less being told "See ya!"; Stubbs training by himself in a park after being a rock for the club in times of trouble... gonna stop there, gettin depressed.
Pete Roberts, Wirral  (26/7/05)

You really do know how to dig the big hole, fella! Yes, these things can be worrying... or you can read past the sensational headlines and understand that what you are looking at is normal business in today's wonderful world of football.... What was Colm Kavanagh saying just now??? Oh yes: Football's Fooked! — Ed


Rumour Mill
I think your Rumour Mill is broken - it hasn't moved for a few days now. Or are we so crap that the press can't even be bothered to make things up about us anymore...?
Mike Oliver, Reading, UK  (26/07/05)

Hehe... I added a "new" link to an old. old story, just for you! — Ed


Cahill Contract
I can't believe Everton have offered Tim peanuts for his new contract. I heard it was around the £20k mark. I don't blame him for knocking it back when he was our best player last season. Why don't they offer him the same as Mikel Arteta — in the region of £33k? Also, on the goal-scoring point, why don't they break the bank and sign Robbie Keane — he is at least proven in the Premiership.
Ste Combes, Ellesmere Port  (26/7/05)


Real Fans Eat Meat
The fact Everton have made public that Tim Cahill has refused an extended contract leads me to be to believe they would be interested in selling him at the right price. I think I may be in a small minority, but I think this could be a very good move for Everton, and I think there are some very good reasons why:

  1. It is obviously a buyers' market in football at the moment, to use a stock market phrase a bull market, every player seems to be going for over the odds and a large mark up on previous years.
  2. Cahill probably will not be worth anymore money than he is NOW; it is possible he could have a better season than he had last year but I doubt he could by much. Therefore I believe everton could get £13M plus for him.
  3. The man is Australian, has played for us for one season, and so has no affinity to the club.
  4. He clearly wants to be paid big wages now, his thinking is he has made it as a top footballer. The reports I saw say Everton had offered to increase his wages from £17k a week to close to Arteta's wage of about £28k a week.
  5. Second season syndrome, I don't know if it's a myth, but i have heard it spoken about a lot, like a musican's difficult second album; if it does exist he's a prime candidate for it.
  6. He will be a marked man next season; if we stick with the five in midfield, most teams will put a man on him.
  7. I really believe Osman is ready to have a break-out season like Cahill did last year; he has everything Tim's got, and is a much better passer; if tim stays he will probably be on the bench and play when people are rested.
  8. Tim's australian, which means long flights to weird places for World Cup qualifiers, not good for an Everton team with a small squad and hopefully a packed fixture list.
  9. Central midfield is by far ourstrongest postion; we have Carsley, Osman, Arteta, Li Tie and Kilbane is much better in the middle than out wide; I think he's class and a star anywhere on the team, and is by far Ireland's best player.
I know everyone is going to boo me and think I'm a traitor for saying these things. Well, if you think we are going to challenge Arsenal or Chelsea in the next 2 years, a message to you: you're living in the land of the West Ham fans who think Figo and Baros are going to be playing for them next season.

Think about it in two seasons' time when Moyes is in his prime as a manager, we have the best centre-back pair in the world, in Yobo and Krødrup, we have the two most exciting kids in England up front: Pepper and Vaughan; Beattie is playing for Madrid after winning the World Cup for England, and going for a British record fee, and we have the money because Moyes has run the club so well to bring in those 2 or 3 players to make us Champions.

We don't want Cahill doing a Rooney next year. We thought we had him on a long contract, but two years doesn't seem to mean anything now. If Cahill signs a new deal, great; if he leaves and we make £10M for him doing the business for us for a year, brilliant as well. Just not the Rio bullshit in a year's time thank you.
Bob Roberts, dublin  (26/7/2005)

Wow, I suppose having a lively imagination is a good foil to the harsh reality that others have to live with on a daily basis. Truly incredible! — Ed


Lythy is right
Lythy you are dead right. The transfer policy is a joke and there seems little will amongst the management to make any progress. For the ginger one to admit that tenth place would be good smacks of defeatism.

What he should be doing is signing better players and what he should be saying is that if we can finish fourth with the crap we had last year then a decent run in Europe and a top three finish beckons if we spend.
R Kav, Ellesmere Port  (25/07/05)

Well, Moyes has said that he will try to win the Premiership. He has also said that to finish in the top half would be an achievement. I suppose many fans will consider this to be a mixed message? In reality, the outcome probably lies somewhere in this range, and he cannot give any greater committment than that: he'd be simply blowing snmoke if he did. But the fans don't really want truth, honesty and realism — every day in this lark make that fact abundantly clear. — Ed


Another PR Embarrassment
The news that Cahill has rejected the new contract (peanuts) offer put in front of him 3 YEARS before his current contract expires is the final kick in the nuts for Everton fans this close season. I for one can just about take the bulls**t transfer rumours but this one really hit where it hurts. Are the men upstairs really trying to turn us in to a laughing stock? This is one Toffee that isn't laughing!!
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (25/07/05)


Tripping over our shoelaces
I was (at first) staggered to read that the Cahill discussions have now entered the public domain. Then I remembered... Everton started this by announcing publicly that they were to offer Cahill an extension. This was said to be a "reward" for his efforts last season. I say bo**ocks !

At the end of this coming season Timmy will have two years left on his current contract. If he has another year like last I reckon they will be queuing up outside Goodison to sign him up. Everton know this and want him on a longer contract to make sure they can demand the best price. Nothing wrong with the principle, just the execution.

To add to the debacle, Timbo's agent knows all this too, so whatever Everton put on the table was bound to be rejected and will continue to be so throughout next season. If Cahill is an Everton player in 2006/7 I will a) be delighted and b) willing to eat the proverbial hat.

Why on earth go public ? Only Everton stand to lose. The player will win either way financially, but now runs the risk of fan resentment because he has turned down an offer from Mr. Wyness et al. He's probably also pissed off at all the above to boot (s'cuse pun), so I just hope that doesn't affect his on-field displays.

If Wyness is the pinnacle of business acumen we now have at the club, then God help Moyes. Wyness' hamfisted approach has already cost us a few of the signings Moyes wanted this Summer and his paucity of skills in this department is only emphasised by his handling of the Cahill affair.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (25/07/05)


Will we ever get anything right?
Not content with failing on the transfer front because we won't pay the going rate for quality players, we now can't even get players who a couple of weeks ago were perfectly happy at the club to sign an extended contract. There seems to be a bit of a theme running through the club this summer. As the old saying goes if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, and all the people who have submitted their comments on this site about how we shouldn't panic, if players don't want to come ladee da da... remember this: Come September when we are in the first round of the Uefa Cup and probably getting knocked out of the League cup by Oxford, you'll be asking why didn't we sign Parker, why didn't we sign Emre?, Why didn't we wrap up the deal for Sissoko days before it came out in the press?

Call me negative but I can't help but feel that just when we seemed to have turned the corner, bad management at the club knocks us two steps back. Remember the 80's and 90's? they should have been great years for Everton but due to the incompetence at the highest level at the club we have gone backwards instead. I was talking to a colleague at work today who has purchased the new Everton top from the Official website for £39.99. Walking past a sports store at the weekend he noticed he could buy it £6 cheaper on the launch day. Laughable, but that just sums Everton up really, doesn't it?
Paul Mason, Cheshire  (25/07/05)


We need goals
I note the editorial comment to a mailbag pointing out Everton's goal difference under David Moyes.

I have stated in previous mailbags my concern in respect of the dubious tactics and stategy employed in many games last season. It always seemed to me that the team selections and tactics were geared to defending rather than going out to win games. We were very fortunate to have won many games by just one goal but this is always living on a knife edge. This strategy came unstuck in a number of games when it was Everton that conceded the only goal and we did not seem to have any answer really to get back, other than bring DF on!

It strikes me that we were playing not to lose rather than playing to win. You cannot really win games by just having one striker up front, but this has demonstrated to many people how lacking we are in this department. I do not believe that the signing of Beattie addresses this shortage. I do not think he is that much of a striker and to have forked out £6 mill for him , well could have had Dean Ashton for a lot less and had change to look for another strker.

I know we got fourth place but this was extremely fortunate and I think down to the players rather than Moyes as the manager. Perhaps the lack of new faces is not his fault but the boards, but the results on the field are down to him.

In the press conference in Thailand, he states that he is not to concerned over the lack of goals and we didn't lose any games in open play. Add to this that he will be satisfied to see Everton finish in the top half of the table at the end of the next season.You have to ask what is going on. Well that is just it there seems to be nothing going on. The club seems to be a hive of inactivity.

The wake up call is nearly here.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (25/07/05)


Cahills Contract
What's going on here then? More agents stirring I think.
Lee from, Wales  (25/07/05)

Or Everton asking for a lot by way of committment but not offering enough by way of compensation? Would not be the first time... — Ed


Goal Difference?
Numerous letters keep banging on about the necessity to find another striker due to our inferior goal difference last season, however, this figure was at least acceptable until the latter part of the season when we started shipping goals at the back - the embarrassment at Arsenal didn't help matters. An improved defender is more at stake than a forward - in my eyes that is.
Jon Taylor, London  (25/07/05)

We have not scored enough goals (in my eyes) since 1995-96 and the twinkling feet of Andrei Kanchelskis. +20. That's what we should be aiming for as a minimum, but you don't get there — no matter how good your defence is — unless you actually have someone who can score goals. Did you know that, despite his massive strides as an Everton manager, David Moyes has never finished a season at Goodison with a positive goal difference? — Ed


Lay off..
I'm delighted Pistone has agreed to come back to Everton. I still can't understand idiots who give him stick; he has been here 5 years, and has caused no fuss at all. You never hear him complain and the man can play anywhere along the back. Ok, he makes a few mistakes but so did Gravesen who only perfomed for half a season out of five... Name a decent left-back we have had since van den Hauwe? Ok, Ball... and Yes, I would have him back as well.
Ian Doyle, Wirral  (23/7/05)

Idiots? Tsk, tsk... It's all about opinions after all, is it not? — Ed


Lost Trust!
I know the IMWT mantra is frequently thrust down our throats on this website, but how can you possibly fully 'trust' someone who considered James Beattie a six-million pound footballer! Like most Evertonians, I am a massive fan of Moyes but I don't like his dealings at the richer end of the transfer market. Something inside turned off as soon as he bought Beattie as I couldn't believe he would think of him as a serious striker. It's not hindsight; I was dreading us getting him and I'll bet that every Villa fan is thankful to Everton and Moyes.

It was clear to me and many others that Beattie is a Championship footballer, lower reaches of the Premiership at best; he's slow, unfit, unskilled and he's not even much of a physical presence. Even if they were restricted financially like us, you would never see the likes of Wenger, Ferguson or Mourinho even remotely interested in such a limited player. I really feel that this was a major Moyes mistake. It could well set us back as a team, was financially a disaster... he's probably worth about £2M and falling... and could be something that could one day be a factor in Moyes's downfall.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (24/7/05)

Interesting viewpoint, Mike, and I must say (IMWT aside) one that is hard to disagree with. — Editor


Brian Nash
In your celbrity hall of fame you say Brian Nash of Franky Goes to Hollywood is a Blue, could you confim this as he spent most of his time in the Winchester Arms with his dad prior to every Liverpool home game.

ps Ken Dodd is a Blue — have you heard that song he sang: "Bitterness"?
Noel Nrowne, Liverpool  (22/07/05)


Fox Article
What a compelling article from Rob Fox. Let's just simplify it. To give us a hope in hell on all fronts this coming season, Moyes needs the Board to generate investment to exccelerate the quality signings needed. If the AGM was anything to go by, then that's a non-starter. So, in the absense of adequate funds, we need to get behind the manager and team to overperform once again with the first priority of remaining a Prem team and then trust in God and luck for anything else.

So really, Rob, what you are saying is "Over to you, Bill and your divided Board; how can you make Rob's vision of the mighty Moyes become a reality?" Teams who win things have to invest, if we can't invest then the above is true. THE BUILDING OF A BLUE DYNASTY SHOULD START NOW IN EARNEST WITH A UNITED BOARD.
Ken Davies, Buckley  (23/07/05)

I would contend that a united Board of Directors is probably the very last thing we need. The only way it would be united is if it is united as a parade of lapdogs in supporting the will and wim of Chairman Bill Kenwright. In the face of such determined control, you need strong voices on the Board who will offer the counter argument and maintain a sense of realism. I get the impression this is what Paul Gregg's role has become. It would probably degenerate into a disaster if he suddenly stopped doing this. — Editor


Toothless as a pensioner
Apologies to anyone reading claiming the pittance that is the state pension and who is still attached to their own teeth... but Everton up front have less bite than the proverbial geriatric eating food-processor-blended mush.

Davie Moyes must be aware of our telling goal difference last season especially the final negative count together with the fact that a good deal of Premiership sides will be wise to last season's tactics of Tim Cahill ghosting into the box for clear headers leaving the fans the mouth-watering prospect of Dunc (not bad but never going to hit 20 a season), Bent (tries hard but scores little) and Beattie (I am really trying hard to cut the lad some slack but even against crap opposition he isn't exactly banging them in) and dare I say it Vaughan until some darling of Sky fat pockets a la Man U or Chelski poach him after we develop him into a half-decent player.

The last high-scoring striker Everton had was Tony Cottee and that was so far back it hurts. Even in the token Thai cup we showed lack of decisive goals and the sort of penalty awareness any England Manager would be proud of.

We need cover all over the park but let's get a striker who knows where the net is and how to put the ball into it regularly. Go for the likes of Robbie Keane or Milan Baros and look to Europe surely there must be some striker somewhere polishing the bench of some fat cat team of galacticos or Spaniards just itching for regular football Everton can virtually guarantee?

Davie Moyes prepared the fans last season with admission of not having a pot to piss in and pulled a corker in Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent out of his small change, this season he has softened the fans with a mid-table would be nice and don't hold your breath over our Champions league qualifier. If you don't aim for something and sit back all you will get is pessimistic and defeatist, better still to say we'll give it a bloody good go like last season and if we fail it won't be through lack of trying and commitment rather than bending over waiting for a football prostate exam.

Please please please let Davie Moyes and Wyness and Kenwrong fix it for me and thousands of happy blues to live another day in paradise by giving us players to watch that talk the talk and walk the walk — not end-of-school report "should try harder" types.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (23/07/05)


Striker
Judging by our performance in the Asia trophy, we still need a decent striker. The lads seem to be missing a beat up front and Moyes seems hell-bent on keeping the players he has. Knee-jerk reaction?
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (23/07/05)

Not really, Daniel. We were missing a beat up front for all of last season as well. It was our ability to score from midfield that made us so successful but we can't count on that working again.


Asia Trophy
Well its been and gone. Everton finish 4th, but does anyone here care? I for one couldn't give a stuff. What was with SKY's music when a goal was scored. It sounded like lift music or something you would hear when put on hold on the telephone.

Anyway all that matters is we stuff the opposition in the Champions Leauge and give Ferguson's boys a hiding they wont forget in 3 weeks' time. I did think we were terribly exposed down the left side with Sinclair V Kilbane so I am glad Pistone is back, even though he can't kick a football straight. Also I would love to see a new left winger and of course another goalscorer to play off Beattie. I see Rossi scored again, ahem.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (23/07/2005)


shite
This is a despicable swear word, I am not against the use of the odd swear word but this one has a repugnant sound about it. I think it must be peculiar to the people of Liverpool because I dont hear it used anywhere else
Eddy Gibbs, brecon  (22/07/05)

It's great isn't it, Eddy? All the better to call Liverpool fans by :) — Ed


An Unashamed Defence of David Moyes
It has been with interest, a mounting disbelief, speechlessness and finally outrage (maybe I need to get out more) that I have read the ToffeeWeb Mailbag over the last month or so. The interest was regarding Evertonians' views about the string of players we were linked with who didn't materialise at a Goodison press conference. I'm not going into each episode as they have all been well chronicled. The disbelief and resulting outrage is due to the apparent amnesia some of these Evertonians have regarding David Moyes and where we now are. I don’t think we need to go over last year's achievements do we? Or maybe we do for people with the memory span of a gnat.

We shouldn’t beat about the bush; the reason (not wholly I admit – the players had something to do with it) we had OUR BEST SEASON FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS is David Moyes. After a great first full season and a totally crap second he learned, changed, motivated and coached the players to deliver. We were all in dreamland; he was truly the Moyesiah and above Beneathus. Now an element of his work is being questioned by some of those same Evertonians who were celebrating like me at the end of the season. Do these people have ANY kind of idea what they are talking about? Are they (as the ToffeeWeb Editorial team have asked on many occasions) better managers, judges of players than him and his team? Do they lean over the washing-machine repair man at home and in the immortal words of Harry Enfield say “you don’t wanna do that”? I don’t think so.

It is amazing. Moyes’s record cumulatively over the time he has been in charge is of a top-six manager in terms of results. Believe me, when he leaves he will be remembered very positively as the man who made us smile and delight in our team and possibly even as a winning manager. We should be grateful he is not at another club since probably 75% of the Premiership teams would have him tomorrow.

I don’t KNOW which players will come to Goodison, any more than I KNOW whether Craig Bellamy is any good or Forsell’s got a dodgy knee. My point is he is the professional football man who knows his job; all we have is opinions. Get off his back and let him do his job because I’m bloody sure he can do it better than any Evertonian anywhere. If we are shite next year and in danger of being relegated then by all means have a go; I somehow doubt we will be.
Mike Iddon, Marlow  (22/7/05)

Great stuff, Mike. It reminded me of that awful quote (Clough?): "Football? It's all about opinions." Well, that's total bollox because football is about teams, squads, clubs playing each other on the field, striving to beat each other. It's about how they perform and the results they achieve.

"It's all about opinions" applies to football fans and pundits, primarily when they don't actually have any football to watch.


Pissing on the bonfire
I totally agree with Martin Wallace's comment on the transfer situation at Everton. Who gives a monkeys about those players we have supposedly 'missed out' on? If they don't want to come here then they can fuck off. We don't want to be taking chances and wasting precious funds on big-money transfers to have them come to our squad and then have to fit an already well-established, good bunch of lads around one person. Scott Parker would have been an excellent signing but good riddance to him if he wants the pounds at Newcastle and doesn't want to be part of what's happening at Goodison.

It seems like people have forgotten that we have signed four quality players without breaking the bank and they are players who want to play for Everton. All the better that they are not superstars, I don't think superstars would fit into our squad, we don't want anybody who is going to cause any kind of Craig Bellamy bollox at the training ground or dressing room. Look at Arteta's comments about how much he wanted to be a part of the team after having played the second half of the season, from Roy Hodgson's comments about Krøldrup being a commited player and a genuinely sound guy he sounds outstanding (hopefully) and Davies was quick to join us as well without any fuss, good on him.

I don't know much about Ruddy, one for the future, but at least in him Moyes is taking care of the goalkeeping situation. Of course, to have sorted out the squad numbers by now would have been ideal but on the otherhand we are definitely moving in the right direction with committed, quality, young players without being ripped off. Long live Moyes, long live Peter Reid's socks.
Amos Tegetmeier, Bolivia  (23 July)


Becoming One Of The 'Big Boys'
I follow with interest fellow Evertonians' reaction to the club's progress in the transfer market (or the lack of it).

Just a couple of months ago, we were all celebrating the triumph of the underdogs, the People's Club, team-spirit, hardwork, ethics, etc. But suddenly, some of us seem to think now that only big-name players are good enough for the club and only a manager capable of signing these players is good enough for us.

Have we, standing of the verge of becoming one of the 'Big Boys' again (we've won nothing yet and only clinched a CL qualifying spot), forgotten what Everton is all about?

Frankly, I'm appalled by comments writing off Ball and suggestions to bring back Rooney. I'd rather have a full-hearted half-crocked player than a talented Judas putting on our proud colours.

We all hope to see the team on the field joining the ranks of the European elites. But are we, the fans, secretly wishing also that we become like Chelski or the Mancs?
Jason Heng, Singapore  (22/07/05)


Point taken, Lyndon, but...
I'm sceptical too, very much so, you'd be hard pressed to find an Evertonian who isn't.

But the point I was trying to make is, we have to try and conceal our doubts, the home wins against the Barcodes and Manure last season were fuelled greatly by fans belief, all these negative vibes are undermining everyone's confidence and this will eventually filter through to the players. I know it's hard, but we should just ride out silly season and try to filter out the bad (won't make for a very exciting mailbox I'm afraid)

After all 'Champions League, We're (supposed to be) having a laugh'. Or was that just a catchy slogan to sell DVD's and such...
Niall  Turner, Ireland  (21/08/05)

I understand what you're saying, but I can't sit idly by and watch as opportunity after opportunity and player after player slip by and the new season approaches with Everton woefully under-equipped to cope with the challenges that come with it. It's the fans' urgency that forced the boardroom showdown last summer (although a fat lot of good it eventually did) and by keeping the club on its toes this close season we can hopefully affect the complacency that seems to have set in at Goodison. Otherwise, we'll all be left to moan about it after it's too late — Lyndon


Alessandro Pistone
So the Italian has returned; I have not been the guy's biggest fan over the years but I cannot say I am disappointed by his return. Let's not forget he is more than capable of playing on either side and even played as a makeshift centre-half if I recall. Let there be no doubt that this kind of flexibility may prove extremely valuable to our small squad and, providing he can stay fit, will certainly fill the cracks appearing in our defence at present. I wouldn't think he has cost us much in financial terms so whatever we have left can go towards the striker Moyes seems intent on buying.

Pistone is certainly not the worst player ever to pull on the blue shirt. He has enough experience and composure, coupled with Krøldrup and Yobo to start playing the ball out from the back instead of the dreaded hoof. I know a lot of people will be disappointed by Sandro's return but even they have to admit that we simply cannot replace every position in the team in one summer. In reality all we can do is drip-feed in the quality over a few seasons and hope, like last season, we have no long-term injuries (Li Tie excepted).

All in all, things are looking up. We are certainly stronger than we were yesterday and with any luck we can make one final signing before the seaon kicks off in a few weeks. A forward seems the most likely position that needs filling. Presuming DM bought Beattie as the goalscorer, then it seems to me that we would need a creative attacker who can drop deep when required and pop up with match-winning goals when the game is tight.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (21/07/05)

Although Pistone is apparently Prime Target Numero Uno among our knowledgable fans when it comes to slamming our own players and whining about the percieved failures of the transfer fiascoes, what you have written about the guy is the most sensible comment I have read so far. Nice one, Stephen! — Ed


In response to Steve Lyth's rant
Our full backs aren't good enough you bellow, but didn't they get us to 4th spot last year. I don't rate Pist-on-E or Gaysmith at all, but somehow they managed to shut up all the doubters by playing their part in a last year's amazing season. And I hope they prove us all wrong again.

We all have worries, just pull yourself together and get behind whatever team we have, the lads will need all the help they can get this season
Niall Turner, Ireland  (21/07/05)

And maybe that's the point, Niall. Had we signed a decent left back, added another high-quality defender and midfielder, and signed a goalscorer who, well, scores goals, maybe we wouldn't be in a position where "the lads will need all the help they can get" this season. Moyes may well have a few tricks up his sleeve between now and the end of August (by God, let's hope so), but you can't blame fans for being sceptical based on the current rhetoric coming from the club — Lyndon


Rob Fox article
Felt moved to comment on the recent article by Rob Fox, it articulated perfectly the feelings I have about David Moyes and the direction the club is moving. Well done Rob for taking the time and effort to pen that piece. It was a great read and much needed at a time when many Evertonians are having a hard time letting go of our pessimistic ways.

We've been down as a group for so long, the natural response of many is not to raise expectations in fear of disappointment. The Moysiah was shown us the way, but many are still skeptical to follow in his ways. Every disappointment in the transfer market has had a rational explanation. WE FOLLOW EVERTON NOT TRANSFER GOSSIP
Ian  Taylor, Stockholm  (21/07/05)


Re: Great Expectations
Yet another fantastic article from Rob Fox. Only the one point I disagree with though, 'Agents are clearly central to much of the transfer speculation, and it is not in their interests to keep deals quiet. Unusually for me, I will defend agents in this.' In my opinion, agents are just scumbags leeching off players and I think they have ruined the once beautiful game.

Anyway, I have been feeling very re-assured about Moyes's transfer capability since the Arteta deal came through. Sandro Pistone has re-signed for us now which I am very relieved about, as this will ease our troubles at left back. I reckon we'll maybe see one more transfer before the deadline, hopefully a striker such as Benni McCarthy or Robbie Keane.
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (21/07/05)


Moyes Makes Mistakes
The two biggest this year being the contract offers to Pistone and Naysmith. Quite simpley the pissed one cannot play football and the other fella is fuckin useless. With all the CL hype and getting chucked out of our seats (again), I really do dispair at this latest news. Mid-table mediocrity beckons unless we sign some quality at the back, midfield and up-front soon. Sorry for the RANT, fellow blues, but the Italian stallion is the worst player I have ever seen in a blue shirt in 30 yrs watching EFC. The full backs we currently have are not good enuff. End of!
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (21/07/05)


Michael Ball - Fear Thee Not
To all those who rubbished the return of Michael Ball as possible cover at left back (and said some pretty unpleasant things about him), you no longer need to worry; we've got Pistone back for another 2 years! Can't wait.
Mike Keating, City centre  (16/07/05)


Don't Panic
Krøldrup for Stubbs; Davies for Watson; Arteta now permanent; Li Tie back; Beattie fit; Vaughan developing; Osman secure; new Goalie; Mcfadden might even start contributing and I'm sure there will be more signings yet. How can anyone say Everton will be weaker this season? I know Newcastle and others have signed a few mercenaries but they've all let good players go too.
Roger Balshaw, Blackpool  (21/07/05)


OH NO!
According to Sky Sports, Everton fans will be happy to learn than `star`full-back, Pistone, is to stay at Everton after all! In truth, I bet there is not one Evertonian who would not prefer the return of Stubbsy, Watto or even Unsie to `The Pispot`!

Just more proof that Dave is a ditherer and nothing Rob Fox - his arch disciple - comes up with will convince me otherwise!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (21/07/05)

Oh dear... some signs of faith starting to crack! — Ed


Well done
Well, there you go. Back to it's best.. ToffeeWeb. The Article by Rob Fox was intelligent, considered and balanced. It's an inspiration to read such stuff, as it makes you realise how lucky we are to have David Moyes as our manager. The new season beckons ... goodness only knows what we can achieve this year ... but I, like most Evertonians, can't bloody wait.
Nick West, Londinium  (1st day of the Ashes)


In reply
I think that some of the fans need to take off the beer goggles they're wearing at the moment and let some clarity come into view.

Financially and squad wise we are not a top four side, and the reason we did so well last year was down to some good old fashioned hard work and determination. With the likes of the RS and the Barcodes buying up all and sundry for silly money, another fourth place finish next season would be like winning the lottery!

Reading Rob's article made me realise how far we have come in the last three years and unless a rich Evertonian decides he wants to give us a chunk of his fortune, the only option is to continue as we are.

If us fans are worrying about lack of cover in certain areas then I'm pretty sure Moyes is already doing what he can to rectify the situation.

The friendlies should be seen for what they are, a chance to get ready for the games that do matter. The season starts at the end of July when we run out for a CL qualifier, so lets get behind the boys when the Z cars theme starts playing and Goodison erupts! (I can feel the hairs on the back on my neck sticking up already)!
Adam Carey, Ascot, Berks  (21/07/05)


Final pieces
With Pistone signing up, we can at least put some pieces of the puzzle together. A suggested final X1 based on a 4-5-1 formation: Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Krøldrup, Pistone; Davies, Cahill, Arteta, Li Tie, Kilbane; Beattie. Subs: Osman or McFadden, Wright or Turner, Carsley, Bent or Ferguson?, Naysmith or Weir.

One thing that jumps in the face is still the lack of depth in defence. Midfield is the only area that seems to have the depth to survive the season. Addition of another world class striker will enable Moyes to play 4-4-2.
Bsd Lover, Sydney, Australia  (21/07/05)

Just one question: in how many games last season did David Moyes retain the same line-up? — Ed


Blinkers On
I read the article by Rob Fox and have to disagree with his view. Whilst some points are acceptable, I believe him to be one of those supporters who cannot distinguish between the trees and the wood. Reading his article one would think that Moyes is the next Messiah... how blinkered can you be?

He fails to mention some of the points raised in my previous mailbag concerning his man-management skills — and let's be honest his downright dubious tactics and substitutions — in many games. Look at Rooney; this lad was for the most part kept on the subs bench, when he was Ericksson's first choice in the England team. He gets transferred and what happens, SAF immediately has him playing full games. What was Moyes's excuse "bringing him along slowly"?

So Rob Fox thinks Moyes has excellent judgement, I do not agree. Why isn't Vaughan being given a run, is Moyes bringing him along as well to line up another transfer deal. Why did he keep picking Bent ahead of Vaughan? Face upto it, Everton were very fortunate last season, it was not down to the shrewd strategy of DM.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (21/7/05)

While not overly impressed with this summer's transfer dealings (the latest, the re-acquisition of Alessandro Pistone, smacks of desperation or a worrying lack of imagination), I have to defend Moyes on his treatment of Rooney and Vaughan. He was right to introduce Wayne slowly, to help him develop as a player before throwing him into every game. Ferguson is able to play him week in, week out now because he is now two years older and both physically and mentally ready for it. James Vaughan is 16. He didn't get a run because he is too young and untried. Can you imagine if he's pitched a 16 year-old into a regular starting role and we hadn't qualified for the Champions League because of it? Or the kid breaks down with injury in four years because he was played too much too young?


Ping Pong or Pitchitpong
Having seen his goal against Everton, perhaps we ought to sign Pitchitpong!!

Further to my letter of yesterday when I referred to a supporter watching the game against Thailand in the pub whilst knocking back the bevvies... the supporter who wrote in was Mike Kennedy from London and I still wonder how he got time off work to watch the match. My Liverpool supporting bosses wouldn't budge an inch when I asked if I could go home to watch the game... but what do you expect!!
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (21/07/05)

Doesn't sound like you missed much! — Ed


The Heat is on!
The performance in Thailand means absolutely nothing. Instead of sweating their bollocks off in 30° in Asia, pre-season preparation should be focussed on getting some experience against top opposition in Europe. Also The Maestro would be much better placed to do the job he should be focussing on — bringing the playing staff up to strength!

All the noises coming out of Goodison this summer are focussed on lowering our level of expectation. The whole Club, including Moyes, have no ambition above survival and whilst few of us saw the entry into CL as more than an adventure, to be talking of mid-table at this juncture is downright pathetic.

On the other hand, if The Great one doesn`t take his finger out soon I am certain it will be ambitious!
David Hall, Taunton  (20/07/05)

I think you should read Rob Fox's latest article. If you still feel the same way, then you are not going to be a happy bunny this summer... — Ed


Former Blue boy?
Does anyone know if the Terateep who played for Thailand today was the same lad (Terateep Winthai?) we had on our books?
Rich , Hemel Hempstead  (20/07/2005)

Apparently it is the same guy. One of the media reports suggested that he left the Academy after 3 months because "he wasn't learning anything". How encouraging... — Lyndon


Leave the lads alone
How come we always get the moaners if we don't win 2 - 0? I am talking about today's game against the Thailand NATIONAL side not just a league side.

Would supporters have rather ran around in over 100 degrees heat for 90 minutes chasing a ball or sat sinking pints of beer like one previous correspondent was doing whilst watching the game? [Eh? — Ed]

Give the lads a chance will you and get behind them and stop bitching!! God help us if we don't sweep the board in the C.L., you lot of moaners will have a field day!!
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (20.07.2005)


Disappearance Money
Over the last couple of seasons people have spoken of the curse that seems to accompany the Manager of the Month Award. However, has anyone noticed the curse of the physio's room that seems to go with whoever is the highest paid player? I know injuries can happen at any time but before the season starts!
Thommo   (20/07/05)


Abject
I have just watched Everton play The Thailand boys. It was Everton who looked like the kids out there. They were truly awful. No shape, no skill, no desire, no tactics, except to hoof it up field. It was desperate stuff. I believe that, not just on the strength on that display but on the Everton's performances since December 2004, we will struggle this season. Our second half of the season results would have barely kept us up, W6 D3 L10 GD-9 and we were lucky in a number of our wins and draws, late goals against Soton, Pompey, Brum Norwich. I know it was hot out there and I have just watched it from a pub and had a few. But we tired last season with more players and a lesser workload. What's the odds on us going down I fancy a flutter. Sorry they do say beer is a depressant especially when mixed with watching Everton.
Mike Kennedy, London, UK  (20/07/2005)

Despite the hype over last season's great achievement, there are those who recogonize that Everton's football for much of last season was never going to set the world on fire, and the signs are that we will drop back down to a lower level this season. Go on, lads: prove us wrong! — Ed


Reality Check
So, last season we managed to get to fourth and very fortunately hang onto it which got us onto the entry ladder of the CL. Brilliant! It gives the club a chance to get some cash.

But now with the latest comments of DM, don't count on getting further and it seems clear that the summit of ambition is to finish in the top half of the Premier League. Meaning don't expect CL football next year or after. But what of trying to finish in a Uefa spot? The top half of the table starts at position ten! and Uefa spots finish at seventh.

In essence there are only two new faces on the teamlist from the end of last season and many more have left since January, our squad is smaller. I don't count Arteta as a new boy, he was playing last year. I think it is no wonder DM is trying to dampen expectation because the team is considerably weaker and in many areas there are chronic problems. What does DM do, chat to SAF about travel and the first qualifier, for heavens sake can't he work it out for himself!

At the end of the season he was talking about needing and bringing in half a dozen players, well we have two. I suppose the others are caught up in the scotch mist. The start of the season is near and really judging from the scuttlebutt around the prospects of more players is beginning to look as remote as Mars no matter how brave a face Davey put's on it.

I seem to recall that his man management skills were suspect last summer hence the bust up with Rooney and the need for a team meeting to clear the air, called for by the players I add, according to Stubbs. I wonder therefore in the transfer dealings when he talks to players, does he really sell the club or try to make it obvious he is the Boss and no argument. Remember a while back and that public bust up with Blomquist.

I have seen Everton teams under many managers fron Carey to date and have to say I am not convinced at the moment that DM is the true article regardless of the unbounded enthusiasm of fellow supporters.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (20/07/05)

Not the true article...??? Next you'll be waxing lyrical about Roy Vernon and Alex Young... School of Science and top-quality football. Shocking!


DIXIE
We must — and i can not state this strongly enough — never ever let another person wear Dixie's number. He is by a mile the greatest toffee of all time, and probably the greatest footballer of all time. They had to change the offside rule to try and combat him. If one of his relations ever plays for Everton let them wear the jersey, but to let another mortal wear Dixie's number is a sin. People need to know the greatest footballer ever played number 9 for Everton and by letting anyone else use the number, the message will never be known.
Bob Roberts, Dublin  (06/04/1976)

Ha! That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. For starters, tell me how many players have worn the Everton Number 9 shirt since Dixie? And how many of them have been season record goal-scorers? This entire "retire the jersey" thing stinks to high heaven of Yankee fawning sports crap... Just say No! We are English, FFS! We do our own tributes to players... like bronze statues. Let's keep it that way. — Editor


Behind Enemy Lines
Just watched Peterborough Vs Man U. Very nervous moments when my mate's little girl shouted "You support Everton" whilst I was in the away stand with those slimy mancs.

Anyway just a few points to note. Firstly if I was Moysey I would be on the phone to Taggart as you call him and try to get the wee lad Rossi on loan. He is 16 or 17 and to be honest looked better than Rooney. My mate really rates him. The lad scored a cracking goal.

Secondly how can Rooney play for a team who chant anti-Scouser songs when he is still on the pitch? I mean we both endured a ten minute anti-Scouser campaign of chants. I felt like screaming something but thought it might seriously harm my health.

Rooney just took it like he was born and bred in Manchester. That boy really did sell his soul to the devil. The pride that I had being a scouser and a blue, which made me bite my tongue so hard was just not there for him.

Finally and but by no means last the Manc supporters are the most unfriendly bunch off piss heads I have ever met and I can't wait to be back on friendly turf singing "one nil to the Everton!"
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (19/07/05)


Micheal Ball
Just had a word with Micheal Ball after he played the second half for Rangers against Ipswich, whilst in a crowd of 30 or so loud scottish fans. I said, "are you coming back to Goodison?" Micheal said "you never know, you never know"... This was in front of all those Rangers fans. He could have said no to keep them happy but he chose to say that. I said it would be good to see him in our Blue in the champions league...
David Bloomfield, Ipswich  (19/07/05)


Strikers needed too....
Whilst everyone is still harping on about the left back vacancy we also need to look at competent non-goal shy strikers. Dunc can't do it forever so why not a dabble back for Benni McCarthy (if he was good enough last January why not now)? Robbie Keane (a rollercoaster ride at Spurs for him - one minutes he is wanted the next he's being offered to West Ham) and the major coup no one has mentioned - Milan Baros from Spain FC (a steal when not injured and much better striker than the only white man that can't jump, Peter Crouch, I just hope he is their new Heskey).
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (19/07/05)

The left-back vacancy is merely the most pressing of some pretty pressing issues we have with our squad at the moment. We do need a striker who can out-score Tim Cahill from midfield, we could do with another centre back and another top class midfielder wouldn't go amiss either. I've said it before, but Keane would be a good addition, Baros is better than anyone we've got and Benni McCarthy wasn't signed last summer for some reason (and I suspect it was a different reason than "Porto didn't want to sell me." — Lyndon


Defensive Priorites
If you don't concede a goal, penalty shoot-outs excepted, you cannot lose. While this opening statement might seem negative, it is a fundamental truth in football. The foundation of any really good side should be a strong defence. Everton have just five first-team defenders: one left-back (who has yet to resume training), one right-back, and three cenral defenders. Assuming that we qualify for the Champions League Group stage, Everton will play a minimum of 50 games next season. That will be extremely difficult with only five defenders to choose from. I am getting a little tired of both the sniping at the boss and the wild 'dream driven' comments of some 'supporters' who constantly bicker for the likes of Johnson, Guti and even Owen. Any of these would be great additions to the squad, I cannot deny that. But get real, the priority HAS to be to add strength and depth to our defence.
Mick Stanley, Darwen, England  (19/07/05)


*Zip*
I completely agree with Martin Wallace's comment Burstin'. It's ridiculous the amount of rubbish that we have seen, not only in the press (who were adamant we'd be playing in the Championship opposed to the Champions League this time last year), but also fans who simply reiterate the same shite spouted out by the likes of The Sun.

The stupid thing is that obviously we were going to be linked with pretty much any player roughly within our price range... we do need players and we have just had a fantastic season. Which makes even less sense that people should then call for help for Moyes as he 'clearly doesn't know what he's doing' or worse!!

Obviously, we have missed out on quite a few high-profile players - but the reasons behind these have been sensibly documented and many would have been a disaster.

Personally, if I were a barcodes fan, I would be far more concerned with the sort of players Souness has actually lured in with super cash... Anelka next - by Christ might as well get Ravenelli whilst he's at it. How long do you reckon they’d last working together.

DM's just worked a fair, but virtual wonderdeal, with Arteta given the current climate - and we only need look at last season's acquisitions such as Cahill. To steal a recent quote, see 'the future's bright - the future's got orange hair'.
Chad Schofield, Cirencester, Glos  (19/07/05)


Summer transfer saga 2005
Some fans are worrying about our transfer dealings, but we have bought four players and spent over £10M! It's not as though we are dithering about, is it! I rather like the fact that we are setting the rules when it comes to players' contracts rather than being held to ransom by an inflated ego who thinks the team can't live without him. I also like the fact that our medicals are a little more stringent than other teams, so we won't be buying any more crocks in!

The squad is a little thin, but we took on players last year who were never going to get league games, and just ended up playing in the stiffs. How about letting the youth players run out for those and gain a bit of experience?

I have faith in Moyes (though not neccessarily the Everton Board), and Davey hasn't let us down yet! We have had one good season and suddenly we should be competing with the big boys in the transfer market? It's not going to happen and I would rather us pick up players who have ambition and a desire to achieve than over-rated money grabbers who don't seem to realise that £30k a week is still an obscene amount of money to be paid, let alone £50k+!

If we can continue as we are going and be in a position where we finish in the top 6 every year with the odd CL run, then I think we can have a rant when the big transfers don't materialise. I have been an Evertonian for 25 years and a few more seasons to get it right is fine by me. Just look what happened to Blackburn and Leeds!

Bally at left back would be good business as long as he can pass the 'Everton medical'. It's good to know that, even after the way we treated him, he still bleeds blue — just like the fans...
Adam Carey, Ascot, England  (19/07/05)


He Wasn't that bad!!!!
Col is a bit over the top with his Michael Ball comments. If memory serves he was one of our better players in 2000-01 and adapted to centre-back really well when others where injured. He wasn't a bad left-back either! He played most of the season on painkillers and I don't remember him hiding when other players went AWOL. I have reservations about him coming back (which I doubt will happen) but he wasn't a "failed youngster". Whatever happens, I wish him the very best wherever he plays.
John Audsley, Leeds  (19/07/05)


Michael Ball
Just can't believe your suggestion that he is the answer to our left back problem. Rangers paid us £5m for this guy and have regretted it ever since. Michael made a good start to his Everton career, but his obvious weaknesses became apparent - hopeless positional play, inabilty to tackle, poor crossing, lack of pace - to the point where it was obvious to anyone with a brain in their head that he was just another in the long list of failed Everton youngsters. I don't get any pleasure in saying this, but I find the idea that MB could handle the likes of Robben and Ronaldo and Wright-Phillips just incredible.
Col Nolan, Preston  (18/07/05)


The Gentlemen's Agreement
I really enjoy reading ToffeeWeb but you are now scraping the bottom of the tray with some of these transfer rumours. Paul Trail says that while taking a slash in Motherwell (don't look at me, its some place in Scotland) he was told that Michael Ball returning to Everton was a done deal. If you are going to publish such things, we must be given more background information. I mean, did they shake on it?
Thommo   (18/07/05)

Er... excuse me. Shake what exactly??? I think personally that's altogether too much information, thank you! — Ed


Beginning to understand
After all my moaning about Everton and transfers I'm beginning to understand what we are up against... even though I think some of my moaning is justified I think that I have had my judgement clouded by the anger I have at times towards the beloved club. After looking at us missing out on the likes of Javi Guerrero, not an out-and-out striker but he plays more of a forward role. I think that Guerrero is an amazing talent; he might not score a lot of goals but he is a classy player and when we offer him the best financial package and he still turns us down I can't think of much more Moyes can do... we are up against it from the start :(

I would love Guti to come to Everton though... now that would be a talent, I think that he has to be the best pass and talent in the Real team :) In my opinion anyway :p
stelly , Liverpool, UK  (17/07/05)

Keep dreaming... — Ed


Errr, what exactly is there to laugh about?
Some Evertonians still seem to be under the impression that we are preparing for a campaign in the "Champions League". I doubt it. We have a well earned shot at a 3rd round qualifier but apparently "exceptional circumstances" do not apply to Everton so the reasons why we rank so low in Uefa's sedding system aren't taken into consideration. We could face a difficult task like Inter Milan or Ajax but that's OK; it's what European football is all about and we damn well deserve the chance. Given all that then, how many of us really doubt that we will be drawn against Liverpool? Cue dodgy Morientes dive and outrageous (probably re-taken) penalty to win the tie.

It will mark the culmination of a masterstroke by the FA. They undoubtedly would have entered Liverpool rather than us if it was up to them. Their shameless representation of Liverpool's interests to get them in by the back door gave lie to the charade that they are representatives of the whole of English football. Fergie and Mourinho might complain of Arsenal's preferential treatment. Liverpool benefit too. For many of us all we get is sweet FA.........
Tony Horne, Kettering  (17.7.05)

We rank so low in Uefa's ranking system for one reason only: because we have played no European football at all in the last nine seasons. There is a possibility that Liverpool could reach the Third Qualifying Round, and there is a chance that they could be drawn to play Everton... or any of the other 15 unseeded teams. We'll have a better idea on 29 July, when the draw is made. Until then you are worrying yourself sick over nothing. Hope this helps. — Editor


Ball ? ... You're Taking the Pass !
If this guy was half the player he thinks he is, then he would be a world-beater. Instead, he's a tosser, and deserves to be left rotting up at the 'Forces of Darkness'. If we want to import trouble then let's go for some class!!
John McCamley, Deeside  (17/07/05)

Ah, you'd be wanting Craig Bellamy then, I take it? — Ed


Bonus point for Michael Ball
I support Nick Armitage's well-argued case. But would there not be a hidden bonus attaching to Michael Ball's return. Is it not true that going forward Uefa are insisting on a growing percentage of players who have been developed via a club's academy system? Everton are presently not that well placed in this regard...
Bob Kerr, Dublin  (16/07/05)

Well, that's coz they are sold to keep the money flowing in...


Michael Ball?
Dear Nick, just a rebuttal to your recent proposal of bringing back Michael Ball to Goodison to fill the void at left back: are you off your rocker? While I agree that Ball was one of the most exciting young prospects to come out of the Everton youth system, this was 7 years ago! I am a Celtic supporter as well as an Evertonian (I resent your swipe at the SPL by the way, I'd watch Celtic play Partick Thistle before Blackburn vs West Brom anyday) and I fully understand what a liability Ball is. Even when he did suit up for Rangers he seemed lost, especially for the big occasions like the Old Firm matches.

I am just as anxious as you are to fill the left back slot but I think Bally is better off elsewhere. Perhaps someone less injury-prone would be a better asset. As we have some money to spend I think the left-back position is worth shelling out some serious money for. The two Italian players, Ferrari and Coco, wouldn't be as risky and Coco has Champions League experience with Inter and Barcelona. We have the money so we don't need to risk scraping the bottom of the barrel for some bargains. No disrespect to Ball he was brilliant when he was with us but he's now a liability.
Andy Casey, Boston, USA  (16/07/05)


Ball's the man
I agree 100% - the left back spot is just about the hardest to fill at any level and Michael Ball was one of the best I've ever seen at Goodison. It upset so many Evertonians when he left but it saved his career. This is a player who is not only a great footballer but a True Blue - I read an article about him after he was forced out of the Club by Walter & Archie where it was claimed that his Gran bought him a pair of Adidas boots which bore the signature of Kenny Dogleash - he wore them only after the offending inscrription had been erased with the help of a marker pen!Good player, hard grafter and a definite Evertonian - he's Moyes type of player. Bring the lad home.
Mike Keating, Liverpool City Centre  (16/07/05)

So his knee is fine now?


Everton owes it to him
I'd just like to say I totally agree with the Nick Armitage article. Ball would fill the left back slot better than Naysmith and you could guarantee he'd play with his whole heart.

He gave his all and more for this club and what was done to him under Smith's reign is the only thing which ever made me truly ashamed of the club. For a player of his calbre to get sat out at Rangers (for the want of a pathetic amount by today's standards) is a fotball travesty and one of the greatest indictments of the modern game.

He may be seen as a stop gap for a few seasons (like Nigel Martyn), but he deserves the chance to play for the club again and, dare I say it, we owe it to him. Actually, no question, Everton owes it to him.
Graham Green, Liverpool  (15/7/05)


Michael Ball
I totally agree with Nick Armitage on bringing back Bally to Everton, the lad is a class act, one who never seemed to panic on the ball and finds a blue shirt nine times out of 10, not like Naysmith and the thankfully departed Pistone who finds with a razor-like slice the blue shirt in the upper Bullens. I speak to Bally's sister occasionaly and every time I ask her how he's getting on I get the same answer "he would come back to Everton tomorrow". Let's get it sorted!
GARY WILLIAMS, Liverpool  (16/07/05)

We hear the same thing, Gary — Lyndon


Re: Nick's 'Gone but not forgotten'
Many Evertonian's are certainly worried about the current crisis at left back. And rightly so, but re-signing Michael Ball is not the answer, this is just desperate clutching at straws!!

Many fans have fond memories of Michael, as for a time during the dark days he looked like our only player of class. But the Moysiah says he is building a team for the future, and I think signing Ball would be only a short term fix at best and a step backwards.

I think the back line of Hibbert, Kroldrup, Weir, Yobo will see us through the qualifiers.
Hibbert has played well on the left before.
Kroldrup is left footed and would be able to cover.
Weir as always will hold the line,
Yobo can cover the right back spot with case.

I'm sure Moyes will buy a left back before deadline day, but not Michael Ball. The only player I'd currently like to see return is Roo, but if that pig flies from Old Trafford back to us anytime soon I'd surely have a heart attack and miss seeing him actually play for us!!
Ian Taylor, Stockholm  (16/07/05)


What Ever Happened to the Likely Lads (Messrs Kenw
Many Evertonians, myself included, have been disappointed by the club's performance on the summer transfer market. We all have had sympathy for David Moyes in his quest to bring success back to Goodison and to build for the long term future. This has been hampered in the past by the lack of funds to purchase quality players. This summer has been somewhat of a novelty with Everton being linked with every star name that becomes available, but seemingly being beaten to the draw almost every time by managers with the morals of alley cats and desperate(ly deep) pockets (Messrs Benitez and Souness spring to mind).

We have stood back and admired Everton's bold stance on wages and sticking to our own valuations, while at the same time opportunities to take giant steps forward are being missed. Sure, Everton have money to spend, but so too have all of the other Premiership clubs - the fact that Moysie has bolstered the ranks with some solid signings is testament to him and to no-one else.

This brings me to the real issue, David Moyes success has bought Bill Kenwright time which in turn has lessened the desire to seek out and deliver the level of investment that could seriously take our club forward.Its gone quiet at the time it needed to happen and this is the real reason why we are unable to compete for the really big signings. Imagine now if we had the revenue generated by Moysie's success, the Rooney money and the investement that has been promised time and time again. With this we would be outbidding the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle not trailing in as also rans.

My question again goes out to the Board - we have the opportunity to move this club forward quickly, we still need the investment to accelerate this process - when, if ever, is it going to happen?
Keith Gibson, Seascale, UK  (15/07/05)


Our Valuation
To be frank reading Moyes and Wyness's comments about their so called "transfer policy" reveals a total non-sequitur. Our valuation means nothing. I happen to think that all post-impressionists cannot paint, but if I want a Van Gogh or a Monet I have to pay £25M. My valuation is irrelevant, it is no good me repeating to all and sundry that I do not care what the market decrees, I know what they are really worth. The same is true of buying and paying players. If you want Viera you have to pay him £100k a week and pay around £13M for a 29 year old. It's no good saying that last season he wasn't quite so good or he's a little bit too old for that valuation. If Everton want quality players they have to pay the inflated market rate, not the hypothetical value that Wyness and Moyes have in the back of their mind. Otherwise the best you get is below the Champions' League level i.e. Beattie and Davies. We won't be lucky enough to sign too many like Cahill.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (15/07/05)

On the contrary, Rick, the transfer saga has surely proved our valuation means everything. It means we don't get the players we aren't prepared to pay the asking price for. That's all they are saying. And they seem to be running true to their word... — Editor


We are better than them
Can we please just take a chill pill or something? Last year we bought two players at a cost of about £2-3M; this summer we have already topped £10M. It's 5/6 weeks from the start of the season and we are preparing for a season in the Champions League/Premiership — not the Championship, which many of us feared last summer (me included).

I know this is an important summer I said that in a letter to ToffeeWeb in Feb/march time, but the main reason it is important is due to one ginger Moyesiah so let's get a grip and give him complete support and I'm 100% certain he will deliver.

If we are not careful we will start sounding like the barcodes and trust me there are no worse fans in football when it comes to being fickle.

I'm gonna end my rant there and just hope that moyes doesn't read some of the twoddle that has been written recently. IMWT.
Daniel  Ford, Newcastle  (15/07/05)


Michael Ball
May I just say that I agree wholeheartedly with Nick Armitage's comments that the answer to our left back problems lies with Michael Ball - and I'm sure that the negotiations wouldn't be as protracted as some of our other transfer dealings!
Aled Pari, Bangor  (15/07/05)


Nil Satis Desperandum
I think it means 'nothing but despair'. Probably not, but I dropped Latin after a year at secondary school and too long ago to think about !

Point is that one thing you can guarantee is, if Evertonians have an opportunity to look through the wrong end of a telescope, we will. Well, when I say 'we' I obviously mean you, because I am clearly objective at all times...or is that you and I am just always too optimistic

I agree that we need a left back. I also agree with Nick Armitage that Michael Ball would be ideal. If we can see it, my guess is, so can Moyes.

However, the consistent thing about the man is that he never panics (or never seems to, which is half the battle), or thrashes about as do some of his peers; buying anyone or anything just for the sake of it, or to appease fans. We've had too many managers in the past like that and I for one prefer Davy's approach every time (even though it can be frustrating).

The past few weeks have shown that every time a player Moyes is after gets splashed across the tabloid pages, the world and its Mother pitch in. Seems to me that he has learnt quickly and is now dampening expectation and interest in other signings whilst (hopefully) getting on with the recruitment.

I hope I'm right, because I do agree with the need for a left back. Not only that, I think we need cover in another four or five positions too!

What I don't think is constructive is confusing Moyes' single minded pursuit of a set of (clearly) high standards, as either desparate or dithering.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (15/07/05)

I would guess that "Nil Satis Desperandum" would translate as "nothing is good enough desperation", which doesn't make much sense. I haven't studied Latin in two decades so I can't help you either :) — Lyndon


Same Initials, Different Meaning!
Let`s stand by the mantra,guys.....IMWT.... IN MYTHES WE TRUST....The price we pay for being Evertonians!
David Hall, Taunton  (15/07/05)


Arteta
Absolutly delighted that we have finally signed Mikel Arteta for £2M. Arteta is a very talented player and he has good distribution and I rate him a top class midfielder. From the comments he made on the Club website he seems very dedicated to the shirt and he has shown me he doesn't play for the money. The fact that he has a 5-year contract reinforces it for me.

Also I think the fact that Goodison is staying silent on the transfer front is great news, partly because I'm sick of the bollocks we get and the fact we didnt even know the club was interested in Per Krøldrup until we had opened talks with him. IMWT
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (15/07/05)

Uh oh... Cup is more than half-full! I like your stratgey there; Tony Blair would be proud. Ignore all the abject failures and talk up the odd success. Brilliant! — Ed


How are the doubters viewed now?
They say that the definition of a pessimist is 'an optimist in possession of the facts'. Given the now declared intentions from Moyes himself that he now has the players he wants for the Champions League qualifier, we are now in possession of the facts.

Over recent weeks, this mailbag has demonstrated that opinion regarding Moyes's transfer policy and the quality of backing from Wyness and Kenwright is extremely polarised. We are at one with Moyes's ability on the pitch. However I for one have had considerable reservations about his "nous" in the admittedly challenging arena of transfer negotiation.

I agree that we did not want Bellamy: still leaves the issue of Moyes wasting precious time even talking to him. Forsel: not good business. Parker: well we have slated him for taking the money; that's deserved. But let's look at the here and now. All those who slated the likes of myself and others for being needlesly miserable... what do they now think?

One left-back in the club; we let the other go. You might not rate him, but surely you keep him until you have a replacement? Filling the left-back slot is a left-midfielder, while we let the genuine utility player (Watson) go.

Arteta aside, the FACTS are we have fewer players than we ended up on last May. How many of you thought that would be the case? Furthermore, of the three players brought in, one is already being lined up for a loan to build experience. How many of you think that this is all part of a coherent strategy of building the club?

The people who have damned the objective Evertonians are the same people who constantly ply themselves at the feet of Kenwright. Supine and obedient to a tee, they lap up the lies, scoff up the spin, devour the double talk. Having orgied on this feast they cry as one 'we're Evertonians are we will support the club no matter what'. The inference is clear. Any opposing view is negative, not valid and not Everton-like.

Well I am an Evertonian too; 35 years and counting. I'll be an Evertonian till I die; I will follow the club no matter what. But don't ask me to act like a blind man and a buffoon who does not know his own mind.

The irony of ironies of course is that the likes of me and others like me somehow have to justify our stance. Well it's long overdue, but let the positive ones defend their case for all being well and on track.

Whilst doing this, please tell me the following: Whatever happened to the King's Dock? Fortress Sports Fund? The Youth Academy? The New Training Complex? The Blueprint for Goodison and Everton?

Objectively, yours.
James  McPherson, Liverpool  (15/7/05)

Well... any takers? — Ed


Clarity at last
Or is it? Wyness responds to the criticism of late regarding transfers that EFC sticks by it's valuation of what a player is worth in wages. This is all very praiseworthy but the result is plain to see: we have fewer players than at the end of the season and more games to play. If the ambitions are to be at the top and competing for the Premiership, then this policy means you have no chance. If you want to be up there, you need quality players and I don't mean bargain basements. You may get the odd good'un like Cahill but by-and-large you get middle of the road. Such a policy means the club settling for a mid-table finish each year and arguably it means the Board are content to be a mid-table club. This explanation by Wyness could also be just a smokescreen to cover up that the money is not there to get more players.

Consider Moyes is now saying he has enough players to start the Champions League, of which the first game is very soon. But of course he does, you only need sixteen, for heavens sake! Does this indicate that, despite Moyes saying he expects there to be more new faces before the season start, it is very unlikely? After Arteta, I think there will be no more new signings. The attitude of the Board apperas to be: "If Moyes did it with a very small squad last year, well he can manage this year."

Forget about any outside investment; Billy managed to survive last summer and is not under threat this year, so does not have to run around chasing money. He has stayed in control and is not letting go. The new season is going to be hard and long. Ferguson is now saying that Man Utd must not lose any games this season so as to win the title. But who do they play first, oh dear.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (15/07/05)

Oh dear indeed... I can feel the cold sweat and loose bowel syndrome already... — Ed


Dithering Davie
I must say I am becoming increasingly annoyed by the "In Moyes we Trust" mantra being trotted out every time anyone has the temerity to utter a word of critiscm of the manager's transfer policy.

If this was a new phenomenon I might have some sympathy but it has been in evidence ever since DM joined the club. We express interest in a player but seemingly fail to follow the matter through to a positive conclusion. Usually after weeks of wasted time when the opportunity to pursue alternative targets has been lost.

According to informed sources within the club, DM was given encouragement by the Board to sign Bellamy weeks ago but changed his mind at least three times before deciding to finalise the matter. According to last night's Liverpool Echo he then decided not to sign the player after being unimpressed with his attitude. Not exactly evidence of a positive frame of mind from our manager!

Why does everything take so long to reach a conclusion? It seems to me and thousands of fellow Evertonians that, whilst DM has many admirable qualities, decisiveness is not one of them. To coin a phrase: his indecision is final.

What it boils down to is that, once again, the club appears to have missed the opportunity to progress because the manager is frightened to take a risk. I hope I am not being unduly pessimistic in suggesting that our chances of progressing beyond the qualifying stages of the CL have been compromised as a result.
Colin  Gillbanks, Maghull  (15/7/05)

Darn... you caught me out there on the subtle water-torture technique of blindly repeating the IMWT matra at every opportunity, in the increasingly forlorn hope that it would eventually bear fruit. (Arteta, anyone?) Despite the spin, and the individual logic-train that justifies each failed transfer, I don't think anyone is fooled any more. The evidence strongly suggests that we will be weaker than last season, particularly in defence. And the mammoth importance being placed on winning what looks likely to be a very challenging qualifying tie is creating significant stress right at the beginning of the season. Failure, after all the hype, is simply inconceivable. But I will resist adding those four magic words... — Editor

Michael Ball
I totally agree with Nick Armitage on bringing back Bally to Everton, the lad is a class act, one who never seemed to panic on the ball and finds a blue shirt nine times out of 10, not like Naysmith and the thankfully departed Pistone who finds with a razor-like slice the blue shirt in the upper Bullens. I speak to Bally's sister occasionaly and every time I ask her how he's getting on I get the same answer "he would come back to Everton tomorrow". Let's get it sorted!
GARY WILLIAMS, Liverpool  (16/07/05)

We hear the same thing, Gary — Lyndon


Re: Nick's 'Gone but not forgotten'
Many Evertonian's are certainly worried about the current crisis at left back. And rightly so, but re-signing Michael Ball is not the answer, this is just desperate clutching at straws!!

Many fans have fond memories of Michael, as for a time during the dark days he looked like our only player of class. But the Moysiah says he is building a team for the future, and I think signing Ball would be only a short term fix at best and a step backwards.

I think the back line of Hibbert, Kroldrup, Weir, Yobo will see us through the qualifiers.
Hibbert has played well on the left before.
Kroldrup is left footed and would be able to cover.
Weir as always will hold the line,
Yobo can cover the right back spot with case.

I'm sure Moyes will buy a left back before deadline day, but not Michael Ball. The only player I'd currently like to see return is Roo, but if that pig flies from Old Trafford back to us anytime soon I'd surely have a heart attack and miss seeing him actually play for us!!
Ian Taylor, Stockholm  (16/07/05)


What Ever Happened to the Likely Lads (Messrs Kenw
Many Evertonians, myself included, have been disappointed by the club's performance on the summer transfer market. We all have had sympathy for David Moyes in his quest to bring success back to Goodison and to build for the long term future. This has been hampered in the past by the lack of funds to purchase quality players. This summer has been somewhat of a novelty with Everton being linked with every star name that becomes available, but seemingly being beaten to the draw almost every time by managers with the morals of alley cats and desperate(ly deep) pockets (Messrs Benitez and Souness spring to mind).

We have stood back and admired Everton's bold stance on wages and sticking to our own valuations, while at the same time opportunities to take giant steps forward are being missed. Sure, Everton have money to spend, but so too have all of the other Premiership clubs - the fact that Moysie has bolstered the ranks with some solid signings is testament to him and to no-one else.

This brings me to the real issue, David Moyes success has bought Bill Kenwright time which in turn has lessened the desire to seek out and deliver the level of investment that could seriously take our club forward.Its gone quiet at the time it needed to happen and this is the real reason why we are unable to compete for the really big signings. Imagine now if we had the revenue generated by Moysie's success, the Rooney money and the investement that has been promised time and time again. With this we would be outbidding the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle not trailing in as also rans.

My question again goes out to the Board - we have the opportunity to move this club forward quickly, we still need the investment to accelerate this process - when, if ever, is it going to happen?
Keith Gibson, Seascale, UK  (15/07/05)


Michael Ball
May I just say that I agree wholeheartedly with Nick Armitage's comments that the answer to our left back problems lies with Michael Ball - and I'm sure that the negotiations wouldn't be as protracted as some of our other transfer dealings!
Aled Pari, Bangor  (15/07/05)


Nil Satis Desperandum
I think it means 'nothing but despair'. Probably not, but I dropped Latin after a year at secondary school and too long ago to think about !

Point is that one thing you can guarantee is, if Evertonians have an opportunity to look through the wrong end of a telescope, we will. Well, when I say 'we' I obviously mean you, because I am clearly objective at all times...or is that you and I am just always too optimistic

I agree that we need a left back. I also agree with Nick Armitage that Michael Ball would be ideal. If we can see it, my guess is, so can Moyes.

However, the consistent thing about the man is that he never panics (or never seems to, which is half the battle), or thrashes about as do some of his peers; buying anyone or anything just for the sake of it, or to appease fans. We've had too many managers in the past like that and I for one prefer Davy's approach every time (even though it can be frustrating).

The past few weeks have shown that every time a player Moyes is after gets splashed across the tabloid pages, the world and its Mother pitch in. Seems to me that he has learnt quickly and is now dampening expectation and interest in other signings whilst (hopefully) getting on with the recruitment.

I hope I'm right, because I do agree with the need for a left back. Not only that, I think we need cover in another four or five positions too!

What I don't think is constructive is confusing Moyes' single minded pursuit of a set of (clearly) high standards, as either desparate or dithering.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (15/07/05)

I would guess that "Nil Satis Desperandum" would translate as "nothing is good enough desperation", which doesn't make much sense. I haven't studied Latin in two decades so I can't help you either :) — Lyndon


Same Initials, Different Meaning!
Let`s stand by the mantra,guys.....IMWT.... IN MYTHES WE TRUST....The price we pay for being Evertonians!
David Hall, Taunton  (15/07/05)


Arteta
Absolutly delighted that we have finally signed Mikel Arteta for £2M. Arteta is a very talented player and he has good distribution and I rate him a top class midfielder. From the comments he made on the Club website he seems very dedicated to the shirt and he has shown me he doesn't play for the money. The fact that he has a 5-year contract reinforces it for me.

Also I think the fact that Goodison is staying silent on the transfer front is great news, partly because I'm sick of the bollocks we get and the fact we didnt even know the club was interested in Per Krøldrup until we had opened talks with him. IMWT
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (15/07/05)

Uh oh... Cup is more than half-full! I like your stratgey there; Tony Blair would be proud. Ignore all the abject failures and talk up the odd success. Brilliant! — Ed


How are the doubters viewed now?
They say that the definition of a pessimist is 'an optimist in possession of the facts'. Given the now declared intentions from Moyes himself that he now has the players he wants for the Champions League qualifier, we are now in possession of the facts.

Over recent weeks, this mailbag has demonstrated that opinion regarding Moyes's transfer policy and the quality of backing from Wyness and Kenwright is extremely polarised. We are at one with Moyes's ability on the pitch. However I for one have had considerable reservations about his "nous" in the admittedly challenging arena of transfer negotiation.

I agree that we did not want Bellamy: still leaves the issue of Moyes wasting precious time even talking to him. Forsel: not good business. Parker: well we have slated him for taking the money; that's deserved. But let's look at the here and now. All those who slated the likes of myself and others for being needlesly miserable... what do they now think?

One left-back in the club; we let the other go. You might not rate him, but surely you keep him until you have a replacement? Filling the left-back slot is a left-midfielder, while we let the genuine utility player (Watson) go.

Arteta aside, the FACTS are we have fewer players than we ended up on last May. How many of you thought that would be the case? Furthermore, of the three players brought in, one is already being lined up for a loan to build experience. How many of you think that this is all part of a coherent strategy of building the club?

The people who have damned the objective Evertonians are the same people who constantly ply themselves at the feet of Kenwright. Supine and obedient to a tee, they lap up the lies, scoff up the spin, devour the double talk. Having orgied on this feast they cry as one 'we're Evertonians are we will support the club no matter what'. The inference is clear. Any opposing view is negative, not valid and not Everton-like.

Well I am an Evertonian too; 35 years and counting. I'll be an Evertonian till I die; I will follow the club no matter what. But don't ask me to act like a blind man and a buffoon who does not know his own mind.

The irony of ironies of course is that the likes of me and others like me somehow have to justify our stance. Well it's long overdue, but let the positive ones defend their case for all being well and on track.

Whilst doing this, please tell me the following: Whatever happened to the King's Dock? Fortress Sports Fund? The Youth Academy? The New Training Complex? The Blueprint for Goodison and Everton?

Objectively, yours.
James  McPherson, Liverpool  (15/7/05)

Well... any takers? — Ed


Clarity at last
Or is it? Wyness responds to the criticism of late regarding transfers that EFC sticks by it's valuation of what a player is worth in wages. This is all very praiseworthy but the result is plain to see: we have fewer players than at the end of the season and more games to play. If the ambitions are to be at the top and competing for the Premiership, then this policy means you have no chance. If you want to be up there, you need quality players and I don't mean bargain basements. You may get the odd good'un like Cahill but by-and-large you get middle of the road. Such a policy means the club settling for a mid-table finish each year and arguably it means the Board are content to be a mid-table club. This explanation by Wyness could also be just a smokescreen to cover up that the money is not there to get more players.

Consider Moyes is now saying he has enough players to start the Champions League, of which the first game is very soon. But of course he does, you only need sixteen, for heavens sake! Does this indicate that, despite Moyes saying he expects there to be more new faces before the season start, it is very unlikely? After Arteta, I think there will be no more new signings. The attitude of the Board apperas to be: "If Moyes did it with a very small squad last year, well he can manage this year."

Forget about any outside investment; Billy managed to survive last summer and is not under threat this year, so does not have to run around chasing money. He has stayed in control and is not letting go. The new season is going to be hard and long. Ferguson is now saying that Man Utd must not lose any games this season so as to win the title. But who do they play first, oh dear.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (15/07/05)

Oh dear indeed... I can feel the cold sweat and loose bowel syndrome already... — Ed


Dithering Davie
I must say I am becoming increasingly annoyed by the "In Moyes we Trust" mantra being trotted out every time anyone has the temerity to utter a word of critiscm of the manager's transfer policy.

If this was a new phenomenon I might have some sympathy but it has been in evidence ever since DM joined the club. We express interest in a player but seemingly fail to follow the matter through to a positive conclusion. Usually after weeks of wasted time when the opportunity to pursue alternative targets has been lost.

According to informed sources within the club, DM was given encouragement by the Board to sign Bellamy weeks ago but changed his mind at least three times before deciding to finalise the matter. According to last night's Liverpool Echo he then decided not to sign the player after being unimpressed with his attitude. Not exactly evidence of a positive frame of mind from our manager!

Why does everything take so long to reach a conclusion? It seems to me and thousands of fellow Evertonians that, whilst DM has many admirable qualities, decisiveness is not one of them. To coin a phrase: his indecision is final.

What it boils down to is that, once again, the club appears to have missed the opportunity to progress because the manager is frightened to take a risk. I hope I am not being unduly pessimistic in suggesting that our chances of progressing beyond the qualifying stages of the CL have been compromised as a result.
Colin  Gillbanks, Maghull  (15/7/05)

Darn... you caught me out there on the subtle water-torture technique of blindly repeating the IMWT matra at every opportunity, in the increasingly forlorn hope that it would eventually bear fruit. (Arteta, anyone?) Despite the spin, and the individual logic-train that justifies each failed transfer, I don't think anyone is fooled any more. The evidence strongly suggests that we will be weaker than last season, particularly in defence. And the mammoth importance being placed on winning what looks likely to be a very challenging qualifying tie is creating significant stress right at the beginning of the season. Failure, after all the hype, is simply inconceivable. But I will resist adding those four magic words... — Editor


Left Back
I wonder if Moyes has made an offer for Placente of Argentina. I saw him play in the confederations and he looks a very useful left back. He is available on a free so would fit the bill perfectly. I think he wants to go to Italy though which would be a problem for Moyes and free players are notoriously difficult to sign, so with our track record we will struggle anyway.

So who else is there?? Bernard would have done a job for us but he has gone to Brum. I just can't see Moyes leaving us with no left back so I am sure someone will follow Arteta.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (14/07/05)


Guess What
Because I cannot get to every home game, I decided to join the recently announced Evertonia Club which promises to give me two weeks priority on tickets before they go on sale to the general public. I thought for £19.99 this would stand me in good stead for this season for all the big games.

I rang the phone number on the club web-site to register at 7pm (thurs), guess what, the deptartment is closed for the day !!!

Talk about inititiave, I haven't got the time to ring back during office hours, if they cannot be bothered supporting this new venture after office hours, neither can I !

They can kiss goodbye to this £19.99....
Steve Hogan, cheshire  (14/07/05)


David France Collection
I seriously doubt the financial accumen of our Board. If Sotheby's/Christies think it is worth £1.2m, then buy it. As as asset like Goodison it should go up in value, unlike player contracts which decline in value. As for Lord Grantchester's contribution, John Moores must be turning in his grave. Dr and Mrs France are as blue as they come — why treat them so cheaply?
Mike Styles, LONDON  (14/07/05)


'already'
The EFC website not surprisingly talks of the players 'already' signed suggesting further signings are likely and how the current players will be the ones for the CL games. However, it fails to talk of the players who have 'already' departed and how there are less players available now than at the end of the season.
Jon Taylor, london  (14.07/05)

Jon, the Official Site is not in the business of cold hard realism. That's our job! — Lyndon


Clutching at straws
Whatever happened to Rene Aufhauser? I don't even know if he's any good but the deal was "80-90% done" last week.

By the way I can't believe we've only got one fit full back.

Champions League - you're having a laugh!
Michael Oliver, Reading  (14/07/05)

Rumours. Aren't worth the Web they're printed on ;) — Lyndon


left back ?
Suggesting that the left back role be taken by Kilbane or one of the youngsters with little or no first team experience is comical - Everton are playing CL football here and shouldn't be filling holes with makeshift players. God, it seems teams who are certs to go down next year are better equipped.
jon Taylor, London  (14.07/05)


Money makes the world go around
Well, we all know that money makes the world go around and here in Switzerland it's written with a big M too. I mean, most people know about Swiss bank accounts......

Just a word or two about Swiss Football ( and that as a born and bred Scouser Toffees fan for 45 years)

In the last couple of years 4 teams from the top league have literally gone down the pan: Lugano, Lausanne, Geneva and Wil.

Common factor: they overspent and what's more overspent unwisely or even criminally.

In Lugano: the Director drove into a lake after it was found out he'd cooked the books. The club was relegated to a minor league.

Lausanne: overspent and went bankrupt: forced relegation.

Geneva: Brand new Stadium but bankrupt team who've disappeared in a minor league. What to do with the new arena now ?

Anyway, you get the picture. Yes, I've supported the blues through thick and thin and it's been pretty thin for a couple of decades until last year...

Complacent ? No. Critical? Yes but I reckon Moysie's doing his best and I just hope the board are too, however much money they have (or haven't) got

This new season will certainly be interesting anyway...

I'm hoping that the Blues will one day come to Berne and play in the brand new stadium against Young Boys. By the way, the old one hosted a world cup final in 1954
John Schrempft, Berne,Switzerland  (14.07.2005)


All Quiet on the Moyesy Front
Wonder why the transfer news has gone quiet in the last couple of weeks - it's because they're all working their balls off in Austria preparing for their Champions League/Premiership effort. Sounds promising that we'll sign Arteta although I won't believe it until he's paraded for the media monkeys. If we don't sign Arteta, we'd better get a "ruddy" move on (poor joke I know).
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (13//07/05)

Arf, arf... I'm dying here. —


More evidence of our lack of football appeal
Silva de Franca. He said in December 2004 about an Arsenal rumour: "The option of playing in English football is sensational," said Anderson, who moved to Spanish football in 2003. "But at the moment I want to concentrate on the present. Nobody has contacted me on an official basis."

As soon as we are interested this is the view from his agent: Anderson's agent Paul Hodges is doubtful that the offer will be accepted by his client. Hodges revealed: "From an economic viewpoint and from a football viewpoint, with the Champions League, it is a great offer, but I think the player prefers to stay in Spain." — Enough Said
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (13/07/05)

Or, as Everton claim, the bloke was making it all up anyway. Gee! Who are we goonna believe??? — Ed


Ryan Taylor
While I am disappointed that Everton have not signed Ryan Taylor, I have never seen him play and can only base any judgement of the guy's ability on what has been said about him in the press. I presume Moyes has and does not think he is worth what Wigan are willing to pay and I am prepared to side with his better judgement.

On the point of the £30M transfer budget I would say that between £12-15M will be available for player purchases the rest being swallowed up in salaries. Again, this is guess work as I have no idea as to what this £30M is supposed to cover. Wyness probably has a better idea on this and he is not about to tell us. Sealing up the Arteta deal will be a big bonus meaning three quality players in so far. It also means we have retained the top four players (according to a recent Toffeeweb poll) on Moyes’s terms.

Expect another three utility players to be added. After all, Moyes seems to be able to mould these types into decent Premiership players if Bent, Carsley & Kilbane are anything to go by. Moyes is building a team slowly and carefully within a tight budget and I for one am not going to criticise. There are so many knee jerk re-actions going on at the moment that it is turning into a Monty Python sketch. CHILL, people! Look forward to Everton in Europe & remember who got us there. Come on TNS!!
Ian Ridley, Caterham  (13/07/05)

Or, to coin a phrase... IN MOYES WE TRUST!!! Ed


Change of subject - shared stadium
Reading the icliverpool web site, I saw an article about LFC's new stadium, and it was reassuring to hear so many familiar themes that for once did not concern Everton. Where's the money gonna come from? Why's it all gone silent? Costs are spiralling etc. And instead of posting a negative message bemoaning our transfer activity, I thought I'd re-open the ground share debate. The longer it goes on, the more sense it makes to share. Can you imagine Lee Carsley's winner, but in a 65,000 seater stadium, packed with Blues? Not 1 Blue can disagree with that surely? On that happy note I'll sign off...
Danny Broderick, London  (13/07/05)

Erm... I think it goes something like this: "I'm not havin' no fookin' redshite sittin' in my fookin' seat." .. or words to effect. But thanks for the fresh line of thinking! — Ed


The final straw?
Sissoko, Emre, Bellamy, Morretti, Forssell and Parker. Although it's been infuriating to see us miss out on all these players, on reflection perhaps even ultra-cynical fans like myself can just about accept the reasons why they did'nt sign for us.

However, I have just seen that Ryan Taylor, a plyer David Moyes definitely wanted to sign, has gone to... Wigan Athletic, that renowned powerhouse of Northwest football. Everton weren't prepared to pay that extra bit of money to sign the kid; whilst we sat on our hands, Wigan put their money where their mouth is. Is there to be no end to this embarrassment?

Currently Everton have no fit left back on the books and only one right back. Kilbane, who is useless enough on the left wing, is having to play in defence. Taylor, an excellent prospect, would have been an ideal signing but we let him slip away for probably a couple of hundred grand at most.

Like many fans I was beginning to believe this accepted wisdom that Moyes's indecision was to blame for the lack of signings. Then it suddenly dawned on me. Perhaps Everton are simply skint. Perhaps Keith Wyness was misleading us when he talked about £30M transfer budgets. Or perhaps someone else higher up the club (guess who?) was misleading him.

Whatever the truth, I there seems to be something very rotten at the heart of our club and frankly it's beginning to stink the place out.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (13/7/05)

Ah.. that'd be your basic Conspiracy Theory, then? It is hard not to get drawn in to all the Gloom and Doom... But there is really no logic you can apply to this and come away with something coherent. Which is why we must return with religious fervour to the all-abiding mantra: "IN MOYES WE TRUST". You know it makes sense. We have no other choices. — Ed


Silence
After all that's happened lately I think it's best that Transfer Speculation from EFC is very quiet until the deal is done. No point reading about a player we are keen on talking to only to have Liverpool or Newcastle "stealing" him from our clutches.

Davie or Wyness saying "we are currently in negotations with X, Y and Z" only alerts other clubs to the players' availablity.

I can't say I'm that impressed with whats happened so far but I ain't on the verge of toppin' myself yet — i'll wait for Arsenal away, live on SKY for that!!! Great site, keep it up.
John Audsley, Leeds  (13/07/05)

Thanks, John.


Pot to Piss in?
Had a call from the club at home last night asking if I wanted to pay a pound a week to join some sort of weekly lottery. I declined the request but didn't have the heart to explain that, as my wallet is £500 lighter already this season, I don't know why the club is suddenly scratching at my door for more weekly cash.

Is this another Wyness special? Do we really have ANY cash left to fund further transfers? The squad is even smaller than last season and, barring a complete miracle, we will be way up the creek without a paddle if some of our players get serious injuries.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (13/07/05)


Blue Sue
Looking forward to beating the Mancs first game. Beattie will show us he is not a waste of money. And Vaughen will be worth his weight in gold!
Sue Edwards, Knutsford  (12/07/04)

That's the spirit!


Drought! Information shortage
Just over a week ago everywhere including the official site was full of talking to this player and that. Names were mentioned that their signing was imminent, players have turned up at the training camp, looking at so and so. But what was the result? We all know.

The silence is now deafening. A distinct lack of information coming from Goodison, that is to say a shortage!! My goodness, do we invoke emergency powers to overcome this shortage?

DM, or is it dithering Dave, was talking to a paper about aiming to win the title. Just how does he propose to achieve that? Our squad is now smaller than at the season's end and there will be more games to play. Which planet is he on?

I accept I could be incorrect, he is not a ditherer. I have a feeling, as has already been intimated in other messages, that finance could be a problem just like last summer and January. Hence the deafening silence and information shortage that hangs over Goodison.

Time will tell, meanwhile pass the heart-attack pills.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (11/07/05)


New season
We should take Lee Young Pyo, Marek Heinz or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and pay Arteta. With those players we will create sensation in Champions League 2005-06. CLUE. Not promising.
Pero Zarak, Dubrovnik, Croatia  (12.07.2005.)

Unfortunately, Pero, our interest in all three of those players is just press speculation or tenuous rumour and the Mikel Arteta situation appears far from resolution.


Time to check behind the sofa
I would like to make another point on the ‘we don’t have any money’ debate. Remember at the start of the summer when Keith Wyness was talking about the transfer pot? He said that we have around £10m for transfer fees. Well, we’ve already spent £8M on Davies and Krøldrup.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (12/07/05)


Hargreaves
Just to reply to Rog (interesting name, says Huck) about Hargreaves... I've seen him play a number of times - and while I respect his hard working approach that would suit the DM style, there's not an awful lot more to him than huff and puff and a few tackles. Plus as far as I know Bayern wanted quiet a bit of cash for him. I certainly wouldn't pursue it if I were DM. The rest of you: it's summer, have some ice cream and chill out. Manager of the Year is at the helm & I for one don't want any other manager there.
Huck McGonagles, Munich  (1.07.05)


Optimism???
What is it with everyone whinging, yourselves included!? I love the site, it looks good and reads fantastically but everyone seems so pessimistic. Personally, I cannot get upset about players who have chosen to go elsewhere and have rejected the chance to pull on the Royal Blue. More fool them. You can't miss what you've never had etc....

I honestly believe that we have a real chance of pushing forward this season and acheiving REALISTIC progress. Over the past few years (last season excepted), Everton have struggled to acheive anything monumental. We acheived this last season but we still need to consolidate before we are ready to challenge for League honours. I believe that a finish in the top ten will do that for us. Too many people are coming onto this, and other sites and are cry-arsing about Moyes's lack of success in the transfer market. OK, we have missed out on a few targets but there are plenty more fish in the sea, or puddle if you agree with the rather infuriating Alex Jones!

How about a little optimism as we approach one of the most pivotal seasons in our history, and enjoy the experience. If we go out in the Champs league qualifier, it will be better than a relegation scrap. Honestly, us blues can be so bloody pessimistic, but I love the lot of yiz and we'll be having a laugh again next season.
Rich Osborne, Birmingham  (11/07/05)


Question
Maybe I missed it in the volumes of crap I see in the papers but why arent we in the market for Owen Hargreaves ... he's young , an international and I thought wanted to move !!
Rog Walker, Portsmouth  (11/07/05)

Sorry, I have no answer... other than the conjecture that, if Moyes was interested he would be doing something about it. — Ed


Can we have our Ball back?
According to Teamtalk, Rangers would consider offers for Michael Ball. As we are in dire need of a left back, Naysmith doesn't cut it as far as I am concerned, young Michael would fit the bill admirably. Quite possibly he would jump at the chance. Maybe we could even use Naysmith as a makeweight.
Roy King Miaa, Kristiansand, Norway  (11/07/05)


Caution
I think everyone should give Davey some credit. He is an excellent manager who seems to have both well founded long-term and short-term plans for the club. Do you really think that he would let Watson, Pistone and Stubbs leave if he was not going to be able to replace them? We played with a skeleton squad last year, and were incredibly lucky with injuries. Davey will know this and will be desperate to replace the gaps in the squad, and everyone knows what they are. We need a centre mid - Arteta, a left-back - Morreti, and a centre-forward - Keane? And that is just a start.

But what I do know from mates in the media is that the bottom is going to fall out of football in a few years when the Sky money drys up - and it will. The economics of it are unsustainable. And then a lot of clubs will be left with a lot of high-wage earners to pay and not everyone will have Russian millions to pay for them. Everton do not want to be caught in that trap.
John Williams, London  (11/07/05)


Keep up the good work
Your team is doing a great job in being a netural ground for Evertonians to air their views, as well as a platform for thoughtful/provoking articles. Keep up the good work. Cheers,
Terence , Singapore  (11/7/05)

Thanks for that, Terence — The Editor


The Season Hasn't Started Yet
Give Mr Moyes a chance. He will come good with the transfers and the players we already have. I am pleased that we have refused to be held to ransom by some greedy players/agents. We do not want to do a Leeds. If I bought many things I couldn't really afford I would end up losing everything. We don't want to lose Our Club do we? The wage cap and transfer policy are spot on given our limited resourses. Now if we had a rich benifactor and had loads of money that would be a different kettle of fish. But we haven't so lay off Mr Moyes — he is doing a brilliant job.
The President, England  (11/07/2005)


People Article
Sunday papers were once a regular guest in our household but during the close season they become a no no. It is with interest however, that I read the article, via your link, in The People. I did get past the diatribe with reference to some turd who plys his trade at Anfield and onto what matters... what Moysey says! I read, with disgust, that Moysie had recieved 'hate mail' after a poor finish two seasons ago. Where the hell do these so called Evertonians get off? Previous to Moyes we put up with negative football from a 'prat' who thought that by bringing in 40-yr-olds it would make us happy. Oh how fickle some of us can be! Let's get it all sorted and move with the man. The future is bright... the future is ginger. Roll on the 13th!
Mark Brennan, UpHolland  (11/07/05)

What about the 9th / 10th? — Ed


Moyes's transfer skills
I don't know who makes the money decisions, but David has shown a Scotsman's traditional talents, for instance, in picking up some bargains just before the window closes. The Rooney money came in too late to use, and there's no point now in being seen as a soft touch. There are so many players of equal worth that you don't have to lust about a Parker etc — just that the aging romantics would see Bellamy as a Roy Vernon reincarnation lost.
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (11/07/05)

Maybe that's Bellamy's problem: he's not allowed to smoke anymore! — Ed


How could you do that?
Ermm?? Why do you publish and give such a high-profile to such a load of absolute tosh? Moyes's transfer policy is fantastic. Re: Bellamy, he wanted a guaranetee that we would ONLY play him up front. Moysie couldn't guarantee it, saying on occassion he might get used on the right in a 4-5-1. (And what is it with everyone against 4-5-1???) Do not question the man.... I'm 1000% behind the him. Moyes will read this article, we should be doing everything to stay positive about him and make him feel loved.... If we lost him in a season or two it would be tragic... Please, as a well-respected Everton fan site you have a great influence on individuals within the club.

p.s. I love the site; keep up the good work. In Moyes we Trust.
Mark , Moreton  (10/7/05)

Errm... see below. But perhaps you're right; I never thought of the huge negitive impact we could be having on the delicate psyschology of individuals at the club who might stumble across the website and be scarred for life as a result. That will certainly be an important consideration in our future editorial decisions... — Mr Ed


Good grief!
I'm surprised you guys published the article by Alex Jones... as he's obviously a complete ignoramus. His reasoning and opinions portrayed an astonishing naivety and quite frankly, stupidity.

I won't work my way through the piece - because it was utter nonsense - however one point nicely illustrates the guy's complete no-mark status... when he claims another Evertonian said 'Sissoko who?'... I'd like to point out to the intellectually challenged Mr Jones that a subscription to Sky Sports and a few watches of the Spanish football programmes would have given him more than enough information on how good a player Sissoko is and will go on to be.

Please can we have more enlightened articles, written by those with at least some knowledge of the game.

...but on the whole love the site.
Nick  West, London  (10/07/05)

Well, we published it for a few reasons:

  1. It was written by an Evertonian about Everton;
  2. It was very well written by any standards;
  3. It propounded an alternate viewpoint on a very current issue.
I hope a reasonable number of our vistors come to read our articles for the aboive reasons, even if they don't necesarilly agree with them. Hey, that's supposed to be what footbvall is all about, is it not? (Personally, I though it was all about playing the game on the filed one the day... but that is a whole other story).

Yet you are indicating that, despite the foregoing, we should be more discriminating in weeding out poor reasoning, flawed opinions, astonishing naievety, and stupidity (all of course in your humble opinion)?

You ask for more enlightened articles... I think you know where I'm going with this, eh? Get writing then! — Ed


Rant Rant Rant
Where are Wyness, BS Merchant Kenwrong and their cronies when you need a rant? Just what will my £500 season ticket buy me this season? Two reasonable players in Kroldrup and Davies - Kroldrup was very strong last season but Davies didn't set anyone's world alight. Now it seems that Moyes is resigned to signing shite, yes utter complete shite, Rene from allo allo from the elite shite that is the Austrian league and has thrown his token "mixed bag" report on the official site to prepare the fans already stuffed this coming season with huge ticket increases that we can only sign shite; ladies and gents we are going to pay with our pockets and the caning we will so richly deserve early doors in the Champions League qualifiers.

Don't give me the optimistic crap about let's wait and see, blah blah blah, football is a money game and has been since Sky bought it. Invest or die and buy shite be shite. FIFA dont need to worry about the red shite being the fifth side as we won't be there long enough with the joke mini squad we have brimming with quality and longevity.

Anyone scared that even a european run of four games and some obvious injuries to say Cahill and Yobo would see us slide down the league all because the club are pissing about not chasing players? You wax lyrical about IMWT well I dont trust the liars holding onto the purse strings - so we lose out to Sissoko now spend the cash on Arteta - cant see it happening as thats bloody common sense and has been missing from Goodison for over ten years.

Any noises from the club have been utter bollocks, let them be silent about transfers now until the medical is done at least we wont be a fucking laughing stock the summer isnt over and weve already been shown as utter gobshites on no less than 5 signings that we know about; Parker, Forsell, Emre, Bellamy and Sissoko.

OK rant over for now
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (10/07/05)


Another small squad
Looks increasingly likely that Everton will again have the smallest squad in the Premiership. The latest player, and showing our now footballing joke status with the media and other football teams alike, to be linked is the ginger from down the East Lancs - papertalk no doubt as even Giggs got a contract extension and he was pants last season compared to Scholes.

Which gets me onto what Moyes has recently said: "mixed bag" which, admitedly cynical that it is, reads as "casts offs" and "never were men" - Rene Aufhauser... who is he? Moyes said not interested about him weeks ago; now that we have been knocked back more than a 13-year-old trying to get into his local, we scrape the bargain bins. Don't forget we also got that nomark Eddy Bosnar in Austria, all he could do was toe peg a free kick in the Reserves, taking a wage and not even good enough to warm the bench at Goodison. So roll on the signings of Norbert Colon and Dave Squibknocket from FC Tractors and West Hartlepool, Dr Martens league and be amazed when they don't get further than Haig Avenue... again!

I'm not looking forward to the spanking we are lining ourselves up for in the Champions League qualifiers then the Uefa Cup if the club is poncing about signing players not fit to wear the shirts. What's wrong with making bids for Robbie Keane, Benni McCarthy, Matthew Upson and other "targets" of other clubs? It sounds increasingly likely that something is seriously wrong with the management of the club if Champions League football can't entice some players to sign.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (10/07/05)

Ah... you'd be in the "Doom and Gloom" category, them?


Sissok - WHO? Good riddance!
The signing of the highly rated Mali international by Liverpool is yet another example of how money and therefore lack and footballing ambition, has spoiled the game. The youngster apparently had the opportunity to join the best TEAM on Merseyside, the genuine Champions' League qualifiers who are led my the Manager of the Year.

Instead, doubtless as advised by his agent, he opted for the higher wages and less first team football on offer across the Park. The Moyesiah's unwillingness to be held to ransom by greedy individuals is for the continued advancement of our great Club. Everton is about a real togetherness and genuine team ethos. Long may it continue.

Up the Toffees! But Moyesy, sign some class players quick, we need them bigtime!
Pete Moore, Singapore  (10/07/05)

Intruiguing. So if we go on to win the Champions League / European Cup but finish 5th, while Liverpool finish fourth, are you telling me you would then say they would be the best team on Merseyside? Just wondering like. — Mr Ed


Children of Dixie
So we all know we support the greatest football team on the planet, and having spent 20 years loving the Toffees, I feel I need to spread some sanity to my brother supporters. Does anyone disagree that pre-Wayne we were dead; we were a dying club, a relic, an Accrington Stanley in the making? Wayne gave us life. I know how hard that is to accept now, but he did... and, like Frankenstein's monster, the life cannot be taken away.

To quote Charlton Heston From my cold, dead hands. The life, the power, the glory, Everton has life Wayne couldn't take; his leaving made us stronger. The greatest fixed football match of all time, the Euro Cup couldn't; [delete that if it's libel]. So some things all of us should think upon:

  • 1) Let's enjoy the Moyes years, they could soon be over; if we have another good season, every football club will be sniffing around our manager.
  • 2) we are only the sixth English club to play in the Champions League, other then Jack Walker's millions we would be the fifth, that is something we should be shouting the roof off about not bickering about silly mercenaries who wouldn't know a great football club from... Blackburn.
  • 3) EVERTON the greatest football team ever, has given hope to every football supporter in England; go to any fan site or chat room, all the fans think their team is going to do an Everton and finish 4th and be in the Champions League, go and see this for yourself.
  • 4) We are going to give some teams next season a kicking that will make their mothers ache, starting with the poor saps we get in the champions league then manure.
  • 5) and finally if we make the group stages of the Champions League, dont sign any donkeys on long-term contracts, and make a fist for a top 6 place, itwill be a great season for us.
THE MONSTER IS ALIVE.
Bob Roberts, Dublin  (10/7/05)

With positive thinking like that, how can we fail? — Mr Ed


Prudent?
I like many am getting slightly concerned over the absence of new players joining. However Moyes and the management at Goodison are to be congratulated on not jeopardising the long-term security of the Blue Army’s coffers to purchase over-paid mercenaries! If a player whose original transfer was on the ground that they hoped their performances against European opponents would secure a regular England cap (Scott Parker) is willing to forfeit this dream for £15k extra per week when already offered £40k - imagine being paid £40k a year! - these players do not have the love of the club at heart. We can only risk our small budget on players who are loyal with more than a pay check in mind. Has Moyes as yet brought in players who have not benefited the squad?
Neil  Koeman, West Derby, Liverpool  (10/7/05)

Er... now that's a hard one. Let's see... there is one bloke. He sometimes wears the goalkeeper's jersey. And when he does, the only thing to benefit is the opposition scoreline... Thankfully, they sent him on a goalkeepeing course instead of taking him to Austria... but his name fr some reason escapes me... — Mr Ed


Hey Mr Ed!
Having read many recent letters/articles about Everton's transfer failures I feel better knowing I am not the only exasperated Evertonian out there. My recent submission attacking Moyes and especially Kenwright may have been something of a diatribe as the Ed so kindly called it, but the point I would make that no one at Toffeeweb can argue with is this; Everton have the smallest squad in the Prmiership bar none, and need a minimum 5 more players before the season starts to have any chance of emulating last seasons achievements.

The feelgood factor that existed at the end of last season is disappearing and it is up to Moyes and Kenwright to give us some hope. No excuses, just action and quickly. We need two full backs, a left winger, Arteta and a striker. If we go into next season without these players does anyone at ToffeeTowers think we can succeed next season with the additional burden of a minimum 8 Euro games before Xmas? No, didn't think so.

One last thing. When dismissing my letter as a 'diatribe' I notice the Editor didn't even mention my criticism of the Fortress fund debacle. The lack of information and progress on that front is utterly inexcusable as is ToffeeWeb's apparent attempts to ignore it. Oh but of course, if ToffeeWeb mentioned this it might lead to criticism of the Chairman and we can't have that, can we?
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (10/7/05)

Hahahaha... that last bit was classic! Yes we NEVER criticise the Chairman... and we have always believed every word we have been told by the Club about the impending injection of Fortess Sports Funding...

Alrite, I'll be drawn to comment this time. FSF is surely dead. A couple of things killed it. (1) Increased success on the field has increased the value of the club, making the agreed pricing (£12.8M for 29.1%, etc) untenable; (2) Paul Gregg, although a minority shareholder, could likely muster enough dissenting votes to prevent the required vote from passing at an EGM; (3) The relinquishment of control that this full deal would imply neve seemed to square with all of Kenwright's machinations that are designed to keep him in control in perpetuity.

At ToffeeWeb Towers, we had accepted a while ago that FSF was never going to happen, and you are right, it has faded away with little more than a whisper. Just like the Kings Dock. Now if you REALLY want to focus on a Kenwright Kock-up of massive proportions that he has gotten away with.... but no-one cares any more. It's all just so much water under the bridge (over the tunnels?) for us now. — Mr Ed


Well done Everton...
Nice to see that we have let another quality player go in the form of Mohamed Sissoko, he is class in La Liga as I watch it on a certain channel that I don't wish to promote!... what is happening at Everton? It's going to be another shitty summer.
Stelly , Liverpool, UK  (10/07/05)


Dithering Dave
Sissoko has signed for the reds. What on earth is going on? Moyes was according to reports meeting the two lads from Valencia on friday. If Sissoko has gone what has happened to the other lad? We have now missed out on Parker, Forsell, Bellamy and Sissoko because what Moyes wasn't completely sure, is that it? We have Bungling Billy, Wobbling Wyness and Dithering Dave who apparently can't organise the proverbial in a brewery. What has happened to Arteta?, for heavens sake give him another 2/3 grand a week, Dave wake up and get a grip!

Now the latest rumour, Scholes!! A guy who can't tackle, a has-been!! Let him go to Newcastle. Where is the ambition in our club? Let's have no more nonsense from you "In Moyes we trust". As I stated in a previous mail, when it comes to transfers, Moyes is like a babe in the woods. You talk of him being a perfectionist, utter codswallop. He is timid, afraid of making a mistake, he is a ditherer and how many more players are going to slip away!!

We now have a smaller squad than last season but more games to play and arguably this season is more important than last. Yes we got and held onto the 4th slot by the skin of our teeth, but let's be honest after Gravesen leaving we were very lucky, our performances were pathetic apart from one that is.

I am for one beginning to have serious doubts about Dithering Dave!!!
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (10/07/05)


Sissoko - who cares?
So Sissoko has gone to Liverpool. Who gives a shit? Had you heard of him before last week? Valencia haven't exactly killed themselves to get him to stay. Bellamy has gone to Blackburn - thank God. If he seriously prefers to go to Blackburn more than to even bloody Carlisle good luck to him. Parker, Emre - mega bucks - piss off. We're not prepared to pay the money and we're building for the future. They're not what we need.

Yes, it's terribly frustrating being linked to so many players and eventually signing none of them. I agree it's annoying to see 'official interest' on the official site but it's hardly different to any other club. Our expectations have suddenly soared and there's rumblings that Moyes is not up to it. Come on! Look at the players he has signed and let go and compare to the transfer records of other premiership managers - nothing lacking there.

We desparately need several players to sign. The fact that we're now looking at the top end of the market is indicative of serious progress. If we need to revise the calibre of player we look at a little downwards this is still likely to be substantially better than we've already got.

Relax the kacks, we're on the up. See you in Europe!
Derek O'Byrne, Waterford, Ireland  (10/07/05)


Reply to 'Goldfish out of his Puddle'
It's simple. Moyes has said it before, when quality players becomes available, it is very difficult to sign them as eight or nine other clubs will be chasing them. Parker and Emre simply went after the most money; Forsell failed his medical, and Sossiko simply chose the European Champions over us.

We should accept that if a higher wage is offered or a bigger club enters, we simply cannot compete. But don't despair, Moyes knows and he can be trusted. and there's still over 840 hours left till the transfer window closes. Signing Keane, Arteta and Pistone will do nicely...
Muhammad Amin Azman, Malaysia  (09/07/05)

Er... I think Pistone has gone already! Also, I saw this on The People's Forum from NeilW:

Transfers these days are generally slow and complex as there are so many interests involved. If you're Sissoko and you have a chance to sign for a manager you know, earn more money and just coincidentally be joining the reigning European Champions you'd have to be pretty brave to choose us instead.

I've been saying on here for a while that we need to play to our strengths...we're attractive to hungrier players with a point to prove...I'm not a fan of his but Robbie Keane would come I think...I'd risk a couple of million on Sidwell or on Sean Davis' knee (though I'd rather have Bouba Diop and Malbranque!!!)...

We're taking a few lumps in the market this summer because we're trying to bring in better players who have more options and we're always going to lose more than we win in that market...not vto say it isn't worth trying, but we have to explore other avenues as well!


Keep it hush!
When will we ever learn? So many times the club have announced their interest in a player….only to be gazumped at the last moment by another club.

I fully understand the PR/commercial/appeasing fans element to printing such things on the club website. Of course, they want as many hits as possible on the official club website, and of course it shows the supporters that the club is chasing some of the best players in Europe.

However, I genuinely think it is having a negative effect on our ability to sign players and as much as I enjoy seeing the Bleus linked with top players, we should leave that to the tabloids to speculate. I cannot see the point at all in the manager referring to players but saying it is only an interest. Why comment unless we actually have the player signed and sealed?

Now I am not particularly referring to Sissoko. Having read the local Valencian newspapers all week, he was always considering the move with caution and never appeared to be overly enamoured by the thought of coming to Goodison. And because of certain links, a certain person was always going to be alerted to his availability.

However, the more the club comments on potential signings, the more it highlights to other clubs that various players are available. How many times has Moyesy and other managers in the Premiership stated how difficult it is to sign ‘quality’ players as so many other clubs become interested as soon as it becomes public knowledge. So, why spread the news even further than necessary?
Mr Anon, England  (08/07/2005)


Calm to Mad
Right thats it, I have had enough. Sissoko is defo on his way to Anfield and I am on my way to madness. Why is it that everything goes Liverpool's way but for us it's just one big never-ending Saga?

THEY come back from 3-0 and beat AC Milan. THEY have THEIR equivelant to Rooney do the same as Rooney only to change his mind and sign a four-year deal a couple of days later.

THEY get a rule change and qualify for the Champions Leauge. THEY just fucking stroll along and snatch our long-term target from under our noses, like every other club has done this close season.

I'm sick to death of the media building us up and knocking us down again. I don't want to hear another transfer deal until its done. Everton in pole position....Everton edge closer....Everton set for coup....The Fortress funds will be set up at the end of the month....Everton target chooses Lincoln City. Come on you bunch of un-professional muppets, sort your house out

Rant Over.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (08/07/05)


More negative waves?
I hate to burst the European bubble that most people are relying on but just review the past year before you all start throwing tomatoes.

Halfway through last season, we were on 40 points. In the second half of the season we added just another 21. The defense fell apart after Gravesen left & without a decent goal scorer we put in a bottom of the table performance.

Having just reviewed the highest goal scorers page, even Tim Cahill could only manage 11. Poor for a striker in today's premiership. We need someone like the great Gary Lineker if we plan to get past the first stages of the European Cup.

So, what does the forthcoming season hold for Everton? My prediction is just above the drop zone. We have neither the players, manager or money (or the luck) to end up anywhere else.

As a fan for 45 years, I have joined the famous group of Grumpy Old Men & am not afraid to admit that my faith in Everton has never been as low. The only consolation is that Liverpool are even worse & were the luckiest club in Europe last season.

All will come home to roost at both clubs in the not too distant future.

Arsenal. Man U & Chelsea are the only runners for the league next season. I'd love to be proved wrong, but I can't honestly see Everton in the top ten for the next few seasons, if ever.

Rant over. Feel free to start throwing things now.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (08/07/05)


I found Dickie Wright!
This seems to explain his disappearance! He has been on a goalkeeping course. Seems strange that he went to this by himself instead of travelling with the rest of the boys, doesn't it?
Paul Foster, Kendal, Cumbria  (08,07,05)

Nice one, Paul! — Ed


Cheer up
I can't believe how much people are moaning about transfers. Look at Fulham and Villa - they're where we were in the transfer market until Moyes turned things around. We're in the Champions League and well placed for next year. We could have 3 players joining us within the next week. Actually, we have Rooney to thank for our turnaround just as much as Moyes - that boy injected 20m+ into our club. And KenWrong picked the KenRight time to get the most money for him. Although Chelsea are miles away, we're certainly catching up with ManUre, Barcodes and the red shite. Only other teams to watch are Spurs and Boro.
Daniel Parker, NY, US  (08/07/05)


Losing the plot
Either I am losing the plot,or other contributors to the mailbag are.

In 3 out 4 ? Check Dave Prentice's article on the Echo website and available as a link from this site. He summarises it quite well....but if you can't be bothered, it's quite simple.... over the hill and fringe players gone...quality and youth in.

Who have we missed out on ? Players who put their salary before their ambition. Nothing wrong with that, but not the type of player to inspire fans or (more importantly) the manager. A committed Scott Parker would have been a great acquisition, but not at the expense of ruining the wage structure of the club, just when we are getting on our feet again financially (relatively speaking). Same with Emre. As for the whiney, no neck, arrogant Welsh prima donna that is Craig Bellamy...his choice of Blackburn says everything you need to know and I for one am delighted that we didn't sign him.

Pretty well every other player we have been connected with has been hearsay.

I actually think Moysie's performance has been excellent in the transfer market. Look at his record so far; with only one or two exceptions(Bosnar / Wright). He is renowned by those in the know for his in-depth research on players and you can bet he had a shopping list in which either / ors for a number of positions were identified. Don't get one, then OK, I'll go for the other.

We should also remember that he is now trying to attract players who would previously never have considered Everton and are still probably nervous about committing themselves to a team with no real pedigree in Europe for more than 15 years. Moysie will be relying on his ability to inspire them to sign by force of his own passion and winning mentality (as well as paying the appropriate salary !).

So let's keep a sense of perspective. As Lee Carsley has been recently quoted as saying...only a certain type of player will be good for Everton; if the hard won work ethic and 'one team' mentality from last season is to continue AND be complemented by quality.
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (08/07/05)


Alright, calm down, calm down!
Why on earth is everyone slagging off Moyes and the club over their transfer dealings? We have to haggle and stick to wage ceilings because we are STILL SKINT, just because we finished 4th last season doesn't mean we are rolling in cash. As DM said himself, the money we are spending is from last season's success plus part of the Rooney money. Paying a little over the odds here and there might not seem a lot now but it all adds up to one huge friggin debt to pay off, £42 (forty-two) million and counting.

So get a dose of reality people, Davie's penny pinching is exactly what EFC needs after years of bad buy wastage (Bilic, Williamson, you know the rest). Just watch Emre and Bellamy stink it up next season, you'll be glad then. I don't know, there seems to be a thing with foreign players coming to Everton, what it is I'm not too sure but the fact that not one has renewed their contract says something. Only really Gravesen has left with some semblance of respect from the Goodison faithful (though it wasn't always that way for the bald loon).

I will be happy just to make it to the group stage of the CL, earn some cash, get some experience and exit knowing we tried our best. Another top 10 finish in the league would be great considering we haven't had 2 consecutive top 10 finishes in about 15 years.

In Moyes I Trust!
Stevie Burton, Belfast  (08/07/05)


IMWT
Re Gareth's recent submission...bit harsh Mr Editor I thought. "Diatribe" was needlessly disparaging. Evertonians have always had a healthy outlook to debating issues... that's what sets us apart in my view. Whilst some of Gareth's phraseology is questionable... you cannot dismiss the gist of what he believes. Everton's transfer policy and mode of conduct in this area IS a shambles. Moyes readily admits that he is learning his trade... transfer negotiation is an integral part of his duties. Given his passion for honesty and self analysis, I would be amazed if he did not hold his hand up and admit that he was lacking in this area.

Let's not forget, we have been here before, whereupon everybody states that it's only July... and the club know what they are doing. Lo and behold, it's soon August and we are scrambling around for players... players who were not original targets... who will take until September to bed in.

Garteh's point about the Rooney sale is spot-on. It was immensely and insanely naieve of Kenwrong to sell when he did... perish the thought of it being "allegedly" deliberately late in the transfer window! We have a massive season ahead of us... we have to plan. It's basic. Makes you wonder, again, Everton's network and strategy to realise their objectives must be non-existent.

Moyes is the manager... and we do trust him on the pitch... but it's clear to me that he needs help in bringing in players. That's the problem: his back up is Kenwrong and Wyus... sorry Wyness.

Think of this: May 2005; we have the smallest squad in the Premiership. Current position is players in:3, players out:4. That's the facts. By all means berate the likes of Gareth and myself and others if this is not the case... but until it is net positive... I would, as editor, at least acknowledge well-founded concerns... don't bin them as a diatribe. Great website none the less.
James  McPherson, Liverpool  (08/07/05)

I guess I could join the growing throng, start the wailing and gnashing of teeth as I fret for hour after endless hour over the continuous series of incompleted transfer sagas and lost players... But I'm not going to. Someone has too retain a modicum of sanity in this bi-annual madness that is the Transfer Window.

It is interesting how a number of people are invoking the name of Bill Kenwright as being a part or cause of the problem. We got a lot of flak for questioning his Chairmanship of the Board of Directors, but there is very little indication that he is doing anything other than backing Moyes as he works to secure these deals. If it really is down to some inadequacy or lack of nous on the part of Moyes, I don't see much that can really be done, other than hope he is learning all the time and getting better at it. The fact that each "failure" has it's own story would tend to suggest that Moyes is not the problem, but you say I must respect your viewpoint (and you did say it was a great site)... so I will! — Ed


Downgrading expectations
Can somebody please explain just what is going on regarding our attempts at strengthening our squad? Since the start of the close season numerous players have been linked with Everton - some admittedly purely in the media but some others through the official website. While not particularly unhappy about us not signing Bellamy, I was impressed by Blackburn's silence until actually signing him. (On a side issue, according to the Guardian, Bellamy 'was not impressed by David Moyes' I'd love to hear Davey's side of that particular story!)

More worryingly are we beginning to see a downgrading of our expectations? On June 30th Moyes said, 'I am confident we will have new faces, hopefully they will be here before we go to Austria...but I hope to have at least a couple more new players in place by next week' Today, Moyes' timescale for getting new players has extended dramatically 'We're hoping to land one or two more before the season starts, that's for sure.' What has brought about this change of timescale? Is the money promised actually available? Is Moyes unable to make his mind up?

As at the same stage last season and again in January our very small squad has actually decreased in numbers. Surely with all the money we've been promised we're not going to have the same unseemly scrambling around for players just before the deadline. Please Blues, prove my worries are unfounded and let me continue to have faith that soon I will be reading about some quality players joining the squad.
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (8/7/05)

Another one starting to crack... — Ed


Champions League / UEFA Cup
Am I right in thinking... that should we fail to win over the 2 legs of the 3rd round of the Champions League... that you do not then gain automatic entry to the UEFA cup? I'm sure I read somewhere that you do not even gain entry for finishing 4th in the group stages? Is this right?

If so, that means if we do actually draw Liverpool in the 3rd round. We could end up ONLY playing a two-legged 'Premiership' match... and no European football whatsoever!

Has anyone seen the 'Everton in €urope' merchandise that is for sale on the Online Megastore? Could end up being rather embarrasing! All of course, if what I've said about qualification for UEFA cup is right.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (8/7/05)

It says on this website that "The 16 clubs defeated in the third qualifying round are entitled to play in the first round of the current UEFA Cup." I hope that helps allay your fears. — Ed


Dithering
I'm glad we're not getting Bellamy but the question's got to be how come Blackburn could sign him from start to finsih in 12 hours flat when all our signings seem to drag on for weeks and weeks? If we could sign players as quickly as Blackburn (or Liverpool or Boro, etc) then maybe Souness wouldn't be able to steal them from us!

Seriously what are we doing that takes so long? Moyes said last week he'd have two faces on board by Tuesday. Now they're missing out on the vital team-building in Austria.
Michael Oliver, Reading  (08/07/05)

Simon Davies? Per Krøldrup? They didn't take long to complete. But Moyes is exacting and deliberative. I think it is something we just have to accept about him. It may be a part of what makes him a good manager in other areas... — Ed


We need someone
Did we not try to sign McCarthy on deadline day last August? We were reportedley denied at the last minute as FC Glazer & Bumbling Bill waited until 11.59pm on transfer deadline day to conclude the deal for our former number 18.

Get a message to Davey in Austria to get the number for directory enquires in Portugal and lets get a real proven goalscorer in Europe, not prima donnas and occasional botanists like Bellamy!!
Peter Rea, Liverpool  (7/7/05)


CL qualifier
Am I right in thinking that our Champions League 2nd leg qualifying match is on 23rd or 24th August? If so, why have we (Sky!) agreed to play at Bolton on Sunday 21st bearing in mind we may have to play this absolutely vital 2nd leg 2 days later and possibly thousands of miles away? Surely top EFC officials must be aware of this... and be prepared to push the Bolton game back to Saturday....
Frank Carse, Bury  (07/07/05)

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the fact that we are unseeded in the Third Round draw means that we play the away leg first, and therefore will be at Goodison for the second leg of the Champions League Qualifier on the date you mention. Is this a problem? I don't think so. It's the price you have to pay for playing in the big-boys' league. — Ed


IKWHNFFW
Perhaps on a day when people are getting blown to bits in London I am showing a lack of perspective here, but how much more disappointment do Evertonians have to take in the transfer market? I have just learnt that Craig Bellamy has rejected us for Blackburn. Blackburn for Christ's sake! Also Sissoko apparently is off to Liverpool though it seems we were a long way off on any deal anyway.

I'm sorry but if we can't attract players when we are in the Champions League then when will we ever be able to? Every potential deal becomes a saga, drawn out over days and normally results in the player going somewhere else. I'm glad we aren't signing Bellamy, though even trying to sign him shows a worrying lack of judgement on Moyes's part. But when we declare an interest in players like Sissoko and then Liverpool just nip in and take him it simply makes the club look second-rate.

Meanwhile we continue to haggle with Mikel Arteta, and with Tranmere Rovers over Ryan Talor, apparently because of Moyes's penny pinching. He, and the club, need to realise that sometimes you have to pay slightly over the odds to get the players you want. This, in turn, lifts the spirits of players and fans alike.

To be honest I'm fed up of reading this IMWT nonsense from Toffeeweb. Yes he is a great coach but shows a worrying lack of nouse and flexibility in the transfer market. As for Kenwright, well Moyes can hardly look to that clown for any better example. Almost a year on from the announcement of the Fortress Fund investment this man hasn't even got the decency to tell us that it will now never materialise. Oh yeah, and still we wait for a new training ground and youth academy to be built.

'In Moyes we trust'? Here's one for you to try; IKWHNFFW, 'In Kenwright we have no fucking faith whatsoever!'
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (7/7/05)

"This, in turn, lifts the spirits of players and fans alike." That line in your diatribe summed it up for me... I had no idea this was the main purpose of bringing in new players! Moyes obviously hasn't twigged to this either — he seems strangley intent on building a team of players he knows he can work with, who will work with him, who will not be asking unreasonably large wages, and who don't cost ridiculous amounts of money EFC cannot afford.

But I'm sure you're not alone in starting to doubt Moyes's abilities in the transfer market. Getting deeply wound up in the small portion of the transfer process we peons actually get to see is always going to raise the blood pressure, but at the end of the day you know you really have no option:
IN MOYES WE TRUST!Editor


Strikers
Glad to see the Bellamy deal has fallen through as I don't believe he would find it easy to fit into our team. I'm not sure why Moyes was going for Bellamy when there are better striking options up front. I think Benni McCarthy would be an excellent signing; he has already won the Champions League which gives him great experience in European competition. If not McCarthy, there is always Robbie Keane....
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (07/07/05)

That's two votes for Benni... I wonder if Moyes has ever hezard of him? — Ed


Blackburn Bigger Than Everton? Eh Craig?
Craing Bellamy reportedley demanded assurances from David Moyes over the future direction of the club and players he planned to recruit before he would decide if Everton were a big enough club for his allegedley lofty ambitions.

Well it looks like we have (thankfully) lost out to those Lancastrian giants Blackburn Rovers. Finally it has been revealed just how astute Craig Bellamy is as a person. It wasn't money after all. It wasn't even European football. The prospect of chasing over-hit passes by (Lily) Savage into the advertising hoardings. To be dodging scything training ground tackles by the cultured Aaron Mokoena & Lorenzo Amorouso. To play in front of the massed Ewood faithful week in week out (average crowd 22,315 — third lowest in Premiership last year). How could we, the mighty Everton ever hope to match that?

Now, David, what about that Benni McCarthy?
Peter  Rea, Bangor, Co. Down  (07/07/05)


Dithering Davie!!!
I don't believe it, Dithering Davie strikes again! He had talks with Bellamy but wasn't sure whether to push the deal through or not. Well never mind! Oh, wonderful. one it's too late: he's off to Blackburn. Fantastic coach he may be but his transfer policy STINKS!!!!!!!!
Lee Bloom, Ipswich  (07/07/05)

Most people were not that keen on Bellamy, who has told one of our sources that Moyes would not guarantee to play him up front as the main striker all the time.

David Moyes clearly has exacting requirements; if he is not happy with a transfer prospect, then he pulls the plug. Call it dithereing if you will. I think he is simply a perfectionist. IMWT! — Editor


Left Wright at home
Just looked at the 'Blues arrive in Austria' article on the official site from yesterday. Martyn, Turner, Ruddy... but no Dicky Wright. Does this mean our illustrious second (now possibly third or fourth) choice keeper is on his way? I haven't seen anything about injury or surgery...
Gareth Lewis, Reading, UK  (06/07/05)


Re Cash
You repeatedly state that without the sale of Rooney we would have gone into administration. Can you just confirm where this information came from?

I don’t remember anything in the published accounts or quotes from the Chairman, Chief Executive, accountants or auditors suggesting such a claim to be factually correct. Or perhaps such a claim should be treated with the same disdain that all transfer rumours are?

Better still, why not claim as fact that you know the red shite can’t build their new stadium without selling Gerrard. Obviously there’s no foundation in that (ahem!), but why let facts get in the way of a malicious statement that supports your pointless and, by now, rather boring campaign of personal attacks?
Geoff Dixon, Merseyside  (05/07/05)

As we've stated before, this is an independent Everton website, and we are giving you an independent perspective that benefits from the knowledge and insight of certain indivduals who are are, or have been at one time or another, privy to information about what is really going on inside the hallowed hallways of Goodison Park. As a punter, you have a choice; accept what the major outlets have to say about such things, or give some consideration to alternative interpretations that generally fit the facts somewhat better.

It is, of course, entirely your choice what you believe. We offer no "proof" of these things; they can have no real proof just because of their very nature. But it is naïeve to expect such things to be validated by Chairman, Chief Executive, accountants or auditors... after all, look what Enron got away with! They have no intention of putting themselves in a bad light or allowing anyone to suggest that their stewardship of the Club is anything other than perfect.

But we are not making this stuff up — why would we? And it is not a campaign of personal attacks — far from it. The personalities involved are almost irrelevant. It is more a counterpoint to the glowing soundbytes. Don't forget, you have the ultimate choice what you believe... — Editor


Gerard.... it makes you think....
If Gerard is rejecting a contract possibly worth £100k across the park, what does this mean for EFC ? Yeah - ok good he's gone (if it happens) and all that - but is it really? Look at the cash they would get for him and for those wages they could afford three Aretas...

IMWT .... sure but if we want to play with the big boys we must start realising what league we're in and want to be in. Sure, it's ridiculous to pay a person that money for doing something they love doing - in fact immoral - but will Moyes's attempts to bring some financial sanity into the Premiership dealings catch on so that the playing field is a level one - I don't think so - and therfore we'll continue to play in a different league.

Being honest, we scraped 4th - and fair play for that - in fact, it was amazing! But as we can already see with the transfer market it's cut throat and obviously suits the bigger clubs. Is it a consolidation to see that the London Oil Consortium are also finding the transfer market tough. No, because they can still buy top players with 1 week's interest from Mr. A's accounts. Sorry for the pessimism but I guess there's not much we can do except enjoy the ride.
Joe Sobe, Hallbergmoos  (05/07/05)


Policies
It is very laudable to have a wages and transfer value limit for players but the net result can be no players in. If you stick rigidly to those policies, word goes round between players... you cannot attract the players you want, and they will have little desire to come to EFC. I have seen it stated on a number of messages that we don't want mercenaries; quite true. But all the players are now mercenaries. The days of players coming through the youth system and staying are really over.

The latest debacle involves getting two players in from Valencia, but they have little desire to leave their club; surely someone should have talked to them before going public!! And what about Arteta? Is it the transfer fee or his wage demands blocking any movement? This is a typical illustration of the point I have made.

Surely it is better to have a few players of real quality that may cost a bit than have many players of dubious quality but cheap.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (04/07/05)


Sympathy for Liverpool?
Do I have sympathy for Liverpool looking like they are losing thier best player in the form of Gerrard? I have heard alot of my mates say that he has not been the same last season playing for Lliverpool like he doesn't want to be there... Looking at what our supporters went through when we lost that greedy bastard Rooney to the Manc Shite I can sorta feel a bit of sympathy for them... but then again...

I can remember going into work on the day all the Rooney situation kicked off and all the Liverpool supporters with their smug grins saying "Can you blame him wanting to play for a bigger club?" and "He wants to play in Europe", and the most I heard was "Rooney was just to big for Everton"... I think that I can now walk into work and say "Well can you blame Gerrard, he wanted to play for a big club, one in the top 4?" I guess we have the last laugh... in your face Liverpool... I think that they are humbled :)
Stelly , Liverpool, UK  (04/07/05)

Whatever... personally, I have no interest in Liverpool. — and you are very lucky I didn't exercise the usual editorial prerogative! — Ed


Ferrari almost!
Newspapers in Italy are convinced that Everton have finalised a deal with AS Roma defender Ferrari and an announcement is imminent. CL quality !
Shaun O'Sullivan, Liverpool  (4/7/2005)

The excitement is positively nerve-jangling!


Cash
Last season we didn't have 2 brass farthings to rub together. We sold Rooney with some of the cash helping overhaul the massive debt (I believe I'm right with that but correct me if I'm wrong).

Since that time, we have spent £6.5M on Beattie, £4M on Davies, £5M on Krøldrup and if we believe all that's written (ho, ho) we might be spending £5M on the lads from Valencia and £5M on Bellamy.... THAT'S A LOT OF CASH.

I know we finished 4th but where has all this come from? It doesnt seem to add up at all to me unless the Fortress Sports Fund appeared while we all slept! Any ideas?????
John Audsley, Leeds  (04/07/05)

I believe that 4th place was worth another £10M alone; and then there is the anticipated £10M second installemnt of the Rooney poittance, due August 1, which I'm sure the Club can borrow against. Talking of which, without the ability to sell him, we would have gone into administration. On the strength of his impending sale during the summer, the club was able to secure (in February!!! -- don't ask!) a short-term loan of £10.4M. This was repaid in September 2004, using the the first installemnt of the Rooney money, £10M paid on 31 August. So yes, you could say it relived our debt burden... on the other hand, it's a debt we would not have been able to accrue without him. But, hey, Blue Bill is a wonderful custodian of the Club, is he not; let's not have anything bad said against the fella!

That covers most of it, I believe... The full budget was quoted earlier as £30M for fees and wages...


Transfer Rubbish
Has anyone else noticed how Everton get linked to millions of players and then out of the blue, sign someone never even mentioned. A good example of this is Per Koldrup. His transfer just came out of the blue. It would appear that now the two never mentioned before from Valencia are set to sign! Well hang on a minute maybe we were never interested in Emre or Parker. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors at Goodison, the press certainly don't. The lesson I have learnt from this pre-season is don't listen to anything the media say; just listen to the man we trust in: David Moyes.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (04/7/05)

Okay, spelling lesson: it's Kroldrup, or more correctly, "Krøldrup" with the funny Scandahoovian ø-thingy.

Then the 90%-rule that applies to transfer rumours: 90% of them are wrong, and will never happen. Trouble is, we peons have no way of knowing which 10% are correct ... until the press conference.


Getting Personal
Could someone please explain to me why it takes footballers so damn long to agree 'personal terms' with their prospective employers? Is there any Toffeweb reader out there who has taken longer than a week to decide whether to accept a job offer from a firm he/she was at least vaguely interested in? Just what is so hard to figure out? Jack Welch took 30 seconds to agree to be CEO of GE. This is an employment contract, Mikel, not the flaming Oslo Peace Accords.

Thank heavens for the agents, I say. If it wasn’t for their patient advice and friendly counsel, helping these poor dears through the regression analysis and advanced calculus of salary negotiations, football would be in a terrible state. Don’t you think?
Michael Coffey, London  (03/07/05)

Ahh... a nice touch of sarcasm there, I do believe. Nice one, Michael. — Ed


APPLICATION TO PLAY IN CLUB
Good day sir,

I am good footballer from nigeria i will like to paly for ur club i will very happy if i can be take for trial i will be expecting ur reply,

urs faithfully.
Ojo Adekunle, Ogadugu, Nigeria  (3/7/05)

No problem, Ojo... except that we will need you to open this bank account for us...


Do it now for Howard
There is no better time to have Howard Kendall's testimonial than now, within the next month. Let's make it a family day while we've got the weather. Better now than sometime in the winter months. There will be enough players turning up to honour our most successful manager. so let's do it now and fill Goodison for Howard.
Colin Malone, Wirral  (3/7/05)

It's funny how everyone is so keen on testimonials... until the day of the game. Then the excuses start to flow: "Last nice Saturday of the summer... must spend time with the family... the wife wanted me to finish that chore..." Even though the idea is sound, poor attendances at Goodison testimonials in recent years are a sad testiment to the real level of enthusiasm among the fans for this out-moded ritual. — Ed


King Howard
I was delighted to read that EFC are to honour Howard Kendall's achievements. I have met Howard on a number of occassions and he is always a gentleman and ready for a chat. We can only dream of where he would have taken us but for the Ban.

If Moysie can take us back to those halcyon days of the 80's (or even close) he will join HK as one of the Everton Greats himself.

On a separate note to Marcus Bent....Marcus be careful what you wish for. We all know that the balls for the RS and EFC are on the radiator warming up for the draw and I assume you are seeing it as better the devil you know. Personally, I will be having a fiver on our drawing them in the qualifier, but I'd rather lose the fiver and beat them at a later stage!

PS Just clearing out some old programmes....anyone remember (or want to forget) Maurice Johnstone? Now he WAS a waste of money!!
Steve Guy, Harrogate  (02/07/05)


Defence
The latest indications suggest that Watson , Pistone and Stubbs are going to leave (if not left already). What we have left is Yobo, Krøldrup , Hibbert , Weir (?) and Naysmith.

We can't obviously survive with just 5 defenders for the whole season (especially with no real back up at both right back and left back). What would be ideal is to sign someone who can play both right back AND left back to provide cover and versatility when needed.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this ? Any candidates ? Rumours ?
bsd lover, Sydney, Australia  (02/07/05)

I would be very surprised if we didn't sign at least one more defender this close season, hopefully a left back! — Lyndon

Lyndon's Comment
I agree with what Lyndon has said but would like to add my own comments. The transfer policy of adding some developed players at 5 million a piece is correct for next season I think.

We badly need some big international players in the team, and need to look to have every position filled by a quality international player. If you look at teams like United and Arsenal and Chelsea I am sure they could fill every position with a capped international player if they wanted.

It's alright to add a few unheard of's now and then but if we are going to get anywhere next season we need to quickly assemble a team of proven quality at a price we can afford, which is what Moysey is doing.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (01/07/05)

Thanks for you comments, Paul. I should probably clarify my position a little. I absolutely agree that we needed to buy top class talent this summer — absolutely no arguments about the acquisition of Krøldrup and Davies or even someone like Robbie Keane. I would just like our scouting network expanded so we could see some other purchases alongside these "marquee names" to add quality to the squad without just filling it out with ageing journeymen like Bolton seem to do, for example — Lyndon

ToffeeWeb Letters from June 2005

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