Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
Text:  A  A  A
/site1/global/startsite.htm" -->

ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — October 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from September 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from November 2005

Wind-up merchants?
Just caught up on post-match letters to Mailbag and I`m starting to suspect that some of your contributors are wind-up merchants of the 'other' persuasion. To use the word CLASS in juxtaposition to the names Beattie, Valente, Davies and bloody McFadden (Matt Willey 30/10/05) is to invite prosecution under Trades Desciptions - that is if the alleged trade happens to be football!

And whilst I`m greatly encouraged by our getting four points from the last two League games, many of our shortcomings were still very much in evidence and I`m still pissed off about the way we were rolled over by Borough last week.

Team spirit and effort are, of course, vital ingredients in the mix, but, and it`s a very big 'but', we shall not climb the table unless we SCORE GOALS!!!

So, in the euphoria surrounding the return to 4-4-2,let's not forget that our fantastic `Bruise Brothers` have still only managed an own goal and a penalty between them this season. Oh, and another thing, Van the Man may actually be CLASS but he has played less games in the last seven seasons than Darren `Sicknote` Anderton, so we may not see that much of him.

So call me a curmudgeon, if you like, but we`ve been here before - so let`s be little more measured with the praise and optimism if you don't mind.
Harry  Meek, Worcester  (31/10/05)

Hmmmm... Never thought of that.... the fact that he could actually spell the names of our players correctly may have had me fooled...

And did I not just watch Boro making short schrift of some Mancs on Saturday? Perhaps we could revert to 4-5-1 next Sunday so that we don't succumb to the same fate!

Get a grip, boys
We win one game against a shit team and the blue half of Merseyside goes mad. We are still in the bottom three with only one point at home all season ,that's the real story.

As for Matt Willey of Northants saying we won the FA Cup in 1995 playing shite football,did you go to Elland Road in the semis and watch us destroy Spurs 4-1 with the best football we have ever played? Then to beat Man Utd in the final was a dream.

There is no way any one can make comparisons between this current bunch of lightwieghts and the boys of 1995. It's just not on.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (31/10/05)

Good call, Tony. What I loved about the team back then — and this was a feature of both games you mention — was the ability to score goals on the break. I think both of Amo's goals were scored like that, and so too was Rideout's in the final, with the much-maligned Anders Limpar playing a critical role.

When did Everton last score a real breakaway goal? Do kids today even know what a breakaway goal is??? —

Chefs Choice
I'm a Moyes Supporter and trust him still but what the hell is he on about chefs baking cakes?

If anyone can shed some light on that and why the groundsman wasn't getting rid of the leaves before that would be helpful

Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (31/10/05)

Okay.. FWIW: The world-reknowned cuisinary artistes at the Baellefield canteen thought it might be a good idea to bake a nice cake for the lads, as they were a bit down, being at the bottom of the league un all. Lovely blue and white icing, a couple of sugar Subutteo figures on the top, and a nice big gobstopper for the football... (Is this helping atall?)

And as for the groundsman not getting rid of the leaves previously... well,... autumn has not been here long; there were no leaves around before.

Hope this helps. — Ed

One swallow doesn't make a pint
... or is that a spring?

Is it me? Am I being too negative? I was happy we won at Birmingham. It was a crucial win. But the outpouring of self-congratulary nonsense following it is making me heave.

We fielded one of the most attacking line-ups David Moyes could field and we scored one goal against one of the poorest performing teams in the Premiership. And that goal came from a goalkeeping error following a long range effort that had "Hail Mary" written all over it. Okay, so the prayer was answered. But I'd like to see some attacking creativity with some conversion at the end of it.

Beattie incidentally, almost gave the whole circus away - again - with a totally unnecessary bull in a china shop foul just outside the area. Not impressed.
Jack  Molloy, Liverpool  (31/10/05)

You are what we call a REALIST. But don't say it too loudly; best to keep your head well protected and at a slightly lower elevation than the nearest parapet. — Ed

Onwards and Upwards (Hopefully)
I’d like to firstly point out that we have won one game, and only one game! However this being said there were definite signs of improvement, most notably a certain Dutchman on the left hand side of midfield. What we need to do from here is to look to the future.

The most important thing is making sure that it is not another false dawn like the Bucharest home game. I read on this site that “top 6 is a possibility.” Whilst that is true it is also a long, long way off yet. I would hope that going into Christmas we are around 12th place. This to me would mark that we have found a bit of consistency and are looking to be on the way up.

If come the January window we were to sign Keane and Gravesen (who said that he would never play for another English club other than Everton) then we would be in a position to rest Cahill and use Big Dunc as he should be used: coming off the bench. Add to this a new right back (although Hibbert is a good player he needs cover). To move forward, why not bring in a better player and use the existing player as cover? This is surely the best way to improve your team gradually?

I reckon that Glen Johnson is a quality player who is having trouble with both Chelsea and brick walls, but the reason he’s having these problems are lack of first-team opportunities, I’m sure that Chelsea would be willing to sell or even to loan with an option at the end of it.

Also I know we haven’t been linked with this player but Mathew Upson’s contract is up at the end of the season; if Birmingham are still down at the bottom in January they may want to cash in. Now this is the long shots of all long shots and I have been playing football manager too long but Crespo’s contract is also up at the end of the season! We don’t have a hope in hell of getting him but I’m just trying to state the caliber of players that are available at knock-down prices.

I don’t believe that all of these deals will happen but we can still dream and rumor their possibility. If Owen signed for Newcastle then anything is possible. Of course we could get stuffed against Boro and go bottom again, but lets enjoy a win when we get it, and look onwards and upwards. I still have faith in Moyes and think to get rid would be stupid. So let’s hope we really have turned the proverbial corner.
Tom Bennett, Coventry  (31/10/05)

Well, you started off quite sensible there, Tom, and ended up in Football Manager madness with all those transfer dreams. Let's take it one game at a time, eh?

Is it me or does Martyn, Neville, Krøldrup, Yobo, Valente, Arteta, Davies, Cahill, Van the man, Beattie and Ferguson not look so bad all of a sudden! Substitute the big scot for some pace in January and we'll be looking at Europe again!
Richard Williams, New Canaan, USA  (31/10/05)

Keep me smiling
Fantastic result! Finally, I can smile again [for a week at least]. It looks like 4-4-2 is showing the way forward, and with any luck Gravesen and Rob Keane coming in January we should have a pretty shit hot team. If we can start to climb the table between now and then, I can stop pretending I don't care when people start taking the piss. Lucky for me I live in Nottingham so not a lot for them to gloat about.

One other thing: I've noticed a few people going on about style of play. I've only been supporting the toffees since 1991, so I've been well acustomed to boring/crap football right from the start. So I've learnt to care only about the result; as long as they win I don't care how they do it. If they do play well, it's a bonus. Just keep me in bragging rights... and keep me smiling!
James Bundza, Notts  (31/10/05)

Hate to pour some tepid water on your parade, but do you really honestly expect Tommy G to wear the blue shirt again? He's on £95k/wk at Real!!! So, er, get real! Even expecting Robbie Keane is a bit of a stretch. The way I look at it, and given the Moyes transfer factor, anyone good coming in Janauary would be a massive bonus... and highly unlikely. — Ed

Dave Charles & Mike Price
Too much negativity guys... I know that the form has been abysmal up until last weekend but for Dave to say that the team hasn't shown progress since Walter was in charge is riduculous. Where was the promise in Walter's side... with the likes of Clelland and the aging Gazza and Ginola?

On paper (and hopefully soon on pitch) we have a very good side — particularly when they are all fit and firing on all cylinders... the team at least have shown that they are now capable of getting results (long may it continue) — even if it takes a backs-to-the-wall performance. The truth is that Royle played this way too and nobody will deny it. Even the great sides of the mid-80s had highly combative players such as Gray, Van den Hauwe and Reid who were just as much about hard-yards and harder tackling than slick passing or dribbling.

Yet, I don't think we are short on class: Van der Meyde, Arteta, Cahill, Yobo, Neville — even ,dare I say it, Beattie, Valente, Davies, Osman and McFadden (given some more encouragement). All these players are going to be around for a while to come, and they are all Moyes's players. When it gels it will gel brilliantly. But Rome wasn't built in a day and to accuse them of playing shite and unattractive football just isn't productive (shall we cross-off the FA Cup victory in 95 cos it wasn't pretty football???).

We can start playing School of Science stuff when we are guaranteed to be safe every season and have a squad of 30 players to choose from week in, week out. For the moment I don't care how we win, I just want to see us win - first and foremost!

Be honest even fucking Chelsea were accused of the very same 'dull / unattractive' thing not a month ago! Yes; It would be lovely to see an Everton side demolish a top side 4-0 playing attractive football but until such a time I am happy with scrappy 1-0s. We are now more likely to see an attractive performance from the players we currently have on our books than the ones we had previously under Wally.
Matt Willey, Northants  (30/10/05)

Cause for optimism
Our last three Premiership outings have provided successively better performances. There is still a fragilty there; however, there is evidence of a growing confidence. The introduction of Van der Meyde has certaintly given us something extra: great strenth and pace — exactly what's been missing. Every prospect we can kick on from here — although I would dearly love to see Tommy G return, together with perhaps Keane... A top-six place would still be a possibility. IMWT
Gerry W, London  (30/10/05)

In reference to Rob Williamson from Sheffield (below), you must not blame yourself for the players' poor performances this season as I shall have to take part of the blame myself. all was well until my ex-partner bought my son a pair of reebok trainers. Yes and as they sponsor the evil side I hated seeing him in these week after week.

He's only two but I took him to wigan game and got him the home and away strips. But we lost as he still had those trainers on. So I thought "Enough's enough!" — went to town and brought him the first pair of plain blue and white trainers I could find. No sooner had he taken his old trainers off, we went a goal up, no lie. Needless to say, I dont want to see him in those again. Honestly things like that matter far more than tactics!
Robie P, Wolverhampton  (30/10/05)

Better, but still some way to go!
I had the good fortune of getting a ticket from my now gutted Brummie mate for the Directors Box at St Andrews, and almost fell over when I was handed a team sheet that showed a formation which was obviously looking to win. Seeing Van der Meyde in the starting eleven was a breath of fresh air after paying my hard earned cash to watch Kilbane produce nothing for so long. Andy vdM was different class. Strong on the ball, quick, skilfull and always going forward.

Unfortunately his lack of match fitness resulted in him being subbed for Kilbane early in the second half. Kilbane, true to his form, lost the ball numerous times, cocked up a great breakaway and missed a sitter, which wasn't shown on TV for some reason.

We created enough chances to have won the game 3-0, but 1-0 and three points will do all day long. The defence was solid with Yobo mopping up almost everything and Neville securing the dodgy left-back role.

If we can continue to build on the last two league performances, there is no reason why we can't be out of the shit before christmas. Obviously there's a long way to go, but with players coming back to fitness, a bit of confidence now regained and competition for places, we should be climbing out of the depths.

I overheard a few Everton lads who collared Kenwright at St Andrews ask him "Where's the Rooney money?" He replied, "Apart from the £24 million we've already spent you mean?" and walked away.

Fair comment Bill, but what about the £9M for our 4th-place finish, the £250k-400k for each time we're on the box, the record season ticket sales, the extra sponsorship money for 4th place, the £2½M for Tommy Grav, massive new kit sales, etc etc. All we want is a proven striker as a late crimbo present, so get your hand in your pocket and get us a quality goalscorer, you Nugget!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (30/10/05)

Richard Dodd: Wait till May...
Richard, I admire your loyalty to Moyes but one win doesn't make a season. The Chelsea result was good considering who we played but against Middlesborough in the Carling Cup it was back to hoof-ball... and it was shyte.

At Birmingham, we played a team in a situation like ourselves and came out winners. The season is going to be like this until the end and in May let us see then. We don't have time to try fancy football now, and I don't think we have the players to try it. The fancy football should have been planned pre-season. Instead we started with what we finished last season and were found out.

I'm not saying sack Moyes now but this season I have witnessed total shyte too many times already. If we stay up in May, and make no excuses, it's going to be tight. Is he the man to take us further as most of the players here now cannot be blamed on Walter Smith?

Good football bings a good atmosphere, not only to the fans but the players as well. It's simple but we make it look hard.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (30/10/05)

Reach for the stars!
My Brummie neighbour was right: Birmingham ARE shite... Thank God! But I`m much happier today because over this weekend I`ve seen THREE teams who are definitey worse than Everton! Home from the game, I watched the Sky Prem recording of an abysmal Sunderland roll-over and die against Pompey; and this afternoon it`s been the turn of WBA - totally destroyed by the Barcodes.

Feel I might even be able to add a fourth to the list tomorrow because they all tell me that Villa are as crap as Birmingham!

Shame, though, as it`s taken our Manager two months to discover Phil Neville is a great left back but if Andy Pandy can go the distance in front of him, I have a feeling 16th or 17th is not beyond us! Reach for the stars, I say!
David Hall, Taunton  (30/10/05)

My fault
This is an apology to all Evertonians out there who thought that our current plight was down to a lack of tactics, players who can trap a ball farther than I can kick it, bad transfer judgements, inadequate vision or direction from the Board or anything like that.

It's down to me — just me. For years I followed a ritual on match days of making my first morning coffee in a Charity Shield winning mug and it seemed to work reasonably well. In August I bought a 1966 Cup winners mug and have been using that for the match day ritual since then. Yesterday I decided to revert back to the original mug to see if it would have any effect and... well you know what happened, we won!

So all this season's problems have been down to me after all and nothing to do with the litany of excuses listed above. I can only apologise again, hold my head in shame and promise that only the Charity Shield mug will be used in future. Just watch us go now!

ps Will I get a letter from Rob Fox pleading for me to be given more time? In My Coffee Mug We Trust!
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (30/10/05)

Any room on the bus?
So it`s three points at Birmingham and the players are doing handstands and throwing shirts to the crowd. What time does the open-top bus leave for the city tour? All that`s been different in our last two league games is that the luck and refereeing decisions chronicled ad nauseam by Rob Fox and the Moysiah apologists have gone in our favour!

Birmingham were abysmal and we were little better. Talk all you will about the Moystro opting for two up front, neither of the so-called `Bruise Brothers` seem to know when to shoot or even where the bloody goal is! Getting up to flick balls to nobody and `holding the ball up` does not, in itself, constitute the striker`s role and if Moyes didn`t know that before the season started, he couldn`t have been paying attention last season!

So can we please keep things in perspective; surely our aspirations haven`t fallen so far at Everton that avoiding relegation is the only measure of achievement?
Alan Vanstone, Speke  (30/10/05)

Ouch! That's a tough perspective, Alan, after such a vital win... although I am sure you are dead right. However, it lifted us TWO PLACES off the bottom! And sadly at the moment, yes, the only measure of achievement that matters is avoiding relegation, IMHO. — Ed

IMWT--- you bet!
Great win today... so perhaps with that and the result of your poll you can now let the Manager get on with his job of taking us up the table. IMWT!
Richard  Dodd, Formby  (29/10/05)

Yes, it's his job and no-one else's: that should be plain for all to see. But will it be enough to stop our knowledgable contributors from continuing to raise the issue of his employment status? Only time will tell...

Here's to the positives
We got a result, three points, a small move up the table. Not much in itself but enough to put a whole different slant on many fans' thinking.

In our position each tweak either way influences reaction so let's get positive, folks — until such time as 1-0 is 0-1.

Ken  , Buckley  (29/10/05)

Stephen Burton
The reference to Wigan was in response to Rob Fox mentioning them. I said 'virtually', and the point was to emphasise that such a bad job has been done building a squad compared to the minimal outlay of Wigan. To sack someone just because we were beaten by any team is daft, it was an exasperated comment. However, to sack someone because they are out of their depth, have wasted a fortune in the transfer market, built or re-signed the most one-paced unskilled squad in the Premiership (except for Sunderland), plays horrible unattractive football and makes Evertonians hope for 17th is, I believe, appropriate. That was the thrust of the letter, not an off the cuff, mis-quoted comment!

Anyway we won today... we can all be happy for once, even if it does mean delaying Mr Moyes's departure!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (29/10/05)

In case you've not noticed, Moyes has insisted he's not leaving anytime soon. And Bill Kenwright is not sacking him anytime soon. So it looks like he's here for the duration... unless someone is telling fibs.

Rob Fox Talks Some Shite
Just read Rob Fox latest contribution to the ongoing battle for a cure to insomnia.

Early on his piece, Rob writes "I don't believe David Moyes should be sacked but clearly something has to change..." This had me intrigued, as I initially assumed that Rob would then actually suggest some changes that could be made. Errrm...he didn't bother to.

My question is the blindingly obvious one. With the transfer window slammed shut, exactly what should we change without changing the manager?

All Rob seems to do is ask "Who do you think can do better?" He then makes a pretty piss poor case for their being nobody.

Well aren't you even worse Rob? At least the fans calling for Moyes's head can suggest a change that could be made to improve results. You concede that changes need to be made, then don't bother to specify what! {Oh, and then rubbish the one suggestion that has been made}.

I know you're a true Blue Rob - and I respect that. But I honestly feel the club has enough paid apologists on its books. Everton FC really don't need an enthusiastic amateur to defend the shite the paying public is being served.

A fortuitous three points is better than an unlucky defeat, but don't let that fool anyone out there. We're still in it - the shit that is - and we're in it pretty deep.
David C  (29/10/05)

Mike Price
Getting outplayed by Wigan at home is a sackable offence? Maybe living in Thailand has meant you haven't watched too much football this year. Wigan have just won their 7th consecutive game in league and cup. Did you know that? Fulham, Villa, Newcastle, Bolton and West Brom have also been done by the Latics so I wouldn't be saying daft things like that in future.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (29/10/05)

Last chance Mr Moyes
I am writing this before I embark on the journey to Brum, never before have I felt so little optimsim before a Blues game. My first Everton match was Ipswich away in our '85 Championship season. I think if that team reformed today they would knock spots off the current excuse of a team.

If we were at least scoring the odd goal I would be a little happier, but we are not. Well Davie, you have been saying for our season starts here for the last 6 games; now it really does! If we lose today, I think you should do the honurable thing and resign.

I was as chuffed as anybody last season with fourth place, I even bet my eldest son we were certs for relegation at the start of the season, and I quite happily ate my words. Now I am saying it again, and this time I can't see a way out. Please lets get 3 points today, and get out of this mess, I can't take much more.
Michael Sadler, Essex  (28/10/05)

Wish granted. Odd goal scored. Up two places above teh mess. What more could you ask? — Ed

The Annual Appraisal
With all my family, I have been a massive fan of David Moyes ever since his `Peoples Club` speech set him apart from so many of his predecesors. His achievement in first saving us from apparently inevitable relegation and then achieving excellent league positions in two of his three full seasons obviously indicates his ability to operate at the very highest level.

However, we cannot ignore our present plight and regardless of personal feelings of affection towards the man, the real focus of my football life is our great club, Everton. With this in mind, it has to be inevitable, therefore, that without massive improvement there will have to be a change at the top. Otherwise, the Leeds scenario so well set out by an earlier correspondent will be horribly re-enacted at Goodison. But when to draw the line?

In my job, the annual appraisal takes place immediately after Christmas when my own performance is looked at in the context of the company`s results over the year just finished. That, I submit is the timescale on which any decision about the Manager`s position should be made. Until then, he will retain my support and I urge all Evertonians to think likewise.
Margaret Hodges, Skelmersdale  (29/10/05)

Devils Advocate
I would really love it if Rob Fox was my boss! It doesn't matter how much you screw things up, waste noney, or threaten to bankrupt the place, there would always be a comforting arm around the shoulder. Unfortunately if any of us made a mess of our jobs in the way Moyes has, we'd have quite rightly been replaced and possibly sued for gross negligence!

Still it's nice to hear such positivity, definately from 'the glass is half-full' brigade, and I'm sure all of us hope he's right and that all this support of Moyes doesn't just keep him lingering at our club until we are completely doomed.

Trouble is, he asks in his article.. that compared to the past, is it really that bad? Yes it really fucking is! I'm 40-ish too and have seen good and bad, but no-one has ever screwed up such a fantastic opportunity to move us forward. Okay, part of that opportunity came from our 4th place finish, which was partly down to him, partly luck, other teams failings, underdog players forming a spirit, as well as other factors.

He says no-one moaned when we were playing crap football but getting results... Well, lots of us hated the style, but saw it as the only option considering the quality of our players; it was a stepping-stone to the future. So we finally get into a position to move forward — 4th place credibility, extra money from that, the Rooney money — and what happens? he self-destructs. Overpays for journeymen — bad in itself but as an aside, destroys team spirit and harmony.

Playing a fat, clearly unsuitable James Beattie as a solo striker in place of the 'impressive ('til Christmas)' Bent, was the first example of this. Signing players back on like Weir, Kilbane, Naysmith and Pistone who are just not good enough to move us forward, whilst letting the one good character squad player leave under a cloud. He assumes CL qualification will have quality players beating a path to Goodison; a clear mistake that led to no striker being signed when it was our number 1 priority. It wasn't just the loveable Mr Green that saw the writing on the wall...

The fact that Wigan outplayed us at home is virtually a sackable offence by itself. It's not that we have slowly been left behind by the evolution of 'new football'; it's because — despite spending 10 times what Wigan have — we are left with a pathetic squad that, in Rob Fox's own words,'currently only lacks pace and power'!!

Is it just hindsight which tells us that Camara and Darren Bent have pace and power... and that James Beattie doesn't!? It isn't just the fact that we're bottom, play terrible football and couldn't get a fraction of the money back if we tried to sell on; it's the fact that many people are allowing this fully developed crisis to tick along with not one thing having improved since Walter's last game at 'Boro.

Still perhaps there's no-one out there that could do a better job!!... They may even make it worse!!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (10/29/05)

Let's get a win! Hopefully if fit, the Beattie - Ferguson partnership can start to get goals. Our only other potential decent striker is Vaughan - I fear Bent and McFadden have had their day.

Let's face it, our current plight is down to a lack of fire power. No decent strikers = no goals = no points, it's as simple as that. Pick up a decent amount of points for the remainder of the year and buy a good striker for Christmas; we're safe. If neither occur, I'll worry about that at the time.

Changing managers won't get the striker we need. Hopefully Big Dunc with give Brucey and his arrogant Board (remember our Robbie Savage bid) a scare and bring home 3 points. Either that or its Forsell banging in a brace. It's Friday so I'm feeling good - I'll take the first option.
Daniel Parker, New York  (28/10/05)

Turn out the light
The confusion I have is: Are you a real fan if you throw the towel in or stick with the team?

I ask because I admit to throwing in the towel after we lost to Tranmere. I never set foot inside Goodison until the Fulham game (Moyes's first in charge) and have been ever-present ever since. That period was dire for me on a personal level and I was frustrated by the gates we continued to get under that idiot. If everyone had taken that stand, the change would have happened sooner; lack of money talks.

However, I felt isolated and gutted at not following my beloved club. I was a fraud, not a real fan anymore. Judging by the mailbag, as Rob Fox highlights, all of a sudden people are in uproar at the state of the football on show (18 years too late...). So I return to my question, do I stay or go? Only sing when were winning?

If it's time to walk in protest, will the last one out please turn out the light.... and then what?
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (28/10/05)

My personal viewpoint is this: the away you decide to be a fan is entirely up to you — and no-one has the right to question that, least of all to suggest that you are somehow less of a fan for doing (or not doing) certain 'expected' things. Of course, peer pressure is a tremndously powerful force and probably needs to be considered if you want to still hang tight with your mates. But refusing to go to the game is a pretty significant and effective personal protest. And more effective the more people do likewise.

Staying or going has to be your decision in the end. But Everton has survived ups and downs and is still here. The lights are unlikely to be switched off just yet.... Ed

Rob Fox
Just wanted to point out that Mr Fox consistantly comes up with valid and thought-provoking articles. I find that his positive attitude and ability to articulate his views with coherant and valid arguments are a refreshing change.

Rob, please keep up the good work; it is appreciated —even if your most recent article's starting paragraph is your current opinion of fans reading your column.
Rob Heaton, Bath  (28/10/05)

Please, David, resign before you take us down. It's begining to feel like deja vu... 11 defeats in 14 matches is a disgrace. Has Mike Walker returned? Because, if he has, he got the sack for picking up 1 win and 5 draws in 14 games. Moyes's 2 wins 1 draw says it all. Kenwright, your loyalty is to the club: do the right thing.
James Bundza, Notts  (28/10/05)

Well, we have it on good authority (see below) that sacking David Moyes is not likely to happen any time soon. Although something happening "by mutual consent" should not be ruled out if Davei feels at some point that he has done as much as he can, and nothing is really working. He deosn't seem to be anywhere near there yet, but that point usually comes with little advance warning.

Words of wisdom from the wife
I went to the Carling Cup match with my wife, Lesley, the other night. She rarely goes to the match, just the odd friendly at the beginning of the season. My son, Jay, usually goes with me as we have season tickets for the Park End, but he had seen enough this season and decided to wait until the night to see how he felt; as it turned out he came along for more punishment!

Anyway, during the match we had brought Marcus Bent on to the pitch, and he was doing his normal chasing of the ball down the Gwladys Street end. Eventually he got hold of the ball and was doing everything but having a shot, when my wife turned to me and said in all seriousness, "Why doesn't he just score?". Now I had no answer to this... why doesn't he just score? Why waste so much energy running around players, then either being tackled or making a bad pass?

Can anyone answer my wife's question?
Gary Bates, Liverpool  (28/10/05)

Rob Fox's column
I agree entirely with Rob Fox; it's almost as if some knives were being sharpened before a ball was kicked. The still minority of fans calling for Davey's head are the aggressive ones, and anybody daring to back the manager, like Rob says, are accused of being out of touch with reality.

I too have been accused of similiar on the forums. Since when was stepping back and taking the long view, detaching yourself from reality?

It's easy to understand the passion being built up with every bad result, and the human condition of a wide spectrum of the fans means, they can only move on when blame is apportioned and dealt with!

There is more to football, indeed life, than cold hard statistics. They are merely symptoms, not the cause. Ask any doctor: it's much easier to spot a symptom than a cause.
John Prior, Liverpool  (28/10/05)

Love hurts
No, I`m not Joe Blow from Harrogate (although I do think KK is an absolute tosser!) and I don`t want a lift to the game, thank you. But being married to a Leeds supporter I do know a lot about pain and suffering. Oh, how I scoffed when the old man was going through his change of life and his once great club were metamorphorising into bankrupt `has beens`.

Now it`s my turn to suffer as, every day, he points out the similarities between us:-

  • Totally over-the top publicity seeking chairman;
  • best player — for Rooney read Cantona — sold to Man Utd;
  • bright young manager clueless in the transfer market;
  • swathe of dodgy signings on the back of European entry;
  • next 100 years' season-ticket income mortgaged to the Yanks;
  • total failure to attract investors;
  • very brief appointment of ace CEO, Trevor `One look at the books and I`m off` Birch...
  • Oh, and I nearly forgot: a pretty crap team!
So what did my man tell me over the cornflakes this morning? `You`ve still got to go through the Venables and Peter Reid stages yet, so cheer up, Ken Bates will be looking for a new challenge this time next year!` Love hurts, don`t it!
Meriel Lampitt, Harrogate  (28/10/05)

Where are you now, kidda?
I have a scout around this site on most days. There's been one thing missing sice Wednesday night... the Moyes boys.

Where are you, lads? I don't want to incite a slanging match, far from it. I would like to hear the latest rant in favour of Ginge. I fear it has come to a head now. Even the diehards are starting to question the "Moysiah's" ability. Admit it, lads: you can't back him for much longer... surely? I want Everton to win games as much as the next blue, but I, along with a load of other blues, could see this coming 4 games into this season, and for most of the arse end of last season.

In a piece I wrote the other day, I wrote that teams like Derby, Coventry, Man City, Bolton etc all have new stadia and are making efforts to "move with thte times"... while EFC are stuck in a timewarp. The regime in place at the moment has not taken us there (the damage was done long before) but they have ensured we've stayed there, and that is where we will continue to stay unless a radical turnaround is put into place at the earliest opportunity.

Blue Bill wont sack Moyes. Remember, Smith left by "mutual consent" because Kenwright loved him. Bill's standards do not even come close to mine. Why is he still in charge? We've got no fucking chance while he's there. Poor Directors, poor Mananger, poor coaches, poor players. End of story. Sort the fucking drivel and put us all out of our 20-year misery, Bill.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (28/10/05)

What`s changed,Rob?
Just read Rob Fox`s latest version of the Gettisburg Address and have to agree when he says that when Moyes took over Everton had `a crap team, growing debt, crippling wage bill, poor facilities and were heading for the trap door`.

Well, what's changed then, Rob?
Harry Meek, Worcester  (28/10/2005)

You better believe it!
7:53 am. Mike `Porky` Parry on Talksport — Quote:-

"I know, for an absolute fact, having sat next to Bill Kenwright both when Everton have won and lost that he has total faith in David Moyes and even if a fatality should happen — I mean relegation, although we don't think of that at Goodison — he will stay with him on the basis that 'you got us into this, so you get us out!`"

So now you know - and you better believe it!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (28/10/05)

Taking the Piss
In his recent letters, Phil Burkert makes some salient and sobering points. In his most recent missive, he asks whether the club motto is still understood. He doesn’t stipulate whether that question is towards supporters in general, or the club. Having witnessed the steady decline of our footballing fortunes over the last two decades, I can sympathise. For you anoraks out there, did you know that our infamous salmon pink striped away jerseys of the mid 90’s contained a spelling mistake? “Optinum”. Consider also that the production of the original “One2One” jerseys were faulty (the yellow and red stripes wrong way up – so they only changed the first team kit as it was cheaper). Throw King’s Dock into the mix, and ladies and gentlemen, we’re being taken for a ride.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (28/10/05)

More serious than I first thought
After Hasselbaink scored, it was obvious the tactics would not change. I think we had most of the play but when Middlesbrough went at us Martyn pulled off a couple of good saves. At the other end we couldn't touch the grass in their penalty area.

I've put on here a few times that the football tactics are negative and need to improve for us to score. What I watched last night was enough for me to see that things won't improve. No matter who is in charge there are players at Everton who just cannot pass to save their lives. Hibbert, Kilbane, MacFadden just cannot pass, even an easy lay off is hard work.

Well, we're stuck with them and the endless hopeful hoofs that go with them. Beattie tried but service to him was poor. Davies saw nothing of the ball in the second half as the ball was just hoofed past him and I think he was glad to get off.

I honestly cannot see how we will improve even if we had the world's best coach. (No Bill, we don't already have him.) With players who have poor ability and lack pace, that lingering toothache feeling will get more painful every weekend.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (27/10/05)

I've just read that David Moyes is 'disappointed' with the result last night (and similarly with previous performances this season). I'm fed up with him and the players being disappointed - I want him and them to be 'disgusted' and 'ashamed' and 'embarrassed' with the performances that have been on show so far this season and for the latter part of last.

I have long since given up hope of hearing an Everton manager saying things like, 'I was really delighted with the quality of our passing, the speed of our movement and the intelligence in running off the ball... and I think our fourth goal exemplified that!' With the current regime... in my dreams!
Rob  Williamson, Sheffield  (27/10/05)

Latest Poll.
With regards to the latest poll, you have listed just about everyone who could be blamed for Everton’s current demise, but there isn’t any option for a combination of factors.

The players? They have in my view, not shown the commitment that started last season’s run of good form. They always seem to run out of steam after 60 minutes & their skills in general, seem to be under par.

Moyes's tactics? The persistence of the 4/5/1 & choice of starting players always amazes me. The last 2 games, the change of that formation seems to have improved slightly, but the choice of starting line-up has merely negated the possibility of attacking strongly & getting those illusive goals.

Moyes's transfer dealings? I think we all know that there were failings in not signing a decent striker. Enough said.

Lack of investment (Board)? During the summer, there were funds available, but what of the previous seasons when there was promised funding that never materialised?

Bad luck? OK, so we have had our fair share of that. Disallowed goals & claims of penalties, but no more than most clubs.

Injuries? This is the main factor IMHO. When all of the first team choices are available, the team most suited to killing off the opposition should be chosen. For example, against Chelsea, a strong & committed defence helped secure the draw. Against lesser teams, a more attacking strategy is required if Everton are to gain the points required to avoid relegation.

So, my vote is for a combination of ‘all of the above’.

I still feel that Moyes will be gone by Christmas if things don’t turn around. However, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen & that by then, we will at least be out of the relegation zone.

Just a final message for Moysie if he’s online (doubt he ever looks in here but hey, you never know). If Thomas Gravesen becomes available during the transfer window, do not revert to ‘dithering Davie’ again. Sign him!
Barry  Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (27/10/05)

The way the poll was phrased was deliberate, Barry :)   We wanted to get an idea of what people thought was biggest factor — I suspect that the vast majority of respondents would also choose an "all of the above" option thereby rendering the poll somewhat meaningless. Lyndon

Just A Quick One
Just been on the official site (Everton's fresh unbiased and informative mouthpiece), just picked out this quote about the weekend's game with Birmingham which is enough to send shivers down the spine of all Evertonians "It leaves Kevin Kilbane as the most likely option for the left full-back position."

Well I'm shitting myself now; there goes another 3 points. Sorry I mustn't be so negative. Err... Come on Killa, you've got my full support. There, that's better!
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (27/10/05)

Let's be serious
Sir, With reference to the article by Dutch Schaeffer. Free scoring Cahill, Welsh wizard Davies, Hibbert approaching England Internaational class!!

Shurely shum misftayke, eh, Ed?
Wayne O'Rourke, Planet Earth  (27/10/2005)

I think the key phrase preceeding these descriptions was "On paper", and Dutch was contrasting these reputations (deserved or not) with current performances by asking the obvious (but as yet unanswered) question: "Why is this improved side doing so badly?"

I think you're both saying the same thing... and yes, it is some pretty huge mistake!

Not funny any more
Thanks, Davey, for turning our dreams to nightmares, for turning wine to water, gold to lead, and Everton football Club into a bigger circus act than Billy Smarts. Send in the clowns? Don't bother there already here.

Under Davey Moyes we have become the football equivalent of Norway at snooker, France at darts or Saudi Arabia at ice hockey... How much lower can this guy take us? How bad do you need to be at your job to get the bullet these days?

Last night was the limit for me, listining to Middlesboro fans laughing at us at Goodison Park — not Man Utd or Arsenal fans... fucking Boro fans! What the fuck is going on?

Any one out there who still thinks Moyes needs more time to turn it around, put down your crack pipe and get some rehab! It's insane allowing this joker to self-destruct at our expense, get him out of here so he can learn his trade in the Conference League. Tha'ts where most of his signings belong anyway.

If we lose our next game, like we are all expecting, Moyes should quit out of embarrasment. Don't hold your breath.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (27/10/05)

Master Plan revealed
That's it! Moyes's master plan: take Everton as far down the league as possible. Instead of derbies with Liverpool he wants them with Tranmere or Crewe or even Southport. Keep it up Davey lad, only four more years until we're Confrence League fodder.
Mike , Wirral  (27/10/2005)

Heard it on the grapevine
The Head of our Edinburgh office is convinced that George Burley only provoked a row with Hearts because he`s on his way to Everton. I hope not because we`ve had enough of Scotsmen for now - they`re all jolly promisers. If we lose at Birmingham, I`d go for Ian Dowie - he`s already passed the interview by stuffing Liverpool on Tuesday!
John Melluish, Liverpool  (27/10/05)

Things can only get better (surely?)
After the last few weeks of flying home to watch that pile of shite, it suddenly dawned on me that Moysie has got to be shagging Kilbane's wife. Why else would any Manager of any level still puts that excuse for a footballer out in our beloved shirt. He may have a porn-star mullet, but other than that, I have seen milk turn quicker.

How long are we to endure what we are witnessing? The longer this run goes the easier it will be to plan my flights to Cardiff, Southampton, etc. Moyes, should have no more than 5 more games for things to improve. He can't keep kidding the fans saying confidence is high... Bullshit, the stats don't lie.

The only good thing about this season is that Liverpool are doing almost as bad!! Come on Blues make my journey more worthwhile than just the Duty Free section.
Thomas Hesketh, Lisbon, Portugal  (27/10/05)

Time for a change....
I'm afraid it is NOW the time to get rid of Moyes and his brand of 'football.' It's not hard to see that, no matter what bunch of players or what formation he puts out, we simply don't sore anywhere near enough goals.

I've always been a Moyes fan, he used to look hurt after we lost, show passion on the touch line. Now you can see he has empty eyes, the fire has gone, he's a rabbit caught in the relegation headlights. If we don't act quickly and replace that rabbit, he and our dear football club will be flat out against the road.

But replace him with who? It's not hard to decide that; if ever anything happens for a reason, this is it. Burley is a free man; let's hope he doesn't find a new club before we need him...
Sean Arundel, Liverpool  (27/10/05)

Take her if you will!
I hate to admit it but I think I`m going down with Jim Wilcox Syndrome (Fans Comment 22/10). I`ve fought against it for weeks but I`ve now come to believe that my Blue Lady`s a prick teaser!

Look at Sunday; she was full of promises and gave it her all and I went home feeling we had - at last - got it together. But then, last night, she let's some twat from the North East go all the way with her and left me desolate.

The problem is she lacks real class and rolls over for anybody. So take her to Brum, by all means, but don`t expect her to give YOU what you`re after!
Newton Paul, Maghull  (27/10/05)

Am I being cruel?
After weeks of hounding me, I decided to take my 6-yr-old son to his first game. I thought the Boro game would be a good start. (I actually thought we would beat them!)

After a bright start, then the inevitable happens: they score, and we go to bits. But my little lad is still sitting there with a big smile on his face, looking proud to just be there, like all us fans must have felt at our first game. After the game, he said he can,t wait for his next game.When we got home he couldn't wait to tell his mum, he was so excited. His mum then turns to me (she is a Man Utd fan by the way) and says, "Is it right to be condemning our son to a lifetime of misery, heartache and pain, which no doubt Everton will give to him?

After that I lay in bed awake for about an hour, wondering if I had done the right thing taking him. Because Everton are like the devil; when they get a grip of your soul, they don't let go.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (27/10/05)

Whatever next...
Well, another defeat, another exit from a cup competition at the first hurdle. I commented the other day how some of the lads around the boozers on County Road were ridiculously over celebrating a home 1-1 draw which left us rooted to the bottom of the table still. The loyal IMWT army stood firm and re-affirmed their 100% support. After last nights showing — admittedly an improvement on some shocking performances this season, but which still ended in defeat — I wonder how many of you are starting to crumble?

This defiance to take note of the events which are unfolding is puzzling. What does Nil Satis Nisi Optimum mean anymore? If I hear "Don't forget, this is the same bunch of lads who got us into fourth place 3 months ago" once more I think I'll be sick.

It's like staring down the barrel of a shotgun with this team. Why can't a team which probably costs near £500k a week in wages score a goal? It's disgraceful! I don't care what needs to be done, but it needs to be done fast. If it means bringing in a mentor, do it. If it means wiping the slate clean and starting afresh, then do it.

If you are as blue as you say you are Bill, sort this crap out. It's your responsibility. Even if they won't admit as much, the IMWT brigade wont stay resolute for much longer.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (27/10/05)

Davies - inspired signing?
When we signed Simon Davies I honestly (foolishly?) thought he would be a very good signing. But I've been an idiot: he is woeful!

He doesn't look like he has the stomach or performances for the fight that lies ahead. He was on the official site months ago saying crap like "If we don't win soon the pressure will be really on." Hmmm... well, mate it's getting to fever pitch now.

We've had Blue Bill saying how wonderful Davie and the players are and Moyes backing them all to come good with "more hard work on the training ground" but it would be nice to hear things like "Davies was shite last night, he deserves a right slap".

I know it will never happen, honesty and football dont mix.

On a side note how long have we got until this season is almost unrecoverable? How long has Davie got?? Will Bill ever make a serious sincere statement about the current plight of EFC??? Will Davies have a good/average game????

Answers on a postcard to........
John Audsley, Leeds  (27/10/05)

Roll on Saturday!
Oh dear, oh dear; the agony goes on. Bottom of the league and out of three cup competitions at the stage of entry! Again, no lack of effort tonight and the formation and tactics were half-decent for once. But the fact remains, we can`t buy a goal for love nor money and the manager`s failure to make a goalscorer his absolute priority in the summer will haunt him - and us - forever.

What we so desperately lack is class, and all that remains is the desperate, desperate hope that the introduction of Van der Meyde and Krøldrup `The Benchwarmer` can somehow supply that vital ingredient. Truth to tell, if they don`t do it over the next month, methinks it will be too late.

So it`s off to bed with the thankfully short trip to Birmingham to look forward to on Saturday. And, believe it or not, I am looking forward to it because my Brummie neighbour tells me they are absolutely dire. So maybe, just maybe, as the Man keeps telling us, `Our season starts here.` .... Or not!
David Hall, Taunton  (27/10/05)

Meanwhile back in Bill's world...
"The Old Lady was a bit tired tonight but I can promise fans this - we are 99.999999% there both on and off the field. We have the greatest manager the world has ever seen, ever. I have never seen such a brilliant manager since Walter Smith's glory years at the Blues in the late 90's.

"Off the pitch massive, gigantic, huge strides have been made in securing substantial investment into this glorious, magnificent, famous club. I can promise fans this, there will be a massive and I mean massive investment into the club from a group of die-hard Blues in the next 24 hours. That's all I can say. We haven't said anything yet because we don't like to talk ourselves up via the media at this club. Just look at our transfer dealings, the first time anyone gets to hear about them is when we parade the new signing.

"In my view, actions speaker far louder than words and that's what I've always practised and believed in with this massive and I mean massive club. The glory years are here again. I know it, Davey knows it and all real blues know it. We may be out of the Champions League, The Uefa Cup, the League Cup and bottom of the Premiership but these are all minor blips and it's only October.

"Remember the glory games, Bolton away, Chelsea at home and don't forget Bucharest on one of our magical and famous European nights. So we may have lost 11 of our 14 games this year and failed to score in 8 of them. But let's not forget that this team finished 4th last year (Copyright David Moyes 2005).

"Ok we may only have won 3 of our last 14 games last season and that makes it 5 wins in 28 games since 6th Feb. But remember we have only failed to score in 14 of those 28 games so that's a 50% scoring success record. We have scored a massive 22 goals and only conceded 45 in those 28 games. Yes the facts speak for themselves and the fact is this great, proud and massive club is back where we belong."
Chris Leyland, Formby  (26/10/05)

Laugh or cry? Too painful, Chris. You do that far too well. — Ed

My views on the game
Back from the game and disappointed with the result as another home defeat doesn't help with the confidence. I thought it was a good open game that both teams wanted over in 90 mins. I thought there was little difference between the teams except in that vital last third where Boro had the edge. Both sides lacked that vital ingredient, Quality, in the midfield. This showed in the number of snatched chances at either end.

Van der Meyde got 30 mins and showed that he can cross a good ball and let his teamates know in no uncertain terms of how best to supply him.

Despite some late on efforts — none more worthy than Mikel's free kick — we didn't really threaten and that is a worry. Come Saturday it will be a different game so lets just hope with a few adjustments we will have something to cheer.

I hope we will give it a good go as I dont want us just getting up for the games against the big teams. In our position, points are vital against all teams.

See you Saturday. UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  (26/10/05)

D-Day Looms
I've thus far managed to keep me gob shut on the whole Moyes issue, primarily because I think it's far too easy to knee-jerk after a poor run of results and lose sight of the big picture. I’ve done that in the past and it’s far too easy to start talking utter shite when the adrenaline of a bad defeat is still flowing.

I was a self-confessed Moyes fan at the start of the season and still believe that he should be given a chance to turn things around; after all, I don’t think there’s a Blue out there who wasn’t far happier with the squad at the start of this season than they were at the same stage last season.

It’s dead easy now to be critical; everybody’s an expert with the benefit of hindsight and all that. Sure, most of the contributors to this board voted on your poll at that time that not signing a striker would cost us, but we’d all have accepted no new striker had our start not been so poor.

Anyway, Moyes fan or not, this run cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely and there must come a point in time when enough is judged to be enough. No more points on the board following the West Brom game in November (only 3 games away and very possible given our current inability to defend and score!) would mean that we’ve played a third of our games with roughly a tenth of the points required to keep us in the Premier League. Very simple sums that don’t add up.

It’s fine arguing that there’s no-one to replace Moyes, but that argument will carry very little weight when we’re travelling to Cardiff and Brighton for away games next season.

Although he has my full support (pending immediate future results!) – surely the best option is to be decisive and at least give ourselves a chance of survival. Whether this is by bringing in somebody to work alongside Moyes (ala Venables & Robson at Boro a few years ago) or by banking on the impetus that a new manager normally brings, I don’t know and I’m fortunate enough not to have to make a decision of that magnitude.

Either way, D-Day is looming and it’s looking increasingly likely that such a decision will need to be made - bright young manager or not, the survival of our club in the Premier League is this season’s number one priority.
Dave Randles, Ellesmere Port  (26/10/05)

That's a really good balanced letter, Dave. Many thanks for sending it in. — Ed

Moyes must go now
After yet another defeat and more misery, which in my opinion hasn't left us for nearly 20 years, how much more do us Evertonians have to take? Tonight's defeat by Boro really makes me sick to the stomach and the defiant stance in the IMWT brigade is getting beyond a joke.

Here was a competition there for the taking... Well I wish someone had of told this to Moyes as in all honesty I don't think we will win another match with while he is in charge. "Over the top" you say; I don't think so... It is time to have a shake-up all over the club, from top to bottom. The club is rotten, mistreating the fans, a heartless defeatist team on the pitch, an inept manager leading them, and sections of the crowd clinging on to wee Moyesie... awwwwwwww!

No, I'm afraid with Moyes in charge we will be in the Nationwide... but "We'll sign a striker in the transfer window!!!" Will we? They wouldn't come when we were offering them Champions League; I'm sure there must be some supporters who agree with me.

Lastly here is something for the pro-Moyes gang: Moyes thinks Kilbane is good enough to wear the Royal Blue jersey that Kendall, Harvey, Ball, Young, Dean, Reid, Southall, Ratcliffe, Watson, Sheedy once wore... Ferguson still wears... I rest my case.
ps: love the site
Ian Briggs, Lisburn, NI  (26/10/05)

Moyes's supporters
After tonight's predictable defeat to Middlesbrough I had to wonder,again, how seventy odd per cent of Everton fans [well, ToffeeWeb readers... Ed] still think Moyes should be manager. Just because he is Scottish and young it doesn't mean he's going to turn into Alex Ferguson.

Two years ago we had our lowest ever Premiership points total and this season promises to be even worse. We go out in the first round of practically every cup competition, play negative, predictable football and are unable to score. After four years in charge and spending all our money, he's guided us to the bottom of the league.

Being an Everton fan is about following Everton, it's not about any individual player or manager. This seventy odd per cent who are loyal to Moyes are responsible for the demise of the club they pretend to support. They are following him at the expense of the club.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (26/10/05)

I've toned down your rather obnoxious post, which seeks to use our lousy results on the field as an excuse to foment discord among the supporters. No matter how passionate you may be about Everton, there is no excuse for insulting your fellow Evertonians, and I will not be publishing any further letters that go down this path.

Blaming Moyes's supporters for the current state of things is as ridiculous as blaming ToffeeWeb for publishing negative vibes that reach the team and do their heads in.

There is only one Moyes supporter whose opinion has any releavance and meaning: that is Blue Bill. He reamins totally behind David Moyes and is likely to contiue to remain so for some time yet, no matter how much worse things might still get (can they actually get any worse???). The opinion of fans, whether in support of Moyes or not, probably has little effect on Bill's current thinking. However, that siuation could change with time... — The Editor

What do you expect? A goal?
Three words explain our removal from the Carling Cup:
Beattie, Beattie and Beattie...

He was in the wrong place every single time. There was plenty of good service to the centre. Not only did he not work hard enough up front, his laziness led directly to Middlesbrough's goal.

The man is a striker alright - the problem is he's on strike. I know we can't get him off the books after David Moyes's psychological and financial investment in him, but can you at least take the useless carthorse off the masthead?
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (27/10/05)

The masthead is one of Lyndon's wonderful graphic creations. But it rotates, so you have (I think) a 1:6 chance of encountering his smiling visage when you log in...

Same odds as Russian Roulette, should you be so tempted...

What more can we say other than "Absolute Rubbish!!!" This club is now in a mess. Make changes now or resign ourselves to trips to Cardiff, Coventry, Milwall, Reading etc. etc... This is so depressing.

K Bennett, North Wales  (26/10/05)

Biggest critic can be biggest fan
To all the fans who have written in having a go at those of us who have dared to criticise the current regime.

Firstly, I would just like to point out that, despite gaining a creditable point against Chelsea, we are still rock bottom of the league. This makes us the worst team in the league regardless of any excuses, i.e. injuries, Collina, luck, Kilbane's haircut, etc. Therefore any criticism is totally merited and is generally designed to suggest ways in which we can improve the current debacle.

Many of the fans lambasting us for our criticism seem to be in some gross form of denial and it seems to me they would rather watch us struggle than give a critical analysis of the situation and suggest a way that we could make things better. Have people never heard of the notion that your biggest critic can also be your biggest fan?Those of us criticising the current regime are doing so because we want to see our team succeed, not because we are eternal pessimists.
Sean , Liverpool  (26/10/05)

Perfect timing, Sean. And you make the point a lot better than I tried to just below... — Ed

Polls Apart
So 76% backing for David Moyes in your ToffeeWeb Poll, which looks fairly resounding... but I wonder what percentage of this percentage are happy with the shite football that's been served up during three seasons plus of DM?

They may argue that he hasn't had the players to produce good football but he's spent a decent enough wedge to assemble a team that should be able to play some occasional good stuff.

I just don't think he has the nouse; no matter what players he has at his disposal, it won't make a blind bit of difference. Also it would have been interesting to see the same poll result before the Chelsea game and if we had lost at Bolton which if we are honest should have been a defeat and would have left us on zero.

I really want DM to be a success but it ain't gonna happen regardless of the time / funds provided for him. I really for fear for us and hope somebody at the top lightens up soon.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (26/10/2005)

Lyndon closed this poll before the Chelsea game, so it interestingly does not reflect any bounce effect due to the impressive achievement of denying 2 points to the Runaway Russians. It backs up what a lot of people have been at pains to point out: that criticsm of Moyes is a minority view. I accept that; even though I am critical of him in many areas, I too still like him and want him to succeed.

The new issue is not so much should Moyes be sacked, but "Should intelligent discussion of Moyes's failings be allowed on Independent Everton Webstites?" Or is it fundamentally unsupportive, devisive, and damaging to the overwhelming need for positive vibes that are essential for uplifting the team??? — Ed

Get Real!
I can't believe there are people already saying that Beattie is now justifying his existence after scoring a penalty on Sunday... half the people who read this website could do that, for God's sake! I know he ran around and challenged for the ball, but was it just me or did he hardly ever win it, he never went past a man, and when he was passed the ball it seemed to rebound off him like a 'superball'.

Then there's people saying 'I told you so' about Moyes. Give your head a shake... we were at home, we played piss poor football but competed, we were lucky to draw, and are still bottom of the league, yet Moyes is a genius! When are people going to realise the Emperor is stark bollock naked!

I can't believe we celebrate a draw as if we've just won the derby or a cup final... well that's great for lemmings, but for the Evertonians who expect decent football, assured top flight status and the occasional chance to win something, it just is not good enough. This is just one long nightmare, that according to your Moyes happy poll, is only being truly endured by a minority who see the writing on the wall.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (26/10/05)

Yes, Michael, you are clearly in a minority... but that does not mean your concerns don't have any validity. It's that old business of people wanting to be positive whenever they can, rather than dwelling on the (obvious?) negatives. — Ed

ToffeeWeb Poll: Another Reason
One reason not mentioned was Pierluigi Collina.

If he had allowed the goal in Villarreal, I think it would all have been different. Bit like the good luck we got at Palace at the start of last season.
Phil Roberts, Brasil for today  (25/10/2005)

Sorry we don't all moan all the time
Dear Ed, Thanks for your prompt publication and response to my previous mail bag. I agree, it's a site with a frank and fair (sometimes) exchange of view s- unlike much of the match day crowd who seem to spend 90+ minutes (including Sunday's game - I was there) moaning all the time - sometimes, when Yobo doesn't switch off or we've not resorted to Big Dunc long ball plan B, we don't look half bad (Arsenal this season was okay apart from the obvious). So, okay, if that's how you enjoy your afternoon out, and the week following, carry on.

Sorry some of us choose a slightly more positive slant, where it's due (not very often this season I concede), on the lads. You don't become a shit team overnight (this has been going on for years). One game and we're 17th. Be happy!
Sebastian St.Clement, Harrogate  (25/10/05)

Whingers and whiners
Haven't taken the time before, but after a decent and committed performance on Sunday, I'm still staggered by the massive swathe of ill content that most contributions voice - not least of which, the bleedin editor.

Why do you lot bother to follow the team? You hate the players, the chairmen, and, usually the manager. I'm with Richard from Formby on this one - stop moaning and let's hear a bit of support for the team - this a big hole to get out of - no room for whingers and whiners!
Sebastian St Clement, Harrogate  (25/10/05)

Sebastian, If that's what you've figured out from reading the diversity of opinions below, then I don't think anything else is going to help improve your tenuous grasp on reality.

Keep the faith. Don't worry, be happy. Everything is going to be alright. Don't listen to the naysayers. They're not real supporters, after all said and done. COYB, IMWT, NSNO...

Support for the team is what the fans provide at the match. This is a place for reflection, comment, analysis, assessment, exchange of views and information. Clearly it's not for everyone.

Travel sick?
After our heroic 1-1 draw with the unstopable juggernaught, I'm still wondering why it has taken the best part of a quarter of the season to produce our first meaningful display in the league. (Yes, we did beat Bolton but we rode our luck.)

What about the travelling the team has done over the last couple of months? Many players (eg Cahill, Yobo) endured hectic summers with a very short breaks to recharge and these players have looked a little tired in the last few weeks, but could the club have actually helped fan the flames of fatigue?

It started with a pretty dire trip to Asia when arguably two games in Europe (Belgium? Holland?) would have been better (Yes financial commitments do take some blame). Next: Turkey, and another pretty dire experience in preperation for our season of hope. What did the players actually get out of these trips except a couple of thousend extra air miles?

Then the traditional Austrian training camp... Now if the Lakes is good enough mid-October then surely it's good enough mid-summer! In the space of three weeks the team have flown half way around the world and back, to Eastern Europe and back, plus a mainland Europe get together!

Then a further pre-season jaunt in Sscotland, a CL game in Spain, and a Uefa cup game in Romania must have taken their toll. The fixture list decided to pit us in London following our CL and Uefa cup away games and following our home Uefa cup game a 11:15am kick off on a Sunday! You can see how fatigue could be a problem. Anyway, enough of my whinging and heres to onwards and upwards!

ps: I didn't even mention the recent international games...
Richie Jones, Norris Green  (25/09/05)

Re Ed's reply to Smelling the Coffee
Dear Ed

I live in Harrogate but don't know anyone called Joe Blow. Perhaps my son and I could get a lift to the match with him (as the cost of petrol currently just about doubles the price of our season tickets)?

Then again, if he slags off Killa like you say, I'm not sure I want to share the same car with such a negative influence on my young lad.

By the way, totally agree that we shouldn't be getting carried away with the Chelski result; I for one will feel a lot better about things if we get the 3 points from Brum.

Nice to see Jose and his (admittedly excellent) team on the ropes a bit though, wasn't it ?!
Steve , Harrogate  (25/10/05)

Watching the rather amusing "Fox Soccer Channel" giving me the latest news from the "EPL" last night, the critic (some Scottish bloke) talked about Birmingham's poor performance and how Forsell hadn't scored for a very long time. "He isn't the same player since he got that injury". I think that closes that one and especially to all those who wished we'd bought him after losing a few games..... Well done Evertons medical team.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (25/10/05)

Good catch. Closely followed by the sight of that Emre bloke popping in a rather nice free kick to win their derby game for The Toon. But I won't mention that. — Ed

Beattie's Weight Loss Diet
2 days on from the magnificent Chelsea result and not ONE word about Beattie's (apparant) weight problem/issue.

Where have all the 'He's so fat', 'Fat waste of cash', 'Fat bastard' comments gone???

Scoring a brilliant Shearer/Le Tissier-esque penalty seems to be the newest 'fad' diet of preventing people commenting on your weight!!!

Oh how fickle some of us are!!!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (25/10/25)

Or did the lad finally do something about his weight (he certainly didn't look as fat to me) and put in what was his best performance in a blue shirt? Which would actually vindicate all the criticsms you cited. So, fickle or faithful? Which is it? — Ed

I was really happy to see EFC just finally put in a performance on Sunday but I think the reaction to it has been way over the top. (BK's great, great speech - as embarrassing as watching a club with the motto 'nothing but the best is good enough' settling for Premiership survival each year).

The players only did what we expect them to do every week - get stuck in and give 100%! Heaven knows they're paid enough. If they've no pride in the shirt they should at least have pride in themselves.

We all know we haven't got the players to compete at the highest level and last season's 4th place was an amazing achievement but as much as we over-achieved last season we have totally under-achieved this one so far. Have Wigan better players than us? I don't know because I have only heard of about 3 of them.

Sadly, last season's achievement was secured on 2004's early season form before we got found out and our record for 2005 reads W10 D3 L20. Out of a possible 99 points we'd have 33 - and be heading for relegation.

Ominously, there seems no change in team tactics (can DM change tactics before we're getting beat?), the goals are as rare as a good singer on The X Factor and we seem to sign anyone as long as they're not fit and aren't a striker.

I've watched teams like West Ham, Man City & the afore-mentioned Wigan (who I don't believe are better than us) all play entertaining attacking football but when was the last time our team did anything but grind out a result? But I sure hope they grind out a few more soon. Let's hope 2006 will be better because one thing Evertonians are used to is hoping for better days ahead.
Robbie Brown, Coleraine, NI  (25/10/05)

Spot on, Robbie. Let's not carried away. — Ed

Your turn to smell the coffee!
Well, I do so hope that the great performance on Sunday and the overwhelming vote of confidence in David Moyes (oh, how that must have hurt!) in your ill-judged Toffeeweb Poll will at last get the knockers to put things in perspective.

Yes, we`ve got off to an inexplicably bad start but at least two thirds (your poll!) of Evertonians are prepared to see it as just that and not get swept up in the tide of doom and gloom merchants who monopolise not only ToffeeWeb but the the phone-ins and letters pages of the local Press.

Okay, so Blue-eyes Bill does get a bit carried away, but just like so many of Harry Meek`s `Gwladys Street neighbours` he lives and breathes Everton and has staked his fortune on bringing the Club success. Many of us DO believe Davey is a great manager - and so do his peers by voting him tops in two of the last three years. So prehaps we can now move on by backing him to the hilt and not chipping away at his - and the players` -confidence all the time?

Hate to say `I told you so` but can I suggest it`s ToffeeWeb`s turn to `wake up and smell the coffee!`
Richard Dodd, Formby  (25/10/05)

It was inevitable that we would get a few people crowing when Moyes's team finally started to perform this season (and about bloody time too, if you ask me). But don't try putting the blame for their collective ineptitude on us, "chipping away at their confidence" — that has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!

There's only one thing that chips away at their confidence, and that's their own inability to perform. Conversely, there's only one thing that gives them confidence, and that's their ability to perform. Some days it's there; other days it isn't. That's the manager's job and the coaching staff to instil those qualities into the team.

Do you really believe Kevin Kilbane says to David Moyes "Honest, guv, I'd be killin' them down that left wing, to be sure, if it wasn't for Joe Blow from Harrogate who wrote in the other day to say I was a useless tosser." [Okay, maybe KK was the wrong choice, as his problem is one of inability rather than lack of confidence, but you get my meaning, I trust?]

In case you haven't noticed, we are still bottom and we still have an awfull long way to go. I sincerely hope we have turned the corner because (as I have stated previosuly but you conveniently missed) I like Moyes... but if you strip away the passion and committment that brought us that result on Sunday, the football is still not there. So it reamains to be seen whether they will perform any better (and start playing decent football) in the much lower-profile games... against Brum and West Brom.

And if we get a decent performaance in the Mikey Mouse Cup on Wednesday, or rollover like we did in that awful FA Cup tie against United last season. — Ed

The trouble with email...
... is you can miss sarcasm, tone, etc.

My point I was trying to make is that having an Evertonian as manager, or player, doesn't guarantee anything... Hence the 'inspirational' label for Simon Davies...

Apparently a survey in a broadsheet last year had Moyes on the lowest wages of any top flight manager. A 'mere' £400k (I put the mere in quotes in case you didn't spot the sarcasm....)

Granted this situation has now been addressed, but I'd still wager he's not in the top 10, and it doesn't alter the fact he was recruited on a low package to begin with.

Hoping the team push on from Sunday - the letters page is in danger of becoming bearable again!
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (25/10/05)

Tsk, tsk... now how did I miss that?

David goes back to school?
After the mighty performance on Saturday against that Russian side, I wonder if the rumour in The Independent on the morning of the match still holds any truth - that the previous, sacked manager of Chelski is poised to return to English football as, would you all believe, director of football, and teacher of Moyes, at EFC - just when things were looking up! Another bloody foreigner in charge!
Stan Webb, Leeds  (24/10/05)

Jim Wilcox (21/10/05) was telling us all about that hussey who took all his money and gave him nothing in return... Well, I spotted her on Sunday, looking mighty fine... I'm taking her to Birmingham on Saturday, gonna shag her senseless!
Jim Whiffen, Heswall  (24 10 05)

Goodness gracious, young man! Have you no sense of propriety and decorum? Thousands of people will be watching the performace. Have you no shame??? Can't you just sit quietly, hold hands, and bellow sweet nothings from the sidelines — like the rest of us!

He really does bleed blue yer know!
Im glad the biggest Blue in the world is overjoyed today and praising the manager and players.

But hold on... Over 35,000 fans cheered and screamed for us yesterday, spending thousands in the process... How about giving them some praise? — and the thousands of fans at home and away who keep in touch with Everton anyway they can

Praise to the manager and players definately, but credit to the best fans in the football world.

Up the Blues and Toffeeweb
John Audsley, Leeds  (24/10/05)

Christmas fixtures: too many games
Having played on the 3rd Dec, Everton will than have three games in the space of a week between the 11th and 17th December, one of which is against Man Utd. We then play 4 games in 8 days from Boxing Day to 2nd Jan, one of which is the derby. Everton play a total of 8 games in the space of a month. Given we've got a small squad, this would seem to make us particularly prone to injuries. Not all teams have got as tight a schedule, look at Spurs fixtures. December's going to hit teams like Everton hard, surely they need to rethink these fixtures. Do we need a game on the 28th?
Martin Cornforth, Bootle  (24/10/2005)

Great, great, my arse!
Call me a miseable bugger if you will but I do wish some of my fellow Evertonians would keep things in proportion. OK, we got a hard-earned, unexpected point yesterday, but some of my Gwladys Street neighbours were jumping around like we`d just won the Premiereship rather than still be rooted to the bottom! And then, this morning, the Chairman comes on Sky to tell the world, `David Moyes is a great, great manager and it`s been a great, great week for him.` Talk about bloody overkill! We got a point at home for Crissake, the FIRST of the season!!! And he`s doing handstands! And we`ve still only scored ONE goal from open play in 810 minutes of league football! You do have to wonder what planet this man inhabits.

By all means talk of promising signs of improvement and togetherness but "great, great"... - who's he trying to fool? Or he is so far up Moyes`s arse that he`s stopped having any judgement of his own?

It`s this sort of sycophantic crap that got us into the mess we`re in because too many people started telling a bright young man that he was a genius. He ain`t, believe me. And that`s why - great, great week or not - we`ve still got only 4 points out of a possible 27!
Harry  Meek, Worcester  (24/10/05)

Reality. Well said, Harry. I know we are reknowned for our 'negativity' but that speech was just ridiculous. — Ed

Hold on a minute...
Im not going to be the eternal pessimist here, but some of you really need to calm down. We held the Champions, and arguably the best team in Europe to a 1-1 draw yesterday, and it is undoubtedly an improvement on recent events. However, I was there, hearing the groans every time Kevin Kilbane got the ball, every time Tony Hibbert thumped another long, wasted ball up to nobody. I also heard the moans when Neville, Weir, Yobo, Cahill, Ferguson etc sloppily gave the ball away. Each on more then one occassion.

In terms of results, it was better. In terms of performance, we were outplayed. We fought, which is what we have been asking for since the opening day of the season, but, as a fan, do you expect anything less??? Chelsea had an off day, let's be honest. On another day, we could have gone down 4-1 or 5-1. We have a huge, huge taske ahead of us, make no mistake.

I will probably be slated for this piece, but I don't care. I will tell it how I see it, and one 1-1 draw is not going to make me euphoric. David Moyse has a lot of work to do to turn us around. We are still one-dimensional in attack, and our frustrating inability to close players down is worrying. We looked knackered at the end yesterday, whereas Chelsea looked like they could have played on for another 90 minutes. I am aware of the gulf in class. I accept it nowadays, but we should still be able to keep up with the pace, close down and tackle. Thats basic stuff isn't it? Anyhow, a point is a point and I'll take it off the best team in Europe.

The point of this rant: don't get carried away people. We haven't turned any corner yet. Let's see how we fair in the next 3 games, starting Wednesday.

I am not negative, and I am hoarse after yesterday's game. I want Everton to storm up that league as we don't belong down there with Sunderland et al. We are better, much better than that. But I am not deluded enough to anticipate a 10-game unbeaten run now. Some of the lads on County Road yesterday, you'd have thought we won the FA Cup. That boys, is a sign of how we have fallen. I hope DM gets it right, I really do.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (24/10/05)

Nail... Head. Spot on, Phil, I could not agree more. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. That is exactly what it means.

Two Sides to Loyalty Argument
In his response to your editorial commentary on an earlier submission, Mike Price questioned the ‘admirable fierce loyalty’ shown to DM – going as far as describing him as a ‘non-Evertonian Scotsman’. What is being suggested here? Only Evertonians should be given the job? What about players then? Well, that should see Mike Newell out (boyhood red), and the signing of Simon Davies was inspirational… Although at one time Everton had the greatest number of ex-players in professional club management, not all were any great shakes.

Appreciate it’s all about opinions, but I think we have to be realistic here. When DM was given the job after Walter went, it was something of a gamble – but a gamble that the Chairman felt was worth taking. We’ll never know BK’s real sentiments (get him on low wages, prepare for life in a lower division) and it really depends how much you love conspiracy theories.

I do think Moyes has shown that he has feelings for the club (and I’m not counting the early proclamations that in reflection he probably regrets). There’s always an element of luck when young managers become great managers. And sometimes, an element of judgement on the part of the Board – by not pulling the trigger too soon. Had Alex Ferguson been given the bullet if they’d not won the 1990 FA Cup replay against Crystal Palace, who knows what Man U would have achieved in the 1990s?

One thing that still amazes me is when I read interviews with ex-players, and many look back fondly on their time at Goodison, even to the point of coming back to watch games. Some of them weren’t “stars”, or even stayed that long. They just got the bug.

For the record this isn’t a pro-DM stance. The opinion I’m slowly coming to is I think he’s gone as far as he can, and seems limited dealing with ‘big-time’ players. But mostly, I just want to watch attractive football again. Now where’s me video of Villa away last season…?
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (24/10/05)

"... and the signing of Simon Davies was inspirational…" — I must have blinked or something and missed the Simon Davies moment... what are you on about?

"(get him on low wages, prepare for life in a lower division)" — For a start, his wages were anything but low, and I can't impagine even Blue Bill was thinking like that. Moyes was brought in to do a job, and he did it. The potential and the promise of greatness has always been there. Just a rollacaster of a ride along the way... — Ed

I Fookin Love Everton
I have not posted on here for a good few weeks mainly cos of the negativity that I knew was coming. However, let me say this: No-one Rocks Da House Like We Doo!!!!! Proud of all you people who were there today, kept Chelsea out second half and we will keep the lads innit right to the end.

Great site, Great people that produce it, and great people on it; Proud to be part of the family.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (23/10/05)

Nice one, Steve!

Hope in my heart
First time in months that I`ve made the long drive home with something akin to hope in my heart. The trip to the Lakes worked wonders and, for the first time this season, everybody seemed switched on and up for it.

Obviously, we made few clear openings and I suppose, in reality, it was only Chelsea`s profligacy in shooting that stopped them getting a hat-ful. But we looked like a team for a change and let`s just hope it`s not a false dawn. Oh how I hope Moyes can ram all my bad mouthing down my throat!

Strange that when I got home, the letter from Rick Tarleton reminded me of my finest non-Everton moment-Worcester City`s defeat of Liverpool in 1959. I was undergoing Army basic training on National Service at the nearby Norton Barracks at that time and managed to skive off for the game. Nobody, but nobody, cheered louder for the home side - they even played in blue - than me that day, I tell you!

I always toot the horn as I pass the site of the old barracks and tonight it extended to a blast because of my lightened mood. COYB !
David Hall, Taunton  (23/10/05)

Back from the game...
...and hell I enjoyed it. Going head to head with what some people regard as the best in Europe and, one way or another we matched them — or at least denied them. Playing such a team raised us more than the manager had been able to do to-date

Now I believe we have the core of a half decent team. If only they will take it on from today. To the players, I would say you have shown you can compete with the best: now go on and beat the rest.

I still think it may be a difficult season but isn't it going to interesting both on and off the field as the protaganists for Moyes (In or Out) make their plays and those who either love Bill or hate him have their say. Me? I just love going and will accept results will determine our destiny as I hope the manager and all his squad reciprocate.

Board, manager and fans can achieve our aspirations. Us fans and the players made a start today. The rest... catch up!!!

See you Wednesday! UP THE BLUES!!!
Ken , Buckley  (23/10/05)

What a battling performance!
How we fought! How great Yobo was! Arteta added bite to his undoubted skill, the referee was kind. And we broke Chelsea's run. Morinho was patronising and unfair. He believes his own image.

However, it was a re-run of Shrewsbury's cup tie win, of Yeovil beating Arsenal, Hereford beating Newcastle and Worcester City beating Liverpool. It showed that on the day, the desire can overcome the skill.

What it doesn't do for me as an Evertonian who loved Wally Fielding, Bobby Collins, Alex Young, Roy Vernon, the magnificent Colin Harvey, Duncan McKenzie and Wayne Rooney is reveal where the Bouef Wellington is. It shows me we have the shin, the "Dogs of War" if you prefer, but I believe with Danny Blanchflower that the game isn't just about winning, it's about glory.

Congratulations for to-day, let's make sure that if we need this kind of display, we'll do it again, but let's look to a future based on the skill and confidence shown today bt Yobo, Arteta and Beattie's superb penalty, the best penalty I've seen since Roy Vernon left the scene.

We can't go down, we are the greatest team in the history of the game. Survive the season, Mr. Moyes, use the tactics we need, but remember, the tradition of the School of Science. Nil satis nisi optimum, nothing is good enough but the best.
Rick  Tarleton, Rutland  (23/10/2005)

Some appropriate remiders there. Richard. I wonder how many know what you're on about, though? Hereford and Worcester??? They were a LOOOOONG time ago. So were most of those players you mentioned... — Ed

Alan Khan
Top South African radio jock Alan Khan has been a blue supporter for ages. He often goes on his morning show on East Coast Radio singing Everton's praises to his more than 2 million listeners. Lately, his fellow presenters have been giving him stick with Everton battling at the wrong end of the log. Alan even read out a sympathy card that one Liverpooh (lol) supporter sent in to him. Alan is one of the most famous Everton supporters in the country. He even interviewed Sir Alex Ferguson a few years ago - and got stuck into him over his relationship with Walter Smith.... you can check out here.
Big Bloo, South Africa  (23/10/05)

4-5-1 next week
A great hard working performance today by the boys — about time! The 4-4-2 formation worked well today, but you just know next week against Brum, it will be back to the same boring system, with Beattie as the lone striker. I hope Moyes proves me wrong and goes for it.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (23/10/05)

All those doubters out there...
Well what can I say? An outstanding performance by a team that needed to perform today. I thought every player was outstadning.

The main thing that happened was that Everton played with heart, for the first time since the Villarreal game away. We showed that we were not willing to roll over and die against a team who are probably the best in Europe at the moment, let alone England. Before we went into this game I said that Everton must make sure that, after the game, Chelsea knew they had been a in a game. I for one am sure that the Chelsea players will be bruised, battered and tired on their way back to sunny London right now.

We gave it everything today and for all those people who have been saying Moyes should be sacked recently, did you hear 30,000+ Evertonians singing 'Davey, Davey, Davey Moyes' at the end of that game? We have not performed since the Viallarreal game... until now, but that is down to the players. A team that shows heart goes a long way —for proof look at. Wigan!

I just hope we can now continue. Great performances by Beattie, Yobo, Hibbert, Neville and Arteta are needed again at the Borough wednesday, then at Birmingham. A fantastic team performance today. Onwards and upwards!
Luke  Brown, Lancashire  (23/10/05)

The spirit was a lot better... but ominiusly the football was still pretty dire. Even bloody Phil Neville engaged in that ridiculous head-tennis thing at one point. And we could not create chances from open play, no matter what we did. David Moyes talked of intelligent football (from Chelsea in this fixture last season) involving denying possession to the opposition. While we continue to concede possesion with shameful profligacy, we will always be vulnerable. But a good fighting performance with a lot of heart and spirit. Just what the poor supporters wanted and needed. — Ed

Let us build
A very good performance from us against Chelsea and lots of positives to take from the 1-1 draw. I thought James Beattie worked hard and 90 mins will do him good. I feel our fortunes could now change and we need to play with the same tempo and desire against the lesser teams. The fans were excellent and deserved the reaction from players who have under-achieved in recent weeks.
Frank  Burrage, Northwich  (23/10/05)

Moyes doesn't fear the axe
Per his chat to the Daily Star:

"I'm not going to accept being at the bottom and sometimes it takes big decisions and big changes."

"It's not an easy club to manage. But whatever happens will happen."

"I have good people here and whatever happens I will still work in football if that should be the case."

Quote one, lets hope this means an end to dreary negative football and we at least go out fighting, a change to the 4-5-1 that simply isn't best suited to our current squad.

Quote two, is Moyes hinting at trouble with the board? He has splashed a lot of cash this summer, admittedly too late and on questionable signings but they are his signings unless he wants to admit they aren't.

Quote three, is Moyes saying if he does get bladdered he has options elsewhere?
Anon , ???  (23/10/05)

It sounds like the first chink in the armour of denial.

Please dont put words in my mouth
I would never call fellow Blues idiots. Perhaps I am a little frustrated by those who are showing "admirable fierce loyalty" to a person who 4 years ago had no feeling whatsoever about our club and before long will have no further association with us either.

People have a right to disagree but this loyalty to a non-Evertonian Scotsman is hurting, almost beyond repair, the thing we all supposedly care about the most, Everton. If that opinion is arrogant then so be it...but I am right and you know it!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (23/10/05)

Farewell Jim Wilcox
Jim Wilcox is not the only Evertonian who feels like giving up the daily torture but he's the only one who's going through with it. It doesn't matter how long you've been an Evertonian, once a blue always a blue. Starting to support a club because they are good is never going to be the best basis for a relationship anyway. I've been an Evertonian for 10 years and have only enjoyed 1 year of glory but even without that I would never dream of turning my back.

I share Jim's suspicion that the love of his and our lives has never loved us, but by God do we love it, so much so that no matter how many times it cheats on us, how much less attractive it's got since the day we met or how much we don't think their heart is in the relationship, we will always be there.

Now's the time that we need to devote ourselves to the team, rather than indulge in self-pity. We will get out of this mess, and maybe this is heart over head but it might even be against Chelsea. Even if we don't, Everton Football Club will still be there. And so should we. Keep the faith.
Ruth Daly, Manchester  (22/10/05)

Dark Times Indeed, Paul Coleman
Another response from me. This time in part to the article by Brian Viner & to the piece by Jim Wilcox (whose sentiments I merely echo)

He'll never remember, but I e.mailed Brian Viner the season before last when we were in the same shit. It was in the small hours & he had written a similarly lachrymose piece as today's. He was kind enough to reply and apply balm to my tortured soul. I can't exactly recall my tearful plainsong but the thrust was along the lines of why, since Heysel, have we Evertonians been singled out for such malevolence on the part of the footballing gods?

Maybe it is the pessimist in me that urges dark musings into the written word but here I go again. I certainly recall saying that through those dark days two years ago the one strand of hope we had to cling to was a manager whose ability, determination & integrity was enough to see us through. He agreed. And so we survived. Not only did we survive but we went on to shove the slings & arrows that inevitably came our way straight down the throats of the sceptics out there who wish us ill.

I still feel the same admiration for David Moyes now. Just. But what I also feel is that even the abundance of qualities he brings to the job, this time will not be enough. Those capricious forces Brian Viner speaks of are more in evidence than ever. But more importantly the deep-seated malaise that has affected the administration of our beloved club for the past two decades has not abated one jot. From investment in the Grand Old Lady of Goodison through to youth development, domestic exploitation & fingers in the overseas pie there has been little movement of any note. Stagnation Rules, BK! Whatever miracles DM achieves in Everton’s immediate future will in the grand scheme of things count for fuck all.

If we beat Chelski tomorrow & put brief pause to their 100 year Reich it doesn’t matter. If we go on to win the next 20 games on the trot & qualify for the CL again IT DOES NOT MATTER. NONE OF IT MATTERS because we are well & truly fucked & in all honesty have been since John Moores quit this mortal coil. The succession of self regarding parvenus who’ve been given the breathless privilege of looking after the love of our lives have seen to that.

And it is here only that I would disagree with Jim Wilcox. ‘The Peoples Club’ is not the cheating hussy he describes but the victim of a drawn-out gang-rape. And what fortune he has spent has gone not to the lady but to the pimps who control her.
Pete Scoffield, SE London  (22/10/05)

Loyal to a fault!
I don't think I'm the kind of person who suffers from knee jerks or won't give a person sufficient time to prove themselves, but I do think I know a bit about football and a lot about Everton and Evertonians. The thing is, right now I am puzzled about the amount of support David Moyes has from my fellow Blues.

I can only put it down to the fact Evertonians think of themselves as different to many other groups of supporters and so are showing some kind of kamikaze-style loyalty to our ridiculously over-rated manager. There is no other reason that can't be shot full of holes by anyone with a football brain.

The recent article which mentioned that whether 4th or 20th, the style of football is a major turnoff, is a view I think held by many Evertonians. With this manager there really is no hope. The style of play since he has been here is a disgrace, he is terrible at man-management and contributed to the best player we ever had leaving, he cannot attract any flair players, and is an absolute disaster in the critical area of the transfer market.

He and he alone has plunged this club into the worst crisis I can ever remember, he has put us in a terrible financial plight with crap players on long contracts, and the outdated, ugly football has made us the laughing stock of football.

Unlike most other clubs though, we are blindly, stubbornly almost, defending the indefensible! Is this the People's Club, 'born not manufactured',' we're different... not like Newcastle etc' rubbish, the reason why an unbelievable number of Evertonians are choosing to ignore the blindingly obvious?
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  ()

Rather than going off on one against the impressive display of firece loyalty by what everyone insists is the vast majority of Evertonians, and basically calling them idiots in all but name, I think you should domenstrate some respect for other people's views, and not expect that everyone is going to look at things the same way as you do. Such arroagance is I suppose a part and parcel of being a football fan, but surely even a cursory reading of this webpage would show you that supporters of David Moyes can cite a litany of reasons which justify their continuing faith in him — just as you can do the opposite. — Ed

Dear Editor,
My name is Ronald Christopher and I am a Malaysian who has supported Everton for around 35 years. I visited Goodison Park when I was studying and working in London during the early 1980s.

I only came to know of your website recently and I must say a very big THANK YOU to you and your team for this excellent website. It does provide us EVERTONIANS with a very good source of up to date, interesting and most importantly, wide ranging pieces of information, reports and views.

It is definitely important during these depresssing and critical moments of our Club's history that we get unedited information to know what is really going on in the Club.

Keep up the good work.

Best Regards
Ronald Christopher, Malaysia  (22/10/05)

Thanks for that, Ronald. We try to cover most things that we think will be of interest to Evertonians around the world.

Don`t do it Jim!
I know many Evertonians of `a certain age` feel a bit like Jim Wilcox at present — I have to give my own father anti-depressant therapy on a daily basis! But before he puts his head in the gas oven, I would ask Jim to think of those he leaves behind — not least the biggest `loser in love` of us all — Bill Kenwright.

Bill so loves the Club that he even re-mortgaged his house to prise us from the clutches of `Peter the Red` — and how many of us would do that in the cause of love, I wonder? In my very limited experience I have found `true love never runs smooth` and yes, we are going through a difficult patch at the minute. But most of us still believe we have `the Best Man` in charge and that he will be wise enough to see us through.

And Jim, don`t forget your vows — `In sickness and in health`, remember?
Richard Dodd, Formby  (22/10/05)

Farewell my love
For fuck's sake, I know people are entitled to their opinions etc, but do you have to publish this depressing sentimental rubbish.

These are dark times, but can we not just try and stay a bit positive on ToffeeWeb?? It all a bit too heavy on here at the moment guys.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (22/10/05)

What a difference a year makes
This time last year, Everton were flying high in the Premiership and there wasn't a cloud in the blue skies over Goodison. Twelve months on: out of the Champions League (were we really ever in it?), out of the Uefa Cup, and bottom of the League. Where does the blame lie?

Well I think that the blame lies firmly on the doorstep of Mr Moyes. Why? I think there are obviously many opinions on our current plight, but I believe there are a few simple facts that could be attached to our situation.

(i) Mr Moyes's lack of ability to bring a regular goal scorer to the club, since the days of Tony Cottee (99 goals in 5 seasons - do the simple maths!!).

(ii) Mr Moyes's lack of ability to bring ANY centre-forward to the club (never mind a regular goal scorer!!) before the Champions League registration deadline.

(iii) One chance to get back into the 'big time' and try to punch at a better weight. What do we do? Play one up front at home against a Spanish team that have had a few good years in the last thirty.

(iv) His repeated insistence to play 4-5-1, a system that he says, "well, if you look at Chelsea and Manchester United, they both play this system." Have you seen their players, David ? This system should have been put to bed last January, after the unfortunate situation of Thomas Gravesen going to Real Madrid.

(v) His refusal to give the then captain of Everton football club the contract he wanted whilst gifting contracts to two of the poorest left backs I have seen in my 25 years of watching Everton.

I think Mr Moyes knows he has missed the boat big time and HIS disappointment is showing all over his players. Whilst calls for his head are obviously borne out of our supporters' anger and disappointment, I think Mr Moyes needs to find a rabbit and a hat from somewhere — and fast.

The only situation in my eyes is that he now puts all his effort into correcting our dire league position and then puts every last effort into winning one of the two cups on offer. This will then put us back where we were before the dismal performance in Romania.

To quote Mr Moyes, "we need to be careful, as we have seen with Leeds, who shot for the moon and didn't quite make it." Well David at least they shot for it... our players don't even shoot!!!

What a difference a year makes?
Andy Shaw, Mersyside  (21/10/05)

Bet Your House On It
1 goal. 8 games.

16 halves of football. 12 hours of football. One goal.

One clean sheet.

I can still get you 3-1 on the Blues going down, and if I was a professional punter I'd be stacking some wedge on it.
David C  (21/10/05)

My dear mother brought me up to believe gambling was immoral. And you can't get much more immoral than that: gambling on your own team to go down. Shocking! — Ed

Doing their talking off the pitch
Further to yours and your correspondent's discussion of the Beattie interview about Kenwright's thanks to the squad - why did Beattie even accept the thanks, or consider them directed at him? What did he do to get us into Europe? I remember a fluffed header wide of the mark against Birmingham that made us all sick, that's about it.

Only Neville and Arteta come away from press interviews with any dignity or value at the moment (including management) - off-the-pitch form matching that on it. Moyes should censure the rest until they do someting positive on the field, otherwise they just irritate. (I notice Capt marvel has shut it since his comments about enjoying playing for Scotland more than us were so well received.)
Ted  Turner, Nottingham  (21/10/05)

Personally I agree with you 100%. Unfortuanately, I guess the PR folks and the media think that these stunningly revealing interviews are what the fans want to read, no matter what level of meaningless pap is churned out. Of course, conspiracy theorists might suggest this is all so much of a diversion, thus enabling the continual shying away from discussion of the real issues, which will continue to be swept under the carpet until time comes for the book to be written. — Ed

Arteta ideas
Not the usual rant against underachievers etc etc, just a quick post to ask how everyone would feel to see Arteta adopting the same wide role he played against Dinamo Bucharest. I think it was one of his best games and certainly a position from which he rifled in some mighty fine pinpoint and dangerous crosses into the box, match that with maybe Dunc and McFadden in a 4-4-2. If we cant get a full game out of Dunc, why bring him on to salvage a game when we could be using him as starter and causing damage and hopefully dare I say it a goal (or goals) which we could then defend?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (21/10/05)

Players' fault
1. Yes we're bottom
2. We couldn't score in a brothel.

But why is all this flack on sacking the manager? We've played, Arsenal (a), Man U (h), Spurs (a), Bolton (a) and after Sunday Chelsea in the first 9 games. In the corresponding fixtures last year we got 3 points and guess how many we've got this year from those fixtures? Yes 3 points.

The blame is solely on the players not the manager; I mean you can't polish a turd! Bent - Championship player at his best Kilbane - past it. Weir - why is he still playing? Sorry, he's never been that good and now he's sitting pretty on a 2-year contract.

The players Moyes has bought to make a difference i.e. Beattie, Kroldrup, Van der Meyde and Neville have not played together yet - so stop panicking and let’s hope that when they get fit the deadwood playing will soon become driftwood...

Phil McNamara, St Helens  (21/10/05)

Thats ok then
Just read that Blue Bill gave a Henry V type speech to the players before the Spurs game. He even thanked the players for giving Everton a chance to play in the Champions League/Uefa Cup.

Well, on hearing this I've bet the house, job, car, dog and the wife on us not only beating Chelsea but winning the premiership as well!!

Bill's changed my mind on this season with his actions. He and Wyness are right: it's only a blip. Can't wait till Sunday!!!!
John Audsley, Leeds  (21/10/05)

Yes, it was very inspiring to learn that such a wonderful speech preceeded our last defeat. I wonder if Bill will be making another unsheduled visit to the changing room on Sunday?

Just another stat...
I see that if we lose 11 more games we`ve had it. Well, here`s another stat I fished out last night. No team has survived in the Premiership who hadn`t got 14 points by half-way. So Everton need 11 points from the next 11 games. Can we pass that first landmark? It`s not asking much, I know, but it would be something to build on.

I`m not sure, but if we can`t we`re done for - with or without Moyes. Come on you Blues!
Melvin Porter, Upton  (21/10/05)

That's just three wins and two draws... not impossible!

`Don`t you come knocking on my door`
I generally admire positive thinking but some of your correspondents are on another planet! As if the myopia of Rob Fox wasn`t enough, we now have Danny Broderick (20/10/05) taking up the mantle of Head Spinmeister in an attempt to show us all is well.

All these attempts to convince us that `Moyes is the best manager since Howard Mark 1` mean absolutely nothing when you are bottom of the bloody league! `He got us to fourth in the table and a taste of the European Champinship` means sod all when you`re exposed as inadequate in both resourses and tactics when you get there. For Chrissake, even Mike Walker got that far with bloody Norwich!

Yes, Moyes averted relegation when he took over from Woeful Walter — ins't that what he was employed to do? Yes, he had a good first season and gave us hope that better things were in store. And then he bombed big time and we were back to relegationsville teritory. I firmly believe he was clueless in his handling of Rooney and made it easy for outside forces to turn the lad`s head. But the money was a godsend. It saved Moyes, it saved Kenwright and, if truth be known, it probably saved Everton.

So he hits on a plan. We`ll make ourselves hard to beat and hope to sneak a winner — for five months, it works... and for once in how many years we`re `safe` by Christmas. Unfortunately, however, you then have to play all the same teams again and their managers aren't daft. The rest is history.

Clueless, absolutely clueless in the transfer market and, having done bugger all in three years to encourage and develop young talent, he blows all the Rooney dosh and again sets out his stall to maintain the league position and tackle the European challenge with a style that every other manager knows back to front and that most are resourced to play better. Promising young manager? More like one whose severe limitations have been viciously exposed, I`d say.

So, to paraphrase the song, `Dont you come knocking on my door and tell me it`s Moysie who saves....` I promise you, this club is going nowhere with this man in charge... although come to that, I could say the same about the sad buggers who employ him!
David Hall, Taunton  (21/10/05)

Yes, I think we have you down in the "Sack Moyes" column. David. Perhaps, for the sake of the conspiracy theorists out there, you could confirm that you reached this position on your own, without subtle and devious prompting from the underhanded news coverage provided by this website? — Ed

Firstly I would like to say how much I value ToffeeWeb as a source of news and opinion. However much of your recent coverage seems to carry an agenda to stir up opinion against David Moyes.

Why link the news that Claudio Ranieri has said he would like to manage again in the premiership?? This would only ever be Everton news if the manager's position was vacant which it is not.

Tony Adams has said in the Mirror this morning that he would also like a job managing in the Premiership. Are you going to link that???
Dave J, Liverpool  (21/10/2005)

If you've been following along, you may have noticed that some of our readers believe the manager's position is in question. Just yesterday, the back page of the Racing Post was given over to the issue, with some internet rumours causing a lot of money to be invested in the possibility of his imminent departure. I would have linked to that too but it is a registration site and I can't be bothered regsitering.

At least one of our contributors recently suggested Ranieri in response the the pernnial (but ultimately meaningless) question, "If Moyes went, who would replace him?" I'll leave you to figure out the rest.

The point is, we don't make the news. If it's out there, we have the choice of linking to it. Currently, this is a topic which is of more than passing interest to most Evertonians. That is the main criterion for linking. No hidden agenda.

Are you suggesting Tony Adams? Personally, I find that quite shocking. Perhaps you have some sort of devious agenda of your own, eh? — Ed

Is that Slaven Beattie or James Bilic?
Why dont we get shut of this useless piece of shit at the first opportunity? He is taking the piss now with injuries, more so after being replaced by kids in the Reserves game who showed our elder-statesmen overpaid turds how to do it and scored a great equaliser. Just wish we had that skill level and hunger in the first team instead of constant broken promises that fat-boy Beattie will come good.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (20/10/05)

Now come on Gavin. Seems like all you can do is spout venom at poor Jamie. Being a footballer is a physical thing. You have to put your body parts where others wouldn't. Is he really to blame when some of them end up dead? — Ed

Wouldnt that be nice?
Haven't done any work since August; just strolled around and took it easy.... I wonder if my boss would take me to the Lakes?
Ian Doyle, Wirral  (20/10/05)

Facing the inevitable
Much has been written as to the failings of Moyes —particularly in his transfer dealings during the summer break and the so called opportunities gone begging for such household names such as Sissoko. Frankly I think Moyes got lucky there. Others, such as Bellamy and Emre who have barely kicked a ball; prolific strikers like Forssell who has yet to find the net; and, last but not least, the wonderful Scott Parker who has taken the barcodes to another level. Perhaps overly critical but no more exaggerated than the accusations leveled at Moyes for failing to attract them.

The fact is he has made a number of good signings. What now has to be done is to get them to gel as a team. However, that task is all the greater given the numbers of personnel involved. Personally, I expected us to do no better than mid-table this season given the circumstances. For me this was inevitable as we are a team undergoing major transition from perennial relegation candidates to a club aiming to break into the top six with the intention of staying there. I still believe we will achieve this.

It is often said there is no gain without pain. One thing is for sure: Moyes will be left in no doubt about the character of the individuals within his squad — perhaps the most valuable lesson of all to be learned, if we are to achieve the success so many of us crave for.
Gerry W, London  (20/10/05)

Off with his head?
Should we sack Moyes? When shall we do it? Now? Christmas? End of the season if we get relegated?

I fall into the pro-Moyes camp. Our current manager has got a lot more right than he has got wrong since he's been at Everton. He has restored our pride, getting us to 4th and playing Champions League football. He is without doubt the best manager we've had since Kendall's mid 80s team. He has shown his potential as a manager here at Everton by steering us into 7th and 4th in previous seasons.

I can see quite clearly that he has his faults, and it is clear now that he should have got a striker in the summer. He also shouldn't have offered certain players contract extensions. But a lot of the things that I praise him for are indeed now in the past and we are on an awful run at the moment. Abysmal even.

However, I believe in David Moyes, more so than any manager I have seen in charge these last 20 years. Throughout that time, we have chopped and changed manager, and where has it taken us? Throughout the world these days there is a thought process of 'Off with his head' in pretty much every walk of life. If a company isn't performing they sack the director. Tony Blair has had calls for his resignation over the war in Iraq. That's the way of the world, but it's a policy that I don't always agree with, primarily because you lose the benefit of any lessons learnt if you sack the boss when things are going wrong.

David Moyes was definitely a better manager last season after the experience of the previous year when we finished 17th. And he will be a better manager next year for the experience he has gained so far this year. Yes, he has made mistakes. Yes, we are playing crap at the moment. But long term I believe David Moyes has the potential to be a great manager.

I would prefer that to be with us, rather than another club getting the benefit of his experience here. He has made mistakes, but because of the potential shown by Moyes here, I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt in most cases.

I voted for Tony Blair in the last elections because I believed him to be the best man for the job, in spite of the fact that I can now see he made the wrong decision over the war. And so I will continue to back David Moyes, even if the unthinkable happens and we are relegated, because I feel that he offers a better long-term bet than any other names being mentioned - Ranieri, Newell, Reid, Royle etc.

ps: I am a realist too, I know we are in a crisis at the moment, but I'm just hoping that our first-choice team is good enough to lead us clear of this mess ie, a team including Beattie, Van der Meyde and Krøldrup. It's just that until I see a better prospect than Moyes, I would prefer him to stay than chop and change and repeat the mistakes of the last 20 years.
Danny Broderick, London  (20/10/05)

Many a truth.....
In your bogus response to Jason Morgan, Oswestry, Fight!? 19/10/05 you, in part, state " altercation in the dressing room between two of the club's strikers..." - Funniest thing on the site this week.
Thommo   (20/10/05)

John Paul Kissock
To back up Tom Bennet's enquiry on John Paul Kissock, Sky Sports News showed very brief highlights of the reserves game against Sunderland. The highlights of Everton's goal showed some wing wizardy and a superb pull back from young Kissock. He looked like he had pace and trickery in abundance and his exuberent reaction when Harris was great to see. He is what we are missing at present. Pity of course he is only 15. Maybe in a few years!! By the way Van der Meyde looks like he needs to shed a few pounds before he will be worrying Premiership defences!!
Peter Rea, Bangor, Co. Down  (20/10/05)

It's Black Cats 'NOT' Red Cats.
In your column regarding the reserves at Sunderland. Sunderland are known as the Black Cats not Red Cats.

Is this Everton thing affecting everyone. Can anyone do anything right. Will we see quick throw-ins and catch opponents on the back foot like they do to us. Will we take quick free kicks and pass to a player in space who will run at the opposition. Can we spread out and use the flanks on the pitch when in possesion and pass and move and create chances.

I don't recall seeing much of the above but would love to. If DM reads this, DO YOU GET THE HINT.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (20/10/05)

Doh!!! Some great playing suggestions there, too, Dave!

Good Enough?
Much is being said here on ToffeeWeb over the pros and cons of sacking super Dave. Many people say he will turn it around, and he will save us from relegation... My question is this: is the mind set of Everton Football Club avoiding relegation good enough? Is that ALL our ambitions are? Remember it is only a few short weeks ago we were drooling at the prospect of watching the best in Europe at Goodison; now we talk of "staying up". Is that really what our great club has come to?

There is no doubt that DM is a good manager and maybe even a decent bloke, but is he good enough for our club? Let us assume for a moment that super Dave is left in charge and does manage to avoid the drop. Say we finish 17th, that will be four full seasons in charge: one reasonable top ten finish; one good top-four finish, and TWO bottom half avoid relegation finishes; is that good enough for Everton FC?

Remember, next summer the "Rooney" payments from Man U dry up, there has been no windfall from the Champions League or Uefa Cup AND we will have budgeted for a much higher placing, I can not see Sky wanting to put us on the box as often, so do any of you really think there will be any money in the kitty to go buy Robbie Keane or such like? Are we going to be able to build on the limited success we had last season? Are we hell as like.

So, boys and girls, what will we be left with? Another few years of relegation dog-fights to look forward to? The fact is we had a chance to take a major step forward this season; like it or not we failed big time. We can blame "Uncle Fester" for that disallowed goal, but not for the spanking in Romania; we cannot blame him for buying or not buying (as the case may be) the right players to do the job; and we certainly cannot blame him for being bottom of the league having scored one goal.

Last season, good as it was, has now become just another "missed opportunity" for Everton FC. "Everton are one of the biggest clubs in the country and I know that if I get things right there, the sky's the limit." — The words of the last "Promising young manager" we had, Mike Walker in January 1994. Maybe big ideas work at a little club, but it would appear that those same ideas don't do so well at a big club.

How much more time do we give him to "turn things around?" More to the point do we have that time to give right now?
Wedgewood The Gnome, Liverpool  (20/10/05)

In answer to your first paragraph, a resounding Yes. That is, and in most of our Premiership years has always been the primary goal: staying up. There have been a number of pieces from senior club persons (Moyes, Wyness) stating exactly this, so it should come as no surprise.

In answer to the rest of your points, Mr Gnome: see below. I think you are coming in to this a bit late as a lot of these issues have already been raised, dissected, chewed over, and spat out all over the keyboard.... Enjoy! — Ed

In response to a response
In response to Sack the Juggler's response to "The More you Know...."

Where does he get off calling people names for having an opinion about our football club? The letter writen by anon may or may not be accurate but surely he is allowed his opinion be it informed or uninformed. Juggler you come across as one of those narcistic tossers you meet in the pub who thinks he has the answers and solutions to all our troubles.

I like many others have been watching EFC for over 35 years and have seen many changes in the club both good and bad. But regardless of this and the state of football in general I would never insult anyone for having an opinion. The bottom line is the club does have massive problems both on a managerial and player basis and and all the papering over the cracks will not make it go away.

Even in the dark days of Bingham, Lee, Smith et al I had enough optimism to feel we would survive but this time I and many other longstanding blues are genuinely scared. As for your comment about youngsters not being the saviour of the club, let me remind you that young players are the future of the game and we have a duty to nurture them and not discard them because it is easier to buy — remember the Man Utd team of the 90s?

It is you Juggler that needs to look at the bigger picture and take your ostrich-like head out of the sand because, if we do go down, it will be narcistic fans like you who will be sitting in the pub saying 'I knew this would happen' etc etc etc.
Dave Lynch, Merseyside  (20/10/05)

Losses the key
One of your corespondents a few days ago came to the conclusion that we could not afford to lose more than 11 more games. He came to that conclusion by postulating how we could garner 35 more points.

Having checked the records since the Premiership went down to 20 clubs, I find he`s spot on because the average losses suffered by teams finishing 17th IS 18 - although Bolton got away with 20 to survive in 99-00! So, folks, you'd better believe it: another 11 games lost and we`re doomed!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (20/10/05)

Those were the days
Just want to say that I'm currently reading Joe Royles new book (sorry about the plug). A right riveting read so it is, particularly the bit about Harry Catterick's style of management.

Ironically, it seems pretty similar to Davie Moyes's style (although much less successful). He ruled with a rod of iron, trained them hard, pissed the players off when they didn't show 100% commitement or loyalty, and didn't really like dealing with the press. However, like Joe Royle points out, times have changed and you can't treat players like Catterick did anymore... but the incident in which Catterick gathers all the reserve team together after they got beat by Bury and bollocks them for insulting the traditions of the club does make me yearn for the days when we were the richest (thanks to Sir John) and the most stylish (thanks to Harvey, Ball and Kendall).

Right, who's up next... Chelsea? Bugger!
Iain McWilliam, UK  (20/10/05)

John Paul Kissock
I've heard this lad is quality, and he seems to be doing alright in the reserves. I was just windering whether or not you had any more information on him. I don't know if you have a match reporter at the reserves but any info would be good.
Tom Bennett, Coventry  (20/10/05)

He's only 15... but he was acclaimed Young Sports Personality of the Year at the City of Liverpool Annual Sports Awards evening last April.

Sadly, we no longer have our own regular match reports on the reserves but we do still maintain our own record of the games here, with links to reports at the Echo and the Official Everton Website. This was only his second game for the Reserves. You'll see his name a lot more in the Under-18s, as well as in previous seasons. — Ed

Luck? My arse!
Paul Traill's article is not the first I've seen on ToffeeWeb recently that mitigates our current woeful position as down to, at least in part, bad luck! Gary Player was once accused of being a lucky golfer. "Funny that," he responded, "the more I practice, the luckier I get!". And this says it all for me.

If we shoot more, we'll score more — both directly and indirectly through rebounds etc. And if we score more (more! - oh the fucking irony) the opposition will need to score more to beat us. You know, the simple stuff.

Paul says, "It seems that every time we give the ball away we get punished."

Yep! more simple stuff there - if you give the ball away you run the risk of getting punished and when you're playing shit that risk increases. I say don't wait for a favourable bounce of a ball, keep a fucking hold of it instead!

Maybe I'll concede a bit on the injuries argument but that aside, the concept of 'luck' will not change by itself - we have to start getting it right on the pitch first.

I'm just about still in the IMWT camp but the Royal Blue tinted glasses brigade need to wake up and smell the bleedin' coffee! We are fucking poor and if there isn't radical, tangible change soon, we'll all need a new road map for next season!

Until we can all hand-on-heart say that our team is performing the best that it can and things are still not going our way, then I say: Luck? My arse!
Mike Murray, Kent  (20/10/05)

Paul Traill - Things Will Change
Paul, I have just read your article and felt I had to comment. You make it sound like we are the unluckiest team on the planet with some aspects of your argument. Look at the games we have lost this season that you comment on. We didn't deserve anything from any of them because we played so badly. It's not even to be considered that we didn't have the "rub of the green". We showed nothing, we didn't compete and we lied down and were steamrollered by every one of the teams on your list.

In addition to this, you ask how the top teams would compete without their "best left back..." you give that accolade to Pistone! Come on? Do you seriously miss the guy playing, because I don't. Then you go on to mention how we have been missing our "main goalscorer" in Beattie. Paul, if you consider him to be our main goalscorer then we are doomed. The fact is we don't have a main goalscorer. Erase that.. we don't have a goalscorer — full stop.

As a lot of people have commented on here, the time for excuses has long gone. Yes, I would like to see Krøldrup and Van der Meyde in the line up; they can't possibly do any worse than those wearing the shirt at the moment. However, two new players (both coming back from extended injury lay-offs) won't change our situation overnight.

We need to call on everyone to play to their strengths, whatever they may be. We need everyone to over achieve, play out of their skin. Do you think this squad is up to that challenge? I'm not so sure, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

To people like me and you Paul, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum means something. I bet half of that team don't even know what the crest translates to. I hate to be a doom merchant, and being sceptical all the time, but these lads just do not live up to what I expect in Everton players. I've said before that I don't expect to win leagues and cups right now, effort and commitment should never need to be requested though - it should be there from the off in every game. There are no excuses for a lack of that.

If the reason we play so badly is down to the players' ability, then they shouldn't be on the payroll. If this is the case then the fault of that lies with the manager. If it's the manager's inept ability to change tactics or game plan, then he should be shown the door. It's time for action now, not words. How many games will the "our season starts here" war cry stay valid for? I'm losing patience.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (20/10/05)

Response to Adam Bennett - Fear of Relegation
There are not many articles posted which I agree with 100%, but this is one of them. I recall that when we had the only slightly worse start in 1994 (I'm assuming it was worse - I've not switched on Sky Sports News recently for fear of them gleefully showing me all the wonderful stats) that if the league table had started when Joe Royle had taken over we would have finished 6th - and don't forget we still only guarenteed our safety in the last week of the season against Ipswich! Based on the last few weeks, do you really see the team getting back to even top 15 form... when top 10 or even top 6 form is needed? I am not afraid to admit it, but in 1994 I actually did not want Mike Walker to go. I was wrong then, and perhaps that's why my view this time is different. I hope I am wrong again.
James Ford, London  (19/10/05)

Heard today from the bloke involved with our local supporters club that Moyes and Bent alledgedly had a punch up in the changing room after Spurs game. Anybody else have any info on this rumour...
Jason Morgan, Oswestry  (19/10/05)

"It has been acknowledged today that there was an altercation in the dressing room between two of the club's strikers following the latest defeat at the weekend. Although they did come to blows over a difference of opinion regarding playing roles, missed chances and level of effort, this has now been fully resolved. The manager is working closely with both players to improve tactical understandings and other details of the required playing formation so that this sort of unfortunate episode can be avoided in the future. No disciplinary action was taken by the club, and no further statement will be made regarding this matter, which is now considered closed."

If it had occured, would it be a good thing or a bad thing to come clean with some sort of statement like that? [honesty, openness, transparency...]

Or is the better approach to sweep it under the carpet, maintain total silence, and ferret out any persons within the club who might have perpetrated a leak of such unathourised information? [embarassment, secrecy, shame]

I think we know the real answer. Something to do with the long-established British tradition of not washing your dirty laundry in public...

Personally, I blame Dream Team & Footballers' Wives. — Ed

But what if?
I suspect the letter from Mark Radburn opining that Kenwright will stick with Moyes whatever happens is pretty close to the mark. A straw poll at our works seemed in favour of this course — although I suspect one or two who voted are closset Shiteheads who just want us to go on losing!

If this is the chosen path to destruction, it rather hits on the head that great soccer pastime of `Choose the Successor`. But what if, by some miracle, the great impressario emerged from within his `amazing technicolour dreamcoat` and did something sensible for once? Who would he go for?

Most of the has-beens mentioned so far would hardly light up Goodison, but Ranieri - in England this week to discuss his future with his agent - would at least cheer us all up!Can you just imagine those substitutions from the fifth minute - there`d be no waiting for Big Dunc deep in the second half - and the press conferences to follow... God,at least we`d all go to bed with a smile on our faces with the Tinkerman in charge!

I see the college boys down the road mentioned Ian Dowie - Christ, he uses more energy in a game than his whole team and, although he has confused nationality syndrome, at least he was a striker and ain`t bloody Scottish! Either would do a job for us if ever the day came... but, like Mark says, I fear we`re in for a long wait!
Alan Broughall, Aughton  (19/10/05)

Simply the best
I would firstly like to congratulate you on a great site. I have just got into visiting the Everton websites, and it seems with nearly everyone of them, that if anything negative is said about the club it's not printed. I've come to this assumption because 99% of the letters that were printed were about how great Moyes is, and everything is rosey in the garden. But it was a breath of fresh air to find your site, where fans can let off some steam, give their opinions on Moyes, the players, and anything else about the club, without feeling guilty.

So keep up the great work — long may it continue. ps: thought I would just say, God we're a bag of shite.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (19/10/05)

Welcome, Brian, and many thanks for your comments. We really do appreciate reading input like yours, not least because it reinforces what we believe we should be doing as an independent Everton website — for those Evertonians who can handle it. We acknowledge too that many Evertonians have difficulty with the concept of supporters actually criticsing any aspect the Club. Among such supporters, we apparently suffer a bad reputation, because they are upset by the negativity such criticsm evokes, and cannot then give us any credit for the rest of the site's content, which — if they cared to look — happens to be devoted to all things Everton. Their loss!!! — The Editor

Seeing the Point
I see a few letters are starting to point the finger at last year's performance by citing contract uncertainties. I said that way back when. There's no passion for long enough: 20 minutes and that's it. No point blaming Moyes completely; the whole of Everton FC have to take resposibility for what's gone wrong. Then again, the whole of Everton have to sort it out WITH the fans' devoted backing.
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (19/10/2005)

Just read that Davey has taken the lads on an Outward Bound course!

Anyone one else think the time would have been better spent learning how to shoot, cross, pass and tackle??????
Richard Jones, Hemel Hempstead  (19/10/05)

Underlying theme
Last season, most players were playing for their futures as contracts were up for negotiation. If the players were worth keeping then why draw this out over the summer? Players who were doing a great job didn't get rewarded. I would have liked Alan Stubbs to play on but only as cover for Krøldrup and Yobo. As for strikers, surely we could have taken a risk on an lower-league player with a bit of promise? Instead we get another goalkeeper... ruddy unbelieveable!

The contract saga surely demotivated some of the players who now just turn up and get paid. Why worry about winning things when you can earn a cool million kicking a bag of wind aimlessly around Goodison Park on a cold saturday arvo?

Beattie can score goals but we have to service him with quality final ball. The style of football we play is not acceptable. I heard Moyes's comments after the Spurs game saying that they had come to contain them. What has happened to the "we expect to win every game" philosophy? He cxomes out and says his team lacks quality! Yeah well Kilbane was signed by Davey and of course McFadden — who is not a midfielder. I think Davey has lost the plot. I dont mind losing if we play good football and have a go but at the moment confidence is shot, on field leadership from Davy Weir... don't make me laff.

The best defence is attack and unless we go out to play to win then we are in for a winter of discontent.
Adrian Byrne, Shanghai  (19/10/2005)

The Unsigned Letter
Well, I don't know how much of that letter is factually correct but I do believe what he/she says about Liverpool's new stadium. When I first heard about it, the thought occurred 'how the hell do they get permission to build over a "green space" and how did it happen so quickly?' Clowncillors and planning departments have something to answer here and if Sir Terry Leahy has adopted delaying tactics, all well and good. Politics smell at the best of times but when it intrudes on our national game, it's a poor "do".
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (19/10/05)

Come clean, Davie.
I am not one of those who wants DM to go (yet) but in trying to put the blame on our poor showing in Europe I think he is being a little disingenuous. The truth more closely lies in his failure to ensure our club did not go into the season with one hand tied behind its back vis a vis having rubbish strikers... Or was he relying on Cahill to bail us out? I just wish that just once he would hold his hands up and admit that he made a monumental error.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (19/10/05)

Seems it is very hard for people in senior positions to do that. The only option seems to be to fall on one's sword and walk away... The rumours say Moyes has been given the next three games to turn things around, but I think the letter below is probably more accurate. We shall see... time will tell... etc etc.

Wasting your time...
To all fellow Evertonians wearing out your keyboards in pusuit of a Moyes sacking, I have just one message -`You`re wasting your time!` There is just no way that Kenwright will end his love affair with this manager until we are statistically certain to go down. And even then there is a good chance that he will hang onto him `because of his great experience of Championship football`. Think about it; what chairman could hope to retain any credibility by sacking a manager to whom he had only months ago awarded a new contract at TWICE the original salary?

Our Bill is not like others; he has made a living by backing productions that the critics have panned to the world-but as long as the punters turn up he`s prepared to take the shit that flies his way. He says it`s the price you pay!

So save your breath and your keystrokes, `Moysie` is the star of our show and, even if he`s bombed and forgotten his lines, the impressario can`t afford to pull the curtain down on him now - or in the foreseeable future!

Sorry, but the show WILL go on.....
Mark Radburn, Liverpool  (19/10/05)

We might have to do another Letter of the Day box for this one!

David Flynn - I've had enough
"This years squad is made up of the bulk of the squad that played so well to get us into 4th last year". From January to May, we were shocking. So shocking that it culminated in the 4th placed team (yes, us) finishing with a negative goal difference. I am no statistician, but I would say its a fair bet that that hasn't happened ever before. We litterally stumbled over the finish line and stayed in 4th because others were poorer than us.

If you like spending your money to watch shite, and you applaud it, then fair enough. I, along with many others, don't. Our problems are more deep-rooted and we have lost our way spectacularly over the last 2 decades. Nevermind your Chelseas and Arsenals, we are way behind Middlesborough, Sunderland, and Bolton. They have all moved on and have plush new stadiums. Commercially they are in a very enviable position when you compare Everton's situation.

The club has fallen by the wayside due to bad management and bad infrastructure. Too much money has been wasted on mercanaries who do not live up to the "star" tagging they so easily attain. That money was badly spent by the managers in place at the time. That money was sanctioned by the chairmen and boardrooms in place at that time. It all culminates in one thing: we are stuck in a vicious circle. We have no investors, we have no chance of a new stadium. That sends out a message that we aren't ambitious. That prevents the "big name" players from wanting to come here. And around and around we go.

We should be investing heavily in our youth policy and the Academy. That is where our future lies at the moment. Growing our own fresh, young talent. Moyes has completely dismissed the whole youth/reserve options since he arrived, as has every other manager we have had in the last 15 years. Rooney was a one off, and he's gone onto better things, sad, but true.

The buck doesn't stop with the manager, but his approach is flawed in many, many ways. The heirarchy upstairs, have to bring in investment, and substantial investment at that. If they cannot do that, then they should go, every last one of them. Investment is needed, not to waste on more shite, but to take this club forward. This is what should have been done 20 years ago. The end result is what you pay £30 to watch every time you step inside Goodison. All fans are entitled to their opinions, and being critical is not neccesarily negative. Open your eyes and have a look at the bigger picture.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (19/10/05)

Kilbane's concern: TW Tues 18/10
Can I just say, I find Kevin Kilbane's comments in this article downright insulting.

Take a look in the mirror Mr. Kilbane. Your performances over recent times have been inept, clueless and simply embarrassing (just like the team's).

'Zinedine'......My fuckin arse !!
Mike Helsby, Rainhill  (19/10/05)


Manager of the Year
Just a quick thought and some may say, tongue in cheek, but what are the odds if David Moyes pulls us away from the relegation zone and we stay up that come May he will once again be voted Manager of the Year!
Mark McDonald, NZ  (19/10/05)

The Real World
There are some great postings going down on ToffeeNet. Here's one from David Catton:

The team was a disaster in 2003-4, barely escaping relegation. Many questions were asked of the young manager who responded brilliantly by taking the team to unprecedented heights (in the Premiership) during 2004-5. By Christmas relegation was out of the question and by signing Beattie hopes were high for a top four place - which was achieved anyway (and without Beattie!). If I was the chairman of Everton I might start to worry that my young (and successful) manager might be lured away to, say, Manchester United or Celtic about the future of whose managers rumours were rife. My reaction might be to award the young (and successful) manager an enhanced contract to ensure that he stayed around to build on his achievements to date.

We all knew that there had to be a clear-out of senior and deadwood players at the end of last season. Between keeping a couple (weren't all offered new contracts but at realistically reduced wages?) and letting the rest go, I reckon Moyes did what he was tasked to do. As for bringing in a new striker, why should that be the highest priority during the Summer? He had Beattie (and no reason to think he would get injured in the first game of the season); Bent had a good season in 2004-5; Vaughan was coming through (and there was no reason to think he would get injured early in the season) and the old warhorse, Ferguson, was there for cameo displays as super-sub for another season. Cahill scoreed freely from midfield last season and McFadden was still unproven but always seemed to do the business for Scotland when played as a striker.

The goalkeeping situation was looking good with 4 vying for the slot. The back four was strengthened and even Pistone came back after his best season only to get injured very early on while Naysmith succumbed to a long term ankle problem. Still Valente was picked up in time but buying two additional International centre- backs to replace Stubbs can't be considered a negative move. And who could have guessed that Kroldrup would get injured before he could play a competitive match. Midfield was strengthened with Neville, Arteta, Davies and VDM so all in all things were looking pretty good up to the end of August, despite the mixed results in the League. The hopes, which we all had, that Everton was back in the big time were cruelly smashed in the Champions League and Uefa Cup games. A rash of injuries and suddenly it's all the manager's fault.

Confidence is zilch and rumours fly. Of course morale in the dressing room is low, despite any claims to the contrary. None of the players is going to put his hand up and say, "It's my fault, guv". It's always going to be, "Moyes made us do extra training and he shouted at us loudly. He even criticised us for not concentrating during the match and going out on the town". You bet he did!

It's a cruel world but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as many have convinced themselves.

I came back from my summer break to find that 3 of my 13 staff had resigned to go to higher paid jobs with salaries we could never match. Another's fixed term contract was coming to an end shortly afterwards. Morale among the rest was plummeting. My chairman told me to get a grip or else. Two months later I've hired 5 new staff, morale is on the up and we're motoring again.

It can be done - and my guess it will be - and probably by David Moyes.

Take heart . . .
David Catton  (18/10/05)

Grip - get one
At the end of the day... it gets dark!! Yes the 40k fans that turn up week in, week out, are entitled to their say - what David Flynn says with complete accuracy is that we had better table results with DM. That is a fact and as is the case with most armchair tacticians - they can spot the problem but fail again and again to come up with a solution.

One article mentioned Smith coming back: Ho Ho! And another McCarthy being a viable replacement What a joke!!!. If Moyes goes then sit in judgement of the next manager and rue the day Moyes left - a bit like Royle really. And don't say you didn't want him out either - hypocrites to the last. GET A GRIP PLEASE or we will all suffer. Back Moyes till Xmas and then see... ok?????
David O'Brien, Southend on Sea  (19/10/05)

Well I never...
Re ‘The More you know’ article

I have it on good authority that Everton are about to re-sign Wayne Rooney on money donated to Everton FC by a Polynesian trifle magnate. That he has offered $95 million to ‘Blue Bill’ for a controlling share of the club and a seat on the board.

I’m also informed by the same person who is 'inside' the club that this bid is subject to certain conditions being met, including a new £300 million purpose built stadium being erected on the site of the old Kirby ski slope to be named ‘The Fruit Bowl’ and the immediate sacking of David Moyes to be replaced by Kevin Keegan.

I’ve also been assured by the same person that the Loch Ness monster does indeed exist because he has seen it; Gary Naysmith was bitten by a werewolf three seasons ago (hence the facial hair)… and that The Jam are about to reform.

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal my source… but this is all true… honest!
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (18/10/05)

And I believe every last word... Ed

Getting in some help
There is no point in going on a Moyes out campaign. There is no doubt that David Moyes must have a talent as a coach; however, it needs further development at the highest level.

I would imagine that in private David Moyes is wondering just what to do and how to do it. My point is why not for the rest of the season bring in Bobby Robson to mentor David Moyes to work along side him in developing his coaching and tactic skills. The position would still leave Moyes in charge and allow him to work along side a world class coach (it did not do Mourinio any harm).
David Webster, Shropshire  (19/10/05)

The More You Know???
Having read the letter from an unknown fan I found it rather confusing. I can't disagree with his assertions about the release of young players especially Anthony Gerrard but most of the rest of the letter is frankly gossip that anyone can put together. If the writer wants credibility, name the source. We all know we are in a mess but instead of constantly moaning let's for gods sake get behind the team and leave the gossip and rumours where they belong in the dustbin.
George Carroll, Stockport  (19/10/2005)

You know what, George (and DON"T write everything in CAPITALS - it's rude), getting behind the team is what the fans do at the weekend when the team are actually playing a game and are deserving of the fans' support. The rest of the week, the gloves off, and we will talk about whatever the hell we want to. Alright? Gossip and rumours are pretty much all we have to go on when the club and the real goings on are shrouded in secrecy, while we are fed a constant diet of meaningless pap sprinkled with hopeful platitudes down the official channels. Call it constant moaning if that helps you feel better, but these are on the whole intelligent and concerned comments from intelliengt and concenerned Evertonians — like you. You might do well to pay more attention. But if you really don't like it, don't read it.

A question of confidence
Regardless of the many other issues being raised by Evertonians right now, the burning questions for most fans surely have to be 'What went wrong to this team?' and 'How do we turn things around on the pitch?'

We all know that, post-Gravesen, we got lucky last season with other team's poor form, and hung on in there to scrape CL qualification with a negative goal difference by the skin of our teeth.

The players were motivated by a number of factors. No doubt a big part was the confidence that came from the winning buzz they had created, the chance to play on a bigger stage and for some the chance of a new contract.

The biggest motivation surely had to be the chance to be part of something exciting. To have a real chance of success. For that Moyes, as the architect, deserved nothing but praise - and he got it from all corners - but we need to question what, if anything, he promised the players.

Now maybe, just maybe, that was where everything went wrong. Whilst our players were all confident that the manager would deliver them a squad that they could win things with, by now it was surely over-confidence by DM in his negotiations that let almost all of his primary targets slip away this summer.

Remember Cahill's "we'll have him if they don't want him" about Kewell? What's that if not confidence in your club and manager?

By Fenerbahçe that had gone. The players aren't soft - they knew we needed goals just as much as any of us and now they're becoming as desperate as we are - keeping one eye on the recovery list at all times to provide some fresh attacking ideas or the salvation of the odd draw.

Now as it's his job, they should be loooking to Moyes. If they've lost confidence in him, it's this he needs to rebuild by finding out from them how they want to play and then picking a captain who can marshall them on the pitch. If it's Neville, and that looks likely, then so be it but lets get on with it.

Now maybe that won't work overnight but at least by playing some open attacking football he's going to win back the players and the crowd. We can't do any worse than bottom, can we? So what's it matter?

And maybe, just maybe, if we get a draw on Sunday and we get a few players back then the confidence we all so badly need can return. COYB.
Neil , Southport  (18/10/05)

That's a damned good letter too, Neil!

Give Over!!!
I am fed-up reading all the letters slagging off David Moyes. No-one slagged him off last year when we reached 4th place, beating Liverpool to it. We all know he should have signed a striker and didn't and that is the only fault I can see. For God's sake the man wants the team to win as much as the supporters do and let's face it - Moyes is not one of the 11 out on the pitch playing so let's put some of the blame on the players, shall we — now that they have all had their contracts renewed at the end of last season.

I have every faith that David Moyes will turn it around —even if its not this weekend against Chelsea. After all we have played four of the teams at the top of the league so far, so perhaps Lady Luck will turn her smile on us again.

As for the Champions' League [an old chestnut I know!!], we all knew once they let Liverpool back into this year's Competition that the writing was on the wall for Everton. There was no way Uefa were going to have five British Clubs in the Competition and I do truly believe that Collina was told to make sure we didn't go through... hence Dunc's disallowed goal. It makes me spit every time I see him on the current Vauxhall advert... I always admired him and thought what a marvellous referee he was; now we all know different. It's a good job he's retired.
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (18/10/05)

Oars anyone?
Sorry but I couldn't resist this one from tonight's Echo:

"Blues boss David Moyes..... has taken his players to an Outward Bound centre in the Lake District this week - as they prepare for the mountain they must climb this weekend.

The Everton players have been fell-walking, riding mountain bikes and canoeing down-stream."

I assume that its canoeing downstream as you don't have paddles when you are up shit creek!

But I'm a bit worried about that downhill canoeing... might get another injury.

Seriously........Don't give up. IMWTed... now it's time to start earning back that trust, starting Sunday.
Pat Ahern, Cheshire  (18/10/05)

Letter of the Day

In response to "I've had enough"...

I'm not going to pad out my reply to your article, David, with a load of unnecessary verbage so here are the bare bones of my response:

1. I am not a "Moyes Out!" man

2. Many of the arguments you voice in favour of retaining Moyes as boss hold true, ie:

  • Who is a necessarily better immediate replacement?
  • Most of the players he failed to sign last summer have not exactly set the game on fire
  • The quality of the team at best has never been more than solid mid-table & last seasons's performance has given fans a totally unrealistically set of expectations
  • Even so, these largely unexceptional players themselves have a major share of responsibility in placing the club in its present dire position
  • Gravesen was never that consistent
And so on....

3. There are several caveats however:-

Loyalty of support is not measured in terms of a slavish acceptance of less than our club motto. Any fan who gripes about our performance over the course of this calendar year has every right to do so without being branded a traitor. You give the impression that the vast majority of Evertonians fall into this category. I don't reckon this is the case. Where's the evidence? Anyway they pay good money & can moan if they feel justified.
Moyes has undeniably shown an unwillingness to deviate from last year's ploy of smothering the midfield. It's been found out. He has no Plan B. At Spurs on Saturday, he waited for us to go 2 goals down before he attempted to change the team to a more positive formation & even then we are left with the spectre of Dunc in the opposition box knocking the ball down to... NOBODY! There was hardly an Evertonian in the Spurs fucking half — never mind in their box (TWO-NIL DOWN, remember). Alarmingly, this is an ever-familiar occurrence.

He places players on the bench who are still not fit to play (eg, Kroldrup). What the hell is that all about?

Conversely he has no desire to involve any of the club's more promising youngsters. Does he have a discernable youth policy? Can they be any more of a risk than some of the overpaid underperforming first-team donkeys?

In short, Moyes doesn't have the boldness required right now. He is altogether too negative & this is reflected in the lethargy that we see on the field.

Manager & Players failings apart, what has the anaemic & spineless board ever done about generating any real investment in the club over the years? Surely a call for shut up or put up (or plain fuck off!) is in order? Does any criticism here imply disloyalty?

Finally, yes football fans are tribal, thank Christ. Rightly 40,000 fans don't all have the same idea as to what Everton is all about. Vive la difference! And, as fans, may we ever continue to say it as we see it.

IMWT still holds for me... but for how much longer I wouldn't care to say.
Pete Scoffield, SE London  (18/10/05)

Letter of the day there, Peter.

Mystery Benefactor?
In his 'More you know' article, Goodison's very own Deep Throat suggested that a wealthy Evertonian existed who wouldn't put his money in to the club because of the way it is being run. Maybe I'm just stupid but does anyone have any idea who this person is? Surely it's not Lord Grantchester!
Gaz , Liverpool  (18/10/05)

Alan Stubbs
I was just looking at the ToffeeWeb poll results for May 2005 and it appears that Alan Stubbs was bottom of the recent poll that asked:

"Who should be top of Moyes's list of players to retain this summer?"

Reading through the mailbag many people appear to have claimed that they believed that Everton should have re-signed Stubbs, but this obviously wasn't the case at the end of last season.

Oh, hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!
Tom Bennett, Coventry  (18/10/05)

Re: The More You Know...
I have to agree with Steve Callan's earlier response. How much of this article is based on fact? Little or none of it is backed up with evidence. If no part of it is made up, why isn't the author prepared to put his/her name to it?

I don't recall any rumours of Moyes losing the repect of his players, even from Alan Stubbs, who was one of those waiting on a new deal and was later prepared to have a pop at the club over the summer and to whom this would have made a very easy target. And many of those out-of-contract players signed new ones; why would they have done so having lost respect for their boss? On the subject of Moyes's own contract, wasn't he already signed up until 2009 by the time of the Liverpool-Arsenal match? Harvey and Harper left on bad terms? Is this common knowledge? Harvey retired on the grounds of his health, if I recall - or was this just a cover-up?

Competent people within the club are "frightened to speak out"? Who? Has the author any evidence of this? Who in an important position within Everton Football Club has a season ticket at Anfield? Can their names, or their positions, be given?
Richard Pike, Birmingham  (18/10/05)

Moyes Out?
I am somewhat lucky/unlucky in the fact that I don't have Liverpool workmates to banter football stories with (Unlucky last year, but that was the exception). I feel as bad as the rest of you fellow blues as I can choose not too talk football during the week and I can bury my head, but getting to the point, I would like to mention to the hoards out there: Imagine the unimaginable if we go down; who would you want to bring us back up?

Frankly, I would rather keep faith with Moyes, who has shown he realises he doesn't know everything and is a student of the game. Like a sponge absorbing everything, he wants to better himself all the time as a coach. Like everyone else, we all learn from our mistakes, but at least he has shown there is light at the end of the tunnel — not like King Wally! But I'll leave that subject for another time.

I still believe he will do the stuff, but he realises our situation, knows the people, frankly has built a better side than I have seen in a long while. Once they settle and bond as a team, he has the werewithal to be a great manager in charge of a great time at a great club. Now, back to my hole in the sand until we turn Chelsea over as they are getting close to being beaten, right?
Barry Gallagher, Liverpool  (18/10/05)

Where is the evidence?
In the fans comment article "More you know" the person has withheld their name, therefore providing doubt over all their accusations. We all know that there are problems with anything in life that happens, things do not always go the way we want, some decisions made by those who are in power we consider not being correct. This happens in everyday life, I do not always like things I am told to do, but I do them as the responsibility lies with those above me.

Now if people are made to leave the club, players and staff, then that is the choice for the management team, they have been put in charge and they take the responsibilities with result and direction of the club. Surely we do not expect them to stick with a system (which in fairness has not created much success in the past 10 years).

We could sit here and highlight players which Everton has let go for pennies and then discovered they were quite good, but then we can do that with most clubs, spotting, selecting and investing in talent is not easy and therefore mistakes are made some you win some you lose.

The article only sounds like a bitter person who dislikes change, things have to change, training techniques, diets, financing. A reason why we are so far behind the successful clubs is due to the fact we never changed quickly enough when the Premiership started. Change happens; face it and stop being so bitter. People call for Moyes’s head, but let him do his job and structure the way he requires. If in time it looks as if the 5-year plan has not worked then you can say it did not work, but we have to have faith and the next manager will come in aand change things again.

Be patient. Things I believe will come good. We were one of the first to master the 4-5-1 and we hope that Moyes will get the team to master another formation and success will come back. We are two point away from safety with 30 games to go!!!!
Andrew Reed, Dumfries  (18/10/05)

I'll just pick up on this last point, which is becoming a new security blanket. But it is absolute rubbish. 5 points is not safety. We need something like another 35 points or so (see below), so let's not be hearing any morte of this nonsense, please. — Ed

Moving The Deck Chairs on the Titanic
Now I agree with the tide of frustration currently swirling around Goodison Park but I'm fraid I'm here to tell you something you don't want to hear. That is that our problems won't be solved by "Sack Moyes, get Terry Venables in and look forward to Champs League"

We are a club that's been in structural decline for nigh on 20 years and our problems are that deep-seated. In the grown-up world, oil tankers take years to turn around. Remember, in the last 15 years this faltering oil tanker has only finished in the top half 3 times and two of those are under Moyes.

Issues around the academy, new stadium and generating a supply of revenue to jsutify our 'big club' status require long-term structural change which is starting to happen under Wyness and Moyes. The Academy is waiting to be rebuilt and planning permission granted on a new site in Halewoood, Wyness is shaking up the organizational elements and the JJB and Chang deals, plus 2 new megastores are good moves forward, but you still won't notice the difference on the pitch this time next year. I did say you wouldn't want to hear this.

The start to the season has been dire but we need to separate fundemental 15-year issues from whether or not we should have got a striker in the summer – we finished fourth with Marcus Bent yet we have added some quality. Albeit we could do with Van de Meyde, Beattie and Krøldrup getting on the pitch.

Moyes can’t win – if he’d spent the summer signing up lower division hopefuls he would have been accused of lacking ambition, not signing the right players for Europe etc etc so he bought experienced players for Europe and the gamble backfired. Virtually every club did their main business in the 2 weeks before the window so let's not wheel out the dithering charge. My view is he should have forgotten about foreign players and treated Europe as just a bonus and instead strengthened the grass roots with the likes of Curtis Davies and Aaron Lennon but in the Summer I was a lone voice. Interesting that there’s a stream of knobheads blaming Arsene Wenger for Arsenal’s ‘crisis’ and saying he shouldn’t have sold Pennant, Upson or Jerome Thomas – yeh right, whatever!

My issue with Everton is the same as it was this time last year – where’s Fortress? – if that’s dead, we need new investment or forget about whether we should have signed David Nugent. But that's too complicated to say on a phone-in or moan about in the pub after another defeat. On second thoughts let's sack Moyesie and errrr... offer Howard Kendall a fourth spell in charge at the club. YES!!

Mark  Hanson, London  (18/10/05)

A Gnome's Eye View
Okay, boys and girls, let's look at the facts here. This great club of ours is heading in one direction and one direction only and that is DOWN!

Many of us are talking about a magical "plan B"... errrrrrrm... excuse me, plan B? Shouldn't that have been put into operation after the mess that was the 03-04 season? Instead of which we went back to super Dave's tried and trusted 4-1-4-1 style of mind-numbing drivel and (as with the 02-03 season) we GOT LUCKY!

So I would suggest that living in hope and waiting for "Plan B" to arrive is going to be a long wait, while super Dave continues to say things like "we want to be hard to beat". (Putting the opposition goal under threat and scoring a few in the process kind of does that anyway.) And "Our season starts here" (Why Davie? Are we that good we have the give the rest a head start?) Things are not going to change.

So who is to blame? The Board? Errrm, is their job not to supply the cash required for the signings that the MANAGER wants to buy? Have they not done that?

The Players perhaps? But do they not go onto the park and play in the style and to the tactics the MANAGER tells them too? Is it not the MANAGER'S job to motivate them and bring the best out of them?

Okay so super Dave has more badges than an 80-year-old boy scout... so what? They all equate to the same thing: 4-1-4-1 and a load of luck to get a result. How many times did a couple of world-class saves by Nigel keep it at 1-0 last season? Our luck has run out and there IS NO PLAN B! Something has to change; super Dave has had long enough to change his ideas and not done so. As the person in charge of the football team, he has to take responsibility for this disaster and go.

So, who to replace him? Well, Big Joe, Ian Dowie or Mike Newall are names being thrown around... how about Claudio Ranieri? He said at the weekend he wanted to manage in England again, personally I don't care if it is Coco the bleedin Clown — anything is better than this garbage.
Wedgewood The Gnome, Liverpool  (18/10/05)

Some hard-hitting stuff there, Mr Gnome. Claudio Ranieri? That's a new one... I'd have trouble keeping a straight face, though. — Ed

I think its a bit late Kev!
Kevin Kilbane has said on the official site "There have been too many disappointments and we can't let it continue," Here Here Kev, but just how far are we going back, I am resisting jumping on the sack Moyes bandwagon, as I personally beleive he is the man for the job, and will eventually turn things round.

As far as dissappointments go where do we begin, let's start with your ineffectual marking resulting in Spurs scoring on Saturday. What is really sarting to grind on my nerves is all the shite that our highly paid players are coming up with after every defeat. The time for talk has been and gone; start earning the money hard-working fans pay every week to see the tripe that is being served in the name of EFC.

Maybe Mr Kilbane realises that in a certain Andy van der Meyde is a left-winger who "may" end up banishing him to a bit-part player around Goodison.

A news flash to all EFC players:

Shut up and put up, we are in BIG TROUBLE!
Jez , Isle of Man  (18/10/05)

Holding the faith
We had a get-together of our college Everton group last night and I thought you might be interested in the results of our quarterly poll. Only 22 students attended - 51 this time last year! - and, not surprisingly, attention focused on the team`s present plight. Poll results as follows:-

  • Moyes out now: 4 votes = 18%
  • At Xmas if no improvement: 6 votes = 27%
  • Only if relegated: 10 votes = 45%
  • Not in any circumstances: 2 votes = 10%
  • If we needed a new manager now,who would you nominate?:-
    Reid 6 votes
    Newell 6 votes
    Bobby Robson 2 votes
    Dowie 2 votes
    Royle 1 vote
    Graham 1 vote
    Foreign 1 vote
So there you have it. Not very scientific and 22 hardly represents a meaningful sample but I somehow think it may reflect what the mass of Evertonians are thinking. Me? I`d sack him now!
Paul Little, Ormskirk  (18/10/05)

Thanks for that, Paul. It shows a wide variety of opinions are out there, which is exactly what we try to reflect, despite the repeated claims of some readers that we push a "proaganda-fueled agenda" or some such nonsense.

If Evertonians could only realize and accpet that (1) there are a huge range of opinions out there, and (2) we are all Evertonians — none better or worse than each other — then at least we'd all get on a bit better and stop calling each other silly names.

Show It
If there really is a large section of supporters that want Moyes out now then I would suggest wave a white hankerchief after the game on Sunday. Everyone knows exactly what this means so you can then show your displeasure to the whole nation through the magic of television.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (18/10/05)

Unlawful propoganda
Doesn`t David Hall (Toffeeweb 18/10) realise it`s now unlawful to utter anti-Moyesist propoganda? A steward threatened to throw me out of Goodison when I started a `Moyes Out` chant too loudly and too near the Directors Box at the Wigan game!

I admit that if you took a straw poll in my alehouse, Moyes would get an overwhelming vote of confidence - he`s got them all fooled with his `People`s Club` bollox - but the table don`t lie.

For some obscure reason this manager is more popular than both Joe and Howard (II & III) but saying he`s a true Evertonian is akin to claiming Teflon Tony is a socialist!But the common feature is that both these con-merchants have got Kenwright`s support and that`s what counts!

So, Mr Hall,don`t go round saying nasty things about `The Moysiah` or you`ll get the same treatment as that poor old chap at Blackpool!
Paul Whiting, Litherland  (18/10/05)

... the more you know
Why do you publish articles slagging off the club from top to bottom without giving us any means of weighing up whether it might be true or not? Who wrote this? If he is that concerned he should have the bottle to tell us who he is or the very least what the basis/source of his infomation is ("my mate down the pub"?). Or can it be that you are (again) happy to publish anything that fits your jaundiced view of the club. Yes we are in the "you know what" but stuff like this does nothing to help.

I've read other responses by you that stress your commitment to journalistic integrity - well there ain't much on show here.
Steve Callan, Birkenhead  (18.10.05)

Steve, your implication is that somebody is making this up, and therefore it isn't true. You are certainly at will to reach that conclusion. However, there are a sufficient number of fans out there who have knowledge of what is really going on behind the succession of upbeat articles on the official website and in the local media, the media who are understandably loath to fully investigate these things. We could ignore this sort of thing and thus brush it under the carpet, but I really don't think that achieves very much either.

Meanwhile, feel free to impugn our journalistic integrity. Fortunately, we ain't journalists. — Ed

Results since 28th December 2004
I’m afraid things are even worse than Hugh McKillop (letters, 17/05/05) states. We haven’t won 8 of our last 26 matches. The figure is actually 7 wins. Moreover, it is 7 wins out of 27 games (from December 28, 2004). And, rather than 15 losses out of 26, it is 16 losses out of 26 (or 17 out of 27). He got the number of draws we’ve had right, though.

So, since 28th December 2004 we’ve played 27, lost 17, won 7 and drawn 3. Our goal difference is –19.

Anyway, my maths was never great but as I understand it, over the past 27 league games we average 0.88 points each game. We lose 0.7 goals each game. Applied to a 38 game season, we would finish with 33 points. Our goal difference would be –27.

Below are all our results from 28th December 2004. It does not make pretty reading. You will note that the results get steadily worse over the weeks and months:

1. Tue 28 Dec, Charlton (A): 0 – 2 (LOST) = 0 (GD –2)
2. Sat 1 Jan, Tottenham (A): 2 - 5 (LOST) = 0 (GD –5)
3. Mon 3 Jan, Portsmouth (H): 2 – 1 (WON) = 3 (GD –4)
4. Sat 15 Jan, Middlesbrough (A) 1 – 1 (DRAW) = 4
5. Sat 22 Jan, Charlton (H) 0 - 1 (LOST) = 4 (GD –5)
6. Wed 2 Feb, Norwich (H) 1 - 0 (WON) = 7 (GD –4)
7. Sun 6 Feb, Southampton (A) 2 – 2 (DRAW) = 8
8. Sat 12 Feb, Chelsea (H) 0 - 1 (LOST) = 8 (GD –5)
9. Sat 26 Feb, Aston Villa (A) 3 – 1 (WON) = 11 (GD –3)
10.Sun 6 Mar, Blackburn (H) 0 – 1 (LOST) = 11 (GD –4)
11. Sun 20 Mar, Liverpool (A) 1 – 2 (LOST) = 11 (GD –5)
12. Sun 3 Apr, WBA (A) 0 – 1 (LOST) = 11 (GD –6)
13. Sun 10 Apr, Crystal Palace (H) 4 – 0 (WON) = 14 (GD –2)
14. Wed 20 Apr, Man U (H) 1 – 0 (WON) = 17 (GD –1)
15. Sat 23 Apr, Birmingham (H) 1 – 1 (DRAW) = 18
16. Sat 30 Apr, Fulham (A) 0 - 2 (LOST) = 18 (GD –3)
17. Sat 7 May, Newcastle (H) 2 – 0 (WON) = 21 (GD –1)
18. Wed 11 May, Arsenal (A) 0 – 7 (LOST) = 21 (GD –8
19. Sun 15 May, Bolton (A) 2 - 3 (LOST) = 21 (GD –9)
20. Sat 13 Aug, Man U (H) 0 – 2 (LOST) = 21 (GD –11)
21. Sun 21 Aug, Bolton (A) 1 – 0 (WON) = 24 (GD –10)
22. Sat 27 Aug, Fulham (A) 0 – 1 (LOST) = 24 (GD –11)
23. Sat 10 Sep, Portsmouth (H) 0 – 1 (LOST) = 24 (GD -12)
24. Mon 19 Sep, Arsenal (A) 0 – 2 (LOST) = 24 (GD –14)
25. Sat 25 Sep, Wigan (H) 0 – 1 (LOST) = 24 (GD –15)
26. Sun 2 Oct, Man City (A) 0 – 2 (LOST) = 24 (GD –17)
27. Sat 15 Oct, Tottenham (A) 0 – 2 (LOST) = 24 (GD –19)
JC , Aberfoyle  (18/10/05)

Arrrgh! Er.... Don't panic... It's just a blip. DON'T PANIC!!! DON'T PANIC!!!!!!

The numbers game
I see fellow Evertonians have started to play the numbers game re relegation-avoidance targets. It`s a long way from the hope and aspirations we all had only a couple of months ago but here is my contribution.

Since the Premiership went down to 20 teams, the average points total required to stay up is 38(not 40 as most pundits suggest).The average number of wins required is 9 and only WBA,last year,managed to survive with less.So to reach the magic target we require 35 more points and 8 further wins.

With 30 games to play and 8 wins to achieve we would also need to draw 11 to be safe, leaving us to complete the season with NO MORE than 11 further losses. Whilst various combinations of wins and draws could obviously do the trick, it is, I think, this latter stat — NO MORE THAN ANOTHER 11 GAMES LOST — that we need to keep our our minds focussed on.

It all becomes nonsence of course, if, as in 2002-03 we need no less than 43 points to survive!
Mark Rhodes, Aintree  (18/10/05)

Answers needed
In response to the letter titled the "More you know" the accusations made by the authour should be put to the Board for an immediate response. Perhaps ToffeeWeb can organise this. What is surprising is that, given Everton's form since Xmas fans, have not put more pressure on the Board. The author does not say where he gets his info from but most of what he says is common knowledge (the state of the academy, the kopites on the council etc, etc). It all seems in keeping with a club struggling both on & off the field. It's more than likely the reasons why Wyness's predecessor Trevor Birch only lasted a couple of weeks in the job. Answers are needed to all the accusations raised. The bottom line is Enough is enough.
Neil Millichip, Hereford  (18/10/05)

We understand that recently, one of the senior off-the-field staff at Goodison Park has been assigned the task of Internet Monitor, so someone at the Club will have read it. But getting answers is another thing altogether... Ed

Low aspirations
After many years following Everton, lots of them disappointing to be honest, the best times for me were the superb team of the late ‘60s culminating with winning the league in 1970 and of course the magnificent mid-80s. Other than those two spells there’s been loads of mediocrity.

However, one thing which has always been there is the Evertonian’s desire to see good football, combined with a feeling that we should be competing at the top. Granted we may have been kidding ourselves but, rightly or wrongly, the basic premise that we are a top-class club, expecting decent football, has always prevailed.

Nowadays we seem to have settled for acceptance of second, third (?) best; currently we have a manager who, in the minds of many fans it seems, is the ‘best young manager in the game’. "Give him time and he’ll come good" is the mantra. Whether or not he is the best young manager is a matter for debate, I’d hate to be supporting the club with the worst young manager if DM is the best, that is for sure.

One thing which hits me in the face, however, is the apparent lack of ambition amongst Evertonians who are actually giving him any credence whatsoever. Can anybody realistically see fans of the top teams supporting a manager with the record, and playing style, of Moyes's sides? If Moyes had appeared 20/30 years ago he’d have been shoved off long before now. Gordon Lee was much reviled but, on reflection, Gordon Lee’s sides were world beaters compared to the shite Moyes produces.

Give Moyes time and we’ll end up exactly where we’ve been looking to be headed, for too many years: relegated. Almost a quarter of the season gone and we’ve got 3 points; personally, I can’t see where we’re going to get another just now. Extrapolating the current record to a full season would see us relegated with about 14 points. At least that would see Moyes with yet another ‘worst’ record to his name.

It’s interesting to compare this season to last year at the same time, all the relegated clubs, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Norwich were better off than us at this stage.

IMWT? You're having a laugh. Aren't you?
Alan Comish, Isle of Man  (18/10/05)

Still a minority view!
Got into hot water at White Hart Lane by suggesting that it was time to wave Moyes goodbye. At a rough estimate, opinion in the after-match pub we chose was about 4-1 AGAINST sacking the Great Man. Some idiot even offered me out when I admitted to posting anti-Moyes messages on ToffeeWeb.

So exactly what qualities does our esteemed manager posess that gives him these Blair-like qualities of survival? It seems no blame attaches to him - it's all the fault of the players and the Board who didn`t provide enough funds to `buy quality`.

`Who the hell could we get who`d be better?` seemed the question posed by most of my antagonists and they seemed relatively unimpressed by my response of Ian Dowie! I didn`t really get the chance to explain the rationale behind that suggestion so perhaps I can get a better reception here!

Dowie took Crystal Palace from the bottom of the Championship to promotion via the play-offs, something Moyes failed to do with Preston. Although his team were relegated on the last day of the season, he had been given virtually nothing to spend but played attractive football and re-organised all aspects of the playing side most effectively so that Palace are again challenging for promotion this season. A Lancastrian Irishman, I believe he still has a home in the county following his days at Oldham.

Worth consideration? But I`m not fighting anybody over it... it`s only football,after all!
David Hall, Taunton  (18/10/05)

Joe Royle!!
Things really are getting silly now.
Steve  Connor, Liverpool  (18/10/05)

Sorry. They pushed me into a corner. He was the only one I could think of... I bet he'd jump at it, though!

Moyes can do it.. just!
One of the most depressing things about Everton`s present situation is that the only talk now is whether we can avoid relegation.

For his part, Moyes keeps saying `the season starts now`. OK, let's assume he`s right. With 30 games to play, we need another 37 points to reach the generally accepted safety mark of 40. That means a mathematical return of 1.23 points per game. Over his Everton career to date, Moyes averages 1.34 per game and if he can continue that ratio until the end of the season that will provide another 40 to add to the 3 gained to date!

But phew... it`s going to be close!

ps: I just realised to get 1.34 points from every game you have to score at least ONE goal and we ain`t very good at that!
John Elliott, Parbold  (18/10/05)

Where is Hans Segers when you need him?
Just a brief update - last 26 Premiership games (since January 1st)

Played 26, Won 8, Drawn 3, Lost 15; GF 23, GA 40

This is 27 points in 26 games, marginally better than 1 a game. More than likely it's going to go to the wire, and I just hope Chris Kirkland doesn't want to go to Germany and have a point to prove on the last day! What worries me most is in the last 4 seasons: we haven't had a decent striker who scores goals

  • 01-02 Ferguson 8,
  • 02-03 Campbell 12,
  • 03-04 Ferguson, Rooney 9 goals each,
  • 04-05 Bent 7)
These aren't exactly prolific. I think a target of 10-12 for Beattie would be a decent return, and something which might get us out of the mire. COYB
Hugh McKillop, Belfast, N Ireland  (17/10/05)

Squad Size
Two years ago I sent an email to Graeme Sharp about the size of the squad.... my question was basically 'how big was the squad in '95'.

He answered!! and said that it was 19. My point was that I thought that having a large squad of average players adds to the negativity of the camp.

I said this because Moyes had been very good with a small squad when he arrived and did well in his first full season. Next seson he brought in a number of players on the last days and shuffled his pack a lot. The result was that we struggled for the whole season.

  • Small squad last year = good result.
  • Larger squad this year = poor result
My theory is (based on playing in the past... although extremely averagely) that when new players come to a club, as a player, you don't think about the team but only how to get yourself into the team. Then you worry too much about what you have to do when playing and, therefore, you don't play at your best (eg, McFadden). However, when you play for a club with a small squad, you pretty much know you will be selected and don't have to worry about someone else taking your spot; you relax and play well.

This season, Moyes has brought in a number of players again and I really wonder what effect this is having on the players' confidence?

Before you say look at Chelsea or Spurs, consider that you can't compare as they have a bunch of completely arrogant players (and good luck to them for that) who couldn't really give a toss about how they play as long as their hair looks good and they get their picture in the paper. However, hard workers are that... hard workers — and haven't got the arrogance of being extremely arsy to fall back on.

Anyhow, back to my point. Is Moyes a bad man manager who can handle a small squad but finds it difficult with a large squad? C'mon Ed, no comments about injuries please. Correct my English though.
Michael Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (17/10/05)

No comment :)

OK, so the defense looks completely out of sorts at the moment, but is it time to change the goalie?

I know everyone loves Martyn and he's played extremely well in the past, but he's looking pretty shakey and the guy must be feeling pretty negative at the moment. Perhaps a change would help? Wright must feel he's got something to prove.... give him a chance.

Anything, something might help. Hope springs eternal.
Michael Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (17/10/05)

It's a thought... and he isn't getting any younger. The ability to jump is one of the first things to go, apparently...

But Retchered Wright??? Are you sure? How many goals did he concede during his last outing?

You are indeed a very brave man...

We are not going down
I have full trust in Moyes. I just wish that he would buy a good striker, not wasting time on Raul or someone of his skills. We can get Gunnar Heiðar Torvaldson; he has scored 20 goals in Sweden and he is young and £500k will be right — or £1M if he keeps on scoring. He is hard-working and Freddy Guarin is also a young hard-working midfeilder Julius Agahowa the qukest striker in the world now.
Marinio Svavarsson, Iceland  (17/10/2005)

Sounds good. We'll pass this on directly to Mr Moyes, and he can be readuy with his chequebook when the window opens again... in 2½ months! Oh, darn it. Now everyone knows... Souness and Jol will be in like Flyn.

Stick or Twist
Should we sack the manager or not?, that is the question.

I can't see for the life of me how things would improve if we sacked DM now. Sure we may pick up a few results in the short term but is it really that sensible over a longer period? We have sacked quite a few managers over the last 15 years with each bringing in his own brand of (shite) players. In the end, we're no better off than when we sacked the guy before. We have been playing dull, dour, unappealing football for 95% of this time so what has changed this season (except ticket prices). Unless Sir Alex is available immediately I don't see Kenwright making any rash decisions in the near future.

If the league is a marathon and not a sprint then it seems obvious that the best thing to do would be to hold our nerve and wait for things to get better. You have to remember that we have played only 8 games so far this season. We may be in relegation form now but at least be thankful it isn't the other side of Christmas when it really counts.

Reading some of your mail has been pretty depressing lately with every defeat intensifying the extreme responses. Some people have valid points of view while others blather on in a blind panic about things which may or may not happen in 7 months time. Others criticise the manager for trying to take positives out of the shambles that was another defeat.

Imagine we had finished 10th last year. Would Moyes have been sacked by now? Try to detatch yourself from emotion and consider it. Is Davie, the team and all of us suffering from last years heroics? That truely crushing defeat to Villarreal has brought with it an enormous shockwave we have yet to recover from. How long it takes us to recover I don't know but I am prepared to stick with the manager for the time being. If we get to the Liverpool game in Decemeber with no sign of improvement then perhaps the time will have come.

One more thing, if we somehow pulled ourselves out of our slump this weekend against Chelsea, where would you be satisfied finishing in the table? In other words, do you demand a top-6 or top-10 finish for the manager to keep his job?

In Moyes We Doubt.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (17/10/05)

Regarding your last question, if we "started our season" with a result against Chelsea, that in itself would be a massive relief. As of now, I would be overjoyed if we finish anywhere above 18th. As long as we survive, I'm actually more interested in the football we try and play than the position we achieve. If Moyes does not show some much improved technical acumen in terms of figuring out what this football malarkey is really all about (yes, scoring bloody goals), then he should be shown the door. I know he's got more coaching badges than Harpo Marx (oops... showing my age there!), but it's just not working for us at the moment (stating the bloody obvious) and if that does not show any sign of changing, then I think he has to go, regardless of where we finish this season. — Ed

Time Gentlemen, Please!
Moyes should be told that unless Everton score at least three goals in the next four games he can pick up his cards. Fairly simple. Even if we get two dodgy penalties and an own-goal then we know he has luck on his side and should be retained. If he can't average one goal every 120 minutes regardless of results then there's little arguement that he couldn't organise the proverbial at a brewery and that anybody else would have to be an improvement.

Of course it's more complex than that but at least it is something that the Board might even understand. One goal in eight games is pathetic and almost worthy of investigation under the Trade Practices Act or taking monies under false pretences, but for all our sakes somebody needs to get something sorted out, and now.
Thommo   (17/10/05)

Come back, Gravesen!
The start to last season is the reason this season is turning into a relegation scrap. Moyes started last season with a defensive 4-5-1, it worked because of the players there at the time. A non-stop pushing and closing down game. With Gravesen pulling the strings in midfield and Stubbs in control of the back four. It's no coincidence that when Gravesen left, Everton had to work harder to get results with the momentum of the start of the year helping to push us on to fourth spot.

The poor end to last season showed us we were a diffrent team to the one at the begining, and although Moyes has strenghend the team he has not replaced Gravesen's ability on the ball, tackling strength and his vision to pick out the killer pass which was essential to the way Moyes plays. Unless Moyes changes his tactics, the best we can hope for is Gravesen coming back in January, but will it be to late by then?
James Bundza, Notts  (17/10/05)

Ok then Mr Ed, let's have an answer to this propaganda-fueled website's agenda, which is to blantantly get Moyes out. Instead of sarcastically putting people down who dare to have the other opposing view, which is to give Moysie more time, I would like you to tell me which manager is going to come in and do a better job? We are all aware of the predicament we find ourselves in, but sniping and being negative is not going to help matters where as a soloution will, but you appear to be void of those ideas.
Steve Wolfe, Liverpool  (17/10/05)

I thought I was being nice today... but if you really want to see Mr Nasty, I can certainly oblige.

Firstly, to answer your question, if Moyes has really lost the players, which an increasing number of fans believe, then giving him more time may not actually work any more. Yes, it worked after the last time (season 2003-04, when under hs guidance, Everton finished with their lowest ever points total — and we still had a lad called Wayne Rooney, whom the manager didn't like to play too much).. but do you really believe this time we have the luxury of time on our side?

If, as I now believe is the case, Moyes has (once again) lost the players, then bringing in a new manager — any manager — will see an instant improvement and will start to get the team playing better. Whether that will last is another matter entirely. But it might just be enough to save us from being relegated. If it was my decision, I would bring back Joe Royle... if he would accept the challenge.

As for the ToffeeWeb agenda, it's remakably simple: we want to see Everton playing wonderful football again, we want to see pride in our club restored, not just for one season. I really thought David Moyes could do this for us, but the cracks are showing very deeply now... and in 3½ seasons, have you ever seen a Moyes team play wonderful football? It's sad to have to say this, but it ain't never gonna happen. — Ed

Ref - Ed's Response to John Taylor
"It is one of a number of issues which have contributed to a massive rift developing between Moyes and his players. Something that might help to explain the dire situation the club now faces."

You know this for a fact do you, Editor? Funny no press has talked of any rift. Smells of another conspiracy by this site.
Simon Currie, Liverpool  (17/10/05)

Yea, you can call it a ToffeeWeb conspiracy if you like. I wish that's all it was, I really do. Like you, I pretty much ignored the whispers and rumblings, the usual nonsense that seems to pervade football. Sometimes it gets into the papers but very rarely will they (or can they) publish the real meat.

No, I don't know it for a "Fact"... but there are enough indications out there, even insinuations flying around that make it a working hypothesis. It would perhaps be better if we stayed quiet and kept it under wraps. Then our readers would not be faced with the dilemma of having to decide for themselves whether there is any truth to it.

To be depressing, or not to be
There is a lot of bollox flying around (quick duck!) about being a negative supporter at the moment. Most people want Moyes to be a success, he seems an honest bloke, he created the People's Club brand, he pisses the players off, but because his team is so awful to watch at least half of us don't feel inclined to defend him. That is the main reason.

People can put up with shite performances (Arsenal did it for years before Wenger turned up) but if we pick up the wins we will keep quiet... but it doesn't mean to say we ever liked it.

Now we have the worst of both worlds... shite footy and hardly any points.

Sorry, but there is no logical way you can defend Moyes at the moment. I hope he turns it around but I dont think he will I'm afraid.
A plank of wood With a nail in it, UK  (17/10/05)

Paul Tran - Hard Work In Battle
I thought he made some good points until it came to this paragraph:

"In 30 plus years of watching Everton, I've seen more failure than success, but I've never seen such poor football. I rarely go to games now, because we are so dull to watch and Moyes is scared of entertaining players. This season I expected no more than a top ten finish and more attractive football."

That immediately disqualifies your opinion as you're that much of a fan you can't even be bothered going to watch us. Take up knitting then!!
Simon Currie, Liverpool, UK  (17/10/05)

It's an easy point to make, Simon, but if you are using it to debunk Paul's arguement, I think you are making a big mistake. The fact is there are far more Evertonians in the world who do not attend games regularly than those who do. And perhaps listening to the reasons given by those who could still go, but have stopped going, might help us all understand where things are going wrong — both for Everton in particlular, and for the game of football in general. — Ed

Time for a change
Because he had several players capable of scoring a single goal needed to win dour low scoring games, as manager of Leeds Don Revie's slogan, "If the other team don't score we can't lose" was successful. When other clubs adopted the same slogan it heralded a decade of less goals, poor entertainment and plummeting crowds. That dismal period ended when the FA brought in three points for a win.

Everton's success last season was based on Revie's slogan and this seems to have prompted a growing number of clubs to do the same. To avoid another decade of decline the FA should once again take action. My suggestion is not to award a point for a 0-0 draw and to add a point for every goal scored. This radical idea and would not solve Everton's immediate problem. On the other hand it would force Moyes and other managers to be proactive rather than adopt the negativity of Don Revie. I would appreciate input to my suggestion, in particular from those who study statistics from previous years.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (17/10/05)

I think it's a great idea. But I don't think you can use past stats to support it. The whole point you are making is that the change in reward would create different results, so you can't use past results to prove this.

A few years back I did try to see if 3 points for a win had actually changed things (reduced teh number of drawn games) but it was pretty hard to really tell from the stats. Great idea though; something must be done to knick this negative football off the park. — Ed

One reason...?
There are probably many reasons why we are in our current situation - most of which would constitute an article of Rob Fox proportions - but I'd just like to focus on one at the moment and that is the constant inclusion of David Weir as first-choice centre-back.

I'm sick to death of saeeing him holding his head in his hands whenever a goal goes in against us, when what he should be doing is holding his hands up saying 'That was my fault.' The van Nistlerooy goal and the second Dinamo Bucharest goal were as a direct result of his lack of pace in covering a near-post cross. The crosses for both goals on Saturday went over his head. He can't run and he can't jump: fundamental requirements for a central defender, I would have thought.

This might seem a bit harsh but I feel that our whole style of play is based on his dreadful lack of pace at the centre of our defence. This causes us to play deeper than we should, means that the midfield also plays too deep resulting in a lack of support for our striker(s) up front. (Is, in fact, Moyes choice of 4-5-1 a direct result of a lack of confidence in our defensive qualities?)

Witness not just the lack of goals but the lack of chances that we create. (In my view, this is a problem that we have had since Kevin Ratcliffe left but maybe that's me.) I was disappointed when Stubbs and Weir seemed to be David Moyes's preferred pairing last season and pleased when we bought Krøldrup who, by all (limited) accounts seems to be a good buy. But this optimism was dampened when Moyes made Weir captain!

I don't see him as either an inspirational player or man and I believe this makes it more difficult for Moyes to drop him. However, I hope that Krøldrup's return to fitness and a pairing of him and Yobo/Ferrari can enable Weir to be pensioned off. Maybe starting this weekend - something's got to be done - and given the fact that we're playing Chelsea, what have we got to lose?
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (17/10/05)

It seems the pressure is severley mounting on David Moyse now. Is it justified? Probably. Is it all his fault? Definately not.

I am not entirely sure if a "cup throwing" manager is better than one who defends his players to the hilt. What I am sure of is that this team cannot be defended anymore. I am fed up with hearing that we were "comfortable at 0-0". I think Moyse has used this 'quip' after every game this season. In addition, the "season starts here for us" rallying call has been used 5 or 6 times now. The end result: we haven't even managed to score a goal let alone win a game. Games which have been 'bread and butter' even in the seasons where we were playing badly and in the bottom 5 or 6 for the best part of it.

Moyse's inept ability to change tactics is now beginning to show. He is like a boxer with a poignant weakness which all of his opponents can see, and capitalise on. I do believe that we do not have the worst squad in this league, far from it. I do beleive that this team is showing the least effort and desire, however, and I don't fully beleive that to be the fault of the manager.

I think a change is inevitable. Be it now, or January or next summer. If he is to remain in order to try and salvage anything from this crippling start to the season, then I think a few home truths are due. Does the club not have any sort of right to fine or withold pay from playing staff for diabolical performances?

Anyhow, David Moyes should perhaps shame his players into performing. Publically hurting them into playing for the fans that pay their hefty wages. A lot of you will probably say that will only make the situation worse, you may be right. However, it seems Moyes has no other idea but to carry on hoping that the displays of these "Premier League Proffessionals" will drag us out of this mire.

If it were down to me I would consider bringing in a half a dozen reserves against Chelsea and making those who are dropped sit in the Gladwys St with the rest of us. A short sharp shock is needed, Davey, not more defending of an overpaid, overrated bunch of twats.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (17/10/05)

You seem confused. Or more likely struggling with the prospect that is becoming clearer by the day: the best young manager in Britain has his faults. A lot of faults. Too many faults. And they are why we are currently bottom of the league. Remember, he would be getting all the praise (and quite rightly) if we were at the other end of the table. Seems so long ago now...

Yes the other option is to blame the players, call them an overpaid, overrated bunch of twats. But these are the players we are committed to having play us out of this mess. We can't change them. Even if we could, we can't afford to. So be nice to them. Something has to change between Moyes and the players. Or Moyes has to go. — Ed

'Nothing Was Created in Open Play'
I picked up my paper this morning, turned to the report on the Everton game and the clause: "Nothing was created in open play" hit me.

If David Moyes wants to know what is wrong with his team, that clause sums it all up. Extra training days, the "Dogs of War" mentality, the repeated cries for more fight from our supporters are all irrelevant. We need some flair, some class, some creativity: the strikers are crap, but Henry and Ronaldo (Real, not United) would be crap with the service we offer them from our anonymous and defensive midfield.
Rick  Tarleton, Rutland  (17/10/2005)

Stubbs come back!
What a shame Stubbs was not offered a contract; he'd be taking over from Yobo and sorting out the defence. Another error cost us a goal and quite possibly a game. Moyes must be pulling his hair out...
Jon Taylor, London  (17/10/05)

He was offered a contract. There was an issue with a clause that would nullify the contract if he had a recurrence of testicular cancer. We were all over it a few months back.

It is one of a number of issues which have contributed to a massive rift developing between Moyes and his players. Something that might help to explain the dire situation the club now faces. — Ed

Moysie should sit by us!!
Forget the results of the last 18 months, when was the last time you came away from the match feeling that you had seen a cracking game and that our school of science was the best thing since sliced bread?

When Moyes first arrived, we all thought it was great that he got on the pitch before the match doing the warm up and pumping the players up and that he stood on the sideline during the match and barked out his instructions. By now we should have moved on... I think he should be up in the stand at least for the first half because I'm convinced he's not watching the same game as us.

On the sideline he is too involved with the match, nit-picking with the referee and the 4th assistant, and generally losing his control; if he sat in the stand, he could take a more objective view of the game and think or plan his way to change things at half-time.

It's got to be worth a suggestion; at worst he may appreciate the absolute dross that we are continually being forced to witness every weekend.
Kevin  Bennett, North Wales  (17/10/05)

I think we will be relegated

Not because the squad ain't up to it — I think we've much more ability overall than last season.

Not because (and it has been obvious for some time that) the manager has lost it, the dressing room, the plot or whatever (appalling buys of crocked players at high prices; constant playing of players before they have recovered from injury; the consistently piss poor tactics with no sign of being able to change the track, never mind the record; and of course the dreadful record from January this year: played 26, won 7, drawn 3, lost 16, scored 23, conceded 39, points 24 — and this season, as we all know: one goal in 8 games).

No, it's because that spineless Board of ours won't have the balls, the nous, the wisdom and the guts to do what they need to do right now — get rid of Moyesie and bring in someone now who can steady the ship, get some points in the frame and stop the Club being pissed down the drain.  Bill Kenwright is sentimentally attached to Moyes and won't let go until we are already beyond saving, whilst there is no-one else in our Boardroom of ineffectual journeymen who will force the decision.  Get an old hand in until the end of the season and plan for the future when we know we are safe.  Before you ask, there are plenty of available managers out there who could do it, and very few who would be likely to do worse than Moyes's atrocious record this year.

I like Moyes for many reasons, but relegation will be more than a humiliation for ourselves and the Club, it is potentially an event we may never recover from, given the total-ineptitude state of the Club and its finances. Moyes is not bigger than the Club, and we cannot afford to hang on until it it is too late through some misguided sense of loyalty.  Football managers know that they live and die by the sword — that's why they get paid so well.  It's part of the job.  They all bounce back and no doubt Moyes will too.  And he'll get a nice big payoff as well, so don't shed any crocodile tears for him.  I'm shedding real tears right now over our future...

This needs to be done right now, sadly.  Bet it won't though.

Steve Malone  (17/10/05)

This was taken from ToffeeNet, the mailing list. I offer no applgies for posting it here to a wider audience. As the crisis deepens, it hits harder on a number of key issues that I believe to be fundamental. — The Editor

Check this out
If anyone out there is still not sure where we are heading under Dynamic Dave, look here: this is a full team assembled by the Dynamo for around £35M:

Valente, Ferrari, Koldrup, Neville;
Davies, Killbane, Arteta, McFadden;
Bent, Beatie.

How any manager could sign that many players of the same calibre (ie, average to poor) and still think we would do anything but struggle is beyond belief. When I put that lot down on paper I nearly started to cry,that was followed by uncontrolable laughter. My bird thinks I am a madman.

Why did Kenwright allow it? He is supposed to be one of us and should at least be able to spot a dud (or eleven) when he see's them.

All Moyses has done since he came here is replace deadwood with driftwood and it's a scandal. Alan Stubbs must cry himself to sleep at night. He still comes to Goodison when he can; it's a disgrace what happened to that lad.

So, anyone out there thinking Moyses is a good manager... think again. In the past few weeks, he has been quoted in the local press as saying Richard Wright, Tony Hibbert, and only last week James Beattie are worth an England shirt.

Just about says it all.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (17/10/05)

I watched the Chelski game on Sky First Choice last night, after the Everton one; next week, a miracle is needed. Last season, we went into this game with a new striker and "delusions" of doing Cheksi over - then Biffa earned his new name.

On Sky they commented that Chelski had now gone the equivalent of a whole season unbeaten, so it got me thinking as to where we would be in a season long-table ending today. Sadly we would have a total of 45 points, although this would keep us clear of relegation it would be a dreary season again.

However that was the good news; if we look at the last 20games of last season and the first eight of this then we would have amassed a meagre 24 points from 28 games, that would give us an average of under 33 points for a season. Relegation fodder, in the last two seasons that has been the low standard that got clubs relegated. So what do we do?

Sack the manager? Let him loose on the transfer market? Accept an injury plague has been the problem? To be honest, if I knew the answer then I'd get a job as a manager. In the whole scheme of things, it's not our call; it's "Blue" Bill's and it'll be a financial one.

Basically, relegation means "no money" and Bill has little money as it is. If Bill opts to let Moyes go, who comes in? Who will be better or who will be worse or who would want it? No money; a "tired" team; relegation beckoning; taking over from a Scotsman who won't criticise the team - that'll be the next Davey Moyes, then... because, as memory serves, wasn't he the guy who turned around the failing Walter Smith team? So we know one thing: he knows how to keep us up.

I am worried; I'm truly concerned, of course I am... but we shouldn't jump for the eject button after 8 games of a season. We have seen sparkles of potential: second half against Villarreal; first half away at Bucharest; home leg against Bucharest; and, when all said, the Spurs game did show some gelling of players — Valente actually did his defensive bits ok and Ferrari started to show his class.

We can't pick or change the manager but we can support him and at the moment let's look forward to players coming back and a Dutchman's debut. Then, hopefully, the change of luck. Oh and a goal would help, but at the moment I'd be happy with a clean sheet.
Pat Ahern, Cheshire  (16/10.05)

Why Moyes should go NOW
Whether he jumps or is pushed, David Moyes, should put himself and us out of our collective misery.

I have been a strong advocate of Moyesie and still believe that he has a long-term vision for the Club; a vision which is light-years away from the dross currently being served up each week.

However, time to let this plan materialise is not on Moyes's or Everton's side anymore. Chelsea arrive next week; who can believe 3 points (or even 1) will come our way? After that, Birmingham and Boro... again, can you see the points tallying up given the way we are playing?

I've invested too much emotion (and money, quite frankly) in Everton to see the Club (and as importantly it's supporters) dragged down into the lower divisions without a fight. At the moment, an appetite for the aforementioned fight is only one of a number of qualities this team lacks. However, other contributors have discussed this aspect of the situation ad nauseam.

Moyes must be sacrificed to save the Club from relegation. Three points from a possible 24 is ludicrous (and could soon be from 30). The Board need to act now.

A new manager will hopefully give an initial boost which could get points on the board (a change of style and tactics or just a new boot up the backside). Moreover, he would also have time to assess the needs as he sees them well before the transfer window opens. Money in the coffers? Probably not much... but Wyness and Kenwright must back the new manager.

Who to bring in? Thankfully, the transfer window doesn't yet apply to managers. It needs to be someone inspirational and, without wanting to sound xenophobic, I don't think a coach from abroad could step up to the plate quickly enough (he'd need the rest of the season just to come to terms with the Premier League). Martin O'Neill would be fantastic, but he has far more important priorities at the moment.

So, for what it's worth, I say get Joe Royle back. His recent comments would lend you to believe that he sees his time with us as unfinished business. He is a proven motivator and (whilst it wasn't always like watching Brazil) we played solid attacking football under Joe.

Oh yes. And we won something too. The FA Cup.
Steve , Harrogate  (16/10/05)

Never Mind The Quality...
I'm worried, no let's put it more bluntly, I'm in a state of sheer panic. Paul Tran has put most succinctly what I have been trying to say in letters and the odd article for a few months now. We have no quality and we have a manager who is terrified of flair players. In the whole team I can only see Yobo and Martyn as quality players and Yobo is unfortunately a talent manque. He looks impressive, he does so much quality work, but in every game he makes at least one error that puts us in danger. In two games at least this season (United and Spurs) he has made errors that have cost us the game.

Moyes seems incapable of raising the morale: our captain talks about playing for Scotland as being a relief from the mood at Everton... So what has gone wrong since last season?

Surprisingly my answer is: not very much. Goal Difference does not lie and is a very good indicator of the quality of a team: we had GD = -1 despite our exalted position. Last season, we played a brand of counter-attacking football (it won us few friends and to be honest that was fair enough) that utilised Carsley in the holding position and Gravesen as a constructive play-maker; we had Stubbs and Weir playing solidly, Martyn was outstanding and Cahill nicked some goals in his Martin Peters ghosting role.

Stubbs has gone; Weir looks slower and older; Carsley's been injured, and may find it hard at this stage of his career to come back to speed; and Cahill should be rested by Moyes until he's fit to play — although I do feel that his success is dependent on being in a team that creates one or two chances, rather than us expecting him to create chances himself. He is paradoxically a very good player off the ball.

Moyes needs to look at a way of getting Beattie on the pitch for 90 mins; he wants another player with pace (McFadden? Bent?) alongside and he needs to get some confidence into a team that has lost all belief in itself. Unfortunately, the manager gives the impression that he has lost belief in both his team and his own ability.

I read that Newell will be our next manager. He may be the one, but the record of managers like Newell and Moyes coming up from the lower English leagues and succeeding in the Premiership is very very limited. Can you name one?

My panic is growing. I've been a supporter since our promotion in 1954 and this team is lost. The manager has got a problem or two. Unfortunately, one of the problems may well be himself and his attitude to flair and skill.
Rick  Tarleton, Rutland  (16/10/2005)

Fickle Fans
The poll on your site is 'Sack Moyesy?' If I'd read that 6 months ago I'd have died of shock, even if your site is the most depressing Everton site of all time. Football fans are fickle? Biggest understatement since "Marcus Bent is shocking" or "Kevin Kilbane hasn't got a strong foot."

OK we're rubbish, and we are all tired of the kopites cracking the jokes in the local. But give Davie a chance, he has earned one. It was before my time but the legend of the Adrian Heath goal against Oxford still remains. I'm sure that, if he was fit and able to see past his huge man-chest, Beattie could produce something similar [... to what? — Ed] and Van der Meyde must be better than Kilbane on the left.

With Krøldrup to come, the return of Carsley — and even the possibility of Gravesen in January — It ain't over yet!
Bored Blue, Liverpool  (15/09/2005)

Oh that's right... have a pop at us, why don't you? What's depressing is what's happening to Everton, in case you haven't noticed. And Davie continues to get a massive chance — every single game — to prove that he can turn things around. Wake me up when it shows any sign of happening. — Ed

The Awakening
The so called 'Sleeping Giant' that has been Everton FC for the past decade seemed (to many) to have awoken at the end of last season. The only problem is when we had to perform and do the buisness (aka qualifying by beating Villarreal) we still had sleep in our eyes.

Over the summer Moyes dithered on transfers. We all expected a couple of players signed pretty early on but Moyes only seemed to have a hard-on for Simon Davies! The failure to sign a striker was, and still is to me, shocking.

Moyes at one time could boast a rich pickings in frontmen. He has let go from our Everton Radzinski, Rooney, Campbell, Jeffers (loan), Chadwick and even McBride. In return he has signed Bent and McFadden which is the worst partnership in the Prem. Our hopes are pinned on Beattie... I think we are fucked!

So as I watched the game yesterday I awoke to the fact that we are going down. My favourite line to the gobshites last season was 'the table doesn't lie'. The table is now taking shape as we are almost a quarter of the way through the league season and it doesn't lie because we are the worst team in the Prem.

Up until yesterday I could have been described as a blind supporter of Moyes but yesterday I awoke to the fact that this is his fault and he has got us in this mess and unless Beattie gets fit and starts shootting goals we will go down.

His substitutes yesterday were bad. The plus from yesterday were Ferrari looks a better right back than Hibbert (didn't Moyes say he was a left back?) and Valente looked less like Pistone yesterday. Why can't Moyes awake to the fact that Kilbane, McFadden and Weir are shite? Everyone else seems to know.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (16/10/05)

Progress of sorts
Yesterday's game provided a mix of disappointment and hope. Kilbane played a much more central role with McFadden deputising on the left flank early on and this was highly effective up to conceeding the first goal. Kilbane (often maligned) managed to do all the simple things right and looked comfortable in possession; the midfield appeared to have a balance to it managing to retain possesion and play controlled football. Joey was possibly the MOM of us for 99.9% of the game.

Less positive aspects were the performances of Neville, who always looked under pressure and lacked composure on the ball, whilst the body language of Bent suggested he had little hunger for the fight: amazingly he was spared substitution. Weir was once again a huge dissappointment, failing to organise the back four.

On to the hope: the availability of Per Krøldrup will hopefully lead to the replacement of Weir. With Andy van der Meyde available on the flank, Mc Fadden can be deployed up front, with Kilbane assuming a more central role.
Gerry W, London  (16/10/05)

Enough Already
As I was leaving White Hart Lane yesterday, I engaged in a brief conversation with a fellow Blue. He was bemoaning the fact that up to half-time we had been OK:

"OK? OK?!!" I exploded. "We were equally bad in both halves - the only difference was that Spurs didn't score in the first half!" I then pointed out the dead cert penalty they should have had, the save Martyn had to make and the clearance off the line....

"Oh yeah mate, you're right." End of conversation as I jumped a bus back to Seven Sisters to start the long journey home.

How much more of this can we take? I'm reaching the end of my tether. Football fans have notoriously short memories but some of the performances this season are among the worst I've seen in nearly 30 years.

A pal rang me at half-time yesterday for a report and ended the call with: "Let's hope we can hang on for a nil-nil then." That's what we have come to this season because we look completely incapable of creating a decent chance — let alone scoring a goal.

Unfortunately, this is no "blip" in form as our record in 2005 is appalling having lost 17 out of 27 league games since our last defeat at Spurs on New Year's Day. Many managers have lost their job for less!

I am incredibly reluctant to call for Moyes's head as it is now pretty well accepted that continuity breeds greater success than not. However, some of our manager's decisions have baffled me:

  • Giving Pistone and Naysmith new contracts.
  • Signing Valente who appears no better - certainly no quicker!
  • The failure to sign a striker in the Summer.
  • Substituting wingers when bringing Ferguson and/or
  • Beattie on.
  • The continual selection of Kilbane who is clearly below his best.
I know we have injuries, but it worries me that we are putting so much hope in two players (Krøldrup and Van der Meyde) we know little about.

I should now be going into the details of my plan to sort all this out and push us up the table, as all fans have a plan... don't they? But that's the problem - I can't think of one. Well, other than waiting for January and signing about five new players — but I'm not sure the Premier League will let us postpone all our games until then. And, given our European failures, how much money will now be available in January anyway?

I suppose this is just my way of getting things off my chest. I'll still be there against Chelsea on Sunday hoping for a miracle to kick-start the season, and then against Middlesbrough, and Birmingham etc etc. No doubt we all will....

I see we've been linked with Gravesen again this week - maybe that's the answer. I know he divided opinion whilst with us but just have a watch of last season's DVD. How many times was his name mentioned in the run which took us to 40 points? More than once or twice. That was achieved on Boxing Day when we beat Man City. He only played for us three times after that.

Hey, maybe I have got a plan after all!
David Jones, Rochdale  (16/10/05)

Oh Davey, oh Davey, Oh Davey!
Moyes must go to give someone else a chance to keep us up (and to stop him wasting even more money in January). Before he does he needs to answer some questions:

  1. Why doesn't anyone seem to want the ball at throw ins etc?
  2. Why continue with Weir, give the captaincy to Neville?
  3. Why sign players that are injured?
  4. Why cant Kilbane cross a ball?
  5. Why didn't we sell McFadden in the summer?
  6. If Cahill is 'tired', why not rest him and bring someone else in?
I hear that Newell has been approached... must be worth a chance!!!
Steve Newbould, Manchester  (16/10/05)

Baffling Substitution
Back from the game; another loss. However, I thought we looked brighter than of late. When we went a goal down I looked for a change by the manager as Bent had looked out of sorts after clutching his thigh in the first half. With Faddy playing as well as I have seen him for some time, I thought he should bring on Dunc or Beattie and maybe Faddy could profit playing off a target man. But no... instead we go two down and then I thought the manager made a strange substitution. He brought Dunc on but to do it he took Ferrari off, moved Neville to right-back, Killa to centre-mid and Faddy out wide on the left, where he never plays well Talk about total disruption to get one player on! What is the man doing???

I realise he has got more badges than a Butlins redcoat and should know far more than us fans but I must admit he leaves me bemused when substitution time comes around. On the plus side, I thought both full-backs looked to be settling and adapting. On the minus side, I thought Tim is suffering from that mysterious footy complaint of second-season syndrome.

Chelsea next... and that doesn't fill me with great confidence. But could it be that the very fact it is unbeaten Chelsea that will motivate and charge up the players more than the manager seems able to --- hope so!!

See you Sunday. UP THE BLUES!
Ken , Buckley  (15/10/05)

Quo Vadis??
Where are we going - not to the Cchampionship. Somehow I think that this time Everton are going to get their just reward and it is us poor suffering fans who will no doubt get the worst of it. It is bad enough every week to be reminded about what happened in May (I still do not know how Milan capitulated), without EFC languishing at the bottom of the league Bismark-like, waiting to be sunk.

But please don't put the blame all onto Moyes - those same players who got us into 4th place last season are a disgrace at the moment. Why doesn't anyone recognise that Yobo is not a natrual defender? Last season we never kept a clean sheet when he played except for Man U away when he played right back. He cost us goals in every game.

The re-signings in the summer were perhaps made with the heart rather than the head: Ferguson, Weir, Naysmith, Pistomne, Kilbane should not have been given either new contracts or had extensions granted. Stubbs should have been given a 2-year deal even if just to give some backbone to this team of nancy boys.

Drop Weir; make Neville captain, let him dictate the play and allow him to change things to Plan B if there is one when things are not working.

Is Wyness still at EFC? He, along with Kenwright, should resign now - they have been suckered by agents and players. Kilbane has not had a good game for the club since 2004. Can anyone remember the last time he beat a man and crossed a ball?

If the fans could see the weaknesses in the team from last season, why could not the management at the club see the same?

And one other thing. Take the whole squad to Anfield next week to watch Anderlect. Make them sit in the stands and take the abuse from the gobshites and maybe, just maybe, they will begin to realise what football means in this city. And maybe, just maybe, they might think that they owe us — thier supporters — some commitment and stop wallowing in thier own self pity.

Get out and at Chelsea next Sunday and win a fucking game. You take the money; start earning it!
Steve , Liverpool  (15/10/05)

Clearly there was never any doubt that we would be beaten today, yet there are still people blindly supporting Moyes. Ged Dwyer's article was spot on, yet people are already saying its ridiculous and based on hindsight. Not true, many of us saw this coming and were pleading with the club not to go ahead and purchase the fodder that we are currently stuck with.

Personally, I lost all faith in Moyes when I realised he thought Beattie was what we needed, but I never expected him to continue on this sure fire path to destruction; buying crap players for too much, destroying team morale, playing the worst football the Premiership has ever seen, and then going into denial after every defeat. He really has turned into Walter Smith but far, far worse. He has overseen the biggest missed opportunity in Everton's history; he will take us down and with this team, make no mistake, we would struggle in the Championship.

We'll never get another Rooney; there will be no more £20M windfalls, and we aren't ever likely to get a sniff of the Champions League ever again. He has been incredibly lucky but has blown it bigger than you would if you were actually secretly trying to sabotage the club. For Gods sake go, and at least give us a sniff of a chance to not go down!
Mike Price, California  (15/10/05)

Time some people woke up
Just reading on other sites. It looks like some of their contributors think it'll all be OK soon. Can they not see the evidence before their own eyes. There is no obvious evidence that there is going to be the slightest improvement. These players are poor and the tactics used are dreadful. I'm sorry but I look to Moyes here and ask: Does he know what to do?

This is the worst ever, I've never felt so down about it like I do now. Other times we had a bit of hope but these players and tactics give me no hope as yet again we are beaten in the second half as the opposition up the pace and we are run out of it.

The way it's going I can only think a miracle is needed for us to improve. I dread next week as 'boring' Chelsea (who are scoring for fun) visit Goodison.

This will not go away easily; wake up before it's to late.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (15/10/05)

Other sites? Gerrawaywithya! — Ed

Lunatics running the asylum
Why are the powers that be allowing Moyses to carry on destroying this club of ours? Any one can see that unless a change is made, any change, we are doomed. No knee-jerk from me, lads, but we will not turn the corner under DM. He has already lost the plot and most importantly most of the fans.

We have not become a bad side overnight, I keep hearing. Well, if you go back to last January, that's one long fucking night. Sack him now and bring someone in who understands the basics of football.

"Who will we bring in?" people keep asking. "Who would want the job?" What a load of shit. We are Everton! — anyone would be an improvement on this joker.

There are plenty of good managers in the lower leagues who would jump at the chance to come here. What's the biggest gamble: bringing in a Mike Newell or a Peter Taylor or even Dave Watson? Or sticking with a terminal loser like Moyses.

Knowing bungalow Bill, he will wait until the game is up before he makes a decision. Only Everton would employ Stevie Wonder as a coach driver and stick with him until we were hanging off the Runcorn bridge.

We need to move on quickly and grab that fourth from bottom spot, yes that's how bad it is. Sorry, Davey but your record stinks, so do us all a favour...
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (15/10/05)

Oooo, ya nasty fella. He's doing is best. Give him a chance. You know all the excuses... Still 30 games left! — Ed

Its only a blip!!??!!
According to the "Official" site there was much to admire today.
Well, it could have been 3 or 4 or?
To all the "it's only a blip" fans, are you sure???
Seems a bit bigger to me
Any road, easy home game to come...
It's gonna be a massive blip by Xmas!!!
John Audsley, Leeds  (15/10/05)

On a positive note
Let's look on the positive side of the fence, eh? We went to Arsenal and only lost 2-0 and now Spurs to the same score. Last season, we conceded 12 goals over these two games — and we still finished fourth... (Tongue firmly in cheek!)
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (15/10/05)

Fantastic! Corner turned...

Football is only a game
As a friend so rightly pointed out to me a few days back, ‘football is only a game’. So why do we get so upset when our team plays badly?

The answer is quite simple really. We follow the team of our choice from a young age. Parents & other family members influence our choices, as do friends & our proximity to the club of choice. Other factors include the club’s ability to play ‘good football’ & to score goals, which, after all, is the whole point of football.

So where do the current Everton FC fit into this scenario? Quite simply, they don’t. Four strikers on the pitch at the same time & still no goals?

Many fans complain about the board, the manager & the players, yet they don’t seem to grasp the fact that without the fans support, the club cannot continue on it’s current course. The fans have the power to make changes. By not paying for entry to the match, by not buying merchandise, they can force the club into changing things.

Yet so many fans turn up, week after week, only to be disappointed. Well, I’d be disappointed too if I’d just paid £25 to watch shite. Which is one of the main reasons, that, despite being a supporter for 45 years, I don’t care as much as some of the fans seem to. I’m an armchair supporter see. I refuse to pay good money not to be entertained.

My £25 is better spent for a couple of tickets for the theatre, cinema, or a meal for two. Even a piss-up down the pub is more entertaining than 90 minutes of boredom, waiting in vain for that elusive goal that none of our current strikers are capable of.

For those of you that hanker after masochism week after week, be my guest. If you are only slightly masochistic, watch it on MOTD. But if you really are as sick of crap football as I am, just don’t watch. I know it’s hard. A bit like seeing a car accident & not wanting to look, but you feel you just have to.

I’ve managed to limit myself to just getting the result at pools time. I know what the result will be even before it’s revealed. It’s just a matter of the scoreline. But at least my Saturdays are no longer blighted by the disappointment of endless defeats. I’ve learnt to accept the inevitable.

As for the future of Everton FC. Who cares? It’s only a game after all. There are more important things to worry about in this world than football.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (15/10/05)

I'm sorry but I can't publish this. I'll get slaughtered. People will be writing in, saying that you are not a true supporter, that this attitude is being transmitted directly by to the players by websites like this, and that ipso facto we are thus contributing directly to the downfall of EFC.

On the otherhand, I fear you may not be alone in this viewpoint, and it does demonstrate that as fans we have a choice. They actually played quite well to day, by the way, but it made little difference in the end, sadly. — Ed

Only asking...
Is Beattie fit or not? If he is, why didn't this 6.5 million-pound record signing start against Spurs? If he is not, why was he on the bench? Could it be that David Moyes has become as sceptical as some of the rest of us about the abilities of "El Gordo"?

I have a similar question about Krøldrup. Is he injured or not? If he isn't, then let's being see what £5M gets you; and if he is, having him as the sole defender on a benchful of ineffective strikers seems like a foolish choice. What if one of the defenders had been injured early in the match? It's bad enough that we are the only Premiership club who buys players pre-injured, but then to put them on the bench...
Jack Molloy, Liverpool  (15/10/05)

It's a fair question, although I fear you are being somewhat absloutist wanting a black or white answer. Neither Beattie nor Krøldrup were 100% fit today. But they weren't so injured that they couldn't play if called upon.

Could they play at the peak of their effectiveness? No... (But then none of the players are doing that anyway!) Are there alternatives who could be on the bench instead of them? That is really the key question.

And the answer is "No" — at least not in Moyes's book. He won't blood anyone from the "reserves" (I'm thinking of dropping that term as it really has become a complete misnomer) and all the other possibles are definitely injured... so it's a case of the walking wounded, I'm afraid.

As fans, we may not like the idea of players being out there and unfit, but I think it is a reality of the game you just have to accept.

Lone voice?
I realise that I am probably fast becoming the lone voice but I still say don't panic and don't sack him!

Who is going to come in? Smith? Graham? Reid? Whoever was brought in would need time to settle after the initial "honeymoon" win or two then swap and change half the side in January. I just heard Moyes on the radio on the way home home and he doesn't sound desperate; he's not flapping or making excuses. What I heard was if we stick together it will come good, and it will!

I honestly believe we have our best manager since Kendall (1st time) and before anyone writes in telling me what a load of crap I'm talking, be honest, you thought the same last season. He doesn't become a bad manager overnight. Yes, we have had an awful start, but if we DON'T PANIC we'll get through it.
Craig McManus, Mold, Flintshire  (15/10/05)

I think a bit of blind panic might help at this stage, to be honest. Hell, why not at least try it? Nothing else seeems to be working!

Heart! That's about it. Never before have I seen an Everton side play without Heart. It's embarassing to watch teams like West Brom who have shown passion for the Premier league and their club. Blame Moyes or the squad but, eitherway, do we think that with time things will change? Make the players watch Sharpy or Ratcliffe play. Pure fucking passion for the club — not just about who you can play for or how much money you can earn for the wife. I love this club... do the players?
Steve Latham, Perth, Australia  (16/10/05)

More and more we have to accept that it is just a job for them. They are professionals getting paid for what they like to do. Especially the foreign mercenaries.

I've just watched today's game and I am feeling as low as I can remember feeling as an Evertonian. We've got two glaringly obvious faults. We cannot score, and we cannot stop the opposition scoring. Our goal difference after 8 games is -10, and you don't need a genius to work out where we are going if that continues.

Strangely enough, I do't think we played too badly today as the away team. But Weir and Yobo as a partnership is too flimsy. It's a year too much for David Weir in my opinion, as well as he has done for the club. And Yobo, while he can be outstanding on his day, loses concentration too often for a defender. Mido should never have got to the ball before Yobo for the first goal. That would never have happened with a tough old British centre half, like Carragher, Terry, Southgate etc. Africans do not make natural defenders and, while Yobo can make an outstanding tackle, or win a great header, or nullify an attack with a burst of pace, he is often asleep where it matters most - in the box.

Up front,we struggled again. We have a lot of huff and puff, but cannot score. Bent does too much work away from the goal, and is often out wide when the ball is put in the box. Our midfielders don't shoot outside the box, and there's a lack of quality with the final ball a lot of the time. Kilbane works hard, but should not be a first choice player. Cahill played just behind Bent today and was anonymous.

We are crying out for Beattie to get a run of games, and I must admit I believe he is a good player, but he needs to stay fit. I know he has his doubters on this site, but I just pray he comes good, and I believe he can - he has to.

I see Chelsea won 5-1 today, and they're next up. Can we do the impossible? I just hope we give it a right good go. At least the players gave it a right good go today. Last year we might have had a point from today's game with our defensive solidity, and while our scoring problems are well documented, I fear that unless we stop leaking goals then we are fighting a losing battle.
Danny Broderick, London  (15/10/05)

"Africans do not make natural defenders"??? A brave assertion there and no mistake... Flak-jacket on now!

And so say all of us
A posting going out to ALL of those Moyes is God clowns and fools, was today's predicatble result ever in question? Can you honestly see ANY current Everton player scoring a goal? The collapse is almost script like - short burst of promise obviously without finishing due to lack of capable strikers then let in a goal, usually crap defending then bend over and take the footballing equivalent of a prostate exam again.

Where are the points going to come from? Recent fan views diplomatically posted pro- and anti-Moyes had points we could all agree or disagree with. In all honesty ,does anyone think for a minute that Beattie (who strangely hasn't trained again this week — even patients recovering from serious illness and accidents are given water-based physiotherapy — swimming) will ever come good before disappearing together with our other useless shower of shite first-team squad on "get out" clauses at the end of this the most miserable season I have ever been unfortunate to ever endure in 36 years?

I'm no expert with answers but it doesn't take a genius to say what we are currently doing is simply not Premier league standard and will condemn us to an early plunge to the Championship then oblivion like Sheffield Wednesday.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (15/10/05)

Moyes must go
Surely even some of David Moyes's biggest supporters must now agree that it is time for a change in the manager. Our tactics and performances in the games to date are woeful. The club may never have an opportunity to progress as we did before the start of this season and every Everton fan knows that we needed a striker pre-season, why wasn't that his priority?

One goal in eight league games is a disgrace and I fear that unless their is a change in the top job we will be relegated.

ps Where is the FSF cash injection?
Simon Maher, Liverpool  (151005)

Groundhog day
.....need I say anymore !

Believe it or not, we are not quite as bad as the Mike Walker start in 94-95. Can anyone honestly see where the next point will come from? I can't.... perhaps it will Southend away ...opening day of 06/07!
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (15/10/05)

Come on, now... try to stay positive.

Stick with Moyes
This is in response to Ged Dwyer's incredibly ill informed and rash article titled "Missed Opportunity". Now, while we all agree that things haven't exactly been going according to plan to far this season, I still would like to pick apart some of Ged's ill-concieved solutions to our stuttering start to the season.

First off, most of the "solutions" proposed by Mr Dwyer occur in the past tense. For example, "The squad from last season should have been kept together". Ok, genius, the same squad that fell across the finish line at the end of last season and endured a run of results not too different from what we're going through at the moment. Clearly, and even the hardest Moyes critic would agree, that additions were desperately needed during the summer. Fresh legs, creativity, and a goal scorer were needed. For this to happen, some players had to be shown the door, so be it. I'm a big fan of Stubbs but that's modern day football for you.

So, we come to the crux of your argument. That is, and its a fairly valid one, that the signings so far have been unsuccessful. Fair enough. However, your solution to the problem, and here is where I have a problem with your piece, is that we go back in time and sign Michael Ball, Darren Bent, Nicky Butt, and Kevin Phillips?! Now, while none of these players (Bent aside) has been tearing up the Premiership this season, explain to me, along with the idea that someone (say Martin O' Neill I believe you suggested, more on that soon) can travel back through time and rebuild your idea of a good Everton squad, again all of this happening during the international break. Are you off your head?!

Martin O' Neill left management because his wife is ill, so no such luck there. Michael Ball's form and career have been ignonimous since his transfer north of the border. Nicky Butt?! I'd take Phil Neville anyday before him. He's younger, more versatile, and he doesn't get suspended for cursing at referees. Kevin Phillips, likewise, is over the hill and has never rediscovered his form that made him an England international when he was at Sunderland. Darren Bent would be nice, but who knew he was going to be playing so well this season? Surely you weren't advocating his signing back in August were you? Didn't think so.

While it's easy to sit around and complain about the signing of Beattie being "foolish" and Moyes' tactics being "ameteurish" I am firmly in the camp that believes none of this moaning and groaning is going to accomplish anything. Neither is the sacking of Moyes. He is here to stay and we need to support him and the team. Stop wasting your time wondering "what could have been?" because it's irrational and counter-productive. Let's get behind the boys, Beattie and Moyes included, and roar them on tomorrow at White Hart Lane. CMOYB!!
Andy Casey, Boston, MA  (05/10/14)

That's telling him, Andy!

I want some
I don't know what James Hanlon is on but I want some to get me through the rest of this miserable season!
Sid Logan, Mold  (14/10/05)

Spurs Match Preview
What a great match preview for the Spurs game! Nice job, James Hanlon - brilliant - it had me laughing out loud in the office. Strangely enough, most of it's actually true.......

God bless the Blues!
Greg Dawson, Sacramento, CA  (14/10/05)

The lad's a genius; we will try to get him on a full contract in January, when the web window opens...

It seems to me that ToffeeWeb has become some sort of nominated battleground for the anti- and pro-Moyes factions amongst supporters and it's getting a bit depressing/tiresome/funny/stimulating (delete as per your views). I must admit I'm in the "depressing" section which is bad because the team's form is depressing enough on it's own, thanks.

As far as firing Moyes is concerned, you might as well save your angst for the team as there is no way he will get the boot unless it's January and we are bottom and out of everything - remember, Bill only sacked Walt Disney in March. Who saved us then by the way.......

My own 5 quid's worth is that the now ill-fated Champions League "dream" is at the bottom of it all; Moyes/Bill/We/The Players all believed in its seductive riches and games against Europe's best - in reality we were ill-equipped for it and our failure has hit really hard and deeply. In Clive Woodward's book "Winning" he says that "success doesn't come in a straight line". I know what he means as our line over the past 3-4 years has been like a bloody corkscrew.

I recommend this excellent piece in The Guardian from Niall Quinn for a players view on sacking Managers.

Spurs away anyone? I was there in '85 when Links scored & we last won.... only 20 years ago.
Mike Iddon, Marlow  (14/10/05)

Some good stuff there, Mike; thanks for the link.

James Hanlon - Taking The Piss??
Is he taking the er... piss?

Is the new match previewer part of ToffeeWeb's new positive aproach?

Well it gave me a laugh anyway. Was it supposed to be serious or did I miss the sarcasm? So many questions I know.

Here are a couple of quotes: James Beattie: "BT is chomping at the bit to regain his full fitness and match sharpness that will have him banging in the goals in no time" apparently "we cant wait" - understatement of the millenium.

"The Everton players will definitely be up for this one, ready to prove once and for all that the Premiership table really is upside-down" The only way we're gonna be top of the league this season is if you stand on your head.

The more I think about the more convinced that this definately a piss take. The safe bet would certainly be for us to concede our 700th and 701st Premiership goals without reply.

I guess the optimism hasn't quite rubbed of yet! Still, we've got the thought of Beattie chomping at the Pizza Hut sorry THE BIT.
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (14/10/05)

A Valiant Effort
Well done James Hanlon on your match preview for Spurs. A 'positive' effort. I don't know what your were on to inspire it, but it must be good stuff :)
Iain McWilliam, UK, Reading  (14/10/05)

Gravesen rumours
I read somewhere that Everton are going to re-sign Gravesen in the next round of transfers. Something about a buy-back clause. Can someone kindly take Moyes into a quiet corner, and firmly explain to him that we actually need STRIKERS, to score GOALS. And ask him to repeat it as many times as neccessary, till he gets it.
Braam Cupido, Gaborone  (14/10/05)

Beattie: Nine Months On

As I sit here in my room in the heart of the French countryside at a cracking university and generally enjoying my time here, there is one thing that is dragging me down. Everton FC. The euphoria of last season almost made me forget the one big howler David Moyes made. However, this season has highlighted that he should not have signed James Beattie

Well, maybe that is a bit unfair on James. Or is it? Nine months ago I wrote an article about whether he was the right choice for Everton as a big-time Charlie who would disrupt the influence of the team. Now I think is a good time to assess his performance for Everton in what is generally known as the honeymoon period.

Well, what performance I hear you ask? Exactly the point I was coming to. People might have a go at me for being terribly anti-Beattie at this point, but it goes without saying he’s spent more time on the treatment table in the past nine months than he has been on a football pitch. I don’t think even Duncan Ferguson has seen Big Basil as much as Beattie has, and that’s saying something. It does make our £6million investment somewhat of a laughing stock, and Southampton, despite them being in the Championship, are laughing all the way to the bank.

What has Beattie actually done in nine months? Decide to do a bit of head-banging, except using William Gallas as the wall, and then getting injured and never playing bar a few goals in the Champions League or the Cup competition. His scoring record in the Premiership for us is pathetic, one goal in I don’t know how many games. If you want me to show how bad that is, he is making Emile Heskey look prolific.

Second point, he has an off-the-pitch problem. There have been plenty of stories in the press about him since he joined Everton, such as deciding the best place to practice his fledgling career as a boxer was a Birmingham nightclub. Now, what footballers do in their spare time I don’t usually care about, but as a professional footballer (serving a suspension at the time may I add), what was he doing in a nightclub in the first place, getting absolutely hammered, and paying no attention to keeping oneself fit. I’m not suggesting grown men and footballers shouldn’t have the occasional drink now and again, but the other pain is why try and start a fight?

And as for his effect on the team? Has anyone noticed Bent’s record since Beattie joined has absolutely plummeted? I think he has scored maybe twice since Beattie’s arrival, and his workrate this season has been singled out for criticism on a lot of the forums I peruse throughout the day. Not having a go at him, but it is obvious the arrival of a big name had a big effect on a guy who was fantastic the first half of last season.

Do not get me wrong, I want Beattie to start scoring and getting us up the league table; I want a goal on Saturday against Spurs, even if we lose 2-1(!). At least we’ll have found where the onion bag is, and maybe that will encourage us to get the momentum going we had at the beginning of last season. We just need a few players to get their acts together, and that includes you, James Beattie.

Peter Roberts, Poitiers, France  (05/10/14)

When Saturday comes
When Saturday comes it's off to North London. Two sets of Evertonians: the Moyes In and the Moyes Out. Whichever persuasion you are, all it means is that you have an opinion and can back it up with whichever stats suit your case.

I believe it is for his employer to determine if the man they hired to run the playing side of the business is performing in a satisfactory manner and on course to deliver that which will delight both club and supporters. Their judgement will impact on us fans for many a day if it is not based and measured on the model put forward at the time of hiring.

As for the game on Saturday, at a ground that's not been kind to us for a long time, I just hope the big jessies that pull on the blue jerseys stop sulking, grow up and play with the ability that they have all been telling us they possess and just maybe we will have something to cheer about.

Ken , Buckley  (13/10/05)

Why did Moyes not buy strikers? Why were we trying to get Owen? That was time-wasting... What about John Elmander, David Nugent, Darren Bent, Henry Camara... Gunnar Heiðar Torvaldson is a graet player. I watched him yesterday against Sweden and he was briliant! Hard-working and fast... please lokk at him. There are millons of strikers not only Owen or Robbie Keane.
Marino Svavarsson, Iceland  (13/10/2005)

Wow, they are great suggestions, Marino. I just wish you'd sent them in a little bit earlier.... like perhaps before the transfer window closed? Owen... time-wasting? I think we had to at least ask the question; he wasn't interested. Millions of strikers, you say? That's excellent; we only need a cuple who know where the goal is and we'll be in hog heaven. Just can't understand how we missed all of them. And how many are out of contract right now? Coz they are the only ones we could sign before January.

Possession possession possession
Although there is a serious lack of chance-making creativity, and a sorry catalogue of missing the few chances we do create, Everton's problems originate from an inability to retain possession of the ball. We can go minutes on end chasing the opposition to win the ball - and then, time and again, we give it back with the first pass.

Part of this giving away possession is careless passing, either to a closely-marked colleague or straight to an opponent; part is over-use of the long ball... but much appears to be an inability/unwillingness of our players to make dummy runs to pull defenders out of position or to make themselves available by dashing into any such spaces.

Running like this could greatly reduce all the running after opponents to whom we have gifted the ball so wantonly.

Possession, possession, possession. THE OPPOSITION CANNOT SCORE WHILE WE HAVE THE BALL! They will be the ones getting knackered chasing after us for it! Let's make keep-ball a way of life.
Chris Clough, Watford  (13/10/05)

Can I be honest for a moment
With the odd "blip" for the past 15 to 17 years, Everton have struggled to be a force in the First Division/Premiership.

We all have lived through these times and watched poor football mixed with the odd brilliant performance. After last season the majority of us believed that with a few new signings (a striker was a MUST) we would continue to improve, not necessarily finish 4th or higher, but at least be a top-5 or top-10 club.

I've seen most of the games this season and have seen nothing that makes me think anything positive has happened or is likely to happen anytime soon. We aren't even creating real chances and once we go 1 down it's never looked like we will equalise or even go on to win. If anyone can say "we battered Man Utd" or anyone else for 20 mins, it means for 70 mins we didn't.

I believe in Everton and playing attractive football (something we haven't done for a long, long time) but the team and management must give me and you a reason TO believe. I'm not in the "get Moyes out know" camp but we are in serious trouble and he is running out of time.


If anyone again says "Its a blip", think again. The Cup in 95, finishing 7th in 2003 and 4th in 2005 might be the REAL blips.

Up the Blues and Toffeeweb
John Audsley, Leeds  (13/10/05)

Relax. That's it. We'll finish the season in the top half of the Premiership. At this stage of the season you've only gotta win a couple of games and your in the middle of the table!
Java Java, Brunei  (13/10/05)

No problems then, Java man. That's what we needed to hear. No worries.

Ask what the players can do for you
'Don't worry, it'll be alright'. Some Germans said that in 1945 as The Red Army blasted Berlin to the ground.

Yes we can live in hope and support the team and players and cheer them on even when losing. That won't happen. The proof has been in full evidence too long now. We are playing shit, and shit football has never been cheered on in any ground to my knowledge.

A change in tactics is a first. Let's try and play football on the floor with passion and pride and movement and ideas to beat the opposition. The follow-on to that is the crowd get excited and cheer the team on to perform even better. That's how football works, it's simple.

I ask the players to perform to their best and ask the manager to employ a tactical style of passing football where players can pass and move into space.

I have not asked for the manager to be sacked, just to employ better tactics than he is using at present. This will be enough to get the support of the fans.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (12/10/05)

Absolutely spot on, Dave. You have exposed this "get behind the team" nonsense for what it is, because it is all predicated on how the players perform, and how the fans respond — not the other way around. Yes, we'll get behind the team (players and manager) if they go out there and give us something to cheer.

Watching games last season, it seemed that the attitude the players showed in the first few minutes would set the tone for the entire match. If they came out of the blocks with desire, and really got into the game, the crowd would feed off it, get behind them totally, and magnify the whole effect.

And the opposite was true, with a poor start in which the opposition took the initiative acting like a wet blanket for the fans. I think we all know the creation of atmosphere at the game comes from what happens on the field. It is virtually impossible for the crowd to create much spontaneously, apart perhaps from the odd Mexican wave!

Past a joke!
The recently posted comments about the Reserve team being made up with young kids was merely the latest in a line of manager-bashing allegations we are becoming used to on your site. To blame Davey Moyes for needing to play 15-year-olds is past a joke when you have half-a-dozen players on internatioal duty and at least as many again on the injured list.

Anyway, as far as the `failure` of Moyes to bring on players, what about Hibbert, Rooney and Osman? All became established first-teamers under his careful tutiledge and Vaughan would now have joined them had not injury intervened.

That`s four players brought through in less than four years - how many other clubs in this day and age can boast such an achievement? Some people just want to pick on things to gripe about!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (12/10/05)

It's a difficult area for us, I believe Richard. And the role of the Reserves has changed in recent years, with more emphasis on it being the upper tier (under-21 level) of the Youth Academy. So the traditional idea of having true "reserves" who could step into the first team at the drop of a hat is almost ancient history now. Even if we had a fully fit squad, I don't think too many of them would be playing reserve football. Just look at these stats from last season's reserves, when we had few injury probelms: I count a handful of games for a handful of our squad players. The rest are kids who never got a sniff of the bigtime, with a couple of odd-balls like Plessis and Bosnar, who served no readily apparent purpose.

As a club, we spend a huge effort bringing players up through the ranks, with teams at every level, only to see 99.2% of them leave. Some of them bring in a bit of money at that point; most don't. Yet almost to a man, hardly any of those players who leave will go on to any form of high-level success in the game... which kind of vindicates what must be a tough decision to let them go.

My take on this is that David Moyes is very reluctant to use these players who have no experience. Seeing Laurence Wilson on the subs bench for European games was purely making up the numbers. Should Moyes be looking to our Reserves as a source of talent he could use now to help the club get off the bottom? I don't believe for one minute Moyes would do that but's it's largely a chiken and egg thing: he won't use them because they have no experience; they have no experience because he won't use them.

Rooney was a total exception: a once-in-a-lifetime dream come true. And yet, for one reason or another, he was allowed to slip away for the paltry sum of £20M. Hibbert, Osman and Vaughan? Yes, that is a good rate of return really, so you are probably right. We should be pleased with what the Academy has achieved... and yet we should not expect David Moyes to be looking there for any more talent. — Ed

Fair comment
Having supported Everton from a distance for 28 years, I find ToffeeWeb an invaluable help in keeping up with events at the club and getting an idea of what my fellow supporters think. Given the disastrous start to the season, I regard the criticism currently being heaped on the players and managers as fair comment.

This website is accused of being too negative. Has there been anything since Bent's winner at Bolton to be positive about?

I'm a journalist on a weekly paper whose duties include interviewing football players and managers. They rarely have anything to say other than the blatantly obvious. Looking at the Everton FC and Post/Echo website articles, the words from Moyes and the players are just what you'd expect and generally not worth repeating on Toffeeweb. I think your comment articles are excellent and the match reports realistic assessments.

I believe there is enough talent in the ranks and ready to come in from the treatment table to pull us out of this crisis. I don't believe Moyes should be sacked, but the criticism is deserved.

The fact is - apart from the occasional high spot - our form since December has been poor. The players are virtually all Moyes's signings and they are failing big time to deliver.

Keep up the good work.
Michael McQuaid, Lanarkshire, Scotland  (12/10/05)

Nail on head, Michael. Many thanks for your highly pertinent and appreciative comments. It's for people like you that we do this! — The Editor

Ref: When is Enough Enough?
I find it interesting he points out the financial interest of shareholders before he talks about his passion for the club (Are we a shareholder Mr Armitage?, I think you are arent you!!) At least we know were your priorities lie!!
Simon Currie, Liverpool, UK  (12/10/05)

You're absolutely correct; no, I am not a shareholder but I believe all Evertonians are perfectly entitled to be deeply concerned with the current state of affairs, whether they possess a piece of paper indicating part ownership of the club or not.

And as for you assuming where my priorities lie, well it's to see Everton playing well and scoring and winning again. I sincerely hope that is with Moyes at the helm, and as I said I'd be gutted if he does go. Believe it or not, I WANT MOYES TO TURN IT AROUND; I WANT MOYES TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT EVERTON.

A blind man can see that something is seriously wrong at the club right now. If this form continues until the end of the season, would you be happy to see Everton relegated whilst your fellow shareholders sit by and watch it happen? — Nik Armitage

Could not agree more
Could not agree more with John Prior; he to me seems like every other Evertonian I have met. Were do these clowns come from that want Moyes out? I know a hell of a lot of blues and we all say the same thing. I understand football is a game of opinions and some people probably think that Dixie should have been a centre back. Overall though I firmly believe that at least 90% are behind Moyes and the team.
Paul Rotherham, Liverpool  (12/10/05)

Having already said how balanced I thought the Nick Armitage article was it seems fellow blues feel it was a call for the head of Moyes on a platter; I did not get that impression. Nor do I get the impression that ToffeeWeb is moving towards a 'get Moyes out' campaign.

I do not want to see Moyes go. However, look at the facts so far: Did we actually create anything against Man Utd? Were we lucky against Bolton? Were Villarreal not more clinical in both games (are we going to blame the next 20 years of crap football on a ref with a bald head?). Did anyone see anything in the Portsmouth and Wigan games to suggest the players had any idea of what they were doing? Again how many shots, balls cleared off the line, posts and crossbar did we hit at Fulham and Man City?

And finally you are 1-1 away from home in Europe with 45 mins to go... what should we do? All behind the ball don't concede another and if you get a chance great but let's hold what we have and get them back to Goodison; well no further comment needed.

So who is to blame for the above? Something is very wrong when you finish 7, 17, 4 and so far, bottom with a very lucky 3 points to date. Come on Davie, what's happened? I for one really hope he does know the answer and has a Plan B.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (12/10/05)

Clearly it is one of those issues that are "too hot to handle". What our critics appear to be saying is that we are being negative by daring to question the type of football being played, that we are creating more doom for the team by failing to get behind them, by daring to discuss the possibility that Moyes might be the cause of a deep maliase that is affecting the players' ability to pull themselves out of this rut. They want instead to hear wonderfully uplifting stuff about how we can turn the corner come the next game and how Moyes can lead us forward.

Well, all I can say is that I guess they really are at the wrong website.

....and another bloody thing!
Those of us who allegedly spend all our time finding reasons to call for Moyes`s head were given a new source of amunition this morning by the Club`s own website. `Holden rues experience gap` screamed the early headline(soon removed after I fired off a rant to them!) As if it`s not enough to have a crap team losing virtually every game, a collection of highly paid mercenary signings-most of whom seemed crocked on arrival - a manager who couldn`t motivate Coleen on a shopping trip and the biggest bullshitters in any boardroom, we are now told we haven`t got any young players coming through either!

What has this manager been doing for four years? If, as we are led to believe, he controls every aspect of the playing side, does that not include the development of youg talent? Is the cupboard so bare that Holden is forced to throw 16-year-olds straight into the bullpit of Reserve team football? What the bloody hell DID appear in that famous five-year plan if there wasn`t somrthing about preparing young talent for first team football?

Whatever the apologists may come up with, I positively assure you this is no budding Alex Ferguson suffering a few temporary set-backs - this is a man in deep shit who is dragging a once proud club deeper into the mire of his own making as every day goes by! Please,somebody, do something!
David Hall, Taunton  (12/10/05)

Just a quick note to say that I used to enjoy reading all the articles and comments on ToffeeWeb, but I just cant stomach all the negative depressing crap that now dominates this site. Let's be more positive and get behind Davey Moyes and our team. People need to get a grip, we'll be back on fire again, it just takes a spark and a little bit of luck (and a few players back from injury). Meanwhile, I be visting Bluekipper — sorry!
True blue Tomo.
Andrew Thomas, Liverpool  (12/10/05)

In Moyes I Trust
End of season 2003-04: club in turmoil, no money, lose Rooney, favs to go down. The one shining light was Moyes. We all trusted him. He made good signings, Cahill, Bent. We played great till January, lost Gravesen and some momentum. We bought Arteta, a success, and the much lamented Beattie.

With our paper-thin squad the invetible happened: form dipped, results stopped coming. But just somehow, Moyes steered the creaking ship through the icebergs and we finished 4th. Even those below us spending £100M couldn't catch us. That wasn't luck, it was great management considering the resources. We all knew it and accepted it and celebrated Moyes as the saviour.

So forget January to August, there is a reason for that form. I agree with John Prior about this season's form. We haven't played badly and fans who go will tell you that at half-time against Wigan, we were upbeat. 'Failing' to get a striker in the transfer window happens. I wouldn't want a Bellamy-type deciding what position he wants to play in or a Nugent for £5M who can't live up to the hype. Beattie has been down that road!

I am literally appalled at the call for Moyes head. Look back a little, take stock of what has happened and let's hope that the players yet to figure and those to settle and return to form will lift us. Now is the time not to panic, but to back our manager, the man who made us proud again last season - Come on get a grip!
Neil  Alecock, Huyton  (12/10/05)

It won't be long now
I have read a few of the arguments for and against getting rid of the ginger one. I have to admit, I was anti-Moyes after 3 games this season. I refuse to accept that the Villarreal games 'deflated' us or that we have had a difficult start to the season. This dross was being served up long, long before we entertained the yellows at Goodison.

Man Utd and Villa apart, we were woeful through the run-in and any true blue would admit the same. Kevin Latham has just posted an article rallying the fans to get behind the team and to Support Beattie now more than ever before. What?? "How many other teams have turned the corner with the fans on their backs?" he asked. How many other teams get 40,000 fans turn up to watch the shite that we do Kev, week in, week out? Season in, season out

I honestly cannot offer up a suggestion of what to do next, because I don't know. But continuing with this is not an option for me. The football is so negative it's beyond belief, and the fact that we are seriously asking ourselves where the next goal is coming from is a sign of our demise.

We finished in 4th last year not because of fancy football or because we twatted teams week in, week out. We finished there, with a negative goal difference, because we fluked 1-0's left right and centre. We have had no prolific goalscorer in 20 years and it's time this long-suffering fanbase were given performances to be proud of. I don't expect us to win the league, but for my hard earned money to be put into this club, I expect effort and commitment at least. They have had enough support, Kevin Latham, its fucking pay back time on their part, not ours.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (12/10/05)

Enough is not now!
In response to Nick Armitage's article, now is not the time to sack the manager.

1) You have to let him field his strongest 11. To deny him this opportunity would be to deny him a fair chance. You have to wait for Krøldrup and Van der Meyde (and Beattie, dare I say it!) to feature.

2) No matter who was appointed, he couldn't suddenly be expected to make this team score bags of goals.

3) Any new manager needs to be able to bring in his own players, so there is no point in even considering a change of manager until near Christmas time.

I thought the author was a bit harsh in writing, 'The only half decent performance this season was against a travelling Dinamo Bucharest outfit that had little intention of getting involved in a game of football.' Did he not see the Villareal games prior to that? I agree it's not been good, but sacking Moyes now would be premature, and we would be worse off for it. Let's wait and see how we do until nearer Christmas...
Danny Broderick, London  (11/10/05)

Bring in a Bobby Robson 'type' upstairs? He has been known to spot a player or two and has the respect of the footballing world... ok, maybe a bit old. But, really, could Everton be so 21st Century and bring in a Director of Football? I, believe that this could be a viable alternative to Moyes walking. I believe that we should also look for a new head coach. Leave Irvine to concentrate on bringing some of the younger lads on at the Academy.

And, clearly, one of the fundamental needs of EFC is a revamp of our scouting network - do we have any? Do we have any whose opinion the manager is prepared to trust? To dispense with the services of Moyes may be a shame - I love the attitude he sometimes exudes and the 'best club on Merseyside this season' quote was pure class (even though it was shattered within a week) as was the 'Everton are the People's Club' quote on day one of signing.

He pissed a lot of people off and didn't give a shit....maybe he has this attitude on a daily basis and when the going gets tough the players don't like it — hence don't perform. Moyes has something but has made too many mistakes for the status quo to continue so how about a revamp at the top? He stays, bring in a head coach and we see a Director of Football appointed to run the rule over future signings and the club's footballing recruitment structures. Moyes would then be the figurehead he would still pick the team but would benefit from experienced input from someone who has been there and done it..a Robson, Hiddink, Venables, Advocaat, Rehhagel (Greece Manager), Santini, Koeman... you get the idea.

What about Gullit as a head coach? Big issue is Moyes may see bringing in these sweeping changes as acknowledgement of his failure and would walk anyway... and I have real doubts that Bill could persuade someone of that ilk to come on board. Anyway, we'll see how it pans out over the next few weeks... but, as I have commented before, a change is needed soon... not just a win here and there but a fundamental change in the way we approach the game as we have simply been found out and there are no fresh ideas coming from within. Hold on for a bumpy ride.
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (11/10/05)

I guess I can't see this Director of Football thing happening and Moyes staying. But ya never know... we definitely need a lot of fresh ideas in ther right now!

What a surprise!
The news on the background of Van der Meyde from your Dutch contributor will surprise no-one. Moyse seems to specialise in signing players with very dodgy fitness records - which may well be the reason he got Beattie, Krøldrup and Van der Meyde whilst failing to attract anyone of genuine class during the summer.

At a conservative £20k per week each for those three, wages alone will have cost the club half a million without a ball being kicked in anger by any of them so far this season. When you cost in the £15M paid for them in transfer fees you begin to see the unbelievable profligacy of this manager.

For that alone, he should be sacked - and now!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (11/10/05)

Enough is enough indeed!
I can't believe this kind of tripe is featured on the home page! What a complete load of narrow-minded, contrived nonsense. Dear me. Pathetic.
John Prior, Liverpool  (11/10/05)

I usually can see where most of our readers are coming from with their diverse opinions, but I have to admit you have caught me cold there, John. Having re-read Nick's piece, it seems to capture the moment pretty well, yet you feel the need to bin every last part of it, with nothing offered up in return? I can only assume that you utterly refuse to contemplate Moyes being near the edge.

I'd love to believe everything was really fine, that this is just a blip, and that Moyes's position as Everton Manager is rock solid... but I think to do so would be delusion of the highest order.

All Nick is saying is that, if things continue, there has to come a point when a decision must be made. Why is that "narrow-minded, contrived nonsense"?

This is an honest enquiry: I'm seriously curious to understand why you would reject Nick's speculations out of hand.

Anyone is better than Moyes
There is now the beginning of a debate on who might replace Moyes in the event that he resigns or is sacked. But still, one school of thought seems to think that, given the precarious state of all things Everton, we could not attract a better manager than Moyes. Hence, we ought to stick with what we’ve got. Relative lightweights like Royle, Graham, Reid, Ratcliffe and Newell are dismissed as not up to the job.

Being an Evertonian I want the best man for the job. The above are clearly not great managers. But one thing I believe that they have, unlike Moyes, is the ability to relate to players (basic commonsense, really). I believe the rumours that Moyes has lost the dressing room again are true. If any of the above men can gain the respect of the current squad then they are an improvement on Moyes.

And since the current Everton squad is too good to be in a relegation battle, it makes sense that the only way to remain in the Premiership is to replace Moyes immediately with a man who will not continually poison the dressing room. It does not matter that this person will not be our first choice since the improved atmosphere should be enough to revitalise a team worthy of Premiership status.
J C, Aberfoyle  (11/10/05)

Some impeccable logic there, JC. That is quite a compelling arguement given the dearth of other apparent choices in-country... which leads to the other more likely scenario: A johnny foreigner who wants to try his hand in the Prem. I'm sure there are hordes of them who would bite off Billy's hand...

Moyes's Quotes
David Moyes appears to have joined the Everton players in spouting absolute bollocks before a game, his latest quote as reported by Dominic King and David Prentice in The Liverpool Echo relates to James Beattie and his chances of playing against Spurs:

"James is still working with the physio," said Moyes "and there is no way I can consider him for Saturday unless he has some training under his belt. He is a naturally fit lad, but he needs some match practice and without training the best we could hope for is a place on the subs' bench again at the weekend."

Has Moyes been misquoted really saying "naturally fat lad" or are we to be led to believe Beattie has actually done anything other than gained weight and done sod all exercise since he joined besides getting his hair done and appearing on Question of Sport?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (11/10/05)

Now there's bloody coffee all over my keyboard!

Possible alternatives...
I was pleased to see some alternative names mentioned by Gavin Ramejkis and Paul Hennessey. Personally I like Bobby Robson as a man and as a manager, but I think it is one club too far for him now. And Paul mentioned Martin O'Neill. Of course he has been linked with lots of major jobs for the past few years, so he has been doing something right at Celtic and Leicester.

My concern with him is that he seems to favour a 3-5-2 system. He has always played this way, and I don't think you could have any success in the Premier league playing this way. He used it to keep Leicester in the division, and he got away with it in Scotland where the standard is a lot lower.

My point of view is that we should stick with Moyes come what may until Christmas. I hope he can turn it around, and I think it would be a bit harsh to sack him before he has had the chance to field his strongest XI, which would surely include Kroldrup and Van der Meyde... and dare I say Beattie?!
Danny Broderick, London  (11/10)

Your ideas?
Ed, who do you think should be the next Everton manager? bearing in mind that is, if Moyes actually departs...
Jon Taylor, London  (01/10/05)

Jon, I don't worry about such things, and here's why: whatever I may think is irrelevant. Kenwright et al (if they are bold enough to make a decision on Moyes — which I seriously doubt) would make such an appointment, and will be considering the opinions only of those whom they trust.

I have to admit I still like Moyes... which is irrational considering the awful football he advocates; the consumate ease with which he seems to lose the players so soon after inspiring them to great heights; his empahsis on hard work over skill and flair — which I despise; his maddening substitution decisions... and did I mention some of his transfer choices? All the same, I would be very sorry to see him leave.

Credible alternatives?!
People keep stating that we must stick with Moyes as manager as there are no credible alternatives available. This opinion rests on how you define 'credible' and 'available'.

At the moment, David Moyes has zero credibility and is making a fool of himself and the club, so can we actually find anyone who is less credible to assume the manager's post than him?? I honestly believe that no other manager could have started this season as poorly as him given the team we have. Therefore 99% of managers would be better suited to the job than him at this time.

Other people suggest that there are better managers out there but that they are not 'available'. Well, in my opinion, every manager is available, in the same way every player is available. I take it an 'unavailable' manager is one who is already in a job. Since when did that start to matter? How often do teams appoint managers who were out of a job at the time? Answer: not very often. The reason being is that the credible managers always have jobs and the fact that they are doing good jobs gives them that credibility. This does not mean, however, that they are unnapproachable and that we must stick with Dithering Dave.

The credible alternatives are out there, but if some fans want to blindly support the dross that we're watching and want to make excuses every time a transfer fails to materialise then I suggest they continue to laud the 'fantastic' job Moyes is doing... but please don't tell us that we have no choice other than to do this when, in my opinion, we clearly do.
Sean , Liverpool  (11/10/05)

Now you see him......
As one of the small group of Dutch football fans who has chosen Everton as our adopted club since being posted to your city, it has come as no surprise to us to find that Andy van der Meyde`s debut has been somewhat delayed. It was well known at home that he had a very serious injury and through his career it has always been stop-start. I think you will find that, since debuting for Ajax - my club - in 1997, he has only ever managed to play at most half a season`s matches — and that was in Italy also. As far as the Dutch team is concerned, he was our version of Scarlet Pimpernel. When he plays, very good... but you should not expect too many games.
Walter van Montfoort, Liverpool  (11/11/05)

EFC 2005
Well the "Sack Moyes Brigade" are in full voice. It seems the main part of the argument to sack Moyes is on his record in the transfer market. Why haven't great players come to join us? We are Everton. DM should tell them that. His fault.

I think you are bloody naive to think it is because the chat with David Moyes wasn't inspiring enough. Do you really think the modern footballer considers the manager that much these days?

I doubt it. What the agents are telling "their" players is that Everton have under-perforned for years and are still clinging to the past. They are saying that despite the odd blip (like 4th last year), the infrastructure of the club is not good at this time and the club is likely to feel under pressure from fans to sack their manager when things don't go well. This will lead to uncertainty for any promising or established player which could have financial implications.

So let's go ahead and sack Moyes. We would have the pick of Graham, Royle, Robson, Venables, Pleat etc etc. But a manager like Moyes, who may not be a finished product but is hungry and under 60. No chance. Still at least when we sack him we'll win two games under David Pleat.

I can see the e-mails:

"What a breath of fresh air. Beattie was fantastic with his goals. True historical Everton centre-forward. Great to see Big Dunc. Like the good old days. I love Dixie Dean. Goodison forever...blah blah"

Headline Jan 2005: Moyes signs Arteta from Everton. Pleat under pressure from Everton fans. New signings promised.
Ged Simpson, Chester  (11/10/2005)

Nick Armitage
A very balanced article that really cannot be argued with; good work Nick. It saddens me to think of Moyes leaving but I too have not seen any evidence of the direction the players seem to be heading on the pitch. It's like Davie won the lottery over the summer only to blow the lot and have nothing to show for it.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (11/10/05)

Surprised no one has thought of Sir Bobby Robson as an alternative, he knows more about football than most of us do altogether isn't working and is still respected by footballers and fans alike despite the hatchet job he got at Newcastle, plus he isnt working and could even be considered as a temp replacement until end of the season or if that doesnt float your boat then Sir Bobby plus a younger assistant where you fill in the gap of promising but maybe not quite ready manager from lower leagues or Europe. Before I get crucified, its a viewpoint and I'm happy to read replies as long as this is posted.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (10/10/05)

Well... consider yourself lucky it was! A ridicluous idea, methinks. I hate to be ageist, but he has probably forgotten more about football than you or I will ever know... and that's the problem. Leave the poor bugger to enjoy his retirement; he's earnt it. — Ed

For Better, For Worse?
Is there honestly anybody out there better than Moyes? Danny Broderick asked, I really see where he's coming from... I think in our current plight at the moment, there are very few people suited to take the club forward. Would O'Neill be good enough or even want the job?

If results keep goin on the way they have been since December 28 (this is no knee-jerk reaction; that's 10 months ago) and the football played continues to be as bad, then the question we might want to consider is: Who could be doing worse?
Paul Hennessey, Worcester  (10/10/05)

Never sign as Aussie!
Re the furore surrounding Moyes`s attitude to Tim Cahill, I read an article recently in the Birmingham press in which David O`Leary said amongst the lessons he had learned whilst managing Leeds was never to sign an Australian! He said that they are all fiercely patriotic, never want to miss an International, and spend their lives winging backwards and forwards across the globe. As a consequence,they spend most of the season jet-lagged and thus only able to perform in short bursts. O`Leary was obviously referring to his experience with Kewell and Viduca and I guess it also sums up the situation with Tim Cahill.

Could it be the reason why nobody else moved in for him whilst at Millwall? But I guess Moyes wouldn`t be that switched on anyway!
Peter Heddon, Birmingham  (10/10/05)

Any alternatives?
I am still firmly behind David Moyes, although that is not the point I wish to make. My point is that there must be a replacement lined up if you want to replace him. And quite frankly, I have not heard one alternative that I would be happy with. There have been suggestions like Royle, Reid, Ratcliffe and Newell - please do not insult my intelligence by suggesting we should appoint one of these four.

Newell has made a good start to his management career, but he does not have the credentials yet. And the other three would be a backward step and also do not have the credentials. So that pretty much explores any ex-Evertonians as boss, and it's a non-starter.

Elsewhere, I've heard George Graham mentioned. Well for my money he's a dinosaur, and wouldn't improve on any of the faults discussed about Moyes - negative play, bad transfers etc. Is there honestly anybody out there better than Moyes?
Danny Broderick, London  (10/10/05)

Moyes Loses the Aussie vote
As an Everton fan, born in Ireland, residing in Australia, I feel I have a reasonably impartial view of the recent Tiny Tim Tug-o-war. In my opinion, it has been a very bad PR exercise by Mr Moyes.

Australia play 2 important games every four years. They are the World Cup qualifiers versus 5th place South Americans due to take place in 4 weeks. Unlike most (all) other countries, Australia doesn't have any meaningful competitive games leading up to these matches. It is therefore especially imporatant for them to get their squad together to prepare for these games. This is especially important this time as Guss Hiddink has been their coach for only a matter of months.

My understanding is that the recent "camp" was mainly tactical, developing new systems of play (hey there's an idea for Everton) etc. So, the emphasis was not on fitness or workouts. The end result, was plain to see for Australian fans. The team (with the same players) played a completely different type of game. I don't mean that they changed from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1, I mean that in their link play, passing, fluidity, swapping of roles (imagine Eveton starting to play like Arsenal). It was obvious from their play, the comments of players after the game, that Hiddink had drilled the team all week with a new system and new roles. Presumably, Tim Cahill has missed out on most of this.

From an Australian point of view :-

* Everton were the only club who would not release their player
* This is an absolutely critical time for Australia
* There wasn't going to be any major fitness work
* If Moyesy was so worried about Cahill, why didn't he rest him before?

This has not gone down well in Australian football circles. Big deal, I hear you say, but the worrying thing for Everton should be Tim Cahill's attitude. Tim has made it obvious that playing for Australia means a lot to him. I wonder what he thinks about the gaffer holding him back from preparing for Australia's most important game in 4 years?
Ciaran Duff, Sydmey, Australia  (10/10/05)

Stick to Pravda!
Whilst Toffeeweb requires no defence from me,I feel I must put the alternative `alternative` view to that espoused by your correspondent, Richard Dodd.

Living at the other end of the country I have no easy access to Everton gossip in local newspapers although from distant memory and current matchday chat it was never that positive - regardless of results. The Official website neecessarily smacks of Pravda and is, at best, asinine - witness the current News page made up of two `Wyness Whines`, a piece on `Blues Supporters` and details of a `ladies Cup triumph`. I bloody ask you, in the current situation are we not entitled to a bit more than that?

What the much vaunted-and no doubt expensive-media department do God only knows but they certainly don`t relate to everyday, every-breath Evertonians like me! I need ToffeeWeb like others need cocaine! I need to have access to the reality of my club`s plight. Does RD think we`re enjoying the pressent situation? Does he seriously believe that the `great majority` actually pray for a bad spell so we can call for the manager`s head?

Get real, Richard, I'm sure even you would admit to being worried by the present situation. Support the manager by all means, but don`t question the loyalty of others who see it differently.

And, by the way, the missus says both she and the cat enjoy a much better life since I started sounding off to ToffeeWeb!
David Hall, Taunton  (10/10/05)

On daring to be different
I have soon come to realise there is little patience at ToffeeWeb for Evertonians - like myself - who hold the `alternative` view that we should all get behind the manager and his team at this particularly difficult time. That your site is not alone in this regard was revealed by Ian Ridley in a piece in today`s Mail on Sunday. Advising the new Manager of Kettering Town, Paul Gascoigne, to take no notice of the local fans` website, Ridley says `you will soon be introduced to the pleasure of these forums, where you will be the best thing since the slicing of bread if you win three games, a spendthrift wastrel bringing in expensive has-beens if you lose three.` Sounds familiar,don`t you think?
Richard Dodd, Formby  (9/10/05)

Yes, you are absoluteky right: we have lost three and everyone wants the manager sacked...

Oh, wait a minute: 4, 5, 6. It's actually six league games out of 7. One paltry goal scored. The most god-awful football you could wish on anyone, the manager clearly having 'lost' the players... the list goes on and on and on.

The difficult issue here is not one of patience, because the "do nothing" approach is actually one of the easier decisions for Kenwright to make. Just wait patiently until we are through this "particularly difficult time". Not you, not anyone knows how long that is going to last. And the longer it goes on, the more people lose their nerve.

And I can't help noticing the stinging put-down of websites and forums implict in Ridley's clever comments. The fact that he is actually noting their existence belies a reluctant acknowledgement of their role as an oultlet for the fans. His desire to put them down as an irrelevance shows how they must be perceived as some kind of amateur threat to the opinion-forming role he believes is the right of professional jurnos alone.

And all this from The Mail on Sunday!!! Say no more. — Editor

I know we are all getting worried at our current plight and if Moyes is to go, who shall we get to save us. Well, it's a big NO to Peter Reid. He was a great player for us but the football won't improve if he becomes manager. He didn't save Leeds when Terry Venables left and Sunderland were awful to watch.

I think the performance is going to be closely watched at Spurs. I don't expect to win there (who does after the last few years?) but if we play the way we have been then questions will have to be asked and decisions made.

No one wants the manager under pressure but if he can't get them to play football without having to hoof it anywhere, then sentiments will have to go and the league status of this club must come first.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (9/10/05)

Evertonian Donkeys
The Walter Smith years were beyond painful but after he went and Moyes arrived, I thought that we could slowly get rid of the deadwood. I realised that we couldn't even give away the shit that he'd bought and they would never vacate their ridiculous contracts, but at least there was light at the end of the tunnel. In 3 years or so we would be free of the overpaid, crap players and the boring style of play would leave too. How wrong could we all be?

We are now in a worse state than under Smith. We have even more one-paced journeymen, unskilled, uninspiring, boring players than we had then. Moyese's judgement of players is beyond belief, but the joke is on us. He has overpaid to an almost criminal extent, and bought absolute shite on fat contracts, the prime example being Beattie. The trouble is we now have to wait another cycle of 3 or 4 years before we can get shut. We really are like donkeys following a fucking carrot on a fucking stick and I cant believe we've all got to suffer this abuse all over again!

The only thing that Moyes could do to walk away with some credibility is resign and give up his contract rather than wait for the inevitable lucrative payoff. He has been both a footballing and financial disaster for this club and the ramifications are likely to last years... if we go down it could be for longer than that!!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (8/10/05)

The manager
I'm fed up with people telling me that we can't sack Moyes because he guided us to fourth place last season. If at Xmas we are still rock bottom, will we still be hearing this crap? If in three years Moyes has guided us to league two, will we still be being told we can't sack him because we finished fourth with him the other year and that Simon Davies is still settling in? Actually it wouldn't surprise me given the mentality of some fans.

Let's face it though, we are playing the worst football any of us has ever seen and, for the first time ever, I have a feeling of complete hopelessness. Moyes is proving to be dour, uninspiring, stubborn and clueless. Qualities we could do without with a probable relegation battle looming.

Moyes has shown that he is unable to attract quality players and cannot seem to see where things are going wrong, i.e. chasing scores of defenders when we are crying out for stikers. Whilst he has been at the helm we have progressed very little in all honesty. We have consitently played out dull one-goal affairs and our end results have therefore been determined by tight decisions and on plenty of occasions, luck. Can anyone remember the last time we can honestly say we played a team off the park and thoroughly deserved to win? No? Me either.

It now appears to be a question of when he will go rather than if. Hopefully it will not be left too late. There are other managers out there who I'm certain would be capable of guiding us to safety and instigate some attractive football and thus restoring hope to the hearts of many an Evertonian. I feel the likes of Mike Newell, Neil Warnock and possibly Peter Reid should be approached before the crisis deepens.
Sean , Liverpool  (08/10/05)

Resign? No chance!
Whilst agreeing with much of Steve Callaghan`s contribution to `the great debate`, there is no way I can see Moyes resigning of his own volition. Nobody,just nobody, does that these days unless they have a nice little number lined up to move into.

Like an increasing number of Evertonians,I have totally lost faith in this manager. Not just because we seem to lose every match but also because of his stereo-typed tactics and total naivity/ignorance of the transfer market.

Think what we will of him, the one man who stands to lose most from relegation is Bill Kenwright. Not only will he become even more reviled by supporters of his `beloved` Everton but he will also say farewell to a very juicy wedge. So when wil he act?

I suspect he will give it to Christmastime - unless we suffer a string of four-goal defeats - and what true Evertonian wants that to happen? Then, if things look no better, we shall suffer the `Davey`s such a straight bloke, he came to me and said he felt he`d taken us as far as he could` speech and the Great Moyesiah will go off to the promised land to spend the dough!

So where will we go from there? I suspect we shall then suffer the inevitable `caretaker` period - which always goes on weeks longer than it should - and then some shister agent will come up with an out-of-work `has been` to supervise the path to relegation.
Reid? Evertonian or not, he specialises in organising the big drop;
Royle? Ditto and far from popular in his final months last time;
Ratcliffe? Are you kidding? He even supervised a team out of the Football League (even if they did beat us on the way!)

So who are we left with, given that our position will already be perilous by then?
Graham? Too far from London and too long away from it;
Bassett? (Harry, not Mike... although the latter might do better!)
Wilkinson? You thought Davey was dour!
Newell?Promising but another Walker?
Robson? Should be entitled to free TV by then!

I know! Jose Flamingo! You remember him, he got Villamorante into the qualifiers of the Uefa Cup before going off to manage Tonga to World Cup elimination. He`s our man; his agent swears by him and his wife`s an actress to boot. And let's remember, all the top clubs go foreign these days!

Oh god, how will we bear all that`s ahead of us? I`m weeping already. Do you know I`m suddenly beginning to hope a miracle happens, we win every game and that `the future`s Orange` after all!
Callum Kerr, Southport  (8/10/05)

Nice idea, Matt, except we've been trying a variation of this all season. One man plays his heart out and nine others go AWOL. Unfortunately their understanding of "Squad Rotation" is taking it in turns to be the one who tries. To make matters worse, each stint lasts, on average, about ten minutes. Oy Rooney! If all you want is a bit of aggro, get back here and fight for something worthwhile...
Tony Horne, Kettering  (8/10/05)

Re: Steve Callaghans Letter
If we fail to win one of the next eight games - YES, Moyes will be gone but unfortunately we will also be doomed.

That said, it's got that feel about it now doesn't it? It's not like the past - to me anyway, I really can't see us getting out of this one.

Prove me wrong you inept group of mentally fragile confidence players. For once, prove me wrong.
David C  (8/10/05)

Matt Willey - the new comical genius! At last, someone has insulted my intelligence enough to force a hearty smile; well done! Stranger things have happened and it can't be worse than Dour Davey's current efforts... ha ha - much better than rose-tinted In-Moyes-We-Sink with the RMS Everton.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (07/10/05)

It's Inevitable
I am afraid it looks a certainty - Moyes will leave Everton this season... but he won't be pushed. I guess we have all heard the rumours now that he resigned on the plane back from Romania but it was not accepted and that he again insisted on leaving the club after the City defeat.

Let's speculate for a moment - If true, why would he have done this? Maybe he has run out of ideas? Maybe he feels he has made too many bad mistakes and a clean start elsewhere in the lower leagues would be the place to continue learning — not in the top flight of British Football?

Comments like 'Hibbert is ready for England' and 'I've been happy with Simon Davies's performances of late' are giving out bad signals. Actually, I like the guy and he did succeed in giving us back our pride - albeit briefly. But Big Joe gave us the FA Cup and he did not receive the adulation from some quarters of our following to anthing like the same level that is afforded Moyes. Luck plays a massive part in football. Look at Liverpool for instance... the worst team to win the Champs League and, as has proven since, probably not worthy winners.

It has also been proven that Everton's luck was in last season and they were perhaps not worthy of 4th in the Premiership. Only an idiot would not agree that, if it wasn't for the ineptitude of those below us, then we would not have even made Europe.

An indication of Moyes's present desperation to me is that Beattie is clearly overweight yet he is allowed to get anywhere near the first team in that condition. He has big tits for Christ's sake! Moyes should be wipping him into shape in the gym instead of desperately throwing him into foootballing action. Yes, ok you need match fitness but you need fitness first... and now he's injured again! What did he expect.. .weigh him, test him - he's no athlete at the moment.

Ominously, we have been averaging less than 1 point per game since 28th December 2004. Keep that up... what does that mean? I'll tell you: At best, rounding it up to averaging a whole 1 point per game, it means we'll end up with 34 points at the end of the season which will not be enough. Can you honestly see that average improving with the present group of players? Honestly? Can you see it improving between now and Xmas? Can you see us getting a win out of, say, the next 8 games?

Well, if you can good for you but I can't with any confidence anyway. If we don't, that takes us to mid-December probably without double figures in terms of points on the board. If you still believe in Moyes then I, for one, would think you have also lost the plot.

So who do you bring in if he walks? Personally, I think we're fucked! Maybe someone like Warnock would be interesting but I think he'd get the back up of these present group of players. Imagine Valente's face if Warnock let loose on him? Maybe a short term stop-gap would do... a Kevin Ratcliffe, a Peter Reid, a Joe Royle; someone who could put a bit of passion back into this group of players between now and the end of the season and then perhaps look for a longer-term replacement.

I am loyal but loyal to Everton not any one individual. A time for a change is nigh... and before you jump on the counter offensive and call me mad for doubting Moyes, try to restrain yourself and wait a couple more weeks... you will see where I am coming from.
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (07/10/05)

Again, put like that, it really is hard to argue with. I can see Moyes tendering his resignation, I really can. Even if it means walking away from £3M or £4M. Sad. A very sad way for it to end.

But maybe then we can finally drop this People's Club malarkey...

The bloke that came to sort my leak is right....
Not been a good week on the home front as well as the football front.

I was downstairs making a butty in the kitchen a couple of days ago and water was pissin through the light fitting. Got a firm in through the insurance to help. The chap seemed a right jobs-worth to start with... then the sound of Z cars came from his mobile. Knowing he was a blue, I got on to the subject of the current climate. His face lit up as we didn't have to discuss boring old leaks in the house but more leaks in our defence! One thing that he mentioned that I am astounded I never really thought about is that we never shoot. I got thinking about recent games and he's right. We don't shoot. Last one I can remember was Valente v Portsmouth... and as he said... after that rasping effort which I have to admit I thought was a good effort... the management team will have told him that we don't have any of that at Everton!

Last Thursday nobody shot.. they just tried to cross and hope someone got a head or a toe to it. Surely nobody would get on their backs if when we get in that danger zone just outside the box that a pile drive is put in... we'd be made up for the effort. OK, if the shot hits the corner flag we'd give some stick but providing it made you sit up and think 'at least we're having a go' Well at least we get a break this weekend. I can go to work/pub/school gates in comfort I won't get any stick on Monday.

You watch Phil Neville will come and get crocked... oh the cynic in me!
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (06/10/05)

Davey Moyes: Manager
I watched `Mike Bassett: Manager` on ITV last night and it all seemed so familiar! Manager of a Merseyside club with a `nodding dog` assistant always at his side; crap team having lost five on the trot without scoring a goal; overseas `stars` bought on the strength of agents` videos; club mortgaged to the hilt; very disillusioned supporters. Is this series based on the present plight of a club we all love, I wondered?

Hope not because they went on to lose their next away game 2-0! Mind you, it could be worse - we once borrowed the call sign from an American cop show when the Spurs game ended 10-4! Dropped off to sleep, then, realising it couldn`t happen again... after all, how the hell would we ever score FOUR?
Harry Meek, Worcester  (7/10/05)

From not a Beattie fan
Having been to the Reserve game last night, and making the trip from Northampton I may add, I was staggered to see Beattie arrive in his own car. I thought that he was involved in a team game so why not travel with the rest of the team? What sort of message does this send to the other players? I would be interested to see what travelling arrangements Per made...

To the game. Beattie took a free kick and it took a wicked deflection and went in the net. Victor Anichebe was playing up front but soon tired and up against a taller centre-half did not win many aerial challenges.

While Beattie was on, he did not look at all interested and after 23 minutes went off.

To be fair to him he did carry his left leg when walking off at half time. How can such an athlete/player be so unfit? He might have arrived at Goodison unfit but how long ago was that? Surely by now he would have lost some weight and regained match fitness.

I now start to question this players committment to the cause. It is not often that I say this but he reminds me of Bilic and Ginola who were only interested in the dosh and not the hard work. Why is Moyes standing for this? I thought Moyes was a fitness fanatic. He knows that he has to perservere with Beattie as he has no other options and no one else would buy him.

We were outpassed and outplayed by MUFC but at least the lads carried on trying to the end.
Name Withheld  (7/10/05)

Oh dear... I guess Gavin is not too far off the mark after all.

Biffa's true colours
Sounds like another true picture of Moyes's saviour for Everton was shown again last night. Biffa had a spawny deflected goal from a free kick; thought strikers should also be able to score from open play? The piece de resistance was his injury after 22/23 minutes, hobbling off, maybe his toe couldn't take his weight?

Moyes you must realise we are shafted for goals and your white elephant, literally and metaphorically, is a disgrace and not going to save us.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (07/10/05)

Now that's not a very nice way to support the players, is it, Gavin? You know we have a bad rep for negativity... is that really very helpful? I don't think so.

Investment Opportunity?
I received a phone call today from a marketing company wishing to gauge my interest in a new financial package for our fans that the club are considering. Very briefly, the club will require an investment of £5,000 over six years, which will be guaranteed by a high street bank. In return for this they will pay out a preminum based upon the profits from any players transferred below the age of 28.

I'd interpret this as the fans being asked to loan the club £5,000 interest free, and the only way that they can benefit is from the sale of the club's most valuable assets - ie, the best players being sold at a time when they are supposedly in their prime. Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age and have got the wrong slant on the scheme and so I'd be interested in opinions of fellow Evertonians regarding this matter.
John Novak, Wirral  (06/10/05)

Young Blue View....
I often hear people talking of the club going downhill. I am 16 and have had a season ticket since 97-98, when we stayed up on the last day. My father has been going to matches for over 40 years, and has seen the 'glory days' people of my age can only read about. After seasons of mediocrity and relegation battles, last season was amazing for us, and having never seen anything better than us finishing 7th two seasons previously, I thought it brilliant we had qualified for the Champions League. Then came the summer and the lack of a striker signing... (I won't continue on that thread!).

I find it pretty unimpressive that many fans say we are failing, our form has been crap so far, but there is something good around the corner, much better than the last 9 years I have watched. The first game this season against Villarreal I enjoyed particularly, as I had simply never seen an Everton team challenging at that level, and although my father and uncle, with whom I sit, described the performance as unimpressive, outclassed, and so on (as they did the first day defeat to Man Utd) I was proud my team were competing at that level.

Having not been alive to see the years we did dominate and win trophys, it is the nearest I have ever been to seeing a vaguely successful Everton side, and things are looking bright for the future.

You can rubbish my opinions as I'm 'just a kid', but some of the comments on here about us being crap are not worth the time to read. We've got to face it, and I can, we are not a team capable of challenging the best at this point; we haven't been for nearly 20years!

Last season we were winning games, it was exciting, we got lucky at times, we did great. This season has started poorly but we're not a crap team, we are a team that should be in the top 10, but probably not the top 4. I know it's a bitter pill to swallow for some of you that Everton aren't challenging for the title; they haven't for over a decade... and, after one good season following 10 crap ones, we're not in a position to. Some of us have never seen us win titles, cups, leagues and it makes us proud to see us even play Villarreal in the qualifiers, it was bad losing but how far did we come last year, miles? Yes.

Keep the faith. The glory years have been over a long time, but this club is going in the right direction, I can say that having seen the last 9 years of rubbish, and we are getting somwehere.

We're improving on relegation battles, not declining from championship winning years, they evaporated a long long time ago. I wasn't even born, so count yourselves luckier than me.

Steve Maunder, Telford, England  (05/10/06)

Nice thoughts, Steve and they may help to keep you positive, but they are unlikely to kid anyone who takes a look at the table and knows that we are now right back in it. "It" being the releagation mire. No matter how much you may want to focus on the achievements of last season, they mean nothing in the context of today's sickening predicament. No, that's wrong; they do mean something. They intensify the pain of seeing where we are here and now, and knowsing that, yet again, it was another false dawn because we have got to go out there and climb that mountain all over again. But this time, the starting point is actually a good few rungs lower, irrespective of any "progress" the club may have appeared to be making.

The future is here
If a miracle occurs and we stay up this season, what can we expect next year? Under DM... more of the same, methinks. How can this stubborn, dour manager change his way of doing things? He can't.

What we have in Moyes is what we will always have if we keep him. This is the Davey Moyses way of doing things, like it or not. Throw any amount of money his way and it won't make a blind bit of difference. His ability to attract decent players doesn't exist, so what will change.

People who think he needs more time need to wake up to whats going on at Everton. It was this man who drove away most of our summer targets with his lack of appeal and downbeat persona. Most players want to play under a manager who will inspire them and improve their game, no chance of that with our Davey.

Forget signing any one decent in January; no fucking chance. Get real, boys the future is here; the future is orange.
Tony Marsh, Huyton Liverpool  (6 10 2005)

Now you sound just like I imagine a 'doom-monger' would sound.

Toffeebag Bias
There is no way that the general tone of your Mail Bag accurately reflects the views of the great majority of Evertonians.

Of course there is concern over the early exit from Europe and the current league position but to constantly push a line that relegation is inevitable and that the club itself is in free-fall is so wide of the mark as to border on the ridiculous.

The truth is that after an excellent season and, say what you will, we finished fourth over TEN months not FIVE, our hopes and expectations were raised to a level beyond all reality. For once the Board saw fit to back the manager with a high level of funding and although the settling-in period is proving to be more difficult than we all hoped, most of the signings are a great improvement on the players they replaced.

Admittedly, we lack a potent strike force but few of us were not originally delighted with the James Beattie signing and, once fit, I am positive he will deliver the goods. Let us also remember that it was not for the lack of trying that Moyes failed to land another `big fish` this summer.

So let`s keep a balance here and not just focus on the negatives. Otherwise, I shall start to suspect that only the `doom-mongers` log onto ToffeeWeb.
John Ranford, Speke  (6/10/05)

Why does it always come back to this? The mail you read is from Evertonians like you... but with one difference only: they are not you. They have different opionions. They have a different perception of the facts. Some are more optimistic, most are less optimistic. Live with it.

Most people think what we are seeing is a bit more than a "settling-in period". This has the makings of a full-blown crisis. We are about to witness the WORST EVER run of form by an Everton team. And I can't believe that many have really pinned their hopes on James Beattie ever coming good, negative though that sounds. But based on evidence since 31 Jan 2005, it is a realistic assessment; yours is not, but you are welcome to keep it.

The people who read ToffeeWeb are (mostly?) Evertonians. That's the only thing you need to remember.

Programme sought - Wigan friendly 1985
I am looking for a programme from the pre-season friendly when Everton played at Springfield Road. The date was August 1986?. The score 2-0 to Everton.

Can anyone i) confirm the exact date and score and ii) let me know where I might get a programme from.

Thanks in advance
Simon W, The Hague, NL  (6/10/05)

According to Toffee Pages (Daviid France), the game was played on 27 July 1985, and the programme was just 4 pages. You should try a programme specialist like Merseyside Football Memorabilia

The Numbers Game
I see that two recent correspondents, John Mair and Richard Dodd, have started to play the numbers game with the current Everton squad. Whether we have five, seven or eight players of sufficient class becomes slightly irrelevant when you suddenly realise how many of Moyes`s signings/re-signings would struggle to make an impact in a good Coca Cola Championship team!

Wright, Naysmith, Weir, Valente, Ferrari, Pistone, Davies, Kilbane, Bent, Beattie, Ferguson, McFaddon...they all fit into that category on current and, in the case of several, overall form for the past nine months! That`s more than a complete team not `fit for purpose` and there is no way any club can hope to compete for honours consistently carrying so many passengers.

As you say in your editorial, we have all been prepared to overlook the Club`s -and,in particular, the squad`s -shortcomings so long as they were winning, or more accurately since Christmas, clinging to a top four position. Reality, however is now beginning to dawn even on the most ardent Moyesiah worshippers that what has been assembled is just not good enough.

Millions have been frittered away on sub-standard additions, many of whom smack of second-grade players toted around by agents. Who else would sign no less than four players: Beattie, Davies, Krøldrup and Van der Meyde -who the whole world knew were carrying long-term injuries? Neither do I believe that Moyes is the Mr Motivator and tactical genius he has been made out to be. I know, absolutely, that Alan Stubbs had much to do with the 2004 pre-season re-appraisal of the Manager`s methods and the team`s changed outlook - and look what reward he got for that!

Sadly,I see no answer to what is rapidly becoming yet another EVERTON crisis - a crisis brought about by an easily fooled chairman, a stubborn and inadequate manager and, worst of all, supporters like me who, as long as we`re winning will put up with absolutely anything.
Glyn Berwyn, Llangollen  (6/10/05)

Not fooled anymore
This is why I believe many Everton fans are up in arms about David Moyes and the sorry state of affairs at the club.

We went a long way last season with a bit of luck, willing if not particularly skilful chaps such as Bent, marginally more talented Cahill, and the rest of the grafters — with grafter-in-chief Gravesen leading the way. It was a hell of an achievement. One of the most extraordinary, I would say in the history of the Premiership, to take a monumentally untalented side such as ours into Europe. A team which, largely unchanged, and after selling England's best player in a generation, had ended in 17th position the season before.

From there on, we wanted to see an improvement. Not neccesarily in our league position. I think some of us had a sneaking suspicion that fourth was not our natural place in the table. Not yet anyway. Signs of ambition. A revival, not only in the clubs fortunes on the pitch, but I believe, also in the way that Everton FC approaches football. I think a lot of people were looking to a different type of footballer being once more attracted to the club, too. A team you would want to watch, not only for the gritty victories, but also for that which Everton took pride in many, many years ago. The way in which the team played the game. Wasn't that what the whole School of Science thing was about? (Too young to remember the 60s/70s stuff, but I'm assuming.)

These hopes have been completely, and utterly, dashed. On the rocks. How can a team which is 4th in the English Premier League, not attract quality players, and the one who came, is injured, whereas the likes of Villa, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, yes, Birhingham, attract better players.

The fans are not stupid. We who have been watching for 20 odd years, have seen plenty of promises, and recognise the lowest ebb, which frankly is right now. Or a few games from now, after coming up against freight train Chelsea, or our traditional nemesis, Spurs. (What is with that anyway? Getting hammered by Spurs, who then proceed to lose to anyone else.) Wyness can talk DM up all he wants. I am not fooled. And believe myself not to be alone in these sentiments.
Braam Cupido, Gaborone  (06/10/05)

Here we go again. It seems that this Club, over the past few years, is not happy unless it is fighting relegation and I am convinced will not be happy until the inevitable happens.

I agree with previous contributers that Moyes is obsessed with defenders and midfield players - and the team still continues to ship goals. But what is so obvious is that there is such a lack of talent, pace and committment from the likes of Kilbane - change our strip to green and he would be outstanding!. Davies is a 'has been' - why else was he not in Spurs first team? He is seriously lacking in talent. Weir has passed his sell-by date and must be the slowest defender in the Premiership. Bent is not another Campbell, and Ferguson is not up to it - except for giving the occasional elbow. However one positive comment: Arteta is definitely more suited to being a winger - as proved with his great crosses last Thursday. All in all Everton must be the most unattractive, predictable and luckiest team - as even last season they achieved 4th place through default (courtesy of Liverpool and Bolton).

In over 35 years supporting the Blues I have never seen such a bagfull of shit. Once Everton was called The School of Science - The 60's/70's sides would cry looking at this bloody lot.

One piece of advice I would offer David Moyes - read Brian Clough's book. Then perhaps you will learn some football managerial skills and how to build a team: Clough's philosophy was go for the best goalkeeper,the best central defender, a great midfield 'play maker' and the best goal scorer. The rest of the positions can be moulded in around this pool of talent. It worked for him at Derby and Notts Forest so why not here. The only problem would be - DM's talent for buying crocks like Beattie etc.

I rest my case. .
Ron Williams, Keswick,Cumbria  (05/10/05)

Half Full
I cannot believe the level of opprobrium being heaped on Davey Moyes by your correspondents. For God`s sake, this is the man who, only five months ago, got us to 4th in the Premiership and was voted Manager of the year by his peers!

One of the critics claimed that only five of his signings were up to scratch. Given the resources made available I don`t think that`s too bad and if you accept that, on past record, Krøldrup and Van der Meyde are capable of bringing that figure up to seven, we`re well on the way to a good side.

Maybe I`m an optimist but I firmly believe that given a decent run James Beattie will come good and what team other than Chelsea can boast ELEVEN top-notchers?.. Remember, you need only a point a game to avoid relegation, so with three points so far we`re only a win and a draw behind schedule.

Be mascochistic all you want but my glass is half-full for another celebratory drink come May! COYB.
Richard Dodd, Formby  (5/10/05)

And the band continued to play...

Crisis talks?
David Moyes has crisis talks with his players to ask what's wrong... how about the following:

1. The majority of the squad we have is shite, players like Kilbane have no competition so they play shite every week without fear of being dropped, we have the same size squad despite blowing over £20m, how about depth for injuries, Davey boy?

2. David Moyes's tactics are negative and defensive so two guesses why we don't attack.

3. David Moyes didn't address the lack of a goalscorer since January last year - no goalscorer = no goals - mathematics even a three-year-old could understand

4. Despite Moyes and BS Billy's claims otherwise of no last day panic buys, Moyes's dithering left us scraping the bottom of the barrel buying players he appears to know sod all about... and he still didn't buy a striker (as per 3 above)

5. Speculative - players like Bent see Beattie sitting on his fat useless arse earning a decent wedge and think "Balls to this; if he does nothing for his cash, why should I?"

And I'm sure there was a lot more to Stubbs leaving than we will ever know; he was the one defender we should have kept.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (05/10/05)

None of the above.
Why is there no 'none of the above' option for the Player of the Month? I'm sure Lord Cardigan would have voted for the Heavy Brigade over the Light but any third party observing the Crimean campaign would have noted that the whole endeavour was just folly and doomed to failure. Any takers on the analogy?

The Heavy Brigade did out and score by the way - if you know your history? I vote for 'None of the Above'. None of them are worth the steam off a Gnat's turd.
John Bracken, UK  (05/10/05)


Cheers lads
Just a big shout out to all the people who were spouting the old IMWT bollocks back in the summer when Blues like myself were shitting ourselves at the Gingerbread Man's failure to sign a striker. No doubt these are the same clowns who are now urging us all to stick by Moyes as we sleepwalk towards relegation.

The fact is that Moyes made judgements that will very possibly cost us our Premiership status. He decided that Bent, Beattie, McFadden etc. could score sufficient goals between them... They can't. Moyes decided that Kevin Kilbane, Pistone and Naysmith were worth new contracts... They weren't.

Judge this man on his record over the last 10 months, not the previous four before that. And as for those Moyes apologists who tell us that he cannot suddenly have become a bad manager since the end of last season I would ask them this question; can he suddenly have become such a good manager last season after we had finished 17th the season before that?
Gaz Hughes, Liverpool  (4/10/05)

Deserves Better
Just been to see Willy Hill: 3/1 to go down... seems a reasonable bet and it might soften the blow — not really! Thanks for all the effort, Davie, and I hope it's a Limo not a taxi. Two years of George Graham while we sort ourselves out again?!
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (04/10/2005)

Player Of The Month Vote
I voted for Nuno Valente.... In a terrible team, he really caught the eye.
David C  (4/10/05)

Hmmm.. you're not taking this in the spitit it was intended, are you?

Arteta the Winger
Stick Arteta wide right. He played a blinder against the thugs and his delivery into the box was top notch. Davies could be tried in the middle as he seems to play there ALL THE TIME anyway. Or even better drop him until he learns how to play again. Arteta right; Van the Man left. Now we're talking!
Ian Ridley, Caterham  (04/10/05)

Er... Van the Man is not fit.

It's tough times lads
I know we all were hoping for better but it wouldn't matter who was the gaffer with this many lads hurt. Time to buckle down and ride it out, hope to sneak out a few points here and there until the boys get healthy. Moyes should have had a striker in, but we'd still be hurting now even with one. Last year was fun, sometimes you go one forward and two back when your going up a steep hill.
Mike Power, Canada  (04/10/05)

Just heard Moyes quoted on Sky Sports as saying he had to put Krøldrup on the bench at City although he wasn`t fit `because we had to make up the numbers`. Whose bloody fault is that? He`s signed 26 new players in less than four years and to date only five —Martyn, Neville, Cahill, Arteta and Yobo — look anything like good enough. We still await sight of Krøldrup and Van der Meyde but the rest are deadbeats, no better than what they replaced. If the young players like Seargeant aren`t even good enough to warm their arses on the bench, what the hell are they given contracts for? Everton... I bloody despair!
John Mair, Bootle  (4/10/05)

What Kevin Ratcliffe says is true: you can't escape the figures that say we've lost 16/17 of our last 23 games. I guess that, because it's happened over two seasons, it's not drawn a huge amount of attention from the media but it's a dreadful figure.

I can't imagine many other managers surviving with a record like that. Whether you think Davie is doing a great job or not, the facts say he isn't. If there where signs we where improving, I'd back him fully... but the fact that he says he's tried/trying everything makes you wonder what else he has left.

Very little in my opinion
John Audsley, Leeds  (04/10/05)

The Parlimentary Debate
At the next Prime Minister's question time, I have informed my local mp Eddie O'Hara to raise questions on how Kevin Kilbane has recieved a 3 year contract... Trading Standards have also been alerted to a 6'-3" winger impersonating a footballer in the Walton area of Liverpool.
Bobby  Dempster , Huyton  (04.10.05)

Winger? or Whinger?? Or pigeon fancier???

Change has to come
What's so funny about Hoddle? Best winning percentage of any recent England manager, did well at Southampton, Chelsea. At least he produces footballing teams, having been a classy footballer himself. If he can just keep his trap shut, Rob below might be onto a good idea. I believe Everton need a total, complete change. Out with old style managers. To hell with crap football, boring tactics, 4-5-1. On your bike Moyes. Thanks for the fish.
Braam Cupido, Gaborone  (04/09/05)

I'm sorry but I could never get behind him as Everton manager. End of.

Player Unity
No doubt to help us get out of our current predicament, we'll need to have the close-knit squad we supposedly had last year. That got me thinking about Andy van der Meyde, and to a lesser extent, Per Krøldrup.

Last close-season, when we were reputedly after AvdM, his agent (pinch of salt, granted) claimed he would only be interested in joining a team in Europe.

Oops! Poor bugger hasn't even kicked a ball yet. What price he starts griping about being off in the summer, can't see us qualifying for the InterToto (though that would be a blessed relief at the moment).
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (04/10/05)

Player of the month?
You're having a laugh aren't you?
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (04/10/05)

I wish we were, Barry...

Fuck Moyes off
They say that dogs grow to resemble their owners and I think that can be said of football teams too. David Moyes was a central defender and will always be so at heart. He sends a team out to defend a nil-nil scoreline and hopes a goal comes from somewhere. I like Moyes and think all Everton supporters do, but enough is enough.

Yes we had a good finish last year but it was based on defensive football that was boring to watch. How many times did you rush home from the pub to catch Match of the Day because Everton had battered some team earlier that day?

I am 41 years old and can never remember supporting Everton being so painful. Everton are presently not only bottom of the league but are also the most predictable and least attractive side to watch. Moyes is a nice fella but you need more than that to manage Everton.

He's had time and he's had money. We need to raise our aspirations. It's not a miracle finishing fourth; it's not good enough! This is Everton, we need a manager who will apologise for finishing fourth and predict improvement, not a top-ten finish. We need a new manager and I would go for Glen Hoddle. He may have some strange religious ideas but I would love to watch Everton with him as manager.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (03/10/05)

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

You, sir, are seriously havin' a laff!

It's not just us!
We are in a terrible run and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel admittedly.....but I do believe we are better team than last year (is that a couple of fellas in a white coat I can see?).

But if you have a look at our neighbours they are on 7 points and in their worst Premiership start in 13 seasons and they did buy a striker in the summer - meaning no guarantee of goals coz he ain't scored yet!

This on the back of a total of £63M net spent since the summer Moyes joined EFC.

To sack Moyes coz of a really bad start to this season, you're having a laugh. Is he beyond criticism, No! Does he make mistakes, Yes! But who else is there? Who else will come? Answers on a postage stamp please!

But I reckon we will finish in the top 10 and that from last season will be a little bit of consistency, something we haven't had in many a season.
Jason McClure, Liverpool, UK  (3/10/05)

Bad Luck? You're 'avin a laugh!
Firstly, I do not think that replacing Moyes is the answer and I am clinging to the belief that we can pull through.

However, despite this still relatively positive outlook, I just can't buy Paul Coleman's argument that our present situation is down to bad luck - even if I do subscribe to the view, freshly renewed on 25/05 this year, that God hates us!

Paul's article prompted me to think of a quote from some business book I read once which went something like, "Luck is the product when the prepared meet with opportunity!" and also of the champion golfer Gary Player's response to suggestions that he was lucky: "It's funny," he said "the more I practice, the luckier I get!".

Fair play, winning is a habit and all that and undoubtedly a run of results like we're having will no doubt impact morale but it's down to the players to turn it around - to be prepared and to dig in and work to make their 'luck'.

Coming to work for the whole 90 minutes each week (like we did in the first half of last season - with overtime!) would be a start!
Mike , Kent ex-Liverpool  (03/10/05)

Something I noticed whilst trying to stay awake for the Man City game. Man City had 3 kids playing: Jordan, Croft and Ireland (with Onuocha an unused sub). We had um, a half-fit Krøldrup on the bench.

It reminded me of a post by Dick Fearon last week which was about our lack of talent in reserves. It really struck home watching City's kids tear us apart time and again. I took a look at the players departing section of your fine website and sure enough we have released almost an entire generation of kids over the last few years. Names like Schumacher, Symes, the two Moogans, McLeod and O'Hanlon who were with us for years are now all away.

If they don't make the grade that is one thing... but for all to be released leaving us with with virtually fuck all in reserve smacks of cost-cutting to me. And speaking of which, what ever happened to the long-planned Academy/Training ground that Sir Philip announced to much fanfare about 3 years ago?

Granted, we have pro-signed a few kids from the Academy, but on 1-year deals. You can be sure most of these guys will disappear before ever seeing the first team. Over the past few years only Tony Hibbert and Wayne Rooney have come up from below. Leon Osman is lucky to still be playing for us given the contract talks last season.

So to sum it up, either there is no talent out there or we simply cannot afford to have youngsters here. Both of those statements send a shudder down my spine.
Stephen Burton, 20th Place  (03/10/05)

Catalogue Buys?
Re R Paisley`s point about Ferrari`s `missing` left foot, I have long suspected that Moyes gets most of his new players from agents` catalogues and videos. Soccerbase shows that Ferrari never appeared for Roma last year and Krøldrup admitted he had never even spoken to Moyes before signing. Valente was apparently recommended by Mourinho — I wonder why? — and nobody else would touch Van der Meyde with a bargepole because of his injury record!

Big money buys like Wright and Beattie were soft options who other Managers fought shy of and there no longer seems any interest in developing - and blooding - our own young players as does Pearce at Man City. In short, as Colm might put it, we`re fooked!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (3/10/05)

Serious Doubts
I sat with a Man City mate on Sunday at their new and very impressive stadium. My seat was just on the half-way line and gave me a real opportunity to take a long hard look at all things Everton without being possibly influenced by my fellow Evertonians.

For the first time in three years I have to reluctantly accept that I believe David Moyes is perhaps not the right man to be leading us. Why ?

1] His refusal to seriously address the chronic lack of 'goals' in the side is plainly evident. OK, he was perhaps a shade unfortunate to lose out on his summer transfer targets, but what about Plan B? Why can other lesser teams find half-decent strikers around Europe for a reasonable price tag, but Everton fail miserably? His pre-occupation with bolstering the defence and mid-field is criminal, when we are crying out for more attacking options.

2] Can a Manager get too close to his players? I watched Kilbane struggle woefully from the first minute to the last, yet Moyes perservered with him to the end. He was crying out to be taken off, such was his lack of confidence.

3) The signing of Simon Davies has so far failed spectacularly; he brings nothing new to the team at all when it's obvious we are crying out for pace or width up front.

I look at the progress (and playing style) of Charlton and weep. Ask yourselves, which team would would you get most pleasure from watching home or away? I honestly hope Moyes proves me wrong, but given the finances made available to him in the last six months, we have not spent wisely. The salary packages and length of contracts given out recently to mundane journeymen could come back and haunt us in the months ahead.

Prove me wrong, David!
Steve Hogan, Frodsham  (03/10/05)

Of Christmas and Christmas Trees
You look at the squad and realise that, though it's probably his fault, it's totally pointless sacking Moyes until near to Christmas time because of the squad he inherits. What bright-spark managers are available that could seriously organise our small and injury-prone band into something positive? No, leave Moyes to keep working with the bunch he has brought in. Give him the chance of us having a full, or fuller squad in a month or so. If we’re still in this boat come December, then the unthinkable may have to be thought.

I say December because then a new man would get a month to assess the squad (although it probably takes significantly less time than this, usually about 45 minutes) before he gets to spend the left-over cash, and maybe try to sell some of the deadbeats (pun on our No 8 intended) at far smaller fees than brought them to us (although, on their wages, it will be tough).

Personally, I think Moyes will have sorted it out by December, and can do his own destroying and rebuilding of this failed squad in the January sales, hopefully with better results than were managed across the long, painful Summer.

What can we do for the intervening months? All this thinking about December put Christmas Trees in my head. The formation, that is. Terry Venables’s long-maligned set-up of the England team may actually suit our current squad and address some of its shortcomings. Of course, the Christmas tree is notoriously narrow, and it wont sort out our total inability to reach the by-line and make crosses from there. But what will?

I think we must sacrifice out-and-out wide men for the time-being and concentrate on getting bodies in advanced central positions. Anyway, if the formation is working well and the team is on top, it's up to the fullbacks to get into wide positions and supply crosses, which they can do because the Christmas tree provides plenty of midfield cover.

I propose, therefore a deep and relatively narrow midfield three (probably comprising Arteta, Neville/Carsley, and Kilbane, who is far more successful in central positions for Ireland) in front of a back four of Ferrari, Yobo, Koldrup/Weir and Valente/Neville. The two players given license to support the fairy at the top of the tree – the front man, Beattie - would come from Cahill, Van der Meyde and McFadden.

Is it desperate and likely to fail? Probably. We’re in the mire, after all.

Was this whole piece one long exercise in likening Beattie to a fairy and getting it on the site?

Ted Turner, Nottingham  (04/09/05)

* * * * *

Advance Warning For Rob Fox
Save it, lad; none of us wanna fuckin' hear it.
David C  (3/10/05)


Know your left from right
Did Moyes ever watch Ferrari play before bringing him in? He described him as a left-sided defender who could play left side of central defence or left-back. It's blatantly obvious that he doesn't seem to even possess a left foot. Presumably something the eagle-eyed Moyes and Irvine have now spotted in training, hence he's now popped up on the right.

It's not that I don't see some potential in Ferrari, more that Moyes obviously doesn't have a clue what he's buying, and we're now stuck with only that plonker Valente to fill in on the left. I can't believe I am counting the days 'til Naysmith's fit again!
R Paisley, Lancashire  (03/10/05)

Come In 4-5-1, Your Number's Up
For the 4-5-1 to work, you must have someone who can carry the ball from midfield deep into the opposing half to create space and allow other players to join in the attack - Tommy G was the one who did this for us.

Currently our wide players, Kilbane and Osman/Davies tend to cut inside all the time and never beat the opposing full backs. This results in a congested midfield and by constantly involving the central midfielders in the build up of an attack, players such as Cahill and Arteta never get chance to get into the box and on the end of decent crosses.

So, Moyes, time to call an end to 4-5-1 because you don't have the quality of wingers for the formation to work — and every team now knows how to play against it anyway.
Andrew Wilson, Chester  (03/10/05)

What a difference a year makes
"It is too early to talk about it (relegation). But we have got to get away from the position we are in. It is not about me, it is about Everton - and we all have to do much better. The boys lack confidence. I have had these tests before and I will have them again in the future. It is something we all have to deal with." (David Moyes 2/10/2005)

Take the first sentance of this quote, cahnge the word relegation to Europe and thats how far we have fallen from last year, remeber how all the players and Moyes were playing down our chances this time last year? Well guess what, it happened... we said it coudn't, so lets not be so complacent as to think the same can't apply to relegation.

Paul Coleman's "When you're luck is down" article sums up the atitude of many around the club, blaming bad luck, injuries, referees, etc. If you can only score one goal in 7 games then it is not bad luck that you are bottom of the league, it is poor play and mis-management.

We're in a relegation fight, as simple as that. When I hear people saying our quality will prevail and we'll come good, you need only look at a few examples of teams who supposedly would do that last year, or in seasons gone by. This is our squad until January...that's frightening!

Why not attack the games we play, get shots on goal and play with nothing to lose in the next few games? It's not like we're winning anyway, the most boring team in the league as well as the worst? That's just unacceptable, bad luck or no bad luck...
Paul Hennessey, worcester  (03/10/2005)

What now?
3½ years after justifiably giving Walter Smith the boot, unbelievably, we find ourselves in an even worse position than we ever were under him, or anyone else for that matter. DM has completely run out of road on turning things around. He is stuck with a squad, unburdened by skill, pace, and in some cases, heart as well. There is clearly no money to buy, come January, unless our financial position has miraculously improved, or Kenwright wins the lottery.

DM appears now to be reverting to the age-old tactics of the desperate, which you will recognise at all levels. Focus on a physical, direct style, which is intended to nullify the superior skill of the opposition. Sadly, the era of that sort of dross is over. All the teams in the Premiership want like hell to stay there, and are fighting tooth and nail. All of them are well capable of dealing with Route One. That is how they made it to the Premiership in the first place. So we're going to get absolutely nowhere if this is DM's master plan.

Makes one wonder whether this is what he had in mind four years ago, or whether his thinking has evolved into this conservative, robotic, pretty soul-less stuff currently on display. Why is it that others are happy we are no longer in Europe, and not just because we are Everton (and not talking about Liverpool fans) and nobody can stand to watch us, yet can muster enthusiasm for watching virtually every one else? Has Moyes, and Kenwright made a once proud footballing club into the Wimbledon of our day? For that alone, he should be be considered for the boot. Or just plain given it.
Braam C, Gaborone  (03/10/05)

In reply to another letter here regarding other players who are injured but go on to play at other clubs , well hold on a second.... Craig Bellamy - out injured, Forsell - out injured. Sissoko - injured. I'm sure there are more, so they are not playing for their new clubs either.
Jon Taylor, London  (03/10/05)

Something different
You might all laugh but how about playing Tim Cahill upfront??

He's looked the most likely to score, can play with both feet and seems as committed as anyone when it comes to scoring the goals we need. The supply to the front men is woeful but i believe Tim (with a partner) would make more than most when given the ball in the box. A central midfield of Arteta and Neville might work in his absence.

Its not a solution, but it might work till January, let's face it the lot we have upfront at the moment are making Stuart Barlow look top class.... Any better ideas???
John Audsley, Leeds  (03/10/05)

`Trust Me`
For my sins, I was one of `the disgruntled` who confronted the Chairman after the Wigan game. His response? — "I`m as disappointed as you are boys, but Moysey will get it right, trust me. He knows what he`s doing - he proved that last season. We`ve had some real bad luck with injuries and we`ve got some great players to come in when Davey thinks they`re fit and ready. Don`t start panicking, that only makes it worse." So there, fellow Evertonians,everything`s alright then. The Chairman said so !
Morton Powell, Cronton  (3/10/05)

When the chips are down
I'm as gutted as any Evertonian by our appalling start to the season but let's keep our sanity. A couple of bull terriers snapping away in the midfield might help to steady the slide but calling for the return of Mr Potato Head is nonsense. Big Joe was great at getting a lot out of average players but look what happened when he got money to spend - Claus Thomsen! I rest my case.
Mike Keating, City Centre  (3/10/05)

If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at al
Paul Coleman, you're spot on. I was thinking of writing in to make the same points myself. However, you missed out Kilbane's header onto the crossbar against Wigan - that goes in and it's a different game entirely.

Also, I would add the following: who'd ever have predicted Sol Campbell scoring BOTH Arsenal's goals against us? As if that weren't improbable enough, you know it's not going to be your season when Danny Mills, of all people, takes aim from 30 yards and hits the top corner instead of the top deck. And what are the odds of this happening to the same team in the space of two weeks?

If this is our punishment from the football gods for daring to challenge their established order by qualifying for the Champions League, surely we've suffered enough. Our penance must have been served by now... only it seems they're still not happy as we have Spurs away next, and we all know what kind of luck we can expect at the Lane. And then it's Chelsea...
Richard Pike, Birmingham  (03/10/05)

Paul Coleman: You make your own luck.
First thing is to play good football. Be prepared for a defender to make a mistake, then pounce on the mistake. That is striker's luck, made by anticipation and cunning. Can you see Marcus Bent doing that??? — I can't! We don't create anything to make luck. How do we get any luck when a hoof is all we can offer. Having players who are prepared for a mistake is luck. If that doesn't happen then a team creating more than a half chance in a game might help.

We are in a serious situation, waiting for 'luck' is not the answer. 21 points in the last 23 games is proof of that.
Dave  Charles, Liverpool  (3/10/05)

You're having a laugh ....aren't you?
If Joe Royle ever comes back to Everton I will never set foot in Goodison again while "good news Bill" is in charge of our club. How short memories people have. Will this happen....? Of course it will... it's got a "good news Bill" press conference written all over it. I can just see it now.... "I'm home were I belong" and all that crap. Go and talk to some city fans; they will give you the rundown on Joe since he wrecked our club last time.
Bobby  Dempster , Huyton  (03/10/05)

Maybe desparation was setting in at the weekend!

Hey, Ken of Buckley...
... okay, I'll bite: I'm clueless as to what Moyes, Bent, Osman, Kilbane and McFadden have in common. Could it be that they also are clueless?
downunder Fearon, Australia  (03/10/05)

Taking on board...
...your reply to my recent query that our reserves team is comprised of ex-youth team and a few older players recovering from injury, I am still of the opinion that, if we do not have a few 18 or 19-year-olds able enough to force their way into our particularly impotent first team it is an indictment of our scouting and coaching staff. I would like to see a survey of the average age when current Premiership players had their initial experience of first team duty.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (03/10/05)

I think under other managers it could happen. But under Moyes, it never will. He is so posessed of his own assessmnet of players that, if he doesn't think they are realy, then they are not ready: end of. It could, of course do them irreparable harm... or it could be just what the team needs. But we'll neve know because — and you can take this to the Bank — Moyes will never play the young-uns.

Normal service resumed
Did any one really think we would come away from Manchester with anything today? Does any one actually think we can get anything from the rest of the season — never mind the next two games?

We are back were we were under Walter Smith... only this time, we have spent a shitload of money to get there. Davey Moyses has had his day and some. Losing as many games as we have done since January is surely enough to get any manager the chop, so why not DM?

Who will replace him? I don't know... I don't really care. No one could do any worse! Not only are we losing game after game... the football we play makes me ashamed to watch it. Get big Joe Royal back before it's to late. He is the only one out there who would take the job on. At least we would go down with a fight.

DM and his shambolic transfer policies are just not acceptable to any of us who care about the club. Forget last season; it really wasn't that good: we had four months at the start. The rest was shite apart from the odd game here and there.

Dogs of War! We need you back were ever you are.
Tony Marsh, Huyton Liverpool  (2/10/05)

I like that idea! Joe was always my fave. And 1994-96 is the only recent period I recall with any relish... The campaign starts here: Bring Back Potato-Head!

Please Save Us Bill
For all of the diehard masochists out there: take away the first dozen games of last season and then ask yourself if Moyes would still have a job? Personally, I have never been convinced of this man's genius. I was, however, mightily impressed with the way he marshalled threadbare resources over approximately half of two of the last three campaigns. Which leaves me to wonder why he is still managing a squad so small and so utterly bereft of talent.

Come on, all those who are starting to shake their heads: Kilbane, Ferguson, Weir, Jamie Mac, Naysmith, Yobo and others simply would not be employed at the top level of Football in England were it not for Granpa Everton. David Moyes has had three full seasons to build a team in the image he wants and has proven himself to be (in my opinion) completely unfit to handle such a responsibility.

In each of the last three seasons Everton have been one of the absolute worst clubs in the league after Christmas. Out of gas, out of luck,and out of ideas. Whose fault is this? Who assembles the squad? Who picks the team? Who chooses tactics ('ok lads get out there and give it your all' might be more more effective than actually attempting tactics')?

Yes we had higher expectations going into this fall. And why the hell not? When you finish fourth, it is assumed that you deserved it. In retrospect, it seems obvious that we didn't so much earn fourth place as much as the injury-riddled campaigns of Bolton, Boro and Liverpool put it on a plate for us. So again, why was the team not sufficiently strengthened over the summer? Does Moyes perhaps have a reputation as an asshole amongst players? Why did no one of real quality seem to want to come to Goodison this summer?

How can Bolton afford to pay Nakata's wages if we can't? How can Villa buy a player of Milan Baros's quality (stop laughing; he's miles better than any forward on our books) without us even being in the running? Didn't Michael Owen say pretty early in the summer that he would NOT play for Everton (presumably under any circumstance)? So why was Moyes wasting time calling him on the eve of his transfer to see if there was any chance? What, did he just happen to have £16-17M in his pocket at that moment? Give me a break.

This fool couldn't pull us out of a crisis two years ago and we were a single match away from going down. He will not pull us out of this either and the sooner the change is made the better, or else it's Crewe away next August... with Marcus Bent up front alone.

With less enthusiasm than at any other single point in my 33 years of support for the Toffees I say... Come on you Blues!
Sean Condon, Vancouver, Canada  (02/10/05)

Well-written letter, needed very little editing; hard to take exception to anything you have said there, Sean

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
We support a famous club with an illustrious history but, unless the players who pull on that famous blue shirt don't start battling for every ball, we are on our way down to the old first/second division. Phil Neville is the only player showing any fight and heart for our club; Moyes has built a team of only very average players who are greatly lacking in not only skill but confidence. It pains me to ask but can anyone see a goal — never mind a point — coming from the next two games? The recent run of results is abyssmal: to be beaten by Portsmouth and Wigan at home really is relegation form. Moyes, please don't take our beloved team down, because with you and "BLUE BILL" at the helm ,the ship is sinking fast. Once a blue always a blue!
Keith Gibson, Birkenhead  (2/10/05)

Oh shit
2 October and we are out of two cups already, out of challenging for the European places and looking more and more out of our depth with every passing game. For all the excuses and the opinions about whether we are better than our league position, results don't lie and the results tell us we are currently the worst team in the league. We do not create enough chances and we have a ropey looking defence. Moyes's recent signing are looking dodgy.
Valente - makes Pistone look like Maldini.
Davies - what's the point of him?
Only Neville has been half decent - and he must lie awake at night and think to himself 'I wish they'd invent a time-machine so I could go back to August and not answer my phone when Moyes rang!'

I'd also like to ask how come everyone who fails our medicals goes on to be ok at other clubs but loads of people who pass it are never seen in a blue shirt - Beattie, Krøldrup, Van der Meyde?

So what's the answer - well we could sack Moyes but then what? Who is going to come in and change things around, risking their reputation on a club bottom of the league and with all the money spent by Moyes? Think Peter Reid at Leeds; think Big Ron at Forest. We are stuck with dour Davey, like it or not.

We have to face facts, it's going to be a long hard season and all we can do is sit back, shit ourselves with every game that goes by, prey it all comes good, and carry on wasting our hard-earned every week watching this crap. I've just posted my mate in London a cheque for £48 to sit with a bunch of annoying cockneys in two weeks time pretending to enjoy watching us lose.

'Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum - your havin a laugh'
Chris Leyland, Formby  (02/10/05)

Nail on the head
Rick has expressed exactly what I have felt since the striker fiasco in the summer DM is displaying a national trait, that is a stubborn, dour, me against the rest, which is common among most Scots. This means they are less flexible and loathe to bend with wind once they have decided on a course of action, hence the lack of a striker signing. Good people to have in the trenches though.
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (02/10/05)

Uh oh... we'll get accused of being jingositic, verging on racist, charaterizing the Scots in those terms...

Dont take my Everton away
I just dont feel like slagging the players or management off; it would not resolve our current plight. I and many other other "Diehard blues" were expecting a dream this season; however, we are experiencing a nightmare. I have a big worry that when people expected us to go down "WE DIDN'T"; this season, people expected us to be comfortable and yet "WE COULD" be relegated.

I hope I am wrong and things improve becauae we deserve better. I still believe there is no better feeling than "Being a blue" but at this current time I feel we are pushing water up hill with a rake and are waiting to be beaten. On a personal note, I am trying to stop smoking... "Oh fuck it, 20 Lamberts please!"
Franky Burrage, Northwich  (2/10/05)

Lack of Quality and Pace
Teams usually reflect the personality of their manager and our Davey has a strong strain of the dour Scottish Presbyterian about him. Last year, he was successful because his team gave little away and worked hard and gained one or two victories against the run of play. Our Davey does not trust flamboyant players who indulge in somersaults when thay score; he prefers solid men who conform to the belief in hard work, the team ethic.

Moyes is an excellent tactician: last season our miserly defence, the deployment of Lee Carsley (who was our real player of the season) in the defensive mid-field role in which he was outstanding, and some fortuitous goals from a range of players, gave us an outstanding season. We lacked creativity, especially after the exit of Gravesen and we lacked a pacy attacker. Beattie was not the answer to that particular problem.

We have lost Carsley, Weir is at least a year too old, and the new defenders, Kroldrup excepted, have not exactly looked solid. We spent a profligate £20M on defenders and defensive mid-fielders and one Kilbane clone in Simon Davies. We do not have the players to play a more exciting formation, until Vaughan is fit again and he is probably too young for the massive role we need him to perform.

I fear for the immediate future. We could soon have a managerial crisis (Could we be really lucky and see Kenwright go?) and the current crop of players do not have the creative and attacking ability to improve our situation. They don't lack effort or commitment, but they lack flair. Only Arteta and Cahill (who needs to be rested by Everton, not Australia) and Yobo have the necessary skill. Neville is a sound and effective defensive player, but after that I'm struggling to praise any of the squad. They try, but that's it.

David Moyes, think your way through this. There are some situations in which hard work and the team ethic are not enough.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (02/10/05)

A Riddle
Back from the match and I must say the big breakfast and two pints was novel. As for the game, did anyone notice what Moyes, Bent, Osman, Kilbane and McFadden have got in common?

Still, out of Europe before October and rooted to the bottom of the league... then the only way is up! COYB.
ps: dont buy a Vauxhall vehicle -- its aiding and abetting...
Ken , buckley  (02/10/05)

It's Bad, But It CAN Get Better
Unlike my opimistic mate I was unwilling to throw a fiver on us winning 4-0 against Bucharest on Thursday for the simple fact that we are a team which poses no threat upfront. Instead I told my mate that a 2-0 win for us would be a positive result as it would demonstrate an ability to score more than one goal in a game. So the final result came as no surprise to me and no one can deny that we gave it 100%. On that night though there was the proof that we will struggle to score therefore we will not be winning many games — and a relegation struggle is becoming so, so real.

So it is bad, but it is still early in the season. I am not a member of the sack David Moyes crew but I hope he realises that Kilbane, Bent and McFadden are not good enough.

Kilbane these days is an embarrasment, everytime he tries to knock a ball past a man and run around him it makes me cringe.

Bent escapes criticism because he plays upfront on his own with no service but I just wish his name was Darren.

McFadden has been given chance after chance and now I beleive the best thing for Everton (and James himself) would be to sell him to whoever whilst we can still get some money for him.

I am eagerly awaiting the return to fitness of Beattie (if he has ever been fit for us) and for Van der Meyde to start playing. I don't expect Kroldrup to do much when he gets fit, how could you? For him he must think he is having a nightmare, getting crocked right at the start of the season is bad enough but when its for your new club its even worse. When he does return its to a side bottom of the league whilst in the mean time Udinese rub shoulders with the elite in the Champions League. He must be gutted.

So for now we must stick together await the availability of injured players which will give Moyes some much needed options. Hopefully a few hard earned 1-0 wins will go our way before the January transfer window opens up because how will we attract the likes of Robbie Keane when we're rooted to the foot of the league? If Kenwright makes the funds available to Moyes for Robbie Keane in January then they should do everything they can to get him because we are crying out for a player like him with ability and character.
Robbie Muldoon, Liverpool, Huyton  (02/10/05)

Couldn't score in the Grafton
McFadden and Bent, is this possibly the worse forward line ever to play for EFC? These two would struggle to score in my sons under-11s league. As for Beattie, he ain't the answer either. All this poses the question, why didn't Moyes buy a striker when the opportunity was there? Even Stevie Wonder could see that we have been crying out for a pacy striker since Christmas. A manager is not judged on results alone, his ability and competence to manage must also be brought into question. Moyes's indecision will ultimately cost him his job; if it dosen't, it will cost EFC its Premiership status. Sorry to be such a harbinger of doom, but don't goals win you matches?
Paul C, Liverpool  (2/10/05)

Maths and Statistics lesson
Its all geting more ridiculous as each day and each defeat comes our way. Here are some maths and stats that hopefully some of those blinkered IMWT fans can understand.

Fropm the next games, on current form, we may get a win against West Brom on 19 November by which time we could have played 11, conceeded god knows how many more goals, and have the staggering total of 6 points.

If that finally kick starts the season then we have 27 league games left to score the magical 34 points, 1.3 points per game. A few wins needed as that lot includes games v Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal game and Liverpool. They cut us down to 22 games - 1.5 per game. Even if we win EVERY game by a single goal that would mean 24 goals, going on league goals only, Everton's last 24 league goals took from January through May which makes it barely achievable on current form.

By January we will need to be fighting for every single point, every single goal. Can anyone honestly say a decent striker would sign for a bottom-three side when they wouldn't sign for us with European games? I don't rate Beattie as ever coming good and Bent simply can't give a toss, Dunc is too old to play all season.

I'm bricking it now more and more, I don't have the answers but this club is breaking my heart more this season than it has ever done before in 36 years. I'm also getting fed up sick of being patronised with the shite "great display", "played well" and "great performance", especially the latter as a bleeding musician gives "a great performance" and gets paid beforehand. Football is about results Moyes has already bled skillful and entertaining off the Goodison pitch but even his dour brand of football is now earning us just humiliation week in week out.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (02/10/05)

Team Spirit
May I suggest David Moyes (God bless him) looks no further than the Everton motto in trying to instill some pride and effort in to our team, I quote, "Nothing but the best is good enough"... now get a grip!!
Frank Kearns, Norwich, UK  (02/10/05)

Gosh... I wonder why no-one has ever come up with that before... Oh hang on:

A general rant
I have watched a full day of footy today and the only crumb of comfort was watching them lot across the park take spanking off Chelsea... then it dawned that we play them in 3 weeks time!!

Today's performance at City was not been unique in the pattern of a game. An okay first half where a few decent passes are strung together but the final ball is the one that is lacking. Second half we're left wanting and as we have no natural goalscorer we run our arses off and lack legs. Somehow the fitness levels are very poor. We throw on the £6M man who quite frankly, needs a good long spell in the reserves. He is just crap and we're stuck with him, so try another tactic and see if he can knock some goals in the 2nd string so that he can remember what it's like. Yes, he got the Villarreal goal but that aside he's been abysmal... I know he has been injured but he gets too many of these.

Valente was marginally better today... there were one or two deft touches that showed a little class... maybe the adjustment to the Premiership is harder than he thought. Ferrari seemed uncomfortable again at right back but I think he can do job for us.

I think the buggest concern is having the likes of Kroldrup and Van der Meyde come into a losing side. We will all expect miracles and I am not sure they are the type of players to perform them. If they don't perform then we get on their backs and it spirals again.

So what's the answer?? I wish I knew but I think a bit of the Neil Warnock school of team building is called for... The Sheff Utd lads were playing cricket today V Yorkshire XI. A bit mad but it would get their team spirit buzzing. Not sure what Moyes will do with these guys for the international break... a few days off no doubt. My suggestion would not be a trip to the Majorca for a break but perhaps a few trips round schools in the Liverpool area offering their services and talking to the fans to hear about what its like on the terrace side of Goodison Park. Then maybe the passion that's tapping notes out here and those previous to me can be shown and they might respond.

Yeah, right; how fickle of me.... enjoy the break boys... come back refreshed and ready for a whipping at White Hart Lane and a spanking at the hands of Chelski a week later. Could this be worse than the Mike Walker start??
Paul Kellett, Parbold  (2/10/05)

So What Now?
I've been watching the Blues for 50 years and have to say that the performances in 2005 (with the exception of Villa away) have been some of the poorest I've ever seen from us. The final (or is it?) straw was watching an apology for a team at Eastlands today. Once again, no leadership, no inspiration and no goals. I can take a defeat if we've had a go and have made a game of it. Let's face it, we're lucky to have the 3 points we stole at Bolton!

Forget injuries and bad luck - others manage to deal with things like this. Although I do respect Moyes for what he achieved last season with a mediocre squad, he does not seem to have a Plan B. The tactics and the buying decisions are down to him. I'm not looking for him to be sent packing (who else would want the poisoned chalice?) but we may as well play a true 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 and lose than this awful 4-5-1 which plainly is not working and is boring us to death.

So what now? Where is the next goal or point coming from? Don't tell me there were promising signs against Bucharest, that performance was born out of necessity after a dreadful 45 minutes over there. Things can only get better? Not until some of the average journeymen in royal blue realise what pride and spirit really mean.
Dave Reed, Formby  (02/10/05)

Football isn't a sport, it's a business
I keep hearing this from many fans from all the Premiership clubs. So, if football is a business, the buck should stop at the management.

The Board selected Moyes, who so far has failed more than succeeded. Moyes selected the players, who so far have proved worthless. Therefore, running Everton FC like a business means the Board & the manager have failed miserably.

Despite the claims that Moyes should stay by many of the fans, there is without a doubt just reason for wanting shut of him. Along with the board. If Everton FC is a business, then it's comparable with the Rover group. Finished!

I don't have the answers to the current problems. I doubt anyone does. But something needs to be done. And soon.
Barry Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (02/10/05)

Trophy Taboo
Tell Moyes to give that bloody Manager of the Year award back: it's a fuckin' jinx! Twice on the trot and we have had a bum season straight afterwards. We don't deserve it. We are in free-fall... just like Ipswich after they got in to Europe.
Mike , Wirral  (02/10/2005)

More hard work on the training ground!!!???
What do EFC do on the training pitch?? Any ideas...? cos I aint, but I'm sure more hard work will sort out our current situation!!!

On a very serious note did anyone of us think that we'd score once City went 1 up? Dave is very concerned about our lack of goals according to the official site. Maybe a touch of creativity might not go a miss too??

Best fans site on the web, maybe one day we'll have something positive to discuss... maybe.
John Audsley, Leeds  (02/10/05)

Well at least we've got two weeks to finally get a few players fit in time for the guaranteed spanking at Spurs. There really is a sort of sad inevitability about this season, nothing so far has really surprised me except for the Portsmouth result.

If you look at the squad of players assembled, at great expense by David Moyes, you see an astonishing lack of quality and speed. Every other team in the Premiership except perhaps Sunderland has more skill and pace than us, and hence we are in deep trouble.

I would rather last seasons 4th had not happened because it appears to have convinced some that ugly, boring, kick and rush football can be successful. well its clear that it cannot... we have been sussed, our luck has run out and other teams simply have to match our commitment and then let their superior quality ease past us.

This is Moyes style football, we simply have not moved forward, in a football sense since he arrived. I love Everton, like most of you they are a massive part of my life, but I hate the type of football we play. Everybody hates us because of this 'style' and now they are loving it because we're getting what this utter shite deserves.

This is a Moyes team, they are a reflection of him, slow and unskillful. Sadly, they are expensive too and we have several millstones around our neck for years to come. Surely it's also inevitable that Moyes is going to go. I hope its sooner rather than later, and that we finally get someone in that recognises the importance of skill and pace.

Let's all open our eyes... this really is as bad as its ever been!
Mike  Price, Songkhla, Thailand  (2/10/05)

You are starting to convince me...

Shadows of their former selves
What has European football cost us so far this year? I am just sick of losing and I know our form has been shit from December. We do not look capable of beating anyone in this league bar the fortunate win at Bolton. Let's hope during the International break the players actually take one, they certainly need one, Timmy Cahill was non-existent in the second half today.... what is going wrong?

We don't even look like a team, Bent's body language tells you everything: it aint all just down to bad luck and injuries, these lads are just plain tired. After watching that, so am I, but I wont be calling for Moysies head: stick together, like Thursday, and let's wake the boys up. This is surreal what is happening to us at the moment, it cannot continue and I ask you all to shout louder.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (02/10/05)

Batten down the hatches!
Didn`t make the long trip this morning (only sixth game missed in five years) but bought into th eSky transmission instead. In general I felt we were no worse than the Mancs but when a £6 million striker can`t score from a yard out you`re fooked!

Please let`s forget last season, Tommy G and Europe and focus on the here and now. In short, we`re rubbish and Krøldrup and Van der Meyde will have to be really special players to make much difference.

Personally,I think the Manager is out of his depth but accept that others believe he walks on water. But whatever the truth, I know we`re in for a long, long winter. All we can do is batten down the hatches and continue to believe that somehow things will improve. After all, that`s what being an Evertonian is all about!
David Hall, Taunton  (2/10/05)

Is Valente the Worst Ever Everton Defender?
Just returned from the pub watching us lose at Man City. Actually we didn't play that badly - apart from having absolutely no cutting edge up front (but we know all about that by now don't we Davie - as Robbie Keane rifles in another winner yesterday). But one player stood out for us - Nuno Valente. Constantly dragged out of position, constantly delivering the ball to the opposition, constantly rescued by Neville, Weir and Yobo - until the City goal. Standing off Mills, he then made a half-hearted challenge as the ball flew past him into the net. 'Pantywaist' is too kind to this man - he is a total fucking disgrace, and should be dropped immediately and never wear the blue shirt of Everton again. He cost us at least a point today.
Neil Pearse, London  (2/10/05)

But... but... Jose recommended him!

What Goes Around Comes Around.
What do you mean "concentrate on the league". In 1984 Howard Kendall's Everton rose from the ashes to win the FA Cup. Eleven years later in 1995 Joe Royle's Everton rose from the ashes to win the FA cup. Eleven years later in 2006...
Tony Horne, Kettering  (2/10/05)

Your 'Sack Moyes' poll is a disgrace
Do you not think though that you have a responsiblity - as a respected website - to feedback the opinions of the vast vast majority of Evertonians with half a brain? It is utter balls to even contemplate sacking Moyes. I think its a disgrace to even ask that as a poll question. Do we really need to vote on this??? I mean, any idiot with Championship Manager 5 can vote.. which is were half the idiots seem to be basing their opinions.

We've played 8 or 9 games and we've done shit... but do we have to react like stupid Georides would and start calling for the man's head? I am frustrated. These people should be backing our manager because, if and when Man Utd come calling for him, the one thing that will keep him here is the loyalty of our club and fans towards him when times are a bit tough - like now.

I am not in denial; I don't think the sun shines out of his arse. I think Kilbane is shit (although better than Pembo, who he was brought into replace). McFadden's best position has been confirmed (also confirmed he is not good enough at that either).. so I have the sense and basic intellect to question him. However, it's a total insult to the man to be asking if we should sack him or not. If I was the manager reading this, I would be insulted, totally insulted.

I'm definatly not one of these people who backs everything he ever does 100%. The 21,000 at Goodison on Thursday (eg, the hardcore — those who will go if we in the Champions League or bottom of the Championship) showed the real opinion in getting behind the manager and the lads - frustrating as they can be.

A website like yours has a responsiblity to unify everyone. It's utter shite to suggest sacking Moyes. He is the best thing to happen to Everton since I cannot remember. We should be all sticking and pulling together right now.
John C  (2/10/05)

Well, well... some interesting misconceptions there, John. First off, it is not our aim to "unify" anybody. We are here on our own volition, primarily to provide news and information on Everton; secondarily to reflect prevailing opinions of vocal fans... like you!

And like the dozens (count 'em below) who feel Moyes as reached his limit. Any sampling would show you that Evertonians are by no means unified in their thinking — which is exactly what you should expect from intelligent fans capable of forming their own opinions.

The problems develop among fans (as in any closely nit group) when some of them decide the views of others are no longer acceptable, and should not be given air-time. That is what you are advocating. I think you'll find there are plenty of other websites around that will provide a single view, complete with lots of spin. We try not to do that, although a lot of contributors do have pretty strong opinions.

As for David Moyes being insulted, he strikes me as someone who is fundamentally honest and upstanding, who will be willing to examine his own failings and attempt to rectify them. He's done it before, after all. I just sincerely hope that he is not repeating this season the mistakes that dogged the dreadful 2003-04 season. If that was the case, then it really would be time for him to go. — Ed

The Nick Armitage Column
Editor: The Nick Armitage Column (30 September 2005) is nothing more than a moronic bigoted diatribe. I doubt Armitage even knows any French or Romanian people, or is an expert in French and Romanian history, so am slightly amused that he should feel qualified to say that history shows it to be blindingly obvious that the former are all cowardly and the latter are sly. What is more, it seemed particularly contradictory that he should condemn the vicious assaults by the Romanian ‘low-life’ yet profess pride at Big Dunc smacking their centre half because, in all probability, it was fully justified. Hopefully next time Armitage writes his column he will stick to an analysis of football and the events surrounding that, rather than spout more of his jingoistic crap.
J C, Aberfoyle  (01/10/05)

It was a bit silly, wasn't it. But I think he probably reflects the attitudes of a number of people who, although they should know better, still like to make jingoistic rationalizations as retribution for the unacceptable events they see unfold. — Ed

For the terrible assault on Arteta, why haven't the Club suggested that a criminal charge be brought against the 'thug'. The challenge was outside the rules of the game and you might remember that Duncan received a 'holiday' for something also that fitted into that description???
Rick Barnes, Southport  (1/10/05)

Hang in there
Why do so called "supporters" shout, "get rid of the manager" before giving a thought to what might lie ahead? How many times do we see a change of manager in football only to see the side relegated at the end of the season? Why can't we all just settle down and give David and the players some support while they're going through this patch? Let's not knock them while they're down. The injury list is doing that!

I acknowledge that it is frustrating to witness this start to the season after such a promising last season. But to succeed you have to got through some difficult times. To all the supporters - I know you have the best interests of the club at heart - but support David and the lads through this period and I reckon you'll look back and say, "Shit mate, I'm glad we did that".
Bob Parrington, Adelaide, Australia  (1/10/05)

Right Direction
After Moyse's bizarre and even desperate team selection against Wigan, I think he finally got it right against Bucharest. Weir had to be dropped because of his lax and lumbering performances of late and even though Ferrari looked a little nervous, he can grow into the role and provide an excellent partnership with Yobo. I have more faith in Valente than Pistone, but he still looks a bit hit and miss - hopefully just a fitness issue.

Playing Arteta on the right worked much better than expected. His deliveries into the box were Beckham-esque, he had no fear about taking on his man and he was a danger drifting inside. The other plus point is that it gave us balance in midfield, allowing us to play both the anchor (Neville) and the attacking midfielder (Cahill) in the middle. I just wish that Kilbane would get up and down the pitch more and play more like a winger - we all know he is capable. Upfront, the pairing of Ferguson and McFadden looked quite threatening. Given McFadden's scoring record for Scotland, it's surprising that Moyes hasn't deployed him upfront before now, rather than sticking him out on the wing.

Overall, we played the ball around quite nicely (without really having a cutting edge), rather than panicking in possession and lumping it forward like we very often do. Although my biggest gripe is that when the ball was in and around their area, we only had two strikers challenging for the ball with four of five of their defenders. Yet when they broke it was three against three. Considering we needed goals, we should have committed more men forward and left the quicker players at the back to cover.

I suppose we were over-cautious about getting caught on the break again, which is understandable. Last season our form was fantastic while Gravesen was in the team and mediocre at best afterwards. It would be amazing if we could re-sign 'Mad dog' and a proven striker like Keane in January. I would then be delighted with our squad.
Simon Birdsey, Northwich  (01/10/05)

ToffeeWeb Letters from September 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from November 2005


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.