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ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — December 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from November 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from January 2006

Can we get real about Everton's situation in both a current and a historical context?

Firstly, despite recent heavy defeats, current form (see statistics last 8 games) puts us in a respectable 11th position.

Secondly, we have a fine away record, top-six material; an improvement in home form, much easier to achieve, should see us rise to a respectable position.

Thirdly, too many of us see the past with rose tinted spectacles. We are now in the 60th post-war season. Everton have failed to finish in the top 10 in 33 of those years and might make it 34 this season. Face it, we are not the perennial high achievers we like to believe and your younger contributors longing for the golden past are being misled.

Fourthly, in reviewing David Moyes's performance, please remember last season's 4th place has been bettered only 4 times in the 35 years since the 1970 Championship. In fact, our only consistent post war period of success of any length ie more than 5 consecutive years was in the sixties when we were bankrolled by the Abramovich of his day... Sir John Moores.

Finally, surely anybody who has watched the Blues for any reasonable length of time cannot believe that this is the worst team or that these are the worst players ever to represent us?
Charlie Jones, Liverpool  (31/12/05)

Some good points there, Charlie. Made me think about a graph I made a while back to illustrate the ups and downs of Everton History. Take a look at this. — Michael

Another poor performance
Very lucky win. Outplayed by the worst team in the league. This result keeps Moyes in charge for several more games and God knows what position we will be in by then. I have never welcomed a last-minute winner for Everton before with such a lack of enthusiasm. Obviously the three points are crucial but I just could not celebrate with any conviction. Another poor display and more breathing space for the clueless Moyes.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (31/12/05)

While I would echo most of your sentiments, David Moyes will remain in charge of Everton for a lot more games, whatever the result today. Read the mailbag: David Moyes is stayingMichael

Here's to a Hungry New Year
... and thereby a better second half of the season.

Realising the correct attitude to instill in the players is important for a manager. Last season, David Moyes repeatedly directed the team to focus on survival even though the point-total clearly showed that we were better. Same case with Wigan now: a simple achievable goal — anything better brings out the players' hunger for winning and you see passion. When the game gets tough, the rallying cry goes out: fight!

This season of lofty expectations saw the staff, players and everyone lose focus; the key should be strengthening and this takes time with new players. The focus was on the work to get there and not on the result. Wrong focus. (Wenger once said: "Let's have an unbeaten season," they lost the plot and came second in the league. The next season, the goal was achieved with a workman-like attitude and hunger from the players.)

I still believe mid-table can be achieved if we take away the stress in players and bring out the hunger. With the right focus and the right rallying cry, we can get another 30 points. Let the New Year turn the poodles of peace (love that description, btw) into a pack of starving hungry ferocious poodles that never back off.
Chung Meng Hong, Singapore  (31/12/05)

Crouching poodles, hidden antelopes?

What a genius!
So we sneak a win against the worst team in Premier League history and dear old Richard Dunn is doing bloody handstands! No doubt our theatrical Chairman is reacting in the same way and any slight doubts that may have crept in about the manager`s total, absolute, fantastic genius have been banished for all time (or at least until Monday!).

I don`t keep records but I`ve just checked back on the figures the Mailbag stattos supply and I make Moyes`s League record over 2005:- P38 W12 D4 L22 F33 A59 P40. Now if that qualifies him as a genius, my dick`s a kipper — particularly when you realise that it was at a net cost of some £22 million!

So as we await all the crap about turning corners, new starts, etc etc... do try and keep a sense of proportion, Richard. That way it won`t seem so bad when we`re back in the doldrums next bloody week!
Mike Pollitt, Aughton  (31/12/05)

How to say it
Apologies to Sunderland fans but three points, no matter how they come, are three points... and god how we need them! We didn't deserve the win and barely deserved a draw today.

What an absolutely dire second half! In a game where we should have been carving into our atrocious goal difference against the ONLY side in the premiership with a leakier defence than ours, it took 92 minutes to get a solitary goal, completely against the run of play. On this showing, Moyes still doesn't have a clue — even against the weakest opposition the Premiership has to offer.

We need to start praying and hard that Portsmouth, who also won today, don't get back to winning ways as our goal difference could easily provide the push over the abyss into the Championship. Eighteen games to go and we have still only averaged 1 point per game, that's 38 points if we stick to that form... will it be enough?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (31/12/05)

Now watch us go!
What a great way to end the year! A fabulous away win against `relegation rivals'! You better believe it! These lads are battlers, not bottlers, so come on all you miserable Mailbaggers, let's cut out the moaning and get right behind our Manager and players as we go into what I am sure is going to be a very happy New Year!
Richard  Dodd, Formby  (31/12/05)

It was indeed a fine result, and so everything will now of course be hunky dory. But the performance in the second half was (per the commentary) very poor. Based on our play, the Everton performance clearly did not merit this result and the vital three points it gives us; it could so easily have gone the other way... and just imagine what this mailbag would then have been full of! — Michael

The article by Glasgow Blue highlights the real failure at Goodison which has the club in its current deplorable state. That failure has been Moyes's transfer dealings. The money available has not been spent wisely and it is questionable if the players signed have been what is needed. Too often we hear that Moyes had not even seen the players on the field, eg: Valente, Ferrari, and Van der Meyde. So how could Moyes judge? We have paid over the odds for some players, like Neville — was their any other club after him? So why pay £3.5M?

As well as the doubts on the tactical ability of Moyes, it is compounded by having the wrong players. Couple this with Moyes not even picking them to play, like Krøldrup and Ferrari when they have been available.

Our problems stem from the manager's transfer dealings which reflect on his lack of knowledge of players and that he takes an age to make a decision.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (31/12/05)

Anyone else thought....
Firstly bravo Tony Marsh again, nail on head; enough said. Second, can't remember if it was the legends phone in or I dreamt it but heard a few supporters ask about why not go up to the old bank manager cap in hand again for a few quid if it's going to keep the blues in the Premiership. The financial losses in revenue and bums on seats (season ticket renewals at these prices) will far outweigh a few million quid to get three players we desperately need instead of the same old shite or has-beens. I worry we will end up with on the last day of the transfer window as a panic buy yet again.

My other worry is that, even given a few quid, the ginger misery will waste it on defensive no-marks, cripples or strikers that couldn't score in a brothel.

Happy new year to all Blues and the ToffeeWeb team, hope it brings more cheer than the last twelve months as a blue.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (31/12/05)

Injury Problems??
Does anyone know why Valente constantly keeps breaking down in every match and then we always find out he is having to face a late fitness test before each match we play? After every tackle he goes in for (which are few and far between) he also comes off worst. Is he being played whilst he is unfit? Or is it just his body can't handle the physical element in the Premiership?

Also what is the matter with Carsley? With every other injured player we are given updates on their progress, but I haven't heard anyone breath a word about Carsley. Has he suffered yet another setback?
Eddie J  (31/12/05)

Here comes more crap!
Whilst I agree that Tony Marsh`s list of ideal signings would have made a far better showing than the dross Moyes settled for, there is no guarantee that any of them would have signed for him. A locally based `national` journo told a group of us after the derby game that players just did not like `The Ginger One` and word soon gets around! That would explain why he was left to sign foreign mercenaries like Valente, Ferrari, Van der Meyde and Krøldrup who admitted on TV that he had never met Moyes before he signed. On the other hand, Beattie had certainly met him but given a choice between Moyes/Billy Liar and Bullshit O`Leary/Deadly Doug I guess our lot just shaded it!

So the word among the press lads is that Moyes would never attract a major signing — even if he was given the money! Here comes more crap!
Ken Mills, Maghull  (31/12/05)

I can well believe that about David Moyes, sadly. The problems of the 2003-04 season were at least in part down to Moyes and his man-management limitations. I'm sure this was a massive factor in convincing Wayne Rooney that his future would not involve playing for Moyes, with whom he fell out badly. — Michael

Are we down hearted...
No, honestly! All we need is a new goalkeeper (Nigel's great, but age beats everyone in the end and the other fella's a joke), a couple of defenders, strengthen the midfield and a couple of strikers and we'll be fine. We've got a great chairman, lot's of money to invest in players, the country's most modern ground and I'm sure Mr Moyes has a long term strategy just ready to unveil (any day now...). Got to go: my medications wearing off...
David Fielding, Worcester  (31/12/05)

The Window will be a pain
Fuck all of any note will happen in the transfer window, just you wait and see. If Moyes couldn't get any decent players in the summer, when we had a few bob and the promise of Europe to offer them, why will it be any different now?

We are in a real relegation battle with very little money to spend and a squad that would struggle in the local Sunday league. I bet the agents will be beating down Moyes's door first thing tomorrow. He had his chance and fucked up; that's the truth of the matter.

Everton Football Club will be like a leper colony to any half-decent player. We let all the quality that was available in the summer slip through our fingers and ended up with what we have got now: SHITE.

None of us would be bothered with the Transfer Window if Moyes had done his job properly. We could easily have signed the likes of. Bent, Camera, Konchesky, Malbranque, Barton, Taylor, Niemi. We could have kept Stubbs instead of Weir, and kept Steve Watson instead of Buying Neville. The whole package would of cost less than Moyes spent on all his Summer signings and we would have had pace and quality all over the park. All of those players were available at one time or another during the summer and we didn't end up with any of them.

Makes me want to cry when I look at what we did get for our dosh. Nice one Davey. So forget all about the Miracles our Davey will work in January with what's left of our cashflow and expect some Chris Sutton types to pop up along the way. As long as a player is slow and getting on a bit he will fit the bill for Moyes all day long.

Fuck Me Its Hard Being A Bluenose.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (31/12/05)

Good god, Tony! How much have you Had to drink? And will you please moderate your foul language: there are young and impressionable children reading this site. Perhaps you could lay off poor Moyesie, at least for the rest of the rest of the year.

Time to act
No, I'm not advocating that Moyes gets sacked but we do need to bring in a quality midfielder, someone who can dictate the direction of the game, and that requires money. We need to act fast, which is why I am astounded by the comments attributable to Irvine suggesting that the acquisition of players was not the immediate priority as winning the next two games is more important and that there were limited funds available anyway. When are the powers that be going to realise that if you can't win the midfield battles your forwards get no service and your defence is exposed?

One of our biggest mistakes in the transfer window was the signing of Neville; he never was a midfield player and we didn't need yet another left-back... or is he a right-back? Truth is he's a utility player and we've already got too many of those; added to that, his ball distribution is woeful.

Worryingly, teams now expect to beat us comfortably hence the inclusion of Cisse in the Liverpool starting eleven —hardly a master stroke from Benitez. The opposition are sitting back allowing us to get forward in the full knowledge that if we concede possession they can hit us on the break given the serious lack of pace in the squad. Irvine's comments suggest we haven't yet decided on who those targets are. I do have some sympathy for Moyes in that the squad numbers needed to be increased but we desperately needed the addition of two quality signings, one up-front and one in the middle.

Words of advice to Alan Irvine: if we don't invest immediately in the transfer window the next two games may be the only ones we win between now and the end of the season. What Moyes needs now is support from the Board the patience of the fans will hold I believe, but only if the Board are prepared to show some commitment.
Gerry W, London  (30/12/05)

Oh dear... more disappointments on the way, I'm afraid. Your expectations don't tally too well with past experience and current murmourings. There is clearly little money available: perhaps £3M to £6M... but are there players available that Moyes and Irvine are even interested in? Moyes has said before he dislikes the transfer windows, and the limited availability of players mid-season is a big problem for him.

But your dire warning to Mr Irvine takes the proverbial melodramatic biscuit. Please don't be so ridiculous. We still have half-a-dozen of our senior squad out injured. Do you honestly believe that a couple of players (at most) coming in are really going to make that much difference? Our change in fortune will have to have some source other than the transfer window, I'm sorry to say. — Michael

I'm with Gerry here, actually. I think that Moyes needs to get over his dislike of transfer windows (he only gets two a year so he better get used to them) , stop using the glut of festive games as an excuse not to think about transfer targets and find some key players to bring in, be it on loan or via permanent acquisition.

Whatever the source of our current malaise (be it the manager, the players, confidence, etc) it's clear that things as they are not working. A player in the Gravesen mold (not Gravesen himself) to bolster a lightweight midfield, a striker with pace and an eye for goal, and a central defender on the right side of 30 and experience of a league like the Premiership would do us no end of good. Simply sitting around hoping the current squad somehow rights itself is not going to cut it for me. From the midfield forward, only Andy van der Meyde has been missing during our most recent collapse in form; to respectfully disagree with Michael, we need new blood and we need it now. Lyndon

Nothing but the best
In response to Mr Ramejkis (Hi Gav - long time no see!) I am certainly not happy to accept second best but my point is that Moyes's record in two out of his three full seasons deserves that he be given more time.

Where I am in total agreement with you is that Bullshit Billy and his lapdog Buster need to get as far away from Goodison Park — NOW!

How can you judge Moyes when he has not been given the tools to do his job? Because of the inability of the Board to get any funds in place to back the manager, we are only going to be able to sign players that no other sides want. Apart from the top four sides who seemingly can pay whatever wages they want, we can't compete with Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Birmingham, Spurs or even Wigan - please, Gav, don't interpret that as me accepting that but that is the reality.

And because of the age of the squad that Moyes inherited he hasn't even been able to wheel and deal. He's had to replace a squad of 25 players for little over £30M — I'm sorry but it can't be done. Gav, maybe you would like José Mourinho £30M? At the risk of repeating myself, do you think he really wanted to buy Valente, Neville, Van de Meyde? Do you not think he would much rather have bought Parker, Sissoko, Emre and a whole host of others? Of course he would, but once other sides express an interest then we have no chance — and until BSB lets go of his trainset we will continue to have no chance.

Maybe fans will point to the signing of Richard Wright and say Moyes can't be trusted with money but have many goalkeepers have Man Utd bought unsuccessfully to replace Rudolf? Liverpool have probably spent more on goalkeepers in the last 4 years than Moyes has spent on a squad of 25!

All this doesn't mean that Moyes is immune from criticism - I would much rather the Neville money had been spent on two or three lower-league players - but I do believe that until we rid ourselves of the cancer that is Kenwright, then Moyes deserves a chance.

ps Gav, please don't compare me to Kenwright; also, as long as my car gets me to Wigan and back each day and I can take me and my mates to the aways without worrying about some twat nicking it or defacing it then it will do for me! I know it's old and past its sell-by date which is why my kids don't go anywhere near it and that's why I bought a nice new people carrier for my wife - glad we cleared that one up !
Jez Clein, Childwall  (30/12/05)

This might make it into a Comment piece I'm trying to get down "on paper" but I would contest the assertion that Moyes "has not been given the tools to do his job." You could certainly have argued that in the summer of 2004 when he had next to no money, but since the turn of this year he has had £25m at his disposal — more if you count the £10m he might have spent on a Dirk Kuyt or a Michael Owen. Granted, it's a fraction of Mourinho's budget, but only two clubs spent more on incoming players in the last transfer window than Everton. That is not to support Kenwright in any way, but the evidence is that Moyes is a short-term motivator and not much more. I would dearly love to be proved wrong — it looks as though our medium-term health as a club is going to require it — but at the moment I see a man who is tactically limited and wholly reliant on the confidence and support of his players to succeed. When is the next team getaway so we can start picking up more points? Lyndon

Beattie's Boobs
When is Beattie going to get rid of those man-boobs? Is it a genetic defect or lack of training/regular intake of alcohol? If it's the former, my sympathies go out to the young man.
John Alderson  (30/12/05)

James Beattie has a good scoring record and is quite capable of getting us out of trouble. Even Mr Owen looks pretty ordinary when he isn't getting the ball. What all strikers need is a supplier. A bit more defending wouldn´t go amiss either.
Tony Waring, Frogmore  (30/12/05)

Hold fast
To all my fellow Evertonians, I would say "hold fast".

Like all of you, I am severely devastated by our current form; over the years, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly as far as Everton goes. With Modern IT technology, its easier for us to express our views.

I'd hoped that we were starting to contend for top six again, but I am realistic enough to know that "the precious Rooney money" was never going to be enough. For all of you who would slag of Moyes, you have to know what your talking about. I'll quote Arséne Wenger: "£5M is a small signing".

All I have seen so far this season is a crippling injury list, not enough money to sign the striker we truly need (whilst on that subject, many would sign nobody's that we cannot create the chances for). Unless you're blind you are seeing now that a fit James Beattie was worth the money for EFC.

We are a Club in Crisis, because Moyes has raised the bar (after years of nothing); yet, because we are below it many want to see him sacked. So, before I hear "sack Moyes", "you're not fit to wear the shirt" cries, the boos, take a good hard look at yourselves.

This is a team in transition; give them the time to adjust and perform. We have been crippled by injuries and partly by some shite referees. In fairness of players themselves have been under-performing both individually and collectively. I do believe we'll pull out of this; there is enough quality in the team.

Please just get behind them, because for sure in this modern media age, no one else will give them confidence.

We have no god-given right to be in the Prem, and we have been in lower leagues before. All I can promise is my 100% support. I hope you can too.
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (30/12/05)

Accepting second best?
Partially a response to Jez Clein (apologies when you read it too Jeremy) and to any others still clinging on to a pro-Moyes stance, yes you are entitled to your opinion but so are the anti-Moyes lot.

To Jeremy, why is it that so many people are happy to sit back and be satisfied with second best? Read the club emblem: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. Jeremy, you still drive a heap of a car you had ten years ago, like Billy Liar "being a blue" is a plus point to some (don't know why anymore) your private plate doesn't detract from the car being old and past its sell-by date mate.

Billy Liar was never on my Christmas Card list but his latest musings on the Liverpool anthem have parked him firmly in the Agent Johnson camp - closet red; no blue on this planet would show any sympathy for that tune with all the gloating memories of hatred-filled rednoses singing it — the same twats that hurl objects at our throw-in takers (any intervention FA? - think not) and can't even complete a minute of silence. Billy is again sitting back clinging onto his boyhood dream whilst it fades into obscurity week by week; he simply isn't the answer — he is the malaise.

Thanks to Tony Marsh and Ken's additions about Billy Liar's verbose garbage, chaps; I'm not surprised by any of it. The club needs new blood, new ideas, passion to see it as a business to create the wealth to buy Premiership-quality players. Successful businesses breed success; money makes money; a die-hard fan can show passion... but, without the ability to walk the walk, it's just lip-service, ladies and gentlemen. And that's the trouble at Goodison; we wait for the next episode of Billy Liar's bullshit to appease the latest catastrophe. The biggest clubs in the world are run as profit-making enterprises — not as private hobbies.

Whilst nothing changes at the top don't expect any changes on the pitch.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (30/12/05)

All of which of course neatly defies the historical record. We have seen huge change on the field in terms of results and league placings. One season, it's a "Magnificent Seventh"; the next, it's an ignominious 17th place, and the lowest points total ever! Then, up on the rollercoaster again for 4th place, and the "massive achievement" of Champions League qualification.

People are obviously not happy with second best, and they yearn for the fulfillment of our club motto... but the path to achieving these things is a rough one, and most of those people cannot agree on how you really go about it. Cue lots of wailing and ranting, with the blame being spread fairly evenly over a host of issues that have been enumerated by various persons on these pages ad nauseam.

The final solution is "Change at the Top", and on that theme, I'm currently responding in my ViewPoint column to a challenge from a reader that we at ToffeeWeb should be an influence for change at the club. Read the rest of my thoughts on this issue here. — Michael

Managers` Records
After two and a half hours at Ikea, thank God for Tony Bird`s Dad (30/12)! Told the missus I`d got some research to do, so left her with the flat-pack!

Like you, Ed, I can`t define `losing the plot` but certainly a number of Everton managers have departed at around the four-year, 170-game mark, viz :-

Bingham   P172 W64 D55 L53 F229 A214
Harvey     P174 W74 D52 L48 F253 A180
Kendall II P162 W63 D40 L59 F218 A202
Smith       P168 W53 D50 L65 F205 A216
      (all competitions)
And for the record, currently:
Moyes       P163 W61 D34 L68 F198 A235
By my reckoning, that puts Moyes marginally ahead of Smith but behind all the others on games lost, at least. The `goals for` column is interesting as it tends to bear out the widely held view that the Moyes brand of football leaves much to be desired.

Cue for Richard Dodd! (or Rob Fox)
David Hall, Taunton  (30/12/05)

Many thanks for that tremendous effort, David. My Stattos are still stuck on Johnny Carey! — Michael

Yobo? Weir?
It seems to me like David Weir is taking all the abuse recently; whilst I'm far from his biggest fan, I can't understand why he alone, and not Yobo, is shouldering all the blame. I've seen Yobo have some amazing games and genuinely think he can be a great player but equally he has some stinkers and has made some awful costly mistakes, far more then Weir. Are we all forgetting that Yobo hardly played at centre-back last year yet we had our most successful season for many a year? Actually, what am I on about? They're all playing like donkeys so they all deserve the blame? Roll on 2006
Sam  Davies, Cardiff  (30/12/05)

Where`s the prayer mat?
Just read through the Mailbag and it`s certainly not offering much New Year cheer. Most of the letters seem to assume that all our woes can be overcome by a change of manager; whilst I`m no great Moyes fan, I think our troubles go far deeper than that. In my view there is simply a lack of quality in all departments — and I don`t exclude the goalkeeping role from that statement!

I was intrigued by the statement from David Hall that although Everton had already lost to no less than four of their relegation rivals, he was backing them to stay up! I would have thought that a statto like him would have seen, as I do, that those defeats were the most damaging of all. Perhaps, he`s thrown all his usual depressing logic out of the window and is just hoping for a turnaround in all the return matches! Where`s that bloody prayer mat, mother?
Martin Paul, Mere  (30/12/05)

Where Everton Go Wrong
I get to half a dozen games a season with my two lads. It has been a long time since we saw an Everton victory. My 6-year-old lad is asking me some very searching questions about why I take him to a place which makes me so unhappy. He loves it. A disallowed goal is worth a real one to him as the roar is the same and we are just as likely to get one of those as one that counts these days. He also finds the away fans' chants amusing, especially the one about going Christmas shopping.

I hope my lads are part of Everton's future and I hope they will experience the kind of joy that I have had supporting the Toffees. For me, Bill Kenwright is not looking after the long-term strategy of the club. I think he is too conscious of being popular with the short-termists who will always gamble on the next opportunity.

I know hindsight is 20:20 but what if we had resisted the urge to rebuild the squad in one summer? What if we had put some money aside to build the deposit for a decent stadium on Goodison Road or elsewhere? Would we be worse off? I think its unlikely.

The saga of Duncan Ferguson is a true example of this. Duncan is repeatedly used as the last throw of the dice. As an Evertonian, I find this against everything we were brought up to believe. I love Duncan. Just like most Evertonians, he personifies the passion and the quality we want in all our players.

Unfortunately he has been a disaster for Everton since he has clearly never been part of a long-term team strategy involving wide men who can cross the ball until Arteta arrived — just in time for Duncan to give it all up. It's not Duncan's fault that Unsy was clearly instructed to pump the ball up to him down the middle.

What I would like to see from Everton is a long-term plan, well communicated. This has to involve a new ground plan, a team investment plan and an adherence to core values in terms of scientific playing style. All I see at the moment is an unbalanced squad which was unable to gel in time, put together in haste using the club's inheritance. Such opportunities to lay firm foundations come rarely. I fear we have wasted the chance for my lads to see silverware at Goodison before they are in their twenties. I hope they remain true to the faith.
Peter Carew, Birkenhead  (30/12/05)

Points for Progress
Come on everyone. Will you please try to lighten up and get behind the team. I'm only 15 and I seem to be more level-headed about our predicament than people who are three times older than me!

We all know the players are low on confidence but ranting and raving won't help anybody at the club. We need to get behind the players for a change and then see if there is a difference in their performance.

Looking back at the derby, after we scored the goal, the crowd got behind the players and we saw a major change in their style of play, they became more adventurous and tried to make passes we didn't see earlier in the game. Even though it was only for the last 5 minutes, it was a DIFFERENCE.

I am also worried for the team but there has to be a sense of realism about the trouble we're in. There are three teams worse than us for sure, Portsmouth, Birmingham and Sunderland. West Brom have such erratic form it's hard to catergorise them. When (not if) we get the three points at Sunderland, it will increase the players' morale and they can progress from there.

I know our squad may not be brimming with quality but it can certainly take on the likes of Charlton and get all 3 points or at least a point. (I never understand all the fuss about Charlton being a good team; in one word, they're NOT!) Whatever amount of points we take out of those games will clearly give the players a boost however small it may be.

So please let's just take everything one step at a time and stop fretting over if we'll be playing in the Championship next season. There are still games after Christmas! Every team will drop points (except Chelsea) at some point, and so if we come through this period relatively unharmed and pick up a few points then I will see it as an improvement from a team with no confidence. Just relax a bit more and maybe you'll see the team approach their matches with a better mentality.
Alex Holbein, Cheshire  (30/12/05)

Such optimism is truly uplifting. What worries me is the shifting sand on which it is built. You say that winning points from our next two games will give the players the lift they need; sadly there is no guarantee of the points or of the lifting effect.

I'm now very concerned about how will you feel if we get no points from these two games. You may start to feel a bit like those who were equally confident we would get maximum points from at least two of our last four games. It's expectations like those which, when shattered, lead directly to the ranting and raving you complain about.

Taking it one step at a time and not projecting relegation at Christmas is commendable. But relying on points from upcoming games is dangerous... surely you can see that? The next step is Sunderland. We take that step tomorrow at 3pm, and it ain't over 'til 4:50 or thereabouts. Maybe you've heard that pithy old saying about counting chickens? — Michael

Moyes a Good Everton Manager?
I have just read the biased article on Mr Moyes in the Herald. I thought I would forward a copy of the e-mail I sent to it's author:

Mr. MacDonald,

I have just read your article on David Moyes term at Everton. What amazes me when you talk about Moyes record at EFC is that you do not mention that in his time he has also come up with our lowest ever points total (2003/04), our biggest ever margin of defeat (7-0 against Arsenal) also knocked out of the FA by the lowest opposition in the clubs History. Not to mention never having a cup run and so many other 4-0, 5-0. 5-1 humiliations the most I can remember in such a short space of time.

If we add to that little list that we are currently the lowest scores in the whole of professional football across Europe, I just can’t see the qualities that you yourself see in Mr. Moyes . By the way many EFC mangers have got to 4th place or above.

Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (30/12/05)

What a difference
I shall not be taking David Hall`s advice to bet on Everton`s survival. A little bit of research this morning indicates that no team has ever beaten the drop with a goal difference of more than -30. Indeed, only Bradford City who accumulated 39 points (GD -30) to escape the drop in 99-00 have survived on more than -27 so as we are on -20 after only 18 games there will have to be one hell of a turnaround to avoid the fateful -30 mark. Surprised you missed that stat, Davey Boy!
Ian Porter, Freshfield  (30/12/05)

Dangerous Times
My old man saw the recently published comparison between the records of Moyes and Smith. He says that most of our managers have lost the plot at around the four-year mark. Can one of your anoraks confirm or deny this as he`ll keep on about it? If he`s right perhaps you can show the records of these other `failed` managers.
Tony Bird, Burscough  (30/12/05)

You will have to define "lost the plot" in mathematical terms that will mean something to our rabid team of Stattos. Number of rumours suggesting player unrest? Consecutive games lost? Quantity of timely substitutions not made? Hollow votes of confidence proffered by the Chairman? etc — Michael

Summary of post-derby
An awful lot of people have been roused to write in. It must be 9 to 1 that Moyes should go. The best original idea in the correspondence was - Peter Reid to succeed, I'm sure he could motivate the supporters, and hopefully motivate the mercenaries who spent last summer negotiating expensive new contracts which they haven't ethically honoured on their side. Can it be that difficult to get someone to tackle in midfield, and to have the sort of back four that Stubbs & Weir were the core of last year?
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (30/12/05)

Whatever.... but let me tell you this little secret: Moyes is Going Nowhere. Talk of a replacement is redundant to the point of becoming asinine. I'm getting a bit sick of this contract theory too, to be perfectly honest. And Stubbs... maybe you just answered your own question! Who'd u thunk it: we miss Alan Stubbs! — Michael

I don't know if anybody has already mentioned it but I was just thinking about Moyes saying there was no money to spend in the transfer window. Did we not offer £12M for Michael Owen, a couple of days before the last transfer deadline? I can't remember us buying anybody else after that offer was made, so where is that money? Was it Billy Liar just trying to hoodwink us again, when he knew it was a safe bet Owen would not touch us with a barge pole? I may be wrong and we did spend the money. Could anyone at ToffeeWeb let me know.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (29/12/05)

I have no way of confirming it, but try this for size: There's a month or so left in the transfer window, Moyes knows that he has missed out on signing the striker he desperately needs. Some high-profile but expensive names come up. Bill agrees to gamble, hoping that Moyes can secure the player(s) needed to score the goals needed to carry Everton to the lucrative group stages of the Champions League... the rest is history.

Bill relied on the extra income from the ECL to finance the continued payments for the more expensive strikers we went after. They didn't come, we didn't progress; no extra money; very small transfer kitty available now. No real mystery, is there?

People seem to think because we bid £10M or £12M for a striker, but did not get them, that the money has just been lying around for the last five months. But the money never actually existed in that sense. But the long-term funding mechanisms to produce that money were in place, although likely dependant on future success... success that never came. It would have been a gamble... it might not have paid off... we shall never no.

The money is not there now because it was never really there in the first place. But that does not mean Everton, or Bill or Davey were lying about making those offers; I believe they were genuine, and would have been financed if the players had agreed to sign.

I can't understand the mentality that assumes these attempts to address our continuing lack of firepower were elaborate fabrications. But then maybe I'm just as gullible as the next man. — Michael

That Song
I'm sorry, Bill, but I obviously must not be human, as whenever I hear that song I want to vomit.

That song symbolises everything that I despise about our friends across the park. It is my experience (yes I know some people will say I'm bitter) that many Reds use their allegiance to prove that, since they are Reds, they are therefore superior to us. After all, this is the crap that the TV fed to them during the sixties and they have continued it to this day.

Our "friends across the park" are suppose to represent the "typical scouser" and they use it to treat us as second-class citizens. It is a well known fact that Kopites have a sense of humour and everyone loves them because of their team. We are treated as that other team from Liverpool who are not as good as they are. Kopites are never wrong about anything and never do anything wrong! If something happens then it is not their fault, but someone else's.

I'm sorry for ranting on like this, but I could not stand by and let the Chairman of our Club come out and make a comment like that without some sort of reply. I admit that I may not be typical of my fellow Blues, but I'm sure that there are a lot out there who will feel the same way.

So Bill, if you want to sing along to that song, I'm sure there'll be a welcome for you across the Park! Just don't expect us to follow suit!

One last thing, just to let you know, I have actually sung that song twice in my life, the first time I was rather drunk at a friend's 21st birthday party and, as per usual the DJ put that song on and everyone sang along. (Apparently, it's the song that everyone wants to hear at the end of the night! So that's why I remember it being the cause of a fight breaking out at a local football do back in 1985).

The second time was in 1989 at the derby game which took place after Hillsborough, when along with every other blue in the ground we showed our respect to the people who had died that terrible day.

ps: Today I got an e-mail from an old work colleague of mine, a kopite, who I've not heard from in months. He actually asked another old work colleague for my e-mail details so that he could just gloat about last night's result! Kopites, don't you just love them!
Liam Taubman, Onchan, Isle of Man  (29/12/05)


Please Bill, you didn't say that...Did you?
Not many people will agree with me but I like Kenwright. He was the only one who stood up and got rid of Peter Johnson. No one else wanted to know... (Oh Sir John, if you only knew what your offspring have done!) There are things that we don't like but he is an Evertonian and wants the best. Like us all.

Please don't tell me it's true that he said that about one of the worst records ever. That tune is up the 'Wind beneath my wings' type of shite.

Bill... WHY? Just keep shut.
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

It comes from an old musical, Carousel, and it drips with the kind of sappy emotional rhetoric that slips so easily from our Blue Bill's loveable lips.... I must say, I was not in the least little bit surprised.

But it remains to be seen if this dagger to the heart of true Evertonians will be enough to sway some of his most ardent supporters.... surely grounds for a public lynching on Goodison Road? — Michael

Moyes going nowhere
I was most interested in the chat Mr Marsh had with Mr Kenwright. It appears our Chairman is confident in the choice of manager he made and sees no reason to replace him as he has the confidence the man will come good. I applaud him for sticking by his belief and I hope that in time Mr Moyes will become our Cappello.

In making it clear to Mr Marsh that Mr Moyes is staying then he must have no fears of relegation and expects us soon to move up the table. However, this "Moyes going nowhere", even from the horses mouth, means little to me as I have been an observer of footy for many a year and have come to realise that words are just words. Come mid-February, if we are not up the table and indeed still in as much mire as we are now, then it will become Twitchy Bum time in the boardroom and at that point I would rule nothing out.

I really hope it doesn't come to that as I am a believer in continuity. But "Moyes going nowhere" - just words; beware...

Ken Buckley, Buckley  (29/12/05)

You are absolutely right, Ken, and your cautionary note is much appreciated. The emphasis we have placed on that is to try to drum it home to the hordes calling for him to go, that it ain't happening... yet. Hopefully, this will also stem the flood of hoped-for replacements; hold that thought! — Michael

When we finished 4th from bottom, we had Ferguson, Rooney, Radzinsky, Campbell, Jeffers, Chadwick, and McFadden. We kept Ferguson and McFadden, replaced Jeffers with Bent, Campbell with Beattie, Chadwick with Vaughan; Rooney and Radzinsky we did not replace.

When the transfer window opened, I was sure we would sign Ashton and maybe Camara on loan. The Summer came and no new strikers... what is the problem? After the Aston Villa game, our strikers have 6 goals. Ashton has 18 since his transfer, Camara has 7 for Wigan.

Joe Royle (what of our connection???) sold Bent (9 goals) and Kuqi [free] (6 goals). Kenwright also has connections with Doug Ellis: Vassel went for £2M and has 5 goals. Campbell has 4 goals since he left, compared to Beattie's 5.

Rooney and Radzinski have 39 goals since they left. Mr Brian McBride, on loan to Everton but not signed by us, has a staggering 18 goals for Fulham in 40 games — when was the last time anyone scored 18 goals in a season for us?

Why did we not get a couple of strikers for the Champions League. Can ToffeeWeb or David Moyes answer that for me?
Peter Knight, Vancouver, Canada  (29/12/05)

Okay... I think I'm beginning to get the idea now... perhaps we need a new striker... Gosh, who'd 'u thunk it? I mean, I wonder if anyone actually pointed that out at the time?

Oh yes, look! somebody did. Our very own Lyndon Lloyd. Months and months ago. But it was probably just dismissed at the time... more negativity from ToffeeWeb. Ho Hum. — Michael

Its just that simple
Ok lads, here's the score. We can all muse the intricacies of formation, confidence, an underperforming midfield or any number of factors that is causing our failings, but it's plain as day; we don't score. We don't threaten to score, so teams are free to push up on us and consequently, we get hammered.

Let's all stop over-analyzing and admit it; Moysey dropped the ball in the last window because everyone knew we needed a striker. We didn't get one and voila, no goals and no points.

It's simple, shell out BIG for Andy Johnson, loan someone of a similar calibre or we are nearing the end. It's nearly January and now we CAN buy a goal. Please do. Pleeeeeeeease...
Viv Sharma, London  (29/12/05)

Oh if only it were so easy....

Beattie has more potential
I completely agree with Dean Peamum when he says Beattie needs a good strike partner playing off him. Whenever you saw him at Southampton, he always had Kevin Philips etc just playing off him and they worked well with each other. However, just as soon as he arrived, he was thrown into the lone-striker role. This contributed to our failure to win matches as Beattie was constantly played out of position and even now appears on the wing!

I thought Moyes would recover that situation by signing a striker in summer but of course he didn't. Beattie is scoring a few goals now but if we want more goals from him we need a speedy striker who will just play off Beattie, receiving and giving the ball. That is why he isn't able to show his full potential.

Anyhow at the moment will someone please tell Beattie he doesn't always have to blast every shot he hits. The chance against Liverpool when he was on the back post is a good example of his problem. Instead of just toe punching the ball past Reina he goes and thumps the ball into the stand! The coaches should see that problem and help him correct it.
John Davis  (29/12/05)

Changes required
Hugely disappointing result last night. I have argued for some time that we desperately need a holding midfield player as our top priority. There is only one such player available within our price range: Michael Browne. I think we need to do whatever is necessary to secure his signature.

There have been suggestions that there might possibly be the option of a swap deal involving Earnshaw and Bent; the guy is very quick, would complement Beattie and has got to be worth a try. Defensively we are a shambles: Weir simply gets increasingly ridiculous with each passing game. Let's hope Per Krøldrup can regain his fitness/confidence as he certaintly has the potential to be a great defender. With Yobo off to the African Nations soon, we will be in one hell of a mess.
Gerry Western, London  (29/12/05)

No way out of third gear
Ian Bonnar is right: Everton`s Premiership record qualifies them for bottom third status. With the set up in place at Goodison we are totally foolish to regard ourselves as anything other than perennial strugglers. Last year`s fourth place was, in fact, the actual blip!

Almost three months ago, I wrote to say that the only league we should be interested in this season was the competition to escape relegation between ourselves,the three Midlands clubs, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Fulham. Nothing has changed except that Sunderland and Brum are making it ever more likely that there will be only one vacancy in the final drop zone. Thank God! Not withstanding the fact that we have already lost to no less than FOUR teams in this group, I continue to believe that we shall do just enough to be safe.

Re-assured by Tony Marsh`s insider knowledge that we are stuck with Moyes for the duration, I shall, tomorrow, place a sizeable bet on Everton to finish 17th (with a saver on 16th) and await the last day of the season. As I have done on several occasions in recent history, I shall then join in the celebration as yet another useless manager and his bunch of mercenary tossers soak up the praise for a job well done on the customary `lap of honour`.

Yes, Ian, that`s Everton today and for the foreseeable future, I`m afraid, so don`t go getting above your station folks. Just get down the bookies in the morning!
David Hall, Taunton  (29/12/05)

I accept!
Tell Ged Dwyer I accept his offer and congratulate him on his acumen. He can be my assistant.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (29/12/2005)

Confidence & Concentration
I'm as down as any Blue at the moment as we're getting continually worse with no change or hope forthcoming. I'm at a loss on how things have got so bad and how those in control don't seem to be able to see it. We know we can't score goals but I was interested to notice that Middlesboro, who have 3 top strikers in Yakuba, Viduka and JFH (costing £12 million but imagine the wages they're on) are only 3 points above us in the league. Viduka has scored 7, JFH has 4 while our Biffa has 5 and that with no service. Maybe if he had a strike partner it might help both him and us.

The fact is there are a lot of teams who aren't any better than us. I also noticed a couple of wins would put us mid-table and I think it all comes down to confidence. At the moment you can see the fear in some of the players and these nerves lead to mistakes.

I've also noticed we concede quite a few goals immediately after the second half begins. We've actually conceded 10 of our 30 goals against us in the 45-60 minute part of the game. Is this a concentration lapse or are we just slow to get going - ie, 12 months. Surely this is a part of our game the coaching staff should be working on. (That is, if they still work on coaching).

Any road up, getting on the players backs definitely WON'T help. Pull together, lads, through thick and thin. We're Evertonians; we're used to it.
Dean Peamum, Valetta, Malta  (29/12/05)

Derby Day Nutters
I have just read Alan Chadwick's letter concerning one so-called Evertonian who seems to spend his match days roaming around the Top Balcony hurling threats and abuse at anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way. I have had to endure several games with this particular individual choosing to sit in a vacant seat next to me and on each occasion he has been warned by police and stewards alike to moderate his language and behaviour.

I can entirely sympathise with Alan as it seems that the derby game served to bring out further hidden depths of abuse and paranoia from this guy. But my point is - how far does one individual have to go before the stadium officials feel it appropriate to eject him from the ground in order to protect the majority from his appalling rants?

There seems to be an increasing trend among some Evertonians towards this type of extreme expression of their feelings and I have to agree with Alan that, irrespective of the standard of football on offer, it is this type of behaviour from fellow 'fans' that is most likely to lead to my family's season tickets not being renewed in future. The stewards have to single out individuals such as this and deal with them appropriately before they get the chance to ruin the club for everyone else.
John Gibson, Liverpool  (30/12/05)

Well said, mate.

One positive from Derby
Has anyone yet stumbled upon the one positive that came out of last night's match? I know you're all thinking I must be mad but I think this is a valid point that needs to be made. The goal we scored was of a high quality in my eyes. It was a combined effort from the team and was the first time in a while that we showed some skill! No one else seemed to notice either for a change that players were constantly pushing for that goal. Unlike the past few weeks, after the goals went in they tried their best (with the fragile confidence thay have) to get forward.

Liverpool, honestly, were rattled when we scored that goal. The crowd were behind our players and I just wished the half hadn't ended there. I actually was hoping Moyes just left them on the pitch so as he couldn't seed any doubt into their minds because whatever he says at half time in the past few weeks has obviously had a detrimental effect on the players!(6 goals in the past two games have come in the second half). Anyway if the players can take that positive out of the game and allow the themselves to see that, if they play like they did to get that goal, they can win games.

I thought someone needed to sound positive on this mailbag comment page as it was getting dangerously close to becoming an "end of the world" comments page. Thanks.
Rory Daveson  (29/12/05)

The In Laws
Despite being off work from the 23 December until the 9 Jnuary,it was arranged that me and the wife would be going to meet her parents for a meal at 8.00pm on the 28th (the only time during the whole fortnight that there was something I wanted to watch on TV).

I was thinking about buying a small radio and listening to the game whilst in the restaurant. Without having to be told that this was a stupid idea, I decided to concentrate on family matters and tried to put all thoughts of the game out of my head. This was surpisingly easy but by the time I got home I thought I'll watch the highlights and see what happpened.

What did happen was not unexpected. I have three questions to ask my fellow blues. Name a current Everton player with true grit, one with genuine pace and one who can hit the back of the net easily. I can't think of anybody, can you? We need one for each of these categories or we are doomed I fear. Let's hope 2006 is better than 2005. Cheers!
John Scott, Edinburgh  (29/12/05)

Third time lucky?
I see Franny's packing his bags again. Any chance of him 'gracing' our pitch any time soon?

Although many fans won't like to admit it, he is in the type of striker who we have been trying to sign (Keane/Johnson/Bellamy) and as none of those boys would touch us with a long shitty stick we really could do with him (if he could pass a Forsell and not a Krøldrup medical).

I know it didn't work last time, but Jeffers isn't the only case when Moyes has fallen out with a young talented scouse striker, and this time he wouldn't have Ratsinski blocking his progress. And if he could re-discover a goal scoring touch maybe we could stop switching off every time the opposition scored.
Dominic Buckley, Manchester  (29/12/05)

Spot on, Rick!
What a fantastic letter by Rick Tarleton. Absolutely spot on. It's good to know some Evertonians can see exactly what's wrong with the team. Yes, we need another striker; yes, the defence has looked creaky; but most of the problems stem from the midfield.

I say Rick for manager. He certainly knows more than Moyes!
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Dead Man Walking
We now have a manager who judges the team's performances on how hard they try. Happy to be beaten only 3-1 by our closest enemies? Discraceful.
Bobby Dempster, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Derby Seating
I read the site everyday and I think it's a great read. This is my first letter here and I just wanted to comment on the seating at the Derby last night.

It was bad enough to see the team fall apart, but myself and my Dad were surrounded by Kopites in the Lower Bullens. Things did get a little over-heated and there were some people kicking off and winding Evertonians up, with a few chucked out.

How did they get tickets, and why let them in in the first place?! Whenever I have bought tickets over the phone I always get told if I am an away supporter in the home end, I won't be let in!
Andy Wallace, Leeds  (29/12/05)

Where have all the young men gone?
You look around Goodison now and where are the groups of young people - just a few paid for by their dads. It is so long since Everton did anything of note that a whole generation have grown up knowing us to be utter rubbish. When the youngsters do go along, do they have any goals to cheer, do they see attacking football? All they see is some spineless gutless wimps led by a man who is so scared to lose he puts everyone in defence even when we are 2 down. At least they will have thought against Liverpool we will at least have a go so some of them can go to school the next day and not be taunted to death. But no, the same old stuff from the pathetic figure on the touchline - as my young grandson said to me, "Is he the ball boy?"
Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (29/12/05)

The Goal Stats
Our goal difference is -20. This is a very reliable statistic, it says that we lose heavily and when we play well we scrape a 1-0. We are a poor team whose defence is panicky, Valente and Weir are simply not up to the job. Our midfield is unbalanced and therefore does not do its basic job and our attack consists of one lonely man.

Liverpool have a good team, their midfield closed down our individuals so effectively and they supported both attack and defence. To hear fans talking of the Ferguson mentality is pathetic, courage is not the answer. Bravery and thuggery will not win us matches, we need ability, and tactics and when the manager starts publicly calling his two best players "stupid" you know he's lost the plot and the dressing room. Good managers keep things in house.

Ian Bonnar is totally correct, the whole set up needs a real overhaul otherwise we will join Sheffield Wednesday and Notts Forest as clubs with only a past. Kenwright needs to go, the manager needs to be sacked and there needs to be a new mentality.
Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (29/12/05)

I am as upset by our performances and as bewildered by our tactics (or lack of them) as anyone and yes we were roasted in the derby by, like it or not a far superior team than ourselves. I am no lover of Moyes and his inept running of the team and would love to see him leave sooner rather than later Moyes will go eventually, that's for sure, but a panic replacement will only make matters worse.

Moyes throughout his managerial career has failed to deliver the goods at the final hurdle and has won nothing in his managerial career, which begs the question: Was he the right man for the job in the first place? If you think finishing fourth is an achievement, let me remind you that we still remain trophyless and skint with a squad not fit to be in the Prem. Get used to the fact that the useless gobshite is going nowhere but replacing him with another useless gobshite is not the answer.
Dave Lynch, merseyside  (29/12/05)

Completely atrocious
Read Richard Hartless's post and felt for the lad. This absolute shower of shite that call themselves a Premiership club are draining him of every penny the kid's got and what does he see for it? I left with 30 minutes to go last night because we are a pathetic, dismal, monotonous, lacklustre team. There is no passion, no skill and no desire. It's completely atrocious. There are no more excuses with this lot I'm afraid. People are still singing DM's praises. What the fuck is going on?

Michael, I dont agree with a lot of your 'defensive' comments but you were spot on in one reply I've just read, "Moyes is going nowhere so that's that one settled". Thats the truth. When all is said and done, who would replace him anyway. Dark times to be a blue at the moment and I'm afraid the future looks even bleaker. Sickening.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (29/12/2005)

What a wonderful note from Tony Marsh — as the Editor has repeatedly said all along, Moyes is going nowhere. Why? you may ask — because his great friend Bill Kenwright does not have the guts to make the decision we all know deep down has to be made NOW.

What a way to run a football club. Is there anything we the fans can do to persuade BK to realise that unless Moyes goes we are off to Crewe, Burnley et al next season? I for one very much doubt it... we are doomed folks and soon EFC will be the next Sheffield Wednesday or Notts Forest. One man (BK) controls the future of EFC: what a nightmare scenario...
Peter Quinn, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Please post (as you never seem to post a article w
I feel empty at the moment. Every week I find myself saying… "But next week it’ll get better; we can't go on like this," and it never does. All I've known for my 17 years is gloom. Tonight was the final straw — outplayed by the team from across the park.

Last season raised the bar along with hopes and dreams, the team that finally made me believe the good times were coming back - the ones only my dad and granddad could tell me about! I should have seen it from January, but I took refuge in our league position; now I see the truth. After continually being on the end of several shockers, the truth is dawning on me.

I've read several great articles on ToffeeWeb about how Moyes has lost the plot; I, like many ‘young’ blues, refused to believe... but now I'm starting to see, and it saddens me. We have a manager with no nouse on tactics, slow to bring subs, poor buying in the transfer market - his only quality is motivating poor players!

I can't believe the merry go around of this club. One season we look good, the next downright awful. Every penny I earn goes towards the club. It's not much but a season ticket and away games cost a lot of money! It hurts me that my dad, a life-long blue cannot afford to go to the European games he so craved last season. He works flat out on tuppence in comparison to our so-called players - yet even if they don’t play some take away in a week more than he earns in a year!

I'm too young to remember the good old days - only one FA Cup to show for my dedication. I've been everywhere for several years, enduring the torture of Smith as well as the high’s of last season, yet I find it hard to believe just how we’ve come to where we are. Just 10 years ago '95 the only light of a dull era... how in such a short space of time did we fall so rapidly. From five years old at the start of the Premiership, all I can remember is doom and gloom. I can't see what went so drastically wrong for us to begin what my dad calls our hibernation.

Let's have a Happy New Year and here’s to a successful FA Cup campaign!
Richard Hartless, Liverpool  (29/12/2005)

Pressure on players
After yet another embarrassing defeat, I started to wonder how the players are feeling right now. As more and more fans appear to become sceptical of Moyes's abilities as manager, are the players feeling the same? How can a team of players go out and give everything on the pitch for a manager if they have no belief in him?

If, at the back of a player's mind, he feels the team cannot improve and go forward with the present manager, how does this affect their individual and collective performance? Has this scenario anything to do with our current plight? And while on the subject of Moyes, what about Steve Coppell as his replacement? From Liverpool; plenty of experience with smaller clubs, and currently enjoying a 25-match unbeaten run with Reading at the top of the Championship.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Gee.. you ask a lot of questions... Here's the one answer you need right now: Moyes is going nowhere; so let's bin that replacement talk for starters, okay? — Michael

After just reading Tony Marsh's post (Nice one for the inside info Tony), I wonder what other blues would think of Big Dunc as player manager?

He'd do it for pittence to start with (so we could afford to pay Moyes off), no fuka would argue with him, and you can't question his passion for the club!

Anyone object?
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Ah.. but would he know any other tactic than lumping the ball forward into the penalty area???

I simply can't take any more
The joyless football is bad enough. But tonight convinced me that I simply can't be associated with the nauseating - and increasingly typical - kind of individuals that choose to spend their time at Goodison Park. Liverpool go 1-0 up and I witness a dozen or so junior supporters (six or seven-years-old, at best) being hurriedly led away - in tears - from their Top Balcony seats because fellow 'football fans' decide to scrap with each other.

Then a 'fan' behind me says it's time to "kill the murderers". After the fifth pronouncement I ask him to stop. "Are you a red or a blue?" he asks. After wondering whether being a "blue" means I can I inform the police who caution him.

At the end of the 'game' - by a bizarre fluke - we have both decided to move (two rows away from each other) elsewhere in the ground and he asks the Police to do something about "the freak" who is "following him around".

Do I really want to be associated with this kind of individual and pay £400+ for the privilege? No thanks. Derby games have become evil, sordid & nasty. I welcome competition & rivalry. This is sheer unadultered stupidity and I want no part of it.
Alan Chadwick, Liverpool  (29/12/05)

Ian Macdonald is fond of calling us "the extended Everton family." As my Arl Fella used to note, with a wry combination of wisdom and wit: "God gave us our relatives; so thank God that we can choose our friends." — Michael

The Offical Club Website
Please see the email I have just forwarded to the club. I am furoius and have demanded answers from them. What do you all think?

I am an Everton FC shareholder and season ticket holder. Whilst I have had to endure the recent embarrasment of several drubbings, I refuse to accept the front page news that our website carried tonight after our heartless result against our neighbours. I am Furious (note the capital F underlined and in bold) that you or your web designer or some absolute idiot has carried the headline of:

"PER KOLDRUP TIPPED TO MAKE MARK - Per Koldrup has been tipped to grow into a prem regular"

How dare you carry this headline from a player who was bought in the summer for 5.2 million pounds. HOW DARE YOU.

Tipped, tipped. Who the hell is tipping us that he may grow into a premiership regular. For 5.2 Million pounds, he should be nothing short of a premiership genius. How dare you serve us up this utter rubbish following the defeat by Liverpool.

Everton! (and I am talking to the powers that be) You never ever ever do yourself any favours, so please think about what you publish because contrary to what you think, us supporters are not as thick as you would like.

Try telling us the way it is once in a while, you will find us a lot more forgiving than when you blatantly LIE. (Capital L underlined and bold)

Brian Hughes
Season ticket Holder

Brian Hughes, Bootle  (29/12/05)

Are you trying to get us into trouble or what? And what the hell were you doing over there anyway? At least you'll give the famous Complaints Department something to think about... And if Per should happen depart during the upcoming window of opportunity, I fear that might just push you over the edge...

Worst ever!
I've been watching Everton for over 30 years and have just seen the worst Everton team I've ever seen. I'm home for Christmas and what I've seen over the past few weeks is totally shambolic.

It's ridiculous that anyone can defend Moyes, especially when saying its the players fault! Well, no shit, Sherlock!... Who signed them?... Who motivates them?.... and who gets paid to organise them? They are poor players that Moyes has paid a fortune for.

I, along with a couple of others on this site, have seen the writing on the wall from before the season started.... if you don't have pace you have no chance, and from back to front we have the slowest team in the Premiership. That's bad enough, but just having got home from the derby, we don't even have any hard, nasty players to get stuck in anymore.

Moyes is a total disaster; he's a bad PE teacher who got very very lucky and now we are paying the price. I actually used to think he was a man of honour and may do the right thing and resign, but his Walter Smith like post-match comments are clearly indicating that he won't go until he and his staff get the multi-million pound pay-offs he think he deserves.

He's made us a laughing stock; we're an embarrassment, he's a loser and he will take us down.
Mike Price, Thailand  (29/12/05)

Just got back from the match, and feeling so depressed —even more than the four-nil defeats. I thought we played okay... but I felt that they were always in control and seemed that if they wanted to, they could go up a couple of gears. On the other hand, we huffed and puffed and only really threatened when we hoofed the ball high into their box.

We finished above them last season, so haven't we got the right to expect to be up there with them this season? Did they spend any more than us in the transfer market? I don't think so. Did they buy better quality players? On paper, you would not say so. It hurts to say it but, when it comes down to tactics and getting the best from the players you have got Benitez is miles ahead of Moyes

Peter Crouch, for god's sake!

I think that is why I am more depressed. They have gone from strength to strength; we have got shittier and shittier, and now face a relegation scrap. I have put a pizza in the gas oven, I thinkI'll go and stick my head in there with it!!!
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (28/12/05)

I'm fed up hearing Evertonians slagging off Beattie all the time. The lad had a decent game tonight, scored 1, had another disallowed, and pulled his guts out to get to a ball that was 2 foot in the air when he struck it! Look boys, strikers need service, and it helps if you have a decent strike partner who can help you out.

OK, he hasn't had the best start to his Everton career but I'd say he's improving every game, his aerial ability is much better than I thought and his commitment is unquestionable. Fair comment he's missed a few; every striker does. The difference is Beattie doesn't get half the opportunities handed to him that other strikers do !

Our problems lie directly down the middle. We need a proven Premiership centre-half with pace, a quality hard bastard in midfield that can split a defence, and a greyhound with some skill upfront. We have tons of cover for the wide positions if we can get them all fit and fighting for places.

I hope to God we can turnover Sunderland and Charlton to take some of the pressure off. I think every Evertonian knows now is crunch time! Are we going to change the manager? Are we going to act in the transfer market? Are we going to start picking up points?

If we can scrap our way up that table a bit, things will turn. Notice how all the deflections and decisions go against you when your down there, and the reverse is true when your riding high?

Moyes is top of the bill for debate at the minute and rightly so, but Kenwright deserves much more stick for the shite he comes out with!

We live in hope, as usual!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (28/12/05)

Er... re: Blue Bill... see below.

Same game?
So the boys did quite well tonight? Blame the ref again, eh???

This is the third home game on the run were I am clearly misreading what I see. I think I will join the armchair crew because the Blues clearly look better on the box, or maybe squeeze in on the dug-out; at least I will feel I am getting value for money. THEY never got out of first gear; they never needed to, it must have been the easiest derby they have ever been involved in.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (28/12/05)

Back from the game ...
... and another disappointment but at least we showed an improvement on the last two games I have witnessed. In truth, though, we were well beaten by a far superior passing side. After giving them a shock for taking their foot off the pedal we proceed to gift them the two-goal margin within seconds of the second-half kick-off due to some schoolboy defending. From then on, where they looked cultured and in charge, we looked desperate and proved it by having two players sent off for juvenile indiscipline — leaving us very short for the next game where three points looked promising.

As I sat and watched the game, I couldn't help but remember last season's derby and it saddened me to see how much they have progressed and how much we have regressed. As things stand we are not only flirting with relegation but seem to have a crush on it.

I can only hope the manager can see all of the things we the fans can see; I am sure he can and is well aware of our present frailties. That leaves the transfer window to try to operate in and rectify, even on a loan basis, the area of the team I have been going on about all season, namely the midfield plus an additional striker. Sad tonight but willing to be cheered up with six points from the next two games.

See you Sat -- UP THE BLUES
Ken  , Buckley  (28/12/05)

State the bloody obvious
Right, with half the season gone, I have taken a step back and assesed our current playing squad. These are the changes needed that I think will help us get back to winning ways:

Weir - Too slow and was embarrased by Cisse. Need a new centre back to partner Yobo. Kroldrup might be the answer if he can adjust to the English game.

Valente - Sorry, the jury have made their decision. You have no passion, you hit the ball from too deep and you are poor tactically. Maybe your game suits the continent but not the Premiership. Moyes made a real error buying this fella. I suggest putting Ferrari there until we can find a decent replacement.

Neville - You are just too expensive for me to declare you a flop, so you can fight out the right back berth with Hibbo. You are a poor man's Sissoko (Winner of 5 oscars).

In midfield, Arteta is coming back into the middle. Davies is going wide right and going to do as he is told and stay there!

Cahill is dropped unless we play a five-man midfield. Gravesen would be my number one target as a short-term stop-gap until we can find a younger model. I was a big Gravesen fan and did notice that we would always lose when he was out of the team.

Van der Meyde comes back onto the left and has Killa on the ready as his replacement.

Yeah and state the bloody obvious: we need a fast striker to partner Beattie or play as a lone striker.

The spine of the team is Yobo, Arteta, Davies (he will come good), VDM and Beattie (so will he!). Any other fans suggestion then answers on a postcard to David Moyes at EFC.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (29/12/05)

What genius?
So according to Patrick Marks we have a great manager and are lucky to have him! What planet is he on? I take it he IS talking about the genius whose League record in 2005 reads:-
P37 W11 D4 L22 F32 A59 P37

The same man who supervised us out of TWO European competitions and the Carling Cup at the entry stages; who blew all the Rooney dough on exactly the same sort of crap he inherited from his equally incompetent predecesor; who has totally failed to encourage, any kind of youth policy. It is that David Moyes he is talking about or have I been getting confused with some dopleganger who just happens to have the same ginger hair?

Please Mr Marks don`t insult our intelligence — or are you really Mr Ross?
Harry Meek, Worcester  (28/12/05)

POST OF THE DAY: Staying put
After tonight's game, I had a five-minute chat with Bill Kenwright. We called him over to where we sit in the Joe Mercer Suite; give him his due, he stayed and talked to about five of us.

David Moyes is not getting sacked — end of story. I asked Bill what happens when we lose at Sunderland on Saturday. Bill said that he stays; he has been voted Manager of the Year twice and no one wanted him sacked last season. I said twelve months is a long time in football and we have been shite for that long. Bill says "No one complained when I gave him a longer contract last year, did they?"

After Bill departed, we all agreed Moyes is obvioulsy going nowhere... so I guess we are well and truely fucked.

After Liverpool scored the second tonight, Duncan Ferguson jumped up, stormed out, kicking doors and chairs, and then when outside, started kicking his own car. He had a bust-up with Moyes when he found out he wasn't even a sub; I suppose you can't blame him. Every one I spoke to at the game wanted Big Dunc to play some part... but what do we know?

Anyway, boys of TW: you were right all along regarding the Moyes is staying issue; I think one of the main reasons we won't sack him is that we can't afford to. To sack Moyes now would cost around £3M and that is our entire transfer fund for January.

So that's it in a nutshell.

Moyes will stay and there is nothing anyone can do about it — not even Bill Kenwright.

Championship here we come.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (28/12/05)

Post of the Day, Tony; many thanks for sharing that, even if it will cause many who read it all manner of problems. Personally, the truth is all I ever really want to see; I think Billy Liar was telling you the tru...

Oh hang on minute... What do they call that? A friggin' oxymoron... that's what. ARRRRGGGEH! I think I've been had! — Michael

Ashamed to be a blue
I have witnessed many Derby games but without doubt this was the worst surrender I have ever witnessed (and I include the Keeley hammering).

Despite one reporter on here mentioning that it was a spirited performance - we were absolutely outclassed! They rubbed it in not by scoring more goals but by taking their foot off the pedal and showing some compassion. Where were the tackles? Where was the effort? The pace? The courage, the guile?

I am of the honest opinion that we will go down unless Moyes goes. His reported response on the radio on the way home was that he was proud of the team's performance? Go now...
Russ , Cheshire  (28/12/05)

Shit or Bust on the Moyes Rollercoaster?
As one of your writers correctly points out, how long do we let it go on before managerial change becomes just unavoidable? I've just watched the game and can say it was my least stressful in living memory - the predictability of the collapse had an air of inevitability about it. This inevitability gets sides relegated. And why 4-5-1 at home? - master tactician, my arse!

Looking at the fixtures for January and February, these games will determine whether EFC stays up or not (Portsmouth in particular). The question we must ask ourselves is if we have the right person at the helm to take this gamble with.

Prior to the West Ham, Bolton and Villa games I said that my support for Moyes was already wavering. I'm afraid we have to face facts and admit that Moyes has squandered the best possible chance for this club to progress in a long time, although not a lot of us wanted to admit it. He's also frittered away a lot of money on players where the other clubs would appear to have 'had us over' - Davies, Wright, Krøldrup, McFadden and Neville for that matter. We honestly don't look like scoring goals or troubling sides and that is most alarming.

It would seem blindingly obvious that getting a striker, creativity and pace in any shape or form is critical. However, with the whole of the summer to do it, I don't hold my breath for January. Why on earth didn't we express an interest in the likes of Camara or D Bent??? These are questions that constantly trouble me.

Unless we get somebody in with some genuine charisma, pulling power and dynamism — and quick — then I’m afraid it’s going to be tears before bedtime. We undoubtedly have better personnel than we have had for a long time but there is no team or viable attacking threat. Is it not the manager’s responsibility to make sure we have this?

You can talk till the cows come home about the fact we played some attractive football and some positives could be drawn from the game but at this moment in time all that matters is 3 points and moving away from the trap door. I don't regard this as a knee-jerk reaction but an avoidable acceptance of the facts before us.

We have to accept that last season was an over-achievement which we should have cashed in on big time. I also have to accept that, despite my admiration for Moyes’s passion and attention to detail, there is not a lot else in the locker. I only hope the Board can face the facts as readily as I can... else the long list of painful embarrassments will just roll on into 2006.

All the best for New Year to all of you — and especially the poor buggers who have season tickets!
Anthony Newell  (28/12/05)

Why play Simon Davies centre-mid?
Can anyone tell me, why is Simon Davies playing centre-midfield? We all know he is a right-sided player and he works hard, but why has he been put in centre-mid? I've been asking this question for some time now... can anyone tell me, including you, Davey Moyes. Because that's the position that dictates our play (cf Kendall, Reidy, Ball). Davis??? Don't think so!
Colin Malone, Wirral  (28/12/05)

The time has come...
..for Moyes to be sacked. We're getting worse by the game and I don't think anyone can say we played some good football today. Liverpool were better than us in every department - I've never been able to admit that before but there is no hiding that fact. Moyes is a liability and is utterly uninspiring. The last thing I needed to hear him say is "I was really pleased with the lads tonight". What was pleasing about being totally outplayed by our biggest rivals? He didn't seem bothered about yet another defeat and instead, once again, opted to bemoan the officials' incompetence. The man has run out of ideas and I'm beginning to hate everything he does.

People keep asking who is there that will do a better job? Well, in my opinion, it is more like who is going to do a worse job? Nobody is the answer. Dave Bassett and Howard Wilkinson are looking good at the moment.

It is no longer a knee-jerk reaction. We are 17th and have the second worst goal difference in the league, with the fewest goals for. We have acheived 7 out of a possible 27 at home in the league and yet Moyes is still there. It beggars belief!

He has admitted himself that he cannot explain why are are so shite, which, again, hardly instills confidence. We need someone who can identify the problems and can suggest ways to rectify them. Moyes doesn't seem able to do either right now and we can't let it go on. We have nothing to lose by letting him go and I would swim Mersey to see the likes of Royle, Reid, Ranieri or Warnock on the touchline at The Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sean , Liverpool  (28/12/05)

Sports Physcology worth a go
The players need help out there. They've gone out on the pitch for the past three weeks only to have their confidence shot to pieces. They are so fragile at the moment that what they need is someone to motivate them again and make them remember that they are good players who can string more than one pass together.

Personally, I believe Moyes is unable to do that. His character just isn't moulded that way. (If anything he would be better at scaring the players than encouraging them!) This doesn't make him a bad manager... I just feel he needs help in that department. Which is why I suggest he gets in a Sports Pyschologist to aid this team.

This method of 'treatment' has helped players already in other sports who need to raise their morale. Now would be a better time than ever to get in a person who would take time to listen to the players fears and help them overcome them. This method has been tried and tested so why doesn't Moyes give it a shot? He could need it now more than ever!
Jimmy S  (28/12/05)

Let's face the facts
I have to say that I have never been so down about our team. One thing is for certain, and that is that we have to face the facts.

For a long time now, we simply havn't been good enough. Last year was a fluke, let's not kid ouselves. We are in this state because if mis-management, from the very top to the bottom. All we hear from Blue Bill is that he has the best interest of the club at heart, but does he? No-one can argue that he his not a true blue but that does not mean he knows what is right for Everton.

Everything he tries just goes horribly wrong: Kings Dock; new signings — I mean first-choice, not third or fourth; Investment; need I go on? We need to attract investment soon before it's to late. If we get relegated then it will take us years to recover.

It's because of that I feel we have to get rid of David Moyes now. He has taken this club as far has he can and at the moment he is taking us to the Championship. We are a massive club but so are Leeds and Sheff Wed, not forgetting Notts Forest.

At the grand old age of 44, I am to become the father of twin boys in two weeks. I only wish that I am able to take them to see a great Everton Football team like my Dad did with me. At the moment they may become hornets rather than TOFFEES!!
Dave Pilkington, Watford  (28/12/05)

Blind Faith
Listening to Mr Moyes after the Liverpool game, he quite clearly wants to get his point across that he aint gonna walk. Well, Davey it's not a pride or ego trip any more, mate; we're in trouble and need a lift. Your record now clearly shows that your not up to the job and one very good season should not keep you hanging on any longer.

Moyes had a good chance to push on to the next level with a fair amount of money and he failed — failed badly. Valente is a perfect example of a panic buy to please the fans. I tell you this; Valente does not want to play and tackle hard for Everton Football Club. He will take the money but back away from the likes of Gerrard 20 yards from goal cos he does not care if that ball goes flying in or goes out after a crunching tackle.

It's now important that we open our eyes and start from the beginning again and that means a new manager, a new Chairman, and new investmant. Please Mr Kenwright don't get me wrong. You are a true blue and that is not in doubt... but let's move on; you could still be part of a promising future, like us as fans of our beloved club.

Let's all be adults and address this situation now, boys. No more blindness and no more Valente's. Players that want to play, And fresh ideas from fresh men at the helm. This is Everton Football Club; it's hurting and we deserve more. PLEASE LISTEN!!!!!
Matty Loveless, Bulford Camp  (28/12/05)

If Moyes has any conscience...
...he must go now and take the rubbish he's bought with him. Beattie, Neville, VDM, Krøldrup et al can all go & join him in the Championship, as that's where that lot belong.

Everton have a reputation to keep up and this includes staying in the Premiership, a task way beyond our current manager and most of the current players. Clean sweep is the only answer. Bring in a new manager with some Premiership experience. Anyone will do, they can't do any worse than Moyes. Add a few half decent signings in the transfer window & we may stand a chance of staying up.

If nothing changes in the next few weeks, we will lose our fight against relegation & end up mid-table in the Championship next season.


Then again, maybe not. They've never listened to the true voice of the 'People's Club', have they?
Barry  Johnson, Colwyn Bay  (28/12/05)

Well, Kimo Sabe, that's coz they speak with forked tongue. If you slide your mask up just a bit, you may see a couple of people saying "Don't sack Davey Moyes." So how on earth are the poor sods at the Club gonna figure out who to listen to when the fans can't even agree? — The Lone Ranger

So near... yet so far
Yet again, we seem to be up for the big games, although unfortunately this time we didn't get the result. Thought we actually matched Liverpool pretty well tonight; apart from the usual moments of horrendous defending and getting punished, we seemed to keep going the whole 90 mins for a change.

Two things that really annoyed me tonight were a) Valente looking at the linesman instead of going for the ball for their first goal - typical European nancy-boy crap! and b) that moron Poll sending off Arteta at the end, any slim chance we had of beating Sunderland is surely gone now as two of our best players will miss the game!!

Nonetheless, if we play more like that against the crap teams and we might actually get a point or, dare I say it, sneak a win.....

ps: Have you noticed that every single game without fail Beattie misses an absolute sitter? At least he occasionally converts his other chance of the match, although too rarely...
James Last, London  (28/12/05)

Moyes out?
I just want to say this to all those Evertonians calling for David Moyes' head. Who would they like to replace him? Would that person want to come to Goodison? Exactly how would he improve the team with the money believed to be available? Moyes took us to the ECL against all expectations and now people expect miracles from the guy. The situation is bad but not irretrievable. If the team can get results against Chelsea and ManU, it surely can't be that bad.

Frankly I am mystified by the last few results but I am quite certain that sacking Moyes now will do very little to improve the situation. I can't think of a single coach of note who is available - unless you fancy Sir Bobby Robson in charge!!

Perhaps it's time to get off Moyes's back and look at the players. Maybe they need shaking up and maybe... just maybe... Everton should break the habit of a lifetime and try one or two of its own younger players from the reserves. Splashing the cash on more overseas players who don't like the cold probably won't do the trick.

Dark days indeed... but I remember the 1970s and they were almost permanently dark after the Championship success, apart from the odd cup run and a couple of false dawns in the old First Division.

Player for player, Everton are no better or worse than all of the teams in the Premiership bar the 'big four'. What they are lacking above else is a bit of luck!
Richard Ewart, Melbourne, Australia  (29/12/06)

Substitution anyone?
What just happened? Anyone?

I'll tell you what happened: we lost the 202nd merseyside derby and never ever looked like winning. Yes we had a goal dissalowed but it didn't matter. Liverpool were well and truly all over us, and what's this new thing that Moyes has come up with? Is he happy loosing 3-1? Well, it looks like it when you're 3-1 down, the first thing you should do is start to change things around... but no, not our 'Moyesiah'; he decides that one change will do. So, not only were our beloved Everton playing with 10 men but also being ran ragged because Benitez does what any other manager does: use his substitutes.

So we've got 10 men with one set of fresh legs; Liverpool have 11 men and 3 fresh sets of legs. David Moyes was happy loosing 3-1 and wasn't bothered about winning. There are two ways of going about changing things: 1) keep Moyes in the hot seat and watch us playing Wolves and Millwall next year; OR 2) bring in a manger like Peter Reid to instill some pride in our team.

Give me No 2 anyday!
Matthew Davies, Iraq  (29/12/05)

Oh aye yeah right. Subs would've changed the game... Face it, fella. Our subs would have changed nothing. We were toast after 18 mins. No: 11. First goal. Writing on the wall. — Michael

A prayer for Moyes
It is derby day, the match has barely got underway and already Liverpool are 2-0 up. The floodgates are once again open...

However, one word of wisdom: Keep your calm all you desperate blue hearts, read Patrick Mark's brilliant piece, and realise that in Moyes we do have the best manager we in our desperate state ever could be dreaming of. He will most certainly be picked up by one of the other big clubs if we are to give him the boot. Just remember Alex Ferguson's first years at the helm for United...
Sverre Simen Hov, Oslo, Norway  (28/12/05)

Nice thoughts... but I don't think they'll be much consolation tonight. — Michael

We can do it
Throughout this week, I have been thinking about not going the game tonight... but I think we can win this one. I know it seems like madness but, every now and again, we pull off big wins when we need them — why not tonight?

I reckon we should start with Big Dunc for an hour and let him tear into their back four. These are his type of games and he always gets up for them. We can't rely on Hamster McFadden or Mrs Doubtfire to do any damage they are both shite. At least Dunc will give us some Passion and aggresion — which is a lot more than the other two will give.

We must keep Osman well away from this one: he looks and plays like an Under-15s schoolboy — and has as much impact as one. Get Wier back in for Krøldrup; he will get destroyed if he plays. And let's try to get Cahill further up the pitch where he can do some damage — he has been getting deeper than the Titanic recently.

If we can get our legendery Wednesday-night powder-keg atmosphere going then we can beat any one at Goodison — especially some Nancyboy Spaniards.

I know we are shite and Moyes is a dead loss but we can still pull it off if we all stick together. Let's give the red twats the same treatment Man Utd got at our place last season. It's our only hope.

Come on Blues — you owe us one!
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (28/12/05)

Re: ''The Rich List'' & Billy Bullshit
Gasp!!! Has the penny finally started to drop??? Probably *another* false dawn, so I'll try not to get too excited.

Gary - and anyone else starting to suspect our esteemed chairman is in fact what's known as a "deadshit and serial liar" - this site has been stating the facts on Billy Liar since I started visiting here. Something like three or four years now.

As erudite, honest and intelligent supporters of the club {with the exception of Rob Fox anyway}, I can safely say that I have never detected an anti-Kenwright agenda on here. That has frustrated the hell out of me, because the site is read by so many Evertonians... if militant it really could be a vehicle for change. But Lyndon, Michael and Colm have tried to let the facts speak for themselves, and then let the fans make up their own minds.

In that sense they are journalists of integrity rather than supporters running a website. Journalism is where you state the facts as best you can and let people make up their own mind. No influence, no coloured overtones, just the facts. Make up your own mind after you've heard the facts.

And we have. Most Evertonians think Kenwright is great. Fuck the facts, "he bleeds blue blood" and "he's one of us". I've personally given up on trying to change anyone's mind regarding Kenwrong, and {as you may have recently read here!} contributing anything material to help prop up his regime.

I wrote this here FOUR weeks ago - it would have been valid {except for the league placing} FOUR YEARS ago. And sadly I suspect, it may be valid {except for the league placing} in another FOUR YEARS:

"This site was pointing out last year the problems with the club. But almost nobody wanted to hear it - why? Because sitting in fourth matters more than endemic failings within the club. Evertonians like to pretend they're different...but sadly we {as a collective} are not. When we start getting tonked again - and endemic failings at the club mean we almost certainly will - the letters will start rolling in again..."
The worst thing about Billy Bullshit is that the facts DO speak for themselves. Without inventing a single thing, the list of lies and scandals he's responsible for would have Panorama going for years. And that's only the shit we KNOW about!

He's a megalomaniac, and this club is destined to go nowhere under his control. For the simple reason that it's run by Bill to keep Bill in charge. Not for the benefit of Evertonians, or even to be a commercial success. It's run so Bill can remain the Fat Controller for as long as he wants to be.

And when you wrap your head around that, you might be able to understand where and why Everton FC is in the position it's in today. I'll just misuse a famous quotation for my own ends in closing - William Kenwright, aka Billy Bullshit, Billy Liar, Kenwrong...

"Once a liar, always a liar".
David C  (28/12/05)

Goodness me, DC, we'll be having to fend of the Libel Squad next...

The Rich List
I was wondering if someone could help me with this problem. I was reading through the FourFourTwo magazine Football Rich List only to discover our chariman (Mr Kenwright) ranked 69th, with an estimated wealth of £21M. However further through in the list I discover Mr Gregg ranked 25th, with an estimated wealth of £127M!

I was just wondering why we have a chairman with a much small "pot of gold" at the head of our club. Surely Mr Gregg, would be a more astute and kowledagble buisnessman to have at the helm of the club. His wealth would serve as evidence to that argument. He is obviously the more successful entrepeneur and maybe his qualities are of better quality than Kenwright's?

With Gregg's financial know-how wouldn't he be the better choice as chairman of a club which is still in drastic need of a leader that can take the club forward off the pitch? Just a thought.
Gary Triden, Cumbria  (28/12/05)

But he's not a BLUE. Through and Through. Bill may not be very good at being Charimen (and that has to do with a lot more than the size of his investment portfolio), but he's one of US! And it's his train-set. Why, that Gregg fella doesn't even like football! And he's fallen out with his wife, who has more Everton shares than he does. Hope this helps... — Michael

Smoke and mirrors
Who honestly gives a monkey's toss about Billy Liar's latest bullshit about a "new ground"? As another posting has quite rightly said, we have all heard enough of Billy's bullshit before to ignore it: Fortress Funds, Rooney (£50M player) is staying, Russian Billionaires, he financed Moyes's tranfers with his own money, etc — the list is pathetic

The single most important thing from now until the end of the season without any shadow of a doubt is Premiership survival and nothing else, be that with or without the useless ginger tosser Moyes. A new ground for dwindling support in the Championship is not the answer.

Apologies to the ToffeeWeb staff as they post links pertinent to the club but we (the supporters) should focus on the truth and that is we (the club) are in deep shit with little sign of salvation.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (28/12/05)

Oh great: now you've let the cat out of the bag, Gavin. Here we are trying to focus on football and you go an tell everyone the truth — just before our biggest game of the season. That's gonna do us a lot of good, init? — Michael

Xmas dinner the Everton Way

  1. First, select an average looking bird, preferably overweight, and pay way too much for it.
  2. Prepare it to be stuffed by using the same old ingredients that have let you down so often. Remember, never try anything new… it’s a recipe for disaster.
  3. If your regular home-grown accompaniments are unavailable, then shop around for inferior foreign substitutes; Italy and Holland are a good source for proper vegetables — be sure to pay too much once again.
  4. Place in a hot stadium atmosphere, and cook really slowly for 90* minutes, or until your goose is well and truly cooked. Remember to add plenty of laughing-stock, and serve to 38,000 people who will find it inedible but turn up for second helpings each week nonetheless.
  5. For added humiliation, this can be served to a global audience on Sky.
* If things are not going well, it is perfectly acceptable to give up after 60 minutes.

Joking apart, I am praying we discover the heart for a fight in time for the match tonight, and I will be cheering them on even if we are 4-0 down again, as long as we are trying for a change.
Mick Gill, Crewe  (28/12/2005)

Children's Aspirations
For Xmas my lad received a game for his computer. It gave him a large choice of different cars to race. After playing for some time he decided that the Lamborghini was the car he like most.

"Dad," he said, "When I grow up, can I have a Lamborghini?"
"Son," I replied, "If you do your schooling, get a good job, work really hard and become the best at what you do, you'll be able to buy yourself one."
"But Dad, according to my Shoot annual, James Beattie's got one!"

No, I couldn't explain it either!...
Keith Litherland, Javea, Spain  (28/12/05)

Now you KNOW they're getting desperate...
Two 4-0 tonkings on the bounce? Let's talk imaginary stadiums! Is the best they can do to deflect criticsm from a series of increasingly awful results? One hopes not, but one fears so. It'd be funny if it wasn't true. Sad, sad, sad.
David C  (28/12/05)

I wrote a letter months ago saying that Moyes was losing the plot. We are approaching January and there is still no noise from the Boardroom. What does this man have to do to us before he will be 'relieved' of his duties?

It seems to me that 4-0 reverses are accepted at Everton nowadays. It's a joke. This team is a joke and the manager is the biggst joke of the lot. I'm going tonight, but only because I've paid for a season ticket. If the club offered a refund, I'd take it. In my opinion we are heading for the Championship. My optomism has gone because it doesn't even come close to being matched on the pitch. All DM ever does is say "we looked comfortable until they scored the first goal" etc etc.

Don't confuse me with not supporting the cause; support is more than papering over cracks, it's about critizing crap. This club is crap and is being run monstrously badly. This pathetic rebuttal of all that's wrong will get us absolutely nowhere.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (28/12/05)

It does make me laugh how we get bad results on the field and, all of sudden, the wise men come out of the woodwork to explain that the club is being run "monstrously badly". While that may be true, how come it wasn't an issue when we were getting decent results? How come you weren't doing your damnedest to oust Kenwright and Co when we finished 4th? Come on folks, get a grip of yourselves, please! — Michael

Everton are hopeless
For a season which began with lots of optimism and belief that Everton had raised the bar and were about to embark upon many days out to European countries, the 'R' word has once again reared its ugly head.

Moyes has us on the verge of relegation and many Evertonians are happy to let Moyes do this! So what we finished 4th last season, we finished 17th before that. Moyes has lost his player's confidence and he has lost the dressing room; it is now a habit to get beaten and then to blame the referees instead of looking at our own mistakes and lack of creativity, boring football and terrible defending.

The fans blme the Board for not spending but Moyes has lashed out millions and changed the team a lot but it has not worked. The only thing left to change is... Moyes himself. Moyes should have been sacked after the Man City game at the beginning of the season. Why should Robbie Keane want to sign for us in January, why would anyone for that matter? We are a good squad with no belief, confidence, fight and desire which is run by a poor manager with no ideas about changing game plans or defending.

Get Moyes out Kenwright and do something right for once. Sign a foreign manager like Scolari or Ranieri, a manager that makes teams play football or maybe with the players we have got maybe make Joe Royle manager again. Today we will lose 5-0 and Crouch will score 3. Gutted.
Sean Nagle, Anfield  (28/12/05)

Four major reasons why Moyes has to go — now!
As you can tell from the title, I’ve now lost complete faith that Moyes can deliver for our beloved blues. I’ve put together four major reasons why we should get rid now, before any more damage is done:

1 – Results
During the last year we have LOST 20 out of 36 league games (is there a current league manger with a worse record?). This season we have scored 9 goals. Add to that our mauling against Bucharest in the Uefa Cup (who incidentally finished bottom of their group in the next round). It doesn’t include our exits out of the FA Cup and League Cup during 2005. And it doesn’t include our defeats in pre-season against a Thai Under-23 team or our 5-1 hammering in Turkey.

2 - Tactics
When Moyes joined, everyone seemed of the opinion that he was very tactically aware, and that seemed to be the case early on. But one of the most worrying things to me is that he looks completely lost now. We have no idea how to score, even with 4-4-2, when we go a goal behind its game over. Correction, we have Plan B: get dunc on and hope for the best. Subs are another point. When the game starts going against us, how can it be that every fan in the ground knows a sub is needed to freshen things up but it’s never made by Davey until we go a goal behind, or two goals behind (or in recent cases 3 or 4 goals behind)? He has lost any ability he had in being able to change games.

3 – Transfers
Dithering Dave? Let's start with Krøldrup. £5M for a defender is a lot of money yet Weir can keep him out for 8 games whilst he’s been fit? Now we have seen Kroldrup he looks to have ability but his confidence looks completely and utterly shot, and who can blame him? - Being kept out the team by Weir would be enough to kill most careers! £3.5M for Davies. Spurs must still be chuckling on this one. A right winger who only wants to play in central midfield? A central midfielder that is so light a breeze knocks him over? 9 out of the 11 players who started against Villa are Moyes signings, enough said.

4 – Style of play
When he took over, we needed grit, that style of up and at them to save us. But almost 3 years on the only thing that has changed is all that has gone. Football under Moyes is plain boring. No attacking flair, no decisive moves, nothing. Our mentality is so negative (this has been the case since Moyes took over, not just this year) I no longer look forward to matches. In fact, im even thinking twice about going to watch them against Liverpool tonight. What’s the point? Even if we win (and the way we are playing a virtually impossible IF), no matter how sweet it’ll be as boring as hell to watch.

I’m so depressed and down being an Evertonian at the minute it's not true. I just hope Kenwright gets shot of Davey as soon as possible and get some one in who can give us a bit of pride again … before we are playing in the Championship.
James Watts, Northampton  (28/12/05)

Overall, take the next 3 games before the FA Cup 3rd Round tie: having wasted the last half-dozen opportunities against pretty weak teams, losing 4-0 to dummies etc, what are the bets for the home derby, away to a team with 6 points all season, and home to a team that has faded two months earlier than usual? 7 points fair enough, 3 points fire Moyes?
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (27/12/05)

Err... each game as it comes. Three points on offer. No-one can predict the results. I read this morning that are now capitalized at £1.17 billion (yes, that's with a B). Go figure!

Scott re pace
Good point that they're slow, difficult to judge on TV... but why does Beattie look slower than everyone else on TV?
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (27/12/05)

All the commitment, tactics and Moyes is a knobhead stuff has been well covered, so I won't go over old ground.

I was there to witness what happened against Villa, and was amazed how slow we are in almost every area of the park. Yobo (Our fastest player) was covering for both Krøldrup and Hibbert on numerous occasions, simply because they didn't have the legs to keep up.

We generally go forward like a team of pensioners, and get beaten to 50/50 balls far too many times because of lack of pace. This was topped off in the last 5 minutes for me when McFadden was in space on the left and spent the whole time looking over each shoulder like a kid being chased by a bully, only to be easily caught and tackled when he had a 7-8 yard head start on the pursuing player.

If you are going to manage in the Premier League, you need pace; we simply don't have it. Personally, I would have loved to see Craig Bellamy at Goodison, but for some reason he chose to play in front of 16,000 every week at Blackburn!

For all the players Moyes bought in the summer, not one is above average in the speed department and it's showing in every single game. I also think goals are easier to get when you stretch teams, and that's what fast players do by either making intelligent runs to receive a pass, hitting the byline and cutting back, or by running at defenses and forcing them to commit or back off. We do none of these things nearly enough!

Set pieces aside, it might be easier for us to put the ball in the net if there were not always five or six players standing infront of it!

See ya all at the derby, I'm off to start praying !!!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

Transfer Fund - True or False?
I see David Moyes is quoted on the Club Website dampening down any realistic hope of any much-needed transfer activity. The article is along the lines of, 'not to expect too much in transfers, we are looking at the loan market'. Probably absolutely correct.

However, given the gloating at the recent AGM by Msrs Kenwright, Wyness et. al over the Club finances for 2004/5 and the apparent status of the Club in the 'top twenty richest Clubs' - where has the money gone? If Moyes is right on this one and I don't doubt him, it is his ability as the Manager of Everton that I seriously doubt. It is clear that the Board do not care when, not if, we go down to a certain relegation.

At this stage of the season, we have lost five at home, suffered three 4-0 defeats along the way, beaten at home in the Carling Cup, dumped out of the Champions League at the first shout, likewise the Uefa Cup, including a 5-1 defeat away, and scored the princely total of nine league goals.

The incompetence at Board/Team management levels is tangible. Bill Kenwright, if you are a die-hard Blue as you claim to be:

  1. Get shut of Moyes NOW
  2. Stop talking about investment and go and get some
  3. Stop the spin and start some plain talking
  4. If you are not prepared to address any of the previous three points, go yourself now and allow Paul Gregg to buy your Shares. He can do no worse and might even be amenable to a rights-issues which would offer the ordinary Fans like us the opportunity to have a much-needed imput into a Club that is sleep-walking towards the Championship.

Peter Williams, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

The Emporer hath No Clothes...

Derby ghost town
Scary thought for our upcoming spanking: the following murder between opposing fans in the streets... Thanks again, Sky and the ever sharp Merseyside Constabulary, for agreeing to a heated derby match with an evening kick-off during the holidays, allowing god knows how much drink to be consumed beforehand. Do they forget what happened after the Man Utd game held of an evening a short while back?

A number of season-ticket holders I know are refusing point blank to go to the derby match, the reasons given are as follows:

  1. If Everton win, the Reds fans will cause murder (unlikely as this result may be).
  2. If Liverpool win, the Blues fans will cause murder (more likely result and although not condoneable, what do you expect after an all-day drinking session?)
  3. iii. A few see little point in supporting the worst team they have ever seen to show their own mutiny against Moyes and Billy Liar (season-ticket holders who have been going for years; yes, the club already has their money but no more on beer or food or programmes that night and some empty spaces they are hoping will be very large if many other fans follow suit)
My wife doesn't want me to go in case of trouble, is anyone else aware of any mini-mutinees or thinking twice about going?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (27/12/05)

If it was the 1980s, I might understand... but this 2005! Haven't we moved on a little from that age of idiotic barbarity, when the violence among the fans really did have an effect on attendances? — Michael

What more can I say that hasn't been said already? I am afraid that the club is seeing the benefits of the seeds that were sewn in the summer.. That was OUR oportunity. I can't believe the way we squandered the best oportunity we have EVER had (yes, I mean ever had because there were untold riches and benefits on offer in the modern day Champs League - bigger than any prize we have ever won).

The lethargy in the summer and the manager's presence on the golf course on the last day of the transfer window has come to fruition. Never have I been so embarrassed to be an Evertonian. Arsenal, Fenerbahçe, WBA, Bolton, West Ham, now Villa have taken the wind out of my sails.

I have a one-year-old son. Can you believe I am contemplating NOT passing on the tradition of supporting the blues to him - at this moment it would be like giving him depression the majority of weekends, spoiling his Chrsistmases to come and giving his future school friends every oportunity to take the piss. I am seriously contemplating allowing my lad to choose his team.

I want him to be happy - his Dad, apart from the mid 80s - has had many more downs than ups. However, I can't honestly remember feeling as down about the club as a whole as I do now. I am contemplating jacking it in, never renewing my season ticket again and sending back that pathetic Xmas card we got from the club telling them to stick it.

Fed up with rhetoric from the players saying the next game can be the 'spark', 'turning point', 'it was just a blip', 'we have not become a bad team overnight'... That last one, about not becoming a bad team overnight is quite true. We have become a bad team since Boxing Day 2004 - yes exactly 1 year ago.

This has been a miserable year and I am afraid Moyes and Irvine have been found out for what they are - classroom coaches. They have all the badges but none has the vison and judgement to be at the helm of one of the best-supported clubs in the land. They need help: the chairman has no balls to sack them and I fear it will all be too little too late.

The real fans knew that the lack of quality bought in in the summer would lead to our downfall. We are not stupid and now we see our worst nightmare unfolding before our very eyes. Avoiding defeat in the derby would only mask our dreadful cracks.

Talk of a new ground is an absolute load of bollocks as was the Fortress Sports Fund. The depressing thing is that there do not appear to be many alternatives — no-one is knocking on the door trying to stuff cash into B lue Bill's pockets.

Sadly we have missed out on our strongest ever marketing position that has been and gone last summer... Joe Royle's team was never as bad as this. Moyes states that we have achieved, we have progressed and fourth was a massive achievement last season. However, fourth for me is only access to the 'semis'... no prize until you have actually won through to the Champions League proper.

Fact is, Moyes has won fuck all and deserves no more loyalty than afforded to Smith, Royle and Walker. Big Joe gave us the FA Cup which was an actual honour bestowed on us - no medals were given out last summer. So, in my view we are going backwards not forwards. A manager should be judged by his results.....
Steve Callaghan, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

Our Special Fighting Spirit; Where's it gone?
Having only started watching Everton during the 1990's, I thought I would be immune to the effects of drubbings at the hands of other teams. I was obviously wrong. Waking up the day after matches, I dread reading the papers for fear of them poking fun at my beloved Everton.

Even though I was very young at the time, I distinctly remember the Everton teams of the 90's never letting their heads drop and always fighting on. I knew I could always rely on that from my Everton. I'm sure other teams were jealous of our skill of "never say never". Now I'm having major doubts over our team.

There is quality in the team to propel us up the table quickly but I question the players' determination to acheive that feat. During the West Ham game, I saw none whatsoever; however, it returned in the Bolton game (we were unlucky) but it was lost again against Villa.

Moyes, please stop questioning the desicions that go against us! They're in the past! The preparation of the next match is of much more importance. Just apologise for the performance and let the dust settle. It's all well and good of you and the players coming out to say we'll do better next time. One day there may not be a next time.

Sort it now Moyes. Get the fighting spirit back that sets us a step above every other club. I believe that flame of determination is deep within the team. It just needs to be rekindled. I know you're the man to do it, Moyes.
James Hollins, England  (27/12/05)

I thought Moyes was right to make this connection regarding the duplicity of the FA and their infalable referees: "I'm upset because there were two handballs leading up to the first goal and it was deliberate; I thought you got booked for that. We had Tim Cahill banned for three games when a commission stepped in after a referee claimed not to have seen anything." — Spot on, Davey! Michael

Goals against
I used to tell anyone who would listen not to worry; yes we were getting beaten, but we were playing good football, we hadn't been stuffed, we were'nt conceding a lot of goals..... As a result it is safe for you to assume that I was a fan of Mr Moyes. I was, WAS. Since then, well you don't need me to tell you...

However, I would just like to discover if at all possible, just how many goals we have conceded since Mr Gravesen left last January — not that I think he would return, those arguments open another can of worms, but I think our for and against columns since that time have been nothing short of awful, can anyone confirm??
Paul Gittens, Runcorn  (27/12/05)

Response To David C article
Everyone who has paid and displayed their support for our club is entitled to an opinion whether it be right, wrong or indifferent. I personally know many supporters who have eventually made way for the next generation coming in. There will be a multitude of reasons for ceasing to go the match, and one very valid reason will be the shite that is churned out, week after week sometimes.

However, my personal opinion & support has at its basis nothing to do with Moyes, Chairman, players and pie sellers at Everton. At the moment the way I feel they can all chew on my root, the shower of useless crap. Yet I will continue my express support as Everton to me, means much more than Kenwright, Moyes and his cronies, it means everyone sat around and with me in Goodison Park. Our Blue brothers and sisters. THEY are all that matter to me and I am proud to be amongst THEM, whatever shite is performing on the grass. I am Everton for them and nothing else, and very proud as well, whether it be Premiership or Conference.

Put simply you have no choice (remember the saying "You are born and not manufactured"). It's always to be, forever and ever. It's what makes us so very different to many knobheads who (ahem) "support" Manure, Chelski, Arse, and the Shite etc. Keep the faith not in Kenright and Co, but in your blue brothers and sisters.
Brian Hughes, Bootle  (27.11.05)

I'm hearing this line of thinking that the fans aree the club... and I'm struggling with it. Mainly because it defies all logic. [If the bits you say you don't care about didn't exist, you'd look a right tart sitting with yer mates in Goodison Park.] But Evertonians are a passionate, emotional lot, so throwing logic out of the window on occasions like this should come as no surprise. — Michael

The Big Embarassment 05' Part 5
Sadly, it's happened again. Hopefully, the majority of Blues realise a managerial change is needed now. It's so sad because I like Moyes, and he should be given a pat on the back and a thank you for his efforts (purely bacause of the shit he had to put up with when he first took over), then shown the door.

I understand fully what you mean Michael when you talk about good footy and scoring goals as seperate things. The fact is we need to score goals, goals are what make football. Moyes's biggest failure was being unable to get any striker in the summer which to me is still shocking. Whoever is manager in January should look to get a couple of strikers in, young 'unheard ofs' would be better than nothing. By the way, told ya Krøldrup had no chance! It's so fuckin depressin... where me Bud!
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (27/12/05)

I'm sorry, but if you will drink American rat's piss, I have no sympathy for you. :) — Michael

The Worst Is Yet To Come
How bad is Moyes's Everton? Surely not as bad as that hopeless bunch Kendall got together. You remember that collection of losers - Southall, Ratcliffe, Reid, Steven, Sheedy, Heath, Sharp etc. Couldn't score to save their lives, stuck down at the bottom of the table and but for a dodgy back-pass would have gone out of the cup at Oxford. How bad were they hey? Whatever happened to that lot?
Tony Horne, Kettering  (27/12/05)

Behave! No-one seems to have the patience to wait for that kind of miracle. — Michael

Act now, Kenwright!!
Moyes needs to be launched as far away as possible from this club because he is doing us no good whatsoever! But Bungling Bill hasn't got the balls to sack him. So for the sake of Everton FC, resign now, Davey!

Why do we always seem to get wacked? You just know when we concede, that's it: game over! That is all the signs of a Championship team! Moyes has wasted the whole pot of the Rooney money on a squad that generally performs worse than the one he had last season and now we need that money more than ever. Time for drastic meassures, Bungling Bill!!!
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

If that's good, what's bad?
Micheal, so many 4-0 defeats, how can you call it good football. If we get 3 shots on target in a game this seems good enough for you. It reminds me of a boxer after a fight saying besides having 6 teeth knocked out, a broken nose and jaw and the referee allowing him to knock me out in the 4th, my jab is working wonderfully!!! Thankfully it's not good enough for most Everton supporters.
Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (27/1205)

I'll try this slowly for you: playing football is about more than scoring goals. This team of David Moyes's tries to play decent foootball in the main, but (stating the bloody obvious) they can't score goals. The fact that they can't score goals does NOT mean they are not playing decent football at times, in parts of the game, on parts of the field. If they were playing absolute garbage, like so many of you deduce from the horrendous results (just as our wonderful journos do), believe me, I would be among the first to write about it. But they are not.

Is it good enough for most Everton supporters? Of course it's not. But that doesn't make the decent football they are playing automatically bad. It just means most Everton supporters have no interest or desire in recognizing it, which is understandable in the circumstances. They have been brought up to belive that the only thing that matters is winning. If you lose 4-0, three in seven, there is no way that you can be playing any good football, right? — Michael

Heart of the problem
Much as I hate to admit it, my concern is growing for our Premiership status. Prior to the close of the last transfer window, I suggested Michael Browne was a player we really should be looking at. Sadly, now there are up to four other Premiership clubs trailing him and, much to my dismay, we signed Neville.

We have no bite in the the middle of the park. Leon Osmon is the epitomy of this: we might as well be starting the game with 10 men as this kid looks as though he is terrified of making a challenge. We simply do not have a leader, Neville? do me a favour! Come back Thomas Gravesen all is forgiven.
Gerry W, London  (27/12/05)

I hesitate to say this is the worst Everton team I have witnessed but it is certainly the most spineless. In general terms the skill level is woefully low but having been there when the likes of Bernie Wright, Bret Angel and Rodney Belfitt were considered worthy of wearing the blue, a so-called striker like James Beattie is a veritable Tommy Lawton!

But it`s the `guts`factor that gets to me — or rather the lack of it — as game after game the team simply rolls over once they go behind. For that you can blame no-one but the manager. Whatever the injustices doled out by referees, the ability to get on with the job is something that must be instilled in players in every aspect of their coaching. Last year that was a `given` as much of the success the team enjoyed was brought about by virtue of fighting spirit rather than inate ability.

So where has it all gone wrong? I think Moyes began to believe all the ridiculous plaudits heaped on him by the so-called experts and orchestrated by an impressionable chairman. In short, he moved outside his box and signed the sort of players who he considered would bring a new dimension to the team. The fact that many of these were serially injury prone should have alerted him to the dangers of employing them but he failed to see the signs that heart was not their main attribute. As a result, the successful Allardyce clone became just another Mike Walker who just took on a mission too far.
Jimmy  Cannon, Calverley  (27/12/05)

Forget his signings...
... just look at the tactics. They are enough to question Moyes. At 2-0, he throws on Big Dunc who in the last few days, we are told is, finding it hard to get fit. The word 'retirement' is mentioned. Why is he on the bench and why did he go on? We can't create sod all with the tactics anyway. We aim more usless balls up front and in turn, return possesion to Villa. We then make them look world beaters. Moyes then hides behind Irvine. A master indeed.

On a personal note, lying awake from 3 am pondering (yet again) what went wrong is not good for anyones health. Go now for the sake of the club..... And my health!
Dave Charles, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

It will happen
David Moyes continues to add to his "worst ever" records: Worst goals for ratio (at present) in the whole of Europe, three 4-0 defeats in seven matches (has there been worse?), seven defeats at home, and that's prior to the derby game, before the end of December.

If David Moyes remains manager of Everton Football Club, he will surpass all his previous unparalleled records by getting this once great club of ours relegated, and with it into a football wilderness from which it will never fully recover. Be warned, the future's shite, if the future remains orange (or ginger).
Paul C, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

Moyes's Soft Centre
The dropping of Weir did the trick then. Well done, Moyes. I think you are the soft centre, followed by the midfield not the defence.
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (27/12/05)

Relegation?? No Worries Mate..
Blues will not be relegated this season... trust me on this.

However, it'll not be due to Moyes performing the great escape: it's because there are three other teams that are more shite than everton at this point. Sunderland, Birmingham & Portsmouth are now playing footy worthy of relegation to the Championships.

Next season, it's another story though; Moyes (or whoever's in charge then) will have to start anew. If nothing's changed by then, well... relegation dogfight 1.01 here we go again...
Matthew Lim, Singapore  (27/12/05)

That's very reassuring... except for one slight flaw: relegation is not decided "at this point". It's decided in May, half a season away. — Michael

Enough is enough
Quick and to the point: appended quizzes on this website should really now focus on the question of whom readers believe should succeed David Moyes as Everton manager. 0-4 at the equally poor Villa signals that enough is enough. All season, this has been HIS side. No excuses. Time to go.
Mike Greaves, Houston, TX  (26/12/05)

Where do you stand?
Michael!... so how much longer are you going to defend Everton Football Club and David Moyes? They still can't score goals and are conceding bagfulls at the back but.... ah wait a minute... I remember you rightly saying Everton are playing some good football and getting lots more possesion throughout 90 minutes. Your comments after the Bolton game... yes that's definately gonna get us out of this predicament. Excuses this time round then, sir!?
Kunal D, London  (27/12/05)

Well, again, as Moyes says, we played some decent football. But when we did, it didn't produce a goal. And that proved crucial, again. And yet the team gets slammed for being awful, dire, attrocious... you name it (see below for more variants on this theme). There's playing good football, and there's scoring goals. Good teams often get the two to function together seamslessly, which makes you think they are one and the same... but I don't think they are. You can do one without the other, as we are now demonstrating. These are not excuses: they are observations. — Michael

Welcome to Championship!
Last year we headed to the football's Champions League. This year we are heading to the Football League Championship. I, like many on here, thought Moyes would be the saviour of my beloved Everton, but now I can't say that anymore. Sorry, Moyes; you have to go.
Wilson Wong, Chicago, USA  (26/12/05)

Oh for the love of God
Apologies to Slade:

'Oh here it is a miserable Christmas'
'No Evertonians having fun'
'Look to the future'
'Championship football here we come'
Like I said after the West Brom game, the first goal was a disgrace but what about the other three? We were stuffed good and proper yet again by a mediocre side.

How many nails can you put in a coffin? Davie Moyes must realise his time has been and gone; he fucked up before the end of last season with the greatest opportunity to take the club forward in over 20 years with shite buys and re-signed shite and his own side yet again have shown what a pathetic bunch of talentless twats they really are. Leave, please, Davie — and give someone else a chance whilst we still have a chance.

How many people do you honestly think will cough up £500 next season to watch that shite in the Championship?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (27/12/05)

Back from the game...
... freezing cold and of little good cheer. We start without Wright, Weir, Valente, Bent and Kilbane and the performance gets no better; must be a message there somewhere...

After the first five minutes I thought we were going well and the Blue voices were making all the noise; with a little more of the clinical finishing we could have been two up. Then Mr Riley takes a HAND in proceedings and all the old frailties return, a goal down and its as if the whole team with the exception of Davies take an almighty dip in form.

I thought the injustice might spur them to greater heights but the reverse happened and the sulks set in. Who is at fault in all this? I don't know but an injection of self-belief wouldn't go amiss before Wednesday. I think the manager needs to tell the players that they are good players but playing badly.

He also needs to tell them that they have got an obligation to the Club and its fans to put in a good proffesional shift no matter where he plays them as I think some of them turn off when asked to play away from their preferd position — and with our paper-thin squad thats suicidal.

The derby on Wednesday looms... surely the players have grasped how much it means to us fans and will respond in the right manner?

Moyes in or out? — that depends on his employers.
Fans in or out? — that depends on results.
Ties in nicely, doesn't it?
See you Wednesday. UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  (26/12/05)

Season to be Jolly
Will someone take Frank Burrage's drink off him before he spouts more crap. Everton will be lucky to score a friggin' goal. I won't be watching/listening to anymore matches; this team are a fuckin' disgrace. Last season was about contracts and nothing else. It's not a knee-jerk reaction either. No win on Wednesday and I don't see one coming up at all. See you in the Championship.
Mike , Wirral  (26/12/05)

Playing for their contracts? Do you honestly believe that's all it was? Of course, it's impossible to prove either way, and it's such a nice simple explanation for pretty much everything... so it must be true, eh? Season to be jolly stupid, IMHO. — Michael

Knee jerk? I've seen my arthritic grandmother jerk her knee faster. Four-nil is bad enough, but three times? And one at home?? Sorry, David; you've had me up until now, but there must be someone who can make your players work. Even though the decisive bone in your body was broken long ago, you've been lucky with what you bought — there are some good players...

But, if Dolly Parton were to write a 'Song for Everton', she'd call it T A C T I C S.
Gary , Barcelona  (26/12/05)

Once upon a time
Once upon a time, not very long ago, we used to have a team. No big-money stars — everyone thought we were going down — but we had a team of players that played to its... let's say limitations. We played 4-5-1, because we didn't have good enough players to play owt else. But we had a team, and we played as a team; we were hard to beat. We never scored many goals but no team looked forward to playing us.

Now we have spent a few bob on a few supposedly better players and we've started to try and play 4-4-2, to suit these new players. But these players don't seem to be able to play for Everton in this system. So let's get back to where we were, playing a system that suited Everton. Sod these big-money men; we want honest players. If we lose, at least it was not for want of trying. The way things are now, opponents want to claim all 3 points and boost their goals-for stats. Hurry up and get it sorted, Moyes — or we are going down.
John Daley, Cumbria  (26/12/05)

Save the season now please
After watching another joke of a match involving Everton, I am sad to say that something needs to be done NOW! — before it gets any worse.

We need Kenwright to stand up and not play the nice guy again with another manager like he did with Walter Smith. This is our club too, Kenwright; if you've not got the balls to sack someone, then you're not fit either to be at our great club.

Change needs to happen now in order for someone to at least get some GOOD signings in for January, not the poor ones that we might get under the current set-up. I know everyone says we've no money to spend, then that's fine... just flog the crap we bought over the past 12 months; we must be able to get something for them.

I keep heaingr people saying "Give Moyes time!" How much time??? Are we gonna still be saying it in the Championship next year?

Phil Caton, Bold Heath  (26/12/05)

New Poll?
If there were a new poll, set up on this site tonight, asking the question: "Who do you blame for the defeat against Villa, Moyes or Riley?" how would we vote? My choice? DAVID MOYES! There can be nobody left who thinks this ginger prat is some sort of Messiah, surely. 10 goals against and 1 for in the last three games? HELLO? ANYONE THERE???

My biggest worry now is, IF we beat Liverpool on Wednesday, there will be people on this site saying Moyes is back amongst the elite! Get Rid NOW!
Mark Brennan, Upholland  (26/12/05)

Mr Moyes, it's all over; you have been found out
I think it is time to halt this spiral of footballing depression. Things are getting worse! Even if things do get slightly better, do you really believe this team is capable of winning anything? I feel the fear of relegation is too much of a concern to let things carry on.
Clive Lewis, Leicester  (26/12/05)

Not nearly good enough
I write only to say what I imagine will ooze out of Goodison this week: "We have let ourselves down"; "We need to respond"... enough is enough, I for one am sick of the nonsense spewed by the players after a humping, and believe you me we were humped. Not by any top-3 team, but Villa! I have just had to take a bet from a Villa fan that Mr Moyes will be in charge next week; thing is I don't believe he will. I'm not a "Moyes out" bandwagon jumper, but, where do we go from here? Dixie is spinning in his grave!
Jez May, Isle of Man  (26/12/05)

Come on, Peter; tell us Moyes is still the man.
Chris Wright, Chester  (26/12/05)

Heart and soul
Heart and soul... has the very essence of our club dried up and dissappeared with the arrival of numerous foreigners? Heck NO, we are being let down mainly by British players. But I digress.

Yet another unbelievable 'clear sighted' refereeing BLUNDER cost us the first goal, why do we capitulate in the manner we do? A stinker of a decision doesn't excuse the subsequent three goals gifted. Against West Brom, Bolton, Villa... stomach for the fight was sadly missing from the pampered and well-paid pansies that ran out to represent us.

Arteta can pass, pick a cross, and make a chance; same with Osman. I'm not convinced with Davies; Cahill I cannot recognise. Where is the steel? Where is the player that will put a challenge in to 'quieten' the opposition danger man? In contrast, Arteta gets hit, then hit, then hit again....

Where is the physical menace every team needs? Gravesen and Carsley can both put a challenge in, but they are sadly missing now. Currently, the Everton midfield cannot stamp their authority on a game; they are far too lightweight to battle, and it shows.

So we are looking at three 0-4 defeats in seven games, I'm disgusted by the players, I'm disgusted the manager wont change things earlier (I know, it's easy with hindsight). I am just disgusted. This isn't nil satis nisi optimum' but it will get us relegated.

It's one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made but I won't be renewing my season ticket. It has taken heart and soul to make this decision - it's a shame some of the players don't go through the same heartache fans like me do when we see a shambles dressed as Everton put on displays like what we have witnessed recently.

It is all about heart and soul, on the pitch, in the dugout, in the boardroom, in the stands. I like moyes, I love Everton, but I cannot continue to get kicked in the teeth like this.

From, a very unhappy Everton fan.
Eddie Harding, Liverpool  (26/12/05)

Humilation... AGAIN!
If anyone out there can spot a plus from today, I reckon yer drunk! How long is this going to be allowed to continue?! With no brass in January, we are fucked... with a capital F!

Again, let's hope there are three worse teams than us. I know we will fight in the derby (please) but what's the odds on Sunderland beating us just afterwards? I reckon they are pretty high. Deary, deary me...
John Audsley, Leeds  (26/12/05)

Unfortunately my (and I suppose Davie Moyes's) fears about Krøldrup were realised today.

4-5-1 and a re-signing of Stubbs here we come...

Bah Humbug!
A plank of wood  with a nail in it, Hell On Earth  (26/12/05)

Board Must Act Now
I have previously posted messages on here calling for Bill Kenwright and the Board to remove Moyes in order to save Everton. What further evidence do they need? Three 4-0 hammerings, five defeats at home and just nine goals scored equals relegation. He is a disaster in the transfer market as we know and I concur wholeheartedly with the previous writer who is calling for Joe Royle to be brought back. At least he can save teams and we need saving desperately. If the Board do it now, at least it gives the new manager a chance with the January window. Bill Kenwright, you are our man in the Boardroom — please act now.
Peter , Liverpool  (26/12/05)

Who else to go...
I agree that Moyes needs to go - he is inept; nice guy that he appears, by buying rubbish, he has signed his own resigantion form.

There are several players that are just turning up for pay cheques and showing NO passion or ability (yes Michael no passion - if you disagree, tell me your evidence to the contrary). Kenwright also needs to go because he is just as bad — no — worse than Johnson. At least Johnson had some money and did not pretend to be a Blue.

The final person who needs to go is Michael. Either you are taking the Mick or you are unable to see the absolute sporting tragedy that is Everton FC unfolding before your eyes. How on earth can this be described as a rough patch with any sincerity? We are on the way down if this slump is not halted and I cannot see a way out of it. If you can't describe accurately what you see then give up writing your ascerbic asides... because we are crying in despair over what we are currently seeing.
Tom , Wirral  (26/12/05)

But once again, it's almost a carbon-copy of previous games. We play reasonably well in the first half, create a glorious chance with some beautiful football... if Beattie's header goes in, it's a totally different game.

Then, insult upon injury, the utter travesty of Baros's goal, and we are done for: no way back. Two more forwards on in place of midfielders, out of desparation (passion?), and it's two more easy goals gifted.

Bad patch? I think that's what all the apologists said prior to the mini-revival — glad you caught the irony there...

The solution? Sack David Moyes! Yes, the normal reaction to such a horrendous run of results. But the apologists have argued agauinst that, and argued well. They are quiet right now as wounds are licked. But the points they made are still generally valid. I wonder if they still can support Moyes? Or will there be a lot more jerking of the knee?

Watch this space...

Who do we want?
Before we get the ALL-time lowest Premiership goal tally, I agree it'a time for Moyes to go. As it is, this squad will not get us back in the Premiership next season. But Who would replace Moyes? Which manager (with a track record) would gladly take on this squad?

Kenwright has a lot to answer for: firstly, incredible loyalty to the useless Walter Smith, and agin to Moyes. Both managers have't got what it takes to manage a Premiership Club, and it shows. Who else would pay £3.5 million for Davies!! And with shite like Naysmith ready again soon, we ALL have plenty to worry about.
Joe McMahon-Bates, Rossendale  (26/12/05)

Time to go, Moyes
This is worse than when Walter Smith was here. Kenwright, you are a joke! I am sick of supporting a team that is nothing more than a laughing stock. For Christ's sake, CAN SOMEONE GET A GRIP! Bring back Joe Royle. At least he understands what it means to support Everton. It cost me 2 grand for my season ticket this year. I may as well have bought my girlfriend a puppy!!! It can't have brought me this much misery. David Moyes, just leave now, before I have a heart attack, please!!!
David Jones, Rochdale  (26/12/05)

Told Ya
Anyone out there still wanting Moyes to stay now? It makes me sick watching this this loser drag us down. What makes things worse is these fans who still think Moyes is a good manager — are they blind as well as stupid? If the ginger tosser stays then we will go down. I have said it all season and now some of you out there might be getting the message.

Sack him tonight don't let it get any worse. It's a nightmare. If Moyes had any Proffesional pride he would fall on his sword right now. I can't take any more and I am giving up: that's how bad things are.

Moyes is a gobshite; the players can't stand him, and niether can I.

ps Dont take your kids to the derby — it will haunt them forever.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (26/12/05)

Come on.. it's just another bad patch we're going through. Moyes can turn it around... he's done it before. And the day you give up, I think the world will have ended. — Michael

For those at the back...
Financial support is consent. Consent is approval. Where do you draw the line?

ps: Rob Fox, tell us Moyes is the right man for the job, in one million words or less.
David C  (26/12/05)

Now now... Behave!

'Moyes must go!'
How does a team like Everton lose 4-0 to teams like Aston Villa, West Brom and Bolton! All I can say is Moyes must go: the man is insane. I don't even want to know what's gonna happen on the derby on Wednesday.
Peter Quinn, Liverpool  (26/12/05)

Moyes is Gone
I bet my house Moyes is gone after this one. It's another crumbling 4-0 defeat.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (26/12/05)

Open the floodgates...

It's all so wrong
I came across this wonderful line about a losing American football team that describes Everton so well, 'The Packers of 2005 will be remembered as inept, bumbling and luckless losers of the highest magnitude. At least they won't be remembered as quitters'.

Yes, Everton are no quitters as well. But they should raise their hands and admit that they have sucked big-time.

For starters, the midfield is so lightweight that it is embarassing. Osman, Davies and Arteta are skilled players who can't hold on to the ball. You can't get away with all of them on the same team. This team cries out for Gravesen and Carsley. I think in the absence of our favourite baldies, Li Tie should be able to do a better job.

Next up, the front two of Beattie and McFadden are so terrible at putting away chances that I wonder if a blind man (or Marcus Bent) can do better. We need a striker ASAP.

The whole team has not found its identity at all. Last season's team was a team of 'hard-men' who played to their strengths (pushing aside opponents and winning 1-0). This year's edition is more skilful but not THAT skilful. The team seems to have an obsession with cutting through the centre and lacks width. They fail to do simple things well such as putting in a winnable ball from dead-ball situations. So a 4-4-2 with this bunch of choirboys is an accident waiting to happen. I advocate a 4-5-1 with McFadden sitting out for a ball-winning midfielder like the Brazilian chap Anderson Silva.

With lots of luck, we can survive and progress from this miserable low. But the lesson is loud and clear: Play to your strengths.
Jx  Tan  (26/12/05)

Just Desserts
Of late I've had nothing to add to my previous posts but still log on to ToffeeWeb everyday and recommend it to all my Evertonian friends overseas if they really want to keep up to date on the diversity of views amongst all Evertonians. However, I feel I must enjoin the thanks to you all for the site and wish you every prosperity for the New Year. Many thanks.
Thommo   (26/12/05)

Good on ya, Thommo.

In to the Future
I have looked at the fixtures closely and think out of our remaining 21 games we can win 11 and draw 4, this will give us a points total of 54 points, probably enough for a crack at the Uefa Cup again. If this does happen, then us blues will be satisfied enough. Come on you blues, I also expect beattie to weigh in with 10 premiership goals between now and Mmay. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL, i'ts a great site and long may it continue.
Frank Burrage, Northwich  (26/12/05)

Do not stop this great site
Ever since I got to know about this site I have been visiting it regularly (especially the mailbag). I have stopped going to the official site. I read that the owner might stop the site if things get too bad. I hope that the owner of this site does not pull the cord so that I can have my regular dose of the mailbag.
Chung  MH, Singapore  (26/12/05)

Yea, we're a testy lot. Anything might push us over the edge... the final straw! So don't anyone say anything about NEGATIVITY... alright!

Nah...don't sweat it, Chungy; I'm just pulling your leg. We've been around for a while. And we're here for the long haul... God willing! — Michael

Acumen anyone please?
What joy it is to be a Bluenose:

We have Billy Liar holding onto his train set for dear life with no desire to give it up to anyone with more business acumen and verve his carefully appointed yes men in tow, at least one of whom is lining his own pockets on the club's time.

We have the mystical "genius" (sic) of David Moyes unable and unwilling to admit errors with failing footballing acumen - Marcus Bent wanted for £1.5M; his response: no way and not at that price. Does Marcus have some dodgy polaroids of Davie? Does Davie think that the money raised from an under-performing, seemingly uninterested forward would provide capital for a replacement? Does he not realise £1.5M is three times what he cost in the first place?

Please let this all be a horrible dream, let me wake up and find we are still in Europe, in the top six and consistently beating sides for fun by more than one goal margin. Then again, memories of an Everton side that played like that are fading fast and it would take a serious Vodka session to remove these sorts of nightmares.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (24/12/05)

I thought it was Christmas Eve, not Bash Bill and Moan about Moyes day... People, you are in serious need of some Christmas cheer. Please, give it a rest until Monday at least! — Michael

Hohoho... cont.
I know only saddos write to Mailbag on Christmas Eve... `For God`s sake, get a life,` the wife tells me but I cannot let the big day arrive without asking Santa to bring us at least six points over the next eight days. And that is precisely what I feel the lads will manage -for inspired by yesterday`s piece on Fred Pickering I am convinced James Beattie is set to ram all the criticism down the doubters`throats.

Let`s face it he and many of our top players have had a horrible year with injuries which has made Moysey`s job a nightmare but I am positive we shall go into the New Year at least three points over par.

So COYB and let`s put all the backbiting behind us! Come 5pm next Saturday, it`ll be HOHOHO all round!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (24/12/05)

Not So Happy New Year
I managed to get a piece published by you in August — basically a rant against David Moyes's lack of ability in the transfer market. I hate to tell you "I told you so," but I told you so. According to the man himself, we are virtually potless unable even to afford a Championship striker. This means that in the past 12 months DM squandered the whole of the Rooney legacy putting together a squad worse than the one he inherited.

I am afraid I have had enough - this team is bad enough to take us down and I am afraid David Moyes must take the blame. He is clueless, lacking any grain of imagination and should be sacked immmediately. How long do we have to go on listening to the drivel spoken week after week by this conman?
Colin Gillbanks, Liverpool  (24/12/05)

Wow! So it was YOU who told us all that Moyes had not done so well in the transfer market? We were all wondering.... thanks for clearing that up, Colin... NOT!

And as for your latest gem: "We are trying to make things better and we are working towards it. I always tell supporters how it is, I don't kid them on but tell them straight." — so, you are calling Moyes a liar? — Michael

Just wanted to say Happy Xmas to you all at ToffeeWeb. We all have different opinions on Everton but ToffeeWeb is the best site for all info regarding the blues. Well done, and keep it up!
John Audsley, Leeds  (24/12/05)

Thanks, John!

Icing on the Xmas cake
Davey Moyes says Bent is not for sale, not for the £1.5M being quoted. How much does he think the bag of shite is worth? Couple this with his quote 'It's going to be a tight transfer window, in terms of what we can bring in'. This can only mean we're not going to get the quality striker we all want and need. If this is the case, Davey will have fucked up big time, especially when he had mega bucks to spend in the summer on a striker. £10M was getting touted round at that time. If he has fucked up, the anti-Moyes boys will have been right all along.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (24/12/05)

The penny finally drops regarding false hopes of the transfer window... But Moyes pays the price for being honest with the fans... Who'd be a footie manager, eh? — Michael

''We have little money to spend''
Just read this quote by David Moyes... That's because he has wasted all of the money we had avaiable on total rubbish like Beattie, Neville, Valente and Davies.

'but at least we can say we went in for them'

Yeah, great! Happy Christmas!!
Ryan Holroyd, York  (24/12/80)

Transfer Kitty
Its a fact, "no money to make a difference — we will have to play the loan market" — David Moyes. He cannot be surprised, can he? Would you let him buy you a bag of mixed sweets after the crap he has wasted £25 million on? It's a pity we cannot get Kenwright off on loan to another club for good.
Steve Sweeney, Liverpool  (24/12/05)

Money Saver
If EFC introduced a performance-related pay scheme for the players, the club could go a long way to wiping out it's debt.

As we don't have much spare cash in the transfer kitty (who let the cat out of the bag?) we should have enough money to buy some performance enhancing drugs off Abel Xavier (he's an ex-player and may even give us a discount) because, if ever a squad of players needed to enhance their performance, it's ours. We could get away with it if we all keep schtum.

Happy Blue Christmas to all at ToffeeWeb.
Dean Peamum, Valetta, Malta  (23/12/05)

Missing Per
We follow all the sites for teams with Danish players and have been mystified by non-appearance of our very own Per. So many letters saying he is not a good player technically or not good in the air - rubbish! He is recognised as the most gifted defender from here in years.

We were surprised that he moved to England but all our papers said his agent could not get money he wanted in Italy. But the fee was reported here as POTENTIALLY up to £5M pounds, depending on club and International appearances and a portion has to come back to club in Copenhagen of each payment made.

A Danish journalist recently asked your manager why Per was not playing and he said it was due to the continued excellence of your other defenders but he would get his chance in January. Now news is he has done a deal in Italy and will move back there.

I tell you although I am biased that you have been missing a good player. Best of luck for rest of season.
Jan Jenson, Copenhagen  (23/12/05)

Thanks for that, Jan. Most Evertonians believe Per must be a good player... but all they have seen of him is in one pre-season friendly. David Moyes's rationale for not playing Per is highly dubious; so there are a lot of silly rumopurs doing the rounds as to what could possibly see a £5M players sit on the bench. But you are dead right about the real fee being a lot less. For some reason, everyone gloms on to the total package — Rooney: £27M, when Everton have only received £20M (or less) for him. As for Italy... just a rumour at this point. Time will tell. — Michael

For Peter Rotherham
I am a 'Moyes Baiter' but only because I have seen the utter crap this season and have had enough. Moyes has said he wants a striker in January - he will dither all month and we will be scrapping around on the 31st hoping to get someone. But it's alright because intelligent blokes like Peter will accept anything while morons like me will question whether the club is going in the right direction. Still Peter and his band can carry on playing till the Titanic sinks.
Chris Wright, Chester  (23/12/05)

Now boys... Play Nice!

With apologies to Greg Lake...
They said there'd be joy this season
They said there'd be European nights
But instead we just kept on losing
A return to the days of relegation fights

I remember one August morning
An optimism in the Everton choir
And the Villarreal and that European spell
And our eyes full of hope and desire

They sold me a dream of Europe
They sold me a total con
And they told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the 4-5-1

And I believed in David Moysie
And I looked to the season with excited eyes
'Till I woke with dismay after Bucharest away
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful season
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
In my heart for the drop I fear

They said there'd be joy this season
They said there'd be Champions League
At Goodison Park be it Heaven or Hell
The Season you get you deserve.

Paul Stevenson, Munich, Germany  (23/12/05)

God, how depressing is that! Thanks a lot, Paul.

The Moyes Baiters
Is it little wonder that the small minority of Moyes baiters, like the fella Paul Houghton, are seen and treated with riducule by the majority of Evertonians. He wants rid of Moyes because he did not get what he wanted in the summer! All together now... arrg!! He wants a new manager for Christmas, but he does not know who! How about someone on a similar wavelenth, like Ron Atkinson?

The Moyes Baiters have not got a clue and they are a sick symptom of the modern game. If Moyes did leave, you could put Jesus in charge, I swear within a year or two they would have some gripe, with something or another. Let's just be glad that the wife's not getting it. Then again, maybe thats the problem?????
Peter Rotherham  (23/12/05)

Hmmm.. . first off, how can you be sure of majorities and minorities in this schism? I think if we re-ran our poll of a few weeks ago, the numbers could be pretty close. It seems another bad run is bringing more so-called 'Moyes baiters' out of the woordwork; perhaps their concerns are not completely unfounded and not so easily dismissed by your scornful disdain.... — Michael

Fans comment: Steve
Well written comments from Steve; it had me nodding in agrement throughout.

I stayed until the death on Saturday as I always do, but I was tempted to go once the penalty was awarded. The players should be ashamed of themselves but I don't want to hear that they are, I want to see it. I AM SO SICK OF THE BULLSHIT we are fed. At least ToffeeWeb is shit free, if the team was as good as the website then.... All the best to one and all.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (22/12/05)

Contract Extensions
Just took a look at the squad status on the site and saw that Joseph Yobo's contract expires in 18 months time. I know we're all hoping to see some new signings in a few weeks, but I won't be surprised to hear that the Mancs and a few others are sniffing around as soon as the window opens.

I'd like to think negotiations are well underway with his representative's, considering the time it takes to sort players contracts these days. Hopefully we won't be foolish enough to allow his contract to run down to 12 months, and watch a top-class 26-year-old defender leave for peanuts.

On a different note and as it's the festive season and all, I'd like to propose we welcome senor Benitez (spit) to Goodison on the 28th with some nice Spanish signage. Those old sheets will come in handy and look great with the words MIERDA ROJA on them, which means hello and welcome in Spanish.

Merry Christmas to all my fellow Bluenoses, and especially to all at ToffeeWeb. Thanks for all the hard work you guys do.

See ya at Villa COYB!!!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (22/12/05)

Regarding Yobo, this concern has been raised... but we are none the wiser.

Y sobre las otras cosas... No comprendo nada, pero... No creo. — Miguel

Accepting Mediocrity
Michael, I reaaly must take you to task on your response. When I was comparing EFC status to the Fulhams of this world, I was doing it on the basis of a professional sport.

Over the last 20 years (not to mention the previous 110 years), our budget on transfers, salaries, staffing levels etc are way above theirs. If you went in to the EFC shop and they had shirts ranging from £5 to £50 surely you would expect more from the £50 one? That's why we expect more. Our history, our heritage — not to mention the fans' culture — demand it.

I would never expect anyone who regards themselves as a member of the EFC family to stop attending the match. I would expect them to let the people who we are paying £20-, £30-, £40-grand a week know that what they are serving up is not good enough. At least David Moyes has stopped saying EFC fans are used to being at the bottom or strugling. We never were and the people who took us too close to the bottom got sacked. Me, I have always kept the faith in EFC; it's just now and then you have to let employees know thier standards aren't good enough.

By the way thanks for all the hard work you guys do runing the site. Happy xmas.
Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (22/12/05)

Sorry, it's me being too literal again. I think if you're not going to accept something, then it means you're going to do something about it. The boos that rang out around Goodison, and the mass exodus that occured before the end of the Bolton game, sends the message you want to send to the players very eloquewntly... as if it was really needed. After all, don't you think the players would have felt just a little down anyway, after that horrible result? I'm not convinced there are many who are "accepting mediocrity"... but getting performances to change involves something more than looking to our history, our heritage, or our transfer budget. Those things mean next to nothing during the 90 minutes that the game is played. And trying to make the players feel guilty about their obscene salaries doesn't seem to me like it is going to have a positive effect on the way they perform. More magic needed from Mr Moyes... Michael

3 years of crap football
I must have been watching a differant Everton to most of the people who write in. In the last 3 years, if I have come home from a dozen games and said that was lovely football I have been lucky. There have probably been more than a dozen games that we have lost by 3 or more goals in the same period. As for finishing fourth being some great achievement aside aren't EFC meant to finish above the Fulhams, WBA, Charlton etc?

Do we really want to pay to go and see a team that may score a goal from a free kick or corner? Please stop accepting mediocrity.
Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (22/12/05)

You must show us where it is written that Everton are meant to finish above x, y & z. I'm sure it's not part of the Premier League Charter. Each team finishes exactly where it deserves to finsh baased on the results of 38 league games. The Table Never Lies.

And what about this "accepting mediocrity"? Are you advocating that we should stay away from the game becasue they are playing crap? Isn't that a classic glory-hunter's rationale? I thought Evertonians prided themselves on being better supporters than that.

However, a case could be made that the bouyant crowds in the last few years, despite mixed results on the field, have led the powers that be to take somewhat for granted the continued support of the thousands who attend each week. In fact, that support can apparently be relied upon to leverage a massive 25-year, £28 million loan that arguably saved the club in the years Before Rooney. It's a funny old game, is football. — Michael

Krøldrup going...??
Someone left a Guardian newspaper in my office, so I had a quick glance at the sports section....

It's got a big spread of players in and out of all Premiership clubs, with Kroldrup listed as a £4M target to go back to Italy!

Anyone heard anything 'bout this? Or is it a bag of arse.....
Wayne , N Wales  (22/12/05)

New columnist
I have just read the piece by your new columnist Daniel Mckeown. Just a couple of points I would like to pick up on. He says the media are making us out to be in a bigger crisis than we really are. I would like to hear his take on a crisis. We are 16th in the prem; 4 pts above a relegation place, lowest goalscorers in the league... by the looks of it were skint.

He also says Moyes knows we need a striker and is doing his best to rectify it. He has just had all summer to sign a quality striker, when we were able to offer them European football, but somehow he fucked up. What type of sriker can we get now, only offering them a relegation scrap?

I look forward to reading more of your contributions, Daniel. It will be interesting to hear the younger generation's view on Everton. also all the best to everyone at ToffeeWeb — and let's hope that Daniel's prediction of a better second half of the season comes true.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (22/12/05)

Daniel McKeown
Nice to see a more youthful contributor to the site.

I have to take issue however with the opinion offered that in five years time we will be regularly in the top four and challenging for trophies.

Time will tell!
Dave J, Liverpool  (22/12/05)

The optimism of youth?

Re.The Anorak
I can`t believe that Moyes has spent £25 million on the shite we have in the team at present! And that doesn`t include the money wasted on Wright, Kilbane and a host of other no-marks who`ve never seen first team duty. I reckon only two of his buys have been up to the job — Cahill and Neville — and they ain`t exactly superstars either. If, as so many believe, Moyes is a tactical genius, why doesn`t he sign players who can carry out his plans? In truth, the man`s a joke who's well passed his sell date. Off with his head, I say! Oh,and ps: can we have all the money back?
David Pearce, Warrington  (22/12/05)

New arse
We must be in real trouble - you know: club in crisis, manager under fire, board getting critised, fans unhappy... let's deflect attention, and bring up the new ground. How stupid do they think we are? Maybe it'll be funded by Fortress Sports Foundation or whatever Billy's mates were called.
Chris Wright, Chester  (21/12/05)

Festive Female Ramblings
I’ve just come back from my Christmas party and, do you know what…..? I have been told today that my assistant is rude, not a team player and is generally a nasty piece of work. Which brought me to the blue boys, God love 'em.

I’ve always worked on the theory that if employees do what you tell them to, then that’s OK; that’s why they get paid - it's nice to have friends at work but there are plenty of friends elsewhere so why worry?

Moyes employs people that he likes, that people like, whocan be friends…. DAVID, I THINK YOU CAN DO IT, BUT FORGET ABOUT IT!!! This is where mine and Moysies world’s collide:

The only way I can get through a game from my seat in the Upper Bullens is to convince myself that Kilbane is just a plastic bag, blowing in the wind; sometimes he blows in the right direction but mostly not.

Weir? I like him, if I had children I’d take them round his house no probs, but if he can’t stop running mindlessly and dangerously into midfield to run over an easy tackle and put us in trouble I’m going to turn to the dangers of over eating!

So, are we (me and Moysie) bad managers? Obviously I would vote No for me and (despite my IMWT belief) yes for Moyes.

My team might be a bit of a bastard to the rest of the workforce and when it comes to playing a team game, believe me, they are seriously shite. But, and here endeth the lesson, Davey, my team stick to the job, end of.

My team is not pretty or indeed kind, but we win. David, you put your team on the pitch and they do not. For the first 20 minutes they do your thing, but after that they do their own thing and they just aren’t smart enough to work out the bit where playing equals winning.

David, sort it out. I know you can — and so do Neville, Arteta, Martyn, Cahill, Andy VDM et al. DON’T LET THEM (OR US) DOWN!!!!

ps: If you can get us sorted without getting rid of your nice, friendly guys then I will happily fire my assistants ass!
Caroline Cleary, Midlands  (21/12/05)

Err... less of seasonal beverages, methinks...

January bargain bucket
First Merry Xmas to all Blues; whether we agree or not, we are all still Blues.

Now onto my mini rant - I know you guys only post links to our beloved tabloid wanker's latest efforts to sell garbage but for Christ's sake... Shittu from QPR? I would not be surprised if it was true as he is a Moyes type purchase; defensive and shite, when we need creative and attacking and more importantly capable of scoring. Even his name is reminiscent of Moyes's style of team if you pardon the pun; god, he must have had such a happy childhood with that name.

I worried we didn't have a pot to piss in thanks to Billy Liar and Wyness or should that be Keith Lapdog Enterprises Inc whose motto appears to be "screw the fans and line his own pockets" and it seems (by his own admission to the AGM) to be a lot closer to the truth, as I worried.

The club is falling to pieces; at least in the past when we were shite we had occasional glimpses of hope... this is Samaritans territory now. I just hope that other teams currently playing as shite as we are don't go on a recovery run and help us out.

Fingers crossed that we manage to turn over David O'Dreary's lot and then fight out a Man U style draw against Liverpool. I am holding on but I think this roller coaster is going to get mighty uncomfortable from now until the end of the season.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (21/12/05)

An anorak responds
In response to Steve Callan, the published figures show that Everton have committed £25.05 million on transfers since Wayne Rooney departed. The only other income on sales has been £2.45M in respect of Tommy Gravesen and a paltry £250k for Nick Chadwick. I suspect that having blown all the Rooney dough, only the circa £3M from these later sales remain unspent.

Of course, we have no means of knowing how much of the fees was paid up front and how much is `on the drip` but if, as would seem sensible, Wyness is trying to balance the transfer budget, then the £3M trailed as what`s left in the kitty seems just about right. Whether the £25M spent so far will prove sound investment is, of course, an entirely different question!
David Hall, Taunton  (21/12/05)

Have faith — keep behind the blues!
Let’s start on something positive for once! We have a manager who polished a turd last season. Yes, a team that regularly included such classy players as Pistone, Bent and Kilbane. So he obviously has some magic tricks up his sleeve (somewhere). I for one cannot believe that we came 4th. Let’s be honest now, were we the fourth best club in the land last year? No, of course we weren’t. Most of our wins were through one-goal margins; how often did we convincingly stuff the opposition? Not much.

Having come 4th, many of our supporters have understandably increased expectations of the Blues, but we still have much of the same squad as last year. Added to this is the fact that we are seen by ‘lesser’ teams such as WBA as a scalp due to the over-achievement last year. We are not a top-seven team yet (though we have flattered to deceive)!

Moyes did brilliantly getting us to 7th three seasons back and last season was unbelievable; however, the cracks are surfacing now. We are weak at both left and right back, and the midfield has sorely missed Tommy Gravesen since he left last January. Should we bring him back? I would take him back but there’s no way we can afford him (sky-high wages in Spain).

I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is highly likely that Lee Carsley will make a massive difference when he returns, allowing Cahill in particular to make more incisive forward runs and worry less about defensive frailties behind him. I’d even contemplate having Cahill, Carsley and Neville as the three centre midfielders — perhaps we need to show the league a touch of Dogs of War again?

Regarding Krøldrup, I was at the Udinese friendly and the guy looked class, very comfortable on the ball. In fact he reminds me of Richard Gough. Moyes must give him a chance, Weir has been below-par. Krøldrup and Yobo could be a class act together, they can’t do worse than letting in four against WBA and Bolton respectively.

Moyes can drag us out of this mire. The players haven’t been up to par and they are sorely missing some consistency. But let’s keep behind them; getting rid of Moyes will only hurt us in the long run — we need stability. And the man has moved us forward — who would’ve thought we could come 4th let alone in the top 10?!

We’ve got bags of talent in the squad on an individual level; hopefully they will gel very soon. I’m optimistic. Beattie and McFadden are coming good, and the goals will come for them both. COYB!!!!
Nick Tierney, Liverpool  (21/12/05)

Ah... optimism. It's a wonderful thing. But let's summarise: 4th was unbelievable; 7th was brilliant; we're not yet a top-7 team...

The fact is we are horribly inconsistent under David Moyes. Highs and lows. All documented ad nauseam on these pages. The expactation of consistency just doesn't jive with the reality of this inconsistency, and many are having trouble getting their heads around that.

Yet, for fear of repetition, The Table Never Lies. 4th; 17th; 7th ... These are indisputable facts; whether you believe it or not, it happened. And right now, we are 16th; fact. Can Moyes really drag us out of the mire? That's the question. He's done it before... but opinions this time are all over the map. — Michael

Howard, are you havin' a laugh?
Just a couple of points. Firstly, did anyone else notice Howard Kendall's ridiculous comments in the Echo last Friday when he said this about Zinedine Kilbane: 'I'm a big fan of Kilbane. He does a lot of good work that sometimes doesn't get noticed. He is good in the air and his passing can be of a high quality'. Yes the Dome actually said that! It does beg certain questions... Were these words uttered during the Echo's Christmas party? Is Howard now acting as Kilbane's agent? Or has he just discovered that the useless lump is in fact his long-lost son?

It certainly makes me wonder how a man who won two2 league titles can say something so stupid which insults the intelligence of every supporter who has the misfortune to watch Kilbane every week. Perhaps Howard just fluked those trophies 20 years ago in the same way that David Moyes clearly fluked that 4th place last season.

Also, Moyes is now reportedly interested in signing Danny Shittu from QPR. With a name like that he should fit right in amongst the current Everton squad!
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool  (21/12/05)

As Howard Kendall showed conclusively during his third reign, the magic spark just ain't there anymore... and as his continued ramblings show all too painfully in the Echo, he really should retire gracefully. But less of that 'fluked' nonsense, please: The Table Never Lies!. — Michael

Only £3M to spend
Can one of the many anoraks (sorry "committed supporters") who read your website work out if we have actually spent all of the money we got for Rooney or has some of it gone missing? (I'd like to know but can't be bothered working it out.)
Steve Callan, Birkenhead  (21/12/05)

Why I don't wish it was Christmas every day
Whilst I'm not calling for Santa's sack to be given to Moyes, I do think he is out of his depth right now. That doesn't mean he'll always be, but simply that the way events have unraveled this season has meant that the little Scot has gotten in over his head.

I'm not going to pick over the 'bad signings' because I don't think we've seen enough of them to really make a judgment. But even if you allow for the 'bad luck' of injuries, there's still a lot of room for culpability.

A few times this campaign he's referred to 'the winning habit' (usually in the context of us being out of it) and the phenomenon doubtless exists. In another way he's talking about confidence or self-belief - but right now I'm not convinced Moyes takes enough responsibility for the part he plays in how much of this is around.

For me the true hallmark of a really good manager is how they can paper over the cracks in confidence that happen when defeat kicks in. A good manager/leader patches the lads up and sends them back out there, brave again. I think Moyes's rational, cool-headed approach has a lot to commend it, but I also think that we could do with a bit more Braveheart and a bit less Miss Jean Brodie.

Of course I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, (I guess most Premiership dressing rooms are a lot more gutless than ten years ago), maybe Moyes does bollock people and it gets him nowhere, or maybe he realises today's players don't have the cahones to take it and respond properly.

For me though, the absence of this facet of leadership is also painfully apparent on the pitch and partly explains our recent cave-ins. We're now back to the bad old days of teams rubbing their hands together when they see us as their next fixture.

So let's hope SOMEONE at Bellfield is getting ready to play a big part for us over festive season, otherwise we'll be caving-in again and using our little grotto to hand out the Christmas goodies once more.

ps: Until this season, I never though I'd say it, but thank god for a lad who must have always been at the back in his christmas play - Phil Neville.
Martin Wallace, Liverpool  (21/12/05)

Killer stat
Whilst, as has been said many times, stats can be made to mean anything, I do think your recently published figures on the relative records of Moyes, Smith & Co proves once and for all that the former is not the genius so many Evertonians hold. 160-odd games is surely long enough to indicate progress or otherwise and to those who say `Look what he inherited from Smith,` I reply, `Look what Smith inherited from Kendall and Royle!` In both cases, not bloody much!

To me, the killer stat on both our managers since July 98 is their total inability to spend the Club`s limited resourses wisely. The combined figure in transfer outgoings alone must be in the region of £80 million and many of the signings smack of `agent sell-ons.` Better not to talk of those ex-Everton employees who had shares in a certain agency but I`m sure you get my drift!

Sad to say, I think Tom Brown was right when he said that given the club`s long term record of mediocrity we should expect nothing to improve, but for Crissake that is totally defeatist and the Board should be DEMANDING better value for money than we`ve seen from all the crap that Smith and Moyes have signed during their tenure.

Come on somebody, do something!
Colin Knowles, Runcorn  (21/12/05)

Expatriate Blues
I have been an ardent Evertonion since 1963 when I watched my first game. That memorable season had a profound effect on me. From then up until 1987 I would say that being an Everton supporter was largely a rewarding experience watching good teams with some quite remarkable players who could entertain, graft, defend and score a lot of goals. Great football to watch and after-match feelings were wonderful.

Since that time, I have lived overseas, mainly in the Middle East. I am lucky enough to have a good TV system (Super Sport from South Africa) which features nearly every Premiership game either live or recorded. I have stayed up until Midnight (KO time) expecting Everton to perform. Sadly for me, and every other Everton supporter I have met over here, they never fullfill our expectations. The last and only good performance I have witnessed over the last few years was the Aston Villa game away. That day Villa were just crap and made Everton look good; howeveer, there were great performances from Arteta & Cahill.

Let's not kid ourselves Everton have not had a decent all-round side since 1987. I thought there was hope with Joe Royle but the Board failed him. I thought Smith could achieve but the Board also failed him.

I looked at David Moyes's face on Saturday after the Bolton game. His expression told a thousand tales and mirrored what every loyal and distant fan must be feeling about this current team. It is awful and it is time for some emergency action before Everton are relegated this season.

David Moyes seems to be bereft of ideas to halt the slide not just in league position but in performance standards. He cannot escape the responsibility: these are his players. He and his coaching staff are responsible for the team plans and tactics. However, it is like anything else: he needs the tools to do the job. Apart from Arteta, Cahill and Yobo, no other player is good enough to rate a place in any Everton team prior to 1987.

Perhaps relegation would be kind to this Everton team. At least then we may be able to rise again with a team worthy of our long suffering support.
Steve McComish, Doha, State of Qatar  (21/12/05)

What we need
I do not believe, like most Evertonians seem to, that a forward is our top priority in January. The forwards we have have not been given a fair chance under Moyes. Bent has spent most of his time playing as a lone striker in a side that creates very little. Beattie and McFadden have both got good scoring records when not playing for Everton: Beattie with Southampton, McFadden with Scotland. I think both would do well in a strong attacking side.

Tim Cahill I believe is more of a forward than midfielder and we also have James Vaughan coming through. The reason we are not scoring isn't because we're missing loads of chances — it's because were not creating chances. That is a midfield problem. Imagine the current Everton team with Reid and Bracewell in the middle. Niether were particularly creative but they were leaders. They could tackle and overpower opposition midfields and supply the creative players.

Arteta is more of a winger and Cahill a striker, and anyone else tried in centre-midfield this season has been out of position. So I would get two powerful central midfielders in January. Then sack Moyes, bring Hoddle in and watch us attack.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (21/12/05)

Slient Nights
Anyone noticed how quiet its all gone at Goodison lately? Not a peep coming from anyone. Very different from last May when the cameras were around at Davey and Bill's while they sipped champagne and patted themselves on the back for the magnificent job thy had done. Where are they now?

We are going through yet another season of crisis at Everton yet the powers that be don't feel the need to explain to us supporters what the fuck is going on. Let's have Dave Moyes on Sky Sports or the local radio or this website and let him tell us in his own dynamic way what he is doing spending millions on players we never see. Millions on players who are crocked and millions on players no other club would take on a free.

The Koldrup saga is bad enough but the Simon Davies signing is the most strange of them all. Martin Jol had Moyes's kecks off on this one and us fans have to live with it. Jol wanted to offload Davies to finance the Jenas deal. Davies had been injured most of the season and Spurs where looking around two million for him. Gobshite Moyes paid 3.5 Million for him with no other club at all in the running. WHY? I asked a mate of mine in London who is a Spurs fan how they rated Davies down there: Average to poor was the answer.

I for one will never knock Simon Davies or any other player Moyes signs or re-signs. It's not their fault. The man who signs and plays the players is to blame. Moyes has got a cheek to critisize the defenders after the Bolton game — he signed them he played them; it's his fault.

Any way, let's see what Santa brings us in the new year I hear Dean Windass is going for £6M — let's buy him!

To everyone concerned at ToffeWeb, all the best for the New Year and keep up the good work. We need you more than ever.

ps: Merry Xmas Kev Sparke.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (21/12/05)

The 'sense of perspective' we really need.
I appreciate that someone needs to take a longer view and put things in perspective.

But I don't think you can claim to be doing that Michael, by suggesting that it's all about two bad results. It's not. For instance, my perspective is three years long and in public goes back to last January when the dire quality of many of our players had become obvious. I hoped we wouldn't qualify for Europe (yet) because we would embarrass ourselves with these players. And I said so then to much objection.

Let me widen the perspective into another sport. When Graham Gooch captained England he only wanted 'good trainers' - people who would get up early and run round the pitch then practise fielding for hours - like him. Exit Gower etc. Result? Hard working, honest, well-beaten tea of forgotten names. Moyesey, don't become a Gooch.

No team can thrive on 'fantastic team spirit' but poor quality for any length of time. If the management doesn't value quality but values 'good trainers' THEY don't have the required perspective - they will miss the point (and they are doing). Of course you need to work hard for each other, but if your first touch is embarrassing, your passing dreadful - come on let's have a real sense of perspective - you don't belong at Everton.
Peter Hall, Wirral  (20/12/05)

It will be up to us again
It's been a shite season all round and I don't think it will get better anytime soon. Let's face it, we won't have much to spend in the transfer window and I can't imagine anyone leaving, so it's probably gonna be this lot who take us through 'til the end of the season. Moyes is going knowhere (unless he falls on his sword, and Bill will never accept it anyway) so, again, we are stuck with that.

Evertonians are a passionate lot, whether watching a great Everton display (cast yer mind backs, if you can), gutsy hard-working performances or a 4-0, 5-1 thrashing. We love and we hate the club at different times. Every time we have been in the shite it's us, the fans, who help pull the players out; we see effort and commitment and we are right behind them, and this is what's going to be required again

There won't be a "Kevin Brock back-pass"; it will be up to us to get behind the lads, no matter what happens. I've hated this season, especially the bollocks that has come out of the club but we are in the mire and like 94 and 98 WE will have to pull out all the stops Should it have to be like this??? NO... but we haven't a choice as no leadership is being shown anywhere in the club. In ten years time every player on the current books will be gone, Moyes will have left and maybe even Blue Bill BUT we will be here and so will EFC.

We've put up with some crap but it won't change for sometime yet, if it bloody ever does, but when we get behind the team the sound and spirit is like no other. Whether we like it or not we have an enormous part to play this season. The players etc might be playing like wankers but we ain't letting them take us down.

I don't think the fans get anywhere near enough praise from anyone in the club and how many times this season have you heard "we've really let the fans down and need to sort this out" only for us to get pissed on a few days later.

We all have different views but 1 view is certain and always will be, we are EFC till the end. IMWT - pass; EFC for life - no doubts! Up the Blues and Evertonians everywhere.
John Audsley, Leeds  (20/12/05)

Spot the link...
Juliano Rodrigo.. Eddy Bosnar.. Guillaume Plessis.. and Per Krøldrup.


If I wanted to be even more unfair on Moyes's antics in the transfer market, I could go on to mention.. Patrizzio Pascucci (harsh) ... Ibrahim Said... Li Wei Feng (harsh) and to some extent Li Tie!

Here's hoping a certain 'Anderson Silva' comes good... if only at least for Moyes's sake!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (20/12/05)

I'm not sure that really proves anything. You'll be able to pull up a list of dodgy transfers that didn't work for pretty much any manager you care to name. That's the nature of football, I'm afraid. You can't get it right all the time. Still, it's a good rod for the back, with which to go on beating our poor beleaguered manager... — Michael

In fairness, it's worth pointing out that Moyes didn't want Li Weifeng and he would never have joined if it weren't for a classic Everton cock-up. Also, had we suffered last season the kind of injury crisis at right back that we have endured at left back this season, then Mr Bosnar would have proved very useful indeed. Ditto for midfield with Plessis. Lyndon

The 'R' word
Sorry to raise this issue of the dreaded 'R' word, but five home league defeats at this stage of the season, two 4-0 hammerings (forget the 5-1 for now as it was Europe) and our inability to score goals equal one thing; relegation.

I heard Bill Kenwright around the time of the AGM saying 'we were chipping our way to the top' - top of what? - the Championship? We are sleepwalking towards relegation with promises of 'jam tomorrow' - which never arrives. David Moyes is a disaster in the transfer market as his total mis-management of Per Krøldrup and £5M of Club funds associated with the purchase of Krøldrup illustrates. These funds could have been spent on the much needed strike force, not sat on the bench, or in the treatment room.

Something Tomasz Radinski said when he left, words to the effect that David Moyes 'cannot make his mind up' - his dithering and failure to land a quality striker to play alongside Beattie, amongst a host of other mind-boggling decisions this season, is costing this Club our Premiership status. Bill Kenwright cannot avoid this issue much longer - Moyes must go to save Everton.
Peter Williams, Liverpool  (20/12/05)

I think we are crying out for wingers first and foremost as opposed to a striker. Obviously, both would be nice, but I couldn't see anyone scoring many goals in this side at the moment. I hope we buy two wingers if we can, because Van der Meyde seems injury-prone. I fear that until we get the supply right, then it doesn't matter who we have up front, they will be feeding off scraps and we will continue to struggle to score, and hence win games...
Danny Broderick, London  (20/12/05)

Summer madness
Yet more good news today as it seems VDM is out for the foreseeable future and is proving highly injury prone, as predicted some time ago by a Dutch contributor to the Mailbag.

Will, at any point, anyone be making a statement to explain the farcical transfer policy at Everton football club last summer and to define what improvements have been made to ensure this doesn't happen again in January?

For starters, we need to sack Stevie Wonder as our European scout and be prepared to spend a little more to get the right player in. If Moyes has to lose a bit of face to get a good goalscorer then so be it. However much it may hurt, he needs to show that lessons have been learned, for all our sakes...
Neil , Southport  (20/12/05)

Don't hold your breath. Admitting mistakes is not one of management's prime functions... in fact people only admit mistakes slightly before or after they walk away ... many not even then. — Michael

Why the surprise?
Why all the surprise at Everton`s recent inconsistency? It`s been going on for years! Someone wrote the other day that not one of our managers other than Howard Mark I had EVER achieved a winning ratio of 50%, so why do we expect the present incumbent to do any better?

I`m no statistician but I bet Moyes didn`t touch this so called `gold standard` even in his purple patch up to Christmas last year!

Lads, this is Everton we`re talking about - don`t have delusions of grandeur just because we `qualified for Europe` last season. We do that about every 15 years or so and then revert to the perpetual strugglers we have been almost throughout my 33 years as a fan.

Expect nothing apart from Premier League survival and you`ll never be disappointed - it usually gets quite exciting around Easter time!

And don`t keep saying `sack the manager` - it just heralds the arrival of yet another `no-mark` who gets us all excited for about a fortnight!

Just keep shelling out the money and keep your traps shut - that`s what we do, you know, us Evertonians.
Dan Compton, Neston  (20/12/05)

Kind of makes you wonder why we bother supporting the club at all! Lyndon

The 'Dogs of War' compared to the Poodles playing
Please reproduce the Joe Royle interview that NSNO have conducted on ToffeeWeb!! It is a must read for every Evertonian.

One paragraph sums up Everton's problems when he was manager; it also sums up the problems now: Passion, Grit, Pride the will to WIN! Could you ever see one of Joe's sides losing seven-nil? Methinks not — I would have him back in a shot if Moyes can't turn this round soon.

Thank you all at ToffeeWeb for giving us such a great platform to air our views. A very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Wealthy New Year to one and all.
Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (20/12/05)

Hail the idiots
So, Sean G is pissed off about all the moans but surely that's what you get when there are two camps (pro-Moyes/anti-Moyes). What does he suggest we discuss at the moment - the weather? Cost of petrol?.

Apart from the inept board and shite team, what the fuck is there to talk about? From a personal point of view, I have been anti-Moyes since the end of 03-04 and last Saturday just tipped me over the edge.

I cannot understand how people can say that we played good football because I thought it was mind-blowingly shite. Good football is when the ball is moved around the park at a decent pace using the width of the pitch with accurate passing and occasionally getting behind defences to the by-line, hence enabling quality crosses to be provided and therefore creating what are called, in the trade, "chances".

During this season I think I have detected about half a dozen of these. We are a poor side with a centre midfielder playing right wing and a right-sided player playing centre midfield; absolutely no pace, a poor defence and a manager who is out of his depth.

I am sure we will have another mini-run of games when we will collect a few points but then another another debacle is always just around the corner. Please go, David.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (20/12/2005)

In defence of "good football", it probably should be qualified. The results of the last two games have been horrible. And chances are still at a premium. But if you compare the quality of football the team attempted to play, it shows some notable improvement from pervious utterly dire games where we looked like a pub side and showed no signs of even mastering the basics.

Passing and movement was much better on Saturday... but was still nowehere near good enough to put a dent in Bolton. And Bolton apparently gave us plenty of space to pass and move as part of their gameplan, knowing they could foil us totally in the final third. — Michael

Reply to Mr Ed

I don't blame Moyes for getting us into Europe, it was a great achievement. What I am saying is that the pressure is more intense on him than it was Smith because now the fans expect to be in the top half of the table. When you talk about progress the club hasn't made any progress because Moyes made some monumental errors in the transfer market.

Yippee, we got into Europe, but what did the club actually gain in terms of progress? We got no money and the club was made to be the laughing stock of Europe. So, take away the novelty of finishing 4th and playing two European teams, has the club made any progress under Moyes? Not really, so now it's time for another manager to come in and blow another £30 million for us to be in the same position in another five years.

My big concern is the fact that we are being blinded by the fact Moyes took us into Europe, and before we know it we will be scratching our heads in the Championship.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (20/12/05)

Yes, I think everyone knows all that. But "David Moyes shot himself in the foot taking us into Europe" ??? Nope; I still don't geddit, I'm afraid.

If you'd written "David Moyes shot himself in the foot by not following through on getting us into Europe" — that I could probably understand. "Getting into Europe" is the be-all and end-all for current Premiership managers. It's their primary raison d'etre. What you originally wrote made no sense.

I just want to voice my concern on the kick-off time for the Liverpool game. 8pm on a Bank Holiday during the Christmas period – whoever came up with that idea must have a fucking screw loose. The last derby to kick off late, I think during Easter about 3/4 years ago, there was quite a bit of trouble during and after the game (especially the minute's silence for the Hillsbrough victims which didn’t get observed). We don’t need any reminders of what went on down Everton Valley after the Manchester Untied game in the FA Cup last season after 40,000 people had the chance of an all-day drinking session.

I think I remember after that game someone from Merseyside Police saying that such a kick-off time for hostile games will never happen again, so what’s changed their mind? Over the past few years the derby games have become very hostile and having this one kick off at such and idiotic time, when people will be drinking all day, is only asking for trouble. I would have thought that Sky, the two clubs and the police (who have the final say on kick off times) would have had more sense.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (20/12/05)

Too late now...

I Just cant take it anymore!
It's that time of the season we all look forward to: the derby. Yeah, right!

Never have I dreaded going to the game so much. I am embarrassed just thinking what might happen. This season has finished me off. I remember at the summer break thinking, great I can't wait for the season to begin, the big summer signings, Champions League, the big names coming to Goodison — who knows, Barcelona, Real, Juventus — and of course, challenging up there with Chelsea.

The season hasn’t started for me; I just want it to end. One step forward and six steps back. I’m not sure about Moyes anymore. His tactics and team choice never inspire me. We look so slow, one-paced, tired and lacking of all imagination. Why is it when defending a corner every player is back in the box? Bent is so poor and no sign of Krøldrup. These are the questions I ask myself every week. (Answers on a postcard...)

The transfer window is a big part of what will happen with the rest of our season, The season starts in January... or does it end? Happy New Year, Everton, and let's hope Santa Moyes delivers some much needed presents and cheer!
Phil Spencer, Ellesmere Portt  (20/12/05)

You're forgetting about The Grinch...

You're loading up on expectation, a habit which has drastic consequences if you are an Evertonian,

And you are spouting the biggest lie we have ever heard: "The season hasn't started..." A large yuletide log awaits anyone else jumping on that stupid bandwagon.

Bolton, Krøldrup, etc.
I've deliberately made myself keep quiet for the past few days, because I didn't want to do my usual trick of shooting from the hip. The last two performances have been totally unacceptable and they've been unacceptable because the defence failed to perform. Against United we survived because the whole defence, including the much maligned Wright, did their job. Against West Ham and Bolton, Wright was jittery and Weir was lost. All our defenders, even Yobo, who is generally excellent, are prone to huge gaffes (Yobo, against United, earlier in the season springs to mind) and, of course, once we are one down we've no chance.

I've been checking up on Krøldrup through various websites. He's played for Denmark on over a dozen occasions — and, remember, they took England apart earlier in the season. His record for Udinese was good, he even contributed the odd goal. He's tall (over 6'3") and on one site Jan Molby describes him as "an excellent footballing defender". The whole saga mystifies me. Weir's done his best, but he's not up to it any longer. Why the heck was he bought if it's just to warm the bench?

The only vague explanation I can give is that he's perhaps too similar to Yobo in style and Moyes wants a centre-half of the old type who attacks the ball, like Terry or Campbell, hence his preference for Weir. But you're still left with the question, why, if he isn't what Moyes wanted or thought we needed, was he bought at all? £5 million is a massive outlay for a club in Everton's financial situation and you'd think that Moyes and his team would have researched and checked this player out thoroughly before buying him.
Rick  Tarleton, Rutland  (20/12/05)

There must be more to this than Moyes just preferring Yobo and Weir. I'm sure it's all going to come out in the wash in the next six weeks or so when Yobo disappears for the African Nations Cup. — Lyndon

Sounds promising
I have been hearing rumours about John-Paul Kissock. I have heard he is very promising and has the potential to be a star. Have you got any info on him? Where is he from? Is he only 15?

Obviously, we have had problems with scoring goals this season so why doesn't Vaughan get a chance because he is fit again now and from what we have seen looks decent. Victor Anichebe looks decent as well and he has been training with the first team all season, so it wouldn't hurt to give him a go either. There's nothing better than seeing home-grown talent coming through. Man City are doing it nowadays and look better for it. They have a lot of promisimg young talent in their team: Joey Barton, B Wright-Phillips, Lee Croft, Ireland, etc.
Mark Johnson, Liverpool  (20/12/05)

Yes, Kissock is promising but let's leave it at that or he'll be gone by the time he's 18 to pay off the Kenwright Board's next boat load of debt. Let's not get into heaping expectation on our young talent or touting their names from the rooftops again. They may be the future, but not the immediate future; today's problems need to be solved by players with first-team experience. Lyndon

According to The Official Everton FC Website, James Vaughan is still injured. — Michael

Ok, I'll admit I was angry as hell when we lost to West Ham even though they were seven places higher up than us in the league. As I sat watching the game last Saturday with a Bolton fan, I wanted to slap every single player for being so incompetent to lose four-nil. And, no, there was to be no exemption for Moyes but...

I really cannot see the benefits of sacking Moyes. New man, new ideas - maybe. We thought Mike Walker would stop the rot; we thought Walter Smith would stop the rot - they didn't have the first clue what was wrong let alone how to fix it. There's no guarantee anyone else would be able to either. Moyes has a five-year plan, I would hold off on the lynch mob yet.

Let's face facts here: Moyes admitted Richard Wright's days here were numbered and he was gone ASAP. Then Martyn gets injured and we have to pick a keeper who is scared of footballs making contact with him who has been (effectively) been called unfit to do his job by his manager quite recently. Personally, I think this was a bad idea but a real professional would have taken that criticism and proved Moyes wrong - guess what, he didn't.

This was an opportunity for Moyes to give Iain Turner a go but he erred on the side of caution and unfortunately it backfired AFTER the United game when we were all quite impressed with Wright and celebrating our continued revival.

As for Weir, I agree he should be dumped. However, Krøldrup is untested and not match-fit and Ferrari is injured. Had Krøldrup not been injured earlier in the season, I imagine Weir would be a distant memory as we sat comfortably in the top half of the table. I'm confident that Moyes will drop Weir as soon as he feels he has someone to replace him with

Let's face it, we were unlucky. Would Martyn have been as incompetent as Wright had he been fit? No. Would we have been so toothless in terms of guile, creativity and pace had Van der Meyde been fit? I sincerely doubt it. Would the West Ham game have turned out differently had McFadden not limped off? Given his form of late, don't doubt it for one second.

Yes, we need a pacy striker, even if McFadden continues this run of form, and a creative midfielder so Arteta and Van der Meyde don't have to do all the work, but not at the risk of bankrupting the club. We cannot compete in the transfer market, so buying these players will be difficult and we will have to look at young, untried players or find a bunch of Tim Cahills.

Had we taken four points instead of none we would be on the road to recovery and prasing 'the Moyesiah' but instead we're calling for his head. Neither is right; we need to find a happy medium - give Moyes to the end of the season and judge him then. In case you haven't noticed, we're only eight points outside the top ten. A striker, a midfielder and a few wins over Christmas and all the calls to sack the manager will be but a distant memory....
Declan Critchley, Ireland  (20/12/05)

The End Game
I believe the next month will show if David Moyes is a good manager or not. Getting EFC into 4th place and Champions League was an amazing achievement for a once-great club who now are annual basement battlers. Be totally honest and ask yourself - if you were a player (not a fan), would you want to join EFC? Surely you want to go to a club that has a chance of winning something or at least qualifying for Europe regularly. That is just one problem DM has.

Joe Yobo is leaving for the Africans Cup soon and Krøldrup (you would think) will have to play. Is it not unfair on him to come in with absolutely no premiership experience? DM's decision.

Also Davy Weir (who had a great season last time) has made a few mistakes (like all players do, remember) and would DM not have been kind to give him a rest?

The transfer window will soon be open (although DM's record in it doesn't hold out much hope for us) but it will be make or break for the club. If we don't get the right players in we'll all be sent to Coventry.

On the bright side, we can then finally get shot of the deadwood on the pitch and in the boardroom and rebuild with players who at least have the heart to play for the club.
Robbie Brown, Coleraine, NI  (19/12/05)

Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath on that last point, Robbie. Our transfer budget looks likely to be embarrassingly small seeing as we made next to nothing of our European adventure. Lyndon

I must comment on this idea that 'we' will finally get shot of the deadwood in the Boardroom. There may be Boardroom changes — on average, there is usually one or two each year — but what makes you think that would have any effect on the Deadwood Quotient? Only a change in ownership (a la ManU) would see any significant change in the Boardroom. There is no indication of that happening any time soon. — Michael

Sorry to jump on the bandwagon but...
As a season-ticket holder who's watched the boys all season, what concerns me is that the team 'the Messiah' put out on Saturday was his team, and his bench. The team has a chronic lack of pace going forwards, hence 70% posession and not a genuine chance created. It sounds like jumping on the bandwagon, but I'm starting to lose faith in Moyseie.

As Evertonians, where do we draw the line? Under Moyes we've had our worst-ever Premierhip defeats(home and away: Arsenal and Bolton), our worst-ever points total, and worst-ever defeat in European competition. He's setting records for all the wrong reasons.

It would be too simplistic to say he got lucky with two good half seasons, but as we all know our record this calender year is horriffic. He's proven he's no genius in the transfer market and his approach is not exactly appealing to potential new players. Do we really want to hand this guy the rest of the Rooney money or would we be better getting a fresh face in?

Moysee, Thanks mate. Nothing personal, but you've got 'til New Year for me; if there's no improvement, I wish you well in your future elsewhere...
James Park, London  (19/12/05)

New Year has been mentioned as an opportunity to assess Moyes's position by a few fans recently. I would hope, for our chances of survival, that by then we've managed to pick up four points at least. It would also probably prolong Moyes's tenure until the summer, at which point the Board may feel it is time for a change... depending, of course, on our form between January 1st and the end of the season! — Lyndon

Watershed ?
48 hours after the debacle that was Bolton, I am trying to rationalise the situation at Everton without the hysterics of some of your contributors.

Certainly, 14 wins in the last 45 games points to a long-term decline rather than a team which is progressing. The writing was on the wall throughout much of last season, as the chronic shortage of goals was masked by the team's ability to protect a slender lead and ultimately win most of those games in which we were fortunate enough to take the lead.

However, my two main criticisms of Moyes (and which may ultimately bring about his downfall) are his inability to correct the lack of goals in the side in the summer and his recent purchases in the transfer market.

In the pre-season games this year, we struggled to score goals against the most mediocre opposition and were soundly thrashed in Turkey. The alarm bells should have been ringing then. Instead, we signed Simon Davies who was injury prone at Spurs and was never a regular scorer anyway. This, coupled with the fact we ended up paying way over the odds for his services, was a bad error of judgement.

The Pistone debacle was the icing on the cake, going back cap in hand for the only player capable of getting injured in the warm-up prior to a game stinks of desperation. I can't believe there was not a half-decent young British left-back available for a reasonable price.

I'm still undecided on Beattie, clearly he never did himself any favours getting out of condition the way he did when he was injured, but I would cast doubts on any forward being able to score regularly in this Everton side with the midfield or wide players creating so few chances.

There are still massive question marks over ALL areas of the team: at right-back where Hibbert is still unable to cross or pass a ball effectively; the left-back spot; the centre-half spot, where Krøldrup should have been introduced long ago; the midfield, where there is an abundance of the same type of player — light, skillful, but cannot tackle effectively — and consequently we were muscled out by a physical Bolton side.

Finally, I believe Moyes saw the signing of Beattie as the answer to the side's lack of firepower, without having the guile or insight as a manager to look at other areas of the team that would ultimately supply the ammunition. Whilst I admire his honesty in his post-match press conferences, he is slowly painting himself into a corner, this is now HIS team, his tactics, his transfer policy, the problems that existed 12 months ago are still with us.

God forbid, the ugliness that is Bolton... but compare the relevent transfer budgets in the close season and ask yourself who spent the most wisely ?

I hope I am ultimately proved wrong, but I don't see a saviour arriving in January to suddenly improve our goals return; the answers I fear, lie much deeper than that.

Ultimately, I don't believe Moyes will 'muddle' on like Walter Smith did, waiting for the axe to inevitably fall, but the display on Saturday will eat away at him like a cancer. It would not suprise me if he decides to walk away at some stage rather than settle for the inconsistencies that he is currently witnessing.

Time will tell.
Steve Hogan, Warrington UK  (19/12/05)

Lots to digest there, Steve. Regarding Davies, I don't think he was signed so much to score goals from midfield as create them. I questioned whether £3.5M for an injury-prone player was a good piece of business but I have to admit that Davies is slowly winning me over.

The real problem seems to be that what is a very good midfield on paper — perming four from Arteta, Davies, Cahill, Van der Meyde and Neville — just doesn't appear able to unlock opposition defences. As they showed against Bolton, they can keep the ball when they want to but don't seem able to create much with it. Whether that's because they just don't have what it takes or it's because we have the wrong type of strikers up front will really only be answered with a change of personnel in attack. — Lyndon

Nil Promptu Nisi Mediocris;
Nothing on show but mediocrity I don’t think any honest Evertonian can put their hand on their heart and say that a spanking hasn’t been on the cards from someone. We have been buying mediocrities and nonentities for years – long before David Moyes came on the scene – and imagining that pulling on the blue shirt will somehow convert them into class.

Of the current squad, only Joseph Yobo, Mikal Arteta and Tim Cahill are likely to develop into players of real contributing value – stars if you like. The rest are extras and walk-ons. We had a real chance to invest in some world class players in the summer: the cash was available and there was the draw of European football. But instead of buying two players of genuine quality we opted for a whole posse of fresh mediocrity.

Davies, Beattie, Neville, Valente, & Co: none has that spark of the special that singles out star players from the dross. I wonder if David Moyes prefers mediocrities because they are easier to deal with and he may have insecurities about his own ability that makes him baulk at handling big stars.

Perhaps Moyes can make this very average team play above themselves, turn this season around, pull us clear of the bottom group and have a decent run in the FA Cup. But any club that consistently aims at mediocrity the way Everton does will almost always hit the target – as Everton has.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (12/19/2005)

Per Krøldrup
Rumours where I work suggest that we bought a dud in Per. That's why, despite Wier's lamentable form, he's still on the bench. Can we judge a player who has not played a Premiership game? The fact that no changes have been made despite the goals conceded recently makes you think. Has anyone else heard these rumours?
Dave Roberts, West Kirby  (19/12/2005)

We have. Could they be true? I guess we'll find out soon enough. Lyndon

Contributors of this mailbag
Now I'm not being funny or anything but 80-90% of the people who write into the mailbag are fucking idiots. One week its "Moyes has turned it round" the next week half of you are screaming for his head. I'm as pissed off as the next guy about the recent shite we've had from the team but let's have a little realism here. I've been visiting the site less and less recently, due to the influx of bollocks from irate supporters, constant whinging about the same old crap is boring and I fell sorry for the editor who has go through all this shite..

Rant over!
Sean G, Liverpool  (19/12/05)

The knee-jerk is hard for many to resist. And there will always be a diversity of opinion, with plenty who don't happen to agree with you or with any particular viewpoint you care to choose. But when it comes to blows (as reported amongst some Blues in the Gwladys Street and Park End) that's particulary sad... or not, if it's really a demonstration of the "passion" that is supposedly lacking. On that note, calling 80-90% of your fellow contributors "fucking idiots' is hardly a customary seasonal jesture, now, is it?

On a personal note, thanks for your thoughtful consideration, Sean; it is having a seriously damaging effect on my state of mind... but nothing a few glasses of egg-nog and mulled wine won't fix!

The statistics show that we had nearly 70% of the ball on Saturday, but we all knew that once Bolton scored we were done for. We never looked liked scoring, who within the club will accept responsibility that the whole set up of the team is not right?.

The team sent out on Saturday is David Moyes's team, but we lack pace and movement; it is DM who needs to accept responsibility before blaming the defence for the debacle.

When is he going to accept that the job is beyond him?
John Anson, Wirral  (19/12/05)

I don't think he would ever believe that the job is beyond him... althought that was one of the rumours early on, that he had offered his resignation and it was turned down. However, he has clearly stated a number of times that he does take full responsibility for the team's failings. The difference is that, although he wants to win every game, he know's it isn't going to happen. We are still in transition... it's just taking an awful long time to get where we are going with him! — Michael

Moyes has been quoted on the official site as 'Moyes slams defending' against Bolton. Now if he has actually said:

"We weren't deserving of a 4-0 defeat, that is for sure. But if you want to defend the way we defended the three goals in the second half that is what happens"
Wouldn't it be common sense to drop one of your defenders —ie, David Weir — as punishment for poor displays and bring in your most expensive summer signing, central defender Per Krøldrup to change things around? This is what any other manager in their right mind would do if he had Danish International quality at his disposal on the bench.

I think Moyes has completely lost it if he doesn't change it for the Villa game. If it doesn't happen, he is contradicting himself in a way.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (19/12/05)

Moyes is stubborn. And something bizarre must be going on with Krøldrup. I'm not a betting man. But this might be a good time to lay down some hard cash on Krøldrup NOT playing next Monday. — Michael

Davey Weir
I think all the stick weir is getting is a bit over the top.okay,he has made a couple of mistakes in the last couple of games.but even the best defenders in the premiership make mistakes. fans have got short memories.don,t they remember the games were davey has helped get results.I think all he needs is a couple of games on the bench,just to give him a blow. don,t forget there are other players in the side who have been just as seems thet weir is the new scapegoat,now that kilbane has not been playing.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (19/12/05)

Knee Jerk
Michael, I appreciate there have been some knee-jerk reactions on here and that you are trying to balance it with the seven game run. The problem is that we are such a yo-yo team I am expecting another 4 or 5 straight defeats before our next decent run, if it ever comes.

This just isn't good enough, we need a team and manager that can provide a bit of concistency. I fully expected a break in our form but I did not expect it to come against West Ham and Bolton at home.

If we can draw at United then we have done the hard work and need to make sure we push up the table. Had we of won those two home games then we would be sitting in 11th now and banging on the door for Europe. They might only be two games but I think they were two of the most important games of the season because they were the two games that would have changed the outlook of the whole team.

When you look at the stats which compare Moyes against Smith then it is clear his five year plan will not work. As soon as the players feel that they can't make Europe then we will be in real trouble because the passion will just go out of their game (it already has in some quaters).

David Moyes shot himself in the foot taking us into Europe and now he will have to face up to the consequences.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (19/12/05)

Yep; it would have been great if we'd won these games. We didn't, and now the sky is falling in. But in a week's time, the same players and the same manager go to Villa Park, it's another 90 mins and another three points on the table. The knee-jerk whinging is expected, but I've been reading it for most of the weekend, and you know what: it gets boring and it really contributes nothing.

And I can't get my head around that last line; it looks silly to blame Moyes for actually getting us into Europe, so you can't mean that... can you? — Michael

Sorrow and Anger
Over the years we've suffered a number of pivotal defeats - I can think back to the 5-0 humbling in the derby, the home defeat to Tranmere and even earlier a 4-0 home defeat to Ipswich. Saturday's humilation is just the latest in a long line but it also the fourth in quick succession - Arsenal, Dinamo, West Brom and Bolton - some 20 goals. The latter two are poor sides in anyone's eyes and added to this we've suffered defeats at home against pitiful teams like Portsmouth and Wigan. No one has a right to win every game but the number of galling defeats is simply too many.

I've always been a big Moyes fan - his inheritance was terrible and the side performed wonders last season and in his first year. The last few months have been very hard and we're told we've turned a number of corners but we're still looking down rather than up. The injury record is awful and big signings have under-performed (or not at all in Krøldrup's bizarre case) but I don't think many of us can sit through more of these defeats with out turning a chorus of boos into a serious questioning how and why we got here. In doing this the finger of blame will point to the manager and we may easily end up repeating the mistake Agent Johnson made when Joe Royle was at the helm.
Mark Dunford, London  (19/11/05)

Middle Finger Up!
To those players who are "apparently" sorry for Saturday's performance and who apologised in the press this morning - SHUT UP! We've heard it all before! David Weir and Nuno Valente - GET ON YER BIKE AND TAKE A HIKE! I'd be very embarrassed this morning if I were you. Weir moaned like an old fish wife last year when the club wouldn't renew his contract, and what has he shown so far? Only one thing - IT'S TIME TO GIVE IT UP! Why is he the captain? Guess I'll be getting vertigo again when we play Aston Villa - up down, up down.....
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, SA  (19/12/05)

Next to useless
It is about time some of the players (Weir, Kilbane, Davies, Bent, Osman) were shipped out of Goodison Park. They have been next to useless all season, give the captain's armband to somebody who can motivate the team, the one who has shown the most passion: PHIL NEVILLE
Chris Breen, Birkenhead  (19/12/2005)

Brilliant! We hardly have enough players, with at least 8 injured, unfit, or unplayable, and you want to ship out half the team. And a week ago, people where saying this is the best squad (on paper) that we have had in aeons. I'm confused. — Michael

Poor Krøldrup Has Got No Chance!
I sense an unbearable load of expectation placed on Per Krøldrup, which I fear he will be unable to live up to. The amount of letters I have read suggest that the majority of Evertonians beleive our problem lies in defence. Wrong! We are the worst attacking side in the Premiership (that hurts so much) our problem lies going forward. If we scored 5 on saturday we would have got 3 points!

As far fetched as that is, the logic is right. Whereas on the other hand a tight defence and clean sheet on Saturday would not have resulted in 3 points (no embarrasment though). Goals is what we need, not some highly rated defender with an amount of expectation on his shoulders which makes me cringe.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (19/12/05)

Santa and Kroldrup
When I was young, my happiness over Christmas arrived with Santa and the wonderful presents he delivered. Nowadays my Christmas list is a lot simpler: a return to winning ways for Everton. This wish would be made a lot simpler by an improved defensive display. The obvious man to bring about this improvement is Everton’s most expensive summer signing, Per Krøldrup. But, just as I grew up and no longer believed in Santa's existence, I am now having a similar epiphany with Krøldrup; the man does not exist.

As nobody has seen him on a football field, Moyes could find anyone from the streets, place him on the bench, misleading everyone into thinking he was a Danish international, whilst using the alleged money spent any way he fancied. (Has anyone seen Moyes in a new car recently?) What other explanation could there be for spending 5 Million on a player and never playing him? Not even Chelsea would do that (admittedly they would be likely to loan him to a “lesser” team, but at least then would could see how good he was).

Perhaps someone should place a “Krøldrup stop here” sign on the Goodison pitch. But, unfortunately, I fear, as with Santa, when his true identity is revealed it will be a disappointment.
Tom  Hughes, Worcester  (19/12/2005)

As anyone who saw the Udinese pre-season friendly can attest, Per Krøldrup does exist. The more pertinent questions are:

  • was he really scouted out properly prior to signing or was it a case of "he costs £5m, he must be good"?
  • if not, is Moyes now scared to play him?
  • is, as rumours suggest, he suffering from a prolonged pelvic complaint?
    If he is fully fit, now is the time to find out if he's any good. Weir's turn to step down to the bench is long overdue. Lyndon

    Well off the `gold standard`
    By my reckoning it is seven games too early to make exact comparisons between Moyes and Smith (Mailbag 18/12)However,as of today the records read:-

    Moyes P161 W61 D34 L66 F197 A228
    Smith P168 W53 D50 L65 F205 A216
    (all competitive games)

    So, Moyes has the better winning percentage — 38% to Smith`s 32% — but neither comes anywhere near the accepted `gold standard` of managerial excellence — a 50% winning ratio.

    Indeed, only one Everton manager — Kendall Mark 1 — has ever achieved the magic figure with 54% over 338 matches, for although Catterick was way ahead of this figure for many years, he stayed too long and finished on 46% from 594 games.

    To indicate just how far the modest achievements of Moyes and Smith fall short of the top managers in the Premier League, Mourinho clocks in at a staggering 73% win ratio, Wenger on 58%, Ferguson on 57% and another current manager whose name we don`t mention here on 53%!

    All goes to show, I guess, that both Moyes and his predecessor are mediocre, at best,and that the malaise at Everton goes back a good many years.
    David Hall, Taunton  (18/12/05)

    Sort it out PLEASE!
    Please can someone just wake me up an tell me it was a dream and we aren't really in this mess? Just think, a couple of months ago we were in the Campions Lague never been happier)! — look at us now! We have missed the boat big time! And, if we couldn't sign a quality striker in the summer, why do people think we are going to get one in January?

    Under Moyes we are living in hope! And the fact is we are in no better position than we were under Smith! The whole club needs to be changed. The only good thing this club has is the fans! We are in a bigger mess than people realise.

    Moyes is not the answer for Everton FC; he's not ambitious enough or clever enough! When were the fans last excited by the prospect of a big signing coming to Goodison? This team is slowly knocking football out of me and when I think of this mess I can't help but go on ToffeeWeb and read more letters — it's my way of getting it out of my system.

    Something has got to be done and I can only wish that I was the man to change things but sadly I just have to sit and watch like all the other blues!! All the best to everyone at ToffeeWeb.
    Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (18/12/05)

    In order: No. Depressing, init? Blind faith and unbriddled hope. Moyes is at least 20 points better than Smith with three games fewer... fact. If you really feel that way about the club, doesn't it actually do your head in to be a supporter? Most fans who have been following along should have no reason to be ignorant of the mess we are in — I don't think you've got a lock on that! Moyes... that's just your opinion; others (including the only bloke who matters) think differently. January 2005 (James Beattie). Glad we can be of some help. Nothing may be done for some time yet. All the best to you too, Ryan. — Michael

    Two-game perspective
    Reading the posts and more to the point the responses yesterday, I have several points to put to Micheal:

    - To argue that the fans are getting carried away by asking for Moyes's head after two "shocking losses" is ignoring the facts upon which your argument is based i.e. results and in particular the adjective you are using to describe them.

    - By the same logic, arguing that McFadden has now played two games without a goal and so has balanced out the positives with his two goals previously, should he not therefore be given another chance as opposed to the inference in your responses? If we are judging only upon two games then we must give everyone more time, but both you and I know that it is a lot longer than that; hence the concern.

    I must say however that your stance against the doom mongers is appreciated and gives fans like myself encouragement. I do agree that we are playing with passion and that we are playing a much more fluid style than many would care to admit and certainly better than under the Smith years.

    Come on you Blues and Merry Christmas to All; the season can change in the blink of an eye - another half to go and let's stay positive!
    Mark Manns, London  (18/12/05)

    What happens after a bad loss is the knee-jerkers tend to dive in. Then comes the second wave of more considered and rational thought. To reiterate, on one level, we are 'merely' two games in to another bad run. Everyone would have been fine if our resurgence had continued; for some, it seems as if that seven-game good spell never happened.

    As for the McFadden thing, I think the bloke who wrote in was a bit out of touch; McFadden has started the last five games, and scored in two of them. "Give him a chance" the lad said. "He's getting a chance" said I. No other inference, so I have no idea where you are coming from with that — other than the fact that he did not score in the last two games.

    Merry Christmas to you too :) — Michael

    Time to stop pretending
    Whatever we would like to think, we know in our hearts that there are players turning out for us regularly who wouldn't get a single game for any other premiership team except maybe Sunderland.

    I won't shirk from namimg names : Weir - Hibbert - Kilbane - McFadden - Osman - Bent - Davies - Wright. Plus if they ever get fit - Naysmith - Pistone - Carsley . I omit Ferguson out of respect for retirement age.

    Not one of the above players would even get on the bench at Bolton or Middlesbrough or West Ham. If I'm wrong, it will be shown when we sell any one of them to a Premiership outfit. In truth these players are Coca Cola players at best, so I pray they don't come in useful next year on this basis!

    It's time to recognise that these are all David Moyes's players (by purchase or contract extension) and they aren't up to the task. Never mind talking them up this week or down next week - they aren't good enough any week.

    And as for captaincy? Alan Stubbs, a limited player, fought to his limits and demanded others to. David Weir drifts around letting Yobo do the hard work and waits for instructions from Phil Neville - Moyes doesn't even pretend to talk to his 'captain'.

    We get performances every week from Yobo, Arteta, Martyn, and Neville and some weeks frome Beattie, Cahill, Valente and VDM but the rest are passengers.

    A couple of scraped 1-0 results won't change anything - we are outclassed most weeks except sometimes on effort. All out effort can achieve results occasionally, but sub-standard players can't match Premiership quality on an ongoing basis. So David Moyes and the powers that be at Everton, do your one key job - face reality. Dispense with these failures or move on and let somebody else do it. You are tolerating performances that no other Premiership club would. Remember, we have got seven or eight good players - we're not Portsmouth!

    On the sidelines, where are Krøldrup and Ferrari? Any young players? A second striker?

    And to fans who say ‘it was great last year, it's not much different this year, what's happened?' the answer is - look at the videos and you might see a certain Tommy Gravesen creating almost all our goals. Then look at the statistics when he was here (Uefa form) and since he's gone (relegation form). Our player manager to be? Or coming next year with Man Utd and Wayne Rooney to remind us of past hopes!
    Peter  Hall, Wirral  (18/12/05)

    Tactical suicide
    Reluctant as I am to criticise the manager's decisions, sometimes things have to be said. Lessons learned in recent games:

    • Davie Weir is not capable of competing in more than one game per week — he was simply awful yesterday and looks as though he can't wait for the season to end.
    • Tony Hibbert appeared to be the only defender doing his job and he's taken off to allow for the introduction of Osman? His only contribution was to gift the opposition a goal.
    • Cahill was re-introduced with the result that McFadden or was it Davies was expected to play on the left, a position which clearly suited neither, with the result that we failed to deliver any kind of service from that area of the park.
    • Kilbane is often criticised but at least he does manage to get crosses in and will chase back affording the left back position some cover; hence Valente was all too often exposed.
    • When we signed Per Krøldrup, I was advised by colleages who follow the European leagues that he was a great signing for us... and yet he is unable to force his way into a defence which includes a jaded ageing defender who for some reason holds the captaincy.
    I do feel Moyes is right for us but some of our problems are glaringly obvious and require immediate attention. We desperately need a hoding midfield player; we really should consider a bid for Michael Brown who unsurpringly is being sought by a host of clubs.
    Gerry W, London  (18/12/05)

    Fearing the worst
    Up until the last 7 days, I had retained some faith in David Moyes and still felt he could turn things around. After the last two home games, I have to admit that Moyes now looks like a beaten man who has totally lost his way. Listening to his pre-match interview on the radio yesterday was painful; he said that Big Dunc's impending retirement would shift Marcus Bent up the pecking order and give him a confidence boost. If Moyes really still thinks Bent is the answer and he doesen't need another striker in January, then we really are in big trouble.
    Daniel Edwards, North Wales  (18/12/05)

    Interesting quote
    In light of our somewhat pedestrian defence, I must ask why is not playing. This is an interesting quote from the football web site:

    "David identified the player at the end of the season as a defensive addition he would like to add to the squad," Kenwright revealed shortly after the Dane's arrival.
    If this is the case, what has happend to change this view?
    Tomot   (18/12/05)

    Er... That view hasn't changed, has it? He's been added to the squad, as promised. He now appears on the bench as a sub for every game, which is more than you can say for some other members of David's squad. (Li Tie, anyone?)

    He hasn't been utilised; that's the problem. Nobody knows why (with the possible exception of David Moyes). — Michael

    In answer to Scott Edwards's enquiry about Per Krøldrup, he played 88 games for Udiense and scored three over four seasons, gaining five yellow and two red cards. He has played 12 times for Denmark, scoring none.

    He cannotbe a muppet if he has played that many times in Serie A and for the Danes.
    Russ , Cheshire  (18/12/05)

    I'm Afraid
    To be honest, we have to look at the facts.

    We finished 4th last season the a goal difference of -1, and our top scorer was a midfieder. So it doesn't take Stephen Hawking to work out none of our current strikers score goals.

    Moyes spent nearly £20M in the summer... On What? - No Strikers! As we all know the signs were there last season, how many games have we won since Tommy left in Jan - not many. We concede 4 against Brom & Bolton, and crash out of 3 cup competitions at the first stage before September is over. Wait for the Millwall game!!

    Where has Moyes taken us and where are we going - 9 goals from 17 games???

    To think the crowd used to get on Cottee's back (the last Everton player to score 20 goals in a season), and how many years ago was that?

    This team has gone to the dogs: Smith... Moyes... where will it all end? — Playing Sheff Wed, Coventry and Grimsby no doubt.

    Am I really the only blues fan who is dreading the derby on the 28th?

    Fed Up
    Joe McMahon-Bates, Rossendale  (18/12/05)

    I thought they just lost? Have faith... take each game as it comes. At the depth of our previous 'bad spell', the general wisdom was that the team would never score again, that they would have a record low of 3 pts at Christmas. By their rules, there was no way Everton could do anything but roll over and die against Chelsea.

    But the general wisdom was proved wrong. Instead, they battled, and they won a hard-earned point — denying Chelsea two in the process — the first team to do any such thing this season. Why can't they do that again? Against Liverpool? — Michael

    January Sales
    Having seen little to be cheered up at present I'd like to dream of the January sales, I think we are in deeper shit than our league position says. I'll explain why I think this; Duncan Ferguson appears to be finished after years of being a target man and getting smacked about — his knees and no doubt back are giving up the ghost; Marcus Bent is erm Marcus Bent — so we are two strikers down.

    Pistone and Naysmith are useless and unavailable anyway so two left-backs down. Is Carsley ever going to recover to play this season? — a potential fifth player down (although this is a weak supposition) but still four players down. Add to that Gravesen's midfield holding role, which was never replaced, equals five or six.

    David Weir is fast becoming a liability when faced with several matches one after the other and is simply criminal to make team captain as his silence is far from golden: equals six or seven.

    Given the upcoming World Cup in the summer, African Nations in January, and the almost certainty EFC don.t have a pot to piss in thanks to Billy Liar and Mr Wyness and their lack of finding new funding beyond screwing the last drop out of current attending supporters, I dread to think how the club could find and attract six or seven players.

    Everyone would love to see top class players arrive but that would be way beyond the club's current financial ability. Even lower targets such as Dean Ashton from Norwich, Sidwell from Reading, Jagielka or Tonge from Sheffield Utd may be beyond our reach.

    Who could the club sell to fund buying new desperately needed replacements? Cahill or Yobo or Arteta as relative quality but leaves the club in deeper shit than when it started. Charlton wanted Bent, they suddenly realised they had the decent one already, you would be lucky to give most of the players away on nominal transfer fees.

    Answers anyone... please!
    Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (18/12/05)

    I fear you might be absolutely right. The tremendous faith now being placed in the January transfer window may well become yet another false dawn being constructed and loaded with unbridled expectation by the long-suffering fanbase.

    Is it better to look at this with the unbounded optimism of the positivists? Or to be forewarned and forearmed by this pessimistic negativism? You pays your money... — Michael

    Everyone knows what should be done
    A great letter from Sean about Moyes's tactics yesterday. It took me one minute into the game to notice we had no-one on the left side of midfield. Davies has been poor so far but to keep giving him different responsibilities in a game is not going to help him.

    Arteta has done okay on the right but his position is centre-midfield, while we continue to see a full-back (Neville) struggle in midfield. Every player is unsure of their job; confidence in the manager is low. The result: mistakes and a 4-0 home thrashing.

    Moyes hasn't got one strength either. Besides his awful tactics, he obviously can't motivate the team; he can only sign crocks or players we don't need that no-one else wants. As soon as we chase a player another team wants, I know we won't get him. SO WHY DO WE KEEP THINKING THINGS WILL BE SORTED OUT IN JANUARY???

    Deluded Blues should realise that owning up to the fact that this manager is a disaster does not make you a disloyal fan — it means you want things changed for the good of the club. And I repeat what I've said before, the debate shouldn't be whether or not to sack Moyes but who the hell we can appoint to get us out of the mess we are in. And believe me, besides the fact that there are more humiliating defeats on the way, there is relegation. And Bill (I'll extend your contract) Kenwright should have nothing to do with the next appointment. You should be able to 'Impeach' a chairman like him.
    Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (18/12/05)

    While I know it's frustrating (massive understatement!), you were doing pretty well until the departure from reality in the last paragraph, which points up the lie in your title: I'm afraid not everyone knows what should be done.

    The decision to sack Moyes does not lie with the fans... (although a massive revolt might conceivably get the ball rolling); and when did you ever see a unified view on anything about the club from Evertonians? We are all over the map, as any decent forum will show.

    And any debate about a replacement, or the lack of one, is fundamentally futile for the very same reason: (a) it's not up to the fans; and (2) even it was, they would never agree.

    And your third departure from reality regards our beloved Chairman, Blue Bill: remove him from the decison-making process??? ... He IS the decision-maker!!! Bill trusts in Moyes: Moyes stays. Many, many fans trust in Bill (beacuse he's a Blue, ya know); Bill ain't going nowhere... until, at some point, he's had enough, and he agrees to sell up his controlling share of the train-set. In theory that could happen at any moment... (and could perhaps be spurred on by a fan revolt...) but in reality it shows no sign of happening any time soon.

    Up the People's Revolution??? — Michael

    Annus horribilis
    P 35 W 11 D 4 L 20 F 31 A 52 Pts 37.

    What a year 2005 has been for Evertonians! And that`s only the League results. The depressing exits from two European competitions and the Carling Cup are now mostly overlooked as the focus falls on Premiership survival.

    The Rooney money pissed up the wall on nonentities — mostly injury junkies — whilst the most obvious need is ignored, tactics which seem to baffle the players as much as they annoy the fans... I won`t go on. Enough to say that the stats above are probably just good enough to indicate we shall cling to top tier status — but only just. Do you know, I`m getting pissed off with being an Evertonian... but what can you do?
    Tommy  Brown, Bootle  (18/12/05)

    What a terrible week after the relative high of last Sunday. That really is the point; only a week ago we were on the back of a good run, even looking at the top half. Instead, it's been awful with our goal difference suffering. But, and here's the rub, I watched Liverpool lose this morning (excellent) and they had millions of corners, possesion etc like we did yesterday; 0-4 was not representative at all.

    The REAL reason we are in this position is the lack of a frontman who can score and put the ball where Beattie wants it (eg, McFadden in the West Ham game), then we are in a position to score first & early and win games. Not easy to find, that's the problem; look at Owen yesterday - you pay top whack and you win games.

    I'm off to watch Thierry Henry, Robben etc - how much money spent there then? Let's hope David Moyes has a striker lined up or I fear a long hard winter.
    Mike Iddon, Marlow UK  (18/12/05)

    Retro Football (without the perms)
    I’m sorry that I only write when we play shit but I need to get it off my chest.

    Moyes is the Naughties version of Gordon Lee IMHO. A decent, honest bloke who loves the club. He picked the club up when he joined and got the best out of an average bunch. Rooney became the new Duncan McKenzie and provided a bit of pace and flair (Dunc had more flair than pace though!) in a well-organised team of hard workers.

    I don’t blame Moyes for selling Rooney (we had to otherwise we would have gone into administration) but I don’t think he would have played him week-in week-out, as just like Lee, he has a seemingly natural suspicion of flair players.

    The team Moyes has created is the most one-dimensional team not only in the history of Everton (and I include the Smith and Royle teams), but also in the current Premier League. Can he honestly say that any of his midfielders or strikers can consistently dribble past a player, provide an incisive through ball, speed past defenders with pace, or hold on to the ball for more than 30 seconds and allow other players to make runs?

    He puts alot of emphasis (and indeed relies heavily) on his defensive organisation but can Moyes say his defence looks like a cohesive unit? Admittedly he has been unlucky with injuries this year but, considering he takes every training session, they still look awful unless someone is constantly covering the hole in front of them. I hate 4-5-1 but I’m not surprised Moyes has to play it. Neither Wright nor Weir has any confidence in each other, and it affects the rest of the team, but consider this:

    • Weir + Yobo = 1 or 2 Silly Goals conceded every 3 matches
    • Weir + Wright = Guaranteed goals conceded… agreed?
    Ok, how about:
    • Weir + Wright + Krøldrup = Shed Loads of Goals to potentially concede.
    Moyes only bought Krøldrup for Europe, IMHO. He wanted someone a bit more productive at the back. I think Moyes thinks he is crap at the physical stuff, so when Yobo buggers off to Africa for a few weeks our 'wonderful' defensive record is going to look even more 'impressive'. We WILL go back to 4-5-1 and we WILL be very close to the drop zone by the end of the season. All I want for Xmas is a pacey striker (who can finish) and a solid centre-back who isn’t prone to nodding off for 5 mins. Its not too much to ask is it Davie?
    A plank of wood with a nail in it, UK  (18/12/05)

    I'm just wondering how Rob Fox is going to turn our most recent hiding into a good news piece. You'd think that would be beyond Shakespeare himself, should he be alive, but I'm confident Rob will find a way.

    Pity good news pieces aren't collateral in the league; if they were, Robs efforts alone would have us 11 points clear with a game in hand. How about calling it as it is Rob, instead of how you would like it to be?

    Frusrated, angry -
    David C  (18/12/05)

    Birthday Celebrations.
    Went to the Bolton match for my 25th birthday yesterday. What a disaster that was. I came to the conclusion that Moyes must be sacked or resign.

    Having had a season ticket during the Walter Smith years, I honestly think the performance was as bad as that. No pace in the team, no power, no height and most damming of all no leaders on the pitch.
    Ryan Holroyd, York  (18/12/80)

    We actually played some good football for most of the match. The problem, it seems, is it was good football that was never going to beat Bolton. They were just too strong physically for us. They let us play over two-thirds of the pitch. Then they hassled, niggled, pushed, tripped, nudged, barged... you name it. We had no answer to that. Watson, Carsley, Stubbs, Gravesen... players with a bit of muscle... Ah well. — Michael

    Shouldn't we stop giving Faddy stick? He seems to be the only one trying and he is trying hard to put the ball in the back of the net. Give the lad a chance, he surely is better then Bent.
    TB Ng, Singapore  (18/12/05)

    Er.. He's getting a chance. A much better chance than Bent (who was one of four unused subs yesterday). And after two goals in as many games, Faddy has stopped putting the ball in the net in the last two. Ansers on a postcard... — Michael

    Laugh or Cry?
    Some predictable responses to yesterday's game - ranging from rabid denunciations of management and playing staff, to calls for calm, considered judgement. I'll try to do the latter, and avoid talking about Moyes.

    The game last night was surreal. The possession (68%) and corner stats (10 to 0) were revealing. But they shouldn't be surprising - this is how Bolton play, and we 'out-Boltoned' them at the start of the season.

    Trying to rationalise (and not gloss over other deficiencies):
    - Davies could arguably have been sent off before scoring the 1st (and possibly fouling Yobo in the process)
    - Weir just can't seem to put a foot right, culpable for the 2nd
    - Valente made a foul that he's probably gotten away with for years in Europe (and yes, it was a pen)
    - Yobo / Osman (who'd just come on) contrive for the fouth.

    Other than the four goals, they had two efforts on-target, two off-target.

    But, as others have pointed out, we didn't really work their 'keeper 'til the 88th minute, and with a few more efforts after that. The final ball was dire - and Arteta / Davies's corners often failed to clear the first Bolton defender.

    So whilst luck seems to be kicking us in the nuts as often as helping us these days, I do think our biggest problem is our overall style of play.

    Add to that we are practically halfway through the season, averaging a point a game (and only after a recent good run), throw into the mix that confidence is shot to pieces, and it doesn't auger well for the next few games and beyond.

    I don't subscribe to the 'spending spree' that some anticipate - I really don't think we have the cash, and I fear Billy will be thinking of maybe budgeting for the unthinkable. Hopefully we will draft another striker in - though I've got no idea who is available / affordable / would come who could do the job. And I think Owen would struggle to score in that team at the moment.

    Finally, wherever you are, Merry Christmas all (those of us far from our families at this time can take some crumb of solace we're also far from piss-taking reds).
    Matt Traynor, Singapore  (18/12/05)

    I'm frustrated, annoyed, depressed...and stumped.
    I actually can't get my head around Everton this season. After an actually relatively decent couple of performances at the start of the season, an abysmal slump where it didn't look like we could buy a win. Suddenly we get a decent run, one defeat in seven, and we're looking at two home games in four days which would push us into the top half of the table and looking at Europe more than relegation.

    ...cut to now, two home defeats to beatable teams, including a 4-0 battering. What the hell happened to the performance of last Sunday? But what is most difficult is that actually, there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do to that team. Krøldrup for Weir maybe, but then we're losing Yobo in January for the African Nations. Waiting for Van der Meyde to be fit. Apart from that the outfield team today was pretty much our first choice.

    On a basic level, I can kind of understand the problem. We are so poor up front (lowest scorers in Europe, as mentioned on Sky last weekend) that as soon as a goal goes in the heads go down, because they know we're never going to score more than one.

    But I'm stumped as to how you really solve it - considering our current position we're a far less attractive proposition for anyone to sign in January, so we'll likely get mediocrity at best. Are we counting on just getting incredibly lucky with a lower-league striker like Nugent?

    I'm stumped as to identifying whose fault? The Board - who for all the criticism stumped up a bunch of cash to improve on a 4th placed finish last year? The manager - who seems to be able to coax great performances followed by abysmal ones? Or the players, who are actually a more talented bunch overall than I've seen for a while, but can't seem to deliver.

    ...and I think that's probably the scariest thing. I can't think of a solution. My first choice XI would be much the same as Moyes, we're not going to get the top quality striker we need, and I can't work out where we can make a practical big step improvement.
    Robin Cannon, London  (18/12/05)

    And clearly neither can the man who's job it is to come up with the answer. Unless you accept that the team can perform, but results will sometimes go against us. Who'd be a manager, eh? — Michael

    For WS read DM
    I've just read on the The People's Forum that David Moyes's record is approaching that of Walter Smith's. I have no way of verifying if that is the case other than by my own gut feeling. If it is the case then why is Moyes still held in such high regard when Smith was pilloried by all and sundry?

    I wasn't a Smith fan by any stretch of the imagination but I still can't see what Moyes has done to be held in such high regard when in actual fact we are in no better a position than four years ago.

    I just don't get it. For Middlesborough read Millwall, a defeat there will surely spell the end.
    Peter Whalley, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    Sounds like an article in the making there... We'll set the Statos on it right away.

    Moyesie's fault, my arse!
    Let's get off David's back — he is playing staff that are not fit to wear the Everton Blue; he is working hard and trying with what's available to him. Blues are premature in asking for his head. I suspect people who asking for his head have been "fashioned" by our short Champions League campaign.

    It is easy to jump on the bandwagon when things are going well, but in reality it is not easy being a Blue. Players are under-performing but support the team all you can and in the end we will be fine. I would personally say that we employ players like Hibbert, Davies, Kilbane, Bent and Beattie who are pushing for a place in The Worst Everton Team of All-Time".

    God bless the transfer window! Please, David, sign Melchiott from birmingham — he is class, and also Keane and Ashton, if funds allow.
    Frank Burrage, Northwich  (17/12/05)

    So... although they are all now "his players", they're worthless and it's not his fault? Think I'll sleep on that one and then see how it looks in the morning... — Michael

    Only 3 more defeats.....
    Only three more defeats and we will be on a par with our defeat total for the whole of last season! I think our season is now over as far as Europe is concerned.
    Paul Coleman, Kettering  (17/12/05)

    To say I am worried... an understatement. Terrified... desperate... or a in state of panic is a more apt description of the conditionI am in. Rather than looking toward the top half of the Premiership, I am more concerned about results of teams below us. In this far-flung outpost, the mickey-taking is gathering pace; to top it off, my wife's Christmas present to me is a blue and white licence plate 'EVERTON 2' — thank god it wasn't 'EVERTON 0'.

    In this, my last post for this year, I wish the editorial staff and all fellow sufferers for the cause a Merry Christmas and a stupendously succesful New Year.
    Dick Fearon, Australia  (18/12/05)

    Thanks for that, Dick; same to you... with bells on! :) — Michael

    All the ingredients of a relegation team
    What a joke today was. The defending was amatuer stuff!! To think these are proffesional footballers... if I saw this type of defending in a Sunday League game, I would laugh my head off!

    We played well in bits today and controlled the game against an average Bolton team but we lost 4 - 0 and never even looked like scoring. We never created a chance and we were at home! That is a sign of deep trouble!

    Something has got to be done in January but could we really trust moyes with another £20M... I DONT THINK SO!! Moyes: be a brave man and walk, for the sake of EVERTON FC!!!
    Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    We did create a number of good chances, they all tested Jaaskelainen, who saved them all, but they all came when we were 0-4 down and it was Game Over. So I suppose they don't really count? — Michael

    Back from the game ...
    ...and not much Christmas cheer. I thought the result flattered Bolton but they won't care about that. Looking at our performance, I thought we had probably our best available players on the pitch but where I disagreed with the selection on finding out the line up was it appeared to lack balance.

    Kilbane was our only available left-sided midfielder; whatever your view on him, he does know the position, which should have merited his inclusion and left the manager with the problem of who to leave out between Arteta, Davies, Cahill or Neville. This assumes he wanted to play 4-4-2.

    I understand most Blues hate the 4-5-1 formation but, with the current group of players, it may be our best tactic as I think the centre of midfield is our achilles heel at present; the said formation gives us the chance to disguise that and to grind out much needed results — not pretty on the eye, I agree.

    Today we had most of the play as I am sure the stats will show but in reallity we tested their keeper on very few occasions no matter what adjustments the manager made to the system — and I counted many.

    "Buy a striker in the window" will be a popular cry... but I fear if it is possible it will be more Trundle than Shevchenko. Also, many a cry will be heard for the manager's head but really in the current state of the club we would be unable to furnish a top-class manager with top-class funds to enable him to be effective. Therefore, it may be better to let Moyes learn his trade at the top level with us until such time as we get substantial investment or he proves himself. I think he will make a good manager... EVENTUALLY! — have we all got the patience?

    Next up: Villa... and who knows! All the best for Christmas and New Year, lads. UP THE BLUES
    Ken , Buckley  (17/12/05)

    Another sensible assessment. Thanks, Ken.

    Wrong Tactics
    Firstly, I'd like to strongly agree with everything John Ulverston says. Thank God a fellow bluenose sings from the same hymn sheet.

    Secondly, regardless of blame to individual players, I'd like to lay blame to tactics. If you don't play the right way against Bolton you will be lucky to get a draw. To win against that lot you need quick players who can hit the byline and cut it back for oncoming strikers or midfielders to strike.

    Why the hell did we continue to try and swing "shite" balls in on one of the best aerial defenses around? Either have the skill to split their defense, pepper their keeper with shots, or look for the cut-back. We did none of these today.

    Michael, I think it was you that did'nt believe my comments about our big dane. Mate believe me that's what I've heard, I aint saying it's fact but from a very reliable source, and I feel it my duty to pass this info on. However, a fellow blue today informed me that Krøldrup was the leading scoring defender in Serie A last year so something ain't adding up. I'd like to know what the statto's have on this guy. I hear he nailed 12 goals last year, "IF" that's a fact then he's no muppet... so why aren't we playing him?

    Yet again, Weir cost us big time; can Krøldrup be any worse for God's sake?

    I'm sorry to upset all you Moyes lovers out there but I personally can't take the yo-yo shit that he delivers. Give us a manager who can make us a strong mid-table side and then build from there !

    Moyes out for me !
    Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    I'll see if I can confirm those Per Krøldrup stats...

    I really don't know what to make of the tactics for today's game. The first thing that struck me was that we were playing a 4-4-2 with no left midfielder. Arteta was on the right and Neville and Cahill were in the middle and Simon 'Invisible Man' Davies was playing somewhere in the middle too, but there was absolutely nobody deployed on the left!

    This left Valente with two jobs to do and left us vulnerable on the break as he chased back down his wing. This also meant all of our 'attacking' was down one side of the pitch and was subsequently predictable and easy to defend against. I realised that this would be the case after around three minutes. However, the tactical genius of Moyes failed to notice this until Bolton had slotted in a fourth goal. Is that the kind of leadership we require at this desparate time?!

    Moyes's tactics are so wonky that it actually wouldn't surprise me if it was his plan to play with no left side and just pray to God that we fluke a goal and don't concede. Moyes never has a Plan B and the negativity of the tactics is excruciating. It was obvious to everyone that it wasn't working but it didn't change and that IS the manager's fault.

    It is true that we had around 80% of the possession in the first hour but that does NOT mean we played well. It means that Bolton sat back and were content to defend. If we would have played well then our first meaningful shot would have happened after 88 seconds, not 88 minutes —which is how it transpired today.

    I remember being told by Moyes that the West Brom game was a one-off, never to be repeated. My understanding of the term 'one-off' is that the event happens only once. Well, er, Davie, remember Man City, Arsenal, Fenerbahçe, Bucharest and now even Bolton to add to that West Brom one-off. People are quick to state how Walter Smith was a terrible manager, but I don't seem to remember many games in which we were so tactically bankrupt that we were destroyed and embarrassed during his reign in the manner we currently are witnessing.

    The problem is in the tactics. The tactics are down to the manager. I honestly believe we have a decent collection of players (minus Bent, Kilbane, Ferguson, Davies) who want to play for the club, but they are being led by a one-trick pony who is dragging us further and further down and the club needs some new positivity injected into it asap.
    Sean , Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    Good letter, Sean.

    Poodles of Peace
    Give credit to Bolton - not pretty, but very effective

    Could easily have been Wimbledon from 10 years back. Fill the team with eight big 'uns and have two fairly skilful players in their case Diouf and Stelios.

    They sensed the ref was weak right from the off and took advantage of it. They also closed down every Everton player with the ball which then relies on individual skill and unfortunately McFadden is our only player who can go past a man.

    They looked very fit and well drilled and every one of their players looked physically stronger than each one of ours. There is a saying that you have to win the battle before you can start to play - we didn't win any battles.

    The £8M wasted on Neville and Davies would have been much better spent on a DOG like Faye, Etuhu, Diop, although I suppose that's what we were hoping Sissoko would be. Not great footballers, Carsley proved last season that you don't have to be, but bloody effective.

    I know I have a go at Neville but like Wednesday night again I thought he was garbage. He can't tackle - he was very lucky to get away with a couple of the challenges he put in today where he wrapped his legs around the Bolton players. He tries to assume the mantle of a midfield general but he can't pass either. At least Carsley knows his limitations, and just does simple passes.

    We used to be the Dogs of War but looking at our midfield today we are more like the poodles of peace !

    One thought on Krøldrup - I, a few weeks ago, mischeivously reckoned that his absence was due to the fact that we had probably only paid £1M upfront for him and the rest of the fee will be based upon appearances - with each passing week where he doesn't even get a look in from the subs bench, this theory doesn't sound too far fetching.

    I don't go with the theory that he is crap - the fairly knowledgable Italian bloke on Talksport (Gabrielle Marcotti?) said that he was one of his signings of the season!! I'm sure we bought him with the intention of playing him but then he got injured and by the time he got fit we were out of Europe and skint! We'll see...
    Jez Clein, Childwall  (17/12/05)

    “…At least fans like Kev Sparke and Harry Meek think it's wonderful…” — I’m not going to dignify that comment with a reply… …Sod it, yes I will:

    • Your first snog with a sexy women is ‘wonderful’ Tony
    • Getting a ‘yankee’ bet up at the Cheltenham festival is ‘wonderful’ Tony
    • Sprinting over the finish line of the London Marathon is ‘Wonderful’ Tony.
    • Watching Rooney taking on a defence, whatever shirt he is wearing, is ‘wonderful’ Tony (Wish it was still a blue one, with some Latin scribble on the badge); salute the skill Tony… not the man.
    Standing by the sidelines whilst the first real love of your life is slowly disintegrating in front of your eyes isn’t ‘wonderful’ mate far from it… and I’m quite sure I’ve never said that it is. My own personal way of dealing with this, is to seek constructive answers to the big questions that our poor form throws up. Questions such as:
    • Why are we not playing to our true potential, with a squad better than last years?
    • Why do we put up with the present system of funding the game?
    • Why has Bill Kenwright/Wyness never properly been held accountable for the Fortress Sport non-deal/near miss?
    • Why do the pies always taste nicer in the Street End?
    But you, my miserable moaning mate, seem to revel in disaster, you seem to get some perverse pleasure out of constantly pouring out your tales of woe, portents of doom, and hate-filled rants about possibly the best footballer of a generation.

    Your views on Rooney epitomise everything I despise about football. They are narrow minded, parochial, hate-obsessed and delusional. You and your ilk offer nothing constructive — just another interminable whinge after fucking whinge.

    Tony, take a holiday son… go on a cruise or something; but, a word of advice. If the ship hits an iceberg and you find yourself in a life boat; have the good sense to keep your gob shut… or you might end up having a long swim ahead of you (Or with luck be the first course when the supplies run out).

    PS. We were out-thought and out-fought today… but played some decent football until the break… Oh for a Tony Cottee like runner/poacher up front!
    Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (17/12/05)

    Ouch... Strong stuff there, Kevin. I think we're going to have to dra a line under that one now you've both had your say.

    Back to today, and your postscript summation has to be the most succinct and most accurate so far. — Michael

    This is Moyes's team now
    First visit on this forum for a few weeks but Michael you have changed your tune - defending the way we play. Whether you like our deplorable style of football what you cannot deny is the number of embarrassing defeats we have suffered all under Moyes. This is his team and we are largely defensive aiming not to concede. 4 today; 4 at West Brom; 7 at Arsenal - this is not what we want as Everton fans - £13 million spent on Krøldrup, Beattie and Davies for absolutely nil return. This is Moyes team now and he must take responsibility - we as fans cannot take this much longer.
    Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (17/12/05)

    I'm defending the fact that at times today they played some decent football; they started to do that some weeks ago. I'm not pretending they don't revert to type when things go against them. But two shocking losses and some sense of perspective seems to have been lost in some quarters. — Michael

    I am worried
    I am very worried by our lack of consistency, craft, pace and ability. We are far too easily over-run and this is something that is happening increasingly under Moyes - what is going on in the dressing room?

    A new manager would perhaps gee up the players because they certainly lack the urgency and passion to play for Everton (the great team of the eighties did have steady heads but boy did they play with pace and passion).
    Russ , Cheshire  (17/12/05)

    I just think this passion thing is over-played (only when we lose, note) when the real problems are down to skill and tactics, and the wrong decisions being made. Confidence, it seems, is a much more critical factor for this team than passion. If you watch them as individuals while they are on the field, I think it is really a tough call to say any of them (alright, with the exception of Bent!) are not playing with passion. And if they were to magically play with (more?) passion, would it really make up for all the far more valid inadequacies that have been pointed out? — Michael

    Another discouraging performance
    I have just got back from the match and must say that we are not improving at all.

    We lack pace in almost every area; our goalkeeper is a bag of nerves and spreads this to the defence and our midfield, the admirable Phil Neville excepted, is generally far too inconsistent and lacks the ability to open up even the simplest defence.

    Up front we are toothless; whilst we have the occasional positive, the negatives are the things that could ultimately send us down and with less than ten goals and a bundle conceded, we are up againt it.

    What amazes me is the IMWT supporters who refuse to note any weakness in our Davey. Well here are a few they might want to consider:

    1. Knowing we lack cut up front, he refuses to invest in a decent striker to partner Beattie (who is not a lone striker and never has been);
    2. He signs a 'top class' defender to help plug the gap left by departures and the ageing Weir - when is he going to play him?;
    3. He dithers at every turn, displaying an almost unique lack of understanding of any other tactic save 4-5-1 or hoof to big Dunc.
    I am sad to say that too many players go missing in this team. They need to stand up and be counted before it is too late. They can do it (Chelsea, Man Utd etc) but choose to rest on their laurels far too often.

    I initially wanted a new computer for Christmas but a new manager would be even better to save me the haassle I will get from the RS if we do go down.
    Tom , Wirral  (17/12/05)

    Do you see what I see??
    I'm reading with interest the letters that have been posted since the debacle that was the Bolton result. It seems that we have an awful lot of anger coming from fans as we are once again humiliated by a very very average team.

    To say we were playing well up until they scored their 2nd is ridiculous and it certainly wasn't the same game I was watching. I watched Everton lump the ball up the pitch for 60 minutes and watched every ball be headed clear by Bolton's two no-nonsense (limited) centre-halves. We had no invention, no movement, and no idea how to counter a very defensive and disciplined Bolton side.

    And don't even get me started on the Manager. Now I'm not a knee-jerk reaction type of person, but it's already been pointed out in previous letters that you don't need to be Einstein to work out that Bolton will be tough, dirty and defensive. So we were presented with an Everton side today who didn't look up for a fight and had it all tactically wrong. The buck here stops with the manager and his staff.

    Have we ever had a run of results in 12 months where we have had so many heavy beatings? Anyways, I could go on all night as there is so much to say. This needs changing and it needs changing now, I'm sick of being humiliated.

    Oh, and one final point: Was the ref scared of 'Big' Sams reaction if he would have sent Davies off? As quite clearly there was some underlying reason why he didn't walk after 20 minutes.
    Steve Boileau, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    Half the season nearly over:

    • Why hasn't the new Dane been seen?
    • Why do we play the Portugese guy at all?
    • Why isn't Neville left at left back, at least he can play there?
    • Why did we make Weir captain?
    • Why did we give Duncan a further 12-month contact, hasn't he taken enough out of our funds for very little in return?
    • Why didn't we sign at least two forwards in the summer?
    • Why do all our new signings seem to be injured every other week?
    • Why are we in this state?

    I think that says it all... COME ON DAVID; you're the boss: sort it before it's too late to be saved.
    John Daley, Ulverston  (17/12/05)

    The Big Embarassment 05' Part 4
    Here we go again; it's all going to kick off now with heated opinions on who is to blame and what needs to be done. The fact is that these embarassments are becoming all too frequent now and very soul-destroying.

    After the West Brom disgrace, I stated that this Everton side, which Moyes has assembled, is all too easily capable of being beaten by 3 or 4 goals in nearly every game. If we go behind first, the heads drop and the lock comes off the floodgates. This is totally proven by today's game.

    Although I wasn't there today, I listened to it and once we got that goal disallowed and then they went up the other end and scored, I just knew there was worse to come. I expected it, and this is completly unacceptable.

    On another point, in reply to Mr McPherson's letter about my 'gang raped by Rooney and EFC' letter, yes it is an extreme compararison and crass, but it was just the first thing that came to my head when trying to represent how it seems all parties took some advantage of the Rooney transfer and left us, the fans, bitter and the real losers. There is nothing shameful about what I said, but I have lost the will to talk about this now as the pressing matter is a 4-0 defeat at home against Bolton.

    So Villa on Boxing Day is were we are going to go from here, but will it be a hard-earned 1-0 win or just the next 4-0 drubbing? 2005 is not over yet and I have genuine fears of Embarassment Part 5 on the 28th, I hope to god not because I think that would be the final straw for everybody.

    Keep ya heads up and sink some pints until then, after all what the fuck can we do about it?!
    Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (17/12/05)

    To Colin Tunstall & His Ilk
    I'll just remind you of what I wrote nearly three weeks ago.

    "...When we start getting tonked again - and endemic failings at the club mean we almost certainly will - the letters will start rolling in again..."

    Now we can call for change in safety - Moyes, Kenwright, anyone else responsible for our most recent disgrace - don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.
    David C  (17/12/05)

    Stupid goals
    If Bolton's goals were stupidly given away. What do you call the goals for West Ham and WBA?

    Everton's manner of play and footballing nouse has been deplorable in every game regardless of the result.

    There is not one game you can point to and say that was good football.
    Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (17/12/05)

    I know what you are saying, and there's an element of truth to it... but in the words you write, it's grossly over-stated. Premiership games are finely balanced. They can easily go one way or the other. We are not playing good football for the whole of any game; everyone knows that.

    I have not seen every game, but to say the "manner of play and footballing nouse has been deplorable in every game regardless of the result" seems a bit extreme to my mind. I have long objected to people solely looking at the positives and ignoring the negatives. But I also object when people only look at the negatives and extraploate them disporortionately to lose all perspective. I think that is what you are doing. — Michael

    No fight
    I saw nothing from Everton today. They were bullied out of it and we had no one to fight back. If there is ever a PR post at Everton apply for it; you are made for it mate.
    Mark Lyth, Netherton  (17/12/05)

    We tried to play football against a bunch of bullies. That's really why we lost. Wrong preparation; wrong tactics... that I will agree with. This idiotic logic that says "We lost; therefore the players did not play with passion" is utter crap and I will shoot it down whenever I see it. — Michael

    Davey, For god's sake, go!
    Dave Tootill, Johannesburg  (17/12/05)

    Re:Enough is enough!!
    Michael!.....Hello!!!!...wake up and smell the coffee mate, these results have been going on far too long now. Yes today's game, 3 of the goals were down to errors, but you still need to put the ball in the back of the net... that means INVENTION and CREATIVITY!... if the players played with PASSION they wouldn't make such mistakes and if their making these mistakes they should not be playing for Everton Football Club. There is no HOPE when performances such as the ones previously mentioned are churned out! It's embarrassing to see a club such as Bolton overturning Everton so convincingly.... Bolton beating Everton... that would never have happened 15/20 years ago!

    38 pts from 35 games...REST MY CASE!
    Kunal D, London  (17/12/05)

    "if they're making these mistakes they should not be playing for Everton Football Club." Don't be silly: if you apply a requirement like that, we'd have no players at all.

    "if the players played with PASSION they wouldn't make such mistakes" — where is that written in the Lexicon of Beautiful Football? Arguably, the more passion you play with, the more mistakes you will make. It's calm heads, skill, and ability that you need to counter the inevitable mistakes that all players make.

    Everton's downfall today was caused by a failure to counter Bolton's cynical tactics. As Gavin says below, that really is a shameful admission for the coaching staff, because it is hardly news that Bolton do that, blatantly and successfully. Everton had 63% of the possession and 10 corners to their none. You don't do that in the Premiership without exhibiting some invention and creativity. I want so see Evertonians recognize and give credit for when Everton play well; they need to distinguish this from getting bad result, which causes so many people to lose all perspective and talk shite. We played well in parts of the game; our lack of finishing is well established. — Michael

    Ashamed and bitter
    Although not a personal attack on Kevin Sparke et al in the "Moyes is the Messiah" camp - he just has the guts to be one of the more dedicated fans, I am driven after our last two home debacles to post again and ask where is this vital spark of genius?

    The West Ham game, a little clue: if David Weir played his heart out against Man Utd at Old Trafford, does it take a genius to realise a player on the wrong side of 30 and getting slower by the week cannot perform miracles every few days and should be rested? Is the fabled Per Koughdrop really that shite that he would be worse than a tired ageing centre-half and only be fit to warm the bench for ten games?

    Come January, Joe Yobo will be missing for 5 weeks playing in the African Nations Cup; will Per actually feature then? And if so, why not give him experience now rather than drop him in it with a new partner? What tactical genius does it take to decide this relatively common sense requirement? David Weir has now made two major errors on the bounce which have led to opposition goals, surely a reason to drop and rest him?

    The tactical suicide of bringing on Marcus Bent to replace an injured James McFadden when 4-4-2 was working against West Ham to become 4-5-1 (pardon the vitriol but with his uselessness that night actually meant 4-4-1 and down to ten men) completely changed and eventually lost us the game. Why not try Arteta, our most talented midfielder on to replace McFadden and maybe push Osman onto the shoulder of Beattie to retain an attacking formation? Why switch to a defensive and negative formation at home 1-0 up and admittedly very quickly 1-1?

    Mr Moyes's failure to buy a striker, when it was painfully apparent with the last three months of last season's games to play, has hit Everton hard ever since; our goal scoring has been atrocious and virtually non-existent; our ability to make any impact in the last third of the pitch is diabolical.

    Now onto the Bolton game. Any manager of any team who had ever seen Bolton play for the last few years will tell you they hit hard and push the rules of the game as far as they can to bully, harrass and intimidate opposing teams. They are not the most technical of sides but this tactic has seen them turn from a yo-yo promotion side to perrenial Premiership occupants.

    Do Mr Moyes or any of his coaching staff not acknowledge the need to adapt your team and tactics to combat their opponents? For several months Mr Moyes laboured with his 4-5-1, a few key midfielders were missing though; Gravesen who left and was not replaced and Carsley whose holding role has been juggled but often to Phil Neville who has been played all over the midfield and defence often in the same game making this holding role pointless.

    The ground emptied tonight at 3-0 which instantly became 4-0 and could easily have carried on to double figures. Mr Moyes has no technical genius; no response to going a goal down or to counter-attack. And to have a £5M player sat on the bench with an ineffective centre-half losing the game... His substitutions appear way too late to change a game and even his body language on the touchline appears resigned to the negative manner his team and his players are playing.

    If anyone would care to debate and defend any of the aforementioned, feel free as I am at my wits end at what is on display week-in, week-out - the Man Utd away game the exception.
    Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (17/12/05)

    Can't fault most of what you say, to be honest. All valid footballing points that are hard to dismiss. But it's strictly not been week-in, week-out; it's (hopefully!) just this week — another bad spell. Prior to that, up to Man Utd (with one exception) Moyes's players had put together a pretty respectable run of displays and results. — Michael

    Proud Defensive Record
    Oh no, does this mean we are no longer the proud holders of the 12th best defensive record in the league?
    Liam Daly  (17/12/05)

    We slip to 14th, eqaul with Boro. But on goal difference we are right near the bottom: only Sunderland are worse. And as for Goals Scored... oh, deary me... — Michael

    Enough is Enough!!
    Man City 5-1 Everton
    Arsenal 7-0 Everton
    Fenerbache 5-0 Everton
    D Bucharest 5-1 Everton
    WBA 4-0 Everton
    Everton 0-4 Bolton

    No motivation, no passion, no hope, no's painful being a blue and now it is time for David Moyes to finally cut his allegiances with EFC.
    Kunal D, London  (17/12/05)

    Get a grip: it was a series of stupid goals given away. Up until that point, Everton had played well and had the majority of possession. Bolton are an extremely hard team to break down. To say "No motivation, no passion, no hope, no invention" is absolutely stupid. Yes, it was a dreadful result, but it was created through mistakes, and it was a triumph for Bolton's bullying tactics, not a lack of motivation, passion, hope, or invention on the part of Everton players. — Michael

    The end of the road
    I'm sorry, but today is the proverbial straw that has broken the camel's back. Losing at home to West Ham was bad enough, but to lose 4-0 at home to an everage Bolton side is just criminal. Unless something serious is done, this is going to be the season we didn't make it.

    I've tried to support David Moyes as much as I can, especially after last season. OK, we know that we over-achieved, but we thought that at least we might consolidate in mid-table at worst. No chance of that; with the odd exception, this season has been appalling.

    Can Moyes not see that David Weir is well past his sell-by date. For crying out loud, we have an international £5M defender on the bench who hasn't played yet! The decision not to buy a striker has had and could have so many ramifications to be untrue. And please don't get me started on Marcus Bent! The man has absolutely nothing and clearly can't wait to get away - so why does he ever get any time on the pitch?

    So Bill, please take off your Moyes-tinted spectacles and realise that enough is enough, he has to go - not at the end of the season when we've fallen through the floor, but now, while we can still save it. Thanks for all the good things you've done David, but you ain't big enough for Everton. You are the weakest link - goodbye!
    Roy Leatham, Lichfield  (17/12/05)

    Now, given that David Moyes had, once again, turned around a dreadful run of form to take Everton into the top five in the Recent Form table, this is 'merely' the start of another bad spell, and it is "only" two games. Are you sure that calling for his head is not, yet agian, a knee-jerk reaction? — Michael

    Krøldrup post II
    What a fucking disgrace. Losing at home again... but conceding 4 goals to Bolton... Bolton for fucks sake!!

    Anyway, bringing back the Krøldrup thing again... do you reckon he can't speak English and that's why he's being held back... as he's having lessons?! And Moyes is worried about commincation problems?

    Long shot, but you never know!
    Steven Astley, Wigan  (17/12/05)

    To provide a serious answer, the ability of most people in Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark, to speak excellent English puts us to shame. I really can't see that being a valid reason. — Michael

    Bye bye Davey Moyes
    I thought 4 points at home this week would be fair enough. Goodbye Davey. You have only one single successful plan, totally out-thought by other managers. Things can only get worse. Resign now!

    We just had a lucky phase this time last year with Gravesen being supreme. Now there's a back four totally inferior to Bolton's, a mid-field inferior to Wast Ham's. We've had new extortionate contracts for Cahill etc, Yobo passing to Man Utd all the time, Weir's not a captain, no-one tackles or closes down.

    Goodness knows who the next manager should be, he needs both to be an ideas guy (not hard to improve) and a motivator of these rich pooftas.
    Dave  Tootill, Johannesburg  (18/12/05)

    Moyes must go!!!
    I am listening to that muck v. Bolton from Goodison and it is currently 0-4. Changes were called for at half time and stupid clueless Moyes did nothing. He eventually made a substitution at 0-2 when it was obvious even to a blind man that they were shit. Beattie for the World Cup (joke); Simon Davies has never played a good game for Everton; Cahill might as well not have been on the pitch, Hibbert gets booked too often. Weir hass gone geriatric. McFadden hasn't a clue. Moyes is to blame for all this - he has lost the plot GET HIM OUT NOW!!!!
    Leche Solara, Dublin, Ireland  (05/12/17)

    Godd grief.. moan, moan, moan...

    Words cannot sum it up.
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (17/12/05)

    Fuck Off!
    Thanks lads; another great performance. Moyes, if you have any self respect, or respect for the fans.... WALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    John Audsley, Leeds  (17/12/05)

    Uh oh... and it kicks off all over again.

    Thanks pal, should come in handy for shit wipe. Fair play that you published my reply and we'll leave it at that. Let's get on with the important job of cheering Everton on to 3 points today. Another sickener like Wednesday and I too will be pushed further in the direction of the Moyes doubters.

    How deeply embarrassing was it to hear Alan Pardew say that West Ham came to Goodison and gave us a 'footballing lesson'? Incidentally, anyone castigating a fellow fan at the game for cheering his side on vociferously should be equally embarrassed of themselves.

    Merry Christmas
    Anthony Newell, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    To the ashamed fan
    Don't beat yourself up, mate. How many of the Mancs sit in the home section at Goodison just to be able to watch their team? Everyone does it and it really takes a lot of balls to do it. If you had have jumped up and cheered Faddy then you wouldn't have been able to write that nice little article without the use of your arms!

    I watched United in pre-season playing Peterborough away. I had to stand in the terrace with those fat drunk bald Mancs singing anti-scouser songs. Then I had to endure the reality of my cover being blown when my mates little girl shouted "YOU SUPPORT EVERTON" at the top of her voice. I thankfully got away with just a few anti-scouser chants directed at me and my health intact. It takes balls to do what you did and you should take pride in the fact that you went that far to watch the blues!
    Paul Coleman, Kettering  (17/12/05)

    Re: Merchandise for 2004.
    Well that settles it for me. Rooney merchandise not in the catalogue must have been the reason for him to leave. I thought he asked to leave.

    I always thought that Everton FC marketing was a disaster anyway. Always failing to find the right thing to sell and poor quality of goods. They have never been good at trying to get the right things at the shop. They probably never thought about Rooney merchandise in the first place.

    I have bought a Davie Moyes shirt for Tony Marsh for Christmas. I think Moyes will stay if we sell items with his name on them.
    Dave Charles, Liverpool  (17/12/05)

    Ha ha ha... Very amusing.

    Who's Arsed Anymore
    After Wednesday night's game, I thought to myself , "This Moyes character really hasn't got a clue." So why do so many fans still believe in him? I just can't work it out.

    This past year has been the most soul destroying 12 months ever known. Humiliated from January right through to December and already out of Europe next season. How much more pain must we suffer before we wake up?

    David Moyes is a hard-working pro who believes in what he does... but that's about it. Moyes has been found out big time. Last season he suprised every one with 4-5-1 and with the help of Tommy Gravesen it worked for a while. Once he got sussed he was fucked — and still is.

    We don't have one player in the entire squad that an opposing manager really has to worry about — someone who is a genuine threat. And that's the problem with Moyes's style. He thinks grafting alone is enough — it's not!

    It's getting that bad to watch, I don't look forward to going to the games any more. I am dreading the derby and don't even bother arguing with reds any more... what's the point? No one can defend the shite we churn out.

    I know Bill Kenwright won't sack Moyes and he will be our manager for ever and that just about sums Everton up at the moment: No leadership on or off the park and too much loyalty being shown to people who don't deserve it.

    At least fans like Kev Sparke and Harry Meek think it's wonderful.

    Maybe we are not relegation fodder this season but I expected a lot more for my money this time around; Davey has failed to deliver.

    Can I have a refund?
    Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (17 12 05)

    No. But a new turntable may work better for your broken record!

    Seriously, did you derive no pleasure from watching the Everton performance at Old Trafford? Were you not just a little disappointed that we didn't win that game? I don't believe you. — Michael

    No Nugent is good Nugent
    Having been subjected to Preston North End vs Sheffield United earlier this evening, I felt I must put fingers to keyboard...

    I hear a lot of people baying for Mr Moyes to buy Mr Nugent as alledgedly he will solve all our striking woes (not sure if that is a view held on this site). However, signing this man on the strength that he is a true blue would be yet another mistake. Yes, he may have scored some goals in the Championship, but after tonight's "effort", we are better off without him. The words 'barn door' and 'five paces' spring to mind.

    I don't profess to know who would inspire our timid attack but you may as well put me up front as an Everton fan as him, and I'm shite! £10k a week would do me just nice :/
    Jez May, Isle of Man  (17/12/05)

    But he's a Bloo! And we'll need a new local boo-boy in time to come... - Colm

    Duncan, Rooney, Steve Lyth, Colm, spin and counter
    Colm, you made the assumption that Steve welcomed Duncan back – you shouldn’t have done. You said that Duncan was happy to sign on the dotted line before sold – he wasn’t. He realised the boardroom incumbents no longer required his services and decided not to stand in their way. I suppose it depends on what sort of individual you are as to whether you fight the tide or go when you feel you are no longer wanted. You also no doubt believe that Michael Ball wanted to go when he didn’t but it wouldn’t be worth even outlining the truth to you.

    The distinction here is that Rooney was NOT made to feel unwanted, neither by the board, the fans or the manager. When Everton Football Club offered him the best and highest deal in their history (was it £50k per week?) Rooney decided to procrastinate for a further few months. If you honestly believe that jetting Everton representatives out to see Rooney during the Euros in attempt to get him to make his bloody mind up was all some charade and spin making effort to disguise their ugly hidden agenda then you really do need to take a reality check or go back to watching the X-files.

    Furthermore, to hone in on an omission from a merchandising catalogue as support to your argument is really clutching at straws. Let's get one thing straight here – I’m no blind follower of the regime or the Liverpool Echo sports pages - the Board can and should come in for criticism for their antics and seeming complete lack of any business sense. The biggest fuck up being getting shafted on the terms and amount of the Rooney fee.

    I have never had cause to cross swords with you before but I now understand why you have come in for previous criticism. It would appear that you are so wrapped up in your own brand of spin, deep paranoia and all knowing arrogance that it is YOU who fails to see the wood from the trees. To accuse us of not being able to differentiate emotion from plain fact is an insult to one’s intelligence levels. I proffered some facts to you regarding Duncan’s departure but on one hand you dismiss them as trivia sprinkled into emotional argument or on the other choose to ignore them altogether. Let me have your address at Toffee Towers so I can send you an X-files box set – no hard feelings lad, Christmas n’ all ;o)
    Anthony Newell  (17/12/05)

    Guess that's a "we'll agree to disagree" from you, Anthony! In return for you kindly sending me an X-Files box set, may I reciprocate the offer with a year's subscription to the Liverpool Echo for your good self? Seems you take EVERYTHING on their back pages at face value! Regards. - Colm

    Dear Michael
    Thanks for putting my letter on and your fine editing; my two-year-old daughter was running around at the time, hence my lack of punctuation. My point regarding Rooney is this: Is it worth all the bile and hate that is directed towards him when THE REAL REASON HE LEFT attends every home game and gets nothing? Rooney had to win everything there is to win IN football to get the so-called record breaking contract Everton offered — in YEAR FIVE!!! What an insult to everyone, including Rooney. Are we going to blame the next 20 years of mediocrity on this though?
    Mark Lyth, Netherton  (16/12/05)

    The bilious ones should focus their bile on Kenwright, not Rooney? Sounds about right... — Michael

    Old Trafford — Theatre of Hate
    I have just read the anonymous Fans Comment about the trip to Old Trafford.

    Firstly, I think it took real balls to sit in the Stretford End in the first place. Secondly, why give the United Nations of Hate a custom built Scouse punchbag for Xmas? They'd love nothing more than to notch a Scouser on to their list, you would only have been escorted from the ground anyway, thus missing your beloved Toffeemen that you have so loyally travelled to the Theatre of Hate to see.

    Once a blue always a blue, you've earnt the right to say that. What do the rest of us who didn't go to Old Trafford do? Go into exile? You should be proud not ashamed? I've been to Old Trafford before and it is not nice at all; even for England games.

    The only time I've seen Man U fans brave enough to celebrate in Glwadys Street they've been ejected or thumped by numerous Evertonians, with a few of them left in tatters. The Stretford End is far bigger than Glwadys Street, and in light of the anti-Scouse attack that took place at a party in Manchester over the summer, you did well to keep quiet.

    Chin up and get yourself back to Goodison Park ASAP. You've as much right as anyone else. And a massive pat on the back to all the Blues who did us proud on Sunday.

    Keep the Faith; Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
    John  M, Liverpool  (16/11/05)

    Time to reflect
    So now two of the three promoted teams have turned us over on our own turf, including one that had not won an away game for god knows how long, and a battering off Albion. I have found myself thinking like our manager 'Oh well... no complaints really'.

    No Plan B when you lose your forward early in the game: 'It's easy; replace him with a.... oh yes a forward. Then I know, I will swap him over to the right of midfield because he is shit (I forgot how shit he is).'

    I look around on the bench and remember the best right-sided player Everton have had for ages is sitting there and I could really have just put him on in the first place. Then I have a flash of inspiration: 'I know, I will put on Arteta and take off my right-back, let's go for it!'

    'Christ I forgot Kilbane was still on the pitch... get the big man on and move Osman to the left and my central midfielder, Neville, is now at right-back. Easy; we will get right back into this! Oh, I suppose Mikel will have to play deep to allow me to unleash Si'.

    As it turned out Neville was perhaps at fault for the winner but can you blame him, does he actually know which position he will be playing in for the next 15 mins of the game?

    Complaints, anyone?

    BTW, I can't believe any Blue actually buys the Echo, but each to their own. Rooney? Well it's happened so let's move on.
    Mark Lyth, Netherton  (16/12/05)

    In reverse order...

    Rooney: If you can shrug and turn away, all well and good. For those who see it as one of the most significant and shattering events to have hit Everton in many a long year of significant and shattering events, let us disect it and try to understand it as best we can.

    The Echo: articles freely available on the website... still no excuse for reading that rubbish, I suppose, but I feel somehow compelled...

    David Moyes impression: No comment. — Michael

    Kenwright OUT
    Shout it from the rooftops. We're not going anywhere 'til Billy Liar goes somewhere... else! Time for a poll on the support of our esteemed Chairman?

    My vote - send him to Iraq, one-way, passport stamped Never to Return. Time will show he led a great club in the doldrums further into the doldrums. "Theatre Imnpresario", bollocks more like professional bullshit artist and wideboy supreme, no more, no less.

    A rich con artist, I wouldn't buy a second-hand brush off him, let alone a car — or for that matter any line of bullshit regarding new transfers, stadium, investment, plans for the future...

    Once a liar, always a liar... Kenwright OUT.
    David C  (16/12/05)

    I don't personally care for Billy's brand of gushing bullshit, but that's a bit strong, isn't it, David. Did something prompt this feeling or is just an ongoing permanent condition for you? You'll be getting us into trouble... unless you can substantiate that accusation.

    Oh, wait a minute... there is indeed strong evidence that Billy Boy was being... how should we put this — "economical with the truth" when he spoke last year of the £10.4M supposedly received as an advance of Sky monies ("not a loan".. although it did appear under Increased Borrowings in the EFC Annual Report), which was magically paid back just a few short weeks after Everton receiveed a £10M downpayment from Manchester United for a certain star protégé...

    Okay, maybe you do have a point. But there are still a lot of Evertonians who love and trust Blue Bill, and who resent the role of this website in particular for drawing attention to his failings. He is our Chairman. If you support the club, you should support him... is that not the case? — Michael

    Rooney Departure.
    If everton wanted to REALLY keep Wayne Rooney then why did the merchandise catalogue not have any of his shirts etc BEFORE he left for Euro 2004????

    Kenwright OUT!
    Ryan Holroyd, York  (16/12/80)

    Correct! But conveniently forgotten by the masses who hang onto every last word from The Echo for their daily dose of Everton news. - Colm

    I am writing this to express my disgust at the way a certain element of Everton fans behave both home and away. And no Iam not some 60-something stay-away who hasn't been to the game since the days of Alex Young etc. Let's face it, there is an idiotic mindless element supporting this football club who seem to think it is funny or clever to chant racist and derogatory abuse — especially at away games.

    I am refering to the idiots fuelled by beer and other substances at the WBA and ManU games, I was sick to my stomach at some of the remarks aimed at WBA fans and the threats leveled at our own supporters when challenging these excususes for human beings. The ManU game was no different. OK slag off an opponent if you must or sing songs to opposing fans... but for god's sake leave race, colour and creed out of the equation.

    I for one will not travel away again as these morons are starting to scare me and I do not want to be associated with them — not only as part of Everton Football Club but also as a member of the human race.
    Dave Lynch, Liverpool  (16/12/05)

    Well said. - Colm

    Get him in
    Hope the rumours are true about Alan Stubbs - solid professional, blue through and through, and he's looked good for Sunderland... Scandal that Pistone, Weir etc were given new deals when he was left out, especially when he was the leader in last years resurgence. COYB
    James Newcombe, Oxford  (16/12/05)

    He wasn't "left out". He was offered a contract; it contained a clause about cancer relapse; he objected; EFC may have changed it (the story gets a bit murkty at that point) but Stubbs was sufficiently dismayed, he was looking to move elsewhere. And apparpently (according to the Daily Post today) that little spat will scupper any prospect of him returning to Everton. — Michael

    Tired players??
    I think David Moyes takes his loyalty to players a little to far. He admitted after the game 'Sunday may have caught up with them'; the West Ham game was the ideal time to rest Davey Weir, launch Krøldrup, and start with Arteta. Moyes should take a few tips from the top managers on how to get the most from his squad.
    Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (16/12/05)

    Most post-match comments should be taken with a pinch of salt these days. First sign of a microphone under the nose and it's automatic switch to blandness mode! - Colm

    In response to colms question Re Duncan

    Couple of things here Colm mate, one, you do not know whether I welcomed Duncan back. Two, I cannot believe you posed the question in the first place, it was well documented that Duncan did not want to leave the club ( unlike the Rooney saga )and it was well documented he wanted to come back.I for one was over the moon when he came back home.
    Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (16/12/05)

    Steve - will there ever come a day when, perhaps, you just might sit back and admit that Everton FC, and other interested parties were equally responsible for ensuring Wayne Rooney (age 18) submitted a WRITTEN transfer request when he eventually did. The reason I compare Duncan's first exit and Rooney's departure is that plain and simple, trying to find a level where FACTS enter an emotional argument....*if* Duncan loved Everton FC so much and was under contract then he could've told the Club where to stick this transfer request from Newcastle United. He didn't. He moved. We had to sell. The player moved. It was the very same with Rooney though this time around we had a better oiled PR spin machine at Everton to dress it up as "Judas Rooney turns his back on the Club", knowing fully the wrath it would unleash. Deflection at its finest and YOU have fallen for it hook line and sinker! - Colm

    Hats, Scarves, and Two Smoking Scousers
    Your anonymous correspondent in the Stretford End should not be too ashamed. I once found myself in similar circumstances at Stamford Bridge, wearing a blue scarf but surrounded by the enemy, also in blue scarfs, and all sounding like the heavies out of “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” I resolved to watch the match in stony silence regardless of drama, not least because I was with my then 12-year-old nephew and his mother, my sister, would have killed me if anything had happened to him.

    However, neither of us could prevent a reflex dance of joy when we scored – to the obvious fury of our hosts. This was a while back as you can tell. I was certain we were both doomed when another Evertonian in a similar position a few yards away broke into a loud solo chorus of, “I’M GONNA GET MY FUCKIN’ HEAD IN!” Fortunately all round the moment of humor broke the tension, our predators laughed and we survived.
    Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (16/12/05)

    Clutching at Straws
    So who is this Andy Dunbar from the youth team that I hear mentioned a lot? Any information on him? Is he any good?
    Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (16/12/05)

    The only Everton mention I can Google for "Andy Dunbar" is this juvenile txt message: "Kewell,Trundle,Robbie Keane,Roy and Robert Green 2 efc in jan.+watch out 4 a player in the everton academy called Andy Dunbar,he will be a legend!" on a webite by the name of Football Rumours... Need another bale of straw? — Michael

    I've been recently doing work on an ex-Everton player's house, and without mentioning any names he knows plenty about defending. The word on our 6 ft 5 ins dane is that firstly he can't tackle, and secondly he can't head a ball for toffee! Apparently the hierachy feel they have made a mistake in buying him. Whether it's Moyes's fault or the Boards nobody will say.

    The reports that we are likely to bring Stubbsy back seem to confirm this for me, and if buying Krøldrup was a mistake, whoever authorised it should own up and for once be honest with us fans!

    That would be a first eh!
    Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (16/12/05)

    Nice one... I just don't believe it. He will get a game one day, and then we'll all be able to see for oursleves how well this particular Urban Myth plays out... — Michael

    Mr Muldoon
    I have to take issue with the content of Mr Muldoon's letter. I appreciate that this forum has to attract diverse opinion from all quarters. Furthermore the freedom to express oneself is an important principle.

    However, to draw the parallell bewteen Rooney's transfer and a 'gang rape' is not just wholly inappropriate but crass in the extreme.

    I am extremely disappointed that the Rooney situation turned out as it did. It was a turning point for many Evertonians, confirming in truth, what most of us already knew, that Everton are no longer a top club. Great and illustrious history, yes... but no history will be made going forward. And yes, many dirty hands were involved.

    But let's keep this in proportion...'gang rape'?

    That's poor analysis.

    On that basis... I was frankly surprised it got through and was posted for all to see.
    James McPherson, Liverpool  (16/12/2005)

    I had the exact same reaction as you did, James, when I first read it: crass in the extreme. At the time, I could have censored it, but it was illustrating the depth of feeling across the fanbase... On reflection, I agree; it is pretty shameful that some Evertonians think like that. Unfortunately... they do. — Michael

    The Hate Game

    I hate the manipulators, not the manipulated. Seeing as Kenwright seems to be able to pull the wool over the eyes over thousands of Evertonians, of all ages, races, genders and intelligence levels, I don't think it was too difficult to manipulate an eighteen year old from Croxteth whose claim to fame is kicking a ball. Waynes never going to go on Mastermind is he?

    Why hate Rooney, who at least wears his heart in his sleeve, when Kenwright is continually exonerated for constant and deliberate lies " the fans he loves." {Dominic King}???

    I'm over it, but rather like the despondent blue of Wavertree, I will never forgive the board for their role. And why should Wayne Rooney give a shit about Evertonians - it's Evertonians spitting on his family and spraypainting his house afterall...

    David C

    PS - Michael, how about reissuing the articles that prove the boards collusion - I seem to remember 10 million pounds borrowed against Rooney, and it being paid back some six days after his sale?
    David C  (16/12/05)

    David - spot on! Sad thing is, no matter how often this topic is revisited, facts aplenty thrown in, some people, because of their bile towards Rooney, simply refuse to step back from the emotional angle and observe the facts before them. Amazing how a then 17 year old can structure initially such a contract that weakens Everton's bargaining powers as he plots a dastardly path towards all the gold Old Trafford and its theatre of dreams can supply... ;-) - Colm

    Duncan Ferguson v Rooney Departure
    Colm, the circumstances surrounding Duncan Ferguson's departure from Everton were very different to that of Rooney - unless of course you believe the conspiracy theory that Shrek was engineered out of the club for financial reasons which I personally think is a load of bollocks.

    Although I don't like Kenwright, I believe he pulled the stops out financially to try and get him to stay. May I add that this offer was on the table way before the European Championships and Shrek's dithering until the final day of the transfer window further supports his rightful condemnation. Like I say, it was the manner in which he and his entourage allowed matters to be conducted rather than the sale itself. If he’d gone in June, I would have no axe to grind and Everton Football Club could have got on with the business of team rebuilding and selling shirts to kids without his name adorning them.

    Duncan Ferguson never wanted to leave Everton Football Club and was informed by Walter Smith passing down the players tunnel on the night of the Newcastle game that Peter Johnson had agreed the final details of his sale. A heated row then broke out where Dunc angrily accused Smith of selling him behind his back. I am also informed that Dunc's Father then went into the Winslow afterwards to inform certain folk what had happened so the TRUTH be known.

    Although Dunc never had the ability of Rooney and unfortunately never lived up to his legend status, the respect he reciprocated to the fans for the support during his porridge in Barlinnie shows what real men are made of. It’s probably still why his name rings around the place even though his effectiveness has dwindled away. When Dunc returned, we welcomed him back to his family like a lost son and put our concerns about his fitness to one side. Like him or hate him, Dunc is blue right through like a stick of rock: be careful where you draw your comparisons.
    Anthony Newell  (15/12/2005)

    Different circumstances? Everton FC, up to its tonsils in debt, sells a star player (not for the first time) to another club. In Duncan's case, the Club sold him due to financial mismanagement. But why didn't Duncan remain a Blue? He had a contract surely keeping him at Goodison for years to come. Duncan Ferguson was under contract to play for his beloved Everton - he chose to move, to sign that contract with Newcastle. He moved because he had to move. The Club simply had to sell - "fire sale at Goodison"! Newcastle sweetened the deal by offering the player a tasty wage but Everton were in no position to refuse the bid for the player. How did you feel when Duncan began speaking to the media once he'd moved to Newcastle? The same player refused to speak to the media when an Everton player - a policy he's resumed since returning!

    I am gobsmacked that you believe the Club tried their very best to keep Rooney at Everton. Why was Rooney forced to switch agents, something the Club approved of? Why didn't the Club offer Rooney an improved contract when that became a possibility? Comparisons were made back then, as Leeds United unveiled a star of their own, James Milner. Milner, due to his age, signed a similar initial contract but his club tied him down to a lengthier deal once that became a possibility. Everton didn't. And then, the rest, as they say, became history... - Colm

    200 Miles for some chips

    Well on the afternoon of the Wednesday I decided I’d drive the 200 miles to Goodison and watch what I hoped would be a goal fest, after all last time I watched Everton play the Hammers I saw a six nil goal thriller...

    So I left London at 5pm and shacked it up the M1, M6 and got to the car park at ten to eight, I ran to get my ticket from the main stand and got a ticket with NO restrictive posts in the way - by this time it was five past eight but I thought id get some chips and curry from the chippy opposite first so by the time I walked up the stairs to my seat Beatie had scored! I thought maybe things were on the up but when I sat down I realised that contrary to the ticket girl I was in fact sat behind an obstructive pillar! So in effect I had a 200 miler for some damn fine curry chips and some fine views of an ageing pillar.
    JT , London  (15/12/05)

    Bloody Jonah! - Colm

    Gang-Raped By Rooney, EFC And Every other Fucker
    I totally agree with Tony Marsh about Rooney (spit). I am so bitter about the whole situation, so bitter. Rooney running to the away end at Old Trafford justifies everything Tony Marsh said. But the whole issue of his transfer seems to have been raised again in the mailbag section. It caused me to cast my mind back to when it all happened and the months leading up to it.

    Basically, the way I now see it is..... England was very negative towards Rooney playing for Everton. That excuse for a manager Erikkson probably had a hand in it, as well as all the flash twats already at England like Ferdinand, Beckham etc. Stretford, say no more. Rooney DID sell his soul to go to a 'bigger' club, and was turned by third parties. EFC knew this and decided to cash in with all kinds of dodgy goings on which they have tried to cover up, but they are by no means an innocent party.

    At the end of all this, getting raped is us, the fans. So here we now are, our once hero IS a twat and deserves all the shit he gets. If you don't agree with it you are a pussy because if the day came where Everton were playing Man Utd on the last day of the season and if we lost we'd go down and it was the 90th minute and Utd got a penalty to kill us do not kid yourelf that Rooney would not be fighting to take the pen, because I know he would.

    How it is now, Rooney would love to score a goal that really fucked us up, even relegated us. Some of us can see this; others can't and I for one will continue to hate Rooney because I can't help it.
    Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (15/12/05)

    What is the shit with Per Krøldrup? What aren't we being told?! Start a mailbag section up dedicated to this subject... let's see what ideas people come up with!!

    Has anyone noticed his expressions sat on the bench? It never changes at all.. not one bit.. just a constant gormless look. £5M well spent, Davey!
    Steven Astley, Wigan  (15/12/05)

    Since my comments are apparently not appreciated in all quarters, I will provide some made on our TW Forum by a real smartalec who claims he knows more about everything than anyone else. Here are his exquistley knowledgable comments on the Per Krøldrup mystery:

    Maybe he is fit but not match fit and that's one of the reasons he is playing for the rezzies? He would have been on the bench in case Yobo or Weir had an injury and with Ferrari injured, Moyes may have wanted the safety net of another centre-half on the bench.

    So there you go. No mystery. Only it's been like that now for 8 consecutive games over the last two months!!!

    My God, does it get any worse? I left the ground with 8 mins to go, safe in the knowledge that we'd never score. Not with the Tactical Genius in charge:

    "I know! let's leave our best player on the bench, and then bring on a striker and play him right midfield when our 2nd striker gets injured. This isolates our main striker, and still leaves our best player on the bench - you know, the one who has been playing right midfield."

    Genius, Genius, Genius! What's the betting he makes changes to the team Saturday — maybe leave Beattie on the bench as well, then we may be able to challenge Chelsea as having the most expensive bench.

    I know this letter is full of moans but I do want Moyes to succeed, it's just that I'm losing my faith. It feels like one step forward... two steps back. God we need to win on Saturday...
    Chris Wright, Chester  (15/12/05)

    Davey Weir

    Last night, I was sickened by some of the stick Davey Weir was getting. This has began since Per Krøldrup has come to the club, so some fans don't see how commanding Davey Weir is in the air. He's never been fast but makes up with his tackling and his power in the air. Maybe he should be dropped and then those fans who criticise Davey would find out how much we'd miss him.
    Colin  Malone, Meols, Wirral  (15/12/05)

    Don't worry Colin - most of those who gave Weir some stick last night have the return this Saturday of Gary Speed to look forward to! - Colm

    It's stupid to boo him

    Why do we always boo Gary Speed? It wasnt his fault he left — it was Kendall's. As I remember, Speed made it clear he wanted to stay at the club but was forced out! He was a great player for Everton who always scored goals even at Anfield. He was sold to Newcastle — it's not like he went to Man Utd, like Rooney! Reasons for not booing him:

    1) He refused to play another game for Wales because he didn't want to break Southall's 'most apps' record as he said it would be disrespectful to a true football legend.

    2) He has been quoted today saying "I love playing against Everton, especially at Goodison Park - I supported them as a kid and it is a fantastic stadium.

    "They beat us last season and at the start of this campaign, so it would be nice to get one over on them. However, we know it will be a difficult game." Does that sound like a player who wanted to leave for more money? I don't think so! He is a good pro; the only 'greedy bastards' were the EFC Board of Directors!
    Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (15/12/05)

    I've some sympathy for Mr Speed on this matter as the truth remains one of those Chinese whispers. Where he most definitely did let himself and the Club down was the time he chose not to travel with the team for a fixture at Upton Park. Forever booing him for his "previous" only serves to provide him and his team with extra incentive to defeat us. Cheering the present day Everton team would, of course, prove more beneficial. Mind you, that's hardly the Everton Way these days, is it? - Colm

    The Future
    I have no doubt this current squad is well below most Everton squads I have seen over the last 45 years. There are offensive players who cannot control or hold the ball long enough for the supporting midfield players to assist and also on the other hand most of the midfield players do not have the speed or skill to do anything positive when they get up to the forward positions.

    Far too often, Everton players cough up possession to easily which only serves to keep the back four overworked. The WBA, Man Utd and West Ham games were prime examples and only a lot of luck got a point at Man Utd. The whole squad needs a shake-up. The recent points they have gained have protected Moyes for now but the next four weeks are critical.

    Signings of fully fit, speedy ,skilful players are crucial to get Everton out of the danger zone. Last night was a mix of bad coaching and captaincy. The Board of Directors have to act soon. With this team and this typical performance, I think even Millwall are licking their lips.
    Tom Bowers, Canada  (15/12/2005)

    You hit the nail on the head, Tom, regarding our ability to willingly lose possession with ease. The ball should be cherished, passed about, from one blue shirt to another. Hardly rocket science. Lumping it forward, invariably straight back to our opponents: we won't score too many via that "tactic"! Now I understand why you call them "offensive" players!!! - Colm

    Point taken Mike or in this case none
    Take on board what your saying Mike, but last night's game was massive as far as points are concerned. The crowd can get up for big games and last night's game falls into that category. A rockin' Goodison last night and we would have won, simple as. We let ourselves and the team down and the rest was down to Moyes's tactical genius!!! No problems with the end result West Ham ran out worthy winners and yeah I bet their fans had a grand old time on the way home, in a lot of ways they are very similar to us.Thanks for letting me air my view and I echo every sentiment in Anthony Newell's letter — bitter blue that I am.
    Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (16/12/05)

    As someone who loathes and despises Rooney (the same player whose sale bailed Everton FC out of an incredible financial mess by the way....), how come you found such compassion in your blue heart to welcome back another ex-Blue: Duncan Ferguson. - Colm

    Team selection

    I'd put down our disastrous early season to a combination of injuries and bad luck, but after watching last night's debacle, I've lost patience with David Moyes's team selection and tactics.

    Arteta's exclusion was particularly inexplicable; why did our best player not start? However, my main annoyance is the inexplicable preference for David Weir over Per Krøldrup. David's been an excellent club servant and was justifiably rewarded by DM with a short contract, but surely he should be regarded only as a useful stopgap for when Yobo, Krøldrup or Ferrari are unfit, and I'm sorry to say he's been a totally ineffective captain.
    Ian Pilkington, Adlington  (15/12/05)

    To cut the manager some slack on last night's abject misery, he opted to select those who had served him well at Old Trafford. Those in possession of the shirt, and playing well, stay in the team? That's what Moyes has stated on previous occasions so perhaps it's time for him to grab the bull by the horn and revise his logic on that matter, considering our most potent and creative player, Arteta, remained twiddling his thumbs in the dugout.

    As for Krøldrup - well, I've mentioned it here before but there's something not quite right about his transfer to Everton. You don't buy a player for that kind of money and then not automatically select him when he's available for selection. Lousy in the air? In need of a new heart to combat a lack of bravery? Who knows! What remains a fact is that the longer David Moyes opts to leave him out of the side, the greater the number of questions awaiting answers from the man who we believe bought him! - Colm

    Surprisingly, no editor's comeback after Mr Newell's impassioned letter. I think the'outgrown Everton Football Club' comment is the key. I know the editorial line on Toffeeweb is "we are no longer a big club - get used to it", but nobody with Everton in their blood can take calmly the fact that we produced and lost a player who could well become as iconic as Best or Pele - we are not talking Nick Barmby or Gary Speed here.

    I know exactly what Mr Newell means about the upsetting nature of those few days in August 2004. And however you gloss it, it WAS Rooney's decision to leave. I can't see how he will ever be forgiven by a significant section of Everton fans.
    Brian Denton, Liverpool  (15/12/05)

    Duncan Ferguson seems to have been pretty much welcomed back into the bosom of Evertonians after he upped and left for Newcastle some seasons back! - Colm

    ''No Complaints"
    Last night was so utterly frustrating. Probably a result that's annoyed me more than any other in recent months, even though I should be used to the Blues blowing decent runs of form with stupid losses.

    But even in that defeat do we really have to twist our manager's words to the most negative aspect possible. David Moyes' "no complaints" comment was an acknowledgment that we were beaten by a better team. Far better to have an honest assessment rather than a "we were unlucky" or "the referee is to blame" - may as well bring in Graeme Souness for something like that.
    Robin Cannon, London  (15/12/05)

    No twisting there: it's the literal form of "No Complaints" that gets to me... and to many others who have plenty of complaints — see below. I'm not asking for Graeme Sounesss or any of that other shite, just for Moyesie NOT to say "No Complaints". After that kind of display, it just doesn't resonate, I'm afraid. — Michael

    Weir, when will the penny drop.
    Weir's slow reactions, due to inevitable ageing, cost us 2 goals last night, the first goal was obvious, he should have had a cup of tea before clearing that ball. The second goal came about Weir dwelling on the ball near the corner flag, he was disposed and the resulting pressure led to the second goal. I think these slow reactions have cost us about 6-7 goals and therefore points.

    Also, Yobo is doing a lot more covering than he should be. What we need is a proven centre back replacement for Weir so he can have rests in between games. In January, I think Moyes should spend about £5m on such a player from the Italian league ( they have the best defenders ) and he should be an international, Weir can then be given a good rest.
    Tommy Coleman, London  (15/12/05)

    Baresi or Maldini?! - Colm

    No Leader!!
    As good as Davie Weir has been over the years, Per Koughdrop deserves his chance after that performance last night. In the papers today Stubbsy has been linked with a move back home, and even if its for his leadership, I think its worth it because none of the crrent first team can do it! Al
    Alun Williams, Altrincham  (15/12/2005)

    Don HutchiNson, Tommy GravesOn etc... congrats, Alun, on achieving thus far the most adventurously incorrect spelling of an Everton player's surname. Per Koughdrop! Like it! - Colm

    Save them from themselves!

    Whilst James Beattie went someway towards answering Pat Murray`s criticism of him with a great goal last night,I do think that the Everton management and players constantly set themselves up for ridicule with the endless stream of boastful rubbish which is now the style of the Post and Echo coverage.

    The so called `Dominic King` influence has seen a once sceptical/negative view of the club being replaced with coverage bordering on sycophancy, with people from Kenwright down being encouraged to offer quotes which make most of us squirm. Moyes with his irrational excuses - `they must have been tired after their exertions on Sunday` - Beattie's bragging and McFaddon`s endless claims to have `turned the corner` leave most of us cold, knowing as we do that they will inevitably be followed by a reversion to type with yet another crap performance like last night.

    Please can`t somebody in the club`s press office put an end to this garbage or failing that, the Editor of P&E insist that the coverage of all three Merseyside clubs is independent and objective!
    Chris Matkin, Runcorn  (15/12/05)

    Sadly, filling the back pages with blandness is what sells. At the end of the day, it's all about opinions and we live in a dumbed down cliché-ridden world! Oops.... - Colm

    Now or never
    If we don't see Krøldrup this Saturday, I fear we never will. Anyone could see that Weir was knackered last night, especially as the second half wore on. I felt sorry for him with the own goal, as that can happen to anyone. However, the slowness which resulted in Weir's disposession and the second goal cannot be allowed.

    The man is 35 years old, he's played 3 games in ten days and we have another in two days time. If we don't see Krøldrup on Saturday, Moyes obviously doesn't rate him. If that's the case he's wasted £5 million of our precious transfer funds. I'm interested to know what my fellow blues think should happen if a manager wastes that kind of money.

    Oh, and why the hell was our best player sat on the bench??? unbelieveable!
    Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (15/12/05)

    Professional Athletes?
    I have never seen so many bad balls played to a front man in one single game of football. Playing down the channels may be okay if there is someone there to chase the ball, Hibbert take note. The choice post-match comment has to come from David Moyes that maybe Sunday had caught up with the players. I thought we were playing 30 miles down the road not coming back from a bad night in Europe! If any manager even thinks of this as an excuse then there is something sadly wrong with our training methods. Pride and passion can make you run until you drop; fitness just makes it easier. Have you seen Parker for Newcastle lately?
    Kevin Tully, Liverpool  (15/12/05)

    The thing that annoyed me most last night was when we we’re 2-1 down and needed a captain to shout the odds, motivate the players and give them a general kick up the backside, our ‘captain’ is walking round the pitch with his mouth shut. When will David Moyes have the guts to strip Weir of the captaincy and give it to Neville? And if he hasn’t got the guts to do it, I hope Weir is man enough to hand it over.
    Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (15/12/05)

    Keane on crocks
    So Everton went up to £50k/wk in the bidding for Roy Keane!It says everything about the predilection Moyes has towards players with dodgy fitness records. The amount of money wasted in transfer fees, signing/re-signing fees and wages for players of this ilk will condemn our Club to mediocrity for as long as this manager is in charge. We just have to accept our fate.
    David Hall, Taunton  (15/12/05)

    Central Myth
    And so the West Ham game showed everyoneone something that we all know but are to frightened to say: the midfield partnership of Simon & Phillip is simply not good enough.

    However, for some reason they appear to escape any criticism.... why? Davies barring three or four balls in 5 months, is a passenger; Neville kicks people, cannot pass a ball, and is continually applauded for his anonymous performances; the "he must be good he tries dead hard" cliche is now wearing thin.

    Put Neville at right-back, and let Davies go in the window (do you actually think we would get any takers?). And please bring the Dane in at centre-back, otherwise take it from me.... we could go close to relagation.

    ps: can people stop getting excited about Robbie Keane... after all we'll end up with a First Fivision striker in January (you're not falling for that are you?)
    Bobby Dempster , Huyton  (15.12.05)

    Err...??? First Division striker? — Michael

    Why oh Why
    Why do we leave our most creative midfielder on the bench for the best part of a game?
    Why do we have to keep enduring these embarassing results just when we think we've turned the corner - again!
    Why have we got an old, past his best (still can do a job though) defender playing two games in 4 days when there's a £5M defender sat on the bench? Is there something we don't know?
    Why isn't Phil Neville capatain?

    Answers on a postcard please! I hate to hear it, but that performance was worthy of the boo's that greeted the final whistle.
    Scott Graham, Carlisle  (15/12/05)

    Well said, Tony Marsh. This is the best thing I have seen written which gets anywhere near close to capturing my feelings on this subject. I certainly haven't mellowed. I can only describe the feeling of seeing the grinning twat sign on for the Mancs in his stripey Pringle as the worst and most sickening feeling I have ever experienced as an Everton fan. I was honestly physically shell-shocked from the whole experience for about two weeks and the episode has left a very bitter taste.

    What he did and the manner of it was akin to stabbing a member of your own family in the back. Yes, players can and do move on but the manner in which he allowed the transfer to be conducted was unforgivable. Bollocks to this “too young to realise” excuse too - If you are old enough to buy a pint in your local then you should be adult enough to conduct yourself with a modicum of respect for the wider community that has nurtured you, and the supporters to which you proclaim your allegiance.

    His uncle came onto Radio Merseyside when he left the club stating he had "outgrown Everton Football Club" - a further twist of the knife. As the old man says with venom: “Ball, Young, Vernon - who the hell does he think he is – outgrown EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB!!! Let's get one thing right here: the bastard sold out good style – not only Everton Football Club but the City of Liverpool - he will reap the whirlwind.

    Call me vindictive, bitter or whatever you want but I no longer have any interest in England games and the 2006 World Cup is strictly off my agenda if the twat is playing. Occasionally I have tuned into a live Man Utd game on telly to hope the aforementioned whirlwind will come along sooner rather than later – and I mean the career ending variety.
    Anthony Newell  (15/12/05)

    Goodison Morgue
    Everton One-Nil up; West Ham defeated with a passionate crowd behind us. Where was the fervour? Where was the crowd? I am sick to death of being looked at like a deranged fool when I am screaming my bollocks off for the team that I love — by my own fans.

    The sooner we get down to a hard core at this club the better. I was proud of our fans and the team at Old Trafford on Sunday; being told tonight to fuck off into the Park End where I belong sums Goodison up for me. My lad was with me tonight and he was disgusted at the attitude of some who call themselves Evertonians. He wants to go in the Park End next year, but even the Park End was quiet tonight. I live for the aways where the Hard Core exist. Shame on us all tonight; West Ham never normally win at Goodison Park.
    Steve Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (14/12/05)

    Sorry, Steve, but I don't have much sympathy for you. How we each support Everton is an individual and personal thing. If we want to scream and yell, or if we want to sit in morose stupefaction. Each to his own.

    The away thing has always been different and unique — Hard Core — and that's the way it should be. But to compare it to the Goodison experience is not really on. Look at the numbers: 33,000 to 38,000 Evertonians at every home game; only 3,000 to 5,000 at most are regular away fans. Also, the away fan is obviously going to be more passionate and involved than your average home-only fan... and where do those few thousand Everton-away fans sit when they are at Goodison? All crammed together in a pokey corner? Or all spread out, many in the best seats because they have been season-ticket holders for many a long year?

    The huge gulf in atmosphere home and away is inevitable, I'm afraid. If it's any consolation, I'll bet the West Ham fans who were at Goodison had a grand old knees-up tonight! — Michael

    Back from the game ...
    ... and a disappointed Blue. We started well, scored a good well-worked goal and looked fine, then Faddy got a sore foot. Instead of going down to alert the Manager of a problem, he took an age to walk off for assessment, leaving us down to ten men. By the time a sub could be readied, we had scored for them.

    The substitution was made and I believe not only confused many of us fans but the players also. Bent before Arteta seemed a nonsense... and so it proved, as the game just stumbled on from there. What was taking Hibbert off and moving Neville to get Arteta on all about? What was the chopping and changing of positions all about? Especially Osman who must have played about five different roles — not conducive to coherent play methinks.

    A bad night at the office, yes; some poor displays from the players, yes; but I conclude that the Manager played no small part in the disruption of service post-Faddy. Saturday will give all concerned another chance to thrill us fans and I am sure it will be a different display.

    See you Sat.--- UP THE BLUES
    Kenm , Buckley  (14/12/05)

    After-Match Comments
    I had previously defended Moyes`s character on this site, only for Garry to respond that Moyes`s after-match comments have been `uninspiring`. Well, the two are not necessarily linked, but after tonight`s game I am inclined to agree with Garry.

    Moyes was honest enough about West Ham deserving to win the game, but I expect more from my manager than a simple description; I expect at least a recognition of the frustration and annoyance that supporters are feeling. There is no real reason why West Ham should be `better in all departments`, given that we have been more succesful and invested more than they have in the last 3 years. Surely to admit thus so plainly is akin to admitting your lack of progress as a coach? And before I am attacked; I am talking about the style of play & it`s progression over a number of years - something which all true Evertonians have felt lacking.

    On to Saturday - a win would be great but still somewhat hollow following tonight. And a defeat? Well the knives would be out again.... who really knows which way it will go?
    Mark Manns, London  (14/12/05)

    I'm glad you finished with that question (see below), beacuase that uncertainty should be there in every game, no matter how convinced we are that we "should" win.

    Applying your previous logic, Chelsea should win every game, and any team that denies them a couple of points with a brave and battling display (sound familar?) should be condemned as a travesty that goes against the natural order of things.... Yet we want to have it both ways, don't we? — Michael

    I don't know how Everton played tonight as I wasn't there. I would just say that my gut reaction is: What a gang of losers the Everton team are. Played Man Utd, who were crying out to be beaten, and bottled it. Tonight, played a West Ham team full of First Division players and lost at home. Judging by the commentary on Sky Sports, Everton never looked like getting back into the game and West Ham looked more like scoring again. As a long-time Everton fan I am embarresed by the result. In Moyes I Trust; it won't be the last time.
    Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (14/12/05)

    On a certain level it is an embarrassing result and no mistake. Lessons, if there are any, include these:

    • Each game must be taken on it's own.
    • Past results and current form are not a guaranteed indicator of future performance.
    • As fans, a major occupation is to predict the result of the next game.
    • Yet the object of football (which seems to have been lost) is to play the game, and to see who wins, loses or draws.
    • Not to just go by the formbook.
    • No result is a foregone conclusion. It never should be.
    Somewhere along the way, these simple ideas seem to have been lost. And the now predicatble knee-jerk reaction to last-night's result is what we get in place of an acceptance that we were simply out-played on the night. End of. — Michael

    Utter Crap!
    The title says it all. One day we fight like hell; the next we play like shite. Utter bollucks. Answers on a postcard, please.
    John Audsley, Leeds  (14/12/05)

    It was a bit of a comedown. Expectation, once again. And overfed by the club/local media propoganda machine. All the more depressing. — Michael

    Reply to Tony Marsh
    As I said to Tony Marsh acouple of weeks ago,football is a roller coaster and you get players coming and going. It's a job, same as you have, I hope. Thats not to say I won't detest him if he scores against us. But HATE him? No. Get a LIFE, Tony; start enjoying your football!
    Bob Patterson, Liverpool  (14/12/O5)

    I know you have had quite a bit of mail on the Rooney saga. Everybody has their own notions as to why he went but, in my opinion, if there was any truth that the Board wanted him to go so they could cash in, surely Rooney would have had some idea about this. And by now he would have come out and said something in his defence. I just think he went because he couldn't give a fuck about Everton.

    You only have to see his goal celebrations against us. No respect for us or the Club. By the way, what the fuck is going on with the tele? Fat-arsed Colleen having a programme about her lifestyle shown. And no I didn,t watch it!!! I saw it being advertised on Sky.
    Brian  Waring, Shrewsbury  (14/12/05)

    I don't think you can make up your own logic rules and apply them to come to that conclusion. And there are such things as legally binding confidentiality agreements... The Board decision to sell Rooney likely came at the point where Rooney had been convinced (by his agent and by other players, pundits, ex-players... friends, family(?)... whoever) that he should leave. The process of his departure was much longer in the making than most fans realise or acknowledge. And the part that interests me is the relationship between him and David Moyes, which no-one ever talks of. Him handing in his transfer request was virtually the last piece of the puzzle — certainly not the first or most significant.

    The fact that he appears not to give a fuck about Everton, never acknowledged David Moyes or what the club had done for him, etc, is all part and parcel of the same process. And, given the effectiveness of the hate campaign that was developed among the fans, it's not too surprising he publicly sticks it back to them at every opportunity. That's what football has become, sadly. — Michael

    'Different and Special'
    I have just read the piece by Rick Tarleton in response to Daniel Parker's comments.

    I am 24 years of age. My dad took me to my first match in the 1984-85 season when I was just 2 years old! I have seen us be successful and I actually went the Bayern Munich game. However, being as young as I was, my memories of those early days are restricted to a single time when I remember my dad hanging me over the side of the wall to the players tunnel when the players were coming off at half time (must have been about '85). I remember seeing Andy Gray look me straight in the eye, wink and give me the 'thumbs up'!

    My point is, I can only ever remember Everton being poor, both in terms of quality and in a financial sense. Yet, like all Evertonians the world over, I KNOW that we are special and different. Here are just 10 reasons why;

    1. Because we do not go to the match with muillions of badges attached to our waistcoat (copyright LFC)
    2. Because we do not wear stupid jester hats or wave big foam hands about. Nor do we take our shirts off to expose our massive beer guts.
    3. Because we know our stadium is crap. So what? we like it.
    4. Because Everton is in our soul.
    5. Because we do not repeatedly text or call our freinds who happen to support another club when they concede a goal or lose a game - even the Derby (copyright LFC)
    6. Because we have stood by our club through thick and thin (mostly thin).
    7. Because we know our history (but we do not slam it in the face of everybody else)
    8. Because we believe our time will come
    9. Because we are born, not made.
    10. Because Andy Gray can take the time out to smile and wink at a young scally who is obstructing his way in to the players tunnel.
    Come on you Blues! (IMWT)
    Lee Spargo, Merseyside  (14/12/05)

    Re: Tony Marsh
    Ahhh, what can you say? Rooney was engineered out of Everton - they kept working on him until, yes, he no longer wanted to stay. Is that Wayne's fault?

    There's one bit in Tony's e.mail that made me laugh so hard my sides hurt! Allow me to recount "..It's not sour grapes; I just hate every thing he stands for and wish him no good fortune what so ever..."

    Fuck lad, I'd hate to see you WITH a case of sour grapes.

    All best to all Blues for the Xmas period, no matter where they might be...and in Tony's case, that might be a very dark place indeed.
    David C  (14/12/05)

    He Loves Man Utd
    As a Crocky man who went to school with Wayne's Dad and joined Holy Name Boxing Club the same time as his dad, it was well known Wayne was joing Man Utd at least a year before the deal went ahead. Stop all this rubbish that he was gently nudged out of the club. He couldn't wait to go. He has no feeling for his city or community at all. What has he ever done for Crocky never mind his city? I have known the Rooney family my whole life.
    Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (14/12/05)

    Indeed. Spot on. Rooney never ever wanted to stay at Everton. Even when he was 11. Never wanted to sign a professional contract. Couldn't wait to get away from the place. He meant to blaze one into the Park End against Arsenal and only celebrated because he won £90 on the correct scoreline with his bookies.

    Of course, if Everton FC had've secured young master Rooney's services for longer than they did, at the time, we could so easily have rejected ALL bids for his services, post Euro 2004. The chairman indicated that he wanted to see Moyes building a team around the lad. Of course, we were so flush at the time that we could afford to literally give him away to Manchester United for a downpayment of £10M and interest free on the rest.

    No doubt it all ended in tears - bitter bitter tears - but to suggest that Wayne Rooney had a plan to shaft Everton FC from day one is ludicrous. - Colm

    Second Division side
    I have just read the article by Rick Tarleton - absolutely correct in all respects. When my Grandad took me to my first Everton game - Liverpool were in Div 2 (playing Brighton - I thought they were playing New Brighton!). At such a tender age, I understand the natural order of things to be that Everton were a First Division side and Liverpool were not! For me (45+ years later) they are still a Div 2 side who have had a few good years. I hope to see the natural order restored very soon - but I wonder if our Board even sees things that way?
    Bob Arnot, Abuja, Nigeria  (13/12/05)

    Beattie a prat!
    James Beattie is a prat! On the back of only 27 appearaces(8 of them as a sub) and just 5 goals in nearly 12 months at Everton, he starts sounding off about how good a player he is and how he should be a candidate for World Cup selection.

    He would do well to observe the old adage `let your boots do the talking` and focus on starting to repay the ludicrous fee and wages his modest talents managed to solicit from Everton FC.

    In the meantime, he should concentrate on honing the basic skill of slotting the ball home from 6 yards out — something he has found difficult to master so far. Tonight`s game with West Ham would be a good time to start!
    Patrick Murray, Birkdale  (14/12/05)

    Not So Keane
    Why bother with Roy Keane ? He's too old, too narky and too injury prone. Let him go to Galacticoland and we'll take back Gravesen, younger, fit and up for it!
    Tony Waring, Frogmore  (14/12/05)

    Gullible or what?
    With his foul-mouthed assault on Wayne Rooney, Tony Marsh ably demonstrates what is rapidly becoming the primary qualification for being an Evertonian — GULLIBILITY! The ability to accept, overlook and generally forgive all the countless transgressions of the Goodison hierarchy and to assuage our anger by pouring abuse on those bold enough to say `enough is enough` indicates just how effective is the Everton spin machine.

    I do not seek to paint Rooney as an innocent victim but only to assert that the whole story of his transfer has not yet been writ. Until that day — and we may have to wait a very long time — Marsh and his ilk would do well to channel their mindless aggression into positive support for the team rather than pouring scorn on talented opponents.
    Harry Meek, Worcester  (14/12/05)

    Mike Owen
    I'd never thought of it before, but Mike Owen is spot on in his appraisal of the effects of the loss to Panathanaikos in the European Cup semi-final in 1971, However, I think there are two factors which led to the disaster that was season 1970-71.

    Above all there was the World Cup of 1970; to the England team Everton the Champions contributed four players: Ball, Labone, Newton and Wright. This competition, played in the heat and altitude of Mexico, essentially finished the career of Brian Labone; Keith Newton came back and was injured and lost form; and Alan Ball totally failed to regain the form of the previous season.

    Alan Ball never gave anything other than his best. His style was all action, he covered the field, every blade of grass. Mexico was not the place for Alan Ball; his style was too demanding for the conditions. The result was a lack-lustre season in 1970-71 and his sale to Arsenal in 1971-2. The famed midfield of Ball, Kendall and Harvey failed to function and the problem was that the energy of Ball wasn't quite right,

    I said there were two problems: the other was the strange signing of an excellent midfielder from Nottingham Forest, Henry Newton. In modern terms, his fee would have been in eight figures, yet he was not used to rest Ball. In fact, in those days when the concept of the squad was unknown and only one substitute was allowed, his signing disrupted the psyche of the squad. He played most of the time at left back, a position which was not suited to his style.

    Catterick ought to have rested Ball, he needed a rest. A totemic midfielder who provided the energy, he was exhausted. The result of these errors cost Everton the nucleus of their great team of 1969-70 and their place at the forefront of English football. It took fifteen years for Everton to recover... and then Heysel deprived them again.
    Rick Tarleton, Rutland  (14/12/05)

    “…for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under Anfield rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we support, but for Everton FC -- for that alone, which no honest Blue gives up but with life itself.” (The Declaration of The Park End 1982)*

    Q. Are Evertonians Special?
    A. You bet we are.

    *with apologies to Scotland!
    Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (14/12/05)

    I can't believe we are even debating the fact that "EVERTONIANS" are different from other supporters; we "BLUES" are special and offer a different level of loyalty than any other club. Over the years we have put up with lengthy spells of "dire performances" but somehow we laugh it off and the bond becomes stronger. Everton FC can make you laugh and make you cry but nothing can ever take away the feeling you recieve when 11 blue heroes emerge from the tunnel to the Z-Cars tune.

    You only have to listen to ex-players talking to realise how special our club is and how diferent we are. I can honestly say there is only one set of supporters that even come close to us and they are Manchester City (they have to be admired), I hope this puts the matter to bed and I would challenge any "Redshite" to disagree.
    Frank Burrage, Northwich  (13/12/05)

    Wonder what Wayne Rooney makes of being one of them ex-Everton players? — Michael

    Fuck Rooney
    Reading this site recently I get the feeling some of my fellow Evertonians are starting to mellow towards Wayne Rooney. Well as far as I am concerned he is a piece of shit. I don't know any Everton fan from this city who likes the little twat.

    When he left us not only did he destroy the hopes and dreams of every Evertonian [we thought he was one of us] he destroyed part of our souls. How could the ugly little Bastard beytray his roots so easily without explaination?

    Leaving in the way he did was bad enough but going to them WANKERS in Manchester and listening to them slagging off scousers every week is a hanging offence in my book.

    Let the little prick rot in his crumbling Empire. If any one still thinks he is one of us take a look at his twisted little kipper the last two times we have played Man Utd. I hope he never raises a trophy of any description above his ugly head and that includes our England.

    It's not sour grapes; I just hate every thing he stands for and wish him no good fortune what so ever. Rooney is a Leper in his own city and that's the price he has to pay.

    If Rooney or any of his supporters think he can shit on Everton and this city then one day come strolling down Church Street shopping with his bird then they are dreaming.

    Wayne Rooney is not an Evertonian any more — he is not even a scouser. He is an honourary Manc and he is proud of it.

    Once a blue forever a Shithouse
    Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (13/12/05)

    Classic. Exhibit A. Job well done, EFC. — Michael

    The selling of Rooney
    I have no doubt that the Board initiated the transfer of Rooney.

    You may cast your minds back to the day that Rooney signed his first professional contract. He was only 17 at the time and therefore was only allowed to sign a 3-year deal, but we were told in no uncertain terms that, as soon as he was 18 (24th Oct 2003), this would be extended to a 5 year deal.

    Did this happen ?

    Well the first knowledge I had of them trying to extend Rooney's contract was during Euro 2004 - a full 8 months later. And probably a full 3 months after Rooney had told them he wished to leave (despite Mr Kenwright insisting he had a great relationship with Mr Stretford and believed him when he said that Rooney would be staying !)

    Now whether Rooney would have gone anyway then at least he would still have had 4 yrs left on a contract and we wouldn't have had to sell him at a cut price which could have been even less if, as Man Utd planned, we'd have had to sell him the following January with only 18 months left on his contract.

    If reports are true and Joseph Yobo only has 18 months left on his contract then:

    1. why has this been allowed to happen?
    2. Expect him to turn down "the best contract we have ever offered" in January and be sold.

    Jez Clein, Childwall  (13/12/05)

    I was wondering if someone would pick up on that! But there are many, many fans who simply don't want to know. "Rooney asked for a transfer!" — a smart piece of manipulation by EFC, very late in the game, guarantees that most Evertonians will forever more view Rooney as a Shrek-headed traitor. Ah well... — Michael

    I will always follow Everton!
    Evertonians are everywhere in the world. I live in the eastern part of Iceland. I have followed Everton since 1966. At that time I was 9 and my mother followed England in the World Cup. She was always mentioning some little, red haired guy that was running all over the field (Alan Ball)! When he was sold to Everton I began to support them. And that was easy because they were a good team.

    However, somewhere around ´74 or ´75 things weren´t that great at Everton anymore. I abandoned them and began to follow Southampton (of all teams!) That lasted for about two weeks and then I started to follow Everton again and I knew that it would last for the rest of my life.

    I don´t know what it is about Everton that I find so special, but I hope to find out on the 28th of December when I will visit Goodison Park for the first time in my life! I´m looking forward to it very much. To avoid disappointment, I try to get used to the thought that Everton will lose 0-3. A better result than that will be a bonus!

    Evertonians everywhere; Let´s continue to support our team and may you all have a very nice Christmas!
    Sverrir Gestsson, Fellabaer, Iceland  (13/12/05)

    Toffees' turnaround.
    I would just like to comment on the Toffees' turnaround of recent weeks. I would agree with a lot of the accolades going to Mikel Artets, Joe Yobo, Beattie, Neville, Wier etc. But one player who has been monumental in the Toffees' change of fortunes has been Simon Davies. Playing in the middle of the park, he has injected pace and is able to hold the ball without losing it. So much so the ball is working its way through the midfield now instead of Route One. I think that Simon Davies has been instrumental in this.
    Mike McLoughlin, St Helens  (13/12/05)

    Rick Tarleton
    Rooney sold by a 'treacherous board'. Did Rooney not ask for a transfer? Was it not he (Rooney), who told his agent to get him a move. Was it not the same player who stated, 'once Man Utd were interested, there was only one place I was going to go'.

    I'm no lover of this Board but to blame them for Rooney leaving is just stupid. He wanted to go and had an agent praying for the moment for him to give the word.

    Yes, I am bitter at the way he left and how he conducted himself. It took him a long time to thank this club for what they did for him.

    He wasn't the brightest kid in the playground and his head was easily turned in other directions by the ones looking after him. I thought he could have got us somewhere but he chose not to. His decision, not Kenwright or the Board. They had to get what they could.
    Dave  Charles, Liverpool  (13/12/05)

    While most of what you say is superficially true, it all applies after the dastardly deeds were done. If we really knew what came first — Rooney's request for a transfer, or the decision by the Board to cash in on him — perhaps we'd have a better understanding of this sad and sorry saga. — Michael

    Different from any other
    I am a young Everton supporter and a young football supporter in gerneral. Growing up in a house dominated by Aussie Rules football, I didn't follow any football at all until three years ago. Long story short, I started catching the scores from the EPL on our news bulletin and found that I looked for Everton all the time. My dad is a bit of a fan...

    Now fast forward three years: I can't go a day without wanting to know if Moyesie farted... the Manchester game last year sealed my fate... I am a evertonian... you could call me whatever... but my love for this rag-tag mob is real and, for better or worse, I now feel for life...
    Nathan Round, Berri, Australia  (13/12/05)

    Better than being bitter
    I was chuffed with Everton's performance yesterday and agree with the view of others, in that I was disappointed not to get all 3 points; which in a perverse way was quite a nice feeling.

    I am writing to link Wayne Rooney's actions after the Utd. equaliser with the recent Toffeeweb column concerning the ironies of Shrek's position. A number of the points from that article came through yesterday; eg, that once he was carrying our team and all our expectations and now he carries theirs (this was especially noticeable in the game where, once he was effectively shackled in the second half by Neville, they carried little threat).

    More interesting was Rooney's reaction to their equaliser. Instead of joining his teammates in celebration, he made a bee line for the Blues supporters (even Martin Tyler commented on it). Apparently, he spent a goodly time baiting the supporters before moving away. He also did this at Goodison earlier in the season.

    Although not bright enough to perceive the irony of his situation at a concsious level, I reckon old Shrek has realised the grass ain't much greener on the Old Trafford pitch. I'm not saying he regrets moving, but I do believe his rabid antics are part of a self-justification of a move which promised much silverware and has delivered bugger all to date.

    I know there's a bit of amateur psychology in the above, but the ToffeeWeb article did get me thinking about this. An increasing number of Evertonians have "moved on" and I for one feel better for it, but he doesn't seem able to do the same.

    Then again, he could just be an obnoxious git.
    Steve , Harrogate  (12/12/05)

    I think Yobo has had a great season so far and has looked top class, but one major thing is worrying me. Yobo's contract only has 18 months left to run on it. This means that even if we were to sell him in the January window we would have to accept a cut price deal. Also I remember Yobo being supposedly misqouted as saying that he intends for his contract to expire, and leave on a Bosman. I just hope we get him in talks ASAP and either get him on a longer-term deal or cash in on him. Sadly I think the latter is more likely.

    On a more positive note, good (not great) result on Sunday. I have always been behind Moyes (apart from the hour immediately after Bucharest (a) and West Brom) and am glad to see patience paying off. I previously wanted Roy Keane but now I'm not sure he's nescessary.
    Tom Bennett, Coventry  (12/12/05)

    Thank you, Nick
    I'd really like to thank Nick Armitage for his column on the predicament that one Wayne "Sell Out" Rooney finds himself in at the moment, sure this seems like sour grapes but... I can't say that a care. I've always had been angry about the Rooney departure, but now after your column my feelings of anger and disgust when I see him parading around in a Untied shirt will be lessened slighty, cheers.

    Finally about the whole Keane saga, I just don't get it! What can the now 34-year-old Keane do that the 31-year-old Carsley or the 29-year-old Neville can't? Really, what can he do to add to the team in order to justify his enourmous weekly wage? In short, midfield is fine at the moment, Mr Moyes; one quality striker, please... and quick!
    Kevin Morris, Sydney, Australia  (13/12/05)

    Thanks, but no thanks, to Keano & Grav
    Roy Keane should pull his finger out and make a choice before he's due to retire. Personally, I hope he opts for Real Madrid. On Sunday, we did not look like the team that needed him. I worry about the effect his presence might have upon those players at Goodison seeking to establish themselves, such as Phil Neville, who was bossed around and long in the shadow of Keane at Old Trafford. Six years his junior, Neville put in a more energetic performance than Keane is likely to muster, too. Out of respect for his efforts we should drop the interest in Keane (what a boost to confidence it would provide if Moyes publicly dropped his interest on the back of Sunday's game!). The next captain of the club should be picked from those who do their talking on the pitch - Neville, Yobo, Cahill or Arteta - not bitch to the media.

    And what about those ego-weak members of our squad, over whom question marks still remain? Will Keane help Kilbane use the ball better? Will he improve Wright's catching? I think his icy stare is only likely to worsen these guys' confidence, which would be doubly a shame given the vast improvement in Killer, Wright and Valente (did I see some passion?) at the weekend.

    Keane just doesn't go about inspiring his teammates in the correst manner. Gravesen was much better at this, though I agree with your correspondent who thinks we should save the cash that would go on him (given the option, obviously) and invest instead in a striker, or young squad players. £2M for Gravesen, plus wages? We could get Richardson from Utd for that.
    Ted Turner, Nottingham  (12/12/05)

    Welcome point and performance
    Has Dicky Fingers finally worked out the net isn't for stopping the ball; he is? Neville was superb as was Davies for a change. Beattie still needs to sharpen in front of goal; that pea roller effort was shocking with McFadden free on his left; and how would it have ended if Bent had not wasted that lame pass and put the ball to Dunc who would have been one-on-one with Van der Sar.

    On another note, let's not forget this site is for ALL views and opinions and I firmly stand by Colm's excellent postings. Let's not all be blinkered by last season; Bill Kenwright and his lapdog Kieth Wyness still have a lot of unanswered questions and cock ups to explain but we are stuck with them.
    Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (12/12/05)

    Moving on up!!
    Great point yesterday, especially with the players that were missing. Kilbane and Wright were magnificent (can’t believe I said that!). Goes to show that when we put our mind to it we are a good side.

    I won’t mention Wayne Rooney’s badge kissing antics as no doubt certain members of ToffeeWeb and some of the Mailbag contributors will say Bill Kenwright made him do it as it earned the club £2.50.
    Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (12/12/05)

    Evertonians Are Different?
    I don't think so. As a collective, we're exactly the same as everyone else.
    David C  (12/12/05)

    Yes - its true
    It is true, football's in a sad state but Everton is really something unique in football. No matter how we're doing, we'll follow through thick and thin. Many are disenchanted with football but I'll still sit there biting my nails until the last whistle.

    I've had a few pints writing this but I honestly believe us Evertonians are one of a kind. No matter how badly run our club is and how expensive the whole experience is, you're born an Evertonian like it or not. I'm so glad I chose the path of the blues following my old man rather than the red shite like my eldest brother.

    Being from Cheshire, we're hardly scouse but the blue half of the family is a hell of a lot more passionate than the red side. I just hope Moyes can replicate the glory 80s I can remember as a child. I just wish I was good enough to play for the blues and dedicate a whole career to them.
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (12/12/05)

    So you were born a Blue but your brother was not? How does that work, then? :)

    Ho ho ho
    Yes, we could have won today. For the first time in a while, I went out tonight and got lashed and felt proud of my team amongst my friends from various Premiership clubs. We really could have won, I agree - bent is shite and couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo but we have so many positives to take forward. My only fear is that we're usually crap at Christmas because they eat too much turkey.

    Even though we're still near the bottom, we're definitely a different side from the Smith/Kendall last-chance days. Moyes is a genius, and I don't care what anyone says against him. He is our future and we should stick with him. IMWT....

    From the money grabbing bastards that football is today, Evertonians can stand proud in that we stand for what football is all about. I love our club and no-one else can understand what we're all about. The magic of it all - the stuff my Dad tells me about Dixie Dean owning a pub in Chester and talking about the good old days - just wish I was there!!!!! Just as I'm proud to be British in Yankeeland, I'm equally proud of spreading the gospel of a club which is different from any other.
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (12/12/05)

    Ah bless! What a happy boy you are!

    I have to wonder about this "Everton are Different" thing that is like a right of passage with us fans... is it really true? Or is just another myth we like to perpetulate because it makes us feel good about ourselves?— Michael

    Composure Please! (again!)
    Interesting to hear that Neville post-game said we didn't have enough 'quality' to finish the game off. (Moyes later said the same.) Whether McFadden or Bent for that matter will take this is a personal slight or up their game as a result is open to debate. (I personally doubt it as these players work within the constraints their natural ability allows them.) Irrespective, I think Neville should take the captain's armband off Weir immediately. The lad is making all the necessary noises.

    I have to say, prior to the game, a point would have been well accepted but, having seen the chances squandered, I'm left with a slightly empty feeling of what could have been.

    I rattled on in my last letter about composure. Is it wrong to expect players to possess some at the highest level or is it the case that you have to pay big bucks to have it? If the latter is true then the need for a finisher who doesn't shit themselves in a one-on-one is top of the agenda. I seriously hope that all available resources are diverted to this end and we forget about signing Roy Keane. A kicker on high wages with a propensity to get sent off is the last thing we need.
    Anthony Newell, Matlock, Derbyshire  (11/12/2005)

    Composure? Spot on, Anthony. With composure surely McFadden would have scored. With composure, surely Bent could have done just a little bit more to guide the ball around Silvestre instead of passing it straight to him as if there was no other possibility. Two moments of footballing simplicity that should have won it for the Blues... Ah well; mustn't be negative.... it was a great result. — Michael

    Ken's post-match analysis
    Another point, a move up the table... and some very good individual performances. Having said that, I thought we should have won, and would have done with a bit more quality in the final third.

    The highlight for me was seeing Valente play left back like I haven't seen from a blue in that position for many seasons. The low-light was Bent, who when he came on, just didn't seem very bothered.

    Another strong performance is called for on Wednesday night and my wish is to see us score THREE goals to go with a clean sheet. See you then... UP THE BLUES!
    Ken , Buckley  (11/12/05)

    Cause for Optimism
    A really encouraging result today and probably Simon Davies's best performance to date; he is a player who is growing in stature with every game — what a terric signing. With the tabloids suggesting Roy Keane is on his way to Real Madrid, hopefully this will hasten the return of Tommy Gravesen who is without doubt the key to our problems in midfield. At 30, he still has two or three good years; how on earth can we attract a player of similar quality for less than £10M? He would also make a terrific team captain.
    Gerry W, London  (11/12/05)

    What an outstanding performance, Moyes's vision is starting to come together - and with the whole midfield missing! Wright monumental, Yobo, Davies and McFadden outstanding. And what a coup the transfer of Phil Neville was. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum - just need to pull away from the bottom now. Hopefully there won't be much moaning in the mailbag this week!
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (11/12/05)

    Well I for one was left moaning and groaning after screaming at McFadden to score, screaming at Bent to score... Yes, a great performance and a great result. But we COULDA, we SHOULDA... why didn't we WIN the friggin game!!! Once again, too much bloody respect for those Manc twats. — Michael

    Support for Colm
    I for one support Colm. He is only saying what many TRUE Evertonians think and feel.

    Kenwright: under your tenure we have progressed not a jot. Don't tell us all how much you have spent because that is only Rooney and Grav money. You think Everton is your toy (Joe Walsh had your number years ago).

    Colm - carry on mate. Ignore the pseudo-blue. He knows nothing but how to say one thing with a smile and then something else happens.
    Russ , Cheshire  (11/12/05)

    Well said that man! The more I read of Bill Appleton's bile from Allerton, the more convinced I am that he is a little more sprightly than his 71 years would suggest... and a little more devious too. — Michael

    Krøldrup and Li Tie
    Hi Michael
    Per Krøldrup's inclusion is on the only evidence I have v Udinese and a couple of rezzie games; cultured but looked as though he had a goal in him, albeit for the opposition. What about Li Tie? Well, from what I saw in the last reserve game... What about Li Tie!

    We have got prem class players going out, all signed / re-signed by the mighty Moyes... why shouldn't we get a result?
    Ken , Buckley  (11/12/05)

    Sad Sight For Sore Eyes!
    Dear Bill,

    You label my latest piece as being bitter and twisted nonsense – please enlighten me, where am I being ”bitter and twisted”? Dispatching my Man U supporting spouse into the kitchen as we rode into our own Theatre of 'Mares a few year’s back? Or making an observation about the local media openly ignoring the revelation at the AGM that Mr Wyness has carte blanche to target potential investors for his private interests?

    Seriously Bill, if it’s the latter and you find it distasteful of me to highlight this situation then fine – we’ll not agree. Surely with our financial predicament we can ill-afford such possible conflicts of interest.

    “I have no time for all the behind the scenes stuff and never have had. It has never mattered to me who sits in the front office whether it was Dick Searle, John Moores, Alan Waterworth, Philip Carter, Bill Kenwright or Keith Wyness. It's a thankless job at the best of times but these days it's even worse thanks to silly people like Colm Kavanagh.” Bloody hell, Bill – care to explain that one with more detail!

    “Whenever I read Colm Kavanagh's words, I always get the impression he's more impressed with his own verbosity and odd obsession at moaning about everything at Everton. He seems to get nastier and nastier.” Sorry to douse your flames here Bill but I am not “more impressed with my own verbiosity and odd obsession”, as you label it. I am a shopkeeper, Evertonian, shareholder, gobshite …..whatever you want to call me, fine. My obsession, as has been the case all my life is Everton FC.

    Sir, may I ask – have you ever felt uncomfortable with the way Everton FC has gradually fallen away from those halcyon days of the 1960s, when this beloved Club of ours truly did belong at the top? What about the disastrous financial mismanagement in an era when the game has been flush with money – is that not worth of commentary?

    “Unfortunately for Colm he seems to have fallen for his own publicity, as though penning a few words for a fans website gives him some sort of standing. Well sorry Colm but you're just not that important. I find your words mostly sad and bitter and altogether too predictable. It seems you can't wait for something to go wrong even when things are going okay.” Bill, if I may can I get one thing clear: writing for ToffeeWeb is a labour of love. There is no agenda. This most certainly is not a vehicle to gain “standing”. I might pen a piece on my lunch break, tea break or on that luxury of luxuries – a night off work! You label me sad and bitter – fair enough, your call.

    I’ll ask you to read one or two of my recent articles Bill (penance!), comments on the state of the game in general and if you can still label me bitter then I fear you’ve lost all connection with the reality of the modern day game. Shady deals permeate the game (witness the welter of money wagered this week alone on Harry Redknapp returning to Portsmouth). The game is littered with individuals who have more than one finger in the money pie. Some scream “conflict of interest”. The apathy of others flicks over to the next page, to see who’s fit for the next game and a token quote from the manager. Whatever floats your boat, Bill. Regards,
    Colm Kavanagh, Arklow, Co Wicklow, Rep. of Ireland  (10/12/05)

    The Dutchman told us!
    So Van the Man, having only just made his mark on the team, is out until well after Christmas. That should come as no surprise to Mailbag readers for I remember as soon as he was signed a Dutch guy wrote in to say that although a good player, VdM never played six games on the trot throughout his career!

    Yet another triumph for the much vaunted Goodison medical, methinks. The Rooney millions have been blown on career arse-warmers like Beattie, Krøldrup, Valente and Van der Meyde — to say nothing of Pistone, Naysmith and Ferrari whose salaries alone have cost millions for a nil contribution.

    No wonder we`ve struggled this season!
    Mike Jones, Flint  (10/12/05)

    Grandpa played for the Blues
    I have a photo of an Everton team. It is from the 1920's. I have been unable to get identification of what era it is exactly. I was able to get an id of one player (Vick?). I was told that this photo might not be the first line (would that mean the starters?). The main reason I am writing is to ask if you could help me id my grandfather. The family story is that he played for Everton in the 20's, and when he was finished playing he emigrated to NY City, where he then played for NY Transit soccer teams. My cousin from Liverpool, has said that his mum had seen him play for Everton. His name was Joseph McGivney (born 1900). Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Peter Eckhoff, Liverpool  (10/12/05)

    Hi Peter,

    Sorry, I have no information on Joseph McGivney; no McGivneys listed as ever playing for the Everton first team... and that's where our info stops, I'm afraid. No-one named Vick either. Albert Virr did play 126 games for Everton first team in the 20s.

    If you were able to go through the programmes of the era, they might list the reserves players... but I can't be sure.

    I believe there is somewhere in Liverpool where you can go through old issues of the Echo and Daily Post. But I do not know if they listed reserves teamsheets.

    Another possibility is the official historian at the Club, but I don't have his name to hand, I'm sorry! — Michael

    Fantasy Manager
    Sunday soon upon us and bad news from the training ground. We have to play with what we have and I wonder what the manager may have in mind formation-wise and tactically. I will support his choice on the day but the dilemma has got me playing Fantasy Manager and, for what its worth, I would opt for a revolutionary system of 1-5-4-1.

    The players:
    Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Krøldrup, Valente;
    Osman, Davies, Neville, Kilbane;

    Not pretty but may get a 1-0. What the bench will look like is out of my league and my system pre-supposes that the real manager has read my mind and practised the said formation.

    Whatever happens I will be cheering the Blues and hoping for things to get better on player fitness to enable us to qualify for European competition once again. Anyone who saw United v Benfica will know we have not got much to beat.

    See you Sunday... UP THE BLUES!
    Ken , Buckley  (9/12/05)

    Ken, this is hardly revolutionary... except perhaps the incredibly bold inclusion of a player who has never played Premiership football! And what about Li Tie??? — Michael

    Simon Davies?
    Despite all the negativity surrounding the next game. I would like to say that Simon Davies's performances in the last two games, in an injury- and suspension-ridden midfield, have been inspiring. This man doesn't get much credit but since moving inside has very much looked the part.

    The players look confident at the moment and should be on Sunday as they are playing a very deflated side.
    Phil Rodgers , Rotherham  (9/12/05)

    Sale of Rooney
    Like our mate from Oz, I am still gutted about the sale of the Forever Blue Boy. I personally think he is a traitor! Doesn't stop me going. I like to go to the match; I like to watch the other teams as well as the Blues. Can you imagine our team with Rooney and Gravesen still playing for us? We could attract better players. Don't forget we sold Dean, Hickson, Ball and Linekar.

    I can't believe the Moyes Out Brigade. But they are bluenoses and entitled to their opinions. Three new players in January and we can start again. I still think we have a chance to challenge again in two seasons time.
    Fat Alex, Bootle  (9/12/05)

    Phil Neville
    I totally agree with Jez regarding Phil Neville. He is a true Pro, gives 100% everytime. He is a leader in our team and should be wearing the armband.

    Just another point, How many times was Phil Neville injured for Man Utd?? I dont know the true answer but I can tell you that it was hardly ever!!! Thats a good pro, when he does get a knock, he recovers well. Well worth the money Moyes paid for him, I'd say.
    Steven Bibby, Kent  (9/12/05)

    Back to the bottom 3 - Van der Meyde's crocked for Christmas!
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (9/12/05)

    The Echo
    I have noticed recently that the editor has had one or two pops at Dominic King of the Echo. I know for a fact that Mr King is a massive Red. Maybe he is simply trying to hard to paint an unbiased opinion of all thing Blue?
    Dave J, Liverpool  (9/12/2005)

    Well, that would probably explain a lot, if true... And it makes me feel more justified for calling him on the crap he writes. But why the Echo can't find an intelligent Evertonian to write these stories is beyond me. — Michael

    Re: Phil Neville
    I'm not doubting he is a good pro who will always give 100%. It's just that he would not get in my team ahead of Lee Carsley or Tim Cahill (if both fit). Carsley knows his limitations but plays as well as anyone in the holding midfield role whereas Phil Neville doesn't seem disciplined enough to play the holding role that he was bought for and so far his distribution seems to be lacking.

    But hey, opinions, great aren't they?

    However, rather than a personal attack on Phil, my point was more as to question the wisdom of paying £4M and giving such a big contract to someone who is getting on in years - Will he be a liability in two or three years time?

    Despite our best season in years we have only been able to make a £100k profit; therefore, whether we like it or not, we are going to have to continue to be a selling club. Surely taking a chance on spending the £4M on two or three Tim Cahill's and selling them for £5M or £6M two years later is our only hope.

    ps:  May I just add that the letter written by Despondent Blue of Wavertree was so absolutely spot on - it could quite easily have been written by myself other than the fact that I haven't yet fallen out with my father. Rooney made us proud to be blues again. 4th place last year in a three-horse league was satisfying but you knew it would never last. Yes, I still go to the game but it isn't the same. It never will be.
    Jez Clein, Liverpool  (09/12/05)

    Old Wounds
    `Despondent Blue` opens old wounds with his reflections on the Wayne Rooney saga. Whilst many of us have tried to `move on` as they say, the corruption in our Club which surrounded Rooney`s sale can never be forgotten - or forgiven - by most perceptive Evertonians. We know, you see, they were ALL in on it and Moyes was a key player. All the crap he dished out about `protecting the boy` was shorthand for pissing him off and his involvement in dancing to Billy`s tune is probably the biggest single reason why the slippery toad can never get rid, regardless of future results, crap signings and clueless tactics.

    Make no mistake, Wayne Rooney`s sale saved Everton from the meltdown situation brought on by years of boardroom incompetence and I, for one, will never call the lad`s loyalty to question. One day the truth will out, you`ll see.
    Harry Meek, Worcester  (9/12/05)

    Sad Sight
    I have to say though I reckon there's something seriously wrong with that lad Colm Kavanagh. Never have I read such bitter twisted nonsense as he churns out every time something happens.

    This time he's having a go at Keith Wyness again. Now I don't know Keith Wyness from Adam and I don't particularly want to meet him or anyone else in the office. I still watch football because that's what I like doing in my spare time. I have no time for all the behind the scenes stuff and never have had. It has never mattered to me who sits in the front office whether it was Dick Searle, John Moores, Alan Waterworth, Philip Carter, Bill Kenwright or Keith Wyness. It's a thankless job at the best of times but these days it's even worse thanks to silly people like Colm Kavanagh.

    Every time something doesn't go the way HE thinks it ought to he starts throwing all kinds of mud. This time it's because Manchester Utd have been knocked out of Europe and he can't wait to tell everyone how glad he is we won't get any money out of it! I could begin to understand it if he was glad because of football rivalry but not this. That must be a sad, bitter world between his ears.

    Then he has a go at Wyness because of a business deal or other which seems to be in the man's contract!

    The really sick thing though is that poor old Colm usually just can't wait for any opportunity to throw his bile over everyone and everything. He says Wyness's expression was 'priceless' because somebody asked him a question about it at the AGM. That's only the lad's view of it though and given his other childish attacks I'll take it with a pinch of salt. Maybe Wyness just thought the question wasn't important or something else.

    Whenever I read Colm Kavanagh's words I always get the impression he's more impressed with his own verbosity and odd obsession at moaning about everything at Everton. He seems to get nastier and nastier.

    Unfortunately for Colm he seems to have fallen for his own publicity, as though penning a few words for a fans website gives him some sort of standing. Well sorry Colm but you're just not that important. I find your words mostly sad and bitter and altogether too predictable. It seems you can't wait for something to go wrong even when things are going okay.

    I've seen fans come and go lad and the good ones never had your distorted view of the world. They support a football club because they love the sport. Though I daresay you can fool yourself you're doing what you do 'for the good of the fans.' Sorry again, I just think you're self indulgent and self important to the point where you're even fooling yourself.

    Football existed well before you or anyone else came along and it will exist long after you're gone.

    I hope you learn the lesson before it's too late.

    Bill Appleton.
    Bill Appleton, Liverpool, UK.  (8/12/05)

    Bill, this is a difficult topic because, as your letter clearly shows, there are many polarized views out there. We started this website with the prime interest of keeping Evertonians informed about Everton. The problem is one of where do you draw the line?

    • On the field?
    • Match info?
    • Team selection?
    • Match Reports?
    • Transfer gossip?
    • Decisions of the Manager? Constraints the manager operates under? The manager's relationship with the Board? The role of the Board in managing the team, the club, the company?
    • The interests of fans who are Shareholders?
    • The business of EFC Co Ltd.
    I think all of those issues are of concern to me as an Evertonian and a Shareholder. The sad fact is, and many can substantiate this, the more you know about what really goes on, the more depressing it is, and the harder it is to remain a "good fan" who has a beautifully undistorted view of the world.

    Colm now epitomizes the reality of what it means to be better informed about what is really happening at the club he supports. It is a massive world away from cloth-capped football fan of your youth, twirling his wooden rattle in unison with the rest of the crowd on a Saturday afternoon when the game was so entirely different. And going home without a care in the world, looking forward to his next visit to the lush greenery of Goodison Park.

    My advice to you would be to stick with only what matters on the field and to ignore everything else. Don't read anything Colm or any of our columnists write. Chances are it will be stuff that will upset and depress you.

    For what it's worth, Colm is concerned when being an Evertonian means we should be supporting our old Manc Rivals and wishing them well... so that EFC can increase its income. That's what the much heralded Rooney contract is all about. But it's behind-the-scenes nonsense, so why would you worry?

    Colm is also concerned, as every Everton shareholder should be, that the CEO (allegedly) has it written into his contract that he can line his own pockets by making his own side-deals with potential Everton investors. But it's behind-the-scenes nonsense, so why would you worry?

    Horses for courses. If it's not something you care about, then don't worry about it. That's fine. Just don't unload on those who do care about these things, and who care about what they mean to the state of our club, and the state of the game today. — Michael

    Jez: Phil Neville
    You make some good points in your letter and a valid argument concerning the figures in the buying of Parker/Neville. I'm sorry but Neville is a good pro playing out of position and has given 100% everytime he has put the shirt on; he took a wage drop (so we're led to believe) and when in the middle he gets stuck in. I would have him in every week — wearing the captain's armband.
    Mark Lyth, Netherton  (08/12/05)

    The Day The Football Died
    Colm's excellent vignette made me stop and think about my own wavering commitment to Everton FC.

    Believe it or not, I was a mad Premier League fan only two seasons ago {and for some 15 years before that}. I'd watch all and every match available, even though they were on at bizarre times {I was in Oz then}. I'd surf the web for snippets of info, peruse the fan sites, argue on the chatboards, mail the club with suggestions, criticism, praise {the last very rarely it must be said}.

    The emergence of Wayne Rooney - a Scouse Maradonna, who was blue as the rest of us - made my heart sing with pride. Indeed, it was watching his famous winner against the Arsenal that healed a family rift. I actually hadn't spoken to my {fellow Blue} Dad in about five months when Rooney curled in that outrageous 30-yarder. The joy of that moment was tempered that I wasn't sharing it with my Dad - I was back home within three days.

    I knew that with Rooney, we were on the threshold of a return to the glory days. Not just fourth, or "hardworking, difficult to beat, commitment, energy, effort" but genuine glory. Swaggering football, headlined by a lad who was born to play for us, born to exhibit his talent in front of the greatest fans in the world.

    And then they sold him.

    I was shattered, absolutely shattered. The pain I felt was immense, absolutely awful. I won't embarrass myself by saying it was like losing a family member - but it hurt a lot more than a football leaving a club fucking ought to, I'll tell you that.

    It peaked with his CL debut, which you may recall, featured three sensational goals. The scary thing was not where he went - irrelevant - but how very little of his greatness we'd had to experience.

    Since that horrible CL debut, the pain has dissipated. To be replaced with total apathy. I don't watch games anymore, and I don't surf websites. This is the only one I come to, and only because the mailbag gives me a good laugh.

    Fourth last year? Yawn. Fourteenth this year? Yawn. I just can't summon the energy to give a shit, and I doubt I ever will again. The Club broke my heart when they sold the Boy. I'd be absolutely crackers to trust it to such callous bastards ever again.

    I'd be interested to hear any other Blues who've had a similar epiphany. Maybe when Billy Bullshit goes I'll be able to get excited again - but in all honesty I don't think so. Anyone who has ever found his bird in bed with his best mate can see where I'm coming from - you're never going to trust either of them too much ever again.
    Despondent Blue, Wavertree  (9/12/05)

    Many will (again!) slam me for publishing this, but I think it needs to be said. The Sky-inspired myth of the beautiful game and the all-singing, all-dancing Premiership needs to be exposed for the parody it has become. The sale of Rooney was utterly shameful. Get over it and move on? No; some of us will never forget he was the greatest prospect in many a long while to grace our team. Did he not epitomise what the Youth Academy was all about? Or is that too merely a part of the money-go-round? — Michael

    Rob Fox...
    Are you Dominic King in disguise?
    David C, Liverpool  (8/12/05)

    Now come on, David; that's a little unfair. While a large number of Evertonians do seem to bask in cynical derision at the knowledge, wisdom and power of Club's Current Custodians, Rob at least takes the time to develop a balanced and reasonable assessment of the way things are going with our once-great club.

    Dominic King, on the other hand, is doing his best imitation of a sycophantic stooge, lacing every Everton story he writes with gushing positivism that is enough to make one physically sick. I can't help wondering if this is all a big joke. Perhaps he has been imposed upon the long-suffering Evertonians in direct respoonse to the complaints put forward by a group of fan reps who met with the top brass at the Echo back in April to complain of anti-Everton bias in that august organ. Perhaps Uncle Len Capeling and friends are just getting their own back! — Michael

    Jez Clein: Don't shoot the messenger
    Regarding your reply to my article, I wasn't in any way claiming Wyness was any sort of financial genius, just stating what has happened. I did say the bulk of the increased turnover was due to Rooney.

    Like I said, I don't know if Rooney was pushed or jumped, so I'm not in a position to judge whether the club are at fault for this or not. I did suggest that the club would be in dire straits without the Rooney money. Make of that what you will.

    As for Parker, Kuyt et al, I agree the website was a factor in raising expectations, but breaking a wage structure for a player is a risky move as it affects every other negotiation.

    Of course Parker is a better long term bet than Neville, I did acknowledge that in the article, but spending money you haven't really got is always risky. A lot can happen to a player - injuries, loss of form to affect his future effectiveness and sell on fee - bit like budgeting for CL and getting knocked out.

    Sorry I made you shout at your computer, Jez, hope you've made your peace with it now.
    Rob Fox, Blackpool  (08/12/05)

    Anybody want to know Bully's private investment proposal that will benefit the Club?

    Imagine a cross between a golf driving range, a bowling alley and a five-a-side centre. This is not a joke, I've seen the presentation. This guy thinks this will save us. We're doomed!
    Nev Erton, Neverland  (08/12/05)

    The jiggling bits
    In response to Mike Price, most fans are more interested in Beattie's workrate and obvious improvement rather than his perceived lack of fitness. Should he continue in the same manner as against Newcastle, the ladies can salivate over his jiggling bits while the rest of us enjoy his contribution to the team effort. In a similar vein, a great many good players, past and present were not built like racing greyhounds...
    Dick Fearon, Australia  (15/12/05)

    A reply to Rob Fox's 'Partners in Crime'
    Reading through Rob's latest offering, I found myself shouting at my screen again at quite a few of the things Rob was saying; however, four items in particular need closer inspection:-

    1 Rob stated that the arrival of Keith Wyness stabilised things - I would say that it was more likely the £20M Rooney fee, the reduction in the 1st team playing squad and the 4th place — finish all achieved without any input from Mr Wyness — that contributed to this 'stabilising'. Let's not kid ourselves: any of these three things not taking place would have greatly increased the chances of Everton going to administration.

    2 - Rob states that, other than Rooney and Gravesen, David Moyes has not had to sell any players he didn't want to. Two rather big exceptions! However, I have hardly seen any of the big teams knocking down the Goodison doors wanting to take any of our other players off our hands - Yobo and Cahill may soon test that theory; time will tell.

    3 Rob states that many blues felt the Board should have 'pushed the boat out'. Did we? As I stated in a previous Toffeeweb article soon after Davies signed, it was Mr Wyness who was falsely raising the expectations of the Everton fans by saying that we were close to signing Parker, Huth, Cuducini et al. And how many Everton fans had even heard of Dirk Kuyt when Everton came out with the statement that we'd bid £10M for him?!

    4 Finally, Rob warns of the dangers of paying an extra £5k/week unnecessarily. Now I don't know if he was referring to Scott Parker's wage demands or not but can I sign off with this final point - 29-yr-old Phil Neville cost £4M and was given a 5-yr contract on about £2M per year. In two years time he will have very little sell-on value and at the end of his 5 years will have cost us £14M! Whereas 25-year-old (?) Scott Parker would have cost £6M + £3M/yr in wages. In 3 years time he would be in his prime and may be worth £10M (not unreasonable as Chelsea paid £12M for him two years ago). Therefore the total cost to Everton would be £5M over 3 years. Now here's the clincher, Scott Parker would have been one of the 1st names on my teamsheet whereas if every player was fit would Phil Neville be in your team? Because he wouldn't be in mine !!
    Jez Clein, Liverpool  (8/12/05)

    Nice work if you can get it!
    Just read that Duncan Ferguson is Britain`s tenth richest footballer with £10 million in the bank. Now I don`t begrudge him a penny of it but it makes the Club`s boast of a £100k profit look a bit pathetic, doesn`t it? The Big Man has spent two thirds of his career at Goodison so let`s assume an income of about £7 million during his time here. He`s scored 72 goals in all matches so that equates to roughly £100,000 per goal! Does that make him soccer`s most expensive striker EVER?
    Gary Jay, Fleet  (7/11/05)

    The real reason Richard Wright isn't performing
    This article in the Guardian reveals all:

    "2. Shakespeare and Co, 37 rue de la Bucherie, Paris, France
    George Whitman has been running what he calls "a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore" for 50 years. His store has long been a literary hub, attracting the likes of Henry Miller, Richard Wright, and William Burroughs. More importantly, George has been inviting people to live in his shop from its very first days. There are now 13 beds among the books, and he says that more than 40,000 people have slept there at one time or another. All he asks is that you make your bed in the morning, help out in the shop, and read a book a day. After living here for five months, I was inspired to write my own book about the place."

    Robert  Bresnan  (07/12/05)

    I've only just got to see the game against Blackburn and rather than comment on our run of good fortune or poor football, 45% possession against 10 men etc, the thing that struck me was the terrible conditioning of some of our players.

    When Beattie flicks the ball past Todd, the incident is shown in slow motion and the whole of Beattie's front jiggles! My wife even pointed out he looked like an old Dad playing in an over-35's beer league. Man breasts just shouldn't be on a professional footballer, especially a striker who needs speed and sharpness!

    Strachan has said Beattie is a top player when he is super fit; and I do actually remember him looking about 20 lbs lighter when he had that great year or so... so why the fuck can't our management, coaches, nutritionist or he himself, get it sorted?

    On the same topic, Martyn and Van der Meyde look overweight too. It's not ideal for a goalie but for a fast winger it's just not on. It's not that difficult to get in shape if you're an athlete, a month or two and you should be lean and strong.

    These players are displaying a lack of professionalism and self-discipline; but the club should get a grip.. .fine them... shame them... this is basic stuff but I'm convinced it's hindering our performances.
    Mike Price, Songkhla, Thailand  (7/12/05)

    Youth Policy
    Some fans may question the wisdom of signing the 34-year-old Roy Keane, but I say we need a sprightly youngster like him to run around in front of Davy Weir and Nigel Martyn. What the hell happened to our much-trumpeted Youth Policy?
    Mick Gill, Crewe  (05/12/05)

    Some say it is alive and well (Vaughan, Hibbert, Rooney); others say it has been badly affected by a change of coaching staff that resulted in a lot of promising youngsters being shown the door. Most of the talked-up prospects are still very young (John-Paul Kissock: 14; Bjarni Thor Vidarsson: 17) but it is a huge crap-shoot as to who will actually develop into a star and who will crash and burn.

    Do League placings in the FA Youth Academy groups mean anything? Everton have finished in the top half for the last couple of seasons, besting both Man Utd and Liverpool on occasions.

    Let us know who is in the current crop of home-grown stars now plying their trade at the Premiership and grabbing the headlines ... we'll see if any of them came through Netherton. — Michael

    My Great Uncle George
    I've searched your past players section but I've had no luck. I've been told that my Great Uncle played for Everton. His name was George Hughes. This must have been in the first half of the last century. Do you keep lists of reserve teams? Do you have any trace of him? I'd be grateful of any assistance in finding out whether this is in fact true or a long standing family myth!
    Caroline Pearse  (5/12/05)

    Sorry, Caroline, but if they never played for the first team (unless it was in the last 10 years), we have no record of them. The myth lives on! — Michael

    Back from the game ...
    ... and I would like to thank Blackburn for a priceless three points. I thought that we did a reasonable job playing 4-4-2 to start, after 20 mins 4-5-1, then 4-4-2... But it worked! We won.

    But we need a BIG player: a Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard... A General in midfield who could catapult us to becoming a consistent force that can knock on the door of European competition with some regularity. We do have some quality players but they need harnessing by that midfield General. With the right signings we can fulfill fans' expectations and provide matchday enjoyment.

    Man Utd next up — without Tim and Mikel, a daunting prospect, this is where a manager earns his corn but ultimately the players need to show! We are as good as most but it's the next step all us fans are looking and longing for...

    ps: Get behind Wrighty, lads; he needs us!
    Ken , Buckley  (5/12/05)

    Expectations realised
    With yet another good away win, we are steadily progressing toward a league position in line with realistic expectations. Unfortunately, there are those who would have us believe that we would have been potential title challengers had we signed the likes of Bellamy, Emre and Parker. As for Bellamy, Joey had him in his back pocket yesterday; what a waste of money that would have been! And as for the other two, Tim and Co saw them off with ease.

    In real terms what has Moyes achieved? We now have greater strength and depth and a younger squad of players with greater technical ability. What we now need is someone who can get hold of the ball in midfield and make things happen. Tommy Gravesen would be perfect together with Robbie Keane up front, and a top-six position would be assured. If we continue to keep faith in Moyes then all things are possible.
    Gerry W, London  (04/12/05)

    Not sure I agree with "another good away win" — the previous victories at Bolton and Birmingham weren't exactly good performances but they were precious wins nonetheless. But, yes, Moyes has assembled a good group players, however I don't agree that signing Thomas Gravesen (30) or Roy Keane (34) is the way to go. We need someone in their mid-twenties to continue building for the future. Lyndon

    After sitting and sleeping my way through every game they could show before getting to Everton last night (even after Goal of the Month and adverts of forthcoming features), I was concerned to see in the little clip I watched, Wright flapping about as normal. Is he never going to seize his chance? It's a good three points but, with some tough games on the horizon, we need a presence in goal — not a clown. —
    Mark Lyth, Netherton  (04/12/05)

    Now be nice. He was a bit rusty, that's all. You calling him cruel names won't do his confidence one bit of good. He didn't let any goals in, which is really really good for him! — Michael

    We've scored two goals!
    Well done to the lads today, another encouraging performance and that's 13 points out of 18. Superb!

    Another solid display from Arteta again as well as Faddie (who looked sharp today) and Beats (who ran his socks off). I was so pleased that we had a 2-goal cushion today. I thought that we might get another and make it 3 but Blackburn still looked dangerous even with 10 men. I waited..... and waited..... and waited..... and waited.... for our £5 million man to get a game. To my surprise he didn't come on!

    What is the fuck is going on? He brought on Ferguson and good old Kilbane. Why does he not put him on? Fair enough, put Ferguson on to change the play and get another goal, but this to me was the perfect opportunity for Krøldrup to play.

    I am completely baffled.

    Poor old Richard Wright, the lad just has no confidence. He gets his opportunity and when it arrives he must be thinking, just have a solid second half and make no blunders. What does he do, makes 2 complete gaffs of crosses. Unfortunately, Mr Wright that's why you don't play week-in, week-out.

    More of the same next week lads. Up the Toffees!
    Steven Bibby, Kent  (03/12/05)

    It's possible that had Arteta not limped off, Krøldrup may have got a run-out. Or then again, maybe he's permanently crocked and Davey can't bring himself to tell the fans ;) Lyndon

    BBC Football Site
    Is it my imagination or does some twat at the BBC have it in for us? Irrespective of the 10 men today, it was a good result but, lo and behold, the 606 header they run on their website attempts to devalue the victory. It was the same a fortnight ago I recall.

    I have also noticed that whenever Everton don't sign a player to whom they have been linked, it is front page news with the word 'Snubs' no matter what the reason. The exit against Villarreal, not to mention Bucharest, was also top of their agenda. A Man Utd colleague informed me that Alex Ferguson once said that the BBC were "all Liverpool supporters with Liverpool supporters badges" and I'm starting to get the idea...

    I don't even need to watch MOTD this evening to know today's game will get scant coverage. I have already boycotted listening to 5 Live because of that knob-sack Green and may have to extend this policy to the website.
    Anthony Newell, Matlock, Derbyshire  (03/12/05)

    Well done David
    As one of the more vociferous members of the Moyes Out Brigade I feel it only right to congratulate the Manager and players on today's performance. It is the very first time this season that I have traversed the M6/M5 with anything approaching joy in my heart.

    After being very much on the back foot in the opening exchanges it was marvellous to see that Moyes was perceptive enough to change the formation before we went behind. Well done, David.

    I think every member of the team was up for it and, although Dickie W put our hearts in our mouths as soon as he appeared, he settled down to pay a full part in our clean-sheet performance.

    That's 13 points out of the last 18 safely in the bag; let's all hope it's a sign of things to come!
    David Hall, Taunton, Devon  (3/11/05)

    The end is Nigh!
    We’re doomed and have no chance of Premier League football next season.

    A black swan was seen to circle Ewood Park three times...

    A she wolf gave birth to a litter of two-headed pups in Lower Breck Road…

    The ghost of Ted Sagar was seen cavorting with Satan on the 10A bus…

    Doomed… doomed I tells yeah…

    Repent, sinners.... Moyes must go!

    (Thought I’d get this in before Tony Marsh did!)
    Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (3/12/05)

    Crucial Games & Honest Guys
    Today`s game at Blackburn is a real acid test and could be a turning point in the season for Everton. A good performance and a win could really prove that we are getting back on track and rediscovering how to win. A defeat coupled with another lacklustre performance would really depress all Evertonians and knock the stuffing out of us all.

    Without Cahill and possibly Arteta, I fear the worst; they both clearly play to win and will be a big loss. Now if our Blues do get a result without them then Moyes and the gang will be well on the way to winning us back over after the disastrous start - good luck lads!

    One final point - with Souness & O`Leary both apparently facing the sack after poor starts to the season (but still better than ours), isn`t it at least welcome to have a manager who doesn`t fill the air with excuses and seems like a decent honest person? That trait has been a key element in Moyes` survival and is one which the other two lack; no coincidence that their own have turned upon them.
    Mark Manns, London  (03/12/05)

    Actually, I think Moyes could have come out and said a lot more this season. His after-match interviews were becoming increasingly similar, uninspiring and boring. - Garry

    No, not that Keane!
    Mr Moyes, please don't sign Roy Keane! He is an over-rated, dirty player. I agree that EFC are on the move up the table but we still have a long way to go and I really don't think Keane will help us at all. We don't need him and I'm guessing that his wages won't be below £25k a week.
    Rob McFawn, Widnes  (2/12/05)

    Reservations with Keane
    Everybody agreed that Moyes's first masterstroke at EFC was cutting loose all the over-aged deadwood and ego that had drifted into the dressing room under Smith. This process he continued into last year, moving Campbell on.

    This summer he re-signed Big Dunc, who, cult hero or not, epitomizes the over-aged liability we could not/cannot afford. This is followed up by the signing of a 31-year-old left back on a three-year contract, and now, perhaps, Keane, at 34, for God-knows how long.

    I think it's a bad move and it feels too much like history repeating. And he won't be able to play until January? Why not sign a player for the future in January instead? If he's signing on in a player-coach role then that might be different; otherwise, I'm a far bigger fan of Martin Jol's approach to squad building, and non-interest in Keane.
    Ted Turner, Nottingham  (2/12/05)

    I'm not too Keane
    Remember the great things that Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola did after they signed for us? No?? Not at all?? Exactly!!!

    Both players were long past their best and did nothing but take their extortionate wages every week and shuffle their creaking bodies along to the treatment room. So imagine my horror and despair when I hear that Everton are firm favourites with the bookies to sign Roy Keane. A player whose game involves getting the ball and passing it 5 yards, yell at someone if that pass doesn't find its target, go and kick someone, get sent off and then throw a strop at any of the coaching staff if they dare to question his behaviour.

    If a box to box midfielder who can score goals (Roy Keane 7 years ago) is the sort of player that David Moyes wants, why can't he sign a young player in that mould such as Joey Barton of Man City, Sean Davis of Aston Villa or Matty Taylor of Portsmouth. All of them young, skillful and hungry for success. Would those boys not be better than bringing in an over-the-hill whining bastard who is looking for one last hurrah?

    Alex Ferguson is no fool and when he can see that a player is past his best or not pulling his weight he takes action and gets rid. Why should we put up with these types of shortcomings when the top clubs won't, after all we want to be a top club don't we?

    No doubt that Keane was a great midfielder about 5 or 6 years ago but know surely his time has passed. He is now slow, injury-prone and far too outspoken. If our club commits itself to signing this man on high wages just so he can live out his final footballing years on easy street, then I for one will be very disappointed (yet again) by the Everton board and manager's transfer dealings.
    Ryan Jones, Preston  (2/12/05)

    I agree that [Roy] Keane is no saviour but he could be helpful in games similar to the West Brom disgrace and provide a managerial presence on the pitch and give the other players a big motivational bollocking. Would be a useful addition. I can see him doing well at Everton with our passionate fans rather than the prawn sandwich eaters. Steel in central midfield with flair on the left and right is the way forward.
    Daniel Parker, New York, US  (02/12/05)

    Roy Keane - God Help me!
    For 10 years, I have been slagging off Roy Keane as the most over-rated player since Brian Robson. Now, to my horror, Moyes is now trying to buy him.

    Signing Keane will take the absolute biscuit. We are a team that is struggling to crate chances, how will playing Keane improve on this? Keane’s only ever contribution to a football side is to stand in the center circle giving 5-yd passes and then shouting at everybody. He will offer nothing in attack and is now too slow to offer anything in defense, opponents can simply just go past him. I do not care for his type of bullying leadership qualities; in the end it will just go in one ear and out the other of anyone caught up in one of his rants.

    Why do English fans love this type of player? A player with limited skill but lots of passion and endeavor. I can never understand it, even at the grass roots kids are not allowed to express themselves freely, they are not allowed to try a skill without incurring the wrath of the coaches and parents who only want to keep things simple, have lots of effort and have the attitude that winning is everything. Hence we produce lots of players like Keane and very few players like Rooney, Gasgoine, Waddle, Hoddle, Barnes, Beardsley. Brazil, a country where the absolute opposite is true, a Wayne Rooney is produced EVERY year. That is why they have won 5 World Cups against England's single victory.

    Moyes should be signing a great technical player (from abroad) to compliment our current best technical players in Arteta, Van der Meyde and Yobo (no British players obviously). It is a backward step and leads me to the conclusion that we are not heading in the right direction under Moyes. For me Moyes has to go.

    I will never watch Everton while Roy Keane is wearing our shirt.
    Tommy Coleman, London  (02/12/05)

    Wow! I must say I agree strongly with a lot of what you say; I believe the faith being placed in Roy Keane as our new Saviour is simply ridiculous. At 34, and clearly over the hill, he is another Manchester United reject finding a new club nearby so he won't have to move house and home. He is not at all in the mould of player that Moyes claims he wants in the squad.

    But to say you won't watch them is a step too far for me. — Michael

    Done deal
    Fact - Roy Keane is at Broadgreen Hospital having a medical right now.
    Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (02/12/05)

    You didn't tell us the provenance of this one, Phil. How many links in the chain? — Michael

    You're not the only person to write in with this though. — Garry

    Cloud cuckoos
    Hardly a day goes by when some Everton braggart doesn't tell us he's the answer to our prayers! This week it was the turn of James McFadden who, on the back of his first half decent game since he joined, is telling us what a great striker he is; and he didn't even find the net!

    In your dreams, son! You might have stuck away a few in the Conference which passes for a Premier League in Scotland but you are an also ran down here. Moyes should do us all a favour and tell all his overpaid, overrated, so called stars to button it and concentrate on living up to their self-proclaimed greatness on the bloody pitch.

    They must think we`re all as easy to fool as Billy Blue Eyes!
    Phil Brown, Netherton  (2/11/05)

    I don't think James ever proclaimed himself as the answer to our prayers. If he was quoted correctly then he said he could do a job for us (as he did on Sunday). His comments were more of a plea for a extended run upfront, where he's actually done reasonably well, without yet scoring. — Garry

    One rule for him.........
    Once again the godlike figure that is Alan (Mary Poppins) Shearer has escaped action from the FA, while banning Tim Cahill and Celestine Babayabadoo, for what was in all reality handbags at dawn. No doubt he will quote the rule that says Alan Shearer cannot be held responsible for anything. Whether the ref saw it or not, the challenge was made more cynical by the fact he made sure someone was behind him before he swung his elbow, but I suppose when you are as shit as he is you have to try and make headlines anyway you can.

    I am more concerned that without Cahill we will lose the bite that he offers in midfield, especially against Blackburn (thugs R us) Rovers. We're all doomed!
    Jez May, Isle of Man  (01/12/05)

    It's a funny old goame. The moment it happened, Barry Horne (Radio City commentary) said that Weir actually ran into his outstretched elbow (can you imagine!) and that the ref was right not to make more of it. But let's not let that little detail get in the way of a good old moan about the FA.

    Talking of which, why the fretting over Cahill? I'm sure they both deserved it, to be honest. And surely this is a Godsend? After all, everyone and his mother says Cahill needs a rest. But Moyes has not been prepared to give him a rest, neither has Guus Humperdink. So step up, the FA and an enforced 3-mathch ban. Yes! This is what we've all been craving for! Let's celebrate!!!!

    Tiny Tim can then return, fully refreshed from his enforced lay-off, and he can start performing properly once again, banging in the goals, just like last season... right? Isn't that the way it works??? — Michael

    Yo-Yo Effect
    Alright so it goes quiet on the "Davey out" front after a win but, as Michael keeps telling us, "He's going nowhere so change the tune" and while Billy Bungle is at the helm he's probably right. However, we can still slag off DM'S shortcomings - it's just like letting off steam.

    I just wonder about the so called progress made under DM which show erratic league positions i.e 7th,17th,4th and now 15th. There is obviously a problem here and I am sure it has a lot to do with him on occasions "losing" the dressing room (as the line goes) as well as other factors like having absolutely no tactical nous.

    Surely most successful clubs build steadily (Chelsea excluded) over a few years and the graph is normally an upward one where as ours is like a cardiac patient's. Now I don't know this for definite but I am sure there is another disaster awaiting and then manager and players will have another fall-out. After a few games, it will be sorted out and then we'll win another game etc,...

    Surely we can't go on like that?
    Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (01/12/2005)

    Err... I think you just described Football as she is known in the Real World — especially with the flat mid-section of the league table that has become a Premiership feature in recent years. Not sure I'd call it a 'problem' to bounce around among the also-rans? Better certainly than being relegated; not as good as being a successful club among the top three. But I don't buy this steady upward graph thing: all clubs yo-yo to a certain extent.

    And to answer your final question, Why not? Or did you prefer it when we were consistently poor — relegation fooder almost every season? — Michael

    Roy Keane
    Has anyone heard anything about Roy Keane having a medical at Everton yesterday? A lot of people, both Everton and Celtic fans, seem to think this is a done deal. However, it worries me how much and how long his contract would be; can anyone shed any light?
    Mike Mulhall, Bootle  (1/12/05)

    A major betting company slashed the odds on his 'next competitive match' being for Everton from 16/1 to 11/10 earlier this week. They are now so convinced that his next competitive match will be for Everton that they suspended betting, and the other bookies have followed suite (was it something I said?). The deal is practically been done... apparently.

    And yet all sensible observers will know this means nothing until the Royal Blue shirt is held up at the press announcement. Place you bets!!! — Michael

    Re: Colin Tunstall

    Pointless to call for change following a victory.

    This site was pointing out last year the problems with the club. But almost nobody wanted to hear it - why? Because sitting in fourth matters more than endemic fasilings within the club.

    Evertonians like to pretend they're different...but sadly we {as a collective} are not.

    When we start getting tonked again - and endemic failings at the club mean we almost certainly will - the letters will start rolling in again.
    David  C  (1/12/05)

    That, my friend, is "the Everton Way". Win a few and all's quiet. Lose a few and it's The End Of The World. Someday the penny might drop with the rank and file Evertonian out there and realise that the shortcomings of any given manager sometimes only serve to highlight the lack of proper leadership, at the top, this beloved club of ours has had for the past two decades. - Colm

    Couple of points...
    Firstly, I thought it was out of order that some fans booed Kevin Kilbane when he came onto the pitch on Sunday. In his first season I thought he was outstanding for us, but sadly since then he has flattered to deceive. The problem with him is a lack of quality, but his effort can never be questioned, and I find it sad that some fans can boo him before he has even set foot on the pitch.

    Secondly, I thought James McFadden had his best game in an Everton shirt on Sunday. I still have my doubts about him, but credit where credit's due, he did well for us in an attacker's position that I don't recall him ever filling before. He now has 8 games to play in which to impress, although we MUST strengthen in that position, regardless of how he does.

    Finally, it seems apparent to me that James Beattie is central to our game play this season, and so his continued fitness and form is a priority. Our results without him have been shocking, just like the West Brom game when he was invisible. We need him fit and firing on all cylinders, because our other strikers don't have the same quality.

    I feel sorry for Bent, who I think could score 15 goals a season in a 4-4-2 with decent supply, but Fergie's movement isn't enough, and he doesn't offer enough of a goal threat. That leaves McFadden, who is now on borrowed time, although that may be harsh as he has never had a run as a striker. Vaughan is also injured and untried at this level.

    I don't know if you'll agree, but these are just my points...
    Danny Broderick, London  (01/12/05)

    I was following along quite well there until: Bent... FIFTEEN goals!!! Now I'm lying on the floor in convulsions — Michael

    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)

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