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ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — November 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from October 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from December 2005

Papering over the cracks
A half-decent performance at the weekend led to another 1-0 victory for the blues and yet again we have all the usual nonsense being spouted. Don't get me wrong; I was made up we beat that twat Souness and his new quality signings, Parker and Emre. Boy, am I glad they said no to Everton! Sky-high wages for two more mediocre players would surely have finished Moyes.... Or would it?

With every scrambled win we get, Moyes and his blind faithfull get a stay of execution. The game against Newcastle could have easily gone the other way and what then?

We still played kick and rush football with plenty of dodgey defending. The difference was that this week the ref was with us. And that's what I have said previously. With Moyes and his tactics we are continually relying on luck to win games and not a genuine game plan.

West Brom was a disaster and the Newcastle result showed us what we can really do... or did it? The refereeS played a big part in both of those games. One decision a game is all it takes to make or break us and still some of our fans can't see it.

Beattie is getting rave reviews in the press from Moyes. What for? A striker's job is to put the ball in the back of the net. Link up play and chasing back are great attributes to have but putting sitters away comes first.

We need to get a grip of our selves and realise that we can't go on like this all season. We had a lifetime's good luck last year and can't rely on referees to decide the outcome of games every week.

As for this ridiculous Krøldrup situation, why can't Davey Moyes talk about the Danish Lord Lucan as much as he does about Beattie or Richard Wright? It's starting to become like an episode of the X-Files and the whole situation is very strange.

Although I have my doubts about Moyes and his funny little ways, I will still be at Blackburn at the weekend. You know what they say: there's a Sucker born every minute and may be I am just a sucker like the rest off you. See you at Ewood boys.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (1/12/05)



New Striker
I just would like to tout a new striker that might interest you. His name is Peter Thompson and he plays for Belfast Linfield. He has scored 24 goals this season already and has been called up for the full international squad. Pete has been watched by numerous scouts this season and I feel will, after professional coaching and nuturing become a prolific goalscorer in the Premiership.

I can't beleive that Everton's scout in Ireland has not had young Thompson watched as he possess pace, strength, can head, and is a poacher as well. It puzzles me that we are mentioned as having an interest in someone like Trundle who in my opinion is finished as far as top-flight football is concerned but our scouts can't notice a rising star.

For those of you looking to rule the eye over Peter next saturday (10 December) Linfield's match against Glentoran (League Cup Final) is on Sky Digital BBC2 in Northerm Inreland. I shall be taping it and would be keen to know if anyone knows someone at the club who could look over Peter's performance
Ian Briggs, Lisburn  (30/11/05)

You realise if we publish this, now everybody knows... and Souness will be in there with his big money bag. How do you know the Everton scouts don't already have his card marked? — Michael


It's just not fair!
If you went to the game or saw it on Sky, then both Cahill and Babyaro are equally responsible. It could have been a Yellow/Red for both. In Babayaro's case had it been yellow then he would of been off; had it been our little Blue Socceroo it would have been enough. Had it been two straight reds then again fair enough? The refs decision at the time should have stood... it did for Shearer.

That ref was shite, I have seen plenty of bad refs in my time, but on balance he was absolute shite to both teams. Football deserves better. All of the above between those two was in the heat of the moment was it not? The ref gave Weir a foul and Baby a foul from Cahill, he claims to have seen one incident not the other? Well call me old fashioned and stupid but what the fuck?

Yet Mr perfect Shearer gets away with a very cynical foul and the FA can do Fuck All about it. Baby and Cahill are going to get 3 week suspensions and our next BBC World Cup cheat commentator is going to get what?

I was one of those daft twats in the crowd applauding his last appearence at Goodison. shame on you Shearer, not even an apology.

Finally where is our Captain in all this? Being vocal about the injustice done. Well we all know Davie Weir is not a Captain.
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (30/11/05)



Carol Service
Will you lads at Toffeeweb be attending the Carol Service at Goodison on the 20th? Thought you might be laying on a few free ales for your loyal army of readers for Chrimbo? I'll let Colm off if he's not there, but will claim one next time I'm in "The Tunnel". (He'll know)!
Father Christmas, Lapland  (30/11/2005)

Hmmmmmm.....season's greetings there, 'Father Christmas'! I don't think we'll be represented at the carol service on that date. Unfortunately. However, I shall be making amends eight nights later with the gathering of rivals from either side of Stanley Park. As for "The Tunnel" - haven't darkened that place in ten years or more! - Colm


I just found out Babayaro has been banned for 3 games after pleading guilty. So it looks like Tim could be facing the same. I know I'm stating the obvious, but that would be a big loss. What really gets on my tits, is that dirty bastard Shearer can get away with the elbow on Weir. Before he throws it, he even turns round to see where Davey is, before letting fly. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago, the shithouse was calling someone a coward for doing it to him.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (30/11/05)

This arising situation only serves to highlight, yet again, the inadequacies of some of Fifa's rulings. Shearer, though guilty as sin for yet another "misplaced elbow", escapes punishment, as the referee had already whistled for a foul (backing into Weir). Absolutely ridiculous, I know. To add further insult to injury, it now appears as though Babayaro's decision to plead guilty has been greatly influenced by the trivial matter of him being out injured regardless. It stinks. However, let us all not lose sight of the FACT that our player, Tim Cahill, raised his arm not once but twice. Both offences leaving himself open to the charge now coming his way. - Colm


Simple facts
In response to Lyndon's article of 'where does the blame lie?', the answer is simple. The problem is scoring goals. We didn't do it last season or the 2 seasons before that, and we certainly have an even more acute problem this season. Apart from Cahill, when did we last have a striker who reached double figures in a season? So the critical priority was to sign another striker in the last window PRIOR to the European debacle, and Moyes failed to do it.

The catastrophe is that last summer was our last opportunity, clearly for a long time, to treat the fans and the club to a decent few games in the European competitions (not one opportunity but two!) and we failed embarrassingly - a complete and utter disgrace - and someone should be held accountable. But guess what, all has been forgotten - lost in the trauma of what we have endured thus far in the Premiership.

All focus is on survival, not what we have failed miserably to achieve. This transfer window will be quite interesting, because what quality and proven striker would want to come to Goodison, when in all likelihood we will be in the bottom three, come January 1st.
Brian Mills, Winchester  (30/11/05)

I have to agree (apart from your overly pessimistic prediction)... yet what is to be gained by "holding someone accoutable"? By your reasoning, the only person would be David Moyes. He is accountable for every game, and he gets slammed when we lose. Of course the current focus is now entirely on the Premiership: survival is rather important, don't you think? What more could you possibly want?

The next level of accountability is the lonely walk to the taxi stand. We've been through all that in the last few months and the message is — as I will keep telling Evertonians until I'm blue in the face — David Moyes is going nowhere! Can we please find a new tune to hum? — Michael

ps: Don't be holding your breath during the transfer window... past experience indicates the enduring theme will be... disappointment. You have been warned!


Keane on Both
I have followed the fortunes of your team since Tommy Gravesen was an Everton player and now cannot understand why Per Krøldrup is not in the team. It is ridiculous to say that he is not good in the air as ever since a boy here he was most effective in this way. Perhaps he is not fit but I see that he is always on the subs bench so that cannot be true either.

I do not think that Tommy will return to you but I do think that Moyes could become successful if he signed BOTH Keane players in transfer gap. It is all about ambition whether you manage teams in England or elsewhere.
Soren Agger, Copenhagen  (30/11/05)

Firstly, David Moyes has put players on the subs bench when they are not 100% fit. According to Moyes at the AGM, Per is still not "ready" for the Prem. That could mean a niggling fitness problem (pelvic?); it could mean something else. I think Moyes has been looking for a chance to bring Krøldrup on for the last 15 to 20 mins of a game if we had a two-goal advanatage. No such luck.

Secondly, we may not get either Keane. One of them does not need to wait and can sign now... but we hear he has politely declined Everton's offer. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with ambition: it's got everything to do with... MONEY!!!Michael


FA punishment
I've just heard Cahill will be facing an FA charge for a little push whilst no punishment for Alan crying Shearer for nearly taking Davie Weir's head off. What is the game coming to? If that was Big Dunc, it would probably be a 4 game ban no questions asked.
John Blackwell, Wirral  (30/11/05)

Personally, I hate to watch the antics Cahill gets up to when he plays. His whole approach and body lanaguage when getting in contact with an opposition player are highly questionable, IMHO. And since he cannot point to goal-scoring, he seems to be rapidly getting a name for being a nasty little player. Far better to get him to cut that out of his game than to expend all this highly predicatble angst moaning at the FA, IMHO. — Michael


The Krøldrup Theory
Just a quick theory on why Moyesy isn't playing Mr Krøldrup. Could it be that, with his recent injury problems and the fact that we will be losing Joey Yobo to the African Nations in January, Moyesy is just trying to keep Per injury free so that he will be available during those few weeks?

I think this is when he will be bedded in and start to get his match fitness, so when Yobo returns we'll see him slot in alongside the Big Dane with Davie Wier making way. Thus setting in motion the start of a new and improved defensive partnership. What's your opinion, lads? Love the site, COYB!!
Ryan Jones, Preston  (30/11/05)

And if he messes up in those first few games, the excuse will be, "Well, the lad has not played a competitive game sinxe March... blah, blah." I think Moyes would have started to blood him in the last half-hour of any of the seven games that the big fella has sat warming the bench — if we had had the luxury of a two-goal margin [Eh? Wot's that then???] — Michael


View from the Blue
An interesting analysis of EFC's (mis)fortune over the last 15 months. Whilst there is a lot of talk about bad luck, no one seems ready to admit that our position at Christmas last year represented a massive over achievement. We had had several 1-0 wins almost in the manner of our victory at Bolton this season and the quality of our football was no more than average. However we enjoyed huge slices of luck including an almost hitherto unknown lack of injuries. Had it not been for a remarkable points advantage at the end of 2004 we would surely have been overhauled for 4th place; as it was it became too close for comfort at the end.

Our points total over the last 30 games is as we know relegation form and it should come as no suprise that we are already in a dog fight this season. Moyes said it was his priority to sign a striker in January; he is right —only this priority was clear for all to see in the summer. If it is correct that luck evens itself out over the long term then we may well have not seen the end of the wrong sort just yet!
Tony Birtles, Chester  (30/11/05)

Again highlighting the difficulty of being a manager. Attaining such heights last season was viewed by a the vast majority as a great achievement by David Moyes, when a fairer assessment might include recognition of that huge slice of luck. Which is why there is a sense of unfairness for the MOB to turn Moyes and blame him for what has in large part been down to a huge slice of bad luck. Who'd be a bloody manager, eh? — Michael


A Funny Lot
A funny lot us Evertonians. A 4-0 thrashing at Albion and everybody`s baying for the manager`s head. Sneak a One- niller at home against the Barcodes and the MOB goes strangely quiet. Is it that Moyes is a good manager after all or is it just pointless to go on calling for change on top of a victory?

So we`ve won three of last four games, that`s what quietens it down, but then again we`ve lost 18 of the 31 played this calendar year so should we be judging long term?

The truth is none of us knows fook all... the truth is there ain`t no truth, there probably was. So let`s just keep hoping that things are on the up ... and they are, at least until Saturday. But, then again, if we lose at bloody Blackburn.... as I said, a funny lot — us Evertonians!
Colin Tunstall, Neston  (30/11/05)



Damned if he does......
Moyes has painted himself into a corner in respect of the non-selection of Krøldrup. If, when he finally plays, he`s rubbish, we shall all say he`s another Moyes Misfit but if he`s the star of the show we shall denigrate the `ginger one` for preferring inferior players for so long! Who`d be a manager, eh?
Peter Jones, Liverpool  (30/11/05)



Beattie's back
Read that letter title in two ways, firstly, apart from a glorious miss against Newcastle, he is getting a team that provides precious few opportunities, goals. He's scored more than Peter Crouch, gfaw gfaw.

Secondly, I think he showed a lot of good running and desire in the Newcastle game, showing that, at least in attitude and fitness, he is back in so much as he is the player David Moyes bought.

Had he been fit for the earlier part of the season, would we be in this mess now? I for one doubt it.
Paul Gittens, Runcorn  (30/11/05)



Regarding Shearer's elbow on Sat: I've always seen him as a cheating, diving sod whenever he's played Everton before. It's not the first time he's done that or innocently been shot by a sniper in the penalty box. Having said that, there's no doubting his talent. No match for McFadden/Beattie, though!!
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (29/11/05)

Said without a trace of sarcasm, of course, Daniel :D   Lyndon


Arteta! Arteta! Arteta!
Even though we have been very disapointing this season, what a player Mikel Arteta is. He is an absolute joy to watch! Sometimes he is the reason I go to Goodison or whoever we're away to because you just know he will do something magic. He is a level above the rest at times. When some people look at Arteta they think he is just a little Spanish flair player but he is a lot more than that. He gets stuck in and he plays with passion and pride for our club, but also he is a clever player who knows how to win free kicks, etc.

My biggest worry is that top European clubs come in for him. Moyes's best signing by a mile... and just think, we wern't even going to get him! Can I also just say Beattie was very good on Sunday, despite missing his sitter. His all-round play was excellent, the best he has played for us. McFadden was superb too! The main thing is keeping this consistent now! Up the blues!!
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (29/11/05)

Hmmm, yes. That old consistency chestnut... Lyndon


Loyalty and Team Selection

I agree with the general comment made by Jim Hourigan (Fans COmment) that loyalty can be a hindrance, but I don't necessarily agree that this is an area that is holding Davey back.

At the end of last season, he was prepared to let several of the club's most loyal and consistent servants go, rather than keep paying them their wages.  So this doesn't show us that he is allowing his heart to override his head.

I've never felt that Moyes plays anyone other than the best we have in that position.  Last season, we had a bare bones squad so he had to rely on many players, including Weir, but he was still happy to risk losing some, and he did lose Stubbs.

There is always a danger of trying to second-guess Moyes's team selection without knowing the full picture, and you therefore assume that Killer must be Moyes' illegitimate son.  Whereas the actual truth of the matter is that Van der Meyde is still not fully match fit and Moyes wants to progress him gradually, and Killer is there to provide a replacement later in the game (maybe).

Regardless of what you (or I) think of Killer's performances, Moyes obviously believes that Killer is the best person to carry out the specific task that Moyes has given him (whatever that may be) when he doesn't have VDM available.  Don't forget, a team is not just about getting your best 11 out (Sven has proved that); it's about getting a team out with each person being the best for a particular job within that team from the players available.

And I must admit, I'm still curious about why Krøldrup is still warming the bench, but I suspect it's not because Weir is the best centre-back we have, so it might be due to something else — maybe Weir works better with Yobo; maybe Weir holds the line with more authority than Krøldrup can; or maybe its something simpler like Krøldrup is still not 100% yet, and is working towards a January deadline when we know Yobo will be away for the African Nations Cup.

Whatever the reason is, I'm sure Moyes picks the team he thinks will win.  If he has doubts about a player's fitness, attitude or ability, he'll address those issues where he can.  The trouble is we don't know the full story so people make assumptions, often incorrectly, about the reasons behind those decisions.

I'm not saying that Moyes is God (as clearly Dunc is God); however, not only is he human, so are most of his team, and so are us fans, and in a perfect world we'd all still pick a different first XI, and different formations, and we may even have different views on where our stadium should be, but we shouldn't make assumptions about what is going on in Davey's head — or if we do, we should remember that that is all they are, assumptions. Until he retires and brings out his autobiography entitled "Killer - my secret love child" then we'll never know the full facts behind his decisions.
Sack the Juggler  (29/11/05)



Mikel Arteta
This man is class. He's lived with the best, Chelsea, Man Utd, Villarreal and now Newcastle. Deffo our Player of the Season so far. Keep it up Mikel, I can honestly say you are one of the best players I have seen in an Everton shirt: CLASS!
Colin Malone, Wirral  (29/11/05)



Response to Jim Hourigan's piece
I totally agree with the sentiments of Jim Hourigan in his ‘Loyalty – weakness or strength?’ piece. I too am in the Moyes camp but I feel it is a failing on his part and not only relates to his weekly team selection but goes back to the contract situation in the summer.

Moyes was quoted as saying that he wanted to repay those players who got us into the top four last season and would do so by offering them extensions to their contracts. This to me showed one of Moyes’s huge weaknesses and displayed the fact to all that he does not seem to have a ruthless enough streak to his character when having to decide on such issues. It was clear that he should have moved on a number of his squad in the summer when their contracts expired.

The two players mentioned in JH’s piece (Weir and Kilbane) clearly are not Premiership quality and it beggars belief how they continue to be picked ahead of others within the squad. Replace them? Well Weir was and has been replaced with Krøldrup but the saga of his non-selection is almost reaching the laughable stage. Weir was even given the captaincy?!?! How can it be that a player that was not good enough or young enough to be given a longer contract offer than a year is then given the highest playing honour within the club?!?!

Kilbane? Well, sure there didn’t appear to be a ready made replacement with the players that were brought in, however players were available at a reasonable price (Aaron Lennon immediately springs to mind) so the reason for his retention and subsequent first-team selection is an absolute mystery.

Others such as Naysmith were a complete joke. He has been found out on too many occasions at this level yet Moyes felt that he warranted a 3-year contract?!?!? Answers on a postcard for that one.

The Pistone saga, again laughable that he turned down a one year extension and then when the going got tough in the market for Moyes he decides to throw in another year as well?!?! Then brings in two more left backs plus a floating one in the shape of Neville?! Adequate use of the pool of money and resources available to a manager (within any industry)? Doesn’t look like it to me?!?!

Moyes needs to toughen up in this area and realise that loyalty can only go so far. It is about striking a balance between loyalty to your players and letting them know who is the boss. I still feel that Moyes has some way to go in getting to grips with this particular issue and it has been shown in his league performances so far.

We reach a high position in the league in Moyes's first full season… he repays those average players with contracts or merely retains them for another year. A dreadful season follows as average players then take their foot off the gas. All those players are then told in no uncertain terms that as they are coming up to the end of their contracts they have something to prove… 4th place follows and he then repays those same average players (who none appeared to have a queue of clubs pursuing them!!!) with contract extensions and we find ourselves in our current predicament.

Average players can only have ‘something to prove’ for so long, the class will never come to the surface on these average journeymen and it is why we are where we are at the moment.
Glasgow Blue, Glasgow  (29/11/05)



Per Who?
What's the story with Krøldrup? I read the article from the AGM where Moyes said he hadn't seen enough to risk him yet. Risk him because of his fitness or risk him because he's not good enough? Can anyone shed any light on this?
Paul Mason, Chester  (29/11/05)



Keano on way?
Apparently Paddy Power have slashed the odds on Everton signing Roy Keane. Has anyone at ToffeeWeb Towers heard any rumours about a possible deal? I think it makes sense that he will come to us. He will want regular football which he won't get at Real Madrid, Juve etc. Also he has a large family with about 5 kids so presumably won't want to relocate.

Personally, I think he is exactly what we need. The current players can't be trusted to motivate themselves week in week out. Just a glare from Keane would be more effective than a thousand words from Davie Weir.
Gaz Hughes, Liverpool  (28/11/05)

Yes, he's on his way; we can absolutely guarantee it! You read it here first! — Michael


James Beattie yesterday had a fantastic game. Worked hard, battled harder; had skill and pace; caused the Newcastle defence problems..... and then, when he had his big chance to stick the ball in the onion bag, he puts it 20 rows back. Personally, I still rate him, and still think he will score his share this season.
Chris Wright, Chester  (28/11/05)

In a word... Bobble! — Rowan Atkinson


Lets not get carried away
Reflecting on yesterday's game, I am pleased that we have three points in the bag as they are surely needed. The performance on the whole was a lot better than the West Brom game, but I don't want to get carried away.

I am not trying to be negative but Newcastle were extremely poor on Sunday and I feel our performance made us look far better than we actually were. I totally agree with the gentleman who talked about COMPOSURE!! or lack of it!!

It frustrates me so much that a simple pass of ten yards cannot be executed and that on occassions we can't string six or seven passes together without losing the ball. Possession does breed confidence to an extent and other players will then try to make space. PLAY IT SIMPLE, LADS. Stop hoofing the ball up to Beattie and Co, and by-passing the midlfield. We do have some quality in the midfield with Arteta, Cahill and Neville. They can spread the play or do one-twos in close proximity. Arsenal do it brilliantly. I know we are not Arsenal but you don't see them lumping the ball upfield all the time. We might not have the pace up front but Dunc has got a good touch and so has Beattie (he just can't score from six yards!!)

Maybe I am asking too much but lots more crosses from the wingers and some good technical passing within the midfield and we will be more attractive to watch and more effective.

Well done to Yobo, Arteta and Faddie I felt that they were very solid. Davies looks extremely lightweight; give the armband to Neville as he is much more of a leader and does more talking to the players than Weir does. I think he is a poor captain.

Well done the Blues, more performances like that are needed. I am sure more chances will be created and hopefully more goals!!!!!!
Steven Bibby, Kent  (28/11/05)



Kenwright's dance with the devil
Evertonians who saw the Newcastle game on TV and witnessed the sickening display of affection between Bill Kenwright and Freddie Shepherd in the Directors Box prior to kick off will feel a sense of outrage. The part this low-life played in the Rooney transfer can never be over-stated and yet Bill laughs and jokes with him for all to see. What did he whisper in his ear after rubbing his lapels. "Nice coat Fred. Did you buy that out of your cut?"
A Lenwey, Liverpool  (28/11/05)

I was as devastated as the next Blue when Rooney's departure was engineered, but I think it is a bit twisted (to ay the least) for you to go ape over a bit of luving from the chief luvvie himself. And there are enough indications that Bill Kenwright was just as culpable as Freddie Shepard, if not more so, in the lad's untimely departure. Given that, and the general level of comraderie that like-minded fellow football chairmen inevitably share, I think your reaction is way over the top. — Michael


What next?
Having watched the game yesterday, I was made up by the performance - and especially the result. The passion, pride and occasional bits of skill displayed by the players finally showed that we are too good to go down, and that David Moyse shouldnt be sacked!

I'm firmly in the 'IMWT' section of the crowd but I am left wondering what we are going to do for the rest of the season. In theory a bit of consistency until Christmas and some good January buys should lead us comfortably to mid-table maybe even top 10. However, as we well know what should happen in theory, rarely does. Such as:

  • Per Krøldrup should be a world class centre back more than justifying his £5M price tag, but is in fact an expert in the art of disappearing.
  • Li Tie should be a proven Premiership performer, harking back to his sublime season two years ago rather than the Chinese superstar who doesn't even make our bench.
  • and Jimmy McFadden should show the twists, turns and ability that have the Scottish crowds chanting his name rather than the anonymous performances that have Goodison crying.
So let's give Krøldrup and Tie a game or two, encourage Jimmy Mc, don't boo Moysey or the team, and hope that we do push on up the League!!
Mark Langley, Nottingham  (28/11/05)




Home & Away
A great second half today; up tempo with lots of crosses & not giving them time to settle. I am still concerned, however, and have been for years, that we are not playing with enough guile nor creating through the middle.

Today`s style will do well at home but it is clear that we need to be able to keep the ball better to do well away - at least Li Tie helped us to do that. McFadden put in some good crosses but away from home he is far too weak and a passenger. We`ll see how this result lifts us for next week I suppose but it`s good to be able to watch MOTD2 for a change. Cheers, Blues!
Mark Manns, London  (27/11/05)



So, the future is bright?
Michael - what a totally disingenuos reply to my defence of Tony Marsh. My defence came prior to the victory today so please do not reply as if it was after the event because it wasn't.

So we gained a 1-0 victory today against a team in disarray... and yes, the performance was better... but surely this sums up the paucity of Everton's efforts for much of the season. Can you honestly say that this much effort has been put in in the majority of games this season? If you really think that the attack on Moyes and Kenwright is disgraceful then there are many Blues who are such people.

Yobo was superb today, as was Beattie in the main, VDM, Hibbert and most of the pack. The question should be why do they not do this every week? Is this not evidence of lack of passion or pride in their performance?

McFadden handled the ball and stayed on, denying the skunks a goal and himself being sent off. These things even out over the season so I am not too proud to say 'we were lucky' because we deserved the win. The true acid test comes in the next two games. If we can get three points or more from then, then perhaps we have turned the corner.

You should not be attacking Blues for showing concern at the poor form for almost 12 months of our team. If we did not ask and demand better then we would not be true supporters.
Russ , Cheshire  (28/11/05)

What annoys me, Russ, is fans who cannot accept a defeat without making statements such as these: "They should be playing with skill, pride and passion. They display none." And the original context of your comment (scroll down and read it again) meant that you were not just talking about West Brom but about the whole season. I find that a disgraceful statement, and totally unfounded.

For starters, they would not be in the squad if they displayed no skill. And to say that they display no pride when playing for Everton is simply a disgusting concept. I know that at times they don't display enough for some fans, but you said "They display none." I do not accept that. And to claim they display no passsion is equally untenable — no matter how many diappointed fans might repeat the mantra.

What happens is that things go wrong during a game — the ref makes an attrocious decision that goes against them — heads drop, and things go wrong: they lose. That does NOT mean No Skill, No Pride, No Passion. It means things went wrong during that game. There is always the next game to try and put things right. That is what this week proved. Will it happen every week? No; another ref decision could easily go against us next week, and the team could crash and burn again. Does that mean they will have displayed no skill, no pride, no passion? I think not.

"If you really think that the attack on Moyes and Kenwright is disgraceful then there are many Blues who are such people." I thought we were talking about the players? And I never used the word "disgraceful". You are putting words into my mouth. Please don't do that. — Michael


Please forgive the sheer ignorance of me but what the hell does it mean?

Oh and rather than Sky helping football, it is destroying its very core. The kick-off times are pathetic. 1:30pm: the day is gone. What about the kids playing Sunday league football who have season tickets or their Dad's have season tickets, what do you do? Who do you put first? You can't let your team down by not showing up and what a choice for the kid's Dad; watch my son or Everton? It's bollocks. We have had 12:45 on a Saturday, 5:30 Saturday, 11:15 on a Sunday 3.00, 1.30, what the fuck is going on?
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (27/11/05)


Etch it upon your heart... unless you are a paid-up member of the MOB. — Michael


Composure, Please!
Just watched the game - we were very lucky with that pen but things can and do even out - take the pen against West Brom last week. On balance, we deserved the 3 points; very unconvincing, though — despite the fluidity of the football.

Having said this, the team on paper now is a lot better than we have had for a long time and you can only hope that things will eventually click.

No doubt there are Championship players in our current squad (Bent, Kilbane, McFadden) but they got a limited look-in today, McFadden excepted. Has the penny dropped? There is no question these players need moving on; they were fine as stop-gaps. The personnel have changed a lot in the last 12 months and it will take time for a side to gel. A settled side and formation will help no end, and a goalscorer in January (as it was needed in the summer) is stating the bloody obvious. At 6'-5", tall I don’t think it is a gamble replacing Weir with Krøldrup and can someone tell me what’s happened to Vaughan?

As someone who has watched EFC for the last 25 years, I find myself uttering the same word ad nauseam: COMPOSURE. My sister in her high heels could have put away Beattie's chance (why lash it?). Also, once a player receives a pass there is no need to punt it immediately (Neville, McFadden). I'm no manager but supposed professionals on £25k or £30k a week need to have the requirement instilled in them to look around before they pass or kick - is it that difficult to remember? Stick up a sign in the sodding dressing room - COMPOSURE!

I too was beginning to waver with my support for Moyes. There is no denying that the evidence for the prosecution is mounting and that stat about 12th best defensive is really clutching at straws – why bother saying it? However, the notion of sacking would be ridiculous - the instability would consign us to the drop for sure. I'm now a Moyes floating voter but results against Blackburn, West Ham & Bolton will determine whether I put a cross in the box — as will who comes in January (if any) to address that minor fundamental of scoring goals. The result today has firmed up my vote for the short-term only
Anthony Newell, Matlock, Derbyshire  (24/11/05)

Re Vaughan: According to this story (last line), James Vaughan is still debilitated by "a persistent knee problem" — which does not sound good. Especially as an earlier missive informed us that he had returned to full training. — Michael


Back from the game ...
... and delighted with three points. Was that the same team I witnessed at a very cold Hawthorns and thought "Hell we in for it this season!"?

After a well-fought first-half that could have favoured either side, I thought we totally outplayed the Geordies in the second period. I found myself thinking: Parker, Emre... not good enough for us! Davies and Arteta, quality lads, and Joe Yobo emerged as the next Mountfield. Tim Cahill returned and seemed to say "Hey, I'm what you're missing in midfield!". And what about McFadden? I never thought I would see him play so well; has he found a position to suit him?

Another first today was seening players actually move to a position that allowed Tony Hibbert to make a worthwhile pass. If I were to be negative, I suppose the misses by McFadden, Beattie and Cahill could irk... but wasn't it a big change to see chances created!!!

Coming out of the ground, many names were being mentioned for Man of the Match. For me, it was Davies but, hey, who cares? Choose your own as all the players put a shift in and, without being Milan-like, we left the Geordies to lick their wounds.

After following the Blues for many years, I can only say that whether for or against the Manager (or indeed the club hierarchy), the only thing that changes anything is results. For change: get bad results; for continuity: get good results.

Let's hope we take the Chelsea, Newcastle type results forward and leave Portsmouth, Wigan, WBA ones behind. Manager and players take heed. Relegation?? --- Nah, surely. Handball?? --- unintentional.

See you at Blackburn - UP THE BLUES.
Ken , Buckley  (27/11/05)

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Ken. — Michael


Spot on
I am one of the fans who has slated Moyes on these pages a few times,and have even said maybe it's time he should go. Today was one of those days when he deserves praise. He got everything spot-on; let's hope there are many more to come. I'm not getting too carried away just yet, but I hope he makes me eat my words, when I said he should go.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (27/11/05)



Great team effort
Great team effort by the lads today and we deserved the luck we had with McFadden`s handball. All I will say, however, is that if it costs £6M to find out James Beattie can`t score from six yards out, Moyes should not be entrusted with any more cash for `top line` strikers and should do his shopping in the lower leagues.
Les Batty, Liverpool  (27/11/05)



McFadden — Hand of God?
Well I must say that lady luck rode our side for once and Jamie ("Maradona") Mcfadden proved his whole transfer's worth by slipping his hand just where it shouldn't have been against Newcastle today... Come on the Blues!!
Scott Robinson, London  (27/11/05)

And on such things do games, results, opinions of managers turn... — Michael


In defence of Tony Marsh
Dear Michael

In defence of Tony Marsh - why is he destroying your will to live? He is stating facts that are uncomfortable but is at least displaying a realistic concept as to how Everton are declining rapidly under Moyes and Kenwright.

This is without doubt one of the worst Everton teams to play in the blue jersey. They should be playing with skill, pride and passion. They display none. Four goals in 12 games! Can you or any other Evertonian honestly say that they are confident we will even make a decent chance let alone score. Even when we do make a chance, Marcus Bent is inevitably the player who gets it and he has a worse strike rate than the Rat!

Keep it up Tony because all of the IMWT fools will be crying in their beer when the Moyesiah leads us to the unpromised land known as the Championship.
Russ , Cheshire  (27/11/05)

It's as if it is becoming a matter of pride among Evertonians as to who can come up with the most depressing litany of disastrous failures and, on that basis, make the most dire predictions in terms of future results, league position, relegation at the end of the season, etc etc. Don't you find that soul-destroying?

Because we lost so dreadfully at West Brom, no-one can see where the next win is coming from — nevermind the next goal. Everton to beat Newcastle? No chance...

And yet what happens? Everton score a goal; Everton beat Newcastle. To say that they display no skill, pride or passion after today's game is utterly shameful. To echo the words of Frank Hargreaves: "Most knowledgeable fans... yeah right."

It never fails to astound me how so many Evertonians delight in predictiong future results, blissfully unaware of their abject failure in this department. When will they learn? You cannot predict football results. The whole point of playing the game is to see who wins, or to battle out a draw.

This mentality that past results provide some guarantee of future performance is totally bogus. For me, it is all about what can happen in the next game. The possible results are (and will always be) win, lose or draw. Let's try not to lose sight of that. — Michael


Manager Change
Just a quick response to the IMWT brigade. You all ask who would come here?

  1. We have never had a problem attracting a replacement manager
  2. Portsmouth don't seem to be having a problem attracting decent candidates.
Moyes and Kenwright will take us down because the players are not good enough and we have no club spirit.
Russ , Cheshire  (27/11/05)

"No club spirit"? You, sir, are a numpty. — Michael



Quaking in their boots
Roy Keane has been mentioned as being a saviour and that could well be correct but other things need to be considered. With Roy, we get the whole Kit and Caboodle and at least a dozen players plus some in management would be trembling with dread should we sign him. Three United players suffered his broadside yet they would walk into our first team.

He does not accept mediocrity and one can only imagine with a tingle in the spine what he would make of our set-up. I wonder if a Keane-type of bloodletting would make or break that slender thread keeping us in the top flight?. Currently, from Boardroom to Bootroom, our current mob of underachievers sing each others praises on the road to ruin. Can they or, more importantly, the supporters handle a Keane-like barrage?
Dick Fearon, Australia  (26/11/05)

Too hypothetical for me to get my arms around that one... but, if he were to come in as player-manager, that would be a huge gamble in comparison with the young Moyes of four years ago. Just coz the twat can shit on his teammates, how exactly does that make him an instant and effective Premiership manager? — Michael


I`m no fan of Moyes but.....
I`m no fan of Moyes — I suspect that, by the time he bows out, he will have the worst record of any Everton manager —but I do agree with Rob Fox that now is not the time for him to go. He`s been given more money to spend than any previous incumbent and should have at least until the fourth anniversary of his appointment — 13 March next year — to see if it`s proved well spent.

I know it may be too late by then but it may at least settle all the arguements about his ability... or lack of it!

Perhaps next time, the Chairman won`t rely on the outgoing manager to recommend his successor nor act like a star-struck schoolgirl when the new guy strings a few results together... But don`t bet on it!
Tony Gosling, Heston  (26/11/05)



Undone Deal
Got quite excited yesterday when reading the posting from a North London fan that Robbie Keane was a `done deal` for the January window. Then, with nothing to do this afternoon, I browed through and picked up today`s quote from Moyes:

"I don`t imagine I shall be given much money to play with but with a bit of luck our present strikers will go out and score five goals before Christmas and then we won`t have to sign anybody."

So my dream that salvation was at hand has lasted less than 24 hours... such is the lot of an Evertonian.
Andy Cocum, Speke  (26/11/05)



Don't forget, Tony
Tony Marsh, you missed out Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup. Although I don't rate Moyes at the moment, I will be going tomorrow and will give my full support to the players, sing and cheer, as the last thing we need now is for the fans to get on players' backs, so no booing as it really does not get us anywhere.
Chris Wright, Chester  (26/11/05)



Now is the hour....
I can't stop laughing my cock off at Kenwrong's "I was at three meetings yesterday and one this morning", regarding his efforts to raise investment in Everton. It rates alongside Michael Palin's "Ripping Yarns" about the POW who escaped from Stalag-X 37 times in one afternoon.

To make matters worse, Moyes wants to sign his fifth goalkeeper in three years and thinks the best way to go about it is to slag off the one one he paid most for and, presumably, wants to sell on.

One of your other correspondents asks who would replace Moyes. Surely that should be who could be worse. Similarly, he asks who would want to come and the answer again is does it really matter. His final question was that, with no money available, could he work with the players Moyes bought. The answer may well be that he couldn't but is that any different from what Moyes is doing.

We all want Moyes to succeed because that means Everton improving but there comes a time when we all have to accept the bleeding obvious.
Thommo   (26/11/05)



I'm constantly wondering when Everton's next match will take place since I don't have access to the fixture list electronically nor on paper. Even if I know that a game will take place on a particular weekend (like this one), I still can't remember/don't know the exact day and time.

I visit the ToffeeWeb site at least once a day and now I just thought, why don't you publish this information on the top of your start page? It would be really convenient for me and other Evertonians. Please consider it!
Henrik Larsen, Sweden  (26/11/05)

Hello Henrik

We are not really allowed to tell you anything about upcoming fixtures; that information is protected by copyright and we are not willing to pay the extortionate license fee. Also, it might spoil the beautiful layout of the homepage that Lyndon has so painstakingly created through hours of diligent Dreamweavering. However, there are a couple of ways you can use ToffeeWeb to help you out here.

One way is to visit every day, and look out for a lead story (like the one that is up right now) which is subtitled "Match Preview". The headline will actually tell you who it is that Everton are playing next (eg, "Everton v Newcastle United"). That story goes up usually the day before the game, giving you up to 24 hours advance notice.

To actually see the time, date and venue of the game, you have to click on the headline (or the More link at the end of the story). This brings up our unique match file. If you look right near the top, it says "Venue" and it gives the time and date of the kick-off. Now that is in local (British) time, so you will have to add one hour to give Central European Time.

The other way to check is to hover your mouse over the black drop-down menu bar at "Season 2005-06" and click on the menu item "Match Reports". This actually lists the next few games. If you have Outlook on your computer, you could generate appointments that correspond to these dates and times, and a little reminder would pop up 15 mins before kick-off. How cool would that be?

Hope this helps! — Michael


Roy Keane
Michael's comments about my suggestion to go for Roy Keane are precisely the reason why Everton never do the right thing. Please realise Michael that he wouldn't be signing as a long term solution. Keane has said himself he wants a temporary club.

At 34, he's a damn sight better than anything we have. He would organise the midfield, help us to win a ball and keep it — WHICH WE CAN'T DO NOW! And hopefully he could strike up a good partnership with Arteta.

His best days are behind him but he's still one of the best in the business and if he stayed fit he would transform our midfield which is what we desperately need to happen.

He is a nark but I'm sure he could keep this in check while we fight our way up the League until he too realises that Moyes is an idiot!
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (26/11/05)



You can fool some of the people...
After this week's comical carry on at the Everton FC AGM, I find myself saying once again, I TOLD YOU SO.

How anyone can still take Moyes seriously after the shite he came out with is beyond me. How much more proof do people out there need? Well, according to Alex Highton from London, a lot more. He says it's utterly ludicrous to call Moyes the worst manager ever — "In what way?"

Well Alex where do I begin? Under Mr David Moyes we have become the laughing stock of not only England but the whole of Europe to. Statistics can be misleading and I am no number cruncher so here is my personal opinion as to why Moyes is the worst ever.

  • Biggest ever defeat in Europe: 5-1
  • Lowest ever points total in our history.
  • Biggest domestic defeat since the sixties: 7-0.
  • Bang on target for lowest goals ever scored.
  • Worst ever start to a season.
  • Biggest cock-ups in the transfer market; Beatie £6½M being one of many. (Does Krøldrup even exist?)
  • Worst players I have ever seen in a blue shirt (including the likes of Alan Bialey, Peter Eastoe, Earl Barrett) have to be Killbane, McFadden, and Wright.
  • Worst brand of football ever witnessed by Evertonians —makes Gordon Lee's sides look like Brazil.
  • Pathetic man-managment skills: Bellamy buggered off to Blackburn after spending a few hours with Moyes. The deal was already done by the Board and Moyes fucked it up — Fact!
How much more do you want Alex? Find all the stats you want to prove me wrong but you can't. It's what I believe.

Everton Football Club always have their ups and downs (mostly downs) but I have never been so concerned as I am now. I believe DM to be a genuine and honest man. I also believe he is out of his depth at this level and has been found out.

So we are supposed to sit back and kid our selves things will get better, are we? Peter Jones lives in Canada and he understands more about Moyes and Co than people who actually live here. What the fuck's going on?

The league table doesn't lie, they say. Well, somebody is telling fibs because thousands of Evertonians think we are doing just fine. To all you Lemmings out there: Don't do it, the drop's a lot further than you think.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (26/11/05)

Oh gawd.. you really are destroying one's will to live, Tony, with this endless barrage. Fact is Moyes is going nowhere. And if you can find one Evertonian who thinks we are doing just fine, I'll give you my Christmas bonus. — Michael


Clean Sweep?
I have been very interested in the AGM reports in the local and national press plus the fine effort by your own ToffeeWeb man. The thing that has struck me amid the myriad of spin is the fact that the three most important persons — Chairman, CEO and manager — all admitted mistakes at crucial times. Could this be the root cause of the problems facing us and indeed explain the peak-&-trough seasons under Moyes?

Maybe it's not a new manager that would cure our ills but a clean sweep at the top to make way for people who make the right crucial decisions at the right time? Utopia, maybe... but de rigeur at many lesser clubs than ours. Come Sunday, I will be as optimistic as ever and cheer the lads on but, with each game, that nagging feeling gets stronger.

Three points and the Tetleys will tell me we can now go on and climb the table; defeat and the realist will tell me we are in for a long hard fingernail-biting season.

See you Sunday - UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  (26/11/05)

As mentioned down below, the current custodians are there by choice. They are learning from their mistakes. Don't hold your breath for a clean sweep. They are showing no signs of leaving anytime soon... — Michael


Richard Dodd's Comments
Richard, take those dark glasses off mate: we are 24 points off the pace, not 2. Are you seriously content with being just outside the relegation places ?

Your strong support for our manager is admirable. However, if he has so much knowledge and judgement, why didn't he make a striker a priority during the summer? Why did he fail to sign so many quality players and give contracts to Naysmith, Kilbane, Pistone etc when everyone knows they are absolute shite?

Also, whatever rumour is true or untrue, something is obviously not right with Kroldrup. Why the fuck would you have a £5M, 6ft-5in, 26-year-old Danish international centre half sat on the bench for six games (at least)?

If I'm honest, I'd say Moyes is a great coach. He'd be a fabulous Number 2 to Alex Ferguson and many other top managers. A great guy to go out and put the players through their paces on the training ground, and role around in the mud with them in his trackie.

However, a manager needs to be able to strike deals in the transfer market and attract top players to a big "WELL SUPPORTED" club like Everton. He should also be decent at tactics, eg, if you're 3-1 down in a Euorpean tie, shut the fucking shop and take your away goal home. Or, if you're getting twatted by West Brom away, leave your strikers on, take the shit one with the pornstar hair-do off and put the big guy upfront!

If Moyes does it for us, great. If things continue the way they have in the last 9 months he should be shown the door. The man is paid to put our club where it should be, the same applies to the players.

Every Evertonian could see that we needed a replacement for Gravesen and a quality striker as priority during the summer, that much was obvious 3 months before the end of last season. Now we're all hoping for the same in January, lets hope Dilly-Dally Davey's not already left it too late by then, eh!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (25/11/05)



I don't really get the attacks on Bill Kenwright. I think he has done everything in his power for Everton and the £25M he has backed Moyes with in the last year is more than all but two other teams. He is a bit cringeworthy at times but his heart is in the right place, and I'm sure he would step aside if someone came along with the money to move us forward.

His biggest fault though is that he doesn't seem to understand the modern game and is loyal to a fault. Hence he backs managers like Moyes and Smith when its obvious that they are floundering.

He has to sanction the manager's purchases and sign off on contracts, but isn't it really the manager's job to get that bit right? As far as I can see, Kenwright's role is to back the manager; that he has done, — the fault lies in the fact that we have the wrong manager.

Rob Fox goes on about how things keep going in circles... well don't we need a manager to break the cycle? He was a bit non-commital regarding Moyes in the transfer market. I believe Moyes's biggest failing is in his ability to identify quality players; I think his transfer dealings are a total disaster. He has wasted all the Rooney and 4th-place money on rubbish that nobody else wanted; we all know the players I'm on about and they are our next generation of unshiftable deadwood that the next manager is going to have to persevere with. Thanks very much, Mr Moyes!

Not only has he signed utter garbage, the type of player to fit into his chosen system is absurd. Beattie as a lone striker in 4-5-1! is ridiculous; I'd have expected even the PE teacher in him to get that right and go for someone with speed. Add to that a pedestrian defence, except for Yobo, and it means we have to sit deep for fear of pacy strikers, yet our opposition can push up and laugh at Beattie trying to lumber past them with absolutely no fear of being caught out for speed.

I know they are no world beaters but Paul Jewel spent less than the Krøldrup fee on Camara (fast and skillful) and Damien Francis (an imposing midfielder) — both of whom would walk into our team right now. It's not hindsight either: I've been saying the same thing ever since Beattie was deemed worth a contract, never mind our record £6½M fee by the astute Mr Moyes.

If his transfer dealings aren't enough to make you want to scream, then the thought of who he has re-signed surely will... Kilbane, Pistone, Naysmith and Weir would find it hard to get into a Championship team.

His judgement is his biggest fault, but it's one of the most important areas of management. It's not as if his tactics or teams play attractive losing football either; its boring, ugly, losing football.

His statements last night about the 12th-best defensive record are surely a final clutch at straws!! Is he taking the piss? Only Sunderland have a worse goal difference, a more pertinent indicator, and we have THE worst scoring record in Europe!

Oh, and I'm sick of hearing how Moyes is Everton through and through... get a grip, 4 years ago he'd never given us a second thought... he's just an employee but one that's soon to prove one of the most damaging in our history.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (26/11/05)



Thank you Rob
Thank God for Rob Fox. Otherwise I would begin to think I`m the only one out there who still believes our Club is worth following!

In his latest piece, Rob gives a balanced view on where we are at the moment. Since last Saturday, the casual Mailbag reader would be forgiven for thinking we are already doomed instead of just TWO points off the pace - with a game in hand!

To those who doubt our manager`s knowledge, work ethos, judgement and love for this Club, can I refer them to a feature that appeared a few months ago in World Soccer, which set out in great detail his approach to the job. It also calls the lie on the rumour that he had never watched Krøldrup before his signing.

Strange how anything positive about Moyes gets overlooked in your very exhaustive sweep of all things Everton, isn`t it?
Richard Dodd, Formby  (25/11/05)

Oh here we go again, the snide remarks about the ToffeeWeb agenda...

In case you have not put this together yet, you are reading the Collected Works of Rob Fox (unabridged), our consummate Moyes Apologist, on this very website. And it was also this very website that provided you with a link to the World Scocer feature you cited, back on 4 August (see our Season Diary).

But that's about it because, unless your name is Dominic King and you work for the Liverpool Echo, not everything that Moyes does is worthy of sycophantic adulation at the moment. His current record totally sucks, and a significant number of our surfers are asking a lot of probing questions about what it is he is really doing for Everton at the moment. But, as David Moyes demonstrated so adroitly last night, he is not blind or deaf to such critical analysis. I don't reckon you really need to worry about him being upset; he has more than enough ability to deal with it. — Michael


Moyes: the real problem
Like so many modern managers and successful managers at that, including the Spanish gent from across Stanley Park, Moyes believes that the first principle of being a good manager is to keep a clean sheet. Last year, having watched Denmark's use of Gravesen in the European Championship, he got the tactics right and it worked. This year, without Carsley and Gravesen, it has not worked and Moyes is lost. In his heart, I don't believe Moyes wanted another striker in the summer, because then the expectation would have been that he changed the 4-5-1 system and he did not want to do that. He is essentially a lover of a sound system and distrusts attacking players. After all, managers who put their trust in attack (like Keegan and Ardilles) always lose out.

But, if Moyes is tactically negative, it is in the transfer market that his attitude becomes very puzzling. Peter Knight's excellent letter sums up much of what I feel. To emphasize the point, let's look at the Krøldrup fiasco. He is the third most expensive player we've ever bought, yet after four months he has not played a game! Is he weak in the air as rumours suggest? Was he really not watched by Moyes before a bid was made? Is he really not better than Weir who is great-hearted, but slow and, to be frank, looks three years past his sell-by date?

Has our manager a clue in the transfer market? He bought Beattie, Wright, Naysmith, Davies and Kilbane and a host of other signings that don't bear scrutiny. His successes, such as Yobo, Cahill and Arteta (whom he nearly let slip) are a minority. Am I convinced that Keane for all his skill and speed is as committed to his teams as I want my strikers to be? No, but I hope the manager isn't just buying him because he feels it would be popular or because, he doesn't know who else to buy.

Our Davy is your prototype dour Lowlander and his team refelects that. I hope he proves me wrong. At least, I believe he is honest, but I don't want to go onto the real problem — our beloved ego known as Kenwright!
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (25/11/05)



Gaz's predictions
Thank god for this site: a couple of observations about today's up-date on the stalinist official website:

1, Gary Naysmith's weekend predictions for results make no mention of the EFC game. Was he unwilling to bend his tipping integrity? "0-2 geordies: ever since I got crocked we've been shite". I know, I know: why did I even read Nayce's tips? I wondered how he earned his five grand (or whatever) this week.

2, In the build-up to Newcastle game, the 'head-to-head' between players is Yobo vs Boumsong. Our best player versus their worst. Why no Owen versus Bent? Parker versus Davies?

On a seperate issue: I was at least glad that Richard Wright's role seems to have been finished at the AGM. Since in the two years it's taken DM to admit/realise this, his value has depreciated perhaps tenfold, isn't there some argument for learning from past mistakes and admitting Davies and Beattie haven't worked out at the end of this season (assuming neither turn it round, of course) and try and maybe get some cash back?
Ted Turner, Nottingham  (25/11/05)



More PR
Being an expat of many years, I love the fact that the internet and sites like ToffeeWeb have allowed me to keep up to date with events at Goodison. I am also an avid newspaper reader, listen to Talk Sport and subscribe to Sky Sports. And during the last summer, it was virtually impossible to get any news from or about Everton from any of the national media.

If we want top players to join us, as a club we have got to put ourselves into the public arena on a regular basis.

I am sick and tired reading about Wenger and Morinho or Ferguson and Keane. Peter Crouch doesn't score goals either, but he gets far more coverage than our whole team!(Is it something about 'strikers' from Southampton?) We can't do something exciting on the pitch, but we can start doing something off it to get in the national (or international) press. Not that I'm advocating, but Big Dunc did when he was at Rangers and it got him lots of coverage. Can't Bungalow Bill let out a compromising luvvie story from his Corrie days?

The more published stories that carry our team's name (good or bad - no such thing as bad publicity), the more likely a player is to consider us because he will have heard of us. Sadly its not just about what happens on the pitch in this day and age.

ps: Just a line to let you know how much I enjoy reading your site. I know how much effort it takes to keep a website updated on a regular basis and I would like to congratulate you all on a job well done. Perhaps you could take your work ethos to Bellefield?
Alan Rooney, Gillingham, Dorset  (25/11/05)

Thanks for that note, Alan. We do it for people like you, who want to stay informed. Not sure I agree with your publicity thrust though. The only place the club should be making a name for itself is on the field. And it only lasts that long. Look at how Leeds were lauded near and far... now, they hardly get a passing mention. Such is football. — Michael


Something to boast about!
Just read Moyes`s address to the AGM. What frightens me is not that he must actually believe all that crap but that he expects us to lap it up too! To actually boast that he has the TWELFTH best defence in the league when it contains players entirely of his signing is qualification for the funny farm! And any idiot knows that with only four goals scored (one a penalty) we`re in deep shit. And oh, we need a goalkeeper - as though that was a bloody priority - everybody at Goodison recognised Wright as a tosser as soon as he arrived, except Moyes that is, so how come it`s an issue now?

Most of the £30M he`s blown on players will never be recovered because they`re serially injured or simply can`t play. It doesn`t matter whether or not Kenwright sticks with him - it`s too late, we`re serially fooked. And it`s all down to him!
Len  Melville, Mere  (25/11/05)



Roy Keane
Everyone knows that the two signings Everton need are the commanding midfield player and the nippy striker to give us variation up front.

We have the chance to sort one position out right now by signing Roy Keane. If he stays fit he would transform the team dramatically. But what's the management doing to get him? Nothing. And the truth is Moyes is probably scared to sign Keane because he might show him up. Another example of this manager holding the team back instead of doing something positive to get the team away from the bottom of The Premiership.
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (25/11/05)

Reasons to NOT sign Roy Keane:

  • He's 34.
  • His best days are a long way behind him.
  • He's a right narky twat.



More comedians
So you wake up Friday morning, turn the radio on.. and what's the first voice you hear? Yes it's none other than Sir Laurence Kenwright lauding the great great manager and all the potential investors who were really impressed with his office decor but not quite enough to give him any dosh. But, hey, we have budgeted for every eventuality and that means relegation under the great one so there's absolutely nothing to worry about.

Then you get into work and you read the great great one's synopsis and amongst the shite is a pure gem about just having to work on a few things with PK who he paid £5M for but isn't quite the ready article - so much for all those detailed scouting missions! And it was the same a few weeks ago when, prior to Van der Meyde's debut, he declares "we've watched him in training and he looks like he crosses a decent ball" - why didn't he notice this before paying £2M?

Does anyone really really believe that the club is in safe hands because I find it all really scary. Maybe it's the the way they tell them.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (25/11/05)

Just say, for argument's sake, that it wasn't in safe hands... would that actually change anything? Fact is, the current custodians are there because they chose to be there, and had the means to make it happen, while others didn't. You may not like it, but it is not going to change any time soon. — Michael


Time for a change
It is now a time for this club to go through some changes: let's get rid of the deadwood players and get rid of Moyes. It is time he went; he hasn't got a clue what he is doing, he is an amatuer in the transfer market, which has cost us bigtime! In the past 11 months only Chelsea and Newcastle have spent more than us in the transfer market and Moyes admits that himself. We have never played good football under Moyes; he rarely shows attacking mentally.

And can I just say: Michael, what are you smoking lad? How can you defend the players and manager like you did on my last letter? You say it is not in the job description of the players to give a fuck about the fans, well yes it is when your freezing your bollocks off in the Midlands watching that pile of shite. The fans keep this club going and contribute to the players' wages so I think they should give a fuck about us instead of being a bunch of money-grabbing selfish twats.
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (25/11/05)

You're obviously going through a tough time with this, Ryan, so I'll try not to upset you any more. I just think the burden the players already have to perform on the field is quite sufficient... I just can't grasp why you would need to impose this additional burden of personal care... for you.

Yes, you contribute to their wages. The response is that they play for you — not that they care for you.

That's what ya mum is there for. Hope this helps — Michael


No Shit, Sherlock!
Quote from David Moyes at the AGM:

"Before the West Brom game we had the 10th best defensive record in the Premiership and even after it we are still 12th. But we have the worst goalscoring record in the Premiership. The goals return has not been good enough and that is the area we need to try and strengthen in January if possible."

Is he being serious here? Everybody knew in the summer we needed a new striker; has it really taken until recently for Moyes to realise this too? I cannot accept the "before the West Brom game" statement either; for one Moyes's nose should be rubbed in that like when a dog shits on your carpet and two before West Brom we were still in a mess!

Here is another gem, a real class qoute that had me in stitches (ya gotta laf):

"Then if you look at who left the club in the last year - the likes of Bosnar, Kevin Campbell, Wayne Rooney, Thomas Gravesen and others".

Eddie fuckin' Bosnar!!!!!!! So our troubles are down to the fact that England's best player and Eddie Bosnar were let go?!
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (25/11/05)

And what about Guillaume Plessis? — Michael


Done Deal
The word down here this morning is that Robbie Keane to Everton is a `done deal` and would have been so in August if Kenwright had come up with the £35k-a-week on offer now! The Spurs fans in this office are distraught, believing `the Boyo` to be the best of all the strikers at White Hart Lane.

Personally, I think his speed and awareness will finally see Beattie ably supported up front and thus in with a chance of showing his true cababilities. COYB!
Maurice Hardman, Totteridge, N London  (25/11/05)



Why didn`t we see it?
So, Richard Dodd is right after all. We don`t have anything to worry about. Why did we need the Manager to tell us

  • that our defensive record is the twelth best in the Premiership;
  • that Weir is one of our very best players;
  • that when Yobo goes off to play with his mates our £5M centre half should have been taught enough about the game to enable him to fill in (After all, even Wenger says you get fook all for £5M these days!);
  • that everything will be okay when we`ve signed a new striker in January;
  • that this white stuff floating by my window isn`t really snow...
We really should have recognised the truth!
David Hall, Taunton  (25/11/05)




Spot on!
Totally agree with Tony Marsh and Mike Price. To Tony's knockers:... the reason Moyes is our worst ever is because we play our worst-ever football. He's sussed and can never again hide behind a load of lucky 1-0 wins; he's wasted a fortune in the transfer market; he's re-signed some of the worst players ever to pull on a blue shirt at even more expense, and has clearly lost the players. He can't relate to flair players; he mis-handled our best-ever player who was a devoted Evertonian; he's got no plan B and he's just wasted our best opportunity for decades to move this club forwards.

He is shockingly bad, and to all those supporting him: You are just helping us along the road to sure destuction. As Tony said, Don't say you weren't warned!
Peter Jones, Canada  (24/11/05)



Michael should read more books!

I noticed that you referred to a famous book "The Power of Positive Thinking" when commenting on a recent posting. Might I adivise you Michael (and any others unsure about Moyes) to read another famous book called The Peter Principle. Sadly Mr. Moyes validates perfectly the central premise of this book..... that in all walks of life, people levitate to the position of their maximum incompetence!
Brian Finnigan, Liverpool  (24/11/05)

Ah yes... I've not read that one either! But I am reading Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology. If I find any gems, I'll certainly pass them along ;) — Michael


David Moyes
I am not sure if he is a good Manager or not. He came with very little experience and none with high profile players or buying and selling in the transfer market:

  • He bought Richard Wright for £3.5M after Arsenal had written him off;
  • He bought Yobo for £5M and yet preferred to play Stubbs & Weir;
  • He played Rooney as a 16-year-old instead of waiting until he was 17 and could have signed a 5-year-deal with his old agen
  • Beattie he bought on the advice of Strachan even though Hoddle & Erickson did not like him and he had a reputation,
  • Koldrop he paid £5M and yet he prefers Yobo and Weir.
Every season, the team seem to finish playing after 33 games when there is money on the the line for the final league position. Adding this up obver the last three seasons, we have played 15, won 2, drawn 2, lost 11, scored 13, conceded 34. I hope this season we don't need points in the last 5 games to stay up.

He has managed 7th and 4 place finishes, which I did not think was possible. So I can see why some want him to go and some want him to stay.
Peter Knight, Vancouver, Canada  (24/11/05)



Stop pretending
Everton were quite decent during the time I watched them on Saturday. Fortunately I only saw the first four minutes whilst waiting to be picked up to go on a freebie to Belle Vue. There is something worse than watching Everton getting turned over by the worst side in the Premiership: it's listening to Everton getting turned over on the radio.

I am not kidded by this current squad of players. Prime suspects:

  • the limited Kilbane, who has has even stopped being a trier.
  • Beattie, who has made me question my own judgement, is simply not good enough or kids himself he's world class.
  • Neville has made the mistake of thinking he'll get by on a reputation of playing [as a squad player] for a successful side most of his career.
  • Bent can't shield a ball he receives to feet, a basic requirement if you play in the County Combination.
  • Hibbert, the most brittle of confidence men at the club, has improved his distribution but is still not good enough — fact! — nothwithstanding parochial leniency.
  • Our best 'Footballer', Arteta, does not know where he is going to play week in week out.
I sit and watch in the Upper Bullens, having not attained a coaching badge or played professionally, seeing our gameplan sussed out usually before the Johnny Todd music blares out. In Moyes we Trust? Don't be fooled... we are not even mediocre in a generally medocre league. The troops have been kidded for a while now. I am sick and tired of Everton ending anyone's goal drought or breaking average striker's ducks.

I personally think Moyes has lost the Dressing Room judging by the body language of players; it is a mirror image of the season before last. Trouble is we can't whisk them off for karaoke in Texas in late November. If we've hit a glass ceiling with what we've got on the pitch, on the coaching side, in the boardroom, whatever... come out and say it. Stop pretending we're progessing because I have never been kidded last season's success. A 4th place finish has if anything exposed our lack of ambition. "We made a bid for him; We won't pay!" blah! blah! so much. I am sick of it all.

Success to me is trophies, full stop. Being mediocre I can put up with if you are honest about it — but don't try and kid people. Why is Marcus Bent allowed to come out with stupid ill-thought-out statements on the back of a 4-0 defeat by a bad side? I think Moyes has lost the players not the plot.

Yours Rantingly
Dominic Pitt, Wirral  (24/11/05)

I'm all for the kind of honesty and transparency you seek, Dominic, but it is abundantly clear such an admission simply will not happen. Look at all the spin and nonsense we have read from all and sundry on the Offical website and in the Liverpool Echo. You are only allowed to seek the positives; you cannot dwell for even a moment on anything negative. I blame the Yanks. Wasn't there some famous book? The Power of Positive Thinking. That's the secret to success, is it not? — Michael


Yet another stick
So Eddie Wilcox has found yet another stick with which to beat Davey Moyes! This time it`s stats - which everybody knows can be bent to further any arguement.

I have to confess to not being born in the days of Harry Catterick and I was only a young teenager when Howard Kendall was a faultless manager. But I understand those were the days when Kendall, Ball and Harvey never had a bad game; Joe Royle never missed a sitter; and neither Trevor Steven nor Sheedy overhit a cross! What joy that must have been! (We`ll conveniently forget that, in spite of all this perfection, the other lot got all the plaudits as they dominated Merseyside almost without a break!)

All I do know is that, in two of his three full seasons, Moyes has won more than he lost and got us into league positions we could only dream of. After Walter Smith, Kendall Mk III, and the latter days of Joe Royle — who totally alienated fans and press alike — Davey came like a breath of fresh air to the younger, more animated supporters who don`t spend their lives endlessly harking back to Dixie, Lawton and Mercer.

Time has moved on, my friends; it`s not the same game as you keep going back to and it never will be again. So let's stop being morbid, enjoy the good days — and we have had those under Moyes — and put the disappointments in their place. It`s only a game after all!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (24/11/05)



Moyes, your time is almost up
We all know Davey Moyes has done great things for this club and I am grateful for that... but he also has had his bad times, such as: Shrewbury, 5-1 at City, 39 points (lowest total in clubs history), 7-0 at Arsenal, Bucharest etc. People forget this because we finished 4th last season but what have we actually got to show for finnishing 4th?

He made major mistakes in the summer (spending roughly £25M since January) and our European adventure lasted just a month! He has taken this club as far as he possibly can but for me he has made too many mistakes and his time is almost up! Let's go and beat Newcastle!!
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (24/11/05)



Sorry Gordon?
I guess Eddie Wilcox is making a belated apology to Gordon Lee who most of us old-timers have berated for years. The figures Eddie produced are, indeed an eye opener but he fails to strike the killer blow as far as Moyes`s record is concerned.

Surely if Walker was judged a failure after just 34 games in charge (Jan-Nov 1994) it`s only fair to look at Moyes`s record over the same number of games in THIS calendar year. That comes out as P34 W10 L21 for a loss average of a staggering 62%.

On that record, perhaps we should add an apology to Walker as well but somehow I suspect we shall have to go on suffering `the brightest young manager in the game` for sometime to come.
Harry Meek, Worcester  (24/11/05)



Brief response to Tony Marsh
So Moyes is "the worst manager we ever had"? What exactly are you on lad? Admittedly life has been miserable lately but we were all singing a different tune last season. No one would ever have said that last season, mate, even you.

"A manager is always judged on his last result" —Correct!
Sean G, Liverpool  (24/11/05)



In response to Tony Marsh
I read ToffeeWeb every day and have never felt compelled to write in. I tend to read the lettters with a smile and think everybody is entitled to their opinion. However, the letter from Tony Marsh is utterly ludicrous. Moyes the worst ever Everton manager? In what way? Obviously Tony doesn't think qualifying for the Champions League is much of an achievmement and that the club has gone downhill since the days of Walter Smith, Joe Royle & Mike Walker. Did they got the sack because they were doing such a good job?
Alex Highton, London  (24/11/05)



Congratulations all round
As forecast, Everton Shareholders 2005 have immediately become recognised as the voice of the stockholders with the Liverpool Post full of quotes from the self-styled Chairman, Richard Lewis.

`There is no crisis at Everton` and `There will be no criticism of Moyes` are just two of the gems which slip from his tongue and no doubt tonight he will propose a congratulatory vote for Kenwright, Wyness et al on the miraculous financial turnaround. Moyes will come in for special praise for gaining European `Qualification`, although if anyone dares to suggest that Rooney was manipulated out of the Club to avoid administation or that the team is a disgrace, he will be ruled out of order pdq!

What a bloody farce it all is... but, with lickspittles like this calling the shots, what chance has the Club got? Ever.
Stan Turner, Huyton  (24/11/05)



West Brom 4 Everton 0

Colm, your article on the recent Everton loss to West Brom has more than a little bit of desparation about it. Mind you, you didn't go so far as to hide behind the "Everton has more points than anyone else" all-time argument Toffee fans trot out in response to the taunt that they will always support the second team in Liverpool.

Aren't you a bit embarassed at your fans' lack of knowledge of your history of 1968 or did you, like them, have to look it up when you got home?

Adam Workman, England  (24/11/05)

Adam - I've copped a bit of flak from West Brom supporters on this one. Fair enough! My article was more a comment on the state of my club, not yours. Contrary to what you may believe, I have respect for West Brom - and all other clubs. The tone of my piece was not to diss West Brom, for the sake of it. Yes, you are pretty dire and have been so for the past couple of years. Like ourselves, your "better days" are some way back in the past.

The 4-0 tonking at The Hawthorns, for me, was a bit symbolic when watching highlights later that evening of a Wayne Rooney show at The Valley. When I label West Brom as being shit, do not take it personally! If anything, the bulk of Premiership clubs fall easily into that category (Everton most definitely included!).

It's all about money these days and feeding off crumbs from our G14 chums. I've been saying that consistently for a number of years now so please do not think I was aiming a barbed attack at all things West Brom. As for Jeff Astle back in 1968...... ;-) - Colm


Sorry, Gordon....
The big debate in the pub last night inevitably focussed on whether Moyes should go. Several of his staunch supporters — including me — are beginning to waver... We are facing the fact that his signings are crap, the football`s crap, we never look like scoring and the players don`t seem to give a tuppeny fuck!

Somebody asked how to you judge a manager's record? The consensus was that how many matches his teams lose wasn`t a bad criterion given that Moyes sets his stall out not to concede anyway.

So I promised to provide the facts before next week`s ritual moan and this morning — with a clearish head — I looked up the figures on Soccerbase. This shows Moyes's record in all matches reads: P156 W59 L64 D33 giving a losing percentage of 41%. So just where does that put him in the list of Everton bosses over the 40-odd years that most of our gang have been watching?

Well, he ain`t the worst. That `honour` goes, inevitably to Mike Walker who lost 18 of his 34 matches for an average of 53%. But whether it`s fair to judge on such a short tenure — as with Howard`s third spell (P42 L18 Ave.43%) — is open to debate.

However, of all the others going back to Catterick, Moyes has the worst loss record as shown below:-

Smith lost 65 of 168 — Ave. 39%
Royle lost 35 of 119 — Ave. 29%
Kendall Mk II lost 59 of 162 — Ave. 36%
Harvey lost 48 of 174 — Ave. 28%
Kendall Mk I lost 77 of 338 — Ave. 23%
Lee lost 70 of 234 — Ave. 30%
Bingham lost 53 of 172 — Ave. 31%
Catterick lost 161 of 594 — Ave. 27%

So it`s apologies all round to Gordon Lee — how we`ve slated him over the years! — and a big `losers crown` for Moyes. Think I`ve convinced myself to jump ship lads!
Eddie Wilcox, Crosby  (24/11/05)

It's a rollercoaster! Some definitely want him out regardless; others still supportive. Three defeats in a row and the knees twitch. Three wins? All's rosy. Same old, same old.... that's football. We are not guaranteed instant improvement with a new manager.

Think about this though - time has, to a degree, seen Gordon Lee become painted in a different light. Not quite as bad as we thought he was, eh? What happens if we get shut of Moyes now, and replace him with someone who secures that first relegation in over 50 years? We have a theme running the course of time — a lack of investment from within the Boardroom. It influences the manager's position! - Colm- Colm


Time Warp!

I just heard that Villarreal were playing in the Spanish version of the Conference in 1991, playing in front of 150 people... We all know the Wigan story, and the point really is, is that good management can produce results.

Is it too much to ask that a club with fantastic support and history could expect to have an evolving team that plays fast, aggressive, skillful, winning football? I know it's not easy to win the Premiership, but it's not that difficult to produce a team that plays better football than we do... especially when spending the kind of money that the ludicrously over-rated David Moyes has spent!

The game today is global; Arsenal are a prime example. You dont need a bunch of traditional British bulldogs playing for you... it just doesn't work. Can you imagine any team in Europe — Spanish, German, French, or whoever — actually paying a fee for Beattie or Davies? We've wasted £11M on total shite, not counting salaries. Actually, it's Moyes who has wasted the money; he has blown well over £20M on absolute rubbish, not counting the millions wasted on re-signing Kilbane, Naysmith, Pistone and Weir!

We are stuck in a weird kind of "buy British' type of player time warp... effort, huff and puff, get stuck in, total bullshit! All teams now can mix it; that's a basic requirement, they also need pace, skill and ability. Moyes is, as I've said before, a PE teacher who only values or recognises effort... he's an outdated dinasour who is leading us towards extinction.

Oh, and to the editor called Michael... get a grip and stop being facetious. Your replies are sounding like a 16-year-old Moyes groupie that doesn't have a clue about football or what it means to be an Evertonian.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (24/11/05)

Both Villarreal and Wigan have been bankrolled... that's one thing you most definitely cannot say about recent Everton custodians! - Colm


Enough already!
The last couple of weeks have amused me, whilst reading the mailbag (gotta find some light moments somewhere in these dark times!). After we'd 'turned the corner' © Lots Of Fans, the number of submissions to the ToffeeWeb mailbag fell drastically. Immediately after the final whistle at the Hawthorns, it was bulging again.

In amongst the usual war of words between the various factions, one comment struck me. We are almost a third of the way through the season, and we’ve scored 4 goals. Considering that a quarter of that tally is a penalty and it’s a pretty damning statistic.

My last memory of such a paucity of goals is during Wally's reign, the season we signed John Collins (who in part was responsible for the lack of goals when missing a penalty) – we played something like 6-7 games at home and scored only one or two goals. If memory serves me correctly (and Stattos out there feel free to correct me) we still managed to pick up some points away, before recovering sufficiently to survive another season after what was on the whole, dross.

I'm now firmly in the Moyes Out Brigade — or The MOB. It's taken me some time to come to this conclusion, but it's dawned on me that it's okay for me to be part of MOB and not have the answers – I'm not paid to come up with them. I don't know who should be the next manager – but I don't think that's the pertinent issue right here, right now. Four fucking goals. (Ed, apologies in advance for a capital offence…) FOUR FUCKING GOALS!!

I fully accept that the players are as culpable as Moyes in all of this, but before going too far down that road, let's remember that this is finally Moyes's team – he’s signed or re-signed all of them. Maybe it's time he took the hyphen out of re-signed…

Although I live half a world away, the fact is the Asian obsession with the EPL means I get to see pretty much every game live or on delay. Those who have been bemoaning the tactics and the overall play have been spot on. It's piss poor at best.

And turning to our Chairman…. Ah, fuck it; got work to do…
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (24/11/05)



Fortress Sports Fund
I found an interesting snippet at the bottom of this article about Ken Bates in The Guardian today:

"January 2005 Residing in Monaco, Bates buys Leeds United, the club's debts having been reduced from £103m to £30m. Leeds is now owned by a trust based in Geneva, the Fortress Sports Fund. Its owners are anonymous."
Not sure if everyone else knows this, but it was a surprise to me. No wonder it all went quiet about their Money coming to Everton.
David Haimes  (24/11/05)

Apparently the article is incorrect. Leeds are owned by the "Foundation Sports Fund" but, seeing as they're Geneva-based, it wouldn't surprise me if there is a very strong link with Chris Samuelson and the Fortress Sports Fund. — Lyndon



Scoring Average
Just did a quick rundown on the scoring averages in seven European leagues (Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Holland, France & England), and it doesn't make for pretty reading I'm afraid. Here's the bottom 5:

Racing Santander 0.5 goals per game
Roosendaal 0.5 gpg,
Metz 0.47 gpg,
Strasbourg 0.33 gpg,
Everton 0.33 gpg.

Let it be known that Strasbourg have not won a game so far and are basically relegation favourites in France.

Frightening! Where are the goals going to come from?
Jason Szabo, Adelaide, Australia  (24/11/05)



You Know Your In Trouble When.....
... you are sitting in a room arguing with a load of red shite and also the lad ya usually go the match with because West Brom have just turned you over 4-0. That's the reality; taking shit off the red shite I am used to... but also arguin with ya mate coz I give the Moyes out shout shows we are in crisis.

Colm's article made me realise something. I went to see that West Brom game when Rooney (spit) skinned out. It was at the time of my 18th (yesterday I turned 21) — three years ago. Three years on, if we made a graph showing our ups and downs, it would be as erratic as George Best's heart monitor. We were shit then, we are shit now. Three years on Moyes has only stablised this club.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (23/11/05)

But we finished 7th and 4th in-between. That hardly qualifies as 'stability'! — Michael


Nil satis etc.....
A survey of past Premiership stats reveals that, in a season when one club gets isolated at the bottom (as is likely to happen with Sunderland), a tally of 38 points is more than enough for other teams to survive. That means Everton need just seven more wins and seven draws from their remaining 26 matches to be safe. Surely a club with `the brightest young manager in the game` and a squad costing upwards of £35Mn can manage that?

Nil satis nisi OPTIMISM, I say!
John Kirkwood, Waterloo  (23/11/05)



Worst Ever Everton team.....
Tempted to just name last Saturday's.... but here I go in a 4-4-2 formation from players I have seen myself (1986 onwards):

Paul Gerrard;
Paul Holmes, Earl Barrett, Carl Tiler, Gary Naysmith;
Stefan Rehn, Ray Atteveld, Claus Thomsen, Peter Degn;
Brett Angell, Ibrahima Bakayoko.

Sends a shiver down the spine just thinking of it.
Chris Wright, Chester  (23/11/05)



What is a 'mailbagger'. On here, it's someone who does not like the way Moyes is taking Everton and if you speak out, it's wrong.

It seems a Sky thing to me, like 'bouncebackability'. Maybe terms like 'crap football' or 'no tactics' are more understandable to non-'mailbaggers'.

These next words are real. Kilbane - Beattie - Bent - MacFadden - ... Or, try this: Give contracts to injured or old finished players.

Joe Boyle, Liverpool  (23/11/05)

Guess you are yet another reader who no longer trusts or believes... But just 'coz you shout in capitals doesn't make it right, Joe; it's still just your opinion. — Michael


Ride the Donkeys
Any chance of replacing Beattie in your banner with a donkey in a blue shirt? In fact, make it two donkeys: one for Bent as well. This is a wonderful website.
Steve Douglas  (23/11/05)

Thanks, Steve, but donkeys are not our style. — Michael


I'm so low I don't care anymore
Moyes is an absoloute joke: he doesn't know what he is doing; his tactics have been wrong for nearly a year but everyone else can see that execpt for him; he doesn't know how to attract players because he scares them away with his misserable attitude. Anyone in their right mind wouldn't want to play for Everton under that lousey excuse for a manager. He got rid of all the accadamy players such as: Danny Fox and Anthony Gerrard who by the way are getting Man of the Match every week for Walsall.

Not just Everton fans — the whole of Britain knew we needed to sign a striker. Fair enough, he wanted to give Beattie a chance... but we still need someone to play up front with him. At Spurs this season, when Mido scored, I actually cried because I thought that was it: we're going down. It suddenly became a reality because there is no passion whatsoever in this team. But I am trying my best not to care at the moment and do my college work because let's face it they don't give a fuck about us!
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (23/11/05)

Some weird ideas there, Ryan. They are going through a bad patch but I'd be very surprised if more than a handful of the players did not want to play for Moyes. That would leave a lot who do.

One of two goals scored against us away from home in just the eighth game of the season and it means we are going to be relegated? I'll need a little time to work that one out...

And then making it personal. That's the bit I really struggle with. These are highly paid professionals doing a job they love. It's not an easy job, but it attracts a lot of attention and people who could choose to do otherwise pay a lot of money to go and watch them. When they play, there a three possible outcomes: win, lose or draw. But if they lose, you conclude that they don't give a fuck about us? Well, you're probably right beacause that is not actually part of their job description. — Michael


Wage Structure
We will never get the players to get us out of the shit until we can pay £70k or £80k a week, especially if they are on a free transfer. Face facts: this is the going rate for a top foreign striker or midfielder who can win us games, or would you prefer Bent for £20k?
Kevin Tully, Liverpool  (23/11/05)

I am sure there are plenty of teams above us in the league that do not have any players on that kind of wage. You've been watching too much Sky! — Michael


You Know You’re in Trouble when… continued...
I am sure that it won't have escaped Colm's attention that although we won the game in 2002-03 against West Brom, it was the start of a run of 10 games where we lost 5, drew 4 and won only won (including the FA Cup fiasco against Shrewsbury). The next game then was also against Newcastle.

Colm noted elsewhere that last week's Irish Lotto had the Lost numbers with the last one reversed. I am sure it is a sign that we can reverse the 2002-03 barcodes scoreline and subsequent bad-run of results ;-) Stranger things are happening...
Simon Maslin, Munich, Germany  (23/11/05)



Fun to Watch
Is it just me being so nervous every time I watch the Toffees to the extent that I cannot enjoy the game? I ask this question because it seems like almost every other club in the Prem has a team that is more fun to watch.

When I saw Earnshaw slot home the 4th goal last weekend the thought that immediately came to mind was which Everton striker would have converted that chance with such ease?

I think we need a midfield hardman/ballwinner. Cahill fulfils this role to an extent and so does Neville. I am hoping that Neville can come back into the midfield, fulfil this role and allow Arteta, Davies and Van der Meyde room to play.
Andrew Gaule, Fort Simpson. Canada  (22/11/05)



Toffee TV?
Has anyone actually subscribed on the official website to ToffeeTV? I mean it must be a very short clip unless they include goals against in which case it may prove to be rather tedious.
J T, London  (22/11/05)



If you thought the season to date was depressing..
If you thought the season to date was depressing then here is more food for thought. In every one of the seasons Moyes has been manager, our performances have tailed off after Christmas. So... that 4-0 defeat by WBA might not be the only record set against the Blues this season.

We cannot survive this season and I would suggest that you all avail yourselves of the 9/1 currently avaialable at Ladbrokes for us to go down.

A message to all of the IMWT brigade - you are not in the real world. Moyes will take us down on past form... but in your views, he will go on to inspire us to FA Cup victory and 6th place in the league. The players are gutless and they preform increasingly like a Division 2 team.

IMWT? ... not I!
Bluer and Bluer, UK  (22/11/05)



Worst ever Everton team
Just as a change from all the letters about our shocking defeat on Saturday, I thought I would try and come up with my all time worst Everton side. I have made my selection based purely on performances in a Blue shirt, ignoring the quality certain players might have shown at other clubs. Perhaps the most worrying thing I noticed after making my selection was that it contains 3 of David Moyes's signings who cost a cool £13M between them, underlining the manager's cluelessness in the transfer market. Here is my team (4-3-3):

Richard Wright; Mark Hottiger, Carl Tiler, Glen Keeley, Kenny Sansom; Gareth Farrelly, Claus Thomsen, Kevin Kilbane; Ibrahima Bakayoko, Mick Ferguson, Bernie Wright. Subs, David Lawson (Goalie); Tony Thomas, Danny Williamson, Brett Angel and last but not least James 'SuperBeats' Beattie!

I feel this team would offer just the right balance of a complete lack of pace, creativity and technique. My captain would be Kevin Kilbane cos he would set the perfect example of a totally talentless footballer.

Any other all time worst Everton sides that people can come up with would be welcome.

ps: Richard Dodd's 'things can only get better' fantasy, and defence of all things David Moyes was surely a wind up? The scary thing is that the only other Evertonian who feels the same way is the bullshitting luvvie who runs our club.
Gaz Hughes, Liverpool  (22/11/05)



A Simple Plan
If our wretched crop of non-entities put their effort into the area that really counts (ie, training) rather than further pissing off Blues everywhere with their platitudes in the media about why this season has gone so horribly wrong, maybe we'd stand a fighting chance of getting out of this fucking mess.

If the club really thinks that sending Bent, Beattie, Weir, or whoever to face the press with their semi-literate clichés equals good PR, then is it any wonder that we're all so annoyed with the way we're patronised?! Bent's recent statement on the Echo's site was a new low, and only made this bluenose's day worse.

Gag these dickheads now!
Andrew Conroy, Stoke-on-Trent  (22/11/05)

Couldn't agree more. They should just shut it and concentrate their entire beings on performing where it counts: on the field!Michael


Untouchable Moyes
How does Moyes get away with it? Are Evertonians so desperate for success that we prefer to pull the wool over our eyes rather than look at his shortcomings? Four years is longer than managers at big clubs get. Why should we be different? No matter how long he stays, his teams will have no attacking flair.
A9 Blue, Liverpool  (22/11/05)

"Desperate for success"??? That's a funny one... people support Moyes out of loyalty, which I would venture is the direct opposite to being desperate for success. Perhaps it's that loyalty which sets us apart from the other 'big clubs' you refer to. It's also desperate loyalty that sees fans return week after week, sure in the knowledge that they will not be seeing any attacking flair from Everton. Who said it was a funny old game? — Michael


Judgement Sunday (continued...)
I agree with Harry Whiting that Sunday will be the first real tester of Moyes's summer purchases. Six or seven weeks ago, I wrote to forecast that, in the absence of Carsley, the MANAGER`S ideal team would line up 4-1-4-1 as:-

Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Krøldrup, Valente; Neville; Arteta, Davies, Cahill, Van der Meyde; Beattie.

It will be interesting to see how close he gets to that although I suspect he will find yet another reason to overlook Kroldrup!

Certainly, we are now at the stage when we can make a balanced judgement and whatever my reservations about Moyes, I do hope it will turn out to be a positive one.
David  Hall, Taunton  (22/11/05)



Goodison Dark
I've just sent this letter to the Liverpool Echo. It will be interesting to see whether they print it:

"The only fleeting moment of compensation on a freezing cold Saturday evening in Birmingham, queuing to be frisked by West Brom stewards before entry into the £30-a-head pen behind the goal, was a brief and enjoyable banter with one of my legendary heroes, Brian Labone. References to his tussles with Jeff Astle and our 6-2 win at the Hawthornes in ’68, are food and drink to the blue army that travel outside of the comfort zone of Directors Boxes.

"The fact that the first goal ought not to have come from a penalty was as irrelevant to our players' abysmal performance as Labone’s presence in the away pen is crucially relevant to locating where the heart of our club beats loudest.

"I suggest the manager and his players get together to write a “never again will we let that happen” letter to the fans before the Newcastle game and then do everything to try to match the efforts and passion of supporters and ex-players like Labone, who genuinely and in the most adverse of circumstances sacrifice so much in our collective dream-world of Nil Satis Nisi Optimum."
Ron Noon, Liverpool  (22/11/05)



Don't get shirty!
After our last visit to the Midlands and a 1-0 win over Birmingham City, DM made the players throw their shirts into the crowd. After Saturday's humiliation I hope he made them throw them in the bin because on that pitiful (lack of) performance they're not fit to wear them.
Robbie Brown, Coleraine, NI  (22.11.05)



Judgement Sunday
This weekend will be the 12th of the Premiership season and at last, long-term injuries excepted, Moyes can choose from a full-strength squad.

Valente is back to full fitness allowing Neville to boss the midfield and, after last week`s debacle, there can surely be no longer a reason to delay the debut of £5M Per Krøldrup. Cahill should be over his jet-lag, Beattie and Van der Meyde have had the run of games they needed, and Davies must by now have `settled in`.

So the stage is set for `Judgement Sunday.` A day to determine whether Moyes`s best are good enough; whether we have cause to believe the nightmare is over... or whether we`re in for a white-knuckle ride all the way 'til May.

Come on you Blues!
Harry Whiting, Nantwich  (22/11/05)

Err... "full-strength squad" ... "long-term injuries excepted" — I'm struggling a bit with that one. But yes, let's raise our expectations to the limit. Why not? What's that Latin thingy say again??? — Michael


He told us so!
I notice from the BBC Radio schedules that we can expect our `old friend` Alan Green at Goodison next Sunday. Instead of the stick which I expected to be giving him I, for one, shall be congratulating him on bring such a perceptive pundit as I go past him for my half-time cuppa. If ever someone had Moyes weighed up he sure did - sad to say!
Martin Watts, Hightown  (22/11/05)



Bucking the trend...
I'm sorry, but it seems to me that most people writing in to this site have never taken to David Moyes. Even last year, it appeared to me that the players got most of the credit for us finishing 4th, and yet this year it is now all the manager's fault and the players are being spared. Is this a valid comment or is it just me?

I'm just wondering if this is a thing unique to this site, because most fans I talk to would appear to still be behind David Moyes, and unflinchingly so. At the end of the day he is not going anywhere, because he has the support of the directors and the majority of the fans, even if lots of people seem to want him out on this site.
Danny Broderick, London  (22/11/05)

I don't think the players got any more credit than Moyes. The fact that "In Moyes We Trust" and its associated acronym were flogged to death and this site was derided by some readers for perpetuating it speaks to the fact that the manager was, to these eyes, getting most of the credit. After all, was it not his 4-5-1 system that was central to last season's success? And is it not his failure to adapt a formation to his new personnel that lies, at least partially, behind this season's spectacularly bad start? Lyndon


How do you title this?
I have been an Evertonian since my birth in August 1960. I am lucky enough to have a somewhat decent memory of recent bygone times.

I remember Jimmy Husband and Johnny Morrisey out on the wings. I remember Gordon West, Tommy Wright, Ray Wilson. Brian Labone, Harvey Kendall Ball, Big Joe, others I don't, from that era.

I remember Dai Davies, Dave Clements, Mick Pejic, Jim Pearson, Mick Lyons Martin Dobson, The Newtons, Big Bad Bob and Dunc (of the time), some good, some awful, some great. I remember Biley, Angell and all of the crap between 1960 and 19/11/2005 and I remember ALL of those managers in charge.

I have seen the best and the worst of Everton sides over the past 45yrs. I thought that I had seen the worst, firstly under Gordon Lee, then Mike Walker, then Walter Smith.

I was wrong.

David Moyes is the worst manager Everton Football Club have employed since 1960.

I have listened to all sides over the past few weeks, but those arguments pale into insignificance. Evertonians have been riding on the back of finishing 4th last season. Good, Great, Fantastic, Superb, ....whatever.

Take a look from January 05 onwards. We are in the middle/beginning/end of our worst set of results since Mike Walker. We have scored fewer goals since MY records have began.

Why are we still singing Moyes praises? He's got red what...his record is shite. WE HAVE SCORED 4 FUCKING GOALS SINCE AUGUST!!!!!!!! (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK -----HELLO ----- ANYONE THERE???) When do we call it a day?

As a good Catholic lad, I hope Moyes goes to Rangers. Not only will he have left here, he will also make Rangers a boring, non-scoring crap team also!

Mark Brennan, Between here and there  (22/11/05)



Steve McMahon....
... as manager of everton you're havin' a laff, Dick Feardon!!
Paul Kish, Australia  (22/11/05)



Instead of the Dogs of War, we've got the Mogs of War - a complete bunch of pussies.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (21/11/05)



Why is it that our players seem incapable of passing the ball to a team mate? How on earth are some of these guys getting paid thousands of pounds a week, when they cannot even kick a ball properly?? I would give my left knacker to run out at Goodison and play for Everton, and these clowns get paid obscene amounts of money for the privelige!!!

No passion, no commitment, no creativity. I recognise that we are never going to play 'total' football, but simple pass-and-move stuff seems far to advanced for our current squad (Arteta excluded), and if lacking in quality, I expect 100% commitment and effort, and all to often this season I have seen nothing. A fucking disgrace.

I don't want to hear David Weir 'apoligising' yet again, just get out on the fucking pitch and do it!!!! (well not Weir — he should be dropped).

We are one third of the way through the season and we have scored 4 goals for Christ's sake! Some of the players need a wake up call, they should put up the league table in training everyday, and if the players don't like it, well only they can do anything about it. It's time to start producing something, before it's to late.
Jimbo Jones, Surrey  (21/11/05)

Has it officially been declared a Crisis yet? I don't think so... — Michael


What did I do?
Wow! Richard Dodd's letter earlier today really told me didn't it!

Yes Mr Dodds, I did see your letter soon after the final whistle on Saturday. In fact it was the absence of any letters with a similar opinion which prompted me to ask my question to ToffeeWeb. I was merely curious to see whether many people had come out to support the manager after the dismal result on Saturday. I was just trying to see if the guys at ToffeWeb had printed all the submissions that had come in – or just the ones that suited them. I was quite satisfied with Lyndon’s answer.

Moreover, you obviously failed to read the bit in my honest, short question that read, 'An honest question, I'm not trying to make a point - just genuinely curious'. Sometimes, you have to take things at face value – there was no hidden agenda.

As for my point of view Mr Dodds, I am unsure as to quite what I think - as are a lot of Evertonians right now. Therefore for you to suggest that I was only reading letters which 'conform to my point of view' is ridiculous – I’m still don’t know what my point of view is. In my humble opinion, both camps seem to have a number of valid arguments. I can accept that if I knew the answers, I’d be running my own football team! Instead I am just another faceless mug who forks out his £400 a year!

We should be sticking together – debate is fine, but at least be sure that the person you are dragging into your little war is up for the fight.

IMWT? I HONESTLY just don’t know.
Wayne Francis, N Wales  (21/11/05)



Not quick enough on his pins
I haven't smiled since Saturday, until I read your excellent mailbag and Noleen Daya's question/statement that "Maybe his [Kilbane's] legs are too long for his body?" I like the way this was posed as a question, as if by identifying it perhaps we can change it. Moyes to KK: "Kev, have you ever thought that maybe..."

I think Noleen's right, but there's no guarantee that if the bottom portion of Zinedine's legs are amputated he'll markedly improve as a footballer. Only pessimists are now thinking 'he couldnt get any worse'.

At least Kilbane tries. Next week: "maybe Beattie's waist is too round for this club?"
Turner Ted, Nottingham  (21/11/05)



Oh my God — I don't like Moyes!
I've always considered myself a Moyes fan, who would defend him and was slightly worried when Rangers were said to be after him (until I actually read the story anyway). But I was talking to some fellow blues today, and some talking points came out:

  1. When did we last come from behind to win? Bolton home last year?
  2. When we went one down on Saturday, I just accepted we would give up and lose, I couldn't see Moyes changing anything but instead doing his usual impression of a rabbit stuck in headlights.
  3. When we play well in the first half but go in level, Moyes just doesn't realise that the opposition manager will react and change things but Moyes will just carry on and expect nothing to change.
I first questioned Moyes in the summer when he gave new contracts to Pistone, Weir, Naysmith and Kilbane. It just struck me that we weren't being ambitous enough but the lads I went to the game with just couldn't see it. Now, all my fears are coming true and I have realised I don't trust Moyes anymore; he has reached his limit and maybe a change is needed. Not that Kenwright will act...
Chris Wright, Chester  (21/11/05)




Where`s the evidence?
I do agree with David Hall and yourselves that in spite of all the indignities we have suffered, there is still massive support for Moyes to remain in charge. But where on earth is the evidence that this man can do anything to turn things round? There is absolutely nothing to bear out the repeated assertion that his signings have improved the squad. How they have come to be Everton players is a mystery when the records show that most of them spent much of last season out injured —and have continued in similar vein once they got here!

Can someone tell me, please, what skill this man has shown in team selection, tactics and substitutions for if there is rhyme or reason behind most of his decisions they are certainly beyond me.

Then we are told he`s a great motivator, able to get players to perform at their absolute peak. Well,if that`s the truth, some of them must be starting from a pretty low base!

So what else has he got going for him?

I put it to you, m`lud, that Moyes is an empty vessel who secured a mega contract from a naive chairman on the strength of one half-season of good fortune. The price Everton will pay for sticking with him will dwarf any severence payment to get rid. Cue for the next Epistle from Rob Fox!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (22/11/05)

Er... He's done it before, so he can do it again? I think that's it. — Michael


Just a thought.
I recall us losing to a bad Man City side the last day of the 2003-04 season and listening to all the bullshit about it not being acceptable and things must change. The top and bottom of it all is that we balls the pre-season up every year and buy last minute. Saturday's result is as dark as the Tranmere defeat. It is obvious by now, despite being a defender himself, that Moyes cannot get this area right. Make no mistake this is HIS team now. Roll on Sunday... I can't wait.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (21/11/05)



Champions League
To all those who continue to go on about DM's brilliance in reaching the Champions League by finishing fourth last year - we did not. We played in a qualifying round, essentially the same as part-timeers TNS did.
Ted Miller, Liverpool  (21/11/05)



Three million reasons
I`m beginning to think that your regular contributor, Richard Dunn, is a scipt writer for Bullshit Billy Productions! There are three million reasons why Kenwright can`t sack Moyes... and they all begin with £!
Paul McEwan, Skelmersdale  (21/11/05)



Time's Up.
I was speaking to a couple of Everton fans in the pub last night. They were trying to convince me everything would come good, and to keep faith .After a few more beers had flowed down, I began thinking they were right: we would turn things round and moyes was the best man for the job; and lardarse would start finding the back of the net. (I was totally bladdered by this point.) I then woke up this morning with a banging headache, and back to reality. Moyes is not a great manager,and never will be.

I know there are plenty of fans out there who would disagree... but they can't keep going back to what he did last season: that's in the past. He has to be judged on the present — and that is simply not good enough for Everton Football Club. You can see where I'm going with this. If you look at the fixtures coming up, can you see where the next points are coming from? Because I can't.

I can see it getting to the point were 4 or 5 teams are stuck down the bottom way behind everybody else and fighting for survival, and Everton being one of them. So maybe it is time for a change to freshen things up; pat Davey on the back and wish him all the best on his way out. I know it's a big ask,but why not try Hitzfeld.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (21/11/05)

Look, 74% of our surfers voted that Davey was the man; Billy even backs him to the hilt. It's upsetting for fans of David Moyes to read this kind of talk; he's going nowhere! Back off!!! — Michael


Big club?
I remember being annoyed by a Man Utd fan just after they won the treble, when he suggested to me we were a big club no longer. Nowadays, I don't think anyone could argue against that statement, and it is not all down to results either.

As good as we are at supporting the team through thin and thin, we repeatedly belittle ourselves with ridiculous behaviour. Think back... Any one of a hundred boardroom struggles, Kendall's sacking, Johnson, Gregg, Samuelson, super-dooper new ground, ticket fiascos, every player bought for too much (unfit) and every one sold for too little (on hire-purchase), etc, etc. You get the drift.

And a large section of the fans are culpable also. The Rooney hate campaign is stupid and self-defeating and believe me, is held up to ridicule by most even-minded football fans. Of course he could have parted with more gratitude, but he was, and still is, a kid for Christ's sake. We should be celebrating the fact that potentially the world's best player came from our ranks, not throwing phones at him and spray-painting his house. It's an embarrassment every time we play Man Utd to see the twisted faces of hate on the terraces. (He left for a bigger club and better career prospects: get over it.) Oh, and by the way, booing your own player will not make him play better, even if it does satisfy some primeval urge, home-crowd take note.

We are rapidly going down the pan on the pitch; at least we could show a bit more dignity and class off it. In short, we are acting like a 'small club' would do.
Mick  Gill, crewe  (21/11/05)

Ouch: not good to start beating up on your fellow fans, Mick: they don't like that, ya know! — Michael


Pass Forwards (and PS Kilbane's rubbish)
Simple idea. Only pass forwards but don't hoof the ball up field. And drop (no, put down) Kilbane and McFadden.
Alan Rooney, Gillingham, Dorset  (21/11/05)

Bang on!


Wake Up!!!
I'm sick and tired of the same old, same old from Everton! The players should be ashamed of themselves for Saturday's lack of performance. Most of them looked absolutely lazy and had no clue what to do with the ball!

Kevin Kilbane is a sorry excuse for a footballer. Maybe his legs are too long for his body? When last did he actually pass the ball to an Everton player??? I feel sorry for Hibbert. He made one little tackle which cost the team when normally he is quite reliable. Granted, he's not the most skilfull or the fastest, but he IS reliable.

As for Beattie - get over yourself! You'll never make England team again and you're a waste of good blue money. By now, you should have shown some punch! Bent is never going to be a striker who scores, Arteta had a bad day at the office but I still rate him.

The management at Everton had better take a serious look at themselves and the players they choose to employ. Stuff being nice and loyal at this stage. None of that's going to pay the rent! Moyes might have been the right man to lead us out of the Walter Smith era, but he is not the man to take us into the next. I say get Guus Hiddink!!!! Look what he did at South Korea, PSV (twice over) and now Aussie. Please don't even talk to me about British coaches — we need some European input at Everton!
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, South Africa  (21/11/05)



Steve McMahon
Steve McMahon is currently manager/coach of Perth Glory 3rd in the rejuvenated Australian A League. He is recognised by players and supporters as a hard task master who stands no nonsense. Playing standards have definitely improved and I would not like for him to depart these shores, but, when talking about possible replacements for Moyes I think Steve could/should be in the frame. When he left Everton for to join Liverpool it was not as I remember entirely of his own choice but rather caused by some Boardroom shenanigans.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (21/11/05)



It's the comedians!
Pretty overwhelming vote of no confidence in DM after that load of bollocks. Just one lone dissenter by the name of Richard Dodd - is he by any chance related to that zany comedian Ken?
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (21/11/05)

I think you'll find there's more than one dissenter. David Moyes continues to have a lot of support, especially from the ones who make the imposrtant decisions. — Michael


Quite possibly...
Relegation is now looking more and more likely than perhaps any of the other seasons where we struggled. I cannot remember an Everton side that looked so incapable of scoring. It really is scandalous.

Leeds United scored 4 times in just over 15 minutes this weekend. That is the same as we've fucking disgraceful. On that stat alone, most managers would have been axed by now. He has no clue about how to win a game. His stall is set out the same every game. Stop the opposition from scoring and try and sneak one ourselves. It doesn't work on either front: we can't score — and we cant stop others from scoring against us.

Shockingly, there are still the band of Moyes supporters who I am certain are keeping this man in a job. The old "I'll never walk away from the job" is very admirable — if there was an iota of a chance of him turning this situation around he'd have a point.

We are poor. Beattie was the biggest waste of £6 million notes I have ever seen. We have a £5M centre half who has yet to play amidst rumours of his playing abilities. The sticking point here is who will replace Moyes? What is Doctor Josef Venglos up to these days?
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (21/11/05)

Moyes is fully suopported by certain key members of the Goodison establishment at this time. His job is quite secure. Hope this helps. — Michael


I was there!
If Wayne Francis bothered to read all your Mailbag and not just those letters which conform to his point of view, he would know that I was in to support the Manager as soon as the final whistle blew on Saturday. Like most Evertonians, I was distraught at losing 4-0 to WBA but only a fool would not realise that the ludicrous penalty, at a time we were playing well, totally knocked the stuffing out of our boys.

Of course this season has been disappointing, but only because our asperations were raised so high following the achievements of the previous year. Surely I don`t have to remind anyone that the architect of that achievement was DAVEY MOYES and that was recognised not only by all but the perpetual moaners for whom Mailbag acts as a magnet but also his fellow managers who, I think you will agree, are nobody`s fools!

Yes,we should have made more progress in Europe, but both competitions came too early for us with a raft of new signings settling in and an injury list of ridiculous proportions. The twisted decision of a certain world-famous referee also had something to do with it, I seem to remember!

It is certainly true that several of the Manager`s signings have still to do themselves justice but who would dare to say that any of them are not far better than those they replaced? No, Beattie has not yet earned his corn but injuries have restricted both his appearances and mobility and given a good run his established class as a striker will begin to pay off.

And what of our league position? Disappointing again to be in the bottom third but take a good look at the table. In truth, we are just TWO bloody points below par (points gained to games played) and if we had already played and won our game in hand we would be in fourteenth position!With no less than 26 games to go, do you not think it`s being stupidly premature and negative to portray the image that we are already doomed?

So please, all Evertonians, get a sense of proportion, keep faith in the general who has shown he can win the battles and who will, I am positive, also win the war against any fear of relegation. COYB!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (21/11/05)

A lot of familiar stuff we've all heard plenty of times before, Richard. Some may feel less aggreived for reading another reminder of these facts, but most are looking for forward steps at this stage: Saturday was definitely a massive backward step and of course all the nerves are going to be set a-jangling once more.

But it is never too early to assess that we may have problems with our league position come May: NOW is the time to start doing something about it! — Michael


I'm not going to cry for the manager's head or start slagging of the players. I think they have got to take the responsibility for the sittuation we are in at the moment; it can't go on for much longer or we WILL get relegated.

I think we can all agree that Moyes is going to be a good manager and the players we have in the (small) squad are of the highest quality we have seen at Everton for a long time. Although Champions League qualification was a high point, one thing to remember is that some of the most embarrassing moments in our history have come in the last couple of years under Moyes: Shrewsbury, Arsenal 7-0, Bucharest, 39 points surival, and now 4-0 Albion. The team under this leadership are adding up more negative points than highs at the moment and it is becoming more and more difficult to remain positive.
Scott Graham, Carlisle  (21/11/05)



Enough is enough?!
After the debacle on Saturday it really is hard to see where this team is going with Moyes in charge. In fact, no, it isn't. With Moyes in charge we are going down. This may come as a shock to those fans who still think we're going to qualify for Europe without scoring any goals, but unfortunately it is a fact. Moyes must be one of the most infuriating managers the world has ever seen. Time and again his decisions beggar belief and just when you think we're getting back on track, bang, you find yourself 4-0 down. At West Brom. A few points to ponder:

1) Do we want a manager who chooses to play Kevin Kilbane (quite possibly the worst midfielder I have ever seen) week-in week-out?
2) I know Beattie was poor against West Brom but why take off your main goalscoring threat when your 2-0 down? Were we trying to defend the two goal deficit?
3) Why did it take Moyes a dozen games to see that 4-5-1 wasn't working? Most fans realised that before the end of last season. Can we stick with a manager who is so slow to notice the problems within the team? If the manager doesn't notice the problems, how can he fix them? (Assuming he has the ability to fix them when he does finally click on).
4) Do we want a manager who is completely unable to motivate his players without taking them to arse around in the Lake District?
5) Do we want a manager who completely disregards the young talent that comes out of the club? Opting instead to play complete clowns like Bent, Kilbane and Ferguson, whilst Chadwick bags another for Plymouth.
6) Who wants a manager who employs the most negative tactics and is an exponent of the most bland, pointless style of football any of us has ever seen?

Having thought about each of these points it is easy to conclude that, like I've said previously, Moyes's time is up. I honestly believe that we have a pretty decent bunch of players - the best we have had in a decade for sure - but they are being forced into remission by the negativity of Moyes and his naïvity. Yes, Moyes led us to 4th in the legue last season, but last season is over, it has no bearing on our future. The Pro-Moyes brigade are quick to throw last seasons aceivements in our faces, but why do they never mention "the forgotten season" of 03/04 when Moyes guided us to our worst ever points total? Blind support will get us nowhere. Constructive criticism and changes will.
Sean , Liverpool  (21/11/05)

Lots to agree with there, Sean. The only point where I'd take issue with you is over youth players. Nick Chadwick hasn't really been setting Plymouth on fire in the Championship. He showed in his last few games for us that he isn't Premiership quality and I think if he had stayed and was being played week-in, week-out, he would be up there with Kilbane and Beattie as the fans' favourite whipping boy. Apart from James Vaughan and one Wayne Rooney, there hasn't really been anyone in the youth ranks who has looked capable of making a splash at the top level in recent years. Lyndon


Independent assessment of the accounts
I have just read with great interest Joe Beardwood's independent assessment of the 2005 accounts.

You say that "Joe's opinion is highly valued but he is not privy to 100% of the information available to the club itself". Was he asked to perform this task in previous years and if so how did he do (with the benefit of hindsight)? Do we have any documentary evidence?
Simon Maslin, Munich, Germany  (20/11/05)

Joe has done similar assessments in recent years, most notably this one (PDF file, not compatible with Safari browsers for some reason) famously concluding that Everton would have to sell Wayne Rooney to survive and that in the season before they went down, Southampton had bigger turnover than Everton.

We're assured that Joe's latest assessment is accurate; the ESA just wanted us to put in the disclaimer that he doesn't have access to absolutely everything, as his investigation was not commissioned by the club. — Colm


Were there any letters to the Mailbag....
....that were not calling for DM's head?

An honest question, I'm not trying to make a point - just genuinely curious!

And yes, yesterday - a disgrace.
Wayne Francis, N Wales  (20/11/05)

And the honest answer is that virtually every single submission we have received since full time has been published. I imagine it would be hard for supporters of Moyes to come out in full support of him after that result, but there are plenty of them in the silent majority, I'm sure. Lyndon


Blown chances
I've been reading this site for over a year now and have to say that Tony Marsh, Mike Price and Gavin Ramejkis are the contributors that consistently talk sense. They saw Moyes for what he is: over-rated, out of his depth and as history will show, the man who blew our biggest chance in generations to move this club forward.

He has blown the Rooney money as well as blowing the chance our fluke season last year gave us. We are now in a worse mess, with terrible, unsellable, immovable players than at any other time in our history.

As an aside, wasn't Moyes supposed to be obsessed about conditioning of players? Well I've never seen such a bunch of unfit, overweight players in my life. When Rooney was with us he was too fat, 3 months at Man U and he was much leaner and fitter. Beattie is STILL clearly overweight, your upper body should'nt jiggle if your an athlete, its an absolute disgrace. VdM is also too fat and most of the others in the team dont have that hard, toned look that you get with players in other teams. Even Steve Watson, the incredible sweating man, looked leaner and fitter yesterday after a few months at West Brom!

Moyes is pathetic. If he doesn't go by Christmas we will get relegated and the utter dross we have playing for us won't get us back up for years to come.
Peter Jones, Canada  (20/11/05)



Blues in a Brown habit

Being an Evertonian in London attracts a mixture of mirth, apathy and occassional sympathy from supporters of the Capital's clubs. Your website and the contents of its mailbag therefore eases some of the pain by allowing us to share in the collective anguish felt by us all last night when the team served up, for me, the worst pile of shite so far this season. That is saying something given the plentiful supply of the brown stuff offered by the men in blue.

I cannot remember the side being so abjectly humiliated by another team equally as bad. Our other crushings in the recent past have come against confident teams with the quality to expose our glaring weaknesses. I was raging after the 7-0 loss to Arsenal but last night, much like the team, I felt all emotion drain away as the Blues hoisted the white flag shortly after the break. Our best players were the non-playing subs.

I fear Moyes has completely lost the ability to influence the team during games: gone is fire and brimstone which helped us salvage some pride against United when we were 3-0 down at half-time. The worst of the performances are now saved for the second period. Where the side was once fit, hungry and determined during the closing stages of matches, it is now complacent, anaemic and apathetic. The qualities instilled by Moyes in the team which made him so admired in the first place are no longer in evidence. What now, Davey?
Amit Vithlani, London  (20/11/05)

What now, Davey, indeed! The time has come and gone when you can try to find reason for backing fully the current management team. Comes a time when facts hit you squarely in the face - whether you're David Moyes or not! Four goals from 1080 minutes of Premiership football this season is a very sorry return. Simply speaking - not good enough. - Colm


No passion.
I have been a long admirer of Moyes and have stuck up for him on numerous occasions when getting absolutely slated by my fellow footballing chums who all support teams like Man Utd, Spurs, Chelsea, West Ham.

Having read the latest comments posted on here my mind is beginning to change to 'sacking David Moyes'. Our calendar record as shown previously, is shocking and results and statistics don’t lie, but having said all this, it is down to the 11 players on the pitch to go and produce and decent performance in front 40,000 fans who save their hard earned money to support the team they love.

They are just not doing it!!! There is no pride, passion, commitment, endeavour, style or flair what so ever and that is what pisses me off the most, more than anything else. The manager can only teach them so much, tell, direct and motivate them to a certain point and the players must do the rest.

We do have some quality players in the side, Yobo, Neville, Arteta, AVDM, Cahill and Beattie!!!! (despite what you say) but we do have some shit and I mean proper shit players who just don’t cut it. (Weir, Kilbane, Bent, Davies, McFadden, Naysmith.

What I’m trying to say is that if the results do continue he WILL get the sack or he WILL resign BUT it is the players themselves who fucking need to wake up and realise that they are in a privileged position and need to start performing!!!! There are 2 players in the side at the moment that plays with the qualities that are needed and that are Yobo and Neville.
Steven Bibby, Dartford, Kent  (05/11/20)



Yet another defender!

Just heard from my brother-in-law, who plays for Hearts, that his team`s centre half, Andy Webster, is all set up to join Everton in the New Year window. He reckons he`s a cracking player who Moyes has targetted because of on-going concerns about Krøldrup`s pelvic condition.

My only question is whether we need any more defenders?Last night`s game showed up very clearly our deficiencies in midfield with Arteta and Davies not physically strong enough against their very competitive Japanese player, Inamoto.

And why can`t anyone take a corner legally - it beggars belief! Cahill was obviously missed but whoever said `never sign Australians` was right because they spend their lives in bloody aeroplanes.

Even if we sign Keane and Ashton at Christmas, if they get no better service than the present `strikers`, we shall never score the goals we need to be safe.

What a bloody mess!
John Mair, Litherland  (20/11/05)

With Davey Weir securing the services of a new agent, what odds on your snippet involving a central defender coming in from Hearts being a direct replacement for the soon to depart: Weir? As for Krøldrup - well, I have to be careful about what I say here but there's a whiff surrounding his arrival in a Blue shirt (or not, as the case may be!). It is rumoured that Mr. Kroldrup is not up to scratch in the aerial department. Could we possibly have another Glen Keeley situation here?! - Colm


Moyes & Beattie

There should now be no debate about whether the manager should go or not. The debate should be who we can get to sort out the mess we are in.

Moyes should go and take the nuisance Beattie with him. How long have we got to put up with humiliating performance after humiliating performance before Moyes supporters and Bill Kenwright realise this club is heading into the Championship?

If Moyes is still here in January, we will have to go through the pathetic nonsense of watching player after player refuse to come to Goodison, while Moyes's 'on-field tactics' just get worse.
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (20/11/05)

You are absolutely spot on with the reference to us being in a mess. Catch 22, can we afford paying off a manager with a tidy contract; and furthermore the under achieving "striker" known as James Beattie? - Colm


A Normal Training Session?

I've been scratching my head watching the game tonight (the abysmal WBA game) thinking "what the hell do these guys do in training?" - I reckon it goes something like this...

Monday Morning

Moyes: "OK, lads I felt some of you faded in the last game so we are going to work on fitness this week."

Team:*collective sigh*

Moyes: "50 laps round the pitch lads, and then i'll see you tomorrow"

Off the players trot

Tuesday Morning

Day off

Wednesday morning

Moyes:" OK lads, seeing as you had a day off yestereday I think we should work on fitness. 50 laps round the pitch please. see you all tomorrow." Off Moyes trots.

Players start round the pitch.

Thursday morning

Moyes:"OK lads, big game this week, against a physical side. I have a master plan of closing them down and making sure they don't get time on the ball, so as a special treat we are going to do 60 laps today. Off you go" Moyes walks off, head down, thinking about the coming game

Friday Morning

Beattie: "Boss, before we start can I just say, I'm very very fit now. Can we work on ball control, shooting, set pieces & defending please? You know like other teams do ... perhaps even passing?"

Moyes starts chuckling: "Who you kidding Beatts>? Fitness is the key, put that ball down and don't touch it again until we kick off tomorrow. Off you go lads, just 40 laps today coz of the game tomorrow.

Saturday morning

Moyes: "OK lads, a bit of light work this morning before this afternoon's game, you know ball control and passing."

All players look at Moyes amazed. Beatts: "You sure, Boss? Nice one!"

Moyes laughs his head off: "Yeah right, lads. I was joking, You know better than that. Off you go. 25 laps, please, and I'll see you at 2.45 for the team talk".

Sunday Morning

Moyes:"OK lads, we was crap again yesterday, we need a clear the air team talk."

Weir: "Yeah, good idea boss. I think we should work on fitness then all our problems will be behind us."

Moyes: "You are the best, Davey, great idea. Will see you tomorrow for fitness training lads". End of meeting

Monday morning .... rinse and repeat.
James Watts, Northampton, UK  (20/11/05)

I take it that the "In Moyes We Trust" mantra has lost its shine? - Colm



This man is not good enough, so why does Moyes keep playing him? Where are the young lads in the reserves? I KNOW there are better performers in the reserves so why not give them a chance on the big stage? I remember this young lad who was brought in for a friendly, no-one knew much about him until that game; his name was Steve McMahon. So give the reserves a chance; they cannot be any worse than Kevin Kilbane.
Colin  Malone, Wirral  (20/11/05)

Steve MacMahon is now retired, I'm afraid! ;-) - Colm


A Magic Spell?

Old Joe Mercer used to say that supporters only judged managers on the result of the last game. I plead not guilty on that score but I do think a manager can be fairly judged on the results of his last forty or so matches!

Moyes's record over that time has been well chronicled here and everyone must know that it makes far from healthy reading. His bewilderingly strange iconic status with Evertonians - many of them friends of mine - seems to be based on the early improvement we saw after he replaced Walter Smith and his gut-wrenching pronouncement that he was joining `The People`s Club.` Then, last season`s fourth position appears to have seen him exulted to the permanent status of an `all-time great`.

After the ignominy of last night`s defeat, I retired in search of sustenance to the Royal Oak on the road into Brum. There I met up with a group of Evertonians, all slagging off the players, Kenwright and Wyness but seeming to absolve `The Moyesiah` of any culpability. Now I`ve been in this situation before so my four-penneth was tentative and along the lines of `Do you think we`ve spent the Rooney money wisely?` and `Why have we signed/re-signed so many serially injured players?`

Getting brave, I ventured onto formations, tactics and substitutions and only then,having solicited some doubts that the Manager can actually walk on water, did I venture to ask, `Is it time for a change?`

At that seemingly sensible question, the third world war broke out with words like `traitorous` and `negativity` probably the most polite. The plaintiff became the defendant in a trice as I was told in no uncertain terms that Moyes is still the best young manager in the game - the Manager of the Year noless! That there is absolutely no-one out there who could do better; that it`s about time the players got their arses into gear and then finally to go and join the gob-shites on the Kop!

Needless to say, I exited swiftly as I began to realise that `We love you Davey, we do` was not being sung entirely for my benefit!

Can somebody please explain what magic spell our Manager has cast over the great majority of our faith? I suspect even the Archbishop of Canterbury would be interested to know his secret!
David  Hall, Taunton  (20/11/05)

He's got red hair, David! This calendar year alone, our record reads: P 30 W 9 D 3 L 18 F 26 A 45 Pts 30 (GD - 19). Nil satis????? - Colm


Moyes Out!

Manchester City 5 - 1, Arsenal 7-0, Bucharest 5-1, West Brom 4-0.

These are just a few of the most embarrassing results I can remember in recent times all under David Moyes. For the last two I have watched the games on TV in a room full of red gobshites who never go the match, so its fair to say my state of pissed-offness was heightened.

I have finally gone against a lot of my blue friends (the Moyesiah's disciples) and started to give the Moyes Out shout, too late maybe. The fact is any manager is capable of taking this Everton side and getting a few hard earned 1-0 wins out of them, any manager could do that: fact. But I doubt it is possible to say that any manager could field an Everton side which is capable of every game, being completley turned over and embarrassed as this Moyes side is.

Moyes substitutions yesterday once again made no sense to me. The load of shit that is Beattie should have been left on in place of Bent because he is more likely to score than Bent. Moyes should also grab Beattie by the neck an tell the flash twat to stop robbing the free kicks off Arteta, that's what managers are there for isn't it?! We can see that the problem is Weir, Kilbane, Davies, McFadden and Bent so why cant Moyes?

Kenwright wont sack Moyes anyway so maybe Moyes will resign. Who will replace him? I would take George Burley right now — we need the honeymoon results period to keep us out the bottom three for Xmas.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (20/11/05)

Howard Kendall Mk IV anyone?! - Colm


Roy Keane for Player-Manager?

I'm not actually one of the Moyes out brigade but I thought I'd throw an off-the-wall idea into the pot for debate.

Someone on here compared David Moyes to George Burley a couple of weeks back and I think that's spot on. DM is definitely a good manager and his class will tell in the long-term — at Everton or maybe elsewhere. But like George Burley at Ipswich when things started to go wrong it was hard to pull things round — the old cliche of 'losing the dressing room'.

Keane would command respect from the players, would motivate them, would take no shit from prima-donnas and his name alone would be able to attract new blood in January. As I say I'm not against Moyes but I think these may be some of the problems Everton are now facing and Keane may provide a solution sufficient to keep us in the Premiership come May.

He may be reluctant to come to crap like us as a player but maybe the carrot of cutting his managerial teeth may offer him an attractive challenge.
Mike Stevenson, Reading, UK  (20/11/05)

You were right in your first paragraph: it is an off-the-wall suggestion. Roy Keane - great player in his prime. Roy Keane, today - an ageing overpaid injury prone player who uses the media to suit his personal agenda. Mr Keane - there is no "I" in T-E-A-M. No thanks, Mike! - Colm


What do you expect?

Everyone knows what our problem is: scoring goals! But what do you expect when we don't buy a striker? Moyes had 3 months to sign a striker an tried to do it on the last day, and people wonder why he gets called Dithering Dave! Robbie Keane is a brilliant player who scores goals whoever he plays for... so why wait so long to go for him?

He didn't want to sign a striker because he didn't want to be proved wrong that Beattie was a waste of money, but if he had done something about it we would have accepted it because we all make mistakes. But now maybe it's too late. Now we are stuck with 'a 20 minute player', a 'headless chicken' and a £6M flop. Where are the goals going to come from? And remember, we have still got to play Liverpool and Man Utd before January! It's gunna be a long Xmas!!
Ryan Barton, Walton  (20/11/05)

Now is the winter of our discontent then?! - Colm


moyes its gone to far!

i haven't missed an away game this season but i just want to say i have never been more embarrassed to be an evertonian! we were an absolute joke. thousands travelled to west brom (the midlands was the coldest in england yesterday)and the players couldn't even be bothered trying, do they really deserve to get paid this week?

moyes will go soon because he can't handle pressure he will take the easy way out and go to rangers. there is just no loyalty in football anymore everything is about money the only loyal people in football are the fans!!!!!!!!
Ryan Barton, liverpool  (20/11/05)



Truth bites you on the backside

As soon as I heard we had conceded a goal yesterday I said to my family this will be three or four nil, they all laughed and I said can any of you remember the last time Everton came back from a goal down? Can you all remember how after one goal we usually fold heads down and get tonked? An eerie silence at the end of the game then when it was four to a frankly mediocre West Brom.

You can harp on as much as you like about Dermot "should have gone to Specsavers" Gallagher's decisions but they would only be one maybe two goals, they still scored two others, did Beattie cup his ears to the away supporters this week after he was beaten time after time, I bloody think not.

The Brazilian national squad has used the same ethos about games since it's birth and are the most successful national side on the world stage; they dont care if anyone scores past them and to be honest their defence has always been ropey as they will just take the ball up the other end of the pitch with style and flair and score more goals than they conceded and win games. Style and flair, I'm old and lucky enough when that meant something and Everton actually had style and flair players unlike our current pub side carthorses.

Mr Moyes' tactics are a naive attempt at stopping other sides scoring with no response whatsoever having gone a goal down, a tactic that simply hasn't worked for nearly a year, the players he puts faith in week in week out such as Kilbane and Beattie are simply shite, before anyone says wait until January I made a posting months ago saying who would come if we were bottom and who could we afford in a World Cup year with over-inflated agents prices? Dream on you blinkered fools.

The game yesterday showed Everton and David Moyes' lack of spine and guile, the apologies should be to the travelling fans and home fans that pay for this substandard mockery of entertainment week in week out.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (20/11/05)

And another nail in the coffin. Anyone else notice Leeds United scoring as many goals in fifteen minutes yesterday, as we've scored in twelve games thus far! - Colm


I'm sorry but that was disgraceful. To lose to an absolute bag of shite in that manner is inexcusable.

I admit there were some terrible decisions but we were woeful, nothing less !

Sure we missed Cahill, but please Kilbane can't hit a bull's arze with a shovel.

I've never seen such a waste bof dspace in my life.

Seriously, if we don't make some signings in the window we are going south. Accept it!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (20/11/05)

Scott, if we're in the bottom three at Christmas, no one decent is going to want to come. It's a downward spiral; the time to make the big signings was in the summer. Lyndon


Had enough
Just watched the latest offering from our so called football team. IMWT? I don't think so. This has to be the worst performance I have ever seen, and I saw a few before I emigrated in 82. Why oh why do you guys put up with it week in week out? I reckon it's about time for a few protests, what about at next week's game as the team runs out everybody turns their back on the players as gesture to Moyes and Kenwright for the consistent rubbish we have to take week after week? I know it sounds a bit childish, but this way we could still get a full house but still show our anger at what is going on.
Rob Harrison, Johannesburg  (19/11/05)



Can it get any worse? Undoubtedly, under this moron of a manager it can and will. West Brom fans laughing at us...Championship...your 'avin a larf! Trouble is they're right..the sooner Moyes pisses off back to Scotland and takes Irvine, Weir, Naysmith, Kilbane and the ludicrous James Beattie with him, the better.

The football we play is stunningly inept and ugly, the players he's signed or re-signed are a sick, sick joke...and yet we still have the seemingly endless supply of Evertonians supporting this fool! What more needs to be done to convince people that we are heading DOWN.

My only hope is that it gets so stupidly bad that he falls on his own sword; I'm hoping that this so called man of honour does the right thing and, realising he is so far out of his depth, heads for Scotland or the lower reaches of England.

He's like a f**king stupid P.E teacher...we get a few lucky results but he won't change a 'winning' I'll keep an over the hill, slow, crap, charisma-less captain in the team, whilst the player I paid 5 million for waits for his chance. Just like Wenger does when Henry is fit again!!! Could anybody be worse than Kilbane and he's with us for 2 more years after this, because 'crazy eyes' rates him as a footballer!! For God's sake WAKE UP before its too late.
Mike Price, Thailand  ()



We just didn't play
Just back from the game and Tony Marsh will have a field day. Everything about us was on the bad side of terrible. The line up, the tactics, the substitutions allied to the anonimity of most of the players led to a 4-0 reverse.

I made my M.O.M. Tony Hibbert purely for the fact he seemed the only player proud of the Blue shirt. Forget the penalty that never was, that wasn't the reason for the defeat. WE JUST DIDN'T PLAY.

Next week will be another different game and maybe a different display but as it's at home we need to win it because many more of todays performances and we will be right in it. Gutted at the moment but will be there next Sunday willing them on. UP THE BLUES
Ken  , Buckley  ()



I almost wasn't going to write this.
Our latest pathetic performance has sapped my confidence in what now appears to be a forlorn hope that things will improve. Instead of submitting a list of grizzles I will instead shoulder my big Blue cross, find a quiet spot and have a good cry.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (19/11/06)

I don't think you'd be alone their, Dick. Lyndon


We are just so fucked up!

Another defeat, this time at the hands of WBA. For all of us whom have watch the match, would have agree with me, we are just so fucked up!!! This reminds me of Walter Smith's last match, FA cup 3-0 defeat to Boro. That game, after Boro scored, the whole game we were just playing for the whistle to go, get the hell off the field, no level of commitment, no desire to win at all....

I'm not a glory hunter, neither am I asking for the sky; every team loses, the important thing is, the manner that we lost the game. There are so many occasions where we lost a match but we so gallantly (4-3 to Man Utd 02/03, 4-3 to Arsenal same year, 2-1 to Newcastle, and more recently, the defeats to Chelsea last season). That is what made us so proud to wear our blue jerseys; we are not the big guns in England, but a team that people respect beause of our hunger, determinaion, workrate.... this season, we lost them all..

David Moyes: a fluke season does not mean that lady luck would be with us forever, his persistence to play ultra-defensive football has made us the joke of the league — 4 goals in 12 games? Even Swindon Town did better in 93/94... Unless he understands the fact that to win a game, you need a goal, he should leave before he brings us down this season...

Nigel Martyn: Good talent for a 39-year-old, cannot really blame him for the fall our team, has been a great servant since joining us, but how much longer can we depend on him?

Tony Hibbert: Very hard woking full back, good tackler, but unbelievably bad passer of the ball! The moment he gets he ball, he whacks it up hoping for a defensive mistake from the other side. Hibbo, it's just not working... Not a good crosser, and doesn't offer support on the overlap often enough...

Phil Neville: Perhaps one of the only few players wearing the shirt with pride, always wanting to bring the team forward, but somehow, the rest just prefer not to join in the attack. Good leadership, hard-working, model professional, our next captian without a doubt... That is if can we stay in the league to see that day....

Joseph Yobo: another quality player we have, classy defender, who has become more mature and not so error prone, but to be fair to him, Stubbs was full of errors as well, if you can recall... The only diffence being when Yobo makes a mistake, it results in a goal; Stubbs's mistakes didn't... Overall, our only and most decent centre-back... Another one we must keep at all cost.

David Weir: age is certianly catching up on him, good reader of the game, but no pace at all... Clueless and helpless when marking pacy players like Robben and Henry.. time is really up for Weir to go, old is not gold in fooball.

Andy van der Meyde: good crosser, holds on to the ball well, our only creative player, our season and premiership status depends alot on him. Where are we gonna end up in May? He is a big factor. Important thing now is for AvdM to get it, lose a few pounds, and maybe things can change.

Mikel Arteta: Must be feeling frustated every time he drives forward, only to realise no teamates are around to support him. To fully use him, we must offer support, back up his runs and offer him options inside the box, otherwise, even David Beckham's crossing ability is of no use at all...

Simon Davies: Very disapointing player, not a shadow of what made him the player he was at Spurs: poor passing, lousy crossing, unable to mark, tackle, not supporting attacks; headless chicken roaming around not knowing what to do at all...

Kevin Kilbane: The only reason I can think of why this man is still a EPL player is because he is in Everton! our worst player for as long as i can remember, lazy, slack, can't dribble, can't pass (the backpass to Earnshaw, need i say more?), just a player that screws our team up, please, get RID OF KEVIN KILBANE!!!

James Beattie: i used to be a big fan of beattie, i even had a jersey on his name the second day we sign him, but not anymore, gone were the days where we can see a James Beattie scoring for fun, left foot, right leg, anywhere. What we have now is an unfit, fat, slow, unconfident beattie whom tries so hard but loses himself as a player he was. All we can hope now is he does deliver, 10 league goals for his season would be a massive return, and hopefully gets himself shaped up and fit, then maybe we can keep him for another year or two...

Marcus Bent: a player we can love and hate. Love, for his determination, workrate, heart and hunger everytime he goes on the pitch. hate, for is unbelievable poor ball control, amatuer shooting and ability to hold up balls. How many times had we seen him gets the ball, loses it the less than a second? Countless... just a back up player at most, never should be our first choice striker...

I love my Everton like everyone of you guys, it really breaks my heart to see us becoming like that, i want my team to progess, like i say, we don't have to win the league (we can't anyway), i just hope to see a fighting everton which never gives up no matter how bad th situation is, that was what made us so special, isn't it?
TB Ng, Singapore  (20/11/2005)

Frustrating times indeed Sir. - Colm


So before it all kicks off again, any fair-minded observer watching tonight`s game on Prem Plus will know that Everton were cheated tonight by a referee whose idea of the penalty area extended at least two yards beyond the legal line!

First he gives a penalty which never was, then totally ignores their goalie handling outside the area. On such decisions are games decided. To be cheated twice totally knocked the stuffing out of our lads who,up to that first decision, were putting up a spirited performance.

So please all true Blues keep the faith-remember we`ve still gained seven points from the last four matches-and that ain`t relegation form. IMWT!
Richard  Dodd, Formby  (19/11/05)

Let's be honest, Richard. When you lose 4-0, the odd refereeing decision, no matter how bad, doesn't come into it. We got hammered because we were appalling. Lyndon


Oh, My God.

4-0! to Arsenal? , Man Utd? even Liverpool? No, 4-0 to West Brom! It's beyond my ken. The revival(Ha! Ha! Ha!)? Put into it's true perspective. We last scored two goals in a game when we lost to Bolton at the end of last season, we last scored two goals and WON when we beat Newcastle on 7th May. We last scored four goals on April 10th and then we beat the mighty Crystal Palace.

To be brutally honest, after watching that, I simply despair. Fifty plus years and that was there along with our defeat by Arsenal in the late fifties by 6-1, by two defeats by Liverpool by 5-0 (and by last season's 7-0 by Arsenal) but I was present at the other disasters. I even remember the Everton defeat at Spurs by 10-4, but spurs were , at least, starting a great era. I don't think West Brom are, despite the presence of such luminaries as Watson and Campbell.

Give me a clue Mr. Moyes! Please, go to Rangers. Or Q.P.R. or even Stafford Rangers. This is not acceptable. We are the "School of Science", "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" etc.. The club of Dean , Young, Ratcliffe and Rooney.

Please,this is totally unacceptable, and before one of your editors tells me that I have to live in the present, let me remind you, this is Everton, the proudest name in the history of World Club football.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (19/11/2005)

I concur with your grander sentiment - this is supposedly Everton. Nil Satis (ad lib to fade)... Unfortunately, the problems facing Mr. Moyes and his team of overpaid under achieving gobshites tends to deflect somewhat from the gross abdication of duty and faith supposedly invested in our current custodians, whose duty it is to haul the Club back to those heady days of yore. Instead, we're all at the mercy of the man with the trainset. Hiya Bill! - Colm


Europe here we come

To everyone who has "crowed" about the wonderful Everton revival please think again. We were shocking again today, 4 nil to Albion!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good God we never ever looked like scoring and the play was shite!!!! I'm off out on the piss thank god, but when i wake up tomorrow we will still be crap but im sure "more work on the training ground" will sort it. Moyesey looks furious after the game.

Well Davey, im not too happy either
John Audsley, Leeds  (19/11/05)

Rest assured John....with some "more work on the training ground" we'll sort it out. Mind the hangover! - Colm


What the hell happened?
Answers on a postcard to Mr Moyes.
Dave Moore, Cornwall, England  (19/11/05)

We got tonked. - Colm


Moyes must go now

After tonights load of shite no one now can defend Moyes.We our heading out of the top flight with this fool in charge. Being out played by West Brom is bad enough but watching the club disintergrate week by week is far more worrying.

It is now time for Bungalow Bill to act.How can this situation be allowed to continue. Get rid off Moyes before it's to late.

This site said last week it was utter nonsense to suggest our season was over all ready. Well it looks over to me unless you consider going down an achievement

The whole club is being destroyed and no one is prepared to do anything about it.I bet there are still foolish people out there backing Moyes even now.

Dont blame the players its not there fault they are not good enough for the premier league. Any one can see how sub standard they are.Who was it that signed them,Moyes so blame him.

We have no tactics other than hit and hope.No players who can score goals.No one to lead out on the pitch and no one capable of changing a game but still we persist with the same flawed game plan every week.

Any one thinking that there are worse teams than us in the league so we will stay up think again.Only sunderland look worse than Everton at the moment.

I have been accused of negativity recently on this site,can any one blame me now.If Moyes stays after this shambles then get ready for a taste of coca cola.

Moyes out or we go down its as simple as that.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (19 Nov 05M)

In Moyes we plod! Never dull being a Blue! - Colm


False Dawn

Just switched off the game at 3-0 down. A wretched performance from a wretched team. Those people who claimed we had turned the corner after two narrow unconvincing wins are the same apologists who tell us what a great manager Moyes is. He isn't, he is a man who is living off the back of half a good season.

I wanted to urge caution about our so-called revival before todays shambles but I knew that the 'Moyes Mafia' would shout me down.

The reality is that a fellow struggling team has taken the piss out of us today. We will be in a relegation battle this season and I would be more than happy to see Moyes slouch off to Rangers.
Gareth H, LIverpool  (19/11/05)

When the wheels come off at Goodison, they truly come off! Problems will continue at Goodison so long as we remain in the hands of a rather inept Board, no matter who the manager may be? Moyes' time to go? Possibly. - Colm


Can I start getting my hopes up that your rumour mill entry of the 08/11/05 might actually come true?. Maybe Phil Neville can put a good word our way. Ferguson and Keano, what an explosive combination. Dont think we would be winning many fair play awards.
Allan Price, Shrops  (18/11/05)

One word answer? NO!!! Hang on a sec' - maybe "our Phil" could put in a good word and pave the way for Rooney's return. - Colm


The cretin's club

Dave Charles - are you for real? Do you actually believe Rooney, Kenright & Co sit around in a cave trying to hatch dastardly plans to 'do' over Everton?

One of the qualities that many Evertonians pride themselves upon is that although we may not have all the trappings and trophies of the big 3, nor the money & media affection lavished upon the geordies, kopites or the boro we like to think that we have a bit about ourselves. IE that we're no mugs and won't be taken in by some of the sh!te that other supporters stand (Portsmouth fans cheering like crazed cultists when Arsenal beat them at home for example).

But anyway Dave I guess your reaction (and to be fair to you the reaction of many other mailbaggers)to what ever rubbish the tabloids spew shows that that perception of ourselves is as realistic as the rubbish you've been spouting.
Dominic Buckley, Manchester  (16/11/05)

Ouch! Back of the net! - Colm


Congratulations Tim!
I am rarely happy to see Australia win at anything but I am so pleased they defeated Uruguay and that our own Tim Cahill is going to Germany next summer. Despite the fact it means yet more football for him he truly deserves the opportunity and I wanted to pass on my congratulations, I am sure even the most hardened of our anti-international team Evertonians can't begrudge Cahill this one.
Richard Williams, New Canaan, USA  (16/11/05)



Is Rooney forgiven now.

Not by me he isn't. I don't care if he asks about Everton results. Is he shite a Blue at heart. He's a typical mercenary footballer who fucked his club off. His head was easily turned in other directions and he gave no thanks to the club that got him on his way.

He certainly enjoyed horseheads goal in the first game of the season. The reaction and photos of the fans showed me he will never be forgiven. Some Blue he is and his mate Stubbs. Did Kenwright ask Stubbs to smuggle him out of Bellfield and take him to Old Trafford.....I don't think so.

As for 'THE TRUTH'. Well what is the truth. After a rumour of a £50k backhander, that 'TRUTH' soon went quiet. Don't blame Kenwright at every opportunity. He wanted him to stay like the rest of us but the player himself asked to leave.

I will never believe players who say they love our club, especially the local ones. MacMahon, Jeffers, Rooney and Stubbs to an extent have all professed their love of this club and all shaffted it when they didn't get their own way.

Rush, Fowler, MacManaman, Owen and Carragher all get stick about being young Blues. They chose to go to Liverpool because the Everton scouting system allowed them to slip through the net. I once heard Carragher waited and waited for Everton to make a move but Everton said no.

Now I believe a young JP Kissock is our next hope. I won't build my hopes on a player ever again. I hope he does well for us and gives us a chance. Unlike one or two others.

I can smell the agent now.
Dave  Charles, Liverpool  (16/11/05)

Personally, I'd like to thank Wayne Rooney for eventually playing ball with all parties and submitting his transfer request when he did. His sale, in case you hadn't noticed, bailed Everton FC out of a dire financial mess. Furthermore his sale has allowed our CEO to dress up a £100k profit this past year into something much more. Who knows, if our Chairman et al had insisted on the boy staying at Everton we might now be in the hands of an administrator. Or possibly a man now selling dog food, I believe, and occasionally making the inside pages of Private Eye: a Mr. Christopher Samuelson and his Fortress Sports Fund chums.... - Colm


Deja vue Mark 2
The return of the old guard 'yes men', no doubt soon to become the recognised voice of Everton shareholders, says it all about the demise of our once great club! Dare to hold a view that is contrary to 'the party line' and you'll be marginalised so fast you`ll be lucky to get called for the third plane to fly to Europe! Sometimes I wonder why any of us bother.
Harry  Meek, Worcester  (16/11/05)

Tut! Tut! Such cynicism, Harry! I find it quite admirable that a group of people (professional people), upon being democratically replaced, under their own constitution, choose to turn their back on the oldest Shareholder Association in the history of English football. With the Club continuing to treat small shareholders with disdain is it any real surprise to read of Mr. Wyness embracing this motley crew with open arms. Nice seats in the Director's Box await! Whatever floats yer boat, Mr. Lewis... - Colm


and there's more....
When told 1-0 to the Blues, our hero is alleged to have been recorded by an unconfimed but previously sometimes reliable source (not documented, before you ask) to exclaim `bastards! I had 50k on the Boro'
Fred Armstrong, Southampton  (16/11/2005)

Freddie Starr once ate my hamster. Fact. It was in The Sun... - Colm


Deja Vu
Its all coming back to me now and I am starting to get Kev Sprakes drift. 30-yard screamers are just down the road - there's another teenage genius coming over the horizon - the glory days are just around the corner. I can't wait for the backpass....
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (16/11/2005)



Indigestion in the Premier league
Colm Kavanagh's article is a common-sense tour de force. I first went to Goodison Park with my late father in 1953, or was it 54? Tommy Eglington's rare headed goal saw off mighty Arsenal before 69,000 enthusiasts. I never missed a game until I left the UK in 1966. My first action on every Sunday morning since has been to turn on the BBC World Service to see how the Blues have gone. When I [very emotionally] returned to Goodison in 2003 after nearly 40 years in Australia, my very first comment concerned the age of the crowd - no lads, to speak of; all old blokes like me. The price of admission utterly staggered me, now a very-comfortably off Aussie. What that price would have done to the young working class lad that once was me I shudder to think. Well, I just wouldn't be able to go would I?

This very day, one of my own sons and his mates have headed for Stadium Australia in Sydney for this country's biggest football game in years - the second leg World Cup eliminator against Uruguay. He has paid FAR, FAR less than a base ticket for a club game in England, for a prime seat at a huge occasion.

From where I sit here, I find it absolutely amazing that ANY major football competition anywhere can operate without a salary cap. Colm made sensible comments about the NFL. The same could be said of the Australian Rules [AFL] and Rugby League {ARL] competitions in this country. Both provide superb-standard games between very well-matched sides. There is rarely much between all but the bottom two or three clubs. Last season, EVERY team was within four wins of the top way past mid-season. A side that wins the competition in successive seasons is an absolute rarity and is seen as very much the exception and an all-time champion outfit. This season's NRL, for example, saw the previous year's top two teams finish in the bottom half. The winner this year finished in the bottom half the year before. Almost nobody expects them to win again next season.

Most sports-minded people I know here have always seen 'UK soccer' as great sport. It's been very popular TV fare... until now. Increasingly, I am hearing comments like 'a farce', 'just about money' and 'are they football clubs or clothing retailers?'. Debt and living beyond your means has become a societal evil everywhere. It can't go on forever. Eventually, there will be 'tears before bedtime'. The Premier League should reform itself now before greed and gorging induce the inevitable day of reckoning. We all have to pay for our self-indulgence one day.
Phil Teece, Canberra, Australia  (16/11/05)



I cannot believe that David Moyes has not commented on the Rangers affair, he has received total loyalty from the thousands of Blues who have watched the team through "Thick and thin". The proper and respectful comment should of been "I am currently manager of a massive club who enjoys support which is second to none, and I have no desire to pit my wits against feeble opposition who "RANGERS" are currently struggling against. David I must say managing Everton is an honour of the absolute highest order, however if you are partial to the easy option, "TAXI FOR MOYES".
Frank Burrage, Northwich  (15/11/05)

Now who's being silly? First off, why even take the slightest bit of notice??? The journo hack made it up! David Moyes should absolutely NOT comment at all. No way. He deson't need to say a thing. And any fan who is even remotely fazed by the so-called "speculation" needs to get a grip. End of. — Ed


Is there anything substantial to that rumour about Rooney's bugged comment in the Utd dressing room, or is it urban myth? If true, I'll maybe soften my attitude. But somehow I doubt if there is any real evidence for it.
Brian  Denton, Liverpool  (15/11/05)

Let's see... it was in a newspaper? Does that count as evidence? Or urban myth? On the Alan Nixon scale of truth and honesty, where would you put this?

Brian, I think it is more about what you want to believe, or don't want to believe. The idictaions are out there to be accepted or rejected. We have already had Stubbs saying how Rooney wanted to attend a derby game last season. But you can't force it down the throat of fans who have convinced themselves he is — how does it go again? — a fat greedy Shrek-headed mercenary bastard who dumped Everton in the shit. Did I get that right? — Ed


Moyes to Rangers
To me this makes no sense whatsoever; however, for Wyness to come out and comment he is obviously worried about the possibility. For what it is worth, I believe Moyes is in here for the long term. If it was Celtic showing interest I may be a little concerned... but Rangers? no way!
Richard Williams, York  (15/11/05)



The Rooney & Moyes Show
The boy Rooney had to go really, I'd say. He was and is a step up from what EFC could and can provide at the moment. He will always be a Blue but he has made a career move that is good for him and for England and at the right time. Was very sad to see him go but good luck to him. I'm sure you all hope he is on top form come Germany in the summer? He was the dogs nads against the Argies.

Speaking of nads, and so is Moyesey. Top Manager who is building the team nicely, albeit it with a few frustrating moments along the way, but for him too! We are 3 or 4 quality players off a very good side and Moyes will get us there. We just gotta be patient. I dont doubt the man.
Kieran Doyle, Hong Kong  (15/12/05)

"We are 3 or 4 quality players off a very good side" — isn't that the Liverpool mantra? I never thought I'd hear the day...


Fingers crossed
Just seen the report in the Mirror but it can't be true can it? Is it? Just think; we can offload DM and actually get paid for the pleasure - now where are my Rosary Beads.
ps: Tony Marsh for Prime Minister.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (15/11/2005)

Okay now... deep intake of breath... and... HOLD IT!


The media are at it again
When are the members of ‘The Anti Everton Brigade’ in the media going to give it a rest? Moyes to Rangers is the biggest pile of nonsense I have ever heard. Do these hacks honestly think that people are going to believe a word they write when they are basically saying that Rangers are going to run the risk of starting a riot in Glasgow by going for a Celtic man? They are pathetic.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (15/11/05)

Alan Nixon is sadly prone to making outrageous predictions... — Ed


Rooney always welcome at his spiritual home!
When Man U's dressing room was bugged for the Chelsea game, the tape recording showed that Wayne Rooney's first words when he returned after the match were 'How did Everton get on?' or words to that effect.

I genuinely think he is a Blue for life and should be welcomed back as such every time he plays at Goodison Park. I sill don't believe he was the main motivator behind his move.....the finger of suspicion on that count points firmly in the direction of Bankrupt Bill.
Brian Finnigan, Liverpool  (14/11/05)

But a lot of people just don't want to know, and so cannot even contemplate the thought that he could still be a Blue at heart. Which is sad. You'd think Everton fans would be one step up on the rest but they have been suckered into spouting bile at the lad. I am sure he did not want to leave, but was driven out by a combination of circumstances, not least his agent and an entourage of pundits. But falling out badly with David Moyes (undocumented, before you all start) was I feel the key. And Blue Bill saw his chance to capitalize ("Not for sale at £50M" yeah, right, Billy).. and the rest is a sad litany of history.


Ian Burns
Ian Burns not only never made it into the first team, he never made it into the reserves as far as I an tell from programs of the era. He was on the books in his teens as an apprentice, as they called them in those days. He is 57 so this would have been the mid-Sixties. He suffered a serious leg injury and that put paid to his Everton career. He never even signed as a pro, so to call him an "ex-Everton player" is a gross exaggeration.
Peter Fearon  (14/11/05)



Earth calling Sparke
In reply to Kevin Sparke [Again] While I admire Kev's rosey outlook on matters concerning Everton Football Club, I certainly don't agree with much of what he has to say.

Okay we are definetly not a big five club any more but we are certainly in the top ten. Our average attendance is seventh in the list so we must be the seventh biggest club. What I want is the Board and Management to act as if we are.

This year we have spent more money than Man Utd on players but we seem to be going backwards. To be happy with our current situation Kev sets his standards for our club a lot lower than me. Our season is over already and it's only early November but Kev thinks we should be jumping through hoops. According to him we are improving. I am sorry Kev but I just don't see it. Clubs that for years we have regarded as Mickey Mouse are starting to pull away from Mighty Everton both on and off the field. Clubs like Charlton Bolton, Middlesbrough, and even little old Wigan from a rugby town are playing in brand new stadiums. They are playing football that makes us look like Graham Taylor's Watford and it's to much to take for most of us but Kev's happy with it.

It hurts me to see us in the shit once again and I can't take any positives out of the past twelve months. We were dreaming of playing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid a few months ago; now instead we are keeping an eye on West Brom's and Sunderland's results; some improvement that is, Kev!

I don't have any idea what we as a club can do to address this slide into the widerness. One thing is for sure though: playing football the Davey Moyes style will get us nowhere. It has as much appeal as a dog turd on your brand new rug and puts years on me to watch it.

I can't understand why we don't have more local talent in our squad. I think Davey prefers second-rate jocks than local lads and it's a disgrace. Take a look around the leagues and you will see players from Merseyside dominating the headlines.

Gerrard, Carragher, Rooney, Nolan, Barton, Trundle the list is endless. We even gave Barton away and told him he wasn't going to make it. We have great local talent at our disposal but we don't utilise it. No one can tell me there are no local lads who could not do a better job than some of the shite we have in our squad now.

The truth is, Kev, we have a clueless chairman, and a clueless manager who between them will ruin us. This is the worst double act since the Krankies and believe me it can only get worse with them in charge.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (14/11/05)

Plenty of negativity there to shake a stick at. Some outright nonsense too.

1) This 'Big Club' bollocks... since when was that defined by avearge attendances of all things? If you spend more on new players than 'The Biggest Club', doesn't that mean something?

2) To state that "Our season is over" is utter stupidity.

3) The number of players coming through our academy over the years is better than most, so the local talent issue is a bit off the mark.

And if you really believe both the Chailrman and the Manager are "clueless", you have a long and painful road ahead of you as an Everton supporter: read this bit carefully: They are both going nowhere at the moment.


And Nothing But.....
James Mathews in his piece mentions as examples of Moyes's competence in the transfer market the signings of Krøldrop and Cahill. This annoys me as Krøldrop at £5M is hardly a snip and has yet to play a first team game some three months into the season. Cahill may have proven to be a good signing but we seem to forget that if it wasn't for the Crystal Palace chairman throwing a wobbler, albeit over a worthwhile principle, Cahill would not now be an Everton player. It may raise a few hackles but Everton's transfer history under Moyes also includes amongst those exiting the names Rooney and Gravesen, regardless of the reasons.

Are these reasons for getting rid of Moyes? In an earlier posting I said that three goals in the next four games should be enough for him to be kept on and in fact there has been three in three games. Hopefully, the idea that scoring goals improves your chances of winning games has sunk in and we shall see more enterprising football for the rest of the season. It's just a pity that the start of the season was so important.
Thommo   (13/11/05)



Don't do it!
I hope it's not true and that we're not really interested in Dean Ashton. I'm sure he's decent,and I would prefer him to the 'fat talker'. Trouble is, it's too late now; fatso's on a long-term deal and the next player we sign has got to be fast, even if he's crap he's got to be fast!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (13/11/05)



The yin and the yang
In this lull between games I am enjoying the Marsh pessimism along with the Sparke optimism, in fact I think they are both right because to me the problem lies with the club itself. We are unable to sign top-notch players and more of a worry is the fact we can't hold on to top-notch players that we have nurtured.

That leaves us in the position we find ourselves in, with peak and trough seasons. It ensures us fanatical Blues are either on Cloud Nine or fumbling with the worry beads, sometimes from game to game — never mind season to season. Until the club can reverse the situation and attract and keep the the top-notchers then the mailbag will remain both pro- and anti-everything.

I just hope that whoever are the management of the day keep getting the best out of the players they are in a position to sign and give us the odd moments of ecstasy. In short, to be an Evertonian — given all circumstances — is to be a true footy fan. May the investment be with us soon. See you Sat. UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  (12/11/05)



Read the lines... not between em'
So Collina comes clean and explains his decision to disallow Duncan’s goal: “It was Bent” exclaims the ex-super ref. Yeah… we know it was, Pierluigui; enough said.

Anyway, on to the main reason for my troubling this site for the second time in 24 hours. Mr Tony Marsh of Huyton.

“Kevin Sprake (sic) says there is no place for bottomless pessimism from the likes of me.” Erm… no I didn’t Tony; I actually said: 'I’m not saying that there is no place for the bottomless pessimism of Mr Marsh and his ilk.'

"What I am trying to say, Kev Sprake, is this: I think I have as much right as anyone to have a go at the current regime." — Too right you have! I welcome your opinion… don’t happen to hold it myself but it’s good to debate these things.

I happen to think that, in the last 20 years, on the football side we’ve not done as badly as we might have. When you consider that we’ve managed to stay in the top echelon of football despite having no money, the worst chairman in the history of the club (‘Spuddie’) and have had much more of our share of misfortune and mismanagement. I also think we ‘bottomed out’ just before Moyes was appointed and things on and off the pitch are starting to look a little better.

I’d still like to know what was happening re the Fortress Sports Fund, and I’m really unhappy with the way the club seems to ride roughshod over its most precious asset, the fanatical support for the club.

However, I love Everton but I’m not going to let them drag me down into an ever decreasing spiral of despair. When I watch a game, I look for the good things I see and latch onto them, feed upon them.

I’ve seen enough to convince me that we have enough players with ability to finish upper/mid-table this season; certainly enough to avoid the drop.

I believe that Moyes will come good and so will our team; but some fellow blue noses had better start coming to terms with the fact that we are not a “Big Five” club any more… we're not even in the top ten: the denial of building on the team of 1985 and having a crap team when the Premier League began saw to that.

We’re still suffering from 20-odd years of mismanagement from the top; and ‘Blue Bill’ is saddled with trying to pay the mortgage whilst the roof’s falling in and the bailiffs are bashing down the door. (Thank the Lord for the Wayne Rooney money!)

Nevertheless, consider the alternative; would you really want an Abramovich or a Glazer at Everton? (The thing about sugar daddies is they tend to love 'em and leave 'em… what happens to Chelsea when Abramovich leaves or gets chucked in the chokie or when Glazer pegs out and his creditors dismantle his empire built upon sand).

So, Tony Marsh, you can either give yourself fifty lashes every time we play badly or fail to compete in the transfer market with Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle and even Middlesbro; or come to terms with the fact that we are punching well above our weight but look as if we’re getting fitter, leaner and stronger.

It’s up to you mate… but take off the doom and gloom specs for a change… you never know you might even accurately see what I’ve actually written instead of seeing what you want to see: Something depressing that just aint there!
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (12/11/05)

Good response, Mr Sparke (did I get that right?) — Ed


Li Tie
Regarding your enquiry for the forgotten man I read an interview with the man himself a month or two back where he admitted he was struggling to get over his knee injury and was mentally finding it tough to throw himself back into things, especially tackling.

Perhaps this explains his continued absence and I hope this deosn't spoil your conspiracy theory.
Rob Fox, Blackpool  (12/11/05)



More Reasons to be Cheerful

On the whole I agree with you James, and I share your optimism for the coming months, but would like to add a couple of comments to your article:

First, for all the talk of a need of a good striker, I don't remember ever hearing anyone mention Yakubu this summer (the editor will probably prove me wrong), the second highest goalscorer in the premiership over the past two seasons.  McClaren may be an annoying knobhead but he has snapped up a proven goalscorer for a not extortionate price and I would have liked to see Moyesy give that one a try.

Second, Robbie Keane just doesn't do it for me.  For the last year or so the fan sites have devoted insane amounts of coverage to this possible signing, but I just can't get excited about it.  Yes, he would provide us with an amusing celebration if he ever scored a goal, but he's too often hugely anonymous in games.  Maybe I'll be proved wrong in the not too distant future, but he's an undoubtedly inconsistent player. 

Finally, not directly relevant I admit, but I have faith in Moyesey's signing of Beattie.  Remember when Moysey asked Strachan's advice and he had said that if you get a 100% fit Beattie then you have a great striker... well, I think that's starting to happen.  I had a flutter on Beattie and 1-0 for the Boro game and at 28-1 had a tasty return on it.  I think we're starting to see what he can do, and with the improvements happening in other parts of the team, as I said before, I'm optimistic.

ps:  Keep Neville at left-back... is it a coincidence that since he's played there we haven't conceded a goal?

Martin Tilly  (12/11/05)



Its a matter of opinions
I am sure most Evertonians were band members on the Titanic in a former life. As long as the band leader stays, we all stay. If the boss gets us to stay on board the inevitable might not happen.

The Titanic was they said unsinkable, it could not go down.

Well the iceberg has not yet been struck with Captain Moyes at the helm but how much longer until we are firing off blue distress flares.

Kevin Sprake says there is no place for bottomless pessimism from the likes of me. Well, supreme opptimism is in short supply around Everton supporters these days, especially me.

I love Everton as much as anyone and went to my first game at Goodison in 1969 when I was six years of age. Since then I have been through all the stages of being an Evertonian:

  • Hitch-hiking to games with no money when I was 12 years old.
  • In my teens and beyond, jumping on trains all over the country wherever we were playing, whatever day it was, no matter who we were playing.
  • When Europe came around, I had some of that as well. Czechoslovakia, Germany, Iceland, Holland and our more recent jaunts as well.
Through all these years, Everton have been a big part of my life but one thing never changes. Whenever we get into a position of strength, we always fuck up. I thought I had seen it all until this debacle of a season.

What I am trying to say, Kev Sprake, is this: I think I have as much right as anyone to have a go at the current regime. It's nothing new to me: I have seen it all before. Some people like yourself try to kid themselves that somehow the past 40 years are just a blip and we are on the way back.

We are not. We had a few good years in the 80s; that's it. If you want to know what the future holds look to the past; it's all there.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (11 11 05)

40 years? Whaddya mean? the real decline is post-1989. I thought were pretty good 1966-70! — Ed


Ed's respnse re: Resting Cahill
In response to your points:-

1) I think Moyes became desperate with our results and was miraculously hoping for Tim to return to form, although deep down he knew he was knackered. Now he sees creativity and goals from another source (Van/Beattie even Davies) he may see this as the ideal time to rest him.

2)Agree completely, naive from Moyes.

3)Yes but Davies hitting form centrally plus Van and the great form of Arteta mean we can afford to rest Tim. Valente's return (as reported) will free up Neville for midfield if needs be.

4) Great point what a joy Li Tie was in our 7th place season, boundless energy, keet it simple, link from defense to midfield, I miss his presence. We need to begin a major enquiry on this, WE NEED ANSWERS, scared? Prem too physical? Surely not WHAT IS GOING ON?

5) Probably is guesswork from the Times and I am sure Moyes has said nothing concrete but makes sense. Do we need Tim to beat West Brom, Newcastle @ home and Blackburn? I would hope our squad is now strong enough.

Thanks for the dialogue, time will tell....
Richard Williams, New Canaan, USA  (11/11/2005)



Resting Cahill
Re: The Times "Cahill rewarded with light duties"

This, to me, seems to make sense now that players are coming back from injury. Early on in the season it was difficult for Moyes to give Tim a rest due to depleted numbers. However with Van der Meyde, Arteta, Davies, Bent, Osman, Kilbane and Neville we have enough to win games against West Brom, Newcastle and Blackburn without over exerting Tim. Then over the festive period he can come back well rested and start banging in the goals from midfield again. The only test for Moyes is going to be resisting the urge not to play him if we continue to struggle to score.
Richard Williams, New Canaan, USA  (11/11/05)

A couple of things puzzle me here:

1) If Moyes really believed that resting him would lead to a recovery in his form, then surely doing this sooner rather than later would have made a lot more sense. As it is, he has continued to be less than effective in virtually all the games he has played for us.

2) I think it was a crucial error for DM to try and force the issue with Australia, when he was not propared to take any action himself. To expect the Socceroos to rest him while Moyes continued to name him for every game (bar one, when injured) is at best hypocritical.

3) Apart from VdM, of all those players you list as alternative midfielders at least one has been named as a sub in all but one of our games (when all 6 started). Total games missed due to injury (among the six players): 4. Crucial to your arugment, some have even been dropped or "rested" (Osman: 2; Bent: 1) while Cahill has still been played! The only real change has been VdM... and he is still not fully fit!

4) You left off Li Tie. If memory serves, he once was a midfielder sometime in the dim and distant past... Why is he not under consideration? When (if ever?) will David Moyes bring him back into the senior squad? Good enough for China but not good enough for us? What is really going on there...???

5) It's virtually unheard of for a manager to provide team selection pointers one game ahead — never mind the next half-dozen! Why would Moyes reveal his hand in this manner? Especially regarding one of his key players! It's unbelievable. Which is why I won't put much value on it until I actually see it happening.

Sorry to leap all over your message, but that one has been bugging me for a while! — Ed


A happy Blue...
I know that there are many of us who aren't happy with our club at the moment... To top it, for various frustrating reasons, the only game I've been able to go to this season was the first Champions League qualifier.

However, my tickets for the West Brom match have just arrived and I feel excited! I bloody love being a Blue. I cannot wait to get down to West Brom (potentially an oxymoronic statement there!) and cheer on the Blues again. I just hope the players give me something to cheer...

Good times; bad times... I wouldn't change being a Blue for anything! From Deeply Cynical but Still Excited in Leeds.
Excited Blue, Leeds  (11/11/05)

Ah Bless! What a lovely heart-warming letter. Why don't we get more like that? — Ed


Transfer Window - (No) Big Deal!
There's been a lot of talk recently about who we are going to sign in the January transfer window. Well, the thought of struggling on through the rest of the season without a decent striker, for example, is too painful to think about, isn't it? (Alright, I'll give James Beattie the benefit of a very large doubt and say 'another' decent striker, to play alongside him). Then we might even be able to contemplate occasionally going mad and scoring two goals in the same game!

However, I am not at all optimistic about our chances of landing, say, Robbie Keane, to mention the player whose name most often crops up in connection with us. The same goes for any other top player who we the supporters would be delighted to sign. After all, the following conditions all have to be met:

(a) Chelsea don't even want him for their reserves;
(b) none of the two or three potential Champions League candidates are interested;
(c) neither are Newcastle, Tottenham or Liverpool, all of whom can and will pay more than us;
(d) the player in question has to be interested in joining a club fighting to keep clear of the bottom three at worst, getting into the top half of the table at very best.

The list of those who weren't interested when we were a Champions League club (yeah, doesn't it seem a long time ago?) was long - so what makes some people ridiculously optimistic and think the likes of Keane and Gravesen might be seen in a blue shirt in the New Year?

Yours downheartedly, a lifelong Blue.
Mike O'Neill, Barcelona  (11/11/05)



Pop Quiz
"A: A power-mad moron, who loves the ego and power trip that comes with being Chairman of Everton FC; he has mis-managed the club every step of the way; bad appointment; terrible understanding of what a modern football club is all about. Has lied to the fans time and again, must laugh his ass off over his G&T about how gullible and stupid Evertonians are to keep lining his pockets with HIS... — sorry their money. No new stadium; no new academy; no new investment. No chance of any of those things happening as long as Billy Liar has his fat gut under the table."

Should be in the Everton dictionary! And if there is no such thing, may I ask why the hell not?
David C  (11/11/05)



Down Dingle way
In the good old days(?) of the 40s/50s we had a few sayings as appropriate today as they then were. "If you get your man down, make sure he can't up; but if he does get up, you had best start running." It seems to me that many mailbaggers thought DM was down and a good kicking would keep him there. However, it seems that the other old saying might come into play, "You can't keep a good man down." I will enjoy finding out how fast those mailbaggers can run.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (11/11/05)



Woe Vadis
During the days of the Roman Empire (and I don’t mean a flashy Russian oil tycoon with new found roots in West London) whenever a general was responsible for a great victory, he was rewarded with a ‘triumph’; which was a parade through the streets of Rome at the head of his victorious army.

The free citizens of Rome would turn out in their thousands to cheer the General through the streets. However, the Romans were a suspicious lot and always wary of people getting carried away with delusions of grandeur. So being the practical minded people they were, they made sure there was a slave strategically placed behind the victorious general. This slave’s sole task was to constantly whisper in the Generals ear:‘Remember, thou art mortal… remember thou art mortal.’ Mr Tony Marsh of Huyton fulfils that role very adequately on this website.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that there is no place for the bottomless pessimism of Mr Marsh and his ilk. After all; even an eternal optimist like myself concedes that certain things need urgent attention at Everton (another striker and goalkeeping cover for starters; the reintroduction of the basic skill of retaining possession through accurate passing and a little bit more invention in the final third of the field).

Nevertheless, I believe that the silver lining surrounding the dark cloud is getting bigger by the game. That silver lining consists of a fit mobile ‘Biffa’ Beattie who is now threatening the opposition’s defence rather than threatening blokes in Midland’s night spots; the emergence of VDM who is looking like the most elegant wide player we’ve had since Sheedy, and the growing stature of Joseph Yobo and Arteta… both who seem to be getting better by the game.

I honestly believe that, barring injury, Everton will be in the top half of the table by January.

So Tony do me a favour mate; keep writing the stuff. Us optimists need a wake-up call every now and again… but please bear in mind there are pills you can take for manic depression…

…here have some of mine.
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland; Formerly of Whiston via Huyton  (11/11/05)



What is it?
Realising that football is all a matter of opinions, I'm really trying to figure out exactly what Moyes has done to earn such loyalty from both the Board and the fans. As far as I can see we play horrible football, have a horrible squad of expensive misfits, and there are absolutely no signs of any possible improvement until we have a change in approach.

Are so many content to play this style, hopefully avoid relegation and clamber for mid-table? We simply aren't progressing and we won't until he leaves. This really is like Walter all over again... the minority saw it early; it took a few more years of dross before everyone finally opened their eyes. Why is it that we never learn from our mistakes?

Oh, and Tony Marsh was spot on; its almost like mass hypnosis. It's so depressing to be in this situation again, basically no hope for years and years, and I, for one, am totally pissed off.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (11/11/05)

We didn't hear you complaining too much last season, did we? And will you not feel a bit happier if we climb a bit further up the table this season?

Yes, all the observations about poor overall quality — even when we are playing our "best" football — certainly have some merit. But David Moyes has received more than a vote of confidence: total backing from the Board, the staff, the players, a huge and overwhelming majority of the fans... need I go on?

He's clearly not going anywhere anytime soon, so you'd best buckle down and accept it. Who knows... perhaps when the team are playing with more confidence, he will make a transition to more attacking, adventurous football that so many of us would love to see. But I think you are going to have to be patient.

David Moyes has been given time to turn things around. Whether or not that means a change in apporach and the advent of beautiful football... only time will tell. We've had a good bitch about it; now we have to sit back and let him do his job. Many would say we have to support him in this; there is no other alternative. — Ed


Tony Marsh's cat
Has Tony Marsh got a cat? Because if he has I am right on to the RSPCA. He must've wellied it everywhere by now.
Steve Connor, Liverpool  (10/11/05)



Get the begging bowl out
Kenwright and Wyness, get out to the USA and go begging like Rick Parry is. It might even fund a new stadium for us; who knows? Don't just sit there and watch, someone else might jump in front. Villa are offering it to the Russians like Chelsea have done. Heart of Midlothian have been saved from closure and their ground saved by selling to the Russians.

Is it worth a try or do we carry on as we are and stay in an ageing old stadium with players to match. It's not the perfect thing to do but there might be something there for us. Rick Parry is not promoting Liverpool FC, he is begging for money for a stadium, we should try it.

Oh, and spot on Tony Marsh.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (10/11/05)



Am I being ripped off?
I refer to the Boro game and the ticket prices. I am a season ticket holder (Top Balcony) along with my 11-year-old son. For me to go to the Boro game it cost me £39.74 (before a pint etc), yet a dad and lad ticket for the same game was £30.

What do my season tickets give me, if the club are offering cut-price deals to non-season ticket holders? Guaranteed seat for FA Cup, League Cup and European games? Well no, they have already proved that they are not competent enough to do that (Villarreal tickets???).

How about getting hold of away tickets? Nope. As someone whose shifts means he works every other weekend, I can't get any away match stubs so I can't go to the occasional away game.

The latest offer (although I concede there is a 'selling point' within it), is free seats at the derby, if you buy a half-season-ticket. I'm being ripped off again! I've paid out £755-00 for this season, from the start. How many free games do I get? Err? NONE! How many Dad & Lad tickets do I get? Err? None!

I have nothing against Evertonians picking and choosing what games they come to watch, as not everyone can shell out for it week-in, week-out. But, surely, those who do (and many of us are stretched to the limit), deserve a little something back.

The way things are at present, it is better to 'pick and choose' a game than to pay up early and commit to the whole season.
Shaf Ted, PeedOff  (10/11/05)

All I can say is that Keith is very pleased and he has you on his Christmas Card list. Hope this helps! [Sorry!!!] — Ed


We've all gone doolally
There are times I despair at my fellow Evertonians, times like these. The past few weeks have seen us being totally out played at home by both Chelsea and Boro, yet managing to get points from both games. In-between, we were also fortunate to win at Birmingham wth only the post saving us in the end. Some of the views being aired by fans and players alike are too much to take at times.

Top six a possibility, Beattie for England, Corner turned looking good etc, etc... Am I the only one who thinks we are absolute garbagge to watch, play possibly the worst football in the Premier League and are only a poor decision away from defeat every time we play. If this is the way the rest of the season is going to unfold, it's going to be one hard long slog. We never ever look comfortable in games regardless of the opposition. We are always at full stretch and hanging on for grim death in every game.

I often wonder if it is actually Alan Irvine who dictates the way we play. Watch the two of them at the next game. Irvine with his little bits of paper whispering in Moyes's ear every five minutes. Then Moyes bellowing out the instructions; it's the same every week and it baffles me.

In reply to Chris Wright: No, I don't want a Chairman who makes team selections. I do want a Chairman with some balls, someone in the Dave Whelan mould who gives it to you straight, can you see someone like Whelan kissing Moyes's arse after the fiasco of the season so far? I can't.

I never have any great expectations where Everton are concerned but what has gone on over the past six months is simply not acceptable. If avoiding relegation and playing ale-house football is what it's all about then we are in for plenty of it with Moyes in charge. [Or is that Irvine?]
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (9/11/05)

Well, I have to agree with you about the rosy outlook. But so many Evertonians want to be able to look forward with optimism rather than pessimism, so a three-game unbeaten run, with goals coming at last from distant shots, open play, and refereeing decisions in our favour... that is a corner turned and no mistake. Whether it will last is entirely another queestion, but don't ask that too loudly...

But this saying always makes me smile: "what has gone on over the past six months is simply not acceptable." What does that really mean? Are you really not going to accept it? But it's happened.... It's been and gone. You have no choice other than to accept it. [Or am I being too literal?] Anyway, it's a ridiculous saying and it means nothing — unless you personally do something drastic in direct response to it. [And merely sounding off to TW doesn't count!] — Ed


Fact and fiction
Now I know I`m always harping on about the bullshit that emanates from Goodison but now the Manager at it as well!In your link piece to his comments on the delay in our setting eyes on his star summer signing, Per Kroldrup, he tells us that he must be a good player because "he`s played a couple of hundred games in Serie A." Well, Krøldrup`s agent might have told Moyes that but according to the Soccerbase stats, the Dane played only 88 games for Udinese between 7 July 2001 and 27 June 2005 when he came to England!

Am I alone in having a funny feeling about this guy? I`ve had my suspicions since the day he signed and went on Sky to say he`d even never spoken to Moyes before putting pen to paper!
David Hall, Taunton  (9/11/05)



Having watched the game from the comfort of a bar, here in Gaborone, I have to say that the quality of football, while not exactly flowing, was a marked improvement on some of the stuff which was being presented as "football" earlier. There is hope. The midfield was lively, Arteta I thought was excellent, Cahill looked lively, Van the man, looks optmistic, Kilbane looked... well, let's leave it at that shall we? We looked like a solid mid-table outfit, which I'll take right now.

By the way, this is Beattie: "There's always time, I haven't given up hope as regards playing for England. I'm pretty confident in myself and what I can do, and hopefully if the team keeps on winning and the goals keep coming, then who knows? All I can do is keep trying."

Three goals in what, 10 months, and you're suddenly Thierry Henry? Somebody wake the man up.
Braam , Gaborone  (9/11/05)

Come on now, what Beattie said was perfectly reasonable. So much of this is about fitness first and then having the confidence to deliever the results. He clearly couldn't do it when he was not fit. He is now apparently fit, or close to being fit, and has manged to score at least a couple of well-taken goals that have made a massive difference to us — we are no longer in the bottom three! — Ed


Graveson and Keane
Tommy Gravesen is alledgedly on somewhere between £65k/ week and £95k/week wages! He left Everton on alledgedly £20k a week wages. When he was at Everton, occasionally he could inspire... but he was never worth that much.

Would you rather have someone like Kuyt £12M transfer and say £75k wages or Gravo and Keane for slightly less but a bigger wage bill? Dead simple for me: get the quality striker in. There must be a very good reason why Robbie Keane doesn't start every week. Don't tell me Jol is stupid.

If you look at the signings DM has made, do we need Gravo if Carsley is fit? The squad has moved on. So if Gravo comes in at £2.5M and £20k/week wages, fine. If not, good luck and adios. He is not worth what Real Madrid pay him. The last match I saw him in for them he was red-carded on the pitch within 5 mins.

As for Keane, we can do better than that. If every Evertonian wants a team that performs to top six consistently, then you need to to the match, buy the merchandsie and for fook's sake stop booing and heckling them.

I read so much negative stuff on ToffeeWeb (and before you ask I have been a fan since I was 8) 32 years on. Is it partially true that our own negativity (some would say realism) that we cause our own demise?

The recent Beattie incident, fans in the ground chose to wind him up? He responded, some got angry with him. WHY are we as fans winding up our biggest EVER signing? He made a mistake by challenging his home support. But what the feck, it's his first three-match run, he's been injured.

If you want to pick on someone for no good reason, go and bash your head on a brick wall. Prejudice should be out of football, so should stupidity. Because we don't get a good start people are doom and gloom and have zero vision.
Eamonn Byrne, shropshire  (08/11/05)

I think you are way off the mark if you really believe that changing what a portion of the fans do at the game will make the team into consistent top-six finishers.

And all this Beattie stuff is really way out of proportion. The fact is he's been unfit and crap for 10 months, and the fans were on his back; nothing wrong with that. He now he has to repay them and he himself has said as much. He's finally started doing just that. Let's just watch him get on with it. — Ed


Gravesen: no transfer option
Gravesen: hasn’t made any positive noises about coming back; is on about £85k a week, apparently; has a contract worth that much at Madrid for a couple of years; is 29 and so his next move will be his last, meaning that he has nil sell-on value; would still cost us an initial £2.8M before wages are considered.

It is imperative that Moyes finds a new central midfielder who does not raise the above problems. It’d be worth paying £5M or £6M for a younger player on smaller wages. (How much more would Reo Coker cost if wages and transfer fee were considered together?) I’m sorry to throw cold water — it's nice to think of him back in the blue — but EFC cannot afford the luxury of shopping senior players from Real’s first-team squad. Why are the club even talking about it in the press? Certain to lead to more transfer embarrassment, in my view, with MUFC alleged to be snooping about.

I hope I’m proven wrong and that he confesses undying love for us, which means he’s willing to halve his wages and forget about the Champions League for the foreseeable future, but until I am I reckon the EFC scouts should go and watch some matches instead of the first half of the DVD of last season.

Some people might respond to this with "Nil satis nisi optimum". I say "Get real: nil sell-on, no transfer option." (See what I did there....?)
Ted Turner, Nottingham  (08/11/05)

The voice of reason. But transfer speculation is the next biggest thing after actually watching them play the game...

In defence of the Club and DM, who always seem to get slammed in these situations, DM actually said "I would love to bring Thomas back to Everton if it was possible," which everyone seems to have interpreted as "He'll definitely be coming back in January." Just a little scrutiny will show that these are two vastly different statements.


Where does the blame lie?
The current poll of ‘Who is to Blame’ is thought-provoking. There’s good reason for each of the options given and I’m sure in some regard each one could be cited for being part of the problem. There was another option that I think should be added, because I think it contributed to all of the above, and that is abysmal preparation for the season. From the boardroom to the players this off-season presented a huge opportunity but our inexperience enabled us to completely blow it. Hindsight can be painful.

Given the known fact that we had to bring in a number of new players, and would therefore need the maximum attention to get them playing together and getting along, the club proceeded to accept the invitation to play in Thailand and then set up the meaningless friendly with Fenerbahçe on the way home. I completely agree with Rob Fox, this type of trip was never one to bring the players ‘together’. The fact that the opposition was other Premier League clubs, the weather, the fact that it was in the home country of our sponsor all meant more socializing in public and little meaningful training. We’d have been better off going to Rhyl for the week.

Faced with this schedule, David Moyes should’ve planned around it by organizing more appropriate surroundings in the subsequent weeks but he didn’t until the recent Lakes outing. We weren’t ready for this type of major trip to the Far East and we shouldn’t have taken it. Recent evidence shows that we didn’t need to take the invitation for the money, and we could have hooked up with Chang after the season.

The transfer dealings issue is well discussed and well documented, and it shows our inexperience in middle-range transfer dealings. If you want quality players don’t be penny-wise but pound-foolish (the Yankee phrase nickel and diming is a better one but I’m not sure everyone would know what it means). Again recent evidence shows that we had the money to close some of the ‘failed’ transfers but chose not to because they didn’t fit into our ‘valuations’.

David, I’m sorry, football is a crazy and stupid business, no one is worth the money that they make, but if you want to buy quality you have to be prepared to spend some money and it may be more than you’d like to, but that is the way that it is!

If DM had a list of the players he wanted he should have bought them or had a back-up plan, and part of that back-up plan should have been a bottom-line, if all else fails I’m buying the following players and be done with it. As it was, Dave’s bottom-line plan was just go with who did the business last year. I don’t know if having the likes of Scott Parker and Dirk Kuyt in the team would have made a difference to the recent nightmare, but with better preparation we may have found out.

The issue of bad luck is also interesting. We have had some horrendous ‘luck’ to be sure, but the other side to that is that we won at Bolton and we deserved nothing from that game. The only thing that sticks to the bad luck angle is Collina.

I’ve never liked referees, never will. I guess it started with Clive Thomas, but then continued with the idiot who failed to send off Jimmy Case for wrecking Geoff Nulty’s career (if my fading memory is correct), and it has never got any better. Refereeing is too hard to be done brilliantly, and let’s face it you can never please everyone at a football game with any decision you make.

Anyway, I finally got so upset with the local youth refereeing that I actually signed up, got certified and now I work between 3 and 5 games every Saturday. The adage is that ref’s don’t cost you a game and for the most part they don’t, but Collina not only lost us a game but wrecked our season. If Everton score at that point in the game, every Blue in the world would agree that we would have gone on to win that tie. As it was, we lose and every shred of confidence we had evaporated. Everyone had built up their expectations so high that the loss was more than the players and staff could take.

We may have been able to overcome the lack of unity in a side hastily put together, the poor transfer strategy, the stupid Far East trip and we may even have gotten over the poor tactical preparation, but with no confidence, the result is a season that is only now starting to even faintly show some promise.

Boro was another step forward, a bit more football, and three points. Hopefully, we can use the next few weeks to work on the wayward passing that was consistently falling behind the intended receiver, the constant long-ball tactics that bypass a reasonably talented midfield and merely give up possession, and it also might allow someone time to let James know that he needs to stop with the stupid antics (‘can you hear me now?’) and just shut-up. Evertonians appreciate players who score goals, not blab on about scoring goals and then miss sitters from the 6 yard line (‘Kanu hear me now?’ – sorry that was an attempt at American/Verizon* humour).

God bless the Blues!

Greg Dawson, Sacramento, CA  (07/11/05)

Hindsight? I call that being wise after the event. There were imperatives that no doubt required EVerton undertake the Thailand trip. I still fail to see why this could not have been a bonding experience. They were all together in one place, FFS... what more do you need for bonding? And no mention of that other bonding opportunity — a week in the Austrian Tyrol. What more tranquil and verdant a spot could one desire for a good bit of bonding? — Ed


Pain Relief
The last three games have relieved the pain of early season failure but I am far from convinced it is all plain sailing now. The last game I went to at Fulham was so bad I still haven't recovered enough to pay out hard-earned money on watching the Blues. That day, I went with my father, brother and six-year-old son. After huge travel problems we arrived right on kick-off only to see a performance as bad as I can remember. At half-time, an Everton fan was asleep on the end of our row. I will not go again for a while...
Leigh Sadler, Essex  (7/11/2005)



Beattie's hand-to-ear action
Just thought I would post a response to Phil Burket.

I watched MOTD2 last night and they asked Beattie about his celebration. He said something along the lines of "Some young lads in the crowd said, 'Give us a goal, Beatts!' just before the corner was taken and after I scored I thought I would ask them if they enjoyed it."

Not sure how true it all was but that was his explanation.
Iain Cameron, Cambs  (7/11/05)



Went to the game and 3 points is 3 points. But cards on the table, it was shite. Yes, we did battle and VDM looks promising but after reading the website match report, quote: "some wonderfully fluid forward moves". Now come on!
Wayne O'Rourke, Specsavers  (07/11/2005)

Well, compared to the last months of mind-numbing dross, there were a couple of times when we actually moved the ball forward with purpose, passing it from player to player, and slicing through the opposition's defence. Yes, it was't absolutely fantastic — pretty basic stuff really — but it was a big improvement, and thus gave the impression of comprising "some wonderfully fluid forward moves".


One step at a time
I'm sure we're all delighted and more than a little relieved at the results of the last three games, but I'd also say that scoring three goals in three games is not reason enough yet for euphoric blind optimism.

Not that you need anyone to fight your battles for you, but I find the ToffeeWeb mailbag to be an educated, fair and honest reflection of fans' thoughts and frustrations based on the facts as they find them, without the bias or spin that gets added on other EFC websites.

The team has a long way to go and are finally getting relatively free of injuries. Let's hope this continues and they start to really gel... but let's not put all our hopes on a 'saviour striker' from the upcoming January transfer window as we missed not one but two such windows in the summer when there was just as much need as there is right now — and European football on offer to attract them.

Having said that, I do believe that corners have been turned and the team Moyes thought capable of taking third place in this year's Premiership will soon be at hand.

Our confidence is returning, what we need now is patience. COYB
Neil , Southport  (7/11/05)



We are not Madrid yet...
3 points is 3 points and I will take them. I will take the better performance of James Beattie and the majority of the team yesterday. However, we are absolutely shite at closing down the opposition for huge chunks of the games this season. Yesterday we didn't do the basics again. Can Moyes not see what we see in the stands? Closing down is learnt at schoolboy level and should not be asked of a senior pro on the wages they are on. Why is it happening and why isn't something being done about it?

I think we deserved to win, because we wanted it slightly more, but another team would have turned us over yesterday due to slack marking, being far too deep, and not closing down the opposition. These should be basic traits in a footballer. That situation needs to be addressed quickly by Moyse and his staff. All of you have seen this season how One-Nils can easily go the other way. We rode our luck yesterday, as we did at times against Birmingham and at home to Chelsea. We are still relying on Lady Luck at times and that shouldn't be the case.

AVdM looks very good, if a little unfit and Beattie scored again, things are looking a LITTLE better. Although the County Road fanatics were again celebrating like we'd won the league... again!

Just one last word on Beattie — this hand to ear action that he is still doing — James, I hope that isn't a jibe at the lads in the ground who have rightly given you stick about your input for the last 10 months. You're getting £25-30k a week to score goals, don't carry on with this defiance, you are actually still shite in case you forgot.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (07/11/05)



They said Hoddle was mad!
So there we were giving all the credit for the revival in Everton`s fortunes to David Moyes and the boys when it`s all down to Carol Caplin`s mother!

Just heard on Talksport that Kenwright was so desperate three weeks ago that he asked his `lifestyle guru` for help and she called in her mother, a spiritual medium!Apparently, they came up with some cunning plan which Billy passed on to the Manager — with such startling results!

Nice to know our Club is in such safe hands isn`t it? And they said Hoddle was mad!
Meek Harry, Worcester  (7/11/05)



I'm absolutely made up that we scored our first home goal from open play, won our first home game and moved up to 16th in the table. And isn't that a sad reflection of what we've been reduced to this season!

We seem to be getting a few breaks at last, but the standard of our play is shocking. Why when opposition midfielders get the ball do all our players seem too far away from them, and why do we sit so deep and give so much room just outside the box and down the flanks, and why do we continue to float high, lofted balls into the box when one of the few times its whipped in we score?

AvdM is clearly a huge improvement on Kilbane but I'm not sure he's got that explosive pace we so desperately need. We are painfully slow and until that is addressed we are all going to have to be happy with fighting to avoid the relegation zone, or at best, mid-table mediocrity whist playing atrocious football. Personally, I just dont think that is good enough for us, and with the money spent and the time he's had Moyes hasn't delivered and I don't think he ever really will.
Mike Price, Songhkla,Thailand  (7/11/05)



Back from the game
... and another priceless three points. I thought we fought really hard to contain and indeed beat a team who were in reality better than us, the difference between winning and defeat was the fact that the truly quality players in the side performed.

The only worry I had was when the excellent Davies once again succumbed to injury and VDM had negotiated his seventy mins the paucity of the bench was exposed. On the plus side with displays like the last two we will be ok for mid-table and with the base we have now I can only hope DM has players in mind who will actually sign for us to augment the quality we already possess and then we may really see a team able to depend more on School of Science than sheer grit and determination.

I hope for more points winning enjoyable games after the break — UP THE BLUES!
Ken , Buckley  (6/11/05)



Thank God! We're Winning!
It's great to have a couple of victories and a fighting draw against the mighty Chelsea under our belts, but the victories could well have gone either way and the draw had a degree of fortune about it. Still we are out of the bottom three and we definitely won't return there again this season, will we?

One or two thoughts:

Beattie is our top scorer with 50% of our goals, a ratio higher than any other Premiership striker, especially when one considers he's only started in less than half our games.

Is Kroldrup, our second/third most expensive signing ever, really slower and less effective than the aging Weir, who is whole-hearted, but not exactly Brian Labone, Roger Kenyon, Derek Mountfield, Dave Watson? Surely David Moyes trusts his own acumen in the transfer market?

I was disappointed that United won, but feel that the top team should always lose away to their major challengers. After all, being old, I remember our wing-half (mid-fielder to all under 50) playing as an emergency centre-forwar (striker to all under.......) and scoring two at Goodison against the champions elect from across the park in 63-64.

Keep it up Everton, I love you, but this isn't a team that will challenge for anything. It'll always be a fight against the bottom rung.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (06/11/05)



On the Up
Another win: on a roll at last. Van der Meyde and Arteta playing well, Beatie paying his debt. Keep it up and we could be battling for Europe again instead of relegation. I still say it was contracts that kept them going last year though!
Mike , Wirral  (6/11/2005)

Yes it was a solid performance all round and a great result. Arteta, Cahill and Van der Meyde were key but good defensive play from everyone and Beattie putting in a lot of effort, an excellent header for the goal, and very unlucky not to get a second.

But if there was even a grain of truth in this contract nonsense, then surely the performances would have got better and better toward the end of last season. Yet just the reseverse was true.


Ho ho ho!
What a week for Everton! The best financial results in history followed by a splendid Beattie-inspired victory this afternoon. If we can keep this run going - and I am sure we can - there`s no reason why we can`t be pushing for another shot at Europe.

With Tommy Gravesen likely to be returning to his rightful home in the New Year as the Chairman continues to back the Manager`s judgement in the transfer market, ALL Evertonians have reason to be very optimistic from now on. Bet your `Misery Mailbag` will dry up a bit though. Ho ho ho!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (6/11/05)



Reply to Tony Marsh
Tony, Football is a GAME, you pay to WATCH; okay, have your moan, but you are not in a position to run the CLUB. COYB. Been on this Roller Coaster ride since 1950 so I have had a few moans myself...
Bob Patterson, Liverpool  (6/11/05)



In reply to Tony Marsh
Although Tony Marsh is right to critise our Board for the lies and can ask where the ground is etc, they have made money available for Moyes — £20M or so. He therefore has a pop that the Board actually allowed Moyes to spend it on who he wants!!

So he wants a Board who interferes all the time does he? — How about in team selection or tactics? And this don't forget is a Board he doesn't rate. How does that work? Moyes bought these players and if it doesn't work he has to carry the can.
Chris Wright, Chester  (05/11/05)



Talk about smug!
I know it doesn`t take much to wind me up but I just cannot believe the total smugness which pervades the people who purport to run our Club. On the back of a set of annual accounts which includes income from the sale of our best players but NOT the purchase of the rubbish which has replaced them, the Chief Executive — who gets paid almost twice as much as the profit he creates — tells us what a genius he is via his PRO at the Echo.

Now, this morning, I see Moyes is at it in a piece on the Sky Sports website. `Moyes Pleased with Toffees` screams the headline and goes on to tell what a marvellous job he`s done over the past three years! `We`re certainly capable of goals from the likes of Cahill, Davies and Arteta,` he tells us — and leaving aside the fact that this trio have scored precisely ONE between them in our ten league matches this season. He makes no mention of the plonker he`s spent £6M on whose job that really is! I know we have to take the long view — we`ve been doing it for 20 years — but to spin what little has been achieved recently as fabulous success is just too much for me to take.

For God`s sake, any fool should know that you can tart up your balance sheet by disposing of your assets but if your product is total crap then it`s only a question of time before the figures go south again!
David Hall, Taunton  (5/11/05)



Same as it ever was
What I was trying to say, Ed, in my last article regarding our wonderful Board of Directors and Sir Philip Carter was this.

Regardless of how much Big Phil has or has not put in to the club, the fact remains he is treated like royalty at Goodison and I don't understand why. He has made a career for himself being a professional Evertonian going back all the way back to the John Moores era. I know he is a life long President, but why? What has he ever done to deserve such an honour?

And there lies the problem. As long as the old gaurd are still getting their Limos and free Gin and Tonics every week, we will never move on.

Fans at Goodison still watch football from the same stands Dixie Dean played in front of and its shameful.

Still as long as President Phil and Bungalow Bill can pat each other on the back at every home game from their newly refurbished Vice Presidents Suite, we will all sleep easy knowing we are in safe hands.

Modernisation is required throughout the whole club the sooner the better.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (5/11/05)

So, in answer to my question: Why should Sir Philip or any of the Everton Board of Directors be expected to sink their own money into the endless pit that is Everton? — you go off on a tirade against privilege, entitlement and worthiness of a eminent pillar of (Tory) society — and Knight of the Realm!!! (only joking!)

Okay, so I would be hard pressed to list specifically his good works (although he is Chairman of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, for example). And it's always difficult to reconcile the positives of his reign during the Kendall wonder years with the neatives his reign during the subsequent precipitous decline. But what, other than a general feeling of jealousy and frustrated annoyance at his privileged life, drives the average Everton fan to have this really bad attitude toward Sir Philip? Is it rationally based or is it just a herd thing?

"It is not only a great honour for me to become Chairman of a club I have always loved, it is a great honour and a privilege to succeed a man of such stature - a great Chairman and the most successful Chairman in the club's history." — Bill Kenwright, on his appointment as Chairman of the Everton Board of Directors, June 2004.


Money Money Money
So according to Jamie Rowlands the Board have done a good job for once. What planet is he on? If the Rooney dosh was taken out of those figures, we would still be in the shit — as usual!

As for this fantastic board of ours, Kenwright included, who was it allowed Dynamo Dave to spend that entire amount[£20M] on Beattie, Krøldrup, Valente and Davies? Great bit of buisness, that!

While I am at it, what's with all these articles saying this site is negative and doom related? What do people want? The truth? Or sexed up versions of what fans really want to believe???

At least this site allows the message to get across to people regardless of what that message might be. Sugar-coating the truth is not what we want; tell it as it is boys. If some people don't like it... tough! Everton are in a right mess from the top down.

Where is our new ground?
Where is our new training ground?
Where is our new Youth Academy?
Where the fuck is our scouting network gone?
What does Philip Carter actually do at our club? — apart from get the best seats in the house for the past 40 years, get chauffer-driven in a top-of-the-range Bentley, and rub shoulders with his buddies at the FA — I will tell you one thing he doesn't do: that is put any money in.

But still the Board is doing a great job, eh Jamie...
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (4/11/05)

Thanks for going in to bat there, Steve. As for Sir Philip, he is effectively retired I believe, though carrying the wonderfully dignified title of Life President. He doesn't seem to draw much flak anymore... although you might have just rekindled some festering angst...!!!!

I must pull you up though on this presumption that the likes of Sir Philip should be putting their hands in their pockets... he did at some stage, to the tune of 700 Everton shares — current value around £700k. Are you suggesting he should continue to give more money to Everton, rather than invest it?

Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't understand why anyone involved with the club should be expected to do this. Yes, there are the obvious examples in other clubs, but they are seemigly doing it out of their own volition, and possibly for nefarious reasons. Why do some Evertonians demand that our Directors (and ex-Directors) should be doing this? — Ed


Anderson Silva
Just looked at his stats on Sky from the link on Toffeeweb and this season for Malaga he's made 3 appearances + 1 sub and hes collected 2 red cards and 2 yellows. He sounds CLASS, just what we need! Perhaps we could flog him to Blackburn.
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (04/11/05)



Do you have or can point me in the direction of any information on this man? I realised today that I regularly see this fat grinning bald bloke's pic and hear his BS but know nothing about him or why we pay him hundreds of thousands of pounds. Thanks
Steve Hopkins, Kent  (04/11/05)

Keith Wyness seems to have become a target of abuse from some sections of the fanbase. There is some debate in internet circles about his role at Everton, his previous role at Aberdeen, and his involvement in some (allegedly) questionable side venture for the Sydney Olympics. But, as the numbers clearly show, he is doing a wonderful job steering a new course for Everton (although I have a sneaking feeling the numbers might not look quite so rosy in another 12 months...) so how could any Evertonian question either his contribution, or his wonderful salary — which is probably close to the going rate in the football industry for that kind of job.


Financial Engineering
Your reponse to the Kenwright besotted Richard Dodd reminded me of a favourite mantra of one of my Business Studies lecturers. `When it comes to company accounts, cash is cash and everything else is financial engineering`. Those who rush to heap praise on Kenwright, Wyness &Co.would do well to remember that most of the upturn in Everton`s financial fortunes should, in truth, be attributed to the manipulated sale of a certain young man who now plays his football in a red shirt. Evertonians would do well to remember that when he next plays at Goodison!
Kaliou Moldiga, Ormskirk  (4/11/05)



Which Bucuresti?
In response to Ciaran Duff's post on the two teams that knocked us out of European competition being top of their groups in each competition..

I don't know if you remember... but we played DINAMO Bucharest... Not STEAUA..

Ironically... Dinamo Bucharest are BOTTOM of their group, F.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (4/11/05)



Displaced Mainstanders are you going to the AGM ?

I bought shares in the club this year with the sole intention of the purchase being to register my disgust at how we were treated prior to the start of the season.I am hoping that I will be allowed to do this at this meeting.

It is my intention to raise the plight of John & Pat Griffiths who had sat in row A for over 35yrs and have now informed me they will not be watching Everton any longer after this season. I find that very sad, and would appreciate comments from any toffeeweb readers who have actually attended an AGM as to whether I will actually get a chance to speak . It is an absolute disgrace that our seats remain empty at £125.00 a time and for all the world to see when we are on the box. No other club could treat their supporters the way EFC have and Wyness should stand up and be counted on this point.

I would appreciate any support on this matter and hope that others can offer some guidance.Please let me know if you are going to the AGM and feel strongly about this issue my email address is

Thank you fellow blues
steve lyth, ellesmere port  (04/11/05)

Stephen - by now you will have received your copy of the Annual Report and with it the documentation required to gain entry to an AGM. No doubt Mr. Wyness eagerly anticipates your concerns being aired! - Colm


John McLaughlin
Is John McLaughlin any relative of Coleen?
Tom Bennett, Coventry  (04/11/05)



Behind the numbers or the glass half empty
Congratulations! Only you lot can find so much to moan about in what is basically a good news story about the club.

For millenia you whinge on about how much debt the club is in and how the tossers on the Board have done nothing about it. Then when they do something you give half-hearted credit then whinge that either (a)it's all a con job by Wyness and his 'stooges' at the Echo (b) we're 'only' making £100k profit ignoring transfers (despite the fact that was a £17M deficit previously) (c) they've probably conned us by banking the Rooney money (no evidence of that but hey, don't let the truth get in the way of a good whinge).

Priceless! Are you preparing for Christmas? Repeat after me, 'Bah! Humbug!'
Steve Callan, Birkenhead  (4/11/05)



Profits and Performance-Related Pay
Maybe if Wyness was docked for each one of his fuck-ups this season EFC's profits would be even higher, wish someone would pay me £177,000 a year and allow me so many blatant cock-ups without any repercussions.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (4/11/05)



1966 FA Cup Celebration
There was a great do at the Adelphi last night, a reunion dinner for the 1966 FA Cup Winners. Ian Macdonald has done a nice write-up on it here.

ps: If you lot weren't so negative, I'd write more exclusive revelations for you...
Travis Furious, Maghull  (4/11/05)

Thanks for that, Travis. Ian has done a wonderful job with that glowing report. Almost transports you back to those Black & White days before colour TV! He used to write exclusively for us; perhpas he also thinks we are now too negative?

Err... So who did score the winner?


Euro ranking
Put this in the "maybe we shouldn't be TOO hard on ourselves" basket but I notice that both Steau Bucharesti & Villareal are heading their Uefa & CL groups. Ok, that's probably the kiss of death for both of them but still I think it does backup the claim that we were a tad unlucky in the Euro draw.
Ciaran Duff, Sydney, Oz  (04/11/05)



Pattern Emerging
I find it rather amusing the recent spate of legend backing newcomers on the Official Everton website! This morning it was Alan Ball backing Beattie and now it's Colin Harvey backing Simon Davies. All after just one win last weekend! Place you bets on the next legend/struggling player combo - Royle/Valente?
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (3/11/05)

I suppose I should be linking to this stuff. They are Everton Legends, after all... — Ed


All not in vain, Rob!
Just had my best laugh since we last turned over the Reds!My 12-year-old has just come home from school to tell me that his English teacher — a big Evertonian — has told all similarly minded pupils that for homework tonight they can precis Rob Fox`s latest piece down to 250 words! Absolutely brilliant — all dear old Rob`s verbiage is not in vain, after all!
Jack Randall, Crosby  (3/11/05)

Oh that's wicked! ... I wonder if our copyright extends to precis???


Additionally... Richard Dodd
Its puts matters into context when you see that our yearly profit equates to less than a months salary for Tim Cahill. Great hey?
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (03/11/05)



John McLaughlin — Last Season
Let's thank god we had a good season last season? Why is that? What good has last season's 4th place served us so far? Fuck all, is the simple answer to that question. A "better" squad of players? Hardly. Still riding high in Europe? No we're not. We've been dumped out of 3 competitions, including 2 European ones at the first hurdle.

You suggesting the fans are to blame shows a shocking arrogance. We have gone from being a "decent hardworking team" to a "laughing stock", in 4 very short months. How are the fans to blame for that, John? The fact that we took MORE than the home support to Spain for the Villarreal game? The fact that thousands more travelled to Bucharest after the dissapointment of Villarreal? The fact that 26,000 turned out to watch a team in a second leg of a cup match where there was more chance of a David Weir hat-trick than us to go through to the next round?

No, John. You've got it wrong lad. The blame lies anywhere else but with the fans. We have expectations because our club crest tells us to accept nothing but the best. Nothing but the best, John — from a club that delivers Anything but the best from Boardroom down. Have a think before you write bollocks, John.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (03/11/05)



Stop the Negativity Will Ya!
Get Real will Ya! Toffeeweb – the Independent Doom and Gloomer's site!

Once again, you have managed to put a negative spin on something positive coming from the club. I question whether you are actual supporters of the club or whether you take enjoyment from pulling down everything that they do.

If you care to read the article, it clearly states that the money from Rooney was given back to moyes to spend. It also shows that a sizeable chunk of the club’s debt was paid off – putting us in a much safer financial position.

The Board has done a good job this time – love them or loathe them, even the editors at Toffeeweb can’t deny that this is a great piece of news for all associated with Everton Football Club.

It’s about time that ToffeeWeb started to be positive about the club it supposedly supports. I am all for the airing of views and opinions but not everything has to have a negative tone!
Jamie Rowland, Merseyside  (05/11/03)

I'm sorry but I found that sycophantic twaddle from Dominic King quite sickening. For me, the excrescent positive spin in this piece was the final straw. So look at my negativity as an attempot to cancel it out in the interest of some balanced reporting.

The guy has been writing all this "looking for the positives" rubbish in the Echo for weeks now; all the while, Everton's season has been tanking. To me, that sort of blatant denial, Pravada-like in it's revisionist delusions, really does far more damage than good. The guy is obviously a stooge, and I have resisted going after him before — for fear of being overly negative — but this really was a step too far.

Yes, there's some good news in there, but simply because he has written this story, I don't quite believe it. I'd prefer to wait until I get my copy of the Annual Report and then make my own decision on just how well we are really doing financially, rather than trusting a word of what this guy spouts. — Ed


Onwards and Upwards!
Just picked up on the fantastic news about the Everton accounts. That should silence the knockers once and for all! With things looking up on the playing front and the best set of accounts in history, perhaps the Kenwright / Moyes / Wyness knockers will crawl back into their misery pits for ever. And although I think that`s too much to expect from some of our crowd who seem to get off only on the negatives, at least it shows our Club is in the best possible stewardship. Onwards and upwards, I say!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (3/11/05)

Hahahahaha! You're a funny bloke and no mistake. Look what Anderson Consulting and Enron achieved in colusion together. The mysterious art of accountancy is capable of much prestedigitation, sad to say.

Yes, put me down as one of the knockers, because a massive portion of that so-called profit was garnered by selling the best ever prospect to come through our much hearlded Academy. The really impotant number is the £100k profit before transfers are considered. And I'm quite sure a lot of work went in to making that paltry figure black instead of red... — Ed


Rob Fox - the read digested please
Please, as part of your editorial duties, give Mr Fox a word-limit for his future essays. Be precise and to the point!

Most of the time he's got good things to say, but to be honest I'm losing the will to live after trawling through his recent ramblings.
James Welford, London  (03/11/05)

Er... No Comment!


What a waste
Is it just me that wants to boot fuck out of the telly every time the Champions League matches are on? It makes me sick to watch it and it's all Moyses fault.

Never mind all the bollocks about us finishing fourth, what fucking good did it do? Even now it keeps me awake at night thinking what might of been...

If only Dopey Dave had signed a few decent players when we had the chance we would of beat the greasy headed twats from Spain and it would of been fucking GREAT! Instead, we are ridiculed from all angles by wanker supporters from no-mark teams from no-mark towns.

Will we ever recover from this disastarous page in our history? I don't think so. We are still paying the price now. Why did Moyses think that the team which limped across the finishing line in a shit Premier League could take on the cream of Europe with out any significant reinforcements.

I hate Moyses for that and I will never get over it. Leaving Villarreal's ground with my son in tears will stay with me for ever. IMWT — not me matey.

There goes another telly.
Tony Marsh, Huyton  (3/11/05)

I am required to inform you that you are in a serious minority, that most of us love Moysey to death and will forgive him anything, and that we are today realiably informed "We are on our way back to our best." — I'll believe that when I see the results and not before! — Ed


Don't blame the fans!
I can't believe John Mclaughlin is blaming the fans, of all people, for Everton's shocking attempts this season. To try and condemn unrealistic ambition in, as he says, a poor Premier League is ridiculous.
Tommy  Strode, Bootle  (02/11/05)

I have to agree with you there; blaiming the fans doesn't make any sense. — Ed


Who's to blame ?
Given our terrible start to the season, the most popular subject amongst Everton fans seems to be 'who is to blame?'.

Personally I blame the fans for having unrealistic expectations of a team that, even in our best season for nearly 20 years wasn't actually very good. Last season we hardly scored and never really gave anyone a thrashing. Apart from the obvious highs of the games against Liverpool and Man Utd, there were only a couple of actually exciting games; we won a lot more than we were used to, usually 1-0, but entertainers we wern't. We benefitted from the fact that the Premier League isn't very good.

So, rather than blame Moyes for being negative or Bent for being rubbish, let's just thank god we had a good season last year and that things will hopefully pick up soon and we regain our place in mid-table mediocrity because, with our squad and inept Board, that's all we can hope for long term. Moyes is a miracle worker to get a good season from our squad; while he has made mistakes, I'd rather dwell on the fact that, without him, we would almost certainly be relegated by now.

So keep reaching for the stars, fellow Bluenoses.
John McLoughlin, Bootle  (02/11/05)



Why no Krøldrup?
With Moyes continually stating that he has `to get some football into Krøldrup`s legs` why was he not given a run out in the Reserves against Villa last night? Are his repeated non playing appearances on the bench merely a smokescreen for a situation more serious than has been admitted?

Moyes spent big money on a player who admitted to a long-standing injury on arrival and as we go into November it`s beginning to look like another Moysie `booboo`!
Simon Hawkins, Upton, Wirral  (2/11/05)

His failure to use either Per Krøldrup and Lie Tie, both of whom have been off the injured list for some time, is a bit puzzlung. But their failure to play in the Reserves does not mean much, as the 'Reserves' is such a misnomer these days.

Yes, to you or I it would make a lot of sense to give the lad plenty of match practice, and those players have had some showing at that level (2 and 6 appearances, respectively), but the reserves are now much more an extension of the Youth Academy. I wonder also if that shame factor still applies among the players? It could be a reason why they might not like to play more than one or two reserves games when recovering from injury. — Ed


Read all about it!
My early morning read of all things Everton came up with two gems from the Goodison publicity mill today. Rob Fox`s (aka Bill Kenwright!) assurance that James Beattie is `getting fitter now` (after all, he`s only been here TEN months!) and then Alan Irvine`s plea that we all give Andy Pandy `time to adjust to the Premiership`. Obviously,that other `sick-note` signing made by The Moysia, `Per Who` can`t be risked yet as it`s only November! Sometimes, you know, Everton - and Evertonians - make me bloody laugh. No wonder we`re in the shit!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (2/11/05)

Now, now... Stop that!


`Little Leaguers`
I`ve just picked up on David Hall`s piece about teams needing to gain more points than games played to stay up and, as one who has followed that creed for years, I can tell you that`s even more vital than he makes out! Unless I`ve missed something, WBA are, in fact,the ONLY club to defy that rule in Premiership history — and even then, it`s by no means been a guarantee of survival as Bolton and West Ham will testify! But you can be certain that so long as a team is in deficit in that equation, they are in deep shit!
Paul Jewell, Chester  (1/11/05)



Stats can show anything you wanna see
After Reading Wayne O'rourke stats at first glance they dont seem that different but a quick look at the average points per game paints a very different picture.

Below are the league placings the two managers would have finished with their average points tally of 51 and 43 (rounded up) - after all, the Premiership is a tight league.


Season Smith Moyes Actual
04-05 15th 10th 4th
03-04 16th 10th 17th
02-03 17th 9th 7th
01-02 15th 8th 15th
00-01 14th 11th 16th
99-00 15th 13th 13th
98-99 15th 9th 14th
97-98 17th 12th 17th
96-97 13th 9th 15th
95 96 12th 10th 6th

Obviously I have too much time on my hands but I think this showes Moyes clearly is more successful than Smith and in my opinion has earned more faith than we are showing him at the moment. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine might change if we are bottom at Xmas but I still truly believe Moyes is the right man for the job.

I do believe we have our strongest squad in years and with a few additions in January I think a top ten place is still easily possible.
Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (01/11/05)

Them's good stats, IMHO, Daniel. There is a significant point difference in the raw perfomance records Wayne quoted. Your analysis clearly brings this out in the context where it matters: the League Table. Nice job! — Ed


Colm Kavanagh's loyalty to DM is admirable but does he really really believe he is the manager who will take us forward as a consistent top-6 side — playing some decent football along the way — which is what we should be? I have just done a quick research of Moyes's league record against that of Walter's as below :

SMITH — P:143 W:41 D:42 L:60 F:173 A:190 Pts:165

MOYES — P:133 W:50 D:29 L:54 F:159 A:186 Pts:179

You will note their is not a massive difference in both records and if you consider that DM has spent more than Smith it begs the question if Smith wasn't good enough then neither is Moyes.

"Ah, but we finished 4th last season!" is the cry... yet we all know that was based on 4 months of scraping one-nils and playing dull football.

Now I was no fan of Smith but on occasions we did play some good football and actually scored more than 3 goals 11 times, including two five-nils and a six-nil, which was heaven compared to the present era when we have only scored more than 2 goals on 7 occasions.

And look at some of the hammerings we have taken under DM - 7-0, 6-2, 5-1, 5-2 and yet despite it all he is still revered by the majority.

Let everyone reflect on all of the above and ask yourselves if we have the right manager because I think I am missing the trick somewhere.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (1/11/05)

What you seem to be missing, Wayne, is that those who actually have responsibility for the decision have reflected, and have decided Moyes is the man. So, however right you may be with your assertions... He's staying; he's our manager and he's not going anywhere.

Some believe he has a grand plan to get us scoring again. Part of that plan must be to actually have on the field, the attacking players he purchased, have them gel, and see what they can do. One game so far... Give it time. It's the only thing we can do. — Ed


Matt Wiley — Point of Order
I didn't say we have not progressed since Walter. I did write that we can't keep blaming Walters signings anymore.

My point is this: The football is awful. I bought three adult season tickets and one junior season ticket. I live in Anfield and did not have a holiday last year. I've watched players in fancy suits and and fancy cars and have realised that I could have taken my family on holiday instead. I've watched a so-called professional club play the worst football at times this season I have ever witnessed.

If I had a few quid extra and lived in a nice area like Formby or Ormskirk, the money I paid out wouldn't hurt as much. But I'm an ordinary working man and I don't like what I've bought. I can't call the waiter to change it or take it back for the next size. One thing I can do is go on holiday next year. Whilst I'm sunning myself I know my family had a good break and I didn't let my money go to over-paid under-average players who are so far out of touch with the likes of me, they don't care.

I've never felt like this before but when you feel you are being laughed at behind the blacked out windows of a top-of-the-range BMW being driven by 'top players', then that selfishness from those players is rubbing me the wrong way.

Maybe now, you understand why some us moan.

Dave  Charles, Liverpool  (1/11/05)



In a league of our own
My Brummie mate`s assertion that Villa were no better than Birmingham was proved right last night by Man City and, thankfully, kept yet another team down in the doldrums with Everton. My old dad used to say `you`re always flirting with relegation if you`ve got less points than games played` and, simplistic as that is, only WBA last season managed to survive with a negative tally by that criterion.

As at this morning, we have no less than seven teams `below the water mark` as even Pompey in 14th spot fail the test. So with all other diversions — European success/qualification, Carling Cup — out of the equation, I`ve decided to focus my attention on that mini-league of seven, safe in the knowledge that, if we can attain fourth place amongst that lot, our tenure in the Premiership is assured!

So from now on, I shall cheer Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and even `that lot` whenever they take points from our `fellow leaguers`.

Sad what we`re reduced to, ain't it?
David Hall, Taunton  (1/11/05)

ToffeeWeb Letters from October 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from December 2005


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