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ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — September 2005
 

ToffeeWeb Letters from August 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from October 2005

Christ!! Martin O'Niell
The level of thought calling for David Moyes sacking by the people writing in to this website can be best illustrated by Andrew Fiarfoull's suggestion that Martin O'Niell should be considered as a replacement. Nice one! This guy has just left Celtic to care for his seriously ill wife. I can just see O'Niell leaving his wife's bedside to drive down to Goodison, be told that he has no money to spend on improving the squad until next summer... and oh, by the way, we are bottom of the league.

Ah, well never mind there is always a 'foreign manager'. The logic behind this sort of thinking is as lazy as it is baffling. Who on earth do the people calling for Moyes's sacking think is going to come in now and turn the club around? The Moyes-out lobby were noticeable in their absence when we finished fourth last season. I am sure they enjoyed a Moyes 'champagne' moment, the first derby win at Goodison in eight years, and the first win over the Mancs in ten. A season runs from August to May and the people now pulling statistics out of the hat from January to September (some including pre-season friendlies!) with an almost 'I told you so' zeal are misleading themselves and others.

If they want to build arguments out of facts they might be better off considering that since 1990 Everton have only finished in the top eight three times. In his three full seasons (i.e, 38 games not six) Moyes has been responsible for two out of those three. Some of my 'fellow Evertonians' seem to have a very short memory indeed if they consider a change in manager is going to be a quick-fix solution to our problems at present and lead us into some sort of promised land of Champions League football and top-three finishes. Get a grip on yourselves, please. Steve c
Steve Connor, Liverpool  (30/09/05)


Re: Anthony Edwards
I noticed from the article by Anthony Edwards that he gave the following, in 10 games this season there where 16 goals against, an average of 1.6. Since January, 27 games with 45 goals against — an average of 1.6. This suggests that, if we had an effective strikeforce that could score an average of more than 1.6 goals per game our situation would be much improved.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (30/09/05)

How does that square with the miracle of a negative goal difference, then? David Moyes has somehow proved that you don't actually need to match the opposition for goals (on average) to finish ahead of most of them. — Ed


Not sure
I went to the game last night and thought generally we played well. But when the lads were discussing the game after in the car on the way home, what we did think was worrying was that we didn't have a chance in the second half despite having all the possession. We didn't create a lot but then again they did put everyone behind the ball. I still have faith in Moyes but we do need to turn it around quick.
Chris Wraige, Chester  (30/09/2005)

Lack of decent strikers and lack of creativity from midfield means lack of goal chances and lack of goals. But they tried hard, they worked hard, they huffed and they puffed... Well, it just ain't good enough really. But still we must wait until more of Moyes's chosen ones are fit enough to play... wile the injury list just continues to grow... — Ed


Fans Last Night
Oh what a joy to see Goodison Park actually get behind the team for 90 minutes. I haven't seen that since the Man Utd game last season. Maybe it's because the 'doom and gloom merchants' decided to stay in with the missus and watch it on ITV2? Anyway, I'm writing to pay tribute to the rest of us who carried that little bit of hope that last night might just be one of those special European nights. A night that maybe The Big Man would fulfill his 'legend' status.

Alas it was not to be, but I, as well as the other 21,000 will not be too disheartened. If the players can carry the passion and will to win over to the Premiership, then we will certainly improve on the results so far this season. I personally thought the back four of Hibbert, Yobo, Ferrari, and Valente were excellent, Ferrari particularly stood out (although this could be because he is a newcomer to the team). In midfield Arteta was his usual magnificent self (I only wish Tommy was still in our midfield for Arteta to play alongside!). Up front McFadden was busy and Ferguson nothing short of colossal. All-in-all, the players gave everything, the fans gave everything and, although it wasn't the result we wanted, at least the performance was improved. Let's hope it continues.....
Dave Miley, Litherland  (30/09/05)


RE: Bigger Picture
What a load of dross! I got so bored reading the same old crap I just scanned the last couple of paragraphs.... <snip>... read the rest here.
Nick Toye, Chester  (30/09/05)

What indeed was I thinking? We have received so much correspondence over the last few weeks, and I must have been feeling guilty about the reams and reams of stuff I have consigned to the delete button. That and the depression of yesterday's confirmatory exit from Europe... I should obviously have just gone straight to bed! We shall endeavour to be more discriminating in future. — Ed


Still not convinced
Brave effort from the lads last night but I feel we were let down again by the wrong tactical changes on the pitch. Arteta was getting great joy down the right flank and putting in some wonderful crosses; even Hibbert put a nice ball in — perhaps his distribution will improve if he has a good player ahead of him on the right wing.

But then Arteta was moved inside and became ineffective. Similarly, McFadden was reading Ferguson's knock-ons very well but in the latter stages was moved outside and became ineffective. It was a joy to watch big Dunc last night... what a player he is given quality service from the flanks. I really do hope that Moyes takes note and continues to leave Arteta on the right and bombard that penalty area with quality.

On the left side we do have a problem. I am afraid that Kilbane is struggling and has lost all confidence. Arteta's performance from the flank should be the measure for Kilbane. He should forget about trying to beat players and and whip in quality crosses or at least try. Watching Ferguson dash for the penalty box when the ball went out wide was a joy to see. Perhaps Bent and Beattie could take note and try to get on the end of things in the box instead of dropping deep.

But it needs consistency from the flanks...and there are no guarantees with the present bunch. So, all-in-all a good effort but tactical changes in the second half blunted our attacking options and left me disappointed once again.
Stephen Callaghan, Liverpool  (30/09/05)

I can't bring myself to feel any enthusiasm for a reversion to this Route One rubbish. Yes, it was probably our only option given the personnel problems, but reliance on Big Dunc at this stage is not going to get us anywhere. It's going to be one long hard struggle... Ed


Getting down to business
Now the `great European adventure` is over and last season`s achievements are but a memory, perhaps we can get down to the business in hand. For most of us, I suspect, that means achieving a place in the top half of the table and nothing less! For Bullshit Bill (aka Rob Fox) it probably means avoiding relegation and further acclamation of his great Everton hero, `Moysey` as per the end of Season 2003-04.

So let`s get ready for the ride... Methinks it will be a rocky road but we`ve all been there before so I`m sure we`ll see it through. Oh and, by the way, the correct spelling of what constitutes `the management` and certain players at Goodison these days is "pantyWASTE"!
David Hall, Taunton  (30/09/05)


Slightly Annoyed
Heart? Yes, Passion yes? Someone who can create a goal? not really! Someone who can score? Hell no! Still not convinced, Davey boy!
Richard Jones  (30/9/05)

Err... Ferguson? Cahill?? I thought they did it twice??? — Ed


We tried and failed in Europe
We can dream of what might have been... but now, faced with the harsh reality of Premiership survival, do the players and staff have the bottle? Or, more importantly, the brains for the battle? Since the latter half of last season, many backroom and onfield weaknesses have been exposed. The worst of all is a total lack of imagination going forward. Every run and pass is so bloody predictable. Tim Cahill is able to break that mold but his late runs have now become part of a predictable pattern.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (30/09/05)


It's only a game
Tonight I stayed at home to watch our game — unlike previous evenings when I sat in the local, beer in hand willing a result. Yes, tonight I swore at the TV, complained and moaned, but it was all put into perspective when I watched Mikel Arteta go into a fit after he was taken out in an ugly challenge. Someone across the park said football was not a matter of life and death; it's more important... Well, IT'S NOT, it's only a game and it was with relief that I have read that Mikel is ok. After all our turmoil and bad results tonight one thing mattered: a young man in a neck brace on a stretcher His welfare, not the Uefa Cup or what we have won or lost. At the end of the day, it's only a game.
Paul Cuffe, Ireland  (29/09/05)


Post-Moyes
As each game passes the decline of EFC continues unabated, I will not dwell on the latest disaster, since it was generally predicted anyway. The only thing that upset me was the bloody bookies trying to get naive punters to squander their hard earned spondoolies on EFC winning 4-0.

So let's look forward to the future without Moyes. A number of new managers are starting to be mentioned; my own favourite (just to start the ball rolling is Martin O'Neill and I just plucked that one from the top of my head). We need a manager who has plenty of Premiership and European experience, and understands the transfer market fully. Overall my instinct now is probably a foreign manager since they seem to do better in the Premiership, and preferably not another Scot since we have had two who have not won anything.

I believe strongly that the headhunting probably has already begun and we need to appoint the new guy ASAP. I would like to thank Moyes for doing his best and wish him well in his next job. Finally some basics which Moyes I'm afraid has not grasped:

1 The idea of football is the side that wins puts the ball in the back of the net;
2 Football is a game of two halves

I am looking forward to EFC being very successful in the future; reorganisation required instantly.
Andrew Fairfoull  (30/09/05)


Only one thing that matters
Back from the game and I really wanted to comment on our approach to European footy. However, my misgivings on DM will wait for another time as my thoughts tonight are with no one but Mikel. I hope the prognosis on Pravda is correct, but it looked a bad un to me. All the best Mickey lad
Ken , Buckley  (30/9/05)


On the way now!
Great effort from the lads tonight and the win will do wonders for the team`s confidence. Hope Moysey starts with Beattie and Dunc up front on Sunday and we go all out for a win, just as we did tonight. We`re on our way now!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (29/09/05)


Mission accomplished
The way we as a club have conducted ourselves so far this year has come home to roost. Try as we did tonight, the lack of quality in all departments was there for all to see. How the fuck a team that at times resembles a pub side beats us so easily over two legs is an absolute disgrace.

Some fans will no doubt try to take comfort from tonight's victory, but I don't think 45 decent minutes is enough to start popping the Moet. Moyes is the architect of his own downfall. He has an uncanny ability to spot shit players and he signs them whenever he can.

Kevin Kilbane is a prime example. What other Premier League side would he get a game for? Yet, week-in, week-out, there he is in an Everton kit! Tonight's display from him was farcical.

Kenwright has already told us he has budgeted for Europe so what the fuck now. How will we balance the books? We are well and truly in the shit, going nowhere, with an average side. I just hope I am wrong because we have become accustomed to losing recently; we are used to that .

What really hurts more than anything is that now, whenever you mention Everton, people just laugh. The only ones not in on the joke are the poor bastards who watch this shite every week. Someone somewhere please do something, we are sinking fast but no body is launching the lifeboats.
Tony Marsh, Huyton Liverpool  (29 09 2005)


If only...
If only we had held on to a 1-1 in the first leg. Not a bad write up on the game on the homepage but you failed to mention that Ferguson punched the Dinamo player after he spat right in his face, the referee failed to deal with the issue for a good 3 minutes after despite the linesman flagging, so a two-way walk — not just Dunc if you please.

Other points: great team display and Phil Neville I am certain should be given the captain's armband on a permanent basis; great commanding display. Joe Yobo had a pearl of a game as did Arteta and Cahill; Kilbane is living on borrowed time with lead legs; Valente actually tackled but still pulled out of far more than he put in — I think 'pantywaist' was the best phrase so far! McFadden seems to have found his niche role and played great football again.

Worrying points: how not-arsed does Bent look? Towards the end of the game, with Bent stood still, Dunc ran the length of the pitch to the Bullens Road corner to make a crucial tackle for a throw in; what was Bent doing? Beattie seems to be resting well during his absence and am sure is now friendly with every fast-food joint in Merseyside looking at the size of him; even on Question of Sport he looked fat... Can you not exercise any part of your body at all with a sore toe? How did a deliberate elbow to the base of the skull which could potentially sever Arteta's spinal cord and cause him to convulse/fit not warrant a straight red card?

The referee had lost the game in the second half; the Dunc punch, the blatant assault on Arteta, each sub carrying 30 seconds of added stoppage time... god knows how many feigned injuries to Dinamo players collectively only got 6 minutes at the end. Arteta's injury alone must have been 6 minutes getting the spinal board out and carrying him off.

My final comment isn't an original one; it was raised by a caller on the Radio City phone in on my way home. Wyness called every fan to dig deep and turn up to support the team. Given the first leg, the weather, the price and the fact it was on TV, I think the turn out and resultant atmosphere was excellent. Pity that wasn't reflected in the Director's area which was a ghost town with a pitiful take up on seats. Another great PR exercise by our caring money-grabbing management? Would love to hear fat-boy's comment on that but chances are we never will.

If we can only play the next 30 odd games like that we'll be safe as houses — let's hope Arteta gets well soon.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (30/09/05)

Unsie (on comms), who was watching Ferguson at the time, probably couldn't see the gobbing. It will be duly recorded. Good report. — Ed


Just as you thought it couldn't get any worse...
I'm more worried now after the Bucharest game than ever. I know there's going to be all sorts of platitudes about "battling blues" and giving 120% effort and so forth, but the grim reality is that, for 25 full minutes —close to a third of the match — we had on the field at the same time no less than five - count 'em - five recognized 'goal scorers' Okay, I use the term loosely: Bent, McFadden, Beattie, Ferguson, and Cahill.

During that 25-minute period we had the will, the incentive and the initiative. We attacked, had all kinds of possession, but could not find the net once against a team of second-rate Balkan bog-bandits who would have a hard time wining promotion to the Premiership in an easy year.

I fear something is going on behind the scenes of which we know nothing, and which is destroying our confidence, cohesion and form. Beyond that, the technical ineptitude of Bent, Kilbane and Beattie is truly shocking at this level. Ominously, their skills are well suited to the Championship.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (30/08/05)


Some faith restored
At last, we are starting to see the Everton that came fourth last season. A truely magnificent performance first half, especially from Big Dunc & Cahill. Even McFadden seemed to have shaken off the legacy of previously poor performances.

I was impressed with Fergusson's selflessness from the crosses, always laying on the ball for someone else when out of position. Cahill played his socks off, despite not getting the rest period he so deserves. Arteta? The guy was brilliant, holding up the ball well & running rings around the defence.

Just two major problems remain. Kilbane & Valente. Sorry, but they just don't fit into the current team. Poor passing, bad tackles just won't help the cause. Bent? I know he tries hard but he just can't score goals. I'm afraid he's got to go.

Beattie? Didn't see enough of him. The substitution came too late for him to get into his stride. Just one Dynamo Bucharest player to mention. Plesan. He should be charged with assault for that tackle. I just hope Everton put in a complaint with FIFA. The guy should be shot at dawn.

My fading faith has been somewhat restored. If we play like that in the Premiership, we'll soon be back in mid-table. I'm a lot happier after the performance tonight. Well done Everton. Keep it up.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (29/09/05)


The poll
Should Everton sack David Moyes? Behave yourselves! Anyone who thinks that we should needs their heads examined. Fickle beyond belief. Thankfully we have a Chairman who will back our manager who IS our most valuable asset.
Dave Jeanrenaud, Liverpool  (29/09/2005)

Dunno if you've noticed, fella, but a significant number of your fellow Evertonians are of a different opinion.


I'm really excited.
Going by the outpourings of our gladiators on the official website, this is going to be one hell of a game. I for one will be glued to the screen and will have the champers on ice ready for the final whistle, just in case.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (29/09/05)


David Moyes
Those fans calling for Moysie to be sacked need their heads checking. This is the man who lead us to 4th place last year, came in as an inexperienced manager and made us forget about the dire 'Smith Era'. He transformed our fortunes on a shoestring, has had to contend with our 'marvelous' Board of Directors - by the way Mr Kenwright, I too am an Evertonian with no idea how to run a football club, is there a place on the Board for me? - the last thing Moysie needs is 40,000 Evertonians on his back every week. Let's get behind the team and cheer them on as we play our way out of trouble. Come on you Blues!!!
Mark Langley, Nottingham  (29/09/2005)


Damn statistics
Just thought I'd drop in these statistics (sorry):
Under Moyes, we've scored 4 goals in a match only four times, in something like 150 games.
Since the start of 2004-05 season, we've only managed to score more than 1 goal in a match 15 times, from 53 matches.
I'll leave the analysis of this to the experts...
Dan Kemp, Bristol  (29/09/05)


Shut up and Show!
All those players on the official website who have been vowing they're ready to turn the tide, Osman, Beattie and the like - heed the title of this letter. YOU'VE SAID IT BEFORE YOU KNOW AND SHOWN NADA...!!!!!
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, SA  (29/09/05)


Great Website!
Just wanted to say that this site is one of the best unofficial football sites there is - certainly one which dosen't require 'membership' or other such nonsense. Although I am a committed 'armchair' follower of Everton from Glasgow, the main source of information I have on the true goings-on at Goodison are through your informative, amusing and well-designed site. Kepp up the good work. 'Mon the Toffees!
Graham Crowe, Glasgow  (29/9/05)


Convinced
It really pains me to say this but I am now finally convinced that DM should go. I was virtually sure during the 2003-04 season but now my mind is made up and it hurts. I could harp on about transfer dealings, player unrest etc but my main complaint is that throughout the last 3 seasons I can honestly say that that, apart from 2 or 3 games, I have not enjoyed any of the football we have played. It's been based mainly on energy and agression and most of the football we play is poor. How many times have we scored 3 or more goals? And the simple fact of the matter is that we don't create proper chances - so it wouldn't matter whether we had a new striker or not.

I am of the opinion that DM is not capable of producing a good footballing side regardless of transfer funds and whilst he is at the helm we will go through the current traumas again and again. If he stays, I don't think we'll go down but in the long term I predict more grief. I really hope I am proved wrong.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (29/09/05)


Brief Thoughts from Scotland
1. Fat chance tonight against Dinamo, sorry. Don't think a two-goal win is out of the question, but given the defensive and attacking frailties I can't see the four being pulled back. Celtic almost managed it but Everton will need luck tonight as well. Hasn't been too much of that this season.

2. Regardless of results, Moyes should not be fired until December at least, as he signed the players who are underperforming. Not much point giving him the money then the sack. Luck will eventually go our way again, and there is no way Everton are one of the 5 poorest sides in the league. I have confidence that it can be pulled round.

3. No point loaning McFadden back to Scotland, he waltzed through the SPL defences and will do so again - it is no good for teaching him to play against better defences. I think his best position is that which 'he who is no longer spoken of' now plays for MU - minus the long-range shooting and strength, obviously. But then there are even more midfielders and less strikers! AAARGH!

4. Playing Ferguson with a small partner and lumping balls forward to him is a trend with which I am all too familiar, being a Scot. I was glad when he 'retired' in the late 90s as the national team's tactics had become one sad desperate hit-and-hope routine. Sounds familiar to weary Smith-era Evertonians? Thought so. Big Dunc has his uses but not as a target man, not at his age, not in the Premiership...
Graham Crowe, Glasgow  (29/09/05)


Contract was renewed
Just for those who have forgotten, last season Moyes was doing a fantastic job and many were worried he would be poached by another club. This was thought as inconceivable so Moyes was offered a longer contract. Therefore more money to pay out by the club if he were to be relieved from the payroll. He's unlikely to go in the near future.
Jon Taylor, London  (29/09/05)


Matter of Time
Worried as I am about our current plight, I can't justify jumping on the 'Moyes Out' bandwagon just yet. DM should be given at least 6 games with a fully fit squad to see what happens and what tactics are adopted. Most of the views I have read believe with some of the lads currently keeping Mick Rathbone busy (and James Beattie) either the 3-5-2 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 would work... and that's when DM will earn his money.

Speaking of cash - in response to the Sunday Mirror article on Kenwright's £20M... would you trust anyone who spelled half our players names wrong?
Ciaran Armstrong, Brighton  (29/09/05)

Er... sadly, many of the fans who write in to the mailbag spell the names of our players wrong... does that devalue their opinions too? — Ed


Richard Wright
Now I already know people will be groaning already at the mention of his name, but did we not dramaticially improve our fortunes the first season we signed him? If my memory serves me well, his first season was the one were we only just missed out on the Uefa Cup, he had a great season and big nige was only brought in as cover. There is no denying how good Nige was last season, but am I the only one who thinks maybe he could have done better in a few of the goals we have conceeded this season, particularly in the first Bucharest game?

I think the whole team needs a shake up, and it has to start at the back, and David Weir has been shown up for what he is as well a few times — an ageing defender. Anyway, food for thought... and of course COYB!!
Paul Gittens, Runcorn  (29/09/2005)


Just can't resist it ! Just got to go
Two weeks ago, I was determined I would not spend £20 as a season-ticket holder to watch a pile of shite who had no idea how to pass, tackle or score. Then the price went up to £25... what a bloody cheek that they would charge an extra fiver even to season ticket holders let alone other loyal fans lucky enough not to have forked out ££££ for an 05-06 season ticket.

Up until tonight I have had phone calls, text messages, e.mails, voice mails and finally one of Dunc's carrier pigeons sent a message... all urging me to think again and go and support them. How can I not go? It's like not going to see a close friend in their hour of need. We've all had our good times with Everton, admittedly so with a much better team and more passionate players but I just know that if, by that slimmest of slim chances we do get a 4-0 result, it would compare to me not being at the birth of my kids.

So all those season ticket holders and supporters, I urge you to go. I repeat that before tonight not even the resurrection of Dixie Dean would have got me to Goodison, but tonight something has just clicked and I'll take an obstructed view if I have to. Mad? Certainly it's all about being a Blue: you don't choose.. you are chosen. Lets try and get some pride back.
Thought I Was stubborn, Lancs  (28/09/05)


Not Like The Rest
'In Moyes we trust' it might not be any longer. But how about 'In Moyes we respect his expertise and decision making and OK he makes a few mistakes but everyone makes a few mistakes, especially when they are trying to improve things and in general he's been great for the club'. Not as catchy I grant you but, come on, we're Evertonains. Aren't we supposed to be different, more real, than the jonny come lately, 30-second memory fans who casually follow other clubs? At times, we've played some snappy footy this season. A bit of defensive discipline and a few more fit players and it will come good. Mark my words. We can say goodbye to a top 6 finish of course...
Andy , London  (28/09/05)


Going a bit overboard
I think alot of people are going a bit overboard about ourcurrent predicament. If you look outside the top three everyone can beat anyone. If you win a couple of games you're right up there as no teams outside the 'big 3' seem to go on any type of a good run. Give it a few weeks and we'll be laffin.
Jay , Bebington  (28/09/05)

Ah that's great news. We've all been going frantic waiting for someone to tell us everything was going to be okay. First it was Moyes, then it was the players who kept telling us how they are going to turn things around, then it was Wyness telling us how stupid we were to worry about losing a few games. And now you tell us we are going a bit overboard? This is such a massive relief. No need to wory any more then, eh? — Ed


Pitch Question
We are two guys in Denmark discussing whether the pitch at Goodison Park is natural grass or artificial? Can you help us answering this question?
Steen Petersen, Denmark  (28/9/05)

Modern pitches are natural grass, but reinforced with nylon or plastic thread that is stitched into the turf to strengthen it and prevent it from breaking up. — Ed


Time!
Calling for Moyes's head at this stage of the season is ridiculous!! If everton had just kicked off a game and went a couple of goals down after 10 mins, would you immediately think to who we have on the bench to change things around? Or would you wait until the side settles down and wait to see what happens by the second half?? It's the same principle with Moyes. Give the man at least until the New Year!!
Steve Wolfe, Liverpool  (28/09/05)


Twelth Man
I thought the club had lost touch with it's core fanbase with the Villarreal ticket fiasco. After deciding to charge £25 a ticket for the Bucharest match, I'm now totally convinced they have.

A packed and lively Goodison is a fearful place for any visiting team. Just remember Man Utd last season and how it spurred the boys to a vital win. It would have been interesting to see how a team playing a long way from home and used to playing in front of 16,000 supporters would have reacted to an intimidating atmosphere. Now we will never know because the club consider that despite the small matter of a 4-goal deficit and the match being live on ITV2, we are all still willing to stump up £25. Time for the club to take a reality check.
Andrew Wilson, Chester  (28/09/05)


Turn on, tune in... drop out
Why are some of our fans worried about the Bucharest game? What fucking good would it do if we did stay in the Uefa Cup? Given the current state of affairs at the club, we need more games like Kate Moss needs more coke binges.

We need to put our farcical Euro misadventure behind us and concentrate on getting out of the shit we are in. Nothing else matters. Do we really want more worldwide humiliation every couple of weeks?

To play in Europe at any level, you need to posses certain qualities: flair, pace, solid defence, goalscoring capabilities... everything we don't have in abundance.

Moyes has fucked up bigtime in the transfer market, who else would pay £3.5M for Davies when no one else was bidding for him and Spurs wanted shut any way.

When did Fergie, Wenger, or Mourhino or any other good manager sign 31-year-old defenders? Strikers who are nearly 30 for £6.5M??? They all look for young players with pace who will improve as they go along. DM signs washed-up players with no improvement left in them and wonders why we struggle.

Let's get this non-event out of the way on Thursday, and get to Man City in the early hours of Sunday morning and try to score a goal, one fucking goal... please!

This club is driving me up the wall.
Tony Marsh, Huyton Liverpool  (28 09 2005)


Anything can happen
Anything can happen in football. If Liverpool can win the Champions League, we can beat Bucahrest 4-0. Come on blues, let's get behind the team; 'We can do it!!'
Diehard Blue, Gwladys Street  (28/09/05)


Let's be sensible
Keith Wyness is right: all sensible Evertonians realise that the team`s present position is down to bad luck with injuries and a temporary loss of form. In an ideal world, I suspect David Moyes would see his first choice team as something like: Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Kroldrup, Neville; Carsley; Davies, Cahill, Arteta, Van der Meyde; Beattie, playing in last season's successful 4-1-4-1 formation. The reality is that he has been unable to field a side anything like this and until that happens most of us will reserve our judgement. Relegation? You're havin` a laff!
Richard Dunn, Formby  (28/9/05)


Perhaps DM has lost the plot
Cannot believe Moyes saying there is no need for changes. In which world is he living? If you lose 20 out of the last 30 games, and still insist things are fine, in some countries that would be enough to get you committed. There is a need for a change, and, erm, maybe there is an obvious candidate to start with.

I guess to be fair to DM, he has tried to make some footballing signings: the likes of Van der Meyde, and attempting to get Owen, Parker, Bellamy. That would have made a very different team. But since he has not managed to get them, and currently things are clearly not working out, there has to be a throw of the dice. Surely?
Braam Cupido, Gaborone  (20/09/05)


Not Quite!
Adrian Francis, Warrington (27/09/05) — Remembering the Bayern Munich game is all very well, but, this team is nowhere near the standard of the '85 team. As I have told my mates at work, if they are watching the game, "If you see 3 people in the Top Balc on Thursday, it's me the lad and the missus. I can't see anyone else turning up!" We are a fickle bunch, are we not?

I am one who is calling for Moyes head to be served up on a silver platter. (It's the only silver we will see this season!) I have read the posts of those of the opposite opinion and I respect it, and I want to agree with it, but I can't. There are a couple of people to whom I said this at the end of last season: "Moyes has taken us as far as he can, it's time to get rid and say thanks."

He has done his job but that job should now pass on to someone who can take us to the next stage, something that is beyond Moyes's capability. I think the world of Moyes, believe it or not, but I have Everton's best interests at heart. Sadly, I think we have left it too late — as this early season form is showing.

Moyes' school report will read: "Tried all term, to the best of his ability, but needs to try that bit harder. Unfortunatley this teacher is of the opinion that this term was a bit beyond him. He is a popular boy who hides his shortcomings, to the extent that he is hoodwinking his peers. A nice lad who will do well in a lower class." 6/10.

No doubt I will get bereated for this but the facts speak for themselves. 16 defeats in 22 games. One goal scored this season. Coffee, Up, Smell, Wake, The, And. Rearrange!
Mark Brennan, Lancs  (28/09/05)


Nil Satis be Optimistic
Let us all look at the big picture and believe "THE UNTHINKABLE" can really happen. Nobody expected Bucharest to defeat the mighty blues, let alone thump us us 5-1, so if they can pull off a shock, then so can we (hopefully)!!,after all everyone has written us off and I believe we can use use this to our advantage and create a "Goodison night to remember".

Firstly I expect us to be leading 3-0 on 70 mins and the tension filled atmosphere will only spur the "BLUE BOYS" on, James McFadden will be penetrating the Bucharest defence, the tireless Tim Cahill will be covering every blade of grass in search of glory. The goodison crowd seem to expect defeat when "BIG DUNC" rises at the far post like an "Atlantic salmon" to power the Blues in to the group stages of the Uefa Cup.

Thank you for listening, as "Joseph" would say: "I HAD A DREAM".
Franky Burrage, Northwich  (27/09/05)


Cloud Cuckoo Land
I am not rushing out saying Moyes should go or that he should stay, this mailbag is not about that.

Moyes has stated for this season he will continue to use the system that got the club to 4th last year and 7th the year before. In that case, can he explain what system he was using when we accumulated our lowest ever points total of 39 and were nearly relegated in the sesason in between? Perhaps that slipped his mind.

We have played 6 games and got 3 points. It is often considered to avoid relegation a team has to get 40 points, which means we have to get 36 from 32 games, an average of 1.1 points per game. That average is higher than we have been achieving since January when arguably things started going downhill. So far our average is 0.5 points per game.

Of course, statistics can be misleading; a few wins can change matters but surely when looking at the next 3 fixtures there is cause for concern. Those fixtures on paper look very dificult and if we get no result out of them, then that is 9 games played which is nearly a quarter of the fixtures.

Okay I know you will say it is to early to look at this but there are fans who think it will be fine once we get to January and sign say Rob Keane but how many games will be left by then and what position will the club be in?

I hope the system starts coming good for DM and the current injured players come good when fit before January and no more injuries.
Robert  Jarvis, Burnley  (27/09/05)


Wood and Trees
I can't believe the fans whom want DM sacked. What utter rubbish were they watching before DM came to Everton?

Get a grip and understand, when you the "informed pundit" points out rather obvious problems, try coming up with a solution. Slating signings and saying who we should have signed after the event is punditry that can be mastered by an infant. Moyes has taken us to 7th and 4th - we had a dodgy season 2 years ago when we were disgraceful.

How many people could point out what DM was doing right last year? "Well we had Graveson" is not an answer, it's crap. Graves was good for 1½ years of the time he was here. The rest of the time he showed small glimpses of his talent. Moyes got the best out of him, Moyes was forced by let him leave - we got £2.5M for a player with 5 months left on his contract. How much was Arteta? £2.2M?

Players come and go as do managers but I do not want DM to go. We are lucky to have him. He may have made a few mistakes but he deserves more from his players than he is getting - they have not yet got to grips with the European cup defeat and nor have we.

You go out there and and work hard if you've just had a massive dissapointment like the one Everton have had. They worked really hard and now have to start all over again. Moyes is having to start all over again as well, and he must be getting pretty fed up with it.
David O'Brien, Southend  (27/09/05)


Europe
Give the youth players a chance to play in the Uefa Cup. Would be valuable experience and they deserve it more than the waste of space that played in the last run out. I'd really rest players for this one. Need to concentrate on the league now.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (27/09/05)


Cahilled out?
Did anyone find it ironic that the official site published a story about Tim Cahill's upcoming involvement in Australia's world cup qualification when Moyes has been hampering on about Tim needing a rest?? Just what the doctor ordered!!
Scotty Robinson, London  (27/09/2005)


Time to bring Tommy home
The driving heart went out of the team when Tommy G went to Real Madrid. The man was magic and would have pushed Lampard for Player of the Year. The news from Madrid last weekend was that he had a crap game and was substituted at half-time. Does he really fit with the Galacticos culture and all the bull that goes with it? One English journalist(Des Kelly, Daily Mail) saw the game and wrote that he thought Tommy's number is up there. Well, honorable failure is no disgrace, so let's get him home and, along with Carlsey, put some guts back into this team.
Maurice Brennan, Cheltenham  (27/09/05)


Ticket Prices
Would it not have made sense for the club to reduce the very high prices for the Bucharest game? Surely more fans would turn up if the prices were £15. Although we are all optomistic about winning 4 - 0, having a full Goodison Park would give us such a physcologicial advantage. You only need to remember Bayern Munich in '85.
Adrian Francis, Warrington  (27/09/05)


The Proven Goalscorer
I reckon that Moyes was right to bide his time for a striker. Of those we chased, the only striker that I am disappointed we didn't sign was Robbie Keane; he would be the perfect number 9 for us. I believe we were close on the last day and that he is still eager to sign in Jan.

The right players were not available at the right price and we dont want to waste another £6M on another overrated player. A fully fit Beattie should get goals... but when?

Has Bent's attitude on the pitch totally changed? Does he seem more lacklustre? Perhaps he knows he is on his way out and is showing the attitude that has seen him have so many clubs! I don't find it a coincidence either that the performances slumped when the new contracts are given out.

As Evertonians, we are what fans should be! We are there for the long haul! I honestly believe that in Moyes we will get there, maybe not this season, but it will come. He deserves more respect than what we are giving him, It means just as much to the man himself to do well for the School of Science and a lot of clubs would kill for a manager like that.
Michael Mulhall, Bootle  (27/9/05)


At least I'm not as stupid as you
If Mr Wyness is so desperate for a full house and ‘noisy crowd cheering us on’ why the hell has he set the prices at £20 for season tickets and £25? How hard would it have been after the first leg to reduce prices to a tenner and told those already with a ticket to keep their stub and we’ll give you some money back? Not a bad idea eh? Especially coming from someone who’s ‘stupid’!
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (27/09/05)


The blameless player flies over the cuckoo's nest.
The one player who has stood out as being completely blame free in all this season's ineptitude (aside from those who haven't yet kicked a ball) is big Nige...

Desparate times call for desparate measures though and it may sound like I'm taking happy pills but I say drop him... at least for two-games... it's not his fault that he is behind a woeful defence and admittedly he has made a couple of terrific saves this season (kept us in both Villarreal ties) but perhaps he is just a little too old now to pull off those wonder saves that he was managing last year... at least not as consistently this time around? Perhaps this is an area that hasn't received any attention due to the lack of onion-bagging at the other end... and perhaps this is the margin of difference?

Mental though it sounds - give Dickie Wright one last chance in a single game to prove that he can be our first-choice keeper and if he blows it (as we know he can) then throw Turner in and forever consign Wright to his place alongside Brett Angell and Mike Milligan in the worst EFC side of all-time...

I am a firm believer that one great save can turn a match (as proved by the Wigan keeper at the weekend) ... Wright is a confidence player and if he has one outstanding game it could spell brighter horizons for both him and EFC as a whole (look at flapper Carrol's change of fortunes now he is at West Ham). I have no doubt that both Wright and Turner are more agile than Martyn and therefore (at least theoretically) more capable of that brilliant match-winning save that we need so much.

Suffice to say that one of those outfield muppets still has to fluke a goal... but there has been enough said about this already.. I must go now as the nurse is coming back to put me in my straight-jacket... COYB!!
Matt Willey, Northants  (26/09/05)

We need some fresh ideas, Matt, and you delivered. Nice job... Ed


Body language.
Towards the end of the game on Saturday, Wigan had an attack on the Everton goal. It was cleared desperately by the defence and I looked towards the dug-out area. Paul Jewell was bawling at his players for not doing better and giving out orders. Moyes, on the other hand stood arms folded and silent. Surely Moyes should have been bawling at the players as we were under attack?

Now this worries me; does he know what's going on? Are his plans not good enough? Does he have it in him to improve us? Half-time tactical changes by the opposition leave us baffled. They up the pace and we are lost. We are chased down and forced to hoof the ball up field. Or, are we just poor that we don't know how to play the ball out.

It's early on but worrying. All I want to know is: Does David Moyes know what to do?. On what I've looked at this season, I see no evidence that we will improve. I ask questions now rather than March/April.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (27/09/05)

The optimist says Yes; the pessimist says No. Hope this helps. — Ed


I don't get it
My question to contributors to phone-ins, websites, newspapers etc. who start by saying it would be wrong for Moyes to go then spend the rest of their contribution waxing lyrical over all the things he is doing wrong... it don't make sense. See you Thursday
Ken , Buckley  (26/9/05)

I think it do, Ken. Those people are realistic enough to acknowledge that Moyes is making mistakes. But they are sensible enough to know that getting rid at this satge would be plain stupid. Get yer'ed around that little puzzler... Ed


Moyes to prevail
So we're back in familiar territory with suggestions Moyes has lost the dressing room. Of course things are never quite as they seem. It was inevitable our form would suffer in what is a period of transition. More painful than I'd imagined and yes Moyes is not helping himself with some of his team selections.

Our current midfield is too lightweight. The return of Carsley and hopefully Kroldrup will no doubt add more steel and pace; I guess we'll all have to be a little more patient. Given time, Moyes will put things right but the fans will have to resist the temptation of going over the top in their criticism — however frustrating things become.
Gerry W, London  (26/09/05)


No fat ladies yet
It can’t believe things are that bad. We've certainly been through worse over the last decade or so. It just might be that, by the time Van der Meyde, Krøldrup and Carsley get back, the other new lads will have settled in. We’ll have thrown about eight games away meantime, but Uefa Cup qualification (and even the Champions League) won’t be too far out of sight and we’ll have a better side than last season. 4 or 5 wins and a draw or two and we’re back in it.

I’m not a Beattie fan or ever expected more than 15 goals a season from him (as we were warned by Southampton supporters before we signed him), but he might just turn it round and prove me wrong with some decent service from VDM and Arteta. Come on you blues: give the lads and Moyes a bit more time. Presumably we haven’t even seen the first-choice team yet so who knows, maybe we’ll be havin a laugh again next May. It might be at my optimism, but then again…
Paul Lowrie, Barcelona  (26/09/05)


Stupidity
Wyness is running his mouth of at how stupid the Everton fans are. I thought it was the manager's job to tell Kenwright the players he wanted; as we all know, quite a few players slipped through the net. We are all blaming David Moyes but it was Wyness's fault that the paperwork was not in place for these players to be signed as other clubs sniped in and took them from under David Moyes grasp so maybe the buck should stop with Wyness and perhaps we should be calling for his head. Wyness should not be going to the papers and slagging of Everton fans for being stupid when in actual fact he is STUPID! He should be made to retract his comments and apologise to the Everton fans and Kenwright should be putting him in his place, after all he is only a paper boy.
Edmund Robson, Bangor N Ireland  (26/9/2005)

Bit of a rant there, Edmund. The other story goes like this: Moyes dithered; Moyes changed his mind; Moyes pulled the plug. I don't know chapter and verse, but that's what I understand caused a lot of problems with the transfers this summer. — Ed


Re: Poll Results
A massive 87% said in your last poll that signing a striker would cost us this season. I was one of the 13% who said it wouldn't.

While I agree that not signing a forward was a huge mistake, I don't belive that is simply our only problem. We are lacking in certain positions over the park.

To start with, full-back is a big concern this season with Hibbert out of form and Pistone's unfortunate injury. Even his most outspoken critics (worst player to ever wear the shirt, etc..) have to agree that it has caused a serious disruption to our defence. Valente, bless him, has been thrown in the deep end without armbands. Ferrari has barely played in a year and Kilbane ain't no left back.

Secondly, there seems very little creativity in central areas. I was hoping we would sign another midfielder like Arteta who can pass the ball. The jury is still out on Davies but in reality he was signed to fill the problem right-side position.

Thirdly, left-midfield. Killer looks lead-legged this season and McFadden, who tries his best isn't cut out to play that position. Van der Meyde has been signed to cover both wings but isn't gonna be properly fit until November at best.

Unless Moyes can conjour up a team that can cope in these critical positions, I can't see the rot stopping. However, the signs at Wigan on Saturday were, I believe good (considering some woeful performance of late). Jimmy Mac up front playing for his career is refreshing to see. If only Bent could pull himself out of his slump then I think we could start firing again.

Come January, let us all hope we sign 2 new strikers with no-one leaving (though at this rate we may well be selling to fund purchases). Until then it's up to Moyes alone.

Who in their right mind would let their manager spend £20M then sack him 6 games into the season? Give the players he signed time to get fit first; stop ranting and look at the team with a clear perspective. Moyes isn't above criticism for sure but he certainly doesn't deserve the sack. Not yet anyway ;)
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (26/09/05)


Thursday's match
Yet another cock-up by the mandarins running our beloved club:

  • They are budgeting for 15,000 and have sold 13,000 tickets so far. Apparently the Police will not allow walk-ups on the night.
  • Almost all the corporate table-holders have refused to pay the £94 per head for the game and as a result most of the lounges will be closed.
  • In addition, although season-ticket holders are paying up to £25 per ticket, Everton told all the staff at Saturdays match that they could buy up to 10 tickets for £10 each.
What price do the club place on the value of loyalty!!!! It will only play into Bucharest's hands if the stadium is 1/3 full, and it would be more acceptable if they gave the remaining tickets to local schools etc to generate some fervour on the evening, and let's face it, we will need it!
David Currie, Liverpool  (21/09/05)


Worry ...
I am afraid, very afraid ... I hate saying this, but we are in serious danger of being relegated this season. No, I don’t believe I am being fickle. One goal in 6 league games, and only 3 points from a possible 18 is catastrophic. I have not trawled the stat books, but I really wonder how many teams have shared such an ignominious start to a season AND avoided relegation. A handful perhaps. Roll on the next four games ... If we go down at Man City, White Hart Lane (last won there when Lineker got the winner) and St Andrews, and get beaten by Chelsea at home (most likely) then we will have 3 points from a possible 30. We will then be bottom of the league and in an absolute nightmare of a relegation fight.

How many teams have been bottom at the start of Nov, and stayed up? That list is even smaller, I suspect ...

All I want is consistent mid-table finishes in the prem. Most Blues I know were laughing at me for this ‘humble ambition’. I’m sick of the relegation fights. I don’t want 4th, then down. WHY CAN’T we just hold steady in the mid-able for a few years? We SHOULD now be achieving that given the amount of money that has been spent by Moyes.

I fear the worst. But I don’t know if sacking Moyes at that point (should it happen) will achieve anything much. I remember the embarrassment when Dave Watson had to stand in as caretaker manager for months because the club couldn’t find a new manager. Who’d want the job?

What I REALLY worry about is the finances. Everton have spent big recently, and rather than hit out at the fans’ valid (NOT kneejerk) criticisms, Mr Wyness (whose wages are paid by the fans), should be worrying about where EFC will be financially if relegated. A ‘blip’ he says? Look at our record since January, Mr Wyness. Will he too join the proverbial, ‘rats leaving a sinking ship’ should we go down?

Don’t worry Mr Wyness, I’ll still be going to Goodison to watch Preston, Hull and Cardiff etc.., so you can still draw your fat pay-cheque.

Perhaps Alan Green was right after all.... Oh Jesus, no!
Paul Appleyard, Bootle  (26/09/05)


`The Blip` is right!
Keith `The Blip` Wyness is right. Evertonians - like me - who don`t rate David Moyes are stupid!

We`re stupid to drive up to 1200 miles in six days to watch shite; stupid to book club trips to Bucharest that don't materialise; stupid to buy expensive season tickets for seats we don`t want when we`ve been turfed out of ones we`ve occupied for decades; stupid to buy three new strips each year at exorbitant prices; stupid to queue for hours and then be sent away ticketless!

But, Mr CEO, you don`t need to tell us we`re stupid; it comes with being an Evertonian — and we`ll all still be so, long after your fat arse has been kicked out of Goodison for good!
David Hall, Taunton  (26/9/05)


Kaplin`s one of us!
Just an addendum to the mention that, according to Saturday`s Mail, our revered Chairman has now retained the infamous Carol Kaplin as his `life-style guru`.

Apparently,having been shown the door at Downing Street, Lady Carol has taken to watching many of Everton`s matches. She admits she knows little about the game `but so loves the atmosphere and the wonderful hospitality` Sounds a bit like our Leader himself, wouldn`t you say? Still it`s nice to know the Club`s in safe hands!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (26/9/05)


Answers, anyone?
Amazing ineptitude in the transfer market. I think my three year old niece could have told Moyes that Beattie is crap, and not worth 6 mill. Its got nothing to do with a bust toe. He is just shite. Davies? Complete non-entity at Spurs. Now a non-entity at Everton. Yippee. A bunch of defenders. One who looks suspiciously over the hill already.

What exactly jusitifies the confidence of Dave being the man to turn things around? His scary demeanour? What then? ('look what we did last season' stuff is really becoming tired.') That was basically a lot of luck. Some decent football, but a lot it was the rub of the green. This year it has deserted us, and there isn't even any decent football to compensate.

I am not even sure what he can do fix things. Is there any money left in the kitty? And why do we have to be at the bottom of the league before the genius figures out that hoofing up the park is not the idea? And even if we actually win doing that, it is crap football and an insult to the fans. Answers anyone?
Braam   (26/9/05)


For those who want his head on a plate...
For the first time in years we had hope at the start of the season; fair enough, that's all but gone. But if there is anyone who can turn it around, it has to be Moyes. Those who call for his head are the Everton fans who jump on the bandwagon when we do well and then turn into wolves when we do badly.

Yes we're playing crap and with no spirit but that's bound to happen when we play so well against Villarreal and then get robbed. It's only human that their heads will drop. It is our duty as fans to lift them up. I belive we will turn it around. You never know... it might happen on Thursday. YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE FAITH
Niall Taylor, Dublin, Ireland  (26/09/05)

Now careful, Naill. Don't be kicking out at your fellow fans who have every right to question Moyes and the point he has brought us to. It is a very dire situation and many are blaming Moyes. If he takes the credit for seeing us ride high in 4th place, then he certainly has to shoulder the blame when we are bottom of the Premiership, one goal in six games. Just don't be doing this "so-called Everton fans" crap. It's insulting and I will not publish it. — Ed


Great expectations
David Moyes should be demanding to know why, when a number of places are up for grabs by any half decent youngster, not one reserve team player is good enough to step up. Then again it could be the case that the first team is already overloaded with reserve-standard players.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (26/9/05)

The concept of "reserves" has undergone substantial change over recent years. The Reserves are now little more than the upper level of the Youth Academy, as you will see if you reasearch the unequaled coverage of Everton's youth theams that we have provided here on ToffeeWeb over many recent seasons. They are mostly just kids who may no longer qualify for the Under-18 team. Of course, the reserves still provide the chance for rehabilitation from injury for senior players but they are not — and have not been for a long time — a source of vibrant talent waiting to make the step up. — Ed


Needless Pressure
Yes, I am from Croydon; No, I don't go to home games... but, with the overkill of Sky coverage, I get to see my team more than ever.

When I heard a rumour of McFadden in attack I was happy, which soon turned to dismay when I heard he was on his own.... against bloody Wigan at home! I understand you play what is available but surely, two strikers would have done something??

The best form of defence is attack; if their back four has something to think about (two strikers) then it doesn't come back to us so quickly and the defenders (and to a large extent the midfield) are not so knackered at the end of the game.
Danny Hudson, Croydon  (26/09/05)


Message to Wyness....
So this is just a 'blip' is it... obviously you have forgotten to check your facts. According to my research since January 2005 Everton have played 30 and LOST 20!!!

I'm not advacating sacking the manager. I do, however, belive he has some major flaws which need to be addressed very quickly, in that he appears to be crap in the transfer market and is very reluctant to admit to mistakes (Wright, Bent, McFadden & others) and his reluctance to ditch a tactical system which has long since been found out, are proof of that.

In defence of 'The Moysiah' I also do not belive that he can be blamed for the many GUTLESS individual performances we have witnessed since the turn of the year... Pride comes from within so only the players can take the blame for that one.

My message to the many over paid, over-rated prima donnas we apparently now have on our books, ya'know those who keep making false promises to fans, the ones who tell us they are tired from to much travelling etc... If playing for Everton FC does not give you a tingle down your spine every time you pull on the shirt and/or performing infront of hundreds & thousands of loyal supporters home & away, who have stood by this club through some very thin times (particularly in the past 10 years!!) doesn't give you the will to win then I, for one, don't want you playing for my club.

The majority of this squad got us to fourth last year, it's now time for them to stand up and be counted, time to prove you're worthy of the Royal Blue shirt. My question to each and every one of them is "Come Thursday night I will be there shouting, screaming, cajouling, giving my all for EVERTON FC: 4-0.... WILL YOU ???
Neil  Vaughan, Wirral  (26/09/05)


Time for Scrutiny but also Time for Unity
I do not subscribe to the Moyes out campaign as I think it would be the wrong decision but there has to be some accountability for the position we Evertonians find ourselves in. The decision not to buy a striker demonstrated a callous lack of judgement by Moyes.

We can not really lament the injury to Vaughan too much as he is still, as Moyes has stated, one for the future. He was to be used sparingly this season and given the same considered tutelage our former number 18 was given. In a warped way I am glad, for the sake of his development, he is injured because we cannot rely solely on an unproven raw talent to be our salvation and too much pressurised exposure at this stage might see his progress halted.

I am putting my faith in a rejuvenated Beattie coming firing out of the blocks after his latest injury, looking for Van der Meyde to add pace and creativity to a lacklustre attack, and looking to Carsley (I thought I’d never say it) to bolster a flagging midfield and team spirit. Hopefully Carsley replacing Neville as he in turn replaces Hibbert or Valente at full back. This is plan Z and if it doesn’t work we have little or no options to threaten any opposition.

Everton are full of endeavour and effort but ultimately lacking that cutting edge. When they go a goal behind the shoulders slouch and the body language is there for the opposition to see and exploit. Score first and the game is as good as won.

I believe Moyes is very much the man for the job but I thought it telling this week Phil Neville admitting the boss reminded him of a young Ferguson. Reminded him of a manager involved in every aspect of the club. Picking suits for the first team squad. Neville suggested he should delegate more. Pleasingly he stated Moyes coaching was inventive and of a high standard. Somebody in the club hierarchy should recognise this as a very subtle hint from an experienced international who has played under a very successful regime at Old Trafford. Moyes needs to devote his energies solely to the team affairs and getting it right on the training pitch and that being transferred to match days. Moyes should be barred for dallying in such mundanity as approving team suits.

As for Keith Wyness, there is a guy that should be seen and not heard. Just do what you are paid to do, Keith, and remove spin doctoring from your job description. Everton fans are entitled to voice their opinions because they support the club week-in, week-out with their hard-earned cash. To label the calls for the managers head as part of the disease that infects English football is an insult. Even the words of that smug salad dodging, face for radio, redshite fan Alan Green are proving prophetic. That entitles questions to be asked at the highest level.

We Evertonians need to get behind our manager and team and hope for that one goal (off Beattie's arse if necessary) to kick-start our season or at least give the team belief that a goal from open play can be achieved. Remember how that Adrian Heath equalier from a Kevin Brock back pass away to Oxford Utd in Milk Cup in 1983/4 saved a certain Howard Kendall and heralded that golden era. Oh for one from anybody from a Richard Dunne back pass this Saturday away to Man City!! C’mon the Blues!!
Peter Rea, Bangor, Co Down  (26.09.05)


Keep The Faith
Just as it was never as good last season as many Evertonians imagined it to be, it's nowhere near as bad as many Blues think it is now. We will get out of this, I'm sure.
David C  (26/9/05)


The Right Formula??
Last season the right formula for the club was having Gravesen in the midfield. He provided stability and allowed Kilbane to sweep forward. Cahill had the confidence to go forward and score. Hibbert played well and was a quiet contributor. When Gravesen left, Stubbs was able to provide the stability in the defence. He may not have been as good as Gravesen when it came to creativity but he made up for it with effort and we had solid players like Lee Carsley and Steve Watson.

Now, it is crucial to bring some stability into the mid-field (the problem is who is going to play the role?) so that Cahill and Arteta or Kilbane can go forward. So a solid player is more important now. Phil Neville might be a solution but is still new to the club. But I would rather see Everton bring in some solid defensive veteran. Another solution is use as many players from last season as much as possible and introduce new players slowly. Hopefully Carsley will be back soon. Play Hibbert more often.

In short, if we get a solid midfield, we can find some stability.
Chung MH, Singapore  (26/09/05)

Sorry, Chung, but the transfer window has closed. Only free agents can come in and anyone not playing now is probably a huge risk. And Hibbert has been very poor this season: he was righty dropped on Saturday. But we could be missing Stubbs more than we realize... especially if the manner of his leaving upset the players and destroyed the team spirit that was such a cruicial factor last season. — Ed


Missing the point about missing the points
Wyness is right to stand by David Moyes at this stage as there is nothing to be gained from firing him, but he is clearly in denial if he thinks this is a just a blip. It's not the fact that we are bottom of the league or even that we have only three points from 18. The real crisis is that we have scored only one goal in six league matches and created very few other chances. This would be catastrophic form at at any stage of any season for any club. But there's very little likelihood of that record being much improved over the next six matches, given our striking options.

We have thrown away the money for Shrek on a carthorse, James Beattie - who I predict will now never justify his fee - Per Krøldrup and Andy van der Meyde, who are unlikely to play a significant role now until January or February; Simon Davies, who looks less and less interested with every game and Nuno Valente who is a pantywaist on and off the ball. Only Phil Neville is currently justifying his place. The idea that McFadden and Osman are going to carry an attack between them is plainly ridiculous and had to be obvious to Moyes within minutes of the kick-off if not before kick-off.

I don't think Moyes should go, but I do believe he needs some serious experienced help in the transfer market, perhaps from someone no longer up for the trials of managership but who could act as a consultant. Someone who could say - 'er, carrying a serious career threatening injury, let's not buy him,' or 'mmmm, 18 months without a goal, let's look elsewhere,' or, 'current club can't wait to get rid of him - red flag there.' This is assuming there are any further funds available in January. Maybe Davies and Beattie could be make-weights. They are surely good for little else.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (26/9/05)

"pantywaist" ??! I admit I had to look that one up. Word of the Day... very fitting! — Ed


What's formation got to do with it?
I can't believe how much people care about the four-four-twos or four-five-ones of the game. This is a small element of the game and is not - repeat NOT - the main reason that we are last in the Premiership and England are rub**sh at the moment!!

If you field 11 good players they will eventually find the recipe for goal. And in being a 'good' player you need a number of qualities. Attitude and passion are two important qualities. Sadly, both Everton and England seem to lack this.
Einar Pedersen, London, UK  (26/09/2005)


Wyness
Keith Wyness, Why are you trying to explain all this as a blip? Why should we expect a blip? Why should we finish fourth and expect a blip at all? Moyes is pathetic: 4-5-1 at home to Wigan? All we wanted was a little bit of consistency, maybe win a couple of games. Keith don't insult us all with your raves in the press. Don't defend the indefensable; this is the worst ever and 'somebody is going to pay'!
Darrel Pugh, Chester  (25/090/05)


Full Back to the future
Enough about the manager... he motivates well, he's poor in the transfer market and his tactics are debatabale at times. Changing him will not help the cause at the moment.

I thought his starting line-up on Saturday was brave. In the first half we looked like the team of last year, good football to feet and the mobile forward unit creating space against a side that had come expecting an arial bombardment. The only thing missing was the goal!

The second half was scarry. Yes they were out early, looking keen, but no-one started to defend until after we were nearly 2-0 down. That's not the manager's fault

Phil Neville; I am convinced is a Man Utd Trojan Horse. He failed miserably to make any real challange for a poor cross-field ball, that was the start of the move that lead to the goal. Worse still he jogged back (or is that him sprinting?) and never reacted to the unmarked man in the 6-yd box who had the fortune to toe poke it in! He's an awful buy and should be dropped on sheer lack of effort let alone skill and mobility! I can't remember him making a real tackle yesterday.

The other joker/full-back had a good game until the second half, when he clearly lacks the ablity to communicate. Thus he was left marking space and not getting cover from the midfield. He looks like he might be ok, given a run in a successful side!!!

So the team lacks confidence and full backs... where else would you expect us to be! But I'd rather pay my money to watch them play football than watching big Dunc get another yellow card for leading with his elbow!
Steve Walker, Ringwood, Hants  (25/09/05)


Moyes In - How quickly we forget
I am writing because I want to stand with those who believe, like I do, the club's best asset remains David Moyes. We cannot do better than Moyes, but he can do better with these players.

I do not casually brush aside the critics, particularly those who (unlike me) pay good money to cheer on the Blues at Goodison. I say give him time. Where were we before he arrived? Where did he lead us this year? How quickly we forget...

Moyes has shown an ability to change as he matures as a manger. Two years ago, we survived relegation by the skin of our teeth. He adapted and the team had a very successful season last year. I think Everton will survive this crisis and prosper. We may not hit 4th every year, but with Moyes we will hit more ambitious targets than we would with anyone else.
Chris  Arellano, San Bruno, CA  (09/25/2005)


What have I done wrong?
I took a year off work last year to go travelling around the world and after 15 years I had to give my season ticket up. I had a great year and Everton had one of the best season's in years. My good friends told me to stay out of the country as I must be a bad omen for Everton. I came home just at the start of the season that’s when it went all down hill, my grandmother died, my girlfriend of five years dumped me, and worst of all Everton are having the worst start to a season in 47 years. So don’t blame the players or Moyes... it’s me: I'm the bad omen. I will be leaving the country ASAP; we shall see what happens.
Ian Clavis, London  (25/09/2005)


Disappointed
Hey Ed - give Andrew a break. He is a true blue who has come to the end of his tether and deserves the option to sound like a broken record.

I have regularly predicted this scenario (although I didn't think it would be this bad) for several months and I would be disappointed if you do ration the opinions of blues - no matter how irritating you find them.

I think Moyes has got until Christmas at the latest and if he does not turn things around then he needs to go.

Finally you wrote: Craig McManus, Mold (25/09/05) A voice of reason among the clamouring mob... — Ed

Could it be the clamouring mob are hurt blues who have had enough of being shafted by the club? IMWT - In Moyes we have a manager who on current form will take us down!
Tom , Wirral  (25/09/05)

Sorry Tom; I have an aversion to people saying the same thing again and again... maybe I'm in the wrong line of business! But reading Andrew's doleful stuff is like being kicked in the head when you are already down.

Yes, Blues are hurting, and the ones who were quickest to their keyboards yesterday were the ones who wanted us to know all about it. In general, we get a lot of good mail and everyone is pretty sensible, despite the dire circumstances.

I have not commented on these long-range predictions of doom; most people know there are still a lot of games left, but the hole we are in is just getting deeper at the moment, with little sign of that desparately needed change for the better. — Ed


Argghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
To all the fans who believe this is a blip, trust me: it ain't! We can't even draw games let alone win them; the league table doesn't lie — we are in very serious trouble.

Wyness's piece in the Mirror is piss poor; the moment you start slating the fans who give alot to the club is the moment you've lost the plot... and £20M investment??!!! Bollocks. Be honest, Keith — as you promised — or be off!

In a side note, me and the wife are expecting our first child; I might name it after the next Everton goalscorer. However, the baby is due in March/April so it's looking unlikely........
John Audsley, Leeds  (25/09/05)


Reality Bites
First off I don't want Moyes out. No alternative is out there. No-one seems to be rearing their head even in the Championship as a replacement; although things are dire, knee-jerking now would be worse. The current run highlights how lucky we were from August to December last season. Arsenal 7-0 & Bucharest 5-1 are the only hammerings we've had but our luck has run out. Now is the time to see if Moyes is the man for the job. Either he ditches the tactics book & gets the players fighting for him or we meander deeper into the mire.

There aren't many Evertonians who are convinced by Moyes tactically but we never looked to him for that, did we? Pride in the shirt... When we've been expected to play expansive football, we have failed miserably.

We'll never be Chelsea, Arsenal or United. But being the best of the Boro, Charlton, Villa league would do me. Heaven help us if Bungling Bill brings in one of his true blue alternatives: David Jones anyone?

Let's give Moyes until Xmas. West Brom did it & we have a better squad, although it doesn't look like it at present, so I think Xmas is the time to judge. We are Everton, supposedly the club that sticks together against the world. Well our true colours are now showing... fickle bastards. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum doesn't just mean the knobs on the pitch — it means US! So let's do what we are unbeatable at: extend the middle finger, hold it up proudly at all and sundry, and get a few backs up. COYB.
Peter Doherty, Liverpool  (25/09/05)


The Only Way is Up
Seems to me that the Everton collective is panicking and it made me think of a moment early in the Kendall era when the man came out of retirement to play for three or four games. Before this the team was clueless but the gesture helped turn things rounds. I remember watching HK berate Biley for misreading a pass. We need something similar now. A gesture of leadership. There is a clear absence of it on the field and it is simply too easy to blame the manager and the injuries.

The players who took this role last year have gone (Graevensen, Stubbs), lost form or been injured. The replacements are either injured or lack the necessary passion and understanding. Sacking Moyes won't resolve this but it will rightly make Everton look fickle, capricious and stupid. It is only four months since he was lauded to the skies for taking us into CL and rightly won Manager of the Year. Get a grip.
Mark Dunford  (25/9/05)


Your Reply to Moyes Must Stay
This is Tongue in Cheek before you all shoot me down in flames, but how about instead of Alan Irvine taking over for two weeks, instead we recruit Gordon Ramsey the celebrity chef. He could take the reigns for two weeks and shock the players into action (If you have ever seen Hells Kitchen then you will know what I mean). The guy even used to play for Glasgow Rangers so he must have some tactical knowledge. How I would love to be a fly on the wall in the dressing room at half time........ :-)
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (25/09/05)


Who could argue?
Ok, so I am going to make a prediction. We will not get a point out of our next four Prem fixtures: Man City (A), Spurs (A), Chelsea (H), Birmingham (A). Ok, so I will make another: We will also not score a goal. Oh, and another: We will go out the Uefa Cup on Thurs. Ok, I know, I am hardly sticking my neck out here, am I? Hardly the next Confucius in the making? But can you argue?

Actually, you might not believe it but I'm quite an optimistic bloke really... honestly! But I know a bum team when I see one and the frightening thing is that I cannot see this bunch of players surviving a relegation fight... can you? If we are not in crisis now, trust me, we will be by 16:50 on Sat 29th October.

If we are a little worried now then what will it be like then? Talk of sack the manager, back the manager? Hey, try anything if it gets us out of this slump and sometimes a change at the top is enough to turn things around. This club is far bigger than Moyes, Kenwright and Wyness — they are in fact irrelavant at this moment in time. The only people who can change this around are the players and, quite frankly, our dressing room is devoid of leadership and quality.

Our record since the turn of the year is abysmal. We are in free fall. Those saying don't sack Moyes... will they be saying that come Sat 29th October? I think even his most avid supporters will be crying out for change at that point.

I've heard Moyes has lost the dressing room... He is receiving a lot of critisism of late. Sadly he has brought this on himself. I don't critisise him for going after top quality during the summer and failing but I do critisize him heavily for not having a plan B and for not aquiring the services of a forward, one who was fit, early in the summer - this problem has been there since last Xmas so it should have been a priority.

What I'd like to see is Moyes come out, hold his hands up and say "I got it wrong, but let's pull together as one. Back us until January and in the meantime I'll get you that striker or two on a pre-contract agreement." Instead of giving us waffle about playing well but not scoring, just say it as it is... we were shite... fact.

If the players want to sulk when they hear his interview on the phone-in so be it. Let them do their talking on the pitch. No more 'from the heart, sincere' plattitudes in the local press, please. Just decent, honest hard work. We know they lack ability but let's see a bit of attitude out on the pitch, toughen up, roll their sleeves up and go for the 90 mins not in fits and starts.

Make it sound easy don't I? Maybe it is. Unless Moyes comes out with more honesty then I can see him losing more and more credibility. I wish him all the best, he's a likeable chap and I hope he gets it right over the next few games, but I fear the worst...

Better get that new Disk drive for your Mailbag... I can see it being stressed over the next few weeks!!!
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (25/09/05)


Just having a moan
Whether Moyes goes or stays is immaterial. The facts are that we are bottom of the Premiership, without a goal scorer, and we have a shoddy defence. Without some sort of radical change, we will still be bottom at the end of the season.

So whom can I have a moan about?

Wyness needs to brush up on his PR skills. Calling Everton fans ‘stupid’ isn’t exactly going to endear him to the fans. The ‘blip’ as he so aptly puts it, happened the first half of last season when we over-achieved, not during the last 6 games. Is his attention span so short that he has forgotten the humiliation post Christmas?

Having watched yesterday’s post match interview with Moyes, he looked as if he couldn’t give a stuff, just so long as his wages get paid.

I also noticed in yesterday’s Mail, that Kenwrong is currently under the spell of Carol Kaplin, Tony & Cherie Bliar’s ex-confidant & mentor. Now that really has me worried. If our financial benefactor and supposed leader believes in and trusts Kaplin, we are all doomed.

So who else is there to moan about? Oh yes, the players. I’ll stop at this point, as I don’t like to swear on forums. Suffice to say that I’m not happy.

So, as we are stuck with crap executives, crap management & crap players, I suggest we field the Ladies team for our outing on Thursday. They sure as hell play better than our first team.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (25/09/05)


Just a guess...
Lads. Love the site but I think it's time to close the ¨Will not signing a striker cost Everton?¨ poll don't you?! I'm guessing but I reckon you've so far had two responses in the ¨no¨ area:

One from a ¨bill@evertonfc¨ that states we don't need one as we have a ¨miracle manager¨

And the other was from a ¨dave@evertonfc¨ that was sent on the last day of the transfer window from his Blackberry as he was out all day at a golf tournament.
Stan   (25/9/05)

Lyndon!!!


MOYES MUST STAY
I am sick and tired of so called EVERTONIANS calling for Davy Moyes to be sacked; the man has put the club back on the map! Expectations are higher, yes; why is this? Because Moyes has raised are team from relagation candidates to European football! So get off his back and think positive — we're LUCKY to have him! COME ON YOU BLUES
Darren Dempsey, West Derby  (25/09/05)

By all evidence so far, Darren, this is going to take something more than "positive thinking", which we have had in spades from the club, the players, and the Liverpool Echo. It's unheard of, but perhaps Moyes should take a couple of weeks off, and we should have Alan Irvine or Davie Weir pick the team and figure out some new tactics for the next few games. When the spirit is restablished and Moyes recognizes the latest round of new mistakes he has made, then perhaps we could start on the road to recovery. — Ed


Blip??!!
As I write this mail, Sunderland are 2-0 up against Boro, so we will be holding up the Premiership by the time this mail gets published. In addition, I have read Wyness's defence of Moyes and both of the above leave me gobsmacked.

Yesterday was a new low for me. Beaten by an average Wigan and having the proverbial taken out of us by their pie-munching supporters. Watching a team that is completely clueless give at best a half-hearted performance; and then have Wyness tell us its all a 'blip' and he is angry with the supporters for being 'shortsighted'.

This from a man whose only contribution since he arrived has been to alienate most fans with massive price hikes, incompetent administration and a complete lack of sensitivity (e.g. his comments in the Mirror and the treatment of supporters home and away in Europe).

When will he (and Kenwright) decide this is not a blip but has become a full blown tragedy in the making?

This is no blip. I still believe Moyes has a plan, but he is either failing to communicate his ideas effectively to the players or (as I suspect) the majority are just not up to it.
Steve , Harrogate  (25/09/05)

There is, apparently, a third explanation: that Moyes has "lost" the players (again!?!!). Lots of talk about the wonderful teamspirit is (apparently) outdated and more likely just so much publicity-induced spin in an effort to keep us all happily munching our pies and buying our figure-hugging shirts. — Ed


Bucharest 2nd Leg
I am quite looking forward to the second leg v Dinamo this week. Firstly it is clear that we have no other option than to attack, attack, attack.

Being 4 goals behind could be a blessing in disguise as we must now at least play McFadden and Bent up front together. I'd like to see Osman in behind the two of them with a midfield 3 of Arteta, Davies and Neville. Stick Ferrari at right-back (he is right-footed after all) and Valente at left back (c'mon who else have we got?).

I believe we will score at least one during this game and with any luck someone will step forward and take the game on. We just need a slice of luck to kick-start our season. We're bottom of the league today so this might finally wake the club from it's slumber. No more fucking about, this is serious.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (25/09/05)


The man who shouts from the back
K Wyness take a swipe at Everton fans who are shouting for Moyes's head. They have all got the right to show anger at the manager. Wyness is forgetting one thing: if the punters did not go through the gates, his wages wouldn't be paid to him. It is the Everton fans who buy the shirts and other goods that keeps the club going. Wyness forgets it is not Moyes's head they are shouting for, it is his head and Kewright's head too. Wyness must think that Everton fans have all the money in the world... But I keep forgetting: he is a big man in a small office.
Edmund Robson, Bangor N Ireland  (25/9/2005)


Response to Wyness
I have just read the Keith Wyness article via ToffeeWeb today. He says things like,'David is doing a great job, the fundamentals are right' etc, etc. He also says he is very angry at the stupid fans who are calling for the head of David Moyes.

I find some of these comments meaningless platitudes, and somewhat offensive to fans who have supported Everton over a long period. How long has this idiot been at the club? A year or two? How would he know about the fundamentals at EFC? He's just been appointed. Get real Wyness, Everton are in very serious trouble and I have a feeling that when Moyes throws in the towel so will you.

Here's some harsh relity for your financial brain: as a result of Moyes spending £20M in the summer, we now have not a single player who can put the ball in the back of the net (1 goal scored), and we have one of the worst defences in the Premiership.

Wyness says that this is a blip; stick to financial matters you do not know what you are talking about. A side destined for the Championship has been created, our only slight hope is that Carsley may make a difference in front of the back four. I think though after the next four defeats everything will change.
Andrew Fairfoull  (25/09/05)

And I think I'm going to ration you to one post a day from now on, Andrew, with any more repetition being edited out. You are starting to sound like a broken record. — Ed


If Moyes goes, who replaces him?
If (as a growing number of Everton fans seem to want) Moyes is sacked, who is going to replace him? One name I have heard that fills my heart with dread is Peter Reid; his record speaks for itself. He did well with Sunderland but hasn't been able to do it with anyone else; look at Leeds... and he couldn't cut it at Coventry either.

I saw some saying that Moyes is the most financially backed manager at Everton. I really thought that was Walter and I think that Moyes's buys have been OK. The jury is still out on Beattie but all his other buys have been decent.

Let's stay together as the 11 guys who pull on that blue jersey on Thursday night will won't the 12th man, who has been lacking so far this season.
Frankie Brooks, Dundee  (25/9/05)

The stats regarding financal support for Moyes and Smith:

Transfer fees paid: £41.9M vs £40.8M
Transfer fees recouped: £26.4M vs £57.4M
Net Profit (Loss): (£15.6M) vs £16.7M

So yes, Davie has been supported in a manner that is the exact opposite of the Smith era. And those numbers for Smith are astounding. Although Rooney was sold on Davie's watch, Walter Smith was much more effective at selling our crown jewels — for a substantial profit. — Ed


Hopeless
Went the match yesterday. It is clear that Valente is a cowardly mercenary who has no wish to play for our club. Moyes was clearly panicked into signing him and I suspect had never even watched the little shithouse play before. That is a terrible indictment of our manager.

The question now of course is: "Should Moyes stay or go?" I would give him 5 more games but if we don't win at least 2 of them he must leave. It is important that we look at the bigger pcture here. No doubt that if Moyes does leave, Evertonians will be demonised by pundits like Hansen and Lawrenson for driving Moyes out and not realising what a great job he'd done for us. Well, firstly, Hansen and Lawrenson don't have to pay and watch the shit we do every week. Secondly, Moyes' record since Christmas is a sackable offence in itself.

So don't feel guilty if Moyes does leave. He has had more financial backing than any Everton manager in living memory, certainly far more than everyone's favourite bad guy, Walter Smith. Also, compare Moyes's performance this season with that of Sam Allardyce. Now, to be honest, I can't stand that balloon-headed publicity whore, but he has continued Bolton's progress from last season almost effortlessly whilst spending a fraction of the money that Moyes has. Who do you think is the better manager?

What does puzzle me is why many fans continue blaming Kenwright for our current malaise? Apparently after the game yesterday he was confronted by fans telling him to resign! Does he buy the players, pick the team, give the team talk? He probably should go for not building a youth academy, failing to attract new investment etc. but don't blame him for Moyes's shortcomings.

I just hope that if things do become suitably bad that Kenwright has the guts to sack Moyes and appoint the right man in his place.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (25/9/05)

The right man? You're 'avin' a laff, surely. As Wyness states in strong terms to day, David Moyes is the right man. — Ed


Quality
I am very sorry to say I watched another display of rubbish football on Saturday afternoon. Kenwright says he has to pick Moyes up. And Moyes says he has to pick the players up... but who is going to pick the Everton fans up?

I was in a record shop in my home town and got talking about records and had told the people in the shop I had got the original Z-Cars theme tune to the TV series and they jokingly fell asleep. That is how much we have become a joke.
Edmund Robson, Bangor, N Ireland  (25/9/2005)


Without A Spine
Moyes must go??? Are you fucking serious??? This is his squad, - he's been allowed to spend some 25 million quid - who else do you think is going to be able to get them to play? Peter Reid?

I think in many cases supporters are speaking from the heart and not from the head. He must be given until Christmas, especially now that the "bottom at Christmas" legend has been broken. {So has "bottom at the start of the final day" legend too actually}.

I would urge my fellow Evertonians to show restraint, and to vote with their feet rather than their voice. After all, if and when Moyes does get it right, you can always go back, without feeling residual guilt for having called for his termination.
David C  (25/9/05)


Support the Cause
Granted this has been a shocking start to the season and we shouldn't look to the past etc. but is calling for David Moyes to be sacked a justified response? One of the biggest failings of the club in recent years has been the revolving door to the managers office. I am a blue till I die and was dissappointed with the result and how we defended on Saturday against Wigan but for my sins I will be at Goodison on Thursday hoping for that miracle. the importance of the game on Thursday is more that we start scoring play well. I don't care if we score 2,3 or 4 but we need to convert some of the chances.

I believe that the over-acheivement of last season has altered the ambitions and hopes of the fans. Realistically we are a middle-table team fighting for a Uefa Cup spot... not a team to be challenging for the top four. At the moment we are feeling he pinch for having a small squad with many injuries. We only have three recognised stikers "fit"; as seen on Saturday, big Dunc has a reputation and the refs decide, if in doubt, it's a foul against him.

Why Osman was preferred to Bent to partner McFadden, who knows? Did we really need to rest him before Thursday? I have faith in David Moyes, we will bounce back we will start finding the net and we will be playing Premier League football next year.
Frankie Brooks, Dundee  (25/9/05)

Osman (for Everton) and McFadden (for Scotland) have shown themselves to be decent finishers in the past, and offered an alternative to the tried and failed options we have suffered up front so far this season. And it very nearly paid off on the first half when, if we had scored (according to Davey Weir), we would have won. The margin between victory and defeat is very narrow... just wide enough to force the manager out. — Ed


Fickle Fans
I can't believe all the shouts of "Sack Moyes!" Last year it was "I hope Man Utd don't poach him if Fergie moves upstairs" or "the Best Young Manager in the country" etc. Now, because we have had a crap start, it's "sack him, he's out of his depth" etc.Who do you suppose we replace him with? Walter Smith?

For goodness sake it's just a blip, things will turn around, we are never going to be Chelsea or Arsenal but given our limited funds etc. he's the best we can hope for; whoever said football fans were fickle!
Craig McManus, Mold  (25/09/05)

A voice of reason among the clamouring mob... — Ed


Question........
This question goes out to Danny Broderick, Michael Kenrick and Dan Ford - How long do you think we should give David Moyes before you will freely admit you were wrong, and its time for him to go! Because I really want to know how much longer do all the Everton fans have to put up this? Richard Dodd, wake up!

Steve Hopkins and Ashleigh Jones, well said, Helen Mallard too, but Walter is not the answer..... and Mike Price, as always, spot on with everything you said! Personally I am not going to say anything bad about my beloved Everton, apart from.... I am waiting for the change. All Everton fans! Keep your chins up as he will dig his own grave and the club will move forward. NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM!
David Barlow, Colorado, USA  (24/9/05)

If we are still in the bottom three by Christmas, then it will be difficult to resist the pressure... but I would still stick with him. Ditching the Manager of the Year is not the solution. He needs to be given more time. — Ed


Class
I've only recently discovered ToffeeWeb having spent a year or so logging onto Evertons' official site and hoping in vain to view any news outside the fanzine universe. I find your site refreshing despite the dispirited air (has it always been like this) but feel that the doomsday perspective currently overlaying most of your entries to be overcooked melodrama.

I've been with Everton since Cup Final day 1968 when, as an 11-year-old watching the telly, I decided I preferred amber to black & white stripes. Thirty seven years later I have this observation on the current hysteria.

Last summer I 'knew' we were going to go down and had just about come to terms with it when my stupid team (as my rugby-loving daughter refers to us) started winning. For a while I harboured a dream the we might finish above the Shrek-stealers just so the dull bugger would realise the mistake he made in leaving... but their rise was inevitable; they were always going to overtake us.

Having just seen Wigan (Wigan?!!?) deservedly win at our home I feel strangely unworried. We have come a long way in the past few years and, come the end of this season, will be in the top ten. We have the class. Our rise is inevitable and I for one hope Moyes is still here to see it.
Garry Richards, Rhondda  (25/09/05)

Nice to have some balance, Garry. And glad you finally found us. Just a small point, but West Brom wore all-white with horrible red socks on that day in May 1968. Ed


He'll Have To Go
It is clear to me now that God hates Everton, and instead of inflicting boils, hail, plague, murrain, frogs, darkensss and the deaths of our firstborn upon us he has chosen in his terrible, terrible cruelty to curse us with an abundance of Moyes. He must be sacked NOW!!! If he is not, it is abundantly clear that not only will we be relegated this season, but we will do so with fewer points than Sunderland.

What really bugs me is that despite dragging us down to depths we only feared plumming when Walter Smith was in charge, Moyes still doesn't have the decency to resign. How much longer?
Bill Midwinter  (25/09/05)


A record to be proud of (not!)
In his relatively short tenure as Everton manager, David Moyes has some of the most unenvied records of any Everton manager.
Lowest ever points total in a season;
heaviest league defeat for over 50 years;
heaviest ever European defeat;
worst home start to a season for nearly 50 years;
the list goes on....
If things don't change, and change very quickly, David Moyes will not only add to that list, he will greatly improve on it.
Paul Christian, Liverpool  (24.9.05)


In Bill's Pocket?
Hey Ed, Of course it matters Who Cares. If the people that mattered really cared we we not lose against Wigan and might even push for Europe next season. We would have a srategy of progression not one of: "Look how well we did last season."

Maybe if the right people really cared we would still be in Europe. It's all a matter of moving on quickly when given a chance of capitalising on what most clubs would give their eye teeth for --- WE HAVE FAILED. Someone is to blame.

All this business of new players gelling leaves me cold because if and when they do gel or we have to wait for the January window, then the points defecit will be such that its nigh on impossible to mount a challenge for anything. I would like to agree with you that we played better today except that would be having to admit just how bad we have been previously.

Dont get me wrong I follow the lads home and away but If you can't see we are in real trouble then you will be aiding and abetting the jam tomorrow brigade. The ones who care are the ones who are willing to WAKE UP, SPEAK UP, and just maybe SHAKE UP that cosy love-in at Goodison.

Being patronising of us who don't really believe... but who will still be yelling for the magic four on Thursday night makes me think YOU must be in Bill's pocket.
Ken , Buckley  (24/9/05)

Yes. I know we are all hurting, Ken, but simply caring is not enough. In fact, it compltely misses the point. The fact is things are just not going right on the field. There are lots of things you can do to try and chgange that (God knows we've seen enough suggestions on this page alone!), but none of them are guaranteed to work. To suggest that it is down to a bunch of twats in Goodison Park who "don't care" is really facile, IMHO. I can't understand why fans develop this Love (the Club); Hate (the management, the Board, the Communications Guy, the Ticket Office, etc etc...) Of course it hurts when we lose, but fans need to stand back and accept some realities, rather than moaning on about "Who Cares" and "Who is to blame?" We've all been there before and it has got us precisely nowhere. — Ed


Are you Kenwright in disguise?
The trouble with living so far from anywhere is that you spend an awful amount of time in the bloody car, travelling to and from matches - home and away! Tonight, I found myself wishing there were major hold-ups on the M5 just to save me having to watch today`s shite again! That`s how bad it`s got to me.

Then,on getting home, I read the latest pearls of wisdom from that arch apologist of your`s, Rob Fox, and it came to me in a flash. He`s Bullshit Billy in disguise! What a wheeze... infiltrate the `free press` and brainwash us all: it ain`t really so bad after all. Perhaps if we`re still losing every match in a year or so we might look to make a change but till then... And he thought all that `red hair` bollocks would fool us. Billy boy, your havin` a laff!
David Hall, Taunton  (24/09/05)


On the road to Nowhere
David, how can I defend you now? You need to get a grip of this team and pull them together. Start with Beattie. I don't care how badly you stub your toe, it does not take 5 weeks to heal. I have a broken metartarsal which will have healed quicker.

Secondly, the players have let you down. Their confidence is shot and it is your job to pick them up and breathe new life into them. If you go I hate to think where we will end up. Sure we will have a new honeymoon period with another manager but within a year or two all these fickle fans will be calling for their head too. David, you must get a win before the Birmingham game, or I am afraid the Board will be forced to sack you in fear of relegation from the Premier Leauge. Let's turn this around and have the same fans calling for your head singing your praises at the end of the season.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (24/09/05)


Moyes quotes
The following quotes are taken from an anxious sounding David Moyes on the official website today:
1 It didn't matter whether we won or lost before the game
2 The boys done okay in the first half
3 Can't fault quality
4 I would have taken anything
5 James and Ossie did quite well
6 Boys did quite well at the end of the game
Result: Everton 0 Wigan 1
Andrew   (24/09/05)

Yea, Andrew: the only thing that matters is the result. You've made that point abundantly clear. However, despite your attempts to precipitate his removal, Moyes is still in charge and he knows a game of football involves a lot more than just the result. Perhaps that's why he gets paid the Big Bucks... — Ed


David Moyes
David Moyes should resign before he gets kicked out on his backside. He should take the high road. He will take us to relegation.
Ashleigh Jones, Liverpool  (24/09/05)

Since the customer is always right (*cough*), I suppose we'll have to accept that the Moyes reign is nearing its end... which raises another question: would he really walk? Surely considering the size of his contract, there is no way he would forego the golden handshake that softens the dreaded boot from above. But Moyes claims to be motivated by higher ideals... will the shame of his current ineptitude get to him? Or does he so believe in his mission to turn things around at Everton that he will never admit defeat?

That's why I don't expect him to leave, or to be pushed.

But I freely acknowledge I could be wrong... Ed


Obituary
The result today was as predicted, and quite frankly I do not see Everton winning another game all season under a manager who is basically not Premiership material. Since the beginning of the season, Everton have scored 1 goal and have a goal difference of -6. What that means is that we are the worst attacking side, and virtually the worst defensive side in the Premiership.

In the near future, regardless of who returns from injury, the results are going to be dire. Moyes carries the ultimate responsibilty for choosing a side fit and ready for the first division. Let's face it that is where his origins lie. The Premiership table tells the truth; Wigan were spurred on by the Portsmouth result.

I personally would have a quiet word in his ear and say go now, because the sacking could occur when they loose the next four extremely difficult fixtures. Paul Gregg wanted to sack Moyes the previous season and that was a very prescient decision.

I stand by what I said: Moyes will be gone before Christmas and the sooner the better.
Andrew Fairfoull  (24/09/05)


Sack Moyes
David Moyes is the worst manager we have had in recent years. We should sack him, the red head we should get him the sack. WE SHOULD BRING BACK WALTER SMITH. We should put two up front we should of bought a striker in the transfer window. We should get rid of James Bettie because he is more busy styling his hair than scoring goals.
Helen  Mallard, Liverpool  (24/09/05)

You are 'avin a laff, eh, duckie?


Who cares?
Went to the game today, absolute dross. Who takes responsibility? Who gives a toss that I am coming again on Thursday to cheer on that lot? WHO CARES? WHO CARES?? WHO CARES???
Ken , Buckley  (24/09/05)

Come on, now, Ken: admit that we at least tried to play the game today, and were a wee bit unlucky. If you are going on Thurdsday, good on ya.... but if you don't really want to, that's your decision, and I think everyone would understand. The risk of playing footy games is that you might lose. So what's the solution? It's not really about "Who cares" now, is it? — Ed


The only way is up
Terrible result, catostrophic in fact, but at least we kept the ball down and tried to play a bit.

I know things look pretty bleak right now and, if I had my way, I would replace Moyses tomorrow. The only problem is who would take the job on apart from someone from the lower leagues; there lies our predicament.

If we fail to take any points from our next three games, Man City, Spurs away and Chelsea at home, I think Moyes will fall on his sword anyway and then who knows what will happen. One thing's for sure: Bungalow Bill won't sack him.

So come on all you diehards out there: one last big deep breath for old times sake! Who knows... City are in a mini-slump; we might catch them at the right time next week.

Mind you, if it all goes Pete Tong and we get fucked again, I will join the rest of the suicide squad and become a doom mongerer myself; that's what being an Evertonian is all about, isn't it? And we are only four points behind the Champions of Europe.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (24/09/05)

And Villarreal are bottom of La Liga... But does that really have any bearing on our dire situation? Ed


I am not ranting for once...
Got back from the game, had a chinese, poured a glass of wine and am debating staying up to watch MOTD. Feeling quite philosophical about the whole affair. In my 37 years of life this is the worst run I can remember. I think we can take heart from a more up-for-it performance today. There were some signs of hope and frankly the ball didn't run for us and the ref was appalling. You always know what you're gonna get with Styles... always looking to penalise the attacking team when in the box and see that awful foul in the middle of the park. I am sure there is fog in the area!

Somes points I want to make:
David Weir - not a captain or a leader... I want a Micky Lyons/Rats/Waggy type to take control and be able to hear them instruct and motivate fellow players. He's only been here a matter of weeks but Phil Neville would do a job for us.

I loved the subtle (not) announcment at full time for us to all flock to Goodison on Thursday. Please, Everton, don't patronise us after a sore defeat we don't want the advert. We know what's happening on Thursday; trying to get us back to Goodison to get more revenue for a game which I won't be sorry to see us not be successful in. Yes, we could progress in Europe... but in present circumstances, no! I want improved league form and no Euro distraction — not to mention all the Sunday games... but if they do it (I'll light a candle in church tomorrow) I'll be the first in the queue for the next round. bitter-sweet, I guess.

Nuno Valente - Did Moyes buy him off eBay?
Ho hum there's a good film on Sky so I'll give Lineker, Hansen and co a miss !
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (24/09/05)


Leadership
As captains go, ours is on a par with the one off the Titanic. Apart from being crap to begin with, he has absolutley no idea on how to motivate his players. Did you see Neville booting the post at the Street End? I wish he had kicked Weir. A Captain is meant to reflect the manager. And what a sterling job he does at that!

I hear the knives were out for Kenwright at the end of the game. Why? How can Kenwright be blamed for what happened on the park today? All that we saw today was down to one man. Mr D Moyes esq. HIS team, HIS tactics, HIS crap. He has had the money - lots of it - and spent it on crap. He has even bought two crocks who we are paying wages on for what? Nothing! 16 defeats in 22 games. If you want to have a go at Kenwright then carry on, but it should be to tell him to get rid of Moyes.
Enough Is Enough, Championship  (24/09/2005)


Just go!
I've got to say that the postings of Rob Granelli and Peter Leeming are spot on. I've been saying for ages that Moyes is out of his depth and the second he deemed Beattie a record signing I realised we were condemned to another false dawn.

We all know we were lucky last year; we worked hard, bored the arse off everybody, but chiselled out results and produced a handful of inspirational displays. All the 1-0s are now, inevitably, going against us; Moyes has no plan B, he cannot relate to, or attract, skillful, fast players and he has wasted all of the Rooney money.

I also partly blame him for the begining of the end of this football club, and that was the departure of the World Young Player of the Year. Remember when Rooney turned 18 and so could sign a new 'adult' contract. He decided that he would decide contracts at the end of the season... well dickhead, special players sometimes need to be treated differently!

Why do you think so many players don't want to come, even with the 'promise' of Champions League? Moyes was over-confident our fluke position would attract them, but they could see we were only heading down; he is not someone top players want to play for. He is a Championship manager and if we keep him, we'll be dragged down with him.
Mike  Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (24/9/05)


How much longer, II?
I will say it again. How much longer must we put up with Moyes's inept management and players not fit to wear the shirt.

I will get it in first, Ed - I believe that unless Moyes goes soon we will be in grave danger of going down. And no, I don't think this is ridiculous.

We have lost 16 out of our last 22 competitive games - any other manager at any other club would have been sacked by now. Don't bother mentioning Ferguson at Man Utd because they were different times.

The football we play is poor and when we appear to be playing Osman as a striker with McFadden then we are in trouble. Yes, we will get Beattie back soon but is that a plus? Krøldrup; I think he will be. Van der Mayde; who knows? Even if he was Pele, he would not look good with this lot.

I will be made up if we get three points from our next four games but it looks a hard ask. I can't even see where the next goal will come from let alone the next win.
Tom , Wirral  (23/09/05)


WE ARE EVERTON FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!
Clearly Moyes is a manager who has lost his way, and yes it is time he resigned. We could understand if it was an early season loss of form, but the truth is his teams have lost the vast majority of games (75%) since Christmas, which to any reasonable individual is clearly relegation form. I could understand it if there was a clear plan to improve the situation, but by his poor judgement in buying players prone to injury Kroldrup,Pistone, Davies, Van Der Meyde and clearly the worst investment by any manager in the Premiership in the last 5 years, Beattie he has shown that last season was a success in spite of him.

I honestly believe that Moyes has no idea how he manged it and this and his lack of understanding has come to roost this season. The fact is that most teams including the Wigans and Portsmouths of this world know that they have better than 50/50 chance of beating the mediocrity that Everton represent this season. The reality is that this is a first-division team, managed by a first-division manager, who got lucky last season.

I think I speak for a large group of Evertonians who, inspite of the blind stupidity of people like Mr Kenwright (Smith anyone?)think Moyes has to go.

Candidates? Mike Newell has the credentials. Let us not wait until we are having the gut-wrenching end of season that we have been cursed with for the most of our time in in the Premiership. A Man City friend of mine actually predicted that we will go down this season. MAN CITY!!! for goodness sake. It is time to take the medicine, however unpalatable, otherwise we have the blind leading the blind i.e., chairman/manager into oblivion.
Rob Granelli  (24/9/05)


It WILL get better
Home and straight on to ToffeeWeb to await the inevitable barrage of `Moyes must go` rubbish. Believe it or not, I thought we looked a lot better today and, in spite of the result, the changes ensured a much better shape, especially when defending.

Let's be honest, only a crap ref denied us an equalising goal and his treatment of Big Dunc and Benty was nothing short of disgrace!

We must keep the faith; we have half a team of stars to come in when fit so let's not have any knee jerk re-actions at this stage. Just remember, WBA were bottom at Christmas last year and still avoided relegation so time is in our favour. So roll up on Thursday and cheer the lads to glory - that might just be the kick-start our season needs.
Richard Dodd, Litherland  (24/09/05)

Glad you made that point about us having played better, Richard, but it won't stem that flood. The only thing that matters, apparently, are results. And we ain't getting them. A few goals would be nice too... Ed


What's Wrong with Beattie?
Spose it would be easier if I asked what's right with Beattie. Seriously though what's wrong with him other than being an over-weight, arrogant, gutless tub of lard?

How long does it take to recover from a bruised toe? It seems like it's been well over a month. We've just succumbed to another humiliating defeat and all I want to do as a fan is get the kit on and show them how its done! Why isn't he feeling the same??

Its a FUCKING DISGRACE!!!
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (24/09/05)

You had me worried there for a mo... I thought perhaps he'd played today and I'd missed it completely. So it's all Beattie's fault? To be fair, they originally thought he'd broken his toe, and predicted a long absence. Then they hyped up his iminent return... that never happened. Meanwhile, he probably sat watching, like a useless tub of lard... Oh no, now you've got me saying it! — Ed


Words
Imagine every expletive available for Everton's performance & you're not even close to summing up most Evertonian's feelings. Oh, the shame! I'm off to hide from the ridicule about to descend on me.
Barry  Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (24/09/05)

It sounded like we really played very well. But there's only one thing that matters, eh? The scoreline. — Ed


Moyes out to save his reputation!!
Another fantastic dsiplay from a team who has proved yet again they can't play for toffee. Moyes needs to cut his losses and go and find a team with some passion to take to the top. I can't write any more; this team bloody annoys me no end.
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (24/09/2005)


Half-time moan
I am taking a chance writing this as it's only half-time v Wigan but come on! One striker at home to bloody Wigan? Has he lost his marbles? I remember a certain Mr Clough being arrogant the season that he took Forest down. Remember Alan McInally sticking up for Moyes on Sky Sports even he has said Moyes must change things round. Let's hope we go out and bang three in and win the game. I would find it hard to take losing 10 out of 11 matches... surely not possible with Moyes, the tactical genius.
Darren Findlay, Yorkshire  (24/09/05)

I like to think Osman was playing with McFadden in 4-4-2... but Wigan have just whamed in a real sucker-punch at the start of the second half an I have choked on me Scouse Pie. Oh dear... Ed


What Plan?
As I go through my Tai Chi - or whatever it is called -exercises to prepare myself mentally for another afternoon of dross, followed no doubt by a string of excuses by a `bemused` manager and his overpaid mercenaries, I got to wondering about the famous`five year plan` to which the Moyes worshipers seem so addicted. Can you direct me to a link for this `Masterplan` or has it got lost amongst all the other bullshit that emanates from Goodison Park?

Last May, I read that said plan had been delivered two years ahead of schedule so I imagine it had some reference to `European qualification` But, and its a big but, does the aforesaid masterplan include selling off (albeit to save the club from meltdown) its greatest player since Dixie Dean and blowing the proceeds on a bunch of crocks and no-hopers?

Also, does it say anything about totally rejecting the `School of Science` tradition and adopting a style of play which is an abomination to traditionalists like me and a massive turn-off to all but the football `blind`? On second thoughts, why not tell `the Ginger Genius` who, having achieved his goal so far ahead of time, is now free to go back to Preston or Scotland - or anywhere - and bore the arse off them. I`ll willingly pay his fare!
Peter Leeming, Formby  (24/08/05)


Platitudes
I never really take any notice of the bullshit those tits at the official site call breaking news, and I never even bother reading those "we're turning the corner","one good result away from a good run" stories that some silly arsed, over paid player comes out with.

BUT, and that's a big but, I just had to read the Davey Weir exclusive interview in which he explains the importance of scoring first in a match... I mean, fuck me, that's totally revolutionised my idea of the beautiful game. Next he'll be telling us that if you score one more than your opponent then you'll win. I'm feeling really stupid now cos I thought it was simple really, silly me.

Shouldn't there be more important things to be doing rather than peddling this shit - I can think of a few examples:
Shouldn't Hibbert be on the training pitch learning to pass & cross the ball? Yobo looking to increase his attention span & concentration levels and rather than telling us what a great player he's going to be?
Shouldn't Beattie be camping in an oxygen tent getting that bloody toe injury sorted? Or am I asking just to much as an Everton fan??
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (23/09/05)

No, mate, you're spot on. And you saved me having to draw attention to that load of rubbish with a link from the homepage. Apparently our season starts on Saturday...!!! WTF? Well, at least that might explain why we've been utter dross so far... but I thought it actuially began over a month ago. Pity the players weren't informed of this at the time! — Ed


David Barlow
Please, please don't let us turn into Newcastle - your kind of attitude is shocking! I understand we aren't doing well but get a grip - we have just played 3 games in Europe(2½ of them well) If, and it's a big if, we are bottom at Christmas, then I could maybe understand your attitude but we have played 5 games for God's sake... Moyes is two years short of his five year plan and has overachieved to get where we are so give him time.

We cannot be allowed to turn into Newcastle; it would pain me more than any defeat ever could.
Dan  Ford, Newcastle upon Tyne  (23/09/05)


Will people please stop trying to drive Moyes out?
As well as playing out of our skins last season, we were also very lucky. Not only with the fact that the chasing pack couldn't beat their way out of wet paper bag but also we were exceptionally fortunate with our injuries. This was bound to catch up with us and we see now, Carsley out, Cahill might as well be etc.

So its caught up with us and we're having a rough run of results... so what??? It happens to every team - remember pre Moyes? We went on this sort of run for the whole season! We will pick it up again, no doubt.

I'm no great fan of Moyes habit of buying injured players but I have enough faith in him to let that pass and see how they turn out. (Won't be long now before Krøldrup and VdM are playing). Lets face it, even if we didn't have those players coming in, 5 games in is no time to be sacking the manager unless you're Newcastle. Let's see where we are November time before we rush to sack the man who took us to 4th and Europe. In the meantime a lot of 'fans' would do well to remember what Moyes has done for us and support him and the boys. COYB
Lee Hind, Haverfordwest, Wales  (23/09/05)


reply to Danny Broderick........
Wake up and smell the coffee! Moyes's days are numbered and so are Everton's in the top flight football if he stays. Your response is the reason why the club can't move forward. Don't you get it? The fans deserve better. The only clubs who would be interested in having Moyes are in the lower divisions; if we continue with his tactics, that's where we will end up. MO"yes"OUT!
David Barlow, Colorado  (22/9/05)


You're on Sky Sports!
I was watching the above named program the other night when an Evertonian phoned in to say Moyes had to go. Now I forget who the studio guest was (maybe Alan McNally?), but he laughed the guy out of town. He simply said, 'Hang on, He got you into the CL, you finished 4th through good management allied with a good team ethic, and has strengthened the squad over the summer, so you're stronger this year. You over-achieved last year, but by the same token you're not as bad as you currently stand now. The previous year you were lucky to stay up, you should be thankful you've got him. Who would you get to replace him?'

This restored my faith a bit, this straight talking reminded me that 99% of clubs would kill to have Moysie. OK, I'm the first to admit that we've had an awful start, but I believe the key to our season is the fitness of Beattie. He owes us big time, and unlike McFadden I'm convinced he has the quality to come good. This will also give us the chance to see if Moyes reverts to 4-4-2. Otherwise, we've had it until we sign a striker in January.

The match against Wigan will determine whether we are in a battle against relegation or not this year, I really believe it is that important. It is difficult to climb the table once you get stuck in a rut, but my gut instinct is that we'll win on saturday and can still get a top half finish, which would still be a good season, especially if we get a cup run.

p.s. I make no apology for trying to remain positive, it is this that keeps me going!
Danny Broderick, London  (22/09/05)


David France Collection
I wonder how much we've raised for the David France collection so far? The current figure isn't published on the website. Having chipped a little bit in, it would be nice to see how far off we are. Is there a deadline for us to purchase it?
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (22/09/05)

That's a good qustion... to which I have no answer. I believe there is a deadline in the smallprint. Something about the end of the season? — Ed


Thomas Gravesen
Gravesen is being linked with Manchester United by the papers today... Don't we have first option on him to buy him back? With Tommy back in the side and Van der Meyde to come in.. everything could be rosy again! Interesting point though.. who would el Baldo choose.. Us or Utd?!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (22/9/05)

Firstly, it's just transfer rumour nonsense. Secondly, do you really think everything would suddenly come good if Tommy returned (which he can't, until January at least, but likley not even then)? And thirdly, the pressure being put on Van der Meyde's return to fitness is completely ridiculous. — Ed


Just a Thought
I doubt that anyone at Goodison dwells too long on supporters thoughts on Toffeeweb but it had occured to me that we might try what turned Howard Kendall's first managerial spell, Colin Harvey. Not to replace Moyes but as with Kendall, perhaps to lend his support on technical points. I'm sure such a great Evertonian, not to mention footballing brain, would love the chance to assist for three months or so, wouldn't upset anyone's ego and has, of course, been there himself. Anyway, I'll leave you with that thought and turn the light off again.
Thommo   (22/09/05)

Best keep that one to yourself, methinks. — Ed


A Toon fan comes in peace
Good afternoon lads, I understand your situation at Goodison isn't looking good, but you've got to remember where Mr Moyes has brought you from. What I would be really worried about is the lack of quality signings this summer. I seem to recall you wanted Emre, Parker and even tried to get Owen. Yet they all decided to join a team not in Europe and finished 10 places lower in the league. What's going on? My mate at work is an Evertonian taking some real stick up here in Newcastle.
Peter Hirst, Newcastle  (21/09/05)

Complicated factors, really, Peter, the biggest of which was money. Your Board and manager were prepared to spend it on wages to get Parker and Emre, our manager was, according to rumour, not agreeable to going the last financial mile to secure either of them. Owen? We simply didn't have £17m and it's clear he didn't want to play for us because of his prior association with Liverpool... and his boyhood Blue roots obviously weren't enough to trump that reasoning. Webmaster


Happy to be out of UEFA Cup
In our current predicament I for one will be more than happy/relieved if Everton are knocked out of the UEFA Cup next week. My reasons for this are as follows:

Firstly, I believe our major aim should be to safely secure our Premiership place. Unfortunately this could be in jeopardy if we managed to get through to the next UEFA Cup phase as I reckon that from 1st October until 31st December we would have to play at least 19 matches ( League, UEFA, Carling) in a possible 11 week period( 2 Saturdays being lost in October and November due to World Cup qualifiers ). This equates to almost 2 matches per week and with our current squad riddled with injuries, lack of self belief and confidence I am seriously concerned that will find ourselves in a worse situation than we are in now.

Secondly, as injuries clear up and belief returns we can always gain a place in next seasons UEFA competition by winning either of the F.A. or Carling Cups which I honestly believe is in our capability.

And Thirdly, if we get past Dinamo Bucharest it means another 4 league matches being moved to a Sunday and I hate Sunday games!!!

Finally, I feel a bit sorry for David Moyes. Last season he successfully introduced the 4-5-1 system to the Premiership and now some of the major teams in England and Europe have adapted it. But unfortunately the Press/Media see this system as being negative and boring and are blaming Moyes for this!

Anyway as a tongue in cheek suggestion to David Moyes I have a well tried and successful attacking system which he might wish to develop.It's the old 1-2-3-5 system...Goalkeeper; Right Back, Left Back; Right Half, Centre Half, Left Half; Outside Right, Inside Right, Centre Forward, Inside Left, Outside Left.

Everton had much success with this in the 60's, must be worth a try ...mustn't it?

Keep together forever fellow Evertonians.
Frank Carse, bury  (21/09/05)


Moyes's complete lack of ambition
'We stopped them playing, stopped them creating too many chances, so that was something we can take from the game,' said Moyes, after the game.

Oh really? What about about your team playing and creating chances themselves, Dour Dave?

Perhaps he should really be off.
Braam , Gaborone  (20/09/05)

Not that inspiring is it. But in the context of stemming the tide and turning things around, I think that really is how Moyes looks at it. Changing the way we play to the point where we are playing intelligent attacking football will take a little while longer, I believe. — Ed


Total change needed
Regarding the way we are playing at the moment, a lot of it, sorry to say, stems from the Joe Royle Dogs of War mentality. OK, It got us an FA Cup, and a top six place, but has become the fall-back position for every Everton manager since. And it cannot possibly work year in year out.

Moyes, after initially commiting to producing attacking, good football, basically adopted the same philosophy last season. A hell of a lot of graft and industry, not enough passing, attacking stuff. We eeked out one-nils, defended like mad men, and had the lowest tally of goals of any team in the top 8. Point is that style of playing takes a hell of a lot out of the players, which is probably why Cahill is so knackered. (Same thing happened with Royle's team the season after btw.) A total change is required. If not the manager, then in this thinking. Is he capable of it though? I really wonder. And do we have the players?
Braam , Botswana  (20/09/05)


The weak Wigan fixture?
To quote a phrase, 'There are no easy games in the Premiership'. Only an idiot would beleive that, in Everton's present dire predicament, the Wigan game is already in the bag. Wigan are far more successful than Everton this season and that is self-evident from the respective positions in the Premiership!

Wigan have had a couple of great succesees; Everton... it's been an appalling set of results so far this season. Wigan must really fancy their chances since virtually every game Everton have played this season they have lost. Wigan have achieved a great deal more and will come to Goodison knowing that, if Portsmouth can beat Everton, so can they.

Get real, fellow Evertonians! This could be our toughest game of the season.
Andrew Fairfoull, England  (20/09/05)

... so far.


Cheer up, Mr Moyes
Mr Moyes should be re-assured by the current clamour for his head. We kicked Harry Catterick in the Blackpool car park in 1966 and paraded on the pitch with placards calling for his head (see picture last weeks Echo ). Result- he won the cup in May and went on to produce the 1970 champions. We vandalised Howard Kendall's garage and leafleted Goodison calling for his head. Result: he produced the great team of the Eighties. Perhaps Davy needs a bit more stick!
Craig Jones, liverpool  (20/09/05)


I have a cunning plan
Having read all the recent articles published about 'boring football' and how Premiership attendances are dropping, I have a cunning plan.

Rip up all the players contracts & issue them with new ones stating the following:

WIN = Full pay
Draw = 1/3 pay
Lose = No pay.

Attendances would rocket, fans would be happy & the clubs with the greediest players would do well. Which means Everton would do pretty well.

Slap, slap. Ok, I'm awake. I know I was dreaming, but what a dream!
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (20/09/05)

Hmmm.. I wonder what Mr Bosman would have thought of that? — Ed


Bent?
Sorry for submitting another Bent quote but this is insane!

"Arsenal are a great side, but we lost by a big margin last year, and with the way we have been playing the past couple of weeks, to lose 2-0 at Highbury was a bit of a bonus for us."

What????????

The result last season was a disgrace but partly understood due to the qualification to the Champions League. That should in no way whatsoever be compared to the 2-0 defeat yesterday as progress. Shut up Bent and show us you deserve to play on our pitch.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (20/09/05)

I do wish they would just shut it, I really do. I know what he's trying to say but it just comes over all so wrong when we are in a predicament like this. — Ed


I never thought I'd be saying this....
....but Saturday's visit of Premiership newcomers Wigan Athletic to Goodison has become a MUST win game.

Okay, so we'd be expecting to win games like this in any circumstances, but who'd have thought that a victory would be so imperative at this stage of the season?

I just dread to think what it will do for morale if we don't pick up three points, regardless of the performance. Whilst Arsenal away came at the worst possible time for us following last Thursday's Bucarest debacle, a home game against one of the weaker sides in the Premiership is coming at just the right time, and we must take advantage.
Richard Price, Gloucester, UK  (20/09/05)

Okay, this one's been bandied about plenty already, and I'm on a roll here, so I'm going to ask what this really means: "Must win?"

What is really at stake here? The expectation is that, as you say, we should beat a so-called weaker team (who are currently significnatly higher than us in the Premiershp, and have had a far better start). Didn't that same imperative apply to Portsmouth? Yet we did not win. And, if you are a realist, you have to accept that not winning against Wigan is one of the three possible outcomes of playing the game.

Are there some truely dire consequences directly connected to our failure to win? Moyes will be sacked? Bill will resign and give his shares to charity?
Villarreal (a) was a Must-win (by at least 2) -- if we wanted to qualify from the CL group stages.
Bucharest (h) is a Must-Win (by 4 at least) -- if we want to stay in the Uefa Cup.
Wigan is a "need desparetely to win if we are to start turning the corner, regaining some confidence, and getting back just a little pride" game. It is not a must-win game... but that's just my opinion. Ed

Come on, Ed. You know what he's trying to say. Wigan is a game we have to win because it's one of the few games where we can realistically pick up maximum points in what might turn out to be another battle against relegation. And if this fixture was at the end of April and we were in the bottom three, you could bet your life everyone would be regarding it as "must win". No, there won't be any dire consequences if we don't but it'll be another three points we won't have as we chase the magic 40-point mark — Webmaster


Advice to Moyes
I agree with the Everton manager using the same squad. But he should review what we did different last year than now. I would concentrate on trying to get Van der Meyde fit for the next leg and try get the team spirit up because the Everton side I know doesn't give up. They should make what they want to happen happen because nothing is impossibe if you want it bad enough. SO COME ON DAVEY LETS BE HAVIN YE HEY!!!

The support will never die because we know Everton can do it. Give the players a speech as if it's the last battle of Earth get to there hearts give them what they need. I am 14 and I tell a 46-year-old we can do it, so please don't let me down.
Ben Roberts, Flint  (20/09/05)

Ah, bless... is this what kids are being taught these days? "They should make what they want to happen happen because nothing is impossibe if you want it bad enough." Well that's dead easy then, isn't it. And the team that wins is the one that wants it the most. That's right lad... go on believing that and you will get a long way in life... NOT! — Ed


Have to disagree
Sorry Ed but I have to disagree. Football is all about opinions.

Do you honestly feel that Cahill, Valente (I still can't believe he dived under the ball), Wright and Beattie (to name several) are really putting it all in when they play?

Ferrari looked bright last night, as did MacFadden, Neville and the hardworking Bent but I cannot believe most are really trying 100% (think about the collapse at Bucharest).

For me they have won their contracts and it is back to the easy life. If the majority had any pride they would not be where they are now.
Russ K, E Port  (20/09/05)

Ah... changing your tune a bit now aren't you, Russ. This is what you actually said, and this is what I responded to:

"The players are not fit to wear the shirt with few exceptions. They do not give a damn."

It's just far too easy to make claims like these, and it's far too easy for fans who are looking for a simple expalanation, someone to blame, to grasp onto them and believe them for true.

If you honestly believe that the players "did not give a damn" during the second half last night, or during the Bucharest debacle, then you need your bumbs feeling, as my old Dad would say. I assure you that such a claim could not be further from the truth. And that is a lot more than just my opinion speaking. — Ed


Verbal Rubbish
"BENT PLANS A SIEGE" is the latest headline on EvertonFC.com. How about he scores some fucking goals?
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (20/09/05)

As you can see from my homepage side-story, I entirely agree. The continued publication of this nonsense from the players is an insult to our intelligence. — Ed


What do I tell my lad?
My lad is 6 and this is his "second" season where he appears to understand what's going on so what do I say when he asks "Why don't we win, we did we last year?" but at least he still thinks we'll score 4 and let none in against Bucharest next week.

He also keeps referring to Beattie as "Busted", suits fine from what I've seen, or not.
Pat Ahern, Cheshire  (20/09/05)


Earn your money
I just can't belive how Everton Football Club now play football. Almost every game we play seemes to be based on pure defense and stifiling the game. If we are lucky, we might get a goal from a set play. When was the last time we watched Everton come out with the intent scoreing as many goals as possibile?

What is going to the match about? Surely it's about seeing your team wanting to play entertaning attacking football. I am 43 years old; since I was a little boy of six I have never been to less than a dozen games a season. Sure I've seen bad and boring games before but never ever before has Everton's philosophy been to play boring sifiling football hoping to nick a goal from a set piace.

I don't mind the odd game being played (even though I dont like it) just for the result. But after four years in charge Moyes still sends his team out terrified of every other team. When Everton play the likes of Fulham, Charlton, WBA, Pompey, Blackburn we send out the message that we hope we don't get beaten. What about "We are Everton and we are coming here to show you what were made of"? Play football not chess.
Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (20/9/05)


Re 'time for a new gameplan'
Robert Pullans new formation sounds effective enough, which is no surprise as reading the article it sounded to me like a 4-5-2 formation. Sorry Robert but one man too many.
Howard Don, Ormskirk  (20/09/05)

I nearly said something about Championship Manager but I held my tongue... Ed


Moyes to adapt
This is the first time I have visited this site and am intereseted to read some of the comments of my fellow Evertonians. However I would like to take issue with the opinion of some that replacing Moyes would be a positive change for the club.

Moyes has certainly developed the club in the years he has been in charge and although he certainly never going to win the league I do think that a successful future (regular top 10 finishes) is only possible with him at the helm. His signings on the whole have been excellent with the obvious exclusion of McFadden and Beattie. But even his bad buys can be explained away. Mcfadden for £1.2M represented a decent bet; Beattie I don't think he particularly wanted but was forced into a panic signing at January.

A careful analysis of the side on paper most of whom are Moyes signings make positive reading. Neville, Arteta and Cahill have the makings of a great midfield and a defence including Yobo, Kroldrup, Ferrari a rejuvinated Hibbert and Martyn a sound defence. The only area and a rather crucial one at that that needs seriously addressing is the attack. If we are to persist with 4-5-1, 4-3-3, then it is imperrative we sign three pacy forwards. Players which Moyes was trying to sign (Bellamy, Keane etc). When these players are brought in, hopefully in Jan then I think a top 10 place is realistic.
Gavin Roberts, Chester  (20/09/05)

Welcome, Gavin. Your comments are appreciated but you are about two months late. If you read earlier posts, you'll see we have been down this road many, many times already. — Ed


Do You Want To Tell Him Or Should I?
Robert Pullan - 3-5-2 does not offer a solution to our conundrum if Moyes doesn't adopt it.
Dixie Dean, In Heaven  (20/9/05)

I think it is fundamentally cathartic for people to step in to the virtual Moyes role and offer up their advice. Although you never know... he might just be at such a low ebb, he is looking to the ToffeeWeb Mailbag for inspiration. — Ed


Sigh!
Everton are in a sorry state at the moment. The two biggest problems are that we are defending poorly and that we don't even remotely look like scoring. Defensively I don't think we're working as a unit and closing people down quickly like we are famous for. I think especially at centre back we're just not getting tight enough to the opposing stikers. Yobo is being pulled all over the place covering for his colleagues and Weir is just shocking - the sooner Krøldrup is fit the better.

Having lost confidence with so many defeats, we're sitting further and further back and we're too stretched to get the ball to Bent. Personally, I'd give Cahill a month's rest (or use him sparingly) and play McFadden behing Bent, so that he can break with the ball and float left and right to find space. We'd then have two solid banks of four behind him, like this (4-4-1-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Ferrari, Valente; Davies, Neville, Arteta, Kilbane; McFadden; Bent.
Simon Birdsey, Cheshire  (20/03/05)


Different this time
Although our recent collapse shouldn't really surprise us given Everton's track record in letting the fans down, the reaction of the fans themselves seems to be the most worrying thing. Mass despair by September; it seems the club has succeeded in totally breaking the spirit of the fans this time.

I have never felt so let down by them as this time. We all finally thought we had cracked it and were approaching our best condition both on and off the pitch since 1987, only to have all our expectations explode in our faces. It's different this time because we all really thought we were 'back' based on the success of a whole season not Mike Newell scoring 9 goals, or Andrei K tearing up a few left backs, this time we thought we could put our feet up enjoy the media coverage associated with a half decent team go the match and enjoy it not worry too much about how to reply to the lovable kopites mickey-taking and not be on a total downer all weekend because of another dismal defeat.

However, we were all wrong; it's as bad as ever — no, it's worse because we didn't see this one coming did we? We trusted them this time not to do it again. It's like your wife having numerous affairs but she has behaved for the last year or two, you come back from work early and there she is in bed with next door neighbour, is it time to ring your solicitor/chairman or is time for one last chance because they promise not to do it again?
Darrel Pugh, Chester  (20/09/05)


Wrong Personnel for Right Tactic
Its time that Moyes re-jigs the trusted 4-5-1 formation that brought us so much success last season. Don't get me wrong, I think the 4-5-1 is still a very effective formation. HOWEVER, our current personnel (aka our best players) at our disposal do not fit into an effective 4-5-1 formation.

My suggestion? Drop Weir and play Ferrari next to Yobo. With the added pace, we can afford to defend higher up the pitch. Move Neville to right-back and give Hibbert a breather. Play Arteta in the midfield anchor role with Osman and Cahill breaking from midfield. Kilbane and Davies on the wings with Bent in his customary lone striker role.

Wishful thinking? Well, nothing much more we can do expect hope for some changes to rejuvenate a flagging formation.
Gerald Foo, Singapore  (20/09/05)

Yea, a lot of people are now saying this. Welcome to the club! — Ed


Thanks
I have visited the BBC, Blue Kipper and Toffeeweb sites frequently of late and must congratulate Toffeeweb on producing the best quality web site of the lot.

I was amazed at Blue Kipper. It is a site full of abuse for anyone who dares to question Moyes. At least on here you can actually read well constructed posts that offer reasons for Moyes to go.

I would like to add my tuppence at this juncture - Moyes is looking increasingly out of his depth and if we continue to lose points he will have to go for the sake of the club. He is not solely to blame. The players are not fit to wear the shirt with few exceptions. They do not give a damn and I am sad to say that we are in serious trouble.

Keep up the good work boys.
Russ K, E Port  (20/09/05)

I've heard of the BBC but I don't know who that other lot are. Yes, we allow negative comment, although some say we write it all ourselves because True Blue Evertonians are always positive, supportive, and optimistic. Bad patches like these are actually our fault, you know.

But we do not allow comments that the players do not give a damn. That is utterly ridiculous and you know it. — Ed


Doubts growing.......
Can anyone tell me when the new Everton woollens range goes on sale? It must be jumpers etc as Bellfield seems to have turned into a fucking knitting circle.

Can't attack - shooting practice anyone? Can't defend two identical set pieces - defending practice anyone? Just what the hell do they do there anymore?

We are becoming a bigger joke daily.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (20/09/05)

They did a lot better that I thought they would. Moyes obviously told them anyone who hoofs it — even when Dunc is on — cleans the bogs for a week. So patience, Gavin. Recovery takes time. — Ed


Action, not past achievements
As an Evertonian (for 20 years, and from Asia), my concerns is for the long term. Not all of us are ashamed of 1-0 wins. Moyes did buy some players, but I don't think we have improved that much. Moyes has always talked about the future, but if he's not careful this season, our future lies in the championship.

At the moment, the manager simply doesn't seem to have a clue of what he should do. I did not watch the live game between us and the gunners. I just came to the office and asked my colleague how many goals to nil was the result.

BUT, to have Moyes head chopped is not a solution. We will just have to wait and see what he does in January. And how many points we can get during the second half of the season because we won't get that many until then.

Colm Kavanagh, let those poor guys relieve their frustrations. They will each become a "True Blue" again once we win the next game. HA!
David Lok, Singapore  (20/09/05)


All I have to say is...
Everton till I die... my bollocks. I have better things to live for, settled down with a pint with mates in the pub to watch tonight's game against Arsenal. Went home at half time, pure shit, no direction, no punch, no fucking clue. It gets harder all the time. DM and co need to sit down and sort it out. Two piss easy headers, we are in the proverbial shits. Fuck it, I could go on but like the current Everton first team I could not be arsed trying.
Paul , Ireland  (19/09/05)


Moving on from 4-5-1
I've just got back from the Arsenal game.

What little football we did manage was when late substitutions were made. We had something of a 'diamond' in the midfield and two strikers.

The five man midfield has long had it's day. It's no longer an unknown commodity. We're being easily beaten. This 4-5-1 has to go. A blind man on a galloping horse can see that.

Either it goes or I do. I could probably benefit from a break. Maybe things will be different when I come back.
Myles Sunley, London  (19/09/05)

If you had February in mind, it might be — Webmaster


Wigan or bust
Who would of believed it, Wigan at home is the biggest game at Goodison in many a long year. Lose and we can prepare for life in the Coca-Cola leagues, followed by the death of Everton Football Club. That's how serious this current "non-crisis" is. Broadway Bill, Dynamo Dave, Gormless Gregg ... the list of comedy characters in charge of a so called big club is a joke. Is it any wonder the Chris Dunbar syndrome is rife?

CDS is no joke, thousands are currently suffering from this terrible affliction and defeat at the weekend would only make this epidemic spread like wild fire. A victory or three, preferably on the bounce is the only known cure for this disease and we need our medicine very quickly.

Will the 6.5 million dollar man Beattie come to the rescue and actually stop hiding behind his sore fucking toe? Get a jab, crawl on all fours if you have to but don't fucking hide when we need you, you big lump of shit. This player is a prime example of the way our once great club is going, and he is the worst buy we have ever made. Make the twat play or fuck him off, just do something, Moyes, he is making you look a right prick.

Come on boys save us all from CDS.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (19/09/05)

One would hope the days of injecting players' injured parts to get them through another 90 minutes are long gone. Pain is there for a reason; ask Michael Ball. Beattie's susceptibility to injury is hardly his fault. Moyes knew he was buying a player who had been struggling for fitness for two years but spent £6.5m on him — Webmaster


Sorry Colm - you are wrong!
The fact is that we have now experienced the worst form run in the history of Everton football club.

You mention Alex Ferguson but they were respectably placed in the top ten - not languishing in the bottom two. We look devoid of ideas, skill and energy. A friend of mine said on Saturday that Chelsea don't look like shipping a goal, let alone a point. In our case we don't look like getting a shot on target, let alone scoring or even gaining a point. The confidence of the players is nil and their effort is scandalous. Where is their pride?

It is Moyes who signs (or in his case doesn't sign ) the players. It is he who decides tactics. You say that if we win our two games in hand then we will be seventh. Well we lost the first of those two games and Wigan do not look like a lay down side to me. They will come to 'fortress' Goddison full of hope - not fear.

My challenge to you is to popint out the bright spots in our recent run of losses. Go on...you know you can't do it!!
Tom , Wirral  (19/09/05)


Progress
Slow progress, the result I expected and still not good enough but a step forward from last week. More positive tactics (from what I read) and two strikers on the pitch from the off. And let's be realistic, despite a bad run of results, it's early days in the season and we're only 3 points from a mid-table spot. Wigan on Saturday is the real test - if we draw/lose that, things look bad. Let's stick Ferrari up front; at least he has an eye for goal!

Unfortunately couldn't watch the game as I'm at work so could be talking out of my arse. Considering I wasn't going to be interested after last week, I still find myself drawn to the boys in blue. Pity we're a bit shite though. I'm currently expecting the call from my ex-pat Arsenal mate but thankfully I don't know any Wigan fans so at least I'll get a respite this weekend!
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (19/09/05)


Better things to do.
Everton have just gone two behind against Arsenal. I have turned off the TV in disgust. I am 56 and in the 45 years I have been a Blue I have never left a match before the final whistle and I have never ever before turned off a match. But this is too much to bare

Mr. Kenwright, our club and team are in turmoil and all we get is platitudes and false promises. I probably will return to the match later and I hope that people who read this letter will be able to say, 'You should have kept watching to see our fightback'. But I very much doubt it. For now I've got better things to do!
Dave Atkinson, Elgin, Scotland.  (19/09/05)


Bravo Colm
I'd just like to thank Colm Kavanagh for his contribution to this web site and instilling a sense of realism and loyality back to our great club. To those who speak of sacking Moyes hang your heads in shame! The man has tranformed us in three years from annual relegation struggles to Champions league contenders, with compared to other clubs is a very limited budget, what more do want from him?

Don't get me wrong I'm not immune to the horror that was our European adventure but compared it to the dark days of the 90's I couldn't be happier. Players do not become bad over night and neither do managers. I find the quick fix solution these so called 'loyal' supporters have in there minds, in that get a new manager and everything will sort it self out, to be juvenile and rather sad.
Kevin Morris, Sydney, Australian  (20/09/05)


Moyes Out?
I don't think so, it's the fact that they have nothing to play for. No CONTRACTS. I keep banging on about last season, they all had something to prove to either Moyes or other managers. They were in the "Shop Window" They had a point to prove. You may get it one day, it'll sink in soon.
P.S. Come on the Everton Ladies!!!!
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (19/09/2005)


Get a Grip
Oh my God, what a load of whiners. I don't for any minute expect anyone to be happy with the recent spate of results, but get a bloody grip of yourselves. Anyone that plays football will realise it takes seasons of playing together to harness good partnerships, playing patterns, etc, and that is what we had last year; a team that had been playing together for a while (granted Smith was crap) and Moyes moulds them into winning a few games.

It was obvious the quality was never good enough and so Moyes has taken adequate steps to fill the squad with some good quality and he has done. The midfield has genuine quality to it, we could do with some lightning pace, but who couldn't.

This current team need time to make mistakes (that they are currently doing hand over fist) and gel as a team. There is a very good bedrock of quality players and they only need 1 or 2 players to spark them into life (whether it be Krøldrup, AvdM or the incoming DaSilva or a January transfer target). This team has got some good years ahead and they need time. 1 or 2 may be changed/replaced during the course of this time, but please control your expectations, with a virtually whole new midfield, quality additions on the bench and out injured.

We cannot build a team with cash (like Mourinho); Moyes will buy mistakes, they are only highlighted more because we haven't got £20M to buy another mistake. If you are expecting every one of Moyes's buys to be top of the shop, you are kidding yourselves. He has bought quality; let the dust settle and then make an informed decision at the end of next season.

This is really Moyes's first squad (after ridding itself of Walter Smith's chaff), so giving him 2 years is the least we should be doing. I am writing this before the Arsenal game and am confident of getting a win. I remember beating Arsenal 2-0 with a bare bones squad at Goodison with the likes of Gemmill, so keep the faith and you never know what's round the corner.
Baz G, Liverpool  (19/9/5)

Oh dear... that last bit kinda spoilt what was a good contribution there, Baz. Ed


At least try playing good football
I have been watching and supporting this team for about 20 years. I admit that I started watching them when they were winning in the '80s, and appeared a reasonable alternative to the Liverpool, Man United, etc. axis. I have however stuck by them through the barren times since. This result is the latest in a long line of hammerings which we have been subjected to, and will not stop me from supporting the team. However, unless Moyes changes the monotonous, unattractive manner in which they play, I can't see myself making too much effort to get to a TV to watch them.

There is also no-one in their right mind, who is growing up, who would choose Everton to support, looking at what's on offer. The blood and guts, spirited performances and all the rest of that stuff is becoming lame. Has been that way for a long time. Our blip of last season not withstanding. And yes, a Manager does influence the way his team plays. The players he chooses to buy, and put on represent his vision of the game. It looks like Moyes vision is actually pretty limited. And of course now that were occupying the nether ranges of the Premiership, he won't be trying anything different. It is early, and knee jerk perhaps, but if this is really the way he sees the game, it will just be another crap season really. That sad, he should get the opportunity to put right his mistakes.The long ball stuff should go. It clearly doesn't work either, so try anything else.
Braam Cupido, Gaborone, Botswana  (19/09/05)


Uphill battle
The articles by Vaughan and Cascarino state exactly what many of the fans have been saying on this website for many months.

When a well-known former footballer of some note comes out making it plain in his article of the failures and points directly at the limitations of our manager, some one should be sitting up and making notes. It will not be easy for Moyes to swallow what is said but the truth usually has a way of sticking.

It really looks like the club is in a similar predicament to a few years ago. Money was available but not spent wisely leaving the club with a big debt and poor players. Moyes seems to have placed the club in this same unenviable postion. When someone like Cascarino points at the poor buys and he is after all on the inside so to speak, then it is really worrying.

People say he is a young manager learning... but at whose expense? As a footballer he was never big time, in fact had anyone heard of him outside Glasgow? Our results since last Christmas have been dire but this seems to have been lost on the Moyes fans when they talk about giving him a chance.

To bring anyone who remotely knows how to score goals or create chances will have to wait for the 4 week window in January. Remember last January? What a cock up — is the next going to be any better. Will Moyes be leaving it until the last day again or will he be off playing golf. By that time it could be too late for Everton, and what money is left in the kitty.

We have played 4 games, so out of a possible 16 points we have 3. It is going to be an uphill battle away from relegation and to respectability.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (19/09/05)


Who'd have thunk it?
Tony Cascarino - absolutely 100% correct.
David  C  ()


Keep keeping on
Okay, so Bucharest was a disaster but don't forget the great AC Milan let in 3 goals in 10 minutes and went on to lose a championship!!! So tonight might not see us giving Arsenal a hard time, but look at the inujuries to our squad. It seems we're done for before we even start! Moyes has made mistakes with transfers and strategies but he has 2 things going for him, he is intelligent and he is pro-active. HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DONE WRONG and he takes it personally. That's good for us.

He is still the best manager to lead this team. He is not a fool - he is still learning. Some of our players don't deserve the blue shirt so lets hope they'll either be out at the end of the season, or they'll realise where their bread is buttered at the moment and start committing more consistantly. I hate what we're going thro' at the moment but I'm not prepared to give up! Hell - after a few seasons fighting relegation - this period is still lined with blue brightness!
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, SA  (19/09/05)


The way it is
I'm reading some of these e-mails with disbelief. Yes, things are bad. Yes, things could get worse, but how can you stop supporting Everton? I've supported them since 1968 and no matter how bad things get I'll always support them. The Unibond Northern Premier league wouldn't be great but I'd still rather support Everton in that than support no-one, or even worse, anybody else. Everton Football Club is part of my life and always will be. That's just the way it is and I'm more than happy with that!
John Sharp, King's Lynn  (19/09/05)


I need help!
I have read the mailbag with mixed emotions since Thursday. Half of me agrees with the 'Moyes is shit - Moyes out' sentiments, while the other half with the 'IMWT' brigade. I NEED HELP!

One year 15th then 7th, the next 17th then 4th. This year? Well using a perverse logic (Moyes in charge / final league position / odd or even year) we ought to finish 19th. This is because, since Moyes has been manager, the good years (i.e those ending in an odd year) we've improved 3 places on the last g0d year and then in the bad years (those ending in an even year) we have dropped 2 places compared with the last bad year.

So is this a realistic prediction? Well we have been shit in some games this season and we haven't played badly in others. The Villarreal away game second half we were a poor refereeing decision away from heading into extra time and possible Champions League proper. On the other hand in Bucharest we were absymal second half. But neither of these were league games, so we instead we were quite good against Man Utd in parts and shit against Bolton. Oh, hang on that doesn't work..

So what do we do? Sack Moyes? We could... and then what? Get a 'world-class manager? I saw Howard Kendall in Formby Village last week and I believe he is free.

The upshot is stick with Moyes.

And you know what? I predict 10th place this year. But hang on, that fecks up all my up 3, down 2 logic!
Chris Leyland, Formby  (18/09/05)

A mid-table finish sounds like a reasonable prediction at this stage... Ed


Billy Liar
I see the Billy Liar website has now expired. Given that web hosting is normally for minimum periods of 12 months, it got me thinking two things: -

1. Is it really 12 months since he went into overdrive with his bullshit rhetoric?

2. Given the current climate at our club, was it wise not to renew, because surely it's only a matter of time before his contemptuous claptrap starts again?
Dave Randles, Ellesmere Port  (18/09/2005)


Support
After the shock of last Thursday my mates and me have regrouped and are ready for the upcoming games.

We have been agreed for some time that Moyes is not our favourite, this is based on the fact that we regard EFC still to be a massive club and our gripe with Moyes is that he doesn't set out to play big club football; in fact we feel he would be more comfortable at the likes of Blackburn, Bolton, WBA etc.

However, unless the man resigns or the chaiman gets shut we fully understand that it is counter-productive to be anything other than supportive.

To that end, we are geared up for Monday then Wigan and come the 29th it will be shirts, scarves, hats, flags and banners. Is there anyone out there in ToffeeWeb land up for it with us?
Ken , Buckley  (18/9/05)


Home leg
5-1 down at half time. We need a full house for the home leg. EVERTON, HAVE SOME SAVVY, THE MONEY DOESN'T MATTER, DROP THE PRICES TO £10, get Goodison full and pick someone -- anyone -- in the squad who can score and go for it.
Steve , Liverpool  (18/09/2005)

Hear, hear.


Lee Carsley, where are you?
Tommy Gravesen and Lee Carsley. Many couldn't tell them apart. The truth is that since the sale of Tommy the team hasn't looked the same. What's more, the further dip in form this season can be partly put down to the abscence of Lee Carsley. This was so evident during the second-half debacle in Bucharest when the midfield could do nothing to protect our fragile defence. There are many deficiencies in our team but the return to fitness of Lee Carsley is much awaited. In Moyes we still trust.
Dougie Fraser, Thirsk  (18/09/05)

I honestly don't believe he would have made much difference. He is Lee Carsley after all; an average player who performed out of his skin in a formation that worked for half a season. A bit like half of the team that got slaughtered in Bucharest — Webmaster


Trying to be positive
Immediately after Thursday night's game I had an almost uncontrollabe urge to get on the e.mail and have a rant a la Mr Ramekis, which was hilariously angry by the way. Having resisted the urge, and thought a little more rationally about the whole sorry mess, I am now attempting to seek some solace by putting together the strongest Everton XI when everyone is fit and available. This team would be:

Martyn, Neville, Yobo, Kroldrup, Ferrari, Davies, Carsley, Arteta, Van der Meyde, Beattie and Vaughan.

There would be no Hibbert who I believe has gone backwards and isn't Premiership standard. Also Valente looks to me suspiciously like a latter day Marc Hottiger. And where is Tiny Tim I hear you ask? Well at the risk of being lynched I don't think he fits into the way that Everton should play. Yes, if you play five men in midfield, Cahill is ideal but most Evertonians hate this formation. Cahill reminds me of David Platt, a player who can score goals but otherwise offers little to the team. The only way that I would accomodate him is by playing him as an out and out striker but this would be a last resort and the sort of thing Walter Smith would probably do.

For the record I don't believe that the Uefa Cup tie is totally over yet. If Everton score the first 2 goals at Goodison I think we'll win 4-0 and go through. Its just a gut feeling but you heard it here first!
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (18/9/05)


We asked for it
Let's face it, folks, Moyes spent most of his time A)re-signing a team that finished fourth but only just sputtered across the finish line before collapsing, and B)signing a collection of injured players to go with the incredible glass Beattie he paid £6M for. Who didn't know we were going to take it on the chin having barely improved a team (with Neville) that over-acchieved in 2004 and needed reenforcing at the front and back?
Michael Power, Canada  (18/09/05)

I'd say you are merely benefitting from wisdom after the event. Most of the signings (espicially Valente) were greeted with universal praise and excitement (except by the cynical editor of one website who got slammed for suggesting that his signing broke all of Moyes's self-imposed rules...) The real issue at the moment is the injury crisis, which is in large part self-induced. — Ed


'Why We Follow Everton'
I've thought about this long and hard since the Bucharest capitulation and I've come to the conclusion that this is the natural order of things - it's what makes us Evertonians.

I am old enough to remember the days of the Golden Vision and the School of Science. I remember our triumphs and tragedies of the last forty years vividly and can recall them all along with the emotions that they instilled.

We are a club that is built on glorious history and past success but within that foundation is an equally long tradition of failure and defeat. The thing that makes us true supporters is how we deal with that defeat.

I'm completely in favour of discussing tactics and player selection - we would all like to be the one choosing the team every week and we all feel we could do a pretty good job. But, at the end of the day, that isn't our job.

Our job is to support Everton FC and show to the rest of the football world that passion and commitment is what makes us who we are. We don't change our alliegence because another club offers a better hospitality package, we dont wear another team's colours because their season tickets are cheaper than ours and we don't go and support another team because the chairman has a bigger yacht.

It's a fact of business that money is what brings success in football these days and that's all due to television. But we don't watch our football on television - we turn up at the ground week after week because we are passionate about Everton and we want to feel that we are able to make a difference. The way we make that difference is by cheering the team on when they are winning and believing in them when they are losing.

I still get a tingle down my spine and a lump in my throat when I hear Z-Cars and see those royal blue shirts at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon - and whether we've won, drawn or lost come 5 o'clock I know that I'll feel the same when I hear that tune and see those shirts next time. We all do - and that includes everyone associated with the club.

You can't explain to someone else how it felt to see Wayne Rooney loft the ball over David Seaman's head from the edge of the Park End penalty area. There are no words to convey what it was like to watch Duncan Ferguson charge into the Manchester United box and bury a header into the Gwladys Street net. And if you're not an Evertonian you wouldn't understand the emotions generated by watching Lee Carsley sublimely stroking a perfectly placed shot into the Liverpool goal.

What I've now come to realise is that because we're used to defeat, because we sometimes expect it, then those moments of sheer delight are so much sweeter. We enjoy our triumphs far more than any Chelsea or Arsenal fan ever could because we don't necessarily expect them.

That's what makes all the bad times worthwhile and that's why we follow Everton.
John Gibson, Liverpool  (18/09/05)


Worried Blues
Relegation battle? Again? Surely not. We can't have built our hopes totally out of proportion have we? It's a fact that 'on paper' our team this year is probably about 6th best in the league. We are playing 4-5-1 and I have no problem with that, but in the name of all Evertonians please play the system in the correct manor.

Last season we did for the most part. We got in a ship full of crosses for Tiny Tim who is at his best in the air. Why not do the same this year? I know many people WILL disagree with me when I say this next bit and I can understand their view but I believe Li Tie should play a role in the games.

I know technically he is poor at times but he is the only one in the team willing to switch the play to stretch defences. Gravesen used to do that last year, when he left there was a gap left.

I also think Moyes has made a mistake in buying James Beattie. Not through any fault of James Beattie's contribution though. when you buy a striker who has scored 40 goals in 2 years at So'ton it is obvious Moyes should try to make the team play to his strengths, and it is 4-5-1 that suits his play but only if we get crosses in. Being honest Beattie will never score for us at this rate, he can't be slated for missing sitters because he is never set up with shots on goal is he? Watch the next time he plays, he is never set up for a shot on goal. He put away his only good chance this year aginst Villarreal and cannot be critisised. Big Dunc is finished too, Bent is woeful and I believe if we did play 4-4-2 McFadden and Beattie have to play together because Ferguson and Bent are terrible together and apart.

Moyes you have got to get their spirits up again this season, thanks for the nightmare the other day in Bucharest, if you dont buck up Kenwright will make his desicion and fire you by Christmas. I hope you can turn it round because at the moment our luck has ran out from last season so lets create our own chances instead of being gifted them like last year.
Sean Nagle, Anfield  (18/09/05)


Seeing the wood for the trees
Many thanks for the earlier posting defending many contributors rights to question and even have negativity about the shambolic state of Everton FC but I'd like to raise another concern, one which has been carefully shoved away from the limelight by BS Bill and his lapdog Wyness - finances.

The perilous state of Everton's finances will very soon be back to haunt fans and the club alike due the the disasterous waste of opportunity European football gave us. The majority of fans, no matter how rose-tinted your Moyes glasses are, realise we will probably never win the title again in their lifetimes; it's all about money and we have sod all, fact.

In order to maintain at least eyesight of the top slice Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea then regular European football provides income way beyond a regular Premiership season; television rights and marketing opportunities etc. The niaivity and disgraceful mismanagement of this chance will lose the club income of approximately £10M-£12M at a conservative estimate this season.

At the end of last season Everton could have been had for a song, a bright club on the up, young manager just polished a turd into Champion's League qualifiers and a healthy fanbase. No thanks to the mismanagement within the walls, and I add Moyes to that, season ticket purchases have dropped by several thousand but the increased price appears to have equalised that loss, still less fans is less income whilst they are there. If the team plays as it has been for the rest of the season then even more will leave. I can't see any obvious investment from Wyness's new tent-housed chums or those with the ridiculous mini balconies now obstructing swathes of the family enclosure.

The European adventure has been harrowing; even qualifying for CL groups and getting knocked out at that stage would have earned desperately needed cash to the club's coffers but it wasnt to be. The least said about the Uefa Cup game the better. Both matches did show Moyes's basic and unforgiveable mistake of providing the club with insufficient strikers to score more than an opposition and thus win at least one of the games, basic Mr Moyes. Not letting the opposition score doesn't win it gets a draw at best, european football isnt marked for hard work its marked out of who scores the most goals.

My real worry now then is as an outwardly failing team who will be lucky to finish top half, note I didn't say relegated but I am also not blind as to just how crap our squad is, no potential buyer would want to invest in us. Not even BS Billy could make another one up, we also no longer have any crown jewels to sell, even if you put Cahill and Yobo out for bids come January you have two problems, what do you charge for best players out of a bad squad near foot of the league (worst case scenario) and who would you replace them with?

So what would happen at the end of this season? God prevailing, Everton will stay up, but I envisage lower half; we lose income; we have long lost the potential for new investors; can we balance the books after the Rooney money has been pissed away?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (18/09/05)


Yin and Yang
Everton achieved something last season that had never been done before; no team has ever qualified for the Champions' League in England without spending more money then every team who finished bellow them!!!

Everton doesn't have the squad to play 2 games a week. Other then Chelsea, I doubt any English club or possibly any club on the planet does, but it is certainly true of Everton.

Everton have sold all its season tickets, if anyone doesn't want to go and watch them anymore, I'm sure there are lots of people who will take their ticket.

Everton were offered the choice when it looked like they would be finishing 4th, as Liverpool had paid big money for them to win the EC, of either (a) Have Liverpool take their place in the CL, or (b) get a high profile tie in the qualifiers and have it fixed for them to lose. They took the latter course, which explains why the FA supported them so strongly, and Uefa broke all its rules to let Liverpool in.

Do Evertonians even care about the Uefa Cup? Now we are out of it, isn't that good? No one cared for it, not sure why people think it matters now when it was irrelevant before?

I hope Moyes threw the game, since a win would have put us in the crappy league and 2 months of 2 games a week football. If you saw the joke that Boro were after a long Uefa Cup campaign, they looked like a team who's players were thinking of the beach 10 weeks from the end of the season. We didn't play all those meaningless Uefa Cup games and yet we were already ragged at the end of the season.

I hope all our league rivals go as far as they can in every cup they are in, and play twice a week for as long as they can. I for one will be cheering them all on, to more and more games, spreading thiner and thiner the squad they don't have.

I'm delighted we are done with the Uefa Cup, I hope we play the kids in the return leg, and the best manager in the world can get back to doing what he does best, putting a team out that will out-want, out-fight and just plain out the opposition.
Bob Roberts, Dublin, Ireland  (19/09/05)

So we were given Hobson's choice after finishing fourth? We Don't care about the Uefa Cup?? And Moyes threw the game??? I'm sure I shouldn't say this but I'am afraid in this case it has to be said: You, Bob, are as mad as a bag of very mad badgers. — Ed


Reply to ED
In reply to your response to my "Time is up" letter. Yes I have said I`ve had enough but please don't accuse me of not being a supporter. After 57 years I think I and anyone like me are entitled to be disgruntled at the present manner that the Club is being run & the consequental disgraceful displays...

I have seen & been through many realy bad times before and always stuck with the lads. Including Second Division football, 10-4 at Tottenham (yes I was there), numerous cup-tie let downs etc. In return, I have had some fabulous times, like coming back up to the old First Division after a great win (4-0) at Oldham in a midweek match and walking home afterwards; a wonderful FA Cup semi-final performance though a defeat at Maine Rd to Bolton when we were in the Second Division (Dave Hickson days), Titles, FA cup wins in the 60s & 80s, Bayern Munich, it goes on & I did say through thick & thin...

Now I have serious doubts if the good times or even regular watchable performances will be seen again, believing it very unlikely with the present regime (and I do hope I am proved wrong). I was a season ticket holder for many years, which unfortuneatly I can no longer afford & with a disability which does not help; it takes a great effort and financial sacrifice to get to a game now and despite your unjustified taunts about not supporting it's just no longer worth the effort.

Indeed perhaps a drop in the gates may be the call this board needs to awake from its complacency. Its so very true as so many people say we Blues can never `stop` Loving the Club & I will always (despite lots of ridicule) continue to talk them up & watch all I can on the box. But, even after a few days to cool down, I repeat, my days of going to Goodison to watch Everton are over. *Time is definatly up*....

PS..perhaps you are correct regards the airline, however like the many recent ticket-sales farces isn`t it just a little odd, always seems to happen to EVERTON these days.
Jim Martin, Runcorn  (17/09/05)

Sorry Jim; with that comment I was really taking aim at certain people who have writen in and slammed us for publishing letters like yours and Chris Dunbar's. I believe your viewpoints, reinforced by years of blue experience, have great validity and pertinence today, and need to broadly read, especially by people in the game who care about its future... OK, strike that; they probably only car about the cash-cow continuing to produce its golden milk.

And I may also have been wrong about the airline thing; a thread on The People's FOrum suggests there is a lot more to that story, and that Everton should rally hav chosen a different carrier.

Best of luck, Jim, in dealing with your "retirement" — and your disability. — The Editor


There's a right way to do it.......
Having read most opinions on Everton's performance I won't harp, Rob Fox-like, on my history as an Evertonian other than to say I am in my mid-fifties and saw my first game at Goodison when I was 7, I think.

In all that time, supporting Everton has been a rollercoaster ride but every 10 or 15 years we would win something with a more than memorable side and have a few years on top. Will I be giving up on them after the European "we're having a laff" fiasco? No. It's not even an option. However, I accept the post-mortem in the bar after the game has always been part and parcel of that support and these days, for many, your website seems to have become that bar.

I am not of the opinion that Moyes should be sacked over this but I would prefer to read that, instead of hugging him on the tarmac at Speke Airport and whispering sweet nothings in his ear, Kenwrong had requested Mr Moyes's presence in his office at 9am to discuss team tactics, selection, performance, what is expected and what his employment prospects might be if we are not at least 9 points clear of the third last team by Christmas.

I would like, also, to hear that, as Mr Moyes left, he passed Mr Wyness, whose presence had been requested to explain why some of the club's supporters, after paying good money, were left stranded at Speke Airport, and what steps would be taken to ensure this would never be repeated.

In other words, when and by whom, is this club going to be put on a proper business footing so that everyone knows what is expected of them to facilitate the final aim of providing a winning and entertaining football team. In this way Everton may, at least, not repeat some of the avoidable errors.
Thommo   (17/09/05)

Nice idea, and no doubt a minimum expectation from many fans. But on the Club's side, they will tell you of everything that is already being done to generate the conditions you desire. There is clearly a gulf between the Club and the fanbase when it comes to these issues, and Wyness, to give him credit, did talk about the value and need for have an Everton's Fans Council that would help bridge that gap. Well, about a year ago, some Evertonians worked together long and hard in an effort to get that idea off the ground. What happened?

It died a death, just like every other Everton fan initiative before it, through a combination of general apathy from most, combined with suspicion, finger-pointing, and distrust from a small but vocal group of naysayers. So, as Ian Macdonald says, we have the club we deserve as a product of our own apathy and bickering. Sad but true.— The Editor


Pain
I stopped caring after the club sold Rooney. That was an admisssion that true greatness will never belong to Everton again. Fourth spot the next season? Who gives a fuck, the best young talent in the game plays for the team that finished third!

I think the Bucharest game has a few fans feeling as empty as I did. Sad to say, if you feel like I did when Rooney left, you never recover the love for your club. Fourth place and fourteenth place inspire the same reaction - yawn.

I can't get excited about Everton or football anymore, and it appears more than a few people are starting to feel the same way. The games fucked. {Not fooked. FUCKED}. But who cares about that?
David C  (17/9/05)

Who indeed. Perhaps the fans who are still left, although there really is only one effective way of expressing one's disaffection. But we're not supposed to publish mails like this (or so we are told) because they come from people who are no longer "true" supporters... Ed


Get a grip, eh!
Just arrived home from Spain and first thing to do was log on to ToffeeWeb and the mailbag. What do I see; sack Moyes! Get a grip lads and get a fucking reality check, will you. We are and have been shite for years; due to boardroom-level failures.

From the Doc not giving Kendall the money for Dion Dublin in '91, to taking Kendall back again, Mike Walker, Johnson etc * 100. Who do we think we are? We are nothing and so we do really well last season winning one-nil and we think we rule the world. Best team in this city? Oh, yeah, of course we are... and let's let in seven the next game.

The buck stops with the manager, eh? Maybe... maybe not; the truth lies in how far this guy has brought us. We could and should have gone down the year he came in. I told him last year when I had the pleasure of meeting him that I was proud to wear the shirt again — thanks to him and his staff. Do you lot actually remember Walter Smith or what?!

We will get there with this man as he is a winner. Cahill needs to stop flying round the fucking world and put his club first for a start. I am devastated, as we all are, but just get some perspective. In Moyes we should ALWAYS TRUST.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (17/09/05)

Mark (and David earlier), I was surprised to see the papers claim the Evertonians turned on Moyes and his boys at the end of the game. What was your impression at the end of the game? Was it actually the locals doing the booing? — Ed


Let him suffer
Just got back home — at least £600 poorer. No sleep since Wednesday and totally pissed off with all things Everton! But sack Moyes? No. Let the bugger suffer with the rest of us! He got us into this and as he has absolutely no chance of turning things round, let him suffer the slings and arrows with the rest of us. On the other hand, no doubt the million or so quid a year WE pay him will ease HIS pain just a little!
David Hall, Taunton  (17/9/05)


Shut up!
Simon Davies who so far has been very average is on the Official site saying "We are eager to win games, get points on the board and get up the table because if it goes on much longer the pressure will increase after every game"

Pure Genius

Player, take a hint, stop talking obvious crap and get on with what you do best. Unless talking obvious crap is what you do best.
John Audsley, Leeds  (17/09/05)

To be fair, John, players are encouraged to talk to the Official Site so that they can fill "column inches" on the site and keep the content fresh. The unfortunate by-product of that is that you get a lot of vacuous, meaningless drivel. I suppose we should be grateful that the players are communicating with the fans at all.


shambles
The Bucharest game was a complete shambles of a performance. If you look at each player's contribution, the only one who escapes blame is Martyn.

Hibbert.....confidence in his own ability to pass the ball to a blue shirt is rock bottom, when he gets the ball he just doesn't know what to do and inevitably ends up hoofing it to no-one.

Yobo.....far too many unforced errors have crept into his game and the sooner the better that Kroldrup is fit.

Weir.......Far too slow and his days as a premier footballer are long gone.Replace him and quick.

Valente......He is obviously going to take time to settle but that said, we seem to have found a left back that doesnt actually like being on the errr \left.Caught wandering on numerous occasions and what in the blue hell was that pansy dive all about? Jury is definitely out for now.

Osman.....tires too easily and only has 50 minute legs. Maybe a fitness issue but needs to improve as he has no influence on the game at the moment.

Davies.....Impressive in the first couple of games but against Portsmouth and Bucharest has maybe been found wanting a little.Has he got anything different than we already had before he arrived?

Cahill.....Whats up with the guy? A world beater turned into someone who looks as though he doesnt want to play anymore. Totally anonymous for the whole game apart from his constant niggles and moans with referees.

Neville.....Great first half, dictating play and tempo of game. Did he show for the 2nd half?

McFadden....Oh dear. The lad gets his start and blows it competely. The only thing I can say in his defence is that hes better than Kilbane......but so am I and I'm 50.

Bent....Is he really interested? He is far too casual and his 1st touch is shocking.His 2nd is worse (if he gets a 2nd) Not good enough at this level I'm afraid.

All of that said, the tactics leave a lot to be desired.We are showing no ambition in actually going out for a win and seem to be hoping that we may pinch a goal and hope not to concede.Last season was a fluke.Thats obvious.A long tough season lies ahead but we are Evertonians, what do we expect? I've watched this team for 44 years and for about 35 of those years we have been crap.Ive accepted now that we'll never be world beaters, we probably wont ever win any more major honours but i'll still be there in 2 weeks praying that the impossible is errrr possible. It's great to be blue innit?
Les olson, liverpool  (17/09/05)

What's up with Cahill? The guy is absolutely shattered. He hasn't had a break in 3 years and spent the summer playing in comparatively meaningless games for Australia. He needs about 3 weeks off which we could easily grant him if we'd signed another attacking midfielder this summer — Webmaster


Shut up!
Simon Davies who so far has been very average is on the Official site saying "We are eager to win games, get points on the board and get up the table because if it goes on much longer the pressure will increase after every game"

Pure Genius

Player, take a hint, stop talking obvious crap and get on with what you do best. Unless talking obvious crap is what you do best.
John Audsley, Leeds  (17/09/05)

To be fair, John, players are encouraged to talk to the Official Site so that they can fill "column inches" on the site and keep the content fresh. The unfortunate by-product of that is that you get a lot of vacuous, meaningless drivel. I suppose we should be grateful that the players are communicating with the fans at all.


Dejected ? Yes ! Giving up on it ? Never !
Whilst I agree with many of the comments made in this forum, I cannot help but feel that there is a degree of over reaction, particularly from those saying they will "Give up on Everton".

To be blunt, the second half performance on Thursday was inept. My mate who watched the game with me ( a Norwich Fan) thought we'd decided to play with only 6 players such was the space we gave them, whilst the lack of closing down for their 3rd goal and fourth (Osman didn't even pressurise the player) seemed to give the impression that some of the players didn't care.

As for giving up, no, I won't be doing that. I have never been a glory hunter and I am proud to be part of a group of supporters who can say that we support our team through thick and thin. Try finding a Liverpool fan when they are having a poor season ! Now is the time to wear our tops and show that whilst some of the players don't care, they will be long gone when we are still watching and supporting.
Nich Starling, Fakenham, Norfolk  (17/09/05)


Not so on top of the world mar...
I wrote a while back stating that I was happy to be an Evertonian, no matter what situation we found ourselves in, claiming that no matter what it was good to be an Evertonian. Of course i was slated for my blind optimism and now I would like to make a few more serious points.

Most of what I have to say I have read on this website already, so I am going to make one quick point instead.

Not four years ago I would have been happy not to have been relegated, this season I am bitterly disapointed because we failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, and look like we are going out of the UEFA cup. Hang on, I'll say that again. We got knocked out of the Champions League and look like we are going out of the Uefa cup, Jesus.

Are these not good things to be disappointed about? Or do readers and fans prefer getting knocked out of the FA Cup and League Cup? Couplked with a relegation dog fight year in year out?

We have come a very long way under DM my pedigree chums, and it is only going to get better as he constantly continues to raise oiur expectations and sooner rather than later he is going to deliver.

Keep your focus people, top ten and a good cup run, that would be a good season, top 7 and another crack at the UEFA cup, that is what I'm hoping for, and it really isn't that unrealistic.
Paul Gittens, runcorn  (17/09/2005)


Support the manager...
I can't believe I'm hearing fans calling for Moyes to leave, how pathetic! We have started the season on an injury trail and that's not Moyes' fault. He has bought well (remember the weak midfield we had the season before last, and the appalling defence?) buying to fill gaps needed on the park. When we have the players back, we will have the Everton of last season back for sure. One of the important aspects of last season's success was the fans urging the boys on, voting with your feet isn't going to help matters. Give the team support and the boys will gain confidence again. Time to forget Europe and concentrate on the biggest and most important thing of all... the Premiership.
Damien McCabe, Salisbury  (17/09/05)

It's all very well saying "forget about Europe" but seeing as we have no hope in hell of winning the title, the whole focus of our participation in the Premiership is to qualify for... Europe. And you have to wonder what the point is if the manager isn't going to prepare his squad for that challenge. Another attacking midfielder and, of course, a striker were paramount but neither were addressed; Moyes obviously chose loyalty to those players who scrapped their way to fourth over genuinely strengthening the squad in those key areas. That said, I agree that it's premature to be calling for Moyes's head — Webmaster


I want you back
Remember that time when the bird you were mad on chucked you and you told everyone that she was a slag and you hated her anyway? Yeah, we've all been there. Then remember the next school disco and she said she wanted to get back with you and you loved her all over again? Well, Everton have got a school disco coming up soon and loads of you who hate the club now will fall back in love. Believe me I have been there many times.

Do any of you remember getting drubbed 5-0 at home to our wonderful neighbours back in the eighties? Well, I was there and I wanted to spew it then. But hey, here we are 20-odd years later and for the first time some of my fellow Blues want to jack it all in. Let me tell you, it's never easy being a blue but we always come back for more; it's in our blood. What's the alternative for the men who want to jump ship now, spending match days shopping with your bird. Glancing over your shoulder looking at the latest scores in shop windows; don't go there — it's torture.

I know things are pretty much fucked up at the moment and we have got loads of shit players, but when was it any different for us? It's always been the same. Look lads, I am 43 and have been watching Everton home, away and abroad for most of my life; apart from a few good years in the eigthies, we have always been shit and that's a fact.

So come on all you suicide merchants: get a grip! At least we are not Geordies. There's always tomorrow and there's always another school disco. EVERTON for ever
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (17 09 2005)


Shambles
The Bucharest game was a complete shambles of a performance. If you look at each player's contribution, the only one who escapes blame is Martyn.

Hibbert.....confidence in his own ability to pass the ball to a blue shirt is rock bottom, when he gets the ball he just doesn't know what to do and inevitably ends up hoofing it to no-one.

Yobo.....far too many unforced errors have crept into his game and the sooner the better that Krøldrup is fit.

Weir.......Far too slow and his days as a premier footballer are long gone. Replace him and quick.

Valente......He is obviously going to take time to settle but that said, we seem to have found a left back that doesn't actually like being on the errr... left. Caught wandering on numerous occasions and what in the blue hell was that pansy dive all about? Jury is definitely out for now.

Osman.....tires too easily and only has 50 minute legs. Maybe a fitness issue but needs to improve as he has no influence on the game at the moment.

Davies.....Impressive in the first couple of games but against Portsmouth and Bucharest has maybe been found wanting a little. Has he got anything different than we already had before he arrived?

Cahill.....What's up with the guy? A world beater turned into someone who looks as though he doesn't want to play anymore. Totally anonymous for the whole game apart from his constant niggles and moans with referees.

Neville.....Great first half, dictating play and tempo of game. Did he show for the 2nd half?

McFadden....Oh dear. The lad gets his start and blows it completely. The only thing I can say in his defence is that he's better than Kilbane......but so am I and I'm 50.

Bent....Is he really interested? He is far too casual and his 1st touch is shocking. His 2nd is worse (if he gets a 2nd) Not good enough at this level I'm afraid.

All of that said, the tactics leave a lot to be desired. We are showing no ambition in actually going out for a win and seem to be hoping that we may pinch a goal and hope not to concede. Last season was a fluke. That's obvious. A long tough season lies ahead but we are Evertonians, what do we expect? I've watched this team for 44 years and for about 35 of those years we have been crap. I've accepted now that we'll never be world beaters, we probably wont ever win any more major honours but I'll still be there in 2 weeks praying that the impossible is errrr... possible. It's great to be blue innit?
Les Olson, liverpool  (17/09/05)

What's up with Cahill? The guy is absolutely shattered. He hasn't had a break in 3 years and spent the summer playing in comparatively meaningless games for Australia. He needs about 3 weeks off which we could easily grant him if we'd signed another attacking midfielder this summer — Webmaster


Shut up!
Simon Davies who so far has been very average is on the Official site saying "We are eager to win games, get points on the board and get up the table because if it goes on much longer the pressure will increase after every game"

Pure Genius

Player, take a hint, stop talking obvious crap and get on with what you do best. Unless talking obvious crap is what you do best.
John Audsley, Leeds  (17/09/05)

To be fair, John, players are encouraged to talk to the Official Site so that they can fill "column inches" on the site and keep the content fresh. The unfortunate by-product of that is that you get a lot of vacuous, meaningless drivel. I suppose we should be grateful that the players are communicating with the fans at all.


Dejected ? Yes ! Giving up on it ? Never !
Whilst I agree with many of the comments made in this forum, I cannot help but feel that there is a degree of over reaction, particularly from those saying they will "Give up on Everton".

To be blunt, the second half performance on Thursday was inept. My mate who watched the game with me ( a Norwich Fan) thought we'd decided to play with only 6 players such was the space we gave them, whilst the lack of closing down for their 3rd goal and fourth (Osman didn't even pressurise the player) seemed to give the impression that some of the players didn't care.

As for giving up, no, I won't be doing that. I have never been a glory hunter and I am proud to be part of a group of supporters who can say that we support our team through thick and thin. Try finding a Liverpool fan when they are having a poor season ! Now is the time to wear our tops and show that whilst some of the players don't care, they will be long gone when we are still watching and supporting.
Nich Starling, Fakenham, Norfolk  (17/09/05)


Not so on top of the world mar...
I wrote a while back stating that I was happy to be an Evertonian, no matter what situation we found ourselves in, claiming that no matter what it was good to be an Evertonian. Of course i was slated for my blind optimism and now I would like to make a few more serious points.

Most of what I have to say I have read on this website already, so I am going to make one quick point instead.

Not four years ago I would have been happy not to have been relegated, this season I am bitterly disapointed because we failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, and look like we are going out of the UEFA cup. Hang on, I'll say that again. We got knocked out of the Champions League and look like we are going out of the Uefa cup, Jesus.

Are these not good things to be disappointed about? Or do readers and fans prefer getting knocked out of the FA Cup and League Cup? Couplked with a relegation dog fight year in year out?

We have come a very long way under DM my pedigree chums, and it is only going to get better as he constantly continues to raise oiur expectations and sooner rather than later he is going to deliver.

Keep your focus people, top ten and a good cup run, that would be a good season, top 7 and another crack at the UEFA cup, that is what I'm hoping for, and it really isn't that unrealistic.
Paul Gittens, runcorn  (17/09/2005)


Support the manager...
I can't believe I'm hearing fans calling for Moyes to leave, how pathetic! We have started the season on an injury trail and that's not Moyes' fault. He has bought well (remember the weak midfield we had the season before last, and the appalling defence?) buying to fill gaps needed on the park. When we have the players back, we will have the Everton of last season back for sure. One of the important aspects of last season's success was the fans urging the boys on, voting with your feet isn't going to help matters. Give the team support and the boys will gain confidence again. Time to forget Europe and concentrate on the biggest and most important thing of all... the Premiership.
Damien McCabe, Salisbury  (17/09/05)

It's all very well saying "forget about Europe" but seeing as we have no hope in hell of winning the title, the whole focus of our participation in the Premiership is to qualify for... Europe. And you have to wonder what the point is if the manager isn't going to prepare his squad for that challenge. Another attacking midfielder and, of course, a striker were paramount but neither were addressed; Moyes obviously chose loyalty to those players who scrapped their way to fourth over genuinely strengthening the squad in those key areas. That said, I agree that it's premature to be calling for Moyes's head — Webmaster


I want you back
Remember that time when the bird you were mad on chucked you and you told everyone that she was a slag and you hated her anyway? Yeah, we've all been there. Then remember the next school disco and she said she wanted to get back with you and you loved her all over again? Well, Everton have got a school disco coming up soon and loads of you who hate the club now will fall back in love. Believe me I have been there many times.

Do any of you remember getting drubbed 5-0 at home to our wonderful neighbours back in the eighties? Well, I was there and I wanted to spew it then. But hey, here we are 20-odd years later and for the first time some of my fellow Blues want to jack it all in. Let me tell you, it's never easy being a blue but we always come back for more; it's in our blood. What's the alternative for the men who want to jump ship now, spending match days shopping with your bird. Glancing over your shoulder looking at the latest scores in shop windows; don't go there — it's torture.

I know things are pretty much fucked up at the moment and we have got loads of shit players, but when was it any different for us? It's always been the same. Look lads, I am 43 and have been watching Everton home, away and abroad for most of my life; apart from a few good years in the eigthies, we have always been shit and that's a fact.

So come on all you suicide merchants: get a grip! At least we are not Geordies. There's always tomorrow and there's always another school disco. EVERTON for ever
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (17 09 2005)


False prophets
When Everton lost 7-0 at the of last season, the editor stated "get a grip, it's only one game." Since then I leave it to readers of this website to judge.

Everton will be destroyed by Arsenal on Monday, double figures is a serious possibilty. Then Everton will remain probably second from bottom for at least 1 to 2 months. Moyes I predict will be gone — Note, Ed — before December and EFC will appoint a manager who is capable of radical reform.

Under Moyes EFC will be relegated that is certain, and I am sorry to say that Rob Fox is misguided in his analysis, EFC will cease to exist as a Premiership club under his hopeless management. Moyes does not have the ability to take EFC to the top and the sooner he goes the better.

On a slightly positive note I am grateful to Moyes for at least keeping EFC in the Premiership so far, but go gracefully rather than be fired.

Under Moyes the Toffee website philosophy is that we should stick with him and eventually things will improve. I utterly reject this nonsense.

Radical reform is required now, and the sooner the better. All I am interested in is the success of EFC and I stongly believe that this is possible under new management. I have supported EFC all of my adult life and I want the very best for EFC. Moyes does not work. Get rid and the sooner the better.

EFC is declining rapidly. Think of the money that Moyes has cost EFC already, he has become a serious liabilty. Each time EFC loose, the financial implications magnify. I am looking forward to EFC being successful once more without Moyes.

Moyes has done all he is capable of and that is fine, but Kenwright, Gregg do the honourable thing and the sooner the better, he'll get a great pay off and a job within months.

Finally I wish to quosh another ridiculous ToffeeWeb idea which is that Moyes needs more time to achieve success. Four years is more than enough, and all he has achieved is another relegation struggle and massive financial losses. I rest my case.
Andrew Fairfoull, Egland  (17/09/05)

Andrew, you've had your say and your opinions are no doubt firmly held. If you want to make contradictory predictions, that's fine (Moyes will relegate EFC / Moyes will be gone by December). I think you can see from at least a few of the responses on this page that there are still those who believe he can pull Everton up by the bootstraps again — he's already shown us he can do that. Normally, three years should be enough time in which to judge a manager, but Moyes deserves longer due to his achievements last season. I hate the way Everton are playing under Moyes. But I still believe Moyes can change that too. Replacing our Manager of the Year after just seven games would be complete madness. Case closed. — Ed


Response to Ed.
Oh so you were presumably happy with last night's ineptitude? And what do you think is the reason why we have not seen those signings yet? You may be oblivious the real state of things but that does not mean everyone else has to be. — Ed

Just like to respond to this rather flippant comment from ed. in response to my post about "Broken Blue." At what point in my post did I say I was happy with last nights performance? I just happen to have a bit more belief and guts than that fella, and not give up at the first opportunity.

Do you mean you don't know why half of our signings havent played yet? You are supposed to be the editor of an Everton website, I suggest you start reading your website, but since I am kind I will tell you.

Kroldrup - Injured in pre season

VdM - Signed with a slight injury, be back soon
Ferrari - Adjusting to a new country and new language, am sure will play soon.

But I am sure it's all Bill's fault as most things are on this site
Simon Currie, liverpool  (17/09/05)

The Ed was a little flippant but we're all a little punchy right now and understandably so. In any case, Kroldrup apparently had a pre-existing groin complaint that he picked up at the tail end of last season playing for Udinese. Not sure how he made it through his medical but there you go. On the subject of Bill, it's true that he and Wyness have made funds available but let's not forget where that money came from: the success of Moyes and his players last season and the sale of the jewel in the crown — Webmaster


False prophets
When Everton lost 7-0 at the of last season, the editor stated "get a grip, it's only one game." Since then I leave it to readers of this website to judge.

Everton will be destroyed by Arsenal on Monday, double figures is a serious possibilty. Then Everton will remain probably second from bottom for at least 1 to 2 months. Moyes I predict will be gone — Note, Ed — before December and EFC will appoint a manager who is capable of radical reform.

Under Moyes EFC will be relegated that is certain, and I am sorry to say that Rob Fox is misguided in his analysis, EFC will cease to exist as a Premiership club under his hopeless management. Moyes does not have the ability to take EFC to the top and the sooner he goes the better.

On a slightly positive note I am grateful to Moyes for at least keeping EFC in the Premiership so far, but go gracefully rather than be fired.

Under Moyes the Toffee website philosophy is that we should stick with him and eventually things will improve. I utterly reject this nonsense.

Radical reform is required now, and the sooner the better. All I am interested in is the success of EFC and I stongly believe that this is possible under new management. I have supported EFC all of my adult life and I want the very best for EFC. Moyes does not work. Get rid and the sooner the better.

EFC is declining rapidly. Think of the money that Moyes has cost EFC already, he has become a serious liabilty. Each time EFC loose, the financial implications magnify. I am looking forward to EFC being successful once more without Moyes.

Moyes has done all he is capable of and that is fine, but Kenwright, Gregg do the honourable thing and the sooner the better, he'll get a great pay off and a job within months.

Finally I wish to quosh another ridiculous ToffeeWeb idea which is that Moyes needs more time to achieve success. Four years is more than enough, and all he has achieved is another relegation struggle and massive financial losses. I rest my case.
Andrew Fairfoull, Egland  (17/09/05)

Andrew, you've had your say and your opinions are no doubt firmly held. If you want to make contradictory predictions, that's fine (Moyes will relegate EFC / Moyes will be gone by December). I think you can see from at least a few of the responses on this page that there are still those who believe he can pull Everton up by the bootstraps again — he's already shown us he can do that. Normally, three years should be enough time in which to judge a manager, but Moyes deserves longer due to his achievements last season. I hate the way Everton are playing under Moyes. But I still believe Moyes can change that too. Replacing our Manager of the Year after just seven games would be complete madness. Case closed. — Ed


Response to Ed.
Oh so you were presumably happy with last night's ineptitude? And what do you think is the reason why we have not seen those signings yet? You may be oblivious the real state of things but that does not mean everyone else has to be. — Ed

Just like to respond to this rather flippant comment from ed. in response to my post about "Broken Blue." At what point in my post did I say I was happy with last nights performance? I just happen to have a bit more belief and guts than that fella, and not give up at the first opportunity.

Do you mean you don't know why half of our signings havent played yet? You are supposed to be the editor of an Everton website, I suggest you start reading your website, but since I am kind I will tell you.

Krøldrup - Injured in pre season

VdM - Signed with a slight injury, be back soon
Ferrari - Adjusting to a new country and new language, am sure will play soon.

But I am sure it's all Bill's fault as most things are on this site
Simon Currie, liverpool  (17/09/05)

The Ed was a little flippant but we're all a little punchy right now and understandably so. In any case, Krøldrup apparently had a pre-existing groin complaint that he picked up at the tail end of last season playing for Udinese. Not sure how he made it through his medical but there you go. On the subject of Bill, it's true that he and Wyness have made funds available but let's not forget where that money came from: the success of Moyes and his players last season and the sale of the jewel in the crown — Webmaster


Broken Blue
In response to the previous article entitled 'Broken Blue' I am in that same place.

I totally sympathise with the predicament you have found yourself in. Unfortunately I made the same regretful decision two weeks ago to break away from the club I love and support with such passion through thick and thin.

As you mentioned it's a decision taken to stop any further heart ache.

I love this club dearly but cannot bear to see another wasted opportunity pass by which will result in further years of torment and demise.

For the first time in years Everton had the chance to be a 'Big Club' again. However, poor management at board level, average transfer acquisitions, not cementing your place at the top with a 15 goal a season striker, and not realising that our Manager needed help when buying bigger players as it's one experience he does not have all led to this sorry state we are in now.

I can see where this will lead and I cannot follow down this road again. The money has been spent and when it fails to bring the rewards it so clearly won't we will lose the best coach we have had for years and become a selling club once more barely avoiding relegation if we are lucky.

Sorry blues, I just can't torment myself any longer and feel for anyone who struggles to break this bond.
Kevin Knight, Essex, UK  (16/09/05)

 

A Reply to the 'Open letter to all Evertonians'
Firstly Gerald you might be disgusted by the reaction of your 'fellow Everton fans' but 24 hours on I'm still an Everton fan and still fucking disgusted by the total inept performance shown by the people who are privileged to pull on the blue shirt and represent our club!

Secondly, although I don't agree with the calls for his head, last night DM was clueless. Did you see any change of plan after they scored their second or even their third when the tie could have still been salvaged? The 4-5-1 system is supposed to be defensive Gerald and yes we should ditch it once in a while (like in the second leg).

Yes it is his fault we haven't signed a striker Gerald, he's the bloody manager for God's sake! He walked away from Forrsell because of a dodgy knee - he scored a hat-trick for Finland last week! Yes you're quite right he should have invested heavily to stay in Europe. Oh, sorry Gerald. I've just read the next bit about 'smelling the roses'... you were being sarcastic there...

By the way Gerald, I didn’t see any of our players 'press opponents' or 'harry them out of their stride’ in the second half and I certainly didn't see them 'break down attacks'. Christ Gerald they scored from 5 of them! Anybody who calls themselves an Evertonian will be embarrassed, angry and frustrated about last night's result and everybody has the right to express their opinion on sites like this, Gerald.

I don't agree with most of them, but they have the right to voice them without having to read your nonsense about whether they are going to walk away... We can't and won't walk away Gerald because we're Evertonians. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum Gerald. Oh sorry I'm being sarcastic now...
Colin Drury, Northampton  (16/09/2005)

Right, that's quite enough of the the banter. This is NOT a discussion forum. — Ed


Over-achieving
The problem stems from last season when, if we are honest, we over achieved. We had a great start last season and confidence was high. We worked hard and got a lot of narrow 1-0 wins. This proved we were solid at the back and in midfield but lacked in creativity.

The season before we finished 17th with virtually the same players so the difference was only in attitude. Also we badly missed Gravesen when he left in January.

A bad start this season has knocked confidence and as a result things are not going so well. Again we are struggling to score and are not quite as solid as last year.

David Weir is a great servant and you can't fault his commitment, but it lools like age is catching up and he looks painfully slow against pacy strikers.

A top striker is a priority but that would mean paying silly wages to somebody like Owen for eg or Robbie Keane, Bellamy and the like.

What we need is a hungry young forward who would fit into the team ethos and not want £60k a week. Finding such a player is not easy.

We must back Moyes and trust his judgement; after all he got us 7th and 4th in 2 of 3 seasons and got us into Europe in the first place. The next logical step is trying to break into the top 3 but let's face it they are miles ahead and getting better.

The rest of the league are nowhere near as good so a finish of anywhere between 4th and 17th is possible as demonstrated by the last 2 seasons such is the fine line between sucess and failure.

Moyes must stay unless an outstanding candidate emerges. We must back him and trust the players he has signed will gel and results improve.

Last year we finished 4th yet were still 34 points behind the champions. We lost both games very heavily against Arsenal and 1-0 both times vs Chelsea. Only againts Man Utd did we perform well.

Let's back the team and hope things turn around.
Mark Scarratt, Wirral  (16/09/05)


A long hard season awaits...
Prior to Thursday night, I convinced myself that the consolation of Uefa Cup football would prove immensely beneficial to Everton Football Club, providing much needed European experience and a base for future progress. After all it proved a successful formula for Porto, Liverpool etc.. before their ultimate glory. But after the humiliation of Dinamo, shock and disbelief is an understatement.

The 7-0 at Arsenal was no coincidence - the total collapse of Everton when faced with offensive, incisive play riducules the word professionalism. Professionals - you are having a laugh! The last time I recieved so many texts it was my birthday! However, Friday was not my birthday, instead another opportunity for others to piss themselves with laughter, whilst 'us' Evertonians are forced to endure another embarrassment and question our committment.

This time it feels different - the total lack of creativity and control was shameful. Even at our worst, Everton still displayed courage, but Thursday night was spineless. I recall being devastated as a child when beaten 6-0 by Villa and I'm sure Evertonians will recall their own tragic experiences, yet years later the shitty experience continues.

We desperately need more winners in the team who will be genuinely wounded by that defeat but we cannot point the finger at Moyes, since the guy has all the attributes of a winner who has simply been restricted with a system designed to generate results and accomodate for average players - the manager has the abilty to experiment and succeed, but do the players have the passion, skill and belief to respond in times of crisis. A long hard season awaits...
Hardip Singh, Darlington  (16/09/05)


Everton just don't care
I know emotions are still raw after last night's humiliation, but there is a deep malaise now at Everton. It is simply that the club does not give a twopenny toss about the fans. I have seen many poor sides but as we struggled I always felt part of the battle, that somehow everyone was in it together and it was us united against the rest of the world. That the club and supporters were joined at the hip. But now the club doesnt seem to care - no respect for those who made the tortuous journey to Bucharest some by rail or car, no real concern for the feelings of those stuck at Speke - oh, we will refund your fare money but everything else you will have to deal with yourselves - thanks a lot.

Combine that with rip-off ticket prices, shambolic ticket arrangements with 5-hour queues over-priced merchandise, the list is endless. I know it is the same at other clubs - but somehow I always felt we were a cut above the rest. Moyes says after last night he knows how the fans feel but he doesn't because he isn't treated like we are. We should go and rip down the People's Club banners outside the ground because they mean nothing now.

Chris Dunbar says in his excellent piece that his heart is broken. So is mine; it is in pieces, but it has been ripped apart not so much by one result but by the way I am now treated by the club. We have the most wonderful fans and we would do anything for everyone of them. But our hearts need mending - better results would help but mainly we need some love and attention. Wyness, Kenwright etc seem to have hearts of stone and until we bring in people who deep down understand the heart-wrenching agony of the fans then this club will keep sinking further into the depths and deservedly so.
Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (16/09/2005)

It is clear from the diversity of contributions sent in to this mailbag that there are a myriad of different ways fans have in responsding to last night's disaster. Yours is odd in the extent to which it personalizes and then demonizes a relationship that really is, at the end of the day, peripheral to what really matters: how the team plays on the field. Yes, we all want to have some identity with the club. I do it through this website and being a shareholder but I have no illusions about them having to care for me above and beyond providing the basic fare: the game of football played on a field of green grass.

All the other stuff really is periheral shite in comparisson. And to expect the club to nurse-maid you through infancy and adolesence really is taking it just a bit too far... IMHO! — Ed


Lay off Davey
I would like to say to those doom merchants, yes it was an awful performance; however, it is not down to DM. The players showed in the first half they were capable of winning the game but showed no desire or heart. The manager can only send out what he has at his disposal, although he has to hold his hands up over Mcfadden and Kilbane, they are not good enough to wear the Shirt.

The season is only 5 games in, and to those who don't go to Goodison we have played well (bar last night & Saturday). Let's not bemoan all our bad luck, and get behind our fuckin team; remember we are Everton. Davey has proved before he can get the best out of a bad bunch, give him time do pefrom his magic again.
Thomas Hesketh, Lisbon, Portugal  (16/09/2005)

I disagree. The quality of football we have played is at best poor — as many people are now realising after we were severely found out last night. Hoof-ball simply loses possession. It is a crassly stupid way to play football. — Ed


Evertonians are born, but life is cruel
They say that we are born Evertonians and they’re probably right. It’s so easy to support the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. When you’re brought up getting stick from all and sundry and you dread going in to work or school on a Monday, you know what it’s like to be an Evertonian. Odd snippets of success keep us going over the years and we try to battle through the usual bad times, but it has never been easy.

I have supported the blues for 50 years and sat with my 2 sons last night, hoping that it was all going to come right. Reasonable first half and we were optimistic about a result. Then came what must have been the best half time team talk in the history of Everton. That second half was Arsenal last season all over again. My eldest son stormed out when the fourth goal went in – he couldn’t take any more – and I knew exactly what he felt like. I’ve been there so many times. The end was almost a salvation – we were that bad.

We have lost 14 out of the last 20 games and have been clueless since Tommy Graveson left. It’s not just this season – the back half of last season was almost as bad. We got into Europe because the others were crap too. Champions League? Yeah, what a laugh it was...

The team we have is woefully poor. Valente is probably the worst left back I can remember, Hibbert is all over the place and gets caught out of position too often; Kilbane, McFadden, Bent, Osman and Weir are nowhere near good enough. We have all idolised Ferguson over the years, but time is now up for the big fella. What else do we have in reserve? Naysmith? Pistone? Wright? Carsley? How many of those would have got in the 1985 side? How many would get into the top 3 sides? Right – none. So why are they good enough for us?

Positives? Thank goodness for Nigel Martyn – I dread to think where we would be without him. Krøldrup, from what we have seen of him, looks decent. Arteta is class and Cahill, when he can have a rest, will come good again. After that, errrr....

So where do we go from here? Sack the manager? Sack the Board? They all have to hold their hands up and accept responsibility for what is happening. Other teams are leaving us standing and we have a relegation fight looming. Our ground is one of the worst in the league and promised funding is all pie in the sky. It’s not a great time to be an Evertonian – but there are very few times when it is. Yet once we get over the hurt, we will keep coming back, because it’s in our blood. But we need action soon. We’re dreading Monday against Arsenal, as we’re worse now than when we got beat 7-0. Can it get worse? You bet it can... I think we need a new motto.
Roy Leatham, Lichfield  (16/09/05)


What do they do in Training?
Watching that pathetic, gutless, lily-livered performance last night left me wondering what the hell actually goes on in training?

The players can't string three decent incisive passes together in a row before somebody takes the classy descision to hoof it aimlessly up the pitch in the hope we may win the third knock down. Why can't our high-earning Premiership players find space on a football pitch to offer their teammate a decent option, and I don't mean a sideways pass!

Fitness-wise we look a joke. I always knew and grudgingly accepted we had the slowest bunch of players in the Premiership, but took solace in the fact that they could keep an even pace for a full 90 mins. This season they all remind me of dead-legs Reid in his later years. But without the ability and will to win.

I'll just finish by saying that I don't ever want to see James McFadden or Kevin Kilbane in an Everton shirt again.

Moyes, I watch with interest your next moves as I have this horrible feeling that you're not a very good manager - just been a very lucky one, and that luck has now all run out.
Mike Whittaker, Bristol  (16/09/05)


No more hurt.
Last night was the first time I turned off watching an Everton game since the televising of football began; I decided Hawking provided more entertainment. I can't really blame the players because they are plainly out of their depth, in fact it borders on cruelty to keep on asking them to go out and be humilliated. I was curious in the summer why so many players turned us down, I think we now have the answer. I feel sorry for the newcomers; they must know they have made a big mistake joining such a dysfunctional club. There is a saying in football that when morale is low the treatment room is full. Anyway, all I can say is that it dosen't hurt any more.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (16/09/05)


I want answers!
I would just like to know a few things: Why do we play 4-5-1 with a striker who can’t hold the ball up and refuses to make forward runs? Really, why the fucking hell does Bent always run towards the ball instead of staying on the last man waiting for a through ball to run onto? Also, when he gets the ball taken off him, why does he stand there with his arms out?

Have the coaches ever given Hibbert extra training to work on his passing / crosses? If not, why not; if so why isn’t it working?

Moyes has said that Cahill needs a rest, so why won’t he fucking rest him?

Moyes said before the game that Dinamo are good going forward, so why the hell did we sit back at 1-1? What the fuck was said at half time? I demand one of those ‘public inquiry’ things.

Anyone want to buy a ticket for the 2nd leg?

And finally, do you think Kenwrong will give me a refund on my ‘Everton in Europe’ wristband?

IMWT. (I’d like to dedicate that to those fans who need to get a fucking grip and stop calling for his head)
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (16/09/05)


Part of the learning process
Living in Scotland I asked the Celtic fans I know how they coped after their 5-0 debacle earlier this season - their answer "You don't!" However, if we repeat their home score se would go through!

It is about gaining experiance in Europe and we are just learning - look at Man Utd in Bracelona (0-4) some years before they went back to that same stadium to win the whole thing. I know the Romanians were no Barce but then we're no Man Utd - it's all relative.

At least DM has recognised that something drastic has to be done. He still has my faith but it was a painful night - just makes those good times all the better, I suppose.
Trevor  James, Edinburgh  (16/09/05)

"Makes those good times all the better"??? Now that is twisted logic at it's most bizarre. — Ed


Wait and see.......
I can agree there´s not much to cheer about at the moment. But everyone should know by now, there´s a thin line between failure and success. The injuries we´ve got, new players settling in together with some bad luck (what if Ferguson´s header agains Villarreal had not been disallowed?) has made this a very bad start, but not disastrous start to the season. I truthfully believe that both Everton and the downhill team of Newcastle will end up higher in the table than many think at this present time. I don´t even want to make a comment on those who call for the sacking of Moyes, get real! Why don´t we just wait and see......
Håkan T, Stockholm  (16/9/05)

So you can distinguish between a bad start and a disasterous start? I'd say we are now firmly in the latter category to be honest. — Ed


Moyes must go???
Are you kidding me? Moyes must go? That has to be the most stupid thing I have ever heard. I understand that people are under some misguided belief that we have a god given right to be in the top 4 every season but guess what? We don't.

It's that simple, this squad is top ten — maybe top eight at best. If you're looking for someone to blame for our poor start to the season and for last night's pathetic capitulation, blame the players!!!

Moyes can only do so much from the touchline, after that its in the hands of the players. If you are that blind that you can't see this, I recommend you go support Liverpool and get it over and done with because seeing us sacking Moyes can only help them be the top team on Merseyside for another fifteen or twenty years.
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (160905)

Ah... the Blame Game. That'll get us a long way ahead... NOT! Moyes accepts some responsibility; the players are also responsible. Let's not indulge in this silliness, allright? — Ed


Europe
Do you know what I am dreading the most? The Red Shite singing "CHAMPIONS LEAGUE — YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH" at the Derby games!
Mike Williams, UK  (16/09/05)

I thought we didn't care what they say? Pull yourself together, man! — Ed


Stubbs Missed?
Do you think that the leadership skills of Alan Stubbs are missing, especially when we go behind to a goal? He had the determination and the will to win that may be missing from some of the team. Last season, if we went behind it meant nothing as we could always come back. There was belief.
Jon Taylor, London  (16/09/05)

It's a thought others have expressed. But it ain't doing too much for Sunderland... yet. Although Stubbsy would not last forever, it's sad to think that the silly business over that cancer clause in his contract is the reason why this True Blue is no longer playing for us. But would he have played last night? And would he have made a difference? Answers on a postcard, please. — Ed


Hurt
How can football, a form of entertainment, take over our lives so much? How many of us last night will have been so hurt and despondent after watching our beloved Everton go to the wall again? It is like all of our hopes and dreams are pinned to the success of our club.

To be a blue is to put yourself in a special position. Many of us growing up in Liverpool could have easily gone over to the Reds. They had great teams and great success and have continued to do so. But for whatever reason we chose blue and god have we paid for it. The trouble is we cannot change now. Once a blue always a blue is often used, occassionally by players unworthy of it.

I feel better this morning after utter despair last night. Was it the team, was it the manager, are we cursed? Fuck, I don't know... I have seen so many matches where we start strong and play good football only to lose a goal and the tide turns on it. It's like an FA cup tie every week. We never have the ability to turn a team over. The more I think about it, the more I believe it's down to a lack of goals. The Reds played Betis this week; two early goals and they were cruising. Confidence lifts and the other team is on the backfoot.

We never caplitalise on our better play. We need goals. Since the days of Lineker and Sharp we have not had a player who could score 20 goals a season. Until we are scoring a couple a game we are in desperate straits. Cahill and Kilbane look knackered. Osman and Faddy more often than not look out their depth. Bent and Ferguson try but which other Premiership team would swap their front two for ours ?

I still believe Moyes is the man for us, my only hope is that we do not lose him. There is no one to replace him and we do have a better squad than we did in the days of Walter. However, everyone else is improving as well. Investment we need, but no one on the horizon. The test of the manager and the players is how we perform at Arsenal! The test of ourselves is how we perform at Goodison for the team on our next 2 games! We did it when Man Utd visited; let's see if we can do it again!
Chris Kelly, Lincolnshire  (16/09/05)

Less of that Liverpool talk, purleease! — Ed


Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
I've never before felt the need to write to a Forum despite some painfully bad experiences as an Evertonian. I've been an avid Blue for 31 years now. My much missed dad took me to an away match at Maine Road when I was a kid. Those were the days when you could go to a game expecting a win. Remember them anyone? Furthermore you could stand on the terraces and you got the feeling the players on the pitch actually played the game because they wanted to win. A game far removed from the one which exists today full of money-grabbing prima donnas and financially astute agents who couldn't care less about the game which feeds them.

The week after that first away game he took me to the home match at Norwich and I just fell in love with the club. It's those days of seeing a team in blue play the game the way it should be played that is the reason I'm still a fan to this day. Let's face it, we all put ourselves through the dross we've been served up since the early 90's because we all believe that one day we'll all witness the likes of the 'School of Science' and the 80's Kendall era sides again. After last night, I'm pretty certain the only way we'll see football of that sort again from our beloved team is on DVD.

With Wayne Rooney, I thought we had a chance. At last a young Blue who was born to play for our club and would push us on to great things. Then agents got hold of him and we were left looking again for the next false dawn.

Don't get me wrong; last season was brilliant but I'm pretty certain it was a one-off with players playing for contract extensions and to the limit of their abilities. There's only so far you can go without real ability before you get found out. We should know by now that whenever we're optimistic pre-season, the Blues never fail to let us down.

Last Saturday I ran into a complete stranger who noticed my Everton shirt and started laying into the Toffees. He happened to be a kopshite. His typical uninformed and inaccurate arguments started to make my blood boil. 31 years of experience defending Everton taught me to countereact with the usual cliches about "lack of financial backing" and "best young manager in the country" and how Heysel cost us dear, Collina etc. etc. Last night left me thinking "is it really good enough to set our targets on finishing above Liverpool?" I personally don't think it is.

Do you know what? I just can't be bothered anymore defending Everton to outsiders when it seems it's only the fans who care about our (once) great club. I wonder how long it is before some ITV pundit next week uses the phrase "you never know. An early goal and it's game on"?
Craig Walker, Wigan  (16/09/05)


Big Characters required now
Couple of points:

1.Is Nuno Valente not my baby Pistone in disguise? What a shithouse, diving out of the way of the ball.
2. We have no leadership on the pitch.
3. Arteta & Cahill centre-mid; it does not and will not work.
4. This could only happen to us.
5. Most people on this site who openly crtisize the team make good points and do not slag the team at the match, so fuck all you blinkered bastards. [Uh? — Ed]
6. We need a goalscorer.
7. Why did Moyes not play Ferrari when he knew they had pace and Weir has none?
8. I feel for everyone of those fans who travelled.
9. The lads who had their plane cancelled are lucky lucky bleeders.
10. I don't like Mondays — especially when we are on Sky.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (16/09/05)


Wake up, Ed
After reading through the post-Bucharest mailbag I get the feeling most blues are well pissed off and all you keep saying is we are going through a bad patch. Are you taking the piss? The people of New Orleans are going through a bad patch, and I bet even their bad patch won't last as long as ours. Wake up!
Doug  Hesketh, Runcorn  (16/09/05)

Well, yes, I was and I wasn't. Come on, that's the thing about football. Teams do go through bad patches. But here at ToffeeWeb, we've been pointing up the problems since the spring. Circumstances allowed Everton to cling on to 4th place and initate the great European Tour of 2005 and we were supposed to go all gaga over that achievement. The last two games have proved it's about playing football, and that's where we are being let down by the players and by the manager. But there is always another game... and there is always the possibility (however remote that may seem to you now) that we can get a result. That's why they play the game. See: I'm awake now! — Ed


Yobo not to blame
Someone in a previous mail said Yobo was to blame for two of the goals.

Yobo WAS NOT to blame. If Hibbert and Valente did their jobs right the ball would be nowhere near Yobo. Countless number of times I saw Joseph out of position covering for the fullbacks because either Hibbert or Valente were left on their arses in the midfield. Why the hell did we offer Hibbert a new contract? Just looking at the ugly twat you can see he's a shite player.
Paul Caslin, Wirral  (16/09/05)

That bloke from Croxteh who now plays for Man Utd is an ugly twat too, init? — Ed


Fickle Fans
Well like every Blue I watched with horror at the weekend, and living in Pompey the crap I got was pretty bad, although I must say it was tempered by the gratefulness of their fans for us laying back and giving them 3 points. Then last night, oh my god, last night!! we just lost the plot second half and I could fill pages with my views on each player's performance.

But at the end of the day it's football and I can take it. We will win again and it will get better ... what really depresses me and pisses me off is the immediate 'lynch Moyes' 'I'll never watch Everton Again' bollox. David Moyes is the best manager we could have at this moment in time and will continue to be for at least the next few years. Who else you going to bring in , Maybe we can prise Arry Rednapp from Scummers to keep us up for another season. Big Ron is free at the moment maybe he can fix it.

The problem is two things at the moment: the confidence we had last season in getting some of our results has deserted us and we can only hope it will come back soon; we need a bit of luck somewhere along the line that leads to confidence and confidence wins games. Secondly, if I ignore the injuries (which have had a huge effect) we've lost a leader in Alan Stubbs. He bled Blue; he led from the front [Uh? — Ed] and although I agree his legs were going he has not been replaced (Carsley being out doesn't help either); you need a leader on the pitch!

Having said all that, I was a Blue on Saturday and a Blue last night... and I'll be Blue tomorrow. Giving up is NOT an option !!
Rog , Portsmouth  (16/09/05)


'Broken Blue' the article by Chris Dunbar...
... absolutely spot on.

Whilst the adenalin will still flow prior to kick off time, as regards actually attending now.... I just couldn't be arsed.

How many games during last seasons 'success' did you come out with the juices flowing after witnessing a magnificent performance? Villa away, Man U home.......erm, erm ???? Football (The Everton way). Not for me now, thanks.

(A regular home & away since 1971)
Mike Helsby, Rainhill  (16/09/05)


Disgrace
I don't have great knowledge of tactics or European football and in many ways I don't give a shit about them. I was a simple football fan who just wanted us to TRY and win. Last night I sat and watched our players stroll around in the second half as they'd had valium at half time. Tired? Ran out of legs? Crap.

That was unforgiveable and I am now another fan of a Premiership club who has lost interest. The game is an insult to fans, on the most part dull, financially inexcusable and a pale shadow of other sports. It is never easy to admit that you've been taken for a mug. But I have and for far too long.
Ged Simpson, Chester  (16/09/05)

We'll miss you, Ged... Ed


All I have to say is...
Everton till I die.
Paul Cuffe, Ireland  (16/09/05)

... and it could be a very painful death at this rate! — Ed


Lack of Focus
Do you know what annoys me most about supporting Everton? The whole lack of focus of the club. It starts in pre-season; we just go through the motions, having no pride in the result or the image that we send out to the countries we go and tour in... Every manager says, 'Don't worry its only early days,' after we draw with someone like FC Nomark of Austria. Fair enough, pre-season is for getting fit but ever since I've started supporting Everton we have never been any good at friendlies and that attitude seems to be carried into early season (and usually kept in the League Cup and our occasional forays into Europe). If you cannot be arsed competing, don't enter the competition!

Moyes seems to make a big thing about determination and effort but the players seem to have switched off. We have been crap for coming up to nearly a year now. Arsenal, Fenerbahçe, Dinamo Bucharest... hammered without even a whimper.

There is nothing good I can say about Everton these days apart from the fans. What worries me is that, as I understand, our mortage is based on the fact that they guaranteed the bank they could get 30,000 every match. Gates are already falling and if they continue to humiliate us like they have (god help us against Arsenal), then they ain't gonna get 30,000 masochists every week anymore.
Iain McWilliam, UK  (16/09/05)

Oh I think there's been plenty of whimpering, Ian. Count 'em. But the concern about disillusioned fans has to be very real. I would much rather see Moyes concentrate not on fitness but on the footballing basics of carrying the ball forward and retaining possession until you get into the penalty area and create a scoring chance.

That means no more Rhino hoof-balls. It means no more pass-backs to the goalie. It means keeping the ball on the ground, the only exception being fast accurate crosses delivered in from the bye-line. Isn't that a better way to lose possession than simply lofting mortar bombs? Can we not at least try to play like that? Yes, it will fail 90% of the time. But if it brings 1, 2, even 3 goals in a game, how wonderful will that be? — Ed


Wow !!!
I am still in total shock as to how a team can capitulate like that and then David Weir has the audacity to say in interview they will try and turn it around. They really are having a laugh as they fly home Club class and with a guarantee that they will not be embarrassed about it at all.

As well as being known as the whipping boys by teams such as Portsmouth and Wigan, we are also known as the contract club by players as all that seems to happen is a player has a good run, we give him a big contract and then he instantly becomes crap - ring any bells?

But once again, I will be on the M6 on Monday full of hope; and then the long drive back full of disappointment. And if we get a shock result on Monday, what then? Kenwright saying it was only a matter of time and we have turned the corner? I think not.

Once again Moyes's men, thank you for nothing...
Ralph Basnett, Kirkby  (16/09/05)


Ouch!
That hurts!!... What a way to spoil the day. After being a little unlucky in the CL, that result is just a complete embarrassment. But it shows we are not ready yet for Europe. Worst of all, it's effecting our start to the Premier League season.

I think the current status of the squad shows that last year we were very lucky with the number of injuries sustained. We have got a shit load of them this year and even more games to play in. At this level you just can't compete with an injury-ravaged squad, as it's hard enough when you have all of your best players available.

A lot of coach's will tell you that if you loose even 1 player from the side it can completely throw out the balance of the squad, especially when you haven't got an equivelent player to slot in. When you look at the Everton squad, there are lots of injuries and a fair share of new faces as well. It's going to take time for them to get used to playing together and it's going to take time for Moyes to get a balanced first 11 this year.

Hopefully next year, or the year after, we'll have a re-built squad that can at least challenge in Europe, where we only need to buy 1 player in the transfer window.

Dare I say roll on Monday and roll on Arsenal? Probably not! Although a win would put us on the same number of points as them!
Michael Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (16/09/05)

Ah... a classic six-pointer, eh? — Ed


Shopping at the Aldi again
Again, we didn't learn... instead of buying Parker & Keane, we ended up taking the Aldi route. You pay for what you get, as Everton will find to their cost this season.

I will say it again Simon "Milligan" Davies and Phillip "Harper" Neville are the most horrendous players I have seen for the money in an Everton shirt for years. The writing was on the wall when the sicknote Italian and the ex-Sunderland boo-boy target Kilbane were allowed to extend their stay.

Never mind... I have heard that in January we will get Keane, Saha, Richardson..... Only joking! What did Moyes say last May, "It wont be like last year on transfer deadline day, buisness will be done early".
Bobby Dempster , Huyton  (16/09/05)

I thought Neville had been received quite well... especially by those who could ignore the fact that he was essentially a Man Utd reject. But Davies is a tough one. Totally unimpressive so far. — Ed


An open letter to all Evertonians
I am disgusted. In fact, I'm so disgusted that I feel like quiting my 22 year association with the club that I have grown to love from Day 1. Don't get me wrong here, this is not a reaction to the debacle that is the Dinamo Disaster. I'm disgusted to be associated with fellow 'Everton fans' that have spoken nothing but doom and gloom in the Mailbag.

Sack Moyes cos he's clueless? Ditch the 4-5-1 formation cos its too defensive? It's all his fault that we don't have a striker whocan score 20 goals? After getting into Europe this season, we should have invested heavily to stay there? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Yes, we finished 4th last season and qualified for the Champions League. Doesn't everyone realise by now that that was a herculean achievement by a side short on talent and skills, but big on effort and application? Yet somehow everyone is expecting us to take Europe by storm this season.

You really freaking expect us to build a team like the top 3 in one season? To have a team that can consistently challenge for europe in ONE FREAKING SEASON???

Everyone wants us to play free-flowing attacking soccer. I would love my Everton team to play like that as well. Unfortunately, we do not play free flowing attacking soccer. We press opponents, we harry them out of their stride, we break down attacks and then we counter. Moyes is having a difficult time right now as he is trying to slowly transition from our football of last season, to the type of flowing, possession-based football that he wants Everton to play.

We've all been through bad players, bad managers, bad chairman, bad results, bad seasons. For once in a long bloody while, we have the best crop of players around, the best young manager, a very supportive chairman and we're not going to give them even a fighting chance.

Yes, the capitulation to Dinamo was embarrassing. But am I going to stop supporting what I love so dearly? No. In fact, I'm going to give them my support even more cos at times like these, we are all that's left for the players to fall back on. The fans, the lifeblood of any club. Cut that out and Everton Football Club would cease to live and breathe anymore.

If you think you can go on in life without EFC around anymore, then I say carry on and leave. Shout it from the rooftops that your allegiance is not to the blue and white anymore. I've heard it said before that Evertonians are born, not bred. This is the time now, to show your true colours, whether you're part of the family or just a visitor that is passing by.

I'll be the first one to say that I'm here to stay. Now its time for you to make your stand.
Gerald Foo, Singapore  (16/09/05)

That's good, Gerald. You talked yourself into staying. Well done. But you cannot really blame Everton fans for reacting like this. David Moyes said as much in his admission of responsibility. Calling for his head is inevitable for a proportion of the fans. Just try to ignore them and perhaps they will calm down a bit... until Monday! — Ed


Enough is Enough!
If Everton Football Club is "The People's Club", let the people vote on the man who pick's the side... David Moyes! He bought the complement of sicknotes and continues to use a formation that just doesn't work anymore, because guess what..... everyone has wised-up to it. All Evertonians, you choose - Should David Moyes GO!

LETS SET IT UP. Send your votes in to our Forum. It is not a question of results anymore, it's a question of pride and all the history that comes with what was once a great club. We are a laughing stock once again. It's not that we were so good last season, but it's more to do with the other clubs not being able to win more than three games on the trot. Basically, its down to all these over-paid and over-idolised players deciding when they want to turn it on! Its not just a problem at Everton; Look at Liverpool! Look at Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn. The last two, I watched that meeting and fell asleep before half-time. Crap, I miss the old 1st Division and good games of football. Sunday league is better! Lads playing because they want to win.

MOYES MUST GO BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. This is not a fuckin knee-jerk, it's time for a change. Don't buy the 3rd shirt, we already look like a bunch of yellow-bellies.
David  Barlow, Colorado, USA  (15/9/05)

I think it's really silly personally, but I have set up a poll here in our ToffeeWeb Forum. Vote away... I'm sure the cathartic process will help you feel a lot better. — Ed


4-5-1
I have followed Everton from faraway for the whole of my life. I do not live in the UK and I have never had the privilege to attend one of Everton’s matches. Even so, my lifelong passion for Everton makes me one of its most ardent fans internationally.

Today, I am so low after seeing my team getting trounced by Dinamo Bucharest. Leaving football aside, were our Everton players not man enough that they took a beating to that extent? Our European adventure is turning out to be joke. Everton are prime candidates for the European football farce of the decade. Everybody is having a good laugh at us.

I do not intend to give David Moyes (DM) a lesson after seeing the number of beatings Everton has taken recently. DM has brought so much success to the club that, undoubtedly, in my opinion, he is one of the most successful Everton managers forever. Everything is right about DM except his 4-5-1.

Why do we care so much about a 4-5-1 when our players do not even know how to score a goal, how to defend their goals, how to pass the ball around, and how to construct a move and finish it? Should I remind DM that on the pitch players are expected to PLAY football? Should I remind DM that to be able to PLAY one should have FUN at doing it?

I am sorry DM, but I believe that more than the 4-5-1, Everton players need to know how to play football and have fun at playing it. Breaking from the conventional might pay off in the short run but not always as it is unconventional. To score goals we need strikers. That is why strikers are paid to do. To feed strikers we need midfielders. To defend our goal, we need defenders. The equation is very simple. When the equation is so simple, then why bust our head with too much of strategy thinking and breaking from the convention in the 4-5-1 way?

What Everton really need is to get the basics right, i.e., play football and have fun at doing it. The players should care less about their opponents at this time and care more about their own play. Even if we get beaten from doing it, at least we can pacify ourselves that our team tried its best. It is better to lose 6 - 10 than 5 – 1!

Please do not get me wrong DM; it is my love for Everton that prompted me to write the above. I just want to help.
Surendranath Jory, Boca Raton, USA  (05/09/16)

Professional footballers should be having fun when playing their football for our club? Well, I guess you are probably right. Just doesn't seem to square well with the Moyes mantra of work, Work, WORK! — Ed


O'God
Thank god I was grounded in the airport and will recieve a full refund!!! I feel sorry for my fellow blues who went and witnessed that load of shite, and to put a top hat on it, we play Arsenal next!!! Another 7-0 score line I think. Time to go to bed and stay there, as at work it's full of that red colour and I am not looking forward to that....
Pete , Bootle  (16/9/05)


European Tour 2005
Where do I start? What a disaster. The season already looks like a bit of a shitfest. We have been poor in the league so far but last night really took the piss. The team played like a bunch of strangers, even in the first half we barely managed to string more than a few passes together before losing possession cheaply.

Let me just say that I am a Moyes fan but for as much as I like him, the guy is not above criticism. Why we are persisting with that god-awful 4-5-1 formation is beyond me. DM attempted to justify our style of play after the 4-4-2 defeat to Portsmouth but at least we only got beat 1-0. Is the point of 4-5-1 not to close down the midfield making it difficult for the attacking team to play? If that is the case the why were Dinamo passing the ball round us while our midfield watched them as 1-1 turned to 5-1?

As I say, I am a Moyes fan but he seriously owes us an explanation for that result. I know we have an injury list even Spurs fans would envy but some of the selections last night were baffling to me.

A few questions for our beloved leader:

1. Why bang on all week about Cahill needing a rest (which he obviously does as he was god-awful) then play him? Yes I know Arteta cried off but Li Tie and Kilbane are on the bench; are we gonna rest him against Arsenal? Doesn't look like it to me. Perhaps we should just wait till he drops dead before giving him a few weeks off.

2. Why persist in playing McFadden at left midfield? Jamie hasn't exactly impressed since he's been with us but for Christ's sake, how bad could he really be up front? Less potent than Bent or Ferguson? Give him half-a-dozen games in his proper position, I doubt Beattie will be back before then anyway.

3. Are you brave enough to make the drastic changes the team obviously needs? A spell on the bench for a few our first-teamers may actually do us good in the long term. Hibbert, Cahill and Bent: I'm thinking of you. Weir too though not likely until Krøldrup gets fit.

Before I top myself, let me just say that I really believe DM needs to seriously look at the team for this season. 4-5-1 doesn't work (and hasn't since December) and unless things change soon we need to find a new formation. Whether that be 4-4-2, 5-3-2 or whatever I don't know but one thing is for sure, we are not scoring nor are we creating chances. We just sit back and wait to go behind, we really need to nip that in the arse right now. I don't have any solutions only questions at the minute but I suppose on the bright side we did make it through to the third round of the Carling Cup. Bring on whoever.

God, I'm so depressed.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (16/09/05)


Verbal diarrhoea
Having struggled through about half of the Rob Fox article before losing the will to live, I began to feel almost as sorry for him as I do for the subject of his treatise, David Moyes! How an apparently intelligent man can even suggest that Moyes is destined to be one of the best Everton managers defies all the evidence available.

Let's face it, anyone would have been an improvement on Walter Smith, and in his first full season things looked promising. There followed a campaign against relegation and then, against all predictions, HALF A SEASON when he got some cracking results which ultimately took us to fourth position. But the post-Christmas results do not lie and since then — with just a couple of exceptions (Villa and Man.Utd) — things have been dire.

The money wasted on unfit players: Beattie, Davies, Krøldrup, Van der Meyde, indicates bad judgement to say nothing of Wright and the re-engagement of Naysmith and Pistone. The failure to add to a totally inadequate strike-force and the incapability to inspire the players in the European games begins to smack of more than bad luck and the reality is that the club is once again in the mire.

What makes it worse is that we have flogged the crown jewels and squandered the proceeds on Ratners fakes! Managers come and go and Moyes will be no different. The chop will come when the mob start to scream ``Kenwright out!` In the meantime, it is incomprehensible that things will not improve — they can hardly get any worse, after all. But PLEASE, PLEASE save us from long-winded apologists like Rob Fox who seems to glory in defending the indefensible.

Methinks I have gone on too long.......
Peter Leeming, Formby  (16/09/05)

Well, he sucked me right in... I believed every word. Moyes will come good. It just takes time... More time than any of us have got! — Ed


One for the history books
Never in the history of EFC have so few (poor players) done so little (playing 45 minutes instead of 90) for so many (disappointed fans). Also, never have so few, been paid so much, for such little entertainment.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can avoid the sneering & sniggering of opposition fans for the next few days. I can’t wait for our run in Europe to be over so that we can concentrate on survival in the Premiership. I’m afraid that survival is about all we can hope for based on current form.

But all is not lost. If we can avoid conceding too many goals against Arsenal, we then have Wigan where we can surely get all three points. We CAN get all three points, can’t we? Please Mr Moyes, say we can. That might be just enough to get us out of the relegation zone.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (16/09/05)


Time for a change
At 4-1, I switched off, ashamed at seeing our midfield playing like 6-year-olds swarming around the ball like bees over a honeypot. No fight, no pride, no leadership anywhere on the pitch. So next year, unless things improve massively, the £400+ I spend on my season ticket will be going to Sky. So I can watch my football on TV? Sorry, I've had enough of cheating and diving by obscenely paid prima donnas and a Russian millionaire buying the Premiership.

Last Sunday I watched on TV as Flintoff bowled non-stop for 2 hours bursting his lungs in his team's cause. Pride, determination, I WILL NOT BE BEATEN no matter what the odds. This was Everton back in the mid-eighties and for much of last season. Unless I see these qualities return I'll be over to Sky - to watch the cricket.
Colin Nolan, Preston  (16/09/05)


Sorry State of Affairs
So sick of the Everton Board for the mess they put the Everton fans through. Mr Kenwright and Wyness and other people alike. Moyes and his backroom staff need to have a good hard look at themselves in the mirror, because they keep telling us the Everton fans things are going well that is a lie for a start.

We had professional footballers playing a game of football out there, and looking at them you would have thought they had never played together in their lives. They could not pass the ball to a blue shirt, they could not control the ball, they had no confidence in themselves to take players on. And their fitness was not there. We have Arsenal coming up and we all know what happened last year. We got beat 7-nil. God help us!
Edmund Robson, Bangor, N Ireland  (16/9/2005)


Rock bottom
Being the wrong side of 40 and having followed EFC home and away for more years than I care to remember, and sitting on the plane coming back (at least I had a flight home - I'd never book with the Club and yesterday's events proved to me why - I wouldn't trust them to get me to Anfield never mind Romania), I concluded that that was the second worst performance I've EVER witnessed by an Everton side (worst? versus you-know-who at home when Rush scored 4, and we lost 5-0).

Moyes should have offered his resignation as a point of principle. He prides himself on his sides showing effort / desire (not skill!) and that was totally lacking last night, so he's not getting his message through to the players any more.
Dave the Punk, Manchester, England  (16/09/05)

You do have to wonder just exactly what went wrong. But I guess the the only meaningful analysis will remain behind closed doors at Bellefield. — Ed


Out of Time or contract?
Does anyone else have a nagging thought at the back of their mind about the difference between Everton 2004-05 and Everton 2005-06?

Last year a large majority of the team knew they would be out of contract at the end of the season and some played as if their lives depended on it (which I guess they did). Now, some of them with fat new contracts and new players with long contracts seem to be a different group altogether...has the fire gone?

Or do we miss the bald-headed wonder so much? Soon it won't be a case of "out of contract"...but "out of fucking time"...cos we'll be out of everything else.

Just a thought.
Dave Cooper, Canada  (16/09/05)

Thst indeed would be shameful if true. Somehow I find it hard to believe. Even professional overpaid primma donnas, at the end of the day, play the game because they really love it. — Ed


Managing
Several of us have been saying it for the past 8 months, and although there is no pleasure in 'told you so', it really is time to wake up and look at David Moyes as a Manager.

He came in at a time when we were at our lowest ebb, when just about anybody would have been an improvement. He gave us something to cling on to with his soundbite and along with Rooney we had some hope.

He managed a set squad of limited, basically Championship players and we stayed up, then we got lucky last year and all got carried away.

Only now can we look at his MANAGEMENT abilities...he has spent a lot of money and has built his own team, he has formulated a style of play and has developed his own fitness requirements for the players...and it is quite clear that he is not very good at this most vital aspect of management! The spending of 25 million pounds on players like Beattie, Wright, Davies etc and the re-signing of Naysmith, Kilbane, Ferguson and Pistone shows him to be completely useless in the growth and development of our club.

The tactics and lack of a plan B have made us one of the most depressing teams to watch and are driving Evertonians everywhere to despair, or even more damaging, away from attending games. He has thrown away the opportunity our luck and hard work gave us from last year, has thrown away a ridiculous amount of money on sub-standard players on fat contracts that we couldn't even give away now.

So apart from a basic ability to manage a given squad of players... a bit like a good PE teacher... he is crap at every other aspect of management. We are back to Walter Smith again when he wasted all our money on rubbish just before he left with his own fat payoff. He has spent more than the majority of Premiership managers but our squad is one, if not the, most one-paced, unskilled, least threatening squads in the league.

I honestly think we would struggle in the Championship never mind the Premiership and a long, painful season lies ahead. I pray that we can survive and that the next manager recognises the importance of pace and skill as well as workrate and commitment.
Mike Price, Songhkla, Thailand  (16/9/05)


Gobshites
I find the majority of these postings really, really embarrassing to read.

I surely can't be alone in having to suffer the mass of RS who, over the past 5 years, have banged on about how amazing their managers are and then the next minute want them out. Haven't we all laughed at them and hasn't it just confirmed how petty, uninformed and simply pathetic they are? Just arm-chair supporters? We don't care what the RS say. You're born a blue. Others simply don't understand.

However, if I was a red I would absolutely love reading what has been written here. Moyes out? Do you honestly think that's the best thing for Everton now? If so, then you have no understanding of the game and, to be honest, sadly misdirected passion for Everton. I'm not trying to put a positive spin on the results so far but look at the team we have now, and look at what we had 2½ years ago. We've actually played pretty well up to Saturday and did ourselves proud against Villarreal. Everton are not suddenly a poor side. Moyes is not suddenly a poor manager.

We all have the right to vent our anger but just have a reality check… Did you all bet on us winning the Champions League? Winning the UEFA cup? Finishing 4th again? Why not? Because realistically we're not going to do any of them. Get rid of Moyes and we'll take the biggest step backwards since Mike Walker.

It was an embarrassing performance from the boys last night but it's an embarrassing performance from the fans today. Stop acting like the RS.
Rob H, Wirral  (16/09/05)

I am getting sick of reading about Liverpool. Please remember, this is an Everton site. Let's keep it that way, please. — Ed


Broken hearted
Let's get one thing quite clear here! Is it by coincidence that we did so well last year because those buffoons were all out of contract?

  1. We all know that Tony Hibbert cannot cross the road or pass a good turd so why do they not try to teach him?
  2. Have we singed the new Pistone offal-hearted coward.
  3. Why sign Simon Davies when he cannot beat a man? I thought we needed width. How many times as he put a decent cross in?
  4. Weir; well he's a nice chap but he slow as a three-legged donkey.
  5. Yobo has got the concentration of a pothead!
  6. McFadden is the worst player I ever witnessed in the blue shirt; he is shit!
  7. Cahill: tired? My arse! Got a big fuckin contract, that's what it is.
  8. Bent could not trap a bag of cement, runs the wrong way, you are supposed to run at the goal Marcus.
Finally, I am sick of watching 4-5-1. It's bollocks. Get a grip, Mr Moyes, we won't put up with shit like this for much longer!
Lee Gray, Wirral  (16/9.2005)


Was Mao a Bluenose?
Regardless of where we each stand on where blame lies for our current plight, can we at least all agree that the “People’s Club” tag has long since run its course? Sure, for the first forty-eight hours or so following DM’s appointment it did prove to be a rather gratifying – albeit barely legitimate – stick with which to beat our illustrious and smug neighbours. Nonetheless, in terms of genuine power and ownership, Everton FC is no more a “People’s Club” than China or North Korea are “People’s Republics”. Like almost every other club in existence, ours is one over which the people – of Merseyside or elsewhere – enjoy little or no direct control. Am I only one who finds all the “PC” paraphernalia surrounding Goodison to be – not unlike our Chairman - rather crass and embarrassing?
Steve Rooney, Leicester  (16/09/05)

No, you're not the only one, Steve.


Losers and geriatrics
I live in Spain now but I follow the Blues passionately. However, my obsession is rapidly costing me what little hair I have left on my head. Not to mention the wrinkles, mood swings, palpitations... Since the very first match in 2005 Everton, have been shite. That day we were mauled 5-2 by a rampant Spurs and that sorry performance set the tone for the months to come.

Ok, so there were glimmers of hope in the famous win over the Mancs, the Champions League clincher over Newcastle and the destruction of a dreadful Villa side but the rest of the stuff thrown our way has been bad. Awful, dreadful, diabolical. We have a team full of losers, second-raters and geriatrics. I can´t see any light at the end of the tunnel and forgive me for thinking about relegation in September but we are gonners this time. Prepare yourselves for a change of altitude...
Rob Prince, Seville, Spain  (16/09/05)


It's my fault
My family are all Evertonians and I have been a season-ticket holder for 35 yrs until this season. All my 5 kids were bought season tickets from the age of 7. Four still have them. I did not renew mine this year; the state of the club, the cost, and the football... loyalty had taken its toll on me, and the final straw was a parking ticket for being to close to the corner of a junction.

Last week at the Portsmouth game my lad takes his brothers and sister to the game as normal, parks in Cherry Lane where he has parked for years, same spec. He comes out after Portsmouth beats us to a parking ticket; everyone had one. People were going mad. He is not renewing his seaso next year.

I watched last night's game on TV with my 9-year-old son and I was absolutely furious at the tactics and the display, not to mention the worst Everton side I have ever seen, and I was there in the 70s. My son was sitting there at the end of the game crying his eyes out. When he woke up this morning the first words out of his mouth was, "I'm not supporting Everton any more." Next season the club loses 4 season-ticket holders from one family. Anyway, not to worry the club has supporters on the season-ticket waiting list ready to step in!
Kevin Connolly, liverpol  (16/9/05)


Pass the aspirin
We are now suffering from the hangover. I hold my hand up, I jerked my knees with the best of them, but can you blame the fans?

The defeat was so humiliating and it was on TV as well for millions to witness our beloved club falling to such lows. This for me is the sickening part, I am a blue through and through, have been for over 50 years and my father before me. This is why it hurts so much too be a laughing stock, but the performance was so diabolical. I can barely think of any positives to take from this game, except hopefully the team cannot play so badly all at the same time again.

Although this was so bad, I would never turn my back on our club, that is what being a supporter is all about. We all have to hang in there.

A great deal has been said about the club and last night's game. The article by Rob Fox is right which makes it the more important come what may, we stay with it. As regards the game, it was a whole lot of bad things all at once and nobody including the players, manager and board can be blame free.

We have to move onto the next game which is about as tough as they come. I do hope Moyes has the courage to really think about the selection and tactics. We are still short on front men, with BT crying off again, so be it, we will have to live with and suffer it for the moment nought else to do. But now is the time for the fans to come out and cheer and not walk away, that does not help anybody. Even if we ended down in div 2, I would still be there.

Equally to call for a new manager is somewhat short-sighted. This would be catastrophic for the club at this time and who would we get to replace Moyes? Those fans calling for Moyes to be sacked should consider that vital point.

What has happened is not the end of the world, not the end of Everton FC. Come the next match, get out there and support the team!!!
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (16/09/05)


Players not good enough
I am at my lowest point as a life-long Everton fan. How can a team of highly paid professionals put in a performance like last night in Bucharest? The answer is the players just aren't good enough, with one or two exceptions. Let's look at some of the superstars on Everton's books.

  • Yobo: good on the ball but just not strong enough to play centre-back; the number of times he is hustled of the ball makes him a centre-forward's dream.
  • Valente: good record in Europe but looking like Yobo; too lightweight for the Premiership and the way he dived out of the way of that goal last night we must question his heart.
  • Davies: a lot of money for what he does — nothing Osman can't do... he dosen't score goals and can't beat a man. Spurs must be laughing!
  • Bent: can't fault his effort but just not good enough. He can't control a ball, and can't score to save his life.
  • Kilbane: what's the point of this man? He can't score a goal, can't beat a man, pushes the ball past a defender but just dosen't have the legs to get round him.
  • Ferguson: he's been a good servant but obviously past it now. He can't jump for a ball without pushing; give the ball to Duncan and it's a free kick to the opposition.
  • McFadden: he's been here long enough but can't break into our crap team; shows glimpses of skill but not enough.
However, the most irritating person is Kenwright. Every time he is on tv before a game, he gushes like a kid at Christmas how he loves the club, the fans are fantastic Moyes is a god...blah, blah, blah... then we go and loose! He should look at the club and ask why? Everyone knows we need a goalscorer or two; we still haven't bought one. He should break the bank for the right man. Other clubs can sign them; why can't we?

It seams the only players we sign are other club's cast-offs or players with that many injuries it would pay the club to have a team trip to Lordes. He should ask himself who bought these players and open his eyes to Moyes's faults, for he as a few. Not least the transfer market and his blind spot for sticking with the same deadwood week after week. Something must be done now or we are in for another season of religation fights and humiliation because, once again, Everton have failed to strengthen a small squad with quality and streangth in depth instead going for sicknotes and journeymen.
David Hughes, York  (16/09/05)


Get a Grip!
True, it was a shambolic result, but all those calling for Moyes's head should be ashamed of themselves. The only reason we're in Europe in the first place is because of what Moyes has done for the club. It's a sad reflection on some fans when a run of poor form results in them demanding that Moyes should go!

I'd also like to support what Rob Fox had to say, another excellent article from him!
Neil Williams, Litherland  (16/09/05)


Blue blood
Brilliant article by Chris Dunbar; have to say I agree with the vast majority of it. However, and maybe I'm young and naive, but I fail to believe this attitude of "that's it for me". Yes, unfortunately we are shite at the moment; and yes the least we expect from are players priveliged enough to wear our jersey is some heart and fight. Please though, don't try to play the "straw that broke the camel's back" card! All my life I have had to put up with the fact MY team are shite...

I wasn't fortunate enough to be around to sample the mid-80's the way I assume you did. Never for a moment has my love for the club lessened; my love for the team lessened at times of course, like the rest of us, but not for Everton. My ancestors were some of the founding shareholder's of the club, the shares are still in my family today. Season ticket's through generation after generation... still dozens of them attend the match with their season ticket's in hand — includiing my nan, who is well into her 80's — still a season ticket holder, ever since she was a young girl. You think you have experienced any more hardship from Everton than any one of them? BOLLOCKS! Yet still their support in unswerving.

So, if you want to bury your head in the sand when the going gets tough, you go ahead. I'll see you next time we have a season like the last, eh? Don't tell me your life wasn't better than it has been for a long time 'cos of the blues - you wore that cheesy grin like the rest of us, didn't ya? But, for you other blues out there, I'll see you in London on Monday night; if not, I'll see you at Goodison against Wigan.

We are born, not manufaactured. If there's one aspect of the club I've always been proud of, it's our support ... WE ARE NEEDED NOW. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. We're playing our part.... I live in hope the players will one day too. Blue blood? You bet!
Dom Phoenix, Liverpool  (16/9/2005)


David Moyes
Having woken up severly hung over, depressed and furious about the debacle last night, I decided to have a glance at this website. I then noticed Rob Fox had done a new article and I have to say (having dragged myself through the predictable reams of text) I have thoroughly cheered up.

Rob makes a number of excellent points, as usual. Last night I hazily remember ranting about David Moyes being a shite manager blah, blah, and have now controlled my jerking knee. Before I jump to any conclusions about Moyesey I realise we have to give him time. Practically all of our new signings haven't even played yet, and I cannot believe people are calling for his head. I think when Krøldrup and Van der Meyde are fit again, and (dare I say it) Beattie, results will start to pick up again. Moyes needs time to sort the players out. Come on people were 4, yes 4 games into the league season and people reckon we'll be relegated for fucks sake!

All I can say is IMIT — and so should you.
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (16/09/05)


A month's pension on dross
I went with some mates and their 72-year-old dad to see that dross. The £300 cost was his month's pension!!! We were locked in the ground for 45 mins after (to stop us getting at our own players!??)

Big criticism of Bent, a £400k player, but just lumping it to a bloke, with poor control, surrounded by 3 defenders, and no supporting midfield is useless. No real pace, strength or ability to get to the byline for proper crosses from midfielders and Hibbert. How about free tickets to the second leg for us 800 poor sods who made the trip to Bucharest? Think public relations for once EFC.
Don Harris, Leeds  (16/09/05)

You do deserve some sort of reward, but I can't see it coming courtesy of Keith Wyness somehow! — Ed


David Moyes - A sensible argument
After reading through the sizeable ToffeeWeb mailbag, I am astounded at how fickle some of our 'fans' are. Before you dismiss this article - it is not a Rob Fox IMWT dissertation - but more of a sensible reaction to what was a horrible night.

Let me start by saying I agree with some of the constructive criticism. I too feel Moyes has dissapointed in the transfer market. Not buying a striker in the window is hindering us badly, and our lack of goals are there for all to see. If we can struggle through until Christmas, then I believe we will sign the 'elusive' striker. What sort of quality will depend I guess, on our position in the table and how much money DM is given.

The formation debate is also one DM has got wrong. 4-1-4-1 suited Thomas Gravesen as it diminished the defensive responsibilities. In 'the hole' it also allowed him more time and space to be creative, which ultimately, led to us seeing his most consistent form for EFC. Since January, we have struggled with this formation and the only benefit we gain from it now (although admittedly not last night) is having a holding player sat in front of our frail back 4. DM and AI need to get back to the drawing board and discover our most potent formation - that is their responsibility. Once they get that right (4-4-2 / 3-5-2 or whichever it may be) it is then up to the players.

In my opinion, once the players cross that line - the buck stops with them. DM and his staff can motivate before kick off but once the game begins he is then powerless. It is up to the players to perform. Again, in my opinion, the blame for last night's debacle lies solely with the players. During last night's second half, we lacked heart, passion, astuteness, tactics and effort - everything. It was heartbreaking and it hurt us all badly.

A friend of mine called me this morning to discuss the game and he admitted he had had trouble sleeping, replaying the match over and over in his mind. I bet a few TW readers went through the same. I wonder to myself if the players managed to sleep?

We know it doesn't mean as much to them, but I honestly think it does mean almost as much to DM as it does to us. He is a proud man, and he openly admits that any defeat hurts him. He knows he has to lift morale - he has already said so. Whether you like him, agree with him or not - you must get behind him. Imagine how much harder your job would become if nobody had any confidence in you and didn't offer the necessary support.

Like it or not, DM is our manager, and he gets my vote everytime. What are the alternatives? Bring back Walter? No thanks. This is a man who only 4 months ago was awarded Manager of the Year. I don't recall too many people asking for him to be replaced then. If you are going to berate anybody - berate the players. Look what happened when the Echo slated them after another 5-1 defeat at the end of 2003-04. It got up their noses and they didn't like it. If I recall they then bonded together and propelled us to 4th in the table. Even if a new manager does come in, he'll then take 3 years to build up his own squad, at which point you'll want to get rid of him after another poor run.

The fans asking for Moyes's head are probably the same ones who wanted Kendall's in '83. Get behind the team. We know it's not good enough for EFC but by acting like this we are not helping.
John Coyne, Halewood  (16/9/05)

So let me get this right; last season, the players and the manager, stung by a rapier-like critique in the back pages of the Echo and elsewhere, played their hearts out in response and got us to fourth place, Champions League, etc. Now, a year on, when the fans collectively have to suffer through the latest attrocious debacle, we are not allowed to point up the problems but must instead "get behind the team"? Don't you see that you have just disproved the entire point of your mail? It's criticsm like ours that builds character, ya numpty! — Ed


So Fickle, So Naive...
First of all, yes we have had a bad start to the season, that's patently obvious. Anyone, who has a clue about football realised that it was gonna be tough. We were beaten by Man Utd on the opening day because of their strikers' ability to put the ball in the back of the net. We were knocked out of the CL beacuse Pierluigi Collina didn't have the balls to give a legitimate goal and denied us a fighting chance. As for last night, we got humped, shit happens. It's happenened before and it'll happen again in the future.

What really pisses me off though, more than bad refereeing decisions and poor performances, is so called fans getting on David Moyes's back. This is the same David Moyes that was being hailed as 'The Moyesiah' last season. It was only the season before we avoided relegation beacuse there where three worse teams than us. What Moyes did last season was nothing short of a miracle: silk purse, sow's ear, etc. For people to have expected us to continue full throttle is both naive and unrealistic.

I had a strong feeling of deja vu when I logged on earlier, and read some of the anti-Moyes posts. No doubt these are the same people who called for his head the season before last. The same people who sang about his ginger barnet last season.

Wind your necks in. Miracles don't happen overnight. Everton are a team heading in the right direction, so get behind your team and your manager when they need us the most. Things could be a lot fucking worse. Two words: Mike Walker. Remember we are Everton Football Club, not Newcastle Utd. Leave this type of behaviour for the Sky Sports Barcodes in the North East.
Franny Porter, Brize Norton  (16/09/05)

I don't know howw much you have to deal with cause and effect in your daily life, but it often helps to get things lined up right in your head. You might then see a disconnect between taking aim at the fans who have reacted, rather than taking aim at what actually caused them to react. And what on earth does Mike Walker have to do with this??? — Ed


Response To 'Broken Blue'
I haven't heard such crying and whingeing since at half time for some match back in May.

I am not going to predict a top-6 finish because on current form we're not a top-6 side and we will need to buck our ideas up. But we have got the best squad (on paper) we have had for many a year, added to the fact we haven't seen half of Moyes summer signings. If you wish to cry and whinge go ahead but I suggest you stay away from Goodison Park as we don't want whingers like that in the ground. We need to get behind the lads 100%.

That lad said at the beginning he supported us through thick and thin; well, this at the moment is a thin patch... prove your words and support us through it.
Simon Currie, Liverpool  (16/09/05)

Oh so you were presumably happy with last night's ineptitude? And what do you think is the reason why we have not seen those signings yet? You may be oblivious the real state of things but that does not mean everyone else has to be. — Ed


Absolute disgrace
I am appalled at the way Everton played in the second half. We have no strikers!!! 4 nil at home... Who is going to score? Moyes has dithered around; now we are out of both competitions because he couldn't get players to play for him. Walter Smith managed to get some good players... you have to ask the question why can't Moyes? By the way, Beattie was always injured at Southampton so expect the same. It all went wrong when Gravesen went and wasn't replaced.
Clive Lewis, Leicester  (16/09/05)

Some familar refrains in there... but you do have to wonder if David Moyes has some sort of a reputation in the game as a hard manager to play under. His heavy focus on physical fitness and hard work over skill and flair would certainly do my head in... but them I'm a lazy bastard. — Ed


People still defending Moyes
Just because the manager is being questioned about his tactical ability, does not mean you want him sacked. He is not a God. He has ballsed up big time and should admit that his present tactics are not working. The proof is there to see, we are shite and his tactics are useless. Start realising it now or wait until March for a big panic.

All I ask is, try something different, add a bit of urgency to the game. We are talking professional football here not Sunday league.
Dave  Charles, Liverpool  (16/9/05)

Amen to that. — Ed


Why Bother?
Ok, I settled down last night to pen a letter of discontent to CEO, Kenwright, Moyes and his dog. But then something struck me... why bother? Who is going to take my views on board? I am a mere pleb of a supporter?

Did they listen to me when they gave me an obstructed view season-ticket and I went back to complain?
Did they let me see my alternative seat before they gave it to me?
Did I get an adequate response when I wrote regarding the lack of availability of the new kit a season or so ago and we had to wait till August?
Did I get an apology from my letter complaining about the Villa Real ticketing fiasco?
Did I get a constructive reply when I sent a letter to Wyness, advising him to grasp at the greatest oportunity in our history and buy a quality striker before the Champs league games?
Did I get a satisfactory explanation after that Shrewsbury FA Cup game?
Did I get an explanation after the Highbury mauling recently? Fenerbahçe?
Will I get a sensible explaination and a resounding statement that shouts 'Don't worry, we'll get it right?'.

The answer to all of this is of course a resounding NO. So why bother? Do you think anyone at our club gives a toss what we think? But, if it makes you feel better rant away, relieve your burden on other pissed off fans. It's like watching Walter's wonders all over again... we've been here before.
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (16/09/05)


League One vs. Dynamo Bucharest.
I work for a League One team in London. Each week I watch our players come out onto the pitch and give 100%. At the end of every game they personally thank the fans. Most of then are lucky to earn £250 - £400 per week as they have been signed from non-league or came up through our youth system. They park their cars in a school car park about 400m from the ground and then walk (amongst the early bird fans) the rest of the way to the club. They would have at least got a draw last night, if not won!

I have spent 15 years down here, mixing with southern Man Utd fans, watching Chelsea buy an entire fanbase overnight. Putting up with "kopites" from Devon, Bournemouth, Reading, Windsor... all tellin me my club are shite when none of them have ever set foot in Liverpool. (usually coupled with a Harry Enfield "calm down"). I have battled endlessly on behalf of my club...usually with a level of decorum befitting a proud and honourable club like EFC.

After last night, I dont know if I can go on anymore. I have capitulated my will to defend the Blues. My colleagues have been okay but there is a rednose upstairs that I am dreading bumping into, because, for once, I have no argument .... I have nothing to defend. I really dont know what to think or do anymore.

My club (work) are currently second in League One.
Paul Skelhorn, West London  (16/09/05)

Hmmm... an interesting tale. Not sure quite what we can take from that, but I'll mull it over a little more... and see what I can come up with. Ed


For Sale
Blue and yellow wristband inscribed 'Everton in €urope'. One careful owner. Hardly ever worn. 50p ono.
Craig Walker, Wigan  (16/09/05)

Hang on! I thought they were blue & white... you scoundrel! — Ed


Jesus Wept!
OK yesterday was a complete and utter disaster. Not even the 'away goal', which my housemate kept reminding me of as I swore profusely at the TV, is going to help. But still, if we had of got through to the 'lucrative' group stage of the CL - it would have probably been a very similar if not worse story, albeit it by more recognised teams. People pressumably then would have been baying for the blood of DM, and I think that that is completely unjustified.

Following on only from two (Paul Kish and Mike Keating), look at where we are and the resources we have at our disposal. Yeah, it was a great season last season but we were exceptionally lucky with injuries. With an increase in games (even with the players we managed to bring in) we were/are going to struggle.

Infact, going onto the BBC's score predictor thing, I went through and while trying to be optimistic things look bleak. I am however a realist... we were lucky last season, and IF, only if we stand by Moyles we stand a chance.

Basically, we don't have the resources to get a manager in who could buy big-name players because well we don't have those resources (funds) in the first place. Or we could get a Curbishley-style manager... but what does that change? We'll still will have the attritional (Dogs of War) style. Worse still is that we should be backing what the manager has tried. Yeah the summer's signing spree was not great but we still got some good players. I don't want to end up like Southampton!

I agree, Cahill needs a break - but if DM had of dropped him for this match, and even if the scorline wasn't as bad, he would have been berated.

If anything, being out of Europe may well be a blessing - look at Middlesbrough last season and the squad they had which in the end became nigh-on a youth team. We're not far off that and we've only played 3 European ties.
Chad Schofield, Cirencester  (16/09/05)

There you go.. "it was a GOOD thing..." Where's my seldgehammer!!! — Ed


Down and out — but not yet dead
So our 2nd half performance was dire last night to say the least! In fact I left the room for 2 minutes and all of a sudden they were 3-1 up. But lets be realistic, it's the first time in 10 years that we've been back in Europe and all of a sudden we're expected to qualify for the Champions League group stages or go on to do the business in the Uefa Cup! We had the 2 toughest draws, for crying out loud, and only one or two players with any real European experience.

Finishing 4th was beyond mine and most Evertonians dreams but realistically we need to concentrate on the league. It would have been nice to better in Europe but it would have probably been to our detriment. Let's get behind the manager and the lads instead of calling for their collective heads to roll.
Fred Hutt, Exeter  (16/09/05)


Who?
I would just like to ask all the people who are calling for David Moyes's head, name me just one manager who you think would come to Everton and do what David Moyes can't do, because I can't think of anyone!!
Steve Wolfe, Liverpool  (16/09/05)

This is now starting to get boring. Yes, it may seem a valid enquiry, and people love to ask it when others question the manager's credentials, but these are the reasons it annoys me: Firstly, if Moyes should go (and God forbid, but honestly I wouldn't blame him if he were to walk right now, rather than be pushed), it is not up to those calling for his head to actually come up with a replacement. It's not their job! And secondly, the Board somehow always manages to find a new manager in this situation, and to appoint him. Which again renders your question somewhat moot. So let's be having less of that, shall we? Thanks! — Ed


We can win the home leg... no wait...
We've got to get rid of this negativity. If Liverpool can score three in 45 minutes (I hate bringing it up) and not let any in, in 75 mins against Milan, why can't we score 4 in 90 minutes (twice as long)? As much as we hate Liverpool, they've got a sense of belief we lack. They sing 'with hope in your heart'; that drive to not give up hoping can be underestimated. That mentality can make a big difference.

I'm not saying we'll win the home leg, but what are we going to do? Curl up and die? There's a saying that goes 'if you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right'. It might be hard to imagine Everton scoring four, but that's the job they face. Moyes is the only manager in decades that's instilled some belief in the team; he definitely shouldn't go, ever...
Tokyo Joe, Liverpool  (16/09/2005)

Now if we get flak for publishing THAT, I could fully understand it... — Ed


IMWT (Fuck off)
Sorry Moyesey, you're on the slippery slope, and I'll bet Billy Liar stays.
Not good enough; it's not just last night — we are still reeling from losing Gravesen.
Uefa Cup!!! You're 'avin' an even bigger fukin' laff...
Dave C, Southport  (16.09.05)


Time
Just read Rob Fox's very long article and all I can say is spot on. I might be one of the more loyal supporters when it comes to managers (stupidly, some might say) but to say Moyes should go when we are only 4 league games into a season is just ridiculous. Apart from the Pompey game we have looked OK and are only 3 points off last seasons achievements.

Granted Europe hasn't panned out, and in spectacular fashion, but this time last year I would have settled for last night's result as at least we got there. (Some won't agree but losing in Europe has got to be better than 3-2 to York in the Carling Cup on a wet Wednesday night at Bootham Crescent.)

I know not everyone will be happy; it's the nature of football and people will call me naive etc... but just look at two clubs who have stuck with managers during hard times:
Alex Ferguson - one game from sack and look at them now Alan Curbishley - lots of fans wanted him gone and yet he stayed and they are flying now (though 4 games is no gauge)
Then think about Bradford, Derby, Leeds, Sunderland - these all changed managers numerous times in a season.

Sacking Moyes now would effectively end our season, as a new manager (god knows who) would have to come in and wait till January to sign his players. This season is probably the first that every player is wanted by Moyes so we have to give him time.

I have absolute faith that Blue Bill won't get rid of Moyes — one of the only decisions he has got right. The dissenting voices will always be there but I suppose it's therapy for all the 5-fingered gestures I have received this morning from Toon fans — of all people!
Daniel  Ford, Newcastle upon tyne  (16/09/05)


Time is up
The comments by Chris Dunbar are so true and echo my feelings. I am 65 and have supported the blues since my first game with my Dad in 1948 — 57 yrs ago. There have been so many ups & downs in that time but I stuck in there as there was always great faith, hope & optimism. No longer... I can`t even talk my grandson into supporting Everton & it really hurts.

The last 15-20 yrs have seen so many huge horrors, in personnel & results, you all know them so I don`t need to go thru them again. Let's be brutally honest; take just last season, we grossly overachieved, with some good results and a large degree of fortune re: injuries, last minute goals, other`s results etc. We were virtually safe by Christmas, managing to finish fourth opened a great chance to resurrect our dignity & finances. Once again we have totally blown it.

Since Jan we have bought nine players, four have not even been seen in the team; Beattie has been injured or suspended for more than he has played, the others Davies (very average) Valente (jury still out but a large ?) Arteta (good in spells but hardly likely to spark a revival) which only leaves Phil Neville as a worthwhile looking buy.

We all know we desperately need a striker; there are so many names we might have had. The games this season have been an embarrassment (we did not even deserve to win at Bolton), so who is to blame? Moyes, the Players Kenwright, Gregg, Wyness... it doesn't matter; it has been building up collectively as supporters have been told "lies" and conned for many years. What other club would allow a cock-up like the fiasco at the airport on Thursday? The CLUB (forget the "Peoples" gimmick) generally has nosedived over years & at the moment it is in freefall to the lower leagues.

We we need players, particularly forwards, possibly a new manager who WILL spend the money available sensibly but most of all we need to be taken over by a new owner & Board who WILL seriously look for a new ground or a complete rebuild of Goodison. Other clubs with far less potential & history than Everton have done this.

Should our current run of results (study them) & performances continue, it is relegation already by next Christmas. As I said "time is up" certainly for me; we have become a "lost cause". I`ve had enough; I`m finished. Perhaps more important to all Evertonians, after all my years, I am so sorry to say I firmly believe we have just passed the Last Chance Saloon and Everton are finished as a "big club".
Jim Martin, Runcorn  (17/09/05)

Well, we are getting serious flack from some individuals for even daring to publish mail like this because you appear to no longer be a supporter.  However, I think the expression of anger and sorrow is fully justified, with the glaring exception of blaming the Club for a travel fiasco that resulted from an airline going bust the day before. It's a pity you did that, because it detracts from a series of very valid concerns reflected in your letter. — Ed


Everton just don't care
I know emotions are still raw after last night's humiliation, but there is a deep malaise now at Everton. It is simply that the club does not give a twopenny toss about the fans. I have seen many poor sides but as we struggled I always felt part of the battle, that somehow everyone was in it together and it was us united against the rest of the world. That the club and supporters were joined at the hip. But now the club doesnt seem to care - no respect for those who made the tortuous journey to Bucharest some by rail or car, no real concern for the feelings of those stuck at Speke - oh, we will refund your fare money but everything else you will have to deal with yourselves - thanks a lot.

Combine that with rip-off ticket prices, shambolic ticket arrangements with 5-hour queues over-priced merchandise, the list is endless. I know it is the same at other clubs - but somehow I always felt we were a cut above the rest. Moyes says after last night he knows how the fans feel but he doesn't because he isn't treated like we are. We should go and rip down the People's Club banners outside the ground because they mean nothing now.

Chris Dunbar says in his excellent piece that his heart is broken. So is mine; it is in pieces, but it has been ripped apart not so much by one result but by the way I am now treated by the club. We have the most wonderful fans and we would do anything for everyone of them. But our hearts need mending - better results would help but mainly we need some love and attention. Wyness, Kenwright etc seem to have hearts of stone and until we bring in people who deep down understand the heart-wrenching agony of the fans then this club will keep sinking further into the depths and deservedly so.
Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (16/09/2005)

It is clear from the diversity of contributions sent in to this mailbag that there are a myriad of different ways fans have in responsding to last night's disaster. Yours is odd in the extent to which it personalizes and then demonizes a relationship that really is, at the end of the day, peripheral to what really matters: how the team plays on the field. Yes, we all want to have some identity with the club. I do it through this website and being a shareholder but I have no illusions about them having to care for me above and beyond providing the basic fare: the game of football played on a field of green grass.

All the other stuff really is periheral shite in comparisson. And to expect the club to nurse-maid you through infancy and adolesence really is taking it just a bit too far... IMHO! — Ed


Lay off Davey
I would like to say to those doom merchants, yes it was an awful performance; however, it is not down to DM. The players showed in the first half they were capable of winning the game but showed no desire or heart. The manager can only send out what he has at his disposal, although he has to hold his hands up over Mcfadden and Kilbane, they are not good enough to wear the Shirt.

The season is only 5 games in, and to those who don't go to Goodison we have played well (bar last night & Saturday). Let's not bemoan all our bad luck, and get behind our fuckin team; remember we are Everton. Davey has proved before he can get the best out of a bad bunch, give him time do pefrom his magic again.
Thomas Hesketh, Lisbon, Portugal  (16/09/2005)

I disagree. The quality of football we have played is at best poor — as many people are now realising after we were severely found out last night. Hoof-ball simply loses possession. It is a crassly stupid way to play football. — Ed


Evertonians are born, but life is cruel
They say that we are born Evertonians and they’re probably right. It’s so easy to support the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. When you’re brought up getting stick from all and sundry and you dread going in to work or school on a Monday, you know what it’s like to be an Evertonian. Odd snippets of success keep us going over the years and we try to battle through the usual bad times, but it has never been easy.

I have supported the blues for 50 years and sat with my 2 sons last night, hoping that it was all going to come right. Reasonable first half and we were optimistic about a result. Then came what must have been the best half time team talk in the history of Everton. That second half was Arsenal last season all over again. My eldest son stormed out when the fourth goal went in – he couldn’t take any more – and I knew exactly what he felt like. I’ve been there so many times. The end was almost a salvation – we were that bad.

We have lost 14 out of the last 20 games and have been clueless since Tommy Graveson left. It’s not just this season – the back half of last season was almost as bad. We got into Europe because the others were crap too. Champions League? Yeah, what a laugh it was...

The team we have is woefully poor. Valente is probably the worst left back I can remember, Hibbert is all over the place and gets caught out of position too often; Kilbane, McFadden, Bent, Osman and Weir are nowhere near good enough. We have all idolised Ferguson over the years, but time is now up for the big fella. What else do we have in reserve? Naysmith? Pistone? Wright? Carsley? How many of those would have got in the 1985 side? How many would get into the top 3 sides? Right – none. So why are they good enough for us?

Positives? Thank goodness for Nigel Martyn – I dread to think where we would be without him. Krøldrup, from what we have seen of him, looks decent. Arteta is class and Cahill, when he can have a rest, will come good again. After that, errrr....

So where do we go from here? Sack the manager? Sack the Board? They all have to hold their hands up and accept responsibility for what is happening. Other teams are leaving us standing and we have a relegation fight looming. Our ground is one of the worst in the league and promised funding is all pie in the sky. It’s not a great time to be an Evertonian – but there are very few times when it is. Yet once we get over the hurt, we will keep coming back, because it’s in our blood. But we need action soon. We’re dreading Monday against Arsenal, as we’re worse now than when we got beat 7-0. Can it get worse? You bet it can... I think we need a new motto.
Roy Leatham, Lichfield  (16/09/05)


What do they do in Training?
Watching that pathetic, gutless, lily-livered performance last night left me wondering what the hell actually goes on in training?

The players can't string three decent incisive passes together in a row before somebody takes the classy descision to hoof it aimlessly up the pitch in the hope we may win the third knock down. Why can't our high-earning Premiership players find space on a football pitch to offer their teammate a decent option, and I don't mean a sideways pass!

Fitness-wise we look a joke. I always knew and grudgingly accepted we had the slowest bunch of players in the Premiership, but took solace in the fact that they could keep an even pace for a full 90 mins. This season they all remind me of dead-legs Reid in his later years. But without the ability and will to win.

I'll just finish by saying that I don't ever want to see James McFadden or Kevin Kilbane in an Everton shirt again.

Moyes, I watch with interest your next moves as I have this horrible feeling that you're not a very good manager - just been a very lucky one, and that luck has now all run out.
Mike Whittaker, Bristol  (16/09/05)


No more hurt.
Last night was the first time I turned off watching an Everton game since the televising of football began; I decided Hawking provided more entertainment. I can't really blame the players because they are plainly out of their depth, in fact it borders on cruelty to keep on asking them to go out and be humilliated. I was curious in the summer why so many players turned us down, I think we now have the answer. I feel sorry for the newcomers; they must know they have made a big mistake joining such a dysfunctional club. There is a saying in football that when morale is low the treatment room is full. Anyway, all I can say is that it dosen't hurt any more.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (16/09/05)


I want answers!
I would just like to know a few things: Why do we play 4-5-1 with a striker who can’t hold the ball up and refuses to make forward runs? Really, why the fucking hell does Bent always run towards the ball instead of staying on the last man waiting for a through ball to run onto? Also, when he gets the ball taken off him, why does he stand there with his arms out?

Have the coaches ever given Hibbert extra training to work on his passing / crosses? If not, why not; if so why isn’t it working?

Moyes has said that Cahill needs a rest, so why won’t he fucking rest him?

Moyes said before the game that Dinamo are good going forward, so why the hell did we sit back at 1-1? What the fuck was said at half time? I demand one of those ‘public inquiry’ things.

Anyone want to buy a ticket for the 2nd leg?

And finally, do you think Kenwrong will give me a refund on my ‘Everton in Europe’ wristband?

IMWT. (I’d like to dedicate that to those fans who need to get a fucking grip and stop calling for his head)
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (16/09/05)


Part of the learning process
Living in Scotland I asked the Celtic fans I know how they coped after their 5-0 debacle earlier this season - their answer "You don't!" However, if we repeat their home score se would go through!

It is about gaining experiance in Europe and we are just learning - look at Man Utd in Bracelona (0-4) some years before they went back to that same stadium to win the whole thing. I know the Romanians were no Barce but then we're no Man Utd - it's all relative.

At least DM has recognised that something drastic has to be done. He still has my faith but it was a painful night - just makes those good times all the better, I suppose.
Trevor  James, Edinburgh  (16/09/05)

"Makes those good times all the better"??? Now that is twisted logic at it's most bizarre. — Ed


Wait and see.......
I can agree there´s not much to cheer about at the moment. But everyone should know by now, there´s a thin line between failure and success. The injuries we´ve got, new players settling in together with some bad luck (what if Ferguson´s header agains Villarreal had not been disallowed?) has made this a very bad start, but not disastrous start to the season. I truthfully believe that both Everton and the downhill team of Newcastle will end up higher in the table than many think at this present time. I don´t even want to make a comment on those who call for the sacking of Moyes, get real! Why don´t we just wait and see......
Håkan T, Stockholm  (16/9/05)

So you can distinguish between a bad start and a disasterous start? I'd say we are now firmly in the latter category to be honest. — Ed


Moyes must go???
Are you kidding me? Moyes must go? That has to be the most stupid thing I have ever heard. I understand that people are under some misguided belief that we have a god given right to be in the top 4 every season but guess what? We don't.

It's that simple, this squad is top ten — maybe top eight at best. If you're looking for someone to blame for our poor start to the season and for last night's pathetic capitulation, blame the players!!!

Moyes can only do so much from the touchline, after that its in the hands of the players. If you are that blind that you can't see this, I recommend you go support Liverpool and get it over and done with because seeing us sacking Moyes can only help them be the top team on Merseyside for another fifteen or twenty years.
Declan Critchley, Dublin, Ireland  (160905)

Ah... the Blame Game. That'll get us a long way ahead... NOT! Moyes accepts some responsibility; the players are also responsible. Let's not indulge in this silliness, allright? — Ed


Europe
Do you know what I am dreading the most? The Red Shite singing "CHAMPIONS LEAGUE — YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH" at the Derby games!
Mike Williams, UK  (16/09/05)

I thought we didn't care what they say? Pull yourself together, man! — Ed


Stubbs Missed?
Do you think that the leadership skills of Alan Stubbs are missing, especially when we go behind to a goal? He had the determination and the will to win that may be missing from some of the team. Last season, if we went behind it meant nothing as we could always come back. There was belief.
Jon Taylor, London  (16/09/05)

It's a thought others have expressed. But it ain't doing too much for Sunderland... yet. Although Stubbsy would not last forever, it's sad to think that the silly business over that cancer clause in his contract is the reason why this True Blue is no longer playing for us. But would he have played last night? And would he have made a difference? Answers on a postcard, please. — Ed


Hurt
How can football, a form of entertainment, take over our lives so much? How many of us last night will have been so hurt and despondent after watching our beloved Everton go to the wall again? It is like all of our hopes and dreams are pinned to the success of our club.

To be a blue is to put yourself in a special position. Many of us growing up in Liverpool could have easily gone over to the Reds. They had great teams and great success and have continued to do so. But for whatever reason we chose blue and god have we paid for it. The trouble is we cannot change now. Once a blue always a blue is often used, occassionally by players unworthy of it.

I feel better this morning after utter despair last night. Was it the team, was it the manager, are we cursed? Fuck, I don't know... I have seen so many matches where we start strong and play good football only to lose a goal and the tide turns on it. It's like an FA cup tie every week. We never have the ability to turn a team over. The more I think about it, the more I believe it's down to a lack of goals. The Reds played Betis this week; two early goals and they were cruising. Confidence lifts and the other team is on the backfoot.

We never caplitalise on our better play. We need goals. Since the days of Lineker and Sharp we have not had a player who could score 20 goals a season. Until we are scoring a couple a game we are in desperate straits. Cahill and Kilbane look knackered. Osman and Faddy more often than not look out their depth. Bent and Ferguson try but which other Premiership team would swap their front two for ours ?

I still believe Moyes is the man for us, my only hope is that we do not lose him. There is no one to replace him and we do have a better squad than we did in the days of Walter. However, everyone else is improving as well. Investment we need, but no one on the horizon. The test of the manager and the players is how we perform at Arsenal! The test of ourselves is how we perform at Goodison for the team on our next 2 games! We did it when Man Utd visited; let's see if we can do it again!
Chris Kelly, Lincolnshire  (16/09/05)

Less of that Liverpool talk, purleease! — Ed


Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
I've never before felt the need to write to a Forum despite some painfully bad experiences as an Evertonian. I've been an avid Blue for 31 years now. My much missed dad took me to an away match at Maine Road when I was a kid. Those were the days when you could go to a game expecting a win. Remember them anyone? Furthermore you could stand on the terraces and you got the feeling the players on the pitch actually played the game because they wanted to win. A game far removed from the one which exists today full of money-grabbing prima donnas and financially astute agents who couldn't care less about the game which feeds them.

The week after that first away game he took me to the home match at Norwich and I just fell in love with the club. It's those days of seeing a team in blue play the game the way it should be played that is the reason I'm still a fan to this day. Let's face it, we all put ourselves through the dross we've been served up since the early 90's because we all believe that one day we'll all witness the likes of the 'School of Science' and the 80's Kendall era sides again. After last night, I'm pretty certain the only way we'll see football of that sort again from our beloved team is on DVD.

With Wayne Rooney, I thought we had a chance. At last a young Blue who was born to play for our club and would push us on to great things. Then agents got hold of him and we were left looking again for the next false dawn.

Don't get me wrong; last season was brilliant but I'm pretty certain it was a one-off with players playing for contract extensions and to the limit of their abilities. There's only so far you can go without real ability before you get found out. We should know by now that whenever we're optimistic pre-season, the Blues never fail to let us down.

Last Saturday I ran into a complete stranger who noticed my Everton shirt and started laying into the Toffees. He happened to be a kopshite. His typical uninformed and inaccurate arguments started to make my blood boil. 31 years of experience defending Everton taught me to countereact with the usual cliches about "lack of financial backing" and "best young manager in the country" and how Heysel cost us dear, Collina etc. etc. Last night left me thinking "is it really good enough to set our targets on finishing above Liverpool?" I personally don't think it is.

Do you know what? I just can't be bothered anymore defending Everton to outsiders when it seems it's only the fans who care about our (once) great club. I wonder how long it is before some ITV pundit next week uses the phrase "you never know. An early goal and it's game on"?
Craig Walker, Wigan  (16/09/05)


Big Characters required now
Couple of points:

1.Is Nuno Valente not my baby Pistone in disguise? What a shithouse, diving out of the way of the ball.
2. We have no leadership on the pitch.
3. Arteta & Cahill centre-mid; it does not and will not work.
4. This could only happen to us.
5. Most people on this site who openly crtisize the team make good points and do not slag the team at the match, so fuck all you blinkered bastards. [Uh? — Ed]
6. We need a goalscorer.
7. Why did Moyes not play Ferrari when he knew they had pace and Weir has none?
8. I feel for everyone of those fans who travelled.
9. The lads who had their plane cancelled are lucky lucky bleeders.
10. I don't like Mondays — especially when we are on Sky.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (16/09/05)


Wake up, Ed
After reading through the post-Bucharest mailbag I get the feeling most blues are well pissed off and all you keep saying is we are going through a bad patch. Are you taking the piss? The people of New Orleans are going through a bad patch, and I bet even their bad patch won't last as long as ours. Wake up!
Doug  Hesketh, Runcorn  (16/09/05)

Well, yes, I was and I wasn't. Come on, that's the thing about football. Teams do go through bad patches. But here at ToffeeWeb, we've been pointing up the problems since the spring. Circumstances allowed Everton to cling on to 4th place and initate the great European Tour of 2005 and we were supposed to go all gaga over that achievement. The last two games have proved it's about playing football, and that's where we are being let down by the players and by the manager. But there is always another game... and there is always the possibility (however remote that may seem to you now) that we can get a result. That's why they play the game. See: I'm awake now! — Ed


Yobo not to blame
Someone in a previous mail said Yobo was to blame for two of the goals.

Yobo WAS NOT to blame. If Hibbert and Valente did their jobs right the ball would be nowhere near Yobo. Countless number of times I saw Joseph out of position covering for the fullbacks because either Hibbert or Valente were left on their arses in the midfield. Why the hell did we offer Hibbert a new contract? Just looking at the ugly twat you can see he's a shite player.
Paul Caslin, Wirral  (16/09/05)

That bloke from Croxteh who now plays for Man Utd is an ugly twat too, init? — Ed


Fickle Fans
Well like every Blue I watched with horror at the weekend, and living in Pompey the crap I got was pretty bad, although I must say it was tempered by the gratefulness of their fans for us laying back and giving them 3 points. Then last night, oh my god, last night!! we just lost the plot second half and I could fill pages with my views on each player's performance.

But at the end of the day it's football and I can take it. We will win again and it will get better ... what really depresses me and pisses me off is the immediate 'lynch Moyes' 'I'll never watch Everton Again' bollox. David Moyes is the best manager we could have at this moment in time and will continue to be for at least the next few years. Who else you going to bring in , Maybe we can prise Arry Rednapp from Scummers to keep us up for another season. Big Ron is free at the moment maybe he can fix it.

The problem is two things at the moment: the confidence we had last season in getting some of our results has deserted us and we can only hope it will come back soon; we need a bit of luck somewhere along the line that leads to confidence and confidence wins games. Secondly, if I ignore the injuries (which have had a huge effect) we've lost a leader in Alan Stubbs. He bled Blue; he led from the front [Uh? — Ed] and although I agree his legs were going he has not been replaced (Carsley being out doesn't help either); you need a leader on the pitch!

Having said all that, I was a Blue on Saturday and a Blue last night... and I'll be Blue tomorrow. Giving up is NOT an option !!
Rog , Portsmouth  (16/09/05)


'Broken Blue' the article by Chris Dunbar...
... absolutely spot on.

Whilst the adenalin will still flow prior to kick off time, as regards actually attending now.... I just couldn't be arsed.

How many games during last seasons 'success' did you come out with the juices flowing after witnessing a magnificent performance? Villa away, Man U home.......erm, erm ???? Football (The Everton way). Not for me now, thanks.

(A regular home & away since 1971)
Mike Helsby, Rainhill  (16/09/05)


Disgrace
I don't have great knowledge of tactics or European football and in many ways I don't give a shit about them. I was a simple football fan who just wanted us to TRY and win. Last night I sat and watched our players stroll around in the second half as they'd had valium at half time. Tired? Ran out of legs? Crap.

That was unforgiveable and I am now another fan of a Premiership club who has lost interest. The game is an insult to fans, on the most part dull, financially inexcusable and a pale shadow of other sports. It is never easy to admit that you've been taken for a mug. But I have and for far too long.
Ged Simpson, Chester  (16/09/05)

We'll miss you, Ged... Ed


All I have to say is...
Everton till I die.
Paul Cuffe, Ireland  (16/09/05)

... and it could be a very painful death at this rate! — Ed


Lack of Focus
Do you know what annoys me most about supporting Everton? The whole lack of focus of the club. It starts in pre-season; we just go through the motions, having no pride in the result or the image that we send out to the countries we go and tour in... Every manager says, 'Don't worry its only early days,' after we draw with someone like FC Nomark of Austria. Fair enough, pre-season is for getting fit but ever since I've started supporting Everton we have never been any good at friendlies and that attitude seems to be carried into early season (and usually kept in the League Cup and our occasional forays into Europe). If you cannot be arsed competing, don't enter the competition!

Moyes seems to make a big thing about determination and effort but the players seem to have switched off. We have been crap for coming up to nearly a year now. Arsenal, Fenerbahçe, Dinamo Bucharest... hammered without even a whimper.

There is nothing good I can say about Everton these days apart from the fans. What worries me is that, as I understand, our mortage is based on the fact that they guaranteed the bank they could get 30,000 every match. Gates are already falling and if they continue to humiliate us like they have (god help us against Arsenal), then they ain't gonna get 30,000 masochists every week anymore.
Iain McWilliam, UK  (16/09/05)

Oh I think there's been plenty of whimpering, Ian. Count 'em. But the concern about disillusioned fans has to be very real. I would much rather see Moyes concentrate not on fitness but on the footballing basics of carrying the ball forward and retaining possession until you get into the penalty area and create a scoring chance.

That means no more Rhino hoof-balls. It means no more pass-backs to the goalie. It means keeping the ball on the ground, the only exception being fast accurate crosses delivered in from the bye-line. Isn't that a better way to lose possession than simply lofting mortar bombs? Can we not at least try to play like that? Yes, it will fail 90% of the time. But if it brings 1, 2, even 3 goals in a game, how wonderful will that be? — Ed


Wow !!!
I am still in total shock as to how a team can capitulate like that and then David Weir has the audacity to say in interview they will try and turn it around. They really are having a laugh as they fly home Club class and with a guarantee that they will not be embarrassed about it at all.

As well as being known as the whipping boys by teams such as Portsmouth and Wigan, we are also known as the contract club by players as all that seems to happen is a player has a good run, we give him a big contract and then he instantly becomes crap - ring any bells?

But once again, I will be on the M6 on Monday full of hope; and then the long drive back full of disappointment. And if we get a shock result on Monday, what then? Kenwright saying it was only a matter of time and we have turned the corner? I think not.

Once again Moyes's men, thank you for nothing...
Ralph Basnett, Kirkby  (16/09/05)


Ouch!
That hurts!!... What a way to spoil the day. After being a little unlucky in the CL, that result is just a complete embarrassment. But it shows we are not ready yet for Europe. Worst of all, it's effecting our start to the Premier League season.

I think the current status of the squad shows that last year we were very lucky with the number of injuries sustained. We have got a shit load of them this year and even more games to play in. At this level you just can't compete with an injury-ravaged squad, as it's hard enough when you have all of your best players available.

A lot of coach's will tell you that if you loose even 1 player from the side it can completely throw out the balance of the squad, especially when you haven't got an equivelent player to slot in. When you look at the Everton squad, there are lots of injuries and a fair share of new faces as well. It's going to take time for them to get used to playing together and it's going to take time for Moyes to get a balanced first 11 this year.

Hopefully next year, or the year after, we'll have a re-built squad that can at least challenge in Europe, where we only need to buy 1 player in the transfer window.

Dare I say roll on Monday and roll on Arsenal? Probably not! Although a win would put us on the same number of points as them!
Michael Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (16/09/05)

Ah... a classic six-pointer, eh? — Ed


Shopping at the Aldi again
Again, we didn't learn... instead of buying Parker & Keane, we ended up taking the Aldi route. You pay for what you get, as Everton will find to their cost this season.

I will say it again Simon "Milligan" Davies and Phillip "Harper" Neville are the most horrendous players I have seen for the money in an Everton shirt for years. The writing was on the wall when the sicknote Italian and the ex-Sunderland boo-boy target Kilbane were allowed to extend their stay.

Never mind... I have heard that in January we will get Keane, Saha, Richardson..... Only joking! What did Moyes say last May, "It wont be like last year on transfer deadline day, buisness will be done early".
Bobby Dempster , Huyton  (16/09/05)

I thought Neville had been received quite well... especially by those who could ignore the fact that he was essentially a Man Utd reject. But Davies is a tough one. Totally unimpressive so far. — Ed


An open letter to all Evertonians
I am disgusted. In fact, I'm so disgusted that I feel like quiting my 22 year association with the club that I have grown to love from Day 1. Don't get me wrong here, this is not a reaction to the debacle that is the Dinamo Disaster. I'm disgusted to be associated with fellow 'Everton fans' that have spoken nothing but doom and gloom in the Mailbag.

Sack Moyes cos he's clueless? Ditch the 4-5-1 formation cos its too defensive? It's all his fault that we don't have a striker whocan score 20 goals? After getting into Europe this season, we should have invested heavily to stay there? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Yes, we finished 4th last season and qualified for the Champions League. Doesn't everyone realise by now that that was a herculean achievement by a side short on talent and skills, but big on effort and application? Yet somehow everyone is expecting us to take Europe by storm this season.

You really freaking expect us to build a team like the top 3 in one season? To have a team that can consistently challenge for europe in ONE FREAKING SEASON???

Everyone wants us to play free-flowing attacking soccer. I would love my Everton team to play like that as well. Unfortunately, we do not play free flowing attacking soccer. We press opponents, we harry them out of their stride, we break down attacks and then we counter. Moyes is having a difficult time right now as he is trying to slowly transition from our football of last season, to the type of flowing, possesion-based football that he wants Everton to play.

We've all been through bad players, bad managers, bad chairman, bad results, bad seasons. For once in a long bloody while, we have the best crop of players around, the best young manager, a very supportive chairman and we're not going to give them even a fighting chance.

Yes, the capitulation to Dinamo was embaressing. But am I going to stop supporting what I love so dearly? No. In fact, I'm going to give them my support even more cos at times like these, we are all that's left for the players to fall back on. The fans, the lifeblood of any club. Cut that out and Everton Football Club would cease to live and breathe anymore.

If you think you can go on in life without EFC around anymore, then I say carry on and leave. Shout it from the rooftops that your allegiance is not to the blue and white anymore. I've heard it said before that Evertonians are born, not bred. This is the time now, to show your true colours, whether you're part of the family or just a visitor that is passing by.

I'll be the first one to say that I'm here to stay. Now its time for you to make your stand.
Gerald Foo, Singapore  (16/09/05)

That's good, Gerald. You talked yourself into staying. Well done. But you cannot really blame Everton fans for reacting like this. David Moyes said as much in his admission of responsibility. Calling for his head is inevitable for a proportion of the fans. Just try to ignore them and perhaps they will calm down a bit... until Monday! — Ed


Enough is Enough!
If Everton Football Club is "The People's Club", let the people vote on the man who pick's the side... David Moyes! He bought the complement of sicknotes and continues to use a formation that just doesn't work anymore, because guess what..... everyone has wised-up to it. All Evertonians, you choose - Should David Moyes GO!

LETS SET IT UP. Send your votes in to our Forum. It is not a question of results anymore, it's a question of pride and all the history that comes with what was once a great club. We are a laughing stock once again. It's not that we were so good last season, but it's more to do with the other clubs not being able to win more than three games on the trot. Basically, its down to all these over-paid and over-idolised players deciding when they want to turn it on! Its not just a problem at Everton; Look at Liverpool! Look at Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn. The last two, I watched that meeting and fell asleep before half-time. Crap, I miss the old 1st Division and good games of football. Sunday league is better! Lads playing because they want to win.

MOYES MUST GO BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. This is not a fuckin knee-jerk, it's time for a change. Don't buy the 3rd shirt, we already look like a bunch of yellow-bellies.
David  Barlow, Colorado, USA  (15/9/05)

I think it's really silly personally, but I have set up a poll here in our ToffeeWeb Forum. Vote away... I'm sure the cathartic process will help you feel a lot better. — Ed


4-5-1
I have followed Everton from faraway for the whole of my life. I do not live in the UK and I have never had the privilege to attend one of Everton’s matches. Even so, my lifelong passion for Everton makes me one of its most ardent fans internationally.

Today, I am so low after seeing my team getting trounced by Dinamo Bucharest. Leaving football aside, were our Everton players not man enough that they took a beating to that extent? Our European adventure is turning out to be joke. Everton are prime candidates for the European football farce of the decade. Everybody is having a good laugh at us.

I do not intend to give David Moyes (DM) a lesson after seeing the number of beatings Everton has taken recently. DM has brought so much success to the club that, undoubtedly, in my opinion, he is one of the most successful Everton managers forever. Everything is right about DM except his 4-5-1.

Why do we care so much about a 4-5-1 when our players do not even know how to score a goal, how to defend their goals, how to pass the ball around, and how to construct a move and finish it? Should I remind DM that on the pitch players are expected to PLAY football? Should I remind DM that to be able to PLAY one should have FUN at doing it?

I am sorry DM, but I believe that more than the 4-5-1, Everton players need to know how to play football and have fun at playing it. Breaking from the conventional might pay off in the short run but not always as it is unconventional. To score goals we need strikers. That is why strikers are paid to do. To feed strikers we need midfielders. To defend our goal, we need defenders. The equation is very simple. When the equation is so simple, then why bust our head with too much of strategy thinking and breaking from the convention in the 4-5-1 way?

What Everton really need is to get the basics right, i.e., play football and have fun at doing it. The players should care less about their opponents at this time and care more about their own play. Even if we get beaten from doing it, at least we can pacify ourselves that our team tried its best. It is better to lose 6 - 10 than 5 – 1!

Please do not get me wrong DM; it is my love for Everton that prompted me to write the above. I just want to help.
Surendranath Jory, Boca Raton, USA  (05/09/16)

Professional footballers should be having fun when playing their football for our club? Well, I guess you are probably right. Just doesn't seem to square well with the Moyes mantra of work, Work, WORK! — Ed


O'God
Thank god I was grounded in the airport and will recieve a full refund!!! I feel sorry for my fellow blues who went and witnessed that load of shite, and to put a top hat on it, we play Arsenal next!!! Another 7-0 score line I think. Time to go to bed and stay there, as at work it's full of that red colour and I am not looking forward to that....
Pete , Bootle  (16/9/05)


European Tour 2005
Where do I start? What a disaster. The season already looks like a bit of a shitfest. We have been poor in the league so far but last night really took the piss. The team played like a bunch of strangers, even in the first half we barely managed to string more than a few passes together before losing possession cheaply.

Let me just say that I am a Moyes fan but for as much as I like him, the guy is not above criticism. Why we are persisting with that god-awful 4-5-1 formation is beyond me. DM attempted to justify our style of play after the 4-4-2 defeat to Portsmouth but at least we only got beat 1-0. Is the point of 4-5-1 not to close down the midfield making it difficult for the attacking team to play? If that is the case the why were Dinamo passing the ball round us while our midfield watched them as 1-1 turned to 5-1?

As I say, I am a Moyes fan but he seriously owes us an explanation for that result. I know we have an injury list even Spurs fans would envy but some of the selections last night were baffling to me.

A few questions for our beloved leader:

1. Why bang on all week about Cahill needing a rest (which he obviously does as he was god-awful) then play him? Yes I know Arteta cried off but Li Tie and Kilbane are on the bench; are we gonna rest him against Arsenal? Doesn't look like it to me. Perhaps we should just wait till he drops dead before giving him a few weeks off.

2. Why persist in playing McFadden at left midfield? Jamie hasn't exactly impressed since he's been with us but for Christ's sake, how bad could he really be up front? Less potent than Bent or Ferguson? Give him half-a-dozen games in his proper position, I doubt Beattie will be back before then anyway.

3. Are you brave enough to make the drastic changes the team obviously needs? A spell on the bench for a few our first-teamers may actually do us good in the long term. Hibbert, Cahill and Bent: I'm thinking of you. Weir too though not likely until Krøldrup gets fit.

Before I top myself, let me just say that I really believe DM needs to seriously look at the team for this season. 4-5-1 doesn't work (and hasn't since December) and unless things change soon we need to find a new formation. Whether that be 4-4-2, 5-3-2 or whatever I don't know but one thing is for sure, we are not scoring nor are we creating chances. We just sit back and wait to go behind, we really need to nip that in the arse right now. I don't have any solutions only questions at the minute but I suppose on the bright side we did make it through to the third round of the Carling Cup. Bring on whoever.

God, I'm so depressed.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (16/09/05)


Verbal diarrhoea
Having struggled through about half of the Rob Fox article before losing the will to live, I began to feel almost as sorry for him as I do for the subject of his treatise, David Moyes! How an apparently intelligent man can even suggest that Moyes is destined to be one of the best Everton managers defies all the evidence available.

Let's face it, anyone would have been an improvement on Walter Smith, and in his first full season things looked promising. There followed a campaign against relegation and then, against all predictions, HALF A SEASON when he got some cracking results which ultimately took us to fourth position. But the post-Christmas results do not lie and since then — with just a couple of exceptions (Villa and Man.Utd) — things have been dire.

The money wasted on unfit players: Beattie, Davies, Krøldrup, Van der Meyde, indicates bad judgement to say nothing of Wright and the re-engagement of Naysmith and Pistone. The failure to add to a totally inadequate strike-force and the incapability to inspire the players in the European games begins to smack of more than bad luck and the reality is that the club is once again in the mire.

What makes it worse is that we have flogged the crown jewels and squandered the proceeds on Ratners fakes! Managers come and go and Moyes will be no different. The chop will come when the mob start to scream ``Kenwright out!` In the meantime, it is incomprehensible that things will not improve — they can hardly get any worse, after all. But PLEASE, PLEASE save us from long-winded apologists like Rob Fox who seems to glory in defending the indefensible.

Methinks I have gone on too long.......
Peter Leeming, Formby  (16/09/05)

Well, he sucked me right in... I believed every word. Moyes will come good. It just takes time... More time than any of us have got! — Ed


One for the history books
Never in the history of EFC have so few (poor players) done so little (playing 45 minutes instead of 90) for so many (disappointed fans). Also, never have so few, been paid so much, for such little entertainment.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can avoid the sneering & sniggering of opposition fans for the next few days. I can’t wait for our run in Europe to be over so that we can concentrate on survival in the Premiership. I’m afraid that survival is about all we can hope for based on current form.

But all is not lost. If we can avoid conceding too many goals against Arsenal, we then have Wigan where we can surely get all three points. We CAN get all three points, can’t we? Please Mr Moyes, say we can. That might be just enough to get us out of the relegation zone.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (16/09/05)


Glad its all over
Thank heavens for Collina. Imagine that shower of shite in the CL, the baldy twat has actually done us a favour. Let's not kid ourselves; remember Fenerbahçe? We are simply not up to it at this level.

Getting slaughtred every other week in Europe would not be much fun, lads. As for that wank of a competition Uafa Cup they can stick it up thier arse; they didn't want us in the CL so fuck them. We are better off out of it. Apart from being a drain on our shite sqaud, the financial rewards are non-existant, unless you make the final... Ha Ha.

So fuck Blatter and his subbuteo cup there are more important things ahead, like staying up this season. Do any sane people actually think Moyses's MFI wardrobe impersonators could actually play in two leagues at once and do any good? NO! They would have fucked up bigtime. So we are better off out of it. I see no reason to feel bad any more; it all makes sense. Boy am I glad I lost my pazzie.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (15/09/05)

Now that's whaty I call 'rationalization'! Brilliant!!! — Ed


Fuck! We're in trouble!
What a load of shite! What a load of bollocks, Ed. An "Experienced European Team on their own turf"... They looked in the first half what they are: fucking rubbish! When we went in at 1-1 at half time I feared the worst. Come on, they have got to be the worst team we have played this year and we still got done 5-1, it's an absolute disgrace! Another thing that is beginning to annoy the fuck out of me is this "we have a great team spirit and we will do it for the fans". Just earn your fucking wages you bunch of dickheads!

Hibbert was shit! Valente was shit! Weir looked past it. Why isn't he playing Ferrari? McFadden should take Terry Butcher's advice and fuck off somewhere to get his confidence back and Cahill looks fucked. I'll bet he still plays 4-1-4-1 at Goodison in two weeks time!
Colin Drury, Northampton  (15/09/05)

I stand corrected. — Ed


Go for it
What can anyone say? A great first half and total shite thereafter - poor old Nigel had nothing to do apart from picking the ball out of the net - courtesy of our woeful defending in the second half.

But that was not the whole story. How does Neville get 'Man of the Match' (what match?) on Radio Merseyside when his passing was so poor? and what future can there be for the likes of Mc Fadden, Osman and Kilbane? On top of which, Cahill looks knackered — as does Bent — and Big Dunc is finished while Beattie was a complete waste of dosh in the first place. Nuno was too slow in the tackle but good going forward while Hibbert is good in the tackle but useless as a crosser of the ball.

Where do we go from here? I have not got a clue - but you don't get rid of Moyes (who would replace him?) and you don't automatically assume that we will get relegated. Get behind them and turn up for the return leg on the 29th - who knows it could be fun overturning a half-time defecit of 4 goals!
Mike Keating, City Centre  (15/9/05)

Sensible post #2 — Ed


Let's get real
I'm stunned and amazed - and not only by the scoreline in Bucharest. Yep, it looks like our European odyessy is at an end. Am I happy about it? No. Our League form is appalling and I'm not happy about that either, by the way.

But I'm flabbergasted at the level of hostility and calls for blood letting being directed at David Moyes and the players. People, it's time to wake up and bring our expectations into line with our station in life. We are NOT a top 4 club. Haven't been for years.

How can any team that's had just two decent top-ten finishes in more than 10 years be expected to challenge for a European place on a regular basis? It takes time to build a squad that can get into Europe. Look at Newcastle, Charlton, Middlesboro, Villa, Tottenham and, arguably even Bolton, they can't consistently crack a top-5 place, so we why are we expected to? There's only three who can and we know who they are. As for Dinamo, David Moyes has a squad of 30 players. Of those about 7 are really youth players and another 8 are injured. If you throw in Lie Tie, who's head doesn't seem to be right, by my calculations Moyes was able to choose from a grand total of 14 fit and able players. That's not even enough to cover the bench in a European game!! (Which explains why young Hughes was there.) And that obviously places extreme limits on tactical choices. Also, when was the last time many of these players played in European club competition? It's a learning curve for almost everyone at the club. They need to adjust to new match day routines and travelling. There's food and hotels. Training also needs to be modified so that players recover in time for league matches. (And the same 14 players will be there to choose from again.) There's little doubt everyone will be better for the experience and will have learnt from it.

It's not ideal, but can anyone tell me when was the last time a club just missed relegation in their domestic league and then made a huge impact in Europe with roughly the same squad) a year later? Give the man, the players and the club time to get it right people. Judge Moyes at the end of the season after he's been able to field a full strength team. And until then, let's get real about where this club actually stands in the great scheme of English, and for that matter, European football.

I want Everton to do well, I want Everton to finish in the top half but it's not going to happen in a hurry, at least not given where we're coming from.
Paul Kish, Maylands, Australia  (16/09/05)

Oh my God... a sensible posting at last. Well done, Paul. — Ed


Mr Fox
Regarding your response directing Robert to Mr Fox's treatise. No disrespect, Editor... I am sure he's a decent bloke.. and an Evertonian... but Mr Fox's article is cumbersome, laborious, not incisive, generally going nowhere and lacks a punchy focus.... I think this will only serve as a painful reminder of events in Bucharest.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (15/09/05)

Hahaha... good reposte! But I did spend a good hour or two prepping it for publication, and I seriously found it hard to counter much of what Rob said.

Something's gone serously wrong here... is the ToffeeWeb Editor the only positive voice amidst this storm-surge of negativity?Ed


I want my mum!
I haven't felt this bad after a match for... well, years now. Bless my naive cotton socks for thinking that those dark days were gone. What a laughing stock we are. There goes our European tour - we're due our next one in another 20 years. Can't wait.

Can't for the life of me think what's going wrong. I honestly believe we've got a good group of players there. No striker, obviously, but that wouldn't mean conceding 5 silly goals. Getting at Moyes probably isn't the answer but its up to him to fix this slide and fix it quick or we'll be dusting off our maps of Stoke, Bristol and (dare I say it?)... Leeds.
Tom Johnson, Liverpool  (15/09/05)


To much Crap
How much longer are we going to put up with this shite?
1. Hibbert??
2. Valante?
3. Kilbane??????
4. Bent?
5. Finally Cahill? >Has he 'done a Kevin Campbell'?? Won his big contract now, eh?

Forget Europe - This is relegation form, this!!
Dave Miley, Litherland  (15/09/05)

It is indeed. But there are still... ah, you know just as well as I do.

Have faith!

Read Rob Fox.

In fact, I'm not going to allow any more letters unless you can assure me you have read his latest musing and you can still say we will be relegated. — Ed


Leave it to the myopics
I have just witnessed one of worst debacles in my living memory as an Evertonian. Before you say it - Arsenal are good and that game was a dead rubber. Bucharest are distinctly average. I have, like people already, logged on to ToffeeWeb as some form of catharsis.

However, now I am here, I have a better idea. I am going to say nothing. I am also, tough though it may be, asking fellow contributors (such as Tom - Wirral, Gavin Upholland) et al, to follow suit. Leave it to the IMWT brigade.

We have been lambasted morning, noon and night by sages who believe we are 'knee-jerkers'. Well over to you my IMWT friends... I look forward to reading about just how positive we should be. Just tell us how we are going in the right direction and tell us that the plan put in place in May has capitalised on the single biggest opportunity to come our way in 20 years.

Oh yes... while you are at it... tell me how you win matches without strikers? Had enough.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (15092005)

I was hoping for a monent you were going to buck the trend there, James. Guess not. It's just me and Rob Fox... Ed


Utter abject shite
I'm not normally one for getting negative and right now I'm in no state to be analytical, but that was just shit. Rudderless, directionless, toothless shit. I won't pick out individual players because they were all near enough useless. But seriously, I expect a full, no bullshit apology from every single one of them.

I'm very, very concerned about our saftey in the Premiership this year if we can't buck this trend (of playing totally rubbish). To paraphrase Kevin Campbell "Right now, if I was offered 17th place, I'd break your fucking arm off"

Oh well, onwards and upwards, IMWT etc. etc....
Graham Norton, London  (15/09.05)

Oh my God... you actually said it! —


Can you please...
... change the banner on the opening page and get rid of DM?
Robert Jarvis  (15/9/05)

Can you please get a fucking grip? We are not all fair-weather fans, ya know. Some of us accept the fact that we are going through a bit of a bad patch. Now please take a break and read carefully every word of Rob Fox's excellent treatise which, as he so rightly says, remains valid, whatever the result in Romania tonight. — Ed


All I need to hear now is...
... Walter Moyes say that it was disappointing!!!
But hey, let's get behind the lads for a 4-niller at Goodison...
BUT TO WHO??
Ken , Buckley  (15/9/05)

Er.. I think, grammatically speaking, that should be "to whom?" Hope this helps. — Ed


Deja Vu
My three young daughters went to bed at half-time thinking tomorrow they wouldn't be getting the piss taken out of them for being an Everton supporter again, which of late tends to happen most Mondays. But yet again our Beloved Everton have given their usual Jekyl and Hyde performance. 1-1 HT, 5-1 FT. Another week without wearing their fave blue shirts.

I have told them to support a playground team like Man Ure or Chelski but, just like me, they would never turn on our Blues, so if we have fans — even six-, nine- and ten-year-old girls that want to support the club — is'nt it about time we had some fucking players that want to play for it?
Martin Jones, Luton  (15/09/05)


IMWT!!!!!!!!!!!??????
If anyone has the bottle/madness to put IMWT anymore on this site, I'll go mad!

After watching that 2nd half shite tonite, I've had enough. DM has lost the players and the plot totally, just how deep did we need to defend when it was 1 - 1????? I'm sure his answer will be "More hardwork on the training ground" or "I feel really sorry for the fans blah, blah, blah"

It won't cut it for me or any like-minded/reasonable Everton fan. All the players have talked about is how confident they are or how well we've played but not got the rub of the green. Yet the simple fact is they looked shellshocked after the 2nd Dinamo goal and no player or DM could change anything.

Can't wait till Monday nite! should be a cracker!
John Audsley, Leeds  (15/9/05)


Glad its all over
Thank heavens for Collina. Imagine that shower of shite in the CL, the baldy twat has actually done us a favour. Let's not kid ourselves; remember Fenerbahçe? We are simply not up to it at this level.

Getting slaughtred every other week in Europe would not be much fun, lads. As for that wank of a competition Uafa Cup they can stick it up thier arse; they didn't want us in the CL so fuck them. We are better off out of it. Apart from being a drain on our shite sqaud, the financial rewards are non-existant, unless you make the final... Ha Ha.

So fuck Blatter and his subbuteo cup there are more important things ahead, like staying up this season. Do any sane people actually think Moyses's MFI wardrobe impersonators could actually play in two leagues at once and do any good? NO! They would have fucked up bigtime. So we are better off out of it. I see no reason to feel bad any more; it all makes sense. Boy am I glad I lost my pazzie.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (15/09/05)

Now that's whaty I call 'rationalization'! Brilliant!!! — Ed


Fuck! We're in trouble!
What a load of shite! What a load of bollocks, Ed. An "Experienced European Team on their own turf"... They looked in the first half what they are: fucking rubbish! When we went in at 1-1 at half time I feared the worst. Come on, they have got to be the worst team we have played this year and we still got done 5-1, it's an absolute disgrace! Another thing that is beginning to annoy the fuck out of me is this "we have a great team spirit and we will do it for the fans". Just earn your fucking wages you bunch of dickheads!

Hibbert was shit! Valente was shit! Weir looked past it. Why isn't he playing Ferrari? McFadden should take Terry Butcher's advice and fuck off somewhere to get his confidence back and Cahill looks fucked. I'll bet he still plays 4-1-4-1 at Goodison in two weeks time!
Colin Drury, Northampton  (15/09/05)

I stand corrected. — Ed


Go for it
What can anyone say? A great first half and total shite thereafter - poor old Nigel had nothing to do apart from picking the ball out of the net - courtesy of our woeful defending in the second half.

But that was not the whole story. How does Neville get 'Man of the Match' (what match?) on Radio Merseyside when his passing was so poor? and what future can there be for the likes of Mc Fadden, Osman and Kilbane? On top of which, Cahill looks knackered — as does Bent — and Big Dunc is finished while Beattie was a complete waste of dosh in the first place. Nuno was too slow in the tackle but good going forward while Hibbert is good in the tackle but useless as a crosser of the ball.

Where do we go from here? I have not got a clue - but you don't get rid of Moyes (who would replace him?) and you don't automatically assume that we will get relegated. Get behind them and turn up for the return leg on the 29th - who knows it could be fun overturning a half-time defecit of 4 goals!
Mike Keating, City Centre  (15/9/05)

Sensible post #2 — Ed


Let's get real
I'm stunned and amazed - and not only by the scoreline in Bucharest. Yep, it looks like our European odyessy is at an end. Am I happy about it? No. Our League form is appalling and I'm not happy about that either, by the way.

But I'm flabbergasted at the level of hostility and calls for blood letting being directed at David Moyes and the players. People, it's time to wake up and bring our expectations into line with our station in life. We are NOT a top 4 club. Haven't been for years.

How can any team that's had just two decent top-ten finishes in more than 10 years be expected to challenge for a European place on a regular basis? It takes time to build a squad that can get into Europe. Look at Newcastle, Charlton, Middlesboro, Villa, Tottenham and, arguably even Bolton, they can't consistently crack a top-5 place, so we why are we expected to? There's only three who can and we know who they are. As for Dinamo, David Moyes has a squad of 30 players. Of those about 7 are really youth players and another 8 are injured. If you throw in Lie Tie, who's head doesn't seem to be right, by my calculations Moyes was able to choose from a grand total of 14 fit and able players. That's not even enough to cover the bench in a European game!! (Which explains why young Hughes was there.) And that obviously places extreme limits on tactical choices. Also, when was the last time many of these players played in European club competition? It's a learning curve for almost everyone at the club. They need to adjust to new match day routines and travelling. There's food and hotels. Training also needs to be modified so that players recover in time for league matches. (And the same 14 players will be there to choose from again.) There's little doubt everyone will be better for the experience and will have learnt from it.

It's not ideal, but can anyone tell me when was the last time a club just missed relegation in their domestic league and then made a huge impact in Europe with roughly the same squad) a year later? Give the man, the players and the club time to get it right people. Judge Moyes at the end of the season after he's been able to field a full strength team. And until then, let's get real about where this club actually stands in the great scheme of English, and for that matter, European football.

I want Everton to do well, I want Everton to finish in the top half but it's not going to happen in a hurry, at least not given where we're coming from.
Paul Kish, Maylands, Australia  (16/09/05)

Oh my God... a sensible posting at last. Well done, Paul. — Ed


Mr Fox
Regarding your response directing Robert to Mr Fox's treatise. No disrespect, Editor... I am sure he's a decent bloke.. and an Evertonian... but Mr Fox's article is cumbersome, laborious, not incisive, generally going nowhere and lacks a punchy focus.... I think this will only serve as a painful reminder of events in Bucharest.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (15/09/05)

Hahaha... good reposte! But I did spend a good hour or two prepping it for publication, and I seriously found it hard to counter much of what Rob said.

Something's gone serously wrong here... is the ToffeeWeb Editor the only positive voice amidst this storm-surge of negativity?Ed


I want my mum!
I haven't felt this bad after a match for... well, years now. Bless my naive cotton socks for thinking that those dark days were gone. What a laughing stock we are. There goes our European tour - we're due our next one in another 20 years. Can't wait.

Can't for the life of me think what's going wrong. I honestly believe we've got a good group of players there. No striker, obviously, but that wouldn't mean conceding 5 silly goals. Getting at Moyes probably isn't the answer but its up to him to fix this slide and fix it quick or we'll be dusting off our maps of Stoke, Bristol and (dare I say it?)... Leeds.
Tom Johnson, Liverpool  (15/09/05)


To much Crap
How much longer are we going to put up with this shite?
1. Hibbert??
2. Valante?
3. Kilbane??????
4. Bent?
5. Finally Cahill? >Has he 'done a Kevin Campbell'?? Won his big contract now, eh?

Forget Europe - This is relegation form, this!!
Dave Miley, Litherland  (15/09/05)

It is indeed. But there are still... ah, you know just as well as I do.

Have faith!

Read Rob Fox.

In fact, I'm not going to allow any more letters unless you can assure me you have read his latest musing and you can still say we will be relegated. — Ed


Leave it to the myopics
I have just witnessed one of worst debacles in my living memory as an Evertonian. Before you say it - Arsenal are good and that game was a dead rubber. Bucharest are distinctly average. I have, like people already, logged on to ToffeeWeb as some form of catharsis.

However, now I am here, I have a better idea. I am going to say nothing. I am also, tough though it may be, asking fellow contributors (such as Tom - Wirral, Gavin Upholland) et al, to follow suit. Leave it to the IMWT brigade.

We have been lambasted morning, noon and night by sages who believe we are 'knee-jerkers'. Well over to you my IMWT friends... I look forward to reading about just how positive we should be. Just tell us how we are going in the right direction and tell us that the plan put in place in May has capitalised on the single biggest opportunity to come our way in 20 years.

Oh yes... while you are at it... tell me how you win matches without strikers? Had enough.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (15092005)

I was hoping for a monent you were going to buck the trend there, James. Guess not. It's just me and Rob Fox... Ed


Utter abject shite
I'm not normally one for getting negative and right now I'm in no state to be analytical, but that was just shit. Rudderless, directionless, toothless shit. I won't pick out individual players because they were all near enough useless. But seriously, I expect a full, no bullshit apology from every single one of them.

I'm very, very concerned about our saftey in the Premiership this year if we can't buck this trend (of playing totally rubbish). To paraphrase Kevin Campbell "Right now, if I was offered 17th place, I'd break your fucking arm off"

Oh well, onwards and upwards, IMWT etc. etc....
Graham Norton, London  (15/09.05)

Oh my God... you actually said it! —


Can you please...
... change the banner on the opening page and get rid of DM?
Robert Jarvis  (15/9/05)

Can you please get a fucking grip? We are not all fair-weather fans, ya know. Some of us accept the fact that we are going through a bit of a bad patch. Now please take a break and read carefully every word of Rob Fox's excellent treatise which, as he so rightly says, remains valid, whatever the result in Romania tonight. — Ed


All I need to hear now is...
... Walter Moyes say that it was disappointing!!!
But hey, let's get behind the lads for a 4-niller at Goodison...
BUT TO WHO??
Ken , Buckley  (15/9/05)

Er.. I think, grammatically speaking, that should be "to whom?" Hope this helps. — Ed


Deja Vu
My three young daughters went to bed at half-time thinking tomorrow they wouldn't be getting the piss taken out of them for being an Everton supporter again, which of late tends to happen most Mondays. But yet again our Beloved Everton have given their usual Jekyl and Hyde performance. 1-1 HT, 5-1 FT. Another week without wearing their fave blue shirts.

I have told them to support a playground team like Man Ure or Chelski but, just like me, they would never turn on our Blues, so if we have fans — even six-, nine- and ten-year-old girls that want to support the club — is'nt it about time we had some fucking players that want to play for it?
Martin Jones, Luton  (15/09/05)


IMWT!!!!!!!!!!!??????
If anyone has the bottle/madness to put IMWT anymore on this site, I'll go mad!

After watching that 2nd half shite tonite, I've had enough. DM has lost the players and the plot totally, just how deep did we need to defend when it was 1 - 1????? I'm sure his answer will be "More hardwork on the training ground" or "I feel really sorry for the fans blah, blah, blah"

It won't cut it for me or any like-minded/reasonable Everton fan. All the players have talked about is how confident they are or how well we've played but not got the rub of the green. Yet the simple fact is they looked shellshocked after the 2nd Dinamo goal and no player or DM could change anything.

Can't wait till Monday nite! should be a cracker!
John Audsley, Leeds  (15/9/05)


Yobo and Valente to the stand please!
To the players in general:
Can you please justify your second half performance to the fans that travelled right across Europe, paid £300 and set off at 7am, and are returning as I write?

To Joseph Yobo:
where were you for goals 2 and 5?

To Nuno Valente:
where were you for goals 1,3 and 4?

Many fans have been talking of a crisis prior to tonight's game, and I though those thoughts were a bit premature, but tonight we can't deny that we are in freefall. We have now lost 6 out of 7 games this year, and last year ended poorly.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about our lack of striking options. While I agree wholeheartedly that we are crying out for something up front, we also need a key to open the door. I don't care who was up front tonight for us, van Nistelrooy, E'too, Henry, Ronaldo, they would have been spectators. I hope and pray that Van der Meyde is the answer, and that he gets fit soon. He'd better be better than Valente too, who is good on the ball, but forgets that he's a defender.
Danny Broderick, London  (15/09/05)


IMWT? — You're havin' a laff
Absolutely abysmal performance. This is down to the manager; there can be no excuses.

This has to be down to failing to sign one or two strikers who would have had some idea upfront. This goes back to Moyes; for the sake of a few extra million to sign a couple of players, look what we have lost.

Now it's down to a relegation battle because that is where we are — in the relegation zone. Let's be honest, apart from one or two games, our performances have not been very good since January.

So where are all the TMWT now???
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (15/9/05)

Well, just for the record, I trust him to turn things around. Once he has a reasonable squad to call on, and once the new signings have had a chance to gel. That would be early December... by which time we will be firmly at the bottom of the Premiership. So you ain't seen nuffink yet! — Ed


In the name of god, Go!
Get rid of the manager, and the sooner he goes the happier all Evertonians will be.

Some of the recent defences of this idiot amaze me, seriously he will turn out to be the worst manager EFC have ever employed if the Board continue with this entity. The decline of EFC will increase if they continue to employ him; Paul Gregg and family please take note.

All my negative predictions about efc will take place unless this idiot is instantly dismissed, please put the failure out of his misery before we are relegated, I hope the Board read this letter before it is too late. He has kept efc in the premiership, no doubt but let's get rid and start again.

I am constantly amazed at people on this website who seriously think that this pathetic apology for a manager will succeed, I am absolutley certain that he has already failed. I am looking forward to the next EFC manager who will improve on last season, because this one is not Premiership material. I repeat my prediction that this apology for a Premiership manager will be gone extremely soon. The future for efc is great without the present incumbent.
Andrew Fairfoull, England  (15/09/55)

You, sir, are a fool claiming you talk for all Evertonians. And your response is, IMHO, plain stupid. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! And just for the record, please define "extremely soon".

Of course, with the kind of reaction this bad run is generating, who would blame him for deserting such fickle fans? Certainly not me. — Ed


Everton have gone too far this time
Or not far enough as the case is.

After going out to Villareal in suspicious circumstances we had the chance to try and rebuild our European hopes in the Uefa Cup. After drawing Dinamo Bucharest I was barely worried; surely an easy enough tie?

W-R-O-N-G. We play the first half well enough, go behind to an unfortunate goal (that seems to be happening a lot this season!) but the important thing was - we pulled a goal back immediately. My thoughts change from doom and gloom to those of a battle cry. COME ON LET'S HAVE 'EM!!!!

Second half we go out thinking we have already won the game 5-1, yet we end up losing 5-1. I can't understand what has happened. All I can say is Valente was SHOCKING. He was well out of position a lot of the time and played hoofball most of the time and generally in the wrong direction.

No matter what, I am in for a verbal murdering from friends and foes alike tomorrow. My patience as not only an Everton but as a follower of football have been severely tested tonight. I want answers and I want them now as to why we capitulated in such spectacular fashion.

Sort it out.

On a final note, 7-0 to Arsenal won't be as bad as 5-1 Bucharest so it can't get much worse.
Dave Moore, Cornwall, England  (15/09/2005)

How anyone can pre-suppose that playing an experienced European team on their own turf is "an easy enough tie" simply astounds me. As this evening's debacle proved, it's about playing decent honest attacking football on the night. Something we palpably failed to do.

As for getting "answers", be prepared for imminent and prolonged 'disappointment' (Walter's curse?): there are none. It's in the can and no amount of finger-pointing will rectify things now. Only the next game... — Ed


Time to go...
After tonight's performance, if anyone is in doubt that Moyes is in over his head and needs to go then surely a weak and gutless performance like tonight's should persuade you. He is clueless and makes Houllier look like Sherlock Holmes compared to Moyes's version of Clouseau!

Kenwrong and the Ginger one will take us in to the Championship - we are on our way down. He has bought like a fool (injured or just plain not wanted) and has neglected to buy the most important commodity of all - a striker!

How many more chances does he get? I make that 9 losses in 10 competitive games. I cannot remeber a run like that - ever! The skunks can have him. I am one ashamed blue tonight.
Tom , Wirral  (15/09/05)

And how do you think he feels, ya heartless meanie? — Ed


Spineless
In team formation
In effort
In fitness
In passion
In management
Gutted.....

The lads that missed the plane had a lucky escape.... IMWT ... no longer I am afraid. ... But I don't trust anyone else. Pray for miracles in 2 weeks but can we honestly go and get 4 goals? Palace last season was a one-off... we don't look capable in any department.
AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (15/09/05)


What's happening?!
Hmm... Can't wait for Arsenal on Monday. Ten? Eleven? What a load of shite.
Mike Stevenson, Reading  (15/09/05)

Eight, I believe... Kick-off time. Oh wait... I geeddit.


For those who still trust in Moyes...
...he is responsible for tactics. He picks the side to play and sends them out there. I have now seen enough to think we have a battle on our hands to stay up.
WAKE UP! We can't keep blaming Walter Smith's signings.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (15/9/05)

I think we stopped doing that a while back. But Moyesie is turing into Walter Smith and that ain't good. — Ed


Enough
Abysmal. I shall start being interested once we ditch negative 4-5-1 crap football with shite strikers. That's it, crap. I don't know who to feel worse for - the fans stranded at the airport or the poor sods that had to witness it. All last seasons efforts to reach Europe were a waste and we'll now scrape along the bottom of the Premiership. A pattern emerging? Crap football this year followed by good performances next year to retrieve "professional pride". My arse.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (15/09/05)


All I can say is...
... in the name of God, GO!
Andrew  Fairfoull, england  (15/09/55)

Come on now... we're just going though a bad patch. — Ed


Bastards.....
Just switched off at 4-1, fucking disgrace, and don't dare give me that IMWT flavour hallucinegic bollocks. Everton are shite, we are destined to be torn a new arsehole by any team who realises that when you run at players who are out of position and generally shite you will beat them hands down.

"A knee-jerk" — I hear from the back, you can fuck yourself too... wake up and smell the coffee! Even the sight of Bullshit Billy getting interviewed and heckled by a fan before the match was an ill omen; his utter bollocks about "Mr Wyness has budgetted for Uefa qualification"... Erm... hello, Bullshitter? Where's the Fortress money? Where's the Russian money? In fact, cut to the chase, why the fuck are you still the chairman playing Championship Manager when you are clueless at how to take this long since decrepid and failing club forwards?

Oh and while you are at it can you ask your manager where the fuck our strikeforce is? Fat turd Beattie must have dropped his wallet on his toe; Vaughan crocked playing for the Swedish pornstar's underling; Duncan waiting too late on the bench and our other signings just bullshit to put bums on seats as usual.

Well, Bullshitter, and your lapdog Wyness and Mr "4-4-2 failed everybody" Moyes, guess what: you are fucking humiliating every Evertonian on the planet.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (15/09/05)

Oh dear... slightly bitter anger coming through there, Gavin. Get drunk, that's my advice. — Ed


Yobo and Valente to the stand please!
To the players in general:
Can you please justify your second half performance to the fans that travelled right across Europe, paid £300 and set off at 7am, and are returning as I write?

To Joseph Yobo:
where were you for goals 2 and 5?

To Nuno Valente:
where were you for goals 1,3 and 4?

Many fans have been talking of a crisis prior to tonight's game, and I though those thoughts were a bit premature, but tonight we can't deny that we are in freefall. We have now lost 6 out of 7 games this year, and last year ended poorly.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about our lack of striking options. While I agree wholeheartedly that we are crying out for something up front, we also need a key to open the door. I don't care who was up front tonight for us, van Nistelrooy, E'too, Henry, Ronaldo, they would have been spectators. I hope and pray that Van der Meyde is the answer, and that he gets fit soon. He'd better be better than Valente too, who is good on the ball, but forgets that he's a defender.
Danny Broderick, London  (15/09/05)


IMWT? — You're havin' a laff
Absolutely abysmal performance. This is down to the manager; there can be no excuses.

This has to be down to failing to sign one or two strikers who would have had some idea upfront. This goes back to Moyes; for the sake of a few extra million to sign a couple of players, look what we have lost.

Now it's down to a relegation battle because that is where we are — in the relegation zone. Let's be honest, apart from one or two games, our performances have not been very good since January.

So where are all the TMWT now???
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (15/9/05)

Well, just for the record, I trust him to turn things around. Once he has a reasonable squad to call on, and once the new signings have had a chance to gel. That would be early December... by which time we will be firmly at the bottom of the Premiership. So you ain't seen nuffink yet! — Ed


In the name of god, Go!
Get rid of the manager, and the sooner he goes the happier all Evertonians will be.

Some of the recent defences of this idiot amaze me, seriously he will turn out to be the worst manager EFC have ever employed if the Board continue with this entity. The decline of EFC will increase if they continue to employ him; Paul Gregg and family please take note.

All my negative predictions about efc will take place unless this idiot is instantly dismissed, please put the failure out of his misery before we are relegated, I hope the Board read this letter before it is too late. He has kept efc in the premiership, no doubt but let's get rid and start again.

I am constantly amazed at people on this website who seriously think that this pathetic apology for a manager will succeed, I am absolutley certain that he has already failed. I am looking forward to the next EFC manager who will improve on last season, because this one is not Premiership material. I repeat my prediction that this apology for a Premiership manager will be gone extremely soon. The future for efc is great without the present incumbent.
Andrew Fairfoull, England  (15/09/55)

You, sir, are a fool claiming you talk for all Evertonians. And your response is, IMHO, plain stupid. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! And just for the record, please define "extremely soon".

Of course, with the kind of reaction this bad run is generating, who would blame him for deserting such fickle fans? Certainly not me. — Ed


Everton have gone too far this time
Or not far enough as the case is.

After going out to Villareal in suspicious circumstances we had the chance to try and rebuild our European hopes in the Uefa Cup. After drawing Dinamo Bucharest I was barely worried; surely an easy enough tie?

W-R-O-N-G. We play the first half well enough, go behind to an unfortunate goal (that seems to be happening a lot this season!) but the important thing was - we pulled a goal back immediately. My thoughts change from doom and gloom to those of a battle cry. COME ON LET'S HAVE 'EM!!!!

Second half we go out thinking we have already won the game 5-1, yet we end up losing 5-1. I can't understand what has happened. All I can say is Valente was SHOCKING. He was well out of position a lot of the time and played hoofball most of the time and generally in the wrong direction.

No matter what, I am in for a verbal murdering from friends and foes alike tomorrow. My patience as not only an Everton but as a follower of football have been severely tested tonight. I want answers and I want them now as to why we capitulated in such spectacular fashion.

Sort it out.

On a final note, 7-0 to Arsenal won't be as bad as 5-1 Bucharest so it can't get much worse.
Dave Moore, Cornwall, England  (15/09/2005)

How anyone can pre-suppose that playing an experienced European team on their own turf is "an easy enough tie" simply astounds me. As this evening's debacle proved, it's about playing decent honest attacking football on the night. Something we palpably failed to do.

As for getting "answers", be prepared for imminent and prolonged 'disappointment' (Walter's curse?): there are none. It's in the can and no amount of finger-pointing will rectify things now. Only the next game... — Ed


Time to go...
After tonight's performance, if anyone is in doubt that Moyes is in over his head and needs to go then surely a weak and gutless performance like tonight's should persuade you. He is clueless and makes Houllier look like Sherlock Holmes compared to Moyes's version of Clouseau!

Kenwrong and the Ginger one will take us in to the Championship - we are on our way down. He has bought like a fool (injured or just plain not wanted) and has neglected to buy the most important commodity of all - a striker!

How many more chances does he get? I make that 9 losses in 10 competitive games. I cannot remeber a run like that - ever! The skunks can have him. I am one ashamed blue tonight.
Tom , Wirral  (15/09/05)

And how do you think he feels, ya heartless meanie? — Ed


Spineless
In team formation
In effort
In fitness
In passion
In management
Gutted.....

The lads that missed the plane had a lucky escape.... IMWT ... no longer I am afraid. ... But I don't trust anyone else. Pray for miracles in 2 weeks but can we honestly go and get 4 goals? Palace last season was a one-off... we don't look capable in any department.
AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (15/09/05)


What's happening?!
Hmm... Can't wait for Arsenal on Monday. Ten? Eleven? What a load of shite.
Mike Stevenson, Reading  (15/09/05)

Eight, I believe... Kick-off time. Oh wait... I geeddit.


For those who still trust in Moyes...
...he is responsible for tactics. He picks the side to play and sends them out there. I have now seen enough to think we have a battle on our hands to stay up.
WAKE UP! We can't keep blaming Walter Smith's signings.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (15/9/05)

I think we stopped doing that a while back. But Moyesie is turing into Walter Smith and that ain't good. — Ed


Enough
Abysmal. I shall start being interested once we ditch negative 4-5-1 crap football with shite strikers. That's it, crap. I don't know who to feel worse for - the fans stranded at the airport or the poor sods that had to witness it. All last seasons efforts to reach Europe were a waste and we'll now scrape along the bottom of the Premiership. A pattern emerging? Crap football this year followed by good performances next year to retrieve "professional pride". My arse.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (15/09/05)


All I can say is...
... in the name of God, GO!
Andrew  Fairfoull, england  (15/09/55)

Come on now... we're just going though a bad patch. — Ed


Bastards.....
Just switched off at 4-1, fucking disgrace, and don't dare give me that IMWT-flavour hallucinogenic bollocks. Everton are shite, we are destined to be torn a new arsehole by any team who realises that when you run at players who are out of position and generally shite you will beat them hands down.

"A knee-jerk" — I hear from the back, you can fuck yourself too... wake up and smell the coffee! Even the sight of Bullshit Billy getting interviewed and heckled by a fan before the match was an ill omen; his utter bollocks about "Mr Wyness has budgetted for Uefa qualification"... Erm... hello, Bullshitter? Where's the Fortress money? Where's the Russian money? In fact, cut to the chase, why the fuck are you still the chairman playing Championship Manager when you are clueless at how to take this long since decrepit and failing club forwards?

Oh and while you are at it can you ask your manager where the fuck our strikeforce is? Fat turd Beattie must have dropped his wallet on his toe; Vaughan crocked playing for the Swedish pornstar's underling; Duncan waiting too late on the bench and our other signings just bullshit to put bums on seats as usual.

Well, Bullshitter, and your lapdog Wyness and Mr "4-4-2 failed everybody" Moyes, guess what: you are fucking humiliating every Evertonian on the planet.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (15/09/05)

Oh dear... slightly bitter anger coming through there, Gavin. Get drunk, that's my advice. — Ed



4-5-1 and Marcus Bent
I don't necessarily hold with the idea that 4-5-1 is 'a bad thing' or that 4-4-2 is the obvious alternative (which one of Arteta, Davies, Neville, Cahille and Van der Meyde loses out long term?). But it's very much the case that the success of our 4-5-1 at the moment depends on the success of Marcus Bent.

And he's been really poor since post Villarreal, after a solid start to the season. I was surprised to see in the Bucharest match preview the view that it is Bent who is being failed by the midfield, when for the last couple of weeks it's been his failure which has been a frustration for the midfield and Arteta in particular.

At Fulham, for example, I lost count of the times when Arteta was forced to run the width of the pitch, keeping possession and desperate for a run. He'd run down the keeper to challenge for possession no problem, but was seemingly uninterested in making himself available for a through ball. Similarly against Portsmouth, the running into space that made Bent so good last season seemed to be missing.
Robin Cannon, London  (15/09/05)

I've never been that impressed with Bent, to be honest. But a lot of people say he "works hard"... whatever that means. Pity he doesn't "score goals" — which is what the game should be all about. — Ed


Ticketing - Yet Again!
Following on from Ian Macdonald's superb assessment of Everton's poor record with regards ticketing arrangements, I have some additional comment to make regarding ticketing arrangements, specifically for away European games. It seems to me that Everton have put in place a Chicken and Egg situation by insisting that you MUST provide confirmation of your travel plans, i.e. hotel bookings and your travel ticket details, BEFORE they will sell you a ticket!

Who in their right mind is going to make travel arrangements to go over to Europe and commit to paying the associated travel costs BEFORE they know they will get a ticket? What are the club worried about? It seems to me that the worst things that can happen are that a supporter might buy a ticket and then not go because he can't arrange travel! Or perhaps he will sell it on to another Evertonian desparate to go to Europe and watch his beloved blues.

I am a lifelong fan who now lives in Norfolk (I've set up a Norfolk Blues Supporters Club) and have waited 20 years to watch Everton in Europe. I am desparate to go to a big European away game and want to be in the Everton end. I am not a season ticket holder but am an Evertonia Club member which I hoped would entitle me to some form of priority and notification of Away European ticket availability, but this looks to have been a false hope.

I can't get over to Goodison on a minutes notice and queue up for hours in the hope of getting a ticket for games ( I also have a day job and indeed it is this day job that pays for my trips to watch Everton at weekends) and so it looks like I will have to travel independently without tickets to a big European game if we get one and buy from a tout or get tickets in the home end. What happens if we get a really big tie against a European giant and 10,000 plus fans want to go? Will they be checking 10,000 supporters for their travel details before releasing tickets?

Our ticketing arrangements are a shambles, it has to be sorted as soon as possible, for me preferably BEFORE we get a plumb tie in Europe.
Robbie Shields, Norfolk  (15/09/05)


So glad we sold Rooney

Having discovered that Rooney had been sent off for United at Villa Real, it confirmed in my mind that we are well shut of him.

Let's face it, if Rooney wasn't a talented footballer, he'd be a street thug serving time. He has no control whatsoever & sets a very poor example to youngsters & football fans alike. Whatever the final sum is for his transfer, it was a real bargain. IMHO anyway.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (14/09/05)

Phew! Yes, we should be extremely grateful he's no longer wearing an Everton shirt. What a lucky escape for us Blues with immaculate standards, on and off the pitch. Just as well we've got Duncan Ferguson and James Beattie to act as role models! - Colm


Nick Armitage's 'Chill out' article
I just wanted to say that Nick reflected my own opinion in his 'Chill out' article. I think we have a great team in the making but a lot of it is about confidence. There is a lot of talk of whether or not James Beattie is up to the job, for instance. Well, I for one think he is and anyone who has read the 'Stranger on the sofa' discussion in the Everton Forum will already know I will be doing my bit to reassure him that at least one of the fans has faith in him.
Peter Shram, Bexley, Kent  (14/09/05)

So you'll be staying behind in Bellefield with him tomorrow, encouraging a rapid and complete recovery to the niggling bruised toe probelm, I take it? Excellent. — Ed


Dont expect an apology!
With regards to Ian Macdonald's excellent article on ticketing, please don't expect an apology from that apology of a chief executive, Wyness. I complained heartily about the Villarreal tickets and his reply was quite offensive.

Last week I moved house and today applied for my Dynamo Bucharest ticket by phone as I am a long-standing season-ticket holder. Ticketmaster stated they cannot issue the ticket to my new address until the club have altered it on their computer. Rang the club and they said I would have to send in the change of address slip out of the season ticket and it could be dealt with next week.

Could I fax it in? - No!
Could I come down today? - Well, some of us do have to work!

So my priority as a season-ticket holder has evaporated, just like for the Villarreal game. I might write again to Wyness but will I get an apology? - no. The People's Club - they're havin' a laff.
Mick  Wrende, Macclesfield  (14/9/05)

If this was Monty Python, I suppose you could understand it. The parallels with the classic Gas Board sketch are too painful to consider. How much does it take to change an address in a database? 25 seconds in front of a frigging computer! They'll happily boast about the huge corporate investment in modern technology, blah, blah, blah... and yet they can't get something like this right. It really is very sad. But make sure you watch out for the latest edition of the complaints bulletin on the Official Website. It will tell you how successful they have been in dealing with "customer service issues" such as your good self. — Ed


Where is the entertainment?
The shocking result on Saturday, coupled with the other games so far this season, has obviously left all fans worried if not steaming angry. The thing that really disappoints me though is the complete lack of entertainment value in this Everton side. Last week in the Echo, David Moyes made no apology for Everton's defensive style of play as a result of the 4-5-1 formation. His message was that results are everything, and that this negative way of playing is justified because certain other teams use it. Well who are these teams? Chelsea and Man Utd can use it succesfully whilst also playing attractive football because they have very talented players. Bolton also play 4-5-1 but are possibly even less appealing on the eye than Everton are!

Well I'm sorry David but I want to see my Everton side play positive attacking football. Dwindling crowds suggest people who, unlike Moyes, don't earn millions of pounds a year are turning away from football because they aren't getting value for money. I don't think that Everton can realistically expect to finish in the top 4 again anytime soon but Evertonians should expect to watch a team that gets them on the edge of their seats every now and again.

It goes without saying that Everton lack pace and guile. Can anyone say that if we had a forward line of Darren Bent, Lua Lua and Boa Morte, it would not be a massive improvement on what we now have? All three of those players could have been signed in the summer for less than £10M. There WERE players out there this summer available at the right price that would have given Everton what thay so obviously lack. David Moyes and David Moyes alone must take the blame for not bringing those players in. He should not lose his job but should lose this negative attitude which betrays everything he appeared to represent when he first arrived at our club.

Incidentally, our next few games are Arsenal, Spurs and Man City away, and Wigan and Chelsea at home. Playing as negatively as we are now, how many points do you think we'll pick up from that little run of games? I'd say 4 if we are lucky.
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (13/9/05)


No change at the top
Can't find my passport, and flights to Romania are booked, but that's the least of my worries. Why are we all moaning about Moyes and his so-called poor management? There was no way on earth we could have kept hold of Tommy once Madrid got on the blower, so will everyone please shut up about our record since he left; he has gone and that's that. What could Moyes do? Hide his pazzie like my bird has done to me?

We are playing in Europe and signing some quality players. We all know things at the moment are not going well, but let's get everyone fit and judge Moyes and his team then. It's bad enough listening to the gobshites giving it loads, but bitching Evertonians make me laugh. Sack Moyes... then what? Get a reality check, please! We would be well and truely fucked. Get behind the lads and stop the dreaming. We have been shite for twenty-odd years yet people expect us to be world beaters after one decent season. This is the real world the world where hardened Evertonians live and we can take it. Where's my fucking pazzie?
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (13 09 2005)

Not world-beaters... might be nice to see us win a few more games is all. Especially against lowly opposition. Not too much to ask, surely? — Ed


Moyes beaten up with the People's Club
Being critical of the Summer's banal transfer activity and the disappointing opening of the season is one thing; calling for David Moyes to be fired is something else. You don't go from Manager of the Year to Shmuck of the Year in a few weeks, even in fickle football. He is still our best hope. He is going to make errors and bad buys. I think he will regret signing Beattie and Davies. He is also going to develop into a great manager. Surely the players must take some or most of the responsibility for the current crisis. They're the ones kicking the balls, so to speak. We just haven't seen the commitment and opportunism we saw last year. They need to look inside themselves to get that back.
Peter Fearon  (13/9/05)

Or is that not the manager's job? After all, he got all the credit for making them play as well as they did season. But you are right: the season before, the performances were poor and the players got all the blame.

I think I get it now: It's not the manager's fault if the team plays badly. But if his team plays well, he gets Manager of the Year. Simple! — Ed


Transfers
I watched West Ham last night and they were superb, but looking at their team man for man I would say we have better players, which just shows what a good manager Pardew is; he has spent his money well. Now, Mr Moyes has had nearly £25M to spend since January and who has he bought? Krøldrup, Van the man (could be good); Beattie, Neville, Davies and Valente (overated); and Arteta (a good player). So, given the way we play and the players we have, who is accountable? Mr Moyes. Since last weekend I have looked for three worse team's than us as as I worry about relegation: Sunderland, Wigan and ??? I wonder what players the two teams above would have bought with 25 million pounds? Sorry Mr Moyes, you are so far out of your depth. I'm just glad we didn't play at West Ham last night with our pacy, skillful football.
Darren Findlay, Huddersfield  (13/09/05)

A knee-jerk I do believe...


Perspective Needed
Calling for Moyes's head because of a poor start this season is a ridiculous over reaction. Everton have made tremendous strides under Moyes. Anyone who says we have not progressed is mad. This is not putting Moyes on a pedestal as he should be judged on what he promised: sustained progress over a five year period. We are only 3 years into that project. It’s not always like watching Brazil, but there should be no immediate expectation it would be.

If in the next two years we become a regular challenger for Europe and get the odd cup under our belts, Moyes will have done what he promised. Some time in the next few years we need to put the challenge in as to ‘where next?’, but now is not that time. Certainly not on the back of just four league games. The only excuse for disappointment and negative comment is that Moyes has raised the bar of expectation and that has got to be a good thing. The downside is that this has probably happened sooner than he had expected and whilst his Plan for Everton is still a ‘work in progress’.
Steve , Harrogate  (13/09/05)

I don't think so, Steve: the valid reason for disappointment and negative comment is not just raised expectation: it was a dreadful performance last Saturday by any measure — and that underlines the decline which has occured since we secured 4th place with our pre-Christmas run. Sustained progress from Moyes is having the distinct appearance of a yo-yo. But calling for his head is premature. — Ed


Do the stats lie?
Re Paul Johnson`s request for `post Gravesen`stats, I make our record over the past half season`of Premiereship matches:- P19 W6 D2 L11 F18 A26 Points 20 So does our `current` form give grounds for concern or do the stats lie? Discuss.
David Hall, Taunton  (13/09/05)

Let's see...
19 * 2 = 38 games played...
20 * 2 = 40 points...
That's definietly NOT relegation form... but it is far too close for comfort. NURSE!!!


Root of all evil
Money!! Can't live without it, but when we have it, all we think about it how to spend it. For once I am ALMOST wishing that we had less money. At least that way some of our expectations would be a bit more realistic. Also people would talk about what can be done with the team as it stands rather than what to buy next January.

We had our day in the limelite folks, it was awesome. But now back to ground, we were 17th, the year before. A good aim would be a top-10 finish this year. It would show slow but consistent improvement over 2 years. I think it's definitely acheivable, with the squad we currently have.

Plenty of games still to go ...
bsd lover, Sydney,Australia  (13/09/2005)

Stop being sensible... can't you see we are all going nuts here? — Ed


THAT'S IT!
I was appalled again by the attitude at EFC over the weekend. I'd asked a friend and season ticket holder to get me a ticket for the advertised price of £15 and they where told none where left! I immediately went to the ticket office and was told only the upper visitors' section was available at a price of £31! I said, "that's scandalous!" as there were obviously tickets left. The response from the ticket lady annoyed me even more; she said in what appeared to be in all sincerity that if I were to watch Chelsea I would have to pay £40 ! What PR. I was so mad that after buying the ticket, I left at 3.25 pm and went to the ale house and watched the cricket instead!
Steve Wolfe, Liverpool  (13/09/05)


Give him just a little more time
Those people who are criticising Moyes on certain decisions are fair enough... but those calling for his head? I really cannot agree with them at all.

If we take a look back to when he took over in April 2002, we we’re in a mess. So much of a mess that if he hadn’t taken over we’d have gone down. Since then he has improved the squad, got rid of some of the big-time charlie’s and got us into Europe for the first time in 10 years. Granted the 4-5-1 might be negative but we cannot play 4-4-2 at the minute, Pompy being the prime example.

Granted we didn’t buy a striker, but it wasn’t through the want of trying. Granted one or two of his buys (Wright, Beattie) and non-buys are open to criticism, but he’s also brought in some quality (Martyn, Cahill, Arteta, Neville – and when Van der Meyde, Valente and Krøldrup are fit and playing next month, they’ll be really excellent players).

Granted we haven’t got off to a good start but that’s all it is – a start. There are still 34 more games to go. So let’s just hold on until January when we can buy a striker and start calling for Moyes’s head at the end of the season if you really want. Remember it took Sir Alex 5-6 years to get a decent side together and Man Utd haven’t looked back since. And more so with Howard Kendall. If he’d have gone in 1983-84 when everyone wanted him out we’d have two less titles and no European trophy to look back on.

I just wonder whether the success of last season has got too many Evertonians thinking above themselves bearing in mind the some of the dross we’ve had to watch for the past 10-15 years. It will take time and I honestly believe that if we can get a decent striker and a strong, driving midfielder in January then we’ll have a really good side that will get us to the top end of the table regularly.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (13/9/05)

Waiting until the Janaury transfer window is no solution. The players he has now must perform better. Many are still out injured (we are after all in amidst a pretty hefty injry crisis) but you have to wonder about the ones who are declared fit. — Ed


Perspective
Everton's start to the current season has been poor. There is very little creativity in the team. Arteta is the only one of our players who can pass more than ten yards or who can do something vaguely unexpected. Cahill's strength is that he is an excellent player off the ball. He makes runs and finds space, but for him to succeed someone has to read these runs.

Unfortunately Moyes's tactical acumen in using the 4-5-1 formation has now been matched by many others. It's a great system for stifling more creative attack-minded teams; it's a poor system when you are the team who needs to be creative, unless you have a front midfielder rather like Bergkemp, and I don't see his ilk in our squad.

I'm sure Moyes will make the system work better than it has done, because he did so last season, but I don't feel it is a system that will win us anything. It may help us to avoid defeat, but it's a system that is essentially negative. However, a 4-4-2 sytem requires pace and talent and they are precisely what we lack. Our lack of pace, particularly up front, is frightening. I'm nearly sixty and I could out-run Beattie and Ferguson, and although Bent has pace, he lacks control when using his pace.

Moyes loves whole-hearted team players, don't we all? They accept his work ethic, they fit in, they don't ask too many awkward questions, and they don't ask for big wages. However, unless we see some pace and individuality injected into our team we are going back to a season where we will be constantly glancing anxiously at the bottom three positions.

We have, when fit, 27 centre-backs and goalies, can we not sell one or two of them and get a creative attacking-midfielder, and a fast striker? These must be our targets in the January transfer window.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (13/09/05)

Can't argue with much of that either (although the penultimate claim was a bit silly!) — Ed


Time Machine Found in L4?
Well, it certainly felt like it on Saturday against Portsmouth. We had a goalie and defenders that chose to ignore the midfield for 90 minutes and simply hoof the ball up to Big Dunc. That'll work... not!

I'm not one for blaming the manager for what happens on the pitch, but team selection is all his responsibility. Are Ferguson and Bent really our first choice 'strike force'? Look at their respective goal tallys throughout their careers - both poor.

Why was Cahill not rested? Why is Kilbane picked even though he has about 3-4 good games a year? Why does Hibbert never get dropped even when he simply can't pass or cross the ball? We paid £6M for Beattie to warm the bench and McFadden will never come good unless he gets a proper run in the team.

We have been in complete free-fall since Christmas 2004 (someone do the stats on that one plz — it'll scare us all)... when Mad Tommy left. I was never his greatest fan, but there is a spooky correlation between his departure and our form since.

There's only so far that huff and puff will get us. We need more creativity and guile to even beat teams like Portsmouth these days. Sadly, it's lacking all too often.
Paul Johnson, Oxton, Wirral  (13/09/05)

Can't really argue with any of that... Ed


It can't be..... can it?
It has just be confirmed..... Simon Davies is Mike Milligan!
Bobby Dempster, Huyton  (13/09/05)

Hahaha!


Leave Foundation to Set

But should we be concerned with the current start we have had? I don’t need to answer that although I do feel people need to put it into context. I was under no illusion coming into this season that we would have the success of last, nor that we would get an easy ride. Our football was tight and if you changed 6 results last year by a goal we would have found ourselves further down the table.

Our style of play is limited and we rely on getting the run of the ball at times. But it also took hard work. Once we get a few wins under our belt I am sure some confidence will come back and we will start to get those close games and walk away with the 3pts.

This is not brain surgery, in fact I feel like I am talking to my friend a Manchester United fan who doesn’t know what its like to struggle or battle in this league.

Are we so advanced from one season that we can now act like glory supporters? Can we hold such high expectations when in truth our club has been in such disarray not less than 3 years ago that a bad run means the end? I spent years following a team that struggled in the bottom half, fielded a barrage of comments from friends about our relegation battle (note: I won a few quid betting on our guys each year to my friends dismay).

We are still a team in transition that is heading in a direction. Now compare the club to Newcastle, Birmingham and Bolton.

Newcastle - Spending money like theres no tomorrow on players who care more about money and international reputations than the club.

Birmingham - scouring the market for every mercenary just because they once came through the ranks of a top team, then allowing them to behave like hooligans.

Bolton - Investing in players that have spent 15 years playing at a high level and want a final pay cheque, that will leave within a year or two and thus need to be replaced.

This seems to be a recurring theme for me, not by choice but to create a reality in our situation.

I spent more than 15 years watching a team struggle in the bottom half of the table, with every passing manager and millions of pounds disappearing from the club. Not once have I ever had the opportunity to think about CL footy.

But more importantly for me, is that I am not supporting Everton this season, nor am I supporting them for the next 2 seasons. I am in this for life. I will support them till I die and if it takes that long for us to progress then so be it.

It is clear we have progressed more so these last few years than the 10 before that. Let’s not expect to suddenly be a top 6 team. It needs to be earned, worked for, developed and nurtured at the club.

Can anyone honestly say they believe the man who didn’t buy a striker is not doing that? Would anyone ask for Walter back or Walker? Those guys would have signed Johnson in a flash for £12M and then blamed the player when he didn’t perform.

However you feel, whatever you want from supporting Everton, mix your trepidation caused by the start of the season with reality of our situation. We are still building and we don’t want to put up the walls before the foundations have set, or the whole building will eventually fall down. {Ill try to think of a better catchphrase next time :OP }
Gary Keey, USA  (05/09/12)

Good try, mate. You can take the long view if you like and rationalize away the bad run of form that strecthes back to last Christmas. Or you can take it one game at a time and seek out the positives; not easy though, because they are fewer and farther between... Let's see what happens on Thursday. — Ed


Knee jerk? I don't think so!
I am amazed that Moyes has been put on such a pedestal. I have read several correspondents stating that anyone who dares to cticise the ginger one is not a true blue or is suffering a knee-jerk reaction. Since we have been in free fall since Christmas that is one hell of a long knee-jerk reaction.

We have sacked more successful managers for better sequences of results than that!

As for the claim he is the best manager in the world — the trophies he has won as a coach speak volumes for his ability... don't they?
Tom , wirral  (12/09/05)


Leadership
I don't think that we have a poor squad and won't be calling for Moyes to be sacked because I've developed a jerky knee and am having a major tantrum. However, I do think the thing we are missing at the moment is a player who can provide spirited leadership on the pitch. Last year Stubbs and Carsley were key in developing that never-say-die spitit and we are lacking that at the moment.

The answer isn't to constantly threaten sackings. Then you just have to start again. Did the knee jerkers learn nothing from the success of last season?
Ged Simpson, Chester  (12/09/05)

Apparently not. But that's the nature of knee-jerkers... and it only takes a string of bad results to bring them out of the woodwork. — Ed


Ipswich
If anyone hasn't heard the name forming the title of this script over the past couple of days, then I congratulate you. Personally I am sick to death of hearing Ipswich and Everton in the same breath.

I do not for one minute, think that we are in the same position that ipswich found themselves in a few years back. There is though a 'sting in the tail'. I am now firmly of the opinion that Mr D Moyes esq is no longer capable of taking Everton Football Club forward.

I got caught up in all the hype about the Champs League, Euro Hols etc but then as we all do from time to time, we take a step back and scrutinise what it is exactly we are doing and where we are going. When was the last competetive game Everton won apart from Bolton?

7th May against Newcastle is the answer and our record since then? P7 W1 L6 Goals For 5 Against 17. Now I'm sorry to shatter the illusion, but Mr (IMWT) Moyes is teetering on the brink of our worst run of form EVER. My rose-tinted glasses have long since been ditched, as have all my hopes of moving forward into 'the next phase'

I'll go back to the start for a moment before I finish. We are in the midst of a worse run than Ipswich ever faced. They went down, I don't think we will. However, I still think that the 'Moyesiah' is falling way below mine and oher Blues' expectations.

My other fear is that when the rest of you cotten on to Moyes' inadequacies it will be too late, and by that time Mr Kenwright will be looking back at his People's Club interviews and wretching.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum? (I wish!)! 45 yrs a Blue, and counting!
Walter Moyes, In Hiding  (12/09/2005)


Time!!!
Hi I have writen a few times and read this section very often; it is good to air your views — if others agree with them or not!!

I wrote a few weeks back saying I would not go to away games (after Fulham) and this I will stick to. I could not make the Portsmouth game (my wife was very ill) and that means I have missed just four home games in the last 17 years, so I had to make do with hearing the match on the radio. And thank god; I do not blame the manager or players I just feel the Board have no ambition, always citing the lack of funds, yet they expect fans like myself to pay out good money and watch games like that!!!

I am not having a go at anyone at Everton FC, but I have found by missing the last home game I have not missed much, so I am sorry to say I for one will not be paying good money to Everton FC anymore. I feel that my funds could be spent better, just like the Board should tell us about their money and were it goes. Mine will be staying in my pocket, I can suffer embrasement by listening on the radio rather than sitting in the stands.

I really think Everton will pick up and play a lot better in the future and I wish them all the best and I do hope they manage somehow to get back in Europe next season or they can get though in the Uefa Cup. But it is time for a parting of the waves for me. This is not a knee jerk reaction on my part; I am just fed up with a club that is happy with what it has got, instead of trying harder.

We have all seen it before: a few good games followed by dross and as far as I can see it will be the same this season!!!! All the best on a great website.
Jim , N.Wales  (11/9/05)

That's a very significant letter, Jim, and I think anyone who recognizes the incredible committment of the regular fan doing his best to attend every game they can will know just where you are coming from. And it sounds like you have something a little bit more important to deal with; hope your wife gets better soon. — Ed


Amazing (continued)
Total knee jerk in my opinion to a handful of poor results (and don't quote the end of last season in the supposed 'run' of poor games when we were knackered).

Break it down:
Man Utd — always going to be tough, but we went toe to toe for most of the game and the scoreline flattered Utd.
Bolton — Moyes got it right tactically and we won.
Fulham...had most of the possession and didn't take our chances.
Portsmouth... didn't play well.
Villareal...everyone knew it would be tough and it was...however, in the second leg we were increasingly the better side and Duncan's disallowed 'goal' would have taken it to extra time and only one team was going to win it then and that was us; given the way the game was going.

So let's get the start we've had into perspective. I agree with the Editor's comment... if we are still there at Christmas then let's worry, not in mid-September for pity's sake !! Moyes's biggest problem was in raising the bar after so many years of underachievement. Apparently, the implication is that he needs sacking for this. Amazing!

I also don't like the increasing undercurrent (emerging over the last few weeks) that we were 'lucky' last season (both from Evertonians and others outside the club). Stop it now! Everyone goes on about the 1-0 wins as if that is tantamount to luck. Rubbish! We finished 4th on merit. We had more points than other teams; we defended well and took our chances when they came. We played for the full 90 minutes when other teams didn't. We frightened the crap out of every team we faced.

Don't belittle what we achieved, which is a disservice to the Club, it's manager and it's fans. Moreover, given the context, don't knee-jerk the Club into crisis by over reacting to results from barely a handful of games.
Steve , Harrogate  (11/09/05)


School of Science?
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but we are dull...dull, dull, dull. Regardless of results, finishing 4th, qualifying for the Champions League, we have played some of the most un-entertaining football in the whole league for the past five (ten?) years.

A lot of this was down to circumstances (no money, relegation battles, lack of skillful players), but we have had a few occasions where we have actually had money to spend and a decent enough finish to the season (FA Cup winners, 4th place etc) to start afresh.

The reason why I highlight this is because I just can't bring myself to watch the team anymore. I'll watch the goal highlights on Sky but I can't bring myself to fork out for the crap that is on offer. It's a bit much when the most memorable thing about going to Goodison is the atmosphere generated by the crowd rather than the football skills on offer.

We used to be known as the School of Science FFS, now we are the School of Shite. (Is it any wonder Sky don't give us much airtime... how the hell do you try and market a game like Everton v Wigan to the nation?)

If I was a player, not only would I be put off by the poor wages (because I'm a greedy twat), and the likelihood that Everton would not do as well this season (because I'm a realist), and the possibility that I would never get picked by England (because I've never really been a big England fan since they stopped picking Ried, Steven, Stevens and Lineker). No, Id be put off because the team plays awful football.

I'd get pissed off harrying the feck out of the someone like Scholes or Keane only to look up and be faced with the depressing option of passing to either Davies, Kilbane, Bent, or Beattie. Davies and Beattie are fitness disasters (and have been even before they came here!). Kilbane is now in Sunderland mode. And Bent... well, he used to cover for his poor finishing with this work ethic, but even that has gone now.

I'd be interested to see how many of our goals in the past 3-4 years were actually well crafted goals that didn't rely on a mad scramble on the Penalty box, or a dubious backpass and penalties. Our most dangerous attacks now are when Arteta takes a free-kick.

I wont go on as many have you have already stated what seems obvious to most of us. Moyes recently said that the team is not yet capable of containing a flair player. Very true Davie...but who's fault is that. Yes, you created a team to get us out of the expecetd relegation battle last season, but did that team formation come about because you didn't have the players (or the bottle to blood youngsters)? You have now bought a number of players (even a semi-skillful one in van Der Meyde) but you still persist in playing 4-5-1...and therefore we still rely on the other team making a mistake to score. You should not spend as much money as Moyes has to continue with that style of play.

Everton will never be able to attract the first-choice players (although I'm quite glad in the case of Owen), and the second-choice players are usually has-beens on the last gravy train or players who think they are better than they are (Beattie, Nevin, McCall, McDonald, Cottee, Short). So when EFC get in a position to spend money again (January?) they need to buy someone with either pace or inventiveness. Easier said than done, but that's what the manager and the scouts are paid to do.... whoever they are.

I dont think Moyes should be sacked but I think he should realised that with the 4th place finish last year his five year plan was ahead of schedule. Close season should have been the dawn of the final year, instead I think we have gone now back to Year 2.
Iain McWilliam, UK  (11/09/05)

Oh dear... another disillusioned soul who can't take it any more. I have to admit the last time I watched a game and became even slightly excited was perhaps our 4-0 win over Crystal Palace. Everything else has been dross for far too long. And Premiership football in general is now virtually unwatchable. Excitement? Who's havin' a laff? Davie's words about sticking with 4-5-1 and it being more "technical" did my head in. And yesterday's cunning demonstration that 4-4-2 is just a disaster waiting to hapen... well it REALLY does not bode well for anyone who retains some slight rememberance of what watching football used to be like. Colm was right: football's fooked! — Ed


Moyes and transfer activity
I respect your views much of the time but please stop being a sheep (like on a certain other website) and stop spouting all this 'IMWT' crap.

You have answered several people with the fact that we have a bad injury list. However, the only players now missing from last season's after-Christmas squad are Carsley and Pistone [Wataon? Stubbs?? — Ed]. But Davies, Valente and Neville are playing as replacements.

Regarding injuries, most have been to our new signings with most carrying an injury when they signed for us (quite ironic really when we refuse to sign Forssell for injury problems and he might have kick started the season). What is the sense in the ginger one buying players that are carrying injuries? Our supposed policy of signing uninjured players has resulted several carrying injuries when they signed for us: Beattie (injured when he joined), van der Meyde (injured), Krøldrup (a groi problem he alreadfy kneww about that the medical presumably missed), and Davies (injured when he joined - shin splints and likely to go off injured some time soon) all making little contribution to the cause.

The fact is that Moyes has gone as far as he can. We had a number of lucky 1-0 wins last year that could have gone either way. This year they probably won't. I will say it again - Davey, you are tactically inept. When we go a goal behind he has not got a clue what to do.

It is Moyes who seems to be the only person to miss the fact that we need a decent striker who can actually score. If a team scores one against us this year then we will not get more than one point. We have not got the firepower to score more than 1 per game.

The fact is that Moyes is not up to it and the IMWT brigade need to take a look at Moyes's overall record since Christmas. It makes grim reading.

I know I will get asked who would we get in his place - simple really. Curbishley would have been a great replacement, as would Stuart Pearce. There are a number of alternatives from abroad also.

One lucky season and a soundbite does not mean that we have made progress. Indeed, on current form he is taking us backwards.

My message to Moyes - either get it sorted or go. No other club would put up with a manager with Moyes recent record in terms of form.

My message to Kenwright - this club is not your plaything. The money you have given to Moyes is not 'new' money. It comes from the sale of numerous players and even then you have got change in your pocket.

I never thought our club would come to this but we are in real danger of going down because the dithering one cannot rectify matters until the transfer market reopens.

How depressing when it could have been an exciting new start and a springboard to push us back where we surely belong. The current team would not even get close to the teams that Catterick, Kendall, Harvey, Bingham and (God forgive me) Gordon Lee presided over.

You trust in Moyes because I don't!
Tom , Wirral  (11/09/05)

I published your long e.mail in full beacuse, all joking aside, I think it does accurately capture a lot of the frustrations everyone must be feeling today. Yet I still cannot go as far as calling time on Moyes, for the reasons stated in earlier responses. Changing the manager now would be the very worst thing Kenwright could possibly do. Let's please not go down that path just yet. If we are still in the bottom 3 by early Decmeber, then maybe I will think differently. But now is just too soon. — Ed


Non-event?
`A season which started with such high hopes for Everton is in danger of turning into one of the great non-events in their history`... Admitedly a quote from `a red top Sunday` but it just about sums up how most of us feel after the Pompey game!

I travel to Bucharest this week with hope in my heart(as ever) but fear in my guts. If we bomb out of Europe, all we can look forward to is the battle against relegation and every thing achieved last season will be confined to history. Until now, I have been a great fan of Moyes but my eyes are beginning to open and I fear just another `jolly promiser` who through uncertainty or ineptitude has failed to build on temporary success.

Please, Davey, wave your magic wand and inspire the lads to some measure of success on Thursday and thus kick-start a season we have all looked forward to so much.
Harry Meek, Worcesrer  (11/09/05)


4 Games
i know people are gonna be upset about the start we've had(especially yesterday's result), but people need to get a grip - we have only played 4 league games! To be talking about Moyes's position so soon after he won Manager of the Year in a season where Chelsea and Mourinho broke all kinds of records is a joke - please keep your ridicolous knee-jerk reactions to yourself or come up here and support the barcodes.

The season hasn't gone to plan yet but we are only actually 3 points down from the same fixtures last season so give the team time to gel and they'll turn it round with the Moyesiah leading us.
Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (11/09/05)

Ah, a return fianally to that familar, comforting theme. How does it go? IMWT. — Ed


Kilbane
Having just read Moyes's glowing tribute to Kilbane on the official website, is it possible that we have two Killers in the squad? Or do we have to question the sanity of our leader?
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (11/09/05)

I didn't bother reading that... but perhaps I should now! It may put me in a better frame of mind. — Ed


the curse of the left backs.
what is it with everton and left backs? nuno ?what a load of crap .ok its only one game, but why would everton get a decent left back before anyone else? he actually looked like preki(crap player for everton 90,s), playing left back. since van den hauwe, we have had pointon,hinchcliffe, ball. phelan,unsworth, pistone(who i rate actually, even though he,s made from bolsa wood)all crap and i think this guy the worst of the lot.how can i say this after one game ?well its obvious he has no pace,there must be s decent left back in reserves if he,s not good enough then why have them at the club?
ian doyle, wirral  (11/9/05)

What is it with a minority of Evertonians who seem unable to operate the fucking Shift key? Any more of these dreadful mails where you can't be arsed to press the fucking thing a few times while you are typing (and add a few spaces, and figure out the difference between a comma and an apostrophe while you are at it) and I won't be arsed to publish your inane drivel.

There, I finally cracked. I blame all this IMWT bullshit. It's too much... I can't take it anymore. GET ME OUT OF HERE! — Ed


Not a clue
As a season-ticket holder for many years, I was saddened to watch the performance against Portsmouth and also Moyes's comments after the match. He said, "We have now tried 4-4-2 and there you go: it doesn't work." It will never work when we have Duncan Ferguson on the pitch as no one has the talent or bottle to go down the wing and put in a decent cross! Instead, we play it back to Weir and he lofts it forward from the edge of his own box; as happened so many times yesterday, we gave the ball straight back to the opposition.

Kilbane is absolute garbage and McFadden is shite too but at least when he came on he looked the only player on the pitch willing to have a go. This sounds like doom and gloom but what have we got to look forward to for this season? Moyes after the match saying we were hard to beat, this is because we will be playing 4-5-1 and have 10 men defending for the rest of the season. The players are starting to look dejected the fans are all frustrated. We should give Beattie and Bent a good run up-front and see if they can form a bit of a partnership. Sounds crap but they are probably the best strikers we have and anything is better than Bore-Five-One!
Doug Hesketh, Runcorn  (11/09/05)

Did he really say that? Got to agree with you about the hoof-balls, though. Totally moribund tactic. And a loss of confidence will be hugely damaging to team spirit, which as you say is proably at a pretty low ebb right now. Where are we going next? Oh yea.. bloody Romania.


It was only a matter of time................
I saw this coming after the transfer deadline came and past without "ANY" respectable signings. I have read all the e.mails sent in today, and I feel sorry for all you Evertonians who sat through that. I maybe thousands of miles away, but I speak to my mother every Saturday (long distance) to go through the results and talk about the game and the moment I hear her voice I know the result! We all deserve better and the Everton fans have put up with enough!

All the talk about players we are about to sign and others we are talking to is a load of crap! I think David Moyes's days are numbered and rightly so, but is it all his fault? The club and the Board want you to think that they are chasing every player available, but is that completely true? With the massive debt that haunts the club from other stupid managers with no business sense,(buying for millons and giving players away) because they were shite to start with!

I believe the club doesn't really want to suceed too much, and doesn't want to take it to the next level because that all costs money. Money that's owed to the bank, and to take it to the next level, you have to spend a little or a lot (Chelsea) to make a little! Bill Kenright see's this club as his baby, but he doesn't have the funds to get this kid through college. Moyes is a puppet and does and says what he is told. Everything needs to change because it is just like the WALTER SMITH days — the same board without red nose bastard Peter Johnson. Reasons for not signing some good names - not fit.... so we buy shit that isn't fit, good job. Please don't reply with this is a knee jerk or we have 30-odd games left etc, etc... It all has to change, because Everton fans are not idiots, and how much bullshit and lies are we suppose to take.


David Barlow, Colorado, USA  (10/9/05)

Well, that amounts to some kind of off-beat conspiracy theory in my book. The transfer window has closed. Everton spent more than all but two other clubs, so it is clearly NOT a money issue. And only idiots — certainly not the Club beacasue, as I say in Clause 1, the transfer window is now closed until January — are talking about players we are about to sign (although it is true we could sign some free agents).

You need to calm down, look at the injury list, accept that we are going through a difficult spell which no-one can do very much about, and... er... hope for the best! IMWT — Ed


2nd-rate players give 2d-rate peformances
The fact is that you can't expect to sign second-rate players and make a first-rate team. Simon Davies looks like his mind is elsewhere and he can't wait to go out for the evening; Kilbane, Beattie and Bent are just not Premiership class any more if they ever really were. Osman's development as a player has been arrested. Ferguson is no longer up to being a starter. Making three simultaneous substitutions smacks of frustration and desperation on DM's part.

Perhaps Neville's and then Carsley's return - whenever that may be - will stiffen this bunch up a little and perhaps when van der Meyde and Per Krøldrup finally join us - whenever that may be - there will be some improvement, but I fear what Dinamo Bucharest will do to us if we play like that. A better team than Portsmouth would have won 4-0 and not have broken sweat. The most disturbing thing of all is that all around the Prem clubs have strengthened their squads. We appear to have weakened ours.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (10/09/05)

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe only two of our summer signings were playing yesterday — although I do have to agree about Davies. Not sure what Moyes really saw there... but give him a chance. We are in the depths of a massive injury crisis the likes of which we completely avoided last season. IMWT. — Ed


TIME??
Went to the game and was not impressed. Read the mail bag and was not impressed. Somewhere between today and a fit squad lies our future this season. Although I thought Moyes lost the plot today I think we should give him the time to be able to select from what we all envisage to be our best eleven and any action he may take in January transfer window. Then, if he can't make that work GET THE BANNERS OUT!
Ken , Buckley  (09/09/05)

I'd give him until the end of the season. We will clearly struggle at least through November, but he needs to be producing results in the Spring or it will be bye-bye time. — Ed


Lost legacy
I too, half expected this result today. Unfortunately, I've thought all along that Alan Green was very close in his assessment of our 'type' of football and have felt for about 6 months that Evertonians everywhere have been kidding themselves about our current squad and manager. We were incredibly lucky last year, which was great, but we haven't taken advantage of that luck. Moyes has been a nightmare in the transfer market and has built a squad bereft of pace or skill, whilst completely squandering all of the Rooney money. His tactics are a sick joke, basically the laughing stock of the Premiership...could we be any more one-dimensional?

Moyes is out of his depth; this isn't a knee-jerk — I've been worried about his evolution for a while now. I hope he goes soon, with thanks for stabilising the club, obviously, but he is just not good enough for us. And no, obviously we dont want Souness!... which is a ridiculous retort from the 'Ed' ... with all due respect of course; just because there is a worse manager out there doesn't mean that Moyes is our only option.

Yet again we've missed a golden opportunity and this time you can't really blame the Board. They have backed the manager with a significant amount of money, this is HIS team, HIS tactics, HIS fault! We are a poor team and I honestly think that the bottom 3 is a lot more likely than the top 3, dont you!?
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (10/9/05)

Although this is his team, we haven't really seen them play yet. And it will take time, even when they are all fit, for the seven new players (I'm not counting Arteta) to gel and really make a difference. But playing Dunc up front is clearly not the answer.

Having reached, for the the first time in his tenure, the point where David Moyes can really say it is HIS team, you have to give him a chance to show what they can do. It was always going to be a hard start to the season; changing the manager now would be foolish in the extreme. Give him a chance. IMWT. — Ed


Just how much are we losing?
I've started to wonder just how much money Everton FC are losing due to their foresight regarding the signings, or lack of, during the transfer window. I heard mention of up to £15M loss from our CL exit. I believe at least another £5M when we exit the Uefa Cup. To say nothing of the loss of revenue from the laughable 'Everton are Back' European tour 2005-06 T-shirts. Does anyone here really believe we will still be in Europe in 2006?

I'm inclined to agree with some of the earlier posts. David Moyes has lost the plot & will inevitably join Mc Fadden in the SPL before the year is out. If not, he'll be taking a large pay cut when we drop down to the Championship next season.

Much as I'd like to be more positive, current form is showing Everton FC at the level it's been at prior to last season's blip. For those who might disagree, just look at our record since Graveson left. It left me feeling depressed. The only bright point this weekend was seeing Newcastle still below us & Owen not scoring on his debut. Small consolation I know, but I tried to find something to cheer me up & that was the best I could come up with. Now I know how it feels to be 'truely blue'
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (10/09/05)

The problem for Evertonians now is that it costs nothing to make such predictions. Also, we were second or third in the list of spenders over the summer, so we must have brought in a few senior players — seven at the last count. So the foresight, or lack of it, realates more to the inability to sign a decent striker. However, on yesterday's evidence, what exactly would this striker have done to change the game?

The problems go much deeper than that, it seems to me. But David Moyes has shown that he can change things around. He's done it before. IMWT! — Ed


The end of David Moyes
I expected the Portsmouth result; and the next few games will also be negative.

The actual decline began when Everton lost 7-0 against Arsenal at the end of last season. My belief is that Moyes will be gone sooner rather than later; without him, Everton will then improve. Radical reform of Everton is required as soon as possible since a relegation struggle is imminent.

Moyes has had a couple of relatively successful seasons, but what has he actually won for the club - precisely nothing! Note well what happened to Ipswich and Newcastle when they were eliminated from the Champions League. Die-hard Evertonians will be disturbed by these comments but the truth hurts. After the next series of inevitable defeats, Moyes should tender his resignation before he is sacked.
Andrew Fairfoull, England  (10/09/05)

And we should bring in Graeme Souness? Yes! Rob Fox was bang on the nail with his Doomsday scenario. It'll only get worse before it gets better! — Ed


How much longer?
How much longer are we going to perfrom like this. We will donate our usual 3 points to Arsenal next week (hopefully not 7-0) which will possibly put us in the bottom 2, depending on results.

Our supposed policy of signing uninjured players has resulted in Krøldrop and Valente (both carrying injuries when they signed for us), Beattie (injured), van der Meyde (injured), and Dvaies (shin splints and likely to go off injured some time soon) all making precisiely nil contribution to the cause. Cahill has been poor and Kilbane awful yet neither are dropped (or should I say rested).

We continue to leak silly goals and don't look like we know how to score. Moyes is taking us backward and will take us down and then all the idiots who keep abusing the true Evertonians who can't stand the dross we see on a regular basis can think about their 'IMWT' rhetoric being absolute crap.

I am fed up of the 'we can see no wrong in Moyes' brigade. How blind are you? We play a formation that has been well and truly sussed out by the opposition and our great leader seems unable to think of a way out. In the transfer market he is a disaster. We need a striker and what do we get - three defenders and a defensive midfielder.

He needs to change or get out because he will take us down on current form. What's that? 8 losses in our last 9 competitive games and soon to 9 losses out of 10!
Tom Mot, Wirral  (10/09/05)

Shocking lack of faith in Mr Moyes there, Tom. Do please try to stay positive. There are 34 Premiership games to go.

And today was simply a ploy to demonstrate to the faithless nay-sayers how wrong they are to assume that Everton will magically perform better if Moyes employs an attacking 4-4-2 formation... "I told you so: 4-5-1 is the future" — that's the subliminal Moyes message to you faithless fockers!

IMWT!!! — Ed


Moyes is lost
David Moyes reminds me so much of Sven: no Plan B ghoing forward; very lost and out of his depth. This isn't a knee jerk reaction: he is not good enough. We know there are injuries — everyone has them — but it's the way we play: it's awful. I never thought I'd say this but I am losing interest — just like some of the player's. We are in trouble. I hated the Walter Smith era but this is going down that same road and we now have better players, the reality is Moyes has not got a clue. And how rosy it all looked in summer...
Darren Findlay, Huddersfield  (10/09/05)

It's horrible to contemplate but Moyes's record and his approach to the game are more and more starting to emmulate those of Water Smith (see below). Beam me up, Scotty! I don't want to witness this anymore! — Ed


Is this it?
Just home from the Portsmouth game. Everton were dreadful — no imagination whatsoever. Cahill looked exhausted and surely should have been dropped if Moyes knew he was knackered and about to be played in a 4-4-2 formation where he would have to seriously run hard to create any space.

Davies, are you a winger or a central midfielder? If the former can you please explain to the fans just where you were the majority of the game today?

Kilbane, you are playing on borrowed time; slow lethargic and pitiful imagination on and off the ball. Hibbert can you please ask Davie Moyes and his staff to teach you how to cross a ball at Bellfield — and what's more, practice it week after week.

For a side that hasn't won at Goodison since the 1950s and only won one of their last 12 games, today's footballing lesson is the harsh reality that Moyes needs. Our two strikes on goal came from a left back. Even a pub side can defend against Route One balls to Ferguson's head and nodded directly to an eagerly awaiting defender to hump clear.

Several contributors (myself included) have rattled our chains for months calling for a striker. We have been admonished by counter postings saying look at our other signings... well, unless Moyes wants to start Valente up front, on today's performance, I can't honestly see any significant amount of goals or chances coming from Ferguson - he is too slow and Route One is a disgrace. Bent works hard, he just can't finish and Beattie simply doesn't look like he can be arsed unless the ball lands right at his feet.

Maybe a knee-jerk reaction to a poor result but it's not just myself who could see today that this could be a very long and painful season ahead of us.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (10/09/05)

er... Please try to stay positive: there are 34 more potentially painful games to endure... — Ed


Contract Carrot
Looks like Everton are where they belong... languishing near the bottom. Last season was played on the dangling carrott of a contract. Now they are signed and the ink is dry, those players who did so much have nothing to play for except the thousands of pounds they take in their well undeserved wages. They are a spent force. That's why no-one came to Goodison except for a couple of crocks to fill the physio tables.

If we can't beat teams like Fulham and Portsmouth then we have got no hope when it comes to Chelsea, Arsenal & Man Utd. You can't offer any arguement against these points as the score lines have yet to prove me wrong!

Playing a good game and not winning won't get titles or silverware or push you up the league. Everton will definitely be in the Championship next season.... The one below the Premiership. Keep it up; we might get taught how to score down there.
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (10/09/05)

Knee-jerk! There are still 34 games to go, and we have a game in hand.... STAY POSITIVE, PLEASE! — Ed


Lies, damn lies, and statistics
In an effort to resolve the current debate on the merits of our managers past and present, can I suggest that your correspondents refer to your excellent merit table. This shows the present incumbent in 8th place behind Kendall I, Catterick, Harvey, Royle, Lee - PLEASE NOTE! Bingham and Kendall II. The Maestro is, however, ahead of Carey, Britton, Kelly, Smith, Buchan, Kendall III and Walker. Hardly genius potential, suggest, but then I grew up in headier days!
David Hall, Taunton  (08/09/05)

To update the Moyes line, it would now read thus:

127  49  28  50  157  171  175  45.9%

which has "The Maestro" slipping below Carey, Britton, and Kelley, to sit just above Walter Smith (Oooer...!!!) — I do hope he is not dead set on emmulating the dubious accomplishments of his Champion and fellow Scot... Ed


Everton Memorabilia
www.sportsicons.co.uk and www.exclusivesigningsuk.com are the official partners of the 1980's Everton team. We have held private signing sessions with the players and have also launched some websites for them. We now have in stock a range of Limited Edition hand-signed prints which are available for sale and recently took six of the team to the National Football Museum for an event which was shown on Sky Sports.

Please feel free to visit our sites. All of the Prints will shortly be sold in the Club Shop at Goodison as well.
Andy Findlay, Reading  (10/09/2005)

Oi! That looks like blatant advertising to me. Are you trying to circumvent our strict and punitive advertising rates? — Ed


Butcher's advice to Jamie Mc.....
Having read the recent comments made by James McFadden's former manager with regard to the wellbeing of his future career, my advivce to him would be.... Please, please, please take his advice and LEAVE our club as soon as is possible!!

McFadden came to this club with a huge reputation and just hasn't been up to the job. Those who cling on to the hope that his talent will prevail... what talent?? His best games have been against Stockport (now a League 2 club) & Leeds (relegated), both two seasons ago!! Against everyone else he looks well out of his depth.

I really wanted him to be a success; y'know... best young player in Scotland and all that... but it just hasn't happened. I think Moysie would win a lot of his critics back if he held his hands up and admitted a mistake with this one (as he should with Wretched Wright!!). If McFadden is the best the Scots have to offer, it's no wonder they've struggled for so long.

I take no pleasure in writing this as I DO NOT enjoy criticising any Everton player, but I feel it just has to be said. James please go back to Celtic/Rangers with my blessing, and for the sake of YOUR career. I'm sure you'll be a roaring success and I wish you the best of luck.
Neil Vaughan, Wirral  (09/09/05)


Striker woe
I know I should be over it by now and I don't mean to go over old ground but our inability to sign a striker riles me whenever I watch other Premiership games. Darren Bent, Kevin Phillips, Brian Mcbride, Milan Baros, Darius Vassell, Forssell (admittedly yet to score but playing every game) and even Andy Cole would have added to our limited firepower! Now, as the 4-5-1 becomes much vaunted, games become tighter and more continental and we don't have that spark to create us a goal out of nothing. Worried, very worried.
Richard Williams, New Canaan  (09/09/05)

And rightly so. But nevermind. We'll come good once we get a few of our players fit. — Ed


Smith
I have to agree with everything Nick said in his article on Smith. I remember going to watch us against Blackburn at home and we had SEVEN centre halfs on the field that day. Blackburn came with one up front who got sent off in the first half: Dahlin. I watched a dour 0-0 unfold with no changes. After the Tranmere game, I stopped going and my one-man protest lasted until the Fulham game; Moyes's first in charge.

On this point of Moyes I feel we are losing sight of his achievments and the strength of the squad now compared to when he arrived. Anyway great site and always first point of call, many thanks. Oh and I thought Smith's last throw of the dice was going to be Ashley Ward??? Oh what could have been.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (08/09/05)

Cheers, Mark. Good comments!


In Response to Mike Price....
...and his Walter Moyes letter.

Mike makes some good points there about the similarity between Moyes and Walter. Think of Moyes when he started as Everton manager. Moyes had fresh ideas and in his own words wanted to create a young talented attacking team like Newcastle were at the time.

Moyes used to never mince his word and would quite often criticise his players on television and brand sloppy performances as unacceptable. You only have to look at his comment after the Man City game at the end of the 03/04 season where he said something like 'at least I won't have to work with the same players next season'. To the players this comment must have felt like a kick in the balls but to me I thought great Moyes means business.

That was the summer that Moyes evolved though. I used to like the way that Moyes would come out and say they played shit. I used to think to myself 'what a top bloke'...say it how you mean it BUT the players didn't like it and as we all know it destroyed morale in the dressing room and must have been a big factor in our 17th place finish.

So yes, now Moyes comes out and says the players gave it their all when in fact they were useless. That is the new Moyes who is trying to keep spirits up by not slagging the player off in front of millions of viewers. Do't get me wrong it winds me up when he does it but I suppose at the end of the day it is for the right reasons. Moyes simply uses the best tactics he thinks he can with the resources he has available. Maybe when a few come back from injury we will see some good attacking football???

As for the team he is building, I think he is just building from the back and I am confident that within the next few years we will have that nice attacking team that Moyes talked about not so long ago.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (08/09/05)


Forlorn Hope
I had hoped that David Moye would now be reconsidering his tactics after the acquisition of quite a few new faces and start to consider playing upfront various partnerships of our available strokers.

I see now after defending his 4-5-1, he goes on to to say he will continue to use it. Yes, I had a forlorn hope. He states other top teams are using it, but they are a lot better off when it comes to strikers. However SAF has come out and stated he is droppong it. Has DM got blinkers on, can he not see that we need to win games not just not to lose!!

As regards the international last night, England lost the first 45 minutes due to playing 4-5-1. It was the frustration of this that got to Rooney, and if you are going to play a lone striker I think you need some one with a bit more weight than Owen.

Back to DM, if he persists in this, I can see that it is EFC that are going to come unstuck.

DTIM (don't trust in Moyes)
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (08/09/05)

As you will see in our match build-up, I'm also somewhat skecptical after this week's decbacle. But how does it go? Come On Yew Blews! — Ed


Fortunate we lost ...
On the Walter Smith topic - when Ginola played his first game for the blues against Arsenal, he played a belter and hit the post, a game we lost 1-0 but so easily could have won. If we had won that game, I believe Walter would not have been sacked and would in turn have signed Dean Windass?!. Leading to all other possible scenarios...
Jon Taylor, London  (08/09/05)

Er... let's just not go there, OK?


'Hughes' R YA
Just a swift response to the recent Nick Armitage column following Andy Gray's comments about Walter Smith.

As a lifelong Blue and season-ticket holder, I have seen a fair few players ply their trade for us and taken a particular interest, as we all do, in the strikers (I was brrought up lovin Big Dunc, and will leave this world lovin Big Dunc). Given our current style and formation, a player with Mark Hughes's first touch and ability to hold up the ball would be greatly welcomed. The man must have calves of steel the amount of times I saw them kicked. A player like that would surely have brought Cahill, Arteta, Davies et al in to play far better than a ball-chasing Bent who is then isolated.

It's harsh to call Hughes a failed signing when I felt he was one of the better decisions of Walter's admittedly poor time at our club. If we are going to have a striker who won't break double figures in a season (a la Hughes or Bent) then I would prefer one who brings others in rather than leaves them for dust in to the corners.

Who should the new man should be in January? How about the new Alan Shearer... Dean Ashton? Norwich are having a bad time and surely we can hit the £15k a week or so that he will be on. He can offer something at 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 so whip out the chequebook and — in the words of his current Chairperson (very politically correct) — "Let's Be 'Avin Ya, Deano!"
John Dawson, Swindon  (8/9/05)


Jamie McFadden
Speaking on the issue of McFadden's future, I have to say I am surprised this has not been mentioned sooner. McFadden is clearly not a player of Premiership quality. He is guilty of wasting practically every chance in almost all the games he has featured in. He himself seems to have no idea of his ideal position although it looks to be up front.

The lad has talent, there is no doubt about that, and it would be sad to see him leave Everton. I think the best move for the club and for McFadden would be a season-long loan, to a Scottish club. This would hopefully give him the first-team experience he needs to show his best position and to boost his low confidence levels.
Sean Gilbertson, Liverpool  (08/09/05)


Walter Moyes
I totally agree with Nick Armitage regarding Walter Smith.. I really can't even stand to look at his smug face when it crops up on TV or the occasional website. What's really starting to bother me though is the emerging similarities between Walter and David.

Apart from the fact that they are both dour, stubborn Scottish types; they both say we've played quite well when we were absolute crap; they both overpay for average players; they don't believe in pacy players; they love defenders; they rate players like Beattie,Naysmith, Kilbane, McFadden and Wright; they play not too lose until we concede and then change the system to actually try and score with 20 minutes left; and they both had/have lots of fans supporting them whilst making us suffer this type of football.

I really hope I'm wrong about 'our Davey', and that we eventually start to play a dynamic, pacy, skillful brand of football that entertains and actually wins any kind of honour... but I'm not holding my breath!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (8/9/05)


Young instead of Neville?
Just watched England; atrocious performance. Luke Young was awful; how can the "Bedhopping Swede" pick him instead of the experienced Phil Neville? Luke Young's performance was equal to the incompetent Tony Hibbert, who cannot distribute the ball and insists on making schoolboy errors on a regular basis.
Frank Burrage, Northwich  (7/9/05)

Come on, now. Try to be positive, purleease!


The new Pat Nevin?
Although he's always struggled to piece any sort of consistent form together, it would still sadden me to see McFadden leave Everton. There's enough about the guy to make me think that, played in the right position on a regular basis, he could provide the ammo for the misfiring Beattie, as well as develop in his own right. Moyes clearly doesn't see it this way, which is a shame (but not as much of a shame as seeing his talent squandered in the SPL, where he is mooted to return... The SPL is quickly becoming a graveyard for underachieving Everton talent).

I know that there have been doubts about where to actually play McFadden to get the best out of him, but much better up front in a 4-4-2 role at Everton than anywhere in the SPL. With the recent influx of (in theory) quality players to Everton, surely McFadden should be seen more as another genuine creative option rather than the lost soul he currently is? I can dream!

I think he's a star in the making, and if the powers that be at the club actually take heed of Terry Butcher — we could rue letting him go.
Andrew Conroy, Stoke-on-Trent  (7/9/5)

You could well be right but sadly it doesn't look like McFadden will be given the chance he needs, playing up front in a 4-4-2 formation. It clearly won't under Moyes, except when the pressure is on after we are chasing games, having started 4-5-1 and dropping a goal or two. Unable to score with that formation, DM switches to 4-4-2 with 20 mins to go, presumably in a forlorn hope that somehow this will enable them to score. If I see this gameplan acted out one more time, I swear it really will be sledgehammer time...

Ooops... Kinda lost it a bit there... must get behind Moyes and the team... finished fourth... fantastic signings... Champions League... great prospects for the season... Carlsey is on the verge of a return... Naysmith is as fit as any of them and ready to jump straight out of his hospital bed... IMWT. — Ed


Wally Smith
Sorry to stick with this topic and I've no idea why so many people are talking about it right now but I have to defend Walter Smith a little. To say he is the worst manager of all time is a little harsh. He did make some crazy decisions towards the end and showed clear desperation in signings such as Ginola but I remember when he took over from Howard he stabilized the ship from what was a terrible side.

For the following season, he saved us from almost certain relegation albeit only just. For that reason, I will always be thankful. For his later efforts in his term, I agree, he was crap. That 'Boro FA Cup game was shocking and made me sick to my stomach.

Gazza actually did pretty well for us and if you remember Moysey wanted him to stay. Other fairly good signings were Gravesen, Stubbs, Weir, Campbell (apart from stupid wages), Radzinski (ouch), errr, that’s it. I guess my indecision in writing this shows why it’s such a debatable topic. No-one else would touch the poisoned chalice at the time either. I think most Evertonians have a mixed view on Walter but he wasn’t all bad.

I hope the whole Walter Smith topic comes to a close in this forum shortly and we should concentrate on the future rather than the past. A top 10 finish would be a reasonable consolidation effort considering we've not had back-back top 10 finishes for a very long time.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (07/09/05)

Three years in to Wally's reign, the general perception was that he was doing a great job. There were a few lone voices who had the temerity to question his wisdom on this forum, but they were quickly rounded upon and beaten to a pulp. However, events proved them right... not that I would condone such abject negativity, mind you. We are fully supportive of the current manager and all he is trying to do to put Everton back were they belong. IMWT! — Ed


Miopic Moyes
God, that man winds me up! I swore I would save any further comment on The Maestro until January but his idiotic defence of 4-5-1 totally overlooks the fact that `the big boys` all have top-quality strikers the like of which he has failed to secure!

How short sighted can he be! Having chosen to sign a team of defenders and midfield players and to overlook our obvious priority, he then has the cheek to say tactics are decided by what he has available! Well, they are all of his choice so if it doesn`t work out perhaps he can officially adapt to 4-6-0 which ,in reality, is what it`s been since last Christmas!
David Hall, Taunton  (7/09/05)

Ouch! Bit tough on old Moysie, aren't you, eh David? He did get us to fourth place and a chance to qualify for the real money-spinning section of the Champions League, after all. Those (so I am led to believe) are the primary credentials on which he should be judged, and then supported to the hilt. So let's be having less of this critical analysis, please. IMWT — Ed


Wonderous Wally

I write in response to the recently posted article by Nick Armitage. Having read it there is only one thing I can say.....ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON FELLA.

In my mind there is no doubt Walter Smith is the worst Everton manager of all time. (Before anybody throws Walker's name into the ring, lets not forget he only got 10 months; Smith got four years!)... I shudder to think where we'd be now if he hadn't gone when he did. Also, is there any coincidence that Man Utd didn't win for the first eight games after Walter was given his 'jobs for the boys' role by his old mate Fergie... soon got shut, didn't they?

Walter Smith 'a good manager'....MY ARSE!!
Neil  Vaughan, Wirral  (07/09/05)

In my own humble opinion, Walter Smith will go down as the manager who *almost* forced me to turn my back on attending Everton matches. You'd encounter greater tactical nous in a Sunday park league! "Jobs for the boys" iz rite la! Nice suits though... - Colm


Overlooked?

I can't seem to find any evidence to whether our further venture into Europe is going to be televised. Five seem to be showing Bolton... no news from Sky or BBC.

I'd love to go but I am holding out for a group game and .... of course the final in Eindhoven (room is booked on 7 day cancellation policy.. now there's optimism for you !!) Could it be they are awaitng kick off details given that it has only been announced today ??

I cannot believe we will be overlooked... but then I am an Evertonian and its something I get used to !!
Paul Kellett, Parbold, Lancs  (06/09/05)

Viewers throughout Britain can watch Everton's (hopeful) progress in the Uefa Cup live and exclusive on ITV 2. John Barnes must be gutted over on Channel 5. - Colm


All In Price
Big WOW! If you pay £299-00 for a day out, you get a ticket for the Dinamo Bucharest game. Value? £3-50. For £299-00 I want free taxi to the airport, Free Ale and meals on board the flight and in Bucharest and I want to sit with Tim Cahills missus. I see we don't need 50 vouchers from last christmas onwards for this one either. Lesson learned? I don't think so.
Cheap Skate, The Bank  (06/09/05)

Psssssttt! For an extra £299 we could get you seated beside Mikel Arteta's missus! Put it this way Mr. Cheap Skate - his missus and Nil Satis Nisi Optimum go hand in hand. Oooo-err, missus....... - Colm


Knee Jerk

I must admit to a bit of a chuckle when I read some letters on here. Everyone is panicking about a lack of striker, then bandy names like Camara and Phillips around. I see Darren Bent is the next best thing, because he got off to a good start.

Baros and Bellamy have gone, and it's 'Dithering Dave'. We need a pacy striker, then the manager is criticised for not getting Keane. Having quoted all those names, I would suggest that DM should be criticised for letting Radzinski go because his goals record stands with comparison to most, if not all those names. He also posseses the quality the doubters cry out for..pace. Yet, I seem to remember he was slated when he left.

The fact is we needed a striker in January. We got one in Beattie. His record again, is better than most previously mentioned. Unfortunately our qualification for the qualifying round of the CL made many fans arrogant and I detected a sense of a divine right to enter the group stages. We were beaten by a better side over two legs, and there would have been plenty more of that if we'd have got through. We are not great, but we are not bad.

The progress made is marked. We have finished two of the last three seasons in the higher echelons of the Premiership. We were NOT even close to relegation in the middle season. The players were a disgrace in the last five games. Both Moyes and Kenwright deserve credit for this progress. They are not perfect by any means, but the majority of clubs would love to be where we are.

Personally, I am old school and I will swop progress in both Euro competitions to win the Carling or FA Cup. Again, I now detect that the Uefa Cup and the likes are not good enough for some. Get real!
Christian Vaughan, Wirral  (05/09/05)

I agree that many have lost the run of themselves a little, forgetful of the steady improvement(s) made thus far. It's so typically Everton though that the Club leaves itself open to criticism for not moving "to the next level" when the chance arises. (Can I just state for the record that I hate that term!) Like yourself, I would gladly settle for some domestic success this term. Would be nice, for a change... - Colm


Whose life was hell?
I can well believe Walter Smith made Thomas Myhre's life hell. After all, the bugger made my life hell and I was just watching. Can we just expunge the records of Walter 'No Laughing on the Team Bus' Smith's management period and pretend it never happened? He made Gordon Lee look like Howard Kendall. I will never forgive him for his time at Everton. Some say he could be Ferguson's successor. I can only hope!
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (09/06/05)

"I'm very disappointed with your attitude young man. I left my mark on Goodison Park and for that you should all be extremely thankful." - Walter Smith (Guest Letters Editor)


End of the road

The season we are now in is 2005-06; the past is over and we look forward to the future, so where are we now? To quote a phrase:
1 17th in the Premiership
2 Out of the champions league
3 Negative goal difference
4 Played 5 lost 4
5 No recognised strikers
6 An ageing squad
7 A number of players injured
8 A manager who is incapable of signing effective strikers

Yes, Everton fans, that's where we start now... so where next? Portsmouth is an absolutely must-win game; Arsenal, referring to my previous comments, is an even more must win game [note, Ed!]

The season before last springs to mind. Under dithering Dave we are not, once again, looking like winning anything. Get rid of Moyes now; he's reached his zenith.
Andrew Fairfoull, england  (06/09/05)

Seventeenth in the Premiership yet only three points behind Arsenal. With only 35 games left. We're doomed! We also had a negative goal difference last season - didn't do too badly from what I recall! Played five lost four. I recall, again, us losing our first two games back in 1984/95. Did we panic then? Nah, went on to win the Championship. With a new points record. Not saying we'll do that this season but we're not (yet) on Death Row awaiting our fate sealed. As for Moyes reaching his Zenith - oh dear, that brings back bad memories of Crystal Palace on a dreary day at Wembley. Maybe we should bring back Walter..... - Colm


Tickets for Dinamo Bucharest
I don’t usually write in to message boards or forums as I am not much good at it, and mostly other fans say much the same as I would anyway but my good god am I heartily sick of the so called ‘People's Club’. I e.mailed the ‘People's Club’ on Friday 2nd September to ask when the ticket allocation information be available. The reply was short and sweet below is the answer; We should have more information about the Dinamo fixture early next week. Regards Everton Box Office Now I have checked the website every day since then, in fact three or four times a day... all I seem to see is the ticker tape message saying ‘Villarreal news’ what is going on in that club?? Who is running it? They seem to be totally inept at sorting out anything at all from the evidence so far.

My friends have been banging on about the way the club has been mismanaged for what seems like forever but I really didn’t want to hear anything negative about Everton as it would seem well disloyal in some way. Well, I (amongst, I presume, many others) are all getting more and more disillusioned with Everton Football Club and they really need to sort themselves out and soon! There are only nine days to sort out travel etc. Mr Wyness has been asked to comment on this ticket fiasco on the local radio tonight on 95.8 FM. I am looking forward to his take on this but I won’t hold my breath as I would probably be dead by 10pm tonight!!
Snowy , South Liverpool  (06/09/05)

What we have heard is that the Dinamo Bucharest ground is tiny (cap. 15,300) and that there are plans underway to have the game switched to the National Stadium. The process is obviously taking time, and of course it's Everton who get the blame, when this is not really their fault.

They are guilty of not communicationg this to the fans, and of not setting a minimumm number, say 1,500 fans, who could be assured of priority tickets, where-ever the match is held. But please.. don't be negative! — Ed


Keane and Tactics
Thank you Colm for putting me right on a few aspects of Mr Keane. You will have to forgive my ignorance as I do not spend time looking at Spurs. However he apparently is still not the out-and-out striker that we reputably need.

As regards tactics, I see SAF has dropped the 4-5-1 formation because:-

a) It does not provide enough attacking options, and by inference not enough scoring opportunities.

b) The lone sriker tends to be isolated.

Clearly the 4-5-1 is a defensive tactic for not losing a game rather than going out to win. Enough said.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (06/09/05)


Dave Randle's Great Lettter
Sort of sums this site up to me; nobody wants to be negative, but hey, We are Everton! If anything can go wrong, it does. But when it goes right, it's enuff to make your heart go whoa whoa whoa!!

Had the misfortune to go on the Kipper site this week, never again... it's like a hundred yobs comin down your road kickin bins over and ya really want to say something but ya can't!
Stephen Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (06/09/05)

Now don't be going over there, Stephen! You know better than that. — Ed


Apology
"Irony does not come across well on the Internet, obviously. It was my smartarse response to the stupid stories in a number of places over the weekend (including the Official Everton Website) talking about busting some myth that Neville only got selected because he was a Man Utd player! I mean, who comes up with this stuff? — Ed"

Sorry for jumping to conclusions, of course I remember reading those very same reports. Eddy.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (5/09/05)

No problem, Eddy: I need to work on the manner of my delivery :) Ed


Reading the comments of late
I do confess to agreeing on forums that this site is starting to gain a pessemistic view. Certain articles and titles have really seemed to provide a satirical view on Everton and one I personally feel is slightly mis-represented. Rob Fox is an oustanding writer who provides much needed relief for those that feel things aren't as bad as it may be portrayed at times.

I don't want to be brainwashed with positive thinking across the board or read a site with a completely positive outlook on the club. But please, can we not get a better mix of objective views? I see the effort that goes into keeping an open environment that doesn't restrict opinion, but perhaps the mix of positive and negative could be better managed.

If this site is being labeled a pessimistic environment can it not be addressed by countering every pessemitic arguement/article with the optimistic side? Whether that be in the same piece or as a rebuttal or completely separate piece? Such objectivity will go a long way to improving the overall impression of a site I used to check every day, when I awoke.
Gary Keey, DC, USA  (05/09/05)

We have ALWAYS been accused of negativity, so there's nothing new there. Even when we publish hugely positive articles, these are commonly ignored by those who, for some unfathomable reason, rate our perceived negativity well above our declared role: being informative regarding day-to-day Everton news and opinions. With that role comes a self-imposed duty to realism.

There is plenty of positive spin out there on the web — just look at how everyone else without fail gobbled up the Carsley/Krøldrup "injury boost" story. Yet the truth is we are still neck deep in a massive injury crisis, with seven (yes, count them) first-team players unavailable. But that's not positive, uplifting news, is it? Best not tell anyone that. Instead, let's make a big splash about the fact that two of our crocked players are finally ready to start training again, and play down the fact that they are still a few weeks away from actually playing in the first team, where they are desperately needed.

It all depends what you want to know about Everton. In this case, I want to know when they will be playing in the first team. It's nice to know they are making progress, which is what you'd expect. But that is in no way an "injury boost". And they are at it again with Naysmith, who's latest news is, in all reality, pretty bad. But no, there's this gem at the end:

"But the good news for the player is that, despite his injury, he did complete the bulk of the pre-season work so when he does eventually return he will not be too far behind his team-mates."

Oh aye right... he hasn't played for 6 months, he's now laid up in hospital with an infected surgical wound (of the kind that ended Ebbrell's career), but the good news is, he's not too far behind his team-mates!!! Give me a break!

As for providing a better balance, I can assure you that pretty much everything we receive gets published. The exceptions are pieces repeating what others have already said; badly written pieces that need too much editing; and long pieces that again need too much editing (methinks this response is rapidly heading in that direction!). So, the onus is on folks like you with a positive disposition to send in your upbeat articles. Simple! The Blue Pen awaits... Ed


Thank you, Rob Fox
For the "Merry-go-round" piece. I'm glad someone has the balls to point out how ridiculous it is to obsess over transfers that never were - and how lucky we are to have Moyes.
Sam Morrison, Bristol  (5/9/05)


Cynicism
Quote...
"while Phil Neville sat on the England bench, suggesting that he only got games for England when he was a Man Utd player"...
That thought process is pathetic.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (5/09/05)

Irony does not come across well on the Internet, obviously. It was my smartarse response to the stupid stories in a number of places over the weekend (including the Official Everton Website) talking about busting some myth that Neville only got selected because he was a Man Utd player! I mean, who comes up with this stuff? — Ed


Not so Keen on Keane
I see the rumour mill in the papers has not let up and expressing a view that David Moyes will go for Keane in January.

I have to say I am not impressed by Keane, he is not an out-and-out striker and I was under the impression that is what is needed. I am trying to see what it is that DM sees in Keane and all I can come up with is that he puts in a lot of effort. Keane strikes me as being very similar to Beattie. However isn't Keane a lot older, I have to admit that I do not know his age but am pretty sure he is closer to 30 than we would really like.

Can anyone out there in Toffeeland explain what is so good about Keane and what Moyes sees in him?
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (05/09/05)

Have we been watching the same player Robert? Similar to Beattie? Keane older than Beattie? For starters, he is two years younger than Beattie, just gone 25 two months back. In precisely what way is Keane similar to Beattie? I would think one of the reasons Moyes was in for Keane on deadline day (aside from the last minute panic of not securing a goalscorer) was that Keane, like Phil Neville, is ready-made to play in numerous positions for Mr Moyes - a luxury within such a small squad. - Colm


Never Happy
Whilst I agree with a lot of what has been said recently about David Moyes not taking the plunge and aggressively signing top class talent, I do think the name calling and negative comments towards our Manager are unwarranted. He's come into an organisation that was destined for the Championship (if not further, see Nottm Forest). We had no organisation, no spirit and no hope. He's now got us in the mix, we have a realistic chance in every game we play in... we are expected to challenge for a Uefa spot and we are starting to build a squad. This isn't an overnight process, even Chelski took a while to get it right.

People talk about boring tactics but he's using the players he's got to get us results. What do people want? To score 70 goals a season and get relegated or continue to progress? We've been bitching about not spending money and he's spent money, Ferrari and Krøldrup look like class signings. Valente and van der Meyde look like steals... Neville has made impacts in all the games hes played in, so what's the big gripe!!

I agree we need striking options but to be honest Beattie has had zero service (which hopefully AvdM can fix)... so in my view the jury's still out!!
Rog Dog, Portsmouth  (5/9/05)

If you're happy with a negative goal difference, one lucky win in the last seven competitive games, being out of the Champions League, and a fully fledged injury crisis, then we are happy for you too. — Ed


Rob Fox
Thank you Rob Fox for your latest offering. I enjoyed it immensely. Love the way you portray Souness and Bruce. Good stuff.
Dylan DeLoretta, Honolulu, Hawaii  (04/09/05)


The Forum
I've signed up for the Forum but I can't access it. Please advise this village idiot what to do. Some clarification of the subtle differences between the Forum, Mailbag, Fans Comment and the People's Forum would also assuage my suspicion that this website is becoming too complicated for its own good.
Tony Waring, Frogmore  (04/09/05)

Tony (and anyone having similar troubles), please e-mail the webmaster via the feedback form with the exact username with which you signed up and we'll get you sorted. Meanwhile, here's some explanation of the various ways fans can have their views aired on the site:

ToffeeWeb Forum -- a new message-board style interface for posting your thoughts on Everton and others can submit replies in the same thread to develop the discussion. The forum is are moderated.

The People's Forum -- the same kind of thing but with a different threaded layout and not as much Everton-related content. It is not owned or run by ToffeeWeb but we link to it for historical reasons, and it remains one of the liveliest sites for Everton fans on the Web.

ToffeeWeb Mailbag -- the opportunity for fans to send in letters and e.mail to the site on Everton-related issues but which are vetted and edited by our staff and not all submissions are published. Just like writing in to a newspaper or magazine, we may offer a comment in response but there is no discussion element

Fans Comment -- Full-length articles submitted by our readers. Responses to the pieces may be published but, again, there is no discussion element to the page.

As you can see, they're all quite different and they offer you a varied way of having your say — Webmaster


TV Schedule
Fox Soccer Channel in the USA is showing the 91 FA Cup 5th Round game versus Liverpool. I can't get enough of Cottee's two late, late equalizers. It's on FSC on Monday 5 September at 1pm EDT / 10 am PDT ... drag some of your kopite friends in front of a TV and bask in the glory of our eventual win.
Paul McGinty, Brielle, USA  (03/09/05)

I remember that.. a cracking game.


Dermot Duffy
I’ve just read Dermot Duffy’s Falling Standards piece and was immediately struck by the strength and eloquence of his writing. So much so that I, being what he would probably consider a long-term doom monger, found myself agreeing with his comments on the unbearable negativity (sic) promoted by the site and its editors. My short-term return to the ‘other side’ was checked almost immediately as I started to read Lyndon’s quasi-apologetic response. Apologise? What on earth for?

This site is all about opinion.

The contributors to the site seem to be split between two camps, the first being the doom-mongers (that’s me!) and the second being those that are steadfast in their refusal to consider anything that’s said or written that bears even the slightest hint of negativity about our club.

I don’t think there’s an Evertonian alive that would doubt that we have made significant progress under Moyes, (I’d personally give him a ten-year contract and fast) or doubt the wholly (striker and goalkeeper excepted) improved quality of the squad for this coming season, but does that mean Moyes or the club are above criticism? I certainly don’t think it does.

I truly believe we have missed the best opportunity we have had for years to cement our place as a genuine regular contender for a European place. Why? Because, come the New Year when our lack of goals means we sit in mid-table, we are immediately a far less attractive proposition for potential transfers, which in turn means no European place, which means less cash, which means not competing at the higher end of the transfer market, which means we sit in mid-table……………ad infinitum.

Aside from the very recent transfer market issues that have been well publicised on this website, my status as a cynical blue is not something that came into being over night, it’s the result of years of boardroom lies and disappointment. The result of the 1995 FA Cup Final ticket debacle, King’s Dock failures, Fortress Sport Fund failures, bogus bids (Barry Ferguson, Michael Owen and Alan Shearer — remember that one?!), collapsed NTL deals, the giveaway of WR to the world’s richest club and even my perception that our Chairman is nothing but an egotistical megalomaniac. Given the fact that all of the above took place while our current chairman was on the Board, am I not right to treat every statement he makes and deal in which he is involved with a touch of suspicion? (Any one else hiding behind the settee with embarrassment when he gave that pitch side TV interview prior to the Villarreal game???)

So am I a doom-monger? I really don’t think so, I’m a blue who cares passionately about the club, but who also feels that our off-field activities and the executive management of the club still leave a hell of a lot to be desired. (Villarreal ticket fiasco anyone???) I also believe these issues should be spoken about and that ToffeeWeb is just about the best forum in existence for airing such opinions. If I want absolute positivity, I’ll visit the official site. If I want some uncomfortable truths, I’ll come to Toffeeweb.

As long as our motto remains, I’ll keep on expecting and accepting nothing but the best.

So to Lyndon, Michael, and Colm, keep on keepin’ on. You’re doing a fantastic job!
Dave Randles, Ellesmere Port  (03/09/2005)

Spot on, David. Great assessment!


What happened?
So, what happened to all of the mailbag entries since 28/08/05? Didn't like what they said? Oh dear.
Richard Price, Gloucester, UK  (03/09/05)

We do have that power of censorship... but Google came to our rescue with their cached pages.
No need to apologise for thinking ill of us :)


Pessimism
"we still have what must be the most unskillful, one-paced team in the Premiership."

"so you can't keep harping on about them being crap. I want to see Everton play pacy, skillful football and think the money he's spent should have us a lot closer to that than we are."

From a physiologically point of view, this is a knee-jerk reaction to our bad start from a pessimistic person.

Don't you think Moyes brought in Van der Meyde, Davies and Arteta to bolster our attacking options?? Even Krøldrup was signed to help us play more on the ground.

Keane will sign in January and Beattie will score 15+ goals this season.
Mike Price , Malaysia  (03/09/2005)

... and I will win the lottery.

 


Editorial and columnist stance
Editor: since the end of the transfer window a number of contributors to the mailbag have felt the need to suggest that ToffeeWeb's stance is unduly negative. I would suggest that if ToffeeWeb did not share its view with its readers, then hardly anyone would bother logging on to the website. After all, a non-biased ToffeeWeb would be a news and gossip service. And you can find both of this elsewhere on the web.

Keep up the good work, negativity an all.
J C, Aberfoyle  (02/09/05)

Thanks, JC; much appreciated. We like to think of it as 'realism' rather than 'negativity', but the two seem to be all too easily confused! Cheers!! — Ed


 

Anderson Silva da Franca
Put him into the Squad List please, as he apparently is a player (ie, owned by Everton) and is being loaned out to Malaga for the rest of the year. Put up a member profile on him please.. or am I wrong?
Jorgen Smederod, Sweden  (2/9/05)

Hi Jorgen

I don't really think he is a fully fledged Everton player, to be honest. Everton can't register him with the FA if he does not have a valid work permit. Has money changed hands? We don't know.... How does his former club Montevideo still retain 50% of his rights? And what does that mean? He must be registered to Malaga but he's on loan to them. From whom? It's all a bit mysterious.

But EFC did the same thing with John Ruddy last February, and suckered us into believing he was an Everton player, only to make a great show of 'signing' him at the end of the season, when he finally left Cambridge United. I think we'll just put him in the "Pending" file for the moment and see what happens next year, when he presumably will have an EU passport. — The Editor


 

Cynics and Sycophants
As the unashamed and self-appointed Life President of the former group, I guess the time has come to draw a line under the endless debate on what might have been before that bloody window came down.

As ever, your correspondents seem divided into the two camps. Those who, like me, feel pissed on and let down so often that they have faith in no-one in authority at Goodison, and the others who think Moyes walks on water and really believe in all that People's Club twaddle! Whichever line you follow, you are entitled to your opinion and have every right to express it. Our thanks to ToffeeWeb for providing the forum for us to do so!

We all spend a fortune in the cause of following our club and once kick-off time arrives we seek only one outcome regardless of who is in the team and in what bloody formation they line up! For the first time in his Everton career, Moyes has a playing staff of his own choosing. Every player has been signed-or re-signed by him! Who he could have signed or should have signed is totally academic and we can now concentrate our energy on supporting OUR team in Europe and the Premiership.

With thousands of miles to travel between now and January (when the whole bloody nonsense will start all over again!!!) I have resolved to put all judgements on ice. By then, we shall certainly know which end of the table beckons and Moyes will be well on the way to being either hero or villain. I know what I think, but I pray that I`m wrong and, if I am, I`ll willingly join that other camp... if they`ll have me!
David Hall, Taunton  (2/09/05)

IMWT? Sorry... sorry... I promise I'll stop saying that. Ed


 

On top of the world mar...on top of the world..
I am truly blessed, because once again this year I am an Evertonian.

I cannot write articles dissecting the mind of David Moyes, a man who will forget more about the beautiful game than I will ever know, but one thing I do know is that, whether fighting relegation or challenging for the title, Champions League or Uefa Cup, I will be behind the blues 100%, and it is definitely going to be another roller-coaster.

As for my opinion on a missing goal scorer? The words ring in my ears: 'We're gonna score one more than you!!' And this season, I truly believe that — whoever plays in whatever formation. So sit back, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!!!
Paul Gittens, Runcorn  (02/09/05)

Ah!!! ... the sweet smell of oblivious positivity! Get on it!!! — Ed


 

Lest we forget
Waiting until January is no solution. Next year is World Cup year; come January, any half-decent player will surely ONLY jump ship if Everton are in a stronger league position than them, and we pay the wages they ask for. Without scoring more goals, it won't happen.

Waiting until the summer means waiting until after the World Cup. The only players left within their price range will be scraps or crap.

Yes the signings are positive moves in the majority of areas that needed strengthening (although Valente could have replaced Pistone before the Italian was re-signed), a striker will be sorely missed.

None of the strikers the club has could be called world beaters and certainly in Duncan and Marcus from last year's efforts you cannot doubt their commitment but if they were to leave can they be replaced with anything better? The time for prudent change methinks has been missed.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (02/09/05)

I said we are moving on, Okay? What's done is done. Enough. — Ed


 

In defence of Lyndon
I thought his last article was spot on. We had a massive opportunity with the Champions League and failed to take advantage. There appears to be received wisdom that we can simply repeat that achievement again and again; no chance. EFC quietly knew they had no chance of repeating fourth place and once again budgeted for mid-table mediocrity.

I do not accept Lyndon`s assessment, however, that Beattie is a 20-goal-a-season striker, his average is less than a goal every three games, this very rarely improves with any striker; never do business with Redknapp.

We have added bodies to the squad but delving a bit deeper all the clubs we acquired players from wanted shut of the same. Think Davies; they get Routledge as his replacement and end up financially on the deal. Similarly this habit of buying on tick will only be sustainable if we turn the model of the club into a profitable one highly unlikely in the short-term. By my assessment, having committed for approximately £25M of staged payments on players, we are, once again, spending future revenue.

It is worth noting that Moyes has scuppered his own potential deals (Baros: personal terms agreed, a fee agreed with his club, then at the last minute Moyes, yes he alone, offered £1M less!). I for one am deeply uncomfortable with a manager being that close to the finances of the club, quite simply other than the trust issue it is a recipe for disaster. His remit is that of a coach and he should identify targets and express his interest to the Board. This nonsense of Kuyt and Owen was simply an exercise is misleading akin to Ravenelli and Shearer, I despair at the short memories of Evertonians.

Keep up the good work
Paul Holmes, Liverpool  (02/09/05)

Some characteristically incisive barbs there, Paul, but thanks for your affirmative voice. No doubt people will disbelieve your Baros story, but it illustrates the DD thing (Oh no... I said we were moving on!)

And call me gullible if you like but I still have a problem with people slamming Moyes for talking up his Kuyt and Owen contacts, likening them to the infamous Smith and Shearer bids. I believe they were genuine; in fact, to do anything less is to call David Moyes a blatant liar. I cannot do that. I am amazed at the Evertonians who can... and do. — Ed


 

Feeling Negative?
After the massive anti-climax of the August transfer window, according to the BBC, slamming shut (someone should tell them that it's not a real window), I've been reading some of the reaction from ToffeeWeb.

Now I'm usually a big fan of ToffeeWeb, especially the Rumour links to other sites and the archived match reports, and sometimes the articles as well.

But since the transfer window was pulled shut and locked from the inside, I've found ToffeeWeb's negativity and over dramatics a bit irritating. With quotes like 'Dithering Dave' and 'the wheels on the "In Moyes We Trust" bandwagon falling off' being branded quite regularly, anyone would think we're in deep shit. Far from it from what I can see.

I can just about remember the team of the mid 80's, and the rest of it's filled in with my Golden Goals vids and stuff like that. But more fresh in my memory is the the Team of the 90's and the constant flirtation with relegation and players like Terry Phelan, John Spencer, Vinny Samways and Stuart Barlow. I was going to mention Barry Horne as well since I was never his greatest fan but he's part of the '95 Cup-winning team so I'll let him off. Anyway, looking at the team that we have now compared to those days and this is definitely the best team we've had in about 15 years, and it's all down to David Moyes!

Sure I'm a little frustrated with us not getting what many of us see as the last piece in the jigsaw of a team, but I can also understand how difficult the transfer market's been this year, and really I think Moysie has done well. We've just signed 3 World Class internationals, the highlight of which is surely van der Meyde. All of which have cost less than £4M!

I'm sure that, when the transfer window re-opens in January, Moyes will be looking to bolster the strike force — but not with just anyone. And hopefully, whoever the target is, let's hope they don't get priced out of the market by their clubs, just so they can pay for that midfielder they always wanted.

Here's to the Future
Phil Hughes, Chester  (2/9/05)

 


 

Sledgehammer!!
Fuck me... I didn't realise what I said was so controversial!  Regarding Pistone/Valente, I was trying to say that although Davie might have dithered we are still in a better position now.

I'll admit that I am no tactical expert (not even on CM! I tend to download formations ;)) but I don't think a 4-man midfield would suit the players that we have available at the moment.

I would guess that DM switches to a 4-4-2 after we have conceded because you are more likely to create chances with 2 up front. Although I agree that to win a game you have to score more than your opponents I also have to say that last year we won a lot of games by scoring few goals but conceding less (except for the odd drubbing by the Arse :().

Who would you want to play in the 4-4-2? Davies seems to be the best right sided player we have; on the left, a fit Van der Meyde has to be the preferred option. Neville has shown that he can play the Carsley defensive role but with better distribution, so should play in the centre. Now who would bring the creative spark in the centre? I think that Arteta has more ability on the ball than Cahill but Tim has a habit of arriving late in the box and scoring crucial goals. Would Tim be able to do this with more defensive duties?

I hope you haven't hit the monitor with that sledgehammer yet! If not I will just try to defend my last point.

I wasn't trying to slate any Everton fans when I asked them to stop attacking DM, I was trying to point out that although we haven't got the striker we all wanted we do have probably the best group of players Everton have seen for many years. It's still not the School of Science but it's a shite load better than some of the squads we have had in the past.

I guess for a change I am trying to be positive regarding EFC and their transfers; hopefully I won't be proved wrong!
Iain Cameron, Cambs  (2/9/05)

Amen to that! Sorry I went off on you a bit there, Iain. Computer remains remarkably intact — Ed


 

Phew!
Thank God for Dermot Duffy and his "Falling Standards" piece dated 1st September. Dermot, I thank you wholeheartedly for putting forth (to a word) the opinions of many of us who have become perplexed by the insidiousness of website contributors.

I shall continue to keep ToffeeWeb as my homepage, but sincerely hope that the TW team's "frustrated negativity" spiked in tandem with the closure of the transfer window — and will not become a permanent editorial stance on what is still by far the best Everton related website.
Laurent Corneille, London  (02/09/005)

Yes, I think it is high time to draw a line under all that nonsense and move forward with the new season... which is now on hold for another week while we have an International Break....

So... What are we all gonna talk about? — Ed


 

We did finish 4th from top didn't we?!
Let me get this straight: Everton are currently the fourth best team in England; our manager was voted the best by his peers, even though he hasn't won a trophy yet! Our 4th best squad is now stronger than last season and supporters still aren't happy??!!

This so-called Everton website constantly errs on the side of despondency; just look at the smartarse editors replies and the current downbeat ToffeeWeb poll entitled Own Goal (I thought it should have read Owen Goal).. I do agree that it's all about opinions but for chrissakes what do our supporters want? Unless a manager has the supreme luck of the devil (like Beneathus) it takes 3-5 yrs to build a solid team which can challenge for honours, just look at the records of all the great managers... and as for the comments about Newcastle/Spurs/Man city/Charlton, can someone tell me where they finished last season and who they have signed to make their squads stronger than ours?

Make no mistake, though we all have players we like to slag off, this current squad did what it had to do last season under severe pressure, they've proven to themselves that they're a good side and we've just added quality to it. Do people really think we've taken a backward step?
Tommy G, Aintree  (02/09/05)

This may come as a bit of a shock to you since you seem to be living in the past... so take a deep breath make sure you are sitting down.

Everton are currently the 17th-best team in the country. Painful, init? See, that's what the rest of us are feeling. And do you know what's worse? At this time last season, we were seventh.

Yes, we might be fourth again at some stage this season. But it will take an awful long time for us to get up there. But take heart: game for game, we are bang on track. A win against Portsmouth and a loss at Arsenal and we will still be bang on track for the same points total as last season. But David Moyes said he was aiming higher than that. To get there, we really needed those three points on offer at Fulham. — Ed


 

Boyhood Blue My Arse!
I grew up in Kirkby but moved down Saarf when me arl fella was looking for work. Although I don't live in Liverpool now, I'm from a proper scouse family (10 kids), all Blue. I thought I was a bit tasty at togger and used to dream about pulling on the Royal Blue jersey and scoring at Goodison as we all have I'm sure.

What I don't get is this. I'm Michael Owen and I'm a so-called boyhood blue. I get picked up by the shite and think, OK it's not ideal, but how else am I going to make 100 grand a week. I then get transferred to Real Madrid. Now at this point I've got more money than I could ever spend unless I'm married to my missus... but if I WAS Michael Owen I wouldn't be. I get told that I'm not going to get a game this season and I could move back to England.

The three teams in for me are the shite, Newcastle and Everton. Now think about it. I'm a true blue. How long would it take you to decide? Fuck me if I was Michael loadsamoney Owen (and I was a boy-hood blue) if we were playing in the Nationwide Conference League I'd sign for Everton before the Shite or the Bar Codes. I could have explained the fact that I played for the Shite and scored against Everton on the fact I was young and didn't know what I was doing. Why? Because I'm a fucking Evertonian!!!

I hope his fucking hamstring snaps in his first game the little red nosed twat! The same goes for Rooney! Boy-Hood Blue My Arse! Colin - Northampton
Colin Drury, Northampton  (01/09/2005)

It is strange how difficult it seems to be for the average fan to have any empathy whatsoever with the mindset of the beasts they love to love and hate. — Ed


 

The day after the night
Yes, it is day 1 ATD (after transfer deadline). What is done or not done is done (or not!) and cannot be changed.

Reading all the mailbags and comments on the forum it is fantastic that there are so many supporters out there who are so passionate about our club irrespective of what view you hold or camp you are in. It is this which makes the website so great. The reading of all the comments has for me been tremendous, they each have their own value not only can we have digs at the Board, the Manager but also the Editor and contributors. It is this sort of contribution which keeps the site alive and kicking.

However, moving on and looking at the question of tactics... Yes, I have criticised DM in the employment of 4-5-1 but perhaps I may have misjudged him. Could it be that DM is ahead of his time? Consider since DM sprang this on the Premiership and got some results, even people like SAF, Mourhino and others have copied!! Even Erickson is going to use this against the Welsh with Rooney upfront. So have we so called doom and gloom merchants been guilty of misjudging DM? It is a very difficult question to answer.

Also consider in a match if both teams are playing 4-5-1, is this the pattern of the future to have highly mobile and skilful attacking midfielders who can sprint forward, score and equally fall back to clog up the midfield when required?

Are we seeing a fundamental change in the game just as Sir Alf Ramsay sprang on the world with his wingless wonders or (if you like) 4-3-3? Could it be that DM is collecting those players who can successfully operate this tactic and discarding those who have fallen short, such as Kilbane perhaps McFadden?

Perhaps it is us the supporters who have been blinded by our own aspirations or hopes that have not had the foresight to appreciate that maybe, just maybe, DM has a masterplan. Of course, masterplans have to be kept secret otherwise they are useless. One cannot rightfully expect DM to reveal all.

So yes, all us so-called doom-and-gloom merchants should perhaps be a bit more cheerful and appreciate that we do have a manager who does make mistakes but is ahead of his time — and really is the future.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (1/9/05)

 


 

Get off his back
I cannot believe that so-called Evertonians are slagging Davey Moyes off! He has worked miracles for our club and at last given us hope for the future. We can at last go to games and feel confidence in "our team". People have short memories; before Moyes came, we were going to the game expecting to lose.

There is a saying: "You can't put lipstick on a pig." This is true in most cases, however, I feel Moyes did this last season he turned a team full of grafters into "a top-four side". It is time to back Davey Moyes in his bid for silverware and I don't think we will be waiting long.
Frank Burrage, Northwich  (01/09/05)

Cute. Sounds something like a cross between turd-polishing and the silk purse / sow's ear thing. File under: "In Moyes We Trust", — and we'll check back with you in the spring regarding that silverware... Ed


 

Less of the depression
People are getting overly down on Moyes for not signing a striker. Signings like Valente, Krøldrup, Davies, van der Meyde and even P Neville look to be top-quality additions to the side [if they all stay fit]. Strikers of the same international quality are few and far between. We may have had no chance of getting Owen or Kuyt, but they are the class we need to be aiming for. And if there were none available this summer, well then we have to make do, not waste money on lower quality.

Robbie Keane for 7/8/10M? Nugent for 2M or more? I don't think these would be value. One respondent thinks we should have picked up Camara and Phillips. I certainly don't. Maybe Andy Johnson would have worked, but maybe not. Bellamy ditto. Govou was rumoured to be coming if we'd made CL, which would have fitted. But we didn't get through, so we missed out.

Boro have spent over 30M in last few years looking for that 20-goal-a-season man, and it hasn't worked yet. We can't afford to do that. If we end up playing 4-3-3 with Davies and van der Meyde supporting from wings this year, that's a big improvement on 4-5-1 with Kilbane and Osman/Watson/Carsley last year. And if we stay as solid at the back, with extra attacking potential, then I'll be happy.

So cheer up; Villarreal was a tough draw, that is what cost us the CL, not Moyes's dithering. If we can make it through next year, we'll be back in for the likes of Kuyt again. And maybe we'll get them then.

But seriously, less of the depression. Eight [or five anyway] decent signings. Not a bad summer's work.
Dermot Corrigan, Dublin, Ireland  (01/09/05)

 


 

A little rational thinking, please
With everyone seemingly obsessed with the fact we haven't signed a striker and seeming despondent to the point of topping themselves (if you do, hanging leaves no mess to clean up), maybe it's time to take a deep breath, take a step back and examine the reasons for some of our so-called 'missed opportunities':

1. Keane: At first, didn't want to come. Then Spurs held up any deal because they couldn't sign the one from Livorno they were after.

2. Nugent: A diehard Blue, wants to come here but Preston slaps a silly 5M price tag on him. He's worth 1.5M tops and will be even cheaper in January if Preston's promotion hopes are fading.

3. Forssell: Talented, sure, but with a knee held together by little more than twine. One mistimed tackle and he's history. Definitely not worth the risk on our finances.

4. Bellamy: If a player starts demanding to be played in a certain position and wants to know who else you're signing before he will, who's running the team? The player or the manager?

5. Owen: Get serious. The fact he became a star at Anfield means he'd never sign for us. There's no way he'd subject his family to the resulting abuse.

6. Kuyt: 12M? If we'd gone for him (or Owen), would we have been able to land all the players who have improved the team in other areas: Valente, Ferrari, Neville and van der Meyde?

7. Anyone else: Were we even bidding on anyone else, or was it media drivel?

Bottom line is we'll never know why none of these deals materialized unless Moyes himself tells us and I fail to see how any of the above are his 'fault.' And I believe it's far better to spread the goals throughout the team (and Beattie will start scoring in a 4-4-2 with improved service from/or a partnership with van der Meyde) than rely on one main man who could be lost through injury, which would set the club much farther back.

This team has traded up a long way from the Ford Focus that was two seasons ago, yet too many of us can only see the fact the new model doesn't have a CD player.
Steve Green, London, Canada  (1/9/05)

It's always helpful to have things rationalized as all being part of a well thought-out plan that we are following. Right now, I can hear Rob Fox tapping away on another massive tome that will pick up on this point, and I'm sure it will help us all feel a lot better. — Ed


 

There's gratitude for you!
I can't believe I'm reading some of the recent mailbag offerings. Come on people. Have a bit of faith. DM got us to 4th last season, and whilst we over-achieved to an extent, I don't think that top six is beyond our capabilities this season.

Yes, we were all hoping for another striker to give us some more attacking options, but you can't expect the manager to panic-buy when the right players obviously weren't available at the right price. DM has got to show faith in Beattie until Christmas at least — £6.5M demands that he does.

Let's have some faith in the lad - Beattie is a confidence striker, and history shows that the goals tend to flow for him once he's got into the groove. And to the wag who suggested that we had a decent strike-force in our relegation years, you've got a very short memory! Brett Angell, Paul Rideout, Stuart Barlow, Daniel Amokachi, Ibrahima Bakayoko, Mickael Madar — all mediocre at best, but mostly useless.
Richard Price, Gloucester, UK  (01/09/05)

Panic-buy? You're 'avin a laff, surly??? He had three frigging months; by his own admission, he tried to get Kuyt and Owen. So he's showing faith in Beattie, eh? You are the Master of Spin and that's another £5 to me. — Ed


 

The importance of being optimistic
I stood in the dusty Thai street with no name, facing the flea-bitten dog. It grrrred with intent and licked the foam from its lips. Toothpaste, I hoped. I've always been an optimist.... That's not so easy if you're an Everton fan.

I went through the whole spectrum of emotions whilst spending the best part of a Wednesday with the circus that was the Sky Sports News Michael Owen love in. There was relief at the signing of van der Meyde, amusement as Sky Sports proclaimed how the Barcodes were the best fans in the world.

Our team need our support, not our criticism leave that to the media. Moyes will not, should not, cannot afford to buy the wrong player for our team. We want players who are hungry for success, who are on the up, and that love the club (if such a player truly exists). I have to admit I was disappointed by there being a perceived lack of approach for Nugent, whilst I cant understand the mass hysteria surrounding party-boy Robbie Keane. Whilst I agree a striker is a priority, our existing ones contributed well to get us here and will now benefit from the increased creativity that our midfield possesses.

OK, so maybe the Champions League seems a long way away, but relegation fodder were not. There are enough goals in the team to challenge for a Uefa cup place; this is a more realistic goal and something that we can sustain.

Were running the risk of being buried under an avalanche of our own making. We all need a bit of a reality check. This is the best Everton side in years and easily better than last years team. Sure others have improved but so have we and its early days yet.

We are the best fans in the league, we need to get behind the lads so they can come out all guns blazing; there will be time for inquests later. So what I'm saying is, be brave enough to be an optimist.

In Moyes I still trust.
Stefan Duval, Telford, UK  (1/9/05)

 


 

Invisible signing?
Does anyone know about a Brazilian midfielder called Anderson Silva? Apparently we signed him on a free from Racing Santander at the start of the summer but couldn't get a work permit. We've now loaned him out to Malaga until January while we sort out a work permit and it may be extended for the season so that he can claim Spanish citizenship (as he would have lived there for three years). I haven't heard of us signing him and I was wondering whether toffee-web, with your inside and excellent knowledge, know anything about this.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (01/09/05)

We covered this story in the Rumour Mill a few weeks back. Seems the deal was done. Lyndon


 

Wot!! No Striker!!
It's unbelievable isn't it.... I, like countless other poor sodding Evertonians, kept scanning Sky Sports last night [whilst unbeknown to us, Davey was off playing golf!!], hoping against hope that we would see Everton had actually bought a striker — which is what we so desperately need. Why did we bother? We might have known it was all hype and we weren't going to buy anyone.

Does anyone else seriously believe Everton FC offered that cash for Michael Owen? I don't. I think it is all a smoke-screen to keep us poor sods hoping and praying. Anyone for cricket?
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (1/9/05)

 


 

Transfer window blues!
I can't believe how negative all of us blues are. I know we are in desperate need of a quality striker but it isn't the only area of the team that needed addressing.

Last season our back four did a good job but weir and Stubbs weren't getting any younger. We now have Yobo, Krøldrup, Ferrari and Weir to cover central defense with Valente finally pushing Pistone back onto the bench.

The midfield is looking stronger than ever although we do miss Tommy. We don't appear to have a player who can grab hold of a game and control it like he did at the beginning of last season but the overall quality is much improved.

Before we can risk playing a 4-4-2 we need to ensure that the defense and midfield are strong enough to cope without having Carsley or Neville just sitting in front of the back four.

If we had of signed a top-class forward, who would we have wanted to drop from our midfield to allow him to play?

Would Cahill or Arteta be dropped or would we look to drop our dedicated holding player? I don't see Cahill being half as effective in a 4-man midfield as he wouldn't be able to get forward as much as he would need to worry about defending more.

My rambled point is that we have had a successful season based on the 4-5-1 which suited the players that we had at the time. We still don't appear to have a group of players who would fit well into the 4-4-2 but we are slowly getting there. Instead of attacking DM why don't we appreciate the good players that he has signed for us and get back to supporting the team!
Iain Cameron, Cambs  (1/9/05)

"with Valente finally pushing Pistone back onto the bench." Err... I think you're forgetting something... cart before the horse? Valente would not even be at Everton if Pistone hadn't crocked himself in that challenge on Pederson.

"Before we can risk playing a 4-4-2.." I'll admit I'm not the greatest football tactician but will somebody please explain to my why, if 4-4-2 is such a risk, does David Moyes invariably (although usually far too late — cf Fulham) switch to 4-4-2 after we go a goal down? After all, as some bright sparks on here have pointed out, the primary object of the game is to score goals.

Here's another one: "If we had signed a top-class forward, who would we have wanted to drop from our midfield to allow him to play?" I am now going to drive sledge-hammer directly through my keyboard....

But before I do: "Instead of attacking DM why don't we appreciate the good players that he has signed for us and get back to supporting the team!" Please go away and read exactly what Lyndon wrote so eloquently on those good players, and then go away altogether for implying that anyone who takes the trouble to write in to the website (let alone the poor sods who run it) do not support the team!

Right... Sledge-hammer!!!Ed


 

Moan, moan, moan
Best squad we've had in years, and the best manager for a long time, also the Board has backed the manager with substantial funds. And yet still the majority of e.mails on this site come from a bunch whinging miserable know-alls. One letter was even bemoaning the fact we finished fourth last year.

We've come a long way under Moyes; highest place finish from 1996-97 to 2001-02 was 13th — they were the years (and there are a lot of them) when it was time to have a moan. Moyes has had us 7th and 4th (with one bad year in between) and built a squad of players that far out-ways the dross of the previous years.

Moyes has built well, and a striker would have been the icing on the cake but that's not to be. Moyes believes Beattie is the man and I believe in Moyes. If he looked at other strikers but couldn't find one to suit then well do with what we have. All those banging on about Keane would do well to remember his contract is up next year so perhaps even a cut-price deal for him in January may still happen; our season wont be over by then (those thinking he is a 20-goal-a-season man, look again at his record: he's not!).

This club is progressing under Moyes. Instead of moaning, start getting behind the team the manager and dare I say it on this website Bill Kenwright. Enough of this negativity, give me some positive thoughts.
Ste Summers, Liverpool  (01/09/2005)

"bunch whinging miserable know-alls"... So what exactly does that make you and the rest of the minority, ya numpty! It's all about opinions: everybody has one. And note that I deleted the disgusting advice you offered to your fellow Evertonians, so be thankful I even published this much. Ed


 

The names of the players that Davie dithered over
Dear Editor,

I'm in agreement that dithering David Moyes is to blame for the lack of a new striker. Christ, the man had 3 months to get it sorted out. Now, I realise that ToffeeWeb is privy to information that many fans do not have access to. But still, the comment below is unsubstantiated:

"On somewhere between five and ten occasions when Everton were in active negotiations to bring in specific new players, Davie actually changed his mind and nixed on the deals. THAT is what we are talking about. And THAT is what will cost us so dear this season." (See reply to Paul Coleman, Kettering, Mailbag, Leave my mate Dave alone)

Please confirm the identity of the 5-10 players that Moyes pursued only to change his mind on at the eleventh hour. I would also like to say that your coverage of the last week of transfer activity and speculation was exceptional. Well done!
J C, Aberfoyle  (1/9/05)

Sorry, JC, that would be telling...
But yes, Lyndon did a fantastic (if ultimately extremely frustrating) job of keeping track and summarizing for us. — Ed


 

A Striker???
7 out of 10 blues felt we needed a striker at the top of our wish list over the close-season, so the other 3 must have been with me losing sleep when we barely had enough defenders to play Moyes's 4-5-1 (knock, knock, only 1 up front folks).

Weir pushed another year out; Yobo, Naysmith and Hibbert stayed... and our newly acquired Krøldrup came in with a groin strain. I know eventually Pistone came back for that sweet sweet contract, which I'm sure by the way he is chuckling to himself about now as he sits at home with his feet up (for the next 6 months!). Thank god (Moyes) we got those two defenders in and Neville to cover... otherwise we'd have a back line as strong as David James's England record!

As for up front I would like to see James Beattie earn a bit of the 6.5M we splashed on him, when he returns. Ferguson can cover; Vaughan looks promising;, Bent goes at it like rabbits in spring, god bless him... if only he scored a few more. And finally I still have a faith in McFadden, when he plays up front.

To sum up we've got strikers for now that will suffice, and if you're still panicking about up-front well have a look at the nightmare we would have had at the back if we hadn't had picked up Valente, Ferrari and Neville (yes Neville for cover, although so far he has impressed in midfield).
Alex Campbell, Australia  (11/03/87)

It's not panic any longer (What's the point in panicking?) It's resignation, reluctant acceptance, and underlying concern about where exactly those goals will come from. Ed


 

van der Striker
How interesting that the official website are painting Andy van der Meyde as a second striker after our failure in the transfer market. Look, I know nothing about the player but we always said that Beattie needed a forward to sit in behind him, so maybe van is the man.

On a separate note did anyone else know we had signed a Brazilian Midfielder on a free???
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (01/09/05)

See above re Anderson Silva da Franca; is there a source that says we actually signed him? — Ed


 

The lights have gone out
Lyndon's article and the other recent mailbags dealing with the subject of transfers and the deadline mirror what I have been saying in my previous mailbags spread over the months since April.

I expressed doubts regarding Moyes in his dealings in the transfer market and his tactics. He has signed a number of players and (apart from and der Meyde) all have been defenders. Probably Moyes will alternate between Kilbane and vdM so whichever one is playing will be expected to contribute to the 4-5-1. Moyes is not about to abandon this tactic, in fact his signings and lack of a striker appear to reinforce this tactic. It strikes me that Moyes's philosophy is not to lose games but whatever happened to going out to win games? To get anywhere you have to win! Moyes is counting on repeats of last season and stealing 1-0 wins as at Reebock. But the evidence at Craven Cottage shows how risky this strategy is and reflects on how negative Moyes is.

The players signed do show in some cases potential for the future. Those that have years on their side but Neville and Valente? They may well be good additions for a year or two.

Valente was forced on Moyes because of Pistone's injury. Moyes suddenly knew he needed a left back but didn't have a clue. It was clearly Mourhino who came to his aid. If Pistone had not been injured there would have been no Valente. What about Boumo though, just shows again Moyes lack of knowledge of players. As for Neville, I think this has something to with Moyes being quite chummy with Sir Alex.

We needed a striker, this was common knowledge and when you look at the names that were linked, what happened. Moyes happened, I think this highlights his defense orientation and his poor knowledge of players.

To hear when we it is common knowledge that we need a striker that on deadline day, Moyes was out buggering about says it all. He had clearly given up, why because he is so indecisive and rather than face up to it walks away.

Whilst Moyes has built up some foundation with the players signed, he seems to lack that little something to be able to step up onto the next rung, call it what you like flair, spark or imagination. It just does not seem to be there. Perhaps it is now time to find a manager who has that little bit extra.

It could be argued with the players that Smith had available and signed or Royle before, that a nucleus was there but all went downhill, so it could easily happen again this season.

But this summer has been well I don't know what. I mean to ring Owen up when Toons have just agreed 17M with Real and apparently to pay Owen 60k to 90k per week. I ask you, Moyes really is a JERK. Before anybody carps on about Moyes taking us to 4th, remember he also very nearly had us relegated!

However support the players we have in the coming months because they are going to need it.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (01/09/05)

You, Sir, are (apparently) a Doom-and-Gloom merchant (see below) — with your head screwed firmly on the right way around! — Ed


 

Doom and Gloom
After the failure by Moyes to sign a striker, the message boards are full of the usual doom and gloom merchants. We would have all liked to have seen a striker signed but realistically who could we have got??

I don`t think Robbie Keane was ever available, Spurs are missing Mido for a few games and have sold Kanoute so I don`t think Spurs wanted to sell. I also have some niggling doubts that he would have been what is needed, he is a very good player but not ideal for Beattie.

Nugent was a risky buy; he has had a couple of very good months then all of a sudden he is the answer?

Owen turned us down as did Kuyt, that leaves Benni McCarthy who I think would have been a decent signing but again Moyes obviously sees something about the deal he doesn`t like.... Apart from those players there isn`t much quality around at this time.

I say Moyes was right: better to keep the powder dry till January when more players will be available.

Don`t underestimate what an impact van der Meyde could have on the team; he is very versatile being able to play on both wings and behind a striker.... and it was heartening to hear him say in his interview yesterday that he is happy to play in all those positions

I wouldn`t be surprised to see him deployed in a free role just behind Beattie; although Osman could do it, I have a sneaking suspicion that Moyes may have this role set out for van der Meyde. He is a quality player who was rated at £5M just a couple of years ago... obviously for different reasons his career hasn`t gone the way he wanted, but yesterday he sounded very keen to kick-start his career again and I think he might have a massive impact in the months to come, especially the home games when at times I have felt we have needed a creative spark.

So yes, we are all a bit gutted a striker wasn`t signed but in van der Meyde I feel we have a very important part of the jigsaw and I sure over the next few months he will prove an inspired signing by Moyes.

I for one am extremely excited to see how the new signings blend into the team.
Matthew Williams, London  (1/09/2005)

Which is all well and good but leaves us so-called Doom and Gloom merchants still pondering the central question: "Who is going to score the goals?" Ed


 

Jesus Wept
Some of the comments below are ludicrous.

Moyes didn't buy a striker because he didn't feel that anybody was available who was better than what we have already got. Simple. I would imagine it is not easy trying to secure the services of new players prior to a deadline. The selling club would have insufficient time to acquire their own replacement and therefore will not sell other than for silly money.

We came 4th last season relying largely upon Bent and Ferguson up front. A fit Beattie can be added into the mix at some stage and allied to the potential of Vaughan. The remainder of the squad has been strengthened significantly.

I presume those having a go at Moyes are the same people who wrote letters to him last summer slagging him off? Perhaps you would prefer Walter Smith back? I'm sure he would have conjured up a £5M super-striker for us before the deadline?
Dave Jeanrenaud, Liverpool  (1/9/05)

Well, I'm sorry but your apologist ideas for him not buying a striker are ludicrous considering the well-documented attempts he made. We came fourth last season primarily because of Cahill, Gravesen & Martyn; Bent and Ferguson faded badly after a good first half.

And what if David Moyes was to tell you that those letters played their role in forming the siege mentality that took his squad to Second in the Premiership before Christmas? — Ed


 

And it's a great through ball by Arteta....

It's the day after deadline day. We should be celebrating the great signings we have made to bolster the defence and midfield and looking forward to the rest of the season from this point forward. But I am very depressed as I can see a very difficult season ahead for us. Last season, we were lucky to finish 4th last year, winning many matches by the odd goal or by a 1-0 margin and not playing particularly attractive football. That is fine and I would take that again but we had wonderful luck season without major injuries... although we were awful in the 2nd half of the season.

In the Champions League 1st leg at Goodison, I could not believe how inept we were in the last third. What we lack is not just a striker; it is pace to get beyond the last man. There is no other option but to hit the "big man" be it Beattie, Bent or Ferguson.

Admittedly Bent has pace but he has neither the finishing skill, basic ball control or flair to trouble any Premiership defence. Like Ferguson he is a good bench man. It now seems obvious to me that Moyes wants to mirror the Chelsea formation. One main big forward, namely Beattie, ( la Crespo & Drogba) with van der Meyde and Davies supplying the killer ball ( la Duff & Robben et al). A midfield enforcer in the shape of Phil Neville ( la Makelele) and a midfield front runner / goalscorer in the shape of Cahill ( la Lampard). Our back four has got pace and can all play football and on the evidence of Ferrari's debut in the reserves last night we have a set-piece option in a similar way Chelsea have John Terry.

Now all that sounds great but where the comparison founders is the fact we have no depth. Should Beattie get injured we have absolutely no options of the bench which will concern any Premiership team. Also relying on Beattie in the form he is in currently and with his recent injury problems is crass stupidity. Everton were apparently willing to pay in excess of 10M for Owen or Kuyt. The Kuyt offer was turned down on August 1 which left us a full month to find a suitable alternative. Many will be appearing in the Champions League / World Cup next year knocking goals in for fun.

The only reason I can see for not going for Keane is in the vain hope of getting him for next to nothing in January. Moyes has also dithered over Nugent who looked superb on Monday against Ipswich. If we had the reputed war chest in excess of 10M then pay the going rate!

Villarreal had pace and forward options in abundance and troubled our defence every time they went forward. On another day they would have scored six. That should have been a wake-up call that, if we are serious about competing in Europe and at the top of the Premiership we need pace, a proven finisher and some flair up front. I'm afraid that without this in the shape of a proven goalscorer we will be up against it in Europe and in the Premiership.

Let's face it, Wigan have arguably a more potent forward line than we do!! How attractive will Everton be to any potential transfer target in January when we are in the bottom half of the league and knocked out of Europe? This is the most attractive the club has been for many years and we have yet again failed to capitalise on the opportunity.


Peter Rea, Bangor, Co Down  (1/9/05)

Letter of the Day, and no mistake!  


 

Strikers' graveyard
I think any striker who is worth the name regards Goodison Park a no-go area. The system the team plays makes anyone playing up front look rubbish, and it's no coincidence that DM received the most rejections from front players.

A few facts may illustrate the problem:

  • How many teams finish fourth with a negative goal difference?
  • Our top goalscorer was a midfielder,
  • Beattie was on the fringe of the England squad (where is he now?)
  • Even Rooney found it notoriously difficult to play under Moyes.

The system Moyes plays is geared to stop the others scoring and if we nick one... well that's the icing on the proverbial. What I would say to all blues fans is, please don't blame Beattie, Bent or anyone else playing in the opponents half — we really should feel sorry for them.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (1/9/05)

However much we love Moysie, that is a cogent argument which is hard to dismiss. — Ed


 

What the ... ?
Like many of Everton's far flung fans I woke up this morning desperate to hear news about who we may have signed on deadline day. But like many of Everton's fans I was flummoxed when I discovered no new striker had arrived to bolster the attack. Now there's a little theory in football circles that, when you build a side, you build from the back. There's little doubt the defence and midfield DM have put together are the best they've been in years. Now, we just have to hope the forwards can do the business. I hope AvdM's arrival will see Osman used more as a striker as he seems to know where the goals are. Sure, he won't get the 20 goals Everton need but he might plug the gap until the transfer window. Then DM will go for that big-name striker we all want to see and Everton will again make a push for the top 6.. The one thing I do know is this: Hang on to your seats boys and girls because it's going to be an interesting ride.
Paul Kish, Maylands  (1/9/05)

 


 

Dithering Dave? More like obstinate Dave.
I have come to the conclusion that our 'Manager of the Year' is so far up his own backside that he cannot see the woods for the trees. Our forwards (a joke in itself) have now scored 7 goals in 22 games between them! We are the only team ever to finish in the top four of the Premiership with a negative goal difference. We rarely ever score more that one goal and miss chance after chance (Bent - are you reading)?

What use is a team of midfielders and defenders? He has neglected his duty and we will pay dearly for this. Bent is useless as a goalscorer, Dunc too old and Beattie, a total waste of money. Interestingly, Baros scores on his debut and Nugent knocks in two in his last game. What would we give for someone like that? It is about time blues came to their senses and protested at:

  1. Billy Bullshit
  2. Moyes — who IS Gordon Lee in disguise.

I disliked Lee and his tactics/attitude towards flair players and Moyes looks to be the same. One final rant. This man refuses to countenance a striker of the ability of Forssell yet signs injury prone players for fun (Davies, Beattie, Wright, Naysmith etc).

I think he has taken us as far as he can and we need to get rid of him and Billy Bullshit before we revert to relegation-haunted Everton again.
Tom McAdams, Wirral  (1/9/05)

Maybe a Director of Football at Everton is an idea who's time has come. Not that Moyes would ever stand for it...


 

Why the panic?
Why the panic? The stats show that between them, Messrs Beattie, Bent and Ferguson scored no less than 12 Premiership goals last season. That`s no less one for every seven appearances they made! What with Tiny Tim banging in another dozen or so and all the clean sheets our new defence will manage we should be able to stay above the relegation line. Keep the faith, IN MOYES WE TRUST..... my arse!
David Hall, Taunton  (1/9/05)

Nice line in sarcasm there, Dave!


 

Nail in the coffin ?
I can't believe how depressed everyone is with respect to us not signing a striker. What exactly happens if we buy a striker and then he too gets injured? Back to square one? Seems like we have all forgotten the mantra of progressive improvement in small steps.

Moyes has addressed the more urgent concerns of the back line and wing and has made some very impressive signings, yet it seems that everyone's forgotten about that already.

We certainly haven't gone backwards in terms of the calibre of the players in the squad. Give these guys a go. See how they gel first. I am sure the next thing on Moyes's mind is a striker.

The team will lose a few in the beginning. I have no doubts about that. That is not necessarily due to lack of a striker. Incorporating 6 new players into an already tightly knit unit will take time. Couple of the guys won't even be ready to play by the end of September.

Now Moyes can focus purely on football (at least till January). Let's leave him to what he does best ...
Bsd lover, Sydney, Australia  (1/9/05)

"What exactly happens if we buy a striker and then he too gets injured"

You buy two. We could have got David Nugent for under £1M earlier in the summer. Get him signed up as both a long-term prospect (he's still only 20) and also make the "banner signing" that would go straight into the team to score goals. There can't be a Blue alive who would have argued with that strategy when combined with all the other great signings Moyes made this summer. — Lyndon


 

Wake me up in 2006!
I really do feel that Moyes is out of his depth working at the top level of the game. His tactics are poor... and before anyone goes on about 4th last year, we were very, very lucky. I almost think our finishing 4th has gone to his head and given him a false sense of confidence in both the system and the players.

The facts are, he has spent around £25M since last January but we have no decent strikers. He was over-confident that the Champions League qualifiers would lead to players knocking his door down and so has dallied all summer. We could easily have had Darren Bent, Henri Camara, Kevin Phillips and Nugent...all for around 8M, that's just 4 off the top of my head who would have given us pace, skill and threat.

The best we can hope for are some closely contested, dour wins between now and the end of the year, with probably one or two good home performances. I'd be surprised if we even get close to the top 4 again this season and I really believe you can't blame the Board this time as they really have backed him with a lot more money than most Premiership managers have spent.

He appears to not relate to flair players and as another writer wrote, I've always had an inkling that his relationship, or lack of, with Wayne Rooney certainly played a part in him leaving so soon. Flair players almost seem to be an afterthought to our manager and can you really blame Robbie Keane not wanting to come and play in a Moyes style of team?

The writing is on the wall and if we are in the bottom half at Christmas its Moyes's fault, end of.
Mike Price, Songhkla, Thailand  (1/9/05)

Can't argue with a word of that. — Ed


 

New Striker
If we fail, as seems increasingly likely, to address the problem of our inability to score, we have only the management to blame. It appears we had upwards of £11M to spend (plus wages). I believe we have been lied to again, could someone please explain to me how we can be consistently outbid by the likes of Newcastle?
Simon Templeman  (1/9/05)

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera


 

No Striker
Oh God, I don't believe we have not signed a striker. This is what the team has been screaming for. But, oh no. We are left with the no-idea people again. I believe we have had the wool pulled over are eyes AGAIN, like last season.

"We tried to get Smith" and this season "We tried to get Owen" Give it a rest. The Board are very happy at keeping Everton a mid-table side and don't forget if things go wrong, it will be Mr Moyes that gets the chop, not our Board and Blue Billy. Ha, my Arse. Sorry, folks, same old story.
Fred , Bootle  (1/9/05)

It would actually be interesting to hear Kenwright's take on this. I can't believe as a True Blue he's not privately disappointed and fearful for the next four months — Lyndon


 

What a let down
Well I suppose I'm not the only die hard who has been glued to ToffeWeb and Sky Sports News all night... for what? Let down again. We pondered for how long... to sign another player whose fitness is in doubt. DO THEY EVER LEARN? We are out of the CL, why? No goalscorer.

We got beaten by the Mancs, why? Don't ask. What happened at Fulham? Bolton was smash and grab but we were soooooooo lucky. Approach play has improved but defence has been shaky to say the least. What will Moyesy play now? 1. (Nige); 4 defenders (if we can get them fit); and 6 in midfield. I'm off to bed now but don't know if I will get any sleep.
Rob Coles, Chester  (1/9/05)

 

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